A Better You

Good Morning Good People. I hope to find each of you doing well on this Saturday morning. I came across this beautiful quote by a well-known author and I wanted to share it with you.

Now that’s something to strive for. I’m sure you agree. Always strive to be a better you. 😉

Until next time…

Sugar Shack

Good Evening! I hope to find each of you doing well this Sunday. I was reading an article not too long ago about a famous painting by an unlikely famous artist. Now that I have a little down time, I wanted to share it on my blog.

I love, love, love art and I have a strong fondness for African American art. Not only because I am African American, but because of the uniqueness and depth of African American art. Millions of people agree so I’m not alone in making such a bold statement.

The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the late Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack painting on August 28th and I just about flipped. I have admired this painting after seeing it for the first time on the show Good Times.

Sugar Shack is such a beautiful and enamoring piece amongst the majority of African Americans because many of us share same or similar stories of how our grandparents and great grandparents boogied down in a Sugar Shack. I know in my family, such places were also called juke joints, barrel houses or a hole in a wall.

I was not surprised when The Los Angeles Times reported how many people lined up to take a look at this painting up close and in person. I would too because it’s such a powerful painting that captures a major part of the Black experience.

Ernie Barnes, a professional football player, author and painter, was known for his unique style of painting. His artwork is just as unique as his back story. I invite you to read a little more on Ernie Barnes when you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be inspired.

To read more from The Los Angeles Times on Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack, click here.

Man, I would love to own an original piece of Ernie Barnes’ artwork. A woman can dream, right?

Until next time…

Shine!

Good Evening Good People! I hope that everyone is doing well on this Sunday. The weather has been so crazy lately and I hope that each of you are safe.

I came across a song yesterday that gave me a much needed boost so you know I had to share it with you. I needed something to motivate me to write and this was the song to do it.

This song took this blogger and writer back and I mean wayyyyyyyyy back. Back to a time when me, my sisters and brother were cleaning our house one Saturday morning while our Mama played her funk records blasting in the background.

When this particular song came on, we didn’t just clean, we boogied like we never boogied before. Our Mama’s hips were swinging while she was sweeping up the floor. Me and my two older sisters hips were bouncing as we vacuumed and dusted around the house. As for our baby brother, he was too busy busting a move.

Funny how music can change a person’s mood.

The song that had me in my feelings was Shine by The Bar Kays. I remember watching Larry Dodson get down when he delivered his vocals on a Soul Train rerun. And I can’t forget the handsome Lloyd Smith. He’s the guitarist with the long luxurious hair playing behind Larry. He sticks out like a thumb so he’s hard to miss.

Click here to see for yourself and while you are at it, don’t forget to Shine folks! Did you see what I did there? Of course you did and you smiled.

Until next time…

Nah

We live in a world where the definition of beauty is warped and I mean severely warped. I often blog about Black people and the Black experience because well, I’m Black. Hear goes nothing.

Due to slavery and its long-lasting stereotypical effects, many Black women struggle to find themselves beautiful. Some feel that in order to be seen as beautiful and acceptable, they must have straight hair, a narrow nose, thin lips, light skin or long hair. I have no such features except the long hair. Broad features are just as beautiful.

This sad and unfortunate way of thinking has lead some to go to drastic measures to achieve such looks. How sad.

I’ve had some well-meaning Black women over the years tell me that in order for me to be more acceptable, I need to straighten my hair more often. Well, here’s the thing: I’m going to straighten my hair only when I feel like it. Not because I want to be accepted. If I find my natural hair acceptable, that’s all that matters.

The last time I wore my hair straight was six years ago after cutting six inches off. Even then I didn’t like it that much because I prefer my hair in its natural state. To each it’s own. 🙃

Not too long ago, I chopped my hair off again and I love it. Did I consider the thoughts and opinions of others? Nah. It’s my hair. I know how to keep my hair professional while wearing it in its natural state. 🤷🏽‍♀️

In all seriousness good people, I want you to ask yourself, who really has the right to define if you are beautiful? I’ll go ahead and tell you, no one but you.

Until next time…

Infuriating

My heart aches and rages whenever I read a story about child abuse or neglect. There is no need for such horrible and hateful behavior, but it exists in this world that we live in.

Two days ago, there was a disturbing story about a deplorable woman in Des Moines, Iowa who beat two teenage girls so badly that one of them jumped from a second story balcony. Did you catch that? One girl was willing to risk death just to escape another brutal beating. That disturbed my spirit in so many ways because that tells me that poor girl was desperate to get away from such evil and violence. Violence that had been going on for years.

Lord have mercy.

When the police came to investigate this poor excuse for a human and woman, they found the other teen covered in bruises and deep marks on her neck from being choked. Of course, the girl that jumped out of the balcony was covered in bruises too and it wasn’t all from her jump. Their little bodies looked like a battlefield due to years of vicious beatings.

No child or anyone for that matter should experience such evil and cruelty by the hands of another human being. It’s disturbing to think about the number of children who are abused, neglected and or mistreated each and every day. At times, it’s too much for my own heart to handle and I can’t think about it too much or else it’ll depress me.

As always, I’m going to post the mug shot of this disgusting human being who used her hands to inflict pain instead of love on those she was entrusted to care for. No one, especially children, deserves to be treated in such a way.

Until next time…

Come On, White People

As an African American woman, it never ceases to amaze me when scores of White people react with shock regarding unearthed documents about slavery tied to major schools, universities, businesses and banks. I use the word scores specifically because not all White people are clueless when it comes to slavery, but the shock of those who are run in the millions.

Just this week, another news article revealed that an elite prep school in Washington once owned and sold slaves. When African American students were asked how they felt about the “unearthed” discovery, they gave the same statement like all other African Americans, they weren’t surprised. However, they were surprised by the number of White staff and students who were. To put it clearly as one young African American student mentioned a few years ago, “The United States was built on the backs of slaves so we shouldn’t be surprised.”

Think about that for a moment. Why are millions of White people still shocked by “discoveries” like this? Could it be that they really aren’t shocked, but pretend to be out of fear, shame or embarrassment? Could it be that they completely ignored the history of slavery here in the United States? Or could it be that some genuinely were not taught about slavery at the school they attended or at home? I say it’s a combination of all plus some.

Slavery existed okay and there are a lot of famous and not so famous wealthy White families, schools, banks and businesses who reaped and are still reaping the monetary benefits of slavery and its back breaking labor. Is it shameful and hard to admit? Maybe to some. But is it the truth? Yes.

What if I told you there are a number of big banks, schools, universities and businesses who used the intelligence of their slaves and took the credit as their own? If that shocks you, my goodness, it shouldn’t. Contrary to popular belief, slaves were not dumb.

We can’t continue to pretend or be shocked about these things. It’s bad enough that millions of slaves built the wealth of many White families, schools, banks and businesses with nothing in return. To not acknowledge it is an even greater insult to them. They can’t speak for themselves because they are long gone now, but I and others can. We can’t run away from painful and uncomfortable truths, but we can learn from them. Adding to that, we need to acknowledge it rather than hiding it or running from it.

Otherwise, more White people will continue to be “shocked” when more and more “discoveries” like these are made.

The link to the article I referenced can be found here.

Until next time…

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

When you hear the last name Ross, most people think of legendary singer Diana Ross and for good reason. Diana Ross has broken down a number of barriers for African Americans in regards to her music, acting, and etc. Tonight, I’m going to introduce you to another Ross. Diana Ross’s big sister, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee may be the older sister of Diana Ross, but she is well-known for something else. A fierce and dynamic woman in her own right, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is known for her advancements in healthcare and medicine for people of color as a groundbreaking physician. She has earned a number of distinguished awards and accomplishments, one of them being the first African American and female Dean of a medical school.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee was first was selected as Dean of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993 and again in 2002 for the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Not bad for a girl who grew up in the Detroit projects.

Barbara on the right and Diana on the left.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is even more well-known for her humble spirit and positive demeanor despite the amount of racism and prejudice she had to endure to get to where she is. In fact, such experiences shaped her into the phenomenonal physician that she is today.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee has never been prideful nor arrogant of her accomplishments and advancements in the field of medicine. How admirable and commendable of her.

At the age of 77, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is still working, advocating and helping to make advancements for women and people of color in the medical field. She is an ageless beauty in my opinion and in addition to that, she is smart and fierce.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is a name many people within the field of medicine and Osteopathic Medicine are familiar with and for good reason. There are a number of things that are taking place today in the field of medicine because of her.

When you get some time, read more about this amazing woman. Ladies and gentlemen, you have just met the phenomenonal Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee. If you didn’t know about her before, now you do.

On a side note, I have to express how well Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee has taken care of her hair over the years. Even though she has chopped a good bit of it off, her hair is still beautiful and healthy with all that gray.

Until next time…