open letter to my black granddaughters – from sister kiilu

i’ve sort of been under a rock these past couple of days, recuperating from some spring cleaning illness. as i was leaving the bodega this morning, i notices that this imus guy is cashing in on his racist remarks with free publicity all over the front page of the newspapers. despite all of the attention being thrown his way, there still doesn’t seem to be any good to come out of it. it almost made me want to rake down my post about the whole fiasco…until i opened my email and came across this letter from sister kiilu:

APRIL 8, 2007

Several days ago, you were grossly insulted and demeaned by mainstream-media sexist, racist white men who referred to you as “hard core hos, nappy-headed hos, jigaboos and wannabees.” These are deeply hurtful, hateful remarks. Yet these creeps felt no qualms whatsoever in making them.

It should be noted that the host who called you whores is a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame and one of the nation’s best-known radio voices, infamous for his ‘politically incorrect verbal broadsides.’ His program is syndicated to millions of listeners at more than 70 stations around the country.

There are more than enough folks calling for the s.o.b. to be fired. So I won’t even go there, because my reaction was he should be missing a few front teeth. Moreover, it’s unlikely that he’ll get anything but more free publicity which always translates into more money in capitalist America.

I want to counter those vicious verbal attacks by letting you know how proud I am of you, and giving you a bit of advice.

I can imagine how hard you have worked to even get into a prestigious university like Rutgers. And I’m quite sure it was no piece of cake to make it all the way to the national basketball finals. Clear indication of a high level of physical and intellectual development.

I look at you and recall my own school athletic experiences. I’m closing in on 70 years old. So I hale from the bad ol’ days when active participation in sports labeled you a “tom boy.” Check it. A tom and a boy!

Thanks to Title Nine establishing gender equity in funding for women’s physical education, athletics, and training, women have made great strides and gains in all kinds of sports. Moreover, it’s been noted that since the advent of Title Nine, statistics show that women are less prone to being victims of battery, drug and alcohol addiction, etc.

You are our shining stars for all the world to see. But with the green light to insult Blacks and gays coming from Washington and its mouthpiece, mainstream media, I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you that things are likely to get even worse. Especially, if (or should I say when?) these racist creeps get away with this most blatant disparagement of young Black women.

So my advice is simple. Learn how to really defend yourselves. You are already superb athletes, and that athleticism will translate readily into the martial arts. Of course, from my own early experience, you will find real opposition to this idea from some of your own male associates. Chauvinist men don’t cotton to intelligent, athletic sisters even when their chosen sports are relatively benign. When they think you might be able to kick their butts, they will wax aggressive well before you’re capable of sparring. So beware.

Hopefully, you will find some Black men who are ready and willing to stand up and defend you, as well as encourage you to learn self-defense.

This discipline not only gives you martial skills, it builds self confidence and promotes good health.

My last bit of advice relates to the need for Black women to stand up and be counted in our collective struggle for equal rights, human rights, self-determination and dignity.

We come from a long line of brave and beautiful Black women who were resisters, who fought courageously against slavery, exploitation, and injustice, who stood up.

Join them! And continue to make us proud.

Sisterhood is powerful!

Yours truly,
Kiilu Nyasha

more from and about kiilu nyasha


~ by Anayah on April 10, 2007.

One Response to “open letter to my black granddaughters – from sister kiilu”

  1. this post highlights an important community building action, speaking to each other and congratulating one another on what we have accomplished. Too much attention is going to the wrong place. So kudos to this elder for leading through example on how to (re)act, esp. in these situations –which come every couple of years or so (wasn’t it howard stern before).

    anyways, dumb people say dumb stuff all the time. racist folks will continue to do and say things that reflect and push their particular position; however, this should never change how we could and should relate to one another. our support for one another -whether victims of police brutality, father of a new college grad, or soon to be mama in a baby shower, etc. –should be ongoing. don’t wait ’till, “dunderheads” decide to show their stupidity. build community any and everytime you can…just because. this creates strength and poise. its proactionary rather than reactionary. thanks nitevision for sharing.

    im inspired to focus my energies and efforts towards places that matter (and don’t support the system that allowed such craziness).


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