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…

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.

A Woman’s Worth

Womanhood is this special and magical belonging that is both mysteriously hard to describe, sometimes difficult to traverse, but also somehow wonderfully comforting and supportive when you get inside of it and feel it surround you like a cocoon. Being a woman is a really specific thing… but it’s a myriad of experiences, shapes, hues, tones, notes on the scale, and every color of the rainbow. It is emotional and powerful. It is beautiful and soft, but then strong and resilient.

What makes a woman… or what doesn’t make one a woman? Hmmm

I am not a woman because I have curves, breasts, physical peaks, and valleys. Some of those things you think of first make me female, but she is just my sex. It is much more the way those curves move around and touch the insides of my sundress in the summer; the outlines of my femininity. I am a woman because I own those peaks and valleys, and control how you get to see them or if you never do. I am a woman because I possess myself… and I only allow others access to me at my whim. I am a woman because of how what’s on the inside directly dictates how you experience me on the outside.

I am not a woman because I am not a man, or because I partner with him. I don’t exist as the antithesis or opposite of manhood… for I was made from his rib not the mirror image of it. I am not a woman because of his gaze. My worth as a woman is not dictated by his opinions, thoughts, reactions, or judgments. My value is determined by the fierceness of my compassion not the fixation of his desire. I am a woman because I have the ability to soften his heart, whether as his mother, woman, sister, or daughter. I allow him to see the softer side of the world that constantly demands to see his bones but denies his skin. My curves give him places to lie his head, hands, and troubles. My womanhood supports and nurtures his manhood, but also exists independently from it. I can create movements alone, but only together with him do we build the life force.

I am not a woman because I give birth from my womb. For many women never know motherhood. Yet I am woman because within me is the birthplace of humanity, the cipher. It is where beat meets rhyme, paper meets pen, MC meets DJ, and hip meets hop. It’s the dopest place on Earth… the only place whose potential deems it more worthy than it’s reality. There is holy land resting inside each of us deemed celestial enough to be born a woman.

Women are miraculous vessels of human magic… protect women always!

Happy International Women’s Day

Take Two of These … and don’t call me in the morning

So I don’t wish the physical pain and lack of sleep I have had for over two weeks on anybody… well not anybody probably reading this. Jk…sorta.

Anyway, cuz HIPAA says I don’t have to tell you my medical business, I won’t, but just know that a lack of sleep is not humane and physical pain for someone with a ridiculously high pain tolerance is not a good thing when trying to communicate how much pain and discomfort you are suffering to doctors. Nurses get it. Every single nurse I have had the past few weeks, during scheduled doctor’s visits or ER visits has tried to make me comfortable and only poke me once with the IV needle. Yet many doctors have questioned me like I might be lying or stupid or both, or just focused on shit that at this moment really does not matter. Partially because I was not screaming in pain or walking in yelling “Where the doctor is!” Oh but next time I have as much as a hang nail…

However, as I have talked to people in or formerly in my position, and just based on general knowledge, this isn’t uncommon… especially with women, more so with minority women, particularly so with Black women… these doctors don’t fucking listen! I’ve seen in mostly with white male doctors, but I won’t assume that is the only demographic that is guilty. Not only do they have a listening problem, some of them, despite their expertise, also just don’t know how to treat some of us… treat medically or professionally. Weirdos.

So first, my biggest message is advocate for yourself! I mean treat this shit like it’s a career change, and you won’t settle for another piss poor job, boss, or paycheck. Bitch run me my money vibes… on run me my healthcare reality. Talk to them like you are already sure of what you need… because if you listen to your body… you are, you just need to be listened to. If you are in pain, tell them… pain should and can be managed properly. If something isn’t right… tell them to go look at it… some scan or another. If something feels wrong, looks wrong, is acting wrong… show them and assure them that ain’t your norm. And if the doctor won’t listen, ask to see the nurse… they treat people, doctors treat conditions. Then ask the nurse who to go see who will listen. Period.

So do that first. Then do this…

If you run into a doctor that’s just a bit weird or as my nurse friend pointed out “socially awkward” but he/she can get the job done, cool that can be overlooked as a personality flaw. But any doctor who is not being upfront and honest with you and doesn’t care about how certain things manifest and affect YOUR body, which can only be gleaned by his expertise in concert with listening to you… that doctor ain’t for you! I believe those physicians who have zero bedside manner are particularly so because they are uncomfortable with the patient… all the medical knowledge in the world cannot make up for being invested in the individual health of the person in your immediate care. Your Aetna, Blue Care Network, checkbook, ACA coverage, and humanity dictate that you deserve health and proper health care, but also doctors and practitioners who CARE. It’s proper selfcare to ensure you put yourself into those people’s hands only!

Women should not have to rely on women physicians and Black people should not have to rely only upon Black physicians to take the time to care about who we are as a group and as individuals. One of my favorite doctors ever, who was neither Black nor female, after seeing me as a teenager and not knowing exactly what was wrong, said in his thick accent, that he was going to go find out and come back and let me know… to whatever question I had asked him. I was never so impressed. But that should be the norm when you are treating people… no condition will affect everyone the same, especially when we have certain ethnic, hereditary, and environmental factors that factor into how our bodies work. But if you work in healthcare, you should make it your business to promote the health of every patient u see snd show you care by communicating with them openly and honestly, and if necessary, doing a little more research into how that promotion might look based on who they are in totality.

So, I just wanted to share this little reminder… that self-advocacy is your assurance that you will get the support to meet your needs! I wish you abundant health and wealth and all that good stuff! Now go off and get some sleep so you won’t be irritable like me.

Black… and Yellow

Some mediocre singer made a song calling herself (and referencing men who want) a “yellowbone” or light skin Black woman with yellow undertones… similar to the term “redbone” which refers to lighter skin Black women with red undertones (perhaps from mixed heritage with Native Americans). Folks are like “OUTRAGE” it’s colorism.

The system of privilege that is begat from favoring people of lighter skin color over those of blacker skin color… that is colorism. Talking, singing, writing about complexion is not colorism, Being light skinned should not be a source of shame because it comes with privilege… mainly privilege we didn’t request and don’t want. I can assure you as a “redbone”, I don’t want any parts of colorism. Matter of fact don’t call me a redbone. My preference.

Ya’ll… we cannot be this silly. Let this girl make a song and get her coin. She’s light skinned, she thinks she’s the bees knees, let her. Men have been referencing redbones in their songs for decades, and nobody writes whole articles about some random song. But again, the problem here is that (1) women are held to a different standard than men and expected to stifle ourselves to promote and suport the masses when the masses don’t support us and (2) Black folks think we can ALL only be about some universally Black ideal and anything else is a problem.

Women can’t tall about our bodies, our hair, our wants, our dreams, the kind if men we want, nothing without some backlash on how what we said makes us look. I’m a hoe if I’m comfortable with my sexuality. Im a golddigger if I like men with their finances in order. I’m a golddigging hoe if I only date men who have stock options. But he can want a hoe, talk about his money, swipe his credit card down some chick’s ass and it’s all good. Hell Lil Wayne had a song Redbone Girl and Childish Gambino’s hit … like BIG HIT… was just entitled Redbone. But Danileigh (I know nothing about her so I had to look up her name) says “Yellowbone” and she’s a full on racist. Stop it. Stay woke.

Black people run the gamut from the palest to the darkest with everything in between. She simply said “Yellowbone that’s what he wants
Prada, me in Saint Laurent”… not Pulitzer Prize winning lyrics… but not worthy of outrage. It’s fake outrage. Be clear, it’s a horrible song and I’m sonically outraged, my ears are upset… but that’s it. She didn’t put anyone down. I think team light-skinned is dumb… but SO IS team dark-skinned… because we are one team. The facts are some men/women prefer light skin, some men/women prefer dark skin. It’s all good, like hair, it’s skin… it covers your body, it’s great. Whatever color it is. Bug let the girl sing her little song.

