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Google celebrates Nigerian writer Flora Nwanzuruahu Nwapa with a doodle

floraGoogle celebrated Flora Nwanzuruahu Nwapa, Nigerian Igbo author with a doodle on her 86th posthumous birthday yesteday.

Flora Nwapa, the mother of modern African literature and forerunner to a generation of African women writers, is acknowledged as the first African woman novelist to be published in the English language in Britain and achieve international recognition, with her first novel Efuru being published in 1966 by Heinemann Educational Books.

Source: Google celebrates Flora Nwanzuruahu Nwapa with a doodle – Vanguard News

Excepts from the book Household Workers Unite: The Untold Story of African American Women Who Built a Movement by Premilla Nadasen

The sugar sweet nostalgia of the sassy black maid pervades Hollywood myth making and the yellow journalism of Mexicans coming to take our jobs blares from most news channels. Most forget that even today, black women (both native and immigrant) still do a significant amount of the low level domestic and health care work in this country. Black women always rebelled against the value assigned to their labor.Here are some profiles of the brave women who fought wage discrimination and remind us we still have a long way to go.
Geraldine Miller: Slaves no more

In 1935 investigative journalist Marvel Cooke and activist Ella Baker coauthored a widely circulated article about what they called the “slave market” of domestic labor. The article, published in the NAACP’s magazine, Crisis, cast light on an estimated 200 informal markets in New York City — essentially street corners — where African-American women waited in hopes of being hired for the day by white employers.

“Rain or shine, cold or hot, you will find them there — Negro women, old and young — sometimes bedraggled, sometimes neatly dressed … waiting expectantly for Bronx housewives to buy their strength and energy.”

Cooke and Baker highlighted the vulnerability of these workers: “Often, her day’s slavery is rewarded with a single dollar bill or whatever her unscrupulous employer pleases to pay. More often, the clock is set back for an hour or more. Too often she is sent away without any pay at all.”

Geraldine Miller was a worker leader who had never experienced the “slave markets” herself, nevertheless she used the stories she had heard to highlight the vulnerability of African American women in this occupation. The slave market stories also became a way to establish an agenda for reform. Miller used this story to establish boundaries for this labor and to assert that African American household workers would never again get down on their hands and knees to scrub floors.

In 1954 Miller relocated to New York City, where she ended up doing mainly domestic work and living in the Bronx a short distance from the site of the most notorious “slave markets” of the Depression. She recounted hearing stories from women who stood on Burnside Avenue, waiting to be selected for cleaning jobs.

“Sometimes they’d ask to see your knees and the women with the worst-scarred knees were hired first because they looked like they worked the hardest.”

Hearing these stories was transformative for Miller: “This is just one of the things that kind of woke me up.”

In 1971, Miller was riding the train to work in suburban New York City when she struck up a conversation with a woman who began to talk about “fringe benefits” for household workers and informed her about the Urban League’s organizing efforts. The idea of better working conditions for household workers immediately caught Miller’s attention. “I wanted it, and I wanted it with a passion,” she said.

She attended a meeting of the Professional Household Workers Union, a New York City group initiated and led by Benjamin McLaurin of the Urban League, and learned about the work of the NCHE and the upcoming national conference of domestic workers. Miller arranged for league sponsorship of a bus for a group of workers to travel to the meeting in Washington, DC.

To recruit workers, she created a leaflet that read: “Stop, Look, and Listen. Become Aware of Your Rights as a Household Worker.”

She recalled, “I went out on street corners especially near the trains and I gave them out to all the people that rode on my train.”

Miller mobilized 33 women to attend the national conference. Although she had no prior political experience, after returning home from the conference, Miller formed the Bronx Household Technicians and the New York State Household Technicians, eventually becoming a prominent organizer and leader in the Household Technicians of America.

Josephine Hulett: A working mother seeking advancement

Josephine Hulett was a single mother and household worker who formed the Youngstown Household Technicians in 1968. Two years later she became a field organizer for the National Committee on Household Employment, a middle-class organization that was interested in developing a network of domestic worker groups.

Hulett traveled around the country sharing her personal story with local organizations and encouraging them to participate in the first-ever national convention of household workers, which took place in 1971. Many household workers identified with the experiences Hulett shared of hardship, mistreatment, efforts at advancement and juggling work and single motherhood.

As a high school dropout with few job opportunities, Hulett turned to domestic work to support herself. Because she couldn’t afford paid child care, she left the baby with her ex-husband’s family during the day, and ventured out from her home in Girard, Ohio, near Youngstown, in search of day work. At her first job, she earned $25 a week for five and a half days. She paid eighty cents for bus fare, walking two and a half miles each way to avoid paying for an additional bus.

