Day: April 11, 2013
Gilbert K. Chesterton
1 Samuel 17:34-37
New International Version (NIV)
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
The penny was ment to deface Ahbraham Lincoln, you know its semetry is directly related to his belief of freeing the men of color. It speaks volumes about what they thought of such a great man. The penny has been called the most despised unit of US currancy. many people will not bother to pick up one-cent if they see it lying on the ground. But some charities are finding that pennies add up to significant sums and that children are generous givers. As one participant said, "Small contributions can make a hugh difference."
The Bible accounts of David and Goliath describes a seemingly insignifigant person whose confidence in God was greater than any of the powerful people around him. When David volunteered to face the giant Goliath, King Saul said, "You are not able to go against this philistine". But David had faith in the Lord who delivered him in the past.
David did not suffer from "the penny syndrome"–a sense of Inferiority and helplessness in the face of an overwhelming problem. If he had listened to the pessimism of Saul or the threats of Goliath, he would have done nothing. Instead, he acted with courage because he trusted God.
It's easy to feel like a penny in a trillion-dollar deficit. But when we obey the Lord in every circumstance, it all adds up. Collectively, our acts of faith, large or small, make a big difference. And every penny counts.
In matters not how large or small
Your faith may seem to be;
What really counts is whom you trust
In life's uncertainty.
Courage will follow when faith takes the lead….
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. ( Matthew 10:27)
Our darkness my be different in contrast to the text spoken. You may be on house arrest, on a bed of affliction at home, you may be in a physical jail of darkness of the mind, your actions may be practicing dark behavior, but its a dark place for God to whisper “The Good News” of hope to your situation. O’ what a joy to know I am His and no matter what condition I am in He wants to love me.
Our Lord is constantly taking us into the dark in order to tell us something. It may be the darkness of lonely and desolate life, in which some illness has cut us off from the light and activity of life; or the darkness of some crushing sorrow and disappointment.
It is there I have found that He tells us His secrets–great and wonderful, eternal and infinite. He causes our eyes, blinded by the glare of things on earth, to behold the heavenly constellations. And our ears suddenly detect even the whisper of His voice, which has been so often drowned out by the turmoil of earth’s loud cries and demands.
Yet these revelations always come with a corresponding responsibility: ” What I tell you…speak in the daylight…proclaim from the roofs.” We are not to linger in the darkness or stay in the closet. Soon we will be summoned to take our position in the turmoil and the storms of life. And when that moment comes, we are to speak and proclaim what we have learned. I have found unrestrained worship in this dark place I am at current. Fresh Oil is my roof while in this place where He whispers nightly and daily to my wife and I. The freedom to worship God is refreshing. All I want to do is be educated by Him on what I am going to be used to proclaim in this filthy world.
This moment gives new meaning to my wife and I on suffering, the saddest part of which is often the apparent feeling of usefulness it causes. We tend to think, “How useless I am! What am I doing that is making a difference for others? Why is the ‘expensive perfume” of my soul being wasted?” These are the desperate cries of the sufferer, but God has a purpose in all of it. We have abandoned all we evr knew about being in control of our life while suffering, we been captured by a love we cannot explain and we will never be the same. God has taken us as He will you to a higher level of fellowship so you may hear Him speaking “face to face, as a man speaks with his friend”, and then deliver the message to those at the foot of the mountain. Were the forty days Moses spent on the mountain wasted? What about the time Elijah spent at Mount Horeb or the years Paul spent in Arabia?
There is no shortcut to a life of faith, which is an absolute necessity for a holy and victorious life. We must have periods of lonely meditation and fellowship with God. Our souls must have times of fellowship with Him on the mountain and experience valleys of quiet rest in the stars, when darkness has covered the things of earth, silenced the noise of human life and expanded our view, revealing the infinite and eternal. All these are as absolutely essential as food is for our bodies.
In this way alone can the sense of God’s presence become the unwavering possession of our souls, enabling us to continually say, as the psalmist once wrote, “You are near, O Lord” ( Psalms 119:151). I have had to do real confinement for 7 months in a pit in Lybia, I have had to do 5 years in a confined prison cell where the shower came to me. I have been in coma for seven months and when I came out of it I had to learn to speak and walk and eat and use my body again. I was dealing drugs for 8 years from state to state poisoning my people and His people, I used drugs and women as a dual addiction for 9 years one of them I married and now through her God is speaking to me again as He did all those time. He heard my cries then because I was saved at the ripe age of 6 years old, I played the drums and ushered, I was raised in a household of two religions, Islam and Church of God and Christ. I was blessed to recieve these storms early in my life for they prepared me to handle the pressures I have had to handle. I speak from experience about God’s goodness to you, I thirst and I am suffering for something I didn’t do. My wife and I took jobs and they turned out to be scams, and for that we as felon’s from as long as six years ago were convicted to this time of destitution and loneliness. We are unable to corporately worship, but we worship any way. Please don’t let what the natural say to you be the end of the converasation with this harrasing enemy, let resolve and faith comfort you into standing on God’s promises. Stay humble in His presence and listen with expectation, cry “ABBA” Father when you need strength to complete the task He entrusted you with.
