Who Else Wants an Optimal Lifestyle?

IMAGINE IT’S A YEAR FROM TODAY

Imagine that it’s a year from today, and you’re having dinner out with a group of your girlfriends.

They’re all in a somewhat sour mood, for one reason or another. One friend is worried about losing her job, and how she’ll put food on the table as a single parent. Another friend is stressed out by a job that she can’t afford to quit, even though her husband works. She’s also exhausted by the constant demands that her relatives make on her time and energy. She’s constantly doing favors for them, but they don’t extend themselves for her. A third friend is nervous because she doesn’t know how her husband will react when she gets home. Her husband constantly switches back and forth from charm to anger to relentless criticism of her, and she’s always “walking on eggshells” trying to please him.

You listen with great sympathy, but you’re not quite sure what to say.

While listening, you feel thankful inside.

You feel thankful because your situation is totally different from theirs.

A year ago, you started developing additional side-income streams so you don’t have to depend on your job. It feels good knowing that you’re not completely financially dependent on your employer.

A year ago, you decided to work toward walking away from your unfulfilling job altogether, and into another field where your talents will be appreciated. You’re not there yet, but you can see that you’re getting closer to achieving this goal.

A year ago, you decided to require reciprocity in all your relationships. Yes, some friends and relatives have distanced themselves from you as a result. But you’re much more relaxed than you were before you made this decision. You’re relaxed because the current people in your life give as much to you as you give to them. You’re being supported and energized by the people around you, instead of being drained.

While all of this is happening, you are also having much more fun in your social life. You’re having fun because you stopped restricting yourself to all-Black social circles. You also stopped restricting yourself to the activities that are considered stereotypically Black. You stepped outside your cramped, suffocating, false-comfort zone to take part in all the previously unexplored activities that you’ve always been curious about.

Along the way, you’ve been meeting and dating several fascinating, quality men from the global village. Men who share a common interest in your newfound hobbies and activities. Men you never would have met if you had continued to socialize in exclusively Black social circles. Men who appreciate your beauty, intelligence, and high spirits. One man has expressed his interest in a courtship that could lead to marriage.

Life is good, and getting even better.

YOU CAN MAKE THIS COME TRUE

This lifestyle is not a fairy tale. You can make it come true. You can have a life that you love. In fact, there’s a science to lifestyle optimization that I’ll discuss at length at this site. Many of the tips and techniques that I’ll discuss come from the relatively new field of positive psychology. Positive psychology is the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to thrive.

I’ve been interested in the psychology of resilience in the face of negative events, and of self-actualization for many years. When I was sixteen, I volunteered for a Chicago-area crisis hotline. As a college student, I served as a volunteer at my college area’s local crisis hotline. I majored in Psychology as an undergraduate before I went to law school.

Unfortunately, the mountain of psychological literature about suffering does not support lifestyle optimization. The science of suffering gives little information about how to develop the emotional skills that lead to optimal living. Also, I haven’t seen any literature that specifically addresses the issues that African-American women face when they seek self-actualization. This is a research gap that I hope those of you who are clinicians will begin to address.

In my view, what’s worst of all is that African-Americans in general have normalized suffering-based thought and speech patterns. Most African-American women find their identities in suffering. This is the underlying reason I object to the mainstreaming of therapy talk and 12-step program talk. To put it bluntly, these are loser speech patterns. Ones that I hear a lot from the Black underclass clients that I’ve represented over the years. Suffering-based thought and speech patterns don’t lead to optimal lives. At best, they lead to bare bones survival. At worst, these mental patterns serve to reinforce dysfunctional thinking and lifestyles. This is what I’ve concluded after listening to thousands of clients during my years as a defense attorney.

Losers think and speak differently from winners.

YOU DESERVE TO HAVE AN OPTIMAL LIFESTYLE

There are individuals and groups who profit from African-American women self-identifying as long-suffering mules who serve everybody’s interests except their own. This behavior pattern leads to exhaustion, and finally self-destruction. We’ve talked about these survival issues at the previous blog. Countless women have already used the ideas, techniques, and strategies in the blog essays contained in The Sojourner’s Passport to overcome self-defeating beliefs and self-imposed barriers to personal fulfillment.

At this site, we’re moving forward from covering basic survival issues into detailed discussions of optimal living.

THE FIRST STEP TO OPTIMAL LIVING IS TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY—IT’S BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING

You have to protect your serenity in order to have an optimal lifestyle. The first step in this process is listening. God (or the Universe, however you conceptualize this idea) is constantly telling us helpful things. He communicates with us in many ways. One way He tells us things is through our bodies’ reactions to various people, places, and situations. Unfortunately, most of the time we don’t listen. We find reasons to ignore our instincts.

For example, it took me some time to realize the reflex of subtly tensing my shoulders is a signal that there’s something wrong in my immediate environment. Either I’m having an interaction that I need to cut short, or I’m considering something that just isn’t the best thing for me. My daily life greatly improved once I started listening to my body’s signals.

THE SECOND STEP TO OPTIMAL LIVING IS TO REJECT MARTYRDOM MISSIONS—STOP TRYING TO SAVE ALREADY-DEAD BLACK CONSTRUCTS BY YOURSELF

Instead of ignoring your instincts, you need to ignore the people who are telling you that you’re obligated to sacrifice having an optimal life to advance their pet causes. Ignore the people who try to browbeat you into martyrdom missions. One popular martyrdom mission is Black women—alone— trying to save the already-dead state of Black marriage in the United States.

