Tag Archives: black women

“The Help”: Is it just me or…

…are black people not feeling this movie trailer?  I’ve witnessed a very conflicted reaction to the trailer of the new movie “The Help” recently, in a movie theater that was filled with black folk.  Conflicted is the best way I can describe the mix of disgust and curiosity.  Am I surprised? No. It’s 2011, but the subject matter and images still sting.  Nothing like a dark-skinned black woman serving white folks in a maids uniform…in a period movie…set in the deep south.  Sigh.  Especially when it centers around a classic white savior character.  Since it takes place during the Civil Rights era, I think the author could have done a better job of developing the black lead character.  However, would Hollywood even make such a movie if it didn’t have a white lead?  I don’t know.

Unlike a lot of people I know, I read the book last year.  I can see how the movie trailer is off-putting without the book as reference.  I had some problems with the book, but overall I thought it was a decent read given the full context of who wrote it and the back story presented.  At times, reading it was heart wrenching for me as a black woman whose family is from Mississippi (mom’s side) and who’s great-grandmother was a maid for several white families.  Parts of the story were plain old scary, as racism sometimes is.

I don’t know for sure how this movie is going to be received by the black community.  I think Michele Wallace’s recent review in Essence is dead on (if they post it to the site, I’ll link to it).  In my opinion, this is not going to be a celebrated movie (like “The Color Purple”), but I’m glad that great actresses like Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson are taking on the roles in this film so that they are played with dignity.

One more point that doesn’t help: A Maid Sees Herself in a Novel, and Objects – Yep, a black maid, named Ablene, that worked for Kathryn Stockett’s older brother is suing her.  Dag! At least name the main black character in your book something other than your brother’s REAL, black maid’s name.  Come on!  To add insult, the woman says that part of the storyline was taken from her life.

NY Times | “Ablene Cooper, a 60-year-old woman who has long worked as a maid here, has filed a lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of the best-selling novel “The Help,” about black maids working for white families in Jackson in the 1960s.

In the complaint, Ms. Cooper argues that one of the book’s principal characters, Aibileen Clark, is an unpermitted appropriation of her name and image, which she finds emotionally distressing.

It is more complicated than that. For the past dozen years, Ms. Cooper has worked for Ms. Stockett’s older brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Carroll, and still does.

“Ain’t too many Ablenes,” Ms. Cooper said at a law office after a day’s work at the Stocketts, for whom she has helped raise two children. Ms. Cooper also said that she had their support in her legal quest.

“What she did, they said it was wrong,” Ms. Cooper said of the Stocketts, members of a prominent Jackson family. “They came to me and said, ‘Ms. Aibee, we love you, we support you,’ and they told me to do what I got to do.””

Quote from Viola Davis in the August issue of Essence magazine:

”Of course I had trepidations. Why do I have to play the mammy? But what do you do as an actor if one of the most multifaceted and rich roles you’ve ever been given is a maid in 1962 Mississippi? Do you not take the role because you feel like in some ways it’s not a good message to send to Black people? No. The message is the quality of the work. That is the greater message… As Black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences – experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.”


Filed under african american, black, black women, celebrity, civil rights, history, hollywood, media, opinion, race, racism, society, women, youtube

Django Unchained: I’m not interested in any movie where black women are repeatedly raped

I don’t know about you, but a movie featuring mildly thought out black female slave characters who are repeatedly raped at a club for white slave owners is not my idea of a great film.  I don’t want to see a female slave raped in front of her husband.  I don’t want to see her tortured and degraded…or locked in a cage naked.  OH and I’m not too keen about this content combined with a whole lot of other blaxploitation style slave torture (Whippings, beatings, etc).

What am I talking about?  Django Unchained.  The upcoming Quentin Tarantino film set to be released in Dec 2012 that black women need to start protesting now.  I mean really!!  We need to get on this, SIS. (I’m not going to even start on how I’m not for this movie coming out the month after Obama wins…again.  Let’s be real, no black person will want to see this if he loses either.)  Remember when Disney tried to give the first Black Princess the name “Maddy” (Too close to Mammy)?  Yep, WE got that changed and that wasn’t as bad as this.

