Monday, December 26, 2011

X-mas is finally over

Christmas if over and I can barely believe that it was ever actually here. I never got into the holiday spirit. Everything seemed so rushed and seemed to come so fast. Not to mention in STL we are unseasonably warm. It was 50 degrees on Christmas! I put up the tree I even cooked dinner and invited guest over but I still never got into the spirit. I guess the holidays dont seem the same as when I was a kid.

I use to love the holidays. I loved everything about the holidays, the cold weather, the lights, the shopping, the trees, the food and the way people are extra nice. Well things just have changed. It all seems about the money and the gifts. The kids just dont seem as appreciative as they used to be.

But I just had to tell myself maybe I forgot the reason for the season. If I would have remembered Jesus maybe I would have felt the holiday spirit. How was your holiday?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Silly Rabbit Tricks Are For Kids

Today is World AIDS Day. I won’t go into the staggering statistics regarding African American women. We’ve heard the percentages, know the horror stories yet we are still out here raw dogging it and putting our lives on the line.
But the reality of AIDS is so real that you could lose your life behind transmitting AIDS

A District man pleaded guilty to shooting a woman in the head after she jokingly told him she had given him AIDS, officials said.
Lloyd Wilkins, 49, of Northeast Washington, was charged with possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and possession of an unregistered firearm, according to U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.
On April 23, 2011, a woman came over to Wilkins' home. They began drinking and eventually had sex, authorities said.
Afterward, the woman jokingly told Wilkins that she had given him AIDS.
Wilkins then walked to his closet, got a 12-gauge single-shot shotgun and fired it at the woman's head, striking her, authorities say.

He then called 911 to report he had shot someone.
Despite the injury, the woman was able to call a friend to pick her up and take her to the hospital. She had extensive surgery and remains deaf in her right ear as a result of the shooting.

Medical records were obtained which show she does not have AIDS.
Let’s not forget that this man had consensual unprotected sex with this woman. Yet he damn near lost his mind when she “jokingly” told him she gave him AIDS. First let me just say home girl may wanna work on her comedy routine cause that is not something you want to “joke” around with. Secondly the man should go to jail for a few years, maybe then he will learn to take responsibility for his own actions.

People AIDS is 100% preventable.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time Flies

My goodness I cant belive we are already in November. We will be celebrating the New Year before you know it. Have any of you noticed how quickly time seems to be getting away from us?

Yesterday I heard that Heavy D passed away and I thought about the first time I saw him in concert ....which was 1988 by the way. My cousins and I went to see Heavy D, Salt and Pepper, Dougie Fresh, The Fat Boys, LL Cool J and Curtis Blow. It was a great show. We all had a good time and it was my first concert.

Shoot 1988 seem so far away it might as well be 1958. From time to time I just think about how simple things used to be. How all I had to do was go outside and play and do well in school. How I had friends in my neighborhood and riding our bikes was considered fun not exercise!

Times has changed and so have I. I just wish some things could stay the same. All change is not good

Saturday, October 29, 2011

So Gone...

Why does my body ignore what my mind says. I try to keep in tact.... but I'm here in this bed.. I need to listen.

He got that thickness, the kind that make you wake up making biscuits for breakfast, so gone. And I ain't even think about the next chick that he messed with... so reckless.

These are lyrics to Jill Scott's single So Gone. And I can relate so well to these lyrics. Well....not so much now but I've most certainly had some "so gone" moments. Single ladies....y'all get this right?

Meet a guy not interesting in making him your man but some way or another sex enters the game. Damn.... brother got that diamond chip d*ck (that means his sex game is a perfect 10)

So now you contemplating how you wanna handle this. You're not in a relationship and he is not really relationship material... but that bed game aint no joke. Most of these men that have diamond chip d*ck know they are in possession of a true rare gift and their whole intention is to get you sprung!

Next thing you know... brother man at your crib more than a few nights a week and you
acting all boo'ed up like you really got a man. But here is where the game changes. The more you get sprung out on that good sex... the more power he has.

Now we kinda trying to press the brother into a committed relationship. But you don't come and say it right out the gate you drop hints. Of course he ignores the hints. And your mind starts to wonder who is he sharing the goodies with. Which drives you more crazy.

You keep getting that good d*ck but feeling used up and not so special any more. You try to wane yourself off the sex. Promising I'm only going to have sex with him once a week, I'm not staying the night I will leave as soon as it's over.

This goes on for a little while longer and sooner or later it ends.

Wow I remember those days. Guess what I don't miss them....but I know what it's like.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Career Drama

I feel just like the lady in the picture. Sometimes you just gotta scream and let all the negative emotions out of your body. My main issue is with my job. I have been on my job for 9 years and I am totally bored. My job is no longer fulfilling or fun. I have a new boss that totally get on my last nerve. I am no longer inspired nor do I feel like giving it my best.

I know I should not be complaining about my job when millions of people are without jobs. I am not been ungrateful or unappreciative but I want another job. I tried looking for a job last night and it has been so long since I looked for a job I don't even know where to start.

I am trying to relocate to California but I am not sure if I can. The job market sucks even more there. I have thought about hiring a headhunter, but shoot I am broke. What do you do when you are uninspired and just hate your job? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boys Are Stupid

Okay I absolutely love my man. I really do...why else would I be dating a man on the West Coast and I am living in the Mid-West. It goes without saying that it is very challenging keeping things straight when we are so far apart. So anyway I go out to LA last week and we having a fairly good time and he mention that I put on a little weight. The weight issue is very sensitive to me and I can go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds when I am questioned about my weight. He said, " you need to lose a few pounds because I don't think it is healthy for you to be gaining too much weight." I'm not even going to mention that I lost 10 pounds since the last time I saw him. The last time we saw each other he didn't mention a damn thing about my weight.

Of course I brushed it off but it bugged the hell out of me all night. Next thing I know I am in the bathroom looking at my body and thinking all kinds of negative thoughts. But I know that I have lost 20 pounds in the last 3 months so I snatch those negative thoughts out of my head.

I figure he don't know what the hell he is talking about and quickly go back out and cuss him out. Now he feeling bad says he was only concerned about my health. I look at him hard and roll my eyes.He works out and has wash board abs and damn near no body fat. I feel like punching his ass in the throat.

He says I'm to sensitive...what you think

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stupid Crazy Blue Day

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right. Well today is the day for me. Lord have mercy! Okay wake up its raining sheets outside and the sky is so dark it still look like it is night time at 7:00am. The lighting is illuminating the entire house as I scramble to find something decent to wear. The temperature dropped 35 degrees overnight....**kanye shrug*** St. Louis weather you don't like it wait until the next day. Tuesday the high was 93 today the high was 65. So I get to work and the first thing I am greeting with is YOU MADE AN ERROR. My boss is telling me I messed something up and I broke protocol and he has to figure out a way to tell the higher ups about my mistake. Never mind he is the one that provided the instructions... now he wants to cover his azz and tell me it was my error. I swallow my anger but I can fill it building up in my stomach.

I had to give a presentation but I was so messed up about this so called error that I couldn't really think about nothing else. Mean while it is still raining cats and dogs outside. I spend the rest of the day trying to fix the error and provide him talking points to give to the higher ups. Then I get an email from my professor telling me to call him. I call him and he tells me I bomb my midterm and suggest I get a tutor. I was feeling really stupid cause I thought I did well on the midterm. I didn't study as hard because I thought I knew the information. I chose to drop the class because there was no way I was going to settle for less than a B. My fiance is in LA and I wanted him to be home with me. I just wanted a good ole fashion hug. I drove home in the rain and just sat in the car in front of the house.

It's times like this that make we ask am I following the right path for me. Am I living out my purpose or am I just living and taking up oxygen. Well I am hopeful that tomorrow will be a little better. The sun does shine eventually.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Labor Day....or NOT

Labor Day is Monday, and while I appreciate my job and the day off, the celebration means nothing to millions of unemployed Americans.

The Labor Department found that black unemployment — already way above the 9.1 percent national average — had a large one-month jump of 0.8 percent, to 16.7 percent in August from 15.9 percent in July. It’s the highest level of African-American joblessness in 27 years.

The number of African Americans in the labor force numbered at 17,930,000 in August.Of the number reported in the August labor force only 14,941,000 were employed. That means 2,989,000 black people are unemployed. Of course this figure does not take your cousins that stopped looking for a job or your other cousin that just recently got out of jail. These numbers only take into account those people actively looking for a job.

Then to add insult to injury it is being reported that many companies are not hiring unemployed people. This is some ridiculous mess, with such a weak economy how can this be effective. Employers are able to be more choosy in their selections and pay a hell of a lot less for top tier employees. However, this decision by corporate america has a negative effect on non whites, workers over 40 and disabled applicants.
An employer considering an ethnic minority are decreased by one-third if jobless applicants are excluded. The pool of disabled applicants would be reduced nearly 50%.

According to the National Employment Law Project, Sen. Blumenthal of Connecticut introduced legislation this week to ban employers from only hiring those that currently have jobs. “A snapshot sampling of recent online job postings disclosed a large number of ads explicitly limited to those who are ‘currently employed’,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “This perverse catch-22 requires a worker to have a job in order to get a job, and it means highly qualified, experienced workers who want and need work can’t get past the starting gate in the application process simply because they lost their jobs through no fault of their own. As a business practice, this makes no sense, and as a way to rebuild the economy, it only debilitates workers, particularly the long-term unemployed.”

The talk of a double dip recession has started and many are nervous. I know the crime rate in my city has soared. Every other day I hear on the news that a bank was robbed. Police are working overtime to keep the streets safe. More and people are turning to drugs and alcohol to deal with mounting debt and life challenges. Not to mention the increase of people standing at the highway exits and stop lights with signs asking for money.

It is imperative that we demand out senators and congress people to come up with a plan to create jobs. President Obama will have a job creation speech on Thursday and I hope to God he has something worth saying. I dont blame our Prez for the state of the economy but it is happening on his watch. I personally know so many people who are unemployed that it makes me angry. It's like an un-noticed phenomenon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Busy as a Bee

OMG my life as taken a turn and now it is in the super busy lane. It's funny how at one moment it feels like time is going by slowly and boredom is my best buddy..... but now it seems that all I have time for is sleep. What has been keeping Black Doll so busy?

My sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

This has taken my breath away. She found the lump herself and it is in the very early stages but breast cancer can be a beast so being a supportive sister is #1. My sister has decided to remove the breast with the cancerous cells. This is a very bold move and I am so scared for her. She tried chemo first and it made her too weak and too sick. It is so hot in St. Louis right now....just being in the heat for a few minutes made her pass out. Next week she goes in to have the breast removed and she seems perfectly calm about it. I know that she is really nervous as hell.. but she is a master at projecting calmness. Plus I gotta make sure her kids don't drive her bananas while she is trying to get better. Not to mention that she lives about 7 blocks from me and she calls me all the time. Can you go get this, can you help me with that, what chu doing. Yes we talk more than ever now and I'm just happy I can be there for her

I am getting married!

My guy proposed to me last month with a beautiful 3 carat solitaire ring. Yes he aint no joke when it comes to coming correct with the proposal. But seriously I would have married him if he but a band-aid on my finger! Of course I was excited and was planning the ultimate intimate wedding. That got tiring really fast...who to invite who not to invite? The budget keeps growing and growing. I found a venue that I love at a price that I love, need to lose at least 40lbs before the wedding. The wedding is tentatively scheduled for June 2012. I know it seems far away but it is not that far when you are planning a wedding. Actually right now I don't know if I feel like planning a traditional wedding shindig. I may just do a destination wedding. Right now St. Lucia or St. Barts is looking really good to me right now. Of course I ask my man "baby what you wanna do"... he says " which ever is cheaper... or whatever you wanna do". He is no help guess he feels he did his job by asking!

Graduate School

I am in school and I tell you this second masters degree is much harder than the first one. I am up all night working math problems, reading notes and studying. My weekends are filled with homework and wedding planning. It is not unusual for me to go to bed at 3am on a Friday and Saturday. I sleep all day on Sunday and study just a little bit. My professors know I am up all night because I email them questions all the time in the middle of the night. Most of the time I am so tired I feel like I am about to fall over.

I will try to get back to regular postings next week. But if I fall off you know why.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Clubbing.......When Should You Stop?

When I was in my twenties I loved the club. My girls and I partied from Thursday night to Saturday night. It was really a ritual which consisted of trying to be the baddest chick in the club. This required a lot of time and money. Because most of us were recent college grads with money to burn it was nothing to spend hundred of dollars at the mall, hair salon, and nail salon. Friday after work was spent getting our hair weaved, cut, wrapped, dyed and curled head straight home and get ready for the club. Saturday was spent at the mall getting the perfect outfit and getting our mani-pedi's. Go home relax a few hours and out to the club.

Did I mention that most of the time I didn't stumble into the house until after 7 in the morning. See St. Louis borders on the great state of IL. We would go to STL clubs and party until 2:00 am (all STL clubs close at 3am, some at 1am). Then we head over to East St. Louis (ESL) and party until 6am in the morning. Yes ESL clubs stay open until 6am. Then we would go to Denny's and eat breakfast because all that dranking required a lil food after awhile. Then we would go home and sleep all day.

Of course as I got older and bills started coming in and my responsibility level increased my time at the club started to wane. By the time I was 28 the club was no longer that interesting to me and my money was needed in other places.

Fast forward to last Saturday my friend asked me to join her at a club to support her high school class reunion. All monies collected a the door would be used towards her school high class reunion. I hesitated at first but was like okay, but agreed to only go if she convinced our other friend to go. So eventually we all decided to go to the club. My friend assured us it would only be people our age at the club so it would be very mature.

So the day it was time to go we were all asking each other what to wear. Nobody could agree so we decided to do our on thang. You could tell by our outfits that neither of us spent time at the club....we didn't even know what appropriate club attire was.

Now days all my clothes must be work friendly. I dont have enough money to buy street clothes and work clothes. I had a nice jumpsuit and some comfortable heels and thought that would be casual enough without looking like I tried too hard. My other friend put on some jeans and a silk blouse and heels. She also went for the chic casual look. But my other friend took it to the limit. She went old school, got her hair done, bought an expensive "get'em girl" strapless dress and some red patent leather 5" (come fuck me heels).

We weren't if we were under dressed of if she was overdressed but we soon found out. Friend #1 was most certainly overdressed. It was very relaxed and she stood out like
Al Sharpton and a KKK meeting. She was upset and her feet hurt so bad that she stood up once to get a drink and could not get up again for the rest of the night. She finally decided to go to the bathroom. As she limped across the dance floor she looked like she was in pure pain and the sexy outfit no longer looked sexy but like a facade.

After drinking 2 long island ice teas. I was officially drunk and laughing at all the old folks in the club....including myself. After 20 minutes of waiting my our "sexy" friend to come back from the bathroom I texted her "Where are you" she responded "In The Car". So I grabbed my other friend and we left the club and went back to the car.

I asked sexy what happened she said she could not walk in those heels another minute, plus she was embarrassed that she was sooooo overdressed. We all looked at each other and busted out laughing. We agreed that we had been out the club game too long and that we were now too old to be seen at a club.

My question to you is how old is too old to be clubbing?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Concert Review – R. Kelly Love Letter Tour – St. Louis, MO

Last Friday The Love Letter tour graced St. Louis with its presence. I had never seen R. Kelly in concert before and never cared to see him either but my co-worker kept suggesting that I go. One of my new years resolutions was to have more fun and get out the house more, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to enjoy some good music and just kick it with my co-worker and her people.

Marsha Ambrosiss (I’m sure I misspelled her last name). But the chick from Floetry that lost a tone of weight, she looks like a different person, she looks good though. I absolutely loved Floetry so I was pretty siked about seeing her perform. Her set up is pretty basic she has a stair case on stage but they are never used she just suddenly appears. No I take that back I was at the concession stand when she came on so I’m not really sure how she made her appearance. Anyway, she had an electric keyboard and DJ and a drummer on stage with her. Like I said she lost a ton of weight and she was rocking her booty shorts and doing some small dance moves. I was very disappointed that she did not sing any of the songs she did when she was with Floetry. If she did she did not sing the original version but some other rendition of the songs. She sounded like herself for the most part but she also sounded slightly out of breath at times. I’m not sure if she is not accustomed to performing by herself or working a huge arena. With time I think she can conquer that issue. She cursed a bit too much for my taste at times, but it was all in fun. She sang a few cuts off her new CD and then began to sing some old school songs from other artist. I would give her performance 2 out of 5 stars. If she is not going to sing the Floetry stuff, she needs a little more material because I was bored towards the end of her performance and started texting my man to see what he was doing at home.

Next was Keisha Cole. They kept the same stair case they had for Marsha show but added a backdrop that looked like a semi professional air brush artist painted. She had 4 dancers, a drummer and guitarist on stage with her. First let me say you may want to take this review with a grain of salt because I am not that crazy about Keisha Cole. She actually used the steps and descended down the steps. She rocked her booty shorts with some thigh high snake skinned boots and a nice shirt. She attempted a few dance moves with the dancers but it was clear that dancing is not really her forte. Her voice sounded just like her CD….not much variation. But let me add that she was lip singing some of the time. Occasionally she would take a break to sip on some water to sooth her singing voice while the taped part of the song continued to sing. She reminded the crowd that she was now a wife and a mother. The audience loved her top hits like Love, Should Have Cheated, Let It Go, ect. I would give her 2.5 out of 5 star. I would have liked to hear her actual singing voice

Finally R Kelly came on the stage. His stage was set up like a bar and a small city. He even had part of the stage go out into the audience. He wore a nice black suit with a silk read scarf. He started his show with a mini movie in black and white. In the movie he was a black Humphry Bogart when the mini movie ended he was on stage sitting at the same bar he was in the movie. He had a full band and four dancers. He was on stage for two hours. Of course he has enough material to do that, but I forgot how much I liked him. He took us back to the 90’s to the new millennium. I suddenly remembered how I used to kick it with my friends with R. Kelly going in the background. He was a great entertainer and engaged the audience at all times. He even spent time out in the thick of the audience; he performed at least 4 songs in the audience. His dancers were no joke, if you didn’t know better you would think you were at the strip club. He was excellent to see live. I give him 4 out of 5 stars.

Next concert review will be Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton and Mint Condition coming to the Lou 8/4/2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Tupac

I loved him then... I love him now. Oh how I miss your music!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Elmer Gerard “Geronimo” Pratt

Let us remember one of our own. Elmer Gerard “Geronimo” Pratt. How many men do you know are willing to sacrifice their freedom and live for a cause they believe in? I personally don’t know very many. Geronimo represents the fighter gene in the DNA of African Americans. The fight that was bred in us when were living out our lives in Africa. The fight that has since started to die a slow steady death. Now it has been replaced with sagging pants, misogynistic lyrical content, hood rats, high drop out rates, staggering rates of incarceration, single mothers and serious black on black violence. If was born during the time of the Black Panther movement I would’ve been right in the thick of it.

But like many other political fractions the Black Panther party allowed power and outside influences to be their demise. But for awhile they grabbed the bull by the horn and started to take control of their schools and neighborhoods. Did y’all know that Geronimo was Tupac’s god father………how awesome is that. I would have loved to have all that knowledge and revolutionary spirit around me.

If you want a brief history lesson read about our brother Geronimo below. Trust me it’s worth it. Of course I’ve added my own commentary.

In 1968, five of his siblings were living in Los Angeles, and they convinced Pratt to enroll at UCLA, which had initiated a "High Potential Program" intended to help minorities pursue a college education. That fall, Pratt began to attend classes at the Westwood campus. There, he met Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, ( Is it me or did you have to have a cool nick name to join the Black Panthers) who had also grown up in Louisiana and was one of the original members of the Black Panther Party--a group that Pratt soon joined. It was Carter who gave Pratt the nickname "Geronimo," to honor his fierce commitment to the party. "Being fresh from Vietnam, plus being from the South, opened my eyes to a lot of things," Pratt was quoted as saying in Race and Class Magazine.

After Carter and another Panther leader were killed by a rival organization, Pratt was quickly promoted in the party hierarchy. By 1969, at age 22, he had become the party's deputy minister of defense--bypassing 36-year-old Panther Julius Butler, and causing a rivalry between them. That rivalry would become important later, when Butler became a key prosecution witness in Pratt's murder trial.
As defense minister, Pratt got into trouble with the law several times over the next few years: he was arrested for possessing a pipe bomb and for assault with a deadly weapon, though neither charge stuck. In late 1969, he was ordered by Huey Newton to "go underground" to build a "revolutionary infrastructure" in the Deep South. Pratt spent the rest of that year travelling around Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, gathering weapons and fortifications for Newton's latest directive for the party: a separate nation for blacks.
By 1970, Pratt was under surveillance by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Attorney's Office. Although it wasn't known at the time, both offices were in contact with the FBI; according to FBI documents released in the late seventies, Pratt was one of the "key black extremists" that the FBI wanted to "neutralize

On December 8, 1970, Pratt was arrested in Dallas, Texas, and extradited back to California, charged with involvement in a 1969 shootout. Later, he was indicted as one of the two suspects in the unsolved "tennis court murder." Two years earlier, on December 18, 1968, Caroline Olsen and her husband, Kenneth Olsen, were about to begin a game of tennis on a Santa Monica court when two men, described as black and in their twenties, robbed them at gunpoint. During the bungled robbery, which netted just $18, Caroline Olsen was shot to death and Kenneth Olsen was wounded.
"At the time that I was indicted, it was just another charge that they threw in to maintain a no-bail situation...," Pratt told Race and Class Magazine in 1992. "Eventually, it became more and more obvious to us that the murder charge was something that they were really going to try and press."

It was something that they were really going to try and press."
Pratt contended he was at a Black Panther meeting in Oakland, 400 miles away, the night of the shooting; but his alibi was substantially weakened when many high-ranking Panthers refused to confirm it. By 1970, the party was split by a bitter feud which would eventually destroy it. On one side were Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, who renounced violence; on the other were Eldridge Cleaver and his followers--including Pratt--who favored more militant methods. While Eldridge Cleaver's wife, Kathleen Cleaver, and two other Panthers testified in support of Pratt, Huey Newton ordered members of his faction not to testify at the trial. More damaging piece testimony came from Kenneth Olsen, who identified Pratt as the killer.

The final piece of evidence came from Pratt's rival, Julius Butler, who testified that Pratt had confessed the murder to him. Days after Pratt had expelled him from the Panthers in 1969, Butler gave a contact at the Los Angeles Police Department an "insurance letter," to be opened only if he were killed. In the letter, Butler implicated Pratt in the unsolved murder--the first time Pratt had been tied to the crime. Later, allegedly under pressure from the FBI, Butler authorized the LAPD to open the letter.

Between the unconfirmed alibi, positive identification, and alleged confession--which Pratt denied to no avail--the prosecution's case was convincing. At the end of the 1972 trial, Pratt was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison

In 1976 in November Pratt’s wife Sandra, eight months pregnant, was murdered – shot five times at point blank range and dumped alongside an LA freeway (perhaps by US militants – the murder was never seriously investigated)., he married Asahki Ji Jaga; his first wife, Sandra, had been murdered in 1971 by the Newton faction of the Black Panther Party.

Pratt spent the first eight years of his sentence at San Quentin, in solitary confinement; but after Amnesty International took up his case, a jury determined that keeping him in solitary confinement was illegal. Several years later, he was transferred to Folsom. By the time he was finally released, Pratt was being held in Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Amador County, California. In his 27 years in prison, Pratt was turned down for parole 16 times, because he refused to admit guilt or renounce his politics.

Shortly after Pratt was jailed, the case against him began to unravel. First, it came to light that Kenneth Olsen had originally chosen another man out of a police line-up. In his sworn testimony, Olsen had claimed that he had positively identified only one suspect--Geronimo Pratt.

Next, the FBI's role in Pratt's conviction came to light. In 1975, a congressional committee released its explosive findings about the FBI's covert counter-intelligence program, COINTELPRO. During the sixties and seventies, the agency deliberately tried to disrupt political groups that it deemed too radical--authorizing illegal phone taps and IRS audits, using informants, and trying to cause dissension within the groups. By 1968, the committee discovered, the Panthers were COINTELPRO's primary target; FBI documents explicitly called for Pratt, along with other leaders, to be "neutralized."
The most significant piece of evidence, however, surfaced in 1980. According to FBI documents, the key prosecution witness, Julius Butler, had acted as an FBI informant--and had denied it under oath during Pratt's original trial. During the trial, neither jurors nor defense attorneys were told of any FBI involvement in the case.
And finally, after Huey Newton's death in 1989, six Panthers came forward to testify that Pratt had indeed been present at the 1968 meeting in Oakland. "It has been on my mind all of these years that I should have testified," Bobby
March 1996 hearing, his case had become a cause drawing support from Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, several members of Congress, Coretta Scott King, and Nelson Mandela. Even members of the original jury that convicted Pratt had joined his defense

On June 10, 1997, in front of a courtroom packed with 1960s activists, Judge Dickey ordered Pratt to be released on $25,000 bail. He had spent 27 years behind bars. "It's the most satisfying victory in my career," Cochran was quoted as saying in Jet. "I've been fighting for this for 25 years."
Pratt was released in time to watch his son, Hiroji, go through his eighth-grade graduation ceremony. Later, he returned to Louisiana to see his 94-year-old mother, Eunice Petty Pratt, whom he had not seen since 1974.
Pratt's stood completely vindicated when in 2000 the city of Los Angeles agreed to pay $2.75 million and the U.S. Department of Justice $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit for false imprisonment and violations of his civil rights. As Pratt's lawyer, Johnny Cochran, told reporters, "This case shows that you can fight city hall and win."

Geronimo passed away on Thursday, June 3, 20011, at age 63 in Tanzania. Pratt has lived in a small village in the country f

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dark Skinned Blues

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

I originally watched this video on Let me just say I was devestaed and hurt as I listened to the women. I am a dark-skinned woman… no I am not mocha brown, light brown I am dark. Today I have no problem with my complexion but I have not always had the self esteem that I have today. Most of the people in my family are of a lighter skin tone and I have been called everything from darkie, African bootie scratcher, blackie packy, black and beautiful, black satin ect…. Really, I have heard it ALL. Yes it was hurtful, but one day it just didn’t matter anymore. One day it just made sense for me to accept me, I’m not sure if people stop making fun of me or if I just didn’t give a damn anymore.

What is so funny is now I date a guy who loves my dark skin. Honey ….he is always saying how beautifully dark my skin is and how it is becoming. At first it was weird to hear a black man telling me how beautiful my skin was. I am well over 30 and this is the first time in my entire life that a man (other that my dad, or other men in my family) told me that part of his attraction to me was my skin tone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodbye Oprah

Today is the last showing of the Oprah show. I have purposely not watched the last week; it’s like watching a good friend leave on a journey knowing that she will never return. For me it’s a sad moment, but like all things it must come to an end. Let me just say this off top, I adore Oprah. She represents what we can accomplish when we utilize our God given talents. When we do what we are designed to do, when we are led by God and his purpose the out come will always be mind blowing and phenomenal. Oprah is the manifestation of dreaming BIG. Oprah has been my mental mentor for many years. I’ve participated in many phone interviews and I always have my O magazine right there in front of me. That O magazine comforts me while I am on the interview. It reminds me that if God can do it for Oprah, he can do it for me too, he is loves us all the same.

I remember one time I gave a good friend of mine a baby shower at my home. Her family started to arrive and was mingling and talking until the shower officially started. Well some of her older aunts started to discuss Oprah and Gayle and starting talking trash about Oprah and Gayle being lesbians. Of course I zoomed into their conversation and was pissed. I pulled my friend in the kitchen and let her know to advise her aunts that this was not the place to be hating on Oprah, if they continued they would have to leave. Yes honey, they were about to be kicked out on their asses for talking trash about my mental mentor! I don’t play that, she has done too much for people of all races for those heifers to be throwing shade.

Seriously, I just want to say publicly that I admire, respect, and love Ms. Winfrey. Her family is messy, she has no children, and she isn’t married. However, her life is still on purpose and is wonderfully fabulous. Oprah is living proof that a woman can still make a positive change in this world and not follow the traditional or expected path. I feel like I connect with her on a very deep level. I too have chosen my career over the things that society says a women needs to be a complete woman. While nothing is wrong with marriage and children…………..they are not the things that make a woman a woman. This is something that I have struggled with understanding and accepting about my life. But it seems that I can finally make peace with it without any resentment or anger. Today I am not afraid to say that I want to have a high powered career more than I want to get married of have kids. I’m not saying that the later will never happen, I’m just saying that I’m not actively pursuing either. I recently was asked to adopt a child, I thought about it long and hard, in the end I decided I just didn’t have the time. Not to mention that the little time I have for kiddie stuff is taken up by my three handsome nephews.

Anyway Oprah I wish you nothing but the best in your new venture. I know that your OWN network is going to take fabulousness to the next level.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mommy or Not........ A Very Hard Decision

I feel so relaxed and refreshed I should go on vacation more often. I spent 5 glorious days in NOLA and I had a blast. It was relaxing, exciting, fun and educational. But even with all that relaxation I still have something laying heavily on my mind.

A few years ago I decided that I wanted a baby and adoption was my best option. Last year I began to look into the process and evaluate different agencies. I found one I liked and decided to explore it further. I looked at adoption DVD’s, read brochures and spoke to several representatives. I was deflated when I found out the adopt cost would run me between 20,000- 30,000. Of course I don’t have that type of “spare” change lying around so I just gave up on the idea of adoption. At the time I wasn’t upset, I just felt that maybe I was made to be a super Auntie.

So I surrendered to the idea of not being a mommy and decided to live MY best life. Then out of now where a family member asked me to adopt their unborn child. She said that she could not take care of it properly and was putting it up for adoption but she knew at one point I really wanted a child. I told her I would think about it and get back with her later. Well that was 3 months ago, last week she called to tell me she was 7 months and she really needed me to make a decision because she could make other arrangements for the child. I asked for another week to think about it. Let me just tell you that this is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made!

Part of me is so scared of being totally responsible for another human being. What if the child turns out be a crack head or serial killer! What if I am not a good parent, what if I can’t afford everything the child needs, what if I work too much? I’m still in school how can I manage that with a new born? Can I really afford a child……what about daycare, isn’t that expensive?

Then I think, a baby would bring so much joy in your life. It would make this house a home. I could really leave my finger print on the life of child. My life would become much broader and my heart will experience a love like no other. These thoughts make me excited.

But then the negative thoughts come up. You are too busy for a baby, you barely have time to sleep now, you don’t make enough money for a baby. I just keep tethering back and forth. I have prayed and I am still unsure what to do. I have to let her know something by this weekend and I just don’t know what to do. I guess I will keep praying and try to make the best decision possible.

I am just so flabbergasted because last year adoption was all I could think about; now that I have a chance to do it I’m acting all scared. I wonder why this is happening. Well I’ll let y”all know my decision either way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

French Ban Muslim Veil

A controversial new law banning the use of face veils in public places in France went to effect yesterday. The law prevents Muslim women from wearing the niqab, a face veil that leaves a slot for the eyes or the burqa a full body garb which features a mesh cover for the face.

The French government feels that the veils are oppression against women and promote social exclusion and gender segregation. Some feel that the women who choose to wear the burqa and niqab have no choice because men make all the decisions. The French says this is not what their country represents and believes women should be treated as equals and should take their proper place in society. The burqa is not a religious sign,” Mr. Sarkozy said last year, but rather a “sign of subservience, a sign of debasement” of women.

The opposition feels this law is a violation of women rights prevents them from leaving the home and places them under house arrest. Many feel it is their right to wear the burqa and feels the law will criminalize women who choose to wear traditional wear. France is supposed to be a democracy, build on the differences of their national and embracing the religious rights of others. Some feel that this law is meant to stigmatize the Muslim community and is based in politics.

Many Muslim women consider the niqab a form of feminist expression, because it forces people to judge them by their character rather than their looks. No longer a slave to consumerism, niqab liberates women from the need to conform to unrealistic stereotypes and images dictated by the media. A woman wearing hijab have expressed that dressing modestly and covering their hair, minimizes sexual harassment in the workplace. The aura of privacy created by niqab is indicative of the great value Islam places upon women.

My dad was a Muslim and never forced me or my sister to wear the niqab or burqa. I understand Islamic principals and concepts and understand that many women enjoy being covered. Yes, some women are forced to cover, but majorities are not. Europe seems to be equating Muslims in their country with those of Algeria and Saudi Arabia, where women suffer great indignities. However, many of the Islamic fundamentalist detest European values and would not leave their country because they would essentially be out of their element. I say, if France believes in women’s right then let them have a choice. If they choose to wear the veil then let them. No one judges the French woman when she wears Prada and Louboutins! I agree no one should be forcing a woman to do something she does not want to do, not even the French government. Although many won’t admit it, but many people think Islam and terrorist are interchangeable words. With that mindset, laws are being created to subdue the Islamic culture, it is done primarily out of fear. Most Muslims are peace loving, God fearing people. I believe the French should leave this one alone. Many Westerners (including Americans) feel like the sign below.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Abortion Band-Aid

The image above hangs on several bill boards in New York. I actually got offended when I saw the bill board. I never thought of abortion and genocide or used to make black children an “endangered species”. The Catholic Church and pro-lifers are responsible for the bill board. Yes I am pro-choice…… in fact I am very pro-choice. As much as I love my nephews and niece I encouraged both of their mothers to abort them as soon as they told me they were pregnant. My sister had her first child when she was 16. However, we didn’t find out she was pregnant until she was almost into her 7 month. The other two came before she was 25, my sister was not emotionally, financially or mentally equipped to take care of 3 kids. Thankfully those last two grew that girl up REAL quick. She is a great mother but her opportunities are very limited, she struggles to put food on the table and relies on government assistance. My niece belongs to my brother. When his baby mama told me she was pregnant I told her that I think my brother would suck as a father and if she decided to have the baby she would truly be a single mother. She was a nice girl, good job and in college. She has dropped out of college and is also struggling to provide for my niece. And as predicted my brother sucks as a father.

I did not recommend abortion because I didn’t want them to have kids. I wanted them to have a chance at life, to do the things they wanted to do. My sister always speaks about going to school to become a fashion designer, a buyer for a boutique or major department chain, she is also good with home décor. Now she talks about it as if it is a fantasy. Her main concern is raising 3 boys into dependable grown men, trust me it’s a full time job.

The pro-lifers feel that Black and Latino babies are being slaughtered by abortions. It is true that a large percent of abortions are performed on Black and Latino women. I know many women that have experienced and abortion and it is not something they do without any thought or emotion… most cases it HAS to be done.

By contrast, Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr., calls herself a “reformed murderer” for undergoing two abortions when she was young.
Now an outspoken anti-abortion campaigner, King says the best way to reduce abortions among black women is to dissuade more of them from premarital sex.
“We give free sex education, free condoms, free birth control,” she complained. “That’s almost like permission to have free sex, and the higher the rate of sexual activity, the higher the rate of unintended pregnancy.”

However, teenage pregnancy is down 39%. Half of the roughly 1.2 million U.S. women who have abortions each year are 25 or older. Only about 17 percent are teens. About 60 percent have given birth to least one child prior to getting an abortion.

Often the women getting the abortions say they act in the interests of children they already have. In NY two of every five pregnancies in the city end in abortion, a statistic that has barely changed in more than a decade. If you look at the population most affected by abortion you would see economics is directly tied to abortions. A majority of these women are already struggling single mothers, many live below the poverty line and in communities that were stripped of viable job opportunities a long time ago.

I also understand that it is up to the ladies to open their legs and have unprotected sex. Yes they must assume some responsibility for their behavior, but what do you do when a child is in the womb. No one has time to point fingers, either you get an abortion or you take food out of your other kid’s mouth to feed the new kid!

Unemployment statistics for black and brown folks is sad. Take a look at the graph. We are getting our ass kicked in the labor market. According to the Census Bureau, the recession and the housing crisis have most adversely affected African American and Latino families. In 2009, the median income for African American households fell 4.4 percent to just $32,584. That represents just 60 percent of the median income of white households.

In the same period, Latino households saw a roughly similar income gap with white households, though they actually felt a 0.7 percent rise in incomes. More than 21 million people who self-identify as African American or Latino live below the federal poverty line. The federal government also reported that more than 50 million Americans went without health insurance in 2009. Almost half, or nearly 24 million, were African Americans or Latinos. Since the collapse of the housing market in 2007 and 2008, homeownership rates for African Americans fell substantially in 2009. In fact, Census Bureau estimates show that African Americans have fallen to the same rates as 10 years ago. Compared to then, the rate of white homeownership has grown by more than four percentage points.

It seems to me instead of being concerned with the rate of aborted babies that they should focus on the disparities in housing, employment and health care. Abortion is simply a consequence of the economic gap in America. Of course no one wants to address this issue. That would mean pouring federal and private dollars into communities with a low tax base. It would mean investing in two of the most underserved and discriminated minority groups. It would also mean that the people in control of land and dollars would have to admit that they have been vehemently and blatantly unfair to black and brown folks. Do you think they are ready to admit that…………… did I hear a resounding HELL NO!

Instead they choose to focus on abortion, how convenient. Now the GOP would like to stop funding Planned Parenthood. Forty-one senators have pledged to filibuster any bipartisan spending bill that includes an amendment to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, threatening an impasse with House conservatives.

Looking to show off its influence over the 2012 field early in the game, the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List sent out an email Monday putting each of the leading GOP presidential contenders on record in support of pulling federal funds for Planned Parenthood. Sarah Palin, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty each provided statements to the group, while the rest of the field was able to point to previous comments making their positions clear.

Planned Parenthood does more than abortion, I’ve used them before. When I didn’t have insurance they provided GYN services on a sliding fee based on my income.

I personally support abortion ( if the women feels like that is what she wants to do….its her choice) and I support Planned Parenthood.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Musings of A Bitter Sistah

Last weekend I was inside my house with the widows up and I heard, “ Fat bitch, keep doing what you doing and I’mma beat you mutha fucken ass. Yeah tell yo mama that!” Of

Of course I ran to the window to see who was causing all the ruckus and it was the people across the street. The guy was yelling at his girl and calling her every name but the child of God. He was disrespecting her in a major way and not giving a damn who heard him. I could hear her screaming at him out the door but I could not decipher what she was saying.

I wanna know why the bum ass ninjas be the first one to show their ass. This “man” doesn’t work, always outside phucking with his car and entertaining a host of rowdy friends through out the day and just living off the back of his woman.

As you can tell this guy gets my panties in a bunch. I just hate to see men blatantly disrespecting women. It’s the one thing that can take me to 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. To me there is no reason, a couple should be cussing each other out in public………….. and if so it better be the end of the relationship. I’ve noticed that most of the men that act this way are LOSERS and have nothing to offer. They really mad at their self but like to reflect it outwardly. Someone please tell me why the person bring the least to the relationship is always the one causing most of the problems. Well that has been my experience and as you can tell from the bitterness of my musing that I have dealt with this type of ninja before. I guess that is why I got so pissed off when I heard him acting a fool. A friend of mine once told me never let a non working man live in your house because if you try and kick him out you would swear his name is on the lease and he purchased all the furniture. It would be easier to get a brick through the eye of a needle than to get a lazy man out of your house!

In my opinion these types of men rarely change and most had bad relationships with their mothers. Actually any man that vehemently calls a woman a bitch it makes my blood run cold. I just hate that, it is the one thing that would make me dislike a man instantly.

So anyway ole boy continues to yell “fat bitch, stupid hoe” and she is mumbling something out the window. I decided to close my window because I realized I was having a flash back moment from when I was in a similar situation. I stopped painting and made me some tea to relax my mind. Sometimes I gave to remember not to be so bitter because all men are not ninjas and lazy bums. But if one tries to flirt with you…… like your life depended on it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

DIY'ing ...........Again

Hey Friends,

I am DIY’ing again! For the last two weeks I have been putting up chair rail and freshen up paint. Let me just say I worked my ass off. I was so exhausted that I literally feel asleep. I feel so empowered when I do things to my house myself. When I look at the projects that I completed I feel more connected with my home. I Things are coming along, but the walls are still bare. Trying to feel a house with décor can be very expensive so I am doing it one piece at a time. Tell me what you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Big C………Classism

I was over at Danielle Belton’s site (theblacksnob) and I was reading her take on the Jalen Rose/Grant Hill story. Danielle said she could understand both sides of the story because she has faced some issues with classism growing up in St. Louis. She writes…

When we first moved deeper into the county, from my old all-black suburb to a more Tony and white one, all the black kids at my junior high were fascinated by me for the maximum of one week. They all assumed I had to be some tough, hood kid with a thousand yard stare from the horrors I'd seen. But I was so boring to them. I didn't speak slang. I'd never seen a dead body. I'd never seen a police officer beat down anyone. I didn't have any cousins named Pookie strung out on crack.

Coincidentally, I ended up in this weird place where had almost nothing but contempt for my own kind (other suburban black kids). Largely because they made no sense. I was the one raised in the all-black neighborhood who read Alex Haley at 13 and performed in Black History Month plays. But I wasn't black enough because I didn't speak slang or own a Starter coat. Bougie black kids were a world of ghetto suburban contradictions. Just as their weird fascination with bragging about who's parents had the roughest childhoods. Or their obsession with inner city kids who mostly just wanted to be left alone. How they were all obsessed with going to North City to parties and trying to fit in and sometimes getting shot and sometimes getting killed because, again, they had no clue as to what they were doing and learned everything they knew about "the hood" from the movie "Colors."

I grew up in St. Louis too. However, I lived in the City…. the real urban part of the City. My family lived on the Westside off of N. Kingshighway. But imagine living in the heart of the ghetto and having everything you needed, while watching your friends and neighbors struggle. Yes I was an inner city kid straight out the “hood”, but I could speak correct English and Ebonics too! My mom was a single mother but she was college educated and worked for Anheuser Busch. We owned our home and were financially stable. My siblings and I always had what we needed and lots of our wants too. My mother was a cheap skate so we did not have a lot of “overhead” cost. Our house and car was paid for so my mother had a great deal of discretionary income. I remember I had to literally get on my knees and beg her for a pair of Air Jordan’s after about 4 months a new pair came out and I refused to wear the old ones. My mother said “give me those damn shoes, I’ll wear them my muthafucken self, as much money as I spent on those shoes and you talking about they outta style already!” Needless to say she never purchased me another pair of Jordan’s again.

In the summer time our block would burst at the seam with all the people just hanging out. As soon as it got warm music stared pouring out of cars, people started sitting on their porches, drug dealers started selling their products outside instead of inside, and the boosters started going door to door selling their merchandise. From time to time there was fight or someone got shot. In the early 90’s dudes from California started showing up on our block selling crack cocaine for a much cheaper price than what the locals were selling. Plus the dudes from Cali brought their gang affiliations with them. This created a blood bath in my neighborhood. Young boys/men were being killed daily.

My mother refused to move out of the hood because she said her house was paid for and she was not running out to the suburbs to take on a bigger mortgage. Plus she felt that if more people invested in the inner City instead of running to the burbs every time they got a bigger and better job the City would be a better place to live. I remember I dated a guy from the burbs and before he introduced me to his mother he told me to not tell her I was from the City because she really didn’t care for City people. I was so hurt, how did where I live play a role in what type of person I was. Yes I lived in the hood, but I went to excellent schools, was college bound, well read, loved the arts BUT I also was very familiar with city life. Like Jalen I felt that people from the burbs and two parent homes judge me for living in the hood. Yes my mother raised us alone…but she did a great job and she never made any apologies for being single with kids. She made sure that we took pride in our neighborhood by participating in clean up efforts and looking out for our neighbors….even the crack heads. She insisted that we treat the adult crack heads with the same respect we would anyone else. I’ve watch my mother feed and cloth our neighbors for 30 years and everyone in that neighborhood loves her to death. When I went away to college when I came home for the summer my entire block showed nothing but encouragement. The drug dealers and the crack heads alike would ask questions like “when you gone graduate, what you going for and what you gonna do when your done.” Then they would say “stay in school or don’t forget your street smarts while you getting all that knowledge”.

My mother taught me to see people as people and not judge them based on their class or color. I still live in St. Louis and I am very financially stable….but I still choose to live in the City. I own a home in the City and I care about my bad ass neighborhood just as much as the next person. Hell there is probably someone making judgments on me now because I am over 30 and unmarried. In this life everyone will have his/her own unique experience; no two stories are ever the same. People can’t help the situation they were born in…be it good or bad and we can not judge people because of their situation. As the saying go until you walk a mile in someone else shoes, make no comments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Speak for Yourself

As my Grandfather once said…. keep stupidity to yourself. No one knows how stupid you really are until you fuck up and say something really stupid. Video Vixen Dollicia Bryan feels that wearing Christian Louboutins, a luxury French made shoe also known as red bottoms will make you a better competitor in life . The shoes range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Ms Bryan states

Okay, I’m looking at know I want to be up there. I want to be compared…I want to surpass. When you elevate in your career, you elevated in your fashion. You have a higher competition.

I don’t have to have a guy go out and get them. When I was able to afford it, I went and I started purchasing them. You don’t have to wear them. If I’m capable of purchasing that and still doing my job, I’m going to do that. If you’re not capable but you still want to be competition, I don’t know what to tell you. You just have to step up your game.

Maino got involved; that’s how it all started. He said the same thing. You know, I can’t take you around events I go to with Beyonce if you got Forever 21 shoes. I can’t do that. Don’t think you’re the baddest thing, what can we do?
That’s where it started. There are so many beautiful women out there but what sets you aside from them?

First I like to compliment Ms. Bryan on purchasing her expensive shoes herself and not waiting on a man to upgrade her. I personally believe that if we desire a certain quality of life it is each person responsibility to do everything (within reason) they can to obtain that lifestyle. However, Ms. Bryan e you lost me at buying insanely expensive things is a way to step up your game and set you apart from other people. Spending a huge percentage of your income on shoes is not stepping up your game, it is showing your level of stupidity and immaturity. I know you are a video girl… but do you own your home… have you invested in your retirement or learned another craft. I’m sure your time as a video girl is very limited and you will need that shoe money in a few years.

Yes it is totally with in reason that Beyonce wears Christian Louboutins … she is worth several million dollars and her future is very secure ……even if she doesn’t sing another note. You on the other hand… not so much. And on another note if a REAL man is truly interested in you and he would like to take you around his rich friends, if he feels the desire for you to look the part then he will purchase you the extravagant clothes if you can’t afford them. That is if he really wants to be with you for you!

Also if you are wondering how stand out in a sea of beautiful women…be yourself! Men respect women that know who they are and are not fake. Don’t break yourself trying to fit someone else image of what is acceptable. You can only hold a pose so long before the real you come out anyway. On another note, I think if you want to be a real actress or model you should shut up and stop giving advice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Black History Moment

News Alert For Colored Folks

Libya and Egypt are in AFRICA! I know the mass media keep referring to them as Middle Eastern countries ….but they are really AFRICAN countries. Yes many African nations are Islamic and not all Africans are dark skinned with swollen bellies waiting on Larry with Feed the Children.

If you have been living under a rock both Egypt and Libya want a government that reflects the people, which will consider their wants their needs. The people of Egypt have overcome their President and now the Vice President will step up as the new leader. Now it is Libya’s turn, however their leader Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi has vowed to fight back until the last bullet. He is willing to kill anyone that is willing to protest his leadership. His family has been in charge for 40 years….Egypt leader was in control for 30 years, I can see how one may grow tired of the same leadership!

Let's pray that God's will be done.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rest Is Needed

Hey Family and Friends,

I have been really busy and for the last week or so I have been battling a severe cold. Needless to say I am tired. This month has been really taxing on me mentally and physically. Dealing with family issues has left me emotionally spent and I believe stress caused my immune system to break down which lead to the cold.

I have been pushing forward when all I really want to do is lie down and take a loooooong nap. I need a vacation so bad… but no rest for the weary gotta keep it moving and hope for the best. I’ve had to make a lot of hard decisions that many did not agree with, but sometimes that happens. Try as you might it is impossible to please everybody, everyday, every time. Not to say that I am right all the time…trust me I have made many bad decisions and paid a heavy price for those decisions, some came with a price tag or money, ruined friendships and upset family. However, for the most part I am willing to admit when I have acted in way not fitting of a Queen. But honey when I know I am right I am willing to catch hell to prove my point.

I will start posting regularly next week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

When Mental Illness Come Knocking At Your Door

Calling people crazy in my family is like saying pass the peas please. It is an epithet used to describe a drunken uncle, the auntie with a bad attitude and the cousin who has to smoke a blunt before family event. We call each other crazy so much that it has lost its meaning. However we have two people in our family that suffer from real mental illnesses and we choose to remain silent and call them crazy under our breath. One of my Aunts has suffered from severe paranoia since I was a little kid. I would ask my Mama why Auntie La always says people are out to get the family and insist that we never talk about her or our family to anyone because it could be harm to all of us. My Mama would take a deep puff off her Kool 100’s and say ……girl you know your Auntie elevator don’t go all the way to top, don’t pay her no attention.

For years my family ignored that my Aunt and her extreme paranoia … almost dismissing it like it was a simple cold. But, we all now just because you ignore a problem it does not go away, in many cases the problem manifest itself into another problem, which is exactly what has happened in my family. One day Auntie La daughter (my cousin) Kaye showed up to my house looking frighten to death. She had been driving for two days straight from Arizona to Missouri she was convinced someone was after her and she was scared to death. After she calmed down enough to get a good sleep I asked her to tell me what happened. She told me she lost her job and suffered many indignities because certain people were trying to destroy her and her reputation. Kaye insisted that I watch what I talk about on the telephone and be careful when I am alone because these people would probably be tapping her family member’s phones and following us around. Honestly I just laughed it off and told her she could stay as long as she needed to.

As she began to tell other family members the story she told me they laughed as well and thought nothing more about it. Well that was over six years ago and cousin Kaye is now suffering from what we believe is schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. My cousin has lost over 10 jobs, 4 apartments, 3 cars, her dignity and pride. She hears voices, feels like needles are sticking her all over her body and feels tormented all day and night. Most of my family has accepted the fact that my cousin needs psychiatric help but others still refuse to believe that she is on the verge of a mental break down. I spoke with Aunt La to ask her to help me get her daughter some help; she told me “ain’t nothing wrong with Kaye, she my daughter I should know.” Given the fact that she suffers from paranoia it is very unlikely that she would see that her daughter has a mental illness. My cousin is living with me again because she lost her apartment and job and the other night she slept with a pot on her head to keep the needles from sticking her in the head. She cries a lot because she hears voices that demean her and tell her that her life will never get better, she told me she feels like the voices want her to commit suicide but she won’t do it.

I spoke with my Uncle and he started to get an injunction to have her committed. Her mother and my other aunts went into a raged filled fit and threaten to get an attorney to block him from having her committed. It really pitted family against family, but I watch my cousin suffer daily from this illness. She doesn’t want to stay with her mother for reasons I do not know, she says she only feel halfway calm with me. But I don’t know what do? I am going to try one last effort to get my cousin to help but I feel like I am running out of options. I don’t want my cousin to hurt herself or anyone else.

My question is why do black people seem to deny metal illness? Why do we look at these sort of things as

Monday, January 31, 2011

Education Segregation Still Exist in the US

My mother for the most part was a single working mother. In the 80’s daycare was a luxury for my family. With that being the case, my grandfather made sure we got to school safely and returned home from school safely. My mom would wake us up at 5:00am get us ready and drop us off at my grandfather house. At the time we did not live in the best neighborhood and my Mom felt that the school in my granddaddy’s neighborhood was superior to the one in our neighborhood. It was decided that we would use our granddaddy address and go to the better school plus he was responsible for our care while our Mom work. I wonder if my mother would be willing to go to jail for her actions?

An Ohio mother did just that. Kelly Williams-Bolar was jailed for sending her children to a better school in her father’s neighborhood. Williams-Bolar used her father's address, where she alleges she lived part-time. Yet the Copely-Fairlawn School District felt she was lying about being a resident, and hired a private eye to follow her, videotaping Williams-Bolar leaving her public housing home and dropping her children off at the suburban school. They confronted Williams-Bolar, demanded that she repay the district $30,000, saying she didn't have the right to have her daughters in the district since she wasn't a taxpayer.

When she refused, Williams-Bolar was indicted on two felony charges, found guilty and sentenced to 10 days in prison. Because of the felonies on her record, the aspiring schoolteacher will never be able to enter the classroom

As a former educator I can tell you that not all schools are fair. The supports for schools are based on the tax base of the community. The more expensive the homes the higher the personal property tax, a great percentage of personal property tax goes directly to the school district. Of course those communities that suffer from high unemployment/underemployment rates, high crime, low percentage of homeownership, and little to no businesses have a very small tax base. It goes without saying that most of the urban (minority) communities find that there children are being cheated out of a fair education.

These circumstances create vast differences in our educational system. While some of the more affluent neighborhoods have schools with great technical advances, new books, new schools, new equipment, advance math and science classes and wonderfully paid teachers. On the other hand, the lower taxed communities have to deal with such nuisances as dilapidated buildings, out of date books, little to no technology, underpaid teachers, overcrowded schools, lack of educational programs…shall I go on? It is a crime that our educational system is still segregated but instead of being based on race it is based on class. Our children are paying the price with their education.

The “No Child Left Behind” act grants parents the permission to remove their child from a failing school and place them into another school district. However, what the law does not say is the other school doesn’t have to accept the child, in many cases they don’t. Schools don’t want to inherit the problems of the failing school so the parent is really left with no choice.

I believe Williams-Bolar did what she had to do for the betterment of her children. I just hate that her teaching certificate may be on the line because of the court decision to give her a felony. I wish her and her children the best.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Inspiration In Strange Places

This weekend I was vegging on the couching flipping through my limited number of channels (I don’t have cable). It was Sunday and the only thing on was football. Needless to say I don’t care for sports (but I did pick Green bay to win the Super bowl). I was really getting desperate to find something to watch, nothing was on so I decided to watch this animated movie called Meet the Robinsons. I really wasn’t all that excited and was prepared to fall asleep on the couch but Meet the Robinsons was very……………..inspiring.

I didn’t think I could get inspiration from a cartoon but I did. Meet the Robinsons is about a little boy name Lewis who is a genius and has hope of finding his mother. When he was a baby he was left at an orphanage and he is fixated on finding his mother because he believes she did not mean to give him away. He is also passionate about science and inventing new things. He befriends a boy name Wilber who seems way too cool to be friends with Lewis. Wilbur tells Lewis he is from the future and pushes him to keep following his dreams of becoming a famous inventor.

When Lewis could not get his memory scanner to work he gave up on his invention. He said he was tired of failing and trying so hard only to end up with nothing. Wilber kept insisting that he was from the future and was adamant that Lewis not give up his dream. Finally when Wilber had no other choice but to prove he was from the future he took Lewis in his time machine and took him into the future. In the future Lewis found out that Wilber was really his son, that he was a wonderful rich inventor and that he changed the lives of many people with his inventions. Not only was he rich …..he had a wife and a complete family.

The moral of the story was you have to keep pressing forward in the present because a great future is waiting ahead. Yes there will be times when things look bleak and all hope seems to be gone but giving up is not always the answer. How many decisions you made in your life changed the outcome of your future? I sat on the coaching thinking about how I could make better decisions going forward making a positive impact on my future. Although, I already knew this but sometimes you gotta be reminded….. just because something is hard and does not come natural to you does not mean it is impossible for you to do.

Anyway that is how I got my inspiration last weekend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Are Our Children Over Sexualized?

Of course the answer to this question is a resounding HELL YEAH! Our children are getting sexed up from the time they are able to understand. We talk about sex in our music, on videos; with our friends and television all while the children are watching and listening. Kids are talking about sex way earlier than we think they are. To prove my point second graders in Oakland experimented with oral sex.

Two second-graders in an Oakland elementary school shocked the country when they were disciplined for performing oral sex on each other in class with a teacher present. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Reportedly, some children had taken their clothes off in a separate incident as well.

The events took place at Markham Elementary school, but came to the principal's attention just this week when one of the students told a staff member about the events. Oakland school district spokesman Troy Flint said that the teacher was unaware of the incident.

"We believe the substance of the story is true," said Flint.

Who knew about oral sex at 7 years old….certainly not me? I would be embarrassed, pissed off, and embarrassed again if these were my children. We really need to start protecting our children more by monitoring what get pass their little ears and eyes.

Becareful Who You Take Advise From

Mary Harvey gives her side of the story....straight no chaser!

Like old people say "there are three sides to a story, his side, her side and the truth".

Friday, January 21, 2011

AZZ Whooping Facebook Style

GO Uncle.... Team Whoop Azz all the way!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stupid Stuff People Do

So party promoters in Columbus, OH decided it was a good idea to throw a light skinned vs. dark skinned party. I am not sure how the winner will be named, what the prize consist of, who the judges will be and what are the rules. However I personally think it is a dumb idea that lacks originality and set the black race of Columbus, OH back 200 years.

Is it really that hard to get people to come out and party in that city? And why did they choose to put women on the flyer. The world (including black men) love to pit black women against one another. In the bigger scheme of things people don’t give a f%!k about the variation of black people skin tone. The only people that act like they really care are……. Black people. The country is damn near broke, unemployment is at 10%, young people are coming home in coffins from war everyday, the housing market is still down, the school system sucks and gas prices are too damn high. People have enough stress in their life, they have plenty of REAL reasons to get their drink on they don’t need a frivolous one.

I just wish people would think out their ideas before they make themselves look like a complete and total idiot. I bet the two “models” on the flyer won’t even be at the party, and I seriously doubt it’s the most anticipated party of the year.

Couldn’t they have saved this bullshit until March? They had to do it the month of MLK birthday?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DIY’ing It Again

Okay so I took the tiling class and Home Depot and guess what….. I was the only person that showed up to the class. I was super excited and the ladies that taught the class gave me all their attention and gave a lot of details. They taught me how to use the leveler, how to cut the tile, how to measure properly and how to grout. Those ladies truly knew what they were doing and they were happy to share. I did a few experiments and felt very confidant about tiling my kitchen and bathroom. They sent me to the tiling department to select my new backsplash and there were tons of choices. I began to feel overwhelmed with all my options then I hear…” ma’ am do you need any help? My name is Lori if you do.” I told Lori I liked everything and didn’t know what to get. After about 25 minutes Lori help me finally decide on which tile I would take home. While helping me Lori told me she was an out of work architect and she was working at Home Depot to keep the bills paid. Not only did Lori help me pick out the tiles, she also sketched out the design for me! I felt like Super Woman when I left Home Depot.

I pulled everything off the counters and started to measure the walls. I put my groove music on and next thing you know ya girl is tiling. Three hours goes by and I barely notice it. I take a look at the wall and I give myself a pat on the back and remind myself that GIRLS ROCK!

My cousin comes by and asks who did that? I smile brightly with adhesive all over my arms, shirt and pants and say I did it! She looks at the wall and back at me and refuses to believe it. So she sits at the kitchen table and watches start the other backsplash above the sink. She looks amazed by my new talent. I am still in the process of grouting the tile but it is pretty much finished.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fixer Upper

As many of you know I purchased a home in 2009 that has been a virtual money pit. I am in the litigation process with the seller and have spent a many a day upset about things that went wrong with my home. But when it is all said and done the home has everything I was looking for. I love older homes that are filled with great architecture and quality materials.

I like to think of myself as a home decorating guru. I am in the process of completing some minor work on my home and I will be documenting it through my blog. First let me say remodeling and decorating ain’t cheap so don’t expect to see updates too often. But when I am all done the house will be a work of art and simply fabulous.

When I originally purchased the home it came with brand new Berber carpet through out. The realtor kept going on and on about the new carpet but all I can think about was ripping it up to expose the hardwood floors. And that is exactly what I did! It was a process removing all that carpet but it was certainly worth it. I paid about 1400.00 to have the floors refinished and restrained. This spring I will be installing crown molding, some textured wall paper, and chair rails. This weekend I am going to a tiling class at Home Depot. I want to install a backsplash in the kitchen and remove the shower liner in the bathrooms and replace it with tiles. I am going to be a busy lady this spring but I am truly looking forward to it. Give me your opinion on the floor.