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?

Self Reflection

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As many times as I have traveled to Atlanta for an impromptu staycation, I am always amazed about the experiences, people and the memories that are captured. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to indulge in a girl’s trip with my best friends from middle school. Although one of our best friends had a prior family engagement, she was not permitted to attend. However, the weekend was still nothing short of amazing. God is truly amazing! He NEVER ceases to amaze me and this weekend was no different!

Before each and every trip, we begin a prayer. For God to provide his traveling grace and mercy while on the highway, sense of direction and a good experience. The first adventure that we were able to experience was a pole and lap class at Dance 411. Usually, neither one of us would suggest attending a class such as this but because we always lecture one another to ‘experience life and create memories’, we decided to attend the class. Such a fun experience this was and an even better work out! After any physical activity, one would be inclined to crave Mexican food. We grabbed a bite to eat at the famous Taqueria Del Sol. Afterward, we got dressed and did something a little low-key from the usual ‘Atlanta turn up’, the night entailed attending a couple of bars on Edgewood. The night was truly amazing! As you get older, you will realize that clubs are overrated and although you want to experience nightlife there are other ways to do just that. Closing up the last part of the trip, we went to Paces & Vine to have a lovely brunch. Following, we went to the Jackson Street Bridge to gaze at the Atlanta skyline view.
To many, this may not seem as if it was very eventful or fun but to me as well as my best friend, this weekend was amazing. Simply the best weekend that we have had in a long time. This weekend was not only a girl’s trip but a time in which we were able to disconnect to reconnect. My best friends and I have been friends for over 15 years!! Imagine meeting someone in the sixth grade and remaining friends into your adulthood. Yes, the dynamics of your friendship change, experiences in life alter not only yourself but your friendship as well. In order to maintain, any relationship, you must communicate, nurture and love unconditionally, to have a relationship worth lasting.

The only real luxury is time. You can’t get time back.

As I sat back and reflect on my weekend, I took away a few gems. First and foremost, YOU are responsible for your own happiness and what YOU PUT OUT is what YOU GET. Another priceless gem—you have to seize each and every moment. There are some experiences that are not social media worthy and a video or a picture will never capture the true essence of the moment. And for my final gem, in order to truly understand the depth of your relationship, you must disconnect in order to reconnect. I truly thank God for my time spent with my best friend, laughter and the genuineness of our relationship. Again, this weekend has taught me that no matter what– feelings, experiences, disagreements, unsaid words and the timeframe in which we have not spoken with one another will be something that each relationship will face. Yet, it is up to me as a person to decide the worth of my friendship and the worth of myself to keep the relationship going. My friends will remain constant in my life!

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Views from Jackson Street Bridge in Atlanta, Ga located in the Old 4th Ward

 

 

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 💛

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!