Some sistas are ready to organize: “If all goes as the leaked script has planned for this “comedy”, audiences will get to see the character “Broomhilda”, an enslaved Black woman, naked for almost her entire time on screen, flashing her breasts on a slave auction block, and graphically raped – repeatedly – throughout the movie, at least 4 or 5 times, by individual and groups of white men. It’s also reported that this character is degraded in other ways throughout the movie, like being doused in mud, locked in a cage, and raped in front of her husband. Supposedly, all in good fun. And judging from Tarantino’s history of extremely graphic and offensive imagery in his past “comedic” works such as “Pulp Fiction”, the imagery used to degrade Black women in this so-called “comedy” will not be lighthearted fare. ” (Stop The Media Smear Campaign Against Black Women)

The script leaked and the reviews are all over the internet from those who have seen it.  Sure, Sure, a script can change and this one should if what I’m reading is correct.  Jamie Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington have been named as potential actors interested (Here is a list of the roles in the movie).  I don’t think they would sign on to something as terrible as what I’ve read, but you never know.  The economy is bad.  Hell, Jamie did star in “Booty Call”.  He’s apparently up for the lead role.  Funny thing, people who’ve read the script are saying that the lead is not the “Mandigo”/Nat Turner role people think it’s going to be.  He’s playing second fiddle most of the film to a German bounty hunter who takes him under his wing.  Think of Tommy Lee Jones working with Will Smith’s character in Men in Black…but make Will a slave.  Yeah, something like that.  A slave revolt/retribution movie with a white male lead as the star.  That’s Hollywood.

Shadow and Act says: “I’ve Read Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” Script, And, Well, It’s Not Nat Turner’s Revolt…”

“Speaking of its blaxploitation influences… regarding the lead female character in this, named Broomhilda, Django’s slave wife, whom he’s separated from, and seeks. She’s the lead female in the film, but her part is limited to really just physicalities. She has the most screen time of any other woman in the film, which is why I call her the lead female character, but, really, there’s no Shosanna in this one, as there was in Inglorious Basterds. The black female “lead” here doesn’t get the same kind of dignified treatment that Tarantino gave Shosanna. Not even close. Yes, I know it’s a different time altogether, but, I’m sure he could have afforded Broomhilda some complexities, and maybe even made her a heroine in her own right.

There are some 4 or 5 scenes in which the she’s, shall we say, “exposed”… i.e. naked; and they felt gratuitous to me; 2 in which she’s raped by white men. When we first meet her, she’s on the auction block and asked to bare her breasts to potential buyers; later, she’s chased through a hotel, through hallways, and lobbies, etc, by a slave master, completely naked, after being woken up from sleep, with a whip across her naked body; and still later, she’s locked up naked in a steel box as punishment for trying to run away. Yes, I’m sure these are all scenarios that very well likely could have played out at the time; however, Tarantino could have opted to depict her in another light altogether, but instead chose this less flattering, exploitative one.”

I feel a campaign a-brewing to get the makers of this flick to scrap some of that exploitative sexual violence towards black women.   Oh and I’m sure that people (Spike Lee) will be mad about use of the N-word.  It will be Roots all over again for some of you, since it’s a period piece. If people thought there were a lot of N-words thrown around in “Jackie Brown” or “Pulp Fiction”, they haven’t seen anything yet.

I hope the script is a dry run because the concept his potential.  Hey, I’m up for a slaves vs. masters revenge movie.  Sure Quentin, show or all the brutality and violence.  Put it in people’s faces.  However, historical accuracy doesn’t call for this level of sexual violence against black women.  It’s not funny.  It’s in bad taste.


Filed under african american, black history, black men, black women, celebrity, drama, media, n-word, news, opinion, race, racism, rape, sex, slavery, stereotype, women

So, We’re All Ugly Just Because Some People Aren’t Into Black Chicks?

