Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shrinking Sistahs

In case you have missed the news for the past week, African American women are shrinking!
The Center for Disease Control released a study this past week that showed:

"The average height of a black woman born in the 1980s is just under 5 feet 4 inches; her mother, born in the 1960s, is more than half an inch taller. Even her grandmother, born in the 1940s, is a bit taller. The average white woman born in the 1980s is about half an inch taller than her mother. "

The reason why I responded to this new was because the researchers said, "height is a very good overall indicator of how well the human organism thrives in its socioeconomic environment."

So now you have it! All of the adversity African-American manage to overcome on a daily basis does more than burden the soul, cause high blood pressure, and hypertension. All of the problems within the home and community that many African-American women must learn to sort through interferes with her ability to thrive and remain competitive in the environment. So the environmental issues for African-American women would include competing socially, economically, mentally, etc.

Those of us who study race and gender dynamics in America understand this already but now its played itself out in a Darwinistic way.

Very interesting news.

2008 = Politics

I have no doubt that these six people
dominated your conversations this year.
Have you added CNN to your TV favorites yet?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Daddy's Girls Excerpt

MTV is debuting another reality show: Daddy's Girls. I am a sucker for the Hills but I am really excited about seeing positive images of African-American women on television. I was very proud to see MTV approve Run's House and this spin-off is like icing on the cake!
Sorry "New York" but these women are entrepreneurs and true role models for young women America, especially women of color.

Ok, so they are a little spoiled but it beats seeing episode after episode of profane language with half-naked women as if young women like Angela and Vanessa Simmons do not exist.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Thanksgiving goes beyond Thanksgiving Day.

This Holiday Season completes the end of one of the toughest years of our life. I hope you have expressed gratittude and thanks for everything you have. There will be many people waking up on Christmas morning with heavy hearts. Pray for your neighbors....and never stop giving thanks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Green Eggs & Ham

Since everyone knows that I spoil my sister, I thought I would share this recent news while shopping for Christmas gifts.

Although my sister loves everything Disney/Dora, I decided this Christmas that I would buck the system of buying Disney/Dora and attempt to share classic gifts. While shopping for classic books, I decided to pick up Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham amongst other books I knew she did not own. Of course before going to Barnes & Noble, I decided to look online for the cheapest prices.

When I got to I was floored by this review of Green Eggs & Ham when I read this:
"If you're searching for a literary example of peer pressure, look no further than Dr. Seuss's subtly horrifying "Green Eggs and Ham." The "hero" of this tale, Sam-I-Am, spends the entirety of the book trying to force green eggs and ham upon a nameless skeptic. The "villain" turns down the offer several times, but Sam-I-Am persists, going so far as to follow him home in order to make him try the green eggs and ham. He uses several textbook methods of peer pressure, including the famous, "You'll never know that you don't like it if you don't try it." He refuses to respect the man's right to say no, and badgers him incessantly until he caves under the pressure.

What disgusts me most about the end of the story is that once the man tries the green eggs and ham, he loves them and is simply another addition to a pool of addicts. Dr. Seuss's tragic allegory for the rising drug use among young people that plagued his time period is brilliant, but certainly not appropriate for young children. Sam-I-Am is too easily twisted to become a hero, opening the antagonist's mind to new things, rather than a metaphor for Satan as I believe was originally intended.

In conclusion, do not read this book to your children unless you are willing to explain to them that people like Sam-I-Am should be avoided at all costs, and that they should never follow the path of the story's antagonist. "

Wow. I have no words at this moment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Barbie vs. Bratz

In case you have not heard the news from Toy Departments across America, the Bratz dolls will be leaving the shelves very soon. Apparently, Mattel (the maker of Barbie) filed a law suit claiming that the creater of Bratz came up with the idea while working for Mattel.

Although I am not a parent, I have a five year old sister who plays with dolls. This Christmas I refuse to purchase anything Barbie or Hannah Montana. This is a decision for parents to ultimately make, but as an adult with a very young sister I have concerns too.

