Some Mens' Biggest Fear

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Last night, I attended the town hall meeting in Harlem hosted by the New Black Panthers.  I was feeling it deeply and proud to see Black male leaders bonding and making a plan to unite our people. 
However, I was awakened by a sista sitting next to me as she stated:   there were no Black female presenters.  This Sista made that point and the young male host took responsibility for the error???  The next speaker was a prominent representative from the Nation of Islam (I am not sure if I am going to rag the brother, I need to speak to him one on one first) and made a statement about women not being ready or should stay in the background.  I am not exactly sure what he said because I started shutting down.  The sista next to me left the room, I should have gone with her; I am feeling that pain now.  Note:  That honorable sista came back in the room after that speaker's presentation was over.
The sexist sentiment really hurt my feelings cause it woke me up this morning about 5 am.  So here we are rebuilding the Village again or the Nation and some things still haven't changed.  Thirty five years ago, I wanted desperately to be a Garveyite but could not see myself relegated to the kitchen or just making babies as it was implied when I went to a meeting on 125th Street not too far from the Apollo.
I suppose I took my activism into my adult education classrooms for 25 years where I was met with comments from my white and Black administrators such as your students are so arrogant to which I replied, no they are confident.  When I retired from full time teaching in 2003, I was burnt out, frustrated and turned off from teaching.  The frustration was equally shared....50% the folks in the hood and 50% the indifference of the Black elite.
Now that I am semi-retired, I have some time to give back on my terms.  Things are still pretty much the same, except the genocide is getting deeper for our youth.  This time, I am wiser and will be working smarter rather than harder.  Last night was a call for all concerned Black organizations, leaders and individuals to bring Unity into the community and work on plans to save our people.  I am in this Movement to win and (as a woman) I will not be serving at the table, no siree, I will be sitting at the table.  Oh yes, I will be sitting at that table to be effective rather than popular in the most peaceful and empowering manner possible.  This is the legacy I will leave to my children and my people.
I give the upmost respect to that young brother who owned up to his responsibility or lack of it in terms of not having female presenters.  I saw the confusion and uneasiness in the faces of young brothers who are begging for wisdom and guidance from the elders.  This is a conflict that needs to be resolved by the Black male elders so these young brothers can get it right and not be led down the path of inequality for women.  By now, the elder Black male leaders should have gotten it right.  So, I need to put the challenge out this morning to the older Black men who "get it" and ask them to help those who don't understand that you cannot build a successful Village full of love and respect if you are holding women down, back or whatever.  Maybe this is why Oprah reacts the way she does???
These thoughts are from a Daddy's girl.....
Peace and Empowerment to the People,
Nettie Paisley

Nettie Paisley is a Master of Reiki and Chairman of the Life & Ethics Committee at Brooklyn Society of Life & Ethics

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