If God Be For Us?

Sunday, December 4, gospel recording artist Be Be Winans attended First Baptist Church of Glenarden’s 10 a.m. service. Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr. greeted him and asked him if he would come forth and sing.

Winans started singing “If God Be For Us” and it was as if the lyrics flowed from His mouth to the atmosphere and the Holy Spirit delivered them to me. God was performing spiritual surgery on my heart and mind to heal me of that hint of doubt. I felt like a volcano ready to erupt with praise because God was reassuring me that “If God Be For Us (Me) Who Can Be Against Us (Me)?”

What? You mean what I am looking at does not have power over me? You got it!

As long as I stay in the will of God, He has already conquered it for me! Praise God! And let me tell you after the service, I felt like I could have run home because God had lifted a heavy burden that was weighing me down.

He reminded me to take my eyes off of the situation and keep them focused on Him because He is handling it. So no matter how dreary your situation looks, nothing or no one can stop or hinder your destiny, if I stay living in God’s will.

Click onto the Youtube video,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvJTBKwdYoU, to hear him sing the song. And I hope it encourages you like it encouraged me.

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“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:30-32

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Troy Davis – What God Allows

Wednesday, September 21 at 11:08 p.m., Troy Davis was executed in Georgia for murdering Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer, in 1989. A crime that he said he was innocent of even during his final hours of life.

According to the article, “Troy Davis Executed: Controversially Convicted Inmate Maintains Innocence Until The End,” Davis said, “Speaking directly to MacPhail’s brother and son, who witnessed the execution, Davis beseeched them to continue to examine the events that night. All I can ask is that you look deep into this case so you can really find the truth” (www.huffingtonpost.com).  

For years there have been many efforts to stop this execution but to no avail. Now left behind are family, friends and those who look on his death as an injustice and ask the question why did God allow this to happen after so many prayers have gone forth?

In our every day lives, how do we deal with bad stuff that happens such as death, sickness or a job loss after we’ve prayed earnestly for God to make it better?

Richard “Mr. Clean” White penned our answer in a song when he wrote, “What God Allows” (www.lyricsmania.com). And the lyrics go like this.

[VERSE 1:]
Accept what God allows
You’re better off anyways
Face the facts and you will never stray
Turn your faith a loose
He’ll bring you out and give you all the proof
So don’t question God, just accept what God allows

[VERSE 2:]
We all go through life asking the question, why?
Why all these burdens, why when loved ones dies
Why do I have to worry, why do I have to cry
When I know Jesus, He’s gonna fix it all by and by

[CHORUS:]
Accept what God allows,
Even when you don’t understand accept every trial
Accept even now, He’ll give you a smile
Put it in his hands, He has a master plan,
Your trial is but a stepping stone
It will lead you Heavenly home

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Meditation: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

 

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9/11 Tribute – You Didn’t Know That Day Would Be Your Last

Sunday, September 11 marks the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.America and the world will never forget that day. And I dedicate this poem to the memory to the ones who lost their lives and to the family and friends who remain.

9/11 Tribute – You Didn’t Know That Day Would Be Your Last

By Phenola Moore

You didn’t know that day would be your last

Snatched from earth like a vapor dissipating in thin air.

Only cell phone good byes,

a kiss,

hug or just a glance while rushing out the door.

We didn’t know that day would be your last

Watching in terror as the media played the images over and over again.

People running in the streets,

screaming,

whether we were there or looking at it from our seats.

You didn’t know that day would be your last

But God did and although we may never understand why He allowed it to happen.

Time can heal all wounds.

Never forgotten.

Because you didn’t know that day would be your last.

Click on http://smilebox.com/playBlog/4d6a59324d7a4d784f444d3d0d0a&blogview=true to listen to a snippet of “Come Ye Disconsolate.” 

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Love Expressed For All to See

It’s hard to reveal the real you to the public because it means that you may be opening yourself up to being judged for who you really are. But the late Reginald Sanders and his wife Minister Dawn Sanders didn’t mind revealing their love for one another.

Reginald Sanders passed away suddenly on June 9, 2011. And he will be missed by his family and friends.

I was shocked to hear the news of his death and decided to send Minister Dawn an e-mail expressing my condolences. But as I sat at my computer reflecting on the love that I saw between the two of them, I began to type the poem “Our Love Expressed Between You and Me” that I included in the condolence message that I e-mailed to her.

A few days later, Minister Dawn called and asked whether I would consent to have it printed in Brother Reginald’s homegoing program because she said the poem so vividly captured their relationship in ink. I was so honored and said yes.

Therefore, as I was updating “Reveal the Real You Poetry Collection,” that is available on www.amazon.com, I thought it only befitting to include “Our Love Expressed Between You and Me” poem because the Sanders revealed their real selves to everyone by the way they lovingly looked at each other, how they loved to sit together in church and hold hands. And the fire I saw in their eyes as they smiled at each other.

Additional updates to the “Reveal the Real You Poetry Collection” include the following:

A link that you can click on and download of me reading “A Conversation With Survival” at the end of the poem. And a link that you can click on and download of me reading and singing a snippet at the end of the following poems:

Poem: “Grateful” – Song: “Be Grateful” by the late Bishop Walter Hawkins

Poem: “His Will” – Song: “I Surrender All“

Poem: “I Almost Lost Me” – Song: “I Almost Let Go” by Kurt Carr

Poem: “Let Me In.” – Song: “Let Him In”

Brother Reginald was one of the choir directors of the Combined Choir at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, Glenarden, Md.And both he and his wife, Minister Dawn Sanders joined the Grace Magazine Ministry staff as Relationship Department writers.

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If the Dream Dies, It Will Be Our Fault

Sunday, October 16, 2011 is the dedicatory celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC.  It opened to the public August 22, almost fifty years after “The Great March on Washington,” Wednesday, August 28, 1963, took place.

But what this day will be most remembered for is Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 17-minute, “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial. It is noted that, “At the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme of ‘I Have a Dream,’ possibly prompted by Mahalia Jackson’s cry, ‘Tell them about the dream, Martin!’” (www.wikipedia.com) In it he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination.

But it would be a great disservice to Dr. King and the thousands who suffered and died so that we can have the freedoms we experience today, if we didn’t keep the dream alive?

So how can we keep the dream alive?

We can start by sharing our history with this generation. Whether you are African-American or not, the fight for equality crosses all races and it’s important that we tell them so that they will have a greater understanding of our country’s history.

I wasn’t born when Dr. King gave this speech but my ancestors remind me of the struggles they went through during that time at family gatherings and how they depended on God to get them through. Freedoms we have such as attending an amusement park, voting and intermingling with all races in public places was unheard of.

Therefore, if you didn’t live through those times, ask a grandparent, aunt or senior to share their stories with you and your child(ren). You can also educate yourself by reading African-American history books, reading information on appropriate websites or by watching a documentary with your children. And no, your child(ren) may not want to participate but it may be the best education that they will ever receive.

So as thousands from all races participate in the ceremonies this week, attend or view Sunday’s dedication where our first African-American President Barack Obama will be the keynote speaker, let it be more than an event. But a time to thank God for how far He has brought us and to rededicate ourselves to keep the dream alive as we share it with current and future generations.

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

Click on this link to hear or read the “I Have a Dream” speech, http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm. And if you would like to make a donation toward the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, log onto www.mlkmemorial.org.

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Reveal the Real You Poetry Collection,” http://www.amazon.com.

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A Breathless Moment

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” said the host of the Home Shopping Network as she was explaining Mary J. Blige’s new fragrance “My Life Blossom” by Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter. She said it is a fragrance that takes you to another place upon application and it literally took her breath away.

Blige is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and actress who was known as the “Queen of Ghetto Love;” and later the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. And Price began working on the products for her line in the 1980s from kitchen that has blossomed into a thriving mail-order and online business in 1993, followed by the first store opening in Brooklynin 1999.  (www.wikipedia.com).

