Rujizzle discusses several issues in her life and also things that happen in our various communities. Topics discussed and perspectives presented are the opinions of Rujizzle which may sometimes be disagreed upon but must always be respected. The purpose of these entries are to educate and entertain.
|Posted by Rujizzle on May 16, 2012 at 2:05 AM||comments (0)|
Over the past couple of months, I've been blessed and honored to be in the midst and acquainted myself with some fantastic women in society who are movers and shakers in various areas of life. These women include Dr. Sarah Weddington, Ms. Eleanor Clift, and Dr. Katrina Bell McDonald.
On March 28th, I had the opportunity of meeting Dr. Sarah Weddington. The program was called How to Keep Winning for Women and Reproductive Freedom, a free lecture done by Dr. Weddington, and was hosted by Womanspace (a feminist organization at my university) and the local Planned Parenthood organization. Dr. Weddington is popularly known for successfully arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in the landmark decision Roe v. Wade. She is a nationally acclaimed lawyer, professor and women's rights advocate known for her work on issues affecting women. Having won Roe v. Wade at the age of 26 years, she is the youngest person ever to argue successfully a Supreme Court case. She has held numerous leadership roles at the state and federal level. Today, she practices law in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Weddington shared many stories about growing up as a girl in Texas in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as what it was like being a woman aspiring to be a lawyer but had no role models in law practice. She shared stories about the times that women were not allowed to have bank accounts, property, and certain titles in the public sphere that were not domestic work. During her talk, it made me realize how far women's issues such as women's reproductive rights and rights as a whole have come a long way. In addition, I realized my privilege of being a woman in today's society with many opportunities, in contrast to how difficult it was for many women in the past with regards to advancement in academia and sexual health.
In mid-April, I had the opportunity to have breakfast with Ms. Eleanor Clift. I was chosen among several students in the department of Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) in my university by our department's director; WGS is my Minor. It was a humbling opportunity, and I was very grateful to have met such a phenomenal woman and be in the midst of my peers who were terrific individuals in my university and society as a whole. Ms. Eleanor Clift is a political reporter, television pundit, and author. She is currently a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. Her column, "Capitol Letter" is posted each week on the Newsweek and MSNBC websites. She is a regular panelist on the nationally syndicated show The McLaughlin Group. She is also a political contributor for the Fox News Channel. Ms. Clift is a Board Member at the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF).
At the breakfast session, Ms. Clift shared her lived experiences in academia, journalism, women's rights, politics, business, love relationships, motherhood, and many more topics. She also gave us the students opportunities to talk about our various endeavors in our communities. It was great hearing the students share their various majors, and she was very impressed with some of the women that had multiple majors and were crossing boundaries. Ms. Clift shared that she highly admired our works and love the fact that we were such versatile and driven young, feminist, women. She answered many of our questions, and shared personal experiences about her struggles trying to get to the top as a journalist and writer in a field that was predominantly filled with men. She talked about her connection to the role women play in the show Mad Men and its parallelism to her reality when she was finding her niche in journalism; she detailed stories of how she pushed through for jobs in the public spheres when some other women settled for the gendered jobs. The students and I had a great chat with Ms. Clift, the meal was delicious, and I was happy to have received a copy of her book, Votes for Women (which she is signing in the picture below).
To sum up my list of phenomenal women I recently crossed paths with is Dr. Katrina Bell McDonald. Dr. McDonald is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. Born in Texas and raised in Sacramento, California, she joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1994 as she was completing her last year of doctoral study at the University of California, Davis. In 2006, she became the second woman of color to be awarded tenure at Hopkins. I got to meet Dr. McDonald because I was currently reading her book, Embracing Sisterhood: Class, Identity, and the Contemporary Black Woman; it was one of the assigned readings for my Black Woman in the U.S. course I took this past Spring semester. Embracing Sisterhood analyzes how contemporary black women’s ideas of black womanhood and sisterhood merge with social class status to shape certain attachments and detachments among them.
Dr. McDonald's guest lecture in my class was very interesting and refreshing to have been part of, and I was very grateful for her to have come to my university to answer some questions about her book, her life, and her activism in academia with emphasis on the Black American community and Black women. She talked further about her research done in Baltimore when writing the book and also the relationships she built with the multiple women interviewed for her book. A topic that I particularly enjoyed that she discussed was interracial marriage between Black Americans and other races. I found her perspective and other researched experiences to be quite interesting. I plan to write further about this topic in an upcoming post. I especially took interest in her overall presentation because she had a wonderful sense of humor, and I consider her to be a "plain preacher" in how she addressed multiple issues and conversations made.
