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Monday, November 26, 2007

Be Revolutionary instead of Reactionary

Professor Tracey, WAOD Contributor

If you watch the NBC with Brian Williams series on black women this week, instead of being passive and having the various expected emotional reactions of anger, disappointment, sadness, etc…Get a pen and a pad and take notes! Think about how statistics on black women’s lives are being shaped and presented in the news segments. Is there an alternative view? Is this truly a REAL problem ONLY affecting black women? Why exactly is this particular issue viewed as a PROBLEM for black women? What is a possible solution(s) to the particular issue?

Just a few preliminary observations of my own –

Black Women and Education

Does it really matter that black women outnumber black men in undergraduate education? A degree is a degree. Every statistic supports that a woman’s earning power increases with a college degree. You go to college to earn a degree, not to find a man. The real question is why don’t these same numbers appear for black women in the pursuit of advanced degrees? What is happening that black men still earn more masters and PhD degrees than black women when we out-number them in terms of undergraduate education?

Black Women and Entrepreneurship

The issue is NOT that an education prevents black women from going into business for themselves. The REAL issue is that most black women with degrees go into the workplace with low paid jobs that offer little in terms of future promotion or executive mentoring. Black women are NATURAL entrepreneurs; you only need to go to a local church to find a black woman hustling something; Avon, Tupperware, baked goods, etc…. The truth is black women are NOT encouraged to start their own businesses and are not exposed to the information needed to successfully start a business. This is a FAKE problem for black women and completely easy to solve.

Black Women and Inter-Racial Dating

So what!!! There are 13 million black people in the United States and less than 140,000 black women have white husbands! This small percentage is NOT an ethnic group changing or family structure altering statistic. Let’s talk about this when 500,000 black women have white husbands and a million black women are dating outside the race. Until then, the real question is why in the 21st century are black women still waiting for the “approval” of anyone to go on a date? I will date anyone in the entire rainbow coalition as long as they treat me with respect, dignity, and compassion!

Black Women and Marriage

If this segment brings up the tired argument that black women are over-educated or too picky, and not willing to marry blue-collar black men, TURN OFF THE TELEVISION!!! My questions are - Do black people date? I mean real dates, not dollar menu meals and sex. Where exactly can the average black woman go to find a potential marriage partner? Not at the club or at church for that matter. Does the average black person have the EMOTIONAL, SPIRTUAL, and FINANCIAL means to enter into such a complex and challenging union such as marriage? Does every black woman want to be married? I’ve never had the wedding girl fantasy. I enjoy being single and dating. I’m not sure that I would be the best wife. How about you? What about black gay women? Isn’t it time we stop acting like this group of black women doesn’t exist?

Hip Hop and Black Women

Does hip hop exhibit hatred of black women? Yes! Next question, please! Name one entity in current existence that supports black women? Corporate America? The criminal justice system? The healthcare industry? The black church? The educational system? The government? Tell the truth, if you are a 30+ year-old black woman, single and childless, how EXACTLY does hip hop music and culture TRULY affect your everyday life? Is hip hop in your top ten daily life problems to tackle each day? You can hate how the music and the images negatively reflect and attack black women, but does hip hop REALLY impact your life more than any of the other industries list above?

Black Women and Health Issues

The overall health issues and stress factors facing the average Black woman are already at the crisis stage. Of all the issues they are planning to cover, this one is the most important. I hope instead of bombarding us with depressing statistics about black women’s health, that they will present numerous pro-active plans to improve black women’s physical and mental health. Like black women going into business for themselves, improving black women’s health is an issue that is also completely solvable.

Black Women and Politics

As far as I can see there is NOT one presidential candidate that gives a damn about black women. Who represents us and our concerns? Are we challenging political leaders and activists to meet our needs? We need to start locating, promoting, and supporting candidates at all levels that have our issues as one of their primary concerns. We have a political voice and the potential power to make an impact; the only question remains are we willing to use it?

Just one black woman’s opinion here. What do you think? Personally, I am sick and tired of being defined by others. I am an extremely successful black woman and I have had enough of being told what I don’t have. Let’s look for the good things in our lives and go after what we want in a positive and pro-active manner. No more whining or waiting to exhale in 2008!!! Let’s get ourselves together and make it clear that black women are not going to take anymore mess of any kind and shame on those that get in the way!!! Then, next year’s NBC series could be “what in the hell has gotten into black women and how do we stop them before they take over the world!”