A Slip In The Right Direction by author Rachel Berry

 

A Slip In The Right Direction by author and poet Rachel Berry

A Slip In The Right Direction, a coming-of-age story for tweens & teens.  The story of life, puppy love, and lessons, as seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old young man coming-of-age in Chicago.
 
Homesick for his life and friends back home, a family move forces 14 year old Clifton Henderson, aka Slip, to grow up on the north side of Chicago. In his mind, life sucks at the moment and can’t get any worse. But it does. A kidnapping by gang members, a crush on a girl playing hard to get, a strict father, a mysterious neighbor, and the gift of premonitions all help take him on a ride of life until eventually he takes A Slip In The Right Direction.
 

Five questions that the book asks readers or society
 
1.       What do you feel are some of the reasons that make our youth turn to gangs, and what as a society can we do to change this?

2.       Can good home training and instilling family values totally prevent our kids from making bad choices?

3.       Does creating a good family image mean we should push our children to make choices or responsibilities they might not be ready for?

4.       How does the coming-of-age process effect boys differently from girls and then later on as an adult?

5.       What are the pros and cons of discreetly involving and relaying family challenges and situations to our children when they reach a certain age, and what is that age?

» A Slip In The Right Direction by Author & Poet Rachel Berry
On Sale Now  or  request at your local bookstore
ISBN-10: 0982778201   |    ISBN-13: 978-0982778203
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Slip-Right-Direction-Rachel-Berry/dp/0982778201
 

 

» Meet author Rachel Berry
Rachel Berry is a word-fairy that enjoys the craft of words that create and inspire life and people. As an author & poet Rachel feels blessed to have the creative opportunity of expression. Berry is also a motivational speaker, mentor, community leader, independent book publisher, entrepreneur, columnist for SORMAG, and host of From The Heart & Soul show on Blog Talk Radio.

She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, adult children, grandchildren, and parents.  Rachel puts family first and enjoys life in Virginia. When she’s not writing, she also enjoys reading, dining out, traveling, and watching movies. She accredits her gain in blessings and achievements to her relationship and guidance from her creator, association with great women, positive family members, loyal friends, the upbringing of an amazing woman-her mother, and the support and love of her husband and children.
» Connect with Rachel Berry, CEO Kimathi Enterprises & Publishing Company
http://www.RachelBerry.webs.com
http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Lady-Serenity
http://www.google.com/profiles/AuthorRachelBerry

Intimate Conversation with Author and Wealth Coach Deborah Owens

Intimate Conversation with Author and Wealth Coach Deborah Owens

Deborah Owens’ passion is helping people of all incomes build wealth. She is a sought after speaker and expert on the topic of entrepreneurship and financial empowerment.

Deborah is the Wealth Coach on My Generation TV which airs nationally in 30 million homes. She is author of “Confident Investing: A Wealth Building Guide For Women” and “Nickel and Dime Your Way to Wealth”. Her new book “A Purse Of Your Own” is scheduled for publication by Simon and Schuster in 2009.

Deborah is host and executive producer of “Wealthy Lifestyle Radio” a personal finance talk show that airs on the NPR affiliate WEAA 88.9 FM in Baltimore, Md.

She is sought after speaker and has toured nationally with B.E.S.T. featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes and Magic Johnson, God’s Leading Ladies, Working Women Events and The NASD Office of Individual Investors. Deborah is President of Owens Media Group LLC, which creates financial empowerment programs for companies and organizations.

• INTRODUCE US TO YOUR BOOK:
A Purse of Your Own is a book that shares how women can create wealth. This books shares the attitudes and behaviors of financially successful women.

• WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and have lived in the Baltimore Washington DC metropolitan area for the past 17 years. I have spent more than twenty years in the financial services industry and am a former vice president and regional sales and marketing manager with a global mutual fund company.

• WHY WAS THIS BOOK SO IMPORTANT TO CREATE?
This book is part of my larger vision which is “The Power of the Purse Campaign” to engage, enlighten and equip one million women to become financially empowered. Although women have made great strides and earning more income far too many of us are not achieving financial independence. We must change our mindset from earning income to building wealth. My true passion is sharing that society can build wealth on any income.

• HOW WILL YOUR BOOK IMPACT RELATIONSHIPS?
This book encourages women to make sure they put aside funds for the long term. It will require making their financial future a priority. This is a distinct change in societal norms which encourages women to sacrifice for others. This book implores women to create a purse of their own.

• WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT WITH THIS BOOK?
My most significant achievement has been the reviews that the book has garnered and its’ reception by women who are embracing the concept of forming Purse Groups to provide support and accountability on the path to financial freedom.

• SHARE WITH US YOUR LATEST NEWS OR AWARDS:
We have had very favorable book reviews. The first from Publishers Weekly which said, “sensible advice…a plethora of resource listings and sound suggestions make this a winner for women looking to gain financial freedom. Book Page said, Owens turns the purse metaphor into a wealth philosophy and provides tips, action steps and “purseonality profiles” for her seven must-have wealthy habits. It starts with cleaning out that purse to cultivate a Wealthy Outlook that allows you to dream big again. Some of the best advice comes at the end as Owens details how to start your own Purse Club and covers nine “pursessentials.” To that end, we have built a community at http://www.apurseofyourown.ning.com where women can obtain information on how to get started, communicate with one another and get support.

Purchase A Purse of Your Own today at Barnes and Noble
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Purse-of-Your-Own/Deborah-Owens/e/9781416570813

Author: Deborah Owens
Book: A Purse of Your Own
ISBN-10: 1416570810
ISBN-13: 9781416570813
Website: http://www.deborahowens.com

My Blessings to You in 2009

shelia-021Hello my dear friends, my sons, my grandsons, godchildren and loved ones! First, let me give thanks and praise to God for each of you, for your help, your support, your love, your concern, your prayers, thoughts and dedication to me. Many things I have taken on in 2008 would not and could not have been done without your help and commitment toward me, and your belief in the dreams and talents God has placed in my heart.

It is my prayer that as God leads us into a new beginning, with the first of many blessings, starting with President Barack Obama and the First family, that we will make many more strides, and the first steps that we take into the new year will lead to marvelous and great things. It is my earnest prayer that God’s blessings and His unmerited favor will overflow in our lives,in our careers, in the desires of our hearts, in the lives of our families and loved ones. I pray that those blessings will run us down and overtake us like a mighty rushing wind!

All that we have been through in 2008 has made us who we are today. I’m sure many of us didn’t think we’d even be here. I’m certain we each faced our own personal strugles, obstacles, trials, and storms of life. Some which seemed torn beyond repair – yet God is faithful. He promises never to leave us or forsake us. God’s word says in Isaiah 65:24 “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Just think about that and meditate on how powerful God’s words are.
In 2009, let us seek God first and set our sights on things above. Let us obey his commandments. If we fully obey what God directs us to do, He promises that we will be the head and not the tail, that we will be blessed going in and going out; that our offspring will be blessed. He says, that enemies which come at us one way, will depart from our presence in seven ways! God promises we will be above and not beneath; that we will be lenders and not borrowers…”

Let us move forward in 2009 with great expectancy. Let us declare life and not death; and most of all let us do all that will honour, glorify, magnify and praise God!

I love you all so much (But God really does love you more!)

www.shelialipsey.com
http://twitter.com/shelialipsey
http://community.essence.com/profile/SheliaELipsey
http://sistahfaith.ning.com
www.myspace.com/shelialipsey
http://thepeopleslounge.com/shelialipsey
http://blacktvonline.com/shelialipsey
www.victoriousmagazine.com
www.authorsden.com/shelialipsey
www.amazon.com
www.uchisglorybookclub.net
www.blackauthorsnetwork.com

Book Swapping and Exchange Sites

The idea of exchanging your old used books for new ones you haven’t read is an idea which is gaining momentum across the internet. Used book swapping sites now boast hundreds of thousands of registered members and millions of used books ready for to be exchanged with other book lovers.

So what is the appeal? Why should you join an online book exchange web site when there are so many other ways of acquiring books? Well, here are some arguments for and against joining.

The Advantages Of Online Book Swapping Sites

Why should you join a book trading site?

Well, for a start, if you are someone who regularly buys books, it is more than likely going to save you a lot of money. Book swapping sites are free to join, and for the price of postage and one used book from your collection, you can get new books to read. Effectively, this means you can pick up a new book for under $2 – this includes hardback books, cookbooks and textbooks too. That offers the possibility of making big savings when compared to any other way of buying books.

Secondly, you can give yourself a pat on the back for recycling books and saving the environment in the process. Swapping rather than buying books means less trees are felled to produce reading material. Again, this can only be a good thing so far as environmental issues are concerned.

Thirdly, it’s a great way to declutter your book shelves and help out someone else at the same time by giving them a book they are looking for.

Book trading sites are also a great place to find out of print and hard to find books. These can often be expensive to find otherwise, and you can waste a lot of time looking for them. At book swapping sites, you simply add the books you want to a wish list and when it comes in to the site, you are sent an email alert saying its there. Much easier.

One more thing – the selection is huge. Sure, you can go hit all the used book stores in town and you might find what you are looking for but probably not. A used book club on the other hand has millions of books in their system. One swap site claims to have over 2.5 million books and that’s just on one site.

The Disadvantages Of Online Book Exchange Sites

Firstly, why not just use a library? Then the books are free right? Personally, I look at libraries as something aside from all other forms of acquiring new reading material because you do not get to own the book. You get a specified period in which to read the book, in many cases will get fined for returning it late if you’ve not done with it, and have a limited selection to choose from. Libraries are great, but they’re not ideal.

Used books are not for everyone. If you like your books shiny and new regardless of the price, then an online book swapping club is not for you. Most swap sites have rules about the quality of book allowed to be offered up for exchange but they are predominantly used books.

New books make money for the publisher and the author, used books do not. Whilst its easy to argue they have already factored in trading on the used book market into the price of a new book, the fact remains, buying or swapping used books costs them money and may affect new authors in particular.

The Verdict?

Either way, online book swapping sites are becoming increasingly popular, with millions of books waiting to be traded with swappers all over the world. Whether a book swapping club is right for you is a matter of personal choice, but either way, it is something to consider the next time you look at that shelf full of books you’ll never read again or choke on the price of a new hardback.
About the Author:
Mark Falco is an avid reader and is always on the look out for ways to save money on his literary addiction.

