A self-examination: how to check yourself

Well as October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, comes to an end, it is important to keep the message of self-examinations, regular check-ups, and the need for a cure at the forefront. And while preventative measures and early detection are critical to our physical health, it is equally vital to our mental and emotional health as well. With the heighten distrust of medical professionals as a result of the Tuskegee Experiment and the still very taboo subject of psychotherapy within the African-American community, it is even more imperative that African-Americans take the time out to self-examine their lives. [continue reading here]
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The Fall Back.

Well summer is officially over, and autumn is settling in the air.  The smothering heat and humidity of D.C. has come to an end along with the fun of summer flings.  And the brisk mornings and cool nights is a reminder that fall is here, and it is time to fall back- from a person, from an unhealthy relationship.  There is always a pivotal moment when you are heading down the wrong path with the wrong person that forces you to realize that you need to fall back- stop communicating as much, stop seeing as much of each other, and ultimately redefining the nature of your interactions.  Falling back is simply the process of doing the absolute most for a person to doing the bare minimum.
Continue reading on Examiner.com The fall back – Washington DC African American Relationships | Examiner.com

The courage to be vulnerable

Somewhere along the way, while acquiring degrees and becoming world-traveled, young African-Americans in the DC area have forgotten how to communicate. Oh sure, networking, socializing, and brunching are all at an all-time high; however, honest, direct one-on-one communication is scarce in this city.  It is not intentional.  The gradual, yet swift shifts from long walks in the park to drunken sub-tweets (subliminal tweets) have made it much too easy to circumvent a real conversation. [Continue reading here]

What are you bringing to the table?

There was once a time, not too long ago, when women weren’t required or expected to have the same education credentials as their male counterparts. While this was true for both the professional and societal realms, education most certainly wasn’t a determining factor when it came to relationships and marriage. Everyone understood that even the women who were ambitious enough to venture off to college only did so to find a properly suited and educated man- rarely did she have the intention of actually having to ever use her degree. Times have indeed changed. [Continue reading here]

Where is Clair Huxtable?

All of these years showing you how to be a classy lady and this is how we're going?

Black women have no role models on TV anymore.  It is pretty sad.  After decades of fighting and breaking down doors to go against racial archetypes portrayed in black media, it was finally during the 1980s that the representation of black women took a turn for the better.  Black women in media evolved from the mammies, maids, Blaxploitation sex symbols, or ghetto-stricken mothers, and now we were lawyers, doctors, teachers, businesswomen, and entrepreneurs.  These new powerful images were a much more accurate representation of what it meant to be black, educated, and a woman.  And if by chance this was not the environment in which you lived, at the very least it set a great example and a standard of what black womanhood should look like.

 

So this is what Black Television has came to...huh?

….And then VH1 came along.  And I am not sure if the turning point was the first season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta or the fact that Black America fell silent when shows like The Cosby Show, Living Single, A Different World, and New York Undercover were never replaced with new shows that were on that same continuum of portraying minorities in a positive light not only in our communities but in the world at large.
Successful shows like Soul Food and Girlfriends* that displayed black sisterhood have been replaced with Single Ladies, Real Housewives, and The Game.  Black family shows are in its entirety in the hands of Tyler Perry.  We have GOT to do better…especially the ones that know better.  We can’t continue to support trash just because a black face is on it.  At this point, I am not sure if we want better…or do even we remember what better looks like.

 

I understand that those great shows had their place and that time has passed but surely regression is not the only option.  We were supposed to go forward and progress from there.  If a comparable show can’t be created just show the reruns. I’m cool with that.  Why aren’t any of these shows in syndication on a major network like let’s say Friends or Seinfeld??  I mean I know the reason but it is not okay…at all.

What we really need. Straigten right on up!

