Friday, April 06, 2007

Women of Color Blog » Day of Truthtelling!#comment-32276#comment-32276

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Moved To New Domain

If you are looking for my blog here, you will find it at the new domain. It is as follows:

http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com

Thanks.

"Ann"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Beware of Darkness

Watch out now, take care
Beware of falling swingers
Dropping all around you
The pain that often mingles
In your fingertips
Beware of darkness.

Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night

Beware of sadness
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for

Watch out now, take care
Beware of soft shoe shufflers
Dancing down the sidewalks
As each unconscious sufferer
Wanders aimlessly
Beware of Maya

Watch out now, take care
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go
While Weeping Atlas Cedars
They just want to grow, and grow and grow
Beware of darkness (beware of darkness).


Lyrics by George Harrison

Friday, September 29, 2006

An Open Letter To All Black Women

aI want for black women to realize the enormous potential they have in learning to appreciate their unique beauty. Not just the physical beauty (Lord knows there are many non-black women out there who are undergoing the knife, the injections, the tans, etc., to get what we black women come by naturally), but to also appreciate the earnestness, the pragmatic, the resourcefulness and more that is so unique among us black women.


Your body is your temple. I know, this saying may sound trite to many people, but truer words were never spoken. This is the only body and the only life you will ever have. Be good to it outwardly, but more importantly, be good to it inwardly: no drugs, no excessive sex just because a man wants in to your body, and no babies without benefit of marriage. No child needs to come into the world because its mother wanted so desperately to have a man in her life that she was willing to do anything to keep that man. No man, whatever his race, is worth the destruction of a black woman’s heart, mind and body. And neither is the bringing of an innocent child into the world when there is chaos and turmoil between a man and a woman.


As far as I am concerned, that is the ultimate act of child abuse.


When people ask me if I have any children, I answer, “No, I have never been married, therefore, I do not have any children.” I have had people say to me, “You do not have to be married to have children.” I answer, “No, you do not have to be married to have children, but I would rather wait until after marriage to have children.” I equate children with MARRIAGE, not out of wedlock. Children are a blessing from God, and if some black women out there have had children before marriage, please love them with all your heart. They are dependent on you as their mother to give your all in doing the very best for them. But, if at all possible, please wait until after marriage to have children. This is the greatest kindness you can show them. Marriage, as-near-as-possible a stable life, two parents who love and respect each other, then MARRIAGE, then CHILDREN. Any child who comes into the world with TWO parents is going to have it hard enough; to come into the world with a SINGLE parent, especially if the man has impregnated and split the scene, is wrong and cruel to the innocent child. Think of a child’s welfare before you make that decision to lay down with that man. Is he a man who would be a good and deserving father to your child? Is he a man who loves you beyond a shadow of a doubt? If he is none of that, then he is not a man whom you should have any child with, let alone have sex with. No man is worth laying down with, getting a child with, if the woman thinks that is the only way to hold onto him. Yes, I am sounding archaic in my moral values and beliefs to many people, but at the end of the day, believe me, ladies, you will have peace of mind knowing that you thought of someone else’s needs instead of your own. A child’s needs, not your own.


“If you loved me, you would prove it to me.”


Yes, some men out there in the world have said those hated words to many a young girl. Any man who utters such vile words to a woman does not love her at all, for if he did, he would not disrespect her in the most loathsome way that he could, and saying these words to a young woman is the height of cruelty and utter disregard. No man (no matter what his race, black, white, Latino, or whatever), is worth throwing your moral values away on. If a man loves the woman, he would not ask such a damnable thing of her. No. If he loved her he would be a MAN and not be a selfish creature. Actions have cause and effect, and some actions can cause devastating effects, especially if an innocent child is involved.


Black women need to stop selling themselves short, black women need to stop devaluing themselves, because if we do not do it, NO ONE ELSE will do it for us. WE have to love and respect ourselves, before we can expect ANYONE else to learn to respect us, to admire us, to adore us, to COVET us. Our love, our virginity, our celibacy, our hearts, our minds, our bodies are of utmost importance. If we do not take care of these treasures, we stand to lose more than earthly tangibles.


We stand to lose our souls as well.


