“All lives matter” (2014) is what some White Americans and their hangers-on cannot seem to stop their colour-blind racist selves from saying when the phrase “Black lives matter” comes up. Not just ordinary people, but even those running for president – in both parties.
“Black lives matter” became a catchphrase and the name of a protest movement in 2013 after George Zimmerman was found not guilty and got away with killing Trayvon Martin. The phrase and the protests took off a year later after the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Over the past year or so citizen video and Black Twitter have made clear to the nation what many Blacks have long known: that police regularly kill Blacks and get away with murder. As if Black lives do not matter.
So at the very least, under the circumstances, saying “All lives matter” in answer to “Black…
Aveda recently came out with a “product” that is designed for Black women. It is supposed to “moisturize,” and eliminate “frizz.” I’ve noticed recently that other white companies have been trying to jump on the Black natural hair bandwagon.
Well, this Natural Black woman isn’t falling for it. For years and years these white companies didn’t care about Black women’s hair health and that hasn’t changed. These companies, I believe are now seeing that more and more Black women are starting to transition back to our natural hair and they want our money, plain and simple.
It is reminiscent of how the Black hair care industry was infiltrated by non-black businesses that copied Black products and then sold us their products [which enriched their communities], while the Black companies went out of business. Not only did the Black community lose money from this, but their products were not good for our hair. Many of us who used these chemicals ended up losing our hair and we had to turn to weaves.
Many natural haired black women rely on other Black women to produce healthy, effective natural hair products. I , for instance, only purchase natural hair products that I know are black-owned and reliable. One of my favorite is oyinhandmade and I also use sheamoisture. In addition, I sometimes make my own natural hair products from organic shea butter. If you go on YouTube, you’ll find many Black women with natural hair who make and sell their own products as a small side-business.
These women actually CARE about Black women’s hair health because they HAVE our hair. These white companies are just out to exploit and take advantage as usual. Don’t get fooled, don’t let these companies peddling natural hair products, who didn’t even care about our hair a few years ago, supplant our natural hair care industry that we are building.
I will continue to support black-owned natural hair products and I won’t be supporting Aveda or any of these other companies that don’t have our best interests at heart.
My natural hair journey was a very intimate part of my identity and I’m not going to let some company that doesn’t care about Black women take that away.
“The western world was made for white people. Black people were brought here to be worked like chattel and made to labor to benefit white men, women and children. While white people were on pedestal, black people were subjected to the worst cruelties.
Our perceptions of beauty and desirability are rooted in our history of white supremacy. White beauty standards are a form of white supremacy that dictates our daily existence. From the time that we’re children, we are indoctrinated with the notion that white is superior. Hence the reason black children continue to pick the white doll over the black doll in the black doll-white doll test. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyI77Yh1Gg) Both white women and white men are represented as everything good, while black men and black women are represented as every thing bad. However because we live in a patriarchal society where looks are more valued in women than men (and many women accept this), white women are especially promoted as being the epitome of beauty, femininity and womanhood. Look at who is featured in magazines, observe who is portrayed as desirable on television and in film, it is overwhelming white women. Yet, Black women are restricted to being typecast as the sapphire, mammy or jezebel.
How does this relate to dating, sex and marriage?
Underneath the veil of political correctness, there lurks a deep racial caste system that, if you’re black, impacts every aspect of your life whether you choose to see it or not. Black people are living in a white supremacist culture. Black people must depend on white people for jobs and live in white neighborhoods and go to white schools. In the black community (unfortunately) prestige is associated with going to a white prep school, living in a nice white upper-middle class neighborhood, going to a white country club, working for white companies etc. Yet black people are never fully accepted into this world. This is why Black people get followed around white stores and white neighborhoods, denied jobs in white businesses and denied loans from white banks. Yet, instead of focusing on building up black communities where black people would set their own norms, control their own wealth and image, the ideal aspiration for success continues to be (for many black people) assimilating into white society.
