Sunday, December 15, 2013

Who has heard of Shahrazad Ali?

Shahrazad Ali
I found these series of clips feeling nostalgic because I was in the mood to hear the theme music for Donahue. As it turns out these clips were controversial as host Phil Donahue had as a guest author Shahrazad Ali who talks about her book The Blackman’s Guide to Understanding the Blackwoman which proved to be very controversial enough to put her onto national TV back in 1990.

I can only wonder if such a topic would be covered on a national talk show today. In some forums on broadcast or not the topic of the relationship between Black men and women is still being discussed. What if Dr. Phil took on this subject, would he knock Ms. Ali down a peg for her opinions?

It's also interesting that approximately 24 years later, some of the issues discussed on Donahue's forum is something were still coming to grips with. Black men going to jail, black mothers who talk about their "baby daddy" negatively in front of their children, and indeed we may still talk about the relationship between Black men and women. We could add to that there are other issues that could be added to this mix 24 years later.

In the four vids below, you see a good but at times heated discussion. Of course this is given the topic being discussed as well many Black women in the audience were offended by what was discussed in this book. Donahue reads a passage that seems to suggest that in case of the woman talking back to her man he could give her a slap across the face. Not that this is something worth advocating of course, but I could see how that can be offensive. Still her point as she stated in this appearance was that the Black woman doesn't stand unified with the Black man.

BTW, over the years I've followed Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson who runs an organization BOND and he's gotten some play for the most part on right wing media. You will see a very young Rev. Peterson who still has hair and takes Ms. Ali's side in this discussion. Although I'm sure he doesn't agree with all her tenets whatever they may be in her book.

I wonder if that book is still out there somewhere. She should consider making it available electronically because of course it wasn't available back in 1990. And it's possible the term "baby daddy" - and it does seem dismissive doesn't it - wasn't used back then either.

[VIDEO: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4]

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