Off The Deep End…

So, I’m sitting here in my room scrolling through my news-feed on Facebook. I usually don’t do social media because everyone feels like it’s the ultimate soap opera. There’s always someone posting about their relationship issues, their dislike for this person or that person, someone trying to expose the truth about someone, not to mention those who are trying to get known in the forbidden world of porn. Like, it almost makes me want to cut my cable bill and just get on social media. No, I’m just kidding. Seriously though, it’s low key kind of annoying. Not only is it overrated, it has also become a way for people to pretend. What do I mean? Most of the people on your timeline are not who they say they are. Unless you know them personally, believe nothing posted on Facebook! It is all a lie! I don’t even believe the pictures. There’s so much technology that will allow you to alter the photo to your liking. You’d be surprised at the amount of effort people will put forth just to pretend. It’s really sad.

While scrolling through my time line, I received an inbox message. I let out an exasperated sigh. Usually, it’s always some brother trying to “hook-up”. The conversations normally ends in me using a few expletives because they can’t take a hint. I clicked on the message icon to see who it was. To my surprise, it wasn’t a guy. It was a female. My curiosity was peaked. I opened the message to see what she had to say. The message read “I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but the guy you are messing with is married with three children. We’ve been married for 15 years. We’ve had our issues and are usually able to work through them. I got your information out of his phone. I would greatly appreciate it if you would not contact my husband again.” Alright, now I’m not the one for foolishness of any sort. I usually ignore this kind of rhetoric because as a woman, she should know better than to contact another woman about her husband.  I replied “First of all, who is your husband? I don’t do married men sweetie. I think you need to be sure you have the right person. Secondly, does your husband know he’s still married? Thirdly, you’ve been married 15 years, it’s safe to assume this isn’t the first time he’s cheated on you.” I waited eagerly by the phone, anxious to know what she was going to say next. I couldn’t believe this woman. Women these days are really bold! My phone buzzed to let me know I had a new inbox message. I clicked the icon to open the message. It read “Alright sweetie, no need to be rude. I was trying to inform you of something you may not have known. Yes, I have the right person. Your name is Trianna Davis and your phone number is 718-615-3457. I told you I got your information out of his phone. I would have text your phone, but I figured on here would be better. My husband’s name is Rishad Sullivan. And, no this is not the first time he’s cheated. I just refuse to give up on my marriage.” I was stunned. Not only did she know my name, she knew my telephone number. I had to put my phone down for minute. I was speechless, absolutely speechless.

 

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I walked around my room in sheer and utter disbelief. I couldn’t believe the man that had just proposed to me less than a week ago was married. We’d been in a full on relationship for the past seven years, not one time did he tell me he was married. I asked him that at the beginning of our relationship. He adamantly denied it. As I paced the floor, I kept trying to replay the last seven years and figure out what I missed. I’m usually so vigilant about these things. I was just about to go down the path of blaming myself when my phone rang. I glanced at the caller I.D. screen and saw it was him. I didn’t answer. Just the sight of his name infuriated me. How could he lie to me every night for seven years? Have me planning a wedding that’s supposed to take place next year in the spring? I told everybody! I can’t imaging the level of embarrassment I’m about to face.

This was beyond humiliating. I glanced down at my ring finger. I became enraged. Just as I was trying to wriggle that thing off my finger, the door locks start to jiggle. I knew it was him trying to put his key in the door. I stormed out of my room and snatched open the door. “You lying bastard! How could you!” I shouted. I could tell by the expression on his face, he had no idea what I was upset about. Before he could open his mouth, I slapped him. I mean I slapped him hard. I slapped him so hard, he stumbled back. “Whoa! What is wrong with you?” he bellowed. “Don’t act like you don’t know! You’ve been married for the last 15 years and lying to me!” Once again his facial expression told me he had no idea what I was talking about. “Oh, so you don’t know? You’re just going to sit there like I didn’t say a word!” I shouted. He stared at me as if I was insane. I stormed out of the doorway and rushed to my room. I snatched my phone off the bed and unlocked it t show him the messages. I shoved the phone in his face so he could read them. By the look on his face, I’d almost be scared to say that this was news to him. He quickly put the phone down and faced me. “Baby, I’ve never seen this woman a day in my life. I have never been married. Do I need to call my mom for her to tell you? I would never lie to you nor keep a secret like that. And three kids? I have never birth a child! I told you about the possible child that turned out not to be mine. Sweetie she is lying.” he pleaded. “Then how does she know my name and phone number?” I countered. “Baby because you have it on Facebook. Here, let me show you.” He grabbed my phone and clicked on my Facebook app. He went to my settings page and there it was. Big as day on my settings page. “See, this is how she got your information. It’s on your timeline as well. I’ve been meaning to tell you about that, but it slipped my mind.” he stated. Talk about feeling like a complete clown? I was so ashamed. I flew off the handle and attacked my husband because of some silly prank. “Oh my God, I am so sorry.” I said with tears in my eyes. He lifted my head up and wiped my tears away. “Baby it’s no need to cry. It’s understandable. If I was in your situation, I’d have probably done the same thing. Except that right hook you gave me.” he said while grabbing his jaw. I snickered. “Here let me get you some ice. I’m sorry. I let my emotions get the best of me.” “No, you let an idiot get the best of you. Yelling at me all willy-nilly outside. What’s wrong with you woman?” he replied jokingly. I placed the ice on his jaw, and kissed his faced. I promised myself never to fly off the deep end like that again. I darn near scared myself.

via Daily Prompt: Willy-nilly

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/willy-nilly/

 

Gettin’ It How You Live

Every morning when I get to work, I make a habit of stopping by the break room and grabbing my morning coffee and bagel with strawberry cream cheese. I stop by Sharon’s desk and have our usual morning gossip talks. She’d fill me in on all the latest drama going on around the office. You know, who’s sleeping with who, who’s about to get fired, who’s boyfriend/girlfriend called the office several times a day, etc. It was almost like a routine for me. This particular morning, she informed me that we’d be getting a new employee to take over Dana’s position. Dana was the Administrative Assistant for my boss. She was fired a few weeks ago for inappropriate workplace behavior. Bump it, I’m not going to sugar coat, sister girl got caught getting it on with the janitor in the downstairs restroom. Two of our employees were on their way to lunch and made pit stop in the ladies room downstairs. They walked in on those two with their pants down; or, should I say his pants down and her skirt up. I can only imagine the level of embarrassment they endured in such a compromising position. Needless to say, I had to be the one to fire her. I was not happy about it. Although she was caught being inappropriate at work, she was by far, one of the best employees we had. She was prompt, accurate and I never had to tell her to do anything twice. It saddened me to have to do that. I saw the shame and hurt in her eyes. It almost made me tear up; however, I couldn’t let my sympathy for her cloud my judgment and ability to my job effectively. It had been almost three months since that fiasco happened and we were in desperate need of some help. When Sharon told me this, I was elated. Not only because we were getting some help, but it actually gave me something to do besides sitting in meetings looking at my boss all day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as an Executive Chief Financial Advisor, I just hated those meetings. They all sound redundant. The same rhetoric over and over again. It’s draining. We’d sit there all day talking about this or that and still have nothing accomplished. I felt like I was going in circles. I had customers whom I needed to consult with and haven’t been able to because I had to take on two roles. Talk about exhausting! Thank you Lord for strength and guidance, because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That little tidbit of news was like the calm in the middle of a storm.

When I got to my desk, I was not surprised by the stack of paper wore strewn about. I was just curious to know what it was. I sat my stuff down and started rummaging through the stack. I instantly felt an anxiety attack coming on. This was a list of all the problem employees and the many merits they’ve received over the past six months. I work at a financial firm and we have a high turnover rate. Don’t get me wrong, the job is as easy as they come. I mean it is mostly data entry, answering customer inquiries via emails and making sure they get a timely response. In reviewing these merits, I have quite a bit of people who have been written up for untimely responses, rude response, not responding at all, or just not even reading the inquiry. It doesn’t take a lot of work to open an email read, the customer concern or question and use the resources provided to give the customer and answer. Of course, there’s a few discipline issues such as excessive tardiness, absences, abuse of PTO or sick time and things like that in there that has to be addressed. I let out a deep sigh and proceeded to place the merits in alphabetical order so I could get this done efficiently. Just as I was finishing up the first stack, my boss walked out of his office “Oh Laresse, you’re here. Just the person I’ve been looking for. I need you to assist me in today’s meeting about the ROTH accounts.” “Mr. Briggs, I won’t be able to assist you today. Apparently, I have some firing to do.” I replied while hinting at all the paperwork on my desk. “Where’d all this come from?” he questioned. “I’m not sure. When I arrived this morning, they were thrown, and I do mean thrown on my desk.” I stated. He walked around my desk and proceeded to sift through all the papers. By his reaction, I could tell he was just as baffled. “Here, let me take these. You should not be doing this. I didn’t authorize you do to anything of this magnitude. Why are there so many merits in here? They appear to be from the same people over and over again.” he scoffed. “Mr. Briggs, I thought you were the one who put these on my desk. I wish I would have known that! I’ve been sitting here for the past 45 minutes organizing these papers and scheduling meetings with you to get this stuff taken care of.” I replied. “You’ve scheduled meeting with me?” “Yes, Mr. Briggs. Seven to be exact. All within thirty minute intervals, consecutively.” I informed him. He let out an exasperated sigh. “Alright, we will handle this first stack since the meetings are already on my calendar. This second batch is going to Mitchell who should have been handling these in the first place. By the way, where is he?” “I’m not sure. I haven’t seen him all morning.” He shook his head in annoyance. “This is getting ridiculous.” he mumbled. “Sharon just informed me that we are getting a replacement for Dana?” I asked, trying not to sound as if I already knew. “Yes, we are. He doesn’t start until next week.” “Well, that’s a good thing. At least it will give us some help.” I replied trying to sound optimistic. My enthusiasm was not received. “Help, yea right.” he scoffed. “The only help we will have is with Jesus. You’re going to be tasked with training him on Dana’s position. I can’t even depend on Mitchell be on time, let alone do simple tasks such as firing problem employees. Pretty soon, we’re going to be looking for a replacement for him.” he continued. I sat back in silence. Although he was yelling, I didn’t take it personal. I knew that his frustrations had nothing to do with me. After a few moments of awkward silence, I suggested we take a break and walk outside to get some fresh air. His demeanor seemed to perk up a bit. “That sounds like a great idea. Maybe some fresh air will help me sort out this dilemma I have.” I grabbed my phone and badge, and waited as he rushed down the hall to grab his badge and lock his office.

