Southern Charm and Slavery

I’m into reality shows.  I’m watching Bravo‘s reality show Southern Charm.  Southern Charm is in its 6th season.  I watched it when I was on cable and then there were a few years where I chose another option, firestick.  Then I discovered Sling where I can watch certain cable stations.  I had no clue as to why I was attracted to this show about rich Charleston, SC white folks.

First,  I should state at the tender age of 17 years old my future husband was stationed in Beaufort, SC  and I visited him there and then lived there few months until my escape.  He was military and was gone a lot.  I was alone and felt unsafe where we lived.  I could barely interact with the locals because I could not understand what they were saying.  I listened very hard and just couldn’t understand.  So, I avoided the locals but didn’t stop me from hearing about their tales of black folks coming through the swamps of Florida into South Carolina to get numbers to play.  This was before “lottery” systems.  We moved to an off base housing for military families.  I was shocked at the outward racism even among the military families.  My neighbor was from Kentucky and let it be known in every way that she was racist.  I was not use to the blatant racism of the south.  40 years later I discovered a different Beaufort, SC and a different local community.

The coastal area of South Carolina and Georgia, including sea islands, is known as the low country.  A segment of African Americans who come from this area are called Gullah and speak a language of west African and English that forms a Creole dialect known as Geechee.  How did this happen?

Historically, around 1700, white plantation owners from the low country preferred to imported slaves from the western Africa coast area of Senegal down to Sierra Leone and Liberia where they are known for growing rice. Rice was grown in low country.  Africans from this part of Africa knew how to plant, harvest, and process rice.  The story goes that the plantation owners avoided getting sick and death by an unknown cause by leaving the area and letting the slaves run the rice plantations.  Therefore, the African slaves had the freedom to practice their African traditions and the creation of their creole dialect. The Gullah people are direct descendants of those slaves.  Back to Southern Charm.  What does Southern Charm reality show have to do with Gullah?

Well, I started wondering where these Charleston, SC crew got their wealth.  The program creator, Whitney Sudler-Smith, is a character himself.  Whitney is well educated a classically trained guitarist, film maker and television director. His mother Pat Altschul is rich social-lite who spills words of wisdom and advice to the young cast.  And, there are those on the show that boast their ancestors were there in the 1600’s. For example, a new reality member is Eliza Limehouse, 9th generation from Charleston.  Eliza’s mother can trace her ancestors to the Mayflower and on her father’s side, Thomas Limehouse signed the Declaration of Charleston.

In addition, we have Thomas Ravenel who has a rich history of politics and being a southern scoundrel.  Thomas was Southern Charm’s big star a few years ago.  He ran for senator, he was state treasurer until scandal abruptly ended his term. Thomas’ on again off again relationship with young (26yrs old) Kathryn Dennis that produced 2 children was big story line.  Unfortunately, these days there’s a battle over the custody of the small children.  Especially, since Thomas, who has full custody due to Kathryn’s bad behavior, has been accused of sexual assault by the nanny.  Thomas was fired from the show.  And, Kathryn is rebuilding her life again.  There are fun cast members like Shepherd (Shep) Rose, Chelsea Meissner and Austen Kroll.   Anyway, I find it absolutely unbelievable that their view of the area is so different from mine.

Reality shows send the cast on vacae to wonderful places. I saw the episode where the Southern Charm crew went to Daufskie Island, Sc.  They went horseback riding on the beach and golfing and just had a wonderful time while there.  I had a totally different view.  Hmmm, I guess that’s called a white view and a Black view.

I went to Daufskie Island in 2010 and was in love with the place’s rich slave history, culture rich setting and island living.  The slave grave yard was on the beach.  If you died in good standing you were buried facing Africa but if you died wrong you were facing Brazil.  As a tourist, I looked for shells on the beach and put my feet in the ocean.  Hilton Head was the departure spot so coming back to Hilton Head we had dinner and the hush puppies and blue crab soup was to die for.

Anyway, I suddenly realized I could be looking at the monetary results of slavery.    These people are proud and boastful of their families’ generational ties to the area.  When you date back to a time of slavery with your plantation home still standing then you probably reaped the benefits of slavery.  And, there are no Blacks in this show which is not unusual since they seem to group these reality shows by race.  I guess that’s why they are known as reality shows because diversity in everyday life may only happen in education institutes or corporate entities.

 

Wendy Williams

 

 

Black life can get very complicated.  When you are married to the man of your dreams, life is suppose to be less complicated since you are secure in your relationship.  You and your husband have a wonderful family that includes children and life is great.  Suddenly, you find out your man has cheated.  More than cheated.  He has a child by this woman or side-chick.  That is exactly what we are hearing about Wendy Williams and husband Kevin Hunter.

Every tabloid is calling Kevin a cheater and named the other woman and announced the date the baby was born.  Listen, I would not believe it to be true if it was not for so many tabloids giving us blow by blow of Wendy’s relationship pain as well as her sobriety being in question.  How much is Wendy supposed to take!  Geez!