Given all of these inequalities and given the fact that black people are forced to live and assimilate into a white supremacist society, it would make sense that this white supremacist doctrine also impacts black people’s dating choices. Not only do some Black people aspire to be assimilate into white society in the workplace, in the neighborhood and in school, but some Black people strive to romantically and sexually assimilate into white society.
The impact of racism on hiring practices, the wage gap and socio-economic disparities are well-documented, but the impact of racism on dating and romantic prospects is less documented, less studied and almost taboo. White supremacy impacts both Black men and Black women, but Black men date and marry out more often than Black women and because beauty standards disproportionately impact black women, Black men are the focus of this post. As mentioned, if racism impacts every aspect of American life, especially if you’re black…if racism impacts hiring practices, health, socio-economics and education, is it not naive to believe that dating and romantic choices would also not be impacted by white supremacy.
There are Black men who exclusively prefer white and non-black women. While not every Black man who gets into an interracial relationship is indoctrinated, many who claim to exclusively prefer any woman, but a black woman and many black men who degrade black women as a justification to date white/non-black women are indoctrinated, white supremacists. They grew up in a culture where white is portrayed as being superior and their dating and romantic habits are a reflection of that culture. Some Black men who have these predilections will claim by tooth and nail that “it’s just a preference,” or “love just happens” or “you can’t help who you love.”
But, preferences don’t evolve in a vacuum, your racial preference likely is heavily influenced by the culture you grew up in and how you were raised and because most black men are raised in a white supremacist culture, many black men are white supremacists and their racial preference exemplify that. In addition, you can choose who you love. If people couldn’t choose who they loved, then we would see more even dating and romantic relationships across the board. We would see the sweet, kind, homely [black] woman being portrayed as the love interest and being romanced by the football star, but instead we see high status football stars being portrayed with women who conform to an idealized, Eurocentric, beauty standard. Yes you can choose who you love.
You don’t randomly wake up one morning and prefer every race, but black and call that a preference. That is white supremacy. That is indoctrination, that is an inferiority complex.
Now, not all Black men are indoctrinated or white supremacist, there are some who genuinely get into relationships with white/ non-bw for honest reasons, so no Black man should be judged solely based off of who he dates, but often times white supremacy has more to do with who you choose to be with than you realize. More people must start being honest with themselves and questioning WHY they have an exclusive preference for any race of woman, but Black women.
Ultimately, Black men and people in general will do what they are going to do, but sometimes self-reflection is beneficial. If you exclusively date non-black women and if you demean black women as an excuse to date white or non-black women, then you more than likely are indoctrinated with the ideal that whiteness and in particular white women are superior. Love didn’t “just happen,” and no you’re not colorblind. Sorry.
Where does this leave Black women?
Society has made a concerted effort to portray Black women as the least desirable. Black women, in general, are reduced to 3 main caricatures, the mammy or overweight, asexual black woman, the sapphire or angry black woman and the jezebel or oversexed, immoral Black woman. All three of these stereotypes are commonly found in todays culture. The angry black woman is seen everywhere in the media and the jezebel stereotype is prevalent as well. The mammy stereotype is very commonly found in todays culture. In 2011, Psychology Today published an article stating that “black women were objectively the least attractive women.” Although the study has since been debunked and removed, that didn’t stop other media outlets from picking up the story and it didn’t stop racists from perpetuating the notion that black women are objectively uglier.
This “ugly black woman stereotype,” believe it or not is rooted in slavery. The ugly black woman stereotype is a derivative of the mammy stereotype. The mammy stereotype was created by white men during slavery to excuse their sexual violence against black enslaved women. By portraying black women as asexual and unappealing, this stereotype served to absolve white men of the responsibility of their sexual abuse of female slaves. Namely the idea was why would white men rape mammy- looking black women? This stereotype also served to assuage the damaged ego of his white wife. But, we’ll get into that later. Black women are inundated with the message that they are ugly and undesirable and this is reified by the abundance of “studies” that describe black women as the least desirable, the least replied to on online dating sites and the least beautiful. The constant portrayal of Black women in the media as combative, unattractive, very cumbersome and or asexual serves to validate white supremacy.
