EPIPHANY

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Where WE Stand

Many of you have probably heard about the series being done on NBC Nightly News this week.  The title is African American Women: Where They Stand, and it attempts to highlight some of the issues facing African American Women. *sighs*  I guess I applaud NBC for their efforts, as it’s nice to see someone in mainstream media addressing my demographic, but on the other hand I wish those four minutes a night could have talked about something most of us didn’t already know!

The title of Monday’s segment was, More Black Women Taking Care of Business.  A major stat that stuck out was 64% of black college students are women, and black women outnumber black men on some campuses 7 to 1.  As staggering as the stat was, it’s no surprise.  I was in college in the early to mid 90’s and there were definitely more women on the yard than men.  It was nice to know that the number of black businesses owned by women is up 75%, but again I would have preferred that they use those broadcast minutes to let the world know about Dunbar Village.

Tuesday’s segment was about Black women and breast cancer.  While technically black women are less likely to get breast cancer; when we do we are younger, the cancer is more aggressive and we are more likely to die from it.  Again, I appreciate NBC News highlighting such an important issue.  Because black women are so busy taking care of everyone else, we tend to put our own healthcare on the back burner.  Ladies (and men who know and love ladies) monthly self-breast exams and annual clinical breast exams are critical.  Women with no history of breast disease are getting diagnosed in their thirties.  We gotta stay on top of our own health!

Wednesday’s segment was about redefining black relationships.  I don’t know how I feel about NBC putting us on blast with regards to being single in the city, but I digress…..  70% of African American children are born to single women.  We all know this is a touchy subject in the black community, but I am not about to judge single mothers or predispose children born to single mothers to having a bleak future. Ideally a two parent household filled with love and balance is probably best, but we all know it’s not the only way.  I am not sure of the titles for the segments on Thursday and Friday, but I suspect they will include topics that are common knowledge to “us”.  Rather than regurgitate more facts that are no brainers, I’ll dedicate the rest of this blog to two topics that deserve recognition, but probably won’t make the nightly news. 

For those that don’t know, Dunbar Village has to be one of the most deplorable acts of violence I’ve heard of in my lifetime.  Please google it or go to www.whataboutourdaughters.org for specific details but the short story is this:  A black woman in Florida was terrorized by armed burglars when they broke into her apartment.  She was violently raped and sodomized while her son watched.  The assailants forced her to perform oral sex on her son during the ordeal.  The crime took place in a low income housing project and national media attention has been slow coming.  With all the attention our “leaders” gave to the Jena 6, you would think they would be up in arms about something so vile as Dunbar Village!  Why is it that a black woman victimized by the system (at one point there was talk about throwing out this poor woman’s case because of lack of evidence) doesn’t warrant the same attention as young black men unfairly prosecuted?  No offense to the Jena 6, and I fully support all the efforts undertaken on their behalf, but the fact of the matter is they did assault someone.  Granted the prosecution of their case was more about race than justice, but what about justice for a woman who is mentally and physically scarred for life? 

I would have LOVED to see NBC Nightly News cover the disparity in media attention given to black women that are victims of crime.  I would have loved to hear someone ask Reverend Al or Reverend Jesse why they didn’t rush to the aid of this black woman that was blatantly being victimized by the criminal justice system.   Where do you stand when it comes to crimes committed against black women?  Is it going to take another Chester Turner (Southside Murders in Louisiana) or a repeat of The Boston Murders to garner national attention for black women?

