Category: African American Women

Vogue Magazine Just Realized Big Butts Are a ‘Thing’ and Credits White People. Seriously?!

Big butts

African American women have had booty for centuries. Is Vogue magazine blind or just plain ignorant? Why are White women getting credited for a physical attribute that we were born with (yet they pay for)? Another example of credit not going to where credit is due.

What happens when you try to be provocative and write about something that you obviously have no clue about? An article titled “We’re Officially in the Era of the Big Booty,” with references to Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea, Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus, happens.

Patricia Garcia writes in Vogue magazine, “For years it was exactly the opposite; a large butt was not something one aspired to, rather something one tried to tame in countless exercise classes. Even in fashion, that daring creative space where nothing is ever off limits, the booty has traditionally been shunned.”

Obviously Garcia hasn’t hung out around black people for much of her life. Or only knows three: Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Beyoncé, who are cited in the article.

As I’m sitting here—on my well-endowed derriere, as a matter of fact—I can’t help wondering why butts are now en vogue. Oh, wait, is it because there are nonblack women now carrying the extra baggage of Sarah Baartman?

Let’s take a look at the butts Garcia refers to.

Sure, J.Lo has been around for decades, from her start as a Fly Girl on In Living Color to a pop star and actress. Lopez’s butt made her famous back in the day. But guess what? Take that 6 train that J. Lo sang about, and on any given day you’ll see hundreds of butts even more impressive than hers.

And then there’s Azalea. Sorry, but I’m going to need receipts. By receipts, I mean it looks store-bought. Along with Azalea’s fake blaccent, I’m wondering if she rocks a Depends diaper or had some silicone pumped into her rear.

Garcia also couldn’t help mentioning Kardashian. I mean, I guess her butt launched her career—too bad it was in a homemade porn with Ray J. The writer seemed to gloss over that small-screen debut and decided to credit the Kardashians’ long-running reality-TV show. And just as with Azalea, I can’t help wondering if it’s real or fake. According to Kardashian it’s real, but I’m not buying it.

Allow me to say one word about Cyrus even being a “thing” in the article: No.

When social media got wind of the Vogue article, it didn’t exactly go over too well, and the hashtag #voguearticles was created.

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vogue 5                                   vogue 7

vogue 8                                                  vogue 9

vogue 10                          vogue 11

vogue 12                 vogue 13

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I’m going to let the folks at Vogue have their fun with their little article, because honestly, I’d rather not have any black female celebrity whom I hold dear even mentioned in such a way. What it boils down to with the list Garcia made is that the assets on these women she mentioned are nothing new. Black women have been carrying around the weight of the world for some time. We’re appropriated but never appreciated, even down to our asses.

*Article originally posted on The Root.

Remembering Alice Coachman Davis, The 1st African American Olympic Gold Medalist (1923-2014)

Track and field star Alice Coachman made history at the 1948 Olympic Games, becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic medal.

Early Years

Born in Albany, Georgia, on November 9, 1923, Alice Coachman made history at the 1948 Olympics in London when leapt to a record-breaking height of 5 feet, 6 and 1/8 inches in the high jump finals to become the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She now supports young athletes and older, retired Olympic veterans through the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation.

Alice Coachman was born on November 9, 1923, in Albany, Georgia. One of 10 children, Coachman was raised in the heart of the segregated south, where she was often denied the opportunity to train for or compete in organized sports events. Instead, Coachman improvised her training, running barefoot in fields and on dirt roads, and using old equipment to improve her high jump.

At Madison High School, Coachman came under the tutelage of the boys’ track coach, Harry E. Lash, who recognized and nurtured her talent. Ultimately, Coachman caught the attention of the athletic department at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, which offered the 16-year-old Coachman a scholarship in 1939. Her parents, who’d initially not been in favor of their daughter pursuing her athletic dreams, gave their blessing for her to enroll.

At Tuskegee, Coachman blossomed as a track and field athlete, competing in and winning her first Amateur Athletic Union Championship in the high jump—all before she’d even begun classes.

Over the next several years, Coachman dominated AAU competitions. By 1946, she was the national champion in the 50- and 100-meter races, 400-meter relay, and high jump. For Coachman, these were bittersweet years. While probably at the peak of her athletic form, World War II forced the cancelation of the Olympic Games in both 1940 and 1944.

Olympic Success

Finally, in 1948, Alice Coachman was able to show the world her talent when she arrived in London as a member of the American Olympic team. Despite nursing a back injury, Coachman set a record in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 6 1/8 inches, making her the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, awarded her the honor.

