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The Black Woman’s Manifesto for 2012

I have had it.

Too many black women on TV appear to be making a concerted effort to hijack our image and set us back 850 years!

What the hell is going on?

I’m talking about the reality show, so-called housewives of this, that and the other. Their frequent displays of violence and aggression, their obvious lack of self-esteem and their inability to show any semblance of adult-like behavior is downright embarrassing.

Yet, the criticisms of these displays, which should be coming from upstanding black women in our society, are either being ignored, are too rare or not being voiced loudly enough.

Or, maybe these toxic displays have become accepted as the norm for black women.

This is NOT okay! I say, enough is enough. It’s time to set a new standard for women everywhere. So I decided to draft the Black Woman’s Manifesto for 2012. It’s intended to be a working document with a few recommendations of how we as strong, proud, respectable, admirable, loving black women should conduct ourselves. Is this too much to ask?

1.) We will strive for better health–mentally, physically and spiritually. We will get therapy, coaching, training, counseling or whatever it takes so that the hurts of our past no longer hinder our future. We will work to achieve ultimate wholeness and healing in EVERY area of our lives so that our thoughts, words and actions become a true reflection of our GOD-like nature. We will elevate ourselves in an effort to command a new level of respect.

2.) As mothers, we will put the BEST interest of our children FIRST, especially as it relates to giving them the best education possible, spending quality time and creating a nurturing and affirming family environment. We will not leave them in situations where their safety and well-being might be jeopardized (i.e. with boyfriends or friends of friends or with crazy-ass relatives just because we can’t find a babysitter). We will see them as precious gifts, not burdens. We will lovingly prepare nutritious meals for them so that they will not rely on fast food. We will teach our girls to value themselves and raise our boys to be MEN. At our best, we will serve as the living example of the type of woman our sons would want to marry. Even when they become “difficult” or “defiant” we will protect our children at all costs and NEVER give up on them.

3.) We will absolutely NOT flirt with, lunch with, spend time with, share personal information with, engage in long conversation with or have sex with another woman’s husband, period! He is off limits no matter how smooth a talker he may be. We will show self-restraint and show respect for that wife and her marriage because we would want her to do the same for us. We will also stop holding every man accountable for the sins of our fathers who may have left us. It is not their fault that he may have been ill-equipped to prepare us for womanhood.

4.) We will raise our standards and level of expectation when it comes to relationships. We will only connect with men of high moral character. If he does not get along with his mother, we will either help him repair that relationship first or run in the opposite direction. We will STOP engaging in casual sex with multiple partners because that’s just nasty! Just because a man is “sexy” or has “swag” does not mean he deserves the very essence of who you are. Allow him to earn it. Challenge him to put a ring on it. Show him your value goes far beyond the bedroom. Your life depends on it and he will he be a better man if you do.

5.) We will vigorously protect our image in the media. When we see women on TV clowning and acting a damn fool, we will confront them, call them to the carpet and lovingly correct them. Nowadays, shaking our heads as we continue to watch the train wreck is not enough because these women are negatively influencing an entire generation.

6.) We will create a multiple-streams-of-income lifestyle. We will refuse to rely on one check from one job that is not guaranteed to be there for us tomorrow. We will establish businesses that give us the freedom to do what matters most and we will earn what we deserve. We will commit to tithing, saving, giving and systematically getting out of debt.

7.) We will ONLY speak words that give life. We will encourage, uplift, support, empower and inspire each other with our words. We will refuse to tear others down with rumors, gossip, lies, half-truths, violence, aggression, negativity or deceit. No longer will we say, “I’m broke, I’m not good enough, I’m too short, I’m too fat, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough…” We will recognize that our words have POWER and every word we speak is a seed being planted. We will NOT speak our current situation. Instead we will ONLY speak the reality that we deserve and desire thereby calling it into existence with our WORDS.

8.) We will lovingly forgive ourselves for bad decisions and stupid mistakes. The past is the past. We are still here. The lesson has been learned. It’s a new day. Move on and let your breakthrough overtake you!

9.) We will honor ourselves (and the God within us) everyday by acknowledging the authority that we have been given to change ANY situation. We will reclaim our role as cultural gatekeepers and we will be respected for our brilliance AND beauty on earth and in heaven.

