We’re Watching You: Media Advocacy for Black Women

Positive Propaganda:  The World Deserves an Accurate Image of Black Women!

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”  — Marie Wilson, Founding President of The White House Project

Hello sisters,

As we work collectively to heal each other and strengthen the ways in which we show up in the world, beginning by creating a firm foundation of self-respect, self-reverance, and self-love (while providing and accepting authentic, sisterly support), we’ll then need to combat the images projected in today’s media about who we are. 

We can then begin changing yesterday’s perceptions to match today’s reality.

Can you think of a group of people more maligned and misrepresented in the media than black women?  Even black men, while portrayed overwhelmingly as criminals and miscreants, have it better, by and large, in the eyes of the media than black women.  Heck, at least rap stars, while most trash us in song, are loved in popular culture! And let’s not talk about media worship of our black sports figures and other entertainers.  As long as we’re skipping, dancing, crooning, cooning, dunking, oh, and trashing black women, there’s room in the limelight.

Think about how black women are portrayed in today’s rap music (I now have a headache), in the movies (prostitute, anyone?), and on television (fill-in-the-blank_”Wives”).  Even print media has joined the “black women are the devil” band-wagon with recent articles (falsely) claiming our physical inferiority, unattractiveness, and life-long fate of personal abandonment and isolation. 

It’s time to cry “foul”, and not in a few well-written-but-few-read articles on websites preaching to the choir, but OUT LOUD, to the masses.  We need to boycott, and campaign; to put our money where our pride and reputations are, and stop allowing these inaccurate or stereotypical portrayals, vulgar lyrics, and LIES to persist. 

If that means we stop buying certain albums if we hear the words b**tch, ho, tip-drill, jump-off, baby-mama, hooker, tramp, skeezer (I’m sooo old, ha!), or if it involves content that’s obviously, or subversively, misogynistic, then, oh, well, we just have to.  If you’re paying money for and dancing to something you wouldn’t want someone to call you to your face then what are you REALLY saying (to yourself and to others)?  You cannot serve two masters.

And seriously, if I hear one more “brutha” talk about our bodies (via song) in ways that would make a gynecologist blush, someone’s gonna lose a bottom lip! How dare they?  We deserve more.  Better.  RESPECT!

I have a nice, tidy, list of commercial advertisers that need to get a brutal wake up call that we will not stand for being portrayed as angry, ignorant, inferior, attitudinal, or heck, not represented AT ALL (invisible) and expect us to still patronize them by buying their products.  We see you, and we’re prepared to send our message of discontent loud and clear by speaking through our lack of patronage.

 Most importantly, since this is a site dedicated to UPLIFTING black women, we’ll want to give a contented purr and paw-bump (that’s a C.A.T. fist-bump) to those commerical advertisers and media corporations that DO show us in a positive light and who actively give back to our community, both here in America and in our motherland, Africa. 

We’ll shine a light on our media partners, and advocate for more of the same.  :-)

Let’s birth our Media Watchdog (Watch-Cat) group for black women!

I’m thinking our first call to action is a campaign.  A loud, proud, self-defining and societal re-defining campaign stating who we really are.  Again, I cannot do this alone, so feel free to include your suggestions in the comments section, or reach out to me via info@positivepropaganda.com

We, my dear sisters, are about to embark on some some serious public relations.

It’s on.

PositiveProp~

*meow*

Calling all C.A.T.S.!

Featured

Hope the Cat

Black cat; pink, whole, love-filled heart ~

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Soul Sisters

 
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”  –Bob Marley
 
Well, good morning, ladies!

I was on one yesterday.  Actually, I LIVE on one when it comes to black women, our image/reputation, and the injustices we face daily that require our immediate attention.  So, let’s continue, shall we?

Some of you may wonder, “we see the problem, but how do we fix it?”  Great question, and honestly the road to redemption is just as dark for me as it is for you.  But I do have an inkling as to where we can begin, and we MUST begin somewhere.

As mentioned, this is not, nor can it be, a one-woman show.  We need to come together to create the level of change we so desperately need.  We need conscious, actualized, trustworthy women (sisters) to hold hands, pool our collective brainpower, and create change.  And from there, as leaders of our new community, we can not only hit the streets (and airwaves) with our message, but reach down to help others in our community (black women, specifically) who need to hear the clarion call to WAKE UP, do better, and be better.  It takes a village, and we need to help each other.

We need to be Conscious. Actualized. Trustworthy. Sisters:  C.A.T.S.

