Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Maybe It's Tha Thug In Me...

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The more I date, and I use that word VERY loosely, I'm coming to the realization that my tolerance for bull is becoming VERY low. I remember the days of being bright eyed and addicted to the thrill of falling in love. I was that girl who would doodle last names and add up the letters of our governments to determine if it was "true love" or just a "spring fling." I was a victim of the Cinderella Complex, you know the belief in "Happily Ever After." Not that there is anything wrong with that, but at some point I started becoming cynical realistic. Or so I think...

Within my circle of friends, we all joke so much about how much we are thugs when we enter into relationships. If a man is able to woo and wow us, then the saying goes that "he has our thug on the floor." In the past couple of months, I admit I've had to put out a #ThugAPB, but like clockwork its always came back in a matter of time.

Why? I mean, we are seriously trying to play the game before it plays us and are relationships are nothing but preemptive strikes after another. The bad thing about it is we are so busy trying to make sure we don't get played and to do everything that a guy might do that we don't even realize some of these dudes might not be about that.

Take the old school me and the new school me. If the old school me wants to be in a relationship then that's when you have to court me, have conversation, talk to me whatever. Yet sometimes stuff happens and dudes just become jump-offs. If I get involved with a dude like that and there is no real emotional connection I refuse to let him build one with me because in my mind I'm thinking he's doing it just because he thinks this is what I want to hear.

Women use men for sex, let them go if we assume that they're catching feelings, and more and more we are refusing to eat ice cream and watch pseudo-romance movies when a break up is imminent. It's interesting how the roles are slightly changing when it comes to relationships. Girls are becoming more aggressive and while it may not be a bad thing, hardening your heart isn't the best thing either.

We were also talking about the whole intimacy thing and I really want to pose this question of when did it become okay for women to be like "we can engage in #hoshit, but he can't be my man??? "

Does it come with heartache, disillusionment, growing up, what???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dreams Deferred: The Ground Breaking Stage Play

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I was out to dinner the other night with a friend and in the middle of our meal, a gentleman walked up and handed me a plugger. Assuming that it was for a party or some event catering to the urban youth, I began to tuck it away in my purse until I saw the smiling face of a young African American boy and girl. The plugger I had received was for a play called Dreams Deferred, being presented by Operation Safe Passage, a Messiah Equiano Vision. More captivating than the smiles of this young boy and girl was the description of the play that read:

Chicago has emerged to have the HIGHEST youth homicide rate in the nation. Over 600 Chicago school children have been shot from September 2007 to October 2009. DREAMS DEFERRED shows us what these dying youth could have achieved with their, had they lived. Gripping, Powerful, and Inspiring...This is a Must See!

Immediately, my mind went to 16 year old Derrion Albert, an honor roll student at Fenger High School who was brutally beaten to death in October. While Abert's death received national attention, many other Chicago youth killings go unpublicized. Furthermore, we as a community have become desensitized to death. When our kids die, we place balloons, flowers, and cards on the site where they were killed. After the balloons deflate, the flowers die, and the makeshift graves are cleaned up, we move on with our lives, while families are still left to mourn an unfulfilled destiny.

It is my hope and belief that as Dreams Deferred shows us what could have been, we will begin to take more action to ensure that it WILL be. Check out the event info on the left side of the page. Also please visit their website or call 773-929-2383 for more information!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

That's Why You Can't Get No Man!

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Today, as I was perusing Facebook, I came across a friend's status that pondered why seventy percent of professional Black women are single. Sifting through the comments I came across the responses that I expected.

Black women are single because we need to lower our standards

Begin Rant As a 23 year old, aspiring Juris Doctorate and Doctorate candidate, I find this notion of lowering standards to be extremely disheartening. It is my opinion that Black women are the only demographic constantly being told that we should lower our standards in order to get a man. THAT COULDN'T BE ANY MORE WRONG and we need to stop falling for the hype. You mean to tell me that a white woman can be a nanny and have standards set so high that she marries a pro-golf player that is now estimated at a billion dollars, but because I'm a Black Woman with a degree, I have to marry an elementary school janitor? Chile, please...

