Archive for Black Women

Top 100 Family, Marriage, and Relationship Blogs for African Americans

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Businessman Wearing a Phone Headset at a Computer

Searching for content on the Internet can be a challenging task.  Depending on the topic, you can spend hours just conducting searches.  Well the folks at Best Black Dating Sites have made your job a lot easier by condensing and listing what they believe are the Top 100 family, marriage and relationship, community, relationship and self-improvement blog sites on the Internet for African Americans aka “black folks.”

Click below to visit the Top 100 Sites.

The Bridge: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 2—Countering Lies & Deception

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on August 14, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Last week, I discussed a powerful dirty Black secret: Many Black women are a huge problem for Black America.

One of the reasons is that they are the strongest perpetrators of feminism in this nation. We saw in the 2008 election a powerful rejection of Hillary Clinton by older white men and younger white women who know she represents feminism. They know what the propaganda has done to American relationships and the roles of men and women. Yet, Black women act out the feminist propaganda on a regular basis, while many of them claim that they are not feminists.

According to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister, “Propaganda works best when those being manipulated are confident that they are acting out of their own free will.”

And of course it’s propaganda. Otherwise, we would have to believe that Black women simply woke up and decided to become “independent,” and to proclaim loudly and prolifically that they “don’t need men.”

If it smells bad, it’s usually rotten.

But it’s not just Black women. Black people in general view every aspect of life from a deficit model, which begins with the assumption that something is wrong.

Both Black men and Black women have been inculcated with some of the most horrible propaganda about Black people, particularly about Black men. And they pass it around faster and more prolifically than any venomous racist ever could.

The dirty Black secret is that when it comes to propaganda, the enemy is Black.

Any given comedian would have the world believe that whites are perfect and, based on their punch lines, that Black people are everything that is wrong with the world.

This explains why we hear the “more Black men in prison than college” myth, and a host of other lies which paint the Black man in a horrible light.

According to the U.S. Census, there were around 17,945,068 Black males in the nation. Around 6.3 percent are in college and 4.7 percent are in prison.

My friend and colleague Janks Morton has updated the anti-Black Myth machine with a new book called “Black People Don’t Read: The Definitive Guide to Dismantling Stereotypes and Negative Statistical claims about Black Americans,” in which he illustrates that “The remaining 89 percent of Black men have already graduated from college, already served a prison sentence, have a life trajectory that does not involve college or prison, or are too young for either to apply.”

Morton agrees with me that Blacks have to stop talking about how poorly we are doing as a people for two reasons: First, because when we speak negatively, it affects our self-esteem and accordingly, our ability to succeed and Second, because many of the things we say simply are not the truth.

The dirty Black secret is that Black people—not white males or white women—perpetuate the myth that Black men are somehow a “dying breed.” Yet, in “Black People Don’t Read,” Morton illustrates that “according to the U.S. Census, since 1970 there are 3.9 million less White Males and 2.5 million more Black Males, age 15 to 25, in the U.S. population.”

And Black women do not escape the negative hype.

Any given moron will spout teen pregnancy as some epidemic causing Black women to drop out faster than flies. But if the moron did some real research, he would realize that, according to the Center for Disease Control, Black Teenage Pregnancy rates have been reduced by 56.42% from 1991-2009.

And while Black college enrollment could always be higher, Black men are not dropping out of high school and simply failing to garner a diploma. There is no 50% dropout rate. Again, according to the US Census, 83.43% of Black men over the age of 18 have a high school diploma, but when stats are negatively manipulated, we find that Black men who switch schools before graduating (from another school), or who miss a semester but finishes, or who test out before their class are not included because the focus of the negative statement is on Black men who graduate from 12th grade with their 9th grade class.

The dropout rate for Black males is 9.5%. Slap yourself.

Black men and Black women have been inculcated with some of the most horrible propaganda about Black people, particularly about Black men. And they pass it around faster and more prolifically than any venomous racist ever could.

Any give comedian would have the world believe that whites are perfect and, based on their punch lines, that Black people are everything that is wrong with the world.

Another dirty Black secret is that many of the institutions that were originally designed to help Blacks uplift themselves are in fact, the cause of Black misery in many cases.

Next Week: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 3—Alphabet Soup

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

The Bridge: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 1

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags , , , on August 7, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Black people have some dirty little secrets.

We all see them, but we’re not supposed to talk about them.

But you already know that I just don’t care.

Here’s one:  Some Black women can be a huge problem for Black people.

Old crazy Darryl James has been saying it for years. I first talked about it in 2005 and people claimed I hated Black women.

