So, I've been reading Sister Souljah's No Disrespect. It's an autobiographical book that explains the experiences that Sister Souljah has had. As one YouTuber commenter so eloquently put it, the "Ghetto Girl Plight" that many Black girls across the nation go though not due to their own choosing but from systematic poverty and the lack of preparation from generations before. This "Ghetto Girl Plight" is poverty, lack of knowledge of self, lack of self-esteem, sexual victimization (rape/molestation), predatory environment (robbing/fighting/murders), miseducation, etc. If you know me, you KNOW I adore Sister Souljah's literature ever since 7th grade when Mr. Butterface handed our class a reading list and The Coldest Winter Ever was an option. But that was then, and this thought-provoking piece is now.
I'm in the middle of reading No Disrespect and trust and believe it's a great read, but that's not what struck me to want to write this blog, it was the candid similarities of her era and mine. The same "ghetto Girl Plight" still applies and unfortunately not much has changed for the better since the 80s to 2016. In the first chapter, Sister Souljah elaborates on her parent's background and how they came to be to create her and her siblings. Her father was a handsome, hardworking traditional man who wanted full control of the family, including being the bred winner. This belief came from his father who was as they say, "a Rolling Stone." Souljah's mother was raised to be the typical obedient 60s style like housewife due to her father being absent in her life. As they grew their family, Souljah's father lost his trucking job because a doctor's evaluation that found him to be epileptic and no trucking company wanted to take him as a risk.
Due to not being able to provide for his family, her father became depressed. Her mother decided to escape to the Bronx projects. As the single-family became aware of their new surroundings, new coping skills developed like sticking together as siblings. That was the difference between getting jumped, robbed, or raped and if the siblings didn't jump in to fight for each other then momma would beat all three. Momma was a dime and all the men in the projects took turns picking at the vulnerable women living there. Even though they played music chairs with these women's homes, they all had a bird's-eye on Souljah's mother. Momma wasn't accustomed to projects, her self-esteem and pride were intact, and she avoided the advances of these men in addition to excluding herself from the women's gossip. She deemed herself too good for the foolishness while others perceived her as uppity. But eventually the "newness" wears off, and she too succumbed to the environment by dating the top man of the shiftless men roaming through the buildings, Tyrone. A Vietnam Army Veteran with his own set of demons that came back with him when the war ended. Some of those demons came in the form of drug dependency. As with all relationships, it started well but as time developed there were humps, setbacks, angst, and hurt that produced another child for Momma without Tyrone's help.
Fast forward a few, into Chapter two when Sister Souljah goes off to college. That's where she utilizes her voice to speak about topics that matter to her like the Black experience. On campus she was a force to be reckoned with but at the same time she was a force to be respected. As girls on campus vied to be some guy's toy. Sister Souljah sunk herself deep into her studies where she bumped into a man named Nathan. He was just as intelligent and outspoken as Sister Souljah. He matched her to a T. Nathan opened up Sister Souljah's mind when it came to colorism, the male/female relationship, as well as reading powerful literature by Black authors. Soon Souljah found herself intrigued with him to the point that she had Nathan on the brain persistently. Nathan reciprocated his interest in Souljah by inviting her to his room to have open discussions that pertain to the Black experience with his friends. Nathan being a senior always had the attention on him not solely because of his age but his ability to debate thoroughly, making his opponents back down gracefully. After Nathan and Souljah developed an intimate relationship Nathan like most young men, would disappear in freight because the chemistry between them scared him, plus Souljah wasn't the ordinary college girl who was consumed with trivial things.
In one of Nathan's Houdini acts, Souljah finds him at the local college hub entertaining a White woman. Sister in her hood fashion doused in brains and shadiness was able to make her presence known and slay the Black experience conversation through her knowledge of racism/white supremacy but also because she was Black versus the White woman who was able to collect pieces of insight to the Black experience by clinging on to Nathan, a Black man and claiming tourist rights to Africa. Sister Souljah's sharp tongue and even sharper knowledge ran off the White girl but enticed Nathan. The last time Nathan played out his Houdini act he confessed to Souljah that the man he introduced to her wasn't his older brother David, but his lover. As a child, David befriended Nathan's sister and then eased his predatory aim to Nathan who was fatherless and essentially vulnerable to be preyed upon. Because Nathan was dark skin, poor, and young David taking interest in him was something refreshing. David manipulated Nathan by presenting himself in a father figure like image but in actuality David wanted to sexually confuse Nathan. He succeeded and as brilliant Nathan he had his set of demons that included self-hate and possibly bisexual.
