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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#HimToo: A Powerful Reflection on Sexual Assault

#HimToo:  A Powerful Reflection on Sexual Assault

According to the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, an organization that focuses entirely on protecting sexual freedom and ending sexual violence, 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime but many believe that number is conservative.  In October 2017, African American actor, Terry Crews shared his story of being sexually assaulted by Adam Venit, Head of the motion picture department of William Morris.  He filed a report to the LAPD about the alleged assault.  His candor in sharing his story brought an onslaught of conversations and criticism. Today on the blog, guest writer, Kawana Williams shares her thoughts on why we dismiss the stories of sexual assault when it comes to black men.

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Advice For These Times

Advice For These Times

Every day we are inundated with images of where our world has gone and we are left with questions of how did we get here and what can we do to change our course. The unfortunate thing is...this is not the first time we, Americans, have been faced with racism, bigotry and pure hatred and disdain for one another. We have seen this same barrage of images before. However, unlike any other time in history, technology has made it almost impossible to escape the world wide terror that is erupting around the country. In order for us to traverse these rough waters ahead and come out with our sanity, there are a few things we MUST do:

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The Mis-Education of the Negro

The Mis-Education of the Negro

About 4 months ago I was made aware of at least 4 homicides that occurred within some days, if not weeks, of each other: two in San Bernardino, California; one in Cleveland, Ohio; and one in Chicago, Illinois, respectively. And while all of the incidents were isolated, they all have one commonality: all stemmed from issues surrounding domestic violence. What I find most disturbing are the reactions of individuals not toward the abusers, but toward the victims………..THE VICTIMS!!!!!!!!!!!! As you read this, please be sure to insert an obligatory deep sigh, 360 degree neck roll, and knuckle pop...all of which I am currently doing as I prepare to offer an education on the intricate nuances of domestic violence and spousal abuse.

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She Said...She Said (A Written Collaboration)

She Said...She Said (A Written Collaboration)

Why are we so quick to dismiss the stories of abuse by black girls and women? Why do we adopt the “you want to defame the black man” instead of “defending the abused woman” narrative? Why are we silent or blind when we know friends and family members who are sexual deviants? Why are we silent when we know there are young girls involved with adult men? Why isn’t it our business?  Why are black women and girls made to be responsible for their victimization?  Why do we continue to ignore sexual abuse in young black girls and black women?  Who will believe us?  I had thoughts and feelings about all of this and joined with my friend and advocate, Kawana Williams in a much needed commentary on a society that continues to devalue Black Women.   Please take a moment to read and comment on this important issue in our community.

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A Tale Of Two Cities: Lemonade and 4:44

A Tale Of Two Cities: Lemonade and 4:44

Kawana N. Williams is a native Chicagoan and the author of, “Coming to My Crossroads", a memoir about her diagnosis of and struggles with ovarian cancer. She is currently a licensed Professional counselor with the State of Illinois and a second year doctoral student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  Today she is our guest blogger and has some important reflections on Beyoncé's visual album, Lemonade and Jay Z's recent release, 4:44.

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Screw your “Respectability”

Screw your “Respectability”

Women should be free to be whatever they choose without having their actions and bodies policed.  Black Women in particular are constantly fetishized and hyper sexualized while being vilified at the same time.  Who protects us?

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Must We Always Take the Blame? (Toxic Masculinity and Violence)

Must We Always Take the Blame? (Toxic Masculinity and Violence)

Easter Sunday a man by the name of Steve Stephens murdered Robert Godwin, Sr., live on Facebook.   This murderer randomly targeted Mr. Godwin and made him say the name of a woman who we later discovered was his ex, before shooting him dead.  The entire act was shown live on a now deleted Facebook video.  This man, who works as a case manager with a children’s behavioral health agency, went on a rant and proceeded to blame his ex for his actions.  His ex is in protective custody and he is still on the loose.  Many people ponder why someone would do such a heinous act. Many believe he is mentally ill but I’m just not buying it.  To make matters even worse, there are quite a few who blame his ex-girlfriend.  I cannot tell you how disgusted I have been reading the comments on social media.  It’s easier to acknowledge mental illness than address the elephant in the room.

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When Black Men? When?

When Black Men? When?

I’m so tired.  I’m tired of justifying my value to black men.   We are living in tumultuous times.  Last week, it was Tyrese condemning black women, this week we learned a teenage girl was kidnapped and gang raped live on Facebook and there are several missing black girls in Washington DC right now that no one is talking about….TIRED!!!! 

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