Marriage Is A Bond Of Many Dimensions

Marriage Is A Strong Bond Of Many Dimensions
By: James Wallis

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There is one association, one relationship where this mask is thrown asunder by most people. There may be some who continue with it, but they are in a minority. This is the relationship of marriage. Not only is it the oldest relation that man has built it is also the foundation of human society.

Marriage

Marriage is the foundation stone or the first building block of what we refer to as society. All other human relationships revolve around it. Thus it is marriage which leads to parenthood, brings uncles and aunts into the picture besides the other obvious relationships of grandparents, cousins, nephews and nieces etc.

Marriage is what gives us the family which is the next building block of every society. It is considered to be the most sacred of all human institutions and every religion in the world has sanctified it through the ages. In spite of all differences of race, language, religion and region, marriage is one common factor amongst all the facets of mankind.

Durability of Marriage

Marriage has survived all upheavals in the history of mankind. Kingdoms and nation states were established and destroyed. New religions were established. Even the ever-changing trends of fashion have come and gone. Human ideologies have been established and destroyed but the institution of marriage has remained intact.

Marriage continues to be a milestone in the lives of millions of men and women across the globe. It is the dream of every little girl to end up in the arms of her prince charming and the longing or fantasy of every boy to marry the most beautiful girl in the world. The urge to marry is something that begins even when a person is in nascent stages of growth.

Reasons for the Durability of Marriage

Several reasons can be attributed to the fact of marriage having survived as an institution through the ages.

Intimacy: No other relationship can provide the levels of intimacy as are available in the institution of marriage. This intimacy can transcend the physical and emotional planes and be so great that in given cases it may even seem to be spiritual in nature.

Emotional Intimacy: The intimacy enjoyed in marriage can easily spread to varied aspects of one’s emotional well being. The spouse is a shoulder that is always there for the partner to lean upon. No other relationship can give the kind and amount of emotional succour that one can find in marriage.

Physical Intimacy: The level of physical intimacy that can be enjoyed in marriage is not easily available outside this relationship. In fact for a large number of people marriage is the first relationship in which they can develop intimate physical bonding. Celibacy before marriage is considered to be of great importance in several cultures and is cherished by those who espouse it.

Social Status: Marriage conjoins the social standing of the two partners. Their social circles become one and they develop common friends. An invite to one partner is automatically extended to the other spouse also. All social functions are common for them and they are deemed to be one in every societal aspect. This is but an obvious result of the above stated fact that marriage is the first building block of human society.

Legal Aspects: In legal parlance a husband and wife are taken to be one for all social purposes. The law gives such importance to marriage that in most countries and cultures the dissolution of marriage involves lengthy and cumbersome process. This process is referred to as divorce. In case of divorce proceedings, varied aspects such as the custody of children, division of marital assets, maintenance, are taken into consideration.

Parenthood In today’s day and age, single parent families are seemingly becoming the norm. This may be because of divorce or children being born out of the wedlock. However even today, marriage signifies the beginning of a family. Since ages marriages have led to parenthood. This opens up a new window altogether for the couple and can bring them closer than ever before.

Growth: A marriage provides social stability to a person. It can stabilise an individual in numerous ways and be the beginning of a new chapter in his or her life. The avenues for social and personal growth in marriage can be manifold.

 

About the author:
James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie Divorce see http://www.quickie-divorce.com

My Page In History

shelia06I cannot explain the thrill of victory that I’m experiencing inside. A new day has arrived and history beyond my finite comprehension has and is being made. President Barack Obama! I’m not calling him President-Elect.

 He is President Barack Obama. Wow, what an amazing feeling. The First African American First Family. To describe the depth of this tremendous day, election, event, and historical moment in time, there are no mere words worthy to say but, Yes God Can.

Yes God Can should ring from hear on out, over every mountaintop, and every valley low. Yes God Can should ring from the hillsides to the hood, from the ghetto to the neighborhood of MTV Cribs. Not only African American children, but all children who have felt that reaching and achieving great things in life isn’t possible – now look at how the impossible just became possible!! To adults, young and old, who have all but given up on accomplishing their dreams, no matter how big or small. If it’s important to you, and it brings positive value to you, then it is worth saying “Yes God Can.”

For me, It’s Yes God Can to our people, to my people to all of those who have dreams but have come up on rough times. Hold on and don’t give up. God desires for His people to live abundant lives. He desires for us to do more than strive, God wants us to thrive.
There are times when life gets hard, the struggles get rough, the dream seems impossible, the way seems like we’ve reached a dead end. But if we place our trust in God, then His word does prevail. I am a living witness of that.

There is a blog I recently read by author, Iris Celeste. I didn’t send her a comment on it at the time because reading it made memories of what happened to me some eleven years ago resurface. It talked about the tragic death of someone she loved. Her story, believe me, is identical to mine. I became dead, lifeless, a zombie with no hope when my fiance was brutally murdered back in 1997. In the year 1999 the words I had posted in a journal came forth and transformed into my first self published book novel titled, Always, Now and Forever, which was released in 2000. That novel, though I wasn’t an experienced writer at the time, renewed me and brought me back to life again. It revealed my true purpose in life. Much like Iris, I realized that I was destined to be a writer. Two years later in 2002 I published a nonfiction book called A Christian’s Perspective -Journey Through Grief which provided further healing for me. I use it now to minister to others. In 2005 I was signed by a traditional publisher and have since published three novels with several more in the works.

I never knew from all of the pain, the heartache, the tears, the downfalls, and the spiritual battles, that I would one day make my own page in history, but God ordained that it would be so. No, I may not end up on the pages of history like the wonderful, oh so eloquent, people oriented, sincere and trustworthy man like our new President Barack Obama, who I am so extremely proud of and grateful to God for. But I have my own pages in history because the words God has placed in my spirit to write in books will never die. Somewhere, after I am long gone from this earth, I know there will be someone who will pick up a novel and the author’s name will be, Shelia E. Lipsey.

Are dreams possible? Yes. Is the impossible attainable? Yes. Can greatness be birthed from adversity? Yes. Go forth now with the sincere belief in your dreams and your purpose in life by remembering, Yes God Can!

Happy Holidays from EDC

 


Happy Holidays!


EDC Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network announced the launch of their 2008-2009 Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign, bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy. In 2004, during the Christmas holidays, Ella Curry, the founder of EDC Creations, reached out to women’s groups and literary organizations to help promote early literacy by giving new books to children from low income homes. Today, the “Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign,” seeks to expand even further by giving the Gift of Knowledge daily!


Based on the “each one teach one model” our goal is to help people introduce reading and new books to their family and friends. Instead of giving expensive gifts that don’t shape lives—-let’s “Give the Gift of Knowledge” and help to strengthen our future generations!


Each year thousands of people — educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers — devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books! However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve. It is our mission to connect readers with these hidden gems and bring them books that will change their lives.


Each week EDC Creations will sponsor bookclub chats, live readings from authors, podcast presentations, seminars, community relations discussions, and radio shows that deliver the best our writers have to offer. All we ask is that the readers of the world spread the word. Please share this email with 10 people in your network.


 
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EDC Creations has a new eMagazine  that we would like you to check out. This holiday season Give the Gift of Knowledge. Send a love one a book that could change their lives! Enter the special magazine by clicking here.


Give the Gift of Knowledge. Want to make a difference in someone else’s life this holiday season? Donate an a book to a child, senior or your co-workers for the holidays. EDC Creations has brought the best in today’s literature in our new magazine. Explore new book releases, audio book previews, poems, short stories and written interviews with bookclubs and community leaders by following our EDC Creations eMagazine Blog.  Click here to enter magazine



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EDC Creations 2009 Literary Weekends
It is our mission to help new authors gain exposure for their books. In the New Year, we will host weekly workshops and live readings in DC area hotels. Each session will be videotaped by Botts & Associates, there will be a theme for most genres and refreshments will be served. Please follow our blog closely to find out all the details. If you are an author or bookclub in the Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and East Coast area, reach out to us to be included in these weekly presentations. Please follow our blog closely to find out all the details.


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Holiday Book Promotions
For the month of November only, EDC Creations is offering full promotions on the main EDC Creations site and the new EDC eMagazine  for $75.00. That’s right, you can advertise on either site, on the page you select for $75.00.


However, there will only be 5 books showcased on the front pages, these are based on first come, first served basis. We are offering our eblast services for $75.00 as well. All EDC Creations advertisements are $75.00 for November. Email Ella to get started promoting your book today: elladcurry@edc-creations.com



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Every Author Needs a Website–A Control Center
MySpace is a good social network for promoting your books. It is not like having your own control center, a virtual office if you will, authors need websites. If you want to appear industry savvy and to be taken seriously in your efforts, you need a place to represent you and your books in style! EDC Creations will start offering free consulations on this subject.


In order to help new authors represent themselves in the best light, EDC Creations will now offer starter websites for $399.00, complete with the bells and whistles. Contact Ella today to start your new year off right! We will only create 5 sites per month. If you would like a new website before the new year arrives, email Ella today.


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The Black Authors Network Talk Show is looking for authors and poets to read Christmas, Kwanzaa and holiday material on the radio show. If you would like to write a short story or poem to be read on air, please email Ella Curry, the producer at: elladcurry@edc-creations.com.  Each night in December 2008, we will host a speaker reading their work live! This is a community celebration, you are all welcome to create something special and give it as a gift to the world. We would also like to host children reading their poems too!


Black Authors Network Talk Show
www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network
Meet us at:  8pm-10pm EST  Mon., Wed., and Friday nights
Authors dial-in number:  (646) 200-0402


Chat live with the guests in our chat room during the show
www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network



Warmest regards,


Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder
A Good Book-Marketing Director
Xpress Yourself Publishing-Publicist
WoMEN-NPower (DC Chapter) Member
EDC Creations is on  The Black Men in America blog!

To everything there is a season(the Bible)

In the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3- it states, “There is a time for everything, a time and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…”
I say now is the time to tear down and rebuild.  During this historic election, it is time we as a nation, as a people under God, as a people who have power and authority, as God’s children, to take a stand for our beliefs.  It is time we stop talking about rocking the vote, but it’s time that we actually do rock the vote!

