Monday, July 06, 2009

Fending for themselves among Wolves


Sometime in 2006 I wrote an article about the 'wall of shame' created by some black girls in Brown University to shame their black male counterparts for their preference for non black women and possibly with the intention of getting these males to come back. This incident I believe happened in 1996 and garnered media attention. These young women ended up looking bad on so many levels as you can imagine.

In the article I talked about being shocked that these girls were willing to lay down their self respect in a bid for black men, an attempt which failed. I was also suprised that they recieved no counsel against doing something that would not only convey the idea that they had no inherent attractive features and so needed to compel the men by shaming, but also that their activities lent to the notion of white beauty as superior. Those were indeed the days when black women would abandon self-pride in their most often futile attempts to get black men (it still continues to today, but a lot more black women employ some sense and self-awareness). I talked about how full of pride and big headed white girls were likely to be after the incident.

I am looking at this issue again. You see, even in articles written back in the 80s, there are clear descriptions of this same phenomenum; the rejection of black girls by black boys in school for their non-black counterparts, even today it is a widespread and well known practice. So why is it that each new batch of black girls goes to school unaware and unsuspecting and thus has to have their confidence crushed? Why did these Brown young women seem ambushed by this phenominum such that they had this reaction, when we all know that it happens and has for years?

Why are our young women still being sent off to schools and colleges naïve in the idea that black men will be theirs and embracing the idea that they must continue to reserve themselves for black boys/men and this is somehow a viable idea?

How is it that big sisters, aunts and mothers have decided to leave their daughters unprepared for something they themselves know and experienced. I question if they do indeed have good intentions towards our young black girls or are they so eager to see them hurt and demoralized as they were. Indeed, is this some necessary rite of passage for our girls.

We have and continue to do our young black girls a terrible wrong. Yes this does speak to the fact that the tradition of care and 'big sistershood' towards the next generation of black women has been eroded, if it isnt non existent altogether.

These black women at Brown are forever enshrined as the ugly ducklings because no one prepared them for the reality which we all knew would confront them on campus.

Sometime ago I was having this discussion with a freind who has two young girls. I said to her that she would have to prepare her daughters for the dating reality of today. She responded in a way that showed she was resistant to the idea. To me she was somehow willing for her daughters to persist in the 'fantasy' that black men would come for them regardless of the damage this obsolete idea would have. In truth, she appeared not to want to process this painful idea and join the dots of what she knew deep down(the recurring theme of black female lack of courage and burying their heads in the sand around this particular issue). I told her to remember her experinces in school of being taunted for being dark and asked her why she wanted her girls to experince all that unprepared. I told her if I had anything to do with it, the young ladies would be well prepared.

This whole incident underscores for me the fact that black women’s naivity is a tool used by black people and in particular pro self-sacrificing black women to continue to keep alive the non sustainable 'black unity' idea. To them the pain and self-doubt that will result for black women is a small price to pay as long as the black unity dream can be kept alive for a little longer. Naivety is a tool used to lock black girls into a life of sacrifice which they get trapped and groomed into before they know what the deal is.

What many folks seem unable process is that black unity cannot be sustained beyond this generation by only black women.

Yes you would have thought that by now, this understanding of how black boys behave would have entered into and been incorporated into the general 'intelligence' passed to young girls to enable them negotiate school life and their youth effectively. Yet black women who have gone before them somehow see passing on this crucial bit of information unimportant. The question is, are older black women looking out for the younger ones? It doesnt appears so.

Perharps failure to recall their experinces and pass on knowledge is because they are blocking out their own painfull experinces and trying to minimizing it for their mental health, however our young girls are being damaged and for their sake we must confront this issue and shore up their self esteem before it gets shot to pieces.

Indeed I cannot believe that here we are in 2009 with the issue covered over and when we do talk about it, it is in fits and starts, as if it is something new and something not widespread. We mention it in passing and speak about it as if it is just an anomally with limited occurrence when it has been with us for decades. We mention it as a side issue as if it is irrelevant to the mental-well-being of black girls.

But the rejection of black girls at school is now an entrenched culture from all observation. Can you imagine your young sisters, nieces and daughter being in that atmosphere, going through that esteem destroying experince everyday, with no protection, no mental armour given them by those who know the deal. Can you imagine the damage to their esteem and sense of self as a women. You hear all sorts of disturbing stories about black girls sitting huddled in the corner at prom parties, while the white girls are dancing with every type of color.

Can you imagine the distorted image of black women generated in the mind of white girls, and the inflated sense of self and ego they will always carry towards black women.

Why are we then suprised when our young women begin to normalize the idea of being alone and the notion that they are just not the ones to get men, or that they should be grateful for any attention, setting the stage for later acceptance of singleness and defective selection patterns.

Many of you are quick to extend compassion and consideration when bad things happen to non-black young women, but see black girls as being able to take whatever, strong women that we are supposed to be. We do not realize that these are not women with the experince and developed skills to be resilient, but our young vulnerable girls. Why do we cast them as those who ‘can take anything’ as if strongness is magically inherited by black females. And then we get shocked when they crack under the load.

This active devaluing of black women among their peers means black women are increasingly finding it hard to relate to wider society and even other women on an equal footing and with a sense of pride and confidence. Rather they are forced to carry a sense of personal shame and fear and a sense of not meeting the mark. Indeed black women become destabilized in their relationship with the rest of the world.

We must fight back!

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22 comments:

Felicia said...

That was a heart wrenching truthful account.

IMO it's CRIMINAL what BW are ultimately doing to untold numbers of black girls and young women by failing to tell them truth.

The fact is the "bc" as a whole obviously doesn't care about it's girls and women. IMO, it instead appears to view black females as nothing more than potential "breeding stock" to produce future generations of blacks.

The quality of life of these future black citizens (the female black citizens anyway) are apparently an after thought. If that.

And the "bc" will be the FIRST to leave the poor sister HIGH AND DRY once the DBRBM sperm donor is finished fulfilling his "requirement".SMH

It's a SICK and twisted state of affairs for sure...

And the WORLD is watching DUMBFOUNDED at the level of open hatred displayed towards untold numbers of BW and black girls by DBRBM and the black "community" who have thrown them to the wolves.

Who have left them in essence (through their silence and refusal to face the current reality) TOTALLY ALONE.

Modern BW need to realize that THEIR wombs belong to THEMSELVES and are not "community property" of the black "race". The "black community", many of who's members don't give a DAMN about them to begin with.

YES most BW have obviously failed miserably at transmitting TRUTH and REALITY to their daughters, nieces, cousins, etc...

Because they themselves can't accept the truth.SMH

After all, they've "survived" (when the truth is many of them HAVEN'T). So... why can't the next generation of black females "take it" also is the so called "reasoning" of these BW with obviously masochistic tendencies.

Suffice it to say, those of us who actually care about the psychological well being of black women and girls, certainly have our work cut out for ourselves.

All of us who DO know the truth - and who can face it - MUST stop trying to keep up the PRETENSE of normality when it comes to the majority of relations between the sexes in the "bc".

The majority of the relations between the sexes in the "bc" are in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM normal.

So BW can stop "frontin".

The "secrets" OUT and has been out for DECADES.

BW apparently need to be told straight out that they can indeed believe what their eyes are telling them.

It's very unfortunate that you even have to spell out the obvious like this.

But, it is what it is...

And if ONE BW out there can see the light, and start judging men in the global village regardless of "race" on their CHARACTER, family orientation, career potential, etc... the SAME criteria that most non BW use instinctively, it will ALL be worth it in my book.

It's truly unfortunate that this discussion even has to take place in such a public forum.

But, it is what it is...

Since apparently NO one else (or not enough folks for sure) is telling these vulnerable young black women the truth, and how they can WIN and win BIG in this life in ALL avenues including love, in spite of what they face from damaged blacks, we all have to do our part.

Whatever it is. Even if it's little.

Because together, we are making some difference. And some difference is better than no difference at all.

Anonymous said...

I must say, this is something that I have noticed ever since I was in middle school in 2000. I saw it happening a little, but when I got to high school it was all out in the open and boy did it hurt a few girls. In all honesty I was offended by it when I saw tons of black girls totally neglected and rejected by black males, and in so doing, other non-black males didn't bother to approach. It's as if the Caste System was in full effect and black girls were the untouchables. I know deep down that my position in the caste was higher because my skin was not as dark and my relaxed hair was long (not to mention I never wore weaves). I was also athletically built. I have every intention to stress this to my younger sibling as I know that my mother and older sister along with any other female in my family, never prepared me for that reality. I endured a lot of heat/jealousy from the black girls because I was viewed as the "best" among them by black males and I attracted non-black guys which sent my ratings through the roof among black males. I don't have much faith in older black women because I think they really don't care about black girls nearly as much as they should. I doubt these women even know the rules of feminity. I can only be the woman I want to be and hope that my daughters and the young black girls that see or hear me realize that they have every right to seek the best for themselves FIRST irrespective of what that means for others.

