Black women have made great strides education & business, but these accomplishments can still be met with vicious racism. Women’s clothing retail giant Wet Seal is not interested in having black female management. When Nicole Cogdell, manager of the Wet Seal store in King of Prussia, walked up to the chain’s executive vice president, intending to welcome her. Instead, Cogdell said, she overheard the executive vice president, telling a district manager that Cogdell, an African American, “wasn’t the right fit for the store,”
Cogdell was fired March 3, 2009, a few days after the visit to her store and is now along Kai Hawkins and Myriam Saint-Hilaire suing the corporation for racial discrimination. They say the chain set out to fire African American employees because they did not fit the retailer’s “brand image.”
Kai Hawkins, the African-American former manager of a store in Cherry Hill, N.J., said her district manager had told her to hire more white employees or face termination. The same executive vice president had told a regional manager that she must have “lost her mind” to have put a black person in charge of a particular store.
The complaint mentions e-mails and testimony from former managers that allegedly show high-level Wet Seal executives instructing managers to fire African American employees and “diversify” by hiring and promoting white employees “who fit the Wet Seal brand image.” The attorney for the plaintiffs states that more than 20 current and former Wet Seal employees had filed charges of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
This is not the first clothing retailer to promote this discriminatory practice. In a federal lawsuit brought in 2003, Abercrombie & Fitch — which at the time regularly used blond, blue-eyed models to appeal to consumers of college age — faced a somewhat similar lawsuit that accused it of discriminating against blacks, Hispanics and Asians.After a federal judge approved class-action status in that case, Abercrombie agreed to pay more than $40 million to several thousand plaintiffs, hire 25 diversity recruiters and add more blacks, Hispanics and Asians to its marketing materials. Wet Seal better start located funds for this decision, pronto because they have been caught red handed!
Sometimes being a black woman can feel like a rock and hard place. No wonder African American women are one of the most religious groups in the country.
Racially misogynistic dyads that degrade black are prevalent in popular culture. Here are some examples:
If you are light, you are conceited & stuck up
If you are dark, you are homely
If you are poor, you are hood rat,
If you have an education & a good job, you too independent
If you are undereducated, you are welfare queen
If you have wear weaves, you are phony
If you are wear your hair natural, you are unprofessional
If you speak your mind, you are angry
If you are quiet, you are invisible
If you fat, you are lazy
If you are physically fit you are still fat.
The disparaging surveillance of black women’s bodies even when they are in top condition. World class athletes like Serena Williams and Olympians, Jessica Ennis and Louise Hazel, are the model of physical fitness, but are branded as “fat” and unfeminine. Read more at the URL below
Please do those monthly exams and get annual mammograms.
Laurie Barclay, MD
April 13, 2009
Triple-negative breast cancers (negative for estrogen receptor [ER], progesterone receptor [PR], and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]), are 3-fold more common in black women than in nonblack women, regardless of age or body mass index (BMI), according to the results of a study reported in the March 25 issue of Breast Cancer Research.
“We investigated clinical and pathologic features of breast cancers (BC) in an unselected series of patients diagnosed in a tertiary care hospital serving a diverse population,” write Lesley A. Stead, from Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts, and colleagues. “We focused on [Tneg] tumours ([ER], [PR] and HER2 negative), which are associated with poor prognosis.”
Between 1998 and 2006, 415 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancers and had available data on tumor grade and stage; ER, PR, and HER2 status; and patient age, BMI, and self-identified racial/ethnic group. Using contingency tables and multivariate logistic regression, the investigators evaluated associations between patient and tumor characteristics.
The patient sample had a wide range of racial and ethnic origins, with birthplace representing a total of 44 countries; 36% were white, 43% black, 10% Hispanic, and 11% other. Obesity, defined as BMI higher than 30 kg/m2, was present in 47%. Tumor receptor status was ER+ and/or PR+ in 72%, triple-negative tumors in 20%, and HER2+ in 13%.
Compared with white women, black women had 3-fold higher odds of having a triple-negative tumor (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6 – 5.5; P = .0001). In black women diagnosed before and after age 50 years, triple-negative tumors were equally prevalent (31% vs 29%; P = not significant). Similarly, prevalence of triple-negative tumors was similar in black women who were obese and nonobese (29% vs 31%; P = not significant). In the overall patient sample, the proportion of triple-negative tumors decreased as BMI increased (P = .08).
Limitations of this study include relatively small sample size and lack of data on clinical outcome or on potential confounders, such as parity.