Black is the New White. Hispanic is the New Black: The Minority Hierarchy – Part One

We are well into 2011, and it has become apparent that the lines of racism have evolved.   There is no question that racism, from the subtle to the overt, is prominent within our society and Fox News.  There is still a very clear divide between the rights of White Americans and the injustices of Blacks (regardless of nationality) living in America.  Furthermore, within the Black Diaspora, we are fully aware of how American socialism has taught us to establish our own hierarchy within Blackness- the lightest being the highest to the darkest being the lowest. This self-hate directly mirrors the established protocol of slavery in America- the darker the skin, the bigger the burden.  What may have been impossible to predict that this once self-contained hatred would seep outside of the Diaspora and manifest itself into a Black supremacy ideology that subjugates all other races and nationalities, except, of course, the beloved and revered Whites.
Perhaps the most vulnerable to the ideologies and actions of this new Black Supremacy are Hispanics.  To be fair to Blacks, this ideology that they were slightly superior to Hispanics is simply a trickle-down effect inherited from mainstream America- not necessarily of their own thought process.  However, the inabilities to recognize and empathize with the plight of Hispanics as our own, rest solely on the failure of Blacks to thoroughly educate themselves.
It is the mindset of Blacks, mimicked by White America, that Hispanics entering a neighborhood instantly lowers property value.  Black women feel threatened by the presence of a group of young Hispanic men as they expect to be robbed.  It is automatically assumed when meeting a Hispanic that they are uneducated, don’t speak English, and have no right to live in America.  The familiarity of their story’s resemblance to the story of Black America is… eerie.  The fact this proven strategic conditioning has stood the test of 400 years is… insane.  The perpetuation of such ignorance by a very much still oppressed Black America is… inexcusable.

The Vision

Earlier this year, I was cleaning out and organizing my email accounts, and I ran across an email that I sent to myself in 2008 to create a vision board.  I do that a lot, send emails as reminders to myself; however, I suppose this one got lost in the shuffle.  But actually, my rediscovering of this email couldn’t be more timely.  I was feeling like I was in a rut and not moving forward.  Or maybe I was moving forward, but I didn’t feel like it was the right direction for me.  So I used this email reminder to create a vision board as an opportune time and method to refocus and gain new insights on what I really want to do and who I really want to be.
The items that came to mind surprised and overwhelmed me.  I realized so many of my reachable goals had been pushed to the background.  So many of my interests and hobbies that gave me life dissolved under workloads and strained relationships.  Since that time, I have gotten back to me.  I removed the expectations of others, turned to the sources of true delight, and then created a plan.   A new road map since the previous one…faded, dirty, trodden- it was best to just begin again.   And with so much on the to-do list, I began to get overwhelmed.  I grew frustrated over the time I’ve lost and opportunities I’ve missed.  But then I realized those frustrations were just distractions that had lingered too long.  I could only start from where I am.  I can only start with today.  And move forward. Focused on the vision of a better me.

Day Off

I am out running around and enjoying my day off from work so no real post for today.
However, in lieu of the news breaking last night that Osama Bin Laden was killed, I ask that you keep our President and our Country in your prayers.
See ya tomorrow ….

Paying it Forward

As I play this game of WWF (Words with Friends, yes I’m an addict), I can’t help but wonder if what they say is true.  Am I too forgiving?  Do I overlook too many faults??
I am not convinced there is such a thing- being too forgiving.  Maybe there is. Maybe he is not worth my forgiveness after the gravest act of treason.  But that was years ago. How long are you supposed to hold a grudge?  Forever?  Who does that benefit?  Not me.  Not my heart.  Not my growth.
I know it is not the forgiveness that upsets people but it is reestablishment of friendship like nothing bad ever happened.  I believe it is the restoration of trust that sends them over the edge.  Yes, I believe that is the kicker.
I forgive because I know the God can change anyone at any time using anything, anybody or any experience.  I am not the same person I was last month, and definitely not the person I was three years ago.  I’d like to think I’ve progressed, moved closer to the mark.  Some days I am not so sure, and I wonder if I am only circling the perimeter by allowing people back in my life.  Then I convince myself it is only circling the perimeter if no one has grown… only if no lessons have been learned.  And then, once again, I waiver back and forth if any lessons have been learned.
One thing I know for sure is forgiveness is more than a state of mind, it requires action.  If you treat a person with the same stank attitude, the same vindictive actions as you did while you were upset, then how is one to tell the difference?  I typically bypass this step all together.  It’s such a waste of time and energy.
I thought with as much forgiveness as I hand out that forgiveness would automatically be bestowed to me.  That has not been the case, by far.  This ridiculously high pedestal some people have me on is absurd.  I don’t even like pedestals.  Pedestals are for the inanimate ornaments and are not designed for mere humans.  And while I can’t control other’s actions, I can control my own. It is with that at the forefront that I forgive in the same manner I wish to be forgiven on that imminent judgment day- completely.  And for once, I will make sure I don’t neglect to forgive the most important person-myself.

Sorting Through The Rift: A Guide for Good Men Seeking Good Women

I consider it a privilege to have made friends with so many good men.  It is with my recent conversations with some of them that I have concluded one thing: Good Men are indeed looking for Good Women!  What a relief!  For a while there, I believed that good men often went with the ones who caught their attention regardless if the woman was a good one or not.  And well, we all are aware to what lengths a woman will go to get a man’s attention.  So I was surprised when several men explained that they actually want a woman of substance and quality- both of which are relative to each individual.
So then I asked “What is the problem??  What is so hard about finding a good woman- there are millions of them. I know plenty- all single and all beautiful- inside and out.”  It seems the problem successful, good men have is sorting through the rift- trying to determine which women are good from which ones are only good looking.
However, it seems most men go about looking for good women the same way they go about looking for one-nighters.  They go to the same places, use the same conversation, and wear the same fits yet somehow expect to garner quality girls out of the exact game used to garner boppers.
When I told a friend that he was too proud of his accomplishments, he was puzzled.  I explained that he was quick to respond with his profession and position when asked, “What do you do?”  He, like most men, enjoys catching happy hour with a tailored business suit, and clicking the keyless entry to his nice car.  They love the attention they receive and are proud of the success that has accompanied their hard work.  And while they should indeed be very proud, displaying the results will more often than not attract boppers more interested in the package than the person.  I told him that while I love dressing up and getting all fly, I would never date a guy that I meet at my best for two reasons a) I don’t always look like that and b) it is really easy to love and confuse the outer with the inner.  If a man catches me in my sweats and hoodie with my hair in a ponytail, he will get more of time than when I am in heels and a dress (back when I was still in the game, of course 🙂 )
My advice to him and other good men in his position is to play it down. “What down?” he questioned.  “Everything,” I answered.
Wardrobe: Instead of going to Happy Hour at one of the nicest restaurants in town wearing your nicest suit, maybe you should go in a casual button up and some slacks…or better yet, a red polo and khakis and make a name tag- look like you work for Target. Take note of who looks your way and how women respond to your approach.  Instant eliminator.  If and when you find one that is genuinely nice and interested after you introduce yourself and not rude, and doesn’t roll her eyes, and doesn’t pick up her phone to tweet that this dude from Target is trying to holla, and she isn’t laughing at you, then you proceed.
Profession: In no way do I promote lying at any point in any relationship, however sometimes successful men must become creative in answering the what you do for a living two minutes after meeting a girl.  Answering that question with doctor, lawyer, engineer, or business owner and you might as well have said your name was Money.  Instead of saying,” I’m a doctor,” tell her that you are a caregiver for the elderly or a public health advocate.  If you are a lawyer tell her that you are a social activist or a creative writer.  The point is to sound like you make the least amount of money possible.  The closer your job description sounds to volunteering, the better!
Places: Going to same type of spot night after night and weekend after weekend, you are only going to meet the same type of people if not see the same people all together.  Change it up.  Go to a museum on the weekend or catch a play after work, and really begin to broaden your network and meet some new faces and new personalities.  In doing this, you not only open the door to meet more quality people than the club offers but you heighten what you bring to the table as well.  Because once you meet this good, quality woman, she is going to want you to be able to talk about more than what you do for a living and what happened at the club last night.

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