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Beautiful couple. Congratulations.

1 year, 9 months ago on Swirling Eye Candy: Victoria and Brad Rose

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She is a beautiful young lady. Happy Birthday to her and best wishes in all she does. Congratulations Christelyn for raising such an amazing girl.

1 year, 9 months ago on Maxi Me Turns 15 Today!

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Looking forward to this and participating!

1 year, 9 months ago on Come Hither: Get Your Sex, Love, Relationship Questions Answered With No Shame

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 @uninterracial  Zing! On the saliva swap.

1 year, 9 months ago on ABC's "The Bachelor" is back -- with four Black Women!

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 @Jamila  @JennMJack  Jamila "I didn't see the movie in a theater  (*cough*) so I didn't get to see audience reactions. " I didn't see it in theatre either *cough cough* and on my side of the world it will not be screened in theatre, at least not the licensed ones! Jamila & Jenn I did not have a Django moment while watching Django - due to my private screening ;-) but I have experienced 'Django moments' with white colleagues relating to real life experiences wherein their reactions reflected how desensitised they are to issues that negatively affect black people and other people of colour. When I highlighted their 'desensitisation' and expressed my opinion about it and the situation, the conversation was shelved, shutters came down and political correctness set in - and no I was not being emotional or accusatory - just curious. While I do think people's reactions/experiences are or will be different based on race and class, I wonder how much so and to what effect?

 

1 year, 9 months ago on Messages from 'Django Unchained': The Black 'Damsel', the 'Django Moment', and Phrenology's Centerstage Show

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 @JennMJack  @Veron I recall Calvin Candie's repetitious reference to and explanation of phrenology and I agree with Jenn that without a rebuttal in the film itself, some people may not comprehend the fallacy of phrenology. I have university level educated colleagues at the office who, without conducting a thorough analysis, repeat narratives gleaned from mainstream films/media as if they were self evident truths.

1 year, 9 months ago on Messages from 'Django Unchained': The Black 'Damsel', the 'Django Moment', and Phrenology's Centerstage Show

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 @JennMJack  @chilljill I had similar thoughts. Django has encouraged conversations about narratives of black women and their role and position in American society, slavery, race relations, violence (to mention a few issues). People are talking about the various issues, interpreting the movie and having discussions - constructive or not. Any movie that can engage people and stimulate conversations about historically sensitive/controversial issues such as slavery and racial discrimination  has achieved some measure of success

1 year, 9 months ago on Messages from 'Django Unchained': The Black 'Damsel', the 'Django Moment', and Phrenology's Centerstage Show

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 @VictoriaAntoine The second time he was referred to as 'Big Daddy' in that scene was when I realised what Quentin/the writers had done right there!

1 year, 9 months ago on Regarding Broomhilda: Was she worth being rescued and why was she waiting on her man to save her anyway?

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I watched the movie and I have a range of opinions about different aspects of the film. There are narratives in the movie I oppose and others I agree with - can't please everyone.

 

As for the character of Broomhilda and her role in the film; I was thrilled to see a black woman as the subject of a "I will rip apart the country(ies), mow down anyone in my way, blow things up, shoot things down to find you, rescue you and protect you" film. Heck yeah, we need more representations to that effect for black women.

For me the bewildering response of some black women asking all these questions without reflecting sufficiently on the film generally and specifically shows how deeply ingrained in our psyche the 'black woman you are not worthy" meme is.

 

"3. We don’t know alot about Broomhilda, all we know is that she was just a pretty house slave. We want to know why Django wanted to rescue her."

Yes, perhaps her character could have had more depth, more history, more background. That's the reason critiques, critics, articles, reviews and university courses were invented - they can help the directors, producers and actors/actresses do better next time around. This time, I preferred to enjoy Broomhilda's character per the script - Django loved her and when provided the opportunity, he did whatever he had to do to get her back.

 

1 year, 9 months ago on Regarding Broomhilda: Was she worth being rescued and why was she waiting on her man to save her anyway?

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 @onmywayup I first read about Naomi in the 90s from my mom's magazines. She was the first black model I came across and she was as stunning then as she is now. Over the years she's had bad press but I love Naomi because she is stunningly beautiful, confident, independent and unapologetically Naomi. As for the bad press - she's a black woman living life on her terms and successfully so - of course she'll get bad press. 

1 year, 9 months ago on Kola Boof: Billionaires Prefer *Black* Women

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This is a message all generations of black women globally should receive often! Kola as usual, priceless information with a powerful message. 

1 year, 9 months ago on Kola Boof: Billionaires Prefer *Black* Women

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Best wishes to the couple. Mellody - heck yeah!

 

Christelyn: reading your story about your friend reminds me of my friend, a wonderful woman I met in my first year of university. Beautiful and smart with a big heart, we became close friends through our university years. Her dating choices were woeful - damaged men who hacked away at her radiance and self confidence. We sometimes argued about her choice in boyfriends - she said I was too uppity and selective, I said she was destroying herself by not having standards. 

I watched that train wreck happen in slow motion, it is difficult to keep picking up the same kind of pieces different times. They kept breaking her heart and she kept breaking mine with her choices. I was frustrated by the fact that she did not want to change her behaviour or actions and was surrounded by people who encouraged her dysfunction i.e. family and friends. 

She taught me a great deal about friendship and life but one of the greatest lessons she taught me (without even trying to teach me) was to be selective about the men I choose to date.

1 year, 9 months ago on George Lucas Got a Fiancé for Christmas!

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Congratulations to the happy couple!

1 year, 9 months ago on Good News! Another BB&W Engagement!

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Happy Holidays everyone!

1 year, 10 months ago on A Very Special Christmas to My BB&W Family!

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 @JaiyeMuse I can relate. I love dancing and it is one of those moments I do not mind being the centre of attention. 

1 year, 10 months ago on Romancing an Introvert: Striking Up a Conversation

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 @MySmile "Also, in my experience..introvert and introvert doesn't work...my last relationship was more like introvert (me) and super introvert (him). I think I need somewhat of an opposite..."

I've enjoyed the company of introvert and extrovert males. I tend to prefer extrovert males because of our differences and the ones that did manage to engage me proved to be barrels of fun whereas I sometimes tend to be serious. With some extrovert males I got the best of both worlds - intense and humorous conversations as well as spontaneity and fun!

1 year, 10 months ago on Romancing an Introvert: Striking Up a Conversation

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Good article.

Small talk - I've always thought it's a waste of precious time - go big or go away i.e. either bring a meaningful and insightful conversation to the table or risk a glazed over look with monosyllabic responses.  Talking for the sake of talking? wasted energy.

I am reserved and quiet - not shy which confounds my extroverted friends who demand my company and when I agree, they drag me to events with large crowds of people but are perplexed when I selectively mingle or prefer to study the crowd (unless of course there is a dance floor and dance music). I like their company (my extrovert friends that is) because (besides my affinity for each of them) I pick up social cues that on my own I do not or would not bother with, I learn some extrovert (and thereby survival) tactics. My extrovert friends are okay in controlled doses.

I learned early in life to be comfortable with my introversion and I am not bothered by people who try to box me or peg me and unless it is positively strategic on my part, they fail woefully. Those who are interested in understanding me, I indulge them - those who aren't, note the "they fail woefully". 

I try to strike a balance in my interactions with people because I understand there are billions of people on this planet and there is a plethora of personalities so there are situations wherein I exhibit extrovert tendencies

 

1 year, 10 months ago on Romancing an Introvert: Striking Up a Conversation

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 @The Working Home Keeper  hear hear!

1 year, 12 months ago on How Blackistan Deals with 'Fast Girls'

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 @Christelyn  The matriarch of our family - my maternal grandmother propounds the theory of silence. She insists on keeping it in the family and covering things up. Fortunately, my mother was not of the same school of thought and taught me better. Other members of the family that support my grandmother defend her dubious decisions and call it wisdom of old - uhmm yeah right - uh no I do not think so! This culture of silence is hurting us and our girls and it goes so far back!

1 year, 12 months ago on How Blackistan Deals with 'Fast Girls'

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The impunity with which black girls are sexually violated is tragic and disastrous. Reading through the comments I am struck by how many people have shared stories of sexual abuse directed as girls from as far back as the 70s and yet here we are...2012 and exactly the same thing continues to happen - same story, different faces, different era. 