I highly recommend sitting through a lecture or program with these phenomenal women. They have so much knowledge and wise words to share, and I think are great role models to all people. The recurring theme in the conversations with these three women is women's status in society, whether it is in journalism, academia, reproductive rights, race, and many more. The gray hairs on the heads of these women tell stories of struggle, resilience, success, and drive. They have paved the way for girls and women like me and others in fields that in past times we had no chance of entering or even having the thought of gaining success.
I salute these women, and I am proud to call myself Woman!
|Posted by Rujizzle on May 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM||comments (0)|
In this entry, I will love to show you all why I love this woman, Ms. Isha Tejan Cole-Johansen. She exudes many wonderful qualities and has the qualities of a Phenomenal Woman as described in Dr. Maya Angelou's poem.
Isha Tejan Cole-Johansen is known mostly for her work with the youth in Sierra Leone with regards to soccer. Isha is the founder of her own Sierra Leone Premier League club, FC Johansen, which she founded in 2004. She is the first woman candidate running for the presidency position in the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) elections, to be held in July 2012. Isha has my support 100% and I wish her luck in the elections. I believe that whether she wins or doesn't, she will continue to promote Sierra Leone's soccer involvement due to the work she has done in the past and currently.
Isha Tejan Cole-Johansen is an activist in breast cancer awareness in which she founded the Pink Charity Fund organization. Isha is also the founder of Women of Excellence program; she uses it as a platform to recognize and award women in Sierra Leone and the Diaspora. She has now registered Women of Excellence as a global organization, in which other countries can host their women, and other women who have inspired the women of their country. Isha is the former publisher of Rapture magazine, the first entertainment magazine in Sierra Leone. She is also the former publisher of KABO magazine, Sierra Leone's in-flight magazine.
I highly admire Ms. Tejan Cole-Johansen's drive and passion for soccer, sports management, youth empowerment, women's advancement, and humanity as a whole. I consider her a great role model to many, especially the youth, girls, and women of today.
Chief Executive Officer
Isha Tejan Cole-Johanssen. Phenomenal woman, that's her.
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 30, 2012 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
The cabinet of Sierra Leone is part of the executive branch of the government of Sierra Leone. Cabinet members are nominated by the President and are then proceeded to the House of Parliament of Sierra Leone for confirmation or rejections by a majority vote by members of Parliament.
First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
The Bulom people were thought to have been the earliest inhabitants of Sierra Leone, followed by the Mende and Temne peoples in the 15th century and thereafter the Fulani. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore the land; the name Sierra Leone is derived form the Portuguese word "Sierra Lyoa" meaning "lion mountain" coined by Portuguese sailor, Pedro Da Cintra, due to the plateux and shape of the land. Mangrove swamps lie along the coast, with wooded hills and a plateaux in the interior, and the eastern region is mountainous. Freetown, which later became the Capital City of the nation, was given up to English settlers in 1787 as a home for Blacks discharged from the British armed forces and also for runaway/freed slaves who had found asylum in London.
In 1808, Sierra Leone became a British colony, and in 1896 a British protectorate was proclaimed over the hinterland. 51 years ago, April 27 1961, Sierra Leone became an independent nation. A military coup overthrew the civilian government in 1967, which was in turn replaced by civilian rule a year later. On April 19, 1971, Sierra Leone declared itself a Republic under the leader of Prime Minister Siaka Stevens (Pa Sheky). In 1996, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah became the nation's first democratically elected president.
National Anthem (with all stanzas)
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
The perception of autism as being a disease that's a function of "an extreme male brain," as one expert put it recently, makes it harder to help autistic girls. As Liane Holliday Willey, who has Asperger's and is the author of "Pretending to be Normal: Living With Asperger's Syndrome," put it, "Females are grossly underdiagnosed with autism. We do not 'present' as loudly as boys do."
Wendy Lawson, author of "Build Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome" and a self-described autistic woman, adds that she thinks girls on the spectrum may be underdiagnosed because if they have obsessive interests (often a feature of spectrum disorders), these are more likely to be socially acceptable than the obsessions of boys with autism. Girls, she says, might get into reading or animals, which seem normal, "so people don't pick up on our social difficulties."