You rarely see beautiful, classy, intelligent black women portrayed in a desirable light in the media. One doesn’t need to venture further than YouTube to find an abundance of videos, reports and posts that highlight black women’s perceived undesirability.
The media makes a concerted effort to highlight black men/non-black women couples, yet focuses less attention on white/non-black men with black women couples. Often when the media does show Black women in relationships with white men/non-black men, it is done for comedic relief or to further emphasize the weirdness of the characters. A good example would be in the movie Napoleon dynamite where (funny as it may have been) the black woman/white man were portrayed as both being abnormal to say the least, so the relationship between the black woman/white man was used to further reinforce the abnormal aspects of the characters.
Society sends the message that Black women are the least attractive and society derides the features of Black women, such as full lips, protruding backsides, dark skin and kinky hair. Society mocks and derides women like Serena Williams for having these features, but when a white female has these features (whether they are real or not), society treats the white woman like she is superior for appropriating qualities that are common on Black women. A prime example would be “twerking.” Black women have been booty dancing for years and years and some can even trace the origin of booty dancing back to Africa. When Black women were twerking, this form of booty dance was considered trashy and ghetto, but still the Black women in music videos and on YouTube were getting views and people were noticing. This made some people insecure, so of course twerking was white-washed by placing white women with more “acceptable bodies,” (i.e. smaller, less protrusive backsides) on the scene. Now, there are white women who are mimicking black women by twerking and offering dance classes to learn how to twerk, so basically white women are being paid to appropriate what Black women have been doing, but Black women remain marginalized. Instead of giving credit to Black women for creating a desirable and sexually-appealing form of movement, it had to be whitened and put on a white face in order to maintain white supremacy and again appease the egos of white women.
This type of whitening of Black female features and culture is also evident because you see Black men who refuse to date Black women, but seek out non-black women with traditional black female features. Full lips on a black woman are seen as “monkey or coon lips,” but luscious and exotic on white/non-bw and protruding behinds are seen as fat and hypersexual on black women, but curvy and exotic on non-bw. Twerking is trashy and ghetto when done by black women, but innovative and sexy when done by non-black/white women. Recently Allure magazine even wrote an article teaching white women how to get an afro. In a country where until recently, cornrows were banned from the military and where cornrows, afros and other natural hairstyles are still banned in many schools and in many places of work, Allure, a magazine that seldom features Black women in their magazine, teaches white women how to appropriate a Black woman’s natural hair at their leisure.
Interestingly, when you bring up appropriation of black women’s features, some will get offended and say “you can find these features any where, so it’s not appropriation.” In other words, these people are attempting to deny black women’s right to claim aspects of their beauty and culture as unique to Black women, but yet white women are the only ones who can be white. Kinky hair, full lips, dark-skin, protruding behinds are not found everywhere. How many northern and western european women NATURALLY have dark skin, kinky hair, full lips or even protruding backsides?
Most have pale skin, straight hair, smaller lips and less protrusive behinds and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is an adaptation to the cooler climates of Western/Northern Europe. Just the same way black women’s dark skin, hair and other features are adaptations to the warmer climates of Africa. Look back at European art and most of the women are painted or drawn having pale skin, straight hair, thin lips and less protrusive backsides. They weren’t drawn or painted with cornrows or drawn booty dancing. But, look at various carvings and art work from West Africa and other regions of the African continent and you’ll notice the carvings have cornrows or braids, full lips, protrusive backsides, very wide hips, dark skin and all the features traditionally associated with Black women and booty dancing has been a part of many African cultures for generations. These features are not found everywhere, but you’ll see the media and society appropriating these features from Black women and putting them on a white face and then pretending that any woman can have these features.
Blue or green eyes are very commonly found amongst white women and the media highlights these women often. However, there are also Black women with blue/green eyes, but do we ever see the media or anyone finding the Black woman with blue/green eyes and putting her up on a pedestal, while ignoring the white women with blue/green eyes, even though for every 5 black women with blue/green eyes, you can probably find 50 white women with blue/green eyes??? Do we ever see white women being demeaned for having blue/green eyes, but black women praised for having blue/green eyes? No, we don’t. Yet, this is done with Black women’s features all the time. Throw up a white woman with some cornrows , throw up a white woman who is “twerking,” and call it beautiful and then continue to degrade Black women, even though Black women have an abundance of these features.
