Black Women : WHEN WILL BLACK WOMEN STEP UP TO THE PLATE???

Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by Isaiah, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ...and take the kinds of dynamic leadership roles our communities are crying out for???

    I am reading these threads for the first time, and I understand why I have not ventured into this forum before... Ya know, men have intuition, too, sistas(smile!) Y'all are in here talkin' about baby mama this and that, why white beauty standards affect y'all more than us, and our nation is burning down all around us... A nation reflects the state of mind of its women - or she who rocks the cradle...

    Fact is, I think Black Women have the capacity for dynamic leadership, as well-spoken, as outspoken, as charismatic and full of personality as many sisters are, they should be filling the seats held by some of our milquetoast brothers... Problem is, sisters are concerned with sista stuff, and not the overall health of the Black community, IMHO... Sisters are concerned with pleasing the preacher and other member of the congregation with how well they can cook that fried chicken, and how fly they can look with their choir robes on sunday...(smile!)

    Obviously, this does not apply to all Black women, but it is symbolic of where a lot of sisters heads are at... We know that the Black Church is now, and has been by far for centuries, Black America's strongest institution... It exists because Black Women will never let it die... They are it's heart, soul, and backbone... It makes preachers rich off the backs of strong Black Women, who never get to share in it's riches unless they're the preacher's wife...

    I am wondering why African women allow this kind of thing to go on??? I am wondering why sisters have so much to say about the finances to the man in their house, but not the well-dressed cat who preaches on sunday??? What does HE owe to the community he is taking so much from??? Uh, huh, I've heard it said that not enough of us brothers attend church these days... Well, that is one of the reasons, I assure you(smile!)

    Here in my community, I have counted more than 100 churches along a 2-mile strip... Some are old-style store-fronts, and some are major and minor brick structures, and all have different names, and no doubt, different sized congregations... It makes me wonder why cats go into preaching if it aint the job they couldn't get pumping gas... That's another story, however...

    I just wanna know when sisters are gonna step up to the plate, and take their place of world and community leadership, and stop sloughing that responsibility off on brothers(smile!) I think that you all engage, sometimes, in the game of "a good offense is your best defense." You criticize us so much, and so often, that your own faults tend to get overlooked... Women in leadership is nothing new to Africans, not even these brainwashed Africans in America... That means that Sisters have to stop complaining about these old piece-a-Black men, and doing what they've got to do... Ida B. didn't complain, she just did what a strong, dynamic Black woman does, and stepped up her assault on the system... Sistas, I guess they don't make Black Women like dat no mo', huh?(smile!)

    Peace!
    Zeke
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oooohhh my goodness, the brutha done stepped up in here stirring up the pot! :lol: Go on Brother Isaiah, I hear ya! Not only do you give us a gentle slap on the wrist but you give us a hug at the same time. Why I even had to go back and look at the various threads in this forum to see if I saw what you saw and to some degree, maybe even a large degree, I did. But I also saw evidence of those courageous sisters that you are lauding and holding up to measure us by.

    Yes, we do discuss what might seem as petty issues, but sometimes even in the superficial, we might find a deeper meaning. It's all real, even what some might consider mundane and trivial discussions at times, but you know, even though I wasn't there with them, I would think that even Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truths had their moments of truth that had to deal with the every day "stuff". What you see in these threads Brother Isaiah are sisters who are not afraid to be real. Yes, even to the tune of criticizing our men and each other sometimes. It's still difficult times that we live in.

    But still, you're looking for Black women warriors? Well, we're right here brother...fighting in the trenches, working in the kitchens, mopping floors, meeting in board rooms, teaching in classrooms, sitting on judges benches, raising our babies and trying to love our men and survive until the next stage of our evolution. We are fighting the same battles that our brothers are fighting...winning some and trying to maintain without losing ground.

    You're right that some of us are lost and focusing on some small issues, but I believe there's enough of us still who are poised and ready to continue the fight that our brave ancestors began so many years ago. Not all of these sisters are Sunday go to meeting type sisters either. There are some who are not in the churches giving their hard earned money to men who call themselves preachers while at the same time squandering it away on material things for their own personal gain while their parrish and community suffer.

    You don't have to look far to find us brother! We're not extinct and we're not going anywhere anytime soon.

