Police Brutality Against Black Women: Has It Become A Trending Phenomenon?

DR ERSULA ORE

Police brutality has conceptually been linked to the assault of Black men, but most recently there have been several instances where Black women have been attacked by law enforcement without reproach. Historically, many cases relating to the assault by white men with “power” against Black women have been considered permissible, and somehow validated by the guise of gender and race.

In 2006, 12 year old Dymond Millburn was confronted and physically assaulted by four Galvestone undercover cops, who were reportedly looking for three white prostitutes at the time of the incident. According to the officers’ lawyer their conduct was appropriate because Millburn was wearing short, tight shorts, and could have been very well mistaken for a prostitute.
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How are You Doing… Really?

HOW ARE YOU DOING

Its been a while since I took the time to ask my Brown Sistas and brothas how they are doing. I’ve been a bit MIA myself since mid-February, dealing with many of the curve balls life seems to throw you when you least expect it.

Like many of you, when things get rough I tend to clam up. I close down and smile, so as not to let anyone know that things are amiss.

Thinking about it a bit more, that’s probably the same thing Karyn Washington did. If only someone had looked beyond the smile and asked “How are you doing… really,?” she and others like her might still be here.
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The Trials and Tribulations of Blackness

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF BLACKNESS

More and more Africans are moving from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, etc. to the United States. A great many have moved into my neighborhood, in the borough of the Bronx over the years. I once had a cordial friendship with an African woman who was Muslim. Her name was Julia. Julia braided hair for a living. Her husband drove a gypsy taxi, but he also kept a good eye and a strong hold on her. She whispered to me that he didn’t want her to pick up any “bad” American habits…meaning, I was a bad influence.

I wanted to know more about where she came from and her past life; but one caustic look from her husband usually clamped her mouth closed. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know much about Africans, outside of the fact that the women carry their babies tied to their backs, and sometimes braid hair to make a living and the men drive taxis or are vendors and sell things on the streets for a living. But in my observations of them, I find the men to be a little domineering and controlling, especially the married ones; while the women are passive and quiet.


Julia once uttered to me, while her husband was out working, that most Africans think that Black-Americans are lazy, complain too much about racism, that the women are mostly scantily-clad whores and that Black Americans as a whole, lack culture because we don’t know our heritage, our language or which tribe we originated from and that we are all “Akata”. I replied that American blacks are descendants of slaves, who were dragged to the new world in chains and shackles. And therefore it is NOT our fault if we didn’t know where in Africa we came from or what tribe or language we spoke. I was hurt by her blunt and derogatory remarks. I saw her less and less after that. Then one day a few weeks later, her husband came to my house, and demanded to know where Julia was. I told him I hadn’t seen her for weeks. Turns out, she left him—taking their three-year old daughter to parts unknown.

A couple of years later, my husband befriended an African brother named Harry from Nigeria, who was Catholic, happily assimilated and in fact actually preferred Black-American women to African women. He felt that African women were backwards and unsophisticated. One day as we all walked around in the neighborhood we ran into a few of his friends from his village whom he hadn’t seen in twenty years; two of them were women. My husband and I got dirty looks and smirks and they spoke to Harry, angrily, in their native tongue. When they left us finally, my husband asks Harry what was said about us and what does Akata mean? I told my husband, that I heard the word before. Harry refused at first, but with our relentless prodding, he finally told us. The women wanted to know, what is he doing hanging around with “American slaves…cotton pickers…Akata”. Harry said that he told them that we were a married couple and that we were nice people and for them to not be so judgmental. This didn’t make me or my husband feel any better. We had a long discussion that night about Africans vs. Black-Americans and the many layers of sensitive issues that plague us. I also felt that if American Blacks were so beneath Africans, then why are they coming here in droves?

Black-Americans have a long and illustrious history of championing African causes and since more and more Africans continue to arrive in the United States, they automatically benefit from Civil Rights and Affirmative Action, even though they did not participate in civil rights issues in large numbers like Black-Americans. Basically, I feel that Africans should stop feeling superior over Black-Americans, because our ancestors were dragged here against their will; but yet through resilience and stubbornness, they persevered. And due to Black Americans trailblazing the Civil Rights movement, this made it possible for Africans to live decently in the U.S. and benefit from services and other entitlements. I also feel that if the two cultures were to overcome the mutual stereotypes and band together as a formidable group domestically and internationally, we will have the ability and the potential to reach such a daunting level of influence in this country, that it would be phenomenal!!!

I say all this, to say…newly arrived Africans, and Africans that’s been here awhile, need to stop hating on Black Americans; because we need each other. And, if it wasn’t for Black Americans setting examples in this country, they wouldn’t have what they currently have, such as jobs with benefits, decent housing, healthcare, civil rights AND freedom from religious and political persecution of whence they escape.
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Alexis G. Thornton, is a published writer and author of: FAMILY, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS and LOVERS…THE BEST OF ENEMIES
And remember, many art forms are “WHERE CREATIVE EXPRESSION EMPOWERS INDIVIDUALITY”©

A Classy Woman’s Struggle

A-CLASSY-WOMANS-STRUGGLE

Pretty girl, I don’t hate you. You’re my sister.

But I fear that if you show off what WE have to MY man before I do, then his eyes will be stuck on you.

So I show a little more & more to keep him entertained.
But I don’t want to do this.

I love my body & I want him to see it one day, but I don’t mean “to”day! He won’t wait for me if you show him for free.
He’ll keep trying & trying & trying until…..he remembers that there’s previews all over, he doesn’t need to buy the movie!

He won’t care that he’s only getting snippets and a low quality woman versus the whole plot and HD clarity.

So I ask politely, “STOP BOOTLEGGING ME!!!”

I shouldn’t be in competition for his attention because we’re different.

I’m not saying it’s all your fault because he CAN control his own eyes. But you ain’t helpin’ none by advertising YOUR future husband’s surprise.

My sista, please cover up when you go out on the town, because YOU are driving OUR market value down.

I Never Knew What Great Sex Was Until…

I NEVER KNEW WHAT GREAT SEX WAS

Before I continue right where I left off from the last article, there are a few things I need to say that women should never take for granted:

* The bliss of vacation sex… never, and I mean NEVER conk out early on a hotel bed otherwise, you’ll never be invited again.
* The upper-body strength of men—hey, I’m a feminist, but that couch ain’t gonna move itself
* Your fertile years… yea-yea, I know it’s un-P.C. to say so, but it’s true
* The great guy who never takes YOU for granted
* Your partner’s sex face… it may not be pretty, but at least you know he’s satisfied
* Fork me, spoon me… get the picture?
* Slightly dirty text messages throughout the day—it’s all about the buildup (see other article regarding this)
* And lastly, the Trojan Vibrating Ring. Fun and orgasm inducing.

You know, I’ve got to say, I never really knew what great sex was until… I stopped trying to be sexy. That’s right. I thought that good sex relied on fundamentals like: steamy glares, artful hair whipping, and a myriad of passionate cries of ecstasy. And believe me, I had it all down to a science until I got serious with my now husband of 28 years. Prior to that, other guys had either enjoyed the show or were just too wrapped up in their own show to care about my pleasure. And ladies, especially you women with long hair; be very careful about whipping your hair around. Things might go awry and you might knock yourself unconscious; he will laugh at you, because now the act is more slapstick burlesque than sexual art.

Most men, believe it or not, espouse the virtues of simple, unadorned pleasure; they prefer true intimacy and bliss. So this is not the time to start stressing about whether your ass is well built or did you wax enough “down there” or if your breasts are sagging or not. Then there’s the smell factor: how one smells in bed could be a deal breaker. After a shower or bath, women tend to smother their natural scent with sprays and oils. This ritual has marred many a sex lives. First of all, if you spritz “down there” with perfume, it will irritate and burn your partner, especially if he’s not wearing a condom. And since you know that your partner will be “putting in work” by “going down” on you; you start worrying if “eau de stink” is wafting from your nether regions, so you spray “down there” with perfume… damn near killing him because he’s ingesting the perfume; and/or his attempts are met with locked legs. Ladies, simply let your inhibitions go. Inhale deeply, and savor the musk of your mingling scents.

And don’t forget to scream for me, okay?

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A.G. Thornton is a writer an author of FAMILY, FRIENDS, HUSBANDS and LOVERS… THE BEST OF ENEMIES
www.sixela.net.

Sistas, Is Your Beauty In Your Hair?

Solange Once again Solange has caught the media’s attention by committing an act that many would consider a poor decision. She has shaved her hair low. Some people like it, most don’t, including Bow Wow who recently went on a rant on his Twitter about her hair. His response does not shock me as I have heard numerous times from Black men that they would not date a “bald-headed” woman. Solange does not seem to care either way, her being one that always does her. What makes her so cool is that she does her whether she is all alone in the decision or has a whole campaign of followers. A girl after my own heart. Even her sister Beyonce has commented on being envious of Solange’s “ I dare to be different and screw you if you don’t like it attitude”. My question is not whether you like her new hairstyle rather do you see how important something as simple as hair is in the African American community and why? It’s like, if you cut your hair low and you are a Black woman then you are not considered attractive anymore or something dramatic must be going on in your life. “Girl she must be going through something!” Solange claims this is the second time she has cut her hair like this and it is by choice not because she is having a breakdown.

Why do we as Black women spend so much time emphasizing on our hair? It is as if our hair is our strength. I emphasize on the Black community because other ethnicities do not seem to have as much of an obsession with hair as we do. I myself have even been a little obsessive over my hair as well from time to time. This phenomena has been internalized in us all in one way or another. The generalization is that if we don’t spend half our lives in the beauty salon then something is wrong with us. We aren’t considered attractive any longer if we do not keep a well tailored perm in our hair and we must, must keep it done. So when someone like Solange, who the Black community at least considers mildly attractive cuts her hair then there is time for an uproar. Imagine if Beyonce cut all her hair low like that, it would be absolute pandemonium.

I don’t think that we are the only ones to have opinions about women cutting their hair low I just feel that the Black community takes special offense to it. We immediately assume that the woman has lost her mind and we do not view her as being as attractive as she once was. People are even assuming that she simply wants attention. Or she must be trying to be “deep”. One of those hippie chicks. Maybe it is none of those reasons and Solange realizes that it is just hair and feels that she is attractive whether it is long or she is completely bald. Thoughts?

Via: Yeah, Shesaidit.com.

a better year.

abetteryear2009

Happy Monday Brown Sisters..

Hope all is well and that you’re amped for the Holiday Season. Can you believe that Christmas is only three days away..? But after the big “gift giving” day there’s reflecting on 2008 and then thinking about how big we want 2009 to be. GT believes that 2009 can be as great as we want it to be even with the financial news that things aren’t going so well. We may not even be able to control our jobs but we can control how we live and what we surround ourselves with…here’s some thoughts… Continue Reading