Posted in @Cultural, Black History

Will Blacks in America Ever UNIFY?*Salute/ Tribute on Last Day of Black History Month

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..

Posted in @Cultural, Black History

Final Black History Month Salute* Ruby Bridges*

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 …

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 Black History

*Black History Month 2014 Theme is*Civil Rights in America*

Every Black History Month has a theme..The theme for Black History Month 2014 is ‘Civil Rights in America’ It gives tribute to the golden jubilee of the Civil Rights Act..Signed on July 2, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson..That act stated the following..

**”We believe that all men are created equal—yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain inalienable rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty—yet millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skins.

The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand without rancor or hatred how all this happens. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I sign tonight forbids it.”**

***
This year begins the sixth decade since Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the 1963 March on Washington. Yet, more than 50 years after that historic march, we still are marching for both freedom and jobs.

To paraphrase Dr. King: we cannot be satisfied while any American cannot vote; nor can we be satisfied when far too many Americans believe that they have no reason to vote.

Confronted by unacceptable levels of unemployment, inequality and voter suppression, far too many of our fellow Americans remain trapped by the most crippling segregation of all: the segregation from hope as a result of poverty.

President Obama has challenged each of us to join him in overcoming this “defining challenge of our time—the dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain: that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.”***

I’ll end this topic with a quote from President Barack Obama during his presidential proclamation for Black History Month 2014..”As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Even while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination, we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and suffering.”

As we all know our country’s civil right struggles aren’t limited to our history. Now, we are the Americans who must organize, mobilize and fight the good fight“>>Quote by Congressman Elijah Cummings

Posted in Black History

Black History Salute*Promise 2 Former Slaves*40 Acres & a Mule

Many of us have heard of the (broken) promise to newly freed slaves..Some parts of that part of history have been quoted with mistruths and little known facts..First and foremost General William T. Sherman in ‘Special Field Order 15’ promised 40 acres; but not the mule. The mule was added later..But what isn’t often told is how it all came about. It wasn’t a good will gesture made by General William T. Sherman alone..It was prompted by the direct result of a discussion (held 4 days before the order was announced) between General Sherman, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and 20 leaders of the Black community in Savannah, Georgia. The meeting was unprecedented in American history! And as much as I thought I knew about history and black history; I didn’t know until recently that black leaders were present in that discussion..

The ‘promised’ land was 400,000 acres( owned by confederate land owners) and was to be confiscated by the government and given to newly freed slaves so they could OWN their own land. Which , at the time, was a part of the American dream..As it still is! This promise was made to approximately 3.9 million former slaves..The land involved was describes in detail in this manner.. “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.”

Special Field Order 15 goes on to describe what is to be done with the land(totally run by newly freed slaves..) in this manner ” … each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.”

What is also little known is that the 20 black leaders who brought this idea to General William Sherman were ministers. 11 of them were born free men! 10 of them lived as free men during the Civil War; the remaining 9 freed due to the Emancipation Proclamation. When General Sherman asked the chosen spokesman, a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier(a prior slave), what did the Negro want most . He said, “Land! That way we can take care of ourselves!”

The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that “From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,” reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, “the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.” Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the “black governor.” And by June, “40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of ‘Sherman Land.’ ” By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, “40 acres and a mule.”...

..And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, “returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it” — to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America…

I imagine a very different America IF this promise had been kept! I imagine things would’ve and could’ve rightfully been half-arsed set right had a broken promise not come behind years of enslavement..I can’t imagine how broken those ministers(not to mention the almost 4 million newly freed slaves..) felt when that happened. Trust levels broken down at the deepest level(s) for 246 years & then THIS..Given something one minute & promised a chance for …For what? A piece of the American Dream? Freedom? Equality? Are we there YET?

Posted in Black History

Black History Salute(&Future)*Jordan Davis Tribute*60 years is ‘not’ enough

The partial verdict has been decided regarding the murder of Jordan Davis..An un-armed 17-year-old African-American murdered for playing music ‘too loud'(according to his murderer) ; while sitting in a SUV with friends..Three counts of attempted-murder have returned a guilty sentence of more than 60 years..It is my belief that is NOT enough. The fact that the murderer, Michael Dunn, wasn’t convicted on the first-degree murder charge; again sends a message that the life of a Black male in America is worthless..I’m far too passionate about this topic to speak or write too much about it at this time..It’s a very open wound and a band-aid can’t fix it. Not in yesteryears and certainly not now.

What I will say is IF Dunn had minded his own business, not decided is was HIS right to tell anyone to lower their music, and not FELT(& thought!) he could shoot 10 bullets into an SUV with Black male youth in it; Jordan Davis would be alive . TEN bullets shot into a vehicle with unarmed Black youth who were simply listening to music. If the implications of that don’t horrify every parent reading this? Something is truly wrong with society! As a mother of 3 Black sons? It is the type of ish! that keeps me awake at night..I don’t need to watch horror movies(which I don’t; well least not without covering my eyes) with this real-life horror happening. It is my belief the Stand Your Ground Law is equal to the old Jim Crow lynching laws..Dunn said, ” It was a life and death” situation. With that I agree! It was Jordan Davis’s life and it was Jordan Davis’s death.

