Saturday, September 10, 2011

Being proactive and promptly reactive to your Situation

Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes (Miss Angola)
"She captivated the crowd and we were all behind her," said Brazilian Natalie Bursztyn, 20, who was in the crowd inside Credicard Hall where the event took place. "It was great that the judges also saw what the fans saw and gave her the crown. Her dress was beautiful and she knew exactly what to say when they asked her the question about her looks."

Another fan in the audience, Carolina Rocha, said Lopes' win was "well deserved, we were cheering for her all along. Her smile and her friendliness was what set her apart from the others. She also answered her question very well, that likely helped her a lot."-Time world

Watch crowning moment (scroll down)

Blog Entry-
Observing black people around me, I can see that most of them live in a state of 'reactivity' as opposed to being proactive. Things come upon them, are done to them or happen to them which then causes them to react, often too late.

During the beginnings of the downturn of the economy I watched a colleague frantically try to convey to the community groups she was working with that things were no longer going to be as they were and they would have to rethink their dependence on government funding for their organisations and community projects. She was very unsuccessful, and even up to the point were many of these community organisations had their government funding pulled, many continued to turn a deaf ear to the messages coming loud and clear on the need to rethink their strategy. When money dried up eventually they fell back on the usual tactic (that used to work before) of crying racism and discrimination. It was very uncomfortable for her and even me to see how dependence disfigures human ingenuity and creativity making people so fearful of taking a step forward and seizing their own destiny in their own hands, indeed they would rather continue to be 'wards' of others no matter how much of their self esteem and belief in self they sacrificed as a result.

However let me add here that even in a reactive state there is a postive or useful way to be reactive. Many black folk operate in the unresponsive end of the reactive state, if you can say such a thing exists. Indeed you can be super sensitive to a changing situation in such a way that it borders on the proactive itself. Lets face it, no one can be procative 100 percent of the time. We live in an ever changing world and we have to react most of the time esepcially in day to day terms and thus there is a good and positive way of being reactive, and thats to pick up a situation as soon as possible and go ahead to do what is needed without much or any prompting. But many black people dont even react when they need to, when the picture is clear and has been for quite a while. A woman who has been diagnosed with diabetes but never picks up the courage to change her lifestyle is an example and I see this around so often.

'If black women can 'unlink' themselves from black men, they will rise to the surface'-halima

Some may argue that something has deadened such a persons instinctive will to live and I agree that a whole lot of the community burdens put upon black woman and which black women put upon themselves, can indeed disrupt their ability and desire for the best possible life for themselves.

I see so many black women letting things ride out, hoping and praying things will resolve, in other words the situation didnt just spring from the blues, it progressively became a 'situation' while they hoped and kept fingers crossed and did nothing practical.

I think the fact that many black people are religious more so than other demograhies says something about how black folk would rather employ faith than be practical and proactive about their situation. 'God will do it,' 'He will thwart the enemy,' seems to be a preffered MO for black people on the whole. Very few 'pastors' will explain that it has always been about God blessing the bit that you are already doing and not God doing it all for you from scratch or all on your behalf!

An effectively empowered black woman (in terms of mapping out a life for herself) is on the whole, proactive and when you do have to 'react' it is with speed and promptness, no delay once it is established what needs to be done or overcome.

Being in denial wastes precious time, the time that could actually reverse the bad fortune! You will still have to face a situation one way or another and so 'a stich in time' will be a much better policy than burying your head in the sand. Act promptly to extricate yourself from a 'situation'.

If you think you have reacted too late, you are just going to have to shut off that emotional response of fear and paralysis and knuckle down and get on with a plan to get out of the situation. In some cases it might go either way but at least you gave it a good shot!

As an empowered black women you need to spend time investigating, studying and finding out, not just better ways of doing stuff but upcoming trends, paradigm shifts, and methods of survival. Shore up what you have now to make it lasting and permanent but be aware that whatever comfortable situation you have now is unlikely to remain so in this rapidly changing world of downturn of fortunes in a good portion of western societies, you have to plan a way ahead for if ever you need to jump! Always ask, 'Where or what next?

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Anonymous said...

Good morning Halima:

I reside in the United States as a black woman I has watch and listen over the years the poor choice's that many black women had made. Trying to explained to some of these women about being emotionally detached from people who will not change. Before the ecomony went down hill,about ten years ago I told a distant relative now is the time to go to college and work part-time and get your degree. Now that the world is going through harsher austerity measures. People are being force off welfare and other social program are running to attend college in order to received some form of cash aid( grants, book vonchers). Many of these people have no social norms and skills. This same relative did not listen and looking to others for a hand out. She now realized that people are trying to maintain what little they have and the door is close to her.

Anonymous said...

Halima, you have been reading my mind. The masses of blacks will never adopt this way of life.That is why white women are so far ahead of black women and everyone looks and thinks we are a stupid group of women. White women look at trends and you know what? They know that eventually black women and black male couples will become the norm. They are critical thinkers and forward thinkers and they know that it is inevitable. The progressive black women will be fine. The masses will come to their senses when they see a whole generation of black women die alone. This dilema will go down in the history books. Black women have dug themselves into hole. Some even deny there is a problem.
I always say that black men did us a favor!

Anonymous said...

Other race women had a great start and there is no reason any one of them should be suffering.


Anonymous said...

They know that eventually black women and black male couples will become the norm.

I meant that black female white male couples will become the norm

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7.22am

I read Halima's post and I felt inspired. I read your comment and I felt deflated.

Thanks Halima for reminding BW, the time to make change is now and not to be afraid of fear itself.


Anonymous said...

Tha best thing that bw can do now is to let go of all things black!! and start being progressive black women. IR-LOVE is the way to go tho many know this but wont tell you the truth about this, so, all bw now is the time for change. or be left behind,it's now or never!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, irr for most AA women in particular is the best way to go.

Economically speaking most of us need all the help we can get. Stop worrying about friends and family. Vet him well. Visit with his family and friends. Employable or business owner. Loving human being. Patient and any other good quality that I may have left out.


Out of Darkness said...

When I heard of that young lady that won the Miss Universe contest I almost cried! I was never more happy to see a black woman win a Miss Universe Pageant Crown though it is not the first time. Given the time that black women are going through at the moment, this is another catalyst to get things moving in the right direction for black women.

Piggy backing off of what Annonymous said about black women adopting this kind of thinking, I agree that the majority of black women are not as clever as WW and women of other races.

A few things have occured to me in the last couple of days that WW and BM are actually working in Cohoots with each other. Faiths post about why she is not a feminist hinted to this fact as well and it goes back to what annonymous was saying about women of other races watching the trends and taking charge of opportunities.

I think WW see the blatant racio- misongyny that goes on among BM towards BW and have used this to their advantage to keep black women down in society. Thats why their feminist movements were never about all women, just white women. They saw black men fighting to be on the same level as WM, in power and status and formed an alliance to get the same priviledges as men in the workforce, yet enjoy the being the alpha female by keeping black women from becoming any kind of immediate threat. They joined with BM in destroying BW image and in return
gave them a some of white priviledge by having access to their bodies.

This is not to bash their relationships. This is just to show how oppotunistic they are and how BW completely unaware became sucker punched. They saw a trend in BM and used it. As the saying goes the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Anonymous said...

"A few things have occured to me in the last couple of days that WW and BM are actually working in Cohoots with each other."

I said something similar on another blog. In 199, Frederick Douglas married his second wife(ww), in 1919. You better believe ww and bm have been in cohoots for a very long time.

Check out what Jackie Kennedy said about MLK being a phoney. I remember I did not want to believe MLK had an affair with a(feminist)ww. What the hell was he thinking? I thought Rev. Abernathy was simply jealous of MLK when he said MLK wasn't exactly what most bp thought he was. However, the meaning or message of his work is still good.

Anonymous said...

Getting over on the masses of black women is like taking candy from a baby. I am not just talking about uneducated, downtrotten, black women. I am talking about educated women also.

Halima, I would love to see this post in other places. It is too important to only be seen on your blog!

Anonymous said...


Part 1
Hey Halima~ thanks for another post!
About being proactive, I just wanted to suggest that-yes, along with education and financial security and location-getting married to a Man of good substance is what will cause the most dramatic effect for AAwomen. Socially, marriage is very powerful! I hope women are not loosing sight of that and keeping it frontal along with other aspirations. Also long with that is the support of the “image” and conscious of AAwomen. Meaning even if you couldn’t support an individual AAwomen , somehow finding a way to tie that cause into a more general way of support. Just something as simple as making a comment-or retracting a comment for that matter. Because after all-we are looked at a one unit. Also regarding being looked at as one unit, try not to enforce restrictive codes over us, such as “white women can do that, but we can’t”. I say we CAN! We just have to know how, and to what extent, or timing or factors-don’t close yourself in…and give a free pass to others at that!

Anonymous said...


Part 2
I wanted to say something about black men going after white women-QUICK-RUN AAladies, while they are not watching. I’m just getting really nerves! I don’t think bm are as satisfied as they thought/herd they would be with a ww. Why else do they keep their head over there shoulders-LOOKING. Looking at bw, smiling trying to get our attention. Darn! I thought we’d have more time then this to run freely but I have noticed that these black men with ww are really starting to LOOK around for black women. And now I’m starting to get messaged online( on a dating site) from bm asking “what type of men do you like?” ???? Uh-oh! Someone must have told them that us AAwomen are not only thoroughly checking applications but also taking them from all backgrounds-because they didn’t use to ask about “type” before.

I know I stand alone in this thought-but I would prefer that black women ONLY accept attention from white men who are of sought after substance. It’s all about the “covering”. Even if you do find that one bm that’s whole and wonderful-you still have to deal with his supporters and the groupings that take place with many bm. From the white house to the pull-pit-to rappers-they just all seems to intermingle with each other. It’s such a tangled mess, I don’t know why anyone would sit there trying to figure it out. Just get out-my opinion…and I come from a home with a black father still married to my mother, all of my uncle are married and good provides nice intact families. I love my family, but I’m not going to pretend that it’s normal.

Anonymous said...


Part 3
Regarding black women-do you know what letting go means? I don’t think many do. It means moving forward despite of (black) him. It means knowing that BLACK isn’t the “black male culture” that the country is experiencing-like Halima blogged about (thanks for that post). It means you know that if you do things that are degrading to yourself, your child, other bw to keep, get or defend a bm (no matter how successful or “supportive” of black women [usually really just trying to make money] they are) then you are in IDOLATY to toward them-Khadija dug out this gem of truth in one of her last blog post-thanks for that! And that’s ugly-really ugly. Do you want to know how ugly? Look at the damn statistics facing black women-that ugly!!
A note: to those aawomen who think that some should sit back and say nothing. I don’t think anyone has “arrived”. And I’m not delusional enough to say that I have-so I haven’t. I simply share what I have-because I’m a giver. And as I make my journey and gather along my path-I will always leave little piece/peace behind for others to find. And maybe it’s my age, but it doesn’t tire me out to contribute a little-like it my drain others. In fact it spurs me on!

AAladies-be free!
As usual forgive mistakes-in a hurry!

Sophie B said...

I love this post.

I recently walked away from a relationship with a relatively successful Black man. I myself am more educated and attractive than he is, however being a Black West Indian man he of course saw me as his inferior.

Many of us as BW don't know our worth. We sit around waiting on God to part the red Sea. The harsh reality is that we are the ones who must take control of our lives in every single capacity.

I don't attend Black churches, never did as a child and I won't now. They offer very little support for women and the misogyny in the Black church is heartbreaking. I stay away from places like that, that will drag me back to a place of self-pity and self-loathing.

BW must act now as Halima says, to seize the moment, use our talents and our minds to survive.

I love you all and wish you the best.