Category Archives: Thoughts raging in my head

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Part of my hybrid upbringing was learning the “Black National Anthem”. As a child, I hated this separatist idea – that there were two Americas – that I was being indoctrinated with, but I dutifully learned the first stanza of the song as required and could sing it on demand.

The anthem is a song written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1899 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1900. It is a staple in every HBCU choir. With the events in Missouri, Florida, Ohio, California and New York, the verses are still as relevant today as they were when they were written 115 years ago. The fact is, there are indeed two Americas, and depending on what shade of brown you happen to find yourself on or what zip code you find your residence in, your America will look very different from someone else’s.

The song talks about hope that dies before its even born. For many people born to poverty and disadvantage – who by virtue of the circumstances of their birth find themselves trapped in the classroom to prison pipeline – this is a bitter reality. Nevertheless, this is their America. Hope dying before it is born plays out in different scenarios all over this country.

The song also talks about faith and how it will carry you through the dark times.

Some of you have never heard of the emotional roller coaster that is African American National Anthem. That’s okay! I am here for you.

 

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our God,
True to our native land.

 

Thoughts? Reactions?

Nkrumah and Ali: Daughters of the Pan African Movement

I wonder if the world knows what a debt it owes to African Americans. Every modern liberation movement has been based on the tactics employed by those in endeavor for Civil Rights in America. And while MLK’s non-violent methods were borrowed from Ghandi, we did what we always do when we get a hold of something. To borrow a term from Nuongg Faalong, we “swagged it up”. The only reason modern Americans enjoy every bite of peanut butter brittle, a plate of greens or a bowl of grits is because some West African stowed away, was stolen or sold into this country and “swagged up” the American food source. African Americans also gave this country its first indigenous art form: jazz. Born from ragtime, the architects and masters of jazz soothed America and the world’s soul during wartime and beyond, and kept heat on dance floors in its Swing Era.

The African’s experience, survival and (relative) success in America can be attributed to many factors, but in my opinion, one in particular – improvisation. From seasoning boiled pig entrails to using brown paper bags to wall paper our country homes, Black Americans have had to improvise with little resources in order to thrive in this country. Where did this sense of innovation come from? The consensus is that it has been inherited. “You can take the African out of Africa…” and all that.

Someone shared this picture of Muhammad Ali and Kwame Nkrumah a few days ago. I had never seen it before and was immediately captivated. The pair of them looked so young, happy and hopeful. Ali’s visit to Ghana in 1964 had somehow escaped my radar and in turn left me with many questions, chief among these “What was he doing there?”

Ali and Nkrumah

Google proved to be of little help. Ali’s visit to Ghana was well documented in pictures, and for all accounts it looked like he was there to have some fun in what he called the “Fatherland”. It looked like the man formerly known as Cassius Clay just wanted to come home. It’s documented that he wore kente cloth everywhere (ev-ery-where) he went and sampled local food with gusto. He, like thousands of other African Americans, felt a connection with Africa and was seeking a sense of belonging. Of course we know that not every Black American feels this need to be anchored to Africa as George Foreman illustrated with his sentiments. Even some (self-loathing) Africans wish they weren’t born to and of the continent. They think there is neither beauty nor potential in Africa. We can talk about how this cadre of saboteurs are the enemies of Africa’s progress some other time.

I never got an answer as to WHY Ali was in Ghana, but Malcolm X may have provided an answer through his speech at the University of Ghana in 1964. He spoke about what it meant to be from America, but not be an American. American citizenship at that time was reserved for white people. Within weeks of his arrival, a white European could come to America, anglicize his name and live in any neighborhood of his choice, shop in any establishment of his heart’s desire and vote; whereas the black man whose family had lived and toiled in America for generations was barred from these same advantages. He was not an American – he was still an African in America, according to the law and by virtue of social engineering. After hundreds of years of living in the land, the African in America was still a foreigner.