But imagine the work that could have been done if we had simply acknowledged it.  We could have also rooted out the core issue and then began to work on some solutions.

Instead, we kept pretending that only Black men were problematic.

Black Americans trotted out every single problem plaguing Black people and laid them at the foot of Black men so that Black men could take the blame.

We pretended that only Black fathers were deadbeat, even though many single Black mothers were having babies by men who were ALREADY deadbeats, knowingly creating a larger pool of fatherless children, when instead we should have been chastising the single mothers who were choosing poorly—if the man has children that he doesn’t support or visit, why would he do anything differently with the children you give him? And if you know that you will be a single mother, why become a single mother? Multiple times?

We should have stopped pretending that there aren’t women who know full well that they will be bringing a child into the world with no male influence or involvement, but do so eagerly, because they simply want to be mothers.

But we continued to blame the men, with the likes of Bill Cosby telling Black women that Black men are simply “sperm shooting machines” who want only sex and then “walk away from a thing called fatherhood.”

We allowed anyone to claim that Black boys were “choosing” to drop out of high school while Black girls were perfect and progressing. We allowed anyone who desired to claim that there were more Black men going to prison than to college and more Black men dating white women than Black women and more Black men in poverty than Black women and that for these reasons, Black women were being left alone in the dating process or “forced” to date outside of the race.

We allowed broken women to lie about there being no good Black men, instead of focusing on the simple fact that many of the Black women who aren’t married simply aren’t marriage material.

And, too many Black women are acting like whores and thinking like men instead of acting like ladies and thinking like wives.

Yes, I said it—oversexed and under-loved (no self love and no love without sexual attachment), while blaming it all on Black men.

And it’s not like anyone in our race benefited, because far too many Black women are still turning 40 with zero marriage prospects, and far too many of them are raising Black boys and girls without male influence or involvement, while lying about how they don’t want or need a man for love or child rearing and blaming Black men for the results.

But today, that has to stop.

Because today, we have finally been given concrete evidence that there are some horrible Black women who have been tearing our race apart.

And we saw it with Gabby Douglas.

Hearing Black women—not white women or white men—tear this beautiful Black Olympian down made it clear that something was stinking and the smell was not coming from Black men.

That same stench facilitated the media’s virtual erasure of Gabby’s daddy as though he didn’t exist. The media was comfortable with it because for more than a decade Black women have been telling the media and the world that Black men were absent and essentially, that they weren’t necessary anyway.

I already know that some of you are getting your “he hates Black women” responses ready, but you should stop and use your brain, or slap yourself.

If we cannot finally embrace the fact that feminism, self-hatred and insidious racist propaganda have turned too many of us too far against Black men and that it seeped into the Black community through Black women and turned into something ugly, then we are doomed, because we will never face the hard cold facts, and so will never have any resolution.

Next week, I will present some hard cold facts that will turn many of the myths about Black men on their heads.

The hardest fact of them all is that many of the myths have been perpetuated by Black women.

We must admit to ourselves that just as there are horrible white men and women and horrible Black men, there are some horrible Black women who are wreaking havoc on our people and they are not all uneducated hoodrats.

The truth is that many of these are college educated Black women who claim to be perfect victims are also in the ranks of those who tear down our community by passing lies, but also by refusing to stand up against the destructive elements

Black women, you are not the victim of Black men.

You have not been simply abandoned and forced into single motherhood, you have not been abandoned at the educational success line and you have not been forced to grow old and alone.

Many of you have made some poor choices that have lead you into some bad situations, along with our children.

And I love you enough, love Black children enough, love Black people enough to tell you and to encourage everyone to stop lying to you.

I’m here to tell all of our dirty little Black secrets.

Next Week: Countering Lies & Deception

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

 

The Bridge: Dying To Eat & Eating To Death, Part 2

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

The woman cut me off in traffic and pulled up next to me at the light to curse me out.

I stared at her and then laughed at her.

I thought it was so ridiculous for a woman to be so wildly angry and aggressive.

And then, her rant turned in a direction that made me look at her like she was crazy and then feel sorry for her.

She called me a “skinny bastard” and said that I probably dated “skinny bitches” who are not sexy and that I was depressed because I didn’t have a “fat bitch” in my life.

She was morbidly obese.

She was sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV and was literally leaking into the passenger seat.

And then she proceeded to talk about how “cute” she was.

It was sad.

It was frightening.

But it wasn’t all that unusual, save for the severe aggression.

You see, in America, many people have gone from simply accepting obesity to celebrating it.

There are now nightclubs dedicated to “chubby chasers,” or men who love overweight women.

It is a perverse version of how some men from yesterday held an affinity for women with “something to hold on to.”

Now, it’s about celebrating those with too much to hold.

Some people thought that my first installment of “Dying “To Eat” was hateful to overweight people.

But the truth is that while some overweight people may be good-hearted and wonderful people, they just aren’t healthy.

The lies we accept about being big and beautiful or perverting the word “healthy” to refer to big people are killing us.

Those lies are also harming our kids.

No matter what propaganda we promote, the simple fact is that overweight children are speeding towards lives rife with health problems–both physical and mental.

With millions of overweight children in the nation, there are a few things that we had better do if we want the next generation to live beyond 40.

While body image and self-image should not be tied together in a perfect world, the reality is that they are.  And if we help children feel better about themselves, they will have better lives.

In Lithonia, Georgia, Yvonne Sanders-Butler, principal of Browns Mill Elementary was on the verge of a stroke. Once she changed her diet and dropped some weight, her health improved tremendously.

She launched a campaign at her school that had positive and powerful results: Improvement in student test scores and a decrease in disciplinary problems.

That campaign included a change in diet and addition of exercise.

Certainly, it’s easier said than done, but its possible.

Part of our problem in America is our obsession with snack foods.

That obsession seduces us into a relationship with Trans fat, which is formed when vegetable oil is turned into solid fat. Food processors do this through a process called hydrogenation to prolong the shelf life of food, but it doesn’t prolong your life. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels in the blood and increase the risk of heart disease.

Speaking of cholesterol, let’s talk about what it is and why people should be paying attention to good and bad cholesterol.

First, cholesterol is found in the bloodstream as well as all of your body’s cells.  It’s a soft waxy substance your body uses to make cell membranes and some hormones.

Your blood can not dissolve cholesterol.  A high level of it in the blood places you at a high risk of coronary heart disease.

The two types of cholesterol are LDL, which is considered bad and HDL, which is considered good.

LDL Cholesterol is considered bad because too much of it in the blood can build up on the walls of your arteries and help form plaque, leading to clogging of the arteries and a greater susceptibility to heart attack or stroke.

If your LDL level is 160 or above it is considered high.  It should be less than 100.

HDL Cholesterol is considered good, because it is believed to carry protection against heart attacks.

According to medical experts, HDL Cholesterol transports cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver, where the body can dispose of it as waste.

If your HDL level is less than 40, you are considered to be at higher risk of heart attack.

So if HDL is good, how do we increase the level in our bodies?  Part of the answer is simple—increased physical activity, which has other benefits, including heart and respiratory health, as well as weight loss.

Nine million Americans are morbidly obese.  Many more are overweight.  For those who want to change, the hardest part is starting a program to improve the body.

For some people, finance is an issue.  For others, plunging into the next fad diet or undertaking an intimidating workout plan spell certain failure.

You don’t have to join an expensive gym, starve yourself, or make challenging drastic changes in diet and exercise to make a difference.

Small steps are more realistic for most overweight people, and the results will also be realistic as well as lasting.

In terms of exercise, you can start small by taking a walk in the evening after your last meal, or a walk in the morning before work. Any increase in activity, no matter how small, will make a difference in the long run.  The key is to get started and do something.

A smart and practical plan can begin with small changes, including changes in eating habits.

Start by eating your last full meal of the day before 7pm.  Try to make that meal as healthy as possible, particularly including vegetables and whole grains.

Second, if you must snack after that meal, make the snack fruits or nuts.

Third, while you might continue to eat some of your favorite foods, either make substitutes or additions of vegetables, fruits, fiber-rich foods, and fish.

For example, eat whole wheat bread, instead of white bread, or try to make your favorite meals with steamed or baked meats instead of fried meats.

Remember—small steps.

And, no matter what lies the soft drink industry tells us, diet soda hurts more than it helps–with zero nutritional value. Carbonated drinks can actually stimulate us to eat more than we would without them.

Finally, drink more water.

Just making these small changes will make a difference.  And, since the changes are small but deliver real results, there will be a feeling of success, which will make the person feel better about continuing.

Keep in mind that you didn’t get fat in thirty days, so any short-term diet should be avoided like the bad food you’ll end up eating when its over or when it fails.

The goal should not be to deprive yourself, but to make real changes in your life that will have realistic results and make you feel good about yourself.

Watch what happens when you walk three times each week, eat earlier and make small changes in your diet over a one month period.