Jennifer McIlwee Myers, who has Asperger's and is the author of "How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's," concurs. She says boys on the spectrum are more likely to respond to their difficulties with anger and aggression, while girls are more likely to "deal with issues quietly," cultivating extreme "niceness" and imitating other girls' behavior. Boys who have the vision problems that sometimes go with autism spectrum disorders may hit other boys, she explains, while girls might instead cling to other girls. And a boy who attacks other kids is going to get intervention a lot faster than a girl who cries quietly every day. Myers says there are "a lot of invisible girls" who are autistic but never get help, because nobody notices.
Willey says that when it comes to dating, women on the spectrum tend to be targets of physical and mental abusers. "We are the women with date rape stories," she says. Myers agrees that women with autism "have a big target on us for guys who are users, because we won't pick up on it and somehow they know that." Even with kind partners, they can have trouble communicating their needs in relationships, and figuring out if their feelings are reciprocated. Myers thinks dating might actually have been easier for women on the spectrum "when it was regimented," when social conventions like dance cards and courting determined how people acted. Now that coupling up is more "free form," women with autism have a hard time.
The first step to solving these problems, say advocates, is actually diagnosing autism in girls. Lawson says, "there needs to be a more feminist approach to autism which is often seen as owned by men," and that doctors and treatment programs need "an understanding of how autism is experienced by females." Willey agrees, arguing that the problems of diagnosing autism are similar to those surrounding heart disease: "We now know the calling cards of a heart attack for men, are in many ways different for women. When we better describe autism as it effects women, we can better diagnose." Often, according to Myers, this will mean paying attention to the kid who's being quiet, not just the one who's acting out.
But Willey says there's another step too: another support system for females. "We are by nature, more prone to self-injury and self-blame when we are confused by our world," she says. "So as a first measure, we need supports that will immediately bring us help that keeps us from hating and hurting ourselves."
Read more here.
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Spring semester is quickly coming to an end, of course. As a student, these are the times that one has multiple emotions: excitement for summer break/vacations, sadness due to separation from friends, hopelessness due to weather change, and also that mini-heart attack of final exams approaching and thinking that you've learned nothing all semester/year-long. There are many more that are also unmentioned. These are the times that all the love and support, fitness, healthy nutrition, tranquility, life stability, sleep, and spirituality are very important. This entry is to inspire me and you to continue to persevere and make it through the final stretch. I wish you peace, courage, and God's blessings. I'm sending lots of motivation your way. Grab it and keep going!!!
You've come this far in your endeavors. Why stop now? Advancement and prosperity is synonymous with ...
Be stress-free and take it all 1 second, 1 minute, 1 hour, and 1 day at a time because...
Be fearless in whatever situation you're put in. It's okay to be different, and do not let intimidation be the cause of your downfall or failure.
You may fall or trip sometimes, but never forget to pick yourself up and keep going because...
Be courageous and set the pace for yourself because...
Whatever you sow, you shall reap. Therefore, put in the necessary work and know that success is all the result you can get return. Remember that success doesn't happen in a day, sometimes it takes longer than you may expect. But you will get the results.
When you believe in yourself and are aware of your strengths and abilities, the world will believe in you. Remember to always...
In the end, you shall receive...
You may struggle now, but you will celebrate later!
You got this!
This sassy little lady has got your back and knows you can do it!
All you have to do now is choose the path you wish to go. You have the power to choose your path!
Keep that dream alive, don't let it die. You've got something great inside that must be unleashed for the good of all. Reach for the stars, and aim high!
Never give up - Yolanda Adams
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
A year ago, I wrote an entry detailing the reasons why autism awareness is dear to my heart. In this entry, rather than saying much about why I care, I'd like to showcase some individuals with autism in a series of videos. In one of the videos below, a boy stated "don't judge me before you know me." That really resonated to me, and that is one of the reasons why I find this entry to be essential. I believe that as members of society, we are quick to judge in so many instances without prior knowledge, especially when dealing with situations that are different. Enjoy the videos, and I hope these videos can empower you to do more research on autism, seek knowledge, and do something. Together, we can solve the puzzle!
