Traditional Black Womanhood

Traditional Black womanhood is having a hard time in 2019.  It is having a hard time being heard, respected and taken seriously by anyone, even or I should say especially by other Black women.  It seems that anytime a Black woman speaks from a traditional point of view (I’m not talking politics) she is often mocked and put down.

Fantasia Barino, Gabrielle Douglas and Nicki Minaj have all made traditional remarks about womanhood over the last few years and have all faced criticism and mockery for it.  There is irony in all of the statements made by these well known women however it doesn’t necessarily make the viewpoints invalid and I don’t understand the so called backlash for their remarks.

Fantasia Barino of American Idol fame set off a poop storm this week when she said she follows her husband’s lead.  Her husband chimed into the on line discussion and he made a lot of good points about male leadership in a family.  They made sense and I think this couple is correct in their point of view.

But Fantasia’s public statement upset feminists for some reason that I don’t understand.  Some critics said that Fantasia was being arrogant and looking down on unmarried women.  But we’ve known Fantasia a long time now and she’s never been condescending or pretentious so I don’t think that judgement is fair.

Some of the disagreement stems from the fact that Fantasia makes way more money than her husband.  The pundits have a point there.  Oh and he’s a felon that she married after three weeks.  Fantasia’s marriage definitely raises some eyebrows but I still agree with her opinions about heterosexual, traditional marriages.  Even if I didn’t agree with Fantasia and her husband I would just excuse it as a difference of opinion.  But the feminists are angry this week at the thought of submitting to a man that they chose to marry.  I don’t get it.

Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglass made a tweet a few years back saying that women should dress modestly.  Twitter erupted into a fury.  Gabrielle was maligned for this statement.  The feminists mocked her religious background and of course they brought up sexual assault.  The Twitter mob insulted Gabrielle’s intelligence and implied that she was brainwashed and didn’t think for herself.

I’m trying to understand what’s wrong with valuing modesty.  Do we all need to seek validation by posing mostly naked on social media.  Some women think that is empowering.  I don’t but to each their own.  No one is hurt by Gabrielle Douglas wanting to wear clothes.  I understand that Gabby Douglas came to fame in a leotard in front of a global audience so it is a bit of a hoot hearing her promote modest dress.  But again, I think that she is absolutely correct.

Nicki Minaj recently decided to retire and focus on her upcoming marriage and starting a family.  I think it’s lovely.  That move made Nicki a feminist heroine to me.  I believe that a woman can have it all in her life but she probably can’t do it all at the same time the way men can.

Nicki has had a great deal of success and has made a lot of money and now she wants to place her focus on being a wife and mother.  This is another questionable relationship.  Nicki too is marrying a felon that she out earns by a mile, maybe two or three.  He wouldn’t be my choice for a mate but nonetheless he’s her man and I think it’s nice that she is making family life her priority.  I hope she gets everything she wants.

There was a lot of social media buzz surrounding Nicki’s comments.  Most of the commentary was negative but there were some congratulatory wishes.  I don’t know why anyone would have any negative feedback about a wealthy woman in her thirties pausing her career to begin a family life.  I think it would be foolish to try and balance both.

The world has a one dimensional view of Black womanhood and it is mostly negative.  The world is very comfortable with Black women spreading promiscuous and new age feminist messages but not family oriented values.  I’m not sure why that is.  I tend to believe that things we see in the media groom those that consume certain images and messages.  Certain segments of the population are being groomed for failure from the start.

Black women are seen as traditional and wholesome once they are past their prime.  I think it’s great to see young, attractive Black women expressing wholesome values while they are young.  It’s a shame that their biggest detractors seem to come from within the Black community.

 

The Greatest Generation

The title Greatest Generation is typically reserved for those that came of age around WWII.  For Black Americans the Greatest Generation is those who came of age during the Black Civil Rights era.  People such as Sadie Roberts-Joseph who recently lost her life to a senseless murder in Baton Rouge, LA changed the world and they don’t get enough respect for their accomplishments.  This post is not a discussion of Ms. Roberts-Joseph’s murder.

Black Americans of the Civil Rights era made the blueprint for protests and activism.  The LGBT movement, feminists and supporters of undocumented immigrants use the Black Civil Rights movement as a tool in which to gain sympathy for their struggles as a basis of comparison.  The Black American Civil rights movement has been a source of global inspiration.

These people were real activists that sought change and got it.  They risked their freedom, bodily harm and death while fighting for their rights against the most powerful country in the world.  I have a great deal of respect for some Black Lives Matter organizers and protesters.  But overall, the younger generation limits activism to hash tags and they accomplish very little.  At times I find social media activism to be counter productive.

I enjoy social media but it is what it is and it’s not what it’s not.  It’s not meaningful activism because it only makes a difference if it’s something popular.  Most social media advocacy is a matter of jumping on the right on line bandwagon.

That’s why the movement to fight sexual harassment caught on but the one to fight sexual harassment in the fast food industry didn’t. There’s no glamour to the fast food industry so not many people are willing to advocate for them.  That’s why there was an on line campaign to bring R. Kelly to justice but there isn’t a mainstream campaign to protect Black children from sexual abuse within the Black community.  That’s why police brutality is not protested until there is a shocking video.  If there isn’t a celebrity or shock value involved social media activism doesn’t seem to catch on very well.

Sadie Roberts-Joseph was not an arm chair activist.  She created a legacy for her community.  Ms. Roberts-Joseph founded an African American museum in Baton Rouge.  She worked with law enforcement in an effort to combat gang violence and drug abuse.  She also organized a Juneteenth celebration and mentored young people.  Ms. Roberts-Joseph was a real treasure to her community.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/16/us/sadie-roberts-joseph-profile/index.html

Most young, so called activists do not have this same kind of spirit.  They just want to throw their identity in another person’s face to be validated.  There are a lot of issues facing this generation that don’t seem to get addressed.  I feel like most young people are more interested in the trials and tribulations of celebrities than they are issues that affect the middle, working class and the poor.

There are a lot of people that think of themselves as “pro Black” or activists but they complain on social media all day about trivial things such as swirling (inter racial dating), fake hair and twerking.  I think that all of those subjects are worth talking about but Black social media outlets beat these conversations like they are dead horses.  On line activists rarely discuss the other dozens upon dozens of matters that affect Black Americans.

It is rare to run across intelligent conversations on social media about nutrition, education, health care, finance, parenting, inner city violence, domestic violence or the high infant mortality rate in our community.  Most of the conversations focus on a bunch of bickering about other people’s personal choices.  They want to try and change another person’s ideology instead of getting up from behind their lap tops and mobilizing something that will positively affect lives where they live.

And all of that is actually fine with me.  Perhaps people are mostly satisfied with their lives and simply enjoy complaining on the internet.  Heck, I complain on social media too.  But here’s the kick in the pants.  A lot of the armchair activists are very critical of The Greatest Generation.  They are critical of their parenting style.  They are critical of their religious beliefs.  And they are even critical of the activism from which they have directly benefited.

These Monday morning activists question whether integration was a good idea.  They consider The Greatest Generation to be soft because they took a non violent approach to protesting.  But the younger generation doesn’t stand for much at all other than inclusion and diversity.  Neither issue is a priority to me as a Black American.  Some don’t seem to notice that all this inclusion and diversity is pushing them out of influential positions and opportunities.  But go off!

Youngsters don’t put themselves on the line.  They don’t risk anything.  Whether you agree with The Greatest Generation or not their accomplishments and spirit deserves respect.  A lot of Black people that are the beneficiaries of the Civil Rights movement don’t offer that.  It’s a shame and it’s very sad.  But once again Black people turn their backs on their own accomplishments, history and culture.  It seems to be so much more natural for Black Americans to tear themselves down than build themselves up for some reason.

I am a part of Generation X which is a bridge between the Greatest Generation and the people that I’m complaining about.  You may ask what Generation X stood for or accomplished.  Honestly, not that much.  We’re kind of vapid at times.  But at least we respect our elders.

Rest in peace to Miss Sadie.  Her end was tragic but the story of her life is inspiring.  Women like Ms. Roberts-Joseph have always been the cornerstone of Black families and communities and they are deserving of praise.  She makes me proud.

 

More Feminist Confusion

The feminists are at it again.  These people are harder to understand than calculus.  Music producer Jermaine Dupri made a comment that most female rappers today make songs about the stripper life.  Social media feminists got upset for some reason and somehow Jermaine Dupri has become a prudish hypocrite in their minds even though their response is a bit prudish.  I thought feminists were in favor of “sexual liberation” and expression.

I don’t listen to much new rap music anymore.  I’ve gotten too old.  So if I have heard of you that means that you have become pretty darn popular.  Cardi B is a hip hop pop star that has become difficult to escape.  And I’ve gotten introduced to Megan Thee Stallion and City Girls.  I don’t care for Cardi B. at all but I think that Megan Thee Stallion and City Girls are quite talented.

I’m a Bible thumper that believes that there is more power for women in modesty than there is in raw sexuality.  I also believe that these talented young women would be better served by not flaunting their sexuality.  The public will only tolerate that without mocking it while a woman is young but no one is young forever or even very long.  You have to have something to sell and talk about other than sex.  But I’m not the target market for the music industry and I’m in my middle forties.  The City Girls and Megan didn’t ask for my opinion.

I like these girls because I can understand what they are saying.  They aren’t mumble rappers that sound like they are coming out of a cold medicine induced haze.  They are charismatic, energetic, young, brash and beautiful.  They are urban or perhaps ratchet is the better word and make no apologies for it.  Their music is fun.  And yes, they are sexy and put forth a stripper like image.  When I ran across their videos on You Tube they made me smile.  I don’t know City Girls and Megan Thee Stallion’s backgrounds but Cardi B. was an actual stripper.

Hip hop has been filthy, blunt and telling tales of urban counter culture since the late 80s. That’s the draw and the charm.  Hip hop has sold millions and probably billions because it sells a fantasy to those of us that are students, housewives and work cubicle jobs.  They say and do things before an audience that most of us would never do even after a couple of shots of tequila.  Feminism has done it’s job.

The City Girls parents probably hadn’t even met yet when tawdry rap music gained popularity and began to dominate the charts. Megan The Stallion and Cardi B. never really had a chance and most young women are never really given a different option to present themselves as something other than slutty.  But hey, we’re talking about grown, career women and I respect their choices.

Explicit lyrics, filth and racial slurs ahead.

I thought that feminists were in favor of women expressing themselves sexually and on their own terms.  That’s what the City Girls and Megan Thee Stallion are doing.  It’s what Nicki Minaj did before them.  And it’s what Lil Kim and Foxy Brown did before her these girls’ parents even met.  The young feminist response to Jermaine Dupri’s response should have been “So what if they rap about stripping.  What’s wrong with stripping?”  That would have made more sense to double down on their feminist values.

More trash ahead.

Instead they name off a bunch of other current female rappers that have a more wholesome or emo image.  In order to say that all young female rappers aren’t stripper like.  If feminists are truly supportive of these modest rappers why aren’t they more popular?  Capitalism is it’s own form of Democracy and feminists get a vote.

Jermaine Dupri is absolutely right.  Most popular young female rappers are selling sex.  It’s the way of the world and you need to be a real rebel to make a different choice.  There may be a Lauryn Hill or Missy Elliot equivalent for today but she doesn’t seem to be selling much music.  Or at least she’s not selling enough downloads and getting enough buzz to become mainstream like Cardi B.

Jermaine Dupri isn’t young anymore.  He’s forty six years old and it sounds like he’s gained some wisdom along the way.  He understands that there is more power for women in modesty and using talent and intelligence.  I hold the same opinion but I guess I’m enough of a feminist to respect an adult woman’s life choice.  He’s just trying to let young women with aspirations in the music business that their longevity is not in blatant sex appeal.

After all, Lauryn Hill still sells out concerts even though her fans know she might show up two hours late.  And we’ve never seen much of her body or heard much about her sexual experiences.  She did it all with talent and hard work.  Punctuality, not so much.

But feminists are interested in arguing and becoming outraged no matter what.  That seems to be the goal.  They aren’t even standing behind their cause of sexual liberation and expression.  A man got them to rally around modest rappers today which is what he was supporting.  Women stay losing.

The Little Mermaid 2019

There’s been a lot of discussion about the young actress Halle Bailey playing the part of Ariel in the “The Little Mermaid”.  Most of the conversation has centered around race.  evidently some are upset that a Black woman is playing the character and others are upset that someone is upset.  I don’t have any strong opinions on the matter but I’ve enjoyed the jokes and memes on social media surrounding our new Little Mermaid.

It’s always nice to see Black actors getting opportunities but aside from that I don’t care about this.  I don’t take much interest in anything Disney related.  I had never heard of Halle before.  And I’m not one to take a lot of pride in a Black character being added to an all White cast of a TV show.  It actually bothers me that Hollywood remakes films and they think they are being edgy by making a male character female, a White character Black or by making everybody gay.  Ooooohhhhh.