Take your children and watch their changes.

Remember, they’re watching you.

You don’t want them Eating To Death.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011and returns to the stage in March of 2012. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

The Bridge: Finding Us

Posted in Black America, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on June 20, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Sometimes the best place to look for something is the exact place that thing can be found.

Take Black men, for example, we hear Black women talking about how we are so hard to find, but we are often in the same places they are.

The more I hear Black women complain about not being able to find decent Black men, the more my heart and mind become weary, because I am committed to Black women.

I remain committed, however, the words of some of today’s Black women leave me saddened and frequently, temporarily disheartened.

Some Black women blame their singleness solely on Black men, citing that since good Black men are hard for them to find, that there are less decent single Black men that ever before in history.

This is not based on any verified data, which is always confusing to the throngs of quality single men who can not find the “abundance” of quality single women those magazines always write about.

Some Black women say that “most” Black men are in prison, that “more” Black men are gay and that the “best” Black men are married to white women, but none of that has been statistically supported.

It is sad, but there are Black men in prison.  And yes, there are Black men dying from gang violence and from drugs, but that is not “most” of the Black male population.  There are throngs of Black men who live beyond all of the things that are horribly wrong, and a great number are neither gay nor with white women.

The dicey proposition is when Black women say that Black men are beneath their level (financial or education), when in fact, Black people in America don’t yet have an intrinsic level.  Even many of our so-called middle class Blacks live one paycheck away from disaster.

Perhaps the search is conducted with faulty criteria.

Black women, if you examine a man’s character first, you will find that there are more of us than you imagined.

Certainly Black men in America have challenges, but in this nation, we are both challenged—Black male and female.

Yet with all of our challenges, some of us are still finding each other and marrying each other.  Anyone can point out that marriages are fewer and divorces are more abundant, but those are stats for the masses—they don’t have to apply to the individual.

Perhaps the bigger problem is that many Black women are no longer searching in circles where quality Black men can be found.

The sad fact is that many of us work in a world where there are few of us and live in communities where there are also few of us, yet we complain about not finding us and talk about the sorry state of those of us we run into.

Communities are fragmented, clubs are polluted and many church singles ministries mislead people into relationships with other people who attend church service, but do little to follow the teachings of the ministries.

Yes, things are more challenging than they have been in a long time, but the challenges appear even greater because of the negative things being said about Black men on television, in those magazines, and, oh yes, in circles of single Black women.

And, yet, I understand.

I know why Black women say some of the things that they have been saying.  It’s because they are hurt and afraid.

Black men are also hurt and afraid.

Any of us over the age of 21 has a thought-provoking fear, which can lead us away from finding love, as opposed to hugging expensive creature comforts in solitude, fear and pain, which morph into hatred.

Too many of us thought that we could make things better for ourselves as individuals, but now, the chickens have come home to roost, because many of us can not find quality mates.

We fell from grace when we stopped talking to each other and began talking about each other.  If we wish to make things better, I believe it begins with communication.

The charge for each of us–men and women–is to begin to discuss the problems we both face, without expressing the fear and hatred that have been welling up inside of us.

I want one wish to go around the world faster than an internet hoax or a Jesus chain letter, and I want for each person reading this to pass it on to another person, married or single.

That one simple wish is for Black men and women to begin to change our minds about each other.  Perception is reality and we must begin to perceive each other differently so that we can love each other again.

I want to let Black women know that there are still some good, kind and decent Black men in the world and we are having a hard time finding them as well.

And I want to let them know that many of us are in the same places they are.

Black men are in the grocery store because we have to eat, too.  Black men are in the gas station, because we have to drive, and yes, some of us are on the bus or train.  Black men are at fraternity banquets, and Black men are at plays, museums, the church and the mosque.

Black men can be found in a number of places and many times we are right beside you—all you have to do is smile.  Be sweet and inviting and you may get more than the reprobates to ask for your number, or be progressive and initiate contact with us.  Whatever you do–be grounded and open.

I advise both men and women to look for something that exists.  If you are a single woman looking for a single man, look for examples in the men around you.  Your father, brother, uncle, cousin or neighbor may be married and may serve as a good measurement for the men you date.

            We may not all look like Denzel or bling bling like a rap music video, but some of us are hard working, decent men with solid husband and father potential, ready to love and to be loved.

You have to look around you and find real examples, because once you are convinced that we don’t exist, then, for you, we don’t.

Black women, stop saying that you can’t find a good man, or that we just don’t exist. Come at us in love and what you will find from many of the sane, single Black men is real love—we’re trying to find you and we want you, too.