Suddenly, I got it. Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, my own mother…suddenly it all made sense. My mother was born Sharon Davis but changed her name in the 60’s to a smattering of Kenyan, Nigerian and Ghanaian names. As a teen, whenever the subject of my mother’s name came up in conversation, I used to roll my eyes so hard I could see what the ancestors had for dinner. I never understood my mother’s need to be so different. She was an American…why couldn’t she just own and be that? Little did I know, she didn’t become an American until 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was passed. My mother was born in 1945 and didn’t become a full citizen of the country of her birth until she was nearly 20 years old. Suddenly, her hostility towards Christianity, the white establishment and American life in general made total sense to me. The contempt America held for her and her race had resonated with her and in return she held America in equal contempt. She was searching for home.

I stared at the picture of Ali and Nkrumah for a long while. What things would they have discussed? Did they ever form a friendship? Was this image just a photo-op or was there a real kinship between the two? In my search for answers, I discovered that while Nkrumah was studying at Lincoln University, he became inspired by the Black American’s struggle for independence in America and borrowed strategies from the movement to usher in Ghana’s independence. He joined the United Gold Coast Convention, later formed his own party – the CPP- and began planting the idea of a free Gold Coast (Ghana’s name prior to independence). For his efforts, he and other heroes of the independence movement –men and women – were harassed, interrogated and jailed by the British colonists. But even with the confinement of the leaders of the CPP the idea of a free Ghana had caught on like wild fire and civil disobedience had become the order of the day. What were the British to do? They ‘gave us free’ in 1957 and the rest is history.

At Black Star Square, Nkrumah boldly proclaimed that Ghana’s independence was meaningless without the total liberation of Africa. He had a vision for a United Africa and went on to craft a Pan African manifesto. Richard Nixon was also in the country to witness the first sub-Saharan country gain its independence. It’s reported that walked up to a group of blacks chatting amongst themselves at a function and asked them what it felt like to be free?

“We wouldn’t know, sir,” was the reply. “We’re from Alabama.”

Eventually Nixon and CIA orchestrated Nkrumah’s overthrow and Ghana has been in decline ever since. Thanks, Dick.

Photos courtesy of Facebook

Photos courtesy of Facebook

I looked at that picture and wondered what the dreams of those Pan African minded men who would eventually go on to become fathers and legends. Have their hopes been fulfilled in and through their children? I can’t help but think of Laila Ali and Samia Nkrumah and how these daughters of legends have carried on their father’s legacies in athletics and politics. Both have earned my eternal respect, Ali for her prowess in the ring and her business savvy, and Nkrumah for her push to keep GMOs from dominating the Ghanaian food market. While a certain party is blindly groping to define what their better Ghana agenda actually is, Samia Nkrumah is working to make sure our country is not recolonized by Monsanto and other agro-conglomerates. If you control the food supply, you control the people…and my hope is that Ghanaians will understand and embrace her and her party’s message soon, before it’s too late. Contrary to what we’ve all ben lead to believe, if Africa stops trading with the world, the rest of the globe will be at peril – not the other way round.

Seeing the younger Nkrumah and Ali side by side prompts more questions within me. For instance, is it time for old alliances to re-forged? Is there anything Black Americans and Africans can offer each other? Given the history their fathers lived through and shared, does it inspire any curiosity in you? Let’s talk!

 

 

Does Lauryn Hill Know How Much She’s Needed?

I woke up with this burden for Lauryn Hill this morning.

There are many reasons we need Lauryn Hill, the most pressing of which is because people are still surprised when I open my mouth and speak both eloquently and intelligently.

sweet brownHow can I blame them when the pervasive images of Black womanhood are Nicki Minaj, her bubble butt and her Bubble Yum pink G-string or Sweet Brown? Sure! You could counter that with “But Malaka, what about Oprah?” Uh-uh. Oprah is not a “black woman”…she’s Oprah. Oprah is a brand to the mainstream culture; not a person.

I really wanted to write something thought provoking and DEEP about Ms. Hill, but I find myself at a loss for adequate words. I just want to find Lauryn and hug her and shake her and pour my emotion into her. My need for her to understand how much the world needs her and craft and her brilliance is visceral.

