Saving Ourselves: Healing Our Broken Hearts

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 Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Resilient

 

Good morning, sisters!

It’s been a rough week for many of us.  We lost a sister.  A beautiful, talented, magnanimous, brilliant star of a sister. 

I loved Whitney Houston; always will.  I remember dancing around my blue and white bedroom, listening to “How Will I Know” over, and over, and over again.  I’d close my eyes and pretend to be the super-slim Whitney in a silver party dress with a Madonna-esque bow in my hair.  I’d visualize the little guy I had the giant crush on in school knocking on my door, giving me flowers, and saying “I like you too, Amie!”  Whitney’s buoyance and effectious spirit made me believe that I could have everything I wanted; that the world was mine for the taking.  *In a later post I’ll recount how during that same visualization to Whitney’s music my young paramour, though we’d never spoken before, DID INDEED show up at my door (on his bike), proclaiming the giant crush he’d had on me; a true testiment to the power of visualization and belief, and a lesson that Whitney accompanied.  Powerful stuff.

It appeared Whitney had everything:  talent, superstardom, a loving family, riches beyond measure, and wordly power and admiration.  Yet, as we witnessed her descent into the dark world of substance abuse, self-destruction, and unhealthy relationships, we began to understand that what we thought was the reality of her life was just an illusion.  In reality, like so many of us as black women, our sister was suffering.  Our sister was in pain.

This week illuminated much for me, and for all of us, I’m certain.  It shed a bright light on what I’ve known deep inside since the advent of my adulthood.  Black women are hurting.  Our hearts have been broken.  Such is why I felt led to create this site.  Yes, it’s important to highlight the injustices that the outside world perpetrates on us on a daily basis.  Yes, we should remain conscious and aware of the ways in which we’re being mistreated, maligned, disrespected, and abused, so that it can end, and end expeditiously.  But more important than anything, it’s important for us to identify the ways in which we’ve hurt ourselves or allowed ourselves to be hurt, own our pain, take responsibility for our spiritual and emotional injuries, reclaim our power, and heal ourselves, both individually and collectively.

We’ve been through so much as black women.  Slavery; injustice; witnessing the forced separation of our family core; the desecration of the sanctity of black marriage; the emasculation of our black men – the leaders of our homes and our earthly protectors – and their subsequent betrayal…their abandonment…in the time(s) of our greatest emotional need.

We’ve been stripped of our femininity in the public eye, and left with distorted representations of what it means to be a woman; left with lies and untruths; left to fend for ourselves in a world that daily reinforces our lack of value and power; left alone to combat forces that were created solely to destroy us.  And in that struggle, some of us let go.  Some of us succumbed to the lies, and anger, the sadness, and the ILLUSION.  We lost sight of the truth; lost faith, hope, and spiritual guidance.  We turned against each other (“she’s ratchet”) instead of leaning into each other for peace and solace.  We let ourselves be devoured, from the inside out.

Whitney was in pain.  Psychic pain.  Spiritual pain.  With all of the treasures of the world at her feet, she could not see the treasure of her own being – the ultimate truth – that she was an angel on earth.  God blessed her with the voice of the highest realm, and a gift of both inner and outer beauty to touch and influence the world, yet her pain was too great to overcome the illusion of separation and she floated away on a river of lies and destruction.

Why couldn’t we save her?  Why couldn’t she save herself?

Because lies and illusions can be powerful.  They present themselves as the truth; as reality; but they are indeed lies.  Sisters, we ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE.  It’s not about the length of our hair, or the form of our physical bodies.  It’s not about what we wear, or the hue of our skin, or the money in our bank accounts.  It’s not about the man in our bed, or the number of voice mails on our machines.  It’s about WHO GOD BROUGHT US HERE TO BE, and how well we can use that gift to serve others.  It’s about our ability to support each other, rally around each other, and HEAL EACH OTHER.  It’s about seeing the truth behind the veil of separation, and staying the course toward the mark of the high calling.  And though the temptations to turn us away may be great, it’s about knowing the purpose behind our presence, and that we have work to do of the highest caliber.

We have to save ourselves, then we have to save each other.  But, it all starts with you, where you are, making a vow to change yourself from the inside out.

Begin today by affirming your beauty.  Begin by looking yourself squarely in the mirror and telling yourself that you are worthy, you are loved, and you are divine.  That though the world may at times show you differently, you are of value, are needed, are loved, and are on purpose! 

You may not feel that way today, but start where you are.  You don’t have to come to this table of growth, perfect.  I am flawed; greatly flawed.  There are days when I can be my own worst enemy, and can both talk to myself and treat myself worse than anyone outside of me ever could.  But I’m taking pains to end that negative practice.  It starts with me.  I’m taking responsiblity for saving myself; for healing my broken heart.  And I’d love for you to join me.

So today, if you are treating yourself unkindly, if you are allowing yourself to be mistreated, if you are listening to media that dis-empowers you and leaves you depleted and dishonered, if you are in an abusive relationship or abusing yourself with drugs, alcohol, food, substances, or anything that is destructive to who you are as a child of God, STOP, TODAY.  Stop, because you are more than your body, more than your broken heart.  You deserve the best, because YOU ARE HERE.  Stop because you are loved, and if you can’t find the love yet inside to empower yourself, know that GOD LOVES YOU, I LOVE YOU, AND YOUR SISTERS LOVE YOU. 

We can get through this, and emerge on the other side more powerful and abundant than ever.  Let’s do it for ourselves, let’s do it for every sister who needs to wake up and see the divine light inside of herself, and let’s do it for the little sisters looking up to us, as we did Whitney, and let them know that IT’S OK.  We are more than conquerors, and will reclaim who we were brought here to be.

If you need support today, feel free to reach out.  I’m praying for you, for your situation, and for the healing of your heart.  We’re strong enough to do this.  Let’s begin healing today.

With love,

Your sister,

 Amie

*meow*

 

 

We’re Watching You: Media Advocacy for Black Women

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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.!

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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.

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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.