“Swirling”—a social term that refers to the recent interracial dating boom in America is now a crucially important book that every Black woman should read. Written by Christelyn D. Karazin and Janice Rochelle Littlejohn—two beautiful sisters who’ve experienced all races of men and have very compelling information to share—the book is a porthole into the world of possibilities that await Black women when we dare to wander beyond the gates of today’s dying Black community and reinvent ourselves, making our own options; our own realities.
Sadly, as much as I enjoyed reading “SWIRLING” and found myself laughing and slapping my knees in agreement with the author’s and their experiences—I became very upset when I tried to get other Black women to read the book and found myself met with walls of stubborn resistance. I decided to write this review to say a few things that I feel a mother would tell a daughter. The first thing being that as an African-born woman who comes from a tribe and a clan, I would love nothing better than to see a world of “Black love” and the continuation of our people in the African sense—I myself married a wonderful Black man and have two wonderful sons. But the reality is—we now live in an age where Black men’s media images worship every kind of woman but Black. It’s an era when many Black men publicly instruct each other to ‘use black women for sex and money’ and reserve love and marriage for ‘anything but a black woman’—creating the statistical reality that most Black women will not be able to find suitable mates in their own group and are more likely to be abandoned after being ‘used for sex’ with babies.
We also, as Black women, need to understand where this compulsion to be loyal to Black men at the expense of our own lives comes from.
Ever since there’s been an African—the honor of having a life has been packaged and bestowed as an entitlement for little Black boys. Little Black girls were raised to protect, respect and celebrate the entitlements of the little Black boy’s life—as it’s drilled into us that the whole world is out to destroy him. If need be, the hopes and dreams of the African female is to be sacrificed for him we are raised; that his right to soar is the most important thing.
Beyond hollow Nationalist rhetoric and words, there has been no altar where either boys or girls worshipped Black women—but we imposed rather a male-identified worker bee culture that patronized the elderly Big Mama and pitted black male beauty, cool and self-interest as the symbolic value of African virility.
Pan-Tribal-Clan tradition injected racial reproduction as the sole value of the Black woman—because back before slavery and colonialism, when Black men loved being dark, powerfully authentic African males, they needed our dark wombs in order to be born again in their own image. The reproduction of “Black Sons” was the most centrally important ritual throughout African cultural hierarchy. Therefore Black women were acculturated to be most loyal and loving of the Black man—to see her world as out of balance unless he was reborn—while he on the other hand was acculturated to see Black women as his faceless obligated worker bees; his caretaking backbones and emotional bastions—long suffering inanimate reproduction vessels that could be taken for granted depending on his up or his down.
For these reasons, our stupefied loyalty to Black men has been extremely hard to shake. While other races of women are publicly and profusely ‘watered’ like flowers by the men of their societies—Black women, no matter where they exist on the planet, are the only flower among humans that perpetually grows ‘unwatered.’ She is constantly called “strong” and told: “be a strong black woman and take it like a man.” Any caring on her part for her inner self is treated as an affront to all the other humans she serves. If she defends or imposes her own will, then she is dismissed as ‘angry,’ ‘bitter,’ ‘non-supportive,’ and historically undeserving of happiness.
In my writings as a Womanist Black African author, I strive to bring a new message to young woman. My message is that we are the center of the universe and that our loyalty should be to our wombs—that we like those who like us; and discard those who fail to acknowledge and honor us.
What makes me so love and strongly recommend “SWIRLING” is that finally, here is a ray of sunshine of a book that joyously, comically and seriously takes the side of Black women without blinking an eye and without alienating other types of readers—even Black males.
While Janice Littlejohn takes the clinical and more scientific role in the book, Christelyn Karazin gives us the ‘warm and fuzzy’—both women graciously offering up their own personal lives to weave a tapestry of love, information and self-acceptance that can only help anyone who dares read “SWIRLING”. And let me tell you Black women—we truly need to be reading this book, if for nothing else than to educate and expand our minds to what’s out there. Our landscape whether we like it or not is changing. The future is now and “SWIRLING” is right on time. Get your copy.