Personal Opinion is not fact.  Asking men about their preferences when it comes to women and attaching some pseudoscience to it doesn’t make your research air tight.  I need someone to explain the concept of opinion polls to the blogger over at Psychology Today who had the audacity to try to pass his bias off as science.  The title of the blog post I’m talking about is “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? Why black women, but not black men?”. Psychology Today has since taken the post down, but you can read it here.  You can read more about this here as well.

Here’s an excerpt:

What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.

The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Personally, I’m outraged about this.  Not surprised, but outraged.  Black women birth black babies and further the black race.  Thus, “they” must attack, berate, and abuse us in the media or otherwise.  Don’t believe me?  Google “Michelle Obama”.

There is also a long history of psychology research focusing on the suggested inferiority of Black people.  Has history taught us nothing?  It has taught us to know racist and eugenic talk from the psychological community a mile a way.

To the author:
You might as well use “negroid” or “ape-like” in your piece, Mr. Kanazawa.  “The only thing I can think of…”, you say??  That sounds like you are trying to pass off your opinions as fact.  Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder.  Just say that you don’t find black women attractive and that your opinion is shared by some other men.  This is America and we have the right to voice or opinions.  We all know what color Barbie is and that the European standard of beauty is the STANDARD.  You as an Asian man know the struggles that Asian women go through trying to conform.  As a person of color, you should realize how people of color in America see themselves differently than how those outside of their race see them.

Black women are not less attractive, as your title states.  Opinion is just opinion.  Men just like what they like.  As an old song said, “If you don’t like it, don’t knock it.   Somebody else might wanna rock it.”


  • What is “AddHealth”?
  • Who paid for this study?


Filed under african american, beauty, black women, culture, love, opinion, race, racism, relationships, sex, society, white folks, women

Black Women Opening Up to the Idea of Dating White Men

When I first arrived in DC, I would say that it was extremely rare to see an interracial couple composed of a Black Woman and a White Man.  An Oddity of sorts.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for it.  Other than a few visions of Master/Slave forced relations that pop into my head at the initial thought, I think it’s a win win.

In the last 2 years, on the streets of DC, I’ve noticed a huge rise in the number of Black Women and White Men I see coupled up.  I’m talking young, old, professional, yuppies, bohos, BMW drivers, and pickup truck enthusiasts.  Blacks and whites of all different strata.  I know Essence did an article on this topic maybe a year ago, so maybe people took that as a permission slip.  I’m just wondering, Hello Negro family, if you’re seeing what I’m seeing and what you think about it? Does this form of interracial dating carry the stigma that Black Man/White Woman dating does for some in the African American community?

Honestly, I’m real tried to hearing the “I can’t find a man” swan song from African-American professional women who have never tried online dating or interracial dating (two things I usually recommend when I hear people bitching about their singleness).  Time to get down with the swirl, Ladies.


Filed under african american, black women, community, culture, d.c., love, opinion, relationships, washington dc, white folks

“Baby Momma” and other things that are not job titles

“Baby Momma” is not a job title.  It should not be the period at the end of your life’s run-on sentence.  I don’t care if your Baby Daddy is Lil Wayne and you’re standing at Rikers Island today with arms wide open and a fresh weave (all 3…I mean 4 of yall…I think…hell I don’t know how many chicks have had Lil Wayne’s kids!).

I know a whole lot of strong single moms out there who are not just “baby mommas”.  They are working professionals, artists, spiritual sages, supportive friends, and so much more.  I’m seeing a wave on TV and online (blogs mostly) where black women who have had babies by male stars are simply referred to as “So-in-so’s Baby Momma”.  Not the “Girlfriend” or “Ex-girlfriend”.  Not the “Mother of his child”.  No acknowledgement of the fact that some of these women are stars in their own right, business owners, etc.  I take issue with this because we live in an aspirational society where we see black girls striving to be video vixens.  I’m talking “stand there and shake you butt” chicks, not I have a “M.F.A in Dance from Howard” professional dancers.  (I can respect strippers more than video models because they have a regular gig and can work a 40 hour week.)  Will young girls looking for acceptance and wanting the fame decide that being the “Baby Momma” of some notable man is the new route to stardom?

