**OTHERHOOD**40s, 50s, Childless, Never Married**Their Perspective Revealed>>

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I won’t and can’t lie…I can’t relate to this piece…However, now that I’ve been single & celibate for 3 years(though actively dating someone I dig alot..a whole lot!) I find myself trying to understand all aspects of the dating spectrum…My hair was blown back by the open nature and honesty of this write..At 51 yrs old and UNmarried; my biggest fear is entering old age alone..ALONE..MY parents attend even random doctor appointments TOGETHER..Shopping, etc..whatever they do together…As much as I dig my independence I MISS being part of a forever union..Knowing that someone always has my back..Good , bad or ugly…There IS comfort in that…Having said all of that I’ve a silent respect for those who are still patiently waiting on ‘the One’..It is hard for me to imagine waiting & waiting & waiting on love until well into the 50s…I’m just NOT that patient!

IF anyone can relate to this woman’s perspective, feel free to comment…I was captivated from word one!

I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me….

October comes in innocently enough, stretching the edges of summer into fall. But then, one night, seemingly out of nowhere, a cold chill touches my shoulders like a former lover I’ve tried to shake from memory. I shiver. My heart falls; I know that another long winter is approaching and I’m still alone.

I hadn’t planned it this way. I have always been open to love and relationships. I have held on to hope and to expectations and to dreams and to grief and to men I should have let go of much sooner. I have been high on love and tip-toed on top of clouds. And I’ve lost my breath under a dark cloud, wondering why it’s so hard for me to have the long, meaningful relationship I deserve.

I’m at a bar, on my first date with Brian, a man I met online. I’m happy to be inside, sitting next to this man, warm and calm. At age 45, I’m no longer focused on the future; I’m no longer envisioning my life as one half of a young couple, thinking about our future children. I’m focused on the moment I’m in right now. This is life. This is my life. And notwithstanding it not turning out the way I had expected, my life is beyond my expectations. I have chosen to live my life to its potential, and I’ve never felt better about myself or more comfortable in my own skin.

Brian is handsome, self-made and from his body language, I can tell he’s happy to be sitting at the bar next to me. He swivels to face me, smiling, and I smile back. The date is off to a great start. But soon enough, his tone changes. Brian has decided it’s time to find out what’s wrong with me. And after all these years, seasons of men, loves and likes and not-quite-there feelings, I recognize the conversation that’s about to begin.

First, my dates prove their ability to be in a relationship. They describe their marriage and how it concluded, or why their recent long-term relationship finally had to end, as Brian’s had earlier this year. “We argued so much it no longer felt good to be in the relationship,” he volunteers. And now, as these exchanges go, it’s my turn to share why I’m still single.

“Have you ever been married?” Brian asks.

“No,” I say.

“Have you come close? Like engaged or lived with someone?”

“Nope,” I add.

Brian presses his lips together in judgment. “When was your last long-term relationship?” he asks, believing my answer is the answer to whether or not I want to be in a relationship. Or, perhaps more importantly, whether or not I am capable of being in one.

“It’s been a while,” I softly respond, noticing my own disappointment, let alone his.

“But you’re attractive and smart. I can’t believe you haven’t had a boyfriend in a while,” Brian says, but I know his flattery is a guise to learn the great mystery of why I’m still single. “Like how long?” my date continues. “How many years?” He wants details. He wants to hear proof that he’s right about his assumption that there is something wrong with me. Perhaps, he thinks, she can’t commit.

“I don’t even know,” I say with a smile and a nonchalant shrug. And I’m being honest. I don’t know. I don’t know how many men I’ve gone out with or how many men I’ve kissed or been intimate with or how many men I’ve lost to what was simply not meant to be. I don’t count the men because, in the end, they are all one closer to one that will be the One.

“That’s OK,” Brian offers as consolation. “Some people aren’t interested in having a serious relationship.”

I immediately find myself rising up to my own defense and resent us both for having to do so. “Does it mean I’m interested in having a serious relationship if I stay in one too long because I don’t know how to leave or because I can’t bear to be on my own?” I ask. “I never married the wrong guy or pretended to be happy in a relationship when I wasn’t. And it hasn’t always been my choice for a relationship to end. I’ve been in love. I’ve wanted to be in love forever with some of the men I’ve dated. My heart has been broken,” I add.

My date seems unsympathetically relieved at this last note. My black-and-blued heart is proof to him that I’ve gone to battle for love. But I’m more focused on the fact that I’ve survived and have moved forward than on the battles I’ve lost.

“So, what’s the issue?” he asks. “I can’t believe you would still be single. You must be picky.”

We’re entering the “dating-deduction” phase. Brian will keep trying to deduce what’s wrong with me until he hits the jackpot.

“Of course I’m picky,” I say with confidence. “I want to be in love with the man I’m with and he deserves to be loved. If being ‘picky’ means I won’t settle for a lesser love, then you are right: I’m picky.”

My date pours more wine into my glass from the carafe we’re sharing. Our conversation moves on to entrepreneurship, a passion we share. He goes first, and I’m sincerely impressed. And then I share my work and the business I’ve grown over the last seven years. But for my date, he’s not so much interested in my work, but in how my career might be the root-cause of my singlehood.

“Some people choose to focus on their careers and some choose to have families,” my date says emphatically, making the assumption that because I haven’t had a family, I’ve made my choice.

“I didn’t choose to have a career over falling in love, getting married and having children,” I reply, my voice again slightly raised. “I can control many aspects of my career, but I cannot choose when and with whom I fall in love and who returns the love to me. I didn’t plan to be single at 45 or not to have children.”

“I have a friend who admits she spent too much time focused on her career and not her dating life,” Brian says, like it’s a diagnosis: “Career-Womanitis.”

“Women don’t often forget to fall in love. They don’t often forget to have children. Sure, time passes faster than we’d all prefer, but if someone wants to be in a relationship, and most women do, then we find a way to do that when a man who wants the same thing is present in our lives,” I reply. “Women are better multitaskers than men are in general, so I don’t buy into the ‘too focused on career’ script modern women have been given instead of the truth: Despite having a great career and taking care of ourselves financially, while also taking care of our health and well-being, we haven’t met the man we’re meant to be with.”

“Maybe you’re too independent,” Brian suggests, more to himself as he looks down his mental list of possible reasons for my singlehood.

“I’m independent,” I reply. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t be dependent on someone else for a change. We keep hearing about how women should ‘lean in.’ I am leaning in so far that I’m falling over. I don’t have a net, emotionally or financially, to fall back on. What I would do to be able to lean back for once. What I would do to have a man in my life whom I could count on when times are tough…”

Brian is running out of arguments. I’m running out of patience.

“Brian, if you spend the rest of our date searching for what’s wrong with me, you’ll never discover what’s right with me,” I say, trying to soothe us both into another topic of conversation. “I have no regrets. I’m living a life I never dreamed of in many respects. Yes, I wanted to be married and become a mom in my twenties, but here I am, in my forties, with all my bumps and bruises, still in the ring, unwilling to give up on love.”

My date seems satisfied, at least for now, and we begin to chat about other things. As we leave the bar later that night, Brian gives me a hug. “You’re shivering,” he says, sweetly. “Let me get you into a cab.” He hails a cab and asks me for a second date.

“Yes,” I say. “I’d like that.” I’m open to a relationship, after all.

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” he says with his handsome smile as he opens the cab door.

I smile back as I get in the cab. I am happy to be out of the chill.

Melanie Notkin’s second book, OTHERHOOD: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness (Seal Press/Penguin Canada), is available now. OTHERHOOD received a prestigious *starred review* by Bookli

Ebola: When is it Okay to be Scared?

bernasvibe:

RE-BLOGGED by Berna from the Must Be This Tall To Ride blog site..
The Ebola situation is changing so rapidly . Matt has a way with words that mirrors how I feel! Excellent comments also..

Originally posted on Must Be This Tall To Ride:

ebola

I was watching horror films long before I should have.

A Nightmare on Elm Street. Friday the 13th. Halloween.

My mom found out I’d watched The Silence of the Lambs at a friend’s house in 1992 when I was 13 years old, and she freaked, not realizing I was already acquaintances with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.

Horror films scare my mother. And she was trying to protect her young son. I get it.

“But they don’t scare me, mom,” I told her. And it was true. I understood—every step of the way—that those were actors in makeup pretending for the camera. “It’s fiction, mom. I promise I’m fine.”

While certain parts of scary films had certainly made me jump or given me goosebumps, I’d never watched one that truly frightened me.

Then in 1995, when I was 16 years old, I went to the movies to…

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35 Rules For The Modern Man

bernasvibe:

RE-BLOGGED by Berna from the JamesMichaealSama blog site..**I love this advice for todays modern man !!!

Originally posted on James Michael Sama:

This is an excerpt from a list I came across quite awhile ago online, and was happy to have a friend remind me of it on Facebook earlier. I think it provides a good set of guidelines for the modern man in order to be our best selves, so I wanted to share it on here. To the point and effective. Enjoy!

rules5

Stop talking about where you went to college.

Always carry cash. Keep some in your front pocket.

Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans.

Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row … unless something really good comes up on the third night.

You will regret your tattoos.

Never date an ex of your friend.

When the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink.

If you perspire, wear a damn undershirt.

When people don’t invite you to…

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**WaterCooler Chat**Text Message Confusion..

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We’ve all experienced some form of text message confusion…I know I have, which is probably why I find this clip so laugh out loud hilarious..Instead of leaving room for misinterpretation; why not just call instead of texting???? Ever wonder what is taking someone so long to respond to a text??? Ladies, if he is really digging you will he text or call more? Guys, is it harder or easier to understand women via texting?

>>Body Image>>When Is It Good Enough? It’s A Woman Thing ..

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First, a few facts>>

Body image is the way that someone perceives their body and assumes others perceive them. This image is often affected by family, friends, social pressure and the media

People who are unhappy with their bodies and don’t seek healthy nutrition information may develop eating disorders..Eating disorders are unhealthy relationships with food that may include fasting, constant dieting, or bingeing and purging

Body image is closely linked to self-esteem<

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape..Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media

58% of college-age girls feel pressured to be a certain weight..58%!

Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important

More than 1/3 of the people who admit to “normal dieting” , will merge into pathological dieting..Roughly, 1/4 of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder

In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future..The stats remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status and race..WOW

Students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place a greater importance on sexiness and overall appearance than those who do not consume as much

95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25

Only 10% of people suffering from an eating disorder will seek professional help

Only 4% of women globally consider themselves beautiful..

This topic has become personal for me as of late..First, time in my life(at 51 yrs of age no less!) I’ve realized I’ve got body image issues..Even though I’ve clawed and fought my way back from becoming overweight post-surgery & in full-blown menopause; it still isn’t enough. Even getting back into my pre-surgery sized clothes isn’t enough.. Mind you I was almost scared into keeping fibroids versus gaining weight..Who would rather risk possibly gaining Cancer over gaining a few pounds????? From the list above I’ve done it ALL with the exception of purging & cosmetic surgery..But I’m forever going on meatless week stints, gave up all juices/carbonated drinks, skipping meals, squeezing in speed walks in lieu of leisure week lunches, biking, treadmilling, weight lifting, and of course my beloved weekly raw veggie smoothie detox drinks(which I’ll probably drink for the rest of my life..

So just this weekend I found myself giving solicited advice to my bestie about losing weight..And out of my mouth came the words@ “Don’t diet. Diets don’t work for us, because we wind up feeling deprived & fall off.. Just adjust your lifestyle little by little & eating habits in increments & exercise more..Start slowly on the green raw veggie drink..” When I got home I realized I was telling her something I wasn’t practicing! I wanted her to start off in a healthy manner; yet when I want to quick drop pounds I dang near starve myself..I’m always hungry! Stomach growls seem normal..Today I caught myself trying to climb 2- 3 stairs at once(butt lifting exercise) while on my cell & almost fell..Not cool!

I decided to reach out in honesty ..Calling out all/any woman reading this..WE have got to stop this never-ending cycle of pushing for the perfect body image..I can’t imagine how this life-long behavior would’ve impacted the daughter I always yearned for , yet never birthed..Thankfully , I can sincerely say this wasn’t taught to me by my own Mom..She taught me always to love me for ME..Yet, even with constant & consistent positive reinforcement from parents/significant others/countless passerbys/friends? Still find myself pushing for something more..It was somewhat comforting to read the above statistics; for a moment. I’m not ALONE in this struggle for the perfect body. It is deeper than just being vain..But when does it stop??? When is good enough(& healthy!) , enough??

IF one can’t be honest with self in their 50s; probably won’t ever be! Naked truth exposed feels pretty liberating & hopefully admitting it can lead to positive change..Anyone out there that can relate & would like to share?

**WaterCooler Chat**IF You had 10 Minutes With The POTUS What Would You Talk About ?

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IF you had 10 minutes to talk alone with President Barack Obama what would you talk about?? Do you think you’d be at a loss for words(nervous..) or able to free flow?

**Quotes that softly speak to our souls..**

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Ever read something that seemed to scream off the pages & reverberate off the walls??? Mayhaps it is the phase of life I’m in..Now that I’m one year post-50/very empty nester/divorced; the words of this quote speaks volumes to me ..Ten years ago it probably wouldn’t have..Things were different then..Heck, I was different then! So when I read such deep words from someone who accomplished remarkable things that changed our world/daily life, yet died before 60 years of age..Cliche as this is going to sound; it makes me pause mid-stroke(keystroke that is..) to ponder my own truths..@Am I the person I want to become? Have I accomplished as much as possible , within means, in my life to this point? When will I switch up from thinking outside the box to actually walking outside the box?? Either life is moving faster in the Fabulous 50’s or I’ve become more cognizant of how precious time is now…

**What Makes You Interesting? Or Better Yet, Are YOU Interesting?**

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Is being interesting in the eye of the beholder? Are some people just naturally more interesting than others? What makes a person interesting? Is being “different” the same as being “interesting”? Here is a list of things I ran across than can help to define if someone is boring or interesting…

You are a confident person.
You are up on current events.
You have at least one interesting hobby.
You are creative and like to make things.
You listen carefully to what people say.

You have a good memory.
You don’t let yourself be bored.
You read regularly.
You don’t complain much.
You start conversations with strangers.

You love to learn new things on your own.
You joke around a lot and make people laugh.
You don’t watch much television.
You tell a good story.
You are irreverent and sometimes shocking.

You are very open-minded about people. You give everyone a chance.
You refrain from talking about your feelings or focusing too much on yourself.
You are friends with interesting people from all walks of life.
You are well-traveled, and you enjoy visiting new places.
You have a career that you are passionate about.

You rarely turn down an invite to do something.
You try a lot of new things. You don’t like to be stuck in a rut.
You participate in at least one group activity outside of work and school.
You are not a snob. You don’t think too good for anything or anyone.
You don’t gossip or argue. You keep your conversations upbeat.

Alright y’all it is time to chime in! ..Are you boring & self involved or interesting? Do you find yourself inclined to spend time with people who you find interesting?

Let’s take this one step further..IF someone were to ask what makes you interesting; what would your answer be??? I’ll share if you’ll share…I’m working on my listening skills :)

**When a random traffic stop goes bad…**Who is right, Who is wrong?

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What would you have done if you were the police? What would you have done if you were the passenger? Do you think the police were racist or following the letter of the law? How would you recommend your loved one(s) to act in a similar situation?

Why I Don’t Go to Church*

bernasvibe:

This is one of the most interesting pieces I’ve EVER had the privilege to read & pass on in a re-blog..It resonates with me for several reasons & I get it! I hope my readers not only READ the initial post ; but also READ the comments..Later tonight I shall drop my comments on why I attend church. Mass. But the condensed version? (which I don’t often do well..) It is the connection with the PEOPLE at my church, that I get the most out of attending church. It IS the feeling of utter joy of singing the words of the songs I sing in choir..I feel it in my bones! Joy! I find myself in a phase of life that I’m seeking a closer relationship to God..My maker & creator! There are PEOPLE in my church(including my parents, my spiritual advisor, and my GodMom) that are helping me to get closer to God..However? I’ve also met people who do NOT attend church ; who I see the face of God in as well..By their actions ..I could add more now; but I won’t..Open minds will enjoy this read! **Re-blogged by Berna

Originally posted on D.L. Mayfield:

*Ha! I totally got you! That, my friends, is called clickbait. Of course I go to church. I just am not very good at it.

//

Yesterday I did not go to church. I did not feel well at all, and usually we come to the ends of our week ragged both with the good things and the incurably mundane. I read a Walter Brueggemann sermon instead (suggested by a dear friend) and cried my eyes out. I watched a video of a prophetic demonstration, and cried some more. I listened to a podcast while I cleaned my kitchen and–you guessed it–the tears came again.

A few times a month we go to a little Mennonite church in our neighborhood. We started going there because we could walk to it when the weather is nice. Before we started attending, a year and a half ago, we had never been inside…

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*WaterCooler Chat* IF You Had The Option To Get a Glimpse of 10 Years into the Future, Would YOU?>

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Woke up at O’dark thirty(too early to even mention the time..) with this thought lingering in my mind..Probably a left over from whatever I’d been dreaming about..So anywho, that is the question of the day..IF you had the option to get a glimpse of 10 years into the future, would you? Wouldn’t it be great to get a look-see ahead?? Think of the things we could do differently IF that was the case! I’ll hold my other thoughts until tonight .. Should make for some really interesting conversations..


**Happy 50th Birthday Lizzard!**

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**There are those rare friendships that are effortless..**

Three decades..How can mere words express?
Out of all the beautiful friends I’ve met..
You’re always and still the best
Whenever I needed to call you
Even cross-country
I remember..