“Black women of diverse background have 3-fold more Tneg tumours than non-black women, regardless of age and BMI,” the study authors write. “Other factors must determine tumour subtype. The higher prevalence of Tneg tumours in black women in all age and weight categories likely contributes to black women’s unfavorable breast cancer prognosis.”
In the advent of greater racial, ethnic and religious bigotry in the last few months, I wonder why their is so much denial and animosity in the blogosphere. I contend there are many who do not see themselves in racist but do not see this upturn in bigotry as a no big thing or don’t feel that confronting those they know with more bigoted views is worth the effort. People of color need to address the new racial racial rhetoric and realize that it is not very different than pre-civil rights rhetorical formations and hope that right thinking folks will eventually see these uptick in racial hatred is immoral and since 1968, unamerican.
These anti-black sentiments publicized recently by Tea Partier Mark Williams and Laura Schlessinger have been brewing since the early 1970’s. We really need to examine their rhetoric with post civil rights/Obama age eye. Williams basically touted that blacks are lazy. A trope whites have used since they first arrived in Africa. The new twist is that it is welfare, affirmative action and civil rights initiatives have created a culture of dependency among black folks. Even though their are more middle class black folks in America than ever before, these racially conservative pundits cannot let go of the idea that their is something inherently wrong with black people. It have nothing to do with centuries of oppression, racial terrorism and opposition to extending civil rights and American citizenry to black people. To these pundits Blacks are essentially less intelligent, lazy, immoral, violent and hypersexual and they are angry that they cannot speak about these “truths” in mainstream public discourse. The more things change the more things stay the same. Why spend the same amount of resources on education for blacks since they are not as capable as white children. Send more on incarcerating for the same crimes because they are naturally immoral and criminal. It is a little more sophisticated than pre-civil rights rhetoric but it basically the same old same old.
Schlessinger’s rant basically reflects the frustration that some whites have with the fact that they cannot express their bigoted, ignorant rhetoric as freely as they could before the civil rights movement. She is part of the white moral panic that will only grow as the demographics continue to change and people of color gain more political and economic power in this country. People like Schlessinger want to preserve a white dominated society and feel that people of color have already been “given” too much, need to stop whining and should start working hard like white Americans who are loosing their rights under the current era. She and other white as sick of hearing anything about blacks and feel that were should be grateful for what we have. Her rhetoric is similar to the ideology that slavers used to support the insanity that race based slavery was a civilizing influence on primitive Africans. As people of color we need to learn more about our history and see the parallels in the past. We need learn how to counteract this more brazen, post modern expressions of time old ideologies.
I posted this blog entry last April on my previous blog Black is Black is Black Ain’t. One of the commenter’s on this blog mentioned Mayer’s rant in Playboy and I went back to look at what I wrote this fool. I realize that in all this talk about the “normality” of the preferences of folks like Chad Ochocinco and Terrel Owens has a white male side of lust and revulsion around black women. What gets me looking back at this blog is Mayer’s staunch denial of the femininity and beauty of black women his “creeping to he slave shack” comments reflect the fact that he has plenty of sexual fantasies about black female actresses. His thinking reflects the pre-1960’s practice of paramour rights were white men could take sexual liberties with black women whether they were willing or not, single or married. Have some black men picked up on this thinking from their white male buddies? Are the uneven percentage of intermarriages not just a black male thing? How many non-black men sing the same song as John Meyer. Read my re-post and let me know what you think.
John Mayer’s racial arrogance, narcissism and ignorance knows no bounds. Some of his recent comments could have been uttered by any Confederate flag waving, Christian Identify, Aryan Nations militiamen. Lets take a look at his behavior. In December, he racially heckled Kumail Nanjiani, an up and coming Pakistani comedian. Last month, Mayer gave playboy interview and praised Asians for their abilty to “talk white.” His sexist pig rants about his ex-girlfriends disgusting and no matter how annoying you find Perez Hilton you do not have the right use an anti-gay slur. He then switches to “I wish I was in Dixie” narcissism and states black people love him and that he knows what it is like to be “black.” Mayer’s racial narcissism is in full force when he agrees with the playboy interviewers “assumption” that black women are wantonly throwing themselves at him. He then prattles on he is a sexual white supremacist then he listed the few black women who he would stoop to have sex with if his willie did not have a racist mid of his own. He described how repellent black women are by invoking a member of KKK. He concludes by describing Holly Robinson-Pete, Karyn Parsons and Kerri Washington his “Benetton heart” finds attractive with the aplomb of a plantation owner at a slave auction. He seems to have no problem associating himself with men that raped and sexually assaulted black women from slavery up until the late 1960’s.
