Mothers Verzuz Fathers… don’t do this

So Swizz and Timbaland need to gather a bunch of Moms and a bunch of Dads to play out their greatest hits to see who should get the win?!? FOH.

I saw a post on FB comparing the depth of the celebration women get on Mother’s Day versus the perceived shallow nature of how much father’s are championed on Father’s Day. What in the entire patriarchy is this foolishness!? Are men really so SOFT (I said what I said) in 2021 that they are pouting about how big their Father’s Day celebration is? Are we serious…

First let me say this… I applaud all parents raising children who will be good and kind humans. All of us deserve a week off and a great vacation. That said, however, let’s please not get it twisted here. Mothers , across the board, EVERY board, are doing more work WITH CHILDREN… the whole point of that title…than Father’s. Ya’ll get paid more for the same work. Ya’ll get more accolades and rewards for the same amount of effort. Ya’ll are the the hoarders of power and control. But on THIS TOPIC here, we got you beat, and you have a mighty HUGE ego if you cannot see that our catalogue is bigger, likely better, and simply just deeper than yours.

From the moment after conception, women become vessels for the new life developing inside of them, and our bodies are no longer our own. Morning sickness, fear, worry, water retention, crying fits, weird cravings, swollen ankles, crazy gas and indigestion, doctor’s visits, maternity clothes, weight gain, nose spread, the pregnancy mask, hair growth and fallout, preeclampsia, bed rest, Braxton-Hicks contractions, mucous plugs, tender breasts, contractions, centimeters, epidurals, cesarean sections, the shoulders, the PAIN. Men gain a little weight and probably get yelled at a bit more than normal. Thass it. Then the baby is born…

Women breast-feed, and generally take on more child care responsibilities. Late night feedings, bath time, diaper changes, cleaning up spit up down their front and other stuff all up their backs. Fun times. Mother’s read more to their babies, and hold their babies more. So even as children grow more independent, they tend to cling to their mother’s emotionally as it is her heartbeat they seek when in distress, no matter how young or old they are. That connection is one that keeps mother’s responsible and attached to their children well into their adult lives. Even that job you work very very hard at, and your family appreciates you for it, once you retire you can cut ties. A mothers life is never again her own, she always shares some part of it with her children. Motherhood is an eternal job. That doesn’t make being a father less important, it makes it different. But in those differences rest the reasons for the differences in celebration.

Patriarchy has some men so dependent upon rewards and awards, that simply being able to see the fruit of your labor is not enough. There is no Mother’s Day gift or celebration I have had yet that rises to the level of the joy I have gotten seeing my child become a good and kind human. The flowers and dinner are nice, I appreciate them, but I don’t hinge my worth or importance as a mother upon them. If I were an absent mother, I’d get quadruple the amount of criticism absent father’s do. But fatherhood is still looked at as a choice men get to make, and motherhood is considered a responsibility of women. It is women who are asked… When are you gonna have a baby? Don’t you want kids? When are you gonna get married and have done kids? Men get to float freely through life without expectations of fatherhood or even marriage. So pick one, patriarchy or paternal tears. You cannot have both.

Be clear, I applaud all men and women participating in raising children. I personally know some awesome father’s and they get my utmost respect. Most of them, however, also acknowledge how much their children’s mothers do and have done to ensure their kid’s success. They would never complain or frankly even participate in some pissing contest about how much they are celebrated versus their wives/the mothers of their children/etc. I typically believe the people picking fights are the ones who hope their competition is so busy they’ll win by default. But this particular fight was lost before it started. Our bones and organs move to make room for a child to grow. Many of us forever suffer from aches and pains as a result. You ate too many donuts and had to buy bigger pants. You should ensure our celebration is bigger.

There are always one or two men complaining about what women get versus what they get. Don’t let the patriarchy get you in trouble… cuz we generally pay for those uglyass ties and mugs these babies pick for you, grinning and happy they get to select something for you. The sheer accomplishment on their faces when they hand you that gift should be celebration enough. The fact that we survived that miracle should be enough. The fact that some little person calls you Dad, should be enough. Don’t let the patriarchy fuck up your good thing.

But as far as this Verzuz… it’s like Lil Kim versus Lil Cease… this a Big Momma Thang!

Happy Father’s Day!!!!!

Ally McBeal

2020 was one of the most traumatic years for modern generation Black people.

COVID-19
death
isolation
George Floyd
Breonna Taylor
Armaud Arbery
School closings/at home school
Business closings
Antiblack racism
Donald Trump
Lack of professional diversity & inclusion

Black people made up over 27% of COVID cases and 60% of deaths in urban centers. Add to that, the deaths of unarmed Black people by police and the emotional trauma of waiting for justice, despite being used to injustice. How having to figure out how to facilitate school at home for children, often multiple children and work proved almost impossible. Then the blatant racism in the administration, towards the first Black female VP candidate, and in our workplaces… the amount of PTSD Black people had looming over their head was almost palpable like a nimbus cloud. In many cases it was the presence and recognition of our allies that made us felt seen outside of our own community on the larger national and world scale. I understand it can be hard for a person born with privilege to understand the reality of someone born with a biological truth that is a social and political disadvantage. However it is in the attempt, their education in the nation’s history of discrimination and racism, and the acceptance of their privilege that we can actually consider them a true ally. Our very own Ally McBeal.

I have one. I happen to work with her, in a place where I have experienced the worse racism and discrimination in my life. I didn’t pick her, she just decided she valued humanity over hatred. I have never asked her if she studied the art of allying or it just came natural to her, but she is very deliberate and purposeful in her role. I was registering for class today, and she had written me a letter of recommendation the selection committee praised and that seemed to describe some awesomely brilliant woman I didn’t even recognize as myself. I read it again waiting for my class to load and was reminded how important allies are… even when you are Blackity black, rooting for everybody Black, pro-Black, and dressed in all Black.

