While the blogs and message boards contain enough negative messages about Black relationships to drive a sane sister mad, it’s worth noting that there was once a self-proclaimed guru who’s presence was far more offensive than a certain comedian-turned-lucky, lucky “sage.”

The youngest Clutchettes may not remember Shahrazad Ali and her brief reign of terror across the talk-show and Black bookstore circuit, but her name rings a terrible bell for those of us born in the mid 80’s and earlier. Ali’s controversial book The Blackman’s Guide To Understanding The Blackwoman was written to “help” Black men understand the many things that are “wrong” with sisters, in order to improve all of our lives. Yes, it was just as crazy as it sounds.

Among Ali’s damning charges, she stated that Black women have “smaller brains” than Black men, which explains our inferior intelligence; also, we bully Black men, we steal, we stink (especially our hair and armpits), and we are failing our community by failing to get in line behind our men. Among the gems she dropped: “If the Black woman ignores the superiority and authority of the Black man, there is a penalty…it is time for the Black man to slap her soundly in the mouth….(the Black woman) is a rat who behaves like a dog while purring like a cat.”

And you thought Nightline’s “Why Are So Many Black Women Alone and Unloveable” fiasco was bad! Ali probably sat back and watched that special like, “All you b*tches is my sons.” It takes a special woman to dress up in African-American-fantasy-of-African garb and tell Black woman that they are essentially the lowest form of womanhood on the planet, in dire need of retraining from their men. While Sally Jessie Raphael, Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera were happy to tell her how crazy she sounded, I can only imagine how disgusted the sisters in the audience must have felt having another Black woman speak about them in such a way.

After getting a nation of talk-show viewers all worked up, Ali embarked on a book tour (which she taped and sold copies of as well). Luckily for us, she’s been largely out of the public eye ever since. Hopefully, she didn’t encourage someone to slap her into oblivion, and simply chose to retire quietly.

I wonder what would have happened had brothers en masse attempted to take Ali’s advice to get Black women ‘back on track’…the romance chatter probably would have died all together, as we’d probably have taken a fight AND flight approach to such madness. The fact that Ali, and her less-violent descendants, was able to have an audience at all speaks volumes about how desperate people can be when they are lacking guidance. While most Black women thought she was off her rocker, there were some who credited her with helping them to realize their ‘role’ in the community.

While Ali’s charges were comically absurd, it’s disheartening to see that 20 years later, there is still a market for publically attempting to shame Black women (though the talk shows have given way to the blogosphere). Has the Black love/Black relationships conversation progressed since then? Hard to say, but the fact that we are still debating our ability to get along with the men of our community is a pretty bad sign.

What say you, dear readers? Could someone like Ali take such a show on the road in 2011? Or have we gotten at least a little better?

  • http://www.thatgirlsnl.blogspot.com Simone

    Oy vey. Oy. Oy. I can’t muster any thoughts right now. Yeah…I can’t. She’s a damn shame.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/secretaddy secretaddy

    O_O …. black women have truly suffered. I feel bad for her, this internalized self-hatred is no joke.

  • LN

    Lol… the first thing I thought when I read this article was “Damn, so we HAVE made progress!”

    I don’t think a figure like Shahrazad Ali would be possible in this day and age — or at least not given the kind of platform that she was.

    Just look at the situation with Satoshia Kanawaza at Psychology Today. He wrote an offensive article about black women and was fired within the month. I mean, the article shouldn’t have been written in the first place, but the fact that action was taken so swiftly is, IMO progress.

    The assault on black women continues, but I think it is more subtle these days. I still think American society is still comfortable with the notion that somehow black women are on the ‘bottom’ of things.

  • EmpressDivine

    I was a little kid when she was making her rounds but I do remember her and her infamous book. I actually believe someone like her could come back around. Hell its a couple who comment on this site regularly. lol. In this age of bad reality t.v. the isht she says would get picked up immediately by VH1.

  • Quell

    Fortunately I’ve never heard of this woman before this article as I was too young, but She sounds ridiculous, this is self hatred at its best. With the constant attacks on black women today I believe someone like Ali could definitely have a platform with many followers and believers.

  • Clnmike

    I read the book I awhile back in college, me and the fellas thought it was pretty funny, but there were those who took it dead serious too. Things haven’t change you look at some of the blogs and they are just paper less versions of what was said back then.

  • Tiffany W.

    3:21 is the best screenshot in history. I get weak for an amazing side-eye.

  • BeautyIAM

    She sounds like what Ann Coulter would sound like…if Ann were black. Just saying crap to get attention and sell books. I would like to read the book (without buying in of course) and really figure out what she was trying to get at.

  • titilayo

    You are so right – that moment was amazing! She was like, “What you nodding your head for, fool?” I cracked up.

  • JustSaying…

    I read the book and I think a great deal of what was written was taken out of context. I don’t think (and I’ve never been sure about it) she figuratively meant the thing about slap the woman nor was she talking about ALL black women when she was described characteristics that we would associate TODAY with hoodrats (poor upkeep, weave, etc). There were parts of the book I agreed with while others I didn’t agree with.

    Shahrazad Ali also wrote a Black Woman’s Guide To Understanding The Black Man–she caught flack for it too. However I saw alot of truth in that one too.

    In both situations I don’t think the messenger was necessarily the problem–though the woman does have her issues. I think it is the fact that now twenty plus years after both books, a lot of us can HONESTLY look back and say, “Damn maybe she was onto something” when we look at the state of black men and black women.

    The vast majority of black men are not marriage material and unlikeable and too many black women are not keeping themselves up (weight wise at least), have kids out of wedlock, and carry too much baggage for anyone looking for something long-term to take them seriously. Like I said, like it or not Shahrazad Ali might have been onto something with both books.

  • http://twitter.com/DanTresOmi Peoples Rodriguez

    I remember Ali vividly and yes I attended some of her lectures in Philly and NYC. The crazy part is that if you went to see her in person, she was crazier and made her book look tame in comparison.

    I know a gang of people (men and women) who thought that what she said was bible and took her at face value. I still know a gang of people who thought she was the best thing since sliced bread.

    I also know a gang of businesses who would have never continue to be open if it wasn’t for her. She really did share the wealth and was about her grind. She helped alot of businesses open and flourish. The reason why her book sold so well outside of the mainstream is because she was supported by many black owned book stores which back in the late 80s and 90s were in abundance in most cities throughout the US.

    Its funny because every now and again, I find her book in a few big box book stores. Also, she is still writing books.

  • http://twitter.com/DanTresOmi Peoples Rodriguez

    @Clnmike PEACE!

  • T682

    That was a lol moment. She looked like she could have gone upside his head with her purse! In all seriousness, I def remember this woman blazing a trail of foolishness in the early 90s when I was in college. I was giving her the side eye before I knew what the side eye was! I would like to think that this could not happen today, but, people are gunning HEAVY for black women and anything is possible…..

  • LN

    I’m happily married to a black man, and I must say that ‘uplifting’ black women, doesn’t always have to equate tearing down black men, and vice versa.

    What black women need to learn is to ONLY ENTERTAIN MEN WHO LOVE AND RESPECT THEM, regardless of color. A pro-interracial stance stems from that, because love and respect have NO COLOR.

    But to just make a blanket statements about how obese black women are and ‘non marriage material’ black men are is neither healthy nor progressive.

    Black people need to stop a.) generalizing about themselves and b.) focus on individual upliftment and fulfillment.

  • andryce76

    i

    Is that you Shahrazad Ali?

    i

  • Tami

    I remember buying her book back in the day & laughing after I read it. I loved when she was on talk shows because she provided comic relief & was so serious. Some of the things she said were true & some were completely off the hook. But that goes to show you, we have all kinds of folks in this world.

  • JustSaying…

    Have your vision checked chick…please!

    Black women like you make me sick. Part of the reason problems are never addressed is because stupid idiots like you love to jump up whenever someone offers a thread of criticism even when it’s VALID. You like to coddle a group of people they DON’T deserve or need it. You married a black man…so what? *blank stare* It’s about time someone stood up and told the truth. For a while Bill Cosby was doing it but then slow negros like you stood up and said he was “bashing black people” or “airing dirty laundry.” So please go sit your dumbass down somewhere and take notes.

  • LN

    Wow Justsayin… I have an idea of who you might be, because your rhetoric sounds very familiar and I believe I have read your website a few times.

    In the response I wrote to you I AFFIRMED interracial marriage. I strongly believe that it is important for black women. But I still don’t believe that it is healthy to walk around with a low-down-dirty view of black men. Firstly, because that’s stereotyping, and we as black women know how destructive that is. And secondly, because it’s wrong no matter what the gender. There are many black men walking around with the same low-down-dirty view of black women, and I think they’re dead wrong too.

    Stereotypes have gotten us nowhere in the past, and they won’t get us anywhere today. That’s just the reality.

    If a black woman is in an abusive relationship with a black man, then yes, of course, she should gracefully move on with her life. But to hold on to anger and bitterness about ALL black men, and call that progress? Um, no.

  • LN

    I’m guessing this comment is the work of someone affiliated with either

    http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/

    or

    blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com/

  • Penny

    I remember her in the 90′s. She was a hoot! She was only voicing Louis Farrakhan’s thoughts at the time.

  • JustSaying…

    @LN

    First thing I don’t have a website…sorry to disappoint you.

    Second thing try actually debating what I WROTE instead of coming at me with assumptions and your own B.S. I didn’t say a thing in my comment about interracial relationships nor do I go out of my way to even promote them.

    Third thing, please note my comment wasn’t solely about Black men.

    Again…have your eyes checked. It was actually about the TOPIC…try sticking to it.

  • http://heardhimsay.com Drew-Shane

    I agree. I breezed through it before. I thought it was supposed to be comedy. I would like to think we’ve gotten farther than the pages but not so much. Some people are serious. I just knew she wasn’t….

  • http://creativeliberationjournal.blogspot.com Moni

    I remember when my boyfriend purchased this book, as we were in college at the time. I took that book and set a match to it and got rid of his ass soon after. No lie…

  • Karen

    I remember this woman. I was in high school when the book came out. There was a Saturday night live or In Living Colours skit that came out mocking her. I remember the guys in my high school harrassing us girls about it constantly making jokes about “Turn around and give her an open hand slap in the mouth”. At least those young men took it for a big joke.

