Black Women & Girls: More Than Gorgeous, Curly Hair ~

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Are So Much More Than Gorgeous Curly Hair ~

 

Hola, sistren!

I come to you now with a plea:

Can we tone down the zeal over our hair?  ;-)

No, really. 

I mean, I get it.  I soooo get #naturalhair.  I’m natural…have been for the majority of my highly eventful life.

I also must show appreciation where required and add that my mother provided the positive legacy of natural-hair-living to her daughters, who, after many (count ‘em, four each) bouts with chemically-induced textures, along with ever-changing lifestyles, imagination and imagery, bad decisions, master hair magicians, trickery, advice from countless, lively blogs, trial, error, and the requiste detours of big chops, fried locks, cooked, baked, crispy, and shaped, both, haggardly yet finally returned to “NO CHEMICALS ON OUR HAIR (not even color), EVER, and feel comfortable saying we both appreciate mom’s heads-up provided since birth.  Thanks, Mom.  :-)

Not sure how she knew.  I guess holding firm to her roots and the way she and all of her sisters grew up in the country of Lousiana, where pigtails and braids ruled the extremely warm summer days and nights, virgin hair was where it was! 

So, I get it.  My hair has been super long, super short, somewhere in the middle, straight, wavy, kinky, curly, balayage, blunt, razored, tinted, and rinsed.  I’ve personally grown and lost (to only regrow again), THREE whole heads of hair in my short 30-something years, and am currently in a new growth cycle after surgery, so trust me when I say I’m not hating.  I.  know.

I could, have, and will again, write a small pamphlet on how to grow hair long and strong, for all races, but I don’t talk about it much unless asked.

You know what I DO talk about; a lot? 

THE WELFARE AND HOLISTIC WELL-BEING OF BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS.

That’s it. 

Eleven words.

It’s what runs me; what gives me that “zing.”  What helps me wake up in the morning.

It’s my pleahsuh!! *in my “Friday” voice*  ;-)

I love to talk about how great we are, and how we can be even better!

Let’s talk about heart health.  Mental health.  Emotional and spiritual health.  Nutritional and physical health and well-being, and let’s investigate how we’re currently (and can improve) mama-cat guarding our young girls…our kittens…to ensure they have a future worth living and can pass the baton to future generations.

Speaking of generations, do you know the Native American saying that what we do today affects seven generations of our people Sustainability.  lt’s all about sustainable living – sustainable being, breathing, and thriving (thus the swell of eco-friendly products living under the banner of “Seventh Generation or “7th Generation”)!

We must, and those of us who can, HAVE TO share the knowledge of our individual capacity to shine and connect for the benefit of all.  It’s our duty in this lifetime.

Did you also know, from a Black history standpoint, that we are in the fourth generation (that golden ”4″…I’ll break that down in another post, just for you) of enslaved Africans evolving out of the curse of slavery, and are the first to develop new foundations for wealth, current and future economic prosperity, and can both consistently and economically nurture those that both create and record the rich oral history that unceasingly binds us together as a people, our storytellers?  That’s a (responsibility-laden) gift, but as Peter Parker’s grandpa said…  ;-)

And as women, too…whew, I mean, say it again…as WOMEN, on top of all of that rich inheritance, we have supreme power in 360 full degrees, so why focus on only 10 percent…our hair?!

I’m perplexed.  Our next meme is gonna be a pic of ‘Hope the Cat’ slightly perplexed, ’cause we need to find those answers and make it happen, but it ‘ain’t gonna happen by worrying about ONLY our beauty.  We have to dig deeper.

If I hear one more skin color or hair-grade comparison for either gender, or witness any more jaw-dropping verbal or physical black-on-black crime, I’m going to lose it…and as you can so far tell, I barely have it!   As my mother also said more often that not:  “stop it; just stop it!”   LOL! 

And let’s please come together, sisters.  Outside of what we do to ourselves internally as a community, we could do so much better if we stopped all hair wars (naturals v. straights, weaves v. braids, bald v. shaved, thick v. skinny…wait…I went too far…  ;-)), and focused on joining forces against all enemies, we’d be in a stronger, truly impenetrable position on the planet, and as a people!  It’s harder to kill in a stampeding herd.  Never leave your girl to face a crowd alone.  Don’t mess with her after she calls her cousins!  Her family is no joke!! 

