Tag Archives: Women’s History Month

Ten Things: A Celebration of Women

31 Mar

Tanya Harris, mother and sisterDuring Women’s History Month, most people acknowledge well-known actresses, political figures and activists for their accomplishments and all that they have done to help women in the past and present, but what about the others who often go unrecognized.  It is the last day of Women’s History month, and though we should celebrate women year round, I could not allow this Women’s History Month to go by without celebrating women who have made a direct impact on my life.  Unfortunately, I cannot name everybody because it would be never-ending, but I would like to pay homage to some that immediately come to mind.

PS.  If your name is not on the list, please note that it doesn’t mean that you haven’t positively impacted my life or had a major influence on it.  I have much love and respect for everybody who has ever supported me directly or indirectly.

  1. My mom: She has always supported me and instilled me with values and ethics.  Also, she knows the importance of a good education and kept me motivated about all of my endeavors.
  2. My sister: Even though our personalities can be night and day at times, we’ve developed such a strong bond over the years.  She has been there for me, gives me sisterly advice when needed and accepts me as I am.
  3. My grandmothers (Maternal and Paternal):  It was such a blessing to be able to grow up knowing my grandmothers.  Interestingly, they were polar opposites, but I learned a great deal from both.  They taught me so much about life, struggles and overcoming obstacles.  Also, I learned how to bake cakes and cookies from my paternal grandmother.  I miss them both dearly.
  4. My best friend: Since grade school when we realized we had the same beauty marks between our eyebrows we have been like sisters.  It’s great when we get together and share goals or just have girl talk.
  5. All of my female relatives (Aunts, Cousins, nieces): Yes, I must group these relatives because I couldn’t dare exclude one.  They all have either had a hand in raising me, growing up with me or making me the person I am today.  Family is important to me, and I love when all of us women and girls are able to talk and enjoy each other’s company at family functions.
  6. All of my female teachers and professors:  Without them, I would not have such wonderful people to emulate.  Many of their teaching strategies and techniques I have employed in the classroom.  Something that most of them have in common is that they love what they are doing and display a caring nature.  Even though many of them may have retired, I’m sure they still expound wisdom.
  7. Former Supervisor at Rosemont College: She taught me so much from my time as an undergraduate  student then employee of Rosemont College.  She has always been encouraging and made it very clear that she was proud of me when I received my Master’s degree from the college.  I’m glad we still have a relationship today after my departing from Rosemont.
  8. Friend from my former place of employment (I’ll refrain from naming the place as a courtesy):  When the environment became extremely toxic and I found myself in an emotional turmoil, she really supported me and prayed with me regularly.  Though it was a difficult situation, I didn’t feel alone, and I thank her so much for being a friend and confidante during my time of need.
  9. Former direct supervisor at Delaware County Community College:  This woman is so sweet and caring and genuinely wants what is best for the college, especially the students.  She took a chance on me as an adjunct instructor with only a year experience, and within a year requested that I come on as a temporary full-time faculty member.  Without her, I would not be in my current position as an Assistant Professor of English for which I am so grateful.
  10. The Mystery Women:  There are so many people whom I have yet to meet or have met briefly who will have a positive impact on my life.  I would like to thank you all in advance and hope that I have been and will be as influential as these wonderful women have been and will continue to be for me.

Please feel free to share your comments.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


Profound Hip Hop Quote #12: Special Women’s History Month Edition

26 Mar

“It’s been three weeks since you’ve been looking for your friend
The one you let hit it and never called you again
‘Member when he told you he was ’bout the Benjamin’s
You act like you ain’t hear him then gave him a little trim
To begin, how you think you really gon’ pretend
Like you wasn’t down then you called him again”

—Lauryn Hill, “Doo Wop (That Thing)”

Oftentimes, I hear both women and men utter disparaging remarks about the other in regard to behaviors and treatment and that they’re only after “one thing.”  But do people acknowledge their own roles as enablers in the way they are being spoken to or treated.  For example, some women will say guys are nothing but dogs.  Even though I do not necessarily agree with that statement, let’s analyze it for a moment.  If guys are dogs, there is no denying that they still come in different breeds and will require proper training based on their breed.  Also, I ponder over why these very same women who claim that men are dogs allow these “dogs” to take them for walks instead of the other way around.  They say, “A dog is always going to be a dog,” or “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Curiously, some women never stop these “dogs” who are “barking up the wrong tree” then seem so surprised when they receive ill treatment, are used or are only sought after for sex when the “dog” made his intentions clear from the beginning.

In honor of “Women’s History Month,” I would like to acknowledge an exceptional female lyricist and vocalist who is still revered by true followers of hip hop music.  Even though people are still awaiting a follow-up CD to Lauryn Hill’s “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” she will always be one of the most powerful female rappers of the 90s.  Even in 2011, many female artists aspire to have rhyming skills and a stage presence that she has.

In “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Lauryn Hill drops knowledge about a circumstance that occurs more frequently than most would like to admit: relationship misconceptions.  When people enter relationships, the hope is that they will make their intentions known.  Nevertheless, there are people who ignore the signs and pretend that they didn’t know what the “deal” was until everything starts to unravel.  How can you make a person love you let alone like you when he (or she) has made it clear that he (or she) is only there to dog you or use you?  Most people know that sleeping with a person is not the answer, yet they find themselves traveling down this route anyway then wondering how they ended up stranded on the highway of love and desertion.

