TO LETTER-WRITER Len Trower:

I agree to a certain extent about black women thanking black men. But black men should also thank black women for putting up with their nonsense for years. We black women have been strong, for the most part - from slavery to now.

Contrary to your complaints, there are many black women who don't go to the Koreans and purchase hair and other things to emulate white women. Look at Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Pam Grier, just to name a few.

I'm a black woman who's extremely proud of her heritage and have been wearing my hair natural since the '60s. Black women do need to take some responsibility for their lives, but the black men should respect them like they respect the women of other races.

I'm not defending black people who get hooked on drugs, but are there any poppy fields in Harlem or Philadelphia? Where are the drugs coming from and how are they appearing in the neighborhoods?

I've seen black men hook up with women of different races who weigh over the limit that you've proclaimed about black women, and I don't see you men complaining about their weight. I love my sisters more than anything, but the brothers have to look at the sisters for their inner beauty. I know that being overweight can be a problem for some men, but it also applies to men.

Black women are the backbone of the black man, and black men are the backbone of black women. So respect each other for their inner beauty and don't make so much of their physical appearance.

Lora Neal, Philadelphia

MR. TROWER, I feel that from your letter regarding us black women that you are in a lot of pain, deep-seated, bitter pain.

So maybe some wig-wearing, obese black woman has done you wrong? "For Colored Girls" is a poem/play/movie - in other words, entertainment!

Why all the negative comments toward black women? Who left you to tell us how to spend our hard-earned money? Why is it up to you to tell us what we need to do to better outselves? How about you get a mirror? You have a lot of work to do on yourself, my brother.

Putting so many toxic sentences together and painting us all with the same brush clearly shows it's not us, but you! Just as I would never judge all black men as the same, you should not do the generalization thing, either.

So what if I want to wear a wig? Why do you take offense at that? Just because I choose a hairstyle does not mean that makes me anything other than what I was born, a black woman.

Truth be told, I can sometimes wear two wigs at the same time. And it's still none of your business!

I also practice a 90-minute yoga class four of five times a week and, baby, there ain't nothing obese about me!

I'm a true lady, and my male friends would stand in line to confirm that for you. Len, I just have some plain and simple advice to you and for you: Get over your anger, my brother.

Please don't judge all black women by that movie. We are an entire race of different sizes, colors, personalities, and we should be judged on that alone! It just ain't that kind of party, my friend.

Ajay Jones, Philadelphia