‘Yall feeling me? 

We need each other so much more than we can survive being torn apart.

Let’s let that pink water splash us in the face of reality, sisters, and awaken us to the need to congregate in order to get our story straight, so that we can then tell it and defend it by any peaceful means necessary!

Aren’t you ready to march for respect of black women and girls?   I am.

I see us all now, a flood of pink, black, and gold in the streets of the capitol, holding each other up and demanding that our men support, our artists listen and cooperate, our lovers protect, our children respect (and are respected), and that our futures and destinies are highly guarded and regarded.

In short, we have work to do, #sisters.

And if you wanna rock your freshest two-stand twist, your flyist box braids (maybe), your pin-curls, headdress, wash ‘n go, press ‘n curl, dippity do or God-knows-who, do you,  but support, love, desire, want more, demand more, love each other, love yourself, stop fighting, bickering, giving bad advice, telling lies, living in illusion, competing, and riding the train in the direction furthest AWAY from what we say we want for ourselves, including focusing and spending so much time, money, and attention on #hair!!

And put down the Moscato.  It’s a dessert wine anyway, and it’s silly and highly caloric to drink it all night starting sundown.  One or two glasses is ok, but after that it’s just a bad homage to a glorified song about stripping, which is neither lady-like nor pretty to glamourize.  Smooches.  ;-)

So, a little bitter with the sweet, but real.  Alll of the time. ;-)

Can you tell I’m on fire for the cause?  And so many others are too…so many of us who hear the clarion call for change…real, lasting, holistic, organic and timely change, that will touch lives beyond our capacity to envision.

Are you ready?  

Our site and movement is reaching one full year!  I admit, I must touch base more often.  How often is too much, how much too little?  As I recently heard, “you can’t start a revolution by meeting monthly” so I’ll post more.  ;-)  Today’s post was an exercise in following my weekly connection schedule, so kudos to me and high cat paws to all on that one!

I’m so in the pink flame for this, sisters!  I love you, and I want better for us all, as I know you do, too (along with all of our sis-supporters…you rock like EPMD!). 

First order on deck:  PositiveProp Pajama Parties coming to your area.  We need to converge, comfortably (maybe with woobies?) to get our feelings out and then develop and implement our ACTION STRATEGY.

We’re deciding whether to launch on the east coast or here in L.A., so stay tuned. Definitely more to say about the upcoming series next week.  Meow.

And one last thing:  if we’re gonna be obsessed with #hair, which we will to some degreee as humans and as women, let’s do it from the ownership standpoint, putting non-black haircare industries and vendors out of the game entirely and reinvest the loot into our own community. Done.

Until then, stay coiffed, but please do from a higher place, with a higher purpose, and with thoughts, words, and deeds of reunion, not division. 

Most imporantly, allow no division inside of yourself. 

Oooh…so deeepp!!  ;-)

Talk then,

Amie~

*  Whatchu say?:  @PositiveProp

 

WatchCatting: Bombshells Reign Supreme at CoverGirl~

We love CoverGirl

Janelle Monae_CoverGirl2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Grace Covers

See, sisters, told you we should keep an eye on Procter & Gamble (CoverGirl)!

Janelle Monae, CoverGirl 2012.

Stunning!

We love those who love us. 

*meow*

 

 

Chaste Is the New Black~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Are Proudly Chaste

Let’s talk about sex, sisters.  ;-)

I adore this picture so much!  It sat on my computer’s desktop for weeks after it was published, a captivating reminder of what I know to be true not just about Meagan Good, but of all black women and girls…

…the fact that we are worth the wait! 

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the lovely Mrs. Good (now, Franklin), refrained from intercourse with her then-fiance’ until the night of their wedding.  The couple dated for well over a year prior to the night she revealed the crown jewels.

When the news broke of their sacred agreement, the internets and blogosphere went bananas!  Folk just simply couldn’t fathom a young couple (a young black couple at that) voluntarily eschewing premarital sex; it was like they stepped out of a Victorian novel or something!

