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I completely agree. From what I have learned you are right to focus on what happened after slavery. After the Civil War northern/southern white "cousins" made up, even though there was a lot of bitterness. Reconstruction was the best hope for Blacks post-slavery and it was dismantled. They were left exposed to vengeful, hateful Southern whites who proceeded to terrorize them with the approval (or at least permission) of the North and federal government. In the North they were marginalized and subject to violence by new immigrants and old oppressors. If there has been buses back then African Americans would have been under them.
Imagine if there had been a Marshall plan for ex-slaves. Imagine if dirtbags like the Klansman Woodrow Wilson hadn't been elected, or if progressive Republicans and Northern Democrats didn't cater to the South and had fought the state-sponsored terrorism of Jim Crow and pockets of the North and West.
Yet even then African Americans had grit and held their ground when they could, left when they saw a better way elsewhere.
4 days, 10 hours ago on African vs. African American: Can We Still Legitimately Claim Racism When Folks that Look Just Like Us Come Here and WIN?!
Absolutely. Most did not give up at all, but many became bitter and diverted that energy and perseverance to short term pursuits. Many left the South only to find conditions were even harsher in the North when it came to "containing" Blacks and their aspirations. I think the worst of what people would call destructive culture among some Blacks is due to being herded into the worst part of huge cities from which there was no escape.
Also generally speaking I think we forget that most slaves went to the Caribbean and Latin America. Yet the cultures are still different (and those places are hardly less racist or more encouraging of the advancement of people of African descent). So I can't see that slavery is the cause. I think it is not being able to embrace a national identity, of always feeling like your own country is against you. Haitians, Jamaicans, etc. were enslaved and colonized but they have national identities that anchor them. Africans have their tribes and nations as well.
5 days, 5 hours ago on African vs. African American: Can We Still Legitimately Claim Racism When Folks that Look Just Like Us Come Here and WIN?!
Work avoidance culture due to slavery? I not sure that is a good rationale for what is going on today or even back then. The bottom line is that slaves worked damned hard, and it depended on the location and nature of work (as well as the "humanity" of the owners). Sabotage? Absolutely, especially during the Civil War. Developing sophisticated ways of snatching an extra minute, crumb, or moment of comfort? You bet they did, as any other human being does.
The notion that a people literally begging to apply their skills in a fair market and receive compensation for their labor and recognition of their talent would not have wanted to work is far fetched. First, there was no government patronage for Blacks for several generations after slavery. My grandmother wouldn't lower herself to accept handouts from a government that was terrorizing and killing Blacks, but they weren't exactly offered either. She had lots to say about the lazy White people she worked for though, in between working 3-4 jobs to support her family.
I get what you are trying to say and your helpful intent but sometimes the era and the way in which a person is raised can't help but influence their thinking. The "slaves were shiftless and lazy" meme is a very pervasive White Southern myth about slavery...part of the justification of the system that was baked into the culture.
5 days, 10 hours ago on African vs. African American: Can We Still Legitimately Claim Racism When Folks that Look Just Like Us Come Here and WIN?!
While I agree that culture matters tremendously, so does the fact that immigrants as a whole tend to be more successful in the US especially when it is a self-selected move. Even if you are poor, undocumented and escaping a terrible situation, you are clearly more likely to have the "true grit" it will take to hunker down and get things done. You came here with that character and determination to succeed.
I am half African American and half Haitian American. There is a difference in behavior and attitude between my two sides of the family that goes beyond the wealth any individual did (or did not) amass. But the problem in my AA family is that they have lost the "grit" displayed 3-4 generations ago by the people who scraped together money to buy and farm land (in the South) 1 or 2 generations out of slavery. They focus on what they cannot change instead of what they can. They don't seem to understand what really matters and chase the fleeting thrills and shiny objects. They didn't learn how to choose mates that bring out the best in them, or who can at the very least help then rise.
If you look at the state that Haiti is in you can see that the success of the "first waves" of Haitian Americans who came here to escape the Duvaliers was purchased at a price. Many of the people it needed to keep things going came here with their money or built new wealth, but all diverted more and more resources from there to here. It makes a difference.
