REPLAY:: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on The Chicago Morning Takeover Show to discuss his new album “Let’s Change The World” was last modified: May 11th, 2018 by BJ Blog Staff
by Fudia Muhammad
This year, 2017, will mark the 30th anniversary of what may arguably be the most profound, impactful and life-changing lecture series delivered by anyone in modern history.
On Sunday, July 26, 1987, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, gave a lecture that would become the first installment of a five-part lecture series titled, How to Give Birth to a God. During this series of lectures, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan mentioned that he had been studying the subject matter for then fifteen years, prior to delivering the lectures. His extensive study on this topic was clearly evident with every word he spoke. The Minister’s divine proficiency of scripture, history, biology, psychology and metaphysics – coupled with his wise understanding of the woman and her direct connection to God, resulted in a lecture series of unparalleled guidance and direct application for both men and women.
During Part Two of this five-part lecture series, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan made a powerful declaration to the Sisters, “You can change the world with your womb!” This single statement capsulizes the message that the Minister so beautifully delivered all of those years ago – and based on the condition of this world, it is a message that must be reignited in the consciousness of our people. It is difficult to disagree that the world is in a terrible condition. One could also, then, agree that the condition of the world is a direct result of the condition of the mindset of the people who inhabit it. This mindset was not created in a vacuum, for there are no persons – living or dead – that did not come from the womb of a woman. Simply put, the nations of the world, comprised of thinking people, cannot rise any higher than their women. Why?
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan explains that the woman is blessed with two wombs. Not only does the woman possess the physical womb (often called uterus) that houses the baby during pregnancy, but she also possesses a mental womb – the mind – that directly feeds the growing baby spiritually and mentally. Both wombs are majestic and created by God to be extraordinarily powerful, giving the woman the ability to produce a god or to produce a devil. Both wombs must be at their optimum in order to give birth to a god – a child that will grow to one day change the condition of our world for the better, and not continue to perpetuate the wickedness that pervades.
The Bible reads, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High” (Psalm 82:6 KJV). If this is true, and it is; then what happened? Why have we as a people not actualized our god-potential? The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “It is not that you don’t have the potential, the capacity, but you don’t have the knowledge. And because you don’t know how to do what you are born into the world to do, you miss your task.” During his lecture series, the Minister shared that prerequisite knowledge with all of us.
Preparation is the key. In order to get the physical womb at its most desirable state to produce the desired goal – a god – we should begin at least one year prior to conception. For most, it is common knowledge today that our physical bodies must be cleaned-up. We must immediately stop smoking; and eliminate all drugs and alcohol. We must quickly wean ourselves off of all over-the-counter drugs and unnecessary medications that can be replaced with proper food and nutrition. We should invest in a copy of How to Eat to Live: Books I & II by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and practice the diet he describes, which was given to him by God in Person, as a prescription for our ills and to give us abundancy of life. Exercise is also paramount because being healthy and physically fit will help to minimize complications during pregnancy and give the body the strength required to endure the physical burden of bearing life.
What is not common knowledge to most is that the mind must also be prepared before conception so that when we are blessed to conceive, we will be deliberately focused and engaged in assisting God to create human life. This serious preparation for getting the mind – the second womb – into a state to produce a god cannot be neglected, because this womb affects the spiritual and mental development of the growing baby, inside the physical womb. This process should also begin at least one year before conception; but the more time that is invested in our spiritual and mental development – the greater the benefit for our children.
The Minister also emphasizes that our heart-felt desire to produce a child for God must be forefront. It is important to understand that we cannot intentionally produce what we do not desire to produce, so the first essential attribute that the mental womb must obtain is the desire to produce a child for God. Not a child that possesses the characteristics of a Tamerlane, a Hitler, or more recently, a Jeffrey Dahmer – all born of a woman – but a child that possesses the characteristics of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad – also, all born of a woman.
