Jemel Roberson

If you have been paying attention to the news, you know very well who Jemel Roberson was. I say was because he is now deceased. What caused his untimely death? Four shots from a trigger happy police officer. A police officer who was informed by several of the patrons that Jemel was the security guard. The very same security guard who subdued a gunman who came in aiming to take many lives that evening. Unfortunately for Jemel, he lost his life while saving the lives of others.

Jemel, like some of the other INNOCENT Black men, has become another statistic of deadly police brutality. Jemel Roberson, a Black man, was shot four times while pinning down a gunman who came in that evening aiming to take many lives. Yes, Jemel was shot four times after several of the patrons informed the White police officer that Jemel was the security guard.

That’s becoming a theme lately. Shoot or kill the Black man first, then ask questions later. Spare the life of the White gunman who just killed several people, but if you have to shoot the White gunman, don’t shoot to kill. When you report the crime to the media, tell them the Black man was a thug or life long criminal. The White gunman who just murdered several people? Oh, he suffered from depression, has a mental illness or struggled with PTSD. Are you following me?

Jemel shouldn’t be laying up in the morgue right now. He should be at home with his 9 month old son and family. Jemel, at the age of 26, was trying to provide for his family by working as a security guard and staying out of trouble. Now he’s dead because of a trigger happy police officer who saw him as a “threat.” Jemel had just saved numerous lives. How on earth could he be seen as a “threat?” Jemel the Hero is dead because of racial profiling and that is beyond tragic.

Until next time…

Don’t Be Like This…

Don’t be racist, prejudiced or discriminate against someone who is of another race or nationality. We don’t deserve such ill-treatment and hate. We have feelings and rights too. As a person of color, I’m more in tune with racism, prejudice and discrimination because I live it and deal with it every single day. If you are not a person of color, you CAN’T relate, but you CAN empathize…

Just take a look at the news. There is so much of hate towards people of color and those of a different nationality. Racists and prejudiced people have such a long history of violence and it’s still prevalent today. They like to use violence and intimidation, yet people of color, especially Black people, are often seen as violent or threatening. It’s quite ironic considering how history has shown that we’ve been the biggest victims of racism, hate and violence. And you know what? We still are.

It’s amazing how racist and prejudiced people try to justify hating someone based solely on their race, ethnic background or nationality. It makes no sense whatsoever which is why I believe all prejudiced and racist people are dumb and delusional. You can’t convince me otherwise.

Until next time…

Why Should It Matter?

A few days ago Geoffrey Owens, known for playing Elvin on The Cosby Show, was spotted working at Trader Joe’s. Yes, you read right, he works at Trader Joe’s. My question is: Why should that even matter? The man is trying to make a living for his family so what’s wrong with that? SMH at the disgusting woman who tried to shame him by selling a picture she took of him without his consent.

What started out as an attempt to shame him, resulted in a world of support. Geoffrey has received encouragement from fans all across the world including celebrities who came to his defense. It just doesn’t make sense to make fun of someone who is trying to make a living the best way they can. If anything, it should garner respect.

People who make fun of an individual’s job, trade, pay or income are simpletons. Not only that, they lack morals, values, confidence and self-esteem. Those very same individuals behave in such a way in order to try and make themselves feel better about themselves. Pitiful. Don’t be like them.

Until next time…

Does My Melanin Offend You? 

As a woman of color, I have had my share of racism and prejudices. It comes with the territory I guess of being Black. Many people today still feel and share the belief that Black people are unequal, uneducated and of a lower class. It has been said many times that cooking in the kitchen or cleaning up after folks is what Black people do best. Doing anything other than that or better than that poses a threat towards those with such warped beliefs. For some, it is almost too much for them to see another Black person do well, let alone better than them. For others, that connotation is simply unbelievable. 

Time and time again I have had to listen to my family and close friends vent about how they are treated at their places of employment. Some of it is subtle racism and some of it is not. There were times when my mouth was left open after hearing some of the things they went through because I could not fathom some of the things they were telling me. It is enough to make you angry and it is enough to break your heart. 

My subtle encounters with racism and prejudice usually happens when people find out “smart” or knowledgeable I am when it comes to a lot of things. I am sure at first glance I am seen as a small Black woman with not much to offer. As soon as they realize I am a far cry from what they once believed, that is when I begin to encounter such issues at my places of employment. I have not had a job yet where this did not happen to me. Needless to say, I never pay them any mind because a lot of it is due to insecurity issues and of course, hate. 

