Thoughts of a Black Woman

Purpose

The purpose of this web site is to spiritually and emotionally enrich Black women. And to do that, I guess we must start with what is most important, and that would be explaining the significance and importance of the Black woman in the life of Black men. And even in doing this, we must break it down into certain empirical components. But first, I must preface everything by saying that this neither an assault on women of other races, interracial relationships or multi-racial children, as some are wont to automatically assume that or argue the difference.

Who do I consider Black?

The first thing to lay down is the foundation of who or what I am considering Black, because the meaning has been changed over time and leaves both the person on the inside as well as the person on the outside often befuddled as to what is what.

In regards to the concept of Black, or even Blackness, I am pointing to the descendants of Africans who were taken as slaves into what has become the United States. In this, I exclude those in the Caribbean as well as those in Brazil and other parts of Central and South Americas who have African ancestry. This is not to say that we are not all part of the African Diaspora, but to establish that depending upon where we were taken to, it is at those points where our experiences separate and delineate.

Beyond that

Those who suffered at the American institution of slavery and all of their descendants [up until a certain degree in time] share a common history which binds us to one another and as we look at each other, we can understand the timeless trials and tribulations that we continually experience, regardless of education or economics. All of us have either been the recipients of racism multiple times in one form or another, have known or are related to someone else in the same scenario, and understand when something is playing out.

Now, with my comment about “up until a certain degree in time” sheds light on not only the interjection of non-Black blood into our lineages [which has produced not only physically differences in our appearances but also altered and expanded our senses of self] but how education and the accumulation of money – not necessarily wealth – has also fractured us as well as have expanded the ideal of who we are. For the descendants of Africa, the most notable features of us have been our lips, hair and noses, and to the utmost, our skin color. For Black people in America, these are the things that we have been conditioned to find repulsive in their original states and that we subconsciously and even consciously have a hard time embracing, if not actively fighting against.

The most common things have been the concept of “good” hair and the predilection for those of lighter skin tones. As we have grown up, we have seen the exaltations of those with either wavy or straight hair, or long hair that can be straightened. We have seen the glamorization of those whose lighter skin tones have garnered nicknames like ‘café au lait’ and ‘redbone.’ We have sought to more resemble the beauty of our oppressors than the beauty of our own selves. The finality of this is of course having a nose that closer resembles in shape that of someone of European ancestry than one of African ancestry.

Our insecurities and our struggles are part of what bonds us together!

On the issue of education and economics lies another fracturing of us Black folks. Not that this doesn’t happen with any type of people, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or color; financial stratus segregation is pretty much a natural thing and an evil thing at that. While pre-1960 it was established to a degree, with the big push for education through Affirmative Action, this allowed many people to climb up from a lower class existence and start to establish themselves in a middle class existence. Some of this happened via white collar jobs that required a four year degree in the least, but some was also the result of Black people in good government jobs in which they climbed up the hierarchy inch by painstaking inch.

As this happened, some of the beneficiaries of this were able to experience things that their less fortunate counterparts were able to experience. And this also trickled down to their children. For instance, I once dated a woman whose mother was an elementary school principal. While she grew up in a stable middle-class household [which at one time had two married parents], I grew up in a single parent household where we received government assistance. In both cases, our mothers “held it down” and we both excelled academically. She grew up in a much nicer neighborhood and rarely took public transportation, while I grew up in a neighborhood which had many elements and I was cool with taking public transportation by myself by the time I was ten years old. But in the end, we were a couple and she could understand intimately my pains and emotions if some sort of racism were played out against me.

Their Significance

Quintessentially, a Black woman can understand what a Black man goes through, and he can understand what she endures as well. Of course, this is all to a degree. A similar comparison would be that of any immigrant that comes to this country and is discriminated against. Boat people from Vietnam. Irish people during the potato famine [especially when some folks considered the Irish less than dogs]. Italian folks coming through Ellis Island. The difference between these people and Black people are that Black people were enslaved and brought here against there wishes, and that because of the amount of psychological destruction done to them, and that in accordance to systematic racism against them, combined with the loss of their cultural ties, they are unique in their isolation, regardless of whom they connect with, nor what they achieve; there is always a missing component.

And now

Regardless of who a Black man might individually choose, it is still his duty to uphold, protect and advance Black women. Except in the case of a Black child in which their mother is not Black, the first person that ever loved them was a Black woman and the first woman that they loved was a Black woman. I might not find the connection to advance every individual sister that is out there, but if I shit on them, I am also shitting on myself.

So this site is for them, to make them feel stronger about themselves even when much of the world is trying to undermine their sense of self on so many levels. I love you all, because without you, there would be no me.