Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Be Like a bird

Just to put this out there first:

Does anyone have experince of living and working in OZ.
If you are a black woman; American, UK etc woman who has experienced, lived in or relocated to Australia I have a young black woman who would like to get in touch to get some information. She has been inspired by our BWE forums (which she has read since 16 years and she is now in her early 20's) to make the world her oyster. Please send me an email if you have any info (see my details at side bar or below)

New BWE discussion forum:

A black woman on our BWE network has created a network/meeting ground for forward-thinking BW and their admirers. The link is:

My last post and the responses to Prof N and AHA
Let me say that I am taking some time to digest the responses that I got in relation to the image I used in my last posts. Some folks had all sorts of ideas and went into all sorts of tangents about the use of Prof N image because 'his romatic situation with AHA wasnt ideal'.  There is so much to unpack about how that discussion in my previous post went down because I feel there is something deeper at play that makes many bw react the way they do. Jamila has also written a post on the topic, go to Double standard? to discuss and leave comments. It should be a good debate.

Post continues
I wrote this post at the beginning of the year but there seemed something that was 'missing' so I let it sit for a while.

My question to you is, what do BWE empower black women for anyway? I ask this because it is easy to bandy about the term empowernment or empowering black women. It has indeed got to a point where empowernment has lost its meaning. Many of us can see that many of those places that claim to 'empower' or be for empowernment of black women leave a strong sense of being anything but! They may say it but the  the advice offered suggests they have a very strange definition of what it means to 'empower black women'. 

In my humble opinion, BWE is about enabling black women access the best possible life they can here and now. Write that down.

Yes the best possible life is an individually defined thing, however we can analyse ‘happiness’ and contentment along the same general lines we can for others (so don’t let anyone convince you that black women are such different and exceptional species that they don’t want or require love, marriage, commitment, support, money etc the way others do, it is a trick!)

BWE are convinced that bw can have a good and fulfilled life in the now no matter what obstacles and hindrances there are out there in general society for bw. This is why BWE has a clear focus on getting the skills, getting the knowledge, getting equipped and strategically positioning and manoeuvring oneself to ‘attain.’ We even talk about getting ‘lean’ for the journey.

Other formats of activism work for bw put a great emphasis on black women confronting and wrestling with a great many oppressive and unjust forces, one after the other, for themselves and for everyone else in order to transform the society. Black women who follow this path are pummelled and drained and these activities hardly leave time and space for bw to focus on adapting in order to achieve something for themselves from the current set up, indeed the notion of bw adapting to achieve does not sit well within the general perspective of ‘fighting the powers.’ This is why many black women are in a state of constant confrontation and battling of the powers, with the attendant anger towards the world and an attitude of bitterness pervading their lives.

Indeed BWE preach balance and that bw should take time to live in the society even as they do their bit to oppose injustice whereas under other activist and empowerment traditions fighting injustice and reshaping the world is their main duty. Its about time black women lived a little!

Be like a Bird
If there is one illustration that captures what black women should be about I believe it is one of a bird on a nest. Now I would recommend that you find an image similar to the one below and put it up somewhere were you will see it frequently, on a fridge door for instance etc.

The reason why I advice this is because it will become a powerful symbol of what you are going to be all about from now on; building your nest. I believe we all need to be about building a nest. Black women build your nest with care and focus!

I don’t think that many of us realize this but we are all essentially building our nests; our futures if you like. If you build with purpose always in mind that whatever you are about now, whatever you are engaged in is going towards what your ‘nest’ will finally look like, you will become more effective and efficient and this knowledge will prevent you from wasting time on things that are not important and don’t build in to your nest goals.

Consider a bird building a nest
Another reason why I think the bird-nest analogy is important is that it will help bw zone in on what is important and the items and ingredients necessary for their future.

Consider a bird gathering twigs for its nest. It knows what size the nest should be and how strong etc and so armed with this vision it goes looking for the right twigs to give it its desired nest! When it chooses a twig it tests it against the ’required’ characteristics of the nest. It rejects those that don’t give it what it will need (e.g. weak twigs, twigs that are too small). It looks for the desired length and cross section as it flies from branch to branch in search of the right material. So much engineering, thought and plan -with an end result in mind-goes into the project of nest building.

See when you have a strong vision about what you will require for the future, it acts as a natural sieve, a natural filter against things that are just not going to contribute to your broad goals. You take A but leave B, you acquire D but leave C on the shelf. Many of you are wasting such precious time and getting distracted by this and the other. If you had a clear vision of type of ‘nest’ you want to build and even before that, recognize that you are and we all are building some form of nest whether we are aware or not, then you are more likely to streamline your activities and save precious time!

At what point do you want to occupy your nest (I am talking time frame here)?

If you know what you are building and what you want to build, you will collect the right material and filter out the wrong. Some of us are all up on every website, every blog, every church etc etc just acquiring all sorts of ideas, approaches etc that we are essentially confused about what to use, even what direction to take next. An effective approach to life (what path to follow), can simply be achieved through understanding what the end goal is.

Everything and anything can sound sensible and relevant unless your nest specifications winnow out what isn’t relevant for what you are aiming to build.

For a good example I believe in the fight against inequality and racism etc however I wont bog myself down with sister soldiering for the race. There are dozens reasons why I wont however of key mention is that I have to live and make the best of life now and in addition I am at a time of life when I require absolute focus on my personal goals and not be involved in dissipating my energies here and there. So while the talk of ‘fighting white hegemony’ and all that can resonate with me on a level I don’t sign up for battle duties or throw myself into such activities except when there is a specific and strategic opportunity for doing so. I don’t do it as a way of life it doesn’t pay.

What about nest adjustments to your vision?
Even if at some point you think there is a need to restructure or reshape some aspect of your nest (because we all don’t know it all from the beginning), at least your initial vision gives you a basic structure to depart from or to tinker with.

Think about your nest (the general life you want for yourself which includes social, financial etc conditions you want to be enjoying in your life), then work back from there and come into the future, understanding what you need to be about, what you need to be doing and acquiring to live that future life.

Work from a vision, work from a plan and have a time frame.

Wondering about Interracial dating?

I have written an E-book that gives a comprehensive insight into the relationship reality facing black women today, including her Interracial Dating Option. Get yourself clued up!

Questions to be sent to:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Halima

Dear Halimah 

I want to first say that I totally ‘get’ what BWE is saying in terms of black women putting themselves first and taking care of their needs, however I don’t think that we need to give up on the community as a whole (and even a desire to make it work with black men because that’s how we have a community in the first place right?).

Black men and women will have to join hands to do what is best for our community at some point or both of us will suffer the consequences even greater than today. I think black women’s lives will be poorer if they don’t at least try their utmost to restore the community. Black women can make it in white society but they will always be limited

Thank you for this email.

Over the last six years we have talked about a few issues on this blog and have in essence begun to repeat ourselves. This email affords the opportunity to speak specifically about this issue of black men and women in partnership over the race.

As I have said before, 'Black women caanot save the race/community (as we currently know it) all by themselves, both genders will have to be equally onboard' (lets keep aside for now the question of why black women would want to save a community in its current anti-black woman set up and formulation and assume that what we mean here is the positive bits of the black community). 

In your email you seem to be suggesting that black men are there for black women to join hands with over the fate of the race. Is this true however?

Let me now state a basic assumption upon which I will tackle this question.

‘Men will always do what is best for them on an individual level’ (a high level of selfishness in their actions)

On the above you can be sure. And thus based on the above it is clear that:

Black men will only do what is ‘good for the community’, when this ‘good’ coincides with their personal benefit.

The next layers to this logical argument of mine is that:

‘Since what it will take to restore the community, requires selflessness and sacrifice (even a fool can compute this), you are not going to get a ‘buy in’ from a critical number of black men towards the black uplift effort that is, not in numbers that will make a difference!

Now somewhere out there I hear someone ask, ‘So how do other men do it then, if it is all about their selfish personal interests and they don’t give a damn about ‘the good’ of whatever community they are born into?’

The answer to that question is simply ‘higher principled living’.

Niall Ferguson expecting fourth child with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born writer

Ferguson dedicated his book Civilization to "Ayaan". In an interview with the Guardian Ferguson spoke about his love for Ali, who, he writes in the preface, "understands better than anyone I know what Western civilisation really means – and what it still has to offer the world".

Not every community faces the situation and conditions of the current black community so on that level most other men will not be required to make any extraordinary sacrifices or efforts to ‘keep their communities alive.’ Having said that however it is important to understand that you get men ‘contributing’ by instilling the ideas, ideals and principles that incline them towards this ‘contributing’ way of life from an early age, if this is what will be required of them (remember the Jesuit motto ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’!).