A few tidbits of infomation to tickle your brain:  did you know that cats (the real, feline version), literally walk in their own footsteps?  This knowledge was inspiring to me, since in my mind the path we’re about to tread has already been paved by courageous sisters-of-yore:  Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Rosa Parks, and the list goes on and on.  These women carved footsteps in history that we must follow!   So, on we tread.

Also, all cats of today originated from domesticated African wild cats native to North Africa, and south-western Asia, AND (hold on to your church hats), a female cat, once she hits puberty, is termed a “queen.”  Perfect!  :-) 

Lastly, a cat, no matter how and from what height they are tossed, will always land on its feet.  Now if that’s not a black woman, I don’t know what is! 

OK, feline trivia aside, let’s discuss what it means to be C.A.T.S. of this community:

A woman of this community is the following:

She is Conscious: 

In other words, she’s awake, and aware.  The lies of the mainstream media and the opinions, ideas, and edicts of “them” (who are “they” anyway?  Really!?) neither influence nor orchestrate the actions, beliefs, and behaviors of a conscious woman.  She thinks for herself.  She actively searches for information unknown to aid her journey on the planet.  She remains in touch with God as her source of power and insight, and knows that, though she’s only one thread in the tightly woven fabric of humanity, her  thread must be clean, clear, and of purpose in order to live successfully.  She knows injustice and truth when she sees/hears it, and is prepared to transform wrongs into rights.  With consciousness comes courage. 

She is Actualized: 

Self-actualized women deserve to truly hold the title as “woman.”  She’s no child.  An actualized woman has taken steps in every area possible – financially, psychologically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally – to gain independence in this world.  She’s not afraid to ask for help, but does not require help to walk her path and live her life.  Her values and morals are identified and in tact, and she understands that she must stand for something in order not to fall for anything…and she does.  She lives, speaks, and acts responsibly. She is truly a woman, and has earned the right to be called such (and being called ”girl” from non-intimate others is NOT ACCEPTABLE to an actualized woman, but we’ll talk about that later).  :-)

She is Trustworthy: 

Not only trustworthy, but a woman of integrity.  She keeps her word, to herself and to all whom receive it.  A secret never escapes her lips.  Trust is offered freely to all, and only recalled if breached.  Her heart is open, because she knows that nothing and no one is against her; that every circumstance is an opportunity –  for growth, change, transformation and empowerment.  She trusts herself, others, life, and God.  She can freely give love and receive supreme goodness and love, trusting that true love is all around and of endless supply.  Trust is strength.

She understands the need for and power of Sisterhood:   

She inherently and deeply knows that all women, and especially women of color, need each other.  Beyond the petty discord and rivalry that spawns from personal insecurity (which she’s either healed, or is actively healing), she knows that what hurts one of her sisters, hurts them all, herself included. Deep in her heart lives the knowledge that if God has blessed her with the vision to see (consciousness), and the ability to communicate said knowledge (education), it’s her responsibility to speak for and with her sisters who’ve not been as fortunate.  She lives by the humble realization that “there but for the grace of God, go I” and actively searches for opportunities to lend a hand where needed.  This acknowledgment of sisterhood implores her to greet her sisters in passing, provide a warm smile, a word of encouragement, a knowing nod, or even a hug, if appropriate.  She also understands that sisterhood requires tough love, and that those blinded by ignorance and fear demand not only her empathy, but her wisdom.  She gently educates when she can; it’s her duty.  For again, she’s not heavy…she’s her sister.

So the question remains, where are the C.A.T.S?  We need each other.  Sacred truths will be revealed on these pages, and it’s our duty to first commune in this den of safety, then step lightly and swiftly in the footsteps of our ancestors to spread the word that change is afoot, and that a new day is dawning.  It’s time to spread the truth.

Calling.  All. C.A.T.S. 

We have begun gathering as an active community with a mission to live postively and on purpose at www.facebook.com/positivepropaganda.  Please join us.

Do you hear the call? 

*meow*

Who We Are.

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Divine

“I realized that they had already taken everything from me except my mind and my heart.  Those they could not take without my permission.  I decided not to give then away.  And neither should you.”   –Nelson Mandela

Well hello!  SO glad to be here. 

As Dr. King said, “I have a dream!”  And you are all included.  WE are in the dream together.

