Classy Black Women


Here are step by step instructions for how to block or lock VH1 and other offensive channels from your cable guide.

Recently I decided to block VH1 from my television guide to support a boycott against the station (#BoycottSororitySisters). Before anyone says "well why didn't you boycott before" -- I have supported countless reality TV boycotts including All My Babies Mamas, which was taken off the air. This battle is another of my choosing because it targets the reputation of historically black organizations that have been supporting the black community for decades. 

I learned that while you can't remove a channel completely from your TV guide, you can lock or block the channel so that people in your household won't be able to watch and won't be tempted to watch. In some cases you can also hide the channel from your guide's listing.

Here is a short list of common cable services and how to lock them or "hide" them from your channel guide.


How to Lock or Block Channels on Verizon Fios:

http://www.verizon.com/support/residential/tv/fiostv/guide/parental+controls/questions/124987.htm?pos=6

Alternative Option for Verizon Fios
Create a favorite channels list (you can then use this favorites list as your channel guide and "block out" all unwanted channels daily):

http://www.verizon.com/support/residential/tv/fiostv/guide/favorite+channels/favorite+channels.htm


How to Lock or Block Channels on Dish Network:

In addition to allowing you to lock channels, dish network allows you to hide them from your guide, so you won't even see them!

http://www.mydish.com/support/parentallocks
(Click "How to Use Channel Locks" and "How to Hide Locks")


Alternative Option for Dish Network
Create a favorite channels list (you can then choose "view in guide" and use that as your channel guide).

https://support.directv.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4022/~/what-is-the-my-favorite-channels-list-and-how-do-i-use-it%3F


How to Lock or Block Channels on DIRECTV

https://support.directv.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/273/~/how-do-i-use-parental-controls%3F



Alternative Option for DIRECTV
This allows you to add favorite channels and create custom lists to use as your channel guide:

https://support.directv.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1778/related/1


How to Lock or Block Channels on Time Warner Cable

http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/support/tv/topics/tv-parental-controls.html



Alternative Option for Time Warner Cable (Favorite Lists)
http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/support/faqs/faqs-tv/on-screeng/iguide/favoritesl/how-do-i-add-or-delete-channel.html


How to Block Channels on Comcast Xfinity

First set up a parental locks pin: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-parental-controls-turn-on-off

Then block individual channels: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-parental-controls-channel-locks

More guidance on parental locks:http://xfinity.comcast.net/parents/tv/parental-controls.html

More options: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/how-to-block-channels


Alternative Option for Comcast Xfinity (Favorite Lists)
Create your own personal channel list:

http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/xfinity-apps-add-or-remove-favorites-in-xfinity-tv-app/



Hope that helps simplify things. If you have another service, the process of blocking or locking a cable channel is probably similar. If you know of additional ways to block channels from viewing on your channel guide, please post them in the comments below.


Love CBLady



Links to this post


Some in the black community question why sorority members are defending their organizations against reality TV slander, but why didn't you support these 20 open calls for support?

While looking over the various tweets on my timelines about #SororitySisters, I see that many of them ask "why didn't those sorority members protest such and such show?" I began to scratch my head in confusion...

Because in my five or so years running this blog, I've come across countless petitions and calls for boycotts of the black reality shows that many blacks have now come to love and accept. Below is a list of just 20 links to black reality TV petitions or calls for boycotts that I found in about 20 minutes of searching.

The only one that I can remember being successful was the petition that caused Shawty Lo's "All My Babies' Mamas" to be pulled from Oxygen.

So I ask in response, why didn't you, the black community as a whole, support these causes more when you had the chance if you're seriously concerned about these shows airing?

I admire these Black Greek Lettered Organizations for organizing with a purpose and using their power in numbers to launch a serious boycott, which seems to be working at this point. They are businesses and have every right to protect the integrity of their organizations.

