Thursday, 14 January 2010
There has been something on my mind for the past few years, and I can't quite seem to put my finger on it. It's this one little question that's been popping up in my mind:
Why are all the black men migrating to different races?
This note is targeting the "sistas". That means all African-American women.
Many people have their reasons as to why this is occurring more and more depending on who you ask.
- You ask some sistas, and they'll say, "It's because men can't take a strong, independent sista who don't take any crap! So they go to some weak woman of another race who'll let him beat her upside the head and cheat on her."
- You ask some racist men of other races and they might say something derogatory and stereotypical of us. They might say that black is not beautiful or compare us to animals.
- You ask a woman of another race who is dating a black man and she might say that it's because black women are too stubborn and hard-headed.
- You ask a black man who dates other races, and he might say it's because a variety of reasons.
But this is my stab at the question of, "Why are all the black men migrating from us?"
This first became an issue for me when I went to UT Knox for college. I had never seen so many interracial couples! It was beautiful! BUT, it did put questions in my head. Of course, there are some men who were raised in white families via adoption or foster care and so they identify more easily with white females. Then there are those men who had black families, but who lived in all white neighborhoods all their lives with little to no black females to date. There are those men who just prefer fairer skin. I have an ex who said it just seems as if it's easier to come across a pretty light-skinned girl than a dark-skinned girl. Nothing wrong with a preference, right? And then there are those men that we wonder about. The men who first dated black and then never came back!
There are black men who have never been raised with white women and have nothing in common with white people. There are some celebrities and pro-athletes that I hear date white women because when they were younger, they were always raised to believe that they could NEVER date a white woman because they were beneath the white race. My stepdad has a black friend we call "White Mike". He only dates white women, and my stepdad said it's because when they were little, white women were considered highly unattainable. So after that barrier was removed, Mike did it up! It's his way of STICKING IT TO THE WHITE MAN! so to speak.
But other than those scenarios, is there something about white women and women of other races that us black women don't have other than thinner noses and fairer skin and straighter hair?
To get to the root of this, this is one thing I've noticed. I've had the pleasure of living and observing white females while in Knoxville. I've worked with, interned with, went to classes with, lived with, partied with, etc. them. I also lived in a neighborhood where my sisters and I grew up and played with white females. Of course, that doesn't mean I know everything about them, but this is what I gleaned as a difference between us and them.
I've noticed that some of us black women seem to feel insecure about our race. It's like we think being black makes us less than other races because of our sad American history. We can't help but occasionally think of the fact that a few hundred years ago, we would be serving our white coworkers and friends as slaves. It's kind of awkward for me when the question arises, "Mistye, if you could be raised in any time period in the past, which would you choose?" Anytime is a good time for a white person, but if you're black, you think you either have to be a sharecropper, a slave or a savage!
I am saddened everytime I see, read, or hear about another black female celebrity getting plastic surgery to deracialize herself. If you're not familiar with deracialization, think Michael Jackson. I've seen so many pictures of black celebrities getting their noses thinned, their hair straightened, their hair lengthened with extensions, their hair bleached, their skin bleached, their lips thinned, and their eyes lightened. This saddens me tremendously. It's like we're letting the black men know, "YOU GUYS ARE RIGHT FOR LEAVING US! WE ARE UGLY! WE ARE UNDESIRABLE! WE ARE UNATTRACTIVE IN OUR NATURAL STATE! THE ONLY WAY YOU SHOULD WANT US IS IF WE'RE LOOKING MORE LIKE OUR WHITE COUNTERPARTS!"
I wish we'd just be comfortable in ourselves. Some might say that it's easy for me because I'm not particularly dark-skinned or unattractive, but I'm definitely and obviously black. That's why I'm so glad Tyler Perry made that movie called "Precious". Show black women that their value is not in their looks!
I'm a believer in vibes. I believe that people send out vibes. Not mystical and magical waves that you can see coming from your body, but I believe that you can get within a few feet of someone and tell how they feel about you, themselves and what they're doing. Woman can tell if a coworker can't stand them. Women can tell if their man is feeling differently towards them. Well, those are vibes that people are sending out whether they know it or not. You know how they say you can feel the tension in the room between two parties even though no one has to say a word? You can feel vibes. Well, I believe that black women can sometimes send out negative vibes about how they feel about themselves. And if we're doing that, who wants to date someone who hates the skin they're in?
I dated a guy in college to whom I posed the question, "If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?" Of course, I'm expecting the usual, "I'd change my temper. I'd make more money. I'd pray more." But NO!!! This dude told me, "I'd have hazel eyes."!!! While he never told me that he wish he were light-skinned, I did notice that he would spend inordinate amounts of time talking about his best friend being light-skinned and about how he dated light-skinned girls. I could just FEEL the insecurity radiating off of him. It was very unattractive. Likewise, I wonder if things would be different if we black women would start to accept ourselves?