Anonymous said...

Very very informative. I am learning so much from this blog. I have a Black boyfriend, and we are happy together, but I still see these sites as overall very positive and uplifting. My boyfriends little sister is 16, I'm 25, and I will make it a point to delve into her life and find out how she feels about herself and her future. I will make it a point to say, sister you have options, don't limit yourself!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Halima. The situation is indeed heart-breaking. I know we are embracing black women and girls dating out, but in addition, black parents need to start training their sons to appreciate black beauty from a young age. I met a bw once who said that she’d been doing that with her son since he was a little boy to counteract the messages he’d been receiving from society. Anytime she saw a pretty black girl, she would say out loud, “What a pretty black girl.” If the parents live in an area where there are few black women and girls, then they should show the boy pictures of pretty bw regularly. One woman was complaining that her son is only 10 years old and all the little girls he has had crushes on were non-black. The black boys’ minds start getting negatively affected by societal images from an early age, so parents have to start the training early. Has anyone seen that blog, Black Is Beautiful? How ironic that the blog author is a white man living in a country (Sweden) where there’s an abundance of women who are the supposed standard of female beauty, the white blondes.

I think that part of the reason there’s a lackadaisical attitude from some in the bc when some bw talk about this issue us that the phenomenon of black guys rejecting black girls/women en masse hasn’t yet occurred in some parts of the U.S. I visited a mid-western city a few months ago and I didn’t see the large number of black men with non-black women that you see in a place like New York or L.A. I was very used to living in a non-swirling city like that, so when I moved to one of these extremely swirling cities, I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. I have now recovered from the shock, but it took a while. On a more positive note, Evia recently said on Twitter that a reader of one of the bw IR blogs has just gotten engaged and CW has just got married. Yippee! Two down!!! While breathe, we hope! Peace, sisters

Khadija said...

Halima,

You touched on the reason why BW throw Black girls to the wolves in an earlier post from April. As you said, "Black women have ‘learnt’ how to be unsupportive of other black women over the years particularly in service of black men."-

Unfortunately, this includes being unsupportive of their own flesh and blood. Because being supportive of their daughters in this context would mean facing and telling the truth about the MAJORITY of BM. Said truth being that the majority of African-American men are virulently anti-BW.

For the moment, I'm singling out AA males because I don't know enough to speak to the situation our sisters in the UK are facing. I'm not quite sure which ethnic group of BM over there are the ones doing the bulk of chasing non-Black women. [I don't know if it's the men of continental African or Caribbean descent---or both---that have a shockingly high rate of marrying any woman but a BW.]

But a change is coming. I see evidence that increasing numbers of AA women are catching the hint and expanding their marriage options. From what I've read, our sisters in the UK caught the hint a while back and have long since learned to expand their marriage options. Good for them. I hope AA women wake up and catch up with our UK sisters soon!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Taylor-Sara said...

Loved it Halima.
I concur 100% But these young ladies will have to date out or be alone. Usually, you will find they will follow the Alpha female. So what we really need is to get the popular black girls dating, mating, marrying out. I know for a fact that this works because when I was a teen, I switched schools (once again-military parents) And I ended up in a mixed (mostly white school) Anyway, there was a really popular blk girl unashamedly dating a wb. All the bgs used to watch every move she made and try to emulate it. When they saw her laughing and kissing the wb in the halls, they immediately stopped turning up their noses at wbs, and the following month, 6-7 bgs were hugged up with wbs at school. The bbs who had previously ignored them, tried desparately to get them back....
BTW, she married the wb, and immediately, our small town had several girls follow in her wake and marry out....

ak said...

I remember watching a talk show in the 90s called Rolonda hosted by a black woman called Rolonda of course, and they were doing the ol' ho-hum topic of black women writing books about 'lovin' the brothas' and the bw were criticizing the bm for not coming back home and they criticized ww for using bm for sex in order to 'find things out'.

And I saw an educated hoity-toity bm go on there and say that 'Black women go on as if black men belong to them and we don't; we can date and marry whoever we want. It has nothing to do with you' Something along those lines. And all of the black men in the audience were clapping their hands and saying 'YEAH!'

That guy probably went to Brown U. I don't know LOL

But in the 90s young black women in high school and in college grew up on the pro-black male hip hop of the day, Spike Lee's Malcolm X and all of those X baseball caps, and every other short lived black power and black love trend that the decade spawned which was taken from the end of the 80s actually.

So that was why black female students of Brown U. in the 90s actually believed tht they could 'magic' the black male students 'back home'. As you have said they bought into and fell for the Contract and they fell for all of those late 80s to the 90s black love, black power, black everything trends and fashions.

Jamdown said...

Well, with athletes like OJ and McNair dumping their Black wives for young White (or in McNair's case, non-White) women, Black women should have gotten the message a LONG TIME AGO.

Anonymous said...

My heart bleeds for our young Black girls, but we need to be realistic here. Perhaps if Black female empowerment had not been (And still IS) such a damn TABOO in the Black race, then our older Black women could have taught these girls the TRUTH about Black men: Which is that MOST of them DO NOT LOVE LET ALONE WANT TO DATE/MARRY BLACK FEMALES, PERIOD.

Felicia, I agree with everything you said except the world watching "Dumbfounded" at the hatred with which our Black females are treated with by the Black race. They (Meaning "The world") don't give a damn. They will side with Black males over us every time!

To the anon whining about "Parents must teach Black boys about the beauty of black females", PLEASE. These black boys grow up in communities with tons of cute, charming little Black girls who would do ANYTHING to gain the favor of these black boys, so WHY do they need to be "Taught" anything about loving/appreiciating them? Give me a break!

If we want to improve our situation as Black women and help our young Black girls, we MUST start speaking FRANKLY about this issue, and STOP with the half-truths and lame excuses!

Anonymous said...

Each one teach one...

Stealthkitty

Aimee said...

Hi Everybody!

Excellent post, as usual, Halima.

The last thing I want to do is be an apologist, but for BW like me who are 30-40+, many of our mothers grew up in a time when no matter what BM wanted, they did not have access to WW in the light of day. My mother and aunts were certainly frank with me about the "brothas'" preference for the light, bright and almost white; but a world where BM actively sought out non-BW was just completely alien to them.

However, the world has changed radically in less than a generation, and the more time I spend among black people in their teens and 20s, the more I see that the males in that group have a decided preference for non-BW. Parents, teachers, and mentors of young BW really need to communicate this fact to these young ladies as frankly as Halima has done so here, so that they learn that they don't have to settle for joining the "reserve army of babymamas," whose fate is to struggle through life alone, providing food, clothing, shelter and wombs on demand for the DBR.

cool_splash1 said...

After all, they've "survived" (when the truth is many of them HAVEN'T). So... why can't the next generation of black females "take it" also is the so called "reasoning" of these BW with obviously masochistic tendencies.

I can't remember if it was the Teenage Liberation Handbook. I think it was. Anyway the author said that many parents, grand parents, and other adults know that the way education in America is structured can be damaging, their flaws, Teachers that don't care etc., too much senseless competition, how schools treat black, latino and other non-white students. Yet they send their kids anyway and tell them what their parents told them, because to them they think I had to deal with the same crap and I made it and now you need to man up and go through it too, because I had to and there was no one to tell me different.

It's sort of like it's a right of passage or something. Like bullies. Many parents during Columbine talked about how they got teased and picked on in school, but I got over it. These people not realizing that what their kids were going through ain't just teasing and getting picked on and neither were some of the kids during their times in school either. Yes they made it (or at least try not to think about it)but why would you want your kids to put up with that type of crap just because you had to go through it and no one was there for etc.

Sorry hope if I'm not making sense

cool_splash1 said...

I met a bw once who said that she’d been doing that with her son since he was a little boy to counteract the messages he’d been receiving from society. Anytime she saw a pretty black girl, she would say out loud, “What a pretty black girl.” If the parents live in an area where there are few black women and girls, then they should show the boy pictures of pretty bw regularly.

The problem with that is that it's really men who validate what is considered beautiful to black men. She can tell him this, but he's going to listen to the men around him about what women are considered beautiful or have worth. That's the scary thing, because many black women are single and the boys don't have fathers or men in their lives. The ones that are around just older man children with the same damaging thoughts just in grown up skin.

cool_splash1 said...

Taylor-Sara said

Usually, you will find they will follow the Alpha female. So what we really need is to get the popular black girls dating, mating, marrying out.

I would really love a post about this at your blog. That's something I've been thinking about as well. Also the fact that many girls don't even realize they are popular maybe not like the uber popular chick, but when I think about it now the hate I got from girls just because of how I was makes me wonder now that I am older.