You can do the same if you're dismayed; so why not start your own petition or boycott today?


http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cancel_frankie_neffe_show/

https://www.change.org/p/tami-roman-boycott-tami-roman-from-basketball-wives-vh1

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-ratchetness-cancel-basketball-wives-la.html

https://www.change.org/p/boycott-basketball-wives-evelyn-lozada-don-t-support-evelyn-lozada-s-spinoff-show-ev-and-ocho-on-vh1

https://www.change.org/p/boycott-vh1-love-hip-hop-atlanta-specifically-stop-dealing-digital-crack-and-tell-balanced-stories

http://theybf.com/2012/06/21/here-we-go-again-online-petition-to-boycott-love-hip-hop-atlanta-hits-the-net

http://blogs.bet.com/celebrities/entertainment-spotlight/2012/04/27/star-jones-spearheads-petition-against-basketball-wives-evelyn-lozada/

http://jezebel.com/5976101/oxygen-cancels-all-my-babies-mamas-after-nation-goes-apoplectic

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/239/322/801/ban-vh1-love-and-hip-hop-ny-jen-the-pen

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cancelrealhousewivesofatlanta

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/what-does-married-to-medicine-say-about-black-female-doctors/274490

https://www.change.org/p/oxygen-cancel-the-reality-show-the-bad-girls-club

https://www.change.org/p/bravo-s-married-to-medicine-cancel-the-show-and-remove-all-promotions

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-11-27/news/0611270138_1_african-american-black-women-cable-show

https://www.change.org/p/responsiblerealitytv-cable-networks-must-stop-the-exploitation-of-negative-stereotypes-of-black-women-interpersonal-violence-on-realitytv

http://newsone.com/2270814/sil-lai-abrams-truth-in-reality

http://www.enstarz.com/articles/37875/20140513/basketball-wives-la-season-4-cast-fans-launch-petition-to-kick-off-sundy-carter-she-is-an-evil-bully-video.htm

http://thegrio.com/2013/05/31/oprah-fans-draft-petition-to-have-tyler-perry-kicked-off-own

https://www.change.org/p/black-girls-parents-teachers-and-social-media-users-stop-the-negative-images-of-black-girls-and-young-women-in-social-media-read-the-black-girls-media-declaration-sign-the-pledge-download-the-pledge-at-http-www-blackgirlsmediapledge-com?share_id=DvwWvgTpYu&utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_true

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/end-negative-stereotypes





Links to this post
One of the messages that I see often from young black feminists and black men is "f*** respectability." I guess they figure if they shout this mantra from the hilltops enough times without being challenged it will suddenly be true.

Well guess what? Respectability is a real thing in real life and it can open (or close) a lot of doors for you. It can even save your life. This is said by someone who has been there, done that -- not just preaching and signifying on social media. We're talking about real life issues. 

Do you think you'll get that job or small business loan if the decision maker finds a video of you twerking or acting up on social media? Likely not.

Do you think that the young woman who was kidnapped off the street in a Philadelphia would have had the amount of public support to eventually lead to her recovery that she did if she was a stripper instead of a nursing assistant? Nope.

Do you think MLK and Malcolm would have been taken seriously by the President and their own followers if they came to work every day in wife beaters and shorts? Nope.

Sometimes respectability doesn't matter one bit -- when Dr. Henry Louis Gates was harassed by the police for being in his own house, I'm sure he was wearing a very nice ensemble from work and speaking like a professor. But sometimes respectability does matter -- a whole lot. I think that unfortunately a lot of people who think it doesn't ever matter are going to have some very hard lessons to learn 5,10 or 20 years into the future when they're trying to establish themselves.

If you'll notice, the people who most often preach about respectability politics are almost always fully dressed in suits or business attire. They aren't fully in touch with how people stuck in poverty and struggle are affected in this society when they maintain a cavalier "F--- everybody" attitude about life.

"Respectability" is more about respecting yourself than anything. Is that too much to ask?

Posted by CBLady 


Links to this post
When I was coming of age in the 90s, we had a lot of great performers and entertainers, from TLC to Aaliyah to Mary to Janet to D'Angelo. But while we loved these artists, the admiration was just that of a fan. 

Nowadays fandom has turned into standom. Eminem made the term popular with a song he wrote about an obsessed fan named Stan who ended up doing something really crazy at the end of the story.

Everything in Moderation
Being a fan of someone you like is in our nature as humans. Loving a certain public figure is understandable. But everything in moderation. When your infatuation with one person completely takes over your whole life, that's concerning. 

Stans completely lose themselves in their celebrity obsession and live vicariously through the person they worship. They learn to defend the object of their admiration even if that high profile person displays negative or harmful behavior. This mentality strips them of their individuality and ability to think rationally.

Dictators usually have a lot of stans, and that's pretty much how they manage to brainwash entire nations.

Where Did Stanning Come From?
So what caused this increase in the number and intensity of stanning? I believe it's due to a significant decline in the self-esteem of young people. They're sad. They're angry. They feel unloved. They don't feel that they have an identity of their own, so they are more vulnerable to living under the cover of obsession with celebrities. 

Our celebrity/reality TV/sports obsessed culture also plays a role.

It's possible that this is a phase and young people will eventually grow out of their tendency toward obsession with celebrities (it's an addiction like any other). But the only real, permanent solution would be to learn self-love and self-worth. 

When it comes right down to it, the main person you should be "stanning" for in your life is YOU.

Posted by CBLady



Links to this post
Azealia Banks' independently released Broke with Expensive Taste album is getting great reviews and chart ratings.

 I don't usually announce or write about album releases of artists of today (mostly because I usually care very very little) but I'm taking a moment out today to talk about Azealia Banks' new Broke with Expensive Taste album (hashtag #BWET).
 

Azealia Banks (image: Twitter)
Why? Because she's a black girl who rocks ( literally).
 

Her album debuted yesterday, November 6, and the last I checked it reached #3 on the charts. It does not disappoint.
 

There's no doubt of the quality music on BWET, but I want to focus on the story behind it. This is the real reason I want to spotlight her album and give her support.
 

Azealia Banks is an unapologetically dark-skinned young black woman who is confident and talented at both singing and rapping. She had a fast rise in the underground music industry which eventually attracted the attention of Interscope records. Her infamous song 212 was (and still is) a worldwide hit.
 

But while signed to Interscope, Azealia's album was repeatedly delayed. Then Interscope dropped her from the label. All that we can do is guess why -- if I had to take a wild guess, it was a combination of Azealia being a rebellious "angry black woman" in the eyes of the white male dominated label and a disagreement about her song choice. I imagine they probably would have preferred her to write a whole lot more songs about how great white boys are...just a theory.

So Azealia went out on her own. She didn't get discouraged enough to stop pushing forward--she kept making and releasing new music. She kept touring. She kept tweeting despite the constant negativity from fans and the public (T.I. the "black" male rapper who brought Iggy Azeala to the hip hop community publicly threatened her life and called her "below mediocre.")
 

And just yesterday she released her album to awesome reviews. The album quickly rose to the top 10 on iTunes within hours (#3 to be exact). INDEPENDENTLY meaning she is holding onto a lot of her own coins. She didn't need the backing and promotion of a major label to achieve these results. Why? Because she actually has talent.

If that isn't a black girl who rocks story I don't know what is.


She an example to young black girls and women that no matter what, you go after your dreams -- even if the world seems to be against you.
 

For all of these reasons and the high quality of her album Broke with Expensive Taste #BWET, I encourage other black girls who rock to support Azealia. Her album is available for download through iTunes and Amazon.



#BlackGirlsRock
Love,
CB Lady


Links to this post

For the past few days I've been disturbed by the kidnapping of Carlesha Freeland-Gaither. She is a hard working young woman, age 22, who was simply trying to get home at 9:40pm at night. A brute snatched her right off of the street and took her in his car. It was all caught on camera.

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief after just learning that she has been found alive in Jessup, MD by police. I feel as if a weight has been lifted.

What disturbed me most about this case was how this young woman was taken with witnesses around watching. One coward drove up, saw everything, and then chose to simply back up and "mind his own business." It can happen to any young woman if she's not aware. Carlesha actually shook hands with the perpetrator right before he bum rushed her and dragged her into his car. This is a good case of how and why young women should not ever be trusting of strange men -- especially when alone.

I am extremely happy with the mainstream media's response to this case. They have been on it from the beginning and I believe that is what contributed to her being found. So many young black women disappear like this and no one seems to care. The perpetrator will be found (if not already) and will not be able to target young black women like this anymore.

Hopefully this also sends a message to any more like him out there -- you will not get away with this, leave our young girls and women alone!

Thanking God at this moment and sending love to Carlesha and her family--
CBLady


Links to this post

Why support a business, cause, organization, establishment or individual who doesn't support, love and respect you -- a point that needs to be reiterated every once in a while.

