Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There is Black Woman Empowerment and there is Black Community Empowerment

There is  Black Woman Empowerment (BWE) and Black Community Empowerment (BCE).

'For clarification: this blog post is not a judgement on anyone. I feel however as a pioneer BWE blogger, it is my responsibility to hold a steady course on certain issues, while others can enjoy a degree of latitude. If those of us who were in from the beginning do not hold to a 'true north', BWE will mean anything and nothing!'

The whole furore over Red Tails has actually clarified that many of you who assume you are BWE are actually more Black Community Empowerment. Your loyalties are more to BCE than it ever is to BWE. Thus whenever BWE and BCE come into conflict (as they do and will increasingly do as I will explain below) like every true BCE loyalist, your response is to quickly throw bw and her concerns under the bus in favour of BCE.

Yes indeed as evidence, listen to the 'reasons' given by black women who decided they would see Redtails despite the movie erasing bw (something that should be critical for any self-respecting black woman not to even talk about a black woman who claims to be all about the empowerment and uplift of black women):
  • Its about the black community and a film showing us in good light (but the film Redtails did not show 'black people' in good light, it only showed black men in good light, dont ever get it wrong, this is a key point which these comentors deliberately sidestepped in good ol' bw sacrificing style)
  • I will watch it to honor my grandfather Tam Tam, its the only way
  • We should support a 'black' film so the next time we will get a chance to see a black film and maybe a black woman appearing for 2.5 seconds (Hey it's all about incremental steps innit).
  • There is nothing wrong with interracial dating (deliberate misconstruing of the legitimate issue raised by bw of being erased from a film)
  • Its a film about Tuskegee Airmen what has that to do with black women and of course they were in Italy so it was wholly impossible for bw to be present (I was suprised that so called BWE supporters were using this enemy obsfucation tactic)
  • It would have been so hard to include a black woman somewhere in the film, it would have been as hard as splitting the atom!
No where in the above are the direct interests of black women identified. In addition, in good ol' 'non reciprocity for black women' style, they black women are suppose to make sure they be there for the movie so that it doesnt fail. Indeed, note that bearly anybody is actually requiring black men to support the film so it doesnt fail, yet this film is all about the glory of black men! But as is the ususal BC style, bw get to work while the results accrue to black men.

It is important to look at what people do, not what they say. Despite all the protestations of being in support of BWE and all the stuff, when it came down to it they couldnt hold firm in prioritizing black women's interest in something small as forgoing a film (which they can catch on netfliks or DVD later). How do you think these women will then prioritize black women in more serious even life or death issues? They clearly indicated where their interest lay. In truth anyone can say they are for BWE, it is actually what happens when push comes to shove that really clarifies things.

What, do you mean that a bw cannot be for BWE and BCE? I hear someone ask. I also hear, 'Does BWE have to be in conflct with BCE?
Well those are the million dollar questions arent they, but I will answer that by quoting Aimee who succintly summed up what we are faced with when she wrote:

It is absolutely crucial for black women who want the healthy, happy lives that they deserve to recognize that the very foundation of the currently formulated black community is constructed around the devaluation of black women and children. It is no more and no less. Loyalty to this community requires disloyalty to your own well-being and your very survival as black women - Aimee (pioneer BWE writer)

Aimee is clearly a prophet because she fortold that a couple of years after she wrote that that there would come a time when bw would be required to extinguish themselves and sign up to their own erasure to serve black community.

Yep seeing Redtails became a community serving effort even as the film, the writers and the actors couldnt have done more to stick a finger up at black women! Just as Aimee highlighted, serving community and supporting Tuskegee men and all that, required erasing black women and as befitting their true allegiance folk duely complied as good BCE loyalists.

For many black women, BWE is a subset of BCE

This diagram above represents how the average black woman sees black women's uplift and anything to do with black women getting theirs; she sees it as part and parcel of the overall agenda to advance black people.

What Aimee and many other piooneer BWE realized is that BWE is not a subset of BCE. BWE is actually a stand alone and a stand apart project from all BCE efforts as the diagram below shows

BWE is Distinct from BCE
The reason BWE has to stand apart from BCE is for the simple reason (and as Aimee highlighted) that BCE now increasingly demands the subjection of black women into the bargain of community uplift. It is no longer about black women doing their bit, even doing more than everyone else, now they must swallow the contempt and disdain in addition. Its not about working on hands and knees anymore, that will no longer do, its about enduring the devaluation, the mockery, about providing entertainment and sport while lugging the load of the BC alone!
Many black women think they can secure black women's empowerment under the umbrella of BCE but as long as BCE requires bw to sacrifice themselves, diminish themselves, lower themselves and their standards, not thnk of themselves, sign up to their own erasure etc etc (as was clearly the case with Redtails), then anyone thinking BWE can be achieved as a subset of BCE is really not thinking clearly. Black women occupy a devalued status in-group even more than what they experience outside the group, the argument for fair treatment, consideration doesnt even make sense under a devalued in-group status. Thats why people look at you funny when you ask for respect and roll their eyes and continue to push forward a bw disrespecting agenda, because thats what makes sense for a devalued human being!
Whats more, many bw who are part BWE but more BCE are developing cognitive dissonance because they realize and understand the arguments raised about BWE but still want to serve the BCE agenda so in order to ameliorate their discomfort they do so many mental gymnastics and come up with such reasons as "Well there where no black women in Italy thats why no black woman was in movie Redtails." I honestly dont know if they really believe what they are saying but some have convinced thenmselves of the validity of their answers especially after repeating convenient general excuses like 'It dosnt really matter, its no big deal'.
Though however the black women I am more wary of are those who get all defensive and crowbar their fellow black women with the accusation of being 'jealous of a white woman'. Thats enemy tactics and any BWE spouting enemy phrases should be kept at a distance.
You know what is funny, this in-group devalued status of black women and why it makes for what we are seeing now was the missing puzzle that caused me to rewrite the upcomg e-book 'First Steps to Personal Empowerment' a few times before I felt it was ready.

The Kindle books are a little behind schedule but still within January. I shall make them available for PDF downloads as well as some have requested!

 New e-Books Available on Amazon Kindle January 2012

Wondering about Interracial dating?

You will find answers in this e-book which gives a clear insight into the relationship reality facing black women today, including her interracial dating option. Get yourself clued up!

Questions to be sent to:


shaymore said...

I was nodding my head the entire time I read this post. Finally someone said what I've been thinking this entire time ever since Red Tails came out. I've been following BWE blogs since college. As soon as I heard about Red Tails I have to admit I was excited about the black female actresses that would be getting roles because unlike others I know my history. I know there were over 400 black nurses in Europe during WW2. I know about the black female pilots and I couldn't possibly imagine them being cut out of the narrative. Of course some pilots had sex with European women but does that mean black women have to be cut out of the narrative. I have to admit I've been side-eyeing some bloggers about their thoughts on Red Tails, especially since they seem to carry themselves as a BWE blogger. You can't complain about Jay-Z devaluing black women and little black girls and that Friday go and pay money to see the exact same thing. I don't care if it was about the Tuskegee Airmen. . .black women are without a doubt a part of that narrative and that needed to be shown. By buying a ticket you paid for your exclusion from history. You sat down with your popcorn in that theater and said you were okay with being reduced to nothing. Now this may seem a little harsh but I felt like any black woman who went to see that movie have absolutely no respect for themselves and are to far gone in black male identification. I expected much more out of some BWE bloggers. Everyone said that the Tuskegee Airmen's story needed to be told. All I have to say is and what about the Black women who were there what of them. Don't their stories need to be told. Then the discussion with other women who follow these bloggers were saying that this isn't a battle worth fighting. All I have to ask is when will BW interests be worth fighting and how can you say it isn't worth fighting for. All movements start with people or someone saying enough is enough. It all starts with something and waiting does nothing but makes things an uphill battle.
This movie really made me think about the Bible as well; the verse was Matthew 7:13. I think I'll use the New Living Translation- "You may enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate wide for the many that choose that way." Now I'm not saying you're going to hell. . .I'm saying that you probably haven't helped BW at all by going to that movie in fact more little black girls will have to suffer through hell for that because the only thing this movie will help promote is more devaluation of black women and girls and this weekend many people including some BWE bloggers picked that path.

Jamila said...

"Indeed, note that bearly anybody is actually requiring black men to support the film so it doesnt fail, yet this film is all about the glory of black men!"

I hadn't even noticed that until you pointed it out.

There was a very loud cry for "the black community" to support this film and for "black women to support (and not boycott)" this film, but I don't ever recall black men being explicitly told that they needed to support this film. Perhaps "black community" is synonymous with "black men" and that's why black women were called out to support but not black men.

shesthedifferencemaker said...

THANK YOU for writing this!
I (unsuccessfully) tried to explain this very thing and some of the responses I got and read from other bw left me dumbfounded. It wasn't until I read responses from WAOD, you and Evia that I didn't feel like "maybe I was overreacting??" Glad I stuck to my guns.

I want no part in paying for my erasure in history and that is exactly what black women are doing if they decide to see this film. The dbr bw-hating bm associated with this project should have enough reason not to see this.

"Though however the black women I am more wary of are those who get all defensive and crowbar their fellow black women with the accusation of being 'jealous of a white woman'. Thats enemy tactics and any BWE spouting enemy phrases should be kept at a distance."

I saw this going on on different BWE sites and it made my skin crawl. I couldn't believe people who supposedly have bw's priorities at heart would sink so low. That and the "I don't care/ It's not a big deal/Pick another worthy battle". So now there are "appropriate" or non-appropriate times to stick up for bw?? le sigh.

Brenda55 said...

OK here goes. I am going to see the film and just like every black woman who has and who will I have my reasons.

I am going with my dad and my husband.

