Black women

Recent Articles

Don’t fall for the ‘deception’: Lack of Blacks on TV still a ‘scandal’

Network shows with African American female leads don’t come close to true diversity, experts say
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Meagan Good (Deception) and Kerry Washington (Scandal) are two Black women who are starring in their respective prime-time dramas. LL Cool J co-stars in another network series. And Jada Pinkett Smith was executive producer and star of her own series on cable for three seasons. “They are few and far between when it comes to Black voices or the Black perspective” on television, declares Southern Illinois University Media Professor Beverley Love. “It’s sad that we don’t have more, and I am not sure why it is.”

The characters Good and Washington play on their shows recently were debated on The Root.com. Continue Reading →

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Why avoid single mothers?

 

Black men have no business looking down on single sistahs with chirren. Long as I’ve been Black, single moms proved a rule, not an exception. Plenty Black men have been, in fact, raised by a single Black woman, busting her hips, all on her own, to make do for self and the young ’uns. Which is pretty damned hard work. Why they catch more stigma than single mothers of any other color defies reason. Continue Reading →

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Our stories and symbols can restore our authentic Black selves

Third of a three-part column

This is the last in a three-part series focused on the effects that enslavement, cultural uprooting, and geographical and spiritual dispersing have had on our culture — Black culture — and the ways that we relate to ourselves and each other at present. During the late 1800s, after savagely ripping many of the human resources from our land of our origin, colonists stripped Africa of its natural resources, which were then divided among the British, French, Portuguese, Italians and Dutch. These European colonists installed a system of imperial rule where they were able to claim these resources as their own. The process of imperialism meant that people were colonized — instead of being African, they were taught to carry the identity of their colonizers and thus to assist them in unleashing the forces of generational self-destruction. One writer described this plight of self-destruction as lasting into “perpetuity,” meaning it would never end. Continue Reading →

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First annual Baraza conference ‘a huge success’

Event launches movement to improve Black women’s health and wellness
 

Part 2 — see part one in the current print edition of the MSR

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The October 6 Baraza Conference presentation by Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., was titled “Claiming Your Right to Wellness: Sisters in Recovery from Life” and addressed powerful issues such as trauma, grief and loss as they relate to both personal and professional relationships, and offered the audience exercises to improve wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Akinsanya is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. One of the things she discussed during her talk was cognitive reframing, such as when one thinks of a glass as half full or half empty. So, when you do reframing, what you do is look at a situation from another side. Dr. Akinsanya asked the audience to think of one negative thing you say about yourself that keeps you locked down. Continue Reading →

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Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

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Black women: Reclaim your sacredness as containers for the spirit of our people

 
First of a three part column
 

In my last article, I highlighted culture as a resource for healing, building, and creating financial prosperity among African American people. The central message expressed was the importance of a return to an intellectual heritage and ancient self, which I see as the first step in moving toward community development. Randall Robinson opens his book The Debt: What America Owes Blacks with a revealing description of himself as having been born in 1941, but having his Black soul born eons ago on another continent “somewhere in the mists of prehistory.” He writes, “I am the new self and the ancient self, I need both to be whole, yet there is a war within and I feel a great wanting of spirit.”

In my work of establishing cultural wellness as a field of study and an approach to healing the African mind, I am lifting up the potentiality and power that cultureprovides to feed the wanting spirit. In Black America, as we reckon with and heal ourselves from generations of abuse, under development and benign neglect, we will be able to reverse the forces which have impeded our collective thriving. The 400 years (25 generations) of systematic enslavement will cease to have a hold on our development when we restore our consciousness of this ancient self. I realize that many may think that this is utopian thinking, but I am asking Black America to indulge in some serious utopia, because there is always a slender but precious hope that today’s utopia will become tomorrow’s society. In this article, I would like to build on the previous central message by lifting out and examining the role of Black women in our healing and rebuilding process. Continue Reading →

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Join me on a journey to a new and better self

 

Years ago, after I delivered my wonderful daughter, I found myself eating out of depression; love of course played a part, but so did broken dreams. I also felt anxious, overwhelmed, and at times hopeless. When my daughter was three months old we would wake up in the middle of the night, and I would make myself a stack of pancakes, hoping the fatigue and loneliness would go away. Food became a sense of comfort and relief. I had a million and one excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. Even when I did muster the energy to exercise, I wasn’t consistent, had little faith in the process, and saw little change in my appearance. Continue Reading →

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Report examines coverage of LGBT issues in Black, Latino media

 

FIRST OF A TWO-PART STORY

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

A new report from The Opportunity Agenda points out that favorable public opinion about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color is slowly growing among Blacks. The national communications, research and advocacy organization released “Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race” in September. It examined Black and Latino newspapers, Black magazines and Black online media over a two-year period (2009-2011), and found several common themes. Among them:

• Black newspapers and online news sites consider LGBT issues newsworthy. • The six main storylines found in Black newspapers, with HIV/AIDS receiving the most attention, include: homophobia, bullying and discrimination, culture, tension between gay rights and civil rights, religion and same-sex marriage. Continue Reading →

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Event opens health dialogue to Black Twin Cities women

 
Baraza creates balance, focusing on mind, body and spirit
 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

An exciting, one-of-a-kind event designed specifically for African American women is set to take place in the Twin Cities; it’s Baraza: A Black Woman’s Health Gathering! happening Saturday, October 6 from 7:45 am to 4 pm at Saint Paul College in St. Paul. Baraza, presented by the African American Leadership Forum’s Health & Wellness work group, is its first major event and aims to get women empowered to commit to a healthy life. The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) is a movement of African American leaders that understands, values, and leverages “the power of the collective.”

The AALF, which was established in 2009, is committed to bringing about positive change in the Twin Cities African American community and is engaged in deliberative dialogue and collective action to address the most critical issues affecting the economic, social, educational, and healthy well-being of all African American individuals and families in the Twin Cities community. Continue Reading →

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On crime, racism, and distrust of police

 

“When you shoot somebody, that’s not the only person that you’re killing.”  

— Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye’s daughter, testifying after his death

 

I attended a neighborhood meeting on racism. Afterward I mentioned the comments I heard in that meeting regarding law enforcement to one of our law enforcement officials. “It’s hopeless,” he said when I conveyed the negative comments from the seminar, “when that’s how they feel about us.”

So I stepped out from behind his hopelessness and asked to meet with another public relations representative from the local police department to see what could be and/or what is being done about this impasse between the electorate and their peace officers. Broad publicity has been given to the cases of O. J. Simpson, Rodney King, and Henry Louis Gates (and his meeting with President Obama) when each of these celebrities of color had run-ins with the law. Another famed activist, Angela Davis, is a proponent for the rights of inmates and speaks out on prisons as factories that house an inordinate number of young Black men compared to their ratio in the American population. Continue Reading →

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