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End of Racism and Women's Self Esteem

On Oprah today, she had guests Jay Z and Barbra Streisand.

It's interesting to me, how Jay z is an incredibly popular performer at 39 years old and quite the millionaire. We've come a long way in our culture. At my age, I remember Barbra Streisand as being the rising star and becoming the millionaire.

It's not like I haven't been exposed to rap. My son, in the 80's listened to it. Let me see now if I remember... M. C. Hammer something. Yes, I liked the beat and message.

Oprah and Jay Z discussed how rap seems to have done a great deal to help end racism. Not that it has ended, in my opinion, but we are on the way. I hope.

I recall when Rock n Roll came out, there were problems with some of the parents of my friends refusing to let their kids listen to it because of "where it came from". They meant that it derived from African-American culture. Back in those days the respectful word was "colored". I always thought of my crayola crayons at the time. Being from the city of Niagara Falls, I was raised, taught in school that not only there was no more slavery, but that there was no more racism. I was brought up by what was at the time, liberal parents, who had friends from the other side of town, but we never visited each other. I didn't think anything about it until seventh grade when Margaret, the only black girl in my class, invited everyone to her birthday party. I guess her family were hoping there wasn't any racism, too. I was the only white girl who showed up at the party. My parents were both at work and Mom, knowing I had a friend's party to attend, called a taxi to take me there. It never even occurred to me to mention Margaret's color. When the taxi driver and I arrived, he wouldn't let me out of the car because of the people who were standing on the porch to greet me. The owner of the taxi company knew my parents and told him to let me out. That was my first introduction to racism.

We've come a long way, but not far enough.

I liked seeing Jay Z's office, which he called his inner sanctum. Funny, that he said he never lets anyone in there, but here were the Oprah show cameras, and all of America, looking around his office. I reall liked what he said about inspiration and it makes me want to adopt similar. He has surrounded himself with art photos of people who inspire him. People who have succeeded in life, many of whom I admire tremendously.

I think I may have some others on my wall. Some famous authors, maybe. Some famous women, who can remind me a woman can do anything she wants. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Theresa, Queen Latifa, Hilary Clinton, Indira Ghandi, Whoopie Goldberg are a few who inspire me, and Oprah, too.

It was so much fun watching Jay Z teach Oprah how to Rap.

One thing Oprah and Barbra Striesand talked about was being able to accept the praise, adoration, popularity. Barbra said she couldn't accept it at first, until she was able to accept herself. I don't know how that is done. I think I have accepted myself all these years, but I have a hard time accepting compliments from people. Even just acknowledgements of something I have completed on behalf of others. In therapy session recently my counselor said how young I looked for my age. (Now, doesn't everyone say that to older women?) It's not that I do not believe the sincerity of my counselor. It's that I find it hard to accept that they don't know the real me. They don't know all my faults. It doesn't matter if it is about my appearance or if it is something I have accomplished. Maybe I'm a bit of a perfectionist, like Barbra Streisand. To me, I don't look good enough. I don't feel I'm put together like others, or take care of myself, or care about my outer appearance, because I don't. I don't wear make up, don't get my hair done. I even cut my own. Do nothing to make myself look better. Just too much trouble for me. It's the same when helping other people. I don't feel like I do enough. I help cancer patients. Just because I do it, to me, is not enough. I fall beneath my goals of helping. So, when something thanks me, or praises me for what I've done. Again, I'm sure that is the honest feeling of others and I don't dismiss their praise which I think is like calling someone a liar. I do thank people for their kind words. And it is a kindness to me. But, I have a hard time giving myself credit. I've never been one to take a bow. (I used to perform.) It all seems normal, or less than normal. I really must work on this, I suppose.

Well, I've gotten off the subject of Barbra Streisand and Oprah. Haven't I?

Barbra performed, and her voice sounded just as beautiful as ever. She was promoting her new album, "Love is the Answer". I went to Amazon to take a look. It has two discs. As with many Amazon music choices, I could listen to some excerpts. Yes, her voice is still fantastic. Wish I had some money to buy it. Even downloading the MP3 version is more than I can afford.

I noticed when I Googled "Barbra Streisand"  +"Love is the Answer" the first choice that came up was several of her songs that you can listen to for free on LaLa.com, so if you're like me and working with a shortage of cash, you can still enjoy.

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