While wasting time on You Tube the other day I ran across a few videos featuring Halle Bailey and her sister.  I was instantly charmed.  Halle Bailey is perfect.  All of these people that are debating and making think pieces on this matter have sold Halle short because I didn’t hear any of them describe her as perfect until I saw this.  Please watch.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/chloe-x-halle-perform-america-beautiful-at-super-bowl-watch-1182246

 

 

Halle is the one in the red jogging suit.  She is young, innocent, pure and sweet as pie.  She sings like a bird and has a face like a baby doll.  Disney could not have done better if they grew this girl in a lab and raised her themselves to star in their film.  She was born for this and she is going to kill it.  I think this will be legendary.

Her sister is lovely as well so Disney might as well put her in the film too since Ariel had a bunch of sisters.  Are there more Bailey sisters?  We need more!  Tell me about their dad.  Is he a singer?  Cast him.  He’s a good man and he deserves it.

ariel's family

Unfortunately race is a big issue in the world but I bet Disney casting agents didn’t even think of race when considering Halle for this role.  I’ll bet it was an afterthought;  like “oh yeah do we care that she’s Black and the cartoon isn’t?  Nah me neither.”

I have a hard time imaging that there are many more young women out there who can fit the bill as well as Halle.  I had no intention of seeing this movie but now that I’ve seen how talented this young star I’m actually interested.  My big question is how are they going to make a live action movie about sea people?  That should be the real conversation.

Black Social Media: Help or Hindrance

I am Black and a bit of a social media junkie. Social media outlets have pretty much figured out that I’m Black and they suggest pages, channels, people, places and things that other Black people frequent. I follow them as do others in my demographic. It creates little virtual communities and there you have it, the Black social media sphere. It has been fun, entertaining, and educational in good ways and bad. Black social media can be a useful and entertaining tool. But it can be very toxic.

I’ll start off by saying that Black people are not given enough credit for being so witty and creative. When I was a big Facebook and Twitter user my brothers and sisters would absolutely have me cracking up with their unique takes on various hashtags. Some social media users reminded me of the glory days of hip hop when being a little street or ghetto or whatever you call was meshed with intelligence and insight. We don’t get to see that much in the media anymore. I miss it.

Black social media users have also brought attention to injustices in America such as police brutality and racism in common places. Cell phone video and social media has given justice to many Black people that never would have gotten it otherwise. I think that is wonderful and heroic.

But I’ve decided to not follow a lot of Black social media pages due to the nature of the speaker or his or her followers. I blocked The Shade Room on IG years ago and my quality of life immediately improved. I stopped following the 1990s rapper David Banner because I got tired of being a defender of the faith. I blocked The Amazing Lucas on You Tube because he is trying a little too hard to prove that he is a conservative Black man. It’s sad to watch a Black man pander to people that way.

It’s difficult to build a social media following unless you already have some sort of claim to fame, an amazing talent or you fit a particular beauty standard and decide to flaunt your body for the sake social media popularity. I’m guessing that it may even be more difficult for non celebrity Black people to build a large following because I rarely see Black people discussing things that wouldn’t be considered a Black interest on social media. I’ve figured that the best way for Black people to gain a social media following is by being controversial within the on line Black community.

I think Black men have it the hardest in the social media world. It’s a little harder for them to find their social media niche. Many Black women and feminine Black men have gained social media notoriety by creating celebrity gossip outlets, make up and hair tutorials.

But I don’t see many Black men creating channels that aren’t about dissecting matters in the Black community. It seems to me that the easiest way for a Black man to gain a large social media following is by talking about such matters and blaming Black women for them. Some of the most successful Black You Tubers that I’m aware of are men that think that Black women are solely responsible for every single problem in the Black community. Like, seriously every – single – one. The mental gymnastics these guys do is impressive. Actually buying into it is a personality disorder of some sort.

I’ve never followed members of the He Man’s Woman Haters Club but men that follow these ideologies show up in the comment sections of other vlogs such as gossip channels or a channel that is talking about current events to a Black audience. They drop nasty remarks about Black women’s appearances, marital status, “attitude” or whatever. They even put Black women down for going to college and pursuing careers. I would like to think that most of these remarks are coming from trolls in Moscow but I know my people and this can’t all be blamed on the Russians.

phone

It’s like some of these guys (to be fair, I’ve had Black women make rude remarks about my appearance, especially my hair as well) know that Black women are trying to avoid them so they come to where we are in order to insult us in some way. I’ve made what I thought was an innocuous comment and have had my personal appearance attacked by my fellow social media users. People like that are usually hiding behind an anonymous profile so I can’t be sure of who they are but I’m guessing a lot of the insults based on skin color and hair texture are coming from people with similar skin color and hair texture.

After degrading Black women these gentlemen go on to put fairer skinned women on a pedestal. I don’t understand why they didn’t do that in the first place and just left us out of it. No one needs to justify their dating and marriage choices to anyone. And you shouldn’t have to put someone else down in order to express your love for someone else. Black women return the vitriol. They too have set up channels and make comments tearing Black men apart. There is no way to have a community if men and women hate each other.

Another topic that’s caught a lot of traction on Black social media is “woke” Black people telling Black Christians to stop believing in Christ. I had to block the 90s rapper David Banner for this reason. People like him are arrogant and patronizing and always use the same two or three reasons to justify their opinions.

Their reasoning displays their ignorance about the Bible, geography, human history. This “woke”, afrocentric community are the ones that believe in a White, European Jesus. Not those of us with the understanding that Bethlehem isn’t in Europe. Once again, all they need to do is follow their heart. There is absolutely no need to degrade someone else in order to justify a personal choice. Leave us out of your personal choices and I’ll leave you out of mine.

I ran across a You Tuber named The Amazing Lucas one day and I decided to follow him. After watching a few of his videos I blocked him. I don’t need anymore of his videos. He’s a young Black man that would probably describe himself as being conservative. But after a while I guess he had to work harder to prove himself.

He’s too emotional about things that aren’t that big of a deal such as the political opinions of NBA players that he’s never even heard of. Lucas is of the belief that racism is all a figment of Black America’s imagination which I find to be a very condescending and delusional view point. The Amazing Lucas doesn’t seem to understand that racism is an economic and sociological matter.

I don’t know who runs The Shade Room but they are a horrible human being and their followers are complete morons. It’s hard to find a dumber group of people on social media than what you would find on that IG page. I blocked them a long time ago because they were on there making fun of Simone Biles body. That’s right. They body shamed a world class athlete.

People that enjoy The Shade Room only like women that look like strippers. It’s all they care about or respect. They absolutely love people from the Love and Hip Hop Series and various young rappers that I’ve never heard of. But they trash an Olympic champion because she’s not so called slim thick. They trashed Gabrielle Douglas as well. I believe they came for her because she mentioned something about women should dress modestly and they went berserk. I don’t share the values of most people in The Shade Room so I had to block them.

The death and funeral of rapper Nipsey Hustle and the trials and tribulations of TV personality Wendy Williams have dominated Black social media the last few weeks. Meanwhile three Black churches in Louisiana burned mysteriously and the son of a police officer was arrested for the crimes.

I was on a You Tube channel yesterday that fashions itself after a news broadcast. The host discussed the church fires and people in the comments section were talking about their disdain for Christianity, especially Black Christians. They are clearly missing the point. But if they are that stupid why bother talking to them. I blocked the channel. I think we need to shift our values a bit. Our community suffered a terrorist attack and

I understand that the death of Nipsey Hustle is yet another urban violent tragedy but last weekend six were shot at a baby shower in Chicago. I haven’t heard Black social media say a word about that. I didn’t know who Nipsey Hustle was until he died so his death is no different than all the other murders that happen in the Black community.

I think that we should use the powerful medium of social media to discuss that to the point of beating a dead horse like we do stupid topics like fake hair, inter racial dating and twerking. And men that are obsessed with women that they don’t like need to be the ones doing the talking instead of blaming everything on single mothers.

I wish that Black social media communities would just stop trying to tell others in their community what to do. Stop thinking you know what’s best for someone else. If we all do our part, Christians, Israelites, Agnostics, LGBT, feminists, etc. we can all make improvements to build a better future for everyone. But this intra racial at least snarkiness and at most hatred should stop. We need to learn to respect each other more. I don’t feel like Black people appreciate our differences.

Some of these conversations that take place have been going on for years and we have come to no conclusion or made no progress. They are trivial matters anyway so we should just move forward. I think there are a few things we should be able to agree on such as if you’re mad at someone you shouldn’t shoot up their baby shower and let’s discuss those matters. The rest of if is all just drivel and a huge waste of time and I refuse to participate in it anymore.