Our Sincerest Apologies

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2010 by Danni

We know that we haven’t updated in a couple of months, but rest assured we have not forgotten about our readers! We’ve simply been on hiatus in order to work on a few improvements and expansions so we can bring you an even better experience. We ask that you bare with us and prepare yourself for something GREAT!

Check back soon….

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Melanogynophobia- The Fear of Black Women*

Posted in The Margin with tags , , , on January 30, 2010 by mskittysmith

Damn I’m tried of talking about race. I feel bad saying it but its exhausting and as one of 3 African American adults at this predominately white school, and therefore the go-to person for black students, I can barely escape it. Sometimes I just wanna relax with my peers with the false sense of security that those are issues that are only faced by 15 year olds who are for the first time dealing with race. I would like to believe that the adults I work with are just ‘a little’ more progressive… but that’s just a wish, which was made clear a few days ago.

The other day I had a co-worker make a confession to me. I’m catholic so confession aren’t that out of my realm. However, its what he confessed that is bothering me. He, an openly gay white male, told me, a straight African American woman, that he has a fear of black women. My first reaction was to laugh, but I bit my tongue. Maybe its because, as stereotypical as it sounds, I see gay white men and black women almost as kindred spirits; that I can relate and am very comfortable around gay white men, more so than some other minority groups and that I think some of our experience mirror with similarities we can’t ignore. Either way I saw such irony in his statement that I assumed it was a joke. It wasn’t. Of course my next step was to ask was he afraid of me, we go out for drinks and recently took a road trip together; I found it odd that we would do this if all the while he was fearing for his safety. He said no, he then went on to explain the ‘bad experience’ that led him to this place.

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Ebony and Ivory: Interracial Relationships–A Different Take (Part 2)

Posted in The Margin with tags , , , , on January 30, 2010 by Danni

Me.

Part 1 (can be found here) took us through the 5 types of women most often associated with discussions about race and relationships, in the coming paragraphs we will deepen the discussion by exploring the irony that inherently lies within men who choose to date exclusively outside of their race (referred to in the previous post as outsiders). I’ll reiterate now that I am the product of an interracial relationship, my mother is white and my father is black. They are divorced and have been so since I was a small child. My father had a sporadic presence in my life throughout some of my most formative years and that has no doubt shaped me from the way I talk to the company I keep. With that said, I love, and am close to both of my parents, however, over time, I have come to the recognition of a very blatant contradiction in my father’s decision to date exclusively outside of his race. For all intensive purposes I’m a black woman (that’s me on the right). Though black and white is evenly distributed within me when I have to check a box I choose “black”…unless I can select “multi-racial” in that case I’m all over it. I love being mixed. I’ve had some amazing experiences being a part of more than one ethnic group. I’ve had some difficult experiences as well. I’ve had to find my identity and solidify my blackness not only to myself but to others as well. I’ve shifted from one social situation to another with more ease because I spent enough time around white people to be able to “code switch” more successfully than my all black counterparts. Mixed I may be but no one can deny that if you ran into me you’d know I was black, some how, some way. One drop is all it takes remember. My experience is mirrored by many bi-racial individuals (especially those of us who are half-black/half-something else), so much so I was able to start a student group in undergrad (The Multi-Racial Student Association) that gave us all a safe place to express our unique experience and feel welcomed and supported. With that said, don’t for a second question my blackness. Continue reading

Ebony and Ivory: Interracial Relationships–A Different Take (Part 1)

Posted in The Margin with tags , on January 29, 2010 by Danni

Here we go, this one’s going to be a doozy. Because there are so many aspects to this topic I have broken my discussion into three parts.

With the knowledge that this may spark a lot of discussion and controversy I will begin by emphasizing that the following is not about all interracial relationships. I am addressing a very specific group of individuals who date exclusively outside of their race. I will also state for the record that I am not a bitter black female, not yet anyway; I still believe there are plenty of good black men out there (for further discussion of my views on black men click here). I will also emphasize that I’ve never had a hard time pulling black men. So, I assure anyone who thinks I’m complaining about my own ability to get and keep a brother is sadly mistaken. I get plenty of love. However, I am the product of an interracial relationship. More specifically I am the product of a father who does not date black women. It is from this perspective that I address the following:

  • Perceptions about differences between kinds of women
  • The irony that inherently lies within men who choose to date exclusively outside of their race (found here in Part 2)
  • The acknowledgment of positive aspects of black relationships (Part 3 coming soon)

To more fully understand my perspective let me put a few things into context. As I said before my father doesn’t date black women. But he’s no Tiger Woods, dude is from Detroit. To put it lightly my daddy is from the real hood, not the rap hood (thanks Jay-Z).  His decision to date outside of his race almost exclusively is not hard to find amongst a sizable number of black men today. In discussions with men who have this stated preference I’ve heard several different justifications, all of them questionable. I say they are questionable because they are formed around a set of generalizations, misconceptions, and a limited number of personal experiences. With that said I proceed to describe to you what I’ve found to be the five types of females that men seem to describe the most when having a discussion about race and relationships:

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Have a Baby By Me Baby: Planting Seeds on Unfertile Ground

Posted in The Margin with tags , , on January 26, 2010 by Danni

I have to be completely honest, there is a line in 50 Cent’s song “Have a Baby By Me Baby Be a Millionaire” that actually gives me chills, it goes something like this:

Yeah, I need you to be what I need, more than liquor or weed/

I need you to maybe give me a seed/I need you to give me reason to breathe

It’s surprising to hear a rapper say something like that. Truthfully it is completely out of left field considering the rest of the song’s content, but it got me thinking about the act of procreation within the black community.

To me, for a man to say to a woman “I want you to carry my child” is the deepest connection two non-related people can have. I one day hope to carry the children of the man that I love with the very depths of my soul. I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder how I’d look with-child. My favorite fantasy to fall asleep to is the vision of my husband (who’s not yet appeared in my life) and I tickling our toddler on the living room floor, reading to our five-year old and arguing with our thirteen year old. I honestly get the sense that whatever night is the night of the conception of my first child it will be nothing short than electric.

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At Times the Pressure Consumes Us: Depression and Graduate School Life

Posted in The Margin with tags , on January 26, 2010 by potent001

I have been thinking about issues of graduate student mental health for a while now.  It has been on my mind since my bouts of depression, experienced first in undergrad, and flaring up during my MA degree.  My roommate during that program ended up dropping out due to a lack of support for her mental illness.  When I visited another university while applying for my PhD I came across other more severe stories.  There was a young woman at Rutgers who committed suicide a couple of years ago.  Recently, an esteemed faculty member at Georgia State lost her daughter to suicide.  And yet again, most recently, a young black woman doing her graduate work at Ohio State took her own life in a tremendously violent fashion.

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Lessons in Loneliness

Posted in The Margin with tags , on January 26, 2010 by Danni

by Ashley Chaney

Young women of my generation have been conditioned since we were little girls to be strong and independent. We’ve been taught since an early age to fend for ourselves. Our mothers, and in some cases our fathers too, have taught us to bring home the bacon and to fry it too. I distinctly remember my grandma telling me on numerous occasions to go to school and get an education in order to find a career so that I would always be able to support myself. She didn’t tell me this so that I might grow up with the confidence of knowing that I could be anything I wanted to be. On the contrary, she told me this so that I would NOT grow up thinking that it was okay to be totally dependent on a man. “Don’t get stuck.” “Make your own money.” “Don’t ever put yourself in a position where you have to depend on a man to survive.”

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