Her employer’s husband owned a produce company, yet she was given only a hot dog for lunch every day. She cared for four young children and cleaned a large house from top to bottom. Although she frequently worked late, she was never paid for overtime.

One day, when she left 30 minutes early to take her son to the doctor, her employer docked her pay. The next day she left at five o’clock and informed her boss she would never work overtime again. The following week, she was fired.

black domestic workers 3

An African-American domestic worker in 1942.

Credit: Library of Congress

At her next job, Hulett accepted a meager salary of $22.50 a week, working for an elderly couple who had no small children living in the home. Despite the anticipated lighter workload, she cooked for the entire extended family on Friday nights and sometimes babysat grandchildren — all for no extra pay. When the family announced they were moving to Florida, they gave her no severance pay, no prior warning and no unemployment benefits.

Committed to improving her economic situation, Hulett studied part-time to earn her high school diploma. She then spent a year and a half and $285 — three months’ salary — taking a correspondence course to become a practical nurse. After completing it, she was shocked to learn that the course wasn’t accredited and she couldn’t practice in a medical facility.

Hoping to find work in the healthcare field, she looked for home-based nursing work — caring for an infant or an elderly or disabled person. Hulett encountered yet another obstacle, recalling, “I soon discovered that being a companion or baby nurse were jobs mostly for white women.”

She eventually found a job working for a young doctor, his wife, and their two babies, earning $35 a week for five days. In many ways it was a good position and a vast improvement from her previous jobs. She received wage increases, thoughtful gifts, paid vacations and sick leave. “They regarded me as a professional and an adult. They didn’t pretend that I was a ‘member of the family’ nor did they intrude on my life.”

Hulett’s story of her “good” employer also became important symbolically because it illustrated the possibility for just and respectable work and confirmed that there was nothing about the occupation that made it inescapably oppressive. Hulett’s story resonated with other black domestic workers.

She shared her struggles of living in the rural South and how her treatment on the job pegged her as separate and highly unequal. As a single mother, Hulett had to balance care for her son with full-time employment. She spent as much time with her son as she could and carved out one day a week to go out to lunch with him, “and that was an occasion he loved and looked forward to.”

As a black woman, she had few other job opportunities. And in those situations when she tried to assert her rights, she found herself unemployed. She was deeply concerned about the status and dignity of domestic workers and her treatment as a servant rather than a worker. “Even for a day worker, sometimes it seems the employer feels he or she owns you,” she said. “If you’re sick, some employers will call up the doctor to make sure you’re not lying.”

One morning at 4:30 a.m., Hulett saw an older black woman walking to work and offered her a ride. The woman had injured her hip while at work and had no sick leave or insurance. According to Hulett, her “employers refused to accept the fact that her injury had occurred while at work, and they refused to aid her in any way.”

Although she completed most of her work — sitting on a stool to wash dishes — she couldn’t take the child out for a walk. The employer, who was a stockbroker, hired a babysitter to do it for $2 a day and deducted the amount from the employee’s weekly wages. This woman’s story prompted Hulett to contact several other household workers and encouraged them to form the Youngstown Household Technicians in 1968. The sharing of stories and communal connection helped lay its foundation.

Carolyn Reed: Reclaiming humanity

Carolyn Reed, a household worker in New York, experienced the profound dehumanization associated with this labor, but also determined that establishing limits was absolutely essential.

When Reed took a live-in job for a wealthy family in Scarsdale, New York, she was welcomed as “one of the family.” That meant working from seven in the morning until midnight. In five years, Reed never received a raise, Social Security benefits, or a vacation.

“Then one night, the woman of the house — who had been having an affair and was very, very nervous — began to scream at me for not having done something she thought I should have done. … As she screamed I realized I wasn’t real to her. I mean, I wasn’t a person to her. … She had no respect for me, for what I did. … I was a servant to her, maybe even a slave. I remember while she was screaming I began saying ‘I don’t work for you any more.’ … And that was it. I packed my bags in the middle of the night; my husband, who was then my boyfriend, came and got me, and we took off.”

black domestic workers 6

A 1930s WPA program trains African-American women in New Orleans to work as maids and household servants.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Reed devoted her afternoon break to organizing for the HTA. She entered the laundry rooms of apartment buildings: “The first rule of thumb is to get friendly with the doorman.”

Everyone in the neighborhood, not only the doormen, knew Reed. She also recruited at bus stops, service entrances, and neighborhood gourmet shops. Shopkeepers on Lexington Avenue regularly sent household workers her way. The Village Voice called her a “natural organizer at large.”