I think about the women in the earlier 1900s. The times when the sororities were founded. You know the time when women were classy? They covered up their bodies. They abstained from sex. They wouldn't do and say certain things because they didn't want to be unladylike. Of course, some people can pretend to be a lady in the streets, but be different in private. But for the most part, women came off as classy. All I have to refer to are photos. Do you recall the black and white photos when women wore the dresses during the Civil Rights period? They just looked so classy! I look at photos of my mom and her sisters when they were younger. Yes, their bellbottoms were tight at times, but they had classy poses. But black women nowadays are so classless! Shorts up the butt and bent over like an ostrich is all the rage now apparently.
Beyonce basically wears panties and bras in her concerts and music videos. Rihanna is nothing short of disgusting in how she presents herself. Lil' Kim, Trina, Nicki Minaj, etc. I don't listen to rap and hip-hop, so I don't know who all else is famous nowadays, but from the pictures I see, they are classless! THIS is what the world sees when they see us! Keep in mind, that there aren't too many black women worldwide. We're only probably 6% of America's population because black people altogether are 13% of the AMERICAN - NOT WORLDWIDE - population. And from that 6% we have to subtract the children females! So we have perhaps 3% of America's population to show the world who we are. The world gets who they THINK we are from music videos and movies. I heard that Africans who are still in Africa are ashamed of us because of how slutty we act on these videos. It would be one thing if we all were protesting these video vixens, but some of us praise, act, and look just like them!!
I know it's foolish of the world assume that ALL black women are like the 50 or so women that they see that are celebrities and music video models, but people do that. It's natural. Many people view Africans as people who don't wear much clothing because of the few documentaries we see on them in the jungle. Many people view Native Americans as living in teepees or being alcoholics because of what we see in the movies. Many people view Asians as being mathematical geniuses because of what we see on TV. So we know it's normal for people to see us as being freaky, oversexualized women because of how they see SOME of on TV.
Ladies, we have to stop this! This is horrible! I know we're not the only ones acting freaky. EVERY race has its freaky-acting women. I've seen white women drop it like it's hot at clubs back in college. I know that every race can be represented by a porno star. But we have to take a stand and stop this. Even in music videos, we are abased more than the other races. If a black girl is in a music video, she is on a stripper pole, bent over with her butt in the camera, or she's shaking her tail. But they'll have the mixed or other race female be the one who sits classily beside the rapper with a champagne glass in her hand with her leg crossed. Or she might be the one the guy falls in love with. I looked at Usher and P. Diddy's commercial for their new cologne. Both of them had mixed or other raced women dressed classily with them running through the nice part of town even though both were engaged or married to a dark-skinned female! Russell Simmons and Tiger Woods wouldn't be caught dead with one of us. I can't even name all the brothas who have went black, left black, and will perhaps never come back. And even more than them are the number of brothas who will ONLY date a black woman if she's ONLY HALF of black. She gotta be mixed, have very fair skin, have hazel, green, or gray eyes, and have "good hair".
I believe it's up to us to change the worldview of us. Maya Angelou, Oprah, and Michelle Obama can only do so much. We need to start being classier as a whole. Stop wearing clothes with your butt hanging out. Stop deracializing yourself. I have natural hair that is not colored. But I occasionally wear weaves and wigs. So I'm not saying black women should never spice up our look a bit. Who cares if you get perms and weaves and colored lenses? But what I DO care about is WHY you are doing it. Are you trying to look less black?
Because if you are, why would a black man want to date a woman who wishes she were the race of the very woman he COULD be dating instead? For example, if I'm dating an Alpha, but he desperately wants to be an Omega, wouldn't I just date the Omega? Obviously, there is SOMETHING about THAT fraternity that the other one is lacking or else the Alpha wouldn't be wishing he had pledged differently so badly! So if black women are dying their hair blonde, getting blue contacts, getting their hair relaxed, bleaching their skin, and getting their noses thinned to look white, shouldn't a black man just get a white woman? At least her look is free and effortless and will pass on to the kiddies! At least she's 100% happy with her race! I've yet to hear a white woman say she wishes she were another race.
I have no problem attracting men from other races or my own. They can tell that I'm 100% secure in my race. I know that I'm lovable in this natural state. I'm not emitting strong, "I HATE MY RACE" vibes like some others do. I get looks from all races not because I'm black or lighter-skinned. It's just because I emit good vibes. Sometimes I choose to emit bad vibes like when I'm at a gas station and a thug-type dude tries to holla at me, but when I feel comfortable with the group I am around, I emit positive, loving vibes.
I'm not one of those "power-to-the-people" types, but I have a few friends on Facebook who sent me some videos. On one video that I happened upon, I heard how black women were treated like queens in Africa at one point in time. We were the cat's meow! If we were still in Africa, there's NO WAY we'd be dating ANY of these men some of us date nowadays. We wouldn't settle for a dude whose FIRST words to us were, "Hey, lil mama. You looking good as a muhfuh. Mane you stout! Let me get them digits." NEVER!! Well, let's go deeper. In that time, A MAN WOULD NEVER TALK TO A BLACK WOMAN LIKE THAT! So why do they feel so comfortable with it now? I know a woman who has 5 kids. She's looking for a man, and she met a good one. But she said he was too softspoken. Said she prefered a man who was a lil' rough around the edges. What she meant whether she will admit it or not, is that she wanted a man who would knock her upside her head every once in awhile. And when someone asked her about that, she even giggled a little.
BLACK WOMEN! HEAR ME AND HEAR ME GOOD! We deserve the best! But when the best comes our way, what do we say? I'll tell you what we say! We say, "He's too sensitive. He's too softspoken. He's too boring. He's too "safe". He's lame. He's geeky. He's too square. He too churchy." BUT!!! But when this sensitive, softspoken, boring, "safe", lame, geeky, square, churchy guy gets with a WHITE woman, we cry FOUL!!! We say, "Why he wit' dat white woman? SMH. He think he too good for a sista or something? All these single black women, and he up and get him a white woman. These black men out here nowadays ain't no good. SMH."
Don't shake your head. You rejected good brothas all throughout middle school, high school, college, and adulthood. And when you're 40 and have never been married, you say he done you wrong! If we black women would act like queens every once in awhile like the African women were back in the day and have our legs "Closed to the Public", we might get somewhere. 42% of black women have NEVER been married. That's not including the black women who WERE married but were later LEFT for one reason or the other. And that is TWICE the number of white women who have never been married! We're TWICE AS LIKELY NOT TO GET MARRIED AS A WHITE WOMAN! Sure, there are fewer black men than black women. Then you got your gay ones. Then you got your incarcerated ones. But keep in mind that there are straight men who are not in jail who are marrying other races!
Personally, I say we sistas branch out, but that's just my opinion.
So, no, sistas. We can't use that wack excuse no more talking about black men are just intimidated by us strong, black independent women. That's not it. If you were so all this and that and the other, then how come you can't get and keep a man? How come you settle for the chronically-unemployed brotha who lives off of you? How come you keep getting the men who get you preggers and then split without paying child support? That excuse we use is just a cover-up to keep us from being responsible. It's time for US to make a change. And it all starts with closing your legs!
Let's start imitating our grandmothers who could get a man to stay with her from age 16 to death. Grandmas kept their legs closed. They abstained. They knew that if they gave it up, he'd split. That's what happens to us nowadays. We're easily milked cows. I'm not saying other races don't give up sex easily, but we know that they apparently have an advantage over us in at least one other area. So they can afford more than we can to do that.
(Clarification: I am 100% against fornication, but I'm just saying that we of all races cannot afford to be considered "easily milked cows")
Next, let's stop dating wackness. And, no, I'm not referring to the "lames". I'm talking about the dudes who are involved in illegal activities, who do drugs, who talk foolishness (profanity and derogatory terms to women), who dress up in the morning with EVERY INTENTION of looking like a clown (jewelry on their teeth and pants down to their knees and oversized clothes for NO GOOD REASON). You might say I'm being stereotypical, but you know that men who intentionally dress silly also must think silly. Men who take themselves seriously, don't dress in any type of way. They have too much self-respect for themselves and their race. I've yet to meet a Morehouse man who even WANTED to dress silly.
Also, there are the women who are educated and who have good jobs who think that they are too good for an average man. He's might just have a Bachelor's while you have a doctorate. He might make $100,000 while you make $150,000. That's not a good reason NOT to date someone! Maybe someday he'll get on your level! Or maybe you wanted a man who didn't have any kids. Get over it! So many of us will have to be stepparents. Some women don't want men who are shorter than them. There are so many dumb reasons why we CHOOSE to remain single. Again get over it! If he's a good one, snatch him up before he get him a Becky! (Just joking.)