After returning from our break, we headed back to his office to prepare for employee one on one meetings. “Now Mr. Briggs, remember we have to keep these short if you still want me to assist you in the meeting this afternoon.” I reminded him. Mr. Briggs had this habit of giving the employees long drawn out lectures on why he had to make the decision to let them go. He’d drill them on the importance of life choices and making decisions not just for yourself, but for others that depend on you. Although they were very informative, they were not necessary. These people are grown! We are not running a junior high school. All of those life choice lessons and lectures should have been comprehended in high school. If they don’t have it by now, they aren’t going to get it. Point blank, plain and simple. “I know Laresse, I just want to make sure they understand that every decision has a consequence.” “Mr. Briggs, you are the Director of a Fortune 500 company, not a Principal at a Senior high school. We have no time to lecture, baby, nor teach grown people about how to be on time to work. Excuse my frankness, but, they learn company policy on day one. They’ll be alright. They figured out how to get this job, they can figure out how to get another.” I replied. If it was one thing I’d change about my boss, it would be his coaching mentality. He ran this company as if he was running a school house. I had to coerce him into changing his ways. He cared too much. Not that there was anything wrong with that. I just feel like there’s a time and a place to care. Work is not a place where I care too much. In all truthfulness, many of these people he cared so much about wouldn’t hesitate to overthrow him just to take his position. The way I see it, corporate America is a dog eat dog world. Every man for themselves. I had few employees who didn’t like me, and I didn’t care. I didn’t earn my position by caring. I earned by position by knowing my role and not letting anyone get in the way of that. I know you’re probably thinking I had to cutthroat a few people, right? Believe it or not, I didn’t have to. I knew what I wanted and went for it. I didn’t have underhand people, I didn’t have go behind anyone’s back, nor did I have to be dishonest. I just simply did what I needed to.

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A few disgruntles employees later, I glanced down at my phone and noticed it was almost one o’clock. I suggested we go over to Wasabi’s for lunch. Mr. Briggs agreed, and I exited his office to grab my things. I waited in the hallway. A few moments later, he emerged and we headed down stairs. When we got to his car, he came around on my side and planted a nice juicy kiss right on my lips. I was taken aback. “What was that for?” I asked. “I miss you. I haven’t been able to see you or touch outside of this office.” I glared at him. How dare he? He was trying to play casual as if he didn’t mess up the little office romance we had. You’re probably thinking I “worked” my way to the top. I’ll just say this, it’s never a good idea to assume. The first three letters of that word would indefinitely spell out you presumption of how I got my position. I could go into this long drawn out story about how Mr. Briggs paid no attention to me when I first started. I could even tell you that I applied for my position three times before I was awarded it. I could even go deeper and tell you that I thought he was a tightwad and a stickler, and by far no one I had any interest in dating. But, for what? You’d never believe me. Opinions and assumptions are like buttholes, everybody has one. I will, however, tell you why my hand is itching to slap those beautiful lips right off of his face. I’m not sure whether to call this cheating or getting my karma. Either way, the way he handled the situation was low.

