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

 

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~

 

 

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*