Perspective is a powerful thing, and when you combine perspective with observation and hindsight more often than not there is a level of clarity reached that allows you to live a fuller life. I grew up in my mother’s family, a female dominated family where women run everything and the men who stay have little to no voice. The men who marry in are reduced to the role of moneymaker. I can honestly say I am the only woman in my mother’s family that does not go through my husband’s wallet taking cash or make a mad grab for his check on payday. Continue reading “For My Own Peace of Mind I Decline”
What is it about the word nigger that it has been able to survive and flourish for generations? It’s like the zombie apocalypse of words, meaning no one knows who patient zero for the use of such a vile word is, it keeps infecting people, and there doesn’t seem to be a cure. It is a word that was used to tell black people to go home when they walked into white schools, stepped on white college campuses, moved into white neighborhoods, or sat at lunch counters. Continue reading “A Vile Word”
I was reading an article on the Raw Story today where Stanford University’s answer to Brock Tuner’s disgusting actions is to ban hard liquor on campus. Really Stanford? The problem with Brock Turner’s actions isn’t the party culture on campus, which Brock used as an excuse. The problem is that Brock Turner is a troll. He is one of the worse forms of life. The problem is he was raised by a father who referred to his disgusting acts as 20 minutes of actions and a mother who only thoughts weren’t of how vile his behavior was but over her sadness in not being able to decorate her dream home because of the stress of the trial. Continue reading “The Problem isn’t the Liquor”
To all people but especially to black women it is just hair. As black women we cannot allow of self worth, our intelligence, our contribution to society to be determined by our hair. As black women we are the only race of women where are our can become a topic of national debate. There are work and school regulations implemented around our hair. Our hair is a source of contention, hatred, and ridicule. Continue reading “It is just Hair”
A Lady with a Lamp
The Statue of Liberty is 130 years young. Through the best and worst of times she has stood with confidant and grace. At her feet there is a plaque, which simply says: Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Continue reading “A Lady with a Lamp”
Yesterday North Carolina residents passed an amendment to their constitution that would effectively recognize heterosexual marriage as the only legal relationship in the sate. So not only did the residents of North Carolina take away civil rights of homosexual couples but they took away the rights of heterosexual couples as well because now heterosexual common law marriages have no standing either. I looked at pictures of the people who supported the amendment and one woman was wearing a shirt that had a man and woman stick figure and underneath it said “real marriage”. I wished I could have asked her if this is a real marriage and all you need is one man and one woman that why do so many heterosexual marriages end in divorce? Why are there so my incidents of domestic violence in “real marriages”? Why are their so may unhappily married, “real marriage” couples? But as much as I would like to ask the question I know that all I would get in return is misinterpreted and misquoted excerpts of the Bible.
We are a nation that clearly expresses in our national Constitution that our nation shall have no formal religion yet laws are made based off of one formal religion’s ideals. When are people going to realize that gay marriage is about civil rights, it’s about equal protection under the law. It’s not about moral judgment, or enforcing your moral beliefs on others. We have become a nation that talks about inclusion but constantly excludes the people within its borders. If you don’t believe in gay marriage that’s your right, and don’t marry someone of the same sex but how dare you create, and support laws that prevent others from living their lives, loving their spouses, and raising a family.
As a black woman married to a white man the issue of gay marriage reminds me of the issue of interracial marriage in the United States. Not too long ago states and the people who reside within did everything they could to stop black and whites from marring they protested, and just like the gay marriage issue they took abstract verses in the Bible and distorted them to support their narrow-minded cause. They talked about how it was unnatural, going to be the down fall of man and the United State, they created laws to prevent it and they did it all under the guise of it being God’s will. These disillusioned people did everything they could to prevent people of different races from loving each other, marring, and raising a family. And now sadly instead of learning from their mistake they have decided to make gay marriage the outlet for their distorted views. When are we as a nation going to realize that civil rights are for everyone not just for the select few? You don’t have to agree with gay marriage but you don’t have the right to deny someone the right to marry whom he or she loves. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again there is nothing someone can do in their relationship that can under mind or weaken the marriage that my husband and I have. So if two people of the same sex marring under minds or weakens your marriage than your marriage wasn’t all that great to begin with and maybe instead of denying someone else the right to marry you need to take all of that energy your using to deny civil rights and put it into strengthen you relationship you’re your spouse and mind your business. Because it’s real easy to say your doing God’s will when he’s not here to contradict what your saying. And as for the book of Leviticus instead of pulling out one vague verse and manipulating to fit a view try reading the whole chapter or better yet the whole Bible.
Over the past week I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t heard about 17-year old Trayvon Martin who was shot point blank range by George Zimmerman. Yesterday I got to hear the 911 tape of a lady who called 911 to report the shooting of Martin I must say it was the hardest things I have listened to in a long time. On the tape you can hear Martin screaming “Help Me” over and over it was absolutely chilling. I have five children and three are boys’ ages 14 to 10 as I listen to the cries for help I thought of my boys and it broke my heart. I can’t wrap by mind around the pain his mother must feel. I also got listen to the 911 call Zimmerman made and it to was chilling just in a different way. First left me start off by saying that I studied Criminal Justice, so I find him using the fact that he studied Criminal Justice as reasoning for his actions crap. I know, having studied Criminal Justice that the things he said he observed were over dramatized B.S. The analyses he makes in the tape are clearly made by someone who has watched one too many episodes of cops. One of the more disturbing parts of the tape is when the 911 dispatcher ask him if he is following Martin and when Zimmer replies “yes” he is told by the dispatch “we don’t need you to do that”. In response to the dispatchers request Zimmerman makes the comment “They always get away.” And we all know how the story ends Martin dead on the street corner and Zimmerman proclaiming he did nothing wrong.
This tragic event angers me on several levels one it took community and national outrage for the police to look into it. Two this is 2012 not 1952 and yet we have several wittiness coming forward and stating that the police where trying to get them to change their story as it pertains to what they head and saw. Third Florida is not only a carry state but also a shoot first state courtesy of former governor Jeb Bush. What that means is Zimmerman could escape being charged at all because the way the shoot first law reads a person has the right to exercise deadly force to defend oneself when they feel threaten. Never mind Zimmerman was the one following Martin, never mind Zimmerman had to get out of his car to approach Martin, never mind Zimmerman was bigger and Zimmerman had the gun. Florida’s shot first law justifies Zimmerman erroneously wrong actions. I often hear pro gun people say it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Well there is a 17 year old teenager who is going to be carried by 6 and an in my opinion an unstable racist who may avoid being judge by 12 because of an over zealous law that was signed into law by someone who made the safety of society an after thought.
After wearing weaves for several years I decided to start wearing my own hair. My real hair when flat ironed falls a little past my shoulders. I stopped flat ironing my hair a couple of weeks ago because I was getting frustrated with going from straight to frizzy in a matter of a couple of days because I work out on a regular basis. When my previous stylist wasn’t able to help me because she doesn’t do natural hair I found a new stylist and a new look, which I love. It shows off my natural texture and curl, it low maintenance and I don’t have any harsh chemicals in my hair. I have received overwhelming support from my husband and friends about my new look. Any negativity that I have received has been from a few AA women who have given me a disapproving look or mumbled something loud enough for me to hear. And since I have decided not to share my new look with any family outside of my husband and kids anytime soon the negativity is minor.
Having natural hair has thrust me into a couple of interesting conversations. Last week when I was getting my nails done there was an AA woman who kept staring at my hair off and on. Her looks didn’t bother me because I know my hair is different and people look at what is different. While I was waiting for my nails to dry another AA woman walked in with natural hair, she said my hair was pretty and that started a conversation. After a couple of minutes the other lady joined in and said something that I found that I shocking and sad. She said she had always wanted to wear her hair natural but she couldn’t because she has “bad hair” and we could because we didn’t have “Bad hair”. Needless to say that we spent the next fifteen minutes trying to convince her that “Bad hair” is a myth and that her hair is just fine. I tried to explain to her that every woman of every race has had a God-awful hair day, hairstyle, haircut, etc.
It always bothers when women of any race but especially AA women say disparaging things about the characteristics that are unique to them and/or their ethnicity. At the end of the day I believe that as women we need to start embracing our unique physical attributes and stop running from them. We were not all meant to be a size zero with hair down to our butts. (and if you look like that’s great if not it’s okay) The reality is that if we were all meant to look that way, we would have all been created that way. As women our diverse features are part of what make us so beautiful. We can’t allow ourselves to fall prey to society’s narrow view of what is beautiful. Any woman can dye her hair, sew in a weave, or put on a wig. Any woman can put on plenty of make-up, nip that and tuck this to give the illusion of beauty but a woman who embraces herself knows that her true beauty comes from within and radiates out and all those other