The Real Housewives of Atlanta – History Lessons

We’ve seen new Bravo Housewives give all sorts of excuses explanations for joining the casts of the various franchises.  They tell us that they’re bringing awareness to their various causes and foundations, that they want to help people, or that they just want to promote whatever product they’re selling.  Kenya Moore and Porsha Stewart, the two new members of the Atlanta Housewives, aren’t any different.  More than that, though, they’re incredibly self-absorbed, immature, completely clueless, and more than a bit delusional.    Kenya is living in the past, partly in her glory days and partly in the past she made up.  Porsha, on the other hand, has no idea what happened in past.  She’s completely caught up in her present day life and seems to have no idea as to what her family’s history really means.

Kenya Moore likes to talk about her title, Miss USA of 1993, not Miss America, thank you very much.  Get that wrong and you’ll never hear the end of it.   Her Miss USA crowning  and the fact that she’s a black businesswoman make her a part of history, at least that’s how she sees it.   Vanessa Williams is her idol, the first African-American to become Miss America.  Kenya was the second woman of color to take the Miss USA title, with Carol Gist as the first in 1990.   Miss Kenya loves to tell everyone just what she means to the history books.  The beauty queen thing is just a speed bump when it comes to the significance of her accomplishments.   To drive home the point, Kenya has claimed her place on a different list, right after JFK, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  Somebody better explain that to me, because  I’m missing where and how she fits on that roster.   I would have thought that she’d be better off counting herself among strong and successful black women, like Oprah Winfrey, Shirley Chisholm and Marion Wright Edelman,  but Kenya in Kenya-land sees things her own way.

Seeing things through her Kenya glasses means that she not only makes history, but makes some of it up as she goes along.  Take her version of “Gone With The Wind”, for example.  She’s been twirling and pirouetting all over Anguilla, happily announcing that she’s “Gone With The Wind fabulous”.    She even threw herself onto the beach, a scene that left me lwondering if she was going to raise a conch shell towards the Heavens, stating, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”   Her GWTW  must be a remake starring Vanessa Williams as Scarlett O’Hara.   I don’t know how to break it to her, but there was nothing fabulous in that book or movie for the plight of Mammy or Prissy.   Hattie McDaniel was fabulous and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, but that’s about as far as I can stretch it when it comes to a book or movie about the Civil War, and the role of African-Americans in our nation’s history.

I looked at Kenya’s website to see if I could find what college she attended, but when I tried to read her bio it scrolled by faster than the production and crew credits on my television.   I made up some history for Kenya, instead.   She must have gotten her degree at the University of Pageants, majoring in Beauty Queen History with a minor in Twirling and Waving.   One of the textbooks had to have been written by Vanessa Williams, which she had signed and then gave to Cynthia, to pass along her knowledge, with a touch of fabulous.   I can’t think of another reason for why she learned very little about real history, while giving herself permission to be so haughty, callous and dismissive of other women.

As for Porsha, well, she doesn’t have any excuse for her own bad behavior.  She had the gift of a personal tutor with real-life knowledge of  America’s black history.  Her grandfather, Hosea Williams, was a part of that history, a man who locked arms with Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young in marches through Montgomery and St Augustine.  He was arrested 125 times during the period leading up to and beyond the Civil Rights Acts.  He, along with John Lewis, was beaten and tear-gassed as they led 600 fellow protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge into Selma – a day that became known as “Bloody Sunday”.    Sadly, he was among those who was with Dr. King and witnessed his assassination  at the Lorraine Motel.

Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ralph Abernathy
on the Balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis

This New Year’s Day marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln’s brilliant document that not only helped slaves find freedom, but that changed the course and purpose of the Civil War.   It would take another 100 years before African-Americans would break down more barriers – to vote, to desegregate schools, to sit at the counter, to ride somewhere other than in the back of the bus.   This work was done, in part, thanks to men like Hosea Williams.   All of those good and brave men and women wanted nothing more than for their children and grandchildren to live in a country where  people treated each other with respect and kindness.

I can’t imagine what Mr. Williams would think of his granddaughter’s appearance on a Bravo reality show.   Oh, she tosses his name around for her own purposes and holds fundraisers for the Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless foundation, but I’m not sure she really understands what that legacy means.   She has some pretty big shoes to fill and a lot more work to do.   I don’t think her grandfather, and the men who suffered to make a better world for her, and all of the men and women like her, could watch and be happy as Kenya and Porsha fight with and curse at each other.   They didn’t face down the Ku Klux Klan and the police and National Guardsmen only to have their grandchildren refer to each other as “tramps”, “low-class whores” and “hood rats”.   These women might want to take a look at the real history that brought them to where they are now, to the things they enjoy and seemingly take for granted.   And when they’re at a function to raise money to feed the poor and homeless,  they should think about how many meals that Chanel bag could’ve provided and how none of those hungry people  care whether you’re Miss America or Miss USA.   They’ll just thank you for the fabulous food and for Hosea Williams.  That beats a designer bag and a tiara, any day.



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20 Responses to The Real Housewives of Atlanta – History Lessons

  1. LaineyLainey says:

    this is good.

