This definition nails completely how many black women look at the black situation and their hopes around the black community turning around and black men straightening up. Very little track records exists for many of the beliefs that black women cling to around the black community. But black women want so much to believe in things that are really ‘unevidenced’ that they will be willing to bet the shirts off their backs and very often they do end up having to forfeit their shirts. There is a difference between ‘what I want to believe about a situation,’ and ‘what the situation clearly is.’ Many black women conflate the two and pay a high price.
The process for black women is something akin to this:
'I would so want black people to care for and protect each another, when this happens it will be so marvellous and lovely, oh what bliss.’ I am now going to buy a house in …. ( a black area were there are violent killings every week). This black woman is being carried along by her sweet dreams of how she wants the community to be and she imposes that on how it really is, to live out her fantasy of the warmth and brotherhood of black people!
'I would like it to be so, and it is so, and I stake my house on it!'
Something slightly related here, I was speaking to a friend a few weeks ago who had used her hard earned money to create a product she felt was what the black community needed (note that it was something she felt the community needed or should sign up to, not what they were indicating they would support). Anyway, no surprises she was struggling to make sales. I was really unnerved because this woman has a higher degree and had sunk a load of money into this product just because she felt is what the community should be about!
This woman was struggling to make the most basic sales, that I could see that the concept should not even have gotten off the ground not without an additional step at least. Now I know some folks ride on the wave of emotion until they land with a bump, and in this case I am wondering why throughout the long and critical thinking process of product design, reality did not at some point, penetrated into her thinking long enough for her to ask the basic question, ‘Is anyone really interested in actually buying this product or is it just my enthusiams going here?’
There is a difference between what people need to buy and what people often do buy and it appears some black women don’t know this, in their zeal to uplift community (see its all about black community, it’s the stumbling block for far too many black women).
This does not mean that you cannot introduce a new product to the market but if this is the case, your business model must include a unit (the dominant unit if you ask me), of creating awareness, even educating people into the idea of the product.
Folks I have been to so many business meetings etc etc where black women are purely emotionally-driven and creating ‘giving back’ products and the likes, coming up with all sorts of services that you know no one will pay any attention to especially in black folks current state of mind and if they could step off cloud ‘black community, black people, save, etc etc' they would realize it, in fact it would be so obvious. I think another problem here is that black women are not ready to be honest about black folks true nature and true inclinations or they are hoping to be proved wrong when black people respond to these ‘good black products’ as black folk ought to. Many black women throw products out there to actually disprove assertions that black people are not A or B. An aside, a colleague and I were discussing a lightening skin cream ad recently and I told here 'The reason why the Koreans and Asians are succesful with black business is not unrelated to the fact that they are not worried or caught up in the fact that action A or buying product B says something bad about black people, they just sell what there is a demand for! Their level of investment is 'do black folk buy it?'
Anyway something needs to jolt black women into becoming more aware about where they are and within which fields and circumstances they operate.
Quote for the day: In the black community, chilvary flows from black women to black men, not the other way round!
How black women see their situation
Thank God for BWE eh!
I am being empowered by BWE work, imagine that!
I was listening to a recording of myself from about 7-8 years ago and I cant believe how ‘harsh’ I sounded to my own ears. I believe that I was still very much, ‘in the mind of the community’. This mindset tend to breed a kind of, 'I could careless about how I look beyond black circles and how I come across beyond my close and loving black community' attitude!
'when can I get back to my real community!'I will say this, I often see black women dressing, behaving and coming across like women who are thinking, ‘I have a black community behind me anyway, I have people in my corner who cares about y'all beyond my black folks, after all my needs will be meet in my black community so no need to stress myself and be friendly and cultivate other networks, in fact hurry up cause I am bored with you all and when I finish here I am going back to my real community.’ Lol!
Do you remember the the parable of the Shrewd manager in Luke 16 in the Bible. When the manager realised he was going to be sacked and was no longer going to be taken care of by his boss, he smartened up and began to cultivate folks he couldn’t be bothered with because he was being served in his role as manager a position about to be lost!
Luke 16 does indeed make for an interesting read, it also shows self awareness and awareness of who and how you are being served (which I am a bit doubtful black women have arrived at yet re the real situation in their black communities!)
3"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg—
4I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'
5"So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
6" 'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.'
7"Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' " 'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'
The manager realized he had to cultivate his wider circles because his needs where shortly no longer going to be met within his current environment!
He was actually endorsed as wise by his master when his fraudulent actions to shore himself up were discovered because in general, human beings naturally act to self preserve and look after their own situation however they can!
I think for many of us BWE there came a time when we realised we didn’t have the backing of community and it meant repositioning ourselves in a wider context, to be effectual and to reap from wider systems, so out went the old shapeless coat, hair appointments were pencilled in months ahead and the face cap got cosigned to the dustbin, our manner of speech and actions changed to reflect that we were part of the general mill of humanity not some sidestream.
I cant say I regret upping my game at all lol!
Karyn Folans Newest Interview of Huffington Post
Part 2 to the interview is here:
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