The Intersection of Achievement, Success and Failure

This is going to be a stream of conscious post. I’m just too tired to make it pretty for you today and I need a media break from all of the chaos from the past few days.

I’m trying to figure out the short version of how to say this: for some of us, if we don’t have the framework to make the changes we want I’m not entirely convinced we can successfully apply BWE (or sustain any forward motion). And I’m not talking about lack of understanding or not trying. I’m talking about external circumstances ripping things apart no matter what we do. That no affirmation or plan of action or discussion or desire to do it can make it happen. That we were just screwed early on in life or left without proper resources that we cannot ever catch up. Like, no matter what.

Which flies in the face of the idea that we can take responsibility, change our mentality and create a better life for ourselves. I’m thinking that may work for some people, but it’s not guaranteed for most of us. It’s like trying to live with a disease that you can’t rid of like HIV (passed on as a kid) or something. You might be able to “manage” it with drug therapy and other stop-gap measures so it doesn’t progress and kill you, but you’re still sick.

YOU didn’t do it, something was done to you and you can’t ever get away from it in its entirety. And I guess that’s also how clinical depression works. It’s like a pebble in your shoe. Sometimes you can deal with the discomfort, sometimes it wipes you out and sometimes you can ignore it completely, but it’s always there ready to mess your life up. Ferguson. Robin Williams’ suicide – and the reaction from people who are not his family.

 What I think is more harmful are the middle of the road, pseudo-BWE blogs that are running now where I see many of the same women who lurked or commented in BWE spaces participating as if they’re the same thing. These BWE-lite blogs mostly water down BWE messaging while refusing the acknowledge BWE and they were likely to not have ever reciprocated in the past, let alone today. It seems many black women just want to flock to a blog run (seemingly) by a black woman who may say a few things they can cheer from the sides. I sense for some it doesn’t matter what’s being discussed or they are mainly interested in discussing the antics of the black male DBRs, and they’re still in basically the same place they were in life 3-5 years ago. They want to be shocked and in awe alternately. I will say I’ve had to deal with opportunists and those who oppose BWE (either actively or by stealth) in person and I had to scale back direct access in public because of it.

How do you truly become self-sufficient: mind, body and soul with the economic power and emotional fortitude and support networks of the gods as your beck and call? 




12 Replies to “The Intersection of Achievement, Success and Failure”

  1. This is a great and subtle post and I totally get it. I've been wondering the same. And thinking about the reality of how invisible legacies and various types of capital shape our lives. Of course being positive, proactive, making good plans and moving forward with them despite obstacles is basic and assumed here. But the invisible stuff that is a reality for many black women, like being born into a situation of generations of: subsistence or less (e.g. poverty), father-absence, undersupervision or even neglect and/or abuse, poor K-12 education, segregated neighborhoods, low social capital, poor family and personal health, poor personal outcomes, depression and vulnerability to the tolls, taxes and violences of racism and sexism etc., can have a dampening, or worse effect for many. Like an invisible net or a drain. Ultimately, I agree with Sisterlocgirl -- eyes on the prize and keep moving forward, and with HomesteadGlamourGirl -- not everyone is gonna make it, especially those with these superficial "strategies" based solely on changing dating team colors to revenge date. I have more thoughts as I'm still thinking about these things, but it's good to know others reflect on this too. Thanks for this thoughtful reflection and conversation Faith.

  2. One more thing. The commenter who said personal responsibility is right. Its no one else’s fault if AABW as a collective make wrong decisions and or choices that are against self. We can only control ourselves as individuals.

    1. Well, it is truth AA women make choices, but you can never dismiss the power of gaslighting and indoctrination. This didn\’t happen in a vacuum.

  3. Also, I’m not exactly sure if you’re referring to an above entity like God or Jesus (I personally don’t believe in it) but I hope you don’t think that God or something like that is standing in our way or blocking us from greener pastures so to speak. That is nothing but fear.

    1. I\’m not going to pretend to have all the answers all the time or to be above the fray of life. We all come from different sets of circumstances and opportunities. Forward motion and setbacks. I\’m not going to dwell on the lows and only focus on the highs.

  4. It's all one step at a time.
    It can be a daunting endeavor, especially since some people are starting essentially at zero.
    However, progress is only going to be made if (general you) gets going. And progress is only made one step a a time. A lot of what holds people back is mental. It's not easy, but few things worth having are.

    The truth is, a lot of AAbw are NOT going to make it. If your idea of progress is "I'm gonna date a white guy and spend a lot of time basking in bm being mad about it", you're in trouble. Some people are happy to stay stuck there, and good luck to them.

  5. Wow. A very powerful and very relevant video. Unfortunately things have deteriorated even more substantially from when this round table discussion took place over 25 years ago if I'm not mistaken. Some BW have taken note particularly regarding Tony Brown's point regarding black purchasing power. I like the idea of a MICOMSA as put forward by Evia. In fact, with the power of the internet I think it is much more plausible to develop intentional networks of like-minded people. That being said, due to the misuse/misdirection/misleadership of the " black male leaders " the permanent underclass status of a very large portion of black America has already taken hold. For those who are willing to take action & use the vast, priceless resources provided on various core BWE blogs, yes I believe it is possible to become self sufficient. It takes work & developing networks. If I believed in the hopelessness put forward by the Sister Souljah mindset, me & my fellow classmates would never have become doctors. I didn't have the luxury of sitting back & fuming whenever racism/sexism/colorism threw a wrench in my plans. I had to readjust to get past it and proceed on my journey, as many of my fellow students did. There are always obstacles to achievement no matter what the endeavor. As the saying goes you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help the person sitting next to you. Talk does nothing. Action is needed. It's far easier now to develop colorblind businesses and to operate covertly. Isms are a reality in this life if you are a black woman. You can choose to use it as an excuse to be mediocre or you can use it as fuel to keep taking that next step & not letting " them " limit your possibilities.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I'm wondering though if other obstacles are not about an "ism" but something else and how does one navigate through that.

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