My melanin is what makes me stand out and my melanin is what makes me unique. Why should I apologize for being educated, motivated and Black? If my melanin offends you, I hate it for you. My cocoa butter brown skin is not going anywhere. It will continue to be radiant and glisten in the sunlight. If that offends you, oh well you will be alright. I will continue to block you out like I have done all the rest. Being the better person is what I do best! 

Until next time… 

Deep Thoughts 

I am a deep thinker. Always have been. My line of thinking goes far beyond the surface of a subject or topic because I feel there is always more to discuss. A simple yes or no is never good enough. With me, I have to dig deeper. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have been out with some of my friends and family when all of a sudden a group of “strangers” joined in on my conversation. I can always tell when it is about to happen because I will notice the constant turning of their heads first, the look of curiosity in their faces second and last but not least, a warm friendly smile. After the smile always comes,” I could not help but to…” and before you know it, their table has joined with ours LOL. 

There have been times where I, my family and close friends would sit for hours having conversations with people we just met. Our conversations are never about the latest fashion craze or gadget, not that there is anything wrong with that. We just prefer to talk about the deeper things in life like world hunger, the increase of certain diseases or illnesses and child violence just to name a few. Before the conversation is over, the other “party” would always look over at me and say, “I could sit here and talk with you for hours” and I am sure they could. 

I enjoy being able to strike up meaningful conversations with other people whenever I can and leaving them with something to think about. My family and close friends will tell you in a heart beat, “Don’t expect to have a five minute conversation with Anita over lunch or dinner. She has a way of turning those five minutes into an interesting five hour conversation.” LOL. As my beloved cousin would say, “Chats with Anita is like eating a Lay’s potato chip, you can’t have just one!” What can I say? I like to get people to think. Use it or lose it folks! 

Until next time…. 

Nappy?! 

A few weeks ago, I saw a documentary on Black women and natural hair. As I watched this particular documentary unfold, there was one part of me that felt proud, but then there was the other part of me that felt a little disturbed. I was happy to see more Black women embracing their own natural hair, but I was bothered by the sheer number of Black women who referred to Black natural hair as ugly and “nappy.” 

Here is the deal, regardless of your hair type or texture, if you do not take care of it your hair will get “nappy” or shall I say tangled. Often times the word “nappy” is referred to Black or African textured hair when in fact, “nappy” hair can occur in all races and ethnic groups. I could not help but to shake my head as I saw some Black women refer to their own natural hair or Black women with natural hair as ugly. It was bad enough that they called it “nappy.” SMH… 

There was one group of Black women who proudly stated they would “rock a weave” before they would rock their own natural hair. Oh. My. Goodness. I do not believe they realized just how absurb they sounded when they made such a statement. So you mean to tell me that you would spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to wear synthetic hair or someone else’s hair before you would wear your own?! Please go sit down and face the wall. Right now! Do not come out until I tell you to. Maybe next time you will learn not to say such a self-hating thing. 

I for one have natural hair as I discussed previously on my blog, and I love every multi texture that is scattered across my head. If you choose to wear your hair relaxed or natural, the choice is yours. I am quite sure you are beautiful either way. Just love your hair, take care of it and nurture it because your hair is a beautiful extension of you. Black or African textured is not ugly or “nappy.” It is different, but it is far from being ugly or “nappy.” 

Until next time… 

Writer Barriers 

It has been said that writing is one of the greatest gifts. If we really think about it, it is. Think of your favorite magazine, journal, television show or movie. Someone had to sit down and write it. It takes an amazing imagination and a passion for writing to develop articles, books, television shows and movies that captivate the minds and hearts of people. Are you not glad that someone took the time to pen your favorite book, magazine, television show or movie? I know I am. 

Sometimes writers are advised to pick and choose what they write about carefully. I experienced that myself when I embarked on my writing journey to land a literary agent. In so many words I was advised to “pretty up” Poka City Blues, but that was something I refused to do. Some of the most memorable books and movies of all time were once bucked against because the subject matter or material was deemed “too sensitive” for major audiences. For example, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. 

In the end, every writer has a choice to write about what he or she deems as important or worthy to be written. That is the beautiful thing about writers. We all have our own niche and writing style. Regardless of what you choose to pen or write, just know that there  are readers out there who will appreciate and be inspired by what you have written. Write what suits you, but most importantly, write what moves you. When you write from the heart, you can rest assured that your material is coming from the right place. 

Until next time…