There were no clear geographical boundaries for household-worker organizing, especially as the workplace was often off-limits for outreach efforts. Reed firmly believed that household workers had power, which she suggested may take the form of a strike with the support of other service workers.

One reporter explained Reed’s position this way: “The idea of striking entire residential streets of Manhattan with delivery and repairmen honoring the picket lines doesn’t faze Reed in the least.”

Her sense of the potential to strike came from her view of the fundamentally indispensable labor power of household workers: “The houses could not be run. You could never know how helpless people can be — especially wealthy people — until you’ve worked in their homes. Just one day of true hardship or true inconvenience and they’d want to bargain.” Only through this kind of collective power, she argued, could wages be raised and working conditions improved. For Reed, “Housekeepers, mostly black women, are the last frontier of labor organizing.”

ABWW Heroine of the Day: Mary Bowser, The Black Spy in the Confederate White House –

A great deal of popular culture embrasses the idea the black women are hyper visible. Their “natural” loudness, aggressiveness and lack of femininity makes them stand out. Actually African American women are rarely given the attention that is given to non-black women. Centuries of domestic work and devaluation have made most black women invisible .Mary Bowser used this trope to her advantage as a spy in the Confederate White House. She also led a remarkable life after the Civil War devoting her life to educated the newly freed black populace. Put this book on your Amazon wish list. There is even talk of a film version of this saga. Let’s hope an enlightened producer can see past the “films about black people are not big sellers” and give Mary Bowser the spotlight she deserves.

A Black Spy in the Confederate White House –

Writers of the Day

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth
For more than four decades, Alice Walker has used the written word to make visible that which has been made invisible as a result of exploitation and marginalization. Equally as important, she is a humanitarian and social-change agent who has literally put her body on the line for peace and justice. Alice Walker walks her talk. Her living example has inspired and challenged countless individuals around the world to live fully engaged, compassionate lives.
My favorite Alice Walker books are Meridian and the Bluest Eye. How about you?
Malorie Blackman
Malorie Blackman was born on 8 February 1962. While at school, she wanted to be an English teacher but grew up to become a systems programmer instead. She earned a HNC at Thames Polytechnic and is a graduate of the National Film and Television School.
Blackman married her Scottish husband Neil in the 1990s and their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1995.[3] Blackman has described herself, “I’m just Malorie Blackman – a black woman writer.” Her private school education was funded through a series of grants offered to her through her “exceptional writing” and her parents funded the rest of the fees through a series of low-paid jobs. This influenced Blackman’s first book, Not So Stupid, which was a collection of horror and science fiction stories for young adults, published in November 1990. Since then she has written more than fifty children’s books, including novels and short story collections, and also television scripts and a stage play. Her work has won more than fifteen awards. Blackman’s television scripts include episodes of the long-running, children’s drama Byker Grove, as well as television adaptations of her novels Whizziwig and Pig-Heart Boy. Her books have been translated into over fifteen languages including Spanish, Welsh, German, Japanese, Chinese and French.
Blackman’s award-winning Noughts & Crosses series, exploring love, racism, and violence, is set in a fictional dystopia. Explaining her choice of title, in a 2007 interview for the BBC’s Blast website, Blackman said noughts and crosses is “…one of those games that nobody ever plays after childhood, because nobody ever wins…”In an interview for The Times, Blackman said that before writing Noughts Crosses her protagonists’ ethnicites were never central to the plots of her books. She has also said, “I wanted to show black children just getting on with their lives, having adventures, and solving their dilemmas, like the characters in all the books I read as a child.” Blackman eventually decided to address racism directly. She reused some details from her own experience, including an occasion when she needed a plaster and found they were designed to be inconspicuous only on white people’s skin. The Times interviewer Amanda Craig speculated about why the Noughts Crosses series was not, for a long time, published in the United States: “though there was considerable interest, 9/11 killed off the possibility of publishing any book describing what might drive someone to become a terrorist. Noughts and Crosses is now available in the US published under the title Black White (Simon Schuster Publishers, 2005).
Noughts Crosses was #61 on the Big Read list, a 2003 BBC survey to find “The Nation’s Best-Loved Book”, with more votes than A Tale of Two Cities, several Terry Pratchett novels, and Lord of the Flies.
She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
Courtesy Wikipedia

ABWW History Lesson of the Day: Ruby McCollum and Paramour Rights

Contrary to what many non-blacks think black people do not spend a lot of time talking about our history in this country. My opinion is that it is simply too painful and many do not know enough about our history to know that along with the terrorism, the are stories of resilience and triumph. This sadly is not one of them. Paramour rights is a term coined by the great writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Huston. During her studies of turpentine camps in the 1930’s she found that white men would pick black women out for sexually coercive relationships whether they were married or not. This practice which many like to think ended with slavery was alive and well in the 1950’s when of Ruby McCollum, a middle class, married black woman who murdered her white lover and father of two children, Dr. C. Leroy Adams, in Live Oak, Florida, in 1952. When McCollum testified during her 1954 trial she stated that her doctor had forced her to bear his child, and then threatened to kill her if she refused to bear him a second child. The all-white jury convicted her of murder and McCollum was sentenced to die in the electric chair while still pregnant with Adams’ child. She appealed, and three months ago the State Supreme Court ordered a new trial on the ground that the jury had inspected the murder scene without the judge and Ruby McCollum being present. But Ruby was pronounced insane and, instead of being retried, was sent to Florida State Mental Hospital at Chattahoochee and was not released until 1980. McCollum was unable to recall most of the events the led up to her institutionalization since her “illness” was treated with Electroconvulsive therapy and anti-psychotic medication.

The era between the Civil War and the modern civil rights is marked with the untold abuse of black women, that I contend contributes to the intensification of black woman hateration over he last 40 years. In this period black women fought to live up to the standards of mainstream white femininity, but how could they do that when white men could debase them at anytime without any fear of legal consequences? Most black women did not have the luxury to be full time homemakers like the standards of femininity required, they were in the homes of white men that still saw his access to a black woman’s body was a God given right? Black men were not economically capable of giving their women the protection of a stay at home wife and risked his life and his family if her attempted to defend his woman’s honor. This phenomenon was on the wane but still in practice during the civil rights movement yet we never discuss it and the impact that decades this abuse may had on black families? Did the pain, anger, frustration of black men who were unable to protect their wives contribute to the contempt many black men have for us today

There are several books and a play about this case available at Amazon Check it out if you want to know more about this vital yet forgotten piece of American history.

ABWW Heroine of the Day: Shirley Chisholm

One of first memories of seeing a black person on TV outside of a situation comedy was a dignified, straightforward African American woman campaigning for President. I remember thinking if she could so that, I could do anything. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Shirley Anita St. Hill was born in Brooklyn, New York, of immigrant parents. Her father, Charles Christopher St. Hill, was born in British Guiana and her mother, Ruby Seale, was born in Christ Church, Barbados. Born in Brooklyn, New York and at the age three, Chisholm was sent to Barbados to live with her maternal grandmother and did not return to New York City until roughly seven years later. In her 1970 autobiography Unbought and Unbossed, she wrote: “Years later I would know what an important gift my parents had given me by seeing to it that I had my early education in the strict, traditional, British-style schools of Barbados. If I speak and write easily now, that early education is the main reason.”

In 1964, Chisholm ran for and was elected to the New York State Legislature. In 1968, she ran as the Democratic candidate for New York’s 12th District congressional seat and was elected to the House of Representatives. Defeating Republican candidate James Farmer, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress. Chisholm joined the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969 as one of its founding members. From 1977 to 1981, during the 95th Congress and 96th Congress, Chisholm was elected to a position in the House Democratic leadership, as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus. By the time she retired from Congress she was the third highest-ranking member of the prestigious Education and Labor Committee. Throughout her tenure in Congress, Chisholm worked to improve opportunities for inner-city residents. She was a vocal opponent of the draft and supported spending increases for education, health care and other social services, and reductions in military spending.

All those Chisholm hired for her office were women, half of them black. Chisholm said that during her New York legislative career, she had faced much more discrimination because she was a woman than because she was black. In the 1972 U.S. presidential election, she made a bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. George McGovern won the nomination in a hotly contested set of primary elections, with Chisholm campaigning in 12 states and winning 28 delegates during the primary process.At the 1972 Democratic National Convention, as a symbolic gesture, McGovern opponent Hubert H. Humphrey released his black delegates to Chisholm] giving her a total of 152 first-ballot votes for the nomination. Chisholm’s base of support was ethnically diverse and included the National Organization for Women. Chisholm said she ran for the office “in spite of hopeless odds… to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo.” Among the volunteers who were inspired by her campaign was Barbara Lee, who continued to be politically active and was elected as a congresswoman 25 years later.

She announced her retirement from Congress in 1982. Her seat was won by a fellow Democrat, Major Owens, in 1983. After leaving Congress, Chisholm was named to the Purington Chair at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She taught there for four years. She also lectured frequently as a public speaker. Chisholm was married to Conrad Chisholm, a Jamaican private investigator from 1949 to 1977. Upon their divorce, she married Arthur Hardwick Jr., a Buffalo businessman who died in 1986. Check out the wonderful documentary of her extraordinary life at

ABWW Hater of the Day: Jimi Izrael Part II

Mr. Izrael has the honor of being the first person to be Hater of the Day twice!
I have to give Mr. Izreal props he did answer my e-mail, but as I predicted the man doesn’t know squat about black women and is basically bashing his own ex-wives. He is stated he was a professor at Case Western University, but he really just taught one seminar on hip hop a year ago. I still approached him as an academic (since I am one in real life) This is a copy of our conversation.
July 8, 2010 at 9:22 am | #1
Reply | Quote | Edit

Hater: Hi all. My name is jimi izrael, the dolt in question.

I’m grateful and humbled to have my book be the topic of discussion, even if I am saddened by the tenor of the conversation. I’m sorry you felt the need to insult me personally, when you don’t, in fact, know me personally. I’m not going to enter in any great debate about my expertise, the typos in the book or the like. I wrote an unconventional memoir absent of advice but full of explicit and not-so explicit lessons for thoughtful readers willing to read it from cover to cover. Not everyone has that time, or is willing to be particularly thoughtful. The book is not for everyone.

> I did edit out the word connubial, apparently he could not even keep a white woman happy, once again suggesting that they should not be on the pedestal that so many put them on. They are they have the same foibles that we do.

If your presumptions about who I have found “conubial bliss” with are any indication, clearly, you did not read the book.

Or at least, you did not read it well. I don’t purport to have any expertise that you don’t, and I say that. I just told part of my story. My book flouts the statistics, which don’t really tell us alot. People aren’t numbers — I just suggest that happiness is where you find it.

Thanks again for thinking of me. As best as I am able, I will answer any questions you may have.
Eshowoman: You are absolutely right, I didn’t read the book from cover to cover. I saw the Nightline piece and I took the Amazon reviews to the book store and read portions in the store. I am not going to pay for a book that puts black women down on a wholesale basis. I live in rural college town and the public library does not stock books that cover issues around black folks. So I could not borrow it.

If you have read any other entries of this blog you will notice a pattern. There seems to be a growing trend of black men who out-marry and blame black women for their choices. You are in the company of Slim Thug, Tim Alexander, Toure and Taye Diggs. Why are men who have chosen their non-black partners for life act out on this compulsion? I feel that black women have a right to be angry about this trend. Of course, some women are just plain angry, obnoxious, aggressive, materialistic and fat, but these are not identifying traits of black women. I continue to find examples of women of all races and ethnic groups who are exemplars of these traits. So if you are down I would love to have a conversation.

I am an academic like you and I have spent a great deal of time researching this phenomenon. I contend that this issue has historical, psychosocial and economic roots that go back to when the first Africans were placed on the auction block and to make assumptions about black women without taking these things into consideration is just an exercise in malice.

Here are some questions I would like you to address:

Black women are raising children alone and a significant portion of black men are choosing criminality over their partners and children. Why do you think that is the case?

How to you think centuries of propaganda around ideal white womanhood has effected marital choice for black men?

How do you think the fact that black families have never been able to model themselves after pre-feminist middle class due to economic racism and paramour rights?

Why should a sister who has completed her education, financially stable with no children, in other words completed the requirements of black middle class respectability, lower their standards? Shouldn’t brothers step their game up?

Black women give black me life,we parent you, we teach you so how can we ALL be the antithesis of what a man of any race wants for a partner?

Your last blog discussed misogyny, but did not address the how hip hop has been corrupted from the music I loved as a child (I grew up two subway stops from 1520 Sedgwick Avenue) into the black-woman-hating-light-skin-fetishistic clap trap of commercial rap?

Why do black comedic actors dress up as black women and act out the worst stereotypes about black women?

I look forward to your answers.

Hater: How can you, with any intellectual integrity, talk down a book you haven’t read? And here’s a hint? The “I don’t have to taste shit to know it’s not pancakes” defense doesn’t hold. Black people read books and weigh them on their merits. Telling other black people to run from a book you haven’t read is, in the words of noted social commentator Charlie Murphy
— madd niggerish. Sad. Really.

> I should have known anyone who refers to Eddie Murphy’s untalented brother as a “social commentator” really doesn’t have a third leg to stand on!

July 9, 2010 at 1:15 am | #4
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Eshowoman: Send me a copy and I will be happy to read it. As I said I don’t spend my hard earned money on these “beat a black woman down” books, movies or music.

Look forward to your answers with bated breath.

Esho:If you have read any other entries of this blog you will notice a pattern. There seems to be a growing trend of black men who out-marry and blame black women for their choices. You are in the company of Slim Thug, Tim Alexander, Toure and Taye Diggs. Why are men who have chosen their non-black partners for life act out on this compulsion?

