I did a post on July 22, 2012 on my main EZINE page where I included several notes from readers. I also offered my perspectives on the types of majors/specializations that AA women should and should not pursue in college, for best results or in order to get the most bang for their educational bucks.
Below is a listing of responses, reactions and comments sent in re that post.
Just went to your site and was reading one of your letter from a woman wanting to travel to Europe. I would love to connect with this woman and let her know that Travel Buddy (travbuddy.com) is an excellent resource for people looking to connect for travel so as not to go alone. Please pass on my email to her. I have an account on TB and am in the process of doing a group trip to Europe for 2013.
Thanks for showing the letters you got.
Love love love whats happening. Saw a comment from NSL re - coming to Europe she didnt say exactly where she is going but if she is heading to London and in need of a friendly sisterfriend who is used to the Global village and heading back as soon as I take care of business I would be more than happy to help her find her way around or give any advice. She can email me directly . We have to be-freind other women on the path.....
I had to respond to some of those comments from your recent post.
----From a white man: a provocative note about the OOW situation
His suggestion that women not have kids is . . . . astounding, yet not that amazing. I have had a conversation with a white woman who said the exact same thing. 'Apart from tax write-offs, what's the point of being married? You still get the same benefits by being common-law (in Canada)?!' At first I was going to leap up and disagree with her, but then I had to think on my response. What is the benefits?
Despite what you have been urging, I was one of those exact nay-sayers right up until last year. 'I don't need marriage' I said. 'I don't' need a ring!' I said. However, when I said those things, I thought that I would never get married because no one wanted me and I was (grudgingly) getting used to the idea of dying alone and lonely. So in that context, yes, marriage seems like a luxury for the wealthy classes, the 'pretty' people. But then I started reading your blog and other blogs and seeing so many pictures of so many dark-skinned, beautiful women who were engaged or married and I thought . . . why can't that be me too?! Why do I have to settle for common-law, save money on a dress, a wedding cake, or even presents?! I LIKE presents?! Why should I do without?! It's taken me a long time, but I'm slowly shaking off the self-brainwashing I did in an effort to console myself with being left alone, or so I thought. Plus, on my job, when people want to apply for survivor benefits as the spouse of the deceased, what do you have to provide? A marriage certificate. If you don't have that, we will accept a Statutory Declaration of Common Law union, but you still must provide extra proof that you were together for more than 12 consecutive months. Guess who calls the government help line, frustrated because they can't find any proof whatsoever? Common law couples. Not that that will be reason enough to get married, but the Law, heck, the entire Western society, is structured around having that one piece of 'paper'.
Why deny yourself the extra protection?But always vet, Vet, VET as you say, to avoid accepting dreck as a suitable husband/father to your children. By the way, the white woman who said that marriage meant nothing was single, her spouse having left.
--------From a black woman- requesting Christian advice
I'm no Christian, but that letter sounded like so many articles I have read on BWE sites about AA women praying for change instead of getting up and making that change themselves. I know she is hesitant, but what is she waiting for? I wish I had someone interested in me (though I am working feverishly on that) who was willing to wait. Her child-bearing years are possibly past for good. What is she waiting for, divine permission to fall in love? What if she never gets an answer, then what? Life is too short to hold off on love.
----------From a black woman-who feels her beauty is devalued
I grew up in Canada, 'The Great WHITE North' where I definitely DID NOT see my beauty reflected anywhere, especially when I was growing up in the 70's & '80's. I had that thinking too, 'oh, they only show blond hair and blue eyes, I have to do that too!' Until a black women looked and me strangely and said 'No, YOU DON'T'. You DON'T have to put chemicals or weaves in your hair unless you want to, you don't have to wear blue contacts unless you want to, you don't have to do anything they say on those ads because they're just trying to sell you a product. You don't have to be what they say is beautiful, you be what you say is beautiful. It's like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I'd never really heard that as I was growing up. I guess my parents, both from all black societies, took it for granted that I knew that already, but I DIDN'T. They never said I was beautiful or pretty.
When I asked my [West African] dad why he never bothered to say that he said 'Well, it was implied', as in, the fact that you have clothing, food, shelter, and my occasional attention is my proof that you are beautiful, I don't have to actually say it to you. Wrong. The first time I was called beautiful to my face was by a Philippine man in a counselling session (long story). It felt nice to hear it.
My long-winded point is that if you are looking to others to show immediate affection, that may never come. Or, it could be simply mis-interpretation on her part. They could be shoving because they need to get on that bus yesterday because they have their own problems, not necessarily because they thought shoving a black woman would make them feel superior. At least that is how I try to interpret it. If I took personally every odd look and behavior I see ( and I see plenty) I would not make it out the door alive each morning.
As one of the only black people in my city for a while, I would get stared at constantly. My mother said: "So what? 'Men's eyes were made to stare' as Shakespeare said. Maybe they're so stunned by you they have to stare to drink in all of it!" When I was feeling really insecure (still do at times) I tell myself that quote to prop me up. That really is it. I wanted to give you another perspective as to why some women with degrees and a decent job might still reject marriage as a solid institution.
I know it takes a lot of time, but please keep on with your message and with those pictures of those lovely couples!! They really make my heart soar sometimes.
Thank you for your time.
I wish that someone would have advised me against majoring in the soft area of sociology. I am the first in my family to have graduated from college and the fact that I attended was enough of an accomplishment. Had I known I would have chosen a more difficult major and maybe minored in sociology. Yes, I was able to find employment in the field of my major however I have NEVER been satisfied by the salary. It's almost as if I am able to help my clients more than myself and that's disappointing. Thankfully I am now pursuing Dentistry and shall be able to create a more financially stable future. The lesson that I learned is tha we must help ourselves before we can help others and that no one is to blame for our lot in life.
The Christian women just sounds soooo bound up with all that indoctrination that she can't put it down..for the beauty and strength of plain ole’ common sense. I remember being a little bit like her.."should I stay in the so called “church”..and wither and die and head straight for the “mother’s board” ( you know the row of women dressed in white at the front right of the church..representing piety, goodness, and strength of hip and thighs...) or should I go in the direction that my heart was telling me. Well----praise be---I headed in the direction of my heart and can honestly say –and I mean honestly say—I would be dead right now if I had stayed in that “church” mindset, listening to the abc church folk/neighborhood folk etc.
But thank you for that insightful look into your inbox.