Take heed to what people tell you and show you early on in a relationship rather than ignoring the signs; then you may be able to avoid heartbreak in the future.  As Lauren Hill says, “You act like you ain’t hear him then gave him a little trim.  To begin, how you think you really gon’ pretend.  Like you wasn’t down then you called him again.”  Too often do people, not just women, compromise their values, ethics and standards to be with this guy or girl who has made his or her intentions clear: a relationship with a rock solid foundation is not the objective with these people, so why think that is what you will receive?  If you want more out of a relationship and want to be treated with a certain level of respect, you must first treat yourself with respect, and accept nothing less from those with whom you come in contact.

Women’s History Month is drawing to a close.  Don’t let it go by without expressing yourself by paying homage to those women who have impacted you directly or indirectly.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Lauryn Hill abbreviates the word “remember” to “member” for dialectical and meter  purposes.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #11: Special Women’s History Month Edition

19 Mar

“Truly when I get involved I give it my heart
I mean my mind, my soul, my body I mean every part
But if it doesn’t work out, yo it just doesn’t
It wasn’t meant to be you know, it just wasn’t”

—MC Lyte, “Paper Thin”

Relationships can be wonderful and even magical at times, but they do take a lot of work and must have a solid foundation to be everlasting.  Do you play games in relationships, or do you take them seriously.  Perhaps the person with whom you are in a relationship with is playing games as you give it your all to make it work.  Sometimes we give everything to people who do not deserve it at all or are simply not ready for it.  When this occurs, do you stay in the unhealthy relationship or move on with your life?

In honor of “Women’s History Month,” I would like to acknowledge a spectacular female lyricist who not only paved the way for female MCs who preceded her but also held her own in the presence of many male contenders.  MC Lyte aka Lana Michelle Moorer is one of the most powerful female rappers of the 1980s and 90s.  Even in 2011, many female artists aspire to have rhyming skills and a stage presence that she has.

In “Paper Thin,” MC Lyte raps about a predicament that several people find themselves in all too often: a relationship quickly unraveling because of infidelity.   Even though both men and women cheat, it is usually the woman who decides to stay in the relationship and work it out despite witnessing all of the signs that suggest his cheating ways will not be a thing of the past.  MC Lyte refuses to tolerate such behavior and proclaims that she will not be in a relationship where it is not an equal partnership.  She is willing to give her all, but she is also willing to walk away from a toxic relationship if it just is not meant to be.

Perhaps we all need to be more discerning when deciding to give our mind, body and soul to that “special” someone.  Have you ever tried to force a relationship to work when it apparently had run its course?  As MC Lyte says, “But if it doesn’t work out, yo it just doesn’t.  It wasn’t meant to be you know, it just wasn’t.”  If you find yourself in this predicament, why not use this time to feel more comfortable with yourself and know who you truly are before giving all of yourself to the next “special” someone.  As a result, you could eventually find yourself in an everlasting relationship with not just that “new” someone else but with yourself.

Don’t let this Women’s History Month go by without expressing yourself by paying homage to those women who have impacted you directly or indirectly.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
MC Lyte use the standard couplet rhyme for these specific lyrics.

Profound Hip Hop Quote: Week #9 Special Women’s History Month Edition

5 Mar

Who said the ladies couldn’t make it, you must be blind
If you don’t believe, well here, listen to this rhyme
Ladies first, there’s no time to rehearse
I’m divine and my mind expands throughout the universe

—Queen Latifah and Monie Love, “Ladies First”

Are you a lady who is empowered or has empowered others?  Do you know any powerful women who have or are presently paving the way for others?  Perhaps this person is your grandmother, mother, sister, daughter, teacher, colleague or mentor.

In honor of “Women’s History Month,” I would like to acknowledge one of the great female lyricists to command respect as an MC and a person.  Queen Latifah, aka Dana Owens, may only be known to some as an actor, or a Cover Girl model who occasionally releases a jazz and R & B compilation.  Nevertheless,  there once was a time when she was a force on the microphone as a rapper.  Over twenty years ago, Queen Latifah teamed up with London rapper, Monie Love, to give women a voice and to acknowledge how far we have come and why we are deserving of respect from our male counterparts.

Queen Latifah implores the listener to not simply accept what others say but to create her own destiny.  “Who said the ladies couldn’t make it, you must be blind.”  Most people have heard the old cliche phrase, “Sometimes people are their own worse enemies.”  Unfortunately, many women give up or choose to use their sexuality instead of their brains before they even get a chance to enter the game of life because they do not think they are capable of meeting their goals or being respected as women because of brainwashing and conditioning.  Even though women may need to assert themselves in a more fastidious way than their male counterparts at times, this does not mean that they cannot or will not be victorious.

We are all “divine,” but women must also recognize the power of the mind.  It starts with a thought; then it will manifest itself throughout the universe.  Be positive, embrace your “womenhood,” and do not allow anyone to suggest that you should come second; take care of yourself first.  If you are a man, embrace the women in your life.  Support them in their endeavors; give them the respect they deserve.  Just think, Queen Latifah’s song, “Ladies First” started out as an idea and became a classic empowerment rap anthem for ladies.  It has definitely impacted my life and a multitude of others.  Don’t let this Women’s History Month go by without paying homage to those women who have impacted you directly or indirectly.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Queen Latifah uses the standard couplet rhyme for these specific lyrics.  However, she does employ  a slant rhyme for the first couplet focusing on the assonance of the sound: Blind and Rhyme.  The long “I” sound resounds.