Death to “Bourgie”~

                                                                                                                                                  

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Unashamedly Aspire to be the BEST!

“She’s so bourgie!”  Who she think she is, with her bourgie self!”  Walkin’ around here actin’ all bourgie!”

We’ve heard all of these sayings before; comments thrown in the faces and behind the backs of black women and girls on a routine and regular basis.  And these comments are anything but nice, when said.  From the tone and the sound of the person hurling the word, one would think the target was a horrible, wretched person.  A fake.  A fraud.  A thief, perhaps, or someone to avoid at all costs.  Witnessing this verbal assault, one would certainly not wish to ever be (shudder)  “bourgie”. 

So, what exactly does it mean?

In the black community, and according to the urban dictionary (yes, there is such a thing…smh…) to be bourgie means “to be pretentious in matters of taste or dismissive of other tastes, in a manner that follows a particular middle class mode of thinking. Generally derogatory.” 

Another, slightly less disparaging definition of “bourgie” is “aspiring to be a higher class than one is. Derived from bourgeois – meaning middle/upper class.”

Ahh…we see.  But, some would say…that’s not so bad?  What’s wrong with wanting to launch oneself to a higher station in life than one was born, or in which one finds oneself?  What’s wrong with reaching for success?  What’s wrong with being the best…with aspiring toward greatness?

And to that, my dear sisters, we say NOTHING.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with these desires…as a matter of fact everything is RIGHT with wanting more, better, best, and all of the greatness that life can offer.

Which is why we believe it’s time to pledge DEATH to “bourgie.”

Dear sisters, we’ve been so historically, horrifically mistreated and misinformed.  From the times of slavery, we’ve been trained to not want nice things; to not embrace our femininity.  To not educate ourselves or our families.  To not believe we were soft, and beautiful, tender and deserving. 

It harkens to stories from the plantation where black women, our sisters of yon, were forced to wrap their heads in tattered rags to keep themselves from looking and feeling beautiful.  When the ears of our sisters were cut off and our bodies mutilated and mistreated for transgressions of wanting freedom and liberty.  When all manner of verbal abuse was spewed our way when, even after these atrocities, we dared to hold our heads high, our shoulders back, and walk with pride:  “That haughty niggra” they’d hiss; “Somebody needs to put that gal in her place!” 

Now, fast forward to present day.  Not much has changed, except now we’ve taken the role as our own slave-masters…keeping our own people down and “in our place” whenever we, especially black women, aim to reach higher and achieve better.  And we’ve made it even easier, by taking all of the hatred, jealousy, callousness, and evil of our oppressors and shortening it into one negative word:

Bourgie.

“Always walking with her nose in the air…ole bougie chick.”  “She think she cute…bourgie broad!”  “I can’t stand her bourgie a*s.”

The hate.  The misappropriated anger.  All hurled at black women and girls who’ve dared to step outside and beyond the small box of shame and low-self worth that we’ve been conditioned to believe, and have decided to reach for something higher and better.  To be somebody.

What’s wrong with wearing nice clothes, or fixing your hair in a lovely style, or adorning yourself in lovely jewels?  Nothing.  What’s wrong with wanting a good education, reading books, learning from life and others, and soaking up all that life has to offer?  Nothing.  Where is the harm in craving fresh, healthy food, exercising your body, asking for what you want, need, and deserve?  Not a darn thing!  And where’s the harm in seeking out the best of the best in every way you can, for you, your children, your friends, and the ones you love?  Nothing.  At.  All.

Sisters, this is not “bourgie.”  This is being aspirational. This is taking by the reigns the desires of God for your life, and claiming the gifts he’s placed at your feet.

How are we ever to climb as a people if we’re too afraid to reach for the sky?  What in God’s name is wrong with wanting to look, feel, and BE your very best?  Again, we say nothing.

You know what IS wrong?  Hurling insults hidden in urban slang such as the word “bourgie” to our fellow sisters and young girls every time we witness them striving to be their best.  Our young sisters (our kittens) grow up hearing and feeling the covert negativity that we attach to those climbing and aspiring to be their best, and instead of letting their little lights shine, they dim themselves and bushel their lights out of fear and shame, so as to be accepted by their community.  They don’t want to be “bourgie.”