In the Black community these kinds of relationships existed for years.  I know a woman who was the pillar of the community, known to love children, Sunday school teacher, and mother of the church among various noble life titles.  She and husband had 7 girls.  Then, she discovered his years of infidelity with another woman who had given birth to his son.  The other woman died and he had to take his son home to his wife to rise.  And, she did.  Another woman took in 3 of her husband’s outside children from the same woman who just didn’t want them even-though she kept her other 4 children.  My last example is the shock and surprise when a friend discovers her father has a family on the other side of town who are grown with children.

Wendy hang in there it’s obvious you want your husband to stay or you would’ve announce his departure.  Either he stays or he goes, just make sure you are ok either way.  You first, Black girl magic!

Pray for Wendy Williams.

He don’t Speak For Black Folks

Trump and Kanye West

kanye-trump

What was the purpose of the meeting that took place between President Donald Trump and Kanye West?  Besides national entertainment.  Trump wouldn’t invite a REAL African American Intellectual to the White House to discuss important topics to the Black community.  Instead, our president is wasting time with the “bad choice to speak for Black folks” Kanye West.  The man is mentally disturbed and no longer hiding the fact he is CRAZY.  Kanye has shown us in the pass he wasn’t doing well so it’s no surprise we get to sit in our homes and watch this poor sick guy’s intellectual distortion and mad man rantings on full display.  Brother Kanye please take your medicine and stay out of the white house.  You look like a fool and trying to include the rest of us Black folks in your vaudeville black face farce of love and admiration for the president.  Well brother, I’m sad to think that you have no love for your people.

After all, wasn’t you who said, “(president) Bush don’t like Black people.” on National televised Katrina Hurricane Fundraiser as we witnessed Blacks dying in the dome stadium.  You became our hero then but we don’t know who you are now.  I’m disappointed that you would have put on the hat of “Making American Great Again” as a Trump supporter and bathe Trump in one glowing complement after another.  Brother, when you compared Trump to a father figure because your own father wasn’t around was waayyy too much!  Over the top …

White people Kanye doesn’t speak for me!

Bill Cosby

I consider Melony McGant a special person whose prose is of the spiritual dimension.  Her reflection of Bill Cosby is profound and worth sharing.

A Reflection on Bill Cosby

Beautiful People,
And as I watch and listen to so many of us Celebrate the Demise of Bill Cosby, I Am Saddened.  His actions of course Were Wrong.
Quiet as it’s kept, so many men in power did the same thing. As a Society We Accepted It.
Now so many are focusing on his sickness for it is a Sickness that Has Long Flourished in many forms throughout the United States and other parts of the World throughout Time.
I have in my life learned to forgive horrible things that happened to me at a young age and to know that no matter what happens, we all get to heal, grow and prosper.
In this Time of Duality…
I pray that we all remember our frailty, our failures and mistakes.
And in doing so, Remember the generous Dr. Bill Cosby who has helped so many achieve their goals and contributed financially when few others would.
This Is My Hope and My Prayer!
 And So It Is With Love!
Always, Melony

 

RICH MEN BEHAVING BADLY + Russell

New Target: Rich White Men Behaving Badly

One thing I can say about corporate America, this entity is the epitome of what America should be or we want it to be.  Large corporations hold up the legislative rules in our society.  Corporate America says you should NOT do the following:

  1. No matter what, you cannot say the N-word. And, you can’t hold plantation style weddings with Black slaves.
  2. You can’t ”ruthie” a girl and take advantage of her sexually. It’s against the law.
  3. You can’t divorce your wife and marry your 18 year old step-daughter. But, you will still be able to make movies, depending if you are Woody Allen.
  4. Do not take sexual advantage of a fellow employee with threats of career retribution.

Rich white men, you can’t be a pig about your wants and desires just because you know how to bully a deal,  by the way that’s why you are famous and rich, or just plain powerful and rich.  I can’t believe the white men who have tumbled.  Even my own white man, Matt Lauer. $25 million dollar man.  Dang I suspected Matt when it was rumored about a love child with a co-host.  Where there is smoke there’s fire.  Or, what is done in the dark will come to light.  More motherly sayings.

This all started with Billy Bush and the conversation he had with the presidential candidate, Donald Trump.   I love the statement …. Grab ‘em by the pussy.  Sexual harassment has become a national reckoning effecting rich white men in various sectors of our society.  Here are a few who have fallen.

Billy Bush – Access Hollywood with Donald Trump

Harvey Weinstein – movie mogul

Charlie Rose – host PBS and CBS

Bill O’Reilly – FOX talk-show host

Glen Thrust – prominent political journalists

Russell Simmons – Hip-Hop Mogul

Senator Al Franken – Ex- Entertainer

James Levine –  music director for Boston Symphony

And there is more ….

The daily question is who is next?