Mayer’s so-called “hood pass” which gives him access to the richest, most powerful black men in the world including the President of the United States. But apparently, his racial arrogance gives him the privilege to call this group of elite black men n**gers. I guess he also forgot that some of men have black wives? Yesterday he jumps on the apology train when he realizes that he has just alienated a large group of his fans….and folks like me who were foolish enough to buy his music should respond with Jesus like compassion?
It amazes me how quickly whites avow their racism. So far I have seen three of the typical comments to his comments: 1) He is just a rock star jack*ss or this just a product of his own individual persona2) Black people are racist (even more racist) than whites. 3) He is just a sexist. Please spear me, with the advent of computer mediated communication and video technology, this type of racial douchbaggery happens with startling regularity.
So Mayer doesn’t want revoke black peoples constitutional rights and I don’t doesn’t wax nostalgically about the days of lynching and rape (but his invocation of David Duke makes this debatable), but he has demonstrated a patten of contempt for people of color that has deep historical and contemporary connotations. But of course, some whites will insist Mayer is still not racist. Most whites cannot tolerate any investigation of the fact that their skin color still affords them social, economic, legal, educational and in the case of men sexual privilege. Many whites will not admit that their knowledge of most people of color is informed by stereotypes, rather than with any understanding of our history, culture or current challenges and are arrogant enough to feel that they are “expert” enough to state wholesale “truths” people of color. These facts of American life must be cast aside quickly because it challenges the core assumptions that have supported white privilege for centuries. What can whites do to challenge the racial status quo:
work to repeal racist drug sentencing laws
work to mandate that death row prisoners get DNA testing so that the criminal justice system will stop killing innocent blacks and Hispanics (and even a few poor whites).
Work to repeal racist school funding policies that give white schools more money and resources than black or Hispanic schools.
Work for sensible immigration policies that penalize employers for hiring undocumented workers instead of black, Hispanic or Native Americans.
Challenge your friends and family when they use racist slurs in your presence
Donate to or volunteer at HBCU’s and grassroots organizations that are working to improve black, Hispanic and Native American lives.
By Gail Zoppo
Growing up as one of 10 children in segregated Tennessee, just two generations away from sharecroppers, Beverly Grant had little money and no professional role models. How did she become one of the highest ranking Black women executives at Procter & Gamble (P&G), overseeing a sales staff of more than 700 and managing a $110-million annual budget?
Grant, vice president of customer business development for P&G’s North America Food Channel, attributes her resilience and self-confidence to her first mentor, her mother. “Every day for 15 years, from the time I was in preschool, my mother would send me out of the house and say, ‘You know what? There’s nobody in the world better than you, and you are not better than anybody else,'” she says. P&G is No. 18 in The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity®.
After a brief stint at the IRS, Grant began a sales career at Standard Oil of Ohio in 1979, when “they had no other African-American women managers,” she recalls. But when BP bought Standard Oil and her opportunity for advancement in Cleveland dwindled, Grant pursued a sales position at P&G while simultaneously completing her MBA in marketing from Webster University.
Twenty-four years and numerous broadening assignments later, Grant makes a point of helping others succeed. She has led P&G’s Corporate African American Leadership Network, served on the Global CBD Diversity Leadership Team and contributed to the Global Initiative for Women. Grant also created P&G’s first Corporate African American Women’s Summit on Empowerment. In addition, she’s a member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she mentors an eighth-grade girl.
I have to admit that I love the Real Housewives of Atlanta, it is over the top fun, so I looked forward to the Real Housewives of D.C. Silly me! Only one of the housewives is black. In D.C.??? Can I repeat D.C.??? In the Chocolate City with the first Chocolate President? There seem to be black party planners, black stylists and luxury goods sales men, on the fringes of the show, yet no other other sister was cast?
I can only surmise that most high powered black women are to busy with the real work of the Capitol to be on a T.V. show. Okay I figured that I would give it a try anyway. Unlike Kim, the wig wearing floosy from the Atlanta cast, these white women have clearly not used to being around black people. Mary interrupts a conversation between Stacie and the black celebrity hairstylist with a drunken rant on how hair salons need to integrate. Another doyen, Linda has a big , dark skinned black boyfriend that she frequently strokes like a dog. Kat, a British woman who has only lived in the area for a few months attacks Tyra Banks for being ghetto and praises George Bush over President Obama because the ex-prez was had time to come to her wedding and the current President was busy running the country! Kat, the Brit also was visibly uncomfortable in a black environment. When Stacie invites her new friends to a good old fashioned Southern Sunday dinner and Kit is so frazzled by the food, wine and Stacie’s extended family that she leaves before dessert.
