Roots of anger start young

Yesterday, I was out with my almost 3 year old daughter and witnessed a rather interesting incident that only reconfirmed to me that the roots of Black anger as it relates to sistas and the fact that the anger starts young.

The girl and I were having one of our Momma and me times at a local cafe here in our small town, it’s a neat cafe especially since it’s owned by a gay interracial (1 partner is Latino, the other is white) couple who has a daughter almost a year younger than the girl. Well we were sitting next to their daughter’s playpen which they keep in the cafe since they work together, their daughter is a cute child, no doubt but as you can imagine she is a white child, not that there is anything wrong with that but I am trying to set the scene here so bear with me.

Anyway cute white child who I will call Z is playing and cooing in her playpen the way almost 2 years olds do, when a middle age white female customer on her way out, walks over to Z’s pit and starts carrying on with how beautiful Z is, yada, yada. Well my daughter, The Girl starts watching the exchange in that way that kids do when they see a kid with something they don’t have, after about 5 mins, middle age woman finally puts a sock in it and heads to the door but not before turning towards towards my daughter who had been intently looking at this exchange and saying you are a cutie too but keeps walking. The way she said it was as an afterthought. It was a what the hell kind of moment, for just a second a strange look flashed on my daughter’s face, yet in that second I knew that expression because even though at almost 3 she can’t articulate it, as a Cocoa brown sista who was attended predominantly white schools, I know that feeling. That feeling that says maybe I am not cute.

Now you may be reading this, thinking come on Black Girl aren’t you reading alot more into this… well  to be honest no, when you have as a whole, a group of people (Black women) who often will do anything to change their looks to fit the expected norm of cultural beauty (hello, relaxer, weave and blond hair on cocoa complected sistas) I don’t think I am reading too much at all.

Its one of the reasons that despite the fact that The Girl’s daddy aka my spousal unit is white, that the girl will never get a white doll from me, shit I look back at my own baby pictures and see me hugged up with a white doll and wonder what the fuck were Moms and Pops thinking.

No, in this society even at a young age the message slowly seeps in that white is the best, white is beautiful and its small exchanges like what I witnessed where in just a moment of time, I saw my daughter question why middle age woman did not treat her like Z, that start the long road to what at 35 or 40 becomes an angry Black woman.

Now off I go to get my iced coffee, until next time.

Black Motherhood Part 1

In thinking about the issue of angry Black women, another related issue came up for me and that is the issue of motherhood, specifically  Black motherhood versus white motherhood. So this post may be the first in a series of posts examining the cultural differences and on some level tapping into the anger that I and some of my fellow Black sistern live with.

The first time I became a mother I was 19, and to say that I was woefully unprepared for the task at hand was an understatement, though now as I look at my son who is almost an adult, I sometimes think maybe ignorance was bliss. I did the best job of parenting him that I could, at the time of his birth, there was no internet and looking back I am very thankful. Instead I relied on the parenting advice of my elders (aka, Moms and Granny) that advice meant getting him on a schedule ASAP, use of formula even the dreaded CIO (crying it out) in other words sometimes baby cry and there is not jackshit you can do but live with it. Looking back I did not fret over every decision as I do now in my mid 30’s with child #2, the girl.

No, when the boy was born, I was concerned with keeping food on the table and a roof over my head, at that time I was a high school dropout trying to survive. In many ways my circumstances and youth did not afford me the luxury of over thinking every detail as I am now prone to with the girl, shit I drive myself crazy overthinking the small details. I feed the girl fast food now and I mentally beat myself up whereas with the boy, I was thankful to be able to feed him.

Looking back I think over the years as I have attempted to better myself and that meant going to college and grad school at break neck speed and jumping headfirst into my career, I find that on some level despite being a Black woman, I have bought into the cult of white Motherhood and at times that feels dangerous for a Black woman.

Statiscally more sistas are left raising babies alone than white women, and in many ways our ways of being are adapted to that situation. I have yet to meet too many sistas fretting over wishing they were stay at home Moms, if they can its cool, if not you tend to be happy you have a job especially if brings in enough cheddar to pay the bills. Yet amongst my white girlfriends and being a sista in Maine most of my face to face girlfriends are indeed white, there is true angst about working especially if the children are young. Seems that even if their man aka ole man or partner doesn’t earn enough money white women will hold to the idealized view that they alone must care for their kids.

I will admit that after the girl was born a couple years ago, I was sucked into the cult of white Mamahood until I realized that even though my spousal unit is white, this man is not a master of the universe and unless I want to be living poor, I have to work, that is my reality.

Join me tomorrow for the next installment on motherhood, must get to work for the paying clients.

Long time

I love idea of blogging but like many things I want to do, there simply is not enough time in a day to get things done. That said, now that primary season has ended and Obama is the nominee, I feel the urge to write. Specifically as a Black woman, I feel there is so much to say, so starting today I will attempt an entry at least 2-3 times a week. Now that Obama has the nomination, it feels like the spotlight is on Black women since in MSM his wife is being called an “angry black woman”. Well I will confess that at times I am an angry Black woman, so stay tuned to some insights from a angry black woman from Chicago who is currently passing time in the great state of Maine.