So I just got through reading Khadija’s latest post: http://sojournerspassport.com/killing-ourselves-softly-part-1-recognize-that-nobody-is-coming-to-rescue-you/ .

I’m really, really glad I didn’t have any chocolate yesterday or today.  I took a walk and drank a bunch of water, too.

A little inspiration for you and me.  I’m going to think of this every time I’m tempted to skip a workout or eat chocolate on a non-treat day.  I’ve changed the words, though:  “You’ve got big dreams, you want to be a size 0… Well size 0 COSTS! And right here’s where you start paying.  Now pick up the weights!”

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Waiting for Superman

November 9, 2010

Yeah, he's fine. But he ain't real.

“If I’m gonna date a white guy, I’m not getting Opie.  He has to be fine.”

“He has to really care about racial justice.  I’m talking a Tim Wise type.”

“He has to have some kind of swagger.”

I have heard variations on the above from black women when talking about the sort of white man they could be persuaded to date and/or marry.  Sometimes, they want all of that in one man (plus education, a fitness model body, etc.etc.)  I’m going to ignore #1 and #3, as Evia and others have more than adequately addressed those.

When I read that, I kind of laughed.  Think about it.  Who makes up 75-90% of the footsoldiers in  IBA (Indigenous Black Americans, yeah I just made that up, feel free to use it) civil rights/racial justice associations?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a black man who spends a great deal of time writing articles/organizing protests/giving lectures on racial justice to seriously date. (Statistically speaking)  Listing that as a requirement for a white man effectively eliminates them as an option.  See how neatly she did that?

I doubt such women who are so very concerned with this issue would even consider making that a “must-have” in a black man.

So why would she be so insistent on this behavior from a white man?  My theory is that this is another part of the “Keeping it Real” trickbag.  By insisting that any white man she dates be a “Tim Wise”, she can deflect any accusations that she has “sold out” by dating/marrying white, “forgot where she came from” and all the other nonsensical foolishness sometimes hurled at IR married black women.

Like I said above, it also shrinks her possible pool of white potential mates to teaspoon size.  By throwing up ridiculous obstacles, she can justify never taking the risk of trying “something new.”  She can use the excuse that she is “waiting for Superman,” who as we all know, doesn’t exist.  But, as a source which I can’t find yet once said,

“To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

I Have Something to Say

November 5, 2010

With all the BWE blogs on fire lately, I’ve just been sitting back and reading.  But new posts are coming soon insha’allah.

Dear Grandpa

September 22, 2010

Dear Grandpa Mac,

It’s fall and the leaves are turning.  As the days grow colder, I’ve been thinking of you more and more.  The world changed so much in the time between your birth in the early part of the last century, and just a few years ago when you left us.  We never spoke about it much.

You grew up in the South during Jim Crow, “Whites Only” signs and other limitations and indignities were your everyday realities.  For me they are only photos in a history book.  You were a young man during the Great Depression, just beginning life with your sweetheart, a life that lasted nearly 75 years.  You saw the Civil Rights movement, Motown, and watched bell bottoms come in and out of style a couple of times.

You had a good life together.  Mom talks about furniture that never matched and Aunt C complains about all the chopping and peeling involved in preparing and preserving often home-grown food, but they’re very proud of the fact that you and Grandma took care of your family without a dime of charity.  Even when you qualified for that aid.  You didn’t make excuses when you could make things happen.

Mom said that despite the fact that you worked long hours to support your family, you would always listen to her problems and give advice. She had to get up early and talk to you as you ate breakfast before a long day of work.  It makes me smile to picture mom as a preteen, sitting in a small kitchen at a small table talking to you in the pre-dawn hours, the rest of the house asleep except for Grandma at the stove.  I cherish a photo of taken of you in what I guess is the late sixties, frowning at the camera as you are about to carve the Turkey at Thanksgiving.  You just wanted to get going, but Mom insisted on taking a picture first.

The world changed so much in your lifetime. At the time of your death Black Americans could vote without fear of violence, had won equal access to public facilities, and some held high positions in the government and private sector. Your sons had served in the military, a daughter had led a professional association, and a nephew who traveled the world on business.

Everything wasn’t all rosy though. The Black American out-of-wedlock rate skyrocketed to shameful heights, with too many of us defending fatherless homes as “normal” and bringing up the odd serial killer raised in a two-parent home whenever the problems with this widespread practice were so much as hinted at.  It seems we gained so much, but lost alot of our old-school values.

When you and Grandma got married, you weren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. It seems back then we knew the value of family. You and Grandma were a team.  You hunted rabbits, and she cleaned them and made them into stew.  You worked hard to make money for your family, and she managed it carefully, stretching the budget by growing food, having the kids wear hand-me-downs and making crazy quilts out of clothing that could no longer be worn.  At night, a child tiptoeing past your room could hear laughter coming from beyond the closed door.

Together, families like ours got through stormy weather like the Great Depression.  Hardship was eased because they were together. They worked together, ate together, celebrated together.

I always told you I loved you.  But I never told you how great you were, just for being a good man.  Because you married my Grandma and were an excellent husband, you gave my mom a dad. Beyond that, you gave me a grandfather and my children a great-grandfather.  They were all pretty young so they will remember you mostly through pictures, but also by the stories mom, I, and their uncles and Aunts tell about you.  Your committment to family is probably your most important legacy.