Lauryn Hill introduced me to the word “reciprocity” and its proper use. For that alone she earns my eternal thanks. Then she penned and performed a song for her son Zion and spoke not about the fear of raising a Black son, but the joy of it. For a while she fell off the map and went a little “crazy”, but she reemerged and showed us that you can indeed rise from the depths of your despair and grief, and go through fire and eventually shake the ashes and soot from your body.

Does Lauryn Hill KNOW how much she’s needed?!?

There are not many musicians who understand the importance and value of their craft. Music is POWERFUL.

Bible scholars will tell you that before Lucifer’s fall, he was the angel over music…that when the wind blew through his body there was a melody on the other end. God takes delight in music. Melody and verse have been used as instruments of peace and tools to declare war. Music has the power to evoke emotion. Music has the power to heal, as well as destroy. And we live in a time when much of the music we hear is destroying the ONE thing that ensures Black survival on this planet: our intelligence. Everyone – men, women AND children – are getting dumber by the minute, and I believe it’s because Lauryn Hill doesn’t understand just how important she really is! She is one of the few educated voices in music that uses her gift to e-du-cate. I mean, have you heard Black Rage?

We need Lauryn Hill. She is our Nina Simone, our Pied Piper, our Oracle, our link to our glorious future and past.

In 2009, Talib Kweli wrote a song simply entitled ‘Ms. Hill’ to encourage Lauryn to continue in her craft, as well as to let her know how much he admires, loves, and supports her. I hope she heard it and took it to heart. It pained me that her re-entry into the public forum was forced by the need to pay back taxes to the sum of $1.5 million. It pained me even more that she paid the majority of the amount – just shy of a few thousand dollars – and a judge still saw fit to jail her, while in the same year Nicholas Cage was guilty of the same offense and never saw the front steps of a confinement institution. But hey, ain’t that America.

Nevertheless, Lauryn is back and she’s touring and reportedly doing it because she loves it. For people who think that Lauryn Hill exists solely to entertain them, this can be a hard concept to grasp. Cherae Robinson wrote an absolutely shallow (horrible, unserious, ridiculous, foolish, retarded… Jesus be a thesaurus…there aren’t even enough adjectives) article on Face 2 Face Africa about Lauryn Hill’s impending arrival and performance in Ghana this December.  She writes:

When Ms. Hill comes to Ghana, she should be prepared to make a big impression, because last time she performed in Africa, she was boo’ed by fans at the Capetown International Jazz Festival.

Image from BET.com

Image from BET.com

No, young blood. When Ghanaians attend Ms. Hill’s concert, they should prepare themselves to receive illumination and to share in the experience. Lauryn Hill isn’t some cut rate new artist, chasing your shiny nickels and dimes so she can build herself a faux throne financed by selling her soul. She is a priestess. She is a queen. She is an originator. You don’t go to a Lauryn Hill concert to merely be entertained; you go to be enlightened. And THAT is why Lauryn Hill is so desperately needed in the culture.

Does she know?

 

 

Why I Grossly Dislike Tithes and Offering Messages

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. – Malachi 3:8

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

If you’ve been to church – pick a church; ANY church – you’ve heard these two scriptures read, quoted or paraphrased at the all critical offering segment of the church service. It is the most wearisome portion of church to me.

Do you know what I just realized? In all my days, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any pastor recite the first portion of II Corinthians “You must each decide in your heart how much to give”. Typically, they encourage you to give more! Give abundantly! Give according to the blessing you want God to bless you with! I can’t tell you how many Sunday’s I’ve had to check the bile swelling up in my throat to prevent myself from puking all over a church pew.

I don’t want to sound like a disgruntled Christian. I am not, I assure you. I actually look forward to giving my tithes and offerings in church. I look forward to showing the Lord my gratitude with my gift. My little white envelope and check is my way of saying “You know what God? You got me up every morning, kept me employed, kept me healthy, and saw that all my needs were supplied. I can’t repay you (after all, what price can you put on good health?), but I can bring you this gift to say ‘thanks’!” I come to church READY to give, and I think that any serious Christian should as well. After all, you go to work ready to do your job, don’t you? Does your boss have to come by your desk every morning to give you a 30 minute exhortation about all the wonderful things that will happen if you put your 40 hours in? Then why in Christ’s holy name do we have to suffer through an offering message about how God will “Open up the windows of heaven” if we give?!?

