All Articles Tagged "girls"

Malia Obama Lands Internship With Lena Dunham & Celebrates 17th Birthday

July 5th, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Malia Obama Takes NYC College Tour

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Malia Obama has a lot to celebrate this weekend. Not only has landed an internship with Lena Dunham on Girls, but she’s also celebrating her 17th birthday. Malia was spotted on the set of Girls earlier this week. Page Six reports.

President Obama’s elder daughter was spotted in Williamsburg on Thursday, casually sipping a soft drink while hanging out on the set of the raunchy Lena Dunham comedy.

The 16-year-old — who turns 17 on Saturday — spent about three hours on location in Brooklyn as the HBO show filmed at the Aurora Ristorante, a hipster haven on Grand Street.

Malia turned 17 yesterday. The time is flying by a little bit too fast for us.

Why We Love The Play Like A Girl Campaign To #BringBackPlay

May 19th, 2015 - By Rich
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I still remember stepping outside my house in my Queens, NY neighborhood and being excited about bike-riding, playing “Duck, Duck Goose” or jumping double dutch with my friends just steps away from my home. Recess was always my favorite time of the day. Outdoor play was always an integral part of my childhood and it scares me sometimes to think that my baby girl Cadence lives in a world where most child’s play now happens in front of a digital screen.

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Today, more than 12.5 million American girls are overweight or obese. Millions more are physically inactive and missing out on sports which have been shown to contribute to higher test scores, less risky behaviors, increased likelihood of college attendance, higher earnings potential and reduced risk of chronic disease.

So I was really intrigued when a good friend of mine, Trina of BabyShopaholic, told me about this new campaign from the Play Like A Girl!® nonprofit organization. Her daughter Peyton is actually featured in it (she’s the cutie with the red shorts above!) and the campaign is committed to raising awareness about the importance of physical activity in the lives of girls—especially in the Deep South where obesity rates are highest.

The Play Like A Girl campaign’s mission is to inspire girls everywhere to live happier and healthier by promoting physical activity as a path to lifelong success. I mean, think about your own childhood. Where would you be without those group games, sports and bike-riding adventures you grew up on? Those childhood activities breed healthy habits that continue into adulthood.

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I love the message behind it and I’m vowing to make sure Cadence has an active and playful childhood as well.

Read more at Baby Brown Sugar 

Keep The Drama On The Stage Brunch: Put These Kids To Work!

April 28th, 2015 - By Rich
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Recently, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter to a brunch with a group of young, Black female actors in Harlem. What an experience it was. The interesting fact most all of these young ladies were “working actors.” Some, like Eden Duncan-Smith, had been in movies like “Annie” and others had been in Broadway plays. My friend deduced that all were divas. My daughter has enjoyed many things, but I’ve found that her desire to act is her only true passion to date. So, I told her…”lets go to work!”

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When I came up, I always “worked” even as as kid. My dad offered me my first job and subsequently was the first person to fire me too. He was an industrial arts teacher that was a builder on the side. He would build onto existing houses and my brother and I were his helpers. Even though that was not my passion, it taught my a lesson that would thread through my life: you gotta hustle. It also thought me the importance of setting work ethic early on. Last, but definitely not least, it taught me that business-for-self was the way to go.

At the “Keep The Drama On The Stage” brunch, young ladies 18 and under celebrate their ability to work together in the business and not fight each other as they rise to the top. It seemed to be working. The girls were taking selfies, eating, and being openly mentored by other women. Olamide Faison, an extremely talented musician, even serenaded the girls. It was all great fun.

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I had another agenda that lurked underneath the obvious.

I want my daughter to get to working now. It took me a long time to get myself going in life, but when I did, I went to work. I openly admit, I was not the best student. In college though, you couldn’t find a person “worked” harder than I did in college. I did the the Black student paper, the regular paper, was a DJ at the school’s radio station, helped book artists on campus, programmed events through several organizations, and even had a few hobbies. And then I had a jobs that paid me like stacking books at the library or being a camp counselor for kids. One thing is for certain, I went to work. In this day and age, we have to instill these values in our kids – that they must learn the value of hard work.

