noe1.jpg(photo shows a middle school step club in tennessee)

The dinner entertainment at the Women’s Committee of Masjid Al Saffat’s 2008 Women’s conference was GREAT!  There were a few tears when some daughters got up and said what they’ve gotten from their mothers and the moms reciprocated.  There was a sister singing an acapella version of “If I Could” while a young woman in a flowy white costume danced.  But the part that brought down the house was the step show.  Yes, I said a step show.  For those poor souls who don’t know what that is, this link has a good explanation. It started off curiously.  A small group of older women came out in black jilbabs/khimars, dragging themselves with canes and walkers, one encouraging the others to hurry it up.  Once they got in formation, they started banging their canes, then stomping their feet and clapping their hands in rhythm chanting, “We came to break it down.” 

Enter the next generation.  Clad in black pants and bright red tops, earrings framing their faces in a bit of sparkle, they shoo the mommy’s off the stage.  The stepping gets more complicated, with hands and feet making that unmistakable beat. The formation changes, and a bit of call and response between the tallest sistah and her group follows.  At this point the entire crowd is on its feet cheering, jumping up and down, basically going nuts.  When the routine is over we roar our approval.

I can’t wait to go back next year insha’allah.  Maybe they’ll let me get up there and dance.


Open Letter 3/28/2008 Update: A New Underground Railroad is Born

Synopsis: In the past week, a rapidly-moving viral email campaign was
launched, and thousands of concerned black citizens spread the
word about a shocking crime against a Black woman and her 12
year old son, in which crimes against nature were committed.
(read more details of the crime here) This email, entitled “Stop Al Sharpton and the NAACP from
endangering Black Women,” described a stunning betrayal in
which the NAACP and Al Sharpton held a press conference and
demanded bail consideration for three suspects in custody
for the crime. (source1) (source2) Concerned Black citizens all around the country were outraged
by the actions of the NAACP and Al Sharpton, and many vowed
to withdraw volunteering and financial support from these
agencies “until they make the safety of Black women and
children a priority.” On March 24, 2008 an NAACP
memo that attempted to defend this betrayal was sent to
Beverly Neal, who is the Director of the NAACP’s Florida
State Conference. The memo claims that the NAACP was brought
into this fray by Rev. Al Sharpton. Moreover, the memo was
written by Maude Ford Lee, who is President of the West
Palm Beach Branch of the NAACP. (read the memo here) On March 27,2008, activist Al Sharpton went on the air to
clarify his position on the treatment of the Dunbar
Village Suspects. He invited writer Tonyaa Weathersbee
and blogger Arlene Fenton to his show, to discuss the matter.
Rev. Sharpton claimed that he never said that the Dunbar
Village suspects were being treated unfairly, and that he
did not want bail for the suspects in question. Ms Weathersbee and Ms Fenton said that their research
indicated otherwise, as indicated by video footage, eyewitness
accounts, and the reporting from the Florida Sun Sentinel
and the Palm Beach Post. At the end of the radio show, Al Sharpton strongly condemned
any activity that would promote bail consideration for the
suspects in question. Rev. Sharpton admitted that “if the
suspects were white, he would have been there sooner.” He
stated that this is a problem with many black civil rights
organizations. He apologized and vowed to uphold his prior
promise to advocate for the residents of Dunbar Village. He
also challenged all activists, bloggers, and writers to be
accountable to each other. To date, the NAACP has not made an official statement
denouncing the Dunbar Village Atrocity, nor have they
officially expressed regret to the victim. The NAACP also has
not officially retracted their statement requesting bail
consideration for the alleged rapists/torturers. To our
understanding, neither agency has contributed to the Victim’s
Assistance Fund or created a reward program geared toward the
apprehension of the remaining rapists/torturers. Conclusion WE ARE SATISFIED with Al Sharpton’s qualifying statements that
he made on his radio show on 3/27/2008. We will watch to see
if he fulfills his promise to advocate for the residents of
Dunbar Village, and we are willing to assist any effort that
promotes safer black neighborhoods in West Palm Beach, FL. WE ARE NOT CONTENT with the reckless, irresponsible actions
of the NAACP (West Palm Beach chapter). We continue to urge
all black people, women especially, to refrain from
volunteering or giving financially to this organization
until they take our safety seriously. WHAT WE WANT We want law enforcement to make a concerted, sustained
effort to apprehend the remaining suspects. We want to see a
genuine reward system in place to encourage members of the
community to come forward with the knowledge of the
whereabouts of the remaining suspects. We want the NAACP (West Palm Beach chapter) to reverse their
position that the alleged rapists/torturers of this case
should be considered for bail. We want both the NAACP and the National Action Network to
cease downgrading the gang rape/torture/atrocity of the
Dunbar Village by comparing it to an unrelated gang rape,
in which guns, maiming, and forced incest were not involved. We want to see genuine victim advocacy in the form of
financial support for the relocation, medical expenses, and
mental therapy for the true victims in this case. The Dunbar Village Victim Assistance Fund Individuals who would like to donate money to the victims
can go to any Wachovia Bank and donate to the St. Ann’s
Victim’s Assistance Fund. Donations will go directly to
the mother and her son. St. Ann’s Catholic Church will also accept donations.
Checks can be made payable to the "Dunbar Village
Victim Assistance Fund - St. Ann’s". Donations can be mailed to: St. Ann’s Catholic Church,
310 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 If you would like to post this Open Letter on your
blog, you can copy the HTML here: (Blogger HTML) A New Underground Railroad is Born (General HTML) A New Underground Railroad is Born For more information about this Dunbar Village
Campaign, you can visit any of the following blogs:

DEAR READERS:This mass open letter is a call to action for all black people who care about the safety and welfare of black women and children in America. If you are concerned about the recent developments about Dunbar Village, please copy the post below, and email it to all of your friends and coworkers.WE WILL NO LONGER BE SILENT ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST BLACK WOMEN.

Title your email: Stop Al Sharpton and the NAACP from endangering Black Women!

Let us know in the comments section if you are supporting the movement to protect black women from black on black violence.

Stop Al Sharpton and the NAACP from endangering Black Women!
Right-thinking black people everywhere are stunned by the recent betrayal of Al Sharpton and the NAACP in a situation that is just too outrageous to ignore.This is a painful story to tell, but it’s important for the moral, law-abiding majority of black Americans to understand exactly why Al Sharpton and the NAACP must be immediately stopped.

On June 18, 2007, a black woman was gang raped by 10 youths and forced at gunpoint to have sex with her own 12 year old son in a housing complex called Dunbar Village in West Palm Beach, Florida. The young men not only viciously punched, kicked and sliced this sister and her son with glass objects, but they also blinded her boy by pouring nail polish remover into his eyes.

The young men forced this sister and son to lay naked in a bathtub together, and attempted to set them on fire (they could not find matches). The youths boldly took cell phone pictures so that they could enjoy their violent, immoral and sadistic acts at a later time. The violence continued for more than three hours, and although this sister’s neighbors heard her screams, no one called the police or came to her aid.

This sister and her son had to walk a mile to the hospital, because the assailants stole her car, and threatened to kill her and her family if she told the authorities.

Only four of the young men have been apprehended, while the remaining six are on the loose, doing Lord knows what in our communities. There is no manhunt for the remaining suspects.

As devastating as this story is, what the NAACP and Al Sharpton have done about it will simply take your breath away:

Not only did the NAACP ignore hundreds of requests to assist this woman because it was ‘outside the scope of their mission’, but they joined forces with Al Sharpton, and sent their lawyers to speak out IN SUPPORT OF THE RAPISTS.

You heard me right.

Even though there is conclusive DNA evidence and signed confessions, the NAACP and Al Sharpton are saying that it is ‘unfair’ to not offer bail to these four alleged rapists. They even had a press release about it.


Al Sharpton and the NAACP are banking on the belief that you and I will be just like this black woman’s neighbors. Join me by saying NOT THIS TIME. We will not turn a deaf ear to when we hear calls for help from one of our sisters and brothers who are being victimized.

