Tag Archive | Mad black women

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 Hater of the Day: Chad Ochocinco

Chad Ochocinco has three lovely black daughters but their type beauty is not what he is looking for in his VH1 reality show The Ultimate Catch. The first episode began with 85 contestants of all racial backgrounds and was whittled down to 16 by the end of the hour. Only three of these he picked were black women. One sister who made the selection is already exhibiting some of the “crazy black women’ behaviors that smear the image of all black women. If this show follows the pattern of black male dating shows that ran before it, non-black contestants not the icon of femininity or sanity that any of these men want on their arm in real life, so why so few black women cast if this is simply show business?

When called to task by New York gossip diva and talk show host Wendy Williams Ochocinco professed his desire for white and Hispanic women and actually expected applause for his post-racial preference from an audience that was populated with sisters. Since his children are older that his NFL career, why has his “preferences” gone through such a dramatic change? I wonder what the stimulus revised his idea of what constitutes a desirable woman? Ochocinco is different that the other type of black-woman-hater that has consistently rejected black women as dating and marriage prospects, I cannot read his mind, it is seems that his change of mind happened after the fame, money and glitz of his professional football career reached its peak. Is a non-black woman the ultimate accessory for a black man who has everything? What message does that send to his sable brown daughters? Are black women simply for breeding?

Ochocinco’s behavior can be traced back to the civil rights movement during the mid 1960’s. The biracial cooperation of the Freedom Rides and other projects resulted in interracial commingling that was seen a a patriarchal perk for black men, while “strong black women” were to wait out these dalliances until the black man was ready to help raise a generation of black children free from the plague of segregation. The pain of paramour rights ( the practice of southern white men forcing black women into sexually coercive relationships) may have been on the wane in the 1960’s but the shadow of that exploitation was a factor in black women’s acceptance of their brother’s new preference. Since the sixties the deindustrialization of cities, the backlash against desegregation, the War on Drugs have all contributed to the dissolution of black families and male embrace of the nihilistic thug life. These factors taken together still do not account for the rejection and dehumanization of black women that Ochocinco and supporters embrace so enthusiastically. The idea that this is an individual choice in a new enlightened race friendly America would be easier to swallow if the date on out marriage between the sexes was not so skewed. Ochocinco may tout his individual post-racial right to date whomever he chooses, but to expect that black women will support him while his actions state that we are good for breeding and not marrying is outrageously disrespectful.

ABWW Heroine of the Day: Dr. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Muta Maathai is environmental and political activist in Kenya. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica College and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In the 1970s, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. In 2004 she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005.

To read more about the trials and triumphs of this amazing woman go to her organization’s web site Wiki and her , The Green Belt Movement

ABWW Stereotype Buster: Sedentary Behavior Puts White Women at Greatest Risk for Obesity

Many black women haters repeatedly comment on our figures as a reason why we are less datable and marriageable, but scientific evidence shoots down that stereotype. Researchers looked at data from 22,948 African-American women and 7,830 white women in 12 Southeastern U.S. states, where obesity is most prevalent. Participants, who mostly were in their fifth decade, were enrollees in the ongoing Southern Community Cohort Study between 2002 and 2006.

“The odds of severe obesity were nearly 4.5 times higher in white women and 1.5 times higher in black women in the highest quartile of sedentary behavior,” according to researchers led by Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., director of the energy balance laboratory at Vanderbilt University.

Buchowski said the reasons for the racial disparities remain unclear, because they did not do a controlled trial. He said he suspects that there could be some cultural explanation or difference in metabolism between the two groups, or perhaps African-America women are more active during sedentary time — cooking or doing other chores while watching TV.

The study appears online and in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“The key take-home message here is that reducing time in sedentary behavior is important,” Buchowski said. “Our population was economically disadvantaged, so it is unlikely that they could join a club to participate in structured physical activity.” Still, he said, “women do not need to walk for half an hour, but they can spend less time sitting. They can walk around the house, for example, or juggle a small bottle of water in their hands to increase their energy output without much effort.

“Remember — every calorie counts,” he said. “These small changes could also be helpful in preventing obesity in the first place.”

Amy Luke, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine and epidemiology at Loyola University Chicago, who was not involved in this research, suggested that increased sedentary behavior might be a result, rather than a cause, of obesity.

“It must also be recognized that the data from this study are self-reported and finding associations between activity and obesity is not uncommon with questionnaires,” Luke said. “Curiously, almost no studies utilizing objective measures of physical activity have found any relationship between physical activity and weight gain among women.”

ABWW Stereotype Buster: Black Birth Rate Declines 3 Times that of White Women

Another of the never ending put downs that single black woman have to put up with is that we are immorally populating the ghettos with children in order to receive welfare benefits. According to a new study Pew Research Center the black birth rate has dropped significantly.
Pew Research Analyst D’Vera Cohn explains the drop: There could be a number of reasons. One is that black and women are increasing their levels of educational attainment more rapidly than white women are. That is, they’re catching up to white women in the level of degrees they might have. A growing share have college degrees or advanced degrees. And since we know that the most educated women are the most likely to be childless, that could be playing a substantial role.

Another factor that you have to account for is that not having biological children is much more common among women who’ve never been married. And so what we call the never married rates are rising more rapidly for black women than for white women.

Black women are planning their lives more realistically and choosing between being single and educated rather than having children that will not have the support of their fathers they deserve. Kudos to us!

ABWW Hater of the Day: Black Women’s Interracial Relationship Circle

Many of the comments about the percentage of educated black women who are unmarried suggest that black women open up to non-black men. Even though the statistics clearly show that non-white men are not dating or marrying black women at any where near the rate black men are out marrying, it is posed this statistic is simply black woman’s fault. Sure there are black women who will only date black men, but many are beginning to look beyond color. Some of you who are exploring, PLEASE stay away from Black Women’s Interracial Relationship Circle! On first glance it looks like you may get some tips on interracial dating, but the site is really about bashing black men and the women who love them. The blog is carefully monitored by it’s creator Halima who must have had some serious daddy issues. If you make a comment that doesn’t support the idea that white men are the be all and end all of black woman’s problems you will be call a pan-Africanist (which makes no sense because pan-Africanism is a political movement and has nothing to do with gender) and a brain dead follower of black men. ABWW gives the smackdown to anyone who puts down black women even if it is other black women. This women is so psychotic in her need to defend her marriage to a white man that she will not publish anything that supports the fact that there are god black men out there. She will not publish your post, but will insultingly comment on your post without giving you a chance to defend yourself. If you have a son, cousin, brother who is doing is right she will obsessively use you as an example how black women contribute to making black men the demons they are. So if you are thinking about dating out, bon chance, but avoid the sites that look like they may help you but are really into black women hateration.

ABWW Fact of the Day: Birth Rate Falls to 40-Year Low Among Unwed Black Women

The birth rate for unmarried black women, long a focal point in the debate over the causes of poverty among African-Americans, has reached its lowest point in 40 years, Federal health officials said today. ccording to figures compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 74.4 births per 1,000 unmarried black women in 1996 — the last year for which complete data are available. That rate is significantly below the peak of 90.7 per 1,000 unmarried black women reached in 1989.

Today’s report showed that the out-of-wedlock birth rate has been dropping for all age groups of black women. Demographers and health officials said that some of the possible reasons — an increase in contraceptive use, sex education and efforts by some community groups to encourage abstention — should allow the trend to continue.

”There’s just been no letup, and it’s not been slowing down,” said Stephanie J. Ventura, a demographer with the National Center for Health Statistics who wrote the report. ”And it’s not just for teen-agers. For all black women under 30, the declines have been really big.

The Pew Study looked at Census data of American the birth rate of African American women without a high school diploma has dropped by 17%. This defeats a popular notion that African American women mostly choose to have large broods in order to get welfare and are thus marriageable. This is wonderful, less sisters are bowing to the pressure of having a child without the support of a man. If we are going to be alone it makes much more sense to delay child bearing until we can give that child everything they need.

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.

ABWW Hero of the Day: Michael Eric Dyson

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is known as the hip hop professor and currently teaches at Georgetown University. Dyson draws on his personal life, marriages, and history to praise and celebrate black women. He starts with the women (mother, teachers, writers) who put his feet on the path from young welfare father in a Detroit ghetto to celebrated theologian, writer, and social commentator. He profiles several prominent and unknown black women who have made valuable contributions to national life and to Dyson’s personal life. Among the black female icons he celebrates are the revolutionaries Angela Davis and Assata Shakur, the legislators Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, and legal scholar Kimberle Williams Crenshaw. Dyson ties them to a historical lineage of black women who have supported black men despite strained relationships, disparities in income and educational levels, and interracial dating and marriage. Dyson takes to task those aspects of black culture, from hip-hop music to church doctrine, that undermine or disrespect black women. He ends with a sermon, a message of mutual respect and love that is particularly applicable to the continuing struggles of black men and women.

ABWW Action Alert: Get Tested!!!!

Sunday, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, and state health officials are taking the opportunity to remind black women of the importance of getting tested for HIV, especially for pregnant women.

In patients younger than 13 years of age, nearly all cases of HIV transmission occur from mother to baby during pregnancy and delivery. Very frequently, women are unaware of their status and their risk. With intervention during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, transmission from mother to baby can be decreased from 25 to 30 percent down to 1 to 2 percent.

Once a woman’s HIV status is documented, oral medication can be started during pregnancy, continued through labor, and then given to the baby for 6 weeks. This will decrease the chances of passing HIV onto the baby—less than 2 percent chance of becoming infected. This approach has been verified in medical studies and has proven effective. Long term side effects on the fetus and children exposed to the medications have not been seen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends all individuals ages 13 to 64 receive voluntary routine HIV counseling and testing. HIV counseling and testing allows people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and well-being, as well as that of their partners and families, and helps people who test negative get the information they need to stay uninfected.

African-American women are the fastest growing population of new HIV cases. “They account for nearly half the reported cases among women in Indiana. It’s important that all people, but especially women, understand the risks for becoming infected with HIV, and how to prevent it. As much as brothers on the downlow has publicized heterosexual men and those who have been in prison are also responsible for the skyrocketing rate of infection in black women.

Tests take just a few minutes and results are typically available in two weeks, although most sites have Rapid HIV Antibody testing available. Both confidential and anonymous tests are available. National HIV Testing Day is an annual campaign coordinated by the National Association of People with AIDS. It was launched more than a decade ago to promote early detection. Its purpose is to encourage people of all ages to “Take the Test, Take Control.” Early HIV diagnosis is important, so people who are infected can benefit from available life-saving treatments.

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