black men, black women, blacks, Editorial, misogynoir, popular culture, Race

Keepers of Blackness Powers Deactivate!

theartofblackness

The social media can be both a curse and a blessing. It is a blessing because you have the opportunity to read the viewpoints of millions of people and interact with others. However, it is also a curse because very often, you are also exposed to the ignorant arrogance of people. Especially when it comes to defining “Blackness” because some Black folks have declared themselves The Keepers of All Things Black and will attempt to “school” you about how you are not “Black” enough for their “tastes”.  Let me explain.

Every couple of months, a blog written by some random Black person will come out complaining about how Black women should not like Marilyn Monroe and should only pay attention to Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge.  Or how pissed off  some Black men are about Black women having a variety of hairstyles they can choose from and accuse them of wanting to be White because they happen to have weave in their hair. And don’t get me started on being a feminist. Some Black people, especially Black men and their merry band of mules have a real problem with a Black woman declaring herself a feminist because feminism is that White chick, bra burning shit and a Black woman is supposed to be down with the Black Movement. How dare she have an original thought in her head that was not placed in there by a Black man!

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This ongoing war about “Blackness” is the silliest shit ever. As a Black woman, I happen to love Marilyn Monroe and have read several biographies and the one autobiography about her life. But I also love Lena and Dorothy and loving Marilyn does not make me any less “Black” than the next Black woman.  And in regards to hair, I have been woven, relaxed, and natural and currently, I am woven to the max with a glorious Chaka Khan look.  Underneath the weave is my crowning glory, a nappy, kinky forest of blackness but every now and then, I want a different look. And that’s my fucking business and does not have anything to do with me wanting to be a white woman. I mean what kind of asinine shit is that?  I could have a long flowing blond weave down to my ankles like Rapunzel complete with blue contacts and I will still be a black woman. Jeez.

And I can be both a Black woman and a feminist if I want to. What is the problem with women having choices in their everyday lives without criticism? That is what being a feminist means to me; I do not want to rule over men (too much work because in so many ways, they are just like children). I just want to be left alone without men trying to tell me something for my own good as if I was a wayward child without direction. I am not turning my back on the Black community by being a feminist; I am becoming a greater person by becoming a better woman through ownership of my agency. Ruling over my own autonomy.

I guess I will never be one of members of The Keepers of All Things Black club because I cannot dance and have no rhythm, I do not know how to French braid hair, and it took me almost ten years to learn how to fry chicken properly. I also have one of the most eclectic tastes in music ever known, loving all type of genres of music from R.E.M to Too Short. I also do not have the proverbial big booty and stood too long in the titty line so I guess I would not be considered “Black” enough for some folks although my brown skin, broad nose, full lips and hair of wool declare me a Black woman every time I look in the mirror. But see how silly this shit sounds? Black people come in a variety of shades and a variety of backgrounds so please open your mind and remember this: your Blackness is not everyone’s Blackness, so stay in your lane.

 

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black women, blacks, Dysfunctional Shit, Editorial, misogynoir, popular culture, Race

White Supremacy, Reality TV & The African-American Woman

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Black women are some of the most versatile and multifaceted individuals on this planet and despite being stereotyped as the lowest of the low, they have managed to become the most educated group in America and are quickly rising in the entrepreneurship field. But sadly, none of that matters to the dominant culture who wishes to keep black women on the bottom rung on the latter of American society.

That is why it is quite suspect that VH1, a major cable network channel has seen its ratings skyrocket since its debut of negative reality televisions marketed towards black women during this era of the rising Black Woman. In an article on The Grio’s website from April 2011, VH1’s VP of original programming and production, Jeff Olde said “We constantly have to evolve and tell our audience different stories. I love that we’ve been able to get more diverse with our audience by — in large part — attracting African-American women to the network. We got them in the door with some shows, and now I’m excited about where we’re going and how we’re telling them different kinds of stories.”

And it has worked. Due to the success of reality shows such as Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and Basketball Wives, Viacom, the parent company of VH1 has seen its ratings go up by 20 percent in prime-time among adults 18–49 in 2014 — the biggest rise among the top 25 basic cable networks. However, the shows on VH1 geared towards the African-American female audience are nothing more than modern day minstrel shows showcasing Black women displaying stereotypical behavior such as fighting, cussing, and showing their asses to the world. Sapphire, Jezebel, and the latest, Gold-Digger for a new generation. One cannot help but wonder if this was a plan.

