*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*
*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*
I never thought back-in-the-day that a day would come I’d hear the words @ OMG who has a library card these days?? The comment was made in reference to an experience I’d just had..Did I tell y’all about it yet? Well it happened a couple of months back>>
Few months back on my lunch I went to pick up an online order from a popular eatery..This is a TRUE story folks I could never make this ‘ish UP..So anyways ran up to the front of the line(yay! there are advantages to pre-ordering..) past a long line of folks waiting to get in..Was HOT as heck outside & I was flustered from the heat & rushing cause I was starved! Wound up chatting with the clerk serving me & quickly handed her my card for payment..Said a few parting words & laughter/grabbed my receipt from here /and off I went back to the office..Soon as I got there one of my co-workers was cracking up as she said , “Did you LOOK at your receipt?” I had to admit that I hadn’t..So I dug down into the bag of food & looked at it. To my surprise & shock it said DECLINED..Wth?!? Next my co-worker said the eatery had just called to say I needed to come back to pay for the food..Ouch!, how embarassing..BUT there is NO way my card should’ve declined..Then I reached into the front of my wallet where I had quickly put the card I’d paid for the food with..It wasn’t a debit or credit card..IT WAS MY LIBRARY CARD I’d whipped out by accident. Jeeeez who does this kind of stuff by accident? And how is it possible the clerk had run the card & hadn’t noticed it? And how is it possible she just handed me my receipt & bid me good-bye??? Guess this sort of stuff can(and it DID) happen when in a very , crowded eatery & rushing..The extra shock the comments I got from co-workers..Oh, of course it was the LAUGH of the week for everyone..Yet, the one comment that stuck in my mind was ” OMG, who still has a library card these days??” Well I’ve got MY hand raised up high & waving..As hip as I think I am I’m proud to say I’m a library-card-carrying-& USING-chick!>>
Last night I was ordering a couple of books online from the LIBRARY & it brought this topic to mind..Could it ever be possible for public libraries to become a thing of the PAST? Oh, the horror! I can’t speak for anyone else but there is a feeling I get when I’m in the library..Just makes me FEEL smarter around all those books..I even love the smell & feel of books..Honestly? I study my best when I’m sitting in a quiet library..Its almost as IF the words leap off the page into my mind. >>
I think of all the things this generation & the ones behind it won’t have that I was able to partake in..Things that have become extinct..For instance the experience of family outings to the drive-in movie..WOW..Anyone remember those times? Good times for real..BUT is the public library soon going to be added to that list @things nevermore? Proof positive of things NOT used; you lose IT..Slowly but surely library hours are being shortened & library personnel laid off..Isn’t knowledge & education STILL a priceless thing in our country? Long ago my Daddy taught me to READ; before I could even speak properly..I followed by doing the same with my sons..It was a treasured outing! Heck, I thought I was raising scholars! (come to find out I was…) Money wasn’t something I had alot of during my short stints of single Mom/divorced Mom; but I could provide them with a place to READ. So glad I was taught that what I put into MY head; could never be taken away..Oh, the places I’ve gone by reading books! Places I’ve added onto my must-go-one-day-list. Oh, the things I’ve self-taught myself by reading books! >>
Bottom line IS if WE don’t use public libraries they’ll close one by one..Funds will simply be diverted to other things; perhaps things we can’t benefit from. I sure hope that day NEVER comes..So hopeful I am that people reading this will venture out & take their children to the library. Teach! them to use it to their advantage..It is FREE. A wealth of information..One can’t google up something they can’t SEE. Or least that is the way I see it. Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed, 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)
..I made a comment recently and I’m standing by it..50 is rushing up on me; and I’m in much anticipation for it. I’m ready! Aren’t I? Shouldn’t I be? What are my options if I’m not? …Well by now I’m sure y’all are ready to hear the actual comment I made! It for sure pushed the person’s buttons I was speaking to at the time; however, having said that..IF a person can’t say whats REALLY on their mind at almost 50 yrs of age(such as myself..) when in the heck IS the time to be able to keeeeeep it real?!? The way I see IT there is no time like the present..Hope y’all are ready for some real talk. This is for grown folks ONLY>>
…1st this BROADcast(yep, that’s a play on words that only those 50 & over will catch..) For allll those people who scared the beeeeejesus out of me about making 50..By telling me that one’s body starts literally falling apart with ailments/issues/organ’s failing/and caving in to gravity..Unless the day AFTER I make 50 yrs of age(July 5th..) this happens instantly; y’all lied. Lol, lol! It takes ALOT of consistent work, every single day(and I mean every day) but by the grace of a mighty good God; I’m SO thankful I don’t look like the stuff I’ve lived through at this ripe age. I’ve said it often; and I’ll say it one ‘mo time..Thank YOU God for blessing me. Now if the day after I make 50 yrs of age stuff starts dropping/sagging/and an organ fails; I’ll have to retract this comment. And I’m building up the cajones(figure of speech! cause I am all woman..) to post a picture of me here on WordPress; in my Bday dress after my Bday party. After all seeing is believing for some folks..Enough said & back to the topic at hand>>
....So last week I was having a conversation with someone I hardly knew & had just met..I talked to alot, and I mean ALOT, of people while I was in Phoenix last week..Anyways , somehow or other, we got on the topic of making 50 yrs of age..And for some reason or other; he says ” Well, I have a friend who does NOT know yet HIS purpose or direction, and he’s 50 yrs old already..” I stood there looking at him waiting for the and..And?!? There wasn’t an , and, folks that was IT..I’m not too sure I’m proud of what flew out of my mouth next. BUT , this is what I said(before I could censor it/sugar coat it..>>
In a very steady voice & with a straight face I said, ” WOW, well I feeeeel a person should know where they’re headed/what they’re doing/what their purpose IS/should be progressively moving forward by 50! I mean jeez 50 years old is a longgggg time to be LOST or clue less..” After I said that? He got that wide-eyed look of ” Did SHE just say that?” And he didn’t get time to counter the comment because class went back into session..Later I felt mayhaps that was a harsh comment. Ever make a comment & then later wonder IF you should’ve made it? But it got me to thinking..Isn’t 50 the age one should know it ALL? Or least know enough/have learned enough..IF not 50 yrs old exactly how OLD must one be to know enough to have a PHD in..Life? Does one ever get to that point in life? Or is this life journey just one long process of continual learning? 50 yrs of learning & living! qualifies a person as knowing ALOT, right?>>
the TRUTH is , or rather the truth as I know it, as a person on the doorstep of making 50 yrs old..I do NOT know it all. And honestly? It was a harsh comment..but in my heart of hearts I honestly feel a person should know what direction they’re headed or be in IT. As luck would have it(and I thank God & my lucky stars..) a couple of years before I was this close to 50 yrs old..It became to vividly CLEAR to me what my God-given path was; that I would’ve had to be blind not to have seen it. I could see it clear as day..It took following blind faith to get nearer to it though. And truth be told; I’m not all the way there yet. But I’m a heck-of-alot-closer than I’ve ever been to getting; there. My direction has been on fast-forward motion since then. Very fast..So fast its at times been over-whelming. And all positive..Having said that would I still stand by my comment; IF this wasn’t the case? Probably so..If it wasn’t the case I’d have felt I wasn’t where I was supposed to be by 50 yrs of age. Which leads me back to my first question. Aren’t we supposed to know it ALL by 50 yrs old? Or least enough to account for having lived 50 yrs?!? When I sat down & did some real soul-searching on the matter..AFTER, I’d spoken without thinking to the aforementioned person..Honestly? I don’t feel there is a SET amount of what we should know by 50 yrs of age. I think we know what we know due to the experiences of what we’ve lived through to this point..Some just know more than others. I think life is an ever-changing and evolving event..Like a very BIG stage. We’re all the actors. Our part isn’t determined by US..Its pre-determined. Our free will affords us the opportunity to get to the finish line; at different time periods. IF I could have a do-over of the earlier conversation I mentioned; that’s the response I wish I’d said. Unfortunately in this life journey we don’t always get do-overs though..Living IN the moment is something I attempt to do every, single day..I can only hope the person I said that to reads this & accepts my final & well – thought out answer. What I’ve learned at 50 yrs of age is …WE never stop learning. WE will never know it ALL. And I think learning that is one of the beautiful things about making it to 50 years of age! Now..I tell you one thing about 50 I’m still not used to ; yet. It’s as if overnight I changed from a Miss to a Ma’am. Lawd! When did that happen?? Lol, lolll Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere Berna (the 1 N only) P.S. I might also post a picture of my birthday cake after my party…I want ALL 50 candles on my cake..I don’t care IF it looks like a bonfire! I EARNED every one of those years..Truth be told my Mama probably won’t allow it. Lol, lol! I can just see her face if I even request 50 candles. The look on her face of “Do YOU want to burn the place down?”
