Save our girls

When I was in Chicago for the YearlyKos Convention, I took the bus to the convention site. On Thursday I took the bus and a young girl, no older than 11, boarded the bus. She had thick braids, an attitude, and pimples on her face. There were no places for her to sit so she had to stand. She was wearing a somewhat loose shirt but her black pants were very extremely tight and at the small of her back, her underwear bunched up so that you could see girly cartoon characters.

The symbolism was disturbing; a little girl’s stifled innocence fighting its way through the intense pressure to be a grown up.

To be sure, I am not suggesting that the girl on the bus was sexually promiscuous or unable to achieve her goals. I do think though we as a community are perhaps remiss in misappropriating statistics of sisters doing well in college and beyond and retroactively applying them to younger girls. However, success defined by socioeconomic measures alone is unable to capture the entrenched cultural factors that consistently diminish the sanctity of innocence which should be associated with childhood. And when I try to protect my nieces and cousins in my own family, I often find that I am unable to find the words to reach them. My frustration often leads to silence or super protective uncle. Ashley, Aja, Kyla, Tiffani, I love you and I hope one day you will understand that I am hard on you because you are my heart.

Moreover, I was reminded of the various campaigns to save our boys. I agree with the goals of these campaigns but perhaps we are doing so at the expense of saving our girls. And until brothers step up, sisters will continue to bear a disproportionate amount of responsibility for the community. As a result, too many sisters are robbed of their innocence.

Stay up sisters,

Brandon Q.

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2 responses to “Save our girls”

  1. Amber M says :

    Brandon Q.,

    Thank you, thank you.! I agree with your observation of the the diproportionate responsibility. There is a saying that a society can never be higher than it places its woman, and at this point in time, our evolutionary process as a whole has not only been stifled, but perhaps even reversed.

    There is a serious tendency to lean toward the spotlighting of the plight of our brothers, and rightly so, as you are our hearts as we are yours. At the same time, not only is the attention to the plight of sisters diverted, but there is a real sense of self-sacrifice present in sisters addressing their own struggles of survival in the jungle.

    I agree that the campaigns for saving our young boys is necessary, but we must address the issues with our young girls just as forcefully and avidly.

    Especially the tendency toward oversexed behavior. Trying to emulate that which is attractive at a very young age is a cry for approval, acceptance, and essentially love. All of which are foreign themes to the blossoming black woman, unless they are sought. Our natural state is not commonly presented as a form a beauty within mass media. Thus the cycle of perpetual alteration begins at an early age. Rejection of hair,skin, shape. And although the trends of beauty have opened up our understanding of the coveting of our pigment, lips, buttox/botox and snap-back waist, the images presented are but a caricature of our tru self; a play on reality.

    I could go on…and on. We haven’t even touched on the absence of fathers and the need for approval which arises, nor the damage done by sexual predators within the black community. But I will say this…the purity present within the maturing of untouched innocence into womanhood is priceless. It sets the foundation for the ability to walk/live in unconditional love for self and community. To change the course and propel the healing of African-Americans in this nation, we must begin with our women.

    Their should be no battle over which issue is more important or valuable. As I see it, the venue to subjectify yourself as a woman should not exist. (A male-dominated music video/porn industry) Neither should the thought or need to be there. (The state of our sisters.)

  2. Brandon Q. says :

    Thanks Amber,

    Your comment made me think about the scores of Black women bitter at the world due to the fact that they didn’t have a chance to be a child.

    As to the issue of focusing on boys, I think about the backlash of Oprah opening a school for girls (like she did in Africa) in cities across America. I can hear folks saying, “She needs to be opening up those schools for boys.”

    America is not unique for placing more emphasis on developing boys but Black folks should know better to get caught up in this foolishness. Grandmothers raising grandchildren, aunties loaning more money than the bank, sisters standing by brothers AFTER being hurt by Black men in the worst way.

    I just want to repeat your line when you said, “the purity present within the maturing of untouched innocence into womanhood is priceless.” I couldn’t agree more.

    Amber, let me ask you, how can Black men be better role models and developing healthy/supportive relationships with Black girls?

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