You’re always at the end of the phone
Whenever I encountered life’s troubles
I knew I wouldn’t face them alone
It’s easy to take for granted
Someone that is always there
Sometimes you miss the chance
To express how much you really care
It’s simple to forget all they do for you
How they’re a sister and a friend
And when times get hard & you’re knocked off your feet
They pick you up again!
Yes, I remember..

Lest you forget on this marvelous milestone birthday
I cling to our friendship in silent countless ways

There is a soothing closeness how I can be myself with you
Like slipping on an old familiar comfy pair of well-worn shoes
If I’ve indeed taken you for granted I do sincerely apologize
Knowing you’re in my world means more than you realize
Can’t help but remember..

All that you’ve been , done and are to me
And though I might forget to say
I appreciate dearly your love for me
Each and every single day
I love you always Sis!

How Safe Are We From Ebola in The United States?

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I don’t know about y’all; but I’m a little more anxious about the U.S. Ebola situation as the days progress..Can’t lie I wasn’t thrilled to hear about the two American Ebola patients arriving on U.S. soil this summer..Even more unsettling was the first case of Ebola that showed up in Dallas this week..Dissemination of factual news/information can reduce hype, anxiety and reduce the spread of a disease like Ebola..IF it gets to that point..As with so many life instances a little knowledge can save our lives and provide us with peace of mind..So here are the facts I’ve picked up about Ebola>>

Is it possible for this disease to spread in the United States? Of course it is..Anyone who says it isn’t possible just isn’t being honest(or doesn’t know any better)..However, more than just the odds indicate it will probably not become a pandemic in the U.S. There ARE reasons ebola has spread so quickly in Western Africa…Life there is very different than life here..Culture, hygiene practices, customs(including washing the dead before burial; which btw has been a leading method for ebola to spread..) & the fact most can’t afford hospital care..All of that together perpetuated the rapid spread of the virus>>

Ebola Fast Facts

Ebola is not brand new..The first human outbreaks occurred in 1976..The virus is named after the Ebola River, where it was first recognized. There are 5 different strains ..All but one of the strains can cause illness in humans & animals(the 5th strain only affects animals)

Ebola is extremely infectious but NOT extremely contagious..An infinitesimillay small amount can cause illness..Because it isn’t transmitted via air, it is only considered moderately contagious

Humans can be infected by other humans IF they come in contact with body fluids from an infected person or contaminated objects from infected persons..Humans can also be exposed to the virus, by butchering infects animals…

Typically, symptoms appear 8 to 10 days after exposure, but incubation period can span 2 to 21 days…

Ebola is NOT transmissible if someone is asymptomatic or once one has recovered..BUT, the virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months…

According to the World Health Organization: The fatality rate can be up to 90%.

When a cartoon just isn’t funny …

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Weak apology or not..Mind you only after public outcry..This was a BOLD openly racist reference..We all know Boston isn’t known for being especially “kind” to folks of color..The Boston Herald just figured they’d “test” the waters to see if this sentiment would fly under the radar..It didn’t! There is a line that should be drawn even with humor..

UnSpoken Words~~A Berna Original Poem

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Spoken words
Never heard
Or uttered
Only felt…
Yet dripping slowly down my body making me melt
As those silent lyrics
Reverberate
Reechoing
In my ears
Chasing away my unromantic and incoherent fears
Your restrained rap
Consistently
Caresses my emotions
Sensually
Jeeeez the nearness of you is making me light-headed
The soundless delivery
Never leaves your lips
Yet somehow manifests itself
Into…
A delicious sweeeeet gentle yet erotic kiss
Subdued consonants and vowels
Verbally not yet said
Instead
Passion
Mutually exists..
N
I simply can’t resist
Your succulent kiss..
Touching every lil spot
Of my being~
Feelings felt are freeing
My every inhibition
Giving U silent permission
To break rank and tradition
Cause I’m ready 4 submission..
At long last!
So keep acting out those silent words
Coming back for 2nds & remarkable 3rds
I’m so enjoying this mentally passionate sensual vibe
So wonderfully felt that my mere words can hardly describe..

>>>Watercooler Topic<<<< When Did You Last Have a Great Conversation??

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Has great conversation become a thing of the past? Remember backintheday when it was all we had? Not snippets of conversation that resemble hashtags either…Think of all the “sips” of conversation we have that don’t involve face to face dialogue(or voice to voice) ..Texting, emails, Facebook, twitter; in every aspect of our lives..From work to romance! It has become a valuable & convenient way to communicate..But does it serve as a substitute for real conversation? Something to think or talk! about indeed…

**Lady in Waiting**(waiting on love..)

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..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..

virtuous
adj
1. characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
2. (of women) chaste or virginal

heartwoman

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…

Watercooler Chat***Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?

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Conversation ice breaker of the day..Is honesty always the best policy?

You’d be surprised what the responses are when you ask someone this question!! Though an age-old cliché not everyone believes this is the best policy…What is your take on it & how has it worked out for you in your day-to-day life experiences? Later, I’ll post my thoughts but in the meantime here is a clue …

What would be even more fun is post the responses you get when you ask someone this question today..Let it flow y’all!

Honesty and keeping it all the way real…

*Watercooler Chat * What Would You Wait In Line For?

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Just a random question… Is there anything you’d gladly wait in a mile-long line for???(or longer…) Without complaint & patiently..IF you knew what you wanted was guaranteed at the end of the line! Whether you share here/at work/with family or friends; cute light topic for a little mental relaxation..Or least it was for me! My answer came so easy it surprised even me..Because I hate standing in line(almost as much as I hate being in bumper to bumper traffic!) I’ll break the ice by going first. Corny as it sounds.. I’d stand in the world’s longest line for love. Alright now it is your turn..Go!

Standing Up for Black Women

bernasvibe:

I simply can’t not re-post this piece..Beautifully written & expressed! Re-blogged from the Tall, Black, One Sugar blog site

Originally posted on Tall. Black. One Sugar:

There is a tendency when an article is written about injustices against a specific demographic be it race, gender, ability or orientation that some people want to jump in and talk about ALL. All races. All women. All abilities. If that is your intention, then this article is not for you. Try this one instead.

This article is primarily aimed at my simple voice for standing up for black women of the Diaspora primarily living in the UK and USA, who have come in for a lot of unnecessary negativity.

To My Black Brothers
My first shot from the bow is going to be aimed at my black brothers within the Diaspora. I think it is important to sort out our own house first before taking any broadsides at the wider community.

For many years black women have been pillars in our community. When we as black men have…

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^Pondering Emotion

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Ponder this…

**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

*Watercooler Chat* Whose Your Sounding Board?

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Who are the people you can rely on for counsel or motivation? Who gives you feedback that you can put to good use? Who helps you resist the temptation to shy away from deep personal reflection and/or positive change? These are the some of the purposes that those who serve as my sounding board fulfill..My life wouldn’t be the same without them! Whether self-appointed or just fell into the role; I appreciate them to the fullest..Again and again thanks y’all for always answering my calls..

Most of us need people to give us support, advice, and motivation from time to time..Someone we can run things by or just to vent & release…Whether one’s sounding board simply just listens or offers advice/insight; they get YOU. I’m of the belief that this process has helped me to grow , in ways I wasn’t even aware I needed to change or improve..In addition knowing I’ve got folks I can confide in is highly comforting..In a world as complex as the one we live in that is a priceless!-stress relieving fix..Have you ever felt the need to release to someone who genuinely cares/appreciates you? If so ever thought about if you didn’t have them in your life? Do you have anyone you can call to say I just needed to hear the sound of your voice ? It can be almost as comforting as sitting by the waters edge..Even if you don’t feel like sharing here why not give them a call/text/email/or smoke signal to say thank you & I appreciate YOU. Alright y’all all input is welcome ..Never know whose day you might make from simply sharing your experiences. Lets rap!

It’s Complicated

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bernasvibe:

>>This piece was originally posted on ‘ The Uppidity Negro’ the personal blog of ICUs Joshua Lazard>>>

Originally posted on The Uppity Negro:

dvwhenlovehurtspix131122

Domestic violence, inherently, creates complexities on both sides of the gender aisle.  We, as a society, have to admit that in order to have an open and honest conversation.  This would be a conversation that appropriately lets emotions be felt and listen to opinions that may seem like something directly from a male chauvinist playbook be dealt with directly.  The first open and honest paradigm that should govern these types of conversations is that the victim should not be further victimized.  There is nothing ever that the victim caused to be a victim of domestic abuse.  There is no word or action that has the power of causation for them to be hit or struck in any shape, form or fashion.

I’ve sat back, silently (and perhaps that is a fault of my own I hope to explore later in this piece), and watched some of my black brothers bring out…

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>>GAME Changer..America’s Teachable Moment@Ray Rice

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..MAJOR SOCIETAL FAILURE** >>When a woman is figuratively RAPED in front of the entire world over & over & over again as she’s victimized repeatedly ..The point has been made clear by the NFL @WE don’t believe women. WE think they are wrong & we’ve got to be convinced they’re right… So, here is my breakdown of how many times Janay Palmer was victimized since Ray Rice PUNCHED her in the face this past February & knocked her out cold! >>

First a FACT that the NFL might want to take note of(Or more so) ..Especially with the “indefinite suspension” for Ray Rice. In my humble opinion? He should be banned for life from playing professional football. I’ll get back to that later..Over 45% of football fans are women. Go figure..A traditionally male-oriented , very often female-exclusionary sport has a fan base of almost half female. Many of us have watched it right along side our husbands/partners/Dads/sons..Some of us love it! Having said all of that..If the men of the NFL won’t man up & stand UP against violence towards women(I simply don’t believe they’d not seen enough evidence to dump Ray Rice when they gave him the 2 game suspension..) Then the women of the NFL should and need to. If half its fans don’t tune in or buy NFL products??? I bet it wouldn’t take a TMZ released video for the NFL to do the right thing next time! Come on now..A celebrity gossip entity can get the full video & the NFL couldn’t have?? Wasn’t it already clear what happened in that elevator with even the first video of Ray DRAGGING unconscious Janay ??? Does anyone expect Goodell to say , NOW , that he made a right decision with the first suspension?? A guesstimated 375,00 women attend NFL games each weekend of the season..Alot of moolah is on the line. However, what I really feel is on the line is the sentiment about women in America>>

Back to the list of ways Janay Palmer was victimized>>

#1. When Ray Rice punched her(like she was a grown MAN) in the face..Every picture I’ve found of Rice, alone, he’s pointing to his enormous muscles. Yet? He instantly responded to the situation by punching the mother of his child. He could’ve simply lifted her off her feet to calm the situation. I’ve heard not one report on her injuries..Not one.

#2 Janay was next victimized when, from the onset, the Ravens minimized her assault. It was called “a distraction” in their star player’s life.

#3 She was forced to sit in front of the media & the ENTIRE world in an interview..Apologizing for her role in being punched in the face..WTF & OMG..I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. And America sat back in full acceptance. The game must go on at any cost. Right?

#4 When Rice’s lawyer said it was “completely hypothetical” Panay instigated and Rice was in defense mode. Later the justice system, didn’t even pursue full charges against Rice. Hmmm big money talks & at times it truly is a man’s world. Still even in 2014>>

#5 When the NFL’s powers that be, somehow didn’t see enough evidence to punish beyond a 2 game suspension. Why wasn’t a request made to gain access to the entire video? Major League Baseball got evidence during the Biogenesis scandal, right? Yet, the NFL (btw the # 1 American sport & quite powerful..) couldn’t get a tape from a hotel??? Poppycock!

#6 By Ravens cheering fans when Rice returned to the field. WOW..Enough said.

#7 The full footage of the incident being released to the world last Monday. Truly an invasion of Janay’s privacy! As IF it wasn’t enough for the entire world to have seen her dragged out that elevator like a cave dweller..I won’t post that video clip as a visual for that reason. It’s been seen enough and too much as it is..Shouldn’t have been necessary to reveal so much.

The final painful thing to occur is that many(one was too many…) blamed Janay Palmer. That somehow something she DID or said provoked her to get punched..As IF..Why is it the woman always gets the burden of proof??? Casted as being mentally imbalanced, or as gold digger, or dressed provocatively, or simply saying something to rile a man UP..Lawyer’s use this(as Rice’s did…) time & time again. Because it works! Why? Why is it a woman’s word(especially with supporting evidence…) isn’t a good as a man’s? It is a deep cultural misunderstanding of how violence operates , to think that the victim incites the abuse. How about a person using self-control(some dang discipline!) & keeping their hands OFF another person? Especially when they dominate over them in size/weight/physical power? Football is a sport driven with aggression and violence. That is no secret..When played with great sportsmanship it is a sport many enjoy watching and playing. I get that!(though I readily admit football has never been a sport I adore) And when that aggression is left on the field, where it belongs, it can’t impact innocent others who aren’t football players. If they want to beat their own bodies up to a broken down mess by time they reach their 40s & 50s..So be it! Humans though are habitual in nature..I’m more shocked this isn’t a more wide-spread issue. Youth hormones + amped up testosterone + aggression training + the coddling athletes receive..The potential is there..As a woman I’d have felt better if Ray Rice had been banned for life from the inception of the first video being released..Immediate. At least then it would’ve been obvious how the NFL(or rather the men in power calling the shots…) felt about women. It is as if they didn’t believe (or care..) about Janay Palmer’s opinion or well-being. Not one bit.. Furthermore, I don’t believe no one in the NFL saw that full video. The burden of proof should be on them to PROVE they are in full support of women’s rights..Nothing less than banning Rice will prove that. An example needs to be set. Let him use his millions to seek continual therapy..Rice needs to question his own ethics..Why did he allow the mother of his child to be pimped out in an interview? Amongst other questions. This isn’t just a football matter. It is personal. I’ve already spoken before about how I feel about violence..Didn’t physically discipline my sons/ I’ve never been in a physical fight/ I don’t feel war is a necessary tool except in self defense…We live in a time when education is made more & more accessible and excessive technological advances..Yet bohemian and heathenish(is that a word???) behavior is viewed as a mere “distraction” ..When such a great deal of people could cast Janay Palmer at fault in her own assault; instead of feeling compassion for her as a victim. As a society we’re in trouble!! ..Good self-esteem isn’t something we’re born with. It is cultivated, nurtured and taught! A great deal of lessons learned are from what we see..And the way I see it? The NFL needs to be clear on its stance against violence away from the field. Can’t sit on the sidelines & make the right decision only after the truth comes to light. Women are more than just potential profits and should be treated as such. Not just during football season either. All the time.

**Reasons You’re a Good Catch & Still Single..**

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This topic was actually prompted by a conversation with a male friend..A deep chat of sorts that reminded me how people view being single from the outside..As IF all folks that are single are lonely..I know I speak of things from a personal perspective. I’m working on that! But in the interim here is my list of reasons I think I’m still single. Actually I’m single but dating/seeing (is that even the politically correct term these days???) someone.. It took a great deal of honesty/soul-searching/reflection to size myself UP.. A great deal!

**Flashback to the aforementioned conversation** As I recall the list of qualities/characteristics my friend brought to my attention that, he feels, makes me a good catch..I’ve come to the realization a lot of those same items are also the reason I’m still single! Ironic as it seems(catch 22 mayhaps?) I believe that to be true..What I also realized as he spoke was that he’s digging me as more than just a friend..OMG when & how did that happen???? But I digress..And? If anyone else out there also desires something (whether it is a career/significant other/change in location/further education, etc etc) a reality check is a good way to purge the soul! Least it works wonders for me..On with my list>>

Reason #1 . Never learned how to play second fiddle. Yes, I bought the whole kit & caboodle I was taught as a young girl by my Daddy. That I deserve a man’s full attention. Don’t get me wrong; I can hold my OWN in a crowd. Being the social butterfly that I really am..But in a love relationship that analogy doesn’t work for me. I’ll wait for a minute to be plucked out of a crowd with my hand, figuratively, held in the air waving@ Here I am! Yet, being number 2 isn’t something I do well. I fall back if I discern that is the case. A most speedy retreat. Might even leave skid marks as I quietly depart..Confidence can be attractive but also has its disadvantages..I honestly believe I AM & should be treated as the 1 & Only

Reason #2 . I’m only attracted to my Black brothas as romantic partners..It is part of my DNA and comes as natural to me as breathing. This has caused the dating pool to be a lot smaller. Why? Because at my age a great deal of good brothas my age are married or linked up already. Heck, I never thought I’d be single divorced at 51! Just wasn’t part of the master plan I’d set out with many moons ago. Y’all know what they say about the best laid out plans though right? Yep, ish and life happens! Bottom line , without a doubt, IF I’d open myself up to date interacially I’d have been linked up long ago. If the rejected proposals are any indication..Real talk for real! Black is SO beautiful & my brothas rein in all ways>>

Reason #3 . I waited too long to get back into the dating scene..I’m so out of practice! Figured I was doing the right thing to take a breather after my Cali love & to get myself adjusted to my new location(and life as an empty nester) Isn’t regrouping a smart thing to do?? Wait, don’t answer that it is a rhetorical question..But like I recently heard Katt Williams say@ “I was single too long..Everyone is either too young or too OLD..Issues or not(don’t we all have issues of some sort at this age?) I’ve got to admit Katt has a point. Contrary to the thought process of a lot of single folks(about why they are single..) ; I don’t believe the rules of dating have changed that much. Men still crave the company of women & women still crave the company of men..Well the straight ones DO. While a great deal of brothas have expressed admiration for my self-discipline ; still has become quite clear to me I’m out of practice. I’ve grown to used to just being and doing ME . Becoming part of a duo again will take time & effort & patience…I need to tape that to my mirror so I can re-remember it daily>>

Reason #4. Began buying the hype about the to do’s and not to do’s of dating..There IS a never-ending list of lists of what to do/how to do it/WHEN to do it..And as my new guy friend pointed out? Some of those sources(ex. Steve Harvey) haven’t been IN good relationships long enough to even be reliable self-appointed love gurus! Least I didn’t buy his B.S; I mean his book..Come back and give me tips after you’ve been in a GOOD love relationship for 50 years Steve. Until then thanks be to God I’ve got parents who fit those shoes. Never in my life have I looked UP so many tips/clues/hints/suggestions on how to be in a relationship before. Jeeeez , no more..Back in the day we just let it flow. Used to trust what I felt in my spirit/soul. I’m standing firm & refuse to buy into the hype any longer>>

Reason #5. Still yearn for a guy that gets me! I can’t play ‘the game’..I don’t know how to be coy/play hard to get/LIE. I want to have conversations where not a word need be said. Believe it or not(loll yes I know I talk a lot..working on that too!) Just want someone who understands & appreciates me for me. And likewise..Girlish as it sounds I want to fall in love with my best friend. For life. I think guys have gotten so used to being duped & played; it is difficult to trust in a woman’s word. Realizing fully that sometimes I’m hard to follow! I’ve alot of pent UP energy & alot to share..Patience is a virtue and often the best things in life are worth working to learn/earn. >>

Reason #6. I have standards and principles. I believe in loyalty and committment.. I’m a one man-woman. And tough as it is for some guys to adhere to(due to natural biological cravings…yep, I read up on it to gain understanding) I believe in a monogamous relationship. I don’t know how to ‘hang out’ with a guy I’m digging. To me it IS a date. I can hang out with my girlfriends..>>

Reason # 7..I’m a giver by nature. Whether it is a friend or a lover I’ll give the shirt off my back to a person in need. Without hesitation…Problem with that is kindness can be viewed as weakness..I can’t shut off a piece of who I am just to avoid possibly being hurt. One can’t discover love holding back.>>

Exhaling! I think that is it..Enough said. Anyone out there sat & reflected on possible reasons you’re still single? Granted it is easier to just profess there is a shortage of good guys/women left..That could be part of the reason & I honestly don’t take away from that logic. The terms good & good catch are subjective..In the spirit of teach one, reach one(my only reason for blogging isn’t just to vent..) I’d love to get additional comments. Chime in! Until I read/write y’all stay UPlifted & blessed! 4ever sincere the 1 & Only, Berna

My Online Dating Experience..Tips for the Fabulous 50s

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Ugh! For some reason this was the hardest piece to write..Mayhaps because in the rear seat of my mind I knew people (because they told me..) I’d chatted or met from online would actually read this..Often times things can be said, even in good taste, that can be found offensive when describing real –life happenings..As my disclaimer before I dig in it is my utmost intent to show respect for the people text chatted , or conversed with on the phone, or met face to face(my preference) ..Each & every one taught me something new(either about me , men, or from their shared life experiences that I listened to) …I’m forever appreciative of that. Thank you/Gracias/Asante/Merci/Grazie/Obrigado! Moving right along…

Overall? I’ve had a good online dating experience..Actually wound up meeting someone , in person, that I am highly interested in! More of that later…First I wish there had been more tips for online dating in the fabulous 50s..It is different from offline dating…Or least it was for me! Could be because I’ve been out of the dating scene for 3 years now..Wow, can hardly believe that myself ..Can’t tell y’all how many comments & wonderings(and amazement) I’ve heard about how could I possibly be single that long?? If one more person says that I will scream! (Or at the least feeeeeel like screaming) Yet, it has been pretty easy to be single when one hangs with their parents/parents friends as much as I do..Until now. Now I’m ready to not be single anymore…

So next a few tips learned first-hand by moi..Okay ladies here is the real scoop
1. Make it clear you’re interested..Honestly, I think this goes for men & women..Once there has been an established mutual connection(either on the phone or in person) let that person know you’re digging them! Why? There are A LOT of potentials online (never counted the amount of messages in my inbox but it’s in the hundreds…) & who has time to pussy foot around? At 51 and after a 3 year hiatus? Pfft! I’m not letting any grass grow under my feet. IF I dig you you’ll know as soon as I’m feeling the first set of butterflies…(Which for the record in my couple of months online experience has only happened once. Very, very recently) Someone said to me that he felt women were too busy weighing options online to decide on one man. Yuck! That is a sure fired way to miss out on a diamond in the pile of pebbles..Weigh your options ; but don’t take forever & a day doing it. We’re in our 50s; we know what we like when we see it. I think that shoe fits for men & women..

2. Appreciate a MAN for who he IS..Just as you want to be appreciated for who you are. Or least I do! We get what we give. Can’t read someone’s profile & then try to change him into something he isn’t. Just hope and pray he was honest in what he wrote on his profile..

3. Move quickly from offline ..Period. My limit was 2 weeks. I’m not feeling the online chats at all.. Not my thing. After 2 weeks of messages if he hasn’t asked for my number (cell number to be on the safe side) ? I move on…After phone and text chats for a couple of weeks? It is time to meet face to face. Why? Because people can get attached very quickly through actual conversations..This could be problematic if there aren’t mutual sparks when you actually meet. And of course make the first meet in a public spot. First person I met(I met 4 people) I met him at the supermarket. On purpose. Yep, lol..

4. Define quickly what is and isn’t acceptable. I had NO idea it was the IN thing for people to send nude pics. Lawd! Had my hair blown back..Just didn’t see it coming. I’m not a total prude. At first? I can’t lie..I looked..After all he was a pretty buff & nice looking brotha..And he was so proud of his body(as he well should’ve been..) However, if that is all you have to offer ? We’d never even chatted voice to voice; only text chatted. Then wham! Physical attraction matters but without a mental connection it means nothing to me. Absolutely nothing. I deleted him before he realized what was going on. There was no need to explain. Even in my younger days that would’ve been a lame approach.

5. Be honest. Do NOT post 10-year-old pics. Do NOT post pics that are blurred. Do NOT post pics from a mile away. I haven’t had time to respond to even half of the messages in my inbox; but the ones with those type of pics I quickly deleted. One finger stroke. Poof! Do NOT state ish about yourself that isn’t true. Lying is a funky habit anyway..But if you happen to link up with someone you lied to??? Not sure about them but that would be a deal breaker for me. Even if I was digging them…Can’t build anything good on a bad foundation or one built with lies.Be real. Be YOU. Everyone isn’t for everyone. Period. I feel its better to be myself(yourself) and be accepted as I am; then to perpetrate a fraud.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d try online dating..It used to be so taboo! But since I’m not one to venture out into the clubs by myself(though I love dancing!) and haven’t yet ventured much out into the social scenes here by myself(and everyone is coupled up at the social settings I’ve gone to) ; it seemed the logical(and convenient ) way to broaden my options. I’ve been lucky . The handful of people I met were cool & good people at heart. I was going to write about my specific brief encounters; and decided against it. I’ve been on several dates & had a good time. It is hard for me to have a bad time where ever I am. And yes, I will talk to anyone. Lol! New friend of mine suggested I get a T-shirt that reads@ Yep, I’ll talk to you too! I’m actually thinking about having one made. And he IS a keeper. Intelligent, very well versed and can hold his own(and does) in any conversation, hot!, kind, and extremely chivalrous. It is the first time in ages that I’ve been physically and mentally attracted to anyone. The vibe is good. Very good. And? I met him on an online dating site. And? I’m not ashamed to admit it. I can’t be the ONLY one reading this that has experienced online dating..Why not share? Go!

Online Dating in the FABULOUS 50’s & still sexy phase of life** COMING VERY SOON

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Waving to y’all! My fingers are itching to blog on this topic..Been too long since I last blogged or blog read; and I’ve missed it. Promised to blog on this for a minute now…And? I think or hope the fieldwork I’ve done can serve to help others seeking love in the 50s..Want to know why 11% of American adults have tried out an online dating site? Well now I’m officially one of them. Hmmmm hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves..Will be spilling the goods this evening..STAY TUNED & BUCKLE UP

Memories of being 50 years YOUNG* Thanks y’all for being part of my journey..

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Waving y’all! Quick break in a VERY busy day..It IS my 51st bday..Wooooohooooo!!! Extremely humbled by the amazing amount of Bday calls, texts, emails, ecards, gifts ..Blown my hair back & as I reflect on this year past? Flew far faster than I anticipated it would..Yet as I count off the goals I accomplished this year? Almost completed all of them..Progresssive year indeed..What was most important to me? Living IN the moment; and making those I consider dear feel as special as they are to me. Nothing more special to me than time spent & enjoyed! I learn & I yearn to learn even more. Thanks to all who have added to my journey. Thanks to all who taught me lessons I’d not have learned had you not entered my world. Most of all thanks be to my God for allowing me to learn the lessons a tad bit quicker..Embarking on a new adventure as we speak; and I am READY. Be back asap to share ..Till then live, love , laugh! Have a fun & safe 4th. 4ever sincere & still standing, Berna(the 1 & Only)

Horrible Mistakes Women Make In Relationships

bernasvibe:

**Re-blogged by Berna from The Opinionated Male blog spot** Always love the frankness & insight of these brothas! Feel free to add your 2 cents..(ladies & guys)

Originally posted on THE OPINIONATED MALE:

woman-depression-sad-hurt-unhappy-lonely 1- OpinionatedMale.com

Another night alone. Another evening rendezvous with your cat, dog, or in extreme cases your….*ahem* toy. Another instance of hearing how much fun your girl Marissa had on her date with Darnell. How about hearing all about how Tania and her husband Curtis just came back from a weekend getaway?

Now maybe it won’t bother you at first but after a while you start questioning yourself. You go from not wanting or needing to be in the company of the opposite sex to feeling downright lonely and melancholy because you’re not. You are labeled as the ‘token friend’ that your girls are trying to hook up with someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blind date or otherwise.  Maybe you made some mistakes that many women tend to make in their relationship(s) starting with:

Giving up the cutty rather quickly & often, then suddenly your vagina goes on a hiatus

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#YesAllWomen

bernasvibe:

All I could think as I read this piece was ..Yes, YES, Yes! Such a young writer but she clearly gets IT..I’m glad she didn’t let fear stop her from sharing it..>>Re-blogged by Berna from the In Transit blog site

Originally posted on in transit:

#YesAllWomen

Because all women have walked to their car in the dark, keys clutched tight in hand, one poking out between two fingers.

Because when I go out to bars or clubs, I have to think about whether what I’m wearing is too suggestive, instead of putting on whatever I please.

Because I feel the need to apologize when I’m not wearing makeup or my hair hasn’t been washed, or when I’m generally looking anything other than flawless.

Because there was nothing I could do about the man who touched me inappropriately in the middle of Gillette Stadium as I waited for my then-boyfriend to come out of the bathroom. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STADIUM.

Because there was also nothing I could do when a man touched me inappropriately in the middle of a crowded street, his arm around his girlfriend. Because retaliating in the way I wanted to…

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**Freedom Is Not Free**

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Today when you’re having fun
Free day off for BBQ’s or whatever U choose 2 do
Take a moment or 2 to reflect & to say a prayer
For those that gave/give their lives for U

Lest We Ever 4get Freedom Is Not Free!..

A Message to My Brothers. We Must Do Better

bernasvibe:

One of the best pieces I could ever wish to happily share/re-blog! Written by The Barista from the Tall, Black, One Sugar Blog site

Originally posted on Tall. Black. One Sugar:

“We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or because of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the triumph of the revolution. Women hold up the other half of the sky”. – Thomas Sankara

To my brothers, elders, youngers of all shades, colour and creed.

At some point we have to come to the realisation that we have a collective responsibility towards the way that we treat women both within and without our sphere of influence.

Globally the world is shaped in our favour. Systems, be they religious, political, economic, educational or social are shaped and dominated by male thinking. The official word is patriarchy.

As a result of this many woman are treated as property.

In the extreme cases we are talking of rape, child marriage, FGM and a whole raft of other offences.
In other cases this manifests as…

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*Yin* Seeking her *Yang*

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Almost midway into THE year I said I’d marry again..OR at the least be IN love for the last time. Where has the time gone?? Is it just me or is time flying by in faster increments than it was before Fabulous 50? With all the happenings of this year so far I’m just settling down & taking note that OMG half the year is gone. Poof! Anyways I digress..Since last thinking about dipping my toes back into the awesome pool of love and/or married bliss..I’ve half-seriously considered a cross-country relationship, a relationship with my X, online dating, & staying single indefinitely(YUCK) ..I say half considered because due to life happenings , I honestly haven’t had time or energy to fully delve into anything 100%. At all. And because I tend to be an over-thinker at times..Yep, I admit it..I decided not only will none of the above work for me; but that I absolutely will not “settle” either. >>

One of the greatest advantages of flying solo has been: It has given me ample time to figure out exactly what type of significant other will add to my life. Outside of being physically attractive; there is so much more I need from a man before I hand in my singles card. I don’t need someone to complete me. What I desire is a union in which we complement each other. More than likely? Opposites! Wouldn’t two conservative people bore each other too pieces till death do they part? Ugh! On the flip side of that imagine two zany energetic people together for life?? I don’t even want to imagine that scenario..Which is why I know I need a somewhat more reserved counterpart..But he’s got to have energy to keep UP with me as I run circles around him(and a ton of stamina) Anyways, quickly moving right along>>

Chinese philosophy(yep, been reading up on this & it makes sense to moi) cites there is a natural order in the Universe that works smoothly like a song..Yin and Yang..It is said we all have it & that we use both energies in our interactions. However, it is presumed women have more yin and men more yang. Yin is feminine energy: soft, dark, cool, hidden, subtle, and complex. Yin is much more fluid, more nurturing, than yang. Yin’s strength is to preserve life, to keep major support systems in line. Yang is masculine energy: strength, action, and relentless assertiveness. It is a protective energy..>>

I’ll be sure to follow-up after I’ve got a story to tell based on this theory..Coming soon so stay tuned & buckle UP

Women are women, but men are people

bernasvibe:

Personally? I’d love to see a ticket with Hillary & Warren..No doubt in my mind they’d WIN..It is high time for women to step out & act as the equals we ARE..Pfft! @ Dianne Feinstein’s comment..Women must stop adopting male perspectives & support women who are just as qualified(or more so..) for POTUS. 2 thumbs UP for writing/sharing this piece! ..>>Re-blogged by Berna from the Of Means & Ends Blog

Originally posted on Of Means and Ends:

photo via businessweek.com

photo via businessweek.com

“I am not sure it’s wise. You want a ticket that represents men and women.”

Who said that about running two women on a presidential ticket? Mitt Romney? Mitch McConnell?

Oddly enough, it was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of two Democratic female senators from California. Feinstein didn’t explain if she felt like women had been unrepresented by almost every major party presidential ticket in history, but Ann Friedman nails the core issue:

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Sterling, Clarkson and Scudamore: What discussions in private space reveal about the pervasiveness of racism and sexism.

bernasvibe:

…”But it is hardly surprising that powerful, wealthy, white men have moved quickly to defend Sterling, Clarkson and Scudamore’s right to privacy if these three men are representative of how powerful, wealthy, white men talk to one another…” Snippet from this excellent commentary by Stefan Lawrence ..A mouthful , indeed! ..When private discussions are revealed; it clearly reveals how alive & well racism is in America..And the struggle continues to overcome! >>Re-blogged by Berna from the Stefan Lawrence blog

Originally posted on Stefan Lawrence:

In recent weeks, Donald Sterling (owner of the LA Clippers), Jeremy Clarkson (BBC presenter) and Richard Scudamore (Chief Executive of the Premier League) have found themselves having to defend unsavoury comments made during private communications. Apologists for these three men have taken quickly to radio, television and social media to support the accused, arguing simply: the overtly racist and sexist comments, made by each man, happened in private and were not intended for public consumption. For some then the argument must stop here. Supposedly, there’s no need for any further inquiry or analysis. The social context of the utterances renders them inconsequential. By the logic of this argument it is unimportant Sterling is troubled by his girlfriend “associating with black people”, that Clarkson saw fit to subject his co-workers to the ‘n’ word or that Scudamore, self-proclaimed activist in the “whole equality agenda”, thought it acceptable to ridicule “female irrationality” and…

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>Reasons Why Just a Hashtag@ Bring Back Our Girls Won’t End the Nigerian Situation>

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I’m feeling some type of way about the abduction of the school girls in Nigeria..Much of what I’ve read from our American newspapers has been sugar-coated and/or the bigger picture left unrevealed..What IF such antics become common place in the world? How would WE feel if it were our children snatched ( & boldly threatened to be sold into slavery) for a so-called cause? What is the real cause behind these abductions? Is it political? Religious? And what are the consequences that could filter world-wide if the Nigerian government negotiates with Boko Haram? I happened upon an article from a Nigerian historian , writer and author that is the best analysis of the entire situation>>

**
Boko Haram: six reasons why the Nigerian militant group is so powerful. Written by Max Siollun

Not long ago, few Nigerians had heard of Boko Haram. Now, the whole world is talking about the extremist group that kidnaps school girls and bombs cities. How did it become so formidable?

Six years ago, most Nigerians had not even heard of Boko Haram. Now the whole world is talking about the extremist group that has kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in the north of the country. Founded in 2002, how did it rise to become such a threat to national security in such a short period of time?

1. Political connections

It would be naive to think that this kidnap happened in a vacuum, or that the Boko Haram has no connection to the powers that be in Nigeria’s Game of Thrones-style politics. Spikes in violence and insecurity took place on a suspiciously recurring basis in the 12-18 months preceding Nigerian presidential elections: the next election is scheduled for 2015.

This tends to be the time that politicians allegedly deploy armed militia to harass, intimidate, or even assassinate their rivals.

