Monday, September 28, 2009

Black Men, Women, Relationships

This month in Essence, there is an article called “Where Is the Love” about relationships between Black men and women.

Hill Harper, author of Letters to a Young Brother and Letters to a Young Sister, has just brought out a new book entitled The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships.

One point he makes is that single-sex conversations will not bring about progress – in other words, men and women need to talk to each other.

I would argue that single-sex conversations are important, and may feel like a safer place to start. But in the end, we are a complete race and brothas and sistas need to connect and communicate with each other.

I would argue further that it’s not just a matter of talking – it’s also about how we talk and listen to each other. When there are forums for men and women, there tends to be a lot of judging and blaming, a lot of accusations. We need to learn a new language for communication – the language of Nonviolent Communication.

We have learned toxic ways of relating to each other and we are paying the price with broken relationships.

Did you know that:

Only 38% of Black children live in two-parent homes.

In 1966, more than 84% of all African American children were raised in two-parent households. By 2006, that number was at just 31%, compared to

  • 80% of Asian American children and
  • 70% of white American children?

The article lays the blame for problems between Black men and women firmly at the feet of internalised racism, i.e. self-hatred. I couldn’t agree more.

For more about this, see The Key to Confidence.

Hill also argues that many Black women are looking for a man who is financially well-off. I’ve heard this so many times before. I think this is probably because many of us yearn for material security. But we need to learn to provide this security for ourselves, while still being open to a loving relationship.

Hill adds that most of us would not have dated Barack Obama.

I say: If we define a potential partner by his paycheck or bank balance, rather than the qualities he is bringing to the relationship, we are selling ourselves short.

This is about core values. Are you looking for someone with whom you feel secure, with whom you can share yourself and express yourself freely and openly?

Hill finishes by talking about authenticity. If you feel like you have to put on an act when you are with men, how are you going to be happy in a relationship?

My work is about solutions – building happy, healthy relationships, families and communities. Check out my communications course October 10th-11th.

See also: This article about empathy.

I'm on the Radio Friday 2nd October

I will be on Loretta N. Green's radio show this coming Friday, 2nd of October. I hope you will join us. Click here to listen to the show. The phone-in number is 001 (347) 838-9818 or you can join us in the chatroom.

I will also be on Diana Broomfield's show again on Saturday 17th October. Click here to listen in.

On my previous visit to Diana's show, we had a very lively and spirited discussion. We spoke about President Obama, affirmative action and lots more. Click here to listen to the recording of that show.

See also, Superior African Weapons.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Superior African Weapons

In my recent radio interview with Diana Broomfield, I talked about a book, Of Water and the Spirit, by Malidoma Patrice Some.

Click here to hear the interview

Malidoma talks about his amazing journey. Having been raised by his grandfather, a powerful shaman, he was kidnapped at age six and sent to a seminary. As an adult, he had to reclaim his culture and language.

Malidoma tells of his grandfather's remarkable powers: a small plot of land was able to feed the entire village, with food to spare. And a weapon which was traditional to his family made them virtually invincible.

However, the most powerful weapon is the mind. Only by using our minds can we achieve our full potential.

I strongly recommend Of Water and the Spirit.

Click here for more personal development books

Monday, September 14, 2009

Listening to the President

I saw this excellent blog post today, A Different Type of Double Standard.

Do people even listen to what the President is saying? Or do they just see a Black face and turn off (literally turn off their TVs)?

I mean, first of all, they accused him of having a "political agenda". How do you get to the White House without having a "political agenda"?

I read so much nonsense about President Obama these days. I am at a loss sometimes about what to say - there is so much stupidity about.

People seem to be coming from fear, prejudice (pre-judging) and ignorance, without even listening to what the man says.

Pay attention, people. He is talking about values, things we all care about, things that can help us all to improve our lives and give them meaning. Things like education, taking responsibility, contributing to the common good. Pay attention. But if you are reading this blog, I assume you already do.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Now We Can Join the BNP!

Today, Black people in the UK have achieved a great victory against racial discrimination. Now we can join the extreme right-wing British National Party. They are no longer allowed to bar any British person from membership on the grounds of racial or cultural background, or country of origin.

On The Wright Stuff this morning, Matthew Wright suggested we should all join the party and, once we are members, change the manifesto. If you get there before me, please save me a place in the queue.