Posts tagged Black women.
i’m here for black girls full of themselves.
I’ll be damned if I let a nigga with exactly four braids on his head tell me what lipstick I can and can’t wear
Normally, I find the whole “Mrs. X” cuteness annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I support a woman’s right to call herself whatever the hell ever, but, let’s face it, married women giving up their names is a vestige of patriarchy. We choose our choices, but not in a vacuum.
I got no beef with Bey and The Mrs. Carter Tour. Again, most of the people all het up about it are not taking into account sexism as it relates to black women and images of family as they relate to the black community.
Bey ain’t giving in to any patriarchal view on marriage; the patriarchy is pretty insistent that black women are unmarriageable, unloving and unloved. And no way you can argue that Beyonce has given up her identity for Jay-Z’s. She’s Bey-fucking-once. No one forgets that. And it’s interesting that, at the same time folks are complaining about the endangered black family and off-the-chain single, black women, they also want to come for a black woman who “did it right” by Judeo-Christian, middle-class, heteronormative, white standards, and is celebrating her love for her husband and child.
Example eleventybillion that as black women we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Queer African American Women and the History of Marriage
This photo and headline accompanied an article from the October 15, 1970 issue of Jet magazine. They reveal that long before the recent struggle for marriage equality began, African American women who love women have engaged with the institution of marriage and have fought to make it their own.
Edna Knowles, on the left, and Peaches Stevens were wed in Liz’s Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on the South Side of Chicago, “before a host of friends and well wishers.” The article ended by noting, “although the duo has a type of ‘marriage license’ in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it had no record of their license.” This ending serves to remind Jet readers that Knowles and Stevens’ union was not legitimate in the eyes of the state, as does the use of quotes around the word “married” in the headline.
However, decades prior to this bold public display of queer affection, African American female couples in New York strategized alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses in the 1920s and 30s:
“Marriage ceremonies were held with large wedding parties which included several bridesmaids, attendants, and other wedding party members. Actual marriage licenses were obtained by either masculinizing the first name, or having a gay male surrogate obtain the license for the marrying couple. These marriage licenses were placed on file with the New York City Marriage Bureau.” - Luvenia Pinson, “The Black Lesbian: Times Past-Time Present,” Womanews, May 1980 p. 8.
Also during the 1930s, popular performer Gladys Bentley was making a living singing bawdy tunes and playing piano late into the night at various clubs all over New York, including one named after her.
Bentley married her white girlfriend in Atlantic City in a ceremony to which she invited friends in the entertainment industry:
“Columnist Louis Sobol remembered Bentley coming over to his table one night and whispering, ‘I’m getting married tomorrow and you’re invited.’ When Sobol asked who the lucky man was to be, she giggled and replied, ‘Man? Why boy you’re crazy. I’m marryin’ ——’ and she named another woman singer.” - Eric Garber, “Gladys Bentley: The Bulldagger Who Sang the Blues,” Out/Look, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 52-61.These examples show some of the various ways queer African American women have created public rituals to express their relationships and have therefore insisted on their rights to full citizenship, many decades prior to the current struggle for marriage equality.- Cookie
There are approximately 40 million black people in America. There are more black people in America than there are people in countries such as Canada, Argentina, Poland and Peru. Wouldn’t that make us the equivalent of a nation? We probably have the purchasing power that exceeds these countries as well.
And guess what? These countries have their OWN economies, engage in trade with other nations, develop talent and collaborate with other entities. We have the numbers and the purchasing power to do the same. What we lack is the desire to organize and the values under which we can operate.
22 million of these people are black women. There are more black women in America than there are people in Australia, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. We have enough numbers just among the women alone. So many people. So many hands. So many minds.
What are we going to do about it?
Getting Off Of Black Women’s Backs. Love Her or Leave Her Alone.
Du Bois Review/Volume 3/Issue 02/September 2006, pp 485-502
Marcyliena Morgan & Dionne Bennett
Beyonce’s fabulous Super Bowl outfit (designed by Rubin Singer) is serving Tina Turner in Amsterdam 1979 realness. Gotta love it…