Word Choice

Being a writer and a lover of words, I was presented with another example of the importance of word choice. If you have ever used a thesaurus, you know that there are many different ways to communicate the same message. I am a little embarrassed to say that I did not pick up on poor word choice used in a story a fellow co-worker was relaying to me.
Still being a part of corporate world, I was invited to attend a spring training event between the Angels and the Colorado Rockies. Although baseball is not really that interesting to me, I took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with my co-workers and play hooky from work for the afternoon. My co-worker who is a 28 year old Caucasian (his mother is a quarter Hispanic), homosexual was sharing with me how my recent accomplishment of getting a book published had inspired him to consider starting a memoir of his own. He’s certified to teach three languages, plus he has lived and travelled overseas.
He was sharing with me some of his traveling experiences, including the absurd sense of entitlement many American exhibit when traveling abroad. We arrived at the topic regarding cultural diversity and he explained how he was in Utah during the month of February. He was well aware that February is Black History Month, however, he was appalled to witness it being referenced as Black Awareness month by a local Utah news station. I didn’t catch what he meant at first, until he explained, that we acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month or AIDS Awareness month but not Black Awareness Month. I instantly saw the light. Those other awareness months focus on disease. Their purpose is to shed light on and education society about the affliction in the hope to save lives and spark preventative action.
Being Black is not a disease, although it may sometimes cause dis-ease to others. The month of February isn’t about being aware of Black people. It is about recognizing and appreciating our numerous contributions to society as a collective people. This gentleman was so insulted, he went as far as sending an email to the station to make them aware of their error. He did receive a reply, but the respondent did not comprehend the point my co-worker was trying to make. When he sent a follow-up email to more explicitly address the issue, no further acknowledgement was given.
Let’s look at the word “aware” more carefully. Aware is defined by thefreedictionary.com as follows:
1. Having knowledge or cognizance 2. Archaic Vigilant; watchful

It is defined at Merriam-Webster.com as:
1: archaic : watchful, wary 2: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
To be aware of Blacks during the month of February is definitely not the connotation we wish to have associated with accomplishments and contributions we’ve made to society. Black History exists to honor those shining examples within our culture and community as well as to appreciate the strides our ancestors have made in laying the foundation for our current freedoms. History encompasses the good and the bad since we can learn from both. In that news stations choice of words when discussing Black History Month, they were encouraging the dark period of our history to repeat itself.

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What Ever Happened To Black Love? (Column: Motivation Extends My Soul)

 

I can remember the time, I can see it, the love we shared

Pickin’ up that cotton together, chained together, bound in true holiness together,
On our hands and knees we were on the ground praying to GOD together
Even looking in your eyes while we were hung together
It was strong
It was based off the struggles we’ve dealt with
It was based off the honor we gave
It was true, it was real, it was down to earth, and it was deep
Couldn’t any man break that bond- It was tight and it was right

What ever happened to Black Love?
What is Black Love?
When I stand by your side, when the world is trying to destroy you undercover
I am your best friend and I am your lover

When I give birth to your children, so that they may represent who you stand for as Black Man and who I stand for as a Black Woman, and have meaning on this earth
So I may know you are down for me, and that I am down for you all the way
My Black beauty is what you are attracted to and love
You are my Black King and I am your Black Queen,
So let’s go raise our Black prince and princess into the same,
Baby we ain’t got no shame in this Black love game

What ever happened to Black Love?
It’s like, non-existent sometimes, it’s like scarce, it’s like, he just my baby daddy or, she just my baby mama,
Its like, you embarrassed to tell your boys you in love with this Black woman, you’d rather say, she just my friend, nothing more.
You telling everybody, even your own mind that you don’t want nothing more from that Black woman
But ain’t that kind of strange, when all she will do is love you and use her own strength to pick you up, when she see you slippin’ and expect nothing less from you
She will stand by your side till death,
And you don’t want that?
Black man why you embarrassed to be in Love???????
Why?  You think being a real man doesn’t involve being in love or showing your love?
So that you see my Black face, and have misconceptions mixed in with your made up annotations that Black women are this or that, mama dramas, and round about attitudes

What ever happen to Black Love?
When the respect that is lost and thrown out the window for this Black woman or Black man
When the prejudging of a Black Man is not only being degraded by the White Man, but also by his own Black sister too
And the Black Man is saying: Black Woman don’t hate on me, when I already got the White man and sometimes the other Black men hating on me too
And Black Women, he’s absolutely right….

Love sees no color; I would have to agree with that
But it’s not stupid either, and knows color exist, Love feels it
And when love is hating its own and treating it as though something else is better,
Cause you’d rather be with Heather
Or maybe Ms. Ramirez, cause you think that’s the fairest

No, Brotha’, there’s a problem, solve it!
Cause I see you looking at Shaniqua with doubt
Black Man, what’s that all about ?

Isn’t your mother Black, isn’t your sister Black, isn’t your very daughter and son Black?
Are you dating her because she has long straight blonde hair, or easier; so you have stated?  Or are you dating her because you really love her?  

Are you not dating her over there, because you think she got an attitude and hair is too short or kinked up, and hips are too big, and the skin is too dark?  Or are you not dating her because you honestly don’t match character-wise.
There are plenty of beautiful Black woman with many shades and shapes
But regardless, whoever you date make sure love is the basis for it all

I love my Blackness, I love these big hips and round ass, and I love the thickness of my hair, And all of the styles that I can work with
Because nobody else got all these beautiful characteristics, not like me.  Don’t you see?
GOD pictured us, and then made us and said, “Black women, I’m going to make you beautiful, Black and unique.
Cause brotha’, why you tryin’ to play me, when she over there tryin’ to be just like me.

My Brotha’s…. What ever happened to Black Love?
Your own brother you talkin’ about like a dog to the world, and you won’t even help him
And the White Man is sitting back loving it all

But when the White man does the same, it racism
Y’all better cut out all that haterism
What is that really going to accomplish, for real?
Y’all better start making this a big deal
Cause just remember the White man will help his own kind before he helps you, if anything he probably gonna use you for all your hard work, don’t get it confused… OK?
Cause ain’t that what he did to you back in the day?
Understand that, remember that, just go ahead and place it in your mind in case you ever forget

My sisters…. What ever happened to Black Love?
Have we forgot how to respect ourselves?
Cause you know if YOU don’t, the man sure the hell won’t
Now, I’m gonna say this once and maybe once more, because even sometimes I forget and I don’ wrote it:

“Having a man in my life will only influence my happiness, not decide my happiness.
My happiness will be chosen by myself and will depend upon my attitude about who I am as a Black woman and life in general.”
 

Don’t just totally rely on a man to get you where and what you want
Set goals, set dreams, and be the strong Black, unique, woman that GOD made you to be
And if a man does come around to welcome you something, that’s fine
Just remember you can get yours even if he don’t come around

And lets help one another out and build each other up instead of down
We have to keep this world together Black ladies
Act like you love yourself and your children,
Men will respect that
And make them men wait before you just go around given’ it up
Treat your stuff like its diamonds and gold
Make them pay some kind of price before you give it up
And NO….. that price is not all about money, or what they could buy you
Although don’t get me wrong that is nice, But in reality, you can do that your damn self
Unless you don’t really care… Maybe you just need to get you some
But use condoms and don’t be dumb
Unless you want a baby or a disease
And if you are in a relationship, hey… that’s your call
But reach into your mind for a moment before you let them panties fall

And reap the consequences that’s all I’m saying
And think about that, while you on that bed or floor laying

And yes we’ve all had to learn the hard way about feelings getting hurt
I know I have, but now I know I’m on alert
Black women, you have to start using your mind,

Cause If you don’t, then guess who they going around calling a HO?
And you looking like you didn’t even know
So…
If you like that title, then go ahead and do the damn thing Fo’ show!
What ever happened to Black love?
Why are you putting him down as a Black man all the time?
Yes he has flaws, but so do you
Even though Black Men do get on my nerves sometimes too
I can feel you on that and I can relate
But I love my Black Men, I must admit, and I want him as my mate
And I’d rather be with a Black Man any day, and have his children
Because in my book, that’s just the way to do it

Black men have had struggles like no other man, and he has conquered endeavors in front of the entire world
They be frontin’ on him, but they wanna be just like that Black Man
That Black Man is strong in body and in mind
They don’t know his strength, and NO, they can’t have his strength

Why are you dwelling on his jail times, and bail times
And if he doesn’t change, then you know what you gotta do
But let me just remind you, there’s more Black men who got it together than you think
Don’t let the news confuse you

But he’s trying to do something with his life and needs your support as a Black Woman
These Black men have come a long way
And they are here to stay
And they are reaching limitless boundaries and I am loving it…OK!

Stand by his side, and take care of that Black King
So you can teach your little prince to be just like that Black King
So that we may raise our little Black prince and princess up, so that they know who they are as a Black woman and Black man
And not become confused, thinking that Whiteness is better than Blackness
So they may represent and present what Black love is

Don’t get me wrong, we should love all races
But not love all other races and hate our own Blackness.

What ever happened to Black love?
Black love is a beautiful thing
Being Black is a beautiful thing
We need Black people to represent the Black love, because if we don’t, who will?
The man who is White?          Yea, right….

Black love is needed in order to built the self-esteem of Black people and to keep the generation going and going and going
Its lacking sometimes, it’s shedding a little
Who told your mind that White skin is better than Black ?
Who told your mind that course hair is bad, and straight hair is better?
Who told your mind this nose is unattractive and that narrow straight nose is better?
Who told your mind these big lips are unpleasant and those thin lips are better?

The person who has that White skin told you that!
That person who has that straight hair told you that!
That person who has that narrow straight nose told you that!
That person with those thin lips told you that!
GOD never told you that!!

And you believed them like a fool, because it was more of them than you!
And why did you listen????  Ok, so now they GOD right? NO!
 
They told you that, because that’s what they have and they like who they are
But you actin’ like you don’t even like who you are,
GOD created me and told me and showed me that I am beautiful
And I don’t know what you talkin’ bout
But I love my Blackness, It is beautiful, And you can’t have it, And you ain’t got it, And you ain’t never gonna take it,
And NO, I ain’t going to exchange my Blackness

What ever happened to Black Love?
When I see more White people in love than I see Black people – That’s what it seems
And for the Black people who are in love, I raise my fist in the air for you

When I see you disrespecting that Black Queen, and then you walking down the isle with that White one
When I see you neglecting that Black daughter of yours, but raising that new mixed daughter of yours, But ain’t she Black too?
Who told your mind that the light is better than the dark?
Who told your heart that the loving was easier?
Who told your soul that you would rather be in a committed relationship with her rather than me?
Why are you letting your ears listen to those White words, when he doesn’t even like who you really are. And sees you as negatively different?
And even wants to see you be more like him, because he thinks he is better, and wonders why GOD even made you in the first place

What the HELL ever happened to Black Love?
Because you don’t even like who you are,
So now you trying to change me, rearrange me, and than exchange me

My sisters and brothers, What ever happened to Black love?
Let’s make it grow some more with force
Spreading it out is OK, let’s just remember our own as well
Let’s keep it intact, so there won’t even be a question as to:

What Ever Happened to Black Love

Written by Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Author, Writer, Poet
www.tinishanicolejohnon.com

Black History is Important to Author Daphne Clarke

 Finding Peace Through Faith

 

Why Black History is Important to Author Daphne Clarke

Do you yearn for peace? Hope and reality for peace can be attained through your faith. If you desire to have peace, prepare yourself for a journey that shows the Holy Spirit directing the author of Finding Peace Through Faith – A Personal Experience, in the midst of daunting challenges.

Through the power of the supernatural, peace prevailed, which inspired and motivated Daphne Clarke to communicate that, indeed, God is a Master of the impossible. Ms. Clarke uses examples of individuals in the Bible who walked closely with God, and received breakthrough to promises by having the impossible become reality.

Vivid portrayal of divine intervention persists throughout the book and peace permeates as a force. Prepare to see your faith energized when reading this book. You can discover that peace is possible even though contrary forces battle to prove otherwise; you can see that the teachings of Christ have great impact on manifesting His promises.

Brace yourself for the ride-it is one of faith and you too can receive peace, even when the woes of this world whistles whirlwinds on your horizon. Daphne Clarke is committed to exhorting, encouraging and motivating individuals to achieve their God-given destiny. She is the author of The Triumph of Louise Laurel & Successful Parenting/Nurturing: By the Hand of God.