After diner the husbands grab some man time during the dinner festivities, the men go downstairs and embarking on a bizarre conversation on penis measurement. Catherine’s husband is so uncomfortable that he starts making jokes about his Irish Catholic deficiencies. Linda’s boyfriend describes his Mandigo skills after the uncomfortable conversation. After watching two shows and a preview it seems that uncomfortable racial moments are going to be the benchmark of this variation of the series. Sadly like a bad car crash I will check in this debacle from time to time while I wait for the Peach State divas to come back on the air.
African-American women are 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women, they are 34 percent more likely to succumb to the disease. Black women also contract the disease at an earlier age. The likelihood of finding breast cancer in black women at age 33 is the same as in finding it in white women at age 40. This breakthrough could increase the longevity African American breast cancer survivors.
Black women in the lowest socioeconomic category were treated less frequently with surgery and had a lower five-year survival rate.
Researchers at Northwestern University combined a drug therapy, which is effective against blood cancers but not solid tumors, with nanotechnology and the end result was a combatant of a powerful type of breast cancer that is most common in young, African-American women.
This aggressive cancer, called triple negative breast cancer, cannot be treated by any sort of life-saving therapies or traditional chemotherapy. More often than not, women with triple negative breast cancer have a low chance of survival.
The drug therapy, arsenic trioxide, which is now commonly used by Western oncologists for certain types of leukemia, is not effective against solid tumors on its own because it is excreted too quickly after being injected into the bloodstream for it to work. The amount if arsenic trioxide injected into the body cannot be increased either, due to its toxicity.
But now, researchers have combined the arsenic trioxide with a nanoparticle called a nanobin, which travels undetected after entering the bloodstream until it reaches the tumor and “attacks” it directly. The nanobin contains nanoparticulate arsenic trioxide embedded within a liposome (a tiny, thick vessel), and is cloaked in a chemical that both extends the nanobin’s life and prohibits other cells from seeing it as it passes through the bloodstream. In addition, exposure of the toxic drug to normal normal tissue as it moves through the bloodstream is limited, and when the nanobin reaches the blood vessel of the tumor, the arsenic nanoparticles are released and buried in the abnormal cells of the tumor.
Richard Ahn, a student in the medical scientists training program at Northwestern, along with Vince Cryns, associate professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at Northwestern Medicine, and Tom O’Halloran, director of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern, have all authored a research paper on the nanobin, which was published in Clinical Cancer Research on July 15.
The nanobin was first tested on mice that contained triple negative breast cancer tumors. Some mice received the nanobin while others received regular arsenic trioxide therapy. The nanobin proved to decrease tumor growth while arsenic trioxide alone was not effective at all.
“The anti-tumor effects of the arsenic nanobins against clinically aggressive triple negative breast tumors in mice are extremely encouraging,” said Cryns. “There’s an urgent need to develop new therapies for poor prognosis triple negative breast cancer.”
The development of this arsenic nanoparticle has opened the door to many other opportunities, such as making other existing cancer drugs, which have been set to the side due to their level of toxicity or because they’re excreted too quickly, more effective in cancer tumor treatment. Researchers are now looking to improve the nanotechnology associated with cancer treatment by “decorating the nanobins with antibodies that recognize markers on tumor cells to increase the drug’s uptake by the tumor.” They’d also like to find a way to deliver two drugs within the same liposome to the tumor.
“Everyone said you can’t use arsenic for solid tumors,” saidO’Halloran. “That’s because they didn’t deliver it the right way. This new technology delivered the drug directly to the tumor, maintained its stability and shielded normal cells from the toxicity. That’s huge.”
Ruth J. Simmons was sworn in as the 18th president of Brown University on July 3, 2001. Brown is one of the most prestigious schools in the world and the irony is that a major chunk of the endowment to start the school was from profits from the slave trade.
A French professor before entering university administration, President Simmons also holds an appointment as a professor of comparative literature and of Africana Studies at Brown. She graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and completed her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures at Harvard. She served in various administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. At Smith, she launched a number of initiatives including an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college.
Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal. She has been a featured speaker in many public venues, including the White House, the World Economic Forum, the National Press Club, the American Council on Education, and the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture at Harvard University. She is a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, serves on the Board of Directors of Texas Instruments, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees. Read more about her on her wiki