Even before you notice the smooth, powerful swing that has helped propel her to the brink of stardom at only 17, you see something else that defines Ginger Howard and her precocious golf game…the smile. It lights up her face, as she talks about her life and dreams.
Ginger has become a member of the LPGA at the right age of 17, the youngest ever. There’s a good chance you haven’t heard much if anything about Howard yet, but all that could change very soon. If things go they way they’ve been heading, we may soon become well-acquainted with the million-dollar smile and formidable style that has been lighting up the ranks.
And the story could ultimately entwine a Williams Sisters tennis twist, because waiting in the wings is 16-year-old sister Robbi, a prodigy in her own right.
Ginger follows other notable black golfers such as, tennis great Althea Gibson was the first black female to play on tour. Gibson broke through in 1963 and played in 171 tournaments until 1971. From 1967-80, Renee Powell also held an LPGA Tour card. More recently, LaRee Pearl Sugg played full-time in 1995, ’96, 2000 and ’01. Also, Andia Winslow missed the cut in her one event in 2006. (NFL Hall of Famer, Kellen Winslow, Sr., is her uncle.)
I get a feeling we will be seeing and hearing a lot from these talented sisters. Go girls!
Didn’t we tell you Black girls do everything?
I dare not let media propaganda sap my intelligence and trick me into generalizing that all Black men totally disregard violence against women or have a problem with holding one another accountable when it comes to respecting women. I believe wholeheartedly that there are many more upstanding, righteous Brothas who live by a code of honor than those who have allowed their morals to become so irreversibly tainted that they believe acts of violence whether in speech or physical act are no big deal. I trust that good, honorable character is still a bold trait among Black men just as it was in my great-grandfather’s day and his father’s day before him.
What I do question, however, is the full use of the Black man’s voice and character in America. There’s more power there than you give yourselves credit for, more impact there than it seems you remember of your bold, regal history. Don’t forget who you are and what you love. Yes, women are doing a whole lot for themselves these days but we appreciate your support more than you know.
Please, from a Sista to her Brothas, her future husband, her future son(s)… Don’t get lost in the crowd. —
Um, Talib (if by chance you are listening), your conduct here is actually a primer in “How Not To Be An Ally.”What do you think?
I know you may stop listening at this point since you probably perceive my tone not to be loving, but if you do continue to read, here are a few pointers on how to be a real male ally in hip-hop:
1.) Let the women have the mic. Rick Ross disrespected all women, and particularly Black and Brown women, in this situation. Black and Brown women have the right to command the space, to “get on the mic” if you will, and speak our peace, without you yanking it back cuz you don’t like what we’re spitting. In other words, if you should find yourself yelling at one of the injured parties, just know that something has gone woefully awry. Check it before you wreck it, ya heard?
2.) Don’t mansplain. Telling Rosa Clemente that the “smarter move” is to embrace Rick Ross with love assumes that Black women’s contribution to the conversation is emotional, not logical. But I hope it is abundantly clear that you were the one all in your feelings in that convo. We’ve been conditioned not to see it when men get defensive and emotional, cuz y’all usually signal that by telling women that we’re the ones who aren’t being “smart” or “logical.” But I call bullshit for bullshit. Despite what you said to dream hampton on Twitter, “your outrage clouded” your judgment.
3.) Don’t invoke the tone argument. You expected Rosa to listen to you, even though your tone wasn’t loving. You were offended, and you felt the right to communicate that offense and be heard. Why not Black women? If someone is standing on my fucking foot, I don’t have to ask them nicely to move. Like the Queen (Latifah, that is) said 20 years ago, “a man don’t love ya, if he hits ya,” or rapes ya, or raps about raping ya. To ask me to love somebody who ain’t even remotely interested in trying to love me back, either means you think Black women are Jesus or fools. To demand more love when all Black women do is give love is at best woeful misrecognition and worst an egregious show of male arrogance.
4.) Interrogate your privilege. You may be a progressive man in hip-hop, but you are still a man who moves through the world with male privilege. And what you did in that conversation and the subsequent conversation on Twitter was communicate from the space of that male privilege. You told Rosa that she didn’t get to determine who was in and out of hip-hop, though she has paid her dues in the culture just like you. And then you told her who was in. Period. The end. That’s not being an ally. That’s being minister of information for the Ol Boys’ Club.
5.) Recognize that you don’t get to tell us how to be our ally; we get to tell you. And if the fact that you don’t have the power to determine the bounds of your allyship make you uncomfortable, then you have found the primary place of your problem. We get to determine who our allies are. Not you. Your primary job as an ally is to listen, and then be a megaphone, not a microphone. Your job is to amplify what we’re saying so other folks can hear it, and have our back if something pops off. If the folks you are attempting to help or be in alliance with tell you that they are feeling unsupported, then that might mean there is a problem with the support you are offering rather than a problem with the demands they are making. (For a far better explication of this principle, check out this good work from our friends over at Shakesville.)