"so i’m waiting on line at b.j.’s, and there’s this woman in front of me buying a 42 inch flat screen television and paying for her groceries with her ebt card. i bet she had a cadillac escalade parked outside."
i don’t think that happens nearly as often as people say it does. in fact, i…
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.
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.
White people who are confronted with their white privilege and the white supremacist acts they perpetuate have been known to cry, “You’re being a reverse-racist!” That is completely true: people of color have the power and control to create, perpetuate,…
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.
There, I said it. Hate me now, but I won’t stop now.
I understand that that the above sentiment is particularly controversial from a non-Christian. However, do understand that I am NOT challenging anyone’s religion. Despite my own views, I acknowledge that religion has done many powerful and…
In the days leading up to the anniversary of my mother’s death, I am usually filled with melancholy and dark dreary thoughts. But this year, I can smile a little bit because my mother reached out from beyond and assisted me with a problem I have been dealing with for several weeks.
I am currently enrolled in Welfare to Work, a program in which welfare recipients have to work for their monthly check and it has been frustrating to say the very least and I actually walked off from the job back in November. I knew the consequences of my actions but like the rebellious teen I used to be and who is still buried somewhere in my psyche, I said to myself, “Fuck it! I deal with that hand when it comes to me.”
So I have been waiting on pins and needles for the shit to hit the fan. I know it was stupid as hell to walk off from the only income I was receiving but damn, I do have my dignity if I don’t have anything else. I imagined my meager benefits being sliced to less than nothing and begging Peter to pay Paul and all the apostles to put some money down on the large stack of bills that is constantly accumulating and squeeze out some more Christmas presents. My son, who is nineteen understands my financial situation and was not expecting too much but my little one is just a little girl of ten and although she said understood too, I knew that she did not and how could I break her heart? Christmas has turned totally materialistic but I get a kick out of seeing the joy on her face on Christmas morning, tearing into her presents, gleefully and greedily, remembering the child I used to be.
I had almost resigned myself to not receiving a check for the month of December when I received a call from my case manager from the program. She scolded me gently about walking off when I had no income and instead of tearing into my ass like a lot of case workers would have done, she told me to go back to the job site and to come see her when I got off work. When I jokingly asked her would I receive a check for this month, she replied “Would I do you like that and Christmas is coming?”
I almost broke down and cried over the phone but I held it together. However, when I got off, I cried like a baby and remembered that tomorrow was the anniversary of my mother’s death. Although my momma was not with me physically, she was still making shit happen for her little girl. I am not the most religious person and at times have wondered about the existence of God, the Devil and all religious dogma but I do know that I received a Christmas miracle from beyond the grave. Some of the more cynical and jaded might look at my story as mere coincidence but a mother’s love for her children can break all earthly boundaries and I know that my mother reached out for me. I love you Ma.
Working for Pennies- The Harsh Realities of Being a Welfare Recipient
One of the biggest misconceptions in American culture is that welfare recipients are living large at the taxpayer’s expense, receiving thousands of dollars per month while driving Cadillacs and other expensive cars. This myth is so not true and how do I know? Because for the past two months, I have been on welfare and let me be the one to tell you: being on public assistance sucks.
August 3, 2011 will be a day in infamy I will never forget because it was on that date that I received my last unemployment check and officially became one of the 99ers, a term for unemployed people in the United States, who have exhausted all of their unemployment benefits, including all unemployment extensions. After applying for over two thousand jobs, I found myself in the position of having to apply for Public Aid or be faced with disconnection notices and phone calls from bill collectors who cannot speak English. If someone had asked me five years ago would I be in this position, back on welfare, I would have laughed because I went back to school and received a Bachelor’s degree and people who have degrees are supposed to be protected from economic turmoil. I graduated five years ago from Roosevelt University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a 3.6 grade point average and I am proud of myself for that accomplishment. I know that some folks turn their noses up at people who pursue a liberal arts degree but I learned valuable critical thinking skills, how to analyze and solve problems in a creative manner, and most importantly about social stratification and inequality and I have no regrets. I also have over ten years of transferable experience in the administrative/clerical field and an ability to work with all types, fools and all. However, even with all those wonderful qualities, I cannot find a job to save my life.