Living a clean physical life is a reflection of living a clean spiritual life and vice versa. But amazingly, the mind is so powerful that whether or not adequate time was taken to prepare the physical body, a focused-determined mind can overcome the physical. If desire is present, it will feed our will. Our desire to produce a god will inspire us to bow down to The God that can bring it about. So, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that as soon as we know there is life in the womb, we should be as Mary’s mother and make a vow that we will devote our child to the service of God; and ask Him to accept the child from us. There is simply no substitute for prayer. More than anything, it is our sincere supplication to God during pregnancy that impresses itself on the brain of the forming child. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “Now look at what she [Mary’s mother] did. She formed it with a vow, so her desire to please God started writing on the brain of the child that was being fashioned from her blood. You, woman, can make the child a mental giant or you can make it an imbecile; but it is what you think and what you desire that writes on the brain. And the child comes forward from the darkness of the womb with a predisposition toward a certain reality.”
We can change the world by producing gods from our womb. A god is one who has force and power to change reality by creating a new and better reality. A god has mastery over self and environmental influences. A god can manipulate the forces of nature. A god is supreme in his or her field of endeavor. This means that a god is also extraordinarily knowledgeable and wise.
In Part Four of How to Give Birth to a God, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan recalls a Japanese woman who produced four geniuses as a result of reading to each of them while they were yet in the womb. The first direct instruction ever given to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was – “Read.” Reading not only stimulates and energizes the thought process of the mother, but also that of her child. The Minister advises us not to read foolish fairytales and nursery rhymes that promote falsehood, not godhood. We should read the most beautiful scriptural narratives to our growing baby combined with books that have a focus on nation-building disciplines.
This article is just a mere snapshot of the Divinely guided lessons shared by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, but hopefully this information makes it is easy to see how thirty years later, the Minister’s timeless message continues to reverberate in the hearts and minds of a new generation. Over the decades, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has never wavered in making it clear to our people, particularly our women – that we are chosen by Allah (God) to produce a brand new reality on this earth. This can be achieved when we actively co-operate and co-create with the same God who meticulously designed the exquisite womb of the woman to be a replica of His own self-creation, from the triple darkness of space.
We are blessed to serve a Benevolent God who did not leave us alone to figure it all out, without proper guidance and a specially-prepared Guide. We were indeed given instructions and guidance on how to live and how to manage every area of life, including – how to rear our children. Through the mathematically precise study of nature, science, the Scriptures, the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the words and living example of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, we have exactly what we need!
(Sister Fudia Muhammad is a member of Muhammad Mosque No. 64 in Austin, Texas. She is married to Student Minister Robert L. Muhammad and they have been blessed with four children. Sister Fudia holds a Master’s degree in Education – she is a writer, an educator and an advocate for God-centered child-rearing.)
[You may purchase your own personal copy of the How to Give Birth to a God lecture series by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at store.finalcall.com.]
Went out into the streets of Southeast Houston pushing the #ProtectOurDaughters education and awareness campaign spearheaded by @queendom_come_inc along with a coalition of organizations. During a recent press release, our sisters informed everyone that the U.S. Department of Justice reports Houston as one of the largest hubs for human trafficking in the nation and the largest hub in Texas. Houston has over 200 active brothels, with two new openings each month. Houston is a popular entryway for internationally trafficked persons due to its two large, international airports and the Port of Houston, which is the largest international port in the United States and the thirteenth busiest in the world. $1.6 Billion is made off sex trafficking in Houston…As we talked to our people on the block and door to door, they were shocked to hear about these statistics. We encouraged all men, young and old, to step up to respect, elevate and protect our women and girls. The work continues.
Be sure to check out the full coverage of the #ProtectOurDaughters Town Hall Meeting at Hurt2HealingMag.com
Had to share this…..
While pushing The Final Call Newspaper yesterday in Southeast Houston, I spotted this sister from a distance walking and pulling a huge basket. Once she got closer to the corner we were on she was noticeably struggling. I walked over and said “Sister, can we assist you?” It was packed with groceries from a nearby store that’s about 10-15mins from where we were…if you’re DRIVING. So I asked her did she walk that entire distance and she said yes. I asked her how far she had to go and offered to pull it for her. She said she had to go to the next light, which was way too far.
