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Race and women define

Antonia Williams-Gary

Sitting here just shaking my head. After another too short, and tumultuous Black History Month, we are now getting ready to celebrate women!

I always thought, and I have repeatedly said that in fact, black history is American History, and American history is black history; that one month is too short.

Correspondingly, celebrating women should be another every day, 365 event.

Alas… Throughout last month, in fact every day, news from around the world news was simply overwhelming, and yet, the list of things we had to pay attention to is growing, exponentially: Race issues, see the Black face debate; Gender issues, see #metoo; Economic issues, did your pay check increase and your tax return decrease? Political issues, there are at least a baker’s dozen Democratic/Socialist candidates running for president (will there ever be a real choice?).

From earlier this month, we’re still parsing the myriad, serious issues brought up by Jussie Smollett which opened a wideranging discussion regarding the intersection of race, gender and fair employment practices, among others matters. For instance, can various degrees of victimhood (how many ‘minority’ boxes should be checked) mitigate the definition of a crime?

And during this week (at the end of Black history month), Michael Jackson’s alleged pedophilia is being re-litigated. Heavy sigh here.

All this, and counting.

Add to all of the above is the daily turmoil coming out of the nation’s capital.

Thank goodness for “Saturday Night Live” and the late night comics who help me go to sleep at night; taking my regular dose of relief: laughter.

But look at what we are laughing at: general confusion about the “moral compass’’ of the nation; charges of crimes against the sitting president of the United States; a topsy-turvy shift in geo-political alliances; cries of foul play from every corner and quarter of society that has felt aggrieved, even if only in the slightest; and, all of this playing out in plain view via social media, mainstream news and cable commentbased shows.

Are you sleeping well? Now, more than ever, we need to constantly pick and choose how we use our STOCK PHOTO energy in reaction to the world and its affairs.

I call it survival politics; i.e. thoughts and actions that get me/us safely and sanely through each day.

Here’s one to ponder: I’m black right? Well, just hold on a minute. What, or how many part(s) of me is black/African?

We know from science and demographic projections that sooner than we think, the racial composition of this country will be majority people of color- and what is that color?

Look around. More and more we are a mixed race nation. DNA and Ancestry searches are proving that our mixtures are an amalgamation of African (with lesser and lesser percentages), European, and other genetic material. By the way, have you been tested?

In any case, I have made a conscious decision to be black, i.e., choice of affiliations, culture, language, dance moves, hair styles, how I raised my children, etc.

And in the face of the new multi-racial reality, Afro futuristic possibilities, sparked in large part by the phenomenon of the “Black Panther” movie, have launched more celebrations of all things Afro-centered; fashion, hair, art, music, et al.

The tide has turned: on television, portrayals of mixed families are common. Almost all major companies are using commercials which feature them to sell products and services.

I just hope that we will continue to celebrate and uplift our African ancestry even though we are constantly losing the very genetic material and racial qualities that define us as black.

But, though less genetically black than preceding generations, I’m still a woman, aren’t I? And that gives me cause to celebrate throughout the month of March.

But wait! How do I measure up against the growing phenomenon which no longer adheres to binary definitions of gender?

Queers, transgender, cisgenders, others are coming out in larger, and larger numbers.

What’s left for a black woman to celebrate anymore?

I know. I’ll wake up every day; just being me.

Happy black woman history month.



This post first appeared on South Florida Times, please read the originial post: here

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Race and women define

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