Click Here to Give to the Mahogany Philly Annual Fund

12/19/2014

Mahogany Philly
Nurturing a vibrant community for women of color.

Dear Mahogany Philly Members and Allies,

Soon we will say goodbye to 2014 and hello to the third anniversary of Mahogany Philly.  In three short years we have grown into a robust organization with over 1400 members.  Our Annual Holiday Affair and Summer Picnic are now well-loved traditions that we enjoy sharing with you.  Mahogany Mamas have volunteered, registered voters, participated in credit repair workshops, attended fitness walks, shared Thanksgiving meals, worked to achieve goals, gone camping... and much more.  The members of our leadership team work hard to create fabulous events for our members.
From the onset Mahogany Philly has chosen not to charge dues.  We believe that there is value in nurturing community and want to be open to all women.  However, the reality is that it costs money to keep Mahogany Philly running.  We pay monthly dues to Meetup.com, put event deposits on our personal debit cards, buy small gifts and party favors for our members, and pay hosting fees to keep our website going.  These expenses add up.  This is why we ask for your help.  Your gift, big or small, can help us immensely.
We understand that you are not all able to give, and that is okay.  If just some of you understand the value of Mahogany Philly, you can help to keep us going strong.  A long range goal of Mahogany Philly is to create a community center in the city of Philadelphia that caters to women of color.  Think of it as the brick and mortar version of Mahogany Philly.  With your help, we can make this dream a reality.

Our current fundraising goal is $2250.  This sum will allow us to meet our short term financial obligations, begin saving, and create a borrowing pool for our directors.  That means that we will not have to say "no" to an opportunity that requires us to submit a hefty deposit before collecting funds from our members. 
You can give to the Mahogany Philly Annual Fund by visiting MahoganyPhilly.com now through February 7th.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Jamaica Yancy
Executive / Marketing Director
Mahogany Philly

Is Sexy Maternity Wear Okay?


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Dyanne Brown, MP Staff Writer
Beyoncé has come under fire for flaunting her sexuality following the birth of her daughter, but in a video discussing her latest album, she said, "Just because you become a mother, doesn't mean you lose who you are." And she’s is proving it in pictures, too. In one particular picture, Beyoncé is seen resting comfortably a lavish dressing room, wearing high heels and lingerie while a dress hangs on a hanger nearby as if it’s waiting to be worn by the pop star. She is smiling and staring at her daughter, who is distracted by a cellphone. It’s a laid back moment that you could imagine happening in anyone’s bedroom, but it sparked criticism and controversy when Beyoncé posted it to her Instagram account last month. 

Some questioned why Beyoncé was in a state of undress in front of her daughter. I can remember many times being watched by my mother while she was in the midst of getting ready for an event. It doesn’t seem abnormal to see a mother undressed in front of her own child. Perhaps, what sparked the uncomfortable feelings of viewers is the provocative nature of Beyoncé in her lingerie contrasted against her being in a tender moment as a mother with her child. This leads to a larger question about women’s sexuality and motherhood in general. The old expectation that a woman will become more demure once she becomes a mother seems to have disappeared in favor of a new expectation – mothers can be sexy. 


Society sends mixed messages about what is expected from women as mothers. A woman is judged if she doesn’t work hard to lose the weight from her pregnancy, yet that same woman may be considered obsessed if she loses weight too quickly after having the baby. If she’s out for a night, people think she should be home taking care of her baby. If she’s dressed in sexy clothing, her morals are questioned. If she’s dressed comfortably, she may be viewed as frumpy. 

More and more celebrities seem to have decided not to let pregnancy or motherhood define their sexiness. In the past, when celebrities were pregnant, you often didn’t see them in the later months of their pregnancy. Now, the media is obsessed with tracking the progression of a celebrity’s pregnancy and their choice in clothing to accommodate their weight gain. 

