Dear Black Women,
Hello and how are you? The reason behind this missive saddens me, but I must reach out to you in this form. I have so much to say to you but I am clueless as how to phrase it so it does not sound a way I do not want it to sound. Therefore, with that being said I will just come out and say it with brutal honesty. I AM ANGRY WITH YOU!! I AM SO HURT BY YOU! Yes angry AND hurt. I cannot believe your actions and attitude as of late. I am so disappointed by the figures that were once the backbone and strength of a people have allowed themselves to become the antithesis of just that. I turn on the TV and see you acting, living and performing in the worst way. Why have you allowed the Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Basketball Wives, the girls of Love and Hip Hop and your good friend Tyler Perry to be the only ones to tell your story? Please tell me why you have allowed yourself to be deduced to these images.
The women on these reality shows show no shame in their never-ending drama, on cue occurring fistfights and tactless day-to-day living. I have not heard the B word used this much since the 1st Snoop album. Just kidding, but seriously, why. I understand these are just shows and are meant for entertainment, but your Face book updates tell the stories that you “like” this one and “hate” that one. And your like and dislike is not in the way someone does a villainous character, but in way you do a person you know. Again, it is a show and I get that, but, these are pretty much our ONLY shows and their depictions give what I HOPE is a false characterization of you. I think VH1 secretly has a war waged against you. What is damaging about these shows is that the “stars” have money or access to money YET maintains the image of the neck rolling, hand waving, “hood” chic. What this does is show that even with a little money this is still how black women act. Moreover, it is mighty curious to me why the women on the show with Wives in the title seem to not be married or heading into divorce. I wonder if our term of endearment “wife” is the same as wife. I sure hope not.
Side note: Why has the formerly good show “The Game” becomes so ghetto and reality show-is since getting to BET? Hmmm.
Now I know I may have truly offended you when I said your BFF Tyler earlier, and this could end to your liking me, but I want to point some things out about your friend. You always tell me what he says about you and us is real life but whose real? If what he says is true about you, you no longer possess that inner strength, which I so loved about you, and you are simply a co-dependent, weak and defeated woman who cannot leave a bad situation until it hits rock bottom. We have read the diary of a mad black woman and attended your family reunion. In addition, I must say it pains me to see this. The words in your diary are bleak and frightening, while the actions of your family that prays together makes me think of the old adage, “who needs enemies, with friends and families like that.” Why does Tyler tell everyone that as soon as I get a little money and status I have to slap you, mistreat you and forsake you? Then after my actions you must come be “rescued” by the “regular” person? I am still regular even though I have achieved career success. Wasn’t Tyler abused by his father? Perhaps, this why he paints me in such a bad light. Just an assumption as I do not know Tyler.
Another side note: Why do you allow men to sing about fucking and not loving you all day long? Then you turn around and make them your anthems?
Again, I want to reiterate that it saddens me to write this letter to you. Truth is I am scared. Scared for you, scared for me, but more so scared for my daughters. Remember I am raising two of them. One completely by myself and the other….. I want to be able turn to and say to my daughter “this is how a lady acts. Sweetheart this is how a lady dresses.” Where are the images of Claire Huxtable? Where are the young women who went to college on a Different World? I know I should not rely on the television to set the standards for my girls, BUT I COULD IF YOU ACTED BETTER ON TV. Where have the true divas gone? The images of Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues or of a beautiful Josephine Baker are truly missed. At least by me. I need images to hang on their walls.
Lovely Black Woman. We have a black first lady. Does this not inspire you? Does this not show what you can be? I love you!! I truly do. I want the best for you. But baby. BABY you have to know when I turn the TV on and see on their, it does not make me proud to say you are mine. It almost shames me to say that you are mine.
Perhaps the biggest reason for my writing this letter to you is the fear I mentioned. The woman I know is beautiful, strong and intelligent. The woman that held down a race for a couple hundred of years is the one I know. She is sassy and slick with the tongue and I LOVE THAT. However, the one depicted is not these things. She is vulgar and ignorant. She is running around wanting to be a Barbie. Not lawyer Barbie, just in the club, Louboutin rocking Barbie.
I gain no joy is putting these words to paper so I shall end it here. I know the words I used may have been harsh and are not meant to be all-encompassing. Do not worry this shall not be an ongoing conversation from me because this is the last time I shall ever mention this to you.