All Articles Tagged "black women"

Support Your Sister: Black Women Come To Zendaya’s Defense

February 25th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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black women come to zendaya's defense feat

Though Giuliana Rancic’s apology last night seemed sincere and heartfelt to me, there are still some who are refusing to accept it. But more importantly, other Black women in the limelight who stepping forward to show their support and solidarity.

First, there was fellow loced sister Selma director Ava DuVernay, who wrote this under Zendaya’s initial open letter.

Then “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington commended Zendaya on her open letter to Giuliana.

And finally, Solange spoke about the ways in which the show had been speaking about the fro on the red carpets for years. And she even referenced the time In Touch Weekly compared her hair to a dog. That didn’t go unnoticed. In true Solange fashion, she provided the perfect response for it.

India Arie even released a “Songversation” about this whole thing. See what she said. 


I wanted to jump in and defend Zendaya – but she’s doing that BEAUTIFULLY  herself.

VERY. WELL.  DONE.  It’s a powerful thing to be a TEENAGER in the public eye, and feel empowered to speak up in your own defense. STUNNING!

In my opinion, Entitlement in and of itself, BLINDS people to that very entitlement …  THUS allowing the behavior exhibited.

I’m not calling Giuliana Rancic a RACIST, .. but OF COURSE  it has to do with RACE.   To say it has “Nothing to do with race” .. THAT’S why people get mad.

But lets remember HOW difficult it is for a person of Gullianna Ranci’s social context to really UNDERSTAND how we see race in this issue. How race is a pervasive ISSUE in the entertainment industries as a whole.

We  need more more compassion in this world. Period

So I’m not MAD at Giuliana Rancic I’m SAD at her.  I’m Sad that things LIKE THIS keep happening.

Black Women Have Made Large Strides In Politics In Recent Years

February 23rd, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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CBC Chair, Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11). via Facebook

CBC Chair, Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11). via Facebook

Black female representation in political world has flourished in recent years, the Huffington Post reports.

A new report delves into the progress of Black women holding office in American political seats. Zooming in on 2014, Black women seem to be gaining traction in U.S. politics.  Let’s take a look at the Black female breakthrough, at all levels of government, when it comes to matters of our nation:

Congress:

There are 18 Black women serving in the 114th Congress; 17 are Democrats and one Republican (We see you, Mia Love). That’s four more than the number of women who served Congress before Election Day 2014. Another two Black female politicians are seated as delegates for Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

“Black women are one third of the new women elected to the 114th Congress,” HuffPo wrote.

Interesting Tidbit:

Alma Adams (D-North Carolina) was seated as the 100th woman in Congress upon her special election when she filled a vacant seat for the remainder of the 113th Congress.

Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) became the first Black woman to represent her state in Congress ever. Mia Love (R-Utah) achieved the same feat as Coleman, but on top of that, she made history when she became the first Black Republican to serve Congress.

Statewide Elected Executive Office

At this level, Black women are “severely” underrepresented. Just two Black women, State Treasurer Denise Nappier (D-Connecticut) and Attorney General Kamala Harris (D-California), currently hold these offices — the same figure as 2014. “They represent 2.6 percent of the 77 women serving in these offices,” HuffPo said.

Interesting Tidbit:

Throughout history, only 10 Black women have ever held a seat at a statewide elected executive office.

State Legislatures

When it comes to the state level, Black women are better represented. Of all women at this political strata, Black women make up 14 percent of state legislators in 2015. Before Election Day 2014, 13.5 percent of Black women held positions at this level. “Unsurprisingly, Black women fare much better among Democratic legislators, representing 7.8 percent of all Democratic state legislators and 23 percent of all Democratic women state legislators in 2015,” HuffPo wrote.

Interesting Tidbit:

Maine, South Dakota, and North Dakota have never elected a Black woman as a delegate for their respective states.

Utah elected its first Black female state rep, Sandra Cullen (D), in 2014.

Looking ahead, Black women in politics are looking promising. We may have our first Black female U.S. attorney general in 2015 and Harris announced her bid for a seat at the Senate in 2016.

This study was compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics and Higher Heights.

“I Apologize And I Love You.” Woman Writes Open Letter To Black Women, Says Sorry For Judging Them

February 16th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

 

From BlackVoices 

American black women have always been painted negatively in the U.S. media, which also influences the international community. From the Mammy to Jezebel to Sapphire, these stereotypes have affected society’s view of the black woman, setting the tone for her treatment by other communities before she is even given the opportunity to prove otherwise.

I remember when I first started middle school in the predominantly white community of Midlothian, Texas. Not only was I one of a handful of black students, but our family was the only African family in the entire city. Having to make friends turned my stomach upside down, as somebody who had always been very shy. The fear of rejection was too difficult to get over in my mind. I was drawn to quiet, intellectual individuals like myself. Even at that age, I was very focused, thanks to a mother who drilled the importance of academic success into my head day and night. I found it difficult to relate to my African-American classmates due to our cultural differences.

My first encounter with a fellow black female classmate was a nightmare. I had taken my hair out of braids for the first time, and she accused me of wearing a wig. She began jabbing in my hair and yelling out to the whole class that I had a weave on. At the time, I did not understand that she was simply a bully and that bullies can be found across all racial groups. I allowed myself to carry this particular memory with me throughout school, and did not have a single African-American friend until years after I graduated. Now I find the whole idea to be ridiculous, but it made sense in my mind at the time, due to the preconceived notions my family had about American black women.

Read more of Nancy Laws’ letter to Black women at BlackVoices.com 

‘Sorority Sisters’ Isn’t Alone… 10 Reality Shows That Were A Bad Look For Black Women

February 3rd, 2015 - By Deron Dalton
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10 Reality Shows That Were A Bad Look For Black Women

Source: VH1

“Sorority Sisters”  wasn’t liked from the jump. Folks were ready to boycott Mona Scott-Young and VH1 the moment they saw the previews. Enough was enough already with portraying Black women in such a negative light. Even though some of these reality shows are now off the air, there have been many more over the years that have given Black women a bad look. Unfortunately, these shows are just a few portrayals of Black women we find on television.

Meet The Grandmother of Rock And Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, A Black Woman

February 2nd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Black History Month is here y’all! And I know I’m excited. As much as our history is hidden, twisted or completely disregarded, I always take great pleasure in learning something new and wonderful about our people. And being that this is a Black women’s site, we’ll be featuring Black women who’ve changed the world in one way or another but somehow failed to get the recognition they deserved.

And today, that lady is Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

While the mainstream would have you believe that Rock and Roll was created by an Elvis Presley type, the truth of the matter is, the fundamentals of the genre were started by Black people. The genre was propelled by people like Little Richard, (He jokes about not getting his just due, but he’s telling the truth.) and Chuck Berry. But guess who Little Richard and Chuck Berry list as one of their favorite singers and greatest influence: Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

So who is this woman?

Tharpe was born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas on March 20, 1915. And like the name of her town suggests, her parents, Katie Bell Nubin and Willis Atkins, were cotton pickers. Though little is known about her father, both of her parents had a musical background. Her mother Katie, was a musician, singer as well as a preacher in the COGIC denomination. COGIC was different from other Christian sects at that time because it encouraged rhythmic music and allowed women to preach in church. Rosetta, following in her parents’ footsteps, started singing and playing the guitar at four and was labeled a musical prodigy. By six,  she and her mother were traveling throughout the south on an evangelical tour.

In the mid 1920’s, Tharpe and her mother relocated to Chicago, Illinois where they continued to perform religious concerts, occasionally performing at conventions throughout  the country.

It wasn’t long before Rosetta had created a name for herself, particularly since there weren’t that many Black, female guitarists during the time. At 19, Rosetta married a COGIC preacher named Thomas Tharpe and he began traveling with her and her mother. The two weren’t married long; and Rosetta would eventually remarry (twice), but she kept the last name and called herself Sister Rosetta Tharpe when she took the stage.

In 1938, at 23, Tharpe moved to New York City where she recorded her first album with Decca Records. She recorded four songs, “Rock Me,” “That’s All,” “The Man and I” and “The Lonesome Road.” All of the songs became hits and Tharpe became the country’s first gospel artist to enjoy commercial success.

In December of that same year, she performed in Carnegie Hall. The performance was unique in that she performed her gospel music in front of a secular audience. And then there was the style of music. Her guitar playing, which blended blues and folk songs with a swing sound, had all the makings of the early Rock and Roll sound.

The audience responded favorably and Tharpe continued to gain more fame. She became a regular a Cab Calloway’s famous Cotton Club in Harlem.

Her songs called “Shout Sister Shout” and “I Want A Tall Skinny Papa” featured Tharpe playing the electric guitar for the first time. This specifically, was the sound that would turn up in Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley’s music.

In 1944, Tharpe recorded “Strange Things Happening Every Day.” The record showcased her clever lyrics, delivery and guitar skills. The song ended up being the first gospel song to make Billboard’s Harlem Hit Parade (later known as Race Records and finally, R&B). She would go on to do this several more times in her career. But the 1944 record has been credited as the “First rock and roll record.”

The next year, Little Richard was at the same venue as one of her concerts and Tharpe happened to hear him sing. Afterward, she invited him on the stage with her. It was his first public performance outside of church. Little Richard would later say that performance inspired him to pursue music as a career.