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 3, 2012 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Part 1: The Mind-Set of a man
Chapter 1: What Drives Men
In this chapter, Harvey talks about the drive of men and they are: "his title (who he is), how he gets that title (what he does), and the reward he gets for the effort (how much he makes). These three things make up the basic DNA of manhood..." (Page 11). He goes on to explain further about what these three things mean to men and without these accomplishments, he would never be able to fully focus on his partner and/or have intentions for marriage.
I do understand where he's coming from with this analogy, but I also know that not every man's mentality is built this way. For instance, society always says that every girls dreams for her wedding day but in reality it isn't every girl at all. Yes, there are women that long for marriage and see it as one of the greatest achievements in life, but there are also others that see having a stable and prosperous career or community outreach in many forms as a peak in their lives. Therefore, I believe that Harvey should have used words such as "some men" or "certain men." Also, I believe that one's place of origin is very vital in addressing this logic because he explains that these are the things instilled in every little boys head. When I was growing up the advice that was given to the boy/men family members was the same given to the girls/women as well.
From the tone and message of the book, I can imply that the audience that Harvey is trying to cater to is Black American women with regards to Black American men. I interact with various Black American boys/men, and some will say that Harvey's logic is incorrect because they have been successful in taking care of their careers and love relationships. In my opinion, I feel that Harvey's logic is not so subtly saying that men are obligated to take care of their women, and that is why they must attain the things in order to be fully committed in any type of relationship.
Therefore, I think it all comes down to who the individual is, their upbringing, and personal goals in life.
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 3, 2012 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
One of my resolutions for this year and beyond is to read more books to educate myself beyond topics that are of interest to me. So far, I've been doing well in reading the Bible more than usual. But not very successful with other books. So in order to keep up with my resolution, I've decided to write reviews for each book I read; this will be my personal incentive. Also, there may be some people that would have interest in what I have to say.
The first book I'll be reviewing is Steve Harvey's Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. I've heard various reviews about it, so I decided to borrow my friend's copy and read it. Some friends have classified it as a good read. Being a feminist woman, one of my friends advised me to read with an open mind; and others honestly told me that I may hate it as chapters go by. Also, I want to read this book because the movie comes out April 20, 2012 and I'd like to go see it.
I am not a professional in any way to review books and don't get paid for it, so I've got nothing to lose. I'll be very blunt, as always, and say what I think in my opinion. To be thorough, I plan to review each chapter individually. I'm really excited about this, and I look forward to reading this book, with an open mind of course. BUT I will also be blunt in my reflection.
P.S.: If you have not read the book, and don't want me to ruin it for you, do not read my reviews.
|Posted by Rujizzle on April 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
It is NOT your fault
You DIDN'T ask for it
You DIDN'T wear the wrong outfit
You DIDN'T deserve it
It's OKAY to walk by yourself at any time and/or anywhere
It's okay to TALK about it
You may not get to HEALING instantly but you will get there
Your true BEAUTY and STRENGTH will shine through in your healing process
She did it, YOU can do it, we will do it with you
YOUR body, your decisions, your rights
SURVIVORS get your woman power back
You're BEAUTIFUL, you're STRONG, remain EMPOWERED
That night we gathered together to raise AWARENESS on violence against women
Women, men, children, together we can END this type of violence
Violence comes in MANY forms: rape, incest, sexual assault, street harassment, etc.
Whether directly or indirectly, we can all DO something
SOMETHING to end violence against women
REMEMBER, yes means yes, no means no, maybe means stop
Don't be quick to judge but LISTEN
WOMEN and MEN, we're not each others' enemies
TOGETHER we can, divided we fall
WOMEN UNITE, TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
MEN JOIN THE FIGHT, HELP TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
-Ruby B. Johnson-
Firework - Katy Perry
|Posted by Rujizzle on March 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM||comments (0)|
There's been something I've been wanting to write about for the longest, but just haven't had the time and focus to do so. BUT I can finally do it now! It has to do with people that find humor in certain topics but in return is offensive to others, also those that make silly remarks and not think about the repercussions of their comments. As one gets older, I believe that the mature thing to do is be wise about your comments and choose your words wisely. Yes, I support free speech, but is it really worth saying certain things that could potentially be hurtful to others?
