Wake up Mr. West!

Please note, that everything that I will post about the artist Kayne West is not to paint an unfair picture of him as a human being but to simply paint with the supplies I have been given. I truly understand, the importance of providing an example for the world that is influential and unbiased, however, I can only influence the world with what I have experienced or witnessed myself. With that being said—By now, I am almost certain that the whole world has read the blogs, watched every news outlet and scrolled through their timelines on any social media outlet to be sadly disappointed in yet another Kanye West ‘free-thinking rant’. And yes, I use that term ‘free-thinking’ very loosely when referring to Kanye.Kanye West
Over the last week, Kanye West has proven to be the second biggest ignorant human being in the world. With the outrageous and insulting stunts he has pulled over the last few years, I think his ‘free-thinking’ twitter rant, TMZ interview and infamous Donald Trump support have been straws that have broken the camel’s back. Now, please do not misconstrue my ideas against Kanye’s opinions and/or ideas, however, please consider the context in which Kanye has expressed his thoughts and ideas. It wasn’t until recently, Kanye crossed the line by openly supporting Donald Trump and referring to slavery as a choice. To be fair, I’ll quote Kanye properly:

When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”

As individuals in the United States of America, we are inclined to our own opinions, ideas, thoughts and so forth. However, when you openly support a superficial president, who has continuously degraded everyone who has crossed his path and has done nothing productive in office, you too, will be criticized!

Donald Trump transition meetings, New York, USA - 13 Dec 2016
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (7555799z) United States President-elect Donald J. Trump and Musician Kanye West pose for photographers in the lobby of Trump Tower Donald Trump transition meetings, New York, USA – 13 Dec 2016[/caption
Anyone can provide numerous examples as to why Donald Trump should not be president, the disagreements with laws, policies or other nonsense in which he wants to implement, yet, you choose to proudly support his agenda. Not a good representation of ‘free-thinking’! Again, when you are given a platform such as an American musical artist, who can influence the masses, your thought process, your words, agenda and individuals whom you associate yourself with, will be held to the magnifying glass. You will be constantly criticized because you have a huge platform!
For any African American to utter those specific words of “slavery sounded like a choice”, has sadden those African American leaders who fought tirelessly and gave their life, to ensure that one day they would be free, sounds like an individual whom is deeply lost and disconnected from the reality of history. DbpshRZUQAA5cXeTo embarrass your entire race with your ignorant thoughts and to satisfy your oppressor with your negligent comments is disgraceful.
I understand that his comments are a sincere reflection of his thoughts and personal opinions BUT when we as a people have continuously been told by OUR OPPRESSORS that “slavery happened so many years ago, just get over it”, “you were given a month to celebrate your history, we don’t get a month”, or “just get over it”, shouldn’t that ignite a certain feeling towards your opinions or thoughts on slavery? The idea of Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, Sojourner Truth and countless other activities who fought so hard to ensure that slavery ended and that African Americans received equality and justice, shouldn’t that be enough Ye?
Kanye Omari West you were privileged by God to have such an incredible gift and talent to serve his people through your music to provide hope and awaken a certain flair to ignite dreams in individuals who listen to your music. Yet, you choose to utilize your platform to belittle your large African American fan-base to only gain your oppressors as supporters, you have transitioned to an image which is unlike anything you represent and you have disappointed your ancestors greatly.

[caption id="attachment_240" align="alignleft" width="354"]DbuXkxDUwAAKlEn Conversation between John Legend and Kanye West that West twitted during his twitter rant.

For Kanye’s peers who have bravely reached out to confront him on his ideas and thoughts, we as use-to-be Kanye fans applaud you for your honesty, courage and your sane thought process. It seems as if Kanye is on the road to self-destruction closer than we all thought. We will continue to solicit prayers for Kanye, seek mental health counseling for him and ensure that his free-thinking is not a reflection of us as a culture.

#wakeupMrWest

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Questions that need answers..

By now, I am almost certain that the whole world has read the blogs, watched every news outlet and scrolled through their timelines on any social media, to be sadly disappointed in yet another Kanye West ‘free-thinking rant’. And yes, I use that term ‘free-thinking’ very loosely when referring to Kanye West.
At this time, it is imperative that you all take notice to what the news is allowing to be highlighted! Briefly, we have heard of the guilty plea that Bill Cosby has faced, along with the Waffle House massacre, and the guilty plea that a white Arkansas man received after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA back in August. Why is it that the actual news of the world is barely making national attention? Why is it that celebrities with irrelevant news and/or contributes to the world are magnified in each and every news outlet?
Allow me to expound on news that we shall all be in tune with. Let’s first take a closer glance at Bill Cosby’s trial and how those series of unfortunate events turned into a guilty plea for this television legend. For years, Mr. Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by a number of women over the years. In a Montgomery County courtroom, a jury of seven men and five women deliberate and came to the result of a guilty verdict with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for a January 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. Andrea Constand was a former Temple University employee who allegedly lost consciousness after Cosby gave her three blue pills and a sip of wine. Andrea’s account states that Cosby digitally penetrated and groped her as well as forced her hand on his penis. Jurors spent a total of 15 hours over two days quickly deciding the verdict. Although Judge Steven O’Neill did not have a set date of sentencing it was stated that Cosby could face up to 30 years in prison, which means 10 years for each count. Originally, Cosby escaped guilt during a trial last year after the jury was deadlocked over five days of deliberations. More than 50 women have come forth with sexual assault claims against Mr. Cosby but the only one that was tried in court was Andrea Constand due to the statute of limitations expired for the rest of them.
My question that I have in all of this is why is Bill Cosby, a successful African American male who is 80 years being a scapegoat in the #metoo movement? Why is it that at the height of his career, Bill Cosby is being targeted for sexual assault allegations? Why is it that he was actually convicted versus the dozens of notarized Caucasian males in Hollywood who are accused of the same, are able to easily walk away? So many questions that need answers because this is truly an outrage.
The news can highlight the downfall of an American legend Bill Cosby but will not highlight the lives of the innocent victims of the Waffle House massacre?
In Nashville, TN Travis Reinking made the conscious decision to go inside of a Waffle House and ultimately take the lives of Joe R. Perez, DeEbony Groves, Taurean C. Sanderlin and Akilah DaSilva.waffle-house-shooting-victims-wztv-820x430 After a 34-hour manhunt, police were able to locate Travis Reinking and charge him with criminal homicide in the deaths of four people killed in the shooting. It was later stated by authorities that for other charges of attempted criminal homicide were added. In the midst of this horrific tragedy, James Shaw Jr. was the brave soul who confronted the shooter and took away Travis Reinking’s AR-15 with his bare hands, saving other individuals inside of the Waffle House that morning. 180423-Messer-Wafflehouse-express-hero_saf35pJames Shaw Jr. stated in numbers press outlets that he ran toward the bathroom while the gunfire rang out. Once he realized he was trapped, he rushed the shooter as he was reloading, grabbed the hot barrel of the AR-15, disarmed the shooter and threw the gun over the Waffle house counter. Questions that need answers- When are we going to review gun laws? Is he going to need a mental health review before standing trial? Why weren’t the lives of the victims, their funerals arrangements or their backgrounds displayed on the news? Again, this is a true tragedy and the world deserves to know the truth and all of the details that surround this particular case.
Lastly, the guilty plea that a white Arkansas man received after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA back in August. I am pretty sure that there are a lot of you are extremely unaware of this particular story. This attack took place during the violent protests over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a nearby city park. Jacob Scott Goodwin, 23 was charged in the beating of an African American male during a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, VA that turned violent was found guilty of malicious wounding. DeAndre Harris, 20 was the victim of the malicious wounding. The jury recommended a 10 years sentence with some time suspended and a $20,000 fine. DeAndre Harris had a broken arm, a spinal injury and head lacerations that required eight staples after the attack in the parking garage. Goodwin was arrested along with three other men in the attack. Per usual, it was stated by Jacob Goodwin that he fought in self-defense. It was stated by Nina-Alice Antony, the assistant commonwealth’s attorney that Goodwin was seeking the fight. Why is it that during a rally where an African American almost lost his life, the defendant is able to receive minimal time, whereas, a police officer who kills an unarmed African American is able to walk free? Where is the line crossed for justice? Why isn’t our criminal justice system examined to make certain provisions that cover ALL of its people and not just some of its people? Why do we vote to place certain people in office and nothing changes?

Love never dies

Some individuals have various dates in which hold a significant meaning img_1666-1 such as their birthdates, anniversaries, death dates of their loved ones and so forth. Like many of you, there is one date that will forever hold a very special meaning for me.

April 11, 2011:
This date represents the day in which my life would forever change in more ways than one. I met this incredible man who changed my perspective on love and life. The months that we were able to share together were nothing short of amazing! In all aspects, he was my equal, he was talented, socially conscious, educated, dedicated to trying new things. He was everything that I ever imagined💛 Although his life was taken abruptly, I will forever cherish our moments.
I contemplated for years to openly discuss my love life but I truly believe that by allowing myself to have an open discussion, it will allow me to heal, completely!
To be young and experience a loss, is such a profound event, in itself. But to be young and lose a significant other is a tumultuous event in life. As for myself, I just turned 20-years-old and was living my best life with the greatest guy, ever! Suddenly, he passed away in a fatal car accident. This particular event in my life is one that has molded me into the very being I am today! Dealing with the thoughts of never being able to fully love someone due to the fear that they would leave me suddenly, depression, isolation, and drinking were the only coping mechanisms that I knew! Various friends could not relate to what I was going through, so many friendships were lost because of that; as well as family members being unable to console me. Before I began my walk with Christ, the only strength that I knew was my own. However, my own strength was not enough to help me get through this. In order to process the loss of my boyfriend, it seemed as if I went through the process of grief many times for four years. There was nothing anybody could do or say to alleviate the pain that I felt, attempting to date after that was nearly nonexistent because I felt a sense of guilt as well as comparing every guy I met to my perfect guy.
It was not until recently, that I gained the courage to speak openly with friends, families, and co-workers about the tragic event. With speaking to those that wanted to listen, I was able to gain a sense of peace. Although there are some days in which my mind wanders to what could have been if he were still alive, it will never overshadow what was and the wonderful memories that I have left to always remember him by.

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Big KRIT performing at Atlanta, Georgia’s Tabernacle

One of his favorite artists was Big K.R.I.T, which is now one of my favorite artists. His music is relatable, real life but also includes his journey in poetry form. So this past weekend, I was able to attend his concert in Atlanta, Georgia at the Tabernacle. My heart was full in more ways than one. There are specific songs that I can not listen to because it will have me in tears halfway through the song but on April 7th, 2018, none of that matter. img_2204I truly enjoyed the energy in the room, the company that was around me and just being able to face those feelings I felt in 2011 but with a clear heart and mind. Now I feel at peace and I feel as if I am free!
No matter how many years it has been, I will forever remember exactly what Preston meant to me and the memories we shared. Yes, it is okay for me to have those days in which I can cry. However, it is very important that I remember to keep going!

Life lessons that were taught to me during my experience of loss:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings and speak about your feelings: As it is hard for me to speak about my feelings, it was extremely important for me to learn how to do that during this time. I would not talk to anyone, at all, about what I was experiencing  Not a healthy way to cope with your feelings but that’s the only way I knew how. Express yourself!!! It is important for your mental health.
  2. Talk to others who have experienced loss: Now, not that I need for others to have a pity party for me or anything, I know death is apart of life and all that other sympathy stuff that everyone tells you about. But seriously, speak to those who know exactly where you are coming from. When you speak to those who have not gone through what you have endured, they will attempt to relate but miserable fail! Or they will try to give you advice. No, the advice is not what I need at this point, I want someone to listen, give me a sense of peace to know everything is going to be okay and give me ideas on how to move past death. 
  3. Enjoy life: Life is short! Enjoy every minute you have with those who love you unconditionally. Use the words ‘I love you’ to those you truly and deeply love. God has bestowed upon all of us L I F E, He did not provide us with a knowledge of our own expiration date, enjoy your borrowed time!
  4. Life goes on: Yes, death happens but that is not the end-all-be-all! Your loved ones would not want you to sit and wallow in the pain and agony of them transitioning to be with the Lord. They would want you to be happy, thriving and accomplishing all of your hearts desires and goals that you shared with them. Make them proud!
  5. Stay active: Keep going!
  6. The pain of the loss will return: There are still times where I sit down and think of Preston, constantly! I still cry, I still visit his grave, I still look through his social media pages, I still speak with family and friends of his, I still listen to songs that remind me of him, I still look at pictures of him and I still need time to myself–with doing all of these things, I brings up so many memories as well as pain.
  7. Last but not least: Make God the center of your life, lean on God for understanding, for peace, for comfort, and for strength!

A mother’s love

 

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Jacob Copeland’s tweet 

A mother’s love for her child is like nothing in this world!

 

I strongly believe that many of you who have social media have either seen or heard of the viral video of wide receiver, Jacob Copeland’s mother leaving as Copeland announced his decision of where he would be playing college football. It was pretty obvious that Copeland’s mother desired for her son to attend either Alabama or Tennessee. After his mother’s dramatic exit, the reporter, Dari Nowkah, continued to question Copeland in reference to his mother exiting and his college choice.

First and foremost, I will not use this platform to bash the mother of Jacob Copeland or question her lack of support from her child. However, what I will do is give my perspective on the circumstances and provide encouragement and strength to not only to her and her son but other parents and children who have experienced the same as Copeland.

As parents, you may or may not agree with the choices/decisions your child makes, which is fine. However, as a parent your duty  is to protect your child from harms way, prepare them on how to establish a solid foundation in which they are able to formulate opinions, decisions, and ideas that will benefit them in the best way possible; lastly, have the confidence that you have instilled the best morals and values into your child. Your child has one or two options, the right path or the wrong path.

In Copeland’s case, his mother raised a young man who continued to stay on the right path–currently in high school, fulfilling his dream by playing football, going to college and signed with HIS CHOICE because of God and his gut feeling! His mother, on another hand, made up her mind where she wanted her son to attend school and was very unsupported when Jacob reported to everyone his decision on a college to call home for the next four years. As she left this young man, humiliated on national tv and in front of his peers, he was left vulnerable to a reporter who did not care about the emotions he was experiencing, at that moment. I am not sure as to what led his mother to return back to his side but I am glad that she decided to come back

Let this be a lesson to all parents. No matter what, you have got to support your child. Have faith that you have raised your child or children to your best ability and that they will make the best choices for THEIR LIFE. This life is not yours…it is your child’s life. Respect that fact. I am pretty positive that you have made decisions that your parents were not supportive of but because they loved you, they continued to be right by your side. The greatest love of all comes from your parents. Parents, your child needs that to survive in this world, they need your love to know how to love one another, most importantly, they need your love to know how to love their own children. Let’s learn how to love and support our children 💛

Black Girl Magic.

img_1305Happy New Year to each and every one of you! 2018 is a year for everyone to experience prosperity, growth, great health, new endeavors and your best life. I know each year we all set aside some elaborate “new year, new me” hype that seemingly fades away after the first week of January BUT this time, let’s stick to some more concrete plans.
What is it that YOU want to change in YOUR life? Go after that! Want to finally achieve that ideal body? Go for it sis. Want to travel the world on a McDonald’s budget? You can still see the Seven Wonders of the World even on a budget. Let’s not allow our current circumstances or our old way of thinking to deter our vision. We have another 365 days to create the life in which we have always dreamed.
Somebody needs to know that they did not read this post by accident! Whatever you set your mind to, DO IT! Whatever you want to achieve, ACHIEVE IT! There are so many things that you will regret, alone, by the end of the year. Do not allow 2018 to be in vain, especially, when God allowed you to make it this far. Go forth into 2018 with a prayer, a plan and a whole lot of black girl magic.

Taboo: Mental Health amongst the African American Community

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Why is it forbidden to speak of mental health within the African American community? As an individual who has a career in social services, I am able to interact with beautiful people every day from every walk of life. What I have observed while in my career is the level of sensitivity that those in the African American community have toward issues revolving around mental health illness.

Caucasians are more likely to seek assistance or have a conversation about the changes in their behavioral pattern such as how they think, act, feel, handle stress, relating to other and making choices. Many have consulted their doctor which results in medication to be subscribed to treat their mental illness or spoken with a therapist. Within the African American community, a majority, have chosen to suffer in silence due to media portraying mental health illness as some sort of demon that could be prayed off; or even, shrug off for that individual is having a bad day and giving the individual time to be left alone. Mental health is a serious concern within our community and it needs to be addressed!

Please note that there are various factors that contribute to mental health issues such as biological factors and life experiences. Unclear whether you or someone you know have mental health issues that need to be addressed? Experiencing one or more feelings/behaviors may indicate early warning signs:

*suicidal thoughts SUICIDE HOTLINE NUMBER 1-800-273-8255

*inability to perform daily tasks

*hearing voices

*disengaging in activities with others

*continuous thoughts of a traumatic life experience

*having little or no energy

*feeling inadequate or unimportant

*eating or sleeping too much or too little

The fact of the matter is, there are various signs or symptoms that lead to mental health issues that should not be ignored, children battle mental health issues as well that then follow them into adulthood. We need to inform our people that conversations involving taboo topics such as mental health need to be conducted for the prosperity of our culture. Let’s educate each other!