So often we are faced with the question of images regarding African Americans in the media, Black women in particular. I know it has become a big concern of mine not only as it pertains to the world view of Black women (and men), but more so how my daughter and other Black girls are affected by the images they see.
Some take the position that Black women should not be held to a higher standard than White women. That white women argue, shout, fight and act a fool. That other women are allowed to be sexual, fun and free, so why can’t Black women?
I actually don’t disagree with those arguments. My concern is this; for every image we see of white women fighting, screaming or carrying on, there are at least ten images that portray them as thoughtful, intelligent and drama free. For every image of White women shaking and showing their stuff, there are a multitude of images that show dignity, grace and often times an even pristine-like character. Essentially, there is a balance. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can say the same about Black women in media. In fact, I would say for every so called “positive” image we might see of Black women, we might see 8 images that might be considered “negative”.
Fortunately, we do have the option to choose.
A few weeks ago I watched as Octavia Butler won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help. A character that showed dignity, fortitude and courage during a time when collectively we had less. Weeks later I saw the beneficiaries of women like those portrayed in that film.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to see a screening of a documentary entitled, For Our Daughters. It is a 2 1/2-hour film that is unapologetic-ally made for Black girls and women. It is a collection of interviews with an assortment of Black women and girls, who share invaluable truths of growing up Black and Female in an often-times racist and sexist society. It is a refreshing educational tool for Black girls and an inspirational one for Black women.
Black women, we need to support this film, particularly if you have a Black girl or a young woman in your life or if you have the desire to see a broader representation of us.
The For Our Daughters documentary is available for $19.95. By ordering through this link*, $5 will be donated to The National Council of Negro Women… the house that Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Height built.
For more information, contact: info (at) 4ourdaughters [DOT] com