This cultural appropriation further reinforces the stereotype that Black women aren’t beautiful.
How does this relate to history?
A central reason that Black women are maligned is because white supremacy depends on propagating the notion that white is superior and because we live in a sexist society, women are valued for their beauty, so naturally in a white supremacist society, white women have to be portrayed as superior beauties. If black women were acknowledged as being beautiful, whole human women, that would put Black women on equal footing with white women and that goes against white supremacy.
Many people are under the impression that prior to the late 1960s/1970s “biracial children,” didn’t exist. With the removal of Jim Crow laws and an end to the lynching of Black men by white men with impunity, white women/black men relationships increased as a result of loving vs. Virginia. Thus, many people assume that “biracial children,” exist primarily because of black men/white women intermarrying. The reality is though, mixed-race children have always been around as long as the United States has been around and even before. This idea that mixing between Blacks and whites didn’t occur until black-white marriage was legal stems from fear and a dirty past that America has with slavery. Prior to Loving v. Virginia, most of the mixed-race children of black ancestry were born of black women and white men and unlike white women in the present day, black women did not have the privilege to acknowledge the fathers of their mixed-race children.
There are many stories of white men keeping a secret black mistress or having a whole other mixed-race family. These stories are hidden in the collective memory of American history, yet they are often unacknowledged. Entire ethnicities exist today because of white men raping and or having sexual relations with Black women. It is America’s dirty secret and shame. Often, the sexual interaction between the black woman and white man occurred under a situation of exploitation. If you read slave narratives, you’ll read accounts of white men having sex with their black female slaves and having mixed-race children. In contrast, even with a black mistress on the side, the white man’s white wife was portrayed as an angelic, beautiful and holy woman, the queen of the big house. She was seen as the “cult of true womanhood,” while the black woman was seen as the jezebel.
This sexual exploitation didn’t only occur in the United States, but occurred all throughout Latin America, the United States, the Caribbean and in colonized parts of Africa as well. Some white men blatantly preferred to have sex with black women over white women because of the Jezebel stereotype.
In addition, sometimes, these sexual relations between white men/black women were kept out in the open and sometimes sex between black women/white men occurred under the same roof that the white man shared with his white wife. Many white women felt very insecure and understandably offended by the openness of sex between black women and white men during this time. Mary Boykin Chestnut deeply resented this and other white women such as Ella Thomas also felt deeply resentful of of this. This interaction between white males and black females also impacted Black men and many Black men resented and became enraged by the sexual interaction between white men/black women. All the while, Black men were denied access to white women.
These interactions between bw/wm were often exploitive in nature and black women were in a powerless position, but that didn’t stop some white women from exacting revenge, such as selling off mixed-race children or selling off their husband’s black female partner or in some instances having black enslaved female rivals beaten. The jealous white women couldn’t accept that their men would be sexually-involved with a black woman, rape or not. Black women were supposed to be inferior to white women,so as one white man put it “why would a white man leave the bed of his delicate flower of a white wife for a black woman?” It is understandable why a wife would be offended that a husband was having an affair with another woman, especially when the affair occurs right in your midst. Yet, while white women were in a less privileged position than white men, they weren’t complete victims either, so it is not excusable that black women should have been the target of their aggression when really Black women were powerless to stop a white man from sexually violating them.
The result of these sexual interactions between white men and black women spawned the one drop rule. The one drop rule comes from slavery, it was created to keep the wealth and status of white fathers out of the hands of their mixed race offspring. Today, many black men adhere to the one drop rule, thinking that any children they have with non-black women are still Black. Even though the one drop rule has a racist origin. This dirty history between Black women and white men still makes some people uncomfortable to this day.
I recall going to see the movie “Lincoln,” and people gasped when Thaddeus Stevens was shown in bed with Lydia Hamilton Smith, a mixed-race woman of black ancestry. People today still cannot or do not want to accept that these type of interactions between black women/white men existed back then and I think it is shocking to some people to accept again that white men would have been sexual with Black women.
The reality is when Black women did not have the ability to say “no,” to white men, many white men took advantage of black women by having sex with them. It wasn’t until Black women fought to get rights that this type of sexual abuse stopped.
A considerable number of people know about the history of black men being lynched for looking at a white woman, but not as many people know about the sexual abuse that black women endured at the hands of white men, not only in slavery, but all the way up until the removal of Jim Crow. They don’t know that most African-Americans are mixed with European ancestry from white men. They don’t know that many latinos, especially Puerto Ricans, Brazilians and Dominicans exist because of white men sleeping with Black and Native women. So, entire ethnicities that exist today are really the mixed-race offspring of Black women , Native women and white men.
Even though these relationships were exploitive and damaging that didn’t stop many white women and black men from resenting these intimacies between white men/black women. These dynamics that occurred for so many years during slavery still shape our perceptions of race and beauty today.
To compensate for this disconcerting history of sex between black women/white men, people continue to cast Black women into an inferior position in the present day. A considerable number of people acknowledge that it was wrong to lynch Black men for looking at white women, but it wasn’t until recently that it was even acknowledged that Black women suffered systemic sexual violence by white men under Jim Crow, the Reconstruction and slavery. Still, many people are unaware of this history, even though it is estimated that more rapes of black women by white men occurred than lynchings during Jim Crow.
So today, we have black men/white women portrayed as being a form of racial reconciliation and we have Black women portrayed as being inferior and a representation of a sordid chapter in American history.
Given all of this, it is understandable how stereotypes that started in slavery, such as the mammy and jezebel would still impact how we view our romantic prospects. It makes sense that white women who were put on a pedestal throughout history, to the detriment of black women, would continue to be portrayed as the ideal romantic partner for both white and black men. It all goes back to history and white supremacy.”
I put a search into google for “Black girls,” hoping to find something positive, but one of the first searches that came up was this headline “Teen Sex Slave Diary: Epstein Didn’t Want Black girls.” I had not heard of Epstein or this unfortunate incident, but apparently he is an American financier who slept with teenage girls repeatedly. Now, this man is a sexual predator, so I was wondering why the media felt it necessary to highlight his racial preference as it pertains to preying on young women and girls. I did a google search and sure enough, this story was plastered in various social media outlets in the UK and it was a pretty popular article.
Very bizarre. What was so astounding about this man’s racial preferences as a sexual predator?
I then thought, isn’t it sad that in a country where 40% of women trafficked for sex are Black that we can find countless narratives discussing one sexual predator’s racial taste in young girls, but I can hardly find any articles in those same media outlets about the Black women getting trafficked by the thousands.
I think that instead of focusing on Epstein “not wanting black girls,” people should be focusing on the thousands of black girls that are getting trafficked into the US and around the world. So again, this begs the question, what was the purpose, really, of highlighting this fact and sharing it in popular media outlets like Bossip, Gawker and Daily Mail?
Frankly, it is a blessing that Black girls were not targeted and preyed upon by this sexual predator. Now if only we could get the sex tourist who come from Europe and the traffickers to adopt a “no black girls,” policy, then we’d be in great shape.
The Confederate Flag is a symbol of white supremacy. The same people who flew that flag supported a society that was built off of the dehumanization of Black people. The flag is not southern pride, the flag is white pride, white supremacist pride, as the murderer who shot 9 people whilst praying in a church, so aptly demonstrated.
It is an insult to keep the flag on state and government grounds in the wake of such a tragedy, even more insulting is that some southern white people (who probably are racist themselves) have likened their rebel flag being removed to both #blacklivesmatter and the oppression of Jews in Nazi, Europe.
This outrageous quote actually came from a white advocate of the Confederate Flag:
“”Right now, this past week with everything that is going on, I feel very much like the Jews must have felt in the very beginning of the Nazi Germany takeover,” he said. “I mean I do feel that way, like there is a concerted effort to wipe people like me out, to wipe out my heritage and to erase the truths of history.”
No, the confederate flag, which is a symbol of white supremacy, being removed from government grounds is not oppression. What’s oppressive is 9 people being gunned down in a church because a white supremacist, who proudly flew the same flag as a symbol of white pride, felt it was acceptable to shoot them based on their skin color. Everything he believed about Black people he learned from other white people.
I am tired of racist white people playing the victim. It’s insulting to compare the removal of a racist symbol to the legitimate oppression of Jews in Nazi, Europe, it’s insulting to compare the removal of the Confederate Flag to the oppression of Black people in America and around the world.
Racist white people, you’re NOT being oppressed. The flag needs to come down.
First, my prayers and thoughts go out to the victims and their loved ones of the Charleston Shooting. There has been some debate going around about whether or not the families of victims in the Charleston massacre should have forgiven the murderer [I won’t use his name], who in his own words was motivated by his hatred of black people.
I respect the decision of the Families to forgive the murderer. If it brings them peace and helps them to carry on, then they made the best choice. I believe in the word and I am Christian as well and I do believe that we are called to forgive, period. I also believe that forgiveness is a way to make peace, when you hold onto anger and hate, it stresses you out, runs your blood pressure up and doesn’t allow you to think clearly and you make decision based off of emotions, instead of logic. So, ultimately, I do think forgiveness is a good thing. But, here’s the thing. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to defend your life and it doesn’t mean that those who commit sins or crimes against you are absolved from righteous consequences. For example, if someone is punching me in the face and they won’t stop, I may forgive them, but while the event is going on, I still am going to try and stop their punches.
That might mean moving away from them, putting a barrier between myself and the person, or if it comes down to it, using reasonable physical force to get them off of me, like punching them until they get back. Now, once you’re no longer in danger, you should stop using physical force, but I’m not going to just let them punch me… unless it’s a situation where the person is considerably weaker and I can stop their punches by restraining them or something.
The scripture backs up the right to self-defense: Luke 11:21 “when a strong man, full armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe.” Luke 22:36 “But not let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”
There is a difference between self-defense and vengeance. Vengeance would be taking revenge on someone once the danger has ceased and you’ve resolved the issue. That’s vengeance and spite and that’s not Biblical, but if you’re under attack, you can defend yourself and still forgive.
My point is this, Black people, forgiveness doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. We can defend ourselves and seek righteous justice and still forgive and respect the humanity and dignity of other people. We need to start differentiating between what forgiveness is and what it is not. Also there is a difference between forgive indhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/forgiveness-charleston-shooting-_n_7657130.htmlividuals and forgiving institutions. We are called to forgive people, but we’re not called to forgive institutions. I can forgive a person, but I have no reason to forgive white supremacy, it’s a wicked institution. Now justice doesn’t mean randomly attacking people or doing things that don’t make sense, but advocating for your rights, protecting your person when under real threat or seeking righteous restitution under the law for crimes committed against you is justice.
Black Women’s History in this country encompassed in one photo: “Silenced, dehumanized, subordinated by white man.”
Have you ever considered relocating to another country? Sometimes I feel like the history of systematic discrimination, the institutional racism and disenfranchisement of Black people is too much to bear. I feel so violated as a person when I am constantly mischaracterized, stereotyped and mistreated just based on my skin color.
The stereotypes make me feel like I’m being stuffed into a box and all the negative stereotypes are just suffocating me.
When I was very young, I used to think that racism was a thing of the past. I never experienced Jim Crow racism with COLORED and WHITE ONLY signs in the window, so I didn’t believe it was a problem. Sure, I knew I was different. My white classmates always wanted to touch my hair and everything, but I didn’t think too much of it.
There was the one time that I was invited to my white classmate’s house to go swimming. Her father was prominent member of a country club, he took us there, we swam in the pool and ate french fries. Later, I found out that the club didn’t accept Blacks or Jews and the only reason I was allowed to swim there was because of her father. Basically, my presence there was a fluke, but my family would not have been welcome there. Things like that happened, but I always found a way to excuse them somehow.
