Ladies Room Confessions: What Are You Worth?


Sex is a natural part of life. It is also necessary on so many levels: procreation, pleasure, connectivity, and a multitude of health benefits including stress relief. There is no greater moment than when two souls connect on a higher spiritual plane with the expressed purpose of meeting a temporary euphoria. Sex is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, sex is not used in its proper form when ideals of manipulation, exploitation, carelessness, and pure wreckage dominate the mental capacity of the parties involved. As beings privy to inducting their own harmony it is imperative that when engaging in a sexual experience we must check our heart motivations. Why Am I doing this?

When I was as young as 10 my mother made it very clear that a young lady of worth guarded her body which is her temple. This type of child rearing resulted in someone who very early in life associated their value based upon the ability to watch over my vessel of power. If I chose to give my body in passion, I made sure it was to someone who could not only appreciate but recognize the queen that lay before them. Royal, precious, and rare.

The idea that we convey to our young ladies today is something quite different. Sex is just sex and you should give yourself away to anyone who will accept it. Meanwhile once the “moment” is over it would have paled in comparison to its potential if she would have been more selective in a partner. However, in this male dominated society, the media hides this truth behind airwaves filled with songs about the “glory” of being a side chick, “don’t tease him”, and how men really want a “THOT” over a “Dick tease”.

How could this be? That we are not teaching our daughters that our sexuality is the most sought after thing on the planet and there is power in our innermost parts. That we are grooming our baby girls into women whose aspirations in life are to be “Instagram famous” or the next big reality star.

I thought long and hard about the type of woman I would like to raise my daughter to be. Among the list of attributes I would like her to know that her worth is too great to simply “let” the average person partake. The person who will be lucky enough to share such a vulnerable moment with her should be someone who can respect the fact that she is a commodity. I would advise her to protect her vessel much like my mother did me.

And now I ask you, what are you worth? Are you just someone’s piece of “ass” (excuse my French this topic is dear to my heart). Are you not worthy of a relationship that does not include late night visits, sneaky phone calls, and 5 minute encounters that put you at his/her disposal. Are you trash or treasure? What are you, my dear?

Once you figure out who you are then you can read through the mind games of those who are out to use your body then throw you away. Let them know that although sex is natural and beneficial to human development (unless you are sexually deviant) it is also detrimental if given to the wrong partner.

So I ask again, what are you worth?

Kylie Jenner’s Braids and the Culture Appropriation Debate


Recently Kylie Jenner, sister of Kim Kardashian, was involved in a twitter feud. Apparently Kylie posted a picture of herself with a new hairstyle that enraged Hunger Games actress, Amandla Stenberg.  Why? The picture depicted the youngest Kardashian/Jenner with cornrows which was, as Stenberg interpreted, “culture appropriation”.

Kylie responded , “Mad if I don’t, mad if I do….Go hang with Jaden or something.” Stengberg retorted with information concerning cultural appropriation that sparked a nationwide debate. While some people could not understand why a teenager seemingly expressing herself through style is considered racist, others applaud the Hunger Games actress for her efforts to enlighten.

The question is, was Kylie Jenner’s braids cultural appropriation? Is it just an innocent gesture of culture influencing the other? What is cultural appropriation anyway?

Here’s my two cents:

Although I completely agree with the young actress, I must admit that Kylie Jenner is barely the person to confront on this issue. Yes, I completely understand that she and her sisters have committed themselves to achieving the “ethnic” look. What we must understand that she is much like others concerning this cultural appropriation, blind.

It seems as if everyone, except people of color, are in the dark concerning this recent hot button issue. Now if you are a member of another race and can get it you are the enlightened one, my friend.

Nevertheless, Its hard for anyone to truly understand the cries of the oppressed when their culture is taken by the oppressor and made to be the “in” thing without identifying with the oppressed.

Take Hip Hop for instance. It was born and bred in the heart of people searching for a way to outlet the violence, poverty, and shame they saw daily. Once the mainstream discovered Hip Hop’s power of influence, it then evolved ( the exception of a few) into something completely different. Hip hop has become so watered down that when outrage occurs in the urban community very few reflect the voice of the people in their music. Many of Hip hop’s moguls instead chose to turn a deaf ear and continue to rhyme about the popular and more acceptable to mainstream topics.

I digress.

There have been many instances in which women who are not of African heritage are placed on a pedestal for achieving a look that black women typically have. Angelina Jolie is praised for her voluptuous lips, Kim Kardashian and the rest of her clan are considered the best booty’s in the US/. Side note: You all do realize they paid top dollar to inject their hips and rear ends with as much plastic as possible to receive a look that comes naturally to most black women.  In an effort to shed her Disney image, Miley Cyrus “twerked” across a stage and popularized the dance (one that derived from Africa).

The list goes on and on. It seems to me that the exotic features and demeaner of black women is only acknowledged and dare I say it, worshiped, when accompanied with cultures not their own.

So when my young sister Amandla Stenberg considers an Instagram pic enough and decides to speak on an issue dear to her heart I understand completely.

There is nothing wrong with admiring a culture. There are a lot of cultures I admire; however, there is another thing when it is a trend to steal from the culture and market it mainstream without referencing that said culture. Not only that but also to “love” the culture so much BUT have absolutely nothing to say about the issues that occur to the people of that culture is just plain insensitive and oblivious.

In essence, cultural appropriation, whether you understand it or not, is a result of institutionalized racism. It originated during slavery when black women were scolded for having “nappy” hair that made them look like ragdolls when placed in cornrows yet in 1979 Bo Derek wore them and suddenly it became beautiful and exquisite.

In order to heal as a country we must stop telling the oppressed, when they cry out, that they shouldn’t be crying and instead listen. I am very sure that Kylie Jenner did not wear the wig/braids (yes I had to throw a little shade) with racism in mind, however, she represents a mindset that must be first shown its flaw then uprooted.

For this to work WE ALL need to take off our blinders and truly see what has happened in this country.

Only then will a brighter more cohesive future be seen.

Bill Cosby: Why His Confessions Have Proven What We All Feared


Well the proof is in the pudding, Jell-O pudding pops that is. Bill Cosby’s 2005 deposition has been released, revealing one startling fact: Americans would rather believe a wealthy man than 47 scorn women.

Judge Robreno disclosed on Monday, July 6th that Bill Cosby admitted to both drugging and raping women in the 70’s. Obviously nothing could be done to “America’s favorite father” because of the statute of limitations law; however the judge claimed his reasons behind unsealing the documents was a result of Cosby’s continuous need to position himself as a “public moralist”.  That fact paired with the stark contrast between criticisms of the black community and his personal immoralities was astounding. The judge decided that the public needed to know the truth.

Once this information hit the media Cosby supporters were appalled and quickly turned their backs. Among the supporters, R&B and Soul singer, Jill Scott took to twitter to as a means for expressing her disgust, “I stood by a man I respected and loved, I was wrong. It hurts!!!”  The remaining networks that continued to air The Cosby Show have canceled its syndication. Even Disney has backed out of their support by removing his bust following the wake of his sworn testimony.

Not everyone has changed their minds about The Cos though. Whoopi Goldberg and Raven Symone, co-hosts of The View, have continued in their claims that not enough evidence has been presented.

Does the 2005 testimony cement the allegations against the actor/comedian? Does Bill Cosby’s moral finger waging while hypocritically engaging in immoral acts mean his legacy is null and void? Should Whoopi Goldberg and Raven Symone be marked the village idiots for their loyalty to Bill Cosby?

Here’s my two cents:

When the allegations first hit the media earlier this year, I quickly became offended. I would rant about the unfair demonization of prominent black figures and refused to deem him guilty by public opinion alone.

When I got wind of Monday’s news I, like Jill Scott had to swallow the hard pill that the creator of positive black imagery on television is really a serial rapist. Ouch. The truth hurts!

Facts are facts and if you continue in a faulty opinion, even when faced with hardcore evidence, you are foolish.

So am I implying that Goldberg and Symone are foolish?  In short, yes!  if they choose to stay in darkness then so be it, it’s their opinion and are free to express.

I am more so dumbfounded by Hollywood’s sudden desire to dismantle a person’s artistic endeavors based upon moral standards.

Woody Allen was allegedly having sex with his underage stepdaughter and once she came of age divorced his wife and married her. He was not found guilty in a court of law of molestation, yet logically, you would assume that his desire for his stepdaughter didn’t start the day she turned 18. Be that as it may, Allen’s star on the walk of fame has not been removed and as a matter of fact was recently honored.

But wait, there’s more!

Roman Polanski allegedly raped and sodomized a 13 year old only to receive an Oscar for “The Pianist”. Sean Connery is a celebrated actor who has openly admitted that in order to win an argument with a woman it is absolutely right to open hand slap her. John Lennon, a beloved artist whose music has influenced generations, has been documented and said himself that he had a problem with physically abusing women. R. Kelly urinated on young girls and before his bodily liquids could dry we were stepping in the name of love and confessing that He saved me.

It seems to me that morality trumps violent abuse against women only for SOME prominent figures.

Am I in any way an advocate for celebrating societies sick and twisted yet gifted individuals? No. I do believe we should make it fair across the board. Withdraw Oscar’s, remove stars, dismantle statues, discontinue music play, cease movies from the big screens, take shows off syndication of EVERY individual who engages in abuse against women whether it has been proven in a court of law or not.

Does this ideal sound far-fetched? Maybe.

If we are “pretending” to be such a moral and upstanding society that abhors perversions, injustice, and violence then let’s dig deep into our fabric and finally admit that systematic racism is STILL a problem in this country.  Lets work to finally give the Native Americans credit for discovering the USA and strip Christopher Columbus of his title as the “founder” of North America.

Is that a stretch? A tad.

The point is, we are all hypocrites. Admit it and remedy it.

Ugh. How am I supposed to watch my favorite episode of “The Cosby Show” without cringing at the sight of Cliff Huxstable!

Ladies Room Confessions


Ladies Room Confessions

The maternal instinct is an automatic response that drives me daily. Even before birthing my beautiful daughter I felt like a mother. I often allowed healing waters to flow through me and wash over every hurting person in my path. It is just who I am. I probably chose to be the source of comfort for so many because on the inside I desired a mother.

I took a job as a teacher because taking care of those children served as a form of pleasure for me. It was my way of drying every tear I cried as a result of the role reversal between me and my mother. Caring for those little ones was the highlight of my day as I struggled with internal rage. How can you birth a child and make that child take care of you?

I remember telling friends that I couldn’t play outside because I needed to clean the house meanwhile my mother lay in her room watching television and puffing on Newport. She was probably seeking an escape from deep-seated pain herself. Yet, I can’t help but honestly conclude that what happened to her was not my fault and I shouldn’t have been made to become a parent at the age of 12. But there I was, cooking every night and cleaning the home from top to bottom while she enveloped herself in an apathetic cocoon of cigarettes, mind numbing television, and guilt.

Now here I am nearly 6 years after her death with a one year old. I study her immensely; watching her spunky personality evolve. She is so beautiful, strong, stubborn, determined: she is my mom. I wonder if I can right the things that went wrong with my mother. If I can rear my child to use her strengths as a source to impact the world, instead of selfishly hoarding her. I wonder if the sensitive nurturer within will be enough to suffice her independent nature. Am I good enough? I am not sure at times.

When I quietly creep into her room and caress her little face, tracing over her features, I ask myself if I would ever commit the selfish acts of my mother; Use her strongest characteristics to somehow bridge the gap of guilt and shame. Be it far from me.

These are the heavy burdens I carry in my soul. The things that I make-up, clothe, and eat to escape.

I love my mother, she had many great qualities, but I do not want to be like her. For that I feel even worse.

Nigga This and Nigga That


Nigga This and Nigga That: Confederate Flag

Nigga this and nigga that

If my eyes were closed Id swear you were black

On the surface you say you’re in love with the culture

But on the real you’re a covert vulture

Appropriating the style of a skin tone you demise

Having everyone fooled, but to me there’s no surprise

Why do we feel the need to be superior to others

No matter the outer we are all sisters and brothers

That’s not the way you see it because you have the heart of a racist

Dabbing up black friends while wearing two faces

Oh Uneducated, misguided, and foolish one

Its mindsets like yours that held them hostage with a gun

That hung the innocent on a tree

That cut pieces of burned flesh as a trophy

That wore sheets that cowardly terrorized the few

That hid fear in their hearts because of what they knew

That this melanin you hate is strong

And collectively they would expose your wrong

We are no different that the millions of others

If we did rape your women we borrowed that piece from YOUR culture

Out of the ashes we continue to rise as a people

Contrary to your media outlets we are not feeble

Just fed up with the hypocrisy and the unmitigated gaulle

As we attempt to regain the dignity stripped from us all

Save your fake love and raise your consciousness fast

Humanity must evolve past your Nigga this and Nigga that

Why Jussie Smollett of Empire’s Sexuality Confirmation Should Be Applauded


Lost in the obsession over blonde hair and an unsurprising racist video emergence, Jussie Smollett has finally confirmed his sexuality.

Recently the Empire actor and Columbia recording artist stopped by Ellen to discuss his role on the sensational Fox television show. After answering a myriad of typical questions, Jussie made it very clear that “there was never a closet” for him. In other words the actor reinforced the gay rumors that have surrounded him from the moment the show spotlighted his incredible talent.

Is Jussie’s sexuality a cause for concern?

Here is my two cents:

What I am about to write may be offensive for some and liberating for others.

Aside from the fact that the young man’s talent is enough and his sexuality should NOT be something he has to confirm with anyone; I applaud his bravery and think it is encouraging for not only members of the LGBT community but everyone.

We all have something that we consider a personal truth that may not be popular or even shunned by society. We should uphold every person who is willing to go against the grain and just BE themselves in high esteem.

Also, I don’t know if I was the only one who cried like a baby after watching the “put the boy in the trash can” scene but it unlocked so many memories.

I have a cousin who is close to my heart. He loved to play dress up. He wrapped himself in sheets and pretended he was in a fabulous gown. He put on his mother’s heels and obsessed over Brandy’s version of Cinderella starring the late great Whitney Houston.

He was also teased from as early as 6 years old. He would run to me and cry on my shoulder and of course it was my duty to find the culprit and beat them up. I rode in the back seat of cars holding his hand as his father called him everything but his beloved son.  I dried his tears as we both vented about how every male father figure who entered his life, including his biological father, chose his younger and more masculine brother over him.

After viewing the season 1 finale of Empire, my cousin took a stand and came out to his mother.

I could not be more proud.

The once guilt ridden, scared, and fractured boy has finally emerged into a man who is true to himself.  There is no more hiding for him. No more telling his big cousin to fight the bullies. No more questioning what is WRONG with him. No more accepting less because he was taught that he was less than. NO MORE.

He is now a strong, loving, kind, courageous man who has come into his own.

And for that my hat is off to Jordan Banks.

My hero.

Keep fighting to BE true to yourself no matter who hates it or loves it.