Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Maybe Helena Andrews came up with the catchy title of her unpublished book, Bitch Is The New Black, which is about chronic loneliness in the college educated African American woman, but as I see it, the imprint on the American conscience will be Black Is The New Bitch.
Yep, once again black women are the recipients of another lie that makes us one dimensional stereotypes. Jezebel, "strong", mammy, magical Negress, and now "lonely black bitch", only this time, bitch is being paraded via the title as some sort of fashion statement.
Hell, no wonder the publisher jumped on Andrews' manuscript and fronted her the money before it's complete: it feeds into their white racism and the "mystery" of black people. See everyone! Even when they're doing good, they're doing bad!
I don't review books or movies unless I have actually read them. This book might be quite good, or it could suck. I dig the theme of loneliness in black women, which isn't new and has been around at least since the 1980s when Audrey Chapman, a professor and radio show host pitched the idea of man-sharing, since there were so few eligible men to go around for the sistahs.
I read the Bitch Is The New Black review in the Washington Post and the opinions of several bloggers and a bunch of their readers. The author's take on the disproportionate loneliness among unmarried, educated black women is on target. Where she messed up in her interview is the frivolous nonsense about needing a "winter boo". Look, either you want a boo or you don't, and if one is seen as a seasonal accessory then you deserve to be lonesome. Hope that part hits the cutting room edit for the book and movie.
What I take issue with is the title. It plants yet another seed in the minds of black people that we just can't get our lives together, and worse, that black women are bitches.
This falsely validates the sexism among some brothas, and I have already seen a bunch of anti-education-in-women comments on several blogs. (Kudos to VSB, who handled the topic with sensitivity and good suggestions.)
Yep, the bitch azz, Peter Pan niggas are coming out of the closet, admitting that they find grown azz women unapproachable and undateable, yet still won't man up to finding a woman smarter or more successful than them intimidating.
Peter Pan, if you recall, never grew past adolescence. The educated black woman, on the other hand, is generally someone who took responsibility for learning how to be a self-sufficient adult.
The educated or uneducated black man who is emotionally arrested in their teen fantasies of what a woman should be like resents the truly adult woman. She thinks he's grown because he has the body and birthday of an adult, and maybe even his own college degree, but she's been fooled.
These two mix like oil and water, with him acting like a sour, pouty middle school kid who views her like a teacher instead of an equal. He's a hypocrite, too. He sees equality as something he wants for his sons and daughters, but not in his woman.
You see it too often: the educated professional man who marries the clerk with a high school diploma, then snickers on those rare occasions when he meets a woman professional who married the guy in the mail room. These are the same men who would have a stroke if their own daughter did the same thing.
So now Hollywood will be bankrolling a film with this outrageous title to further divide the sexes in the black community. I can't help but wonder if they'd have paid a lick of attention to this book idea if it had been titled,
The Loneliness of The Educated Black American Woman,
with a long subtitle of:
How Generations of Racism, Crappy Schools, Job Discrimination, Liquor Stores & Drugs On Every Corner, And Injustice & Mass Male Incarceration Screwed Up Black Relationships.
Despite the title, I wish Helena Andrews well, because she does have experiences and a message that will resonate with many black women. Unfortunately, the Peter Pans won't hear it, and the unintended consequences may be further spreading the propaganda message that black women are indeed, bitches.
Given all this, I'd love to see a book on the back story of the publishers who were so eager to to promote it. Surely they must see successful black women as bitches, too, or they wouldn't have so readily embraced it. That's the book I want to read or the movie I want to see, with them toasting their glasses to yet another profitable black exploitation media venture.
I'd title that hidden story within the story:
Subliminal Sexism & Racism Is The Same Old New Black.
Posted by Kit (Keep It Trill) at 8:05 AM