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Showing posts from June, 2011

Plant the Seed and Walk Away

BMNB (My husband, Black Man Not Blogging) doesn't know I'm writing this, but I'll take my chances. He won't be happy that I'm putting his business out on the street, but I think there's something to be learned from his experience.

I watch BMNB alot, and not just when he's coming out of the shower naked, although I do make a point of being awake for that wonderful marital privilege. He works hard -- REALLY hard -- at trying to help younger family members advance in life. Not for the sake of material gain, mind you, but for the same reasons I wrote about in my post about why I want my family to be educated -- so that they will be free. Independent and financially free.

And it's sad that I've had to watch BMNB slowly come to the conclusion I reached a long time ago about family -- they don't always want to advance, or at least they don't want to do the work it takes to do so. Your family -- and I'm not just talking about our family, but any f…

Use What You've Got, and If You're Not Going to Use It . . .

"If you're not going to use something, give it to someone who will. No sense sitting on it when it could do someone else some good."

~ My mother

"If you continually give, you will continually have."

~ A friend of mine

"Give. That's where your blessings come from."

~ My mother-in-law

Summer's finally here! Yay! I've got tomatoes ripening on the vine in my little garden, roses blooming out of control, some barbecued chicken and burgers and cilantro-lime grilled corn in the fridge that BMNB grilled yesterday, as well as a pitcher of sweet tea with lemon. Life is good!

Because there are a few trips I'd like to take this summer that I hadn't really planned on, I'm watching my budget closely. My personal theme for the summer is, "Use what you've got." When you think about it, how often do we buy stuff that we really wouldn't need if we poked around our garages and pantries a little more or used what already works? I had th…

Stick a Fork in Him -- That Weiner's Done

Congressman Anthony Weiner finally resigned. Finally.

He went from lying about his Twitter account being hacked (He had to know the folks at Twitter were going to try to prove him wrong, since they have a professional reputation to uphold), to defiantly stating he would not resign, to seeking treatment (Don't they all "seek treatment" when they screw up and they're in the public eye?), to wanting to consult with his pregnant wife to finally giving up the ghost.

An honorable man would have admitted his wrongdoing early on, resigned, and tried desperately to save his marriage, not his career.

That's what gets me about these unfaithful politicians -- they still think they can have it all, just like they had been having it all before they got caught. And they desperately try to hang on to having it all, even invoking consulting their wives as an excuse to avoid the inevitable death spiral from grace.

Even BMNB got annoyed at Weiner's refusal to step down, saying, &q…

I'm In, But Are You, Mr. President?

Yesterday on the Today Show, President Obama said that there are days when he thinks one term is enough but that he is committed to seeking re-election because he believes in the work that remains to be done.

Today, on Facebook, I was asked whether "I'm In" for President Obama's second term. I clicked on the icon and signed up. But I didn't donate the requested minimum $25.00. Not yet.

My question is, are you in, Mr. President? No, really. I mean it.

I'm one voter who has actually run a political campaign. And one thing I know is that if the candidate isn't all in -- hasn't fully committed, hasn't doubled down on him or herself -- the campaign is pretty much dead in the water. I was lucky to have a candidate who was indeed all in, so much so that he backed up his commitment to his candidacy with his own money.

With all due respect, Mr. President, you can't win this until you've made up your mind that it is indeed won. It all starts with your i…

We Are Who We Came From

Oprah Winfrey didn't find out that she had another sister until she was well into her fifties. Why? Probably because her mother didn't want to tell her because she felt shame, guilt, or both. Think of how much time they missed out on. Oprah's mother and some of my older relatives are of the same generation, and I'd like to share a little something with them:

Get over yourselves, for your children's sake.

I have a relative who is tight-lipped about family history because of some deeply held need to protect and preserve the memory of a relative long departed, a relative that the members of my generation would be presumed to pass judgment on if our true family history were laid bare. That unwillingness to talk about family history makes it difficult, if not almost impossible, to do genealogical research to find out about an entire branch of my family. That entire branch is lost to me because older family members think that by holding back family history, they are preser…

Sometimes the System Works. Sometimes.

Sometimes the system works. Sometimes justice is served.

Yesterday there were first degree murder convictions in the slaying of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey. My sister The Writing Diva has written about this better than I could, so I'm turning this blog entry over to her. Read her blog entry here.

Kudos to the Chauncey Bailey Project and Reporters Without Borders for ensuring that justice was indeed served.

Rest in peace, Chauncey. This time, the system worked.

Rise, Dark Girls, Rise: The "Dark Girls" Documentary

I did it myself. Inadvertently. And I wasn't even aware that I was doing it.

During my book club's discussion of Isabel Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns," one of the book club members asked whether Dr. Foster, one of the people profiled in the book who migrated from Louisiana to California, was not held in high esteem by his father-in-law, who was the president of Atlanta University, because Dr. Foster might have been dark. Dr. Foster's photo is featured on the website for the book, I responded. "Yes, he was dark," I said, "but he was good looking."

It took my viewing the trailer for the documentary "Dark Girls," to realize that I didn't mean that in the way it most often is meant -- that someone, in spite of his or her dark skin, is handsome or beautiful. I meant that Dr. Foster should have been equally privileged among the elites he married into because he was good-looking. But that's not how it came out and that'…

Why I Want You To Be Educated

I had the pleasure of attending my book club meeting's discussion of Isabel Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns," a fabulous read that chronicles the Great Migration -- the exodus of black folks from the South to the North and West starting from the turn of the 20th century to 1970. Our discussion veered into the differences between the black migrants from the South and their descendants, in particular, how the migrants hungered for opportunities that their children and grandchildren take for granted. Like education.

I remarked that I was the aunt in my family -- I don't have children -- who constantly pushes education, telling my nieces and nephews about the quality of the schools their kids are attending, what they need to do to get their children reading at grade level, what kinds of educational materials they should buy to supplement what their children's schools aren't providing. When it comes to education in my family, I'll admit -- I'm dow…

Conserving Energy -- My Own

Summer's almost here, although you wouldn't know it from the weird weather we're having here in Northern California (Tornadoes? WTF?). And this summer, I'm engaging in some serious energy conservation -- my own.

I've come to see that a lot of things I'm spending energy on aren't paying off much in terms of results or personal satisfaction. So I'm going to starting conserving energy and redirecting it towards things that will give me greater personal satisfaction.

I'm not going to waste time trying to give someone a message they aren't willing or prepared to receive. I'll speak my peace once ("Uh, you might want to go back to school") and then leave it. What they do with my message is up to them. Heck, I might not speak it at all -- sometimes people aren't prepared to receive a message they desperately need to hear. Saying it over and over again doesn't make them any more prepared to hear it. No one controls that but them.

In t…