Well I’m back y’all! Miss vibing & free-versing with each and every one of you!! My writing hiatus has come to an abrupt end; and I only wish first topic on my mind, bursting to be blogged out, was not about our country’s unfortunate state of affairs..Hang on to your hats and buckle UP because I’ve got alot to say on the Trump-inspired-torch-carrying-hate-filled-White Supremist-violent/deadly-rampage that happened last weekend at the University of Virginia ~~~2 B Continued This Weekend~~
Lest we get so caught UP in our own day to day lives(and I’m guilty of that…) that we forget things going on in OUR world/country; are just as important..I had a surreal conversation with my youngest son today that made me pause for a minute to wonder out loud@Is this really 2014???? My son commented on the latest NON verdict regarding Eric Garner..He said WOW there are some police out there who really hate Black folks!! I found myself, again, telling him the what-to-do’s on IF ever stopped by the police for random traffic stops..NO sudden movements..Don’t get out of the car unless asked to do so..Don’t get angry, just listen & be patient..WtH & OMG is this 2014 or the 1940’s??? And while I know I’m not the only Black parent to feel this way; it sure IS a heavy feeling..Heart-wrenching to say the least..I’m asking everyone who reads this who has a wordpress blog site, facebook page, or who twitters to spread the word for our ‘new cause’ @BlackLivesMatter..Doesn’t it seem like we’ve had to say this alot more lately? Because we HAVE…Police brutality against Black folks(and with no punishment/penalty), no MEN, is on the rise..IF we all stand together certainly our voices will be heard! I’m posting a couple letters from NAACP(yep folks they’re still alive , well , and working for US) and another organization I’m a member of ASALH(Association for the study of African American Life & History..) that have further motivated me to speak OUT & stand UP for the cause @ Black lives matter & police brutality must end..I can only hope/pray it helps to motivate y’all as well..Peace & light always , the One & Only Berna
..Will God lay it at your feet? How long should you wait on God to send HIM? Will you know the signs that ‘the one’ has been sent from God? Limitless questions that seem to inspire more questions…>>>
Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (KJV)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies….
Exactly what IS a woman of virtue? As Christians we’re taught(correct me if I’m wrong..) that a woman of virtue is pure, upstanding in good character, and waits to be plucked by ‘the one’ sent by God to love only her..But what about those of us who are divorced or will never be virgins again?? Are we also supposed to wait, again? My interpretation of this scripture translates to pure of heart..
1. characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
2. (of women) chaste or virginal
I think we all interpret things; differently…Also I find that we often pick & choose what scripture we want to emulate or believe in…Is a woman any less virtuous if she employs an active hand in determining her ‘fate’? Do WE sit at home waiting for any other opportunity(i.e..career, investments etc..) to knock on our doors? The answer is simple..No, we don’t…In that aspect we use our God-given talents; to achieve our goals..Why isn’t that the same universal sentiment for Christian women seeking love? Why are so many of the belief that God is going to do it ALL? One must do their part, good works, to gain anything in this life..Right? There have been phases of praying for discernment in my life(I’m in the midst of one now..); in which I am listening to the ear of my heart..It’s my belief there IS a healthy balance between actively looking (or broadening our exposure, circles..) for a life-partner & waiting for God to send one into our lives..Being passive doesn’t get anyone anywhere! If this is truly the case then why do we hear of so many(including the video clip I posted..) willing to ‘just’ wait??? Doesn’t that mean they don’t trust their own judgement/choices at all? IF a woman’s heart is pure and she is a woman of God; can’t she be guided/led by him to choose a life-partner? Or at the least attempt to step out of her comfort zone(online dating sites, broadening social circles, etc…) in order to be discovered? Real questions. Real thoughts that I wanted to share with y’all..Feel free to chime in or share from your experiences..Stand UP women of virtue and speak on it…
**Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think? **
Sigmund Freud believed that mental illness came from ‘repressed emotions’ in the unconscious mind. He believed that release & acceptance of these denied or repressed emotions & memories were VITAL for mental health. If this emotional energy wasn’t released , Freud noted it led to physiological symptoms and illnesses…>> Memorized this many moons ago when I studied psychology..For some reason or other , this Freudian tidbit came to mind while reflecting on why my emotions free-fell to anger after watching a video clip last night..
A friend sent me a video clip last night..My first reaction to it was anger..Not seething; but full of passion! And immediate..So much so that I didn’t finish watching the clip until much later..Curiosity forced me to finally watch it. At the time I didn’t realize why it made me feel angry..I’ve not “personally” experienced the sentiment expressed in the video clip..Yet , I took it personally. It was hard to watch and swallow..As a Black woman it hurts to feel judged & stereotyped(as a group) by everyone–especially those that we’ve stood by ALL of our lives. Black men. I later realized my feelings of anger directly translated to ; my realization of the myriad of reasons the gap is getting larger @The disconnect between Black men & women. As a single Black divorcee that makes me “feeeeeel” sad, disappointed, abandoned, a sense of betrayal and yep, angry…Briefly! We’re all freeee to do who! or whatever we choose to do..But dang, dangit & dayuum why heave us under the bus! The description @Angry Black Woman has never been applied to me as an individual; but it doesn’t mean I can’t/don’t/and won’t express and feel anger from time to time..We live in a culture that views expressing anger as taboo. My personal belief? Holding it in & denying it isn’t good for our spirit..I’m hopeful to write more on that & this topic at a later date… So anyways, that led me to ponder/reflect/wonder why we feel the emotions we do..Just wanted to give a little backstory on the prompt of the thoughts that inspired this piece ..Again I pose the question@ ** Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think?**
I’m sharing the actual clip in the spirit of seeking insight..Curious what , if any, emotions are evoked when y’all take a peek. From any perspective..As a woman. As a man. Of any race..In my experience emotion transcends all..Especially the greatest which , of course, is love! But I digress and badly.. If you feel the need to share then just know this is an emotion-friendly zone! Let it flow…
Special thanks to my friend for , again, broadening my scope of knowledge
This is an excellent write & a piece very worthy of a re-blog.. My eldest son forwarded this piece with the simple message@ WE must change the narrative! Enjoy/Learn/Share the facts & not the dismal media & widespread societal myths, 4ever sincere Berna>> (Credit to Youtube for pictures & video clip)
Last week Long Island teenager Kwasi Enin captured national headlines after becoming part of an impressive club: high school seniors who have been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. However, while many celebrated Enin’s achievement, a bitter minority griped that the teenager had somehow gamed the system. The racial subtext was obvious: Enin couldn’t have actually have gotten into all those schools by himself. Why? Well, because he’s black..
This type of harmful and wholly inaccurate narrative has been constructed around African-American male student achievement for years. Enin is just the latest high-profile example of how it hurts all young men, high school high achievers or not, by implying that the majority of African-American boys are hopelessly behind and may never be able to narrow the achievement gap.
There are, of course, legitimate issues that African-American male students face due to a confluence of factors. But even data that show the more dire aspects of black male achievement do not exist in a vacuum, with researchers misrepresenting or not calculating for the experiences of African-American male students.
The good news is that bright spots like Enin may help raise the profile of America’s African-American young men. However, there is a lot of work to be done, beginning with rethinking the way we use these seven common “facts.”
1. There are more African-American males in prison than college.
African-American men are grossly overrepresented in the penal system; however, there are more African-American males in college than in prison, as of 2011. Howard University professor Ivory A. Toldson found in his research that there are about 600,000 more African-American males enrolled in higher education than are in jail.
This myth has been used by education experts, the media and even the president, despite the fact that over the last decade, African-American boys have largely avoided the “school-to-prison” pipeline.
2. African-American males believe academic achievement means they are “acting white.”
African-American males are not anti-intellectual. In fact, researchers have shown that African-American boys show more positive feelings toward school than do their white counterparts. University of North Carolina professor Roslyn Arlin Mickelson found, “Many black youth and adults express a high regard for education” and that there are a multitude of factors that shape black students’ educational attitudes.
3. Less than 50% of African-American males graduate from high school.
The high school dropout rate for African-American males has actually hit a historic low. According to a 2013 Education Week study, about 62% of African-Americans completed high school in 2010 (the most recent year for which the necessary data was available), compared to 80% of white students. The increase represents a 30% narrowing of the gap between black and white high school students.
Indeed, African-American males are graduating at historic levels. According to the Schott Foundation for Public Education, “In 2009-10 the national graduation rate for black male students was 52%. The graduation rate for white, non-Latino males was 78%. This is the first year that more than half of the nation’s black males in 9th grade graduated with regular diplomas four years later.” At the same time, overall high school dropout rates have fallen steadily since 1990, and there is no indication that the rates won’t continue to fall, given the trend over the past two decades.
4. African-American males don’t go to college.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1976 to 2010, “the percentage of black students [enrolled in college] rose from 9% to 14%. During the same period, the percentage of white students fell from 83% to 61%.”
The Congressional Black Caucus report “Challenge the Status Quo,” meanwhile, found that there are 12.5 million African-American adult males living in America,who make up 5.5% of the total population, and 5.5% of the students on college campuses across America are black male students. The percentage of black male students enrolled in college is proportional to the 5.5% of African-American men college-age or above living in the U.S. today.
5. African-American student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their non-athlete black peers.
Often college coaches boast about how teamwork and sportsmanship translate to academic success. However, according to a University of Pennsylvania report on black male student-athletes in NCAA Division I college sports, 50.2% of African-American male student-athletes graduate within six years, compared to 55.5% of black undergraduate students overall. And the disparity is even larger if black male student-athletes are compared to other student athletes: 66.9% of overall student-athletes graduate within the same six-year period, representing an 11.4% gap between black student-athletes and their teammates.
6. African-American male students have the same opportunities as their peers.
This is an important one, part of the narrative that allows casual racism like the kind experienced by Kwasi Enin. In fact, a recent U.S. Education Department’s 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection survey noted that the American school system treats African-American boys unfairly. African-American male students receive a disproportionate number of suspensions, detentions and call-outs, and have a much higher rate of being expelled from school. In addition, schools attended by African-American males have less access to experienced teachers and advanced placement classes, according to the survey.
At the same time, the Casey Foundation recently found that African-American students face the highest barriers to opportunities. The foundation’s researchers measured success toward 12 benchmarks, including literacy proficiency, rates of employment, income and several other factors. The report concluded that African-Americans. when compared to other racial groups using these benchmarks, fare the worst due to disparities they face from birth.
7. African-American male students are underachievers.
Coded language and misused statistics have constructed this idea that African-American male students are underachievers. But ignoring the fact that some of America’s brightest minds are African-Americans, recent research shows that a lack of critical feedback and demonstrated high expectations is stifling black confidence in the classroom.
In three double-blind randomized field experiments, researchers at the University of Texas found that African-American students improved their grades after having the assignment expectation reinforced by their teachers. These results point out that a cycle of mistrust and lower expectations is a likely culprit in cases of African-American underperformance.
I think many Black Americans would LIKE to think there is only a visible division among Black and White in America. And there IS..But what takes some of us, like ME, longer to admit, there IS still a division within Blacks themselves..When I mentioned this issue to a very good friend of mine(who also happens to be my X love..) his response is @They call it slave mentality baby..They’re doing what the White mas has rewarded them for doing for over 400 years! Alright, I get THAT. But when does it END???
Even knowing about the whole slavery mentality theory; being the victim of it hurts! And it hurts BAD…Because it is ones own subjecting them to adverse feelings ..I am here to tell y’all it IS a phucked up feeling and it is unacceptable. I personally can’t speak for anyone else but ME…But since moving to the South(after living in California for 20 years) I’ve been called a bougies bitch; had people trip REPEATEDLY over the grain of my hair; and had people wig about my skin color to the point of being certain, without a doubt, that I’m Spanish; and professing I sound White because of how I talk..All of this from people who are also BLACK. Bear with me a moment while I grab hold of my bearings>>
Majority of my life I’ve NOT been in a majority Black environment.West Coast living agreed with me to the utmost level..This only came to be once moving to the Dirty South 2.5 years ago..OMFG..I knew sentiment here wasn’t as progressive as the West Coast; BUT I didn’t and couldn’t have imagined it was this far BACKWARDS progressively..Lawd! >>
Now I don’t know IF it is a Southern ‘thang’ or not..After all the South WAS where slavery reined back in the day….But I do know that the POWER Blacks in the South, from my viewpoint so far, feeeeeel they have IS nothing in equalivence to the power Blacks have in the West Coast. I’ve never seen anything more pathetic than broke arse folks clamoring for power , here in the South, like I’ve seen! It is shameful…Back in California I’ve easily mingled with millionaires who were far more down to earth than the want-to-be-bougie here in the South..As IF having money or prestige makes a person have more character and respectful standing…It doesn’t! And fighting for it makes it all the more GHETTO in every aspect. It is a sad thing to see and watch; and I refuse to be a part of it. I simply refuse>>
I could very smoothly run from my people back to White Corporate America..At this point? It represents, believe it or not, alot LESS drama and bullshit! But that would be like trying to run from myself..I’m not into the personality ENVY, nor the crab in a barrel syndrome crap; personally I believe competition is a GOOD thing. Challenge me with greatness! The petty ish of light-skin-good-hair-banging-body stuff has to END..Light or dark skin Black IS Black. Period. We’ve got to get educated and beyond the slavery mentality ish! Our children are watching US..I’m ashamed of some of the behavior I see out here these days.Bottom line? African. Trinidad. Haitian. Dominican. Puerto Rican. Latino. Jamaican. Brazilian…WE are all ONE…Whether we unite or not we’re all identified by our skin color. Trying to ignore it is like a cat chasing their own tail…Never ending. I think about running from it; a lot. It is easier leaving..But I stand! I love MY people and I love being BLACK. Black folks have alot to offer the world and always have…We’ve a legacy to be proud of. And its worth standing together proudly. United we stand or divided we can continue to free fall..
Ruby Bridges is an African-American activist best known for being the first Black child(she was 6 yrs old) to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.(New Orléans, Louisiana) The pictures of her being escorted into the school by marshalls are legendary..
In November 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges Hall became the first African-American child to desegregate an elementary school. Although she only lived a few blocks from the William Frantz Elementary school in New Orléans, Louisiana. Marshals had to escort Ruby because of angry segregationist mobs that gathered in front of the school. For an entire year, she was the only student in her class since white parents pulled their children from the school in protest. She wrote about her experiences in her book THROUGH MY EYES & she’s shared it with future generation in educational forums>>
Her bravery paved the way for the continued civil rights efforts; and at such a young age! I recall seeing her picture when I was a very little girl myself and hearing ‘her’story; yet not truly understanding what it really meant..As she was at the time of her step into the pages of American history; I was too young to really ‘get’ it..Her message then and now is this & it makes absolute sense @ “My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children”<< Quote by Ruby Bridges. I couldn't agree more! IF only all parents felt that way …
Little known Black History fact is that ASALH still exists..It IS a totally different organization from NACCP..Although the founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, was involved in both organizations..Did you know that Woodson’s dream was that there would NOT always be a need for a Negro History Week(the father of Black History Month)? Well, if you didn’t know please don’t feel too bad. I didn’t know either! As I’ve said before Black History Month is still mandatory; for all Americans can stand to learn more. Including moi>>
ASALH was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson..Its mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public..The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History was created in direct response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of African – Americans..Much of which HAS either been purposely left OUT of History books or diluted down to just the accomplishments of a few..I used to ask why?? These days though I don’t waste time asking why anymore..There is far too much I(we) can read offline or online to discover the accomplishments and achievements Blacks have had since the beginning of civilization..And it is? ALOT. In my hearts of hearts I feel it is mandatory this information is readily available..It is highly necessary for Black youth to know they’ve got much to be proud of ..I’ve no problem in admitting that is my primary reason for promoting Black History Month. Hell, I’m still learning at 50 years of age(and not shamed to admit it) All I dream of now is a day when our history is so well imbedded in American History; that racism rightfully DIES. Black folks built much of what is now America! It takes more than big cojones to try to snuff that history out..
I had the opportunity to attend an event yesterday hosted by ASALH..It was an awesome! story ‘sung’ of the history and journey of songs created by Blacks here in America..From spirituals which then graduated in later years to Gospel and Blues and Jazz and R & B and etc etc …What an emotional and moving hour it was! I learned after that ASALH has a calendar of year-long events and programs..We’ve got a local chapter of ASALH that is very active..I also learned that the National chapter is alive and well..They’re bring our story to life! And I wanted to bring it here to share with you..Anyways, until I write/read y’all again stay blessed and surrounded by love. 4ever Sincere , Berna(the 1 & Only)
Niagara Movement, (1905–10), organization of black intellectuals led by W.E.B. Du Bois and calling for full political, civil, and social rights for black Americans. This stance stood in notable contrast to the accommodation philosophy proposed by Booker T. Washington in the Atlanta Compromise of 1895. The Niagara Movement was the forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In the summer of 1905, 29 prominent blacks, including Du Bois, met secretly at Niagara Falls, Ont., and drew up a manifesto calling for full civil liberties, abolition of racial discrimination, and recognition of human brotherhood. Subsequent annual meetings were held in such symbolic locations as Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
Despite the establishment of 30 branches and the achievement of a few scattered civil-rights victories at the local level, the group suffered from organizational weakness and lack of funds as well as a permanent headquarters or staff, and it never was able to attract mass support. After the Springfield (Ill.) Race Riot of 1908, however, white liberals joined with the nucleus of Niagara “militants” and founded the NAACP the following year. The Niagara Movement disbanded in 1910, with the leadership of Du Bois forming the main continuity between the two organizations.
**Info from Encyclopedia Britannica*
**There are many reasons why I feel we must all continue to maintain our right to vote.. Many folks these days apparently think our rights can’t be revoked..I humbly suggest they READ up on the history of our country.(and etc…) **
January 8, 1894. Congress repeals the Enforcement Act, which then made it easier for some states to disenfranchise African-American voters. FACT
Once Congress passed the Enforcement acts, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.”Between 1870 and 1871 Congress passed the Enforcement Acts — criminal codes that protected blacks’ right to vote, hold office, serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. If the states failed to act, the laws allowed the federal government to intervene. The target of the acts was the Ku Klux Klan, whose members were murdering many blacks and some whites because they voted, held office, or were involved with schools.
Many states were afraid to take strong action against the Klan either because the political leaders sympathized with the Klan, were members, or because they were too weak to act. A number of Republican governors were afraid of sending black militia troops to fight the Klan for fear of triggering a race war. But once Congress passed the Enforcement Acts, the situation shifted. One of the Acts, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, made private criminal acts federal crimes; consequently, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.” He sent federal troops to restore law and order to many areas where violence was raging at its worst.
In nine counties of South Carolina, martial law was declared and Klansmen were tried before predominantly black juries. Much of the credit for prosecuting the Klan belonged to Amos Ackerman, Grant’s Attorney General, who did his best to make the country aware of the extent of Klan violence. As a result of his efforts, a few hundred Klansmen were tried and sent to jail. Thousands of others fled or were let off with fines or warnings. By 1872, the Klan as an organization was broken. By the time the terror ended, thousands of blacks and hundreds of whites had been massacred or driven from their homes and communities. For a moment, it seemed that peace and Republican rule was restored. Yet within a few years, the terror was reborn and Reconstruction officially ended.
And then on January 8, 1894 the Enforcement Act was repealed~(To Be Continued)
On this day in history>>
First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review
By FOX BUTTERFIELD, Special to The New York Times
Published: February 6, 1990
The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.
”The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ”It’s encouraging.
”But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.
What a Law Review Does
Law reviews, which are edited by students, play a double role at law schools, providing a chance for students to improve their legal research and writing, and at the same time offering judges and scholars a forum for new legal arguments. The Harvard Law Review is generally considered the most widely cited of the student law reviews.
On his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: ”I personally am interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I’m fairly opinionated about this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only first among equals.”
Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would concentrate on making the review a ”forum for debate,” bringing in new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.
A President’s Future
The president of the law review usually goes on to serve as a clerk for a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for a year, and then as a clerk for an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. Obama said he planned to spend two or three years in private law practice and then return to Chicago to re-enter community work, either in politics or in local organizing.
Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama’s selection. ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”
Change in Selection System
Mr. Obama was elected after a meeting of the review’s 80 editors that convened Sunday and lasted until early this morning, a participant said.
Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help ensure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.
Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters.
Blacks at Harvard: New High
Black enrollment at Harvard Law School, after a dip in the mid-1980’s, has reached a record high this year, said Joyce Curll, the director of admissions. Of the 1,620 students in the three-year school, 12.5 percent this year are blacks, she said, and 14 percent of the first-year class are black. Nationwide enrollment by blacks in undergraduate colleges has dropped in recent years.
Mr. Obama succeeds Peter Yu, a first-generation Chinese-American, as president of The Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Yu plans to serve as a clerk for Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”
The first female editor of The Harvard Law Review was Susan Estrich, in 1977, who recently resigned as a professor at Harvard Law School to take a similar post at the University of Southern California. Ms. Estrich was campaign manager for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts in his campaign for the Presidency in 1988.
photo: Barack Obama was elected yesterday as president of the Harvard Law Review. He is the first black to hold the position. (The New York Times/Jim Bourg)
**Article from Archives of The New York Times**
…In 1961 CORE undertook a new tactic aimed at desegregating public transportation throughout the south. These tactics became know as the “Freedom Rides”. The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961 when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the Deep South. They intended to test the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional. In the first few days, the riders encountered only minor hostility, but in the second week the riders were severely beaten. Outside Anniston, Alabama, one of their buses was burned, and in Birmingham several dozen whites attacked the riders only two blocks from the sheriff’s office. With the intervention of the U.S. Justice Department, most of CORE’s Freedom Riders were evacuated from Birmingham, Alabama to New Orleans. John Lewis, a former seminary student who would later lead SNCC and become a US congressman, stayed in Birmingham.CORE Leaders decided that letting violence end the trip would send the wrong signal to the country. They reinforced the pair of remaining riders with volunteers, and the trip continued. The group traveled from Birmingham toMontgomery without incident, but on their arrival in Montgomery they were savagely attacked by a mob of more than 1000 whites. The extreme violence and the indifference of local police prompted a national outcry of support for the riders, putting pressure on President Kennedy to end the violence. The riders continued to Mississippi, where they endured further brutality and jail terms but generated more publicity and inspired dozens more Freedom Rides. By the end of the summer, the protests had spread to train stations and airports across the South, and in November, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting segregated transportation facilities.
Many thanks to my Daddy for providing the link I’m dropping..It includes the full PBS Freedom Riders Documentary>>
I’m presently wrapping up an outstanding book @The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson..Winner of The Pulitzer Prize & voted 10 Best Books in 2010 by The New York Times..If there is any book , I feel, Americans should read to learn more about the migration of Blacks in America; it is this one..Early kick-off on this end for Black History month simply because it is one of my favorite months of the year. And I make NO apology nor explanation as to why..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves because I’m just getting started!
Going to try to write this out & articulate how I feel about it..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves I’m diving in head first! Ready?>.
I’ve experienced something new for the past 2 years..Very new for me..Time after time I’ve been mistaken for other than; Black. Been asked IF I were a multitude of things..Hispanic, Latino, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Dominican, and today? Panamanian. My response , more often than not, is simply..No, I’m just ole-fashioned BLACK American..The new part of it is that it is other Blacks that have asked the question..Great majority of my life Whites have always asked IF I’m mixed..I’m not totally sure WHY it mattered whether I was mixed or not! But I was a bit surprised, now, that I’m not the only Black in my environment(or part of only a handful as I was on the West Coast); that any type of questioning about what I am comes into question>>
At first I didn’t know how to handle it..The behind-my-back comments(& sometimes to my face..) about how I talk.(you don’t sound BLACK) About the texture/thickness /style of my hair(wow, its yours!) About my background(well, you can’t relate to us because of your background..) Etc, etc, yada yada..I won’t lie my emotions have ranged from flat-out pissed off to butt-hurt feelings..WHY does it matter? I am just ME..Black & proud American born Sista! And how come I’ve never been asked IF I’m African??? I find myself thirsting to know more & more of African culture these days..Thus? I would love to be mistaken for an African Nubian Queen! Yet? That never happens>>
Then today? It hit me! While conversing with someone new(Panamanian); I realized she just wanted to CONNECT…She said you look SO familiar to me & your features remind me of HOME..As I listened to her talk it became crystal clear to me..I feel it when I’m back in the place I call home @ New Orleans..Its a feeling of being HOME. A feeling of comfortability that I feel NO where else on the planet. A feeling of familiarity with people; even people I don’t know..It just feels GOOD. Could that be the reason why other folks want to label others as theirs? A sense of bonding..A need for connection. >>
I’ve said often I’m a people lover..And I truly AM..The more I learn about & from other people; the more I learn about myself..From now on I’m going to look at the question @Are you ____? ; as a GREAT opportunity to open dialogue about other Black cultures..I won’t take offense & instead look as a chance to teach and learn..Teachable moments. Love IT.
**EPISODE FOUR** “Making A Way Out Of No Way” Airing on PBS Tuesday 11/12/2013 8 p.m. ET/PT Check your local listings>>
During the Jim Crow era, African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans migrated away from the South, fleeing racial violence and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. At the same time, there was an ascendance of black arts and culture, such as The Harlem Renaissance.
Making a Way Out of No Way is episode four of the six-part series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr
**EPISODE THREE** “Into The Fire” (1861-1896) Premieres Tuesday, November 5, 2013 @ 8 p.m. ET/PT >Check your local listing..Whatever you do; don’t miss IT!
Episode Two >> “The Age of Slavery* (1800 -1860) Due to air 10/29/2013(Check local listings)
…”The Age of Slavery illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For free black people in places like Philadelphia, these years were a time of tremendous opportunity. But for most African-Americans, this era represented a new nadir. The cotton industry fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories, and a Second Middle Passage forcibly relocated African-Americans from the Upper South into the Deep South. Yet as slavery intensified, so did resistance. From individual acts to mass rebellions, African-Americans demonstrated their determination to undermine and ultimately eradicate slavery in every state in the nation. Courageous individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass, played a crucial role in forcing the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics, helping to create the momentum that would eventually bring the country to civil war…”
>>After watching Episode One on its 10/22/2013 air date..I decided I wanted to share with y’all about the PBS ongoing series..It is hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr and consists of six episodes..I’ve attempted to post a copy of the video preview for episode two; but it is registering an error message. Ugh! If nothing else hope this serves as a notice to all of the upcoming episodes. The first episode kept me glued to my seat for the entire hour! I’ll post air dates for episode three & on when it becomes available. If you missed episode one; it can be viewed online at PBS. (and quite possibly PBS will re-air it on TV until episode 2 airs) Feel free to post your comments here after viewing each episode..
The topic about Black American women and OUR hair issues keeps coming UP; so might as well go ahead and open it up for discussion…Again! Hang on tight though because I’m truly on 1 & going to write it out as I ride it out>>
Viola Davis: ‘I Took My Wig Off Because I No Longer Wanted to Apologize for Who I Am‘>>
Viola Davis recently said this & when I heard it? My eyes filled UP with tears! I didn’t realize until that moment that IS exactly what WE are doing anytime WE don’t wear our natural hair…And? That includes relaxing it. Even IF it’s a mild relaxer; which by the way would include ME. Oh, but this is such a personal topic..>>
First things first..The word NAPPY was not created to describe Black hair..That, sadly enough, is something Blacks did on their own. Using the word NAPPY as a negative note to Black hair in its natural state. Why, one might ask, would Black folks describe their OWN hair in a negative manner? Hmmmmm It would take going far back-in-the-day to pin down exactly when it was determined that wearing Black hair in its natural state was a BAD thing..Was it something Blacks sat down & thought of on their own? Or were they conditioned to believe their hair was ugly? >>
Allow me to backtrack for a minute…When I was a pre-teen the IN thing was to sport a fro! Yes, the 70s was a time of picks, fro’s, and afro sheen! Anyone out there remember those days??? Lawd, I had a natural curly fro SO big that it resembled this picture..(I really wish I could find the picture of me with me fro; if I find it later I’ll post it here..
Then suddenly it was no longer hip or cool to sport a fro…Next thing I know I’d have to sit for hours! having my hair hot pressed in our kitchen by my Mom..Took hours because I had/have a ton of hair..I clearly recall(even though it was a longgg time ago) the smell of the grease mixing with the heat & flinching if the hot comb got too close to my face>>
Fast forward a few years & next began getting my hair relaxed..Another process that took hours upon hours. By the time I left home as a young woman? I did NOT know how to style my own natural hair..Not only that I’d grown so used to having it in relaxed form; it became my idea of what it meant for me to look GOOD. To even think of wearing it in its natural thick state was a no-no…
Fast forward to the year 2013..There is a BIG movement of Black women wearing their hair in its natural state..Even my own Mom at 72 yrs of age finally went natural this year..And beautiful woman that she IS; she looks amazing and FREE>>
Recently Sheryl Underwood(who I dig as a comedian) made ugly comments about natural Black hair..Which she has since apologized for..BUT the damage is done! Problem is she said it in front of America; and more importantly TONS of Black children heard/saw/read her say it…I realize many Black parents don’t realize the message they send Black children when…a. relax or straighten their children’s hair b. use the word nappy to describe Black hair c. use the terms good & bad grains of hair…However, it keeps the mindset going from generation to generation that natural Black hair is not a good thing. And I’m of the opinion that doing so? Can cause severe identity issues..So much so that some Black adults do NOT even realize they’re held captive in the chains of slavery>>
Personally? I am absolutely ELATED every time I see a younger Sista sporting a natural hair style..And the conversations I’ve had with some of them & they say they REFUSE to straighten their daughter’s hair; due to the message it sends them? I love IT..Wigs & weaves has never been my style; but same message is being sent. And costly! Relaxers also though..Every 8 weeks I’m dropping mega bucks for someone else to do MY hair..That is money I could be buying shoes with. Lol! The good news? I’m inching closer & closer to transitioning over..BUT I refuse to cut my hair; I love the versatility of having long hair ..Can choose to wear it in so many , many styles; and I do. But once I find a professional that won’t charge me a grip to teach me how to make the transition? I WILL BE SPORTING A NATURAL ‘DO. Like these..>>
Anyone recently transition from relaxed to natural? If so, feel free to drop some tips..Lets rap!
Recently I read an article that was SO deep I feel compelled to share it..I’m of the belief that for every given situation; there IS a solution. Or in this case at least a way of dealing with the fall out..I’ve not yet learned how to link articles here to my WordPress blog..Therefore, I’ll do my best to take excerpts from the Essence article. Under the title @ ‘ Confronting Unconscious Bias’ written by Dr. David R. Williams (Harvard Sociologist & Professor of African and African-American studies and sociology)
> Here is how one can protect themselves from the effects of discrimination<
1. Take care of YOUR health. By managing what you eat and engaging in exercise and meditation, you minimize exposure to biases in health care. Learn as much as possible about health conditions you may have and question providers about treatment options. It’s also critical that you find safe places to talk through any discrimination you may face. Black health care providers need to be watchful of their own biases. We have to be vigilant because we are part of American society . We, too, have been fed the same soup.”
2. Reject stereotyping. Consciously choosing to act in opposition to the stereotypes you hold can make a profound difference in how you treat others. “If you think of a particular group as violent, try to imagine the individuals you encounter from that group as nonviolent,” says Williams, who advocates a broad approach to reducing the stereotyping of African-Americans.
3. Change the narrative. Policy makers need to refine the language used to discuss African-American issues and instead adopt language that folds Black people into the American story. “We’re learning that language like ‘leveling the playing field’ turns Republicans off, ” Williams explains. “You’ve lost them just by your choice of words,” What works better” “Increasing opportunity for ALL.“
4. Recognize the value of affirmation. Understanding family strengths and values is a powerful inoculation against negative messages. The research is definitive. If you mention Black stereotypes before giving Black students a test, they will do more poorly. Simple affirmations can counteract these negative messages. In one study, students were told to think of values that reflected who they were and to write a few paragraphs about which value was most important to them and why. “That was it. Took less than an hour, ” William says. The exercise improved Black students’ performance not just in the class in which they did the exercise but across the board, reducing the achievement gap between Black and White students by 50 percent!!!
5. Provide focused intervention. Interestingly, the affirmation exercise above had NO impact on White students’ performance. “They don’t need the intervention. But for those who need it, YOU provide it, ” Williams explains. “The fix is really so simple. And the quality of the science is SO good,” Williams says. >>
When my sons were younger I took parenting seriously. I , along with my co-parenting partner@my now ex husband & lifelong friend, attempted to arm our sons with the tools they’d need to maintain and rise UP above racial discrimination. Truly wish we’d had pro-active tips like this to share with them..Well folks that is a wrap for now. Any and all feedback is welcomed! Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere , Berna(the 1 & only)
I simply could NOT pass up re-blogging this write..This young man gets IT
From BOY to MAN
Living under the roof of a two parent house hold, you learn the value of love. Life as a boy for me was mostly all about learning how to become a man. It’s nothing like having a father figure to help you understand how to walk, talk, treat a lady and firmly shake hands as well as look another man in his eye as respect. Understanding at a young age how to honor God and follow his commandments on top of respecting morals brings an abundance of wisdom and discernment to escape peer pressure and scope out trouble from miles away. Having morals and following his commandments proactively helped me as a boy think with my brain and not with my man hood. If I would have thought with my man hood it could have created issues that could have followed me when I became a…
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It IS a pivotal moment in our American History for the POTUS to speak on out race..I wasn’t in anticipation that he would; because he’s rightfully the president for all races/creeds/genders..However having said that, I’m VERY personally glad he did. For at the beginning and end of every day; President Barack Obama is a Black man. I think it was important he spoke out on the Trayvon Martin case…Much of what he said I’d said in my post the day after ‘the verdict’ was announced..Major props to President Obama for saying so eloquently the way I feel on this grave matter
President Obama commented on the Zimmerman verdict in an unexpected press conference today. I think what he said was very real, touching, and true. I think he spoke as a person of color who for once shared honest frustrations of what is like to live with the daily little nuances of being colored to all out racism in America. I am actually quite pleased that we got to see the man and not the politician emerge for once.
It would be easy to politicize this but right now and I am sure some will. However we need to achieve peace and the way we do it is to digest the president’s words. It is time to take out those mirrors like Mike said and ask what are we doing to contribute to restoring peace to our communities and to our society.
Normally I being the conservative would take liberty to…
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MY comments? MY feelings as a Black Mother? MY feelings as an American?..I am struggling this morning with trying to don my politically – correct hat on. BUT somehow its a losing battle , even for ME..Because what IS winning out is my sense of what is WRONG and what is RIGHT..And every, single time I look at this baby’s! face splashed across newspapers and websites across our country today?!? I get more and more and more HEARTSICK as each moment passes..I am also a BLACK Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma of three(3) Black sons..I can’t seem to keeeeep the bile from rising UP out of my tummy this morning. I am so usually a content and nothing-to-complain about loving person; but on this DAY? I am struggling to fight the ANGER and the tears just keep filling my eyes UP. Two(2) of my sons wear a hoodie from time to time; what IF that had been one of them walking home??? Would I have been sitting in that courtroom , knowing & feeeeling in my heart of hearts(along with millions! of other Americans) that my son is innocent; only to hear the words, NOT GUILTY, regarding the verdict of his murderer? I’ve so, so tired, nope tyeeeed of this type of backWOODS mentality! Is it now alright to gun down a child! like a dog in the street???? What IF it had been your child? I stood on FAITH that this would not & simply could not happen….
..I thought running to Mass(church) was going to help calm me..BUT I’m still spitting MAD! Especially after standing outside after Mass, in what seemed to be 10,000 degree HEAT, discussing this “situation”. If ANY Black male in America thought they had problems/issues before this day? Pfft that was nothing compared to the problem they’ve got now. IF a price was attached to people..STOCK on Black Males in America just plummeted!!! I thought about putting a disclaimer on any/any of my next comments..BUT I refuseee to keeeeeep apologizing for BEing and LOVING being Black. ONLY in America are a people, namely Black folks!, made to feeeeel as IF they’re wrong to identify/love their color/culture..NO OTHER RACE/COLOR IN AMERICA IS MADE TO FEEL THAT WAY. The even more pathetic thing about that comment? A GREAT DEAL OF BLACK FOLKS COMPLY WITH THAT SENTIMENT EVERY, SINGLE WAKING DAY OF THEIR LIVES IN AMERICA. And I love my country with every ounce of my being. But today? I’m ashamed! of what has been “allowed” to happen in that courtroom. And for those just tuning IN? I’m on the top of a wave of a major RANT; and I’m just getting started. So hang onto to your caps/hats/wigs /& weaves or they might get blown off. As a good friend of mine would say, ” THIS is some BULLshit!”>>
1st things 1st..I believe there are a few FACTS that need to be interjected before I continue..First & foremost the constitution does NOT support that a “victim” have a jury of their peers..Matter of fact it doesn’t support that the “accused ” does either. What is does say though leans more towards the ACCUSED than the VICTIM; regarding a jury of so-called “fairness”.*Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution*=In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense..It WAS my belief that Trayvon Martin OR any victim; was due(by the LAW) a jury of their peers..Which in this case would’ve meant at the least a couple of Blacks and at least ONE Male. There were NO Males on the Trayvon Martin jury..and ALL but one of the women were WHITE. Some reading might say race doesn’t matter. I beg to differ race DOES still matter a great deal here in America. For those that still have their heads UP their fanny or eyes closed; have only to recall the highly! NEGATIVE slurs/comments/pictures posted on the Internet of ugly racial funkiNESS/3 ring circus antics of both recent Presidential Elections. IF you didn’t get IT then; let this be your eye-opener. Its time to WAKE UP >>
I wore a Black dress to Mass this morning..I do not like wearing Black. Matter of fact I refused! to have the customary Black 50th birthday party color theme(chose pink instead..) But this morning I donned BLACK on purpose. I’m in mourning..I’m mourning the death of an INNOCENT YOUNG(17 yrs of age..) BLACK MALE. I’m mourning the LOSS of FREEdom here in America. More & more of our civil liberties are being taken away..A country that just celebrated the 4th of July; a day which marks the declaration of independence..Out of the GREAT principles of freedom and justice embodied in the National Declaration of Independence; which ones are in 2013 extended to Black Males? To Black folks in general even? Yea, think about that for a minute..I’ll wait. After pondering that this very morning? The answer I arrive at is nothing to celebrate with fireworks or a BBQ. Year after year WE celebrate a holiday; which in reality doesn’t celebrate US. I’m struggling today ; and trying hard to smile past the tears that are just waiting to drop..I’m afraid today. First & foremost I’m afraid if I start crying I won’t stop>>
Before I wrap this piece up with what I feel is the beginning of the SOLUTION..I’d like to drop a few items regarding this case from folks other than me; including President Barack Obama(His comment was made shortly after Trayvon’s death..) **Even President Obama weighed in a month after the shooting, expressing sympathy for Martin’s family and urging a thorough investigation. “If I had a son,” Obama said, “he’d look like Trayvon.”**
**Saturday night, when the verdict was read, Zimmerman, 29, smiled slightly. His wife, Shellie, and several of his friends wept, and his parents kissed and embraced.** What the heck is he smiling about? He STILL killed another human being! But I guess he smiled because he realized he’d gotten away with MURDER!?! What kind of person is capable of smiling & not feeling remorse for such actions?
**Rachel Jeantel in Trayvon Martin’s words: He said “Get off, get off:” As Martin walked back from the store to the home of his dad’s fiancee, he was talking on the phone with his friend, Rachel Jeantel.
The prosecution’s star witness testified for two days about the final moments of Martin’s life, saying he told her someone was following him. Jeantel’s testimony is key to the State’s case that Zimmerman was the aggressor in the confrontation.
“He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him,” she told jurors.
When Jeantel asked Martin what the man looked like, she said he told her the man “looked creepy.” “Creepy, white — excuse my language — cracker. Creepy [expletive] cracker.”
Jeantel said she heard Martin talking to Zimmerman in the background of the call. “He said, ‘Why are you following me for?’ And I heard a hard-breathing man say, ‘What you doing around here?'”
Jeantel also said she heard a bump from Martin’s headset hitting something and “wet grass sounds.”
“I start hearing a little bit of Trayvon saying, ‘Get off, get off!'” said Jeantel.** Its MY belief that Trayvon fought for his LIFE! And that is why Zimmerman had cuts on his head..I can’t fight/never been in a fight/and I like Trayvon am much smaller than Zimmerman..Yet, I also would’ve fought him off with every ounce of my body. IF anyone was standing their ground in defense in this case? It was Trayvon Martin.
**The teen’s father reacted on Twitter: ‘‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’’
His mother also said on Twitter that she appreciated the prayers from supporters.
‘‘Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have,’’ she wrote.** (thats a deeeeeop comment that hits me like a ton of bricks)
…I used to think the way to protect my sons; was to raise them with TRUTH. I didn’t mince many words with them..I spoke/speak to them with love; but of the way things ARE. I did lie to them though when I told them that the Easter Bunny existed. I went along with the LIE..I did lie to them though when I told them there was such a thing as a tooth fairy..And I stillll to this day have a tiny felt bag with their tiny teeth that I gave them money for in exchange. It was NOT the tooth fairy sons! I lied to my sons when I went along with the LIE that Santa Clause exists..Which in America that lie has turned the entire celebration of what its supposed to be about(I don’t care if its a run-on sentence..) ; into a big FAT commercial money-making mess. I refuse to continue to keep up lies with the humans I helped to give Life..Truth IS just like Kanye West said & then got blasted it for it; there are MANY people in America that just don’t like Black folks. And never WILL. That is factual. Racism IS not dead in America. For many moons to come my dream for my sons won’t come TRUE; you won’t be judged just based on your OWN merit. And that’s including my eldest son who this coming May will be the first PHD on all sides of my family. As Black MEN my sons will always have to work 3 – 4 times HARDER than their White Male Counterparts. They’ll more than likely get paid LESS. And even though all 3 of my sons are college educated withOUT criminal backgrounds; IF they happen to walk in the wrong neighborhood with a hoodie on? Just might get gunned down like a dog & KILLED. That is my reality as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma on this day. That is my sons reality on this day and any other Black Male in America. Its not my perception…It IS the way it IS. And we’ve got to stop sugar-coating things/overlooking things/glossing things over. We’ve assimilated SO frigging well WE have forgotten our ROOTS. Family FIRST. And UNITY. And love of all mankind. The violence has got to stop. How many more Black MEN have to die or wind up behind bars for us to get IT? I am proud to be Black. I am proud to be American. I am NOT proud of what happened in that courtroom. Never will be. Its time. Its time for people to stand UP for what is right and just. Things are declining instead of getting better. That is just not progressive folks. WE are moving backwards and with a quickness..As a loving parent I can’t stay quiet and muted. Someone said something today that for a moment gave me clarity and peace..He said mayhaps this is God’s way of making something DRASTIC happen for us to SEE how F’d up and ugly things are? What if there had to be a sacrifice? There are so many what IFs going through my head..What IF that was one of my sons? I’m going to keep thinking that over and over and over again. As positive as I’ve grown to BE; I quite honestly think I’d lose my marbles. TO SIT IN A COURTROOM AND HEAR THE WORDS NOT GUILTY AND SEE THOSE WORDS SPLASHED ON NEWSPAPERS ACROSS AMERICA; FEEEEEELING IN MY HEART OF HEARTS, KNOWING! MY SON WAS INNNOCENT AND GUNNED DOWN LIKE A DOG IN THE STREET??? I say its time for another Civil Rights Movement. Drastic actions call for drastic actions. No different than it was a movement of MANY colors/creeds to get the “right” person in the White House; its time for great change. Nothing changes until something changes. I’ll say that one more time so I can read it..Nothing changes until something changes. Its time. But that’s just the way I see IT. And right now I’m not “seeing” with my eyes; I’m seeing with my heart. Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 & only)
AFTERword..Reflection can be a good thing sometimes..BUT today it is not working..I can’t stop thinking about this matter. What truly bothers me? Is as culturally aware & politically savvy as I profess to BE; I was still naive enough to be BAMBOOZLED. Hoodwinked and caught UP believing in OUR JustUS system..Thought we’d prevailed when at the least this case went to trial! IF anyone is keeping UP; at first the city wasn’t even going to press charges on Zimmerman. None. Zilch..So one might just be a little “naive” ; and I’ve got my hand held UP high; to think at that point that there would be consequences for murdering an innocent person. A young 17 yr old person. Alas, having a voice got Trayvon the trial he rightfully deserved..And then BAM the reality of the worst of a Black American’s nightmares came to BE. Not a dayum thing in the form of punishment was done..If nothing else Zimmerman profited from taking a life. And now that he is FREE? Mark my words he’ll write a book & make tons of money. I wish NO ONE buys IT..sadly though that won’t be the case. Zimmerman had tons of supporters; but hopefully not as many as the folks who knew right from wrong. Recently my Pastor Priest spoke about “ownership” of our church..and it comes to mind now regarding our country. The US of A. Aren’t we law-abiding tax-paying HIGH as HECK gasoline paying citizens of this country? Doesn’t that mean that WE should be treated as more than a DOG? Anyone recall when Michael Vicks got JAIL time for so-called animal abuse???? And YET a man can walk free after killing a Black young male..something is funkier than funky with that picture. As tax paying citizens WE have to take ownership rights..We have rights. Right to live freely is one of said rights..In the pursuit of happiness..And I believe that includes being able to BE Black ; even in a predominantly White neighborhood. Zimmerman took ownership of an entire neighborhood! One that he did NOT even own a home in. WOW now that’s cojones! This is our country just as much as the next person ..We deserve the right to sleep well at night; NOT worried that our Black sons can be gunned down just because..What is the next because going to BE? Because someone has had a bad dang day & gets a notion to start killing off Black men? It might sound far-fetched; but so did getting killed armed with skittles a couple of years back…I hope there is a potential next MLK, Jr reading this. And I hope said person is motivated enough to get BUSY.
UNapologetically Black & very proud of my AfricanNESS(even though East Coast folks keep asking me if I’m Latina..NO I am not) with a natural deeply bred Southern Hospitality style courtesy of being from New Orleans; meshed neatly with much American Pride. Heck I was even born on the 4th of July! Having said all of that; I can’t help but be disappointed with the current state of Black America. Its overall downward spiral way of life; heavily laden with afflictions & chronic conditions, is disheartening to say the least. Recent events have brought this even more so to the forefront of my thoughts..Have WE become our own worst enemy? Will WE bring about our own extinction in America? Lets rap>>
*Might want to kick your feet UP & get comfy; I’ve got a lot 2 say on this topic..And I plan on taking my time with it..Letting my thoughts flow from my mind; mental notes & life experiences of 50 years of Being Black-Loving IT-Raising Blackness(our 3 sons..)-Promoting Black IS Beautifulness in all I am-Standing Still*
In my Life Journey of 50 years I’ve been labeled a Negro/a “N” word( I won’t use that word even as a 50 yr old; but I was called this by my “friend” before I was 5 yrs old/Afro-American/African -American..My parents lovingly labeled me as Bernadette(a Saint’s name..) Marie..These days I walk proudly as a Black woman who refuses to be labeled by other folks..When we allow others 2 define US; it can be easy to forget who the heck we are. Took me far to long to discover the in’s & out’s of who I am to allow that. So anyways, here is my outlook on how things look for the future Black generations that will be born here in our country; America. Including my unborn grandchildren..Its pretty bleak the way I see IT. First? Proof positive how far WE have fallen ..>>
...What happened to the days when Blacks walked out of their homes; dressed? Literally, some of these girls these days are butt naked! Or half naked..lawd! Might as well be leg-wrapped around a pole..Has it been forgotten that when one walks out their front door; they represent their ENTIRE family? Every single day; dead or alive and yep, even the yet-to-be-born. The shoulders of the ancestors we stand upon? They dressed sharp..even headed out to the supermarket. Teens included…Know why children/teens dressed well back then overall? Because children follow suit behind their parents. And I’ll go as far as to say children watch & learn from ALL of their elders..WE are teaching even when we don’t realize we are. Yet, slowly but surely we’re acting as if we aren’t proud anymore. What happened to “the Black & Proud” movement of the 60s? We must & can do better or we’re going to free fall to a level so low; we might not be able to recover from . Or are we already there?>>
**Going to rewind backintime for a minute..To a little known comment made by Malcolm X..(Its my opinion he was “made” out to be a villain by the media; but that’s another topic for another time) I wonder IF this is how Blacks feel about one another anymore..Love for one another..Why IS it that every other ethnic group..i.e. Asians, Latino, African, Jewish, and even Indians all help one another ; and Black Americans don’t. Its known! Other folks laugh about it..Black Americans have become a big, fat model for the “crab in the barrel ” syndrome. How IS that possible when we USED to be so tight? Were we only tight back then because back then WE were all we had? >>
More than likely I should’ve added a disclaimer at the onset of this post..But for the sake of doing so here is my disclaimer = All or anything I pen are my thoughts and or beliefs. Based on a lifetime of personal experiences/what my parents, grandparents, aunts, cousins have taught or shown me/combined with a healthy dose of common sense and statistical facts. Moving right along..You didn’t think I was finished did you? Just getting started. Literally..Moving forward>>
There are many things tormenting Black Americans..Including themselves as a whole; but I’ll leave that for the very last part of my post. Exclusionism(yep!, that’s a real word not a Berna’ism) , Drug use, Diseases, Lack of higher education, economic strangulation, incarceration, and Black on Black crime is killing us off in astonishing numbers..The #1 cause in that list pushing Blacks in America toward genocide? Incarceration of Blacks. Namely Black MEN. The statistics are beyond startling..I wonder IF the majority of Blacks realize how many Black men are behind bars in our country. The U S of A..I’m willing to bet other single & eligible Sisters out there know our Black brothers are dwindling in numbers..And its very noticeable. >>
Heres the fast forwarded & brief version of being Black- behind- bars- in- our -country..As of 2008(which more than likely means the number has increased) America is still #1 in something. It’s now infamously known as the “WORLD’s number one jailer” . I hate reading or writing that; I love my country!; but that fact stinks. The U.S . with a population of 300 million(mind you these stats are very 5 yrs ago..) has a prison population that is GREATER than China with a population of 1.3 billion people..Whoa! It’s guesstimated that translated to approx 1 out of 12 Blacks is either in prison/in jail/or on parole. That not only stinks; that down right sucks! Races does matter..The rate of incarceration of Black males is 6.5 times that of White males & 2.5 times that of Hispanic males. Keep in mind the amount of ‘money’ pulled in from those productive Black laborers behind bars. Keep in mind also that a person’s right to VOTE is stripped while in prison and often after they’ve been released. Keep in mind also that same person has to still PAY taxes; but can’t vote. Keep in mind one more thing..Its guesstimated the cost of keeping a person in prison; is comparable to matriculating at Harvard University. How different America would/could be IF drug offenses were sentenced in an equal manner..I won’t go deep into the meaning of that comment. Personally I feel its self-explanatory. How different America would be if the above mentioned Black men “could” vote. Or could afford to pay for an education..The OR’s are limitless so I’ll stop there. When I worked in a prison & saw all the YOUNG brothers, babies!, behind bars? Hurt my heart & moved me to tears often; too often. Moving right along>>
Roughly 7,000 Blacks are murdered every year..94% of the time by the hands of another Black person. 94% of the time folks; that’s alarming! Just as we are horrified by the senseless/unjust deaths of the Trayvon Martins; we should rightfully be upset/aware of this statistic. Blacks make up approx. 13% of the Nation’s population; YET account for more than 50% of homicide victims. OMG I read over stats like that and can’t help but wonder about the future of Blacks in America. Its hard , knowing such things, not to be concerned. Beyond tragic to fathom that a young Black male has a better chance of reaching maturity on battlefields in Afghan & Iraq; than on the streets of some of the major cities in our country. I try very hard not to think about such things often; its less painful to just try with all my might to be part of our progression. Yet, isn’t remaining silent something that can also been seen as acceptance of such stats? Or worse; lack of caring or concern..>>
I could continue to write on & on & on; as I’ve done off & on all day about this topic..However, I’d like to think the general gist of where I’m coming from has been clearly outlined..I’m hoping with all of my being that this might just start a fire under someone out there reading this; to get involved, in some way, for positive progression. What if just doing our part isn’t enough? What if the way to prevent extinction; folks have to take on an extra chore in this mission? What a difference we’ve clearly seen that UNITED groups can make here in America. (Gays fighting for their right to marry is just one thing that comes to mind..) Silence isn’t always golden. And often times words aren’t enough to express sentiment felt. IF my heart could talk out loud about how it feels about the future of Blacks in America..It would scream from the highest roof top & say “I’m scared about my son’s & unborn grandchildren’s future here in our country” Exclamation mark. Period
Urban dictionary definition = Blame it on the liquor : When a person does stupid things, later making excuses that it was the alcohol, that made him/her do so. A: ”Dude, it wasn’t me, i didn’t pee on that car!”
B: ”’Yeah, blame it on the liquor…”
While some of ya’ll reading this might NOT want to hear about the negative impact alcohol has on the body; I’m going to break it down anyway. And for the record..I used to drink socially once upon a time ago. So I’ve personally experienced quite enough to speak on this topic; and its highly personal. Back then the LAST thing I’d have wanted to hear/or read..was any of this. However, just mayhaps some of the youth out there reading this OR grown folks who don’t really yet know..just might find this info interesting and/or life changing. >Alcohol negatively impacts one’s body in countless ways. It has adverse effects on the brain, heart, LIVER, lungs , digestive system, and the skin.(very fast way to age the skin…)
Brain: From the first sip, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Although you won’t be aware of it, there is an impairment of brain function, which deteriorates further the more you drink.>>When I drank alcohol, I was a classic example of this happening. 2 sips into a drink I could feel the impact….from the very first time I ever had a drink. (and my sensitive body system couldn’t handle holding even a drop of alcohol; never was there a time that by nights end I wasn’t vomiting it all up. Not a day since have I hugged the toilet like that! And I never want to again..) By end of the first drink; I was LIT. However, hardly ever was 1 drink enough. Out dancing & having fun drinking was all a part of the process..or so it was back then. Now I honestly feel I have MORE fun without drinking. Plus! I get to watch live entertainment from all the drunk folks who provide unbelievable laughs for me..and I can remember to tell them all about it the next morning.
Heart: Your pulse quickens after just one unit. Alcohol is a vasodilator – it makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues, which results in a drop in blood pressure. In order to maintain sufficient blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. Your breathing rate may also speed up…
Digestive system:The Government advises men to drink no more than three to four units a day and women no more than two to three, so after two pints of normal-strength beer (four units) or a large glass of red wine (3.5 units) we have already exceeded our healthy guidelines. The alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and if you are not used to it, even small amounts of alcohol can irritate the stomach lining. This volume of alcohol also begins to block absorption of essential vitamins and minerals…
Skin: Alcohol increases bloodflow to the skin, making you feel warm and look flushed. It also dehydrates, increasing the appearance of fine lines. According to Dr Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist, even five units will lead to an unhealthy appearance for days…So girls/ladies/chicks/women? IF at 50 yrs old(my age) you want to look like you’re 100 yrs old? Drink UP..I’m personally & sincerely ELATED that= I don’t look like what I’ve been through & done in my life. I’m truly blessed! And I thank my God & lucky stars every single day. Real talk 4 real..
Lungs:A small amount of alcohol speeds up the breathing rate. But at this level of intoxication, the stimulating effects of alcohol are replaced by an anaesthetic effect that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. The heart rate lowers, as does blood pressure and respiration rates, possibly to risky levels – in extreme cases the effect could be fatal. During exhalation, the lungs excrete about 5 per cent of the alcohol you have consumed – it is this effect that forms the basis for the breathalyser test…
LIVER:Alcohol is metabolised in the liver and excessive alcohol use can lead to acute and chronic liver disease. As the liver breaks down alcohol, by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed, some of which are more toxic to the body than alcohol itself. It is these that can eventually attack the liver and cause cirrhosis(which is said to be an AWFUL thing to endure IF its even survived)
Now folks reading this that don’t drink might wonder..WHY in the heck would anyone , knowing all of the above, ever drink? Why wouldn’t they stop once they knew? But..look in the mirror and ask yourself this question. “Do I have a habit that I know isn’t good for me healthwise? ” IF the answer is NO ; then keep throwing stones and asking the above questions. Also , you’d be one of the only person on earth,that I’ve ever heard of, with NO bad habits. I’d actually like to see what you look like up close…Folks over-eat, folks under-eat, Folks eat junk food, Folks smoke cigs, Folks do drugs, Folks take prescription drugs, Folks do NOT exercise on a regular basis, Folks stress (and that is NOT good for health..)…the list goes on & on & on. All the while knowing it isn’t good for them..Moving right along>
Why is any of this important? Because folks are dying at alarming rates from drunk drivers, youth from alcohol poisoning, and not to mention alcohol helps to cause people to be over-weight. And as a country we lead in obesity rates; which is NOT helping our country’s health insurance issue..(another topic for another time)
Why do people drink in the first place? Why can’t one have a funky good time withOUT needing a buzz or a high from alcohol? That is the question that just begs to be answered. BUT the only person who can answer that question..is the person who drinks to that point….
What is the bigger issue behind the symptom? Yep, my take on it is that drinking alcohol is a symptom..Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out..Some folks drink to forget painful memories. Some folks drink to forget stress in their lives..as IF that same stressful situation won’t be there the next day. The difference? Now they’ve got a hangover and problems to solve..not a pretty picture. Been there done that during & after my divorce..and its been so long since I quit that now? The cost of a drink is about the cost it was for a bottle back then…OMG! And last night I heard that a shot can cost over $100. For a shot! Some high priced premium drink(that I never heard of before..) ..but I was horrified at that news flash. I could buy an entire clothing outfit for that cost of that one shot of liquor. But we all have our priorities and our crutches to deal with this on this ride called LIFE. Is it peer pressure causing the youth to drink at younger & younger ages? Is it the fact they see their parents drink & thus think its alright? Why aren’t more folks that finally saw the light & QUIT; standing UP to say the real deal about drinking? Shame? Denial? I’d be more ashamed IF I didn’t say this to my own sons & to anyone’s children who will listen…IF only for a minute. I’m just elated! that my soul can rest easy that I never killed anyone drinking & driving…which is part of my testimony. My God KNEW I’d not be able to live without having a tormented SOUL had I harmed someone…and I hold my hand UP high guilty for having driven after drinking backintheday. It isn’t something I’m proud of..but I’m also very happy I learned from my transgressions. And I had OUTSTANDING friends(shout-out to my Cali lifelong friends , I love ya’ll!) who learned to take my keys BEFORE we went out…First & foremost though thanks to my GOD for getting me to the other side of that phase of my life. Lesson learned and torn-apart heart completely mended…
Many reading this won’t truly appreciate what I’ve said here; until something happens to ‘force” you to look in the mirror..and make a change. There are many people that self-medicate…not just with alcohol. My belief? Once one loves themselves, totally, they don’t need vices to make them feel good anymore. Nor a crutch after a rough day or life-altering situation like divorce..
This topic comes UP alot these days..It came up recently while I was chatting with a friend; I decided then I was going to bring it to my blog to dialogue. A taboo topic that need not be taboo IF folks could/would..speak openly & honestly about IT. Very hopeful to make that happen here as I do what only I can do; the way I do it..Sincerely & with finesse, somewhat?>
>WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections.
< I want to be clear before I dig into this topic. I’ve had issues with Arizona’s proposed citizenship law; since its very inception. Living in California at the time & quite in-the-know-about-politics(I once ran for office long ago..) ; I understood the law for what it was/IS. Voter suppression. Point blank. For the record there are already laws/statues in place for voter identity. (to ensure folks that vote are indeed American citizens) The proposed Arizona law desires measures in ADDITION to what the Federal law already requires(according to the National Voter Registration Act) Take into account Arizona didn’t introduce the idea for this law; until a very eligible Black American ran for President. Also take into account Arizona was one of the very last states(they held out, with New Hampshire, until they received a litany of heavy criticism) to make MLK, Jr birthday a paid state holiday. Coincidental? I don’t think so…Lets dig a bit deeper>
We have a fear about talking about RACE ISSUES in America..Its like a dirty little secret that the ENTIRE world knows about(that our country was built, including majority of D.C., on the backs of slaves…) and yet; it’s not talked about openly in public. Because of this being factual is my belief that racism can still exist in our country. Or least that is one of the reasons . Can’t work to erase something that “allegedly” is already dealt with…But even a blind, deaf-mute knows that the days of racism/racist attitudes/racist beliefs/racist tendencies are far from over>
*I could keep my head buried in the sand..Act as if racism is truly dead in a country I love..On a daily basis living as a Black American woman I’m not physically touched by racism..But our Black men, America’s Black MEN, are catching HELL..As a mother of 3 grown Black beautiful Black men I simply can’t pretend racism is dead. As an American I can’t turn a deaf ear & blind eye either. How many more Martin Trayvons, Chavis Carters, & Oscar Grants have to die for us to openly discuss race issues in our country? Very well could’ve been one of MY sons..two of whom are fond of wearing hoodies from time2time. To think the unthinkable could happen to them or ANY law-abiding citizen in our country; is more than I can bear to think. And more than enough to motivate me to use my freedom of speech to speak on IT..yet another thing I love about my country@freedom of speech & thought. I think therefore I blog>
I wonder everyonceinagreatwhile IF I weren’t Black if I’d care so much that racism still exists..IF I were privy to White privilege would I feel racist beliefs/treatment were unjust? IF I were White would I turn a blind eye to people’s freedom & lives being taken away without justified reason? I’d like to think I’d still feel the same as I do now. Matter of fact I’m almost willing to bet I would; because I’ve got an enormous heart. Wrong is wrong no matter the color of a person’s skin/ethnic background/cultural foundation/personal belief system.
If you start a sentence with, I’m not racist because…More than likely you probably are or have racist tendencies. And for the love of God; I wish folks would stop saying I’ve got Black/White friends so I’m not racist. As IF! I’ve said it before & I’ll say it one ‘mo time; that only means you’ve got Black or White friends. I don’t try to dis-prove or UNprove anything; or least I try not to. What I attempt to do is love & accept everyone..That inofitself has been something that is an on-going process. As I’ve evolved as I’ve learned more about different cultures and life styles; my level of acceptance has broadened. I really can’t express it any other way..So read between the lines. I believe that IGNORANCE is what lies as the foundation of racism & prejudice. What folks don’t understand or know about; they often form negative opinions about. What can also feed a person’s belief system is = what they’re taught as children. Thankfully I was taught self-pride/cultural pride/LOVE. But what about children that were taught to hate from birth? I wasn’t one who thought racism would die overnight because we’d elected a Black POTUS. Rome wasn’t built in a day; and something it took many moons to create will take more than a minute to change…What I do think is that as a country WE can do better. The next 4 years will be a time of great positive change for our country..Or so its my belief based on many factors. That is another topic for another time. However having said all of that; there is NO time like the present to do what is right. I’m hoping we can do it together. *One love*
Single, Sexy, and very Smart..it is beginning to feel like a curse! In the love department. I’ll never get to write about fiction; because real life is FAR more exciting plus full of UNDANGbelievable moments..Hold onto your hats & wigs folks ! This might get a little raw and as always totally real..but I’m almost 50 yrs old I can say what I feel and mean & mean what I say. Right? Yep, I’m very right about alot more than I give myself credit for. Till now. Ya’ll ready for this? Ready..Get set..
Here i GO..This might very well come off as a rant, possibly even venting. I’d prefer to say it is a ..release of pent-UP unexpressed sentiment. Having recently relocated from the Right Coast to the Left Coast; I’ve finally! begun to like it here. All is falling into place and I no longer(sort of..) feen for my beloved Cali. Truly dig the people here, have made FABULOUS friends here, and I love my JOB. And yet, for the 1st time in my life I seem to be attracting alot of married brothers! I don’t get it ..but I swear if ONE more approaches me , in anything-other-than-a-friendship-type-of-“thang”; I will scream! And I won’t be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth…I don’t think married guys realize the total and UTmost disrespect that is to a woman. Not to mention their wife..and on my pisstivity meter it rates a 10 out of 10.
Certainly we all know there are women who go after married men on purpose…They even see it as a personal challenge to go for unavailable and married men. Anyone who knows me knows that without a shred of doubt; I am NOT one of those women. I want, deserve!, and am patiently (trying dang hard not to fall off the wagon..) awaiting for my “the one” to find me. Maybe because this is the longest timeframe I’ve been single; I’m throwing off pheromones like crazy. Or least that is the line that someone recently used on me; as IF. I’d even go as far as to say, and I have, that I’m pretty vulnerable right about now(no matter how strong I project I am & feel I am) Nonetheless the type of love relationship I’m seeking does NOT include a married brother..and I’ll briefly attempt to explain why. >
First of all it makes me feel cheap and dirty! And I hope some of ya’ll are reading this..Mayhaps it will make ya’ll think twice about hitting hard on single women. As IF having a wife at home isn’t enough. And what the heck happened to the time when everyone WORE a wedding band?!? When I was married IF my husband had walked around without his wedding band on..it would’ve sent off a major alarm in my head. Although truth be told if your man is going to cheat; you could wrap his entire body in wedding bands & he’ll still cheat. A cheater will find a way to cheat in a locked room by themselves! Or so it is my belief…and yep I’ve got major issues with cheating-while-married. For a reason. It happened to me. Once upon a time long ago. And literally broke my heart into tiny fragmented pieces…(though we’re great friends now, forgiveness works wonders!)
Isn’t it quite unfair to dangle candy in front of a baby; and then say the baby can’t have the candy? That is exactly what it feels like to “think” someone is single; only to find out surprise! he’s charming/HOT/funny!/personality to die for but MARRIED. When in actuality that is something that should be well known from the get-go. I just feel anything less when approaching a woman is perpetuating a fraud. And one step further so are the married ones who say they’re cool with friendship..and then bam! Swooooop down and hit on a woman so hard it can quite literally take her breath away. Note: Insert the word “men” & “wife” in the following picture..>
We all fall short of perfection. I get that; and I have my hand held UP high that I’m not perfect. I’ll say it one ‘mo time for the record. I don’t even strive to be perfect anymore. Being perfect would make me..boring. And if anyone reading this has met a perfect person; point them out I’d like to finally see what a perfect person really looks like. I say allll of that to say married folks can do whatever they please. I care less..do YOUR thing and do it well. BUT don’t include me in it. I want no parts of it. As IF I want to be next in line to be sitting at home; waiting on a husband who is working hard to get next to a single woman. Or mayhaps only I look at it from that perspective. It really does, for a minute, hurt my feelings that said married brothers would think that little of me. For a minute…then after that minute or so passes? I get MAD..especially if I felt the temptation. That leads me back again to level 10 on my pisstivity meter. I’m not there often; and I don’t like being there. Exclamation mark. Period
Someone recently said something; and this saying is getting so OLD. I’ve tired of hearing it because I simply refuse to believe it. They said that all of the good brothers are either married; or in prison. NOT..I won’t comment on the either of those situations. What I will say is this. I exist/divorced & single & sexy, attractive & physically fit/and I’m a dang good woman. And I’ve got a couple single girl friends who are even more fabulous than I am. So since we exist then there have GOT to be 3 HOT heckafied brothers out there also…and I know mine is looking for me. He is searching for me high & low. I can feel it in my bones. I’m thinking about getting a T -shirt that says “Here i AM baby & I waited just for U” Lol! Actually thats not a bad idea..
Bottom line is I love everyone..I truly, truly LOVE/admire/cherish/dig my brotha’s. And 99.9% of the time I get nothing but MAD, and I mean mad props, from my brothers. Including friendships that I treasure dearly..but I just had to add these thoughts as a footnote. Often times folks, including me, can do things that we don’t know offend others. I’m making it known, again, I find it highly offensive. Enough said…Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted and blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
I’ve decided to wrap UP my series of Black History Month tribute posts for this year. Not because it is difficult to meet the post a day challenge plus write with content/passion; though it is tough! But because I refuse for my posts to just became..random. Many a blog & article already exists listing notable folks in our/America’s history; I wanted mine to be different. I’ve written on subject matter I’m passionate about..its what I do when I do what I enjoy doing. In any aspect. Ending with this topic because someone has to say IT..and it might as well be me. With love & the highest regard always for my Black brotha’s & sista’s……….Sometimes asking questions can serve as a way to reach others/open one’s 3rd eye/or provoke people to look at self to make a change for the better; IF the shoe fits. So here are a few questions I’ve contemplated. WHY do we, Black folks, continually find ways to divide ourselves? WHY do we think “we” have a right to say what BLACK enough IS? WHO in their right mind thought of the phrase, ACTING White while being BLACK? (this goes hand in hand with sounding White..wth?! IF one more person says this to me I’ll scream!) WHY is it acting “bougie” if someone wants to get educated, do better, and progress? WHY is it anyone’s business what someone else is wearing on “their” head?! (i.e..wig, weaves) HOW many years is it going to take post-Jim Crow for Black folks to drop the good hair/bad hair/light skin/dark skin hang UPs?
Don’t ya’ll think it rather odd that when the phrase@Crabs-in-a-barrel is used; most people just KNOW its preceding a comment regarding Blacks folks?!? As a Black woman I don’t just find that odd; I think its very sad…
WHY were there ANY funky comments about Gabby Douglas’s hair last year?? And why in the HELL were those funky comments from Black folks??!??? At 16 yrs old , in front of a billion! watching people(as IF that wasn’t enough pressure…at 16!) , that young sista became the very FIRST Black woman to achieve the HIGHEST prize in gymnastics. TOP of her game/already faced much adversity in her young, young life; and then! Black folks tried to tear her down! I found that beyond disgusting and UNACCEPTABLE. What are we teaching our youth??? OMG
WHY when Oprah Winfrey has given more assistance in the form of MONEY; than any of us will even begin to imagine or possess..do Black folks continually talk smack about her?! As IF she owed any of us a brand new school ; it is HER money. Jeeeez , if she chooses to make a pile of money in her yard and set it on fire she can. It is hers! Oprah has survived a horrific childhood; and rose above like a rose among weeds…and yet! for some reason the only folks tearing her down are her OWN. (no pun intended…) Shouldn’t we be proud of her? Shouldn’t any American be? Should not she BE an example for anyone Black , or everyone!, that from any background one can reach their dreams & goals? Lawd!
And last but not least…President Barack Obama is BLACK. I’ve grown about sick & tyeeeed of the some of us; that act as IF they’re appointed governors over who IS and is not Black enough. Pfft! All of society views him as what he IS…A Black man. Mixed or not(as majority of us here are; even those of us who won’t admit it) Black IS Black. Exclamation mark. Period.
There was a time when Blacks had each others backs. There was a time when even Sista’s, but especially Brotha’s, wouldn’t walk past each other without nodding. Or something! Brotha’s still do it with one another; and with me lol! ..but why is so hard to do the same with Sista’s? Just because we don’t know one another; doesn’t mean we’ve got to act like strangers. And NO amount of money or possessions a person makes; makes you any BETTER than anyone else. Wise folks know that when you’re good to others, in sincerity!, it comes back tenfold to you. Its called helping others WIN; and in doing so you win. It is just the way it is…And isn’t the world a much better place when everyone looks out for one another?! Isn’t that the way it is supposed to BE? IF we look out for someone today; IF we need it tomorrow it will be returned. In my heart of hearts I feel when things were really, really bad for Blacks..they stuck together. Like glue. And family meant so much back then! ALL we had was each other in those days…Look at the overall state of Black America these days. Take a long look…it has got to get better. WE can do better. I say that often; because I believe it.
Until as a whole we begin to LIVE ; what is preached at the pulpit..then matters will continue to decline. I’d like my future grandchildren to be born into a country; that Black men aren’t non-existent. I’d like my future grands to be born into a country; where the numbers of Black men in prison is less than in college. Far less…I’d like my future grands to be born into a country; where Blacks encourage each other to WIN. Help each other even after so called *making it big* themselves. Instead of stepping all over one another to get to the TOP. Its very uncool and it just isn’t right. We are one people. One race. The Human race…I’m sorry I’ve just tired of hearing the awful stats regarding US. I embrace & love ALL people; but I can’t lie I’ve a special bond/affection! for those I look like! (even THOUGH many of ya’ll keeeeep asking me what I am; I am BLACK not Puerto Rican, not Latino,etc ) We can and must do better…The good thing about this life? Where one is today; doesn’t have to be where they stay. Translation= There is still HOPE for things to change in a positive manner. But first one, or as a people, have to admit! there are issues…Nothing changes; until something changes. Exclamation mark . Period.
Until I write ya’ll /read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
Let me be clear..I’m PRO education. Exclamation mark. Period. Life has a way often times of getting in the way of our goals & dreams. WE also have a way of getting in our “own” way. There is a difference. Yep, *rant alert* because I’m on 1…
“In 100 years, it won’t matter if you drove a Cadillac
or a Chevy. It will matter what we do for children.”
— Reverend Anjohnette Gibbs
**One more quote/background..then I’ll give my opinion on this topic. Bear with me because I’m digging deep. Not easy subject matter to broach; but so very important. **
>America is failing its young Black boys. In metropolitan ghettos, rural villages and
midsized townships across the country, schools have become holding tanks for
populations of Black boys who have a statistically higher probability of walking the
corridors of prison than the halls of college. Across America, the problem of Black male
achievement seems intractable. We fail our Black sons more than any other racial or
ethnic group.< Excerpt taken from Fall 2011 Edition of Policy Evaluation & Research Centers’ Policy Notes…
I’ve got many PHDs..One in Life.(including the school of hard knocks) One in Family. One in Love Relationships/Marriage. I’m still working on attaining my actual “paper” PHD..As my eldest son is ,now only a few months away, from actually having his PHD it brings to mind some of the many questions I’ve answered (or attempted to..)over the years regarding education. Questions from my sons and naysayers who say the time has come for Blacks to weigh whether a college education is really worth it. I could use alot of old adages to express why I feel it IS; but I won’t. I could even post more graphs to illustrate the impact a college education has on one’s lifetime income; but I won’t. Last but not least I guess I could say what I truly feel…the price of a college education is not rising for NO reason. Is it purely based on the economy that tuition and books have skyrocketed? Or is there a very logical reason behind the madness? IF college costs keep rising at a rate of 15% in 2 years(the average from 2008 to 2010) ; it will become increasingly unaffordable for the poor or even the almost non-existent middle class…
Honestly? I can understand why the youth might ask these questions..What about ALL of the folks with degrees that are JOBless? Is a college education worth going into knee -deep debt for? Why can’t I quit college when an excellent job with benefits comes along? How do I KNOW there will be jobs available when I’ve got my degree? What IF I’m not college material and I fail & waste all that time/money?
My stance? By whatever legal means necessary college is still worth it…nobody ever said anything worth it was going to be easy. Or without sacrifice. And these days a TON of moolah..Or good grades! to offset cost by landing a scholarship or grant. Which leads me back to where I began with this topic. Anyone out there know what the average reading level of 12th grade Black males was in 2010? On average, Black 12th grade students read at the level of White 8th grade students; or lower. Quite impossible to gain academic scholarships with those stats..Some don’t even consider college as a viable option. Sad, isn’t it? And then we wonder why prisons are filled with Black males; and college campuses aren’t. And we all know its happening because the media posts the stats EVERYWHERE; on purpose. With a purpose..
In my opinion when ANY group of society is lacking or falling behind; ALL parts of society will be impacted by it..I’ll let you think about that for a minute before I proceed.
I’ve tried to analyze where “we” can begin to solve this major issue..First, I guess one would have to figure out where it begins. Heres a quick breakdown..In any given situation PARENTS are/or should rightfully be a child’s first teacher. Giving guidance, direction and stability, etc, etc. Why isn’t that happening with today’s Black youth? Especially young Black men..Sometimes an issue can seem so HUGE we don’t know how to tackle it. Don’t even know where to begin solving it. But that doesn’t mean don’t do anything or attempt. And I also feel that those of us who have the wherewithall & care enough about the future; have to give till it hurts! Give our ourselves, our time, our experience, our ideas for progression, mentor!, etc..It is mind boggling to me that the situation has gotten this BAD. I don’t know about you but I’m tired, no tyeeeed, of seeing the dismal statistics. How can we, with good conscience, not do our part to help? We can’t…
Bottom Line~ IF or when your children , or anyone, asks you any of the aforementioned questions..You can use my answer if you like; I’ll let you borrow it…College is ALWAYS worth it.(or some form of higher education) My own Dad taught me long ago that one thing that could “never” be taken from me: knowledge. And in society these days that translates to a degree. A piece of paper , true!, but it is the way it is these days. A high school diploma doesn’t hold the weight it once did…In a quick minute a bachelors degree won’t even be enough to get a decent job. And that clock is ticking rapidly. A college degree isn’t a guarantee to get a job; never was! But it can open doors…and once inside that door it can lead to rapid promotion. Personally? I think high school should extend for another 2 years…An associates degree should be part of the regular public school system curriculum. But that is another topic for another time. And if saying ALL of that; doesn’t satisfy the person who asked you if college is worth it. The very , very final answer I resort to when I’m truly desperate IS…Because I said so!
I make this look ALOT easier than it really “tis..Alot of my commentary about “being single & waiting for my ‘The One’ might come across as IF it is always …A walk in the park/through rows & rows of rose petals/and full of fabulous, sunny days..While 99.9% of my days ARE full of sunshine/tons of smiles/& even more laughter; it is some of those after-hour moments that can be trying at best. Shows like ‘Sex in the City‘ & even the black casted “Girlfriends‘; didn’t always reveal the “real” scoop. …
Majority of the time I can’t/won’t lie; my vibe is right and tight. No complaints with being single & sexy other than…I’m ready to NOT be single! I am ready for my onceinalifetimeloveofalifetime. And before I dive in deeper this song will or should set the background for the foreground; that I’m getting ready to lay down. Just so there are no misinterpretations of where I’m coming from..
Now that its been established the phase of life I’m in…Its the notsofabulous moments when thoughts of temptation can creep into the crevices of my mind..Usually right before I go to sleep when I’m finally; still. Those times when the part of my inner self? has doubts>
That “trouble-making” part of self that attempts to disturb my groove of feeling hecka-fied and awesome..Asks funky questions like: What IF waiting on “the 1” is for naught?!? Where the heck is HE? Is he lost??? Is time spent going to make up for these months of waiting? Why isn’t THE time for love right now? Maybe Mr Right Now is better than waiting for Mr Right..
I don’t profess to speak for all Black women..BUT I can not be the only one going through IT. However I am so busy it isn’t often I have time to even get “that lonely feeling”. That feeling of remembrance…of how sweet love can be and IS. *sigh* Certainly I can’t be the only Sista trying to walk the walk; and talk the talk…Single by choice and actually I’m not even dating yet, lol!, BUT I’m close to being ready to date..I guess I was hoping I’d run into Mr Right and he’d be SO awesome, that I’d be forced to give up my “dating hiatus”. After all I am a dreamer; and I dream BIG and in color…
Truth be told I’ve never waited on love before..this is my very first time. There isn’t much of my adult life that I’ve spent *single and unattached*. I’m far more used to being part of a love union than..this. I don’t even know if I’m doing this right! How does one know when it is their very first time? And how much longer can I endure those late night thoughts that creep in? Not sure how many more sheep I can count..
That nagging feeling that comes when my body is tired yet..mymindisstillracing gets me SO amped up I think about the unthinkable. A long distance relationship. Ugh! Or what about joining an internet dating site? Double Ugh! But holding on the hope of all hopes that not ALL of the outstanding brothers are married..IF so where the heck are they?! I keep running smack into hot married ones on this coast. Triple Ugh! And I refuse to go down that road…Did all of the hot, outstanding ,single, brothers move to the right coast when I relocated to the left coast?!?? OMG
The really great news? I don’t have these type of thoughts often..though honestly I’ve had them alot more than when I first decided to take a breather from dating..More fabulous news? Overall the results have far exceeded what I’d wished for. Doing ‘me’ for a minute was one of the best decisions of my life..And I know, in my heart of hearts , I’m so close to the finish line. I can feel it! I can and will overcome those “nagging” late night thoughts & temptations..because settling now would truly mean I’d wasted alot of precious time learning me/doing me/reaching for my dreams, etc etc yada yada. And the best news of all? I feel so much better after this rant and venting it all out…exhaling is necessary from timetotime. Thank you GOD for blogging ;for its served as such a sweet release. Problem solved for now…
Or do they?…That question is just begging to be asked/discussed. But whether it can be answered simply is yet to be seen or done. Its indeed a quite complex situation that needs direct action/solutions to change it. The finger-pointing, complaining, and blame game isn’t changing a thing…
Ever heard the old adage @’Put your money, where your mouth is?’..And when a person DOES indeed , do just that, shouldn’t they rightfully be able to speak their mind about it? Well..when Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey..after years and years of donating tons of MONEY to inner city schools and Black colleges spoke out there was outrage from many in the Black Community. Yet, the issues they both spoke out on still exist to this day, if not moreso…
**I don’t pretend to know all of the answers to this issue or any issue I blog about..What I do intend to do is lay down some of the background/state my opinion/and pray like heck it can urge folks reading this to care enough to DO something to change things for the better. ANY generation is supposed to move to higher levels than the one before it. It is something my own Daddy taught me /practiced/and believed in since I was born…It is the same practice I practiced with my sons..And it should be what everyone is doing. I did NOT disagree with what either Bill Cosby or Oprah Winfrey have publicly said.. I’ll explain why & will also recant a conversation I had just last night with a LIFElong Black educator that has worked hands ON with inner city youth..~~
The biggest issue I’ve got with all of the “outrage” about what Bill Cosby & Oprah have said IS..nothing has been done since to IMPROVE the situation or the statistics they spoke of. Furthermore, no one! had an issue with either of them when they poured MILLIONS of their money into Black inner city schools/areas and Black colleges. As a matter of fact, for those who recall, even as far back as when he was doing the Cosby show…Bill Cosby was donating mega bucks to education AND mentoring the youth on his show to go TO college. So no one can say he didn’t put his money where his mouth is..but when he finally got fed UP and spoke on what he saw & felt was reality?!? Whoa! suddenly majority of folks, Black folks, forgot ALL the years & moolah he’d donated and he was instantly a “traitor/elitist/classist/ill-informed/& just downright wrong to have aired the Black community’s dirty laundry. BUT the question is’Was he wrong??’
I can answer that for I’ve far less money and no celebrity status like Cosby(which is why I actually think folks got mad about what he said…but thats another topic for another time) and my answer is NO, he wasn’t wrong. He was so dead on that its beyond embarrassing to admit..but that doesn’t make it any less true. Here is just a tidbit of info to substantiate his stance >
How much money does one have to donate/give voluntarily before their opinion matters??? Where else was Bill Cosby or Oprah supposed to have “aired” their feelings on the matter? First of all Oprah was responding to folks “complaints” about where she spent HER money to build a school…and then folks got mad when she said what she said! *slapping forehead*
I was having a conversation last night with someone about education..He’s been an educator for the majority of his LIFE..Actually came out of retirement to mentor/teach children again..Has received lifetime achievement awards for all he’s done..and yet guess what? He said the same thing that Bill Cosby and Oprah have said. And yep, he’s Black also; just not filthy rich like them. He basically said todays’ Black youth just don’t get it! And that they take an education for granted; whereas in other countries like Africa(where Oprah opened her school..) they don’t. One of the things Oprah did say is ask kids what they want here; they’ll said an Ipad. Ask kids in Africa and they’ll say books or uniforms to go to school…which is why Oprah said she finally just stopped visiting American schools. What would you have done? I’ve even heard folks say well rich folks get a tax break for donating..which is true. BUT they didn’t ‘have ” to choose to donate to Black schools or colleges. Enough with the excuses ..we ALL know the situation is as bad as Cosby and Oprah said it was. If not worse. So why not keep it real and do something to change it? Like Oprah did..
1. Don’t wait until your child is born to READ to them..Begin reading to them in the womb. Sounds insane, but it works! And you’ll actually feel them moving around in your womb more when you’re reading; if they like the book.
2. Start teaching your child about college before they can speak..They’ll hear you & they’ll remember. I preached college so much to my sons; that I’m sure they were sick of hearing it..and my neighbors probably were also. But I meant it…and my goal was to get all 3 sons into the college door. And that mission was accomplished.
3. Join PTA groups, GO to ALL parent teacher conferences for every , single report card..if you can’t get off from work then have the teacher do it over the phone. They will…they’re public servants and work for YOU..and most of them want to do their job. Alot of educators are shocked at the amount of parents NOT involved in their child’s education. It is NOT their job to do the job of teaching everything to YOUR child. It won’t work unless its a 2 party agreement. Teacher + Parents or Parent
4. Turn the boob tube OFF while kids are studying. Promote a study environment..this carries on with them for life. Take them to the library so they get used to READING and studying in a quiet environment. And censor/limit the amount of time they watch the boob tube, period. Also censor what music they listen to. I cared less our sons could still hear it outside of our home..I was NOT going to contribute to it in our home. Its about the best a parent can do these days
5. Link up with people on school boards your child is in or run for school board positions. I learned a TON of stuff I didn’t know when I ran for/attained a position on a Catholic school board. A ton of valuable insight..
6. Talk to your kids very early on about what college they want to go to…long before they enter high school..Start the talk about mid 8th grade for the high school years will fly by!
7. Do NOT make not going to college an option..it is a MUST these days.
8. Start saving for college when they are BORN. This is one of the biggest differences between the “classes”..most of them time “us” working folks feel we can’t afford to save for our kids college funds. BUT if you’re driving a car that costs 80,000/wearing tennis that cost 200/and carrying a purse that costs 1,000…you could’ve afforded to put that money in an account or investment for your kids college fund. WE have got to get our priorities straight.
Had to show my Sista‘s some love during my venture of blogging Blackness during Black History Month..This letter format was inspired from Nova Giovanni..A brother whose a fellow WordPress blogger, comedian, radio personality, active philanthropist, social activist & author. The brother is busy for sure! And his site is listed in my faves if ya’ll want to check him out..
Dearest Sista, I write this letter with the UTmost love, respect and regard..Sight unseen I know you’re beautiful! And the world does as well. How do I know? Many women from coast to coast and around the world try with all their might! to EMULATE you. Don’t you find it odd when there are tons of stereotypes /racist , funky comments(usually behind our back …) about US; over the years in increasing numbers WE are imitated and envied. How so? From as far back as Bo Derek “others” wanted OUR hairstyles; from braids to cornrolls! Folks pay big bucks to “tan” their skin in an attempt to gain our fabulous skin tones. Butt implants and fuller lip injections are the latest rage; attributes WE were born with naturally. And OUR Black brothers(men)? Well they’ve been desired by “others” since the beginning of time…Yet, you my Sista, were created beautiful just the way YOU are!
From the natural sashay of our curvy hips as we walk..to the way we can pull it together even during times of crisis..to the graceful way we age naturally withOUT even the many wrinkles to betray our true age…Black Women rein supreme when they’re at their BEST. When a Sista has come “into her own” she isn’t just a glowing sight to behold; she is pretty much unstoppable in achieving her dreams/goals/aspirations. She can come from the depths of poverty and abuse; to unlimited financial status. With finesse! Oprah is a perfect example of that very fact..and thus makes it possible for all of US…
But my dearest Sista, I wonder in the sincerest of ways, if YOU truly know from whence you come..Do you walk as IF you love yourself? Is there pride in the way you carry yourself? When you look in the mirror are you proud of what you see? Do you know that you walk on the shoulders of those who gave their lives for you to have the world at your fingertips? Are you living UP to your God given purpose? I never gave birth to the daughter I yearned for ; BUT if I’d had a daughter these are some of the things I’d have shared with her..
1. When you’re in your 20s you’ll think you know everything! When you reach your 40s..you’ll realize you didn’t know HALF as much at 20 as you’d thought you did. The lesson? Listen to your parents even when you think they’re not hip ! as you…truth IS they don’t just think they know it all. They do! As you mature gather people into your “inner circle” who can mentor you…Mentors aren’t just for college students. Choose people who have achieved goals they’ve strived for. Choose people who are already in places or careers you’d like to attain. And listen/observe every , single thing you can.
2. Choose your lovemates WISELY. Like Judge Judy says to all the whining women who complain about their misfortune with men; YOU picked him! Choose men not just based on looks or how fine he IS(although I won’t lie physical attraction IS a must) but also on his admirable traits , level of smarts, respect for his parents(important!) , his level of compassion, belief in GOD(sorry its the way I feel so I can’t leave that out) and bottom line ask yourself if he is a good person at heart..Who your mate IS is a direct reflection of YOU. Or it should be…
3. Hard as it IS sometimes remember your body is a precious temple..Treat it as such. If you take care of your body in your 20s; when you reach your 40s you won’t look like you’re 100 yrs old. Starting good physical habits in your 20s is far easier than later in life…Old habits are very, very hard to break. Consider your “precious temple” before you give it easily over to a Man..make sure he is worthy of your “essence” . Every time you give of “yourself” ; you’re giving away a piece of your essence.
4. There is NO one person who can be your everything! Nor should you need them to be..that was a hard lesson for me to learn. Just glad I finally did. A lovemate should compliment all that you are. Like ying and yang..doesn’t mean you have to be twins. And can often mean you’ll be opposites in many ways..BUT you should share core mutual interests. I’ve seen a pair of opposites work in sync for over 50 years; my parents.
5. NEVER be afraid to be different even when in a crowded room of Idontcarehowmany! NEVER be afraid to share your passions..NEVER be afraid to do your own thing. BE original. BE the first. DO YOU..you’ll find it alot more satisfying than being a follower. And more often than not folks will follow you…Let your little light shine and let it shine brightly. You only get one life/one shot to do this life.
6. Stand FIRM in your convictions/beliefs when you feel with all your being that you’re right..but pray for discernment before doing so. However, also learn to know when to “fold” and give in ..its a thin line indeed..but it can be done. Trusting your “gut woman’s intuition” will save you many a heartache or misfortune; so learn to trust it 100%! Majority of the time our “first inclination” is totally accurate. It IS when we as women doubt ourselves we usually fall short…
7. Embrace who YOU are; Black roots included. Let NO one convince you that being Black is ugly or bad..your Blackness is a part of you that should be nutured..Learn your history and cherish it. Never , ever forget the many who died for you to go to uncharted territory they only could dream of. When you walk out of the door every , single day! you represent your ancestors, your parents, and YOU. Act like it..always..including how you dress! Translation: Cover UP your behind and breasts; unless of course you’re at the beach.
8. Strive to constantly strengthen your “spiritual being” and your FAITH in GOD. Without God you can do nothing; and with GOD you can do anything you dream of. Real talk….you never walk alone. Ever. Once you realize that the entire world/universe! will look different to you.
9. Last but not least remember always YOU were created for a reason! No child is an accident; even ones WE didn’t plan. You’re a unique creation…a one of a kind. One and only YOU. Strive to reach your God given purpose..Work always to improve “self” for we’re always a work in progress. And love, love!, LOVE your counter-part. Your Black Brothers. For even if you don’t fall in love with one..you were created to support HIM. Whether it is as your Father/Daddy/Son/friend/confidant/lover/or husband..do NOT tear him down. For if you do you’re also tearing down a part of YOU..and it is quite impossible to raise outstanding Black sons into beautiful Black MEN; without a sincere RESPECT for Black Men. It is quite simple to understand when looked at from that aspect….Whatever you do enjoy your life. Its a life full of chances to fall down , learn from mistakes!, and dust self off and keep right on moving forward. Love your life; and live the life you love. Anything less is a waste of time…DO YOU and do you to the best of your ability. If you do you’ll have little to no regrets.
In dedicating this week’s posts to ALL things pertaining to Black America..in honor of Black History Month..I’d be remiss in not giving proper attention/adulation/RESPECT to BLACK FATHERS. I should’ve begun and ended with this topic; but I needed time to gather my thoughts to give this topic the HIGH regard it deserves. I can only pray I give it the DUE justice it so rightfully earns. Here is my very best attempt to stand UP and pay homage to the Black MEN whose positive side is notoriously ignored by the media, the paparazzi, often times by Black WOMEN themselves..
**This is a subject near & dear 2 my heart as a 4ever & very LOVED Daddy’s Girl. I dedicate this piece as a tribute to the MAN who gave me life/has been my life-line in my darkest of days/and who has been the voice in my life journey that could instantly bring me comfort when I needed it the most/and beloved lifemate & lovemate of my Mom.. I love you always, Daddy!**
~”Mothers can not be Fathers…Fathers can not be Mothers” EACH role is distinctly important and that is far too often disregarded by the Black community. In the same regard a FATHER’s role is CRUCIAL in a child’s development; no different than it takes both sexes to make a baby…it should rightfully take BOTH to properly raise a child. Exclamation point. Period..Nonetheless many a Black woman has HAD to take on both roles. Or in some cases , far too many, overlooked and under-mined a Father’s role in their child(rens) lives. Which, in my opinion, is a GREAT disservice to the child. Because society does its best to depict Black Fathers as UNneeded; Black Mothers/Women have got to play double -duty letting them know they’re ESSENTIAL. It is a part of our unspoken JOB even though we fall short at times doing so…
>For far too long the “rumors” that resonate as so called “facts” in American society about Black Fathers hasn’t been defended OUT LOUD by anyone…including the Black community. Harsh and sad as that sounds we all know it is true. But what is NOT true is the UNtruth that Black men don’t care /don’t want to care about their children . I’ve lived and seen quite the opposite with my own Father(aka Daddy) , my exhusband, and a host of friends who are Black Fathers/Dads/Pops!/Papa..
NOT only do Black men LOVE their children , and want to spend time with them, but many have had to go to great lengths(and expense of attorneys) to secure what should be their “right”; as a parent. Which is to participate and BE involved in their child’s life; & faced much resistance from racially/gender biased court systems. I personally witnessed a friend of mine endure this for 3 years! The entire time over $800 a month deducted from his salary monthly; yet he had to fight the courts/& child’s mother for visitation rights. Honestly, had I not witnessed it I’d not have believed such a thing could happen…What I feel needs to happen so this can cease is Black mothers have GOT to stop manipulating the court system. Why stop a well-intentioned Father from spending time with their child? And shouldn’t we ask ourselves WHY the court system would allow such a thing?!? But one only has to know the detriment to a child without their Father in their lives..just maybe the infamous “they” don’t want Black Fathers involved in their childrens lives for a reason. Nevertheless the courts would NOT be able to dictate such things; IF mothers respected the importance of the Father’s involvement. Black relationships without a doubt need a major overhaul when courts are this involved in “their” childrens lives…WE can and must do better or our childrens future will be bleak.
The positive impact an actively engaged Father has on a child’s life is beyond priceless…#1 . Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their child #2. Indirectly the relationship between child’s parents will IMPACT the child for life. So even when parents split maintaining a cordial environment is MANDATORY. Just look at it as working on a mutual major project together; your child. Mature folks who love their child can manage this(and helps if you once loved each other)…#3. Children with involved, caring Fathers have better educational outcomes. Higher IQs, better linguistic & cognitive skills(if you don’t believe me google it..) #4.Children with involved Fathers are more emotionally secure,confident to explore their surroundings, less likely to get into trouble at home , school , or anywhere!, and have better social connections/skills #5. Children with involved Fathers are far less likely to experience depression issues, less likely to exhibit disruptive behavior, MORE likely to exhibit pro -social behavior #6. LESS likely to get involved with DRUGS, gangs, or violent behavior..
I’ve personally lived out loud the benefit of having been born into an active 2 parent loving(and IN love with one another)”nuture” team..Fortunately I no longer live over 3,000 miles from them; and loving every moment I get to spend with my parents. Parenting is a JOB that lasts for a LIFEtime. It never ends folks…. I’ve also been part of a 2 parent parenting team with my now exhusband; and its been(and still is) an experience I’ll cherish forever. My exhusband fully understands and promotes the importance of BOTH of our roles; and I give him his much deserved DUE props on a regular basis. He’s known to say there is nothing like “mama love” ; and likewise with “Pops love” We’ve shared duties and “huddled” over major issues. Even though we’ve been divorced for years. Having watched the nuturing love he has given to our sons; has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I’ve got another treasured friend who raised his children on his own basically…never once bad mouthing his children’s mother. Just stepped UP and took the reins in his hands and raised 3 awesome people. Single & GREAT Black Fathers DO exist. Though they ask for no applause; the applause should be thunderous! Enough of just the negative stories about our Black Fathers being plastered across screen and newspapers..the same light should be shown on the outstanding ones. And IF this isn’t done then Black Women need to step UP and do the JOB they were created for@Be supportive of Black Men when the rest of the world is NOT…Or least that is the way I see it. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)
This topic is as REAL as it gets! I’ve got a naturally nuturing/loving spirit..To love is part of my DNA..Anyone who knows me can attest that I’ll literally give the shirt off my back to someone in need. And I have…without being asked I’ll give. Whether its money to someone holding UP a sign @will work for food…I’m a giver. And I feel we should all share of what we have to those in need; even if we’re close to broke our dang selves. BUT one thing I will NOT share, UNequivocally, is my MAN. I expect women to look..because I’ve got excellent taste..but do NOT touch him. Ever. And ever is a very long time. So read my lips so the message is clear..I won’t participate in MANsharing. But we all know it exists…It might even be common place for some. So much so there are jokes about it & many articles written on MANsharing among Black women. I laugh alot! Probably more than the average person..but this is no laughing matter. And I’m so serious..I’m not down with O.P.P.(is that term even used anymore??? well if not I’m bringing it back) My man is considered Private Stock(a term my ex taught me 🙂 ) so flirt if you must because he’ll be HOT… (I’m single at the moment or certainly I’d not be writing on Valentine’s evening. So this message is for when I start dating again. lol! ) but do NOT touch my MAN…
Some of the terms, for lack of a better word, used to describe “love triangles” these days are: Main chicks, Side Chicks, Mansharing…For anyone who watches reality tv, which I don’t!, you might have seen some of this laid out in living color(and REALness) on the show”Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”..I ran across a narrative while on a Black website; I was interacting in a group online discussion about Black Love Relationships. And first let me say , OMG! To say my hair was blown back is an understatement…I had NO idea ‘polyamourous coupling’ could be considered an IN thing these days. Or least enough to have it shown on the boob tube. Backintheday we used to called those type of arrangements; open relationships or just plain ole cheating! But seems things have changed or have they?
These days apparently many women , in accepting their rights to sexual freedom and choice, are far less ashamed of those choices…even when they’re generally seen/portrayed as indecent. What usually happens when these love triangles or mansharing accounts are heard of or discovered!(sometimes by an un-assuming wife/girlfriend) the heavier side of blame is placed on the woman involved in the arrangement. She is scorned in some cases and called every name under the sun; except a child of GOD. I know because I’ve been on the flip side of that coin myself. Yep! I was once a very, totally “UNassuming” wife who got the surprise of my life..which also broke my heart into a cazillion pieces. But moving right along….
However, as we get to “the other side of feelings”; also known as getting over a broken heart or lost love..we begin to analyze the “entire situation” and often times can understand” somewhat” how that certain situation came about…Or least those of us that want to truly heal & forgive when we’ve been hurt by someone practice this. So anyways how does a 3rd party come into a marriage or relationship? Is it always KNOWN by the 3rd party that said man is married or taken? Are there women who prey on married men and consider them a challenge? Last but not least the question that begs to be answered…Are there rising numbers of MANsharing among Black women because of the shortage of BLACK men due to high rate of Black men behind bars in our country?!? Here is the take on those answers and the way I see it..
At this point in my life I’ve grown to believe things I never thought I’d believe when I was alot younger…Grey area DOES exist! I used to think everything was either Black or White. That everything either was or wasn’t..and that simply isn’t the case. I now believe that one person can be IN love with two people. Might seem like its impossible to alot of ya’ll out there…but that is because it hasn’t yet happened to you. You’ll have to trust me on this one. Also , I think sometimes folks get into “situations” and don’t know how to get out of them. Lets call it getting caught UP. I also think sometimes people that aren’t totally “satisfied” in a relationship can easily wind UP having an affair. BUT I also think some Sista’s have been duped by Brotha’s who don’t reveal the truth from the onset…Many a woman has probably, nope has!, gotten involved not knowing the man was married. Or the infamous statement IS= He’ll say he is married; but separated…In my opinion until the ink is wet on the divorce decree you’re still MARRIED. I told this brother that once who said he’d been separated for 3 years. 3 years! And as MUCH as I was digging him I said when you’ve gotten your divorce and IF I’m still single; give me a buzz. And he did!
In my heart of hearts I just think there is a way to conduct ourselves like we respect ourselves. Like a lady. Sounds corny but I mean it..Doesn’t mean we can’t have sex appeal or even flirt. Sex appeal is as natural as the air we breathe..IF you got it , then flaunt IT. But with some amount of decency and class. IF a woman doesn’t respect or honor her OWN self/body; how the heck can we expect a man do to the same by us?!? That answer is easy to see; even for a blind person.
For folks that are into poly-relationships..as long as its all mutually agreed upon..do your thing! Its a free country and you can have at it if you like…Not my style because the one thing in life I’m selfish about is my MAN. I do not nor will I share. Not yesterday, not today, and not whenever I get into my next/last! relationship. But for the Sista’s into chasing married men…or adding notches to some sort of married belt. What is going to happen whenever ya’ll settle down & finally get married?? What IF some marriedmanchasingsista comes along and snags YOUR husband??! What will you then think about women who have no issue DOing a married man? Sometimes we should think about the flip side of things; before we do them. Having a heart helps…and also karma is a B! The good news? One can repent and regroup for their past transgressions. That is the beauty of this life journey. Having said all of that there should be a couple unspoken Sista rules when dating…Ya’ll ready for this?
Rule 2. IF he tells you he is married but separated…I don’t care how many years. He IS still married. And thus someone else’s MAN. Legally. Period
Rule 3. IF he is the ex of a friend of yours…Not worth possibly ruining your relationship with your friend. I don’t care how fine or cute he is.
Rule 4. IF he asks for your number but can’t/won’t give you his. MARRIED. Run quickly from this situation before it even becomes a situation. Period
Rule 5. IF you know he is either married or taken…Walk away or just engage in friendship. Even talking or flirting with the idea of a relationship can lead to an emotional attachment. And getting emotionally attached or falling in love! with a man that isn’t available will drain you/block your blessings/and guarantee your heart will be crushed