  • http://twitter.com/beautifulcurare ChiTownCabbieT

    I was born in the 80s, but was too young to understand all this. Only thing I remember about Shahrazad Ali is that skit on In Living Color…

  • ruggie

    Ah yes, I remember her well. The original Mami of BW-bashing love advice. My favorite line of this article sums it up: “That she was able to have an audience at all speaks volumes about how desperate people can be when they are lacking guidance.”
    What is it in our culture that makes us want to believe the worst about ourselves?? And then try to improve on it, LOL. Steve Harvey got nothing on this one!

  • Penny

    I saw this show when I was in college. I just watched all of the parts of the video and there were plenty of black people (in the beginning at least) giving her nods of approval. Sadly, a lot of black people share her opinions: they think something is wrong with black women. And I could see someone coming out now trying to say the same things while using the Atlanta Housewives, Basketballl Wives and other shows to prove their points. They would swear up and down that all black women are like those women and that is why they can’t get husbands. LOL. Someone could make a killing off of a book like that today. Only, this time around, they’d have a blog, Twitter page, Facebook page, t-shirts, reality show and a publicist on staff.

  • huh

    side eye to the woman at 4:32 nodding to everything she’s saying

  • Koalasaurus

    I wonder what she would say about more Black women than men graduating from college? Or does she still think we should follow their lead and drop out of school or not pursue a degree?

  • http://www.everybodylovesz.com Zerina

    Has anyone one here actually read the book? I read it recently after watching several Yotube videos from the 90′s and a lot of her points are extremely valid (sad to say). It was actually a pretty good read but, like all things, you have to approach it with an open mind and you’ll actually realize some very important things.

    We have to start doing more in-depth research (outside of Youtube) before we judge. Often, we learn more that way. While some of her points were a little extreme and influenced… unfortunately, Ali reminded me of plenty of women that I know in real life. It is what it is.

    Z

  • JustSaying…

    To answer your question I’m willing to bet most here haven’t read it…they are simply going by what they heard. SMH.

  • KeKe

    I read the book as well ( both actually) and she makes it clear that she is not generalizing but addressing a particular type of black men and women. While she may appear to be extreme in her philosophy of black relations, she is offering solutions on how to mend a broken black family structure to build a more productive community.

  • Supreme

    Being that today the amount of babies born out of wedlock in the black community is over 70%. There is definitely a deficiency in black male/female relationships. Ive read Mrs Ali’s book and she made some valid points on why we have arrived to where we are today. There are somethings in this book that have been blown out of proportion by the media. I would suggest that people get the book, read it for themselves, and come to their own conclusions about it. Mrs Ali also wrote a book about Blackmen that calls them to task as well, it is surprising that that book doesnt recieve the same amount of controversial treatment

  • edub

    I’ve followed her while some of her stuff is over the top, a lot of her stuff is on point.

  • edub

    Thank you, you have managed to say what I can’t. I think if our community took heed to some of the things she says, we would not be in the position we are in today.

  • RealityCheck

    I don’t understand why when you say that black women have issues, and you point out the obvious, some black women are quick to jump up and claim that since their inner circle of friends don’t exhibit these issues, they must not be true or claim that we’re being steroetyped ? Are we as women that sensitive to criticism ? Even if its not coming from a place of concern, (esp. when it comes from the media) we should still take heed to what’s being said and examine ourselves to better ourselves.

  • Jess

    Sista Soulja has a book that also slams Black women as inferior, unworthy beings while holding up Black men as more superior and needing to run away from Black women. Sister Souljah’s book “Midnight And The Meaning of Love” might as well have been written by Hip-Hops’ Russel Simmons. She portrays all the Black women as easy, uncouth, prostitutes, b*tches, and h*es, and has the Black male lead character from New York in love with a Japanese girl who is portrayed as so great and caring that he is willing to travel all over the world to get her back. The Black women are portrayed as lowlife trash that nobody would ever care about, basically.

    Also, there is a blog that points out so well how the producers of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Off the Map do the same thing – portray the Black women as these evil, overbearing cold Black women that drive away their Black men to white and latina women, who are portrayed as great and supportive. And the producers of those shows are this one Black woman.

    Self-hate among Black women is real and many times we put out worse things about ourselves than any man or any white person ever could.

    It’s sad when you hate the very person you are and use it to slam all the peoploe that look like you.

  • Jess

    I think we have plenty of Shaharazad Ali-types in this day and age, and they are mostly situated in Hollywood and entertainment.

    Sista Souljah and the woman behind Greys Anatomy, Off the Map, and Private Practice (i think she is Rhimes) are just like Shaharazad Ali, just worse because they use their self hate to broadcast on TV every week the false idea of inferior Black women. These women are no different than Santoshi Kanazawa.

  • Jess

    Sorry people, but I never understand why you all jump on Just Saying. She didn’t say anything bad solely about Black men. She made comments about both Black men and Black women (of which I didn’t agree, but still).

    I will say that I agree with Just Saying in that whenever anyone criticizes problems of Black mne, some Black women get scare and insecure and have to come right out and “defend her man!”, even when it’s not justified.