As I offered to help, she said “Nah, that’s okay. I’ve seen y’all men out here a lot. Y’all are busy doing some good stuff and I don’t want to burden y’all with my petty problems.” I said, “No, sister you’re not burdening us, we are out here for you.”
She then started crying and telling me that the reason she was pulling the groceries by herself was due to getting in an argument with her husband at the store and he told her to walk by herself. Then she said, “And I’m pregnant too.” I said “We got you.” We had her to have a seat at the nearby bus stop as I pulled the basket and Brother Linton went to bring his SUV around. We loaded up her basket in the back and headed toward her home. She then told us how she’s 28 and her husband is 31 and how he hasn’t been the same since he came out of the military. Then she said that yesterday actually marked the 3rd month of her pregnancy.
As we drove her home, the distance was longer than we thought and we thank Allah she passed by us because that would have been a 45+ minute walk. I was sharing words with her from The Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan lecture series titled “How To Give Birth To A God” and how precious she is, and why her husband must treat her better and the type of things she should feed the mind of the child as its formulating in the womb. When we got to her home she inquired about what religion we represent because she’d be interested in attending a service. We unloaded her basket, gave her contact info and invited her and her husband to the mosque. She thanked us and we headed to go door to door. We are here to SERVE. Praise be to Allah!
by Nzinga Muhammad
I saw a quote once that said: “Nobody loves black men like black women. Nobody loves black women like black women.” There is constant slander of black woman in America, and in truth across the world. In America particularly, the identity of being black and being a woman intersect. Those that experienced that have not only felt it from a white supremacist system, but sometimes our very own black community.
Black women have to deal with backlash from black, white, and everyone in between. The dehumanization and overall disrespect of black women has unfortunately become a global tradition. It has become a normalization even sometimes in those who claim “black lives matter”. Often times, it seems as though only black men matter to some people.
When Sandra Bland was killed, I saw many posts about how she should have “complied” with officers. Her death was used as a victim blaming tactic. However, if a white person were to repeat the same jargon of how a black man should have “complied” it would not be tolerated. Why is there a special case for black women? The problem, is that many of our people mimic the rhetoric of our oppressors. The fight against racism has become a patriarchal mission that excludes black women from the equation. It’s amazing to see the arguments against black women match up with racist remarks towards black people in general. Black women are on the front lines against white supremacy to only be shamed and hated by members of her own race.
Black women have a hand in slandering other black women too. It’s been internalized, unfortunately. The same mistreatment towards us is subconsciously accepted. Sometimes mothers feed this ignorance to their daughters, nieces, cousins, etc. They don’t realize that it only degrades themselves.
Let’s talk about racial “preferences”. Preferences are absolutely ugly tools to slander black women as “unfit” for a relationship with a black man. It is deeply rooted in self hatred and ignorance. You can’t “prefer” other races over your own. Sometimes the reason why black men like other races is just reasons why they hate black women. You might see a meme here and there about how someone would rather want a non black Latina woman or a white woman because black women are too “undesirable”.
Often times, non black Latina women are fetishized while black women are dehumanized. For example, our anger negatively stereotyped as “The Angry Black Woman” with an attitude that no black man wants. Yet, the same ones that do this, turn around to romanticize the “spicy attitude” of a Latina woman who might be upset as well for a legitimate reason whatever it may be.
The “preference” has gone into the fetishization of mixed children with light skin and eyes, and/or loose curly hair. Unfortunately, some non black women will use this as an opportunity to in turn fetishize black men as well, while throwing black women under the bus as inferior to them. It doesn’t make sense. How does one slander black women to only raise a black daughter with her token black partner? What will she do when her child has 4c hair, dark skin, and brown eyes?
Why are black women’s features praised on non black bodies? Why has Kylie Jenner been compared to black women as a superior standard by those with black mothers? Our hair, lips, skin, etc are put on a white/non black person to be glorified unnecessarily.
