Black Women's Empowerment

It Started with Just a Few Voices, and Now a Cocophany: The Forces Speaking Up for Black Women Are Being Heard, and Some Folks are Scared

476846279 When you’ve been blogging for nearly five years, you begin to notice some trends. For instance, I remember when I first came on the scene and the sacred cows that black women weren’t to EVER discuss–the humungousgargantuanbigass out-of-wedlock statistic, black women dating and marrying men who weren’t black, street harassment, the palpable hatred black men have for black women, rampant colorism and the discrimination wrought thereof–once bloggers like me and others were met with ridicule are now being examined; the status quo questioned. If some of you haven’t already heard, I was sort of,  kind of, kicked out of the online social justice BWE group, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the majority of it’s tenets or respect the bravery and determination those folks in the beginning went through. It must have been sheer hell. These women were stalked all over the internet, smeared and physically threatened. It took guts doing what they did. But while the pioneers of the online social justice movement don’t claim me, no one group can own the rights of Black Women’s Empowerment. And that’s all I’ll say about that. Online BWE started as a few voices online, and the message that black women are worthy of love, respect, marriage and present fathers for their children is now met with a lot less distain, and there’s a few advocates for the status quo (those in the media who love having black women be their favorite kick toy) who are noticing the sea change, and are taking steps to slip the old guilt trips. One exchange between powerhouses, Black Woman Think Tank and For Black Women Only brought on a quite prominent media type who tried (unsuccessfully) to guilt black women from dating interracially by way of summoning the ancestors when she suggested that instead of black women wringing their hands, they use their fingers and throw up the deuces:

From the pro-black (man) media type: “This author may have issues with black men (for good reason), but I will never do the same and give up on black women. You can’t become a terrorist and destroy a family just because you’re not getting what you want. That’s what the extreme feminists have trained you to do. I also think that it’s disheartening that the answer to calls for your own accountability is to abandon your community and your children. White men don’t have a better life for you…they were the ones who raped you and put your children in chains. Let’s not forget that.”

Did you get that last line?! “Let’s not forget that.” No; you have a VESTED INTEREST to make SURE black women don’t “forget that, don’t you, boo?
Here’s a translation of the above: Keep up the fight, sista!!! Don’t leave! We still want to use you…uh I mean, we need you to show us how to be good men!! What are you gonna do, give up on your people for whitey? Didn’t he rape you last week? No? That was a black guy? But still!!! Black men molest, rape, and beat black women because of whitey!! It’s because you don’t believe in us! It’s because of whitey not giving us jobs!!! Of course not all black men beat, rape, and molest black women. BUT! The vast majority of rapes, molestations, violence and murders are perpetrated upon black women by black men, TODAY!! Don’t talk to me about who victimized my fellow sister 100 years ago. Let’s talk about who is doing it NOW! What…you don’t wanna talk about that? Oh…figures. Luckily black women are beginning to wake up. Some are ready, some think their ready, and alas, I’m sad to say for some, it might be a little late. I get letters from these women constantly, and I give them note of encouragement in return whenever I can. Time to cease on the sacrificing ourselves on the alter of our dysfunctional community and follow our bliss.

Here are a few notes:

One woman wrote…

Hope all is well with yourself and family. I was wondering if you would be able to pose this question on your blog or page, it refers to abusive African American men. Please allow me to give you a little insight in what I mean. I was married to an African American man for a few years, we have a son together, I filed for divorce when our son was 15, which was in 2001 (very nasty divorce) when our son was 19 I decided to spread my wings by coming to Europe, (best decision). I have only dated white men since I arrived, including my current husband, and not once have I ever been disrespected or verbally abused by any of them. My ex-husband has called me a bitch,whore, told me I was fat and ugly and no other man would want me, curiously enough just a few weeks ago he asked our son if he could see a photo of me and hubby on his Facebook page, After my son showed him the picture, he said I must have had plastic surgery because I looked great and also maybe because I was with a “wheat man” now.. lol…….According to our son, nothing has changed, he is still on drugs, still being controlled by his older sister who (hates me). My question, has anyone else gone through physical and emotional abuse by a black man, then find happiness with someone from another race? Please feel free to edit where necessary. I know you get a lot of flak from some on the subject, so I would understand if you declined to post it (anonymously) of course.

And here’s another…

I just wanted to share with you…I have dreamed my entire life of finding someone that makes me feel beautiful and who completes me. In my dreams this man was always a tall dark black man. Recently I started dating a white man. I was really nervous at first, the stares bothered me, and I hated people looking. This man has treated me so good and makes me feel like a queen. I thank you for this page. I have went from never wanting to date outside my race to taking a chance and falling in love. This page connects me with people like me and I appreciate it.

This second one is long, but you won’t want to miss reading ALL of it…

Dear Mrs. Karazin,
I want to thank you for your blog. I shan’t venture a multipage treatise on my history or my current state. I will share though that I am almost thirty years old (29) and have wasted my prime years being fat, frumpy and the quintessential church girl. I have been undergoing a chrysalis of sorts since 2012 and the overriding emotion is anger at all the time I have wasted, opportunities lost and lies I told myself. I am more forgiving of the lies others told, they were looking out for their own interests after all.
My realities are somewhat of a  hodge-podge chameleon-like mess: So much good intertwined with some evil nonsense……… Highly educated, internationally well-travelled parents…whose name is so well respected that family members have avoided arrests and other legal consequences when further enquiry of the surname reveals a relation. Only because people believe anything connected to my folks must be innately good and decent. And they have much good they have done and are. But, the reality of men who fail to protect their families is all too real and there are consequences thereto. If the family is fed, kids are in school and there is a roof over one’s head…what more do you want?The typical women and children are not worthy of protection has been mine and my sisters’ experiences. Crazy, evil, violent, body scarring and soul harming beatings have been our lot from my Mom and one of my brothers. She is the textbook case of a mom in competition with her children. I cannot begin…attempted stabbings…just no. Now, from a young age I have had a sense that something is amiss. I have never accepted the platitudes of dysfunctional people and have walked away from one sided friendships and non reciprocal relationships. I have been an independent thinker, loner and my friends have always been somewhat ‘different’ and all of them are brave. I grew up in and became a woman in multi ethnic environments and so have never understood this ‘group think’ of society. But the crazy and nasty did not fully escape me even in such privilege. I have always been fearless and that I think has been intolerable to the narcissists, predators and manipulators in my family tree. Since they could not overpower me mentally, emotionally or sexually the next step was with physical violence. Since I do not fraternize with abusive people, I had my sibling beat me black and blue with a swollen nasal septum, bloody eyes, blunt force trauma to the face…just 2 years ago. He attacked me when no one else was home and he had only been in my parent’s house for a few weeks. Our relationship was tenuous at best, I avoided him for who he was. I called the cops and suffice to say my folks sided with him. He is cut off from me.
I have a non-relationship with my Mom. Now, she is an attractive woman with homemaking skills that beautify any home, workplace skills sought after by government, interesting hobbies and she  has received compliments on her appearance/looks every single day since I can remember. People would usually stop us to compliment her and men are still chasing after her, decades later!  And yet, she raised me in such coldness, no involvement and hostility that today nothing is there between us. From when I was young it was though I was a mistress she was determined to annihilate. A threat to her marriage. I weep when I look at my childhood photos…I look like an orphan. A scruffy, ashy, matted hair, ugly-clothes-wearing orphan. My Father provided for everything we needed but the stinginess from Mom meant no new clothes until you literally begged for them and were down to one pair of panties or a top. They did not call each other out on enabling, unhealthy or wrong behaviours…culture and fear.
We were raised to live beneath the class and social status we were born into. That has stunted my life but I am growing  away from it. So wrong.I am the first to tell you what my parents did right but I am acutely aware of how they missed it. How they let each other down, hurt each other, hurt us and us them. Deal with it. I don’t understand this sacred cow sometimes even spouted on your blog that older people can never be called out. Why?? 
All this to say I internalised the sense of ‘unworthiness’.  I was never the pretty girl or the belle or the wanted one.  So the church girl mammy who was sooooo nice and kind became my identity. I truly had no concept of how this world works when it came to physical presentation until 2 years ago. Mind you- I travel to overseas countries, have met and made allies and friends across the continents, have been invited to balls and other cultured affairs. All while this frumpy and big girl. I am 5’7″/1.72mand at my heaviest I weighed 180lbs/90kg. I now weigh 70kg/154lbs. It’s a slow effort but I have now gotten a personal trainer and go to the best gym in the world with a gym buddy who initiated our buddy system. Like I said, I have always attracted quality people who remain friends and allies…thank you for driving home the point about reciprocation.  I do not know how to look beautiful though I certainly am. I have been accused of being a princess by men and when visiting friends overseas.  I carry myself that way even looking like… I have soooo much to work on that I become overwhelmed at times.  I am pleasant and resolute lady and anyone who does get to know me likes me forever. I was fine with being invisible but there is something about the late 20s…..I want to be loved, looked after and protected by my husband and be a mother to my children. Also, I am alive and want to be seen! My whole life I have prayed and waited and prayed and drank in those teachings about ’emotional purity’ and self-sacrificing ‘modesty…meanwhile all the hot, sexy, alluring women who barely set foot in the Church were being snatched up and married all around me. I will be visiting my high school friend and her husband at the coast this summer and I shall be frolicking on the beach all firm and sexy in a bikini after all…
It has been a steady awakening and your blog has served to coalesce my lifelong sense of ‘no, there’s better’, that its okay to be and do differently to the masses and that violent and dysfunctional anything should be avoided. No matter the cost. I do not keep contact with my hundreds of cousins or other family except my parents, one brother and sisters. My parents know to observe certain boundaries with me because I don not tolerate abuse anymore.  I am buying your book Swirling at the latest end next month. I am exploiting opportunities for multiple income streams, bettering myself and just loving this at times painful metamorphosis. I am not turned off the Lord, never. God is Life, Functional, Protective, Intelligent, requires a human being respect themselves, requires excellence, is Sanity. Says No. Says Yes. Is Stable and Secure. Rewards and reciprocates. Worship leads to reciprocity. All the things the Christendom overlooks. In my understanding at least.
When reading your blog I come across comments from women who are all woman, all feminine and for whom beauty is an art, a weapon and normal. Then you have women who reject vulnerability and are content with being militias…it is a wound. Bear with them. With us. Some days the battle seems lost when despite effort, training, money spent, practice and work…life, men, jobs, opportunities, recognition, preference, endorsements land on women who have their game t.o.g.e.t.h.e.r. It is altogether too easy to go back to the place in childhood when no one would look for you during hide and seek and would rather look for the seriously stunning girl. Life. Deal.
A daisy in the field.
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