Eternal Beauty in Black
Encouraging the strength, courage, and wisdom of black women empowering themselves everywhere
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Monday, September 14, 2009Another Day in Paradise : A Commentary on Weekend Events
Earlier today, I was going to say "Man I'm glad this week is over." But, oh no. It's only Monday.
They say things always happen in three and this week (and weekend) started off by showing such an illustration.
1st - Michael Jordan is honored in emotional Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. During his speech he is critical of certain players, coaches and officials he once worked with. Among the slew of backlash to his person, Jordan is called a competitive sociopath, petty, and I'm sure tons of other things that my brain refuses to remember based on the comments.
2nd - Kanye West apparently yanked the microphone from Taylor Swift during the MTV's Video Music Awards and said that Beyonce Knowles deserved to win Best Female Video. Thanks Kanye for staying yourself.
3rd - Tennis star Serena Williams curses out a sporting official due to a faulty call that cost her the US Open win. Somewhere Mary C., Mary Jo F., Martina H., Pam S. and Martina N. are sharing a couple of brews while replaying this over and over on Youtube.
By now, I'm sure you, like myself and every other black person in America, is shaking our head and throwing our hands up. Once one prominent black person in the media does something, EVERY black person will be painted with the same brush. Times that by three now. That's one of the gifts for growing up in a country with tons of racial tension from the inception of said country every day.
Now, grant it. Kanye is just acting his foolish self and Serena shouldn't have cursed. And maybe Michael Jordan should have just said "So long and thanks for all the fish" and then took his spiffy trophy and new honor to a celebratory dinner where he can vent IN PRIVATE to his buddies. Okay response, but a wrong time. Alas, I digress.
Many are now saying that tennis is returning back to the way it should be with all the former top tennis players returning now that the "Threatening Negros Who Win All The Time" (gasp Oh noes! Too much color on the court!) may not be playing as much. To paraphrase George Lopez, "Tennis is Becoming All White Again". This will follow Serena Williams' career wherever she goes. No matter how many wins she has, no matter how sportmanship she is from here on out, it will be brought up, categorized, written about and rewritten about and commentated on until the end of time. It's one of the gifts of growing up with dark skin not only in this type of world but also in a game dominated by the majority who doesn't look like you.
Now had it been Anna Kournikova, or if the roles were switched, the commentators would have just shrugged and said how cute her rampage was. "Everybody makes mistakes. She was just tense because it was a high pressure game." Uh huh. I highly doubt she would have been fined. I don't tolerate cursing myself and Serena Williams shouldn't have outburst the way she did, sure, but this is only the beginning of what could be WAY blown out of proportion for many years to come. This isn't a case of "Oh look Johnny Mac threw another racket. How adorable! That's his trademark. Gotta love him!" Nope. This was a little colored girl "acting ghetto" and bringing "low ghetto class" to a historically prim white sport. And where was the racket abuse and outright crazy tantrum antics I keep hearing about? I didn't see it anywhere in the circulating clip. Nor did it come close to the famous "You Can't Be Serious" 1981 Wimbledon McEnroe situation that resulted in a $1,500 fine. Sigh. I won't be surprised if this is shown over and over again during next year's US Open promotional videos.
This could could very well cost her all those endorsement deals amidst the cries for her to be banned from the game. Yes, she cursed, but it's not like she smoked marijuana in public (for extra kicks, check out the comments section for tons of supportive posts about how he made a little mistake and is sorry so let's move on). Though I'm pretty sure if she did, she wouldn't be rewarded with an extension on her sponsorship deal until 2013 months later. Kind of funny how the article makes no mention of that misstep huh?
I could get angry at all this. I could get my blood pressure up at all the racist, hateful, spiteful, venomous comments that are circulating each article comments section. But I won't. The outcry against "Black Folks Act Up Week" is to be expected. No matter how high a personal of color reaches, there will always be the privileged class who uses every misstep as an opportunity to push down the whole group of those below them to "where they belong in their place". Lovely misconceptions and all. This is not a class you can buy your way into. Nor is it one you can eventually be inducted into. It's something you're born into. At least for now.
I'm heading to bed. Someone wake me when it's 2050.
