Saturday, December 27, 2008

Topic Suggestions -

Hello all! I pray that we all had a blessed and safe holiday. I've been working pretty hard lately but I've gotten some things done! YAY! And I'm ready to get back into our awesome topics. (Only if you all are) So...I'm soliciting topics from my wonderful readers. Hit me whenever and we'll get the ball rolling. I wish you all the happiest and most prosperous of New Years. Nothing like a clean slate.... Be good and I look forward to hearing from you all very soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Love at Last

Revelation is such an invigorating experience. I got the opportunity to look at myself this weekend. I thought that I’d developed an objective view into the hurt that I’d been feeling but in all actuality, I hadn’t. The hurt that I felt due to failed relationships, neglect, and misuse by men was my main focus. Most . . . all of which I, myself, perpetuated. So, I can’t just blame them for what was done. Further more, I won’t dwell on what was done. The motive behind this post is to try as best I can to get what was given to me this weekend across to you all. I came to the realization that I was concentrating so much on my hurt that I’d neglected myself. I saw my hurt but wasn’t looking at Ashley. The two entities aren’t attached. Yes, I wore my hurt but it was merely an accessory. Something that can easily be removed and disregarded, tossed to the side, and if I’m gutsy enough I can obliterate it. Pain looks good on no one and there is no amount of MAC, Bobbi Brown, or Iman that can cover a painful experience after said experience has been put on by the “victimized” party. (Smiling) The dopest part of all of this is that I came to the conclusion that my consistency with attracting men that weren’t able to be faithful to me was because Ashley wasn’t faithful to herself. I’d sacrificed the love that I was supposed to have for me to seek love elsewhere. My nurturing my hurt caused Ashley to lack in so many areas. Areas that no earthly man could ever fill, validate, or make whole. This time around I opted to walk out of the door of “reliving when” and decided to walk across the threshold of “remembering when.” From this point on I’ll always remember. That’s where growth and healing begin. But never again will I relive any of these instances. Talk about freedom. The pity party’s over and done with. My emotional debt has been paid in full. So, as of midnight Saturday night . . . Ashley’s in a fulfilling and drama-free relationship . . . with herself. I’m committed to . . . me. This is a little nerve wracking because well . . . I’m a handful!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ashley's Confession

I don't really have a whole lot to say today guys. Well, I haven't had much to say in a minute but this has been on my heart all morning and I know that I'm not the only one that can glean something powerful from the words to this song. These are the lyrics to a song sung by the Christian Alternative band Third Day. The words are very simple but profound, heart-felt and sincere. So this is where I am right now. Be good . . .

Take My Life:

How many times have I turned away?
The number is the same as the sand on the shore
But every time you've taken me back
And now I ask you do it once more
Please take from me my life
When I don't have the strength
to give it away to you
Please take from me my life
When I don't have the strength to
give it away to you Jesus
How many times have I turned away?
The number is the same as the stars in the sky
And every time you've taken me back
And now I pray you'll do it tonight

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama - The 44th President of the USA

As I write this, tears streaming my face and watching two little black girls running toward their father to congratulate him on such an incredible victory, I’m at a loss for words. I begin to recollect the immense struggle that the people before me endured just so that I could experience something like this . . . someone that looks like me – like us - running the United States of America. At 12:00 a.m. Barack Hussein Obama took the stage to deliver a speech of thanks and victory and all I could do was cry. A Black man is the 44th president of this country! Can ya’ll believe that? I mean really. I could pull some deep philosophy out of my bag of words and rhetoric, but seriously . . . there’s nothing I can really say. I’m so emotional right now and so thankful that my little boy can sit in a circle and when the teacher asks what he wants to be when he grows up he can look at her and proudly say . . . “I want to be the president when I grow up,” and can believe it and know that it’s achievable. To be a part of such an incredible benchmark in history – not just Black history but American history – is phenomenal to me. You all that read regularly know that I’m one to really make you think but I think what happened at 11:00 p.m. on November 4, 2008 is enough to think about on it’s own. There’s nothing Ashley really needs to say. I can barely keep still as it is. It’s going to take a minute for all of this to digest but I had to say something. Yo! We just got a Black president! Is that not bananas? Ugh! It’s been a long time coming but it’s only the beginning! Stay up!This is America . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Terrace

Last night I was sitting out on my terrace like I do every night. For the past week I've had a friend to sit with. I've been talking to the man that lives on the second floor and directly across from me. He's dating my neighbor (who's a sweetheart as well). He's intrigued by the fact that I'm a writer and we've had some pretty awesome conversations. Last night we were sitting and talking and he said that he'd gone to court earlier that day. He's going through an ugly divorce and had to be escorted in and out of the court house. He made several pleas to me. The first was if I really didn't like who I was in a relationship with, I needed to let him go before it even got so far as to what he was dealing with. I told him I understood completely (damn if that didn't make me think) but that's when the conversation got just a little bit more heavy. His children are the products of an interracial relationship. Their mother is Korean and he's white. He began to cry and he went on to explain how he was raised in Manassas, VA where racism was very prevalent but he hadn't been on the losing end . . . until now. Racism is all he sees and it's through the eyes of his children. He started to sob uncontrollably and he admitted to me that he's heard his children called names like "chinks" on the soccer field or he'd be asked ignorant questions like, "Whose children are those? Are they adopted?" Such a heartbreaking yet eye-opening discussion. His final plea to me was to write something that included his children. Something that almost obliterated the ubiquitous nature of race and made us all human and not a color. I promised I'd do so and then he called his phone number out to me and this was the very last thing that he said, "Call me anytime. I have so much to talk about and there's something about you that makes me trust you. We can have coffee some time soon." I agreed and promised to call him this week. Finally he said, "I don't know what it is about you. I know that you're black but I wouldn't know you if I saw you walk past me on the street. I've never seen your face. But I can't wait to shake your hand and give you the biggest hug I've ever given anyone." Because we're always out there after sunset we've never seen each other's faces and I think that little tidbit makes this exchange all the more beautiful. I'm really not sure why I'm sharing this with you guys but . . . . that's my life and I'm living and loving it. It's a blessing the way that I've been given so much inspiration in just a matter of months. I'm writing my heart out and I won't stop until there's nothing left to say . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Hopefully I wasn’t alone last night while I watched the third and final presidential debate. This one out of all of them – to me – was the most influential. I try but in this case I can’t help but to be partial. I don’t know all of the political lingo like the analysts on CNN, MSNBC, and the dreaded sly FOX News, but I do know that my boy held it down. His entrance epitomized authority. Even the way that he answered questions, keeping his cool while being interrupted and over-talked. I think he did a wonderful job and I really think there isn’t much question as to who’s about to take charge and run this country. I will say that November 4th is going to be a very interesting day. History will be made (and already has been made) but . . . my prayer is no longer “Lord, let the right man get into the White House.” My prayer now is, “Lord, cover him with your blood, grace and mercy.” With only three weeks left on the campaign trail, the pot thickens. The conversations of Americans are changing and the awareness of all of us – even our children – is centered around the state of this country. Tuesday I was in the grocery store and the young man responsible for bagging my groceries noticed that I was wearing an Obama tee shirt. He asked if I liked Obama and then went on to say how he was afraid for his life. I asked how old he was. He was only 17 and wouldn’t be able to vote until the next election. Then I asked him why he was afraid and he said . . . “Well, because the KKK is going to try to kill him. But if I could vote, I'd vote for Obama. I think he's gonna win!” A young white kid and his innocence was what struck me with the bitter reality that our country really isn’t above the race card. So, this (in addition to my other political posts) may sound overly emotional and scatter-brained but I think you all know what I’m getting at. We’ve been given the keys to change. Go to the polls early or on the 4th and do what our ancestors fought for us to be able to do. While you’re standing in line pray for the safety of our future leaders, the state of our country and most of all . . . . pray for change.

Big ups to Ms. Wiggins’ 7th grade language arts students for allowing me to participate in the beginning stages of their political essays. You guys ROCK!!!!

And in closing all I gotta say is . . . OBAMA ’08!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Captive Collective!!!!!

Hello readers! I wanted to take this opportunity to shout out a group of dope designers. Pretty good friends of mine that have launched a custom tee shirt biz. One of the designers even hooked up a custom shirt for my Libra! LOL!! So check out the site. The address is below . . . it’s some pretty hot *ish. These are my homies so show ‘em some love! That’s all! Peace out!

Monday, September 29, 2008

FEARLESS - Jazmine Sullivan Album Review

Finally! I haven’t done a week-in-review album review in a minute and what I’m about to talk about is like the dopest LP I’ve heard in a long, long, long time. Jazmine Sullivan’s debut album FEARLESS is insane. Released last Tuesday, September 23, 2008, I like to refer to it as a woman’s audible journal. Besides the girl having a Kim Burrell kind of flavor (gospel artist), she draws solely on personal experience. It’s not a superficial album that appeals mainly to club mixes and cloud nine love effects that most artists – especially new artists – gravitate towards when trying to appeal to and build a new audience. Nah, homegirl talks about it all. Even though the content is heavy at times, it’s still something that’s a pleasure to listen to. She doesn’t rest on a groove so you have no choice but to listen to the lyrics. The music is “off” and unexpected and the lyrics are genius. Of course, we all know, NEED U BAD, which was built around a reggae vibe but the second single released just recently is BUST YOUR WINDOWS, the opening track of the album. It’s a dramatic illustration of a woman scorned. The track is laced with the sounds of a score from a major motion picture. I’m tellin’ you, I wrote a chapter off the top of my head just from hearing the song once. I’ve since listened to it over and over and over again. Talk about needed inspiration. Jazmine took the high road and decided to illustrate with words while allowing her voice to carry a crazy melody. Between riffs you inevitably recount the things that have happened to you in your life as it pertains to relationships. I may have never busted a dudes windows but damn if I wasn’t talked out of it by my girls! LOL!!!! Some of the other tracks that will keep you listening: MY FOOLISH HEART, LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS, ONE NIGHT STAND, IN LOVE WITH ANOTHER MAN, and my new favorite track (today at least) LIVE A LIE. The chorus says it all . . . “If a lie gon’ get me through, I’d rather not know the truth. If the truth gon’ make me cry, I’d rather just live a lie.” Ugh! And to think, I was skeptical because I just thought this was gonna be one of those dope first singles that left little for the consumer to enjoy once the album was finally released. Not this time. Jazmine Sullivan did her thing! If you don’t have it . . . go cop it! I’m a sucker for a good quote and she did that too. There are a few that I can’t seem to get out of my head.

“Why do we love love when love seems to hate us?” From the track LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS

“We ain’t human without fear.” From the track FEAR

"I'm scared of love 'cause I'm scared he'll leave." From the track FEAR

So if you’ve got any feedback on this newbie, hit me up!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Weighting Game (Another Ashley Poem)

Hey guys! Damn I've missed ya'll. Listen . . . real quick. I just wrote this so, tell me what you think and I'll holla as inspiration hits. I'm learning to write from inspiration and not situation. Thanks V!

The Weighting Game

September 25, 2008

Poem by: Ashley McCann

Last night I waited for your call and in the interim I began the weighting game

A solo act to evaluate where things had left me

I thought of you all the while but this inevitably had nothing and everything to do with you

Similar to the time lapsing entertainment of a mind-numbing game of solitaire

I waited for you and weighted solely for me

If I wanted us to really get together, I needed to get me together

The things that I’d put on the backburner – neglected because I’d succumb to something new

Something that left me weightless and I waited

I put that lonely feeling that I felt on and that emptiness that had gone untouched . . .

I draped it over my shoulder

The confusion that a past lover had forced on me, I wrapped that around my mind

The weighting game, no longer weightless because of you

I was weighted because of my past and I waited . . .

I continued dressing and draping myself in all the things that had caused such a rude awakening

The irony – this was the only way to heal . . . to address the many issues that had tainted my capacity to love again

Tainted, yes but not obliterated

To get us together, I had to get me together

So I stopped waiting on you and I weighted on me

I confronted the trust trigger and draped it around my waste . . .

The residue of acrimony crept in and settled where I was . . .

Where I weighted and I had to own that too

I weighted and waited and weighted and waited and . . .

Acknowledged why each article had caused me to look at YOU in the same manner

Almost making you pay for something that you really knew little about . . .

I didn’t want to slip up and allow a misunderstanding between us be a trigger for me to . . .
Have to wait again so . . .

I weighted in my hearts weighting room . . .

My period of weighting isn’t over but it’s not as dense as . . .

And now I’m waiting on . . . you . . .

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nothing but words . . .

Just wanted to share the lyrics to this awesome song. If you haven't heard it it's by Anthony David and features my girl India.Arie. It's been on repeat like all day . . . so enjoy.

I believe that
Heaven must be like this
Ray of sunshine
Kissed upon your skin
Just say you love me
Make my day go good
Pot of gold at the
End of the rainbow

Can't tell you nothin you aint already heard
No matter what I say it's nothin but words
Just let me prove to you what I know is real
Let me express to you the way that I feel

I believe that
Love is synonymous
With heaven
Such a sensual bliss
The way you touch me
Makes this life so good
A reward at the
End of the long road

Fairy tales can be
Real if you just believe
Go my mind made
I don't plan to leave
Cuz you were meant for me
Simple that may be
Why be complex
Loving you is so easy

Have a good weekend guys!

Soliciting Comments

Did anyone have the great pleasure of watching the Sarah Palin interview last night? If you did . . . . any thoughts?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 - Need I say more?

Take a look at today’s date and remember where you were seven years ago today. Remember how our country was affected and how it changed for some better but mostly for WORSE. We need change in this country and we haven’t gotten the change that we needed in this eight year period of national demise. Gas prices, unemployment, record-breaking home foreclosure (in two income households). The McCain-Palin camp seems to me to be a reincarnation of the Bush-Cheney camp . . . . so not cool. Right now all we have to go on is HOPE and PROGRESS and I personally don’t believe that we have that in the Republican party. This may seem a little over-emotional but our country is desperate for change. If you’re not registered to vote, I won’t beat you up over the head about it but we have the keys to make a change. Most of my readers are African American and what I'm about to say isn't even about OBAMA. Our suffrage was fought for by OUR forefathers. People that didn't even know us. Nixing it off is a HUGE slap in the face! You have less than 55 days to get your act together! Yes, I know this was a bit scatter-brained but I’m just really emotional today and we need to keep in mind that this is one of the most historic elections . . . . EVER! Peace out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finally . . . the WHY?

About a month or so back I did a series entitled Love - Ex, Why?, Zzzzz. Remember? It was a reader questions series and we took time answering each others questions. Before I begin today’s post I wanted to preface it with a couple of things. I know that I said that I wasn’t going to be documenting my life anymore, but what I’m about to discuss I feel is a legitimate topic. Yes, Libra is involved . . . I mean, how could he not be. In my last “relationship” I was told that all men cheat. It’s just in their nature. They can’t be faithful and that doesn’t take away from their love for you but hey, just deal with it. I even did a series entitled GET LIFTED a couple month’s back dedicated to how infidelity was the norm and a natural human occurrence. But we sat down and started talking the other night. I’m not exactly sure how we got on the subject but he broke down a man’s “inability” to be faithful in a different way. He said, “As a little girl you were taught to go to God for everything. So if you’re tempted to do something or you’re having issues in your relationship, prayer is the avenue that most women take to “save” them from doing something they don’t need to do. But men are the opposite.” He said, “Little boys aren’t always reared as girls are (religiously speaking). Rather than take the avenue of safety and refuge, men take an avenue to facilitate their need to cheat. So, rather than going to church, they go to the club or go hang out with their boys (who, no doubt, will encourage the act if they’re single, if they don’t like his girlfriend, or if they’re just plain immature). So rather than work on it spiritually first, emotionally, and then physically . . . they hastily jump into the physical thing with someone else.” Ain’t he somethin’? The last thing he said was . . . “Relationships are only solid when God is present.” Gotta love that man! LOL!!!! But I wanted to hear what you all had to say about his philosophy. Ya’ll know I’m a little partial, but I want to know what you all think (especially the men). Can’t wait . . .

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Countdown to November 4!!!!

So, last night we watched two interviews on two separate news stations – both bias but one swings a little more in our favor (by we I mean, me and Libra). Both interviews featured the same interviewee but the interviewing styles are drastically different. When I name the news station you’ll understand completely. First, we turned on MSNBC and watched Keith Olbermann interview the Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama. Then we flipped to the infamous Fox News and witnessed an interesting interview conducted by Bill O’Reilly. One style is professional and more factual than the other style, which seems to attack and be much more cutthroat and have an attacking sort of undertone. We talked about both interviews for a while but if you watched either or both, or if you have any input on either of these journalists, give me some feedback. I don’t want to say too much and then really make this a biased post but it’s kind of difficult. I will say that the Senator, when being attacked by O’Reilly, commanded the conversation WITHOUT raising his voice. He exuded authority without becoming belligerent, causing O’Reilly to ease up and talk to him with more respect. Keith just knows how to interview but I want to know what you all think.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Well . . .

I don't really have anything to talk about today so I just wanted to give a BIG shot out to one of the awesomest (yes, I know this isn't a word!), funniest, deepest, and most honest bloggers in the universe. Happy Birthday Big Jerz! Live it up, dude! Peace out!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Change of pace . . .

This is the end of Ashley's life being documented like it has been for the past month. I think I can take it from here, guys. This has been an interesting process and I've gotten some positive feedback from many of you. Thanks for all the love, support and advice! I think I'm ready to try out my sea-legs all by myself. YAY!!!!! By Monday or Tuesday I'll have something really good and deep for us to discuss (and you all can participate rather that just listen to me rant and rave about my personal problems) so have an awesome weekend. Thanks for listening and emwha . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Labor of Love!

So, today I opted to give my fingers a break and your ears and eyes a break from listening to my ranting about . . . . . . . . . what was I saying? Oh giving you a break! Yeah, so all I wanted to say to you guys is to have a safe and healthy Labor Day weekend! Don't forget how high gas is . . . turn on one of the news stations and get in on the Democratic Convention tonight. Tonight is pretty historic . . . Obama accepts the Democratic nomination on the very day that marks the anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech (August 28, 1963). Craziness!!!! So we'll be watching (wink-wink) . . . have a good weekend . . . . Oh yeah . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY MO! Peace out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blind Date Horror

So ya’ll know that I use this blog as a bit of a journal. Some of the things that you read are things that happen to me that I post almost immediately. So here’s another entry. A little over a year ago, I was set up on a blind date by a friend who thought that I needed an escape out of a situation I was in. It’s funny how people think getting over someone automatically means meeting someone new. That’s not always the case – especially not with this instance. I wasn’t ready to “move” but I agreed to go on this god-awful date anyway. I tried being positive but there really wasn’t anything to be positive about. We didn’t mesh well, had nothing in common, and he had absolutely no drive or ambition. Friendship is one thing, but we were introduced romantically and there was no vibe. After a few dates he decided to act like he wanted to get serious after I honestly expressed to him that I wasn’t ready for anything with someone else. I think the last time that I saw him was July of last year and the last time we spoke was October of last year. After that last conversation I stopped answering his calls and prayed that he’d either forget I existed or accept the fact that friendship was all he was going to get. Needless to say, ya girl wasn’t interested, at least not in anything more than friendship. Skip forward twelve months and I get a phone call out of the blue from you know who. I ignored it at first and then I figured he wanted nothing more than to say “hello” and call it a day. So I call him back, so as not to look like a complete bitch. We had a pretty good conversation and he informed me that he’d be in the area visiting family and wouldn’t mind us having dinner to catch up. I didn’t see any harm in us having dinner so I agreed and we met. For some reason something didn’t feel right about our meeting. All day at work I was dreading seeing him. He’d left me several messages on my phone during the course of the day. I wanted to back out but he’d already arrived and was waiting for me at the designated meeting place. I went with my gut and drove myself. I didn’t want him to pick me up and drive me anywhere. Those funny feelings we most often need to follow and foolishly ignore. Fortunately, he didn’t know where I lived. So we had dinner and I talked about my love life and how things were going with me. I asked him about his and he instantly began complaining. I tried coaching him (like a friend would do) but he constantly veered the conversation to the far left and tried to make “this” a date. I corrected the waiter when he assumed we were married. An innocent mistake but I made it clear that we were just friends. I was so hell-bent that I think everyone in the restaurant knew we were . . . JUST FRIENDS! It was a meal between FRIENDS. But after a while buddy wigged out on me. He jumped off of the subject of career ambition and onto the subject of sex. He found it shocking that I hadn’t had too much “experience” and thought it only proper for the two of us to . . . ya’ll know what I’m getting at! Our “relationship”, even with the few outings that we’d been on together, was never physical. Well, nothing more than a tap-tap hug. The ones that say, “Let me go before I come out of my skin” all the while you’re constantly tapping them on the back and giggling nervously. I was appalled at the gall of him to suggest such a thing after I’d made it plain that we were JUST FRIENDS and I was happy with my life as it was. I tried to explain to him that I’m not one of those women that has the desire to try on partners like Manolo Blahniks. I like the one pair that works and I’m happy with that. He wasn’t satisfied and continued to mock me and my experience as a woman. Let me just say . . . lots of experience does the opposite of make you a good woman but I digress. Okay so maybe I have to eat the fact that I shouldn’t have agreed to have dinner with him. I really thought that he (being 9 years older than me) was more mature than that. I mean damn. It was the Hand of God (no lie) that got me out of there. I got a phone call concerning a family emergency and that was my ticket. I haven’t heard from him since Friday and I want to keep it that way. Ugh!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Black In America: The Black Man

Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve grown to adore Black men. There’s nothing like them! I’m proud to be a Black woman but let’s face it . . . we’re nothing without our brothas. Even though we share the same skin (in a myriad of hues) we’ll never understand (as Black women and white Americans) what being a Black man is really like. They bear much of the brunt of our struggle. In last night’s installment of BLACK : IN AMERICA: The Black Man, we were given an inside look at the plight of Black men in America - the land where freedom rings, so to speak. But how free are we? How free are they – our Black men? I’ve done what I did yesterday and listed a few of the segments covered in Soledad O’Brien’s documentary on CNN. You can comment on as many of them as you like and I honestly don’t believe you have to have seen the airing to be able to comment. Let me just say that on top of the love that I already have for them, I’ve developed a concrete and unmovable appreciation for the men that . . . hold us down. There’s nothing like a Black man.

The affect of single parent (fatherless) homes on Black men . . .

Two Americas (for Black men): The [Black] America of Opportunity and The [Black] America of Demise – How can our Black men excel in a world designed to instigate their failure?

Racist Laws (Laws conspired to hold US back) – The same laws drafted to “protect” are the same ones that keep us below the majority. Crack cocaine (the Black drug) bears more of a penalty than “powder” (cocaine in it’s purest form or the “White” drug).

Are we lazy or did we teach YOU how to work? – Black men combating the “lazy” stereotype.

Are you a “sell out” because you want to better yourself? (i.e. speaking “too white” – code switching and wanting to better yourself)

Need for family – The rise (and apparent need) for gangs among Black men.

75% Blacks compared to the 44% of whites treated harshly by law enforcement.

Prison University – The Alma Mater of majority of the minority.

Where are the Black fathers?

Black in Corporate America.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Made for BLACKNESS (poem by ME)

This is a poem that I wrote a couple years ago and I wanted to share it with you guys. I thought this was appropriate for this week's discussion! So . . . enjoy! Peace out (until tomorrow)!

Made for Blackness
Poem by: Ashley McCann

What have I done wrong?
I guess I was born
Born Black
Held back and held down with the iron hand of my oppressor
You pickanini, tar baby, skillet, porch monkey
Nigger – ugly and less than
Ignorant and just plain stupid

But mothered your children and taught you how to season your food
My ignorance was my ticket
My ticket out of the hell you put me through
When I was hangin’ them clothes on the line and singin’ “Meet Me Down By the River”
I was organizing my freedom
My freedom to be black and to love it
‘Cause baby, I was made for BLACKNESS

For so long my skin was my sin
Something unfortunate; deemed a bitter end
But it became my fortune; my pride
I can look at my skin, and the texture of my extra-extra curly hair, my round lips and thick thighs
With honor, dignity, and love
This is who I am
A beautiful black woman

Looking at the old post cards, figurines, and statuettes of Aunt Jemima and black women made to serve their “superiors”
I fume, ache, and my eyes tear
Knowing what she went through just to survive
To survive
Then I look closer and I see the strength in her back
So that I could come along and stand on her shoulders
I look at that smile – plastered and fake
But behind that smile I read
If your dumb a** only knew how intelligent, clever, sage, and astute I really am
And if I got, you know my babies gon’ have it
‘Cause dey was made for BLACKNESS too
And don’t take my dialect as stupidity
I got away from you didn’t I?
I was made for BLACKNESS

And I come from good stock
Women that taught me that my being was necessary
Women like – Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Ella Baker, Mary McCleod Bethune, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Augusta Savage
Articulate, proud, and BLACK

Joann Harriet McCann – my mama
Hannah Belle Butler – her mama
Viola McCann – my daddy’s mama
Strong, resilient, and BLACK

We were made for BLACKNESS
Yet you still inject your lips, lay out, and resort to silicone to make yourself look like me
All I can say is – I got it!
We’ve got it
And you don’t
Beautifully, fearfully, and wonderfully made for BLACKNESS

Being black is no longer my stigma
But my staple
My symbol that I’ve overcome
And will keep coming until you recognize who I am
I’m a woman
Intelligent, resilient, black
Strong, prideful, beautiful, and BLACK
A BLACK woman

Black In America: Black Women and Family

Ugh . . . where to begin!?!?!?! For those of you in the know, the first installment of the Black in America documentary overwhelmed us with a wealth of information. Black Women and Family was an incredibly eye-opening journalistic experience. Soledad O’Brien did the footwork and compiled a two-hour long “wrap-up” of what it means to be Black in America. For those of you that did your Life or Something Like It . . . homework and watched this documentary you know that there was so much information covered that there is no way for me to make this a succinct summary of sorts. So, I decided to list the segments covered and have you pick one, two, or a few and elaborate on your views of the issues. Oh and you don’t have to be black to voice your views, concerns, or feelings about what was discussed. I actually believe that that would make for added dimension in today’s chop-up. But if it’s just us, let’s make it good. Give it to me. I want to hear it! All of it! EVERYONE should have something to say today. Talk to me. You can do me one better and cut and paste this into emails and forward it to your friends and co-workers. Email me their responses. The series will only impact us if we work it – the right way. Acknowledgement equals progress and we’ll only progress if we take hold of what’s going on with and within us as a culture. Let’s get it!

Segments covered:
Interracial Intimacies – “You said you got a white cousin?” The Rand Clan (Segment enlightened us on the prominence of slave owners taking advantage of female slaves; we’re not 100 proof)

Drop out rates among African Americans – 50% of African American’s will receive a high school diploma

Exploited Education – Should incentives be offered to children for them to have a desire to learn or does this teach them to work for success?

Poverty’s impact on Education

Healthcare and African Americans in America

Fatherless homes – The single Black mother

The Black Single and Successful Women – Do we get married anymore, is success all we need to keep us “satisfied” or are we being forced to date outside of our race to meet compatible men?

Racial Boundaries Exposed – Can we raise our interracial children properly while teaching them to appreciate both (or all) of the races that make them human or are they destined for a life fueled by hate and confusion?

AIDS and its effect on African American Women (Blacks account for nearly 50% of the AIDS cases in America and among women diagnosed with the disease in this country, 2/3 are African American)

Black on Black Crime – Our inappropriate comfort level with the violent deaths of Black men in America

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Black In America

What's up guys? Yes, I know I was supposed to post the NAs review yesterday but I'm going to give the review on Friday after the Black In America airings have been discussed. Which brings me to one VERY important announcement. Black in America airs tonight at 9:00pm on CNN. Please, watch it. Better still encourage someone else to watch it as well. I think it will not only open our eyes but the eyes of white Americans as well. Tomorrow . . . we begin our deep discussion about being BLACK IN AMERICA.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Topics - July 22-25

I figured since you all are enjoying summer and all I'd give you a bit of a break for the next couple of days but we're going to pick up on Tuesday and here are the things we'll be discussing:

Tuesday July 22 - Week In Review Nas Untitled Album - Discussion based around the deeply controversial Nas album (Nigger). I'm listening to it now and let me just say . . . this is going to be a great discussion. The album was released Tuesday, July 15 go cop it, listen and listen good! Then we'll chop it up. Can't wait!

Wednesday thru Friday July 23-25 - Black in America - This will air on CNN Wednesday and Thursday of next week. We'll begin our own discussion Wednesday, watch the first airing Wednesday, discuss Thursday and so on . . . Watch it! this one is going to be a good discussion too!

So get your minds ready for some intelligent conversation. I look forward to hearing what you all have to say about next weeks issues. Be safe, be as good as you can be, have a great week and I'll holla Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One F.I.N.E. Day

It’s rare that I open a discussion with a question but here goes. Have you ever noticed that when someone is having an “emotional breakdown” and you ask them what’s wrong they quickly answer “I’m fine!” The two words alone exude an emotionalism that represents the opposite of what’s been said. All of us have experienced someone like this (even if we’re the basket case on the other end) but have you ever taken the time to consider what the word FINE actually means in the mind of an exceedingly emotional person? No? Well, you know I’m about to tell you. One of my best girlfriends (yes, this is the same chic I’ve referred to on more than one occasion) and I had one of our deeply theoretical and analytical discussions a few months back. Allow me to set the stage. The two of us are not your typical emotionalists. We cry when we’ve “had it” – more so out of anger and frustration than sadness. Our tears are mere manifestations of us not being able to name and place all of the shit that’s going on in our heads. We think first (and this thinking isn’t always logical – at least not for me), we analyze, and then we wear it rather than release it. We make it a part of us. Our favorite phrase . . . you guessed it . . . “I’m fine!” One particular day we were both having one of those days. You know the ones. The days when nothing’s going right. You call the ones that are supposed to care simply to vent and you don’t get an answer, you feel overlooked, neglected, slighted, and forgotten, co-workers are constantly pissing you off, money’s funny and you can’t think straight (or in our cases – we’re thinking entirely too much). The first circumstances mentioned are usually the reasons that the latter instances become too much to handle (if you need a refresher go back and read the list of “make me crazy” instances). One thing always seems to make everything else appear damn near unbearable. Now picture the two of us going through this and trying to help each other through this emotional whirlwind. Too funny. So instead of explaining what we thought we might be feeling we decided to take a different approach. I think the first thing that she said was . . .uh huh . . . “I’m fine!” and I think we both started thinking about the adjective – FINE. I believe I asked a question similar to the one that I’ve opened this post with today. Long story short, we turned it into an acronym and she mentioned it to me earlier this week epitomizing the type of day . . . no, the type of week I’ve been having. This is our definition of FINE. Ready? Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. Now, tell me that’s not the most accurate definition you’ve heard for that “I’m fine!” phrase in a while. Oh and you can’t forget the exclamation point which punctuates that “hostility”. “I’m fine!” I don’t have a question today. I’m just taking this opportunity to get this off my chest but needless to say, I’ll never look at that word/phrase the same again. So, I’ve just given you all a little inside track into the world of two very analytical and emotional people who are probably more sane than we may come across to people that don’t necessarily “get” us. The next time you’re having one of THOSE days and someone asks how your day is going, just say . . . “Oh I’m just having a FINE day.” The beautiful reality of that is that they’ll assume one thing but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve explained your day on so many levels without having to say too much at all. You’ve also acknowledged your four possible issues to yourself without suppressing them and then blowing up later. “I’m FINE!” You didn’t lie. You’re day was . . . .FINE. Yeah, I guess I just needed to vent. If you’re having a FINE day or week (in my case). . . join the FINE club. If not . . .offer some insight to the rest of us as to how to deal. “Oh Ashley’s having a FINE week!” Be good ya’ll. I’ll holla tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Satire = Insult

Okay, so I've decided to take a bit of a break from my usual relationship banter to indulge in some current issues that have been going on in the media. I guess it goes without saying, that Barack Obama is taking a great deal of heat from the media, which happens with any political campaign. The first instance that struck me as peculiar and down-right disappointing were the comments that were made by fellow Aggie Jesse Jackson. If you didn't know about this . . . just type JESSE JACKSON in any search engine and you'd be surprised how many hits you'd get about this one subject. Then The New Yorker, a magazine published in the city bearing the same name, released it's most recent issue with an interesting depiction of Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama. If you haven't seen it, I'm going to describe the images to you. The New Yorker is an American magazine that publishes reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. The main argument for this cover image was that it was political satire and that was all it was meant to be. Hmmmm. In the satirical cartoon the senator is clad in a turban (a blatant image to satisfy the accusations that he's a terrorist) and Michelle Obama is rockin' an afro, army fatigue, and a shot gun. It appears that the husband and wife team are "dappin' each other up." Oh and did I forget to mention that there is an American flag burning in the fireplace and portrait of what looks like Osama bin Ladin is hanging over the same fireplace. No matter how much the media tries to make this out to be "funny", it really boils down to blatant insult and a bold attack disguised as comedy. Even though the magazine is based around the satirical cartoons, they're making a serious statement and they always have. I'm not really sure what I want to ask today. I guess I just want some feedback and your thoughts on these recent instances. Feel free to share your thoughts on both. I'm just curious to hear what you all have to say . . .

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Strength Made Perfect

Most of the posts that I share with you all are drawn from personal experiences or experiences that friends and acquaintances share with me. Today is no different. Yesterday a close friend of mine and I were chatting online and we had a pretty profound conversation (as always). The conversation started with us chopping up our flaws. The things that we struggle with in relationships. The things that we have a hard time letting go of and the things that often times pose as hindrances in our dealings with men. (Sidebar: she’s in a pretty serious situation with a great guy that adores her) So we talked for a while and we both came to the conclusion that it all comes down to vulnerability, letting go, and embracing our strength in different ways (Tuesday’s post). Sacrificing who we think we’re supposed to be and be what we need to be for whomever it is that we’re with. The two of us are both pretty independent and have a hard time coupling our independence and self-sufficiency with dependence on whomever we’re dating at a particular time. This issue first arises when you’re trained in unhealthy relationships NOT to depend on someone that’s NOT dependable, but I digress. It’s almost as though dependence becomes a weakness in our eyes and it’s a hard thing to shake. We’re trained to be women as little girls but we’re not always trained to be women in relationships. That’s something we have to teach ourselves through trial and error. Because the two of us are so used to rollin’ dolo (for lack of a better phrase), we own it, and are comfortable with it, when we are with someone we don’t know how to switch or perfect the balancing act of being the independent woman and the woman who has dependence on the man that she loves. Please, don’t misunderstand this as meaning we are weak but in all honesty, there is a level of dependence on your partner that has to be present. Men need to feel wanted and needed. We know this yet we continue to struggle with allowing ourselves to need. I made this statement, “We train ourselves not to need (in this case a man) but in all actuality it’s the need for them that’s the only thing that feeds us.” Now as I’ve said before, I don’t claim to know it all as far as men, women, and relationships are concerned. That’s not the case at all. I think I’m just struggling with the dependent and independent thing and am looking for a little advice from my fantastic readers. Ladies, do you view dependence as evidence of your weakness? Is showing weakness in relationships a negative thing or is this further evidence of the soft strength that we as women have? How can we balance the two and be what we need for both our selves and our significant others? Just a few questions that I honestly don’t have the answers to.
P.S. I love quotes and one came to mind that aptly fits into today's discussion. 2 Corinthians 12:9(b) - For my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Help me out!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shortie's Buggin . . .

So I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine yesterday. He’s married and enlightened me on an issue that he and his wife have been struggling with for the past few days. This past weekend the couple spent some time in Richmond with family for the holiday and his mother prepared dinner and had some friends over. One of his mother’s friends brought along their daughter (college age) and from what my friend told me she was cute. Long story short . . . his wife noticed him admiring her “cuteness” and accused him of staring, being gross and disgusting, and being aroused (to put it mildly) throughout dinner. He denied the accusations and the two haven’t said more than a few words to each other since this weekend. Before posting this I offered some insight into the world of women and told him that this just may not be about him at all. I said, and I could very well be wrong, but I said that his wife could’ve very easily felt insecure because of the presence of another woman that she knew for herself was attractive. Instead of being secure in the fact that she had a wonderful man on her arm that loved her and just happened to find another woman attractive. After saying all of that I told him that I was going to get some advice from you all and forward what you say to him. So make it good! I will say that when I’m with a guy and I notice him notice another woman it can be annoying but it isn’t enough for me to blow anything out of proportion. Not if he’s just looking. I mean I’m with him and I notice other men as well. It’s the way that we’re built. Just because we may be in a relationship that doesn’t mean that we instantly go blind with the onset of commitment. However, I think there is a difference in the way that men versus women look at the people that they find attractive. Some men have a tendency to gawk while some women have a tendency to be more subtle with their appreciation of a good looking brotha. It’s all in how we do things. So, I’ve said all of that to say or rather to ask . . . Is there a need for an apology here or is my friends wife just buggin’? Personally, I think it’s the latter but help me out guys.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Too Strong?

Today's topic is pretty simple and straight forward and I look forward to hearing what you all have to say . . . as always. Being the type of person that loves to stir controversy and coupling that with the fact that I'm a passionate writer, I've developed a love for the Bad Boy of Radio, Michael Baisden. I listen to the show when I can and last night, one of his topics came to mind. He posed this very simple question and the discussion was enlightening, to say the least. Is there such thing as a woman being too strong? Now, my main audience is African American so feel free to apply ethnicity to the question of the day. I'll draw from my background to stir the pot of today's conversation . . . the women in my family are strong by nature. We can be loud and overbearing at times but there's a not-so-quiet strength that we all have (shot out to the Aiken women!!!) and some of us more than others. But I will be honest as much as I see this as being an asset, I've found it to be a liability as well. I've found myself in situations where I flew off the handle too soon, acted rashly, made some impulsive decisions (Ashley's "I refuse to be a doormat" mentality) and then "blamed it" on my strength as a black woman. A black Aiken woman. I guess I'm straddling the fence today but I really want to know . . . Is there such thing as a woman being too strong? Tag question: Can a woman's strength be a turn off to men? Just curious . . . Help me out!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th

What up guys! No deep thoughts today. I just want to wish all of you that are traveling this weekend safe travel. Those of you with sense enough not to drive ANYWHERE for $4.00 a gallon . . . kudos. LOL!!!! Independence has a new meaning for me so YES! I will be celebrating. Enjoy this long weekend, rest your minds, celebrate responsibly, be safe, be good and we'll pick up on Tuesday with the deepness! Love you guys! Smooches!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

MENtality - Mistake #3

I didn't leave you all hanging with the third and final mistake. Here it is and it's a pretty self-explanatory one. This one we can all contribute to and give feedback and personal experiences on. I will say that I have definitely made this mistake at least once. There really isn't a lot to preface this one with. So, here it is - mistake #3.

Mistake #3 - Not knowing how to size up a man's relationship potential.

I look forward to hearing what you all have to say and thanks to all of you that participated in this discussion. Peace out, homies!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

MENtality - Mistake #2

Well, damn! Yesterday’s blog concerning a woman’s mistake caught a little flack from my bloggers that are actually in relationships. Blog flack – the good kind that makes us talk, agree, disagree, or agree to disagree. And ironically enough, all of that happened, which I think is great. Some of you may disagree. Let me quickly explain my reasoning behind the statement “Too much physical contact, especially in public”. You all saw the question that was posted to counter Mistake #1. Let me just say that I believe that a woman’s connection to her man is FAR MORE than physical. The same goes for the man in that relationship. I am in no way a relationship expert. Believe me! I’m the Queen of relationship mistakes and I started this mini-series with that in mind so that we’d all get the help we needed. I will say that I think that women mistake touching as meaning “Oh we’re so connected.” That’s not always true. I’m not the PDA type. That’s just me, readers. I’m not bad-mouthing anyone that does it relentlessly and I would like to just go ahead and clear the air (this is not an apology for what I said). I will say, however, that I have some relationship things to work on when dealing with men. These are personal issues that I’m not ashamed to out to you all. So I’m not lovie-dovie – I’ll work on it. I’m also not going to renig on what I said about Mistake #1. On to Mistake #2 . . .

Mistake #2 – Appealing to a man’s sexual side rather than his emotional side.

Seeing as how this was meant for the men to talk about I think we’ll let the ladies chime in today (like they did yesterday) and give us some positive and negative feedback on this matter. We are all naturally sexual beings. Some of us more than others. Yes, it’s true that sex (more so great sex) aids in the connection that you have with your partner, but seeing as how sex was and is designed as an emotional connection I have a bit of a tag question and I believe I’ve asked this before . . . Why do you all think women rush to the sex aspect before tapping into a man’s emotions? Let me know . . .

MENtality (Reply question)

I had a female blogger send me this question in response to today's post! Here's another one for you guys to answer. Men tell the truth. Ladies feel free to share personal experiences.

I have a question though I'm not a dude, do men really not like physical contact (especially in public) my husband must be a minority cause he initiates it more than I do, and I know one of the other bloggers man is a student of PDA........are there men that think that is aggrevating (not that it matters anymore) but I was just wondering.
(Submitted by RockWill)

MENtality - Mistake #1

Okay so first I want to give a big shot out to Big Jerz for covering Tuesday’s topic of discussion and to all of you that slacked off with reading and responding Tuesday, don’t worry, you still have time to catch up. With that said, let’s move forward with our discussion. This week we’re cracking the MENtality and we’re getting some answers for the mistakes that we as women make in relationships gone sour. Again, I don’t believe breakups are to be attributed to the guy being an asshole. I believe that women do some unconscious things that cause the men in their lives to pull away. There are three mistakes that women make and each day I’m going to give a mistake, explain where we go wrong, and we’re going to figure out how to rectify these relationship missteps. I’m going to name them but I want the men to explain to me why these things turn them off. Again, gentlemen, we want brutal truth (gritting my teeth). Okay so mistake number one is pretty much a given. We all know this to be a turn off but I think we need to hear what men feel when this mistake is imposed in relationships. Here goes . . .

Mistake #1 – Having a man think that we’re needy and insecure. This includes:
• Talking and saying nasty things about a previous relationship
• Speaking negatively about other women
• Too much physical contact, especially in public

Okay so I have my own reasoning behind why these things can be a turn off to men but I’m not a man and we need to hear why you guys have been turned off by a woman’s NEEDS and INSECURITIES. A few blogs back I got a comment from a male blogger that touched on this subject briefly (day two of LOVE – Ex-Why?-Zzzzz). This is an attempt to make our dealings with each other more effective and less . . . questionable. So to evade the frustration of not being able to “get” each other, we have to ask questions.

Question: Why is a NEEDY or INSECURE woman a turn off?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2008 BET Awards Review

We'll pickup with our MENtality discussion tomorrow but I wanted to know what you all felt about today's topic while it was still hot and fresh in our minds. Last night the 2008 BET Awards aired on . . . BET. This is a fairly new awards show but it garners significant media attention and ratings from fans of the artists featured. This year there was an abundance of hype generated and with good reason. They have to get us to watch. So in case you missed it . . . Usher opened the show with his first single off of his recent album release LOVE IN THIS CLUB. I’ve been a fan of the song since I first heard it and a fan of Usher’s for years and must say, he’s done far better than his performance last night. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything to talk about other than what I’m saying right now. With the features on the first single – Jeezy, T.I. and Beyonce on the remix – he did the entire song alone. I just wasn’t feeling it. Honestly most of the performances were less than mediocre. It seemed that the artists went off of the fact that they were asked to perform and not that they had a fan base that was expecting them to give them a show. I was hardly impressed. Ne-Yo was the only performer that performed something new and did the song justice. I love me some Ne-Yo! I was looking forward to the opening and finale (Lil’ Wayne) of the show, but it was the middle portion that got the best response. The tribute to Al Greene was stellar. Jill Scott did her thing with STILL IN LOVE, Anthony Hamilton put it down and Maxwell, yes ya’ll Maxwell, made me quake. But the Reverend got on the stage and performed after his tribute and did classics like LOVE AND HAPPINESS and LET”S STAY TOGETHER. These are songs that we’ll never forget the words of and that will always be applicable to situations that we go through to this day. Many of last night’s performers were more than forgettable, but Al Greene’s tribute stole the show. When you can see a self-proclaimed thug stand up and sing a classic like LET”S STAY TOGETHER word-for-word you’ve made music that’s immortal. That’s what it’s all about. I don’t really feel that any other performance was really worth mentioning so . . . holla atcha girl! What did you think of the 2008 BET Awards?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MENtality -

So I’ve said time and time again how I adore men, how I value the relationships I’ve built with them, and even how I have a tendency to think as men think. For the next four days we’re going to attempt to concentrate on the latter statement. When you approach a situation the way a man does it’s much different than the ways of the softer sex. No nonsense, no bullshit, and a seemingly emotionless approach to their reality (again, that’s seemingly; there is an emotional nature to their being EMOTIONLESS).
I love being a woman as well – I mean, let’s face it, it’s a pretty powerful thing - and many of the other posts that we’ve chopped up together have been written from woman’s perspective. But for these next couple of posts I want to deal with the ladies while advocating the side of the man. Before I go into today’s question, I want to say a few things to the ladies that read daily. We’ve all been hurt, disappointed, confused, elated, ecstatic, thrilled – all because of a man, but the more negative consequences of our dealings with men are the ones we dwell on the most. Especially after a break up. “What did I do wrong?”, “Where did we go wrong?”, “I thought he loved me.” Yeah, we’ve all said it and we all have a girlfriend that says, “Girl, he was a jerk. Forget about him.” Whether it’s applicable or not, it’s the easiest response. And honestly I believe that the jerk factor is one of the most INFREQUENT reasons for a guy wanting to leave us alone. So your girlfriend says, “Forget about him!” Unfortunately the opposite happens and that situation is all we seem to think about. Bear with me guys, I’m getting to you all in just a second. There’s a reason why we dwell on the negative and can’t seem to figure it out. I believe that this is because just like men say they don’t “get” us . . . they’re an even more difficult book to read for women. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that if we as women position ourselves to ask men the RIGHT questions, I think we’ll get better results. Ladies we’re approaching our romantic relationships with the wrong MENtality. Today I’m going to ask a very simple question and it’s for the MEN to answer. Most of the men that are on this email list are in significant relationships (married, dating, or you have a woman in your life that’s worth your time) so I look forward to some honesty be it concerning the woman in your life now or the woman you want to be in your life. Now let me go back to the ladies really quickly. I’m asking this question today, but I need for you all to ask it of the men in your lives. The question is so simple but you’d be surprised by the response we’re going to get. Now I can give you a list of questions that we love to ask as women – What type of woman turns you on? What type of woman turns you off? How do you feel about me? Do you love me? Now that last one is a very important one nonetheless but today's question is far more important for you to get to that love question. Ready? Here is the question that every woman needs to ask a man and here is the question that I need all the men to answer HONESTLY . . . What type of woman do you RESPECT? Now we’re going to have the men answer today and we’ll apply those answers to the rest of the week’s activities. Trust me this is going to be good. So, again, to the fellas . . . . What type of woman do you RESPECT?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Guess what . . .I have a BLACK CARD

Tonight sitting in my den as I do every night, I’m sitting and pondering what to write about for tomorrow. I have an idea but the words won’t come to me the way that I need them to. I’m so passionate about the subject of blackness and being a black woman, I took for granted that all of my readers were African American. Ignorance on my part. I’ve learned that I have some regular readers that are not black, which I think is phenomenal. Still I refuse to sugarcoat a thing. I don’t regret a word I’ve spoken about racial issues. Because black or white – racism still exists. My initial intent was to try my hand at explaining blackness to my white readers. Then I thought to myself, “Ashley, that’s like a dog trying to explain to a cat what it’s like to be a dog.” They don’t speak the same language. That cat will never understand the dog’s plight. People automatically having an innate fear because the dog barks and doesn’t meow. People thinking that it’s sharp teeth are merely for ripping flesh and not for eating plain old dog food. Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not in any way likening BLACKNESS to being an animal – although we’ve been called animals for centuries, but I believe the same issues apply.
I’ll start with the fear scenario. A couple of days ago I emailed a young lady that had posted a listing that she needed a roommate. She immediately responded to what I’d said to her. I gave her the spill – 25 year old, college grad, professional job, looking to attend grad school in the fall, the whole nine. Person to person. Not black person to white person. Just simple human conversation. She seemed pleased and excited to meet with me. It was very urgent to HER that we get everything squared away, come see where I’d be living, discuss when she needed the security deposit – brass tax, basically. So I pull up to the house, knock on the door, and she opens it and her eyes become the size of baseballs. “You . . . you’re Ashley?” (No exaggeration) I wasn’t invited in. I had to ask if I could see the space that I was to be occupying. She reluctantly let me in and did her best to get me out of that house as soon as she could. I was fed the line . . . “Oh I have six other people that want to take a look so I’m not really sure what we’ll decide.” After having told me that it was mine for the taking. She was threatened by the fact that I didn’t look like her.
FEAR of the dog. The cat will never, never, never understand what that dog goes through. I can’t and never will be able to explain to my white readers what it means to be black. At first when you think about it, it’s frustrating. “You don’t get it! You just don’t get it!” But I stepped back and thought about the BLACK CARD. Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna start callin’ it. Let me explain really quickly. I’m sure you’ve heard of millionaires – namely celebrities acquiring Black Credit Cards – credit cards with no limits. This is a privilege. Credit companies don’t just hand these out like candy. You’ve got to be able to handle (from a financial standpoint) what possessing one of these cards comes with. The responsibilities that it brings. You gotta protect it so no one else gets their hands on it. It’s a prize and you often hear people that have them boast about the fact that they do. On February 12, 1983 I was handed a BLACK CARD, a card with no limits and endless possibility but a hell of a lot of responsibility. Being black is a prize to me. Something to brag about. I take pride in my BLACKNESS. I was worthy enough to be dealt a BLACK CARD . . . because I can handle it. It’s a privilege to be black. I’ve made it big because I have a BLACK CARD. Call it an opinion if you want . . . but it’s my truth. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Systematic Oppression

So I’ve “suddenly” started dealing with my race and many of you know what I mean. I’ve mentioned some instances with a handful of you on this email list and I wanted to get your views on today’s topic. I had two very candid conversations with two very special bloggers last night and much of today’s content can be accredited to said bloggers, but I digress. All of my regular readers are African American so I’m not going to sugarcoat what’s been on my mind. As a child I was raised around nothing but white kids. My siblings and I went to predominately white schools. I attended private schools in high school, so I went through that part of my life believing that “white was right” as the saying goes. Then I upped, applied, got accepted and attended a Historically Black University which taught me a lot concerning today’s society (in both positive and negative ways). As an alum of North Carolina A&T State University, black was what I came to know. Yes, I’m black but it became a custom to me. I was used to being in classes with nothing but people that looked like me, that understood me, and could identify with many of the same issues. Black was my primary society, which wasn’t reality. Let’s be real – we [African Americans] aren’t the norm.
All of my close college friends are black. Most of my courses were based around praising the capacity of Blackness which I appreciate and treasure beyond measure, but on the flip side of that, the fact of the matter is that I wasn’t adequately prepared for what I’m dealing with now. THE SYSTEM. The thing that we mention casually or in a sardonic, mordacious or joking manor but don’t realize the complexity and potency of the issue. No it’s not 1945. It’s 2008 and the racism that we experience is more dangerous than ever before. Mainly because it’s less blatant and I think that most individuals – both white and black – think that racism is a blatant act of hatred. But the more subtle act is far more severe. THE SYSTEM. I can only speak from personal experience. I work in a predominately Caucasian industry and am constantly bombarded with the bullshit question, “How can YOU be BLACK?” Let me explain. Better still, let me give you all an example.
I have a Caucasian sounding name – Ashley McCann. My office phone voice is very professional and can be mistaken for a woman of a different race – namely an educated white woman. My email dialect is dense with etiquette and words that show that I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about, and more importantly, that I’m educated. So with all that said, the industry that I work in is dominated by nothing but SOUTHERN WHITE MALES and when I met many of my clients face-to-face, jaws dropped. “You’re Ashley?” “The Ashley that handles print sales for MY company?” “Really?” I’m the only black woman in an office of all white counterparts as I’ve said in a previous blog (New America) and I’ve come to realize the fight that we, as black individuals, have to fight by default. We constantly fight stereotypes, racism, and even the stereotypes that we’ve been forced to impose on ourselves. Crazy, huh?
I don’t know that I really have a question today. I think I just want to hear some personal experiences from you all concerning today’s issue. THE SYSTEM. Well maybe I do have a question or a couple for that matter. When does the fight end or is it perpetual? Does the fight define the resilience and strength of our race? Don’t you all answer at once but you know I love to hear what you have to say. Keep me reading and let me know what you think, what you’ve experienced, whatever! I want to know. The beauty of it all is, in spite of what I’m dealing with and will continue to deal with, I know that my struggle is neither something that I’ll deal with alone or something that is in vain. What can we say? We’re black for a reason. How do you deal with the fortunate, yet seemingly unfortunate card you’ve been dealt? I guess that’s three questions. This should make for an interesting discussion.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Carter III

It’s a week to day of the greatly anticipated release of Wayne’s THE CARTER III. A good portion of you that are on my email list are music lovers, I have a couple music producers in the mix and many of you claim a particular genre that tickles your fancy more than another. Me, I have an eclectic ear and developed a love affair with Dwayne Carter when I discovered my love for poetry. Poetry? Yes, poetry. This review is not a straight-forward hip-hop review. I’m writing from a poetic standpoint and as a Weezy fan I must say . . . THE CARTER III is the epitome of immaculate verse. LOLLIPOP was the first single for the album I quickly fell in and out of love with the single because of video and radio rotation, but I’ve come to find that the songs that aren’t released for radio or video are usually the best songs on an album. My personal favorites are Dr. Carter, Mrs. Officer featuring Bobby Valentino, and Let the Beat Build (so far). These are the ones that I keep on 3Peat (another track on the album). I personally believe that real hip-hop and poetry are intertwined. Again, that's real hip-hop. Some may question the state of hip-hop but with the release of THE CARTER III it’s evident that Wayne has not renounced his seat as the Poetic King of the Game. Metaphorically and lyrically, he brought it with little to no effort. And to me, that’s what poetry is. His flow with this one is crazy and his mic is his conduit. Dr. Carter has revived my flow and I have my vocab I.V. in as we speak. His style has evolved and personally I’m more than pleased with what I hear. Now today’s blog is no different. To all my music lovers, holla atch girl and give me your views on THE CARTER III. For those of you that don't know . . . I guess you're out of the loop today.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The WHY? - Reader questions Pt4

Hello all! I'd first like to begin today's blog on Friday, June 13th to wish one very special blogger a happy, happy birthday! So happy birthday J.P.!!!!!! Okay so we're continuing with the questions - The Why?'s of LOVE - and a couple were submitted to me yesterday and this morning. I'm asking these questions word for word the way they've been submitted. Give a listen and if you feel like it try to give an answer as well! Can't wait to hear your thoughts . . .

1 - Can you weigh love? A lot of times couples ask "do you love me?" "Yes!" "How much" and I've been thinking how do you really answer that. Can you weigh love, or is love to much to even weigh? (Submitted by RockWill)

2 - Insomnia is the beast that wrestled with me last night! During my battle, hundreds of thoughts raced through my mind. This is one that stayed long enough for contemplation-- And for the record- I am very aware of those normal bloggers that have been responding and how they are completely smitten and in love with the very faint sweet scent that is left behind when their companion leaves the room.... YEAH YEAH YEAH....BUT..... just .... suppose........and indiscretion occurs. I won't clarify or qualify that word- take it for what it's worth!
If YOU committed the indiscretion, Do YOU tell them........or if THEY committed the act... do YOU wanna know?
Not to be a buzz kill, just a thought! (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The WHY? - Reader questions Pt3

This is getting good, guys! The participation is astounding and I look forward to hearing more from all of you today. I'd also like to welcome the new bloggers! So . . . WELCOME! I decided to put in my two cents and ask a couple questions today as well. My girls came correct with these other questions so answer as many as you wish! Please don't hesitate to send me more provoking, argument stirring (and I mean that in a good way) questions and we'll get them posted and answered for you! The way this is going this may trickle into next week. Here we go . . .

1 - Why is it that women instantly become insecure when you know your man (or significant other) is in the presence of other women, all the while knowing he sees them and may even find them attractive but still isn't interested? Why do women (or men for that matter) struggle so heavily with insecurity in relationships? (Submitted by Ace)

2 - "All you need is love." - Is this quote true? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

3 - Is it better to win a woman through her heart or through intelligence? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

4 - Is it better to have free access to a person we love, but that doesn't fully return our love or to be loved perfectly by someone who is not free to us (i.e. free access)? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

5 - In relationships communication is so vital. We all know this to be true. But what part of communication is a more important communication tool - talking or listening? (Submitted by RockWill)

6 - Why is love so hard? (Submitted by Ace)

The WHY? - Reader questions Pt2

Okay so the two questions that I've received will probably have you all thinking for the rest of the day! LOL!!! So, let's get some answers. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. No holds barred. Be honest! Anything you feel is open for discussion. Let's get it!

Question 1 - Ok so I am not a morbid thinker, but my lover and I were talking over this past weekend and we had an intimate moment and he looked at me and he said "baby, I love you so much that I couldn't take you dying before me I would want to go before you" as we lie there tears softly rolled down my cheek because I never expected a comment like that. Some times in relationships we take so many things for granted even's amazing to me. My question is how deep do you feel about the love you have for your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend? He really made me look at him in a totally different light. (Submitted by Rockwill)

Question 2 - Why do women want men to commit to something he knows he can't uphold ? Why not just let the dude take his time and get there when he's sure ? Damn I'm good at this shit ! LOL !!! Ladies, umm...MAN UP !!! (Submitted by big jerz)

The Why? Continued

Let me start off by saying I LOVE MY READERS! Those of you that take the time to read and respond are wonderful! The response that you all gave with the open forum was incredible. So, I thought to myself "Why end there?" I know the three questions asked yesterday weren't the only relationship related questions you've ever asked yourself or someone else. Dig deep! I'm ready whenever you all are!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The WHY? - Reader questions . . .

*Note to readers - with whichever question you ask please include the corresponding number to the question/answer.

1 - I guess my question has two parts. Why is it that men are so afraid to show how much they really love a woman? I mean you can tell that they do, but they will fight themselves until they are sick to death, but won't give in. Is it fair for the woman to wait for him to say those three words. I mean we see this happen everyday, I work with a couple of people like that. I would like to hear the man answer the man question, and another woman answer the woman answer please. Yeah, that's right I'm taking Ashley's spot today. (Submitted by RLW)

2 - Why in the Hell do women expect us to READ YOUR MINDS instead of saying EXACTLY....EXACTLY what you want us to know ? C'Mon Now, HOLLA BACK ! (Submitted by big jerz)

3 - Do you ever really lose love for the one before? (Submitted by lovinthisjourney)

The WHY?

Here is your opportunity to let it all hang out. Whatever love/relationship questions you may have you can either reply with your question via email or as a posted blog comment. We'll post the question as a blog and then get some answers to the WHY?'s! Okay . . . have at it! Don't be shy. Believe me if you're asking this question, it's probably crossed the minds of one or more readers in the past. An open forum . . . so shoot. Oh and I don't have all the answers so we're going to work as a team with this little interactive activity! Got it? Here goes . . .

Monday, June 9, 2008

Love Ex-Why?-Zzzzzzzz

So I decided to use this week as a love session. An open forum of sorts; discussing the exes, why’s, and zzzzz’s of love. I plan on having fun with this and use it as an interactive setting for you to post stories and ask questions. Let me take a moment to explain the “letters” of the alphabet. The exes – discussing the complexity of any past love (first love or any core-shaking, heart-wrenching love). The Why? – any love question that may have crossed your mind over the course of any short or long term “affair.” The zzzzz’s – the snoozers we hate to remember but can’t seem to forget. The boring lovers, the transitional people that took up a space on the tic-toc clock of love while what we needed and wanted was out of sight yet not out of mind. Keep in mind these transitional “lovers” always have a lesson for us to learn. Always. Open your mind and think about the daily topics and have fun with your answers or the stories that you feel comfortable enough to share. This doesn’t mean that depth is out of the question but still . . . I think with some of the topics we think too hard and don’t really listen and tap into their simplicity. They’re a lot simpler than they seem (or read). So, here goes . . . a series of love related questions and stories that we might all ask or endure when in love, while seeking love, while leaving a love(r), or just in general conversation. If you don’t get it, flow with it, or get my gist, feel free to pass but my true blog fans, I expect something out of you. So here goes . . .

Today’s “letter” - The WHY: Why is it that when in love we seem to lose ourselves? You mention the others name more than your own. They become priority over YOU. Their needs seem to be more important and their happiness becomes the remedy to your happiness. Now if you’ve never been in love (for real) then you probably can’t relate to the questions at hand. But, if in fact, love has bitten you on the ass at least once you can answer at least one of these questions. So, once again . . . here’s the question in a nutshell . . . Why is it so easy to get lost in love?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New America

This morning I walked into an office of all white counterparts and was thrilled to say that my candidate won the Democratic nomination. I got several dirty looks and was told that my happiness was inappropriate because it showed that there was a problem in this country. My blood began to boil fast but I held my tongue momentarily. I thought to myself . . . Isn't your reaction even more evidence of that fact. So I settled myself and chose my words wisely. "I don't expect anyone in this office to understand my excitement. This is more than a nomination. History was made and this is my history." You could've heard a pin drop. I'm still a little peeved by the blatant statements that were made and am wondering is there ever really going to be a change. Obama is more than just a Black man (yes we know he's a product of an interracial relationship but let's be real). He's an incredible candidate for the presidency and yes I just happen to be thrilled that my race has been represented more than well! And Michelle is an incredible example of a Black woman in support of her husband. The representation that we've received as a race has been exquisite. Why is my excitement inappropriate?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bone Dry

Hello bloggers! I've gotten some feedback (both good and bad) and I needed a little help from you all. Seeing as how you all read the blog, some of you take the time to respond, or even cut and paste the blogs into emails and send them to friends and coworkers, I thought that maybe you wouldn't mind letting me know what you wanted to talk about. What topics make you think? What haven't you heard anyone address? Anything that's compelling and thought provoking pertaining to LIFE is fair game for a blog topic. Shoot me a line or two and I'll write about whatever you want to talk about! Thanks guys!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Secret Sex

There is an infamous episode that shares the same title as today’s blog. In this particular episode, Miranda is dating a guy that she will only allow in her bed but she won’t introduce him to her friends. Really? Interesting. Now, how is it that one can practice a sexual relationship with someone – they’ve seen you naked, heard every moan and groan, shared one of the most intimate parts of you – and you can’t bring them around your friends? Now this isn’t a play on people that your friends and family have, in deed, met. If they don’t bring them around you a lot well . . . that’s another topic. I’m talking about people that no one has seen – only you and the four walls of wherever it goes down. As I’ve stated in previous blogs, I have a lot of male friends and I love to be a fly on the wall and listen to how they talk about women, love, and relationships. I’ve heard a few of my male friends speak of women that they’d only “do” but wouldn’t dare bring them around “the people”, so to speak. That’s men. From a woman’s perspective, how in the world can you share such an intimate and private part of yourself with someone that you obviously don’t even care enough about to mention to the people you love, let alone bring them around? Once again, this is a top-secret lover, one you don’t mention – no one even knows they exist. What’s the deal with secret sex and why do we do it?

The Chicken or the Sex

There is another Sex and the City episode that stands out in my mind. It explores the timeless conundrum, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I’ll elaborate. In this particular episode, Carrie is in a purely sexual relationship with a guy that she wants to have a legitimate relationship with. The sex is insane but that's really all there is. He's so used to that aspect of their connection that a relationship is hardly pressing. On the flip side, her girl Samantha is in a relationship with someone that she wants to revert to a purely sexual relationship with (keep in mind, Samantha is the sexually liberated one of the bunch). So, Carrie asks the question: Which comes first, the chicken or the sex? Huh? Just listen. I want to know if it is at all possible to build a lasting relationship with someone that you know only through a physical relationship or is foundation vital to mind-blowing sex and a lasting relationship?

Sex Like a Man Pt. 2

Now, in exploration of yesterday’s topic, I did some diggin’. I thought about what I’d asked and continued to ponder the complexity of sex from a woman’s perspective. I recalled a quote that I’d seen on a website that stated rather blatantly, “Date like a guy and you won’t get played like a bitch.” I must admit that for a little while I had this posted on one of my online pages and for a period made an attempt at dating this way. That period was precisely a moment in duration, but I digress. If, in fact, one takes on this mantra and ambitiously sets out to live their life this way – woman or man – isn’t hurt inevitable? My assumption – and frankly my distorted reasoning behind attempting this – is that people reason that adopting this dating approach will evade having their heart broken. But think about it. Dating with a man’s mentality (and I’m not talking about all men) usually comes back to bite someone on the ass and oft times the culprit is the one that comes out looking foolish. So, I’ll reiterate the question. Better still, I’ll rephrase it. While trying to apply dating like a guy to your dating strategy, isn’t devastation inevitable in the long run?

Sex Like a Man

One of my favorite shows is the HBO series Sex and the City and in honor of the full-length feature release on May 30, I decided to use this week as a series-based block of discussion. I’ll be pulling from poignant episodes in addition to other sources, as I’ve done before. If you’ve never seen an episode, you should at least know that the show is about a group of women that live their lives dating and sharing their dating experiences in the Big Apple. In the very first episode of the series, the topic of women having sex like men is explored and two of the women went on missions to see if they could, in deed, detach themselves from the emotionalism of sex and just enjoy the act as is. No strings. Just sex. Samantha, the more sexually liberated one of the clan, had already mastered this practice and was enjoying life bouncing from one bed to another – like men have a tendency to do. Carrie ran into an old flame and decided to turn him into a fling. They made small talk, went back to his place for a mid-day romp, she got dressed and left. After leaving the apartment she wore a luminous smile and the voice over stated, “I’d just had sex like a man.” I found this to be interesting, at best. Never having been one to ever want to attempt having more than one partner, I found this baffling. How can a woman – being such an emotional creature, wanting to love and nurture all that we do – detach herself from something as emotionally involved as sex? Is it possible? Can a woman really have sex like a man?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ordinary People

I just wanted to add one more thing to the GET LIFTED Series. This series was meant to open our eyes and look at love, life, and relationships through the eyes of the opposite sex. But at the end of the day, we’re all just ordinary people. I don’t believe that we make mistakes but we do make ill decisions that often times we don’t realize affect others – especially those we love. There's what we do and what we don't do. Both are, in fact, conscious decisions. I didn’t spend time writing these blogs and reading your comments just to sound deep. Honestly, I didn’t even do it for some of the awesome responses that I’ve gotten. I did it so that you’d remember what was said, think about it, evaluate it and then, in turn, evaluate your actions. So with that said, thanks for reading and I hope you all look forward to the next block of discussion-fueled topics. I know I am! Emwha!!!!! Peace and love all!


When the word enamored is used it’s usually coupled with some type of heaven-sent feeling one develops for someone they love or want to love. One of my favorite bloggers gave me a great idea to conclude this series and I decided to run with it. Seeing as how this series was based around fidelity or more so, infidelity this just made perfect sense. When we’ve been cheated on whether you stay with the person that cheated or not, we have a tendency to develop this fascination with the person they cheated with. What did they look like? How much money do they make? What do they drive? Do they know about me? Do they know what I look like? Can they do what I do (enough said)? An example comes to mind. In the later days of Bill Cosby’s sitcom A DIFFERENT WORLD, Whitley and Dwayne were planning their wedding and the stress of the planning pushes him away and in turn, he “cheats’ on her. Well, in essence, he goes on a date but it doesn’t get any farther than dinner. He's open and honest with her (Wednesday's topic). In an instant, after finding out that she’s been betrayed, she becomes obsessed. Every woman that passes her she says, “Maybe it’s her!” Funnily enough, her best girlfriend Kim, who knows who the chick is, yells out “It’s not her, okay!” I’m not ashamed to admit that I became fascinated with the other woman once and couldn’t understand why. Not why I wasn't the only one, but why I was obsessed with the idea of this person. After a while, I was shocked as to how much I actually knew about her. We have a tendency to put them down. “She’s not even that cute!” But that’s another topic all together. So, to all of my wonderful readers, let’s end this block of discussion on a high. Why are we ENAMORED by the other person?

Shot out to Big Jerz for this one! I love you, dude!


This past week’s series entitled GET LIFTED has made for enlightening and honest conversation and discussion. So much so, I was kind of stumped on what to write about today. Then I got to thinking, as usual. I began to listen to Lauren Hill’s 1998 solo project, The Miseducation of Lauren Hill. On the album she has a song entitled ExFactor. I listened and thought some more. I asked myself this question: What happens when we leave? Do we really leave? I know you’re thinking, what is she talking about? And if you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing the lyrics to this song then I can understand you being a little lost. I’ll elaborate. A little while ago I had a funny conversation with an ex-coworker/friend about a situation. We joked about how we always go back to what we know or better still, what we’re used to. We laughed and talked about some of the guys that we used to date and the ones we really loved. Towards the end of the conversation she said, “An ex is never really an ex.” Now if this is true, you’ve called yourself “moving on” and you’re ready to venture out and groove with someone new, how do you let the past go? The funny thing is, when you talk to some people that still fool around with their exes they usually don’t have anything really positive to say about them. “I mean that’s really all I know,” “We have history,” “That was my high school sweetheart.” What happens when they’re no longer so sweet? Yet you maintain a connection. What’s the hold up and why can’t we let go of what we know isn’t good for us? Especially when that good thing is staring you right in the face.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spiteful Booty

And so the saying goes, “There’s nothing like a woman scorned.” I usually use a movie as a reference and today is no different. One of my all time favorite movies is the BEST MAN, released in 1999 and starring Taye Diggs and Nia Long (as well as a host of other great African-American actors). And of course, this is a Spike Lee production so I had to include it in this series (and it’s directed by his brother Malcolm D. Lee). The movie is centered around a wedding. Some college friends reconnect for the big shin-dig around the time that one of the clan, Harper, the writer (Taye Diggs) gets ready to release his first novel, which airs some “dirty laundry”. By the end of the film the crew figures out that Harper had a fling with the groom’s bride-to-be and, needless to say, all hell breaks lose. I want to talk about Mia’s intent, the bride (Monica Calhoun). Lance, the groom (Morris Chestnut) is doing his thing throughout the relationship and it doesn’t help that he’s a professional athlete (wink-wink). She gets fed up and decides to gut-punch that ass and hit him where it hurts. She sleeps with his best friend – the best man. Damn! Scandalous, ain't it? Now, I don't believe that she ever wanted any of this to come out. She did it on the sly - in a very cunning and, might I add, commendable way. She wasn't blatant and loud with hers. Whether Lance knew or not, she did it and the idea was enough to satisfy the revenge she was seeking. He never really needed to know. She and Harper were really the only two that needed to know. However, Lance admits at the end of the movie, "I always knew she'd been with someone else." The fact that his best friend was "that self-serving, back-stabbing bastard" was added ammo. Women are naturally vindictive creatures. When we’re hurt, we go for the gusto. Unfortunately, I can recall some rash decisions I’ve made out of anger and the backlash wasn’t . . . well . . . good. And if you’ve seen this movie, you know that the backlash here was hellacious, to say the least. Today’s question, Why do we feel the need for revenge when we’ve been hurt?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Half Truths and Entire Lies

At the beginning of this relationship series I posed this question: If the person that you’re with does, in fact, dip out, creep, or mess around and takes the measure of keeping it from you for your benefit (and theirs as well) does that discount their love for you or does it show how much they care (for lack of a better word) to keep you from finding out and being hurt? I mean Jody said it best to Yvette in John Singleton's BABY BOY, "I'm out here tellin' these ho's the truth. I lie to you 'cause I care about yo' feelin's." This question was raised with the knowledge that they are, in fact, together. On the flip side, Monday I mentioned a couple of situations where people that were in love weren’t together for whatever reason and were having outside affairs or meantime romances. But in each case the “victimized” party was told of what happened and I believe this shows a type of care and concern as well. The “doers” were open and honest (forcibly or by choice) about what went down. Sometimes these statements can be malicious. “Yeah, I slept with him” or “ Damn right, Keisha let me hit. You weren’t anywhere to be found” or "Well, I hadn't heard from you and I needed it. What do you expect me to do?" This is juvenile and not the basis of today’s topic of discussion. But when the two parties are separated yet there is still that love connection and they reconnect, isn’t honesty the only policy?

Disconnected Cheating (Meantime Romance)

I think that many of my liberal views concerning relationships stem from the friendships that I’ve acquired and many of them have been with men. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that men have a tendency to be nonchalant when it comes to love and relationships. Well . . . unless it has anything at all to do with today’s topic. Two of my guy friends and I were talking a little over a year ago and one of them was going on about how he wanted his ex back. However, while on hiatus from him, she’d found “pleasure” elsewhere and he couldn’t understand how she could’ve wronged him in that way after all they’d been through together. I think I responded with, “Men do it. Why can’t women?” But my other friend shook his head and answered, “Nah. That’s different.” My friend longing for his ex responded to that and said something to the effect of, “Once mine, always mine.” Interesting. Now keep in mind, he never made mention of the dirt he’d done while they were actually together. Although, he seemed to capitalize on what she’d done while they were apart. I can also reference an infamous FRIENDS episode when Ross and Rachel were “on a break” but Ross decides he wants to see other women in the meantime and sleeps with the hot girl that worked at the copy shop. Rachel finds out and is distraught and has conveniently forgotten that they were not together officially when this event took place. Now out of these two complex scenarios (of which both sexes have been on either side of the fence), I’m going to pose two questions for discussion.

1. Why the double standard (women can’t do what men do)?
2. And, Is there such a thing as cheating “on a break”?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Deciding Factor

Anyone that knows me well enough knows how much of a die-hard Spike Lee fan I am. One of my favorite Spike Lee films is Mo’ Better Blues released in 1990 and starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee. Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington’s character) is torn between two women. Both of these women (Indigo and Clark) offer something that the other doesn’t and a lot of these traits are very keen and aren’t readily noticeable. This is why these relationships are so unique. He’s not just sleeping with them. He’s in two actual relationships. Both women know about each other, mind you. And they play the game “As long as you don’t say the bitches name, I’m cool.” While deep down they’re broken and just as confused as the man that they share. He cares very deeply for Clark but he’s madly in love with Indigo and this obviously scares him. He renigs on a lot of things that he’s told her – mainly how much he does love her. In the end, circumstances force him to make a decision and he chooses Indigo and they get married and have a son, Miles. For me, this storyline rings true on many different levels and I’m sure that many of my readers, both men and women, can identify with competing with someone else in a relationship. The question of the day is, if you come upon a situation where you have real feelings for two people (male or female) how do you choose?

So she creeps . . .

In 1994 the R&B trio TLC released a song on their CrazySexyCool album entitled "Creep" and as you can see, I’ve used that as today’s blog topic. The song became the topic of discussion for people in relationships during that time and has since become a timeless source to draw from. The lyrics were written from a woman-in-need's perspective. She knows she’s being cheated on, so in turn, she reciprocates the action. I personally don’t think the intentions for the song are malicious. This is a lonely woman, in love with her “significant other” or entrĂ©e as I like to call them, and she’s in need of some attention and affection. The groove of the song is light-hearted but the premise is deep. I think people automatically assume that their intentions are to go out and sleep with whomever will pay them a little bit of attention (which some women do) or that they’re sleeping around to vindicate the lack of attention. I disagree. Creeping could mean a plethora of things – a quiet dinner with an attractive someone that’s into you, frequently intense emails with an old flame that you refuse to throw water on to extinguish, or doing just enough to get what you need or want from your lover a la carte - be it money, getting your hair and nails done, or bills paid. Ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t front. One of my bloggers posted a comment about yesterday’s topic and one thing that he said stood out to me. He said, “That’s why it’s said that women are better cheaters!” This is an open discussion. A battle of the sexes, if you will. The question: Why are women better cheaters?

Significant Infidelity

I decided to change topics for a while and start a series entitled GET LIFTED. The series is based off of John Legend’s first album and will deal with the main subject of the album – relationships and fidelity. Although I’m using this as my main focus, I’ll draw from many sources (i.e. movies, other albums, radio discussions, personal discussions, etc.). For today’s topic, I’ve opted to go with one of my favorite songs from the album entitled “Number One.” He opens the song with a priceless verse. “You can’t say I don’t love you just because I cheat on you. ‘Cause you can’t see all I do to keep you from knowing the things I do.” Now, I’m about to play the devil’s advocate. In a day and age where infidelity is common-place, this statement is not just hilariously true (to me) but it also raises the question of does infidelity really mean that there is lack of love in a relationship? Back in the day, men were more prone to dippin’ out on the one’s they were “committed” to. Now-a-days, women have peeped game and have learned to play it almost better than the other sex. This isn’t to discount love and relationship but if the person that you’re with does, in fact, dip out, creep, or mess around and takes the measure of keeping it from you for your benefit (and theirs as well) does that discount their love for you or does it show how much they care (for lack of a better word) to keep you from finding out and being hurt?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Church vs. God

So I have a bit of an issue. It's nothing new but this is the first time that I'm well, posting it online for everyone to read. I will be the first person to admit that I have flaws, issues, hang-ups - the whole nine but when it comes to my life as it applies to church I guess I get a little confused. I don't even really think that I'm confused I think that people in church are more confused than I. I've struggled with the ubiquitous hypocrisy that I've seen in church for a while now. My main thing is how people can constantly lie to themselves and think that their relationship is with the people in the congregation and not with God. So concerned with who sees you doing what or who might find out. Talking out of both sides of your mouth and telling people what not to do and pretending that you're without sin or flaw. The quote that I'm about to use might raise hairs but it's from one of my favorite rap artists, Jay-Z. In a song on his latest AMERICAN GANGSTER Jay-Z addresses this issue in a song aptly entitled "Ignorant Shit". He repeats this phrase . . . "Let's stop the bull sh**ttin'. Til we all wit' out sin let's quit the pulpittin'." Maybe that's a paradoxical analysis but it makes sense to me. I mean really . . . who are you to judge my relationship with God? I guess I've said all that to say that confusion lies in ones unhealthy relationship with church people/members of the body and not with God himself. We all struggle and deal with things but until you can say that your life is spotless, I feel like you're out of place giving anyone any type of direction. My "beef" is only with the people in church that hold positions in the church that govern over the lives of God's people. I'm assuming people don't take into account how serious this is. Any thoughts?