Live a poured out and broken life as to get the fullness of Him who is working things out for you right now. It’s working in Jesus name!!!!!!! Amen……
The UNCF/Merck Science Initiative, a partnership of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, and Merck, a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well, today announced that it would award scholarships and fellowships to 37 African American students of biological science and engineering. In addition to building a pipeline of African American college students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative (UMSI) works to leverage the UNCF-Merck partnership and the talent of UNCF Merck Fellows to help support the pipeline of minority students by engaging and attracting them to STEM subjects as early as elementary school.
UMSI aims to increase the number of African American undergraduates studying in STEM disciplines. American undergraduate students tend to select natural science and engineering (NS&E) disciplines as their primary field of study at considerably lower rates than their counterparts in other countries, according to the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2012. According to the most recent data, only 16 percent of U.S. undergraduates graduate with an NS&E degree, compared to 24 percent of undergraduates in the European Union, 44 percent in China, and 37 percent in South Korea.
The same trend is reflected among students studying STEM as graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. 33 percent of all U.S. STEM doctoral students in U.S. universities, and 43 percent of the U.S.’s postdoctoral researchers in science, engineering, and health are foreign students.
Freeman Hrabowski was a 9th grader in Birmingham, Alabama, when he heard a dynamic, impassioned speaker at church — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time, King was organizing a march for children, and Hrabowski begged his parents to let him be a part of it.
[ted_talkteaser id=1710]Hrabowski won their blessing to march in the Children’s Crusade, a pivotal moment in the American Civil Rights Movement in 1963. He was taken to jail for participating, even though he was just 12-years-old. In today’s talk, Hrabowski shares the words that King said to him and the others inside the jailhouse: “What you children do this day will have an impact on children who have not been born.”
Today, Hrabowski is the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a college that serves students of all backgrounds and that is known for supporting students of color in two…
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We can say “Peace on Earth.” We can sing about it, preach about it or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be. -Betty Shabazz
All great achievements require time. -Maya Angelou
Some subjects are so complex, so unyielding of facile insight, that it will not do to think about them in the ordinary way. Black women, their lot and their future-is for me such a subject. Thus, the new crop of literature concerning women – attuned to the peculiar relationship between white women and white men in America – has inspired me much, but less than the poetry of the great black poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, who writes for me and about me. Take, for example Miss Brooks’ poem, “Sadie and Maude,” * a sad ballad that in a few stanzas touches in some intimate respect all of us who are black women:
Maude went to college.
Sadie stayed at home.
Sadie scraped life
With a fine-tooth comb.
She didn’t leave a tangle in.
Her comb found every strand.
Sadie was one of the livingest chits
In all the land.
Sadie bore two babies
Under her maiden name.
Maude and Ma and Papa
Nearly died of shame.
When Sadie said last so-long
Her girls struck out from home.
(Sadie had left as heritage
Her fine-tooth comb.)
Maude, who went to college,
Is a thin brown mouse.
She is living all alone
In this old house.
*Gwendolyn Brooks, Selected Poems, Harper & Row, N.Y. 1963
Sadie and Maude are blood sisters, each in her own way living the unrequited life of the black woman. Sadie has two children out wedlock, but the Sadies of this world also include black women who have been married but have lost their husbands in America’s wars against the black family. Maude “went to college” – or wherever black women have gone over the years to escape the perils of living the nearly predestined half-life of the black woman in this country. Maude, the “thin brown mouse” lives alone rather than incur Sadie’s risks or risk Sadie’s pleasures.
The difference in the lives of those two women cannot conceal the over-riding problem they share – loneliness, life lacking in the chance to develop a relationship with a man or satisfactory family relationships. The complexities of the problems facing black women begin to unfold. Not on1y must we work out an unoppressive relationship with our men; we must – we can at last – establish a relationship with them de novo.
