All Articles Tagged "black pride"
Sistahs who rock naturals are just as easy, breezy, and beautiful as the models on CoverGirl commercials. Why, you may ask? It’s because they realized the beauty of the hair that sprouts from their scalp. Strands that for no reason have been persecuted by chemical relaxers, whipping them into straight submission. No more! Tresses are breaking the cycle of chains, free to be kinky, curly, plain-ol’-me coils. Listen in on some reasons to rock your natural and free yourself once and for all.
Earlier this week I wrote a piece on the perils of being a black woman. They are very real issues; but for all the drama I, and I’m sure quite of few others, wouldn’t trade being a black woman for anything in the world. Why? Well because even though society, and even our own communities, don’t always appreciate us, there are perks and privileges to being a black women. There are countless benefits but check out this short list.
No one can tell us that black women haven’t had to endure a lot. On top of the racism that our brothas have to endure, we also face that challenge of being a woman in a patriarchal and often misogynist society. But instead of using our status at the bottom of the totem pole as a deterrent, black women have consistently found a way to rise above. You’ve got to love that about us.
Sense of community
Have you ever been in a crowded place, a university classroom, or the supermarket and you make eye contact with another black woman and almost instantly there was a smile and a shared kinship. I know some of you are lost right now. You might have to skip onto the next point. But for the women who know what I’m saying it’s nice to be in the clique. Sure, all women aren’t warm and welcoming but it’s nice to know that there are people out there who identify with you without even knowing your name.
Support of black men
Some of you may call support or loyalty toward black men a burden. Some of you may have shirked it off, asserting that you can’t and won’t deal with it anymore. That’s fine, to each her own; but in my opinion, in a country where we’ve witnessed first-hand the abuse, disenfranchisement and downright hatred directed at black men, it’s nice to be the people they can turn to for support and encouragement. Now, if he doesn’t want from a black woman, so be it; we can’t force anyone. But for the brothas that do need and want that encouragement, it’s nice to be able to offer that, in the context of a romantic or platonic relationship.
As a girl, I always found it alarming that white women on television would complain about their big butts? First of all the booty is a blessing and second of all, what butt? Oh, wide equals big. Ok. I see. But those were the old days before J-Lo made it big and women started running out trying to buy booty pops. Black women had the booty, the thick thighs, and the child-birthing hips naturally, no purchase required.
Black don’t crack
Some of you may still think this is a myth. But a quick comparison of your family members, friends and even celebrities will prove that the black woman does not age like other women. If you still doubt, you should know that studies are starting to find that the melanin which is responsible for our darker hue, also protects against the effects of aging. You’ve got to believe it!
Even though we weren’t even considered in the original conceptualization, black women have provided perfect examples of the American Dream. If you ever needed examples of a people who’ve lifted themselves up by the boot straps (even when we didn’t have boots) and made something of themselves, it’s black women. In addition to the names we know Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston etc., there are women like my mother, your mother, my grandmothers, the women in your family and countless other black women whose names will never receive the recognition they deserve, that have all contributed greatly to our shared legacy. And for that it’s an honor to be a part of the group.
These aren’t the only benefits. What’s the greatest thing about being a black woman?
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Everyone agrees that stereotypes are wrong but there are a few floating around that most black people don’t take much offense to. In fact, some stereotypes are more a badge of honor for black culture than racial bigotry.
Not only are many black people proud to proclaim these commonly held notions, but if a white person affirms her belief in this lore, you’ll pat her on the back for finally getting it right, thinking “now that’s a cool white person.”
And here they are, black people’s favorite stereotypes:
Easy credit rip-offs.
Scratchin’ and survivin’.
Hangin’ in the Chow line.
Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em
There has always been a running joke about the lyrics in the Good Times’ theme song. But, what was so great about black folks in the projects struggling to survive? If anything, those aforementioned situations sound downright like a miserable existence.
However, a new study, which appears in the current issue of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology—a research journal published by the American Psychological Association—may be able to help shed some light on why being black and poor can mean good times. According to researchers at Michigan State University, African American people who identify more strongly with their racial identity are generally happier than those who don’t.
It has been a long-held belief that a person’s happiness depends upon a number of external factors, including making lots of money, having nice material things, being a parent, falling in love or achieving some heights in one’s own career. However, this new research suggest that those who are black-centered — or in other words, thought that being black was an important part of who they are — felt more fulfilled with their life as a whole.
This new research supports previous studies, including a Pew Research Center study, which suggests that material things like money are less of a factor in determining happiness for blacks than it is for whites. It’s also a conclusion that has been championed throughout black-nationalism and Afrocentric circles for years, extending back to the black pride movement of the 60s when black folks picked Afros and pumped black fist in the air as a sign of racial identity and solidarity.
Of course, racial pride should not to be confused with racial supremacy and superiority, which is mostly bred out of fear of the “others” and one’s own disempowerment. To the contrary, black pride is similar to what Italians feel when marching in parades and waving Italy’s flags on Columbus Day, or Irish Americans feel when discussing the trials and tribulations of Ireland. It’s about celebrating one’s own cultural, physical and sociopolitical contributions to society while relying on the emotional significance and personal empowerment that comes from being associated with said racial group.
That’s why it should come as little surprise that black secondary-aged students seem to succeed more in Afrocentric-focused educational environments and that the top eight colleges producing African-Americans who get PhDs. in science and engineering over the previous decade were Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
If anything, this new research gives weight to the idea that being black doesn’t necessarily have to be a burdensome experience and that there is hope, strength, fraternity – and yes, good times – for those who have yet to declare that they are black and proud.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
A recent study from Michigan State University found that there is a link between racial identity and happiness. According to the study, which featured black adults in Michigan, the more an individual identifies with being black, the happier they are in their overall life.
Researchers said this was the first empirical study, that they know of, to link racial identity and happiness. Previous studies have expounded upon the relationship between racial identity and self esteem.
Researchers found that the sense of belonging to a cultural group contributed particularly to women’s happiness.
Over at Black Voices, Dr. Boyce Watkins writes about how accepting and embracing his culture while he studied for his PhD provided greater self fulfillment.
Is your racial identity more important to you than your gender, or your socioeconomic class? Do you feel like your identity contributes to your own happiness?