Opinion: What you really need to know about black women
Sophia Nelson writes that black women in the “Age of Michelle Obama” want what everyone wants.
January 26th, 2012
10:12 AM ET

Opinion: What you really need to know about black women

Editor's note: Sophia A. Nelson, Esq., is the author of "Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama" She is a blogger and contributor to media outlets such as Essence, Heart & Soul, USATODAY, Fox News and NPR.

By Sophia A. Nelson, Special to CNN

Finally!  The American media is beginning to take a sober and candid look at the real lives of 21st century black women, beyond the stereotypical and often angry images portrayed of us on TV reality shows or in the media. Shows like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, “The Game” and “Basketball Wives” portray us as morally loose, angry and even physically violent. Rap video vixens show our young sisters’ bodies writhing and shaking their rumps wildly.  And movies like “The Help," Oscar-nominated or not, and Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” portray us either through a historical lens as the saintly and weary mammy who saves the day for everyone but herself or as broken, battered, confused, too independent or too driven.

The truth is we are none of those things. Not really.  Sure we have bad days.  Sure we make bad choices.  Sure we get angry.  Doesn’t everyone? We are human after all. So why, then, are we the only group of women on the planet to have been so deftly defined and labeled as "angry" all the time? I suggest it is because we have never really defined ourselves and that needs to change.

Black women living in the “Age of Michelle Obama” are normal, everyday women, who want what everyone wants: love, connection, great relationships, a great mate, a strong and personal relationship with their creator (GOD), success in our careers, marriage (if it comes), babies (if they come), good health, happiness and fulfillment.

A recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey on black women affirms many of my book’s findings relative to black women, but we also have some divergent points because the focus of my Accomplished Black Women Sample Survey was more specifically on college-educated, professional black women. This is a critical difference because black women who are educated have taken the brunt of criticism around not living balanced and fulfilled lives (i.e. not being able to find and keep a man, marry and have children.)  Now thanks to Michelle Obama, we can be seen as a norm, and no longer the "exception.”

Here's what my book’s survey’s national sample n=1000 (+/3) and college-educated black female sample (n=540) shared relative to how  Michelle Obama is changing things:

• 87% of the black female survey respondents believe that First Lady Michelle Obama has helped dispel negative stereotypes of accomplished black women in America and 75% of black male (n=211) respondents agreed with that sentiment.

• The top descriptor words used in the 1,000 sample of all Americans (which included men, women, whites, blacks, Latinos) to describe Mrs. Obama chose the following words: wife & mother (82%), intelligent (76%), strong-willed (71%), and accomplished (70%).

• The top descriptor words the ABW Sample Survey respondent used to describe Mrs. Obama: intelligent (40%), accomplished (35%), wife and mother (28%), inspiring (26%), and role model (23%).

• Overall white men had the least favorable opinions of Mrs. Obama (21%) stating that they felt she had been "made over," and women in general (across racial lines) had more favorable responses toward her to a variety of questions posed about the first lady's impact.

Nevertheless, I am glad to see the national news media finally turn a serious eye to such an important subject matter. I was frankly starting to lose hope as a lone voice crying out in the proverbial wilderness. It has been a difficult journey trying to redefine the images of black women in America, particularly the image of the so-called "career driven" black woman who is supposedly destined to be childless and alone.

Kris Marsh: Where is the black middle class?

As we begin to re-define the Strong Black Woman, I wanted to weigh in on a few points that I think are critical takeaways that all Americans should consider as they befriend, work with, admire, date, support, and love black women.

• Our story as women is a unique journey forged through slavery, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. It is unparalleled by our white sisters - or by other women of color to be candid. To truly "get us" America can no longer ignore our context. History often shapes stereotypes and labels.

• Black women are smart, compassionate, loving and giving. We hold it down everyday, while carrying the unique burden of both race and gender stereotypes on our backs daily. It ain't easy, folks, and sometimes, yes, we do get angry.

• Mrs. Obama is a game changer for black women of a new generation because she is the living, breathing embodiment of success, wellness, family, achievement, compassion, strength, and positivity all in perfect balance.

The bottom line: Black women are neither angry and strident, nor invisible and to be taken for granted. Paraphrasing what Miss Celie says in the movie, "The Color Purple": We may be black, and we may be perceived as "ugly," but we are here.

And Mrs. Obama's wonderful and balanced legacy ensures that we are here to stay.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sophia A. Nelson.

Posted by
Filed under: Black in America • Gender • Race • Relationships • What we think • Women
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. 爆乳熟女


    February 10, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. unsecure loan

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    February 9, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. playdayAccoma

    Some posts are just mean't to be commented on, this is one. Thank you for an superb read, so challenging to come across these days.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. playdayAccoma

    I hate to comment but i am going to for this post. Thanks for your hard work, please maintain it up.:)

    February 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hitomi_aka

    Very good article! I wish I had read it sooner! I am also proud that Ms.Obama is improving image and destroying those stereotypes. She is pretty, smart and very poised!

    February 5, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. OrangeW3dge

    "Overall white men had the least favorable opinions of Mrs. Obama" --– and are we surprised ??? especially after reading so many of the comments made on these websites. It is as if a stupid and hateful plague has taken over the American youth. And you said that video games and violent entertainment does effect children ***WRONG

    February 2, 2012 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • OrangeW3dge

      and I want to thank Sophia for writing this article. It is long overdue that we had a Hawaiian in the White House. Especially one with such a nice tan. 300 years of this "melting pot" and only now getting around to this. Next should be a woman sitting at the desk in the Oval office, not just cleaning it.

      February 2, 2012 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. IMHO

    Accomplished black women are hot.

    Grinding hip-hop bunnies and aunt jemima's are not

    February 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    This comment is to say thanks, i dont comment usually, but when i do it is constantly for some thing extremely good.

    February 1, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. monkeymix

    Soooooo many ridiculous, uninformed, obnoxious and stupid comments from all races. All of you annoy me equally.

    January 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Yepyep6598

    Let me see, you have in the world: Educated
    black educated Dominican women
    black educated Colombian women
    black educated Puerto Riican women
    black educated Brazilian women
    black educated Venezuelan women (South America period)
    black educated African women
    I just dont see what is so special about african-americam women instead of trying to single yourselves out as being superior to other black women, why dont you say black women around the world period and leave it at that. Most of the groups I just named have caught up with african-american when it comes to college degrees. I am recognizing my sistas not to say they are special, but recognizing them as black women who have not been recognized. I wish CNN would do a special on the professional black women in those countries Im tired of hearing about the sfrican-american woman. How about it SOLEDAD.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • CicelyP

      You have a very good point. And when you can get all of these cultural groups to proudly identify themselves as being of African/ black heritage, then perhaps it will warrant its own website...better yet, why don't YOU create an Afro-Latina/Hispanic News Site instead of expecting one woman to cover all that is Black America? Perhaps you can do an ireport etc. now THAT'S called being "proactive", Sister. 🙂

      January 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yepyep6598

        I agree with you 100%.

        January 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • AfroBrazilianMom

      people are so funny....all I have to say is they talk about how loud and rude african american women are but has anyone noticed how some white women like to act like this way also. I hate how when white people look at me because i have milk chocolate skin and assume i am black but breath a sigh of relief when i am like my family is from brazil or african american women look at me and assume because i have long hair its fake or i think i am better than them.....we all have are racist in some way......I wont lie I have a hard time leaving my children with a white person but that is because the news is always showing white people loosing their kids or killing them and lets be for real every time i see a child rapist they just so happen to be white same thing with serial killers.....but i can walk around assuming every white person is i child killer/rapist that wouldnt be fair....but i do have white friends that will tell you they will not leave their child with a white person......Heack my husband is from Spain and when people ask him are you white he will tell you quick no i am not......I think our lives and our culture is based to much on race and we need to grow as people and come to realize just like Hitler you cant kill everybody you dont like.....but I am so pro for the Afro Latina website because i have noticed rasim against darker latinos......hell at the end of the day we all bleed the same

      January 31, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Yepyep6598

        to me black latina women are better than african-american women please dont assimilate with them and this is from a Afro-American man.

        February 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Milagros

      Soledad Obrien is a raci
      st Cuban and unlike iself who is also a Afrikan from Cuba she does not get it!

      January 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      The author is highlighting African American women because she is African American, and we're in the USA where most of the black women are African American. I'm sure she didn't mean to disparage our sisters throughout the diaspora. Remember, operative word: sisters. The accomplishments of any black women should be viewed by others with absolute pride!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dinah

    Black women need to group together and start boycotting tv shows and advertisors who benefit from stereotyping them as over the top divas, doormats for chauvenist rappers, or welfare mommas with fatherless kids. Boycott rap artists, shows, and advertisors who commit this stereotyping. Cut off their frigin money supply and demand change as a group. By listening to music or watching shows that demean black women, you are contributing to the cause. I consider the stereotyping on Maury Povich to be dangerous and almost criminal...I would be enraged if I were a black person over that. I am so glad that I cut off my cable tv 3 years ago so that I can avoid the ridiculous reality shows...it is all brainless junk.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanstar

      Dinah I agree!!! You start a Facebook page and I would be you first friend. I want to see more black woman in movie roles in Hollywood.

      January 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      I agree and I already do the same.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sternberg

    I am the basic 60+ year old, pretty well off, white guy in SC. Half of my neighbors are black, and pretty much just like us, except for the one lady whose yard puts the rest of us to shame.

    January 30, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lynda

    THANK YOU JrzWrld...for setting the record straight...mainly...your your White counterparts....who are the only ones who seem to think that all White women are dignified, prissy little soles who never raise their voices above an octive in the heat of anger. I am African American female and NONE, I repeat, NONE of these sterotypes apply to me, or to anyone I have EVER known in my life. The media is run by White men and women, so why in the world would they want to EVER put their NEGATIVE business in the street????? Lets focus all the negativity on Blacks, men and women.....and THE WORLD BELIEVES THIS S____. Yes, I have seen those "negative sterotypical Black females" and Yes...they are one big utter embarrassment to me and everyone I know, SIMPLY because we know that the media and White people in that general area will PREJUDGE ME based on THEIR hideous behavior. But make no mistake..Every Black woman knows that there are JUST AS MANY WHITE FEMALE EMBARRASSMENTS, be they in trailer parks, onl Long Island or on PARK AVENUE. We know it.....and most important...THEY KNOW IT. They're betting that the media shifts the focus on Blacks and not on themselves....and isn't that just what happens.

    January 30, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Kadee

      Okay, I am confused Lynda. On one hand you are saying you are not the "negative stereotypical black female" that white media and white people like to prejudge those types of women to be. Then on the other hand you are typing in capital letters, which signals anger, saying white people like to prejudge black women, but what are you doing?? You are doing the exact same thing! You are judging white women, I guess all white women who live in trailer parks, on Long Island (lol), and on Park Ave. You stated white women who live in all those places are en embarrassment? I just want to understand how you can type from your high horse but make such judgemental statements?! You say you are not angry but you sure seem to be, at what IDK? I guess at white media and white people in general?

      January 30, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      No judment, just providing a little help for future posts: When referring to white women and their "prissy little soles" you may want to consider using "souls." (unless ofcourse you intended to make reference the bottoms of their feet) Also, "octive" is not a word. The correct spelling is "octave."

      January 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BushBush

    Most black women are fat and look like sumo wrestlers, and a far cry from the hot babes that hollywood sells to us on the screens.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Hair bear

    I'm ashamed of some of the comments I've just read on this blog! Why not write a article on why so many white women are in relationships with black men? I'd like to see what comments just might come out of that. This race stuff has got to stop! You guys need to get a life!

    January 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • nadia t

      that is because, no matter what, be it positive or negative, the white race CANNOT exist without the black race – end of story.

      January 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yepyep6598

        @nadia yes they can, it's the black democrat cant survive withou the white liberal someone has to babysit the children.

        January 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      myself I like black latinas

      January 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  16. JrzWrld

    Wow. I'm white and the stereotypes flying around this board have me completely skeeved. Look, I lived all my life not fitting in. It's worked well for me – I'm an Ivy League graduate with a successful career and a wide-ranging social network and family. But one thing people have learned about me is that if you push me, I will buck and take off running in the opposite direction of the one you tried to shove me in.

    When I hear black women collectively criticized for not living a "fulfilled" life (with the husband and kids), my skin crawls on their behalf. When I hear them collectively stereotyped as loud or aggressive or greedy, I am completely disgusted.

    Really, you think this is a "black woman" thing? Because it's not my experience at all among my black female friends and acquaintances. However, I have spent extensive time in a predominantly white trailer park and among working class white people in more urban areas, and I've seen just those behaviors among members of my own race.

    My personal belief is that because "Black" was long associated with the lowest rung of the social ladder, when black people conform to lower-class stereotypes it is a confirmation of a pre-existing belief that has already been ingrained in the individual's mind. Further, that viewpoing is encouraged in the media, which perpetuates stereotypes pretty freely. Add in that a greater proportion of African-Americans are economically disadvantaged than the proportion of caucasians, and you have further confirmation of the stereotypes. When white people act like black or lower-class stereotypes, they are seen as aberrations and the behavior is dismissed or viewed as something to be laughed about rather than a threat. Heck, I've seen it in my own family. But I've seen so many people make this an issue of race when it is really an issue of education and socioeconomic class.

    And perhaps there is some grain of truth to certain stereotypes, but I don't see why these differences should not be embraced as part of the whole picture of humanity. I'm from Jersey – many expect me to be a bit loud, somewhat uncouth, and talking with my hands a lot. Yeah, that really is me. I'd seem a bit out there to someone from Georgia or Wisconsin, perhaps. But I've moved across the country, and I've met people who like me despite those differences and embrace them as part of me. I'm not a type to them – I'm a unique individual, and they don't have any expectations for me to conform to except that I be a good person and treat them well as my friends. I'm not sure why this is so hard for so much of humanity.

    January 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Loved this comment!

      January 30, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • runner15

      Thank you for your post. You seem like someone who calls it as you see it, despite others who may want you to tow the line. I can only imagine how great of a friend you must be and those who have you in their lives should be happy you are. The media has great influence in how others veiw people who don't look like them or with whom they have had little contact. We have a lot of work to do. Please continue to do your part by speaking out against stereotypes and I will certainly do my part. Stay real!

      January 30, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Pianoman

      rattel much?

      January 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • nadia t

      respect earned.

      January 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Cashun Please

    Where's my posts!!!!!

    January 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      i dont know where it is must have not been important.

      January 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yepyep6598

        i dont know where it is it must have not been important.

        January 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Cashun Please

    What happened to my post CNN!!!!

    January 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • nadia t

      one of 2 things happened there's either too much truth or too much trash. it happens sometimes. stuff seems to be preread before post – maybe

      January 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Khalia Wilkinson

    As a writer, I read often and I have noticed that this subject is becoming more and more prominent. I think that it is great to finally see it being addressed! First Lady Michelle Obama is (in my opinion) an awesome woman on so many levels and we couldn't have a better individual representing Black Women in such a healthy manner!
    Great read!

    January 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Tom in San Diego

    Personally, I think you can find goofy people everywhere! What pigment your skin is has little to do with it.

    January 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darf Vader

      You Sir....are a genius!

      January 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry Sauls Jr

      I strongly feel that everything negative that may happen to black people should not be classified as it being racist. Bad things happen to everyone no matter skin color. The only difference is, black people today know that they can complain and receive favorable treatment unlike whites. To prove me wrong, let white Americans have an organization that would support them if they are treated the same way black folks are, equality for everyone should be everyone's goal!

      January 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • the doctor


        January 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • TLKELLY

        Are you serious? Lol. Let's not forget that these "organizations" where set up to provide blacks with civil liberties and rights in a white society whereas racial degradation and dehumanization was the norm targeting blacks. You can't compare the black experience to that of whites. The fact is, whites were never treated in the same way as blacks; which is why their was never a need for whites to organize in favor of civil rights–since the land was taken from the natives, the history of America is that whites have always declared supremacy over blacks. I do believe in equality, but let's stick to the facts here: as long as racial inequality exists targeting black people, these "organizations" in favor of blacks will serve a relevant purpose!

        January 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Terry Sauls

        After reading your response and taking everything you said or pointed out to me very seriously from a discussion stand point, I would like to point out a few facts that dispute your opinion written in your previous response to me. I would like to point out to you factually that slavery was a major impact for "whites" as well as blacks. I do not really want to bore you with a long history lesson but basically let's start 500 years ago until slavery ended. Rich European's for example would purchase people/ property of all colors including whites for their daily bidding. In fact, if was black African's that started the slave trade of other blacks to both European and then later America's. Whites, Asians, Hispanic, Black ,you name the skin color all were enslaved until a certain time in history. The Middle-East today is very well known for still using slave labor from bordering countries. I would have to guess that you brought up your point of how black people were enslaved is because that is your understanding and general knowledge of most African American people actually. The difference between back then and the last 200 years, is that white European's were typically wealthier and could afford black slaves then brought them to America to began a new life here. Again, that is just a simple glimpse into history. (There were rich black Americans that owned black slaves as well, a fact not often pointed out.) The reason why organizations were developed to assist African Americans and other minority groups in America was to ensure basically a smoother transition to proclaim by law that all Americans will be treated the same by awarding additional privileges' to minority races like African Americans. However, until we cancel out organizations like those formed to assist in that transitional phase, there will always be racism. I despise racism and lazy people. I will give you a great example. I am a middle-aged and am a disabled Veteran from this war. Every minority race in our country that were either born here or became citizens' later in life have more privileges I do by far in regards to both state and federal benefits. I was told that if I should start a business, to put in my wife's name since she is Asian and considered a minority because she automatically qualifies for more benefits and tax breaks then I do. Where is the equality in that knowing that you and I were both raised without you or your current living family members ever being "enslaved" so to speak? Every single person my age was given the same opportunities I had in school growing up. Not once were any race other than "white" canceled out of something or not given the same opportunity as I was. But, because there are organizations that still exist educating African Americans that they still deserve more rights than their "white" counter-part is ridiculous! Also pointed out in your reply stating that "whites have always declared supremacy over blacks." It is what you do as an individual that should be judged, not because the color of your skin automatically gives you more rights in an already free society. The organizations that "black people" have representing them today, cause racism to still exist. Bottom line, until these racism organizations are gone, we will always have in-equality amongst the races.

        January 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • nadia t

        the sound of ignorance...

        January 31, 2012 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Terry

        Please educate me then with your rebuttal! Prove me wrong, I bet you will reply with mostly opinion them fact like most comments I have read so far.

        January 31, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. PILOT972

    Every race loves us sooooo much that they cant stand it. We are the strongest most long lived race alive and no one will ever take that away from us. So whenever there is a post about aour beautiful race, there is negativity, despite the hardship. Your first ancestors were black and all came from Africa, the motherland. We will always be misunderstood and neglected, which is why we are strong and those who critisize are weak.......For some reason alot of interracial relationships are so happening now. Im sure you have something to say about that too huh?

    January 28, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Kabul

      Are you asian or something?

      January 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tired

      Seriously, your soap box must be near breaking point... Don't you and everyone else like you notice that no matter the pigment of your skin or where you are born racism is still racism. Whether you are saying that "We are strong, because we are (Racial common denominator)" Or "You are weak because you are (racial slur)" it is still racism. Stop worrying so much about your ancestors having been put down or someone else having been given a better chance. Call it out when it happens and then just shut up every where else. YOU are the problem just as much as the people you hate are.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  22. mikrik13

    A person can be loud and can be stupid, but not at the same time.

    January 28, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Darf Vader

      uhm...yes they can

      January 28, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • douglas

      Huh? Usually they go hand in hand.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  23. whosurdaddy

    3 things about women that men can not stand:
    They never satisfied.
    They never stop complainning.
    The worst of all they never shut up!
    With the feminist movement things get worse, thats why so many good men rather stay single or marry some forgein women who still have some traditional value which is obey their husband.
    Black American women in particular do not have any traditional culture roots and few of them have family discipline, many of them tried to be nice to people but they just don't know how and can't hide their instincts, no men in their right minds will like to live with them, its just sad fact of life.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Juno

      I like black women

      January 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • runner15

      How did you enjoy the sun when you came out of your cave to carve this post in stone? Did you drag your woman by the hair or did you walk out on all fours with you?

      January 30, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  24. Bobert

    I don't intend to be racist, but a lot of black people are violent and loud and live lives that most people don't normally choose. Although, if someone wants to be racist, let them. Its not like one or more comments are going to change way people see the black race or any race for that matter. People need to learn to chill and learn to not be offended by every single thing. In today's society it seems that everyone is so insecure that if one person says one remark about someone being loud or tacos or whatever, someone has to come along and make a big thing about it. Just learn to live with it and move on.

    January 28, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • nadia t

      A lot of white people are also rude, loud,unrefined, disrespectful and shameless. These qualities exist in every race. Don't be so closed minded, it stunts your mental capacity for growth.

      January 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  25. just an ole' woman

    Last week I was in the parking lot of the local unemployment office waiting on a car to back out of a spot when a car came around the corner and raced into the spot. There was a black woman driving the car. That irritated me because things like that happen all the time around here.

    January 28, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  26. Miles H.

    The Confederate flag still flies

    January 28, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  27. mark

    The fact of the matter is that this woman is in the minority of black women. The majority are the typical negative stereotype. Funny how they cry racist when all they do is perpetuate their own negativity by their choice of lifestyle. Change the way you act towards others and yourself and you'd be surprised how much more accepted you'd be in general society as opposed to your native environment – the ghetto.

    January 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Mark, did you no where the word Ghetto originated in NY, where the Iris and Italians lived, so when you use the word Ghetto, you might want to use it for ignorant people, its not the whole race or place, its ignorant whites people(ghetto), Italians, blacks, spanish etc, its individuals, tell me, the whole republican party is not ignorant and Ghetto. INDIVIDUALLY ALL OF THEM ARE!

      January 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Novachek

        We're in a crazy age...everyone calls the other "Racists".. But, let's look at the double standard going on today: Black actress awards, black television, black collages, black fraternities, black magazines, black history month....
        Question: How long before the black people want their own drinking fountain?

        January 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gill

        Novachek, the black colleges and fraternaties were created over a century ago. They came about due to conditions during that period of time. They are not a double standard. Black television and black magazines are terms used in order to sell the products. Those products satisfy a certain market niche. Once again, not a double standard. They are no different that programs aimed at women, children, or sports fans. Its business and marketing, not a double standard.

        January 28, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Case Sensitive

        Candy, evidently you don't know your history on the word "ghetto". Learning how to spell would be a big plus for you, too!

        January 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Mark, did you no where the word Ghetto originated in NY, where the Iris and Italians lived, so when you use the word Ghetto, you might want to use it for ignorant people, its not the whole race or place, its ignorant whites people(ghetto), Italians, blacks, spanish etc, its individuals, tell me, the whole republican party is not ignorant and Ghetto. INDIVIDUALLY ALL OF THEM ARE! ESPECIALLY THE WOMAN WHO PUT HER FINGER IN OUR PRESIDENTS FACE, RUDE!

      January 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy


      January 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gumby777

      Uh oh, Mark has become full on the kook aid!

      January 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gumby777

      Novachek, If you want to know why all of those "black" things exists, it's because whites excluded blacks from so many things that the only way to have anything was to have your own. Read a history book before you speak...

      January 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Victory in 2007

    So let me ask you this Candy. I too am a college graduate with 2 degrees with morals and values. However, I perm and somtimes color my hair. Please tell me what the heck natural hair versus processed hair has to do with this wonderful article about disspelling myths about Black women? You had me up to the part about your little fro...really???

    January 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      I only pointed out what values television portray for our black woman,fighting, cursing, arguing, buying very expensive items and living off of rich men, Why do you think some of White America view us as angry? We walk around grossly over weight 80% of black woman are over weight, phony hair, then here comes ignorant TV shows, its not just about hair or weight, or cursing, Do you like what you see? Look at yourself in the mirror do you like what you see? I do! and I bet Michelle do too, a real woman. Don't get insulted, just try it, be your self, if that includes wearing a wig or whatever so be it, but TV will not portray me as a phony ignorant woman.

      January 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Candy

    The black woman on TV reality shows are so GHETTO it's embarassing and your setting a good example for our young sisters, (not) fighting, cursing, arguing, buying very expensive items and living off of rich men, is not a good example, you black women should be ashame of yourself, could you portray graduating from college or how to dress for success, or even just wearing your real hair, no everything you all portray is fony and ghetto, thanks MICHELLE OBAMA for setting a great example, Michelle is not a angery black woman, she is a serious woman with values, something alot of black woman don't have, I challenge you all to do a show with your natural hair, or graduating from college, bet you can't, no perms, wigs or color, just be natural, you all would look a hot mess. I'm a beautiful Black woman with natural hair college degrees and morals, again thanks Michelle you lead by example.

    January 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth


      January 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darf Vader

        I read this like I was YELLING...it was quite entertaining...

        January 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      Candy, what makes you think you can tell people how to wear their hair. Is someone want to perm or flat-iron their hair, that is their business. That is great you have two degrees. How come you do not know how to spell phony? How come most of your post is run-on sentences? On one hand you applaud Michelle Obama but then you mock people with less than natural hair. Michelle's hair is relaxed.

      Candy, there are a lot of women of all races who perm and color their hair. That is their choice. It does not mean they do not have morals. I get the intent of your post but let people be who they are or at least encourage them in a positive manner.

      You should not put your hair expectations on others. We all have different types of hair. I flat-iron mine and I do not need to use 'oil'. But I will not put that requirement on someone else.

      January 28, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • LusciousDC

      This is the reason they put these women on t.v. They want people to think all black women like this.. There are people that only believe what they see on t.v. They don't want to think for themselves. They think all Black women are loud and angry..

      January 29, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  30. fhgirl

    I have no real problem with this article except for one thing. That we have to use our First Lady as a model that epitomizes black women in America. While I do admire Michelle Obama, I certainly do not admire her nearly as much as I admire those women and men who shaped me into who I have become. My greatest example was my mother. She and my father raised me to be independent, and to strive to build my own business rather than work for someone else. She didn't just talk the talk; she walked the walk. She earned both a bachelors and masters degree, she worked as an educator. She worked in the church, served on community boards of directors, etc. She is the epitome of what a strong, successful, yet nurturing woman looks like. Not a BLACK woman; but a REAL WOMAN, period. It is unfortunate that our young ladies have to look at the image of our First Lady as their primary role model, rather than being able to sit across the dinner table from their primary positive influence on a daily basis.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • PorkRibs


      January 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • sogooden

      Alot of us do have/had that role model in our lives, but Ms. Obama is on the world stage. She is one woman that every young woman can look up too. In my mind, no one could ever be a better role model than my mom and I carry her in heart as an example as I become a role model for my daughter. But Ms. Obama is definately someone we can be proud of.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRACK

      Thank you, well written! I am my daughters' own hero. Just an everyday woman...

      January 30, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  31. PorkRibs

    Completely Racist article.
    Anytime you pidgeon-hole or try to speak for literally millions of people based on their race...you are a racist.
    I know exactly 25 black women. 22 are loud mouthed, self centered, idiots. The other three are as you want to see them all in this article.
    Speak as to what you know...not to what you would like reality to be as if it were fact.

    January 27, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Cooki

      Dear PorkRibs, if the black women you hang around with are loud mouthed, self centered, idiots, then what does that say about you as a person? You too must be loud mouthed, self-centered and a complete idiot. Birds of a feather...

      January 27, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Sushine

        Agree Cooki!

        January 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      PorkRibs says he "knows exactly 25 Black Women, 22 are loud mouth idiots"

      Well PorkRibs, tell you what? the rest of us know exactly how racist biggots express themselves.

      January 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • sogooden

      Seems to me that you're the racist here. I wonder what those 22 black women think of you.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • mark

        the truth hurts doesn't it?

        January 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      Wow PorkRibs, you know how many black women you know. I cannot tell you how many people I know based on ethnicity and race. 22 woman do not represent the sea of people who are 'black'. That would be the equivalent of saying someone of German heritage is a Nazi.

      There are loud crass people in all races and ethnicities.

      January 28, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      slap her in the mouth thats what i do may not work for everyone.

      January 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Angeline Lawrence

    Loved the piece and thankful for the data that reinforces what many have known for years. There are numerous highly-educated, married Black women that are raising successful families. I am a married (13 yrs.), educated (masters degree), working mother of six.

    I excell on my job and work with a Spirit of Excellence in what I do (urban planner). I was given the nickname, "the edge" on my job because I refused to let down my standards on projects. If I brought up an obvious problem or concern, then I was being difficult. If White or Black male counterparts raised the same concerns then they were admired.

    I haved learned to pick my battles, but I am comfortable raising my concerns in a professional and passionate way. I completely understand what the First Lady is going through. You must keep fighting the good fight. You are not alone.

    January 27, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired

      Sooo.... You're a successful woman who admires successful women, specifically Black women.... and HOW are you not racist? You specifically admire someone for the colour of their SKIN? What the heck is right about that?

      January 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Joe

    As long as articles like this are written, racial bigotry will continue. Keep shouting how different you are and you will continue to be viewed as different, whether you like it or not. Do you want to be treated and viewed as equal?? Don't continue to pander your color!!

    January 27, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Tamara

      THANK YOU! I totally agree, so tired of reading those kind of articles...

      January 27, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • nadia t

      you sound racist and not to mention angry yourself. If members of the black race wants to highlight the positives of their race why not let them? There is no harm done. Everyone else does it. It's a reality that female members of the black race generally face the most obsticales socially,economically,etc. Go Sistas!!!

      January 27, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Darf Vader

        I love Telemundo!

        January 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Joe: We will not "pander to" but speak to our race as positively as we want to and as proudly as we want.

      No one is forceing you to read about us and here a news flash for you – Black people already know that they are equal in God's eyes and will not look to any other race of women as some kind of yard stick that we should judge ourselves by

      January 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darf Vader

        Yard Stick = Skinny models...

        January 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darf Vader

        Yard Stick = Skinny models that are 3 Ft taller

        January 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      Joe this artilce was not about how different black woman are. The article is written to dispell seemingly widely held stereotypes. She is not pandering her color. How about you read some of the nasty things people write about black people then you might understand. Also, you try being of the receiving end of people asking stupid questions like "Oh wow you listen to Dave Matthews?" of "So do you go to the beach?" "Oh your boyfriend isn't black"

      Some people act as if black people are a different species. If you are not one of those fine, but there are plenty out there who do behave this way.

      January 28, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • LusciousDC

      No, Joe, what you're REALLY saying is...As long as we want to remain "Black" women, we will be looked at as different. Why should we conform to YOUR idea of how we should be? Look at Michelle Obama...just in the last weeks she was called "uppity". To some people she's uppity; to black women she is just another sista that made it. In our eyes, she just like us except she has more money and prestige. We don't ALL talk loud on our cell phones. We don't ALL snap our gum, twist our necks, and roll our eyes. But we can't make most white folks believe that. So what we do is let you believe whatever it is you want and then we keep it moving..

      January 29, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  34. anabanana

    Generalize much?

    Black women exist on the same personality continuum as the rest of the world. Angry, warm, compassionate, bitter, loving, refined, trashy....... black women can be any of these. Just like any other human.

    No doubt that harmful stereotypes about black women are both damaging and rampant. But attempting to replace it with a new and equally false stereotype is not much better.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  35. anabanana

    Oy vey. Generalize much?

    I have worked with a quite a few black women. Perhaps to author of this article would be surprised to find out that they are not all the same person. Some are angry, loud, or obnoxious. Some have a chip on their shoulder. Some are soft, gentle, and warm. Some are refined. There is a wide breadth of human personality types, and black women fall on the same spectrum as white women.

    I agree that there are stereotypes that need to be overcome. But trying to replace a negative stereotype with a polished non-representative one is not much better.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  36. Moggoid

    "a strong and personal relationship with their creator (GOD)," – Ok you lost me there. No need to read on. A stupid thing to say. Have you met your God? How do you know God created you ? Do you have any notion of the complexity and beauty of the things that really went into the process of your being. I gather the rest of the article is thin on the ground as well.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      Funny that as soon as someone brings God in a conversation folks start acting as if they have to believe. If u dnt u dnt but for those who do show respect.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Kabul

      Agreed... sounds like the author is excluding the possibility of any "real" black women being atheist, or even non-Christian.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  37. hreesa

    I love Michelle Obama and think she is a great first lady and a great role model for all young girls out there today.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  38. myke

    Even will fancy dresses and all of that makeup, she still looks like a baboon! UGGGGLY!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sushine

      Keep your racist opinions to yourself!

      January 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Joy B.

    As i began to read this article,I have to admit,some black woman are as she described;but not all.Everyone has the right to choose how to live,although the media does play a huge part in the influences.But Ken is right, the black artists need to stop placing a bad image on black woman.Not all of us are like that.We are beautiful and confident in life like any other person.Some of us hold our heads high and accomplish many great things.Just as Ken said.
    And to bounce off of what Patrick said,yes,young teenage African girls are in trouble.But there are many out there who have their head on.My mom raised me to be a smart and wise girl.I may be only 17,but with her teachings I am determined to go out there and achieve great things according to God's will.I am proud to be an African American,and we are here to stay.And I pray that other black girls and women would open their eyes,and realize that there is more to prove.We were ALL created by the Lord for a purpose.All we have to do is fulfill it.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • hreesa

      yes! why is it that black women are educating themselves and raising families sometimes single handily and get so much negativity in the media. There is not a pocket of black women who defy stereotypes, it is a lot of people. But I don't believe black artists especially musicians are that kind to black women either. Why is that happening and why is there no real anger over this? It honestly defies all logic to me.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • hreesa

        I apologize. I did not realize how young you are. You have a great Mom.

        January 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Yepyep6598

        Here we go again with the b.s. african-american thinking they are so special to the world:
        we have educated black Dominican women
        black educated Brazilian women
        black educated Colombian women
        black educated Puerto Rican
        infact in Latin America women are the ones who the majority of degrees.

        January 27, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Yepyep6598

        who hold the majority of degrees i mean.

        January 27, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • SFletcher

      Beauty remains "in the eye of thr beholder", physical beauty that is. The internal strengths and qualities that endear Mrs. Obama to so many are those same qualities that many agree contribute to a truly beautiful person. On that basis, I think Michelle Obama knocks it out of the park.

      January 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      Joy B. I'm glad your mother is raising you well. I would like to ask what you mean by "young african girls are in trouble". Do you mean black. African blacks are very different from Black American. My friends from Africa laugh when they hear comments like this. Africa is a continent made up of lots of countries. Within those countries of various ethnicities who may be black in skin color or not.

      January 28, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  40. Art

    Well I happened to be a while male (not of my own doing) and I think The First Lady Michelle Obama is an example of a perfect first lady. How she keeps that genuine smile even in the presence of so many bigots is beyond me.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • PorkRibs

      Big ot (biget)
      a. A conservative who has just won an argument with a Liberal.
      b. A term Liberals pull out when they have no facts to back their statements.
      c. An abused insult that is quickly becoming ineffective because of over use and abuse by folks like Art.

      Art (art)
      a. One with no arms and no legs hanging on a wall all day.

      January 27, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired

      No one get's to choose what pigmentation they are born with.... the fact you have to point it out to comment on this article shows how little you understand about it.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Thoughts

    I find this article anti-productive. Too many African Americans label themselves and put themselves in bubbles by focusing so much on the color of their skin (which is not even necessary even when others do so). Yes, people are stereotyped, but no ethnic group focuses more on this than African Americans....As an Afrcan American I can say that even *AFRICANS* don't even think about this as much as African Americans and they get much worst stereotypes....but they are moving on and not letting it bother them as much as African Americans. African Americans are very fragile when it comes to this subject and struggle to let go. The second African Americans let go and focus on what they want to be (and less on the negativity), the world will follow. It's like bullies picking on the insecure nerd...if he showed some confidence and didn't look so sensitive, no one would pick on him anymore. Blacks in America need to show the world that they are moving on, forgetting and even forgiving....We need to show that we could care less how the world perceives us or what they "think" they know about us and focus on where we're going as a community but more importantly, as individuals human beings....not as a "black man" or "black woman".

    January 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598


      January 27, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ML

      Why are you validating stereotypes though? Just because you choose not to acknowledge them does not simply make them go away. You have to address them and deal with them in order to try to make a change or shift the perception. If anyone of any ethnicity wanted to speak on dispelling the stereotypes of their race who are you to try and tell them they cant? No really who are you? Are you a black successful educated female who encounters gender and racial issues? Or an insecure nerd that gets bullied? I’m sure you could validate a hate crime or two. You sound ignorant and if anything was anti-productive it was the time you wasted writing that response that had no value.

      January 27, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Darf Vader

        I disagree and grant you -1 points...

        January 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Valerie

    As a 5'11" 135 lb Swedish American Female, I can assure you all, EVERYBODY get's "stereotyped".

    I would be what you would call, "dumb blonde" and "bimbo" and you know what? That is FAR from the truth! People make judgments all the time based on initial looks, and they do this with EVERYONE. Even in the "media", it's the brunette shown as "strong and smart" and the tall blonde as a ditzy gold-digger.............just saying!

    January 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Mamma Beans

    I am a black woman who is aggressive, angry and an atheist. I certainly DO NOT ever want kids. I love my watermelon, greens and fried chicken. Why is this woman trying to stereotype me? I do not fit into her mold and she needs to stop speaking for ALL African American females.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      well she thinks she is GOD of blackwomen.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  44. Ken E.

    First of all let me say that as long as there is ignorance in this country, there will be prejudice. I agree with almost everything that Ms. Nelson stated in her article. I think that this article needs to be read by people within the black community as it is well written Do not blame the media for portraying black women in a stereotypical way, because someone called Ms. Obama a black angry woman. I think perhaps some of the blame should go to the black music artists that project black women in a steroetypical image. There are many white people in this country that do not know or associate with black people, whether it be by choice or consequence and from what they see on television is all they know. Secondly, I personally know black women that are successful, well balanced and loved who have absolutely no tolerance for the "steroetypical" black women that were/are potrayed on tv, in movies like Medea's Family Reunion or in music videos. How does Ms. Nelson address that? Ms. Nelson seemed to concentrate her survey on Mrs. Obama (I am a huge fan of The First Lady), however she failed to mention other successful black women who have paved the way for and prior to Mrs. Obama. Mara Brock Akil for one is a producer who has made it her mission to bring prominent, well to do black female characters to television. Maya Angelou, poet & writer. Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America who defied everyone and still became a success. Dr. Patricia. E. Bath inventor/surgeon, Aprille Ericsson PhD from Harvard & NASA. I can go on with other famous black women who have had a positive influence. My point is this, if black women want to stop being labeled as angry and stereotyped, the change has to start from within the community and not by the media. Ms. Nelson, when was the last time you were personally in the ghetto helping a poverty stricken black, white or latino woman to help her gain an education or help her feed her children? One more thing, Ms. Nelson you are single, is that by choice or is that a consequence of becoming a successful black woman?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      I have come to the conclusion that the white blue-eyed liberals have phucked up the minds of 85% of african-americans with the victimization s h y t and everybody is out to keep the black race down. I wish you could go visit central and south america in the slums and you would appreciate this country. See down there they are victims of the system they are experiencing what we experience 50 years ago.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  45. Kriss greenn

    And what you have are mostly tacos and burritos. What does you comment have to do with anything?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kimmie

      I love it Kriss...get 'em

      January 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Gary Craft

    Black peoples experiences are no better than anyone else's experiences. Why does CNN, and others, try to elevate blacks and hispanics all the time? I just love how CNN airs Black in America and Latino in America but I've never seen a White in America. Why is that? Does CNN think we do not exist or is it that they just don't care about White people?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kriss greenn

      No you just don't have white people that want to write about the white person in America. plus it can come off sounding racist if not done right.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gary Craft

        I don't care if it comes across as racist or not. What an absurd notion. I know plenty of White people that would like to write about White history and culture. I think it is racist of CNN to do a black in america and hispanic in america without telling about whites in america. I mean, you can't tell the story of America without us.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicksambeth

      Gary, the rest of the shows are about White America and it is acknowledged as such when they air. CNN's current line up for entertainment has less 12 Blacks on feature while there is over 100 Whites on the same page. It was finally discovered by programmers and marketing agents that it would be beneficial for "others" to share in race-centric shows as it was not available prior. Since TV aired there's always been a White American view; "others" weren't added until rules and regulations changed stating it had to change. Otherwise, folks with similar views as you expressed would never be exposed to what "others" America look like.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • disjustin

      You already exist and pre-exist. You are the Norm. Roaches and White Mice also Exist and Pre-Exist...and they don't get talked about as its not cost effective or nearing extinction...so my guess is the population of China does not speak of China but of Asia. Remember that Old German Trajectory called extermination??

      January 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ixon1

      Because "White People" have control of the media as a whole. So why would you do a story on yourselves when as a whole the images that you portray about yourselves is always going to be as if you are advantaged and priviledged

      January 27, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • LusciousDC

      Don't they already write about white history all the time? I mean, didn't we learn THAT in school? Aren't we given only a month a school year to learn about Black history. And then it was only a few and we heard about them every year. Black history has been suppressed to the point that some of you think we sprung from the ground as if by magic. For some of these people on here telling us to forget slavery because it's over, is like telling 911 victims & families to get over it. Like it or not it is part of our history; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I mean how would you feel if you STILL have relatives out there that you don't know about because your massa decided to split you and your family up? You can never know how that feels. Regardless of what white folks want to sugar-coat or whitewash over; your people made living as a Black person a living hell for no reason other than they were Black. But now when a Black person tries to lift up someone else of their race by saying we are a strong people, we are good people, we all aren't criminals, hoes, and drug dealers; you take offense. Personally I don't believe you have the right to be offended. Until you walk in my shoes as a Black person; you can't begin to understand me and my struggles as a Black person living in America..

      January 29, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • nadia t

      The point is you do not know what it is like to be black. it is nothing that you have ever experienced before. you wont be able to survive it . When you can do that then you would have a real reason to complain.

      January 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      F U C K Y O U Gary Craft tha CRACKA

      February 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Terry

        Why be so negative at others when they are only expressing how they feel? If the man feels that "white" people deserve to be recognized for his achievements like every other race since everyone alive today in America today should all be given equal treatment and the same opportunities then that's fine. Most people still do not want to recognize the fact that white Americans are quickly becoming the minority now and as long as we have racial equality organizations in today's modern advanced society there will always be some sort of racism. And please don't play the whole slavery card because if you read up on your history black folks sold their own people for profit just like whites and other slave labor was sold to other rich people back then. Just saying... Let's stop being so negative because of a persons skin color and stop giving perks to races that were given the exact rights as all people living today.

        February 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Mel

    This article was very well written, but i feel that the stab at "the help" and "For Colored Girls" was a bit much. Honestly black women are like the women in those two movies, but that's NOT ALL WE ARE. Movies often show a one-sided view of people. Black women are special and cannot be defined or characterized. Everybody wants the black woman to fit in a mold. Also it's wonderful that this article gives black women a voice.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken E.

      Mel, I have to agree with you, I believe that there are a lot more women who can relate to the characters in "The Help" and "For Colored Girls" (which I watched for a second time this past weekend). But like all ethnicities there are many different faces to the black woman. Ms. Nelson's intention although good did not survey the average black woman.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Kriss greenn

    Very good article and as a educated young black woman myself, I can relate to what she is saying. People often think I'm ghetto, got a bunch of kids, on welfare and that I can't communicate until I open my mouth and show that I'm not like those 'chicken head' chicks that you see on TV or on the street. Crazy enough, I've also been criticized for speaking properly. But I will say that a lot of these younger black girls that are coming up really do need to catch a clue. Sometimes they make themselves look so bad and don't realize it.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • LusciousDC

      I fully understand exactly where you"r coming from. I've been called a white girl over the phone because I choose to use correct speech. I've been called snobbish by others (not just Black folks) because I choose to speak properly. When I grew up in the 70's and my grandmother was a retired English teacher. She made sure we spoke proper English. I didn't really start using slang until well after I was grown. I am proud of the fact that I can kick it with the homeless or have an elegant dinner with the "upper crust" and not be uncomfortable in either situation. Young lady, do you. Don't let others' ideas define you and what you want out of this life.

      January 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  49. anna

    I really dont need to know anything about black women!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kriss greenn

      What the heck are you talking about? You Don't need to know anything about black women? If you don't need to know about black women then why did you read the article? Try having a complete thought before commenting.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mamma Beans

        Just cause she read the article does not mean she needs to know something about African American women. I read articles all the time just to read.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken E.

      Maybe it is time that you get out of your little bubble and experience the rest of the world, you would be surprised by what you could learn.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Eli

    While this is an interesting article, one really needs to take the statistics provided with a large grain of salt. Ms. Nelson's survey of 1000 people managed to sample 0.0003% of the US population. It's a start, but one can hardly make conclusions about all of America from that! In addition, Ms. Nelson proceeds to make the same mistake that she accuses others of making, namely lumping all black women by stating that all black women want "a strong and personal relationship with their creator (GOD)" – true for many, but not for ALL. And lastly, Ms. Nelson states that black women's story is unique, unparalleled by anyone else – sorry, no. Everyone's story is unique, and there are many whose stories are even more harsh than yours. Especially since so many of black women today have never experienced "slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the civil rights movement" first hand. Yes, it's part of the history of the US, and part of black culture, but experiencing it did not shape you...you are too young.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • MissAnotherPointOfView

      @Eli, you have a right to your opinion, and although black women in America may not have directly experienced Jim Crow et al, we have experienced the continued effects of such degradation and societal failure – which continues to be systematically perpetuated throughout educational, government and judicial arenas – to name a few. Have you visited the homeless shelters, spoken with women and men, mostly black who are unable to secure employment ahead of white counterparts. I have. When all things are equal educationally and intellectually between races, it is still a sad statistic that a person of Caucasian persuasion will more likely land the job. This is a burdensome condition for Blacks and many of our Latino brethren in this country. There are real consequences to the actions of our forefathers and that didn't end just because the Civil Rights Movement ended...or did it? Change takes time, I respect your statements as I hope you will consider mine.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  51. JuneCleaversBeaver

    Ok now that it is definative that black chicks are no different than anyone else it time to stop the affirmative action hiring and special advantages that they receive for being black and female.

    January 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jvh707

      I bet you don't even know what Affirmative Action really is or its intended purpose. It prevents discrimination. The misperception is that it requires an employer to hire a specific race,..WRONG. Do yourself a favor and pick up a book and read.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • LusciousDC

        Just another one of those that "heard it somewhere" and now it's fact people.

        January 29, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  52. abdul razaque

    Really so jenies black womens i love

    January 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Patrick

    I am surprised at the low opinion white men had of Mrs. Obama in the poll. I have a high regard for her and African-American women in general. It is my humble opinion that the low regard that many white men have of African-American women is a response to the perception that they are unattainable. As a teacher, I think that African-American teen age girls are in a serious crises. I pray that they will get what they need. I try.

    January 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • PrivateTwo

      They are in crisis because of all of the prejudice that still exists in this country.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      Patrick I too have been surprised to find out what is thought of some black women. I am not sure where it comes from but there are some very ugly thoughts. It comes out in the work place and in public. I think it is important for people to at least be aware that not everyone has a kind or fair view of black women or people of other races for that matter.

      January 28, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  54. PrivateTwo

    My whole life, I have never understood why there is this thing about the difference between black and white people. What difference does it make. The human body is the human body. Nothing so different between black and white people, just the color of the skin. Me, I am white, over 50, and still, to this day, do NOT understand why there has to be continued prejudice. We all have blood running in our veins. We all eat, drink, and have body functions the same. When will this end? Whether you are black, white, yellow, green, or whatever, Let it go, and accept the human race as being diverse. God made mankind and all colors and races are part of mankind. Humans, no matter the color, are just that, they are HUMAN. OMG. I could go on for hours.

    January 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Craft

      Great post. You need to go give that speech to Holder, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, La Raza, et... Let me know what they have to say to you.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • MiGrant

        Of course reverse-racism is no better than racism...we get that...The KKK, NAACP, La Raza, etc. and all the other groups that define themselves based on the mythical ideal of "race" are dinosaurs that don't know yet that they're extinct, irrelevant...Unfortunately, old habits die hard....and "race-ism" is one of the oldest human habits, so it's going to take a long time for humanity to get beyond it.

        Race-ism, of any shade, is one of many conceptual mis-constructs that is keeping humanity a slave to ignorance...all we can do is spread the word: Krishnamurti calls it "education", Buddhism calls it "enlightenment", Christian mysticism calls it "rapture" and "being one with God"...but whatever you call it, humanity needs it. So instead of griping about the race-ism of one group or another, we need to help ALL groups understand that humanity is ONE, and that's all that matters...These petty squabbles of one "chosen people" over another are ridiculous and are getting us nowhere...

        February 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  55. Miss Billie

    This really touched me. My own mother and grandmother were never able to escape the stereotype of "us" but I feel I did. I use to think "Why am I accused of being angry when I'm not." Like you said, I have bad days and that is what is focused on...not my good days which are the norm 🙂 I love ALL of my sisters but when comes to my black sisters, especially my own young daughters, this piece is right on the money. I make sure to have them read this and save it. Thank you.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Cecelia Howard Hailes

    This is a thoughtful and well-written piece that touches the tip of the iceberg of the phenomenon of the 21st Century Black woman. I am the woman that Ms. Nelson so defly writes about. I am an educated, divorced, prosecutor living in central Georgia and I am neither angry nor euphoric. I am simply living my life to the best of my ability ans hoping to find the achievement, balance, and elegance that our First Lady so beautifully embodies. I so rarely see "myself" portrayed on television or film, it's wonderful to have an actual person to see "myself" in. In addition to our First Lady, Ms. Nelson I also see myself in you. May you continue to highlight the fact that there are a hidden pocket of Black women out there who continue to defy stereotypes, acieve greatness, and who striive for acceptance. Thank you for giving me and those like me a voice.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |