Posted in @Cultural

*Confronting UNconscious Bias*

Recently I read an article that was SO deep I feel compelled to share it..I’m of the belief that for every given situation; there IS a solution. Or in this case at least a way of dealing with the fall out..I’ve not yet learned how to link articles here to my WordPress blog..Therefore, I’ll do my best to take excerpts from the Essence article. Under the title @ ‘ Confronting Unconscious Bias’ written by Dr. David R. Williams (Harvard Sociologist & Professor of African and African-American studies and sociology)

> Here is how one can protect themselves from the effects of discrimination<

1. Take care of YOUR health. By managing what you eat and engaging in exercise and meditation, you minimize exposure to biases in health care. Learn as much as possible about health conditions you may have and question providers about treatment options. It’s also critical that you find safe places to talk through any discrimination you may face. Black health care providers need to be watchful of their own biases. We have to be vigilant because we are part of American society . We, too, have been fed the same soup.”

2. Reject stereotyping. Consciously choosing to act in opposition to the stereotypes you hold can make a profound difference in how you treat others. “If you think of a particular group as violent, try to imagine the individuals you encounter from that group as nonviolent,” says Williams, who advocates a broad approach to reducing the stereotyping of African-Americans.

3. Change the narrative. Policy makers need to refine the language used to discuss African-American issues and instead adopt language that folds Black people into the American story. “We’re learning that language like ‘leveling the playing field’ turns Republicans off, ” Williams explains. “You’ve lost them just by your choice of words,” What works better” “Increasing opportunity for ALL.

4. Recognize the value of affirmation. Understanding family strengths and values is a powerful inoculation against negative messages. The research is definitive. If you mention Black stereotypes before giving Black students a test, they will do more poorly. Simple affirmations can counteract these negative messages. In one study, students were told to think of values that reflected who they were and to write a few paragraphs about which value was most important to them and why. “That was it. Took less than an hour, ” William says. The exercise improved Black students’ performance not just in the class in which they did the exercise but across the board, reducing the achievement gap between Black and White students by 50 percent!!!

5. Provide focused intervention. Interestingly, the affirmation exercise above had NO impact on White students’ performance. “They don’t need the intervention. But for those who need it, YOU provide it, ” Williams explains. “The fix is really so simple. And the quality of the science is SO good,” Williams says. >>

When my sons were younger I took parenting seriously. I , along with my co-parenting partner@my now ex husband & lifelong friend, attempted to arm our sons with the tools they’d need to maintain and rise UP above racial discrimination. Truly wish we’d had pro-active tips like this to share with them..Well folks that is a wrap for now. Any and all feedback is welcomed! Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere , Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in Telling it like it 'TIS

>>YOU can NOT one UP this..The 2013 Race Issue in America<<

..As time progresses post-the-VERDICT I’m absolutely astonished at the number of white folks across America(from reading blogs/news clips/articles) who are saying they just did NOT know racism still exists here..Whoa, WOW and Really?! I wonder where they were when the OVERwhelming amount of blatantly RACIST slurs, depictions & cartoon caricatures ; were splattered ALL over the Net during the past 2 Presidential Elections. (Not to mention the OPENLY racist comments of utter disrespect to President Obama from his D.C. peers) How in the heck did y’all miss all that?!? Led me to believe that the old adage/cliché is true..In life all of us “see” what we want to see; and ignore the rest. Some of us , are afforded the luxury, of being able to do that more than others. Personally? As a very proud Black American I’m here to profess WE have to keep our eyes , ears, and even our bodily pores! open & alert at ALL times…Fair? Nope, but it IS the way it is in America. Even in the 2013>>


^ EXACTLY what does this T-shirt mean? Want OUR country back from what? Or WHO? Again, I just can’t understand how White folks can say! they didn’t know racism was still alive and well in our country..These Tshirt slogans were EVERYwhere..Whatever did y’all think they referred to???

^ I’ll never forget the first time I saw the above bumper sticker..Only thought my eyes were playing tricks on me! WtF..I knew then, that with folks boasting this type of bumper sticker on their cars(And most of the cars I saw these on had kids IN the car..) things were going to get worse for Black America; before they got better. IF anyone thought that just because a Black brother was elected for the 1st time in American history was going to ERASE the evil, UGLY history of racism in our country…Then you’re totally clueLESS and UNplugged from reality. One positive thing though that I do recognize has happened post-the-verdict? The race conversation has once again begun…Which leads me to a blog post I saw earlier today>>

..I can fully appreciate any/all opinions; even those that differ from mine..However, in regards to this Trayvon situation(or any other..) I will never post something that I am cognizant is offensive to others..Having said that earlier I read a post today which I responded to here on WordPress..Twice. The author “chose”(and we all have choices on what we post or not here) not to post my second response to hers…SO here is “my” version(because all any of us can do is speak from our viewpoint) of what transpired. First, of all I do NOT understand why White folks feel the need; to try to one UP racism . You can not. There is NOTHING in comparison that folks that are NOT of color face..A Sista who also responded to the blog post I’m referring to; said pretty much the same thing. And she was just as frustrated with the author’s post as I was..IF not more so. The author of said blog post was titled, ‘ I am not Trayvon; but i AM the woman on the elevator’ . At first I figured I’d be reading an open thought process of what her position was. I tried really hard to see where she was coming from..BUT what she basically said in a nutshell? Is that when a Black man gets on an elevator she FEARS being raped…I can appreciate the honesty of her thoughts. And I am HIGHLY elated such thoughts are being put out into the public..Why? Because it gives ALL Americans Black and White and INside peek into how someone with racist thoughts; thinks. And yet? She didn’t see her thought process as being racist..Or how it could be offensive. That WOWed me & blew my hair back! I’ll take that one step further..IF said author had also expressed that she felt the SAME way when ANY “man” stepped on an elevator? Then just mayhaps that wouldn’t have been as offensive to non-racist folks…Still offensive; but only a tad tiny bit. IF there is such a thing! I felt my 2nd response to her response was civil yet forthright expressing my opinion..My opinion from the stance of being a Black woman who just also happens to have been born American..And also as a mother of 3 BLACK heckfied sons/daughter of an outstanding Black Daddy/ex-wife of an excellent Black Father/Friend/exgirlfriend of the MOST supreme Black Alpha man who just also happens to be a good person through & through..And newsflash? NONE of them or the host of other good Black men that I know; would even desire to “rape” YOU or any other woman(white or not) when y’all step into an elevator! They’re just simply trying to get to the next floor(s)..But where this notion that ALL Black men want White women comes from I will never KNOW..Somebody LIED to y’all..Not only that ; to bring up something as God awful as rape immediately into one’s mind??? OMG don’t even get me started on the “rape issue”..Just let the message sink in..ALL BLACK MEN ARE NOT LUSTFUL CREATURES SIMPLY LOOKING TO JUMP YOUR BONES. Trust and believe that. Exclamation mark. Period.>>

..I wonder, briefly, if the negative images of Black men/women are taught at birth! Or IF its something that is portrayed SO much by the media; that White folks end up thinking its true..Perhaps it is a combination of both..Regardless of how the seed is planted; the plant that has grown? It IS one that must DIE. If it doesn’t die off soon more Black parents are certainly at risk ; of losing their children just as Trayvon’s parents did. My Priest said something just this morning in an off-handed way regarding ‘the verdict’..It brought tears to my eyes! Here was a man who will never have children; who was telling his parish watch over your children!(majority of our church is Black) KNOW where your children are at ALL times! Keep them safe…The verdict has many people, even those who aren’t parents, wary..Can anyone reading this imagine; in addition to all of the natural worries of a parent, HEAPING onto that pile this additional concern? DON’T BUY YOUR CHILD A HOODIE. TELL YOUR CHILDREN DON’T WALK IN A PREDOMINANTELY WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD ALONE. DON’T LOOK SUSPICIOUS WHILE WALKING BLACK..(how in the heck is that mastered???) The list of don’t-DO’s for Black children is growing & growing..This is SHAMEful in America in 2013!!!>>

I’ve said before, and I’ll say it one ‘mo time, its my belief that people have more in common; than different. I honestly believe it is the LACK of getting to know other cultures/backgrounds; that keeps folks ‘in the closet’..There are folks in America , especially in the South, who have never traveled outside of their city! So it is only common logical sense their viewpoints might be “limited”..What people who aren’t well-traveled might not realize? The last statistic I could find about the percentage of White folks in the World…8 % White 92% Non-White..Only in America, and that percentage also is changing rapidly, are White folks the majority..But it won’t be long before that is no longer the case. I would like to think ; now is just as good a time as any; to start to try to learn other cultures/learn some understanding & tolerance/stop trying to ignore racism or one UP it when Black folks are expressing their pain/angst..It is high time for folks to link up and let the past truly be a thing of the past. WE can’t do that as long as we’re still being impacted by the “chains” of the past…

Posted in @Cultural, Telling it like it 'TIS, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**TRAYVON MARTIN**

MY comments? MY feelings as a Black Mother? MY feelings as an American?..I am struggling this morning with trying to don my politically – correct hat on. BUT somehow its a losing battle , even for ME..Because what IS winning out is my sense of what is WRONG and what is RIGHT..And every, single time I look at this baby’s! face splashed across newspapers and websites across our country today?!? I get more and more and more HEARTSICK as each moment passes..I am also a BLACK Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma of three(3) Black sons..I can’t seem to keeeeep the bile from rising UP out of my tummy this morning. I am so usually a content and nothing-to-complain about loving person; but on this DAY? I am struggling to fight the ANGER and the tears just keep filling my eyes UP. Two(2) of my sons wear a hoodie from time to time; what IF that had been one of them walking home??? Would I have been sitting in that courtroom , knowing & feeeeling in my heart of hearts(along with millions! of other Americans) that my son is innocent; only to hear the words, NOT GUILTY, regarding the verdict of his murderer? I’ve so, so tired, nope tyeeeed of this type of backWOODS mentality! Is it now alright to gun down a child! like a dog in the street???? What IF it had been your child? I stood on FAITH that this would not & simply could not happen….

..I thought running to Mass(church) was going to help calm me..BUT I’m still spitting MAD! Especially after standing outside after Mass, in what seemed to be 10,000 degree HEAT, discussing this “situation”. If ANY Black male in America thought they had problems/issues before this day? Pfft that was nothing compared to the problem they’ve got now. IF a price was attached to people..STOCK on Black Males in America just plummeted!!! I thought about putting a disclaimer on any/any of my next comments..BUT I refuseee to keeeeeep apologizing for BEing and LOVING being Black. ONLY in America are a people, namely Black folks!, made to feeeeel as IF they’re wrong to identify/love their color/culture..NO OTHER RACE/COLOR IN AMERICA IS MADE TO FEEL THAT WAY. The even more pathetic thing about that comment? A GREAT DEAL OF BLACK FOLKS COMPLY WITH THAT SENTIMENT EVERY, SINGLE WAKING DAY OF THEIR LIVES IN AMERICA. And I love my country with every ounce of my being. But today? I’m ashamed! of what has been “allowed” to happen in that courtroom. And for those just tuning IN? I’m on the top of a wave of a major RANT; and I’m just getting started. So hang onto to your caps/hats/wigs /& weaves or they might get blown off. As a good friend of mine would say, ” THIS is some BULLshit!”>>

1st things 1st..I believe there are a few FACTS that need to be interjected before I continue..First & foremost the constitution does NOT support that a “victim” have a jury of their peers..Matter of fact it doesn’t support that the “accused ” does either. What is does say though leans more towards the ACCUSED than the VICTIM; regarding a jury of so-called “fairness”.*Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution*=In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense..It WAS my belief that Trayvon Martin OR any victim; was due(by the LAW) a jury of their peers..Which in this case would’ve meant at the least a couple of Blacks and at least ONE Male. There were NO Males on the Trayvon Martin jury..and ALL but one of the women were WHITE. Some reading might say race doesn’t matter. I beg to differ race DOES still matter a great deal here in America. For those that still have their heads UP their fanny or eyes closed; have only to recall the highly! NEGATIVE slurs/comments/pictures posted on the Internet of ugly racial funkiNESS/3 ring circus antics of both recent Presidential Elections. IF you didn’t get IT then; let this be your eye-opener. Its time to WAKE UP >>

I wore a Black dress to Mass this morning..I do not like wearing Black. Matter of fact I refused! to have the customary Black 50th birthday party color theme(chose pink instead..) But this morning I donned BLACK on purpose. I’m in mourning..I’m mourning the death of an INNOCENT YOUNG(17 yrs of age..) BLACK MALE. I’m mourning the LOSS of FREEdom here in America. More & more of our civil liberties are being taken away..A country that just celebrated the 4th of July; a day which marks the declaration of independence..Out of the GREAT principles of freedom and justice embodied in the National Declaration of Independence; which ones are in 2013 extended to Black Males? To Black folks in general even? Yea, think about that for a minute..I’ll wait. After pondering that this very morning? The answer I arrive at is nothing to celebrate with fireworks or a BBQ. Year after year WE celebrate a holiday; which in reality doesn’t celebrate US. I’m struggling today ; and trying hard to smile past the tears that are just waiting to drop..I’m afraid today. First & foremost I’m afraid if I start crying I won’t stop>>

Before I wrap this piece up with what I feel is the beginning of the SOLUTION..I’d like to drop a few items regarding this case from folks other than me; including President Barack Obama(His comment was made shortly after Trayvon’s death..) **Even President Obama weighed in a month after the shooting, expressing sympathy for Martin’s family and urging a thorough investigation. “If I had a son,” Obama said, “he’d look like Trayvon.”**

**Saturday night, when the verdict was read, Zimmerman, 29, smiled slightly. His wife, Shellie, and several of his friends wept, and his parents kissed and embraced.** What the heck is he smiling about? He STILL killed another human being! But I guess he smiled because he realized he’d gotten away with MURDER!?! What kind of person is capable of smiling & not feeling remorse for such actions?

**Rachel Jeantel in Trayvon Martin’s words: He said “Get off, get off:” As Martin walked back from the store to the home of his dad’s fiancee, he was talking on the phone with his friend, Rachel Jeantel.

The prosecution’s star witness testified for two days about the final moments of Martin’s life, saying he told her someone was following him. Jeantel’s testimony is key to the State’s case that Zimmerman was the aggressor in the confrontation.

“He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him,” she told jurors.

When Jeantel asked Martin what the man looked like, she said he told her the man “looked creepy.” “Creepy, white — excuse my language — cracker. Creepy [expletive] cracker.”

Jeantel said she heard Martin talking to Zimmerman in the background of the call. “He said, ‘Why are you following me for?’ And I heard a hard-breathing man say, ‘What you doing around here?'”

Jeantel also said she heard a bump from Martin’s headset hitting something and “wet grass sounds.”

“I start hearing a little bit of Trayvon saying, ‘Get off, get off!'” said Jeantel.** Its MY belief that Trayvon fought for his LIFE! And that is why Zimmerman had cuts on his head..I can’t fight/never been in a fight/and I like Trayvon am much smaller than Zimmerman..Yet, I also would’ve fought him off with every ounce of my body. IF anyone was standing their ground in defense in this case? It was Trayvon Martin.

**The teen’s father reacted on Twitter: ‘‘Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY.’’

His mother also said on Twitter that she appreciated the prayers from supporters.

‘‘Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have,’’ she wrote.** (thats a deeeeeop comment that hits me like a ton of bricks)

…I used to think the way to protect my sons; was to raise them with TRUTH. I didn’t mince many words with them..I spoke/speak to them with love; but of the way things ARE. I did lie to them though when I told them that the Easter Bunny existed. I went along with the LIE..I did lie to them though when I told them there was such a thing as a tooth fairy..And I stillll to this day have a tiny felt bag with their tiny teeth that I gave them money for in exchange. It was NOT the tooth fairy sons! I lied to my sons when I went along with the LIE that Santa Clause exists..Which in America that lie has turned the entire celebration of what its supposed to be about(I don’t care if its a run-on sentence..) ; into a big FAT commercial money-making mess. I refuse to continue to keep up lies with the humans I helped to give Life..Truth IS just like Kanye West said & then got blasted it for it; there are MANY people in America that just don’t like Black folks. And never WILL. That is factual. Racism IS not dead in America. For many moons to come my dream for my sons won’t come TRUE; you won’t be judged just based on your OWN merit. And that’s including my eldest son who this coming May will be the first PHD on all sides of my family. As Black MEN my sons will always have to work 3 – 4 times HARDER than their White Male Counterparts. They’ll more than likely get paid LESS. And even though all 3 of my sons are college educated withOUT criminal backgrounds; IF they happen to walk in the wrong neighborhood with a hoodie on? Just might get gunned down like a dog & KILLED. That is my reality as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Momma on this day. That is my sons reality on this day and any other Black Male in America. Its not my perception…It IS the way it IS. And we’ve got to stop sugar-coating things/overlooking things/glossing things over. We’ve assimilated SO frigging well WE have forgotten our ROOTS. Family FIRST. And UNITY. And love of all mankind. The violence has got to stop. How many more Black MEN have to die or wind up behind bars for us to get IT? I am proud to be Black. I am proud to be American. I am NOT proud of what happened in that courtroom. Never will be. Its time. Its time for people to stand UP for what is right and just. Things are declining instead of getting better. That is just not progressive folks. WE are moving backwards and with a quickness..As a loving parent I can’t stay quiet and muted. Someone said something today that for a moment gave me clarity and peace..He said mayhaps this is God’s way of making something DRASTIC happen for us to SEE how F’d up and ugly things are? What if there had to be a sacrifice? There are so many what IFs going through my head..What IF that was one of my sons? I’m going to keep thinking that over and over and over again. As positive as I’ve grown to BE; I quite honestly think I’d lose my marbles. TO SIT IN A COURTROOM AND HEAR THE WORDS NOT GUILTY AND SEE THOSE WORDS SPLASHED ON NEWSPAPERS ACROSS AMERICA; FEEEEEELING IN MY HEART OF HEARTS, KNOWING! MY SON WAS INNNOCENT AND GUNNED DOWN LIKE A DOG IN THE STREET??? I say its time for another Civil Rights Movement. Drastic actions call for drastic actions. No different than it was a movement of MANY colors/creeds to get the “right” person in the White House; its time for great change. Nothing changes until something changes. I’ll say that one more time so I can read it..Nothing changes until something changes. Its time. But that’s just the way I see IT. And right now I’m not “seeing” with my eyes; I’m seeing with my heart. Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 & only)

AFTERword..Reflection can be a good thing sometimes..BUT today it is not working..I can’t stop thinking about this matter. What truly bothers me? Is as culturally aware & politically savvy as I profess to BE; I was still naive enough to be BAMBOOZLED. Hoodwinked and caught UP believing in OUR JustUS system..Thought we’d prevailed when at the least this case went to trial! IF anyone is keeping UP; at first the city wasn’t even going to press charges on Zimmerman. None. Zilch..So one might just be a little “naive” ; and I’ve got my hand held UP high; to think at that point that there would be consequences for murdering an innocent person. A young 17 yr old person. Alas, having a voice got Trayvon the trial he rightfully deserved..And then BAM the reality of the worst of a Black American’s nightmares came to BE. Not a dayum thing in the form of punishment was done..If nothing else Zimmerman profited from taking a life. And now that he is FREE? Mark my words he’ll write a book & make tons of money. I wish NO ONE buys IT..sadly though that won’t be the case. Zimmerman had tons of supporters; but hopefully not as many as the folks who knew right from wrong. Recently my Pastor Priest spoke about “ownership” of our church..and it comes to mind now regarding our country. The US of A. Aren’t we law-abiding tax-paying HIGH as HECK gasoline paying citizens of this country? Doesn’t that mean that WE should be treated as more than a DOG? Anyone recall when Michael Vicks got JAIL time for so-called animal abuse???? And YET a man can walk free after killing a Black young male..something is funkier than funky with that picture. As tax paying citizens WE have to take ownership rights..We have rights. Right to live freely is one of said rights..In the pursuit of happiness..And I believe that includes being able to BE Black ; even in a predominantly White neighborhood. Zimmerman took ownership of an entire neighborhood! One that he did NOT even own a home in. WOW now that’s cojones! This is our country just as much as the next person ..We deserve the right to sleep well at night; NOT worried that our Black sons can be gunned down just because..What is the next because going to BE? Because someone has had a bad dang day & gets a notion to start killing off Black men? It might sound far-fetched; but so did getting killed armed with skittles a couple of years back…I hope there is a potential next MLK, Jr reading this. And I hope said person is motivated enough to get BUSY.

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

COLORstruck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

^Teaching Moment Possibilities@ BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2013^

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

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