Tuesday, April 15, 2008

...argentina...a brief historical overview

i have been mentioning this post for awhile. despite there being so many other topics that i would like to blog on now...i must be obedient and pace myself. so here is an overview of the history of argentina. please go in search of additional information for yourself. seeking information for yourself is true education as far as i can see. study to show yourself approved... many similarities, if any, to the u.s. do you see?

i always welcome your thoughts.


By HISHAM AIDI First published: April 2, 2002

When songstress Josephine Baker visited Argentina in the 1950s she asked the biracial minister of public health Ramon Carillo, "Where are the Negroes?" to which Carillo responded laughing, "There are only two— you and I."

Scholars have long pondered the "disappearance" of people of African descent from Argentina, long considered South America's "whitest" nation. A 1973 article in Ebony asked, "what happened to Argentina's involuntary immigrants, those African slaves and their mulatto descendants who once outnumbered whites five to one, and who were for 250 years 'an important element' in the total population, which is now 97 percent white?"

One history book calls the country's lack of self-identifying black people "one of the most intriguing riddles in Argentine history," while another notes that "the disappearance of the Negro from the Argentine scene has puzzled demographers far more than the vanishing Indian." Was the Afro-Argentine community annihilated by disease and war, or absorbed into the larger white community?

Of course, whiteness itself is relative. Many Argentines who proudly consider themselves white come to America and are shocked to find that in American racial discourse they are considered "Latino,""Hispanic" or vaguely "Spanish," and not white. SaysPaula Brufman, an Argentine law student and researcher, "Argentines like to think of themselves as a white nation populated by Europeans. I was surprised when in the US, people — especially Latinos — told me I was not white but Spanish."

Today in Argentina, there is a growing interest in the country's African past and Afro community, "lacomunidad Afro," as it's called. The past decade has seen black clubhouses, religious institutions and dance clubs crop up in the capital, Buenos Aires. A group called Africa Vive (Africa Lives), made up of Afro-Argentines, has spearheaded the campaign to raise awareness of the country's Afro-culture and history. At the Durban UN Conference on Racism, Africa Vive presented a widely circulated study about the socio-economic situation of Afro-Argentines. The report documented the high unemployment and difficulties with naturalization that many blacks in Argentina encounter.

"Minorities in Argentina — indigenous, Afro, etcetera— suffer from a problem of invisibility and poor organization, " says Mercedes Boschi of the Buenos Aires City's Human Rights Commission, who worked with Africa Vive on the aforementioned report, as part of the municipal government's "Right to Identity" initiative.

So, how many people in Argentina today can claim African ancestry? The numbers are themselves difficult to calculate, says Alejandro Frigerio, an anthropologist at the Universidad Catolica de Buenos Aires. "People of mixed ancestry are often not considered black in Argentina, historically, because having black ancestry was not considered proper. Today the term 'negro' is used loosely on anyone with slightly darker skin, but they can be descendants of indigenous Indians, Middle Eastern immigrants. People in Africa Vive say there are a million 'afrodescendientes' in Argentina. Although many people are not aware that they may have had a blackgreat-grandmother or -father, I think that this is an overestimation. I would estimate that there are 2 or 3 thousand Afro-Argentines, descendants of slaves, 'negros criollos,' 8 to 10 thousand in the Cape Verdean community, most born in Argentina, and I'd add another 1,200 Brazilian, Uruguayan, Cuban and African communities. "

Created in 1996, Africa Vive has reached out to Afro-Argentine leaders with the aim of creating an organization that can battle poverty in Afro-Latino communities. It has single-handedly brought media and the mainstream's attention to the plight and legacy of Afro-Argentines.

"Different groups have emerged, including Grupo Cultural Afro and SOS Racismo, but Africa Vive is probably the most important group that has rekindled interest in things African in Argentina," says Frigerio. "It is the main group composed of Afro-Argentines, descendants of the original Afro-Argentine population. Africa Vive has successfully drawn the media's attention — they organized a conference against discrimination at the University of Buenos Aires in 1999, and were written up in an eight-page article in the daily Clarin. The article was significant because for the first time in almost thirty years, the term 'Afro-Argentine community' was used, instead of 'black' community."

Frigerio continues: "Last September, these black groups, led by Africa Vive, convinced a national deputy to organize a ceremony in memory of black soldiers who died fighting for Argentina's independence. The event took place in one of the traditional halls of the National Congress and was attended by the commander-in- chief of the army and the head of state. The national deputy spoke in honor of the fallen black soldiers and then awarded honorary degrees to the heads of several black organizations. It was quite remarkable that such an event could take place in Argentina."

War heroism, in fact, is one reason Argentina lags so far behind in recognizing its people of African descent. Even after the official abolition of slavery, many blacks were still slaves and were granted manumission only by fighting in Argentina's wars, serving disproportionately in the war of independence against Spanish rule and border wars against Paraguay from 1865 to 1870. Blacks were also granted their freedom if they joined the army, but they were deliberately placed on the front line and used as cannon fodder. Historian Ysabelle Rennie notes that the government deliberately placed as many blacks as possible in "dangerous military service" and were sent into batte, "where they got killed off fighting Indians (another race Argentines were interested in exterminating. )"

Argentine sociologist Gino Germani chalks up the"disappearance" to racist immigration policies, saying that the nation's "primary and explicit objective" was to "modify substantially the composition of the population," to "Europeanize the Argentine population, produce a regeneration of races." Marvin A. Lewis, author of Afro-Argentine Discourse: Another Dimension of the Black Diaspora, concurs, saying that "there was an official, concerted effort to eliminate the blacks from Argentine society."

Many have argued that people of African descent simply "disappeared" by mingling into the waves of thousand of European immigrants. Argentine historian Mariano Bosch wrote in 1941 that Italian men had "perhaps anatavistic preference for black women: body odor led them to matrimony and the blacks accepted them as whites," or rather, "almost whites, because the Italian has much African in him, and his color is a dull pale."

"There is a silence about the participation of Afro-Argentines in the history and building of Argentina, a silence about the enslavement and poverty," adds Paula Brufman. "The denial and disdain for the Afro community shows the racism of an elite that sees Africans as undeveloped and uncivilized. ...The poverty in the Afro community was terrible. Although slavery was abolished in 1813, the death rate of freed blacks was always higher than that of white people and of slaves. Why is that? Because in Buenos Aires, slaves were very expensive, so the masters took real good care of them. Once a black got his freedom, his living standards collapsed even further."

The past few years, however, have seen a growing interest among young Argentines of all backgrounds in Afro-Argentine culture— in tango, the dance and music with such strong West African roots, and other dances such the milonga, the zamba and the malambo. For this, many thank immigrants from other parts of South America.

"Afro-Uruguayan and Afro-Brazilian migrants to Buenos Aires have been instrumental in expanding black culture — teaching Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Afro-Brazilian capoeira, orisha and secular dances to white Argentines," says Frigerio, who has written of various Afro-Argentine cultural movements, including dancing saloons owned by blacks, carnival societies and black newspapers. One such dancing saloon, "The Shimmy Club," was founded in 1922 and lasted until 1974.

Frigerio believes the newfound interest in Afro-Argentine culture is not only the result of immigration but also of a new state policy. In the 1970s and '80s, Argentina was ruled by a succession of military juntas who suppressed and almost eradicated black culture. "The military dictatorships from 1966 onwards prohibited or severely constrained the gathering of people in the street or in closed spaces— a practice which certainly negatively influenced carnivals, which almost disappeared; tango dancing,which died out until it was revitalized in the 1990s; and also black dance clubs such as The Shimmy Club. All genres of popular culture severely suffered during the dictatorships and many almost disappeared, but began resurfacing in the 1990s."

Still, he cautions against too much optimism regarding race in Argentina. "The new laws and institutes help celebrate ethnic diversity and help groups like Africa Vive emerge and operate," Frigerio says, "but they have not undermined the dominant national narrative of racial homogeneity and whiteness." While the racial situation is much better today than it was half a century ago — when a review of Josephine Baker's performance wrote of her "monkey rhythm" — Frigerio says that "today blacks are more exoticized than stigmatized. ... What scholar Livio Sansone said of Brazil, we can say of Argentina: there are hard and soft areas of racism, or areas in which it may be advantageous or disadvantageous to be black. In Buenos Aires, being black is advantageous in finding a girl/boyfriend, but less so for finding a job, unless the person is a musician or dance professor."

so let me get this straight...for lover or entertainment---it is advantageous for one to be black? well, alrighty then...


32 comments: said...

What a great piece, Focused Purpose!

Alejandro Frigerio is absolutely correct in his observation that, "People of mixed ancestry are often not considered black in Argentina..."

As a black Boriqua, I can assure you that Puerto Ricans do not use the term "white Puerto Rican" to describe J-Lo or Geraldo Rivera. It's NOT done. Only in "the States" (as we call them), are these distinctions made.

My observation is that Puerto Ricans see ALL Puerto Ricans as ONE group - with no serious emphasis on divisions into subgroups by appearance.

Argentines are VERY floored when they are told they are not white. Those truly conditioned by white supremacist ideology will find it comforting to identify themselves as white (even if no one ELSE identifies them that way).

They are shocked when they find in the U.S. that we informally enforce that little "one drop" rule!

Thanks for letting me blow my trumpet!

Khadija said... the mystery is revealed as to what became of Black folks in Argentina...I'll have to do some more reading. Thanks for the head start on the information!

Peace & solidarity.

focusedpurpose said...

hi Lisa:-)

welcome. thanks for your kind words of encouragement.

please note that argentines of mixed heritage do not consider themselves black because it is not a "proper" thing to do. or in other words it is not as advantageous as being white.

i have to take your word that in puerto rico, there is no distinction by color made. i must say to you that your statement:

"My observation is that Puerto Ricans see ALL Puerto Ricans as ONE group - with no serious emphasis on divisions into subgroups by appearance. "

does not hold true in my experience. again, i have met puerto ricans that may have just subscribed fully to the white supremacy notions in america. i have in fact met puerto ricans with blue eyes and fair hair that have insisted that they were white.

"we informally enforce that little "one drop" rule!"

please know that i don't enforce it at all. i reject it for the white supremacy and greed that created and perpetuated it. however, i really do believe this is america and one has the right to call themselves whatever they like no matter how detached from reality it may be.

practicing not calling things the way they are seems to be the american way. so when i encounter blacks, asians, hispanics, biracials, etc. all claiming to be something else---i have practiced accepting their right to do so.

what is interesting to me, is that most latin americans/hispanics will not honestly examine what is hard to ignore. there is a color caste system in place within their culture. i have been watching the spanish language channels and cannot ignore the fact that the domestics are darker for the most part; while the wealthy look white. i find this to be true of brazilians as well. they vehemently assert there is no racism. so based on that assertion, it is a coincidence that the poor is overwhelmingly comprised of black skinned people? i don't believe in coincidence or self delusion.

thanks for stopping in Lisa. know that you are always welcome.

blessings sis,

TLW said...


If you don't mind me asking what do you find wrong with the One Drop Rule?

focusedpurpose said...


hi sis:-)

no longer a mystery! history is truly fascinating. when one starts to devour it they will see it repeating itself and showing up "new"; despite it being old hat in other places. it appears that in the colonizing of the world the colonizers swap success stories and ways to implement them better in other places.

it is good to be back.

blessings sis,

focusedpurpose said...

welcome back TLW-

i loathe the one drop rule because it is just one more example of black people allowing our historical enemy (white folks) to define us, to our detriment. if you study the history of this group and its uses you will see what i mean.

the one drop rule was a way that allowed for white enslavers of africans and rapists to continue to partake in these atrocities without opening themselves to the loss of their property by including them in their families---despite them belonging. so in declaring this offspring automaticly black on the strength of black blood---white supremacy remained intact and there was no need to share the brutally acquired wealth. unless they just felt particularly human or failed to produce "legitimate" heirs. quite frankly i see it as a further insult to black people. notice in the congo these proud people are not rushing to claim the offspring of the rapists and holding them up to be the epitome of the congo person as we have been brainwashed to do with biracials.

notice, that this one drop nonsense is applicable only to black people. as a self respecting black person with standards, it is offensive to be mandated to accept just any thing. it is beyond loathsome to boast and elevate those that we have been forced to claim above those that rightfully belong; as we have done with black womanhood. look. notice. see. if you cannot see white on black women or something else she is not readily accepted as beautiful. even the chocolate sisters possess what some come "universal beauty" translated as white like features.

these are not the practices of a self-respecting people. one drop of black blood does not make you black. in fact, these people that are forced into blackness oftentimes only seem to identify with black when there is no other choice. white folks are not going to accept them as white; unless they can't tell---so the black becomes a secret. period. whites have too elevated an opinion of themselves.

furthermore, given money and options watch those that are black due to one drop place great emphasis on all of the other mixture. i have seen it time and again; both presently and historically.

one drop has also served as a shield for black folks that really don't like black that much. so because any offspring immediately qualifies as black under this lunacy---watch the mad dash to create this one drop black person, even the black power revolutionaries male and female engage in this practice. those screaming black is beautiful, male and female, really don't mean it when you watch the behavior. they should be honest and say a little black is beautiful. emphasis on a little.

so out of self love, self acceptance, and self respect---i reject the one drop rule as the white supremacy and greed that it is. it really doesn't matter who comes preaching it to me. i realize black folks don't know what they think, for the most part until white folks tell them---so i will keep telling the truth.

as the interracial movement gains momentum it is interesting to note that even when mixing it up, mixing with black is discouraged and often times penalized. so asian, hispanic and white combinations get to claim whiteness. while asian, hispanic, and black fall into blackness. hmmm very interesting. i prefer to call it what it is---biracial or multiracial as we call it these days; since mulatto, octoroon, and quadroon is out language. which is fine. it is all the same stuff.

William Ferris said "the colored man is the only being who boasts of his bastardy." i tend to agree...

blessings bro:-)

focusedpurpose said...


by way of clarification, when i said:

"if you study the history of this group and its uses you will see what i mean."

the group that i am referencing is the biracial/multiracial that has historically been referred to as mulatto.

i am not the first person to say what i have observed and said. it is truly hard to miss the truth for me. it makes me feel bad and a part of the problem to not tell it.

however, i have spoken with others that find it harder to see it. i feel truly blessed as a result.


Khadija said...


One big problem with the "one drop rule" is that it has historically allowed Whites to create a hostile race within the Black race. For example, the 'coloreds' in South Africa.

As FocusedPurpose has pointed out, many of the same dynamics that applied to the South African 'coloreds' applies to the 'mixed' & 'biracial' folks among us now. To quote from Chancellor Williams' book "The Destruction of Black Civilization," pg. 208:

"...there were many tribes or societies in Africa which were exclusively Mulatto (to use the term loosely). Nothing was more characteristic of the mixed breed clans, tribes or societies than their unceasing efforts to emphasize their SEPARATE identity, and their constant fear of being considered 'Negroes' or Black Africans...

...The white man, by driving his offsprings as a wedge into the black race is not only able to keep it weak by keeping it divided, but he is able to maintain effective control over it WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF HIS OWN PRESENCE."

pg. 208 (emphasis by me). In light of this, consider the energy that Black folks spend concerning ourselves with the fortunes of people like Tiger Woods (who wants nothing to do with us). And Sen. Obama (who does not share our history of being descended from slaves, in addition to being half Other).


focusedpurpose said...


all i can say is:


tell it sister. and i would only add that it is not just the white/black mix either. i see it with all the mixes. i have befriended and had to step away from other biracial people that were just as racist against black people as any white person could ever be.

thank you for highlighting in greater detail the aspect of it. again i say, the mad dash to create internal enemies is not the behavior of a self respecting people.

blessings sis,

focusedpurpose said...


also, in studying i have learned that oftentimes it was these mulattos or biracials as they prefer to be called today---that were instrumental in progressing the slave trade. at other times in history they actually enslaved blacks. this is what i mean when i say study the history and uses of this group.


Khadija said...


The interesting thing is that it doesn't have to play out the way that it usually does---with the creation of a hostile, disloyal wedge group within the Black race.

I think it depends on power relationships & upbringing. I've always marvelled at how Arabs have been able to coopt others into fully identifying with the 'Arab' category & Arabian interests---including Black people (i.e., Egypt, Mauritania, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, etc.).

It IS possible for us to do the same. However, the type of mindset that typically leads a Black person to seek out non-Blacks as mates usually precludes ethnic self-respect. That's how you have self-hating Black people like Tiger Woods' father raising internal half-Black enemies.

At least with people in my age group, Black women in my parents' generation did better with raising loyal half-Black folks. In high school & college, most of the half-Black people I met that had Black mothers were NORMAL, loyal Black folks.

In fact, you usually didn't know these people were half-other[because they didn't bring it up like some sort of badge of honor] until you met their fathers.

Peace, sis.

Khadija said...


Anyone who's curious about the 'mulatto' role in the slave trade can look up the exploits of a half-Arab/half-Swahili Negro by the name of Tippu Tip [although he looks all-Black in his photo].

Peace, blessings & solidarity.

focusedpurpose said...

hi Khadija:-)

i just love talking to you. i can count on you without fail to:


thank you from the bottom of my heart. i learn so much from you. thank you! thank you! thank you!

it is interesting to note that the areas of the world that you mentioned---given the opportunities; the arabs fell, comfortably, right into white supremacy as it relates to the africans. this despite intermarriage and peacefully co-existing with africans previously. which is why i say---intermarriage won't save you when the "it" hits the fan!

arabs despite being dark in coloring, and when racists get beside themselves and candidily refer to them as "sand niggers" as i have heard with my own ears---followed by blushing, embaressment, and an apology---are considered white people. we must never ever forget this...

my mother once told me something that has stayed with me through the years---"it is wise to watch crackers(apply historical perspective to this term and accept the validity of it, puhleeze) never know how they will crumble!" i listened to her and heard her wise words. in fact, they have kept me safe through the years! arab men love me...for all the wrong reasons!

as such, it does not surprise me at all to learn and share that right now today in sudan---arabs have been left by the british to reak havoc against black africans. arabs now routinely enslave black africans in mauritania---today! juneteenth hasn't happened just yet so a lot of african men, women and children have no idea that slavery has been abolished. so they are still enslaved by arabs.

i do agree that the creation of biracials does not have to be the way it consistently plays out. however, keep in mind that you came up during a time when "black is beautiful" was the mantra. black folks were faking it until they could really get to believe that black was in fact beautiful. unfortunately, they abandoned the mantra before they came to believe. obviously:-(

right now, i know men and women that are feverishly seeking to create biracials that seriously do not like black and make no bones about admitting it. these people can do away with centuries of reasons and get to forgiveness and procreation with white and others. can't do this with black folks, just yet. in fact, they lower their bars/standards to be inclusive of others---go figure.

"black is beautiful" is old school and a relic of the past. kindda like respect, love, and taking care of one another... these men and women will admit that only a little black is acceptable when they feel comfortable enough. all you need to do is listen after asking the right questions.

i know this having been mistaken often, as a member of the biracial making crew:-) with the world wide p.r. media campaign underway---most don't like, trust, nor respect black---hispanic, asian, black, white, arab, etc.

for the record, i would be remissed to not say that i feel the same way about black women with white/other men bashing black men/people as i do with black men with white/other women bashing black women and people. for whatever the reason, black women seem not to want to accept this. as if by virtue of being women there is a pass they are owed. ???

as long as it is advantageous to be white and a liability to be black we will see the selective application of blackness and the "wedge" internal enemy among us.

those that scream about their blackness, despite being biracial, as far as i can see are too "colored" to "pass". this in and of itself seems to breed resentment and feelings of superiority among black black folks. it is as if they have been banished to blackness. this is of course not always the case. however, i have watched it long enough to recognize it when i see it. far be it from me not to call it.

until black folks unite, love, accept and respect other black folks---doing this with others is backwards and will only add to the problems that we see. it seems so simple. yet, so many choose to miss it. time after time.

it is no mistake the marrying kind of black man and woman with education and means "can't help" how they can't fall in love and marry other non- black folks. love is not this "unconscious" thing that happens otherwise "falling in love" with po black folks would happen more frequently---there are more of them under this white supremacist system! we have got to get brave enough to look at where we are in truth...

i love black without apology. black also gets on my last nerve; to keep it real. black must do better. we can ill afford to internally depopulate with such immense external depopulation efforts underway, as far as i can see.

thanks for engaging me sis.


focusedpurpose said...

"it is no mistake the marrying kind of black man and woman with education and means "can't help" how they can't fall in love and marry other non- black folks."

i meant they can't help how they can't fall in love and marry other black folks. this "beyond control phenomenom" only happens with non black folks.

Khadija said...


Sis, I can't thank you enough for your blog, thoughts, & solidarity! It does my heart good to talk with you & the others who gather here. And I always learn so much from you.

*Sigh* You're right. Sometimes I forget that I was raised in an era when Black folks pretended to have self-respect. You can imagine how alien the current landscape of the Black community looks to me. I find the up-front, make no bones about it, current style of Black self-hatred absolutely shocking.

It's interesting. There was a time when the Chancellor Williams book I quoted from earlier plucked my nerves in certain aspects. I was offended by his assertions about the role Islam played in destroying Black civilizations in Africa.

But now I know. He was right. He was right. He was right. He was right.

I was amazed to find out that there are currently Negro-American salafi imams loudly preaching to other Blacks that Arabs are superior to non-Arabs. We've gone from Elijah Muhammad to Malcolm X to volunteering for a spot at 'the back of the camel.'

Don't get me wrong. I love God & have an emotional attachment to Him. And I have an emotional attachment to the Quran & the deen. Other Muslims, not so much anymore. Other Black people, not so much anymore. I no longer give passes of any sort to anybody. I wait to see what people's actions are before leaning one way or the other about them.

I think that Islam & Christianity can be powerful, uplifting tools for Black people (and anybody else) seeking justice & peace of mind. But for that to work, we need to get our minds in order. Otherwise, we take our dysfunctions with us into our faiths.

Anyway...thank you for providing a space, meeting place, & refuge for like-minded people to fellowship.

Peace, blessings & solidarity.

focusedpurpose said...


it is truly my pleasure. you and my other visitors bless me in ways that these words don't fully convey.

yes, we gotta get our minds rights. only we can free our minds...the good news is, we have the power!

blessings sis,

TLW said...

focusedpurpose, Khadija

Thanks for answering my question. You guys give me much to think about.

focusedpurpose said...

very welcome my friend:-) you bless me! looking forward to your next visit.


Anonymous said...

FP, this blog continues to bless me each and everytime that I read it. I too have noticed the racist attitudes of bi-racials who have white mothers. It seems to be a little different with those who have black mothers - the few I have met have been very down to earth. I noticed in college, those bi-racials who had white mothers had white friends, white roommates, and would give me and other blacks the evil "don't come near me or you'll blow my cover" eye. It's truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

And why is there this all out assault on black women? There is a spiritual dimension to this problem as Minister Farrakhan likes to say about the plight of blacks in this country. It would behoove us to examine our predicament from this angle as well.

focusedpurpose said...

hi Anonymous April 21, 2008 7:28 PM-

welcome back:-)

it blesses me to hear that reading/visiting blesses you. i am so glad.

yes, black men do not realize or they don't care that they create in quite a few cases internal enemies.

i must concede i have met biracials born to black women that held black people in contempt as well. black women don't want to be honest, there are black women that hate their blackness and the thought of giving birth to black babies. i have met them personally. these women will tell you that they prefer really light complexioned black men if that. others will share they do bother with black at all. this sickness is in both male and female in our community. black female offspring, too, have felt compelled to distance themselves from black when it was not advantageous/beneficial to claim black. i have also met other biracials born to black and chinese, hispanic, and vietnamese women that did not like black either.

we have got to get with ourselves and work this out. honest dialogue is only the first step. i truly believe, there should be a biracial box. stop with the automatic blackness nonsense.

hi Anonymous April 21, 2008 7:35 PM-

welcome or welcome back:-) i agree there is a spiritual dynamic. please share additional thoughts. i love to hear other perspectives. listening to other perspectives grow me.

thanks for stopping in. you are always welcome!


Khadija said...


Sis, here's one place where we part company (and that's okay---no marching in lockstep is required to move forward in the same direction. *Smile*!):

It seems to me that in your quest to be fair to Black men, you sometimes draw a false equivalence between their collective sicknesses & ours as Black women. One example of this is the current discussion about who's creating the bulk of the internal half-Black enemies.

No one has said that Black women don't, can't, or haven't created Black-hating biracials. It has simply been pointed out that, in people's experiences: The biracials they've met that have Black mothers have generally been less Black-hating than those with Black fathers.

I would also add that Black men FAR outnumber Black women in terms of the dash to create biracial children. We all know this.

I'm quite willing to hold Black women accountable for the cultural betrayals that we do collectively commit. I'm not willing to pretend that Black women are equal partners in Black mens' mass betrayal of the Black community. Or that our betrayals manifest in the same form,in the exact same proportions, as those from Black men.
@Anonymous on 4/21 at 7:35 p.m.:

Please speak some more about the "spiritual dimension of the all-out assault on Black women." I'd like to hear your thoughts about that.

Peace, blessings & solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Focused Purpose and Khadja - when I say that there is a spiritual dimension to this problem I mean that black people are under attack by the very forces of evil. The examples of the atrocities suffered by black women and children and the hands of anyone who wants to harm us is legion. We have no recourse, no defenders or protectors. We need to turn back to the God who brought us through and out of slavery, Jim Crow and all of the other tough times. We need to turn back to Him. When black people moved from segregation to integration, we entered a new or promised land ( so the integrationist thought of it back then). Malcolm and Martin were killed before we could get there. There was noone to talk to us, to guide us as to how we should act once we came into this new or promised land. Remember the book of Deutoronomy, how Moses gathered the children of Israel together before they entered the land promised to them by God. Moses taught them how to conduct themselves once they got into the new land; they were not to adopt the practices or customs of that land's inhabitants, they were not to become so wealthy, content and complacent that they forgot where they came from or forgot the God who brought them out; he warned them what would be the consequences of them adopting the idol worshipping ways of the lands' inhabitatns. Too many of us adopted the customs and practices of those with whom we integrated; too many of us became crass materialists who worship at the shrine of whiteness. We have forgotten the God who brought us out and worship the God of materialism - everyone is believing him for more stuff - bigger house, fancy car, etc.. We teach our children not to be prejudiced against other people - you not one word about not being prejudiced against other blacks. We call each other bitches, hos, and other filthy and vile cuss words in the hearing of our children and when they repeat these words, we wonder where they could have gotten such a thing. We let our children see us treat each other with contempt. They in turn grow up to treat other black people with contempt. It's a vicious cycle. Some black women get involved with abusive men - their daughters and sons see their mother being abused and they think that this is the way that it is supposed to be. The son thinks that it is normal and okay to hit and punch a woman - to have a woman take care of him and provide for him, not the other way around. So he treats every female who has the misfortune to become involved with him with the same contempt. The daughter believes that this is how a woman is supposed to be treated and ends up in a situation like mom. And on and on it goes.
We need to turn back to the God who brought us out of the dark night. We are dying. This blog and others have been a blessing to me. I see the fire in these young women - you all are not just talking the talk - you are walking the walk - it gives me hope. God always reserves for Himself a remnent who has not bowed to Baal. We have to turn back to Him. We have to pray for our sisters and our children. We have become so comfortable with our big homes, fancy cars, fancy clothes, shoes, jewelry etc. that we have forgotten that there are poor single moms out there who are struggling. Some of us were struggling once. God provided. We need to speak blessings on us for every curse and slander uttered against us.
Protest is the right thing to do - but we cannot wage and win this war without the God who brought us through and out. My heart is so full and I may not expressing my sentiment very well. But we need to turn back to God in a real way. Black women have no other protector or provider on this earth.

focusedpurpose said...

hi Khadija-

sis, i don't think we are even in disagreement:-)

i am making every effort to be fair. guilty as charged.

just as you noted that there is an air of ageism in this movement. i must say that i have seen/felt a hatred of black men as well. i don't share this; despite many experiences that would lend themselves to justification for hating black men. this fact was hard to miss with the conversations following the hbo congo piece. despite, the documentary showing clearly that there were black men that were losing their lives and doing all that they could to help, protect, and do right by black women the compassion and concern was only for the black women and girls. it was for this reason, at that time, i stated that if something bad happens to any of us that make up the black collective, it happens to us all. we are all connected, black men, women and children. trying to separate, measure, and looking only from one side contributes to the problem of division not the solution as far as i can see.

i just moved from l.a. where i lived for over a decade. i suppose my experiences impact my opinions. i have seen black men and women demonstrate a deep seated hatred for black and each other. i suppose black women have been more vocal with me as to their reasons. i have met biracials with black moms that hate black. i have in fact met black folks with two black parents that hate black. come on now. i am merely calling it as i see it.

those sisters that date, marry, and procreate out, in a lot of cases, not all; hold the same negative attitudes that black men do about black. i am not measuring more or less, i am just saying what i have experienced-first hand. my refusal to write black women passes should not be misread as anything other than that. my mindset is one of no victims only volunteers---unless of course things are being done to you by force. i have personally witnessed black women be unnecessarily cruel to black men---just because they could. i won't pretend otherwise in order to stand in solidarity. if i did that, i would forfeit my right to call decent brothers out for refusing to address the knuckleheads, you know? black men and women are both contributing to the problem of division between black folks that was initiated/is maintained by wicked white folks.

i do not dispute for a minute that black men in large numbers have deserted black women and children. i do not for a minute dispute the fact that an alarming number of black men have re-cast themselves not as protectors/providers for black women/children but as predators of black women/children. i do not for a moment dispute the fact that black men, when they bother to get married at all, in greater numbers than black women "can't help" the fact that they must do this with non-black women. however, the greater focus for me is rather than play the blame game we look at our issues and in love, equity, and urgency set into motion ways to manage them so that we begin to win, collectively.

for the record, black people, men and women, get on my nerves. it seems that we have been told we are stupid, gullible, and childlike for so long, many of us believe and work diligently to be just that. this notwithstanding, i am committed to doing my part to make us better as a family/nation of people.

Khadija, i am one of those principled people. i really do believe injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. as a nation, we got problems. weighing who has contributed more strikes me as a waste of time. i do see where there is any time to waste. so when i weigh in on an issue i am really trying not to lose sight of the greater focus and purpose.

hope that clarifies my position a little better. if not, we can agree to disagree---i know we want the same thing ultimately---freedom:-)

blessings sis,

focusedpurpose said...


i meant we don't have any time to waste.

blessings sis,

focusedpurpose said...


thank you so much! in your sharing i got chill bumps. your sentiments made perfect sense and i agree wholeheartedly.

i have been thinking this for awhile. i have said this in part on other blogs only to listen to black folks rise to the defense of white folks. i will now say it, no holds barred.

let me say this first---i was raised and taught manners. i was also taught that plain talk was bad manners...but do it. this is what i have been determined to do for several months now.

i have said repeatedly that white folks and their teachings are devilish. i have said repeatedly that black folks are "acting white" to our detriment. we have learned and paid through the teeth, black tax and all, to learn to see ourselves (other black folks and our personal selves in some instances) through the eyes of our historical enemies---white folks. black men and women have learned a hatred and contempt of one another that we would never openly express about other groups of people. we do this freely, in mixed company, on tv., in the movies, on the radio, in the newspaper, on the internet, everywhere of other black people. especially the poor. black folks do this to each other all day every day.

the devil is the father of lies. white people on this planet have functioned, collectively, as the people of the lie. there is nothing in history that would indicate that my assertion is untrue. it would be in our best interest to come out from among them. it is for this reason, i will not relent or compromise my message about intermarriage. the congo, darfur, haiti, america, and all around the world has been underway for centuries. white folks have no intention of peacefully coexisting with black and other non white people. period. there is no where in history that these people have gone where death, destruction, lies, dissension, division, and all the other devilish imps have not shown up. no where. white folks cannot peacefully co-exist in europe. which is why i have said repeatedly, tell the truth and shame the devil. black folks, collectively, have refused in large numbers to learn the truth---much less tell it. i find those that will apologize, put so much sugar on it you can't find the point, or will only tell it to other black folks while compromising daily with the devil as if God can't/won't bless them.

i have not posted in a couple of days as i stand still, pray and seek only to move in obedience.

i agree with you sis. we have listened to the devil, digested the lies of who we are that the devil loves to tell, and are presently earning the wages of sin---death. i am committed to doing my part to boldly shine light.

you blessed me tremendously with your comment. i thank you from my soul for sharing it. in doing so, you have encouraged me to continue to move forward powerfully.

blessings to you in abundance,

Khadija said...


Like FP, I also got chills reading your comment...There are so many false idols being worshipped as you mentioned----material things, ego, and on & on. And we've adopted so many White practices---from "don't spank the children" parenting styles to learning how to become serial killers. To learning how to kill our parents.

[A Black attorney that worked for my office killed his mother a few years ago. The papers said he did this in a burst of cocaine-induced paranoia. I have my doubts. Throughout the decades, I had never heard of Black dope fiends doing such to their parents. Even during the era when I was in high school and the hallucinogenic pcp/'angel dust' was a popular recreational drug.]

Your comment reminded me of something my imam told me years ago---"Not everybody wants to get to the promised land." I've concluded that, unfortunately, at lot of our people are going to have to die in the wilderness. As we currently are. This is why I've been meditating on Noah's Ark quite a bit lately.

Thank you for your points. I need to ponder them some more.

@Focused Purpose:

Not that it's required, we agree on the big picture. Let me explain why I think it's important to pursue this point:

Sometimes what appears [on the surface] to be a principled position can become a weapon in our internal enemies' hands. There are a lot of parallels between protectionism regarding Black men & protectionism regarding Whites. As you said, whenever someone tells "too" much truth about Whites, some Black person jumps up in their general defense: (1)"They're not all bad---some of them are good." (2)"Black people have also done evil."

You see where I'm going with this. I need not translate the above defensive statements to Black men. This is important to me because I believe Black women's deeply programmed protectionism is part of what encourages the decent Black men NOT to intervene with the 'knuckleheads'. Protectionism keeps the decent men comfortable & complacent. When they need to be uncomfortable enough to do something radically different from the nothing that they generally do---like intervene with the DL Hughleys, Wesley Snipes, Damon Wayans, etc. [as you correctly suggested over at Ruminations' house].

When Black women who were not previously White-oriented learn to hate Black men, Black men are merely reaping the whirlwind that they have sown by their hatred [the knuckleheads] & apathy [the decent ones]. I believe that this is divine justice. God designed humans to have antipathy for those who mistreat them---that is a natural survival mechanism.

And it's not my place to stand between Black men & the whirlwind.

I believe that Black men & women are both currently being subjected to divine wrath. We are being punished as a people, but the punishment manifests differently for each gender. The homework assignment that each gender of our nation must complete to lift the wrath is different.

It's different based on the different ways and proportions in which we manifest our disobedience. That's why I reject the "Black men & women are equally wrong" position; as well as rejecting the idea that we should not assign & apportion blame.

I need to think some more. Thanks, as always, for giving me plenty of food for thought!

Peace, blessings & solidarity.

Anonymous said...

I have been meditating on the Old Testament, especially the books written by Moses lately. The similarities of the circumstances of the children of Israel and of black people in this country are just too striking to ignore. Slaves in the most powerful countr on earth, brought out by the hand of the unseen but all powerful God, wandering in the wilderness, abandoning of the God who sustained and brought us out, falling into idol worship. It's all there.

Khadija said...


Words can't express how much you have blessed me with your comments. Those of us that have been blessed to have an acquaintance with God's words know many of these things [on a surface, lip service level]. But I often find that we don't really contemplate these examples from scripture [on a deep level] often enough.

I count myself among the people who know but don't reflect on this material in a serious way often enough. I guess I don't take the time to ponder this material's emotionally challenging. And creates a heightened awareness of my portion of our spiritual homework.

It's so much easier to tune out & get back to the tv, radio, secular reading materials & whatever other distractions I can busy myself with. Thank you for your reminder. I'm going to re-read & contemplate the portions of the Quran & Bible dealing with Moses & the promised land, along with Noah.

Thank you.

Peace, blessings & solidarity.

Anonymous said...

When the children of Israel fell into idolotry and other sins, God let them be taken into captivity by other nations - where do we see this played out today in the lives of African American but in the prison industrial complex and foster care system. Too many of our men are in prison and too many of our children are being born to parents who cannot raise them for one reason or another and end up in the foster care system. We need to turn back to God.

Khadija said...


SPEAK!!!! I have to catch up on my reading & study regarding the example of the Israelites. Again, thank you for breaking it down.

Peace, blessings & solidarity.

Jhenette said...

How does a black person traveling to Argentina get in touch with cultural groups like Africa Vive?