Monthly Archives: January 2012

Three Principles for Embracing Martin’s Dream

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

-Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.

Finally. I get a day off work. I get time to spend with my family, maybe do a little shopping, watch some TV, and just bum around. That’s what most people do on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While there will still be some of that, I decided to make today a day of reflection. How far have we come in the last 50 years since the “I Have a Dream” speech? By comparison of then and now, Blacks and minorities today are doing more than they have ever done. We have our own homes, businesses and even the United States presidency. Yet, thre are still inequalities and injustices everywhere you turn. I want to take three principles from Dr. King’s speech that I feel will help us make his dream a reality.


The Tranquility of Gradualism
1. “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened in the 1970s and 80s. Many Blacks became apathetic toward the civil rights movement and satisfied with minor victories against social injustice. After King’s death, we went from a state of activism to gradualism, accepting minor reforms as they came. Throwing a program at a community ridden with poverty and violence is like putting band aid on a stab wound. We have allowed the current welfare system to rob us of our dignity, self-worth and passion. King advocated that all would have access to the American Dream which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In many ghettos across America that pursuit of happiness turned into pursuit of the materialistic. “By any means necessary” as quoted by Malcolm X, turned killing your brother in order to gain respect or robbing your grandmother to feed to your addiction. Let us do away with the gradualism that nullifies our soul and resurrect the passion of change deep within.

A Return to Dignity and Discipline
2. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

When injustice occurs there always the propensity to become angry and that anger often results in violence, hatred or bitterness. In the struggle, we must maintain our dignity and self-respect.  Furthermore, discipline for the journey ahead is necessary to secure to victory. We can’t cry injustice were there is no discipline. We must stay focused and consistent even in the face of adversity.
“The Greatest of These is Love” (1 Cor. 13:13)
3. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

Above all, we must commit to love each other and all God’s creation. We must not become so bitter that we cannot reach across racial lines to work with and help our brother. Martin’s dream was not just that we would have Black-owned this and that, but that we would be able to work alongside other races for the common good.  We need to appreciate the diversity of humanity and the diversity within the Black race. Therefore, we should stop pointing out the differences in skin color, eye color, hair texture etc. Let us embrace Dr. King’s dream to judge one another by the content of our character and not our appearance. 

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Funny or Offensive? “Anatomy of An Urban Thug”

Source unknown

I ran across this pic on friend’s facebook page. When I first saw it, I thought it was hilarious! I was like, “I need to share this on the blog.” However, I began to ask myself, “could this be seen as degrading?” Could it be seen as yet another negative stereotype of African-American males? Are we being deplicted as caricatures and not as real people?And by the way, I doubt if the people who dress this way refer to themselves as “urban thugs.” Do I dare go into critical analysis and the history behind sagging clothes, hoodlife, etc? But then, I say to myself, “girl, lighten up…everything is not “power to the people..”‘  Rather than allow a flurry of thoughts overtake my mind, I ask YOU, “is this funny or offensive?”

Please share you comments below.

Product Review: Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment

Find online at Target

I have to start by saying that I was long overdue for a deep conditoning. As part of my hair goals for this year (see them here), I want to maintian deep conditioning every 2-4 weeks. I decided to try Miss Jessie’s Super Sweet Treatment. Miss Jessie’s makes a lot of claims (with a hefty price tag), so I wanted to put it to the test.


You know we all love “smell good.” This conditioner actually has a very sweet smell, though the term “sweetback” has nothing to do with smell…Anyway, I slathered a golf-ball size (recommended) of product on my hair from root to end. I used a wide tooth comb and my fingers to detangle my hair prior to getting under the dryer. I sat under a hooded dryer for about 20 minutes with a plastic cap on my head. The directions suggest that the growth properties are amplified with a stream treatment or under a hooded dryer but it’s written to be optional. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on how long to deep condition or if applying heat is necessary. A general rule of thumb is just to follow the directions on the package. One thing I would suggest that Miss Jessie’s clarify in the directions, is that it says so leave on for 30 minutes, but doesn’t explain how. I suppose you could detangle for 30 minutes straight. Or, just walk around for 30 minutes with a shower cap.  The other method they suggest is to allow the steam from the shower penetrate the hair for 15 minutes. Looking back, I think I will try that method next time since it is much less cumbersome and may add more moisture.

My thoughts about this product:

  • The product promises elongated curls…ummmm…I don’t have curls. I have kinks. So, my shrunken afro didn’t seem any longer than before.
  • My hair felt soft after using it.
  • I didn’t struggle as much installing my mix of wet two-strand twists and flat-twists.
  • Days later, my fluffy flat-twistout was still fluffy (Of, course I would retwist every other night.)
  • I was delighted to find that this product also contains shea butter and centella extract which pormotes hair growth.
  • As I always say, every hair type and hair need is different. Try it for yourself. You can find it in the store or order online at Target.com.

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Funny or Offensive? Sh*t White Girls Say:[Commentary +Video]

Well, if you have not seen “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls,” the video that has blown up on Youtube (with I think 4 million views!), then you must not have internet. (View the video below by the talented vlogger, Chescaleigh.) My question to you is, if you are a Black person, did you relate? When you encounter these types of comments, do laugh them off or get offended? If you are a White person, have you ever said or thought any of these things? Did you find the video funny or offensive? Here’s my take.

First off, comedians generally can say whatever they want to say (unless the comments are degrading someone’s physical or mental impairment or used to inflict harm, then that’s not cool). What comedy does is take an otherwise tense situation, like race relations, and lighten it up a bit. Have you ever had one of those, “Oh, no she didn’t just say that” moments? I’ve had plenty of those moments having gone to an interracial high school to a predominately White college to working at a job where out of 1000 employees you can count the number of Blacks on one hand in management. So, yea, I could definitely relate to most of those comments, and I was cracking up laughing at this video. I’ve even heard this one, “He’s cute, for a Black guy, don’t you think?.”  And, you think to yourself, “Wait a minute…is that a compliment? My daddy is a black guy. lol” Oh, and don’t get me started on the hair comments. To be honest, when you work and go to shcool in a mixed race environment, these comments are inevitable. Oftentimes, I find that some White people are looking for something to relate to you on and all they can think of is the external or what they see in the media. Most folks don’t mean any harm.

I tread lightly as I write this, but I think Black and White folks alike can be too sensitive when it comes to the “R” word. Not every little, seemingly insensitive comment is racism. Yes, racism is still real. If you don’t think so, just read some of the Youtube comments from the video. And of course, there is institutional racism which goes beyond insensitive comments to denial of loans, housing, lack of promotion on the job, to negative portrayal in the media, etc. Aside from all the heavy stuff that ills our nation, I think comedy can be used as a tool to help heal racism. We could use some more humor to help us see things in a different light.

So, the next time a white woman asks you, “is this real?” or “can I touch it?” Just laugh it off and move on. If you are a White person and you feel the need to begin a sentence with, “not to sound racist, but…” maybe think twice before finishing that sentence. As our buddy, Rodney King infamously quoted, “Can’t we all just get along?” (Man, he should be gettting royalties or something off that statement…lol) Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.