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Showing posts from December, 2010

Get Your Own: Own Some OWN

On January 1, 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will launch on what was formerly the Discovery Health Channel. If you're like me, you've been a loyal viewer of the Oprah Show and have probably, time permitting, also watched Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus and Rachael Ray as regularly as possible. You've probably purchased books chosen as Oprah Book Club selections.

I don't mean to sound selfish, but what have you gotten in exchange for all your Oprah loyalty? It's not like you could buy stock in Harpo, Inc.

But you CAN buy stock in Discovery Communications, Inc., which will own OWN 50-50 with Harpo, Inc.

That's right, it's time for you to benefit from all your years of Oprah loyalty. Own some OWN.

Although Discovery Communications, Inc. has issued various series of stock the differences between which I have yet to discern, I'm seriously considering owning some OWN, or rather, Discovery Communications, Inc., in my 401K. Sure, it's a bet that Oprah…

Teena Marie: She Was Us

I was shocked to hear of Teena Marie's passing. Just as there are those who will always believe that Elvis, Tupac and Biggie are still alive, I'm one of those who will always believe this: Teena Marie was black. Blacker than me.

Yes, I saw video of her mother on TV One's "Unsung." Yes, I've seen her perform on television numerous times. I just refuse to believe that a white woman could talk, sing, and move in the world the way she did and still be white. If we as black people could give honorary black status to anyone, Teena Marie would have been at the top of the list. But we wouldn't have thought she needed such status. She was us.

She didn't imitate R&B and hip-hop; she was R & B and hip-hop. She wasn't like us; she was us. Teena Marie could have used the N-word and I don't think a single black person would have flinched. She earned that right, if for no other reason, for putting up with Rick James' mess as long as she…

Gifts I'm Giving Myself This Christmas

My mother didn't wait for or expect my father to buy her what she wanted for Christmas. She just went out and bought it herself. I think her logic was simple and still holds true: Why wait for or expect someone to not only determine your wishes but also fulfill them? I don't know about you, but I've never given myself a gift I didn't like.

In that vein, instead of waiting to be "surprised," for good or for bad, with a gift purchased for me, I'm giving myself the gifts I want this year. And they're not all monetary or consumption-driven. Sure, I went out and bought three Mulberry for Target handbags simply because I thought they were cute. I tried to score those Isabel Toledo for Payless Toreador pumps that keep selling out, only to become a victim of Payless' online inventory glitch and miss out totally. But the gifts I really want aren't all monetary, and I'm in the best position to give them to myself. They are:

The Gift of Boundaries. Too…

Don't Forget -- It Is a Christmas "Season"

It's easy in the midst of shopping, planning meals, cleaning house and preparing for holiday guests that it is a Christmas "season." Seasons don't last forever. If you don't take time out to enjoy the season, you'll look up and it'll be gone.

Enjoying the season doesn't have to mean spending a wad of cash. It's as easy as walking around your neighborhood or any neighborhood at night to look at Christmas lights. When BMNB and I lived in Colorado, that was one of our favorite things to do around Christmastime -- drive around at night and see the Christmas lights in the different neighborhoods around Denver.

You can donate canned goods from your pantry to a food bank knowing that a family in need will be fed and appreciative.

You can take time for yourself. Take a walk and get some fresh air and exercise -- 30 minutes of walking a day can make a world of difference if you've been sedentary for a long time. Stop and meditate -- clear you mind …

A Prayer for Aretha, From All Her Daughters

I was saddened to hear of Aretha Franklin's pancreatic cancer and surgery. I am praying, as are many of her other spiritual daughters, that she will recover and continue to reign as the Queen of Soul.

Although Aretha Franklin has no biological daughters, she has millions of us spiritual ones. We learned to demand respect, tell men to think about what they're trying to do to us, and revel in what it feels like to be a natural woman just by listening to her songs. We rocked steady and went riding on the freeway of love. We learned of the universality of heartbreak when she demanded, "don't play that song," as well as the ephemeral hope within love lost when she promised to knock on her man's door, tap on his window pane, and walk by herself to prove that her love was true. Her songs, and the feeling with which she sang them, told our stories -- what we'd been through or would eventually go through as women. She reminded us and Lauryn Hill that "a…

A Prayer for Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards passed away today at the age of 61, leaving behind three children and joining a fourth. Keep her earthly children in your prayers.

Elizabeth had the forethought to record her advice and wisdom for her young kids knowing she would not be there when they needed it. It saddens me that she has left behind two children under the age of 18. I'm not a mom, but I know most mothers live for two things: To raise all their children to adulthood and, if they're lucky, live to see their own grandchildren. Elizabeth Edwards will not achieve either of these goals.

When I turned 18, it was the most momentous coming-of-age moment for my parents because my turning 18 signaled they were done. They had gotten six kids to the age of adulthood, without pregnancies or prison time and with high school diplomas. For two black parents who had not finished high school, they were relieved. Their job was done. And, they lived to see their grandchildren.

I'm not a mom, but I can…