In this respect, we conceive our mission in terms that are often different from the expressed goals of many white women revolutionaries. To be sure, our goals and theirs in their general outlines are same, but black women confront a task that is as delicate as it is revolutionary. For black women are part of a pre-imminent struggle whose time has come – the fight for black liberation. If women were suddenly to achieve equality with men tomorrow, black women would continue to carry the entire array of utterly oppressive handicaps associated with race. Racial oppression of black people in America has done what neither class oppression nor sexual oppression, with all their perniciousness, have ever done: destroyed an entire people and their culture. The difference is between exploitation and slavery. Slavery partakes of all the worst excesses of exploitation – and more – but exploitation does not always sink to the miserable depths of slavery.
Yet black women cannot – must not – avoid the truth about their special subservience. They are women with all that that implies. If some have been forced into roles as providers or, out of the insecurity associated with being a black woman alone, have dared not develop independence, the result is not that black women are today liberated women. For they have been “liberated” only from love, from family life, from meaningful work, and just as often from the basic comforts and necessities of an ordinary existence. There is neither power nor satisfaction in such a “matriarchy.” There is only the bitter knowledge that one is a victim.
Still the stereotypic image of matriarchy has basic appeal to some black men who, in their frustration may not see immediately the counter-revolutionary nature of such a battle cry. To allow the white oppressor to share the burden of his responsibility with the black woman is madness. It is comparable to black people blaming Puerto Ricans for competing with them for jobs, thus relieving the government of the pressures it must have to fulfill its duty to provide full employment. Surely, after hundreds of years black men realize that imprecision in detecting the Enemy is an inexcusable fault in a revolutionary.
But our problems only begin with the reconstruction of the black family. As black men begin to find dignified work after so many generations, what roles will their women seek? Are black people to reject so many of white society’s values only to accept its view of woman and of the family? At the moment when the white family is caught in a maze of neurotic contradictions, and white women are supremely frustrated with their roles, are black women to take up such troubled models? Shall black women exchange their ancient insecurity for the white woman’s familial cocoon? Can it serve us any better than it has served them? And how will it serve black men?
There is no reason to repeat bad history. There is no reason to envy the white woman who is sinking in a sea of close-quartered affluence, where one’s world is one’s house, one’s peers one’s children, and one’s employer one’s husband. Black women shall not have gained if Sadie and Maude exchange the “fine-tooth comb” and the “old house” for the empty treasures white women are today trying to turn in.
We who are black have a chance for something better. Europeans who came to this country struggled to be accepted by it and succeeded. Occasionally they changed America – for the better and for the worse – but mostly they took it as it was, hoping it would change them. Black people imitated this process pitifully, generation after generation, but were just so much oil on all that melting pot water. Today we are close to being true outsiders, no longer desiring to get in on any terms and at any cost. Racial exclusion has borne ironic fruit. We are perhaps the only group that has come to these shores who has ever acquired the chance to consciously avoid total Americanization with its inherent, its rank faults. On the road to equality there is no better place for blacks to detour around American values than in foregoing its example in the treatment of its women and the organization of its family life.
With black family life so clearly undermined in the American environment, blacks must remake the family unit, not imitate it. Indeed, this task is central to black liberation. The black male will not be returned to his historic strength – the foremost task of the black struggle today – if we do not recreate the strong family unit that was a part of our African heritage before it was dismembered by the slave-owning class in America. But it will be impossible to reconstruct the black family if its central characters are to be crepe paper copies acting out the old white family melodrama. In that failing production, the characters seem set upon a course precisely opposite to ours. White men in search of endless financial security have sold their spirits to that goal and begun a steady emasculation in which the fiscal needs of wife and family determine life’s values and goals. Their now ungrateful wives have begun to see the fraud of this way of life, even while eagerly devouring its fruits. Their even more ungrateful children are in bitter rejection of all that this sort of life signifies and produces. White family life in America today is less than a poor model for blacks. White family life is disintegrating at the moment when we must reforge the black family unit. The whole business of the white family – its softened men, its frustrated women, its angry children – is in a state of great mess.
But it would be naive to think that the temptations aspects of this sort of life are incapable of luring black people into a disastrous mockery. The ingredients are all there. We are a people in search of what for us has been the interminably elusive goal of economic security. Wretchedly poor for 350 years in a country where most groups have fattened, we could come to see the pain of much of white family life as bearable when measured against the tortures we have borne. Our men, deliberately emasculated as the only way to enforce their servile status, might easily be tempted by a family structure which, by making them the financial head of the household, seemed to make them its actual head. In our desperation to escape so many suffering decades, we might trip down the worn path taken by so many in America before us.
If we are to avoid this disaster, the best, perhaps the only, place to begin is in our conception of the black woman. After all, the immediate tasks of the black man are laid out for him. It is the future role of the black woman that is problematical. And what she is allowed to become – or relegated to – will shape not simply her future but that of the black family and the fate of its members.
If she is forced into the current white model, she is doomed to the fate of the “Empty Woman” about whom Miss Brooks has also written:
“The empty woman had hats
To show. With feathers. Wore combs
In polished waves. Wooed cats.”
If so she will be unfit for the onerous responsibilities she must meet if the struggle for black freedom is to bring us out of our ancient bondage into a truly new and liberated condition.
In any case it is too late for any group to consciously revert to old familial patterns of male dominance and female servility. Those roles have their roots in conditions of life that are rapidly disappearing, and especially so in this country. If the woman’s place has historically been at home, it was at least in part because there was much work to be done there, and as the natural custodian of the children, it seemed logical for her to do it. But today there is neither so much work to be done there, nor so many children. Doitall appliances and technology are making housework a parttime job, freeing millions of women to do something else. An increasing array of birth preventatives has released women from the unwanted multiples of children it was difficult to avoid in the past. The effect on the family of these work and child liberating phenomena will reverberate in ways we still cannot foresee.
Yet it is certain that the institution of the family will under”: radical alteration largely through the new roles women will have to seek. With birth preventatives and with world overpopulation, many couples will rethink whether it is wise to have children at all. And even though most may choose to have children, it is doubtful that it will any longer be Prestigious or wise to have very many. With children no longer the universally accepted reason for marriage, marriages are going to have to exist on their own merits. Marriages are going to have to exist because they possess inherent qualities which make them worthy of existing, a plane to which the institution has never before been elevated. For marriage to develop such inherent qualities, the woman partner heretofore oriented toward fulfilling now outmoded functions will have to seek new functions. Whether black or white, if American women are to find themselves, they must begin looking outside the home. This will undoubtedly lead them into doing and thinking about matters now pretty much reserved for men. Inevitably, women are going to acquire new goals and a new status.
We who are black are taking up the longdelayed work of familybuilding at an historic moment in history. We embark upon this goal at a time when the family institution in America is in a state of great flux. This is fortunate happenstance, for had we been about this task in the years immediately following World War II, we might have fallen into the mold which today traps white families, and especially white women.
As it is, we have a chance to pioneer in forging new relationships between men and women. We have a chance to make family life a liberating experience instead of the confining experience it more often has been.
We have a chance to free woman and with her the rest of us.
Black Women and the Struggle for Liberation
In the early part of the sixties, social scientists became more and more interested in the family structure of blacks. Unemployment and so called crime among Blacks was increasing and some of these “scientists” decided that the problems of the Black community were caused by the family pattern among Black people. Since Blacks were deviating from the “norm” more female heads of households, higher unemployment, more school “dropouts” these pseudoscientists claimed that the way to solve these problems was to build up a more stable Black family in accord with the American patriarchal pattern.
In 1965, the U.S. government published a booklet entitled “The Negro Family The Case for National Action.” The author (U.S. Dept. of Labor) stated, “In essence, the Negro community has been forced into a matriarcal structure which, because it is so out of line with the rest of American society, seriously retards the progress of the group as a whole.” According to this theory, the institution of slavery led to a breakdown in the Black family and the development of a socalled matriarchy, in which the Black woman was “dominant.” This “matriarchal” structure was held responsible, in turn, for contributing to the “emasculation” of the Black man. In other words, as these people would have it, the oppression of blacl people was partly caused by the chief victims of this oppression, Black Women!
This myth of the Black Matriarchy has had wide spread influence, and is even widely believed in the Black community today. It is something we have to fight against and expose. To show just how wrong this theory is, let’s look at the real condition and history of the socalled dominant Black woman.
Under slavery, once arriving on American soil, the African social order of Black people was broken down. Tribes were separated and shipped to different plantations. Slaves underwent a process of de-socialization and had to adopt a new culture and language. Black men greatly outnumbered Black women. Sociologist E.F. Frazier indicates in his book The Negro Family In the U.S.,that this probably led to “numerous cases of sex relations between Negro slaves and indentured white women.” The “marriage” rate between Black men and white women became so high that interracial marriages were banned.
Prior to this time, Black men were encouraged to marry white women in order to enrich the slavemaster’s plantation with more human labor. The Black man in some instances was able to select a mate of his choice. However in contrast, the Black woman had little choice in the selection of her mate. Living in a patriarchal society, she became a mere breeding instrument. Just as Black men were chained and branded under slavery, so were Black women. Lying nude on the slave ship, some women gave birth to children in the scorching hot sun.
There were economic interests involved in the Black women having as many offspring as she could bear. After her child was born, she was allowed to nurse and fondle the infant only at the slavemaster’s discretion. There are cases of Black women who greatly resisted being separated from their children and having them placed on the auction block even though they were subject to flogging. And in some cases, the Black woman took the life of her own children rather than subjit them to the oppression of slavery.
The Master’s Household
There are those who say that because the Black woman was in charge of carin for the slavemaster’s children, she became an important figure in the household. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Black woman became the most exploited “member” of the master’s household. She scrubbed the floors, washed dishes, cared for the children and was often subjected to the lustful advances of Miss Ann’s husband. She became an unpaid domestic. However, she worked outside as well. Still today, many Black women continue to work in households as underpaid domestics. And as W.E.B. DuBois stated in his essay The Servant in the House, “The personal degradation of their work is so great that any white man of decency would rather cut his daughter’s throat than let her grow up to such a destiny.”
In this way arose the “mammy” of Black women an image so embedded in the system that its impact is still felt today. Until recently, the mass media has aided in reinforcing this image of portraying Black women as weighing 200 pounds, holding a child to her breast, and/or scrubbing floors with a rag around her head. For such a one, who was constantly portrayed with her head to the floor and her behind facing the ceiling, it is ludicrous to conceive of any dominant role. Contrary to popular opinion, all Black women do not willingly submit to the sexual advances of white men. Probably every Black woman has been told the old myth that the only ones who have had sexual freedom in this country are the white man and the Black woman. But, in many instances even physical force has been used to compel Black women to submit. Frazier gives a case in his book where a Black woman who refused the sexual advances of a white man was subdued and held to the ground by Black men while the “Master” stood there whipping her.
In some instances, Black women stood in awe of the white skin of their masters and felt that copulation with a white man would enhance her slave status. There was also the possibility that her mulatto offspring would achieve emancipation. Her admiration of white skin was not very different from the slave mentality of some Blacks which caused them to identify with their master. In some cases, the Black woman who submitted herself sexually played a vital role in saving the life of the Black man. If she gave the master a “good lovin’,” she could sometimes prevent her husband from being horsewhipped or punished.
The myth that is being perpetrated in the Black community states that somehow the Black woman has man aged to escape much of the oppression of slavery and that all avenues of opportunity were opened to her. Well, this is highly interesting, since in 1870 when the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed citizens the right to vote, this right did not apply to the Black woman. During reconstruction, those Blacks who served as justices of the peace and superintendents of education, and in municipal and state governments, were men. Although the reconstruction period was far from being an era of “Black Rule,” it is estimated that thousands of Black men used their votes to help keep the Republicans in power. The Black women remained an the outside.
To be sure, the Black man had a difficult time exercising his right to vote. Mobs of whites waited for him at the voting booth. Many were threatened with the loss of jobs and subjected to the terror of Klan elements. The political activity for the Black an was relatively ephemeral, but while it lasted, many offices fox the first time were occupied by them. The loose ties established between Black men and women during slavery were in many cases dissolved after emancipation. In order to test their freedom, some Black men who remained with their wives began flogging them. Previously, this was a practice reserved only for the white master. In the later part of the 1860s and early 70s, female heeds of households began to crop up. Black men who held Jobs as skilled craftsmen, carpenters, etc., were being driven out of these occupation. Since the Republicans no longer needed the Black vote after 1876, the “welfare” of Blacks was placed in southern hands. Black men found it very difficult to obtain jobs and in some instances found employment only as strikebreakers. Black men, who were made to feel “less of a man” in a racist oppressive system, turned toward Black women, and began to blame them for the position they occupied.
The Black woman, in some cases, left to herself with children to feed, also went looking for employment. Many went to work in the white man’s kitchen. DuBois in the same essay mentioned earlier, The Servant In the HOLLY, gives a vivid portrayal of the exploitation of domestic workers. He speaks of the personal degradation of their work, the fact that they are still in some instances made to enter and exit by the side door, that they are referred to by their first name, paid extremely low wages, and subjected to the sexual exploitation of the “master.” All this proves that because the Black woman worked, it did not make her more “independent” than the white woman. Rather, she became more subject to the brutal exploitation of capitalism as Black, as worker. as woman.
The “Free” Labor Market
I mentioned earlier that after emancipation Black men had a difficult time obtaining employment, that after emancipation he was barred from many of the crafts he had been trained in under slavery. The labor market for Black women also proved to be a disaster. Black women entered the needle trades in New York in the l900s, as a cheap source of labor for the employers, and in Chicago in 1917, Black women who were willing to work for lower wages, were used to break a strike. There was general distrust between Black and white workers, and in some cities, white workers refused to work beside Black women and walked off their jobs.
The Black woman has never held high status in this society. Under slavery she was mated like cattle and mere breeding instrument. Today, the majority women are still confined to the most menial and lowest paid occupations domestic and laundry workers, file clerks, counter workers, and other service occupations. These lobs in most cases are not yet unionized.
Today, at least 20 percent of Black women are employed as private household workers, and their median income is $1200. These women have the double exploitation of first doing drudgery in someone else’s home, and then having to take care of their own households as well. Some are forced to leave their own children without adequate supervision in order to earn money by taking care of someone else’s children. Sixtyone percent of Black married women were in the labor force in 1966. Almost onefourth of Black families are headed by females, double the percentage for whites. Due to the shortage of Black men, most Black women are forced to accept a relationship on male terms. In Black communities there sometimes exists a type of serial polygamy a situation where many women share the sme man, one at a time.
Black is Beautiful
As if Black women did not have enough to contend with, being exploited economically as a worker, being used as a source of cheap labor because she is a female, and being treated even worse because she is Black, she also finds herself fighting the beauty “standards” of a white western society. Years ago it was a common sight to see Black women wearing blond wigs and rouge, the object being to get as close to the white beauty standard as one possibly could. But, in spite of the fact that bleaching creams and hair straighteners were used, the trick just didn’t work. Her skin was still black instead of fair, and her hair kinky instead of straight. She was constantly being compared to the white woman, and she was the antithesis of what was considered beautiful. Usually when she saw a Black man with a white woman, the image she had of herself became even more painful.
But now, “Black is beautiful,” and the Black woman is playing a more prominent role in the movement. But there is a catch! She is still being told to step back and let the Black man come forward and lead. It is ironic that at a time when all talents and abilities should be utilized to aid in the struggle of national liberation, Stokely Carmichael comes along and declares that the position of women in the movement is “prone.” And some years later, Eldridge Cleaver in referring to the status of women said they had “pussy power.” Since then, the Black Panther Party has somewhat altered its view, saying “women are our other half.” When writing their political statement, the Republic of New Africa stated they wanted the right of all Black men to have as many wives as they can afford. This was based on their conception that this is the way things were in Africa. (In their publication The New Africa written in December 1969, one of the points in their Declaration of Independence seeks “to assure equality of rights for the sexes.” Whether this means that the Black woman would be allowed to have as many husbands as she can afford, I have no way of knowing.)
Abortion and Birth Control
So today, the Black woman still finds herself up the creek. She feels that she must take the nod from “her man,” because if she “acts up” then she just might lose him to a white woman. She must still subordinate herself, her own feelings and desires, especially when it comes to the right of having control of her own body. When the birth control pill first came into use, it was experimentally tested on Puerto Rican women. It is therefore not surprising that Third World people look at this example and declare that both birth control and abortion is a form of genocide a device to eliminate Third World people. However, what is at issue is the right of women to control their own bodies. Enforced motherhood is a form of male supremacy; it is reactionary and brutal. During slavery, the plantation masters forced motherhood on Black women in order to enrich their plantations with more human labor.
It is women who must decide whether they wish to have children or not. Women must have the right to control their own bodies. And this means that we must also speak out against forced sterilization and against compelling welfare mothers to accept contraceptive methods against their will. There is now a women’s liberation movement growing in the United States. By and large, Black women have not played a prominent role in this movement. This is due to the fact that many Black women have not yet developed a feminist consciousness. Black women see their problem mainly as one of national oppression. The middle class mentality of some white women’s liberation seem to be irrelevant to Black women’s needs. For instance, at the November 1969 Congress to Unite Women in New York, some of the participants did not want to take a stand against the school tracking system fearing that “good” students thrown in with “bad” ones would cause the “brilliant” students to leave school, thus lowering the standards. One white woman had the gall to mention to me that she felt women living in Scarsdale were more oppressed then Third World women trapped in the ghetto! There was also little attempt to deal with the problems of poor women, for example the fact that women in Scarsdale exploit Black women as domestics.
The movement must take a clearer stand against the horrendous conditions in which poor women are forced to work. Some women in the movement are in favor of eliminating the state protective laws for women. However, poor women who are forced to work in sweatshops, factories and laundries need those laws on the books. Not only must the State protective laws for women remain on the books, but we must see that they are enforced and made even stronger.
Women in the women’s liberation movement assert that they are tired of being slaves to their husbands. confined to the household performing menial tasks. While the Black woman can sympathize with this view, she does not feel that breaking her ass every day from nine to five is any form of liberation. She has always had to work. Before the Emancipation Proclamation she worked in the fields of the plantation, as Malcolm X would say, “from can’t see in the morning until can’t see at night.”
And what is liberation under this system? Never owning what you produce, you are forced to become a mere commodity on the labor market. Workers are never secure, and their length of employment is subject to the ups and downs in the economy. Women’s liberation must relate to these problems. What is hampering it now is not the fact that it is still composed of mainly white middle class women, Rather it is the failure to engage in enough of the type of actions that would draw in and link up with the masses of women not yet in the movement., including working and Third World women. Issues such as daycare, support for the striking telephone workers, support for the laws which improve working conditions for women, and the campaign to free Joan Bird are a step in the right direction. I don’t feel, however, that white women sitting around a room, browbeating one another for their “racism,” saying, “I’m a racist, I’m a racist,” as some women have done, is doing a damn thing for the Black woman. What is needed is action.
Women’s Liberation must not isolate itself from the masses of women or the Third World community. At the same time, white women cannot speak for Black women. Black women must speak for themselves. The Black Women’s Alliance has been formed in New York to begin to do this. We felt there was a need for a revolutionary Black women’s movement that spoke to the oppression of Black women as Blacks, as workers, as women. We are involved in reading, discussion, consciousness raising and taking action. We feel that Black women will have a difficult time relating to the more bitter antimale sentiment in the women’s liberation movement, fearing that it will be a device to keep Black men and women fighting among themselves and diverting their energies from the real enemy.
Many Black women realize it will take both men and women to wage an effective struggle. However, this does not negate the necessity of women building our own movement because we must build our struggle now and continue it after the revolution if we are to achieve real emancication.
When the Third World woman begins to recognize the depth of her oppression, she will move to form alliances with all revolutionary forces available and settle for nothing less than complete destruction of this racist, capitalist, male-dominated system.
The Fight with the Flesh
Tonight I have a desire that is stronger than love. I want to be in the arms of my God. My feelings are mixed with wanting to do His will and do what I want. I want to be closer to God as to allow me the protection I so desparately need to be kept safe from myself. The cry of my heart is Lord please give me more of you at this very moment God. My flesh is weak, but my inner man is thirsty for you. I don’t want to break fellowship with you. Rap me in your arms Father.
Have you ever felt like everything is a struggle with the flesh and the spirit? Have you ever really felt the heat of wanting to feel good outside of your creator? I am in His presence when I face everything that is coming against me and I yield my desires over to Him. Learning to walk in the spirit is a humbling experience. God tears and shreads your being to nothing to accomplish this evolution.
Having been blessed with all the provisions you need but your flesh still longs for more. Having a roof over your head that you are not even paying for, the very electricity you are using is God’s. The food you are eating is God’s provision. The clean cloths you wear are God’s provision, The water you use is God’s provision, but your flesh says: I want more, I want to be in control of my own destiny. I want what I want, not God’s provison. Can you see the pride in the attack? How come we fall to these practices without noticing the enemies deceptive practices? The alarm is wanting to gratify self. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see my need to be in the secret place tonight where I am safe in your arms.
We get the opportunity to choose before we fall. If we would be hungry to please God and let the holy spirit fully convict us of moving out of His will we would always come back to our spirit mind and kill the flesh. We are always stewards of all God gives. Kill the flesh by beating your body as Paul mentions in his gospel.
Just because we have been saved by Christ doesn’t mean Christians don’t struggle with sin.
In fact, the reality is, we find ourselves living by a superior standard of life. Our spirit has been set apart by God but our minds continue to have the pattern of the old way of thinking.
So, even though our spirit is secure in Christ we still experience a battle in our mind, will and emotions. We want to leave the old patterns of living and embrace the new life in Christ but the flesh constantly wants to have its own way.
Subject: What I’m talking about is The Fight with the Flesh.
Compliment: How Can We Overcome Sin Tendencies in our life?
In Romans 7:14-25 98% of the text describes Paul the Apostles struggle with sin. Instead of depressing us this should encourage us because Paul faced the same daily battle in his mind, will and emotions that you and I face – and he was used to write 2/3 or the N.T.!
The remaining 2% of Paul’s descriptive struggle gives us the answer we need to overcome the sin tendencies in life.
t.s. We’ll first have to understand the problem each and every one of us struggles with each and every day – Our Flesh.
[Body – Understanding What’s the Problem]
Everyone has Flesh.
Flesh is our nature while here on Earth. It is developed within us by the ways we tried to meet our needs out of our own resources
Often, as Christians, when we think of “the flesh” we think in terms of the Results of living after the flesh.
Going to Galations 5:19-21, the Bible lists some of the results of living a life geared toward fulfilling the flesh. The list includes:
Sexual immorality, impurity, hatred, bitterness, anger, selfish ambition, factions, divisions, envy and others…
But included in the Apostle Paul’s definition of his flesh were his status, education, religious zeal and commitment. (Phillipians 3:3-6)
In his book “Lifetime Guarantee” Dr. Billy Graham describes the flesh in this way:
Flesh refers to the old patterns by which we have attempted to get all our needs supplied instead of seeking Christ first and trusting Him to meet all our needs.
A Christian then can still live “after the flesh” attempting to meet his needs through his old ways of living.
To Sum up what the flesh is:
It is all of the habit patterns that we have developed over the years to meet our needs out of our own resources. It is the Self-Life.
[What did it mean to Paul?]
Sometimes we forget the humanity of great men and women in the Bible – they were people just like us.
Listen to how Paul described his battle with his own flesh:
· (v15 NLT) “ I don’t understand myself at all!”
· (v16 NLT) “I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong.”
· (v17 NLT) “ I can’t help myself”
· (v18 NLT) “ I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned”
· (v18 NLT) “ No matter which way I turn – I can’t make myself do right”
· (v21 NLT) “When I do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”
· (v24 NLT) “ What a miserable person I am.”
In the above 7 statements Paul describes the Christians fight with the flesh that each one of us, if you’re a Christian, can identify with. This is why Paul went to great lengths.
He uses hyperbole overstating and exaggerating something to make a point.
His Point? We are all locked into this battle – this fight- of the old habit patterns that we have developed over the years. This Self-Life that wants to live life – As Frank Sinartra once sang…”To do it My Way!”
[Belief] – Now Why is this such a Problem?
The non-Christian is not engaged in this fight with the flesh because the only option the non-Christian has is to live after the flesh – after the old habits and patterns developed over the years.
But since Jesus Christ lives in the Christian. We have all of Jesus’ resources available to us – Victory, Deliverance, Freedom…these are available to conquer fleshly habits.
Unfortonately, most Christians have now learned how to rely on Christ
· Often we do not allow Jesus to actually, experientially be in control of our life
Perhaps this is the very dilemma you are facing at this point in your life?
What does it mean to “live by the Flesh?”
To live according to our flesh means to live unrenewed – it is to live and act sinfully
The Corinthian Church had this problem and were immature in the Lord and self-serving. Paul had to correct the church’s fleshly living by writing two letters to them.
The Ephesian Church had to be reminded not to think according to the Flesh. In 4:17 Paul begins:
17 _ With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly£ do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.
20But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 21Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 _ throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness—righteous, holy, and true.
[application] You see…living by the flesh can be summed up by a mind-set in which we choose to live by our own independent habit patterns to meet our needs – our learned independence from God – instead of trusting Jesus first.
Paul would later say in chapter 8 of Romans that those who live by the flesh “cannot please God”.
Now, What does this mean to me?
As Paul described here in Romans 7, it means that My Flesh is difficult to deal with.
All of us have developed patterns to help us cope with life, deal with our problems, succeed, relate to others and escape intolerable situations.
[personal illustration] One pattern of mine – I’ll admit- is the struggle I have to be self-dependant rather then God dependant. If a problem develops before me – immediately my ingrained fleshly habit is to find a practical solution – control the situation – secure the problem and then solve the problem in a logical manner.
God seems to constantly try and break that self dependant pattern in my life by allowing me to face difficulties in which I have no control. The result – I must become God-dependant and learn trust by walking with God in faith.
Our flesh is difficult to deal with because we have ingrained patterns that we have learned since childhood.
The truth is that the older in age one becomes – the more difficult it becomes to change those patterns in the area of our thinking, our emotional ties to those patterns and even our will to want to change.
So what should I do in light of this?
Paul asked the same question in verse 24
“Who will free me from this life dominated by sin?”
Then he gives the answer in the next verse – “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How do we fight the flesh and overcome sin tendencies in our life?
By seeking the one who defeated death. He and He alone has the power to help us overcome our fleshly desires.