The future of Black men in America (and all POC, people of color) is necessary, priceless and mandatory. Just repealing the Stand Your Ground Laws(though I feel that is necessary) isn’t enough though..It IS the mindset that must be extinguished.

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

Earliest Blood Banks Separated Blood by RACE and yet…*Black History Salute

..the person who invented blood banks was Black!

Charles Richard Drew already had an M.D. and a Master of Surgery degree when he went to Columbia University in 1938 to earn a Doctor of Medical Science degree. While there, he became interested in researching the preservation of blood. Drew discovered a method of separating red blood cells from plasma and then storing the two components separately. This new process allowed blood to be stored for more than a week, which was the maximum at that time. The ability to store blood (or, as Drew called it, banking the blood) for longer periods of time meant that more people could receive transfusions. Drew documented these findings in a paper that led to the first blood bank.

After completing his studies, Drew began working with the military. First, he supervised blood preservation and delivery in World War II, and then he set up a blood bank for the U.S. Army and Navy that serves as the model for blood banks today. However, Drew resigned his position because the armed forces insisted on separating blood by race and providing white soldiers with blood donated from white people. Drew knew that race made no difference in blood composition, and he felt that this unnecessary segregation would cost too many lives.

Posted in @Cultural, Black History

Niagara Movement*Forerunner of NAACP*Black History Salute

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*

Posted in Black History

*Founded, Financed, & Governed by African-Americans*Discrimination FREE Cali Town

Colonel Allen Allensworth along with 4 other settlers ; believed they could create their version of the “American Dream”. In August 1908 they established a town which became the only California town founded, financed and governed by Blacks..Their dream of developing an abundant and thriving community stemmed directly from a strong belief in programs that allowed blacks to help themselves create better lives.. By 1910 Allensworth’s success was the focus of many national newspaper articles praising the town and its inhabitants.

An unavoidable set of circumstances made it impossible for the residents of this tiny town located 30 miles north of Bakersfield to achieve their founders’ dreams over the long term. But the town did remain home to a handful of families and individuals throughout the 20th century, and true to the courage and resolve of its founders, the town has survived and persevered, earning the well-deserved title “The town that refused to die.”

In 1974 California State Parks purchased land within the historical townsite of Allensworth, and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Today a collection of lovingly restored and reconstructed early 20th-century buildings—including the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library—once again dots this flat farm country, giving new life to the dreams of these visionary pioneers.

With continuing restoration and special events, the town is coming back to life as a state historic park. The park’s visitor center features a film about the site. A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers…

(Facts pulled from California Department of Parks & Recreation)

Posted in @Cultural, Black History, ^^Thought Provoking^^

Feb. 8 Salute to Black History*1894 Congress Repeals the Enforcement Act*Rise & Fall of Jim Crow

**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)

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>Henry Blair> A Black Pioneer

Henry Blair (1807–1860) was the second African American inventor to receive a patent.

Henry Blair was born in Glen Ross, Maryland, United States in 1807. His first invention was the Seed-Planter, patented October 14, 1834, which allowed farmers to plant more corn using less labor in a smaller amount of time. On August 31, 1836 he obtained a second patent for a cotton planter. This invention worked by splitting the ground with two shovel-like blades which were pulled along by a horse. A wheel-driven cylinder followed behind which dropped the seed into the newly plowed ground.

In the patent records, Blair is listed as a “colored man”; making this identification the only one of its kind in early patent records. Blair was illiterate, therefore he signed his patents with an “x”. It is not known if Blair was a freedman or not. At the time that his patents were granted United States patent law allowed both freed and enslaved people to obtain patents.

In 1857 this law was challenged by a slave-owner who claimed that he owned “all the fruits of the slave’s labor” including his slave’s inventions. This resulted in the change of the law in 1858 which stated that slaves were not citizens and therefore could not hold patents. After the American Civil War, in 1871, the law was changed to grant all men (but not women) patent rights.

Henry Blair died in 1860.

**I found this totally interesting from A to Z! A Black man came up with an idea to make to picking cotton easier for Black slaves! And cherry on top he couldn’t even read or write; so he signed his patents with an X..Pure genius! True testament also that anything is possible with no excuses..**

>>Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. —Harriet Tubman<<

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

Feb. 6th Salute to Black History*Freed U.S. slaves depart New York on journey to FREEtown , Sierra Leone(in West Africa)

* February 6, 1820…Freed U. S. Slaves depart on journey to Africa*

The first organized immigration of freed slaves to Africa from the United States departs New York harbor on a journey to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa. The immigration was largely the work of the American Colonization Society, a U.S. organization founded in 1816 by Robert Finley to return freed American slaves to Africa. However, the expedition was also partially funded by the U.S. CONGRESS, which in 1819 had appropriated $100,000 to be used in returning displaced Africans, illegally brought to the United States after the abolishment of the slave trade in 1808, to Africa.

The program was modeled after British’s efforts to resettle freed slaves in Africa following England’s abolishment of the slave trade in 1772. In 1787, the British government settled 300 former slaves and 70 white prostitutes on the Sierra Leone peninsula in West Africa. Within two years, most members of this settlement had died from disease or warfare with the local Temne people. However, in 1792, a second attempt was made when 1,100 freed slaves, mostly individuals who had supported Britain during the American Revolution and were unhappy with their postwar resettlement in Canada, established Freetown under the leadership of British abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.

During the next few decades, thousands of freed slaves came from Canada, the West Indies, and other parts of West Africa to the Sierra Leone Colony, and in 1820 the first freed slaves from the United States arrived at Sierra Leone. In 1821, the AMERICAN Colonization Society founded the colony of LIBERIA south of Sierra Leone as a homeland for freed U.S. slaves outside of British jurisdiction.

Most Americans of African descent were not enthusiastic to abandon their homes in the United States for the West African coast. The American Colonization Society also came under attack from American abolitionists, who charged that the removal of freed slaves from the United States strengthened the institution of slavery. However, between 1822 and the American Civil War, some 15,000 African Americans settled in Liberia, which was granted independence by the United States in 1847 under pressure from Great Britain. Liberia was granted official U.S. diplomatic recognition in 1862. It was the first independent democratic republic in African history.

>>Article from History.com>>

Posted in Black History, MARTIN LUTHER KING, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

A Salute 2 Black History (a Keeper by Dr. Alice Milton)

*I’ve seen a lot of amazing & fabulous tributes to Black History Month..But this one, by far, is the absolute best! Major props & credit to Dr. Alice Tyler Milton for this invaluable tribute to Black History Month*

http://www.ls.cc.al.us/blackhistory/blackhistory.html

http://blackhistorysalute.com/

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

Black History Fact*First Documented African American

Africans arrived in North America more than a century before the Mayflower arrived..The first documented African to arrive was Juan Garrido. He was NOT a slave & he was born in West Africa around 1480..He moved to Portugal as a young man, converted to Christianity ,and then changed his name to Juan Garrido(it means handsome John) He remained in Spain for about seven years and he joined the earliest conquistadors to the New World..He wound up in Hispaniola(which is the island that Haiti & Dominican Republic reside) as part of a Spanish expedition..He was involved in the invasion of Puerto Rico, Cuba & Mexico..After settling in Mexico City, including getting married(& had 3 children) , he continued to serve with Spanish forces for more than 30 years. In 1513, he was part of an expedition to Florida chasing the Fountain of Youth with de Leon..It was upon entering Florida he became the first documented African to arrive in this country. Garrido claims to have been the FIRST to plant and harvest wheat in the New World*

In 1538, Garrido provided testimony on his 30 years of service as a conquistador:

I, Juan Garrido, black in color, resident of this city [Mexico], appear before Your Mercy and state that I am in need of providing evidence to the perpetuity of the king [a perpetuad rey], a report on how I served Your Majesty in the conquest and pacification of this New Spain, from the time when the Marqués del Valle [Cortés] entered it; and in his company I was present at all the invasions and conquests and pacifications which were carried out, always with the said Marqués, all of which I did at my own expense without being given either salary or allotment of natives [repartimiento de indios] or anything else. As I am married and a resident of this city, where I have always lived; and also as I went with the Marqués del Valle to discover the islands which are in that part of the southern sea [the Pacific] where there was much hunger and privation; and also as I went to discover and pacify the islands of San Juan de Buriquén de Puerto Rico; and also as I went on the pacification and conquest of the island of Cuba with the adelantado Diego Velázquez; in all these ways for thirty years have I served and continue to serve Your Majesty–for these reasons stated above do I petition Your Mercy. And also because I was the first to have the inspiration to sow maize here in New Spain and to see if it took; I did this and experimented at my own expense

Posted in Black History

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FEBRUARY IN BLACK AMERICAN HISTORY

The Father of Black History Month was a man born to parents who were former slaves..He spent his entire childhood working in Kentucky coal mines..At the age of 20? Enrolled in high school! ONE year later though he graduated and later went on to earn his PhD in history from Harvard. Thus becoming the second Black American to earn a doctorate(the first was W.E.B.DuBois) He was disturbed that history books largely ignored Blacks(and their accomplishments/contributions) & that was his motivation in launching , Negro History Week in 1926. Negro History Week was later established as Black History Month in 1976..



February was chosen by Dr. Woodson because it marks the birthdays of two men who had a heavy influence on Black Americans. Frederick Douglass(Black American Abolitionist ) and President Abraham Lincoln(Issued Emancipation Proclamation executive order) But here are a few other notable Black History February happenings
..

February 23, 1868. W.E.B. DuBois, civil rights leader and co-founder of NAACP was born.

February 3, 1870. The 15th Amendment was passed, granting Black Americans the RIGHT to vote.

February 12, 1909. The NAACP(The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded by a group of concerned Black and WHITE citizens in New York City

February 1, 1960. A group of Black Greensboro, N.C. college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter

I’ll continue to not only support & celebrate Black History Month ; but also counter naysayers who feel it isn’t longer necessary..Until racism no longer exists in abundance Black History Month IS necessary..It is necessary because it supplies the masses with positive facts and contributions of Black Americans to society..Versus the consistent and ever-growing list of negative images and false stereotypes! February is going to be a fabulous month of learning & sharing..I’m ready! And I hope y’all are also. If you want to read up on Dr. Carter G. Woodson check out one of the BEST books I’ve ever read@ The Mis-Education of the Negro. An infamous quote from the book that I’ll never forget is “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary”

Posted in @Cultural

*CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH* FEBRUARY 2014

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!

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

*Myth or Truth?* The Splintering of BLACK America..*my last* Black History Month 2013 Tribute

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?

hatersgonnahateDon’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)

 

 

 

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

~~CONFESSIONS of a Single, Sexy, Divorced Sista~~Black History Month Tribute

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…

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

*Are Bill Cosby & Oprah right? Black Kids Don’t Value EDUCATION anymore…

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..

I’m almost finished..1st a few tips/ideas/and a few things I did while co-raising my sons to promote education>

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.

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.

 

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~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 ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, @Cultural, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, Post a Day 2013, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>I am NOT my HAIR….I am a SOUL that LIVES within<

~I am NOT my hair. I am NOT this skin. I am NOT your expectations no, no. I am NOT my hair ! I am NOT this skin….I am a SOUL that lives within~Lyrics by India Aire. India Aire’s song suggests we aren’t our hair..While I can understand the point she’s making; I can’t personally relate. I do indeed feel our hair IS a reflection and self-expression of WHO we are; and whats going on inside of us. And while the Bible says that a woman’s hair is her GLORY; with BLACK  women I feel it is FAR more than that. IT defines us in ways that don’t just meet the “eye”; but also reveals our ESSENCE.

First things first..For many moons I’ve said the following  @ The Black hair care industry is a multi-million dollar industry; and the Black community is the LEAST to see any revenue from it! Ya’ll can google UP whose got the major control over the industry(cause I think most of us already know…); and also note the fact they’ve a. excluded non-Koreans(yep, you guessed it!) from the industry by refusing to distribute to them b. raised prices higher when distributing products to non-Koreans c. do NOT put revenue back into Black communities but INSTEAD put the revenue back into theirs….Now the question that is just begging to be answered is?!? WHY didn’t Blacks corner the market on their own hair products in the first place???? And now? Everyone has got their hands into the pot of gold regarding Black women’s hair care; except Black women. *slapping forehead* But there are alternatives…

The new hot debate is Natural vs. Relaxed or Weaves…and it can get quite heated! Not in the conversations I’ve engaged in though…Natural is the being called the New Black. I’ve even heard sista ‘s that went natural say they feel its disgusting when a sista either relaxes or wears a weave. WOW. and omg! as if we need yet another thing to divide us. Lawd! Personally I feel it is a woman’s choice to do what SHE pleases with her hair..IF she wants to wear a wolly mammoth atop her head; her business! IF she wants to pay upwards of $500 or more for really good natural fake hair; her business! If she wants to chop it all off and strut it bald; her business! And IF she wants to chemically relax her hair/hot comb it; her business! OUR hair is already scrutinized, styles stolen( Bo  Derek  took OUR braids to a whole new level…) and critiqued by everyone else as it is. Last thing that needs to happen now is in-fighting..so knock it off! Chill out and do your thing with YOUR hair; and respect others to do the same with theirs. Some sista’ s want to try to micro-manage everything and everybody..jeeeeez. Can’t we all just get along?!?

Here is my opinion regarding natural vs relaxed vs weaves vs bald. The bald state is an easy & quick answer. Hecks NO! I dig being versatile far too much to even consider it..Backintheday my exhusband used to say I’d be beautiful to him even if I was bald! Aww gotta love him but still NO WAY. I’ve seen beautiful Black women sport the bald look ; but not my style.

I’ve also seen beautiful sista’s rock weaves..Beyonce is NEVER without a weave. Ever…her natural hair is boy short. It is quite the norm now for anyone to go from boy short to waist long hair over night. And also quite costly. There are weaves you can’t tell aren’t real hair…Love the idea of being versatile as an option. But I like my scalp being able to breathe…I don’t even wear hats! When I want to run my hands through my scalp; I don’t want to pull back thread. Or worse; not have the freedom to run my hands through my hair. Different strokes for different folks and this just isn’t my style.

I’ve got MAD respect & regard for sista’s that sport their natural hair! The cost is lower than weaves/wigs and I hear it is very liberating….I’ve got male Black friends who will NOT date a woman who wears weaves/wigs/relaxers. They want it all natural…from head to toes.

And while the numbers of Black women who go natural is rising; the majority are still relaxing or semi-relaxing their hair. It is convenient and when maintained with natural conditioners/relaxers the hair is very healthy. I’ve been on the verge of going all natural; but I’ve not dived in with both feet yet. I’m semi there and I use double natural conditioners in my hair to keep it healthy & vibrant. Which takes  more time but to me its worth it. I love my hair long…and since its naturally thick I have an awesome time being able to wear many different styles. I don’t get angry when people ask if its real….Actually I think its very amusing “others” are SO obsessed with OUR hair enough to ask such a question. Bottom line is it  is our hair/ our choice. And that is the way I see it…Until I read/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed! 4 ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)

 

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MORE Black Men in Prison; Than Were Enslaved in 1850<<

Can ya’ll believe that??? Believe it or not it is the “new”  norm..

““More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, recently told listeners at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union….” Quote taken from article written March 2011 regarding stats in Michelle Alexander’s book>

Alexander’s seminal book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young folks of color, particularly black men. In it, she grapples with a central question: If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years? <

~For those that are just tuning IN..I’m utilizing the month of Black History Month to talk about Black specific topics that the masses either a. On a grand scale don’t want to think/talk about because “not” being aware is easier than dealing with reality b. Far too busy with their lives to worry about the lives of the future generation c. Just don’t care d. prefer to keep their heads in the sand and just tend to “self” e. don’t READ therefore honestly miss what goes on in the world around them. f. Are aware and are raising well-grounded /well-taught children/mentoring/outreach to the at-risk community, etc g. Did I leave anyone out?  Bottom line IS there is no time like the present; especially Black History Month to talk about some of “tougher” topics regarding Black America. What better place than in an environment that receives 402 MILLION readers of 4.1 BILLION pages a month? WordPress. A site I love dearly! A site I didn’t even know  how to navigate on a mere 3 months ago when I began here…I’m cognizant with EVERY single keystroke that my words here are a carbon print that will last forever…I don’t take that lightly. Now back 2 the topic at hand. I’m going to post a few alarming statistics and attempt to give this topic the due JUSTice it deserves…

Let that sink in for a minute into every pore of your being..

**The way I see IT is pretty simple. Any time you’ve got more people IN the penal system; than IN college(or in the education system period…) that surrounding/environment/society/and in this case an ENTIRE race/class/segment of society will suffer in a negative manner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And I’m far from being that..nevertheless as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Mom myself I’m beyond concerned about this issue. Even from the viewpoint of being an American citizen, born & bred & LOVE my country ’tis of thee   I’m frightened when I see the statistics. As a former state prison employee I cried MANY a tear seeing upclose and personal the young Black youth behind bars. Just weeped uncontrollably..mayhaps because I’m aware of the atrocious things that happen in prison is yet another reason I feel as I do. IF the current trend continues 1 out of EVERY 3 Black male adults will spend some time IN prison. I’m sorry folks but I see that as a reason to be alarmed..

Did you KNOW? That when many surveys are taken   by government agencies they “exclude” the people from prison population from their research & findings?!? When they’re added back into the equation it dramatically alters the picture of the  status of ..Black America. It isn’t a pretty picture. Over half of the 2.3 million people in American prisons are; BLACK. Even on a good day folks; how can that be a good thing? Just keep in mind there are NO good days behind bars..

DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT an advocate nor user of drugs. Nor am I saying that folks who break the law shouldn’t be PUNISHED..nonetheless there is a blatant “grey area” that mayhaps needs 2 be considered. <<<<

The question that BEGS to be answered is=WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK MEN LOCKED UP IN AMERICA? Well lets consider the war on drugs for a minute. By itself; the war on drugs has affected Black communities far more than others. Would you agree? There are increased arrests of Blacks for NON-violent offenses and yet…”There is NO evidence that drug use is dramatically different by race or ethnicity; but the pattern of arrests is very different. ” Quote from Ernest Drucker. Author of ‘A Plaque of Prisons’  Let that sink in for a minute…

Is it ANY small wonder, given the above happenstances, that as of Dec. 2012 ..a whopping 72% of Black American children are being raised in SINGLE parent homes?!? The media hypes up only the parts they like & dilute(or totally delete) the background info…yet! there is no excuse with the Internet ya’ll can’t do due diligence to find out the REAL scoop behind the scoop. What can WE do to stop this cycle ? My humble opinion is quite more than is being done on a grand scale..Often times when something seems SO monumental folks don’t know how or where to begin. The way I see it one by one we can do our part in various ways..Educate, educate, educate. For the remaining parents out there link UP together to raise YOUR children! Stop letting the boob tube, the internet, or their friends raise them…It is a parents JOB to arm a child with whatever they need to become PROductive good human beings. Don’t take on the task of being a parent if you’re not going to do the JOB. It is the most important JOB on the planet. Exclamation mark. Period..Far more than brand names clothes & overpriced tennis shoes children need guidance/discipline/and TONS of love. For folks who don’t have children mentor someone else’s. Even more so these days it truly takes a VILLAGE. My eldest son, who has NO children of his own AND is wrapping up his P H D, is presently going through the Big Brother interview process..to become a Big Brother. That is on top of his terribly busy schedule and mentoring his 2 younger brothers(my sons..) IF we all took on some small part to lend a hand; certainly the change can be great. At least that is the way I see it..

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WANTED: Black Men who LOVE Black Women. *DP PostaDay 2013 Challenge*

Another one of those tough topics we hate 2 discuss; yet know it exists. Might as well bring it to the forefront during Black History Month. I needed a title to GRAB your attention; now that I’ve got it the real subject of this piece is about=Black women who hate on interracial relationships…well least the ones that involve Black brothers dating White women. Ya’ll ready for this?!? I won’t sugar coat this subject because it leads to a topic that is far too important to ignore or to dilute. That IS if we care about the future generations. Or least this is the way I see it..

First a few statistics that might help bring things into focus..According to ,thesentencingproject, more than 60% of people in American prisons are racial & ethnic minorities. 60% ! And having worked in a state prison in Cali I can tell you first hand ; MOST of them are very young Black males.(seeing this day to day was heart wrenching to say the least)  1 in 10 of Black males in their 30s; is in jail or prison on any given day currently in America. 2/3 of ALL persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color..Now let that sink in for a minute. I personally think we’ve got FAR bigger fish to fry; than worrying about White women snagging Black men..However, given this background info one could see how problematic snagging a good  Black man could be nowadays. But now onto the topic at hand…

Before I go any further I want to make my position clear..I’ve no issue at all with my Caucasian sisters who dig/date/marry my Black brothers.  I can totally understand why; 100%! Major props to them for having excellent taste; and I feel exactly the same way…

My two biggest issues with this topic are..#1 My brothers who feel they MUST drag us down to the gutter; just because they prefer dating other than Black women. Personally? I care LESS who people date. Honestly…you could date flying purple elephants for all I care. BUT why  “try” to tear us down on the way out the door??? As IF those who do(not all do…) don’t also have Black mothers/daughters!/and relatives. When you diss ALL of anything; you’re also dissing your own..Very UNcool and gets NO respect from me. In a silent manner of course..

Let me add here I don’t know ANY women like the ones portrayed in the pics I’ve posted…but I know they exist. And when some of us look bad; its a bad LOOK for all of us. We stand together or fall apart..Why place blame on others instead of first getting own self together? Because even the most educated & so called “together” person can have issues. I don’t know a person ALIVE who doesn’t have some type of issue or baggage..and the first one to say they don’t has the MOST issues. I don’t care who it is. Even saying you don’t have an issue; is an issue. So count that as #1 issue on the list. My point is when you can look in the mirror and love “self”; you don’t blame or hate on anyone else when things don’t go your way. You just keeeeeep it moving until things fall into place. Why take it personally? Some Black men  just prefer dating a variety of women….OR could be some might have gotten tired of not being treated like the KINGS they are. I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are people on the planet. But being ugly about it isn’t the answer; least not in my opinion. What that does is add to the already much hyped image of an “angry Black woman” stereotype…and some of us are so far removed from that image that I find it highly, highly! offensive. Bottom line is  if Black women truly dig our Black brothers; that means respecting/supporting them 100%. Even when it means they decide to choose someone other than a Black woman as his..Queen. We all have options these days…

For me though I’m waiting on my chocolate KING to come sweep me off my feet..we all have preferences/choices and must  learn to respect others for theirs. Just remember one important thing ; when my “the one” does find me  this year? He is OFF limits to all of ya’ll! Private stock and I don’t believe in sharing…Stay UPlifted, 4ever sincere Berna (the 1 & only)

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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)

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*Homophobia in Black America*

IS this  fact or fiction? I’ll present my opinion and findings; and let ya’ll figure out which it is. Might as well take down one of the toughest topics first …Can we really talk about this without people getting all amped UP ,righteous,offended ,or showing a display of utter ugliness a/k/a ignorance? I  hope so & guess we’re getting ready to find out because I’m going in head first..First, let it be known. I’ve personally evolved alot on my stance regarding this topic. I’ll be the first to admit it; though majority who know me never knew my true feelings on the matter years ago or even now. This is such a “taboo” topic that I’ve not discussed alot…in public. (and thats saying ALOT because I talk ALOT)  Isn’t it something how lifes circumstances, personal growth, and knowledge on a particular subject matter can totally flip a person’s opinion?!? Or am I the only one that has happened to? Hmmmmm …And before anyone asks NO I’m not. Nor am I bi-curious. I’m as straight as an arrow and I love everything about being a woman. A woman that loves everything there is to love about MEN. However as my faith has grown so has my awareness of;things. And my love of people including different cultures has also molded my opinion on; things. As a loved child of GOD I’ve come to the realization that we are ALL loved children of GOD. Exclamation point. Period. As humans I don’t feel we can put a level of “percentage”(for lack of a better word) GOD places on sin..A sin is a sin , right? WHO are we to say who is going to be condemned or not for so called; sins? WHO are we to say what is a sin in the first place? And IF homosexuality is a sin hypothetically speaking and IF sex outside of marriage is a sin(doesn’t the Bible say it IS????) and IF adultery is a sin(“ditto”…) then who are WE to say which of those sins will have the higher percentage of winning us a spot in HELL? Truth IS none of us living folks knows…Nor do I feel we have to right to judge anyone else’s so called “sins” . (just my opinion but there are too many things listed as sins! When I found out even thoughts about “lusting but NOT touching” was a sin??? I was shocked…  *slapping forehead* )Isn’t it also in the Bible that WE aren’t to judge others? I’m going to dig myself in a little deeper..Buckle UP>

Another thing that helped me to open my eyes/ears/mind regarding homosexuality? The multiple sources(a kind word because they’re really hypocrits) that were fueling my opinion/belief. Religious leaders including priests all yelling from the rooftops how wrong it was. And then came story after story to the light about same sex (with children no less! ) incidents from the likes of Eddie Long and only God knows how many priests…From politicians to celebrities to high ranking officials incidents of “suspect behavior” became more rampant. It began to seem like the very people proclaiming the loudest about it being wrong; were actually involved in “activities”(for lack of a better word) that make them “appear” to either be …a. homosexual b. homosexual c. enjoy homosexual activities. Doesn’t that qualify as being hypocritical? I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to answer that one…Or is it called a cover? And isn’t it pretty foul to inflict such awful labels on people all the while knowing self is guilty of the SAME? To make matters worse alot of said leaders spouting the prejudice opinions; are in positions that can alter a person’s livelihood. For instance, changing laws like the don’t ask/don’t tell policy…Question. Why should what a person does in THEIR bedroom affect whether they can maintain or get a job or not??? Answer. It should not. And the fact that it ever did is WRONG

Question..Are WE a tolerant people? And this can be answered by anyone by the way; Black or White. For my Black brotha’s & sista’s don’t we want to be accepted in society and not biased against due to our skin color? Yep! Then how can we NOT understand the plight of homosexuals? For my White brothers & sisters don’t ya’ll want people to stop riding you for things that happened back in yesteryears a/k/a slavery? Is that not a form of acceptance? Then how can ya’ll not understand the plight of homosexuals? This topic is truly bugging me because as a people we’ve all got to come together. Whether Black, White, Purple!, Straight, Homosexual, or whatever…and until we drop the labels/the finger pointing/the highmightyness/the divisions based on trivial stuff; it won’t happen. For my Christian peoples out there? WE can do better…Should we not love everyone? Aren’t we all brothers & sisters? Yes, we should and yes, we are

None of my sons are homosexuals. BUT if they were I’d still love them! With all of my heart/being as I do now..I was asked that question long ago & even then I felt the same way. Yet, there are many Black parents who would struggle to answer that question…For far too long one of the worse fears was that one’s child would say they’re gay. It is my belief that the seed was planted long ago. And it goes deep..or least the theory I believe could explain why homophobia does exist in Black America. After all the Black Male’s sexuality has long been talked about/envied/admired/and lusted after by ALL..stemming at least as far back as slavery. If one studies African American  & Literature/History you might stumble upon these findings..if not you don’t believe me google it.  But, in slavery days there is evidence to suggest that young Black boys & Black men were forced to have sex with their White male slave owners…There were even plantations that existed, not for growing crops, but for the purpose of breeding BOYS, MEN, and girl slaves for sexual pleasure. I knew Black girls/women slaves were raped but I had no clue about the boys/men…James Baldwin also spoke of it past slavery in “Evidence of Things Unseen”.  Which leads me to wonder how long this was carried on beyond the years of slavery? Could this be why homophobia still exists in Black America today? I vividly recall the Black Church being very unhappy recently when President Obama stood up for same-sex marriages..and actually expected an apology from him! Yet, those very same churches said  absolutely NO  negative words against Eddie Long for his transgressions against male  children!  I’m sorry but I’ve got a major issue with anyone imposing their sexual desires on children…IF anything is a sin that has got to be HIGH  on the list. However, its my belief IF one’s homosexual desires wasn’t still considered “taboo” or “wrong” ; people wouldn’t feel they have to hunt down vulnerable , helpless prey . Like children. I’m not saying that makes it right, but I’m struggling(and I struggle badly trying to wrap my brain around this crime! against children)  for reasons why people would do such a horrific thing. People who otherwise look normal and sane…

I’m a people lover. I enjoy speaking with all people & learning different cultures/backgrounds/beliefs…I’m also a talker with a gift for gab. I’ve been known to say I can find common ground to speak to anyone & hold my own. I can and I have. From paupers to kings..I won’t say I changed my opinion on homosexuality because I’ve had/have gay friends. That isn’t the reason…the reason is because it is NOT my business what a person’s sexual orientation is. Nor is it theirs what mine is. We can chat/interact/find things in common that have nothing to do with SEX..that is called friendship. No different than I have male friends(that I’ll never have sex with) the case is the same for my gay friends. Do we agree with everything that our straight friends do in their lives? Nope. We share common ground enough to be drawn to each other as friends; but there will be differences. Even co-joined twins have differences…it is what makes us unique. I truly feel we’ve got to adopt love for everyone . Understanding and tolerance has to become the norm. We all must work harder to learn to accept things we don’t understand. We have to give what we want back in return…LOVE

 

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^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 <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

@Celebrate: Being BLACK in America@

February is Black History Month in America…The controversial question that still begs 2 be answered IS= Does America really NEED a Black History Month? And if so, why is it important? Also, is ONE month tribute ENOUGH? For those that are BLACK; aren’t ya’ll BLACK every single day? For those that aren’t Black ; do you attempt to learn anything new regarding Black History during February? One last question I’ll give my views on= IS Black History Month just a “token” given to Blacks to put a band-aid on old wounds? WHY is it so difficult to have a decent, honest, OPEN dialogue about RACE still in America today? ~~~~~ First, a brief history lesson on how Black History Month came to be. Or do ya’ll already know? Oh well , for those that don’t know it began because of the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson & Rev. Jessie E. Moorland. Dr. Woodson was the former son of SLAVES and the SECOND Black person in history to receive a degree from Harvard University. Because Dr. Woodson felt preserving one’s heritage was important he urged the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to create ‘Negro History and Literature Week’ in 1920. He “chose” February to honor two men who had a great deal to do with altering the future of Black Americans. President Abraham Lincoln and Abolitionist Frederick Douglas(both men were born in February) Thus the creation of what we now celebrate as Black History Month in America was born…

I’ll briefly answer my own questions I posed earlier..Later, I’ll dig deeper. First of all , NO, Black History Month, isn’t a “token” given to Blacks in America for any old wounds caused by years & years & years & YEARS of slavery…As I’ve briefly explained earlier Black History Month was created by a Black man for Black American citizens to feel a sense of PRIDE about themselves..Something that was badly neeeeeeded when he first worked so diligently to have it created. Next, do I feel America still needs a Black History Month? Yes, I sure DO…Why is Black History Month important? I’ll dig deeper into that later. Aren’t Black Americans Black & proud every day and not just during Black History Month? Well , I sure AM. Every morning when my feet hit the floor and I look in the mirror I know several things for sure. I AM BLACK. I am a WOMAN. I am a loved child of GOD. Not necessarily in that order but being Black is always first…and I make no apologies for that. But later I will try to explain why. And the last question=WHY in the heck is it so very difficult to have an open & honest dialogue(among Blacks , Whites, and any other race/color/creed) about RACE in America??????! Especially when WE all know it is still very much an issue in our country….

For the naysayers, Black and White, who want to keep their heads in the sand; and think RACE issues don’t still exist in our country…Ask President Obama’s good friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr if it does. A highly! educated Black man who in recent years was reminded that NO matter how educated he was/is..he is still BLACK. Not even being the close friend of the President of the United States could save him from public humiliation. Just because WE don’t discuss race issues doesn’t meant it isn’t still an issue…And mayhaps IF we did discuss it more(in a civil fashion..) it could finally begin to solve the issue. Unless you were blind and deaf you certainly have seen RACE raise its ugly head just prior to and since President Obama became President of the United States…I don’t have enough time to list all the ways but ya’ll can google all the incidents/things said/happenings if you don’t believe me..

In my opinion , Black History Month, is necessary to educate ALL American citizens..Quiet as kept there are MANY Blacks who don’t even know their own history! For IF they did why would “some” feel Black History Month is no longer necessary? Begun by a Black man to give Blacks a sense of pride; I truly think it is still needed for that very reason..and more. Mayhaps if other races are educated about Blacks the race issues would cease! As I’ve said many times before we are ALL far more alike ; than different. And often times ignorance about a topic can cause people to have distorted beliefs/thoughts about said topic. Note to parents: IF you’re depending on the American public educational system to teach your child about being BLACK or about other races or Black History …it won’t happen! Get them books, share their family tree with them/ share with them family history stories..etc..KNOWLEDGE is POWER. My sincere hope/prayer is that people are indeed learning something new every single time Black History Month rolls around…As much as I’ve studied Black History including my own family history; I’m still learning new things my dang self. It is closed minds that will take far longer to move past the old ways of thinking…

~~As a person I love ALL people…of all races/creeds/beliefs. As a Catholic Christian I know we are ALL loved children of GOD. I don’t understand how any Christian could with good conscience call themselves a Christian and yet HATE with the level of hate I’ve seen/witnessed/experienced! ; simply based on the color of one’s skin. Matter of fact there is no one on this planet I hate. There are a handful of people I ‘ve run into that I don’t care for; real talk. But I don’t hate them. I just don’t care to spend ANY of my precious time being around them nor speaking of them. And only one of them isn’t Black.. I’m still praying on how to get past that…never said I was perfect.

Quite honestly  in recent years I’ve heard the N word used more by Blacks than anyone else..As a word of affection no less! What kind of shiiite is that?!? You can’t turn a WORD thats past is so negative that Blacks died cause they REFUSED to be called that word; into a positive word. I don’t care if it is JUST a word. I don’t allow it to be said in my surroundings . And I didn’t allow our sons to say it either…the ignorance has to stop somewhere. And I draw the line there. There is enough ignorance about what is or isn’t racism to wrap around our country a cazillion times..For the record there is a difference between racism and prejudice. Every time any of us labels a person by race, unless asked to describe someone by their race, we are exhibiting our prejudice. I’ve got my hand raised high; I’ve done it. And I try to catch myself but I’ve done it…I’m still working on that too. More proof I’m not perfect. In closing my sincere hope is that we can open up honest exchanges about RACE our country…Its past time. We’ve just TOGETHER put into office , for the 2nd time, the first ever Black man in the highest position of our country. That alone wasn’t enough to stomp out racism..Anyone who thought that was going to be enough wasn’t thinking logically. Rome wasn’t built in a day…nor can something so monumental be solved in one day or action. BUT we’re making progress…and that is wonderful! Like any good parent my DREAM is for my sons to live in a country that they are considered EQUAL…judged based not on the color of their skin..but ALLL of their years of education, their experience, their HEARTS, and all of their hard work. I co-raised my sons to LOVE all people and they do! I refused to teach them to hate..What we did do was teach them to be PROUD of who they are. Which includes embracing their Black heritage. One can’t know where the heck they’re going in life; if they don’t know who they are & where they’ve come from. And while I do have  a preference for who will be my love mate/life mate; I’m not racist. Though! I’ve had White guys who have asked me out say they felt that was racist. It isn’t . It is a preference. I just happen to be HONEST about my preference from the jump…Chalk it up to the level of highest respect I have for my highest male role model. My Father/Daddy who is Black..Little girls either are attracted to men like their Fathers or the opposite…I fall into the first category. Think about the preferences people have with who they’re attracted to??? Blondes. Women with big boobs.(even if they’re FAKE) Women with small waists & big butts. Women with small waists/big butts & big boobs! How about women who won’t date a man under 6 foot? Or won’t date anyone that isn’t fit or fyneeeee as heck. My preference just happens to involve skin color. And I absolutely LOVE chocolate skin..and the swagger of a confident brother??? Omg, no substitute for that…. Also, if anyone out there reading this has anything to add or correct me on things I’ve written; feel free. I’m ready to rap if you are…4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)