Beyond Black & White » Black Women’s Improvement Project (BWIP) http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:24:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Intimacy Is Not Built Through Sex. Surprised? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/intimacy-built-sex/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/intimacy-built-sex/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:51:10 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31992   A couple of months ago, I downloaded Tinder after hearing good things about it. And in one month’s time, I had four dates with three guys, pretty much the same amount as the last two or three years. I meet and talk to new guys every week. But now that I am back on […]

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Something New

 

A couple of months ago, I downloaded Tinder after hearing good things about it. And in one month’s time, I had four dates with three guys, pretty much the same amount as the last two or three years. I meet and talk to new guys every week. But now that I am back on the dating scene I’ve been thinking a lot about a crucial concept: intimacy. I think it is an under-discussed but important topic for black women in dating. I am not sure healthy intimacy is even a notion or concept on many BW’s radar. I know it was not something we discussed or I saw growing up in my family, before or after my parents divorced and they got into other relationships.

I want to start by highlighting a series of dates I had with one of the first guys I met, as an example of how not to build intimacy. My approach to dating is for the first date to be light and fun – basically a chemistry test and to check for any red flags or alarming behaviors. The next date is to verify the chemistry/attraction wasn’t a fluke and to start getting a handle on character – how does this person treat wait staff, animals, homeless people you encounter? I don’t believe in “interrogations” on dates but I will ask a few questions during the course of dinner or whatever about family, past relationships, goals, etc. I am trying to shape my idea of WHO this person is, aside from what they directly say.

For future interactions I am looking for tinges of emotional depth – “how would you have handled X differently,” “what did you learn from Y,” “what are your dreams,” “how will you do Z differently from your parents?” The Wikipedia definition of intimacy says “Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity.” Basically, in order for the relationship to progress (and determine whether we share the same core values), I am looking for these things.

Notice I haven’t mentioned anything about becoming physical. For me, an emotional connection is a pre-requisite for moving into a physical relationship and honestly, this takes time to develop. I look at it as being hungry and just eating some candy, or, taking the time to properly prepare a robust meal you’ve been dying to have AND you know it’s nutritious. This brings me back to the guy I referenced, a 35 year old European ex-pat who recently moved to my city after living in elsewhere in the States. Our series of dates went something like this:

He invites me for date #1 – awesome chemistry and physical attraction, we exchanged basic info about one another and shared funny stories about our respective lives. We parted ways after a polite hug.

A couple of days later, he invites me for date #2 – more basic info and funny stories. I started to get a sense though that he was kind of a quirky/socially awkward guy (he moved here to work for a tech start-up). Again, we parted ways after a polite hug.

After I returned from a two-week vacation, he immediately wanted to get together so we met later that week for date #3 – this time, things felt awkward and shallow. We chatted easily about the food, stuff to do here, current events, etc but as I tried to learn more about him he either a) gives a surface answer (“I don’t know,” “ I never thought about that,” “hmmm,”) or b) deflects to talking about other people. There was never any reciprocity where he asked me anything of substance. His attempts at conversation seemed like he was phoning it in (“so which of your tacos do you like the best? What’s your favorite color?”). The only real emotion he showed was when I asked about his last relationship and he got angry. He said they dated about six months but wanted totally different things and were complete opposites. He pretty much shut down after that. We awkwardly parted ways when I got to my car.

A few days later, surprisingly, he suggested date #4 – I accepted thinking maybe he was having a bad day or something the last time and that an afternoon movie might be nice so that we wouldn’t be pressed for time (our previous dates had all been after work). We could actually sit, talk and connect. But, as soon as the movie ended, he pounced me which caught me totally off-guard. I pulled away and said, “I’m not ready for this.” He then mumbled something sarcastically, stomped off to the bathroom, came back, pouted and was so uncommunicative I became really uncomfortable and left.

Later I shared that, while I had been interested in him, it was really important for me to have an emotional connection before becoming physically intimate and I didn’t think we had established that yet. He flatly said he considered them the same thing. I disagreed and with that impasse we stopped communicating, which I was more than okay with.

What I want to focus on is his statement that sex = emotional intimacy. In my opinion (and experience from my early 20s) this is not the case. If anything, early sex creates a false sense of intimacy. It is implied or assumed intimacy from having been physically close (through sex) but not true, earned closeness stemming from a “bond formed through knowledge and experience of the other” over time (again, from Wikipedia). So, while inaccurately believing you are already close from sex, someone’s true personality, character and values come out over time and may not be a good fit. Now comes the task of untangling, made more difficult for women who often become emotionally attached during a sexual relationship. Hence the “we probably shouldn’t be together but for some reason, I just really, really like/love/want to be with him” cognitive dissonance. This guy was harboring resentment about his last girlfriend and if he just rushed into sex with her before vetting for true compatibility, no wonder it didn’t work out.

I am pretty sure most women don’t envision “I probably shouldn’t be with him” when thinking about falling in love, finding a good partner, etc. So, how can BW establish relationships containing the intimacy most really desire?

1. Visualization. What does being close to someone look like to you? What kinds of behaviors help you develop trust in someone? What makes you feel supported? What things would you only reveal to someone you really trust?

Think on these things, and look for them as you date. Developing intimacy isn’t a race, it’s a tennis match. Look for reciprocity.

2. Practice. Intimacy isn’t limited to romantic relationships – are you happy with the number of friendships you have? Are you looking to expand your social circle? What kind of relationships do you have with your co-workers (or fellow students) – do you have any allies or advocates? Vulnerability is a key ingredient in establishing intimacy – have you shared any of your goals or dreams with people who may be in a position to help?

3. Stick to what you want. Don’t be coerced into less than what you want in terms of intimacy. When people are not meeting your needs in the way you believe you deserve, communicate that and be prepared to walk away (very easy when you are in a healthy place of self-love and you are not physically involved). Know that your emotional well-being is a #1 priority when it comes to acceptable, reciprocal treatment from others. One sided relationships are no fun.

While my experience with this particular guy wasn’t optimal, it was beneficial to verbalizing many concepts I had instinctively gravitated to over the past few years. I can honestly say that as I’ve held fast to “emotional connection before physical contact,” while I may not have found a partner yet, I haven’t had stupid stuff going on either, where I am all strung out over someone that refuses to reciprocally emotionally invest in or commit to me. Hopefully discussing this will help some of our readers and lurkers.

This site has good information about the stages of intimacy so please check it out (note: it is a religious site and has some faith based messages). What do you all think of intimacy? Are there other resources you recommend for singles? For our male readers, how do you establish emotional intimacy with women you meet?

 

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Femininity Series, Part One: “What Does It Mean to Be Feminine, and How Does That Affect Attraction?” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/femininity-series-part-one-mean-feminine-effect-attraction/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/femininity-series-part-one-mean-feminine-effect-attraction/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 03:27:11 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=29240 The topic of femininity is so polarizing. On one end, you have women who feel like even the discussion of femininity is a threat to feminism, and women on the other end–the girly-girls–who often feel  shamed by feminists who think they are slaves to patriarchy. I want to get to the bottom of the discussion […]

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The topic of femininity is so polarizing. On one end, you have women who feel like even the discussion of femininity is a threat to feminism, and women on the other end–the girly-girls–who often feel  shamed by feminists who think they are slaves to patriarchy. I want to get to the bottom of the discussion in a productive way, and I’ll admit I don’t have all the answers.

Furthermore, this is not a conversation that you can have once and forget about it. That’s why I’ve decided to create a series, inviting distinguished guests and professionals to address these topics head on. I do this in no attempt to force any of you into anything, but for all of us (included me) to get a better understanding. As with anything on this site, take what works for you and leave the rest.

