By Rev. Dr. Linda H. Hollies
God knows that I’m ashamed. God knows that I’m tired, weary and worn. God knows that I’m angry, pissed off and ready to do some serious damage. God knows that I’m looking for, seeking and searching for some other women to join me in a crusade against the songs that keep right on degrading us; devaluing us and demeaning us! It’s a dirty, rotten and low down shame when The Academy gives “Song of The Year Award” to a sleazy, one verse ditty that glorifies a pimp, who makes his living off the body sell of women! And, then, to boot, we use a silly woman to sing the song and to talk about her other female associates who have resorted to letting a male pimp them! I hear that she got a “Golden Globe Award” for being the “best” whore in the stable! Now, ain’t this a hot mess?
The Bible Verse for this week declares: “The Lord God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalm 145: 8) Right now, I’m not feeling too godly! For I am completely amazed at the “composers” of the song, Three 6 Mafia, looking like thugs; with teeth like car grills; baggy pants; with caps on their heads; not able to speak proper English; shaming their mama’s and all other women and having the audacity to “Thank Jesus” while their language had to be bleeped out! Thankfully, I’m not God, for I would have put them out of my misery even as they walked up to the stage to perpetuate their stupidity before all the world!
It’s hard to be a woman of dignity out here, in this world. It’s hard to be a woman of worth, character and high self-esteem in this world. It’s hard to continually be forced to combat all of the negative images that portray us in the media. And, I’m waiting for Mrs. C. Delores Tucker to rise up out of her grave and call an international conference on this act of disrespect to all women! But, since I know that Sista Tucker does not want to come back from her well earned rest, in the bosom of death, I feel it’s my job to raise the ruckus on our behalf.
It was bad enough that the Dolly Parton song had so few words and so many “oowee’s”, but it didn’t show disrespect to anyone. The other movie songs didn’t throw down a gauntlet to call anyone out of their names, even the song for Brokeb
Back Mountain that gets so much play for its homosexual plot. But, again, and I repeat AGAIN, it’s only when one of us or some of us show the world the “classic” portrayal of how Black people live that we can “win” or be given an award.
Remember what Denzel and Hallie one their Oscar’s for playing. Remember that this good looking, male actor, Terrance Howard, as nominated as best actor for the part of a curler wearing PIMP! Crash, in which he also stared, won best movie, but he was not chosen to represent his part as an executive in that movie, but only because he played a PIMP! Wake up and smell the stench people!
It’s hard out here to be a woman! So, we have to be reinforced in multiple ways, with diverse methods and suggestions to keep our heads up and march straight ahead into our destiny. So, I want to share with you some “helpful hints” for those of us out here making every attempt to be “real, authentic” women of God. I found these suggestions in the News Week Magazine as they saluted women who are making their mark in the world.
Judith Jamerson, the artistic director of The Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe, says to us: “Keep yourself surrounded by people who you respect and admire who know more than you.”
Judith Shapiro, President of Bernard College suggests: “Never lose your sense of humor! Be a participant-observer. Step out of a situation and don’t take it personally. Leading is about serving.”
Alison Estabrook, Director of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital’s Breast Center calls out: “You must make sacrifices—believe in yourself and not hear the discouraging remarks around you.”
Stephanie Bell-Rose, the first AfricanAmerican president of The Goldman Sachs Foundation rallies us to :”Set goals and believe that you can achieve them. Success requires 1) hard work 2) determination 3) organization 4) prioritization 5) family support for we cannot do it alone!”
Judith Rodin, President of The Rockerfellow Foundation adheres to the reality that :” You must find your own voice. Don’t think you’re the only one feeling insecure. Speak up! Speak past your fear!”
Eileen Collins, the first female Commander of a space shuttle, Discovery, for NASA, proclaims: “Don’t get emotional! Check out for five minutes—get your head on straight—and then, return with a more professional point of view.”
Sharon Allen, chair of Deloitte and Touche, calls us to: “Take responsibility for your own career! Don’t assume others are aware (or care) about the good work that you are doing. Make others aware of your accomplishments. If you wait for someone to ask you to be a leader, you’ll never be one!”
Maria Elena Lagomasino, Former head of Paul Morgan Bank, who left to go and live her life! “Nobody’s perfect—but, you can create a perfect team if you celebrate what people do well. Compliment them with people who have different talents. If you celebrate what people have done well, it’s like giving them oxygen, and they perform way beyond your expectations!”
Finally, Stacy Snider, the chair of Universal Pictures, reminds us to: “Remember the WOW!!! Moments! Adversity breeds character. So deal with the tough times.”
Yes! God knows that it is hard out here to be a woman! Yet, we have the living examples, in our own families, communities, neighborhoods and congregations, of those who have taken little and made much out of it without fanfare! God knows that I sing praise to The Creator who walks along side of us; Jesus Christ, who died that we might rise from every down situation; The powerful and amazing Holy Spirit who lives inside of us; and the company of heavenly angels who are awaiting us to call and dispatch them on assignments to make God look good and to encourage us to keep on stepping, out here, where it is hard!
I’m praying that you too, are learning to sing God’s high praise in every low place, for despite the fact that it’s hard for us, NOTHING is impossible for God! I’m thankful to my Sista Phyllis Caldwell, Friendship Baptist Church, who reminds me of this on my journey! So, I thought that I’d pass it on to you. The divine assignment is unfolding yet, stay tuned for me to fill in all the gaps. Remember me in your prayers as I do you, for we are on this journey together. Love ya! Shalom, Sista Linda
By Rev. Dr. Linda H. Hollies