They Don’t Want Us To Be Woke

Let’s start with this, so that we’re clear from the onset.

I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence. I am also both woke and aware that sometimes women lie about being victimized by men. Therefore, what I’m about to state isn’t based on my biased emotions because of what I’ve survived. I don’t hate men and I know how to be objective.

If you are a person of color, and you don’t go to see Birth of a Nation, you’re playing yourself and robbing our children of an important moment in American History that is not sugar-coated or watered down.

A jury of his peers found Nate Parker not guilty of raping a woman, whom he had a relationship with, when he was a young, black man (without millions of dollars in the bank) on a sports scholarship in college. Now, as a grown man, Nate Parker is being vilified for that same crime because he successfully made a movie that could have a positive impact on our legacy and the minds of people in this country.

This is not a “I slipped something in her drink/I gave women drugs regularly” situation by any means. Nate Parker has spoken about this incident and never changed his stand on his innocence. Recently he was interviewed by Robin Roberts about the incident. After the interview, The Grio published an article about said interview with a very misleading title in an effort to (obviously) gain readers’ attention.  During the interview with Robin Roberts, Parker was expected to apologize for the rape controversy that recently reemerged and exploded due to the spotlight put onto Birth of a Nation. In my experience as a rape victim, a woman, and a citizen, innocent people, who are proven innocent by a jury, don’t often apologize for a crime they didn’t commit, if they didn’t commit the crime. It is my opinion that mainstream media is attempting to hang Parker with his past, in hopes that no one will go see the movie.

The reality is this: the biggest demographic of movie goers is women. With an estimated annual buying power of $5 trillion dollars, women rule in many areas of importance, regardless of what you may assume.  Therefore, if women are led to believe that Nate Parker committed the crime of rape, even though a jury found him innocent, women will sympathize with the alleged victim, if they too have been violated, or empathize, even if they haven’t, and thereby boycott Birth of a Nation instead of supporting it. Someone somewhere is hoping that on this opening box office weekend, that will be their victory.

Ask yourself this one question if you think I’m blowing smoke:

If Parker were in fact guilty of the crime of rape, why bring it to the forefront after he’s already starred in several movies, along with the likes of Denzel Washington?

I’ll tell you why. Birth of a Nation isn’t just going to be in movie theaters across the country or the world. There’s an educational curriculum developed around the film to put it into school districts as well. If our next generation isn’t led to believe that slaves were happy being enslaved and are instead taught the truth about what slavery was, introduced to more stories about how slavery impacted the country the live in, they are more likely to have a higher sense of self, civic responsibility and concern about civil rights as it relates to themselves and other people of color. 

The rape case that ended with a not guilty verdict is being used as a distraction. If Nate Parker was a White man, putting out this same movie, the crime he WASN’T found guilty of committing, wouldn’t be a topic of any conversation at all…. anywhere. I urge you to make a decision to educate yourself about a pivotal figure in African-American history instead of allowing yourself to be influenced by the spin being put on Nate Parker’s past. If you were in his shoes, that is what you’d want.

They don’t want us to be woke. So we need to stay woke.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Get Your Happy -An Open Letter to Single Women 

If you’ve been following my journey, you know that I’m not the luckiest woman when it comes to romantic relationships or dating. Although I’m accustomed to being committed, because that’s been the majority of my experience, I’ve had some bad relationships that I had to overcome. Although I enjoying going out, dating has been a serious challenge for me as well. After a couple of stalkers, and too many men who put up facades, it was determined that online dating just isn’t my thing and meeting men in general isn’t always pleasant. 

Instead of doing the “woe is me” single dance, I started intentionally focusing on just being happily single/married to my career. My desire for male companionship has become the last thing I think or care about. Marriage isn’t a goal, it’s an option. And I won’t date a man, or chase a man just to say I “have a man”. I don’t even mind when men assume I’m already in a relationship or married, preventing them from even attempting to date me. I have begun to look at that as a compliment….it means I’m identified as wife material and it helps keep the men who aren’t for me away when they’re unsure of if I’m “taken”, or not. 