For me, I also want to teach my daughter the value of entrepreneurship and doing for self.

Over the past few years, I have taken my daughter with me to “work.” This means she attends some of my speaking engagements or is present when I have having meetings. She seems me working all the time. An odd thing happened when it came to the actual “Take Your Child To Work Day” last week. We really didn’t have anything to “do.” I could have taken her to my office, but I typically don’t go to the office my parenting days. Thanks to the internet, AllHipHop.com allows me to come and go as I please for the most part. I totally flipped the script on her. I put her to work.

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She started to write her first script and I helped her lay down the foundation. I drew a clear line between this effort and the other mini-movies she’s done with her cousin and friends. After the script is done, we’re going to shoot this summer. I also let her sit in on my meetings and we talked extensively about business. This is important stuff. All the actresses at the KTDOTS brunch are little businesses within themselves. They may have parents that guide that business, but ultimately the guardians are only a part of the echo system around the business. We have to teach them business and their value in it.

Most of our kids are smarter than we were, but the world they are growing up in will be harder if we parent don’t do our job well. They need to start working now so they can get a head start on good habits, work ethic and maybe…just maybe…they will strike gold on the way to adulthood. I know the young ladies at brunch are betting on it.

Special shout out to clothing store RUUM clothing store in Tribeca and TweenGirlStyle.com

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Sibling Tales: How I Deal With Raising Polar Opposites

April 10th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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As soon as she started talking, my oldest daughter had been badgering me and her dad for a younger sibling — specifically, a younger sister. Her father, one of four children, didn’t think it was a bad idea. It took me a bit longer to concede to the notion.

Another child meant even less time to do even more things, from laundry to grocery shopping. He’s an awesome dad, but I knew what the day-to-day struggle would bring and he’s never been comfortable with kids in the baby stage. So we listened, nodded and curtailed the topic until our daughter was four-years-old. “Maybe we should try,” I said one summery afternoon. “I want a son. But this is it. The last hurrah. After this one, the shop is closed.” He smiled and agreed to give it a shot.

A year later, I was giving birth to a second baby girl. Beautiful child — deep brown skin and a tuft of straight hair atop her little bobbling head. The older daughter was ecstatic. She couldn’t believe that her wish for a life-long playmate had come true (a girl and all!). After about a week, the novelty began to wear off. We knew from the start that these two weren’t going to be the same at all. Our first baby had a way of melting everyone’s heart after a few moments, this second one didn’t care about fleeting affection from relative strangers.

Grandiose tantrum-throwing wasn’t a thing for her. There weren’t any terms to consider. And she would carry on, any and everywhere. I know how this reads: you’re thinking, “She was a baby, babies are known for that type of behavior. You guys were just blessed with a mellow baby the first time.” Nah. The second one had an unyielding streak of toughness in her. That was indisputable.

Our older daughter saw it first. “I’m trying to play with her but she’s so boring…” she whined one evening after the baby rejected her cheerful advances. “Well, she’s just a baby still,” I sighed. “What’d you think sweetie? She would come home from the hospital and be ready to play Memory with you?” She pouted. “Give it some time,” I suggested wearily. I had my own tearful episodes trying to get the little one to latch on, their dad was no help, insisting that I simply abandon the idea of breastfeeding altogether and give her the bottle like we did with our first.

As they grew older, I noticed their differences more and more. I was raising polar opposites. The older daughter is super prissy, a real Southern girl. I always joke that if she could get away with wearing frilly dresses and “church shoes” to school everyday, that would be her uniform. The little one likes dresses and compliments too, but you get the idea that it’s mainly because her big sister does. Left to her own devices, the baby is a bit funkier with her fashion choices. Younger siblings are strange that way and you have to wonder how much their birth order influences their personality. Are they meant to be a little more adventurous because they’ve always had the security of an older brother or sister?

