Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Woman Crush Wednesday - Ida B. Wells-Barnett

A week and a half ago I went to the movies by myself.  Not a rare situation around these parts. I know Lefty doesn't want to see all the movies that I do, and since he works second shift, it just so happens that I have evenings open for silently watching movies in a room full of strangers. The last movie I saw was Selma. Critically acclaimed. Nominated for a ton of awards. Directed by a woman, Selma. That is the one. I thought it was well done...for what it is, but there was one area where I really thought the movie was lacking-- there was only one woman that was consistently shown as an active participant in this portion of the Civil Rights Movement. She was part of the meetings, the marches and she was not married to a man that was in the inner circle. One woman. One.

Um. So I feel the need to be snarky when I say that there is no way that the Civil Rights Movement, as we know it, would have been as successful as it was without the help of the fairer sex. No way. So to see only one woman involved in the inner circle in this movie was slightly disheartening, to say the least. I know that this movie was about one portion of the Movement, but damn. It seems to me that in large AND small instances it is really easy to write women out of the story, or make us background characters and supporting cast members. Nothing could be further from the truth. There were several thousand women who participated in the Civil Rights Movement. Thousands who were marching right along with men, getting the brunt of the police dogs, fire hoses, beatings, jail time and death. Several thousand. It is my contention that we should try to get to know their names-- it truly is the LEAST we could do. So my first Woman Crush Wednesday highlights Ida Wells Barnett.

So, Ida has a special place in my heart because she did a ton for the city of Chicago AND once married she had a hyphenated name (like me) which was a super bold move in 1895. Ida was born a slave on July 16, 1862 in the deep South (Mississippi). She had a swift tongue (like yours truly) and it often got her in trouble. She got a job as a teacher to help her siblings stay together - and out of foster care- after their parents died. While she was teaching, she began to write about the racial injustices that surrounded her-- including the large numbers of lynchings that were happening. This chick was so BAD, she was good!! She received so many death threats that she had to leave Memphis for the great city of Chicago, where she worded tirelessly to improve the conditions of Blacks in the city.

Ida co-founded the National Association of Colored Women, the National Afro-American Council and the Women's Era Club. She was a suffragette, women's rights activist, newspaper feature writer and editor, wife, mother and one of the greatest known figures in the anti-lynching movement.

Ida passed away in Chicago on March 25, 1931-- a little less than 7 months before my maternal grandmother was born, 84 years ago. The work that she started still helps women and society today. How about that for my very first WCW?! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Woman Crush Wednesday

If I am being completely honest, love bugs, I have been feeling some kind of way lately. It has been a lot of things that have kind of set me off, but just here lately, I have been super duper irritated. I know what it is. It wasn't last night's State of the Union address-- though I LOVED the extreme pettiness of it all. I actually giggled at it and live tweeted it like a sporting event. But here is when the laughs turned to extreme anger. So one a few of the memes created last night, there were some smart ass trolls who commented on the idea that women should make the same amount as a man. President Obama said in his speech that it was about time. I think that it is clearly overdue, but some neanderthals seem to think that all women, but particularly Black women, are meant to be nothing more than barefoot and pregnant in some one's kitchen.

 Besides the fact that I consider myself a feminist, I have to say that as an educated Black woman... uh, I am offended. But the offense didn't just start last night-- and the idiots from last night are not the only way that the message that women are less is passed around. There are some women that are responsible for others thinking that we are air headed, baby making machines, like almost all women on these ridiculous reality shows. Fighting, lip smacking, trifling whores who sleep with celebrities with the hopes that they will have a paycheck baby. Chicks that will put everything they have earned, including their involvement in sororities, on the line-- all for their 15 minutes of fame. Women who will get on tv, share every drop of their business and then loudly object when they feel they are being judged. Sigh.

In 2015 I really did not think that I would have to tell people that women are spectacular. I guess I didn't think that it would have to be talked about. I mistakenly thought that by now, everyone would be able to see that while a few women fit into the stereotype that you see on tv and in the news, they are not representative to women all over the country. Take me-- I am married, but I don't have children. And I am collecting a check-- for going to work every day. I do cook for my husband, but he cooks for me too and other than what you read on this blog-- I am hard pressed to make my everyday troubles fodder for prime time tv.

One of my resolutions for this year is to be a more positive example of womanhood. Right- so I know I am Hot, Black and Bitter, but I do hope that my readers know that I am not 100% bitter all the time. No one is 100% anything all of the time. I want Black girls to look at me and think "jeez she looks like me and she is happy (most of the time)." Or "she looks like me and does not need to be validated by some douche bag who is whispering sweet nothings in my ear." Or, better still "hey-- I want to be like Hot, Black and Bitter when I grow up-- an educated smart ass."  HAHAHAHA! Something like that. Essentially, I want to be the very antithesis of the video chick, reality star, ghetto hood rat that you see on the street corner, on your tv, at your school or sitting next to you in church on Sunday (wearing her club clothes, smelling like last night's drinks).

So one way I am going to be an example is to feature women here. Women who refused to sell their soul for fame. Women who made a difference. Women who took on the fight for all of us, giving us more a voice and being a light in dark tunnel. Women who helped us get where we are now. Revolutionaries. They will be my Woman Crush Wednesday. It is going to be fab. Next Wednesday... it is on. See you then.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What to do?!

Oh my dears... Insomnia strikes again... I hate it. I am sleepy and I have a million things to do in just a few short hours, yet sleep is elusive.

So this is how I spent the last hour, because reading the bad shit that someone wrote about you is hilarious and even more so when you are a celebrity. Plus I am convinced that the next mean tweet I put up about Kirk or Mark May will be featured on the next round of mean tweets. Wouldn't that be fun? (Yes.) College Football edition-- just in time to celebrate my lovely Buckeyes winning the National Championship. Woot! Woot! Enjoy!

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