I sincerely believe offering messages are for new converts/believers. We are trained in Western society to get all we can and keep as much of it as possible. This thinking has seeped its way into the church, and because the church was instrumental in the (neo)colonization of Africa, this stingy mentality festers in African congregations as well. That’s why you can have a church where the members are dirt poor and the pastor honks for them to clear the road in his air-conditioned Benz on his way to Sunday brunch. Ekene Onu calls them “church-preneurs”. (But that’s another topic for another day.)

As I was saying, it is the duty of a Christian to give his/her tithes and offerings. It is the least of your reasonable service. How are you going to call yourself Christ representative in the earth if you can’t give money? Common money o! Can you really be expected to give of your time, talent and love – nontangibles which are far more valuable – if you have to be goaded and coerced into your reasonable service? Explaining things at this level are for folks who are babies in the things of God. If you’ve been a Christian for 15+ years and are still struggling with giving, you might need to do a spiritual check-up.

The other thing that absolutely makes me violently ill where offering messages are concerned is that I sometimes feel like I’m being sold a bottle of snake oil. This typically happens at big conferences and retreats, which is why I no longer attend big conferences and retreats. Offering messages in these arena sare typically manipulative.

cheerful-givingI remember when I was in college and just newly born again. A big named Prophetess who was very popular at that time had come into town. My friends and I were giddy with excitement because we’d watched her on VHS in our dorm, and by virtue of the power of her words and worship ON TAPE, found ourselves prostrate on the ground in prayer. Her arrival in town heralded the first conference I would ever attend. Before she came on stage, there was the typical business of praise and worship (four fast songs and two slow ones), some introductions of some other leaders who were profiling on the arena stage, and then the offering message which was, without exaggeration, 40 minutes long. By time he was done, he had convinced me that God would double (or even triple!) my blessing “but only if I gave big”. God would perform a miracle! He had a $50 line, a $100 line and a $1000 line going. I was working at Walmart on minimum wage at that time, and had a little less than $19 in my account. I knew this. But the man had spoken with such urgency, and I didn’t want to miss out on the blessing that the anointing THIS prophetess would bring, and despite the niggling voice in the back of my head wrote a $50 check…which then proceeded to bounce, and bounce and bounce like a jilted lover. I made the same mistake two more times in my life before Bank of America taught me the lesson that Darwinism could not.

This scenario repeats itself all over churches across this country, every Sunday and sometimes on Wednesdays during Bible study. If you are reading this and find yourself pressured into giving something you don’t have (be it time or money), STOP. Don’t do it. It’s only going to create bitterness in you. That is why I believe there is a special part in Hell for all these preachers and pastors who have had a role in creating hard-hearted, bitter Christians.

Instead of offering messages, many churches (particularly Black churches) would do well to have a financial literacy class. This is the other reason I despise offering messages. They keep people at a need-based, subsistence level. Let’s say I and everyone in the congregation in already walking in financial freedom: we have no debt and no lack. What would the “blessings of God” look like in that case? Why can’t we then begin to think and operate in THOSE terms, rather than “Gawd gonna pay yo’ bills if you open up yo’ heart and yo’ purse my sistah!!”. Is God a pimp? No really.

Is.

God.

A.

Pimp?

No one should be goaded into giving; and besides, no one wants to receive a ‘gift’ reluctantly given. If it’s not of your free will, it’s ransom money…and last I checked, the Lord wasn’t holding any of us hostage. We all have free will.

What about you, Reader? You might not be a Christian, or have any religious tendencies at all, but if you’re human, you probably have some method of organized giving. How do you feel about “offering messages”? Do they bother you? Motivate you? Or not really matter at all? Discuss! ↓

 

 

Open Letter to My Broken Heart: Requiem for the Black Stars’ Loss

Dear Broken Heart,

How is it you are still beating? I marvel at your strength. To endure such a blow and to choose to carry on…My; that that is a testament to your tenacity indeed.

I suppose you’ve been here before though. You’ve had a lifetime of being ‘swerved’ and have come back from it. Remember when I was in primary school and my parents told me I’d be travelling to America for the long vacation? The dates that they gave me coincided with part of the final exams, and I gleefully skipped around Soul Clinic smugly informing my classmates that I not only would I not be on campus while they were figuring maths and social studies questions, but I’d also be in the air eating fine airplane food which would most likely include some sort of pudding for desert.

Do you remember the devastation when my parents informed me that my trip had been postponed for another month? Oh the shame…the shame of it all! In my heart I would rather die than go back to school to take an exam (which I had foolishly not studied for) and face my friends who would undoubtedly shame me. And shame me they did. Joanna Aryee had asked me to bring her Jehri Curls upon my return from America, and there I was – sitting by her in my beige and brown. Still, you kept beating, insisting that I carry on living.

My parents did this to me once more before I learned to shut up and stop bragging about events that had not come to pass and that were not certain for the future. From then on, whenever I got news of a big event, I kept quiet until it had come and gone. It was too stressful for you, my dear and one and only heart. I forgot that lesson and look what I’ve done to you again!

Do you recall how we spent last night? It’s not as though the memory is not fresh. I dug up the archives of all the old love songs – or gnashing ballads, as I like to call them – in an effort to soothe the pain of the loss to Team USA.

Team USA.

Kai! How can a whole Ghana lose to a marshmallow team like the Americans? (And this is not a racist quip ooo. I mean marshmallow as in ‘soft’, not ‘white’!) A team whose country neither prays for them, thinks of them, knows a single member of their squad and whose scoring average is similar to that of a Li’l Kickers soccer league? How, how, how?? It is because we were over confident. After all, they haven’t outmatched or outplayed us in 12 years. But it was that over confidence rendered me weak and curled up in a fetal position playing and replaying End of the Road, Where do Broken Hearts Go?, and Naija Baby until the pain went away. The remedy didn’t work. Still, it persists. Even Boys II Men can’t fix this one!

It’s not even so much that Ghana lost oo. It is specifically that we lost to America. When your day starts with reading articles such as this gem from the WSJ whose opening line consists of this string of despicable wording:

Of all the possible nemeses in world soccer, the American national team is haunted by a team from an impoverished West African nation with a population less than one-tenth the size of the U.S.

it kind of puts a sting in your bum. Who told him Ghana was ‘impoverished’? What an odd choice of words when the Appalachian Mountains are just a few hundred miles away from where this post was written. Now that’s real poverty!

And then when this same soft American team goes on to score in the first 40 seconds of the game, it boggles the mind. But even that vertigo inducing moment isn’t nearly as bad as when Ellen dissed my homeland with this tweet:

ellen tweet

You stupid wench. Do you know where the slave labor and chocolate that you give to your guests in your greenroom come from? No? Ahhh…okay. You are just all the way ignorant then. Your nyass, wae?

Finally, as the game came to a close, another titan of American industry took a swing at my beloved Ghana. Delta airlines, which has weekly flights from JFK to Accra posted this image on twitter to congratulate the US team.

delta-airlines

Hei?!!? How?!?! Has any Delta pilot seen a giraffe walking around Kotoka International Airport as he’s landed? Why would Delta Airlines make America look so unyieldingly ignorant when Google could have provided a myriad of images? Even if they had used a crocodile, I couldn’t have been offended. After all, we used crocs in our adinkra symbolism and as tourists’ attractions. In addition to that, our climate isn’t even hospitable to giraffes. You want to kill one of nature’s most majestic beings with your ignorance? Delta, Delta, Delta…

Anyway, I believe the Football gods didn’t want Ghana to prevail, though we prayed desperately. Yes, we would have loved to have won, but a win would only serve as a distraction to the real issues we are facing. We can’t print passports because the only passport making machine in the country is down and has been for nearly 3 months now. We are borrowing power from our neighbors just to ensure every citizen has the assurance that he/she can watch the Cup (come July, it’s back to erratic supply, so charge your appliances while you can!). Parliament is going to pass the Plant Breeders Bill while our noses are fixed on our TV and enslave the nation to Monsanto while MPs line their pockets with kickbacks. And then we have also forgotten the Chibok 234, which is why Nigeria found herself in a scoreless tie against Iran and Ghana was late to lend her support for Nigeria! The Football Gods are punishing us for being foolish! And back to the WSJ journalist’s point: Ghana is not impoverished, but it certainly is mismanaged.

