The B-Word By Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Africana.com February 10, 2004
A little more background on the history of this word: According to The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, "The word bitch became a naughty word in Christian Europe because it was one of the most sacred titles of the Goddess, Artemis-Diana, leaders of the Scythian alani or 'hunting dogs.'...In Christian terms, 'son of a bitch' was considered insulting not because it meant a dog, but because it meant the devil – that is, a spiritual son of the pagan Goddess."
Kiss and Tell By Liz Langley, AlterNet February 12, 2004
If you dote on your sweetheart, if your emotional well-being depends on them, if you suffer as much as you soar, you're not crazy – you're a normal person in the grips of love.
Three words: dopamine, norephinephrine, serotonin.
Love ... less as an emotion, like sadness, and more as a drive, like hunger, a need built into us for survival.
The Other L-Word. By William Jelani Cobb, Africana.com February 12, 2004
The truth is that marriage and family were extremely important to enslaved black people – despite the obvious difficulties that confronted their relationships. Slave marriages were given no legal recognition, but slaves constructed binding traditions of their own. In addition to "jumping the broom," they also presented each other with blankets whose acceptance indicated that they were now considered married within the community. Others, who could not find a willing clergyman or who had been denied permission to marry, simply married themselves. Still, recognition of their union was important enough that ex-slaves besieged the Freedman's Bureau with requests for marriage ceremonies after emancipation. Three Mississippi counties accounted for 4627 marriages in a single year. The end of slavery also brought with it literally thousands of black people wandering throughout the South in search of husbands and wives who had been sold away from them.
Prior to emancipation, individuals went to great lengths to maintain their relationships. One of the most common causes of slave escapes was to see loved ones on distant plantations. One man set out before sunrise each Sunday morning and walked the entire day to spend a few hours with his wife before having to walk back in time to begin the next day's work. George Sally, enslaved on a sugar plantation in Louisiana, ignored the slaveholder's demands and left to visit his wife – an offense for which he was arrested. (He later stated that he did not mind being arrested for seeing his wife.)
The Fellowship of the Ring. By Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet February 12, 2004
In these emancipated times, even the age-old symbol of sexual superiority is no longer the exclusive preserve of the smugly hitched – if the savvy marketers have their way. The diamond ring is instead a badge of freedom – but only when you wear it on your right hand. "Your left hand declares your commitment. Your right hand is a declaration of independence," declares the DeBeers print ad. "Women of the world, raise your right hand."