This is wrong, and it needs to stop.

We are gorgeous, talented, divine, beautiful women of God!  We have so much to offer ourselves, our families, and our communities.  It’s the so-called “bourgie” set that helped Michelle Obama reach the White House, and who suit-up every day to fight the good fight in corporate America to represent OUR needs and well-being, ensuring we have a voice at the tables that run our lives.  And we don’t thank them enough.  We don’t want to be LIKE them enough.  We don’t aspire enough. 

Sisters, we have to watch our tongues and check ourselves when need be.  We have to support each other and our sisters who’re brave enough to plug their ears against those who’d like to keep black women down, and uplift those who strive every day to be their absolute best (in spite of). We have to encourage our young girls to hold their heads up high, to not be afraid to shine, and to be, do, and have all that their little hearts desire.  We have to truly show solidarity and real sisterhood in this way; it’s only then that the oppressive voices from the plantation are silenced, and we all truly rise above the horrors of the past.

So again, sisters, it’s time to kill the negativity toward ourselves and each other.  Let’s uplift each other the best way we can.  If you see a beautiful sister out in the world “doing her thing” and looking fabulous, even if you can’t compliment her, don’t disparage her with the label “bourgie.”  Stay silent, search your own heart and life, and promise yourself to be and do the same.  It’s in you to be great, too!  There’s room for all of us to shine.

And when you shine, we all shine.

Death to bourgie. 

Live an aspirational, inspirational, glamorous, gorgeous, fabulous, healthy life; out loud, and with no shame. 

You deserve it.

With love,

PositiveProp~

Freeing the Scapegoat~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Self-Define

Hello Sisters,

This post is near and dear to my heart, as the subject matter is personal on several levels. 

Have you heard of the term “scapegoat”?  Please allow me to provide a brief overview:

Classically defined, a scapegoat is “a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place”;  and ”one that bears the blame for others; one that is the object of irrational hostility.”  (Merriam-Webster).

In short-story form, in the days of old, villagers would take an innocent goat, parade it through the town, and project all of their sins, mis-deeds, lies, and tawdry secrets upon it. Afterward, they would ceremoniously lead the little goat into the wilderness and kill it, thereby absolving themselves of all things unclean and unlike God; the things they did not want to face about themselves.

This noun becomes a verb in the form of what’s termed “scapegoating”; the act of an individual or group performing the same activities described above to another individual or group, in an effort to absolve themselves of guilt, crime, sin, or wrong-doing; forcing the blame on the innocent.

Scapegoating in society was best summed up by Martiniquan psychiatrist, philosopher, and political activist, Frantz Fanon (1925–1961).  In his 1952 book titled “Black Skins, White Masks” Fanon wrote: 

“Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society–which is based on myths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement–will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.”

Fanon hit the proverbial nail on the head when he pointed out that black people in America bore the label of scapegoat, and still do to this day.  And as someone near and dear to me pointed out, what does a scapegoat do when mistreated and unfairly labeled?  They fight!  They rebel.  They become angry, and disgruntled…rambunctious and willful, in the attempt to shake off a label they never earned and that fits as comfortably as an itchy wool sweater in the heat of summer.

Does any of this sound familiar, dear sisters? 

It’s my hypothesis that in this day and age of supreme American narcissism, racism, classicism, and sexism, the newest scapegoat is not just black people, but black WOMEN. 

Why?  Because of our perceived vulnerability.  On the outside looking in, we’ve no one to protect us.  Our community appears irreparably divided (like no one “has our back”).  Our men appear to have abandoned us.  We’re an easy target. 

It just makes sense…the myriad articles recently penned by so-called professionals and specialists describing our perceived inferiority, our unattractiveness, castigating us as the “least desirable” of society.  What’s that about?!  And lately, the scapegoating tactics have become more subversive in the attempt to point a judgmental finger at black women, by presenting us in myriad forms of media as materialistic, uneducated, gold-digging, promiscuous savages, too wild and inappropriate to behave, function in, and contribute to society.  It’s not just entertainment, folks – it’s a full blown negative propaganda campaign.

