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Everyone goes through hard times in their lives and many a time due to their own mistakes or misjudgments.  It is tough to face the consequences and deal with all the rollercoaster of emotions one expeiences with life and black women are pretty notorious for keeping these matters private.  They may talk to their girlfriends or even relatives about what happened with Mr. Man or how they made some silly completely-out-of-character decision but black women will NEVER want this business out in the street.
 
It’s mostly out of pride in that they don’t really like to appear, or feel, out of control, vulnerable, or stupid, especially when it involves a bad situation in a romantic relationship.  While black women, like most women, like a little attention, black women never want their sensitive matters in the spotlight .  They never want their name associated with any type of gossip.
 
Some higher profile examples of this reality are the love lives of Janet Jackson and Beyonce Knowles.  Before Jermaine Dupree, Janet was married to Rene Elizondo, Jr. for several years, and though everyone knew he was her boo, no one knew they were actually married until the divorce came around. Why she kept that a secret? We don’t necessarily get why, but we all know that if you are a celeb, the media likes to orchestrate your life, and surely Miss Janet was not going to have that.  In Beyonce’s case with super famous rapper and oft-collaborator Jay-Z, neither one of them felt they had to confirm their relationship or give any details about their ridiculously obvious 6-year romance! They even married in April, and STILL have not said anything! Though it seems kind of silly, why should Beyonce confirm it? Probably because she wants to be known by her grace as a lady and as a superstar entertainer with lasting global appeal.  
 
Although it’s not always all about pride and hiding personal drama, or in a celebrity’s case, protecting your personal life and reputation from the relentless tabloids, black women are often raised to have strong personal dignity.  This means always being classy and not caught up in gossip circles.  In magazines, on television, and celebrity websites, you don’t see very many black women celebs, but if you do, they seldom will be in any kind of wild or drunken state.  Of course there have been exceptions with some black women ending up with jail time or a DUI (ie. Lil Kim, Vivica Fox), and you do know who has gotten married or had a baby (ie. Halle Berry, Gabrielle Beauvais-Nilon), there will probably never be a black Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton. Black women just do not roll like that!
 
Aside from the entertainment world, you will notice the same sort of “togetherness and grace” from black women on college campuses, in churches or other organizations, or even in the workplace.  Black women could be going through a storm, or even a hurricane, and you would never know it.  Black women are rarely going to want their “drama” public because they don’t want that to be associated with their personas.  Most of us want to be seen as mature role models who are always making wise decisions.

 

PS Have you ever wondered where Black people go for celeb gossip about black people? Visit this site: http://www.bossip.com/about/

 

 

 

 

Many (not all) Black women consider their faith as an extremely important part of their lives. Since we the authors are both Christian, we can only speak about that experience though we invite input from Black women of other faiths as well. The Black Church, while sometimes a place of contradictions has also been a place of comfort, unity around social and political issues…(see blog #3 for more on this).

One of the staples of the Black church is the Gospel Choir. Unlike many other outdated traditions of song and worship, Gospel music has transcended time and culture and race into the mainstream. Was anyone watching “American Idol Gives Back” where the entire cast sang a worship song backed up by a choir? Many non-Blacks have been known to “LOVE” Gospel music. In fact, some may even go so far as to say that they love the way we worship in the Black Church much more than their own churches. They “feel” the worship more. Many people have said this to both of us which has brought up the question for me, “Is my church a spectical or do they really respect it as a whole?”

I have wondered what would happen if my church did not have lively, get-up-out-of-your-seat music while women flail about in emotion claiming the Holy Ghost. A lot of non-Blacks have communicated to me that they even look down on other churches that do not implement this type of worship. These types of statements tend to disturb me for several reasons. First, they assume that they are winning me over and speaking in unity about an issue “known to all Black people.” And second, they assume that I grew up in the Gospel Choir tradition, when in fact I grew up in both the Gospel Choir as well as an all white Hillsong-Hymn singing Choir where the only movement we did was clapping….sometimes. The point is, I respect all traditions of worship and can be myself in either. Hence, I have been hesitant to invite non-Black people to my church because I worry that they will enjoy it not for the message but for “The Gospel Show.” Or worse, that they would come and enjoy the message more simply because they got to see a show.

Consider this as well. Any artist who suddenly implements a Gospel Choir (or even a Black backup singer) into a performance is all of a sudden WAY more legit as an artist. What is this? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to hate on the hustle. Any Gospel Choir that gets a gig on someone else’s dime do your thing! But what is it that people are really responding to when they see this?

For the most part, I personally have decided to give everyone the benefit of the doubt on this one. But hopefully this has made you think.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rat pack 
So we are here to bust your little bubble, having black friends doesn’t mean a thing! Just because you have a black friend to your name or are seen out with one doesn’t mean that you know everything there is to know about black people and their experience. Additionally, if you do have a black friend, you don’t have to make it a point to tell other black people that your particular friend “is so awesome” or “so cool” or “the best person you know.” We don’t need the extra explanation. Who cares if your black friend is a jerk! The point is, we notice that a lot of non-Black people, mostly white, like to make a point of having a black friend because they want to feel better about God knows what, but the truth is, black people don’t care if you have a black friend! They don’t even care if you love Barack Obama and cry over his speeches, see Tiger Woods as your idol, or your kids wear every black athlete’s jersey. What they do care about is your authenticity with them and with yourself.  The truth may be that you have no idea how to relate to black people, maybe you don’t want to, maybe you are dying to know more, you are super comfortable with your own friend group, etc. Who knows, but you don’t have to “act” like you are in love with this people group or know everything about the group just so you can feel better about yourself and supposedly be seen as a more open minded person. Black people do not need white people to feel better about them and to feel as though they “don’t have a problem” with them. Hell, we are human beings and you shouldn’t “have a problem” with anyone!
 
Now speaking specifically as women, you need to understand that not all black women are alike. They don’t talk the same way, think the same, do their hair the same way, or have the same taste in music.  You can’t sum them all up by having one friend. One big no no is when you tell a black woman that “your friend Keisha uses oil in her hair, do you?” I’m sorry, it is not as simple as all human beings breathing air, all people are different!  You may have said something like that before in hopes to connect with that person, but truthfully, you are outing yourself as an idiot and insulting the person you are talking to. And take a minute and think about it the other way around, do black women go around telling people “I love white people” or “my boss, neighbor, friend, grocery store clerk, etc. does this/that, do you?” Or “my office has 3 white people and I just adore them!” No, you don’t hear it!
 
What we would love to see is the pursuit of genuine friendship, a concern for racial reconciliation across the board, and a true interest in who we are, not just because we are “so cool” or you want to feel better about your un-tapped guilt. For more of an idea of what we are talking about, see entry #1 on Liking Down White Boys, we love all down non-black people!
 

Charlie Sheen has recently driven this point home for us.

Click Here

Click the link above to read an article which proves that having black friends (or best friends for that matter) does not neccessarily make you more enlightened, cool or less of an idiot.

different colors

different colors

Major shout out to MURS for writing this and putting our story to music. This song speaks on the experience of Black women who consistently tread the line between the Black and White worlds. Here’s to all the women that feel somewhat at home in each world but never fully at home in one….

Click Here To See Video

 

 

Verse 1:]
She got that mocha-chino baby on the back of the bus
If you close your eyes and listen she would be one of us
Never did trust, her family at home
So she kicked it in the hood, raised her self on her own
She talk with that tone, but she white to the bone
You would swear she was black if you spoke on the phone
Some say its overgrown, but she don’t give a damn
All the black girls think that she want they man
But it’s not your fault that they attracted to you
That you blessed and got as much back as you do
Most white boys say that you’re way too thick
And some brothers might say, you’re the number one pick
You say [psh], girl…Roll your eyes twist your neck
But it comes from the soul you don’t mean no disrespect
And even when they check you, you just keep it movin’
Cuz in your heart you feel you ain’t got nothing to be provin’

[Chorus x2:]
Whether chocolate or vanilla, or you’re somewhere in between
A cappuccino mocha or a caramel queen
Rejected by the black, not accepted by the white world
And this is dedicated to them dark skinned white girls

[Verse 2:]
Now she like The Smiths, The Cure, really into Morrisey
Heavy on the rock never fooled with the Jodeci
You would notice she was never really welcomed by the others
Hard to find a date when there was only ten brothers
In the whole damn school, and they thought she was weird
Cuz she wore her hair different, and she never joined cheer
A melancholy dolly with a Polly want-a syndrome
White step-father black daddy never been home
And when on the quad she could hear em’ say
Look at how she walks, why she talk that way
But girl it’s okay, your black is beautiful
No matter how you dress, or no matter what music you like
Forget what they say, you’re doin’ it right
No more grabbin’ on your pillow as you cry through the night
Stand strong, hold your ground at any cost
and know that everyone who tries to put you down is lost

[Chorus x2]

[Verse 3:]
Now for you half-and-half and mixed girls, I know what the battle be
Every time you go out, it’s what’s your nationality
Everybody always wanna dig up in your background
You don’t look _, now how does that sound
I couldn’t tell you or…(tell you or…)
Oh, is that right
Do you take it as a compliment or start up a fight
Venezuelan and Indian, Rican and Dominican
Japanese or Portuguese, quarter a Brazilian and.
White and Korean, Black and Pinay
I could find out later it don’t matter you’re fly
It really don’t make a difference to most of us guys
We just need an excuse to get close and say hi
I know they call you stuck up, you think you’re too pretty
Spreadin’ rumors about you, all throughout the city
So much attention, so many haters
But don’t be bitter, you’ll be better for it later and…

[Chorus x2]

When it comes to being out in public many Black women always feel the need to be “put together.” This can me many various things. Personally, I have come to develop the phrase “ten different kinds of crazy.”  This is what I use to describe how I feel when I am not “put together.” For example, a friend may ask, “Hey do you want to go out to a show, we have to leave right now?” To which I would quickly reply, “I can’t go right now! I look ten different kinds of crazy!”

 

Many men, and even women may interpret this as a superficial concern birthed out of a purely narcissistic focus. But it is much deeper than that. We have two strikes against us. 1) We are Black. 2) We are women. We face a vulnerability because we are women and often not in complete control and we are either discriminated against or exoticized because of our race. Many Black women like us feel that if anyone outside of our own race sees one hair out of place, one nail chip, one error in manners, or wearing clothes that are out of style it could ruin our chances at a job, being asked out on a date, or being chosen for an apartment. If we are not “put together” we may feel more worried about being followed around in expensive stores and getting targeted for a lot other forms of racial profiling.

 

Moreover, being put together does not just refer to our appearance. As Black women we learn at a young age that our mistakes can cost us much more than other people. Because Black women are judged against two standards (the black standard and the gender standard) we often face harsher penalties for our mistakes. That is why Black women like us are TERRIFIED of making mistakes…in anything. Once again, we must refer to the movie “Something New” in which the lead character has some very poignant moments facing this sort of situation. In one scene a client of hers askes to have his case handeled by someone else because he assumes she is just a secretary. But instead of reaming him (like I wish she would have) she takes it in and stays “put together”. Ultimately, she is vindicated by her boss. However I can think of many movies in which the same scenario happened to a white woman and she felt very free to make a snide reply to him in revenge.

 

Because most people don’t understand this fact of our lives, they often down play our feelings about not being put together. If you want to keep your black women friends…DO NOT do this. Saying that “it’s not a big deal” only convinces us of how far we are in being understood by the rest of the world. It’s isolating. Embrace this fact about Black women. Give us time to get put together. Tell us that we’re beautiful when we’re not put together. And remind us that we are human. And to err is human.

 

Here’s to the black woman who always seems put together: IMAN!

Congratulations to Miss Texas, Crystle Stewart, who won the Miss USA 2008 title last night! You go girl! (Looks like we are even further down the road in getting recognized for how amazing we truly are!)

Black women have always been beautiful, unique, and diverse, coming in all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and hair textures. Although women of all ethnicities would hope to be fit and firm, black women do not usually struggle with not living up to the mainstream standard of beauty of having to be super skinny. Although they too struggle with their share of body image and self esteem issues, they rarely feel the need to look like Cindy Crawford or Heidi Klum. This is mostly due to the fact that black culture values thickness, curves, and a nice healthy bootie.

Although many men claim to like a healthier figured woman, black men tend to love it and are not too shy about expressing their appreciation! Thus, although it may take a woman a while to appreciate and embrace her own figure, she most likely has also received affirmation from family members and black men. What is interesting is how black women’s features seem to get overlooked by mainstream society and not seen as equally desirable. That is, until a famous white woman with similar features gets recognition for her unique looks.

A perfect example of this is how Angelina Jolie is seen as one of the most beautiful women in the world. People can’t stop talking about her luscious and full lips! Women these days are constantly seeking lip injections to achieve a similar look. What?????? Has the world never seen full lips before? HELLO!! Angelina is so beautiful because she has lips that most black women have. In a recent magazine, Christina Ricci mentioned how she would love to have a firm butt like Jessica Biel. Who is Jessica Biel? (of course we know who she is, but seriously?) It’s like, women want to look like black women, but only if white women resemble them! That’s crazy!

Of course we have our own magazines, TV shows, and movies and we can enjoy them and feel represented, though it would be nice if the mainstream would give black women’s beauty the respect and recognition it deserves. After all, the little girls of our future generations need it.

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