As I was cleaning out "My Documents" folder I came across a letter I had written to a co worker and liked so much that I kept it for a future journal entry upon my return to the states...
The letter is to a young man who felt it his duty to let me know that some young girls felt my hair was not "neat in appearance" and that I needed to perm my hair and stop wearing it the way I do. Before he got into the specifics of the conversation he was having with this group of young women I stopped him and said calmly, "if they are talking about me, that's okay~ I pay my bills," then I walked away to go an appointment to make a video for my family…. The next morning as I listened to some young girls talk about another young lady who is low key and kept to herself, I decided to write the young man with this response to the young girls who were "hatin" on me for wearing my hair.... natural:
9 February 2008
I hope I didn't seem rude last night when you were telling me someone was "hatin'" on me~ I was running late for my video appointment (united through reading-- gotta read to the kids!) so I must first say sorry for being rude.
As for the "haters", there is one thing I can say about that word and those who do/use/live by it, and you can run this by all of those young females who, I'm almost positive, are all black, and you can also share this with those young females who feel the need to put down other black women because they lack self esteem/respect for self…. Unfortunately, when your adult mind runs on 16 (age that is…) and you have not done anything for yourself, you tend to spend more time gossiping and hating vise getting yourself to any level higher than where you are currently sitting.
If you ever sit back and observe me... You will notice a few things about me~ I don't gossip, I can care less about anyone else's business, I see good in many and talk to everyone unless they bring negative energy or they just do not leave that warm and fuzzy you normally get from good people… (those people I avoid speaking to all together)
I'm 37, I drive a decent car, even if it's not an expensive one. I own a house, my husband works setting up computer networks, I am going to school for small business management and taking the time to learn what the steps are to starting my own business, this way I do not have to rely on my husband to take care of me…. I'm happy not keeping up with the Jones' and staying real with the Subletts'. Other than my house and car- I have no real debts holding me back from those expensive items that "identify" our status among our friends and those who do not know us… I prefer to live within (or below) my means. I did not grow up rich and there is no reason for me to pretend I am now~ I'm in the Navy for goodness sake!!
I have two kids, My bills are my kids, my mortgage, and those associated with having a home. My hair is natural because I love it this way. I keep a low profile because it is who I am. I don't cheat or put myself in any position for anyone to question my loyalty to my family or the respect I have for my husband- I feel God intended for married people (and mothers)to respect one another, take care of home, and live by the vows presented before him…..
Anytime anyone says something about me, it is a reminder to myself that I am being thought about! When I was younger I did what these girls do now. It took a woman who had a great amount of respect for self to ask me "Why are you disrespecting that girl like that? Is it because she doesn't talk to you? Or is it because she keeps to herself? Maybe it is because there is a quality and respect she has for herself that you do not posses… Tell me, why are you disrespecting that woman like that?"
I thought about this question for a long time. In the end I found that "hatin' " on other people made me feel good about myself since I was not on the level that they were at.. It did not take long for me to find that, if I focus my attention on getting where these other "women" are~ instead of envying them for "what" they do and "where" they are, I too would be a better, more confidant person…. You know what, it paid off. Instead of seeing another black woman who is more beautiful, more successful, full of talent and energy and then turning to my girl to whisper, "she thinks she is all _____ or ____" I now look at that woman and say, I want to talk to this woman, get on her level, see where/how she got to where she is now. This helps me improve on a process that I have found to be a never ending project, a never ending process of self improvement….
I'm a country girl from KY. I grew up poor and unspoiled in my younger years and turned out to be a strong woman that a many respect and look to for advice.. That's who I am today..
There is more I can say but I have to go, there aren't enough minutes, hours, or seconds in the day to even attempt to get my young "sistas" on board in an effort to moving from hating each other to looking out for one another, making some positive improvements for in their environment and for themselves.. If they ever take the time to look around them: they'll notice that of all the different ethnicities out there…. Black women are still the main ones who spend more time 'hatin' on one another instead of working together to help move each other in a more positive direction of self awareness, respect for self and respect for those around you.. Tell those young black females to seriously take a look at many of these other groups of women… many have a bond that black women still haven't figured out~ SAD… sad that a lot of us still buy our "weave" from that Chinese woman who owns the shop on the corner when there is a black owned shop 2 blocks away, sad that a lot of us still work for pennies instead of starting our own business, sad we are not helping someone else get their foot in the door, sad that we spend more money on expensive clothes (not that that's a bad thing...) but we need to ensure our bills are paid, stomachs are fed, and our children look twice as good as we do when we walk out the door (priorities people!)
We still haven't learned… Sad that a lot of us are so far in debt but we can't resist buying those shoes because "such and such thinks they are the only ones who can afford them….." Do I really need to go any further??? I want you to help me get our young "sista's" on board… they still have a lot to learn.
Sorry for then vent session, it's not your fault they are left in the dark~ Respect for self is the only thing that will make them feel good about themselves and stop "hatin" on the next woman who already has gained just that: