Humiliation personified .. A surreal scene mayhaps for those who aren’t racist ; but for those of us Black Americans and minorities who have been there or seen it’s become an every day moment reality that still reeks of ISH.. Many of us , including myself!, have sons same age as the victims .. Makes it terribly personal .. And YES I said victims .. I’ve sat in MANY Starbucks from Barnes and Noble to Target stores and just SB sites ; and had meetings , link upS or just to hang out and READ.. I’ve used their restrooms whether I purchased a product or NOT.. And not once as an American Black woman have I been arrested .. Not 1 time from coast 2 Coast.. For the record to preface I’ve got a myriad of friends of all colors , sexual orientation and genders.. IF I must state I’m not racist here it IS I’m not , but what I am is a Black American woman proud of my culture and Co- parent of 3 amazing , astounding grown Black SONS .. And to quote former POTUS Obama this could’ve been one of MINE.. Honestly, I fully support and stand behind ANY person unjustly villified .. It just is not right to judge anyone , lest alone based on color of one’s skin color . These 2 college graduates weren’t wearing hoodies ! They weren’t thugs yet they were treated like thugs .. Like CRIMINALS.. Those words @ I feared for my life… I’ve heard from my own sons breathing while Black and innocent yet targeted .. For nothing .. Which IMO is the worst type of words a parent can hear from sons they’ve birthed and raised to do the RIGHT things .. Starbucks IMO let this manager who called the police OFF lightly .. Allowed her to resign , mutual parting , pfft! Many of US would’ve been FIRED for far less .. Now Starbucks due to many of US refusing to remain paying our big bucks to them ; is taking ONE day for racial unbiased training.. 1 DAY a month in advance to roll back how many years of racial ISH? Want to impress me? Why is it planned so far in advance ? Why not teach racial non bias as part of training ; period ? WE don’t need short term 1 day so called solutions .. Truth IS they hired a racist person ..What is the long term solution to keep that from happening again and again ? And mind you this isn’t an isolated Starbucks issue.. IMO with Trump thumping racist behavior and condoning it; this is becoming more and more common… Thankfully ! this time no one was murdered .. As a collective group Black and Brown have HUGE spending power .. I will not cater to companies who don’t treat those who look like ME with great fair customer service .. Ever .. Might mean being inconvenienced or making my own coffee or whatever .. But saving lives and dignity in the long run is worth it.. IF I was on fire ! and the only water available was in a Starbucks cup of coffee I would rather burn to death .. Period .. I recall when Starbucks had to close stores during the recession due to over saturation .. If it depends on my money , and I’m a coffee lover, they’ll close many more until they stand for fairness and equality . Let’s rap…
#BlackLivesMatter, African Americans Future in America, African-Americans, ASALH, Chicago, Eric Garner, Florida, I can't breathe, John Crawford III, JUSTICE, Mike Brown, My Hands are UP, NAACP, New York, Police body cameras, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, WordPress
Lest we get so caught UP in our own day to day lives(and I’m guilty of that…) that we forget things going on in OUR world/country; are just as important..I had a surreal conversation with my youngest son today that made me pause for a minute to wonder out loud@Is this really 2014???? My son commented on the latest NON verdict regarding Eric Garner..He said WOW there are some police out there who really hate Black folks!! I found myself, again, telling him the what-to-do’s on IF ever stopped by the police for random traffic stops..NO sudden movements..Don’t get out of the car unless asked to do so..Don’t get angry, just listen & be patient..WtH & OMG is this 2014 or the 1940’s??? And while I know I’m not the only Black parent to feel this way; it sure IS a heavy feeling..Heart-wrenching to say the least..I’m asking everyone who reads this who has a wordpress blog site, facebook page, or who twitters to spread the word for our ‘new cause’ @BlackLivesMatter..Doesn’t it seem like we’ve had to say this alot more lately? Because we HAVE…Police brutality against Black folks(and with no punishment/penalty), no MEN, is on the rise..IF we all stand together certainly our voices will be heard! I’m posting a couple letters from NAACP(yep folks they’re still alive , well , and working for US) and another organization I’m a member of ASALH(Association for the study of African American Life & History..) that have further motivated me to speak OUT & stand UP for the cause @ Black lives matter & police brutality must end..I can only hope/pray it helps to motivate y’all as well..Peace & light always , the One & Only Berna
Whether we all agree or not with the results of the ruling in Ferguson(or the aftermath..) ; it IS clear there is an epidemic of police brutality in our country..
Here we find ourselves again perplexed, vexed, with aching hearts over the ever-present racial divide in our country..
The time has come, again, for us to be visible & united for things to change..Lives matter more than material possessions..
I’m not an advocate for violence..I do , however, stand with those who desire & wish & deserve! to LIVE..
***“Black America has again been reminded that its children are not seen as worthy of being alive — in part because they are not seen as children at all, but as menacing threats to white lives.” ~Dr. Stacey Patton***
>>>>The following is from The Grio…>>
The Ferguson decision is the impetus, but not the solitary reason, for the call to boycott Black Friday shopping this year. The onslaught of Black men, women and children losing their lives to overzealous, mostly white officers who are not being held accountable has many people fed up with the state of affairs.
There are the dissenters who are asking “WHAT FOR?” and stating, “Boycotts don’t work!” or “One day won’t do a damn thing! I’m getting my Beats Headphones, bruh, FOH.” Then there are those willing to consider it, but asking, “How does this work?” “What does this do for us?” Well, let’s talk about why #BlackOutBlackFriday matters and why it’s worth doing.
1. Dollars pay for retailers’ political interests
Lobbyists influence legislation on behalf of others, and many groups use them to get policies they want enacted. They compel congressmen to vote in whatever way they want, and this is not a secret nor is it illegal. On the contrary, it is a general practice in American (and other countries) government.
Lobbyists have the access and insider influence to steer conversations toward certain agendas, spin the media, and create a following for certain causes This is why they can be used to our advantage during a boycott. If we present legislative demands that require fulfillment in order to bring our business back to certain retailers, corporations will pay lobbyists to get it done, in order to maintain their business’ profits.
2. Black Friday is the single most profitable shopping day of the year.
Many retailers go from being in the red (loss) to being in the black (profit) on Black Friday hence the name. If people refuse to spend on this day and beyond, companies will take a huge hit. Many businesses make anywhere from 25-50% of their yearly revenue during the holiday season alone and if big retailers lost that, they would be very interested in finding ways to get it back.
3. Black people drive the economy
We shop. We buy. We spend money.
Black people set trends in this country, no matter how much columbusing tries to erase that fact. From fashion to music, we are the progenitors of trends, and we support them with our hard earned dollars. This provides retailers with big boosts of income, especially during the holiday season when everyone wants the “hot new thing” and gift giving centers around it.
Now is actually the perfect time to make a tangible impact so let’s take a stand. We possess the spending power to make change possible if we are steadfast, deliberate, and committed.
The question is, are we?
We all need a good vent every now and then..Some of us more than others..Having done my fair share of venting, I’ve got wagon loads of compassion for those in need of a good vent..But what about the flip side of the coin? Does the ventee walk away with a warm , fuzzy after-glow? Or is it normal for the ventee to often feel like an emotional bag of bricks was just laid on their shoulders??
Once upon a time I ran for political office..What was true then remains true all these years later..My slogan was ‘Your Vote is YOUR Voice’..And if you don’t vote you’ve NO right to complain or expect positive change..Early voting period has begun folks..One way to make sure you don’t have to stand in long lines November 4, 2014? VOTE NOW..In many places polls are open from sun up to sun down..Literally..I’ve included a brief video clip on why voting is so important..WE can make a difference! >>
What defines us to ourselves? Is it our intentions? Is it our thoughts? Is it our actions? Is it our attitude? Is it our outlook on life? Some of us don’t like to admit it(hand raised high in the air! ) but we want our existence to be remembered..I think we all want to matter..We want to define ourselves with something that is LASTING..Whether it is a published book, successful business or goodwill towards others..Some of us also pour a great deal of the best parts of ourselves into our children..I’ve very guilty of that! Why? Because they’ll be my living legacy long after I’m gone..Yet, isn’t it the little moments quilted together that define us? I believe it is..
Who we spend time with defines us>> Who we keep close are the people that will most influence us..When I close my eyes & reflect on the BEST moments of my life? More times than not those were moments that had someone else in them..Someone close..Dear ‘trusted’ friends who have been there for us in all types of weather..Family members who love us unconditionally to the very core of our being..And those we’ve loved deeply , who care for us even after seeing us at our worst..I’ve learned & am still learning to be ‘conscious’ about who I spend time with ; for they have a say in defining us..Many moons ago I used to tell my sons pick & choose your friends wisely! At 51 years of age that still remains true..Mayhaps even more so now>>
Acts of Kindness>>Corny as it sounds it can make a loved ones’ or stranger’s day! We aren’t always aware of the impact our simple presence has on others..A smile…An unexpected tip(recently happened in my world that I tipped someone whose establishment provided horrific overall service) A comforting ear..A hug..WE have the power to restore someone’s faith in humanity..
We choose our perception of the World>> I heard someone say very recently that the world is full of mostly evil people..Made me a little sad that they’d feel that way..I quickly realized I couldn’t change their mind..I think it is an individual decision we can choose to make every minute of the day..Is the world revolving around us or can we step out of ourselves & see the world from a more realistic viewpoint? If we can’t ever see the world from another’s perspective what does that say about us? There is alot to be said for that old adage@ Walk a mile in my shoes..>>
Addressing naughty habits>>I found myself saying , just today, perfection is boring..There are many things we may dislike about ourselves..None of us are above anyone else..We are human & will make mistakes..Throughout our lives we forms habits, attitudes and even addictions that can be detrimental, but to let them define us would be the greatest misfortune..We must and should strive to dust ourselves off, do better, work on self-improvement/progression and move onwards and upwards>>
What have been some of your life-defining or life-altering moments? Who have you chosen to BE?
I won’t and can’t lie…I can’t relate to this piece…However, now that I’ve been single & celibate for 3 years(though actively dating someone I dig alot..a whole lot!) I find myself trying to understand all aspects of the dating spectrum…My hair was blown back by the open nature and honesty of this write..At 51 yrs old and UNmarried; my biggest fear is entering old age alone..ALONE..MY parents attend even random doctor appointments TOGETHER..Shopping, etc..whatever they do together…As much as I dig my independence I MISS being part of a forever union..Knowing that someone always has my back..Good , bad or ugly…There IS comfort in that…Having said all of that I’ve a silent respect for those who are still patiently waiting on ‘the One’..It is hard for me to imagine waiting & waiting & waiting on love until well into the 50s…I’m just NOT that patient!
IF anyone can relate to this woman’s perspective, feel free to comment…I was captivated from word one!
I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me….
October comes in innocently enough, stretching the edges of summer into fall. But then, one night, seemingly out of nowhere, a cold chill touches my shoulders like a former lover I’ve tried to shake from memory. I shiver. My heart falls; I know that another long winter is approaching and I’m still alone.
I hadn’t planned it this way. I have always been open to love and relationships. I have held on to hope and to expectations and to dreams and to grief and to men I should have let go of much sooner. I have been high on love and tip-toed on top of clouds. And I’ve lost my breath under a dark cloud, wondering why it’s so hard for me to have the long, meaningful relationship I deserve.
I’m at a bar, on my first date with Brian, a man I met online. I’m happy to be inside, sitting next to this man, warm and calm. At age 45, I’m no longer focused on the future; I’m no longer envisioning my life as one half of a young couple, thinking about our future children. I’m focused on the moment I’m in right now. This is life. This is my life. And notwithstanding it not turning out the way I had expected, my life is beyond my expectations. I have chosen to live my life to its potential, and I’ve never felt better about myself or more comfortable in my own skin.
Brian is handsome, self-made and from his body language, I can tell he’s happy to be sitting at the bar next to me. He swivels to face me, smiling, and I smile back. The date is off to a great start. But soon enough, his tone changes. Brian has decided it’s time to find out what’s wrong with me. And after all these years, seasons of men, loves and likes and not-quite-there feelings, I recognize the conversation that’s about to begin.
First, my dates prove their ability to be in a relationship. They describe their marriage and how it concluded, or why their recent long-term relationship finally had to end, as Brian’s had earlier this year. “We argued so much it no longer felt good to be in the relationship,” he volunteers. And now, as these exchanges go, it’s my turn to share why I’m still single.
“Have you ever been married?” Brian asks.
“No,” I say.
“Have you come close? Like engaged or lived with someone?”
“Nope,” I add.
Brian presses his lips together in judgment. “When was your last long-term relationship?” he asks, believing my answer is the answer to whether or not I want to be in a relationship. Or, perhaps more importantly, whether or not I am capable of being in one.
“It’s been a while,” I softly respond, noticing my own disappointment, let alone his.
“But you’re attractive and smart. I can’t believe you haven’t had a boyfriend in a while,” Brian says, but I know his flattery is a guise to learn the great mystery of why I’m still single. “Like how long?” my date continues. “How many years?” He wants details. He wants to hear proof that he’s right about his assumption that there is something wrong with me. Perhaps, he thinks, she can’t commit.
“I don’t even know,” I say with a smile and a nonchalant shrug. And I’m being honest. I don’t know. I don’t know how many men I’ve gone out with or how many men I’ve kissed or been intimate with or how many men I’ve lost to what was simply not meant to be. I don’t count the men because, in the end, they are all one closer to one that will be the One.
“That’s OK,” Brian offers as consolation. “Some people aren’t interested in having a serious relationship.”
I immediately find myself rising up to my own defense and resent us both for having to do so. “Does it mean I’m interested in having a serious relationship if I stay in one too long because I don’t know how to leave or because I can’t bear to be on my own?” I ask. “I never married the wrong guy or pretended to be happy in a relationship when I wasn’t. And it hasn’t always been my choice for a relationship to end. I’ve been in love. I’ve wanted to be in love forever with some of the men I’ve dated. My heart has been broken,” I add.
My date seems unsympathetically relieved at this last note. My black-and-blued heart is proof to him that I’ve gone to battle for love. But I’m more focused on the fact that I’ve survived and have moved forward than on the battles I’ve lost.
“So, what’s the issue?” he asks. “I can’t believe you would still be single. You must be picky.”
We’re entering the “dating-deduction” phase. Brian will keep trying to deduce what’s wrong with me until he hits the jackpot.
“Of course I’m picky,” I say with confidence. “I want to be in love with the man I’m with and he deserves to be loved. If being ‘picky’ means I won’t settle for a lesser love, then you are right: I’m picky.”
My date pours more wine into my glass from the carafe we’re sharing. Our conversation moves on to entrepreneurship, a passion we share. He goes first, and I’m sincerely impressed. And then I share my work and the business I’ve grown over the last seven years. But for my date, he’s not so much interested in my work, but in how my career might be the root-cause of my singlehood.
“Some people choose to focus on their careers and some choose to have families,” my date says emphatically, making the assumption that because I haven’t had a family, I’ve made my choice.
“I didn’t choose to have a career over falling in love, getting married and having children,” I reply, my voice again slightly raised. “I can control many aspects of my career, but I cannot choose when and with whom I fall in love and who returns the love to me. I didn’t plan to be single at 45 or not to have children.”
“I have a friend who admits she spent too much time focused on her career and not her dating life,” Brian says, like it’s a diagnosis: “Career-Womanitis.”
“Women don’t often forget to fall in love. They don’t often forget to have children. Sure, time passes faster than we’d all prefer, but if someone wants to be in a relationship, and most women do, then we find a way to do that when a man who wants the same thing is present in our lives,” I reply. “Women are better multitaskers than men are in general, so I don’t buy into the ‘too focused on career’ script modern women have been given instead of the truth: Despite having a great career and taking care of ourselves financially, while also taking care of our health and well-being, we haven’t met the man we’re meant to be with.”
“Maybe you’re too independent,” Brian suggests, more to himself as he looks down his mental list of possible reasons for my singlehood.
“I’m independent,” I reply. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t be dependent on someone else for a change. We keep hearing about how women should ‘lean in.’ I am leaning in so far that I’m falling over. I don’t have a net, emotionally or financially, to fall back on. What I would do to be able to lean back for once. What I would do to have a man in my life whom I could count on when times are tough…”
Brian is running out of arguments. I’m running out of patience.
“Brian, if you spend the rest of our date searching for what’s wrong with me, you’ll never discover what’s right with me,” I say, trying to soothe us both into another topic of conversation. “I have no regrets. I’m living a life I never dreamed of in many respects. Yes, I wanted to be married and become a mom in my twenties, but here I am, in my forties, with all my bumps and bruises, still in the ring, unwilling to give up on love.”
My date seems satisfied, at least for now, and we begin to chat about other things. As we leave the bar later that night, Brian gives me a hug. “You’re shivering,” he says, sweetly. “Let me get you into a cab.” He hails a cab and asks me for a second date.
“Yes,” I say. “I’d like that.” I’m open to a relationship, after all.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” he says with his handsome smile as he opens the cab door.
I smile back as I get in the cab. I am happy to be out of the chill.
Melanie Notkin’s second book, OTHERHOOD: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness (Seal Press/Penguin Canada), is available now. OTHERHOOD received a prestigious *starred review* by Bookli
Beauty, blogging, Body Image, Bubble butt, Confidence, Curvy figure, Diets, Eating disorders, Eating habits, Exercise, Hollywood, Lifestyle change, Overweight, Self esteem, Skinny, Societal pressure, Vitamins, Why Diets Don't Work, Women, WordPress
First, a few facts>>
Body image is the way that someone perceives their body and assumes others perceive them. This image is often affected by family, friends, social pressure and the media
People who are unhappy with their bodies and don’t seek healthy nutrition information may develop eating disorders..Eating disorders are unhealthy relationships with food that may include fasting, constant dieting, or bingeing and purging
Body image is closely linked to self-esteem<
Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape..Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media
58% of college-age girls feel pressured to be a certain weight..58%!
Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important
More than 1/3 of the people who admit to “normal dieting” , will merge into pathological dieting..Roughly, 1/4 of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder
In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future..The stats remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status and race..WOW
Students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place a greater importance on sexiness and overall appearance than those who do not consume as much
95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
Only 10% of people suffering from an eating disorder will seek professional help
Only 4% of women globally consider themselves beautiful..
This topic has become personal for me as of late..First, time in my life(at 51 yrs of age no less!) I’ve realized I’ve got body image issues..Even though I’ve clawed and fought my way back from becoming overweight post-surgery & in full-blown menopause; it still isn’t enough. Even getting back into my pre-surgery sized clothes isn’t enough.. Mind you I was almost scared into keeping fibroids versus gaining weight..Who would rather risk possibly gaining Cancer over gaining a few pounds????? From the list above I’ve done it ALL with the exception of purging & cosmetic surgery..But I’m forever going on meatless week stints, gave up all juices/carbonated drinks, skipping meals, squeezing in speed walks in lieu of leisure week lunches, biking, treadmilling, weight lifting, and of course my beloved weekly raw veggie smoothie detox drinks(which I’ll probably drink for the rest of my life..
So just this weekend I found myself giving solicited advice to my bestie about losing weight..And out of my mouth came the words@ “Don’t diet. Diets don’t work for us, because we wind up feeling deprived & fall off.. Just adjust your lifestyle little by little & eating habits in increments & exercise more..Start slowly on the green raw veggie drink..” When I got home I realized I was telling her something I wasn’t practicing! I wanted her to start off in a healthy manner; yet when I want to quick drop pounds I dang near starve myself..I’m always hungry! Stomach growls seem normal..Today I caught myself trying to climb 2- 3 stairs at once(butt lifting exercise) while on my cell & almost fell..Not cool!
I decided to reach out in honesty ..Calling out all/any woman reading this..WE have got to stop this never-ending cycle of pushing for the perfect body image..I can’t imagine how this life-long behavior would’ve impacted the daughter I always yearned for , yet never birthed..Thankfully , I can sincerely say this wasn’t taught to me by my own Mom..She taught me always to love me for ME..Yet, even with constant & consistent positive reinforcement from parents/significant others/countless passerbys/friends? Still find myself pushing for something more..It was somewhat comforting to read the above statistics; for a moment. I’m not ALONE in this struggle for the perfect body. It is deeper than just being vain..But when does it stop??? When is good enough(& healthy!) , enough??
IF one can’t be honest with self in their 50s; probably won’t ever be! Naked truth exposed feels pretty liberating & hopefully admitting it can lead to positive change..Anyone out there that can relate & would like to share?
Ever read something that seemed to scream off the pages & reverberate off the walls??? Mayhaps it is the phase of life I’m in..Now that I’m one year post-50/very empty nester/divorced; the words of this quote speaks volumes to me ..Ten years ago it probably wouldn’t have..Things were different then..Heck, I was different then! So when I read such deep words from someone who accomplished remarkable things that changed our world/daily life, yet died before 60 years of age..Cliche as this is going to sound; it makes me pause mid-stroke(keystroke that is..) to ponder my own truths..@Am I the person I want to become? Have I accomplished as much as possible , within means, in my life to this point? When will I switch up from thinking outside the box to actually walking outside the box?? Either life is moving faster in the Fabulous 50’s or I’ve become more cognizant of how precious time is now…
Is being interesting in the eye of the beholder? Are some people just naturally more interesting than others? What makes a person interesting? Is being “different” the same as being “interesting”? Here is a list of things I ran across than can help to define if someone is boring or interesting…
You are a confident person.
You are up on current events.
You have at least one interesting hobby.
You are creative and like to make things.
You listen carefully to what people say.
You have a good memory.
You don’t let yourself be bored.
You read regularly.
You don’t complain much.
You start conversations with strangers.
You love to learn new things on your own.
You joke around a lot and make people laugh.
You don’t watch much television.
You tell a good story.
You are irreverent and sometimes shocking.
You are very open-minded about people. You give everyone a chance.
You refrain from talking about your feelings or focusing too much on yourself.
You are friends with interesting people from all walks of life.
You are well-traveled, and you enjoy visiting new places.
You have a career that you are passionate about.
You rarely turn down an invite to do something.
You try a lot of new things. You don’t like to be stuck in a rut.
You participate in at least one group activity outside of work and school.
You are not a snob. You don’t think too good for anything or anyone.
You don’t gossip or argue. You keep your conversations upbeat.
Alright y’all it is time to chime in! ..Are you boring & self involved or interesting? Do you find yourself inclined to spend time with people who you find interesting?
Let’s take this one step further..IF someone were to ask what makes you interesting; what would your answer be??? I’ll share if you’ll share…I’m working on my listening skills 🙂
What would you have done if you were the police? What would you have done if you were the passenger? Do you think the police were racist or following the letter of the law? How would you recommend your loved one(s) to act in a similar situation?
**There are those rare friendships that are effortless..**
Three decades..How can mere words express?
Out of all the beautiful friends I’ve met..
You’re always and still the best
Whenever I needed to call you
You’re always at the end of the phone
Whenever I encountered life’s troubles
I knew I wouldn’t face them alone
It’s easy to take for granted
Someone that is always there
Sometimes you miss the chance
To express how much you really care
It’s simple to forget all they do for you
How they’re a sister and a friend
And when times get hard & you’re knocked off your feet
They pick you up again!
Yes, I remember..
Lest you forget on this marvelous milestone birthday
I cling to our friendship in silent countless ways
There is a soothing closeness how I can be myself with you
Like slipping on an old familiar comfy pair of well-worn shoes
If I’ve indeed taken you for granted I do sincerely apologize
Knowing you’re in my world means more than you realize
Can’t help but remember..
All that you’ve been , done and are to me
And though I might forget to say
I appreciate dearly your love for me
Each and every single day
I love you always Sis!
Africa, CDC, Contagious disease, Dallas, Ebola, Ebola River, Ebola Virus, Extremely infectious, Facts about ebola, Health matters, Hospital, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States, West Africa, WordPress, Zaire
I don’t know about y’all; but I’m a little more anxious about the U.S. Ebola situation as the days progress..Can’t lie I wasn’t thrilled to hear about the two American Ebola patients arriving on U.S. soil this summer..Even more unsettling was the first case of Ebola that showed up in Dallas this week..Dissemination of factual news/information can reduce hype, anxiety and reduce the spread of a disease like Ebola..IF it gets to that point..As with so many life instances a little knowledge can save our lives and provide us with peace of mind..So here are the facts I’ve picked up about Ebola>>
Is it possible for this disease to spread in the United States? Of course it is..Anyone who says it isn’t possible just isn’t being honest(or doesn’t know any better)..However, more than just the odds indicate it will probably not become a pandemic in the U.S. There ARE reasons ebola has spread so quickly in Western Africa…Life there is very different than life here..Culture, hygiene practices, customs(including washing the dead before burial; which btw has been a leading method for ebola to spread..) & the fact most can’t afford hospital care..All of that together perpetuated the rapid spread of the virus>>
Ebola Fast Facts
Ebola is not brand new..The first human outbreaks occurred in 1976..The virus is named after the Ebola River, where it was first recognized. There are 5 different strains ..All but one of the strains can cause illness in humans & animals(the 5th strain only affects animals)
Ebola is extremely infectious but NOT extremely contagious..An infinitesimillay small amount can cause illness..Because it isn’t transmitted via air, it is only considered moderately contagious
Humans can be infected by other humans IF they come in contact with body fluids from an infected person or contaminated objects from infected persons..Humans can also be exposed to the virus, by butchering infects animals…
Typically, symptoms appear 8 to 10 days after exposure, but incubation period can span 2 to 21 days…
Ebola is NOT transmissible if someone is asymptomatic or once one has recovered..BUT, the virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months…
According to the World Health Organization: The fatality rate can be up to 90%.
Weak apology or not..Mind you only after public outcry..This was a BOLD openly racist reference..We all know Boston isn’t known for being especially “kind” to folks of color..The Boston Herald just figured they’d “test” the waters to see if this sentiment would fly under the radar..It didn’t! There is a line that should be drawn even with humor..
Yet dripping slowly down my body making me melt
As those silent lyrics
In my ears
Chasing away my unromantic and incoherent fears
Your restrained rap
Caresses my emotions
Jeeeez the nearness of you is making me light-headed
The soundless delivery
Never leaves your lips
Yet somehow manifests itself
A delicious sweeeeet gentle yet erotic kiss
Subdued consonants and vowels
Verbally not yet said
I simply can’t resist
Your succulent kiss..
Touching every lil spot
Of my being~
Feelings felt are freeing
My every inhibition
Giving U silent permission
To break rank and tradition
Cause I’m ready 4 submission..
At long last!
So keep acting out those silent words
Coming back for 2nds & remarkable 3rds
I’m so enjoying this mentally passionate sensual vibe
So wonderfully felt that my mere words can hardly describe..
Has great conversation become a thing of the past? Remember backintheday when it was all we had? Not snippets of conversation that resemble hashtags either…Think of all the “sips” of conversation we have that don’t involve face to face dialogue(or voice to voice) ..Texting, emails, Facebook, twitter; in every aspect of our lives..From work to romance! It has become a valuable & convenient way to communicate..But does it serve as a substitute for real conversation? Something to think or talk! about indeed…
..Will God lay it at your feet? How long should you wait on God to send HIM? Will you know the signs that ‘the one’ has been sent from God? Limitless questions that seem to inspire more questions…>>>
Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (KJV)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies….
Exactly what IS a woman of virtue? As Christians we’re taught(correct me if I’m wrong..) that a woman of virtue is pure, upstanding in good character, and waits to be plucked by ‘the one’ sent by God to love only her..But what about those of us who are divorced or will never be virgins again?? Are we also supposed to wait, again? My interpretation of this scripture translates to pure of heart..
1. characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
2. (of women) chaste or virginal
I think we all interpret things; differently…Also I find that we often pick & choose what scripture we want to emulate or believe in…Is a woman any less virtuous if she employs an active hand in determining her ‘fate’? Do WE sit at home waiting for any other opportunity(i.e..career, investments etc..) to knock on our doors? The answer is simple..No, we don’t…In that aspect we use our God-given talents; to achieve our goals..Why isn’t that the same universal sentiment for Christian women seeking love? Why are so many of the belief that God is going to do it ALL? One must do their part, good works, to gain anything in this life..Right? There have been phases of praying for discernment in my life(I’m in the midst of one now..); in which I am listening to the ear of my heart..It’s my belief there IS a healthy balance between actively looking (or broadening our exposure, circles..) for a life-partner & waiting for God to send one into our lives..Being passive doesn’t get anyone anywhere! If this is truly the case then why do we hear of so many(including the video clip I posted..) willing to ‘just’ wait??? Doesn’t that mean they don’t trust their own judgement/choices at all? IF a woman’s heart is pure and she is a woman of God; can’t she be guided/led by him to choose a life-partner? Or at the least attempt to step out of her comfort zone(online dating sites, broadening social circles, etc…) in order to be discovered? Real questions. Real thoughts that I wanted to share with y’all..Feel free to chime in or share from your experiences..Stand UP women of virtue and speak on it…
Conversation ice breaker of the day..Is honesty always the best policy?
You’d be surprised what the responses are when you ask someone this question!! Though an age-old cliché not everyone believes this is the best policy…What is your take on it & how has it worked out for you in your day-to-day life experiences? Later, I’ll post my thoughts but in the meantime here is a clue …
What would be even more fun is post the responses you get when you ask someone this question today..Let it flow y’all!
Honesty and keeping it all the way real…
Just a random question… Is there anything you’d gladly wait in a mile-long line for???(or longer…) Without complaint & patiently..IF you knew what you wanted was guaranteed at the end of the line! Whether you share here/at work/with family or friends; cute light topic for a little mental relaxation..Or least it was for me! My answer came so easy it surprised even me..Because I hate standing in line(almost as much as I hate being in bumper to bumper traffic!) I’ll break the ice by going first. Corny as it sounds.. I’d stand in the world’s longest line for love. Alright now it is your turn..Go!
I had no intention of discussing Lent today nor its meaning..But it happened anyway..Not within the confines of things I can control..It just happened..Funny thing IS it happened while simply explaining to someone I couldn’t keep my committment to work out due to it being Ash Wednesday..Little did I know that would lead to an entire text chat defending my Catholic Faith..Are y’all ready for this? Hold onto to your caps, hats, wigs and weaves because here I GO>>
I’ve no issue with defending my Faith..But I’ve also no issue admitting I don’t like being put in a position to have to! I don’t ask anyone else to defend their Faith and I don’t take kindly to feeling I have to defend mine..But I shall if I and when I have to..Any day 24/7 365 days of the year. I am Black and I am Catholic. Period. And there is no other religion I’d rather practice and be a pupil of; other than the first. Catholicism. >>
I don’t critique other religions. I feel everyone has the right to practice whatever religion they desire..I also feel folks that do NOT have a clue about a certain practice of religion, other than speculation or hearsay, should never ever speak as IF they’ve got knowledge of a certain religion. I’ve no problem with answering questions about the religion I’m apart of..But when you a. step to me and act as if you know all about Catholicism but come across as not knowing the first thing about it. OR b. step to me with nothing but hearsay and wrong assumptions OR c. step to me quoting me Bible scripture that you think counter the Catholic religion…My interest level wains from the inception and so does my respect level for you. Instantly. >>
Before I go any further I’d like to profess I don’t think nor feel I’m a Bible thumping over righteous type of Christian who bangs folks over the head with my religion nor my Faith…I’ll never show up at your front door trying to convert you to Catholicism. I even sometimes wonder if there are so many things considered SINS in Catholicism that I’m forever destined to be a sinner. (after all we were born sinners..) Though I practice celibacy until my next marriage(OMG that’s tough) it is said even lusting or thinking about SEX is a SIN outside of marriage..IF that is truly the case then I’ve certainly got strikes against me! ..For I’m not of the belief I have ‘credit’ with God; no matter how good I treat people in my day-to-day life. But I’ll try not to stray to far from my point>>
All of that said today was the first day in my entire life I told someone google UP what Ash Wednesday Mass meant to Catholicism ..I’d tired of texting the reasons..And just in case I left anything out, I figure I’ll give it my best shot here. For I believe a lot of folks , even practicing Catholics, might not know what the intent is behind Ash Wednesday. We’re all learning and there is nothing wrong with learning a little bit more & truly understanding the age-old rituals>>
Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional ennumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.Following the example of the Nine vites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told
“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”
Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins — just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days’ penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.
Hopefully none of you will have to answer a litany of questions about practicing Lent(and from a friend no less..) but IF you are I’m prayerful my rant can give you the the info you need..Or , even more importantly, motivate you to learn more about your Catholic Faith. Bottom line as Believers we’re all brothers/sisters in Christ..And at the beginning and end of each day that is what should matter in our interpersonal relationships..Not what religion we practice. Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted and blessed,Berna(the 1 & Only)
Presently working on a piece, per request(sort of..), about the sometime and often masks worn in our day-to day lives..And though I’m not yet finished with it; brought to mind, this work of art I discovered and then re-discovered last year..I’d promised I would share it then & somehow never did..Anyone else out there getting that caught UP in lifes’ oh -so-busy hamster wheel??? Anywho this was written by a brother who goes by the name of Woe..He’s a semi-retired musician and also one of Esquire’s best-dressed men. He’s posted his rants and musings on a delicious website geared for Black men..I truly aspire to write from the gut plus personal experience , with my own style as he’s clearly mastered. So much of his musings I can relate to! Enjoy>>
**The Masquerade Is Over** By Woe
Every working morning, for as long as you can remember, a stranger’s face has stared back from your bathroom mirror’s reflection. Occasionally, your eyes make contact when it glances back at you. The brief cold of a ghost’s presence. A momentary acknowledgment in the rear-view mirror…as you are chauffeured along in the backseat that has become your life. Like a laugh, too loud, from the back of a movie theater. Like a telling string dangling from a magician’s sleeve. A fleeting reminder…that Everything Is Not In Its Right Place.
We commute from one social landmark to the next, like falling debris. Careening wherever the winds of opportunity take us, as pieces of ourselves are smashed against the shore. Against the waves, we are anchored by our titles. Anchored by our degrees. Secured by the weight of social status. Bound to the sense of privilege which will eventually sink us when we no longer have the will to keep up. The constant pressure to tread water. The unsubtle urge that we are not doing enough, if we aren’t doing more than those who are in the lanes next to us. The guilt of having the world on our plates, as we grow to despise it more with every force-fed bite.
On the way up the ladder, life is like a back-room card game…and we’ve been taught to wear a poker face. A mask that says: “I want what you want.“…”Everything is fine.” and “Of course. How much further backwards can I bend to help you?” with one glance. Underneath, the eyebrows furrow. The inner fists clench, and the grin begins to grimace. A voice says to you: “…you know, if you keep making that face, it’ll stay that way.“ In response, you laugh to keep from crying.
How much longer can we pretend? How much more of ourselves will we burn out, while wasting away as fuel and fumes for someone else’s engine? A slumbering leviathan; your true purpose brims below the surface. Announcing itself like a telephone that rings endlessly; stopping only when your fingers encircle themselves around the receiver. Like a recurring dream that holds the Answer to Everything. It’s silhouette slender and shrugging behind the curtain of your eyelids. Always on the verge of whispering the punch line before you awake.
For some, there is comfort in the linear life. For some, the adulation that comes with a nameplate and corner-office is sufficient sustenance. They want it so bad, they might cry. This is the prescribed and pre-arranged method to happiness. Perhaps they aren’t plagued by the ever-present sense that they were made for something better. Perhaps they are, but choose to paint within the lines nonetheless. Maybe they’ve opted to compete for the inconsolable consolation prize: a successful but unfulfilled existence.
If you’re frightened, you can be. It’s okay. But one thing becomes clearer every day. The more of ourselves we allow to be smothered, the less of us there will be when we finally come up for air. A day will come when you decide to claw your way out of the deep sleep. A day will come when you decide to stop living as a facsimile. The masquerade is over. Make sure they see your face.
I think many Black Americans would LIKE to think there is only a visible division among Black and White in America. And there IS..But what takes some of us, like ME, longer to admit, there IS still a division within Blacks themselves..When I mentioned this issue to a very good friend of mine(who also happens to be my X love..) his response is @They call it slave mentality baby..They’re doing what the White mas has rewarded them for doing for over 400 years! Alright, I get THAT. But when does it END???
Even knowing about the whole slavery mentality theory; being the victim of it hurts! And it hurts BAD…Because it is ones own subjecting them to adverse feelings ..I am here to tell y’all it IS a phucked up feeling and it is unacceptable. I personally can’t speak for anyone else but ME…But since moving to the South(after living in California for 20 years) I’ve been called a bougies bitch; had people trip REPEATEDLY over the grain of my hair; and had people wig about my skin color to the point of being certain, without a doubt, that I’m Spanish; and professing I sound White because of how I talk..All of this from people who are also BLACK. Bear with me a moment while I grab hold of my bearings>>
Majority of my life I’ve NOT been in a majority Black environment.West Coast living agreed with me to the utmost level..This only came to be once moving to the Dirty South 2.5 years ago..OMFG..I knew sentiment here wasn’t as progressive as the West Coast; BUT I didn’t and couldn’t have imagined it was this far BACKWARDS progressively..Lawd! >>
Now I don’t know IF it is a Southern ‘thang’ or not..After all the South WAS where slavery reined back in the day….But I do know that the POWER Blacks in the South, from my viewpoint so far, feeeeeel they have IS nothing in equalivence to the power Blacks have in the West Coast. I’ve never seen anything more pathetic than broke arse folks clamoring for power , here in the South, like I’ve seen! It is shameful…Back in California I’ve easily mingled with millionaires who were far more down to earth than the want-to-be-bougie here in the South..As IF having money or prestige makes a person have more character and respectful standing…It doesn’t! And fighting for it makes it all the more GHETTO in every aspect. It is a sad thing to see and watch; and I refuse to be a part of it. I simply refuse>>
I could very smoothly run from my people back to White Corporate America..At this point? It represents, believe it or not, alot LESS drama and bullshit! But that would be like trying to run from myself..I’m not into the personality ENVY, nor the crab in a barrel syndrome crap; personally I believe competition is a GOOD thing. Challenge me with greatness! The petty ish of light-skin-good-hair-banging-body stuff has to END..Light or dark skin Black IS Black. Period. We’ve got to get educated and beyond the slavery mentality ish! Our children are watching US..I’m ashamed of some of the behavior I see out here these days.Bottom line? African. Trinidad. Haitian. Dominican. Puerto Rican. Latino. Jamaican. Brazilian…WE are all ONE…Whether we unite or not we’re all identified by our skin color. Trying to ignore it is like a cat chasing their own tail…Never ending. I think about running from it; a lot. It is easier leaving..But I stand! I love MY people and I love being BLACK. Black folks have alot to offer the world and always have…We’ve a legacy to be proud of. And its worth standing together proudly. United we stand or divided we can continue to free fall..
Ruby Bridges is an African-American activist best known for being the first Black child(she was 6 yrs old) to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.(New Orléans, Louisiana) The pictures of her being escorted into the school by marshalls are legendary..
In November 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges Hall became the first African-American child to desegregate an elementary school. Although she only lived a few blocks from the William Frantz Elementary school in New Orléans, Louisiana. Marshals had to escort Ruby because of angry segregationist mobs that gathered in front of the school. For an entire year, she was the only student in her class since white parents pulled their children from the school in protest. She wrote about her experiences in her book THROUGH MY EYES & she’s shared it with future generation in educational forums>>
Her bravery paved the way for the continued civil rights efforts; and at such a young age! I recall seeing her picture when I was a very little girl myself and hearing ‘her’story; yet not truly understanding what it really meant..As she was at the time of her step into the pages of American history; I was too young to really ‘get’ it..Her message then and now is this & it makes absolute sense @ “My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children”<< Quote by Ruby Bridges. I couldn't agree more! IF only all parents felt that way …
A Salute to Black History, Africa, African-Americans, America, American History, ASALH, Association for the Study of African-American Life & History, Black America, Black Culture, Black History Month, History, Knowledge, Self awareness, WordPress
Little known Black History fact is that ASALH still exists..It IS a totally different organization from NACCP..Although the founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, was involved in both organizations..Did you know that Woodson’s dream was that there would NOT always be a need for a Negro History Week(the father of Black History Month)? Well, if you didn’t know please don’t feel too bad. I didn’t know either! As I’ve said before Black History Month is still mandatory; for all Americans can stand to learn more. Including moi>>
ASALH was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson..Its mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public..The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History was created in direct response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of African – Americans..Much of which HAS either been purposely left OUT of History books or diluted down to just the accomplishments of a few..I used to ask why?? These days though I don’t waste time asking why anymore..There is far too much I(we) can read offline or online to discover the accomplishments and achievements Blacks have had since the beginning of civilization..And it is? ALOT. In my hearts of hearts I feel it is mandatory this information is readily available..It is highly necessary for Black youth to know they’ve got much to be proud of ..I’ve no problem in admitting that is my primary reason for promoting Black History Month. Hell, I’m still learning at 50 years of age(and not shamed to admit it) All I dream of now is a day when our history is so well imbedded in American History; that racism rightfully DIES. Black folks built much of what is now America! It takes more than big cojones to try to snuff that history out..
I had the opportunity to attend an event yesterday hosted by ASALH..It was an awesome! story ‘sung’ of the history and journey of songs created by Blacks here in America..From spirituals which then graduated in later years to Gospel and Blues and Jazz and R & B and etc etc …What an emotional and moving hour it was! I learned after that ASALH has a calendar of year-long events and programs..We’ve got a local chapter of ASALH that is very active..I also learned that the National chapter is alive and well..They’re bring our story to life! And I wanted to bring it here to share with you..Anyways, until I write/read y’all again stay blessed and surrounded by love. 4ever Sincere , Berna(the 1 & Only)
1964, 2014, African American History, American History, Black America, Black American History, Black History Month, Civil Rights Act Jubilee, Civil rights in America, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, President Lyndon B. Johnson, WordPress
Every Black History Month has a theme..The theme for Black History Month 2014 is ‘Civil Rights in America’ It gives tribute to the golden jubilee of the Civil Rights Act..Signed on July 2, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson..That act stated the following..
**”We believe that all men are created equal—yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain inalienable rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty—yet millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skins.
The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand without rancor or hatred how all this happens. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I sign tonight forbids it.”**
This year begins the sixth decade since Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the 1963 March on Washington. Yet, more than 50 years after that historic march, we still are marching for both freedom and jobs.
To paraphrase Dr. King: we cannot be satisfied while any American cannot vote; nor can we be satisfied when far too many Americans believe that they have no reason to vote.
Confronted by unacceptable levels of unemployment, inequality and voter suppression, far too many of our fellow Americans remain trapped by the most crippling segregation of all: the segregation from hope as a result of poverty.
President Obama has challenged each of us to join him in overcoming this “defining challenge of our time—the dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain: that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.”***
I’ll end this topic with a quote from President Barack Obama during his presidential proclamation for Black History Month 2014..”As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Even while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination, we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and suffering.”
“ As we all know our country’s civil right struggles aren’t limited to our history. Now, we are the Americans who must organize, mobilize and fight the good fight“>>Quote by Congressman Elijah Cummings
Many of us have heard of the (broken) promise to newly freed slaves..Some parts of that part of history have been quoted with mistruths and little known facts..First and foremost General William T. Sherman in ‘Special Field Order 15’ promised 40 acres; but not the mule. The mule was added later..But what isn’t often told is how it all came about. It wasn’t a good will gesture made by General William T. Sherman alone..It was prompted by the direct result of a discussion (held 4 days before the order was announced) between General Sherman, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and 20 leaders of the Black community in Savannah, Georgia. The meeting was unprecedented in American history! And as much as I thought I knew about history and black history; I didn’t know until recently that black leaders were present in that discussion..
The ‘promised’ land was 400,000 acres( owned by confederate land owners) and was to be confiscated by the government and given to newly freed slaves so they could OWN their own land. Which , at the time, was a part of the American dream..As it still is! This promise was made to approximately 3.9 million former slaves..The land involved was describes in detail in this manner.. “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.”
Special Field Order 15 goes on to describe what is to be done with the land(totally run by newly freed slaves..) in this manner ” … each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.”
What is also little known is that the 20 black leaders who brought this idea to General William Sherman were ministers. 11 of them were born free men! 10 of them lived as free men during the Civil War; the remaining 9 freed due to the Emancipation Proclamation. When General Sherman asked the chosen spokesman, a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier(a prior slave), what did the Negro want most . He said, “Land! That way we can take care of ourselves!”
…The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that “From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,” reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, “the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.” Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the “black governor.” And by June, “40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of ‘Sherman Land.’ ” By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, “40 acres and a mule.”...
..And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, “returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it” — to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America…
I imagine a very different America IF this promise had been kept! I imagine things would’ve and could’ve rightfully been half-arsed set right had a broken promise not come behind years of enslavement..I can’t imagine how broken those ministers(not to mention the almost 4 million newly freed slaves..) felt when that happened. Trust levels broken down at the deepest level(s) for 246 years & then THIS..Given something one minute & promised a chance for …For what? A piece of the American Dream? Freedom? Equality? Are we there YET?
..the person who invented blood banks was Black!
Charles Richard Drew already had an M.D. and a Master of Surgery degree when he went to Columbia University in 1938 to earn a Doctor of Medical Science degree. While there, he became interested in researching the preservation of blood. Drew discovered a method of separating red blood cells from plasma and then storing the two components separately. This new process allowed blood to be stored for more than a week, which was the maximum at that time. The ability to store blood (or, as Drew called it, banking the blood) for longer periods of time meant that more people could receive transfusions. Drew documented these findings in a paper that led to the first blood bank.
After completing his studies, Drew began working with the military. First, he supervised blood preservation and delivery in World War II, and then he set up a blood bank for the U.S. Army and Navy that serves as the model for blood banks today. However, Drew resigned his position because the armed forces insisted on separating blood by race and providing white soldiers with blood donated from white people. Drew knew that race made no difference in blood composition, and he felt that this unnecessary segregation would cost too many lives.
Niagara Movement, (1905–10), organization of black intellectuals led by W.E.B. Du Bois and calling for full political, civil, and social rights for black Americans. This stance stood in notable contrast to the accommodation philosophy proposed by Booker T. Washington in the Atlanta Compromise of 1895. The Niagara Movement was the forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In the summer of 1905, 29 prominent blacks, including Du Bois, met secretly at Niagara Falls, Ont., and drew up a manifesto calling for full civil liberties, abolition of racial discrimination, and recognition of human brotherhood. Subsequent annual meetings were held in such symbolic locations as Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
Despite the establishment of 30 branches and the achievement of a few scattered civil-rights victories at the local level, the group suffered from organizational weakness and lack of funds as well as a permanent headquarters or staff, and it never was able to attract mass support. After the Springfield (Ill.) Race Riot of 1908, however, white liberals joined with the nucleus of Niagara “militants” and founded the NAACP the following year. The Niagara Movement disbanded in 1910, with the leadership of Du Bois forming the main continuity between the two organizations.
**Info from Encyclopedia Britannica*
Colonel Allen Allensworth along with 4 other settlers ; believed they could create their version of the “American Dream”. In August 1908 they established a town which became the only California town founded, financed and governed by Blacks..Their dream of developing an abundant and thriving community stemmed directly from a strong belief in programs that allowed blacks to help themselves create better lives.. By 1910 Allensworth’s success was the focus of many national newspaper articles praising the town and its inhabitants.
An unavoidable set of circumstances made it impossible for the residents of this tiny town located 30 miles north of Bakersfield to achieve their founders’ dreams over the long term. But the town did remain home to a handful of families and individuals throughout the 20th century, and true to the courage and resolve of its founders, the town has survived and persevered, earning the well-deserved title “The town that refused to die.”
In 1974 California State Parks purchased land within the historical townsite of Allensworth, and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Today a collection of lovingly restored and reconstructed early 20th-century buildings—including the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library—once again dots this flat farm country, giving new life to the dreams of these visionary pioneers.
With continuing restoration and special events, the town is coming back to life as a state historic park. The park’s visitor center features a film about the site. A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers…
(Facts pulled from California Department of Parks & Recreation)
**There are many reasons why I feel we must all continue to maintain our right to vote.. Many folks these days apparently think our rights can’t be revoked..I humbly suggest they READ up on the history of our country.(and etc…) **
January 8, 1894. Congress repeals the Enforcement Act, which then made it easier for some states to disenfranchise African-American voters. FACT
Once Congress passed the Enforcement acts, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.”Between 1870 and 1871 Congress passed the Enforcement Acts — criminal codes that protected blacks’ right to vote, hold office, serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. If the states failed to act, the laws allowed the federal government to intervene. The target of the acts was the Ku Klux Klan, whose members were murdering many blacks and some whites because they voted, held office, or were involved with schools.
Many states were afraid to take strong action against the Klan either because the political leaders sympathized with the Klan, were members, or because they were too weak to act. A number of Republican governors were afraid of sending black militia troops to fight the Klan for fear of triggering a race war. But once Congress passed the Enforcement Acts, the situation shifted. One of the Acts, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, made private criminal acts federal crimes; consequently, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.” He sent federal troops to restore law and order to many areas where violence was raging at its worst.
In nine counties of South Carolina, martial law was declared and Klansmen were tried before predominantly black juries. Much of the credit for prosecuting the Klan belonged to Amos Ackerman, Grant’s Attorney General, who did his best to make the country aware of the extent of Klan violence. As a result of his efforts, a few hundred Klansmen were tried and sent to jail. Thousands of others fled or were let off with fines or warnings. By 1872, the Klan as an organization was broken. By the time the terror ended, thousands of blacks and hundreds of whites had been massacred or driven from their homes and communities. For a moment, it seemed that peace and Republican rule was restored. Yet within a few years, the terror was reborn and Reconstruction officially ended.
And then on January 8, 1894 the Enforcement Act was repealed~(To Be Continued)
Henry Blair (1807–1860) was the second African American inventor to receive a patent.
Henry Blair was born in Glen Ross, Maryland, United States in 1807. His first invention was the Seed-Planter, patented October 14, 1834, which allowed farmers to plant more corn using less labor in a smaller amount of time. On August 31, 1836 he obtained a second patent for a cotton planter. This invention worked by splitting the ground with two shovel-like blades which were pulled along by a horse. A wheel-driven cylinder followed behind which dropped the seed into the newly plowed ground.
In the patent records, Blair is listed as a “colored man”; making this identification the only one of its kind in early patent records. Blair was illiterate, therefore he signed his patents with an “x”. It is not known if Blair was a freedman or not. At the time that his patents were granted United States patent law allowed both freed and enslaved people to obtain patents.
In 1857 this law was challenged by a slave-owner who claimed that he owned “all the fruits of the slave’s labor” including his slave’s inventions. This resulted in the change of the law in 1858 which stated that slaves were not citizens and therefore could not hold patents. After the American Civil War, in 1871, the law was changed to grant all men (but not women) patent rights.
Henry Blair died in 1860.
**I found this totally interesting from A to Z! A Black man came up with an idea to make to picking cotton easier for Black slaves! And cherry on top he couldn’t even read or write; so he signed his patents with an X..Pure genius! True testament also that anything is possible with no excuses..**
>>Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. —Harriet Tubman<<
* February 6, 1820…Freed U. S. Slaves depart on journey to Africa*
The first organized immigration of freed slaves to Africa from the United States departs New York harbor on a journey to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa. The immigration was largely the work of the American Colonization Society, a U.S. organization founded in 1816 by Robert Finley to return freed American slaves to Africa. However, the expedition was also partially funded by the U.S. CONGRESS, which in 1819 had appropriated $100,000 to be used in returning displaced Africans, illegally brought to the United States after the abolishment of the slave trade in 1808, to Africa.
The program was modeled after British’s efforts to resettle freed slaves in Africa following England’s abolishment of the slave trade in 1772. In 1787, the British government settled 300 former slaves and 70 white prostitutes on the Sierra Leone peninsula in West Africa. Within two years, most members of this settlement had died from disease or warfare with the local Temne people. However, in 1792, a second attempt was made when 1,100 freed slaves, mostly individuals who had supported Britain during the American Revolution and were unhappy with their postwar resettlement in Canada, established Freetown under the leadership of British abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.
During the next few decades, thousands of freed slaves came from Canada, the West Indies, and other parts of West Africa to the Sierra Leone Colony, and in 1820 the first freed slaves from the United States arrived at Sierra Leone. In 1821, the AMERICAN Colonization Society founded the colony of LIBERIA south of Sierra Leone as a homeland for freed U.S. slaves outside of British jurisdiction.
Most Americans of African descent were not enthusiastic to abandon their homes in the United States for the West African coast. The American Colonization Society also came under attack from American abolitionists, who charged that the removal of freed slaves from the United States strengthened the institution of slavery. However, between 1822 and the American Civil War, some 15,000 African Americans settled in Liberia, which was granted independence by the United States in 1847 under pressure from Great Britain. Liberia was granted official U.S. diplomatic recognition in 1862. It was the first independent democratic republic in African history.
>>Article from History.com>>
On this day in history>>
First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review
By FOX BUTTERFIELD, Special to The New York Times
Published: February 6, 1990
The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.
”The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ”It’s encouraging.
”But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.
What a Law Review Does
Law reviews, which are edited by students, play a double role at law schools, providing a chance for students to improve their legal research and writing, and at the same time offering judges and scholars a forum for new legal arguments. The Harvard Law Review is generally considered the most widely cited of the student law reviews.
On his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: ”I personally am interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I’m fairly opinionated about this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only first among equals.”
Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would concentrate on making the review a ”forum for debate,” bringing in new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.
A President’s Future
The president of the law review usually goes on to serve as a clerk for a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for a year, and then as a clerk for an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. Obama said he planned to spend two or three years in private law practice and then return to Chicago to re-enter community work, either in politics or in local organizing.
Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama’s selection. ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”
Change in Selection System
Mr. Obama was elected after a meeting of the review’s 80 editors that convened Sunday and lasted until early this morning, a participant said.
Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help ensure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.
Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters.
Blacks at Harvard: New High
Black enrollment at Harvard Law School, after a dip in the mid-1980’s, has reached a record high this year, said Joyce Curll, the director of admissions. Of the 1,620 students in the three-year school, 12.5 percent this year are blacks, she said, and 14 percent of the first-year class are black. Nationwide enrollment by blacks in undergraduate colleges has dropped in recent years.
Mr. Obama succeeds Peter Yu, a first-generation Chinese-American, as president of The Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Yu plans to serve as a clerk for Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”
The first female editor of The Harvard Law Review was Susan Estrich, in 1977, who recently resigned as a professor at Harvard Law School to take a similar post at the University of Southern California. Ms. Estrich was campaign manager for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts in his campaign for the Presidency in 1988.
photo: Barack Obama was elected yesterday as president of the Harvard Law Review. He is the first black to hold the position. (The New York Times/Jim Bourg)
**Article from Archives of The New York Times**
*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*
Africans arrived in North America more than a century before the Mayflower arrived..The first documented African to arrive was Juan Garrido. He was NOT a slave & he was born in West Africa around 1480..He moved to Portugal as a young man, converted to Christianity ,and then changed his name to Juan Garrido(it means handsome John) He remained in Spain for about seven years and he joined the earliest conquistadors to the New World..He wound up in Hispaniola(which is the island that Haiti & Dominican Republic reside) as part of a Spanish expedition..He was involved in the invasion of Puerto Rico, Cuba & Mexico..After settling in Mexico City, including getting married(& had 3 children) , he continued to serve with Spanish forces for more than 30 years. In 1513, he was part of an expedition to Florida chasing the Fountain of Youth with de Leon..It was upon entering Florida he became the first documented African to arrive in this country. Garrido claims to have been the FIRST to plant and harvest wheat in the New World*
In 1538, Garrido provided testimony on his 30 years of service as a conquistador:
I, Juan Garrido, black in color, resident of this city [Mexico], appear before Your Mercy and state that I am in need of providing evidence to the perpetuity of the king [a perpetuad rey], a report on how I served Your Majesty in the conquest and pacification of this New Spain, from the time when the Marqués del Valle [Cortés] entered it; and in his company I was present at all the invasions and conquests and pacifications which were carried out, always with the said Marqués, all of which I did at my own expense without being given either salary or allotment of natives [repartimiento de indios] or anything else. As I am married and a resident of this city, where I have always lived; and also as I went with the Marqués del Valle to discover the islands which are in that part of the southern sea [the Pacific] where there was much hunger and privation; and also as I went to discover and pacify the islands of San Juan de Buriquén de Puerto Rico; and also as I went on the pacification and conquest of the island of Cuba with the adelantado Diego Velázquez; in all these ways for thirty years have I served and continue to serve Your Majesty–for these reasons stated above do I petition Your Mercy. And also because I was the first to have the inspiration to sow maize here in New Spain and to see if it took; I did this and experimented at my own expense
…In 1961 CORE undertook a new tactic aimed at desegregating public transportation throughout the south. These tactics became know as the “Freedom Rides”. The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961 when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the Deep South. They intended to test the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional. In the first few days, the riders encountered only minor hostility, but in the second week the riders were severely beaten. Outside Anniston, Alabama, one of their buses was burned, and in Birmingham several dozen whites attacked the riders only two blocks from the sheriff’s office. With the intervention of the U.S. Justice Department, most of CORE’s Freedom Riders were evacuated from Birmingham, Alabama to New Orleans. John Lewis, a former seminary student who would later lead SNCC and become a US congressman, stayed in Birmingham.CORE Leaders decided that letting violence end the trip would send the wrong signal to the country. They reinforced the pair of remaining riders with volunteers, and the trip continued. The group traveled from Birmingham toMontgomery without incident, but on their arrival in Montgomery they were savagely attacked by a mob of more than 1000 whites. The extreme violence and the indifference of local police prompted a national outcry of support for the riders, putting pressure on President Kennedy to end the violence. The riders continued to Mississippi, where they endured further brutality and jail terms but generated more publicity and inspired dozens more Freedom Rides. By the end of the summer, the protests had spread to train stations and airports across the South, and in November, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting segregated transportation facilities.
Many thanks to my Daddy for providing the link I’m dropping..It includes the full PBS Freedom Riders Documentary>>
I’m presently wrapping up an outstanding book @The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson..Winner of The Pulitzer Prize & voted 10 Best Books in 2010 by The New York Times..If there is any book , I feel, Americans should read to learn more about the migration of Blacks in America; it is this one..Early kick-off on this end for Black History month simply because it is one of my favorite months of the year. And I make NO apology nor explanation as to why..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves because I’m just getting started!
I’ve kept UP with the murder of Jonathon Ferrell..BLACK/24 years old/Worked TWO jobs to put himself through college/Shot DEAD 10 times by a Charlotte police officer in September 2013…Former FAMU student/football had recently transferred schools to be near his fiancé in Charlotte..Shot 10 TIMES by Officer Kerrick after being in a car accident & walking to a near by home for help..Sound familiar??? Yesterday the grand jury decided NOT to indict officer Randall Kerrick..Ferrell had NO weapon & Officer Kerrick claims he was assaulted by UNKNOWN means..The Attorney General’s office is re-submitting the voluntary manslaughter charges..The family of Jonathon Ferrell is ‘skeptical” about getting justice..I don’t blame them! It is target season on Black males in America! I thought long and hard about writing a piece on this, to vent out how I feel about it..Then I ran across a piece by another mother(& a lawyer) that says it ALL & far better than I’m capable of doing..It is highly personal to me..Last year I called all 3 of my Black sons; and begged them NOT to wear a hoodie! THAT IS BEYOND RIDICULOUS; but its true. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m ashamed this is OUR reality in America. I’m dropping the link for the piece Shanikka wrote for The Kos..She wrote it 2 years ago & the senseless, race-incited murders(& NO justice..) are still happening..Until more people stand UP & let it be known this isn’t right; it won’t end. Stop the violence. Make stricter gun laws or BAN them. STOP KILLING OUR BLACK MALES!!!
…January 20, 2014 is Martin Luther King, Jr Day in the United States..Here are a few little known facts about the man who is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using non-violent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. He was a Christian American Pastor, A Husband, A Father, A PhD!, An Activist, A Humanitarian, And a LEADER in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and the FIRST Black man behind a federal holiday in America..WOW, wow, and I’m still wow’ed when I think/reflect on the DIFFERENCE one person can make..Before I sign off I’d like to once again say THANK YOU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr for ALL that you were & did for me, mine and America. Your ultimate sacrifice wasn’t in vain; you’ll never, ever be forgotten!
His name was originally Michael…When his Father changed his own name , to give tribute, to German theologian Martin Luther..He also changed his son’s name. Martin Luther King , Jr was 2 years old when his name was changed.
The switchboard operator of the Lorraine Bailey hotel(where MLK, Jr was murdered..) and co-owner of the hotel; Lorraine Bailey; died due to the heart attack she had upon seeing King was shot..
MLK, Jr skipped 2 grades! in high school..9th & 11th..He was 15 years old when he entered Morehouse College..He was 19 when he received his bachelor’s degree in sociology..He had his PhD by age 25...
He almost didn’t become a minister..Had doubts about Christianity & the Bible and thought of becoming a doctor or lawyer..Later he decided the Bible had profound truths that one couldn’t escape...
He got a ‘C’ in his first year , in public speaking, at the seminary..God only knows the truth of why the professor gave a ‘C’ to someone who by his final year had straight ‘A’s’, was valedictorian & president of student body and the BEST public speaker of all time!!!..
To date he’s the youngest male to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize at 35 yrs old..
His house was once BOMBED..During the Montgomery Bus Boycott (which lasted over a year @ 385 days!)
His mother, Alberta Williams King, was also murdered. She was killed while attending church in Atlanta in 1974 by a 23-year-old man, Marcus Wayne Chenault, who believed “all Christians are my enemies”. He shot and killed her while she was playing organ at the church...
King Jr.’s autopsy revealed that stress had taken a major toll on his body. Despite being just 39 at the time of his death, one of the doctors noted that he had “the heart of a 60-year-old”...
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The last states to join up where Arizona in 1992, New Hampshire in 1999, and Utah in 2000. The holiday itself was originally signed into federal law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, with the first MLK holiday on January 20, 1986.
Today over 700 streets in the Unites States are named after Martin Luther King Jr., with one such street in almost every major city. This is not even counting the amazing number of buildings, schools, and the like named after him.
Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace...
I’m going to close this up with one of my fave quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr..About his dream for his children..And today almost 50 years later! I’ve got that very same DREAM for my 3 remarkable Black sons! Let’s let this MLK, Jr day be a day ON ; not just a day OFF…Live/Love/Laugh.Until I read/write y’all again stay lifted and remember to count your blessings every, single day. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)
2016 Presidential Election, America, Candidates, Due diligence, Educated Vote, Hillary Clinton, Internet, Politics, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States, READ, Registrictive voter legislation laws, United States, VOTE, Voter Registration, WordPress
The 2016 Presidential Election will be upon us before we know it..Are you ready? I admit I’m not! But I’m doing my homework early…Got me to wondering how many people out there, that vote, read/research/partake in due diligence prior to voting..Did y’all know that the electoral college was, in part, created (yep, by our Founding Fathers) on the premise that Americans would NOT make INTELLIGENT decisions..How’s many shades of dumb does that make you feel??? Didn’t make me feel dumb when I learned that; made me spitting MAD..As IF..For that simple reason and a slew of others I believe that the Electoral College is VERY outdated and no longer needed. Period..Mayhaps in an age where communication cross-country was by pony express, just maybe, it was necessary way back when..But these days with the ever-growing technology and the internet? NO WAY do we need the Electoral College; and that is just a tiny bit of things I think need to CHANGE to bring American politics from the 18th century to the 21st century. Certainly, what made sense back then is no longer true for the here and now>>
Yet my mind can’t help but trip over thoughts on this truly relevant topic..How MANY Americans even know what the Founding Fathers adopted? (or the whys..) How many Americans KNOW what the Electoral College IS? How many Americans know what the Constitution consists of? How many Americans know there are many national political parties other than Democratic & Republican? Like the American Beer Drinker’s Party/The Being Human Party/The Pot Party/The Party X/The Thermodynamic Law Party..& the list goes on..As I looked over the entire list I had thoughts of wtF! and OMG..All this splintering off, of viable votes, just because folks have become SO disenchanted with the current 2 party system..Not to mention those who don’t vote at all! >>
I refuse to NOT vote..Far too many of my ancestors(and yours..) have died for OUR right to vote..Double as much for me as a Black American Woman..Likewise though I also refuse to not make an educated vote..Or least as educated as I possibly can. With all my might I’m praying a lot more of my fellow Americans will do the same. There IS no excuse with the wealth of information at our fingertips and within library/bookstore walls..Still time to get onto the task of getting educated..I’m going to drop a link for any/all to peruse..And I welcome others to use this post to do the same. Let’s get ready for 2016 before we enter the voting booth! Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)
Direct link to The Constitution via our White House website..A good place to begin for those that seek to learn more about our political system>>
By now most of y’all have heard of the case of Tampa’s John Andrew Weldon..Son of a prominent fertility doctor; who CHOSE to forge a prescription from his Father for the drug , Misoprostol.(also known as the abortion pill) What can only be described as a CLEAR case of premeditated murder..Weldon coaxed his girlfriend into taking the pill; LYING to her in telling her it was an antibiotic..For whatever his reasons were(so his ‘other’ current girlfriend wouldn’t discover pregnancy..) I find it beyond horrific & appalling..The nerve! First count? Forging a prescription. Second count? Making it HIS choice without regard to someone else’s body.. I could list a third count but I’m going to be stop myself short of going off on a rant..NOTHING about this character impresses me. And his Father had the cojones after the verdict today, GUILTY/GUILTY/GUILTY(because it was proven the abortion pill did indeed cause the miscarriage) , of saying he’s going to pray for a miracle..A miracle for his son to be allowed to have an ordinary & successful life. Wow! Wrong, wrong, wrong on so many levels..It is no secret that I’m a liberated feminist woman who believes in pro-choice..I just also happen to be the elated Ma/Moms/Mom of 3 young brothers; I couldn’t imagine my life or my world without them in it. However, at the beginning and end of every , single day it should rightfully BE a woman’s choice what to do with or about HER body. A man’s choice? Do NOT have SEX with a woman who you don’t wish to become the potential mother of his children. Period. There is NO gray area on this matter. Until men can bring life into the world, that is simply what it is. I’ve had debates over the years with men who feel otherwise..Thankfully none of them were my man, whew! The solution is simple enough and I’ve made dang sure I’ve preached it to my still children-less sons…DO NOT SEX ANYONE YOU DON’T WISH TO POTENTIALLY MOTHER YOUR SEED. I held my breath though waiting for this ruling to come about..An ugly precedent would’ve been set had the ruling been not-guilty. Couldn’t be more elated that this woman’s rights were acknowledged. Tiny step forward amidst a time in history when women’s rights are otherwise in jeopardy
I was planning to join (& write..) the zero to hero wordpress challenge..And then life happened..Ever notice how even the best laid plans can be interrupted? That is more than just an age- old cliche..Got news today that has my thoughts circling..Tried to put pen to paper to let it flow poetically(which is usually how I vent the best) ; but my heart isn’t in it. >>
The news I got today was about a very, very good family friend..One of my Dad’s dearest/closest/best friends & someone I consider special indeed..One of those people who serves others(including running a program to feed the needy) almost every, single day of the year..When tragic things happen to such people? It truly tests my own faith..I’m struggling right now to understand WHY bad things happen to such good people..And all the while through my struggle this day, I’ve been in silent prayer..All day long. But it is still so very tough>>
Truth of the matter is none of us knows what is around the bend..My exMominLaw used to tell me that & in my youthful naïve nature; I didn’t understand. Now that I’m all grown UP and seen/lived so much more; her words make much more sense..Life IS precious! So many clichés & adages are flooding my mind right now..I’m sure most of y’all reading have heard them all..BUT how often do we stop during the day to appreciate life as healthy , somewhat sane and normal (although my definition of normal has changed as I’ve aged..) people? How often do we give thanks to our Creator for allowing us to live/love another day? Gratitude..Gratitude for good health & excellent healthcare!..Serving others..Spreading love..Appreciating our family/friends every single day! ..PRAYER..Those are the new phrases I’m adding to the so-called sentiment for 2014..Life isn’t a right, it is indeed a privilege; and in an instant it can change drastically..LIVE* LOVE* LAUGH*>>End of vent<<
UPDATE= Seems like a dozen days have passed since yesterday, when I wrote(or rather vented this) Waited till after further tests revealed there will NOT have to be a second surgery! That is awesome news for someone in their latter 70s(a very active 70something)..No one wants to hear they have a couple of brain clots..And it was highly disturbing to hear it about someone I consider a loved one..The doctors are 80% optimistic of his recovery chances and! he’s able to speak and is FULLY coherent..The lesson I learned is that is it harder to let go of concerns and just let GOD; than just saying IT. I also learned that this was a blessing in disguise; worst option would’ve been for the clots to cause a stroke or worse..Much as I stand by my faith/believe in God/and speak of having faith? I was walking a shaky line of uncertainty yesterday..Silently I was asking God WHY, why , why and why some more..Had friends pray with me and from coast to coast praying; for a person they didn’t even know. What a demanding/taxing friend I can BE..Yet, I’m elated my friends(including WordPress readers!) always, always come through for me(no matter what I ask them to pray for/about) Thanks be to a remarkable God for everything! >>*The official end of my vent*
…I began a list of New Years resolutions..Then decided I’m only going to share the one in the #1 slot..Often I’ve said, the thing a person can give me to show they truly care for/about me? Quality time..Funny thing is I began to believe/say that long before the internet & smart phone revolution! These days in addition to quality time one has to demand & give their FULL attention. How smart are we if we allow our smartphones (or anything else…) to rule our lives? And quality time alone means nada if a person’s cell phone is constantly demanding their attention>>
Ever been out to dinner(or where ever…) & noticed couples both heads bent down on their cell phones??? I’ve often wondered WHY even go out? Nothing irks me more than to spend time with someone who can’t seem to NOT answer their cell phone..Really?? And yet…I find myself quite often checking my cell for texts my dang self…Ugh, talk about hypocrisy! It’s gotten to a point I just turn my cell on mute(which I do for work /church anyways) when I’m spending ‘alone time’ with special folks..How did it ever become so acceptable to give so much attention to our social gadgets? (i.e..cells/Ipads/laptops) I’ve decided it IS only acceptable IF we allow it & do IT..Isn’t that how new norms get formed? So my #1 New Years resolution IS= Pay full attention to those that I give my attention to. Sounds simple enough, right? Now all that is left is to follow through..Until I read/write y’all again stay blessed & happy new years! 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
**For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven**
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life either: dating a man/marrying a man/pining over a man/SACRIFICING my own needs for a man/crying over a man or getting over a man..Finally, at long last!, my personal identity isn’t centered around feeling significant; only when I have a significant other..That is saying a mouthful! So let me say it one ‘mo time for emphasis..I’ve finally reached a place in my life that I’m very comfy with me & I do NOT need someone to complete ME..Having said that it doesn’t, by any means, mean that I don’t desire being married and LOVED..I really DO>>
This will be my 3rd and last Christmas SINGLE..I feel it in my bones & spirit..I’ve enjoyed, to the fullest, the company of my parents..People might find it odd(and I know they do..) that I so love spending time with/around my parents. I don’t expect other people to understand why..Nor is anyone else’s understanding required..There are things other folks do , that I don’t ‘get’ either. But for the sake of this piece; here is the brief explanation. With the exception of this past 3 years; I’ve lived cross-country from my parents. Always after a visit I’d miss them so badly! Now that my parents are nearing mid 70s; I am taking full advantage of our time spent together..I know God makes NO accidents; and my now residing in the same city was/is a Godsend..
It is my belief that the most precious & priceless gift a person can give..Is quality time..Or acts of kindness that require time being put into them..This Christmas was special to me because I spent quality time, with the two people who brought me into this world. In my mind? That is a blessing! And the man who was created to love me & only me? Will totally understand that without me having to explain..I’ve got such faith! that I’m right where I should be~~in every aspect of my life. All the pieces of my life are falling right into place..so my lifetime love is next! It is so very close I can taste & feel it…Woooo hooooo & yay! Anyone out there have a story of being single at Christmas that you’d like to share?
..Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean that you’ve given the message that what someone did was okay. It just means that you’ve let go of the anger or guilt towards someone, or towards yourself. But that can be easier said than done! IF forgiveness was easy, everyone would be doing it…
..This ’tis the season of love!, compassion, understanding, empathy..I can’t walk or stand as a Catholic Christian without also letting go of negative energy in my heart against those that have hurt me in the past..Forgiving IS not easy! It has meant moving beyond my own comfort zone, BUT, I sigh with relief that my heart is now pure of ANY hatred.. I AM FREE AT LONG LAST.
‘Forgiveness’ A Berna Original Poem
Mandela forgave his captors and set his soul free..
That knowledge certainly had an impact on me
I didn’t have the courage to forgive on my own
For so long I’ve had fears that were unknown
A living angel whispered in my ear
True trusted friend & confidant that I adore!
Boosted me UP & convinced me to face fear
I hadn’t realized I could hurt a person by feeling hate
Max of hypocrisy…
To hate=hurt someone who wished to bring harm my way
I am not proud to admit..
It had grown so easy to DO and feel
Try as I must to always keep it real
To live life out loud
And so yesterday I made a vow
To me/myself/and I
I will not hold chains on anothers’ soul
That is not how I get down nor roll
What I fear more than any person on earths’ wrath
Is ruining my relationship with God; my path..
So I dumped the hate from my heart in an instant
With hardly advance notice..
Erased . Gone. No twisted motives..Just freedom of spirit!
I can’t soar being bogged down with negative internal ‘ish
Is what I was created/born 2 do…
To myself I’ll always be true
Saying, I forgive you would help me to grow stronger
I’ll not fear for my safety; not a day longer
I’m a protected & very loved! child of God~~
My soul , and my colorful spirit!, has been set free.
****FOOTNOTE = Because of the concerns/comments I’ve had from folks who knew of the seriousness of what I forgave(they’re shocked I could forgive) ..I feel inclined to leave a footnote & then I won’t deliver any explanations thereafter..I’ve been asked questions @How do you know the person is sincere? How do you know the ‘ish is truly over?…Truth IS I don’t know if the person is sincere..I’ve no crystal ball & I’ve not yet learned how to read minds..To forgive someone doesn’t mean the scar is gone..To forgive someone does NOT mean you trust them; because in this case I certainly do NOT.(I can never trust liars) To forgive someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be friends; because in this case we certainly will NOT be..It is not on the person who forgives to know 100% if the person seeking forgiveness is sincere or legitimate..But in my book this is now a closed book. It is OVER(& actually should’ve been from the onset..) The onus now lies with the person who seeks forgiveness to own up & let things GO. DISCLAIMER = I’m not advising anyone to forgive someone , until you’re ready. No one has the right to ask another to forgive someone..I didn’t mean to imply that in my poem..Forgiving someone is a personal matter. I think we can all learn from one another; thus my reason for sharing this subject matter with my poem****
“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr
DISclaimer: This post isn’t meant to offend any woman out there experiencing symptoms of Menopause..I’m sharing this in the spirit of sharing & hopefully enlightening others going through IT..My best cure at this moment and many moments of my life ; is to use humor. IF not at this point??? I’d probably spend this entire day in tears(hormones & emotions are literally all over the place today..) But I just refuse to sink down to that level..I’m from good stock and that simply isn’t an option! )
So hang onto your cap, hats, wigs & weaves folks cause I am truly ON one today..Here I go>>
I had to cancel ALL of my plans for last night & today..I am SO not happy about that! Heck, I was supposed to go skating for the first time in years tonight(and Lord knows I was looking forward to that!) Had to pay my respects to a loved one last night; I missed that! I was due a candle-lit gourmet dinner tomorrow night & more than likely I’ll have to cancel..Ugh! Dayuuuum! *SIGH* All I can barely manage on this day is keeping still as possible..I can’t lie; half the day I’ve been butt-naked. Next minute?? I’m scrambling to lay under my blankets & comforters..Don’t know whether I’m coming or going today..Fighting tears; for what?? Everything! Next minute? I can’t stop laughing at stupid commercials..My thoughts/emotions are flowing from A to Z..One minute? I’m combing the internet looking for a puppy I can adopt..STOP myself mid-keystroke..I really don’t want to have to curb my busy lifestyle to tend to a pet..BUT awwww I could love on him & pet him & walk him. Willing myself to STOP those thoughts..Next minute? I’m combing the internet to find solutions to these symptoms..Lawd, right now I am HATING menopause!>>
The facts are indisputable..Menopause symptoms are REAL. Though there was a time in our history, that it was perceived that women were just crazy..That mayhaps women were dreaming UP these symptoms..I recall not understanding years back when my Mom went through THIS..One minute she was hot & the next cold..I didn’t take it seriously nor did I realize how gracefully she endured..Let the record SHOW; I apologize Mama. I believe !>>
75% of women will experience menopause symptoms in their lives..That is alot of chicks! Yet the most effective cure is risky ..Estrogen therapy IS now associated with breast cancer & heart attacks. WtF? So either a woman has to take a chance of those two BAD options; just to feel GOOD /normal/100%/like herself??? Pfft! Three months ago before my full-hysterectomy, I vowed I’d wing this without hormonal replacement..After all I’ve birthed sons sans meds so I can DO it! BUT that was before the hot flashes began to hit..And now they’re increasing & intensifying..OMG oh the wondrous joys of being a woman!>>
For anyone that hasn’t experienced a hot flash..IF you’re a woman odds ARE; one day you will. Know what it feels like? Feels like all of a sudden you’re ON FIRE from the inside out..And it hits suddenly; and slowly runs its course. It is said MAX length of one is 5 minutes..But honestly? I’m willing to bet no woman going through one has timed it..Feels like an eternity! When mine first started I used to try to play it off..I get surprised mid-sentence; all of a sudden just HOT as hell. But people always noticed anyways, lol. It is tough to look “cool” when your body is on fire. Now? I don’t even try to fake it..I announce it@ Look I’m going through a flash so give me a minute to melt.Shiiiiit. >>
I’ve got questions..WHY is it that women have suffered/dealt with menopause since the beginning of time; yet there isn’t a practical, safe solution? WHY is it we have to go through this trial & error stuff? WHY is it products we’re told help? Later polls/surveys discover they’re NOT helping? Example= Soy products. WHY is it antidepressants is listed as a viable solution?? I’m NOT going on drugs to make me a walking zombie..Plus women are then addicted to those! I don’t need a mood enhancer..My MOOD was fine before I was going through dizzy hot spells..WHY is it women at younger & younger ages are experiencing menopause symptoms? (I know women in their late 20s & 30s who have..) WHY is it SO many women are getting ovarian cysts & fibroids? (thus making hysterectomy necessary) Could it BE all of the chemicals they’re pumping INTO our meats/foods? Hmmmmmm…WHY can’t we take money from the Space Program & instead INVEST in women’s health??? Truth IS majority of us can’t afford a round-trip ticket to outer-space. BUT we all know a woman we want to be healthy & happy, right? Aging is normal..And when Momma is happy; everyone is happy. And when she isn’t…she is doing a heck of a job COPING. Oh, the joys of being a woman. WE can and WILL do this! >>
So far what I’ve learned..There ARE things a woman can do to cope with menopause naturally…Drink less caffeine. Much as I love my coffee; post-surgery I’ve cut down alot..Alot. Drink more water. I practice but am amping up my amount..Drink more green raw veggies..I thankfully have been doing this for almost 2 years..Never knew it was good for menopause symptoms..It IS..I’ll be amping up my amount..Exercise! I already do; but will be amping up the amount of exercise I do..I learned today it is the BEST solution to menopause symptoms..Even when ‘ya feel like shit & don’t feel the energy to lift your ass out of horizontal position(which is the position I’ve been in most of this day) Get UP and exercise..I used my lightweights & hoola hoop today; although I feel like warmed over crap-O-la..If I can do it; everyone can. Eat more beans, fruits, miso soup…I’ve read thousands of posts online about how women cope with menopause; sans drugs/meds. Macrobiotic diet is something I’m soon going to try a couple days a week. Will update y’all to let you know how it feels. Yoga also seems to work for a great deal of women..Honestly, this is something I dabbled in earlier this year & then forgot about it. If its working for anyone reading this, feel free to share your experience..Matter of fact ; I’d like to hear feedback from anyone reading any menopause remedies..Venting this out has made me feel alot better! I knew it would. Will probably be back to my hyper-energized self tomorrow..This too shall/WILL pass>>Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
IN a recent poll Americans overwhelmingly agreed that 50 IS the best age for..Everything! Here is my take on why dating is better now that I’m finally 50 yrs old>>
I am stronger..Simply put the stakes are higher at this age..No time for B.S./games/losers/or crap shots!
I am better..Though consistently striving for improvement; I’m about the best I’ve ever been. So if any potential date is reading this? Bring your A game & leave your ‘representative’ at home..Likewise I’m going to be me 24/7.
I am wiser..Exclamation point. Period.
I’m still not ready to reveal personal details about the dates I’ve been on..Mayhaps I never will..I can say, without a doubt though , that it has been far different from dating in my 20s..Gone are the insecurities felt backintheday..Take me or leave me; and more than likely we’ll part as friends.. I’ve met a couple of really awesome guys who are catches by any standard..And its been FUN..I laugh sometimes till my ribs hurt. Literally..Recently went horse back riding for the first time in eons! My butt hurt a bit more than it did in my 20s; but I didn’t fall off the horse..I’m due to go skating this weekend & hope to discover I still CAN..I’d LOVE to hear the song @ ‘Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll’..Anyone out there recall that song?? OMG the skating song of ALL time! Though I don’t feel I’ve met my ‘The One’ yet; I’ve got a couple more people I can call genuine friends..The beauty of dating at 50? It is OK to admit early on it isn’t a love match…I love IT. Anyways until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed..4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)