Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How Did We Go From Angela and Anita to the Women of Today?


Allow me a moment to get a few things off my chest.

I went home last evening with the intention to write a post on the "cash cow" that is the NCAA. However, in the midst of gathering the intel that I planned to share, I started watching "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners." This turned my whole evening upside down and really got my engine going.

One week from today I will celebrate my 31st birthday. I really have no complaints. I am very happy and at a good place in my life. I choose to focus on all that I have, versus all that I want. I'll be honest, sometimes I still get a little funky and pissed that I don't own the two-bedroom/two bath condo on Central Park West, that I feel I’m supposed to own. Regardless. I've been on a spirit/soul searching journey for the last few years. Last year, on the morning of my 30th Birthday, I woke up with the most exhilarating feeling of "lightness." That's the only way I know how to describe it. Something has finally clicked.

No matter how much money I make, it will never be enough

My body is a work in progress

I care too much - that's okay

Sit back and relax - things are going to happen when they are supposed to

God REALLY does have a plan

These are things I already knew, but for some reason, that morning it all became clear.

Fast forward to the past few months leading up to today and my need to exhale on you good souls. I've figured out who I am and what matters to me. I decided last year that the conventional methods of leadership in corporate america, will never work for me. At some point I have to spread my wings and not let fear hold me back. We talk politics here and I love it. I love how upset it makes me, because the anger usually challenges me to do something positive in my personal life.

We've debated on raising the minimum wage. In my head, it's common sense and simple math. To others, the raise would be a detriment to our nation. I want to do things that defy that thinking.

Look at our education system. In my head, another simple matter. Easy to solve. Dammit! I'm pissed and I want to do something that will solve all of our problems.

Hunger

Poverty

Women's Reproductive Rights

Prision Reform

Our Economy

LBGT Rights

Equal Pay

The list goes on....

Sometimes I feel like the school kid who says they want to be a firewoman, astronaut, ballerina and doctor, when they grow up. I, little me, really and truly wants to solve all the problems in our world. In doing so, I believe that I can not only crack the proverbial glass ceiling for women, but really fulfill the dreams of all those who fought and gave their lives for me to live the way I do today.

Anita Hill, Ursula Burns, Angela Davis...... You see where I’m about to go with this

Last weekend, I saw the Anita Hill documentary. The best line and eye opener came of the movie came from a former colleague of Anita (a friend she told about the harassment she was experiencing with Clarence Thomas). This gentleman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and essentially said that Anita's reputation was tarnished by the hearings and she would never reach her true potential. He expressed that he never expected Anita to be brought before the committee under these circumstances. He expected her to make her way to the committee as a judicial nominee. I'm sure Anita knew she was that damn good and skilled, that she could one day be a judicial nominee or even a politician. Despite that, she was wronged and saw injustice, and decided to speak up and say something. Even if it cost her almost everything.

The older I get, the more I feel myself becoming more conscious of what it means to be a black woman in America and the moral responsibility that I have. On a weekly basis, I come across something in the media involving young black women, that just blows my mind. Not only does it blow my mind, it makes me sad, upset and really angry.

At 27-years old Angela Davis became a college professor at UCLA. Angela spoke out on the injustices that African-Americans faced and became a political prisoner because of it. The US government conjured up nonsense in an attempt to silence her. They put her on the FBI's Top 10 List. (Really Reagan, Nixon and Hoover???) With the death penalty on her head (later outlawed in California prior to trial), Angela fought for young black women to have a voice. Twenty years later, Anita Hill took a similar stance and told the world about the harassment and workplace abuses, many women were subjected to. Judicial Nominee. That was Anita's potential. Her morals and dignity trumped all.

Twenty plus year later, where are we? What are we doing? Where are black women going? What does the future look like for a black woman in America?

We are now surpassing our peers in education, yet there still seems to be a disconnect. I guess the question I have (what bothers me the most) is how did we go from Angela and Anita to (insert whatever young woman). Are we moving backwards as a gender and race or are we really moving forward? Where are the Angela's and Anita's of today?

That’s all for today.
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