Leave #BlackHair Alone #diversity

I am so tired of white people getting on Black people about our hair. I am truly, undeniably sick of it. It’s rude, it’s boring, and frankly, it’s ridiculous.Dreads

Black hair is different. It requires different care, and because of its texture, it is suitable for different, and perhaps unfamiliar, hair styles. Get over it.

When I read a story published this week about 7-year-old Tiana Parker, a Tulsa girl whose parents pulled her out of a school because the administration said her dreads – short, neatly tended dreads – was unacceptable, I wanted to throw my hands up and cry out. Yahoo showed a picture of the child crying with a quote that said “they didn’t like my dreads.”

It broke my heart. What message is this child internalizing? Continue reading “Leave #BlackHair Alone #diversity”

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Ignore Little Slights and Focus on the Real Problems

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Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” is a box office hit for the second week in a row. I saw the film, and thought it exceedingly well done. High praise from me since, as a rule, I’m never first in line to see any film – or anything for that matter – where black people play a subservient role, no matter how dignified or substantiated such behavior may be.

Of course, Daniels has been doing the rounds promoting, and apparently he angered some black women with a comment he made during a recent interview with Larry King.

During the interview King brought up his sexuality – Daniels is gay – and he shared some childhood memories about wearing his mother’s pumps and getting punished for it. He also shared his belief that gay people are subject to more prejudice than black people are.

While doing research for his film “Precious,” Daniels visited a gay men’s health crisis center in New York. He said he was shocked to find the place was filled not with gay men but black women. “I thought I had walked into the welfare office,” he said. Continue reading “Ignore Little Slights and Focus on the Real Problems”

Judging One Book’s Cover – #Racism Has No Economic Cap

OprahOprah’s in the news this week. A shop girl who’s probably still kicking herself wouldn’t show her a purse while she was visiting Zurich for Tina Turner’s wedding last month.

Apparently she asked to see the purse and was told no; that she couldn’t afford it. Some reports say she left the store without purchasing the bag because she did not want the shop girl to get the commission.

The Swiss Tourism office later apologized to O, saying “we apologize that her feelings were hurt.” Let’s ignore how patronizing that apology sounds for the moment, since I’d wager money Oprah’s feelings were not hurt by the incident. Not when she can pull out her black card, call someone and have whatever purse she wants delivered that same day.

What’s interesting is that O later apologized for how the incident blew up in the media. Continue reading “Judging One Book’s Cover – #Racism Has No Economic Cap”

#Women Are Out of Order

Author and self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant is in the news over comments she made in an interview with MadameNoire Magazine.

VanzantVanzant had the temerity to suggest that women, black women in particular, are “out of order.” One pearls she offers: “There is no reason for us to continue to have children with men who don’t honor us, and don’t take care of their children.”

I agree whole heartedly. Vanzant hit the nail on the head when she talked about women giving reign over their lives to people who make them spiritually, emotionally and mentally sick.

To me, her words are not harsh, they’re fair, and she’s not passing judgment so much as she is pointing out a truth as she sees it. And sometimes the truth hurts. Continue reading “#Women Are Out of Order”

Obama a Global George Zimmerman? Really?

When the Trayvon verdict came down a week ago, my first thought was, I need to write about this. It’s news. I should be tendering an opinion. I am a member of the media, after all. But somehow I couldn’t. I couldn’t summon one ounce of passion over the verdict. My poor mother, on the other hand, was so angry she cleaned the stove – a hated chore she accomplished so masterfully that the sucker looked brand new when I came to visit days later.Trayvon

I was blasé about the entire trial. I half listened to testimony, not even bothering to cringe or roll my eyes when they put that ridiculous, practically illiterate girl on the stand. Yeah, that helped. And when old George was set free, I felt nothing. I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t compelled to march or cry or complain or even tweet.

The fact is, this type of thing – young black man gunned down and white killer set free – happens all the time. It’s just that poor Trayvon won the martyr hat for the year. Don’t get me wrong. It is a tragic loss of life. We’ll never know what that young man might have accomplished. He could have been our second black president. It’s undeniably sad that because of someone else’s immaturity and fear, he won’t have an opportunity to change the world or even to contribute in some way.

It’s tragic that Trayvon will only be remembered in this horrid context, his handsome brown face emblazoned on hoodies, associated with death and anger, injustice and wasted potential. Continue reading “Obama a Global George Zimmerman? Really?”