Stop the NAACP and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network from committing this disgrace in our community. Just this once, let’s stand up and be counted by saying that we demand safe neighborhoods for our women and children.

Here is what you can do:

1. Spread the word. Forward this email if your conscience and concern have been raised. Send it to every concerned black citizen that you know.

2. Demand an explanation from your local NAACP chapter about this case. Cancel your membership to these organizations, and write a letter explaining that you will return when they prioritize the public safety needs of black women and children.

3. If you do not belong to these organizations, call and write them to tell them of your outrage and displeasure:

NAACP National Headquarters
4805 Mt. Hope Drive
Baltimore MD 21215
Toll Free: (877) NAACP-98
Local: (410) 580-5777

National Action Network
Rev. Al Sharpton
106 W. 145th Street
Harlem, New York 10039

4. If you know an African American reporter or a black radio talk show host, forward this story them and ask them to follow up on it.

Each Friday at 9:00am, visit any of the websites below, which will give you an update on the status of this situation. DO NOT LET THIS GO. Let us start working for safer neighborhoods in black communities.

Read the history of the Dunbar Village problem here:


Obama’s Historic Speech

March 18, 2008

–mentioned Pastors, priests and rabbis–but not imams (of course).

–made sure to mention radical Islam.

You’ll forgive me if I’m not as full of inspiration, warm fuzziness and general “verklemptness” as some others.

But go on and enjoy your party.

Look in the Mirror

March 13, 2008

womanmirror.jpgRoslyn touched off a fuss when she suggested on Halima’s blog that black women who find themselves in relationships with DBR (damaged beyond repair) black men damaged men over and over again are themselves damaged.

She had the audacity to suggest that without doing some self-reflection, they will heed the call to widen their options and simply end up with DBR white men.

This touched a nerve and a flurry of “black women aren’t nearly as bad as black men” “are you saying the community’s problems are our fault?” “why should black women drop out of the dating scene to reflect” blah blah blah.

It’s not rocket science people.  Some women see crazy and cross the street.  Other women see crazy and take him up on his invitation to “chill” at his place and make it a Blockbuster night.  If you are in group two, somethin’ wrong witcha. Sorry.

Now I’m not suggesting that you need to book a flight to Tibet and spend the next ten years fulfilling a vow of silence while you grow root vegetables and examine the depths of your soul.  I’m saying take some time, maybe when you are doing something mindless like folding laundry, and reflect.  I had quite the moment of clarity last year while driving about something in my personality that I’d like to improve.

For some women, the raw, no-holds-barred approach of some of the IR blogs can be a catalyst for thought.  I see many women saying as much in the comments.  So why was Roslyn’s statment so darn controversial?

Don’t be so quick to jump to offense that you discard good advice. 

Got the T-Shirt

March 13, 2008

stop foolishness

Let it be known.

I’m on board.

(Got a T-shirt for Mr. Foreverloyal too.)

Hop on Pop

March 4, 2008

hoponpop.jpg  Saturday morning.  Sunshine streams through the windows in the master bedroom.  Mr. Foreverloyal is sleeping in, enjoying some much-needed rest.

Every ten minutes I answer the same question. “Is Daddy awake yet?”  Finally, they get the answer they’ve been waiting to hear.

 Rushing downstairs, they open the door with an unceremonious BANG.  It’s on. It’s like kiddie WWF, little kids jumping and play-punching and cackling with delight.  Mr. Foreverloyal is tickling tummies and kissing toes, dodging elbows and knees, trying not to get hurt.

Moments like that are when I wonder, all over again, how anyone can think that children don’t need their fathers.

We’ve all heard the comparison, in religious context, of women to a bent rib.

If your mind has misogynistic tendencies, you may think of bent as “crooked.” Something wrong, perverse, undesirable.  While a bent butter knife or curved hammer handle may be useless, a bent rib is not.

A rib curves from front to back, protecting your internal organs.

If it was straight, it would not be nearly as beneficial.

Don’t try and straighten your rib.  You’ll hurt yourself.