Finally, with World AIDS Day only two days away, I wanted to take a moment to discuss where “we” stand with regards to the AIDS epidemic.  If you didn’t already know, heterosexual black women are pretty much the new face of AIDS.  We are the fastest growing group of newly diagnosed cases and unfortunately majority of those women (about 65%) were infected through heterosexual contact.  Black women are being infected at alarming rates because they are not taking proper precautions to protect themselves.  Many of us saw the Oprah episode about men on the “Down Low”, so we know the deal.  I doubt if you’ll hear about it on the NBC News this week, but according to the statistics published last year, black women accounted for 67% of all AIDS cases in the United States.  (It should also be mentioned that we only make up 12-13% of the population!)  Why can’t we make up 67% of all new millionaires in the United States?  Why can’t we make up 67% of Nobel Prize winners or 67% of all CEO’s?  Ladies, and men who know and love ladies, AIDS is real and it can kill you.  Stop faking and be safe! 

We’ve all heard the expression “Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything”. Where do you stand on the issues that effect black women in America, or are you okay to let plight of black women fall by the wayside!

JerzeeChick

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November 29, 2007 - Posted by | Health, HIV, Life, News, Race, Society, Women

5 Comments »

  1. Let me be the first to say that I have not watched the series, but it sounds like, on the surface, propaganda that continues to divide Black Men and Women and further emasculate Black Men in America.
    Questions I pose;
    Why is the confusion of traditional roles in African American families so prevalent?
    Why are so many African American men gay or bisexual?
    Why is there an attitude of acceptance with Black men who under achieve in life?
    What causes our culture of casual sex, lack of committed relationships and fathering children with women we don’t really know much less love?
    Why are Black men so afraid to commit and express genuine feelings of love and affection towards family and loved ones?
    In the words of Jadakiss “If I’m not gay, I shouldn’t have to say, ‘No Homo’”
    I know for a fact, that I love my Grandmothers, my mother, my sisters, my daughter (who everyday steals my heart) , and my son (who wants to be just like his daddy). I know for a fact the Black women in my life taught me how to love, learn, achieve, aspire, inspire and most importantly be a grown ass man. If my aunts didn’t love me enough to take me in after my parents threw their hands up, I would be the statistic in Wednesday night’s episode. If my paternal grandmother didn’t love me enough to teach me to read and write, do laundry, iron, cook and how to treat a woman then I would be on of these trifling niggas Black Women are so tired of. If my mother didn’t love me enough to drag me to church 4 days a week and let me see her respect my father as the head and not the tail (ass), then I might be walking around Lenox on Saturday’s with a Gucci purse, and heel’s. She taught me to look up to my father no matter how bad things got, and like my son I wanted to be like my daddy, not my mommy. I love me some Black Women, even my crazy ass ex-wife, but we all have a part to play in this movie and it shouldn’t be separated by gender. And as many of you know, I’m Balco and my flick is so clear and so should yours.

    Comment by Mr, FrenchConnection aka Balco, I keep that Clear | November 29, 2007

  2. P.S.

    First

    Comment by Mr, FrenchConnection aka Balco, I keep that Clear | November 29, 2007

  3. Yo Miss Bell…keep in mind that this series was designed to bring attention to the issues that our black women face. I understand your concern about putting our business “on blast”. However, the facts are the facts and have to be confronted. This is an attempt to give WHITE America insight into some of the issues we’re facing in our communities. So essientially, the series puts them on blast and says, “you can’t ignore these issues anymore”

    Comment by Myreon | November 29, 2007

  4. Thanks for keeping me informed, some of us don’t even get a chance 2 watch nitely news and/or television after work. That’s the price us single mother’s bare. Anyhoot, it goes back to each one teach one. I mite not b a college graduate but I do try & teach the young ladies that work for me and/or the one’s I come in contact with to take head from my mistakes. Trying 2 teach them to take advantage of certain things. Respect for self & others and protect themselves. We have to mentor’s whether we like it and/or they like it…

    Comment by JerzeeCook | November 29, 2007

  5. From what I heard, the mini-series wasnt all that great to begin with…I didnt have an opportunity to see it. However, I do think that series could have discussed a broader range of topics.

    In regards to this post, I think that you brought up some very important issues.

    Thanks for providing the platform for this discussion

    Comment by Jhaque | December 6, 2007


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