In case you're confused of what these remarks could consist of, here are examples:
Whenever someone says any of the examples given above (and others not mentioned), it makes me wonder what the person says when you're actually not in their presence. They may be cautious when talking at the moment, but I feel that they have and do say worse things without boundaries in one's absence. The ones who say these "funny" things sometimes claim to not be racist/sexist/classist but it's really difficult to believe that with the way they present themselves while making these "jokes." In my opinion, I think one of the reasons why people dig awkward holes like this for themselves is their need for attention or to seem/sound cool. What's unfortunate is that they are doing the opposite.
What startles me is when people say these offensive things and fail to realize that not everyone is pleased with the joke or comment. I am guilty of making some jokes that may be considered racist or classist sometimes, I think it may be part of human nature, but I also know my limit and do my best not to ever cross it. People need to be more attentive of how others receive their statements or jokes. I am not saying that people should limit the things they say, but if you see that one does not find your remarks as funny or entertaining of any sort, just stop. Forcing it to be funny really just makes things worse and you really just push yourself into an awkward, uncomfortable trap.
The reason why I found it necessary to write this post is because I have been on both sides of this argument, the horrible joker and the one offended. When I was younger, I know my family tiredlessly worked on me being more attentive of the things I said to others, and to learn when to talk and shut up. I won't say I'm perfect at it now, because there are still some times I get myself into awkward word vomit traps, but I am very aware of the things I say to others and speak with utmost caution no matter how cool that person is with me. Like I said, I've been on the other end as well whereby people have made certain remarks, based on my race/sex/status, to me that I found to be insulting and offensive. What's interesting about this is that I feel badly for them sometimes for the silly thing they may have said. But in response, my upbringing has prepared me for situations like these and most of the time I handle it with poise, diplomacy, and intelligence.
The best advice I can give to those that are told remarks they find to be offensive is to address the "joker" about it and let them know how you really feel about the comment(s). Being silent results to more offensive comments coming your way. It's imperative that you speak up and not be put in uncomfortable situations. In no way do I recommend yelling or any physical contact, a calm conversation can get the job done. Another suggestion is ignoring the individual if they consistently do it. Remember, actions do speak louder than words certain times. By ignoring and not responding to them only leaves them looking stupidly awkward.
I don't know if there's really a specific advice I can give, but I've got a suggestion, educate yourself: There's nothing valuable about ignorance. No matter what your background may be, don't let it be an excuse for making silly comments. Ask questions, get the facts, and do more research when in doubt. Beware that certain things/jokes/comments may be okay to say with others that share similar backgrounds BUT could have negative connotations when it comes from someone different. This has nothing to do with double standards just mere respect and understanding, that is all. If no one is amused, shut it. When in doubt, shut it! When you're the only one laughing, shut it!
Jokes or comments with regards to race, sex, class, economic status, religion, gender identity, politics, sexual orientation, etc. are things that people need to be cautious about. If you do not know the person's story and/or experiences, do not let word-vomit get the best of you. Choose your words wisely, and beware of the comfort of others.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time!
Jill Scott - Hate on me
|Posted by Rujizzle on March 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM||comments (0)|
A conversation I've had a few times with friends and acquaintances is how I can get more audience with this website and my social networks to read my posts on advice and life adventures. My regular response is that it does not matter and whoever the message must be conveyed to, will get it at some point. Yes, I know I could put more work into getting the word out there with a few tricks, but I believe that when one needs knowledge, they must seek it.
My initial goal of writing these entries was never to have a following but to share what goes on in my head and my opinion on life matters with anyone who cares to read. After sharing my posts with people on Facebook and other mediums, I was more than humble to see that people read my stuff and liked it, it was very awesome to get feedbacks as well. Yes, a part of me would love to have a great following that will read my entries, learn from it, share it, and create dialogues about it. However, I am also knowledgeable about the fact that whatever one puts online will always stay online. So this website may not have traffic now, but these posts can always remain a reference point for people tomorrow and sometime in the future.
The usual recommendation I get is that I should find a label for the things I do online, and must find a label for my work. For instance, I could primarily cater to one subject that I'm "good" at, and only discuss that topic on my social networks; examples of this are: websites that primarily discuss all things engineering, natural hair, education, fashion, politics, etc. I've given it a thought but then again I know what I'm capable of, and staying in a box isn't one of them. In a past entry, I spoke of being a Jackie of all trades, and I haven't changed at all.
My mind is not one-dimensional to only discuss certain issues; I see that as limiting myself. I respect and do enjoy websites that have a primary focus/theme, but that's not my intention for my social networks because I am a well-rounded person. Of course, when you read my "Dear Diary..." entries, you will notice certain themes and recurring messages, such as girls'/women's issues, education, dance, U.S. socio-economic issues, Africa, health, etc.; however, these recurring themes are as a result of the things I'm passionate about.
All my life, I've been blessed with doing it all with the support of my God, hard work, family, and friends, and it won't be any different when it comes to social networking. I cannot limit myself, especially in this day and age that opportunities are endless. No, I am not scatter-brained; I'm attentive when necessary and can focus on one thing at a time. For example, my platform with my philanthropy is to empower and promote self-sufficiency to girls and women, and since November 2010 I've stuck to that mission. By having a theme, I see it as a way of limiting myself. Yes, there's a possibility I could have a themed medium in the future, such as a website dedicated to mining engineering or something else, but for now I love the way things are and how I socialize online.
I know the advice comes from a good place, and I do believe in the power of publicity and outreach. Of course I will continue to share my posts and videos to everyone. But, I will not crave attention and audience traffic to an extent of losing the essence and goals of creating these social networks. If I'm meant to have a large following, it will happen at the right time. For now, I'll keep going at my own pace and catering to those that do get something from my post and seek for more. I'll even admit, I go back sometimes to year-old posts and read them, and I get amazed at what I wrote or refresh my memory on past adventures; these posts are also my way of preserving my memories and not just to share with the world.
So to those that care about the welfare of my website and how I can get more traffic, thanks but no thanks. I'm content with the various themes of my networks and I appreciate those that read and care about what I write. Personally, I see it as advantageous because one gets a dose of many things when they read my posts. I clearly state in the homepage that the purpose of this website is to entertain and educate, and that applies to all mediums operated under Rujizzle; to translate, you get everything (no topics are untouchable) with this package. I think what's more important is you sharing them and starting/continuing that conversation with others. I will continue talking about what I already do and won't change that to please others, but stay humble to my platform in life.
P.S.: I appreciate you for reading this. Thank you, I am grateful for your time!
"Dance Pe Chance" from the movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
|Posted by Rujizzle on March 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM||comments (0)|
In this entry, I will love to tell you all why I love this woman, Ms. Leila Lopes. She exudes many wonderful qualities and has the qualities of a Phenomenal Woman as described in Dr. Maya Angelou's poem.
Photo: tweet by Miss Universe, Leila Lopes
Leila Lopes is the reigning Miss Universe 2011-2012, and was Miss Angola UK 2010 and Miss Angola 2011. If you will like to know more about her, read this biography I wrote on my second website few days after she was crowned Miss Universe 2011. Leila is the 2nd Black African to be crowned Miss Universe, 1st was Mpule Kwelagobe from Botwswana in 1999; there have been 4 Black women in the Miss Universe pageant's 61-years of existence.
As mentioned above, Leila isn't the first Black woman but she is the only Miss Universe that I have observed since her crowning. Over the past months, she has worked hard and represented herself well with multiple charities, events, fashion shows, etc. She seems to have been working very hard, and I highly admire what she does and the things I read about her in media.
On a more personal note, I do admire Leila more because she is a Black African beauty queen! I have no hesitation to say that because it feels great to see a well-acknowledged titleholder that shares similar ancestry and features as me. I was very happy to see her crowned last year as Miss Universe 2011 because I saw Mama Africa's daughter recognized worldwide, and I thought she carried herself with simplicity, poise, and grace throughout the competition. Although the Miss Universe Organization does work with lots of charities, they have always made it known that they are a pageant that was built on principles based on beauty. That night showed African beauty being recognized, and brought curiousity to those that were not knowledgeable about the country Angola.
I don't know what the judges were looking for in the winner the night of the Miss Universe pageant, but I know Leila must have had the "it" factor in her overall presentation. I know that she must have said or done something right in the private interview session with the judges and other preliminary rounds leading to the pageant. I don't know her personally and cannot speak on behalf of her personality, but from her outwards appearance, she exudes beautiful traits of one full of compassion.
In most of my posts, I stress on having mentors and role models, but it is okay to be a "first" in whatever endeavor one wishes to embark on. Leila being crowned was a remarkable example of the necessity of having a role model. I cannot give any numbers but I know that she made some African girls and women feel more beautiful and made them know that no matter what continent they represent or how dark their complexion may be, they can also be Miss Universe, a titleholder, or an overall winner in anything.
Throughout the viewing of the pageant, I noticed something very remarkable about the African community. I realized how everyone put their differences aside and supported Leila as a favorite contestant, even though she was not representing their nations. The multiple supportive facebook comments and tweets that I read showed that Leila was representing Africa as a whole, and we were all one people. I was truly impressed and grateful by the togetherness that it brought Africans worldwide!
Observing the positive impact that Leila being Miss Universe 2011 has made, I really hope she will be an influence to having all African nations represented at the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. Specifically, I will like to see more Black African women crowned Miss Universe, from one of the 56 African nations. Black African women are just as beautiful as the many representatives from other descents and continents. A Miss Universe titleholder cannot be representative of all girls and women, but consistent diversity in the titleholder will be remarkable and progressive.
Leila represents beautiful girls and women of the world. Leila represents elegant girls and women of Africa. Leila represents the fabulous diverse Black women globally. Leila is the girl next door, she is me, she is you, she is us. Leila represents girls and women of the Universe!
Next 3 photoes are of Leila, before becoming Miss Universe 2011
Photo: Leila with her (unstraightened) natural hair
Leila Lopes. Phenomenal Woman, that's her.
|Posted by Rujizzle on March 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
Three months ago, I watched a live Youtube stream for World AIDS Day 2011, sponsored by One Campaign. During one of the panel discussions with advocates for this day, Bono (U2 singer) mentioned that Africa has a bright future, and we should ask countries like China about this, because they see it and that is why they are going there more than ever now. Although I do not remember who said it but another panelist called Africa the richest continent, and we need to make it healthy (with regards to HIV/AIDS). The panelist stated that we need to raise awareness on this epidemic and have better habits.
The words of these panelists really sunk in to me. Personally, I find it disappointing that others see Africa's worth, yet Africa does not see its future and sells its soul for chicken change in certain circumstances (my opinion). For instance, a couple of months ago, I read some news about African leaders speaking against LGBTQ rights in their native countries and will not let the West dictate to them about it. LGBTQ rights and Africa's resources are very different issues, but I find it interesting that when it comes to LGBTQ rights the leaders are speaking out and speaking up loudly about going against Western influence and maintaining African ethics, but when it comes to outside nations investing in our (Africa's) resources for the benefit of its people, they get lenient. I support business transactions, because it's great for the economy and betterment of both parties. However, I do not support any unfair transaction that involves one person as the loser, especially when it's the one with the natural resources.
I am not a business major, and the most knowledge I have about business and finance is taking a statistics class in college, BUT I do have the common sense to know that one cannot sell a mansion for the price of an ordinary chewing gum. It also makes no sense that one will agreeably sell this mansion just for the sake of inferiority and seeing the buyer as their superior based on their race/class/sex. In addition, it makes no sense that the seller has sold a mansion but will return back to their underprivileged neighborhood and struggling family.
We need to start thinking about the establishment of Africa when it involves transactions of any form with outside nations and corporations. We must acknowledge our self-worth and deal with foreign affairs with respect to the betterment of our nations; that's what most of the outside nations are already doing. God had a reason for blessing Africa with so many natural resources, and we as a continent must start counting our blessings. For those of us studying/living outside the continent and are knowledgeable about it, we must make it our duty to give back and invest back in our nations. We need to invest in the education of our girls and boys, infrastructure, economy, etc.
Yes, this entry talks a lot about money and being better business women and men, but we must never get greedy. We must still maintain our humble morals and values, and remember the essence of community.
P.S.: I know we were raised with some simple recycling principles when growing up, but I believe that we need to implement more "greener" lifestyles in our communities. We need to "Go Green" for our health and our children's future. We cannot destroy our beautiful continent, and put more efforts in recycling, keeping our streets clean, and take our health and fitness seriously.
In conclusion, we need to start thinking green (money) for the betterment of our communities, and go green (environmentally-conscious).
Here's a video of Youtuber analyzing the #StopKony2012 campaign from different perspectives.
Need more information about this Campaign, visit here.
|Posted by Rujizzle on February 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|