In the 1950’s Tharpe and her singing partner Marie Knight recorded several blues songs. The fact that she was doing secular music didn’t sit well with her gospel fans. And though she wanted to remain the in the church, her core audience had turned their backs on her. On the outs with some of her American fans, Tharpe booked a month-long tour in Europe.

In 1970, while still in Europe and on tour with Muddy Waters, she suddenly got sick and was rushed back to the United States. When she arrived, she suffered from a stroke and had to have her leg amputated as a side effect from diabetes complications. Despite the setback, Tharpe continued to perform.

In 1973, the day before she was scheduled to go to the studio to record, she had another stroke and passed away three days later on October 9, 1973. She was 58 years old.

Over 20 years after her death, in 1998, the United States Postal Service honored Tharpe with a commemorative stamp. And in 2007, she was inducted, posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Source: USPS

Source: USPS

15 Surprising Facts About Black Women

December 9th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Think you know all there is to know about the African-American experience? These surprising facts about black women just might surprise you.

A Black Woman Designed The Playboy Bunny Outfit

Zelda Wynn Valdes was designer-to-the-stars in the ’40s and ’50s known for her form-fitting designs for stars like Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and Mae West. Hugh Hefner hired her to design costumes for his Playboy bunnies and history was born.

Here’s Why Black Girls Workout Too!

December 1st, 2014 - By jade
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In this new series, One Bold Move, MadameNoire profiled four popular bloggers in the categories of Hair, Makeup, Style, and Fitness. These bloggers discussed the one bold decision that placed their life on a completely different trajectory. In this episode, mother and daughter duo Ellen and Lana Ector discuss their motivation for working out and why it’s important for black women to workout.

 

To join their gym, purchase workout DVD’s or workout gear visit their website.

 

Episode 1 – Curly Nikki 

Episode 2 – Missy Lynn 

Episode 3 – Black Girls Run!

Episode 5 – The Curvy Fashionista

Episode 6 – Series Extras

7 Adjectives That Accurately Describe Black Women Besides “Strong” And “Independent”

November 7th, 2014 - By Kara Stevens
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Describe Black Women

Source: Shutterstock

For years, one of my favorite lazy Saturday rituals was to go to my local thrift store and shop. On one particular Saturday I went to the store in the afternoon and the radio was playing.

“Fellas, call in and tell me two things you love about Black women after the commercial break,” the DJ said.

When I heard that question, my stomach immediately tightened. Even though I hadn’t heard any of the listeners’ perception of Black women, I already knew (in my gut) what they were going to say.

“We’re back. Caller, you on the line? What do you love about Black women? What two qualities do you love about Black women?”

“I love me a strong, independent Black woman,” the first Black male responder.

By the time the third Black responder said that same phrase, “strong Black woman,” I was in the coat section and in a bad mood.

“Why?,” I asked myself, “are those the only damn words that come to mind when describing black women?”

Intellectually, I knew the answer: The intersection of race, class, and gender for black women in this country has meant having to reconcile a legacy of slavery and the creation of dehumanizing tropes and stereotypes like the strong Black woman, created by the white patriarchal engine to systemically control our reproduction, destroy our families, and distort to ourselves and our men. And the truth is that Black women had to be many things, one of which was strong, to endure the ravages of slavery and Jim Crow. I also understand that this is why we as a culture value this attribute at the expense of so many others.

But there is far more to being a Black woman than being strong and independent. So, shortly after leaving the thrift store, I created my own survey and asked approximately 75 Black women to describe themselves. While I was disappointed to see that Black women, too, had internalized many of the same stereotypes that have been paraded as truth, it was refreshing to see that many Black women understood the complexity of their human experience and were able to articulate that complexity by choosing words that more fully and accurately encompasses what it means to be a Black woman.

Here are seven of the ways Black women surveyed see themselves that, thankfully, have nothing to do with being strong:

1. Fashionable: Some of us love to look good and smell good.We love to be on the cutting edge of fashion trends. Others are always watching how we put colors together and how we tend to our hair.

2. Spiritual: Black women describe themselves as women of faith whether they identify as Christian, Muslim, Rastafari, Santero, or “not religious, but spiritual.” Black women strongly believe that they are connected to a higher being and that there is someone out there larger than themselves.

3. Family-oriented: Black women are often the ones to remember the birthdays, send the Christmas cards, and plan the family reunions. Family fuels a lot of Black women’s happiness and sense of belonging.

4. Funny: Black women love to laugh and make their friends and families laugh. We push back against that ABW (angry black woman) stereotype.

5. Happy: Similar to the concept of Black woman being funny, we’re also happy people with healthy emotional dispositions and worldviews. This happiness also comes from our ability to be grateful.

6. Sexy and Sensual: Black women embrace their sexuality and femininity. We feel desirable; they see the beauty of their skin tone, their features, their bodies, their natural smells, and their hair.