And shockingly, a good number of the incredulous comments came from other sisters!  “How can she make him wait like that!” they cried.  “Good for her, but I sho couldn’t do it!” they laughed.

I giggled along with the crowd, knowing that at times celibacy can be a struggle.  But deep inside, and later very publicly on message boards, I cheered for my sister Meagan, feeling a wee bit closer to the “friend-in-my-head” because we shared similar values, and, like me, she wasn’t afraid to speak up about them.  If only chastity was more popular, I wished.

Well, I’m here to pop out of the closet of celibacy and proclaim that chaste living probably is quite popular, and if not, it both should and can be.

Sisters, I’m here to proclaim that chaste is the new black!  *raises fist*  ;-)

Loved ones, we hold SO much power in our sexual centers.  It’s where we experience pleasure, where we bond, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually, with the one whom we adore.  It’s the center from which we create new life!  There is nothing more powerful than that capability.

We hold and own that power, yet some of us have wantonly given it away as if it were nothing more than a simple exchange for a steak dinner, or a well-worn toy. 

Now, I understand the various reasons behind not being able to own ones’ feminine power through chastity.  Whether its low self-esteem, a history of trauma, mental illness, or drug abuse, sometimes poor choices are made.  But I’m here to say that no matter the mistakes of your past, any day can be a new day to reclaim your feminine, sexual power, and refrain from giving away what should be EARNED.

It’s also my belief that in this day and age, this power – our GIFT – should only be given to the man who falls to one knee and pledges to love and care for us forever (and ever, and ever, amen). 

To keep it very real, there’s just simply too much risk to being sexually generous these days, especially for black women.  In 2009 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), reported that “black women accounted for 30% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks,” and most recently it was reported that “39.2% of black Americans have genital herpes (48% of black women!).”  We simply have to keep ourselves safe, sisters; for ourselves and the for the sake of our community.

Equally as important to physical safety is emotional, spiritual, and psychological safety.  Did you know that every time a woman experiences an orgasm, she releases what’s called oxytocin from her bloodstream, which is a biological chemical that emotionally bonds a woman to her sexual partner?  It’s a STRONG chemical, sisters…equal to any man-made drug, and can literally have you strung-out on a man (men) that simply are not worth your time and emotional energy! Do we really want to be lookin’ for Tyrone in the daylight with a flashlight when we aren’t even sure if we like Tyrone, but can’t help it ’cause we let him in the candy jar?  We need to keep our goodies away from Tyrone, and his cronies!  :-)

Lastly, ladies, we are just too gosh darn worthy of being courted in long-lasting, real ways than to give up our sacred bodies to any man who whispers sweet nothings in our ears and let’s us choose from the “good” side of the menu.  We deserve and NEED to engage in long, intimate conversations with our suitors; get to know them, as best as one human can know another.  See them in all four seasons, rain or shine, good times and bad, anger and sadness, before we bond on that deep of a level.  And we need to know that they will be with us come good times or bad, and let them not just tell us, but show us, and show us repeatedly.  We need to TRUST the man we gift with our chastity…our feminine power.

Take a look at the picture above of our sister Meagan and her new hubby once again.  THAT’s the look of a woman who knows she has been, and will continue to be, well cared-for, honored, and respected.  I love how they were both listening intently to the speaker at their wedding…someone who was probably imparting wise words of marital counsel and wisdom as the couple prepared to embark on their journey together.  And I bet your bottom dollar that the wisdom shared had nothing to do with “puttin’ it on him” or “lovin’ her body right…all night…’til the morning light.”  It’s not about sex, sisters.  Real, true, lasting love is more than that, and can exist with or without sex.  Let sex be the icing on the cake, not the bowl and the batter.

And in the end, you don’t want someone who “liked it so much he put a ring on it.”  Not only is that crass, tacky, and WRONG, the phrase and act that it describes devalues the woman while praising her vagina, and NO ONE marries a vagina – they marry a WOMAN.  And dear sisters, we are women; Conscious, Actualized, Trustworthy women (C.A.T.S…and cherished kittens on their way to being C.A.T.S.) whose lady parts, while important, are not the measure of our worth.