    Queenie :D :toast:
     
  3. queentswana

    queentswana Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well, here's a fact...Everything that you just laid down was nothing but the truth, however, there is a bottom line to the biggest reason why women don't step up to the plate. And it's called "Religion". That's the top line, the middle line and believe what you will...it's the bottom line. It was numerous of women warriors in our past and not one of them will you be able to connect them with 'religion...not one. They were all spiritual, but none was religious. The religion was designed to separate the mass of people...and it's working just fine. I have to give "white people" their respect because they are very intelligent indeed, the white man wrote the bible and the first thing they did was ...get rid of all the women in the bible. Why? ...we held to much power. there are (I believe) 18 missing books from the bible, have we ever wondered why? ...surely if they were in there, they must have been important. And the down-fall of women didn't just start yesterday or yesteryear...it started thousands of years ago...and a [email protected] good job was done. I'm saying that to say this, some or many or even most women of today, being religious...feel like they are doing and acting out..."the works of the lord" ...it's been programed in us for hundreds and hundreds of years. At one time we were at the head of "wars" ...but as it is today, ...some women would rather die then lose their 'religion. At one time, I too was in that number, I am boxed into no religion, but I am a very....spiritual woman. And I do understand and agree with all that you said, but again, this is the work of the "white man"
     
  4. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    My Dear Darling Brother Isaiah,

    You have certainly started sump'n up in here! I know i gave you that bullet proof vest to use in that other thread, but Brother, you might wanna strap that on right now! :)

    You got it on? ... Okay ... then here i go ...

    Gosh, to be honest i don't know where to begin, so i'm just gonna start at the beginning of your post and work my way down ... how 'bout that?

    Well, no, let me do this first. I wanna say that i read my Sisters' responses, NNQueen and QueenTswana, and must say that they were quite kind and gentle with you. So my thoughts too, will be tempered with the peace and wisdom that they have given to me as an example.

    Okay ... now, i can start ...

    :)

    Mr. Cosby ... oops, my bad ... Brother Isaiah ... :wink: ... you ask when will Black women step up to the plate and take the kinds of dynamic leadership roles our communities are crying for?

    You ask this question as though we have not done this. Consider for a moment where we'd be if the Black woman did not step up to the plate, in the most trying of times, and lead our Families. If it were not for the Black woman, there would be no Black Family. Historically, Black men have quite easily started one Family only to leave it and go start another (or a few others) on the other side of town. It is the Black woman who has had the weight of the world on her shoulders. Oftentimes, she has had the great responsibility of raising children alone, and never once considered walking away. Now, like you, i'm not suggesting that all Black men have done this, but certainly enough to give each of us an up close and personal example of this behavior somewhere in our own Family's history.

    I realize this is not a "bash black women and men thread," so please don't think i'm going there, because i'm not.

    Black men have instilled such fear in the hearts of White men, so much so that they have lived their entire lives insuring (as best they can) that he will never be a real threat to them. Keeping the Black man locked up, unemployed, on the edge, stressed out, hating himself, as well as hated by most. The playing field for the Black man has never been level, and i wonder if it ever will be.

    Faced with these overwhelming odds, the Black woman has continued to strive to keep her Family together, including her Black man. In an effort to protect our Black men, and the Black men we give birth to, we can be counted guilty for protecting him, lying for him, working for him, doing all we could to give him to know how valuable he is to us ... while everyone else in the world tells him he's nothing. There are Black women every day "stepping up to the plate," doing what they can to keep their Families together.

    This has been going on for many years in this country, it's not just this generation. My Mother shared a story with me before she died. She said that she often wondered why her Mother loved her sons more than she loved her daughters. She said that my Grandmother would always be concerned about her boys. She said it hurt her to see the differences her Mother made between the boys and the girls. When my Grandmother was sick, death not far away, my Mother asked her about this. She wanted to know if she loved her, like she loved her sons. My Grandmother told her that when they were growing up in Mississippi, White men were just taking Black men and hanging them, killing them, for no reason and she had to have this vigilance when it came to the boys because she had made a vow to herself and God, that they would not get her sons too. After all those years, my Mother finally had her answer.

    I don't think this story is much different than the story of many Black Families growing up in this country. Black women had to give that extra concern to her sons. I believe this is where the "habit" has grown from, of Black women "coddling their sons." I think many still do it now, but don't recognize the root of where it all came from. Maybe some of that "culture" stuff being passed down, without benefit of why it was needed. I have read comments attacking Black women and their parenting skills (or lack thereof), pointing to this very example as proof that we are unfit ... when in reality ... we are taking leadership roles every single day. Oftentimes having to defend ourselves to the very ones we sacrifice most for.

    These WMD put upon the Black male, has taken a great toll on the Black female as well. Consider please, it's been hundreds of years. We have evolved into something other than ourselves, all of us, black men and women. Black women have begun to look upon each other as the enemy. We have turned away from our natural instinct to come together, share experiences, receive wisdom, console and trust each other. We have all strayed so far. So this community gives us an opportunity to come back together. We can talk of the light hearted things that concern us, as well as the more serious matters. We can laugh together, and know that our experiences are not so different than our Sisters. We can and have realized that we want and need each other in ways that no one else can fulfill, for there is no one else that lives our exact experience, only another Black woman. So yes, you may read some threads that seem trivial on the surface, but it is all a healing process much needed by your Sisters. So please don't discount it as foolishness or a waste of time. These are our experiences, and we are glad we have each other to discuss these topics with.

    I'm just guessing now, but i'd imagine the Black Church has given many Black women this same opportunity, a sense of belonging. Outside of your children, one's immediate Family, there is a bigger Family, an emotional, spiritual, physical support system. Full of others just like you, struggling to make it. Why do they give their money to the leaders of these churches ... perhaps they just want to believe that such a place exists somewhere on this earth, where they can let their guard down and relax. After all, they are amongst their own. As i type this, i can't think of any organization where Black women can go to receive support from their own (however little it may be), except the Black Church. I don't know Brother Isaiah, your guess is as good as mine on this one.

    Now i must admit, i do believe that Sisters have taken some pages out of the Brother's book and begun to leave their Families with no obvious regret. Many factors play into this, drugs being one of them, and our Families are suffering even more than they ever have. I don't believe Sisters are doing this in an attempt to put the responsibility on the Brothers (Fathers), because it is oftentimes not the Brother that picks it up. Instead, it is the Grandmother, the Sister, the Brother, the Aunt, etc., that is now raising the child(ren).

    Nope, Sisters aren't complaining about what a Brother aint doing, she's simply started not doing too ... and can you really blame her?! Gosh! How long must your Sisters travel this road alone, before she simply gives up and/or out?!

    Again, i don't believe most young Sisters today have the knowledge of their elders, when it comes to these things, to rely upon. So all she has is what she sees, a world full of "stuff" and she aint gett'n none. Black men want to sex her, make a baby, then leave ... far too often, into the arms of a White woman (or some woman that does not look like her). So this young woman says, "Oh, it's like that?! Okay, two can play this game!" ... and off she goes because there was no solid foundation upon which to stand, no ability to see beyond her situation. Sadly, far too few of our Brothers can see beyond themselves either.

    Our problems are not about what Black women are not doing, it really should be about what we are not doing. We're all in this together.

    Yes, we are strong, we are able, we are willing, but we are also tired and we need the strength of our Brothers in order to fully realize the true capacity of our own.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  5. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Whew, Lawd, sistas, thank you for your varied and reasoned responses... I was thinking I'm gonna regret this post, but now I feel reassured(smile!)

    Let me just say, NNQueen and Destee, I all know about the tremendous sacrifices of African women throughout world history, and that is why I put out a special message to say to the women at this board, and beyond, that you are needed more than ever now to step to the forefront of leadership in the Black Community... No longer should you "play the wall" looking for leadership from Black Men, because, I tell ya, from a Black male perspective, that we brothers are decimated, and looking for leadership ourselves... Those that want to lead are bombarded and overwhelmed with trying to make the hoods and the thugs and the ne'er do wells, see the light...

    I remember Nelson Mandela, I believe, said that it would be the women of South Africa that would determine that country's destiny. He understood that when Black Women in South African got angry, and decided to fight, then, and only then, would Apartheid in South Africa end... I think Nelson Mandela understood the power and the majesty of Black Women better than we do here, because we have been so Europeanized, so inculcated with the Patriarchal ethos of the European, that diminishes and hates women, that we forgot that we came from a tradition of placing woman at the right hand of God. Even Black Women in America have long forgotten just how powerful and important they are in our tradition...

    Well, Black Women need to begin reaquainting themselves with Ella Baker, Septima Clarke, Ruby Doris Robinson, Dorothy Cotton, Ida B. Wells, and the strong Black women who made the Civil Rights Movement possible... Sisters need to take another look at Rosa Parks, and understand her significance, understand the great chance she took standing up for our humanity on that day in '55... Am I the only one who worships that woman, and what she did, putting her body on the line for children yet unborn??? I was listening to the Neville Brothers paying tribute to her in a song last week, and tears just started streaming from eyes... Good God, she was so brave and corageous in the hour when courage and bravery was so direly needed, yet in such short supply...

    Well, she set the example for a lot of less than corageous types, to stand up and be counted... The rest is stuff of history, a misty legend we Black folks, especially Black Women, seem to have forgotten...

