It’s A Swirlers’ Baby Boom!

A few weeks ago I noticed that there was a baby boom going on among the interracially married Black female YouTubers that I follow. It all started when I watched Jamie and Nikki’s baby gender reveal video, which captured what seemed like a sincerely joyous occasion.

SPOILER AHEAD

The ending almost made me mist up, as Jamie and Nikki ruminated about what lies ahead for their baby girl, especially the part where Nikki Perkins talked about how their daughter will be a little spoiled for future relationships, because no one will measure up to her father. Love, good wishes and happiness awaits that little one, I tell you!

Then David and Adanna revealed that they are expecting a boy, and she made the bonus announcement that her sister is also expecting (who is married to a Black man).

 

NikkiPreggers

BWWM Preggers

Nikki Perkins, a former model, is looking absolutely radiant during her pregnancy. Like a queen! I couldn’t help but to check out her IG page for more stunning modelesque photos of her, like this one:

Countdown is on. Officially #35weeks This bump gets bigger everyday ūüėĀūüíē #AvaPerkins

A photo posted by Nikki Perkins (@jamieandniks) on

… and this one. LOL.

Change room selfies #32weeks

A photo posted by Nikki Perkins (@jamieandniks) on

And then Patricia Bright announced her pregnancy. And then I heard that Britt from the Nive Nulls is about to make her daughter a big sister! Little children are emerging everywhere, and this subscriber is totally overjoyed for everyone.

PatriciaPreggers

 

BrittPreggers

 

I don’t watch all of these channels diligently, but I do enjoy popping in for a view, and usually a thumbs up, when I have the time. Their channels are entertaining, thw content is heartfelt, and if these parents are any indication of how biracial kids are being brought up, then we can expect a brighter future for this country, I think.¬†Congrats to all!

OK, whose next? Lemme check in on Naptural85. Olivia might be looking around for a sibling right about now …

 

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The Regressive Thinking Behind Rachel Dolezal’s Scam

One of the greatest aspects of living in North Jersey is its multiculturalism. You don’t have to try very hard or go very far to run into people of every description. Integration helps us to coexist¬†as we are, without¬†the pressure to stop calling ourselves Black, white, mixed, Asian or what have you.¬†Someone should have explained that to Rachel Dolezal, the Caucasian woman who just resigned as the president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP.

A lot has been said about Dolezal’s racial confusion since last week, when¬†her¬†parents revealed that she is white, with no Black ancestry. Writers and pundits keep on raising the question of¬†what it¬†means to be Black or Caucasian. Is this Blackface? Can she fairly be compared to Caitlyn Jenner? Poppycock to all of it! Rachel Dolezal’s dogged insistence on identifying as Black undermines our efforts as a society to achieve harmonious racial coexistence, and that is the real issue.

White America (I said it, now deal)¬†has a shameful, dark past of extreme cruelty and depravity toward Blacks and Native Americans,¬†in particular,¬†which was driven by greed, a¬†false sense of white superiority, and racial hatred. That history cannot be denied. When minorities began to organize themselves and¬†resist these forces, they had to face the reality that, as minorities and people who are not omnipresent or omnipotent, they needed to strike partnerships with whites who had a strong moral compass, and who could help spread the message of the need for freedom and justice. That’s how the NAACP came to be, when it was founded by Blacks and whites in 1909. White abolitionists, and later white civil rights workers¬†dedicated their time, talent and treasures to the work, and often risked their lives. But that did not make them Black, and when Blacks began to earn money, found schools, relearn their own histories, reclaim and expand on their own histories, and move into the Middle Class, it did not make them white!!

In an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, Rachel mentioned the fact that at one point, she obtained full custody of her Black adopted brother Isaiah, and that since he called her “Mom” at that point, she couldn’t plausibly be seen as white and be his mom!! That is what set me off. ¬†Zahara Jolie-Pitt, who was born as Yemsrach in Ethiopia, plausibly has white parents, and white and Asian siblings. Ask Halle Berry and Paula Patton, both of whom identify as Black, about their Caucasian mothers, and how those wise women helped prepare them for certain¬†racial realities as they went out into the¬†world. Dolezal’s statement¬†completely undermines the idea that Americans¬†can be different racially and culturally, yet move past the surface and embrace each other and relate to each other as¬†human beings.

Zahara Jolie-Pitt ZaharaMomDad1

More has come out about Dolezal’s past,¬†which undermine her imaginary Blackness, including a 2002 lawsuit that she filed against Howard University, alleging discrimination against her because she was white. Not Black or a woman, but white. I refuse to watch¬†this deceiver derail¬†a much-needed conversation about race in our country and confuse my daughter as she discovers¬†her identity.

Yesterday I read Baby Girl a newspaper story about flooding in the republic of Georgia, which resulted in zoo animals escaping their pens and roaming the streets of the capital. This is a reading family, a thinking family, and I cannot imagine what Baby Girl is going to think after gets a load of this lady!

Hey, America: Black Women Are NOT After-THOTs!!!

Over the centuries, Americans have conditioned themselves to see Black women as beneath their contempt, as unworthy of old-fashioned chivalry or the basic common decency extended to strangers in the street. They see Black women as after-THOTs. That’s not a misspelling, by the way. It’s my expression of the dismissive scorn¬†heaped on Black women in particular, and the spelling borrows from the latest urban colloquial acronym for That Hoe Over There, women of loose sexual¬†virtues. (I don’t know if it’s been used elsewhere, but I thought it worked pretty well with the point I want to make today.)

THOTs are nameless. Why should anyone find meaningful ways to distinguish between women — like talents and achievements — when it’s so easy to assume that they are all over-sexualized and want to be either ravaged by consent or that they harbor secret rape fantasies.

So what am I really upset¬†about? It’s the shocking swell of resentful¬†attacks¬†directed at¬†Mo’ne Davis, the Little League pitching phenom who captivated sports fans all over the country in last year’s Little League World Series. News that Disney was planning a movie about the young athlete had barely circulated through the media, when Davis’ shining moment was overshadowed by a string of resentful Tweets from whites, who were salty that a Black woman should be acknowledged for achieving something remarkable and inspiring!

The most vile of the Tweets came from Joey Casselberry, a Bloomsburg University student athlete who tapped this out in response to the news. Mind you, he was talking about a 14-year old child:

“WHAT A JOKE. That slut got rocked by Nevada”

That’s right. Mo’ne Davis didn’t take¬†the Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton route to fame. She has athletic talent, and she pitched a shutout game on the biggest Little League stage. It is an amazing accomplishment. She also happens to be very photogenic, which makes her a potential media darling, and Disney wants to capitalize on her popularity with a movie production, which makes sense. A¬†feel-good flick that “girls everywhere” can embrace and be inspired by. But somehow this is terrible news to a few idiots who happen to be armed with computers and Internet access.

University officials became aware of his vile missives, and booted Casselberry from the school’s softball team. Sounds fair to me, but in an astounding and¬†very worrying turn of events, Miss Davis spoke up about her forgiveness and pleaded that he be reinstated. That’s what has me so upset. Who in the world talked this child out of her worth? Who told her that when a man, far older and bigger than her, insults and degrades her like that, that he deserves to walk away from it with no consequences?

No level¬†of spirituality, no amount of forgiveness or Christian teaching should oblige the victim of an attack to wish that the perpetrator not face punishment for his (or her) actions. Why can’t Black people, for once and for all, understand that our daughters are priceless? Just as priceless as anyone else’s, and that their lives are precious? Why does our community not only defend attackers like Casselberry, but also ones within our ranks? We see it in the way women — Black women — are¬†quick to castigate Black women celebrities who are struggling with difficult or abusive husbands and boyfriends. It happens so often, and is so visible, unfortunately, that we can actually start ranking the “All-Time Most Abusive Celebrity Relationships.” Let’s see who will win this shameful distinction. Will it be Tina and Ike Turner? Halle Berry and Mr. X? Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown?

I don’t understand what makes so many of these handmaidens, worshippers of the abusers, so heartless and callous. Where was¬†your heart for the Miss Black America contestant who also endured the public trial that eventually convicted¬†Mike Tyson of rape? Where was your heart when those photos surfaced of Rihanna, beaten to an inch of her life?

Is this a case of entrenched “misogynoir,” anti-Black women sentiments in visual and popular culture? Moya Bailey, a gay feminist author coined the term to¬†“describe how racism and anti-Blackness alter the experience of misogyny for Black women, specifically.‚ÄĚ Examples of Misogynoir include the rejection of Black women‚Äôs natural hair and ‚Äėtwerking‚Äô.¬†Not just twerking by cultural appropriators like Miley Cyrus or Kim Kartrashian but the very existence of the dance.

I don’t know if this incident with Mo’ne Davis qualifies as misogynoir as Ms. Bailey defines it, and I don’t want to misuse the term before it gets proper traction in the American lexicon, we recognize it and effectively tamp down the most threatening cases of it. But¬†I do say that there is rampant mistreatment of women¬†in Black¬†culture. Black women are the objects of lust, degradation and contempt, first at the hands of white men and consistently by our own. The fact is we have to recognize and refute all of it, before we end up with a sizeable representation of women in the next generation who keep offering up their bodies for use and abuse. When you ask for leniency for the demented jock who called a little girl a slut, when you blame Halle for her relationship struggles, when you say Bo Derek introduced braids to American women, when you twerk, you practice some level of disdain for Black women.

Not my child. She will be wide awake and aware, because although she is light-skinned, there is no “passing” for her. It’s¬†not enough to protect her from these people out here trying to make things hard on her because she’s not in the white male club.

 

Along Came A Spider: Our Daughter’s Growing Affinity with African-Caribbean Culture

I decided from the jump not to introduce a lot of angst into my interracial relationship, or make growing up biracial a special burden for my child. While a successful and well-adjusted life depends as much on how the outside world treats us as how we react to it, I took steps to ensure that everyday life is as full of as much positivity as possible.

From a library book on African folk tales.

Anansi, from a library book on African folk tales.

It’s working. And I have a clever little spider named Anansi to thank for part of it. I started reading stories, very small ones to my daughter almost as soon as I felt her kicking!It started off as a way for me to have something to say to her all the live long day. (I was really excited to become a mother, as¬†you can probably tell.) After she was born, the reading choices ballooned from modern classics like “Goodnight Moon,” to¬†global folk tales to classic children’s stories to contemporary American fare. When she was a baby, reading¬†became an essential ritual to help fertilize her mind for learning. We wanted to cultivate a thinking and feeling¬†child, who would be capable of logic and spirituality. We didn’t want her to be in the army of vacuous automatons¬†who go through life not really doing much, and who are practically¬†numbed to her own existence. Worse still, numbed and inert to an existence higher than themselves. And yet we didn’t want her to be overwrought, either.

Folk tales are helping big time with that. We learn about Africa, Jamaica, and the diaspora of blacks in general. And it’s all pretty much fun for us, because we’re doing it through the hi-jinx and pranks of a clever little creature. I kind of wondered how baby would react to stories about a spider. Would she recoil, frightened and put off, or approach¬†them with fascination? None of the former happened, thanks to the fact that my daughter loves animals — all of God’s creatures, even the creepy crawly ones. And we also read “Charlotte’s Web,” which helped promote good¬†spider-child relations.

My daughter's rendering of Anansi, inspired by her library book.

My daughter’s rendering of Anansi, inspired by her library book.

Those stories opened the door to other tales, like “Mama Panya’s Pancakes,” and “Summer Jackson, Grown Up.” When I attended the Circle of Sisters with a friend last October, I picked up a paperback in a series of books about the adventures of two Jamaican boys, Mark and Markus. And recently Hubby’s family in Seattle sent my daughter three books from the “Anna Hibiscus” series, about a little Nigerian girl growing up in Africa. So it’s all snowballing from there. When I was growing up, we had to make special efforts to find nicely bound books filled with African tales. Modern tales about Black kids doing everyday things were a little more scarce. I’m relieved that¬†it’s easier to find the stories¬†these days, so that my daughter will know her mother’s background and culture is just as accessible and inviting¬†as her father’s. Even if Mommy “stands out” in all the family pictures. (Oh, yes. There’s a story about that, too.)

Mellody and George Welcome ‘Everest’

mellody_hobson_h_2013The news keeps getting better for George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, who welcomed their biological daughter via a surrogate last Friday. She’s named Everest Hobson Lucas, according to news reports.

Mellody herself received warm congratulations about her daughter’s birth during her appearance on “CBS This Morning.”¬† The part about the baby is at the end. I can’t wait to see photos, but knowing the Hobson-Lucases, who released only spare details about their discreet wedding (my favorite) we’ll get nary a glimpse of the little angel, who probably has her mama’s adorable smile.

I just think it’s wonderful that a guy who was probably done with raising kids loved his wife so much that he agreed to go ahead and dive in to fatherhood again for a young one, to make their family what they wanted it to be. God bless ’em.¬† Long happy life to all!¬† (Oh, and ignore all the milksop alarmists who will write snively comments on celebrity gossip sites about the longevity of the parents and who will be there for little Everest. In any case, George has three adult kids who could step in if need be.)

By the way, Mellody’s segment was largely about the pay gap among male and female top executives. I say cut the guys’ pay, because executive compensation is probably a little over the top across the board, and people have been complaining about it for years. But that’s just the influence of my New York Times-reading populist husband.