Beautiful Baby Phat sistas

Jessica White

Model Jessica White from Buffalo, New York was discovered at the age of 16 in her hometown. She's worked for top fashion designers and is branching into movies.

Baby Phat hip hop fashion, Angela Bassett in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", Nia Long in Big Momma's House, or Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball". Or Serena Williams in command at Wimbledon, Tyra Banks steering would-be models to the runway, Beyonce or Mary J belting it out and hitting your gut. African American woman are strong and sexy, says Wahid Fala in his heartfelt homage to beautiful black women.

Now that America has elected its first black president, a brilliant, charming, young, and gracious man by the name of Barack Obama, it seems so yesterday to speak of white and black America. Surely, all Americans are American, no need to add black, African American, Korean, Irish, Indian, or any other label.

But if you have spent any time at all in America, you will know that the black and white worlds are light years apart. They speak the same language but often don't understand each other. Both sides are suspicious of the other. Neither wants to put a foot wrong, but both sides are constantly mis-stepping in each other's presence. Which makes it all the more remarkable that America, a sprawling, energetic country that has not yet healed the wounds of its troubled past, has elected an African American president.

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When Europe does the same, it can stop its bickering and sniping about America being unequal, unfair, and racist. America is moving forward. America is filled with hope. Even though industrial giants such as Chrysler and General Motors have teetered toward meltdown, Americans believe in their country, its citizens, and their president.

I had an insight into the cultural gulf that separates white and black America when I was invited to bring a group of white middle-class Americans to worship at a big inner-city African-American church. The cavernous church was packed. Up on stage the pastor was pacing across the full width of the dais, or stage. He was singing at the top of his lungs, a praise band was cooking in the background, and the congregation was sending him whoops and amens of encouragement. This was a community in celebration, proud of itself, proud of its pastor, and faithful to God. The church was alive, vital, energetic.

My white guests seemed not to get it. They did not know what to do. It was as though they needed a permission slip to move, sway, and relax. They were doing their very, very best to looked relaxed, but it was still that white thing of sitting and listening, expecting other people to entertain them. They couldn't take that step from observing to participation. It went against the grain of their upbringing and traditions.

White people are so used to being in the majority that they simply cannot relax when they are in a minority. They don't know the rules, they don't know what they're supposed, or allowed, to do. The behavior they're used to, so-called normal behavior, is suddenly not so normal, and they're stuck and anxious.

I hope all this is changing and healing. I hope people will be able to accept and even encourage each other's way of doing things, whether it's worshipping God, making music, doing business, or just doing your thing. There's no one right way and there's no one wrong way. Instead, there's a diversity of ways and approaches, all of which when added together make America great.

I met the woman, who was to be my soulmate and wife -- Angie was her name -- at one of those dreadful poetry slam events where performance artists confuse feigned anger and obvious rhymes with poetry and literature.

Angie was then a history and philosophy undergrad at Yale. She turned her nose up at the poetry slam whining and rhyming and addressed me with the words: "These so-called poets would be so much better if they just shut their mouths and read some good literature. Any loser can rhyme a line, but it takes talent and intelligence to move you with the depth of your thoughts and words."

Angie reminded me of a tough and somewhat rough-mouthed Lisa Bonet, her head a mass of stylish dreads, her wrists alive with bracelets. She wore a torn, red and back t-shirt which barely covered her stunning boobs.

I was unable to share Angie's love of Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. I tried, I acknowledged the importance and influence of these great men, but reggae just wasn't my thing. It failed to float my boat.

But we had an intimate meeting of minds over John Lee Hooker, the more basic the better: spoken, one or two chord blues where you had to strain to hear John Lee's words.

Mr Hooker had a way of making you feel what it is was to be in pain because you missed your woman, or you'd made your woman mad, you weren't getting any, you needed it and you were begging her, pleading with her to come on home, climb onto the big, bad bed and let you feed from her honey jar.

Being with Angie was serious pleasure. She had needs, and those needs took a man and athlete to satisfy. It didn't have to be fancy, it didn't always require a lot of preparing, romancing, and candles, but when you were on the job you were there to perform and please. Angi was demanding in a way a man wants a woman to be. I love her so much.


By Wahid Fala