An Ode to Donny Hathaway

Mr. Donny Hathaway

I’m a big fan of the singer Donny Hathaway and no matter how many times I listen to his music, I’m in constant awe of his voice. The soulfulness, the emotion, the passion. Just flawless and thats why he is the greatest Black male singer of all time in any genre of music. Let me explain why.

If you’re Black and from a certain generation, Donny Hathaway’s music has been a part of your life since childhood. Especially his song “This Christmas” which is a staple on Black radio stations during the Christmas season every year. So naturally I knew his music but I didn’t really get into it until I was in my late 30s and really listened to his voice. The smoothness, the urgency, the pain, the passion. His music has made me weep in joy and sadness because his voice is so beautifully unique.

His music ranged from gospel to soul and no matter what he sang, you felt it. His music generates all types of emotions, from extreme joy to complete despair and you don’t care because of that beautiful voice that draws in you in. It fulfills a need that’s so primal that it’s scary.

Like his song “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know.” It’s about a man pouring out his heart to the woman he loves and it’s so damn sexy. If I found a man who loved me like that, I would take his ass to City Hall on Monday and marry him so quickly his head would be spinning. Cherish his love and feed him everyday.

The reason why I decided to write this blog was to give Mr. Hathaway some special flowers from me because I love him so much. His music makes my soul sing, my heart melt. Continue to rest peacefully Boo. My crush who’s no longer here in spirit but who’s music is still alive and standing the test of time.

The Real Reason Why Men Hate & Fear Perfectly Content Single Women

Single Women Dancing With Pride

Men lose their minds at thought of a woman perfectly content with her own company. Because that means that they can’t hold a relationship and a possible marriage over her head along with a passel of brats.

They can’t constantly chant “that’s why you’re single!” to a woman who truly doesn’t give a fuck. Those types of scare tactics doesn’t work on a woman who’s secure in herself and knows that her womanhood doesn’t hinge upon saddling herself with a man not worth two dead flies and children with his fucked up DNA.

For centuries, women have been socialized to believe that their only purpose in life is to get married and spit out the next generation of dysfunctional, unhappy people but after three waves of feminism, women have been taking off the patriarchal blinders and seeing American culture for what it is: a system that hates women and children so many are opting out.

A culture that respected and revered women and children would make it easier for them to exist. It would have a better healthcare system so that women wouldn’t be still dying in childbirth in the year 2021.

A culture that respected and revered women and children would have a national and generous maternity leave for expectant mothers that would allow them to rest and bond with their babies.

A culture that respected and revered women and children would have a nationally funded childcare program in which families wouldn’t be charged college tuition for daycare.

And most importantly, a culture that respected and revered women and children wouldn’t be still trying to force women into having children that they do not want. It’s almost 2022 and certain states in this country are trying to reverse Roe versus Wade, Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to abortion. It’s mind boggling that women who live in a supposedly enlightened, so called superior country are still fighting for autonomy over their own bodies.

So that’s why men fear and despise a happy single woman. They know that these women are free and can’t be subjugated into taking on trash so they try through violence or legislation to keep them in their place as walking wombs.

My Favorite Authors & Their Books

Books Are Fabulous!!!!

I’ve been reading books since I was a little girl. Before I was born, my mother had purchased a set of encyclopedias for my brothers that they never touched according to her. So they sat, unused and collecting dust until I was born.

Book of Knowledge Encyclopedias

Now I wasn’t born a genius and started reading at five months old but I was totally fascinated by those books. I would draw and scribble scrabble in the encyclopedias but when I finally learned how to read and comprehend, they became my friends,

My favorite two encyclopedias were the letter C and F. C because of the article on the cat species and F because of the article on the First Ladies. I love cats and I will always remember the first words of the article on cats: “cats remember those who were good to them and they remember those who were not.” Or something like that because it’s been over 30 years since I actually saw this passage and I’m not a spring chicken at all.

The article on the First Ladies was intriguing to me too because the set my mother owned was published when Lyndon B. Johnson was president so the article only discussed the ladies up until his presidency and she was the last one. Miss Lady Bird was her nickname and I thought that was so cool.

That set of encyclopedias purchased by my mother for my older brothers set off a thirst for knowledge that I’ve been trying to appease for almost 40 years and I’ve come to the realization that I will be always be searching for answers. Which is not a problem in a culture where the vast majority of people are dumb as a box of hair.

But I’m digressing as usual and let’s talk about my favorite books. Realistically, it’s too many to list because I will be writing until Juvember but what I’m going to do is list some of my favorite authors along with the books that they wrote that touched my soul.

These authors and their books aren’t going to be listed categorically but from memory because my mind is like a noodle these days and I will periodically update this blog when I think of more authors who impacted my life.

Margaret Mitchell and her novel Gone With the Wind. I read this book for the first time back in 1981 when I was almost 11 years old and it changed my life and taught me a lot about the Southern states. They ain’t going to change y’all.

Rhett Butler

Jackie Collins and all her books about the lives of the rich and famous. One of her most infamous characters is Lucky Santangelo, the daughter of a gangster and a bad ass chick in her own right.

Bertrice Small and all her romance novels, especially the World of Hetar series which is foreshadowing of what’s going to happen in this country if women don’t get off their asses and rebel.

All the celebrity biographies written by Kitty Kelley except the one about the Bush family because it’s dull as hell. But the books about Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, Oprah and House of Windsor?? Fire!!!

And lastly for now, all the books written by Candace Bushnell, including Sex and the City which was turned into a television series on HBO and became a cultural phenomenon. Any writer who can come up with a character name “Lord Skanky-Poo” is alright with me.

Carrie and Friends

Middle Age Angst of a Black Generation X Around the Way Girl

I’m currently watching BET Soul and they played Mary J. Blige’s video “Love No Limit” and lord it brought back memories of being young and carefree. Then it occurred to me that this album will be 30 years old next year. The same age as my son and now I feel old as mummy dirt. So I’m sitting here wondering where the time go.

So much have changed in my life since 1992. I’ve lost so many people that I loved with all my soul including my original birth family, aunts, cousins and friends.

When I look in the mirror, I see traces of the younger woman I used to be but I mostly see sadness. Sadness for my lost loved ones and the state of a culture that is selfish and trifling. I remember that idealistic girl I used to be and wonder where she went and what happened to her. Who is this cynical broad staring back at me in the mirror daily?

But I know who she is. It was easy for her to turn into a cynic considering what generation she’s from. Generation X, the forgotten generation stuck between the Boomers and Millennials who battle daily on the social media.

The original latchkey children who were left to their own devices and learned to be satisfied with eating ravioli straight out the can because their mothers refused to buy a microwave and threatened them with violence if they turned on the stove.

The generation who saw a spaceship blow up in the air back in 1986 and if they were Black, saw the destruction of their community when the crack era started. It’s no wonder why so many of us are drunks. We’ve seen it all and still somehow manage to get up in the morning with a semi straight face despite the pain of yesteryear.

But despite the pain, considering what I have been through during these last almost 30 years, I’m eternally grateful to be still alive and in one piece. Fatter with laugh lines but still here. So this little story is for my Generation X folks. My middle age Around the Way gals and homeboys. We go make it y’all. Yes we are.

A Hip-Hop Mystery: Whatever Happened to Choice the First Raunchy Female Rapper?

Way back in ancient times, an unknown female rapper burst upon the rap scene like a fiery comet and disappeared just as quickly. Her name is Choice and she released two albums in 1990 and 1992 but since then, nothing has been heard from her. Which is a shame because she was dope as hell.

While cruising these Google streets looking for information about her, I was excited to learn that someone created a Wikipedia page for her but the information is very scant. Her name is Kim Jones but her birth date is unknown. She’s from San Antonio, Texas but nothing else is known about her. It is almost like she never existed.

But she did exist and gloriously. I remember when I first heard her tape (yes, I am that old). It was the summer of 1990 and my girls and I would ride around listening to lyrics such as “I sucked his dick and all that shit. Rode the motherfucker like a pongo stick. We fell off the bed onto the floor. I grabbed the motherfucker and sucked it some more. That was raunchy as hell for 1990 and me and my friends giggled our asses off. Thank god it was no Internet and no Black men whining and complaining like a bunch of old ass cats about loose women while their own dicks have more mileage than a 1970 Camero.

She also made a diss track that dragged every big male rapper during that era to hell and back called “Payback” and it was a doozy. From Ice Cube to Too Short, she let their asses have it. Talked about their sexual skills, their looks, their pockets, their rhymes. Everything. Its a feat that has not been achieved by another female rapper as of 2020.

Unfortunately, she was ahead of her time and too much for the male dominated rap industry. She’s seemingly disappeared into the mists, never to be seen again and that is a crime against music history. And that is why I decided to write this article. To give this marvelous, bold woman her flowers while she’s still here. I hope she’s alive, happy and thriving, living her best life. Long before Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Megan the Stallion, and Cardi B come on the scene, a gal named Choice existed. These ladies wouldn’t exist without her. So bow down to this sister.

PS: Both of her albums are on ITUNES. Enjoy❤️❤️❤️❤️

An Ode to Some Childhood Buddies – Barbie Doll and Friends

When I went to college, one of the first classes I took was Women and Gender Studies.  How could I not resist learning about the history of women since I am a woman?  My professor was named Dr. Jean Peterson and  she was a cool hippie chick from back in the day, complete with graying jet-black hair to her waist and she was so laid back she was practically horizontal.   However, a couple of weeks in her class, I was dismayed to find out she was not a fan of Barbie Dolls because she, as a feminist felt they contributed to low self-esteem issues in young girls in American society.

My collection of Barbie and Friends

I was totally amazed by her attitude because I loved and still love Barbie and not once when I was a child thought I would look like Barbie when I grew up. Because cause she was a doll and how could I possibly look like a doll?  She wasn’t real. Even at that young age, I had more sense than that. I have been a prolific reader since I was a child and Barbie and friends were props for my overactive imagination.  When I was into Greek mythology, my dolls were transformed into Athena, Artemis, and Aphrodite and several of my mother’s silky nightgowns were turned into Greek robes for them.   When I read “Gone With the Wind” (at the age of ten), I learned to make hoop skirts for my dolls and reenacted the burning of Atlanta without actually setting the house on fire. 

But Dr. Peterson had her reasons. During the course of the class, I learned why Dr. Peterson had issues with Barbie (sexism and the branding of the skinny white chick with impossibly unattainable body) and although I respected her opinion a great deal and she had a PhD and several other degrees, to me, blaming a doll for self-esteem issues in young girls and women was a little too much.  I blame parents and society for making young girls and women feel bad because they do not live up to the womanly image that American society has memorialized as the epitome of beauty.  Every woman is not slim or tall with blue eyes and long flowing blond hair and guess what? Who gives a fuck?  It is hard enough being a woman in a sexist society without driving yourself crazy trying to be something that you are not.  A woman has to be happy and secure in her own skin to be truly complete.  But I will always love Barbie, Christie, Skipper, Starr, Kelly, Candi, Darci, Sydney and all my girls from childhood.  They kept a little girl’s imagination flowing and I will forever thankful to my favorite Plastics.

Sex and the Single Lady Generation X African American Style

single-black-woman

Often on the social media, when discussions about the dating game comes up and how it truly sucks to be an African American single woman in your forties, marginally attractive black men are quick to chime with “You need to choose better or expand your circle.” Negro please.  A lot of these niggas ain’t worth two dead flies and what is so pathetic is that these men know that already because these two bit niggas are their friends. But these dudes spend their time trying to convince women that it is our fault for not choosing this fabled, little seen creature who is allegedly in abundance but we are too choosy and like thugs to find one: The Proverbial Good Black Man.

I have an eclectic mix of black lady friends on the social media who expand from California to New York. From London to Barbados and all these ladies are saying the same exact thing: it sucks to be a single black lady of any age but in particular for a woman of a certain age because of the social stigma that makes women in their forties crones before their time and because of the lack of quality black men in the dating world.

And it is not just on the social media where black women in their forties are complaining about the availability of black men in their age bracket that are financially solvent, emotionally stable and ready to commit to something as simple as a movie date but offline too. I have friends that I have known for years who are single and fed up with the games, the utter lack of accountability and have surrounded their hearts with a wall of stone.

Two years ago back in August, I got myself out of a long term relationship that was going nowhere because he irritated my soul and made my ass itch. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with him, let alone another month so I walked away with zero regrets. But like always, people do not like the idea of a black woman being single and free because a free woman is a dangerous bitch.  So my best friend and my daughter suggested that I try online dating and see what happens.

I am very open-minded so I conducted some research and decided that OkCupid would be the best online dating service for me because for the most part, it’s free and I was not about to spend money that could be spent elsewhere on internet dating services. Shit, I have a child and makeup habit to support.  And Lawd have mercy on my soul why I do that because I have met some characters on that bitch.

Let’s talk about the horny white men who fetishize black women sexually like the old ass Grandpappy that was in my inbox. Looked like a walking skeleton with hair. Old as Methuselah. Old as mummy dirt talking about how he likes “the sisters.” If you don’t go sit your old ass down somewhere Pop Granddaddy.

Or the cute ass white fella around my age who actually could hitch a word or two together and wrote a magnificent paragraph about my beauty, charm, blah, blah, blah but when we actually talked on the phone, told me I asked too many questions. I guess he thought I was going to be discussing how black women suck a better dick than white women. Like I wasn’t going to question a strange man I met online about his life.

And now the brothers oh my goodness. Those horn dogs.  Constantly sending sexually explicit pictures and messages, trying to come over my house for a meal without offering to spend a dime on groceries. Never suggesting so much as a date to a coffee shop because they are some cheap bastards. Always trying to get some coochie and come up on a meal at the same time.  Some basic motherfuckers.

But eventually through all this garbage, I eventually met two cuties but they wasn’t shit either because these men expected me to chase behind them. In this new world of dating, Black men consider themselves the prize and the women are supposed to chase behind them whether these men are blind, crippled, crazy and look like an old sock; they have dicks and women are automatically supposed to drop to their knees and worship the mic, literally and figuratively. These two men in particular never wanted to communicate with me via the phone except for texting and that shit irritated me. I am a relic from a forgotten era: a time in which men asked for your phone number, called you and you talked for hours, having mentally stimulating conversations about life, music politics and all kinds of deliciousness. Not today. These men didn’t want to talk to me on the phone; they just want to text and these fuckers couldn’t t even text properly. Misspelled words, sentence fragments and quick to ask for a nude picture, all kinds of foolishness from complete strangers.

So after all of this, I have taken myself out of the dating game for now because at 46, I do not have time for this bullshit. I will not be chasing complete strangers. I will not be deciphering text messages from grown ass men who should know how to spell. I will not be allowing strange men into my home around my 15-year old daughter because they are too cheap to take a woman on a date. But according to some black men and their band of thirsty Pick Me heifers, I just need to choose better or switch up my circle. Yeah right. To quote a beautiful sister from Facebook name Phoenix Renee, “BM over 40 are tired, emotionally bankrupt, and relationship illiterate and lazy. They’re right where we left them 20 years ago. Only now time (and in some cases, drugs/alcohol) is catching up. Too many didn’t do their “work” for decades and now we’re not settling. So now the cry is “no good women”?”   Yeah right motherfuckers.  How can single Generation X black women who want love and companionship form normal, functioning  loving relationships with a group of emotionally stunted men who are  intent on living a second adolescence? Men who refuse to be held accountable for anything? Who blame black women for everything? Naw bruhs it ain’t happening. So stop pushing this tired ass narrative about choosing better and admit that a large portion of your brethren ain’t shit.

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!

blackness-onyx-truth

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.

 

The Dark Side of Life in the 1950s

1950s-life

When looking back at past eras, the 1950s is looked upon by many as an idyllic time in American history. The nuclear family headed by a male breadwinner was the desired norm and televisions shows such as Father Knows Best and I Love Lucy were popular. However, there was a dark side to this lifestyle. Women were treated like second-class citizens and some were living unhappily married because their financial and educational options were limited and they were as dependent on their husbands as their children.

The media, in collusion with the government, and sociologists constantly espoused the virtues of family and children and women, who wanted more out of life were looked upon as freaks of nature. However, some women during that era expressed dissatisfaction with their lives and an inarticulated longing for a life beyond their children and husbands. Some of these women were forced out the workforce after World War II and felt resentment that their only option for financial stability was marriage. This inarticulated longing would lead to a major social upheaval towards the end of the 1950s and would be the beginning of the second-wave feminist movement. This movement caused a shift in family values and altered family structure for future generations to come. The 1950s Family Experiment would be short-lived but fondly remembered.

Several factors lead to the forming of the nuclear family. By the end of the 1940s, the divorce rate dropped sharply; the ages of people getting married fell to a 100-year low; and the birth rate soared. Women dropped out of the workforce as soon as they become pregnant and some young women had two or more children in diapers at once. Also during this time, the education gap between young middle-class men and women increased and job segregation for working women and men peaked. Limited educational and job opportunities for women made them more dependent on marriage for their financial well-being.

Young, newly married couples were encouraged to sever their family ties and put all their emotional and financial eggs in the small basket of the immediate nuclear family. Women were told by experts that all their energies should be used for their husbands and children, not aging parents and other relatives. Psychiatrist Edward Strecker and various colleagues argued American boys were infantilized and emasculated by women who were old-fashioned “moms” instead of modern “mothers”.

1950s-life-2

Modern mothers placed their parents in nursing homes; old-fashioned mothers took their parents in at the expense of their own “important” nuclear family. A modern mother was not supposed to have friends, a job, or anything or anyone that would take attention from her husband and children. She was also supposed to grant early independence to her male child. It is no wonder that many women who believed in this advice and put it into practice ending up abusing alcohol or tranquilizers over the course of the decade.

Women were encouraged to confine themselves to a very narrow definition of “true” womanhood by a variety of sources such as family education specialists and marriage counselors, columns in women’s magazines, government pamphlets, and above all television. These experts told women during the 1950s that their greatest role on the planet was to be wives and mothers. The role of a “real” woman was to have no interest in a higher education or a career and women were taught by these experts to pity women who had the nerve to want a life beyond being a wife and mother.

Televisions shows such as Donna Reed, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, and Father Knows Best showed women how much easier their lives would be if their families were like those families and the I Love Lucy show warned women about the perils of what happened to a woman who wanted a career or if she schemed behind her husband’s back (Coontz, 38), The mothers on Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet were immaculately dressed with pearls around their necks. Their homes were clean and their children never got into trouble. However, on I Love Lucy, Lucy usually looked terrible by the end of the episode. Her hair was at times standing on top of her head and her clothes filthy from her weekly adventure. Women and their families watched these shows and tried their best to emulate the perfect and bright lives shown to them on a weekly basis.

Noticeably absent from these discussions are the role of Black women during this era. Black women were delegated to the background as housekeepers and nannies, taking care of other women’s children and then going home to take care of their families. So from the beginning, this image of a beautiful, bountiful lady of leisure that keeps her home, children, and herself immaculate was never intended for Black women because Black women never had and were not given those same opportunities. They had to work. But unlike white women, they received help from their extended family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family member assisted in the raising of children. Many parents left their children with family members when they made the trek to the North during the Great Migration and when they got on their feet, sent for their children and the family members who helped them.

However, towards the end of the 1950s, a dramatic shift occurred. Cultural values changed dramatically and the children of these women found the social hypocrisy of their parents sickening. Many young adults and some of their mothers would march in the streets to protest against sexism, racism, and militarism. Minorities and women began to receive the civil rights that were rightfully due to them and more and more women entered the workforce, forcing a dynamic shift in child rearing practices. By the 1970s, husbands and wives had begun to share household duties and women were no longer bound to their homes.

The concept of family has changed and although there have been some issues; it was ultimately for the best.  Women have more rights but divorce is commonplace in current modern society and many children live in one-parent households. Despite the gains of the 1960s, women still face discrimination and do the majority of household work regardless of how many hours they work per week or if they have a partner. But women now have opportunities that would not have been imagined sixty-years ago. Children do not have to see their mothers treated like chattel and America is on the verge of electing the female President of the United States. Nothing remains the same – ever. The constantly changing landscape of the American family owes a lot to the women of the 1950s.

 

 

White Supremacy, Reality TV & The African-American Woman

love-and-hip-hop-atlanta-cast-1_t750x550

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.

basketball-wives-la-jackie-and-brooke-almost-fight

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.