Well I’m back y’all! Miss vibing & free-versing with each and every one of you!! My writing hiatus has come to an abrupt end; and I only wish first topic on my mind, bursting to be blogged out, was not about our country’s unfortunate state of affairs..Hang on to your hats and buckle UP because I’ve got alot to say on the Trump-inspired-torch-carrying-hate-filled-White Supremist-violent/deadly-rampage that happened last weekend at the University of Virginia ~~~2 B Continued This Weekend~~
#BlackLivesMatter, African Americans Future in America, African-Americans, ASALH, Chicago, Eric Garner, Florida, I can't breathe, John Crawford III, JUSTICE, Mike Brown, My Hands are UP, NAACP, New York, Police body cameras, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, WordPress
Lest we get so caught UP in our own day to day lives(and I’m guilty of that…) that we forget things going on in OUR world/country; are just as important..I had a surreal conversation with my youngest son today that made me pause for a minute to wonder out loud@Is this really 2014???? My son commented on the latest NON verdict regarding Eric Garner..He said WOW there are some police out there who really hate Black folks!! I found myself, again, telling him the what-to-do’s on IF ever stopped by the police for random traffic stops..NO sudden movements..Don’t get out of the car unless asked to do so..Don’t get angry, just listen & be patient..WtH & OMG is this 2014 or the 1940’s??? And while I know I’m not the only Black parent to feel this way; it sure IS a heavy feeling..Heart-wrenching to say the least..I’m asking everyone who reads this who has a wordpress blog site, facebook page, or who twitters to spread the word for our ‘new cause’ @BlackLivesMatter..Doesn’t it seem like we’ve had to say this alot more lately? Because we HAVE…Police brutality against Black folks(and with no punishment/penalty), no MEN, is on the rise..IF we all stand together certainly our voices will be heard! I’m posting a couple letters from NAACP(yep folks they’re still alive , well , and working for US) and another organization I’m a member of ASALH(Association for the study of African American Life & History..) that have further motivated me to speak OUT & stand UP for the cause @ Black lives matter & police brutality must end..I can only hope/pray it helps to motivate y’all as well..Peace & light always , the One & Only Berna
..Will God lay it at your feet? How long should you wait on God to send HIM? Will you know the signs that ‘the one’ has been sent from God? Limitless questions that seem to inspire more questions…>>>
Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (KJV)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies….
Exactly what IS a woman of virtue? As Christians we’re taught(correct me if I’m wrong..) that a woman of virtue is pure, upstanding in good character, and waits to be plucked by ‘the one’ sent by God to love only her..But what about those of us who are divorced or will never be virgins again?? Are we also supposed to wait, again? My interpretation of this scripture translates to pure of heart..
1. characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
2. (of women) chaste or virginal
I think we all interpret things; differently…Also I find that we often pick & choose what scripture we want to emulate or believe in…Is a woman any less virtuous if she employs an active hand in determining her ‘fate’? Do WE sit at home waiting for any other opportunity(i.e..career, investments etc..) to knock on our doors? The answer is simple..No, we don’t…In that aspect we use our God-given talents; to achieve our goals..Why isn’t that the same universal sentiment for Christian women seeking love? Why are so many of the belief that God is going to do it ALL? One must do their part, good works, to gain anything in this life..Right? There have been phases of praying for discernment in my life(I’m in the midst of one now..); in which I am listening to the ear of my heart..It’s my belief there IS a healthy balance between actively looking (or broadening our exposure, circles..) for a life-partner & waiting for God to send one into our lives..Being passive doesn’t get anyone anywhere! If this is truly the case then why do we hear of so many(including the video clip I posted..) willing to ‘just’ wait??? Doesn’t that mean they don’t trust their own judgement/choices at all? IF a woman’s heart is pure and she is a woman of God; can’t she be guided/led by him to choose a life-partner? Or at the least attempt to step out of her comfort zone(online dating sites, broadening social circles, etc…) in order to be discovered? Real questions. Real thoughts that I wanted to share with y’all..Feel free to chime in or share from your experiences..Stand UP women of virtue and speak on it…
African American Culture, African American Men, African American Women, African Americans Future in America, American, Anger, Black Relationships, Brazil, Cultural, Emotion, Hurt, Interracial relationships, Knowledge, Love, Loyalty, Men, Ponder, Reflection, Sterotypes, Women
**Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think? **
Sigmund Freud believed that mental illness came from ‘repressed emotions’ in the unconscious mind. He believed that release & acceptance of these denied or repressed emotions & memories were VITAL for mental health. If this emotional energy wasn’t released , Freud noted it led to physiological symptoms and illnesses…>> Memorized this many moons ago when I studied psychology..For some reason or other , this Freudian tidbit came to mind while reflecting on why my emotions free-fell to anger after watching a video clip last night..
A friend sent me a video clip last night..My first reaction to it was anger..Not seething; but full of passion! And immediate..So much so that I didn’t finish watching the clip until much later..Curiosity forced me to finally watch it. At the time I didn’t realize why it made me feel angry..I’ve not “personally” experienced the sentiment expressed in the video clip..Yet , I took it personally. It was hard to watch and swallow..As a Black woman it hurts to feel judged & stereotyped(as a group) by everyone–especially those that we’ve stood by ALL of our lives. Black men. I later realized my feelings of anger directly translated to ; my realization of the myriad of reasons the gap is getting larger @The disconnect between Black men & women. As a single Black divorcee that makes me “feeeeeel” sad, disappointed, abandoned, a sense of betrayal and yep, angry…Briefly! We’re all freeee to do who! or whatever we choose to do..But dang, dangit & dayuum why heave us under the bus! The description @Angry Black Woman has never been applied to me as an individual; but it doesn’t mean I can’t/don’t/and won’t express and feel anger from time to time..We live in a culture that views expressing anger as taboo. My personal belief? Holding it in & denying it isn’t good for our spirit..I’m hopeful to write more on that & this topic at a later date… So anyways, that led me to ponder/reflect/wonder why we feel the emotions we do..Just wanted to give a little backstory on the prompt of the thoughts that inspired this piece ..Again I pose the question@ ** Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think?**
I’m sharing the actual clip in the spirit of seeking insight..Curious what , if any, emotions are evoked when y’all take a peek. From any perspective..As a woman. As a man. Of any race..In my experience emotion transcends all..Especially the greatest which , of course, is love! But I digress and badly.. If you feel the need to share then just know this is an emotion-friendly zone! Let it flow…
Special thanks to my friend for , again, broadening my scope of knowledge
This is an excellent write & a piece very worthy of a re-blog.. My eldest son forwarded this piece with the simple message@ WE must change the narrative! Enjoy/Learn/Share the facts & not the dismal media & widespread societal myths, 4ever sincere Berna>> (Credit to Youtube for pictures & video clip)
Last week Long Island teenager Kwasi Enin captured national headlines after becoming part of an impressive club: high school seniors who have been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. However, while many celebrated Enin’s achievement, a bitter minority griped that the teenager had somehow gamed the system. The racial subtext was obvious: Enin couldn’t have actually have gotten into all those schools by himself. Why? Well, because he’s black..
This type of harmful and wholly inaccurate narrative has been constructed around African-American male student achievement for years. Enin is just the latest high-profile example of how it hurts all young men, high school high achievers or not, by implying that the majority of African-American boys are hopelessly behind and may never be able to narrow the achievement gap.
There are, of course, legitimate issues that African-American male students face due to a confluence of factors. But even data that show the more dire aspects of black male achievement do not exist in a vacuum, with researchers misrepresenting or not calculating for the experiences of African-American male students.
The good news is that bright spots like Enin may help raise the profile of America’s African-American young men. However, there is a lot of work to be done, beginning with rethinking the way we use these seven common “facts.”
1. There are more African-American males in prison than college.
African-American men are grossly overrepresented in the penal system; however, there are more African-American males in college than in prison, as of 2011. Howard University professor Ivory A. Toldson found in his research that there are about 600,000 more African-American males enrolled in higher education than are in jail.
This myth has been used by education experts, the media and even the president, despite the fact that over the last decade, African-American boys have largely avoided the “school-to-prison” pipeline.
2. African-American males believe academic achievement means they are “acting white.”
African-American males are not anti-intellectual. In fact, researchers have shown that African-American boys show more positive feelings toward school than do their white counterparts. University of North Carolina professor Roslyn Arlin Mickelson found, “Many black youth and adults express a high regard for education” and that there are a multitude of factors that shape black students’ educational attitudes.
3. Less than 50% of African-American males graduate from high school.
The high school dropout rate for African-American males has actually hit a historic low. According to a 2013 Education Week study, about 62% of African-Americans completed high school in 2010 (the most recent year for which the necessary data was available), compared to 80% of white students. The increase represents a 30% narrowing of the gap between black and white high school students.
Indeed, African-American males are graduating at historic levels. According to the Schott Foundation for Public Education, “In 2009-10 the national graduation rate for black male students was 52%. The graduation rate for white, non-Latino males was 78%. This is the first year that more than half of the nation’s black males in 9th grade graduated with regular diplomas four years later.” At the same time, overall high school dropout rates have fallen steadily since 1990, and there is no indication that the rates won’t continue to fall, given the trend over the past two decades.
4. African-American males don’t go to college.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1976 to 2010, “the percentage of black students [enrolled in college] rose from 9% to 14%. During the same period, the percentage of white students fell from 83% to 61%.”
The Congressional Black Caucus report “Challenge the Status Quo,” meanwhile, found that there are 12.5 million African-American adult males living in America,who make up 5.5% of the total population, and 5.5% of the students on college campuses across America are black male students. The percentage of black male students enrolled in college is proportional to the 5.5% of African-American men college-age or above living in the U.S. today.
5. African-American student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their non-athlete black peers.
Often college coaches boast about how teamwork and sportsmanship translate to academic success. However, according to a University of Pennsylvania report on black male student-athletes in NCAA Division I college sports, 50.2% of African-American male student-athletes graduate within six years, compared to 55.5% of black undergraduate students overall. And the disparity is even larger if black male student-athletes are compared to other student athletes: 66.9% of overall student-athletes graduate within the same six-year period, representing an 11.4% gap between black student-athletes and their teammates.
6. African-American male students have the same opportunities as their peers.
This is an important one, part of the narrative that allows casual racism like the kind experienced by Kwasi Enin. In fact, a recent U.S. Education Department’s 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection survey noted that the American school system treats African-American boys unfairly. African-American male students receive a disproportionate number of suspensions, detentions and call-outs, and have a much higher rate of being expelled from school. In addition, schools attended by African-American males have less access to experienced teachers and advanced placement classes, according to the survey.
At the same time, the Casey Foundation recently found that African-American students face the highest barriers to opportunities. The foundation’s researchers measured success toward 12 benchmarks, including literacy proficiency, rates of employment, income and several other factors. The report concluded that African-Americans. when compared to other racial groups using these benchmarks, fare the worst due to disparities they face from birth.
7. African-American male students are underachievers.
Coded language and misused statistics have constructed this idea that African-American male students are underachievers. But ignoring the fact that some of America’s brightest minds are African-Americans, recent research shows that a lack of critical feedback and demonstrated high expectations is stifling black confidence in the classroom.
In three double-blind randomized field experiments, researchers at the University of Texas found that African-American students improved their grades after having the assignment expectation reinforced by their teachers. These results point out that a cycle of mistrust and lower expectations is a likely culprit in cases of African-American underperformance.
I think many Black Americans would LIKE to think there is only a visible division among Black and White in America. And there IS..But what takes some of us, like ME, longer to admit, there IS still a division within Blacks themselves..When I mentioned this issue to a very good friend of mine(who also happens to be my X love..) his response is @They call it slave mentality baby..They’re doing what the White mas has rewarded them for doing for over 400 years! Alright, I get THAT. But when does it END???
Even knowing about the whole slavery mentality theory; being the victim of it hurts! And it hurts BAD…Because it is ones own subjecting them to adverse feelings ..I am here to tell y’all it IS a phucked up feeling and it is unacceptable. I personally can’t speak for anyone else but ME…But since moving to the South(after living in California for 20 years) I’ve been called a bougies bitch; had people trip REPEATEDLY over the grain of my hair; and had people wig about my skin color to the point of being certain, without a doubt, that I’m Spanish; and professing I sound White because of how I talk..All of this from people who are also BLACK. Bear with me a moment while I grab hold of my bearings>>
Majority of my life I’ve NOT been in a majority Black environment.West Coast living agreed with me to the utmost level..This only came to be once moving to the Dirty South 2.5 years ago..OMFG..I knew sentiment here wasn’t as progressive as the West Coast; BUT I didn’t and couldn’t have imagined it was this far BACKWARDS progressively..Lawd! >>
Now I don’t know IF it is a Southern ‘thang’ or not..After all the South WAS where slavery reined back in the day….But I do know that the POWER Blacks in the South, from my viewpoint so far, feeeeeel they have IS nothing in equalivence to the power Blacks have in the West Coast. I’ve never seen anything more pathetic than broke arse folks clamoring for power , here in the South, like I’ve seen! It is shameful…Back in California I’ve easily mingled with millionaires who were far more down to earth than the want-to-be-bougie here in the South..As IF having money or prestige makes a person have more character and respectful standing…It doesn’t! And fighting for it makes it all the more GHETTO in every aspect. It is a sad thing to see and watch; and I refuse to be a part of it. I simply refuse>>
I could very smoothly run from my people back to White Corporate America..At this point? It represents, believe it or not, alot LESS drama and bullshit! But that would be like trying to run from myself..I’m not into the personality ENVY, nor the crab in a barrel syndrome crap; personally I believe competition is a GOOD thing. Challenge me with greatness! The petty ish of light-skin-good-hair-banging-body stuff has to END..Light or dark skin Black IS Black. Period. We’ve got to get educated and beyond the slavery mentality ish! Our children are watching US..I’m ashamed of some of the behavior I see out here these days.Bottom line? African. Trinidad. Haitian. Dominican. Puerto Rican. Latino. Jamaican. Brazilian…WE are all ONE…Whether we unite or not we’re all identified by our skin color. Trying to ignore it is like a cat chasing their own tail…Never ending. I think about running from it; a lot. It is easier leaving..But I stand! I love MY people and I love being BLACK. Black folks have alot to offer the world and always have…We’ve a legacy to be proud of. And its worth standing together proudly. United we stand or divided we can continue to free fall..
Ruby Bridges is an African-American activist best known for being the first Black child(she was 6 yrs old) to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.(New Orléans, Louisiana) The pictures of her being escorted into the school by marshalls are legendary..
In November 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges Hall became the first African-American child to desegregate an elementary school. Although she only lived a few blocks from the William Frantz Elementary school in New Orléans, Louisiana. Marshals had to escort Ruby because of angry segregationist mobs that gathered in front of the school. For an entire year, she was the only student in her class since white parents pulled their children from the school in protest. She wrote about her experiences in her book THROUGH MY EYES & she’s shared it with future generation in educational forums>>
Her bravery paved the way for the continued civil rights efforts; and at such a young age! I recall seeing her picture when I was a very little girl myself and hearing ‘her’story; yet not truly understanding what it really meant..As she was at the time of her step into the pages of American history; I was too young to really ‘get’ it..Her message then and now is this & it makes absolute sense @ “My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children”<< Quote by Ruby Bridges. I couldn't agree more! IF only all parents felt that way …
A Salute to Black History, Africa, African-Americans, America, American History, ASALH, Association for the Study of African-American Life & History, Black America, Black Culture, Black History Month, History, Knowledge, Self awareness, WordPress
Little known Black History fact is that ASALH still exists..It IS a totally different organization from NACCP..Although the founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, was involved in both organizations..Did you know that Woodson’s dream was that there would NOT always be a need for a Negro History Week(the father of Black History Month)? Well, if you didn’t know please don’t feel too bad. I didn’t know either! As I’ve said before Black History Month is still mandatory; for all Americans can stand to learn more. Including moi>>
ASALH was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson..Its mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public..The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History was created in direct response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of African – Americans..Much of which HAS either been purposely left OUT of History books or diluted down to just the accomplishments of a few..I used to ask why?? These days though I don’t waste time asking why anymore..There is far too much I(we) can read offline or online to discover the accomplishments and achievements Blacks have had since the beginning of civilization..And it is? ALOT. In my hearts of hearts I feel it is mandatory this information is readily available..It is highly necessary for Black youth to know they’ve got much to be proud of ..I’ve no problem in admitting that is my primary reason for promoting Black History Month. Hell, I’m still learning at 50 years of age(and not shamed to admit it) All I dream of now is a day when our history is so well imbedded in American History; that racism rightfully DIES. Black folks built much of what is now America! It takes more than big cojones to try to snuff that history out..
I had the opportunity to attend an event yesterday hosted by ASALH..It was an awesome! story ‘sung’ of the history and journey of songs created by Blacks here in America..From spirituals which then graduated in later years to Gospel and Blues and Jazz and R & B and etc etc …What an emotional and moving hour it was! I learned after that ASALH has a calendar of year-long events and programs..We’ve got a local chapter of ASALH that is very active..I also learned that the National chapter is alive and well..They’re bring our story to life! And I wanted to bring it here to share with you..Anyways, until I write/read y’all again stay blessed and surrounded by love. 4ever Sincere , Berna(the 1 & Only)
Niagara Movement, (1905–10), organization of black intellectuals led by W.E.B. Du Bois and calling for full political, civil, and social rights for black Americans. This stance stood in notable contrast to the accommodation philosophy proposed by Booker T. Washington in the Atlanta Compromise of 1895. The Niagara Movement was the forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In the summer of 1905, 29 prominent blacks, including Du Bois, met secretly at Niagara Falls, Ont., and drew up a manifesto calling for full civil liberties, abolition of racial discrimination, and recognition of human brotherhood. Subsequent annual meetings were held in such symbolic locations as Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
Despite the establishment of 30 branches and the achievement of a few scattered civil-rights victories at the local level, the group suffered from organizational weakness and lack of funds as well as a permanent headquarters or staff, and it never was able to attract mass support. After the Springfield (Ill.) Race Riot of 1908, however, white liberals joined with the nucleus of Niagara “militants” and founded the NAACP the following year. The Niagara Movement disbanded in 1910, with the leadership of Du Bois forming the main continuity between the two organizations.
**Info from Encyclopedia Britannica*
**There are many reasons why I feel we must all continue to maintain our right to vote.. Many folks these days apparently think our rights can’t be revoked..I humbly suggest they READ up on the history of our country.(and etc…) **
January 8, 1894. Congress repeals the Enforcement Act, which then made it easier for some states to disenfranchise African-American voters. FACT
Once Congress passed the Enforcement acts, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.”Between 1870 and 1871 Congress passed the Enforcement Acts — criminal codes that protected blacks’ right to vote, hold office, serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. If the states failed to act, the laws allowed the federal government to intervene. The target of the acts was the Ku Klux Klan, whose members were murdering many blacks and some whites because they voted, held office, or were involved with schools.
Many states were afraid to take strong action against the Klan either because the political leaders sympathized with the Klan, were members, or because they were too weak to act. A number of Republican governors were afraid of sending black militia troops to fight the Klan for fear of triggering a race war. But once Congress passed the Enforcement Acts, the situation shifted. One of the Acts, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, made private criminal acts federal crimes; consequently, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.” He sent federal troops to restore law and order to many areas where violence was raging at its worst.
In nine counties of South Carolina, martial law was declared and Klansmen were tried before predominantly black juries. Much of the credit for prosecuting the Klan belonged to Amos Ackerman, Grant’s Attorney General, who did his best to make the country aware of the extent of Klan violence. As a result of his efforts, a few hundred Klansmen were tried and sent to jail. Thousands of others fled or were let off with fines or warnings. By 1872, the Klan as an organization was broken. By the time the terror ended, thousands of blacks and hundreds of whites had been massacred or driven from their homes and communities. For a moment, it seemed that peace and Republican rule was restored. Yet within a few years, the terror was reborn and Reconstruction officially ended.
And then on January 8, 1894 the Enforcement Act was repealed~(To Be Continued)
On this day in history>>
First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review
By FOX BUTTERFIELD, Special to The New York Times
Published: February 6, 1990
The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.
”The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ”It’s encouraging.
”But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.
What a Law Review Does
Law reviews, which are edited by students, play a double role at law schools, providing a chance for students to improve their legal research and writing, and at the same time offering judges and scholars a forum for new legal arguments. The Harvard Law Review is generally considered the most widely cited of the student law reviews.