    You are right, Destee, about the tremendous sacrifices Black Women have made over the centuries, and I am not anything less than complimentary of that... I owe my own existence to the great sacrifices Black Women have made putting up with me - no joke... But to whom much is given, much is expected of them... When I look upon Black Women, it is clear much in the way of warmth and beauty and power has been bestowed upon them... Women who can raise the babies, White and Black, of more than 100 nations, are well-endowed, to say the least... That is why I am saying that rather than sisters continuing to stand "behind" Black men - who aint doing jack but profiling - they need to upset the applecart a little, and drive the wagon... I have seen enough of Black men making excuses for our compromise with the devil, while our women and children suffered from our selfishness and ego, and I'm tired of it...

    On the other hand, women like Cynthia McKinney, that beautiful Black Goddess from Georgia, and Barbara Lee of California, take strong, humane, and uncompromising positions, and are punished without a mumbling word heard from Black men... If that is all we can expect from our milquetoast selves, then we need to step back up off Black Women, and let them do what their intuition and consciousnesses tell them to do...

    The sista convos can continue in earnest now... I've said what I had to say, and will not revisit this issue too often anymore... I am only interested in waking the sleeping lionesses, not in being the signifyin' monkey looking for trouble... I am simply saying that I can, and would, accept Black Female leadership, and would advocate it at every turn, would defend it at every turn... In light of the quality of leadership exhibited by men of all kinds, I believe women, particularly Black Women, are an untapped resource we cannot continue to allow to waste... God put Women here to lead governments, as well as their households, and because we eschewed that Godly edict to impose our male egos on things of the spirit, we've gone astray, and lost our way... Women need to lead us back toward the right path... Up you mighty Black Woman, I know you can accomplish anything you will...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think you still might regret this post...all the ladies haven't responded yet (it is only 1 day old). SMH...it was nice knowing you brother Isaiah, you'll be missed.
     
  7. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [email protected]! Brother Isaiah, let me give you a big hug 'cause I know you didn't mean us any harm! (Although for a minute I was looking at you with my head cocked at an angle). :lol:

    What you are saying is true about our foremothers who fought bravely and eloquently in their fight for our freedom and justice and equality. They fought for the safety of our men and our children. They selflessly put their lives on the line to end the raping of our bodies and the assault against our character. They stood when others tried to break them down. They mimicked their African ancestors who passed on their genes which I believe carried the instinct to be brave and fearless in the face of an enemy. We haven't forgotten.

    There was a time not so long ago Brother when we KNEW who our enemies were. They showed their faces to us every day and we recognized them. Today, the face of our enemy is not so clear because some look like us. It's difficult to fight who once was an ally but now acts like the enemy. I believe that will be the unanticipated legacy of integration.

    Do we know who we are anymore? Do we know who our allies are anymore? Are they our neighbors? Are they the teachers who interact with our children? Are they the groceryman or the dentist? What about our pastors? Where are the soldiers and who are the enemies that we want to fight against? How can we tell?

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  8. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother Isaiah,

    Maybe it's just me, i do tend to take some things personally and when i do, i have more difficulty seeing the full value in what's being shared. Perhaps i'm doing that now, and if so, please forgive and be patient with me, for i do want to understand.

    There seems to be an accusatory tone to what you're saying, which makes it difficult for me to embrace the compliments being given at the same time. Sister Queenie obviously noticed it too, as she said, "Not only do you give us a gentle slap on the wrist but you give us a hug at the same time." I prefer my hugs not be mixed with my beatings.

    For example, you say, "No longer should you 'play the wall' looking for leadership from Black Men ..." Who exactly are you speaking of when you say these words? Would you mind clearly identifying who these Sisters are? I don't know them. As i try to imagine them, i figure you might be talking about the women in the church, but by your own admission, it is not the man that is leading that effort. Yes, he may be given the priviledge of sitting in that spot, for whatever reason the Sisters prefer he be there ... but he is hardly leading. Brother Isaiah, please point these women out to me.

    You have graciously listed many Sisters that are and have worked very hard to move our people forward, as an encouragement to prod us on up the mountain ... but at the same time, there are many Brothers that have done the same ... yet you fail to encourage Brothers to look at these men and come to themselves, do what they need to do so our people can get beyond this point.

    It's almost as though you have written Black men off, excused them from responsibility ... but the work still needs doing ... so now you tell us about how great and powerful we are. So while we are out in the fields, in the heat of the day, already doing double the work of the average person (because our male counterpart is not there, and has not been there for quite some time), all we have to do is think of the flowery words you've shared and the sun beating down on our already tired bodies, will not be so hot, and these words will inspire us to produce even more, because you have great confidence in us?!

