In the following video, Sista Souljah speaks truth to young girls and women of African descent, seeking to awaken them to the wealth of their African
ancestry. It is still commonplace in many African societies to teach their girls how to embrace and value womanhood through rituals and ceremonies.
In America, Sista Souljah decries, womanhood is not so beautifully defined. Instead, girls are taught through the media that womanhood means they have to be dumb and sexy. Worse yet, the image of the Black female is thrust across television and movie screens, fashion magazines and music videos as either ignorant or decadent or both. As a result of those portrayals and their pervasive acceptance, it is common for Americans to speak ill of her, says Souljah.
Winter Santiaga, the main character in Souljah’s book, “The Coldest Winter Ever” freely exhibits the denigrating behavior without apology. She also clearly equated manhood with sex, money and material wealth. She equated womanhood with the same. However, to her, women were to achieve those things through the use their bodies.
Though Souljah wrote “The Coldest Winter Ever” in the late 1990’s, Winter’s character remains contemporary to present day teens and young women.
After you watch the video, please feel free to share your views. Consider the following questions. Answer those in group 1 or 2. Please write your answer in the comments below. I’ll review and post.
1) Describe which image or images shown in the video reminded you of Winter and share why. As you listened to Sista Souljah’s descriptions of womanhood while a wide variety of pictures flashed by, were there some you found offensive, even embarrassing in the way these women displayed themselves? Which one(s) and why?
2) Briefly discuss your feelings about Sista Souljah’s assessment of American society’s responsibility through its negative portrayal of Black women on television, in movies, and in music videos for creating a negative self-image of Black girls’ as well as corrupting their sexuality. How important is it for Black girls to want to become wholesome, self-respecting women by building their self-esteem, self-worth and self-image? Are those qualities a Black girl should value or did Winter’s values make more sense? Explain.
* Words that may need defining are italicized. Go to http://www.dictionary.com for easy reference.
**Our next meeting is Wednesday, March 23th, after school! See you there! ;-D