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A.K. Folami: Let’s Stop Giving Life to Poor Portrayals of Black Women

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A.K. Folami- Lets Stop Giving Life to Poor Portrayals of Black Women.


It’s Time For the Good Black Women to Come Forward
A.K. Folami

The Black woman is under attack. Oh, you didn’t know? Probably because you have more important and productive things to do than pay attention to certain websites and social pages where Black women are the topic of discussion. Users claiming to be Black men and women go back and forth regularly, ‘battling’ openly on international platforms. Such locations on the web can be called the Internet’s Jerry Springer or Maury Povich reality shows.

The site operators would have us believe good Black women don’t exist in great numbers, are undesirable, unattractive and the root of the problems currently plaguing our community. We are also being threatened with abandonment – yes, this is that ROFLOL moment – by the Black man who – we are being told – has forsaken us for women of other backgrounds. This despite current statistics that show the majority of Black men STILL choose to be with Black women.

Not to mention, the ‘X’ number of reality TV shows that have Black women well paid, and paid much attention to, for acting ‘straight up fools,’ again for international audiences, an unknown percentage of which think these women give a representation of all Black females in America.

This makes me call to mind words of Minister Louis Farrakhan in regard to when he set out to conduct men’s only meetings months before the 1995 Million Man March (MMM). In one explanation he said his motivation came when he realized an effort was underway to portray the worst of Black men as the reality of all Black men. This with movies like Menace II Society, Colors, Boyz N the Hood, etc. going, once again, to international audiences who lacked awareness that the films provided biased, exaggerated or inaccurate portrayals.

I’m paraphrasing what the Minister said but he was concerned enough to take the steps that resulted in the MMM that drew more than two million Black men to Washington, D.C. That image went around the world and gave billions an entirely different, unexpected and peaceful view of Black men.

Back to today. The Million Woman March took place in 1997 and there’s little need for another one, but it’s time for the good, working-on-self, about-progress-peace-and-production Black women to take note of what’s happening. Not to ‘combat’ it by giving their energy over to it. No, that would only make the movement larger. What you focus on expands, magnifies and grows. That’s a principle that well-meaning people who consistently focus on the negatives of any group, gender or situation fail to understand. As well-intentioned as they are, they’re only adding to the problems.

So, ‘good’ Black women, what else can we do? Step forward, as in “Bring Beauty Forward” out of the darkness into the light. We ‘good’ women exist, yet this society, activists, those claiming to want improvement in Black relations, some Black men, and Hollywood pay very little attention to us. We even pay too little attention to ourselves.

Let’s come forward. It’s time. In every arena, let’s let our lights shine like never before. Let’s make conscious effort to redirect focus off of the negativity and yes, that would mean forsaking most, if not all of these “reality” shows where our sisters (not us) get paid to act foolish, indecent and ‘trifling.’ That’s not us. That’s the worst of us, but that’s not us as a whole. Let’s take our rightful, elevated places in whatever fields of endeavor we are called to.

If you’re a photographer, use your craft to “bring beauty forward” in your own unique way. If you’re a homemaker, take pride in that honorable position and use it to bring beauty forward in your home and neighborhood. If you’re a florist, use your talent to bring beauty forward and positively affect those graced to cross your path. If you’re a trend trendsetter, bring beauty forward with youthful flava, like Maya Penn. If you’re a media queen, use your strengths to bring beauty forward, like Oprah. If you’re a healer, heal in ways that bring beauty and enlightenment forward, like Queen Afua. If you’re an entertainer, use your influence to bring beauty forward with class, like Janelle Monae. Make sense? I hope so.

Nothing survives without energy. That’s a law of physics. Therefore, we can diminish this conspiracy against Black women, as well as the orchestrated gender ‘battle’ between brothas and sistas, by choosing to, instead, focus on the positives of ourselves as individuals, as counterparts and as a community. Many have yet to learn that devoting much energy to negatives only gives continued life to the poor conditions they complain about. Let us blaze a new trail for them to follow with our combined efforts to Bring Beauty Forward in this new day and time.

A.K. Folami is a freelance writer and journalist who lives in Denver, Colorado. Her writings reflect the many things she continues to learn on her lifelong journey as an ever-evolving, changing and growing woman. Read more of her writings and thoughts on


  1. shannon

    July 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Great Possitive story, you are exactly right. Many young black women are getting caught up in trying to act like the women they see on reality shows when they should be laughing at them. Keep spreading the word because black women are out here working hard against all odds.

  2. Read and think!

    July 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    When Black people ready study and accept self we will NO longer suffer from self -hate, doubt and leave the path of self destruction. Yes, sisters and brothers should represent in the most positive way all the time. Change is coming.

  3. Redbone

    July 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Great Article!!!

    Something different and profound, sounds really tasty too…wink!!!

    Looking forward to hearing more from you..

    Redbone / wink! wink!

  4. A.K.

    July 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you all for reading and commenting. I do appreciate the feedback/response. Shannon, yes. We all have to represent for the sistas working hard against the odds. As the saying goes, “We all we got.”

    Read and Think, change is coming and I think it’s actually here at the door.

    Redbone, thanks for the energy.

  5. Devon

    July 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Biggest enemy of blkwmn is the blkwmn is the blkwmn actin ratchet on reality tv court shows talk shows and paternity shows and worldstar hip hop. And the biggest supporters of this sheit is blkwmn.

  6. A.K.

    July 16, 2014 at 10:05 am

    st an encouragement for all to visit the Facebook pages of the three women and one teen who were mentioned in the article. You might only be familiar with one of them:

    14 year old dynamo, Maya Penn: /mayasideas

    One of my she-roes, a sista that reps such elegance, health, refinement and beauty, Queen Afua, /queenafuawellnessinstitute

    Janelle Monae, the performer who refuses to lower her standards just to be in the music industry: /janellemonae

    Last, but not least, the one (it seems) ‘everyone’ knows – whether they agree with her path or not – Oprah. We can say what we want to say about her but no one can deny her far reaching impact and success: /oprahwinfrey

  7. redbone

    July 17, 2014 at 2:01 am

    You go A. K. / I feel and discern your positive energy…. Its like energy without words, calm and serene. You do a lot of meditation and spiritual balancing…wink! I also bet your very afrocentric and natural too along with candles and in scent. Who empowers you besides your creator? Your very very different from all the other editors and I also sense a little older elevated and more mature.

  8. A.K.

    July 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Just a reflection of yourself, Redbone! Thank you so much. those are some HIGH compliments and I don’t take them lightly. I don’t meditate in the yoga-sense, but I do spend much time in self-reflection and analysis. Yes, I love candles, incense, scented oils, etc. and I am Afrocentric in many ways. I surmise that at nearly half a century old, I’m one of the older people who frequents this site even though I don’t look like it and def do have a very youthful, fun spirit most of the time. I have to say I’m not an editor here. I’m one of the freelance writers. I was just inspired/ led to submit a few pieces on something I was disturbed by. Usually, ‘the spirit’ moves me on ‘to the next one’ sometimes sooner than later so I don’t know how many more pieces I will submit here but I can be found on my Bring Beauty Forward FB page or website.

    One of your questions I don’t have an answer for because I’ve never really put a lot of thought to it. “Who empowers you besides your Creator?” That’s deep. I’m going to think on it and write an essay or something with my reply. I don’t know if it will be on this site but check my sites in the future because I’ll have it there.

    Keep your positive, fun spirit alive and energized! Peace~

    • Redbone

      July 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Well I don’t know who you are by the flesh, but I do know you by the spirit (my sister), and might I add (your spirit is very profound strong and powerful), I only give praise where praise is due. When with God (our creator) the aging process is always reversed, all you need is ask. Our people lived to be well over a hundred years old before (SIN) became so rampant in the earth. I feel so blessed when I cross paths with real family / chosen…

      I would love to bless you with 2 of my favorite scriptures…

      Matthew 13:10-17

      Matthew 13:35 /”I will (speak to you) in parables”. I will explain mysteries hidden since the creation of the world.”

      Romans 4:16-24 The script that sticks out to me always is:17th vrs: This happened because Abraham (BELIEVED IN GOD) who brings the dead back to life and **Special Note:(WHO BRINGS INTO EXISTENCE WHAT DIDN’T EXIST BEFORE).

      A.k. Folami / If you can dream it, think of it, picture it in your mind… (GOD CAN CREATE IT) no matter what it is, because he is our God of all possibilities, there is (NO END)…WINK! Much Love & Peace / Redbone: Dianna

      PS: I will visit your facebook page, but tell me in brief what does (Folami mean…?

  9. A.K.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Teach Sister Dianna!! Thank you so much for your sharing & edifying with those verses and your kind words. Very briefly, the name/title ‘Folami’ is a Yoruba word that means ‘Respect and honor me.’ That’s something I commit and give to myself and therefore, attract from others. Much favor & grace to you~


  10. A.K.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    And I meant to say I deliberately chose the name ‘Folami’ for myself 🙂

    • Redbone

      July 18, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Choose one for me… Plezzz! / I have patience… I love your name!!! Let the spirit lead you…wink!!!

      Redbone aka:Dianna

  11. A.K.

    July 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

    No, sis. That’s for you to do. You know yourself better than anyone else. Like you said , follow the spirit. The more you study yourself and name meanings, you’ll know the right one when it’s placed on your spirit to recognize it. *smile*

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