Posted in @Cultural, Black History

ASALH*Association for the Study of African-American Life and HISTORY*Black History Month Salute

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)

ASALHbiglogo

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, @Cultural, Motivational!, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~An Open Letter 2 My Black Sista’s~~Tribute to Black History Month*Written with love..

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.

AintIAWomanfurthertofly6. 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.

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, LOVE, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, Post a Day 2013, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^Encouraging Words, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~BLACK FATHERS:Present,INVOLVED,& Engaged..The Not*Sung*Enough*Song~

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)

Posted in <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

COLORstruck

~Whether or not its a discussion as OLD as the hills; it is still sadly enough relevant in 2013. I’m willing to bet there isn’t a Black person in America who hasn’t been affected by the color  issue . In some form or another..and the type I’m  talking about  is Black on Black. As funky as it IS and as mind blowing it is…Colorism is alive and well amongst us. Even for those folks who “think” they aren’t colorstruck. As simple as it might seem to “others” to NIP it; it is very complex indeed. Disclaimer: As always these are merely one person’s observations/experiences/opinion. Mine. Ready? Get set! Here I go head first , again….

I recall watching my teenage heart throb(is that phrase even used nowadays? oh well, I’m old skool till the day I die…) beholder of the handsome face plastered allllll over my bedroom walls on posters; slowly MORPH into something horrific. The once beautiful brown skin with the just PERFECT wide nose and the full , luscious lips just poof! …gone. I couldn’t for the life of me understand WHY someone with so much talent could HATE their brown skin /Black features enough to do that to themselves. What happened to MY Michael??? Object of sooo many of my naive teenage dreams? Author of the OFF THE WALL album which was the BEST album of the century? How could he possibly have NOT liked himself when I and millions of others loved him so??? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. How could anyone NOT love being BLACK?…..

So that was about the time I decided to dig a little deeper…Taking mental notes of my own personal experiences as well as reading, reading , reading about others experiences. And of course quietly observing…

Before I delve deeper let me preface by saying..I LOVE BEING BLACK. Exclamation mark. Period..and I make no apology for it. Anyone who is anyone should be proud to be who they are and what they are..and if you don’t like who you are work to change IT. However, one’s skin color should be something to be proud of for it is given to us by GOD for a reason. Or least that is how I feel about it. IF he wanted us to be any other color certainly we’d have been born that way…OR better yet IF he wanted us to all look alike he’d have done that too! But it is my inherent belief he made us different colors for a reason…but that is another topic for another time.

So one might ask if being Black is so awesome; why does colorism exist? Why are we still stuck on being COLORstruck? Haven’t we evolved enough past slavery to get past THIS ?!? And we all know it stems from slavery; doesn’t it? Hmmmm Yep, my questions bring more questions that even I can only guess the answer to; or assume. Which I hate to do! So I began listening to others experiences…the pain!(like Michael Jackson’s ..) my people have gone through due simply to the color of their skin. IF a person keeps hearing or seeing over and over and over and over again negative connotations associated with “anything”(including their skin color) what will eventually happen? And what will that person then pass on to their children???

One way to change something is to start with changing our OWN behavior…Or whatever is possible to change within our power. I recall when my sons were much smaller…People would remark about their skin color being light or lighter or whatever. And the good hair comments OMG..WE have got to let go of that also. But that is another topic for another time…My response was always the same. Do NOT bring that mess around me or my sons! I won’t allow them to even think! they’re any less Black than anyone else due to their skin tone or hair. NOR will I let anyone else plant the seeds of those thoughts into their heads..What you do or say around your children is your business; but what you say around mine is MY business. And I was serious. Also, I ‘ve had people walk straight UP to me and ask “What are you. Are you mixed?” Wth? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? I’m just good ole fashioned BLACK. Period. That has honestly been my response when anyone is ignorant enough to ask that question…I’d never ask anyone that, jeeeeez. Black IS Black folks. I don’t care if you’re one ounce Black…still BLACK. Sometimes I wish we’d gotten stuck in a time warp in the days of ‘Black is Beautiful!”..wasn’t that the 70s?

I  once had a brother tell me, to my face!, that I wasn’t dark enough for him to date…WOW. Blew my hair back because I’d never been told that before. Least not to my face. Appreciated his honesty, but dang!, still hurt my feelings. What the heck can I do about my skin color? Not a dang thing; nor do I plan on “doing” anything about it ..except loving IT. By the way we “did” end up dating and he’s an outstanding brother(& one of my best friends in the world)  that has no regrets…

We come in many shades that run the gamut …There are expectations/judgments/so called advantages/and slights that boost one shade of brown over another..It needs to NOT only be discussed but STOPPED. Generation after generation is carrying it forward. I recall when my youngest son started dating his high school sweetheart..first thing my ex husband said was”Whew! I’m glad to see he isn’t colorstruck!” Because she was dark-skinned..and my comment was”Why would he be? We raised him to not be; didn’t we?!? ” But then we talked about it and we really had  NOT ever discussed  it with our sons per se…all we did do though was not to label people by color. I’m not really sure what the answer is to stop colorism from continuing  to re-cycle..I think one sure way to start though is by addressing it. We know it exists. And society knows it exists; google UP what Loreal did to Beyonce’s skin in an ad if you don’t believe me. We also know that it causes DIVISION, schism and contention among us as Blacks. We can either continue to just discuss it every Black History Month or whenever; and then forget about it. OR we can discuss it and act on changing our own behavior. One person at a time might start a movement to nip it..I think that just might be how major movements/CHANGE begins. Until I read/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

^Teaching Moment Possibilities@ BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2013^

*It would be seriously remiss of me to not write/blog regarding Black History Month. What a great opportunity to rap /teach/share on an array of topics relative to Black History. I’m going to attempt to do a topic a day; beginning tomorrow.  However, some of the topics won’t be popular ones by far. Or at least not spoken about “in the open” often at all..From reputed homophobia in the Black community to ARE Black Fathers parenting their children  to massive amount of Blacks behind bars to whether the black church is relevant or not these days to why  some Black women have issues with Black brothers that date White women …a ton of things I’ve written about and long to share here.  I do hope all that read bring an open mind and a willingness to accept that any/all of this is merely one person’s opinion. Mine. Please feel free to share any/all viewpoints . I’m ready if you are..

~To open the dialogue I’d like to say this: For all of those out there who say they’re “not” racist because they have a Black friend! or a White friend!!…That does NOT equate to anything more or less than you’ve got a Black or White friend! And?!? I always wait for the AND  part…because I’ve met people who fall into the above category who still hold racist views. Yet they don’t realize it. For instance, I’ve been in situations where people(my friends..)  will talk about Black people in a negative & racist manner; and say oh! but not YOU. Wth? Am I not BLACK? But my opinion on the matter is that with honesty anything can be discussed…There IS a discernable difference between racist views and prejudice. Likewise with stereotyping vs. racist views/feelings/beliefs vs. prejudice. I sincerely believe that until these matters are discussed openly , especially with the youth involved, there won’t be a chance for progression. And if we can’t discuss race matters/issues openly during Black History month; when can WE?

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^^Thought Provoking^^

~150th Anniversary*Jan.1,2013* of the Emancipation Proclamation~DP PostaDay..Berna’s Way~

~Did YOU know that January 1, 2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation?  Me neither. I slept it and as a Black American, American period!, that is awful..Thankfully the date is NOT too far past to pay tribute to it here on my blog. I am a very proud Black woman. I am a very proud American. I celebrate life daily and in doing so pay homage to my GOD, my ancestors , my parents, and myself..There is a project in the Black Voices section of the Huffington Post(I’m a subsciber and read it on a regular basis) that is called “Letters to Our Ancestors” It is in tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Huffington Post asked leading members of the Black community to share their own letters to their(our) forefathers. With these letters, it is hoped to look back on the progress our community has made & give thanks to those who paved the way for US…They were a generation of BRAVE souls who embarked into a NEW world after hundreds of years of subjugation…You’re free to pull up the Huffington Post site and read the many letters there in the section of this project. For the sake of this post and tribute in my blog I’ve selected a letter from The Rev.Dr . Otis Moss III to post. He is a descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”. I found his letter to his forefather very inspiring and heartfelt..So I chose it out of all the other letters I read there. This is an excerpt from the actual letter…

A authentic actual postage stamp*….”Dear Tinko, …..Much has been achieved in these post-emancipation years, however, what has been achieved has been hard won by named and unnamed men and women of courage.

I wish you could visit Harlem and hear the songs and sounds of  who took the genius of your contemporaries and created poetic works and literary songs of a new “Negro” renaissance. I wish you could walk the campuses of Tuskegee, Morehouse, Spelman, Howard, and Hampton, and witness ideas blossoming in the mind of the grandchildren of slaves yearning to be men and women . I wish you could witness Marcus Garvey speaking to us as God’s children and not “the wretched of the earth”, or read the essays of W.E.B. Dubois, as he reflects on life post-reconstruction, or sit in on an organization meeting with A. Phillip Randolph as “Pullman Porters” claimed their dignity through organized labor. Atlanta, Georgia the citadel of the genteel south produced a prophet named Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who forced the Constitution to repent and America to reflect upon her creed.

I know I am leaving out much more:yet, the triumphs are too vast and tragedies are too numerous to count. I must also share an unbelievable moment in our history. Our current President and First Family are people of African descent! As unlikely as it may sound, democracy and history collided and produced a moment you or our ancestors only dreamed was possible….

There are those who claim we live in post-racial society and others who claim we still live in a racist society. I say we live in a race-consciousness society, fearful of class and apprehensive about color. We are NOT post-racial, nor are we soley defined by the social construction of race. We are post-emancipation, but, we are still a pre-promised land nation still looking at the future from the mountain-top and not the plain of realized dreams. Gains have been made in this nation, but the beloved community still waits in the harbor of our prophetic imagination. Maybe ONE day we will reach it but as of now we still dream….

I thank you for your courage this day, and look forward to meeting you one day in our Father’s house, when time and space cease to be weights upon our temporal existence.

Sincerely,

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III(Descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”)

**I found this letter to be close to what I feel to this day….I’ve read books from every single author he noted(starting when I was a child in my own Daddy’s house..) I’ve read in history books, NOT the ones I was given in school, on dates/events the Rev. Moss speaks of..Reading his letter has inspired me to follow up on the family roots(he has done extensive work on “my” family tree:maternal & paternal sides)  that my own Daddy  has  worked on for over 30 years!(collecting data from records from long ago isn’t easy by far)..And I’m hopeful to also encourage/employ my 3 sons to help with completing the task. One needs to know  where their  roots begin. Yep,  including me!/my 3 sons/my future grandchildren. How many of us as Blacks here in America(born & bred here..) know IF we are descendants of slaves? How many of us as Blacks here in America know with certainty we hailed from Africa? Stumbling upon this tribute to the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation re-awakened an internal spark inside me to know.  Mayhaps it just might have also done the same for one of ya’ll reading this. Until I read you/write you stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, WOW, ^^Thought Provoking^^

*Chivalry is NOT dead..But what the HECK happened 2 the COURTING process??*

What Happened to Us
What Happened to Us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alright folks this  ONE  I can really sink my teeth into! And  at this phase of my life journey I can relate ..Not alot of topics I’ve written on here yet that I am going through as I write or speak on it..But this is IT. Lol!!  Saving this space for this weekend when I have time to give this topic the attention(& finger strokes it deserves..) So buckle UP cause I’ve got a feeeeeeling it is going to be a good one. Guaranteed…

I’ve got alot 2 say on this topic ..so timewise I might have 2 break N finish later on 2night so here I go…

Call me OLDskool (I really don’t mind..) but there are some things I just can’t wrap my brain around at how things have changed. Did I miss the memo on “dating” becoming passA? Or have I been in long term relationships so much in my life journey I wasn’t paying attention?!? Has the new form of courtship turned into “hanging out” “linking up” (wth?) “hook-ups(OMG @this term)” “jump-offs(yep, this is a real term folks..shaking my head” and I’m sure a ton of other so called hip terms I’ve not yet heard. NOR do I want to hear because I refuseee to buy into the hype. Not 2day or any day soon.  So, for those that have been “single and waiting to be discovered by the ONE(which is the category I fall into..) N in the 38-50 age range, how are you dealing with the “new” non-existent courtship reality? Are the days long gone when a guy actually even knows what courtship is? Or knows how it is to date a potential mate-for-life?? N for the record that is the ONLY type of dating I’m interested in. I don’t have time(I am on the brink of 50 folks..) to kiss or date any frogs(a/k/a OLD players or wanna-be-players..sorry but that is SO played out! and quite frankly was never in style in my opinion) N liberated or not..and I hold hand UP high as a liberated woman..is it toooo much to expect a guy to call ME to ask me out on a date?!? I’m not one to call a guy. It just isn’t me…unless I already know him well. In my heart of hearts I feeeeeel if a guy is “interested” he’ll make the phonecalls. And I will answer. Isn’t that the natural order of things? I’m used to being PURSUED. I thought part of the natural process was for a man to do the PURSUING. Isn’t part of the thrill for a guy(correct me if I’m wrong guys..) chasing and trying to attain a worthy potential as your MATE? Lawd! Has the entire book of dating been re-written since I’ve last been…single? ~2 Be Continued~(I’ve got alot more to say…) P.S. When I get back I’m going to ..(a) present a case in favor of COURTSHIP and why the state of dating/marriage is in such a CRAPPY state without it..(b) present a case in favor of COURTSHIP and why bringing back OLDskool wayz is the best solution to solve quickie unsuited marriages N quickie divorces. Buckle UP folks I’m just getting started! B back soon asap so stay tuned…<

4 those that are single/divorced/fresh out of a relationship/or nearing the end of a couple years hiatus from relationships(holding my hand UP on the latter..) N in the age group 38 yrs old to 50 yrs old are YOU happy with  or fulfilled with the current hooook UP/hanging OUT/jump off/linking UP type of culture ? For my “liberated” women sisters out there is the >I’m an INdependent woman!/fun/exciting/liberating mode working out for you as  satisfying/resulting in LONGterm relationships and/or marriage/happiness? Or are you STILL single? Or single again? Hmmmmm…lets let that sink in for a minute. Now mind you this case I’m building on is for those who think the following: 1. that being married is the ultimate love relationship 2. that being married is better than being single 3. that being married is the BEST situation for couples to raise children 4. that marriage provides deeeeep friendship with spouse/personal growth/LASTING intimacy with spouse. If you’re still with me after allll that lets move forward.

I’ll try to explain why I feel courtship is the best process in which to pick the best LIFE mate(at any age!) N for the record I don’t believe soul mates have to be a spouse. Personally I can attest to the fact that in this lifetime I’ve met 2 soulmates. Only married 1 of them…but a lifemate in my opinion..is what I’m seeking in a husband. (I’ll explain that term later if time permits) Courtship to me IS: a process in which the things a couple does are gearing towards finding(which means pursuit guys..) , winning , the right one..and then marriage. The couple is exclusive(yep!) and exerting a high sense of attentiveness and DEPENDability, and care towards the “potential” (I’ll explain another time what I feel a “potential” IS.. I know alot of women, me included, who from the very 1st meeting of a guy determine him immediately(or least I do…) as (a) Just a friend (b) Don’t even want to be his friend! ..total frog! N bad habits/lifestyle toooo bad to even want to be in his company, yuck (c) close to a potential mate but missing a couple essential qualities (d) potential lifemate. So anywayz a decent length of  courtship(dating) allows the couple to actually get to KNOW each other prior to marriage. One might ask what IS a decent time frame for this? Depends..I don’t put specific number of months on this as Steve Harvey does. In my world the BEST things are worth waiting for. So don’t ask me about how long it will be before the you-know-what part. As a couple once ya’ll know each other well ya’ll can figure that out on your own! After all we’re talking about grown folks…

Moving right along…what has happened since courtship is no longer the norm? Anyone know the current statistics on divorce??? Anyone out there know the amount of people who now do NOT even consider marriage N instead just shack UP? (thus leaving children with parents who more than likely won’t stay together..the odds are against it) How about the statistics on folks who sleep together soooo quickly they don’t even truly know who they’re dealing with. I mean , for real,  since our bodies are supposed to be a TEMPLE why would we(women or men) share of something so intimate (the highest of highs!) with someone we don’t know?!? Is it mayhaps folks have lost sight of what the true meaning of intimacy IS? And in my  humble opinion intimacy is a far cry different from sex….We are all grown here, right? Alright, so courtship lets a woman truly know that a man is (a) seriously interested in just HER (b) is willing to take the TIME to prove his intent (c) and is willing to use his CREATIVITY to plan enjoyable activities/outings(could be as simple as a walk on the beach…) to gain her affections and her love. In regards to what courtships lets a man know(I’ve got to guess here cause I’m not a man)  (a) that the woman is seriously interested in only HIM (b) that a woman has the qualities that she said she had on the 1st date!(oh, I meant to add that for women as well) (c) is the type of woman he would be proud to take home to meet his parents(THAT is key in my opinion..)

It is my personal opinon that no matter how much womans’ lib has changed the game the roles of men/women should rightfully stay somewhat close to the roles in which we were created. Period. I think it is because of womens lib that things got so screwed UP in the first place. I can’t speak for any other woman except myself but I only desire a man that is a leader! Has to have a back bone/be strong/be confident!/and is the rightful head of the household. Even the way our physcial & biological makeup is designed points to men being the head…Does this mean that a woman has NO voice or opinion? Absolutely not. Because the  day will NEVER come that I have no opinion. Not in this lifetime nor the next…However I feel there is a happy/loving medium. And it works when both parties desire the same thing and work to make it work. I’ve seeeeen it work for 50 yrs now in my parents marriage(btw they still hold hands N dance 2gether! love IT) …which leads me to another point . How can folks that have NOT seen a long term marriage work truly know what to strive for or expect??? Hmmmmm. Can they? Which is why the cycle of this madness must stop somewhere. In order to get back to the natural order of things. Its gotten SO out of hand…for those of us nearing 50 we’ve seeeeen it and probably lived it! And hopefully learned from it…What I’ve learned is its my inherent desire to take things back to the way they were backintheday. N one of my prayers IS that the man who was created to love ONLY me feels the very same way. And another prayer is that he is somewhere out there-looking for ME-& reading this.  If ya’ll have anything 2 add to this discussion feel free to do so. I’d love to read it and I’ll respond. We can all learn from each others’ experiences…Until then stay blessed N UPlifted. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in @Cultural, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^

“`Why I am BLACK..Not African-American“`

English: African American History
English: African American History (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disclaimer: Please read what I’m saying before assuming what I’m saying. I’m not saying I am not in love with my African roots nor am I saying I don’t love that I was born American. I love that both of those things are FACTUAL. Understand also that we all have opinions N are entitled to them. When we don’t agree its perfectly fine to agree 2 disagree. I wrote what I’m going to share in   response  to a very well written piece(from a blogger on this site)  on this very topic. It is a controversial topic yet not one that I fear opening for dialogue. So feel free to read with an open mind & ears N lets rap..

*Whats in a name? Some might ask that question but I don’t. Lets see if I can properly express how I feel about being “labeled” either Black or African-American.
What is IT with our country having to label folks anyway?!? Shouldn’t it be a personal choice? Why can’t we put OTHER as I’ve seen “others” allowed to do? Others that don’t exactly fit to a T the multiple choice slots on all the forms WE have to fill out in this lifetime…What about the situations folks that are White yet from Africa fall into? Are THEY African-American when they become American citizens? I actually meant a guy that fit that case scenario; he was a coworker . Awesome guy and we had conversation after conversation over this exact subject matter. Interesting to say the least!

Personally? I identify with my BLACKness before any other title/label I hold. When my feet hit the floor in the morning & I look in the mirror the 1st thing I see N know I am is BLACK. N I loveeeeee that I was created in the image of Jesus.(another topic for another time..) There is nothing else I’d rather have been created as..God makes NO mistakes. But I digress..

Some in the generations behind me feel that its oldskool to want to be labeled as Black. I figure we’re all entitled to our opinion..and I’m open to dialogue with anyone who can properly argue their points. But at the beginning and end of the day aren’t we all still..Black? A point those in favor of the African – American label make is that to NOT use the term is to deny our tie to the motherland. Africa…Hmmmm. Really??? I’d like to take a poll to see how many Blacks a/k/a African-Americans truly know a thing about their roots! Where they hail from in Africa? Where there ancestors first landed in America? How they acquired their birth surname…was it acquired from their slave master? Should the name @ African-American be carried by folks who have NO clue where they come from? Must I be labeled with the term African-American to be a PROUD Black Sista? I think NOT. And who is the infamous “they” that gets to determine how I’m going to be labeled anyway? Shouldn’t I have a VOTE in what I’m going to be labeled? In my life journey I’ve gone from Negro to Afro-American to BLACK to African-American..heck its surprising I’m NOT confused my own dang self about my..identity! And yet we sit back N wonder why generations behind us are out of touch with who they ARE.

I am BLACK. I am American. Period. Exclamation point. When 1st I wake I’m a BLACK woman/daughter/sister/mother..in that order. Every single day of my 49 yr old life. That is who I am. Regardless of who feels they have the right to “label” me it won’t change who I am. And I sincerely hope that is how more folks , BLACK folks, begin to look at it. And NOT let such topics further divide US…I love people. All people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. I just happen to be part of a bloodline of the very 1st line of people on Earth. How could one not be extremely proud about that?**

>In summation when WE(or anyone actually..) let “others” define who WE are & then re-define(or place a title on..) over N over N over again ..it is NO small wonder some  in my generation and many in those behind my generation..have lost sight of WHO they are. Or least that is the way I see it.<

Wishing all that read this love, joy and peace. Stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in <<COMING SOON, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^Political

>>>>a DREAM inferred….>>>>

Election Day in Massachusetts, 2012 [311/366]
Election Day in Massachusetts, 2012 [311/366] (Photo credit: timsackton)
Alright as promised to MYself & to ya’ll I’ve been working on my 2nd tribute to ‘President Barack Obama’..ooooooo that feeeeels SO good to B able to say that for a n o t h e r FOUR years! Was able to complete my 1st tribute right before Election Day N my goal to complete Part 2 is President Obama’s 2nd! Inauguration date approx. a month from now. Yep time is flying N waits for none of us ..For those who are just joining in reading the 1st tribute I penned to President Obama is listed on the right hand side of my page..Let your fingers do the walking (& clicking) and check it out. Its one of 2 pieces I’ve written that I’m elated with the finished product..and so very important to me. Hoping I can B fully amped UP by tomorrow to complete the draft of  ‘a DREAM inferred’. So stay tuned folks because I’m just getting started N I’ve got a feeeeeeling it will B well worth the wait. Til we link up again stay UPlifted N Blessed.  4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

>Update: I’m still working on this…2day is Dec. 15th and I anticipate completing this prior to President Obama’s Inauguration date so stay tuned <

Posted in @Cultural, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~Poetry A Berna Original~

~Single Sista’s Anthem~An Original Berna Creation

**

Single Sista’s Anthem(Message to my younger Sistas)*An Original Berna Creation*

Alright ya’ll I’m amidst your ranks so don’t get angry nor mad

But I’ve got a few things to say I collected on my mental notepad..

Notes I saved along the way of lifes’ journey  for myself

Dusting them off N taking them  down from the shelf

N its about high time

2 lighten it UP by rhyme

Which is what I do best

So let me address..

While I can’t agree with all Steve Harvey wrote about..

Though it made for an excellent read no doubt(yep , I read it)

I have to admit he did indeed make *some* good points

N to some of you what I’ve got to say might disappoint

But 1 must stay true 2 themselves at the end of the day

I sincerely now believe what I’m about to lay down & say

WE can often send very mixed messages to our brothas

Wanting a husband yet we all to often accept a role of a lover

Have we forgotten what our Dads  taught us long ago about getting free milk from a cow??

When a man won’t wait for our “treasure” our response should be …ciao!

And yet we think we can change him all the while knowing its not so

One day we look UP and wonder where did all the precious  years go..

As we waited relentlessly for a frog to change into a Prince

Until we no longer have even got ourselves convinced..

That

He

Will

Change

The beauty of life is each day brings all of us a new chance

To re-evaluate our position & re-think our stance

Whilst we wait for ‘the one’ to discover us we have to work on US

We must stop throwing our own selves under the bus

The added bonus of being in a state of singleness..a plus

Is time to get our shiiite together.. pardon  me if thats too brusk!

A goal of mine is to keep it real with myself N likewise with U

And I’m in a phase of my life where to myself I first vow to be true..

By manipulating nouns N verbs I pray my message is seeping through

Stead of worried only about what a man is bringing to the table

Shouldn’t we be more concerned with making sure our lives are  solid..stable?

Lord above gave us all the tools N skills to be fully capable N able

WE rein supreme as the 1st Mother of ALL mankind

Any man who can’t see our attributes has GOT to be blind

“I” once lost myself  but now by the Grace of God I’ve found “me”

For 2 yrs now I’ve sworn to celibacy/learning to love ME/and taking time to just BE..

Single by choice and building UP every  single part of MY life ..I am finally, finally so FREE

I say to ya’ll with the utmost respect, sincerity N bonded by blood in  Sistahood

Love starts from within and only then will a Brotha love us like he should

WE are far much more than a pretty face, curvy hips N  big butt

R* E *S *P* E *C *T starts with how one thinks of oneself

Mama taught me long ago even if I only had one dress on the shelf..

Dress for success..So looking my best is 4ever on my mind

Translation: Cover UP your breast  N your big  behind!

Sexy,  doesn’t mean we have to be naked or half nude

Heck in American society that’s still considered CRUDE

Unless

One isn’t trying to attract a husband N instead a pimp

My message is clear ..via words I will not ever skimp

Lyrically using  every part of the alphabet from A thru Z

Praying with all my might ya’ll are really feeeeling me

As I try to relay my lifes lessons  learned the hard way

Trying  hard to keep a floodgate of  emotions at bay

Hoping my poetic flow can help save a young Sista from wasted years  N heartache

For it can often take many moons 2 recover from heart~break

If ya’ll take away nothing more from my collection of mental notes

Let it be said that I tried to infer a lot more than what I actually wrote..

~N~

In my heart of hearts I know God created a man who was born to love just ME

When he discovers me he will look upon me with familiarity

He will see my warm  inner spirit and soul through my eyes

Cherish me as if he’s won the worlds’ biggest lottery prize

Loyalty won’t be an issue*he’ll be worthy of my trust

He will know that with me communication is a must

But

What I wish for you is to know/feel these same things

Know that you were CREATED to be loved & adored by a KING

N though I’ve saved this type of love for my very last

I don’t possess a crystal ball nor  Alice’s  looking glass

Yet I yearn for you to take heed N learn from my past

Strive for YOUR  goals and to your dreams stand fast

Everything about you should represent a beautiful Black butterfly

I’m hopeful you’ve read something here that to your life you can apply..

_Bottom Line_

Always love yourself more than even the ‘flyest  guy

N

When he discovers you 2gether you’ll experience the highest of highs(Real Love)

 

 

Posted in @Cultural, ^Political, ~Poetry A Berna Original~

~~Berna’s Tribute 2 President Barack Obama~~

Image

44th N 45th soon to BE

So personal its become to me

This entire political process

I sincerely have to confess

I’ve grown tyeeeed of this mess!

My feelings are difficult to compress

With sincerity and conviction I will try to express…

Who knew that even with 4 years of slow but steady progress

(And) endured every single ploy, stall tactics, N Republican tests

Having given Americans  his all N his very best

That President Obama would still have to impress

Not only the fickle masses but some of his very OWN

Certainly the latter couldn’t have even possibly known

The irreversible damage done by their blatant treason

*Lord, why must some of us need more of a reason…

2 stand united other than having been born BLACK?*

I must apologize for I digress

My mental still trying to digest…

The 3 ring circus that has become our political process

Whats going to happen from day 2 day is anyone’s guess

Bear with me as I break this down N take it apart

Feeeeeling every keystroke written word in my heart**

May author of ‘Dreams of My Father’ hear my prayer

N please know for some of us this is a personal affair

Your ‘Audacity of Hope’ motivated me to keep reaching

HIGHER

To always dare to dream/share what I’ve learned/ N to

INSPIRE

You’ve inspired Black children they can BE anything they aspire to be

That message also resounded ever so loudly to ME

When a little boy asked to touch your hair * a request so rare

You understood why N let him * because you truly care…

I pray for YOU each and every single day when I rise

Daily silently hoping your values you won’t compromise

Many of us know this race shouldn’t rightfully be close

Unless Americans sincerely want yet another ‘Bush dose

WE stand behind you millions mighty and forever strong

Wanting you to stay in the White House where YOU belong!