While we sisters definitely don't have a problem voicing our opinions when we experience an injustice, I wonder if the majority of us are also speaking with our WALLETS.

Activism is more than talk and words. It's meaningful action. The most meaningful action you can take when you feel that you're being treated unjustly is to withhold your dollars. That's what it comes down to 99% of these time in our society. Businesses don't care about feelings, sensibilities and movements. They care about CA$H. This is what the warriors of the Montgomery Bus Boycott knew, and this is why they got exactly what they wanted.


Your money is power. The media and businesses may have some level of influence on how society perceives black people, but nobody controls how you choose to spend your cash but YOU.

When Pepsi aired a commercial during the Superbowl that annoyed black women across the country (including me) most people wrote it off as us "just being too sensitive." But a lot of black women did boycott Pepsi products after that. Not too long after the Super Bowl (February 2011), Pepsi lost its standing as #2 soft drink seller, quietly falling to #3 in April 2011. Not long after that around August 2011, Pepsi sponsored Black Girls Rock, which I believe was their way of trying to make amends with black women. They must have seen a noticeable change in their revenues in certain areas.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a number of black women benefited from Pepsi's sponsorship that year. You have to make your voice heard AND back it up with action to get results.

We often hear of black people being treated unfairly at restaurants, clubs and other types of popular business establishments, but does that really stop us from going back to the business to spend our hard earned cash?

Why complain about bad treatment only to seek a fake "apology" so that you can turn around and go back to the same establishment to give them all that they really wanted in the first place -- your money.

Black Woman Spending Power Is Real
You see, businesses and marketers know this, but they don't want us to know this. They would be devastated if black women were to stop patronizing them in large quantities.

As of this posting, black spending power is now over $1 trillion and the vast majority of that is controlled by black women. So basically, if any business, individual or institution wants to make any real money off the black community, they are going to have to convince women to loosen those purse straps.

If I feel disrespected, devalued or ignored by a business it's a fat chance that I'll ever be back. And I'll be sure to let other people know when presented with the opportunity. I've experienced countless cases of this when visiting New York City, which is notorious for discriminatory behavior against black people. What these shop owners and businesses need to understand is that there are very real consequences to their actions.

Why Contribute to People Who Don't Value You or Your Spending Power?
White-owned businesses aren't the only ones who display discriminatory or disrespectful behavior toward black women. Black male celebrities like Chris Rock, Terrance Howard, Kevin Hart, Lil Wayne and others often get away with these anti-BW antics and still receive some level of support from black women. These men obviously don't care a damn about our sensibilities or concerns as black women, so arguing with them is pointless. What you do is WITHHOLD YOUR DOLLARS from any project they're involved in. If enough black women do this, sooner or later they will disappear. It all comes down to that CA$H.

Giving your money, time and energy to people and things that don't value you in return is a drain. It's bad. It's counterproductive. It's not good for you as an individual or as a community of smart, classy, fiscally responsible black women.

Enough talk. Put your money where your mouth is sister. Money is energy. Stay woke. Only support individuals, businesses and institutions that love, support and value you back. Period.


Love
CB Lady


Links to this post


For nearly a week straight on social media, the meme of "Daquan" was a trending topic.


The Daquan meme is a variety of photos of young white girls arguing with their parents about a stereotypical black guy named "Daquan" who "stays in the trap" and doesn't have a problem messing with 8-year-olds.

Countless hundreds of accounts spread this meme throughout social media (and no, not just Black Twitter ALL of Twitter) for nearly a week.

And who were the majority of those spreading and perpetuating this stereotypical meme that paints black men as drug slinging thugs and pedophiles? Black men and boys.

Yup.

I wonder who created it? I wouldn't be surprised if it was created by a racist person who was using it to make fun of black people. Yet black people willingly and eagerly joined in on the "fun," retweeting it and making it a trending topic for everyone to see.

Not "Just a Meme"
As black people we love to complain and get the pitchforks out when there's an injustice against black people, no matter how small, but we don't want to own up to how some of us perpetuate our own negative stereotypes in this society.

I don't know if black people still think that we live in some kind of a bubble where our so-called "family business" stays in the family, but we don't anymore thanks to the internet. Black Twitter antics aren't only promoted on the accounts of other black people -- it's visible everywhere. For some reason a large group of black people seem to be on Twitter all day long, promoting ignorance.

