Thursday, September 18, 2014

Freeing Myself From African American Cultural Limitations

Note: This post will make some readers angry if they choose to misunderstand and if they think their culture should be placed above the cultures of Black people who don't live in the USA.This is not about having pride in your culture, it's about understanding that all Black people don't think or act like you nor do they need to and embracing your culture could make their lives worse not better.

I think that from now on I need to be very critical of any theories, ideas, or culture that comes from AA people in the US because they are based on the lives, experiences, and reasoning of people who grew up in different environments different from the one in which I grew up. AA isn't the same as Black woman in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, or the same as growing up Black in any other country in the world. But for too long I (and many others) have been taking AA theories about what it means to be Black and AA culture and acting as though these socially constructed ideas should be adopted by Black people across the globe.

Even many AA people have written so much online about how they feel limited, stereotyped, and judged because of what other AA people say they are supposed to act and think. Why are we not free to be what we want to be? Why are we not free to choose from all ideas presented to us? Who decided what AA culture is and how they should act? Why should Black people in other cultures be expected to act and think like AA people? Why do so many people equate AA theories and culture with "Black culture"? Here are some of my thoughts.

1. Who created most modern Black thought in North America and should their writings apply to me? AA men wrote extensively about race (e.g., Frederick Douglas, WEB Dubois, Malcolm X etc.). These writings have been read by Black people in the US and even taught in classes. Black (and non-Black) people around the world have read these works. These men and many scholars (who are mostly men), shaped the way the world sees the Black experience but for them the Black experience is the African American Male experience! Do their theories and experiences apply well to AA women, Black women in other countries like me, or African women? Many of us have heard the saying "All the women are White and all the Blacks are men", well this is the case for many of the race theories I and many others have read. They are based on the reasoning of AA males of the past. Do these theories apply to a Canadian Black woman in 2014? Do their theories apply to you as a modern AA woman? Should be be relying on old writings and theories or should we be using updated theories based on modern evidence?
My Decision: I have decided to free myself from these old AA writings and ideas and probably most modern AA ideas about race. These theories colour the way people see the world and interpret things but they are theories that are biased, they are not facts. I do not think paying attention to these theories have helped me succeed in life and instead they made me suspicious, paranoid, and angry. These theories did not protect me from being harmed or help me so I choose to forget them. I am free to base things on my experience instead of being burdened with fear and feeling like I have been a victim my entire life. When I read these theories in the past and when I hear them now I do not have productive or helpful thoughts or feelings so I will stop exposing myself to them. I've heard enough and now it's time to focus on things that will actually help my life.  

2. Who decided what "acting White" and "acting Black" was and should this apply to me? In my opinion, it's AA males who decided what it means to be Black and this has spread around the world. But there is some historical White racism mixed up in there and some of what AA males decided is based on a reaction to this. Unfortunately modern AA males have decided to embrace some of the racist stereotypes and defined blackness as the opposite of their definition whiteness! In the past things like reading, doing well in school, being well mannered, dressing neatly, speaking well, working a respectable job were not labeled "acting White", these where just things people did. But nowadays, if an AA person does these things they are sometimes teased for "acting White". It has happened to me in Canada a few times when I was told I was practically White by a White person because I wasn't loud and ghetto a decade ago or when people are surprised I don't like R&B and hip hop. But in Canada I don't recall anyone saying that my doing well in school or getting an advanced degree was "acting White" and I remember reading a statistic years ago saying Black women are more likely to have a university degree than all other groups (not sure if this is still true). I recently read a similar statistic about AA women. So I wonder why are Black women letting AA men define what it means to be Black? Why are you letting them define you? Is there a better definition that would serve your needs and goals better?
My Decision: I am going to be extra vigilant to eliminate all ideas I have about "acting White" and "acting Black" and I will act however I feel comfortable and prefer whatever appeals to me. I will no longer pay attention to AA trends, art, music, ideas, style etc. over non-AA trends, art, music, ideas, or style. I will be open to ideas, think about the source and intended audience, evaluate the merits of the idea, and decide if it will enhance my life or not. I will have my personal goals and will not let race factor into those goals. I am not trying to live up to any expectations for what AA culture says a Black woman should be. I will try to be a great woman period. I will not pay attention to AA theories that race needs to be recognized and discussed all the time in order to prevent racism. I will discuss it when I feel like it and not because I feel pressured to do so. I want to be seen as a unique individual person not a Black woman stereotype.

3. Who is free and who is brainwashed? This is one thing that I have really struggled with. I am so sick and tired of people trying to shape me and telling me if I believe one thing or act in one way then I am brainwashed or part of the problem; but if I think differently or act in a different way then I've stepped out of the matrix and I'm free. I know I have only so much power and there are others who have way more. I don't want to spend my free time thinking about how powerless I am and being angry at people or the system. This means I will not question my preferences any more! These are the following preferences I will no longer feel guilty about:
  • I will date who I am attracted to and will not question whether Eurocentric society has shaped my dating preferences.
  • I will not feel guilty about disliking the shrinkage in my natural hair and preferring to wear my hair stretched. Some natural women online are acting like it's self-hatred to prefer your hair stretched but I'm done listening to them.
  • I will not feel guilty about preferring long hair on myself and other women. I think it looks better. I don't like Lupita Nyongo's hair and I think she would look better if she grew it out. It's my preference and I don't care where it comes from. 
  • I will not feel guilty about thinking a light-skinned or non-Black woman is attractive. I will not go on a smear campaign against any women in order to make dark-skinned Black women feel better. If you have great features you are beautiful regardless of your skin colour. I will not beat myself up or try to rationalize my preferences into something else out of fear I've been brainwashed. I like what I like case closed.
  • I will not feel guilty about watching television. I will watch whatever I want for whatever reason I want. 
  • I will not feel guilty about the music I like. I will not like something just because Black people made it or because it is popular. 
  • I will not support something just because it involves a Black person. I will not support something just because it is popular (i.e., all the White people are doing it). I will support something if I believe in the cause. 
My Decision: I am aiming to have my needs met and achieve my goals and I have decided to be satisfied with that. I am not on a journey to change the world or overthrow anything and if that makes me part of the problem then so be it. If this means I'm a follower and part of the system so be it. I'm making a choice to fight for my needs and goals and what I choose to fight for instead of being shamed into fighting for other people's causes. I will support something if I choose to not out of fear or irrational guilt. Most importantly, I will no longer pathologize myself based on my choices or preferences. I will not pay attention to any Willie Lynch, it started with slavery, Eurocentric beauty standard, etc. articles or arguments because I've heard them and want to move on. I am fed up with articles and news stories questioning if something is normal or not. As long as my needs and goals are being met I don't care about being normal anymore, I can be unique or unusual.

If anyone can relate to this post, great, if not oh well. It's me figuring out what bothers me and eliminating that thinking from my mind. For most of my life I have been free of these thoughts and I want to go back to that time. Instead I want to focus on ways I can improve my life and feel better about myself. Focusing on the things listed above just created mental turmoil for me so I am throwing them to the side. I am free of the restriction I previously felt pressured to adhere to because I am Black. I am free.

36 comments:

  1. Welcome to freedom my girl, I stopped having deep rooted conversation about race a year ago. At 27. I stopped question my likes and dislikes. I went natural and back to relaxer because I am a woman and I enjoy the benefits . I love watching Korean drama and traveling around the world and I don't give my race a second thought anymore. I don't get involved in poor brown skin us conversation. My fiancé has also stopped engaging in these activities. Our lives have changed so much we feel free. I truly believe you bring about what you think about. And because me and my fiancé now see ourself as people and not "other than" we get treated as such and we don't attract black people with the woe is me mentality.