Just because you get a check doesn’t make it a job.  Things happen.  A lot of women are single moms, but most of the ones I know would not suggest someone take on that role in an effort to come up in the world.  It’s not different than aspiring to win the lottery or play for the NBA…most that try won’t win and most try won’t play.

Other things that aren’t job titles:

  • BOSS – Said the way Fantasia’s brother says it.  If you don’t have employees on a payroll, you’re not a boss
  • Jumpoff
  • Video Vixen – Not the same as a model
  • Rapper – If you are over the age of 40 and you’re not legend in the game.  It could be a hobby, though.


Filed under african american, black, black women, celebrity, children, culture, family, opinion, relationships, sex, women, youth

No Wedding, No Womb: Sistas, Let’s Lead the Cause

I know black women who won’t swim because they might get their perm or weave wet.

I know black women who won’t let you borrow their keys or give you a place to stay for a week or two.

I know black women who would give you their last dime

I know black women who are so convincing, they could talk a leopard out of its spots.

I know black women who manage each dime of their paycheck like they are working for the Obama Administration and correcting the BS of the American banking system.

I know black women who are the coldest, most put together people on the planet.

I’ve seen black women overcome obstacles, handle their business, love like no other, help their communities, and carry the load.  We can be opinionated, steadfast, loving, passionate, pushy and exacting.  Even our errors are correct, as Nikki Giovanni might say.   We are some of the strongest people on the planet and we often have to make some serious decisions.  One of the toughest decisions can be who we share our bed with, our womb with. However, I know a LOT of women who have made a conscious decision to wait until they are married to conceive.

This is why I believe that the goal of the NO Wedding, NO Womb campaign is something that Black Women can really embrace.  NWNW calls for WOMEN [and men] to put the needs of children first, and advocates that couples abstain from having children until they are emotionally, physically and financially able to care for them.

Is this about bashing single mothers?  NO.  Frankly I know a lot of single mothers who would happily embrace the concept that people should think long and hard about having a child out-of-wedlock.  There are burdens and joys to being a single mom.  I believe that most would not call it all roses.

Black women, we control access to our wombs.  We carry the genes of slave foremothers who did not have choice when it came to reproduction, but have passed on their strength to us.  WE can make a difference in our communities by embracing the message that African-Americans should consider waiting until marriage to have children.


Filed under activism, african american, black, black women, children, community, events, family, opinion, relationships, women

Overweight Women Charged Extra at Georgia Nail Salon

Sisters spend a LOT of money at nail salons. I’m not into all the designs, gel nails, silk wraps, and what have you, but I know a ton of women who are. I was amazed that a nail salon would tack on an extra $5 for what…FAT. That’s right. An african-american woman in Georgia was recently told that the extra 5 dollars on her bill was due to her being overweight. Apparently, the nail salon had experienced some broken chairs due it it’s heftier customers.

I have a question. Do they have a scale at the front of the store where they can weigh you before you get your services and determine whether you qualify for the broken chair fee? What do you think? Would you patronize a place that charged overweight customers more? We do in the case of the airlines.

Michelle Fonville said her experience at Natural Nails on Covington Highway in DeKalb County turned from pleasant to painful in a matter of moments. “I was humiliated. I almost cried. Tears were forming in my eyes,” said Fonville. She said things went downhill on Monday after the salon manager gave her the bill for her manicure, pedicure and eyebrow arch.
Fonville realized that she had been overcharged by $5. “I said, ‘I’ve been overcharged. She may have made an error,’” said Fonville. “She broke it down, then told me she charged me $5 more because I was overweight.”
Fonville said she couldn’t believe what was happening and recounted the experience with Channel 2 Action News reporter Eric Philips. “I said, Ma’am, you can’t charge me $5 more. That’s discrimination because of my weight,” said Fonville.

Click here to see the video and read the rest of this story.


Filed under african american, beauty, black women, business, drama, news, opinion, women

Sex and the City 2: Black Don’t Crack

Black actresses need to thank God that “Black Don’t Crack”.  Apparently HD brings out every little flaw.

I saw “Sex and the City 2” Thursday and I’m telling you, HD film is NOT forgiving!  Not at all.  All of the ladies looked much older than in the first film.  Even Charlotte, who was so youthful looking, was showing major signs of aging (most notably in the chin area).  SJP has always shown her age and is not a Botox or surgery girl so I wasn’t surprised at how she looks.  I will say, Samantha looked the best out of all 4.

I really would have expected that they’d found some way to filter out the harshness of HD.  Whoo!  Makeup Artists, you have your work cut out for you.  Sistafriend actresses, ladies let’s hope that the Melanin and some good moisturizers helps your black not to crack.


Filed under african american, beauty, celebrity, culture, hollywood, opinion, race, women

ABC News: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?

I’m wishing Steve Harvey, Sherri Shepard, Jacque Reid, Hill Harper, and Jimi Izrael Good Luck as they try to answer this age old question:  Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?  I’m sure the panel will try their hardest, but the answer is as elusive as some have found the search for their man to be.  I’ll surely live blog this one, so look out for that.  All my Georgia ladies and gents, the event is happening in your neck of the woods so let me know if you get a ticket so I can hear the unedited scoop.



In the United States, black college educated women outnumber black college educated men 2 to 1. Considering all the other factors that could lend to this disproportion, it’s not surprising people wonder why many successful black women cannot find a man.  ABC News “Nightline” asks this question and relevant others–Are black women’s expectations too high? Who’s to blame, Black women or black men? – in the next “Nightline Face Off” in Decatur, Georgia on Friday, April 9.

In this “Face-Off,” the 7th in the program’s series, Sherri Shepherd, Emmy award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View” and Jacque Reid, star of VH1’s “Let’s Talk About Pep” will debate Hill Harper, CSI star and author of The Conversation, and Jimi Izrael, author of The Denzel Principle. Steve Harvey, radio talk show host and bestselling author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and “Nightline’s” Vicki Mabrey will co-moderate the debate.  Shepherd and Reid will participate as single, successful African American females who have difficulty finding an equal match while Harper and Izrael argue that single women should look beyond stereotypes when choosing a black man. Continue reading


Filed under african american, black, black man, black men, black women, celebrity, community, culture, dating, drama, family, love, opinion, race, television, women

Your Thoughts on Black People and Online Dating

What do you think about African-American and Online Dating?  What has been your experience?  Would you recommend it to your friends?  Do you think that it would open up multi-cultural options for single Black women?  What are your thoughts?

My Opinion:  I’ve tried a number of dating sites in the past.  EHarmony was the worst. I suggest the recruit more African-Americans and other ethnicities for balance.  They could consider creating a campaign targeting African-Americans that plays on the “Christian values” part of their market.  A lot of holy rollers looking for love would go for that.  I’ve heard that BlackPeopleMeet is pretty bad in terms of people acting like they are on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters.  As an African-American woman, I found my overall online dating experiences lacking.  I’m  someone who wanted a real relationship and not just something casual.  However, I came to believe that you have to lower your expectations when you’re dating online because 1) People lie (and post old photos), 2) Married people and people who should be allowed to date are trolling on these sites (check out dontdatehimgirl.com) and 3) Online dating doesn’t bring out the best in everyone.

Something to consider: In the past, Gallup polls have shown  that half of all Black Americans believe it’s “very important” for couples to marry when they have a child — yet according to research from Packaged Facts, more than six out of ten Black Americans are unmarried, thereby making that group the most unattached in America.


Filed under african american, black men, black women, culture, interracial, love, opinion, race, relationships, women