Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

Rio 2016 - The Two Simones Acheive Olympic Gold!

Simone Manuel, USA - Swimming - Tied for Women's 100m freestyle

Simone Manuel managed to make history and break a record, all in less than a minute.

Simone Biles, USA - Gymnastics - Women's All-Around

Simone Biles Soars, Lifting Another Country with Her

Monday, May 2, 2016

Kenneth Bae Thanks Dennis Rodman

Controversial figure Dennis Rodman did a good thing by giving peace a chance with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  CNN has just released an interview with American, Kenneth Bae who had been sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea, accused and convicted in 2013 of plans to overthrow the  government.  Kenneth Bae maintains he had been in North Korea performing Christian mission work when he was arrested.  He and another American  were released on November 8, 2014.  Kenneth Bae credits Dennis Rodman's angry rant questioning his innocence as a catalyst to his release.  Dennis Rodman apologized to the Bae family shortly after his outburst and says he only wanted to promote peace between nations.  Here is the interview with Kenneth Bae. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Intersectionality - Do I Owe Loyalty to My Race or To Other Women?

As a black woman in a free, racially diverse society such as the USA you will be faced at least a few times in your life where you feel pressured to choose between standing by your black  "brothers" or standing with your white female counterparts against male chauvinism. It can be extremely uncomfortable for you and there is no right answer. Intersectionality is a fact of life for most African-American women. She must learn to calmly and gracefully maneuver situations on a case-by-case basis. The fact of the matter is that women of color are most often "claimed" by the equality causes, viewed as supporters of the larger causes - whether they be racial or gender-based - and it is implied that "they will get their turn once the larger issues are taken care of". It is very important that you not feel pressured to choose and you do not "owe" your loyalty to anyone but to your own intuition. From Wikipedia:

"Intersectionality (or intersectional theory) is a term first coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, KimberlĂ© Williams Crenshaw. It is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination."

Two of the biggest cases in the United States which likely brought many Black women face-to-face with the issue of their own intersectionality were the murder trial of OJ Simpson and The Clarence Thomas hearings. We can also add to that the more recent blow up of the rape allegations against Bill Cosby.

You might run into everyday situations that pull at your loyalties. One Twist Out Girl reader told us:
I was having a drink out one night with two of my closest girlfriends who happen to be white.  We were busy talking and laughing so I had not noticed a brother who had been staring at me for several minutes from another table.  One of my friends mentioned it to me and said, "Gosh that man can't keep his eyes off of you!"
When it was time to leave, we paid our bill and walked outside headed  towards the parking lot.  Suddenly a voice came from behind us, "Excuse me."  We turned around and it was him.  He was a nice looking guy, wearing a business suit, of average height; if I weren't already dating someone I might have given him a chance. He continued, "Can I speak to you in private?"
Before I could even respond, one of my friends went into "attack mode", almost like he was infringing on her property.  I know she felt she was doing it to protect me but I thought it was a bit overboard when she said to him "She doesn't go anywhere without us!"
I could see he was annoyed by her but he continued, "Um, can I have your number?  I'd like to take you out." Whether my feelings were right or wrong I don't know.  All I felt was that I didn't want to dis a brother, especially in front of white people; but I didn't want my girlfriend to feel that I didn't appreciate her well-intentioned attempt to protect me as another woman.  I was also flattered that he risked humiliation in front of my friends and I admired that he remained composed even after the earlier exchange. 
I handled the situation by thanking him for his invitation and asking him a few questions about himself. We chatted for a few minutes. He was an IT Engineer, worked in Silicone Valley.  I told him he could give me his number and maybe I would call (I knew that I wouldn't). He said, "Please do." and he left, I believe, with his male ego still intact.
Intersectionality is not only based on issues of race verses gender.  Intersectionality (or intersectional theory) is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.

Have you ever had an experience with intersectionality? Tell us! How would you have handled the situation described here?  Post your comments below and share this post with your friends.

Search Suggestion:  intersectionality black women

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hair Weave and Self Esteem

Please view the entire discussion. Men have a point of view on the weave fashion.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Black Women are Now Number One in Opening New Businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of the United States economy.  According to the June 2015 issue of Fortune Magazine, the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America is Black women. With the social media generation it is easier than ever to start a small business and compete on a more level playing field with big corporations. Running your own small business gives you pride, independence and self-esteem.  Opening a business however, is only half the battle towards economic freedom. Maintaining your business afloat and sticking it out for the long haul is the next part. Many of today's successful businesses barely broke even their first year or two. It is very common for new business owners to get discouraged and give up too quickly.  You may have friends and family around you who are unsupportive or jealous.  Perhaps you are not up to speed on the latest computer programs.  Maybe you need a small loan to get the ball rolling.  You may be trying to run your business on the side while juggling a steady full-time job and family obligations.  You may be receiving government assistance and need to hide your new income in order to not lose certain benefits until you are able to grow your business enough to live on. Perhaps you have encountered unreliable business partners or vendors. All of these challenges may slow you down.

Some suggestions:
  • Do not be afraid of failure. Trial and error is a learning technique.
  • When starting out, do not invest large sums of money. Start small and grow from there. This ties in with the previous suggestion. Expect that you will learn from your mistakes but do not risk what you cannot afford to lose. Avoid debt.
  • Don't spend precious energy trying to get approval and support from friends and family.  They may just not understand what you are trying to achieve and don't want to see you get hurt. Others may be jealous or uncomfortable with you changing your life because they are not happy with their own situation.
  • View your obstacles as exciting challenges rather than as roadblocks. As the old saying goes, "There is more than one way to skin a cat."
  • Slice up your goals into smaller tasks so that they do not become overwhelming.  This is your business plan and it helps to write it down from the final goal backwards.
  • Maintain your health. This may not seem relevant but eating healthy, getting regular checkups at the doctor, trying to walk more and keeping your weight under control help you keep up the mental and physical energy you need to get things done.
  • Get inspired by other entrepreneurial women for example one Houston woman who saw a need in her community and went for it, now running her own successful Nail Salon the Stay Ready Studio.
Take advantage of  free or low-cost resources available to you. These will help you stay encouraged and find camaraderie with others who are in similar situations to yours. Check back soon. The list below will be growing.

The Build Institute, Detroit, MI

If you are an artist or crafter:  Open your own Etsy Shop