What Am I Going to Read Next…?

The following is a list of books that I’ve recently read and books that I hope to read and or reference for research purposes in the future.

What I’ve Read Recently:

1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

A great story that tells the story of colonization from the perspective of  Okonkwo, a man from a village in what we now call Nigeria. It is great to have a story about colonization told from the perspective of a Black person.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Officially, one of my favorite stories. It takes place in the English countryside in the 19th century. It is a love story, a tragic love story where class, ethnicity and gender all intermingle.

3. 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

The true story of Solomon Northup, with the movie receiving an academy award for best picture, I don’t feel like I need to say much about the story. However, there are subtle differences between the book and the movie. Edwin Epps is actually worse in the book than in the movie.

4. Wonder by R. J Palacio

A very moving story about a young boy who has a facial disability and his coming of age in a real school for the first time. There are ups and downs and challenges and the story is told from multiple perspectives. It is truly moving. It’s a classic bildungsroman.

5. The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A classic masterpiece, great story. It takes place in the 1600s in Puritan Boston. There is a great twist in the story.

6. Cane River by Lalita Tademy

This is a great book about a mixed-race African-American family growing up on Cane River in the 19th century. It is the true story of Lalita Tademy’s family and it is a page-turner. It is really well-written and I honestly

7.  Black Boy by Richard Wright

A classic story, a true story about Richard Wright coming of age in Mississippi and then migrating to Chicago. Another bildungsroman.

What I Am Currently Reading…

Far From Home Naima B Robert – It is a story about the war in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and the secret that bonds two young women, one white, one black together. It is really good so far…I’ll have to let you know how it turns out and do a more detailed review later.

Autobiography of Malcolm X- True story of Malcolm X’s life.

What I Plan To Read…

1. The Bible

2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

3. Jazz by Toni Morrison

4. Pudd n’ Head Wilson

5. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway

6. The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac

7. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

8. From the Mississippi Delta by Endesha Ida Mae Holland

9. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Christian Books I Will Read/Reference: 

1. The Bible

2. Be Restored : God’s Power for African-American Women

3. Your Inner Eve: Discovering God’s Woman Within by Rev. Dr. Susan Newman

4. Women, Food and God

Non-Fiction Books

1. Black Knights: The Story of Tuskegee Airmen

2. Online narratives/ journals from antebellum era in the west

TBD…

A list of unarmed Blacks killed by police

Originally posted on Abagond:

Police Shooting

Here is a list of unarmed Blacks killed by police in the US. It is extremely incomplete. A complete list for just 2005 to 2012 would have at least 760 killings. I have only 6% of those. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Those in bold are linked to posts of their own:

2014: Victor White III (Iberia Parish, LA)
2014: Dante Parker (San Bernardino County, CA)
2014: Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, CA)
2014: Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO)
2014: Tyree Woodson (Baltimore, MD)
2014: John Crawford III (Beavercreek, OH)
2014: Eric Garner (New York, NY)
2014: Yvette Smith (Bastrop, TX)
2014: Jordan Baker (Houston, TX)
2013: Barrington Williams (New York, NY)
2013: Carlos Alcis (New York, NY)
2013: Deion Fludd (New York, NY)
2013:Jonathan Ferrell (Bradfield Farms, NC)
2013: Kimani Gray (New York, NY)
2013: Kyam Livingstone (New York, NY)
2013: Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr…

View original 491 more words

Why I, a Black Woman, Support Michael Brown When The Black Community Doesn’t Support Black Women…

There have been a few blog posts that have claimed that when Black women are faced with police brutality, there are no marches and very little action on the part of the Black community. However, when you compare that to the reaction of the Black community when Black men face police brutality, there is much more outrage and collective action. A few bloggers have claimed that, therefore, why should Black women “soldier,” for others when no one soldiers for us.

Here is my brief response: 

I don’t deny that the Black community doesn’t respond with as much support to Black women who face police brutality. There are many Black women who are brutalized by the police, for example there was a Black woman who was slammed to the ground based on false, unsubstantiated charges and left naked in the hall way, while male police officers gawked at her, there was Rekia Boyd, who was an innocent bystander who was murdered by a police officer, and countless others. There is definitely less support and less outrage for Black women who face police brutality. It’s a shame and it needs to be addressed.

However, I am just as outraged about Michael Brown as I am about Rekia Boyd and the countless other Black PEOPLE who receive abuse at the hands of the police. I cannot divorce my support from Black men who face this type of persecution anymore than I can divorce myself from Black women who face this type of persecution. After all, how can I not feel outrage or voice my support for Michael Brown when he could have easily been my son (whether I choose to procreate with a Black man or not)…or yes, even my husband. I feel equal outrage for both Black men and Black women and BLACK CHILDREN who face police brutality. It’s a serious issue.

I think the “Black community” needs to start expressing EQUAL outrage over both the brutality and mistreatment that Black men AND Black women face. That is my qualm, but I will not stop rallying and supporting Black men who do face these issues because I can’t. I will support both Black men and Black women.

 

unarmed black women killed by the police

Hey Black Woman, You’re a Failure If You Don’t Have a Husband

 

Well, I’m moving back to my parent’s house. I have spent a year advancing my career goals. It’s been challenging, but a great learning experience. It is now coming down to an end. I got another position back home with a company that I’m very passionate about. It will be a great step to furthering my career goals. I will also be taking some graduate courses, which I’m excited about. I’ll be paying on my own. :) I’m kinda sorta doing a “grown-up,” thing just like mommy!  :)

I have plans, dreams and hobbies that I would like to indulge in. I’ve even lost some weight about 20 pounds in all, although this week has been stressful and I’ve been a bit off. :) I’m getting back on the wagon first thing Saturday though. I still would like to lose about 10 more pounds, but it’s been pretty good to have lost this weight.

So with all of this positive news (and I am pleased with these prospects) you would think that I had it all going for me. Well, not for some apparently. The fact that I don’t have a boyfriend or husband makes me a failure to some.

I tell people, “oh I got this really great position at a business that I’m passionate about and I’m really excited.” I get a dull “oh cool…” then i get an excited…”so YOU MEET ANY GUYS??” This is the most important thing to people. If I’m happy and smiling, people come up to me and randomly ask me “who is HE?” As if the only reason that I could be happy is because some man made me that way. Then I’m reminded by their comments that I don’t have a man, so therefore I am a failure of a woman…

I tried doing a dating site earlier for a while. I got some responses sure, I got some older men winking at me, telling me I have a “beautiful smile,” and I got some pictures of penises in my inbox…but that was it. I closed my account.

I tried my hand at dressing up and going out on my own. I put on some eye makeup and a nice dress (one of the few that I have any way) and I got stares from men, but that’s it. I had one older Black man on the train tell me that “I’m a beautiful girl.” I had the cashier another older black man ask me out for a date…but I haven’t had a Black man my age ask me out in about 5-6 years, excluding the incident where the Afro-Arab guy basically tried to make me his jump off. Thankfully, I came out of that situation still a virgin… technically.

Then, there’s hispanic men. I am in a very hispanic area, yet I haven’t even met one guy who I could date here. It seems all the men here are married, which is great for hispanic women,but again not so much for me if I want to get a date. Then there’s Ethiopian men, I love their culture, but again they  tend to marry so young. There are not many Asian men in this area. Though I saw a good looking Asian guy at the gym. I don’t even think he noticed me at all.

Now, white men. I’ve tried to be more open to white men. Hey, Black men my age don’t seem to be interested in marrying any time this century, so why not white men? The Black women online make it seem so glamorous, so why not give it a try? Never mind the historical and culture obstacles that I deal with…I can’t even get past the basic, superficial stuff. This is what happens. I’ll be dressed up and all white men will do is stare at my breasts or at my mouth on the train and nothing else. I remember very vividly I was wearing my favorite dress (again I only have about 4 dresses ) I had on eye make, I thought I looked pretty nice, nicer than my usual t-shirt and khaki shorts and sandals any way… the guy is walking past me, stops and stares into my eyes for a long time, we’re both looking at each other, then he just glances down and smoothes his hair back, like he was embarrassed or something. I just think so many white men think they’re superior to Black women, in fact I know they do. I don’t completely trust white men either, I’m not going to lie.