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  2. Hi Leaha,

    Thanks for your comment and I am looking forward to being more free. There are so many times I'll read a blog or newspaper article, see a reference to something I'm doing or thinking, and then feel guilty or that something is wrong with me. Not as often as in the past but occasionally. Recently it happened when I read a post on Black Girl Long Hair I think and a woman was chastising herself for preferring herself with stretched hair. She called it an obsession that was due to Eurocentric standards. She was pathologizing herself because she likes her hair to hang past her shoulders! That's how I feel reading so many things. I'm tired of it and it doesn't help me in any way. I don't feel the need to talk about racism all the time either because it isn't in my face in my life. It may be affecting me (like my arteries clogging up) but I don't notice it's effects day to day so why worry about it all day? Things are rougher in the US. US police shootings are way higher than in other Western countries, things seem harder in the US. But I don't live there and me worrying about it doesn't help them or help me. I'm going to be like other people and just deal with my own problems and what I can control. The woe is me mentality didn't help me one bit in my life or benefit anyone.

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  3. "All the women are White and all the men are Black"

    This quote should read "All the women are White and all the Blacks are men."

    It is the title of this book: But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women's Studies by Gloria T. Hull

    When quoted this way you can see how black women have been marginalized.

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  4. Now that I have read your entire post all I can say is good for you for the stance you are taking and the choice you are making.

    In the end it is all about black women charting their own course in life and making the choices for themselves to enhance their lives and not some artificial collective.

    Slowly AAbw are waking up to this reality.

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  5. Oh my god. This post SPOKE to me. If this isn't truly what I'm feeling inside, I dont know what is. No words...no words....just, THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for showing me I'm not alone. It's like you pulled these thoughts right out of my head.

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  6. I know what you mean I live in the UK and the environment around me is not harsh at all. When I was growing up I did look to AA culture when I was younger. However as you pointed out in your post everyone has a different life experience. And to try and mould oneself in to this stereotypical image that is portrayed in the US is stupid and harmful. It is nice to just be yourself and like who you are without questioning yourself all because we have a little bit more melanin in our skin lol. Just enjoy your life I love your posts by the way.

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  7. Good for you! You should have always thought like this. I was at the grocery store one day checking out and the black girl cashier looked at the magazine I wanted to buy which was Elle. She looked at me and said "now you know you should be buying a black magazine like Ebony or Jet." I wanted to tell her to mind her own business but I quickly realized I was dealing with ignorance. I don't jump on the "black" bandwagon anymore. It's about what I what and desire as a human being.

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  8. I can relate to this post. I am a first generation American of Jamaican descent on BOTH sides and grew up in the suburbs in a small town in the South. I listened to alot of Reggae growing up and eating Jamaican food. I didn't really grow up around African American people much, got good grades and graduated from Catholic high school this year and I love Rock music especially the Classics. When I interacted with African Americans in high school, they told me that I acted and spoke like a White girl and wonder if I was truly ''Black'' because of my liking for Rock and Reggae music, the way that I walked, talked and acted . I never got along with them. These days, I keep a certain distance from African Americans unless they are genuinely nice because I don't like their mentality or way of thinking at all. And I want to go back to my Jamaican roots and get back to it because wasting time on African American trends and way of thinking only left me angry, paranoid, nuts and upset.

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  9. I agree with you. The beginning of freedom is when we recognize we are not a collective but unique individuals. I have always questioned the foolishness of always looking at the world and at situations as a group, when in reality we live our lives as individuals .This is where many black non-African Americans really differ from African Americans.
    Frankly, there is really a remedy for freeing ourselves from what I have labeled "the dictatorship of black American culture".Since it really is not about much anyway, the solution is to ignore it, and understand that we were never part of it in the first place.

    I do not watch any black programs. I am not interested in black entertainers, African American music, and black sport figures. I do not care what they do or say, who they marry, because they certainly do not represent me and many do not appeal to me either.
    I'm more interested in people and cultures from around the world and this sometimes/often include black people as well .
    I read blogs, articles and books by both blacks and non-blacks .
    This does not mean I'm not interested in black people. I just do not want to spend my time living in a one sided world,hearing people lamenting of how difficult it is to be black ,how hard life is and how much black people are hated, because as individuals,we have lots of power in our hands, especially black people living in the Western world; and let's face the truth, at times, life can be difficult for everyone.
    And I'm very proud to be a black woman. I have never found it to be a difficult thing,therefore I do not identify with this woe is me nonsense, everyone is against me mentality.

    Once we recognize our uniqueness and individualism, there is no need to follow any group.This is where the BWE blogs lost me.They came up with all the problems and thought of many solutions but continued talking all the time about black men and this Blackistan without realizing that Blackistan is not a place but a mentality.
    They have also forgotten that some black women are also part and parcel of this mental place(Blackistan).
    Backwardness and terrible cultural practices can be very difficult to abandon especially if there aren't any solid defined steps of how to abandon and stop practicing them.
    Many black people in the States are too afraid of outsiders , foreigners and the outside world, and they cannot go to step 2, which is abandoning the mental Blackistan, and joining socially with the outside world .

    We must choose hairstyles that compliment our features, bodies, height, lifestyles, age, etc. I observed a conversation on the web about natural hair where an ABW was talking about how real naturals(afros) go up in the hair and do not fall down.
    I could not help be surprised at the level of stupidity.
    There are many black women who have long curly hair that fall on their backs . That is their natural hair, and understanding this is not rocket science.
    As a matter of fact now we are finding many of the black women from different parts of the world with long curly hair opting to wearing their hair like that and not straightening it with a hot comb or a blow dryer.
    Once we free ourselves from the group, without abandoning who we truly are , and live as individuals, then we begin to see that many also in the outside world ( maybe not all), see us and relate to us as we really are, individuals.

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  10. Thanks so much for your comments. This post is not meant to bash AA people, just to point out that I (and many others) are just blindly adhering to rules that AA males created (some long ago and some recently) that aren't helpful or useful and are very limiting to non-AA and AA Black people.

    Here is a typical article telling AA women that they are making "mistakes" with the way they think about their natural hair http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ama-yawson/the-5-biggest-natural-hai_b_5845872.html . I am no longer paying attention when someone in the media points out such "mistakes" I am making and how I "should" be thinking and acting when it comes to preferences. I'm not listening to arguments that I am "brainwashed" because I'm not up in arms about something people like the author thinks is important.

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  11. Interesting post. I agree. I think we non-AA BW have the luxury of not sharing the same mindset as AA-BW. It is a luxury based on our differing histories.
    Whenever I think of W.E.B. DuBois, I remember reading that he didn't get on with Jamaican national hero Marcus Garvey, at all. If you read Wikipedia about Garvey and DuBois, it is the same rift between AA and nonAA blacks as we have now with BWE: same old, same old.

    Plus US American exceptionalism also comes into play, where many believe that US slavery experience was worse than anywhere else in the world, so no other group of people have suffered as badly as they have. And allows them to discount any other group's experience. Two recent cases in point: the backlash over Lupita Nyongo auditioning and winning the role, playing a slave. Their beef is that she's not from the US. Or Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone because she's too light-skinned and identifies as black latina.

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  14. I believe in freedom and individualism. I am a fan of Ayn Rand's fictional novels for one thing.

    But people on here are under the wrong impression on here if they feel that none of the BWE websites ever posted ideas on how black women who wanted to improve their lives, live different lives and who wanted to leave Blackistan could do so. The original BWE websites that have or had been blogging for a good six to eight years at least HAVE indeed created posts describing ideas for black women who wanted to move out of rough and dangerous areas, live better, travel and make extra cash for themselves and invest money. Some of those bloggers still have their old posts still accessible on their websites, one or two in particular will charge for archived content or current content, one changed their blog from public to private permanently and another used to keep all archived and current content up but her website was hacked and infected twice and she hadn't brought it back again.

    But I remember that the original BWE websites did help by displaying advice and good ideas on how a woman could improve her station or change it and a lot if their commentors typed in their very good ideas for the same subjects also which were kept on these websites and sometimes used to create newer posts to expound on the subject of improving lives.

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  15. I'm British and of Caribbean descent but was mostly raised in the US where a lot of people thought I was an AA black person but I wasn't offended or annoyed by that and I think that within the US the AA black people do have a right to preserve whatever institution, etc. that AA blacks had created in the past for AA blacks in the present and for the future. Black people from certain tribal nations in Africa would keep things for those of their own nation and would more than likely hire them before outsiders and everybody else in the world is the same with their own kind so it would behoove AA blacks to do the same with their own businesses and resources.

    When it comes to media, business, etc. for any blacks from any country need to get in to the driver's seat and take agency and start creating in order to own something because that will be the only way to have the say in who gets hired and what is allowed to be preserved. This doesn't matter whether you're from Africa, the US, the Caribbean, Latin America or Canada.

    With the natural black hair care websites, I think all of the advice and instruction became either purely for twist outs or braid outs and drifted purely on to subjects for people with type 3 hair. This is why all black people have to take action, take agency and never give their agency up and get into the driver's seat. When other people's media goes in a certain direction you may very well have to create your own media in order to portray and display images in the direction that you want them to go. More black women with type 4 curly kinky hair will just have to create the blogs providing advice, instruction and the beautiful images of type 4 hair. I have type 4 hair myself so I would support that. It's better, more productive and more effective to take action and create than to complain and stay stuck never moving on.

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  16. "I'm British and of Caribbean descent but was mostly raised in the US where a lot of people thought I was an AA black person but I wasn't offended or annoyed by that and I think that within the US the AA black people do have a right to preserve whatever institution, etc. that AA blacks had created in the past for AA blacks in the present and for the future.:"

    Who has said anything about AA blacks not keeping their traditions? Non AA blacks living in the States and elsewhere should also conserve their traditions too. We are not AA blacks and do not want to be mistaken for AA blacks, not because of prejudice or hatred but because we do not want to dissolve our traditions and identities but preserve them.

    On the other hand, I have a problem with black women labeling their hair with numbers.My hair is long and curly and I flat iron it sometimes to get a straight look just to have a different look sometimes.
    Black women with tighter curls have no reason to feel their hair is not as pretty as those with looser curls, wavy or whatever. Every group can contribute in giving suggestion on hair upkeep, etc. My hair has no number. If God has not not assigned numbers to our hair type, then who decides this foolishness, believing it is supposed to be some kind of rule to be accepted by all.
    White, Latinas and Asians do not give their hair type numbers.And why is straight and wavy hair with upper numbers and curly hair with lower numbers? This smacks of self hatred if it is promoted by black women.
    Black women need to purge their minds of all this nonsense . It sounds foolish, childish and there is no science to this at all. All hair types are Type One.
    Empowerment of women means purging the mind of all things that belittle women and this includes this number type stupidity.
    And black women are supposed to style their hair how they please. Women do not owe anyone any explanation regarding how they wear their hair .Natural or straight, it is nobody's business but the individual woman. We are not a collective when we stand in front of the mirror. There is only one person standing in front of the mirror .
    When we saw pictures of black women worldwide of yesterday, many of them had medium and short hair and they were all beautiful; having long hair is no guarantee of beauty.
    A beautiful woman tend to have even facial features, nice eyes,a sweet disposition, inner beauty sweetness, grace, and skin color and the length and texture of the hair are not important and they do not determine beauty at all.
    Now we see so many black women with long false hair often hiding their pretty faces, appearing very overdone and at times even looking like drag queens.
    No woman is supposed to look like a drag queen. Male drag queens are the ones trying hard to look like women.
    And by the way, some women look very good with short hair. Halle Berry looks much better with short hair than long hair.
    There is a Dominican woman by the name of Carolina who has a blog and facebook promoting natural hair and nice inexpensive and natural products. It is called , Miss Rizos facebook. Carolina started her blog and facebook with the aim to promote pride in the Dominican woman whom the majority have curly and natural hair.

    I'm optimistic seeing many black women worldwide slowly dealing with their own liberation.We are not enemies.

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    1. I didn't say nor did I mean that AA blacks don't ever keep their traditions or 'shouldn't' keep their traditions.

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    2. There is (for some reason or another though maybe because of the hair salon industry???....) a list of numbered hair levels that somebody came up with from type numbers one to four but even that list of 'hair levels' must be Eurocentric in origin because type 1 is straight I think and type 4 is usually the Afro textured hair both wavy-curly and the much kinkier curls. But whatever. I agree that this 'list' shouldn't effect the way a black woman feels about her hair no matter what texture her hair is.

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    3. Please understand what is said here.
      You said: : " I think that within the US the AA black people do have a right to preserve whatever institution, etc that AA black had created in the past for AA blacks in the present and for the future."
      My response: I agree with you.
      May I add, non blacks AA also have a right to preserve their traditions and institutions they bring here. We do not have to dissolve into AA blacks.

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    4. I never said that non-AA blacks should never preserve their cultural identities, tastes or preferences or anything in the US or anywhere that non-AA blacks live. I believe that whether you're an AA black or a non-AA black person that you have to rake agency and create something in order to preserve what you want and preserve your access to it. I never said anything else here.

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  17. Who said type 4 is the Afrocentric hair?What book,rule, or school of thought this came from?Why isn't type 1 the Afrocentric hair?

    Any black woman who believes this foolishness needs to be slapped across her hair.

    My advice to black women: Resist all this garbage.It is utter nonsense and it makes absolutely no sense.There is no science here at all.
    And I understand that black women do not even have control over these commercial institutions that come up with these numbers which determine hair texture etc, but it is very clear how the numbering is disrespectful to black women.
    The real natural textured hair on our heads were not bought by us, therefore I do not see how they could be numbered by any human being.
    This in itself should tell black women they need to have some control over at least our hair, regardless of the texture, and stop comparing black hair to other type of hair.

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    1. I don't know who said it. But it sounds like it's a hair salon industry guide but more than likely the guide of the white salons.

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    2. All these things show is that black people do not even control what pertains uniquely and singularly to us.The same way we are to empower ourselves and purge our minds of that which is not good for us, we must also stop allowing non-blacks to define those things that we ourselves are supposed to rightfully define.

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  18. I didn't make a big deal about the hair typing thing. I didn't see it as a ranking of 1 being the best and 4 being the worst or anything like that. I saw it as rating the degree of uniform texture or curl you have in your hair. Straight hair is 1 because it has no curl, 2 has some waviness, 3 has curl, and type 4 hair has the most texture. Just like 0 degrees has no heat and 30 degrees has more heat, type 1 has no curl while type 4 has the most curl.

    Either way, only Black people seem to use the terminology so if you don't use it your don't want to. Black women online use it because we find that different techniques work differently on individual black women and a style or product used on a black woman with type 2 hair will not come out the way it will on someone with type 4 hair. So people seek out others with a similar hair texture for advice. Non-Black people people just use straight, wavy, and curly to distinguish between their hair types but surely non-Black folks with straight hair have different styling needs compared to those with curly hair.

    It's just a matter of utility, if it helps you use it, if it doesn't don't use it. If you would rather call Black hair type 1 and straight hair type 4 go ahead. It may be difficult to communicate with others if everyone is not using the same system though. Picture diagrams are a good way to distinguish if someone's hair is like yours, but using photos is more cumbersome than just using a number and a letter.

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  19. I never knew of the numbering and I understand that at times many are not aware of the subtle things this world throws at us.
    Once women have entered on the path or process toward empowerment, our eyes begin to open and our minds begin to expand, and this often requires going all the way and making changes in the end regarding what is empowering .
    Future generations of black girls and women worldwide will appreciate the struggle and commitment and thank us in their day and time.
    I am optimistic because I have noticed that among black women worldwide there is a parallel of empowerment going on that I believe touches and crosses in many directions, and frankly I find it exiting.
    As I have said before, we are not enemies and with respect and solidarity we can learn a lot from each other
    I find this article interesting:

    www.uptowncollective.com/...elixir-profiles-carolina-miss-rizos-contreras/

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  20. Correction: I meant exciting and certainly not exiting. Lol

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  21. That hair typing system was created by Andre Walker, the black man who does Oprah's hair.

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  22. I am not surprised that the hair typing system was created by a black person.

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  23. Even as a AA woman, this post spoke many volumes to me, and I feel much more at ease just being myself, interests and all. I have had to deal with those sorts in my own family line and I have had to distance myself from them to preserve my peace of mind and quality of life.

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  24. I had to reject black culture,history,politics,social preferences,race categorization,etc. It's all backwards

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  25. I agree completely. As a non-stereotypical (quiet, shy, kind, etc.) black woman, it has been hard to fit into the black world as well as the white world. I have come to realize that all these preconceived notions about black women are generalizations, and that each and every one of us is an individual. I will continue to like what I like, do what I do, and act how I act, regardless of whether or not someone views me as anti-black or self-hating. I love being a black woman, and I love being different. I will end with this quote from Booker T Washington
    “In my contact with people, I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls – with the great outside world.”

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  26. haha. any thing i do and love and ways i express myself is black culture. i was once like you. thinking i had no ties to the black community in the US. but i do i always will and i almost hated myself b/c i didnt feel like i was apart of anything. but i am apart of everything. i am a nerd and i have an obsession with a good dark beer and men's butts. i'd go gay for Rihanna anyday and i am an artist. i hope to be covered in tatts and i find people of all walks of life sexy.

    for me when i realized i am all these things and how so many people treated me like shit for liking these things like science and art, yeah i felt a little disconnect too. then i found other black people that felt the same and still view things like the issue of race in the states something that should be talked about. i can not deny my blackness or the people that share it. and idk, maybe you are just maybe you dont want that.

    i am sorry you had all this guilt, but things arent like that anymore. or at least the black community is changing. there black gamers, atheist and feminist i feel most at home with. but i have no fear of being part of those groups as a whole either. i understand you seem you want to fight these stereotypes and this seems to be aimed at the black community more, but you know good for you.

    i hope someday there wont be "black programming" on tv, i hope there will just be good shows that i enjoy (things like Breaking Bad and Sherlock) but will just have more people of color on them, or be entirely void of white people but not be seen as "black programming". anyway i know what you want, you want to be able to be you and seen as a person. good luck in what makes you happy.

    @transient indigenous, wow. thats pretty shitty of you, imo. you reject black culture and history.

    again, everything i do is black culture.

    all in all i think we should stop "rejecting" and start looking, listening, and helping raise each other up. shitty people are shitty people. (so sick of the acting white thing)

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  27. I am an African American woman. I get some of what you are saying but I believe your opinion is based on the media's vision of African Americans. I am a graduate of Univ. of Georgia. Practically everyone in my family has a college degree. Matter of fact my great grand parents were college gradates. All of my friends and most are African American strive to do good in spite of racism. What you see is the media interpretation of black like and unfortunately we have minstrels in our community that play the role subscribed to them. The thing is we are not a monolithic group and it appears that you blanketed African American in a group based on the media. There are many people that feel the way you do but have no problem benefiting from civil rights that were gained to all people from the sweat and blood of African Americans and these same people are the very ones that seek out the African American community when their children are shot and killed by the police or face racism.

