Because I am a reader, I am always coming across different articles on various websites. On Facebook, Black Conscious pages are popular and claim to be about Black Love, but in reality, these pages are about spreading ignorance about Black women. I read a note on one FB page that made me fear for the future of my people.
The author of this page stated that single black mothers who brag about the achievements of their children need to be hit in the head with a steel bat on her temple. Yes, he said this, real talk, I know I am going to sound like one of the misogynists who cut up Black women on a regular basis but black men with this mentality need to be strung up by their balls. I am sorry that some black woman, probably your mother messed you up for life but stop spreading ignorant shit. Considering that seventy percent of the children born in the Black community are out-of-wedlock, you are talking about possibly killing a lot of mothers and are you willing to take care of the orphans that will be left? Probably not.
If one is to believe the mainstream media and some of our own, Black women are baby-making machines a.k.a abortionists who are the blame for the state of the Black community. These Facebook pages and websites are a study in stupidity, simple-mindedness and jealousy. Yes, jealous of single mothers who are considered poor enough to receive government assistance. There are black men that rail at black single mothers who are qualified to receive government benefits such as food stamps and Section 8 because they meet the minimum income qualification but are too stupid to realize that single fathers, regardless of race, sexual orientation or anything else are entitled to the same benefits if they are the custodial parent of said child or children and prove that their income is limited. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment makes sure that no one is discriminated against believe it or not my delusional and pathetic brothers out here.
W.E.B Du Bois was a brilliant man. He was an important contributing factor to the new social science named sociology and one of the greatest writers of the African American experience. He introduced the concept of “Double Consciousness”, the way that African Americans viewed themselves, individually and as a group, through the eyes of the society they live in.
“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”
Double consciousness is a heavy enough burden to deal with but just add gender to the mix. Black women have three strikes against them. They are women, strike one. They belong to a class that is associated with poverty and welfare, strike two. And most importantly, they are black, strike three. Thus the concept of “triple consciousness” is created: being born black, American, and female, with second-class citizenship across the board.
It is a strange lot to be a black woman in American society. She was brought to this country to be an unpaid worker, a concubine and a broodmare. Her body and her sexuality has been reviled and experimented on but judging from the various brilliant shades of brown black people come in, is curiously loved. Her face has been used as the poster child for poverty and welfare and she has to deal with the dismissal and contempt from everyone, from her own people to society at large yet in spite of everything, she is filled with fire. A swirling contrast of fire, salty tears wept, and strength.
No pedestal for the black woman because she was needed to be the foot stool for American society. Black women’s personal has always been political since 1619 and their personal lives have always been inextricably tied to larger issues of justice, equality, and human rights. Abolition, anti-lynching crusades, and the boycotts and protests of the Civil Rights movement were matters of survival, and black women have fought relentlessly against the historical struggle of racism, sexism, and poverty while struggling to find the inner woman within.
Feminism as a social and political movement has not fully recognized black women’s triple consciousness, their history and everyday lives, lives lived through the dehumanizing experience of slavery and the unfulfilled promises of Reconstruction; through lynching, Jim Crow, segregation; through contemporary racial disparities and injustice. At its worst, feminism has not only failed to challenge the larger society’s racism and classism, it has mirrored it.
Triple consciousness is not an easy burden for black women because they have been taught to ignore the rampant misogynist, destructive thought patterns that exist in their communities and to just concentrate on issues of race, blinding standing by secular and religious traditions that have been holding them back for a generation.
Amid protests, abolitionist and former slave Sojourner Truth addressed the 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, on the subject of women’s rights (the women’s rights movement having grown, in part, out of the anti-slavery movement). Responding to male contention that women’s delicacy and need for pedestals relieved them of any pesky need for rights, Truth wondered aloud where her pedestal was. Having plowed fields as well as any man, and endured whippings and the sale of her children, across a century Truth’s question still echoes: “Ain’t I a woman?”
In the spring of this year, a decision that I made last fall will come to fruit and will change my life profoundly for better or worse. I will be leaving Chicago, the city where I have resided my entire life to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Employment opportunities in Chicago are scarce and the daily urban violence is slowly killing my soul so with many regrets, I am leaving the city of my birth for hopefully greener pastures.
Am I scared? Yes, I am scared, scared as hell! I am a 42-year-old middle-aged Black woman who has never lived anywhere else and I would be leaving my friends and family, in particular, my eldest daughter. This decision was hard but I have to do what is best for me and my other children. The last five years have been hard on us and I am tired of just surviving; I want to live.
I would like to live in a neighborhood where I do not have to fear walking down the street without getting robbed. A couple of Sundays ago, a young fella was scheming on a sister, trying to steal my purse because I would not give him a dollar. Who the fuck I look like, his mother? I want my daughter to attend a good school where she does not have deal with children who hit teachers (Her teacher was hit in jaw by an 11-year-old male child while she was trying to break up a fight).
I want my son to be able to find a job that will give him some skills and some work experience. He does not drink, do drugs and has never been to jail and one would think finding a job would be easy for him but not in Chicago. He is a wonderful young man and deserves the best and I am not just saying that because I am his mother. I really admire his moxie as a young, black male who has managed to keep himself out of trouble in a city where his peers are shot on a nightly basis.
And what about me, the former high school dropout and teenage mother? I want a career and not just a job making the same amount of money I was making before I went to college. I fought the welfare system to receive my diploma and I refuse to believe that after everything I went through to get my diploma, that this is it for me, food stamps and a crappy ass low income apartment.
I just want a taste of the American Dream and I hope for myself and my children, it is not a Dream Deferred. I will be leaving my city with all aspirations and hopes that my ancestors had when they left Mississippi for Chicago for a better life. I come from good stock and I know that I and my children will be just fine.
At one time, not too long ago, I used to be a Race Woman. What is a Race Woman? A Race Woman is a black woman who fights relentlessly for the empowerment and improvement of the Black community even to her own detriment. When I went to college, I majored in sociology and minored in history, two academics that are not profitable but released the Race Woman within. I also took some Women’s Studies courses which introduced me to feminist theory and intersectionality - the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.
Feminism fascinated me greatly because I was taught from childhood that a black woman is supposed to suppress her feminist leanings in order to support the Black man because when he comes up, the Black community comes up. If a Black woman is too strong and assertive to some of her people, she is categorized as an “Angry Bitch” who does not know her place. She is not supposed to articulate her thoughts in anyway because her thoughts are not considered important.
Feminism is the dirtiest word in the Black community and is looked upon as that counter-revolutionary, man-hating, lesbian, white bitches’ bullshit. The main argument against feminism in the Black community is that white women did not include black women in the liberation movement and various groups such as NOW have ignored the issues of marginalized, poor women of color and although that argument has some merit, I as a Black woman can no longer turn a blind eye to the massive amount of misogynist thought patterns that exist in the Black community.
Yes, I used to be a Race Woman until I finally opened my eyes and looked around my community. Young thugs on every corner and the grown ass men in the community are too scared or too busy having sex with their mothers and sisters to lift a finger. Young black girls walking around with the eyes of a battered soul, so beaten down by life that they are happy to accept the scraps of affection given to them by anyone, male or female.
I am particularly enraged by the treatment of our young sisters because they are the gateway to the future. Women are the bearers of life and if the garden is not attended to properly, it gets weeds. Young black girls in our current society are considered expendable. Our own men call them hood rats while screwing and impregnating them on a regular basis and our women look at them as a threat because of their young pussies. Black women were quick to defend R. Kelly and Creflo Dollar but will not say a word in defense of the thousands of young Black girls who are molested, beaten, mistreated and killed on a daily basis. They lay up with men they know are beating and sniffing around their daughters, sisters and nieces but turn a blind eye because of their own pathetic need to have a warm body to cuddle up with.
At the beginning of this month, a young Black girl named Jessica Tetter was savagely murdered by her mother’s boyfriend. Her body was found in a dumpster, thrown away like yesterday’s trash with semen found in her vagina and anus. She was sixteen years old and she will never have an opportunity go on prom, graduate from high school and college or become a mommy because of a trifling ass man and her mother’s abject stupidity and desperation. As long as racism is considered the main problem in the Black community instead of sexism, more little Black girls will die. As long as Black women continue to accept their subordinate status in the Black community, Black people will continue their descent into the gutter. Any community that is too foolish to listen to the voices of the women is doomed for failure. I learned the hard way that being a Race Woman has a high price and I cannot afford to do so any longer. No longer will I defend the actions of men who do not give a rat’s ass about women who look like me or my daughters.
tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?
Running from the sounds of a scary movie when I was 2.
A couple of years ago, I read Dr. Martin Luther King’s A Letter from a Birmingham Jail and I was mesmerized by the passion and anger in his words and although we are in the second decade of the 21st century, his words still resonate. This letter I am writing is my tribute to him for giving his life for me and other disadvantaged and disrespected groups in America. It would sadden him to no end that nothing has really changed in American society in regards to race and economics. Perhaps one day, we will be truly free from the chains of racism and economic selfishness that enveloped America since its inception.
28 March 2012
My Dear Mr. Gingrich & Other Republican Presidential Candidates who believe that the Poor Blacks are the Scum of the Universe:
While confined in my lower class existence, I cannot help but think about the words you put into the universe about Black people who receive unemployment compensation, food stamps and other government benefits, people whose lives have been touched by the mean specter of poverty. Since I am very stressed out about receiving $318 per month in public assistance, I normally would not have time to think about your condescending self-serving words since I am too busy trying to find a job in a dying economy but I had to speak to you about this. The current discourse on the lives of poor Blacks in this country has been taken over by well-dressed, well-fed career politicians like yourself and I thought you needed some enlightenment.
First of all, no one wants to be poor. I know that you believe that little Black children spend their time discussing ways to be indigent and homeless by the time they are eighteen, but the children I know have big plans for their future. My ten-year-old daughter’s plans for the future change on a daily basis: One day she wants to be a fashion designer, the next a mad scientist who is going to take over the world. The one thing she has made clear is that she does not see motherhood in her future because in her words, “Being a mother takes too much work.”
I know that you like to believe that the children of poor Blacks are a drain on society but you are so wrong. I was a teenage mother at the age of sixteen and had two children by the age of twenty-one. According to statistics on teen mothers, by now my daughter should have had a slew of kids by different men and my son should have dropped out of high school and is currently imprisoned for numerous drug offenses. Not! My daughter graduated from college last year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and my son is in college studying Communications. My children watched me work for various corporations who paid me very little money and proudly watched when I walked across the stage at the age of thirty-five to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with honors.
But I realize that you probably do not know too many Black people personally so when you chose to discuss them amongst your constituents, you like to use tired, worn-out stereotypes about them. According to you, Blacks have no work ethic and like taking baths in the piles of food stamps they receive on a monthly basis. Blacks have been in this country since 1619 and still have not made any progress, although White people have given them everything! What is wrong with these trifling Black people?
It is very easy for you and your kind to sprout these words, snugly enveloped in your cloak of White-male privilege but what you do not realize is that although Blacks were freed from the chains of slavery, they were never made equal, financially or mentally. Throughout the years, American society had every opportunity to make amends to African-Americans by giving them same economic advantages as Whites, but it never happened because that would mean Blacks would be on the same economic playing field as Whites and that is a no-no.
It is funny how you like to blame the media for everything wrong in your world but the media in all actuality is your best friend. The media, owned by the ruling class, has played a major role in distorting views about social economics by pretending the ruling class does not exist and poor Blacks are the dregs of society. The media with its ‘magic’ can make the historical legacy of slavery and subsequent Jim Crow laws vanish by pretending it is their fault that they are poor. By doing this, upper and middle-classed Americans learn to fear and loathe poor Blacks and refuse to make the connection between systematic racism and high poverty levels amongst African-Americans.
The dominant culture has succeeded in making African Americans subhuman to other groups, who passively accept these bigoted views. In your speeches and in the Republican debates, the message that you and others have given is to degenerate Black people at all costs and to keep poor working-class Whites in a constant tizzy about the so-called advantages given to them.
Mr. Gingrich, I feel sorry for you and wonder what you would do if Blacks did not exist in this country. Race and class was socially constructed for the advancement of Whites and the making up of a social class of poverty-stricken African-Americans who could be blamed for everything wrong in society. Take away the pretensions, the feelings of superiority that comes with having the “right” skin color and people like you in this society would be loss. No more scapegoats to blame and you would have to face up to the fact that you have no plans for making the economic system in America more equal. But it is easier to blame Blacks, who unlike your ancestors had no choice when they were brought to this country as chattel and broodmares to make the lives of the ruling class easier.
Kathy M. Henry