What’s going on?!

 


This week’s blog was originally going to be about my break from social media, but in light of recent events, who would I be if I didn’t use my platform to talk about something that affects my community and my heritage? I am sadden that I do not see many brands speaking out on the recent killings, but I am happy to see certain celebrities in the streets doing the marches and making an effort to see change to fruition.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice every where.-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is bigger than all of us.  This change needs to happen for the children. It feels like between Martin Luther King’s assassination and President Obama being elected the change that was taking place just fell stagnant. The hate began to grow and became something that has been brewing beneath the surface for a while now.

Black-Lives-Matter-quotesI see a lack of understanding and empathy. The one thing every human being goes through is struggle. My struggle may not look like yours, but we have all struggled at one point or another. We all have the ability to empathize with each other over our different struggles. At this moment in time, why is it so hard to empathize that one particular group is hurting and struggling and needs help? America can acknowledge that when it comes to world hunger, disease, or even allying with nations to take down Hitler, but when a particular group is being slowly eradicated in their homeland, America turns a blind eye.  We scream till we have no voice that #BlackLivesMatter only to be negated and told ‘no, you’re wrong #AllLivesMatter.’ Do they? Because the group that is being harmed is an obvious sign that they don’t all matter. I wouldn’t go to a breast cancer march and yell #ProstateCancerMatters! no only would that be disrespectful, but it would interrupt the cause at hand. Yes, we know it needs help, but right now breast cancer is taking women down at an alarming rate, lets heal this first and then we can help you. So, yes Duh #AllLivesMatter but until Black Lives are included in All Lives, lets heal that wound first. What is most frustrating about this statement is the refusal to see that there is a problem.

“If you stick a knife nine inches into my back and pull it out three inches, that is not progress. Even if you pull it all the way out, that is not progress. Progress is healing the wound, and America hasn’t even begun to pull out the knife.”-Malcolm X

It’s no secret that police brutality on blacks is very common, dating further back than Rodney King’s violent and excessive beating by police that caused the Watts Riots to the hanging of black men in the public for even looking at a white woman. Justice has never really been served for the black community.  But how can it in a system, or world that has set us up to fail from the beginning?

marvin-gayes-quotes-6Let’s give a real history lesson and not the one they make look real pretty in the education system.-if they even still teach that, but I digress that’s a completely different blog post-
Being slaves for over 4oo years was damaging enough- Let’s not get into the effects that can have on a people- Only to get freedom and that’s it. Now the slaves where free with no food, no home, and no money.  What were they going to do to survive? Sharecropping! This worked 3 ways-

  1. Workers can rent plots of land from the owner for a certain sum and keep the whole crop.
  2. Workers work on the land and earn a fixed wage from the land owner but keep some of the crop.
  3. No money changes hands but the worker and land owner each keep a share of the crop.

This sounds like a good idea until you throw in the bitterness the slave owner felt for now having to form some sort of agreement with his slaves and the fact that the terms were completely left in the hands of the slave owner for most of these slaves had no education and were not business savvy. Essentially, they became more in debt than actually being able to earn a living –sound familiar? Somehow the newly free slaves managed to get by living on very little, but now segregation and Jim Crow laws are in effect and well we all know that story. Tack on over 60 years of segregation, the civil rights movement and earning the right to vote in 1965- my mother was born in 1966, is this hitting home yet?- and now we are here. People want to throw up how slavery was so long ago, and it was but what about segregation? There are people still alive and well who can remember in detail the civil rights movement. That can remember in detail the first black kids to go to am all white school. who can remember in detail not being able to vote.

