I rock!

I rock!

Sunday night, BET aired Black Girls Rock, and it was so awesome!  It’s about time we see some positive, inspirational, motivational, strong images of black women in the media.  BET did this one right.  Working with Beverly Bond to give more exposure to the positivity her initiative exudes, this program did wonders for grown black girls and small black girls alike.  If you missed it, I encourage you to watch it, whether you’re a black girl or not.  You can catch it online at the link above.

So let’s spread some love on my page today.  Share with me why YOU rock!

Why do I rock?  I rock because I’m a risk taker.  I dream and then I go after them.  I rock because I’m a M.A.D. black woman–one who’s making a difference.  I’m a change maker.  I rock because even though I’m a rough and tough with my afro puffs at times, I’m versatile–I’m also a softspoken, sensitive southern belle who loves alliteration and all things vintage and frilly.  I rock because I know my style and I love myself for it.  I rock because I want to be an influence on those around me.  As Iyanla Vanzant said Sunday night, I rock because I have no other choice.

Here’s one of my fave parts of the show.

Why do you rock?  Tell me!

Advertisements
Feature Friday: Small Businesses

Feature Friday: Small Businesses

I’m no stranger to the pros and cons, benefits and trials of owning a small business.  In addition to my own small endeavors over the years, I was exposed to entrepreneurship as a child.  My granddaddy opened Robinson Shoe Shop in 1957, and it is now operated by my daddy and one of my uncles.  I’m sure this is one of the major reasons that the passage of the Small Business Jobs Act this week was important news to me, besides the fact that statistics show that small businesses are the source of a large chunk of the jobs in this country and are important to economic development.  They are also necessary in the community development of black communities.  Part of economic empowerment is generating and producing, not just consuming.

So today, my feature is two-fold: The Small Business Jobs Act and the film Harlem’s Mart 125: The American Dream.

I saw the film in late August on a Sunday afternoon at Central Library.  Not knowing that I had just said excuse me and stepped over the film’s creator, I sat in my seat and through the grainy cinematography (which I understood is an byproduct of a one-woman budget!! How passionate and awesome is that?), learned about an establishment that was not only the lifeline of several hard-working black business owners but also to the entire community in which it was located.  The film chronicles how the Harlem’s Mart 125 in New York became to be such a force and how the business owners were let down by the society and government that tells us that we have to get up and get our own.  It saddened me to see the disinvestment of the building, despite the fact that the businesses had been there for years, attracting and maintaining customers and staying relevant to a degree through the times.  Then came the gentrification of the area, which led to the government supporting new chain businesses while not providing support for the anchors that had been holding the community up the whole while.  The creator, Rachelle Salnave-Gardner, showed us that sometimes we really just get the short end of the stick–and that short end begets so many other implications for the business owners, their families, their customers, and the culture of the community.  If you get a chance to see or host this film, I encourage you to take it.

So what does the new bill that President Obama signed this week mean?  Additional loan availability, increases in the loan amounts, a higher tax deductible  for start-up businesses, tax deduction on health insurance expenses, and lots of other stuff.  Here’s another link with some info.  I hope that people, especially black business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, will take advantage of some of these newly passed opportunities.  We can’t control all the circumstances, but creating strong businesses and supporting those businesses hold much promise for the future of us all.

Happy Friday, folks!

A Wrap-Up of the Sherrod Saga

A Wrap-Up of the Sherrod Saga

Keith Olbermann says plenty in this passionate, eloquent commentary.  I really can’t think of much more to add.  Enjoy.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38353683/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/

Also, MSNBC has posted this interesting conversation about the vilification of black women and the differences between “types” of racism.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540

Lastly, Cynthia McKinney has added another layer to this saga.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/note.php?note_id=406955706138&id=127636853311&ref=mf

I want it all!

I want it all!

From the time I thought that boys were no longer icky and were worthy of interest, endless thoughts, and daydreams, I’ve always had a “type”.  Of course, physical characteristics were always important–my mom always told me “you have to wake up to him in the morning” and “you need to think of your kids.” But if we took a look at all the guys I’ve ever crushed on or dated, I think one thing they mostly all had in common was that they were strong personalities dipped in lots of charm.  I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always liked that guy who loves (or at least is comfortable in) the spotlight, knows everybody there is to know, and spends his time mapping out and taking action toward his passions.  And many times I’ve blamed this insatiable desire for my dating woes.  The guys I actually liked back were the guys with girls chasing them down the block (no, really–one ex had a girl chase him down State St, 220, and Northside Drive in Jackson in a car, but that’s another story) and doing whatever they can to divert his attention; the guys whose dreams were so big that they didn’t know how or didn’t want to juggle, and I never knew if I’d ever be a sizable priority in their lives.

Yet, I have not been willing to (or maybe even able to) take this characteristic off my “list”.  There’s just something about a guy who has mastered his social skills and oozes a certain self-confidence and who is all about doing something major while he’s on earth that makes me fan myself. And I’m fine with that.  Why? Because I think as we get older, I’m more likely to find the sharp, charismatic guy who is that able to provide me with the balance that has been missing for so long (and yes this is an ambiguous statement–I need help with my own balance and he needs to have some level of balance on his own).  We’re all growing into ourselves, right? So once we know what we want, including our partner–don’t we do want we have to do to manage all things important?

So I said all that to introduce an interesting Twitter convo that made me say hmmm.

JHJeffers: RT @DGJ_1977: RT @RHYMEFEST: So ladies be careful what you ask for, because loving ambitious, charismatic & powerful men comes with a cost.

Me: Which is? RT @JHJeffers: RT @RHYMEFEST: So ladies be careful what u ask for bc loving ambitious, charismatic & powerful men comes w a cost.

JHJeffers: @NadaJo: Powerful men often have a strong desire to control and have egos that are out of this world

Me: A few r humble but I can c it RT @JHJeffers @NadaJo: Powerful men often have a strong desire to control&have egos that are out of this world

JHJeffers: @NadaJo ‎​Charismatic men are super flirtatious and sometimes cross the line

Me: I see RT @JHJeffers: @NadaJo ‎​Charismatic men are super flirtatious and sometimes cross the line

JHJeffers: @NadaJo Ambitious men spend long hours working, Sometimes @ the expense of marriage

Me: Mm hmm RT @JHJeffers: @NadaJo Ambitious men spend long hours working, Sometimes @ the expense of marriage

Me: @JHJeffers so basically we ladies who like pwrful, charismatic, ambitious men need to also pray that he has humility, self-ctrl, and balance

Me: #icandothat

JHJeffers: @NadaJo: Yeeeaaaahhhhh, but I would just shoot for 2 out of 3 #imjustsaying

HarlemFaith: (Well said) RT @NadaJo so we ladies who like pwrful, charismatic, ambitious men need to pray he has humility, self-ctrl, and balance

HarlemFaith: @NadaJo I don’t know if I agree with everything @jhjeffers is saying.. but it’s interesting.

Me (knowing this will turn into a blog post, maybe even a series cuz this is getting good! heehee): What do u think? RT @HarlemFaith: @NadaJo I don’t know if I agree with everything @jhjeffers is saying.. but it’s interesting.

HarlemFaith: @NadaJo @jhjeffers I don’t like the fact that the argument seemed so segmented and over generalized. Yes, those characteristics make ppl

HarlemFaith: @nadajo @jhjeffers successful but powerful men(and women) in lasting relationships know when to turn them on and off.

HarlemFaith: @nadajo @jhjeffers too much of anything is bad…. and there’s a time and place for everything.

HarlemFaith: @nadajo @jhjeffers… I want my man to be just as ambitious as I am.. (and he is) when we are together that energy is directed towards me.

HarlemFaith: For a while, me and many of my counterparts were told that our ambitious, agressive personalities were the reason we didn’t have a man

HarlemFaith: I disagree.. I think there is a time and place for anything. and the key to a successful relationship without losing who you are is figuring out how to channel that intense energy.. and use it for good. lol. Use those same skills to please your man.

HarlemFaith: I’m a big proponent of playing my “position”. I can be your woman (opinionated and all) but still allow you to be the man.

Me: YES! RT @HarlemFaith I’m a big proponent of playing my “position”. I can be ur woman (opinionated & all) but still allow you to be the man.

The convo is still going on.  But I’ll do a poll.  Can we (I) have it all?  Is it possible to have what we want plus the balance needed to make the relationship last and thrive?  Do we have to choose between the power, charisma, and ambition and the devotion and dedication?  Chime in!

Women and Love

Women and Love

I usually don’t watch the Monique Show, but I had to watch to see one of my favorite artists of all time, Erykah Badu.

Here’s a quote that really touched me:

Drummers need a camp where they can learn how to drum better. Teachers need a camp where they can learn to teach better. Women need a camp where we can learn how to love better, especially ourselves.

Check out the show.

Mothers and their Daughters

Mothers and their Daughters

Find this picture and more at http://www.orkinphoto.com/children.php.
Mother and Daughter at Penn Station, New York City, 1947 - For this and more pictures, visit http://www.orkinphoto.com/children.php.

Today seems like one of those days that I’m supposed to pick up on a common theme.  Well, a few seconds ago, I figured it out when my bestie emailed me the inspirational start  of a story that’s destined for a happy ending.  She and her mother are on a journey together to build up her mom’s spirit.  And their closeness and today’s triumph reminded me immediately of an interchange my mom and I had this morning.

Somewhat randomly during a convo this morning, my mom said this:

You are such a joy to me.  I just want you to know you live up to the renewal of hope your name invokes. Love you.

That made me tear up this morning, and it’s making me tear up now. (And on top of the teariness LYH’s email just invoked, I need to chill out before I’m on the extreme side of things I just mentioned!) The relationship between mother and daughter is an amazing one.  I’ve spent my life loving my mom and trying to make her proud, and she spent hers trying to make my life exponentially better than hers.  At some point, we transitioned from just a parent-child relationship to a parent-child-friends relationship.  And now that I’m an adult, I understand the sacrifices she has made, and I worry about her probably just as much as she worries about me.  Now, add to the loving and the making proud other things such as checking up on, praying for, trying to prevent worry and stress, defending and threatening on behalf of–all the stuff I owe her for being there for me since even before I was born.

Here’s to all the mothers and daughters out there who are ride or die with each other!  We could not be where we are without the exceptional love of them, and we’re trying our best to return the favor now.  Love you, mama!