Then, let's stop with all the crazy clothes. Stop dressing in ways to get negative attention. Dress your age. You are not Keyshia Cole's momma. If you are a 24, why are you dressing like your 15 year old niece? I know that everyone expresses themselves in different clothing styles, but your attire is an ad. It shows what you're advertising for. Women in business suits don't get approached by the same men as 40 year old women who wear booty shorts that match the same 5 colors in their hair and Jordans and nail polish. When you look in the mirror in the morning, is dressing like a lady your goal? Don't let Soulja Boy be your standard. He is a clown that has knocked the black race back a few years with his antics. People all over the globe see his videos and think, THIS IS THE BLACK RACE! They see black people and think, "SUPERSOAK!" I don't agree with all that Obama is doing, but I'm SO grateful that he is a positive look on the world for black men. He pushed our race up a hundred years with his accomplishments. And I love that his wife is a queenly lady. They make us look good. Our president is black!
But back to self-expression through clothing. I'm all for self-expression within righteousness and reason. Somedays I like business casual, some days I dress down, some days I do the Hollister, Aeropostale, American-Eage, and Abercrombie & Fitch look, some days I get jazzy, etc. But I NEVER go out looking like an intentional clown bringing down my race. I don't walk around the mall cursing and talking about vile things. I don't snap on people in stores for small things. Civil Rights workers did SO much to get us even a little bit respect in the world's eyes, and what do we do? We bring us back down by exalting the booty-shakers and sex-hungry women in our celebrity culture. Y'ALL worship them when all they're doing is making you look bad.
And lastly, and most importantly, let's start loving ourselves. You are queens in my eyes! There is something special and regal about black women. When a black woman chooses to be classy, she stands out big time! Of all the first ladies in American history, Michelle Obama is the classiest! (She may be tied with Jackie Onassis though!) It's not hard for a black woman to be majestic. My mom for example is VERY classy. It's effortless on her. I have never seen her do a classless thing in my life. Never drinks, smokes, fights, curses, steals, sleeping around, lying, etc. That's why I'm so classy now. (I wasn't very classy in my first three years in college, but with her as the standard, I was bound to get back on track!) I see so many first ladies and missionaries in the church for whom is it also EASY to be classy. But on the flipside, it's also easy for a black woman to come off as foolish.
The purpose of this note is not to tear you down. It's not to get black men to want to date us. The point is for us to self-examine to see why we're seen as undesirable to so many races. I believe that black women are considered the least desirable race on the planet. But I believe that it is TOTALLY not supposed to be that way. There are many reasons why this has happened. Of course, I didn't have enough room to talk about how the media exalts the White standard of beauty in movies, commercials, modeling fashion shows, music videos, TV shows, and even cartoons. I didn't mention how they systematically and intentionally make black seem wack. (And, yes, it is intentionally and systematically done very sneakily). But that's another note for another time. I also neglected to mention about the impact of fatherless homes in black communities because that too would take all day. But with just the information we have in this note, we can change things! Imagine what would happen if all the black women in America decided to "close shop" one day? To cover up our bodies and act classy for one day? To not say and do certain things for one day? ALL THE MEN WOULD FLOCK TO US! And it would have nothing to do with how much melanin/pigment you got in your skin or how kinky your hair is or how wide your nose is. They'd say, "There's something mysterious about those black women. I want to get to know this one better. What's her secret?"
Here's a hint: No one's gonna wanna know your secret if you got it tattooed on the small of your back while you twurk it in their face and then give it to them the same night you meet them!
Snap out of it, sistas! Maybe 1% of the black men who choose not to date you are doing so because you intimidate them by working to support yourself and by defending yourself from abuse. But what about all the other black men? The other races of men? The common denominator in all these black men dating women of other races is YOU! That's the ONLY common factor. Black women in and of themselves are beautiful, resourceful, charming, loving, talented, creative, entertaining, regal, strong, etc. I read some of you all's Facebook statuses, and you all are treasures just like every other race of women. The only difference is that YOU DON'T QUITE KNOW IT YET.
Well, now you know. Now that I revealed the secret that you are just as valuable as any other race, what are you going to do differently? Act like your African ancestors. Close shop! Cover your bodies! Stop cursing! Stop wilding! Stop deracializing! Stop dating these lazy, trifling men. Get you a brotha who might seem boring, but who at least won't cheat/mistreat/beat/leave you. Who will at least take care of the kids and provide for you.
I hope that you all read this note with total honesty. It's hard to face the truth. But I'm a SINGLE, black female, so you can't say I have an agenda. Sure, I know some of us don't care to get married. Honestly, a few times, I've said to myself that I'd like to stay single and focus totally on ministry and helping others. But it's not just about dating. We shouldn't be okay with the world thinking negatively of us. If Jesus tarries a hundred years or so, don't we wish we could get more respect and admiration?
Love yourself! Black really IS beautiful!