But where does that leave you, dear Broken Heart? What can I say to comfort you? Nothing. This is a pain that neither Coke, nor chocolate, nor ice cream, nor sex could cure. We must wait until Saturday when Ghana plays Germany and pray for a win…this time with humility and silence. Continue to beat as strong as you can.

With all my love,

Malaka

Do White Males Make Better Managers?

Note: For the benefit of full disclosure, I think I should tell the reader than I am a Black female posing this question. I don’t want anyone who stumbles upon this piece to think that it’s some form of White Supremacist propaganda. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

As you dear MOM Squad and Random Readers know, I began working in corporate American this February. It’s had its share of disadvantages, but the greatest boon thus far has been that it’s enabled me to strike down the 14 year old, gluttonous albatross that’s been around my neck since I strolled across that wood and iron stage at Hampton University.

My job has me working on a number of accounts, and I can get switched from one client to another in a moment’s notice. This means that before I can truly master one account, I get moved. It also means I never have a chance to be bored. Since I generally find that I don’t like working for more than one singular employer for more than 6 months, it works pretty well for me. However, I’ve found that the ease and pleasure of those six months entirely depend upon two things:

  1. What the client wants/needs
  2. Who is managing the account

I’ve had seven jobs over the course of the last 14 years (not including my current one). Two of those went belly up after the DotCom bubble burst, and three of those dissolved when the housing bubble imploded. I’ve had both male and female managers of both races. (Fyi – In America, there are only two races: White and Not White.) The majority of my managers have been White. I have only worked for one Black female…wait!

That’s a lie.

Remember Big Lou and my cleaning job during a Real HouseKeeper of Atlanta. That’s eight jobs.

So as I was saying, the majority of my managers have been white and male; and honestly, they outperform every single manager I’ve ever had!

Now you may be asking yourself “Malaka, what is causing you to sit here and ponder something so mundane?” This ferocious headache I’ve been nursing for the past 3 days is what. I work from home, which should in essence be a stress-free exercise, but this female manager I have is making my existence about as enjoyable as having Stevie Wonder at the helm of the Titanic.

“Stevie! You see that iceberg?!?”

“C’mon man. You know I can’t see jack…”

The results are just disastrous.

Without getting into the specifics, I really want to answer the question about why White males just make more superior managers, or more specifically is that really true? I posed the question on Facebook, and for those who have bothered to respond, the majority would say yes. Why is that? I have a couple of theories.

  1. Historically, White men have been running things a lot longer than anyone else has: Plantations, factories, advertising agencies, you name it. They are more comfortable with assuming control because they see it as a birth right. Look at the male-centric cartoons on Disney or Nickelodeon, for example. What race is the kid on Paw Patrol? What race is Ben Ten? Yup… Dude is SUPPOSED to be that color.paw patrol
  2. Because they have been doing it longer, they can do it better. White men are more likely to mentor younger white men, to take them under their wings and help them navigate around potential “icebergs”. Every manager is going to make mistakes, but there are certain obvious pitfalls you can avoid if you take the advice of someone who’s been there and done that. We still live in an age where we are still welcoming the “first black this” and “the first woman that”, which tells me that minorities and women do not have the experience in those arenas as their male counterparts.
  3. Women are focused on procedures, men are focused on results. This trait and what you may classify as who makes a “good leader” I think is industry specific. For instance, you want someone who is building a bomb to be focused on procedures. That’s a great trait to have. HOWEVER, I think it’s counter-productive to ask a recruiter in 3 different conference calls HOW and WHERE they found a candidate to fill a position when the guy is about to start working and the position has been vacant for 90+ days. Who cares?!?! He’s working! And he’s not a criminal! And besides, why am I repeating myself on 4 calls that you’ve sat in? Good lord…
  4. Women are focused on fairness, men are not: I have observed that in all the positions I’ve held that were headed up by women, each employee got the same treatment. Sure, this sounds like a good thing, but when your co-workers are dumbasses, trust me, it’s not. Don’t treat me like a dumbass. I don’t deserve that. What I have always appreciated about my male employers and managers is that they consider the individual needs of each of their charges and manage and reward to those strengths. Under woman-led rule, everybody gets a cookie, and that’s bull.

I have only worked for one Black male, and he was never in the office. He was a sales manager and always out playing golf. I can’t speak to the strengths or weaknesses of the Black male manager, so I’d love someone’s perspective on that. I know we should all judge people on their individual talents and not on race and gender and blah, blah, blah, but in this area, White men rule!

business man and his team

Think of THE best manager you ever had. What made them so exceptional? Do you think race and gender have anything to do with management style and getting results from your team? Discuss! ↓

Is My Christianity Enough; and Must it Be At Odds With Feminism?

I feel like I’ve discussed this before, but here goes again…

Fresh off the heels of my conversation with Wiyaala I contacted my BFFFL, Nana Darkoa, who is as all who are even vaguely acquainted with her the consummate feminist. I gave her the highlights of our first conversation since the audio had failed and she would be unable to hear Wiyaala’s comments herself. Wiyaala talked about how she is a feminist advocate because she believes in girls’ education and is against child marriage.

“Awww. I’m touched by what she said about feminism,” Nana said in her voice note on What’sApp. “Ah. But, Malaka. You clearly care about these issues. You need to accept that you are a feminist and admit that your problems with feminism derive from the weird/warped way in which white women have practiced feminism! Just call yourself an African feminist…declare the type of feminist you are and be done with it!”

I replied with a voice note of my own, laughing and saying that I needed to look into this feminist thing a little more before I go about declaring anything.

So naturally that got me pondering about my existence, which is my second most time consuming portion of my day. (The majority is spent pondering the existence of my offspring.) In earlier conversations with Nana – like years back – I told her how passionate I was about girls’ rights. She admitted then that she never really took girls into consideration when she thought of rights, but it made sense.

“After all, girls grow into women, don’t they?” she mused.

That gave me pause. If my friend – the consummate feminist was not concerned about girls, and I had by that time borne two of them, could I really ally myself with this cause she was always preaching? That statement just gave me one more reason to eschew feminist tendencies for something I felt that was far more meaningful…that being my Christian faith.

It is because of my faith that I care about the causes that are so weighty to me. Human beings are not one dimensional, but I have to confess there are times when I feel the establishment would try to convince that we are and attempt to pigeonhole humanity in nicely labeled boxes. Think about yourself and your passions for a moment. Is there any one paradigm big enough to encompass all that you care about? My Christian faith does that for me.

I am a Green Girl

The first job that God gave to man was to tend to His Garden – our Mother Earth. Man and woman were charged with protecting it, naming the animals, and ensuring order. Then Man fell because he just had to have a nibble of some forbidden – albeit tasty- fruit. For my own part, that means picking up where Adam and Eve left off by making sure I treat the Earth with care, disposing of waste responsibly, only using what I need, and more importantly, teaching my children to do the same. Anyone who does not care for the Earth is a worker of iniquity and an agent of the Devil!

God is into Sci-Fi, therefore so am I!

I love my fantasy and Sci-Fi, yes I do! The majority of feminist friends I have are atheists (or agnostic at best). There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s their choice. Salvation is a gift freely given and should only be received freely. Anyone who has had religion shoved down their throat is in peril of never experiencing the full spectrum of what God has to offer. I mean, who else could come up with this stuff? Let’s just take Moses in Genesis for example. God instructed Moses to go into Pharaoh’s house and demand that he let His people go.

“Who shall I say sent me?” asked a rather perturbed Moses.

“Tell ‘em I AM sent you,” God replied.

For real? I AM? And then I AM is going to empower your staff to split the sea in half so I AM’s people could pass though? Yes! That just brings me to another element in my Sci-Fi fantasy as it relates to the Judeo-Christian God. I don’t believe God is a “he”; as in God has a penis. I think God is on some other genderless stuff that is going to blow our minds when we get to Heaven and we’ll have no choice but to bow down as the Bible says and cry “Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!”

God is a comedian

This is by far my favorite experience within my Christian faith. All you have to do is look at God’s creation and get in on the joke. What the heck is a platypus? A half duck mammal that lays eggs? A mammal that lays eggs? What is that?! The wonders of the depths of the sea are beyond what we can imagine. Take the angler fish for example. God had to have been trippin’ when he made that thing. And then there’s the piece de resistance of His/Her creation: humans. People are pretty funny too. They come in all shapes and sizes and can’t figure out how to get along. I believe this is the reason the Bible says “God sits on his throne and laughs”, when he hears of our plans.

Jesus Loved the Ho’s

Religious people like to turn Jesus into a personality that best fits their comfort level, and Jesus Himself proved that he and the very religious did not get along. There are a lot of “Christians” running around here that are foes of Christ.

Unlike Snoop and Dr. Dre, Jesus loved dem ho’s. He defended them. Remember the prostitute who was fleeing the mob dead set on stoning her to death? The Son of Adam stood in the gap for her, looked them square in the eye and dared them to try it.

“Let any one of you who has no sin among you cast the first stone,” he said simply.

As the shamed crowd dissipated, He helped the woman to her feet and told her to go and sin no more. Was that sin prostituting? I don’t know. She may have been a thief as well. I can’t imagine a group of men would chase a woman through the streets to stone her merely for selling her body. Maybe she was a thief or had a VD. I don’t know. I DO know Jesus had a soft spot for prostitutes, probably attributing to the fact that his great-grandmother x 9 was Rahab…one of the bravest and honored prostitutes in human history.

God is sensual paa…

Please. Go and read Song of Solomon. There’s oil and breasts and honey and… just go and read it, okay?

God is into architecture and fashion

When I had more cash (i.e. before children), I used to LOVE to change my look. I would change my look with the seasons. It was a godly exercise. The Lord cares about tassels, colors, perfume and sweet scents. He cares about angles, square footage and decorations. These things are also near and dear to my heart.

I care about equality and so does God

These skins that we wear are just temporary jackets. The real us is our soul. We are eternal beings. Galatians says:

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Once we are baptized into God’s grace, we become a new creation. Therefore all this emphasis we put on externals is a work of inequity and therefore of the DEVIL.

I am against the shedding of innocent blood

There are dozens of scripture that talk about God despising the shedding of innocent blood, and I believe that extends to the unborn. This is probably one of the biggest issues I have with feminism, because I feel as though I am not “feminist enough” if I don’t support abortion. I don’t, I won’t and probably never will.

I was recently asked to participate in a discussion about “safe abortion”. I backed out with a snort. Abortion is always deadly for at least one other person, so the discussion was moot in my estimation. I wished the participants well and went on to spend the day with the four people who had safely been evacuated from my womb.

Many of my favorite heroes and heroines did their work for God

Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom not for the cause of women, but because she believed in the word of God that promised liberty. She spoke frequently of having visions from God, leading and guiding her. Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were useful allies to (or pawns for) white feminists, but at the end of their respective days, tell me where their help came from? I’ll wait.

George Washington Carver, who our current economy owes a great debt to because of his numerous inventions spoke passionately about his devotion to God and God’s inspiration.

Maya Angelou, who taught me how to write like a Black woman, spoke and wrote incessantly of the love of God, which covers ALL things.

And then there’s Prince… Give me a moment please.

*Selah*

 

Look, all this is not to say that I am anti-feminist. Quite the contrary. If feminism or women’s rights as my friends describe it is about human rights, then of course I have no quarrel with that. It’s all this other nonsense like free bleeding and emasculating men that I have a problem with. I’m just saying feminism as an entity is not big enough for me, and my Christian faith is. It’s just a pity so many false preachers and prophets are ruining it for everyone.

 

Whew! You made it this far. Thoughts?