At the end of the day, you best believe it is something much deeper than good sex that will keep our sister Meagan, and many of our sisters out there, happily and lovingly dating, engaged, and married.  And if you don’t believe me when I say that chaste is the new black, check out a recent post from one of our men-folk over at the popular blog Single Black Male:  They don’t want us throwing our pearls at them either! http://madamenoire.com/188327/single-black-male-stop-giving-up-the-cookies-ladies-men-will-wait-for-sex/

So ladies, let’s join hands and agree with C.A.T sister Meagan that we will hold ourselves in high esteem, carry ourselves with poise and dignity, and keep our legs closed until our hearts are fully open and the ring is firmly on the finger (post-nuptuals).  And if you can’t wait that long (though it won’t kill you…I promise), let’s at least wait until we’re fully monogamous with our partners, in a committed, loving, trustworthy relationship.

There is nothing worth the price of our bodies, our health, or giving up our feminine power.

Chaste IS the new black.

Meow,

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~

WatchCatting: Paw-Bumps to P&G!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  YES, Our Black IS Beautiful & Our Money is Long!

Well hello, Sisters (and sis-supporters)!

Have you heard (or seen)? 

Amid all of the whack and inaccurate portrayals of us in commercial advertising (neck rolling grannies, no-money having sistahs, rapping fast food eaters, etc, etc, etc), there are a few corporations that care about our needs as black women, and who take pains to ensure we’re accurately represented.  *wee!*

Considering that black buying power is “projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015″ (per The State of the African-American Consumer Report, released in Q4 of 2011), it clearly behooves corporations to pay attention to our needs and portray us more positively and accurately in their advertising.

To that end, we as black-women-consumers need to hiss loudly at those who overstep their advertising boundaries, and promote and uplift those who wish to maintain a positive relationship with us.

And since we love to highlight all-things-good on this site, It’s time to give a paw-bump (that’s a fist-bump, C.A.T. style) to Proctor & Gamble (P&G)!

P&G has been around since 1837, and is currently a billion-dollar brand with ownership of some of our most beloved (and quality) products, such as Tide, Always, Secret, Olay, Crest, Tampax, and CoverGirl (don’t you love those “easy-breezy” adds with Queen Latifah?!).

In taking a quick view of their company’s site, their mission statement includes their committment to diversity, which we at Positive Propaganda LOVE to see:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
    “Diversity of ideas, experiences, race and gender are vital to P&G’s ability to touch and improve the lives of consumers around the world. The practice of inclusion ensures that this diversity isn’t merely represented, but is integral to the way we compete and win every day.”

But most imporantly, P&G walks their talk, and has blown this sister C.A.T. away with the creation of “My Black is Beautiful”, a movement devoted specifically to women of color, and black women, specifically!

While the campaign has been in existence since 2008, we here at the site are just now hearing about it, and want to make sure all of our sisters are in the know so we can actively support brands who support us.

Check out what P&G has to say about this awesome campaign:

“Our extraordinary initiative, My Black Is Beautiful, celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American women and nurtures black self-esteem. The movement encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard — one that is an authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit.

Recognizing that beauty and self-confidence are intrinsically linked, My Black Is Beautiful Is designed to ignite black pride and to support a sustained national conversation by, for and about black women — the way we are reflected in popular culture and how we serve as the catalyst for a movement that effects positive change.”

Now THAT’S what’s up! 

I knew I loved Olay, Always, Tampax, and CoverGirl for a reason!  LOL! 

Be sure to patronize brands such as those under the P&G umbrella, and become a part of the My Black is Beautiful movement:  http://www.myblackisbeautiful.com

And also, feel free to share with the C.A.T.S. community and sisters everywhere the names and brands of advertisers and corporations that are getting it right! 

Money talks, so let’s love those who love us.

Happy shopping, and meow,

PositiveProp~

Listening To Our “God Voice”

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Intuitive

Good morning, sisters!

