Black Love Matters: Knowing The Statistics And Being Aware

Black love is not only a beautiful sight to see, but it is also a revolutionary act. When you and your significant other come together as one, it is truly amazing. Not everyone wants to be with someone of another race, and that does not mean you hate them, you just want to be with your own. How exactly is wanting to be with your own a problem? Many people who I know get into minuscule quarrels with others, mostly people who are in interracial relationships.

Whenever someone expresses their love for only black women or black men there is always that one person who says all women are beautiful or all men are fine, you just can’t be closed-minded to everyone else. It seems as if some people who constantly are in interracial relationships are offended when you tell them a specific preference as far as only wanting to date or marry black.

Photo Credit: Thyblackman.com

Photo Credit: Thyblackman.com

Another topic that seems to be popular in the airwaves are black men who are in interracial relationships. Propaganda or the media makes it seem as though black men are with more white women or other women of different races, rather than with a black woman. The statement is simple false, but it keeps being brought up. Lets shift the topic a bit to rap music videos, just because most rappers are portrayed as white women loving, rappers are not the liaison of black men as a whole.

According to BlackDemographics.com in 2014, 86 percent of black men are married to black women, seven percent have a white wife, four percent have a Hispanic wife and three percent is labeled as other. 94 percent of black women are married to black men, four percent have a white husband while one percent are married to a Hispanic or an other.


note: the demographics applies to American black men and women.

Advertisements

Black People Rioting, Thugs. White People Rioting, Misguided?

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/ZUMA Press/Corbis

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/ZUMA Press/Corbis

Name one thing that is very tiring and most of all annoying. Good ole white hypocrisy. When the media use words to describe white riots you normally hear something along the lines of, “look at the poor misguided youth, they must be angry, but for a good cause.” On the other hand, when black people riot the story is more like this, “look at how angry those thugs are, they are tearing up their own community and they are just thugs, look at them all.” You see the difference?

Words are everything and how they are used can be to push an agenda. White people have been rioting and causing chaos throughout the world for a very long, but they usually don’t get as much flack for it unlike not only black people, but all people of color. How can a race of people who have raped, robbed, murdered, stolen land and whatever else pass judgment on another race who riot because they are tired of oppression? Hypocrisy.

Something we shouldn’t forget is hurricane Katrina (what a name, right?) and how the media used their words to describe black and white looters. The media would “report” that black people were looting while the white people “looked for food and other goods.”

Over the years, it is not a secret that a lot of mayo-saxons…I mean white people, have rioted and looted over stupid shit. Below is a small list of the stupid shit white people have rioted about according to Alternet.org (click link to read more in-depth descriptions).

– In 2011, Penn State students rioted after coach Joe Paterno was fired after he didn’t report assistant coach Jerry Sandusky to the police for molesting young boys.

– 1998, after Denver Broncos won the super bowl, 10,000 fans hit the streets to celebrate by….rioting. Fans caused millions dollars worth of damage.

– 2004, 2007, 2013, fans hit the streets on these years after Boston Red Sox win.  

– 2014, in Keene, NH, Keene State students held their annual Pumpkin Festival, which doesn’t involve pumpkins. Drunken students threw bottles at cops, turned over cars, stole street signs and other chaotic acts. 

Unfortunately, the list of white people acting like thugs and rioting over stupid shit goes on.

Riots, Protesting, Looting: The Illusion Of Destroying Communities

Anger, frustration and all in between is what the world has been witnessing in the uprisings of Baltimore. If you have not been well informed, the uprisings in Baltimore was triggered after the murder of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. It has been reported that the young African-American male suffered from a severe spine injury while in police custody.

Black people, especially in America, knows police brutality all too well. There are several reports of both black males and females who are dead or have been severely injured while in police custody.

Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy who was killed by police for reaching for his toy pistol.

John Crawford III: fatally shot by police for carrying a pellet gun in Wal-Mart.

Yvette Smith: killed by police because they thought she had a firearm.