Many African Americans are poor, but most are nowhere near as disadvantaged as the poor from other countries. They can't see the benefits they still enjoy as Americans, while immigrants can see it clearly. The African Americans who do believe that the opportunities in this country are open to them succeed too. Bitterness, whether justifiable or not, doesn't focus your energy and motivation on the right things. Generally I find there is a bitterness and lack of gratitude in the current African American culture that doesn't exist even among the poorest and uneducated Haitians that are in the US. Most of the bitter Haitians are...back in Haiti.
1 week, 1 day ago on African vs. African American: Can We Still Legitimately Claim Racism When Folks that Look Just Like Us Come Here and WIN?!
@kemba1248 I was specific (I thought) but to clarify: I am talking about the increase of interethnic marriage to proportions that would make more sense. B-W intermarriage rates especially are severely depressed...for important historical reasons...but that's what I believe is an important indicator of change and eventual acceptance that AA are not a population to be held at arms length from the rest of American society. Either from within or without.
You are expecting to see a "climate change" happen among people who have little interest in the survival of AAs and perhaps Blacks generally? Why? What in history or current events would lead you to conclude that these structural forces you say put AA in tribal mode will fade, and at that point is when it's "okay" to blend? I'm not sure they will. Part of all of that appears to be human nature. Having sex and producing offspring in appropriate and inappropriate ways is too. So some blending of AAs into the general American population has of course happened and is always occurring, but not enough, and not in the most appropriate ways.
What is also human nature is the tendency to seek alliances and take care of people who are allies. That is what intermarriage does to an extent much larger than friendship or romance: it creates alliances between families, transitions of wealth/resources and ancestral links between people. Over time, the differences that used to matter are minimized, because people are "family" now. Not strangers, not "those people." This is why B-W intermarriage was made illegal....it leads to inclusion rather than perpetuates exclusion.
I am in no way fooled by appearances - of Brazil or anything else. The fact is that even in racist, colorist Brazil in more families than not, African ancestry is a fact, not a secret shame. African appearance (aside: I doubt anyone largely descended from West Africans looks Nubian) is problematic for sure, but there isn't as strong a correlation with ancestry and appearance there. Why? Good old-fashioned mixing of populations generation after generation.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Guess Who’s Coming to the Prom? EBONY Magazine Releases Encouraging News About Teens and Interracial Dating
We already have colorism, and we will have racism when this happens too. What there will be less of is this notion that it is unacceptable to intermarry and have mixed ancestry. Marriage unites two families and legitimizes the descendants' claims to the shared heritage and economic resources. When more non-Black people have some Black (especially AA) ancestry and they are as proud of it as the Irish ancestry or at least as nonchalant about it as the Mexican ancestry that will be a very good thing.
@Brenda55 You all do the hard work...I just get to type. Much appreciated!
Though I don't regularly use the word I don't consider it a slur. I imagine it can be hurled around like a pejorative like the following words: ladies, you people, gals, feminists.....but I wouldn't ban the word. It's pretty clinical unless someone more familiar with the ideology of the men who hurl it around like an insult would say they coined it for that purpose. I don't pay enough attention to know and will defer to others who do.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on How Self Described “Good Guys” Usually Aren’t Good for You
@Oaktown_Paul I remember that discussion and I disagreed that anyone was being soft on the menfolk. As you said, if you are one of the awesome dudes here receiving respect you have more than earned it!
Gynocentric = thinking/talking/breathing while female...the nerve of us!!!
1 month ago on How Self Described “Good Guys” Usually Aren’t Good for You
"Stinks" of gynocentrism? So, in summary: On a site founded to express a Black female point of view on living well, seeking long-term meaningful relationships (most preferring marriage) with quality men regardless of color/creed, you suspect that maybe the women here largely view the world from their own perspectives? And, in a stunning turn of events, these perspectives are not dominated with androcentric concerns, politics or ways of relating?
Wow. A feather just plumb knocked me over.
Yes, this is a women-centered site that explores topics related to how women, in particular Black women/Afrodescended women feel about many things. It's lucky enough to have quite a few men contributing here regularly too, and while a few have no love for feminism, most avoid mansplaning and can simply share their perspectives without needing to be treated delicately.
There is no way I would have so little respect for an online community of men that I would go and femsplain the reasons why they "stink" of androcentrism. I mean, really?
Since African American culture can be transmitted to anyone I am actually looking forward to the day when even African Americans are less tribal and aren't as worried about what it means to blend further into the general population. It'd be nice to see the US looking more like Brazil (not acting like, just blending across national populations more).
1 month ago on Guess Who’s Coming to the Prom? EBONY Magazine Releases Encouraging News About Teens and Interracial Dating
I thought what Dr. Wanis had to say was spot on. I have never thought that expressing masculine or feminine energy in a situation made me less of a woman or unattractive to men. Though I enjoy wearing dresses and jewelry as much as any "girly-girl" might, the look/appearance is just that.
There are times when a woman needs to assert herself, and is expected to assert herself by drawing upon her masculine energy. The modern workplace is one arena where women who cannot do so are harshly critiqued by men and women. There are times when the same women needs to acquiesce, and is better off submitting (a concession, not a foregone conclusion) to another's leadership. There is nothing wrong with being receptive to another's ideas, encouraging and supporting others, and being modest.
If a woman needs to wear a dress or makeup to feel feminine to me she's missed the point of femininity. It's not ornamental, it is the energy you exude or tap into when interacting, I can be feminine when wielding a weapon, wearing jeans and boots, or with short hair. It's about authenticity and balance, about being comfortable in your own skin as a woman. It's about knowing that, as a woman, you are powerful in your own right. It's not necessary to seek attention - the feminine draws in rather than projects out. It is mysterious rather than forthright.
One of the better points he made was about submission: It is a concession willing made to moral, strong and empathetic leadership. It's not granted to a man simply because he wants to be followed. Some of these guys hankering for the time when women "followed" are really just saying that they haven't figured out how to lead in a world where they don't get to dictate the terms to women as a whole. I'm afraid that is not my problem but I see an opportunity for them to re-think what it means to cultivate followers by being a worthy leader. Women respond to competence above all.
I respect everyone and see no need for female chauvinism, which is really what many men who abhor feminism are rejecting (and rightfully so). I think a lot of Black women have become female chauvinists because they have lost respect for Black men, and they are angry about the disrespect and lack of protection they have endured (and accepted). It's the negativity (anger, sadness, fear, mistrust) that repels, not the clothes. Maybe for some changing the clothes is an important step to reconnecting to that femininity - I don't want to be dismissive - but the energy was already there.
1 month ago on Femininity Series, Part One: “What Does It Mean to Be Feminine, and How Does That Affect Attraction?”
What a shame. Sometimes married celebrities go through tough times and make it through, so the rumors are premature. Sometimes where there is smoke there is fire. I root for her (and him) but there is an interesting pattern with her relationships. Hope they can figure it out if that's what works for them. If not, everyone will live.
1 month ago on Halle Berry Rumored Split Leads Me to Ask, “At What Point is Problem Really YOU?”
@mantrid9 @tracyreneejones I'm not sure that you'll be around long given how you are speaking to members of this community, but I wanted to address something:
"Modern men are starting to demand you earn that treatment and you can't stand it.
And so here you girls are, having a little tantrum wanting to have your cake warm and eat it too. It's too late, men are waking up to your abusive narcissism."
If modern men believe that a princess "earns" the title I'd suggest they revisit the concept of hereditary titles. In fact, being royal is one thing a princess does NOT have to earn. Her position alone entitles her to a certain level of respect in a society.
A basic level of respect is afforded to individuals in a decent society by decent people. No one has to "earn" good treatment. It's not "abusive narcissism" to want respect, but it is interesting that someone who believes he is dishing out respect to the "worthy" would be mystified as to why women operating with the same logic aren't giving it to him, and others like him.
Do you believe that you have been proven "unworthy" by women? Are you, therefore, showing us that what is good for the goose is good for the gander?