“Maternity clothes” and “sexy” are not usually juxtaposed. For the most part, maternity clothes are generally shapeless and do not accentuate the figure of a pregnant woman. Many celebrities have decided to forgo maternity clothes all together and instead alter designer clothing to fit their expanding frames. Tamar Braxton was praised throughout her pregnancy for being a style magnet. Kerry Washington is currently receiving praise for her daring style choices while pregnant, including a chic Prada crop top ensemble she wore to the SAG Awards this year. Increasingly, it seems that celebrities are finding ways to show that being pregnant doesn’t mean they have to give up their style. They have chosen to maintain their pre-pregnancy style throughout their pregnancy using creative styling, larger sizes and alterations. Celebrity style has the ability to influence the public. There has been a shift in the perception of maternity clothes to a preference for maintaining a sense of style during pregnancy. 

This change in perception does have its drawbacks, most notably adding pressure on women to maintain their sexiness during pregnancy and throughout motherhood. A woman’s body changes drastically during pregnancy and after. Not only does she gain weight, but her body’s functionality becomes more about the survival of her child than about attracting a mate. Once the baby arrives, she is more focused on caring for the needs of the child which leads to sleepless nights and exhaustion. If she suffers from post-partum depression, there are even more serious challenges to overcome following pregnancy. A woman faces a severe shift in how she views herself as a mother and how her body reacts and responds. If she’s breastfeeding, her breasts become more about feeding her child than about exciting her husband. “Sexy” may not be the first word that comes to a mother’s mind following pregnancy and into motherhood. This is not because of something imposed by society, but simply a natural progression that happens following such a shift in focus and lifestyle. 

Celebrity styling during pregnancy has opened up options for women in general. A woman can choose whether or not she wants to keep her style during pregnancy and throughout motherhood. For many women, it’s more about comfort and confidence than it is about sexiness. If a woman feels more comfortable still being viewed as stylish and sexy through her pregnancy, then she should embrace it. If she feels she should be more modest, then she should wear what makes her feel comfortable. The most important thing is that she feels good about herself so that her family benefits. A woman with the option to be who she wants to be a better mother; she has more love to give when she loves herself.

Poetic Pause: Saxe Joiner


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Saxe Joiner

Strange fruit rocking and swaying from the branches of a walnut tree    
Uniontown, South Carolina
Yet there’s no unity in the year-1865
Streets filled with the random smells of that peculiar scent

No it’s not homemade apple pie
As today headline reads-  
“Mulatto slave Saxe Joiner burned alive”

The event was set –
The arrangements made
Everyone in town had come out to see
Dressed in their Sunday finest
The ladies had brought a taste of their best cobbler recipes
Saxe Joiner punished for protecting the master’s lady
This robust skilled man of carpentry
Loyalty and ignorance his demise
Despised because of his hue
The mulatto - quadroon
Ridiculed

Crowds gathering at the viewing
Joiner’s melting body on display
His final words muttered
Broken misconstrued expressions,
“I didn’t want the Yankees to get madam”
He had built a safe house
Had made a way for her

The article reads,
As Joiner’s burning body hung from the tree,
The charismatic being
Swiftly conversing
Had foolishly considered them his peers, neighbors and friends
Joiner naively thinking he could reason with them
Had yet to realize his flesh was burning
Scorching red-hot his feet were on fire
Stripped bare his caramel flesh was glowing
The capturers had the mob mentality
By the court he had already been judged
Still they stormed his jail cell
However unfairly- they deemed his sentence too light
How dear he suggest to protect the one–

The porcelain queen  
Black men dying to steal her fragile delicacy
Paternalistic ideology –
Standing proud -
On a broken pedestal
Engulfed by the smells of
Fruit burning

Poor Saxe Joiner if only he hadn’t been taught to read and write
Thus today headline reads- “Mulatto slave Saxe Joiner burned alive”

By Antonia Abrams (2014)

Antonia Abrams, MP Staff Writer