I am going to share this experience with them.

I want to be there to see my dad's reaction and to hear the stories he is going to tell. I want to be there as he, a black man who grew up in that time interacts with my white husband whose dad served in Italy when the airmen were there and who he himself read about these heroes.

Holding true north as you put it is fine and the right thing to do but in the end BWE is about Black women making their own choices given the situation in their environment as to what is important to them, the decisions they want to make, need to improve their lives and yes it is about the battles they want to fight.

I am weighing what the film makers think of me against what the two men I am going with think of me. This is not all abstract and intellectual this is real.

Speaking out against how this movie was made, who made it and the like is fine, in fact it is necessary and is right. I agree there are problems with it and the film makers need to hear what they are. We need to talk about black women controlling their own image and making their own films and supporting them and we need to act.

That said making this film a litmus test for each black woman's commitment to BWE is where I am having a problem.

For this??? A movie???? Released in January which is the film worlds back water? We women should not be at each others throats over this and the b-list hired help who put this film together in my opinion.

Our energies would be better spent talking about the young black women who are making films about us and showing us how to support them. The work Issa Rae is doing comes to mind and I know that there are hundreds of women like her out there who need our support.

Hummmm what is the name of that internet fundraising vehicle??? Seeing this dust up makes me realize that this is the way to go.

So respectfully I am very committed to BWE but I also know that there are many roads that women have to travel to get there. Holding true north is all well and good but sometimes you have to fight the currents in the waters you are navigating to reach that point. Having rocks thrown down at you from the cliffs does not help.

ss said...

Thank you Halima for drawing a line in the sand. I love the distinction you made between the two concepts. It seems we're at the stage where these ideas are now mutually exclusive. It saddens me that thinking black women did not see this issue clearly. I may be a little radical but I rather see no blacks women on film than be forced to watch
us be dehumanized or in this case replaced. One expects historically accurate films to be historically accurate. It was one thing to have no black women in the film but to be replaced by a non black woman with a far fetched storyline is way too much. It is quite representative of the prevailing mindset of black males. It would not get any of my hard earned money.
If we as black women made significant progress in our image and quality of life then perhaps our exclusion could be overlooked this once.

Shaymore said...

At Brenda55 I respect your decision because that's all I can do. However I do believe that we as BWE supporters and bloggers can focus on more than one thing. You can talk about this film and how wrong it is and at the same time go and support the other films like Pariah that's coming out. I've heard Kim Wayans does a great job in the film. I will say that paying to see Red Tails is not a BWE supporter or blogger action though. It goes directly against it. All the way. Do you know about the first couple of Tuskegee. . .they are a black couple. The writers could have added that in along with the interracial, however one would have been a better fit for Red Tails since they wanted to market it as a black film. Our energies should be spent on all things that either endanger black women and girls or supports them. We should spend our energies shutting down the things that will eventually hurt black girls and women. While at the same time supporting the things that uplift black women and girls. I don't have to pick and choose. And I do think this film was a test. As I said earlier you can't complain about Jay-Z and what he's done to black women and girls and then turn around and go and pay to see Red Tails which does the exact same thing even if it's a little more subtle. Every battle is a battle worth fighting in a war and unfortunately that's exactly what this is and black women and children especially girls are losing every time someone decides to focus all their attention elsewhere and pretending that's it's not so bad. It's like you see the crime but you'll okay with ignoring it.

Also your holding to North reference. . .I'm glad you made it. Because I've never heard of anyone reaching their desired destination by following anything other than the North star so I'm glad I'm on the right track. Like I said before. . .there's only one path to something right. The Bible states that as well. You don't get to heaven following many paths just one. And the same can be said about this. So I'll stick with holding to the North cause I don't want to get lost along the way. Oh and another thing. . .your reference to swimming against the currents. I've never heard of getting anything you in life to be easy. You swim against the currents almost always in life when you want something. Whether it's education, love, respect or peace. It's always a difficult journey and the rocks falling down are nothing but things that test your resolve. The idea is to push on through that and reach your destination.

Evia said...

Halima--THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You nailed it in this post. This is EXACTLY why I pulled back from being what's known as A "BWE" writer/advocate over a year ago. I've seen how there are certain high-profile, so-called BWE advocates who are using the BWE banner to advance their own personal interests and/or the BCE interests and not the interests of bw--'first and foremost.'

EVERY decision that is made by AA women will either help to sink them further or it will help to uplift them. There is NOTHING in-between. Each decision we make determines our reality. This is not brain surgery.And supporting this movie will have consequences that many bw are too short-sighted to see. Yet, when those consequences pop up, some of these same supporters of this movie will start whining about how bw are not respected, not chosen, not loved, not viewed as snart, and yadda-yadda.

I'm all about BLACK WOMEN--'first and foremost.' I'm not about anybody using bw to get on top, erasing bw and then saying supporting this movie is 'just not that serious.'

When I saw about a year ago how things were shaping up with some of those who had jumped on the BWE wagon, this is when I decided I wanted to be known simply as a "Common Sense" writer. I really don't want to be associated with some of the "BWE" folks. LOL!

I'm so happy that you highlighted what Aimee (who I wish so much were still writing) brilliantly stated, in a nutshell. Many in the bc are hell-bent on using bw to be the 'wind beneath the wings' of bm without EVER even hinting at, let alone demanding RECIPROCITY from bm. This is exactly what we have here.

I've been following some of this commentary too mainly because bw are still writing to me to get me to change my mind about supporting that movie. NEVER! My reasons have nothing to do with any "jealousy" about the IR love interest, as I explained on my site. Heck! I'm married to a QLL-wm. My objection is due to the total lack of bw in a positive, uplifting, appealing role in the movie and if there was only ONE role for such a woman, then of course, she should have been black. DUH!!!

Felicia said...

Below are two excerpts from the recent Washington Post article Black Women in America: Peeling Back the Labels.

"Black women haven't really defined themselves," says author Sophia Nelson, who urges her fellow sisters to take control of their image. "We were always defined as workhorses, strong. We carry the burdens, we carry the family. We don't need. We don't want."

"In our upbringing, we're not raised to be princesses," says Virginia Boateng, a budget analyst who works for the Education Department. "We're told, 'Yes, you are pretty, but you better have something for yourself.' "

IMO any "community" that has racially motivated contempt for it's women and views them as expendable broodmares is not worthy of support in any way shape or form.

The majority of BW are in their mulish, predominantly unmarried, sole breadwinner/single parent position because of their allegiance to a "community" and group of males (the majority of whom are damaged) that hold them in contempt.

Unlike non black girls, in 2012 the majority of black girls are still not being raised to believe they should be treated as Princesses because the "community" knows damn well that your average BM has eurocentric notions
of beauty and will never treat a BW in the same normal manner most non BM naturally treat the women of their group. The majority in the "community" don't want black girls or women feeling special, worthy, beautiful, on a grand scale because they know that if they did, that in itself would intimidate black boys and BM and make them feel "less then". Plus, it would attract the romantic attention of non racist WM and other non BM which is something the "community" certainly doesn't want to happen. With BW feeling worthless and less then, that makes them MORE readily available for BM to use and abuse at will.

Since the BM internationally is at the bottom of the social and financial hierarchy, the sexist "community" encourages BM to feel good about themselves ANY way they can. Whether BW and black children are harmed in the process or not. Because of damaged BM's insecurities and desire to deflect attention away from their OWN shortcomings and outright failures as men, they cowardly attack (blatantly and covertly) and debase black girls and BW.

And the so called "community" allows this sickness to continue.


Felicia said...

Most BW have and will continue to have absolutely NOTHING positive what so ever to show for their allegiance to the "black community".

The "black community" as far as BW and black girls is concerned is DEAD and has been dead for some time now.

It seems it's sole purpose these days is the elevation of BM regardless and the devaluation of BW regardless.

Which again is PURE EVIL.

Are there pockets of normality? Meaning, are there functioning individual black families that love and support their daughters and want what's best for them regardless? SURE.

BUT, on a MASS cultural scale the clear answer is NO.

Personally, I could NEVER support a film that represented revisionist history and erased the contributions of black women and could NEVER in a million years financially support damaged BM who propagate eurocentric beauty standards.

Not with all of these talented beautiful black actresses hurting for work.


Things being the way they are these days, being pro black community and/or pro black male (UNLESS hes 's of the Ralph Richard Banks type) means being ANTI black woman.

And I'm anti ANYONE and ANYTHING period that is anti BW living and loving well on their OWN terms whether black males or "the community" benefits or not.

Like WW and other non BW, and ALL other people period regardless of "race" or gender, my finances and support stay IN-house.

BW are the ONLY population on earth I know of who continue to support those who have NO intention of supporting them back.

This is insanity and BW REALLY need to ask themselves if the tables were turned, and a film purporting to be "black" and historical accurate consisted SOLEY of BW and the ONLY romance featured in the ENTIRE film consisted of a white man and black woman, would black men support it? And, would black men even be asked to support it? We ALL know the answer is HELL FRICKEN NO!

Most BW wouldn't support it either because they would be concerned about BM's feelings. How this film would effect black boys, yada yada...

The "community" (black men AND black women - if you notice when it comes to this red tails discussion - BM have been completely silent regarding the erasure of their black grandmothers and great-grandmothers which speaks volumes) would say this was an evil plot by the white man to separate black people and be calling the BW in the film EVERY kind of wicked and unspeakable name in the book.

Again, I question the sanity of any BW who would knowingly and willfully financially support her own erasure.

To me It almost speaks of self-hatred but I must remember that MOST BW are raised since infancy in "the community" to devalue themselves, sacrifice their feelings, turn of their intellect, and prostrate themselves before BM and a "community" that doesn't give a damn about them.