1539b773805ba541ec8465e93f949057On paper, it does seem like that was long ago. In reality it was not that long ago. My generation would be the first to grow up with a fully integrated society and racism not so in your face- but trust and believe it is there- which is why I think it’s a little harder for people to grasp that there is a problem because we’ve been walking around blind to it.
So what can we do to see this change to fruition?
I’m so glad you asked! We have been systematically taught one way. In order to begin a change we have to restructure the systems way of teaching. Or in the words of Jesse Williams “Restructure the function”. I wish there was a right or wrong answer for this, but unfortunately there is not a manual we can pull out that tells us how to fix the machine. Here are some things that would be a great start:

“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality”-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. Voting.
    In 1965 African Americans were given the right to vote. Our ancestor lost their lives for this right so how dare you not exercise your right?! Here the gag though, I was never taught how to vote. I will be the first to admit, I only voted for the president and blindly clicked on whatever name sounded good for the House and the Senate. – Actually the first time I went to vote for the president I didn’t even know we had to vote for the house and senate. – Educate yourself on what elections are going on within your community. This is very important. Not only does the presidential election matter, but your local elections matter even more. These are the elections that directly affect your day to day life. Make sure you know who you are voting for. This is huge! Remember a leader is nothing without the right team and vice versa.

 

2. Getting our officers to know the community.
If you saw your local police officers out of uniform would you know them? Do you only see them when you’re getting pulled over or needing emergency help? This is like the child that only gets disciplined hard by one parent, eventually they will begin to resent that parent. I think it’s crucial to know who is protecting us. I realize some cities are bigger than others and it may be a little harder to do so but I think –dare I say this- it’s a major key to breaking down that barrier. Also, we need officers to break the mold and stand up when they know an officer is wrong or when a situation should have been handled different. They never admit their fault. Any good leader will tell you in order to lead, you have to admit when there was a mistake made and how you are going to rectify the mistake. If you cannot do that, no one will ever trust the system. Kudos to the governor of Minnesota for publicly admitting the situation could have been handled better.

 

Black-Business-Statistics

3. Building and uplifting black owned businesses.
Why are we so hell bent on not helping each other? I see it so often in other cultures. Asians, Indians, Hispanics hell even white people will band together and help their families, but black people FORGET IT! You are on your own. We make fun of the Hispanics and the Asians for being huddle in a small house but who is coming out on top? We need to learn to build each other up and not tear each other down. We are told by too many people that we will never amount to anything, let’s not do that to each other. Get out and support black owned businesses. Maybe if we can raise enough awareness, those that can’t seem to get a job because of their background and begin to make money the legal way.

 

Graduates stand for the anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during 2014 commencement ceremonies at Howard University in Washington May 10, 2014. Entertainer Sean Combs delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree in Humanities during the ceremony. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: EDUCATION ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY) - RTR3OLDN

  1. Educate yourself
    I cannot preach this enough. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Be a sponge absorb everything! you may not need education to be in the field you’re in? So what! Learn anyway it helps you grow as a person. Learn culture. You don’t necessarily have to be in a classroom to learn. Stop relying on these facebook articles to teach you –and teach you the wrong thing- do your research. Stop spreading propaganda. Pick up a book and let your imagination grow. Hate reading? Listen to audible. It’s too many resources out here to not educate yourself. Give a HBCU a try. –I recommend doing your research before just trying ANY HBCU- however our colleges are becoming a thing of the past because we are losing the resources to keep them open due to attendance. Educate yourself on current legislator and laws being passed. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! A fool can be easily lead and manipulated. Trust people count on that.

“Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.” -Jesse Williams

  1. The media
    If there is one thing I could change within my own power it would be the media and its carelessness for the families of the slain. The coverage the media provides does more harm than good in some cases. Following the 2 shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, there was very little national media coverage on it UNTIL the shooting in Dallas took place and all of a sudden it was around the clock coverage. They were more concerned with Hilary Clintons email-which were important but all day coverage? ALL DAY?!- Than they were about the developments of the two shootings that were clearly affecting communities. The way African Americans are portrayed in the media is disgusting. African Americans are instantly labeled as thugs and criminals. They will put up a mug shot and dispel their criminal history- or allege they have one- before they offer condolences, while Caucasians are depicted as mentally unstable and shown as a model citizen after a mass shooting. This is another form of systematic racism. And it needs to change today!

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Lastly, divided we fall united we stand. Gain some understanding for one another. There’s people out here trying to understand and asking what may seem like dumb question, but some people really are that blind. For some people they see only sunshine and rainbows, while others see thunderstorms and rain. Don’t tear them down listen to understand and not just to reply- Gosh that’s my biggest pet peeve- get out of your own agenda and listen for a second. We truly have to be able to have a dialog in order to come together. If we can’t have an open honest dialog with one another if we can’t put to use the basic function of conversation we will never get anywhere. Break down that barrier.

“There really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unless someone rises up to tell you the truth.”- Louis Farrakhan

I would love to hear from you. These were just things I think could be done to move forward, but I’m sure there are many more. Let’s open a dialog and discuss. Please note I will delete hateful comments.

 

The Blacker The Berry…

black is be    Growing up we are all self conscience of something. Some of these things we eventual grow out of and some things we hold on to. We may bury it and carry it with us wherever we go, or we choose to let it out and try to overcome it and work through it. I wrote a blog not too long ago titled flaws and all- if you haven’t, stop reading and go check that blog out.- I talk about how my flaws are my beauty. It’s what makes me unique; it’s what makes me different. What I failed to mention was the flaw that took me the longest to overcome.

I love who I am. It took me so long to become comfortable and unapologetic with whom I am. It also took me a long time to figure out who I was, who I wanted to be and who I aspired to become. We all go through situations that shape and mold us to whom we are presently and who we will become. My main purpose was to talk about those situations that may be difficult to talk about, but people could relate to. To use my voice to expose deep issue that we I go through in life. I’ve been through a lot. More than meets the eye. To understand it we have to go to the beginning.

beautiful“Being a dark skinned black girl is a part of me. It’s something that I can never change, but I always wanted to.

I grew up in a neighborhood where it wasn’t exactly the hood, but it wasn’t middle class either. It was where they would put the elderly or disabled and every now and again, if you were lucky enough, they would place the people who didn’t seem like “hood rats”. Every now and again a select few slipped through the cracks. For the most part, it was a quiet neighborhood, but it was still the hood.

I went to a predominately white school. Sometimes I would be the only black kid in the class. If I got lucky there would be two of us, but I would be the only one that was aware.- I was very much aware that I came from a different background.-

My grandmother and mother always made it a point to teach me and my brother how to be proper, to have manners, and to never be a product of your environment. –be of the world, but not in it.

This made the kids in my neighborhood treat me as an outsider. Not only did I carry myself like I was above the hood, but I was pretty …for a dark-skinned girl. It’s funny; I always thought that phrase was a compliment. For a dark-skinned girl. Like the color of my skin somehow tarnished my beauty. Like I was less than. Like lighter skin was inferior to mine. The color of my skin somehow made me the scum. I was the blackest, or the darkest they had seen, so I must be the lowest of individuals. Forget my intellect, or my wisdom, or even my contributions to the world. Forget my degrees, my etiquette, or my beauty. No I’m dark skinned, I am not worthy of such status or accomplishments or education.

6a7d11960e9bb92d83727a4ecc737f24The white kids from school they accepted me until they became aware. I remember it like yesterday. It was my birthday and like any little girl in elementary school, I wanted to have a big birthday party and a sleepover. My mother worked her ass off to make sure I had it. After the party was over it was time to go back to my house for the sleepover. It was me and my 3 best friends, who all happened to be white.

In my neighborhood all the houses looked the exact same. Red brick one the outside with heavy metal doors. The inside had cylinder bricking all painted ivory. My mother was a great decorated, one of her many trades, and she always had the places hooked up. You never felt like you were in project housing when you were in our house, at least if you were from there.

My friends noticed right away. They each one by one started to feel scared. Before night fell they had each called their parents to pick them up, some even crying.

I hated myself even more. I began even harder to conform, to blend in, and to fit in. I knew if I could just get rid of my dark skin that they would love me.

it-isnt-a-matter-of-black-is-beautiful-as-much-as-it-is-white-is-not-all-thats-beautiful-quote-1The teachers picked on me. And when my mother would have my classes moved, the teachers would talk to each other and it would get even worse. My mother eventually withdrew me from the school and I went to stay in Texas with my grandmother.

This school was more diverse. My teacher was a young petite lady. My best friend was Asian and I wasn’t the only black kid in class, in fact if memory serves me right there were more black kids than white.

The kids there didn’t care about your skin color. I loved it there. I began to discover who I was beyond my skin color.

My days there were numbered. My grandmother could no longer care for me, she had a lot going on and was about to move to go back to school for another degree. I hated to leave. I felt so free there. It felt like where I should be.

When I came back home I had a “take no shit from no one” attitude. I went back to the same school with the same issues as a different person. I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind for fear I wouldn’t be accepted. My new best friend was black, and he was unapologetically black. He helped me develop what my mom liked to call “the black girl attitude.” I was going to need it; the next chapter of my life was middle school and if I thought things were bad before. Well they were about to get worse.”

naturalblackwomanThats from something special I’m working on. Looking back now, I wish I would’ve told myself you are fine, you are beautiful, your black is beautiful! I wish I would’ve loved myself more. And realized that God knew exactly what he was doing when he decided to make me dark-skinned. I wish I could have told myself its them not me. I wish I could’ve learned sooner that its ok not to fit in and to stand out means more than I could ever know. I wish I would’ve realized sooner that the whole world would be trying to obtain this coco butter brown skin. I wish I had a crystal ball that I could see this day and age trying to obtain all the features I was naturally born with.

I’m glad I know now. I’m proud to wake up every morning and have this gorgeous shade of brown skin. And I hope anyone reading this knows too. We were not made to be put in a box and considered the same. We were not made to feel inferior to others. We were not made to conform.

We were made beautifully flawed. We were made beautifully

#BlackLivesMatter                                #MyBlackIsBeautiful5dc2d0c77ba94b147ae8a55df7b5d743
P.S Go check out my last video –
The Downside to Social Media

P.S.S go check the video out for this blog here! The Blacker the Berry

I Know What He Likes

So I was interested to know what men are attracted to, what things stand out the most. For me, most of my blogs are lately I have been written from my point of view, with some input from my circle of friends. This time I wanted to get my males opinion. I asked them series of questions and gathered a good idea of what the typical established male is looking for.

What feature they found attractive to the opposite sex?
dsfghjkNow I’m not going to lie, I thought I would get the typical answers like she gotta have a fat ass, big titties, small waist etc., but oh I was reassured that there is hope for us grown females that are still searching for that grown man! The top answers I got were that men want someone who carries themselves well. Size really didn’t matter to them as long as you could carry yourself well with that size, clothes that fit be put together. My favorite answer was realness. In a world where everything is becoming so fake some men still value realness. I’m not talking the personality trait, but rather the hair and nails. The other answers I got were approachable down to earth and nice teeth.

Next I asked if they prefer a specific race?
vghjkNow I did this for a couple reasons. I as a dark skinned African American woman seem to sometimes get over looked if I’m standing next to someone of light color. I have always had friends that are of the yellow bone complexion and although I didn’t find a couple of them more attractive than me – TIMEOUT- let’s not sit here and pretend that we don’t compare ourselves to the next chick even our friends. We don’t like our friend cause they’re extra fine it’s their personality, but you can bet your bottom dollar if you had to go up against her in looks you knew if you would fail or win in that category SOMEBODY gotta be the ugly friend,-TIME IN- but they always seemed to win even with jacked up teeth! So imagine my shock when I asked the question and got… NO SPECIFIC TYPE. Wait what?!?! Now maybe this has to do with the grown man putting away his childish ways, because lets be real to only date a certain type of skin color and not give other women a chance is very childish, because to love a person has nothing to do with their skin color- if only America could learn that-
imagesasdfgNow being the single woman that I am, I asked if there were any tips or advice they had on getting chose., for a relationship/wife. And by far the best answer I got I have to share verbatim “A woman shouldn’t wasn’t to be chose, she should was to be cherished. Being chose is like saying you are being selected off a shelf with others which in turns devalues woman’s worth.” Now I completely agree with this answer. We as women should demand to be cherished. However, for us single ones you often wonder is there something I’m doing wrong that I could do different to change my outcome? Another answer that I liked was “Men will treat you how you come off as you want to be treated”. In oher words, post a thirsty picture, you know the one half naked, showing that ass off, and a dog will surely pant in heat. The best way to be on your way to a relationship is to be yourself and to be open. It’s as simple as that.

imagesweNow ladies listen up, because this may help you change your ways! More than anything males hate an attention whore. That was my number one answer to turn offs. Don’t be that female in the club loud as hell for no reason; no one likes that female, she just good for entertainment. You heard it here first. Secondly, being closed- minded, gossipy, lack of confidence and argumentative. Let’s be honest, I can’t be around anybody with these traits, energy level is so negative it has to be hard to have to come home to someone like that.

Lastly I asked what were personality traits that were turn ons, and turn offs. I found that what it boils down to his someone who shares the same interest they have. I think this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, if you don’t share the same interest but forth some effort to. If that fails lord help you! Pick up the slack in other areas like having good convo, fashionable, goal oriented etc.

I learned a lot just from these simple questions, Did you?
I would like to give a HUGE thank you to the men that participated in this blog it absolutely means the world to me to have your support! To my ladies, if you get nothing else out of this blog, take this away; be you! He who is for you will accept you as you are even your weird little corks that you think no one finds interesting. Be open and always be independent, in the sense that you have some business about yourself, and remember the bible says he who FINDS a wife FINDS a good thing. Men are the hunters for a reason, don’t be desperate boo it’ll happen on Gods time. In the meantime, stay you and be beautiful!

Dating Outside Your Race

colorless loveRecently I ran into a brother of a girl I had to fill in on a play for, real sweet real intellectual guy. However, at the table my friends and I were discussing dating older people vs. dating younger people. Me, myself personally I have only dated older men. I have found more stability, more understanding, and more of the qualities I’m attracted to in older men than in younger or my age. My friend, however, has found that she seeks comfort in younger men. Our young waiter asked what our convo was and I told him.

He then went on to ask how old was the oldest gut I’ve dated. The oldest man I have dated was at the time 35. He inquired why I ended and I told him because he saw now problem with using the N* word. Our waiter then, began to suggest that I needed financial stability or that I had daddy issues when I told him I didn’t see color when I dated someone.

To understand why I don’t see the color issue you would have to understand that I grew up in a predomently white school and I also was raised with the morals that reached beyond color. As for daddy issues I would say I have a few, BUT they are being worked on as a result of patching things up with my father. -Any who back to the subject-, what upset me the most is that someone truly thought I was not appreciating the black male and that I was “upgrading” because the black male couldn’t provide what I needed. WRONG!tumblr_miwal6Pjoy1qfpilno1_500

He suggested that I didn’t date black men because I: A. had daddy issues, B. I need money C. that some black male from my past had hurt me. Now this to me sounded like ignorance and every black male couldn’t feel like this…. could they? However, it did bring a question to mind… Are men truly intimidated by the color of other men you have dated?

The young man went on to tell a story about how his sister dated or married (can’t remember) a white man and said that it was the best thing for her to do at that time in her life. Which brought me to my next question. Why do we as a race feel like it’s an upgrade to be with a white man? I know and have seen plenty of men be a downgrade of both colors, it all depends on the MAN! It’s sad to know that in 2015 we all still see the status of someone by the color of his or her skin.

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Love is love. I know damn well you don’t love a black male/female any different if its light skin vs. dark skinned, you love them both the same. Why is it any different if they are of a different race? Maybe I’m just a different breed of human. To love someone simply because of what color his or her skin is utterly ridiculous to me and your not truly in love if that’s the main reason you’re with the person. Now being attracted to someone and being in love with someone is completely different. I have been attracted to males who were straight assholes and there was no way I could love them, and I have been in love with males who were lacking on the looks, but their personally was bomb.

At the end of the day, if you are going to love them, love them for who they are, not for what they can offer you or what they look like. You are doing yourself a major disservice and missing out on the best thing life has to offer…. love.  b43d16fa913797ee9d6775f5f87d64c7