On his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: ”I personally am interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I’m fairly opinionated about this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only first among equals.”
Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would concentrate on making the review a ”forum for debate,” bringing in new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.
A President’s Future
The president of the law review usually goes on to serve as a clerk for a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for a year, and then as a clerk for an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. Obama said he planned to spend two or three years in private law practice and then return to Chicago to re-enter community work, either in politics or in local organizing.
Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama’s selection. ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”
Change in Selection System
Mr. Obama was elected after a meeting of the review’s 80 editors that convened Sunday and lasted until early this morning, a participant said.
Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help ensure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.
Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters.
Blacks at Harvard: New High
Black enrollment at Harvard Law School, after a dip in the mid-1980’s, has reached a record high this year, said Joyce Curll, the director of admissions. Of the 1,620 students in the three-year school, 12.5 percent this year are blacks, she said, and 14 percent of the first-year class are black. Nationwide enrollment by blacks in undergraduate colleges has dropped in recent years.
Mr. Obama succeeds Peter Yu, a first-generation Chinese-American, as president of The Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Yu plans to serve as a clerk for Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”
The first female editor of The Harvard Law Review was Susan Estrich, in 1977, who recently resigned as a professor at Harvard Law School to take a similar post at the University of Southern California. Ms. Estrich was campaign manager for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts in his campaign for the Presidency in 1988.
photo: Barack Obama was elected yesterday as president of the Harvard Law Review. He is the first black to hold the position. (The New York Times/Jim Bourg)
**Article from Archives of The New York Times**
…In 1961 CORE undertook a new tactic aimed at desegregating public transportation throughout the south. These tactics became know as the “Freedom Rides”. The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961 when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the Deep South. They intended to test the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional. In the first few days, the riders encountered only minor hostility, but in the second week the riders were severely beaten. Outside Anniston, Alabama, one of their buses was burned, and in Birmingham several dozen whites attacked the riders only two blocks from the sheriff’s office. With the intervention of the U.S. Justice Department, most of CORE’s Freedom Riders were evacuated from Birmingham, Alabama to New Orleans. John Lewis, a former seminary student who would later lead SNCC and become a US congressman, stayed in Birmingham.CORE Leaders decided that letting violence end the trip would send the wrong signal to the country. They reinforced the pair of remaining riders with volunteers, and the trip continued. The group traveled from Birmingham toMontgomery without incident, but on their arrival in Montgomery they were savagely attacked by a mob of more than 1000 whites. The extreme violence and the indifference of local police prompted a national outcry of support for the riders, putting pressure on President Kennedy to end the violence. The riders continued to Mississippi, where they endured further brutality and jail terms but generated more publicity and inspired dozens more Freedom Rides. By the end of the summer, the protests had spread to train stations and airports across the South, and in November, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting segregated transportation facilities.
Many thanks to my Daddy for providing the link I’m dropping..It includes the full PBS Freedom Riders Documentary>>
I’m presently wrapping up an outstanding book @The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson..Winner of The Pulitzer Prize & voted 10 Best Books in 2010 by The New York Times..If there is any book , I feel, Americans should read to learn more about the migration of Blacks in America; it is this one..Early kick-off on this end for Black History month simply because it is one of my favorite months of the year. And I make NO apology nor explanation as to why..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves because I’m just getting started!
Going to try to write this out & articulate how I feel about it..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves I’m diving in head first! Ready?>.
I’ve experienced something new for the past 2 years..Very new for me..Time after time I’ve been mistaken for other than; Black. Been asked IF I were a multitude of things..Hispanic, Latino, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Dominican, and today? Panamanian. My response , more often than not, is simply..No, I’m just ole-fashioned BLACK American..The new part of it is that it is other Blacks that have asked the question..Great majority of my life Whites have always asked IF I’m mixed..I’m not totally sure WHY it mattered whether I was mixed or not! But I was a bit surprised, now, that I’m not the only Black in my environment(or part of only a handful as I was on the West Coast); that any type of questioning about what I am comes into question>>
At first I didn’t know how to handle it..The behind-my-back comments(& sometimes to my face..) about how I talk.(you don’t sound BLACK) About the texture/thickness /style of my hair(wow, its yours!) About my background(well, you can’t relate to us because of your background..) Etc, etc, yada yada..I won’t lie my emotions have ranged from flat-out pissed off to butt-hurt feelings..WHY does it matter? I am just ME..Black & proud American born Sista! And how come I’ve never been asked IF I’m African??? I find myself thirsting to know more & more of African culture these days..Thus? I would love to be mistaken for an African Nubian Queen! Yet? That never happens>>
Then today? It hit me! While conversing with someone new(Panamanian); I realized she just wanted to CONNECT…She said you look SO familiar to me & your features remind me of HOME..As I listened to her talk it became crystal clear to me..I feel it when I’m back in the place I call home @ New Orleans..Its a feeling of being HOME. A feeling of comfortability that I feel NO where else on the planet. A feeling of familiarity with people; even people I don’t know..It just feels GOOD. Could that be the reason why other folks want to label others as theirs? A sense of bonding..A need for connection. >>
I’ve said often I’m a people lover..And I truly AM..The more I learn about & from other people; the more I learn about myself..From now on I’m going to look at the question @Are you ____? ; as a GREAT opportunity to open dialogue about other Black cultures..I won’t take offense & instead look as a chance to teach and learn..Teachable moments. Love IT.
**EPISODE FOUR** “Making A Way Out Of No Way” Airing on PBS Tuesday 11/12/2013 8 p.m. ET/PT Check your local listings>>
During the Jim Crow era, African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans migrated away from the South, fleeing racial violence and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. At the same time, there was an ascendance of black arts and culture, such as The Harlem Renaissance.
Making a Way Out of No Way is episode four of the six-part series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr
**EPISODE THREE** “Into The Fire” (1861-1896) Premieres Tuesday, November 5, 2013 @ 8 p.m. ET/PT >Check your local listing..Whatever you do; don’t miss IT!
Episode Two >> “The Age of Slavery* (1800 -1860) Due to air 10/29/2013(Check local listings)
…”The Age of Slavery illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For free black people in places like Philadelphia, these years were a time of tremendous opportunity. But for most African-Americans, this era represented a new nadir. The cotton industry fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories, and a Second Middle Passage forcibly relocated African-Americans from the Upper South into the Deep South. Yet as slavery intensified, so did resistance. From individual acts to mass rebellions, African-Americans demonstrated their determination to undermine and ultimately eradicate slavery in every state in the nation. Courageous individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass, played a crucial role in forcing the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics, helping to create the momentum that would eventually bring the country to civil war…”
>>After watching Episode One on its 10/22/2013 air date..I decided I wanted to share with y’all about the PBS ongoing series..It is hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr and consists of six episodes..I’ve attempted to post a copy of the video preview for episode two; but it is registering an error message. Ugh! If nothing else hope this serves as a notice to all of the upcoming episodes. The first episode kept me glued to my seat for the entire hour! I’ll post air dates for episode three & on when it becomes available. If you missed episode one; it can be viewed online at PBS. (and quite possibly PBS will re-air it on TV until episode 2 airs) Feel free to post your comments here after viewing each episode..
The topic about Black American women and OUR hair issues keeps coming UP; so might as well go ahead and open it up for discussion…Again! Hang on tight though because I’m truly on 1 & going to write it out as I ride it out>>
Viola Davis: ‘I Took My Wig Off Because I No Longer Wanted to Apologize for Who I Am‘>>
Viola Davis recently said this & when I heard it? My eyes filled UP with tears! I didn’t realize until that moment that IS exactly what WE are doing anytime WE don’t wear our natural hair…And? That includes relaxing it. Even IF it’s a mild relaxer; which by the way would include ME. Oh, but this is such a personal topic..>>
First things first..The word NAPPY was not created to describe Black hair..That, sadly enough, is something Blacks did on their own. Using the word NAPPY as a negative note to Black hair in its natural state. Why, one might ask, would Black folks describe their OWN hair in a negative manner? Hmmmmm It would take going far back-in-the-day to pin down exactly when it was determined that wearing Black hair in its natural state was a BAD thing..Was it something Blacks sat down & thought of on their own? Or were they conditioned to believe their hair was ugly? >>
Allow me to backtrack for a minute…When I was a pre-teen the IN thing was to sport a fro! Yes, the 70s was a time of picks, fro’s, and afro sheen! Anyone out there remember those days??? Lawd, I had a natural curly fro SO big that it resembled this picture..(I really wish I could find the picture of me with me fro; if I find it later I’ll post it here..
Then suddenly it was no longer hip or cool to sport a fro…Next thing I know I’d have to sit for hours! having my hair hot pressed in our kitchen by my Mom..Took hours because I had/have a ton of hair..I clearly recall(even though it was a longgg time ago) the smell of the grease mixing with the heat & flinching if the hot comb got too close to my face>>
Fast forward a few years & next began getting my hair relaxed..Another process that took hours upon hours. By the time I left home as a young woman? I did NOT know how to style my own natural hair..Not only that I’d grown so used to having it in relaxed form; it became my idea of what it meant for me to look GOOD. To even think of wearing it in its natural thick state was a no-no…
Fast forward to the year 2013..There is a BIG movement of Black women wearing their hair in its natural state..Even my own Mom at 72 yrs of age finally went natural this year..And beautiful woman that she IS; she looks amazing and FREE>>
Recently Sheryl Underwood(who I dig as a comedian) made ugly comments about natural Black hair..Which she has since apologized for..BUT the damage is done! Problem is she said it in front of America; and more importantly TONS of Black children heard/saw/read her say it…I realize many Black parents don’t realize the message they send Black children when…a. relax or straighten their children’s hair b. use the word nappy to describe Black hair c. use the terms good & bad grains of hair…However, it keeps the mindset going from generation to generation that natural Black hair is not a good thing. And I’m of the opinion that doing so? Can cause severe identity issues..So much so that some Black adults do NOT even realize they’re held captive in the chains of slavery>>
Personally? I am absolutely ELATED every time I see a younger Sista sporting a natural hair style..And the conversations I’ve had with some of them & they say they REFUSE to straighten their daughter’s hair; due to the message it sends them? I love IT..Wigs & weaves has never been my style; but same message is being sent. And costly! Relaxers also though..Every 8 weeks I’m dropping mega bucks for someone else to do MY hair..That is money I could be buying shoes with. Lol! The good news? I’m inching closer & closer to transitioning over..BUT I refuse to cut my hair; I love the versatility of having long hair ..Can choose to wear it in so many , many styles; and I do. But once I find a professional that won’t charge me a grip to teach me how to make the transition? I WILL BE SPORTING A NATURAL ‘DO. Like these..>>
Anyone recently transition from relaxed to natural? If so, feel free to drop some tips..Lets rap!
Recently I read an article that was SO deep I feel compelled to share it..I’m of the belief that for every given situation; there IS a solution. Or in this case at least a way of dealing with the fall out..I’ve not yet learned how to link articles here to my WordPress blog..Therefore, I’ll do my best to take excerpts from the Essence article. Under the title @ ‘ Confronting Unconscious Bias’ written by Dr. David R. Williams (Harvard Sociologist & Professor of African and African-American studies and sociology)
> Here is how one can protect themselves from the effects of discrimination<
1. Take care of YOUR health. By managing what you eat and engaging in exercise and meditation, you minimize exposure to biases in health care. Learn as much as possible about health conditions you may have and question providers about treatment options. It’s also critical that you find safe places to talk through any discrimination you may face. Black health care providers need to be watchful of their own biases. We have to be vigilant because we are part of American society . We, too, have been fed the same soup.”
2. Reject stereotyping. Consciously choosing to act in opposition to the stereotypes you hold can make a profound difference in how you treat others. “If you think of a particular group as violent, try to imagine the individuals you encounter from that group as nonviolent,” says Williams, who advocates a broad approach to reducing the stereotyping of African-Americans.
3. Change the narrative. Policy makers need to refine the language used to discuss African-American issues and instead adopt language that folds Black people into the American story. “We’re learning that language like ‘leveling the playing field’ turns Republicans off, ” Williams explains. “You’ve lost them just by your choice of words,” What works better” “Increasing opportunity for ALL.“
4. Recognize the value of affirmation. Understanding family strengths and values is a powerful inoculation against negative messages. The research is definitive. If you mention Black stereotypes before giving Black students a test, they will do more poorly. Simple affirmations can counteract these negative messages. In one study, students were told to think of values that reflected who they were and to write a few paragraphs about which value was most important to them and why. “That was it. Took less than an hour, ” William says. The exercise improved Black students’ performance not just in the class in which they did the exercise but across the board, reducing the achievement gap between Black and White students by 50 percent!!!
5. Provide focused intervention. Interestingly, the affirmation exercise above had NO impact on White students’ performance. “They don’t need the intervention. But for those who need it, YOU provide it, ” Williams explains. “The fix is really so simple. And the quality of the science is SO good,” Williams says. >>
When my sons were younger I took parenting seriously. I , along with my co-parenting partner@my now ex husband & lifelong friend, attempted to arm our sons with the tools they’d need to maintain and rise UP above racial discrimination. Truly wish we’d had pro-active tips like this to share with them..Well folks that is a wrap for now. Any and all feedback is welcomed! Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere , Berna(the 1 & only)
I simply could NOT pass up re-blogging this write..This young man gets IT
From BOY to MAN
Living under the roof of a two parent house hold, you learn the value of love. Life as a boy for me was mostly all about learning how to become a man. It’s nothing like having a father figure to help you understand how to walk, talk, treat a lady and firmly shake hands as well as look another man in his eye as respect. Understanding at a young age how to honor God and follow his commandments on top of respecting morals brings an abundance of wisdom and discernment to escape peer pressure and scope out trouble from miles away. Having morals and following his commandments proactively helped me as a boy think with my brain and not with my man hood. If I would have thought with my man hood it could have created issues that could have followed me when I became a…
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It IS a pivotal moment in our American History for the POTUS to speak on out race..I wasn’t in anticipation that he would; because he’s rightfully the president for all races/creeds/genders..However having said that, I’m VERY personally glad he did. For at the beginning and end of every day; President Barack Obama is a Black man. I think it was important he spoke out on the Trayvon Martin case…Much of what he said I’d said in my post the day after ‘the verdict’ was announced..Major props to President Obama for saying so eloquently the way I feel on this grave matter
President Obama commented on the Zimmerman verdict in an unexpected press conference today. I think what he said was very real, touching, and true. I think he spoke as a person of color who for once shared honest frustrations of what is like to live with the daily little nuances of being colored to all out racism in America. I am actually quite pleased that we got to see the man and not the politician emerge for once.
It would be easy to politicize this but right now and I am sure some will. However we need to achieve peace and the way we do it is to digest the president’s words. It is time to take out those mirrors like Mike said and ask what are we doing to contribute to restoring peace to our communities and to our society.
Normally I being the conservative would take liberty to…
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(NOTE TO ALL WHO HAVE/WILL ATTEMPT TO LEAVE A FUNKY , UGLY COMMENT ABOUT THE TRAYVON “SITUATION”: I will NOT publish your posts. As the sole author of this blog; I’ve reserved the RIGHT to not post such vile negativity. A young man LOST his life; in *respect* of his life this real TOPIC will only be discussed on MY blog in a respectful manner. I will, however, VOICE my opinion about aforementioned “attempted” nonpublishable-on-Berna’s-blogsite..David Simon is NOT a reverse racist! I could go on to say that reverse racism can NOT & does NOT exist; but I won’t waste the keystrokes or my precious time..)
DISCLAIMER= I hate adding disclaimers..Because I believe folks should be able to interpret things; in the manner in which they’re meant to be interpreted. BUT since that isn’t always what happens in life; I find myself(especially with what I’m about to post) compelled to add a disclaimer. I’m publishing the words verbatim from the comments of “The Wire” creator. David Simon. The Wire, has been acclaimed recently as the #1 series of ALL time/inspired professors to teach about it in college classes/& lauded as an American storytelling masterpiece. The comments I’m quoting him on are HOT; about the Trayvon verdict..But honestly? I couldn’t agree with him more! And I applaud him for having the courage to tell it like it “TIS..In my opinion it will take MORE people who aren’t BLACK; yet who feel this way; to come out of the shadows and openly say what they feel on race relations in America>>
In an emotional, fiery post on his blog, The Audacity of Despair, Simon denounced the verdict, saying he was “ashamed to call himself an American.”
**Outside of his television writing, Simon often comments on social issues, and the Martin case stirred up particularly forceful feelings in him. Here’s the entirety of his post:
You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead.
In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary.
If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.
Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.”
Strong words. But Simon didn’t stop there. Remarkably, he took the time to address many of the comments following the post. A few highlights:
One commenter chastised him for trying to “fan the flames and incite violence,” to which Simon replied, “You’ve missed the thread of that passage utterly.”
Several others called on Simon to prove that Zimmerman’s actions in shooting Martin were racist. He replied, “I don’t think Mr. Zimmerman is by any necessity a racist. But his calculations and his behaviors were racially motivated.”
In other responses, Simon bemoaned the slippery slope effect — that the Martin case would be the first of many. “The law has changed — and the culture of legal self-defense is changing — in a revolutionary fashion. There will be more of these cases now. Not less.”**
AFTERword..The one thing I’ll speak upon that David Simon said is this ..= “I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country…” >>>>> As a BLACK parent I can say that nothing PAINS me more than the TRUTHS I’ve had to tell my Black sons about what CAN happen to them on the streets of their own country…BUT I’d(and so has my co-parenting partner a/k/a my exhusband/friend) had to tell our sons such awfulNESS; long before Trayvon was murdered. Imagine telling your child to NOT take it personally when/if called the N word? Imagine telling your child NOT to wear certain colors/name brands for fear of being labeled a Black gang member? Imagine telling your child NOT to do ANYthing that could “appear”(like what exactly????) to be aggressive around the police; for fear of getting SHOT! Imagine telling your child that many in your country will HATE you simply based on the color of your skin. Imagine telling your child he WILL work 3-4 times harder than his White Male counterparts; even with all of said child’s degrees. Imagine telling your child that even WITH all of his degrees; odds are he won’t get paid the same as his White Male counterparts. Imagine telling YOUR child there are STILL in the year 2013 parts of his country; that it isn’t safe for him to walk in/drive in/BE in..simply because he is BLACK. Imagine telling your child these things for his own dang good & safety; because YOU love your child soooo much & wish for them to hear the truth from your lips..Just imagine how that makes a parent feel. It is something a parent never forgets/can’t forget. It IS a Black parent’s reality in our country. It’s just the way things are & have always been. The struggle continues…
MY comments? MY feelings as a Black Mother? MY feelings as an American?..I am struggling this morning with trying to don my politically – correct hat on. BUT somehow its a losing battle , even for ME..Because what IS winning out is my sense of what is WRONG and what is RIGHT..And every, single time I look at this baby’s! face splashed across newspapers and websites across our country today?!? I get more and more and more HEARTSICK as each moment passes..I am also a BLACK Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma of three(3) Black sons..I can’t seem to keeeeep the bile from rising UP out of my tummy this morning. I am so usually a content and nothing-to-complain about loving person; but on this DAY? I am struggling to fight the ANGER and the tears just keep filling my eyes UP. Two(2) of my sons wear a hoodie from time to time; what IF that had been one of them walking home??? Would I have been sitting in that courtroom , knowing & feeeeling in my heart of hearts(along with millions! of other Americans) that my son is innocent; only to hear the words, NOT GUILTY, regarding the verdict of his murderer? I’ve so, so tired, nope tyeeeed of this type of backWOODS mentality! Is it now alright to gun down a child! like a dog in the street???? What IF it had been your child? I stood on FAITH that this would not & simply could not happen….
..I thought running to Mass(church) was going to help calm me..BUT I’m still spitting MAD! Especially after standing outside after Mass, in what seemed to be 10,000 degree HEAT, discussing this “situation”. If ANY Black male in America thought they had problems/issues before this day? Pfft that was nothing compared to the problem they’ve got now. IF a price was attached to people..STOCK on Black Males in America just plummeted!!! I thought about putting a disclaimer on any/any of my next comments..BUT I refuseee to keeeeeep apologizing for BEing and LOVING being Black. ONLY in America are a people, namely Black folks!, made to feeeeel as IF they’re wrong to identify/love their color/culture..NO OTHER RACE/COLOR IN AMERICA IS MADE TO FEEL THAT WAY. The even more pathetic thing about that comment? A GREAT DEAL OF BLACK FOLKS COMPLY WITH THAT SENTIMENT EVERY, SINGLE WAKING DAY OF THEIR LIVES IN AMERICA. And I love my country with every ounce of my being. But today? I’m ashamed! of what has been “allowed” to happen in that courtroom. And for those just tuning IN? I’m on the top of a wave of a major RANT; and I’m just getting started. So hang onto to your caps/hats/wigs /& weaves or they might get blown off. As a good friend of mine would say, ” THIS is some BULLshit!”>>
1st things 1st..I believe there are a few FACTS that need to be interjected before I continue..First & foremost the constitution does NOT support that a “victim” have a jury of their peers..Matter of fact it doesn’t support that the “accused ” does either. What is does say though leans more towards the ACCUSED than the VICTIM; regarding a jury of so-called “fairness”.*Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution*=In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense..It WAS my belief that Trayvon Martin OR any victim; was due(by the LAW) a jury of their peers..Which in this case would’ve meant at the least a couple of Blacks and at least ONE Male. There were NO Males on the Trayvon Martin jury..and ALL but one of the women were WHITE. Some reading might say race doesn’t matter. I beg to differ race DOES still matter a great deal here in America. For those that still have their heads UP their fanny or eyes closed; have only to recall the highly! NEGATIVE slurs/comments/pictures posted on the Internet of ugly racial funkiNESS/3 ring circus antics of both recent Presidential Elections. IF you didn’t get IT then; let this be your eye-opener. Its time to WAKE UP >>
I wore a Black dress to Mass this morning..I do not like wearing Black. Matter of fact I refused! to have the customary Black 50th birthday party color theme(chose pink instead..) But this morning I donned BLACK on purpose. I’m in mourning..I’m mourning the death of an INNOCENT YOUNG(17 yrs of age..) BLACK MALE. I’m mourning the LOSS of FREEdom here in America. More & more of our civil liberties are being taken away..A country that just celebrated the 4th of July; a day which marks the declaration of independence..Out of the GREAT principles of freedom and justice embodied in the National Declaration of Independence; which ones are in 2013 extended to Black Males? To Black folks in general even? Yea, think about that for a minute..I’ll wait. After pondering that this very morning? The answer I arrive at is nothing to celebrate with fireworks or a BBQ. Year after year WE celebrate a holiday; which in reality doesn’t celebrate US. I’m struggling today ; and trying hard to smile past the tears that are just waiting to drop..I’m afraid today. First & foremost I’m afraid if I start crying I won’t stop>>
Before I wrap this piece up with what I feel is the beginning of the SOLUTION..I’d like to drop a few items regarding this case from folks other than me; including President Barack Obama(His comment was made shortly after Trayvon’s death..) **Even President Obama weighed in a month after the shooting, expressing sympathy for Martin’s family and urging a thorough investigation. “If I had a son,” Obama said, “he’d look like Trayvon.”**
**Saturday night, when the verdict was read, Zimmerman, 29, smiled slightly. His wife, Shellie, and several of his friends wept, and his parents kissed and embraced.** What the heck is he smiling about? He STILL killed another human being! But I guess he smiled because he realized he’d gotten away with MURDER!?! What kind of person is capable of smiling & not feeling remorse for such actions?
**Rachel Jeantel in Trayvon Martin’s words: He said “Get off, get off:” As Martin walked back from the store to the home of his dad’s fiancee, he was talking on the phone with his friend, Rachel Jeantel.
The prosecution’s star witness testified for two days about the final moments of Martin’s life, saying he told her someone was following him. Jeantel’s testimony is key to the State’s case that Zimmerman was the aggressor in the confrontation.
“He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him,” she told jurors.
When Jeantel asked Martin what the man looked like, she said he told her the man “looked creepy.” “Creepy, white — excuse my language — cracker. Creepy [expletive] cracker.”
Jeantel said she heard Martin talking to Zimmerman in the background of the call. “He said, ‘Why are you following me for?’ And I heard a hard-breathing man say, ‘What you doing around here?'”
Jeantel also said she heard a bump from Martin’s headset hitting something and “wet grass sounds.”
“I start hearing a little bit of Trayvon saying, ‘Get off, get off!'” said Jeantel.** Its MY belief that Trayvon fought for his LIFE! And that is why Zimmerman had cuts on his head..I can’t fight/never been in a fight/and I like Trayvon am much smaller than Zimmerman..Yet, I also would’ve fought him off with every ounce of my body. IF anyone was standing their ground in defense in this case? It was Trayvon Martin.
**The teen’s father reacted on Twitter: ‘‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’’
His mother also said on Twitter that she appreciated the prayers from supporters.
‘‘Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have,’’ she wrote.** (thats a deeeeeop comment that hits me like a ton of bricks)
…I used to think the way to protect my sons; was to raise them with TRUTH. I didn’t mince many words with them..I spoke/speak to them with love; but of the way things ARE. I did lie to them though when I told them that the Easter Bunny existed. I went along with the LIE..I did lie to them though when I told them there was such a thing as a tooth fairy..And I stillll to this day have a tiny felt bag with their tiny teeth that I gave them money for in exchange. It was NOT the tooth fairy sons! I lied to my sons when I went along with the LIE that Santa Clause exists..Which in America that lie has turned the entire celebration of what its supposed to be about(I don’t care if its a run-on sentence..) ; into a big FAT commercial money-making mess. I refuse to continue to keep up lies with the humans I helped to give Life..Truth IS just like Kanye West said & then got blasted it for it; there are MANY people in America that just don’t like Black folks. And never WILL. That is factual. Racism IS not dead in America. For many moons to come my dream for my sons won’t come TRUE; you won’t be judged just based on your OWN merit. And that’s including my eldest son who this coming May will be the first PHD on all sides of my family. As Black MEN my sons will always have to work 3 – 4 times HARDER than their White Male Counterparts. They’ll more than likely get paid LESS. And even though all 3 of my sons are college educated withOUT criminal backgrounds; IF they happen to walk in the wrong neighborhood with a hoodie on? Just might get gunned down like a dog & KILLED. That is my reality as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma on this day. That is my sons reality on this day and any other Black Male in America. Its not my perception…It IS the way it IS. And we’ve got to stop sugar-coating things/overlooking things/glossing things over. We’ve assimilated SO frigging well WE have forgotten our ROOTS. Family FIRST. And UNITY. And love of all mankind. The violence has got to stop. How many more Black MEN have to die or wind up behind bars for us to get IT? I am proud to be Black. I am proud to be American. I am NOT proud of what happened in that courtroom. Never will be. Its time. Its time for people to stand UP for what is right and just. Things are declining instead of getting better. That is just not progressive folks. WE are moving backwards and with a quickness..As a loving parent I can’t stay quiet and muted. Someone said something today that for a moment gave me clarity and peace..He said mayhaps this is God’s way of making something DRASTIC happen for us to SEE how F’d up and ugly things are? What if there had to be a sacrifice? There are so many what IFs going through my head..What IF that was one of my sons? I’m going to keep thinking that over and over and over again. As positive as I’ve grown to BE; I quite honestly think I’d lose my marbles. TO SIT IN A COURTROOM AND HEAR THE WORDS NOT GUILTY AND SEE THOSE WORDS SPLASHED ON NEWSPAPERS ACROSS AMERICA; FEEEEEELING IN MY HEART OF HEARTS, KNOWING! MY SON WAS INNNOCENT AND GUNNED DOWN LIKE A DOG IN THE STREET??? I say its time for another Civil Rights Movement. Drastic actions call for drastic actions. No different than it was a movement of MANY colors/creeds to get the “right” person in the White House; its time for great change. Nothing changes until something changes. I’ll say that one more time so I can read it..Nothing changes until something changes. Its time. But that’s just the way I see IT. And right now I’m not “seeing” with my eyes; I’m seeing with my heart. Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 & only)
AFTERword..Reflection can be a good thing sometimes..BUT today it is not working..I can’t stop thinking about this matter. What truly bothers me? Is as culturally aware & politically savvy as I profess to BE; I was still naive enough to be BAMBOOZLED. Hoodwinked and caught UP believing in OUR JustUS system..Thought we’d prevailed when at the least this case went to trial! IF anyone is keeping UP; at first the city wasn’t even going to press charges on Zimmerman. None. Zilch..So one might just be a little “naive” ; and I’ve got my hand held UP high; to think at that point that there would be consequences for murdering an innocent person. A young 17 yr old person. Alas, having a voice got Trayvon the trial he rightfully deserved..And then BAM the reality of the worst of a Black American’s nightmares came to BE. Not a dayum thing in the form of punishment was done..If nothing else Zimmerman profited from taking a life. And now that he is FREE? Mark my words he’ll write a book & make tons of money. I wish NO ONE buys IT..sadly though that won’t be the case. Zimmerman had tons of supporters; but hopefully not as many as the folks who knew right from wrong. Recently my Pastor Priest spoke about “ownership” of our church..and it comes to mind now regarding our country. The US of A. Aren’t we law-abiding tax-paying HIGH as HECK gasoline paying citizens of this country? Doesn’t that mean that WE should be treated as more than a DOG? Anyone recall when Michael Vicks got JAIL time for so-called animal abuse???? And YET a man can walk free after killing a Black young male..something is funkier than funky with that picture. As tax paying citizens WE have to take ownership rights..We have rights. Right to live freely is one of said rights..In the pursuit of happiness..And I believe that includes being able to BE Black ; even in a predominantly White neighborhood. Zimmerman took ownership of an entire neighborhood! One that he did NOT even own a home in. WOW now that’s cojones! This is our country just as much as the next person ..We deserve the right to sleep well at night; NOT worried that our Black sons can be gunned down just because..What is the next because going to BE? Because someone has had a bad dang day & gets a notion to start killing off Black men? It might sound far-fetched; but so did getting killed armed with skittles a couple of years back…I hope there is a potential next MLK, Jr reading this. And I hope said person is motivated enough to get BUSY.
Abortion, African Americans Future in America, African roots, Alcohol Abuse, Birth Control, Black America, Black Males, Divorce, Drugs, Extinction, freedom, Gangs, Higher Education, Prison, Registrictive voter legislation laws, SCOTUS, Self Hatred, Voting Rights Act, WordPress
UNapologetically Black & very proud of my AfricanNESS(even though East Coast folks keep asking me if I’m Latina..NO I am not) with a natural deeply bred Southern Hospitality style courtesy of being from New Orleans; meshed neatly with much American Pride. Heck I was even born on the 4th of July! Having said all of that; I can’t help but be disappointed with the current state of Black America. Its overall downward spiral way of life; heavily laden with afflictions & chronic conditions, is disheartening to say the least. Recent events have brought this even more so to the forefront of my thoughts..Have WE become our own worst enemy? Will WE bring about our own extinction in America? Lets rap>>
*Might want to kick your feet UP & get comfy; I’ve got a lot 2 say on this topic..And I plan on taking my time with it..Letting my thoughts flow from my mind; mental notes & life experiences of 50 years of Being Black-Loving IT-Raising Blackness(our 3 sons..)-Promoting Black IS Beautifulness in all I am-Standing Still*
In my Life Journey of 50 years I’ve been labeled a Negro/a “N” word( I won’t use that word even as a 50 yr old; but I was called this by my “friend” before I was 5 yrs old/Afro-American/African -American..My parents lovingly labeled me as Bernadette(a Saint’s name..) Marie..These days I walk proudly as a Black woman who refuses to be labeled by other folks..When we allow others 2 define US; it can be easy to forget who the heck we are. Took me far to long to discover the in’s & out’s of who I am to allow that. So anyways, here is my outlook on how things look for the future Black generations that will be born here in our country; America. Including my unborn grandchildren..Its pretty bleak the way I see IT. First? Proof positive how far WE have fallen ..>>
...What happened to the days when Blacks walked out of their homes; dressed? Literally, some of these girls these days are butt naked! Or half naked..lawd! Might as well be leg-wrapped around a pole..Has it been forgotten that when one walks out their front door; they represent their ENTIRE family? Every single day; dead or alive and yep, even the yet-to-be-born. The shoulders of the ancestors we stand upon? They dressed sharp..even headed out to the supermarket. Teens included…Know why children/teens dressed well back then overall? Because children follow suit behind their parents. And I’ll go as far as to say children watch & learn from ALL of their elders..WE are teaching even when we don’t realize we are. Yet, slowly but surely we’re acting as if we aren’t proud anymore. What happened to “the Black & Proud” movement of the 60s? We must & can do better or we’re going to free fall to a level so low; we might not be able to recover from . Or are we already there?>>
**Going to rewind backintime for a minute..To a little known comment made by Malcolm X..(Its my opinion he was “made” out to be a villain by the media; but that’s another topic for another time) I wonder IF this is how Blacks feel about one another anymore..Love for one another..Why IS it that every other ethnic group..i.e. Asians, Latino, African, Jewish, and even Indians all help one another ; and Black Americans don’t. Its known! Other folks laugh about it..Black Americans have become a big, fat model for the “crab in the barrel ” syndrome. How IS that possible when we USED to be so tight? Were we only tight back then because back then WE were all we had? >>
More than likely I should’ve added a disclaimer at the onset of this post..But for the sake of doing so here is my disclaimer = All or anything I pen are my thoughts and or beliefs. Based on a lifetime of personal experiences/what my parents, grandparents, aunts, cousins have taught or shown me/combined with a healthy dose of common sense and statistical facts. Moving right along..You didn’t think I was finished did you? Just getting started. Literally..Moving forward>>
There are many things tormenting Black Americans..Including themselves as a whole; but I’ll leave that for the very last part of my post. Exclusionism(yep!, that’s a real word not a Berna’ism) , Drug use, Diseases, Lack of higher education, economic strangulation, incarceration, and Black on Black crime is killing us off in astonishing numbers..The #1 cause in that list pushing Blacks in America toward genocide? Incarceration of Blacks. Namely Black MEN. The statistics are beyond startling..I wonder IF the majority of Blacks realize how many Black men are behind bars in our country. The U S of A..I’m willing to bet other single & eligible Sisters out there know our Black brothers are dwindling in numbers..And its very noticeable. >>
Heres the fast forwarded & brief version of being Black- behind- bars- in- our -country..As of 2008(which more than likely means the number has increased) America is still #1 in something. It’s now infamously known as the “WORLD’s number one jailer” . I hate reading or writing that; I love my country!; but that fact stinks. The U.S . with a population of 300 million(mind you these stats are very 5 yrs ago..) has a prison population that is GREATER than China with a population of 1.3 billion people..Whoa! It’s guesstimated that translated to approx 1 out of 12 Blacks is either in prison/in jail/or on parole. That not only stinks; that down right sucks! Races does matter..The rate of incarceration of Black males is 6.5 times that of White males & 2.5 times that of Hispanic males. Keep in mind the amount of ‘money’ pulled in from those productive Black laborers behind bars. Keep in mind also that a person’s right to VOTE is stripped while in prison and often after they’ve been released. Keep in mind also that same person has to still PAY taxes; but can’t vote. Keep in mind one more thing..Its guesstimated the cost of keeping a person in prison; is comparable to matriculating at Harvard University. How different America would/could be IF drug offenses were sentenced in an equal manner..I won’t go deep into the meaning of that comment. Personally I feel its self-explanatory. How different America would be if the above mentioned Black men “could” vote. Or could afford to pay for an education..The OR’s are limitless so I’ll stop there. When I worked in a prison & saw all the YOUNG brothers, babies!, behind bars? Hurt my heart & moved me to tears often; too often. Moving right along>>
Roughly 7,000 Blacks are murdered every year..94% of the time by the hands of another Black person. 94% of the time folks; that’s alarming! Just as we are horrified by the senseless/unjust deaths of the Trayvon Martins; we should rightfully be upset/aware of this statistic. Blacks make up approx. 13% of the Nation’s population; YET account for more than 50% of homicide victims. OMG I read over stats like that and can’t help but wonder about the future of Blacks in America. Its hard , knowing such things, not to be concerned. Beyond tragic to fathom that a young Black male has a better chance of reaching maturity on battlefields in Afghan & Iraq; than on the streets of some of the major cities in our country. I try very hard not to think about such things often; its less painful to just try with all my might to be part of our progression. Yet, isn’t remaining silent something that can also been seen as acceptance of such stats? Or worse; lack of caring or concern..>>
I could continue to write on & on & on; as I’ve done off & on all day about this topic..However, I’d like to think the general gist of where I’m coming from has been clearly outlined..I’m hoping with all of my being that this might just start a fire under someone out there reading this; to get involved, in some way, for positive progression. What if just doing our part isn’t enough? What if the way to prevent extinction; folks have to take on an extra chore in this mission? What a difference we’ve clearly seen that UNITED groups can make here in America. (Gays fighting for their right to marry is just one thing that comes to mind..) Silence isn’t always golden. And often times words aren’t enough to express sentiment felt. IF my heart could talk out loud about how it feels about the future of Blacks in America..It would scream from the highest roof top & say “I’m scared about my son’s & unborn grandchildren’s future here in our country” Exclamation mark. Period
..I’m a life long avid reader & this is presently the #1 read on my GoodReads list..Highly recommended to me by a very new friend & I’ve yet to find any other than elevated reviews of it. Iyanla Vanzant long known for writing uplifting books for women(with spiritual overtones); has now unbeknownst to me(and I’ve read many of her books) written a book about Black Men. I’ll soon be posting my own review of the book here(once I’ve read it) ; but in the meantime, welcome anyone whose read it to drop their review here as well… Posting an overview of the book that I googled up and discovered on the Barnes & Noble website. I’d also like to extend an invite to any/all readers to check it out/read it..and we can compare notes after. Happy reading!
With her signature honesty, strong medicine insight, and heartfelt sincerity, Vanzant teaches Black men to recognize and tap the energy of their own spirits and honor the experiences of the millions of strong Black men and women who have lived before them. Recognizing the obstacles set down before Black men in the past and the forces that still try to keep the Black man down today, Vanzant uses a brilliant and transforming blend of ancient African spirituality, practical self-help advice, and contemporary faith to help Black men — and the women who love them — nurture the strength and power that are their birthright: the strength of a courageous history, their souls, and caring relationships with one another.
Disclaimer: From the jump let me make just one thing clear..These are my opinions on this matter. I am a very opinionated person; and I make no apology for it..The catalyst for this post was yet another UNsolicited suggestion; that I need to LOWER my standards & expectations or be single for far longer than I wish to be. Of course not only do I disagree..I’ve got a few comments to say on the state of Black Love Relationships. Including those that consider themselves oh, so fortunate! to be in BAD relationships..Ever hear that old adage @ I can do bad all by myself? Oh and! How about this one that I live by @ I’d rather BE single than to be part of a relationship I know is BAD/ill-suited/& not couple- compatible from the get-go? >
Make no mistake about it, Black Love, does still exist(my parents just celebrated 51 years of marriage & still IN love) …but the dynamics of it has changed. In more ways than 1 and for more than 1 reason…>
Let it be noted before I delve any deeper into this..I simply LOVE my brothers! Hands down I do, with all my BEing..I am in full support of/participated in co-raising 3 heckified beautiful Black princes/am the daughter of an OUTSTANDING Black Daddy/am the sister of an amazing Black & loyally married brother(key word there is LOYAL..that still matters) /exwife & ex yet still very, very good friend to an awesome Black brother who is a #1 Dad/& Sista friend to a host of Black brothers who I’m blessed to be able to call devoted friends..Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way; onto why a particular brother’s comments on MY marital status disappointed me so very much(& is the fuel behind this post)…>
I think there is an assumption & presumption that when a sexy, smart sister is single it means…a. she has set her standards TOO high b. has unrealistic expectations of a man/relationship c. thinks she deserves more based on what a brother can do for her financially(also known as a gold digger) and won’t link up with the average brother…..But what hasn’t been considered?!? Based on just simple, basic! things that a woman desires in a man; its very SLIM pickings out there. Exclamation point. Period..Lets see if I can explain this properly.. 1. OMG is having a decent conversation toooo much to ask for these days?!? WithOUT hearing about the size of my butt! (IF I hear 1 more comment about it I will scream; what IS wrong with these younger brothers on the East Coast? ) WithOUT hearing about my looks or my hair or that I look Spanish and not Black…Miss me with all of it/grow UP/man UP..I’ve tired of being polite; cause some of us were raised by mother who taught us manners. But you’ve got to step UP your game , to the least, to get past all of the compliments quickly and move onto to a decent conversation. Going on & on & on just makes it appear as if you aren’t capable of holding a decent conversation…and personally? My time is tight & precious..talk to me about something other than ME..or don’t waste your breath. Moving right along>
*Black love statistics & then back to my very real commentary*= Recent estimates of single, Black women: 60% -70%(thats a whopper amount) . Employment rate for Black men current approx & record low:56.9% . (love without finance is not fun; it takes 2 incomes these days to make it as a couple) More than TWICE as many Black men married someone of another ethnicity; then Black women(roughly 22% to 8%..so doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is making the amount of fish in the pond smaller for Black women to be chosen by..) . 70% of Black children are born to single Black Mothers. (wait, there is NO such thing as a single mother..can’t have a baby alone…WHAT is this saying about Black men??? can have sex with Black women but not put a ring on IT? *slapping forehead*) 41% of Black women have never married. 43% of Black men have never married..backintheday when my folks married; you didn’t have SEX without a ring on it..how things have changed for the worse) 70% of 1st Black marriages are ending in divorce. So IF you’re on your 1st marriage & Black..odds are you’re not going to make it. Especially if you don’t even enter the marriage in love; which by the way the brother who said I needed to lower my standards admitted.. Never been IN love; yet currently married. I just can’t wrap my mind around the many questions of why..and then people are shocked instantly into the marriage there are major , major issues. As IF. I’d be more shocked if there weren’t..>
Going to see if I can break this down from what, I think, is the beginning of this chaotic situational situation…I’m about finding solutions to problems & after I break this down? I’ll do my best to lay down what I think is a simple start to a solution..The good news? What is broken down can be built back UP; but it will take time/consistency/& desire to get back to the basics. Now the tough part that will more than likely make some of my Black sisters hate on me…though if they let this sink in & chew on it the concept really does make sense. First of all I am & will always be a proud woman’s libber. I adore being a woman & all things in support of women. I am for a woman being respected and judged based on her “own” merit. I’ve been known to say I’m far more than a pretty face. I mean that 100%..one thing I think men often forget? The true beauty in a woman is beneath her appearance. It is her heart! , her spirit, her essence and her inner-soul. Nevertheless what I sincerely feel began the rapid decline of Black Love relationships is = Women’s Lib. Yep, somehow we got sucked IN way backintheday to thinking that our INdependence was #1. Question that is begging to be answered now is..At what cost was/is our independence worth? And independent from what? Real & intimate & necessary LOVE relationships & our children who we allowed to be raised by strangers for 8 entire hours a day??? (add that up and its alot of time children are away daily from their parents…) The fall out from what was really caused by women’s lib? How many HAPPY married Black folks do you know?(let me quickly insert here my parents are) Think about it…I’ll wait. >
So the fall out began from women’s lib..The woman suddenly felt just taking care of home..i.e..her husband & children full time..wasn’t a worthy full time job. Thus, children were raised primarily (40 -45 hrs a week is the bulk of the waking week days..) by strangers…think about when did kids behavior overall become as disrespectful as it is now? When did the use of DRUGS on children become prevalent? I don’t recall soooo many kids on ADD meds backintheday when I was in elementary…used to just call them hyper kids! And what about tending to her husband? After a full day of work and then home to tend to dinner & the kids(is anyone doing homework with children anymore??? taking kids to the library anymore? reading with kids anymore???) how many nights is a wife NOT feeling like tending to her husbands needs? And that causes men to do what? Or one of the causes…stray. I have to say for the record I have never seen or heard of SO many people cheating or willing to cheat on their marriage; as these days. Its out of control…why even be married if you’re not going to attempt to stay loyal? Tiger Woods is a prime example…wtH? Anyways I digress, but y’all get the gist>
So now we’ve got generation upon generation of people from broken homes..Whats worse is then some Black fathers don’t even stay involved with their children after the break up..As IF its the child they’re also breaking off with. I will never understand nor be able to RESPECT a man that hasn’t tended to his children. How in the world you can not care for your own seed is beyond me..even wild animals tend to their babies/offspring. And IF a man doesn’t take care of his own seed; what makes a woman think he cares about her. There is no logic in that. With the rising cost of living it is almost impossible to raise a child on one income..this is where oldschool type families SHOULD step in to help..it truly does take a village these days..Lest we forget our African roots..But that is another long topic for another time. These are just but a couple ways women’s lib began the descent of the Black family & Black love..as a woman that is a sobering , sad thought. How do we get back what WE had? Because in trying to sort through the broken pieces out here as a single woman ready to date? I’m just glad I’m happy & content with my life..or I’d be one miserable woman waiting for an eligible suitable ‘the 1″. Never mistake the fact that I talk about yearning to be in love again or married; for being unhappy. I’m very happy & hopefully I can will into existence what I wish for by talking or writing about it. I believe in that@Think it. Dream it. Make it happen.
My biggest problem? I’ve got standards; some say too high. I not only look for physical attractiveness ; but a man’s character matters to me. His consistency/keeping his word/his heart shining through in his actions/he has good COMMUNICATION skills and can hold a decent conversation/he is kind/He is a Believer(that should’ve been #1 on the list)/he respects his Mother, this is a must, and women. Tip for my brothers reading this..When you disrespect your marriage/wife by hitting on me..you also disrespect ME. And I won’t allow that or myself to stoop to your level..Just because you don’t respect your marriage..doesn’t mean I’m going to . Last but not least IF having such standards makes me greedy or stuck on my self. Then so be it..really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about me. What matters most is what I think/feel about myself. I think being in love matters for longevity in a relationship/marriage. Even if its not the first marriage; it still matters. And in my book it always will.
The path to get things back to the way they were; I think begins with choosing potential spouses/signficant others based on more than their looks or sex…When something, anything, isn’t built on a good foundation…it falls apart. People think they can change people. Can’t! All that happens is you’ll waste alot of time & youth trying..unhappily. I’d not trade a day of being single for that. Isn’t that called HELL? Until I read/write y’all again stay uplifted & blessed. 4ever sincere , Berna (the 1 & only)
Urban dictionary definition = Blame it on the liquor : When a person does stupid things, later making excuses that it was the alcohol, that made him/her do so. A: ”Dude, it wasn’t me, i didn’t pee on that car!”
B: ”’Yeah, blame it on the liquor…”
While some of ya’ll reading this might NOT want to hear about the negative impact alcohol has on the body; I’m going to break it down anyway. And for the record..I used to drink socially once upon a time ago. So I’ve personally experienced quite enough to speak on this topic; and its highly personal. Back then the LAST thing I’d have wanted to hear/or read..was any of this. However, just mayhaps some of the youth out there reading this OR grown folks who don’t really yet know..just might find this info interesting and/or life changing. >Alcohol negatively impacts one’s body in countless ways. It has adverse effects on the brain, heart, LIVER, lungs , digestive system, and the skin.(very fast way to age the skin…)
Brain: From the first sip, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Although you won’t be aware of it, there is an impairment of brain function, which deteriorates further the more you drink.>>When I drank alcohol, I was a classic example of this happening. 2 sips into a drink I could feel the impact….from the very first time I ever had a drink. (and my sensitive body system couldn’t handle holding even a drop of alcohol; never was there a time that by nights end I wasn’t vomiting it all up. Not a day since have I hugged the toilet like that! And I never want to again..) By end of the first drink; I was LIT. However, hardly ever was 1 drink enough. Out dancing & having fun drinking was all a part of the process..or so it was back then. Now I honestly feel I have MORE fun without drinking. Plus! I get to watch live entertainment from all the drunk folks who provide unbelievable laughs for me..and I can remember to tell them all about it the next morning.
Heart: Your pulse quickens after just one unit. Alcohol is a vasodilator – it makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues, which results in a drop in blood pressure. In order to maintain sufficient blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. Your breathing rate may also speed up…
Digestive system:The Government advises men to drink no more than three to four units a day and women no more than two to three, so after two pints of normal-strength beer (four units) or a large glass of red wine (3.5 units) we have already exceeded our healthy guidelines. The alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and if you are not used to it, even small amounts of alcohol can irritate the stomach lining. This volume of alcohol also begins to block absorption of essential vitamins and minerals…
Skin: Alcohol increases bloodflow to the skin, making you feel warm and look flushed. It also dehydrates, increasing the appearance of fine lines. According to Dr Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist, even five units will lead to an unhealthy appearance for days…So girls/ladies/chicks/women? IF at 50 yrs old(my age) you want to look like you’re 100 yrs old? Drink UP..I’m personally & sincerely ELATED that= I don’t look like what I’ve been through & done in my life. I’m truly blessed! And I thank my God & lucky stars every single day. Real talk 4 real..
Lungs:A small amount of alcohol speeds up the breathing rate. But at this level of intoxication, the stimulating effects of alcohol are replaced by an anaesthetic effect that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. The heart rate lowers, as does blood pressure and respiration rates, possibly to risky levels – in extreme cases the effect could be fatal. During exhalation, the lungs excrete about 5 per cent of the alcohol you have consumed – it is this effect that forms the basis for the breathalyser test…
LIVER:Alcohol is metabolised in the liver and excessive alcohol use can lead to acute and chronic liver disease. As the liver breaks down alcohol, by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed, some of which are more toxic to the body than alcohol itself. It is these that can eventually attack the liver and cause cirrhosis(which is said to be an AWFUL thing to endure IF its even survived)
Now folks reading this that don’t drink might wonder..WHY in the heck would anyone , knowing all of the above, ever drink? Why wouldn’t they stop once they knew? But..look in the mirror and ask yourself this question. “Do I have a habit that I know isn’t good for me healthwise? ” IF the answer is NO ; then keep throwing stones and asking the above questions. Also , you’d be one of the only person on earth,that I’ve ever heard of, with NO bad habits. I’d actually like to see what you look like up close…Folks over-eat, folks under-eat, Folks eat junk food, Folks smoke cigs, Folks do drugs, Folks take prescription drugs, Folks do NOT exercise on a regular basis, Folks stress (and that is NOT good for health..)…the list goes on & on & on. All the while knowing it isn’t good for them..Moving right along>
Why is any of this important? Because folks are dying at alarming rates from drunk drivers, youth from alcohol poisoning, and not to mention alcohol helps to cause people to be over-weight. And as a country we lead in obesity rates; which is NOT helping our country’s health insurance issue..(another topic for another time)
Why do people drink in the first place? Why can’t one have a funky good time withOUT needing a buzz or a high from alcohol? That is the question that just begs to be answered. BUT the only person who can answer that question..is the person who drinks to that point….
What is the bigger issue behind the symptom? Yep, my take on it is that drinking alcohol is a symptom..Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out..Some folks drink to forget painful memories. Some folks drink to forget stress in their lives..as IF that same stressful situation won’t be there the next day. The difference? Now they’ve got a hangover and problems to solve..not a pretty picture. Been there done that during & after my divorce..and its been so long since I quit that now? The cost of a drink is about the cost it was for a bottle back then…OMG! And last night I heard that a shot can cost over $100. For a shot! Some high priced premium drink(that I never heard of before..) ..but I was horrified at that news flash. I could buy an entire clothing outfit for that cost of that one shot of liquor. But we all have our priorities and our crutches to deal with this on this ride called LIFE. Is it peer pressure causing the youth to drink at younger & younger ages? Is it the fact they see their parents drink & thus think its alright? Why aren’t more folks that finally saw the light & QUIT; standing UP to say the real deal about drinking? Shame? Denial? I’d be more ashamed IF I didn’t say this to my own sons & to anyone’s children who will listen…IF only for a minute. I’m just elated! that my soul can rest easy that I never killed anyone drinking & driving…which is part of my testimony. My God KNEW I’d not be able to live without having a tormented SOUL had I harmed someone…and I hold my hand UP high guilty for having driven after drinking backintheday. It isn’t something I’m proud of..but I’m also very happy I learned from my transgressions. And I had OUTSTANDING friends(shout-out to my Cali lifelong friends , I love ya’ll!) who learned to take my keys BEFORE we went out…First & foremost though thanks to my GOD for getting me to the other side of that phase of my life. Lesson learned and torn-apart heart completely mended…
Many reading this won’t truly appreciate what I’ve said here; until something happens to ‘force” you to look in the mirror..and make a change. There are many people that self-medicate…not just with alcohol. My belief? Once one loves themselves, totally, they don’t need vices to make them feel good anymore. Nor a crutch after a rough day or life-altering situation like divorce..
This topic comes UP alot these days..It came up recently while I was chatting with a friend; I decided then I was going to bring it to my blog to dialogue. A taboo topic that need not be taboo IF folks could/would..speak openly & honestly about IT. Very hopeful to make that happen here as I do what only I can do; the way I do it..Sincerely & with finesse, somewhat?>
>WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections.
< I want to be clear before I dig into this topic. I’ve had issues with Arizona’s proposed citizenship law; since its very inception. Living in California at the time & quite in-the-know-about-politics(I once ran for office long ago..) ; I understood the law for what it was/IS. Voter suppression. Point blank. For the record there are already laws/statues in place for voter identity. (to ensure folks that vote are indeed American citizens) The proposed Arizona law desires measures in ADDITION to what the Federal law already requires(according to the National Voter Registration Act) Take into account Arizona didn’t introduce the idea for this law; until a very eligible Black American ran for President. Also take into account Arizona was one of the very last states(they held out, with New Hampshire, until they received a litany of heavy criticism) to make MLK, Jr birthday a paid state holiday. Coincidental? I don’t think so…Lets dig a bit deeper>
We have a fear about talking about RACE ISSUES in America..Its like a dirty little secret that the ENTIRE world knows about(that our country was built, including majority of D.C., on the backs of slaves…) and yet; it’s not talked about openly in public. Because of this being factual is my belief that racism can still exist in our country. Or least that is one of the reasons . Can’t work to erase something that “allegedly” is already dealt with…But even a blind, deaf-mute knows that the days of racism/racist attitudes/racist beliefs/racist tendencies are far from over>
*I could keep my head buried in the sand..Act as if racism is truly dead in a country I love..On a daily basis living as a Black American woman I’m not physically touched by racism..But our Black men, America’s Black MEN, are catching HELL..As a mother of 3 grown Black beautiful Black men I simply can’t pretend racism is dead. As an American I can’t turn a deaf ear & blind eye either. How many more Martin Trayvons, Chavis Carters, & Oscar Grants have to die for us to openly discuss race issues in our country? Very well could’ve been one of MY sons..two of whom are fond of wearing hoodies from time2time. To think the unthinkable could happen to them or ANY law-abiding citizen in our country; is more than I can bear to think. And more than enough to motivate me to use my freedom of speech to speak on IT..yet another thing I love about my country@freedom of speech & thought. I think therefore I blog>
I wonder everyonceinagreatwhile IF I weren’t Black if I’d care so much that racism still exists..IF I were privy to White privilege would I feel racist beliefs/treatment were unjust? IF I were White would I turn a blind eye to people’s freedom & lives being taken away without justified reason? I’d like to think I’d still feel the same as I do now. Matter of fact I’m almost willing to bet I would; because I’ve got an enormous heart. Wrong is wrong no matter the color of a person’s skin/ethnic background/cultural foundation/personal belief system.
If you start a sentence with, I’m not racist because…More than likely you probably are or have racist tendencies. And for the love of God; I wish folks would stop saying I’ve got Black/White friends so I’m not racist. As IF! I’ve said it before & I’ll say it one ‘mo time; that only means you’ve got Black or White friends. I don’t try to dis-prove or UNprove anything; or least I try not to. What I attempt to do is love & accept everyone..That inofitself has been something that is an on-going process. As I’ve evolved as I’ve learned more about different cultures and life styles; my level of acceptance has broadened. I really can’t express it any other way..So read between the lines. I believe that IGNORANCE is what lies as the foundation of racism & prejudice. What folks don’t understand or know about; they often form negative opinions about. What can also feed a person’s belief system is = what they’re taught as children. Thankfully I was taught self-pride/cultural pride/LOVE. But what about children that were taught to hate from birth? I wasn’t one who thought racism would die overnight because we’d elected a Black POTUS. Rome wasn’t built in a day; and something it took many moons to create will take more than a minute to change…What I do think is that as a country WE can do better. The next 4 years will be a time of great positive change for our country..Or so its my belief based on many factors. That is another topic for another time. However having said all of that; there is NO time like the present to do what is right. I’m hoping we can do it together. *One love*
Single, Sexy, and very Smart..it is beginning to feel like a curse! In the love department. I’ll never get to write about fiction; because real life is FAR more exciting plus full of UNDANGbelievable moments..Hold onto your hats & wigs folks ! This might get a little raw and as always totally real..but I’m almost 50 yrs old I can say what I feel and mean & mean what I say. Right? Yep, I’m very right about alot more than I give myself credit for. Till now. Ya’ll ready for this? Ready..Get set..
Here i GO..This might very well come off as a rant, possibly even venting. I’d prefer to say it is a ..release of pent-UP unexpressed sentiment. Having recently relocated from the Right Coast to the Left Coast; I’ve finally! begun to like it here. All is falling into place and I no longer(sort of..) feen for my beloved Cali. Truly dig the people here, have made FABULOUS friends here, and I love my JOB. And yet, for the 1st time in my life I seem to be attracting alot of married brothers! I don’t get it ..but I swear if ONE more approaches me , in anything-other-than-a-friendship-type-of-“thang”; I will scream! And I won’t be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth…I don’t think married guys realize the total and UTmost disrespect that is to a woman. Not to mention their wife..and on my pisstivity meter it rates a 10 out of 10.
Certainly we all know there are women who go after married men on purpose…They even see it as a personal challenge to go for unavailable and married men. Anyone who knows me knows that without a shred of doubt; I am NOT one of those women. I want, deserve!, and am patiently (trying dang hard not to fall off the wagon..) awaiting for my “the one” to find me. Maybe because this is the longest timeframe I’ve been single; I’m throwing off pheromones like crazy. Or least that is the line that someone recently used on me; as IF. I’d even go as far as to say, and I have, that I’m pretty vulnerable right about now(no matter how strong I project I am & feel I am) Nonetheless the type of love relationship I’m seeking does NOT include a married brother..and I’ll briefly attempt to explain why. >
First of all it makes me feel cheap and dirty! And I hope some of ya’ll are reading this..Mayhaps it will make ya’ll think twice about hitting hard on single women. As IF having a wife at home isn’t enough. And what the heck happened to the time when everyone WORE a wedding band?!? When I was married IF my husband had walked around without his wedding band on..it would’ve sent off a major alarm in my head. Although truth be told if your man is going to cheat; you could wrap his entire body in wedding bands & he’ll still cheat. A cheater will find a way to cheat in a locked room by themselves! Or so it is my belief…and yep I’ve got major issues with cheating-while-married. For a reason. It happened to me. Once upon a time long ago. And literally broke my heart into tiny fragmented pieces…(though we’re great friends now, forgiveness works wonders!)
Isn’t it quite unfair to dangle candy in front of a baby; and then say the baby can’t have the candy? That is exactly what it feels like to “think” someone is single; only to find out surprise! he’s charming/HOT/funny!/personality to die for but MARRIED. When in actuality that is something that should be well known from the get-go. I just feel anything less when approaching a woman is perpetuating a fraud. And one step further so are the married ones who say they’re cool with friendship..and then bam! Swooooop down and hit on a woman so hard it can quite literally take her breath away. Note: Insert the word “men” & “wife” in the following picture..>
We all fall short of perfection. I get that; and I have my hand held UP high that I’m not perfect. I’ll say it one ‘mo time for the record. I don’t even strive to be perfect anymore. Being perfect would make me..boring. And if anyone reading this has met a perfect person; point them out I’d like to finally see what a perfect person really looks like. I say allll of that to say married folks can do whatever they please. I care less..do YOUR thing and do it well. BUT don’t include me in it. I want no parts of it. As IF I want to be next in line to be sitting at home; waiting on a husband who is working hard to get next to a single woman. Or mayhaps only I look at it from that perspective. It really does, for a minute, hurt my feelings that said married brothers would think that little of me. For a minute…then after that minute or so passes? I get MAD..especially if I felt the temptation. That leads me back again to level 10 on my pisstivity meter. I’m not there often; and I don’t like being there. Exclamation mark. Period
Someone recently said something; and this saying is getting so OLD. I’ve tired of hearing it because I simply refuse to believe it. They said that all of the good brothers are either married; or in prison. NOT..I won’t comment on the either of those situations. What I will say is this. I exist/divorced & single & sexy, attractive & physically fit/and I’m a dang good woman. And I’ve got a couple single girl friends who are even more fabulous than I am. So since we exist then there have GOT to be 3 HOT heckafied brothers out there also…and I know mine is looking for me. He is searching for me high & low. I can feel it in my bones. I’m thinking about getting a T -shirt that says “Here i AM baby & I waited just for U” Lol! Actually thats not a bad idea..
Bottom line is I love everyone..I truly, truly LOVE/admire/cherish/dig my brotha’s. And 99.9% of the time I get nothing but MAD, and I mean mad props, from my brothers. Including friendships that I treasure dearly..but I just had to add these thoughts as a footnote. Often times folks, including me, can do things that we don’t know offend others. I’m making it known, again, I find it highly offensive. Enough said…Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted and blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
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I’ve decided to wrap UP my series of Black History Month tribute posts for this year. Not because it is difficult to meet the post a day challenge plus write with content/passion; though it is tough! But because I refuse for my posts to just became..random. Many a blog & article already exists listing notable folks in our/America’s history; I wanted mine to be different. I’ve written on subject matter I’m passionate about..its what I do when I do what I enjoy doing. In any aspect. Ending with this topic because someone has to say IT..and it might as well be me. With love & the highest regard always for my Black brotha’s & sista’s……….Sometimes asking questions can serve as a way to reach others/open one’s 3rd eye/or provoke people to look at self to make a change for the better; IF the shoe fits. So here are a few questions I’ve contemplated. WHY do we, Black folks, continually find ways to divide ourselves? WHY do we think “we” have a right to say what BLACK enough IS? WHO in their right mind thought of the phrase, ACTING White while being BLACK? (this goes hand in hand with sounding White..wth?! IF one more person says this to me I’ll scream!) WHY is it acting “bougie” if someone wants to get educated, do better, and progress? WHY is it anyone’s business what someone else is wearing on “their” head?! (i.e..wig, weaves) HOW many years is it going to take post-Jim Crow for Black folks to drop the good hair/bad hair/light skin/dark skin hang UPs?
Don’t ya’ll think it rather odd that when the phrase@Crabs-in-a-barrel is used; most people just KNOW its preceding a comment regarding Blacks folks?!? As a Black woman I don’t just find that odd; I think its very sad…
WHY were there ANY funky comments about Gabby Douglas’s hair last year?? And why in the HELL were those funky comments from Black folks??!??? At 16 yrs old , in front of a billion! watching people(as IF that wasn’t enough pressure…at 16!) , that young sista became the very FIRST Black woman to achieve the HIGHEST prize in gymnastics. TOP of her game/already faced much adversity in her young, young life; and then! Black folks tried to tear her down! I found that beyond disgusting and UNACCEPTABLE. What are we teaching our youth??? OMG
WHY when Oprah Winfrey has given more assistance in the form of MONEY; than any of us will even begin to imagine or possess..do Black folks continually talk smack about her?! As IF she owed any of us a brand new school ; it is HER money. Jeeeez , if she chooses to make a pile of money in her yard and set it on fire she can. It is hers! Oprah has survived a horrific childhood; and rose above like a rose among weeds…and yet! for some reason the only folks tearing her down are her OWN. (no pun intended…) Shouldn’t we be proud of her? Shouldn’t any American be? Should not she BE an example for anyone Black , or everyone!, that from any background one can reach their dreams & goals? Lawd!
And last but not least…President Barack Obama is BLACK. I’ve grown about sick & tyeeeed of the some of us; that act as IF they’re appointed governors over who IS and is not Black enough. Pfft! All of society views him as what he IS…A Black man. Mixed or not(as majority of us here are; even those of us who won’t admit it) Black IS Black. Exclamation mark. Period.
There was a time when Blacks had each others backs. There was a time when even Sista’s, but especially Brotha’s, wouldn’t walk past each other without nodding. Or something! Brotha’s still do it with one another; and with me lol! ..but why is so hard to do the same with Sista’s? Just because we don’t know one another; doesn’t mean we’ve got to act like strangers. And NO amount of money or possessions a person makes; makes you any BETTER than anyone else. Wise folks know that when you’re good to others, in sincerity!, it comes back tenfold to you. Its called helping others WIN; and in doing so you win. It is just the way it is…And isn’t the world a much better place when everyone looks out for one another?! Isn’t that the way it is supposed to BE? IF we look out for someone today; IF we need it tomorrow it will be returned. In my heart of hearts I feel when things were really, really bad for Blacks..they stuck together. Like glue. And family meant so much back then! ALL we had was each other in those days…Look at the overall state of Black America these days. Take a long look…it has got to get better. WE can do better. I say that often; because I believe it.
Until as a whole we begin to LIVE ; what is preached at the pulpit..then matters will continue to decline. I’d like my future grandchildren to be born into a country; that Black men aren’t non-existent. I’d like my future grands to be born into a country; where the numbers of Black men in prison is less than in college. Far less…I’d like my future grands to be born into a country; where Blacks encourage each other to WIN. Help each other even after so called *making it big* themselves. Instead of stepping all over one another to get to the TOP. Its very uncool and it just isn’t right. We are one people. One race. The Human race…I’m sorry I’ve just tired of hearing the awful stats regarding US. I embrace & love ALL people; but I can’t lie I’ve a special bond/affection! for those I look like! (even THOUGH many of ya’ll keeeeep asking me what I am; I am BLACK not Puerto Rican, not Latino,etc ) We can and must do better…The good thing about this life? Where one is today; doesn’t have to be where they stay. Translation= There is still HOPE for things to change in a positive manner. But first one, or as a people, have to admit! there are issues…Nothing changes; until something changes. Exclamation mark . Period.
Until I write ya’ll /read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
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Let me be clear..I’m PRO education. Exclamation mark. Period. Life has a way often times of getting in the way of our goals & dreams. WE also have a way of getting in our “own” way. There is a difference. Yep, *rant alert* because I’m on 1…
“In 100 years, it won’t matter if you drove a Cadillac
or a Chevy. It will matter what we do for children.”
— Reverend Anjohnette Gibbs
**One more quote/background..then I’ll give my opinion on this topic. Bear with me because I’m digging deep. Not easy subject matter to broach; but so very important. **
>America is failing its young Black boys. In metropolitan ghettos, rural villages and
midsized townships across the country, schools have become holding tanks for
populations of Black boys who have a statistically higher probability of walking the
corridors of prison than the halls of college. Across America, the problem of Black male
achievement seems intractable. We fail our Black sons more than any other racial or
ethnic group.< Excerpt taken from Fall 2011 Edition of Policy Evaluation & Research Centers’ Policy Notes…
I’ve got many PHDs..One in Life.(including the school of hard knocks) One in Family. One in Love Relationships/Marriage. I’m still working on attaining my actual “paper” PHD..As my eldest son is ,now only a few months away, from actually having his PHD it brings to mind some of the many questions I’ve answered (or attempted to..)over the years regarding education. Questions from my sons and naysayers who say the time has come for Blacks to weigh whether a college education is really worth it. I could use alot of old adages to express why I feel it IS; but I won’t. I could even post more graphs to illustrate the impact a college education has on one’s lifetime income; but I won’t. Last but not least I guess I could say what I truly feel…the price of a college education is not rising for NO reason. Is it purely based on the economy that tuition and books have skyrocketed? Or is there a very logical reason behind the madness? IF college costs keep rising at a rate of 15% in 2 years(the average from 2008 to 2010) ; it will become increasingly unaffordable for the poor or even the almost non-existent middle class…
Honestly? I can understand why the youth might ask these questions..What about ALL of the folks with degrees that are JOBless? Is a college education worth going into knee -deep debt for? Why can’t I quit college when an excellent job with benefits comes along? How do I KNOW there will be jobs available when I’ve got my degree? What IF I’m not college material and I fail & waste all that time/money?
My stance? By whatever legal means necessary college is still worth it…nobody ever said anything worth it was going to be easy. Or without sacrifice. And these days a TON of moolah..Or good grades! to offset cost by landing a scholarship or grant. Which leads me back to where I began with this topic. Anyone out there know what the average reading level of 12th grade Black males was in 2010? On average, Black 12th grade students read at the level of White 8th grade students; or lower. Quite impossible to gain academic scholarships with those stats..Some don’t even consider college as a viable option. Sad, isn’t it? And then we wonder why prisons are filled with Black males; and college campuses aren’t. And we all know its happening because the media posts the stats EVERYWHERE; on purpose. With a purpose..
In my opinion when ANY group of society is lacking or falling behind; ALL parts of society will be impacted by it..I’ll let you think about that for a minute before I proceed.
I’ve tried to analyze where “we” can begin to solve this major issue..First, I guess one would have to figure out where it begins. Heres a quick breakdown..In any given situation PARENTS are/or should rightfully be a child’s first teacher. Giving guidance, direction and stability, etc, etc. Why isn’t that happening with today’s Black youth? Especially young Black men..Sometimes an issue can seem so HUGE we don’t know how to tackle it. Don’t even know where to begin solving it. But that doesn’t mean don’t do anything or attempt. And I also feel that those of us who have the wherewithall & care enough about the future; have to give till it hurts! Give our ourselves, our time, our experience, our ideas for progression, mentor!, etc..It is mind boggling to me that the situation has gotten this BAD. I don’t know about you but I’m tired, no tyeeeed, of seeing the dismal statistics. How can we, with good conscience, not do our part to help? We can’t…
Bottom Line~ IF or when your children , or anyone, asks you any of the aforementioned questions..You can use my answer if you like; I’ll let you borrow it…College is ALWAYS worth it.(or some form of higher education) My own Dad taught me long ago that one thing that could “never” be taken from me: knowledge. And in society these days that translates to a degree. A piece of paper , true!, but it is the way it is these days. A high school diploma doesn’t hold the weight it once did…In a quick minute a bachelors degree won’t even be enough to get a decent job. And that clock is ticking rapidly. A college degree isn’t a guarantee to get a job; never was! But it can open doors…and once inside that door it can lead to rapid promotion. Personally? I think high school should extend for another 2 years…An associates degree should be part of the regular public school system curriculum. But that is another topic for another time. And if saying ALL of that; doesn’t satisfy the person who asked you if college is worth it. The very , very final answer I resort to when I’m truly desperate IS…Because I said so!
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I make this look ALOT easier than it really “tis..Alot of my commentary about “being single & waiting for my ‘The One’ might come across as IF it is always …A walk in the park/through rows & rows of rose petals/and full of fabulous, sunny days..While 99.9% of my days ARE full of sunshine/tons of smiles/& even more laughter; it is some of those after-hour moments that can be trying at best. Shows like ‘Sex in the City‘ & even the black casted “Girlfriends‘; didn’t always reveal the “real” scoop. …
Majority of the time I can’t/won’t lie; my vibe is right and tight. No complaints with being single & sexy other than…I’m ready to NOT be single! I am ready for my onceinalifetimeloveofalifetime. And before I dive in deeper this song will or should set the background for the foreground; that I’m getting ready to lay down. Just so there are no misinterpretations of where I’m coming from..
Now that its been established the phase of life I’m in…Its the notsofabulous moments when thoughts of temptation can creep into the crevices of my mind..Usually right before I go to sleep when I’m finally; still. Those times when the part of my inner self? has doubts>
That “trouble-making” part of self that attempts to disturb my groove of feeling hecka-fied and awesome..Asks funky questions like: What IF waiting on “the 1” is for naught?!? Where the heck is HE? Is he lost??? Is time spent going to make up for these months of waiting? Why isn’t THE time for love right now? Maybe Mr Right Now is better than waiting for Mr Right..
I don’t profess to speak for all Black women..BUT I can not be the only one going through IT. However I am so busy it isn’t often I have time to even get “that lonely feeling”. That feeling of remembrance…of how sweet love can be and IS. *sigh* Certainly I can’t be the only Sista trying to walk the walk; and talk the talk…Single by choice and actually I’m not even dating yet, lol!, BUT I’m close to being ready to date..I guess I was hoping I’d run into Mr Right and he’d be SO awesome, that I’d be forced to give up my “dating hiatus”. After all I am a dreamer; and I dream BIG and in color…
Truth be told I’ve never waited on love before..this is my very first time. There isn’t much of my adult life that I’ve spent *single and unattached*. I’m far more used to being part of a love union than..this. I don’t even know if I’m doing this right! How does one know when it is their very first time? And how much longer can I endure those late night thoughts that creep in? Not sure how many more sheep I can count..
That nagging feeling that comes when my body is tired yet..mymindisstillracing gets me SO amped up I think about the unthinkable. A long distance relationship. Ugh! Or what about joining an internet dating site? Double Ugh! But holding on the hope of all hopes that not ALL of the outstanding brothers are married..IF so where the heck are they?! I keep running smack into hot married ones on this coast. Triple Ugh! And I refuse to go down that road…Did all of the hot, outstanding ,single, brothers move to the right coast when I relocated to the left coast?!?? OMG
The really great news? I don’t have these type of thoughts often..though honestly I’ve had them alot more than when I first decided to take a breather from dating..More fabulous news? Overall the results have far exceeded what I’d wished for. Doing ‘me’ for a minute was one of the best decisions of my life..And I know, in my heart of hearts , I’m so close to the finish line. I can feel it! I can and will overcome those “nagging” late night thoughts & temptations..because settling now would truly mean I’d wasted alot of precious time learning me/doing me/reaching for my dreams, etc etc yada yada. And the best news of all? I feel so much better after this rant and venting it all out…exhaling is necessary from timetotime. Thank you GOD for blogging ;for its served as such a sweet release. Problem solved for now…
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Or do they?…That question is just begging to be asked/discussed. But whether it can be answered simply is yet to be seen or done. Its indeed a quite complex situation that needs direct action/solutions to change it. The finger-pointing, complaining, and blame game isn’t changing a thing…
Ever heard the old adage @’Put your money, where your mouth is?’..And when a person DOES indeed , do just that, shouldn’t they rightfully be able to speak their mind about it? Well..when Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey..after years and years of donating tons of MONEY to inner city schools and Black colleges spoke out there was outrage from many in the Black Community. Yet, the issues they both spoke out on still exist to this day, if not moreso…
**I don’t pretend to know all of the answers to this issue or any issue I blog about..What I do intend to do is lay down some of the background/state my opinion/and pray like heck it can urge folks reading this to care enough to DO something to change things for the better. ANY generation is supposed to move to higher levels than the one before it. It is something my own Daddy taught me /practiced/and believed in since I was born…It is the same practice I practiced with my sons..And it should be what everyone is doing. I did NOT disagree with what either Bill Cosby or Oprah Winfrey have publicly said.. I’ll explain why & will also recant a conversation I had just last night with a LIFElong Black educator that has worked hands ON with inner city youth..~~
The biggest issue I’ve got with all of the “outrage” about what Bill Cosby & Oprah have said IS..nothing has been done since to IMPROVE the situation or the statistics they spoke of. Furthermore, no one! had an issue with either of them when they poured MILLIONS of their money into Black inner city schools/areas and Black colleges. As a matter of fact, for those who recall, even as far back as when he was doing the Cosby show…Bill Cosby was donating mega bucks to education AND mentoring the youth on his show to go TO college. So no one can say he didn’t put his money where his mouth is..but when he finally got fed UP and spoke on what he saw & felt was reality?!? Whoa! suddenly majority of folks, Black folks, forgot ALL the years & moolah he’d donated and he was instantly a “traitor/elitist/classist/ill-informed/& just downright wrong to have aired the Black community’s dirty laundry. BUT the question is’Was he wrong??’
I can answer that for I’ve far less money and no celebrity status like Cosby(which is why I actually think folks got mad about what he said…but thats another topic for another time) and my answer is NO, he wasn’t wrong. He was so dead on that its beyond embarrassing to admit..but that doesn’t make it any less true. Here is just a tidbit of info to substantiate his stance >
How much money does one have to donate/give voluntarily before their opinion matters??? Where else was Bill Cosby or Oprah supposed to have “aired” their feelings on the matter? First of all Oprah was responding to folks “complaints” about where she spent HER money to build a school…and then folks got mad when she said what she said! *slapping forehead*
I was having a conversation last night with someone about education..He’s been an educator for the majority of his LIFE..Actually came out of retirement to mentor/teach children again..Has received lifetime achievement awards for all he’s done..and yet guess what? He said the same thing that Bill Cosby and Oprah have said. And yep, he’s Black also; just not filthy rich like them. He basically said todays’ Black youth just don’t get it! And that they take an education for granted; whereas in other countries like Africa(where Oprah opened her school..) they don’t. One of the things Oprah did say is ask kids what they want here; they’ll said an Ipad. Ask kids in Africa and they’ll say books or uniforms to go to school…which is why Oprah said she finally just stopped visiting American schools. What would you have done? I’ve even heard folks say well rich folks get a tax break for donating..which is true. BUT they didn’t ‘have ” to choose to donate to Black schools or colleges. Enough with the excuses ..we ALL know the situation is as bad as Cosby and Oprah said it was. If not worse. So why not keep it real and do something to change it? Like Oprah did..
1. Don’t wait until your child is born to READ to them..Begin reading to them in the womb. Sounds insane, but it works! And you’ll actually feel them moving around in your womb more when you’re reading; if they like the book.
2. Start teaching your child about college before they can speak..They’ll hear you & they’ll remember. I preached college so much to my sons; that I’m sure they were sick of hearing it..and my neighbors probably were also. But I meant it…and my goal was to get all 3 sons into the college door. And that mission was accomplished.
3. Join PTA groups, GO to ALL parent teacher conferences for every , single report card..if you can’t get off from work then have the teacher do it over the phone. They will…they’re public servants and work for YOU..and most of them want to do their job. Alot of educators are shocked at the amount of parents NOT involved in their child’s education. It is NOT their job to do the job of teaching everything to YOUR child. It won’t work unless its a 2 party agreement. Teacher + Parents or Parent
4. Turn the boob tube OFF while kids are studying. Promote a study environment..this carries on with them for life. Take them to the library so they get used to READING and studying in a quiet environment. And censor/limit the amount of time they watch the boob tube, period. Also censor what music they listen to. I cared less our sons could still hear it outside of our home..I was NOT going to contribute to it in our home. Its about the best a parent can do these days
5. Link up with people on school boards your child is in or run for school board positions. I learned a TON of stuff I didn’t know when I ran for/attained a position on a Catholic school board. A ton of valuable insight..
6. Talk to your kids very early on about what college they want to go to…long before they enter high school..Start the talk about mid 8th grade for the high school years will fly by!
7. Do NOT make not going to college an option..it is a MUST these days.
8. Start saving for college when they are BORN. This is one of the biggest differences between the “classes”..most of them time “us” working folks feel we can’t afford to save for our kids college funds. BUT if you’re driving a car that costs 80,000/wearing tennis that cost 200/and carrying a purse that costs 1,000…you could’ve afforded to put that money in an account or investment for your kids college fund. WE have got to get our priorities straight.
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Had to show my Sista‘s some love during my venture of blogging Blackness during Black History Month..This letter format was inspired from Nova Giovanni..A brother whose a fellow WordPress blogger, comedian, radio personality, active philanthropist, social activist & author. The brother is busy for sure! And his site is listed in my faves if ya’ll want to check him out..
Dearest Sista, I write this letter with the UTmost love, respect and regard..Sight unseen I know you’re beautiful! And the world does as well. How do I know? Many women from coast to coast and around the world try with all their might! to EMULATE you. Don’t you find it odd when there are tons of stereotypes /racist , funky comments(usually behind our back …) about US; over the years in increasing numbers WE are imitated and envied. How so? From as far back as Bo Derek “others” wanted OUR hairstyles; from braids to cornrolls! Folks pay big bucks to “tan” their skin in an attempt to gain our fabulous skin tones. Butt implants and fuller lip injections are the latest rage; attributes WE were born with naturally. And OUR Black brothers(men)? Well they’ve been desired by “others” since the beginning of time…Yet, you my Sista, were created beautiful just the way YOU are!
From the natural sashay of our curvy hips as we walk..to the way we can pull it together even during times of crisis..to the graceful way we age naturally withOUT even the many wrinkles to betray our true age…Black Women rein supreme when they’re at their BEST. When a Sista has come “into her own” she isn’t just a glowing sight to behold; she is pretty much unstoppable in achieving her dreams/goals/aspirations. She can come from the depths of poverty and abuse; to unlimited financial status. With finesse! Oprah is a perfect example of that very fact..and thus makes it possible for all of US…
But my dearest Sista, I wonder in the sincerest of ways, if YOU truly know from whence you come..Do you walk as IF you love yourself? Is there pride in the way you carry yourself? When you look in the mirror are you proud of what you see? Do you know that you walk on the shoulders of those who gave their lives for you to have the world at your fingertips? Are you living UP to your God given purpose? I never gave birth to the daughter I yearned for ; BUT if I’d had a daughter these are some of the things I’d have shared with her..
1. When you’re in your 20s you’ll think you know everything! When you reach your 40s..you’ll realize you didn’t know HALF as much at 20 as you’d thought you did. The lesson? Listen to your parents even when you think they’re not hip ! as you…truth IS they don’t just think they know it all. They do! As you mature gather people into your “inner circle” who can mentor you…Mentors aren’t just for college students. Choose people who have achieved goals they’ve strived for. Choose people who are already in places or careers you’d like to attain. And listen/observe every , single thing you can.
2. Choose your lovemates WISELY. Like Judge Judy says to all the whining women who complain about their misfortune with men; YOU picked him! Choose men not just based on looks or how fine he IS(although I won’t lie physical attraction IS a must) but also on his admirable traits , level of smarts, respect for his parents(important!) , his level of compassion, belief in GOD(sorry its the way I feel so I can’t leave that out) and bottom line ask yourself if he is a good person at heart..Who your mate IS is a direct reflection of YOU. Or it should be…
3. Hard as it IS sometimes remember your body is a precious temple..Treat it as such. If you take care of your body in your 20s; when you reach your 40s you won’t look like you’re 100 yrs old. Starting good physical habits in your 20s is far easier than later in life…Old habits are very, very hard to break. Consider your “precious temple” before you give it easily over to a Man..make sure he is worthy of your “essence” . Every time you give of “yourself” ; you’re giving away a piece of your essence.
4. There is NO one person who can be your everything! Nor should you need them to be..that was a hard lesson for me to learn. Just glad I finally did. A lovemate should compliment all that you are. Like ying and yang..doesn’t mean you have to be twins. And can often mean you’ll be opposites in many ways..BUT you should share core mutual interests. I’ve seen a pair of opposites work in sync for over 50 years; my parents.
5. NEVER be afraid to be different even when in a crowded room of Idontcarehowmany! NEVER be afraid to share your passions..NEVER be afraid to do your own thing. BE original. BE the first. DO YOU..you’ll find it alot more satisfying than being a follower. And more often than not folks will follow you…Let your little light shine and let it shine brightly. You only get one life/one shot to do this life.
6. Stand FIRM in your convictions/beliefs when you feel with all your being that you’re right..but pray for discernment before doing so. However, also learn to know when to “fold” and give in ..its a thin line indeed..but it can be done. Trusting your “gut woman’s intuition” will save you many a heartache or misfortune; so learn to trust it 100%! Majority of the time our “first inclination” is totally accurate. It IS when we as women doubt ourselves we usually fall short…
7. Embrace who YOU are; Black roots included. Let NO one convince you that being Black is ugly or bad..your Blackness is a part of you that should be nutured..Learn your history and cherish it. Never , ever forget the many who died for you to go to uncharted territory they only could dream of. When you walk out of the door every , single day! you represent your ancestors, your parents, and YOU. Act like it..always..including how you dress! Translation: Cover UP your behind and breasts; unless of course you’re at the beach.
8. Strive to constantly strengthen your “spiritual being” and your FAITH in GOD. Without God you can do nothing; and with GOD you can do anything you dream of. Real talk….you never walk alone. Ever. Once you realize that the entire world/universe! will look different to you.
9. Last but not least remember always YOU were created for a reason! No child is an accident; even ones WE didn’t plan. You’re a unique creation…a one of a kind. One and only YOU. Strive to reach your God given purpose..Work always to improve “self” for we’re always a work in progress. And love, love!, LOVE your counter-part. Your Black Brothers. For even if you don’t fall in love with one..you were created to support HIM. Whether it is as your Father/Daddy/Son/friend/confidant/lover/or husband..do NOT tear him down. For if you do you’re also tearing down a part of YOU..and it is quite impossible to raise outstanding Black sons into beautiful Black MEN; without a sincere RESPECT for Black Men. It is quite simple to understand when looked at from that aspect….Whatever you do enjoy your life. Its a life full of chances to fall down , learn from mistakes!, and dust self off and keep right on moving forward. Love your life; and live the life you love. Anything less is a waste of time…DO YOU and do you to the best of your ability. If you do you’ll have little to no regrets.
Black America, Black Culture, Black Family Affairs, BLACK Fathers, Black History Month, Black Relationships, Black Step Fathers, Blogging my fanny off.., Daddy's Girl, DP Post A Day 2013, DPCHALLENGE, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, Telling it like it IS, UNsung Hero, WordPress
In dedicating this week’s posts to ALL things pertaining to Black America..in honor of Black History Month..I’d be remiss in not giving proper attention/adulation/RESPECT to BLACK FATHERS. I should’ve begun and ended with this topic; but I needed time to gather my thoughts to give this topic the HIGH regard it deserves. I can only pray I give it the DUE justice it so rightfully earns. Here is my very best attempt to stand UP and pay homage to the Black MEN whose positive side is notoriously ignored by the media, the paparazzi, often times by Black WOMEN themselves..
**This is a subject near & dear 2 my heart as a 4ever & very LOVED Daddy’s Girl. I dedicate this piece as a tribute to the MAN who gave me life/has been my life-line in my darkest of days/and who has been the voice in my life journey that could instantly bring me comfort when I needed it the most/and beloved lifemate & lovemate of my Mom.. I love you always, Daddy!**
~”Mothers can not be Fathers…Fathers can not be Mothers” EACH role is distinctly important and that is far too often disregarded by the Black community. In the same regard a FATHER’s role is CRUCIAL in a child’s development; no different than it takes both sexes to make a baby…it should rightfully take BOTH to properly raise a child. Exclamation point. Period..Nonetheless many a Black woman has HAD to take on both roles. Or in some cases , far too many, overlooked and under-mined a Father’s role in their child(rens) lives. Which, in my opinion, is a GREAT disservice to the child. Because society does its best to depict Black Fathers as UNneeded; Black Mothers/Women have got to play double -duty letting them know they’re ESSENTIAL. It is a part of our unspoken JOB even though we fall short at times doing so…
>For far too long the “rumors” that resonate as so called “facts” in American society about Black Fathers hasn’t been defended OUT LOUD by anyone…including the Black community. Harsh and sad as that sounds we all know it is true. But what is NOT true is the UNtruth that Black men don’t care /don’t want to care about their children . I’ve lived and seen quite the opposite with my own Father(aka Daddy) , my exhusband, and a host of friends who are Black Fathers/Dads/Pops!/Papa..
NOT only do Black men LOVE their children , and want to spend time with them, but many have had to go to great lengths(and expense of attorneys) to secure what should be their “right”; as a parent. Which is to participate and BE involved in their child’s life; & faced much resistance from racially/gender biased court systems. I personally witnessed a friend of mine endure this for 3 years! The entire time over $800 a month deducted from his salary monthly; yet he had to fight the courts/& child’s mother for visitation rights. Honestly, had I not witnessed it I’d not have believed such a thing could happen…What I feel needs to happen so this can cease is Black mothers have GOT to stop manipulating the court system. Why stop a well-intentioned Father from spending time with their child? And shouldn’t we ask ourselves WHY the court system would allow such a thing?!? But one only has to know the detriment to a child without their Father in their lives..just maybe the infamous “they” don’t want Black Fathers involved in their childrens lives for a reason. Nevertheless the courts would NOT be able to dictate such things; IF mothers respected the importance of the Father’s involvement. Black relationships without a doubt need a major overhaul when courts are this involved in “their” childrens lives…WE can and must do better or our childrens future will be bleak.
The positive impact an actively engaged Father has on a child’s life is beyond priceless…#1 . Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their child #2. Indirectly the relationship between child’s parents will IMPACT the child for life. So even when parents split maintaining a cordial environment is MANDATORY. Just look at it as working on a mutual major project together; your child. Mature folks who love their child can manage this(and helps if you once loved each other)…#3. Children with involved, caring Fathers have better educational outcomes. Higher IQs, better linguistic & cognitive skills(if you don’t believe me google it..) #4.Children with involved Fathers are more emotionally secure,confident to explore their surroundings, less likely to get into trouble at home , school , or anywhere!, and have better social connections/skills #5. Children with involved Fathers are far less likely to experience depression issues, less likely to exhibit disruptive behavior, MORE likely to exhibit pro -social behavior #6. LESS likely to get involved with DRUGS, gangs, or violent behavior..
I’ve personally lived out loud the benefit of having been born into an active 2 parent loving(and IN love with one another)”nuture” team..Fortunately I no longer live over 3,000 miles from them; and loving every moment I get to spend with my parents. Parenting is a JOB that lasts for a LIFEtime. It never ends folks…. I’ve also been part of a 2 parent parenting team with my now exhusband; and its been(and still is) an experience I’ll cherish forever. My exhusband fully understands and promotes the importance of BOTH of our roles; and I give him his much deserved DUE props on a regular basis. He’s known to say there is nothing like “mama love” ; and likewise with “Pops love” We’ve shared duties and “huddled” over major issues. Even though we’ve been divorced for years. Having watched the nuturing love he has given to our sons; has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I’ve got another treasured friend who raised his children on his own basically…never once bad mouthing his children’s mother. Just stepped UP and took the reins in his hands and raised 3 awesome people. Single & GREAT Black Fathers DO exist. Though they ask for no applause; the applause should be thunderous! Enough of just the negative stories about our Black Fathers being plastered across screen and newspapers..the same light should be shown on the outstanding ones. And IF this isn’t done then Black Women need to step UP and do the JOB they were created for@Be supportive of Black Men when the rest of the world is NOT…Or least that is the way I see it. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)
This topic is as REAL as it gets! I’ve got a naturally nuturing/loving spirit..To love is part of my DNA..Anyone who knows me can attest that I’ll literally give the shirt off my back to someone in need. And I have…without being asked I’ll give. Whether its money to someone holding UP a sign @will work for food…I’m a giver. And I feel we should all share of what we have to those in need; even if we’re close to broke our dang selves. BUT one thing I will NOT share, UNequivocally, is my MAN. I expect women to look..because I’ve got excellent taste..but do NOT touch him. Ever. And ever is a very long time. So read my lips so the message is clear..I won’t participate in MANsharing. But we all know it exists…It might even be common place for some. So much so there are jokes about it & many articles written on MANsharing among Black women. I laugh alot! Probably more than the average person..but this is no laughing matter. And I’m so serious..I’m not down with O.P.P.(is that term even used anymore??? well if not I’m bringing it back) My man is considered Private Stock(a term my ex taught me 🙂 ) so flirt if you must because he’ll be HOT… (I’m single at the moment or certainly I’d not be writing on Valentine’s evening. So this message is for when I start dating again. lol! ) but do NOT touch my MAN…
Some of the terms, for lack of a better word, used to describe “love triangles” these days are: Main chicks, Side Chicks, Mansharing…For anyone who watches reality tv, which I don’t!, you might have seen some of this laid out in living color(and REALness) on the show”Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”..I ran across a narrative while on a Black website; I was interacting in a group online discussion about Black Love Relationships. And first let me say , OMG! To say my hair was blown back is an understatement…I had NO idea ‘polyamourous coupling’ could be considered an IN thing these days. Or least enough to have it shown on the boob tube. Backintheday we used to called those type of arrangements; open relationships or just plain ole cheating! But seems things have changed or have they?
These days apparently many women , in accepting their rights to sexual freedom and choice, are far less ashamed of those choices…even when they’re generally seen/portrayed as indecent. What usually happens when these love triangles or mansharing accounts are heard of or discovered!(sometimes by an un-assuming wife/girlfriend) the heavier side of blame is placed on the woman involved in the arrangement. She is scorned in some cases and called every name under the sun; except a child of GOD. I know because I’ve been on the flip side of that coin myself. Yep! I was once a very, totally “UNassuming” wife who got the surprise of my life..which also broke my heart into a cazillion pieces. But moving right along….
However, as we get to “the other side of feelings”; also known as getting over a broken heart or lost love..we begin to analyze the “entire situation” and often times can understand” somewhat” how that certain situation came about…Or least those of us that want to truly heal & forgive when we’ve been hurt by someone practice this. So anyways how does a 3rd party come into a marriage or relationship? Is it always KNOWN by the 3rd party that said man is married or taken? Are there women who prey on married men and consider them a challenge? Last but not least the question that begs to be answered…Are there rising numbers of MANsharing among Black women because of the shortage of BLACK men due to high rate of Black men behind bars in our country?!? Here is the take on those answers and the way I see it..
At this point in my life I’ve grown to believe things I never thought I’d believe when I was alot younger…Grey area DOES exist! I used to think everything was either Black or White. That everything either was or wasn’t..and that simply isn’t the case. I now believe that one person can be IN love with two people. Might seem like its impossible to alot of ya’ll out there…but that is because it hasn’t yet happened to you. You’ll have to trust me on this one. Also , I think sometimes folks get into “situations” and don’t know how to get out of them. Lets call it getting caught UP. I also think sometimes people that aren’t totally “satisfied” in a relationship can easily wind UP having an affair. BUT I also think some Sista’s have been duped by Brotha’s who don’t reveal the truth from the onset…Many a woman has probably, nope has!, gotten involved not knowing the man was married. Or the infamous statement IS= He’ll say he is married; but separated…In my opinion until the ink is wet on the divorce decree you’re still MARRIED. I told this brother that once who said he’d been separated for 3 years. 3 years! And as MUCH as I was digging him I said when you’ve gotten your divorce and IF I’m still single; give me a buzz. And he did!
In my heart of hearts I just think there is a way to conduct ourselves like we respect ourselves. Like a lady. Sounds corny but I mean it..Doesn’t mean we can’t have sex appeal or even flirt. Sex appeal is as natural as the air we breathe..IF you got it , then flaunt IT. But with some amount of decency and class. IF a woman doesn’t respect or honor her OWN self/body; how the heck can we expect a man do to the same by us?!? That answer is easy to see; even for a blind person.
For folks that are into poly-relationships..as long as its all mutually agreed upon..do your thing! Its a free country and you can have at it if you like…Not my style because the one thing in life I’m selfish about is my MAN. I do not nor will I share. Not yesterday, not today, and not whenever I get into my next/last! relationship. But for the Sista’s into chasing married men…or adding notches to some sort of married belt. What is going to happen whenever ya’ll settle down & finally get married?? What IF some marriedmanchasingsista comes along and snags YOUR husband??! What will you then think about women who have no issue DOing a married man? Sometimes we should think about the flip side of things; before we do them. Having a heart helps…and also karma is a B! The good news? One can repent and regroup for their past transgressions. That is the beauty of this life journey. Having said all of that there should be a couple unspoken Sista rules when dating…Ya’ll ready for this?
Rule 2. IF he tells you he is married but separated…I don’t care how many years. He IS still married. And thus someone else’s MAN. Legally. Period
Rule 3. IF he is the ex of a friend of yours…Not worth possibly ruining your relationship with your friend. I don’t care how fine or cute he is.
Rule 4. IF he asks for your number but can’t/won’t give you his. MARRIED. Run quickly from this situation before it even becomes a situation. Period
Rule 5. IF you know he is either married or taken…Walk away or just engage in friendship. Even talking or flirting with the idea of a relationship can lead to an emotional attachment. And getting emotionally attached or falling in love! with a man that isn’t available will drain you/block your blessings/and guarantee your heart will be crushed
~I am NOT my hair. I am NOT this skin. I am NOT your expectations no, no. I am NOT my hair ! I am NOT this skin….I am a SOUL that lives within~Lyrics by India Aire. India Aire’s song suggests we aren’t our hair..While I can understand the point she’s making; I can’t personally relate. I do indeed feel our hair IS a reflection and self-expression of WHO we are; and whats going on inside of us. And while the Bible says that a woman’s hair is her GLORY; with BLACK women I feel it is FAR more than that. IT defines us in ways that don’t just meet the “eye”; but also reveals our ESSENCE.
First things first..For many moons I’ve said the following @ The Black hair care industry is a multi-million dollar industry; and the Black community is the LEAST to see any revenue from it! Ya’ll can google UP whose got the major control over the industry(cause I think most of us already know…); and also note the fact they’ve a. excluded non-Koreans(yep, you guessed it!) from the industry by refusing to distribute to them b. raised prices higher when distributing products to non-Koreans c. do NOT put revenue back into Black communities but INSTEAD put the revenue back into theirs….Now the question that is just begging to be answered is?!? WHY didn’t Blacks corner the market on their own hair products in the first place???? And now? Everyone has got their hands into the pot of gold regarding Black women’s hair care; except Black women. *slapping forehead* But there are alternatives…
The new hot debate is Natural vs. Relaxed or Weaves…and it can get quite heated! Not in the conversations I’ve engaged in though…Natural is the being called the New Black. I’ve even heard sista ‘s that went natural say they feel its disgusting when a sista either relaxes or wears a weave. WOW. and omg! as if we need yet another thing to divide us. Lawd! Personally I feel it is a woman’s choice to do what SHE pleases with her hair..IF she wants to wear a wolly mammoth atop her head; her business! IF she wants to pay upwards of $500 or more for really good natural fake hair; her business! If she wants to chop it all off and strut it bald; her business! And IF she wants to chemically relax her hair/hot comb it; her business! OUR hair is already scrutinized, styles stolen( Bo Derek took OUR braids to a whole new level…) and critiqued by everyone else as it is. Last thing that needs to happen now is in-fighting..so knock it off! Chill out and do your thing with YOUR hair; and respect others to do the same with theirs. Some sista’ s want to try to micro-manage everything and everybody..jeeeeez. Can’t we all just get along?!?
Here is my opinion regarding natural vs relaxed vs weaves vs bald. The bald state is an easy & quick answer. Hecks NO! I dig being versatile far too much to even consider it..Backintheday my exhusband used to say I’d be beautiful to him even if I was bald! Aww gotta love him but still NO WAY. I’ve seen beautiful Black women sport the bald look ; but not my style.
I’ve also seen beautiful sista’s rock weaves..Beyonce is NEVER without a weave. Ever…her natural hair is boy short. It is quite the norm now for anyone to go from boy short to waist long hair over night. And also quite costly. There are weaves you can’t tell aren’t real hair…Love the idea of being versatile as an option. But I like my scalp being able to breathe…I don’t even wear hats! When I want to run my hands through my scalp; I don’t want to pull back thread. Or worse; not have the freedom to run my hands through my hair. Different strokes for different folks and this just isn’t my style.
I’ve got MAD respect & regard for sista’s that sport their natural hair! The cost is lower than weaves/wigs and I hear it is very liberating….I’ve got male Black friends who will NOT date a woman who wears weaves/wigs/relaxers. They want it all natural…from head to toes.
And while the numbers of Black women who go natural is rising; the majority are still relaxing or semi-relaxing their hair. It is convenient and when maintained with natural conditioners/relaxers the hair is very healthy. I’ve been on the verge of going all natural; but I’ve not dived in with both feet yet. I’m semi there and I use double natural conditioners in my hair to keep it healthy & vibrant. Which takes more time but to me its worth it. I love my hair long…and since its naturally thick I have an awesome time being able to wear many different styles. I don’t get angry when people ask if its real….Actually I think its very amusing “others” are SO obsessed with OUR hair enough to ask such a question. Bottom line is it is our hair/ our choice. And that is the way I see it…Until I read/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed! 4 ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
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““More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, recently told listeners at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union….” Quote taken from article written March 2011 regarding stats in Michelle Alexander’s book>
Alexander’s seminal book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young folks of color, particularly black men. In it, she grapples with a central question: If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years? <
~For those that are just tuning IN..I’m utilizing the month of Black History Month to talk about Black specific topics that the masses either a. On a grand scale don’t want to think/talk about because “not” being aware is easier than dealing with reality b. Far too busy with their lives to worry about the lives of the future generation c. Just don’t care d. prefer to keep their heads in the sand and just tend to “self” e. don’t READ therefore honestly miss what goes on in the world around them. f. Are aware and are raising well-grounded /well-taught children/mentoring/outreach to the at-risk community, etc g. Did I leave anyone out? Bottom line IS there is no time like the present; especially Black History Month to talk about some of “tougher” topics regarding Black America. What better place than in an environment that receives 402 MILLION readers of 4.1 BILLION pages a month? WordPress. A site I love dearly! A site I didn’t even know how to navigate on a mere 3 months ago when I began here…I’m cognizant with EVERY single keystroke that my words here are a carbon print that will last forever…I don’t take that lightly. Now back 2 the topic at hand. I’m going to post a few alarming statistics and attempt to give this topic the due JUSTice it deserves…
Let that sink in for a minute into every pore of your being..
**The way I see IT is pretty simple. Any time you’ve got more people IN the penal system; than IN college(or in the education system period…) that surrounding/environment/society/and in this case an ENTIRE race/class/segment of society will suffer in a negative manner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And I’m far from being that..nevertheless as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Mom myself I’m beyond concerned about this issue. Even from the viewpoint of being an American citizen, born & bred & LOVE my country ’tis of thee I’m frightened when I see the statistics. As a former state prison employee I cried MANY a tear seeing upclose and personal the young Black youth behind bars. Just weeped uncontrollably..mayhaps because I’m aware of the atrocious things that happen in prison is yet another reason I feel as I do. IF the current trend continues 1 out of EVERY 3 Black male adults will spend some time IN prison. I’m sorry folks but I see that as a reason to be alarmed..
Did you KNOW? That when many surveys are taken by government agencies they “exclude” the people from prison population from their research & findings?!? When they’re added back into the equation it dramatically alters the picture of the status of ..Black America. It isn’t a pretty picture. Over half of the 2.3 million people in American prisons are; BLACK. Even on a good day folks; how can that be a good thing? Just keep in mind there are NO good days behind bars..
DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT an advocate nor user of drugs. Nor am I saying that folks who break the law shouldn’t be PUNISHED..nonetheless there is a blatant “grey area” that mayhaps needs 2 be considered. <<<<
The question that BEGS to be answered is=WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK MEN LOCKED UP IN AMERICA? Well lets consider the war on drugs for a minute. By itself; the war on drugs has affected Black communities far more than others. Would you agree? There are increased arrests of Blacks for NON-violent offenses and yet…”There is NO evidence that drug use is dramatically different by race or ethnicity; but the pattern of arrests is very different. ” Quote from Ernest Drucker. Author of ‘A Plaque of Prisons’ Let that sink in for a minute…
Is it ANY small wonder, given the above happenstances, that as of Dec. 2012 ..a whopping 72% of Black American children are being raised in SINGLE parent homes?!? The media hypes up only the parts they like & dilute(or totally delete) the background info…yet! there is no excuse with the Internet ya’ll can’t do due diligence to find out the REAL scoop behind the scoop. What can WE do to stop this cycle ? My humble opinion is quite more than is being done on a grand scale..Often times when something seems SO monumental folks don’t know how or where to begin. The way I see it one by one we can do our part in various ways..Educate, educate, educate. For the remaining parents out there link UP together to raise YOUR children! Stop letting the boob tube, the internet, or their friends raise them…It is a parents JOB to arm a child with whatever they need to become PROductive good human beings. Don’t take on the task of being a parent if you’re not going to do the JOB. It is the most important JOB on the planet. Exclamation mark. Period..Far more than brand names clothes & overpriced tennis shoes children need guidance/discipline/and TONS of love. For folks who don’t have children mentor someone else’s. Even more so these days it truly takes a VILLAGE. My eldest son, who has NO children of his own AND is wrapping up his P H D, is presently going through the Big Brother interview process..to become a Big Brother. That is on top of his terribly busy schedule and mentoring his 2 younger brothers(my sons..) IF we all took on some small part to lend a hand; certainly the change can be great. At least that is the way I see it..
Another one of those tough topics we hate 2 discuss; yet know it exists. Might as well bring it to the forefront during Black History Month. I needed a title to GRAB your attention; now that I’ve got it the real subject of this piece is about=Black women who hate on interracial relationships…well least the ones that involve Black brothers dating White women. Ya’ll ready for this?!? I won’t sugar coat this subject because it leads to a topic that is far too important to ignore or to dilute. That IS if we care about the future generations. Or least this is the way I see it..
First a few statistics that might help bring things into focus..According to ,thesentencingproject, more than 60% of people in American prisons are racial & ethnic minorities. 60% ! And having worked in a state prison in Cali I can tell you first hand ; MOST of them are very young Black males.(seeing this day to day was heart wrenching to say the least) 1 in 10 of Black males in their 30s; is in jail or prison on any given day currently in America. 2/3 of ALL persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color..Now let that sink in for a minute. I personally think we’ve got FAR bigger fish to fry; than worrying about White women snagging Black men..However, given this background info one could see how problematic snagging a good Black man could be nowadays. But now onto the topic at hand…
Before I go any further I want to make my position clear..I’ve no issue at all with my Caucasian sisters who dig/date/marry my Black brothers. I can totally understand why; 100%! Major props to them for having excellent taste; and I feel exactly the same way…
My two biggest issues with this topic are..#1 My brothers who feel they MUST drag us down to the gutter; just because they prefer dating other than Black women. Personally? I care LESS who people date. Honestly…you could date flying purple elephants for all I care. BUT why “try” to tear us down on the way out the door??? As IF those who do(not all do…) don’t also have Black mothers/daughters!/and relatives. When you diss ALL of anything; you’re also dissing your own..Very UNcool and gets NO respect from me. In a silent manner of course..
Let me add here I don’t know ANY women like the ones portrayed in the pics I’ve posted…but I know they exist. And when some of us look bad; its a bad LOOK for all of us. We stand together or fall apart..Why place blame on others instead of first getting own self together? Because even the most educated & so called “together” person can have issues. I don’t know a person ALIVE who doesn’t have some type of issue or baggage..and the first one to say they don’t has the MOST issues. I don’t care who it is. Even saying you don’t have an issue; is an issue. So count that as #1 issue on the list. My point is when you can look in the mirror and love “self”; you don’t blame or hate on anyone else when things don’t go your way. You just keeeeeep it moving until things fall into place. Why take it personally? Some Black men just prefer dating a variety of women….OR could be some might have gotten tired of not being treated like the KINGS they are. I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are people on the planet. But being ugly about it isn’t the answer; least not in my opinion. What that does is add to the already much hyped image of an “angry Black woman” stereotype…and some of us are so far removed from that image that I find it highly, highly! offensive. Bottom line is if Black women truly dig our Black brothers; that means respecting/supporting them 100%. Even when it means they decide to choose someone other than a Black woman as his..Queen. We all have options these days…
For me though I’m waiting on my chocolate KING to come sweep me off my feet..we all have preferences/choices and must learn to respect others for theirs. Just remember one important thing ; when my “the one” does find me this year? He is OFF limits to all of ya’ll! Private stock and I don’t believe in sharing…Stay UPlifted, 4ever sincere Berna (the 1 & only)
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~Whether or not its a discussion as OLD as the hills; it is still sadly enough relevant in 2013. I’m willing to bet there isn’t a Black person in America who hasn’t been affected by the color issue . In some form or another..and the type I’m talking about is Black on Black. As funky as it IS and as mind blowing it is…Colorism is alive and well amongst us. Even for those folks who “think” they aren’t colorstruck. As simple as it might seem to “others” to NIP it; it is very complex indeed. Disclaimer: As always these are merely one person’s observations/experiences/opinion. Mine. Ready? Get set! Here I go head first , again….
I recall watching my teenage heart throb(is that phrase even used nowadays? oh well, I’m old skool till the day I die…) beholder of the handsome face plastered allllll over my bedroom walls on posters; slowly MORPH into something horrific. The once beautiful brown skin with the just PERFECT wide nose and the full , luscious lips just poof! …gone. I couldn’t for the life of me understand WHY someone with so much talent could HATE their brown skin /Black features enough to do that to themselves. What happened to MY Michael??? Object of sooo many of my naive teenage dreams? Author of the OFF THE WALL album which was the BEST album of the century? How could he possibly have NOT liked himself when I and millions of others loved him so??? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. How could anyone NOT love being BLACK?…..
So that was about the time I decided to dig a little deeper…Taking mental notes of my own personal experiences as well as reading, reading , reading about others experiences. And of course quietly observing…
Before I delve deeper let me preface by saying..I LOVE BEING BLACK. Exclamation mark. Period..and I make no apology for it. Anyone who is anyone should be proud to be who they are and what they are..and if you don’t like who you are work to change IT. However, one’s skin color should be something to be proud of for it is given to us by GOD for a reason. Or least that is how I feel about it. IF he wanted us to be any other color certainly we’d have been born that way…OR better yet IF he wanted us to all look alike he’d have done that too! But it is my inherent belief he made us different colors for a reason…but that is another topic for another time.
So one might ask if being Black is so awesome; why does colorism exist? Why are we still stuck on being COLORstruck? Haven’t we evolved enough past slavery to get past THIS ?!? And we all know it stems from slavery; doesn’t it? Hmmmm Yep, my questions bring more questions that even I can only guess the answer to; or assume. Which I hate to do! So I began listening to others experiences…the pain!(like Michael Jackson’s ..) my people have gone through due simply to the color of their skin. IF a person keeps hearing or seeing over and over and over and over again negative connotations associated with “anything”(including their skin color) what will eventually happen? And what will that person then pass on to their children???
One way to change something is to start with changing our OWN behavior…Or whatever is possible to change within our power. I recall when my sons were much smaller…People would remark about their skin color being light or lighter or whatever. And the good hair comments OMG..WE have got to let go of that also. But that is another topic for another time…My response was always the same. Do NOT bring that mess around me or my sons! I won’t allow them to even think! they’re any less Black than anyone else due to their skin tone or hair. NOR will I let anyone else plant the seeds of those thoughts into their heads..What you do or say around your children is your business; but what you say around mine is MY business. And I was serious. Also, I ‘ve had people walk straight UP to me and ask “What are you. Are you mixed?” Wth? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? I’m just good ole fashioned BLACK. Period. That has honestly been my response when anyone is ignorant enough to ask that question…I’d never ask anyone that, jeeeeez. Black IS Black folks. I don’t care if you’re one ounce Black…still BLACK. Sometimes I wish we’d gotten stuck in a time warp in the days of ‘Black is Beautiful!”..wasn’t that the 70s?
I once had a brother tell me, to my face!, that I wasn’t dark enough for him to date…WOW. Blew my hair back because I’d never been told that before. Least not to my face. Appreciated his honesty, but dang!, still hurt my feelings. What the heck can I do about my skin color? Not a dang thing; nor do I plan on “doing” anything about it ..except loving IT. By the way we “did” end up dating and he’s an outstanding brother(& one of my best friends in the world) that has no regrets…
We come in many shades that run the gamut …There are expectations/judgments/so called advantages/and slights that boost one shade of brown over another..It needs to NOT only be discussed but STOPPED. Generation after generation is carrying it forward. I recall when my youngest son started dating his high school sweetheart..first thing my ex husband said was”Whew! I’m glad to see he isn’t colorstruck!” Because she was dark-skinned..and my comment was”Why would he be? We raised him to not be; didn’t we?!? ” But then we talked about it and we really had NOT ever discussed it with our sons per se…all we did do though was not to label people by color. I’m not really sure what the answer is to stop colorism from continuing to re-cycle..I think one sure way to start though is by addressing it. We know it exists. And society knows it exists; google UP what Loreal did to Beyonce’s skin in an ad if you don’t believe me. We also know that it causes DIVISION, schism and contention among us as Blacks. We can either continue to just discuss it every Black History Month or whenever; and then forget about it. OR we can discuss it and act on changing our own behavior. One person at a time might start a movement to nip it..I think that just might be how major movements/CHANGE begins. Until I read/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
IS this fact or fiction? I’ll present my opinion and findings; and let ya’ll figure out which it is. Might as well take down one of the toughest topics first …Can we really talk about this without people getting all amped UP ,righteous,offended ,or showing a display of utter ugliness a/k/a ignorance? I hope so & guess we’re getting ready to find out because I’m going in head first..First, let it be known. I’ve personally evolved alot on my stance regarding this topic. I’ll be the first to admit it; though majority who know me never knew my true feelings on the matter years ago or even now. This is such a “taboo” topic that I’ve not discussed alot…in public. (and thats saying ALOT because I talk ALOT) Isn’t it something how lifes circumstances, personal growth, and knowledge on a particular subject matter can totally flip a person’s opinion?!? Or am I the only one that has happened to? Hmmmmm …And before anyone asks NO I’m not. Nor am I bi-curious. I’m as straight as an arrow and I love everything about being a woman. A woman that loves everything there is to love about MEN. However as my faith has grown so has my awareness of;things. And my love of people including different cultures has also molded my opinion on; things. As a loved child of GOD I’ve come to the realization that we are ALL loved children of GOD. Exclamation point. Period. As humans I don’t feel we can put a level of “percentage”(for lack of a better word) GOD places on sin..A sin is a sin , right? WHO are we to say who is going to be condemned or not for so called; sins? WHO are we to say what is a sin in the first place? And IF homosexuality is a sin hypothetically speaking and IF sex outside of marriage is a sin(doesn’t the Bible say it IS????) and IF adultery is a sin(“ditto”…) then who are WE to say which of those sins will have the higher percentage of winning us a spot in HELL? Truth IS none of us living folks knows…Nor do I feel we have to right to judge anyone else’s so called “sins” . (just my opinion but there are too many things listed as sins! When I found out even thoughts about “lusting but NOT touching” was a sin??? I was shocked… *slapping forehead* )Isn’t it also in the Bible that WE aren’t to judge others? I’m going to dig myself in a little deeper..Buckle UP>
Another thing that helped me to open my eyes/ears/mind regarding homosexuality? The multiple sources(a kind word because they’re really hypocrits) that were fueling my opinion/belief. Religious leaders including priests all yelling from the rooftops how wrong it was. And then came story after story to the light about same sex (with children no less! ) incidents from the likes of Eddie Long and only God knows how many priests…From politicians to celebrities to high ranking officials incidents of “suspect behavior” became more rampant. It began to seem like the very people proclaiming the loudest about it being wrong; were actually involved in “activities”(for lack of a better word) that make them “appear” to either be …a. homosexual b. homosexual c. enjoy homosexual activities. Doesn’t that qualify as being hypocritical? I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to answer that one…Or is it called a cover? And isn’t it pretty foul to inflict such awful labels on people all the while knowing self is guilty of the SAME? To make matters worse alot of said leaders spouting the prejudice opinions; are in positions that can alter a person’s livelihood. For instance, changing laws like the don’t ask/don’t tell policy…Question. Why should what a person does in THEIR bedroom affect whether they can maintain or get a job or not??? Answer. It should not. And the fact that it ever did is WRONG
Question..Are WE a tolerant people? And this can be answered by anyone by the way; Black or White. For my Black brotha’s & sista’s don’t we want to be accepted in society and not biased against due to our skin color? Yep! Then how can we NOT understand the plight of homosexuals? For my White brothers & sisters don’t ya’ll want people to stop riding you for things that happened back in yesteryears a/k/a slavery? Is that not a form of acceptance? Then how can ya’ll not understand the plight of homosexuals? This topic is truly bugging me because as a people we’ve all got to come together. Whether Black, White, Purple!, Straight, Homosexual, or whatever…and until we drop the labels/the finger pointing/the highmightyness/the divisions based on trivial stuff; it won’t happen. For my Christian peoples out there? WE can do better…Should we not love everyone? Aren’t we all brothers & sisters? Yes, we should and yes, we are
None of my sons are homosexuals. BUT if they were I’d still love them! With all of my heart/being as I do now..I was asked that question long ago & even then I felt the same way. Yet, there are many Black parents who would struggle to answer that question…For far too long one of the worse fears was that one’s child would say they’re gay. It is my belief that the seed was planted long ago. And it goes deep..or least the theory I believe could explain why homophobia does exist in Black America. After all the Black Male’s sexuality has long been talked about/envied/admired/and lusted after by ALL..stemming at least as far back as slavery. If one studies African American & Literature/History you might stumble upon these findings..if not you don’t believe me google it. But, in slavery days there is evidence to suggest that young Black boys & Black men were forced to have sex with their White male slave owners…There were even plantations that existed, not for growing crops, but for the purpose of breeding BOYS, MEN, and girl slaves for sexual pleasure. I knew Black girls/women slaves were raped but I had no clue about the boys/men…James Baldwin also spoke of it past slavery in “Evidence of Things Unseen”. Which leads me to wonder how long this was carried on beyond the years of slavery? Could this be why homophobia still exists in Black America today? I vividly recall the Black Church being very unhappy recently when President Obama stood up for same-sex marriages..and actually expected an apology from him! Yet, those very same churches said absolutely NO negative words against Eddie Long for his transgressions against male children! I’m sorry but I’ve got a major issue with anyone imposing their sexual desires on children…IF anything is a sin that has got to be HIGH on the list. However, its my belief IF one’s homosexual desires wasn’t still considered “taboo” or “wrong” ; people wouldn’t feel they have to hunt down vulnerable , helpless prey . Like children. I’m not saying that makes it right, but I’m struggling(and I struggle badly trying to wrap my brain around this crime! against children) for reasons why people would do such a horrific thing. People who otherwise look normal and sane…
I’m a people lover. I enjoy speaking with all people & learning different cultures/backgrounds/beliefs…I’m also a talker with a gift for gab. I’ve been known to say I can find common ground to speak to anyone & hold my own. I can and I have. From paupers to kings..I won’t say I changed my opinion on homosexuality because I’ve had/have gay friends. That isn’t the reason…the reason is because it is NOT my business what a person’s sexual orientation is. Nor is it theirs what mine is. We can chat/interact/find things in common that have nothing to do with SEX..that is called friendship. No different than I have male friends(that I’ll never have sex with) the case is the same for my gay friends. Do we agree with everything that our straight friends do in their lives? Nope. We share common ground enough to be drawn to each other as friends; but there will be differences. Even co-joined twins have differences…it is what makes us unique. I truly feel we’ve got to adopt love for everyone . Understanding and tolerance has to become the norm. We all must work harder to learn to accept things we don’t understand. We have to give what we want back in return…LOVE
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*It would be seriously remiss of me to not write/blog regarding Black History Month. What a great opportunity to rap /teach/share on an array of topics relative to Black History. I’m going to attempt to do a topic a day; beginning tomorrow. However, some of the topics won’t be popular ones by far. Or at least not spoken about “in the open” often at all..From reputed homophobia in the Black community to ARE Black Fathers parenting their children to massive amount of Blacks behind bars to whether the black church is relevant or not these days to why some Black women have issues with Black brothers that date White women …a ton of things I’ve written about and long to share here. I do hope all that read bring an open mind and a willingness to accept that any/all of this is merely one person’s opinion. Mine. Please feel free to share any/all viewpoints . I’m ready if you are..
~To open the dialogue I’d like to say this: For all of those out there who say they’re “not” racist because they have a Black friend! or a White friend!!…That does NOT equate to anything more or less than you’ve got a Black or White friend! And?!? I always wait for the AND part…because I’ve met people who fall into the above category who still hold racist views. Yet they don’t realize it. For instance, I’ve been in situations where people(my friends..) will talk about Black people in a negative & racist manner; and say oh! but not YOU. Wth? Am I not BLACK? But my opinion on the matter is that with honesty anything can be discussed…There IS a discernable difference between racist views and prejudice. Likewise with stereotyping vs. racist views/feelings/beliefs vs. prejudice. I sincerely believe that until these matters are discussed openly , especially with the youth involved, there won’t be a chance for progression. And if we can’t discuss race matters/issues openly during Black History month; when can WE?
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February is Black History Month in America…The controversial question that still begs 2 be answered IS= Does America really NEED a Black History Month? And if so, why is it important? Also, is ONE month tribute ENOUGH? For those that are BLACK; aren’t ya’ll BLACK every single day? For those that aren’t Black ; do you attempt to learn anything new regarding Black History during February? One last question I’ll give my views on= IS Black History Month just a “token” given to Blacks to put a band-aid on old wounds? WHY is it so difficult to have a decent, honest, OPEN dialogue about RACE still in America today? ~~~~~ First, a brief history lesson on how Black History Month came to be. Or do ya’ll already know? Oh well , for those that don’t know it began because of the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson & Rev. Jessie E. Moorland. Dr. Woodson was the former son of SLAVES and the SECOND Black person in history to receive a degree from Harvard University. Because Dr. Woodson felt preserving one’s heritage was important he urged the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to create ‘Negro History and Literature Week’ in 1920. He “chose” February to honor two men who had a great deal to do with altering the future of Black Americans. President Abraham Lincoln and Abolitionist Frederick Douglas(both men were born in February) Thus the creation of what we now celebrate as Black History Month in America was born…
I’ll briefly answer my own questions I posed earlier..Later, I’ll dig deeper. First of all , NO, Black History Month, isn’t a “token” given to Blacks in America for any old wounds caused by years & years & years & YEARS of slavery…As I’ve briefly explained earlier Black History Month was created by a Black man for Black American citizens to feel a sense of PRIDE about themselves..Something that was badly neeeeeeded when he first worked so diligently to have it created. Next, do I feel America still needs a Black History Month? Yes, I sure DO…Why is Black History Month important? I’ll dig deeper into that later. Aren’t Black Americans Black & proud every day and not just during Black History Month? Well , I sure AM. Every morning when my feet hit the floor and I look in the mirror I know several things for sure. I AM BLACK. I am a WOMAN. I am a loved child of GOD. Not necessarily in that order but being Black is always first…and I make no apologies for that. But later I will try to explain why. And the last question=WHY in the heck is it so very difficult to have an open & honest dialogue(among Blacks , Whites, and any other race/color/creed) about RACE in America??????! Especially when WE all know it is still very much an issue in our country….
For the naysayers, Black and White, who want to keep their heads in the sand; and think RACE issues don’t still exist in our country…Ask President Obama’s good friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr if it does. A highly! educated Black man who in recent years was reminded that NO matter how educated he was/is..he is still BLACK. Not even being the close friend of the President of the United States could save him from public humiliation. Just because WE don’t discuss race issues doesn’t meant it isn’t still an issue…And mayhaps IF we did discuss it more(in a civil fashion..) it could finally begin to solve the issue. Unless you were blind and deaf you certainly have seen RACE raise its ugly head just prior to and since President Obama became President of the United States…I don’t have enough time to list all the ways but ya’ll can google all the incidents/things said/happenings if you don’t believe me..
In my opinion , Black History Month, is necessary to educate ALL American citizens..Quiet as kept there are MANY Blacks who don’t even know their own history! For IF they did why would “some” feel Black History Month is no longer necessary? Begun by a Black man to give Blacks a sense of pride; I truly think it is still needed for that very reason..and more. Mayhaps if other races are educated about Blacks the race issues would cease! As I’ve said many times before we are ALL far more alike ; than different. And often times ignorance about a topic can cause people to have distorted beliefs/thoughts about said topic. Note to parents: IF you’re depending on the American public educational system to teach your child about being BLACK or about other races or Black History …it won’t happen! Get them books, share their family tree with them/ share with them family history stories..etc..KNOWLEDGE is POWER. My sincere hope/prayer is that people are indeed learning something new every single time Black History Month rolls around…As much as I’ve studied Black History including my own family history; I’m still learning new things my dang self. It is closed minds that will take far longer to move past the old ways of thinking…
~~As a person I love ALL people…of all races/creeds/beliefs. As a Catholic Christian I know we are ALL loved children of GOD. I don’t understand how any Christian could with good conscience call themselves a Christian and yet HATE with the level of hate I’ve seen/witnessed/experienced! ; simply based on the color of one’s skin. Matter of fact there is no one on this planet I hate. There are a handful of people I ‘ve run into that I don’t care for; real talk. But I don’t hate them. I just don’t care to spend ANY of my precious time being around them nor speaking of them. And only one of them isn’t Black.. I’m still praying on how to get past that…never said I was perfect.
Quite honestly in recent years I’ve heard the N word used more by Blacks than anyone else..As a word of affection no less! What kind of shiiite is that?!? You can’t turn a WORD thats past is so negative that Blacks died cause they REFUSED to be called that word; into a positive word. I don’t care if it is JUST a word. I don’t allow it to be said in my surroundings . And I didn’t allow our sons to say it either…the ignorance has to stop somewhere. And I draw the line there. There is enough ignorance about what is or isn’t racism to wrap around our country a cazillion times..For the record there is a difference between racism and prejudice. Every time any of us labels a person by race, unless asked to describe someone by their race, we are exhibiting our prejudice. I’ve got my hand raised high; I’ve done it. And I try to catch myself but I’ve done it…I’m still working on that too. More proof I’m not perfect. In closing my sincere hope is that we can open up honest exchanges about RACE our country…Its past time. We’ve just TOGETHER put into office , for the 2nd time, the first ever Black man in the highest position of our country. That alone wasn’t enough to stomp out racism..Anyone who thought that was going to be enough wasn’t thinking logically. Rome wasn’t built in a day…nor can something so monumental be solved in one day or action. BUT we’re making progress…and that is wonderful! Like any good parent my DREAM is for my sons to live in a country that they are considered EQUAL…judged based not on the color of their skin..but ALLL of their years of education, their experience, their HEARTS, and all of their hard work. I co-raised my sons to LOVE all people and they do! I refused to teach them to hate..What we did do was teach them to be PROUD of who they are. Which includes embracing their Black heritage. One can’t know where the heck they’re going in life; if they don’t know who they are & where they’ve come from. And while I do have a preference for who will be my love mate/life mate; I’m not racist. Though! I’ve had White guys who have asked me out say they felt that was racist. It isn’t . It is a preference. I just happen to be HONEST about my preference from the jump…Chalk it up to the level of highest respect I have for my highest male role model. My Father/Daddy who is Black..Little girls either are attracted to men like their Fathers or the opposite…I fall into the first category. Think about the preferences people have with who they’re attracted to??? Blondes. Women with big boobs.(even if they’re FAKE) Women with small waists & big butts. Women with small waists/big butts & big boobs! How about women who won’t date a man under 6 foot? Or won’t date anyone that isn’t fit or fyneeeee as heck. My preference just happens to involve skin color. And I absolutely LOVE chocolate skin..and the swagger of a confident brother??? Omg, no substitute for that…. Also, if anyone out there reading this has anything to add or correct me on things I’ve written; feel free. I’m ready to rap if you are…4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)
Many who travel to New Orleans to party aren’t aware of the rich culture & history that define Mardi Gras..As a 5th generation original New Orleanian(New Orleans is always HOME no matter where we reside now) I’m going to do my best to give ya’ll some background..You can take the person out of New Orleans; but can’t take New Orleans out of the person! WE are fun loving, down 2 earth, loving folks who will make you feel at HOME..and also? For sure WE know how to have a goooood time & PARTY..Isn’t life far too brief not to play just as hard as we work?
>>What ya’ll might not know is that New Orleans is a predominatly Catholic/Christian city…Mardi Gras is a time to get “it” all out of one’s system prior to preparing for the resurrection. Easter…Mardi Gras precedes Lent. During Lent we have 40 days of sacrifice to imitate our Lord.
During Mardi Gras much of the businesses and roads are SHUT down! It is one BIG party allll week long..People walk everywhere & meeting new friends . Folks dressed in wild & crazy & COLORful costumes..There are parades, formal balls, and the FOOD..omg! there is NO food on earth like the food from New Orleans. The floats in the parades are beautiful ..beads and FUN galore. Kids and adults alike dance and dance
IF you want to visit a city full of LOVE and 2getherness while having a good time/IF you love to dance and dance!/IF you love gooood food and gooood people check out New Orleans during Mardi Gras! And IF you’re there next year and you see someone about 5’4 in a CUTE costume/laughing/dancing/and probably talking Lol! then say “hello” ..because that will be ME.
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Last night I attended a very classy celebration to honor President Barack Obama(took place at a top tiered university alumni hall here) ..Hosted by a FABULOUS group of 20 Black Women who decided to start an organization to do THEIR part to help GET Barack Obama into the White House the 1st time. An amazing group of women who did what we should ALL do when we want something done..they did it themselves. They contributed over 1,800 HOURS of their own time to President Obama’s campaign this past year alone..their accomplishments are countless!(including money raised for both campaigns, voter registrative drives, starting/maintaining college scholarships, etc) Simply called themselves Club 44(President Obama is the 44th president) they’ve inspired ME to always remember that ONE person can make a difference. And in this case..20 people. I’m a true Obama fan since the day I heard his speech at the DNC in 2004; and 2nd only to the 1st lady as his forever cheerleader! I’ve read both of his books; before he became the President of our country. Watched hours & hours of his interviews & news clips. Often I’ve said he is one of the few people on earth that I could listen to endlessly, and BE spellbound, even if he was speaking about basket weaving! Later on 2day I’m going to flex my imagination/my creativity/& my writing skills to enact a mock interview of President Barack Obama..I’ll ask questions I’ve always wanted to ask him & hopefully cover some you’d like to ask him as well. The questions will all be original questions from my minds’ eye. Some of the answers will be actual words straight from President Obama’s lips.(from transcripts) Other answers will be what I “think” he’d say ; from all that I’ve heard him say(or read) on specific topics. BEfore I dig in I’d like to say its my desire to get some little known FACTS about President Obama printed in black & white. There is MUCH thats been accomplished by his administration that the media has NOT printed.(well not on front pages…) I do hope that American citizens continue to do their own due diligence prior to voting in any election. Don’t lean on hear-say nor the media to form your opinion ..Not alone anyway. I’ve gathered information from an array of venues and I always will when voting. Voting is a right that even if I have to crawl to the voting booth; I’ll always participate . I once ran for political office & used the slogan” YOUR vote, is YOUR voice..and to this day I still feel that way.
~~IF given the opportunity (and who knows what the future holds; NEVER count me out on anything I want to DO) to interview President Barack H. Obama II; these are the questions I’d ask~~
President Obama first I’ve GOT to say what a honor it is for me to interview you..I was your campaign “warrior” long before many knew who you were back in 2004. I joined voter registration drives in 2007 for the 1st time ever! Because you were running..I also became a 1 woman walking verbal billboard for you at that same time(and I talked to ALOT of people) So having said that , and hoping you’re comfortable here with me, my first question IS:
**Name something, not well known , you support or are in favor of? > “Allowing churches to provide welfare services . <
**Can you share with those who might not know(but by the way I know already…) the program YOUR administration designed & implemented to keep defaulting homeowners IN their homes? >”A $75 billion dollar plan/program called , The Home Affordable Refinance Program. By July 2010 , 390,000 homeowners, had permanently re-modified their home loans. Which allowed them to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. The program is also known as , The Obama Refi Plan. <
**Are you for or against a woman’s right to choose? >” Abortion is a woman’s right for its HER body; & her choice on what to do with her body.< Period!
**President Obama as of this moment the “average” person can’t afford to run for President of our country. I find that totally UNfair and very discouraging for today’s youth. What have you done, if anything, to change that? >”The first bill I ever passed was the , Campaign Finance Reform bill. It was the first in a generation in Illinois. In terms of my OWN campaign, I did NOT accept monies from lobbyists nor PACs..<
**Your administration President Obama has had ALOT of firsts! I don’t think the majority know just how MUCH you/your administration has accomplished. Off the top of your head please give us ONE such example of a first you’ve acomplished while President? > ” WE launched the first-EVER National study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. It was determined that LGBT discrimination should be subject to a standard of ‘heightened scrutiny’. Also another first of MANY; myself & the 1st Lady led the first-EVER White House conference on bullying prevention.<
**President Obama WHY do you think your efforts at bipartianship didn’t work out as you’d wished for? >”…I think Republicans made a calculated decision which was, ‘, You know what? WE really screwed UP the economy! Obama seems popular. Our best bet is to stand on the sidelines…Because WE think the economy’s gonna get worse, and at some point, WE’LL be able to just blame Obama.'<
**As a woman I feel women should rightfully be paid the same wages as men..Of course for doing the same work-load holding the same title…How do you feel about equal pay for women? Especially considering you’ve got two young daughters…>”The very FIRST bill I signed into law on Jan, 29, 2009 was the, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It was an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964…By signing it into law it allows women to be able to challenge legally if they’re victims of pay discrimination. “<
**How do you feel about Photo I.D. requirements for voting? >”I sponsored rejecting the notion! It disenfranchises Americans. Specifically African Americans and large minority populations. “<
I’ve got just one more question President Obama. Of a personal nature…Did you get the tribute poem I wrote for you recently & sent to the White House?>”Yes, I did….I love IT!”<
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>Common Alpha(Type A personality) Male Traits: Natural born leader. Self-confident. Demonstrate strength. VERY comfortable in their own skin. Extreme competitiveness. Always composed. Physical fitness is priority. Dominant; not aggressive. Superior social skills. Witty. Driven. Problem solver. Optimistic! Exaggerated sense of urgency=time is important/precious. (love that; NEVER a dull moment…) Good communicators. Values efficiency.
THE FOUR ALPHA TYPES:
All alpha males are aggressive, competitive, and driven to achieve. They think big, aim high, and attack their goals with courage, confidence, and tenacity. But each of the four types expresses these common qualities in different ways. Think of them as spices that add flavor to the basic alpha male recipe. Understanding their nuances will give you deeper insight into yourself and the alpha males around you, enabling you to pinpoint strengths you can build upon and risks you need to address. With this more granulated view, you can home in on a specific course of action, just as a doctor can devise a better treatment plan if she knows the exact type of infection a patient has rather than only the broad category.
Here is a brief summary of each type’s primary behavior traits:
Commanders: Intense, magnetic leaders who set the tone, mobilize the troops and energize action with authoritative strength and passionate motivation without necessarily digging into the details.
Visionaries: Curious, expansive, intuitive, proactive and future-oriented, they see possibilities and opportunities that others sometimes dismiss as impractical or unlikely and inspire others with their vision.
Strategists: Methodical, systematic, often brilliant thinkers who are oriented toward data and facts, they have excellent analytic judgment and a sharp eye for patterns and problems.
Executors: Tireless, goal-oriented doers who push plans forward with an eye for detail, relentless discipline and keen oversight, surmounting all obstacles and holding everyone accountable for their commitments.
**Alpha, the 1st Greek letter of the alphabet, has become known to “signify”..the first of anything. Animal researchers use the word to denote dominance, applying it to the Leader of the Pack, who is 1st in power & importance. With people(humans) Alpha is defined as , A person tending to assume dominance in whatever they’re involved in. They also possess the qualities /attributes /social skills/confidence for leadership. Naturally, they’re strong, result-driven achievers who insist on TOP performance from themselves & others. They’re usually turned on by bold , innovative & creative ambitious goals. At their BEST , Alpha males inspire awe and their noble leaderships skills are revered by others. I had the opportunity to partake in an upclose and personal interview of a certain very special Alpha brother who still resides in California. Though always drawn to Alpha males it was the first time I’d ever taken time to actually ask one a few questions.(and not just based on my life long observations) It yielded really great answers! that I’m going to use in my wrap UP of what I feel an Alpha male is and why they rule the/MY world..And yep, President Barack Obama is an Alpha male!
**There is a long standing myth that Alpha males can’t co-exist in a committed monogamous relationship....And while that certainly is probably the case with many Alpha males; I’ve experienced quite the opposite. In fact with someone who was/is a self-proclaimed(and lived up to this proclamation in every way) Alpha of all Alpha’s ; I experienced the best love /mature/honest /committed relationship of my entire life. I’m sure 1st Lady Michelle Obama can attest to the same as well. Real talk indeed..
**Over the course of time I asked said Alpha an array of questions @Alpha”dom”.. This was the sum of his answers, pretty much verbatim , of what living life as an Alpha has meant in his world: >He is used to getting what he wants(always) ; even if that means remaining patient to get it.< **
>>Mayhaps a combination of height & nature he was quite accustomed to being given service FIRST..even if there was a line before he walked in the door. Any and everywhere! And I witnessed this myself over the course of time. Given any group of male friends HE was , without spoken words, the leader. This I also witnessed myself. He felt his aggressiveness also meant his was abrasive; I found this to be totally untrue.(except when football was on the boob tube! OMG..but that is another story for another time) VERY protective and outstanding Father/Daddy and significant other. He made it clear to all that “I” was to be looked out for(including the many times I got lost driving! yet another story for another time..) And while the “myth” about Alpha’s is that they have to be served..I can personally attest to being absolutely spoiled(well, truth IS, I was already spoiled but even more so…) by said Alpha’s cooking/superb host skills/excellent social skills/high form of communication skills. An Alpha man has a strong desire to be #1 in every way; and works effortlessly to attain that. From A – Z …
P.S. If there just happens to be an Alpha reading that has anything 2 add or dispute(I know of at least 1 reader out there…) then by ALL means please add your 2 cents..You know you want to! Including female type A personalities. Which would actually make for an interesting addition to this piece. So hit it if you like…
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**In observance of this FABULOUS holiday@ Martin Luther King, Jr day..lays ripe the opportunity to speak on a couple topics I adore. Education. Youth. Love. Before I dig in …I hope any/all out there that have this day off from work give a bit of today to say, THANK YOU, Martin Luther King, Jr. for giving US all you had(including your life..) unselfishly so that we might have the freedoms we have today. I/WE appreciate YOU. …
**The above quote @”I have decided to stick with LOVE..Hate is too great a burden to bear”..is in my belief the BEST quote I’ve ever been blessed enough to read. And with all of my BEing I’m also trying to live that out loud as well. There is a beauty in those words and in that sentiment and IF only that message can truly spread like FIRE..what a different country, world even!, this would be. Can’t WE all muster UP the love within US and share it?!? I’ve got my hand held UP high. I think WE can. YES we can!
>>Last night I happened to be in attendance at a event hosted NationWide (in 400 locations…) by a predominantly Black sorority (*round of applause for the ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY) in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr..Called a day of service for MLK,Jr. The overall message was CLEAR..Service WE must & should all be doing to educate, enlighten, and EMPOWER the youth(our future!) There was a panel(which consisted of rising Black leaders & predominant business owners/young Black CEO of a major local bank!/even a newly appointed Assistant City Manager; highly impressive panel regardless of color. Progress! There was a moderator present asking each panelist what “their” advice/suggestions/expertise based on experience was for the YOUTH and for progression for US as a community. In the audience was a group of promising youth already marked as UP and rising..I personally felt, and wished, more youth had been present. But it was a great jump start, I hope!, for the adults in the audience to GO forth and spread the message to others to reach OUT and educate, enlighten, and empower! the youth. The fact that this exact premise was also being held concurrently(same day… ) in 400 other locations across our great Nation warmed MY heart and encouraged me to continue hoping, praying! , that WE shall overcome and continue to progress for I also(like MLK, Jr.) have a dream…
**I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when my 3 beautiful, intelligent, personable, loving , educated, artistic, athletic BLACK sons(my Black princes!) will one day be judged based NOT on the color of their skin…but judged based on who they ARE. Not asking for 2 much; just asking for what ANY other mother longs for her sons. I long for a day when folks don’t fear when walking past my 3 Black sons; for they’re armed with NO weapon other than their COLLEGE DEGREE‘s. Bred & raised with nonviolence and wishing for nothing more than to aspire to their dreams!/their aspirations/their GOALS. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space in which my future grandbabies won’t be LABELED as Black, as Negro, as African-American nor have to fill out that slot on ANY form. I would love for that day to come when people are just labeled as..PEOPLE. Yes, I have a dream! On this day that just happens to also be the day when for the 2nd time in HISTORY; a Black brother is being publically sworn in as President of the United States of America..I dream that ONE day that fact won’t BE so remarkable. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when to describe people NONE of us label each other as ..The White woman that was there OR! The Black man that was there. WE are all just people…And WE all have alot more in common than different. How beautiful it IS when we just sit and chat/or vibe over the Net/or rap face 2 face and share of ourselves…I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when WOMEN of any color are compensated at the same level as MEN. (based on what they earn & rightfully deserve) I have a dream! When love brings people 2gether. And keeeeeps people 2gether. For LOVE can over-ride any division that lays between US. LOVE can conquer even what seems impossible. I believe. I believe! And I have a dream…As always folks stay UPlifted & blessed. Remember 2 count your blessings 2day and everyday. 4ever Sincere, Berna (the 1 n only)