Hater: Who is this non-black partner of mine? Can you introduce me?
> I have wonderful, beautiful, vivacious white girlfriends. Why would I introduce any of them to a many who can only see them in stereotypes? Find you own Suzy Chapstick, dude.

Eshowoman: I feel that black women have a right to be angry about this trend. Of course, some women are just plain angry, obnoxious, aggressive, materialistic and fat, but these are not identifying traits of black women.

Hater: Do Tell

Eshowoman: I continue to find examples of women of all races and ethnic groups who are exemplars of these traits. So if you are down I would love to have a conversation.

Hater: We’ll see

Eshowoman: I am an academic like you
I left out the word “ideology” accidentally. But his response makes me realize that this dude is clearly inflating his credentials.
Hater: What is the question here?

Eshowoman: Why should a sister who has completed her education, financially stable with no children, in other words completed the requirements of black middle class respectability, lower their standards?

Hater: Standards are important. Be the person you are looking for. Be picky. But be reasonable

Eshowoman: Shouldn’t brothers step their game up?

Hater: There are more black men in college now than there has ever been in American history. So I’d say that they are.

Eshowoman: Black women give black you life, we parent you, we teach you so how can we ALL be the antithesis of what a man of any race wants for a partner?

Hater: Who said that?
> Is this guy debating the basic facts of biology and African American life? WTF???

Eshowoman: Your last blog discussed misogyny, but did not address the how hip hop has been corrupted from the music I loved as a child (I grew up two subway stops from 1520 Sedgwick Avenue) into the black-woman-hating-light-skin-fetishistic clap trap of commercial rap?

Hater: Since “Rapper’s Delight,” popular rap has been sexist and sexual. Not a lot has changed.
> This is hater who claims he is an “expert” on hip hop, yet claims the beginning of the movement began with “Rappers Delight”. That is incredible! I feel sorry for the students who took his seminar.

Eshowoman: Why do black comedic actors dress up as black women and act out the worst stereotypes about black women?

Hater: For the same reason ancient Grecian actors and Shakespearean plays included men dressed as women. It’s farcical. And it’s funny.
I look forward to your answers.

July 9, 2010 at 1:59 am | #6
Reply | Quote | Edit

Hater: Black women are being incarcerated at 7 times the rate of black men.” Reference URL Please?

Esho: Changes in the incarceration rates for women were more distinct. At midyear 2000, black women were incarcerated at a rate 6 times that of white women (or 380 per 100,000 U.S. residents versus 63 per 100,000 U.S. residents). By June 30, 2007, the incarceration rate for black women declined to 3.7 times that of white women (or 348 versus 95). An 8.4% decline in the incarceration rate for black women and a 51% increase in the rate for white women accounted for the overall decrease in the incarceration rate of black women relative to white women at midyear 2007.”
Sabol, William J., PhD, and Couture, Heather, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, June 2008), NCJ221944, p. 8.

If black women are not raising these children who is?

Esho: I continue to find examples of women of all races and ethnic groups who are exemplars of these traits. So if you are down I would love to have a conversation.

Hater : We’ll see
Esho: Busted! You are guilty too, obviously you only read the blog entry that pertains to you.

Esho: How to you think centuries of propaganda around ideal white womanhood has effected marital choice for black men?
Hater: I can’t speak for a race of men. No one can”
Esho: Yet you presume to talk to a race of black women?

Esho: How do you think the fact that black families have never been able to model themselves after pre-feminist middle class ideology due to economic racism and paramour rights?

Hater: What is the question here?

Esho:”I left out the word “ideology” but I made an assumption that a man who chooses to lecture black women would know something about black middle class respectability. My bad!

Esho: Black women give black you life ,we parent you, we teach you so how can we ALL be the antithesis of what a man of any race wants for a partner?
Hater: Who said that?
> I guess ole Jimi was raised by wolves……

Esho: Do you know anything about black woman’s clubs, sororities, black female labor activity,anti-lynching politics, paramour rights, the history of denial of legal protections around rape, the Venus Hottentot? I could go on and on and on…
If you are not versed in any of this history how can you with any good conscience write amount black women. Your bio said you were in Mass Comm (like me) haven’t you heard of Ida B. Wells and her suit against the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company?

> Note he has NO ANSWER this.

Esho: Shouldn’t brothers step their game up?

Hater: “There are more black men in college now than there has ever been in American history. So I’d say that they are.” Reference URL?
Eshowoman: That is wonderful but they are also out marrying at an alarming rate:
A new study shows that more and more black men are marrying women of other races. In fact, more than 1 in 5 black men who wed (22 percent) married a nonblack woman in 2008. This compares with about 9 percent of black women, and represents a significant increase for black men — from 15.7 percent in 2000 and 7.9 percent in 1980.

Eshowoman: Your last blog discussed misogyny, but did not address the how hip hop has been corrupted from the music I loved as a child (I grew up two subway stops from 1520 Sedgwick Avenue) into the black-woman-hating-light-skin-fetishistic clap trap of commercial rap?

Hater: Since “Rapper’s Delight,” popular rap has been sexist and sexual. Not a lot has changed.
Esho: Please! You know as well as I do when hip hop left the east coast, the words B*tch and Ho became de riguer. You are not seriously trying to say that LL’s “I’m the Type of Guy” is the same as Tupac’s “Same Ho”or NWA’s “A B*tch Iz A B*tch? Sexual and sexist is not the same thing.

Are you telling me the Flip Wilson consulted the Lysistrata or Martin Lawrence the Twelfth Night before they put on a wig?
These stereotype of a shrewish, emasculating black woman who was unfit for matrimony was introduced into early cinema by white men with titles like The Wooing and Wedding of a Coon (1905) Wooing of Aunt Jemima (1916) and Coontown Suffragettes (1914) a “darky” version of the Lysistrata. Back then black newspapers mounted campaigns to censor those films, today most say that is exactly how black women act. How did we get from there to here?
July 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm | #7
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Hater: Good counterpoints, all.
Thanks for the compliment, it has become obvious that as far as sister go you know nothing beyond your own failed relationships and some he-man-woman-haters-barbershop-trash-talk.

Sometimes people engage the opposite sex in pointless bickering because this is the only kind of attention they can get from them. Some people really want to build bridges. I wrote a book that some people enjoy. People who bring their blind anger in search of easy answers?

Yeah, they skip around the chapters, see themselves in the book — or don’t– and don’t enjoy the book so much. I felt the same way about “Sense and Sensibilities.”

> The title of the book is “Sense and Sensibility.” I am not suprised you read it all the way through
Jane Austin’s books are all about ideal white femininity. You should read “Mansfield Park” where the gentle lady gets slightly distress when she finds out how the rape and torture of black women funds her life of leisure in England.

But I read it all the way through anyways, just so i could discuss it intelligently.
I don’t have the time for protracted arguing with people hiding behind clever screen-names about the thesis of a book you haven’t read and admonish others not to read, which is, I repeat, Madd Niggerish. Any black person –academic!?– telling you to run from a book they haven’t read, no matter what’s in the book they haven’t read, is an idiot.

Eshowoman: have also read some of your homophobic hogwash, that stuff makes me madder than any well worn hateration in your book.

Since you are not an academic, I doubt we will ever run into each other. It is clear since you cannot engage in any thoughtful conversation on this topic, the question of who the idiot is up for grabs.

I’m happy that you are trying to be a part of the solution here on Angry Black Woman Watch
> Thanks for the complement???

Hater: But this conversation will have to continue… without me.
>Now why am I not surprised?

July 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm | #8
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>Send me a copy and I will be happy to read it. As I said I don’t spend my hard earned money on these “beat a black woman down” books, movies or music.

Stay Classy, Baby.
All my best,
> Most published authors have copies up the ying yang to send out for free to reviewers. If you can’t stand the heat, you really should stay out of the kitchen.

July 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm | #9
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Eshowoman: It is very hard to build bridges when some ‘don’t even have the tools. I’d rather spend my money on material that poses real solutions. A half an hour in a book store and your inability to answer any of my questions is enough proof for me that you are using your own failed marriages to smear black women. I will continue to follow your blog at the The Root since the several of the other links you have poster are dead. Confabulate much?
Stay pitiful, baby.

ABWW Book of the Day: Behind the Mask of the Strong Black Woman: Voice and the Embodiment of a Costly Performance

I read this book in 1 1/2 days! Although this book has is an academic text it is an easy read and one of the best explanation of how black women do it all without having it all. I have always avoided men who start a conversation with “I am looking for a strong black woman.” I was raised as a Jamaican American princess, so the idea of being a woman who shoulders more than an equal share of the relationship on a daily basis is anathema to me. The ideal that it is normal for black women is to do everything by themselves without a partner is a recipe for serious psychological and physical health risks. Black women are resourceful enough to do what they need to do, but the idea that this is some kind preternatural strength is BULLSH*T thought up at a slave auction.

Sociologist Beauboeuf-Lafontant explores the lore invoked in imaging the strong black woman. This well researched, 179 page book reveals the growing autobiographical and clinical literature on black women and how they experience compulsive overeating and depression. She foregrounds the intersection of race and gender and challenges the racialization of depression as a white illness and of eating problems as exclusive to the privileged. She interviews 58 black women ranging in age from 19 to 67 about what strength means to them. While many of her subjects reveal the involvement of familial communities in setting the standards of stoicism, care, and selflessness that Black women encounter from girlhood through adulthood, at home and at work, among intimates and strangers. Only one-third of these “strong women”, were proponents of self-care rather than self-neglect and resist strong black woman discourse. Beauboeuf-Lafontant convincingly argues that investment in the strong black woman myth injures black women.

ABWW Hater of the Day: Jimi Izrael and The Denzel Principle: Why Black Women Can’t Find Good Black Men

I really don’t understand why black males who finally find bliss in the arms of a non-black women are obsessed with putting down black women. Here is another fool to add to this growing rouges gallery. Jimi Izreal
is twice-divorced black male, who fails to accept accountability for his own failings with respect to past romantic involvements. He further absolves his gender of any responsibility of the dearth of strong, healthy, stable marriages in the black community.

This book suffers from an embarrassing number of typos yet this dolt was booked at an expert on a Nightline special on black women. He has also appeared on the Fox News Network’s “Hannity & Colmes” and “The O’Reilly Factor” if those are not credentials to make shudder I don’t know what will. Like Steve Harvey he didn’t note anything profound or insightful, his book is basically a diary of all the misfortune he has experienced dating sisters. In one portion of the book he chastises black women for having high standards and he then in another berates us for having low standards, WTF??? Anyone who uses Too Short as an example what as defense against dating black women is truly a sad case. Black men are choosing jail over relationships and out-marrying at an alarming rate, yet according to Israel it is all our fault. He wraps the book up with news of his joyous union with a white woman, but of course you knew that was coming. I am really amazed how many brothers are making money off a plight that they have a great deal of responsibility for creating. Why do they have such a need to attack is when they are supposedly happy? Were they raised by wolves or what it black women who raised them, taught and supported until they were ready to hate on their own? Is this book catches you eye run in the other direction! If you want to read how far this man’s delusions go here is an excerpt. I sent an e-mail to the dude to see what he thinks of day’s honor let’s see if he responds. Judging from the size of this guys ego, you might think he would , but I am betting he won’t, since there is there is no filthy lucre involved.

ABWW Heroine of the Day: Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an American writer. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985.Brooks published her first poem in a children’s magazine at the age of thirteen. When Brooks was sixteen years old, she had compiled a portfolio of around seventy-five published poems. Aged 17, Brooks stuck to her roots and began submitting her work to “Lights and Shadows”, the poetry column of the Chicago Defender, an African-American newspaper. Although her poems range in style from traditional ballads and sonnets to using blues rhythms in free verse, her characters are often drawn from the poor inner city. During this same period, she also attended Wilson Junior College, from where she graduated in 1936. After publishing more than seventy-five poems and failing to obtain a position with the Chicago Defender, Brooks began to work a series of typing jobs.

By 1941, Brooks was taking part in poetry workshops. One particularly influential workshop was organized by Inez Cunningham Stark. Stark was an affluent white woman with a strong literary background, and the workshop participants were all African-American. The group dynamic of Stark’s workshop proved especially effective in energizing Brooks and her poetry began to be taken seriously (The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Alexander, Editor, 2005). In 1943 she received an award for poetry from the Midwestern Writers’ Conference.

Her first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, published in 1945 by Harper and Row, brought her instant critical acclaim. She received her first Guggenheim Fellowship and was one of the “Ten Young Women of the Year” in Mademoiselle magazine. In 1950, she published her second book of poetry,Annie Allen, which won her Poetry magazine’s Eunice Tietjens Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, the first given to an African-American.

After John F. Kennedy invited her to read at a Library of Congress poetry festival in 1962, she began her career teaching creative writing. She taught at Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, Elmhurst College, Columbia University, Clay College of New York, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1967, she attended a writer’s conference at Fisk University where, she said, she rediscovered her blackness. This rediscovery is reflected in her work In The Mecca, a book length poem about a mother searching for her lost child in a Chicago housing project. In The Mecca was nominated for the National Book Award for poetry.

In addition to the National Book Award nomination and the Pulitzer Prize, Brooks was made Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968. In 1985, Brooks became the Library of Congress’s Consultant in Poetry, a one year position whose title changed the next year to Poet Laureate. In 1988, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. In 1994, she was chosen as the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Jefferson Lecturer, one of the highest honors for American literature and the highest award in the humanities given by the federal government.

In 1995, she was presented with the National Medal of Arts. Other awards she received included the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Brooks was awarded more than seventy-five honorary degrees from colleges and universities worldwide.

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