I'm from the Southern part of Africa and the sexual abuse of girls in my country is widespread and deplorable, it's been phrased as defilement (semantics!) in our penal code and over the last 10 years the sentence/punishment  has been increased to address the magnitude of the problem and how rampant it is and to act as a deterrant - it's not working!. Men/boys continue to rape, sexually abuse and violate girls in my country. The police and some women's rights groups have complained about the fact that perpetrators either pay out the victim's family to prevent cases going to court or pressure the victim's family to drop the charges and these tactics often work. A cycle in which the girl gets no justice and no one acknowledges her ordeal is created.


 We do not have a culture of psychotherapy or counselling in my country therefore the side effects of sexual abuse are treated with alcohol, sex or kneeling in a pew in church which often equates to dysfunction. Even babies aged between 9 - 12 months are prey. We're not sold on counselling and we're not big on openly and constructively discussing sexual abuse of girls with the intent of finding solutions. In a patriarchal society the men are unaffected and even accuse women of making a big deal about nothing and the women - the women feign concern (and ignorance) and take no strong stance, mothers blame their daughters, punish or silence them. The similarities in the stories of black girls in America and black girls in Africa are as maddening as they are striking. 

1 year, 12 months ago on How Blackistan Deals with 'Fast Girls'

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 @Jamila

 Politically, regionally and economically (in the international arena) the 'island nations' have declared themselves a part of Africa (and they have been accepted by other African countries e.g. the African Union) and in most syllabi at least in the African countries I have visited and lived and in international law, they are considered African countries. One of my friends is Mauritian and this was something we discussed (and joked about) often in the early stages of our friendship. Culturally he associates more with India (he is Mauritian of Asian origin but prior generations of his family were born in Mauritius) but politically, economically and geographically on the international stage they define themselves (and are recognised) as Africans.

2 years, 1 month ago on A Short Talk About the "Black" Experience (Hint: There Isn't Just One)

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 @KingsDaughter

 We are heterogenous as Africans and that is amazing to me because we have so much to share about our unique differences and it makes for fascinating conversation but there is determination from within and outside to create a singular definition of what it means to be a (black) African. 

2 years, 1 month ago on A Short Talk About the "Black" Experience (Hint: There Isn't Just One)

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I've been reading up on the Asian signs (also represented as the Chinese horoscope/calendar which is contentious becasue various countries in South East Asia have different versions of their own) which uses animals (and mythical creatures) and date of birth (among other things) to explain personalities. I found it fascinating!

2 years, 1 month ago on Leona’s Love Quest Part XV- "Hey Baby, What’s your Sign? Can I Get Your Number?"

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 @Karla

 My mom too. She tried to provide as different an experience as possible for me growing up, Different from her childhood, different from her mother's experiences and different from her friends and peers. This was sometimes a source of conflict between my mother and grandmother; my grandmother felt that my mother was forgetting her roots and thereby denying us roots.

2 years, 1 month ago on A Short Talk About the "Black" Experience (Hint: There Isn't Just One)

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Great post with significant factors.

 

I'll start out with a factual correction though Jamila, as of 2011, Africa has 55 countries (the newest being South Sudan). Rightly so each African country has a plethora of ethnic groups.

 

I hail from the Southern part of Africa (live and work in Eastern Africa) and I can attest to the fact that even amongst black people in Africa (and even within a country at least my country) issues such as; the definition of an authentic black experience or black as a homogenous concept arises - we do not always address the issues but they are present. I was born and raised in my country in Southern Africa but my parents carefully chose the values, beliefs and cultural components that they raised us with (which are often cited by others as western) and the result was that despite growing up in a country smack in the middle of Africa my experiences, my background, my values and opinions often differ from alot (not all) of my kin, my country wo/men and Africans (in general). There are cultural traditions that my mother refused to apply to my siblings and I throughout our childhood and teenage years despite family pressure and I've been accused of not being black enough, acting white, being bourgeois etc. 

 

My experiences growing up were different in many aspects from those of my parents and grandparents (particularly) because my parents recognised that our lives were going to be different from theirs (actually wanted our lives to be different) and actively sought to create a different experience as preparation for our futures. It was not always easy for them (and us) and culture and tradition sometimes permeated our lives because we did not live cacooned in a bubble separate from society.

 

I am a national of my country of origin and I am African despite the constant generalization by non-Africans - 'you are African" to which I usually blink twice in exaggerated fashion and patiently (again exaggeratedly so) explain the difference between my nationality and my affiliation to the African continent; an exercise in academics. There is no single approach to being either a national of a particular country in Africa or an African, there is no homogenous blackness. We are heterogenous, different backgrounds, different experiences, different locations.

 

As you state Jamila, we should focus on things that matter, address problems faced by particular groups and find solutions.

2 years, 1 month ago on A Short Talk About the "Black" Experience (Hint: There Isn't Just One)

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Demita. Good article and I agree with the overall theme - one should be gracious in victory. However, in this particular case by expressing their emotions, they (Wells and Harper) have generated debate about a host of issues that have been brewing in the background but would never have seen the light of day if not for what a lot have termed their media gaffe.

 

I do not think you said it (but you may have alluded to it in your article), an article I read elsewhere insinuated Wells and Harper should be their 'sisters keeper' meaning they should have treated her better and handled the situation differently. But I wonder what about Lolo Jones? Why did she not act as her sisters keeper? I am not arguing that she dictate to the companies that sponsor her (telling them to include Wells and Harper) or invite Wells and Harper to pose with her or dispense marketing advice but she could have shined (some of the light often placed on her) onto her team mates instead - an example is Beyonce's graciousness towards Taylor Swift many years ago at the music awards, Beyonce used her precious minutes of victory to shine the spotlight on Taylor. Almost everyone is telling Wells and Harper to spare a thought for Lolo but who ever asked Lolo to spare a thought for Wells and Harper - then and now? If Lolo really has experienced the difficult life she has represented to the media (and the world) it goes some way to saying she understands what empathy and its fraternal twin sympathy are; she could have spared a thought for Harper and Wells from the get go - I do not think she did. I do not know everything I probably should know about this entire matter - I know only what the media has allowed me to know and what each of the three women (and those close to them) have allowed me to know (of course that has not stopped me from researching further). 

 

However, I remain resolute in saying this is a teaching moment for everyone, it is a moment that should enable constructive debate on the various underlying issues, it is a moment that should be used to hold the media, those who own it and ourselves accountable for the messages the media gives us and the messages we agree to receive (explicitly or implicitly) and it should be a moment where we rally around each of the three women for different reasons and for the same.

 

2 years, 2 months ago on Etiquette 101: Graciousness in Competition

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 @kiki100  *sigh* Serena won and in a state of delight she danced (probably because she likes to dance and she can). I read an article that accused her of "glorifying gang culture." My mouth opened but my brain refused to engage gear - I 'tsked' and left the page! Apparently, a panel was assembled to discuss "the propriety of Williams's dance choice and sports celebrations, in general." Give me a damned break!

2 years, 2 months ago on Etiquette 101: Graciousness in Competition

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 @Brenda55 "Notice they never allow us to talk about our pain but oh they do enjoy demonstrations of our anger. Black woman's anger. Big media can sell that to the public . because......well...... we just...... er....um........well we just can.  Black woman's pain not so much. Dehumanizing wouldn't you say?" You took the words right out of my mouth.

2 years, 2 months ago on Etiquette 101: Graciousness in Competition

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 @Brenda55 Well put (especially the last paragraph).

2 years, 2 months ago on Etiquette 101: Graciousness in Competition

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 @josie3144 I disagree with you. I am glad that they candidly expressed their feelings - they were hurt. By expressing themselves they have enabled a discussion on the reasons underlying their hurt and the media's treatment of them (and countless others like them). They have allowed a powerful tool (internet/blogosphere) to discuss the age old battle that very few tackle head on: dark skinned v. light skinned a.k.a colourism. Lets have a frank and constructive debate. It's not enough to say "they always do that to your type - get over it!" If it is not acknowledged it cannot be changed and it is high time we began holding the media accountable for the stereotypes they perpetuate.

2 years, 2 months ago on Etiquette 101: Graciousness in Competition

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