Beyond Black & White » Here the Words http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:41:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Shocking: Do We Support Child Brides Or Child Sexual Abuse? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/do-we-support-child-sexual-brides-or-child-abuse/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/do-we-support-child-sexual-brides-or-child-abuse/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 04:32:38 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=29295 Many in the world were horrified to hear of an 8 year old Yemeni bride named Rawan who died on her wedding night.  The poor little baby’s body was abused to the point of internal bleeding that caused her death.  That was too much for most of us to imagine as we look around at our […]

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Afghan Child Bride

Many in the world were horrified to hear of an 8 year old Yemeni bride named Rawan who died on her wedding night.  The poor little baby’s body was abused to the point of internal bleeding that caused her death.  That was too much for most of us to imagine as we look around at our own daughters this age, or nieces or students.  People tend to shy away from what is considered customs by some countries and not criticize them but people were outraged to hear of little Rawan.  There are other examples of child brides and laws surrounding the practice in some countries like the recent law proposed in Iraq to allow girls as young as 8 to seek a divorce.  So if you are married off at 5, you would have to wait until you are 8 to seek a divorce?

When I look at the abuses that girls in our own communities sometimes even younger than 8, I don’t see this much outrage.  These child marriage laws in other countries are smoke and mirrors for child sexual abuse.  The poor dears are left without protection from even their own mothers.  But here at home in the good old US of A, little black girls are not protected either.  No, we are not marrying them off at 8 years old, but some of them are being impregnated anyway.  There is no law to hide behind, these girls are prey for degenerates, child molesters and rapists.  Some times it is by a family member, sometimes by a mother’s new shack up honey or even stranger.  Thankfully child rape is a crime, so we can still be shocked when a young girl is impregnated.  It makes the news but her identity is protected due to her minor age.  Well, what about the psychological and emotional effects of rape to a girl who is nine, ten or eleven years older than her own child?  We can read story after story after story where a child experiences this tragedy and trauma.  Girls this young are still playing with dolls but unfortunately they are forced to skip several years of development.  They are robbed of their innocence on so many levels.  Many because they are not properly supervised or protected are inevitably raped at the first opportunity a subhuman creature gets.  Ironically sometimes the fathers are friends of the girls who were just experimenting, but an eight, nine, ten, eleven or twelve year old who is supervised properly will not usually have to worry about becoming pregnant.  child bride

I remember in 1979, a 10 year old gave birth to twins.  She was the neighbor of some of my class mates.  The entire country heard about the twin births and it kind of put Indianapolis on the map.  I understood the father was 12 but I did not know the child personally and her identity was protected so I will not mention her name here.  But she is only ten years older than her babies.  That is not right!  Although children experimenting resulted in pregnancy, most of the times these pregnancies were the result of rape.

So are we any better than countries that allow child marriage or child sexual abuse under the guise of some law?  In some instances the practice is outlawed, but those in rural areas will defy the laws and marry off their young daughter to men 2, 3 and 4 times their age.  The younger they are, the more likelihood the girl will be a virgin.  This was not uncommon in the rural south with black families as I know of one child bride in my own family.  One less mouth to feed can play a big part in girls being married off so soon.

child bride 2

In regards to the unmarried, of course this happens to girls of all races and no one has the market on abuse, but it does seem that much of those child pregnancies are occurring in the black community.  Truth be told, there was a time when no one looked twice at a girl as young as 11 was pregnant.  As a matter of fact, some were married.  So some of our communities found child marriage acceptable and therefore in line with similarly practicing cultures or religions around the globe.

I found these stories on archived copies of Jet Magazine.  In the 1950s Jet Magazine did not shield child identities and showed their faces and gave their names.  Consider the following three news clips of the day.   Heartbreaking stories of these poor girls, just heartbreaking.  As disgusting as child marriage is regardless of the culture, we have no room to talk as a Nation when our young girls are still suffering child sexual abuse.  One case is one too many.

 

Della Mae Barnes 11 year old Un Wed mother Jet - M arch 18, 1954

Della Mae Barnes 11 year old Un Wed Mother Jet – M arch 18, 1954 p.19

 

11 year old wife

Eleven Year Old Wife Gives Birth.  Jet Magazine Feb 20, 1958 p. 17

 

11 year old teen mom

Eleven Year Old Mom Teen Father Denies Him – Jet Magazine Nov 29, 1962 p. 20-27. 

 

 

 Listing of Youngest birth mothers around the globe.

This listing is very disturbing, one of the worst is the disabled child pimped out by her mother and she was condemned to death by Iranian law.

Story

Story

Story

 

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What’s In A Name? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/whats-name/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/whats-name/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 04:48:24 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28760 From time to time we discuss names black Americans give their children.  I have seen some pretty outlandish names encroached upon innocent children black and white alike who have to grow up and live in this society.  Some names subject children to endless bullying.  Having survived childhood teasing and possible bullying there is employment to consider.  It is […]

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From time to time we discuss names black Americans give their children.  I have seen some pretty outlandish names encroached upon innocent children black and white alike who have to grow up and live in this society.  Some names subject children to endless bullying.  Having survived childhood teasing and possible bullying there is employment to consider.  It is indeed unfortunate, but some names will net resumes right into the trash can.  In the case of black Americans it seems unfair, but this another one of these near unprovable discrimination cases.  How can you prove it?  Some of these names have become known as “ghetto” which is attached to a large stigma.  One may envision a negative stereotype from a name and determine that they will pass on that person not giving them a chance.  Of course people still get jobs, but it may possibly take longer with a perceived ghetto name.  Or one may be passed over for a job they really want just because his or her mother wanted an exotic sounding or unique name.  No one will argue that some outlandish names cause even the best of us to prejudge.  But does come down to personal choice good or bad.

A story came out last year about a woman who regretted giving her daughter a ghetto name.  She had grown up and suddenly realized her decision as a seventeen year old was not wise.  Then there was the case of a child support magistrate who overstepped her authority and renamed a child in his best interest.  I agreed with the magistrate’s reason for doing so, but it simply was not her call.  That magistrate was fired some time later with strong speculation that the firing was related to that name changing case which was reversed.  The name in question was “Messiah” that the magistrate decided to change to Martin, the mother’s last name — though well intentioned, it was not her call.

In this day and age, we have discussed this issue enough to know that it is still an issue.  We need think about the ramifications of the names we give our children.  I am all for creativity, but we need to at least be able to spell a name with letters found in the alphabet.  And most people need to be able to pronounce said name.  It again does come down to personal choice, right or wrong, good or bad.  But the child’s future should be considered.

I found this video of KevOnStage, a local up and coming comedian.  He sums up a serious debate quite hilariously.

A little more serious, but he is right in my opinion.

Source

Source

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Can We Get Past The Other N Word? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/can-get-past-n-word/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/can-get-past-n-word/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:56:03 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=27795 Jury Questionnaire I am not trivializing or trying to diminish Raeana Roberson’s outrage upon seeing a choice between African American and Negro on a jury questionnaire.  Unless someone can prove that there was malicious intent, or intentionally using the word in a negative context it was probably just an oversight.  But I do understand where […]

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negro 1

Jury Questionnaire

I am not trivializing or trying to diminish Raeana Roberson’s outrage upon seeing a choice between African American and Negro on a jury questionnaire.  Unless someone can prove that there was malicious intent, or intentionally using the word in a negative context it was probably just an oversight.  But I do understand where Ms. Roberson is coming from on the issue.   I get it, I’m an uppity Negress.  Just a click on any number of links will take me to numerous historical slave auction and fugitive slave notices with details about sales or escaped Negroes, I really do get it.  But Negro is not the “N” word in all its derogatory grandeur.  It is the other N word.   Letters or a visit to the governing authority over content and printing these forms should suffice, but blowing this up all over the Internet?  Really?.  I’m sure they will change it now but Negro is a legitimate word.  Old yes, obsolete maybe, but it is being used (less and less as older generations die).  You would think that Ms. Roberson had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the with all those painful memories that she never experienced.  negro 2

I have relatives who still use this word and I know some older white people who use this word.  They are all older but mean no harm in their use of the word.  And unless this is someone’s idea of a sick, racist slight, the questionnaire or jury poll is not using Negro in an offensive manner.  A lot of younger people did not have to endure what some of us, our parents and ancestors had to deal with on the daily and want to complain like they themselves experienced it.  Most of the people in my own generation would not know how to keep our mouths shut so we could get home to our families safely and soundly.  We would tell some racist off in a second.

We didn’t have to use colored facilities, or be refused service at a lunch counter.  With a few exceptions, most of us couldn’t handle blatant racism like those before us did.  Was it fair?  Absolutely not!  But they are the ones who sacrificed so much for the opportunities many of our young folks throw away today.  Go complain to the folks at the United Negro College Fund and tell them that they are being offensive using the other N word.  My point is that we have so many issues facing us as a community and we get up in arms over this?  We need to get past this one folks.  Again, not to belittle or demean Ms. Roberson perspective as it is legitimate, but I would have looked at that  and most definitely kept it moving.  This is a non-issue for me.

Where is the outrage for those who don’t like to use options like Black or “African American”?  I don’t see Biracial or Multiracial listed as options.  Where is the outrage for that oversight?  No laws are being broken here, just a little political correctness is all.  Although, I have a strong feeling that some new forms are being printed up in a hurry.