FOR EXAMPLE, STOP TRYING TO SAVE “BLACK MARRIAGE” IN AMERICA—IT WON’T BE RESURRECTED BECAUSE 50% OF THE NEEDED PARTICIPANTS—BLACK MEN—PREFER THAT IT REMAINS DEAD

There won’t be any collective solution to what has been called “Black Marital Mogadishu” in the United States because 50% of the participants needed for any Black marriage—Black men—benefit from the current absence of marriage among African-Americans. Black men generally like things the way they are right now.

The collapse of the African-American family is not about a lack of jobs. It’s about African-American men generally being content with the collapse of the African-American family. Black men will complain about the aftershocks created by the mass absence of marriage among African-Americans, such as the legions of fatherless, violent Black male criminals. But other than that, they’re content with the status quo.

Anybody who thinks that this behavior is driven by a lack of opportunity should examine the collective behavior of the African-American men who do have “good” educations and jobs. Since so many Black men in that category are not marrying at all, or they’re not marrying Black women, there’s no reason to assume that Black women would gain from African-American men having more opportunities. I learned that just by watching the behavior of the Black men that went to college and law school with me. There’s usually little to no return on that investment (creating opportunities for African-American men) flowing back to any Black woman at all.

If you look at their mass behavior and not their rhetoric, it’s clear that most African-American men don’t value marriage, and are not concerned about the now-dead “Black family.” African-American men like the status quo situation of their mass refusal to marry the Black women they have sex with and impregnate. From outward appearances, most African-American men are happy with a lifetime of sleeping around without the commitments or responsibilities of marriage.

If you look at their mass behavior, it’s also clear that African-American men are also not particularly concerned about the children they produce.

These “save the dead Black family” discussions are not even a blip on most African-American men’s radar . . . unless Black women start talking about solutions that don’t include continuing to wait around for African-American men—such as interracial marriage and a focus on dating non-African-American Black men (for those Black women who must have a Black man as their husband).

This is the point that many Black men (and the Black “race women” who are so Black-male identified that they can’t see straight) enter these conversations. They do so solely to try to defend Black men’s image and the status quo, not out of any genuine concern about the already-dead Black family. This is when you hear various bad-faith assertions, such as:

Denials that the Black family and Black marriage are dead in the United States.
Attempts to minimize African-American men’s culpability for their own mass actions. (Their mass failure to protect or provide for African-American children, including the failure to provide stable, married households for their children to grow up within.)

Attempts to scare Black women away from exploring their interracial marriage options. (The “White men will just use you for sex and never marry you” rhetoric. Meanwhile, that’s exactly what the masses of African-American men are using Black women for, and not marrying them. Somehow, this detail escapes the Black male protectionists’ notice.)

Nonstop pressure for Black women to lower whatever standards they might have. They apply this pressure through incessant demands to hear Black women say, over and again, that they would date blue collar Black men.

Meanwhile, no other type of woman on this planet is required to recite a “dating loyalty oath” to include blue collar men as dating partners. Many of the same African-American men who insist that Black women swear dating allegiance to blue collar Black men also demand that Black women extend this same dating allegiance to Black male ex-convicts, Black male recovering addicts, old Black men for young Black women (see Steve Harvey), and so on.

Attempts to pretend that others are doing the same things and having the same experiences to the same degree. No, nobody else is having out of wedlock children at the rate of African-Americans. No, nobody else is trying to turn a woman having an education into a stigma at the rate of African-Americans. Others might be experiencing milder versions of these pathologies, but nobody is living like the masses of African-Americans.

IGNORE PEOPLE WHO DEMAND THAT BLACK WOMEN SERVE AS CANNON FODDER

They only expect African-American women to make sacrifices for the already-dead Black community. There are several traits you should note about the people who insist that you must sacrifice having a good life purportedly to save the already-dead African-American community. The first thing you need to note is that they only demand this sacrifice from Black women. These same people don’t demand any lifestyle sacrifice from Black men.

African-American women are the only people on this planet who sacrifice opportunities for personal happiness in support of the already-dead Black community. Ladies, remember that African-American women have been alone in letting anything (including ideology) narrow their personal choices. Nobody else does this, including other women of color. Not African women. Not Latina women. Not Asian women. Not Arab women.

And certainly not African-American men. Black men in general have never narrowed their dating, marriage, work, or residential choices to support any ideology. Please consider the following partial list of individuals before you do so. (It has to be a partial list, because a full one would probably take up an entire phone book.) Also, pay attention to whether any of the “race men” and “race women” you know ever comment about these men. Or do they only start talking about sacrificing for some cause when it looks like you might expand your life options?

Amiri Baraka, Charles Barkley, Harry Belafonte, Billy Blanks, Julian Bond, Taye Diggs, Father Divine, Frederick Douglass, Julius Erving (Dr. J), Frantz Fanon, Marvin Gaye, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Gregory Hines, Rick James, James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, Van Jones, Reginald Lewis, Thurgood Marshall, Major Owens, Sidney Poitier, Adam Clayton Powell, Prince, Richard Pryor, Lou Rawls, Lionel Richie, Dennis Rodman, Seal, Russell Simmons, O.J. Simpson, Wesley Snipes, Clarence Thomas, Melvin Van Peebles, Ben Vereen, Herschel Walker, Walter White, John Edgar Wideman, Billy Dee Williams, Montel Williams.

Did the above (and countless other) Black men narrow their personal lifestyle options out of concern for the Black masses? Did these men stay in any particular place to fix the problems in the Black areas? No, they didn’t. And nobody expected that of them. In part, because they know that Black men won’t sacrifice their personal bliss for anything, including ideology.

Mark my words: The “Black women as martyrs” recruiters will keep demanding that you martyr yourself no matter what happens. They will continue making these demands until the final demise of the African-American collective. They will repeat the same slogans as African-Americans continue becoming more deeply entrenched in permanent underclass status, and overall disintegration.

They will keep making these demands of you even after the African-American out of wedlock birthrate reaches 90-95 percent. The 1965 Moynihan Report warned about the rising illegitimacy rate among African-Americans. Most of our people didn’t heed the warning. Instead, we recited angry slogans in response.

They will keep making these demands of you even after the African-American male interracial relationship rate approaches 50 percent and beyond. For those of you who think this can’t or won’t happen, I would refer you to the current example of the Caribbean Black male population in the United Kingdom. West Indian Black men’s interracial relationship rate in the UK has reached 48 percent. (See the BBC Caribbean.com story from January 19, 2009, The Mixed Race March in Britain.)

In fact, the UK situation is a sneak preview of how African-American men will continue their singular focus on seeking their own individual bliss while the deceived masses of Black women in the U.S. keep trying to uphold “Black love” and the “Black family” . . . all by themselves.

Every (false) solution proposed by “race men” and “race women” requires work and sacrifice from Black women exclusively. This is why even when they use slogans like “man up,” all of their solutions lead back to heaping more chores onto Black women’s backs. For one of countless examples, see the discussions surrounding the dreadful Raising Him Alone program.

Also see the conversation about Roland Martin’s “call” for pastors to refuse to christen illegitimate babies unless “somebody” holds the father accountable (by somehow getting him to attend the christening). Note that Mr. Martin didn’t suggest that men such as the pastor, deacon, and other male church members seek out these baby daddies and counsel them.

People know better than to expect African-American men to take any active role in Black communities. They know most of these men won’t assume any responsibility for what happens in their own communities. They know most Black men won’t even assume any responsibility for what happens in their own Black male-led churches. That’s why they give these various “save Black folks” assignments to Black women exclusively.

The “race men” and “race women” demand that Black women do what should be Black men’s work of protecting and providing for Black children, communities and people. Over the centuries here in the United States, African-American women have cooperated with creating a set of cultural norms to soothe Black men’s wounded egos while accommodating their many failures. Including the consistent mass failure to protect and provide adequately for Black women and children over the centuries. Black women did this out of love.

While doing this for centuries, most of us have forgotten our natural roles as women. It’s not a woman’s role to protect and provide for the community. It’s a man’s job to function as a protector and provider. Every other culture on this planet understands that a man who is not a protector and provider is of low- or no value to his collective. Instead of seeking lives in alignment with this human norm, too many Black women grade African-American men on a curve. One result is that Black women often find themselves taking on men’s roles and burdens.

This is why most African-American organizations (except for the Nation of Islam) have a majority of Black women as their foot soldiers. This is why many African-Americans demand that Black women serve as not just the primary, but the sole protectors and providers for the interests of Black men, Black children, and the already-dead Black community.

They even expect Black women to fight for the interests of Black men (O.J. Simpson, Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Van Jones, and others) who protect and provide for women from other races. Let’s be clear. This is not about Black men’s romantic choices. I don’t care about Black men’s interracial relationships and marriages. Now, I do want Black men to stop their hypocritical efforts at blocking Black women from following their example in expanding their marriage and lifestyle options. But my main point is that I want African-American women to stop wasting their support on people, places and things that don’t support them.

This is about the stupidity of African-American women rallying around Prof. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates. Skip Gates who was fixated only on the White male police officer involved. Not on the Black male police officer who was also involved in his arrest. And not on the White female neighbor who had originally called the police on him. Skip Gates, who wanted to send flowers to this White female neighbor. Skip Gates, whose White wife had said nothing publicly on his behalf. Some African-American women are still foolishly upset on behalf of Skip Gates.

This is about the stupidity of African-American women rallying around Van Jones. His White wife also hasn’t bothered to speak out publicly on his behalf.

The established pattern is that these non-Black wives don’t bother to speak out for their own Black husbands when their husbands are under attack. The race men and race women never question this pattern. They don’t know (or don’t care) that many African-American men have assigned Black women a lesser status based on these men’s inner belief in White supremacy. This means that for many African-American males, when it comes to choosing a woman to protect and provide for, they select non-Black women to pamper.

But when these same Black men get in trouble and need somebody to do some heavy lifting on their behalf, then they (and their supporters) look to Black women to run to their rescue. All the while, their non-Black wives sit back, relax, and refrain from lifting a finger to rescue their own Black husbands. Many foolish African-American women run to rescue these men. By doing so, they take on a burden that rightfully belongs to these other women. Many foolish Black women are performing this workhorse role while their own needs to be protected and provided for are going unmet.

All of this is insane. This behavior of supporting people, places and things that don’t support them is a large part of why African-American women are in crisis. This is a quiet, self-contained crisis, since Black women generally aren’t running around shooting or hitting other people in the head. This quiet crisis is killing Black women one at a time with various stress-related ailments such as the emotional overeating that leads to obesity and its consequences (diabetes, heart disease and hypertension).

Black men consistently do whatever works best for them, with or without Black women or Black children. If you want to claim your passport into a better life, you have to leave the hive mentality behind. It’s long past time for Black women to lay down other people’s burdens, and seek full, fulfilling lives for themselves.

The people who demand that you narrow your life options generally have no personal history of service or sacrifice. They have not sacrificed anything for any cause, including the one that they insist you make sacrifices for. Their educational, employment, free time, and personal life choices do not reflect any commitment whatsoever to the uplift of Black people.

They are generally talk-only, with no concrete actions that they can point to. Besides offering you as a human sacrifice, the only support they give to their pet causes is rhetorical.

Unlike most of the “Black women as martyrs” recruiters, I have a long-term, consistent personal history of various kinds of service to Black people (including political activism, such as my participation in the anti-apartheid struggle when I was in college).

These experiences have convinced me that, at this point, the best thing individual Black women can do for the rest of the collective is not be part of the substandard lifestyles that have become the norm for African-American women. The best thing we can do is serve as living examples of African-American women having optimal lives. Because, frankly, most African-American women are convinced that this is impossible, which is why they settle for scraps. Scraps such as by-design single parenting (a majority African-American out of wedlock birthrate), and a life filled with nothing but sacrifice.

The “Black women as martyrs” recruiters have no positive vision or practical answers. They especially have no answers for the problems that face African-American women in particular. Their entire offering (such as it is) consists of criticizing others who offer suggestions and solutions that are not to their liking. Their “save the community” and “Black love” rhetoric is a scam. They only start talking this rhetoric when it looks like Black women might follow Black men’s example of doing whatever works best for them.

The “Black women as cannon fodder” recruiters tend to be singularly unproductive. For all their (in some cases, years of) ranting, they typically have no completed projects of their own, and no accomplishments whatsoever that they can point to. Their list of accomplished deeds in support of their beliefs is as empty as it was the day they first started ranting. They are spectators only, which is evidence of their final major characteristic.

The final trait of the “Black women as martyrs” recruiters is that they are content with the current situation of large numbers of African-American women and children suffering. This is what underlies the rest of their behavior. This is why the only thing that captures their attention, and rouses them into anxiety is the possibility that more Black women will follow Black men’s lead and seek their own bliss.

Despite their insincere “Black love” rhetoric, they don’t have a problem with the mass absence of marriage among African-Americans. They are not concerned about most African-American children being born out of wedlock. The legions of African-American children who are fatherless don’t bother them.

They are also not concerned about the collective consequences of the above circumstances. Consequences like the increasing numbers of atrocities committed by roving packs of fatherless Black male adolescents. One example was the crime against humanity known as the Dunbar Village gang rape case. The assailants in this case (a pack of fatherless Black male teenagers) raped a mother and forced her at gunpoint to perform oral sex on her own son.

I hate to mention these appalling details, but you need to be clear about what the martyrdom recruiters are demanding of you. First, they want you and other Black women to continue living among such predators within increasingly dangerous Black residential areas. Second, they want you and other Black women to take the lead in somehow dealing with the growing legions of these types of fatherless, Black male predators.

And they intend for those misguided Black women who take on martyrdom missions to continue to do so alone. It’s significant that these recruiters have not formed their own version of the Guardian Angels, or lifted a finger to lessen any of the threats to your life that exist within Black residential areas. All they do is talk about why you should not seek an optimal life. They are content with the collective situation as it is. This is the reality underlying their lack of action.

AT THIS POINT, THE BEST THING ANY BLACK WOMAN CAN DO ABOUT MASS AFRICAN-AMERICAN PATHOLOGIES IS NOT BE PART OF THEM

At this point, the best thing you can do about various African-American mass pathologies is not be part of them. The masses of African-Americans are well on their way to forming a permanent underclass in this country. The lifestyle choices and modern cultural norms underlying permanent underclass status (out of wedlock births, single parenting, and a lack of respect for education) are too entrenched to be reversed.

As more Black women stop settling for scraps and seek optimal lives, they will indirectly stop the spread of these pathologies. Let me explain.

Out of wedlock births are at the root of the violence, crime, and chaos in Black residential areas. I can’t think of a single human society or ethnic group (past or present) that expected women to raise children alone. A woman trying to raise children alone is the logical, predictable outcome of most out of wedlock births.

I can’t think of a single human society or ethnic group (past or present) that expected women to socialize boys into productive manhood. A woman trying to socialize boys into manhood is the logical, predictable outcome of most out of wedlock births.

I suspect the reason I can’t think of any such societies is because this does not work; and leads to crime, violence, and ultimately chaos. It should be obvious to all by now that engaging in these practices on a mass level leads to the literal destruction of any group of people foolish enough to try to make this work. This is confirmed by the current self-destruction of the African-American collective.

As more Black women expand their lifestyle options to include the best the wider world has to offer, this means that more Black women will be married (of those who want marriage). In particular, this also means more Black women will be married to men who were raised by their fathers to be effective protectors and providers. In turn, this means fewer Black women involved in the out of wedlock childbirths and single parenting that are at the root of all these other catastrophes.

WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO LIVE LIKE WOMEN—LIKE WOMEN FROM EVERY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP?

No other group of women on this planet are living under the conditions faced by African-American women. Any Black woman who is serious about lifestyle optimization will ignore the “Black women as cannon fodder” hypocrites, and follow her own heart.

POWER TOOLS FOR LIFESTYLE OPTIMIZATION

Thankfully, several eminent psychologists have seen the error of having a field that is solely focused on mental disease and dysfunction. One of them, former American Psychological Association president Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., has done a significant amount of work in the emerging field of positive psychology. I’ll discuss several of the suggestions that he offers in his book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.

Besides featuring lifestyle case studies, there will be posts about the ingredients that I believe are crucial in any African-American woman’s successful pursuit of optimal living: protecting serenity, a low-negativity mental diet, and pop culture detox.

