Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Shifting [Reflections, Part 2]

[Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America]

We've covered chapters 5 - 8 from Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden's Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America over the last few weeks. What is one key idea or quotation that you found yourself lingering on more than others from one of those chapters? Why or how so? Please provide page citation.

39 comments:

Erica King said...

I love the quote provided on (Jones& Shorter-Gooden,177)it speaks on beauty and loving the skin you're in. Many people thinks beauty is just what you show by your appearance but beauty lies within more than out. The positive and nice person you are makes you more beautiful than your actual physical traits.

Asher said...

"I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only Black person"(pg 109)
I can relate so much to this quote, because I feel like I'm always the black person. In many of my classes in high school I was always the only black or one of two black people in my classes. In my church, my family is the only black people, so in a lot of the Christmas plays and Youth group activities, I have always been the only black. I just always felt like all eyes were on me, and not in the best way. I felt like, if I did anything wrong, people would automatically focus on me. This is something, I still think about and worry.

-Asher Denkyirah

Naomi Thompson said...

"Our research reveals that 50 years later these issues are still prevalent and that Black women are faced with them as well. Many women speak about how such invisibility leads coworkers to be openly racist, insensitive, and hurtful" (pg. 156-157). The entire purpose of this book is to outline the issues within society that Black women face daily because prejudices still exist. I'm sure these facts resonant with many Black women due to the adversity we face everyday. From the violent threats received all over America to the favoritism in classrooms, we have to stand against a wall of adversity. When we are perceived as invisible, anyone in our lives might become insensitive to the very real issue at hand.

Deborrah Blackburn said...

One quote that I could really relate to was, "I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only Black person."(pg 109) I grew up here in Edwardsville, and it has always been a mostly white population. This happened especially when I was in school, I often found that I was the only black student in the class. This occurred even in high school because I took many honors and advanced placement courses. I don't think it ever made me feel truly uncomfortable but sometimes it's just awkward being the only black person or one of the very few black people in the room.
-Deborrah B.

devinrules97 said...

"Though often unprepared, Black women must take on, along with all of their obvious job-related duties, the additional task of shifting" (Page 151). This part of the book has stuck to me because I never really thought that women, especially Black women, had to pretend to be something they are not in order to not be judged by others. We are supposed to not judge others, and accept them for who they are, but because of the prejudice that Black women face, they must pretend to be something else in different aspects of their life. This shifting really takes a toll on a persons emotions and behavior.
-Devin S.

Tayler G. said...

One quote that stuck with me the most is, "Black women can feel more whole not just by carving out spaces where they can speak and act in the ways that feel most natural, but also by embracing every facet of their unique beauty(204)." This quote has been lingering with me because I think all women, especially black women should embrace their natural beauty. Black women are very unique and different than your average "magazine model" or blonde-hair, blue-eyed girls most people see as beautiful. I think as black women we should embrace this difference and not be ashamed of it.

Niagra Bee said...

I can't fully identify with any of the stories or facts that we've discussed so far. The closest one is Lisa's quote, starting on page 105 to the top of 106, " I think black people who are darker than me and who speak a little bit more of what some might call Black English think I am trying to impress the White man, when actually I was born in Los Angeles and my father spoke Standard English very well.

I've never been bullied for speaking they way I do because I grew up in a predominately White environment. I'm not around many Black people so I've never been in the situation where I've needed to blend in, nor do I want to. I speak the way I do because of how I was raised and how my brain works, not because of something as trivial as how much I look like other people.

-Querra

JaLeah M . said...

In the beginning of Chapter 6 mid quote it reads, "Being a woman can be enough stress right there. But being an African American woman causes another problem. You want to succeed. And you put to much stress on yourself." (147). This quote kind of lingered in my mind because it's extremely relatable. Myself being a black young lady and having the dreams and aspirations that I have cause a lot of stress sometime because of my desire to succeed. With this being said and along with the quote, I think it's important for myself as well as other African American ladies to have supportive people around them and to always stay encouraged.

Jazmyn Maggitt said...

Pauline's quote about, "'carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and not feeling as though I can depend on men to help out'"(211). I still can't wrap my head around the fact that there is more pressure put on women in relationships than ones who aren't. I personally feel that a relationship is a partnership and that you should be able to lean on one another and help each through life. It's supposed to make life more enjoyable not more stressful.

Sydney J said...

One quote that stuck with me the most was "I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only Black person."(pg 109) I think this stays with me simply because that's exactly how I've grown up. In my high school there were maybe 15 black students. Typically, I was the only black person in my classes. When I came to SIUE I started meeting people from all different kinds of demographics.
Sydney j.

Lindsey McCall said...

My absolute favorite quote is "Black women can feel more whole not just by carving out spaces where they can speak and act in the ways that feel most natural, but also by embracing every facet of their unique beauty."(204) After reading this quote I have actually tried to live by it. I find myself to be an outcast most times and I often question my beauty, but this quote has taught me to be happy and comfortable with myself and enjoy my beauty instead of worrying about what others think of me.

Aja J. said...

I think a key idea that has been lingering in my mind is the lily complex, which is “the belief that the only way to be beautiful is to look as close to White as possible,”(177). I think a big issue lately has been natural hair in the workplace. There are many stories on why black women are not hired or do not wear their natural hair in the workplace because it is not considered to be professional. I do not think black women should let society define what is beautiful. They should be their own type of beautiful because in the end society will always have an opinion different from your opinion.

Carlie Bibbs said...

One key quotation I found myself lingering on can be found on page 179. It says ""I think many Black women lack self-esteem. We've been made to feel inferior by the media, our parents, and even Black men to the point where many of us begin to think that we are inferior." I have experienced this first hand so I know how big of a deal bad self esteem can be. I think sometimes, other people's expectations of black beauty is what causes us to want to shift ourselves. When we don't fit in with the European beauty standards and trends then it makes us feel like we're left out. In reality, our own natural traits are what make us most beautiful. I think it's sad how we don't realize how much we've shifted until it's already happened.

Kytela Medearis said...

"I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only Black person"(pg 109) That quote definitely stuck with me the most. I am actually adopted and my parents are white, so Being the only African American in the family definitely was weird for not just me but my parents as well. Anytime my white friends were with me and my parents were there, strangers have come up and assumed that my white friends were my parents kids and not me. My school was also predominantly white and stuck out like a sore thumb. It was definitely odd to me, but I got used to it.

Kayla Daniels said...

The quote that stuck out to me the most was, "I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only Black person"(pg 109). I grew up in a small farmer town next to a military base. And while yes, there were other black kids, most times I did not fit in with them. So all the friends I DID have were mostly anything but black. So for them, they felt it appropriate to ask questions, which of course made you feel more isolated.

Peyton D. said...

One idea that really stuck with me was code-switching(109) because I can relate. I am a combination of two races so they are culturally different. I am also around a variety of other people at school and work. I try not to think about it and it is subconscious but reading really made me think deeper.

Breanna B. said...

On page 109, a quote that stuck with me was the one pertaining to being the only Black kid in the room. I experienced this is high school. My sisters and I basically made up the school's--and town's diversity. I suppose it was something I grew up in and grew used to, but as I've gotten older and learned more about the world and the people in it, it seems kind of sad to me that I missed out on growing up in a more diverse environment.

Jamesha M. said...

“Our research reveals that many Black women feel pressured to calibrate their directness and assertiveness, and minimize their accomplishments and success, to make the men in their lives comfortable with and confident in their manhood”(207). I feel like this is me and just about every woman in my family. Alone completely independent, but when faced with relationships it’s all about making sure the man feels like he is the man. Many women do this unconsciously and I think it’s what men expect; even if you can be the top provider they don’t want you to.

Dakarai P. said...

one quote that has stuck with me is, "And somewhere between Watts and west L.A., she believes that she lost Ginny. The persona that shifts into to get along with her coworkers and clients seems to be overtaking what was once her true self." (150) This line really stuck out to me because it is something I catch myself doing quite often, I put on a face and try my hardest not to be typecast as a stereotypical black woman. I notice it in not only myself but my mother and my aunts and my grandmother. It makes me wonder if this is something we just continue to pass on to our daughters how are they ever gonna learn to accept their true selves?

Maya said...

A quote that I could really relate to was on page 109 and is says "I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only Black person." Out of the whole book so far this quote had the biggest impact because I knew exactly what she was talking about. My entire life in elementary school and high school and the neighborhoods I grew up in I was usually the only black kid there. So I besides my family I was not really used to being around black people and even my family had commented on it before saying that me and my siblings didn't know how to act or be around other black people. There were other black kids, but they acted stereotypically black and we didn't get along. I never thought it was weird or different and usually never thought about it. But other times I did feel like I stuck out or that it would be nice to have a black friend that didn't try to act like they were from the ghetto all the time.

Alexandra Donaldson said...

One quote that really stuck out to me was on page 60. "Black women are yoga masters. We're required to bend in as many different ways as possible in our daily activities. We have to be extremely flexible and people expect us to be good at it--friends, family, relatives, coworkers, society." This quote has always been in the back on mind while reading this book because it holds so much truth. Black women are expected to be able to do everything that when we do mess up or fall short we are heavily criticized for our mistakes.

Alexandra D.

Anonymous said...

I find myself lingering on a quote from chapter 6, Laurette says "When you deal with men and you have an idea that you wish to further, I have found that if you can get another man to voice that same idea to the man you are trying to influence, that idea will usually be accepted." I think it is sad that women have to go through this. Our ideas and thoughts should hold the same value coming from our own mouths. When things like this are done it can make women question their worth and create low self-esteem. As a society, we must learn to empower the women around us and show them that they are capable of greatness as well.
Taylor M.

Anonymous said...

The portion of chapter six that talks about Black women being double advantaged in the aspect of being both Black and female. The authors state that, “there’s a widespread myth that black women are doubly advantaged because they are a ‘double minority’—Black and female…” this is on page 167 in chapter six. This quote stuck with me the most because of the invalidly of this argument. This argument is not true in my opinion because we as females are looked down upon and as Blacks are separated from White dominated society through the driving-force of racism. We are double in disadvantages from being Black women. Women are the lesser of the sexes in our society and Blacks are apart of the lesser minority of the races. We need to fight against these stereotypes and become a more accepting and embracing people. We need to rid ourselves of these ancient stereotypical barbaric views and opinions to evolve as a people.
McKayla W.

Fiona Hill said...

On page 211, Pauline says "...carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and not feeling as though I can depend on men to help out." This stuck out to me the most because black women carry so much and have so many responsibilities just because they are black women. Men are sometimes there but usually not so its up to the women to make sure everything gets done. I thought this quote was relatable and very relevant to my personal life.

Jessica D said...

I find myself lingering on a quote in chapter 6( Page 147) that says "Being a women can be enough stress right there. But being an African American woman causes another problem. You want to succeed.And you put to much stress on yourself." Being a woman in general is very stressful compared to being a man. There are certain things that women are expected to do and things they just shouldn't do. Being an African American woman is even harder because you just want to prove to everyone else that you can be just as successful as a white woman. And because we wan to succeed so bad, we tend to put a lot of stress on ourselves to try to achieve our goals.

Ty Bruce said...

I found my self lingering on the idea of page 177. It speaks of people loving themselves . I believe beauty is more than skin deep. It's speaks of loving the beauty within. This is important because everyone is different but special. Everyone have a purpose and should feel good about themselves. Beauty is more of your personality and how you treat others.
Tyjohnea Bruce

Persephone Cole said...

"She saw herself as ugly, and the cruel long-ago words of elementary school classmates who'd teased her about being Black and fat were embedded in her psyche. Her husband saw her beauty, but his love couldn't counter the assaults that she had experienced all her life."(p. 137) This quote really stood out to me, because I can relate it. A lot of things children said about me in my younger years I took to heart, but I grew out of that stage in my life. The older I get; the stronger I get.
It is sad for a grown married woman to be incapable of living her life happily, because of how she was teased when she was a young girl. This quote proves that whether good or bad, the words people say can have a huge impact on someone else's life. I will always remember to think about what I say before I say it, and encourage others to do so as well.

Kiara C said...

In chapter 6, doing double duty, faye shares her story of the struggles she faced being a black women working with all white employees. This feeling of not on outsider and not being supported is something that i hate and fear will just continue to follow me through my life and into the corporate world.

Natasha said...

On page 176, Juanita says "It's taken me 41 years to get to accepting the package that 'm in- to be okay with my skin tone, my weight, my hair, with just me. For a long time I walked in a lot of shame; I walked in a lot of low self-esteem. I now realize that beauty is inside out. What do you care about? What are you passionate about? To me that's what beauty is."

I love this quote. Because simply, it is so true. I don't have nearly 41 years like Juanita does, but in my 18 years I can definitely attest to what Juanita is saying. It took me throughout middle school to be okay with my goofy hair. When I was younger, I remember wanting thin, stringy hair because I thought it was the best kind. But now, I LOVE my hair and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I admire that it's not like everyone else's. I struggle the same way with my weight and once in awhile my skin itself. But the inside really is what matters most. I want to have purposeful passions and to care about what really matters, which is not what we look like on the outside.

Jade H. said...

"Still, Serita had found a way to hide from her depression. She became her own physician and pharmacist." (pg 143) This story of Serita stuck with me because my sister had a similar story, not as severe, but fairly similar. Last year my sister was going through a lot and showed all the signs of depression. As much as she said she was okay we all knew she wasn't. She started getting into things she shouldn't have, and eventually lead her down the wrong path. This story of Serita reminded me of how my own sister can go through rough patches, and I know that I always need to support her and encourage her.
Jade H.

Tameah Foley said...

The key idea that I lingered on was the fact that women often sublimate their own needs, strengths and desires to allow their men to feel confident and comfortable with their manhood. I personally feel that demeaning your own personality or lifestyle is not worth keeping a spouse because it will ultimately cause you to look at yourself differently. Chapter 8 had the biggest impact on me.

Shelby Washington said...

The idea that stuck with me the most is found on page 220. It talks about a woman who was very successful, but didn't feel she should be proud of or happy with the many achievements and wealth she acquired. She felt that her husband or partner should earn more money than her and essentially be the bread winner. I do not feel the same, but in a way I do. I do feel like my partner and I should both be the bread winners and as long as both of us are making an equal effort to provide for our families regardless of who earns more, we will be fine and I am comfortable with that.

Kellsey H said...

I found myself lingering on the quote "I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only black person" located on page 109. This is primarily due to the fact that I grew up in a small town in which the population was predominantly white. In grade school and high school, I frequently found myself in classrooms filled with white people. I, however, would be the only black individual. Something about such a setting made me feel slightly uncomfortable. I was different. I didn't fit in. I was black.

YaQkeha Witherspoon said...

I think chapter 8 stands out to me the most. Because developing, and maintaining relationships with black men and women is very difficult to do. We often have to change ourselves to fit in with not only white people, but blacks ones as well. And it's actually even more hard to develop relationships with black men and women because there's more jealousy and hate that we have toward each other.

Shardai J-H. said...

Page 129, "survival guilt." One may feel bad for not being themselves completely to get ahead. This can be at the expense of friends, family, or even yourself. I hope one day I will not have to jeopardize time with family or time building myself up to be where I want to be in life. At the end of it all I will still have my family as long as they will have me.

Alexis Acoff said...

On page 109, "I grew up in an environment in which I was frequently the only black person" was I quote I could remember and relate to because it was literally the truth for me. As a child, all of my friends were white and continuously questioned me about our differences such as our hair and the way we spoke. I eventually wanted to be like them so bad that I would beg my mom to straighten my hair and would "talk like a white girl". I eventually began to make black friends as I grew older and learned the differences between our cultures just from having 2 different groups of friends.

sierra lucas said...

The quote on 177 really spoke to me because it talked about physical beauty and loving the person that you are no matter what. This stuck with me because I have always had problems accepting the skin I am so just to read that really hit home for me.

Samiya Barber said...

The quote on page 222 says, "We have a war going on with the White women taking the good Black men. And the sisters, the Black women, are just as good as the White woman." This quote sticks out to me the most because I disagree with it so much. I disagree with this quote because everyone has their own definitions of a good man and just because there are some white women with black men does not mean that all of the "good" men are taken. There are so many interracial couples in this world and it is not because one race is better than another race, it is just about personal preferences.

Alona Davenport said...

The idea that stuck with me was stated more towards the beginning. In Chapter 3, it brings up how black women don't show a change of emotion. It's an inward shift in emotion. I'm not quite sure if that is specific for only black women because that sounds as if anyone from any race would do the same as well. But it stuck with me because it is something I do constantly as well. I'm not very open about emotions at all and it concerns the people I'm around. It's always comforting to know you're not the only one that does something.
-Alona D.