Miriam Carey: fatally shot five times by police as her daughter was in the car with her.

The list of black deaths by the hands of police goes on forever.

Photo Credit: David Goldman/AP

Photo Credit: David Goldman/AP

What people have to understand is that there is a cause and effect for everything. Black people are not angry for no reason, when you live in an unjust world that does not want to see you succeed wouldn’t you be angry? Although everyone does not live in anger at the level of others, it should be known that more than a few black people are pissed off with the system. That is just obvious.

Going back to the topic of Baltimore, bring your focus on the community aspect and people’s commentary on why blacks are destroying CVS and other non-black owned businesses. Have you noticed that anytime there is a riot with mostly black people one of the main topics of discussion is why are they [blacks] destroying their own community? We have to set the record straight, specifically about Baltimore. There are various discussions all over social media where natives of Baltimore are speaking about how the black businesses are not being destroyed or looted. These white or non-black owned businesses who are only in the black neighborhoods to gentrify and make capitol off black residents could care less about black people in general. Do you honestly think Arabs, Koreans and other Asians who own liquor stores and beauty shops care about the well-being of black people? They are only there because they know who the demographic is and they know that black people are willing to throw their money at certain businesses ie, hair and liquor. So when “Ray Ray” and “Tasha” burn down or loot these stores, who is more in need? Eventually, the onwers will build again, in another predominantly black area.

Long story short, you can’t destroy what was not yours in the beginning.

“Black” Features Are Nice, But Not On Black People?

11156318_720008628097955_6573963888646681676_n

How many times have you heard or seen someone who is non-black getting praise for having voluptuous lips and or butt? This happens a lot not only in Hollywood, but in everyday life. You know what is extremely annoying, when people find “black features” worth being praised, only when they are on someone who is not black. Take the Kardashian family for instance, yes, this is so cliche, but it is one of the best examples. Some people look at Kim K’s butt and praise her for something that a lot of black women have since the beginning of time.

Now, there are different people giving Kylie Jenner praise for having big lips, something that she hasn’t always had. It is ludicrous and mind boggling as a black person when you hear people in Hollywood acknowledging Kylie Jenner’s lips when no one even addresses the many black women in Hollywood who have naturally plump lips. Just recently different people on the internet have been participating in the #KylieJennerChallenge. Basically, what people are doing is sucking there lips into shot glasses, water bottles and other suctioning devices that will make their lips plump. This is nothing more than a trend like other hashtag fads.


Yes, black women get praised for our features, but it always seems more “exotic” and “hot” when a woman who is not black are built a certain way (so they say). People will ridicule you, but at the same time, they want what you have. Look back into the late 1800s Victorian era where white women wore bustle dresses. These dresses were fit to make the butt look enormous, something that was rare for a white woman to have in those days. The bustle dresses were offensive and modeled after Saartje Baartman aka Hottentot Venus who was taken from her home in South Africa, and was paraded and exploited for her physique through out Europe.

FotorCreated


You can’t uplift one group and not the other, who is in fact the originators. Honestly, this issue goes far beyond features. Getting more in-depth with the issue is also addressing cultural appropriation. Comedian Paul Mooney said it best, “everybody wannabe a nigga, but nobody wannabe a nigga.” You can’t make other people’s culture convenient to you just because you might find it cool, hip, or exotic. The bad part about culture vultures is the fact that a lot of them feel entitled to everything and when you call them out on their bullshit, you’re the one being accused of reverse racism. You see it everywhere, a bunch of hipster white kids attending Coachella wearing native headdresses, bindis and other sacred pieces. Sacred pieces are more than just cool hipster fashion, it is a lifestyle.

Black Women And The Idol Worship Of Marilyn Monroe

dorth

Riddle me this, why are so many black women and young girls idolizing Marilyn Monroe when there were and still are a lot of trailblazing black women to look up to? Imagine if Foxy Brown’s (Pam Grier) face was adorned on a t-shirt like Marilyn’s, even Dorthy Dandridge, the list goes on forever. The white beauty standard is installed in some black women at early ages of our lives. Black children are not only playing with black dolls, but also white dolls, this can be damaging to a black child as they get older. In the 1940s, if you can recall, the first doll test was conducted by psychologists Kenneth Clark and Mamie Clarke, to study the effects of segregation on black children. (NAACP). The doll test was an eye opener because a lot of the children chose the white doll as being the best, the white doll as being prettiest and the black doll was seen as ugly and mean. When it comes to the children playing with white dolls they begin to want to be the white doll which will make them want to be a white girl. I remember being a child and one of my dad’s white co-workers came to our house to give me a present, a white doll. Not knowing any better, I thought the doll was nice, but my father did not want me to have the doll, we didn’t give the doll back, but after that night I never seen the doll again. If my dad let me play with white dolls I could be one of the black women idolizing Marilyn Monroe.

You Love America, But Does She Love You?

Duluth-lynching-postcard

Duluth-lynching-postcard

How many times will some black Americans deny that “it’s not about race” just to stay on the good side of their white friends, companions and bosses? When can some black Americans just face the fact that although this country was built on the blood, sweat and tears of our people, we will still be looked down on. There is no excuse for bullshitting and covering up the racism that happens up front and behind closed doors just because you want to live in a better world…or you’re just oblivious.

We are living in a country where we can say there is unity and we live in a “post racial” society, but how much of the truth is there in those statements? According to NAACP’s criminal justice fact sheet, “From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people.” “African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population. African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites.” By looking at those numbers, what exactly comes to mind? Think about these scenarios for a moment. We all know that white people abuse drugs more than black people, but who do you think are being incarcerated at higher rates? “About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug, five times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of whites. African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense. African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project).”  With that being said, please explain to me about how much America loves you?

Racism, Race Relations, Reverse Racism

How do you all feel about racism and do you think blacks can truly be racist towards white people? Something else to highlight in the matter is the myth of reverse racism. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is of the opposite race and the both of you are talking about race, then all of a sudden you say something they don’t like and all of a sudden you’re called out on being a so called reverse racist? Funny isn’t it? At least I think it is funny.

The whole idea of race can sometimes be confusing to some because not only is it a touchy topic, but some people don’t even know what “race” they fall under. Also, when it comes to racism….well, who is right and who is dead wrong?

Some say that being a racist is just hating someone based only on the color of their skin, but I beg to differ. The problem that people have is just that, only thinking that racism is hate of color. Racism is more than just hate hate hate, it is HATE + POWER. Sit and think to yourselves for a moment, do you actually think that black people have this power? Racism is a construct under white supremacy, racism created the KKK, racism created white people teaching their sons and daughters that they are superior to blacks even though they aren’t even the original people of this world, but that is a different topic for a different time. When was the last time you heard of a mob of black people going after a white man, hanging him, castrating him, then setting him on fire for the rest of the town to see? When was the last time you heard of a congress of black people making laws to not let white people drink from black fountains? I thought so, you haven’t. So who has the real problem of racism you might ask, not black people.

Have a good night and stay black.

Taking Back Your Spiritual Power

Taking back your spiritual power is not something that will always be easy to some or a lot. A lot of black people are bound by religion especially those of the Christian faith.You go to church every Sunday and Bible study most Wednesdays, or whenever it happens throughout the week. While you’re there you begin to think that there has to be more out there than what is happening in the church. You also begin to question your faith and your beliefs from time to time. What is one to do when you are in the confusion state of your life? Do you give up on believing, or do you search for what else there is or might be in life? These are the questions some of us have to face and live with, this challenge is something that can be conquered. Just find yourself and stay grounded.