In 2012, a senior member, Kabiru Sokoto, was found in a state governor’s house after escaping from police captivity. The year before, a Nigerian senator was arrested on suspicion of aiding the group after claims that he telephoned a militant more than 70 times in one month.

The extremist group is also automatically linked to all kidnappings, violence, and assassinations committed in northern Nigeria – even acts of armed banditry and political assassinations are attributed to it, whether the group claims responsibility for them or not, adding to its reputation and aura.

2. Imbalance between north and south

Seemingly disconnected historical events over the past 60-70 years started the slide into poverty and inequality that eventually led to the formation of Boko Haram. Before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, British colonial authorities ruled the north (where most Muslims live) and south of Nigeria (where most Christians live) separately. Western schools started by Christian missionaries flourished in the south, but Muslim leaders were reluctant to allow Christian mission schools to open in the north.

The long-term result is a massive economic and educational imbalance between the north and south which persists today. In many southern states more than 90% of women are literate. The corresponding percentage is below 5% in some states in the far north. Less than 10% of Nigerian university applicants (pdf) come from the 12 Muslim majority states in northern Nigeria (where Boko Haram’s insurgency rages). Boko Haram draws its members from the legions of uneducated, unemployed, poor and disenchanted young northern men.

3. Sharia law

An overlooked catalyst for Boko Haram’s evolution occurred in 2000 when Ahmed Yerima, the governor of Zamfara state in Nigeria’s north-west, extended the jurisdiction of Muslim sharia law to criminal cases, prescribing punishments such as stoning for adultery, amputation for theft and flogging for drinking alcohol. This became a super-charged political issue in the north, as sharia was popular among Muslims who hoped it would lead to a social and moral revival. Eight other states in northern Nigeria also enacted sharia in full and Boko Haram’s then leader, Mohammed Yusuf, anticipated it would also be implemented in his home state of Borno. They became disaffected and increasingly hostile to the government when Borno did not implement sharia in full.

4. Government crackdown

When Boko Haram clashed with police in 2009, the government responded with a military iron fist. Security forces destroyed Boko Haram’s mosque, killed hundreds of its members, and arrested, then summarily executed, its leader Yusuf and his father-in-law. The routing of Yusuf and his followers radicalised Boko Haram even more by eliminating the conciliatory faction within the group, and paving the way for its takeover by its most implacable faction led by Yusuf’s deputy, Abubakar Shekau.

5. Nigeria’s complicated ethnic and religious mix

Sensitive ethno-regional issues make it difficult to fight Boko Haram. A massive elephant in the room is that the vast majority of the army’s fighting troops have historically been recruited from ethnic groups in northern Nigeria. Such ethnic groups include the Kanuri – to which most Boko Haram members belong. Unleashing the army on militants means soldiers may be ordered to commit fratricide against communities they come from, who they are not hostile to, and leaves the army vulnerable to infiltration.

Also, an attack by Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan (a Christian from the south) on a northern Islamic group with unrestrained force in the year before a presidential election, would surely result in lost votes amid accusations of being heavy handed with people of another faith.

6. Military limitations

The Chibok schoolgirls are unlikely to be rescued in a spectacular military raid. The Nigerian army is trained for conventional warfare and peacekeeping operations. Elaborate hostage rescues are not its forte. It is having to make ad hoc adaptations to train cadets to carry out counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

Military offensives can only buy temporary breathing space for politicians to devise permanent solutions to the problem posed by Boko Haram. Some in the military establishment acknowledge that the military alone cannot eliminate the group. Nigeria’s former chief of defence, staff General Martin Luther Agwai (who commanded the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur), said: “You can never solve any of these problems with military solutions… It is a political issue; it is a social issue; it is an economic issue, and until these issues are addressed, the military can never give you a solution.”

A likely outcome to the current stand-off is that the government will negotiate an unwieldy deal with Boko Haram that will see the girls released in instalments.

This would not be unprecedented as the Nigerian government has a history of paying off or reaching uncomfortable opaque compromises with its opponents. When militants waged an armed insurgency in the oil-producing areas of southern Nigeria to protest against economic exploitation, the government ended it by granting amnesty and cash stipends to the militants in exchange for them giving up violence. This has created a “money and amnesty for guns” precedent. Muslim leaders from northern Nigeria have urged the government to similarly negotiate with Boko Haram and to grant it amnesty. With more money and more guns, the group might become more powerful still.

Max Siollun is a Nigerian historian, writer, and author of the book Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture 1966-1976. Follow him on Twitter @maxsiollun**

>> Hopefully reading all of the above will give a bit of background about the situation..My heartstrings have been pulled since first hearing of this incident..My pen(& thoughts) are my weapon against injustice..A friend(originally from Sierra Leone) locally released a statement to urge “all” to lift our voices regarding this situation. This isn’t just Nigeria’s war on terrorists; it is the world’s fight also!

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

We Raise Our Voices on the

Abduction of School Girls in Nigeria

From: The Ivory Club of Tampa Bay

Martin Williams, President

Our “mission is to educate the public regarding the history and current affairs of African family values through cultural, educational and social activities. We provide educational scholarships and forums to increase understanding between Africa and America.”

The Ivory Club raises its voice in condemning sectarian group, Boko Haram, and the kidnappers of two hundred plus school age girls in Nigeria. We raise our voice demanding the immediate release of these children and their safe return to their families.

We appeal to all other African organizations in the US to raise your voices and be heard, condemning Boko Haram’s atrocities with these young school girls, and call for their immediate safe return.

We raise our voices in prayers with the rest of the world that the families and friends of these innocent children find comfort within themselves, as the rest of the world demand an end to their brutal captivity.

We raise our voices, calling on the Nigerian Government to use its power, and to fully cooperate with other countries that are willing to offer assistance for the safe release of these abducted school girls.

We raise our voices to all who care about the wellbeing of these young girls and support the use of social media as a means to apply pressure and continue to demand the immediate release and return of these young innocent victims to their family and friends.

The Ivory Club, an organization of African Professionals in the Tampa Bay area, encourages all to join forces at protests, marches, demonstrations and other such events to help bring an end to the wicked abduction of these innocent school girls in Nigeria.

We believe very strongly in African family values and family ties, and will raise our voices against any actions that disrupt and cause the breakdown of this cultural trait.

#BringBackOurGirls

http://www.theivorycluboftampa.org

If You Ever….

bernasvibe:

All the things I wanted to express this Mothers Day; but couldn’t because I’m missing my grown sons SO much right now..I share the same sentiment as this piece times infinity ! >>Re-blogged by Berna from The Chatter Blog

Originally posted on The Chatter Blog:

If you ever birthed, adopted or fostered a child.

If you ever held a baby for endless hours because you wanted the child to sleep, whether you did nor not.

If you ever held a vomiting child.   Or had a child projectile vomit in your face.   Or held a baby high, laughing at their beauty, and they spit up in your laughing face-and you kept laughing while gagging.

If you ever read story after story after story after story after story after story after story.  Then read another one.

If you ever laughed at 1,279 ‘knock knock’ jokes that ended with “it’s me mom!”

If you ever went out scouting the neighborhood, or the school, or the football game to get a glimpse of the boy/girl that broke your child’s heart.  Or called them a name.  Or pulled their hair.  Or gave them a dirty look.  Or did…

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>>He Calls Me *Ma*>>

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He Calls Me Ma..

My firstborn..

Inquisitive from the start

Not afraid to make his mark

Never often out of place

One step ahead in any race

Humble in every possible way

Yet..

Not afraid to have his say

I watched with pride as he took his first steps

Even more so when he eased through college prep

Rose to his defense when he was late to utter words

But..

When he began to speak he properly used verbs(& nouns)

In full sentences!

Was never an average child from birth until

Now..

Somehow I just knew he’d reach any goal he chose

And over the years he just rose and rose and rose


An outstanding mentor he’s been/IS to his brothers(and so many others)

No mother could’ve wished for a more perfect firstborn; no other!

With tear-filled eyes I watched his defense of his dissertation

Mere words couldn’t express my awe & fascination

Wow! I kept thinking>> that is MY son!

As we embark upon the few days left till his ‘last’ graduation

I feel compelled to write out my undying love & admiration

Thank you son for an amazing ride and plenty of adventures

You’ve worked so, so hard & diligently!

I’ve learned so much with you and from you..

Looking forward to vicariously enjoying all your future ventures

Your new dream job(woo hoo) & eventually your own family unit

Just..

Never stop calling me those two letters I adore; that only you call me

Ma..

And with private joy! for fun

I’ll call you those two letters that carry a beautiful melody

Dr.

I’m READY for Hillary! Get Ready..Get Set…NO doubt she will run

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I’ve seen this bumper sticker more and more these days..There are a couple of things I’m very sure of.. No doubt in my mind Hillary will run for President in 2016..No doubt in my mind she’ll win the Democratic nomination. Hands down there isn’t anyone even remotely close in the rear-view mirror..One of the things I hate though is the coy approach..Say you’re going to run already! Jeez.. Over two million supporters and 50,000 grassroots donors rallying for a potential Hillary run..Having said all of this I’m still very much an Obama cheerleader & supporter(both elections) ..But I’m also very ready to see a woman run for & become POTUS in 2016. Had enough of the suspense/hints/foreplay though..It is time! Are you ready for Hillary?


If You Could Only Choose One: Love or Marriage?

bernasvibe:

>>I always love the honesty of thoughts when I read Matt’s thoughts..This piece as many of his; made me reflect on my own love life. As well as my outlook on love relationships..I can’t make a choice between love & marriage. I’m waiting on married love ONE more time..Can you choose? Enjoy the read..>>Re-blogged by Berna from the Must Be This Tall To Ride blog

Originally posted on Must Be This Tall To Ride:

Marriage matters. But honestly? Not as much as love.

Marriage matters. But honestly? Not as much as love.

I’m pretty good at beating myself up.

If they awarded fighting championship belts for kicking one’s own ass, I’d be a top contender.

And I’m a bruised, bloodied mess after this past week—about 13 months after my marriage detonated.

Because I’ve been having inconvenient feelings about my ex-wife for the past week or so.

It’s because getting over anger is one of the things I’m best at.

It’s because she’s my son’s mother and seeing them together is like watching the sun set into the ocean, or watching a meteor shower from the top of a mountain. Seeing them together combines two of the most beautiful things I know of.

Mega-beauty. Beauty on steroids. And it affects me down deep where almost nothing can reach.

Removing from the conversation the special love a father has for his son which all…

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CLIVEN BUNDY IS A RACIST AND REPUBLICANS ARE SHOCKED

bernasvibe:

Couldn’t have said this better myself..Hear, hear!>>Re-blogged by Berna from the America The Not So Beautiful blog site

Originally posted on America The NOT SO Beautiful:

April 25, 2014

By Mike Caccioppoli

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I love it when the chickens come home to roost. As it turns out Cliven Bundy isn’t only a tax cheat and a moocher but a racist as well! Now, I could have told you this well before Bundy held court with his cult of red neck un-American losers, and spouted off one racist comment after another. I could have told you this because people with Bundy’s mindset are usually racists. The ignorance doesn’t just stop with his selfish, inane interpretation of the Constitution, it often goes well beyond that. The same goes for his “followers.” 

Now of course all of those Republicans who were on his side, pundits and politicians, are now distancing themselves from him as though they never knew he was a bad guy. The fact that he didn’t want to pay the taxes that he legally owed, the fact…

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>>The DOWNside of a Celibate Lifestyle>>

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Most folks that speak on a celibate lifestyle speak on the HIGH notes…Believe it or not there are alot of highs about it..However, there is also a GREAT deal of frustration handling the realities of celibacy..Especially someone whose been in a committed relationship or married majority of their adult life. Someone SEXY and half-arse normal and considered intelligent. Someone that looks alot like ME>>

When I first chose celibacy it had little to do with my religious beliefs..It had more to do with making a conscience choice for less distraction while trying to reach a goal..I’d move cross-country and had a disciplined focus on a set amount of goals..And within a certain time frame..Adding dating to the mix would have been a MAJOR distraction..For I tend to give my all to anything I engage IN..Dating and men is certainly included..Matter of fact?

MEN = 1 of my few weaknesses…I’m not ashamed to admit I love being in love & especially love being married! On the flip side of that I’m also willing to wait (in a celibate state) for marriage before I have sex again..Now,I know most folks think certain things about celibate folks..What comes to mind is either weirdness/priests/OR a maladusted anti-sociable person..I’m NONE of the above..But I do have standards. And the longer I remain celibate; the higher my standards become. And honestly? It has become frustrating as hell!

At first? I was wearing an invisible banner waving it proudly @ I am proudly celibate , waiting and proud! 2 years later it is beginning to feel like a burden..Now it has been SO long that I wonder how much longer I can keep this UP? Not to mention I come from a highly sexed family..I’ve come to a point I don’t believe this is NORMAL..WTF was I thinking? Lawd! We are biologically created to be attracted to men and to want to have SEX..Period

The biggest downside of celibacy is the MEMORIES of how beautiful a loving relationship IS..The God created stress relieving perks that can’t be simulated. Trust me I’ve tried! There is nothing more fulfilling than a love-filled marriage..There is also nothing more aggravating than explaining to someone who doesn’t get IT that “waiting” for my The One doesn’t mean I’m pushing marriage. IF not desiring to settle for less means I’m pushing marriage; than so be it. It is not an easy walk. And definitely not for the weak hearted..But I’m standing on Faith that it is going to be well worth the wait.

Wait! Did I wear this dress yesterday?

bernasvibe:

Re-blogged by Berna from the psychologistmimi blog site..When time permits I’m going to comment; but in the interim shared an opinion I’m sure many feel about dress attire in the office..Well expressed & written piece Mimi!

Originally posted on psychologistmimi:

Wait! Did I wear this dress yesterday?

Much has been made of the fact that both Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton have worn some of their dresses on more than one occasion. Apparently, it is a major social faux pays in the celebrity world to wear a dress out in public more than once. Admittedly, I have about ten high fashion dresses that I have only worn once to either a major event or a Red Carpet (not in Hollywood mind you). I had fabulous nights with those dresses and now they just hang not even shielded from my closet dust. There is no way I can realistically wear those dresses again to the same annual events. However, I keep hoping for that mailed invitation to some grand fete so that I may again wear one of those gloriously fabulous dresses with my equally fabulous six inch heels. For now…

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White Mind Dominating Black News

bernasvibe:

Digging this perspective & can’t resist the urge to share>>Re-blogged by Berna from the Too Much Black blog

Originally posted on Too Much Black:

Fake smile Odd StuffWhen Black News Disappears: White Holds on Black Intellectuals’ Minds and Misinforming the Black Public
Friday, 24 May 2013 09:49By Dr Tommy J Curry, Racism Review | Op-Ed

As an historical entity, the Black press has not only offered critical commentaries and political critiques of the sempiternal racism of the modern world, but correctives as to how white newspapers, opinion-makers, legislators, and most importantly the white public sought to justify their complacency towards and support for anti-Black racism and the sexual brutalization of Black men, women, and children. Today, however, the post-Obama lullabies of racial détente and the progressive liberal passivity of Black intellectuals have allowed the structural

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7 LIES We Need 2 Stop Telling About Young African-American(Black) Men by Antwaun Sargent

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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.

The university of the public library

bernasvibe:

Absolute mirror of how important I feel libraries were/ARE/and always will be! ~~ Re-blogged by Berna from the N.V. Binder blog~~

Originally posted on N.V. Binder:

I am a librarian at a small public library in rural Florida. While there is a lot to love about my community, many of my patrons face the ills of rural poverty: outdated infrastructure, inadequate schools, a lack of access to computers and high-speed Internet, and insufficient transportation. Under these circumstances, the public library isn’t just a “nice thing to have”–it’s a lifeline to community and social services, as well as the many benefits of access to technology.

While the library’s core mission is still to provide access to books and a place for free expression, providing access to high-speed Internet has become increasingly important. Far from reducing the need for libraries, the Internet has made libraries more valuable in communities like mine. People now use public computers and Internet to access job training, social services, and even healthcare, often with the assistance of library staff.

The library building…

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**DISILLUSIONED? ** Get over it! before November cause WE need YOUR Vote

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>>IF the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged , the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority<< Quote from Barbara Jordan(Deceased American politician & leader of the Civil Rights Movement..But her words still ring true to this day)

November is going to be here in a flash..Even Republicans KNOW that for some reason Democrats do NOT turn out to vote in midterm elections. What they also know is that many of the critical midterm elections in 2010 were very close..In many states the governors races were decided by mere points! I ask myself why , especially in a time when ALL know this as factual, is it so hard to get the millenials(young) & female & people of color to the polls when it isn’t a presidential contest? Especially when those are the same groups that have the most to gain from VOTING?

There are some that say that they just don’t care anymore..That their vote doesn’t matter..I counter that sentiment with this..IF voting doesn’t matter why then are Republicans trying to disenfranchise as many voters as possible?? And if you aren’t aware of that then it will take alot more than my rant to hip you to the reality of the situation..

From Pennsylvania to Florida Republican leaders have PUBLICLY admitted that they’re counting on suppression of voters of color for their midterm victories..Pat Hickey claimed that 2014 will be a great year for Republicans because alot of minorities(are POC still the minority in America??? ) and millenials won’t turn out for the midterm elections..And they’re working HARD across our country to restrict voting rights(case in point in enacting harsh voter ID laws) Again I say IF our vote didn’t count why the heck are Republicans working SO hard to block & discourage voters??? Nothing vexes me more than to do nothing; yet expect things to CHANGE. Pfft! That is related to folks voting against their own best interests..I don’t even pretend to understand that. There are 17 House seats needed to reclaim a majority for the party that half-arse represents folks that aren’t rich(me & YOU) It is possible if we ALL get out to the polls in November and VOTE.</strong>

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