The little one is also a lot more aggressive, very opinionated, exceedingly sharp. She’s just as smart as the older but her mouth is slicker than her sister’s. The little one is fearless, the older considers the feelings of others and how her actions and words will be perceived. It’s funny really, you can almost see the wheels turn in my oldest daughter’s head before she says anything.

They clash of course, especially these days. Sometimes envy is evident from the older, particularly when outsiders gush over how cute the baby is with her unabashed honesty every day, all day. Sometimes, I’ll catch the older one being mean to her little sister, shutting her out or all out screaming on her over some minute indiscretion. “She’s always moving my dolls,” she shrieked recently. “I’m not,” the little one said with a sniffle. “She hit me. And she said doesn’t want me to play with her.” “Didn’t you beg us for a little sister?,” I taunted the older one with a laugh. “Yeah, but…,” she trailed off, frowning. “But,” I suggested, “You thought she would be exactly like you and she’s not.”

The best I can do at this point is praise their differences, be thankful for the balance of my polar opposites and remind them to count their blessings that they have each other. “All you guys have in this world are your mom, your dad and each other. Get it?” That’s a regular conversation. “You have to take care of each other.” Even if they don’t get it now, they will soon enough. We just have to make it through the adolescent years.

Are you raising children who are total opposites? Is it possible to keep everyone happy?

 

Pay It Forward: Phenomenal Women Saluting Young Girls Event

March 13th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Makeup artist Marsha Page, CEO of Marsha’s Makeovers is paying it forward for Women’s History Month with a free night of empowerment. Scheduled for March 31, 6-8pm, Ballroom of Bric Arts Media House (647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn) will transform and celebrate Brooklyn history makers with an All-Star panel, uplifting stories and a live performance from the Grammy®-nominated ‘Afropean’ hip hop/rhythm and blues duo, Les Nubians. The event is titled: A Celebration of Phenomenal Women, Paving the Way for Our Girls. The purpose of the night is to showcase successful women/mothers/mentors to over 100 girls, ages 7-18 to dream big, embrace beauty, tap into their power, and walk in purpose and possibilities. Marsha’s Makeovers is the presenting sponsor and popular hair and beauty company, Shea Moisture will provide complimentary gift bags for all in attendance.

Marsha Page is a celebrity makeup artist, offering over a decade of experience. Her work has been seen at the Tribeca Film Festival, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Bridal Fashion Week and Parents Magazine. She is currently the Key Makeup artist for BK Live!, a daily lifestyle and culture talk show airing on Brooklyn Independent Media (reaches audience in all 5 boroughs of NYC as well as Long Island). Page understands the impact of having positive role models and hopes this event will change the conversation from ‘selfie’ to self-love for a generation of young girls saddled with negative self-image in today’s culture. “Beauty starts within and my goal is to empower girls and women through the art of makeup, to enhance their beauty coupled with personal style and self confidence,” says Page.

The diverse and phenomenal female hosts of Brooklyn Independent Media’s Flagship Television Show, BKLIVE! will share authentic stories on self-image, acceptance and overcoming odds. Panelists include: Charisma Troiano, Esq. (attorney/journalist); Tati Amare (journalist); Robin Cloud (comedian) and Andia Winslow (fitness activist and professional athlete).

“As a mother and entrepreneur, I want to inspire young girls to get motivated and think out of the box. I always tell my daughters to be honest, enjoy the journey of life, listen, learn and allow others to see you at your best. If this event changes a life, a young girl, it will be a certified platinum success, cries Page.

For additional information about Marsha Page and the Phenomenal Women Event on March 31, 6-8 p.m. in Brooklyn, New York, visit Marsha’s Makeovers.

