Friday, March 16

Black Woman Burn Out

I'm tired, y'all... I need a vacation.

I've been so busy doing so much for so long... I haven't even posted a new blog.

But I have got to get back to it. So here's my beef today. I am tired of feeling like I have to defend everything anti-Black & everything misogynistic & everything dumb, stupid, ignorant and majorly ridiculous. I am unable to sit idly by and watch foolishness occur aorund me, but then I run the risk of being the angry black woman.

It's exhausting and I'm frankly tired & getting burnt out! BURNT, you hear me?

With that being said, I am keeping my commitment to ME to keep blogging. But also I need a vacation, so that needs to happen sooner rather than later. With every news story about y'all president and every FB post referring to Black women as "females" (when based on context clues you KNOW they meant bitches), I grow more and more weary. But I cannot give up on helping the world be better one response, conversation, blog post at a time. I was told that some of my blog posts are out there but I'll be that because this is the world as I experience it.

Just know that for now, I will be taking it a lil bit easier because I'm tired.

In the meantime, check out my friend Cheryl Giscombe's work on this subject:

Tuesday, February 27

Don't Do This: Pro-Black Insomnia (or Too Woke)

Hey, y'all! Let me start this off by saying I don't cuss people out no more. (Thank God for Jesus!) These days I just hold up a mirror until they get mad at their own reflection. Therefore, if you feel called out by this post... *hands you a mirror*

Now, with that being said let me say this: Some of y'all are too woke! You are so woke and pro-black that you're anti-black. You want everything black to be perfect and blackity-black through and through. You were mad about Black Panther because a white man made money off of it despite much of it being filmed at Tyler Perry Studios. Why? When do you sleep? When do you take the time to enjoy things? I know some folks don't believe in the white man's Jesus. But whoever you believe in: Buddah, Allah, Horus, Confucius, Jah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster... I am sure that entity wants you to enjoy things, right? I am sure the creator wants you to actually enjoy creation sometimes, right? And not spend all day on the white man's social media platform barking at your own people and being a career-contrarian.

You have all these problems with all things black, but never any solutions other than support black business and uplift the black man. Nobody wants to buy your terrible mixtape, Lil Alleycat! Nobody wants to read your "urban lit" book with the errant apostrophe in the title, Dark Diva! And nobody wants to buy hotep wear from a man that constantly refers to women as females, Ronshonkalon the Gawd (we all know it's just a replacement for the b-word anyway, sir). What else you got? What else are you doing out in these pro-black streets to promote positivity? Between the time you get off work in the white man's office to go home to your apartment owned by a white property management company that you pay from a white-owned bank and lay down on your Ikea bed to watch the Jewish man's network tv (because you are too woke to ever sleep), what are you doing to really help uplift the community?

Folks swear they are oh so very woke. Their pro-black insomnia has them on the highest of alerts! Nothing is ever good enough. Constantly comparing anything black to something that is predominantly other. Never fully appreciating black excellence because, in their mind, it should always be better and it's not as good as this other thing. You sleepy, ain't you? Ungrateful, negative, exhausted and ornery from their unnecessary hyper-vigilance.

To those people I say: Get you some joy! But most importantly, take a nap!

Tuesday, February 20

Wakanda Forever!- A Black Panther List

First of all let me say now, this is NOT a think piece.... There are ENOUGH of those going around & frankly I'm over it. EVERYTHING is problematic if you use a comb with fine enough teeth. I'm not here for none of that though. I saw Black Panther 3 times- Thursday, Saturday and Monday! Each time I saw something different. This is my SHORT list of things I got from Black Panther.
  1. I am a warrior! Every single black woman from Wakanda was made of tough stuff. Strong, intelligent, loyal, and baaaaaaaaaaaad than a mother!
  2. Colonization adversely impacted my view of Africa. I have recently been planning a trip to Africa and thinking about how all those years of Feed the Children commercials and tales of corrupt leaders made me not want to step foot on the continent for fear of being haunted by the tragedy of it all.  Thanks to a better view outside of the premiere of this movie... see below!
  3. I WILL go to Africa! See above. I have done my ancestry test and I'm ready to go visit my people.
  4. Eric Stephens wasn't all the way right, but he also wasn't all the way wrong. I said this was not a thinkpiece so Imma skip all the toxic masculinity and problematic, misdirected anger and just say that his core idea wasn't off base. 
  5. It is perfectly okay to choose NOT to be a the king's queen. And you do not have to change who you are. A man that loves and respects you will do so whether you choose to spend your life with him or not. Read that again.
  6. If I were a Jabari woman, I would not come out of the mountains EVER! This might seem to contradict what I just said, but up there... that was logic. This is pure lust down here. I am a well-rounded woman of a certain age that knows what she like! I mean.... did you SEE them!??! 
  7. Throwing your wig is a perfect distraction for an escape. Wigs get HOT! People need an escape plan. Throw the wig and run away. PROBLEMS SOLVED!
  8. I AM A WARRIOR! No, really. Buzzfeed said so, LOOK: "You got: Okoye...You are a force to be reckoned with. Your sense of loyalty is incredibly strong, which is why people love to have you around. You may not have tons of friends, but those select few you are friends with you are FIERCELY loyal to. You're a natural-born leader and people often look to you for guidance." DASS ME!
  9. I WILL gorilla grunt at people that I want to stop talking! First of all, stop saying they were barking. They were GORILLAS! I will now grunt at men when they get to mansplaining or talking that toxic masculinity bull!
  10. TRUST A BLACK WOMAN! If you didn't get that message, then maybe you need to watch the movie 3 times like I did. 
I have NO idea who designed this, but here is the link to the shirt: 

Friday, February 9

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being Resonable

This is only partially political... but it will be brief.

I have said before I am pro-mind-your-business. In this current climate, people just want to be left alone. In particular, the people that are not harming anyone. But EVERY DAY, this administration seems to pick on another group minding their business and it's weighing on me.

I am a live and let live type of person. If what someone is doing isn't harming others, then do your thing. Those people include: the LGBTQAI community, women, and most of the immigrant community from Latinx countries. Those that actively oppose them and march or legislate against them, I cannot abide. Therefore, when you appear under one of my posts asking me to be reasonable about a group of people that become less and less reasonable in their actions every single day, I will say something.

Today, I respectfully asked someone not to defend those people on my page. They took a snarky approach to their response, a tone that this administration often takes with those being reasonable. To which, I informed them I was attempting to preserve our relationship. Why is the preservation my job?

I am tired of waking up each morning and feeling targeted by the highest office in the land. Each day there is a new message that I as a black woman am both garbage AND guardian; trash AND trendsetter; nothing and everything and I'm tired of it. I am tired of making a statement that is true for me and having someone debate me on my own experience. I am tired of being informed and silent while others are obtuse and loud. I am tired of being stifled and swagger-jacked.

I am tired and I just want people to be reasonable. If you can't be reasonable then, please be quiet because I've got some heavy lifting to do.

Friday, February 2

Who Do You Love? Are You For Sure?

People often confuse conceit and arrogance with love for self. I know I'm not perfect but I know that my love for myself and others is real, true and pure. When I love you there is nothing anyone can do about it, not even me. I love from a place I don't even understand all the time. But I allow love to lead me. 
Some people who have never understood love think it's a bad word that leads to ruin. They don't trust themselves to be in love and subsequently they don't allow themselves to love deeply. Most importantly, these people do not love themselves in a deep or meaningful way. If they did, they would not be so afraid of allowing someone to love them and vice versa. The insecurities about love that they project out into the world start with themselves according to the African Proverb.

For example, Musiq Soulchild's song "Teach Me How To Love" was filled with learned insecurities and misleading advice that he had internalized. 
  • Never crying,
  • working until you're tired
  • shadowing feelings with pride
  • never letting people think you care 
  • lacking affection and an ability to express feelings. 
He laid out EVERYTHING he was doing wrong and still placed the burden of doing the work he needed to do to heal on her. Learning to love is an individual responsibility. People can tell you what they need from you but you still need to do the work to achieve their love. That works starts internally though. Many people are afraid to delve into the caverns of their own hearts and souls. If you don't want to go in there why do you think someone else does or should? I am saying all of this to say: do the damn work!

Do the soul-searching. Be honest. Stop fronting. But most importantly leave others out of it until you are at least partially there. For those that do not know what love is, 1 Corinthians 13 lays it all out.


Friday, January 26

Don't Do This: Vegan Venom & White Wokeness Gone Wrong

HEY, y'all!

I am a year older since the last time I blogged. I have celebrated my mama, my grandmama and myself since my last blog.  I've been up and down the mid-atlantic, but now I'm back. This one's a humorous one because I want y'all to know, I'm still funny, ok?  Enjoy this terrible tale of terrifying treachery....

So, I'm in between "thangs" right now. And in that interim I have been "giving a man a chance". This concept is drizzled in misogyny because it implies that in order for me to not be a cat lady, I should date all of the way outside my box. My box ain't small, I refer to myself as an Equal Opportunity Offender when it comes to the dating world. But mostly, I do it for the stories, though and THIS one is a doozie!

Let me set this up for you: I go through phases of indiscriminately swiping right on Tinder when I'm bored just to see who's feeling the girl. This explains how I ended up out for drinks with a white guy from around the way that recently cut off his locs.... *pauses for reactions* I know, RIGHT?!?!

He says we're meeting for drinks and conversation. Cool. I get there and he's tinier than I expected. That's fine, it's just drinks and conversation. We're drinking and he's not as funny as he thinks he is. So sometimes I give a polite laugh and sometimes I give a side eye. We talk about me and how I pretty much work my 2 jobs, go out to eat with my friends and go to church. Church was an issue for him. He was spiritual and not religious and a yogi and once strongly identified with rastafarianism... *pauses for reactions*  He sarcastically told me it sounded like I didn't do much. He had already told me he has never left the east coast, but he's been to Quebec though. Me, "oh, ok."

We talk about school and he tells me that college wasn't his thing. "They only teach you HIS-STORY! 100!", he said. Yes, y'all he actually said "100" he said it many, many, many times throughout. We talk about music and he tells me he listens to everything. I say I do too and I tell him I really love bluegrass. He's like "Is that like the blues? I listen to the blues." Me, "no." He then tells me he likes to listen to roots/culture music on vinyl. Whose roots and culture, dude? He was referring to reggae, y'all. *pauses for reactions*

The convo goes on and I start not caring. I was saying anything that came to my head and did not care about being polite because I was over it at this point. I was rolling my eyes at his ridiculousness. Somehow we got on the topic of food. This is when I found out he was vegan.

How did I find out? By super preachy announcement and a further condescending "explanation", of course. Me, "Don't start that vegan bullshyt." Him, "What bullshyt?" Then he launches into a one-sided debate with all the vegan buzzwords including: square vs. circular cells, mention of sentient creatures, and a declaration to never kill anything with 2 eyes. (yet he mentioned he definitely kills mosquitoes, flies, spiders and the like)  *pauses for reactions*

Then he goes on to talk about what part of my argument I should not bring up. Mind you, I stopped talking after he got super hype about his side. He begins to discuss the ills of corporate farms and "the man". He may not have said "the man", but by this point I was ready to go. He said, "I like debating, it's fun.100" Me, "This definitely isn't fun for me." The bill arrives and he looks at me and asks if I mind splitting the check. The check that came to $17 whole dollars! I started to pay the whole check and walk out, but I HATE when women do that just to prove they can. So I said, yes, placed my card on top of his $11 (which he said included his tip) and prayed the waiter came quickly.

I'm sitting there wishing I had stayed home and had a V-8, and that's when I notice it. Mr. Woke Vegan Rage Against Corporate Consumerism is wearing a jacket from The North Face and beef and broccoli Timberlands. *pauses for reaction* Y'all.... Y'all! 

The waiter comes back with my card, I sign and grab my coat. Outside he asks,  "where is your car?" I point across the street, he says, "oh,  mine is over there" and points in another direction. He leans in for a hug.................. I give him the Christian side hug and he walks off toward his car................. I walk to my car alone and as soon as I am inside safely, I unmatch with him.

It was just drinks and conversation but I don't have room for THAT level of hypocrisy in my life!

Friday, January 5

Lessons from the Pit: Bitter or Better?

During this morning's devotional time, I came across this gem:
From the devotional The Dream Centered Life by Luke Barnett

It got me to thinking how we fall into pits -because life, duh- and choose to stay there. They make the pit home. we choose not to learn how to get out of the pit and how to subsequently avoid the pit the next time. Folks get comfortable in the pit because they have been there so long struggling with how to get out. And don't you dare try to enter the pit with them or help them out! They live there now. I find this happens a lot in failed relationships and business ventures. These two things can elicit the same passion from us. We put all we know how into both things. The same longing for success that when they fail, can cause us to be inconsolable and so overwhelmed with the failure that the only lesson we think we learn is to never ever do that again in any way shape or form. 

I know far too many that fall into the pit and it makes them bitter. But they don't see it. They choose not to care about anything anymore.  They lose their compassion for others because they would rather forget those feelings they felt when they fell into the pit initially. They put their capacity to love another thing (person, place, idea) on ice because they want or need to appear tough. For whom? For what? Bitterness isn't always constantly ranting about how people didn't support your dreams. Bitterness can be as subtle as sabotaging another opportunity to invest your time, talent, and expertise elsewhere. Bitterness isn't always posts about not being a sucker for love ever again. It can be as subtle as shunning a relationship with a person you know loves you. Bitterness can became so much a fabric of our lives that we don't recognize it. We spend so much time in the pit that it looks and feels like home. We've decorated it, installed cable and changed our mailing address. We've tasted straight lemon juice so often that we think we prefer it to lemonade.

I now know more and more people that are opting to get out of the pit. Sometimes they do it alone, but it becomes much easier when you ask for help. See, we have lost our capacity to ask for help for so many reasons. Sometimes it's just because we don't know what help we need. Using the pit as a time for introspection and honesty is the only way to know for sure what you need to escape from it. Not everyone that walks by you in the pit is going to help you out. Some may join you, ignore you, or even convince you to stay. This is why how you use your time in the pit is so crucial. 

How did you get here?
How long do you plan to stay here?
How did you feel before this?
How do you feel now?
How do you want to feel after?
What can you do to get out in the safest way?
What healthy changes can you make once you are out?
Will you need help getting out of here?
Who can help you out of here?

These are just a few questions we can ask ourselves. 

Look around you, have you made the pit your home? It's never too late to escape. Forgive yourself for staying in your bitterness so long. But for goodness' sake, do the work to get out of the pit. You owe it to yourself to be better not bitter and avoid the same pitfall again.