Promo video for “In Search Of My Father”

So my ex wrote a book. And subsequently spills her guts in this promo video for it…

I’m never surprised by her accomplishments. Good job kid. For the record, I’m NOT one of those guys she mentioned. I like to think I broke the cycle…But I’ll let her tell it…

Single Black Chics – Are you being Attacked??

My Ex’s must’ve really been in their thinking man poses on Monday because they both managed to cross my paths with some thought provoking shit. The 2 youngn’s were gettin a tad deep in their own rights out there and pondering the stats of worldly concerns.

While Ex number 1 was sending me Newsweek links about the damaging and erasing effects of global warming, chock with 100 beautiful photographs, Ex number 2 was posting figures on Facebook about the plight of Black Women (which would be all one/half of her) and their quest to find equally suited/matched Black men and how she may have to settle.

Well, in the little compilation of comments and commentary that followed, one of her Facebook friends attached this link to a feminist slanted blog where a guest writer had taken the time to share her frustration with what she calls an “attack” on the single Black woman in America. The Guest Writer’s name being Diane Lucas. Here’s that post http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/06/21/the-media-v-black-women-the-peculiar-case-of-the-media’s-obsession-with-unmarried-black-women/

You can guess from the onset that I was going to disagree with alot of  what this post had to say, just because it’s esteeming itself as coming from a feminist angle, on a self proclaimed feminist blog. And you know how I feel about feminists.

Ms. Lucas sounds like a highly intelligent person who is still warping her logic around an emotional base, as most feminists do. She’s saying the same old defensive rebuttals that have been heard before by Black women. Instead of addressing the issue itself, her approach is to offset the notion and diffuse it by declaring it a non-issue and berating those who have dared to identify it as such. It’s an inverse mechanism of embracing and endearment that a Black woman at this point of hearing and having the same conversation would naturally take on, as all scrutinized peoples have done at some place in time or another…‘why should I think something’s wrong with me??’ ‘It’s not me – it’s You! I’m fine the way Iam. There is no problem, society is the problem!’

Sound familiar? We’ve heard this before, countless times. Fat people do it everyday. Doesn’t change the fact that they are fat.

Self-love is not the issue here. We’re talking cold hard facts and figures here. That’s how this whole topic of conversation began. Getting into the blame game or the psychological ramifications makes things especially cloudy. Let’s deal with the fact that the issue exists. No one is telling Black women to shame themselves for being independent, successful or Black.

See, this is a trouble zone. And this is where things get murky because anytime you venture near the territory of saying anything less than flattering about Black women as an enclave or group of people, you risk being metaphorically castrated, tarred and feathered and chased with pitchforks and torches by a mass of females. The most unfortunate part of all of this tho, is that a good majority of the time, the women who respond and react with the most vigor, are those who have not heard or read the comments or articles themselves, or in their entirety.

Slim Thug could attest to this perfectly in light of the drama that he’s just gotten himself into recently by making comments urging Black Women to be less expectant, more supportive and comparing them to their Anglo-Saxon Counterparts. You can peaceably debate, even express your likes and dislikes, but pick your battles.

What we’re dealing with here is layers and layers of strategic, post-slavery division put in place to keep African-Americans at a socio-economic disadvantage. True enough, nobody wants to hear the same old “The Man” diatribe, but looking at what we have in front of us everyday in the face of the basic Black family infrastructure, it’s painfully obvious that the effects are still hauntingly blatant and very much so long-lasting.

How many movies? How many Essence articles and Beauty Shop conversations? This is Ms. Lucas’ main gripe; she’s asking why is this such a prominent topic?? She’s particularly perturbed and confused with all of the seemingly sudden coverage by non-Black media outlets. But her phrasing here is a bit extreme. She chooses to frame the topic as a skewed concentration or passive assault on her and her kind. She even goes so far as to suggest that it may be some mild form of conspiracy in the post-Obama election era to discourage Black women from hoping to attain that sort of Michelle and Barack union that is publicly perceived as harmonious and ideal.

Perhaps the fact that this topic is making headlines on primetime national news forums and publications is more of an aid than a detriment. Maybe this takes it beyond the sister-girl chats and Tyler Perry movie monologues and Terri Mc Millan books and makes it a legitimate conversation that the rest of the world can have some insight into. Instead of thinking of Black women as a spectacle or specimen, maybe this just reflects them in the light of all women and connects them more so to show that across color lines, this is the challenge faced by most upwardly mobile females in their single lives. Lord knows those Sex & The City broads look like a bunch of glorified tramps, but chics eat that up. What makes the Black situation different tho, is that for a Black woman to be accompanied in her romantic life by a Black man as a partner, the odds seem stacked against her…literally.

Why our Ms. Lucas would be tired of hearing this fact is beyond me. Ignoring won’t help it. Sure, there’s way too many articles out there that make mention of the number of incarcerated Black men, and many of them depict jails, like prisons are just this tireless beast that sustains it’s diet by seeking and chewing up innocent young Black males. They also too often tend to  make Black men seem overly victimized by the system. There is not too much argument that the Black man is the most down-beaten and broken group of Men in the world. The African-American male in particular has the worst rates of everything and is often looked down upon by Blacks of other nations. This doesn’t excuse the poor mishandling of our responsibilities as being men first in the last 5 decades. I personally think Black men have transformed our once nurturing, more docile and ride- or-die female population into it’s current incarnation through a vicious cycle of temptation and abandonment dating back to Post -Vietnam era recklessness and confusion. Alot of this has to do with how our concepts and definitions of manhood have been augmented and re-defined over time, by others, and ourselves most importantly. Prison time just doesn’t occur. We can argue that disproportionate sentences and streamlined laws have been designed to punish minorities at larger numbers than others, but there is no debating that crime gets you in jail in the first place. Niggas really just need to stop doing fucking crime!! Isn’t it a little played out the whole ‘I didn’t have no other choice‘ routine? Really??

Still and all, the fact remains…these numbers are these numbers. The number of Black Men in jail IS alarmingly high, Black Women DO outnumber Black Men, and there is an increasing divide between education levels between Black Women and men. This doesn’t excuse the men, but if the original issue is that Black women face quite the hurdle of trying to find their match within their race as they achieve continual financial and educational success, why and how does any amount of media coverage of this make it any less of a real dilemma?

What Black Women choose to do in the face of this attention is where more focus needs to be put. Do you aid in shaping your men up?? Or are you just sick and tired of that because you’ve done that already? Do you feed into this invisible power struggle that has increasingly torn Black men and women apart for half a century now? Or do you reverse the pull by emotional healing? Or do you do What Ms. Lucas has apparently done, and told yourself that you’re fine by yourself? That you should re-focus your energy off of partnership and companionship and pat yourself on the back for all of the other successful areas of your life? Do you do what Regina King and Chilli have advocated and date outside of your race? Or do you accept the present depressed state of things and settle because the pickings are slim if you want to stay within your own race?

What a conundrum indeed…

So in the wake of what is the anniversary of the break-up between me and the very Ex who’s Facebook post layed the fertile soil for this whole fuss, I ask…

Is today’s Single Black Women being attacked?? Or just worried about?

Sex & The Chocolate City – Entry #8

I’ll be moving on…

I needed a break from the cold weather and stress so I flew down to Miami for a little sun and relaxation. Ok, I’m lying, I flew down here to get away from EVERYONE and mourn the end of my relationship in peace. My ex and I broke up in October but with everything going I didn’t have the time to properly get over it and move on. The issue was, I didn’t want to move on. It was almost as if I pretend we never broke up in the first place. It took me weeks to even tell my family about it or call him my ex. I guess I just never wanted to admit to myself that it was truly over. Now two weeks away from New York, I feel 100% better, rejuvenated, and complete ok with it being over. I know everyone doesn’t have two weeks or even two days to get away from it all, so here’s some helpful hints to get on with your life:

  1. Delete Everything: I mean it. Delete emails, numbers, unfollow on Twitter, and de-friend on facebook. The less you see you ex-boo’s name the better you’ll be.
  2. Beware of drunk dialing: If you’re not ready to delete your ex-boo’s name from your phone, consider this. Replace his number with your best girlfriend’s number. That way if you “accidentally” dial him while your sloshed, you’ll be calling your girl instead saving you the embarrassment.
  3. Ex-Cleaning: Clean your place so nothing reminds you of your ex-boo. Wash your sheets if they still smell like him, take down pictures, move any clothes he bought you to the back of the closet so you won’t see them, but most importantly, anything that’s his, either mail it back to him or give it to good will to avoid temping voodoo.
  4. Take a Staycation: Rent movies, buy a few new books, order in food and camp out on Isle de Bed.
  5. Take on a new project: Write a book, paint, or volunteer. Anything that’s NOT something you would do with your ex.
  6. Hang out the most Unromantic Places: Think Old Folks home. The smell alone should set you straight.
  7. Find a Temporary Boo: As the old saying goes, sometimes it takes a new guy to get over the old guy. But if you’re still in the breakup phase, it’s not a good idea to jump back into a new relationship. Enter The Temp Boo. He should gorgeous, have some type of accent, and be completely opposite of everything your ex-boo was. I suggest a nice Cuban or Jamaican. (I don’t condone using men, but in this day and age, all bets are off).

TDJ

(Editors note: yeah…at this point I’d like to note that the thoughts and views expressed in the Sex & The Chocolate City column are not necessarily the thoughts and views of the entire site…i.e. number “7”…ahem…)


Sex & The Chocolate City – Entry #6

When doves cry…

I made my ex cry yesterday, bawling like a child. This is the second ex that I’ve made cry so I started to think that maybe (just maybe) it might be me.

To make a long story short, I was tracking down my ex twice removed so he could testify in a case I have against my old landlord. I hadn’t seen or talked to him in six months. He wasn’t returning my phone calls or text messages in weeks thus I had to resort to stalking him (yes, his testimony is THAT important). It took me an entire day of roaming around Brooklyn in 18 degree weather till I finally found him at one of his weed spots, just chilling, with his phone in hand no less. I never screamed so much in all my life, I was so furious. He tried to come up with some excuses but they were clearly lies. Then suddenly he started crying, sobbing about how he didn’t return my calls because he wanted me to feel how he felt when I stopped returning his calls, how he missed me and that he didn’t understand why I let him go, and that I was an asshole for leaving him for some other guy (my most current ex). I admit, I am a stone cold bitch when it come to getting things done, I don’t have time for games (especially when its freezing outside).  But when I saw this stone cold Brooklyn hustler cry like a baby, my heart cracked and all I could do was stand there with my mouth open. It felt like we had switch roles. I was the dense dude and he was the sappy chick. If the shoe was on the other foot, I would have been devastated if he had suddenly said “stop calling me”, after we had been speaking to each other for over five years.

I don’t tell this story to emasculate him any further, I tell this to say be mindful of your actions in a breakup. Women are made to believe that men are these strong unemotional creatures who can take and live through anything. That they get over breakups easily, on to the next one. So women are more curt with their breakups, more harsh, mostly to protect themselves because they’re worried about their own fragile feelings. But as it turns out, they are just as sensitive as women when they truly love someone.

TDJ

Sex & The Chocolate City – Entry #2

An apology to all my Ex’s

Dear Previous Lovers,

This is me apologizing to you for a change: I’m sorry for being an asshole. There, I said it. It took years for me to build that one sentence in my head. Years of soul searching, reflection, and self-recognition.  I am sorry for what I put you through. I know dealing with a girl like me wasn’t easy. I have issues I can admit to. I don’t trust very easily, I can be jealous, spiteful or I can just simply not care at all. I have a temper that I repeatedly apologize for and tend to say things without thinking. I suppose I’ve always assumed that men don’t have an ounce of sensitivity in them, and the words I say couldn’t possible cut as deep as they apparently do. I push people away, even when I need them and can be selfish when it comes to my feelings. It’s a defense mechanism. I am always on guard to protect myself at all cost. Even if the cost means loosing you.

I’m not saying all this to take you completely off the hook. I’m not bipolar, my actions and words were not without reason. However, I don’t want you thinking that everything that happened between us was your fault alone. I take full responsibility for my actions, whether I hung up on you, shouted at you, or left you completely dumbfounded. I admit that being so hurt in the past has inevitably scarred me. But it wasn’t fair for you to pay for the last man’s mistakes.

A lot of you are in happy healthy relationships, even marriage. And I’m happy for you. I wish you nothing but success in your futures. As for me, I am taking a big leap into adulthood (a little late, but you know me) and being the bigger person. I’ve learned from my mistakes and what they have cost me. Thank you for teaching me such important life lessons.

Love, TDJ