I have noticed since the election of President Obama, the first Black president who happens to be married to a Black woman, there has been a concerted effort by the mass media to portray African-American women in a negative light. Examples include the rise of Black reality television, articles about how single African-American women’s net worth is listed as $5 dollars, and depending on the news source, African-American women either have the most children out of wedlock or abortions. On a regular basis, the American public is assailed with these negative stories and shows about African-American women which in turn make them become subject to stereotypes as the images presented become fixed mental images and are exaggerated and applied to all Black women as a whole.

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Whites, who are the dominant culture, watching these shows, grow to believe that all Black women are less intelligent, more violent, and generally less human. Additionally, Black women themselves can develop reactions that are turned inward and create a sense of hopelessness, despair, and self doubt that can lead into even more sociological problems in the form of alcoholism, drug abuse, aggression, and crime. Now those white folks who believe these stereotypes are not worth two dead flies but they do exist and are sometimes the very people black women interview with.  I wonder how many black women did not receive a job that they were fully qualified for based on these stereotypes.

I have come to the conclusion that the only solution to the problem of negative portrayals of Black women on reality television is to boycott the advertisers, not the producers of this muck. Black women need to realize how powerful they are and take a stance to demand that these images be taken off television. The advertising industry is a billion dollar a year industry and if advertisers refuse to run their commercials during these shows, producers of these shows will be left with a limited number of options to present negative images of African American women. Television has a wonderful opportunity to present shows that celebrates and reflects the strength and tenacity of African-American women instead of stereotypical portrayals and that tells stories about the lives of the African-American women as human beings, not just as pieces of meat and a source of unlimited funds for greedy network executives.

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Dysfunctional Shit, Editorial, misogynoir, Race, Relationships

The Rise of the Bum Ass Man

pamgrier

A relatively new phenomena in the Black community is black men who do not have jobs, income, or ambition but always seem to have girlfriends. These girlfriends pay for everything, allow these men to drive their cars, discipline their children, talk to them like they are shit, beat their asses, have threesomes with them, and all they receive out of it is mediocre sex, venereal diseases, and some lump lumps. I simply do not understand it at all.  In a community plagued with violence, fatherlessness, poverty, and a multitude of social ills, how can some men be content with laying up with women for their daily bread and butter? And why do some women believe that a piece of man is better than no man at all?

I know that Black women be taking a beating online these days but they are partially to blame for this for being so damn parched and thirsty enough to drink the kool-aid that has been sold to them since childhood that tells them that the only thing that matters in life is having a man.  Because if some of these chicks were not so damn desperate for male companionship, these men would not have a choice but to man up and get their shit together. But no, these women are taking care of of these bum ass men better than their children in some cases. And will have the audacity, the unmitigated gall to try and borrow money from their girlfriends to help support these sorry bastards. And will turn around with a funky attitude and tell you that you are jealous of their relationships because you don’t have a man. Like I need another child to support. Bitch please.

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But honestly and sadly, I do not see this phenomena changing anytime soon. As long as black culture embraces the idea that a woman is not complete without male companionship, black women will continue to take up with bums and take care of these shiftless, trifling, no ambition, no self respect having, cotton for balls ass men.  Passing down this dysfunction to their daughters, who grow up thinking that this type of behavior is normal. God save the children or what’s left of them.

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Beauty, blacks, Editorial, Feminism, misogynoir, popular culture

The Winter Santiago Complex and Black Women

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Black sisterhood is at an all-time low in 2016. Online and offline, I see black women tearing each other to pieces like rabid dogs over the most mundane and pettiest of shit. If you don’t measure up their lofty standards, there is a segment of black women that will shame your ass to hell. They will shame you for wanting a child without being married because unmarried black mothers make them look bad.  They will shame you for not wanting to date outside your race because black women who only want to date black men and give birth to black children are hood rats.  They will shame you for living in the hood (while not offering a dime in assistance or advice how to get out the hood), for being overweight (while being one cheeseburger from being considered fat themselves), and for not being “feminine” enough by their standards (although their standards of femininity is based on white folks standards of femininity and living by white standards is very important). It is pathetic but the shaming of black women by other black women went to a new level with the public shaming of Patrice Brown otherwise known as #teacherbae.