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    1. Hi Regina,

      Thank you for your comment. My first question is WHY are you trying to sell me AA culture when I don't live in the US? Why is it not okay with you that I don't want to pay attention to your culture and feel I don't need to pay attention to it?

      Do you feel empty or that a part of you is missing because you are not paying attention to Caribbean or Canadian culture? Does it impact your life in any way if you were to choose to ignore those cultures and just live your life? If the answer is yes then you understand the point of this article. I don't need to sell you Canadian or Caribbean culture so I don't understand why there is any criticism about my preference (as I said above, I am not arguing about my preferences anymore).

      Yes, AA people had the civil rights movement, does that mean I have to listen to AA music, watch their shows, and read their books? I say no, I plan to just be the best woman I can be and not let AA culture determine who I am because I don't need to an I don't even live in the US.

      " There are many people that feel the way you do but have no problem benefiting from civil rights that were gained to all people from the sweat and blood of African Americans and these same people are the very ones that seek out the African American community when their children are shot and killed by the police or face racism" . I really don't understand this tangent. Anyone is free to read about racism if they want to but that doesn't mean that they have to pay attention to anything else in AA culture as reparations to the Civil Rights Movement or something. I have noticed similar thinking elsewhere and people aren't just stating it plain. So correct me if I'm wrong but do AA people think that people all over the world owe them for slavery and the Civil Rights Movement and that they expect reparations in the form of embracing AA culture (e.g., music, books, movies, slang, fashion etc)? So if we don't accept your culture in our lives (with our wallets and our time) then we are somehow being ungrateful or racist?

      This is part of the reason why I'm actually washing my hands with most of AA culture because I don't get all this pressure to embrace the culture because you have to or you owe it to AA people. That doesn't make any sense! People can prefer things of a culture other than their own if they choose to, if they like it, or if it helps them. I'm saying I don't choose to, I don't like it, and it doesn't help me. Why is that wrong to you? I believe in education, why do I have to read AA work in order to believe in that or look to AA people at all? Why look to AA writer's views on racism when I can look at the work of Canadians? Case closed.

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  28. I love Kdramas, my boyfriend is from Italy, I write novels on my free time. I love classical music, I have been co sidered not black enough my whole life because I have mainstream tastes. This reminds me of the time my boyfriend came to visit me and something about a protest was airing on the news. I was holding my boyfriends hand, I felt people staring at us as if I should dump my boyfriend just because he is white. Shockingly the stares were from black men, I feel so much more comfortable away from that nonsense. I am a not younger so I have grown up not buying act one way nonsense. I was accused of behaving and dressing white.I don't care if a Nazi says my boyfriend doesn't like black women because she thinks my features are not black enough. He loves me regardless of what other idiots think. I hate when I am expected or stereotyped to act a certain way as an AA women. Sadly you did just that.


    "Do all aa people think the black people in the world owes them?".

    In a nutshell, one group of people can not hold the same thought form so how should we know? Should I run a poll and gather results? Geez I was totally loving your vlog and response until you posted that rant. It would not alienate some of your readers if you did not paint ALL AAs with a brush. I honestly don't care what culture you take part in, as long as you can find happiness there. Many of your readers happen to be African American women who support your message and have a plethora of non stereotypical hobbies and the like. Do you have the bizzare belief that all AA women want you to pay to wear PDiddy or whoever has a new ghetto street fashion out there. Do you honestly think your readers who hold many professional positions in the US want you to like Tu Pac? If you do feel that way, that sucks.

    Regards.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I will write and post whatever rhetorical question that comes to my mind on my blog. I don't see the point in you trying censor my thoughts. If I state something that doesn't apply to you or women like you, then I am not talking about you.

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