For Our Girls: Subtly Offensive Phrases We Need To Stop Saying

February 18th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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“Oh, you’re so pretty for a black girl.”

“Do you speak good English?”

“She has a Jew nose.”

Though they might be unintentional, these offensive phrases — called micro-aggressions — are heard all too often in everyday conversation. And while they’re frequently said in a joking way, the meaning of those words can have lasting negative effects.

In a video created by SheKnows, a group of teen girls explained how micro-aggressions can be hurtful to their self-esteem.

“Because they’re micro, because they’re very subtle — they’re small — you feel like you don’t have a reason to be upset,” says one girl.

“We try to just use jokes to make this less awkward, ease social experiences,” adds another. “But… you need to aware of what you’re saying and who you’re speaking to.”

Read the full article on Huffington Post here.

5 Things We Need To Stop Telling Girls About Sex

November 7th, 2014 - By TaMara Griffin
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Stop Telling Girls About Sex

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Mothers and big sisters are usually the first ones to tell their daughters about sex, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. As sensitive a subject as sex is, loved ones should definitely be the first ones to tell adolescents about it. However, our own biases and lack of knowledge can also taint impressionable youths’ vision of sexuality and reproductive health. So in the interest of not leading young girls astray, here are a few things we must stop telling them about sex.

1. Good girls don’t have sex!

Abstinence is great and we all wish that our girls practiced it, but in reality that’s just not the case.  So why turn a blind eye to the situation? It only adds to the problem.  We need to equip our girls with the truth so they can not only protect themselves but embrace and own their sexuality.

When we categorize sex as something that only bad girls do, we subconsciously send the message that “good” girls should not enjoy sex. The challenge this creates is that as our “good” girls grow up and become women who get married, and still are harboring the “good girls don’t” stigma. As a result, they are less likely to experience sexual pleasure with their partner; which can ultimately contribute to significant problems in their relationship. In addition, many girls who grow up with this belief may suffer from sexual dysfunction which may have been prevented if they grew up with a healthy view of sexuality.

2. Douching helps keep the vagina clean and healthy.

For years women have been told to douche in order to feel fresher, cleanse their vagina and keep it smelling spring time fresh. This belief has been passed down throughout generations and still remains a common practice today. The only reason we are still caught up in the belief that douching is relevant is because the media and companies like Vagisil and Massengill have a product to market and sell. It is their job to make us to believe that the vagina is dirty and nasty and in order to feel good about yourself and your vagina you need to use these products that will help the vagina smell like flowers. Having some vaginal odor and discharge is natural. However, if you notice a very strong or foul odor and/or a funny color discharge, it may be a sign of infection.

In recent years, many studies have shown that douching can actually be very harmful to the internal environment of the vagina. Douching can actually have adverse effects on the vagina by washing away healthy bacteria and pushing harmful bacteria further up into the vaginal canal. This can create an imbalance in the internal environment and make it much easier to get an infection.

The vagina is actually designed to cleanse itself. Washing the vagina with warm water is enough to keep it clean. Using perfumed bath and body products only irritate the sensitive lining of the vagina as well as the inner and outer delicate folds of the vulva, the labia minora and labia majoria. Utilize caution when using a face towel or luffa on the vulva, especially as they dry, because they can carry bacteria that may be harmful to the vulva as well. If you must use a soap, then stick to using a non-scented, alcohol-free soap only on the outside of the vulva area.

3. It’s not okay to call your vagina a vagina.

Vajayjay, twat, slit, p*ssy, beaver, kitty, punany, coota mama, coochie, black box, deep hole, down there, titties, watermelon, twins, boobs, and jugs are just a few of the slang names that we use when referring to our body parts. When you stop to think about it, many of these names are not cute at all! They are down right negative and derogatory. They send the wrong message about the female body. Not only that, some of these words are very uncomfortable to hear. When we teach our girls to use cutesy names instead of using the correct terminology for body parts and functions, it takes away the value. When we devalue something, we do not respect it and take care of it. This lack of respect or value of their body places girls at risk for sexually transmitted infections, HIV and pregnancy because they don’t value their body enough to protect it.