I literally can turn men down and not feel any regret. I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I’ve gotten very good at it. I’ve politely said “no thanks” to trips, gifts, dinners, and hotel room keys from a slew of very successful, good looking, and some very famous men, and felt perfectly fine about my decision. *Here comes the grown folks convo.* While other women may think I’m crazy for turning these men away, I know why they show interest in me and more importantly, my p*ssy isn’t what makes me a good woman, therefore, I don’t feel the need to give it to every man who wants it, regardless of his status. Even if a man is genuinely interested in me, it doesn’t change the way I already feel about myself. I know my worth, and no matter how successful, good looking, or famous a man is, my worth isn’t predicated on what he thinks of me at all. I’m not hesitant to let any successful, good looking, or famous man know that “you can Google me, too, bro”, which often, they know already; that is one factor that attracts them to me. 

I can go many of the same places they go and I’m on the same guest lists, so their access doesn’t impress me. I travel, eat at very nice restaurants and wear designer clothes, so offers of plane tickets, handbags and clothes won’t impress me either. Men in my circles grow accustomed to women who fawn over their money, status and material possessions, so when they meet a woman who doesn’t need those things from them, it changes the game and sometimes intimidates them. I’m okay with that. I’m enjoying my life regardless. I’ve found my happy.

I bring this up to say, as women, we have to stop allowing how much we enjoy living life to be determined by how much attention or affection we receive from men. Women “wait” to do things, like traveling, buying jewelry, building/changing their careers, going back to school and buying property, until they “get a man/husband”, while men do whatever they want to do before they get a woman/wife. Too often women will say things like “I want my future husband to buy me a ring/watch/car like this” instead of buying it herself. But a man will see a ring/watch/car he likes and work towards buying it for himself. A woman will say things like “I want to go to Paris/Milan/Ibiza for my honeymoon”, but a man will go to Paris/Milan/Ibiza by himself or with the fellas without hesitation anytime he can afford to. 

Too many women limit the amount of living they do because they prioritize having a relationship with a man above living happily. Those same women often become resentful and envious of other women who have learned to live boldly and happily single, doing everything they want to do…. without waiting for a man to join them or facilitate it for them. That creates a strain in the sisterhood when a woman is unhappily single around her friends who are happily single or happily married. Ladies, you are guaranteed to lose a friend, or two, when you’re not happy because you’re single. 

Life is too short to wait on someone else to live it with you. If you don’t start embracing where you are today and start living life fully, as a single woman, you’ll wake up one day regretting all the things you didn’t do or deferred simply because you were single. Get your happy. Most women meet their Boaz while doing something productive and positive to enhance their own happiness in the first place.  

Devon Franklin posted this picture on Instagram, and it inspired this open letter. 

Are You Woke Yet?

​As I watch how we’re being treated by law enforcement, I observe something else. Have you noticed that primarily the shooters are white male officers? There aren’t any white female or black female police officers impulsively gunning black men, women or children down in the streets because they feel threatened by us. I remember years ago a Latina police officer chased a black man, on foot, who had just committed 5 criminal acts, including causing a car accident with my car. When she caught him, he beat her badly, and she had to be hospitalized as a result, but she didn’t panic and kill him and she would’ve been justified if she had. 

A couple years ago, I was arrested and detained for 4 days in a men’s jail. When I was taken into custody, two white male police officers handcuffed me behind my back, then one grabbed me hard by my arm. As they walked me to their squad car, the one holding the vice grip on my arm said “If you try to run, I’ll shoot you in the back”. I immediately stopped walking and stood right there forcing him to stop. I didn’t jerk away from him or anything they could claim was resisting arrest. I just planted my feet and didn’t move. When he turned to look at me because I stopped walking, I looked him in the eyes and said calmly “why wait for me to run? Just shoot me in the front while I’m facing you if you’re going to shoot me.” I think that surprised him. I was pretty much calling him a punk to his face, but I think HOW I said it was what made him drop his head as he loosened his grip on my arm to something more humane. When he stepped towards the car, I released my feet. I don’t know why I did that, but I don’t regret it. I come from a long line of defiant negroes who saw loved ones lynched and burned in the South. If I was going to die that day, for something I didn’t do, I was going to look my murderer in the face. So when I see how we’re treated by law enforcement, particularly some white males in law enforcement, I get really pissed…and sad. 

Today headlines on major news outlets say “What lead to Alton Sterling’s Death?”, as if we don’t know. The simple answer at the root is racism. The deeper problem is the systematic and obvious inequalities in our country between white people who hate and profile people of color, along with the fact that laws and programs have been implemented in our society over a number of decades that have limited the amount of people that look like us from being those that protect and serve us, including WOMEN, which as you recall don’t seem to be the shooters in these murders. Further, we have been subliminally programmed to “get over”, ignore and not talk about hundreds of years of oppression, slavery and racism because “we’ve come along way”. No we haven’t, we’ve taken a step forward but we have a million miles to go. We’re still being held captive, but now it’s in privately funded jails due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws and schools that have textbooks that alter history to water down the truth of who ALL people of color truly are and where we came from. We’re still being treated as lesser people when hundreds of people are murdered by police officers, dozens on video, yet no officers are convicted. We’re still being lynched in the streets while showing our “papers”. We’ve been programmed to compete against each other and hate ourselves, while those who hate us profit off of all the things they say are ugly about us. We’ve been conditioned to fear an enemy called Isis so that we’ll forget about the enemies we have right at home with guns, badges and political power. We’ve been drugged (the never ending war on drugs), experimented on (lead in our water supplies), raped (thousands of untested rape kits) and violated in countless ways, since the first of our ancestors were traded for beans and guns and chained to the bottom of ships and called cargo. It hasn’t ended. You’re lying to yourself if you think we have come along way. History is simply repeating itself, while the world is watching it go live on Facebook, stream on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and loop on Vine. And whether you want to believe it or not, a select amout of people are making millions of dollars off of it all. 

Don’t you sit behind your computer ot smart phone thinking for a second that white people don’t see the injustice and discrepancies, because they do. Some of them are just as angry, fed up, disappointed and woke as we are. Then there are some who could care less because they forget that they could be next in line for police brutality. They think their white privilege protects them. They might want to think again. These officers murdering black people because they can do so without fear of retribution or consequences are a new form of predators. What do you think predators will do after they kill all the niggers? They will turn their guns on their own. The woke white people know this already. They know that if Black Lives don’t matter, eventually their lives won’t matter either. 

Then there’s the blind black people who lie to themselves and say we have freedom and equality. Black people like that are a danger to themselves more than they realize. They are the black people who convince others to sign petitions against Jesse Williams for telling the truth. They are the black people who think their education, money and Instagram followers make them exempt from being victimized. They are the black people who are complicit in everything that does and has happened because they don’t vote and don’t speak up for victims of violence because they’re dead. My biggest pet peeve is the black people that say “just pray about it”. 

We prayed, now what? 

Are we supposed to load our guns, make gun manufacturers richer and have shoot outs with the Sheriff like its the Old West?

Are we supposed to walk around with tactical body armor or bullet proof vests on, just in case we get pulled over or approached by police? 

Are we supposed to keep the cameras on our phones on at all times even though all the video evidence in the world hasn’t resulted in a single conviction? 

Are we supposed to lock ourselves in our homes and never venture out because we’re black? 

I ask these questions because we already prayed. 

And Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were still murdered this week. Are you woke yet?

“Faith without works is dead” – Bible, Book of James 

Why Harriet?

Why not?

proposed $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman will be the first woman of color to ever have her image on the front of United States paper currency. It’ll take a few years to happen, because nothing happens overnight. She will replace Andrew Jackson, a founding father and slave master, who will be moved to the back of $20 bill. And some people of color seem to be opposed to this change. Seriously. I’m not making this up. Harriet Tubman has a Wikipedia page but still we oppose her image being on currency.

People of color are so afraid of change in this country that we don’t know when to embrace even the smallest victory towards positive progress. Black lives matter…, but shouldn’t be depicted or honored on the money that black people work to earn and spend? I’m confused by that. You mean to tell me that you don’t mind working hard, trapping and hustling to get lots of $20 bills with the face of a slave master looking back at you, but you’re in your feelings about that same currency having the image of a black woman, whose sacrifices made it possible for you to earn lots of $20 bills, in that slave master’s place? Clearly the United States government values Harriet Tubman’s contributions to our country more than some people of color do. And that’s sad.

White men have been considered the standard of wealth and more valuable than women throughout our American history, hence how these particular founding fathers all ended up on our paper currency in the first place. Women have only been on limited circulation coins, reiterating that women are worth “less” than men, in many ways. That mindset carries over into wage and gender inequality as well as women’s reproductive rights. We live in one of the oldest Democratic countries that has yet to have a female President. Several countries worldwide have a long history of female heads of state and have women on their paper currency as well. San Marino, Italy leads the race and has had 17 female heads of state. Syria has Queen Zenobia on their currency. If you don’t believe me, Google it for yourself. Some of the very countries who pay homage to the women who are and have been instrumental to their history are considered less progressive than the good ol’ USA.

It’s important to begin to honor women, and particularly women of color, more, from not only a socioeconomic level but also globally. We can’t expect to be valued and respected by others when we fail to honor our own. If we have Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill maybe it’ll become worth its actual value in the  paychecks of women working for it as well.

Lead By Example….Or Fail

As much as I would love to say that every experience I have with other business owners is positive, that isn’t the case. Approximately 20% of the business owners I encounter are a terror to work with.  Sadly, they have no idea. They have the best of intentions, with the worst outcomes. They consistently do the same things and expect different results. When they don’t get the results they expect, all hell breaks loose. It would be easy to act like I don’t see the issues, but I’d be contributing more to the problem, than the solution if I sat silent.

Here are the top areas where business owners fail to lead by a positive example:

1. Communication Style: 

I constantly encounter individuals with poor communication techniques. They don’t know how to address situations in a positive way so everything becomes a misunderstanding or argument when you interact with them. They talk three times as much as they listen and you often have to repeat yourself to make your point, let alone gain their attention. These individuals are very difficult to work with and often aren’t very successful, because they don’t listen well and therefore, don’t learn much.


2. Checking Voicemail: 

In an age where we have the best technology available to us to communicate with each other right at our fingertips, many people don’t even know how to check their voicemail. Their voicemail is full. They don’t listen to any messages left for them. And God forbid they delete messages. What’s the point in having a voicemail, or a phone, if you’re never going to use the simplest function on it?  Not checking your voicemail and/or allowing your voicemail to fill up is the easiest way to lose customers and money. It’s unprofessional and no one is that busy. Not even me.


3. Surrounding Themselves with “Yes” People:

Look at your team and your staff. Is everyone afraid of you? Do they all agree with everything you say? Do they sit back while you make decisions and then mysteriously have a new job working elsewhere the next day? If so, you’re surrounded by “yes” people and you’re a poor leader because of it. If you don’t have someone on your team with the courage to challenge you when you aren’t making wise decisions, you don’t have a strong team. A real leader can accept constructive criticism, listens to sound ideas based on information and data and makes decisions that empower themselves and those who work for them.  A good leader knows they aren’t always the foremost authority and they seek guidance from others with different perspectives, experiences and knowledge bases. A good leader is responsible for the failures and successes of their brand, but knows they are likely to be more successful and fail less when they have strong, decisive people on their teams who may not always agree with them.


4. Having Unrealistically High Expectations of Others:

Everyone’s journey to success is different. What one person deals with may or may not be similar to someone else’s experiences. Some people also have it easier than others due to the factors in their lives; parenting, environment, lifestyle, finances, etc.  A person’s gifts and talents can be recognized and appreciated by others who have been in their shoes before them. Those who recognize someone else’s gifts can also motivate and encourage them towards their purpose in life and their career. However, there are some people who believe that whatever “level” they currently are on is the same level someone else should start at or aspire towards. That’s completely unrealistic. People need time and space to grow into their gifts, and that requires nurturing, understanding and sometimes it may also require leaving a person alone to learn on their own.


