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How We Learn and How it Affects Black Women

When it comes to learning, everyone is different. Some enjoy it and others loathe it. You may love biology but hate chemistry. It happens, one of the reasons for this comes down to how we learn. If the brain is properly engaged, you can be learning and not even realize it. The trick is finding out how your brain gathers and stores information.

The brain experts have concluded that there are seven different styles of learning. The following is a quick breakdown of each one.

The top three visual,aural, and verbal are the most known; but we actually learn in all seven styles. Just in different order and differing degrees depending on the person. I have three brothers and one of the things my parents use to get upset about were our grades. We were all smart but my brothers grades didn't always reflect that. However if it was a subject that interested them and it was taught a certain way, they shined. So that was my first introduction to how we learn things.

My personal learning mix is verbal, aural, logical, and solitary. While the other three are present, those four are the fastest way I learn. It is reflected in how I study, my interests, relationships and how I live my life. It is proven that women are more verbal learners, while men are more visual. Since more school systems are verbally oriented this is one reason why women excel more academically. It is even reflected in our entertainment. For example what is the difference between a romance novel and a mens magazine. There really is no difference, they are both serving the same purpose to stimulate our sexual desire and fantasy. However the presentation is different because of how we are stimulated.

Now that we know how we learn, let's look into how it can be used to affect us. One of the things that affect us as dark skinned black women is colorism. In effect it is internal racism, but how was it taught to us.

There is no visual representation of dark skinned black women at least not in a positive way. The majority of pictures we see tend to be of older grandmother types or cute little girls, that is as positive as it gets. Grown women are either shown as sexual objects, or aggressive, unkempt, lazy,etc. We are never shown in a winning light, but we are always losers. This type of programming is geared toward men and boys.

Look at the words that are used to describe dark skinned black women. Tar baby, mud, charcoal, ugly, nappy hair, beady beads, aggressive, uncouth, etc. They are all negative words with negative connotations. Even though we are not as visual as our male counterparts, we still don't have any true representation of ourselves. So we are just in limbo between childhood and elderly. It's like the adult dark skinned black woman doesn't exist, unless of course we are sexual objects. This type of programming is geared toward women and girls.

One way of combining all of this is when we are young children. All those children programs we allow our kids to sit for hours and watch. They combine all the learning styles, so young boys are shown pictures of white girls or light skinned women. The music is always happy and they are decribed as cute,pretty,beautiful, long hair. If they have one actual black child, it is usually a male child. Again they are courageous, strong, protect their friend, etc. Where is the representation for a dark skinned girl, not present. And when one does pop up, it's in a negative light, they are poor, fat, not trustworthy, mean, etc.

We are learning these things in our formative years, by the time we get to 5 or 6 our personalities are formed. So are our images of ourselves, and this is what we basically play out into our adult lives. Which is then reenforced in society. So when black men talk about colorism, it does not affect them the same way because their image of the black woman is competing against thousands of repetitions of white or light skinned women. In other words, their mom and sister are the only images against this onslaught of white and light purity. We all know that men don't date their moms and sisters.

Women on the the other hand suffer from omission, out of sight out of mind. However the verbal rethoric is alive and well. We don't have to see it to feel it, there is no counter balance. We only have our mothers and sisters and again one image against many. And as is the norm we are never in our natural state. We are like the Loch Ness monster, no proven pictures but plenty of myth and stories abound. Which are then taken as fact, is it any wonder why we question ourselves.

A girlfriend said to me "You are lucky that you were born in Jamaica. Because you got to see positive images of black women and black people." At the time I didn't understand, but I do now. In my formative years, I was surrounded by a society that reflected me, and my history. While it was not perfect, all types of dark skinned women were represented. And the words used to describe them were beautiful ,gorgeous, intelligent, respected and many were in their natural state of beauty. So I thought it was like this every where until I moved here. My sense of self was and still is greatly informed by those 8 years.

Unfortunately, this is changing in this age of technology and globalization. This is why we need magazines like this, this is why having our own economy is important. This is why home schooling is important, this is why black anything is important because we cannot counter something if we have nothing.

Moonfreesun – “My favorite color is blue, and my favorite food is coconut. I love to read, write,listen to music, play video games, swim, travel, and spend time with family and friends. My interests include: books, electronics, sports, science, food, knowledge and people.”

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