One morning while riding in my car I decided to venture away from my regular News programming on the radio and turned to one of our local Hip Hop and R&B stations. It wasn’t long before the commercial for some debt creating pay-day loan went off and my ears, mind, and soul was being violated by rapper lil’ Wayne’s song ‘Lollipop.’ As I listened in disgust to the monotony of his lyrics (similar to many I had heard in some contemporary rap songs today) about how some women wanted to ‘lick the rapper’ amongst other things, my eyes began to tear up from those degrading and humiliating lyrics. Keeping in mind that I am in no way picking on any one rapper, I began to think about all of the African American women who fall subject to those words and gobble them up as a ‘way to behave.’ Pardon the pun. And then I thought back to the glorious African American women like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Nzingha, Yaa Asante, and Mary McLeod Bethune. I turned my thoughts to these women and I wonder. I wonder if our fore-mentioned female ancestors are watching us from the other side in utter disgust and humiliation.
I wonder if they cry for us. I wonder if their spirits cringe and fall to their knees in agony as they watch their descendants fall into a deeper pit of sexual promiscuity, self imposed inferiority and hatred, and total mis-education. I wonder if Harriet Tubman feels like all 19 of her potentially deadly trips were traveled completely in vain. I wonder if Sojourner Truth still feels like a ‘woman’. I wonder if Mary McLeod Bethune still believes in the power of knowledge and education being put into action as a form of liberation and progress. I wonder if Nzingha and Yaa Asantewa would still feel like mighty warrior Queens who believe in the power of women’s leadership strong enough to defeat the deadliest of opponents. Maybe. Maybe not.
Are not African American women worthy of marriage, community, and family life no matter what their educational, social, or economic status may be? Are we not befitting of praise and uplifting, adoration and hope; rather than being the modern day sex toys degraded and mistreated in the very same manner that our ancestors were treated by white males? Are we not precious jewels blessed with the ability to bring forth life and love? As proven by time immemorial, the African American woman, then and now, has undeniably been the glue that binds. We are strong and beautiful. We are the hopeful and forgiving mothers, lovers, and friends to our communities. We have been the nurturers and the shelters of those in need. We have worked like horses to keep our families and our Men from falling through the cracks of hunger, helplessness, and even homelessness.
In spite of all the propagandizing of us being bitter, cold, disrespectful, and nowadays no more than some poorly upgraded bed winches- many of us still stand strong. We have been used up, beaten, raped, tortured, and mentally tormented while our babies are being trained to be nothing more than fools and jesters for the entertainment purposes of a society that does not consider their best interest. We have been subjected to mutilating ourselves and our God given beauty and resilience only to be told that we are never enough. We have to declare our freedom and our sanity. We must embrace our struggles and now our mental liberation. It’s time to take back your lives, your families, your respect, and Your Mind.
Zekita is author of Don’t Call Me N!gga (Revised- Purple Cover) and Reggies Wakes Up- two socially conscious books for African American Youth about the ‘n’ word and education and entrepreneurship. She can be reached at info(at)zeniampublications.com by email
or visit www.zeniampublications.com.