Tag Archives: Goddess

What I love about being a black woman

So…

Yesterday a man I am acquainted with sent me video. I have to say it was one I was somewhat surprised by as it was a vitriolic critique of the ‘Black Woman’.

The man who created the video, didn’t for one minute mince his words and proceeded to slate us for ‘bitchin,’ bringing up ‘thugs,’ being emotionally immature and demanding and for being the cause of the degeneration of the black family. He claimed we were always bragging about being ‘Queens’ and that everyone want us; but the reality is the black man is turning to the white woman, ANY woman but us because we’re driving them off with our ‘pissedosity’ and pouting.

He then went on to say that we’re all single because we are ‘egotistical children’ who do not take responsibility accept ‘thugs’ as partners and then have a slew of unwanted babies, choosing deliberate ‘single-motherhood’ in an attempt to get these men to stay with us. ..

As a result we abuse and neglect our children as they were not wanted in the first place and who are now a persistent reminder of the error we made in laying down, trying to get attention from the ‘good for nuthin’ thug’ in the first place!

Ay ay aaaaay!

‘Aaaaay caramba!’ and whole lotta words and phrases I tried to replace expletives for ran through my mind.

You can imagine my…well, all I can say is incredulity at the bile that spewed forth from this man, who’s ‘bass’ told me he was a black American male.

I came to the conclusion that…

‘Some sista, mussa do him Baaaad!’

It got me to thinking though it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives because yes it’s true… the Black experience is often one of struggle and persecution; of pain and racial discrimination and slurs even in 2019 (see: http://bit.ly/2Z0WPvX).

  • Yes, more often than not, our stories are made up of events, which serve to humiliate and denigrate us.
  • Yes, our narratives often articulate the challenge of rising despite massive social and institutionalised racism and injustice.
  • Yes, there are social and emotional challenges that we need to address.
  • Yes, our pain is acute and real. None of it is fabricated and it’s hard to live with and through.
  • And yes, in our attempts to get some relief from the pressure of our lives, from the ‘Just over broke,’ or downright ‘indebted and broke’ scenarios and the relationship drama, we (me included), can focus, disproportionately on the negatives of the black experience.

However, there are just as many wonderful things about my experience of being a black woman and it is these that keep me going despite it all… rising… forever finding ingenious ways around, up, over and around the pressures I encounter every day.

What I love about being a black woman

I love my (our) resilience: Despite times when I honestly feel I will simply break apart or break open. Somehow me and my sisters and mothers and aunts, and sistren and cousins and friends just keep bouncing back. Many of us without vitriol and somehow manage to find hope.

We will fall asleep broken and rise to the light of the sun and know that because it’s shining there must be a God and that there’s the possibility that things will change.

  • I love our spirituality: Even though many of us have rejected formal religious practices, there’s somehow a spiritual, gossamer thread, albeit in some of us, vague and barely discernable that reminds us that our ancestors DNA courses through us. Reminds us that we are connected. To the pouring of libation for the ‘homies in the big house’ to letting the ‘elders’ feed first at christenings and parties.
  • I love that we recognise our connection to one another – the irresistible magnetic pull to proffer a ‘nod’ of acknowledgement; the ‘I recognise the spirit in you and we are the same’ nod whenever you catch the eye of another black person for longer than a nanosecond.
Me: in all my Melanin-Cocoa Glory!
  • I love that my skin is coffee-choco-smooth. It’s ‘why haven’t you got any wrinkles?’ taut and when nourished by the sun and replenished by oils it shines bronze-reflecting, hailing the glory of the melanin that gives it it’s hue.
  • I love that I can flip my language from Standard English to broad Yorkshire and Jamaican Patois and now some Nigerian pidgin as easily as butter slides off a hot knife and that the myriad of phonetic and linguistic mélanges create a uniqueness of expression that cannot be matched or mimicked and all this despite having our languages taken from us.
  • I love that my people are linguistic governors! Non can compete with the numerous words and phrases our varying cultures ‘drop’ like social diamonds into the fabric of popular and musical culture. We’re constantly inventing… ‘fo’shizzle’ we are!
  • I love the richness of our history. That despite it being stolen, hidden and reconstituted in a blanket of lies we are reclaiming it; Pharonic brick by brick, Songhaian stone, by stone.
  • I love that when I come together with my ‘sistren’ there is a stripping away of the miasma of oppression and instead, (if there’s true sisterhood and not the ‘Jealousy’ I previously talked about); what you’ll find is us releasing the ‘bass’ in our voices, (as well as sometimes the bra straps!) and liberating the guttural, deep, raucous laughter that emanates from our bellies… as we ‘talk fi we talk’ and let go the tension of tip-toeing through a world which insists we hide parts of ourselves; in case we be deemed too ‘loud,’ or ‘aggressive,’ ‘too threatening!’

What I love about being a black woman is that I have an infinite number of options when it comes to what to do with my hair, which is both liberating and confining at the same time.

  • What I Love about being a black woman is that when I sashay out of a room I KNOW you can’t help but recognise that the place is a little duller because of it.
  • What I love about being a black woman is that I KNOW and recognise that the power and strength of my ancestors, the wisdom from their trials and suffering live within me and that I proudly carry their genetic code!

And I could go on…

The man who created the video denounced us as ‘Queens’ and said all the black woman has is ‘attitude’

What I told the man who shared the video with me was:

“If a man cannot tell the difference between a woman with standards and boundaries and one with ‘attitude,’ then he certainly ‘AINT’ no KING!

Blissings and much love

Pauline Tomlin

(Insightful Angel)

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Sick of the Hurt! – Sayeth the man

Sick of the Hurt!

You may remember last week’s blog? The one in which I dared to tell the world that black women have feelings too! You know, the post which exposed the fact that we’re not made of stone (shocker!) And the limited narratives society (and indeed our own communities) offer us as a means to articulate our experiences are not about anger or a martyred single-dom, but are about our collective and individual PAIN?

Well…

That very same theme has carried into this week for me. I was intrigued by a comment made whilst in discussion with a friend. She recalled a conversation with her partner as she attempted to have a heartfelt discussion with him.

For some time she had noticed that she was not getting the best of him and was feeling ignored and dismayed by this. His attention was perpetually divided and when he seemingly was ‘listening’ it was with an ear towards the next message; skipping between ‘other’ (in her heart and eyes) more important contact’s messages; business calls that needed responding to (even at night) and other ‘stuff’ that meant she was perpetually side-lined, ignored, dismissed and her feelings needs and desires negated.

Expressing self

He’d been unaware of her week’s movements, challenges and triumphs, due to either not hearing her… truly being present and listening or because they hadn’t properly conversed in quite some time. Yet she, was acutely aware of his successes and challenges, had been there to support him in a particularly challenging issue he needed advice on and his response ad been, shall we say, less than grateful.

She felt it reasonable to express her disappointment to him, he is after all her life partner and she was acutely aware that if the situation continued they would be in big trouble in their relationship. She confessed to me it was only after her abandonment was so acute that she summoned up the daring to broach the subject with him. Fearing the often-felt dismissal when the black woman’s ‘feelings’ are brought up and the immense wounding she may swallow yet again, if she couldn’t get through to him.

The expectation would be for her to stifle the aching, yet again, find some emotional balm from deep within and place the salve on the knawing gape of her woman’s desires herself and just ‘get on with it!’

‘Getting on with it’ is what has been the lot of the Black woman since we were kidnapped from the Motherland.

Superwoman
  1. The dark hued woman was designated the back-breaking field work, bred like donkeys, raped and tortured, saw their children sold of at intervals or die: The first trauma – *Vilomahed (see below)
  2. Or else the children they produced who were ‘closer to massa’ in looks were brought into the house and discouraged from fraternising with the woman who bore them; the first heart-breaking rejection: The second trauma – Rejection
  3. If their men loved them, protected them, admired and appreciated them or their family unit was becoming just ‘too tight’ He was sold off: The third trauma – Unprotected
  4. If their son’s were protective and loving towards their mothers, if they dared defend them they lived in the fear of them being tortured or killed and so she had to teach her darling boy to ‘bow his head’ just a ‘likkle’ so massa wasn’t too offended by his emerging manhood and she felt shame. Shame that in trying to save him she was forced to become complicit in the emasculation of her own men: The fourth trauma – Psychosis inducing Guilt

And all of this, she had to stuff down. Even though it was vomit-inducing and choking she went back into the fields day after day, pregnant and in mortal fear instead of able to embrace the joy of bringing new life,

Into the ‘big house,’ and wet-nursed the massa’s baby, her life-giving, rich, original-mother-of-the-Earth-mineral-rich-mother’s milk suckled by another woman’s children, whilst hers went hungry…

Imagine…

Where did all that pain go?

And so… the narrative of the black woman being able to bear anything and get up and get on with it is ‘hot-metal branded’ into our collective psyches. No other woman in any other cultural grouping be-it a Racial, Social or even Professional context is or has been exposed to such isolation, rejection abandonment and emotional molestation.

Where did all the pain go?

Another friend and I have sat up night after night examining the shared experiences in our lives and the uncanny synchronicities within them.

Even we, seemingly intelligent, well-educated, sophisticated, modern Black women have had to recognise, painful as it is, that the trauma has been passed on. Passed on in utero. Passed on as our fragile lives take shape, as we exit the birth canal; the trauma has already been tattooed into our psyches!**

And it is so that we enter the world to then layer the traumas experienced in our own lives on top of the of the ones we’ve been bequeathed at birth.

Traumas and hurts from abuse, abandonment by lovers, husbands, children; for some of us, emotionally flat, unfeeling, sometimes cruel mothers, mothers unhappy at their own life choices and without the emotional maturity to deal with their feelings or ‘babies’ as mothers who like deer in headlights, were nursing their own traumas with no damned idea how to soothe and support themselves let anyone anyone else!

The trauma is perpetuated and so the narrative embeds deeper and deeper within our psyche, our experiences and our society. We can deal with ANYTHING, we have no need of comfort or protection or consideration or care; we are fearless and strong.

We are impenetrable.

Impenetrable like rock

In order to survive, that is exactly what many of us have had to become…

impenetrable, stone: pushing it all down, calcifying our pain for fear that if we acknowledge it, shine the light of realisation on it and dare to heal, that we might, instead lacerate and annihilate our very souls!

My brave friend persevered. She KNOWs she deserves like any other woman a chance to experience the love and protection and companionship of a life partner. She longs to be an example to her children and especially her girl children of what they can and should expect from themselves and their partners.

His response was to negate her hurt, it was to outline how fed up he was of hearing of her needs and that if this is what being  ‘strong black woman’ meant then he was ‘tired’ of hearing it.

Strong?

What is the strong black woman?

Her response was that ‘being a strong black woman’ means:

Recovering from another instance of someone:

  • Happily sharing your gifts, being uplifted and promising equanimity, yet in reality being incapable of admitting that they do not want to fulfil that promise or equanimity when it comes to you.
  • That it’s giving and loving and caring and supporting and getting little or nothing like the same in return…
  • It’s having your needs and feelings dismissed and instead being blamed
  • It’s somehow after being crushed, abandoned or neglected (after all you’re a strong woman and so can do EVERYTHING alone, so get on with it and shut up!) finding the courage and the hope and the compassion for self and others and swallowing the massive FEAR that you might get it wrong again…

It’s after society and your own men shove you to the bottom of the pile every day…

  • It’s after THAT… you dare to try again, to believe things can be different and not become cynical, cruel, ugly, vicious, mean or hurtful.

It’s getting up though you’re bruised and terrified and giving it another go, believing in the spirit of humanity, believing in romance, believing in true partnership and love and believing, despite exhaustion that you too deserve all life has to offer and you’ll give it one last go; just ‘ONE MORE TIME”

That…

She said is what being a strong black woman is!

Blissings and much love

Insightful Angel

*Vilomah means “against a natural order.” As in, the grey-haired should not bury those with black hair. As in our children should not precede us in death. If they do, we are vilomahed. … A parent whose child has died is a vilomah:https://today.duke.edu/2009/05/holloway_oped.html

**The Telegraph, Sunday 27th October 21019The Genetic Scientists are now beginning to confirm that phobias can be inherited: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10486479/Phobias-may-be-memories-passed-down-in-genes-from-ancestors.html

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