I am concerned about the number of decades the image of Barbie has dominated the toy aisle! Forget how the ethnic Barbies are never named Barbie. Forget the unrealistic body, the blonde hair, the companion Ken doll, the various Professions, and the material items Barbie accumulates....

Images like the Barbie Doll contributes to the inferiority complex minority girls spend their adult years trying to defeat.

Bratz is a legitimate competitor. For once we have dolls on the shelves that emphasize non-European physical features. The arguments most people have about the Bratz dolls include the Urban wear and physical features. I think most of the physical features are a reflection of non-European women. Sure the clothes could be a bit more modest, but Barbie too has her share of interesting fashions too. In the end, I advocate for Bratz because of the diversity and the proximity to real features of ethnic women.
What I will miss about the Bratz dolls:
1. The Lips
2. Their shapes--Barbie eat your heart out!
3. Their names (there is a Sasha in the group ode to Sasha Obama living in the White House)
4. Their Diversity

I really think that people are upset about Barbie finally having competition. The Bratz dolls are more of a reality than Barbie for lots of girls in my family. The Bratz phenomenon is about someone finally getting the message that there are girls of different shades around the world that cannot relate to Barbie. Unfortunately, too many Americans consider Barbie a classic and shy away at any real diversity in the doll world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bittersweet Caroline

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
--Romeo & Juliet (II, ii, 1-2).

After conversations with friends, reading my favorite blogs, and tracking the story in the NYT & CNN, I find Caroline Kennedy's bid for the U.S. Senate bittersweet. I love her support and commitment to public service, but honestly believe that her name positions her to be the new Senator from NY. Its amazing to see so many changes in politics. Yet, this example shows that as "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

Barack Obama = two steps forward
Caroline Kennedy = two steps back

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Black and Missing: The East Charlotte Murders

After posting Caylee Anthony's picture on my blog yesterday, I let curiosity get the best of me. I wandered through Google and many random websites to find pictures and/or stories of missing African-American woman and children. Needless to say, I was completely moved by many stories that never make it to Nancy Grace or other prime-time television programs.

The most striking story of all was about the serial killer Henry Louis Wallace.

Mr. Wallace was a young black man born in South Carolina that went on a killing spree in the early 90s in East Charlotte, NC. He managed to kill over 10 young Black women, all under 25 years old. As I read the trial transcript, read the memorial websites for each of the victims, and read the commentary from websites like TruTV---I grew angry. One of the victim's mother mentioned how this man managed to kill so many women without interruption from the police: they were black and working class.

Undoubtedly, after reading the court transcripts I had difficulty getting to bed. I was horrified that this happened in my life time and I never heard the story. As my night went on, I was really anxious and upset over the details that I'd poured over. Naturally as I counselor I thought about the psychology behind the story and put a lot of time into trying to figure this guy out. At the end of the night/morning, I was exhausted and afraid that I cared too much about the case. This case had such an impact on me because these women have many similarities to me--young, black, with working-class roots.

I could go on and on about this case forever, but I decided to share this blog because I want to give voice to those who we never hear or see on television. It is a shame to know that if you are not white and are not part of the middle class, your tragedy may never be shared to assist in search for missing loved ones or their kidnappers/murderers.

So today, I want to recognize the victims of Mr. Wallace. They were:

Tashanda Bethea
Sharon Lavette Nance
Caroline Love
Shawna D. Hawk
Audrey Ann Spain
Valencia M. Jumper
Michelle Stinson
Vanessa Little Mack
Betty Jean Baucum
Brandi June Henderson
Deborah Slaughter

Please visit You Tube to watch the various memorial videos:

Please pray for their families.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Caylee Anthony

WFTV News in Orlando reports this morning of a Young Child found near the family's home. Keep this family and all the families with missing Children in your prayers.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Inauguration Ball

So apparently the Political Fashionistas of America are trying to decide what Mrs. Obama should wear to the Inauguration Ball. Visit this site to see the sketches.

I kind of like this Michael Kors sketch....but then the Peter Som "Winter White" is nice too.. but I'll let you decide.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I could not remain silent.

The latest on O. J. Simpson annoys me to no end! This man could never receive a fair trial in this country after the 1995 acquittal. No matter your position on and believe that.