When you look at the most ‘basic’ things that black men need to do to uplift community it possibly boils down to this: cut off the option of eternal bachelorhood and having ‘offspring’ all over the place and instead ‘build a nest’ with one woman and raise your children in ‘optimal’ conditions. That’s essentially it. They dont need to make a million dollars or own multiple cars, even do anything beyond make the effort to bring in resources for their families (assisted of course by the efforts of the black female spouse).

The above isn’t even ‘higher principled living‘ by any standard apart from the fact that it isn’t the norm among black people and (this is an important and), the current conditions in the black community allows for black men to contribute little without any kind of social sanction and penalty. Thus it is pricipled living for black men to not want to 'do what is the norm' even exploit their advantages to live selfishly and without concern for the impact of their actions. 

Black unity, ‘black together’ proponents would have you believe that black men will just do what they need to do for their people ‘just because’ or because of the 'goodness of their hearts' or with just a little encouragement from us, as if there hasnt been fundamental and fatal black social shift away from this happening.  
Well I guess black men would lead principled lives if they had been reared in the values of ‘principled living’ from infancy but you see that that boat has been missed up until there is no going back, no possibility of a redress. A generation of self-centred, self-catering black men have been raised and are now in place.
Therefore any black woman trusting that black men will at a point ‘come through’ for their people is in fairy land.

Wondering about Interracial dating?

I have written an E-book that gives a comprehensive insight into the relationship reality facing black women today, including her Interracial Dating Option. Get yourself clued up!

Questions to be sent to:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Here is something revolutionary

You are the black community that you are looking outside of yourself to save!

Most black women get up, get an education, get a job and then they think, 'Now I must do my bit for the black community.' They ask, 'where is the next black community project so I might get stuck in saving or rescuing black folk.' What these black women do not realize is that 'they' are the black community that they are always looking outside themselves to save!

Think about that for a second. You are the black community you are looking outside to save.

You've heard the saying, 'The Kingdom of God is within you'. Its so apt a statement in this particular case.

Let me show you how this one works.

Say half a million black women suddenly 'got it' and realized that they are the black community they are always looking outside themselves to save, and that their first loyalty is to self and that all they need to do is secure themselves and their own situation financially and otherwise, find the best deal for them and their children who they plan to have in the best possible circumstances etc, and this is essentially all they need to do to 'uplift' the black community then guess what will happen in about ten years...

Ten years later they have children who are thriving and poised to be launched into the best in terms of what they can access in our society. These women are less stressed and their health is better, they have head space to look after their health unlike women who have their offspring in less than optimal circumstances and have to work three jobs and have no time for personal care even time to spend one on one time with their children.

In another twenty years there are over a million children from these mothers who are 'well adjusted', have the right values to succeed and thrive in the current social set up etc etc. The upwards spiral is thus in effect for this subgroup of black women and the children they have.

See how this goes.

On the other side are black women who 'dont get it', they continue things the way they are; squandering the advantages they have acquired by applying themselves to their studies by getting entangled in draining domestic situations that diminsh them, their offspring and cut off any potential they or their children might have. Their have their self esteem trashed so much so they begin to suffer other self esteem related issues eg mental health conditions, lack of confidence, overeating to cope with the disdain of black women and racio-misogyny they see around them, to also deal with the stress and pressure and rejection and the mule role they have been pushed into.

These women and their children will often require goverment assistance or their children have a high chance of ending up in the prison system.

Yes many of these women think they are 'elevating/helping out their black people' in the limits they place on themselves (we will not avail ourselves of interracial dating options) and the choices they allow themselves to make, or they are dissipating their rescources and the time they will never get back, camping at  black churches or participating in activites that just end up counting for nought because the fundamental ingredients to bring the desired outcome are just not there (participating black men, parents that are participating in their cihildrens academic lives).

The irony (or should I say paradox according to popular wisdom) of it all is that given the current social reality of black women, those who look after themselves and are single minded about getting the best for them just cant help raising the next generation to be vibrant and to take their place as fully functioning members of society. The other camp who might even be working hard and pouring themselves out, and doing double shifts trying to help out the black situation end up in the center of a dynamic that leads them to have negative returns all round.

Wondering about Interracial dating?

I have written an E-book that gives a comprehensive insight into the relationship reality facing black women today, including her Interracial Dating Option. Get yourself clued up!

Questions to be sent to: