Coffee Rhetoric: Brain Matters
Showing posts with label Brain Matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brain Matters. Show all posts

May 17, 2008

Hotness

This afternoon, I checked my email and got a notice that a post I logged: Hair Raising Tale, has been deemed Post of the Day, by a website called The Rising Blogger. How flattering! I consider Hair Raising Tale one of my more important posts, because it's an issue that hits close to home and affects many other Black women who constantly feel ignored, not considered beautiful or pretty enough or are criticized for having features conducive to their (our) ethnicity. I take pride in carrying myself a certain way and I'm even prouder to be who I am and HOW I am. I don't really give credence to the media or society attempting to dictate and determine my womanhood and beauty. Thanks again Rising Blogger for recognizing and being open-minded enough to respect my views! Pop by there (if you feel so inclined to do so) and see what they had to say about moi.

April 08, 2008

In Which Coffey Learns

During these stuffy sinused, work filled and busy days, I've finally had the opportunity to reflect on conversations heard whle out and circumstances I've run across. I've been taken to school, if you will. Inadvertent lessons taught to moi. As my ears pop and my nasal passages clear up, I'm suddenly awash in a brilliant sea of clarity. I've realized, in this current cult of personality, that people will simply continue to be themselves in all their loud, stank, uncouth glory. Bad, ugly, unhygenic, and overwhelmingly raunch. This much I know is true. I realize that people have no qualms about boarding the bus, early in the AM, taking their seat, and then breathing heavily... their breath reeking of jungle rot or hot garbage on a particularly humid day. I can sit here and ask the universe whether it's too much to ask or wish for certain people to floss, brush or scrape their tongue, gargle and take it to the back, perhaps pop a mint before venturing out into the world... But why bother? The answer is yes, it is too much to ask. And so I suffer silently. Fate decreed that this is the cross I must bear sans questions. I also learned while en route to the mall (on the bus of course)- this past Saturday, that a young Hispanic lass I'll call Romeo (all of maybe 16 years old) was headed in my direction to meet Lissette. Lissette, apparently, was going to meet Romeo at the mall, so that he could "fuck her." ... "Yeah," proclaims Romeo to his buddy, "Lissette's gonna meet me there so I can fuck her." To which his friend replied with a spitty chuckle/chortle combo. Ahhh, I learn something new every single day. Is this what young people do now? Do they have trysts at the mall?? Whatever happened to sitting in the dark, at the back of the theater? Or going to the park after dusk? Folks our future depends on these very same young people. In which case, I'd rather not be cryogenically frozen. I'll just go head and rot. I also learned that a mall is NOT the place to be on a Saturday afternoon, with a sinus infection. It was hot, it was extremely crowded, and I couldn't concentrate for I found myself wondering about Romeo and Lissette. I didn't want to run into them in some sort of compromising position. Speaking of young people, I also learned that in their quest for fame, they like to videotape themselves beating the living daylights out of some poor unsuspecting victim, in hopes of uploading it on YouTube. Yup, don't freeze me, just burn me and throw my ashes in the nearest ocean. Life's little lessons can be a bit overwhelming when swallowed whole sometimes. Now pardon me while I go wait for my food to digest ...

March 10, 2008

I'll Be Back...

... I am worked to the BONE. Literally. I'm tired, lethargic, and functioning on caffeine (not that it does a damn thing). Work is fast paced and busy-busy and to top it all off I've lost an hour's worth of sleep! That on top of apotment hunting.
I want to do stuff. I want to write stuff. I want to relay witty anecdotes here, oh do I have some witty ones stored away in my memory's bank. I want to go out and about during my downtime, but I can't bring myself to do so. I'm lazy. I've got stuff to share and I'm too lazy. I've got places to go, but once I retreat to the home front, my limbs turn wooden. I think about doing... but they don't move. I become a stone statue.
Spring is on the horizon and I sense slight lubrication in my winter-stiff joints. On a positive note, sleep isn't such an elusive idea anymore. For now anyway.
In any event, give me a few minutes or so. I'll be back... I just need to shake my lazy pelt off.
P.S. I stumbled upon some Absinthe, or Absente rather. ...

February 16, 2008

Arn't I A Woman Pt II

I happened upon this article entitled, "Not Woman Enough" over at racialicious, written by a contributing guest writer who calls herself Tami. Tami, a Black woman, questions her femininity and ponders the inner workings of White privilege (particularly of the white, patriarchal variety ofttimes with very narrow views of beauty and intellect)- after a White male colleague (unconsciously?) makes her feel inferior and less alluring than her White female counter-part and co-worker. The writer hit on a number of very relevant points and raises some interesting questions about the de-sexualization and fetishization of Black women... How we can't be beautiful (to them... as if it matters) sans a long list of prerequisites or unless they're trying to meet their "I've never had sex with a (insert race) girl before" ethnic quota. So we fall under their "to do" list. Some Black women may try to assimilate completely, by engaging in damaging behaviors such as, pouring bleach on their heads, slathering on the wrong type of make-up, wearing painful and cheap looking weaves and wigs that contradict their ethnicity, and rubbing dangerous skin lighteners on their persons. I don't think the writer is seeking validation from her white male counter-parts nor is she speaking from a particularly vain view point. I think she is simply tired of being invisible and seen as less than. Sometimes that experience has nothing to do with aesthetics, but can be on an intellectual level as well. One would have to be living at the opposite end of the spectrum, to truly understand where she is coming from. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Today I was reminded of my place in the female hierarchy.

