About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

In a similar way, I want this blog to be a space for fun, spirited and light-hearted discussion on issues regarding black females, our bodies, our hair, our men, and our images. But I also want it to be a forum for intelligent and respectful dialogue as well. Like Jill's poem, this blog will tackle some real topics, and they won't always be light-hearted. They will, however, be about lifting each other up. I welcome such discussion, but if you have nothing positive to contribute, please don't participate. Otherwise, join in!

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Our Love for Each Other": Gabby Douglas & Another Look at the Life Balance Conference

Really, this is not another Gabby Douglas post although I do want to congratulate Douglas's history-making accomplishments! Way to go, and keep doing your thing, young lady--correction: Gold-Medal-Winning Olympian!

Though this post is not about Douglas or her hair, the haterism about which has been covered here, here, and here in particular (where she directly addresses the silliness of all the talk), it is about black women's love for each other, and we'll start with this hair discussion briefly.

I mean, check the hardware!
Black women know all too well how sensitive the issue of our hair is, and the rest of the world is learning quickly. However, no matter where a woman stands on perms or gels, we have got to learn how to treat each other with love. For instance, I have a preference for chemical-free hair, but I don't begrudge anybody their choice to embrace relaxers. One of the wonderful things about living in the 21st century is that, while we still have a way to go, we're enjoying a time in which great strides in gender and race politics have been realized. That means we're increasingly able to rock perms, 'fros, locs, and sew-ins, and it's all becoming acceptable.

Yet, we still have women within our communities policing other women's choices and effectively causing division where there should be love. Why did we have black women taking to Twitter to tear down another black woman who was representing her country on the world stage? Where is the love and support for a woman seeking to make history and otherwise do something positive? As Douglas puts it in the HuffPo, "I'm like, `I just made history and people are focused on my hair?' It can be bald or short, it doesn't matter about (my) hair." Priorities, people. Priorities.

To return to insights gained from the Black Women's Life Balance and Wellness Conference, an important part of that weekend had to do with black women choosing to lift each other up in love--and it is a choice. As we performed the exercise in which we gazed at each other in pairs, as I described in my last post, Alexis Gumbs said something powerful: "This is a historic moment in the context of our love for each other." It was profound because we were taking time out to really see one another, without judgment, and only with spirits of affirmation.

If, then, we can support each other's endeavors and really see each other, how much could we accomplish together? If we could put aside the petty differences (like hair preferences) and cultivate "our ability to see the brilliance around us," as Alexis put it, to what extent could we change our world for the better? Ladies, please, let's cut the foolishness and love each other.