And it is.  :-)

A lot’s been going on in black America lately with the rise of negative media images such as those seen on VH1′s “Basketball Wives” (I’ll post on that soon…need to spin someting positive out of that atrocity.  Pray for us, ya’ll.  Pray), but as is the mission of this site, we’re choosing to continue focusing on the light, bright, and right. 

Which brings us to today’s timely post:  listening to, and using, our intuition.

Do you recognize the sistah at the top of this page?  She’s an American hero in my book, and I’m sure in the books of many.  Her name is Lisa Campbell, the woman whose faithful use of her intuition led to the arrest of kidnapper and convicted rapist Phillip Garrido in 2009. 

Phillip and his wife heinously kidnapped young Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and held her prisoner in the backyard of their Antioch, California home for 18 years.  Jaycee was impregnated with two girls during this traumatic time.  One can only imagine the horrors Jaycee and her children had to endure while being held captive for nearly two decades.

Lisa was working as a special events coordinator with the University of California, Berkeley police department on the fateful day that Garrido walked in with two young girls in tow.  While neither Garrido nor the two girls displayed behavior in Lisa’s office that was out of the norm, it was, acorrding to Lisa, the girls’ “nonverbal communication” that triggered a cause for alarm. 

The next day Garrido returned with the two girls and Campbell sprung into action.  She quickly alerted office-mate and police officer, Ally Jacobs:  ”This guy in my office…he’s got these two young girls…something’s not right.”

And the rest is American history.

A feeling; a whisper.  It’s routinely called intuition.  I call it our God Voice.

It’s my belief that this voice resides within the souls of black women to a great degree.  We KNOW things.  We sense them.  It’s our God Voice that allowed us to stay alive during times of slavery and entrapment; that sustained us during some of the worst atrocities known to man. 

Harriett Tubman’s God Voice led her to strike out against captivity, and risk her life seeking freedom for both herself and hundreds of other slaves.  One white abolitonist once said of Tubman:  “She spoke of “consulting with God”, and trusted that He would keep her safe. I never met with any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken direct to her soul.”

What if Lisa Campbell hadn’t listened to her intuition that fateful day in 2009?  What if Harriett Tubman had been too afraid to trust her God Voice, and decided to stay “safe” on the plantation instead?  Sisters, our intuition is both our spiritual guide and our gift, and deserves to be routinely and strictly followed.

My intuition is amazingly strong – some might say I’m downright psychic – but I’ve many times more than I’d like to count not followed it out of habit, fear, laziness, or human willfulness.  And in every instance, unfortunate events occurred.

I’ve since learned to trust my God Voice.  I trust it now in the simplest of times:  like when a song comes on the radio denegrating women (you know the type), and my God Voice politely asks me to change the station or turn it off.  “You don’t need that in your spirit” it will whisper, and where I would once continue to bob my head and cry “Look Ma, no hands!”, I now take heed.  And you know what?  I feel lighter.  Lovelier.  Better about myself and my sisters.  Our God Voice loves us and wants the best for us.

In other times, my God Voice is louder; more insistent:  “Leave that man alone!” it will scream.  “Don’t go there with those people!”, it will say.  “Don’t take that trip!” it warns me.  And I listen.  Who knows if my life has been spared, or if I’ve avoided something as simple as an unpleasant experience…I’ve learned to listen, regardless of the predicted outcome.

God knows best.

Lately I’ve noticed my God Voice speaking to me in another way.  It’s saying:  “You’re so much greater than you know” and “You can be, do, and have ANYTHING you want!” (“Ask and ye shall receive”).  So many times we denigrate ourselves as black women.  We listen to popular culture that says we’re “lesser than” and “unattractive.”  That we’ll never find a mate, or that our black men have abandoned us for good. That our role in society is to neither be seen nor heard in postive ways.

I’ve since decided to no longer listen that THOSE voices.  I don’t know, nor do I trust, THEM.  But who I DO trust is God, and God – my creator, and to whom we will all return as the source of our lives – knows that I am beautiful and loved, wanted and appreciated, desired and deserving.  My gentle yet firm God Voice says that I AM that I AM and what I AM is a spark of genius..a piece of God itself in human form.

THAT’S who we are, sisters, and it’s high time we tune out the voices of others and seek the only one that matters as we enter the next evolution of our journey. 

We have a legacy to uphold.  Let us not squander the powerful gift provided to Lisa Campbell that helped save three lives and bring evil-doers to justice on that random day in 2009.  Let us not ignore the same voice that urged our sister Harriet Tubman to reach for a reality of freedom far beyond her imagination and circumstances.  I truly believe that none of us would be here today if our courageous ancestors had not followed their God Voices to safety, in one way or another. 

How are you using your God Voice today, and every day?  Are you using it to catch your man in a lie (we’re good at that!)?  How about taking that same energy and power, and asking your God Voice to lead you to a healthy realtionship with someone trustworthy and emotionally safe?  Or are you not using it at all?  Are you at a place in your life where you’ve been so beaten down and discouraged by others and difficult circumstances that  you’ve completely shut down and turned off your God Voice?  If so, know that it will never leave you and is simply waiting for your attention and obedience.  God is faithful, and will never leave you in life’s wilderness.  Ask God to reveal your next steps through your own personal intuition…your individual, unique God Voice…and then take action on the guidance you receive.

Who knows…the life you save, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally, could be your own. 

Or heck, mine, ’cause as sisters you’ve got my back, right?  ;-)

With love,

PositiveProp

meow~

Black Love: Struggling, But ALIVE!

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are LOVED

Don’t let the media fool you…black women are, and can be, truly loved.  Black love DOES EXIST.  Do we have work to do as a people to reclaim purity, safety, and holistic health in our romantic relationships?  Yes.  Do we see examples of black relationships that are anything but gentle and loving, both in our communities and on our television screens?  Unfortunately, yes.  But black love is not, I repeat, NOT a striped unicorn of a scenario; IT EXISTS!

The picture of Barack and Michelle above touched me beyond measure when it found me (yes, it found me) today. ;-)   The image speaks profoundly to our current state of affairs as black people, and what we need to see more often in our relationships.  The desolate, semi-dilapidated background is likened to the hostile, chaotic, and cold world we as black women sometimes inhabit. The colors, stark, bleak, black and white with hints of gray, are strikingly similar to our wounded feminine souls that we must work to heal on a daily basis.  Yet, in the midst of chaos and darkness stand two united as one; he with a furrowed brow and protective embrace, pondering how to plot a course of safety, comfort, and success for his loved one and their union.  She with a contented, confident smile of one who knows she’s in good, safe, capable hands – no worry in her world – her man’s ‘got this.’  THAT’S black love at its finest.

Some say, “yeah, but that’s only one couple out of millions, and a famous couple at that – they’re different…better…practically nonexistent where I come from.”  Yes, this is true, but again, IT EXISTS.  Like a tiny plant on a lonely planet, if one exists, so can others.  They simply need to be developed, fed, and nurtured. 

I know I’m not alone in being aware of at least one black couple who are MONAGAMOUS (don’t let the lies fool you; monogamy in black marriage also exists, and is possible), loving, successful (or striving toward success) and united in spirit and in deed.  Black love is what saved us as a people in the days of slavery and during the Jim Crow era of segregation, as we sought to define ourselves in this new country and create havens of safety for ourselves and our offspring.  It existed once, and can continue to thrive – if we let it – if we demand it, and do not settle for anything less.

What’s happened in the last twenty to thirty years that now sees our men degrading black women in the media, in song, and through action?  When did ‘women of the night’ and strippers (the dancing wounded) become the image of black women hailed by our men who were sent here by God to love, keep, and protect us?  And why are we letting this happen?!  Are we not demanding more from our men?  When did simply having a child from a black man, but not feeling worthy of or insisting on his fidelity, commitment, protection, and unconditional love become the norm – the creation of the ill-fated and disrespected “baby mama”? We deserve more.  Black love demands more.