A few months ago, Mr. Briggs or Tyrin I should say, invited me to dinner to go over some last minute details on a project we working on. Now, here I am thinking this was just going be some innocent working and employee engagement. Boy was I wrong. I had not expected him to be blowing my back out later that night. The sex was amazing. I had to have more. We had sex any and everywhere we could think of. I think I might have worn him down. At any rate, he wasn’t complaining. After a few months of us messing around, he called me into his office to tell me that we needed to tone things down, because we were starting to look obvious. I agreed, and kept my distance as long as we were at work. When we were not at work, it was completely different story. I had gotten used to our “scheduled” lunch meetings. Anyway, one morning when I arrived, there was a woman sitting at my desk. I asked her who she was and who was she looking for. “I’m looking for my husband.” she replied. “Who is your husband? Would you mind moving out of my chair? This is my desk.” I said, trying to mask the annoyance in my voice. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She quickly got up and walked around to the other side. “My husband in Tyrin Briggs. Would you happen to know where is office is?” I almost choked on my water. I stared at her for a moment. I don’t want to gloat about sleeping with a married man, but, I can see why he was cheating. This woman was no bigger than a pencil. She was almost anorexic. She had long red curly hair and freckles on her face. She was fair-skinned with large buck teeth. I was surprised she was able to close her mouth. Truthfully speaking, I actually found her quite amusing. I tried to compose myself before answering her. “I wasn’t aware that Mr. Briggs was married. He’s never mentioned anything about having a wife or family.” I countered. I noticed her demeanor became timid. She diverted her eyes to the floor. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought she was crying. After a few moments, she finally looked up. I could see pain and hurt in her eyes. “We’ve been separated for the past three years.” she finally replied. My heart crumbled a bit. Without saying another word, I got up and escorted her to his office. As I opened the door to his office, you would have thought he seen a ghost. All the color left from his face. He was like a deer in head lights. “Mr. Briggs, your wife is here to see you.” I announced. I stepped aside and motioned for her to have a seat. I asked if she needed anything before exiting the office. Now you’re probably thinking how can I be so calm and collected after just finding out my lover for the last six months was married. Well, it’s simple. There’s a time and a place for everything. Although this was the time, this most certainly was not the place. Heck, I had rent due next week. You think I was about to fly off the handled at work and risk losing my job and ruining my reputation? No ma’am! I calmly collected my things and left for the evening. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to function after that. I was furious. I have a strict no married men policy and he knows that. Yet, and still, he looked me dead in my face and lied. “No baby, I promise I’m not married. If I was married, do you think I’d have all this time to spend with you? You are all I’m focused on right now.” I mimicked. Boy I tell you, men sure do know how to talk a woman right out of her panties. It almost sickens me how stupid and gullible we can be at times.

I had to rub my hands together to keep from smacking him. “Have you lost your mind?” I bellowed. He looked befuddled. “Don’t look at me like that! You know darn well, I don’t do you anymore! After that stunt you pulled a few months ago, I am no longer interested in you!” I spat. “Baby, I have apologized on so many levels and occasions, I am not sure what to do anymore. I brought you flowers, I gave you jewelry, I bought you a car (which you don’t drive), I even paid your rent for the whole year! I don’t know what else to do. I miss you and really want us to work.” “Us?” I interrupted. If he think he was about to buy me, he had another thought coming. I am not a hooker, stripper, prostitute, or call girl. I am not up for auction. You can’t just shower me with gifts and think I’m going to be swooning all over you. I am not a material girl. “First of all Tyrin, when I asked you were you married, what was wrong with the truth? I mean that would have been key to this whole thing working out.” “If I would have told you I was married, you wouldn’t have gave me time or day.” “Oh alright, so you thought lying to me was the best solution?” “Well, it worked. I got you.” he reminded me. Alright is it just me, or did he just straight up play me? “Listen, I didn’t mean to lie to you-” “But, you did! There is no such thing as an accidental lie Tyrin!” “So, you’re not going to let me finish?” “No, I’m not because there’s nothing you can say to me that will make sense. I was almost about to be in love with you. I’m glad she showed up when and where she did.” I sneered. He stood there smirking at me. I hated when he did that. He knew his dimples were my weakness. My boss was a tall brown-skinned brother who stood about 6 feet 2 inches tall. Handsome as ever! He had the body of a God and a smile that will melt the panties right off of you. His smooth skin and neatly kept beard did not add to the situation either. If I wasn’t so upset with him, I’d tell him to forget about that meeting this afternoon and attend a meeting in my bedroom. “Why are smirking?” I asked trying to sound annoyed. “You.” he replied coyly. I smacked my teeth and rolled my eyes. “Can you unlock the door so we can go on to lunch and come back.” “I’ll unlock the doors if you unlock something else.” Alright, now he was just plain making this hard. He moved in closer to me and stared me in my eyes. “Come on Tyrin, I don’t have time for these games. I have work to do.” “I know you do, an so do I.” he replied while planting kissing on my forehead. His kisses were so relaxing. I tried in vain to push him away. It didn’t work. The smell of his cologne had weakened my demeanor and I loosened up a bit. I felt his hands start to roam my body and I instantly smacked them away when he got to that “sacred” place. “We can’t do this here. You know that.” He moved back and motioned for me to look down. My eyes widened. The bulge in his pants was enough to make me scream out in ecstasy right there. “Get in.” he said while opening the door. I complied, intoxicated by his kisses. Lord this man was about to send me into overdrive.