51 Responses to “The Black Woman’s Manifesto for 2012”

  1. Real Men in the community year round. Please share. Men may register to donate your time and talents cook on Father’s Day or to participate in great events year round. THIS SATURDAY is a MEN ONLY focus group to hear what fathers need to better serve their children in school. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150383182586920&set=a.49534096919.70401.616001919&type=1&theater

  2. n. parks says:

    Monique, I live in San Diego, and I am rushing to my exercise class, but wanted to rush my comment to youI I commend you for taking on the manifesto, the very much needed recommendations for our Black women. I have spoken about the negative TV shows with some of the women in my family, so far, they seem to enjoy the shameful TV shows just for entertainment sake! This is no excuse, I will really stay on them, about how it is not acceptable to participate in the negative, stereotype perceptions of our race. I am going to forward your website to my friends and family. Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put forth, to help our black women, in turn, helping all our Black people!
    N

  3. Jeff Kearney says:

    Greetings from the c/’87 my Eagle sistah! I heard you mention your manifesto this morning, and one small point made me realize (if you haven’t already) that a matching “Black Male’s Manifesto” is required! That one point is for the black mothers to “raise our boys to be MEN”. I love all of our black mothers, but it distresses me that our black “fathers” have placed the burden of trying to raise men to be boys…that is OUR (black men) responsibility! I am married and have 2 girls (1 teenager)and I do all I can to raise my girls from a male perspective. I have very wonderful girls, but even with all the work that I do, we all know there would be something missing if their mom’s perspective was missing. I can never, as a MALE, completely train my girls to be women – only a woman can complete that task, and it works the other way as well, in my opinion. So, hopefully the Black men’s Manifesto is created (officially) that implores our men to “raise our boys to be men”! That in itself would address a few other points in the Black Woman’s manifesto, which would bring us all, as a whole, closer to what we as a Black Nation would like to acheive. We need a “yang” to the “yin” you have created!!!

  4. Ria says:

    Monique, you are wonderful!! I really miss hearing you on a regular basis on WVON, but I understand your need to branch out and do other things. I will print out this Manifesto and show it to my 17 year old daughter, thank you so much for this.

  5. Monique, thank you! thank you! thank you! Your Black Woman’s Manifesto is spot on – and I support it fully. It’s sad that once Black women got the opportunity to be on TV on a regular basis – that they don’t take the opportunity to showcase Black women in a more positive light. This manifesto should be made into a ‘movement’ – I’m on board if it does! Keep speaking out!

  6. Toya Goldsmith says:

    YES! LETS DO THIS!!!!

  7. Shelia Kellogg says:

    Monique, I absolutely agree with everything that you stated in this manifesto. We need more women role models to set the example for our girls other than television and the idiocy that is portrayed by the reality shows. Whose reality anyway? You should hold a workshop for girls and women to encourage them to adopt the principles that you’ve established in the manifesto.

  8. Kegan Carter says:

    Standing ovation!!! Sharing on Facebook now.

  9. SomerEmpress says:

    I love it! Makes a great deal of sense to me. Likewise, I don’t engage in relationships with other women friends that do not uphold the tenets of this Manifesto. Period. I will not endorse these behaviors on any level.

  10. Monique darling – you go girl…Somebody needs to stand up!!!

  11. Adrianne Thomas says:

    Love it! Something to live by in 2012! Thank you!

  12. kami says:

    Let us take the “Black” off. This should be every womans manifesto seeing that women in general need deliverance from negative public images. Let’s not forget Snooky, Kim K, Brittany Spears and a host of others….not to mention the fact that interracial marriages are still an option for all.

  13. Monique says:

    Thanks Kami. I totally agree!

  14. Monique says:

    Thank you all for your brilliant input and feedback. Let’s spread the word and set a new standard for ALL women!

  15. R.C. Beckom says:

    Monique I just like to say I a man support your efforts 100% we do need to fix what has gotten broken, I tell my wife althought I may not agree or want to hear what it is she got to say but I’d fight and die for her to have the right to say it whether I like it or not, plus 88% of the time she’s probably right anyway, boy , what I have learned by respecting women.

  16. I AM HIGHLY IMPRESSED BY YOUR MANIFESTO FOR 2012 AND I WILL PERSONALLY PASS IT ON TO EVERY FEMALE THAT O KNOW.

  17. Dorris Burch says:

    Now that is what OWN YOUR POWER is all about. Very powerful mainfesto and now for women to live it each and every day!

  18. Your Manifesto 2012 should be taken on as a Challenge by Black women EVERYWHERE and EVERYDAY! It’s time that we realize the true GODLY POWER that we have within US. I ABSOLUTELY Love it and not only will I speak to it in my daily affirrmations, I will strive to make a difference by consistently encouraging our younger sistahs to do so as well.

  19. Morrigan says:

    I found you by hearing an end portion of a talk show WAOK,
    I am printing this out and giving to the females in my family and their daughters.
    I love #4. “casual sex with multiple partners because that’s just nasty”.

    W

  20. I liked when Jihad said “at what cost must we allow NeNe Leakes to become a millionaire?” That struck a cord. When we think about how much the Cosby Show impacted a generation, have to wonder what these shows will give birth to. When I look around I see a number of women trying to be the Claire Huxtable in their families. We must pray for the ones that will strive to be the NeNe — breaking up family for perceive fame and fortune.

  21. queentiye says:

    I commend your effort to address what is indeed an embarrassing phenomenon of aggressive and violent behavior by women on television. A good “cat-fight” has always been been a good ratings booster (remember “Dynasty” “Knot’s Landing”, ” Dallas” etc.) and a turn-on for a certain type of male. I too have been angry and at the same time roped in by these “reality” shows with seemingly unstable female cast members, but our relationships are more multi-faceted and complicated than a mere stereotype. We adults have to be responsible for our own behavior

  22. Nia says:

    Sorry. But a lot of Black women you come across today are not strong, proud, respectable, admirable, or loving. In fact, a lot are weak, insecure, disrespectful, nasty, rude, and unpleasant. You can tell by the HIV/AIDS rate that they’ll lay down with anything who shows the slightest interest, if only for 30 minutes. They make you jump outside yourself dealing with their foolishness. What you see on tv speaks volumes about what is truly going on on .

  23. Clint B says:

    Black women today are weak minded and only want men with money and status…

  24. Patrina G. says:

    Clint B, that is a very negative generalization, but I guess you based it on what you see portrayed on tv, which is exactly why this manifesto came to be. This is not true for all black women, and can be applied to SOME women, on general. Unless you have hard statistical data to back your claim, this is just your opinion, which you are entitled to. I speculate Monique using her public platform in sick a positive way. It will be a long battle, as you are swimming upstream against the tide of ignorance, but please know that the women here will be your ”boat” to help carry you along!

  25. Michelle Clark (Chgo) says:

    Thank-You so much for an Eye Opener for real women. I’ve been preaching this for years to Women & Men.Especially the part of women/men taking someones mate in a marriage. Life is so hard trying to do the right thing, then someone comes along and just snatch everything out of your lap, after all the hard work you in stild in that Marriage.

  26. Joy says:

    You, Ms. Caradine, are my new shero. I will be following you for a long time. Thank you for saying what needed to be said. Thank you for saying it so boldly. Thank you for saying it so eloquently. Thank you for saying it so lovingly.

  27. Monique says:

    Wow. Thank you Joy. This is just the beginning! :)

  28. Monique says:

    Right on Patrina G! Get it girl!

  29. Gloria says:

    Hi Monique, well said. This is a manifesto that all women need to adopt, no matter their color. Sharing it on facebook right now.

  30. Leathie says:

    I had to say bravo. I’m young. 24 and iv done alot of things in this life I’m not proud of. I’m tired of being a train wreck. So I gave my life over to God and drafted a plan to open my own business. 2012 WILL be my year.

  31. Monique says:

    Leathie, 2012 is all about YOU! Step into your greatness and get ready to be a change agent for the world. Get it girl! I believe in u.

  32. Sheila says:

    Monique …

    I learned of you while reading Molesey Knox-Brunson’s blog for the first time this morning. I’ve joined your List and am looking forward to learning more about your program offerings. After reading “The Black Woman’s Manifesto for 2012,” I am compelled to respond. Seldom do I read anything that resonates so deeply in my spirit … “Truth” has a way of extending itself that way. I believe the linchpin in your Manifesto is “Accountability” — straight up, no chaser!

    We as black woman must hold ourselves “Accountable” (and every woman in our sphere of influence) for embracing and implementing each of the Nine Commitments you lay out with bodacious eloquence! Collectively, they address the critical Mind-Body-Spirit issues we MUST address. If we don’t, WE will cause our own demise. Then the world will point their fingers in our faces and declare, “You did it to yourselves!”

    My prayer is that your words will kick our butts and raise our Consciousness before it’s too late. I am committed to living up to the Manifesto and contributing what I can through my actions and words — written and spoken. Shalom!

  33. Monique says:

    Sheila. you get it. you really get it. thank you for connecting with this God-inspired message. thank you for allowing it to permeate your being. Thank you for coming into this powerful community we are creating! I can tell, you’re a soldier! xoxo

  34. Gail Greene says:

    I am so proud of you for writing what I have been thinking for quite sometime. Lots of Black women like the fighting on reality TV and they seem to like the “NeNe” Leakes. But I am so embarrassed by her ugly actions. How do we get the Bravo station to clean up its act on RHOA. What must we do.

  35. [...] So Caradine has issued a “Black Women’s Manifesto for 2012″, with nine points she believes will help women lead healthier and better lives in the new year. Check it out here! [...]

  36. Vivian says:

    Bravo, my sister. Your Manifesto needs to be circulated to every black, white and latino female over the age of 13. You stated in your nine points what I’ve been trying to tell sister-friends for years. Thanks for your insights. I’m printing copies and mailing them to friends who need to read your words.

  37. Joi says:

    Mrs. Monique

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!! I’m glad to know that there’s someone not afraid to say it. We have become an embarassment. I want women to reclaim their valor and worth.

  38. Clint B says:

    Monique,
    You missed one. Mothers who keep their kids from seeing their fathers… We have women who intentionally keep their kids a way from their fathers… That needs to be addressed!!!! Please include that one in the manifesto.

  39. Clint B says:

    Monique,
    You missed one. Mothers who keep their kids from seeing their fathers… We have women who intentionally keep their kids a way from their fathers… That needs to be addressed!!!! Please include that one in the manifesto.

  40. lashawn says:

    i like that u said it and proud love it

  41. lashawn says:

    i like that u said it loud and proud……… love it

  42. [...] and acting like they have completely lost their minds,” she says. Her solution is the “Black Woman’s Manifesto” for 2012, which covers many “how-to’s” on life but was specifically [...]

  43. Linda says:

    Put these things into Practice devote Our self to them so that all may see our progress’ This is a big begining’of all color Monique ‘Every moment of our life is of Great value from God’Do they know the Spiritual grow that given by God’and they choose there words so wrong’and want to be hear this way ‘wow! how about unfold the beauty of being a Women’a; Lady’and then you will see your Gift unfold like a flower.

  44. Pam says:

    Thank you, thank you. Kudos to you for this stand. Women are the nurturers and backbone of our families. Its bad enough that the airwaves are flooded with this type of garbage TV now, we’ve got black folks involved in playing the fool. Very disappointed in these shows and the participants, who are either doing this for the money and / or attention. Not more than a modern day minstrel show minus the black face makeup. Supposedly educated, intelligent women acting no better than common streetwalkers. How much money does it take to sell ones soul?

  45. [...] MonquieCaradine.com: Too many black women on TV appear to be making a concerted effort to hijack our image and set us [...]

  46. [...] MonquieCaradine.com: Too many black women on TV appear to be making a concerted effort to hijack our image and set us [...]

  47. Deborah B says:

    PLEASE ADD TO THAT: No pajamas in public–not for us or our kids!! We must present ourselves as the proud and beautiful race of women that we are. So, no half-dressing, under-dressing, or over exposure. Leave something to the imagination!

    Wonderful Manifesto for 2012!! Stay Strong!

  48. Leslie says:

    Caradine NEEDS TO PRACTICE WHAT SHE PREACHES!
    This so-called “Black Woman’s Manifesto 2012” is an insult to me and other brown-skinned sisters. We’ve been fighting against these exact types of negative portrayals in media for a very long time. This ‘manifesto’ only promotes a more negative and INCORRECT portrayal of who we truly are and how we have been living! Despite TV, I see hard-working black women everyday, taking care of their children, in the gym, walking, practicing yoga, meditating, going to church and school, eating healthier, taking control and doing what they can to live their dreams. For Caradine to create a document that implies we, as black women, are not or have not been doing ALL things is offensive. And, why exclusively for Black women? Why use specific names of black women from TV in the document, and then judge them so harshly? Isn’t Caradine doing exactly what she just preached we should not do “refuse to tear each other down”? Caradine is disillusioned if she thinks the majority of black women behave in a way that required the creation of this document. Thank you for trying Caradine, but no THANK YOU!

  49. ANEESAH says:

    THANK YOU MY DEAR SISTER FOR EXPRESSING SUCH A POWERFUL MESSAGE TO ALL OF US. I AM TRULY PASSING THIS OWN TO ALL OF THE SISTERS THAT I KNOW. I AM PRINTING COPIES FOR MY SISTERS THAT DO NOT HAVE COMPUTERS. MAY GOD BLESS YOU TO CONTINUE SHARING YOUR WONDERFUL TALENTS WITH US.

  50. ANEESAH says:

    I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD ANOTHER COMMENT:
    THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY IMPLY THAT
    SOME OF MY SISTERS ARE NOT DOING SOME OF
    THE THINGS THAT IT STATES. IT SERVES AS A REMINDER TO THOSE WHO KNOW BETTER BUT OR NOT DOING BETTER. IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT WE
    SOMETIMES FORGET!!!! IT IS ALWAYS A BLESSING
    TO HAVE SOMEONE IN OUR LIVES TO REMIND US.

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