Using slang terms also limits girls’ ability to have an educated and informed conversation with their physician. Many physicians are not culturally competent. They do not understand the vernacular and slang terms that are sometimes used when referring to body parts and functions. This lack of understanding can lead to not receiving necessary treatment or appropriate quality of care. The bottom line is that if the physician cannot understand you, then how can s/he help you.

4. Don’t touch your body.

It’s important that we teach our girls that it’s OK to touch their bodies — after all they’re theirs. They must learn the body parts and functions, they must learn how to properly take care of their body, and they must learn what’s natural and healthy for their body. Teaching our girls not to touch their body only sends the message that their body parts and functions are something that is unnatural and nasty. It perpetuates stigma and helps create shame and guilt regarding the body. This negative view will ultimately contribute to unhealthy ideals about sexuality.

In order to fully discover, explore, and embrace their sexuality, girls must become intimately acquainted with their body. It’s essential to having power over of their sexuality and that begins by being comfortable enough to explore their body. Additionally it helps lay the foundation for learning to understand, respect and communicate sexual attitudes, beliefs, needs, wants and concerns, not only to their physicians but their future partners.

Lastly, by teaching girls to love and honor their bodies, it helps reduce body image issues and self-esteem challenges. Girls and women who love, respect and value their body are less likely to put themselves at risk.

5. Nothing 

In a day in age where sex sells everything from diapers to dog food and the media bombards us with oversexualized images of scantily clad women, we can’t afford to remain silent about sex. The danger of not talking to girls about their sexuality is that it doesn’t prepare them for becoming young women. Many adult women have shared horror stories about beginning their menstrual cycle and not having a clue about what was going on or how to take care of themselves. Imagine how terrifying that could be to a girl who has not been educated about her body.

Avoiding conversations about sex does not mean that girls aren’t going to do it. It only means that they are going to sneak and do it. We were created as sexual beings and we will be sexual beings until we die. Sex is a natural part of life. It’s who we are! It encompasses every dimension of our lives. The urge and desire to have sex does not go away. Not properly educating our girls with the knowledge, skills and tools is only creating a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, they will learn the information from somewhere and in most cases what they are learning is not accurate.

When should you start talking to girls about sex….as soon as they start asking questions. Everything should be done in a developmentally appropriate way. Be open and honest. Allow them to ask questions. If you don’t have the answers, find them! Also, please talk to them about all aspects of sexuality, not just about the physical aspects of sex. It’s important to make sure girls understand the emotional, spiritual, social, legal and economic repercussions of having sex. And while education about sex is great, you also need to take it a step further and teach them the skills. It’s great to say “use a condom” but if you don’t teach them the proper steps to use the condom, where to get the condom and how to negotiate safer sex, then it’s useless.

To all the men out there, please also talk to your daughters! Have a no-holds-barred conversation with her from the male perspective on sex and sexuality. Educate them on the qualities and characteristics men look for in a woman he is serious about.  Take your daughters out on a date! Become the standard of what she should look forward to from a man by demonstrating how a man should respect and treat a woman. Your actions will make the difference in the type of relationships and behaviors she engages in. It just might save her life!

While I do understand that having conversations about sex can be very uncomfortable, they are critical. If you are uninformed or uncomfortable talking about sex, then seek out the assistance of someone who is professionally qualified to have the conversation.

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Dr. TaMara 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-LIFE Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, www.drtamaragriffin.com or www.projectcreatesafe.com.

