Let The Black Woman Lead

By: Orlando Taylor

In the United States, the Black woman has become the fastest-growing educated group of Americans and is making moves in both business and politics. Essence magazine reported that Black women accounted for “68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees and 65 percent of doctorate degrees awarded to Black students during that time frame,” by 2020. Black women are going to college, creating businesses, and engaging in the political arena in greater numbers than before. Because of their efforts, black women gained visibility in leadership roles in and outside the black community. This has led some Black men to struggle with the concept of leadership and roles in the black community that are uninformed at best.

Forbes magazine says that Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. I think a natural extension would include a community or a family. It has more to do with the ability of an individual, group, or organization to “lead”, influence, or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations, to a common goal. It is well documented that in ancient Africa women garnered a great deal of power and leadership as mothers, agriculturalists, and from being the center of spiritual divinity. The ancient goddess Auset (Isis) is the embodiment of leadership, she heals society and elevates men to leadership (Ausar/Osiris). We also have examples from warrior cultures of women like Ya Asantewa, an Ashanti (Ghana) warrior queen who beat back the British army. Then there are women like Queen Hatshepsut of Kemet who reigned for twenty-one years marked by peace unheard of by some male leaders. Additionally, in the same era under the Nubian kings, women could gain power because leadership was class-based, not gender-based. Therefore, many African women rose to power based on their class standing. So, African women are no strangers to challenges of leadership and expectations. If this is the case, what are the concerns of some modern African/African American men?

Historically, it has been well documented that the concept of manhood and maleness is a White construct that benefits the White male majority in the USA. Black men suffer from alignment with a European hegemonic ideology concerning masculinity and leadership in the community. As it goes for the White man’s family so it goes for the Black man. He is head of the family and community by all means and women are secondary to him. As a Black man, I am automatically deserving, if not entitled to respect afforded to Black maleness period. At that time and even today, working is viewed as a man’s duty. Black women have never had the luxury of not working so this leadership role and sometimes power was naturally granted to them. However, this power and position didn’t translate to the larger society for the Black man as it did for the White man. Unfortunately, the Eurocentric concepts of family and leadership have played a negative role in the conflict between Black men and women globally.

It is floated socially, especially in the dating scene, that successful Black women are problematic in relationships with Black men. These conversations around dating (such as the late Kevin Samuels or Derrick Jaxn) show us how some Black men react to women in power. A common trope I hear is that we as the black community need to be suspect of successful black women because they are allowing themselves to be used by White supremacy, to elevate the black women over the black male in a nefarious plan. There is some truth in this statement if we look at how affirmative action was implemented in some companies. These companies would hire Black women as a way of killing two birds with one stone. They addressed the diversity along gender lines and racial lines with fewer people by hiring a black woman. This allowed these companies to avoid the “angry Black male” in the work environment.  However, I posit that since the vast majority of black women marry black men, there is no real issue here, otherwise, we would see it reflected in the choices Black women make for their husbands. Finally, it is well documented that the various movements from within the African American community for equality were often ripe with patriarchy and misogyny.

We must learn from our mistakes as men with the women in the Black community while simultaneously supporting their dreams that go beyond obedience to the Black man. We need to elevate them as leaders, business people, and heroines, who like Black men, have the best of intentions for our community. Many Black men come from homes led by Black women, that were beautiful, nurturing, loving, and strong. Would it be a curse if the Black woman was first, and then she conjured the Black man?

More information about the author: @olaorun_king

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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