I’ll be offering all kinds of resources here, so please take a look around and come back often.

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28 Responses to “Who Else Wants an Optimal Lifestyle?”

  1. NEECY says:

    This post and blog is amazing. I never thought i would see the day when there would be Black women BRAVE enough to challenge this black collective status quo that Black American women are expected to uphold. It feels so good to see it. I will be purchasing your book as well.

  2. Vanessa F. says:

    As a part of the silent audience who read and enjoyed Muslim Bushido, I would like to say congratulations on your new blog and book. The message that you are putting forth is inspirational and timely.

    Looking forward to reading your book and future posts. Oh yes, and actually participating too!

    -Vanessa

  3. Crecilla says:

    Wow! Thank you, Ms. Nassif, for publicly stating my thoughts, observations, and conversations with friends concerning the state of black Americans and the disdain and contempt that African American men regularly show their offspring as well as African American women. You didn’t just hit the nail on the head, you knocked the ball out of the park!

    As a Sociologist and Social and Political commentator, I strongly believe that restoration of two-parent households will solve most (but not all) of our problems – even if the other parent (e.g., Dad) is of another race or ethnicity.

    Thank you, for this thought-provoking essay.

    Crecilla

  4. Khadija-

    i found my way over here. i am positively giddy right now.

    i must get caught up on a great deal of work and eliminate the virus on my home laptop. once done, i expect to spend great time at your house.

    male-identified females make me tired. i usually say they are playing out in left field at the expense of bw/bgs. backing them up and re-directing them gives me satisfaction. lol!

    as i send my first and only born off to college this year, i am committed to living a fully optimized life. thank you for your courage, focus, commitment, and generosity in sharing with me the wisdom you acquire on your journey, that mine might be richer.

    sis i love you! i applaud you! i stand in solidarity with you!

    blessings in abundance,
    focusedpurpose

  5. Nikita says:

    Oh my. I am looking forward to reading this site and getting my book. Go Kadijah go!! I am so proud of you, so proud that so many bw are beginning to get the message or are seeking it.

  6. Didi says:

    Hello and thank you for this amazing essay. As a longtime lurker and reader of your Muslim Bushido blog, I have long since known that your essays would be almost frighteningly intelligent and realistic but you continually up the stakes. I look around me at the numbers of Afro-carribean men involved with WW (I live in England and BTW most of these couple are merely co-habiting) and I am convinced it is only a matter of time before African men follow suit. For I believe in my heart that there is a “disease” exclusive to black folk and in particular black men – of whatever culture or country; the disease of belonging to a racial group considered (by some) “less than”, of coming from a country (eg in Africa) were corruption and failed infrastructure run rife, resulting in hardships for many. Many Africans (yes I know I am generalizing) are sharply aware of how much their cirucmstances differ from those of whites. Depending on how much the “disease” has sunk into their pysche some will try to escape their blackness and one way of dealing with it is by mating with non-black women. In their minds, non-black women give them (and their ilk) a certain “cachet”, they also use these women as an entre into white society, whose acceptance they crave.
    I am an African woman but the handwriting is on the wall. Thats why I avidly read and support blogs such as yours and urge my female friends and family to do likewise. My sister is 39 and has been wanting to get married for years. She is funny, smart and attractive and I happen to know a couple of white men who took interest but she would never seriously consider them. I have urged her to open her horizons to non-black men but so far she is resistant. Resistant despite the reality that very, very few men from my country will marry a woman over 35. Even if they wished to their families would raise hell for him daring to bring an “old woman past her prime and possibly unable bear kids” into the family. Such is the harsh reality of cultures in some African countries.
    Anyway, I have rambled enough for now;-). I really admire your work in empowering black women and your savvy business sense too, lol!

  7. rainebeaux says:

    Khadija, welcome back and congratulations! Looking forward to future entries and getting your book in my hands! Oh, almost forgot: the place looks great, as does the book trailer. *smile*

  8. mochachoc says:

    Oh I shall come back often. I’m late to the party but loving what I read. I know your focus is on African-American women but believe me, Black Caribbean women in the UK are experiencing much of what you cite. Your work is edifying for us all I think. I look forward to your application of positive psychology to our self-actualization. Like you I majored in Psychology. I went on to do a Masters in Counselling Psychology. I became disenchanted with the disease, dysfunctional model of recovery. It made no intuitive sense.

    Congratulations Khadija. I can’t wait until your book is available to buy in the Uk.

  9. Tasha212 says:

    Khadija,

    I am so excited about your new site. This post just confirmed what I was already thinking. I don’t want to live an ordinary life. I want to live the best life possible. I went to hear Susan Taylor speak last night. And while some of the things she said were usefull, I was in general not impressed. She didn’t say anything that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over. She talked about the importance of mentoring our youth, which I think is a possitive thing to do if you choose to make the sacrifice of your time and effort. You have always impressed me because you always bring a perspective that is new and refreshing. And though I don’t agree with everything that you say (I don’t agree with everything that anybody says), your perspective challenges my beliefs and I love to be challenged. I will definitely be here to read your posts and add to the discussion when I have somthing useful to contribute. I also plan to purchase the book when I get my loan check for school. I added it to my amazon wish list.

    Peace and solidarity,

    Tasha

  10. Truth p. says:

    Hey Khadija,This was so on point and what I needed.I truly thank God for you and your inspirational words and the desire you have to help black women free themselves.You are greatly appreciated.

    In regards to race men and race women I am working overtime to drill it in my mind that these people are not actually for the race but they are all about the rights of black males.
    I was over on another site and there was a discussion about an article in the NYtimes on whether or not blacks in america should call ourselves African Americans.Which is just dumb to me but I started to read the comments and I noticed that a conversation that was supposed to be about the collective had very very very quickly turned into a conversation about black males only and the struggles of black men.

    Here’s a peak at one of the comments to show my point(if you don’t mind me posting the comment Khadija.I’m not sure if you allow that.If not no disrespect was intended and I apologize.)

    comment:I heard Smoky Robinson do a spoken piece/poem about being “A Black Man in America”, not an African American, but Black. The basic theme was that by calling himself a Black American, he was acknowledging the struggles and injustices that black men have suffered, something that African-Amercan was unable to confer.

    — Pam

    Again the conversation was about the African American collective.It was about all of us but many of the comments were about black men only.Even when the commenters were women.

    I just wanted to highlight that because I think many black women are still being decieved into thinking that these black male only folks disguised as race men and women actually care about them but it is clear through their own words and actions that they just don’t.

    You have my support Khadija.

  11. LaJane Galt says:

    I can think of 2 people who will receive this as a gift.

  12. Nathifa says:

    Great post! Your statement, “I can’t think of a single human society or ethnic group (past or present) that expected women to socialize boys into productive manhood. A woman trying to socialize boys into manhood is the logical, predictable outcome of most out of wedlock births” is so true. It is time for black women to put ourselves first and truly live a fulfilling life.

  13. Satya says:

    I’m really looking forward to getting the book-I’ve so enjoyed reading the blog and I’m eager to continue with he positive focus of this new blog.
    I wanted to mention that I’ve noticed that the first review of the book on Amazon is by an intellectually dishonest BM. Although I guess this was to be expected, It bothers me that he’s rushed to insert himself and condemn it. I certainly doubt that he even bought the book. I rated this “review” as unhelpful and suggest that others might want to do the same and perhaps leave their own comments.

  14. KM says:

    This article is awesome and so is your new website. I’ll make sure to link to it on my blog. I can’t wait to buy, read your new book, and review it!

  15. Neecy,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.
    ______________________________________

    Vanessa F.

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it. And thanks for de-lurking! *Smile*
    _______________________________________

    Crecilla,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    Most of us really do know that marriage matters, and has a HUGE impact on life outcomes. It’s sour grapes, and a desire to save face about the mass absence of marriage among AAs that has so many of us “trippin” in our crazy public statements about marriage.

    As you’ve stated, “restoration of two-parent households will solve most (but not all) of our problems – even if the other parent (e.g., Dad) is of another race or ethnicity.” This is simply a matter of common sense. Those BW who want optimal lives can’t afford to “trip” about the topic of marriage.
    _________________________________

    Focused Purpose,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    Sis, I’ve mentioned this before, and I can’t repeat it enough. You, Evia, Halima, PioneerValleyWoman, and others are some of the pioneering BW bloggers that I’ve used as models for my own work. I can’t thank you enough for the good example that you’ve set by your clarity, persistence and most of all, focus, on lifting the spirits, intellects, and lives of BW and girls. THANK YOU!

    As far as male-identified BW, I’ve never understood that behavior. Even when I was firmly entrenched in Black Nationalist mode, I never understood, much less bought into, that particular type of behavior. I’ve always felt that these BM-identified BW were just as sick as the Arab/Afghan/Pakistani women who help their male relatives murder their female relatives in so-called “honor killings.”

    I’ve never been one to help people do wrong. And I’ve noticed that this is exactly what these male-identified women consistently do: they defend men’s wrongdoing AND they actively help men DO WRONG. That’s crazy. Always was, always will be.
    ________________________________________

    Nikita,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.
    _________________________________________

    Didi,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it. And thank you for de-lurking! *Smile*

    You said, “I look around me at the numbers of Afro-carribean men involved with WW (I live in England and BTW most of these couple are merely co-habiting) and I am convinced it is only a matter of time before African men follow suit.”

    Hmmm…so these Caribbean-British men are mostly shacking with, and not marrying, these WW in the UK. That’s an interesting detail about that situation.

    You said, “I am an African woman but the handwriting is on the wall.”

    Yes, I believe “the handwriting is on the wall” for BW around the globe. As others have said, there’s a war being waged against BW in general. The details of what these attacks look like vary in different locations across the globe. But the overall trend line is clear. As Halima, blog host of Black Women’s Interracial Relationship Circle, has noted—BW are being targeted for male disassociation!

    You said, “…the reality that very, very few men from my country will marry a woman over 35. Even if they wished to their families would raise hell for him daring to bring an “old woman past her prime and possibly unable bear kids” into the family. Such is the harsh reality of cultures in some African countries.”

    In one way this is harsh. In another way, I think it’s actually kind of certain non-Western cultures to be upfront about the fertility issue. At least this gives young women from these cultures a certain amount of “fair warning” about ticking biological clocks.

    A common American problem (even among segments of the yuppie WW population) is that American women are encouraged to believe that they have all the time in the world to marry and safely bear children. People generally don’t talk about how high-risk these later pregnancies are. Especially, if the late pregnancy is the woman’s first pregnancy. Whatever her intentions are, Sarah Palin’s baby should be a warning about that.

    Didi, please don’t feel as if you’ve “rambled.” I’m extremely thankful for the on-site reports I hear from BW who live in other countries, especially European ones. THANK YOU!

    I believe that AAs provide can provide non-AAs with a sneak preview of what certain types of mass behaviors lead to. Similarly, at least in terms of the Black male IRR rate, I believe that what’s happening in the UK provides AA women with a sneak preview of what will happen here in the US.
    ____________________________________

    Rainebeaux,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it. Yes, my web designers (the great folks at Educo Web Design) created a beautiful site here. Fear of tampering with their amazing work has made me extremely nervous while fumbling with the controls here, since I’m totally unfamiliar with the WordPress blogging platform.
    ________________________________________

    Mochachoc,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it. You’re not late to the party. LOL!

    Even though I focus on AA women, BW are facing parallel problems across this planet. I believe that there’s much to be learned from each other’s experiences. I know that I’ve learned A LOT from Halima’s pioneering work (blog host of Black Women’s Interracial Relationship Circle), and she’s a Black Caribbean woman based in the UK.

    [Oh, before I forget to mention it, I checked this afternoon, and the book is available at the UK Amazon.com site.]

    Like you, I’m also “disenchanted with the disease, dysfunctional model of recovery.” I appreciated Maslow’s work regarding self-actualization, the hierarchy of needs, and human potential. But he was one of very few voices talking about these things at a time when it seems to me that profession wasn’t ready to hear any of that. I’m delighted by the emergence of many more research voices in support of positive psychology. In so many ways, these are exciting times!
    _____________________________________

    Tasha,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    Well, I believe some statements are “oldies but goodies.” [Ancient, but timeless and still relevant.] Others are the political equivalent of “dusties,” that are perfectly okay as entertainment, but NOT for anything serious.

    My issue with what so many of our talking heads are saying isn’t so much that it’s been said before. My issue is that what they’re saying is no longer relevant, and the manner in which they’re applying their statements is NOT responsive to current conditions.

    For example, Susan Taylor can talk about mentoring “the youth.” But how do you mentor youth that are being raised in increasingly savage conditions? How do you “mentor” increasing savage youth? How do you mentor creatures that, in increasing numbers, are willing and eager to commit death-camp types of atrocities as entertainment?

    Some of these folks are talking like we’re still living in the era of West Side Story. They’re not acknowledging that modern AA teenage gangbangers are the equivalent of child soldiers. With ALL of the depravity and evil associated with that. We generally refuse to admit this, and continue to talk about our vicious youth (the type that need outside mentoring because they are not being parented) as if they’re relatively harmless hoodlums like the ones in 1970s sitcoms.

    How do you “mentor” the equivalent of Hitler Youth? Many of whom have (Black folks’) blood on their hands? When you think about it, AA gangbanger ideology is a very similar ideology (the “it’s okay for me to rob, rape, and murder large numbers of Black folks” ideology).

    The other question is should anybody try to “mentor” Hitler Youth? Aside from the practical considerations of many of these (unparented, savage) AA youth being too far gone to be salvaged, I’m beginning to wonder if trying to do that is even ethical. Which is why I bring up the Hitler Youth analogy.
    _________________________________________

    Truth P.,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    The good news is that I see more and more BW are waking up to the “Black community = BM” bait and switch scam. The tide is turning.
    _________________________________________

    LaJane Galt,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.
    __________________________________________

    Nathifa,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    Evia was the first one I heard to point that out (the absence of other cultures who expect women to socialize boys into manhood) during a blog discussion. Her observation stuck with me, because it was yet another example of how far AAs have diverged normal human family arrangements. So much of the stuff that we’re doing is just bizarre when you compare it to all other human societies, past or present.
    __________________________________________

    Satya,

    Don’t trouble yourself about the hater. In his own way, he gave my an appropriate opportunity to make (and repeat) the following “call to action” here (LOL!):

    Everybody:

    It’s a common pattern that haters are quick to flex their hateration. They usually don’t have anything else to do with their time. The haters are too incompetent to build or create anything of their own, but they are quick to try to tear down other things.

    Meanwhile, decent people are often slow to actively support the things that they believe are worthy of their support. Often, decent people allow the haters to have the last word in various situations.

    Here’s the challenge to those of you who support this particular message of abundant life for BW:

    If you support this message, then it would be helpful for you to make a point of going to Amazon.com and leaving a short, HONEST review of the book (only after you’ve had time to actually read the book). And also do the same for any other book that you believe supports the empowerment of BW and Black girls.

    I can’t speak to what other authors prefer, but I can speak to what I prefer——I prefer HONEST reviews.

    Let me be clear:

    1-I’m NOT suggesting that folks run over to Amazon.com to give reviews that they don’t believe. I’m not fishing for insincere compliments. I’m suggesting that after you’ve had a chance to actually read the book, that you go over there and say what you honestly think about the book. INCLUDING the things you think are FLAWED about the book and its arguments.

    2-If any of you decide to leave a review at Amazon.com, please DON’T waste time talking about the hater. The hater is not the point. The point would be to give an short, HONEST reaction to the book, if you decide to do so.

    Again, let me stress that I’m NOT fishing for you to say anthing you don’t believe. Just HONEST reviews to counter the droppings that were left by the hater.

    We can all support various messages in different ways. Everybody has their unique contribution to make. Leaving a short, HONEST review at Amazon.con is something that you can do that I would greatly appreciate.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  16. Lauren says:

    Thank you for this site! I’ve been following you for over a year now and always appreciate and learn from your viewpoint.

    I’ll be buying the book!

  17. Thanks for the shout-out, Khadija! I’ll get a copy of the book soon and then do a review.

    Regards,

    PVW

  18. Miss V says:

    Khadija, you said:

    “Many foolish Black women are performing this workhorse role while their own needs to be protected and provided for are going unmet.