Interesting. I didn't think men believe that they have to act like women in order to get somewhere but that's what you seem to be saying. The men I know who are successful with women act like men, and therefore, treat women with respect.
This article reminded me to think of myself as an animal, and cultivate that instinctive and unapologetic focus on protecting myself. Truth is that, no matter how good or bad a man professes himself to be, if I allow my senses/reactions to be the judge I can see through all of that talk.
When I encounter men who aren't as good as they think they are is that every molecule in my body becomes alert, and I feel slightly queasy and want to keep my distance from them. I don't feel physically threatened, but I don't feel safe. It's not fear or a predator so much as having an allergic reaction or a bad taste in my mouth/smell in my nose. I just don't LIKE these men or want them too close to me. Unless I have been mistreated I have no reason not to offer respect, but I know that it has a ceiling far below what this man would want. And, unlike some women might, I choose not to encourage him further just to "see what happens." I know based on my reaction that it is going nowhere. I can sense that these guys are not authentic or aware of their true objectives.
One of the reasons why women respond to men who are "bad" is that they are often very straightforward about their agendas. A woman may underestimate her ability to manage a particular male agenda, but dealing with a known quantity goes a long way with us. Many women will subsequently convince themselves that this man they sized up in the first interaction as someone they shouldn't take seriously is Mr. Right.
The thing that strikes me about men who haven't been successful at getting want they want from women is how inauthentic they are in interactions...about what they really want, and about the anger they develop (and often express in a passive-aggressive manner) with lack of results. You can just feel, as a woman, that you are going to be held responsible for that failure, and with maturity comes a lot of resentment at being put in that position by a man who is expected to take responsibility and lead. Leadership is not manipulation and self-serving agenda-setting.
I had a date with one of these types a couple of weeks ago (he seemed so NICE initially lol). We had a great phone conversation, and agreed to meet up. He drove a couple of hours for the date and was insistent on paying for drinks and dinner. He'd brought a beautiful arrangement of flowers with him, which I didn't expect, and was very attentive These are actions of a good guy, but somehow it felt "off" with him. Smaller interactions gave the clues: Questioning what I ordered incessantly in a butt-hurt tone (because I didn't get what he recommended), repeatedly asking whether I liked the flowers (I had said so very enthusiastically), talking about a woman's role and that many women today didn't know how to let a man lead (subtle, dude...), excessive PDA attempts in public places, and, finally, telling me that he'd gotten a hotel room because it was too far to drive and inviting me up to "see the room." Pressing the issue after I said "no" and trying to make me feel bad because "he wasn't after anything and just wanted to show me how nice it is." Yeah...no. Date #2 never happened.
I didn't feel physically threatened or out of control of the situation at any time, and he backed off when I asked, but the fact that I had to "defend" myself at all told me that this guy might turn into another matter entirely without witnesses. Even if not, he wasn't paying attention to the cues that would have told a smarter man (even with the same agenda) to back off and bide his time.
To me, the only difference between some of these "good guys" and an aggressive, grabby control-freak pseudo-alpha is that they were taught to mask their true feelings.
There are blogs I refuse to participate on because the owners and their actions reek of narcissistic opportunism and it feels more like a space to build an online dictatorship than a place for like minded people to mingle. This is not one. No apologies should be made for promoting yourself and your mission. You do so in an authentic, fun and interesting way. I congratulate you and wish you much more success!
1 month ago on It’s Not Always Easy To Love Me. But I Thank You For It
Halle was too soft (and short) to be a good Storm in my opinion. Lupita is as well. Love them both as actresses but that would be like casting Robert Downey Jr. as Magneto. Just, no. Robert is perfect as Tony Stark because the character fits his physical type, then his talent took the portrayal to another level.
Storm is regal and fierce. I'm heightist as hell so I'd want someone tall, but at least she'd need to convey feminine strength in the way that, say, Angela Bassett or Pam Grier do.
1 month ago on Move Over, Halle–Lupita Up for the Role of X-Men’s “Storm?”
I always enjoy what they do with Mystique. I think she's an exception. I agree with you generally though.