Lena Waithe’s Show “Twenties” Is Coming To BET

July 2nd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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"twenties" is coming to bet

Source: YouTube

Last year around this time, we told you about the show “Twenties” a show pitched by Lena Waithe, the writer behind the hilarious YouTube video “Sh!t Black Girls Say” and the upcoming movie “Dear White People.” Tagged as something like HBO’s “Girls” but for black women, “Twenties” is  about “three black girls in their twenties who are trying to get their sh!t together.” As a black woman in my twenties trying to get my ish all the way right, I was ready for it. And when I watched the teaser or pilot presentation, I found myself saying yaasss and chuckling with familiarity. I love it.

So it is with great delight that I provide a follow up to that story.

According to Shadow and Act, Waithe has inked a deal with BET to write a pilot script for “Twenties.”

This is great news considering Waithe stated that while she posted a pilot presentation on YouTube last year, she didn’t want her show to have a home on the web but rather a network television station. But  when she went to speak to network executives, Waithe found that this was no easy feat. She said many networks loved the show but felt there wasn’t an audience for it or they thought a similar show already existed. Waithe knew that neither ones of those claims was accurate. And she shot the pilot presentation to prove it.

And after some time, it seems that Waithe’s work has captured someone’s eye over at BET. If you haven’t noticed BET is in the middle of a transition, moving more toward adult-centered programming with original scripted dramas, series and feature film showings.

Luckily, they feel “Twenties” will fit right in there. And personally, I can’t wait to see it.

What do you think about “Twenties”? If you missed the pilot presentation last year, take a look at it on the next page and let us know if this seems like something you’d like to see.

Where Is The Sexually Liberated Black Woman In Film And Television?

June 17th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Source: HBO

Source: HBO

Television has been pretty “ratchet” for years, it’s just that some of the supposed ratchetness gets called out and others get Emmy nominations…

What I’m talking about is the fact that recently I lifted my ban on HBO’s “Girls,” which was instituted because of Lena Dunham. (I detailed my concerns a while ago here.) During season three, I watched somebody ejaculate on somebody else. On television. More specifically Lena Dunham’s ex-boyfriend Adam made his new girlfriend Natalia, crawl to his bedroom on all fours before aggressively having sex with her and relieving himself on her chest. While we didn’t see any peen, we definitely saw its handiwork. The entire scene was awkward and, considering that the girlfriend didn’t seem to enjoy it, slightly degrading.

With that said it wasn’t pointless. Any former and current sexually active woman probably can tell you that it ain’t all great sex. Once in a while, particularly when you are younger and exploring boundaries, there are some really awkward and flat-out sexually humiliating moments, which makes us feel bad afterwards. Therefore being honest about what women experience during sex in itself is not inherently bad and can present itself as a learning (or unpacking) opportunity. My question though that knowing how prudish we sometimes tend to be about these sorts of discussions, how did it even make it on television?

According to this Slate piece from last year entitled, A Seminal Moment, Aisha Harris writes that it almost didn’t make it. In fact:

“The biggest fight we’ve ever gotten in with HBO was about a cum shot, a money shot. They thought it was really gratuitous,”Jenni Konner tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They begged us not to do it. We said, ‘OK, fine.’ Then the next year, we had a story-motivated, emotional money shot, and they let us keep it. It really felt like we all grew together.”

In the same piece, Harris also writes about how the “money shot” has been performed on television before, albeit it’s still quite rare. The short list includes: a late 90s, BBC documentary; HBO’s other hit show about sexually active women in New York City called “Sex and the City”; and on the Showtime series “Californication.” So in retrospect, the “Girls'” sex scene is not the groundbreaking television we might have thought it to be. At least not for white women.

Black women have yet to experience a true sexual awakening in film and in television. There I said it.

And it’s not like there hasn’t been a black woman in the history of black people, who hasn’t tasted semen? I mean, sex (if done right) is pretty out there. But in film and television, our sex lives are pretty conservative, if they exist at all. Sure, we may allude to it; and we may even have a scene or two where we see our ebony lovers intertwined and rolling around together in the sheets. But there are always sheets – you know, to hide all the secret parts. And the closest the viewers actually get to their actual love making is the follow-up scene where they awakened the next morning with hair tussled.

On television and in film, we are only supposed to be respectable people. At all times. Even in those instances when the show itself is produced by a black person, we are only supposed to show black relationships, which resemble Claire and Bill Huxtable, who never had sex even though they had a gang of children. Even with the majority of real life dark skinned consenting adults engaging in sexual relationships outside of the confines of marriage and/or procreation, on television the most we allow is a kiss with mouths closed and the family lip syncing about taboo topics around the Thanksgiving table. That’s what “Reed Between the Lines” was. That what “For Better or Worse” was supposed to be too. And then there was “The First Family.” You get no more Cosby-esque than that. And for the most part, those shows are boring, and they don’t last long. Mainly because the real The Cosby show is on Netflix…

And while the vast majority of television is swimming in large vats of debauchery and mayhem (also known as shows with plots and drama, which is normal of television), black folks’ scripted cinematically are still trying to maintain a morally righteous image of ourselves. Of course the exception are reality shows. But we shun those for the very reasons that many of us tune in to watch shows like HBO’s “Girls.”

And at whose expense does this happen? And how do we limit ourselves creatively if we shy away from images of ourselves, which are slightly perverse and subversive?

Often times it means that black centered film and television lacks the same level of openness and diversity meanwhile our mainstream counterparts’ with their vast expression of real life experiences become television shows, which everybody enjoys including black folks. Then we lament how black centered film and television lacks the same level of openness about human behavior. And realness. As such black folks can’t be “Breaking Bad” because that is just promoting crack. We couldn’t be “The Sopranos.” Nope that’s like promoting gang culture and y’all know we have that bad incarceration rate. We can’t do “Game of Thrones” either because…well don’t be disrespecting the ancestors like that. Even our beloved “The Wire” was created and scripted from outside of the community. It’s no wonder those shows, written and produced for mainly non-black audiences, become the stand-in for all, meanwhile our stuff becomes more niched to the after-church service crowds.

And it is not necessarily the fault our black filmmakers and writers, although folks could be a little braver in their own storytelling. But in spite of our political and social advancements including the election of the first black president, and proclamations by this younger generation of colorblindness, culturally “we” still care very much about how white folks see us – even when the odds are they can’t tell most of us apart. Even with the odds that since slavery, black women had to endure contradictory stereotypes like Mammy and Jezebel and no matter what we do, they still persist. To me that sucks and it is not how we should be forced to live.

Not just for film but because why are white girls the only ones who can f**k and suck on television while also maintaining legitimacy as feminine, good mothers and virtuous women? Why did we cheer for Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big in ways that we can’t for Mary Jane or Olivia Pope? Why must normal and healthy sex on black skin be seen as depraved?

And this is not a matter of doing something because white people do it. This is acknowledging that there is a remote possibility that someone black might do those things too. And white folks don’t have the monopoly on freaky sex. And this is also about the resentment, even envy, which comes from other women being able to publicly talk about all the joy and confusing proclivities around sex without having to worry about how such representation would affect her credibility, professional or romantic prospects. At some point we have to realize how much we (yes, including other black women) have become the guardians and gatekeepers of some of our own oppression.

 

CEO Of ‘Camp Diva’ Uplifts Young Women To Be Divine

May 14th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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BlackVoices

BlackVoices

 

From BlackVoices 

Beyoncè may have sung that “a diva is a female version of a hustler,” but Angela Patton, the founder and CEO of Camp Diva, has a new lease on the term.

“What our philosophy is, is that every girl who comes into our program is divine,” she told HuffPost Live’s Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “And what our vision is, is to help nurture that potential within each girl.”

The camp, which is based in Richmond, Va., hosts predominantly African-American girls from low income areas and strives to impart such skills as “healthy eating habits, financial management” and exercise practices like yoga.

Read more about this young women at BlackVoices.com