Research is one thing that helps us all evolve and gives us knowledge, but what is obtaining knowledge without paying a price? I have paid the price, actually, I still am paying the price. My whole existence is a price to be payed. Just a little a background about myself, I grew up in a Christian household, still growing up in one because I still live with my parents. Once I got into college I still had my faith and belief in Jesus, but once I had a class while being a junior, that is when I started to do heavy research of my own and figure out what I believed in might not be something I want to partake in anymore. There was a battle within me that I had to sort out for myself. I had to put down religion and turn to spirituality. I had to take my power back that was stolen from me. I had to go back to the source without having all the extra steps attached to it, I had to be free. Now, I have no problem with studying Vodou, Santeria, Ifa, the crafts, and other spiritual and natural endeavors.

The Awakening of Blacks

Unite by Barbara Jones Hogu

Unite by Barbara Jones Hogu

The Problem
With consecutive murders going on not only in the US, but globally, where a lot of the victims are both black males and females, one would think that in such times as these black people would collectively come together. There is still no solid unity that will take the world by storm, why has this not happened yet? What will it take for blacks to see that we have an enemy and that same enemy that a lot will take up for will be the same one that orders our death. One of the main problems is the fear of losing one’s job, everyone understands that mouths need to be fed and you can’t pay bills with nothing. Another source that contributes to blacks not coming together as a whole is not wanting to be called racist by white people. Lets just focus on that part of the source for just a moment. Many people associate racism as just hating another race and nothing more, no one looks at it as being a system (which it is). Black people did not create the system of racism, so how could we possibly be racist. You have to be mindful that racism is hate + POWER (emphasis on power), of course you can just be a bigot…and nothing more if you do not control white supremacy. Fortunately for me, I know that I will receive a lot of backlash for the racism part, so lets move along anyway. The last part as to why there is no mass unity for the black community is integration, you read that right, good ole integration. Let this be clear that in no am I displeased by the actions of the strong black people that came before me and paved the way. The problem that we face with integration means that a lot of us are dependent on white people and other races too heavily. May it be getting a home or apartment, getting jobs that aren’t always black owned or simply buying groceries from their stores. When you tell most people that integration messed the black community up the reactions are usually along the lines of, “why would you say something so harsh?” People miss the fact that pre-integration forced black people to unify and work together as one because at that time more people knew who the enemy was versus now.

Coming Towards A Common Ground
The whole point of this article is not meant to bash the black community, we need more healing than picked wounds. In a perfect world there would be more unity and seeing things eye to eye with each other, but everything is a process and needs to be taken care of one step at a time. There should be more Afrocentric styled schools or even after school programs that will teach the youth and adults about our history. When you teach the youth the knowledge about self we are more inclined to raise up revolutionaries, which is something we need more of. As being apart of the youth, I feel that we can’t keep living in the shadows of the ones that came before us, people know their names…but when will the world know our names? More solutions would be to stand up for one another and not wait until something bad happens. We need better representation besides the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and other “activists”. In the midst of everything happening and knowing that not all black people have the same mindset, there still should be a way where the community can still work together. If we can riot together when times are bad and get angry at the injustices of not only the US, but the world in general, we should come together no matter what.

Welcome to the World of the Orishas

photo via Noire3000

photo via Noire3000

For some of you who are looking at this post and wondering what might an Orisha be, well I am here to inform you all. Even though there are so many Orishas to be mentioned in this post, I will narrow it down to seven just for the sake of the post. By choosing only seven is not something that is not common because the seven that will be mentioned are also called the Seven African Powers. Something else to consider when it comes to the Orishas are that because of white oppression the followers of the Orishas had to find a way to conceal the fact that they were worshiping them. Followers would infuse Catholicism with their beliefs by disguising the Orishas with patron saints. Some followers still use the disguise even until this day.

Now let’s get down to business.

According to Orishanet.org, “The orishas are the emissaries of Olodumare or God almighty. They rule over the forces of nature and the endeavors of humanity. They recognize themselves and are recognized through their different numbers and colors which are their marks, and each has their own favorite foods and other things which they like to receive as offerings and gifts. In this way we make our offerings in the manner they are accustomed to, in the way they have always received them, so that they will recognize our offerings and come to our aid.” Down below, I have constructed a list of the seven Orishas. Not only will I be sharing the names, but I will also give a brief description as well. (These are all from Orishanet.org)

Yemaya (Feminine):

Yemayá lives and rules over the seas and lakes. She also rules over maternity in our lives as she is the Mother of All. Her name, a shortened version of Yeyé Omo Eja means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish” to reflect the fact that her children are uncountable. All life started in the sea, the amneotic fluid inside the mother’s womb is a form of sea where the embryo must transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. In this way Yemayá displays herself as truly the mother of all. She partakes of Olokun’s abundance as the source of all riches which she freely gives to her little sister Oshún. She dresses herself in seven skirts of blue and white and like the seas and profound lakes she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the queen of witches carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is seven for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by the fish who are her children.

Oshun (Feminine):

Oshún rules over the sweet waters of the world, the brooks, streams and rivers, embodying love, fertility. She also is the one we most often approach to aid us in money matters. She is the youngest of the female orishas but retains the title of Iyalode or great queen. She heals with her sweet waters and with honey which she also owns. She is the femme fatale of the orishas and once saved the world by luring Ogún out of the forests using her feminine wiles. And,in her path or manifestation of Ibú Ikolé she saved the world from draught by flying up to heaven (turning into a vulture in the process). Ikolé means Messenger of the House (of Olodumare). For this reason all who are to be initiated as priests, no matter what orisha rules their head, must go to the river and give account of what they are about to do. She recognises herself in the colors yellow and gold and her number is five. Peacocks and vultures are hers and we use them often to represent her.

Oya (Feminine):

Oyá is the ruler of the winds, the whirlwind and the gates of the cemetery. Her number is nine which recalls her title of Yansá or “Mother of Nine” in which she rules over the egun or dead. She is also known for the colors of maroon, flowery patterns and nine different colors. She is a fierce warrior who rides to war with Shangó (sharing lightning and fire with him) and was once the wife of Ogún.

Eleggua (Male):

Elegguá is the owner of the roads and doors in this world. He is the repository of ashé. The colors red and black or white and black are his and codify his contradictory nature. In particular, Elegguá stands at the crossroads of the human and the divine, as he is child-like messenger between the two worlds. In this role, it is not surprising that he has a very close relationship with the orisha of divination, Orunmila. Nothing can be done in either world without his permission. Elegguá is always propitiated and called first before any other orisha as he opens the door between the worlds and opens our roads in life. He recognises himself and is recognised by the numbers 3 and 21.

Ogun (Male):

Ogún is the god of iron, war and labor. He is the owner of all technology and because this technology shares in his nature, it is almost always used first for war. As Elegguá opens the roads, it is Ogún that clears the roads with his machete. He is recognised in the numbers 7 and the colors green and black.

Obatala (Male):

Obatalá is the kindly father of all the orishas and all humanity. He is also the owner of all heads and the mind. Though it was Olorun who created the universe, it is Obatalá who is the creator of the world and humanity. Obatalá is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and compassionate. He has a warrior side though through which he enforces justice in the world. His color is white which is often accented with red, purple and other colors to represent his/her different paths. White is most appropriate for Obatalá as it contains all the colors of the rainbow yet is above them. Obatalá is also the only orisha that has both male and female paths.

Orunmila (Male):

Orunmila is the orisha of wisdom, knowledge and divination. He was the only orisha allowed to witness the creation of the universe by Olorun and bears witness to our destinies in the making as well. This is the source of his title of Eleri Ipin or “Witness to Destiny in its Creation”. His priests, the babalawos or “Fathers of the Secrets” must devote themselves entirely to the practice of divination and the accompanying arts. Through the Table of Ifá his priests unfold the secrets of the universe and the secrets of the unfolding of our lives. His colors are green and yellow which reflect Orunmila’s relationship with Osayín (the secrets of the plant world) and with Oshún, who is his apetebí with whom he has an extremely close relationship.