Kinky Locks – too Naughty for Corporate

A great read….

In the corporate world, many of us are forced to ditch our natural hair, because corporate thinks our kinky locks are too naughty for regular business operations…

Source: Kinky Locks – too Naughty for Corporate

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Black Woman Dating

I follow a blogger, Bougie Black Girl, who I absolutely adore. So, while strolling Facebook on Monday night I saw this post:

I was actually floored. Why? Because it seemed like she was suggesting that in order for a man to recognize your worth he had to pay for a pricey dinner. Really?

I get that women undervalue themselves when dating, but when did my value become synonymous with how much you’re willing to pay for dinner? I tend to look at dating as a preview of whether or not we’re compatible. I will never ask you to spend $300 on a first date or any date where we are not in a relationship. If you choose to do so, then great, if not, I will enjoy my scallops just the same at McCormick & Schmick’s without you having to break the bank.

Many people don’t make it past a first date. Whether of their choice or mine, I don’t like to waste any one’s time. So, I will pick a place that is family friendly with a lot of witnesses, affordable to me and is well lit. LOL! My first date with Mr. C was at The Cheesecake Factory. Why? Because I wanted to go there. I had recently discovered that they had a fit menu and I wanted to eat healthier and drink healthier. He was cool with that.

I think the issue of black women accepting less than they are worth (think Netflix and chill) stems from us never having known our true value. It starts with us loving ourselves and providing for ourselves. I’m not taking anything away from a man not being able to provide, but a man paying for a $300 meal tells me nothing about his character, his finances or his ability to provide long-term for me. What was his childhood like? What are his spending habits like? Does he have money saved for retirement?

I get that we don’t want to date anymore “broke a** men” but in order to change our mindset we need to heal from our bad experiences. Release and reflect on our choices and accept that they were our bad choices. We learn from them. We move on. We move beyond the BS into making better choices. For our future. For our children.

Now, before ya’ll get your panties in a bunch and say “Well, T I want him to know that I’m the prize and he can’t just be cheap with me” I get it. Did you tell him that? In your conversations. I mean you can learn a lot about a man by just talking to him. Does that mean he will listen? Nope, but neither does breaking his bank. I would rather a man take me somewhere he can afford (that is within my dining standards) than to splurge on something that he can’t and then be disrespectful by asking for sex afterwards.

Dating is supposed to be fun. It’s the courtship of getting to know and respect each other. It’s a process. No amount of money spent will guarantee that you actually enjoy the date.  Take your time and meet people who first respect you and secondly will pay for dinners. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. If you don’t know what a Michelin star is should you really be asking a man to take you to a restaurant that has 3 Michelin stars?

I’m just saying.

Will I go out for dinner at McDonald’s? Umm, nope. But, I will go to Friday’s or Ruby Tuesday’s if it’s not a pay week. I’m versatile.

Career Day – What’s That?

Today is Career Day at Munch’s school. My mom is going to speak at Career Day. She was harassed invited by the counselor to speak after one of our Parent Teacher conferences. It was weird, but exciting.

See, when I was growing up I don’t remember Career Day. We may have had it, but I honestly can’t recall. Maybe it’s only done in elementary and middle school and since most of that time was spent in Texas, I just don’t remember it.

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However, the counselor really wanted my mom to speak. Why? Because my mother is awesome! Nope, I’m not just saying that. She’s pretty accomplished and the fact that she’s a black woman who is a scientist impressed them.  Shoot, it impresses a lot of people.

But, that was my reality growing up. My mother was working her way through college and grad school while I was matriculating through college as well. She worked 3 jobs and raised three kids while doing it. Never was not in her vocabulary.

She couldn’t make a financial aid workshop? No problem, she sent one of her many villagers to accompany me. They were all working on their PhD’s in some sort of science. They were all women. Pretty cool huh?

That’s when I learned women rock! We can do anything. These women were showing me that. But, no way in hell I wanted to be a scientist. Chemistry was almost the death of me. I avoided all careers that required more than memorization. Which is why I ended up as an English major. LOL.

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My mom wasn’t impressed with going to Career Day. She lives a pretty busy life and isn’t feeling Munch’s school so going wasn’t at the top of her list. However, I did ask Munch in front of her…”Munch, do you want your Nana to speak at Career Day at your school?” He looked at me and asked, “What is Career Day?” I smiled and said, “It’s where your Nana gets up and tells everyone that she’s a scientist and what she does in her career.” He simply said, “Yes.”

It was settled. She couldn’t disappoint her grandson. LOL. My mom then tells me today that she found out that the kids participating in Career Day where in grades 3 through 8. She asked the counselor, “Why would I do this and my own grandson won’t know I’m there because he’s in 2nd grade and they are not participating?” The counselor responded “Don’t worry, I’ll pull him out of class so he can be in there with you.”

And just like that my mom went to Career Day. Even though she was kicking and screaming I’m sure that she inspired some children (hopefully young girls) to be scientists. We can never have enough of them.

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A Tired Black Woman

Dear Black Man,

I’m tired of you and everyone in America trying to tell me what beauty is. I am beautiful. Because I am one of God’s greatest creations. My beauty is not defined in how I choose to wear my hair or the clothes on my back. My beauty is both spiritual and physical. You don’t have to recognize it. You don’t have to appreciate it. You don’t have to even accept it. But, you know what I need you to do?

Stop trying to tell me that I’m not beautiful because I choose to perm my hair or color it. Stop trying to tear me down and say that I can’t accept criticism. Cause you know what? I can. I do. Every single day. When I go to work to take care of the children that I have to raise on my own while you live your life. You know the children that I carried for 9 months. The children who have your eyes or my lips? Those children.

Those children that are being gunned down in the streets or on the playground. Those children that are being unfairly or harshly disciplined in their schools. Those children that are being shuffled into Special Education because they are too active in the classroom. I’m working to raise them.

To try and teach them self-love and how to interact with law enforcement. How to be respectful of all adults. Of how they should notify me if there is a problem with a teacher or another student. Of how to stand up for what they believe in but not too much to draw attention that they become a target.

I have to go to work everyday in corporate America after waking up alone and getting our children fed and off to school. I work my butt off at a job that doesn’t pay me what I’m worth but I don’t complain. I look at graduate school programs during my lunch break, send emails to the teacher about our children’s grades or schedule doctor’s appointments.

Oh look, it’s been 3 years since I had my last physical, mammogram or PAP smear. No worries though. My personal health is not important right now. The kids are up on their shots, I am running for PTSA President and I am able to send our son to sleep away camp for a couple of weeks this summer. Wait, let me schedule our daughter’s hair appointment, pick up the dry cleaning and get home to do dinner and homework.

I’m exhausted. It doesn’t matter though. I still have to review homework. Clean the kitchen, put the kids to bed and log on to my computer and check work emails. I have to prove my worth, by showing my boss that I am always thinking about work. I am after all…superwoman. I’m supposed to be both invincible and invaluable.

Later that night when I finally drag myself into bed, I will cry myself to sleep because you aren’t there to hear my tears. I will pray that God will heal your heart and spirit against me. Because I am not your enemy. I also pray that God doesn’t harden my heart to you dear black man. Because if he does, what do you think will become of our children’s future?

Signed,

A Tired Black Woman

 

You Need to Know Her Name

Hey folks!

It’s the last day of March and Women’s History month. LOL! I will still celebrate because I’m bringing some interesting interviews from women I admire over the next few months. I have been slow to do the interviews and get the questions because of all that I have going on. Please know that you will find them as intriguing and interesting as I do.

With that being said, you need to know this woman’s name. Her name is Lisa and she is phenomenal. She blogs at ZenandPi. I stumbled on her blog from another blogger’s website. Her writing is beautiful. She brings you into her world with her writing and once you are in there, trust me that you will never want to leave. Check out her interview below:

I want to know what you find to be the hardest challenges facing women today? Our gender, our color, our sexual orientation, the economy, our own internal struggles? Any, none or all of the above. 

I think the hardest challenge we have yet to overcome is one of inclusion. We are struggling with differences between cultures, varying levels of economic class, and privilege. It is a problem of acceptance and a too narrow view of femininity. Transgendered and non-binary women are being excluded, women of color (WOC) are being pushed aside, poor women are being blamed, and women who suffer in other countries are being forgotten altogether.

Women in the west need to look past themselves and work on bringing all women up before we take further steps. Failure to do this is fracturing the feminist movement and causing a loss of credibility and trust.

I myself have heard many women who are not white, straight, or cisgender wonder aloud if feminism has done anything to help them at all. And if feminists don’t care about them, why should they join the movement?

How do you see this struggle being played out in our daily lives? 

It plays out in all of our lives in both big and small ways, mainly through microaggression and misinformation. I think the most affected group would be transgendered, women. I mean, they are still fighting for bathroom privileges for God sakes, and all because other women refuse to fight alongside them in greater numbers. I saw a woman on Twitter just this morning arguing that Trans women should be forced to use a Men’s room. The kicker? She was arguing with a man! He got it and she didn’t. There are other examples and other groups being forced out, but the problem is the same, fear and privilege.

I know you said in your about page that you came from a broken home (me too) do you think this has impacted you in a positive way? I mean, you can’t change the circumstances of your past, but were you able to take that negative and turn it into a positive? 

Oh, I definitely think so! My parents were not mature enough for marriage and I think they did us kids a favor by at least being able to admit that to themselves. My parents got along better in their divorce than they ever did in marriage and that taught us that family doesn’t have to look or be a certain way in order for everyone to be happy. A lot of people think traditional family values and roles are what is best for everyone. I know that if my parents had stayed together things would have turned out a lot worse. I think adults who come from broken homes have a special set of problems but they also have a special set of strengths. We are often better at seeing the world in a variety of viewpoints and we are better at acceptance and understanding. Not to mention we know the true value of family and forgiveness.

Do you believe in God or a higher God? Do you have any thoughts on religion and sexuality in the black church? 

I was raised a Christian and went to church most Sundays during my childhood with my grandmother. I can’t say that I ever really believed in God, although there were times in my teenage years that I hoped he was real and prayed regularly, but I don’t think I was ever really religious. When I was 17 years old I started going to bible study again at the request of an Aunt. There were a lot of lesbian and gay teenagers in there and one day one of them asked if all gay people went to hell. The teacher said yes, with no hesitation or sympathy, and that was the last day I attended.

I didn’t believe in God much before that, but that answer is what drove me from the church. I have a feeling a lot of people might have gone through something similar and turned away the same as I did.

What are some of the things that you are doing or want to do to give back to the community? 

I honestly don’t do as much as I want to for the community at all. I fear what little talent and passion I have lies in writing and art so for the foreseeable future those are the mediums I will use to help my community.

For now, besides sharing my own stories, I try to dedicate at least one post a week on my blog to raising awareness of women’s issues and LGBT rights. I’ll try to share and signal boost posts that give people a glimpse into the lives of people who do not fit into what has been considered “normal” or ideal once a week as well. I look for other queer voices, people suffering from mental health issues and addiction, and stories of poverty, or chronic illness and disability.

In the future I would like to have my own publication, maybe a zine, to showcase those voices. One day…

Has your life’s struggles influenced your writing? How so? 

Of all the bad things I have been through the most common feelings were ones of loneliness and helplessness. I was on my own very early in life and I had no idea how to do things like find a job, pay my bills, build my credit, or save money. I didn’t know how to deal with the stress of it all either. I had no idea where to go when I felt depressed or who to call when I had made a mistake. I was forced to be a human island when no man or woman was ever meant to be. On top of all that I got the feeling that if you were struggling in this world it was because something was wrong with you. Your failure is entirely your own fault. No wonder so many of us buckle under the pressure.

My life struggles have shown me that this world has the potential to be a safer, more nurturing, and caring place, if only people would snap out of this mentality that life is every man for himself. We could all be helping one another and that is what my writing is about, ultimately. I want people to work toward being more empathetic and really see the people around them. When you think about it, we all deserve a better life than the one we have been giving one another.

If you could speak with a young woman who feels that all hope is lost and the only way out is death, what would you tell her (as your testimony) to encourage her to not make that decision? 

I would tell her that I have been there. I have been hurting and alone and hopeless. I would tell her that life can be so unexpected and beautiful and that in moments like this that can be impossible to believe. I would tell her the light is there it is only that she cannot see it yet and that if she would only hold on a little longer something will change, it always does, and there can be love and happiness and security. We just have to keep walking toward it and it will find us. I am proof of it and I promise it can happen for everyone it just takes time, and hard work when you can, and rest when you can’t. Hold on girly.

 

Lisa Blair is a blogger and a bleeding heart who cares very much about this little planet and all the humans living on it. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her amazing wife, an old cat, a young dog, and two very shy snakes. She dreams of one day being able to quit her day job and live the fascinating and mysterious life of a full-time writer. She blogs at ZenandPi, but you can also find her posting notes and bits of inspiration on Twitter at ZenandPi and on Tumblr at ZenandPi

Audre Lorde

Today’s Black History Month spotlight goes to another poet I discovered in college. Happy Birthday Audre Lorde! Rest in Peace!

I love her work. Strong imagery. I can actually hear her speaking the words to me as I read them. Isn’t that what good poetry is supposed to do? Transport you into the situation so that you can see what is being said? Whew! Audre Lorde was born February 18, 1934 and died November 17, 1992.   She was an incredible poet, essayist and feminist. A champion of causes. She used her writing to speak to the times. Much of it could be felt now.

 

Power

BY AUDRE LORDE

The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
yourself
instead of your children.
I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.
A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens
stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood
and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and
there are tapes to prove it. At his trial
this policeman said in his own defense
“I didn’t notice the size nor nothing else
only the color”. And
there are tapes to prove that, too.
Today that 37 year old white man
with 13 years of police forcing
was set free
by eleven white men who said they were satisfied
justice had been done
and one Black Woman who said
“They convinced me” meaning
they had dragged her 4’10” black Woman’s frame
over the hot coals
of four centuries of white male approval
until she let go
the first real power she ever had
and lined her own womb with cement
to make a graveyard for our children.
I have not been able to touch the destruction
within me.
But unless I learn to use
the difference between poetry and rhetoric
my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold
or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire
and one day I will take my teenaged plug
and connect it to the nearest socket
raping an 85 year old white woman
who is somebody’s mother
and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed
a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time
“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”