I don't particularly care what racists think of black people, but I do care about how we're treated in this society, and much of that is based on negative stereotypes.

For example, look at what happened to Professor Ersula Ore while simply walking across the street. A white cop who probably believes every negative stereotype ever told about black women thought it was okay to slam her to the ground like she was a rag doll. Not to mention the black 51-year old grandma who was repeatedly punched in the face by a police officer.

Let's also talk about how black people (particularly black women) have such a hard time finding a place to live or work because of negative stereotypes. Even if you're a hard working individual with a college degree, you have to wonder if you didn't get that job because of a person who has bought into negative stereotypes about black women and men.

Stereotypes may ring true for a few, but their repercussions affect us all.

When Negative Stereotypes Have Very Real Repercussions
Anyone who says that "it shouldn't matter" or "it's just fun and jokes" when faced with the choice to laugh or fight back against negative stereotypes, here's a one-word answer for you: Trayvon.

Trayvon Martin was unfairly taken from this world because a small minded vigilante used negative stereotypes to judge his character without ever meeting him. This "community volunteer" assumed that Trayvon was a potential criminal walking through a quiet community.

I don't understand how as a young black man you can help perpetuate these Daquan-esque stereotypes knowing the great risk you take just walking down the street at night in this country. Do you like being harassed?

I don't understand how as a young black woman you can still help perpetuate the image of black women as sex pots and jezebels, to be used and consumed by the world.

I don't understand how we can still go around freely calling our "skinfolk" niggas and bitches like it's their names in public. Just to sound "cool" and "down."

Isn't it time for a change yet young people? Isn't it time that we work harder to shatter stereotypes rather than help promote them? At what point will we realize that in order to get respect from society we have to respect ourselves and each other first? Hopefully not when it's too late.


Love

CB Lady


Links to this post


Are we still buying the idea that the mainstream media is some kind of harmless "bystander" in our society, that's just innocently providing us with information and entertainment? I hope not.


It’s just a TV show.

It’s just a song.

It’s just a joke.

It’s just an article.

It’s just a magazine.

It’s just social media/Twitter/Facebook.


"Relax, it’s just the media. No big deal."

The biggest lie of the past 80-100 years, I’d say.

We have to move into a new understanding that the media isn’t “just the media.” It’s something much bigger and more influential than any of us could ever imagine. The media that we see every day is not just fluffy stuff that doesn’t affect our lives -- the media can guide the sentiments of an entire culture or society.

Everyday people very much take their cues from the media on how to think, what to think, what to wear, what to buy and who to like. The truth is that people internalize messages that they get from the media and insert them into their real lives.

Here are a few examples:

Reality Television and Popular Series'
"It's just TV"
When Flavor of Love was first released on VH1 in 2006, everyone loved it. We thought it was just an entertaining anomaly, but it was only the first in a long parade of reality television shows that made black people (again, mainly women) look like complete fools.

When people finally started to get fed up and protest the theme of some of these shows (think All My Baby Mamas) the response was “it’s just a TV show, relax.” Obviously, it’s become a lot more because now we have a culture of “bad bitches” and “boss bitches” who think that fighting, talking about each other and wearing red bottoms is the highlight of life. They don't see it now, but these silly representations are working against the overall progress of black women (and women in general) in our society.

Here’s another example from mainstream America: Breaking Bad. It was a very entertaining television show, but in a way it opened Americans up to the wonderful world of “meth.” In a way it normalized drug use in mostly white communities, teaching kids how to make the drug, and that’s not just my theory – a prosecutor who lives in a community affected by meth agrees in his op-ed piece here. Is it such a far-fetched idea that popular television shows like Breaking Bad might have played a role in why drug use has increased over the past decade in many states across the U.S.?
 

Black Comedians "It's Just Jokes" 
Back when the top black comedians on the scene were Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, there was still an energy of “black power” and “black is beautiful” coursing through the black community. So they could crack a few jokes about black people and it was mostly seen as "all in fun."

Nowadays, not so much. Still, some of us support and encourage the antics of black comedians like Kevin Hart and D.L. Hughley who love nothing more than to pick at and stereotype black women. Those crass racially-charged jokes that some modern day black comedians have been cracking about black people (mostly black women) has unfortunately spawned a generation of young black wannabe comedians who now troll Twitter and social media sites. They use their words and memes to bully and intimidate -- it especially affects vulnerable young black girls who already suffer from low self-esteem issues.

And when they’re called out about it, what is their response? “It’s just jokes.”

Yea, right.
 


Rap Music "It's Just a Song"  
When rap music evolved from “revolutionary” to “ganstafied” (from "fight the power" to "fight your woman") I remember that there was a feisty black lady named C. Delores Tucker who tried to make gangsta rappers’ lives a living hell. She saw the writing on the wall, but the rest of us just said “it’s just a song, relax.” She was vilified right up until her death.
 
Well, "it’s just a song" has turned into a vocal sub-culture of the black community that has little to no respect for anything or anyone anymore. They call each other niggas, bitches, hos and thots as naturally as if they were reciting their ABCs. They treat each other with the same lack of respect.

White, Skinny, “Perfect”
“It’s Just a Magazine”  

If you’ve ever stood in line at the grocery store or pharmacy waiting, there’s no way you can miss the countless magazines plastered all over the register area. 90% of the time you’ll see a white, extremely skinny woman on the cover who is being promoted as the “ideal of beauty.”

Is it really a coincidence that more girls are suffering from self-esteem issues in our modern culture? It’s estimated that 51 percent of young girls ages 14 to 16 don’t like the way they look; 1/3 or girls ages 7 to 21. Studies even suggest that a girl’s low self-esteem could negatively affect her future career prospects if it’s not dealt with soon. 

 
And let’s not neglect to consider the effect these magazines have on little black girls in particular. They hardly ever see anyone that resembles them at the grocery store or when looking at the countless ads we’re exposed to daily. Even when you do have a black woman on the cover of a magazine, she is lightened and styled to mimic the look of a white woman.
 

The Facebook Experiment – “It’s Just Twitter/Facebook” 
 So Facebook apparently conducted an experiment on over 689,000 regular users to find out how the posts we read and are exposed to on the site effect our moods. When they exposed the users to more positive news and posts, the people posted more positivity, which suggests a better mood. When they reduced the positive stories and sent more negative posts, the people started posting negatively. I don’t have a Facebook other than for automatic blog posts, but I know how powerful this social media site is.

If Facebook has the power to change your mood with a click of a button, imagine what else they can do. Think about social media and how it’s having a very real effect on your life.

And to be clear, I think it’s safe to say the same is true for Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest and the other major social media sites.

The Black Women Are All Single & Lonely News Stories
"It's Just an Article" 
I'm not in denial when it comes to facts. I am aware that the rate of black women who are single mothers or not married is significantly higher than that of other groups of women at the moment. But I believe that the increasing numbers and persistence of this trend is partly a result of the media influences that for years now have been telling black women there is no hope for them in the relationship department.

I believe that when some black women are continually exposed to these messages they start to internalize them and accept them as reality. So they start to expect less and less from their relationships with men. They don't believe that they deserve a respectful relationship. They lose confidence in their ability to attract good men. So they accept poor treatment and don’t expect a commitment or loyalty from the men in their lives.

Black Women's Empowerment
"It's Just a Blog"
This last example is actually a positive and encouraging one: the online black women's empowerment movement. This includes blogs and social media activism. BWE has been around for decades, but I’d say it really amped up around 2008, when America got its first black First Lady.

BWE blogs have grown extremely popular over the past decade or more, proving that it’s not “just a blog.” Words matter. Spreading positivity matters. 


Years later, black women are really doing great things (even though it isn’t publicized by our mainstream media). The facts are that black women are seeking higher education more than any other group of people, starting businesses six times more often than the national average and despite lingering issues with self-esteem have a high self-image compared to other groups. I strongly believe that the positive influences and encouragement from the online BWE movement played a role in this.

Unfortunately, the same social media and web-based influences that work for good can work by spreading loads of ignorance about black women. But I think that black women as a whole have made their presence known on many different levels in our current society, and I think it's a good thing.


There are countless more examples, but I think this is a good starting list. 


So the next time someone says “it’s just a TV show,” “it’s just Twitter” or “it’s just jokes” please take them to school (in love). We have to recognize that the media can definitely have a significant effect on which way our society and culture "blows." At the same time I think that it's our responsibility as thinking individuals to actively reject negative messaging before it has a chance to effect our real lives.


Links to this post


Did you know... the numbers of black women in prison has been on a steady decline since the early 2000s?

I've blogged before about how positive stories about black women rarely make the headlines. Well brace yourself -- here's yet another MAJOR case of that.

A recent Washington Post article (that was really focused on reviewing the new Netflix series Orange Is the New Black) revealed that the number of black women in prison has been SHARPLY declining for the past 10+ years. To the tune of a 30% drop. At the moment the vast majority of women in prison are Caucasian.


That’s major news -- I wonder why we don’t hear more of these positive stories about black women? I guess because stereotyping us as all into the same “reality TV ratchet” box wouldn’t be as fun!

My Thoughts on Orange Is the New Black

I admit that overall I like the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. I don't particularly like the typical and annoying stereotypes of black women that continue to be portrayed on the show. For instance, there's a scene where a black girl is extremely excited about putting a few strings of the main character’s blonde hair in her head. Then there's a scene where a young black girl gets jealous when a black male PSYCHO guy fawns over the white main character and he throws her a scrap to tell her “you can get it to.” In the first season the black women seem to be very “asexualized” and made to look like crazy wild fools compared to the other mild-mannered, beauty conscious inmates (Latinas and whites).

But you have to consider the source -- the show's creator Jenji Kohan is notorious for writing shows where the irresistible white woman main character is elevated to super human status while everyone else is her minion (she also wrote Weeds, nuff said). But you know what, if I wrote a television show I would probably do the same thing for a black woman lead (stay tuned!).

I'm also cautious about how this show kind of romanticizes prison like it's some kind of sorority row. Let's be clear, prison is the worst place you can end up next to a pine box. The reality is that women in prison are treated like chattel property, like less than dirt and often are powerless to do anything about their situations. There are countless stories about women being raped by COs (not in loving voluntary relationships with them) and they don't really get to be in their kids' lives.

But that critique aside, what I like about the show is that it tells realistic stories of how these women ended up in prison. It's one big cautionary tale. Of course, 90 percent of the women ended up there by following behind a guy who got them in trouble and then dropped them cold.

I also find the black women on the show entertaining and endearing. I would like to see them represented in more "we found love in a hopeless place" tales as is the case with the white women and Latinas instead of just being portrayed as silly caricatures.

Possible Reason for the Decline of Black Women in Prison over the 00s

Learning that the rates of black women in prison has dropped so sharply over the past decade is very encouraging. I can watch this show for its entertainment value, knowing that sisters aren't crowding up the prisons as much as they were in the past. I believe the decline may have something to do with black women starting businesses in greater numbers, going to college more than any other group, working hard, being inspired, staying busy, being responsible, becoming empowered and learning to love themselves. According this article, investing in black women could give the economy a major boost.

Regardless of the reason behind it, this is very positive news for black women. I hope this trend continues and I also hope that whatever is causing the rates to rise so sharply for other groups of women reverses as well in the coming years.




Links to this post

Meaningless celebrity drama has definitely overwhelmed our cultural sensibilities and morals.

While I'm aware of the drama that arose between Solange Knowles and rapper Sean Carter recently, I've chosen to avoid commenting on it. But I have to put my thinking hat on and wonder about the timing. Was this was all an elaborate scheme to distract black attention from other pressing issues, like #BringBackOurGirls?

There is a small group of black feminists who are absolutely positively obsessed with everything that has to do with what entertainer Beyonce does or says. I know this for a fact after years of observing black sites and social media trends. Many of those same voices were speaking out about the girls missing from Nigeria recently. But now all they can talk about is "why Solange, Beyonce and Jay-Z did what they did that night..."

This makes me wonder, who really leaked that tape to the media in the first place and why? We have to think more critically about these things before reacting to them.

We (all members of modern society) are way too easily distracted, fooled and lured. We have become obsessed with celebs and celebrity news to the point where we will gladly put a couple of them over hundreds of young innocent girls.

I know that the people who really need to read this probably won't, but that won't stop me from typing it. We are being hoodwinked and bamboozled every day that we get up and log onto social media or click on the television. PERIOD.


Posted by: CBL


Links to this post

Ads