It wasn’t until my senior year when I had my wake up call that I accepted that race was indeed a systemic issue. I had inquired about a summer job at a local store that my friend worked at, the manger said ,” they weren’t hiring graduating seniors.” I took him for his word and didn’t inquire any further. Later, my friend told me that “her manager keep hiring all these seniors for two months before they go to college.” I thought back to the store and I noticed that I had never seen any African-Americans working there. I didn’t say anything, but i knew in my heart what had happened. It wasn’t until later when my mother visited that very store and told me how no one had offered to help her and that the lady wouldn’t even look at her that I told anyone what I had experienced.
Why had the store manage told me they weren’t hiring seniors and then hire a bunch of seniors of 2 months before they went to college. It wasn’t fair.
I had worked so hard to be a “nice person,” but at the end of the day, it didn’t matter that I got good grades, it didn’t matter that I went a nice prep school in the City, it didn’t matter that I lived in the suburbs, it didn’t matter that I tried to be a nice person, when he looked at me, he saw one thing, my skin color and that was enough for him to decide he didn’t want me working there.
That was a dehumanizing experience and I have not looked at things the same since then. All the time, racism has been so in my face, but I chose not to see it. The poorest areas and the worst schools are reserved for the Black people, there is so much depth to the racism in this country, how could I have been so blind to it?
Do you all ever think about relocating outside the United States?
What would happen if there came a time where Black people needed to flee the country, do you have a plan in place just in case?
It doesn’t hurt to have a plan in case you need to leave the country ever: You should always have a passport and some liquid assets on hand just in case. Research a country that you can flee to and find out if you need a VISA to get in, have job prospects lined up, there are lots of places where you can get work teaching English etc, research and find out where, watch for the signs and leave if you feel that you need to.
There are some great things about the United States and my family is here, we’ve lived here for many many years, generations and it has been my home and is my home, but it is really hard to feel safe when you are being mistreated and when you’re made to feel like a perpetual foreigner and not a full person, even though you were born in this country and your family has been here for generations. It’s an uneasy feeling to say the least.
I don’t know what might happen to Black people if sh-t really hit the fan.
Unfortunately, if something ever happened, lower income Black people (the people who are most at risk) may not have any way to leave the country. If Black people were supporting each other, we’d have a way to get them out, that’s the sad thing.
I started my first week of healthy eating/ dieting this week. I joined ediets.com. I am doing the nutrihand diet plan. I follow the plan in terms of caloric consumption and I record everything I eat. However, I make a lot of substitutions because I am on a budget and I have to make due with what I have.
For example, one recipe called for salmon, I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I used another recipe for salmon and tracked the calories. I’ve lost 2 pounds this week.
What I Did On the Surface:
1) I tracked all of my caloric intake
2) I prepared my meals in advance- always the night before, I boiled my eggs, cut my vegetables, cooked the fish. I am the type of person who comes home from work and I am usually very hungry, if I haven’t prepared anything, I’ll eat junk food.
3) I ate lunch. I usually skip lunch and overeat at dinner. This week, every day I ate a real lunch. Light bread or wheat bread with turkey breast, light swiss cheese and Every day with lunch I ate an apple, without fail. Even if I didn’t feel like eating the apple, I made myself eat it and it helped to curb my hungry.
4) I mostly snacked on fruits and vegetables- I took whole carrots (which are cheaper and healthier than baby carrots), peeled them with my awesome vegetable peeler (which I never used to use) and cut them up. They look just like baby carrots. I eat them with a small wedge of laughing cow light cheese and it’s delicious. I also snacked on grapes and I treated myself with the balanced breaks from sargento for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
5) I wore a pedometer. You can get a pedometer for reasonable prices. I used my old weight watchers pedometer. I made it a goal to do at least the recommended 10,000 steps a day, most days I exceeded that. The best thing about the pedometer is you literally can get your steps in anywhere. There is something called House Walking, which was coined by Lisa Lillien of Hungry girl. You can get your steps in walking around the house or walking in place while doing the dishes, while ironing, while watching TV. You can walk back and forth through the house, you can take the stairs. If you do anything, I recommend getting a pedometer. You can get them for affordable prices online and in stores.
