Monday, April 30, 2012

Stop MOTHERing Black Men

Before we get started here, this is not an "Angry Black Woman/Mad at the World/Set his clothes on Fire/Waiting to Exhale" post.  As a sociologist (yeah, I do that too) and educator, this is something that I've noticed we do in our community.  From the time our Black men are boys, we mother the hell out of them.  Nothing wrong with mothering a young child, but when that young child grows up to be a man, it's time to stop.

As Black women, we grow up and are taught to be strong, independent, hard-working and hold down our families.  Black women exemplify these attributes, while we've allowed Black men to disembody them to the point where they don't have to grow up.  We allow them to run the streets while we hold down the household.  We let them carry on with any female they want while we turn a blind eye.  We do their dirty work for them when we should be demanding that they 'man' up.

This topic of mothering first came up as a friend and I discussed Emily B. from Love & Hip Hop.  Her story is pretty tragic: she's had a child & been in a relationship for years with a man who has cheated on her behind & in front of her back and now she spends her days on television crying about said man.  Now obviously, I don't know the ins & outs of Emily's relationship, but I do know that she is seemingly patiently waiting for her man to finish running the streets and decide he wants to be with her.  Just as a mother would wait out a petulant child who is having a tantrum.  Y'all see the connection here?

Another example: women having to hold down the household AND work while their man runs the streets.  Maybe he's not out cheating, but if he's not financially, emotionally & spiritually taking care of his family, he's not doing his job.  When you put that ring on her finger & a bun in her oven, your days of being a "boy" are over.  There's nothing wrong with hanging out with friends & playing video games, but when that supersedes your family, it's got ta go.

As Black women, we should support our Black men.  We should uplift them and build them up.  We want them to be successful and realize all of their goals and dreams.  Can't we do all of these things while demanding that they, in turn, be men?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Get yo weave!

As a card carrying member of the Weavy Wonder club, I think I'm in a position to have an honest conversation with you ladies.  Some of yalls weaves are un-ac-ceptable.  I've already shared my disdain for lacefronts so I won't harp on that again.  But, just because you're not wearing a lacefront, doesn't mean your hair is on point.  Lemme give you a few examples:

The Exposed Track:
Classic (and rookie) weave fail.  There should always be enough hair to cover your tracks...just like in life.

Unkempt Weave: 
If you gotta unkempt weave, I am only to assume you have an unkempt life. Just ask my friend Nay about her roomie Lil. The first time I met Lil, her hair was lookin crazy and she, in turn, ended up being crazy.

The Ridiculous Color:
No one, in the history of the world, was born with blue & purple hair.  Now, as a Blonde Bombshell, I think a lil color is fine.  I've done a red streak or 2 in my day.  But your WHOLE HEAD in purple?? Ummm, nooooo.

Smelly Weave: 
Just because you have a weave does not mean you shouldn't wash your hair. Your weave will trap all kinds of smells (sweat, cigarettes, desperation) so make sure you stick to a regular hair care schedule.

The Braxtons:
Disclaimer: I do love the Braxtons, I don't always love their hair.  The evolution of the Braxtons weave has been impressive...

...but they ain't there yet.

To all my Sewn-in Sisters, I fully support your choice for enhancement...just make sure you look good doin it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Top of the Summitt

We're huge basketball fans in my family.  One team we always root for is the University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Team.  Until about a week ago, the team was led by legendary Coach Pat Summitt.  She recently stepped down because of her battle with early-onset dementia.  Pat is a legend in our family not just because she is an amazing coach, but because she is an extraordinary woman.

Most people know Pat's coaching stats:

1,908 wins
8 NCAA championships
14 Olympians
1st women's basketball coach to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Made an appearance in the NCAA tournament every single year she's coached.
More Tennessee players have been drafted into the WNBA than from any other school.

Her players have a 100% graduation rate, which in the college sports world is unheard of.  (Take that Coach K.)  She's run a clean program with no major coaching violations.  She didn't buy any players a house to get them to come play for her, *cough* Pete Carroll.  She was intense on the court, but kept it classy and never threw a chair.  

Pat was not just a coach to her players, she was a surrogate mother.  When players came to Tennessee, they didn't just go to college, they joined a family.  She's single-handedly put women's basketball on the map so it's hard to describe in a few sentences what Pat Summitt has meant to her players and to college sports.  In this day and age, when coaches are in the news for fiscal impropriety, adultery, and cheating, it's refreshing to know that there are still people like Pat out there.  To Pat, I wish you a long, healthy, prosperous life.  Thank you for the impact you made on basketball and on young women everywhere.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Cups

I saw this recipe during my daily perusing of recipe blogs.  Couple things I love about this recipe: 
  • It's mini (I'm obsessed with muffin cups.  From now on, all my food will be muffin-sized.)
  • It's breakfast
  • There's bacon
  • Only 5 ingredients!

I used challah bread since I had some laying around but I'm sure this would work with french bread or any of them other fancy breads.

Challah Bread
3 eggs
1 c. milk
Cheddar Cheese
3 slices of bacon cooked
Dash of Black Pepper  

1. Dice your bread into 1-inch cubes

2. Cook your bacon

3. Grease your muffin cups

4. Separate bread cubes into your muffin cups

5. Top your bread cubes with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles

6. Mix your eggs and milk in a separate bowl and season with pepper (I think next time I'll add Lawry's ... everything's better with Lawry's)

7. Pour egg mixture over each muffin cup

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until your knife comes out clean

Yeah I ate one before I took the last picture ... so sue me

The original recipe calls for this to soak overnight.  If you were using a crusty bread or day old bread, that's probably your best bet.  Challah sucks up everything, so this didn't need to soak overnight.  And I wanted to eat it immediately...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Big Girls Need Love Too

Recently the plus-size blogosphere was abuzz over H&M launching their plus line.  Finally, another trendy, moderately priced retailer was doing something for the big girls.  This past weekend, I had friends visiting NYC so we decided to check out H&M+ ... well that was a huge fail.

  • They gave us big girls a whole wall.  A wall yall.  Not a floor, not a section, but a wall.
  • Even though the trends this season are colored pants, floral prints, neons, etc., the plus-size section was gray, navy, and black.  Now, all of these are nice colors for a gloomy winter day, but not Spring!
  • All the clothes were shaped like a long flowy moo moo or beautiful cardboard box.  Well, my body is shaped like a coke bottle, I'd like my clothes to reflect that. 

Oh H&M, nice try.  But try again.

Ladies, what are some of your favorite plus-size retailers?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: Perfect Peace

The description of this book is listed as follows:

Perfect Peace explores the fateful decision of Emma Jean Peace to raise her seventh son, Perfect, as the daughter she has always wanted.  Her plan, nutty as it is, works out until Perfect is 8 years old.

Now, doesn't that sound interesting??  This book dives into gender roles, sexuality, colorism, abuse, all mixed in with being Black & poor in the 1940s. The novel was very well written and the author does a great job of presenting the background information and complexities of the main characters.  Even the mother, who you want to hate for most of the book, becomes a sympathetic antagonist.

Next up: Tina Fey (waHOOwa) ~ Bossy Pants

Thursday, April 12, 2012

white male privilege vs. The Professional Black Woman

As a double minority, Black Women have had to work twice as hard and be twice as good at everything they do to get to their station in life. I think that's why when the Professional Black Woman comes in contact with white male privilege, it's always a recipe for disaster.

As a Professional Black Woman, you always remember the first time you run up against white male privilege: passed over for a job you were clearly more qualified for, doing the work of others who hold higher titles than you, receiving less pay then colleagues with half your experience. Yes, all of these things still happen ... even in 2012.

One thing I inherited from my mother, besides my good looks and awesome party-hosting abilities was being a professional Black Woman on the opposite side of white male privilege. My mother had to endure training colleagues with less qualifications than her only for that person to later become her boss. She's had to put up with bosses whose sole purpose was to break her spirit. I'm sure my mother assumed that 20 years later, this wouldn't be the world I inherited from her; unfortunately she was mistaken.

See, what I've come to realize is white male privilege is terrified of the Professional Black Woman. As soon as they see us coming, they get nervous and resort to their old tricks: oppression, belittling us, calling us names like Angry Black Woman. You see, they tried for years to break Black Women ... everything from rape to sterilization to voting rights.  But we didn't go anywhere, we're still here.  I'm a Professional Educated Strong Black Woman ... and I'm your worst nightmare.

