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

 

Every Woman Needs a Woobie~

Woobies & the soft side~

Woobies & the soft side~

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women are Vulnerable~

OK…first of all I’m sitting here shocked and amazed that I’m writing this post, as it was not planned, but that’s how Spirit works.

MOVE! 

Lol!

So a sister C.A.T. has been feeling some sort of way, lately.  About life.

We’ve all been there.  It’s human.  It’s UNIVERSAL.  Yet it feels so deeply personal when the opportunity to FEEL finds you.

And we as black women have for so long run from this feeling of, well…feeling. 

The desire to let go…cry…talk…purge…giggle…laugh…and giggleandlaugh until you cry again.  And then smile.

We don’t give ourselves that “luxury” enough.  To receive that human need, enough.

Ish. hurts!!

Yeah, I said it!

Stuff happens in life that literally takes your breath away, and requires that you sit down and look it straight in the face.  And as black women, we do…more often that not, we do. 

But it’s what we don’t do enough of next that spawned this post:

We don’t STOP. 

We keep moving.  Trudging along, eyes straight ahead, being “the strong black woman” instead of doing what all of the softness of who we are REQUIRES of us - that we FEEL IT completely – walk to and through it, and heal it. 

By being soft and vulnerable, and quiet, so that afterward (and only afterward) we can smile.  And it’s over.  And we move forward to live another great experience on this spiral of life. all the sweet and the sour; sugar and mess.

We need this sisters. 

We need to let ourselves see ourselves…see REALITY…and act accordingly.  And I’ve found the best way to assist in this effort is

*drum roll*

The Woobie.

:-)

You can see one of my current woobies peeking out in the pic above (and “Hi”, C.A.T. sisters!  *waving* )  ;-)

My woobie has been through it:  good times, bad times, stains, rips, triumphs, failures, extasy and agony.  You betcha. 

Every.  woman.  needs.  a woobie.

What’s your favorite woobie?  Are they friendships?  Girlfriends? (they make the BEST woobies), your grandmother, or your mom?  Is it your puppy or your *le gasp* cat or kitten? 

Is it texting that ladyfriend whom you know will say just. the right. thing. at just. the right. time. to make it all better, and who you know knows you down to your socks and a peek of your soul?

Tell them.  Let it out! 

Is it your journal?  I also write when I’m walking through a challenge, and recently forgot about that as a passion and a release.

And then I picked up my journal (I have all of my journals…I love journaling), grabbed my favorite pen, and let it all out.  And cried.  And laughed.  Then I danced.  A lot!  And I moved on.

Onward, with a smile.

And then you can walk the land knowing and inhabitating that, as my friend Dominique strikingly said to me one day:  “wearing your heart on your sleeve doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger.”

Dope, and so true.  Our strength is in our sensitivity, and the ability (and the responsibility)for feeling and then fully and completely acknolwledging our feelings.

But back to woobies.  So soft.  Let’s not be afraid to be soft.  We’re WOMEN…we were created to be soft.  As I said before, ish hurts, and we feel it, but it’s the feeling part that can be the challenge, sisters (or am I out here alone “on the skinny branches” by saying that?).

I love soft things, sisters…I’m very tactile (like a cat…ha!).  I’ve recently learned to honor how much I love soft fabrics and soothing colors…blues, and soft greens and pale yellows…and cotton!  Heck, if my ancestors tended it, I’m gonna celebrate it, goshdarnit!  LOL!

Seriously, though, I love soft fabrics such as cotton and other natural textiles, and will cozy-up when need be to let the other stuff out.  And I try to make my everyday surroundings cushion me in softness and gentle luxury, ’cause I’m sensitive, darn it!

And I’m also learning to honor my sensitivity in all of my choices as well, such as who to hang around, who to let in (and stay in) my space, who to keep walking away from and for whom to give the swift & dusty boot. 

And I’m finding that the more I pay attention to the things, especially the small things, that I love, deserve, want, and need, it makes all the difference in the world.

And, a wonderful dish of whipped cream on the side, my world responds as if it’s so.

So, just from writing this, I’ve discovered that my woobies are actually, in this particular order:  my God, my angels and guides, my God voice, my blanket/cotton, my joys and wants, my family of friends and lovers, and my fur-children (past, present, and future).  Then the world, then the Universe, and back to God.

Works for me.

So, let yourselves be comforted, and live sensitively and strongly.  Sisters, we aren’t just one “strong” thing…we’re a cornucopia of ingredients that make a the pies of our lives.  Strong, sweet, soft, pink,  brown, tan, cocoa, gentile, warm, delightful, black women, sisters of Eve, Cleo’s daughters…onward and onward, and onward and upward.

Enjoy all of it, and embrace it.  Feel the other stuff, then it go.  And this includes how others think of you, speak of you, and perceive you, unless you’re hurting others and/or not being yourself, but that’s another post.  ;-)

So, this is me.  Raw.  I’m Amie, and I’m sensitively strong.  And I need a woobie every now and then.  ;-)

Know that when we talk again, I either will have just completed a kit-katting session with my girls (and/or certain homies), cried, laughed, cat-napped, become incensed, or rallied for a cause in my glasses, on my couch, with my cotton blanket woobie, and that’s OK.

We’re ok being vulnerable.  You don’t have to cover up truth, or stuff it down, or hide it, or drown it, or cloud it out, or disconnect from it, or lie about it, or stay in denial over it, or in the end have to memorize it to get your story straight…it just IS the truth.  You are.  We are.  This is how we were created, and we’re tapping into our biological inheritance to stay soft and gentle. 

Get in there and break down, sisters.  And come out refreshed.  Call in the help of your personal woobie, and step back into the spiral anew and ready for next, whatever it may be.  And we all win:  you feel better and wiser, those around you are spared your bottled-up, stopped-up wrath, and you get to remain, among many other wonderful things, soft and cuddly to all outside others, including your man.  ‘Cause you know our men who love us adore our soft sides!  *Shout out to our sis-supporters!*

So, I hope you found this helpful.  You’re not alone.  I truly do have your back, and I feel and know that you’re starting to have mine.

We’re coming quite the way.  And with our cat “Hope” (her name is Hope, like, for real) steady mascotting her way into the Community Mascot Hall of Fame, we’re ready.

I SO look forward to getting to know all of you, and you getting to know me more and better (as I continue to get to know myself…and ride the wave), and stay tuned for more sensitively strong posts and products down the line for our growing community.

I love my sisters!

A soft meow,

Amie~

*and whenever I post as ”We” I mean me and Hope; ’cause we ride hard.  :-)

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~

 

 

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~

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*

 

 

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*