    Sorry, but plenty of Black men contribute to this low self-esteem in Black women too, you know – intentionally.

    So dang, let Just Saying have her say!

  • http://afrolistasandthecity.blogspot.com Von

    People will always profit off of the insecurities of other’s and as some women believe that they are only defined by being in a relationship or married then there will always be a market for it. Miss Shahrazad is so long ago and the so called relationship gurus, like Steve Harvey, that are out now are the ones who have gained way more money than she ever did are the most dangerous.

  • QueenofNewcastle

    Yeah I think you completely missed the point of her advice.

  • QueenofNewcastle

    Many of these black women have not studied logical fallacies despite ALL the degrees they possess.

  • new moon

    @ Jess…um I don’t think you and I read the same Sister Souljah book. Did you skip over the whole novel? Wow…sensitive much? What about the pedistal the author put Chiasa character on…she is black and japanese. I think you should re read and this time learn something from it.
    @Reality Check… I agree with you. We as black women need to examine ourselves individually because as a whole there are some deep seeded issues there that we should examine. And just bc a particular thing is said about black women that does not pertain to you doesn’t mean that its not true of the black girl across the street…if you see it in her, try and help her do better. I think trying to downplay or toss aside and ignore the things that being said about us is living with rose colored glasses on. We need to be better, we need to want better, we need to treat eachother better, we need to LOVE and RESPECT eachother. I’m worried about us. We need to Love and Forgive ourselves.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    I am so ashamed to admit that I saw this episode of SJR when it came out way back when. I believe there was also some hardcore Jewish separatist on that same show too.

    I was like um…Okay. O.O

  • edub

    There is some serious denial going on. Not only denial but what we now have is a mass influx of underachievement trying to lower the bar to protect their own self interests and to make themselves feel better. The fact that

  • Jess

    @Newmoon: Sorry, I hated the Midnight sequal – I mean, sure, if you think it’s OK to describe Black women as loose, immoral, gloddigging sluts, then I guess you would like that book.Funny she chose to portray us that way even though the Japanese girl’s was in a sexual relationship with midnight as a teen. The depictions of the Black women (Black American specifically) was ridiculous. I’m sisck of peopel who hate everything about us still wanting to make their money off of us. Sorry, that book was TRASH and Sista Souljah should be ashamed of her obvious disdain for her own people.

    I can’t really go by your opinion – honestly, I always say that a whole lot Black women and girls dance in videos and love rappers that beat their a**es black and blue and call them all kinds of degrading names, and then will shout down anyone who tells them they might want to stop supporting such demeaning – and dangerous – stuff.

    Yes, you might just love the works of Shaharazad Ali as well.

  • Emelyne

    It’s about respect and the lack of it in many black relationships, whether they be familial,, platonic or romantic. Black folks have problems giving one another (and ourselves) proper respect while demanding it from everyone we encounter. This is why so many blacks have issues with their significant other, parent(s) and friends and there is ALWAYS some drama.

  • KJ

    Maybe because there’s some truth to it.

  • BluTopaz

    Shahooserface got her ass kicked by her man on a regular basis (or so I can hope), and she simply wanted to spread the misery.

    There are plenty women like this broad all over the world, like in cultures that practice FGM. I can clearly see her in that stupid hat holding down a little girl to get cut, just because her own insides have been mutilated and she was told she was dirty. She wants all women who look like her to be violated as well, no mystery.

  • minna k.

    She and her quackery wouldn’t gain the kind of public platform she received in 1990 in 2011 because Black folks are far more savvy. We would Google her look at her credentials, look for her research, case studies, see that she has NONE and go about our business.

    Her “expertise” was that she claimed her study and observation on the “blackwoman”, and being a “blackwoman herself”. Crickets. Our people drank the coolaid back then because for so many it seemed like a great feat to write and have a book published. Anyone can do that these days. And if she were around she would be a constant Facebook and annoying Twitter message blasting, promoting her book through text messaging, and maybe getting a spot on blog talk radio.

  • QueenofNewcastle

    @edub

    If I were to just look at the women in my family I would assume that EVERY black woman in the USA were a professional making a median income of $60,000 because that is exactly the profile of EVERY woman in my family who is working. The other women are in their 60s retired, children or in university.

    I know the women in my family DO NOT reflect most black American women. More than 80% of black women are NOT college or university educated. Why do we keep talking about them? Its elitist to the core. It ignores the reality of the majority of black women so that a small vocal minority can hide their own personal failures.

  • Emelyne

    I love how people are talking about “black women wouldn’t fall for this crap again” when they are eating up Steve Harvey’s relationship advice books. He also has no credentials, other than being a 3-time divorce who, being a black man, claims to know what all black men want. SMH. It’s sad that people are getting on this quack while completely ignoring the success of the new and greater quack in our midst.

  • Shon

    @ New moon…I read the same novel and I’m in agreement with Jess. As to the things you believe to be true about black women, my question to you, Ali and whoever else is what are you doing to educate or eradicate the issues. Market to the audience that needs to hear and be about change.

  • new moon

    I think Souljah’s book was the truth… she made an accurate portrail of a certain kind of black girl. The one who she would typically find in a brooklyn nieborghood. She used her experiances to describe a black girl (Bangs) who was mentally enslaved by her environment. She was sexually abused by her uncle, had a baby young by her uncle, and never read books. She used her body to get through her day. She was a sexual girl because that’s all she knew since she was a little girl (sexually abused). Now that character could be any young black girl. Nothing she said used to describe the girl suggested the author has “hate for her own kind”. These are facts that hurt, ladies. Stop being so sensitive and free your mind. Facts is a definition we should get with. Evidence and proof as well. Sure All BW are not created equal. If you took offense to the book or you take offense to Ali then you must see something in yourself that makes you uncomfortable. I seen a few traits that were described in the first Midnight in myself…I thought on it analyzed it and took ownership of the flaw. I learned from it. I’m sick of people over exagerating bc they are angry confused and lost. Get inside your head…know your castle. I do my best to listen to my fellow sisters and try to make them look inward at themselves. It can’t be other peoples fault all the time…it can’t be the black mans fault all the time. I try and. Guide young people when I get an opportunity to. I’m not perfect…I’m flawed…but I’m mindful of me and there ain’t nothing some body can say about me that I haven’t already noticed in myself (if its true).

  • http://www.innyvinny.com Alicia

    I had no idea this woman was a real person. I can only remember the In Living Color sketch… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_woTxQl9bLA

  • O’Phylia

    I’ve never heard of this woman in my life, but that may be because I was born in 91 and playing with my dolls and not worrying if I’d ever find a black man to love me.

    I think instead of saying how “horrible” black women are, the world is now saying that we’ve risen too high. When they said that black women are getting more degrees than their male counterparts, they tell us that it’s bad because now we’ll never get a man because “no man wants a woman smarter than him.” And instead of saying, “Meh, screw it, I’ll get money and forget a man,” we run out and buy Steve Harvey’s cheating behind’s book and still think we’re less-than even though we’re fine the way we are.

  • minna k.

    Steve Harvey’s credential IS his celebrity status for better or worse. Ali is NOT an entertainer, so I think she would be held to real academic standards unlike this Holly wood funnyman. Celebrity stamped marketing is significant in this arena.

    You do have a point about Steve Harvey’s book as latter day quackery. I have 1 friend in my circle that actually read the book seriously. Of corse I thought WTF??

    As bad as he is with his advice, he is at the very LEAST not suggesting physical violence as means to be an effective communicator.

  • minna k.

    lol.

  • Emelyne

    Celebrity (unless it’s for notoriety within the field) is not credentials. I will agree with you on the last bit, though. Violence against your significant other is not a good look at all.

  • bastet469

    Men, Black and white, are being socialized to be bad people but when our men become evil, it’s even more devistating. The media is training men to be irresponsible, lazy, selfish, adulturous, disrespectful, and violent. And it’s not just those who came from troubled homes. Men who know better are behaving badly too. Society offers too many rewards for bad character. Women as a whole don’t stand a chance.

  • Yemaya

    NOI Paternalistic crap.

  • RetroChic

    The rate of OOW births and abortion were higher at the time that Ali wrote her book. The number of black 2 parent households had gone up as well. BUT marriage has been used a indicator for the success of the community. Most cultures/nations determine their success by the number families (that and their GDP and health of citizens of course). This is how wealth and tradition is passed to the next generation.

    So while her book is highlighting some pathologies that might still exist, I would say that the women she spoke of were well aware of their representation in her work. Like all things, that what you can use and toss the rest.

  • Leah

    Yeah, I’m gonna have to co-sign with Jess on this woman. Souljah’s book was a horrible depiction of black Americans–particularly women.

  • Leah

    lol…I mean “one” not “woman”.

  • minna k.

    Oh, of corse celebrity is not a real credential.

  • minna k.

    This is so true.

  • painfully conscious

    everything shes saying is true.

  • http://muhammadspeaks.com Zakiyah Karim

    The Blackman’s Guide to understanding the Black Woman was the most accurate description of the Average Black Woman at the time is was written, and even more so today, because we have gotten worse. Judging by way some of us have attacked one another for merely having a different opinion regarding this book proves the “out of control” condition! When I first read the book, I couldn’t put it down. I have 12 Blood Sisters and Brothers, and I went out and purchased the book for every one of them, my husband, and my son! The book helped me and them. I am ashamed to say I saw myself in some places. And where I didn’t see myself, I saw someone I knew. Since reading this thread, I have started reading it again. And I see some of you!

  • Freddy

    Ali’s book was real talk!! If you read it and understand it there is 0 reason to feeled threatend!! Stop being so insecure!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wendy-Whitehead/1842668362 Wendy Whitehead

    Hmmm

  • Lynne

    My recommendation is read her works before you form an opinion. She has written one calls a Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding the Black Man. Read both then go form there.

  • SoulBrotha

    I saw her in a recent Documentary called “HIdden Colors”, and her segments were great, so I looked her up on youtube and saw all of the Donahue episodes. After seeing how mad the ladies were, I just had to see what the hype was about.