    I do appreciate the confidence you have in us, and it is not misplaced. But as an elder male, don't you think it is as equally important, if not more so, for you to say the same to Brothers? I would think you'd say these things to them, considering the condition they are in ... long before you ever say it to us.

    You start this thread with a title that implies we are not doing our part, and all within it, you accuse us of that very thing, going so far as to say we are "sloughing off responsibility to Brothers" ... when based on your own description of the current condition of Brothers ... they are hardly in any shape to do anything substantive for themselves, let alone our people ... and then you all but excuse them!

    We have a Brothers Forum too, Brother Isaiah. I think it is as wrong as wrong can be, to not work to encourage our Brothers to come up out of that hole they're in and be the men that their Families and communities need them to be. Instead you say to us, just work harder!

    Again, i'm not sure if i'm missing something in your message. I must be, because this makes no sense to me at all. If it is compliments you want to give us, we need them, so please continue. If it is admonishment, we are probably in need of that as well, so give it too. But whichever it is, make yourself clear, so we receive it all properly.

    Brother Isaiah, you are more than welcome to visit the Sisters Forum whenever you want, asking whatever you will ... and likewise ... Sisters are welcome in the Brothers Forum to do the same. So please, don't stay away from us. We need you. We need all our Brothers.

    I'm having trouble understanding what great impact we as women can have, without the strength of our men with us. Certainly we can do some great things, as has been proven ... but it is because we are not working together, hand in hand, that we suffer like we do.

    I don't believe we can ever fully realize our true potential as a people, until we are working together, Black men and Black women. If you are suggesting that we, Black women, should move forward without the hope of our Brother's support, then that is another thing ... a very sad and devasting thing ... which calls for a complete reassessment of life as we know it. If that is what you're suggesting, then things are worse than i ever imagined them to be.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  9. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    NN very good points. Isaiah you make some very eloquent references about Nelson Mandela, which leads me to a very special legacy regarding black people.

    Most of the family knows the Story of the murder and dismemberment into 14 pieces of the God Asar(osiris) and the reconstituting of those "pieces" by the Magick of his wife, the Goddess Aset.

    What does this story say to me? That our women possess the power to resurrect the entire race. but are not using the "power" to do so. I don't want to step on any toes hear, but I would go so far to say that because of the religious endoctrination by Europeans, most of us are afraid to accept this power as being
    valid, let alone a positive.

    Well I know of at least one classic example. and this was the Haitian revolution. Although there was a conventional battle with Napoleon. there were also other "methods" employed. But this time around we have a larger and well read cadre of black women and men, that can make a larger and lasting difference.

    Asar awaits for the healing hands
     
  10. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Our Brother Isaiah, as you can see you have touched upon a topic that draws energy from us in different ways. My Sister Destee seeks to understand your purpose and meaning behind your words and struggles to find a sense of balance in your edict to Black women in this forum and possibly overall.

    Personally, I choose not to second guess your purpose and will take your words at face value. I sense no hostility nor meanspirited intent on your part. I receive your message as a call to action that is driven by a reawakening of our innate power and natural abilities. The women that you compare us to are martyrs in their own right. There is nothing really so different between them and us except, maybe, they have taken their fight directly to the oppressors in a far more aggressive way.

    Although I understand the need for balance among our people--Black men and women fighting our battles together, I don't disagree that, the charge must be led and the battle cry called by Black women. I don't think this way because I believe we are more powerful, more courageous or better skilled at doing this than Black men, no, I think this is true and necessary because we're not seen as a threat to anyone.

    Certainly and without question, we are capable of taking our battle to the power that wants us face down lying in the dirt. Many years ago I read a novel by Paula Giddings entitled, "When and Where I Enter" and in it I found the true calling for Black women. Giddings pointed out the women, most of whom you have named, that paved the way for us being here today. She wrote about our great-great-grandmothers and great-grandmothers who were the glue and backbone for our families and our communities. She also assigned us...Black women in the 21st Century...the responsibility for opening the doors to our freedom as a race, and as we enter, so shall our people.

    Truly, I don't take offense as your message...because unlike Cosby, you're not pointing the finger at us in shame. My sense is that you're trying to breathe life back into us and letting us know that it's okay for us to do our thing without criticism or malice or ego-tripping among our men. Release us from the bondage that has our hands tied. Remind us of who we were, are and were meant to be. Point us in the right direction by using our ancestors as a guide. We know how, we just need to find the will and the way.

    Peace and power in the struggle.
    Queenie :spinstar:
     
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