 

 

Stay tuned for the next chapter….

 

Sistah’s In Hollywood

As for those grapefruit and buttermilk diets, I’ll take roast chicken and dumplings

-Hattie McDaniels

Being in the limelight in Hollywood is the most amazing experience for a lot of people. It’s like sitting on cloud nine. There are many who excel in the tough world of Hollywood. For others, it literally becomes the death of them. All that fame and notoriety comes with a price. Watching your favorite actor or actress play a character in a movie looks pretty easy. It looks so easy, for some, it’s inspiring. What they don’t tell you is all of the rejection they face before they actually make it to the big screen. Making it big in Hollywood is not all glitter’s and glam. Some people face so much rejection that it kills them, literally. There’s all kind of reasons for rejection behind the big screen. Whether you’re too skinny, too fat, too dark, or just plain unwanted, rejection is a hard fact of life in Hollywood, especially for people of color.

During slavery and segregation, people of color starring in films were almost unheard of. Whether you were male of female, if you weren’t white, playing on the big screen was pretty much out of the question. Every now and then you may see a man or woman of color on the big screen, but their roles were very minuscule. They were either an extra or played roles such as a kitchen worker, maid, or a gardener. Their roles were never long enough to get public notoriety. As we all know, with hard work comes great success, and that’s just what Hattie McDaniel set out to prove. The first African-American woman to win an Oscar for her role in ‘Gone With the Wind.’

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McDaniel was born in 1893 in Wichita, Kansas. She was one of 13 children from her father who was a minister and her mother who was a domestic worker. From an early age, she tapped into her flair of singing, performing in her church and signing various bouts around the house. In 1909, after professionally mastering her skill of singing and dancing, she dropped out of high school and pursued a full-fledged career with her brothers. They became known as the Mighty Minstrels. She married the pianist in the group and branched out to start her own all women’s minstrel group. By the 1920’s McDaniel had made a name for herself. She was touring all over and was invited to be on Denver’s KOA radio show. She became the first African-American woman in radio.

After struggling to make ends meet doing radio, she was convinced by her brother and sister to move to Los Angeles where her career as an actress began. Before landing any major movie or screen roles, she started out on her brother’s radio show KNX and became a hit. She was dubbed ‘Hi-Hat Hattie.’ It wasn’t until 1932, that she landed her first screen role as a maid in The Golden West. This would be the start of a long, yet rewarding career in television. As I stated earlier, women and men of color were not in high demand back in the 1930’s for Hollywood roles, so she still had to take up odd jobs here and there just to make ends meet. That didn’t stop her, she continued to push through until she landed another role performing a duet with Will Rogers in 1934’s  Judge Priest. McDaniel was finally making headway. She worked with other big names such as Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, and Irene Dunne.

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By this time, McDaniel was making history for all the African-American women around the world who aspired to be on film. She was becoming a hot commodity in the Hollywood community. Everyone loved her, and her voice was phenomenal. She was pursued by many, but it wasn’t until 1939 that her life changed forever. She was cast as Mammy, the house servant of Scarlett O’Hara (played by Vivian Leigh) in the movie Gone with the Wind. How awesome is it to have your face all over Hollywood as one of the most successful African-American women ever to grace the television set. Pretty awesome, right? Now imagine not being able to see your own movie. That’s just what happen to McDaniel. When it was time for the movie to premier in theaters, she was barred from seeing her own movie. She along with several other African-American’s were barred from seeing the movie. Keep in mind it’s still the 1930s so segregation and Jim Crow laws were in full effect. It wouldn’t be until the following year that she’d get the recognition she’d work so hard for.