    I ordered both the blackman’s and the blackwoman’s guide and I saw someone I knew in almost every chapter she wrote. The only reason black women got mad is because this is the only time that they have ever been examined in such a public way. If what she said was not true, then they would have just dismissed her and she would not have sold any books. Another reason why you sisters are mad, is because she exposed the secrets that you guys use to control men. She basically “put us up on game”; any brother that reads this should have raised their standards and requirements for his woman, and of course you will be threatened by such a man as you can no longer run your manipulative games on him.

  • Tianna

    To be honest, we (black women) should have listened to her. Look at the shape our black American people are in today. 80% of out kids are born out of wedlock. 60% of those mothers will go on to have one more child/ren with one or more men. This it’s a major contribution to poverty and other problems within or community. We as Black women seem to not love our natural selves, wearing all this fake as hair, which we spend over a Billion dollars on each year. Imagine if we put that towards OUR kids EDUCATION. We are known to other cultures as loud, unruly, and negative attitude having . That is embarrassing, but we take pride in that type of foolishness. Posting it on WSHH & laughing at it. We should have listened, maybe we wouldn’t be in such bad shape we are in today. #truthhurts

  • http://gravatar.com/reason15 Jenna

    I think Ms Ali would have a platform today not just in the US, but in the UK and the Caribbean. Relationships between black men and black women are considerably worse now than they were in the 80′s and 90′s. As long as this trend continues black women will always be considered as having something ‘wrong’ with them because they appear to have neither love nor respect for their own men.

    Ms Ali was insightful about the way the relationship between black men and black women was deliberately destroyed to make them economically weak and dependent on the state. The same strategies were used on the West Indian community in Britain, which has gone the same way as the African American community now with single parenthood and fatherless children being the norm.

    I now see the same strategies being employed in the Muslim and Asian communities where the women are being conditioned to view their men as weak, violent, chauvinistic, bad fathers, selfish, lacking in morals etc etc etc. Of course the white male continues to be held up as a picture of virtue (white Jesus), despite the fact that he murders, and rapes his own women and children every day, steals vast amounts of money, kills by the 10′s of thousands, lies, promotes disbelief in God….. The list goes on, but is always ignored because…?

    Black skin embodies all things negative perhaps? Therefore the black man is the opposite of the virtuous White Male (Jesus). How can any black man compete?
    Meanwhile the image of the black woman is like that of Mary Magdalene, the whore whom washes the feet of Jesus and testifies to his divinity. She is never truly acceptable, but is a loyal servant.

  • Ichibod

    As a black man, I honestly don’t believe soundly slapping a black woman (or any woman for that matter) in the mouth is the answer to strenghtening a relationship, however I feel that this article is written from a “Why should a black woman need to be slapped, the black man is the problem” point of view. To knock this black woman’s suggestions, assume that it would be somewhat absurd/comical to follow them, and then admit that after 20 years there is still sort of a rift between the genders, I find it even worse for the author of this article to offer no (better/safer) suggestions of her own. As if the premise of her books are of a ‘slappin’ nature. I doubt that the author even read Sister Ali’s book and only chose to refresh folks born mid-80s and earlier of Ali’s agenda probably after watching a re-run of the ‘In Living Color’ parody and saying, “Oh, yea! I remember her. Let me see who else does.”. Only if by seeing Sister Ali covered in bruises and scars will I believe that she was actually claiming “putting the ‘man’ back in man-handling” to be the cure for all of black folk’s relationship ills. The truth is no one’s way (beside God’s) will work for any relationship. No Sister Ali’s, not Steve Harvey’s, no one’s… and not because one’s is inferior to another’s, but because no one is really willing to do anything other than what they feel is best for them even if it is wrong. That’s just human nature. It took following a strict plan to help break us down as a people, but following a black person’s (male or female) plan somehow will never do for any of us. There will always be a search for +1 ways aside from any suggestions other than an individual’s own. It’s called pride. Not black pride, but simply pride. Black pride, so called, caused a greater problem because it was instilled it into people who were still afraid. So instead of it being properly managed for the purpose of standing up to and defending ourselves againgst the oppressors, it was instead practiced and still is excercised amongst ourselves.

  • dez

    When Shaharad was popular I heard her speak live and in person. It was not the circus that you saw on TV. There were some things I didn’t quite agree with but a lot of what she says has merit. I agree we are in a hot mess with no end in sight.

  • Dastino

    I’m 23 and I actually READ her book. It’s not how you make it sound. She does say some controversial things but they main thing is that black women need to rise up. We need to let our men be men. We need to support them and love them and have enough confidence in ourselves and our men not to try to be men. She talks about the importance of family and how we pass on negativity to our children. She talks about dressing modestly and treating ourselves with respect. The also wrote another book about black men too. I think she was controversial because she was honest and if you can take the good that she set out to bring it will help to enhance your life.

  • shabazz

    I agreed with her then.. I agree with her now.

  • Jaysun

    I agreed with Shahrazad then, I agree with her now. I see with my own eyes the many things she spoke of. Black females today are beyond redemption, esp as it relates to living in peace and productively with the black man. Now she makes a great consumer, so the capitalists love to see her coming. Remember, statistics show that females in general are responsible for 85% of all consumer purchasing decisions. So guess who gets pandered to and told that they are “queens”?

  • Bryant

    As opposed to the kool-aid our people drink now? And black folks are more savvy? really? with black women on television almost daily shaking their necks, bashing black men, and acting ignorant as hell? And don’t worry I’m on black men too, saggin(niggas spelled backwards, Love it) pants everywhere, rap constantly about b*tches and hoes, promoting the thug life garbage and wonder why the police always on them. Our community is devastated and this woman called it 2 decades ago and your putting her on blast?! seriously?! wake the hell up!

  • Ebony

    Those is agreement are apart of the problem. Shaharazad Ali is the epitome of piss poor relationships advice. Looking at the responses here are proof positive.

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  • Adewale

    Ebony, just out of curiosity, how many of Sis. Ali’s books have you read on your own?

  • jordan

    yea i dont like what there saying about her.. this is obviously to continue to keep her name in the negatives. i hate the media and how they pick apart

  • Ebony

    I read the one I’m commenting on not to mention I’ve seen her speak on several occasions. Now, perhaps you’d like to go ahead and ask whatever question it is you have as opposed to asking silly questions that imply I haven’t read the material I’m commenting on. thank you in advance.

  • Sule Moyo

    Ebony, if you think so little of her, why did you go to hear her speak multiple times?

  • leebme

    Can we say didnt get the meaning? There are multiple books that should be read in tandem. I think you should watch hidden colors.

  • Devontay

    I would agree with you, but we are being truthful Look at the last 30+ years since Black Women have been the head of the household. Facts don’t lie people do so whatever the this woman said would not matter if this decline did not happened. She would have been proven guilty of what you say but who’s paying the penalty for not fact check what she said . Our generation and now the next. We came from in slaved Afrcans to become free people but, with voice and or vote, separate from America to gaining or voice and being counted as 100% American under the Law. We did this as a family a hole family , Man, Woman, and Child. Now what have we done since as a hole. Like I said before Facts don’t lie people do. Just Look at the facts please just the facts. I know everything this Woman said was not true but 90% of it was and I know this to be the same with most the leaders in history you might on the best day get about 70% and talking about the Great Ones.

    Gentleman always,
    Devontay L Douglas

  • Slim_EastAfricanQueen

    First, I just want to say, please go over your resources again. Second, I’m glad to say she is mostly correct and well aware of her surroundings with her subjects. She have experienced inequality, not only for being a black person, but a woman. She is well educated and have the right to educate her people that were being disadvantage from so called “American Society”. Like she said, “Everything black people are taught, is to destroy them”. My question to Ebony is, What makes you think she advising black men to beat their wives? From my understanding, she is giving us reasons why we (black women) run away from black men. Society tell us black is bad, but realistically other race are taking black men because they are the most attractive, strong and intelligent. but to keep us apart from each other, they will say all negatives about our black men, as a result, we take others saying and hate ourselves. WE NEED MORE WOMEN LIKE HER. SHE IS EDUCATING OUR PEOPLE. ANYTIME, A POWERFUL PERSON SPEAK TO RAISE AWARENESS THROUGHOUT THEIR COMMUNITY, OF COURSE THEY WILL BE THREATENED TO AMERICAN HIDDEN SOCIETY. TRUTH HURT! BLACK WOMEN NEED TO STOP TRYING TO RAISE A CHILD AS BOTH PARENT AND SAY HE WAS BORN GAY, WHEN ALL HE KNEW WAS TO PLAY WITH FEMININE TOYS. HE NEEDS A FATHER FIGURE, NOT 2 MOTHERS.

  • Uncontainable Spirit

    So let me get this straight. You destroyed his property because you didn’t like what his property was purporting (in your opinion)? smh…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.saulsberry.1 Kenneth Saulsberry

    Good shit sister obviously Ebony has some soul searching to do. I find that people don’t like it when you point out to them where they’ve slipped or have just been living plain wrong!! I found her book to be spot on as well as the black woman’s guide. Ken

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  • velma johnson

    My gosh i can t stand that woman Shahrazad ali! She is SO weird!

  • DAJ

    LOL! I remember this crazy woman and her book back in the 80s. My mother and her friends read it and were HEATED. I read it too. She back on the circuit on Dr. Drew giving her views about this George Zimmerman trial.

  • Sule

    Are you in a strong relationship with a Black man?

  • eaglehawks

    Her comments on Dr. Drew since the Trial of Zimmerman have only hurt America, but since she is Queen of the Universe I can see that she doesn’t care about the GREATEST COUNTRY AND NATION EVER, SHE SHOULD FIND HER ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WITH ALL THE OTHER RACISTS.

  • http://clutch Mona

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but after watching this woman on HLN, her ranting about inequality, racism, etc, I am furious and inscensed.
    Firstly, I wonder what her ethnicity is? She certainly has some Caucasian blood lines in her lineage, but yet she is ranting on HLN about racism.
    Personally, she gives the impression of being a racist, bigot, and militant, inciting contempt amongst the masses…..

  • Cheryl

    This “woman” cannot let go of something that happened 150 years ago. She was reparations for something that MY ancestors were no part of. Lady, let it go. She is only causing trouble when we as a country have made great strides in equality (affirmative action). Oh how I wish somebody would tape her mouth & nose closed with duct tape. Better yet, I would love to see her on Bill Maher’s panel. He would shut her black ass up!!

  • J.R. Williams

    Shaharazad you are of the beautiful

  • http://gravatar.com/gelonm1 Gelon

    But what about the problem with the men. The thuggin, saggin, uneducated ones. Are we really going to accuse the women (single mothers) of being poor mothers who ran all the fathers off? Every fault you listed in women can be found in men. Having babies out of wedlock with multiple women and NOT SUPPORTING THEM contributes to poverty. Men buy expensive things that they don’t need as well instead of pumping it back into the communities. Many black men don’t love black women’s NATURAL SELVES – FACT. I agree with all that you say, but pointing the finger at black women for the destruction of black families is…so over the top and wrong. Both sexes are equally responsible for the problem as well as the solution.

  • http://gravatar.com/gelonm1 Gelon

    This misogynistic ideal is a not of natural African advent and the myth that it is or was needs to stop being perpetuated.

    African societies had never treated their women as less than men until RECENT (in the last couple millenia or so) times.

    In ancient Africa, before ancient man realized the link between sex and birth, women were perceived as the sole creators of life. Wrong as the assumption may have been, the idea served as the foundation for the matriarchal systems and religious beliefs (such as Mother Earth and many of the other female heads of the pantheons) which persist till this day despite the present treatment of the African woman. It wasn’t until later that the role of the man was realized: his role in procreation, his innate strength. We it were realized, his strengths were used to impose the man upon the woman, but served instead to show how men and women complement each other and the necessity of harmony to continue to thrive.

    Studies are hinting that while men were hunters, women were gatherers and crop growers and may be responsible for the cultivation of land that has allowed civilizations to rise.

    The ancient civilizations of Egypt and Kush did not subjugate the woman. She could be Queen/Pharaoh. The child took the surname for the mother. Many lines of royalty were matrilineal. The queen mother could chose the next Pharaoh. The times when women were treated with respect and equality mark periods of expansion, growth, and leaps in technology/civilization.

    The present subjugation of the African woman is in no way representative of the treatment of the ancient or even the pre-colonial African woman.

    Please stop perpetuating this myth that this is the natural order of things. It is not — that’s why it hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work in the future.

  • Cliff

    I see as usual, men agree with her and women disagree. Ask yourself why is that?

  • http://twitter.com/Collaboradina Ei` Oyna~ (@Collaboradina)

    Because she stroke the ego of black men with her quick fix solutions. While simultaneously grouping all black woman into one category or another. She is totally dismissive of any valid point a black woman may ever have. According to her, every bit of the black woman’s behavior can be traced back to slavery. That may be so for some, but not all. She leaves no room for the exceptions and that is the problem. Woman are woman; black, white, red, and yellow. it is do to our cultural differences that their is an allusion of a difference… If you want to understand the black woman, try understanding ALL WOMAN, one at a time.

  • marlon anderson

    because black women dont respect black men and if a white man is attracted to them they honour the white man

  • Kenyatta

    I’ve had the pleasure of reading both “The Black Man’s guide to understanding the Black Woman” and “The Black Woman’s guide to understanding the Black Man” in the early 90s and I can comprehend where Sister Ali was coming from and I concur with her views 100 percent.
    Not only is she intelligent, cultured and articulate, she is also very courageous to have exposed all of the character flaws that are inherent in the black woman in today’s society. She may have over generalized a bit, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that she is a Black woman! not White, Chinese, Hispanic, or any other race other than her own. So she is qualified to relate to the condition of Black women, unlike the others who deny their history and heritage and try to incorporate themselves into the very system that is responsible for their progress from physical slavery into mental slavery. No matter how much make up you wear, fake finger nails or fake imported hair from India you buy, you can’t change America’s perception about who and what you are. You are still Black and in its eyes a second class citizen no matter how much prestige you may think that you have, just ask Barak Obama how much respect he gets? and he is the president. It says in the Bible that “God is the head of the Man and Man is the head of the Woman” and when a Black woman challenges the authority of the Black man(The original Kings of the Earth) it demonstrates just how much she is out of touch with her nature. And when she tries to impose a set of values, standards and ideologies upon him that are those of his oppressor, then she illustrates even further that she has no clue of who and what she is. She would rather crawl around on her knees and beg to be accepted, than accepting that she is a Queen who has to bow to no one except her Black King.

  • LH

    That woman is coo coo for cocoa puffs! (drops mike and walks off stage)

  • Eric Graff

    Shahrazad Ali is in the New movie “Hidden Colors” speaking to things such as “The feminist movement was started to end the civil rights movement”

    Shes still out there!

  • mochamadness

    I’m a black woman born in the 60′s and I agree wholeheartedly with Sister Ali. Black people are way out of control. Black males and females have a “do what I wanna do” attitude that’s destroying black communities. Far too many blacks are committing crimes and other blacks are using racism and slavery for their behaviour. And the so-called black leaders are of no help. Blacks are worse off than we were in the 70′s.

    Black people should respect Sister Ali for the 35+ years she researched black people. I know I am. She’s given me more info than my family, teachers, or leaders. I read both of her books and found out so many things. The Blackman’s Guide and the Blackwomans Guide deserve respect from the entire black race.

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