I worry about the future of Black Americans.  I worry that our professional, financial and political gains–generations of effort– will be undone by personal recklessness. So many children will not have a grandpas and great-grandpas in their lives because their parents never married.  They will not have the love and support they deserve.  So many heartwarming stories will never be told because they will never happen.  So many children will grow up with gaping holes in their souls, not just where their fathers should be, but where their grandfathers and great-grandfathers should be.  So many families have those gaping holes, right now.

It’s fall, Grandpa, and the leaves are turning.  Not just literally, but metaphorically.  Unemployment levels are high, and rising.  Many people have lost their homes, with many more living with that possibility at any moment.  Unlike the past, most of our families are fractured and therefore weak.  They are not functioning as strong teams, and as blogger Khadija Nassif said, “Survival is a team sport.”  Most tragically, they deny that this sort of family team is even necessary.

Most of us seem to not be able to find our commonsense.  And as you used to say, “If you have something and can’t find it, it’s the same thing as not having it.”

I thank God that I have mine. As you know, I married a man much like you.  A hard worker, as you once noted.  Someone who loves and is committed to his family, someone to work with me to make life good for our children and for us. Someone to frown impatiently as I flitter around taking photos at holidays.

The leaves are turning.  Winter is coming, but I feel confident we’ll make it through. Together.

No Wedding, No Womb

September 8, 2010

I’ll be there.   Go, Christelyn, Go!

Gotta say I love it.

The tone matches well,

I got mine from Target, and bought a mid-range Kabuki brush (another brand) at the same time.  It wasn’t apparent that the IMAN powder comes with a small brush. 

Moisturizer application came first.  After waiting just a minute to let it fully sink in, I twisted the top to shave off the right amount of powder.  I swirled the brush into the powder, tapped off the excess and then used a buffing motion to apply to my face.  Imagine my surprise when a few dark spots on my temple seemed to magically fade so much as to be nearly undetectable.

It cuts down on shine and hides imperfections and somehow manages to be sheer enough as to almost look like it isn’t there at all.

Thumbs up.

Happy Loving Day

June 13, 2010

Thanks to these two and their lawyers, my husband and I have the ability to be legally married.

No one will be bursting into our bedroom to cart us off to jail for the crime of miscegenation, and no one will make us choose between prison or banishment from the state as our punishment.

We are free to jointly own property, dine on the patio at our favorite local restaurant, and attend the company holiday party.  We are free to raise a gaggle of adorable mischief makers who carry his family name. To have an ordinary life.  A good life.

Happy Loving Day, Mildred and Jeter.  Rest in peace.

Hijab

June 12, 2010

I've been giving this some thought

“Zahra permalink

good post. I scarved with intention upon conversion but as of late – I am conflicted. I do not think it “protects me” and have come to belief many of my Muslim brothers only see me as potential Fitna. I feel the need to be ashamed of my gender, the pressure to lock myself away lest I “stir the desires” and it just becomes so lame. I cover. I dress modestly – although Western (oi, I dread the immitating the kaffir lectures), I don’t act like a hootchie, have manners, etc but it never seems enough for some. I hold down a job (not enough hijab), I question sexist policies at the Mosque (not hijab enough), have a personality (not hijab enough). Good hijab in these parts is the demure, stay at home at all costs sister with nary a concern in the world outside of pleasing God and hubby. That isn’t the faith I was drawn too. It makes me sad and depressed. I want to swim! I want to go to the gym! I want to breathe. Think of how much time we spend explaining how we aren’t oppressed and think of how often within our communities we are just that – oppressed. I guess after 7 years it gets hard to keep trying to give the same old “Islam gave women rights 1400 years ago” ….while thinking “and men have been taking them away ever since). Sorry to be a downer, but it is where I am at these days.”

I saved this quote from another blog host’s site so long ago, that I don’t even remember where I got it from.  If I had to guess, though, I say it probably came from Organica’s site.  I’m going to leave it up and chew on it, back to comment insha’allah in a bit.

Sometimes, you have a plan for how you want something to turn out (makeup, hair, clothes) and it just doesn’t look right once you execute.  This seems to happen often when you have someplace to go and don’t have a whole lot of time to re-curl your hair, fix your manicure, or go shopping for something that fits.

At that point, it’s take a deep breath and (to borrow a phrase) “make it work” time.

I am pleased to present you with a real life example.  Queeny had a huge event (graduation, congrats Queeny!) and had spent time with all manner of deep conditioners and setting techniques in anticipation of wearing her hair out.  http://insidequeenysworld.blogspot.com/2010/05/some-hair-pics.html

Unfortunately, the result was too Diana Ross.

Not to be discouraged for too long, she pinned it back and ended up with a neo-soul-forties-glamour effect.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try a bobby pin.

Pursue Your Dreams

June 9, 2010

You go Monica!

What were your dreams as a child and young adult? 

How many of them did you even try to pursue?

Monica Mingo (Rantings of a Creole Princess, see blogroll) has been invited to screen her short film at the American Black Film Festival  in Miami this year.  Though she’s had a head full of ideas for decades now, she just started actively pursuing her dream of working in film in 2007.  That’s three years ago, folks. 

Dust off an old dream and get started on it today.  Who knows where you could be in three years?

I’m taking my own advice, and I’ve started work on a project or two.  Still in the researching phase to make sure I execute properly.  This news of Monica’s success came at just the right time.  Seeing her achieve success is so inspiring, and I’m practically jumping up and down in anticipation of viewing her work.  I’m excited to see where I’ll be with my dreams in three years. 

Monica Mingo, for the courage and vision to follow your dreams with vigor and determination, you are this week’s “Work it Wednesday” feature.  I won’t make it to Miami for the festival, but let me know when your work comes out on DVD.