America IS “The Sunken Place”

The Land of the free and home of the fine print.  In this case, the fine print is the fabric and tumultuous history of stolen soil. On the very thin surface, America gives the illusion of an inclusive melting pot where dreams come true. The rhetoric of most patriotic “sunken” people only exist because of their privilege. Race, class and legal tender is, to its core, the only thing that this country is backed by. 

America’s population consists of approximately 325,771,144. I’m almost certain you didn’t read that entire number and It doesn’t even matter. Because of this staggering amount of people, 80-90% are drifting in a airy-sea of nothingness. Just like the sunken place. And those that are not, are doing the hypnotizing. Americans are habitually distracted by media agendas, religion, entertainment, sports, the latest celebrity tea and social media. This keeps the mind in a perpetual loop of beguilement, making it almost impossible to be an individual person with an independent mind.download (6)

Even down to political views. The only reason why people in America are Republican or Democrats is directly contributed to the idea that these are the only options. On a deeper level, each party has whole-heartedly hypnotized large groups of people to believe that they operate from the best interests of “the people”. (*circulates silver spoon in a red, white and blue tea cup*)

America has a crafty way of labeling any personal independence or resistance to their narrative of control as “unpatriotic”, crazy or illegal. I think we all can agree that just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it moral. Sitting in front of a television for hours, constantly updating your social media or even following the commander in chief’s tweets are all mechanisms to facilitate mental decay. The less you are thinking critically or logically, the more manipulative ‘the powers that be’ become. The more education you obtain, the more laws develop to counter intellectual advancement. There are key words, racial experiences and financial debt that queue Americans to “sink”. As long as you are repetitively on the hamster wheel of bills, work, traffic, fear, family, friends etc, you will not have mental space to wake up from the societal daze.

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More specifically, black people are possibly in the deepest, darkest corners of the sunken place. America loves our culture, our skin tone, our anatomy, our lingo, our music, or athleticism, our humor and our forgiveness. They love it more when they can appropriate and adopt our likeness but could not fathom our experience. Primarily because they don’t want or have to. From the time my ancestors were shoved on a foreign land and hypnotized to extract all identity of self or self worth, the spoon began to graze the tea cup. We are the only group of people who have to live amongst our oppressors and are persuaded to take our pain peacefully and in silence. Any opposition that African Americans impose to injustice, the legal system, education or economic inequality is labeled as defiant and problematic. Personally, I’d prefer to be problematic than a mental zombie having my body/mind extorted and controlled by the American agenda. But the hypnosis has been so deep rooted in a large percentage of the black community for centuries that most are blinded to it.

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To keep it funky, black people’s idea of success or wealth is manufactured from the white man’s concept of success and wealth. (*detaches top of the scull to swap brains*) The house in the suburbs, financial status, prestigious PWI’s, fancy cars and even the resources that white people have are mostly contributed to the labor and blood shed of African Americans. And in turn, blacks are sat down in a chair across from white America and are mentally infiltrated or better yet indoctrinated as to what “success” is. And that is determined by how closely we can imitate them. When white people are anywhere in the vicinity of black people, we speak clearer, fix our posture, in other words, be less black or less threatening. A survival technique if you will. The concept of inferiority that’s inflicted upon black people stands true even today. In most rural, urban or destitute communities, the only time that African Americans interact with white (or other) people are when they are in a position of power or status. For example, police officers, lawyers, judges, doctors, store owners and community leaders. This depiction gives the illusion that white is synonymous with authority and superiority. 

Slowly but surely, I am however witnessing many individuals stuff their ears with cotton and float to the opening of consciousness. We just don’t have a TSA friend to save us. So break the tea cup, bury the spoon and shake off the hypnosis if you have any plans to be independent in thought. I say all this to say…..GET. TF. OUT!!!

-Tonya D.

Are you chasing the Wedding or the Marriage?

Ring? Check. Dress? Check. Wedding details, invites and registry? Check. Long-term goals for how you will coexist with one person until death do you part? Ehhhhh. This begs the question of, ‘Are we only chasing the wedding and not the marriage?’. Continue reading

Let’s talk about sex…

 

Better yet lets not, let’s discuss intimacy instead. Now I know you’re probably thinking “Marla, isn’t sex intimacy though?” I’m glad you asked, because no it isn’t. Sex is just one level of Intimacy, and while it’s great, it’s a minor part. Intimacy is defined as “A close familiarity or friendship; closeness.” Nowadays we’re so caught up in trying to be in love, we forget to be friends first. I personally believe the reason why so many of our relationships fail is because we don’t take the time out to build intimacy with our partners, to get to know them in ways no one else does. Now to become intimate with someone requires a lot of trust and, if you happen to be dating me (😬), lots of patience. Never fear because I have some tips to help guide you on this journey to a deeper, more fulfilling connection with your partner:

1. (EFFECTIVE) COMMUNICATION
No relationship can survive without it. How many times do we talk at each other instead of to each other? You’d be surprised just how much you can learn about a person (or yourself) by just sitting down and having a conversation. A major part of effective communication is also listening. Don’t only listen to what your partner says, but pay attention to how they say it and what their body language is.

 

2. EYE CONTACT
And not just during a conversation. Do it while your kissing. Do it during sex. Do it just to see who’ll blink first. The eyes are the window to the soul. You can tell a lot about a person just by staring into their eyes. One of the ways we like to hide from exposing our feelings is by sheltering our eyes. Our eyes are our most expressive features, many things can be said with the eyes. Two weeks ago we watched President Obama and First Lady Michele have an entire conversation during his farewell speech in a room of hundreds, with just their eyes. Their affection for each other was felt around the world and not a single word needed to be said between them.

 
3. SLEEP
Seriously, just sleep. We are most vulnerable in our subconscious state so allowing yourself to fall asleep next to someone requires a lot of trust, and trust builds intimacy. Everyone has insecurities about their sleeping habits. Whether you’re a restless sleeper, you snore or like to drool, getting used to sleeping with someone can be a scary thing. Trusting your partner in sleep is also a great way to build feelings of safety and security in your relationship.

 

 

4. TOUCHING
It’s another way of communicating. It’s all about letting our bodies say what we sometimes can’t say out loud. Everything from holding hands to kissing to cuddling to…booty grabs. It all helps to build physical intimacy (outside of sex) between you and your partner.

 
5. MEDITATION
Nothing screams intimacy more than being able to connect with your partner mentally, spiritually and emotionally, all while allowing your mind to transcend from this plane to the next. Meditation not only allows you to relax your mind, but it also brings about a state of calm. Being calm helps you to be a better listener which in turn allows you to be a better communicator.

 

Like I said before there are many different ways to be intimate with someone and over time as your relationship changes and grows, the ways will change too. At the end of the day it’s all about having a strong connection and foundation.

 

-Marla

Let Me Cater To You…Bae

 

Marla Here.

 
I still have my Christmas lights up (thou shalt not judge me) and yet Valentine’s Day stuff has been in the stores since December 26th. Now I personally don’t subscribe to the materialism of this particular “holiday” but I do believe love itself should be celebrated.

For the next few weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to share some of my alternative ideas on what to do or how to celebrate.

First up are the guys, yes ladies, it’s not all about us, men should get treated too. Here are my 5 (of many) ways to show your man you care, not only on Valentines Day, but anytime:

 

1. PAMPER HIM….
With your own hands. Instead of spending hundreds on a spa day, do one at home. Give him a mani/pedi with hand and foot rubs. Mani/Pedis not his thing? Be his masseuse. Grab some oils, rub his shoulders, his neck and his back. If he’s bald, don’t forget his scalp. Instead of being the source of his stress, be his stress relief.

 
2. TAKE HIM SHOPPING…
And make a day of it. Take him to his favorite stores, watch him try on some thing. Go to his favorite jewelry spot and let him pick out something. If he’s not into clothes, go to his favorite game or hobby store and let him pick out what he wants. Spoil him for once and then foot the bill.

 

 

3. COOK HIM A MEAL….
And then feed it to him by hand. Guys are constantly complaining that we women don’t cook. Give him a surprise one night. Wear something nice, cook some of his favorites. Set an ambiance and feed him from your own hand. You can set a nice table or even have a little indoor picnic for two.

 

 

4. COMPLETE SUBMISSION…
In the bedroom. Let him have his way with you (within your comfortable limits, of course). Tell him it’s all about him tonight. Let him try some things or you try some things you’ll know he’ll like.

 

 
5. GIVE HIM A BREAK…
So he can have some peace. Just like you want to be left alone sometimes, so does your man. When he comes home, meet him with a smile, a drink and just let him decompress. Or on his day off, get rid of the kids, leave his favorite snacks in the kitchen and disappear for the day too. Let him recharge his batteries or watch his favorite sport with out the interruption of screaming kids or nagging woman.

What are some ways you plan on treating you man this Valentine’s Day? Leave your comments below.

Hidden Figures – Deprivation of Greatness

January 10, 2017, I began watching President Barack Hussein Obama give his last speech as the leader of the free world. I say “began” because I didn’t get a chance to see it in it’s entirety. I was too eager to get to a movie theater to catch “Hidden Figures”. Generally a night a black excellence that was at the very least bittersweet. The characters were mind blowingly brilliant African-American women at NASA; Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). I have to admit, after watching this film I felt myself being pulled 2 ways emotionally. On one hand, I felt this overwhelming sense of pride in feminine blackness. Simply to see women of color so positively portrayed was inspiring to say the least. It restored my faith in educational diversity of career paths. I was proud just to share the generational resilience that is bestowed upon black women that I too carry.

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However, on the other hand, I also felt mad as hell! I was genuinely upset that I had been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amuck! It is absolutely astonishing that these beautiful, intelligent and significant black women did not make one appearance in any history book I’ve read. The movie title in itself is indicative of how these historical figures were indeed hidden. With the direction of our country taking turns down avenues of hate, injustice and an orange President – elect who trolls on twitter, we needed to see our strength still.

In addition to all of this beautiful blackness, Pharrell Williams, the songwriter and producer of the film also shined bright with an amazing soundtrack. At the recent Golden Globes Award, Michael Keaton as well as a correspondent “mistakenly” referred to the film as ‘Hidden Fences’. And you guessed it, black twitter took off.

 

 

Despite the name slip ups, it still brought attention to such a major film. I strongly encourage everyone, all ethnicities and backgrounds to check out “Hidden Figures”. Thank you Theodore Melfi for acknowledging the importance of these 3 black women who changed history. Maybe it’ll provoke you to make your own.

-Tonya D.

Dr. Umar Johnson is Problematic

What is the antidote, cure or remedy for the human ego? What in the hell do we have to do to bring back humility and accountability when it comes to public figures? After watching Dr. Umar Johnson’s rant and an  “apology” video, I almost felt obligated to address it. Now, for those that either do not know or do not care about the infamous rant from Dr. Umar, count your blessings. Because what I saw and heard in the two videos made me hold my face, cringe and Riley Curry death stare at the screen. It wasn’t so much as the content as it was just embarrassing to watch. (Although the content is absolutely nauseating.)

Let me start by saying that being “woke” or conscious in this cyber-millennial time in some ways have become a fad or farce at the very least. In the spirit of honesty, I would consider myself consciously awake, aware of who I am, where I come from and knowledgeable of my culture. In lieu of the murders of unarmed black men, women and children within the past 6-7 years, the black community’s consciousness began to rise. People started to be more mentally and emotionally invested in the treatment or mistreatment of black lives. However, some people of this community can take self/social awareness to unnecessary levels. And by unnecessary,  I mean Hoteply psychotic.

Dr. Umar Johnson or Jermaine Shoemake is a doctor of Clinical Psychology and “Certified School Psychologist”. The quotes were added to infer that his educational background is largely skeptized. I can’t deliberately discredit his degrees or credentials, but my grandma told me, “Where there’s smoke……..” – well, you know the rest. Despite Umar’s “haters” (as he so eloquently put it), he has been an advocate for educating black youth. So much so, he has been soliciting donations to build his own school in Detroit. The likes of which we have yet to see nor have we seen the receipts of donations. Pan-African panhandling?

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Here’s a little back story on the alleged issue that compelled this ego-centric hole of an ass to go on said rant. Sara Suten Seti is a straightforward, pro-black historian who is well known in the conscious community as General Seti. Seti streamed a live video aggressively acknowledging Umar’s “disrespect” and fraudulent cadence in an alleged business deal gone wrong. And in response,  Dr. Umar Johnson went live on Facebook in arguably one of the worst, most pathetic and childish cyber retaliatory manners I have ever seen. I can’t even be disappointed because that would insinuate that I had faith in him or his endeavors in the first place. I almost don’t know which was worse, the rant of name calling for 55 minutes or the 47 minutes of underhanded, deflected lack of any personal accountability in the “apology” video.

The Rant:

Umar Johnson Rant: Youtube click here

This self proclaimed “Prince of Pan-africanism” propped up his electronic device, found a 14 year old Caucasian teenager’s skully and a shirt with his own birthday on it. His arms were folded in defensive posture and shoulders high as he embarrassingly began to display his true nature. With colorful quotes like “Ima deal with Poppa Smurf, Ima deal with that lil dirty nigga, I heard you albino! Ima handle yo ass tonight pussy, you shoulda never came for me!”. Bruhhhh. This has turned into the Hotep Social/Civil War that absolutely no one can advocate for. I couldn’t help but notice at 24:20 into this trainwreck, his phone goes off with a ringtone of…wait for it….yes, you guessed it, “These hose ain’t loyal”. A few seconds after, he picks up the phone and legitimately gave an Oscar worthy fake phonecall performance. It would’ve gotten the nomination had his phone not rung whilst pretending he was on it. The jokes right themselves.

The “Apology”:

Umar Johnson “Apology”: Youtube click here

Where the f*&k do I start? Dr. Umar Johnson posted historically the worst apology in the 21st century. An effective apology typically consist of a few things: Remorse, Accountability and to Make Amends. I saw nothing of the sort. Umar did exactly what narcissistic, ego maniac men do, deflect and shame the people for spreading his idiocy and incompetence. A man with an  agenda to better the morale and education of the black youth throwing a tantrum is shameful and unethical. In the midst of kinda-sorta-maybe apologizing, Umar states that he shouldn’t have to respond to “trolls”, we should do it for him. At this point in the video, I pressed exit and had to revisit it once my headache was gone. It was blowing my mind at how astoundingly arrogant and pampas this guy really was.  He went on a finger wagging spree, blaming everyone including http://www.theroot.com for spreading the same negativity he created the content of. It’s like his mouth was falling down stairs, almost fascinating. The entire video was an array of convoluted banter of this ‘woe is me’ rhetoric that shows exactly how removed he is from reality. He chose a life of leadership so pulling the “we all make mistakes”, “Im only human” card is played out. You don’t  get to chastize the black community for falling short of success, beg for their money AND shit on them for acknowledging and sharing your stupidity. Then proceeds to name call as if he was playing the woke version of Dirty Dozens, announced tour dates and still solicited donations. The problem with all of this is, we have been lost as a culture for so long that we latch on to pseudo black leaders who cannot move us forward. Individuals like Umar Johnson are halting the process of black educational evolution by catering more to his ego than serving the people. The back and forth Facebook live spectical was avoidable and immature. He paid for school but couldn’t buy class. And before ending said apology, Umar gives 4 rules of engagement when it comes to sharing this decrepit video on social media. I am unaware of  which drug he may have ingested this past week but that would be the only thing to justify his erratic behavior. Not only are there no rules for the interent, people do not have to submit to barks from a narcissist. Wait, it just came to me, Dr. Umar Johnson is the Ray J of the conscious community. Yep, it all makes sense now.

-Tonya D.

Atlanta, Here. For. It.

*Stands up and slow claps until it catches on*. Atlanta premiered on FX last night with not one, but two episodes. Almost immediately, I began to observe the show taking extremely comical scenes and underlining them with serious displays of issues in the black community. Continue reading

There’s A Storm Brewing…

Down here in South Fla we only know 3 seasons: Hot, Rainy and Hurricane. Over the last 24hrs it’s been announced that we’ll be experiencing some type of major storm this coming weekend (And if for what ever reason you didn’t know…you’re welcome).
As of now the storm is still disorganized but there’s an 80% chance it’ll get itself together and become “Hermine” sometime over the next day or two. Now if you’re a native Floridian, chances are you’re probably not taking this storm all too serious (In our defense, we haven’t had a storm hit since 2005) and if you’re not taking the storm or possibility of one serious, chances are you’re not prepared for one either.

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So if you’re new to hurricane season or not new but just don’t pay attention to the nice weather people when they speak,  here’s a list of things you’ll need to get you through the storm should we get hit:
1. Food and Water
This really is a no brainer. In addition to the usual snacks, candies (and edibles?) please make sure to have non perishable foods in your home. BK, Wendy’s or Popeyes can’t save you during a storm. Be an adult and take yourself down to Publix. You’ll also need bottled water to drink and gallon water (for bathing) should the water be turned off.
2. Candles, Flashlights, Batteries etc
Again no brainer. Make sure you have a way to see should the power be cut off during the storm. Please take proper precaution with the candles, though, can’t be in a hurricane and a house fire. Each person should have a flashlight as well as batteries to operate them. Also make sure to have a back up battery for your cell phone (Amazon and others are your friends) and be sure keep the main battery charged up before power is taken. Which brings me to my next item…
3. Entertainment
Now typically we only have to reach for our cellphones and tablets in order to entertain ourselves. But in case of no electricity, I doubt you’d want to waste your last 20% watching makeup tutorials on YouTube or that there’d be Pokémon to catch during a storm. Find other ways to entertain yourself. If you’re a reader have a book or two (yes, an actual book, libraries still exist). Bring out some board games if need be. Play some cards or for my Zoes, some dominoes. ($5 a game at my house tho)
4. Gas
You should always have your car at a 1/2 tank or fuller during a storm. So for those of you who live by the quarter tank, you’ll have to splurge a little this weekend. Also if you have a gas grill or a generator now would be the time to make sure they’re good to go should you lose power.
5. Cash
Can’t swipe or use the ATM if there’s no power. Have enough to get you through a couple of days. No duffle bag needed.
6. Safety
Last, but probably the most important. Please make sure you and your family have a safe place to ride out the storm. If you’re going to a shelter, know ahead of time what you’re allowed or not allowed to bring, pets included. Whether you’re  staying home or not, please make sure the proper steps are taken to secure your home during the storm. People DO NOT put tape on your windows, it’ll do nothing for you.
I personally am hoping and praying that all we get this weekend is some wind and rain but it never hurts to be prepared just in case. Storms can and will hit at anytime. If I missed anything or you’d like to add anything to this list, please leave a comment below. Be safe.
-Lady M.

The Home of the Wounded Child

The parent/child relationship is typically one of unconditional love, patience and sweet moments. It also is one of dependency, programming, jealousy and hindrances. A large portion of our adult issues can be traced back to our childhood and relationship with our parents. Your parent is your God as a child. They teach us our manners, how to eat, how to clean, how to be…everything that they want us to be. Continue reading

Korryn Gaines #SayHerName? Nah…

From the moment the story broke about 23 year old Korryn Gaines, I have been absolutely baffled. This wasn’t your typical “Black Lives Matter”, “Say Her Name” rhetoric. Ms. Gaines was fatally shot by Baltimore Police after she let off two rounds at the officers after a long stand-off.

 

Continue reading