Look for us where we are and you just may find us.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running all Summer. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

Black Women No Longer Have Their Essence

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Women's Interests with tags , , on May 26, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Essence Magazine used to be the preeminent magazine for Black women in the U.S.  They, like many Black publications, have lost their relevance; and in the process become an embarrassment to the very group they claim to target.

Essence was founded in 1968 by Ed Lewis, Clarence Smith, Cecil Hollingworth, Jonathan Blount and Denise Clark.  Their initial circulation began at around 50,000 per month and now is estimated to be over 1 million per month.  It is a monthly publication focusing on Black women between the ages of 18 and 49.  Essence was bought out by Time Inc. in 2005, thus no longer being a Black owned publication (similar to B.E.T.).

The impetus behind the founding of Essence was to show a side of Black women that was never portrayed in the mainstream media.  Images of Black women were controlled by white media outlets that had little to no knowledge of the Black community.  Most of these images were very stereotypical and lacking substance.

There were unique issues relevant to Black women that other publications were totally ignorant of.  Black women could not wear the same makeup that white women could—there are differences in skin type.  Black women have unique issues when it comes to styling their hair—there were no mainstream publications that dealt with these differences.

So, initially, Essence met a very real need and provided a venue for Black women to share common experiences with each other (remember, this was pre-internet days when you didn’t have all the instant communication we have today).

Essence portrayed Black women in the most positive of lights.  They made Black women feel proud to be Black and female!  That was then, this is now.

Now, Essence is just another Hollywood rag (focused on Black women), sprinkled with a few substantive, positive stories; but, that is no longer their focus!

I looked at the cover picture for the past year and each cover featured an entertainer.  Isn’t this the same stereotyping that we have accused white media of—showing Blacks as only entertainers?  There is nothing wrong with having entertainers on the cover, but is that all there is to offer Black women?

I can guarantee that most Black women have never heard of Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, Alicia Jillian Hardy, or Katie Washington.

When I went on Essence Music Festival’s website and looked at the speakers listed under “Empowerment”I was stunned and quite embarrassed!

The Essence Music Festival is the nation’s largest annual gathering of Black musical talent in the U.S.  It is a 3 day event filled with cultural celebrations, empowerment panels, and nightly entertainment by some of the biggest names in music.  It is held in New Orleans, LA every July.  The event attracts more than 200,000 people.

One of the speakers listed under “Empowerment” is “NeNe” Leakes.  She is one of the main characters of the reality TV show, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  The show is about the private lives of women who are dating or is married to successful men in the Atlanta area.

Leakes is a foul mouth, angry, nasty person on the show and from media accounts in real life also.  She is also the founder of Twisted Hearts Foundation (which focuses on domestic violence against women).  They were forced to close down last year after being suspected of money laundering.  Leakes is also a former stripper.

One of the other speakers listed under “Empowerment” is Shaunie O’Neal, former wife of N.B.A. great Shaquille O’Neal.  She is the executive producer of “Basketball Wives.”  The women’s only claim to fame is that they either dated or were married to a pro basketball player.  They have nor had no identity outside the athletes they were involved with.

Both shows portray women in the worst light imaginable—using high profile men to get fame and fortune.  These women then try to exploit their former relationships to get their own TV show.  They are paid to tell the most intimate details of their former relationships.

Essence, could you please tell me how these two women fit into your mission of uplifting the Black woman?  What can they teach women about “empowerment?”  Is this really the image of Black women Essence wants to promote?  There are many women who could fit into your mission statement.

By the way, Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in America (1921).  Alicia Jillian Hardy is the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D from M.I.T. in mechanical engineering (2007).  Katie Washington, a 21 year old, became the first Black female valedictorian in the history of  Notre Dame University (2010).  She gave a wonderful speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaouUZrn2vI).

One would think that Ms. Hardy and Washington deserved to be on the cover for their achievements; and most assuredly know a little something about empowerment!  Oh, I forgot, they are not entertainers, so they don’t qualify.

In times past, Black women used to look forward to reading Essence Magazine for upliftment.  That was then, this is now.  Black women no longer have the Essence of their mother and grandmother.

In Essence, there is no essence!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com). 

Black Relationships — An Animated View

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Comedy with tags , , , on October 22, 2010 by Gary Johnson

These avatars, courtesy of “xtranormal,” can talk and bring out points for discussion about relationships without the emotions that are often attached to the human dialogue.  Alternative methods to generate “critical conversations” should not be frowned upon, they should be welcomed.

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