The Real Crime of Jussie Smollett

The Real Crime of Jussie Smollett

When the story of Jussie Smollett’s attack came out, I was horrified.  I immediately believed him. Why wouldn’t I?  He had a stellar reputation in the industry, was an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and has often spoken on issues of race and social justice.  I had no reason to doubt him based on his character.  Here I am weeks later stunned at the turn of events and left with more questions than answers. 

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An Entire Ecosystem of Predator Protectors

An Entire Ecosystem of Predator Protectors

As I watched I was astonished at the number of people who were involved indirectly or passively enabled his predatory behavior. Grown adults recruiting younger girls for him at the mall, concerts, etc., grown adults who forged a marriage license so he could marry a 15 year old girl, grown adults who were arranging flights, transportation, and hotel stays to house young girls for this sexual deviant….sighs… Out of all of these people, not one adult had the moral fiber or basic human decency to say something? Did no one care about these girls?

I don’t think it was something I thought about previously. I’d been so focused on R. Kelly as a predator I failed to realize as a celebrity, he needed assistance to continuously do this for over 20 years. As I watched in horror at these adults attempting to purge their guilt by sharing their stories I became so angry. They knew what was happening and said nothing because of a check. It made me want to scream out in frustration and cry tears of absolute weariness. This man had an entire team of people helping him rape and abuse women for over 2 decades! I feel like a broken record…DOES ANYONE CARE ENOUGH ABOUT BLACK GIRLS?

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What's so Special about the Black Man? A Conversation about Accountability

What's so Special about the Black Man? A Conversation about Accountability

What is so special about men in our society that they can never be held accountable for their actions? I would like to examine this question by presenting two examples: Bill Cosby and “Dr.” Umar Johnson. Not that these men are particularly more special than any other black man in our community. But these two black men seem to be safe from all harm, critique, and negative words being placed upon them by their own communities.

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Your Silence Will Not Protect Us

Your Silence Will Not Protect Us

In browsing my timelines on Instagram, twitter and Facebook, I’m convinced….

You really don’t care about Black Women and Black Girls

Looking at my timeline hurt.  It hurt me to see so many men I know in real life support and defend rapists, pedophiles and misogynists.  I never thought I’d see the day when so many would justify such reprehensible actions.  What’s even worse, it’s been a choir full of the strong and wrong with such reasoning that is rooted in ignorance, stereotypes and fake news. 

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When Black Women? When?

When Black Women? When?

I love being a black woman.  I love what we are made of; incredible strength, resilience, courage and the capacity to love in spite of the hate spewed towards us.  I love our opinions, our sass, we have spice!  Our beauty is unmatched, we are uniquely and divinely made, so many different hues of beauty and style.  There are so many things that make me proud to be both black and woman.  However, it’s time to grab my sisters by the hand and usher them into the meeting room.  It’s time to have a real conversation amongst the “sistahs”.  We have some work to do, some problems to address and real issues to confront.  Come have a seat at the table…

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When Racism and Misogyny Meet...A Black Woman's Dilemma

When Racism and Misogyny Meet...A Black Woman's Dilemma

I realize that, as a people, African-Americans are moving in the “endangered species” zone. More than once a week, there is an announcement made about another death. Of another black brother. By the hands of another non-black man. With these types of deaths, it is paramount that the community of said person stands together in unity, if for no other reason than to stand in support of those who have lost a loved one. It is not uncommon for African-Americans to use “race first” as their mantra when defending themselves/standing up against racial and social injustices. But the recent murder of Stephon Clark (and the revelation of his thoughts about black women) has me thinking: do black men march for women the way black women march for them?

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Am I My Sister's Keeper?

Am I My Sister's Keeper?

There used to be a time when the one spoke for the many because the many trust the one. We have to return to this community mindset as women of color. In these times more than others, a united front has to be presented to the world. Not based on likeability or popularity but based on survival. We control our own destinies and instead of begging for a seat at someone else’s table; why not gather up our tribe and build our own table? We have to create intentional experiences for our sisters to survive and thrive and be so confident in our own, unique awesomeness that the idea that someone who looks like me having that same amazingness it not seen as a threat but a complement to our existence. There is enough room at the top for all our collective goodness to succeed but we have to change our mindset, hopefully sooner rather than later, hopefully...now

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FAKE 4:44- Stop Blaming Everything On Mental Illness!

FAKE 4:44- Stop Blaming Everything On Mental Illness!

As a result of the song and the album’s equally important themes,  conversations about Mental Health and Black men has been in the forefront with seminars, discussion groups etc. with black men discussing being vulnerable, healing and emotional availability.  Black men addressing toxic masculinity, mental illness and emotional issues in safe spaces has brought joy to my soul because it’s a conversation that is necessary and needed.  I watched “Footnotes to 4:44” and listened to black men get real about love and relationships, I felt hopeful.  It was raw, honest and real.  However, being accountable for your actions, real remorse and true healing cannot come without honesty and truth; first with yourself then with others. As Jay Z says, “you can’t heal what you won’t reveal”.  You gotta be watchful of the “Fake 4:44’s”, using the idea of vulnerability in a dishonest way. 

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