White women as of lately are trending as an “evolving” race. “Evolving” into what exactly? Those that say, “Watch out black girls, white girls are evolving!”, are referring to the sudden revelation that white girls can dance to songs with instructions, or have big lips and butts now. They are putting black women as the standard, and essentially devaluing black women to only our bodies. They are saying that once white girls have our features, then we will no longer have any importance or relevance. I’ll end with this quote:
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”- Malcolm X
(Nzinga Muhammad is based in Rochester, NY. Follow her on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)
By: Salih Muhammad
History will absolve me – Commandante Fidel Castro
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote, “Of all of our studies, history is most guaranteed to reward our research.” History examines the patterns of human behavior and relationships, providing its student with a striking understanding of context. A cursory examination of Black history indicates that every great leader we have produced has been met with a litany of obstacles and controversies that impacts their ability to work on behalf of the people. Many of those whom we presently honor did not receive such honors while they were alive. Why?
With more than 60 years of dedication and unwavering commitment to the liberation of All Black People, Minister Farrakhan stands as one of our most consistent and successful leaders. Although he has received praise from global leaders such as Fidel Castro, Kwame Toure, former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings, and Yasser Arafat, Minister Farrakhan remains the central, most controversial figure in Black America. The hatred that is summoned at the sound of his name is rooted not in treacherous action, but the following myths that disguise the underlying truth that exposes them.
Some oppose Minister Farrakhan on the assumption that he, and the Nation of Islam are responsible for the assassination of Minister Malcolm X. However, in a January 22, 1969 memo, the FBI actually take credit for the assassination of Malcolm X through the Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO). COINTELPRO is the same program responsible for the death of Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, and countless other Black Leaders. Malcolm’s secretary, Ms. Sarah Mitchell stated the following in regards to the night before his assassination:
“He said now anyone could kill him and everyone would blame the Muslims … He said, ‘We’ve been set up, and they succeeded.’ Malcolm X planned to recant his criticism of Muhammad at the Harlem rally that afternoon, Mitchell said, but he was gunned down before he could do so. She disputes a widely held belief that angry Muslims were behind the assassination.”
Homophobia & Transantagonism
Although I acknowledge that the spiritual views of Minister Farrakhan & the NOI in regards to Queer & Transgender identities is rooted in Islamic beliefs that conflict, I believe that we can work toward Operational Unity with love at the root. On March 25, 2011, Min. Farrakhan stated, “I love my people who are lesbian, homosexual, transgender. Don’t make no difference, I love you.” The words are very clear and are supported by his actions. Not once, has the NOI or any NOI member committed physical violence upon our Black LGBT family; and we welcome opportunities to build and heal any unintended pain in unity. Furthermore, the love of all Black people is not a transaction; or a consequence of Queer & Trans contributions to our struggle; rather a deeply spiritual and pure love of all Black people.
Gwendolyn Rodgers, a National Black Justice Coalition Emerging Leader (a Black LGBT Advocacy organization) examines this unfortunate reality in this beautifully written article. Gwendolyn asks us to reevaluate our perceived differences and consider, “Can we not operate in our silos for a common cause of liberation? Or do we not want to be truly free?” Is it possible to create unity without uniformity? To listen through disagreement?
Misogyny, Misogynoir, and Black Women
What has been most interesting around the charges of misogyny, misogynoir, and sexism within the Nation of Islam has been the complete absence of the voices of NOI women on the subject. Kathleen Currin interviewed such women and found that “all the women interviewed expressed over and over again that they loved their experiences in the Nation of Islam, precisely because it taught them that they could accomplish what they wanted.” Professor Ula Taylor of UC Berkeley offers that “many women joined the ranks of the Nation of Islam because of the “problematic dynamics within the Black power movement.” In fact, every NOI Mosque is constitutionally mandated to have women in leadership, up to and including Mother Clara Muhammad’s active leadership of the NOI from 1942 to 1947. Similarly, a survey conducted by Dr. Bayinnah Jefferies found that 89% of respondents (both male and female) agreed that “women were always highly respected within the community” and “had comparable roles to men” in the NOI.
Minister Farrakhan’s prolific support of Black Women and girls for six decades has been unprecedented. Phrases like “The Black Woman is God,” or “A Nation can rise no higher than its Woman,” find their roots in NOI theology and Minister Farrakhan’s spiritual exegesis. In 1998, Minister Farrakhan made Dr. Ava Muhammad the first woman to lead a Mosque (Atlanta, GA) in the world. Today, Dr. Ava is his National Spokesperson, a role comparable to the one Malcolm X’s once held. Dr. Ava is a just one example of the type of empowerment, renewal, and upliftment that Black Women across the country experience from their relationship with Islam. Similarly, the Million Man March and Justice or Else gatherings featured legendary Black women, including Maya Angelou and Dorothy Heights.
Since the 1980’s, Minister Farrakhan has weathered the storm of being consistently and repeatedly called anti-Semitic. The accusation has been so intense that it has lead to Zionist protest with slurs such as “Who do we Want? Farrakhan! How do we want him? Dead!” The accusations have been so misleading that the white-led Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the NOI and Minister Farrakhan in the same grouping as the Ku Klux Klan, although the NOI has never been known to purvey violence. The KKK has a long record of murder and terrorism; the NOI has none. The truth of the matter is that the charge of anti-semitism has been used historically and presently to condemn those critical of Israel. Consider this August 14, 2002 interview between NPR’s Amy Goodman and former Israeli Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni:
Goodman: Often there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called “anti-semitic.” What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?
Aloni: Well, it’s a trick. We always use it.
Anti-semitism is vastly different from a political critique of Israeli imperialism.
Is Farrakhan still relevant?
Some may suggest that Minister Farrakhan no longer carries relevance, except the controversy that seems to follow him. Min. Farrakhan is responsible for hosting the four largest gatherings in Black History, most recently Justice or Else in October 2015, each averaging at least one million Black people. No other leader has been able to maintain such a strong appeal, especially in spite of a complete media absence in coverage before, during, or after the march. Or consider that under his leadership, the Nation of Islam maintains bases in more than 120 cities across America, and more globally. Countless artists, entertainers, politicians, and other renowned Black folks have embraced Minister Farrakhan publicly; and the Nation’s impact on Black social and political realities has remained consistent. Lastly, the Nation of Islam under Minister Farrakhan’s leadership is one of the only remaining strong, independent, Black Organizations we have.
The harsh reality is that too often our perception of Black leaders is shaped and influenced by white popular media, long standing assumptions, and a sheer lack of knowledge. The notion that he is no longer relevant is as unfounded as it is absurd. The reality is that corporate (read: white) sponsored media has intentionally excluded anything related to Min. Farrakhan, creating the false appearance that Minister Farrakhan is no longer relevant. How does Justice or Else happen and without one corporate (read: white) media entity covering it? The media’s opinion of the Minister can be found in a March 1999 New York Post–America’s 7th largest newspaper–cartoon depicting Minister Farrakhan’s decapitation.
One may not agree with every single thing that Minister Farrakhan says, but certainly 60 years of sacrifice for Black people deserves respect. To his example, we owe gratitude. I conclude with a remarkable reminder from Sister Assata Shakur: “The first thing the enemy tries to do is isolate revolutionaries from the masses of people, making us horrible and hideous monsters so that our people will hate us.”
(On January 14th, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will be speaking at this year’s Afrikan Black Coalition Conference. For more information see the flyer below and visit: http://afrikanblackcoalition.org/abc-conference/)
A few days ago, someone “Dmmed” me and others about their back and forth argument with Marc Jacobs on his Instagram page. They were upset with his use of majority white models in colorful locs at his show. Soon, his comments were spread all over social media. This is a classic appropriation that we see everyday, especially among the fashion world. But does it matter?
Culture is something that people have that expresses their uniqueness and identity as a group of people. In some cultures something could have sacred significance, used in traditional dances, has symbolic meaning, etc. Cultural appropriation is taking aspects of that culture for your own benefit. It’s even worse when people of that culture whose stuff you stole, are mistreated in various societies.