    • Beckygray1 says:

      Very impressive. This is why I love your blog. Too bad we cann’t let Porsa and Kenya read this article/blog

  2. Donna says:

    I remember Kenya saying she went to Wayne State College, which is located in Detroit. It has a very good reputation.

  3. Morning all…. anymore watching hotlanta I feel more and more of my brain cells being fried…. and the strip club scenes… OMG …. unreal….the look on apollos face was well…. he really seemed to be enjoying himself… I still dont understand wth he was talking about with his speel about being JUVIAL ????
    and for your viewing pleasure… miss GONE WITH THE WIND herself….btw…she majored in psychology in college… ummmm really !!!!!!!

    hugs and peace


    • Beckygray1 says:

      If you every get an opportunity to watch “In Living Color” there is a skit on there about a man in jail. He using all these “big” words and tries to seem intelligent. That’s the language Apollo was speaking. lol

  4. Donna says:

    humm just had to google her,,, Cass Tech also has an excellent reputation.

  5. Eastbayca says:

    Kenya Moore could be picking up where Kelly Bensimon left off.

  6. melthehound says:

    Even though I’m not technically In or From Detroit, I was quite disheartened to learn one day that Miss Coochie Crack was from Detroit. A further stain on the image of what once was, a great city and an addition to the armpit of the nation appearance of it. It appears as though she may have attended Wayne State at about the same time I did (I started late). I don’t watch this show anymore but do read the comments about it.

    If the goals of these women is to represent something I have to say they need to re-evaluate what they are representing. All I see when I look at Any of these HWs these days is their specific stereotypes put forth in everlasting Bravo permanent reality. None of those stereotypes are good ones either. I tend to believe that these shows are little more than 48 minute infomercials with real commercials mixed in to fill out the hour so that Bravo can justify continuing the drama for next week.

    As usual Empress, excellent job. I even managed to learn something.

    • mth, Knowing that Kenya shares your alma mater must be like rubbing salt in the wound. I’ll spread the rumor that she really did go to Pageant U and see if it sticks. As for the infomercial trend with Bravo – I like(d) Lisa Vanderpump, but given the previews for her restaurant spinoff, I’m changing my opinion.
      Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

    • Beckygray1 says:

      Just as a note, there is no such thing as a good stereotype. Anything that lumps people together and assumes that they all have simulate character thus making them all the same is unacceptable.

  7. Lisa Renee says:

    Empress, what a fantastic blog. I love how you juxtaposed actual history & pride with the fauxality of TV & the shameful behavior of both Kenya & Portia. The GWTW reference from Kenya, no words. So a red petticoat to twirl while being a slave is fabulous? Its like making a Titanic reference when embarking on a cruise. The women of color who made her sash & tiara possible can’t be happy. As for the other one, she may have more success feeding people everyday of the year once she masters the calendar & realizes 265 days leave her 100 days short for people who need help. The Chanel bag at her fundraiser/birthday party was in poor taste & proof to me she has no clue what her family legacy really is about. Great post to end the year on. Bring on 2013 & all you will have to say about it, Lisa

    • Lisa, Oh my, the dear calendar-challenged Porsha. After watching last night’s episode, all I can say is that for those other 100 days – “let them eat (cheese) cake”. 😉
      I’m sure 2013 will provide plenty of topics for us.

  8. Kaereste says:

    I’m surpised hasn’t Kenya mentioned that an entire country in Africa is named after her.

  9. Kaereste says:

    Honestly both those women are so ridiculous it is just embarrassing – to them.

    I feel a little sorry for Kenya because her stormy personality has probably ruined every relationship or friendship she has ever had. I have an acquaintance who is equally overbearing and brittle and she just can’t understand why she has never had a sucessful relationship. Really.

    For the life of me I can’t understand what Kordell Stewart sees in Porsha (not Portia – that’s Kyle’s little girl). Porsha is a spoiled brat. She isn’t very attractive, smart, funny or charming. I don’t think much of his intellect either but a “name” like Kordell should have been able to score a gorgeous well accomplished woman. All he has is a whiney dim bulb with Betty Boop eyebrows who plays house serving Costco pies in the middle of the day.

    Peter and Cynthia are starting to look classy. Weird. I know.

    • I have to give you credit for feeling sorry for Kenya. I picture her, years from now, carrying a sign that says “Somebody Marry Me – I’m Begging You”, with a pic of her as 1993’s Miss USA.
      Kordell may have thought her “name” was a score, too, but sometimes the apple falls some distance from the tree. (Betty Boop eyebrows and Costco pies, indeed)
      “Peter and Cynthia are starting to look classy” – LOL! I keep wondering what happened to the Peter from last season. Was he kidnapped and replaced with this rather likable man? Yep, weird.

      • Just Wondering in Jersey says:

        Perhaps the change in Peter has something to do with the fact we have not seen Cynthia’s sister this year?

        Happy New Year everyone.

  10. Ya’ll bet that village in Africa full of twins and yams ain’t in Kenya! hahahaha.

    Dat Kenya just beggin to be Mrs. Tow Truck….
    What happen’d? Mr Limo and Mr Rent A Car already married?

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