Ms. Brown is a paraprofessional who works for the Atlantic Public School system whose pictures of herself on Instagram turned her into an overnight sensation and an object of ridicule. She was ridiculed because of her attire, which was thought to be too sexy to be around the 4th grade students she taught on a daily basis.  Although all the dresses that were shown were of knee length, long sleeved and covered her to the neck, because she is a voluptuous woman, it became a problem for many people, mainly black women. All this controversy about her clothing style caused the APS to publicly reprimand this woman for the very clothes they knew she wore five days a week.

This young woman could have been fired because of the jealousy and insecurity of masses of black women who will never meet or have any interaction with her and it makes no sense at all but unfortunately, too many black women do not like to see other black women shine.  Living under a system of patriarchy has conditioned them to be very competitive with other women and anytime a black woman receives so much as a crumb of attention that in anyway involves the male gaze, these women come with claws extended with knives.

I call this mentality The Winter Santiago Complex. Remember Winter Santiago from the novel The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah?  She was truly one of the most selfish female characters written in the history of literature and she has become the standard for female characters in the urban literature genre.  One particular scene from the novel will always stand out in my head. It was the time right after her father had went to jail and her family was back living in the projects. She went to a concert I think and she saw her best friend Natalie in a pink Chanel suit and lost her damn mind. Natalie went off her and told her, quite truthfully, “Nobody can’t have shit but you!”

And there lies the problem with so many black women.  Another black woman cannot have shit without them feeling slighted. She can’t be pretty with a little waist you can span with one hand, big hips and upright breasts. She cannot be an educated sister with the body of a goddess and a face to match. You have to be fat, frumpy, and willing to watch their children when they go out because you know fat bitches don’t have a life.  You have to be an ugly, uneducated hood-rat that they can feel both feel sorry for and contemptuous of.  Because black chicks with The Winter Santiago Complex cannot take competition and need their feet on the necks of black women they deem undesirable. Pitiful.

And Ms. Patrice? You are a bright, beautiful young woman who is out here these trenches teaching black children and for that, I salute you. And if you were my daughter, I would have been on the social media tearing ignorant folks a new asshole for messing with my baby. Shine boo, shine!

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blacks, child molesters, Editorial, Race

A Letter to My Molester

This letter was originally written five years ago a few months before my fortieth birthday.  Unfortunately, this bastard was let out of prison in 2013 and is currently non-compliant.  Which means there a convicted child molester who spent 16 years in prison for the rape of a six-year-old girl running the streets of Chicago. He was 62-years-old at the time. Now he is 82. An old ass nasty child molesting bastard.

pamgrier

Lawrence Correctional Center
10930 Lawrence Road
Sumner, IL 62466
Dear Mr. Hunt:
This letter to you has been a long time coming. If you don’t remember me, my name is Kathy Henry, your ex-girlfriend, Gertrude’s daughter. You came into my life when I was ten-years-old and from the moment you appeared, I knew you was not shit. My mother thought that I was just jealous because I never had to share her before, but instinctively I knew that your presence would mean no good for me.
At first, you seemed like a good man for my mother. You helped pay her bills, gave me an allowance and pretended that you were a stand-up guy and father figure but you weren’t shit. You were and still are a child-molesting, motherfucking pig who took away my innocence when I was eleven-years-old.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:08 --- Batch Resized

Do you remember coming into my bedroom when my mother was asleep and feeling on my-then-budding body? I used to lie in my bed, fearing when you would come over because that meant I would have to sleep in my street clothes instead of a nightgown to protect myself. No little girl should have to go through that but that was my life for four years. Four fucking years.
You never penetrated me vaginally, but the damage you inflicted on my psyche was immeasurable. I was just a little girl whose only thoughts were of Barbie Dolls, books and my cat Boogie-Woogie and you made me feel like a filthy whore because the feelings you stirred in my body felt good. How could a good girl feel like that? From then on, I believed that I was no good and I blame you for that.
I became sexually active at the age of fifteen and was the mother to two children by time I was twenty-one-years old. No one put a gun to my head, but you made me feel like I was just a piece of ass and for a long time I believed that no decent man would want a nasty, dirty female like me who got herself molested because I was wearing a size 38 Double D bra at the age of eleven.
I never told my mother you molested me because I was afraid that she would not believe me. I only told her after you got arrested for taking away the innocence of another little girl, age six and the pain in my mother’s face is something that will haunt me until my dying day.
You are scheduled for parole on July 21, 2011, nine days before your 78th birthday, but the system kept your sorry ass in prison and if I have my way you will never get out because I plan on doing everything in my power to make sure your slimy ass stays behind bars for the rest of your life. You do not deserve to be free on the streets to have another opportunity to ruin another little girl’s life. God knows how many little girls you molested, but as long as I have breath in my body you will never walk the streets of Chicago again.
It is not fair that you are alive to see another birthday and my mother is dead. She died five years ago from complications from diabetes, and I still mourn her passing every day. But the world is not fair. She is in a better place and not in pain but you have been in pain every day. No freedom, referred to as a number, no normal sex life. Oh, I forgot, you are not a normal man anyway, but a fucking pervert.
I hope that the last fifteen years of your life has been hell on earth and that you are getting molested by some big, burly dude on a nightly basis. Child molesters get treated like shit in prison and I know that you have received your comeuppance. Do you lie on your bunk at night, scared and shaking, hearing the footsteps of your predator, knowing what is going to happen? Good.
Just one more question and I will leave you alone, Mr. Hunt. How could you destroy my life so willfully? I was a little girl, and with one-act you took away my innocence and my ability to ever trust a man fully. I have come to the conclusion at the age of forty-one that I will probably never get married because I do not have it in me to give myself totally in a relationship because I do not trust men.
In a just society, you would have been sentenced to life in prison for your crimes, but unfortunately that is not the way of the American judicial system. Maybe you have repented, but I doubt it. A leopard doesn’t change his spots but learns to camouflage. God may have mercy on your soul, but I don’t and I hope that you rot in hell.
Sincerely,
Kathy M. Henry

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black men, black women, blacks, Editorial, History, Race, Uncategorized

Unfinished Business – Race Relations between Blacks and Whites in America

One of the least known facts about the concept of race is that that it is a socially constructed ideology. Race and subsequent racism was created by Europeans and Americans (white people) in order to justify the enslavement of millions of people (black people) for profit. When people feel guilty about an action they committed, they will often try to find ways of justifying their actions. This is what Europeans and Americans did when they decided to explain away the actions of human bondage by declaring Africans subhuman. In doing this, they changed the interpretation of history itself. A land where complex civilizations had existed for centuries was reduced to the “Dark Continent” and its people declared savages. All in the name of profit for the status quo and converting the “natives” to Christianity. The history of Africa was rewritten to make whites the conquerors who ‘civilized’ the natives. Just like in the movies.

Although ‘race’ as a description of the physical condition probably dates back to the dawn of the human species, most scholars agree that it was primarily through European expansion in the 16th to the 19th century that ‘race’ as a physical description emerged. It was when European colonizers, whose aim was mainly to seek out valuable primary products such as sugar, tin, rubber and human labor, came into contact with ‘native’ populations who were ‘people of color’ that racism became a dominant force in Western society. In order to maintain control of these populations, they were defined as inferior human beings primarily because of their different cultural practices as well as not being white, the desired and ‘normal’ skin color. However, pushing such people to the margins of society did not stop European and American men from sexually mixing with African women, producing an entire group of people cannot trace their ancestry and have no history as a result. In order to make money and conquer, race as a biological factor was constructed and became a major factor in discrimination against people who who taken against their will and stripped of their culture. This ideology rapidly spread throughout Europe and the Americas, spreading the doctrines of alleged black inferiority and white supremacy that still exist to this day. Just turn on the television.

The ideology of racial dictatorship and hierarchy quickly took root in American society by the signing of a famous document, “The United States Constitution.” This document states emphatically, ‘We the People of the United States.’ The question proposed from this statement is, who exactly are “the People?” It certainly was not the enslaved Africans because they were considered to be three fifths of a human being. In addition to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence also posed many questions of racism. The Declaration of Independence was written to sever ties in which people were denied their unalienable rights. However, the Constitution was still denying several people of their life, liberty, and or the pursuit of happiness on the basis of the some as mundane as skin color. It is obvious to see that the Constitution laid the framework for a segregated, racial society in America.

Enslaved Africans were just as human as the white men whose rights were secured through the signing of the Constitution, but their rights did not matter. Because they did not have any rights, they were forced to live in a society in which the government officials did not represent them. Equality and justice was not for all, just for wealthy, land-owning white men. Almost like today. The practice of discriminating on the basis of skin color was born and would be legal until the six decade of the twentieth century. Even in the new millennium, racial inequalities still plague America and until this country can admit the wrongs done to enslaved Africans and their ancestors, this country will be plagued.

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