Smiles are free?

“Smiles are Free–but you won’t smile back at me”?

This is a topic that I have wanted to touch on for quite some time. It is the gap that lies between African Americans and other African Americans. It’s mainly an issue in women I’ve ran across. A Facebook friend of mine, inspired my sharing of my thoughts… (A.H.) His Note was in regards to women having an arrogant demeanor upon saying hello and being “simply friendly”. I can go on for days on this topic, and I’m a woman. Yet I too, have ran into this growing epidemic that (some) Black Women (mostly) seem to have within them.

Now, I’m a Black Woman, predominantly… and I’m genuinely friendly with a happy disposition. I like to speak to people I see in passing, regardless of their race, social demographic, gender. A.H. mentioned that the women he attempts to speak to, assume there lies some sort of hidden agenda. I do believe in this as well. I’m guilty of it. It’s due to a lot, MAJORITY of the men I’ve been “friendly” with, take that as some sort of intimate interest that does NOT exist. Therefore making me leery of future male greeters in passing.

It’s not intentional, it’s a subconscious learned behavior from my environment and experiences with the male gender. Yes there are times, when I’m like “Okay, I’ll smile back at him, he’s harmless”.. And then I’m disappointed with the replied “so what’s up with you girl, let me holla’ at chu… where yo man at”, and so on, and so on. It’s unnerving and makes us uncomfortable. There was a time, before my dating age, that a man could speak to a woman without expectations, and he had the common sense enough to know if to respectfully take it further and respectfully exit without anger. In Today’s society, I’ve grown fearful to be friendly “ALL THE TIME”, because if I’m too friendly with the WRONG man, …he either will, proceed with a “Holla at chu” request, Have a girlfriend or wife nearby whom knows he’s a hopeless flirt (awkward), or after simply reciprocating the friendly gesture, he will take offense to your lack of interest and call you “stuck up”…or other names.

WHERE IS THE LINE? Who’s at fault and how do we fix this?

But…….that’s my reply to Anthony’s Note/Blog. But where does the tension from black women towards other black women come from. It’s 1/20 times that I can smile or wave at a fellow black women and get a healthy response.

Once, months ago, I had a black woman speak to me and smile genuinely… I almost asked for her number(friendship), because I had never seen that before here in Omaha. I was astonished and it put a smile on my face.

Why does it seem so many black women put down instead of raising up? It’s as if it ails them to see another woman of color rise before they do? It deeply hurts me. Since the Civil Rights movement have we grown so far apart? Are we not family anymore? Is this what brothers are talking about when they say black women are difficult. Well I’m not. I love everyone. (Black, White, Blue, Green) ..and I’m here, ready, with a smile to give you for free.

Any other ethnicities have these problems amongst their own?

As Sister Souljah would say, “No Disrespect”. I’m just giving you my point of view. These are my experiences…

Where is the line? How do we fix this?

Peace upon and within you, K.Yasmin

4 comments on “Smiles are free?

  1. Smile Khalilah,
    It makes a difference in someone’s life always. He may have that arrogance yes, but it is only a response to your unconditional love. It is a defensive mechanism because they do not know how to deal with real love, for many people have grown up in a society of violence and meanness, so presented with an authentic smile which translates into unconditional love becomes a challenge: deep inside those people, there is a great feeling you have brought to them with your smile. A smile is to me someone telling me ” I love you stranger.” It feels good on my inside if someone smiles at me.
    I’m writing a song myself about a smile because I love to smile. An authentic smile will heal, it will make someone’s day, it will save a life, lives. It is not just you females who get rude responses to your smiles; black men are perceived weak if they smile.
    Every smile you give you change the world in your own way, so smile on.
    Much much love.
    Ismail
    Omaha NE

  2. Khalilah,

    a couple things quickly:

    i think the “baddest bitch” mentality, made popular by trina, i suppose, but originated in bootleg liquor days, i suppose, is at fault for the lack of smiles between women. long story short, i hate the word “bitch” because of the way the use of that word was modeled for me. so it’s not surprising that when many women refer to themselves as one that negative attitudes, in general, are displayed and expressed to even smiling strangers.

    my smile is my signature (dying to write a poem about that). actually, my smile is my daddy’s signature passed down to me (why this poem will be important to me). while the eyes are the windows, the smile, for me, authenticates any personal transaction; our meetings are void without it.

    keep the smile, Khalilah. God commanded to love our neighbors, but he never gauranteed reciprocity. with your smile, no meeting with others can ever be considered fraudulent.

    (yes, that was the “quick” version…i know, i know…)

  3. Thanks for your feedback Jeff! I appreciate it! This one got a LOT of feedback on Facebook as well. Check it out there! 🙂

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