The best way to get a MAN’S attention is to have the following;

-Respect for your body and mind.
-A joy and excitement for life
-A “killer smile”, a hearty “Hello”
-A keeper of your moral values to remain chaste for marriage. Not to pollute your body with someone else’s callous disregard for you. The more you cling to a man who does not want you, the more you strangle YOURSELF with debasing your values just to hang onto him.
-Always keep up the positive in your life. Always know that today may have been a rough one, but there is also the rest of the day, and if God is willing, tomorrow. Put stride in your walk, walk confidently and assuredly, let the world know that you own just as much of this life and world as anyone else, and that you will take nothing less than all the happiness and gusto you can from it.Throw those shoulders back, take on the world, grab it by the throat, and demand that it give you your due.
-ATTITUDE. Yep, that’s right. Attitude, as in GOOD attitude. Yeah, I know, many people out there equate “bad” with the word attitude when it is used in conjunction with the words “black woman”. But there is the attitude that radiates forth from a woman who knows she values herself, who knows she is a diamond in any man’s life, especially if she carries and treats herself like the precious gem that she is.
-SMILE. Yeah, I know, I said it before, but, smile. So what if that man (black, white, Latino, or whatever does not smile back, he’s just too ignorant to realize that it was YOU who had just brightened his day, and that he was too ignorant to realize the sunshine that you had shone in his life.) Smile. The more you smile, the more happier you will feel, the more positive an out look you will cultivate, the more positive your inner mana, the more positive your outer glow. Smile.
-When you walk into a room, walk in like you own everything in that room. Walk in with the confidence of a phenonmenal woman, because that is what you are.
-Never settle for a piece of someone elses's "pie". "Make your own pie"; create the you that you will be most happy with, because as long as you have to beg for a "slice" of someone elses's pie, sometimes you may come out on the shortend, or with little to nothing at all.
-Remember, you are a "gift" and you should always treat yourself that way. Before you give yourself to any man, before you allow any man into your life, ask yourself these questions: "Will he gently and lovingly "open" me thinking of my feelings, my heart, my desires?" "Does he always want the best for me, does he always want to see me happy and full of joy?" "Or, will he tear into me, ripping me apart, like I am nothing, throwing my feelings around and onto the ground as if I have no rights he is bound to respect?" No man who cannot respect you is worth any moment more in your life if he cannot appreciate the "gift" of you; the gift that was given by God to man to love, adore, and cherish.
-"Write your own play, write your own novel." Your life is unfolding out before you each and every day. "Compose", "draft", and "design" your own life and how you want it to be. You and you alone can write the "script" of how you want your life to go as you walk this journey of your life. Make it the best and most spectacular journey that ever was. You are your own play. You are your own novel. Make it memorable and like no one elses's. Make it your and yours alone.

"Until the lioness learns to write, history will continue to be written by the hunter."


Think always of yourself as the beautiful, and rare person that you are.
There is no other on this Earth like you, now. There will never be another on this Earth, like you in the future. You have a right to “be” in this world. You have a right to be “you.” No matter what any man says, no matter what any other woman says, no matter how much the world seeks to tear you down, because you are a black woman, always prevail. Always stand. You must create your own image of yourself as to what and who you are, not what the world thinks you are. WHAT YOU ARE. Start the work of taking back your image of the true you and crush under your heels the hated lies, myths and distortions that the world has spread about on you for so long. Only you have the last word on who you are; only you have the last word on whether you will not cast your pearls before swine, or whether you will safeguard and honor all that is wonderful in you. Do not let the world have the last word. You have a right to be you. And any one who can not live with that, anyone who refuses to “get with the program” and accept that you love and value yourself, can just keep on stepping. You do not need anyone in your life who does not have your best interests at heart. They are like a raging lion that seeks to devour and destroy you. Have only people in your life who will do good and peace to you. Remember that as a black woman, you owe yourself joy, happiness, and peace. And no one can give that to you but yourself.

You are unique. Believe that. Live it. Be it.

This is my “open letter” to all black women out there in the world.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Images and the Power That They Convey

No Images by Waring Cuney


She does not know
Her beauty,
She thinks her brown body
Has no glory.
If she could dance
Naked
Under palm trees
And see her image in the river,
She would know.

But there are no palm trees
On the street,
And dishwater gives back no images. . .




I first read this beautiful poem when I was just entering junior high school. It made quite an impact on me. It was then and there when I began to read all the history I could of black people's struggles and survivals in this country which sought so hard to destroy us. I began to look at the images constantly shown and reinforced by the dominant white society on what was considered beautiful in America's eyes----"Barbie"; The Breck Girl Shampoo ads; the Miss Clairol Dye ads: "Does she, or doesn't she", which for so long showed the image of the blond, white ice-goddess as the epitome of all things beautiful in America; the Miss America Pageant, which for so many decades said with its selection of white women contestant winners, that black women had no place, or beauty in the eyes of America. That unless a black woman fit the molded image of light skin, fair eyes, long straight hair, that she was to be considered not beautiful; that she was to be considered as less than a woman.

Black women and girls are reeling from the vicious onslaught on their character, and the world's skewed stereotypical views of them. Black women have been under attack in this country ever since they set foot on its shores more than 350 years ago. Their beautiful dark skin, full lips, tightly coiled hair that defies gravity, their lovely hips, all the beautiful attributes that God and Nature saw first to bless black women with, were denigrated by a white society that sought to debase and degrade all things black and beautiful.

As I read more and more of my history as a black person, as a BLACK WOMAN in America, the more I saw all the beauty that came before me. Beautiful black women from Sene-Gambia, Sierra Leon, Ghana, Nigeria. And as I read more and more, I learned of the beautiful women of Haiti, Bahamas, Bermuda, Columbia, Panama. Black women who were secure in their beauty, their walk, their stature, their place in this world.

The more I learned of my history, the more I learned and appreciated that I was born a black woman. We are most unique among all women on this Earth. We are the original "Earth Mothers", we are the women whose lovely attributes all the other women of the world covet. We are the holders of the ultra-feminine ideal, the ideal which can only be obtained one of two ways---either naturally as a black woman, or through cosmetic means of surgery.

Many envy us what we have come by naturally---never-fade, ever-lasting natural tans; hair that never needs a curling iron, breasts and hips that need no surgical enhancement or padding, full, luscious lips that make men swoon.

Yes, there are some women of other races who have physical attributes such as ours. But, those women are few and far between.

We black women still own the monopoly on the original beauty standard, and it is time now for all black women and girls to embrace and claim their place in the Sun; their place on the throne.

We can all start by learning of our history as black women in America. We can all learn of those who came before us, those who paved the way for us in their own beautiful way. For by knowing our history as black people, as black women in America, we learn of ourselves and all that we have accomplished. All that we can accomplish as black women. There is power is learning; there is power in knowing.

All of our black ancestors who came before us "paid for you and me." Many thousand gone---parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-great grandparents, uncles, aunts---everyone of us here today, has been paid for by all the enduring hope of these many people who came before us.

I exhort all black women today, to learn of our beautiful history as black women in America. To learn that before all the hated stereotypes, before all the disparaging slander, before all the "gold-diggers", "hard and bitter", "angry black woman", "chickenhead" slurs, there were, and STILL ARE, beautiful black women--then, as now. Beautiful black women who set the standard on true natural beauty. Beautiful black women who had spines of "steel". Beautiful black women who have made an inpact on America and its history. Black women are already beautiful. We do not need anyone else's images to be beautiful.

We are beautiful black women who still have within, and without, that "brown body" beauty that dances underneath the palm trees, in the moonlit glow of the river within us all.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Reinventing Themselves

". . .she had nothing to fall back on; not maleness; not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of the profound desolation of her reality she may well have invented herself.

Toni Morrison




Black women in America are among its most unique citizens. They have survived the horrors and degradations of slavery, the failure of Reconstruction and the dehumanization of Jim Crow/segregation. But through all that they have survived, black women are still waging their war to live in this world and as the only group of women who have had a tremendous impact upon race, and sex, in America, they all have voices that should , and must be heard.

So beautiful to the eyes of W.E.B. Dubois was black women's survival of the ravages of slavery, and of the white society all around them that sought to tear black women apart, that he said in his marvel of the black women of his time:

"I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire."

Yes, black women are the phoenixs who time and time again, rise and triumph over the most greatest of odds. Reinventing themselves. Creating so much out of so many travails.

Black women have made tremendous impacts on America, both in the past, and in the present.
And black women are still making their voices be heard. They have shown America that what does not destroy us, most certainly will make us stronger. Therefore, I sing in praise of black women:

I sing the body electric of black women;
I celebrate the women here now, and yet to come;
I toast to their own reunion;
When they become one with the Sun.

And as they look back on their Mothers;
And as they look back on the Grandmothers,
And they burn with the fire, of ten million stars;
And in time, and in time, they will all be stars.

I sing the body electric of black women;
I glory in the glow of their rebirth;
Creating their own tomorrow,
When they shall embody the Earth.

And I will serenade their Mothers;
And serenade their Grandmothers,
And I will burn with the fire of ten million stars,
And in time, and in time, we will ALL be stars!

Yes. Black women. Beautiful. Resilient. Indominatable.

And as a last note, I will return to the words of W.E.B. Dubois. No more beautiful words have ever been spoken of black women then...and now:

"I have always felt like bowing myself in all abasement, searching to bring some tribute to these long-suffering. . ., these burdened sisters of mine. . .I have known the women of many lands and nations,---I have known and seen and lived beside them, but none have I known more sweetly feminine, more unswervingly loyal, more desparately earnest, and more instinctively pure in body and in soul than the daughters of my black mothers.

"This, then,--a little thing---to their memory and inspiration."