The first installment is from Patrick Wanin, Ph.D., a human behavior expert. It’s both written and audio, and I took the time to post this so you ladies could listen this evening or perhaps on your way to work. It’s good stuff. But before I do, take a look at long-time BB&W supporter, relationships expert, Matthew Hussey had to say when I asked him about this…

Matthew on Femininity...-2

And now to Dr. Wanin…

“Why is it so difficult for women to have a discussion about femininity without feeling weak?

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By and large, most men prefer feminine women, which can often be a challenge because it often involves the idea of submission. Many black women have not had the luxury being “girly,” like white women have, but I find that they often desire that but have no idea how to do it. Any advice for them?”

Human Behavior Expert, Dr. Patrick Wanis also explains in clear and simple terms the differences between masculine and feminine energy as well as the differences between surrender and submission. Some of the things Dr. Wanis reveals in this audio recording:

· Why women have inner conflicts with their femininity
· The fear of traditional gender roles
· The real reason women should express their femininity (and it’s not to catch a man)
· The single secret for a woman to be able to express her femininity without giving away her power or being controlled by the man
· Women do at times need to express masculinity and explains how to know what that right time is
· Why women have such power over men
· Men need the emotional support and appreciation of their partner

You can also read these articles by Patrick Wanis:

If Chivalry is dead, who killed it?

http://patrickwanis.com/blog/if-chivalry-is-dead-who-killed-it/

What women look for in a man

http://patrickwanis.com/blog/what-women-look-for-in-a-man/

The mature, masculine male

http://patrickwanis.com/blog/mature-masculine-male/

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Tired of Feeling Like the Dude? BB&W Fan and Friend, ‘Nicole Abundance’ Gives Lessons in Femininity http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/tired-feeling-like-dude-bbw-fan-friend-nicole-abundance-teaching-lessons-femininity/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/tired-feeling-like-dude-bbw-fan-friend-nicole-abundance-teaching-lessons-femininity/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 06:03:43 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=29167 Let’s face it: gender neutrality is confusing. So let’s just celebrate being girls, shall we? Long-time BB&W fan, ‘Nicole Abundance’ has creating a femininity boot camp of sorts, and wants to share the knowledge… What is the definition of being feminine? Is it the way you dress or how great your manicure looks? Is being feminine […]

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portrait interracial couple

Let’s face it: gender neutrality is confusing. So let’s just celebrate being girls, shall we? Long-time BB&W fan, ‘Nicole Abundance’ has creating a femininity boot camp of sorts, and wants to share the knowledge…

What is the definition of being feminine? Is it the way you dress or how great your manicure looks? Is being feminine defined by how done up your hair is or how many times you remember to cross your legs like a lady while in public? What if I told you that your feminine essence is not fully defined by what you do or how you look on the outside, but how you cultivate your femininity from within? Here’s an even better question. What if I told you that by being more feminine, you can attract MORE men? I’m talking more of the men you DESIRE.

You may be doing all of the external things that may attract men but where the focus really needs to be is from within. Yes, men may respond to your flirtatious manner and may not be able to take their eyes off of you, but how are you inspiring them to want more than just the physical after a few weeks or even months go by? You may not have a problem with attracting men in quantity, but do you know how to actually maintain what you have attracted?

So what does being more feminine truly mean, then? Two main components to the feminine nature are rest and surrender.As women, we are naturally designed and more drawn to a more restful and playful way of living. We love to frolic and surrender to the moment. We are the keepers of the light and nurturers of the seed. Surrender means that you no longer have to chase, pursue, or fight for a man to make things happen.

However, when it comes to relating to men, the complete opposite may be true. With the way you currently attract men now, you probably don’t feel like you have a revolving door of options waiting at your doorstep. You may also find yourself operating in the pseudo-masculine role a lot when you interact with potential men of interest. The pseudo-masculine may manifest in the way you feel like you have to chase, pursue, lead the relationship, do all the work, worry about a man stepping up or showing up for you, feel like you are always rowing the boat.  Actively participating in this role is a surefire way to keep your attraction capacity at an all-time low. This is because the masculine doesn’t like to struggle all the time with a pseudo-masculine energy. Remember, you are the feminine and are designed to complement the masculine. Resisting the men in this way doesn’t really allow for men to show up for you.