We’ll call her Ally, and this is the recipe for an ally.

First, Ally recognizes her privilege and deliberately educates herself about the experiences and realities of marginalized people to better understand the human experience. She is also very aware of her actions. During the Black Lives Matter protests, she actually mentioned that she felt bad she hadn’t marched, but was simultaneously afraid of COVID and unsure how to resolve the two. I was impressed with her compassion and awareness. I didn’t fault her for not going to a rally. I too stayed at home. However her level of self-awareness and her want to protest brutality against other people was impressive.

Second, she isn’t one of those “I don’t see color” folks, her eyes work, her prescription is current and valid. But she treats everyone equitably all the time. If you are an idiot… she’ll call it out, color lines be damned. If you are smart, she will also ensure you know she recognizes your skill. Her recommendation letters, gold star emails, and just simply her seeking out and acknowledging my intelligence and knowledge are always good to hear, but especially from someone I equally respect. An ally is not just, or may not even be, a friend… but stands in solidarity with you against the racist notions and actions that keep you from opportunity. Recognizing that your difference doesn’t make you lesser and them better… but simply different, and that difference is to be celebrated!

Third, my dear Ally is supportive of my pro-Blackness because she knows it does not mean I’m anti-White or against her in any way. She likes my social posts, reads some of my blogs, was willing to stand with me when I was being discriminated against, and is as against white supremacy and racism as I am. She can identify that my pride in myself, my culture, racial identity, and Black womanhood doesn’t infringe on her right to be proud of herself. We also share a place in womanhood that is at times just as difficult and complicated but rewarding as Blackness. Mostly, she knows that I don’t devalue her because she is White, but I appreciate her because she has used her privilege to help me, in what small ways she could. I appreciate her as is. That is what allyship is all about.

Now to convince her we should do this dance every time we see each other…

Bonnet Applebum

Ya’ll have taken bonnets so far… to places they never imagined they would go. Misgynoir. Hating Black women. False narratives. Freedom. Being chastised by a woman with her breasts hanging free in a robe on a video broadcast beyond just outside, but for everyone to see. My sweet babies never did anything to anybody but try to preserve your roller set while you slept. But like ya’ll do, it’s gone too far.

This is simple shit. Let me tell you what it is not before I tell you what it is. It’s not misogynoir. Stop it. Stop that now. So someone pointed out to me that it’s been said durags, the Black male version of a bonnet, are worn outside and haven’t received as much static. Others that the bonnet is just a stand in for anything that represents a Black woman’s freedom, and this backlash as a way to police our freedom by limiting our comfort. Nope and nope. Back in the late 90s when durags came in black and the occasional white, Black guys started wearing them under their caps, tied with the flap in the wind, or untied flaps to the side similar to a Nemes headdress worn by Egyptian pharaohs. In fact it’s designed in exactly the same style.

In 2001 and 2005, this primarily Black cultural item was banned by the NFL and NBA and then several school districts as gang related. This item made specifically to help lay down hair to create a 360 degree wave hairstyle, which was coincidentally (or not) started in ancient Egypt was not gang related but used as a tool of racism. So it cannot be said bonnets are receiving some unprecedented hatred. In protest, durags in multiple colors and styles started being worn by Black men and women. This isn’t new… but I would venture it is different.

Venture with me… take a walk if you will. The original version of “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest was rapped by Q-Tip in a typical rap cadence that confirmed to the beat. He read an 1985 issue of SPIN magazine with an interview with Miles Davis who spoke about using pauses, or moments of silence in the song, to create space for conversation between the notes, the instruments, or in this case, the words. When the song was mixed for the ATCQ first album, Q-Tip slowed down the cadence and used pauses to mimic having a conversation with a young lady about his interest in her. “Hey Bonita (pause) Glad to meet ya!”

Bonnets, Bonnets, Bonnets…

Bonnets aren’t being chastised by the White establishment as some object of racial negativity. This is mainly sistas talking to other sistas, a moment of pause, to create a conversation about the phenomenon of wearing hair bonnets outside as a head covering. Every sista doesn’t engage her peers in the most compassionate and understanding way… understood. However, this isn’t an attack, it’s an observation and the attempt at conversation. Women in my age range were taught that you don’t go outside representing yourself poorly… you can be unique,yourself, and comfortable while being the best version of yourself. There was a separation between what you did in the privacy of your home and how you showed up outside those doors. Women in younger generations seem to attach themselves to the IDGAF mantra, and present and dress however they want in any forum. Social media has blurred the lines of private and public and all of your life is on display, so there is no privacy. No one is trying to police Black women, but simply trying to understand and educate. The hair bonnet is a tool of self-care, like your perm rods to set your natural hairstyle, your nightgown, your unicorn slippers, your pajamas with the feet in them, or the little pieces of paper you stick to your face after you do your weekly facial. Self-care can be many things, and one of those things is engaging in sacred self rejuvenation to reenergize and reinvigorate. We typically emerge from these rituals ready for the opportunity that awaits us. Oh you fancy hunh?

And that doesn’t mean we present how men want us to, or White people want us to, but how we feel our best and most prepared selves. Being able to present that self to the world is freedom. She can be fresh faced or made up, hair natural or straight or brown or blue, clothing tailored or bohemian, pierced or tatted or bejeweled or thicker than a snicker. But she is prepared for the opportunities she wants to find her, so she can scoop them up and take advantage of them. The blurring of the private and public is real, but that doesn’t make everything private, it makes it ALL public. Saying mind your business is cute, but if I’m the one with the opportunity that you want, good luck with that! How you present is my business. Freedom is more than just doing what you want. Lots of people in jail did what they wanted…

Freedom is the ability to be our best self without constraint, to practice self-determination in a responsible and bold manner, and to have equitable access to the reservoir of opportunity. When our choice of head gear was being used to discriminate against and punish us along racial lines, we cut patterns out of floral velvet, lace, and rhinestone mesh and made a fashion statement of it. When our hairstyles were being banned at work we made noise, made our natural hair a cultural phenomenon, and got legislation passed to protect our right to wear our hair as it grows from our head or any other way we choose. But labeling bonnet gate some kind of ministry against Black women by some phantom Black woman hater is bordering on the dramatic. Mainly because it’s us heeding the call. I don’t hate Black women… I am a Black woman with a drawer full of bonnets, naturally curly hair, and an occasional bad hair day. Yet I despise seeing women in bonnets in public.

Now I’m not gonna sweet baby you to death and approach you about the bonnet on your head in Target. I am not gonna do a bonnet call to action. I’m not going to tell you what you cannot do… you certainly can wear a bonnet in public. But I am going to tell you that object was not made for outside wear. That object is a tool of comfort, and if you feel most comfortable in it, more power to you, but chances are you are hiding or protecting what’s underneath it. If you are hiding it, trust that the bonnet is worse. If you are trying to preserve your curls for your date night, trust that ain’t the way. There are a bevy of scarves and headwraps made so that you can do just that, and still present like the free woman you are, who does and wears what she wants, who is ALSO prepared to meet all the best opportunities the world may offer you at any moment. You are best prepared for that with your bonnet on your bedside table. Trust me.

What I am not interested in though, ever… is the false narratives we didn’t author being the reason why we make choices. What White people or men think… which is often the underlying idea… especially when those thoughts are teamed with racial and sexual stereotypes and biases, should never be our raison d’être. Ever. Fuck racism and sexism twice. That is not our ministry. Everything that centers Black women does not have to be about or regarding negativity surrounding our Blackness and our womanhood. Black women are highly policed in terms of how we present. Black women are also highly criticized for how we look while simultaneously mimicked by the most famous White women in the world. So I get it, but this isn’t that. This is simply another sista reminding you who you are, what our freedom looks like, and how we can seek and express that freedom responsibly and boldly free from racist and sexist gaze. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves, especially our younger selves, that our freedom, my sweet babies, doesn’t look like anyone else’s… it’s intersectional, complicated, and more nuanced. Let’s not confuse us reminding each other who we are for misogynoir. That’s not hot. And you can accept it or reject it, but I’m gonna always put you on…

If you can’t stand the heat…

“Women want too much”

“Black women are too aggressive”

“Older women with children aren’t desirable”

“Less than perfect women should not expect to be protected and provided for by a man”

“Strong women don’t intimidate men… unless she thinks strong means aggressive, rude, unpleasant, and outspoken”

Strong, old, Black, too short, too tall, too big, too skinny, and just people with vaginas say a rousing… Fuck you! The Trumps, Richard Spencers, Robert Fischers, Kevin Samuels, Umar Johnsons and all the men who subscribe to their particular brand of women hating can also grab a seat on the Fuck You train. Men who have taken credit for women’s accomplishments, deemed us too weak and not smart enough, or James Evan’ed us to the kitchen and the bedroom instead of the lectern, boardroom, classroom, or wherever the hell we wanted to be… fuck ya’ll too! Check this out, real men don’t sit around dissecting and dictating who and what women should and can be. Men with time to focus on what women are doing or not doing should perhaps find another job, lift some weights, pick up a hammer or chisel, do some carpentry or masonry, or choke on BBQ smoke. Pick one.

Sexism is a tale as old as time. Before a White man ever thought about enslaving a Black man, he was controlling his wife. Many extremely smart women in the 19th century and early 20th century never married, such as Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Caroline Hershel, or their accomplishments were credited to their husbands. Women feigned being dense or dim-witted to marry, because men weren’t interested in smart women, but women who would bear them heirs, look pretty on their arm, curtsy, and make a good biscuit for their tea. Sadly, not much has changed. Women who champion feminism and the rights of women, or those whose successes brought about the need for that championing are looked at as aggressive, masculine, independent, and uninterested in male companionship, marriage, child-bearing, and things the patriarchy paints as feminine. This is true across racial lines, and especially true, a remnant of both racism and sexism, for Black women.

Here is a truth… as a collective, NO other group of women in history have been as abandoned and abused, and then victim blamed as Black women. None. Our victimization has been at the hands of men: men in power, particularly White men, and men we share blood or affinity to, particularly Black men. Those are facts. Slavery separated us from our ancestral families in Africa and the ones we created in America. We were forced to bear the slave children of our Masters, creating an emotional wedge between us and our slave husbands. The Civil War left us without husbands, alone to raise children, who fought on the front lines for a country that would never treat us fairly. Jim Crow and Black Codes destroyed the communities of color we built, leaving us destitute and unable to feed, clothe, and house ourselves. Black women were forced to take on maid and mammy roles while Black men were forced out of the job market. Desperation and unjust laws left them jailed and us alone to raise kids with no men in the home, practically destroying the Black nuclear family.

Today, remnants of watching our single mothers struggle but persevere while knowing our father’s chose not to participate in our family reside just under the surface. We watched our brother’s take on man roles in a child’s body, and now see them struggling to overcome the stigma of incarceration. We remember our uncles, real and play, teaching them that manhood was about how many women, cars, and dollars you could stack and never showing emotion, compassion, or vulnerability. We see them mistreating our friends and sisters, helping themselves to whatever we have and leaving us worse off than we started. We stay at Friend of the Court trying to get them to help buy a pack of diapers or help pay for DeVanté, who looks just like his trifling ass, go to the private school so he can be a doctor like he always talks about. Before you get in your feelings, YES, there are plethora of Black men, men period, who are excellent husbands, fathers, friends, and leaders. We salute you!!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 But for any man to spend his time determining that how we broadcast strength and resilience is wrong and indicative of our worth, without acknowledging what we have been through… he might want to consider that he is just further victimizing us with his judgement and patriarchal bullshit. Fuck you guy.

You want us in the kitchen frying your pickerel in lace underwear, real booty banging, hair laid (and it can be weave as long as you can’t tell), smiling and calling you King. But fish grease pops, so when we put our clothes back on we are rude, when we tie our hair back we are aggressive, and when we stop smiling we are rude. No, we just got fucking burned… but we keep on cooking. It’s you who can’t stand the heat bruh… so back your ass up out of the kitchen until your balls drop, you can grab them, and come help me tend to my burns. Until then, keep your fucked up opinions to yourself. How I exhibit strength is MY BUSINESS. If you don’t like it, then go find a woman you like, cuz the fact that you are talking about it MEANS that you are single af. Figure out why that is before you lay out your philosophy on why some woman, you don’t want, acts in a way you don’t agree with. Newsflash… she likely doesn’t give a fuck!

Your homework: Before you write a dissertation on why certain women are so undesirable, figure out why nobody wants you?!?

Women are always caping for men… all women. We keep your secrets, help you hide bodies, and cover your abuse with Maybelline… because we want to help make you better before we give up in you. But we are sick of your abuse, your judgements, your dominion… and we won’t continue to be your victims. We can be bad by ourselves. We can choose who and what we want to be. We can exist, live and breathe and walk and talk, without seeking your approval. And the entire truth is…

“Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” 1 Corinthians 11:9.

Get it right!

Like Lori

There was Devin, Kevin, Tevin, DeShawn
Derrick, Eric, Peter, and Vaughn
Abel, Cain, Aaron, Hugh
Langston, Ebo, Baron , Bartholemew
Titus, I met him at the grocery store
Alex, Maddox, Ty and Theodore
Gianni, Ronny, Johnnie, Armani
Two dudes named David, Mike, and Giovanni
Jeff, Victor, Michael, Wayne
Finnegan, Harvey, Troy, Zayne
Draymond, Raymond, Gary, and Larry
Perry, Harry, Barry, and Jerry
Were all treated fairly but yet and still…

“Save a boyfriend for a rainy day—and another, in case it doesn’t rain.” -Mae West

JalenxChris

Listen… I am Detroit, hip hop, Michigan (the school not the State), Black as HAIL, and St. Cecilia all wrapped up in one. Understand, I am all about Chris Webber and Jalen Rose …pause…

and today, these brothas shared a moment on TV we have been waiting in for years. We watched Juwan Howard take Michigan basketball to heights not seen in a long time! We waited for the Fab Five reunion to support him… but when the two biggest names in that group are going back and forth beefin like Biggie and Pac… it makes things difficult.

But today, today on ESPN NBA Countdown, Jalen with his perfect D-boy line up and Chris looking a bit nervous and emotional, spoke about Chris Webber’s induction into the Hall of Fame, and this happened.

If you shed a thug tear, raise your hand!

These two have put us THROUGH it. Let’s have a history lesson.

DEEEE-troit Basketball

So Jalen Rose and Chris Webber are native Detroiters. Chris Webber attended Country Day High School, a wealthy suburban school , and Jalen went to Southwestern, a Detroit Public School. Each spent their summers playing at the legendary St. Cecilia gym under the tutelage of the late Sam Washington Sr. I went to St. Cecilia’s school from 2nd to 8th grade, and their freshman year in high school I watched these two hoop from the bleachers prior to cheerleading practice. I had no idea I was watching future NBA Hall of Famers. Fast forward, second semester of my freshman year of high school (Renaissance c/o ‘94… you know how I get down), we play Southwestern in our gym. The place is packed. At the end of the first half, Jalen inbounds the ball and takes it to a little behind half court. With a flick of the wrist, we all watch this perfectly arced ball leave his hands and stand up… SWISH! Everybody LOST it.

After the game, he’s in the hallway, and my boonapolis and I walk past him. “Hey Jalen”, I say. “Hey wassup lil mama, how you been?” “Good, good game!” “Thanks!” My boonapolis (Greek for bestie) looks at me, mouth agape… “No I don’t know him, just seen him play before.” We were 14 and very much impressed with very little. Lol. A few weeks later Jalen’s team won the Michigan High School Class A Championship and Chris Webber was named Mr. Basketball. They both declared they’d be going to the University of Michigan. And just like that basketball would never be the same.

The FAB FIVE

If you watched basketball from 1991-1993, you know that the Fab Five Michigan Wolverines changed the game. They traded those tight small basketball shorts for the long baggy boys, they wore all black shoes and socks, shunned interviews, played Ice Cube and NWA loud in the locker room, and when they entered March Madness, they shaved their heads. Along with Jalen and Chris, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson set fire to the NCAA and basketball in general… it was like watching dudes at the Rucker play against college teams. They brought all the swag, nasty dunks, and urban flavor to Crisler arena, and added some Black to that Maize and Blue. While Webber declared for the NBA Draft in 1993 going 1st overall, Rose went 13th in the 1994 draft. But while they played together at Michigan, they were definitely the stars of the court and brothas who motivated one another.

What’s Beef

Both had successful careers in the NBA and went on to commentate on NBA TV, TNT, and ESPN respectively. In 2002, both attempted to trademark the “Fab Five” phrase, which led to some legal back and forth. That same year, Chris Webber and other Michigan players excluding Rose were called to testify in front of a grand jury about their involvement with booster Ed Martin. Webber was charged with perjuring himself, and later admitted he had been receiving loans from Ed Martin since high school. As a result, Michigan forfeited all if its records while Webber was a player including the 1991-1992 and 1992-1993 Final Four victories and banners. He was suspended from playing for eight games and required to dissociate from Michigan until 2013. After the 2011 ESPN Fab Five documentary aired, which highlighted the scandal, Webber first claimed he wasn’t contacted to participate, which Rose, who helped produce the film, vehemently denied. He then declined to participate knowing the rights to the documentary would be maintained by ESPN and not the players. And then the shit hit the fan.

Chris Webber hit with the Jalen subliminals when he stated…A lot of people…after they retire or they’re looking for a job or they want to be relevant…they go back in time and kind of…make sure their importance is really known……when one guy has a million highlights of himself…as if he was the leading scorer and all the stories are embellished, it’s hard for me.”

To which Jalen responded… “One dude traveled then called timeout. One dude lied to grand jury and hasn’t apologized. One dude tried to circumvent the documentary to HBO. One dude ignored multiple requests from everyone involved after agreeing to participate. One dude slandered Ed Martin after all he did for him and his family. One dude is not in contact with the other four (which is all good). One dude has been doing a rebuttal doc for four years. One dude clearly is delusional and still in denial.”

It continued into 2018 when Webber was invited to be the honorary captain at a football game by Jim Harbaugh. Jalen called the move “calculated” to change the thoughts of those who failed to select Webber to the Hall of Fame after bring nominated a few years in a row. Webber responded saying Rose’s comment was “bullshit” and an attempt by Rose to further entrench himself in the media ranks. And in true tot for tat fashion, Jalen responded with, “ I don’t need to talk about him to further my career. I don’t sell out, I am not a media shill, I do not sell my soul in order to talk about sports on television.” Yikes. So the band and the feud played on, even into Juwan Howard’s selection as the head basketball coach. We waited with baited breath on them to reconcile, hug it out, but nope!

Brotherhood

Black brotherhood is essential and necessary. It is imperative that Black men be able and comfortable to share emotions with one another, and not just women. It is common for women to get perspectives from the feminine and masculine, regarding everything from relationships to their hopes, dreams, health, finances, decisions, etc. For many men, outside of their dialogues about women, they don’t feel socially comfortable diving deeper with their male friends, and thus suffer in silence. That’s neither healthy nor culturally sound.

These two, for Detroiters and Wolverines, were the poster children for Black male friends not being afraid to show emotion, motivate each other, and embrace each other. Their rift reminded us of the fallacy of black-on-black crime… their verbal jousting was like Rico shooting Mitch in the apartment vestibule. That shit was rough to watch. We couldn’t believe they were going out like that. And while a good few of us thought Webber was definitely on that bull… we still wanted him to get it together and just let that shit go. We just wanted them to go back to good times. Dewayne & Ron; Kyle & Overton; Fred & Grady; Mitch, Ace & Rico.

You see, Black male friendships go through ups and downs, changes and growth, the good and bad just like anyone else. Despite what you see on TV, all brothas are not against each other, and in fact, for most of the guys I know, they hold these bonds very dear. It’s important for Black men to be free to bd vulnerable with each other, as it’s something many of them are told is soft and not masculine…which is bullshit. It is important for Black men to hug, dap it up, give each other the head nod to greet men they might not know personally bit share a cultural and social affinity with. It is important for Black men to bury the hatchet, put out the fire, retreat to their corners, and get back in each other’s good graces. What we watched today was some real life Black Boy Joy and Black Men Magic. So here’s to Jalen and Chris … now quick somebody do a celebratory jit Tik Tok in Michigan gear. But while I’m waiting, go Juwan…

“Friends
How many of us have them?
Friends
One’s we can depend on
Friends
How many of us have them?
Friends
Before we go any further, lets be
Friends”- , Friends, Whodini

Don’t be this guy…Updated!

This is Kevin Samuels in 2009.

This is Kevin Samuels today… a self-labeled relationship expert and luxury lifestyle guru… and a whole ass clown. A whole one. Red nose and all.

There is nothing cute about him… yesterday or today. Let’s keep this in mind.

I’m sure we have all heard this rant to the woman who called into his podcast saying she wanted a man making six figures because she was a successful woman. He went on to roast her about being old, average looking, with a 13 year old, saying no high earning man… which coincidently makes him above average… wants an average woman and unless she was willing to date an average man, she would “die alone!” I listened and I wanted to fight him in his face for her.

Look… Kevin Samuels has no authority to talk about a woman’s looks or what above average men like… scroll up, look at that picture again. If he can be “honest” with old girl, we can be honest with him. But first let me just say this. Six figures is not billionaire status, be clear. Most of the men and women I know make six figures, and most of the men I know are not clowns either. These men love the gamut of women… because they are different men with different preferences. Some of them like curvy women, others like athletic women, some like em short others tall, some like em a bit younger or a bit older… there is no standard woman in terms of attractiveness or desire.

Furthermore, a woman is entitled to whatever standards she sets for herself, and reserves the right to bend and change those as she moves through the world… but on her own terms. Those preferences we hold closest on to, other than basic character traits, which don’t define someone as an emotional, mental, or spiritual being, but instead define them by their aesthetic or physical shell most likely lead us to miss out on good men or women. But we still have a right to our preference and standards. Men and women. There are very few things a man wants more than a woman, and his money and clothes and home and car are all objects of security meant to attract women. So yes, women, across the board, are attracted to stability and security. That shouldn’t change because of where some clown believes she falls on the looks rating scale. But then too, men who are married tend to be more successful and more wealthy. A man who findeth a woman findeth a good thing says the Lord.

I saw many posts saying there was truth to what he said… mainly by men. Be better than him, please. Don’t co-sign this wack ass, insecure, stupid shit. First of all, rating women on some scale is played out… unless you want to be rated on the length of your penis, the girth of your wallet, and the size of your credit score. Those things alone define a good man just as much as a woman’s looks alone define a good woman. Sure… we should all be attracted to our mate. But what that looks like is different for all of us and not based on some ratings scale from eighth grade. A man who comes into a woman’s life should be ready to provide and protect. A woman should come ready to provide peace and refuge. That doesn’t mean he needs to be a billionaire, but he should be stable. That doesn’t mean she needs to be a supermodel, but she should be her best. Stellar looks are icing on the cake… but the cake can stand alone.

Insecurity is a mofo. It will lead you to break down other people to their lowest common denominator just to make yourself look good… but it’s not long lasting. It doesn’t matter how far you’ll go to dead someone else’s shine to shine brighter, your shit will stay dim. You see only those of us that are good to each other ever truly become stars. This guy is posed up on Instagram and posting YouTube videos like he’s some sort of guru, and no one ever heard of this clown until World Star Hip Hop posted his rant. The same sight that posts NSFW photos of reality stars is what catapulted this fool to internet stardom… and we’ll forget about him soon. But that woman he spoke disrespectfully to will remember being put down and having it broadcast across the net, forever, in the name of honesty. Honesty is not based on opinion.

But my bet is that Kevin Samuels, despite claiming to have to fight young women off with a stick, doesn’t like women. His shtick is too familiar. There is a whole subculture in Atlanta where homosexual men marry and date young, attractive, childless, and connected women so they can rise up the corporate ladder and join Black networks under the guise of being a straight man. The DL. I suspect he is apart of that subculture. He is trying to make a name for himself, not help people. He puts down women and their want to be with stable “high value” men, and then gives men value based on their wallet and penis size. First of all, how does he know what penis size is desirable to women? Second, WHAT MAN asks other men that, that aren’t interested in men? I’ll wait… thought so. Bottom line, he hates women, and I don’t think it is because he dislikes women’s standards. You usually hate, not to be mistaken with dislike or disagreement, what you most want to be. Facts. You don’t get to roast sistas because you want to be a Queen. He’ll never be royal.

A perusal of his YouTube videos shows he thinks late blooming men, which he must see himself as… see 2009 photo above… are the best because they reach their full potential financially and physically in their late 30s and 40s and can finally attract the type of women they want. But be clear, those men were likely taken care of and coddled by hat he considers “average” women prior to their come up… and now are too good to consider those women as mates. I call bullshit. A Hermès belt and a rented Bentley on the weekends does not make you the cream of the crop.

Listen… Kevin Samuels and his particular brand of women hatred, telling women they aren’t young enough, attractive enough, or small enough to get a man who makes six figures or more is a certified crime. Especially coming from a man who is espousing this toxic garbage as a means to make himself look and feel better. You can’t be a whole two trying to tell a whole five she isn’t cute enough. Furthermore, I suspect the inly thing in his closet aren’t Gucci loafers and Tom Ford pants. You are truly telling on yourself beloved.

Originally posted 12/20/2020.

Update: Grand Opening. I just looked at my wrist. I got time today. It’s May of 2021, and the comments on this post are nothing short of hilarious. First, Black people who love and honor our rich history are descendants of Kings and Queens, and are therefore royalty. Any attempt to discredit that is ignorance… read a book.

Second, my qualifying him as a woman hating possible homosexual is not an attack on his sexuality as much as exposé. Being homosexual is not a bad thing. He very well may be standing straight up, walking in a straight line, or straight outta Compton… but he CLEARLY doesn’t like women. Dude is either upset most women want nothing to do with him and didnt want him in 2009 when he was “low value” or he is insecure about his true identity. Men who are interested in women don’t fight women off with sticks. Men who are interested in women don’t put down women especially about their opinions on another man. Men who love and appreciate women, may have a preference in a partner, but believe the feminine is always beautiful and sacred. They speak to women with tenderness even when they need to school them. He isn’t giving lessons, he’s giving out insults by the pound. That screams insecure, unhappy, and desperate. It also reeks of toxicity, man bags, and male waist trainers.

But moreover, these attempts to insult my writing because you disagree is cowardice bullshit. Feel free to disagree. Your disagreement does not sway my opinion, but if it is respectful then I can engage. I meant what I wrote, and I wrote what I meant. My relationship status does not determine my value, my character does. So all that lonely, single as a dollar bill venom is wack. Men who put down women, hate women. Facts. So you come in these comments calling me names because I gave you my opinion on a man that presents as a horrible person … a man you likely don’t know, it’s clear what your issue is. You feel attacked because you subscribe to this archaic, caveman, superficial garbage, and you are projecting your lonliness and your bitchassness. I hope you carry tampons in your manbag, because you must be bleeding. I cut HANs with metaphors and similes.

Here’s the bottom line. I don’t care what your preferences are, high value, middle value, or low value. I really could care less. But I will always stand up for Black women first, and Black people. I don’t care what color you are, if you speak to brothas and sistas like they are non-valuable because they have reached a certain age, are no longer welterweight, have children, don’t have the proper size wallet or penis… you subscribe to the colonized way of measuring a partners worth… and I might check you on it. I also will call it how I see it. Keep commenting… thanks for reading! Now back to my high value man who loves me and treats me like the Queen I am. Grand Closing.

Somebody’s Mama

Yesterday I was getting gas, and this negro walked past me, and yelled out looking at me… “I wanna be up under somebody’s mama tonight.” I guffawed. That shit was funny. Ain’t happening, but it was super funny. Cuz this Mama is only trying to be up on one somebody’s son. But it ain’t nothing wrong with being a semi hot Mama out in these mean streets.

Seriously tho… when I learned I was gonna be somebody’s Mama, I was like …

WHO?

ME?

Now I was good at doing for self but I had no idea I could cape for someone else so hard. No idea. I swore I was gonna drop him and ruin him for life. I was sure I was gonna cuss too much and his first word would be “shit!” I was sure I would mess up and he’d end up smoking menthols with a scratchy voice, working on cars that would never run again, on a diet of Church’s chicken and Crown. But he just laughed that one time he rolled off the bed, and we kept on trucking until he looked down on me at 10, sang As by Stevie Wonder for me from memory, told me the song playing was John Coltrane “In a Sentimental Mood” , and recently introduced me to my jam… a bit disturbing but containing a Vanessa Carlton sample of “1000 Miles”… “Who I Smoke!” Our love language is music. And he’s not brain dead. I’d say I did pretty good. But who knew?

Motherhood is the single most GANGSTA shit ever. Raising a Black son during this whole Black Lives Matter moment has been heartwrenchingly difficult because each of those men and boys looks just like your son in the moment. Being in a car with a teenager behind the wheel is some otherwordly, my life might end, jumping out of airplanes shit that can only be characterized as mafia life. We are out here slanging and banging for our kids, not only so they succeed but so they know what success looks like, shat restarting looks like, what happiness at all costs looks like. We blow up twice our size to carry these miracles, and sometimes they don’t take that extra shit with them. We feed them from our bodies. If that’s not the dopest thing ever. We are made to keep them nourished, as long as we are nourished. We leave men who don’t serve us to find ones who do, so they will also see positive committed love demonstrated before their eyes. I’m telling you, you can’t get more Mack and Bewick than being someone’s mother. We are honey badgers who will scratch your eyes out and eat them as delicacies if you try our kids. Gangsta shit.

If you are somebody’s mama … you are an umi (Arabic) and belong to a tribe, Ummi (my tribe in Arabic), cuz what we do is God’s work! And the lights we bear are our legacy and lineage. These children are going to do things bigger and better than we ever could imagine. We are the vessel and the alchemists to carry them into the world… literally and figuratively. So if you are somebody’s mama, and especially if you still kinda hot out in these streets, then celebrate yourself. And keep the fire lit! 🔥

Chadwick, August, and Oscar

So Katheleen Newman-Brebang, a senior editor for Refinery29 wrote an op-ed about the Oscars and it’s treatment of Black actors, especially at this years ceremony. In “It’s Time We Start Refusing To Meet The Oscars In The Middle”, Newman-Brebang references Tyler Perry’s speech for his Humanitarian Award when he says “stand in the middle because that’s where healing happens… that’s where change happens” regarding the racial climate in America in light of police brutality and community protests. She argues that change indeed doesn’t happen on middle ground, but by going where its uncomfortable to expose racism. Specifically she calls out the Academy for changing the order of this years Oscars, leaving the Best Actor Award last to play off the importance of Chadwick Boseman’s pivotal performance and expected win posthumously.

I agree. The middle sits between supremacy and freedom, racism and revolution, hate and love. We have sat in the middle for too long. I also will take it a step further, we have to start either rejecting these institutions that use our talent but don’t award it or calling them out, out loud, to their face. Hell, let’s do both. I’ll start.

I read a comment on social media that Anthony Hopkins performance and Frances McDormand’s, which are both well acted, but generally not as dynamic or complex or difficult as the roles played by Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in The fim adaption of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” by August Wilson. Correct!

August Wilson’s plays were studies of authentic Black life. The Marcel waves, full bosom, hands on the hip, cocky demeanor, language, colorful clothes on richly melanated skin, the finessed use of curse words, dance steps. The way Viola Davis’s Ma Rainey drank that Coca-Cola, sweaty, hair plastered on her forehead starting to “go back”. Chadwick’s Levee playing the trumpet, tapping his feet, and later talking about the importance of keeping his shoe game tight. The need to have the music just right. God. The growl in Ma Rainey’s voice. Images that authentic need personalities and depth to match. That is what you get in an August Wilson play. Chadwick and Viola delivered.

These performances, taking nothing away from Hopkins and McDormand, started with characters as different as Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese and the Kraft boxed pasta and cheese sauce concoction. There is no middle, its almost not even the same thing, to compare it. The raw and emotional performances Chadwick Baseman snd Viola Davis delivered were rich, full of heavy cream, rich cheese, the right amounts of salt and pepper, melted together for 94 minutes until they came together and were ready to serve hot. There is no downtime. The acting starts at 0:00 and it don’t stop. That’s typical of an August Wilson character, snd that’s what they both gave… while still being authentically Black like your favorite aunt who gives you money out of her bosom and your wild cousin who drives too fast, takes you to all the coolest places, and buys you a pair of fly sneakers before he drops you back off at home.

The folks in the Academy, likely overwhelmingly White, just don’t understand that world, those characters, and the brilliance of August Wilson. So when they have to compare performances, of course they are more geared toward these typical American stories. An elderly father dealing with memory loss and a widow who becomes a transient nomad after losing her job just seem more like Oscar winning performances than a fiery jazz singer’s day in the studio having to assert herself artistically with white record executives and her wild and overly ambitious trumpeter maddened by rejection. Two are stories about life, the other two are character studies of Blackness and humanity. These people should be educated about the subject they are voting on, and be able to effectively compare these very brilliantly acted but complicated and nuanced performances verses performances by brilliant actors. If we are really rewarding the BEST, that’s not hard to tell.

The death of Chadwick Boseman was a huge blow to the Black community… he was Black Panther, our very own superhero. He was James Brown and Jackie Robinson. To find out he had been suffering from cancer during all of these pivotal performances, unknown to the public, was heartbreaking. It was an equally large blow to Hollywood. This being his last performance, its critical acclaim, and his posthumous wins in pre-Oscar award shows made this a huge moment for the show. To think the Academy used that moment to bring more viewers in this odd restructuring of the show, only to not select him is telling and maddening. There is no middle ground to respect, you either respect his legendary status and artistry or you don’t, and this feels like a don’t. To use his pivotal and brilliant performance to further your agenda, but then not even award the brilliance of his performance is the middle that we have to reject. You won’t keep using us until you use us up!

I don’t have all the answers, but I’m militant. I say don’t show up, whether you are nominated or not, boycott Oscar and his crew. Reject them giving us an award every five years or so, just to ignore our really great performances. Don’t appease us with Alonzo Harris because you didn’t give Malcolm X his due. And be clear, Tyler Perry is an incredible humanitarian. He is an amazing human being. But he does not speak for us with that passive, be easy, middle talk. Fuck the middle. Everybody knows that the best art and the best activism happens outside the lines, in the uncomfortable spaces. Oscar you are a wild boy… get your shot together and do better. August and Chadwick deserve more than what you gave them!

“A-one, a-two, you know what to do!”

black is the magic color

This isn’t about Black Girl Magic or Black Boy Joy. In fact, all magic isn’t good… and that’s what I’m here to talk about today ladies & gentleman, boys and girls. Black is the color of American racism… it’s the color that most threatens White supremacy and privilege, the magic color of hate and racism. So today, this, this is about calling that out, and simultaneously honoring the lives and protesting the deaths of Trayvon, Mike, Alton, Amadou, Breonna, George, Philando, Akai, Freddie, Oscar, Jordan, Ahmaud, Daunte, Atatianna, Sandra, Tamir, Ma’Khia, and all of our other murdered Black people at the hands of White people and police officers that most often goes unpunished.

Murders supported by the powers that be, per their lack of action.

I’m all for anti-discrimination legislation. Full stop.

Black people have a history of enslavement that dates back to the 1600s in America. We were the subject of Black Codes which limited our movement in post-slavery America; legal lynchings; Jim Crow practices in the South that maintained segregation; and continuing programs, policies, and legislation in housing, education, finance, employment, and politics in national, state, and local levels. While the 14th Amendment and Title VII have been enacted to seemingly deter racism, these and other anti-racism and anti-discrimination laws do little to stop the outright racist killings of Black people, even unarmed Black people.

The Dyer anti-lynching law was introduced in 1918, to make lynching illegal. 103 years later… ONE HUNDRED THREE… this bill is still awaiting passage in the Senate. 103 years. The act of hoisting a Black body from a tree limb, in public, by a rope, from the neck, is not EXPRESSLY illegally federally, after that practice claimed so many lives throughout Black history in America. One hundred and three years later we are still waiting for that law to pass Congress. Yet in 1998, James Byrd was effectively lynched by being dragged by truck until his head was severed. Black is the color of racism.

In 1999, 22 years ago…TWENTY TWO… Amadou Diallo was shot by police officers after being mistaken for a rapist, while unarmed. He was shot several times in his armpits, showing he had his hands up in surrender to the police. Yet just a few days ago a thirteen year old child, shown in a video with his empty hands raised above his head, was killed by police, and a young lady defending herself with a kitchen knife against adult women at her own home was shot and killed by a police officer, no deescalation tactics used. These kinds of stories come every few months if not every few days. So many times White police officers enter situations involving Black people and deadly force is the only tactic they recall, not deescalation, disarming, crisis management, nothing. The only skill they recall with Black people is how to fire bullets into our bodies. Yet Dylan Roof killed Black parishioners in a church and got Burger King after, and probably his choice of Coke or Sprite. Black is the color of bias.

In 1998, along with James Byrd, Mathew Shepard was murdered, but not because of his race, Shepard was a White gay male. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which added gender and sexual orientation to the 1969 Hate Crimes Act, and removed the requirement for race based hate crime victims to be engaged in certain federal activities. The law did nothing to make lynching a federal crime and is known as the Mathew Shepard Act because of its sweeping addition of gender and sexual orientation based additions to the law. While we can all agree it was a necessary and needed piece of legislation, Congress failed to effectively legislate on a practice that Black people in America had feared and faced for hundreds of years. Black is the color of inequality.

In 2020, COVID-19 spread throughout America. In part due to the then administrations messaging regarding the virus being a “Chinese virus” due to it’s impetus in Wuhan, China, anti-Asian attitudes heightened in America. This led to the introduction of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This came to a head on March 16th when six Asians were killed in Atlanta. By April 22nd, just yesterday, the bill had passed both the House and Senate. It will surely become legislation once signed by President Biden. While we can all agree this is a necessary and needed piece of legislation, Black people have been being shot and killed by police and targeted by racists with weapons they should not have since well before COVID. Yet police and gun reform remain elusive, and people still coddle and make excuses for White people who murder Black people. Black is the color of injustice.

Hate, bias, discrimination, injustice, inequality… are all colored with the Black crayon in American culture. Devoid of light… dark… negative… unworthy. But we know better. We know we are enchanting, captivating, joyous, charming, fantastic, mystical, mysterious, desirable, amazing, miraculous, and magical. Black is not the absence of light, it is the physical absorption of every hue of visible light. We must act like we know who we are despite how others might try to convince us otherwise!

We must demand better. We must use our vote, our financial power, our voices to demand better. We can post Black Lives Matter memes and Black fists raised in solidarity in social media all day, but until we truly hold America accountable for the way it backseats Black life because of the notion that our magic makes them disappear, those posts hold no weight and don’t elevate us. The haters already know we are magic…

“Hate won’t get you high as this
Levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate”-Kendrick Lamar