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In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American woman to win an Oscar. Pretty awesome, right. Well, remember earlier in the article when I said that all that glitter’s and glam came with a price? As her career started to flourish, McDaniel received harsh criticism from the troops and members of the post-war community for the roles she was playing. Playing roles of servants and slaves did not sit too well with many in the black community. They believed it portrayed people of color in a negative light and was way too stereotypical. The president of the NAACP (National Association Advancement for Colored People) pleaded with Hollywood filmmakers to create more realistic roles for people of color. They believed that creating roles that were more than just slaves and servants, showed the true intellect and education of people of color. McDaniel was not swayed by such backlash. She defended her roles and suggested that playing the role of  Mammy did just that. In fact, she had a valid point. It proved that she was more than a slave or a servant. She was a movie star. Just because she played such roles didn’t make her that in real life. She surpassed all obstacles and people that became a roadblock to her success.

I did my best, and God did the rest

-Hattie McDaniel

As the fight to stop such roles began to progress, McDaniel’s appearance on the big screen was starting to diminish. People in the black community were urging filmmakers to do away with such roles. As the roles became less and less popular, McDaniel returned to radio. Seven years after winning an Oscar, she landed a role on CBS radio as another maid. She convinced the NAACP to let her use her talents to break racial stereotypes and be more than what she said they were. It wouldn’t be until 1951, that she’d be seen on television again. She brought her radio character to life on the big screen. Unfortunately, she suffered a heart attack and her acting role was short lived. She was later diagnosed with breast cancer and succumbed to the disease in 1952.

The life and career of Hattie McDaniel paved the way for many men and women of color, especially women. Women were always regarded to as property, so we were forced to prove our worth in the industry. Women were laughed at and shunned away as we were thought to be housemaids, nothing more nothing less. Women of color, on the other hand, weren’t even recognized as human. McDaniel broke the barriers down for all of that. She proved that women of color can be more than just servants and slaves. We can be whomever or whatever we put our minds to. With hard work, anything is possible. She received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1975 was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

First Lady of Black History

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As we know, today is the first day of Black History Month. This the start of a month long celebration to acknowledge the many accomplishments of African-Americans who have made a major impact in our lives. Whether it’s movies or politics, these are the people we pay homage to during this month. While there are many men and women to give credit to for changing America’s history, this month I’m dedicating it to the women. Not saying men aren’t as important, it just time for our ladies to have a voice all on their own. The accomplishments of women in history don’t get as much of a voice as the accomplishments of men. Sometimes they even go unnoticed. Not this month. This month I’m bringing women to the forefront. Women have sacrificed a lot for this country. Black, White, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, Latina, Middle Eastern, it’s time we are recognized for it.

My first lady of Black History Month is Mrs. Sarah Breedlove. You may know her better as Madam C. J. Walker. It wasn’t until 1906, when she married her third husband, Mr. Charles J. Walker that she would become one of the most phenomenal women in African-American History. Mrs. Walker started out as a laundress, barely making enough to earn college fund. Determined to give her and her daughter a better education, she started selling hair care products for a wealthy woman by the name of Annie Malone. It wasn’t until then that Mrs. Walker began to educate herself more about the hair care product industry.

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Sarah Breedlove was one of six children born after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. This was a legislative bill signed by President Abraham Lincoln ending slavery and deeming it unconstitutional. Due to her parent’s passing, she was an orphan at the age of seven. She was taken in by her older sister and her husband. At the tender age of 14, she married her first husband and gave birth to a baby girl. In 1906, she married Charles J. Walker, a newspaper salesman she had known from Missouri. This would be the start of a lucrative journey for her.

Sarah suffered from severe dandruff, hair loss, and other various scalp ailments due to the harsh chemicals such as lye that was put into the soaps and other hair care products. Her brothers whom were barbers at the time, educated her on hair care products to treat black women’s hair. It was at this point she became a commission agent for Annie T. Malone, another successful African-American woman. While working for Malone, she started to educate herself on hair care and took interest in starting her own hair care line.

In 1906, Mrs. Walker and her daughter moved to Colorado where she continued to sell hair product for Malone, and pursued her own hair care business. She inherited the first name Madam as that was a French term for women in the beauty industry. Walker sold her products door to door, educating women on how to train and groom their hair. Her husband became her business partner and helped with her promotion and advertising. She later put her daughter in charge of her mail order operations while she and her husband traveled the Southern parts of the United States, expanding their business. Walker and Malone became rivals in the hair care industry as Walker’s products began to flourish.