Chapter three, Nikki. Nikki was the typical video vixen that all the rappers rap about today. Tall, pretty, curvy, but most importantly light skin with racially ambiguous features. She knew how to keep men's tongues hanging out their mouths when she pranced around in all designer everything. She meticulously dressed to impress down to what fragrance she wore, and she had a lot to chose from. Nikki befriended Souljah, and instantly they became bosom buddies when Nikki handed Souljah a couple of her top of the line clothes as a gift. In the beginning of the semester Souljah needed a place to stay and Nikki without a hesitation invited Sister Souljah to stay. As their friendship grew, Souljah learned a lot from Nikki, like her web of lies and how she used men to get what she wanted. She was the female version of today's male degenerate culture of "no feelings," having a main chick and a girlfriend. Nikki had her main thang Brian (honest man) and her sides Todd (drug dealer), Barry (married business man), Donovan (married with children club owner) and other man who she had by the balls. She was a professional at flaunting her sexuality in exchange for nice things. As blunt Nikki was about her lifestyle she never judged or pressured Sister Souljah to participated but often encouraged Souljah to use her natural beauty to her advantage. One night during a retreat Sister, Souljah took Nikki's advice and allowed her to "sexify" her sweater and jeans casual college attire to seduce Kyle. Kyle was a well liked and sought after member of the retreat and Souljah wanted his attention. Nikki dressed Souljah in a short form fitting Black dress that accentuated all of Souljah's goods. Kyle was intrigued and focused on her as soon as Souljah stepped into the room. After drumming up a conversation Kyle invited Souljah to a club and in the back of her mind the natural worry-wort came out but with the sexy dress came a bold compatible care free personality, so she took the offer. Discovering the party was in Baltimore sirened warning thoughts inside of Sister Souljah's head but she decided to play cool. Later that night, or early that morning, shall I say Souljah made her way to Kyle's home.
Inside of his apartment, they began foreplay, heavy petting, kissing, touching but Souljah felt conflicted. One part of her wanted this interaction to lead to sex but the other part of her, the real her, wanted this to stop because she realized she's no Nikki. Sex was attached to love, and Kyle didn't love her. He lusted after her. In the moment of being pinned down by Kyle, Souljah understood the very thin line between consent, decisions that women made, and date rape. She was able to finesse Kyle into waiting for her grand entrance after she beautified herself for him in the bathroom. In the bathroom Sister Souljah searched Nikki's habitual overnight bag that was reserved for sexcapades. Souljah was looking for something that would comfort her. All she found was a red silk teddy (think of a really sheer and sexy one piece bathing suite). By the time she worked herself up to go for the kill, and by kill, Souljah was going to kill the vibe by asking Kyle to take it slow and not engage in sex but as she paused her eyes on Kyle laying on his silk sheet bed in silk briefs she noticed he was still. Souljah assumed he fell asleep but to closer examination, she realized he passed away. Freaked out she found the phone and dialed 911. The operator asked for the address but she couldn't reply adequately to the question, the feeling of whoredom settled for her. It hit Souljah then and there that she didn't know him yet she was in his bed in a compromising position.
Souljah was able to find a bill with the address and recited it to the operator who sent ambulance workers there. When the emergency workers arrived, they asked for Kyle's name which Souljah could only half answer. With the bill in her hand, she glanced at it for Kyle's last name and repeated "Johnson." The ambulance workers smirked in reaction to her because Sister Souljah first introduced herself as Kyle's girlfriend but since she didn't know his name they figured what was really going on. As trained professionals, they understood Kyle didn't die but had a seizure. They implemented their training to wake up Kyle and took him to the hospital where Souljah volunteered to go with. From the hospital she asked a nurse how to get back home and the nurse directed her to the nearest train. Later when Souljah relived her night with Kyle to Nikki, Nikki took delight by laughing at her pain. Souljah admitted she was no Nikki, but soon Nikki got her card pulled when Brian came home early from practice and found Nikki giving Todd a blow job. Todd threw Brian out and beat Nikki, later Nikki admitted to Souljah that she was molested and raped at 12 years old in her basement. From that experience, she became sexually promiscuous and how she dealt with life was by having gutter sex.
My thoughts! I loved this book for its realness even though I haven't read the entire book yet. As I stated above before I even gave y'all a brief synopsis of what I read, the connectedness of then and now is damn near spookism. Truth be told, it's sad. Broken families haunt the Black community like the crack epidemic of the 80s under Regan who flooded the 'hoods across the U.S. Fatherless children were and still are the number one source for child predators. Child molestation, which is kept silent under the locks of Jesus, disbelief, delusion, and generational curses. Harden mothers who are never equipped with raising children on their own and consistently look for a prince but only find more frogs to kiss that impregnate them with more mouths they can't feed. The desire to reach perfection yet as flawed as the concept of perfection is we are unbeknownst hypocrites that can never grasp it. Whether it's a change of belief due to conflicting messages, better information or the yearning to want to be a better version of our current selves yet we fall short because we're flawed. What I can say is this book is a confirmation of what I speak on both my YouTube Channels Vie Ciné and VIEIS_ME is critical. The Vie Ciné Channels focuses on the Black experience whereas the VIEIS_ME Channel focuses on mental health and sexual trauma. I hope with my few words of critical analyzation of our current reality as Gen Y Black people in this system of White Supremacy that we'll take this circle of dysfunction and break it by implementing positive changes. We have to face these traumas of yesteryear heas on to heal the open wounds for a better generation to prosper. Something like each 1 teaches 1, but in our case, each 1 teach 10.
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Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌🏿