Hey everybody I doubled my 2021 book goal! *Insert signature dance here* I’m super proud of this goal because it feels so good to get back into the swing of reading again. If you read my blog post about my book goal earlier this year then you remember I hit my initial 10 book goal in June. From there I kept on smooth sailing and have enjoyed every second of it.Read More
Since 2018 I have set a goal to read at least 10 books a year. And since 2018 I have not reached my 10 book goal LOL. I start off so strong for the year with two to three books then life happens and next thing I know it’s a new year and I’m making the same goal. This year I promised myself I would stop making excuses and reach my 10 book goal for 2021. Not only did I accomplish this goal but I did so half way through the year. Although this may seem small to some this is a big deal to me. I absolutely love reading and getting back to what I love to do has made a big difference in other aspects of my life as well.Read More
Self care Sunday is one of the major parts of me taking better care of myself this year. Self care Sundays concentrates mostly on my physical outward appearance, but this ultimately connects to my mental and spiritual health as well. As they say, “when you look good you feel good”, and Read More
Tomorrow is the last day of Black History Month and I wanted to end the month on a note that will educate and uplift our community. My Facebook friends have had to endure my rants the last few months about my growing dislike of the words, “bitch” and “hoe”, to describe my beautiful Black sisters. I wanted to share a little more insight on why I hate these words, and why I pray, after the enlightening of our beauty and history, in the last month, more of you will join me in the understanding of addressing ourselves as the queens we are, and nothing less. I purposely used the three Black women on the featured image of this post (Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and Janelle Monae) because these are the images I want to circulate of Black women, but more importantly, I want you to remember and LISTEN to the lyrics they have shared with us in numerous songs. We have fallen so far away from
music mainstream music highlighting artists that empower us I wanted to share influential lyrics from these beautiful ladies reminding us of our power.
Remember Queen Latifah’s 90’s hit “U.N.I.T.Y” with the multiple messages of loving ourselves, specifically our Black women, and of course the classic chorus/phrase:
“Who you callin’ a bitch?
U.N.I.T.Y., U.N.I.T.Y., that’s a unity
U.N.I.T.Y., love a black man from infinity to infinity
U.N.I.T.Y., love a black woman from infinity to infinity”
Look at the beauty in this chorus telling us to love our Black men and women from infinity to infinity. Even better, listen and read how Queen Latifah demands at the end of each verse, who could possibly be daring enough to call her out of her name? I want us to command power like this in our music again, but also in our every day lives.
I will be fair and say, my generation and younger, thankfully have the beauty and empowerment of Janelle Monae. I definitely have a borderline crush on her and all of her fabulous-ness. But seriously, her music and her persona, is all about empowering young women to be the best versions of themselves, and I am such a huge fan. I particularly love her song “Queen” featuring Erykah Badu. Specifically this part of the song:
Am I a freak for dancing around?
Am I a freak for getting down?
I’m coming up, don’t cut me down
Yeah I wanna be, wanna be
Even if it makes others uncomfortable
I wanna love who I am
Even if it makes other uncomfortable
I will love who I am
I love how bold and unapologetic she is about her blackness in this song. I love that she points out others discomfort means nothing to her pride and self love. I love that the overall name of the song is QUEEN because she addresses by the name we should embrace.
Most people who know me know how much I love the entire “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album. It is still one of the best albums recorded in the last 30 years. One of my favorite songs on the album is “Doo Wop”. I didn’t realize how much I loved this song until I recently listened to the words, I had been rapping word for word, over the last few years. [Side note: it’s amazing how many songs we know word for word but don’t actually LISTEN to what we’re saying. Be careful what words and songs you allow to feed your spirit. But that will be a blog post discussion for another day 😉 ] This part of the verse in particular is what really hit me:
Showing off your ass ’cause your thinking it’s a trend
Girlfriend, let me break it down for you again
You know I only say it ’cause I’m truly genuine
Don’t be a hard rock, when you really are a gem
Baby girl, respect is just the minimum
Nigga’s creepin’ and you still defending him
Now Lauryn is only human
Don’t think I haven’t been through the same predicament
I love this verse because it really is the truth, especially for me, in the actions she speaks of. I used to be the girl who casually referred to her friends as “bitches” and “hoes” and I saw nothing wrong with it. But then I grew up, and more importantly, brought a daughter of my own into this world, everything changed for me. How could I be mad at anyone calling her out of her name when Mommy has been listening to music referring to other Black women by these inappropriate names, and even worse, Mommy has referred to other women around her by these names? What kind of example would I be? This reasoning is one of the reasons I love this verse because Lauryn Hill makes it known she used to be the same person. I also love her reference of us being gems. As awesome and “lit” as Black girls are right now, in spreading all of this #BlackGirlMagic, can you imagine how much more magical we would be if we treated ourselves, and fellow sisters as the GEMS we are to this world? My book choice for this month was “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and he said one of the hardest things for mankind to do is to challenge their current ideals and morals, because it’s the first step of admitting we are wrong about something. I couldn’t agree with him more, because had someone had this conversation with me just five years ago, I would’ve come up with every excuse in the book to tell you I wasn’t wrong in my use of such nasty words towards people I love.