Now these two women are in business together. They are from different worlds but coming together to create a breathless moment. And that moment is more than introducing the fragrance but the HSN is donating $1 for every one sold on their August 13, 2011 show to support Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now Inc. (FFAWN). This foundation works to empower women in their personal and professional lives (www.ffawn.org).

Immediately I thought to myself am I creating a breathless moment? You know in my writings, an idea, concept, product or even when I sing to the glory of God. What about you? Do you already have something out there or are you working on it? Is it buried so deep within that you’ve almost forgot it or thought it was too bizarre to bring it forth? Or has fear gripped you to the point where you are afraid to bring it forth?

It may mean that you have to partner with someone else in order to get it accomplished. Or you may need to leave where you currently are, in order for God to bring it out of you.

Whatever the case, the world is waiting for you to take their breath away.

What are you waiting for?

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Other Links

Reveal the Real You Poetry Collection

Poetry reading from \”Reveal and Real Poetry Collection\” titled \”A Conversation With Survival\”

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A House Divided Cannot Stand

According to the article, U.S. Credit Downgraded: S&P Reduces Rating To AA+, “The United States has lost its sterling credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.  The credit rating agency on Friday lowered the nation’s AAA rating for the first time since granting it in 1917. The move came less than a week after a gridlocked Congress finally agreed to spending cuts that would reduce the debt by more than $2 trillion – a tumultuous process that contributed to convulsions in financial markets” (www.huffingtonpost.com).

My favorite phrase, “you have done it now” goes out to the Democrats and Republicans for haggling with President Barack Obama over raising the debt ceiling. A house divided cannot stand and our government proved it this week.

If leadership and its members do not come to an agreement, it creates chaos. Yes, they finally came to an agreement but according to the Standard & Poor’s credit rating downgrade, it was too late.

Let me bring it closer to home. An example is that I am the assistant director for First Baptist Church of Glenarden’s women’s magazine, Grace. First Lady Trina Jenkins is the director, Family Life Ministries Department & Women’s Ministry Group and Barbara Holt Streeter is the director. The key to us getting out an issue during every cycle is that we all work in unity along with the members.

Confusion occurs, if I would try to go over their heads or ignore instructions that would create havoc and/or slow down the process. And if leadership didn’t consider my ideas and the members didn’t do their part by trying to adhere to the deadlines.

But as the subordinate, I realize the final decision comes from the head because it is about putting out a magazine that falls in line with the vision of Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr. and First Baptist that will appear to the masses.

That is what happens in the real world. Understanding, working together and respect creates unity. And if these principles are applied in government, it will work there, too. Separate parties (Democrat and Republicans) coming together with President Barack Obama for the good of the people.

Maybe they need to read the Scripture that God gave my pastor for our church this year regarding unity, Psalm 133:1-3? In order for anything to run properly, you have to operate in it.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

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Our Hair is Beautiful

When I read Oprah’s hair stylist, Andre Walker’s, negative comment about black women’s natural hair, I said to myself, “Walker, you have done it now.” Don’t you know there are two things you don’t talk negatively about to our race and that’s our hair texture and the color of our skin.

In 2011, Walker told Elle Magazine, “Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that’s the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing.” That statement is ridiculous, to say the least because natural hair has limitless styling options, whether it is wavy, curly or kinky, it can be worn in it’s original state, loc, slicked back, braided, corn rolled, twisted or straight (blow dried or by using another heating device).

Comments like these hit a nerve with black women because our hair issues began during slavery. And we are still battling the good hair/bad hair syndrome in our community, homes and how it is sometimes negatively portrayed in the media.

During slavery we didn’t have time to groom our hair like we did in our homeland. According to Wikipedia’s page regarding Afro-textured hair, “American slaves wore matted and tangled locks, instead of the well maintained, long, thick and healthy tresses worn by their brethren left in Africa. The female slaves wore scarves and handkerchiefs or plaited and braided their hair. And women with long and/or wavy hair were prone to becoming objects of jealousy by the master’s wife and were often forced to cut their hair, making them look less feminine” (www.wikipedia.com).