When I made the decision to apply for welfare, I tried to keep positive about my situation. Millions of Americans are suffering from either being unemployed or underemployed so at least I was not alone in my troubles. But I cannot lie: Feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy run through my veins on a daily basis and a rage is building in me. A rage against a society that tells individuals that a college degree is the path to a economic prosperity, but does not disclose how centuries of social inequality have kept and will continue to keep the best and brightest out of the workforce. A rage against rich, clueless politicians who believe people that receive unemployment and welfare benefits are sitting on their butts swigging alcohol and smoking dope. A rage against myself for waiting so long to get my life together and having to deal with the consequences of perhaps being considered passé in the workforce.
I was a teenage mother who did not get my GED until I was twenty-six and my Bachelor’s degree until I was thirty-five. The entire time before both these changes took place, I was told by society that if I educated myself, I would get myself and my children out of poverty. Guess what? It did not work because I am back on welfare receiving $318 dollars per month. I did everything society told me to do and I am in the same position I was in nine years ago when I made the decision to attend college and that is a shame.
If I did not have children, there is no way in hell I would have applied for welfare. But when you are a mother, one has to make sacrifices, so I swallowed my pride and applied for cash benefits. By signing the Personal Responsibility contract in return for public assistance, a welfare recipient in essence signs her rights to being an adult away. Recipients must work for their cash and going to school is not an option.
Yes, welfare recipients must WORK for their cash benefits. I know that people believe in the myth of women laying up on welfare, eating bon-bons and spitting out a baby every year while collecting those fat government checks but that is a load of malarkey.
On August 22, 1996 in the Rose Garden of the White House, President William Jefferson Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, better known as welfare reform, dismantling the sixty-one year program of federally guaranteed cash assistance to needy families or what is known as welfare. Welfare recipients have five years to receive cash assistance and after that, it is a wrap. The debate surrounding welfare reform was dominated by white male politicians and journalists and focused predominately on minority women and their families living in poverty because minority women are the only ones in America who received Public Aid (sarcasm). Although President Clinton had the right idea, he and others did not take into account what would happen if the economy collapsed and finding a job would be the equivalency of hitting the lottery.
It burns my soul that I am back on the dole, working for $318 per month which is equal to $79.50 per week at six hours per day after everything I went through to better myself. If I refuse to go to any of the job sites my caseworker sends me to, I will be sanctioned, meaning that my monthly benefits will be cut in half to $159. So the next time, a hardworking tax payer complains about welfare recipients and how they are living good, eating lobster and shit, think about me, the college educated single mother who took care of her children, saw two of them graduate from high school, one from college, only to find herself and youngest child still poverty-stricken and broke as hell.
Also, if anyone knows of any job opportunities in the Chicagoland area, please let me know.
For the past two years and two months, I have resided in a garbage can. The smells of old garbage, urine, and human funk permeate the air of my surroundings, and stray cats yowl in the middle of the night. The garbage can where I live actually has a name and it is Parkway Gardens Apartments, a federally subsidized low-income housing unit on the South Side of Chicago.
How did a college educated individual like me end up living in a garbage can? After getting laid-off in August of 2007 from my job as an administrative assistant, it seemed like the Furies of Greek mythology were after me. Other than temp work, I could not find a job, full or part-time, and I could not afford the rent at my previous residence. I decided to look on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) website for subsidized housing.
This is my second stint in subsidized housing. The first stint was from 2002 to 2007. During that time, I went to college, received a Bachelor’s degree and maintained a 3.6 average, obtained a full-time job and my eldest daughter graduated from high school with a 4.2 grade point average, and then I moved. While receiving help from the government, a multitude of men did not live with me, nor did I have any more children, the stereotypical things that those poor, trifling black single mothers who receive government assistance are supposed to do. There is a concept amongst the common consensus that low-income housing is not supposed to be permanent, but rather a stepping stone to a better life and that is true. However, I did exactly what society told me to do (bettered myself and my children) and I almost ended up homeless. I was faced with the choice of residing in a shelter or Parkway Gardens, and I chose Parkway.
I have resided in some real flophouses during my lifetime but Parkway Gardens takes the cake. As a native South Sider, I have known about Parkway Gardens my entire life, but one has to live here to understand the madness that is Parkway. The stuff that goes on in Parkway is unbelievable considering that it is right down the street from the University of Chicago. Drug dealing, gang-banging, whoring; everything goes in Parkway Gardens! The filth is insidious and pervasive, the kind that follows you because no matter how hard you clean your apartment, the smell is there. At least it is to me. My son says that our apartment is fine but I am so paranoid, it is ridiculous.
But this story is not about me, but about how HUD is the biggest slumlord in the United States. There is no accountability for the owners of the properties that HUD gives monies to for rent payments. These owners are receiving millions of dollars from the government but put very little of said money into the general maintenance of the properties, leaving people to live in abject squalor at the taxpayers’ expense.
I have called the multihousing unit hotline number that HUD has on its website several times to complain, but I was told that HUD has nothing to do with the upkeep; all they do is pay the rent. It is up to the owners and property management to take care of everything. I just want to know what stupid individual came up with the idea to take accountability from HUD and give it to the property owners who just want to make a buck.
The Tea Partiers and the Republicans are constantly carrying on about government waste and trying to slash Medicare and Medicaid, but they need to look into the budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development because millions of dollars are going to waste. And by the way, Parkway Gardens Apartments has been sold to a real estate in New York for forty million dollars. Yes, forty million dollars for a 694 unit garbage can that houses over one thousand families. It is also rumored that Parkway makes over eight million dollars a year from rental subsidies all thanks to the largesse of HUD. Rather than looking for ways to cut and divert our attention to systems and programs that, while not always perfect, provide a benefit for the public good and well-being, politicians should actually take a closer examination at programs and systems (e.g. HUD) that need to either be amended or gentrified or the management carved and served in time for Thanksgiving.
Life for Blacks who reside in the inner-city has never been easy but in the years since crack cocaine hit, things have most definitely taken a turn for the worst. A new breed of Black woman and manhood has arisen and they behave rather badly. It has become absolutely normal to be ignorant and ghetto and more scarily, this behavior is celebrated with glee.
Take a stroll in any inner-city neighborhood: On any given afternoon, you will see groups of able-bodied young men lounging carelessly on street corners, smoking marijuana boldly on street corners bragging about their bitches, whores and baby mammas. Although these young men show clear shiftless tendencies, throngs of ride or die chicks, sometimes with several children in tow surround them, taking loudly while dressed in pajama bottoms and dingy white wife-beaters complete with the proverbial head scarf.
These words are not stereotypes but actual truth. Too many times, Blacks complain about their dirty laundry being aired publicly instead of fixing the problem and it is time to discuss an issue that is plaguing us as a people: the acceptance of ignorance. Although racism is, has been, and will always be a part of American society, social behaviors once deemed deviant are embraced and accepted by some Blacks.
Urban terrorists have hijacked urban communities throughout America, but calling the police is considered “snitching” and murderers walk around unafraid and unrepentant. Mothers hide the guns of their gang-banging sons and little children are left at home unattended with an empty refrigerator while their parents party in the streets. There are so many examples of this behavior that I could go and on but that would be redundant. However, one thing rings true, regardless if some folks do not want to face it: gutter, hood-related anti-social behavior is running amok in some Black communities.
Where did it all go so terribly wrong? The decline of the inner-city Black family can be traced to the crack cocaine era. Black families throughout America were decimated due to drug abuse and drug dealing and the children became collateral damages. An entire generation of Black children has grown up seeing their parents either use or sell drugs and it has destroyed their psyche.
For these young adults, the only thing worth living for is the mass consumption of expensive designer clothing, alcohol, drugs and sexual escapades with multiple partners. They have no goals or ambitions but to live for the day. An education is scorned as being nothing more than a worthless piece of paper and disputes are settled by gunfire, regardless of who is around.
The blame for this generation of inner-city hood-rats can be laid at the feet of Black Generation X, my generation. Blacks born between 1965 and 1976 were the first recipients of the gains that the Civil Rights Movement had battled for and we squandered it by getting caught up in the “Greed is Good” era of the Eighties. We ran the streets instead of taking care of our children, shoving the responsibility of child-rearing on our weary, overworked parents. We were more concerned about outer appearances, spending money on a bunch of stuff instead of saving money for better educational opportunities and now our children still lag behind every ethnic group when it comes to reading, writing, and arithmetic. Instead of being parents to our children, we became their friends, smoking blunts with them and allowing their boyfriends and girlfriends overnight privileges, creating the next generation of out of wedlock children.
We planted the seeds for mass destruction and now we have a garden full of weeds. It saddens me to write this but it is my opinion that little can be done to correct this hood-related behavior. These days, you cannot tell anyone anything bad about their children because it might cause a physical confrontation. The US government could put trillions of dollars into every inner-city in America but this ghetto mentality will still exist because being absolutely nothing is accepted. An entire generation of Black young adults has accepted their caste in society as the lowest of the low, trapped by the narrow confines of their minds and neighborhoods.
First of all, before I write this essay, I would like to state that I love being a black woman. I love the beautiful brownness of my skin, my hair which is a crown that has anointed me Queen of my universe, my full lips, slanted eyes, and the strength of my ancestors who have dealt with much…
First of all, before I write this essay, I would like to state that I love being a black woman. I love the beautiful brownness of my skin, my hair which is a crown that has anointed me Queen of my universe, my full lips, slanted eyes, and the strength of my ancestors who have dealt with much adversity during their journeys here in America and whose blood flow proudly in my veins. But I have to admit, I wonder what it would be like to be a white female just for a day to see what it would to be like to be considered Aphrodite rising from the sea because at times, it is hard being a black women in a society that is sexist and has placed women who look like me on the bottom rung of every ladder in American society from economics to beauty.
White privilege is a topic some whites do not want to talk about because in admitting they are privileged because of their skin color would mean admitting that racism still exists and is not a pigment of black folks’ imaginations but I digress. It must be nice living in a world where almost every image of your kind is thought to be good and pure and I would like some of that privilege just for one day.
Just for once, it would be nice to go on a job interview and not have to worry about the texture of my hair and wonder if the person I am interviewing with has a problem with afros, two-strand twists, or any other “black ethnic” hairstyle I might be wearing that day. If I was a white woman, I could toss my silky, long hair around with no problems.
Just for once, it would be nice not to be labeled an angry, bitter, black female who is filled with hatred just because I happen to have an opinion different from the black man that I am debating with. If I was white woman, I could be as argumentative as I want and be told that I am merely feisty. Black men would swim through a river of snot for me and tell me that black women are just too combative to be considered “wifey” material and that is why 40% of African American females remain unmarried. As a white woman, I would be able to date freely and not be told by my peers to lower my expectations or else die a lonely and miserable spinster with five kids with five different fathers.
Just for once, it would be nice to see someone who looks like me on a regular basis on the covers of high fashion magazines and playing the role of the leading lady in movies and television shows. As a black woman, I am constantly scolded by the media and some of my people for being too dark, too nappy, and too fat and that I will never be placed on that anointed pedestal as the standard of beauty and loveliness for American society. If I was a white woman, this problem would be null and void because I would be considered the crème de la crème.
But alas, I am a black woman and that is nothing to shirk at. The strength and tenacity of black women who can make something literally out of nothing is something to be admired than scorned and I am proud to be one. I actually feel sorry for white women sitting upon that fabled pedestal because it is a lonely tour of duty filled with unrealistic and shallow expectations and most fall swiftly and hard from that same pedestal. Better to be me with all my flaws, real and imagined than to be the poster child of impossible beauty. But I can keep it real; sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a white woman. In my world, black women are called everything but a child of God and for once, it would be nice to be the anointed one.