Monday, October 29, 2012

The Women of Brewster Place Vs. The Women of Real Life

Recently I saw the TV adaptation of The Women of Brewster Place, for the first time. Now I've read pieces of the novel before but viewing these black women on stage, treat each other they way they do is appalling. The longer I watched the movie, the more the women upset me, I began to realize that each and everyone of these women I have met before. I have met the nosey, busy black woman, I've met the black woman that is a lesbian, I've met the Black woman that has been so hurt by life's struggles she's nearly given up. And the young Black woman that still believes that we can change the world together by doing, something, anything, she is me.

 Black women are the most misrecognized people in American society and yet we still fall privy to contentions among one another. The judgements and expectations we place on ourselves and each other are completely unreal. We are constantly competing with one another, stepping on one another but for what I ask? Instead of trying to help our fellow sisters out we are constantly judging based on nothing more than appearances. In reality if we spoke to these women we'd realize we have more in common than we think.

 We all know the hair struggle we go through with our own hair and yet we are calling each other out because their edges may be a bit thick, or the naps are looking too wild. In all honestly this was the way our hair was supposed to be before we were taught it was ugly and unacceptable. Hair is just one example, the list goes on to wardrobe, gadgets, prestige, money and men. We all go through similar shared experiences and if we are not using our words to pull our sistahs up then we need not speak.

That is all.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Domestic Violence is Serious & Real

On Thursday October 18th 2012 MISS (Motivating & Inspiring Strong Sisterhood) Women's Group of Claflin University hosted a Domestic Violence Forum. The turnout was great and the information powerful. Two speakers Presented, MISS Asha Givens a Former Domestic Violence Victim and Alexis Guinyard of CASA (Citizens Against Sexual Assault) Family Systems. CASA Family Systems is a program that provides escape, shelter and counseling to women and children who have been in domestic violence situations. All their services are free and open to the public and are located in nearly every city.

Domestic abuse or “battering” is a pattern of abuse by one partner against another for the purpose of maintaining power and control. Forms of domestic abuse include but are not limited to the following: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Threats and Intimidation, Isolation and or restriction from family, friends, and other support systems, Destruction of Property, Financial Exploitation, Jealousy and Possessiveness and Stalking and/or monitoring behavior. 

The most important point stressed at the forum is to "Know The Signs" of domestic violence. If a partner has a tendency to be violent he or she will show signs in a series that start out small. The signs include answering yes to the following questions: Are you ever afraid of your partner?, Does you partner threaten to hurt you?, Has your partner ever pushed/shoved you, thrown things at you, or forced you to have sex?, Does your partner stalk you, or show up uninvited to your job or when you are out with friends/family? These small encounters lead to emotional and physical pain, bruises, scars and even death. Below are a few facts about domestic violence

Courtesy of Sunny Downstate Medical Center, Domestic Violence Resource Center, The U.S. Department of Justice Website and the MISS Women's Group Domestic Violence Brochure

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pearl Cleage’s What I Learned in Paris (Commentary)

WhatI learned in Atlanta is then, the beauty of becoming a free woman. Evie's character compared to the other two women in the play delivers a woman,completely in control of who she is and what she wants without stepping on thetoes of any other character. She refuses to be the servant or answer to thecommand of any man.  Her vocabulary,dress and overall attitude was that of a beautiful black woman who knows whoshe is and is constantly that person in spite of all the drama, lies and secretsaround her. The play even questions whether in the middle of a social revolutioncan there exist black love. The answer is love can only exist freely between afree man and a free woman who love self completely first. I found the play tobe a delightful take on true love and self-discovery especially for a womanthen and now. Women and black women especially are subjected to so much scrutinythey often lose who they are. The play reinforced the theory of going to abeautiful, faraway place to find or recreate oneself. I find this a necessarytrip of rediscovery especially in America, where black women are often amongthe hardest working people. The play however, was phenomenal in showing positiveimages of African Americans in activism and strong black women. 

Pearl Cleage’s What I Learned in Paris (Synopsis)

Pearl Cleage’s play, What I Learned in Paris literally changed my life. In a 1973 highly political downtown Atlanta, Georgia, Cleage weaves a story of black love around social change. The main character, Evie, plays a dynamic, powerful and intellectual black woman. While we learn that she has always been intellectual there was a time where she lost her sense of self in the name of love, family and politics. Being married to an attorney and a politician she was always among the fight for change and social equality and she loved ‘that kind of talk’. The turning point in her life however was the realization that she had lost her husband to the discussions of political strategies. She then left for Paris in hopes her husband would join her. All the while, when her husband didn’t show she was just an angry woman in the “city of love”. While in Paris, she has an epiphany of a lifetime as she sees several beautifully tall and well-dressed black women strutting down the streets of France chanting in French. She then looks at her reflection in a nearby glass, having been inspired by the women, and realizes that she is the entire woman she needs to survive.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TV News Blog

Edna Adan: A Woman of Many Firsts: ABCNEWS.COM - Follow Edna Adan's journey as part of the video event "Half The Sky."

Edna Adan was the first certified nurse midwife in Somaliland and  Former first lady of Somaliland. After retiring she saw that there was a need for more certified midwives in Somaliland. She then sold everything she had, to build a hospital that is named the "Edna Adan University Hospital".

The hospital took her four years to build. Her goal was to empower women by creating opportunities for them to become certified midwifes. She wanted to inform women that they do have choices. She is inspired by the benefit and jobs the hospital has created. She aspires to train 1,000 midwives to increase the survival rate at birth. 

The Edna Adan University Hospital has reduced maternal rate in Somaliland by one quarter since its opening. The hospital has treated over 4,000 patients and delivered over 12,000 babies. It is women like Edna Adan that are taking strides today to create more opportunities for a healthier and stronger global community of people of African decent.

The story of Edna Adan and others like her showcase the strides black women are taking today to ensure the health and survival of women and children in a global community.