CHALLENGE: repeating Black History…it works!

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This month will be filled with television programming, celebrations and proclamations: BLACK HISTORY MONTH!  Many will believe that African Americans have arrived – and many will say that we have a long way to go.  Yet my thought is that African Americans must begin to take a strengths-based approach to our story.  Though many will say until ALL of us are doing better we must remain in the struggle and consider ourselves just a step away from it; I humbly disagree.  I am well aware of glaring disparities that pervade in education, economics, health and wellness, medicine, housing and justice.  I am well aware that African American men are treated with utter disdain; even if elected to the highest office of the land, or tending the grounds of a university.   I am well aware of the disregard and disrespect of African American women from a lower income woman struggling with a terminal illness to the CEO of a major corporation.  Yet I am also aware that 90% of every invention that we consume on a daily basis was the brainchild of an African American.  Fully aware of the legacy undergirded by Harriet Tubman’s indomitable liberation of enslaved Africans which set the tone for Dr. Condoleezza Rice to be the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State.  I am entrenched in the memory of freedom fighters Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Nat Turner who freed the minds of those who believed they were doomed to the racist disenfranchisement that affected their lives.  I am smart enough to know that WE are in the company of ancestors, and a people who know we are beyond the ignorance of others who hate us simply because of the skin we are bathed in.

WE invent, write, sing, teach, clean, love, protest, pursue. WE have journey of inspiration.  WE have survived to tell the story, and establish a rich foundation for our children to draw strength on.  WE have an obligation to prepare today’s generation and ourselves to do more than remember Black History for one month.  

WE MUST BE BLACK HISTORY TODAY, TOMORROW, FOREVER…WHILE HONORING OUR ANCESTORS – THEY COMMAND IT!

 

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Open Letter to the Real Housewives of Atlanta: How You Emasculate Black Men

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I think back to how my father would have looked at me sideways if I ever decided to bring a man home who clearly has never had a viable work life; nor intended to have one as long as “I” could support him financially.  My father’s first and only question, “That boy ain’t got no job?!” This was code word for “Don’t bring that _______ back in this house!”  Basically, the so-called Real Housewives of Atlanta has perpetuated the “sugar mama” stereotype as the safe way to have a man and a big life; even if he does absolutely nothing to contribute to it.  

BLACK MEN ARE REELING IN SHAME

Black Men prided themselves on being able to support their family.   If a man found out one of their own was living off of a woman, he was clowned, considered a joke: NOT TO BE RESPECTED! Having a job and working was taught and modeled as the way to prove one’s manhood.  If he was laid off, he quickly found another hustle until he was called back to work. By no means would he allow a woman to be the primary breadwinner of the house; and be cool with it.

Recently Phaedra Parks’ husband Apollo Nida was arrested for bank fraud and identity theft. NeNe Leakes husband appears to be chillin’ (or may be “retired” – from what, still unsure).  Kandi Burruss, while her fiance does have a career he seems to be cool with his “sugar mama” holding down the fort and keeping his money (Bruh, you could have paid the light bill at the “Kandi Factory” studio). Cynthia Bailey in her most passive aggressive stance intimated to her husband Peter that she followed him to Atlanta and his promises of money galore were essentially a lie to gain access to her treasury (which I believe he blew through once before). While the ever oblivious Portia Williams, ex-wife of ex-NFL player Kordell Stewart was a former trophy wife for hire at least she had the gumption to marry a man who was retired and had a working life.  However Portia has yet to grasp that the most reliable way to support oneself is to….WORK!!  Ahhh, and then there’s Kenya Moore’s Nigerian oil tycoon prince. I’ll give her this: When a man is truly on his grind…you rarely see him; I’m just saying.

I’ve said all this to say that the emasculation of black males on this show may not be the typical portrayal of the “neck rolling” “eye rolling” “loud talking I can do bad all by myself” genre of black females that has been stereotyped ad nauseum.  RHOA has become a tad bit more sophisticated in its approach – which is why the appeal is so intoxicating to black females.  Here again is the misguided notion and message that black males ain’t ish; and once again black females are aiding and abetting in the name of money and “power” – lacking the full realization that the men pulling the strings got you right where they want you; again.

If only they knew Sister Harriet Tubman…if only they knew.

on the TLC tip…about Sister Perri “Pebbles” Reid

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TLC-Pebbles-StraightFromTheA-520x520The VH1 biopic on the mega group TLC “Crazy, Sexy, Cool” was on point.  The realities of a production experiment that blew up the charts and made TLC one of the most popular, yet cheated superstars in the world were front and center.  For a time, they were on top of the world while riding in a broke down car; as well they were aware they were making millions yet only saw a paltry sum for their talents and tasks.  In a word they got…played.

Enter 80’s sensation “Pebbles” (known now as Sister Perri Reid).  Married to one half of the music production team of LaFace Records, LA Reid (Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, the other half) she brought this “great idea” to her husband.  And like most husbands of power in the music industry, a girl group sounded like a “nice” idea to keep his attractive and talented wife…out of his way.  “So, fine honey; have fun with your project.”  Essentially, he did not take her efforts (or his wife) seriously…until.

You see when the concept of TLC caught on to the fans worldwide as a credible force to be reckoned with, L.A. was like, “DAMN!!! She did that shyt!!”  Being the dutiful husband that he was, he immediately “guided” Pebbles through the management of this project, commandeered the ship, and made certain to suck these young girls,  inexperienced in the music business, out of millions – making his own wife the scapegoat.  How loving.

Yet, these ladies stood their ground and were absolutely discerning about their lot.  Pebbles caught the heat because she was out front; a distraction at best.  I’m certain living with herself became increasingly difficult as TLC’s request to review their contract, as well as the realization that their attorney was also serving the interest of, you got it, Perri “Pebbles” Reid became evident.  Hence, the ministry!

Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1)”  I got that.  Be careful about judgment of a woman who did the right thing; stood by her man – until the divorce.  Be careful about somehow intimating that her turn to the ministry was a guilt trip waiting to happen.  Ok, we’ll be mindful.  But you have to admit, regardless of her redemption story; Sister Perri “Pebbles” Reid knew exactly what she was doing…

ooohhhh, ahhhhh, on the TLC tip!  Rest In Paradise, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes

Live on T-Boz and Chilli!