April 10, 2004
Hearts On Her Sleeve
Part of being an engineer involves getting past the theoretical and moving to the practical. It's not enough to conceive of a problem - we also have to propose solutions.
Here, I'm going to talk about a big problem, and how one sista is trying to make her contribution to the solution.
Forget what Jay-Z tells you. He does not, in fact, love girls, girls, girls, girls. Consider the utter disdain for women most of his lyrics and the lyrics of the lion's share of mainstream hip-hop today. Now, whether he loves Beyonce is, quite honestly, not my concern. But, at least according to this article in the Village Voice, there are at least 15 slang terms for Black women in modern hip-hop vernacular.
And they're all bad.
Hoodrat. Skeezer. Hoochie. Trick. Ho.
The insidiously disrespectful "Wifey".
And, of course, the old stand-by: Bitch.
And, while the study examines the overall trends away from love, commitment, and lasting family relationships and the unpleasant corrolations with HIV infection rates among the hip-hop generation, it also touches on the degree to which sistas have completely internalized the notion of their own worthlessness.
Which is why I was so geeked to read the article about Black Girl Apparel in the L.A. Weekly.
Basically, fashion designer Reny Monk decided that the easiest way to proclaim the joy of being a Daughter of the Nile was to simply stamp it in big bold letters on every conceivable piece of clothing: Tops. T-Shirts. Shorts. Even underwear. So, the black woman and those of us who love to watch her will find her being affirmed at every stage of her dressing (or undressing) ritual.
There is genius in simplicity, folks.
Check her out, and send her and the Black ladies in your life a little love.