Culture is not “supposed to be shared”, although it can be with consent. When someone says that a culture must be shared, they’re saying that to make sure that whatever people of that culture have is available to them. Headdresses from Native American tribes, Afros, locs, saris, henna, etc., they all belong somewhere. They all mean something. You can be invited to look, maybe to even touch, but you cannot take what doesn’t belong to you just because it looks cool at Coachella or even down a runway. That goes for any race, any people outside of that culture.
Marc Jacobs in his argument mentioned “women of color who straighten their hair” as a defense for white models wearing locs. But it is not the same. There is a difference between assimilation and appropriation.
Women of color in general can have straight hair naturally. South Asian women, Native American women, East Asian women, and some black women can have straight hair naturally. There are Aboriginal people in Melanesia who even have blonde hair! It’s genetic.
Particularly black women straightening their hair is not appropriating “white culture”. Black women were and are forced into a society that says that our natural hair is wrong. Straightening hair is to assimilate, becoming part of society that doesn’t favor our hair. Natural hair is so revolutionary, in America and all over the world, that a natural hair movement had to take place. It’s so revolutionary that black girls in South Africa had to protest to wear their hair naturally in school. We can’t be African in South Africa now??
Locs and braids on black women are often banned in the workplace. There are actual laws against what grows naturally on our head, and how we style it.
In a world that doesn’t see our hair as beautiful enough, some straightened their hair. That’s not appropriation, that’s assimilation. You can’t take our hairstyles that we get fired for and claim that we are appropriating white culture by straightening our hair as a survival tactic in this white man’s world. It does not work like that.
It does matter Marc Jacobs has an article linked in his bio that says we shouldn’t talk about cultural appropriation because “black people are dying in the streets”. To debunk that I’ll say that racism comes in many ways. When you are killing people while taking parts for their culture that you penalize them for, that is insensitive, and yes racist. It’s so convenient to pull up black people dying only as an argument, and not as a general concern.
If you’re a fashion designer and you want a new style of creativity, that’s great, but that does not give a go ahead to appropriate someone’s culture. That shows you don’t really care about the people, you just want to capitalize off of what is deemed ugly on them.
We live in a world where our skin, hair, and culture is wanted, yet we as people are not. Black women are beautiful, even though we are mocked for it.
As The Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated in Our Saviour Has Arrived: “They try to destroy the beauty of Black and have just about done so. And they look at you and laugh. But,still, go out there today – right now- and you will see every color out there looking at the Black woman. They want her! She is the best walking in the Sun! “
(Follow Nzinga Muhammad on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)
The beauty, power and the achievements of Black women
LOS ANGELES—From tanning salons, to spray on tans, fake afros, and injections to make posteriors larger, women of other colors are breaking their backs and their banks to look like the Black woman. But at the same time, the Black woman remains degraded, mocked, insulted, and assaulted in American society. So why is everyone trying to emulate her?
It is because she is bold and beautiful. Part of her beauty are her contributions, accomplishments and power evidenced in her unwavering strength in the fight for justice and to uplift herself and her people.
“There is no question about Black women’s strength,” said Elaine Brown, a former Black Panther Party leader and author. “It’s not our role. It’s what we do as Black people, as women,” she told The Final Call. Black women have been stalwarts going as far back as Harriet Tubman and then forward with Fannie Lou Hamer and so many others, she said.
“We have and we have to be acknowledged in having the ability to really lead and put in work and those of us who are Black women who have been in this movement, we cannot allow the bourgeois, White model of roles to define us, because we—our men and our women—were equal partners or equally enslaved,” Ms. Brown argued.
Dr. Melina Abdullah, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, feels it is important to understand Black and African women as leaders and how applied gender roles in the United States are not indigenous to Black people.
The strength of Black women dates back to warriors like Yaa Asantewaa, Queen Nzinga, and others, who ensured African nations were liberated from colonialism, she said.
She highlighted women in anti-slavery struggles like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. She underscored movements that descended from that fight, like the anti-lynching movement with Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell and the civil rights movement with Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Septima Clark and others.
“God is at the root of the Black woman’s strength, in general, not just in terms of this movement,” said Dr. Ava Muhammad, an attorney, minister, and national spokesperson for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
“She’s the first creation of God. She is the mother of civilization, literally, as well as spiritually. All life on this planet—human life—comes through the womb of the Black woman, and that strength is emanating from her nearness to the Creator,” Dr. Muhammad explained.
As founder of the Girls Like Me Project, Inc., a Chicago-based not-for-profit that provides programming for inner-city girls of color, LaKeisha Gray-Sewell works to free Black girls from the grip of stereotypes and stigmas that silence them and strip away their power and sense of power.
The Girls Like Me Project will celebrate its fifth anniversary of Chicago Day of the Girl, which is a local commemoration of the United Nation’s International Day of the Girl, and its 4th Pampered Power Talks in honor of Women’s History Month celebrated in March. Power Talks connects grooming and wellness habits of girls 11-16 with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.
“Sixty percent of girls incarcerated in Cook County right now between 13-18 are in for a violent crime, crimes against people or property. As well, there’s a disproportionate number of girls being suspended and disciplined in school for things that if it was their White counterpart, there would be no infraction at all,” Ms. Gray-Sewell said.
She believes the music girls listen to and media images they are subjected to are factors in how they think and limit their ambitions.
“The good thing is there’s a consciousness raising where there are more of us ready to take our girls, sons, daughters, and our community back … What I think is the best news of all is our girls are also on the forefront of the liberation movement happening right now with Black Lives Matter and actions in Chicago, Minneapolis, Baltimore, and Boston,” added Ms. Gray-Sewell, who is also a proud mother and wife.
“We are the cradle of our households and our nation … All the gifts God gave us, all the ways he gave us to influence, we can use it all and not just one aspect of ourselves,” she said.
Originally Published in African American News & Issues
With the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, once again the plight of Black males in America has been brought back into attention.
People are right to protest when something is unjustly done, but what about when something like this happens to a Black woman or girl? Do people exert the same amount of outcry and mobilization when a woman encounters the same killing, brutality, and injustices that their male counterparts face?
Reality Check: Black women and girls are constantly expressing how they wish more people, especially men, would exhibit the same, if not more, thrust of outrage when they are victimized. They want to see the same amount of attention given in the streets, on social media, blogs, and talk shows to their plight.
Contrary to popular belief and misinformation, Black women and girls are not exempt from the same violent encounters with police, being railroaded by the criminal justice system or being outright shot down by outside White vigilantes or within their own communities. This is all coupled with being labeled as angry, the bombardment of distorted images in Hollywood and the overall assault against them.
Just ask the families of Renisha McBride, Rekia Boyd, Oriana Ferrell, Hadiya Pendleton, Miriam Carey, Marlene Pinnock, Marissa Alexander, Alesia Thomas and countless more we know and don’t know about.
White convicted murderer Ted Wafer shot the unarmed Ms. McBride in a Detroit suburb. He shot the 19-year-old woman in the face while on his front porch hours after she was involved in a nearby car accident and went seeking assistance.
While standing unarmed in a Chicago park, Ms. Boyd, 22, was shot in the head by a police officer. Although the firing officer claimed self-defense, the city of Chicago awarded the family a $4.5 million settlement.
Alleged gang members in Chicago shot Ms. Pendleton to death a week after she performed at the Presidential inauguration.
Arizona state troopers pursued Ms. Ferrell for a traffic violation. In a video that went viral online, the troopers could be seen bashing in her windows and even firing a show at her van while her children were strapped inside.
Ms. Carey was shot dead after leading Washington police on a car chase near the White House. The autopsy revealed that the 34-year-old woman was struck from behind by five bullets. The family is planning to sue the government.
Ms. Thomas was kicked seven times in the groin, abdomen and upper thigh during an arrest by a Los Angeles officer in which she ultimately died after going into cardiac arrest. The officer was charged with assault.
In Florida, Ms. Alexander could face 60 years in prison after firing a warning shot into a ceiling in hopes of stopping her abusive husband from another attack. Her conviction was overturned and she was granted a new trial. Her legal team filed for a Stand Your Ground hearing but was denied. Interestingly, reports have found that in Stand Your Ground states, White women are far more likely than Black women to be found justified and not even charged by prosecutors when using deadly force against a Black attacker.
Ms. Pinnock, a grandmother, feared for her life as California Highway Patrolman Daniel L. Andrew was caught on video beating her nearly to death on the side of a freeway. She has filed a civil rights lawsuit.
According to the study, “Black Women in the United States, 2014”, released this year by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Black Women’s Roundtable, “Black women are especially likely to be a victim of violence in America. In fact, no woman is more likely to be murdered in America today than a Black woman. No woman is more likely to be raped than a Black woman. And no woman is more likely to be beaten, either by a stranger or by someone she loves and trusts than a Black woman. Black women remain more likely than any other group of women in America today to go to prison.”
“As is the case across virtually every issue examined throughout this report, in many respects, it is as if Black women experience an entirely different America than that in which they share with their White counterparts,” wrote Dr. Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, who contributed to the study.
“That difference is rarely more stark, more jarring, or more potentially life-threatening than when it is ensnarled within the issues of violence against women and America’s on-going cultural and economic investment in the prison industrial complex,” he noted.
The report paints an even gloomier picture:
- Though overall homicide rates for Black women have decreased since 1980, Black women remain over 3 times more likely to become a victim of homicide than do White women.
- While Black men are far and away the most likely of all Americans to fall victim to homicide, among women, Black women’s homicide rate not only more than triples that of White women but also eclipses that of White men as well.
- Black women’s homicide rate so outpaces that of White women, that the current homicide rate of Black women still roughly doubles that of White women’s more than twenty years prior.
- Black women are more than twice as likely as White women to become a victim of violent crimes.
- Black women also face roughly twice the likelihood of White women of experiencing a robbery or aggravated assault. Even worse, Black women are nearly three times as likely as their White counterpart, to be a victim of simple assault.
- As it relates to the crime of rape, Black women are significantly more likely than White women to experience a rape or sexual assault at the hands of a stranger
- Although Black women have experienced declining incarceration rates since 2000, they remain overrepresented as part of the female inmate population. In 2010 in fact, Black women still experienced an incarceration rate 2.8 times that of White women.
- Just like Black men, Black women are leading in many other negative statistics in education, health, economics and unemployment.
According to a fact sheet, “Did You Know? The Plight of Black Women and Girls in America,” published by the African American Policy Forum:
- Black girls’ suspension and expulsion rates were higher than any other group of girls and higher than White and Hispanic boys.
- Black women have the highest rates of HIV among women, are more likely than non-Black women to die from breast cancer despite lower incidence overall, and face high rates of being uninsured even where employed.
- Black women ages 18-24 have the highest unemployment rate amongst women nationwide.
- The homicide rate among Black girls and women ages 10-24 was higher than for any other group of females. Black females 18-24 have the highest rate of unemployment nationwide.
- Black girls have higher incidence of emotional difficulties than other girls, including signs of depression. A survey found that 67% of Black girls indicated that they felt sad or hopeless for two or more weeks straight, compared to 31% of White girls and 40% of Latina girls.
- Black women earn only 64 cents per dollar earned by a White man, compared to 78 cents on the dollar earned by White women.
- Single Black women have the lowest net worth among all racial and gender groups, only $100 compared to $7,900 for single Black men, $41,500 for single White women, and $43,800 for single White men.
Black women and girl’s lives should matter more to the community and the greater society. However, the reality is the value of their lives is often diminished in the face of blatant institutional racist structures that leave their plight overlooked, underrepresented, and underreported. Their condition and cases are met with underserved silence from the tweets to the streets and this must change.
It starts with knowing their stories, knowing their names, speaking their stories, speaking their names, spreading their stories, and mobilize for them the same way it’s done for Black men and boys.
Black women and girl’s lives matter, but who really cares?