Then another white guy just stares at my breasts on the subway with his wife and kid in tow and when he saw me looking at him LOOKING AT ME, he turned into a statue and looked away. That’s the kind of “attention,” I get. The perverted kind…it’s either perverted, married men, older and being creepy or it’s older, 45-50 year old Black men who just want a younger woman…I don’t know. I just attract perverted men, I always have…never the right kind of guys. I don’t know if it’s a vibe I give off or what.

Any way, I pretty much don’t care any more. whatever. I thought I’d have a marriage and baby by now or at least a boyfriend, but whatever. You may say I sound desperate, but the reality is, most people want companionship. However I’ll say in my defense that at least I’ve kept my dignity. I’m not out doing crazy things to get male attention or dressing all crazy. No. In fact, I hope to go back to church as soon as I move back home.

Why A Black Woman Is Afraid of White Men.

He glares at me with his intensely, indescribable eyes. It feels like they’re looking right through me. His broad shoulders are squared off as he faces me. I stare up into his round, crystal eyes. He towers over me. I flinch as he moves his strong arms.

“Jeanette, you’ve got to do better. You’re a great intern, but lately you’ve been off your game.” He says to me. His eyes are intense and his arms are crossed in front of him. His sleeves are rolled up and unbuttoned at the cuff. I can see the blond hairs on his arm. White men are so hairy, such a masculine trait.

“I know Mr. Rob, I’ll do better. I’m sorry, I’ve been dealing with some stuff. With school and everything.”

Mr. Rob was her supervisor. He was only 34 and he was already so accomplished. As a corporate finance manager, he was well on his way. Jeanette always had a thing for men who were intelligent and handsome.

“You know you don’t have to call me Mr. Rob, it makes me feel old.” He said

Rob went back to his office and Jeanette turned and walked away.

Rob was handsome. She loved being around him. On the rare occasion that the company had a get together, she loved being able to see Rob outside of work. She loved the way he could be laid back and relaxed when he wanted and hard and cut throat the next.

His favorite drink was scotch and soda. Jeanette always wondered how he could drink and still stay relatively sober. Jeanette could only manage one beer before she started getting sleepy. Must be genetics. Although Jeanette was a small woman. She was only 5’1, yet she was buxom with a 32 D natural bust, small waist and ample hips and backside.

Jeanette wasn’t much of a drinker any way, she was a dancer. The one time that they went to happy hour at a bar that had dancing, Jeanette had drank two beers and the room was already swaying. She loved to dance, but dancing in front of her coworkers and supervisor was anxiety inducing. Yet, she couldn’t stop herself and she felt an incredible level of comfort. Of course, she didn’t completely cut loose, no she just moved in rhythm to the music, turned and twisted at her leisure. Not nearly all that she could do.

Yet, there were moments when she would catch Mr. Rob looking at her…not looking at her the way he did at work. It was like he was looking at her and actually seeing her for the first time. It was like in that moment, he was looking at her and seeing a different woman than the shy, bookish, conservative Black girl at work. His eyes were wide with sensation. …every time she would catch him looking and try to meet his gaze, he’d turn away quickly and smooth back his hair. Maybe it was the scotch haze or maybe she’d imagined it…she didn’t know, all she knew was that she liked that he looked at her and she couldn’t understand why…

She was a nice Black girl and nice black girls aren’t into white men. Although Jeanette was raised by her mother and father in a very Christian household where they never overtly told her to stay away from white men, it was just an unspoken expectation that she knew not to go there. Her grandmother, who she loved dearly and who was an old church lady from North Carolina lived in the house too. Jeanette grew up hearing the horror stories of what life was like in the Old South. She heard stories of lynching and abuse. Jeanette’s grandmother, who always had a kind-heart, had raised the child of her sister alongside Jeanette’s mother. It was a well-known secret in the family that the reason that Jeanette’s grandmother had effectively adopted her niece was because she was the half-white child of Jeanette’s Great Aunt. She had conceived the child with her white employer when she was working as a maid in the 1950s. No one ever said the word, but Jeanette had a feeling that her Great Aunt might have been raped.

So, coming from her background, it was understandable why her family would be hesitant to see their daughter with any white man. The truth was Jeanette was just as hesitant to be involved with a white man. But that didn’t stop Jeanette from sometimes feeling the way she did about Rob.

The truth was, white men scared her. She wasn’t quite sure if she could trust them or not. Her fear was rooted in history and culture, yet she wished that she could trust Rob.

I’m Praying Because I Am Tired – Religious Post

The Beginning of a New Journey!

note: this is an old blog post that I pulled from an old blog that I had called blackyetlovely.wordpress.com. I have combined the blogs into one, but much of what I say in this post is still very true and I still feel this way, so I am reposting it as a new post or a reminder of what I feel. 

I became Christian when I was 12, just the beginning of adolescence. To be Christian is defined as believing in and being a follower of Christ.

I grew up my entire life in a sheltered enviorment where I truly believed that the world was this idealistic place. I went to a prep school where I was one of the few black girls in my class and where I was one of a handful of my friends who believed in God. Although I was different from my friends, we generally got along.

As I grew older, I began to have my first encounters with real racism. I began to realize that the idealistic world that I had dreamnt of as a young girl did not truly exist. The more I experienced and learned, the more I began to realize that there is so much cruelty and injustice in this world. I began to feel alienated as a black woman and the constant demeaning and degrading images that were shown in the media coupled with my personal encounters with racism began to drain me emotionally…and spiritually.

When I looked at the mistreatment of black women in society and the world, it made me sick. I couldn’t understand why God would allow little girls to be born truly believing that they’re so unwanted and undesired just because of their skin color and hair texture.

At this point I had to stop and pray and reflect on some things. I realized that there is only so much I can do ,as a human being , to change the way people feel about me, as a black woman. I can show people positive images of black women, I can show beautiful pictures of black women, but at the end of the day people are going to believe what they want to believe. If they have negative and hateful feelings towards me and other black women…I can’t change their heart, only God can do that.

I thought about the song “This Battle Is not Yours,” by Yolanda Adams, I realized that in the process of constantly fighting over people, I was also fighting myself. I was hurting myself and am hurting myself.

I have to remind myself on a daily basis that “this battle is not mine, but Gods,” just as it says in 2 Chronicles 20:15. 

I write this blog as a form of prayer. I hope to find healing for myself and for other black women as well. Just as this blog is a learning experience for many of my readers, it is also a learning experience for me.

My Prayer

“I pray that through this blog God will remind me that this battle is not mine. I pray that God will remind us not to look to the media, men or other people to see our true beauty, but to look to God, our father. I pray that God will show us that true lasting beauty is not found externally, but is found in a beautiful heart, which is ripe with God’s love.  I pray that God will forgive me for my bitterness, anger and foul mouth and heal my heart so that I may help others heal through this blog. I pray that God will show me how to help improve the treatment of black women without being hateful or resentful towards others. I pray that God will help me and all those black women who feel mistreated to FORGIVE those who mistreat us, so that we may truly be in God’s image. I pray that God will help me to remember to love thine enemy. I pray that God will uplift this blog and help touch the lives of black women and all people who read these words, including myself and my co-author Bronwyn. I pray that God may touch my heart  and touch the hearts of our readers. I pray that God will heal and allow me  to carry the positive lessons from this blog through all the days and truly take them to heart. I thank God for all his love and I seek him with an open heart and welcome his guidance into my life and the life of our readers. In Christ name I pray. Amen.”

My Natural Hair Journey Is Sacred, Please Don’t Appropriate It.

and I thought that Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” appropriation was bad…

My natural hair is not a joke and it’s not a trend.

There was an article featured on a natural hair blog that featured a white woman and her “journey to natural hair acceptance.” I am not going to give the name of the article…but it was  featured on Curly Nikki. I advise you not to go visit the site. I do not want to support that site with any more clicks. Curly Nikki, which was founded by a Black woman named Nikki Walton, was  originally intended to give Black women a safe space where they could get advice and support for their natural hair. Ultimately, the blog was sold to a white-owned company, so it should come as no surprise that a white woman who basically just took her hair out of a bun and called herself “part of the natural hair movement,” was featured on the website.

Let me say this…

My natural hair journey is sacred to me.  My natural hair journey wasn’t just superficial, it wasn’t just about not seeing my beauty represented in magazines or on the big screen. It wasn’t just about cutting the relaxed tips off of my hair and it certainly wasn’t as simple as taking my hair tie out and proudly proclaiming myself “a proud natural!” No. Embracing my natural hair was the beginning of embracing my Black identity. Once I went natural, I started researching about my African roots, I started reading about my history and I started taking pride in who I was. I questioned all of the lies that I had been told about my heritage. I learned that my western and central African ancestors had a rich history and still have a rich culture. I learned that much of what the media shows about Africans around the world is untrue…and I started to love myself.  So, my natural hair journey was more than just superficial, it was sacred. It was a catalyst that led me to embrace all parts of my Black identity.

 

Natural hair support groups are a place where Black women can feel safe. We can can feel safe from discriminatory military regulations, we can feel safe from school and workplace discrimination and we don’t have to worry about being called “nappy-headed hoes.” We need those spaces and I find it very offensive that a white woman, who is part of the very group that marginalizes US as Black women, feels entitled to enter this space and impose her views on Black women. Her struggles as a white woman with “natural hair,” [read:white hair] are not comparable to the systematic  discrimination that Black women face for wearing our God-given natural hair everyday.

The natural hair movement is about Black women  bonding, sharing our stories, supporting one another and healing..and I am sorry, but I cannot  identify with a white woman who claims to be apart of the natural hair movement and I will never be able to truly accept a white woman into the natural hair space…not as long as white supremacy and white privilege continue to exist. As long as I have to keep straightening my hair just to go to job interviews and as long as I have to keep reading stories about schools expelling Black girls for wearing natural hair or banning african hairstyles or the military banning braids and afros…I cannot take the “hair struggles,” of a white woman seriously. It doesn’t compare and I certainly think that it’s insulting at best and racist at worst to suggest that it does compare. This is not to say that the woman’s struggle’s with self esteem aren’t important and this is certainly not to say that white women can NEVER be invited into black woman’s space, but it is clear that some white women are oblivious to their own white privilege and as long as that attitude of oblivion continues, there will continue to be a rift between Black women and white women in the natural hair community.

Because my identity as an African woman was stolen from me…My natural African hair is the only link that I have to my origins.

Yes, the natural hair movement is a sacred space for Black women and I completely understand where the anger and frustration that many Black women feel is coming from.

Please don’t appropriate our natural hair journey. It’s not a toy or a fad.

 

read more about my natural hair journey here: http://blacknotwhitedippedinchocolate.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/hairdresser-tales-natural-hair-is-soft-beautiful/

Donald Sterling & The Corporate Plantation

I am very late on this topic, I’ve been busy with other things, but I must chime in. I tried to stay away from the Donald Sterling controversy because it was futile to me to focus on one man when the problem is the institution as a whole. So, Mr. Sterling likes to associate with half-black women, but hates Black people. Nothing unique about that. We’ve seen that throughout history. Have we forgotten about Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Thistlewood or Strom Thurmond? All of these white men slept with at least partly Black women, yet all of them held racist views towards Black people. I am not at all shocked, the news about Donald Sterling didn’t particularly interest me because I had heard it all before. However, what gets to me is not the fact that he had a relationship with a Black/Latina woman, who clearly has her own problems with her identity, it’s the fact that he said this,

“I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?”

This statement should be a wake up call to all Black people, especially Black professional athletes. Just remember Donald Sterling is only one man expressing his views, but ask yourself this. How many Black players are there in the NBA and how many Black owners are there of those sports teams? Who are you really playing for and where is your hard-earned money going to?

Just remember years ago, Black folks were allowed to entertain white folks, dance, sing and perform and white folks happily watched, but at the end of the day, the black folks had to go out of the back door and exit through the kitchen. The message being, you can entertain us, but don’t you dare think that you’re one of us. As Donald Sterling put so bluntly, “you’re like an enemy to me.”

Fame and money will only take you so far, as a Black person, when you are not even running the game. So I can’t say that I am terribly surprised by Donald Sterling’s comments. I am surprised that more Black people still haven’t opened their eyes to reality. You may have some  dollars, but just remember while you’re being paid millions, those who own you are bringing in billions. The minute you step out of line, you “become an enemy to them.” Think about that next time you, as a Black person, think you’ve made it.

There are many a Donald Sterlings out there.