    –I’ve come to the conclusion that black women are supposed to be down for ‘the cause’, while black men are down for ‘their own cause’. I learned the hard way to let go of that be down for the black man no matter what he says or does to black women.

    “All of this is insane. This behavior of supporting people, places and things that don’t support them is a large part of why African-American women are in crisis. This is a quiet, self-contained crisis, since Black women generally aren’t running around shooting or hitting other people in the head. This quiet crisis is killing Black women one at a time with various stress-related ailments such as the emotional overeating that leads to obesity and its consequences (diabetes, heart disease and hypertension).”

    –It’s interesting you say that, because for years there’s been all of this discussion about black women’s weight gain, but there’s never been any REAL discussion about the underlying issues that have caused it, and you’re one of the few sistas who actually address it.

    “Black men consistently do whatever works best for them, with or without Black women or Black children.”

    –I tried telling this to a black woman a couple of weeks ago, and she just doesn’t get it. There was a time when I didn’t have any idea that BW are under seige, even by BM. I didn’t realize that until I’d become a single mom myself. I’ve often said that as a people, blackfolks aren’t honest about such things with our girls and young women. It’s ALL about the BM, let the black thought police tell it.

    Well, anyway, I’m looking forward to reading your book, since I need all the help I can get with getting myself together and finding the best mate for me and my son.

    Thanks sista, and I’m glad you’re back!!

  19. Tracy says:

    Congrats on the book and the new site! I literally cannot wait for more.

    As soon as my copy arrives, I will also give a review.

    Ladies, as K said, don’t feed the troll!

    Again, congrats!

  20. Magenta says:

    I am so glad the book is complete, and I will definitely be picking up a copy. I am inspired by how you made a goal, followed through and completed it. This book is desperately needed, since there are so few places that specifically address the needs of BW and BW ONLY. Best of luck to you!!!

  21. Beverly says:

    Hi Khadija!

    So glad to see you’re back! I just bought your book and I’m looking forward to reading it. 🙂

    –Beverly

  22. KM,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.
    _________________________________

    Lauren,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.
    __________________________________

    PioneerValleyWoman,

    You’re welcome! And THANK YOU for your encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it.
    ___________________________________

    Miss V,

    You said, “I’ve often said that as a people, blackfolks aren’t honest about such things with our girls and young women.”

    AAs have developed a totally new, utterly DISHONEST discourse around all of these various issues. With a lot of empty slogans that serve to obscure what’s really going on.

    For just one example, at least when we had the “official” paper-bag test, we were honest about what it was that we were doing (discriminating against darker AAs). In the modern era, the paper-bag test has escalated into a “manila-folder and lighter” test. Only now we call the increased colorism among us by new slogans: “Celebrating all of who we are…recognizing so-called ‘biracial’ heritage…yadda, yadda, yadda.”

    For another example, words and behaviors that AAs used to acknowledge were DEGRADING and DEMEANING to women (the b-word, the h-word, pole dancing, stripping, prostitution, etc.) have now been repackaged as somehow being something other than degradation. In some cases, some fools (including foolish BW) try to assert that this mess somehow represents freedom and liberation for women. {shaking my head}

    All passes to Fantasy Island need to be immediately revoked, and that entire island needs to be nuked. The consequences of living on Fantasy Island about these various issues are just too deadly. AND contagious.
    ___________________________________

    Tracy,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    And thank you for also encouraging folks to NOT feed the troll if they decide to do HONEST book reviews (after reading the book) over at Amazon.com.

    What folks need to keep in mind is that it’s a common Internet Ike Turner tactic to change the subject of the conversation. In this case, that particular IIT would probably prefer that folks spend their time talking about him, instead of the book in their reviews. Folks, don’t fall for that trick.
    ________________________________

    Magenta,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it. Well, I’m the sort of person that I’m not going to keep talking about something unless I fully intend to follow through on it. That “big talk/little or no action” type of behavior truly annoys me, so I try not to engage in it.
    _____________________________________

    Beverly,

    Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  23. JaliliMaster says:

    Yes, the black Carribean men are, for the most part, cohabiting with these women. The way it is in America in terms of baby mamas and all that, that is pretty much the equivalent in the UK, except, it seems, that the women left high and dry are white. Most of the biracial children/teens walking the streets have absent black fathers. AA women need to wake up with the quickness and learn from the foolish mistakes Carribean women in the UK made. If not, it will only be worse as these women realised in time and made the necessary changes in their approach. I have a very strong feeling that AA women will wait till it’s too late, and that ticking time bomb will soon go off.

  24. foreverloyal says:

    Welcome back!
    As soon as I saw your book was ready I clicked the link and bought it.

  25. tertiaryanna says:

    Khadija,

    Thank you for an amazing post, and congratulations – I’m definitely looking forward to reading your book!

  26. JaliliMaster,

    I’m convinced that most AA women will wait until it’s too late; I’ve already written them off. At this point, I’m only really talking to those BW who are serious about surviving AND thriving.
    _____________________________________

    Foreverloyal,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and ongoing support; I truly appreciate it!
    _____________________________________

    TA,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and ongoing support; I truly appreciate it!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  27. […] of fatherless, non-protective, non-providing, defective African-American males. Fantasies such as resurrecting the already-dead Black family and Black marriage—all by themselves. Fantasies such as resurrecting already-dead and physically dangerous Black residential areas all […]

  28. […] it differs from other forms of thought most promoted among feminist and liberal/progressive groups here as an introduction.  I will relate to her sentiments further on in the […]