I hear the protests now:  “but, we’re signing up for these shows/music videos/rap songs” you say, and “we do it to ourselves” you cry, and last but not least “but, there ARE some mad, ratchet, crazy, angry black women out there…lots of them!” you concede, and to that, I gently advise you to refer to the story of the scapegoat.  Again, if you’re constantly being told who you are not, what you cannot be, do and have, how you’re the least of a group, and the most unwanted, while knowing in stark contrast that you were born of God just as anyone else, and the only thing that makes you different is the color of your skin and the texture of your hair, WOULDN’T YOU FIGHT BACK TOO?

They’re LIES!  Wouldn’t you be angry if you were constantly lied to since birth?  Wouldn’t you be loud when out and about in a vain attempt to prove that you EXIST?  Wouldn’t you make every attempt known to man to make beautiful what you’re told is ugly by adorning yourself in the brightest, flashiest, most visible garb and jewelry available?  If you’re told your hair is the worst ever created, wouldn’t you buy it, trade it, sew it in, glue it down, fry it up, and slick it back, in an effort to fit in and be loved?  And lastly, if always on the bottom ledge of society, a few thousand dollars to episodically show off and show-out would be welcomed payment for both your pockets and your self esteem.

Yep, scapegoating, indeed (with a splash of exploitation). 

Now, since, per usual, we here at the site do not dwell on problems, but reveal them only to locate and provide solutions, we believe we’ve identified the way to stop this madness and redefine our roles in society, and in our own communities.

It’s time to free the scapegoat!

And how, you ask? 

We free the scapegoat by defining who we are, and placing value, emphasis, and worth on all of the beautiful, amazing, attributes we’ve been blessed to embody.  And we don’t just think it…we KNOW it, live it, walk it, talk it, and thrive as a result of our new perception of self.  We gently hammer it into our souls so deeply that nothing said or done by “them” can shake it.  We free the scapegoat.

Sisters, we have to define and re-define ourselves, for ourselves.  We cannot listen to the voices and projections of others to create our identity.  We cannot own what we’ve been told about ourselves if it’s anything less then positive and affirming, and we cannot live our lives reacting against lies.  Living in that fashion keeps us both trapped and enslaved by the thoughts and projections of others, and that is NOT the destiny prescribed by us by our creator.

We could fill this page and a thousand others with all of the amazing attributes that black women and girls possess (and we almost did, in the previous post titled “Who We Are” – check it out!), but the whole truth is that you, as an individual, must define yourself, for yourself.  YOU must take a powerful, silent inventory of all of the great things that make you, you, and firmly own all of the glorious attributes that you know, deep in your soul, God blessed you to be, do, and have.

And then you have to LIVE them, whether in cooperation with, or in contrast to, what and who surrounds you on a daily basis.  Let this quote guide you on your new journey of freedom and self-definition:

“Be committed to creating a soul-connected reality, building a new sense of self, connected to your inner core.”

Simply BE who you SAY you are!  Be tenacious.  Be unshakable.  Be demure, and graceful.  Be purposeful and loving, graceful and glamorous.  Be bold and self-assured.  Be confident and vocal. If you’re a star, BE a star!  If you’re fabulous, there’s no need to shout it to the rooftops and hammer it into the heads of others…”they” don’t matter.  Simply BE it.  You are all that you want to be, and all that God placed you here to be; you just have to reveal it to yourself and own it.  And if it helps to jump-start your self-identification process, start with knowing that in the eyes of your creator, you are simply PERFECT.  :-)

Free the scapegoat today, then after you become free, reach back and help free the minds of our other “trapped” sisters.  It’s our duty. 

I’ll see you in the pasture of self-identification and self-actualization, where the grass is indeed greener.  :-)

Love always,

PositiveProp~

Saving Ourselves: Healing Our Broken Hearts

 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*