Monday, April 9, 2012

From Club to Corporate


I'm a huge fan of this dress.  It's black and white and hugs my curves in all the right places.  I actually wore this dress for my 26th birthday out on the town in the city.  While it definitely fits in at the club, it's not quite corporate.  So I paired it with this comfy purple cardigan and added an additional pop of color with these red earrings.  PS I'm really starting to love purple & red together.


I don't usually stand like this at work.

Dress - Forever 21
Tights - Target
Cardi - TJ Maxx

Friday, April 6, 2012

So You're Thinking About Moving to New York City...

...well don't!

Let me rephrase that.  Make sure you give it some thought.  I LOVE New York.  Three years ago, I made a huge decision to quit my very stable job (as my mother made sure to reminded me) & gave up a gorgeous apartment to move to NYC and attend grad school.  It was a huge change but I did it ... and I love it.  But, it ain't for everybody.

New York is expensive as hell!  Don't think you're gonna come here & live like Carrie Bradshaw or Evelyn Lozada.  You'll most likely live in a closet that costs more than 2 weeks salary.  Not only that, but everything here costs twice as much as it does everywhere else.  Box of cereal - $7.  Happy Meal - $11.  Deodorant - $13.  Aight, these might not be actual figures but they're pretty damn close.

Secondly, ain't no jobs here.  As I mentioned before, I have 2 Master's Degrees & was begging people to hire me.  Trust me, ask any Broadway actor or actresses restaurant waitress or hostess, it's hard out here.  And food for thought, you probably shouldn't move anywhere unless you already have a job lined up anyways.

And you know what, New York stinks ... literally.  You will smell some things here that only the devil himself could create.  Human feces in the train station, throw up on the side walk at 3:00 pm, or someone eating yogurt during your morning commute just to name a few.

So, if you can handle all this stuff, you are 1/867th of the way ready to move to NYC.  Is New York as glamorous as you see on TV?  Yeah, it can be.  Will living here make a man outta you & put some hair on your chest?  Definitely.  After all, they don't say If I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere for nothin.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Let's Split the Check

We've all been there.  You're out to eat with your friends enjoying the fellowship, appetizers, camaraderie and cocktails.  Everyone is having a great time til that dreaded moment...the check arrives.  You begin looking over the bill to add up what you consumed when that lone voice yells out over the table ... "Let's just split it." 

*Death eyes*

Splitting the check is so contentious, it's rumored, to be the cause of World War II.  Friendships have ended over splitting the check.  People have starved over splitting the check.  Men and women have relegated themselves to water and croutons over splitting the check.  When you decide to split the check, you see who your real friends are.  Will your friend who ordered steak over your salad speak up?  Will that friend who's mad cheap finally come through being the cheapskate that she is?  After all, your only other option to splitting the check is spending the next 30 minutes haggling with your friends over how much tax to leave on their third of a $12 calamari appetizer.

Now, I don't know if Ms. Emily Post has a rule on the proper etiquette come check time but Div's rules go a lil something like this:

If everyone is eating, drinking, and being merry, just split the check evenly.  Especially if you're in a restaurant where the entrees are reasonably and similarly priced.  Now, if some people are on their 4th cocktail while others just got dessert, get your calculators're in for a long, numerically taxing night.      

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Autism Awareness Month

I *heart* Autism!

April is Autism Awareness Month, and as a former teacher of students with autism, I HAD to commemorate this month.  For those that don't know, autism is a neurological disorder that effects a person's ability to communicate, take care of themselves, relate to other people, and their brain functioning.  Autism was made popular in the movie Rainman, but trust me, not all people with autism are savants.

As a special ed teacher, autism was my favorite disability.  I know that sounds weird, but kid's with autism are amazing.  They live in their own world but every now and then, they'll let you in.  Once you're in, you are in for a hilariously challenging ride but it's all worth it when you see them learn a new skill or make a new connection.  Although I don't teach anymore, I think about my students all the time.  Kids with autism will always hold a special place in my heart.

This month, I want to honor every mother, father, sister, brother, and teacher of children with autism.  I know personally that they are exceptional people with gigantic hearts and thick skin.  If no one else tells you today or any day, I think you are AMAZING!
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