As a young girl, my daddy told me NEVER settle for anything LESS than what I think I deserve. Now with that said, not every black woman has the same standards. We assume that a Black woman with a bachelor's degree will only want a black man with one or higher, but that is not the case. I've dated black men that only had associates or technical degrees, you know those "I AM A PHOENIX" type degrees. However, standards come in all different shapes and sizes. What a degree is worth to one woman, another woman just may want a man who informally educates himself. In the words of Lil' Jon Read a Book, Read a Book, Read a Muthafuggin book!

Some standards aren't about education at all. Some women just want a man that makes them laugh and forget about the stresses of their day. C'mon you all have seen the Tyler Perry movies. Some standards may be a little more superficial, but nonetheless the women are entitled to them. If I'm 5'2" and want a taller suitor that's my prerogative. Afterall, I have to think of the children. If I'm a non smoker, non drinker and the perils of your life render you to such where you can't imagine not pouring a drink or rolling up, then I have a RIGHT to not date you. If you use too many damn smilies and exclamation points in a text message and that irritates me, then I have a RIGHT to not talk to you because of that as well. o__O

Okay, you all get my point. Nevertheless, when it comes to dating, people make Black women out to be an oxymoron personified. The complaint is that Black women are too picky, yet we don't know what we want. Or Black women always want the educated man, yet we only want to date thugs. No, how about I want the man who can rap about the state of black people without blaming the man, can make me laugh, can wrap his arm around me and make me feel safe, and let's me be the woman because he's a man?

Black men, is that REALLY all that you're worth that you're willing to be the Black woman's substandard? Oh, yes, believe me, if you expect a woman to go BELOW the standard that she has set for herself, it is at that point that you allow yourself to become a substandard. TSK. TSK. Is it soooo wrong and unfathomable that as we want more for ourselves, then we should want more from a suitable mate? Many black men claim that Black women are too hard on them, to overbearing and so forth. Well, what do you expect when you've convinced your women to accept you in all your below standard glory? Work on being her complement. If you aren't where you want to be, let her know that you're working on a plan to get there be it education, your demeanor, or your appearance (except if it's the height thing...sorry, fellas). Black women WILL work with you if we know there is the hope of progress, but what no woman appreciates is a stagnant mate.

We live in a society where not only are seventy percent of professional Black women are single, but seventy percent of Black Households are single parent households headed by black women. Not that there is a direct correlation, because not all professional women head a household and not all Black women who head a household are professional. However, the alarming rates of both of these statistics is important to note when thinking of telling a woman to lower her standards. Perhaps if some of these women had stuck with their standards they wouldn't be in this predicament. Perhaps if some black man wasn't satisfied with simply being a substandard he could have understood his value in the household and stayed around to raise his child? Or if that Black woman didn't lower her standards she could have appreciated that black man a little bit more and not treated him as though he was beneath her. Just throwing out hypothetical scenarios...

Black women, embrace your standards, love them. Hell, the very same black men telling you to lower your standards have some as well...and best believe if you don't meet them they won't hesitate to drop your ass and go "Becky" on you. See, to me, standards create a balance. They create an equal partnership, where I'm not stuck wondering what I could have had or what a relationship could have been.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Presidential Proclamation

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In case you haven't heard, or haven't had the time to check it out yet, on November 25, 2009 President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation for World AIDS Day. Read it below:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 25, 2009
Presidential Proclamation-- World AIDS Day


Our Nation joins the world in celebrating the extraordinary advancements we have made in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and remembering those we have lost. Over the past three decades, brave men and women have fought devastating discrimination, stigma, doubt, and violence as they stood in the face of this deadly disease. Many of them would not be here today, but for the dedication of other persons living with HIV, their loved ones and families, community advocates, and members of the medical profession. On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to developing a national AIDS strategy that will establish the priorities necessary to combat this devastating epidemic at home, and to renewing our leadership role and commitments abroad.

Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against HIV/AIDS is far from over. With an infection occurring every nine-and-a-half minutes in America, there are more than one million individuals estimated to be living with the disease in our country. Of those currently infected, one in five does not know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their own status. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate as it infiltrates neighborhoods and communities. Americans of any gender, age, ethnicity, income, or sexual orientation can and are contracting the disease.

Globally, there are over 33 million people living with HIV. While millions have died from this disease, the death rate is slowly declining due, in part, to our Nation's global effort through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. However, HIV remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Women and children around the world are particularly vulnerable due to gender inequalities, gaps in access to services, and increases in sexual violence. While the statistics are distressing, new medications and scientific advancements give us reason for hope.