 

Source

Source

 

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BWE And Validation-Seeking: Are You Looking To Be Told What To Do? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/bwe-validation-seeking-looking-told/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/bwe-validation-seeking-looking-told/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 03:04:00 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=26217 You know, there are things I agree with and disagree with when it comes to how BWE reaches black women, however there has always been one thing that has concerned me and it was actually a recent post that brought that concern to the forefront.   “Quick, Someone Tell Me What To Do!?!” A side-effect […]

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You know, there are things I agree with and disagree with when it comes to how BWE reaches black women, however there has always been one thing that has concerned me and it was actually a recent post that brought that concern to the forefront.

 

“Quick, Someone Tell Me What To Do!?!”

A side-effect of many organizations, causes, religions and whatnot is that often there is a special segment of people who are drawn to them. These persons, to put it simply, are looking for someone to tell them what to do and think. They are highly susceptible to falling into a mindset of expecting other people to empower them. They may actually go so far as to credit someone else for “empowering” them.

This is simply not how empowerment works.

I made a comment in the referenced post on why that was:

The idea of empowerment is not about talking points and being able to quote your favorite black woman blogger by heart. It doesn’t come with living your life exactly as any individual in this space or any space says you have to. However strongly worded an article is…all any of us can do at the end of the day is apply what works for us and reject what doesn’t. Empowerment is proactively living your life and charting your own course. Not validation-seeking and not waiting for someone else to tell you how to think and feel.

 

EMPOWERMENT ISN’T WHAT SOMEONE ELSE GIVES TO YOU. IT’S WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF AND MAKE HAPPEN FOR YOURSELF. Understood?

 

Why No One ELSE Can Empower You But You…

Remember that fable about the caged bird? It didn’t matter what either the free bird or the cat said to it, it wasn’t a truly free bird itself until it made the decision to act for itself.

And this is true in life. Other people can tell you what it means to be free, to live a good life and be happy. But it’s never going to happen until YOU decide to be proactive.

It doesn’t matter how much you respect which BWE blogger and their group. Yes even us and our awesomeness. Not I, nor Brenda, nor Chris, or anyone else here can empower you. Khadija can’t empower you. Evia can’t empower you. Halima can’t empower you. Blogs from WhatAboutOurDaughters to NotYourGirlFriday cannot empower you.

Because it was never on these individuals to do so. It has always been your individual responsibility to determine who you are, what your own happiness is, and what ways you were prepared to go about living your own life to the fullest. In addition to arming yourself against groups and individuals that often try to work again your best interests.

Are you living your life? Are you about your best interests? Are you actively in control of finding ways to make your life better? Then you are empowered. Not because of anything anyone else did or said. But because what YOU did for YOURSELF.

 

Let Go of Ugly Validation-Seeking Behaviors

It’s not abnormal to want others to like you. And sometimes when you come into new spaces as I did with BWE, you may worry about trying to appeal to the “cool kids”. And before you know it you’re back in highschool all over again. You are suddenly more concerned with conducting yourself a certain way so that this total stranger will like and approve of you than getting joy from being a free and better person. What this individual thinks of you becomes more important than your own empowerment.

And here, you’ve fallen victim to ugly validation-seeking behavior. Again, it’s not wrong to be liked or to want to make a positive impression. But when your validation-seeking behavior regarding what other people think and believe gets in the way of actively determining what you think and believe, it’s time to hit the brakes.

The thing is, validation-seeking behaviors do not suddenly render themselves harmless because you’re doing them in a space like this or in a popular BWE space. It is not harmless to go through life waiting for someone else to give you permission to be happy or looking for whoever to define your personal happiness.

 

The Truth: Life Doesn’t End If You Disagree

I have written so many controversial comments and opinions, I know damn well there are people who have been mad at me for years regarding what I’ve written. I’ll save you the trouble of asking me whether or not I care: I don’t. Because I do not wake up in the morning thinking about who likes me or doesn’t or spend the last few seconds before I sleep wondering if I’ve supported or boycotted the right causes in order to please the interests of whoever.

Some things I agree with and actively promote. And some things I don’t. Some people I respect highly and yet have disagreed with them in person, in offline or online conversations. They may have written me off, but who cares? Life goes on. I’ve also lost my share of respect for individuals. And I doubt they care. Life still goes on.

It can be painful seeing groups of women you admire and respect disagree. But that’s what happens when you get so many willful women together. Somebody is bound to say or do something that someone else disagrees with and someone will let them know.

It happens.

Doesn’t mean you have to think of it as a crossroads where you weigh the perceived importance and authority of the women involved in order to determine who you’re supposed to listen to regarding how you’re supposed to think and feel.

 

Remember: You determine your happiness. No one else. And rather than live and die by what other people think of you, self included, you can elect to take responsibility for your own thoughts and behaviors and how you live your life.

Knowledge is Power…But Only if You Use It!

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