I was in an impromptu meeting with a 50-something white man and a white woman who is my age, when this exchange occurred:

White male: The only people who liked that design were under 28.

White female: Under 37…I loved it.

Me: Yeah. Me too.

White male: (to white female, pointedly) Well, YOU don’t look older than 28.

White female: (to me–maybe attempting to soften white male’s comment) You don’t either.

White male: (eyeing me) Mmmm…I don’t know about that.

It is peculiar–in my experience, some white men don’t relate to black women as women. On more than one occaision, at more than one job, a white male co-worker has made comments to me that violate society’s codes of chivalry. What gentleman comments on how old a woman looks? This is not the first time the man in question has made a subtly derogatory comment about my appearance. I have also noticed how his eyes slide distastefully over my natural hair.

When I began typing this post, I worried that I was overreacting. In the re-telling, the offense seems so petty and maybe subject to interpretation. Maybe it wasn’t about race at all, maybe my co-worker simply finds me haggard looking and is surprisingly untactful. So, I called up a good friend–another black woman–that I can always count on for wise counsel. She understood exactly what I meant about the peculiar state of non-femaleness black women sometimes occupy in the mainstream. It is the weird flip side to the stereotype of the wanton black sexual temptress.

Read the rest of the article here and visit Tami's Blog and PLEASE read this post (something Black people do, and is at the top of my list of pet peeves!), while you're over there...

January 21, 2008

Unsung Activists

While everyone uses this day home from work and school to reflect on Martin Luther King's birthday, attend special observances and programs, or simply to piss around (or however you choose to spend your free day off)I'd like to take this opportunity to recognize the women who made a significant impact during the Civil Rights Movement. It's rare that we read or hear about how Black women (in addition to Rosa Parks) have impacted our (black) history and women's history in general. Stereotyped, hypersexualized, and often labeled as 'right bitches (or hoes, depending on who's hurling the insult), Black women... we don't get a fair or accurate rap sometimes. Zora Neale Hurston's contribution to African-American literature was written off by her Black, male literary peers, who accused her of "romanticizing" the Black experience, but that's for another post. My point is, we often can't get a break or any cred for the things we've done in the past and the ways in which we continue to thrive presently. We hear so much about the indelible mark Rosa Parks - left, it probably leaves some folks wondering if she was the ONLY black woman who fought for equality during this time. She's not.

JoAnne Gibson Robinson was a professor of English at Alabama State and member of the Women's Political Council. Months prior to Rosa Park's negative bus experience Gibson-Robinson experienced similar treatment from an abusive Montgomery City Lines driver and used her membership to the WPC as a catalyst for change. Ella Baker. Septima Poinsette Clark. Fannie Lou Hamer. Civil Rights overlooked revolutionaries who remained stealth, in the background... perhaps due to sexism, racism, and other biases. Author Lynne Olsen writes:

After the bus boycott got going and (Martin Luther) King got involved, they wouldn’t even let Rosa Parks speak at the first mass meeting. She asked to speak, and one of the ministers said he thought she had done enough.
Olson added that Parks is often depicted as a deferential woman who defied segregation laws at the urging of movement leaders, but in fact she had for years quietly pushed for racial justice — and she had carefully planned the actions that led to her arrest. She was not just a symbol, She was an agent. Olsen also added. I think it's great that we get to observe the significance of Martin Luther King's birthday and that it was made into a national holiday. I think he also wouldn't mind us extending thanks to some of the women that helped him make such relevant and important changes in helping him further his cause. ...

  • Ella Baker was a charismatic labor organizer and longtime leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She believed the movement should not place too much emphasis on leaders.
  • Septima Poinsette Clark, often called the “queen mother” of civil rights, was an educator and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People activist decades before the nation’s attention turned to racial equality.
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi sharecropper, was beaten and jailed in 1962 for trying to register to vote. She co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and gave a fiery speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.
  • Vivian Malone Jones defied segregationist Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace to enroll in the University of Alabama in 1963 and later worked in the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department.

January 19, 2008

Handkerchief Head Negro

Is it just me, or do quite a few Black, male leader types from the Civil Rights era have a lot of disdain for Barack Obama's run for the White House? Where was the disappointment when Condi and Colin joined the ranks of the Bush Administration and contributed to the downfall of our international relations and this country's current state? Anyway, this pastor says we young Black people don't have a right to vote or choose who our next President should be, because we're ignorant, have no substance, have amassed massive college debt, we're trying to "eat and date white" and we've corrupted society. Notwithstanding the fact that he sounds like one of the biggest, intra-racially bigoted, mark ass, ignoramuses yet. What the FUCK does "eating white" mean?? I'd love to hear him expound on that whole theory of eating white.

November 12, 2007

Just 'Cause

My favorite clips from La Haine and Do the Right Thing. There's no way you can miss the social commentary on the state of race relations, the ways in which young urbanites get through their day and their disenchantment with law enforcement, or the fact that these matters still apply today, unfortunately. I'm sure Dog the Bounty Hunter would agree that the dialogue needs to remain open.