A Glimpse Into My Life

See it through my eyes & understand me a little more

Things Black Girls Do

Things Black Girls Do!

 The number one trending topic on Twitter (as of 11:00 am) has finally caught my attention. What’s “unique” about this trending topic is that it comes on the heels of BET’s airing its first “Black Girls Rock” recognition/awards show. It was really good, from what I could tell after watching 16 minutes of the Encore presentation and 3 YouTube videos. So! Imagine my excitement when I saw “Things Black Girls Do” trending on Twitter (in my defense, I follow some really conscious and positive people, so I saw the nice stuff first). Then came the complaints and then I saw the tweets that didn’t leave us in too positive of a light.

So I’m here to shed some light on what Black Girls Do, Have Done, and Will Continue To Do…because lots of folks are confused.

 Black Girls Start Movements

Meet Claudette Colvin. In 1955 Colvin was a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery. Colvin was returning from school on March 2, 1955 when she got on a Capital Heights bus downtown (at the same place Parks boarded another bus nine months later). Colvin’s family did own a car, but she relied on the city’s buses to get to school. When a white women got on the bus and was standing the bus driver ordered her along with two other black passengers to get up. She refused and was removed from the bus and arrested by two police officers. She refused to give up her seat and has been quoted as saying, “spirit of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth was in me. I didn’t get up.” Colvin was handcuffed, arrested and forcibly removed from the bus. She shouted that her constitutional rights were being violated. Although this case preceded Rosa Parks’ refusal by nine months, controversy surrounding Colvin’s image halted the NAACP from proceeding with the case. (Source; Source)

 Black Girls Carry Movements on Their Backs with Minimal Recognition

 Say “Hi!” to Elaine Brown. Elaine Brown (born March 2, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American prison activist, writer, and singer; she is a former chairperson of the Black Panther Party. Brown briefly ran for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2008. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a founder of Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice. In 1968, Brown joined the Black Panther Party as a rank-and-file member, studying revolutionary literature, selling Black Panther Party newspapers, and cleaning guns, among other tasks. Brown soon helped the Party set up its first Free Breakfast for Children program in Los Angeles, as well as the Party’s initial Free Busing to Prisons Program and Free Legal Aid Program. When Newton fled to Cuba in 1974 in the face of murder charges, he appointed Brown as his replacement. The first woman Chairman of the party, Elaine Brown was the Chairman of the Black Panther Party from 1974 until 1977. During Brown’s leadership of the Black Panther Party, she focused on electoral politics and community service. In 1977, she managed Lionel Wilson’s victorious campaign to become Oakland’s first black mayor. Also, Brown developed the Panther’s Liberation School, which was recognized by the state of California as a model school. Brown stepped down from Chairwoman of the Black Panther Party less than a year after Newton’s return from Cuba in 1977 when Newton condoned the beating of Regina Davis, the administrator of the Panther Liberation School. This incident was the point at which Brown could no longer tolerate the sexism and patriarchy of the Black Panther Party (A Taste of Power, p. 444). (Source)

Black Girls Beat the Odds

 Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely at 4.5 lbs., with 21 brothers and sisters, and caught infantile paralysis (caused by the polio virus) as a very young child. She recovered, but wore a brace on her left leg and foot which had become twisted as a result. By the time she was twelve years old, she had also survived scarlet fever, whooping-cough, chickenpox and measles. Her family drove her regularly from Clarksville, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee for treatments to straighten her twisted leg. In 1952, 12-year-old Wilma Rudolph finally achieved her dream of shedding her handicap and becoming like other children. By the time she was 16, she earned a berth on the U.S. Olympic track and field team and came home from the 1956 Melbourne Games with an Olympic bronze medal in the 4 x 100 meters relay. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome she won three Olympic titles; the 100 m, 200 m and the 4 x 100 m relay. Rudolph retired from track competition in 1962 at age 22 after winning two races at a U.S.–Soviet meet. (Source)

 Black Girls Win Spelling Bees

 Jody-Anne Maxwell from Kingston, Jamaica, was the winner of the 1998 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the age of 12. She was the first contestant from outside the United States and the first black student to win in the history of the competition. According to Ebony magazine, she was viewed as a celebrity on her return to Jamaica. Maxwell also attained significant fame in Jamaican communities within the United States. (Source)

 These are just a few things that we do. We also blog, own businesses, run networks, own sports teams, teach, and embody the spirit of social justice. We act, we sing, we direct, we dance. We are the wives of presidents and rulers. We are known the world over for our commitment to people.

 In a perfect world, when these kinds of topics come up, people would shy away from the stereotypes. Let’s all take steps toward this world by portraying accurate pictures of Black Girls.

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2 responses to “Things Black Girls Do

  1. CeAira November 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    You better preach!!!

  2. Andrea Edmonds November 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    My mother, Ruby Adele Thompson was the first African American to win a city-wide Spelling Bee sponsored by the Phila. Tribune.This occurred in the mid thirties, I don’t know the exact date. My mother attended Frankford High School in Phila. and graduated in 1938. Do you know where I can get this info. validated? I’m doing research on my maternal ancestors and would appreciate any help you can provide.
    Sincerely,
    Andrea Edmonds

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