A woman who is fully integrated in her feminine has applied a regime of practices and principles that help to keep her balanced and grounded on a regular basis. A woman who is more feminine is also aware of the masculine energy that resides in her and seeks to unblock and heal that energy for good. She has learned to fill herself up from the inside and invest in her emotional resources rather than giving them away at a moment’s notice. She doesn’t resist, fight, or try to compete with masculine energy. She embraces it and trusts in its protection and provision.

The key to attracting men by being more feminine requires you to give up the control you may THINK you have over your expectations of men. Being more feminine requires you to let go and release all of your worries and concerns into the universal drop-box, and trust that your desires will show up for you in the way you’ve always wanted when it comes to men. It requires you to get a little uncomfortable so that you can completely eliminate your current romantic model way of attracting and interacting with men. It requires you to open to the possibility of serving the masculine in a whole new way, a way that will set you free. Are you ready to open wider to attract greater?

Attracting men and inspiring them is easy when you learn how to master your feminine energy. Learn the Secrets Here: http://www.nicoleabundance.com/bigwildlove/

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My True Confession: I Advocate Swirling Because I Was the Black Man’s Cast Off. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/true-confession-advocate-swirling-black-mans-cast/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/true-confession-advocate-swirling-black-mans-cast/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 01:42:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28127 A very strange and angry black man called Sergeant Willie Pete is enraged by me. He’s enraged because he took a comment I said in a You Tube video in which I was very honest and said that I really didn’t embrace my beauty until it was validated from external sources–yes; I didn’t think I […]

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A very strange and angry black man called Sergeant Willie Pete is enraged by me. He’s enraged because he took a comment I said in a You Tube video in which I was very honest and said that I really didn’t embrace my beauty until it was validated from external sources–yes; I didn’t think I was attractive because my whole life I was told that no matter my features, I was ugly because I was dark. THAT IS A FACT. THIS HAPPENED. The truth about colorism is, for many blacks, the darker you are, the uglier you are. So in the Sergeant’s mind, my “swirling advocacy” is an “ugly girl’s argument.” I only swirled in the first place because no black man was checking for me. The comment is executed with such a strange puffery and pride, as if to say, this black woman didn’t meet our standard–she wasn’t elevated because she didn’t deserve it. She’s too dark to be the prize. And you know what? He’s right. For all those new to this blog, this is what I look like. 1487718_10201571898513548_1946811683_o

 “Look at her. She looks like a man. Of course she married a white boy.” (Real comment)

Like I said, Sergeant Willie Pete is right, because many black men thought that I was either too dark (thus too ugly) to bring home, but I was good enough to use and impregnate. I was “ugly” to many black men because I am not light-skinned. And you know what? The majority of black women are my color and darker. So what does that mean? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. (Note: For those of you who think you know my life, understand that this was not the case with my oldest daughter’s father, who doesn’t and never had a color complex. He simply was a man who looked very good on paper. He was and remains a loving father to his child.) But bringing that touchy subject up reminds me that when I was younger, I thought I had only three choices:

  • Marry a felon;
  • Accept scraps from the IBM’s (ideal black men) who could have their pick of everyone, at the same time;
  • Or beg color-struck black men to love me despite my darkness

Since marrying a white man, many black men (and surprisingly, some black women) smugly say that one look at me, and they just know why I advocate swirling. Apparently to these people I’m a mud duck.

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“Horse Face! Nobody wants you, you ugly dark-skinned bitch!!” (Real comment)

So this “mud duck” went elsewhere to find a community of people who would love her, celebrate her and support her. I’m a sellout of the worst kind. Oh. And Tommy Sotomayor thinks I look like a horse. Excuse me while I go chew some hay. I laugh to myself how these “men” who degrade and deride us are then outraged when we leave. We are not supposed to leave. We are to remain and accept our station. And my biggest crime? Well, that’s easy. I’m telling other black women who look like me that they have other options, and that they should go where their beauty is celebrated. Because apparently according to them, there is no problem. There is no colorism. The hatred of black women is imaginary.

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Gosh. How can anyone stand the sight of me? I’m hideous, according to these men.

But then, what about this? Are we imagining this too? 55 percent of light skinned black females had been married, but only 30 percent of those with medium skin shade and 23 percent of the dark skinned females had ever been married. [SOURCE] Want to see a summary of the thesis?

The inter-racial marriage gap that opened in the past 50 years is generally attributed to a decline in the availability of young black marriageable men. We contend that the associated shortage of desirable men in the marriage market provides those black men who are sought after with the opportunity to attain a high status spouse, which has placed a premium on having light skin shade. We provide evidence, based on data drawn from the Multi City Study of Urban Inequality, consistent with this hypothesis for young black women. Our theoretical analysis of the marriage market reveals that policies to increase the desire to marry on the part of young black women will enhance the importance attached to skin shade.

So YES; I WAS the black man’s cast off, and YES, Tommy Sotomayor and Sergeant Willie Pete are correct in that YES, black men didn’t want me, and that’s why I do what I do. BECAUSE I DON’T WANT WOMEN WHO LOOK LIKE ME TO FEEL LIKE THEY DON’T DESERVE TO BE LOVED, MARRIED* AND RESPECTED. (*If they so choose) Men like this think that dark-skinned black women are here to be their personal harems and breeders, but feel it totally unnecessary to lend any respect, protection, love, or regard. It’s all in our heads, right? It is becoming more and more obvious that blacks have a serious color complex, and the dumb-shit comment, “You’re pretty for a dark girl” is getting some serious heat. Know something, dark-skinned black women. It is not all in your head. You are not wrong to flee those who hate you and gravitate to social circles in which you are accepted and celebrated. It is not a sin to love those who love and respect you. Question the motives of ANYONE who tells you otherwise. Now I’ll just go take my ugly self downstairs and have dinner with my loving family and in-laws while someone in cyberspace suffers from a head explosion. #peace

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What is Wrong with the Black Man? (Written by a Black Man) http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/wrong-black-man-written-black-man/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/wrong-black-man-written-black-man/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 23:36:33 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=27435 Someone posted a quote from this citation on my You Tube channel and could hardly believe it was written by a Nigerian man. I’m reposting it, knowing some folks are going to accuse me of hating black men. That’s not the reason I’m going to do it. Some of what he said reflected a vast […]

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Someone posted a quote from this citation on my You Tube channel and could hardly believe it was written by a Nigerian man. I’m reposting it, knowing some folks are going to accuse me of hating black men. That’s not the reason I’m going to do it. Some of what he said reflected a vast empathy for black women (especially American black women) and the unequal situation that plagues the black community.

May I have to do I have to do a quick ego-stroke and say not all black men are losers? In this case, I do. What this man says is true, but a very, very hard pill to swallow. But these conversations are necessary and simply aren’t happening enough to be impactful. Surely this man has been shouted down.

Read, and let’s discuss. The bold emphasis is mine, because it was so damn awesome.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE BLACK MAN? By Michael Oluwagbemi II

“I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action.”
Malcolm X.

In recent times I have been pondering over this question (indeed inspired by contributions of certain NVS and NIAcontributors)…and have been lost for a single answer. Not as if I think that a single answer exists but try I will still try. Think about it, in every society the black man finds himself, he is at the lowest wrung of the society. Lowest in income, education, and health in America (perhaps the world) and highest in every available negative index: crime, prison stewardship, poverty, HIV etc. It so sad, that even beyond America they are the lords of distant lands that are the epitome of poverty, disease, corruption, and bad government. The black man of the world, is basically is a walking laughing joke- a buffoon. We sit over the world most mismanaged economy from Caribbean (read Jamaica and Haiti) to Africa (read Nigeria and Zimbabwe) and even Australia (read Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands). Anywhere we find our selves, we have been a disgrace to manhood and a symbol of everything wrong with the human race.

The black man has lost respect for his person and has such sacrificed respect even amongst his peers. We traded our kinfolks and then whined about slave trade. We submitted sheepishly to the master’s orders and complain about a lopsided World Economic Order. While the Indian, Mulatto (Brazilian), Chinese and Russian male freed themselves from global inequality by the power of their brain and brawn, the black man is still held hostage to himself. We have been left behind in the latest wave of world economic development. How then can we stake claim to a thinking mind, as someone recently posited? It is so bad that the few ones respected amongst us have to either go to jail or get shot multiple times. You doubt what I just say? Please think Nelson Mandela, Olusegun Obasanjo, and 50 Cent (Gracing Forbes –white man capitalism – magazine this month). All “ex-jail men” or ex-ER room patients!

A race without leadership is doomed and headed to perdition. The black man has ceded his birthright position of leadership in our communities to no one but our women. We blame it on everything but ourselves. Some say is slavery, some blame feminism and other invincible gibberish. How about ourselves? What role did we play in getting into this quagmire? We have been out-maneuvered, outfoxed, and out-meandered in the global world economic and political order that we have been left with our pants hanging. Women respect three things in men: knowledge, money, and power. We have lost on those three counts to our women- at least in America – the melting pot of the world. More black women graduate in college than black men…at the last count with a three to one advantage. In addition, this boosts their earning power when they leave school and make them really not need any black man. Who needs a dead beat or a jail bird? We are rotting in prisons across the country while the black woman is expanding in knowledge, seeing the world and really just envisioning us as stud machine! Haba! The only logical reason the black woman will ever go into bed with us this day is for the common good: so that the black race will not become extinct. What have we to offer?

In the sphere of money and power, it is so easy to see why we are playing catch up with our women in God’s own country: America. America is a leveler many will say- we do not have the advantage of selfishness, oppression, and arrant madness going on in our respective land of origins. Be it Africa, Pacific, or the Americas. In the United States of America, Uncle Sam is the boss and the black women don’t have to answer to anyone! Not even you Massa. What is the end result? The richest and most powerful black people in America and perhaps in the world today are women. Ditto, read Oprah Winfrey and Condi Rice: the richest black person in America and Madam Secretary of State respectively. Now you see why I think the lot of the black man is a losing proposition.

What is wrong with the black man? Even in Nigeria, our women are showing us up; they have proven to be better managers and have earned the trust of the general public in their exemplary public service in the current democratic dispensation. Go to the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Education, Solid Minerals, Due Process Unit, NAFDAC, Transcorp-NSE and you will see how Nigerian women are cleaning up the mess left by their ignoble men. Of course some of the few capable men have taken the easier route of taking comfort in the ease of life created in foreign lands by other male species of different color. We have become been-to, tokunboh and other terms used for us including hyphenated nationality; people without identity and pride of place. All in exchange for developing our guest homes while our own rot away in total oblivion handed over to men whose only claim to manhood is what dangles between their thighs. We have handed the key of the armory to the enemy and lost the respect of our women. Which kind of man runs away from his trouble?

Bad part of course is that many amongst us will not even acknowledge we have a problem. Oh, we blame everyone but ourselves. We blame the system, we blame the hate. Everyone hates the black man we are quick to say. We walk around with victim mentality. Once upon a time it was the white man conspiring against us, now it is so hard to prove that the Indian, Chinese, and Brazilian men were into that conspiracy as well. We now throw the books at our women: we blame them for being assimilated by the destructive ideology called feminisms but we don’t see our culpability of leaving them with no option. At least we gave them cause to move to the West when we destroyed our respective homelands; so how can we turn around to blame them for choosing to put their brains where their livelihood is? How many of us are contented with what we have and don’t live everyday as if it were our last? We don’t invest, or expand our horizon. We splurge money on big this and big that to reflect on our inferiority complex while we make the white man and his peers around the world richer. We are buying drugs and destroying our youths, yet we leave the drug routes and drug business infrastructure to the Mexicans and Columbians. Why? We are the best athletes in the world, yet the white man is getting rich being the NBA commissioner, sports club owners and promoters! Vis-à-vis for music; we loathe ourselves so much and we are locked in a cycle of fratricidal killing- Biggie killed Tupac and Abacha killed Yaradua. From Nigeria where the policeman shoots his fellow citizen men at random to America where the inner city black male is killing his contemporaries in drove, we are killing each other like no tomorrow. We hate each other and have an endemic complex. We buy foreign goods and treat our own with contempt; how else will you explain talking down on Aba while its counterpart in Taipei is frequented by your ilk?

For the progress of the entire black race, positive change is inevitable. Once upon a time, the black man was king. In the time of the black Pharaohs who ruled Egypt and those that sat over the affairs of Nubia, we reigned like men should reign. We lead the world. It has not always been like this – once upon a time we were the custodian of civilization, technology, and good government.It is time to return to Nubia. Hence, we must turn a new leaf and enter a new era. We must take back first the leadership of our homes and be called “real” men instead of the sissy mentality we are currently exhibiting. We must be responsible for our actions and free ourselves from what the Abami Eda called “Colomentality”. We must stop blaming others for our actions and see through our own folly. We must go back to school and apply what we learn for the development of our homeland. We must stop the self hate, understand the concept of cooperative domination, and that investing in the future involves making the hard decisions of self effacement and discipline right now. We should not expect the black woman to hand leadership back to us: we must take it back. It is a capitalist world, and you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate and work hard for. We must demonstrate that as black men we deserve the leadership we have abdicated in the past. We can only succeed when we put our best foot forward.

Last Line:

People go to Africa and confirm what they already have in their heads and so they fail to see what is there in front of them. This is what people have come to expect. It’s not viewed as a serious continent. It’s a place of strange, bizarre, and illogical things, where people don’t do what common sense demands.
Chinua Achebe

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Taking Off Your Desperation http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/taking-desperation/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/taking-desperation/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 05:05:33 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=26480 I discovered the fabulous Ava DuVernay when it was announced she’d be directing an episode of my favorite TV show, Scandal (the episode will air on November 21, 2013). In 2012, she was the first African-American female filmmaker to win the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival for her film, Middle of Nowhere. She is […]

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I discovered the fabulous Ava DuVernay when it was announced she’d be directing an episode of my favorite TV show, Scandal (the episode will air on November 21, 2013). In 2012, she was the first African-American female filmmaker to win the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival for her film, Middle of Nowhere. She is extremely passionate about telling the stories of black women.

 

board-ava-duvernay-200x300

Recently, she gave a keynote address at the 2013 Film Independent Forum, and while her comments were delivered to filmmakers, I believe the advice she provided fits in with the messages of this site. Two portions of her speech really resonated with me. First, she describes her evolution from being a “desperate” filmmaker– always depressed and frustrated about being unable to make the films she deeply wanted to see made– to being a filmmaker who was actually doing something. Action regarding her work is what moved her career forward, versus passive action spent looking for a big break. She has a fantastic analogy of two trains leaving a station, which would you rather be on? Second, in responding to a question from the audience about making certain films, she asks the questioner to define what success looks like for him and suggests aligning his actions to achieve that.

Check out Ava’s full address:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pFoBks5ly0.

You can follow her on twitter at @AVAETC. What does success look like for you?

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