Saturday, August 22, 2009An Overfilled year
A lot can happen within a year and I know it's been a good while since I've updated. Case in point, I'm actually blogging from my phone! Hope you guys are still out there.:-)
Where to start indeed.
Well, here at Eternal Beauty in Black our goal is to celebrate the beauty in black woman. There isn't enough appreciation for our features, minds and hearts and I want to help empower the young black women coming up in a world where they are pretty much seen as non-existent. Whether it's through books, media, movies or anything else. Sometimes I'll even chat about things going on in the media that I think are asinine. I know, I know where to start?
So sit tight and feel free to check back more often as I keep this site updated in the coming days.
Saturday, October 25, 2008Small note to readers
Apologies to readers of EBiB for the big gaps in posting. I sometimes dive into the writing black hole and don't come out for periods of time! lol. I was thinking about adding a feeder to this blog for automatic updates sent to your feeders or emails so you'll know when a new post is made and can post a comment if you like. If you guys are interested in this, please let me know and I'll work on setting that up. :-)
Labels: EBiB News
I was contacted earlier this week about the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and their Say NO To Violence Against Women Campaign. This is something close to me I feel very passionate about especially with so many harrowing news stories reported from the organization What About Our Daughters.
The campaigns are working to attain 1 million signatures for this movement by November 24, to take a stand and build a community around this important cause. On November 25, UNIFEM and Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman will present these signatures to the UN Secretary General.
Anything we can do to stop these horrible acts against women is an A++ in my book so I'm asking readers of this blog to please add your signature to help build a united voice in this cause. Please spread the word, grab a banner and let your loved ones know. Many movements have started with one voice that rippled through many and we can work toward stopping this and empower women instead.
Mark your calenders! November 2nd 2008
I love what this organization is doing to empower young black girls to build confidence and a bright future to counteract the negative stereotypes that are presented in the media. It's certainly a breath of fresh air!
Check out the Today Show special on Black Girls Rock! Founder Beverly Bond.
VH1 SOUL AND BLACK GIRLS ROCK! INC.
PAY TRIBUTE TO IMAN, ERYKAH BADU, PAM GRIER, ESTELLE, NICOLE PAULTRE-BELL AND MANY MORE AT THE 2008 3rd ANNUAL BLACK GIRLS ROCK! AWARDS
Esteemed actresses Regina King and Taraji P.
Henson will co-host the third annual awards show to celebrate exemplary women of color
October 3, 2008, NEW YORK, N.Y. - BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. founder and world renowned celebrity DJ Beverly Bond partners with VH1 Soul to honor exceptional women of color for their outstanding achievements and distinguishing career marks at The 2008 3rd Annual BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards. The event will take place Sunday, November 2, 2008 at The Allen Room at JAZZ at Lincoln Center in New York City.
The star-studded award show hosted by Regina King and Taraji P. Henson will pay tribute to the industry’s most accomplished icons as well as lesser known women who are distinguished in their particular fields. U.S. Paralympian and world’s fastest amputee April Holmes, who is also the world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races will receive the BGR! ‘Becoming Legendary’ Award. British R&B and pop sensation Estelle will take home the BGR! ‘Who Got Next?' Award. Bethann Hardison who shook up the fashion world by speaking out against the lack of diversity in the industry will be walking away with the BGR! ‘Shot Caller Award'. This year’s BGR! ‘Living Legend' Award goes to actress and icon Pam Grier, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee who set the tone of "independence" for Black actresses as the queen of 1970s Black filmography. “It is important that we take time to honor these extraordinary individuals and hold them up as shining examples of the great women that we are so that future generations of girls can see other examples of who they can become,” said BGR! founder Beverly Bond.
Additional honorees include supermodel IMAN, global ambassador of 'Keep A Child Alive’ and founder of IMAN Cosmetics who will receive the BGR! ‘Social Humanitarian’ Award, GRAMMY Award-nominated soul singer Erykah Badu will win the BGR! ‘Rock Star' Award’, Rachel Lloyd, founder of G.E.M.S., an organization that works to rescue sexually exploited children, will receive the BGR! ‘Community Service’ Award and Nicole Paultre-Bell and Valerie Bell will receive the BGR! ‘Monument’ Award, which recognizes individuals that have endured crises and withstood tremendous emotional, physical, and/or psychological events. Former Editorial Director of Essence Magazine Susan L. Taylor will be the evening’s keynote speaker.
The growing list of stellar presenters and performers include 2007 BGR! Award recipients Tracy Reese and Sylvia Rhone, Floetry's Marsha Ambrosius, Universal Motown's Ashanti and Ryan Leslie, Star Trak recording artist Teyana Taylor and many more.
For tickets and more information on THE BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards visit www. blackgirlsrockinc. com/awards.
About BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc.
BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, youth empowerment mentoring organization established for young women of color. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit BLACK GIRLS ROCK! INC mission to empower young woman of color via the arts. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Friday, August 29, 2008Women in Film - The Women
A lil birdie slipped me a note about an upcoming film The Women (a remake of George Cukor's 1939 film of the same name) and I snuck a peak at the behind the scenes documentary of the movie. I'm looking forward to seeing this because it not only showcases an all female cast and much of the crew, but such talents as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Debra Messing, Debi Mazar, Cloris Leachman and many others make appearances in the film. I'm a movie junkie and an advocate for women in film (especially seeing more creative talent behind the camera). The documentary gives a nice behind the scenes 'making of' for how the movie was put together. The last time I saw this many women behind and in front of the camera was in the Sanaa Hamri vehicle Something New which featured Stephanie Allain and Kris Turner as producer and wrier and Sanaa Lathan as the star. I used to have an article about women in Hollywood and I even did a presentation back in college about the lack of female directors. Some are discouraged from rising in Hollywood and others don't get the push as their male counterparts do. I think there was about 2 women during the overall course of the Oscars that were nominated in the Best Director category. With the amount of talented women at the camera helm that's pretty depressing.
But Hollywood is still a man's game where sexism, racism and ageism still run rampant. It reminded me of a video I saw on youtube ages ago about Hollywood's idea of black female beauty featuring Nia Long.
Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with a nagging feeling. I had just seen Wide Sargasso Sea (1993 Karina Lombard version) and I couldn't get a particular scene out of my head. I had read the book when I was a teen but this was the first time I had actually seen the movie. I was inspired to write a story just based off said scene alone. I got up to write the story but I couldn't for some reason. Instead I did some research on a particular figure that was in my head: a former slave turned aristocrat named Isabeau...a woman who took France's breath away. I couldn't find a lick on her but I wanted to tell her story. I knew there had to be something out there about her, where she lived, why she left her home to go to Paris.
For months I dug and dug and I finally hit pay dirt. Isabeau's story told from her own lips thanks to Madame du Barry's recordings. Suddenly this woman's story contained me. I know if I try to publish it, I'll have a heck of a time trying to convince publishers that Isabeau's story will resonate with readers. After all, here was a woman who's spirit extended no bounds. She lived in a world of poverty, possession, jealousy, admiration, more jealousy, privilege, regret, betrayal and love. Isabeau's story has to be told and I'm still consumed by the words I read that told of her life. After living in a world of oppression based a culture's idea of her people's inferiority and soon being admired for her quiet strength alongside her "exotic" beauty, Isabeau is the epitome of rags to riches. Still she is also seen as the other: a former slave woman who much of America may not believe had France on its knees whenever she was around.
And don't even get me started on the reason she left her home. It may cause some controversy based on that alone.
In any event, this woman is an inspiration because she decided to follow her heart despite the odds and she refused to be held down by anything. She wanted to go a world where men didn't look upon her color as something of an exoticism nor to be shunned. She wanted to love and be loved for who she was.
In our current time where historical romance equals Regency ladies and lords, Scottish highlanders and ladies, untamed Native American heroes and pale, "dainty" white female heroines, it's difficult to find other cultures and pairings that have lived and loved throughout history. Part of it is a society which doesn't want to recognize anything other than the current majority. But such was not always the case. The opposite of the majority was once revered and admired as the standard of beauty. Perhaps as we look closer, such was the case throughout history and even to know. Stereotypes were put in place to deter interest to attraction of minority men and women. But the human spirit is an untamable spirit and there's only so much you can try to contain before the truth and strength of mind break through those chains.