ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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 African Americans . . . "settle" for leaders who cannot, in their private

and public behavior, meet or expectations. Settling, then, is hazardous to

the political well-being of African Americans. We would be better off

without such leaders. African Americans are working overtime . . . .

Are those who are critical of settling correct?

 

 

The Problem of "Settling"

By Edward P. Wimberly

 

Among African-American women there is a popular concept called "settling." Settling occurs when a woman lowers her expectations of a man in order to secure male companionship. The objective is to find intimate companionship. Many African-American women indicate that settling is one of the most self-destructive behaviors in which women can engage. Some conclude that women are better off remaining alone than settling for less than they deserve.

One of the bets explanations of settling comes from the work of Renita Weems, an African-American biblical scholar at Vanderbilt University, in her book I Asked for Intimacy. Her work on the Leah Syndrome seems to capture what I have learned from African-American women counselees about the impact on them of a lack of integrity. Leah, described in the twenty-ninth chapter of the book of Genesis, is a woman who waited around for a man who did not want her. For Weems, the Leah Syndrome is about women who love too much, who conspire against themselves, who use their sexuality to snare men they would be better off without, who get into relationships that destroy them, and who "settle" when they could do better.

She does not see these women as victims; she sees them as relationship addicts. Relationship addicts are those who tie their self-esteem to others rather than find it within themselves and in their relationship with God. Such women, she says, settle for any kind of relationship when no relationship at all might be better for their self-esteem.

There is an analogy between the Leah Syndrome and the political behavior of many African Americans. This analogy fits the problems we see with our president and the African Americans who "settle" for leaders who cannot, in their private and public behavior, meet or expectations. Settling, then, is hazardous to the political well-being of African Americans. We would be better off without such leaders. African Americans are working overtime . . . . Are those who are critical of settling correct?

As African Americans, and certainly as voters, we are being taken for granted. Settling reinforces our low self-esteem and drives us deeper into dependency upon others for our survival. our future should be based on integrity and the pursuit of wholeness in every facet of life, not on the results of a political election. we should not be reduced to being political junkies looking for a fix in the promises of those who seek to manipulate and misuse our votes.

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Theologically, African-American Christians have always trusted in the righteousness of God -- a God who always keeps promises even when God's timing of fulfillment differs from our own. We  also see Jesus as a righteous man, a person of integrity whom we should emulate. Would it be too much to expect that the preacher/politician who constantly appeals to religious values would not only espouse these values but also attempt to live them out in private and in public? Those of us who comprise the church in the African-American experience need to upgrade our standards and expectations for those who seek our vote. God wants more for us than empty promises.

Source: "African-American Pastoral Theology as Public Theology: The Crisis of Private and Public in the White House." in Judgment Day at the White House: A Critical Declaration Exploring Moral Issues and the political Use and Abuse of Religion (p. 91-98;1999), edited by Gabriel Fackre.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.

"Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."Lisa Adkins, University of London

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 13 March 2012

 

 

 

Home  Marvin X Table   Problem of Settling

Related file:  The Image of the Black Criminal   The White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron  Bought Colored Kids  To White Women Who Think  Black Immigrants Deported 

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WHAT IF    Wish I Could Tell You the Truth     Land of My Daughters   

Toward a Feminist T heology