Imagine we're at a dinner table having a conversation about Hip Hop. Someone brings up N.W.A. as being pioneers in music.
They go on about how their music was groundbreaking and how it brought attention to the West Coast and opened up a whole
different world of the genre. Imagine me mentioning how the music was mysogynistic and helped usher in the era of men and
women referring cavalierly to black women as bitches and hoes. What kind of looks do you think I would get? What kind of
responses do you think would ensue. Would someone say something about women acting like bitches and hoes and therefore creating
the whole situation...or at least adding to it in some part? We create the conditions of our circumstances. Men are just
following suit to the situations we create? But a woman can't be a hoe without men to sleep with right? Men chase women and hunt
them down to have sex with them and then talk shit about them for giving in to the hunt. It's a woman's job to earn respect.
It's a woman's job to maintain her virtue. Nevermind the men who are out here lying, scheming, and wooing women to bed. It's
a woman's fault for falling for it. UHMKAY.
Imagine we're at a dinner table having a conversation about the black family. Someone brings up single motherhood. They go on
and on about how black women are raising children on their own. Someone comments that black women are to blame for most of
the problems in the black community. We aren't raising our sons right. We aren't raising our daughters right. We work too much.
We don't work enough. We're too busy looking for a man. We're too busy hating them. We don't cook, clean, or do much of anything
else to keep a man. We're too aggressive. We're too angry. We're too passive. We don't make men work hard. Our standards are too
low. Our standards are too high. We want too much. We're too money-hungry. We only care about looking good. Our kids can't read.
Meanwhile, no one examines the dynamic of why families fall apart. No one examines why families aren't coming together in
the first place. We acknowledge that black men are absent but aren't really holding them accountable. We just take them to child
support and let the system handle the rest. Or we don't. Either way, the situation and circumstances regarding the black
family are the mothers' issues to deal with AND fix. After all, we, in all our sourness and callousness, are the reason black
men don't want us anyway. Right? UHMKAY
Now imagine having these same conversations but being unable to load the blame onto just the black woman. Imagine having to
sift through the issues to find out where the roots actually grounded themselves. Imagine having to actually examine how
we collectively have made the black woman the reason we have so many problems. Imagine having to hold everyone accountable.
Imagine having to defend both men AND women. Imagine having to relinquish the notion that she is the problem and the resolution.
Imagine having to do all of this and have solution oriented conversations about how we can both come together AND make
our lives better as a people. Now welcome yourself back to the table. I'm interested in hearing your perspective.
I'm Ellen Gee. When I'm honest, we learn things. When I'm not, we learn things too.
Capturing the Past