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~

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~

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*

 

 

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*

 

 

We’re Watching You: Media Advocacy for Black Women

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

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

Hello sisters,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s on.

PositiveProp~

*meow*

Calling all C.A.T.S.!

Featured

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.