In 1910, Indianapolis became the hometown headquarters for Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She later opened a training school, hair salon, and factory to train other women. Walker developed her own system known as “The Walker System” that was designed to help brittle hair become soft and luxurious. There were similar products being produced by competitors such as Annie Malone with her Poro System and Sarah Washington with the Apex System. Walker’s hair school trained over 20,000 women over the years all over the south. Her hair products would later be spread throughout the Caribbean, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Panama, and Costa Rica. With all of her advertisements in newspapers in the black community, it’s no wonder Mrs. Walker became an overnight success.

In addition to her flourishing hair care product line, she was also a philanthropist and activist. She educated women on better budgeting, giving them the necessary information to start their own business and become financially independent. This was the start of a new movement for women. Walker became an icon and an inspiration to women everywhere. She gave women the courage and confidence to step out on faith and achieve the goals you set forth. 

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory, on my own ground.”

-Madam C.J. Walker

  • 1918 Walker was acknowledge by the NACWC (National Association of Colored Women’s Club) for making the largest contribution to save Frederick Douglass’ Anacostia house
  • She helped raised funds to establish a branch of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in the black community in Indianapolis
  • She was a leader in the Circle for Negro War Relief where she advocated to establish training camps for black army officers

Before It Even Get’s Started: Intro to Black History Month

The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are

-Maya Angelou

We are one week away from the beginning of Black History month. This is a month dedicated to acknowledging the African-Americans who have made an impact on America as a whole. This a time to gain knowledge and really learn where we come from. Being an African-American woman, it is very important for me to learn my heritage. It is imperative that I know and understand the sacrifices that those before me made. It is really imperative that I understand the significance of Black History Month and be able to share my knowledge with others. With that being said, I’ll introduce you to a little history of the meaning of the true reason for Black History Month.

So while we know on the surface that February is Black History Month, do we really know why this month was chosen? Well, Black History wasn’t always celebrated for the whole month. You see, back in 1926, Carter G Woodson created Black History week, which was dedicated to celebrating the achievements of many African Americans and their impact on the United States. That week also happened to be right around the time President Abraham Lincoln celebrated his birthday, which was in, you guessed it, February. The other well-known names in Black History who celebrated their birthday’s in February include Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass. It was decided that black history week would take place on the second week in February since President Lincoln’s birthday was the 12th of the month and Mr. Douglass’ birthday was the 14th.

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When Mr. Woodson created Black History week, this gave blacks a platform to rise from. Mr. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History put heavy pressure on the Department of Education to teach Black History to students in school. Of course, this was met with a mediocre response and was accepted by only four states. The four states include North Caroline, Baltimore, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. In the coming weeks, Black History week would spark a major change in the education system and teachers worldwide. Leaders from organizations all over learned about these teachings. Churches and schools starting printing literature for black history week and incorporating it into their teachings. With it’s progressive interests, mayors across the United States were considering endorsing black history week as a holiday. Talk about really making an impact on American History. Imagine having a holiday that consisted of a whole week. That would be pretty awesome!

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With such an enthusiastic response from the press and progressive whites, this pushed students at Kent University to propose that Black History week be celebrated the whole month of February. In 1969, Black United Students at Kent University proposed this idea, and the first celebration of Black History month took place in 1970 at Kent University. In 1976, President Ford recognized the expansion of Black History week to Black History Month. He stated “I urge Americans to seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Black History Month has been celebrated for many decades, and it’s concept has been widely adopted. The United Kingdom celebrated Black History Month in 1987 followed by Canada in 1995. The teaching of Black History in February was one of the most important movements in Black History period. This paved the way for many others to pay homage to those whose accomplishments changed and continue to change the way America operates.

In recent years, there has been some harsh criticism about why Black History was crammed into one month. As I stated earlier, this month was chosen to coincide with President Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthday. That’s not to say that blacks or African-Americans aren’t making history every day. This concept was chosen so that everyone could gain awareness and knowledge of unrecognized accomplishments by black people and it could be brought to the forefront.

 

New Year’s Resolution

We are less than 48 hours from bringing in the New Year. With that being said, this is the time that we jot down things that we didn’t do in the previous year. Some people may vow to lose weight, some may make an effort to save money, some may even work  to live a better life. While all of that is good and fulfilling, really ask yourself, what does a New Year resolution truly mean to you? Sure, we can all think of a lot of things that we want to change about ourselves in the new year, but, are you really into it? How much does it really mean to you to keep your New Year’s Resolution promise throughout the whole year?

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First let’s look at the word resolution, which has two meanings. The first meaning of resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. This means once you decide to do something, do it. No matter who or what tries to stop you, remain determined. We all have things that happen, that may hinder us from following through with our decision, and that’s alright. Just remember to keep that decision in the forefront, and keep at it. Sometimes coming up with a mantra helps as well. It can be an acronym, or a quote. Just make sure you stick with your decision. That’s where most of the problem lies. Some people will rattle off a list of things they want to do in the new year, but they don’t stick to it. This is a New Year’s plan, not a resolution. There’s a difference. It’s best to make resolutions that are attainable. Don’t make outrageous resolutions that you know are going to take you years to accomplish, then it becomes a life goal, and that’s a totally different subject.

The second meaning of resolution means the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. To me, it means you need a plan. Take for instance, the decision to save money. You first have to look at all of the things that is causing you not to be able to save money. Sure, we all want to just set aside $5, $10, maybe even $20 and just go from there. Truth be told, it’s not that simple. In order to save money, you must be well organized financially. You must be able to save even after you’ve paid all your bills. For majority of us, that is easier said than done. Secondly, look at how you are spending your left over cash. If you refer back to a few of my blogs where I stress the issue of not paying full price for anything, you’ll understand clearly why this is an important factor when it comes to trying to save money. Simply look over all of the money in your household and jot down some of things you do, and some of the things you would like to stop doing. Create a table, a chart, heck even a Venn Diagram of the does and don’ts. Put them somewhere you can see them and just remember to check it daily. Even take it with you, that way you’ll have a reminder of things to look for in the store and in your everyday life.

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The New Year should be about focusing on a new you. We never know what the year has in store for us. This year has brought me great heartache, pain, and loneliness, which I plan to leave in this year. On the other hand, this year has also taught me life lessons, and made me wiser. These I plan to take with me in the new year. Do I plan to change some things about my life,  yes, absolutely. Do I plan to dwell on all of the things that didn’t go right, no, but I don’t plan to forget them. This will actually be my reminder of what not to do.

A few of my New Year’s Resolutions include building a better me for me, yes of course save money, continue working on my weight loss goal, and maintaining a peace of mind. I want to learn how to meditate the correct way.

Tell me what some of your New Year’s Resolutions are….. 🙂

 

10 Reasons Why Saying I Love You Just Isn’t Enough: Day 5

5. Attend Church Together: Everyone goes on with the notion that they have relationships all figured out. They think that it’s physical, it’s emotional, it’s mental, heck even financial. While all that may be true and great aspects to focus on, what about the spiritual. People feel that once they have all of the worldly things under control in their relationships, then nothing else needs to be done. That is where you are wrong. In order for your union to continue to remain strong, you must focus and rely on the spiritual aspect of your relationship. Now-a-days, people have to wrong misconception about church. This is the main reasons why many marriages and relationships fail. You must keep God first in all that you do.

 

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Attending church together as a couple or even a family, helps your spirits to connect. It draws you closer to each other. It helps you both to understand each other on a deeper level. Relationships without God becomes subject to worldly temptations. When you don’t have God in your relationships, you tend to live without a conscious. You fall into all the things the devil wants you to. You lie, you commit adultery, you have children out of wedlock, you do things that you think you should feel guilty for. But, if you have God in your relationships, he will lead and keep you on the right path. He’ll tell you, that woman isn’t for you, or think before you speak. He’ll guide you towards the right direction on how to handle certain situations.

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Putting God in your relationship also works things out. If you all are worried about finances, both of you all should pray and ask God to work it out. Having problems between the two of you, pray, God will straighten it out. Problems with the children? Pray, God will fix them. When you put forth effort to focus on the spiritual part of your relationship, you won’t have time to lie, cheat, steal, or hang out late at night. You’ll only have time to figure out ways to make your relationship better and everlasting.

Now, one thing I want to point out in this particular tip is that this is for people already in a relationship. If you aren’t in a relationship, this can apply to other aspects of your life. This can apply to family and friends. No matter what aspect of your life it applies to, you should focus on the spiritual. Keep God first. Even for those of you seeking love, keep God first. He will tell you who is for you and who isn’t. He will put the right person in the right place at the right time. Just be patient.

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Another thing I want to point out for the single readers, please under no circumstances should you take my advice and go to church to look for a man. While going to church can help a relationship work for the better, there are a lot of hypocrits in church. When I say attend church to better your lives, listen to the word of God. Listen to the sermon. The sermon could apply to a problem you all may be going through. Don’t go to church for people. This is why church isn’t effective for many people because they go to church for people instead of going to church to hear the word of God. Keep in mind, people aren’t always who they seem to be. This is why the spiritual aspect of your life is important. Even for my married couples and unmarried couples, keep the spiritual aspect of your lives at the front. All the rest will follow.

#everydayinspiration