As many of you know, a lot of media attention was recently paid to our young black stars Rhianna and Chris Brown as they reunited in song after having engaged in a toxic, destructive, abusive relationship.  Reactions were mixed, with some feeling betrayed by Rhianna for returning to her abuser, and others cheering for a full reconciliation, pledging their hope for the success of “black love.”   I’m here to tell you today, sisters, that what those two poor souls are engaged in IS NOT LOVE, and is certainly not indicative of black love.  What that is is a dance of co-dependancy and addiction, fueled by substance abuse and the deadly pull of what’s termed “negative love” or trauma bonding (if you’re not familiar with the term “trauma bonding”, look it up when you get a chance; very insightful).  Two young kids, both from violent homes, who are unconsciously repeating the pattern they grew up witnessing:  daddy hits, mama stays, men abuse, women take it.  Again, that is NOT love, and we need to educate our people, especially our young girls (our kittens, if you will) to recognize and know the difference.

Also, today’s “urban” media isn’t doing much to help the case and cause for black love.  I’ve noticed the rising popularity of songs that depict violence against women, especially by our young rap & hip-hop stars.  A new song by “artist” (quotes purposefully inserted) Bei Meijor (with rapper J. Cole)  titled “Trouble” struck me the most.  Currently in heavy rotation on urban radio stations, the lead singer croons various directives and orders to his girlfriend (“I told you not to”), and then describes the resulting negative consequences for her disobedience (“It’s gon’ get you in trouble”). This song exemplifies the common, current mindset of our young black men in reference to how romantic relationships should be conducted, and it’s both shocking and startling.  View a sample of the lyrics below:

Yeah, invitations in the whirlwind
We both bad at it
Told myself no more hittin’ n-ggas girlfriends
Thats my old bad habit
Here you go, round that
Already know, what I’m staring at
I mean from top to bottom your body is problem so
Somebody better take care of that
And who
Better than, the n-gga let ‘em in
When your man aint home, you can let him in
Late night Letterman
I aint gon tat-a-tale
Damn your ass bad as hell
 
WHAT IS THIS?!  This is NOT BLACK LOVE!  This is abuse, misogyny and control, anything but love of the fairer sex.  And this, my sisters, is what our young black men are being taught in terms of how we should be treated.  And some of us are humming their tune, singing along, buying the albums, and “co-signing” on the toxic dogma.  It has to stop.

 

The responsibility to define, revive, and save black love is ours.  We can’t blame our men if we accept this type of treatment.  We must teach our young black girls (kittens) that this is not love; we must educate them on what real love is!  We must love and respect ourselves enough to know that we deserve emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual health and safety in our relationships.  And if we do not know what that means or looks like, then those of us who do, or who have seen REAL black love in action, MUST EDUCATE our sisters and our community on its existence. 

I didn’t grow up in a Cliff and Clair Huxtable world, but it was close enough.  It was close enough to know that my generation could achieve what the Huxtables represented, and perfect what my parents and ancestors began, through personal will, faith, and help from God.  And this, ladies, is our task – our charge.  We must become aware and educate, both each other, our men, and our entire community, on the reality and NEED for true black love in our lives. 

Our survival depends on it.

So, let me end this post with a few descriptions of what black love really is, and how to recognize it in action:

In black love, a man takes charge, follows through, and protects, provides, and presents for his woman.  He respects you, your family, your thoughts, and your opinions.  He is a man of his word, and is both honest and communicative.  He is chivalry in action:  he opens doors for you with a smile, pulls out your chair, walks on the outside of the curb, and holds doors open for you as you enter and exit.  He uses soft tones, NEVER YELLS OR CURSES AT YOU (even when angry) and does not touch you aggressively.  He make plans with you and asks your opinion – does not assume or control you nor situations you are in; you are a team.  He believes in God, or a power greater than himself.  He is humble and fun-loving, and smiles more than he frowns.  He knows how to control his emotions.  He is faithful and monogamous.  He is your biggest cheerleader, and is ALWAYS on your side.  He is your best friend.  And, more than anything, he makes you feel warm, safe, and comfortable:  where there is fear, there is no love; remember that.

There is so much more to say about black love, and about black women in love, but let’s begin here.  The qualities listed above may seem far fetched to some, and a fairy tale to others, but know that these are the base qualities that must be present in order to develop a strong, loving, secure relationship, and are not too much to ask.  We can do this; let’s demand it.   And remember, in millions of homes as we speak, it already exits.

With love,

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.