What is the saying? Garbage in garbage out.

Anyway if this is what the "community" is asking of thinking BW (and it is) then the "community" can go do something to itself.

Patricia Kayden said...

Wonder why George Lucas, who is dating a Black woman, would purposely erase Black women from this film.

Brenda55 said...

I am not arguing to over look anything. This discussion is important. Lets have it.

It is about time to define what BWE is and is not in a way that is clear and is understandable to everyone. Right now it is a collection of bloggers who come, have important things to say and important concepts to share with black women and then when other aspects of their lives intrude leave. We have all seen this. Since when was there one way to look at this? Who defined the message? Who wrote the playbook? In my mind it is evolving.

So now when some women take one stand and other women another we are getting increasingly heated exchanges on line and in public. This is not good.

All I am saying is have the discussion please, just try to avoid this thing moving towards bomb throwing. That does no woman any good and this film and the men who made it are not worth the schism that could result.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this post! Thank you for expressing what so many of us who didn't support the movie may have been thinking or feeling.

I wasn't initially interested in this movie because.
a) It is a war movie - blech, pass.
b) Terrence Howard & Cuba Gooding Jr. are overrated - pass.
c) A bunch of unknown, firs-time actors also didn't add interest for me.
d) Hollywood "historical accounts" tend to be light on facts. I'll take an actual documentary any day of the week.
This movie just didn't have anything to reccomend it for me.

When I saw Gina's questions at WOAD I was even more certain that I had made the right decision. What I found truly disturbing was the reaction from other BW to valid concerns and questions regarding BW's exclusion from this movie. The responses generally included either, badgering, contempt or out right dismissal. A general tone of "How dare black women expect to be represented in a movie they are being told (strong-armed) to spend their hard-earned money on?" "It's just a movie." "It ain't even about black women, so what the fuss?" tinged most responses.

Well if it isn't about me, then why should I support it? NONE of the answers ever seemed good enough. Where was the reciprocity or quid pro quo? We were supposed to help make the movie a success then wait for it. Cui bono? Not one BW that I can see. So much of the reasoning I read still catered to uplifting and supporting black males on the backs of black women.

I am truly grateful for the BWE bloggers Halima, Gina and Evia who continue to be a true north for us as we navigate the path to our own empowerment and enrichment.

Sisterlocgirl said...

As to the " It's just a movie " argument, many could say " it was just a bus seat " to Rosa Parks and the other black women before her who were arrested as well ( yes, Rosa Parks was NOT the first black woman arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus ). The same dynamic is being displayed here with regards as to whether bw deserve respect and acknowledgement. When is enough enough? Would you finance the Klan? What makes this BS any different? Make no mistake about it, financing people who have made a coordinated, concerted effort to deny your existence is a slippery slope. The exact same thing started in rap many years ago & look where that blind eye has led us. No, at a certain point the talk needs to be converted into action. Black women are devalued, disrespected, reviled, ridiculed and thrown under so many buses that at some point those of us who know better have to say ENOUGH. Individually some of us have found loving mates who protect, love and cherish us as men do for the women they love. Collectively, black women don't have male champions/protectors, hence the belief that we don't matter. I'm not drinking that Kool Aid, nor will I finance it's manufacture. Halima, Evia and Gina are dead on with this one.

Zabeth said...

“Wonder why George Lucas, who is dating a Black woman, would purposely erase Black women from this film.”

This is an interesting proposition that I’ve heard thrown around. I can think of 2 reasons:

1.) What do we really know about Mellody Hobson other than she’s AA, dating George Lucas, well educated, and independently wealthy on her own? None of us know her personally, I presume. Therefore, she could be just as black-male-identified as some other BW in the “black community” and may not be very concerned or realize the importance of how BW are portrayed in the media. Just because she’s dating a WM doesn’t mean she’s of a certain mindset.

2.) Lucas may have produced the film and backed it financially but he didn’t direct it or write the screenplay- that was done by BM. He may have entrusted them to represent the film based on those men’s perspective without giving thought as to how BW are to be represented if at all.

Remember BW demanding reciprocity is only a recent development so, it wouldn’t be all too surprising if the mentality was “if you make it an all-black cast, they will come” so to speak. When people started to balk then the chorus of “You have to support blah blah blah because yadda yadda yadda” began.

Then again I am not in anyone’s head so I cannot speak as to what anyone in particular was thinking.

Anonymous said...

First,I enjoyed this post thanks for taking the time to write it.You are appreciated!

@Brenda,I have experienced LONELY due to my beliefs regarding the empowerment and uplift of black women.I have been shouted down and left with no friends or family to hang out with (for a certain period) due to what I believe.I have been left to watch tv alone because I don't do Tyler Perry.I have missed those so called loving family moments at Christmas and family reunions due to DBR's in the family who do not cease to subject black women to the worse treatment humanly possible if she is not family.I have been made to feel "other" by people who claim to love me simply because I choose not to support people who don't support me, and because I call certain individuals out about their anti-black woman ways, but going through all that is BETTER than going against what is right and would help black women.