Disclaimer: From the jump let me make just one thing clear..These are my opinions on this matter. I am a very opinionated person; and I make no apology for it..The catalyst for this post was yet another UNsolicited suggestion; that I need to LOWER my standards & expectations or be single for far longer than I wish to be. Of course not only do I disagree..I’ve got a few comments to say on the state of Black Love Relationships. Including those that consider themselves oh, so fortunate! to be in BAD relationships..Ever hear that old adage @ I can do bad all by myself? Oh and! How about this one that I live by @ I’d rather BE single than to be part of a relationship I know is BAD/ill-suited/& not couple- compatible from the get-go? >
Make no mistake about it, Black Love, does still exist(my parents just celebrated 51 years of marriage & still IN love) …but the dynamics of it has changed. In more ways than 1 and for more than 1 reason…>
Let it be noted before I delve any deeper into this..I simply LOVE my brothers! Hands down I do, with all my BEing..I am in full support of/participated in co-raising 3 heckified beautiful Black princes/am the daughter of an OUTSTANDING Black Daddy/am the sister of an amazing Black & loyally married brother(key word there is LOYAL..that still matters) /exwife & ex yet still very, very good friend to an awesome Black brother who is a #1 Dad/& Sista friend to a host of Black brothers who I’m blessed to be able to call devoted friends..Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way; onto why a particular brother’s comments on MY marital status disappointed me so very much(& is the fuel behind this post)…>
I think there is an assumption & presumption that when a sexy, smart sister is single it means…a. she has set her standards TOO high b. has unrealistic expectations of a man/relationship c. thinks she deserves more based on what a brother can do for her financially(also known as a gold digger) and won’t link up with the average brother…..But what hasn’t been considered?!? Based on just simple, basic! things that a woman desires in a man; its very SLIM pickings out there. Exclamation point. Period..Lets see if I can explain this properly.. 1. OMG is having a decent conversation toooo much to ask for these days?!? WithOUT hearing about the size of my butt! (IF I hear 1 more comment about it I will scream; what IS wrong with these younger brothers on the East Coast? ) WithOUT hearing about my looks or my hair or that I look Spanish and not Black…Miss me with all of it/grow UP/man UP..I’ve tired of being polite; cause some of us were raised by mother who taught us manners. But you’ve got to step UP your game , to the least, to get past all of the compliments quickly and move onto to a decent conversation. Going on & on & on just makes it appear as if you aren’t capable of holding a decent conversation…and personally? My time is tight & precious..talk to me about something other than ME..or don’t waste your breath. Moving right along>
*Black love statistics & then back to my very real commentary*= Recent estimates of single, Black women: 60% -70%(thats a whopper amount) . Employment rate for Black men current approx & record low:56.9% . (love without finance is not fun; it takes 2 incomes these days to make it as a couple) More than TWICE as many Black men married someone of another ethnicity; then Black women(roughly 22% to 8%..so doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is making the amount of fish in the pond smaller for Black women to be chosen by..) . 70% of Black children are born to single Black Mothers. (wait, there is NO such thing as a single mother..can’t have a baby alone…WHAT is this saying about Black men??? can have sex with Black women but not put a ring on IT? *slapping forehead*) 41% of Black women have never married. 43% of Black men have never married..backintheday when my folks married; you didn’t have SEX without a ring on it..how things have changed for the worse) 70% of 1st Black marriages are ending in divorce. So IF you’re on your 1st marriage & Black..odds are you’re not going to make it. Especially if you don’t even enter the marriage in love; which by the way the brother who said I needed to lower my standards admitted.. Never been IN love; yet currently married. I just can’t wrap my mind around the many questions of why..and then people are shocked instantly into the marriage there are major , major issues. As IF. I’d be more shocked if there weren’t..>
Going to see if I can break this down from what, I think, is the beginning of this chaotic situational situation…I’m about finding solutions to problems & after I break this down? I’ll do my best to lay down what I think is a simple start to a solution..The good news? What is broken down can be built back UP; but it will take time/consistency/& desire to get back to the basics. Now the tough part that will more than likely make some of my Black sisters hate on me…though if they let this sink in & chew on it the concept really does make sense. First of all I am & will always be a proud woman’s libber. I adore being a woman & all things in support of women. I am for a woman being respected and judged based on her “own” merit. I’ve been known to say I’m far more than a pretty face. I mean that 100%..one thing I think men often forget? The true beauty in a woman is beneath her appearance. It is her heart! , her spirit, her essence and her inner-soul. Nevertheless what I sincerely feel began the rapid decline of Black Love relationships is = Women’s Lib. Yep, somehow we got sucked IN way backintheday to thinking that our INdependence was #1. Question that is begging to be answered now is..At what cost was/is our independence worth? And independent from what? Real & intimate & necessary LOVE relationships & our children who we allowed to be raised by strangers for 8 entire hours a day??? (add that up and its alot of time children are away daily from their parents…) The fall out from what was really caused by women’s lib? How many HAPPY married Black folks do you know?(let me quickly insert here my parents are) Think about it…I’ll wait. >
So the fall out began from women’s lib..The woman suddenly felt just taking care of home..i.e..her husband & children full time..wasn’t a worthy full time job. Thus, children were raised primarily (40 -45 hrs a week is the bulk of the waking week days..) by strangers…think about when did kids behavior overall become as disrespectful as it is now? When did the use of DRUGS on children become prevalent? I don’t recall soooo many kids on ADD meds backintheday when I was in elementary…used to just call them hyper kids! And what about tending to her husband? After a full day of work and then home to tend to dinner & the kids(is anyone doing homework with children anymore??? taking kids to the library anymore? reading with kids anymore???) how many nights is a wife NOT feeling like tending to her husbands needs? And that causes men to do what? Or one of the causes…stray. I have to say for the record I have never seen or heard of SO many people cheating or willing to cheat on their marriage; as these days. Its out of control…why even be married if you’re not going to attempt to stay loyal? Tiger Woods is a prime example…wtH? Anyways I digress, but y’all get the gist>
So now we’ve got generation upon generation of people from broken homes..Whats worse is then some Black fathers don’t even stay involved with their children after the break up..As IF its the child they’re also breaking off with. I will never understand nor be able to RESPECT a man that hasn’t tended to his children. How in the world you can not care for your own seed is beyond me..even wild animals tend to their babies/offspring. And IF a man doesn’t take care of his own seed; what makes a woman think he cares about her. There is no logic in that. With the rising cost of living it is almost impossible to raise a child on one income..this is where oldschool type families SHOULD step in to help..it truly does take a village these days..Lest we forget our African roots..But that is another long topic for another time. These are just but a couple ways women’s lib began the descent of the Black family & Black love..as a woman that is a sobering , sad thought. How do we get back what WE had? Because in trying to sort through the broken pieces out here as a single woman ready to date? I’m just glad I’m happy & content with my life..or I’d be one miserable woman waiting for an eligible suitable ‘the 1″. Never mistake the fact that I talk about yearning to be in love again or married; for being unhappy. I’m very happy & hopefully I can will into existence what I wish for by talking or writing about it. I believe in that@Think it. Dream it. Make it happen.
My biggest problem? I’ve got standards; some say too high. I not only look for physical attractiveness ; but a man’s character matters to me. His consistency/keeping his word/his heart shining through in his actions/he has good COMMUNICATION skills and can hold a decent conversation/he is kind/He is a Believer(that should’ve been #1 on the list)/he respects his Mother, this is a must, and women. Tip for my brothers reading this..When you disrespect your marriage/wife by hitting on me..you also disrespect ME. And I won’t allow that or myself to stoop to your level..Just because you don’t respect your marriage..doesn’t mean I’m going to . Last but not least IF having such standards makes me greedy or stuck on my self. Then so be it..really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about me. What matters most is what I think/feel about myself. I think being in love matters for longevity in a relationship/marriage. Even if its not the first marriage; it still matters. And in my book it always will.
The path to get things back to the way they were; I think begins with choosing potential spouses/signficant others based on more than their looks or sex…When something, anything, isn’t built on a good foundation…it falls apart. People think they can change people. Can’t! All that happens is you’ll waste alot of time & youth trying..unhappily. I’d not trade a day of being single for that. Isn’t that called HELL? Until I read/write y’all again stay uplifted & blessed. 4ever sincere , Berna (the 1 & only)
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Not sure about ya’ll ; but my spirit has tired of hearing ONLY bad news. Why come good news doesn’t cover the front pages of newspapers? In light of all the awful, shocking! news..don’t we need to read/see news that warms our hearts from time 2 time? How about more often than not? Doesn’t sell papers nor fuel reality shows though..So this spot will be reserved for the many ‘fist bump moments’ ..they don’t get half the attention(our attention..) that they deserve>
**I woke UP this morning with several ‘fist bump’ topics on my mind..Trying to figure out which was the best to properly get this category opened..I had no intention of making it personal..And then epiphany! Why the heck not? It is after all my style to make things; personal. In a world filled with images & beliefs! that collecting material objects & wealth matters more than things that warm the heart..I refuse! to live that type of life. And so with that said I recently got FABULOUS news..It couldn’t be more personal. Hang onto your hats & wigs here I go>
~~It is official! My eldest son will receive his Doctorate, yep PHD(on a FULL academic fellowship), May 2, 2014..Not quite sure if even my penned words can fully capture the thoughts in my head & certainly my heart. But I’m going to try with all my might to break this down..This is the way I see IT>
What a journey, an awesome ride its been..From inside the womb YOU changed my life. Instantly. And since then? Your positive words/your presence/your essence/your helping hand to the generation behind you/Your scholastic outreach to people of color/Your research in higher education/Your LOVE..has touched, changed, helped!, others and now? You’ll change the world progressively>
For all the times you were told what you couldn’t DO/For all the financial sacrifice over the years!/For all the times you watched friends marry & have children/For all the times you wondered the many IFs you stopped at your Masters/For all the times you had NO family to talk to for guidance who already had their PHD/For all the times you just wanted to be doing other things besides studying/For all the times you traveled to places for research ..D.C., Cali, Ireland, South Africa, Chile, etc..and longed to be HOME/For all the times you missed your family yet couldn’t afford to get over-emotional about it/For all the times you faced the bitter cold in Michigan winters..YOU SURVIVED, you did IT..and your Momma couldn’t be any more prouder of you than I am and will always BE. I knew , always knew, you would do it..>
Forever humble & always keeping it REAL you’ve managed to do it all..Total well-rounded person..When next I see you I’ve got the worlds biggest hug, tons of kisses on your cheeks, heck of a lot of big kool-aid smiles, plenty of uncontrollable tears of joy and a FIST BUMP reserved just for son & Momma. GO Christopher & GO BLUE(I’m bringing my gold/blue pompoms!)
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Let me be clear..I’m PRO education. Exclamation mark. Period. Life has a way often times of getting in the way of our goals & dreams. WE also have a way of getting in our “own” way. There is a difference. Yep, *rant alert* because I’m on 1…
“In 100 years, it won’t matter if you drove a Cadillac
or a Chevy. It will matter what we do for children.”
— Reverend Anjohnette Gibbs
**One more quote/background..then I’ll give my opinion on this topic. Bear with me because I’m digging deep. Not easy subject matter to broach; but so very important. **
>America is failing its young Black boys. In metropolitan ghettos, rural villages and
midsized townships across the country, schools have become holding tanks for
populations of Black boys who have a statistically higher probability of walking the
corridors of prison than the halls of college. Across America, the problem of Black male
achievement seems intractable. We fail our Black sons more than any other racial or
ethnic group.< Excerpt taken from Fall 2011 Edition of Policy Evaluation & Research Centers’ Policy Notes…
I’ve got many PHDs..One in Life.(including the school of hard knocks) One in Family. One in Love Relationships/Marriage. I’m still working on attaining my actual “paper” PHD..As my eldest son is ,now only a few months away, from actually having his PHD it brings to mind some of the many questions I’ve answered (or attempted to..)over the years regarding education. Questions from my sons and naysayers who say the time has come for Blacks to weigh whether a college education is really worth it. I could use alot of old adages to express why I feel it IS; but I won’t. I could even post more graphs to illustrate the impact a college education has on one’s lifetime income; but I won’t. Last but not least I guess I could say what I truly feel…the price of a college education is not rising for NO reason. Is it purely based on the economy that tuition and books have skyrocketed? Or is there a very logical reason behind the madness? IF college costs keep rising at a rate of 15% in 2 years(the average from 2008 to 2010) ; it will become increasingly unaffordable for the poor or even the almost non-existent middle class…
Honestly? I can understand why the youth might ask these questions..What about ALL of the folks with degrees that are JOBless? Is a college education worth going into knee -deep debt for? Why can’t I quit college when an excellent job with benefits comes along? How do I KNOW there will be jobs available when I’ve got my degree? What IF I’m not college material and I fail & waste all that time/money?
My stance? By whatever legal means necessary college is still worth it…nobody ever said anything worth it was going to be easy. Or without sacrifice. And these days a TON of moolah..Or good grades! to offset cost by landing a scholarship or grant. Which leads me back to where I began with this topic. Anyone out there know what the average reading level of 12th grade Black males was in 2010? On average, Black 12th grade students read at the level of White 8th grade students; or lower. Quite impossible to gain academic scholarships with those stats..Some don’t even consider college as a viable option. Sad, isn’t it? And then we wonder why prisons are filled with Black males; and college campuses aren’t. And we all know its happening because the media posts the stats EVERYWHERE; on purpose. With a purpose..
In my opinion when ANY group of society is lacking or falling behind; ALL parts of society will be impacted by it..I’ll let you think about that for a minute before I proceed.
I’ve tried to analyze where “we” can begin to solve this major issue..First, I guess one would have to figure out where it begins. Heres a quick breakdown..In any given situation PARENTS are/or should rightfully be a child’s first teacher. Giving guidance, direction and stability, etc, etc. Why isn’t that happening with today’s Black youth? Especially young Black men..Sometimes an issue can seem so HUGE we don’t know how to tackle it. Don’t even know where to begin solving it. But that doesn’t mean don’t do anything or attempt. And I also feel that those of us who have the wherewithall & care enough about the future; have to give till it hurts! Give our ourselves, our time, our experience, our ideas for progression, mentor!, etc..It is mind boggling to me that the situation has gotten this BAD. I don’t know about you but I’m tired, no tyeeeed, of seeing the dismal statistics. How can we, with good conscience, not do our part to help? We can’t…
Bottom Line~ IF or when your children , or anyone, asks you any of the aforementioned questions..You can use my answer if you like; I’ll let you borrow it…College is ALWAYS worth it.(or some form of higher education) My own Dad taught me long ago that one thing that could “never” be taken from me: knowledge. And in society these days that translates to a degree. A piece of paper , true!, but it is the way it is these days. A high school diploma doesn’t hold the weight it once did…In a quick minute a bachelors degree won’t even be enough to get a decent job. And that clock is ticking rapidly. A college degree isn’t a guarantee to get a job; never was! But it can open doors…and once inside that door it can lead to rapid promotion. Personally? I think high school should extend for another 2 years…An associates degree should be part of the regular public school system curriculum. But that is another topic for another time. And if saying ALL of that; doesn’t satisfy the person who asked you if college is worth it. The very , very final answer I resort to when I’m truly desperate IS…Because I said so!
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Or do they?…That question is just begging to be asked/discussed. But whether it can be answered simply is yet to be seen or done. Its indeed a quite complex situation that needs direct action/solutions to change it. The finger-pointing, complaining, and blame game isn’t changing a thing…
Ever heard the old adage @’Put your money, where your mouth is?’..And when a person DOES indeed , do just that, shouldn’t they rightfully be able to speak their mind about it? Well..when Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey..after years and years of donating tons of MONEY to inner city schools and Black colleges spoke out there was outrage from many in the Black Community. Yet, the issues they both spoke out on still exist to this day, if not moreso…
**I don’t pretend to know all of the answers to this issue or any issue I blog about..What I do intend to do is lay down some of the background/state my opinion/and pray like heck it can urge folks reading this to care enough to DO something to change things for the better. ANY generation is supposed to move to higher levels than the one before it. It is something my own Daddy taught me /practiced/and believed in since I was born…It is the same practice I practiced with my sons..And it should be what everyone is doing. I did NOT disagree with what either Bill Cosby or Oprah Winfrey have publicly said.. I’ll explain why & will also recant a conversation I had just last night with a LIFElong Black educator that has worked hands ON with inner city youth..~~
The biggest issue I’ve got with all of the “outrage” about what Bill Cosby & Oprah have said IS..nothing has been done since to IMPROVE the situation or the statistics they spoke of. Furthermore, no one! had an issue with either of them when they poured MILLIONS of their money into Black inner city schools/areas and Black colleges. As a matter of fact, for those who recall, even as far back as when he was doing the Cosby show…Bill Cosby was donating mega bucks to education AND mentoring the youth on his show to go TO college. So no one can say he didn’t put his money where his mouth is..but when he finally got fed UP and spoke on what he saw & felt was reality?!? Whoa! suddenly majority of folks, Black folks, forgot ALL the years & moolah he’d donated and he was instantly a “traitor/elitist/classist/ill-informed/& just downright wrong to have aired the Black community’s dirty laundry. BUT the question is’Was he wrong??’
I can answer that for I’ve far less money and no celebrity status like Cosby(which is why I actually think folks got mad about what he said…but thats another topic for another time) and my answer is NO, he wasn’t wrong. He was so dead on that its beyond embarrassing to admit..but that doesn’t make it any less true. Here is just a tidbit of info to substantiate his stance >
How much money does one have to donate/give voluntarily before their opinion matters??? Where else was Bill Cosby or Oprah supposed to have “aired” their feelings on the matter? First of all Oprah was responding to folks “complaints” about where she spent HER money to build a school…and then folks got mad when she said what she said! *slapping forehead*
I was having a conversation last night with someone about education..He’s been an educator for the majority of his LIFE..Actually came out of retirement to mentor/teach children again..Has received lifetime achievement awards for all he’s done..and yet guess what? He said the same thing that Bill Cosby and Oprah have said. And yep, he’s Black also; just not filthy rich like them. He basically said todays’ Black youth just don’t get it! And that they take an education for granted; whereas in other countries like Africa(where Oprah opened her school..) they don’t. One of the things Oprah did say is ask kids what they want here; they’ll said an Ipad. Ask kids in Africa and they’ll say books or uniforms to go to school…which is why Oprah said she finally just stopped visiting American schools. What would you have done? I’ve even heard folks say well rich folks get a tax break for donating..which is true. BUT they didn’t ‘have ” to choose to donate to Black schools or colleges. Enough with the excuses ..we ALL know the situation is as bad as Cosby and Oprah said it was. If not worse. So why not keep it real and do something to change it? Like Oprah did..
1. Don’t wait until your child is born to READ to them..Begin reading to them in the womb. Sounds insane, but it works! And you’ll actually feel them moving around in your womb more when you’re reading; if they like the book.
2. Start teaching your child about college before they can speak..They’ll hear you & they’ll remember. I preached college so much to my sons; that I’m sure they were sick of hearing it..and my neighbors probably were also. But I meant it…and my goal was to get all 3 sons into the college door. And that mission was accomplished.
3. Join PTA groups, GO to ALL parent teacher conferences for every , single report card..if you can’t get off from work then have the teacher do it over the phone. They will…they’re public servants and work for YOU..and most of them want to do their job. Alot of educators are shocked at the amount of parents NOT involved in their child’s education. It is NOT their job to do the job of teaching everything to YOUR child. It won’t work unless its a 2 party agreement. Teacher + Parents or Parent
4. Turn the boob tube OFF while kids are studying. Promote a study environment..this carries on with them for life. Take them to the library so they get used to READING and studying in a quiet environment. And censor/limit the amount of time they watch the boob tube, period. Also censor what music they listen to. I cared less our sons could still hear it outside of our home..I was NOT going to contribute to it in our home. Its about the best a parent can do these days
5. Link up with people on school boards your child is in or run for school board positions. I learned a TON of stuff I didn’t know when I ran for/attained a position on a Catholic school board. A ton of valuable insight..
6. Talk to your kids very early on about what college they want to go to…long before they enter high school..Start the talk about mid 8th grade for the high school years will fly by!
7. Do NOT make not going to college an option..it is a MUST these days.
8. Start saving for college when they are BORN. This is one of the biggest differences between the “classes”..most of them time “us” working folks feel we can’t afford to save for our kids college funds. BUT if you’re driving a car that costs 80,000/wearing tennis that cost 200/and carrying a purse that costs 1,000…you could’ve afforded to put that money in an account or investment for your kids college fund. WE have got to get our priorities straight.
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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)
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**In observance of this FABULOUS holiday@ Martin Luther King, Jr day..lays ripe the opportunity to speak on a couple topics I adore. Education. Youth. Love. Before I dig in …I hope any/all out there that have this day off from work give a bit of today to say, THANK YOU, Martin Luther King, Jr. for giving US all you had(including your life..) unselfishly so that we might have the freedoms we have today. I/WE appreciate YOU. …
**The above quote @”I have decided to stick with LOVE..Hate is too great a burden to bear”..is in my belief the BEST quote I’ve ever been blessed enough to read. And with all of my BEing I’m also trying to live that out loud as well. There is a beauty in those words and in that sentiment and IF only that message can truly spread like FIRE..what a different country, world even!, this would be. Can’t WE all muster UP the love within US and share it?!? I’ve got my hand held UP high. I think WE can. YES we can!
>>Last night I happened to be in attendance at a event hosted NationWide (in 400 locations…) by a predominantly Black sorority (*round of applause for the ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY) in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr..Called a day of service for MLK,Jr. The overall message was CLEAR..Service WE must & should all be doing to educate, enlighten, and EMPOWER the youth(our future!) There was a panel(which consisted of rising Black leaders & predominant business owners/young Black CEO of a major local bank!/even a newly appointed Assistant City Manager; highly impressive panel regardless of color. Progress! There was a moderator present asking each panelist what “their” advice/suggestions/expertise based on experience was for the YOUTH and for progression for US as a community. In the audience was a group of promising youth already marked as UP and rising..I personally felt, and wished, more youth had been present. But it was a great jump start, I hope!, for the adults in the audience to GO forth and spread the message to others to reach OUT and educate, enlighten, and empower! the youth. The fact that this exact premise was also being held concurrently(same day… ) in 400 other locations across our great Nation warmed MY heart and encouraged me to continue hoping, praying! , that WE shall overcome and continue to progress for I also(like MLK, Jr.) have a dream…
**I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when my 3 beautiful, intelligent, personable, loving , educated, artistic, athletic BLACK sons(my Black princes!) will one day be judged based NOT on the color of their skin…but judged based on who they ARE. Not asking for 2 much; just asking for what ANY other mother longs for her sons. I long for a day when folks don’t fear when walking past my 3 Black sons; for they’re armed with NO weapon other than their COLLEGE DEGREE‘s. Bred & raised with nonviolence and wishing for nothing more than to aspire to their dreams!/their aspirations/their GOALS. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space in which my future grandbabies won’t be LABELED as Black, as Negro, as African-American nor have to fill out that slot on ANY form. I would love for that day to come when people are just labeled as..PEOPLE. Yes, I have a dream! On this day that just happens to also be the day when for the 2nd time in HISTORY; a Black brother is being publically sworn in as President of the United States of America..I dream that ONE day that fact won’t BE so remarkable. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when to describe people NONE of us label each other as ..The White woman that was there OR! The Black man that was there. WE are all just people…And WE all have alot more in common than different. How beautiful it IS when we just sit and chat/or vibe over the Net/or rap face 2 face and share of ourselves…I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when WOMEN of any color are compensated at the same level as MEN. (based on what they earn & rightfully deserve) I have a dream! When love brings people 2gether. And keeeeeps people 2gether. For LOVE can over-ride any division that lays between US. LOVE can conquer even what seems impossible. I believe. I believe! And I have a dream…As always folks stay UPlifted & blessed. Remember 2 count your blessings 2day and everyday. 4ever Sincere, Berna (the 1 n only)
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For the most part last year I winged IT! Luckily , for me the year ended up being a pretty progressive one..One in which I had a loose plan set for myself. But had I strategically planned from the onset of 2012..the year for me would’ve been even more progressive N productive. So, since I can’t rewind time what I can DO is make a plan for this year NOW. I’m trying a totally new concept. A concept to help me better focus on my goals N streamline my efforts. A plan for goal-getting instead of goal-setting. To test this concept one has to choose words that encompass their entire plan. I want to begin to finally! practice brevity this year..so I’m choosing only 4 words. Or going to attempt to. Here are my 4(four) words for this concept of goal-getting for me in..2013.
1. SLEEP= I’ve GOT to focus on getting more sleep. I sleep well..very much so. Deeply. And I’m asleep almost literally before my head hits the pillow! However, when I finally sit still..its all she wrote! Mayhaps because my active regime + the energy amping glowing green smoothie= turbo speed so much that it isn’t allowing me to want to sleep. Bottom line is though it isn’t healthy to be sleep deprived. And being that I’m growing more health conscious by the day; its time to practice it in all ways. #1 word for me in 2013 is overwhelmingly ..sleep.
2. LOVE=There is a ton of love in my life/my world/my heart/my being. The type of love I’m referring to right now is regarding a love life. I have none right now! Not only that I’m going to have 2 make time for one(& start at least dating) …I’ve been busy! And have even more I’ve got on my 2do list for 2013. I was recently told though that sometimes being too busy isn’t setting the stage for my “the one” to find me. So since I’ve self professed this year as the one I’ll allow myself to finally fall IN love again; I’m making it a priority. Thus it earns the #2 spot on my words for 2013.
3. EDUCATION=This is a close runner UP for the #2 spot on my list. I’d planned on heading back 2 college in 2013 midway into 2012. I’m on schedule to do just that. School selected. Field selected. Enrolled. All I’m waiting on now is the start of the semester.
4. COLLABORATE=I’ve got alot I want 2 accomplish. Alot of ideas…Some I can attain by myself. Some I’ll need to find & select people who can help to accomplish. (and finish creating the format) With proper networking, which I’ve already begun to work on here, this should fall into place soon.
**So those are my 4 words to assist me in reaching my goals/resolutions I set for 2013. Sleep*Love*Education*Collaborate. Anyone out there want to share what yours are? Lets rap…
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**2013 COME AT ME because I am so ready…**
First on the list of things to hope for in 2013..I hope to see more people, especially YOUTH, stop trying to fit your square peg into round holes! There is nothing wrong with being different , U N I Q U E . Granted we all have alot more in common than differs..I don’t care if you’re Black/White/Puerto Rican/Latino/Asian/or Purple, etc .. We were all created as loved children of GOD..or so is my belief. My honest opinion? I think we were created in different colors/hues from different regions/cultural backgrounds 2 keep things/LIFE from getting boring or mundane. One of the beautiful opportunities in this lifetime, or so has been my experience, is to learn about so many different cultures when meeting people! I’m always amazed the many similarities as well in cultures..With an open mind one can broaden their scope of knowledge/tolerance/understanding just by accepting people for who they are. No matter who they are or where they hail from. Daily my mind is opening wider N wider…real talk. I’m a people person , a social butterfly, with a gift 4 gab. I’ve not met many people that I couldn’t find something to chat with…from paupers to princes…I’ll( & have! )talk 2 anyone. And the things I’ve learned in the span of my lifetime from people I’ve met, some just met!, has simply been PRICEless. I’d like to see the YOUTH use less virtual forms of communication(text, email, facebook, twitter, etc…) and actually learn to communicate orally. Face2Face COMMUNICATION is the BEST COMMUNICATION. exClamation mark. Period. It certainly has its advantages… Alright moving right along here are my predictions for 2013.
The good news. JOBS are finally coming back. According to the National Association for Business Economics, by December 2013 , our American economy should be adding up to approx 174,000 jobs a month. That is up from this years’ 157,000 . Slow but steady is better than the standstill we’d been at. Businesses are in a holding pattern ; but in much better shape than they were since the credit crisis MESS
Housing market is on the way back upwards…Inventory of homes on the market is down 20% or more in, many areas of the U.S., from just a year ago. Sales of single-family homes jumped 11% in the 12 months preceding September 2012. As long as the Feds keep buying bonds(so mortgage rates stay low..) demand should remain elevated. And new construction of homes is making a comeback, finally! For instance I work for an organization that is building MEGA housing subdivisions. Such growth is a very, very good sign …Also each new home built adds an average of 3(three) jobs for a year. The ripple effect? Folks will buy furniture , appliances, etc from retailers for their homes…Bottom line housing starts were UP to an annual rate of 872,000 ! That is the highest since the financial crisis. Those numbers are predicted to rise to 900,000 or higher in 2013. IN addition consumer debt is shrinking. Consumers have been working down their levels of installment debt; coupled with low rates for cars & houses has greatly eased the payment burdens.
Well, its official as of tonight. We’re not going to make the deadline; BUT from the latest rumblings I’ve read & heard on the news the results aren’t going to cause any deeper of a recession…I’ll comment more on this when the facts are solid.
Moving forward…2012 was a good year for me. Progressive in many ways. In a new place after moving cross country(from a state I’d lived in for bulk of my adult life..and that I adore!) I’ve gained several awesome trusted friends here already! Also gained an entire brand new church family(including an awesome crew on the choir..love ya’ll!) that welcomed me with open arms…I’m thankful to GOD N my lucky stars! for gifting me with a job that I absolutely LOVE/in an excellent organization/with AWESOME coworkers. I see this upcoming year as one of much continued growth for me. I’m excited! I’m loved/adored/blessed and content. BUT I’ve got a feeeeeeeeling that 2013 , the year of my fabulous 50th Bday, is also going to be the year I fall IN love after long last…**2013 COME AT ME because I’m so ready**
I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom how great is that? - Soledad O'Brien
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