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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it; I believe it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Marketing Campaign...

While sitting under the dryer for an hour (man I can't stand sitting under the hot-a dryer!!!) I found a link to this article about how Michelle O is helping to recast the image of Black women in the US. According to the author, Mrs. Obama doing much to dispel long-held mis-truths about the Black woman:

"Jones and others say that Michelle Obama knocks down old stereotypes of black women: Sapphire, the angry black woman; Mammy, the caretaker and nurturer of her own children and everybody else's, and Jezebel, the loose woman."

The article goes on to state how Michelle is not just a good role model for one race:

"She's brilliant, she's beautiful, she's classy and she's a warm caring individual. Not only is it great for black women to see a sister who could be the First Lady, it's good for all women because she has the qualities we can all admire."

I am hereby co-signing on that statement. I love the way Michelle carries herself, how she handles her multiple responsibilities and roles, and how she sets the example for so many other women, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, etc. But I could not help saying an amen to Whoopie's comments:

Typically, society has touted a narrow image of the attractive black woman, Thomas says. That woman has usually been a lighter-skinned black woman -- something Whoopi Goldberg brought up when Michelle Obama recently cohosted the ABC television show "The View."
Goldberg complimented Obama's brown skin saying, "I know it sounds funny and silly, but if you are a black woman and you are tuning in and every time you see someone who is supposed to represent black women and ... not very, very fair skin women, I am talking about dark black women, I just want to say thanks."

Yeah Whoopi, I know it sounds funny and silly to, but it is the truth. And I want to say thanks too. Even though there are much more important things about this campaign, I can't help but enjoy the fringe benefits: Michelle is truly helping to market a standard of beauty that has been there all along.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Princess Like Me...

So I've been waiting on the latest Disney movie for two years now. Those of you who are familiar with me will understand why. The nonprofit org that I founded (and now volunteer for) is Prince & Princess, Inc. for the same reason I am waiting for Disney to finally add a Black Princess to their Princess line. Even if you don't know me, you probably know a young Black girl who loves to play dress-up, who wants to be a princess; you've probably purchased a Disney Princess item for a birthday and wondered why the characters were not at all similar to the little princess you were buying for. We all have heard of the doll test ; the Disney Princess thing may seem like a small matter, but it really highlights a bigger issue - that for as much as we try to tell our girls (and ourselves for that matter) that Black is beautiful, we are constantly faced with a mainstream society that insists (directly and indirectly) that there is only one standard of beauty, and Black ain't it. I hope this little movie about a Black Princess goes a long way to undue some of the damage to our self-image. I know it's only a movie, but hey, I can dream...
On a related note check out this site for Princess Briana - a lovely book that helped my niece see herself as a beautiful Princess - even at 8 years old, she already has concerns about the color of her skin (beautiful dark brown like her momma and her auntie). She shared this book with me and I could tell it really made her see things differently. I am so grateful that her grandma found it!
Have a wonderful Monday folks!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

PHD Status Report 2

Okay. So I have been writing! As promised. I am 1/3 complete with revisions to my concept paper. AND - I fine-tuned my research question, so things are looking very good. My goal is to complete the concept paper revisions by month's end and submit to my committee chair. Stay tuned...

Also, attended organizing meeting for the Tri-Cities 4 Obama team tonight; finally getting a headquarters established in Petersburg!!! ('bout time folks) I will try to stay focused on my dissertation mission, and to demonstrate that, I only signed up for 1 1/2 days of volunteer availability per week...