My cousin was considered one of the freaks and geeks in high school (the unpopular wierd kids at my old school and even her old one.) There was this one black girl who snub wb's, skaters, alternative, but she started getting into it, because my cousin did. (This is when she was going to high school in my old school when she lived with us. It also happened at her old school too.)at the time it annoyed the hell out of her, but now she sees that she had influence.

Other girls tried different things, just because she did. Also the little girls she baby sat at times were influenced by her because they weren't old enough to be so corrupted yet. She has since seen some of them as she has moved back and lives with her husband and their kids.

I had girls telling me that even though it seemed like I liked weird music and other tastes they tried it. Me I was like what. I didn't see myself as popular. But maybe popular is also being teased, made fun of, because those girls and even guys want to do some of the things you are doing, but are either scared to or scared to say it out loud.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Well I've just woken up to realize the DBRs are everywhere and not limited to the few undesirables that I'd thought were stragglers. Now I'm replaying numerous online conversations I'd witnessed and oddly enough they were usually about the same thing: a darker skinned bm fawning over a lighter-skinned or white woman AND them putting down Serena Williams. I'm thinking there's many. I can also attest to the disregard for black girls. that stupid phrase about loving your sons but raising your daughters says it all. The girls get to be the mules and the boys get put on a pedestal. Wow what fun.

Anonymous said...

Usually, you will find they will follow the Alpha female. So what we really need is to get the popular black girls dating, mating, marrying out.

The big problem there is that the Alpha females tend to be light skin girls who almost always get themselves a black man. By nature, the most popular and attractive black women will go for, and will be able to obtain, a black man.

Anonymous said...

Cool splash, re your comments about it being MEN who validate to little boys what is attractive, THANK YOU. I get so sick and tired of the lame excuses people use to justify Black males not being attracted to Black females such as saying that the media "Brainwashed" them into thinking that Black females are unattractive! Please! What kind of stupid ish is that? I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, and you mean to tell me that none of the Black boys of my generation could see the beautiful Black women and girls on tv of that era? Thelma, Willona, and Penny from Good Times? Tootie from Facts Of Life?, Vanessa, Denise, Rudy, Sandra, and Claire from Cosby? Julissa and Whittly (Sp?) from A Different World? Robin Givens and Sara from Head Of The Class? Judy from 21 Jump Street? Look at all of those beautiful Black girls and women, and that is JUST from tv! What about all of the Black female rappers and singers, of this same era?

Like I said, people need to STOP with the lame excuses and justifications for Black males to hurt Black females in this way!

Anonymous said...

ActsofFaithBlog said...
Well I've just woken up to realize the DBRs are everywhere and not limited to the few undesirables that I'd thought were stragglers. Now I'm replaying numerous online conversations I'd witnessed and oddly enough they were usually about the same thing: a darker skinned bm fawning over a lighter-skinned or white woman AND them putting down Serena Williams. I'm thinking there's many. I can also attest to the disregard for black girls. that stupid phrase about loving your sons but raising your daughters says it all. The girls get to be the mules and the boys get put on a pedestal. Wow what fun



You are so correct. I've seen the same thing all over the internet, all the damn time, and nobody calls Black men out for this garbage. It really makes me sick.

cool_splash1 said...

"Usually, you will find they will follow the Alpha female. So what we really need is to get the popular black girls dating, mating, marrying out.

The big problem there is that the Alpha females tend to be light skin girls who almost always get themselves a black man. By nature, the most popular and attractive black women will go for, and will be able to obtain, a black man."

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Duh the point of what Sarah is saying is to teach girls especially those popular ones to look outside the race. And please don't bring that woa is me crap in here. The only girls who get wm are light skinned. Really because many pics I've seen on these blogs as well as real life experience tell me other wise.

arthur said...

... only girls who get wm are light skinned...

I'll say it again; if a wm wants a woman with light skin and long straight hair, he'll go after Becky.

Both wm (one my son) that I know personally that married bw chose dark-skinned women with natural, close-curled hair.

Anonymous said...

Black men have always preferred white. access was limited to the mulatto, but when he was able to pursue the real thing, he went for the white sister, and made the mulatto his second and sometimes his third choice, after the yellow-white skinned Asian. Maybe our time has passed, and there is no longer a need for sista DNA? I'm just wondering.

Bau Bau said...

I've just discovered your Web-Site--"Telling Black Women The Truth." It's a God-send to see Black women begin to empower themselves and speak up for themselves. All of the thoughts you express have been self knowledge to me for years (I'm 62 yrs), but no one talked about it. Please keep talking. My heart aches for our young girls.