We went through centuries trying to fit in with the look of mainstream America by using heating devices and all types of chemicals to straighten our hair. But in the late 60’s, some embraced the afro and we had a generation who was now proud to wear their hair in its natural state. It’s been over 50 years since then but some are still hesitant about going natural because they don’t know how their new look is going to be perceived by society.

Oh yes, there are many reasons why we may be sensitive regarding our hair. And we don’t appreciate anyone who tries to put us down or take us back because we’ve made the choice to wear our hair natural.

Because in actuality, whether we choose to wear it natural, relaxed, weaved, corn rolled, twisted, loc, braided, etc. every style option is beautiful because we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

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Love Conquers Hate – The Emanuel 9

A traditional white church steeple rising into a clear blue sky in Charleston, South Carolina

A traditional white church steeple rising into a clear blue sky in Charleston, South Carolina

“Love is always stronger than hate,” said Chris Singleton, son of the slain Sharonda Singleton, (http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/18/us/charleston-church-shooting-victims/index.html). On Wednesday, June 17th, 21-year-old Dylann Roof attended Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for an hour before he opened fire and killed nine of the attendees, ranging in age from 26 to 87-years-old.

At Roof’s hearing on Friday, June 19th, a survivor and the family members of the deceased were present. They expressed that although what Roof did was horrific, they forgave him. Most people couldn’t believe or understand how they could forgive a person who terrorized and killed their loved ones. However, the family members believed that God’s love can override the evil of hate that was exemplified by Roof.

Pastor Jimmy C. Baldwin, Sr., Shiloh Christian Community Church, Baltimore, Maryland, gave a sermon in which he spoke from Acts 28:3, “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.” Pastor Baldwin’s explanation for this Scripture was that Paul shook the snake off before it could bite, and the venom could poison him. Immediately, the words “I forgive you” spoken by one of the family members echoed in my head as I listened to the sermon. Like Paul, to keep the bite of hate from poisoning their systems, they had to shake it off by asking God to give them the strength to forgive Roof. Otherwise, hate would poison their systems by festering deep down into their hearts and could spring forth later in the form of hatred, bitterness, or even sickness.

To some, granting Roof forgiveness made the family members appear weak. In essence, it takes strength to utter those words after a tragedy. As believers, they are following Jesus’ example when He was crucified on the cross, and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). He shared how we must forgive those who trespass against us, too.

Love will always supersede hate because that is the way God created the world. We may not understand why God allows such tragedies to happen, especially to innocent people, but as the hymn writer wrote, “We Will Understand it Better By and By.” ■

Stock photo purchased and downloaded from http://www.DepositPhotos.com.

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I Know He Loves Me – Dad

by Phenola Moore

I Know He Loves Me

dadandphenola

Dad and Phenola

By the way he took care of his family

“Old school” dad

Whose actions speak louder than words

I know he loves me

Working the graveyard shift

In at midnight, out around 7 or 8 a.m.

Sometimes seven days a week

I know he loves me

There isn’t a day that I don’t feel it

Dependable dad

Expressing love the way he knows how

I know he loves me

By the look in his eyes

The smile on his face

And the way he calls my name ■

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Gaming Can be Addictive

In “Distracted by Everything,” authors Dretzin & Rushkoft reveal that fifteen-year-old Yung Yo went from being the highest achiever in his class to the lowest (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/). His mother blamed an addiction to gaming for his precipitous drop in achievement.

She said, “Yo spends all his spare time on the computer playing video games, and not only have his grades suffered, but he now has difficulty having a regular conversation.” The medical community in South Korea calls this type of dependency on computer games an addiction. Admitting to the addiction and taking a break from gaming are key to recovery.

At the request of Yo’s teacher, his mother enrolled him in a free Internet Rescue Camp, a two-week program where there is no access to electronics, and participants focus on outdoor activities. The hope is that the time spent at camp will cure them of constantly depending on electronic devices in their everyday lives.

I’ve seen children as young as two-years old using electronic devices such as cell phones and iPads. While technology will likely be a main part of their future, experts suggest that parents monitor children’s time on these devices so it does not lead to an addiction.

Dretzin & Rushkoft found that adults are also addicted to gaming. It has been noted that people have spent 50 plus hours at a time in South Korean gaming café . A few have died because they didn’t drink and eat enough while glued to their computer screens. American adults may not go to a café to game, but they can spend a substantial amount of time on electronic devices, tuning out everything and everyone around them.

Technology is here for us to use, but we shouldn’t allow its use to take over our lives. Dretzin said wide-spread computer usage in her family snuck up on her. One day while using her laptop computer, she noticed that her husband and teenage son were on theirs, too, and her two elementary-age children were playing on another electronic device.

When you realize that you are too dependent on gaming, making a conscious effort to not play as often, or stopping all together for a while could possibly cure your dependence. Addiction is defined as “the condition of being habitually occupied with or involved in something” (www.dictionary.com). If you can’t go 24 hours without playing, you may be moving towards an addiction.

If you are faced with an addiction, ask God to control your thought life. 2 Corinthians 10:5 states, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” When you desire to pick it up, stop, and replace it with something else. Pray to God for strength to resist. If you desire to stop gaming all together, take them off of your electronic devices. ■

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Can we Effectively Multi-task?

“Classic psychology says our brains can’t do two things at the same time,” said Professor Clifford Mass, Stanford University in the Frontline documentary, “Distracted by Everything” (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/). It’s called multi-tasking and most of us do it every day. It may be in the form of watching television and stealing a look at our social media page, or cooking while on the telephone. But can we do one or more tasks at the same time successfully? According to a Stanford University study, the answer is no.

In the documentary, chronic multi-tasking students who did five to six things at the same time were chosen for the study. One student, Brian, said that when he studies, he does several things at one time, including watching Youtube videos, answering emails and texts, and making comments on social media. The study showed that Brian was significantly slower when he was switching from task to task rather than doing one thing consistently. The study proved that Brian and the other students were distracted constantly, were very disorganized mentally, and were worse at analytic reasoning. The study findings inferred that multi-tasking is creating people who are unable to think clearly.

I am guilty of multi-tasking most of my day. When at my computer, I have my phone and Kindle nearby and check them regularly. However, when I want to really focus on something, like my writing, I have to consciously prohibit myself from checking my devices to maintain a clear understanding of what I am doing. Otherwise, it will take me longer to finish a task.

So where do we go from here since we’ve convinced ourselves that we can multi-task? The first step is to admit that we can’t do more than one thing efficiently at a time. Stop, to decide what is important at that particular time, and stick with it, even if it is just for a few minutes. ■

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Happy Mother’s Day!

The lyrics of Celine Dion’s “A Mother’s Prayer” expresses how our mothers prayed over us. It may have been another version but their hearts desires were that we would be safe. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NGS2bm3nHs to listen to me singing Dion’s version of the song and greeting for the mothers and/or mother figures.

 

God bless you have a great Mother’s Day!

 

Phenola Moore

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My Testimony – 2015: A Year of Rest

Welcome to 2015! You’ve probably heard many of the themes associated with this year, particularly the number 15. In the Bible, one of the meanings of the number 15 is rest,

(http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/15.html), which can apply to taking time to mentally unclutter practices and thoughts that may be holding you back from reaching your destiny.

For the past few years, I’ve become bogged down in stuff. I did Dr. Celeste Owens’ “Surrender Fast,” in 2014 and surrendered my will to God’s will. Midway through the fast, the Holy Spirit whispered that I needed to slow down. I thought I had already slowed down, but He meant I needed to move more stuff from my plate. I examined my life and didn’t see anything I needed to get rid of, so he created a circumstance where I had to give up doing something that was dear to my heart.

Looking back, I now see why God told me to slow down. I was still too busy for Him to have a clear channel to speak to me. I was squeezing God out of my quiet time because I had to either do something or go somewhere, and that wasn’t His plan for me. Now, I have more time to read my Bible, pray, and praise Him during my quiet times, and do things I’ve neglected for years. My mind isn’t tangled up with thoughts of what I need to do or where I need to go.

It’s like the lyrics to the old Negro spiritual “Hush, hush. Somebody’s calling my name.” To hear God’s voice, you have to have enough quiet time with Him.

It is not ok to constantly work yourself into exhaustion. That isn’t good for your body, mind, or spirit. Maybe it’s time for you to slow down enough to hear what God is saying to you. ■

Meditation:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

To read the spring issue of Press On! Webzine, go to www.pressonwebzine.com.

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Are we Being Lulled to Sleep by Glitz and Glamour?

On Saturday, March 7th, President Barack Obama and his family attended the 50th year of “Bloody Sunday” ceremony in Selma, Ala. The next day, a photo circulated of the President and First Lady Michelle Obama holding hands sitting on stage. However, because of the camera angle, viewers could see up the first lady’s dress. I thought, would a photo like this be published of any other first lady? Probably not.

Elise Johnson McDougald in The Double Task – The Struggle of Negro Women for Sex and Race Emancipation wrote concerning others views regarding the African-American female, “She is most often used to provoke the mirthless laugh of ridicule; or to portray feminine viciousness or vulgarity not peculiar to Negroes. This is the shadow over her.” Although McDougald was a writer during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, in some regards the African-American female is still depicted negatively today in songs, videos and television shows.

America has graduated from the degrading, stereotypical female images of Aunt Jemima, Jezebel and Mammy that were popular during the Jim Crow era but now they are dressed in a negative fashion that is accepted as the norm. In secular music, African-American females being called the “b” word, that is defined as a “female dog,” and some have embraced the word as a term of endearment. African-American females dance provocatively in outfits that leave nothing to the imagination to appear sexy in music videos. Although we are progressing in some areas, but in actuality, we are perpetrating the same feminine viciousness or vulgarity that people outside our race supported during the Jim Crow era and before.

Back then, the African-American female caricature, Sapphire, was portrayed as rude, loud, malicious, stubborn, and overbearing; and this how the angry Black Woman was popularized in the cinema and on television (http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/sapphire/). Today, Hollywood produces television shows in which African-American females consistently display outlandish behavior such as fighting and regular cursing matches, which further plays into that negative image.

It appears that if we are made to look successful, some people will not feel threatened by the negative depictions of the African-American female. For example, on one popular show, the African-American female lead is portrayed as a beautiful, successful woman who either can’t find a man or would rather have a life-long adulterous affair with a married man instead of marrying a senator and potentially live happily ever after. Her character is the black female caricature Jezebel who was seductive, alluring, and highly promiscuous (http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/jezebel.htm). The subliminal message they are trying to get across is although the African-American female may have a career and financial success, she is still so unappealing in society that she cannot maintain a wholesome relationship because of her promiscuity.

I’ve had discussions with people who are excited that we are now regularly portrayed on television, but are the characters helping or hindering the African-American female’s image? Hollywood has lulled some of us into thinking that these types of characters will actually elevate our image, instead of adding fuel to the negative images that have circulated since slavery.

For a while I watched some of these shows because I bought into “I want to support the sisters” thinking or ”the good story line,” until I noticed that people were beginning to negatively treat me the way the women are portrayed on these shows. I am asked inappropriate questions by perfect strangers, and treated disrespectful before I even opened my mouth. I believe the media crafted this plan to taint the image of the modern-day African-American woman, and some people outside and inside the race are embracing it.

I am not saying you should stop listening to the music, or watching these videos and television shows because most of you won’t. I am encouraging you, however, to accept what you see and/or hear as fiction, and don’t think that every African-American female is the image you see portrayed in the media. ■

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Thank you.

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