Tackling this disease will take an aggressive, steadfast approach. My Administration is developing a national HIV/AIDS strategy to bolster our response to the domestic epidemic, and a global health initiative that will build on PEPFAR's success. We will develop a strategy to reduce HIV incidence, improve access to care, and help eliminate HIV-related health disparities. We have already ensured that visitors to our shores living with HIV are not marginalized and discriminated against because of their HIV status. We have also secured the continuation of critical HIV/AIDS care and treatment services. Today, we recommit ourselves to building on the accomplishments of the past decades that have dramatically changed the domestic and global HIV/AIDS landscape.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2009, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


The Red Pump Project

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In March 2009, my sister along with a friend, founded The Red Pump Project, an awesome organization, dedicated towards raising awareness on HIV/AIDs. Since its founding, The Red Pump Project has become Nationwide in its efforts to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women & girls and encourages ladies to take action.

I joined the Red Pump Project because the faces of those most affected, look just like me. I joined because apathy is not a cure for AIDS/HIV. When I graduated with a minor in African American Studies and a concentration in Gender Women's Studies, I had in mind a passion to help women of color in areas of health care and education. The Red Pump Project combines the two. While I fully support the search to find a cure, I firmly believe that awareness has to be at the forefront of people's minds. In September I posted an article on The Red Pump Project, entitled The Power of One, explaining why I joined the organization. Go check it out and check out the rest of their blog!

Oh and I don't want to forget: Tomorrow, December 2, 2009 the Red Pump Project, along with their brother organization, The Red Tie Project, will be hosting an event in Chicago. The event details are as follows:

The Red Project Collective (The Red Tie Project and The Red Pump Project) cordially invites you out for an evening of relaxation, socializing, cocktails and fundraising.

In honor of World AIDS Day, The Red Pump Project & The Red Tie Project is hosting "Say RED: Cocktails & Conversation" at Ai Sushi Restaurant & Lounge on December 2 from 6 - 9pm.
Join Karyn (The Fabulous Giver), Luvvie (Awesomely Luvvie), Patrice (Afrobella) and others for an evening of socializing, drinks, and conversation about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Ai Sushi Restaurant & Lounge.

$5 martinis ALL night, $4 sushi until 7pm.

Most importantly, this will be a fundraiser as ALL proceeds will be donated to a local charity to be determined. The event will feature a silent auction, cash bar, and raffle prizes.
Silent Auction Items were donated by:

* Emmy Ward-winning AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton
* MAC Cosmetics
* Pretty Afrika Jewelry
* Blogging While Brown Conference

Bring cash or checks to bid!
SPACE IS LIMITED so please RSVP to secure entry!
There is no admission cost however donations will be greatly appreciated!

World AIDS Day - December 1, 2009

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Today, Black is Breezie is turning Red in commemoration of World AIDS Day. I have been away from blogging for awhile, but today was the perfect day to come back. This will be one of a few posts dedicated to World AIDS Day.

As of today there are over 33 million people across the globe affected with HIV/AIDS. On this 21st anniversary of World AIDS Day we appreciate those who have worked to bring awareness to this disease as well as erase the stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS. Particularly, in this country, HIV/AIDS has been typecasted as a gay disease, a disease of the whoredom, or an African disease. Coupled with the attitudes of invincibility we have been reckless and lackadaisical in taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves. While we live in a society that is over saturated with sex, we fail to adequately warn of the consequences.

The irony of invincibility is that, immortality becomes synonymous with ignorance. As people engage in reckless behavior the reality of HIV/AIDS prevents them from being tested. The stigmas of this disease, the imminent fear of mortality, specifically in the Black community have caused us to ignore the reality that HIV/AIDS is real. When it comes to HIV/AIDS the saying has never been more true: People perish for a lack of knowledge. With the many advances in medicine and science, HIV is NOT a death sentence. What kills us is being afraid of the unknown and holding off on being tested.

Awareness and personal agency go hand in hand. HIV/AIDS is preventable. What are you doing to protect yourself? Men lie about being negative, women lie about being negative, but the statistics don't. Be positive you're NOT positive. Stay safe.
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