I wrote this because I really and truly want us to start holding ourselves and those around us accountable for the language used to describe ourselves. This includes challenging everything from close friends to the musical artists you support. We have to step outside of the box and realize a nice beat to a song doesn’t change the message you’re sending to masses regarding our beautiful Black women. This goes for both male and female musical artists. I challenge all of you, my Black sisters specifically, to find and remember our/your Queedom at all times. Although we all will have our moments of forgetting, always remember, it’s never too late to: Adjust Your Crown, Queen.
I will leave you all with my favorite quote from Dean Davenport’s lecture regarding the use of the word “hoe” between two Black college students on the show “A Different World“.
“I suggest, no I warn you: never call a woman something you wouldn’t want somebody else to call your mother”….”A family can never be united with it’s brothers and sisters divided…NEVER!” -Dean Davenport
Have a great evening and I hope you all have a great upcoming week!
Happy 2016 everybody! I hope you all brought in the New Year surrounded by love and people you want to bring closer to you in 2016. We spent the evening at dinner with family and bringing in the New Year, at our home, playing games and having tons of laughs. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening.
2015 had it’s ups and many downs (especially towards the end of the year). With losing multiple family members to various health issues, the end of 2015 took a toll on my loved ones and those closest to us. However, as always, we try our best to come back up swinging, because we know joy will come in the morning. In November of 2015 I decided to take a blogging hiatus because to put it simply: I needed a break. Not from blogging itself, but just a break to collect my thoughts and come up with ways to improve myself, which in turn, includes my blog.
As you all know I enjoy watching the daytime talk show “The Real” during the week. The last few weeks, Tamar Braxton, who is one of the regular co-hosts had been out sick, and to keep things interesting the show had been inviting other celebrities to guest host the show with them. My favorite co-host by far this season was Tisha Campbell-Martin. Apparently the other viewers really enjoyed her as well, because she was invited back to guest host a second time only a few weeks later. I’ve been a Tisha Campbell-Martin fan since the “House Party” and “Martin” days, but she particularly brought insight to the girl chat discussion I think most women can benefit from. In my case, specifically: married-mothers. Tisha has been with her husband, Duane Martin, for twenty plus years, and this information was shared when Tisha was asked by the ladies at the table how she has managed to have a successful relationship. She stated they have a house rule her husband came up with called “You, Us, We” that has kept them going and successful. She broke it down for everyone to understand: the “you” is Tisha. She has to take care of herself first because as she stated “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, which means she can’t benefit her husband or her children without taking care of herself first. The “us” is Tisha and her husband Duane. If they aren’t taking care of their marriage it will fall apart and cause issues that trickle down to their children in the long run. They want their kids to see the best image of a successful marriage through themselves. The “we” is in regards to the children and the entire family. If Tisha is taking care of herself, and enjoying her marriage, she will then share the abundance of love and happiness she feels with her entire family. We are able to take better care of others when we are truly happy in all aspects of our lives.
I knew right away I was going to write a post about these “household rules” because I already understand how important they are (due to the lack of following this model) and I’ve only been married for close to three years. About a week prior to watching Tisha on The Real I had noticed how drained and run down I was beginning to feel. I was trying so hard to take care of everyone else and everything else in the house I was leaving myself last in the equation…it doesn’t work. So although I don’t care for resolutions I told myself I was going to actively do better in 2016. I wrote out a detailed guide of how I will do better each month by concentrating on a closer relationship with God, taking care of myself, my marriage, and my family, in that order. There will be a blog post to follow this weekend explaining the detailed changes, how I plan to implement them, and hold myself accountable.
2015 taught me to love my loved ones while they’re here, love myself as much as I love others, and find a way to bring my plans to life through organization and planning. I hope 2015 was great to you and your loved ones. I hope 2016 brings you all of the positive love and prosperity your heart can handle, and I pray you do His will above all else.
Happy New Year from my family to yours!