Posts Tagged ‘College speaker’

The Complex Single Black Woman

Friday, July 13th, 2012

modern womanI think we can all agree that we’ve heard enough speculation than we can take about why Black women are supposedly not marriage material or are somehow unable to “keep a man”.

How about if we stopped to consider that the single black woman is more complex than the unkind stereotype of some overweight, finger snapping, angry and ignorant woman who walks around looking for someone to just “say something” so she can give him or her a piece of her mind.

Having been part of this ever increasing demographic, I can recall being a much younger single black woman terrified that I was destined to be alone because along with the stereotype of the single Black woman, comes the stereotype of the lazy, angry and dangerous Black man who will inevitably become someone’s baby daddy or a court appointed legal defender’s client. If these were the option, why bother?

To cut a long story short, I realized that just as sure as I did not fit the stereotype of the unpleasant Black woman we can all clearly imagine, it stood to reason that there were also Black men “out there” who did not fit theirs. I was right (*smiling).

There are four basic types of Singe Black Women:

  1. I desperately want a man
  2. I want a man and when the time is right, I will meet him
  3. I want a man but I say I don’t want one because I’m not sure if I can “get” and “keep” one
  4. I don’t want a man

Let’s explore these women a little bit.

I desperately want a man

If you’ve never seen this woman, you’ll know her when you see her! She “looks” desperate. Her tactics may vary but they all scream of desperation. Sometimes she will be the woman you see who seems to have forgotten that her breasts belong inside her blouse instead of the outside or that when you bend over, your skirt is not supposed to be so short that we can see all the stretch marks on the bottom of her buttocks. Sometimes she is that girlfriend who just can’t enjoy going dancing with her female friends and that be the only purpose of the outing; instead, going dancing is actually going hunting-for men.

Sadly, this women is a damaged soul who needs to learn to love herself but has somehow convinced herself that if she finds “the right guy” he will heal her of her many wounds. He won’t.

I want a man and when the time is right, I will meet him

Some women know what they want and also believe that they are worthy of having it. These women recognize that relationships require a level of maturity and a willingness to grow, in order to not only survive, but to also thrive.

This is the woman who will invest in her personal development and growth so that when “Mr. Right” comes knocking, she will be the “Ms. Right” that he has also been looking for.

I want a man but I say I don’t want one because I’m not sure if I can “get” and “keep” one

Many women who claim to not want a man are actually women who want a man but have had and seen too many unsuccessful and dysfunctional relationships to ever dare to hope that they may end up in a healthy, happy and functional one, themselves. Instead of continuing to hope and keep facing disappointment after disappointment, they will just proclaim “I can do bad all by myself”. This would be okay if it were true. First of all, if a woman is going to be by herself, why would she want to “do bad”? Second of all, why are her feelings about men so negative?

These women are like the friend or co-worker who passionately proclaims, “I don’t care” when everyone can see that she clearly cares or she would not be so emotional.

These women would do well to start healing the wounds that are causing their negative reactions to the thought of being in a meaningful relationship. Your life is as you confess it and if you say “I can do bad all by myself”…you will.

I don’t want a man

There are women who have had some successful relationships with men and have also experienced some disappointing and hurtful ones. They recognize that relationships require a lot of commitment and hard work. They decide that they would rather not make the investment and would rather enjoy life flying solo.

These women are extremely rare, but you’ll know then when you see them. They are typically joy-filled women that you can enjoy being around without having to listen to an angry rant about the many evils of “Brothers”. These women have a full life and enjoy spending time with friends and family or serving their communities or maybe just being alone tending to a beautiful flower garden.

Ladies, are you courageous enough to acknowledge which woman you are? If so, please share where you are and if you want to stay there.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.

Originally posted at Black Blue Dog

Nomalanga: Are Black Men disabled?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Today, I received a message from a man who described himself as “a disabled black man”. He asked me a very important question in response to some of my posts that talk about what black men want or what black women want. For the purpose of this post, I will call him “G”.

G: what about black men

Me: What about them, G?

G: You wrote about what black women want – well as a black disabled male, I know they do not want disabled males

Because I do not personally know G, I had to assume that he was physically or mentally challenged and that is what he was referring to as “disabled”. This got me thinking; we all have some form of “disability” and “black men” are no different. In addition to that, I believe that black men have a collective “disability” that is unique to them. Through no choice of their own, they have been built into many people’s minds as a threat and every day, they have to overcome that “disability”. The Trayvon Martin case has reminded us that black men and boys can even be brutally killed because of this “disability”.

Here is how I responded to “G”:

I hear you [G]. I think it is important to re-define how people perceive who you call “black disabled males”. Being “black” or “disabled” or “male” are all secondary to being a human being. We all want to love and be loved and all the descriptions come after.

What we all want is for people to see us for who we are; not for what we can be described as. On a personal note, I have spent A LOT of time investing in my personal development and the people who genuinely love and appreciate me do so because of who I am and not what I can be described as.

We are all differently abled and there will always be people who can see past our “disability” and focus on what we are able to do. There is no one on this earth that is still alive that does not have some ability-the fact that we are here is a testament to the fact that we have ability and our own unique ability is our contribution to this life as long as we are alive.

Have a great day, [G]!

Here is the bottom line: The people in this country and the world, at large, are going to have to find a way to see people for who they are (human beings) before they see their “blackness” or any other “ness” that can describe them. We have to start seeing people without using a lense of racism or any other “ism” that we can come up with.

Do the right thing!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A student just came rushing to my office and handed me an assignment (part of a final project) which he thought was due today. I gave the assignment and set the deadline as today but I did not take the assignment in. The purpose of doing this is so that the students do their work in increments rather than leave it all until the last minute and hand in sloppy work.

As the student handed me the assignment, I informed him that he was not required to hand it in. I could see the frustration in his face as he asked me why I had told them it was due today. I replied, “So that you would have it done by today.” I then asked him an obvious question; “Did you do it?” “Yes”,  he replied. To which I responded; “Then we have met our objective.”
Even as the student walked away, I could tell he was still disgruntled that he had spent time doing his school work under the impression that it was due to be handed in and then found out that it was not going to be handed in. Just as I thought he had left, he reappeared and asked me to give him feed-back and I told him that I was happy to but not at the present moment. I encouraged him to come to my office during “office hours” and I let him know I would be happy to assist him. He was still clearly disgruntled as he walked away from my office.

The reason why I am sharing this experience is that I have noticed that a lot of students don’t really come to college to learn. They seem to come to college as a means to an end and in my observation, while most of them are here, they do almost everything that they can to avoid learning!

The student that I just described did the assignment as part of his learning process but did not assign any value to the learning. Instead, he was frustrated that he had done the assignment “for nothing”. This is what I take issue with. It seems that college has become a means to an end and learning has become an “inconvenience” along the way. I genuinely believe that this line of thinking is not much different from people who serve others only because they expect something in return or so as to “be seen” serving which will improve their public image.

I’m glad this student came by my office because he made me think about a very important lesson that I leaned a long time ago: Do the right things for the right reasons.

It’s quite possible to do the “right thing” (like philanthropy) and still be wrong because we are doing the right thing for the wrong reason (like boosting public image). It is also possible to do the “wrong thing” (like say “no” to someone you care about) but have good intention (like preserving your time and energy for more important tasks).

The best students that I have come across are the ones who come to college to learn, gather information and improve their skills so that they can reach their career goals and make a positive impact in their communities. These students are the ones who are doing the right thing (getting an education) for the right reasons (improving their lives and those of other people).

The next time you have a task in from of you; ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing and if you’re doing it for the right reason. Failing which, if you’re going to do something that may be perceived as the “wrong” thing; do it for the right reason!

The Unmarried, Single, Pregnant Gospel Singer: What This Says about Black Women and Safe Sex

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Le’Andria Johnson, the winner of BET’s “Sunday Best” Gospel singing competition, recently revealed that she is unmarried and pregnant. Does this invalidate her status as a role model or has it become par for the course among African American women?

In the video below, Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks with YBW contributor Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses about the status of black women, safe sex and appropriate role model.
Source

The Trayvon Martin case: We have work to do

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Ever since I heard about Trayvon Martin, the teenage boy who was brutally murdered by an over- zealous neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I was so emotionally impacted by the murder. I’ve realized that it means so much to me because a little over three years ago, I gave birth to the most adorable baby boy that I have ever known, my son.

Ever since the birth of my son, who is my second child, I have had to think about something that I never really used to give much consideration. I have had to think about what it means to grow up as a black boy in America. My husband, who was born and raised in America (I was born and raised in Botswana), has shared many stories of how he has experienced being assumed to be “dumb” in school, mainly because he was black and some stories about how he was assumed to be the aggressor in any conflict, again because he was Black. In spite of him having shared his experiences with me, the fact that he is now a grown man who has made tremendous advances in his career and his life goals, made his stories a little less real to me or at least not something that I had a great deal of concern about.

When I heard about Trayvon Martin, I had a moment where I wept uncontrollably and I realize that what has changed about me is that I am now a mother-I am Trayvon’s mother. My Trayvon is still only three years old and he goes by a different name that his father and I gave him but he is a sweet boy who we love very much and he does not deserve to be shot to death.

Read the rest here.


Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses is a wife, mother, professional speaker and an Assistant Professor of Professional Studies. For more information about Nomalanga’s programs, please click here.

Mindful Mornings: Choose what you want

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

I’m so excited about life! Not for any specific reason. I woke up about three hours ago and have been intentional about thinking good [God] things (sowing) and as the day goes(time), I am aware of how Good I feel (reaping). Imagine how good your life can be and feel if you were intentional about every thought that you allowed and every word that you spoke. Imagine if you could choose only what you want to think and what you want to say and could discard the rest! Well…you can. I’m choosing Good things-what about you?

You don’t deserve it…YET!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Have you ever worked really hard at accomplishing something or prayed really hard and had your mother, aunties and the whole church praying for you and still, NOTHING happened that you were working towards or hoping and praying for?
I was just reflecting this morning and I realized that some of the things that I “have” today, require a great amount of maturity, strength and faith to either have or to endure. If I had, for example, gotten married any sooner than I had, the marriage probably would have failed. It was not until I had learned some important lessons about me and about life and [God], that I got married and I’m so grateful that my prayers were not answered any sooner! Some of the lessons, I have had to learn along the way but I’m so grateful that I had the right foundation.

Marriage is just one example, but even in the last year or so, I have faced some very challenging circumstances and I realize that if I had faced them any sooner in my life, I probably would have crumbled. I’m saying all this to say this: If you’re not getting what you think you deserve or what you want, don’t look at it as something being withheld from you. Look at it as an opportunity to continue to prepare because if it is for you, it is for you! The only “thing” between you and what you want and or deserve is time. Consider that maybe you’re just not ready or you’re not adequately prepared.
I have such a wonderful life that if it were not mine, I would probably envy it! I’m not just bragging, but instead, I’m saying that to make this point: Getting what you want is the easy part; (even if it seems difficult), it’s maintaining what you have, whether its joy, a great job, a great marriage etc., which require the strength, wisdom, fortitude and faith that you may still be in the process of building and acquiring.

Imagine if you got your dream job and then a few days into it, you realized you were completely incompetent! Or, you married your dream man (or woman) and then realized that you were so broken that you were destroying the relationship, along with your spouse and yourself! The alternative is this, you may not get what you want when you want it but in the meantime, you cultivate, in yourself, the skills, wisdom and strength and whatever else it takes to handle “it” when you finally get “it”.
What I’m ultimately saying, my friends, can be summed up in three points:

1. If you feel that you have done everything you need to do to get what you want and have still not gotten it, you probably haven’t done EVERYTHING that needs to be done. Maybe you still have some growing to do…
2. Take time to appreciate where you are and what you have NOW. Total and complete acceptance of who you are, where you are and what your circumstances are is often the bridge that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.
3. If you want something, don’t ever give up. My life is a testimony to that! Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you should or should not want or have. You deserve every good thing that comes into your life and if you don’t get it, it may just not be the right time…YET. Again, don’t EVER give up!

Be well my friends and remember, sharing is sexy! Tweet or share this post on Facebook if you agree that sharing is sexy!

Viola Davis Won!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Viola Davis was nominated for an Oscar and she did not win, this year. Last week, before the Oscars, I watched the interview below and realized that even before she knew whether or not she won the Oscar, she had already won. I had the same experience at Mrs World.

There is a point in every woman’s life when she realizes the truth about who she is and from that moment, she is a winner.


Black women heavier and happier with their bodies than white women

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

According to the Post-Kaiser poll, which offers the most extensive and nuanced look at the lives of black women in decades, 28 percent of black women say that being physically attractive is “very important,” compared with 11 percent of white women. White women were more likely than black women to say being attractive was “somewhat important.”

For African American women, that desire often gets defined in ways the mainstream culture doesn’t recognize.

Princeton professor Imani Perry teaches interdisciplinary classes in African American studies and notes black women have conceptions of beauty that are “not just tied to the accident of how you look as a consequence of your genes.” They include style, grooming, how you present and carry yourself, and “how you put yourself together, which I think generally speaks to the fact that we have a much broader and deeper conception of beauty.”

Gibson’s mission is to get women to embrace their size but to work toward being fit. She preaches acceptance but says white fitness professionals often seem almost resentful of her confidence.

“If I were this plump, meek person doing the same thing I do, I think they would embrace me.”

Her rule: “Do you,” Gibson says, “and be okay with me being me. I can never be mad at this thin person. I say, ‘You’re sexy, you’ve got it going on. But don’t think for one minute that I don’t feel the same about myself.’ ”

Read the story here from Washington Post.

Mindful Mornings: Self Esteem

Monday, February 27th, 2012

If the price of being “liked” or, so called, loved is compromising your values and sense of self-respect, then it is better NOT to be liked.

Your opinion of yourself is way more important than the opinion(s) that other people have of you. If you understand this, you’re SOLID.