Archive | May, 2013

As We Go On…

14 May

In the spirit of graduation season I can help but think about moving forward, growing up, creating new goals and forging ahead past all obstacles to reach them. Right about now, students all over the world are finishing exams, taking a breather, anxiously awaiting that moment when they can stand in line and hear their name called signifying to many that they have made it! Finally, they have made it!

Writing this blog over the past few months has been a very teachable moment for me. I began with the mission to write for a specific audience. An audience who I felt in some way needed me to clarify and teach them a few things. I think now though, that in my writing I have discovered a few things on my own. Towards this ending though, and I say this ending because it is only one ending leading me to the beginning of a new journey, I am fully aware that the prejudices, the racism, the discrimination, the sexism, the stereotypes, all of that does not end once we have become aware of it or conscious to it. No. It does not suddenly disappear and upon gaining this knowledge we do not acquire some innate power to overcome all of these trials and tribulations. Fairytales make it so that we believe this is what happens. Disney makes it so that this is what we believe (though we know a lot about the images Disney portrayed by now don’t we?).

Like graduating from 8th grade into middle school, high school into college, college into the real world, learning all the while; becoming knowledgable about oppression not only in our hegemonic society but in the world calls us to act. If students graduated from 8th grade and just stopped doing work, they likely would not make it through to graduate high school. The same could be said for high schoolers and college grads.

And so in working on this blog this semester, and visiting other blogs centered around similar topics, I have held on to one thing: we must take what we have learned and move forward with it. We must be hungry for education and knowledge.  We Must not let our privilege shield us from the realities of others and most of all we must see the struggle of others as our own struggles that we may be strong enough to combat it as a collective unit. Paulo Freire said that the oppressors are not strong enough to initiate the struggle against oppression because they seem themselves as too far removed from the situation to want to do anything about it. He said that only the oppressed have the power to act because they are angry enough to work towards a change. We as a people must recognize that we all have a role in our oppressive society. We have to learn what that role is, and then work towards a change…

And black women, our black is beautiful for so many reasons, but we too must realize that the struggle is not only ours. As we fight negative stereotypes, media representation, and hurtful comments, we too are fighting against oppression of all people.

THIS is how we fight:

dinner for action 2

We Organize…

Westfield State University's 1st Annual "Dinner for Action", March 2013

Westfield State University’s 1st Annual “Dinner for Action”, March 2013

Collectively...

Collectively…

We Travel...

We Travel…

We become that 1 in a crowd..well, in this case we are 5 in a crowd

We become that 1 in a crowd..well, in this case we are 5 in a crowd

RA Life 2013-2013

RA Life 2013-2013

We Dance...

We Dance…

We Step...

We Step…

As a Family, We Achieve...

As a Family, We Achieve…

We SMILE through the pain....

We SMILE through the pain….

Smile some more...

Smile some more…

We Share Our Stories, WSU Vagina Monologues,2013

We Share Our Stories, WSU Vagina Monologues,2013

We Gather...(Kind of like the Consiousness Raising Groups between women before there were Womens Studies Courses) lol

We Gather…(Kind of like the Consiousness Raising Groups between women before there were Womens Studies Courses) lol

We Graduate...

We Graduate…

And We Fight Back!

And We Fight Back!

So, You Mean I’m NOT Crazy?!

1 May

This week in my web searching, I stumbled across a couple of new WordPress blogs by the names of “Black Girl Thinking” and “Black Stereotypes”. Now, I have my own qualms with the choice of title for either of these blogs, but the content of them, is well, perfect! Sometimes, as a black woman in America, I feel a little bit crazy, just a little bit. Someone may make a racist comment, be sexist towards me, be sexist in general, objectify me, exoticize me…something will happen, and I will deny myself the right to call their actions into question. I will tell myself, “well, maybe they really have never seen a black person before”, or “it’s possible that they really didn’t know that black women could have long natural hair”. I will tell myself these things out of habit. I will tell myself these things to make myself feel more comfortable with the fact that that person is wrong in their actions, or their comments, or their beliefs. BUT, every so often, I encounter another person who can affirm what I feel, who knows I am not crazy in my feelings. I did not read every post on these two blogs. I am not saying I completely agree with every post, but these people know what they’re talking about. I can appreciate that. Visit their blogs to see for yourself!

http://jesuiss.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/black-stereotypes-fried-chicken/

http://blackgirlthinking.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/dear-black-man/