BlackFace 101

This is a detour from my normal posts, but I think it’s important that we have an open and honest conversation. I’m black. I’m a woman. I’ve made no secret of that. However, we can’t be afraid to talk about race.

I’ve been blessed to have friends of all nationalities and races. Let’s have a frank discussion about blackface. I’m entitling this BlackFace 101. I recently read an article about a white teen who dressed in blackface to ask a girl to prom. He believed he did nothing wrong.

If that is true, then his parents failed him. Why? Because as a parent, you have an obligation to teach not just tolerance, acceptance and empathy but history to your children. The school’s don’t do a good job of it anymore. They are literally omitting and changing history in the textbooks.  You need to fill in the blanks. Just like I have to do.

Our job as parents require us to encourage and educate our children every step of the way. If you are a parent in 2017, why would you think it is okay for your child to dress up in blackface? If you knew it was wrong and you don’t think it’s a big deal, then stop asking for forgiveness for your child’s ignorance. You failed them. Plain and simple.

I’m black, but I have to teach Munch about all cultures. Not just our own. Not the watered down versions that the schools are teaching now. It is my responsibility to make sure that he knows and respects everyone’s culture. That’s what we seem to be lacking…respect for other cultures.

If you don’t teach your children this, then you are ill preparing them for the real world. We are a melting pot of many cultures and nationalities and ignorance isn’t bliss. I don’t care what anyone says. Preparation for the future is key.

If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. Mahatma Gandhi

The history of blackface is not something that is ever appropriate. In short, white America’s conception of black entertainers were overly exaggerated. They were mocking us as the socially and racially inferior race. It was pure ignorance.

The fact of the matter is that if you choose to wear blackface after knowing it’s offensive history, you’re in essence telling me that you don’t give a crap about my feelings as a black woman. I’m supposed to take it as a joke. The thing is though…you can’t forget history. I can’t wipe off what happened to my ancestors like you can your painted blackface. It isn’t acceptable and if you do it, at least be man or woman enough to not ask for forgiveness over your ignorance.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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His Plan

So, we’ve all been there. Where? To the depths of hell swimming like a madman without a life jacket. Drowning. In pain. We didn’t understand how life took this rapid turn and we found ourselves in a perpetual state of hell.

It happens. It happened to me. It happens to everyone. You are not alone. You should know that …

See, that’s all we can ask. That God helps us through it. Our lives have been planned out. There will be good days and there will be bad days. We have to stay committed to knowing that our faith matters. We can’t falter in our faith when we fear the unknown.

Just breathe.

Know that everything is working for your good. You are wonderfully and beautifully made to survive any test or trial that comes your way. Be encouraged.

Just breathe.

I remember being on the floor crying out in pain asking God “Why has thou forsaken me?” Only to hear him whisper “I haven’t. Get up. It’s done.” Even when I feel like I can’t go on and take any more I try to whisper “Dear God, just give me the strength to endure.”

I breathe.

I’ve been at the end of my rope. There were times I didn’t know which way to turn or who could help me. I called on the One. The One who is always available. Who sees my tears and knows that His child is crying. He will see me through this troubled time. He will see you through your troubled times.

Breathe.

Don’t let the trouble you find yourself in define who you are. You are beautifully and wonderfully made in the Master’s image. So, you’ve made mistakes. Who hasn’t? The key is to know that there is always something bigger in store for you. Your greater is coming.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Built to Last

My friend and I were watching Selma last month and he said to me “See, they don’t make women like Coretta Scott King anymore. She stood by her husband when she knew he was being unfaithful. You present day women would leave your man in a heartbeat. You’re not built to last.” Yep, he actually said that BS. Really dude?

I had a WTH? look on my face as I tried to compose myself before responding. Believe it or not I can just respond and cut you with my words, but now that I’m 40 I’m trying to tame my tongue and think a full one minute before responding to foolishness.

106829-Kevin-Hart-dumbfounded-confuse-0aQE

But, I got myself together and said “Built to last? So, women should stand by a man who is unfaithful because we married him?” I almost choked on my water and then I couldn’t stop laughing because I realized that this man was serious.

Simon Cowell almost chokes on his drink laughing at X-Factor

I decided that my friend must be smoking some new and undetectable brand of crack for saying something so absolutely whack that I had to share it with all of you. I had to break down a few things to this man about what he thinks women should and shouldn’t put up with and dispel a few myths that he may be sharing among other men who may start believing this lie. Here are three of the myths that I came up with in response to his foolish belief.

Myth #1: Women Should Stand By an Unfaithful Partner

I’m saying partner instead of man because if you’re in a same sex relationship my advice would apply to you as well. You don’t have to stand by anyone who is being unfaithful to you. If YOU CHOOSE to stay in a relationship where you are being disrespected, it is your choice. But, not everyone is that strong. The thing about infidelity is that it cuts like a knife. I’ve been there. It hurts like hell. You want everyone in the situation to feel the same type of pain you have. No matter what, they don’t. Your pain is your pain. You own it. You have to nurture it. You have to heal from it.

I’m not suggesting you leave a marriage if they are unfaithful. This is a personal choice. However, there are a number of things that I would consider before staying in a marriage that was unfaithful: length of our marriage, the issues that we are having that made him seek someone outside of our marriage and can I truly forgive my partner. If I can’t forgive and not continuously bring it up then I need to leave the relationship. Your sanity will depend on it. But, there have been many couples who have stayed with an unfaithful partner and were able to fix their marriage. It’s your choice.

However, don’t think you weren’t built to last if you choose to leave. That is a myth. You just don’t want to continue being a relationship where your partner has broken your trust. It’s your choice.

Myth #2: Your Partner Expects You to Stay

This is a big myth. No one expects you to stay in a relationship where they’ve violated your trust unless they are smoking crack. If that is the case then you should definitely leave for their alleged drug use and not just because of their inability to stay faithful. Drug addiction is just as serious as infidelity. You make the choice to stay. No one can force you and if you want to work on your relationship, there is nothing wrong with that. Do what you want to do. But, a piece of advice….if your partner expects you to stay then there is a real problem. Either they will continue being unfaithful to you or they are a cold-hearted narcissist. Whatever it is you should run now. Trust me. Run!

Myth #3: You Are Not Built to Last

Yep, you are built to last. Whether you stay with an unfaithful partner or leave. You are fine. You are built to last. You’ve survived the pain of the betrayal and you will be okay. You don’t need medals advertising your pain. It’s okay to cry and go through it alone. You are a survivor. I believe that in Coretta’s case that she may have stayed not just because she loved her husband but in actuality for a self-serving purpose. Her husband was changing history. She knew this. His name would forever be emblazoned in history and hers too. She stayed because her purpose was his purpose. A shared purpose and therefore she prioritized. She chose to stay. Her choice. Individual choice. If you choose not to stay that doesn’t mean that you are less than someone else. You are still you.

Infidelity is a serious issue and I don’t want anyone to think that you have to stay in an unhealthy relationship with a cheater. If you forgive and stay that is your choice and no one is judging you for it. If you leave it is your choice as well but in either case understand that you are beautifully and wonderfully made and this pain that you’re in will heal and you will get better. I promise you.

 

Why I Won’t Love You

I won’t love you because your definition of love is vastly different from mine.

You see love as control and order. Everything must be in perfect alignment. No coloring outside of the lines.

You see love as a game where you chase, I submit and I live as you wish striving to make you happy.

You see love as a dance where you always lead and I have to follow whether or not I want to go.

You see love as an opportunity to brag and boast about the goodness of me without having to do anything.

You see love as something that you are required to have and not something you desire.

 

I see love as a smorgasbord of opportunities to improve the life of you.

I see love as my chance to color the rainbow on your heart just like a three year old. Why? Because sometimes love is messy.

I see love where you will chase, I will submit and WE will live each day trying to make each other happy.

I see love as a dance between two people wanting to put their best foot forward. Although I’m awkward in my love dance, I want someone who will create a new move with me.

I see love as a chance to wake up each day thanking God for you. Just you.

I see love as an opportunity to improve both of our lives by loving you without limits.

 

Do you see now why I won’t love you?

Our definitions of love differ.

You think of you and I think of US.

Imani Cezanne “Flowers”

Wow is all I can say!

I am so moved by this poet’s words that I had to share this. It touched my soul. As someone who is plus sized, grew up without her father, dealt with sexual abuse and all the manifestations of that trauma and life…food became my solace. It comforted me. It didn’t hurt me.

Some people may never understand the true pain of an emotional eater. We judge. We laugh. We act like they don’t exist. We was me when I used to hide behind big clothes to not be noticed. I tried to stop eating. To do fad diets. No results. I had to change me. I had to get to the root of the problem.

I did. I was camouflaging the pain. It is only then that I was able to understand what I was running from and how I could change. I have lost weight (45 pounds to be exact). It is a journey. It is something that I will never stop living. Each day is a gift and I understand it. I don’t use food as a crutch anymore. But, I will never forget.

A Song for Brennan

Because I am a mother. Because I am black. Because I feel pain. I wrote this piece.

 

“A Song for Brennan”

Almost seven years ago, I birthed a king

Difficult conception, difficult delivery, but I had faith

You see I knew death from diseases that you weren’t supposed to get

I knew what it was like to see someone you love lying in a casket as people wept

Silently

 

But I prayed

I prayed for peace

I prayed for my seed growing in my womb

I prayed for you my son

 

I imagined your face being a combination of me and your daddy’s

I imagined singing you to sleep every night with songs I created in my mind

Why?

Because Rock-a-Bye-Baby scared the hell out of me

No way were you going to be up in a tree in a cradle

With the dang wind blowing?

What kind of foolishness was that?

Mess I said

Besides I knew I would never let you fall

 

My job was to protect you

Like wings of an eagle, I would always be there

You were the angel in my womb

God’s favor over my life defined

My chance at redemption

 

I changed

I became a fanatic

Reading everything I could get my hands on

I wanted to nurture you physically, mentally and spiritually

I vowed to protect you

Always

No greater love

 

It’s been an incredible journey my sweet boy

You’ve taught me how to love beyond measure

You challenge me

You inspire me

You love me

You question me

 

But I’ve lied dear sweet boy

Not because I wanted too, but because I had too

I couldn’t tell you the truth when you asked me about the police

I smiled away my tears as allergies when you caught me crying

I laughed and kissed you and said “Mommy loves you so much”

When you questioned the sadness in my eyes the next morning

 

“Is it me Mommy?” You asked

“Are you mad at me?” You questioned

“No baby” I responded

 

Truth is love

That I’m crying for all those mothers that lose

Lose their sons

For walking home from the store

For playing in the park

For walking to school

For

For

 

Being black

Because being black in this damn world

Is killing me

It angers me

That our children are dying

That you will never know

That in the midst of my tears for injustice

That I scream the names

For Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner

Michael Brown, John Crawford,

Jonathan Ferrell, Tamir Rice and the countless others

Who have lost their life

Because my dear sweet baby boy

I want you to know that

Black lives matter

You matter

More: My Latest Poem

Recently, I’ve been accepting the fact that I want more and that it is okay to want it. Because realistically, I tend to accept the BS that I’m given and try to justify the BS as legitimate because I am thinking about the other person and not trying to appear selfish. But is it really selfish?

That being said, I started to write a poem and ended up realizing that what I wanted to say was that I want and deserve more and that it’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m selfish or self-centered. It means I’m human and I love me more. More is real and more says you’re worth it.

Pen to paper and my feelings became a poem that I entitled “More”.

 

More

Many months of dating and sexing and no commitment came

I wanted more

You cringed at the thought that you would have to share your heart

I walked away

Knowing and believing that I deserved more than a fleeting kiss

With an occasional promise of something more

“Stay with me” you asked

“Let me please you baby” you begged

“Let’s not define the undefinable and exist where we are” you said

“Don’t worry about the others” you whispered

“Just focus on us” you urged

 

I did

I tried

I focused on trying to change you

To make you into the man that would love only me

To show and prove that I was a down ass chick

Who would be your ride or die and

Never leave your side girl

Your homey/lover and your friend

I succumbed to the passion

And pushed more to the back of my mind

 

Why?

Because more didn’t matter

I was going to live in the present

Smile

Enjoy it

Booty calls, occasional dates and pillow talk

That was something right?

It was better than more

 

But more kept pushing and fighting for freedom

More didn’t like the space it was being confined too

More wanted to run wild and yell

More wanted to hold hands in public

More wanted to go to your house of worship and praise

More wanted to meet your family and friends

More wanted to define the terms of our relationship

More wanted to update its Facebook status

More wanted to be unleashed

 

More broke out

I ran crying because I couldn’t put more back

I stood there shaking because more demanded

We have a talk

 

More told me that

I deserve more

I have to choose me

More said I have to leave

More said you can’t stay being the supporting actress

When I was born to play the lead

 

So I listened to more

I left you

I am alone

But you know what?

More was right

I’m happy

In this place of peace

No ambiguity

No confusion

No heartbreak

No tears

No yelling

No screaming

No demanding

No convincing required

Nothing to prove

Because in this space where you don’t exist

I found more