“French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe…

… even Caramel Sundae” (Ice Cream, Wu Tang)

It makes ZERO sense that a light skinned woman cannot attest to her virtues the same way a brown skinned woman is celebrated for attesting to hers… despite the past or the present. A brown sister posts that she’s a beautiful chocolate melanated Queen and “Yaaaassssssssssss” fill the comments. We should all get that same love if we celebrate ourselves. Black women are the least celebrated people walking the planet… all of us should come together to big up each other, skin color be damned. If she thinks she’s “sweeter and thicker than a Chico stick” (Sometimes I Rhyme Slow, Nice & Smooth) then that’s her prerogative the same as “drip broke the levees when my Kellys roll in” (Brown Skin Girl, Beyoncé). As long as she’s not proclaiming that she is the only image of beauty in the diaspora of Black skin… it’s all good. Relax.

Again, we have to stop being so judgmental of whatever sits outside of the box that Black Twitter has created. We are not meant to fit in… boxes or stereotypes. It is a stereotype that all light skin Black women are conceited, narcissistic, and vain. It is a vestige of racism that dark skin is inherently bad and therefore lighter skin automatically means a person is smarter, kinder, more beautiful, more desirable, more refined, worth more. That’s a lie that has been told to us… because in general we are darker than those who built the White power structure. It isn’t light skinned Black people racism was meant to exalt… be very clear! These ideas are not our own, they were given to us. It’s time to give them back. We can’t get over this hump because it has been so deeply ingrained that the lie keeps getting passed down in our DNA. I personally have benefitted from that dumb ass line of thinking and never ever wanted it.

There is a reason why a lot of militant ass folks… Huey P Newton, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver were light skin Black people… on the receiving end of racism but somehow labeled the perpetrators of colorism. Nope… I will not be the bearer of your hate because the darkness if my skin was tainted by your rapist kinfolk. FOH! While it’s hurtful to be on the receiving end of racism and colorism surely, it is MADDENING to be both hated and seen as the puppet of your hater. I don’t subscribe to any tenets or byproducts if racism. I see beauty in all that Black people are… and I don’t have to damn any part of it as pennance for my privilege. I’m militant AF. Black mixed with Black. Be completely clear. I’m also smart, cute, and the whole bag. My skin color is apart of me just like my eye and hair color. All together that shit is popping. I hope you feel the same about yourself!

Frankly, Im tired if discourse on this subject, but it’s still a very real source of trauma for Black people. As such, I’ll do my minuscule part in helping solve the problem. But we gotta start with giving each other a bit more grace. If we are going to chastise this girl, let’s berate her on the quality of this song… cuz it swings real low on that scale. But if Childish Gambino can sing to his “peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-Aid” (Redbone)… then she can sing about being yellow. Revamp those he-man woman haters club bylaws and take the fake outrage out. These ultra raggedy dudes still out here calling beautiful brown skinned women “blackie”… be outraged about that shit please!

“Let the Willie Lynch theory reverse a million times with Complexion/Complexion don’t mean a thing…”Complexion, Kendrick Lamar

Comma La

So I know today I will hear every rendition of Vice President Kamala Harris’s first name as there are versions of Yesterday by the Beatles…

Ka-Mah-la; Cam-ah-la; Kamal-ah…its Comma-La! Get it right!

But no matter what you call her… she’s a boss, a leader, a G, and higher up the political food chain than every single white supremacist on the PLANET. 🤷🏽‍♀️ And today she is every Black woman’s assurance that we are dope, capable, and necessary! I am my sister’s keeper… and I am my sister.

Black Women DO

We have been trying to tell you. We have been organizing lives since we stepped stolen foot onto American soil. We were 80% of the female population of America. We brought our knowledge of medicine, herbs, cuisine, midwifery, child-rearing, and the feminine gender to a relatively male populated land. We birthed the first generation of America. Our role as child-rearer, cook, cleaner, and house maid in White households meant many American sensibilities about women were taught by us and then simultaneously denied to us… denied as part of our nature and to us in practice. And this has continued into present day.

Black Women CAN

Yet despite what racist American policies were at play, either during slavery, Jim Crow, or now in the age of technology… we persisted. Harriet Tubman was a revolutionary and abolitionist. Shirley Chisholm ran for President. Mae Jemison went into space. Nina Simone sang freedom songs. Toni Morrison wrote novels that taught us who we were. Oprah became a billionaire. Kamala will be the Vice President. And despite what was thrown at us… the mass incarceration of our men, lack of opportunity, low wages, we organized and we found a way. We braided hair, did nails, sewed, made fish dinners, baked cakes, babysat, did taxes, learned real estate, made wigs, hustled and came into our own using what we knew and the resources available to us. Single mothers put themselves and kids through school. Grandmothers raised children while parents worked multiple jobs to feed them. We are the real American Dream.

Black Women LEAD

We lead our children to college and beyond. We lead the companies we worked for in entry level jobs into multi billion dollar wins for their White owners. We lead ourselves into prosperous entrepreneurship through our support of each other even when we were shut out of small business grants and loans. We lead in the increase in Bachelors, Masters , and Doctorate degrees in the last 20 years. We lead by babysitting for each other so we can take that late night class. We lead by sacrificing for our children and grandchildren. We lead by being of service to everyone, all the time. We lead because we are bosses.

Black Women ARE

So today when Kamala (Comma-La) becomes the first Black Vice President and the first woman Vice President in the history of this nation… Black women everywhere will feel a sense of vindication for each and every moment we were assumed to be incapable. Assumed because that is what the privileged and biased have convinced themselves to explain their biased policies. All along, I believe those same folks knew we were more capable than even we knew. They are still chasing the legacies of their ancestors. My sistas… we are the manifestation of the hopes and dreams of our ancestral Kunte, Kizzy, Binta, Chicken George, Fiddler, and Omoro. We are rooted in greatness, and our names are extensions if the greatness our parents saw in our eyes minutes after we entered the world. The greatness of Barack. The star power of Beyoncé. The legend of Thurgood. The genius of Oprah. The history of Kamala.

Oh, and like they could pronounce Kunte’s name but called him Toby in order to break him from his lineage of greatness, they can pronounce Kamala too… they just disrespectful AF. But I bet they can say Madame Vice President…

Kamala Harris by Tracie Ching

Sending your coochie through the phone

Ok so I am not calling ANYONE a ho… period. Your coochie, ultimately you do what you want with it. However, if you really want some semblance of a relationship you cannot serve yourself up like a T-bone, and expect the recipient of the meal to keep the bone after he is done. that’s now trash… it’s meatless, it’s dry, it’s pointless. So let’s stop hoping someone will take a bite by broadcasting ourselves as not just available, but ready, wide open, and STILL available. Sis put your phone down, binge watch a show, make a smoothie, stretch, window shop online, plan your next house project, read a book, look up some stocks, apply a face sheet mask, something… but stop sending your coochie through the phone. That ain’t the way.

Single folks get a bad rap… why you single, how are you single, what’s wrong with you, blah blah blah. The older you get the more intrusive snd ridiculous the inquiries and assumptions get. The game people play pitting married women against single women… is even more problematic and ridiculous. Be clear, the entire point is to be happy and successful… and there are many married women who are miserable. They have been cheated on, cheaters, lied to, liars, stolen from, disrespected, and chosen many times to stay with that loser because they’d rather be unhappy than single. All of that is their business, until they claim their married status makes them better or somehow in a better state than you because you are single. Nope. So I get the whole dilemma. But I’m here to tell you it’s bullshit and your coochie deserves better treatment than to be laid bare and unprotected as a lure for a man. Your coochie is lure for a man in panties, stockings, pants, and a full length coat. It’s like a worm to a fish… you ain’t gotta do nothing but have one. Then don’t let it be attached to someone dope and smart and loving… girl bye… you the whole prize. But you diminish that prize when you send your coochie through the phone. Don’t do it.

Plus it’s a whole pandemic. I get it, it’s highly entertaining scrolling through inbox messages and having conversations with folks from all walks of life interested in your wares… but trust me, The Undoing is more entertaining. Put your phone down. I also know that it can be a lonely time for folks who live alone. But folks carrying COVID in their pockets, so the most you can do safely is talk or engage on social media… and once you have pulled him with ur coochie he really isnt interested in your life story. So just be sure of what you want, and act accordingly. Cuz what you lead with is what you plead with… you can’t go asking for quality time and words of affirmation when you were only seemingly seeking horizontal attention and hinting at mouth massages at the outset.

See no matter how much Shawnee Easton tried to get Q to take her bait, he wanted Monica. She didn’t have to do anything but comb her hair and put on a dress and baby was banging. He stared a hole through her. She didn’t have to twerk on him, promise to “leave him satisfied” or otherwise make it known she was ready for whatever. She was who she was and that was enough…. say what, oh you are just being who you are too? Girl bye. Behavior and personal traits are not one in the same. Being easy isn’t a personality trait it’s a bad behavior. Stop. When we can identify why we are acting a certain way, whether it be insecurity, constant disappointment, fear of lack of control, etc. then our outward actions as a result are behaviors not personal qualities we are born with or nurtured into. Nope again. I guarantee, if you work on bring authentically you, the right guy will notice and come scoop you like the French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe treat that you are. I mean old boy is staring at her like she’s a milkshake… and you know what they say about milkshakes and boys.

Point is… mo matter what lies someone tells you or what mistruths they hide behind, no one wants to be alone. No one. So we all understand the desire to share your status so folks know you out here. But desperation and reckless availability is not whats up. A man that findeth a woman (cuz he had got to find a woman well before he finds a wife or anything else) findeth a good thing if she is a good woman… but that entails being a secure, confident, self-respecting woman. Now again, you can give your coochie to the masses and send it to the universe via rocketship if you desire… more power to you. But if what you’re really trying to effectuate is a great relationship with a great guy, chances are he has seen all the coochie grams you been sending through the phone. Great guys accept coochie grams too… but the probably won’t buy that you all Proverbs 31 too. I mean… I’m just saying… Don’t shoot the messenger.

Bash Mister’s Head Open…

Did you finish it!?

I know you know it.

“…and think about Heaven later!”

Amen!

Everyday it seems, there is a moment that highlights for me the strength and resilience of Black women who stand in their Blackness and their womanhood. Today was no different. Today’s manifestation gave me greater insight on two groups I don’t belong to… black women (as distinctly opposed to Black women) and coy White women. As women, we couldn’t be more different.

So Black women don’t have the luxury of privilege and protection that White women do or the luxury of patriarchal privilege that White men do. We have to stand up, put our hands on our hips, and let our backbones slip with some stank on it… particularly professionally and socially. We are at the height of a pandemic where simple things like using safety measures to protect oneself are discouraged by our world leader, when the pandemic is having its most major affect in racially diverse and heavily populated areas. We have to be real clear on where we stand. Black people are continually brutalized and murdered by wayward police officers, so we have to be real clear on where we stand. Our incumbent President can’t open his mouth to declare white supremacy a human rights violation, so we have to be real clear on where we stand. We also have to be clear on who we stand in fellowship with, allow in our circle and blindly support.

For clarity, black women belong to the Black racial group but they often see their racial culture as secondary to the other cultures they belong to… women, evangelical Christian, wealthy, whatever. So instead of experiencing their race and sex and class and culture intersectionally, they backseat their Blackness. So they find themselves often in some sort of struggle when they have to defend and stand up in their Blackness with their evangelical, wealthy, White cohorts. People they usually have more affinity to than folks who look like them.

Data shows… White evangelicals overwhelmingly voted for Trump, at 76%. 55% of White women voted against their own interests to vote for Trump with 61% of White men. 54% of those who make over $100K did as well. (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/03/us/elections/exit-polls-president.html). So if these are your folks, you need to know these facts. If you are a black woman, you have to get real clear about where your faith and your tolerance collide. Personally I see no issue. God commands us to love, so as God’s soldier you mandated and indoctrinated with the purpose of calling out hate, whether it is rooted in race, gender, sexual orientation, class, whatever. You should have no problem condemning hate and every instance of it… socially, professionally, even politically. That’s the cause you take up as an evangelical. But again numbers don’t lie… so look your White evangelical friends and colleagues and customers in the face… be real clear or not, the choice is yours. But when they spit back racist, sexist, homophobic, classist vitriol… and you’ve been silent…

“… in yo face/open yo mouth, give you a taste.” -Missy Elliot

It is most likely that 76% of your White Christian friends see you as “a good black” and are okay with the rest of us jungle heathens going back to hellhole countries despite having a much larger ancestral claim to America, as we know it, than they do. If you are okay with that… sobeit. You black, it’s all good. But if you are Black, this is your friendship mantra, and you aren’t afraid to go tell it on the mountain…

“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” -James Baldwin

Be clear, I have friends and acquaintances of many a hue. However I’m very clear about how differently we are allowed to see life. Some shit I can’t ignore or blindly accept. Other shit I just cannot do. Unless I’m surrounded by folks who look like me who make decisions, chances are I’m going to be seen as a problem professionally. I’m smart, assertive, outspoken, and equally skilled and talented. I’ve had to learn how to fight for me. I don’t have the luxury of whining and looking for barriers of protection. But white women…

Do.

On more than one occasion I have witnessed a White woman’s response to mistreatment or unfairness. It’s like watching her sink in quicksand, hand just outstretched, no fight, no struggle, just this assurance she’d be saved. Often she was. But now I know why it took so long to let women become soldiers… cuz they (White women because Black women been fighting) are gonna scream, drop their weapon, and go hide behind their captain. It’s the same way they vote for their husband’s instead of their own… phantom protection. Be clear sis… he likely dislikes you more than he dislikes Tyrone. Racism is rooted in American society, Sexism is rooted in the American family.

So while coy white women , cuz White women like Black women are not a monolith, are trying to show integrity to people who will lie to them and sabotage them, mainly White men… they willingly shrink instead of bossing up to fight. And for a Black woman who is used to being second guessed, called to prove her worth, sabotaged because I’m so fucking dope and they know it… that captain save me, lily livered, weakassery has no place in my life and it just sounds like desperation and quitting had a baby named Sarah. Stop it. Put on those big girl panties he hates so much and grab a choppa. Blow up his spot by calling out his sexism and highlighting his each and every wrong. Don’t shrink, grow up and strap on your Nancy Sinatra boots. Walk all over his ass!

“For most of history, anonymous was a woman.”-Virginia Woolf

As a woman free from her chains, it’s partially my job to show other women their own… so they can recognize them as chains and break free. This isn’t a condemnation, it’s a truth telling. So share this with your black women and coy White women friends…

Dressed in All Black like the Omen

So what is NOT EVER gonna happen is that we will not be sacrificing ourselves for fools, okay.

I’ll be brief because this really won’t take long.

I have called my mother, my girls, or whoever hurt by some raggedy ass boy who thought it was okay to disrespect me, lie to me, deceive me, play with my emotions, or fuck with me. I have a few times. And each and every time, at least one of those people threatened to bust that jokers head to the white meat, or dangle him over a balcony like Big Red… my office hours are. And while I likely didn’t want harm to come to him, they truly did.

They were .02 seconds from getting dressed like ninjas, grabbing blunt objects, piling up in the car like circus clowns, but sans the colorful outfit and red nose, and riding out. I know this because they have called me with the same nonsense from some fool who got the incorrect impression that he was the prize and the beauty in that tandem. Well, if he’s the beauty, then call me the beast. It’s a tale as old as time, that boys will be boys. But like the saying goes, boys will be boys and that’s why God made hot grits and shanks.

Act up you can get snatched up.

In 2020 we are anti-tomfoolery. So gentleman, please act accordingly. Women are to be respected, treated with kindness and tenderness, and loved. If you can’t do that, pick someone else, but leave her/me/us alone. Mmmkay. Otherwise, you are susceptible to being two pieced by her friends, sister, mother… allofus.

He that findeth… and if you find someone who you cannot treat properly then you owe it to her and yourself to let her go, so that you both can make room for the right person. But at no time is it acceptable to mistreat her. At no time is it acceptable to disrespect her. And if you even think about touching her in any way other than out of love, then I hope you like nub sandwiches because you’ll be missing fingers.

We won’t be allowing our sistafriends to hurt in solitude or be mistreated in silence. While you are taking advantage of the woman who supports you and has her shit together except for falling for you, we know how y’all do. You treat these thot pockets like gold, and have the nerve to compare our hustle to her handstands. Nope, nope, and nope. That’s not how any of this goes… but until either you get the memo or she drops your potato head ass, we will support her and plan your disappearance. At the same damn time. No hesitation. And let Sasha Thumper know she can get it too, live and in living color.

And ladies, if you have a partner who treats you well, cares for you, expresses his feelings, and his actions co-sign… then reciprocate. We can’t be out her cracking skulls for you when you are acting a damn fool!

Love each other, cuz the only pouring out we acknowledge is garnished with a lemon wedge and mini umbrella… while your friends singing ‘this is for my homies’!

Girls are gully out here in these streets showing up and out for our good sistafriends. Be clear!

Where my girls at?

Pulling Numbers and Letters

So I’ve been told I must got the GCP. What’s the GCP you ask… well in the words of Jay Z and in the spirit of Don Magic Juan’s pimp challis, “my cup runneth over”

I hear it all the time…”who are you dating NOW!?!?” like I’ve got a wheel I spin to see who’s on my hit list this month. Or the ubiquitous, “You always got a (insert term for man: dude, boyfriend, whatever)” comment, that is so interesting to me. “Got” would imply in my vocabulary, something that one has on lock… yeah nope. I might be able to pull, as my one friend termed it “letters and numbers” (I’ll leave that for you to decipher), but dating is the pits. I personally despise it. Plus at this point, post 40 with kids as the custodial parent, there is no dating. Any outings or conversations, texts, or emoji sends are basically one long ass interview on how much you make me laugh, how long I can stand to be around you in one sitting, and whether you match at least three of my five must haves, that better quickly materialize into a relationship if you meet the requirements, or I gotta go.

Most of my first dates have morphed into relationships that last years. Instead of “dating”, I participate in the pull and catch; it really is self explanatory. There is a subtle art to the pull and the catch… and while I’m not interested in doing much more than expressing interest and then letting him find his good thing… cuz I’m a mf lady, I am involved in the process. Not that I’m an expert… but I pull a lot of As and Bs, and 9s to 7s. You can keep that 10 though, leave him for the chicks with time on their hands. He’s too pretty for how my life is set up.

The Art of the Pull

1. There is nothing sexier, in a man or a woman, than confidence. Period. When you know you are fine, he’ll know it and she’ll know it. Confidence is the art of aesthetic persuasion. Notice I didn’t speak of beauty, that’s too subjective a thing to use on humans. You need something foolproof.

Confidence is the reason she wore THAT dress, the one you hate and think she’s too whatever for, but that him, him, and her are staring at. Confidence is the reason she cut her hair the way she likes it, with no worries about what he thinks, or why he wears that combination of shirt, pants, and shoes that confuse you but your woman says “his outfit is NIIIICE!” Confidence is not bound by beauty, body type, color, or any subjective boundary… it’s an undeniable acceptance of how wonderfully made you are, despite whether you do or don’t fit into society’s ideals. And it’s 100% ownership in that acceptance. Get you sum.

2. If you are playing Bid Whist and you pass on your bid, and you knew you had 7 Uptown and the clowns next to you bid 6 Uptown -cue Aretha “Ain’t No Way”- how pissed will you be that you didn’t bet on yourself. You knew what you had and what you wanted, but you got scared of the win. Well, in dating, the win is the guy or girl you dream of, the one you know or don’t yet know who will check all your boxes. You have to bet on yourself when the opportunity presents itself, and speak on your wants. Now you don’t have to be full on direct, but if you are like me, you give an in. You leave the door ajar. You flirt, come hither, a little Happy Birthday Mr President… and then you go sit your cute ass down somewhere. If he’s in for the win, he’ll bet on himself, and complete the deal. If he’s not, he missed out. Cue the death of Pac-Man…

But always bet on you, know what you want, set a boundary, and then touch your boundary by going for the win. Shit, at least smile.

3. NO ONE LIKES REJECTION! Not women OR men. Just because men get rejected more, does not mean they enjoy it. C’mon, that’s ludicrous. So just like the thought makes you want to hide under a rock, it makes him want to hide in a cardboard fort. So, it is very important that you make sure he can see your open door… fellas too, women are shooting their shots out here these days. Its also important you clearly communicate with kindness your closed door. If you are involved, say so. If you aren’t interested for one reason or another, say so. If you simply are casing the joint and don’t yet know what you want, say that too. But whatever you message, make it clear. If one doesn’t have to guess what you want, but it’s clear, the more likely you’d get what you want! It’s a pull not a push.

The Art of the Catch

1. “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”

Okay so one wants flies, but if you want anything, you get much closer to your goal by being positive, with smiles, with kindness, and with, well, honey. There’s a reason Pooh ate it by the jar full… shit was good and sweet! Likewise, being a bitch will get you nowhere. Only assholes, real assholes like bitches, they enjoy that game. But people tryna boss up and get this money …

… have no time for that game, cuz tryna figure out your bad attitude takes up time away from the grind. Once you have pulled, you have to be kind and open to the catch. And while we’ll eat cod, every one prefers fresh water fish over salt water fish. Be not salty or stank.

2. Ella Mai said it best :

“I put my feelings on safety
So I don’t go shootin’ where your heart be

All that extra special crazy, it took you five minutes to text me back, trippin for nothing, checking his phone, acting a damn fool is for the birds. Yes, KeKe Wyatt might have that bomb snapper, but again, that’s your typical saltwater variety. It’s sure to run your pressure up and increase your light bill. Let’s look at the quality of her choosers. The last dude was a preacher who left her while she was pregnant with their third child, after she raised two of his children, right… okay enough said. We want to be a quality catch just like we want quality fishermen. And you simply are not exhibiting quality behaviors when you are acting a fool. You have to remember what pulled dude… your confidence, self-love, high esteem, win-win-win-win attitude, and your kindness. Keep those factors at play the entire time. Put your weapons down and rely on your personal stock of personality and class to end up, hooked up with a quality dude. But you gotta be quality first.

3. So since I’ve earned my degree in letters and numbers… I think it’s safe to tell you, that the final test, the piece de resistance, the grand finale of the catch is the most important. Webbie had I-N-D-E-P-E-D-E-N-T what you know about me… and I’ve got C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y, that shit’s so fly! So they say women date & marry men hoping they will change, and men date & marry women hoping they’ll stay the same. Now I’m all for growth, but I don’t think you have to change who you are fundamentally to grow, you just get better. I’m with the fellas. We should be FIRST, ensuring we are dating people who we like and accept AS IS! At 40… they might not ever be anyone different than the person you see in front of you. Furthermore, we could stop sending our representative and just be who tf we are. Then be consistently that in word and deed. If I tell you I’m going to cook you dinner on Thursday, only an emergency out of my control would change that. If I say I’m going to be respectful of you, that’s what it is. I’ll even respect you and me enough, in the presence of your disrespect, not to stick around and bust your head to the white meat. In order for human beings to feel safe enough to be emotionally vulnerable and mentally free they must be in space that’s consistent, which is synonymous with peace. You won’t get chose if you bring chaos.

So you see, it’s that simple. And if you are doing all those things and he doesn’t respond, he’s not the one. Move on with grace and bitter-free. You put your feelings on safety so you wouldn’t black out on these dudes, and simultaneously dodged a bullet. See how the universe is always working with you. Now put on your sundress or those gray sweatpants and that beater, check yourself in the mirror, do the Blade Icewood dance, and go out here, boss up and pull letters and numbers, and soon you’ll be saying …”my phone won’t stop ringing!”

“It’s Mr. Lee Iacocoa
And I’m the mayor of the mitten
Ya’ll niggaz ain’t bossin up y’all bullshittin!” -Blade Icewood and G-Rock “Boy Would You”