How Serious Are You About Uplifting Black Women?

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to take a moment to ask a serious question:

Are you really in support of black women?

ALL black women – including acknowledging the contributions of African-American women that pretty much everyone else benefits from and appropriates the Civil Rights model those women perfected for your group’s personal use?

Some may have wondered why I chose to post “lighter” fare the past few weeks. Well…of course if you are a discerning reader you already know subtle doesn’t equal lack of depth and adapting new mentalities can be employed in a variety of ways. Besides, I’m getting rather fed up at the poseurs and voyeurs who are mere passengers seeking an amusement ride.

Let me speak plainly now:

All the faux (or real) outrage in the world will disappear into the ether without a well-supported infrastructure.

Some of us have been telling you all along to – –

a) get your own house in order first

— and then

b) think more critically about who and what you associate yourselves with.

This is why I had to write about the fake BWE infiltrators AND traitors amongst us. There isn’t only one people. This is why the call for accountability and transparency is tantamount. Yet, if women don’t know what they stand for and who they are to begin with, they will choose…cotton-candy flavored poison instead of eating their vegetables.

Oh well…..

Total 100% agreement on every issue is not the goal. Core support that is consistent, measurable and reliable has been the end game all along. There is and has been and will continue to be a steady diet of poison being offered in publicly attacking black women as less than but guess what; the majority of it will ALWAYS come from other blacks. So, I’m not going to be more outraged by so-called “outsiders” when the various internal insurgents are detonating bombs from behind the wall.

Yesterday it was this, tomorrow it will be that. Rinse and repeat. While we most certainly should not ignore such denigration, how we respond is just as important. Boycotts don’t work. Letter-writing may generate a moderate response. Totally cutting off the oxygen to the haters is what is in order, but we have an underlying and as-yet unresolved problem. Without racial and ethnic pride any response will be limited at best and not sustainable. It will always be reactionary to aggression and stimuli.

How many of you have gone back to buying Pepsi products after the SuperBowl flap? How many of you still read and buy Essence? Plunked down money for the latest Tyler Perry/T.D. Jakes/Martin Lawrence etc. version of “black women ain’t &*%*” movie? Why would anyone take you seriously? Feel free to respond in ways you find appropriate but what are the long-term goals at hand?

Oh, by the way I’ve also noted how some “liberal” non-black media entities are now responding [very selectively of course] to some of the denigration. Yeah…we’ve done all the heavy lifting so picking up a few socks off the floor shouldn’t be that much trouble. We’ll see if it’s a sustained effort or an hijacking attempt for credibility and funding.

If some of these non-black entities seriously want to help uplift black women then they should be speaking to those of us who have been leading and protecting the BWE social justice movement and others who are defending black women from denigration and violence. Otherwise, it’s just more lip-service to look “concerned”. There’s an election coming up after all and people are going to want our money, time and resources – AGAIN. Hopefully, THIS TIME some of you will DEMAND PRE-PAYMENT IN FULL before lifting a pinky finger in their direction.

Of course if blacks in general had weighed the unforeseen costs of various examples of “progress” [I’ll leave that discussion of defining progress for another time] like the Obamas being in the White House, with an attractive AND intelligent African-American First Lady [we’re going to set aside the utter foolishness of allowing (c)rap artists who bash black women have such access to her for a moment as well] they would be PROACTIVE IN PROTECTING THEMSELVES TO BEGIN WITH.

We’re not even at a point we can even think about dominating as a collective. That’s over in fact. Yet, for the very reasons I’ve had to make caveats is why there are no such provisions being generated. It all comes back to those who want to escape their black identity, the broken family structure, the allowance of violence, the unchecked racio-misogyny and the grabbing for rainbow coalitions so AA women can be the water-carriers for everyone else.

If some people, black women and AA women in particular were focused on our individual elevation along with respecting our heritage we would be fully funding the work of the BWE activists. We’d set up think tanks. We’d create viable media and other entities that we own and control for our own benefit. Most importantly, we’d set standards, erect boundaries and enforce protocols.

We’d stop financially supporting our oppressors and leeches.

We wouldn’t close ourselves off in woman-designed boxes.

We wouldn’t actively block the progress of other black women.

There’s one important step in correctly identifying the indoctrination that has tripped, derailed and ruined the lives of other women. Then there’s the moving on factor. We already know divided houses fall. If your internal house [point of view and expectations] are out of alignment with what’s best for you, you are of no use to anyone else but the leeches.

This forum is going into its fourth year and we’re still rehashing the same scenarios. I could close up shop and come back in a year and it would be in the midst of the same drama – guaranteed! What will have changed except for a few centimeters of forward motion with complaining and measured labor all the way before taking a huge step backwards (compromise, magical thinking and sabotage)?

The lack of support is very telling. The lack of respect speaks volumes. The protests of being “too busy to do A, B or C” shows where your priorities lie. Watching a black woman as Sapphire on a reality show is more important than feathering your nest, mentoring a young girl or clearing away useless things/people from your life.

I’m not so sure many of you really want to be free because your actions display a victim mentality. Where’s the power? Where’s the self-satisfaction? Where’s the robustness from a life well-lived? Where’s the plan? Where’s the beef?

To my surprise my most popular blog posts to date have been about Della Reese and the first entry in the Surrounding Yourself With Light & Beauty series. Was it curiosity, the particular subjects or an indication of a shift? Only time will tell.¬† Don’t think I’m depending on this one little post to be your “lightbulb” moment either. I just had to make sure I stated things for the record. I see what’s going on behind the scenes. I don’t need to discuss it publicly but I am not a fool. I am also not going to attempt to produce blood by squeezing a stone. I have done my part — and then some. The rest is up to you…or not. People support what they value and junk the rest.

33 Replies to “How Serious Are You About Uplifting Black Women?”

  1. No, I don't buy Pepsi, I don't buy Messence, and I will never spend one red cent on Tyler Perry or whoever's coming up with the next stereotypical 'these are all black people' movies, not even on the pirated ones. And I mean it!

  2. To Zimdzhi:

    Women like you inspire us! Good luck and keep up the great work. You are absolutely correct when you say camera are very afordable. Today, many people are self-publishing. Keep going……………..

  3. Just today I told one of my so-called good friend/co-worker that I was going to stop being bother with her. She seems to be falling into some type of hole and I am NOT falling into that hole with her. She is married so her husband needs to step-up.

    I have 4 or 5 semesters left before I graduate. I was talking with another co-worker about moving after graduation. The co-worker asked me why don't I apply for a job at the new VA hospital that is being built? I told her that I wanted to move out of the state and see something different. I was born and raised here and it is time for a change. Anyways, I called this co-worker up on last Thursday or Friday and she said that she would call me back later. OK, eights days later and my co-worker/friend still has not called me.
    Hmmm, could it be that she is in her late 50s and about to retire with a small retirement fund? NOT MY FAULT. And, here I am happy at the thought of graduating and moving on to a better environment and financial life.
    Ladies, do not allow any of your friends to play games with your future. Do what you MUST do to advance yourself and your children.

  4. Hello!! love your blog !!! I don't comment often because I don't want to intrude in a forum that is dedicated to improve the lives of African- American women. I'm from the Caribbean and looking at this mess as an outsider I totally agree with you. I stopped being mad about it and cut out all negativity from my life . I'm in the process of opening 3 businesses and also starting a mini media Empire. We make a lot of movies here in Haiti . They are not really my taste but we make them and we have an audience. You don't need Hollywood. look at Nollywood. you don't need NY publishing firms We are at an unprecedented time we can create our own images , movies, books, and any other imaginable thing because of the internet. cameras are cheap !! I don't think African -- American women realizes the power they have , Brain beauty talent. They undersell themselves when they could be running the world. Thank you for the blog. You
    Ladies of the BWE forum inspire black women from all over the world and you don't know just how much we Appreciate it!

    1. Zimdzhi: This is a forum for black women with a specific emphasis on addressing the needs of African-American women where they might otherwise not be met. Everyone is welcome (men, women, various races, etc) who have valuable contributions to make that assist in our uplift. If I have something specific where I only want the participation of the AA audience, I will instruct you and others to silently read along and not comment. Otherwise, I want to ensure it is a protected zone -- but that also includes from other AA women who are NOT protecting or uplifting each other as well. So, in reality this is a forum for those who want to learn something, contribute engagingly, add value and take action.I do appreciate other people respecting the space and acknowledging the contributions of AA women, so feel free to comment.

  5. OMG!This is very odd. I totally just asked MYSELF this question> "Are you really in support of black women? "like an hour ago.

    As I asked myself this question,BEFORE I even read this post today(weird),and thought it over and over I came to these conclusions
    1.I AM in support of black women and girls.
    2.I feel like a failure because I feel I have NOT been doing enough for the uplift of the black women and girls who's lives I can affect in a very positive way without ANY push back from these PARTICULAR black women and girls
    3.The reason that I did not help them is because I'm still helping myself and I believed I didn't have time.
    4.Reason 3 has NOT been a good enough reason to keep my conscious feeling guiltless.I see the situations that black women and girls face as dire.Meanwhile,my hands have been tied.Either due to A= the fact that I just couldn't come through because of my own issues that I'm working on or B= I have NOT been doing a good job at thinking outside the box to find ways that I can make myself useful in the present condition that I am in.

    I came to the conclusion that the answer to that is B.I have NOT been doing a good job at thinking outside of the box to find ways that I can make myself useful in the present condition I am in.I also discovered that there are some old, but still useful and effective, models that I can use to be of assistance ,in a positive manner, to black women and girls that I seem to have thrown away or forgotten about.I have picked up at least one of those old models.

    What am I doing about helping myself?My main issue has been education.I WILL be attending college shortly.This is definite.I need a better job.A.S.A.P so I have also decided to utilize some of the family connections that I have with people who are much better off than I to get a better job(again).I have 2 or 3 options.These family members don't mind helping people who want to help themselves.We have an excellent relationship and I have never made myself an embarrassment to my family.So I'm expecting this to work out.I'll probably be schmoozing with my lovely and well connected great aunt this weekend at a some big banquet, that I paid an arm and a leg to attend.I know there will be some managers of (fill in the blank) there that will need somebody to do something.Pray for me.

    What am I doing to help other black women and girls?In returning to some old yet very effective models,I will be participating in the
    "Victims to Victors" program with Victims of Crime again.What I like most about this is I can be a mentor to black women and girls.
    As a mentor my job will include helping them get on the right track.I have people that are over me that share information with me so that I can help other black women and girls.The V.O.C.A I attend is in a poor community.Many women and girls in the area that are within walking distance of this center DON'T have enough education,may be unemployed,etc.As a mentor it will be my job to show them where they can go to get back into school, help them fill out applications,help them find a doctor etc.In the classes we discuss everything from abuse to proper parenting and nutrition.As a mentor they will be able to call me when they are in trouble.There is a whoooooooooooooooole lot of work that NEEDS to be done that I can do to help other black women and girls in this program in my present condition of not having a college degree or a great job YET . I am really looking forward to it.And I will update you all on my progress.

    Lesson learned:Only I know what I am capable of doing.We can fool others into believing we are doing as much as we can,but we cannot fool ourselves.At least I can't,my conscious wouldn't let me.

    1. I'm glad you asked yourself the question, but please note what I wrote at the top of the post: SELF-CARE is #1. I am not trying to assign Mammy/Mule duty to any woman. You have a blog and you get your own life in order and well-maintained and THEN — IF you can — offer some assistance in some way. I wasn't referring to you at all…..

  6. I am writing a series of books for Middle Grade and Young Adult Black girls in realistic, romance, and dystopian fiction. While completing my degree in English Education I was shock to find how sparse literature is for black children and the stories that are available are one-dimensional, diadetic, and preachy. I wanted black girls to feel they deserve to be the center of attention and no just the girl who got pregnant in the hood.

  7. LADIES,

    Many other race men will work hard to support his wife and family.

  8. Yesterday, I was talking with a VC at a local university and she is one of those who gives and gives to the point she is exhausted. Presently, she is at home on sick leave because her physician found some fluid around her heart. She keeps getting stick and she is over stressed, like some other bw on campus. The Chancellor is the type who will push a person over the edge, if one was dumb enough to let him. Her serious health scare I believe has finally opened her eyes to realizing that she must put herself first or she will not be around much longer. Also, she surprising stated that she does not have an issue with dating other race men. Around here you take your chances admitting that you are interested in other race men, good for her.

    1. I hope she takes care of her health, sets some boundaries and gets busy. Time's a-wasting!!!

  9. When I was young, I would read my mother's Essence magazine. There was the usual article about the shortage of BM. The writer of the article wrote something to the effect that BW should find a drug addicted BM and help him through rehab in order to have a relationship or marriage. I took that magazine and threw it as hard as I could! This was sometime in the mid-1990's. I have not looked at an Essence since.

    1. I had no idea MESSence was spewing that garbage way back then, but I shouldn't be surprised. So when they suggested women look for their black prince at the strip club that was merely a continuation of the insanity, eh? I've also taken note that Ebony appears to have saved itself from a swan dive only to venture into MESSence territory so they're about the be put on public blast as well.

  10. Done with Pepsi, done with Tyler Perry. Hmmm, let's see…done with Essence too. Still working on GTFO ASAP!!

  11. My main focus right now is working on setting up a blog as a support for BWE as well as my own self-improvement project. I'm working on continually improving my health, becoming certified to teach Zumba, and working on keeping my life filled with only the good things that improve, educate, and bring forth my strengths. But as May transitions to June, I'll definitely begin really blogging again because there is so much to talk about and I'm praying for guidance on where to start.

    1. Just write something and you'll have a focus. There is no "perfect" path, just one of forward motion.

  12. No more Pepsi or Essence. I enjoyed the phrase "feathering your nest". So far I've gone back to working out and decided to continue my education and take up fencing starting in January. I enjoyed this article as its mirroring something I've observed in the movements I follow. The slowest moving antelopes are always eaten first.

    1. GoddessM: There's a great list started by another black woman that's on Facebook about what products to pull your support from. Of course the dead black community should be included as well….

      1. Yes! I check it up daily to see who to shy from. They also provide some people TO support occasionally. Nature Abhors a vacuum and so far are alternatives are few and far between. I hardly see "Heart & Soul", a FANTASTIC health magazine for black women, sold anywhere other than through perscription.

        1. Some things are more supported than others. We also don't always focus on the things that benefit us in the long run to roll around in the gutter (by holding onto certain mentalities). I'm not expecting a large group en masse to surge ahead, but I will say I have noticed more people being willing to at least appear mildly interested in doing something beneficial whereas even a year ago there would've been less response.

          1. True. I don't get to see it on your scale but I can believe it. I'm happy to hear it happening.

            (and I totally mean subscription not perscription *sigh*)

          2. I know you made a typo but we're not going to be grammar fanatics in the comment section.

  13. from ph2072 —

    "How many of you have gone back to buying Pepsi products after the SuperBowl flap? How many of you still read and buy Essence? Plunked down money for the latest Tyler Perry/T.D. Jakes/Martin Lawrence etc. version of “black women ain’t &*%*” movie? Why would anyone take you seriously? Feel free to respond in ways you find appropriate but what are the long-term goals at hand?"

    Speaking for myself, I don't support any of this stuff. I'm working on ridding myself of other things, and I think I've made a lot of progress and will continue to do so. This is a great & thought-provoking post, Faith. Thanks for it.

    1. Thanks for the comment -- I did get your email and so it will post under my name. For those that "get it" please continue moving forward.We still need more women to step up.

  14. Hi Faith,
    Recently I haven't been reading or commenting as often on the blogs. This is because I have been busy trying to apply the lessons I have learnt from the black female advocacy blogs (and also my own life lessons) and apply them in real life.

    I'm pleased to say as a result I made a small step and have finished my first-ever manuscript, a small children's book, featuring a little black girl. Currently working on the illustrations now.

    I have also created a positive series of images of black women. Each one uniquely and individually represents black women from the US, Africa and the Caribbean, and pays homage to their respective heritages.

    I continue to make a conscious effort to not buy products made by or invested in companies/persons who denigrate black women. Most music and film I boycotted a long time ago, so that part hasn't been too difficult at all.

    I remain serious about uplifiting Black women.

    1. Hi Nia, I'm glad to hear about your initiatives. I hope you've looked into e-publishing.

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