“I didn’t know I’d won,” Coachman later said. “I was on my way to receive the medal and I saw my name on the board. And, of course, I glanced over into the stands where my coach was and she was clapping her hands.”

Post-Olympic LifeFollowing the 1948 Olympic Games, Coachman returned to the United States and formally retired from athletic competitions, but her star power remained. In 1952, the Coca-Cola Company tapped her to become a spokesperson, making Coachman the first African American to earn an endorsement deal.

Later in life, she established the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to help support younger athletes and provide assistance to retired Olympic veterans.

In the decades since her success in London, Coachman’s achievements have not been forgotten. At the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, she was honored as one of the 100 greatest Olympians in history. She’s also been inducted into nine different halls of fame, including the National Track & Field Hall of Fame (1975) and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (2004).

Coachman, who married Frank A. Davis and is the mother of two children, resides in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Ms. Coachman

10 “Skinny Girl” Problems

Skinny girl

You all know how much I hate hearing the word “skinny”. (Ew!) But I came across this post & thought it was quite hilarious so I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

 

  • We can barely give blood – We want to do good in the world and give back sometimes. So when we go to donate blood, we often get met with side-eyes from workers who don’t think we meet the 110 lb cut off. And then they make us drink extra juice just so we can get our weight up at the moment and not pass clean out. I mean, yeah sometimes their concern is legit, but I’m saying #doe. I e’em ate a steak before going to make sure I was good. You ain’t gotta look at me that hard. Hmph.
  •  We’re always cold – ALWAYS. Without much fat on our bones, we’re always left shivering. We can have on a tank top, sweater, scarf, leggings under our jeans, and our favorite wool jacket and we’d still be freezing. While everyone else is all “It’s just so nice out!” Lookie here… I have no buffer so ignore me while I shiver.” This is a REAL struggle. Living in Chicago winter is even tougher when you’re skinty. Needless to say, the amount of our electric bill is directly proportional to how skinny we are.
  • We always get reminded that we’re skinny – Folks feel the need to let us know we’re skinny, as if we don’t already know. And they feel no qualms about it. They’re all “Damb you skinny as hell.” You won’t like it if I walked up to you talmbout “Damb G. You fat as shit.” Not ONE bit. So why must you throw my skinty in my face? This is especially true for family members.

Skinny 1

  • And then folks always gotta come up with a plan to “fatten you up.”
  • Our pants get baggy midday – So we put on our pants in the morning, and they’re all fitted and cute. We’re feeling ourselves and going “Heyyyyyyy…” But due to the stretching of the fabric, by noon, our pants are looking like wide-leg. And this makes me sad. How’d my jeans get 2 sizes bigger in 6 hrs??? That’s just disrespectful. It’s all saggy in the booty and our segzy is totally compromised. Then we gotta wash the pants in high heat to get them back tight. And the cycle repeats itself.
  • We make terrible cuddle buddies – Lack of meat on our bones make certain joints and parts of us sharp, like elbows, knees and chins. Have you ever placed your head on his chest and he goes “OW!”

You: “What?” Him: “Your chin just stabbed me” You: *cries in tea*

  • Gusts of winds are dangerous – A really windy day is our kryptonite. Have you ever had to battle a strong gust of wind that almost swept you into traffic? That joint is embarrassing. And let it be raining, so you have a punk umbrella with you and it turns inside out. It becomes a struggle to stay standing. Unless you find a pole or something heavy to hang on to, it might be deuces. REAL struggles!
  • It’s hard to find knee boots that fit our calves without space left – We go shoe-shopping and try on some dope shoes, only to find that we still got a 2-inch gap where the boots don’t touch our calves. TOO disappointing. We look like fishermen in their rubber boots. And then we get sad. This is a REAL struggle. Especially for us shoe heads. I take that personally.
  • People pick us up to test their strength – Skinty girls get picked up randomly by people who want to see how strong they are talk about “Hey lemme pick you up. Bet I could.” Yeah AND? I’m not a toddler! Put me down, fool!
  • We have to prove to folks that we eat – We’ve been asked countless times “Do you eat?” Nawl… I get sustenance off oxygen and the occasional cracker. YEAH I EAT!!! So anytime we go to restaurants, we feel pressured to clean our plates and almost lick them. When we don’t, folks be talk about “See that’s why you’re that skinny now.” HMPH! Can I be great??? How you know it ain’t because my metabolism is on crack? HUH??? And let us not pick a super fatty dish…
  • We can’t exercise without being judged – We mention to folks that we’re gonna start exercising and they look at us up and down with this look O____o. I am skinny and out of shape. YES, it’s possible. So excuse me for tryna make sure my heart is right. Being skinny fat ain’t bout that life!
  • And as a bonus…

Skinny 2

And then folks make us sit in that part of the backseat because we don’t need a lotta space. By the time we get to the destination, we’ve been assaulted by the hardness. RUDENESS!

 

 

 

There are COUNTLESS skinny girl problems! Which ones did I miss?

 

*Article originally published on AwsomelyLuvvie.

READERS: Black History Month Fact Of The Day – First African American Female Sheriff EVER!

Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett was elected to the office of Sheriff, Fulton County in Atlanta, Georgia on November 3,1992. A graduate of Atlanta University in Georgia and Arcadia College in Pennsylvania, Sheriff Barrett is the first African American female elected to the office of Sheriff in the history of this nation. In 1996 and 2000 she was elected by the voters to serve her second and third consecutive four?year terms in that office. As the “High Sheriff” of Fulton County, Sheriff Barrett manages one of the largest county jail operations in the State of Georgia. She commands a combined staff of more than 1,000 sworn officers and civilians, with a budget in excess of $80 million.

Sheriff Barrett gained her technical acumen during the ten years she served with the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council – the state oversight board for licensing and training peace officers in the State of Georgia. Later, she was appointed Director of the Fulton County Public Safety Training Center.

She is a recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. “Drum Major for Justice” Award and the Jean Young Community Service Award. In 1995, she was inducted into the Atlanta YWCA’s Academy of Women. Sheriff Barrett served as a member of the Atlanta Olympic Security Support Group – providing venue security and dignitary protection. She is graduate of Leadership Atlanta and continues to work with the Leadership Atlanta Alumni Association.


In 1997?1998 Sheriff Barrett served as president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (N.O.B.L.E.). In 1998, Sheriff Barrett was recognized for her achievements in law enforcement by being named a Trumpet Award recipient from Turner Broadcasting System. Sheriff Barrett was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes to the Board of Public Safety for the State of Georgia, with oversight of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. In 2001, Arcadia College bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree upon Sheriff Barrett for her achievements in law enforcement.

Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett is married to Mr. Gene Washington. They are the parents of three grown children and two grandchildren.

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It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. A lot of progress has been made but there is still a long way to go!

Understanding breast cancer

Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body.  Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

 What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The damaged cells can invade surrounding tissue, but with early detection and treatment, most people continue a normal life.

 What causes cancer to develop?

Cancer begins in the cells which are the basic building blocks that make up tissue. Tissue is found in the breast and other parts of the body.  Sometimes, the process of cell growth goes wrong and new cells form when the body doesn’t need them and old or damaged cells do not die as they should.  When this occurs, a build up of cells often forms a mass of tissue called a lump, growth, or tumor.

Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast.  These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis.

Facts about breast cancer in the United States

  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women
  • Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year

Causes of breast cancer: How did this happen?

When you’re told that you have breast cancer, it’s natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesn’t, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause.  What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell’s DNA.

 Known Risk Factors

Women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting a disease. Some risk factors (such as drinking alcohol) can be avoided. But most risk factors (such as having a family history of breast cancer) can’t be avoided. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer. Many women who have risk factors never develop breast cancer.

What causes breast cancer growth?

There is much that we know and much that we have yet to understand. However, we do know that cancer spreads in three important ways:

  1. Damaged cells replicate, creating more damaged cells and tumor growth
  2. Our body’s hormones and chemicals can accelerate the growth of some tumors
  3. Lymph and blood vessels can carry the cancer to others areas of the body, and lymph node examination can help pinpoint the progression of the disease

Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic cancer is when cancer cells of a malignant tumor spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph system, and form a secondary tumor. There are two types of breast cancer tumors: those that are non-cancerous, or ‘benign’, and those that are cancerous, which are ‘malignant’.

What do scientists actually know about the cause of breast cancer?

Cancer grows when a cell’s DNA is damaged, but why or how that DNA becomes damaged is still unknown. It could be genetic or environmental, or in most cases, a combination of the two. But most patients will never know exactly what caused their cancer. However, there are certain established risk factors that are associated with breast cancer.

Environmental and Lifestyle Risk Factors

  • Lack of Physical Activity:  A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity can increase your risk for breast cancer
  • Poor Diet:  A diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase your risk for breast cancer
  • Being Overweight or Obese:  Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have already gone through menopause
  • Drinking Alcohol:  Frequent consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer. The more alcohol you      consume, the greater the risk
  • Radiation to the Chest:  Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 can increase your risk for breast cancer
  • Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):  Taking combined hormone replacement therapy, as prescribed for      menopause, can increase your risk for breast cancer and increases the risk that the cancer will be detected at a more advanced stage

Genetic Factors

  • Gender:  Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men
  • Age:  Two out of three women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55
  • Race:  Breast cancer is diagnosed more often in Caucasian women than women of other races
  • Family History and Genetic Factors:  If your mother, sister, father or child has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. Your risk increases if your relative was      diagnosed before the age of 50
  • Personal Health History: If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the other breast in the future. Also, your risk increases if abnormal breast cells have been detected before
  • Menstrual and Reproductive History:  Early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after 55), having your first child at an older age, or never having given birth can also increase your risk for breast cancer
  • Certain Genome Changes: Mutations in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase your risk for breast cancer. This is determined through a genetic test, which you may consider taking if you have a family history of breast cancer.      Individuals with these gene mutations can pass the gene mutation onto their children
  • Dense Breast Tissue: Having dense breast tissue can increase your risk for breast cancer and make lumps harder to detect. Several states have passed laws requiring physicians to disclose to women if their mammogram indicates that they have dense breasts so that they are aware of this risk. Be sure to ask your physician if you have dense breasts and what the implications of having dense breasts are

Know your body so that you can:

  • Make informed decisions
  • Have a better dialogue with your doctor
  • Be aware of anything unusual

Here are some resources to help you learn more:

 

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Do You Keep Track Of Your Friends Dates?

Dating is not a competition, I know. But most of my single friends are dating and it’s hard keeping track of all their different dates and different men. Every time there’s a new guy in the picture I have to remember to ask them how their date went, what  happened since the last date and when the next date will be. It’s a lot to remember especially when you multiply that by different friends who have multiple dates.

Think about it: If your friend meets a new guy she’ll tell you all about him including his background, anything about his friends that she’s met and of course the many details about her dates with him. Over time, the dates will start to add up and she may reference something from their earlier dates that you’re expected to remember. Not to mention if she’s dating multiple men at the same time, the things you have to remember grow exponentially.

Not only do you have to hear all about her dates, you must remember to ask about them. Women love discussing their dates with their friends but we love it even more when our friends ask about our dates first. Just like any exciting occasion, it says a lot about your friendship when your friends think to ask you about something before you can even start to tell them about it. Plus these are good details to keep in mind so that if there is a wedding later down the line, you’ll have some great memories to share at their wedding reception (I’m always thinking ahead).

What about when your friends get into a fight with their significant other? I think part of a friend’s job is to keep score whenever there’s an argument. Why? Well, in the event my friend is in the wrong then I need to share with her why  I think she is the one that needs to apologize. When there is an argument, I need to remind her of her boyfriend’s good qualities and why they fell in love in the first place. So you see, it really is important to keep track of your friend’s dates, after all.

All in all, it’s a great when your friends remember the special moments in your life. It’s even better when you don’t have to remind them.

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I’m Too Old For Free Dinners

With the weekend coming up, I’m sure everyone is starting to make plans for Friday & Saturday night. There’ll be a lot of clubbin’, some partying and plenty of dates. Dating is a lot of fun no matter what age you are, but some dates can be a waste of time.

When I was in college I used to go out with men just to get a free meal. I grew weary of eating cafeteria food but didn’t have the money to eat out. There were plenty of older men who were willing to treat a young lady so I went for it. But then I grew out of that. After I graduated college I went out with lots of men, not for the free food but because I was eager to meet new people and free dinners were very easy to come by. Men who were interested in dating me treated me to all sorts of things, and it was very exciting. But at some point even free meals get old.

Now that I’m at a certain point in my life, I no longer feel the need to go out with a guy just for a free dinner. I’d rather stay home. It takes a lot of time & effort to prepare for a date and sometimes it’s just not worth it. Why spend 2-3 hours with a guy (and sometimes longer) who turns out to be corny or is just a bad date? I would prefer to enjoy my couch & a good movie instead of wasting my time going out. Guys have to remember that time is money, so even though he’s spending money on our date I’m spending my time on him.  As you get older you value your time more and more. And every date is not a good date, even if it includes free food.

There just comes a point when you don’t feel like really dating, even if there’s a free dinner involved.

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