7. Intelligent: Black women see themselves as cognitively well endowed. We believe that black women are able to juggle the matrix of life because of our ability to think quickly and creatively.

What adjectives would you use to describe black women beside “strong”?

Connect with Kara @frugalfeminista. Learn more about The Frugal Feminista at www.thefrugalfeminista.com Download her free ebook The 5-Day Financial Reset Plan: Eliminate Debt, Know Your Worth, and Heal Your Relationship with Money in Just 5 Days.

9 Times White Folks Tried To Claim A Black Trend As Their Own

November 4th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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9 times white folks tried to claim a black trend feat

When you consider the fact this country was founded on the principle of taking from others who had already been there and done that, it’s really not surprising that this behavior is still going on today, in smaller, more passive ways. Oh, don’t get it twisted the government is still figuratively raping and pillaging but that’s another story for another day.

What I’m talking about are the micro ways in which fashion magazines. pop culture websites and mainstream culture adopts vernacular, dances, hair and fashion trends from the Black community and pretends they’ve stumbled upon a new trend. It happens quite often.

Check out a few examples on the following pages.

And for more on this topic, check out the trailer for “Bleaching Black Culture,” which is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon now.

Are We Selling Sex Or Is Sex Selling Black Women?

October 31st, 2014 - By TaMara Griffin
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Selling Sex

Source: WENN

With all the buzz that was surrounding Nicki Minaj’s video “Anaconda,” I have to wonder as a Black women is this all we want for ourselves? Is this really a representation of Black women and our sexuality? Why must we continuously be the focus of hypersexualized videos in order to be relevant? Why must we allow ourselves to continue to be exploited like Mimi Faust and her infamous sex tape? Is this five minutes of fame worth our selling our souls and destroying our people? What statement does this send to our young girls who watch videos and reality TV shows and think that this is a way of life?

While many women are empowered enough to realize that this buffoonery is a form of “entertainment,” many women are not able to make that connection. Unfortunately as a result, many women and young girls end up modeling their lives after these reckless, negligent and thoughtless images. These images don’t represent nor promote sex positivity nor do they denote owning and embracing one’s sexuality. In fact, it’s just the opposite. These images actually represent a conflict of values, morals, and a lack of self esteem
and self-efficacy that contributes to putting oneself at risks for mental health issues, interpersonal violence, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Black women’s sexuality is already stereotyped, stigmatized, taboo and bogged down by layers of negative intergenerational patterns and ideologies that have been passed down from slavery. These ideologies were used to validate the inhumane sexual treatment of enslaved women. They were also used to imply that Black women were despicable and inferior. Unfortunately, these ideologies are still present. Today, the media uses these images in music videos, movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment to continue to brainwash people into believing the negative stereotypes of Black women.

The prevailing images of Black women in the media include jezebels, baby-mamas, video vixens, chicken heads, gold diggers, angry Black women, and hoes. These images and ideologies, with their highly sexual undertones, helps to influence the way in which Black women view themselves. The more Black women see images of themselves getting famous for fitting into one of the aforementioned categories, the more likely they feel inclined to model what they see. In addition, these images helps to influence the way others value and interact with Black women.

While rappers, actors, entertainers and “reality” TV stars may not have signed up to become role models, they are! Once they step into the spotlight, they become a model for what is considered to be trendy and acceptable. These “celebrities” in many ways, good or bad, set the standard. But what standard are they setting and at what cost to Black women?

Unfortunately, Black women have become desensitized to seeing themselves portrayed negatively. While there aren’t any signs of these unhealthy images disappearing any time soon, there is definitely a need to counteract them in the media. We are in need of a cultural shift in sexuality, one that restores the dignity of Black women. It is time for Black women to reclaim our sexual images in society. We must ask ourselves the following questions: 1)Do we care about the type of women our girls grow up to become, 2) Is their public image worth defending, and 3) Is their sexual integrity worth protecting?

No longer can we sit in silence or stand idly on the sidelines while the images of Black women continue to be destroyed in the media. However, in order to change the trajectory, we need to begin with restoring Black women’s sense of value, worth and sexuality. We need to transform from the “ex’s,” “jezebel,” “angry Black woman,” “video vixen,” “gold digger,” “baby mama,” “chicken heads,” and “‘hoes” to self-respecting women, wives, mothers and leaders in our community. Once we do, we will be able to see a shift in our society that will begin to embrace and celebrate the true authentic essence of Black women’s sexuality.
Dr. TaMara G10517587_10152337526693315_3514000000734284521_nriffin loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin, Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-L.I.F.E. www.drtamaragriffin.com. She is also the Director of Project Create S.A.F.E. {Sexual Assault Free Environments} www.projectcreatesafe.com.