6) I also did 3 days of quick exercises.
-I did Jeanette Jenkins- 10 minute minute Booty Camp
-You can order the stair twister on amazon and it’s portable and very convenient and hand weights you can get at Walmart.
-I did ten minutes of mini trampoline workouts (i’ll give you my routine later in the week)
I never stepped into the gym, but got enough activity. I think the biggest disservice done to people when trying to lose weight is saying you can’t get a good workout unless you’re in the gym. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to be in the gym to work out.
I plan to add dancing to my workout routine this week.
7) I drank water. I invested in a bottle of water and carried it everywhere and drank it every day and filled it at least once during the day.
8) I treated myself- Friday, I allowed myself to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and a food I liked. It’s okay to treat yourself once a week and eat something you like, as long as you don’t go super overboard, it is okay. What mattes is what you’re doing 99% of the time, not 1 night in the week only.
On a Deeper Level
1) Trying to be more positive about my body- We live in a world where if you don’t look a certain way or dress a certain way and meet a certain beauty standard, you’re made to believe that something is wrong with you and that your body is not valuable. One of the main reasons that I have struggled with emotional eating and weight gain is because I’ve always felt like my body wasn’t good enough.
We live in a society where if you’re not thin, white and what’s considered “hot,” you’re treated like you’re not a real woman. Especially, if you’re a Black woman, it can be doubly hard not to be negatively impacted by these beauty ideals, which are really white supremacist in nature. The idea that no matter what you do, you can never be good enough can be depressing in itself, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. There is a whole history of mistreatment of Black women’s bodies and we, as Black women, have never really been allowed to love and value our bodies .
However, while jogging last Saturday, I had an epiphany. I was jogging and I was tired and breathing heavy, it was drizzling and deserted out. I thought to myself, as tired and exhausted as I was, I somehow felt like my system was cleansed. I thought to myself, what an incredible thing to have a body that can do so much ,what a blessing.
This made me think that we have amazing bodies. Our bodies can do so much for us when we treat it well. This is my body and I am going to value it and care for it. It doesn’t matter what society says, it doesn’t matter what a man says, it’s my body and it’s my job to take care of myself because a body is a wonderful gift and the most precious gift you’ve ever been and ever will be given. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to others, just take care of your body, value your body and your body will do its part.
So I repeat the saying that “my body is a gift and a blessing, it can do so much, take care of yourself.” You have to keep repeating it and believe it.
2) Being grateful- it has helped me to be grateful for the food that I do have and slow down in general and just take in life. Take in the beauty, take in the smell of flowers, take in the breath of fresh air and just slow down and be grateful for every bit of life.
This has helped me, but it is a journey and this is only week one. I plan to continue my healthy eating this week. BTW, this journey is far form over, I have to tell myself over and over again that my body is valuable, but keep saying it and you will believe it.
1) Walk, walk, walk (a pedometer helps a lot)
2) Prepare vegetables in advance and snack on vegetables
3) Drink plenty of water
4) Value your body, it is a gift
How has your week been?….
Goals for Next Week:
1. Pray every night (meditate if you’re not a prayer type of person )
Do you want to lose weight? Are you what is known as a “yo-yo dieter?”Meaning, you lose weight and gain it back in cycles. This is an all too common problem, especially amongst Black women. Black women often try to take on so many responsibilities in the name of being “strong black women,” in addition to dealing with racial stereotypes. Not only does this cause stress, but it can lead to obesity. It is important to learn to address the myth of the strong black woman and cope properly with our emotions and also learn to adopt healthy lifestyles.
I’ve been reading this book called “Women, Food and God.” I’ve only read 1/4 of it so far, but it addresses the underlying causes of overeating. I would like to start a series on healthy eating and living for Black woman on this blog.
I will first focus on the surface issue of healthy eating, moving and weight loss. Next, I will focus on the emotional eating/deeper issues and finally I will do a post on positives about Black women.
Part One of weight loss/healthy eating will be coming soon.