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Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh Womens Empowerment’

I went to the 15th Annual Woman’s Empowerment event in Raleigh yesterday. I’ve lived here for 8 years  and this is the first time I’ve gone. I went with my wife and two daughters.

I guess the motivation for me going was more related to my older daughter being 17 and about to leave the nest and go to college, along with the fact the event advertised a “Mens Lounge” for men who attended the event. I’m sentimental in that I look forward to doing things with my oldest knowing it is the last time I could do them with her before she “spreads her wings and fly away”…

O.K.. Yes, I was also there to critique the event.

I had made comments in the past questioning just “how empowering” the event was, making assumptions that it was more of a concert with vendors doting the hallways of the event hocking wears and flea market type goods. I had heard of the “workshops” marketed on the local black radio stations so I assumed they were a intergral part of the event . I figured this was a great opportunity to see if I was off base and just how plain ignorant my past assumptions could have been.

Well… to me, the event was just alright.  A concert with SOME workshops, but more of a concert with a flea market. It clearly and rightfully was not catered to me (a man, a black man at that) but having been” raised” (more on that in another post) the past 18 years by three members of the opposite sex, I’d like to say that I can relate to issues and events targeted toward black women better then most would think. I really believe I have a say with respects to the event because I live in a house with three black women (well two and one up and coming), so something that talks about empowering them (which I don’t mind) has got my attention.

The event was, to me, a jumbled mess really. The guest speaker (Mary J. Blige) apparently did not connect with the women in attendance in the stadium. Well maybe not all of them. While “hanging” in the “so called” mens lounge, I met these three other brothers, one who told me that his wife had commented to him earlier that Mary J was not inspiring at all to her. She was unprepared and really was just there to make a buck.

At the end of the event, my wife and two daughters essentially echoed her sentiments about Mary J. They also commented on the so called “question and answer” session with Mary J, which they said was just a total mess.

My wife said that she did attend a couple of good workshops, one in particular was about fibroids. She said the workshops were  uncomfortable because you could barely hear the speaker due to the fact the workshops were in open spaces adjacent to the arena. The noise from the performances really conflicted with the presentation.

From my vantage point, it seemed to be more of a festival for black women then an empowerment event. The stadium stayed packed. The only time the hall ways of the RBC were crowded was in between acts when attendees made their way to the concession stands or the bathroom.  I think the event would benefit from being held in the new Raleigh Convention Center as opposed to the RBC Center.

In the convention center, they can section off the workshop rooms so they are more intimate and there is no interference of noise from the performances. I’ve took part a couple of “Black Expo” events in convention centers as an entrepreneur and I believe this type of setting is better served  for this event then in the RBC.

The acts at the event was kinda cheesy. Or at least the mens acts (other then Raheem DeVaughn) were. My wife said “I guess this is what black women has reduced themselves to as far as what they consider entertaining”.  My older daughter basically said the same. Mim’s, Bobby Valentino, and Pleasure P (?) of Pretty Ricky were all garbage as far as I’m concerned. Valentino is more of a rap record “hook” singer then an established artist. AND WHY THE HELL WAS HE WEARING SAGGING ASS PANTS THAT CONTINUALLY SHOWED HIS UNDERWEAR at an event meant to empower women? To de-power ( OR deflower some of the groupies)  them into continuing to make bad choices in men? If anything, I suspect it reinforced in quite a bit of the women attendees minds that this is the type of black man that’s attractive, one who has no respect for himself and perpetuates the thug life look.

God dammit, black woman need to all see the documentary “Diary of a Tired Black Man!

Jennifer Hudson was good, but after seeing all of the garbage that came on before her, it was sort of a let down that she was on stage for a mere 15 minutes (or so it seemed). Then BAM, it was over.

Like I said, a move to the convention center and less focus on entertainment and more on the workshops would be a good move for the event. Of course, the question is, will the event sell out without the primary focus being placed on the entertainment?

Something tells me the answer is NO! I guess Tom Joyner knows what he’s doing when he labels his events ” A Party with a Purpose”.  You know we’ll come out to snap our fingers… Black Women are no different the Black Men in this area.

However, I did run into this young woman who resides in Va. and has a pretty good website/blog ( I checked it out this morning). It’s cleverspeaks.com… check her out. She has some important things to say about our plight from the vantage point of a smart black female.

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