Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Black Girls Rock, But Other Girls...

You may have noticed the entire “Black Girls Rock” movement. Isn’t it AWESOME….or is it? What IS Black Girls Rock? Well according to the website
Black Girls Rock is "501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media" (Black Girls Rock Inc.). Black Girls Rock has a television show that comes on the BET channel (I have a strong dislike for all things BET.... But that is another story!). 

I am definitely a Black woman who used to be a black girl. I have three daughters and one granddaughter who are black girls and I definitely believe that all of them TOTALLY ROCK. I have no problem with telling black girls that they rock. However, I do have a problem when your enforcement of one disrespects, insults, or downplays another.
The Black Girls Rock movement, is supposed to empower, uplift, inspire, and foster positive self-esteem in black girls. It is supposed to combat the negative images of black people in the media and society. And I totally understand the logic behind this and I absolutely agree that they need to be uplifted, motivated, and need their self-esteem bolstered. My issue is that in order to make black girls feel good about themselves it is not necessary to make all other girls feel less about themselves. And even though that is NOT the intent of the show, how can you say that other little girls who are NOT black feel good about this??

Black Girls Rock has an annual television award ceremony, they have posters, t-shirts, and a website. The movement and organization is huge! And I love that they are going all out to make girls feel great about themselves. Letting girls know that they have the ability to do and accomplish AWESOME, MIGHTY, and EXTRAORDINARY things! However, does this mean that Hispanic girls, White girls, Indian girls, Asian girls, or girls of all other nationalities and races DO NOT ROCK? I strongly believe that ALL GIRLS need to have people telling them that they are beautiful and full of potential. All girls need people telling them that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. All girls need to know that with proper education, resources, and opportunities they can achieve and accomplish AWESOME THINGS!

I do not believe that little black girls are so stupid, ignorant, disadvantaged, destitute, or deprived that they cannot function unless an entire movement tells them that they ROCK. If we, the MOTHERS, the SISTERS, the TEACHERS, the AUNTS, the MENTORS, the ACTIVISTS, and the GRANDMOTHERS are doing our jobs properly these young girls will NEVER lack inspiration, NEVER lack motivation, and NEVER think that they do not rock! But instead we start an entire movement of Black Girls Rock, which by omission is in essence telling all other girls that they DO NOT ROCK! We are telling all other girls that they are not worthy of posters, t-shirts, and award ceremonies because if YOU ARE NOT A BLACK GIRL YOU DO NOT ROCK….seriously? How do you go into a multicultural classroom, church, or gathering and tell only the black girls that they are special and worthy? Isn’t this equivalent to reverse racism, and segregation? Isn’t this the same thing that was done to us as a people? Isn’t this the same type of thing we fought against for years?
Oh but I guess because we are black we are entitled to do black things that ALIENATE all others because ….

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9 People Saying Something!

Jackie Spencer 07 May, 2014 11:58

Elder Jackie Spencer, said... ·
"In this world we separate everything by color, especially people. Isn't it interesting that God does not! No where in the Bible do you find a group of people or a person identified by the color of his skin; and so many of us claim to be His, and like Christ. God separates people into 2 categories: believers and non-believers, (it was Jews and Gentiles OT)period end. Soooo, if we are not imitating God with this obsession with color,then who ARE we imitating? IJS" via Facebook.

Alicia Benjamin 07 May, 2014 18:47

I'm pretty sure Regina, that the Black Girls Rock movement also welcomes other girls of color. I have especially seen Latina girls (who can be black, white, asian, etc.) in the movement. I will look into this. It's an interesting conversation.

I'm sure the founders emphasis on the awesomeness of blacks girls is because so many in the world, and we know this to be true in the U.S., don't acknowledge all the black girls who rock (the intelligent, talented, compassionate, insightful) black girls. It's a confidence booster that so many of our young (and older) black girls desperately need.

Jackie Seaman 07 May, 2014 19:37

Ahhh, Alicia, if what you say is indeed true, "I'm pretty sure Regina, that the Black Girls Rock movement also welcomes other girls of color. I have especially seen Latina girls (who can be black, white, asian, etc.) in the movement". Then the name "Black Girls Rock" is a fallacy.
I do agree that many are not motivated, inspired, nor told how awesome they are, which is why I also said in this post that if "WE" were properly doing our jobs there would be no need for this.
Thank you Ma'am for joining the conversation! *Smooches*

Sharon Rainey 07 May, 2014 20:07

I understand and support shows, stations where the focus is black people because we are under represented in entertainment. I support Black Girls Rock by watching. I love Black women. I think Black women rock. I understand the mission of the movement. I know how under appreciated black women are, the negative images they are trying to fight, and want to be represented and acknowledge in all fields. So, with that said I would wear a Black Girls Rock tee however after being told/asked by a few black women with me being bi-racial why would I wear a Black Girls Rock tee. Um okay.
So, how can a Latina or Asian girl wear a Black Girls rock tee? Which does seem odd because why would an Asian girl wear a Black Girl Rocks shirt but, not one that says Asian Girls Rock (too).
So, about me being asked about wearing the tee by black women and I won't even go into the whole you bi-racial not black conversation by some or the whole your still black even if your bi-racial by others. Anyway, so about me wearing the tee and asked why? It seems that some Black women who support the movement believe it is only about and for black women - not all women of color as Alicia says. So, I support the mission however, I do believe it is inclusive of black women only. But they welcome the support of all women.

I also want to point out that while there could be a movement for all women. It would have to make sure that women of all races are represented in front of and behind the scenes because sometimes you get -this is an all inclusive group - until you show up and only white women are running the behind the scenes. Not to point white women out but, you understand what I am saying.

Until then shows like this will have to continue.

Alicia Benjamin 07 May, 2014 20:35

I'd also like to add here that after being exposed to and getting to know many international people, I have found that many people, other than African Americans and others who are typically called "Black" -- who are from other countries, who refer to themselves as "Black." I have seen this from Palestinians, Mexicans, Aborigines, Samoans, and of course people from many Latin American countries, to name a few. The whole "Black" thing is a misnomer anyway.

Jackie Seaman 07 May, 2014 21:02

Alicia, I think I like your thinking! You call the name a misnomer, I called it a fallacy. I would dare say in this instance those are both flip side of the same coin. I would fully support a movement simply titles "Our Girls Rock" then ALL marginalized groups can showcase the AWESOMENESS of their ladies and give the girls people to look up to.

Jackie Seaman 07 May, 2014 21:09

Thanks for weighing in! I think bi-racial individuals have more than one battle to fight because depending on which crowd you are in at any given moment half of you is a minority and half of you is a majority.
I agree shows like this have a place and are needed but by trying to be "Inclusive" it is actually being Exclusive which is dangerous. I think until we understand how to successfully unite someone will always be made to feel less than simply by the process of elimination or exclusion.

MrsGrapevine 08 May, 2014 12:40

I don't think the connotation is that black girls rock, and no one else rocks. I think the connotation is that black girls rock, too. The movement is not designed to uplift black girls by putting other girls down, it's simply a statement that Black Girls Do Rock. However I agree with you. Perhaps this day and age we don't have to add the racial labeling, considering that if someone had an organization called White Girls Rock, we would be ready to boycott. I don't think this organization was started with intent to marginalize anyone but as it grows nationally it's also sending a message that this group is for women of color only, and that is far from the truth. Maybe it's time to change the name to ALL Girls Rock, or You Rock, Too.

Jackie Seaman 08 May, 2014 13:10

MrsGrapevine, Thank you for weighing in! ABSOLUTELY!! It is often NOT what you say but HOW you say it. Because you are right if there was an organization called "White Girls Rock" there would be riots, boycotts, and major outrage! As I said I understand the logic and ideology behind it but the name alone sends a negative connotation to the "other" girls. Maybe as they go forward and continue to grow they will have the conversation about inclusion and name changes!

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