5. Putting All their Money on One Horse In the Race: 

This is also commonly referred to as “putting all of their eggs in one basket”. I use betting on a horse instead to further drive the example home. The trifecta in horse raising is when you bet on more than one horse in the race, to place first, second and third. When a person puts all their money on one horse in the race, they are solely dependent on that horse to win. If the horse doesn’t win, the person loses. Here’s an example in business terms:

You are an independent movie producer. You’re casting a production with lesser known or amateur actors and actresses. You want someone who will attract movie goers to see your film and help you recoup your $10 million dollar budget. You can either cast one successful actor/actress in a starring role in hopes of gaining their fans (betting on one horse) or you can cast three or more successful actors/actresses to costar in the film (hitting the trifecta) and gain all of their fans. 

Not only is the trifecta a better business decision, but you will also have talented individuals in roles that can help improve the quality of performances by your lesser known actors and actresses instead of expecting one big name star to carry the entire film on their own.


6. Name Droppers: 

There are a lot of people who brag about who they know and who they have or can work with. Big deal. Watch those individuals closely and see if the same people they name drop are actually involved in their business when it’s time for them to show up. Chances are great that they are not around when it matters most to the business owner user their name to impress you or others.  When a celebrity believes in you, your business or your brand, you don’t have to use their name to grow, because they’re telling people all about you.  They’re sharing what you post on social media. They are giving referrals to you. They are introducing you to people who may want or need what you have to offer. They endorse you without monetary compensation. They want to be connected to your brand on more than one occasion. Remember: you can take pictures with all the celebrities in the world, but if you’re difficult to work with, unprofessional or have any of these other negative traits, they aren’t going to be bothered with you. Celebrities have a lot of other opportunities they can take advantage of that are less stressful than dealing with you.


7. Fakers/Instafamers/Fronters 

The only thing I can think of that is worse than a name dropper is a person who is lives by the “fake it til you make it” credo. That once worked in our lives, but it has gone entirely too far. With the growth of social media, almost anyone can call themselves anything and create a facade of being someone they are not. You know the type.

The person who is always posting their money and material possessions on Facebook and Instagram and their entire following is based on them doing so. The person who is always at an airport, but not really going anywhere impressive or didn’t pay for the trip themselves.  The person who works extremely hard to discredit others who are actually working hard to get to where they are but not bragging about it all the time. The person who tries to attach themselves to more successful people in an effort to either use them or try to demean them to make themselves feel good. The person who is always talking about what they are going to do “one day/one year/next time”, but they never do. The person who gives shout outs to celebrities that they don’t have relationships with but want to “work with”.

I call these types of people The Coming Soons and what they are doing is commonly known as frontin’. If you don’t know at least one person that fits into this category, you’re probably the one that is guilty of this behavior. Frontin’ has become nearly an epidemic. The cure is karma because the person frontin is always discovered to be a fraud sooner or later.  It’s better to live a life of positive experiences and slowly grow into success, than surround yourself with material possessions (whether fake or on credit) to make others believe you’re a success. The latter has led to the death, demise and imprisonment of a lot of people.

I hope this gives you something to think about as you go into your day-to-day lives and careers interacting with people. You can’t really avoid meeting these types of people. The only things you can do is recognize them for who they are and try not to become like them yourself.


Happy #IWD2016


Today we celebrate the contributions of women worldwide and in Detroit we’re also voting in the Presidential Primary, where Secretary Hillary Clinton is a Democratic candidate.

Today I also want to recognize a phenomenal woman by the name of Karen R. Lewis. She is the Founder of The Angel House in Metro Detroit and she advocates against domestic violence. Through her own experience as a survivor and the unfortunate loss of her daughter, also due to domestic violence, Karen found courage and purpose to start The Angel House.

If you’ve ever read my story you know that I too am a survivor of and advocate against domestic violence. Therefore, I feel an immediate connection with other women who’ve had the same experiences. Please lend support to The Angel House anyway that you can in honor of International Women’s Day.
For more information, please visit the website here.

The Company, The Woman, The Brand

#primary { width: 200px; }
%d bloggers like this: