Saturday, January 31, 2009

There should be No confusion about this!



An interracial portrait

Once again I have reason to touch on the issue of ‘black uplift’, as a result of the questions I keep getting (or should I say the preaching that I get). A recent occurrence (which I will not get into) seems to have agitated the ‘black people should unify’ preachers again.

Many black women respond to such clarion calls to unify and uplift and what have you, by once again girding their loins and getting all into ‘black unity’ mode. But before you jump into the ‘super woman’ suit as usual, I want you to take some time to consider this fundamental fact.

You cannot carry out singlehandedly a project which has been designed for two people. You cannot as a single individual or single gender carry out effectively the duties and responsibilities meant for two genders. Haven’t black women been trying to do this all the while and aren’t the results clear as day as to how we have fared. Its time to change strategy, remember that insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!

I will say here that I do not believe that black women set out to do things alone, however this is essentially what has happened and what they have ended up doing and this is clear from even cursory observation. The sentiment that best describes black woman's mind frame I believe is 'Lets do what we can in the meantime, as black men get warmed up/wake up to their responsibilities etc etc'. So black women did what they have been doing because of the hope and faith that black men would 'come online' soon. But no one put a time limit on this 'helping out the situation in the meantime' protocol. This means that what started out as a temporary measure has become an entrenched procedure. Now that it has however become clear what the end result of this approach is, black women have to decided once and for all if ‘black nation building’ is a partnership project that needs to be carried out with equal efforts of black men and black women and efforts applied at the same time.

They then have to decide, if black men are really in the partnership with them.

So in summary black women have to

1) Decide if this black nation building project is supposed to be a partnership between black men and black women. Then

2) Decide if black men are onboard and currently with them in black nation building/uplift/advancement or whatever you might call it.

The first question is a breeze I believe. The average black woman knows that the answer is yes, black nation building is a task for two; black men and black women.

The second question however seems to be kind of a tricky one for black women (yet it really isn’t tricky at all as I will explain).

So on one end black women are thinking, ‘If we just keep things running, black men will ‘come online’ soon’. but in addition, black women are encouraged to not make the idea of acertaining if black men are with them a simple issue of 'observe and conclude', but they are invited to do all sorts of complicated ‘logic routines’ on this one, routines that disallows straight forward conclussions.

For one, they are expected to 'multiply by 1000' the few men they see doing things in the community and believe (and cling in faith) that there has to be many more of such ‘good and useful’ black men somewhere… They are supposed to note a ‘good’, father, brother or uncle and see this as clear evidence that there are many more out there. As for whether these men form a critical number needed for the work of buidling (for instance the number needed to provide enough husbands for for black women to enable this building up of the black family), many black women refuse to grapple with that issue, but simply say 'believe' and 'have faith’ and insist that this is the appropriate attitude for the black woman!

As I have said, many black women are told that the straight forward way of determining if a person is with you or not (i.e are black men physically present in the home, in school, in community building forums and initiatives etc), isn’t the way to judge this situation. They are told things like, ‘they are just about to come into view or crest the hill’ (ie be patient and don’t give up on the mem prematurely). Some say, ‘Black men are with us, just temporarily diverted or held up in traffic' or 'they need a little, 'jump start', but we can get them back easily enough if we do A B or C’. Others say, 'Well black men dont come to these kinds of forums and discussions, but they are still doing their bit'. One woman said to me on a discussion panel that as soon as black women get their ‘stuff’ together, black men will follow suit. I must say I do get a lot of these messages of ‘Black men will be hey okay, as soon as black women shape up in their own role (ie black women's not shaping up is what is holding up black men's own participation)', and I get them particularly from older black women who stand in the role of advisers to younger black women sadly.

Yet I am saying this to those who are confused over this issue, don’t be!

How do you determine a person is going North?

Simply by noting if they are walking in the direction of North.

If someone is facing south and walking southwards and yet is telling you they are going north, you’d be a fool to believe them.

So in between the stories of how millions of black male 'community builders' are simply hidden from view, or are but a second away, and all the injunctions for black women to think in convoluted ways about the participation of black men to black nation building, comes the truth. The truth is simply, believe your experince, believe what you are seeing and what your eyes communicate to your brain about the situation.

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10 comments:

Aphrodite said...

Good stuff.

Is that a historical western photo of a BW and WM?

That is so adorable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you once again Halima for speaking the plain truth. We Black women are on our own.

foreverloyal said...

Well, can't argue with that! :)

Khadija said...

This was yet another excellent post, Halima!

You said, "The truth is simply, believe your experience, believe what you are seeing and what your eyes communicate to your brain about the situation."

YES! And I would add that BW should STOP discussing these matters with people who are trying to get them to discount reality.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ms.Coco said...

I do understand your POV and what you are trying to express in your post however my comments is from a brief part of a post I just posted prior to reading yours. "There comes a point in life when you get tired of chasing everyone and trying to fix everything, but it's not giving up it's realizing that you don't need to try and control certain situations, the bullshit, and all the drama." While I feel strongly about unity we are all responsible for our own actions, to what degree must we go to get others on board to do the right thing? Black women statistically just have shown an intolerance to cohesion, that's what portrays us as being the dominate female race, which often times get misconstrued as everything else including, bad attitude, uncompromising, just plain ole hard. We have the mentality if you want something done, do it yourself. We have to keep in mind the difference between black women stepping in the way of the black male figure standing up and the black women realizing that they are incompetent to fulfilling this role and stepping over. We can not wait in the wings while our children are growing daily.

lola said...

Good post Halima. I don't know what it's gonna take bw to admit to themselves that we're on our own. It's not that they don't realize it, it's that they're in denial. I think bw need to learn to really love themselves, cause all of this reflects a lack of self-love. All these years of sacrifice with no reciprocity, and they're still doing it? It almost feels like many sisters have a death wish.

Aphrodite said...

@ Ms. Coco,



"Black women statistically just have shown an intolerance to cohesion, that's what portrays us as being the dominate female race, which often times get misconstrued as everything else including, bad attitude, uncompromising, just plain ole hard. We have the mentality if you want something done, do it yourself."




I don't feel BW are born this way or that these traits are necessarily bad.



I think many BW are raised and fashioned that way. BW are told either explicitly (via relatives, other women and men in their environments) or indirectly (by having their needs neglected or being taken advantage of when vulnerable) that they must be self sufficient.



I feel that for many if not most BW, it is not simply a mentality that if they don't get it themselves then they won't get it at all, but a reality. Unless they mate out to a decent guy.




"We have to keep in mind the difference between black women stepping in the way of the black male figure standing up and the black women realizing that they are incompetent to fulfilling this role and stepping over."


This sounds like woman hatred. Women can't stop men from being men. If a woman can stop a man from being a man then he needs to be exterminated because women have so little power.

arthur said...

"..Women can't stop men from being men.."

True that. No man who's any good will put up with attempts to force him out of his natural role.

Lena said...

I wish these women would realize by sticking in the dead end that is the mythical black community many black women are digging themselves an early grave. I don't believe in that collectivist nonsense which is why I condone doing what is best for you and not sacrificing to the extent of running yourself ragged.

It's one thing to be generous it's another to be willingly exploited.

dale said...

My name is Dale and I have been married to Olga for 27 years,I am an Australian and my wife is South African....Moved to Australia when she was 8 years old with her family from Cape Town ,met Olga when I was 20 ,Olga was 19 ...we have 3 children girl 26 ,and 2 boys.24,22...may be I'm out of place here but of all the years together we have noticed that it's not how you feel about each other but how other people view you ....such is society!!!...the funny thing is we don't see colour just the person~~~~the soul...society judges ~~~~~shame on them!!.but really it's not there fault,it's only what there taught from young :))).....this goes back to even my wife Olga in Africa as her family grade in shades of colour....WTF!...but this is how it is in there culture, still can't get my head around it,as to Ms.Coco,It seems to me that the coloured male has to learn to bend and work as a team ,then there will be a relasionship that will prosper and will be in Unity! ...."Balance",I'm afraid that most ARE the same! They Only know what they have been taught!! As there is more mixing of races we will not have to endure this bullshit anymore as the generations progress, so at the end of it Build a Bridge and get over it !!! that's what we do:)xox ~~~~~P/S...I'm on the fence...cop it from both sides,black and white...but Olga and I just laugh about it....One day they will see!:)))