This week a note from a few years ago that I didn’t publish. As I begin the process of achieving the blog I thought I’d share.
So I switched over to Comedy Central to catch the best news broadcast on T.V. (The Daily Show with John Stewart) and since I’m a little early I get treated to this little gem from Tosh.O.
It was and I quote, “babes burping”. I know I should have changed the channel, but I didn’t want to miss the news. But this is not about what I heard, it’s what I saw. There in the midst of the college aged girls who had sent in their best burps, a member of Phi Mu Sorority. I guess she forgot she had her sorority symbols hanging up in her dorm room and that her symbols were in the shot.
This is my point, aren’t your symbols always in the “shot” whether you know it or not!
And did I actually see a young lady celebrating her sweet 16 birthday on the Plaza at the Today show on Feb 21, 2011 with a very nicely printed “Future AKA” sign. Update 2013 this future stuff still disturbs me.
Maybe I’m watching too much T.V. Yes I am still questioning my television intake!
……. “when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole…race enters with me.”—ANNA JULIA COOPER, 1892
These used to be our watch words. It matters how you enter. How you speak, dress and present yourself. When I entered corporate America I was well aware of the position of being among the ‘first’ to hold certain jobs. I was once told by one of my college students that I was the ‘first black’ teacher he’d ever had.
At some point have you received these words of caution?
When and where I enter is a call to excellence. A knowledge that individually we do not have the right to close the doors to the future that some many fought so hard to open.
Be inspired in quiet, undisputed dignity and remember…when and where you enter the sorority enters with you!
“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.” – Anna Julia Cooper, United States Passport.
Historical Note: Anna Julia Cooper’s mother was a slave. And Anna Julia became the fourth African-American woman to earn a PhD. Yet every day in 2013 I hear a hundred excuses.
For more check out the Anna Julia Cooper Project at Tulane University.
….I bring the whole race with me. Anna Julia Cooper 1892
I’ll post the entire quote and more information on Anna Julia Cooper next week. But for now please join me in congratulating the newest member of Congress, Robin Kelly.
She signified softly last week wearing the blue and yellow of Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority during her swearing in ceremony. I couldn’t find the full length picture, but look closely to see her yellow shoes. And the sister in yellow wore beautiful blue shoes!
In a soft symbolic action, when Robin Kelly entered the United States House of Representatives, she took Sigma Gamma Rho and all of us in the sorority movement with her.
I called my Sigma Sister and she reports that Representative Kelly has been beautifully wearing the colors all week and has painted her office yellow.
My boss once told me that I was a futurist. Not to get all metaphysical on you here, but I see a trend. With the RHOA, Married to Medicine, The Sisterhood and Preacher’s Daughters it won’t be long before a reality show is made about the secret life of sorority sisters. There have already been two attempts. MTV’s short lived sorority life and TLC even shorter Sorority Girls. Both of these show failed due to a back lash from white sorority members who did not accept the unflattering portrayal of the sorority lifestyle. And several white sororities have banned their members from participating in reality TV. Would we be so happy to see our organization featured on TV that we’d forget the rules of reality TV. You know the ones written especially for black women.
Rule Number 1 There will be high drama soap opera story lines and editing
Rule Number 2 There will have to be a villain, some weave tossing, table-throwing, finger-popping arguments.
Rule Number 3 The language, hem-lines and neck-lines will be low and the nastier the better.
Oh, how I hope I’m wrong.
What did you think about the wardrobe warning from CBS Television? Seems like they do not want to lose their broadcast license?
Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack… Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible ‘puffy’ bare skin exposure. Please avoid commercial identification of actual brand name products on T-shirts. Foreign language on wardrobe will need to be cleared. OBSCENITY OR PARTIALLY SEEN OBSCENITY ON WARDROBE IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR BROADCAST. This as well, pertains to audience members that appear on camera.”
May we consider attaching a similar ‘warning’ for the makers and wearers of sorority paraphernalia? And to highlight the last statement, are we aware of those audience members/friends and associates that are with us when we are wearing our sorority symbols.
You can always tell a lady by the company she keeps.
PS. From what I watched everyone looked hip, stylish, and covered and it appeared to still be a good show.
Since it is Black History Month
I remember when black was beautiful!
I remember when black was powerful!
I remember when the essence of black was pure, strong and secure.
But somewhere along the road I forgot
I lost track of what black was all about.
What happened to the beauty of darkness?
Seems we went from Gods and Goddesses to Godless.
What happened to the power within my color?
Seems we no longer embrace out people or our culture.
What happened to “The blacker you are, the closer you are to God”?
It seems no longer can we be black and proud….
But in the back of my mind, I’ll always remember;
When black was beautiful!
When black was powerful!
When the essence of black was pure, strong and secure!
I’ll always remember the beauty of Black!
ISA M. Johnson
Feel free to insert the name of your sorority, fraternity or social organization. Remember when?
Pardon the interruption we now return to our regularly scheduled program already in progress.
“A shift is coming, sneaking through the literal fabric of our culture. Our bright heroic women are being made the fool. A fool to think that to be loved they must be naked. To be noticed they must be sexualized. To be admired they must be objectified.” Taken from ModestyClub.com
Interesting segment from a recent Steve Harvey Show. A segment featuring, Saige Hatch the teen-age founder of the modesty club. The first tenant of the club is “if it’s too tight, it’s not quite right.”
And it made me think. Do we need a modesty make-over in our movement?
What ever happened to wearing the pin with humility? And is it just a southern thing but I remember being taught one piece of paraphernalia at a time?
Of course I cannot let this week pass without commenting on the progress of one of the greatest American stories ever. Yes, the one hundred years of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
I spent January 13, 2013, in class learning advanced Change Management. And of course the instructor began his remarks with the old standard; Delta is the symbol for change. He went on to show some slides and with each successive slide of the change management presentation there was a common question about story.
What is the organization’s story?
How is the story evolving?
What’s the continuing story?
Story is important, to the past, present and future of any organization. On Sunday, I sat in awe of the leadership of Delta Sigma Theta for ensuring that every member of the sorority knows the story. This is powerful and sustaining.
My Grandmother used to sing an old hymn, ‘I love to tell the story, twill be my theme in glory. To tell the old, old story…’ I sing this song sometimes for the connection to her.
John P. Kee has a gospel hit that I love. It’s called ‘Life and Favor’. You may have heard, it starts with …”you don’t know my story”.
As our organization evolves, are we holding on to our story?
Happy Centennial Delta!
So you know this future thing disturbs me. And I still can’t believe I saw a Future AKA advertising her status on the Today show.
Google Future Delta, AKA, Zeta if you dare. Then go on You Tube and conduct the same search. What I found on You Tube was a collection of videos of the cutest little kids oo-ooping, and nuping, and stepping, and barking. And yes the babies were cute and I know that children only emulate their parents.
But in my search I didn’t see any future greeks going to chapter meetings dressed like ladies and gentlemen. I didn’t see any of the future members reading or studying in order to get into college. And yes some of them were of age to begin those pursuits. I didn’t see any future members participating in public service or voting or doing any of the work of the movement.
Just saying…..I’m concerned for our future.
On a Face book group that I am a member of, ’1913′. A general question went out for the group. Here’s my take. Beyond Peace Love and Happiness–What is your New Year’s Wish for the Sorority?
My wish, and the reason for this blog, remains the same. That we signify softly. That we walk in Grace and conduct ourselves in a more lady like fashion.
Here’s to a year of Signifying Softly.
P.S. I hope your new year’s plan includes a weekly visit to signify softly to add your thoughts to the conversation.