I can’t and won’t even attempt to tell you who to cast your vote for.  All I ask is that you get up, get out and exercise your rights to vote, to choose, to decide, to help make a change.  We cannot continue to live, or ever think to thrive rather than merely survive if we don’t do something to stop the madness of the last eight years.  I know that there are some of you who say that your vote doesn’t count or that the presidential election is not decided by the people but instead by the electoral college.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  God doee not want us to be slothful in anything.  In all things we should be who He has called us to be.  That means that He has blessed each of us with talents, with gifts with power and a sound mind.  We must not rest on our laurels. 
I proudly announce my support of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Is it because Barack has skin like mine that I’m voting for him?  YES that’s one reason.  Is it because Barack Obama stands for change?  YES that’s another reason.  Is it because Barack seems to identify with people of all classes, races, socioeconomic status and religion?  YES that’s still another reason.  Is it because Barack and Michelle look like the perfect couple who supports one another?  YES, that’s a reason for me too.  Is it because he is a Harvard Graduate, a Community Organizer, a people person, a man of many colors, races, and one who has had to wear many hats?  An Astounding YES.  Is it because he is a man who exemplifies what it means to be a true leader?  Oh Yes, Yes, and Yes again.
There may be some who read this blog and disagree with my choice for president of the United States.  That’s fine.  That’s the beauty of living in a world such as this.  That’s the reason it is of utmost importance for you, and you, and you, and me to go to the polls whether it’s raining, sleeting or snowing.  Whether the sun is shining or the clouds are hanging low that day.  Go to the polls whether your stomach aches or your head hurts.  Go, be obediet to the law of the land – Vote.  One person CAN change the world.  My Jesus Christ did it.  Now go forth and make a difference in the world.

Award winning NY Times Bestselling Author
Shelia E Lipsey
www.shelialipey.com
http://twitter.com/shelialipsey

October is an important Awareness Month

The month October touches on two very important issues. October is Domestic Violence Awareness and also National Breast Cancer Awareness. Domestic Violence is represented by the purple ribbon and Breast Cancer is represented by the pink ribbon. Are you or someone you loved affected by either?

 

Breast Cancer

2.3 million women in the United States are living with a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s a scary thing. Anyone regardless of age or race can be affected. It’s important to have regular annual checkouts and more if you have a relative or family member who’s been affected by breast Cancer. Early detective is so important.

 

Reach out to your family and friends for support and get the facts. Surround yourself by people who love you and reach out to cancer survivors.  

 

RESOURCES:
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
www.nbcam.org

 

American Cancer Society
Resource Link:
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_National_Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Month.asp 


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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence shouldn’t happen to anyone. Don’t settle and never feel you are not worthy of a violence-free environment. Domestic violence goes undetected behind closed doors way too often. Usually the woman or man is embarrassed that it is taken place, they are scared, and they believe or at least hope everything will get better. 

 

Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.”

Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.”

 

Both statistics were taken from http://endabuse.org/resources/facts/

 

Know that you have options and there are support groups. Don’t allow yourself and your children to continue to live in an unsafe environment. You are worthy of a better life – we all are.

 

RESOURCES:

Domestic Violence

http://www.domesticviolence.org/

 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (Call within any 50 states. Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
http://www.ndvh.org/

 

Article written by Author, Writer and Poet.
Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Visit the author at her site to learn more:
www.TinishaNicoleJohnson.com

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Domestic Violence shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t think you could ever become a victim – Think again! Who can be a potential victim, you may wonder?

 

Your family member

A neighbor

A close friend

The single mother
A married woman

The strong and independent woman

Your child

 

and

 

YOU!

 

Join Authors Supporting Authors (ASA) on Saturday, October 18th at 9:00pm ET as Tinisha Nicole Johnson, Allyson M. Deese and Linda R. Herman discuss their new book, Somebody Prayed For Me. Amongst other issues that affect our society, domestic violence will be addressed on this Radio show. Although a fictional book, some of their stories are based off true stories.

 

Call into this LIVE show to listen or ask questions and share your stories. You can stay anonymous. Or you can also log into your computer and listen and chat online.

 

Date:    Sat., Oct 18
Time:    9:00pm ET

Call in number: (347) 838-9985

Log into your computer and listen/or chat live: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ASA-Blog-Talk

 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available in all 50 states www.ndvh.org
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

 

Visit Authors Supporting Authors (ASA)

http://www.asanetwork.webs.com

Visit the Authors Behind the Book
http://www.somebodyprayed4me.webs.com

 

Writing for the World to Read – Forever!

Sinful revelations only a loving God can make right!

My Son's Wife -Sinful revelations only a loving God can make right!

The world of writing is opening doors that have never been opened.  I am one who has been blessed to walk through the literary door and claim my place on the podium alongside literary giants.  I see myself as a giant in a huge world where there are tens of thousands of people who wear the label ‘author.’  Yet, it is not a competitive spirit that I have when I hear this or read the statistics about new writers releasing books every day.  Instead, I know that no one can write quite like me.  Just as the word of God says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  I am a unique creation and there is no one in all the rest of humanity that is like me.  Therefore, the words that God gives me to place from pen to paper are unique.  My story can only be written by me.  Knowing that I am one of a kind and uniquely created gives me a sebse of greatness and gratefulness. I am humble yet I boldly step forward with the best of the best and claim my space. A space in time that only God can give, and only God himself can ever take away. I am thankful by the very fact that God chose me to write and tell stories that pour out from Him, through my spirit and then the finished product is printed for all the world to read!  I sit among the best of the literary divas.  I fulfill a purpose that no one else can fulfill. I stand toe to toe with Morrison, Angelou, Sheldon and Cooper, MacMillan and Harris. I believe that there is a calling on my life to write, to speak, to share, to reach, to tell and to spread the words in the form of books.  A book never dies.  Though our human body decays, books, like our souls, live on. Somewhere, long after I have shed this earthly shell, my words will resonate in someone’s life. And even now, today, and on into our tomorrow, while I still wear this human shell, someone, somewhere will be moved, touched and enticed to read my books. I know it in my spirit. I have the calm assurance from the one and only one I believe is sovereign. Though bookstores and publishers say the shelf life of a new book is basically 3 months before it fades out and new  books take its place, I thank God that I have read books that are hundreds of years old.  One day, I believe that someone, somewhere will pick up one or more of my novels.  They will read stories perfectly written and executed about imperfect people like me and you, and you, and you.  They will find hope, acceptance, joy, peace.  They will find that God truly is love and that crooked paths can be made straight again.  One day, I believe that someone, somewhere will pick up a book by Shelia E. Lipsey and the answers to problems and situations in life will be answered.  One day the world will see and read.  New dimensions and being reached in the world of reading.  A new path is being paved.  A new road is being laid.  And I am totally grateful to God for choosing me as one of his servants to carry out His purpose.

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MY SON’S WIFE AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD – OCTOBER 1, 2008 (CLICK BOOK COVER TO PREORDER)

Inspiration plus Mystery


What would you do if after your loved one died, you found out they were living a double life? A life that could possibly get you killed. That’s what happened to Rahkel Williams, in the mystery novel, Searchable Whereabouts by Tinisha Nicole Johnson.

Rahkel’s beloved uncle who she treated as a father was mysteriously killed. However, afterwards she began finding clues into his life that had her thinking he wasn’t the man she thought he was. In fact, he may have been hiding a horrible family secret that affected three generations of her family.

After hiring private investigator Darrin Miller, Rahkel begins her search to find the truth aside from the police. Soon she will find she’s in over her head and it becomes evident somebody does not want her to know the truth, and they may even kill her in order to stop her from finding the truth. 

 

Searchable Whereabouts by Tinisha Nicole Johnson is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and at bookstores everywhere. Visit the author: www.tinishanicolejohnson.com

 

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Have you ever been in a situation where you were on bended knees because of a situation you were in? Have you ever felt alone in this world and thought no one could understand or cared about your circumstances?

 

Well there is always hope through prayer. In Somebody Prayed For Me by literary sisters, Allyson M. Deese, Linda R. Herman and Tinisha Nicole Johnson you will witness awe inspiring stories, poems and letters that may hit home and cause your emotions to filter. The power of prayer is just that: POWERFUL!

 

Somebody Prayed For Me is an inspirational book for any age and is the perfect gift for any occasion. Visit www.somebodyprayed4me.webs.com to learn more. Pre-order your copy at www.tinishanicolejohnson.com and receive a free DVD of the book trailer and personalized signed book marks.

 

What’s The News?

As Mary J. Blige would say, “What’s the 411, Hon?” Well, I am getting it done. This summer has gone so fast and I’ve had my hand in so many pots lately, it is surprising when I look back on it.

 

After a spring of fun writers conferences and book promotions on the Internet, I decided to pursue writing for real. I was tired of carving out little bits of time here and there to satisfy my literary desires. I came back from Romance Slam Jam in Chicago and decided on the life I was working toward. A life of sharpening my literary craft, mingling with other literary addicts and starting an ongoing dialogue about all things multicultural is what it’s about for me.

 

In this vein, I have begun work on my second book, Early Withdrawal and launched a multicultural blog. Thanks to my experience writing with Literary Divas, I rediscovered my passion of writing about women and culture. I will continue to write the articles I love, which involves the impact current events have on the African American community and African American women in particular. However, my blog, Sable Lit Reviews.com will allow me to broaden the focus to all cultures and all people of color. In addition to articles, which will be crossed posted on my blog and Literary Divas, I will also post multicultural events and allow visitors to post multicultural events. Lastly, I will provide multicultural book reviews.

 

Starting September 1st, these reviews will be open to all genres that possess a multicultural theme and/or a cast of multicultural characters. The book, whether in print or electronic format, can be a current release or past release. Yes, nonfiction, LGBT and Erotic themes will have a home here as well. Sable Lit Reviews wants to put a flood light on it all. Authors and publishers, if you’d like to have your book reviewed and showcased on Sable Lit Reviews, visit the site for more information. Literary addicts, please watch it all unfold at SableLitReviews.com

 

My second book, while not a sequel to Mismatched, has very similar interracial themes but with a twist.

 

Early Withdrawal tells the story of Sonia Squires, an African American marketing executive who is 18 months shy of her 35th birthday, the age by which she hopes to start a family. After a routine wellness exam and an equally habitual argument with her long-time boyfriend, Sonia realizes that having a baby is more important to her and may be more realistic than having the marriage and the white picket fence.

Leaving her boyfriend behind and against her family’s advice, she enlists the resources of a local sperm bank to reach her goal.

Newly pregnant, Sonia’s curiosity regarding the paternal benefactor intensifies. When she breaks every privacy act to find him, she discovers he is Caucasian, a detail not accurately reported in the donor profile.

Jacob Rhodes is a 35-year-old language analyst, working for the National Security Agency.  He is battling with a loss of faith in his abilities after superiors ignored his Iraqi intelligence report, which resulted in a U.S. terrorist attack several years ago. 

A man of many secrets, Jacob allows a sperm bank to use contributions to make families whole again. Will one contribution to his Ex and her new husband who also happens to be his best friend, unleash all of his secrets?

Sonia’s on a mission to find her donor. Can she still obtain the love and the family she has always wanted regardless of their differing heritage?

When Sonia’s ex resurfaces and the target of her search falls from site, what choices will Sonia make?

Find out in Early Withdrawal, where fighting your obstacles and claiming the right to your dreams will lead you to a path of the unexpected!

 

Join me on this adventure here at Literary Divas and at the Sable Lit Reviews!

 

Empowering You to Empower Yourself

When each of us is born we are full of God given potential. Ask any young child what they want to be when they grow up and their answers will amaze you; a doctor and a lawyer, a ballerina and a school teacher, a fireman, and a football player. The problem arises when we as adults begin to scoff at their remarks. We’re quick to say, “oh sweetie, you can’t do all that.”

My question is why not? God said we could do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I believe Peter Pan had the right idea about never growing up because growing up causes us to stop listening to the voice within in us reminding us that God’s plans for us are good. Instead, we begin to listen to and internalize those voices that say you won’t ever amount to anything, or the ones that say you’re too ugly or too dumb.

Not seeing ourselves the way God see us, we begin to validate ourselves through the eyes of others. The time has come to create a paradigm shift in our lives. We need to ask ourselves, “Is anything to hard for God? Is this day in my life more than God can handle? Is this habit I’m trying to overcome too hard for him?” Asking these questions prompts us to seek God on His power to help us with the impossible. THe impossible is simply an opportunity for God.

Seek God first and He will add all that you need. Meditate on His word both day and night so that it becomes a part of your DNA.

You have the power of life and death in your own tongue. Begin to speak life into your dead situations. Tell yourself that no weapon formed against you will prosper because greater is He that is in your than he that is in the world. Remember the word says you are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ and you are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath.

This is the word of the Lord. He wishes not that anyone would perish. Hide His words about you in your heart. Walk in His destiny which was designed only for you. Lean not to your own understanding. Trust Him and he will direct your path. Fortify your faith by working towards the destiny God has for you and watch your life begin to change.

Cool Calvin Teaches the Meaning of Being Gang-Free

Thanks to my mother for her voracious reading appetite and her willingness to let me tag along on her library trips.  Due to that experience, reading books became part of my life at an early age. Before I could even read, we would checkout books with records so I could follow along. When I became of reading age, I feasted on books about kids like me doing amazing things. I enjoyed Encyclopedia Brown’s mysteries and appreciated the Sweet Valley High twins as they took the fear of the unknown out of attending high school.

 

While I grew up in a New Jersey suburb, safe from the gangs of inner city Newark, New Jersey, I didn’t feel a deep relation to the stories I read. Luckily, with gang messages and the allure of grabbing a quick buck constantly bombarding today’s youth, Ralph Burgess and his creation, The Learning Adventures of Cool Calvin, are now on the scene. The literary adventure getting the most attention these days is Cool Calvin’s No Bandanas for Me: Staying Gang Free. Instead of being preachy, a tactic sure to turn-off young readers, Burgess allows young Calvin to carry the message of gang dangers to his audience. The peer-to-peer learning model not only encourages children to read but it allows them to learn valuable lessons about belonging. Burgess attracts readers with a likeable character and a positive message.

 

Cool Calvin not only makes an impact on his young readers, he also makes a mark on the New York City Department of Education and the self-publishing industry as a whole. Ralph Burgess, a self-publisher, recently landed a huge purchase order for 9,500 books through a distribution deal with Sussman Sales. The NYCDOE will distribute the books throughout the New York City school system. This major coup adds one more success story to the self-publishing roster, thereby removing it even further from its vanity press perception.

 

Known for its high gang population, Burgess hopes Cool Calvin can reach the Chicago and Los Angeles school systems as well.

 

For more information, about Cool Calvin and his adventures check out http://www.coolcalvin.com/.

 

Courtesy of : http://www.sablelitreviews.com

Walt’s Latest Inductee to the Princess Franchise

 Growing up in the pre-Disney video era, I never had much fascination with Mickey Mouse, his crew or his creator. In fact, I had practically missed the Mickey frenzy until I moved to the West coast. In the meantime, I was more interested in my dolls. I had at least eight Barbie dolls a few that looked like me and most that did not. It took time to amass my Barbie collection, the first one appropriately titled, ‘My First Barbie’.  She wore a yellow bathing suit with blue trim. I was seven when she became my favorite playmate.  Three years later, I received my first black Barbie. She was a Day to Night Barbie. During the day, she wore corporate attire, but her clothes could be reversed to make her presentable for an evening at the theatre.  She was the first and only Barbie I named. I called her Valine and she quickly replaced the My First Barbie as my favorite. Not only was she beautiful but she looked like someone I could grow up to be.

 

  This is what Walt Disney has deprived little black girls of for decades. Finally deciding to rectify this deliberate oversight, or seeing an opportunity to pad their pockets with a segment of the population that is steadily growing more and more middle class, Disney will release its first princess movie featuring an African American girl in the most desirable role to be bestowed on an animated character. She will be Princess Tiana. While many of the details are unclear, her story will be told within the 1920’s jazz era of New Orleans. There has been buzz of her being a chambermaid, but those speaking out against it have sent Walt’s crew back to the drawing board. Confusion also existed over the nationality of her prince, as the little information that has leaked out suggests, he will not be African American. At first, he was to be Caucasian, however, the most recent reports state he will be Middle Eastern. The tale will not run short of the snobby rich white debutante and the rich white mogul. There was even talk of a black male villain, but that’s up for revision too. Beyond that, Disney is being quite tight-lipped, probably in an attempt to give the skeptics as little ammo as possible.

 

 In a society of political correctness, Disney has received a lot of negative attention, at least within the African American community. Many wonder why it has taken Disney so long to release an animated movie with black leads who were not villains or animals. One important possibility exists in the fact that minorities do support non-ethnic media while most of the Caucasian market does not. It all comes down to availability. With plentiful media aimed at Caucasian dollars, very little reason exists for Whites to crossover to the ethnic market. On the other side, with significantly less or in some cases no options in the ethnic market, minorities had no choice but to support what was mainstream.

 

  While they could not know the release of the movie might find our country months into the first African American presidency, the timing could not be better. Although the release of the movie entitled “The Princess and the Frog” is set for late 2009, the project was announced in late 2006 putting the search for Princess Tiana’s voice in full swing. Disney granted the honor to Anika Noni Rose, supposedly beating out the likes of Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keyes. Rose has such movie projects to her credit as Dream Girls and Just Add Water.

 

    With their Asian Mulan, and Middle Eastern Jasmine, the company’s attempts at inclusion have still fell short until now. Many will stand in wait to judge how Walt’s crew will pull off this long overdue addition to the Disney Princess Sorority, knowing that this is about more than just a movie. If handled like the princess inductees before her, Princess Tiana will become a franchise unto herself, with the possibility of dolls, video games and other toys. With critics picking apart the very few details that have been released, Disney will have to scrutinize every decision regarding this film.

 

  Though many question the validity of animated characters as childhood role models, none can deny the extent to which animated movies influence children. They generally teach life lessons and encourage kids to dream. Additionally, they provide them with their own viewing material, when not much else is suitable.

 

  Regardless of the details surrounding why little black girls are finally getting their Disney princess, this is a great opportunity to change the associations of black versus white and good versus evil. Black girls will have the opportunity to look at the movie screen and think, “That could be me.”  

 

A Black Nation’s Hope and Promise on His Shoulders

As one talented African American man makes history in winning the Democratic nomination, so does another in the realm of African American activism.

 

On Saturday, June 7th, 2008, 35-year-old Benjamin Todd Jealous became the youngest person elected president of the 99-year old activist organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also referred to as the NAACP. Jealous is one of the few elected to this high-ranking position without the having a professional background in politics or the ministry.

 

Having started his activism at the age of 14 with his participation in a voter registration drive, Jealous, a California native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s in social policy from Oxford University. Professionally, Jealous continued to support black activism through his role as a community organizer for the NAACP,  and an executive director for the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which boasts to be the country’s largest community of black newspapers. Most recently, Jealous was president of the Rosenberg Foundation, an institution in the private sector supporting human rights and civil rights advocacy.

 

As the NAACP nears its centennial, it chose a new direction to regain its fading financial support. It is their hope that Jealous is the answer to many young black critics who accuse the organization of not recognizing the current challenges of young black supporters. With this new appointment, many hope the new leadership will address issues facing younger African Americans that emerged since desegregation. 

 

Just like Obama’s presidential nomination suggests a promise of new hope and fresh ideas, so does the appointment of Benjamin Todd Jealous as President of the NAACP. Both men have a lot to live up to but they each possess the passion and the intelligence to make it happen.

 

Sources:

http://www.blacknews.com/news/naacp_ben_jealous101.shtml

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/17/naacp.president/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/17/AR2008051702320.html

 

A Case for Assimilation or Separatism

Minority cultures often struggle between losing themselves in assimilation or alienating their communities with acts that suggest separatism. The majority of society assumes that their rituals, morals and traditions should predominate because in terms of sheer numbers they dominate.  As a result, we have a historical discourse that features people of color as a footnote to the generational advancements of this society.

 

While race relations have improved compared to the experiences of our ancestors, prejudice and intolerance is a rippling undercurrent that taints our relationships and our social interactions, regardless of ethnic background. This state of existence is felt and read about in every sector of life.. It is a source of entertainment, ridicule and violence.
Most recently, I find myself bombarded by this as I interact in my romantic literary circles. In April, I attended two writers’ conferences. At the first one, I was a minority face in the crowd. Many of the reactions I received in response to my multicultural/interracial platform were, “That’s actually cool,” and “That’s interesting.”  However, meeting an editor and a reader grateful for my platform made the time and money I spent worthwhile. The second conference I attended that month was Romance Slam Jam, an African American romance writer’s conference. I felt like one of the girls in this crowd. It was nice to meet others who wrote interracial and multicultural romance as well as many talented women who wrote strictly African American romantic fiction. It allowed me to enhance the relationships I had been forming with many of these women online.

 

The separatism and assimilation question came up when I got back from Slam Jam. When I went to my local Romance Writers of America meeting, I reconnected with a few women who had been absent from the most recent meetings. I reluctantly told them about Slam Jam. They had no idea what I was talking about. The women, one Caucasian and the other Hispanic, listened with mild interest.  The woman of Hispanic decent began to show a growing interest as she asked if you had to be Black to attend. To be honest the question took me off guard because it highlighted the reason for my reluctance to discuss it in the first place. Of course, you don’t have to be Black to attend, but it is a natural presumption that non-Blacks make. I’m not sure if it’s because they think we don’t want them involved or if it’s because they don’t really have an interest in being involved. Yet, it is expected that we want to be a part of whatever it is they are doing. In reality, we have fought long and hard to be included. However, the existence of separate but equal activities and organizations makes me wonder if our struggle has more to do with equal opportunity, respect for our culture and our existence as human beings rather than truly being involved in the activities of the majority. Many members of the majority say, “See, they are being separatist. They want us to include them but then they create their own organizations.” This was never been clearer to me than when I stumbled upon the debate over the Black National Anthem. African Americans on the blog condemned it for perpetuating separatism. Many Caucasian bloggers agreed, stating this is America and a Black National Anthem was disrespectful. So much for being a melting pot of ideas. Can we be a part of the majority and still claim some things as our very own?

 

This notion confronted me again when I picked up the latest RWA Romance Writers’ Report. In this issue, there was a quarter-page announcement for the recipients of the Emma Awards that took place at Romance Slam Jam. There was no information about the conference or the history behind the awards. The announcement also came three months after the awards ceremony, despite the fact that there were RWA representatives at the conference. Please note the Romance Writers’ Report, RWA’s industry member magazine, is published monthly. Hey, I guess better late than never, maybe they have really long lead times. There was also a very interesting interview about the experience of multicultural authors in the romance writing industry. It indirectly spoke to the idea of assimilation and separatism when famed author Beverly Jenkins spoke of the emergence of African American romance novels. It was clear that the publishing industry didn’t think black female dollars were significant enough to warrant a book line catering to the life and loves of African Americans. Nor did they think it was necessary, after all black women have been reading about white love stories for ages. Isn’t the point of these novels to provide fantasies and a glimpse into the lives we couldn’t possibly have the chance of living ourselves?

 

These occurrences have lead me to realize that my multicultural platform is more than about people of differing cultures and persuasions living, loving and interacting with one another. I don’t desire to create a fondue pot where the contents melt to create a blended product, but a crock-pot where all the ingredients of the stew are still distinct but the different textures compliment and coexist together.

The Feminization of the African American Male

I did a show on the Feminization of the African American Male. During my research I found this article. It was very intriguing. The article paints a dark picture regarding the future relations of African American males and females.

My question is, when will men stop blaming everyone and everything else for their inability to succeed. We all know that race relations are still very strained in our country. We also know that African Americans must work twice as hard to achieve. However, having said this, many of our men are not “working” at all. Instead they opt to use “the white man holdin’ me down” mentality.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many brothers out there who are doin’ their thing, but many more of them are not. This is why we have so many single parent households, jail cells fuller that college campuses, and overall degradation of the African American family.

I personally know men who are well in their sixties and still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. When they were in their 40’s and 50’s, their 70+ mother was hunting them down in alley ways like children. What’s up with that. These same “men” have to turn to their younger family counterparts for handouts. This is not the way it should be. When is enough enough!

To say that the white man brought drugs and guns into our neighborhoods is one thing, but when did they hold the gun to our heads and make us use them?

As an African American women, I live for the day when all of our men take a stand for our children, our families, and our communities.

Read the article below and leave any comments you may have. God Bless.

What’s love got to do with it?

Why Oprah’s still single – society and opportunities for African American people – Brief Article

Paul Offner

TAMA MATTOCKS IS A LIVELY, ARTICulate 42-year-old African-American woman who lobbies for a healthcare association in Washington, D.C. A native of Detroit, she attended Wayne State University before pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Stopping just short of getting her degree, she went to work for a state assemblyman, whom she accompanied to Washington in 1992 when he was elected to Congress.

Madison was home to few blacks, so social opportunities were limited. Washington would be different, Mattocks thought, with its sizable black professional class, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Interesting, eligible men have been few and far between. Some of the men she’s met have little interest in working, preferring to seek out women who will support them–“a rag-head on your couch,” she calls them, conjuring up images of the lead character in Baby Boy, John Singletons story of a seductive predator who lives off his girlfriends. On one occasion, the congressman even arranged a blind date, but nothing became of it. “Maybe you should join a bowling club,” one friend suggested half-jokingly. “The pain of being alone is so great that you go into denial,” says Mattocks, “so you can get up and go to work the next day” Most of her friends have given up thoughts of marriage.

Mattocks’s experience is not unusual. Just look at any African-American publication. “Are professional black women losing in the dating game?” asks Jet, the popular African-American news magazine. “Within their own ethnic group, sisters find slim pickings,” reports the San Francisco Sun Reporter. “Most of us don’t even come in contact with single, middle-class males,” laments a professional woman in the Memphis Tri-State Defender. This struggle was captured in Terry McMillan’s bestselling novel, Waiting to Exhale, which later became a movie starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. Its success came as no surprise to its target audience. “It is so popular,” Sherry Smith told the Philadelphia Tribune, “because there are so many single females out there trying to find a good male.”

This is something new within the African-American community. Over the last generation, most of the problems taking center stage involved such matters as single-parent families, welfare dependency, and the feminization of poverty. But here’s a problem affecting relatively successful African Americans. The number of well-educated, professional women is multiplying rapidly; but the number of similarly situated black men is not. In fact, as black women advance, black men are falling further and further behind. It’s not a subject that black leaders like to address, but it’s a hot topic in African-American periodicals, where professional women complain bitterly about the difficulty of finding suitable mates.

Lonely At The Top

African Americans have made great strides in the area of education over the last 20 years. The percentage graduating from high school has increased by more than one quarter, and the percentage enrolling in college is up 44 percent. African Americans still trail whites in both areas, but at least the numbers are moving, in the right direction.

Unfortunately, nearly all the improvement in college enrollment has been among black women, who now receive twice as many college degrees as black men. The number of black men graduating from college today has barely budged from where it was 20 years ago.

Nationally, college women outnumber men among all racial groups. But the imbalance is much greater among African Americans. Black women earn twice as many master’s degrees, 50 percent more PhDs, and 50 percent more degrees in law, medicine, and dentistry. What’s more, the gap is widening. If current trends continue, 20 years from now black women attending college will outnumber their male counterparts by three to one.

Already, black women are getting most of the good jobs. A half-century ago, women filled about a quarter of the management and administrative positions held by blacks; today, they fill just under 60 percent. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the imbalance is even greater in larger firms, where black professional women outnumber men by two to one. Of course, African-American women are not alone in terms of professional advancement. Happily, women of all races have increased their share of college enrollments and management jobs over the last 40 years. But there is one important difference: Among whites and Hispanics, men are still far ahead.

Currently, these changes affect a relatively small number of people–most black female workers are still concentrated in low-paying jobs and are paid, on average, less than either white women or black men. But the assessment of Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson seems apt: African-American women are now “poised to assume leadership in almost all areas of the Afro-American community and to outperform Afro-American men at middle-and upper-class levels of the wider society and economy?” What we’re witnessing, in other words, could be called the feminization of the African-American elite.

Slim Pickings

In the realm of dating, this creates what must be a frustrating situation for many single women. They are told to expand their search to include less-educated men, younger men, and older men. (In How Stella Got Her Groove Back, another McMillan novel, the heroine finds happiness with a man 20 years her junior). A recent issue of the Tri-State Defender summed up the frustration of a college-educated woman whose friends counseled her to seek out blue-collar men. “Why are we told to marry down?” she wonders. “I want to be in a relationship with someone who is an equal in every way.”

What is remarkable, though, is how many women are marrying down. More than half of black female college graduates are married to men who don’t have degrees (for whites, the figure is 31 percent). Four percent are married to men who haven’t even graduated from high school. For a few, there is the inter-marriage option. Although black intermarriage has traditionally been rare, that is beginning to change. But it only worsens the imbalance, since black men are much more likely than black women to marry people of other races.

For other educated black women, the choices are few. Says Walter Farrell, a University of Wisconsin professor who has studied the subject, “The more prominent the successful black woman becomes, the greater the chance she will end up alone.” As a result, professional black women are having fewer children, which means that a growing percentage of black children are being born into less educated, less affluent families.

Women’s Work

A number of explanations have been offered for why black women are doing so much better than black men. Some focus on female upbringing. “Historically, in the matriarchal Negro society,” writes former Urban League President Whitney Young, “mothers made sure that if one of their children had a chance for higher education, the daughter was the one to pursue it.” The goal was to spare her from a lifetime of domestic work. In 1940, 60 percent of employed black women worked as domestics, while another 11 percent were farm laborers, with the result that on average black women earned 38 percent as much as white women. World War II changed that by opening up new opportunities in offices and factories. By 1980, only 6 percent worked as domestics, and black women’s earnings were roughly on a par with whites.

For black men, however, things didn’t go as well. Although they made just under half as much as white men in 1940, at least they had access to the well-paying manufacturing jobs that dominated urban labor markets at that time. During the ’60s and early ’70s, their wages rose relative to white men’s, but this progress stopped when many manufacturing firms abandoned urban centers. By 1980, black men earned 26 percent less than their white counterparts, and a good case could be made that it Was they, not the women, who most needed help.

In other words, at a time when domestic labor was the predominant form of work among black women, they attended college at the same rate as the men. Later on, when fewer and fewer women worked as domestics, the women’s college attendance soared. On balance, then, it is hard to see how the parental interest in having their daughters avoid domestic work can explain the gender gap in college enrollments.

An alternative explanation focuses on the boys and the harm allegedly done to them by the weakening of the African-American family. Former Senator Daniel Pat Moynihan (D-NY) famously made this argument in his 1965 report on the Negro family. Many black leaders criticized the report for “blaming the victim,” even though Moynihan clearly placed the blame on this nation’s unemployment record and discriminatory history. In any event, his analysis proved prophetic. While a quarter of African-American families were headed by single women in the year Moynihan issued his report, today that fraction has more than doubled to reach 56 percent.

But the argument that single-parent families disproportionately hurt boys is suspect. Girls may not be going to jail in large numbers, but they face their own considerable problems, such as out-of-wedlock childbirth. Today, fully half of black women between the ages of 20 and 24 have children, which most raise on their own. Sociologists Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, authors of the authoritative Growing Up with a Single Parent, make a convincing case that girls, not boys, are most damaged by the absence of a parent. Yet, despite these significant obstacles, young black women are attending college in record number.

Another explanation involves what Brookings Institution scholar Joyce Ladner calls the “demonization” of young black males and the adoption of stricter policies toward their antisocial behavior. Today, a disproportionate number of black boys are labeled as hyperactive, prescribed medications such as Ritalin, and assigned to special education classes. Many end up in jail. In 2000, more than one in 10 African-American males between the ages of 25 and 29 were incarcerated (among high school dropouts, more than one in three). Moreover, high black crime rates have done more than just reduce college enrollments. When businesses feel compelled to hire more African Americans, writes Andrew Hacker, they generally pick women because they find them less threatening.

Mars vs. Venus

“Unless unforeseen social forces reverse current trends,” writes sociologist Robert Staples, “the future is likely to bring one of the first cases in history where women have achieved superiority over men in the vital areas of education, occupation, and income.” While few people would dispute Staples’s point as it pertains to blacks, there is disagreement over what it signifies. For instance, Robert Hill, author of The Strengths of Black Families, doubts that much will change and cites the example of the black church: Women are in the majority, they head up most of the church clubs and contribute most of the money, yet men make most of the decisions. On the other hand, success in the American economy today is increasingly associated with specialized knowledge and skills, and African-American women have the clear advantage there.

Indeed, they may have too much of an advantage. College-educated women want to find men with similar backgrounds, and the shortage of college-educated men rules that out for many of them. As the education gap widens in the future, marriage rates will continue to drop. More and more of these women will remain childless, and a growing proportion of black children will be born into poor single-parent families, with all the disadvantages attendant on that fact.

Oddly, current government policy may actually be adding to the problem. In an effort to increase welfare recipients’ long-term self-sufficiency, 22 states now help welfare mothers attend college, a form of assistance largely unavailable to the fathers, most of whom are not on welfare.

As it happens, the current round of welfare reform just underway in Washington includes a major campaign to raise marriage rates. Conservatives would like to provide pro-marriage education to children in school and give states financial rewards for increasing marriage rates and reducing divorce. Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation even favors bonuses for at-risk women who avoid getting pregnant until they are married. The only problem is that no one knows how to increase marriage, and the little we do know suggests that it’s not as simple as handing out bonuses to young women who put off child-bearing.

One promising place to start would be increasing the rate of college attendance among African-American men. This will require reexamining many of our education policies, such as the way we deal with boys who act up in school and those who are involved with drugs. Currently 400,000 individuals–mostly young black men–are behind bars on drug charges. One and a half times as many black men are in prison as in college. When they get out, most of them will have trouble finding steady work, and thus becoming reliable fathers to their children. Four years ago, Congress enacted legislation denying college financial aid to anyone convicted of a drug offense, which can only make such matters worse.

But if significant progress is to be made in this area, the African-American community will have to take the lead. And therein lies the problem. The relative position of men and women has always been controversial among blacks, which means that there is no consensus on the nature of the problem or what should be done about it. “There is a crisis in nearly all aspects of gender relations,” writes Orlando Patterson, “and it is getting worse” In this environment, there is a danger that the higher-education gender gap will be airbrushed over, lest it become an embarrassment to the African-American community.

Black organizations such as the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have never much involved themselves in welfare reform, preferring to let the states and welfare advocacy groups take the lead. But there is no one else to go to bat for black men. Nor can anyone else hope to resolve the gender issues that divide African Americans today. Without pressure from black leaders, the likelihood is that nothing will be done, and that would be a disaster for both the black community and the nation.

PAUL OFFNER is a professor at Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Washington Monthly Company
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

Multiculturalism: It is Not Just Black and White

Following a dream is not always easy, but for the courageous, it is a necessity. Pursuing a dream often requires paring down the extraneous details and focusing on the root of the desired result. Such was the case with WNBA star Becky Hammon, a girl from South Dakota with dreams of playing basketball on the U.S. Olympic team. A blonde-haired person with a beautiful smile and a strong belief in God, Hammon set out to make her dreams come true. She played ball throughout high school and college resulting in many honors. She played for the WNBA New York Liberty and most recently the San Antonio Silver Stars. 

 

After eight years of professional play, at the age of 31, Hammon knew her chance to realize her childhood dream was dwindling. When she found herself absent from the 23 names listed on the National Olympic team pool, Hammon responded when Russia called. She signed a contract to play with team CSKA Moscow with the chance to go to the Olympics. After signing that contract and becoming a naturalized Russian citizen, Hammon will play on the Olympic basketball team for Russia.  

 

Some view this as a betrayal of our country, citing that Hammon has no Russian ancestry and no other ties to Russia, therefore having no legitimate reason for making this decision. However, Hammon contends that her pride in America is unwavering and no matter whose jersey she wears, she will always be an American. It is through this choice that Hammon will live out her dream and possibly change the perceptions Americans and Russians have of each other.  

 

Sometimes the path to our dreams does not present themselves in the way that we expect. As a result, it becomes necessary to see beyond the norm in order to realize our dreams. 

 

While not generally the type of multicultural story I write, it spoke to me on the same level. Thanks to the Internet and the global economy, the pursuit of our dreams and personal acceptance is not limited to the country in which we live. Regardless of our backgrounds, we are people. True multiculturalism is more than just race; it is religion, ancestry, orientation, generational and gender.  

 

In order to have a true multicultural platform, we must explore it all. That exploration brings us a step closer to understanding the world’s people.

Romance Author, Victoria Wells: PassionScape by Hazel Mills

This month, PassionScape catches up with Xpress Yourself Publishing’s romance author, Victoria Wells, to discuss her bestselling contemporary romance novel, A Special Summer. I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria in May during Afr’Am Festival held in Norfolk, Virginia. She is a remarkable woman who is very passionate about her work. Victoria is not shy when it comes to talking about her latest release or about sharing her experiences in the publishing industry.

VICTORIA WELLS is a Philadelphia native. In 1991 she graduated from Community College of Philadelphia under her legal name Gaye Riddick-Burden with an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences majoring in Nursing. She furthered her education and went on to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nursing from LaSalle University.

Wells (Riddick-Burden) is employed as an adult nurse practitioner at a center city hospital. She has dedicated her fifteen year career as a nurse to taking care of patients with sickle cell disease.

In 2005, Wells was nominated for the Nursing Spectrum’s Nursing Excellence Award in the category of Clinical Care for her work with sickle cell patients. On May 10, 2005 Wells became the regional winner of the 2005 Nursing Excellence Award in Clinical Care. On October 24, 2005, Wells was awarded the Nursing Spectrum’s National title, “Nurse of the Year” in Clinical Care at the Chicago Ritz-Carlton. Nursing Spectrum wrote, “Riddick-Burden is a strong advocate for patients with sickle cell disease. She was instrumental in designing and implementing the outpatient Sickle Cell Day Treatment Unit for these often underserved patients. The program is driven by Riddick-Burden’s desire to provide timely and effective care to patients with sickle cell crisis, decreasing long waits in the ED and avoiding inpatient stays that separates patients from their families.”

On March 19, 2006, Wells was awarded the Movers and Shakers Award presented by the American Women’s Heritage Society, National Association of University Women, National Association of Phi Delta Kappa, Top Ladies of Distinction and Two Thousand African American Women. This recognition was bestowed upon Wells because of her dedication to the nursing profession and community outreach.

Wells has been a lover of books since childhood. As a child she would spend hours reading. To this day reading remains a favorite pastime. Wells’ favorite genre is African American romance.

While taking a creative writing course in college, Wells became interested in writing. The final assignment for the course was to rewrite the last chapter of The Color Purple. Wells received not only an A for the assignment, but for the course as well. Professionally, Wells has written and lectured extensively on sickle cell disease. However, in 2005 after being encouraged by family and friends, she decided to pick up her pen and write her first romance novel.

A Special Summeris Wells’ first novel which she self-published and will be re-released by XYP in 2008. Wells is married with three children, she and her family live in the Philadelphia area.

HM: I have just finished reading your book, A Special Summer and it is wonderful. Tell us a little about the book.

VW: A Special Summer is a romance about a love that is all consuming. It’s also truly a story of redemption and forgiveness. The heroine of the story Summer is experiencing her first encounter of being in love with Nick who happens to be a much older, powerful, successful businessman. Because of demons and unresolved family issues from Nick’s past life, Summer is literally flung into a world of pandemonium when he believes she’s betrayed him. When he finally sees things as they really are, Nick is in jeopardy of losing the only woman who has ever truly loved him unconditionally. 

HM: What inspired you to write A Special Summer?

VW: I loooove African American romance novels. After reading so many great stories over the years I wanted to write my own story about us being in love. With so many negative stereotypes floating out there I wanted to create African American characters that were strong, positive and self-sufficient. My desire was also to be another voice in this genre that let it be known we are capable of loving and respecting each other. We do work through our relationship issues and take our responsibilities seriously. Speaking from the perspective of an African American woman it was important for me to say loud and proud that our men do know how to cherish us and love us. In addition, we as women do love and support our men when all isn’t perfect in our relationships.

HM: How long was the journey from concept to publication?

VW: The process took me about a year and a half. Initially, I toyed with the idea of writing a romance novel. I got up the courage after numerous friends and family told me. “Girl, you go can do it.” After writing my story I decided to self-publish it. After receiving overwhelming positive feedback I submitted my manuscript to three publishing houses, two were interested. In August of 2007 I accepted an offer from Xpress Yourself Publishing.

HM: Who are a few of your favorite authors?

VW: I have several! LOL My all time favorites are Francis Ray, Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Leslie Esdaile, J.D. Mason, Rochelle Alers, and AlTonya Washington. Gwyneth Bolton and LaConnie Taylor-Jones are also authors that I’ve recently begun reading this year that’s pretty good.

HM:  What three pieces of advice would you give an aspiring author?

VW: First, I would tell them not to let anyone steal their dreams. There will be a lot of folks who may pretend to be happy for you one minute and then the next discourage you in every way possible. Second, I would advise them to do research on the genre they wish to write. Finally, stay true to who you are as a person and as an author.

HM: What can we expect in the future from Victoria Wells?

VW: By God’s grace a ton of exciting romance novels! I’ve just recently completed my second manuscript, When Love Comes Around which is due for release early 2009 by Xpress Yourself Publishing.

 

Ten Victoria Wells Quick Facts

1. Hometown: Philadelphia

2. Favorite Color: Black

3. One item you can’t live without and why: My bible. I need God’s strength everyday of my life. God speaks to me through His word.

4. Last CD you purchased: Robin Thick

5. Favorite department store: Macy’s

6. Best childhood memory: Spending time with my grandmother.

7. Teen celebrity crush: Michael Jackson

8. Favorite snack: Pepperidge Farm Cookies

9. Favorite holiday: Christmas

10. Favorite thing to do on a rainy day: Stay in bed alternating every few hours between reading and watching Lifetime .

Visit Victoria Wells online at www.victoria-wells.com

Victoria Wells has set a new standard for contemporary romance with “A Special Summer”. I was drawn instantaneously into the lives of the two main characters, Nick and Summer. The storyline is dramatic and captures the essence of the joys and pains of love. I laughed and I cried with each turn of the page. This book is not the usual “cute” romance novel. Wells has artistically sculpted a very realistic view of relationships. I eagerly await her next creation.  Hazel Mills, author

Similarities For Convenience

Being an information junkie, I constantly search for interesting news stories both online and off. This morning I came across an article comparing and contrasting the first ladies of the presidential nominees. The article painted a rich picture of both Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama, for their style and grace. It attempted balanced reporting by mentioning Michele’s criticism of her husband and her country on the democratic side, while revealing Cindy’s battle with addiction and her reluctance toward full financial disclosure.
Despite being a Arizona resident, I began reading this article knowing very little background about Cindy. This fact could be due to the relentless campaign for the democratic nomination, or it could be the result of Cindy McCain’s aptitude for being the quiet doting wife of a presidential candidate. Certainly, having a wife who is heir to a wealthy beer distributorship would not bolster John McCain’s campaign, especially during our current economic times.
It wasn’t until I read the second half of the article that my writer fury erupted. The context was in reference to the infamous statement Michele Obama made about having pride in her country for the first time. The article reported Cindy’s rebuttal which suggested her staunch unwavering pride in her country.
Pride stems from actions and experience. If you’ve done nothing, then you have nothing to be proud of. If you have not created positive opportunities and experiences despite the obstacles then again you have nothing to be proud of.
Being part of the African American community and being female, I can understand why Michele may not have always been proud of her country. If I were a rich member of society’s majority, I might not ever recall a time I lacked pride for my country. However, any human being who has witnessed prejudice and oppression or even recognizes it as part of American history cannot truly proclaim ever-existing pride in the actions and experiences in which this country participates.

Is Cindy proud of the Iraq war and the lies that caused it?
Is Cindy proud of racially motivated brutality that still happens in America today?

It’s interesting how we can put race aside when it suits our argument. The article made sure to inform us that Cindy is a rich, blond, blue-eyed Rodeo queen who knows when to speak and when to keep quiet. I would have had more respect if Cindy could have sympathized with Michele’s comment since not everyone’s American experience is Cindy’s rich privileged experience. I don’t want a meek first lady who can’t recognize experiences different from her own.

Patriotism is more complicated than being proud or not being proud of your country. Pride is a barometer that adjusts with each act and experience. American patriotism exists in recognizing the flaws and taking action to make a difference, thus creating a country everyone can be proud of regardless of their past experiences.

Resource:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080610/pl_nm/usa_politics_wives_dc 

Discipline or Punishment

by: Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Our best example of parenting, God praises, advises nurtures, encourages, teaches, and trains us. Teaching our children to live a Christian life should be done by precepts and examples. Being both reliable and trustworthy are essential because our children depend on us to be there for them. Patience and compassion go hand in hand as they mirror the patience and mercy of God upon us His children.

Communicating our expectations to our children through destructive criticism, lack of quality time, and dysfunctional marriages and families, destroys the relationships between parents and their children. It is not so much what we say but how we say it. Emphasizing the right things in the right ways. means giving them wholesome instruction and admonishing them properly. Your children do not require material things, they require time. Your children should always know that you love them.

“Sticks and Stones may break your bones but words will never hurt me” doesn’t apply to parenting. Using words that deflate your child’s self worth will have a lasting effect on their lives. Telling your children they will never amount to anything will only become a self fulfilling prophecy. You have the power of life and death in your own tongue. Speak peace, love, joy, and happiness into their lives. If, you always say that your children are bad, then what do you expect them to be. Remind your children about what God says about them. Help them to see themselves through God’s eyes.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it Proverbs 22:6

This is the Bibles commission to parents. But what does training really mean? Leading your children by faith to Christ and being a consistent example to them is the first step in training. Difficult but effective, leading by example communicates our commitment to live out the truth and reality of Jesus in our lives. Defined more by what we don’t do than what we do as mothers, we must be diligent in our prayer life, in our church going, and in the way we interact with people on a daily basis. Knowing Christian doctrine, using Christian vernacular, and appearing Godly may fool outsiders, but it won’t fool your children and it won’t fool God. Seeing you as you really are, children are in the best position to be students of your life. Having the most insight into the relationship between what you say and what you do children become the best at deciphering hypocrisy from true Christian discipleship. Gossiping, lying to the bill collector, and constantly bashing our children’s father are all poor examples of our faith walk with God. In fact, the very message that these attributes send is one of hypocrisy.

Picking and choosing our sins, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t cuss, is more about us than it is about being Christ like. Memorizing scripture is good but a personal relationship with God is the ultimate goal. Morality is not the only gauge by which we are measured. The cemetery is full of people that didn’t do bad things. The question is, was their walk with God close enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

We can’t make Christ a reality to our children if He is not a reality to us. Practice what you want them to practice. Children follow and imitate us. “Do as I say not as I do” is a poor motto to follow if you want to raise Godly children. Remember to teach them by example; your example. Learning not brought about by both example and instruction will lead to a child that does not respect the parents. Living out the Christian life through the Holy Spirit will be instruction to your children that Christ is real. Are you creating a desire for God in your children?

Understanding the difference between discipline and punishment is important as well. Punishments are given as a penalty for an offense. It is usually handed out in hostility and frustration and produces fear and guilt. The child senses this and the outcome is compromised. What the child learns instead is that we should solve problems with physical punishment and degrade the object of our anger in the process. The child’s self image is diminished.

Discipline on the other hand is used to train and to correct. Discipline must be fair. It needs to be explained to and understood by the child if it is to be effective. Discipline must also be prompt, delivered as soon after the offense as possible. Finally, discipline must be terminal; no continued reminders, assured reacceptance. In an environment of discipline the child will learn life’s requirements in the context of love and concern. At this point training can take place. This approach has as its goal the development of responsible behavior. It communicates caring to the child. In an environment of true discipline, the child understands the importance of these requirements for their future, for God, and for society.

When training is done effectively and consistently, the rod of correction is seldom necessary. Take the time to train your children in the way they should go.

Award Winning Author Cheryl Lacey Donovan to appear on Great Day Houston

Author Cheryl Lacey Dononan


Sandra Thomas
A Virtuous Woman-31
11601 Shadow Creek Pkwy
Pearland, Texas 77584
(832) 615-1197 ext. 702
sthomas@avirtuouswoman-31.org

 

June 15, 2008 Coming from a legacy of preachers, Cheryl Lacey Donovan is walking in her destiny. An anointed woman of God, her mission is to challenge you to look inside yourself for change, to identify the strongholds in your life, and to tear them down with the help of the creator. Once you have crossed her path, your life will never be the same. Cheryl hit the scene with full force when she penned her award winning book Women What the Hell are You Thinking. Cheryl shows no signs of slowing down as she travels the country speaking to women about issues that resonate within their souls.

Cheryl’s internet radio show Worth More Than Rubies reaches thousands of women each week with educational, inspiring, and thought provoking programming that gives women a platform to discuss their issues and design a plan for change. The show will soon go into production as a 30 minute cable TV talk show.

 

On June 26, 2008, at 9:00am CST, Cheryl will appear on Great Day Houston with Debra Duncan to discuss issues related to child rearing practices. “Titus 2 admonishes older women to teach younger women how to love their children.” Cheryl has taken up the mantle to do just that. Her articles, “Are African American Child Rearing Practices a Direct Result of Slavery” and “Discipline vs. Punishment”, give amazing insight into the art of balancing discipline and training. Her upcoming release “The Ministry of Motherhood” delivers a bold message about responsibility and accountability by explaining the keys to the ministry involved with being a mother. Use these keys to unlock the secret and discover the real truth. It is through the gift of the written word that Cheryl ignites flames, delivering a powerful message of hope and inspiration, through faith and family, you will be inspired to change, forced to make a difference and will realize the importance of motherhood, through and through.

 

 

About The Author

Cheryl Donovan is an acclaimed author, inspirational speaker, and compelling advocate for personal empowerment. Her book Women What the Hell are You Thinking remained in the top 10 of Amazons Hot New Releases during its first two months of publication.

Cheryl believes in Psalms 11:25 which says, She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed; therefore, she tries to be transparent as she speaks and writes about her valley to mountain experiences

Cheryl has been recognized nationally for her work. She has been the featured author on radio talk shows such as Artist First, Power Talk FM, An Hour to Empower with Mo and Mickey, and Urban Echoes Voices and Vibes. Her interviews have also appeared in Empowering African American Women Magazine, AA Kulture Zone, The Book Suite, and Women’s Self Esteem. She was awarded the 2007 Literary Power Award and was nominated in several categories for the Infini Awards. Cheryl will be featured for the inaugural season of What Shall We Read, a literary program which airs on CAN-TV in Chicago. She will also be inducted into the 2008 Who’s Who in Black Houston.

2008 Prom Pictures-Are You Laughing or Crying

Here’s my opinion. We (parents and the adult society) accepted the rules of those who didn’t have or never had children years ago. Today we are reaping what we’ve sown. I by all means do not agree that we all fit into this category but enough of us do. Bear with my thought. There was a time when schools held account to everything that went on with our children in school including attendance and discipline. Yes, there were cases of abuse reported and for that we allowed the court system to make the rules that governed not only discipline in the schools but in the home, the church and just about everywhere. Children are literally hands off. Today due to years of this type ruling there are no rules for them to abide to. They say anything, wear anything, and do anything to everyone. The parents can’t control them in the homes, they don’t control them in the school and we don’t let them and church is a fairy tale in the homes where there is more fear of the system then fear of losing the child.<br style=”display:none”/><br />
You might ask yourself what am I saying. When we as parents neglect to monitor our children in the home we assist in the failure of their growth and productivity. This is what these prom pictures present. What parent monitored them in the home? I knew what my daughter’s gown was going to look like. I paid for it so of course I knew what was being made. When we as parents don’t monitor them in the schools we assist in the failure of their growth and productivity. When we go to the school and threaten to beat, cuss, and abuse the very people that are hired to educate and monitor our children. Threaten them with violence. The same violence our children display. Why would we expect them to stop them from wearing the gowns or outfits we let them leave from home in. We want everyone else to be responsible for the children we are the parents of. As a teacher why should they look out for our children when we neglect to look out for them. Yes they look like they’re going to a pimp’s ball. What do they look up to in the video’s? What are the women wearing, how are the men treating them, and what do they see in the movies, the streets and in some of their homes.<br style=”display:none”/><br />

You reap what you sow!!!! What’s your comment?

Nanette M. Buchanan
Author, Family Secrets….Lies & Alibi’s

Celebrate Beautiful Black Men: PassionScape by Hazel Mills

Wondering why I’m a little late posting for June? Okay, I’ll tell you. With all that is going on in the world of politics, I have been on edge because whatever the outcome, groundbreaking history was inevitable with the possibility of either a woman or a African American man as the Democratic Nominee for the 2008 Presidential Election.

 

After what was a sometimes heated race, Senator Barack Obama triumphed as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. On Tuesday night, I shed a tear as I reflected on the wealth of pride our ancestors must feel as they enjoy the view from heaven. I wondered what Harriett Tudman or Malcolm X would say if they were asked to share their thoughts on this great milestone. When I learned that Senator Obama is slated to accept the nomination for President of the United States on August 28, forty-five years to the day after our most notable Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered what is perhaps the most famous speech in American History, I couldn’t have been more proud.

PassionScape is usually dedicated to romance and erotica but it is also about the passions that fuel our everyday lives. During the month of June, we will celebrate Father’s Day. In light of the enormity of recent events, I will spend the month celebrating all Black men. Not only will I uplift and celebrate my own husband, father and sons but I will also contemplate the entrepreneurial spirit of the brother hustling on the corner, trying to make ends meet for his family or the young man imprisoned and discarded by society for a crime he may or may not have committed.

Will you join me? How will you celebrate Black men this month? Who will you pay tribute to?

I want to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments on the coming election and on our beautiful Black men.

 

Hazel Mills, author

Bare Necessities: Sensuous Tales of Passion

www.hazelmillsstories.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone Called Him “Nigga”

Someone called him “Nigga”, they yelled it from the door.

His grandmother heard it in her bedroom, the pet name ripped her to the core.

“Hold up”, he yelled from the window, “Need to tell Grams, I leaving.”

He approached his grandmother quietly, tears were flowing, he thought she was grieving.

“Gram, are you okay?  What has upset you so?”

She looked in her grandson’s face only hoping he could see their souls.

The souls of the heritage she knew, her raising was from the deep south,

The souls that would cringe from the pain they suffered from the whips and chains, as the Masta’s spit the name “Nigga'” from their mouths.

“Gram, why are you crying so?  Are you hurt, what can I get for you?”

The souls that took it all, in spite of it all, those who stood tall so you can do what you do.

“Gram, nod your head please speak to me, tell me what you need.”

The words of her grandson hit her heart he was a part of their seed.

She patted her face with her tattered dress, calming herself to speak.

He waited patiently, as the name “Nigga, yo Nigga” was spoken as tough it was a beat.

His grandmother shook her head and wept again, her grandsons feelings were touched.

The love his grandmother had for him had been destroyed in one word, her teachings crushed.

She taught him from the time he was able to walk he was the descendant of warriors and kings.

If he answered to the call of “Nigga” or “boy” what did her teachings mean.

She taught him that although his father and uncles were not what they were deemed to be.

God would see her in the grave before she would let the streets take  another from the family tree.

“Nigga you comin’ or what? What you want me to do”

Her grandson spoke ever so softly, “Gram you know I love you.”

“Go head man and don’t yell no more……by the way my name is Raheem.”

He returned to his grandmother and opened his arms.

“Gram, tell me more about those kings.”

Open Letter to Juanita Bynum

I received this in an email from one of my friends and I felt the need to share if with you all. So read it and tell me what you think. I personally think the person make some interesting points.

Dear Juanita Bynum:

My theology causes me to align with those on the underside of a society. As Matthew 25 teaches, wherever we can identify the poor, the abused, the marginalized, and those living under the weight of structural and systemic injustice, we can find God working on behalf of the “least of these.” This is why my heart goes out to you. Credible reports corroborate your story of being a victim of domestic violence. And, if this is true, you have experienced a heinous act that all too many women are forced to live with and endure on a daily basis.

Having said this, I now must express my concern. I am scared that your actions in recent weeks are rendering you about as credible to the cause of fighting domestic violence as O.J. Simpson. Let’s begin with your, er, umm, performance on TBN. While I can appreciate the efficacious dimensions of prayer and praise, there is also a time for well thought action and spiritual sobriety.

For instance, I did not understand your illogical and irresponsible assertions such as “on that ground that night I slipped into my purpose.” You were a victim of domestic violence, period! There was nothing atoning or redemptive about what happened to you. And all that rhetorical jargon about not breaking the covenant with your husband and being spiritually submissive only recirculates the very notions of power and abuse that fosters domestic violence in the first place. Rather than doing the “Harlem Shake” to Byron Cage that night, why didn’t you use your platform to present the phone numbers to domestic abuse hotlines and women’s shelters? Or how about providing resources for women who currently find themselves in violent relationships. Say what you will about Bishop Jakes’ response, or lack thereof, to your situation, at least he didn’t turn tragedy into a praise-a-thon.


But to be fair, I know you may have gotten caught up in the moment. It was a highly emotional time for you. But this is why you need to be careful. There are real forces that seek to dismiss the issue of domestic violence in the church in general and discredit you in particular. You should know this. So wouldn’t you think that making statements such as “Juanita Bynum will be for domestic violence what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to civil rights,” just might come across as a little self-serving and solipsistic? Moreover, what is up with not being able to discuss your story during an interview on Tom Joyner last week because you had already sold the exclusive rights to Essence magazine? These sorts of comments and actions only add fuel to the flames of skepticism for those who already believe that you are more of a Profiteer than a Prophetess.

But all is not lost, Sister Bynum. Not yet at least. There is still hope that you won’t have to go out like Britney Spears. So allow me to offer a few suggestions that may help you regain both your focus and perspective: First, rethink your desire to be the “new face of domestic violence.” You say this with pride as if you are on a season of America’s Next Top Model. This is neither a popularity contest nor a time to exploit the situation. Rather, this is a time that you can use your status to introduce America to the almost one million women that are victimized annually who cannot hold a press conference at posh hotels nor recover from their wounds with a deluxe spa package. Lift them up. Tell their story.

You missed what could have been a powerful, informative and educational moment on TBN. What if you had told the story of a 35 year old Haitian immigrant that was beaten, raped and sodomized along with her son in the Dunbar Housing Projects of Miami while neighbors closed their windows to her screams for help? This is the face that America needs to see in order to indict us concerning our culpability and complicit silence. Or try lending your support to the case of Megan Williams in West Virginia that was senselessly raped, tortured and maimed by six white supremacists earlier this month. While we have googled you and Bishop Weeks to keep up with your drama, these are the stories that need to be discussed and written about. So shame on us for being all too consumed with you. And shame on you for not redirecting our attention to the suffering of others.

Second, suspend your mentoring class and go get mentored yourself. If you are sincere about your interest in being a victim’s advocate, obtain real anti-violence and awareness training from specialists in the field. Learn the litigation procedures that are already in place and even the appropriate language that should be used. There is no need for you to call your own session of Congress to introduce the Juanita bill, when you can sign your name and support legislation that advocates are already pushing forward. Moreover, to be frank, your hyper-spiritual cliché phrases and homiletic tropes that “move the crowd” on TBN may prove contradictory and quixotic outside of the very insular world of televangelism. I would hate to see you on Oprah trying to jump up and get your whoop on because the “anointing got so’ thick up in here.” And if you are going to be a credible domestic violence counselor, you can’t encourage women by tel! ling th em that you got “beat down to get your breakthrough.” If you are going to extend your influence Juanita, you are going to have to do better than falling back to your familiar.

Finally, take a sabbatical from the media. We know that you are a gifted televangelist. And we know that you are trying to make ground on Paula White (trust me, I am cheering for you). But everything in your life does not have to play out in front of a microphone. You have twisted, flipped and spun this event in every way possible. Your credibility and integrity are both on the line, my dear sister. And times like these call for decorum and tact not a whoop and a homily. Be still and know that God is still God. And if you handle yourself accordingly, others will rise up to fight your battles in public. There are too many who find what happened to you horrible and despicable. And, more importantly, there are too many who realized long before your unfortunate occurrence that domestic violence just can’t be talked about, it must be fought against.

Be blessed, Juanita.

One Luv,

JLW

P.S. Please scrap the book idea!