In the dream we are not just black women; not simply “strong black women” (am I the only one tired of that one-size-fits-all, slightly masculine descriptor?).  We are not simply the topic of vulgar, misogynistic rap songs sadly spewed from the mouths of some of our male counterparts - the black men whom God put on earth as our protectors, friends, confidants and help-mates, who, somewhere along the way, became our biggest enemy. We are not the scapegoat and laughing stock of society; the unwed, un-datable, street-fighting, eye rolling and neck popping, “nappy-headed ho” baby mamas of the earth, neither deserving nor commanding reverence, respect, admiration, or equal treatment. 

We are not women whose bodies have no boundaries and can be mocked, ogled, touched, titillated over, and violated without recourse.  We are not caricatures only good for a pop of color, comic relief, a needed maid, mammy, best friend, or “magical negro” for others in need, as portrayed in most movies and television programs.

We’re capable of being more and doing more in society than breeding children, collecting welfare, living in homeless shelters, yelling on the corner, popping gum as a career, being victims of domestic violence, riding a pole, dancing for dollars, working in the kitchen, marrying a baller (shot caller, brawler, rollin’ in the Benz with a spoiler) or happily ‘helping’ others rise to prominence, success, and fame. 

And we are NOT invisible.

How did it get this way, you wonder?  How did we allow the essence and reality of WHO WE REALLY ARE as black women to be so disgustingly and savagely mutilated, disguised, ignored, and maligned, and  how did we allow the lies of others to become our truth (if we let “them” tell it)? 

I’ll tell you how. 

Because we allowed it.

And in my dream, we rise up and stop it.  We stop it now.  And not through violence, screaming, yelling, or other less *ahem* composed ways of fighting injustice and evil.  We simply tell the truth – our truth.  And we no longer allow others…mainstream America…to tell our stories and own our image, projecting their distortions across the world and through the ether’s any way they darn well please.  We reclaim our image; our reputations – the essence of who we are and who we were created to be.

We know who we are.

We’re educated, and if not educated, intuitive, and if not intuitive, survivors.  We’re resilient.  We’re beautiful; the first women of earth, from which all life grew.  We’ll no longer believe lies that suggest our features disgust, yet sit back and watch while others emulate the same features they vilify through dark tans, lip injections, curly perms (kinda 80s, I know), heiny pads, cheek implants, and every type of plastic surgery known to man to replicate the shape that only the great architect could compose.  Everyone wants to be a black woman, but no one wants to be a black woman?!  Insanity!

We are brilliant and soothing, peaceful and spiritual.  Warriors, leaders, and both mothers and, sadly, fathers of households.  We run companies, marathons, nonprofit organizations, homes, and, *gasp* countries (head bowed to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and second in Command to the POTUS, Michelle Obama).  :-)

We’re more than what we’ve allowed ourselves to be portayed as, and since perception is reality, it’s high time that the perceptions of the past were changed to reflect the reality of today.

So, in my dream, we come together as SISTERS to commune, congregate, put our brilliant minds together, and conjure up both the method and means to own and repair our image. We tell our truth, loudly.  And we bite the hands of those who dare continue to tell lies to our detriment.

And if we don’t, what’s at stake?  Only the mind of every young black girl on the planet, growing up in a hostile world that devalues her at every flip of the radio dial or television remote control.  To have her travel to other countries and be mocked, scorned, or looked upon as a strange, unfamiliar, slightly scary creature, with otherworldly, sideshow-like curiousity.   To be hired as the servant but never the master, and to never, ever, in this physical incarnation, be taken seriously, respected, and nor, God-forbid, revered.

I don’t want that for my future daughters.  I don’t want that for anyone’s daughter(s).  And I do not want what I see before me as the madness of today for me nor my sisters in Christ.

Because I know better.  And so do you.  And it’s time they knew, too.

It starts today.  Please join me.  We have a long, hard fight ahead of us, but our ancestors fought bigger fights, and some lost their lives in pursuit of victory.  We’re made of courageous material.  Tough stuff.  We have what it takes…we simply need fight back.

In my dream…in the not-so-far-away reality for which we only need to firmly grasp in our minds in order to manifest on earth, we are divine!  We are the chosen; the seat of femininity.  That reality has been stolen from us, but we’re here to reclaim it. 

Time to re-program our minds and change the perception of ourselves as individuals, sisters, lovers, mothers, children, and a species.

We are black women:  Resilient.  Divine.  Intuitive.  Stunning.  Captivating.  Curious.  Brilliant.  Striking.  Awe-Inspiring.  Leaders.  Mothers of Humanity. 

And we demand to be seen and heard for who we really are.