I love my dad.I love my mom.I love my family but I'll be damned if for the sake of them having some mushy ass tearful moment I allow myself to be disrespected in any way.

I will NOT self sacrifice.Especially not for this sh*t(no disrespect to you,I'm pissed about the movie).I KNOW my father would NOT go to a movie about the civil rights era that had absolutely no black men in it at all.He better not expect me to go see Red Tails.

Truth P.

Zabeth said...

I agree with Brenda 55 let’s have this discussion and define what BWE is- make it plain. Definitions are going to become increasingly more important.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why George Lucas, who is dating a Black woman, would purposely erase Black women from this film.

I think that it was the black men working under him.

SS said...

It is my understanding that one of the core principles of BWE is reciprocity. Many bloggers here and elsewhere took great pains to drive this message home. I am still unclear how the issue of refusing to support Red Tails is so confusing for some. This is not some Tyler Perry crapfest. It is a film based on a crucial part of black history. Supporting our exclusion from a historically based film is similar to supporting the dehumanizing images of black women and girls. Hollywood seems to think that black people in general and black women in particular will accept any and everything.

Karen said...

I am sometimes amazed at how few are able to grasp the basic concept of BWE which is to put "Black Women's Interests FIRST". How many ways to Sunday must BWE (current and former, excluding the recent crop of self-promoters) bloggers spell it out.

If a Black women refuses to put her interests first to ensure that there is reciprocity; that she benefits from EVERY interaction, then no amount of discussions are going to change that, which by the way, have already taken place at various BWE Blogs ad nauseum.

And to the "veiled insult" to the BWE Bloggers that have moved on with their lives. History has shown that Black folks will use until that person has nothing left to give. How many civil rights AA black women were forgotten, left destitute and to die alone. Or those black women who tried to tell the truth about the trajectory that hip hop music was taking (i.e. C. Dolores Tucker), yes, we threw her under the bus too. So, yes, black folks with their entitlement attitudes are very good in expecting black women to give EVERYTHING but demand NOTHING from BMs (i.e. Obama, Church Preachers, so-called Civil rights leaders to name a few.). I won't even go there on the time, energy and cost it takes to maintain a blog and the likelihood of the majority being willing to financially support such costs (again back to what happened to the civil rights women....)

I am personally GLAD these women have moved on. They have given you the tools to make changes, no one is forcing you to do anything. If you prefer OOW births and single parenthood, STDs (due to man-sharing, prison population BMs, drug users, etc.), basic disrespect and contempt along with the high probability of being raped, attacked or murdered by a BM (there are more than enough statistics which confirm all of these high probabilities), then God respects free will and so do I.

However, do NOT come to various BWE blogs complaining or acting as if you do not understand the basic principle. You have chosen to take the path of BM-identified, then live that path and leave the rest of us alone who ARE putting our interests first.

Evia said...

My life is guided by Common Sense principles that have never failed me nor many others I've observed during the multi decades of my life. It's these principles that have enabled me and mine to live well. So,I've offered these principles to other bw. I've always written with these principles uppermost in mind because they are ALWAYS uppermost in my mind. I have used my principles as subtitles of my books. I don't know about anyone else, but I STAND for something and I will fight forever for my principles. I don't just live my life willy nilly, being carried along by popular culture like a piece of paper. After all, "if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything," as the saying goes.

So my #1 principle is:

1. Upholding and promoting my (and mines', including other bw's)interests and protection as 'First and Foremost' (subtitle of my BOOK 1)

2. Mostly ALL of my decisions are based on #1 because I know that the quality of ANY person's life depends overwhelmingly on their moment to moment decisions. Therefore the subtitle of my BOOK 2 is: The Quality of your Life Depends on Your Choices.

Anyone who SHOWS me that they support me in promoting my (and mines', including other bw's) self interests and protection is someone for whom I will gladly offer:

3. Reciprocity--the subtitle of my BOOK 3

If anyone SHOWS me that they're in line with principles 1, 2, 3, then I know that they are valuable to me because they are helping me and mine, including other bw, toward:

4. Living Well- the title of my BOOK 4

These are the principles that I've put forth and written possibly billion of words about over the past 5 years, in which I've explained these principles in all kinds of ways, giving copious examples. I've suggested that if many other bw were to use these principles as guides in their lives in dealing with others, they would be a lot better off. I can't tell anyone else what to do, but if I'm giving you the best advise about how to save your behind and not be continuously demoralized and knocked out (as I see happening to so many bw) and you're ignoring me, then you'd best find a way to get comfortable in your own very hard bed--all by yourself. You can't just keep acting clueless. I consider you hardheaded and foolish instead, and we all know that 'a hard head makes a soft behind' that many others out there will be pounding on. I have other common sense principles that I live my life by, but I'm NOT saying that these are "BWE" principles. I'm not sure what "BWE" is anymore since we now have latecomers jumping on the wagon and supporting media that insults me and other bw, IMO. There's no telling what else they will support.

Maybe bw have been so traumatized by the numerous insults until they don't understand what an insult is anymore? That's the only conclusion I can come to about the confusion around whether bw should or should not support this movie.

I would have thought this would have been a clearcut decision. This is NOT brain surgery, but if I had a 20-something daughter, the fact that so many bw are supporting this movie would be very scary to me!!

Felicia said...

Does anyone remember the short lived TV show Night Stalker staring Gabrielle Union from a few years back?

As soon as that show came out I said to my husband Bjorn lets check this out because it's going to be canceled lickity split for the sole reason it stars an attractive, slim, dark-skinned actress with an all white male cast.

I said even though there is no romantic/sexual tension between Gabrielle and her costars, WW and BM will feel uncomfortable and specifically will not support a film project that excludes them. Especially if the black woman featured is of a non mixed appearance. A Halle Berry/Vanessa Williams type is one thing, but a dark-skinned sista is another story.

I knew that the vast majority of BW would also not support the program simply for the fact that no BM were in it and they insanely wish to pretend that "black love"/black female and male pairings in the media is an idea that BW need to be supporting when the vast majority of BM who have influence in the media are supporting any and everything that is anti BW thus anti "black love".

So of course the show was short lived. But, it DOES go to show that non BW have boundaries that they will not cross. And they don't need bloggers or anyone else to explain to them that anything that is not about them does NOTHING to further their self interest.

Basically, WM, WW, BM, and everyone else under the sun moon and skies knows instinctively to put themselves and their demographic FIRST AND FOREMOST.

Hell, even animals know this. SELF-preservation is the first law of nature.

Financially supporting and/or promoting nonreciprocating others - and that's what the vast majority of BM are these days (most certainly the BM associated with the movie red tails) - is INSANE and suicidal behavior.

BW who continue to play dumb deaf and blind are truly doing themselves AND future generations of black girls and women a grave disservice.

Monique8 said...

When I first saw the trailer for RedTails, I wasn't moved to see the movie. I knew about the Tuskegee Airmen and their bravery in WWII, I don't care for Terrance Howard or Cuba Gooding, Jr. as I think they are barely decent actors and have at times exhibited some real DBR behavior.

When reading a WAOD post about the movie and finding out that there were NO BW in the film, my mind was already made up: I would not see this movie. To me it was clear cut. A movie written and directed by two BM who DELIBERATELY CUT out the Black actresses who had bit roles in the movie to begin with and who categorically excluded BW en masse would NOT get my money. To add insult to injury, this film is supposed to be based on historical fact? Not even a picture or a flashback showing a Black momma on the porch waiving goodbye to her son as he heads off to war? Nothing??! And as a BW I am asked to support this? And if I refuse then I'm somehow ridiculed and disparaged for wanting to see BW represented in a HISTORICAL piece about Black people in this country?

I agree with many of the commentors who admit to being a bit confused at how some BW have justified their desire to see this movie when there are no BW in it, AT ALL. Especially when we know that several of these men were MARRIED to BW and one of whom was a pilot herself. You mean to tell me that THAT story was not compelling enough to include in the movie?

To me not seeing this movie is a matter of principle. If a say that I believe in the upliftment of BW, if a say that Black women should be able to love, date, marry and find companionship and marriage with any man in the global viallage who will love honor and respect her; if I say that the complete erasure of healthy, sane, positive, normal and multifacted images of BW in the popular media is more than just problematic but down right deliberate and act of aggression against the very existence of BW, if I say I care about the safety and autonomy, and humanity of BW, then how can I support a movie that is supposed to be historically accurate and about a special moment in black history and I as a BW IS ABSENT, GONE, ERASED, MISSING as if I never existed at all? Deliberately left out by the hands of BM? Sorry, but the two are incongruous.

Whether this should be the litmus test as to determine who is truly about BWE or not is truly up to the individual BW, but IMO if you are truly serious about BWE, THIS particualr decision should have been a no brainer.

arthur said...

I am with Sisterlocgirl on this:

As to the " It's just a movie " argument, many could say " it was just a bus seat "

I'm not taking my grand daughter to see it, period. I expect we'll talk about it.

I can't make BWE the standard for the world, or Hollywood. But I can make it the standard for my house.

Few have the chance to impact the world like Rosa Parks did, but just because an action won't change the whole world on the spot doesn't mean it's not worth taking. You can change the part of the world where you are, at the time you act. And every action we take like this moves us toward our goals or away, depending on what we do. Maybe only a little, but it all adds up.

That's what I'll tell my grand daughter.

Toni said...

I admit I was on the fence about whether or not to go to the movies and see this until I read a letter from someone about the movie and it pushed me into the "no cent of my money will be given" category. FIRMLY. I respect the rights of other BW to do what they want, and will not begrudge them anything, but I could not escape the belief that the omission of any and all black women from that movie was deliberate. And it admittedly hurt. I wasn't too surprised when I found out, but the reasons and justifications people were giving for seeing the movie just weren't good enough for me. Something at my core just won't let me contribute to this movie.

Will I watch it? Maybe. I don't intend to pay for it, that's all I know.

One thing that I saw and experienced that really REALLY bothered me was the way certain BWE persons who stated quite firmly they had no intent of seeing this movie were treated by other persons who at least claim to support BW. Their attitudes weren't unlike some of the GAT-DL persons who routinely criticize BW for acting in their own best interests and reasoning in ways that put their own feelings and thoughts first. In fact, the similarity bothered me fiercely to the point where I had to comment at one point.

I dunno, but I think it's clear not everyone BWE is on the same page. In some ways, that's good because it makes for spirited debates and discussions. In other ways, it's a little worrying.

Toni said...

@ shesthedifferencemaker

That "you're just jealous of WW" accusation really, really, REALLY got under my skin where I saw it thrown around. :/

I certainly didn't like the idea of people boycotting that movie for that reason alone (because there were some people who were), because I do feel it's petty, but come on, now. I think it's a bit of a low blow to throw that at BWE supporters. Especially since it's obviously nonsense.


Your comment made me realize an issue with how black people tend to see our problems and issues. I call it "The Emperor Has No Clothes Syndrome". It's like we occupy a space where some choose to believe that no one else is able to see our issues, controversies, and dysfunctions. Some blacks may lash out if the someone dares to comment on the "nudity", but this does not make it any less obvious that everyone can see it.

The TOTAL absence of black women from a movie like this is something that not just black women, black people, or even Americans, will be able to note. And this movie is going to play all over the world.

Knowing this, and choosing to completely omit any presence of us, is telling not just among blacks, or even Americans, but on a global scale.

I feel like it's just not appreciated how huge the implications are, because some people just don't want to face them or aren't able to see them. But they're there.

Anonymous said...

..."I'm not taking my grand daughter to see it, period. I expect we'll talk about it.

I can't make BWE the standard for the world, or Hollywood. But I can make it the standard for my house.

Few have the chance to impact the world like Rosa Parks did, but just because an action won't change the whole world on the spot doesn't mean it's not worth taking. You can change the part of the world where you are, at the time you act. And every action we take like this moves us toward our goals or away, depending on what we do. Maybe only a little, but it all adds up.

That's what I'll tell my grand daughter."...


Evia said...

@ Felicia

Basically, WM, WW, BM, and everyone else under the sun moon and skies knows instinctively to put themselves and their demographic FIRST AND FOREMOST.

Hell, even animals know this. SELF-preservation is the first law of nature.

Yep! Like I said, it's scary. I wonder about the next movie or issue that so many bw will be confused about--and the next one--and the next one. The idea is to learn the lesson so that the material doesn't need to be constantly taught over and over each time a different event arises. And there WILL be more events or "tests" like this one.

This is why my PRINCIPLES are so valuable to me. They guide me, so I don't need to be confused. I just go through my checklist with the first question being: "Does this uplift me and mine?" Does this damage me and mine or set us back in a significant way? Is there a high likelihood of reciprocation? Etc. Maybe someone can put a checklist together for some bw who might need one.

This movie supports the bm in my family but it has ERASED me! I would expect them not to support this movie too. And it clearly shows a lack of even acknowledgement of bw (mothers, aunts, grandma, sisters, wives, daughters, etc.), let alone reciprocation.

Halima hit it on the head when she said that some so-called BWE advocates are actually BCE advocates, but are waving the BWE flag. The BWE and BCE are mutually exclusive because as has been pointed out, the bc and bm, in general, ruthlessly feed off bw without any thought to reciprocation and many of them become outraged at the thought.

And yes, Toni, ITA. AAs, for sure, have a tendency of thinking that if other people don't talk about something, that that must mean they're not noticing. LOL! That's NOT true, of course. Some people don't say everything they think or outwardly show they're noticing. This is exactly why many bw don't think that wm are interested in them since wm don't say anything to them or make it obvious. Many from other backgrounds and cultures are MUCH more subtle. Not being obvious and not blabbing gives a person lots of "wiggle" room.

Christelyn Karazin said...

I have to admit my shock over the veiled comments here meant to insult me. I have to admit I am crushed at some of the duplicity I see here. I have worked TIRELESSLY for BWE, I have supported the people,the cause, I have given my time and my money for this. And this is where you test my loyalty? Over a damn movie? I have respect for my BWE elders and I have a book in production that has links and book recommendations (this blog included), because I considered you guys my SISTERS! I have never felt so betrayed, I am in tears right now. But thank you for showing me showing yourselves. Some of you say you are for the advancement of black women, but you would relish in my work crashing and burning, wouldn't you? Halima, you still have my respect. You stood up for me in the past and have supported me, and I thank you. I never forget people who put out their necks for me, and it has not gone unnoticed.