The Next Big Thing

One evening, I was talking to my mentee and she asked me a question about Palm Sunday. I gave her the whole story about the “Triumphal Entry” and how everyone was so excited to see Jesus coming into town, so they took Palm branches and they began waving them as they worshipped Him shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David” but within just a few days, their Hosannas would change to cries of “Crucify Him.” Those who glorified Him as a hero would soon reject and abandon Him.


Wait. “Those who glorified Him as a Hero would soon reject and abandon Him.” Wow, He was crucified by the same people who were just praising Him.


So then I started to think on that, and I applied it to today’s time..

In certain situations, it is usually the people who aren’t the closest to us that usually began to pat us on the back first. In some cases, it is usually the strangers that immediately start to support us, and root for our success, while secretly the people who claim to be in our corner, the people who KNOW us are wishing for our downfall. 

Think about Jesus and how he rode in at the beginning of the week (Matthew 21) and everybody was singing His praises “Go Jesus, Go Jesus, GO;” however by the end of the week (Matthew 27) not only were those same people saying “crucify Him,” but one of his disciples, betrayed Him and another one of His closest disciples turned his back on Him by denying Him. I can only imagine what He must have felt like during the moment when He was at His lowest. The people who He called friend were nowhere to be found. Isn’t it funny how people just switch up on you like that? Ok, maybe it’s not funny … but I’ve always wondered how and why as people, we’re able to do that with such ease. That is the main reason why we can’t get so caught up in the praises of others that we start living off of them, because if people would turn their backs and betray Jesus, the Savior of the world, imagine what they would do to us. We have to be careful because when those praises stop, and believe me they will, it will have a negative impact on us. I read a quote that said: “If you live off a man’s compliments, you’ll die from his criticism.”

Switching gears ..2015..

We live in a time where people tend to flock to whatever is popular, whatever is poppin, and whoever is riding into town in the candy apple red Ferrari, they want to associate themselves with the next big thing. It’s kind of like a kid at Christmas time, they receive these expensive, shining new toys, and they will play with them for a few days, but as soon as the new year rolls around, and the newness wears off they are usually no longer interested in the toys that they just received; they hear people at school talking about the new (NEW) toys, so they immediately start to want something else. I’m here to tell you, people are just like that. We like to watch the new television shows, and shop at the new stores, and try the new products and dine at the new restaurants, and attend the new churches with the new Pastors, but after a while when the momentum dies down, we tend to be on the lookout for what’s coming next.

That is why we have to be sure that people are not putting us so high up on a pedestal that they start to worship us like we are a god when they think we are “the next big thing.” Because not only is allowing others to “worship” you a very dangerous place to be put in, but people will discard you once the newness wears off. We must place God in the front of us because He is the one that opened the door and made the opportunity possible. Remain humble and always point people to God; instruct them to look up. I know that in the moment, the extra love and the palm branches may really boost the ego and make you feel all good on the inside; however we must be mindful of our purpose and our assignment. We must remember to be thankful to the one that equipped us with our gifts and talents, and remind others to do the same. Because what are you going to do when you stop hearing all of those, “good jobs” and “way to go’s” or when those pats on the back don’t come as often? What are you going to do when people start criticizing you or questioning you? What are you going to do when your family and your close friends become skeptical and don’t sing your praises to others? Is that going to slow you down? Are you going to allow discouragement to creep in? Are you going to stop working towards your destiny? Are you going to just forget your purpose? Are you going to abort your mission? Or are you going to encourage yourself, pat your own self on the back and keep it moving.

Believe me; I know it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of people giving you a round of applause, however just remember that it is just as easy to get bummed out and knocked off course when the people around you take a break. It’s easy to get discouraged when all of the noise dies down, and people move on to the next hot trendThat is why we must be Purpose Driven and not People Driven.

For it is much better to be brought down by people, and exalted by God; than it is for God to knock you down like Humpty Dumpty and people try and try to put you back together again.

I truly believe that those times of silence are God ordained. I believe He orchestrates those moments for us to remain humble and focused on the task at hand. He doesn’t want us fully relying on others because He is the Source. He is the one that we should be striving to please, not people. I feel that in those instances God is trying to teach us something. I believe He is testing us to see if the crowd goes away will we still do His will. When people stop posting about us on social media, will we still use our gifts and talents to do what’s right. When our support system breaks down, and our friends get to busy to encourage us, will we find a way to continue to move forward. Just as Jesus had to go through the highs and lows of being praised and then being rejected in order to complete His assignment, we must be prepared to do the same thing. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and I’m sure it was difficult for Him to accept that some of the people He thought had His back would be the very ones to turn their backs on Him; however He knew that He had a greater task at hand. He knew His purpose and what He had to do in order to fulfill it.

We must remember, people will change like the wind however God is consistent; He will never fail us. He wants the very best for His children. Let us not get caught up in the hype because remember, the yays can become nays in the matter of a few chapters, or should I say a few days. (Matthew ch. 21 & 27)

Yes, I know it feels good, and honestly, motivation and encouragement can be helpful to us; so please be sure to tell people Thank You and let them know you appreciate them for the nice compliments and gestures. However let’s be sure to honor the Gift Giver and encourage others to do the same. Let us continue to talk to Him, and build ourselves up with His word. Just as we work on our physical bodies by eating right and going to the gym to exercise, we must continue to work on our inner-selves by reading the Word, communicating with Him, seeking Him for direction, and surrounding ourselves with honest people who want what’s best for us.

Be sure to work for a cause, and not for the applause.

I want to encourage you to find your purpose and commit to working towards it whether you have a crowd of people to cheer you on or not. Don’t concern yourself with how fast others are running their race: Allow God to set your pace, so that when the time comes He can place you on a platform for the world to see; let Him promote you. Don’t allow doubt or negativity to bring you down, and get you off focus: Allow Him to prepare a table before you in the presence of your naysayers; let Him elevate you. Don’t get so caught up in the “likes” on social media: Allow God to go before you and make your paths straight, so that you will be ready to walk in the open doors that will bring you before important people in the “Real World.” Be steadfast, and allow Him to make you The Next Big Thing. (Luke 14:11 AMP)

~B.

“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6)

 

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My Passion = My Paycheck

3 years ago … I was going to become a Lawyer, and then a Judge. Rewind <<<


2011 was definitely one of those highs and lows type of years for me. I had a great job. My baby brother joined the military. I ended a relationship. I chopped all of my hair off. I turned 25. My grandfather died from lung cancer. I went sky diving (from 14,000 ft.) I resigned from that great job. I went to Vegas. You see what I’m saying, so much happened in just 12 months.

And then I entered 2012. And with all that had happened, good and bad in 2011, I was determined to make 2012 “My Year.” Turning 25, and entering into the summer stage of my life, I started to view things differently. And for those of you who are not quite 25 reading this, let me go ahead and tell you, turning 25 is a life changing experiencing. It’s different from 16, 18, or 21. At 25, the world looks different to you, and the world looks at you in a different way.

But anyway, back to 2012… My mom wanted to know what I was going to do next. She wanted to discuss my new game plan. Was I going to go to Graduate School? Was I going to start looking for a new job? And after much thought, I decided that I was going to go to Law School. I went to Books A Million and purchased the LSAT study guide, I went online and registered to take the test, and I began to research schools to attend. My mind was made up and I had mapped out a plan to meet all of my deadlines so that I could enter school in the fall.

And then…BOOM!

My mother, who is my biggest influence, looked at me as I sat on her bed and said, “Britney, I don’t think going to Law School is what you are supposed to do. That’s not your calling. I know you want to practice law and eventually become a Judge, but that’s not your path baby girl. God has something else for you. Just pray about it some more.”  I couldn’t have disagreed with her more. I wanted to be a Judge. I’m really into history and law and politics, so I knew that I would be great at it. And I also knew that I would make a whole bunch of money as Judge Brit James. After that conversation with my mom, I was hurt and disappointed because I really wanted her to agree with my decision 100%, I wanted her to just go along with it. I didn’t want her telling me talk to God, I just wanted her to go visit John Marshall’s School of Law with me.

Later that week, I begin to talk God, I asked Him for guidance and direction as to what I needed to do next. I got over my disappointment with my mom because I knew she just wanted what was best for me. And honestly, she gave me some great advice, “pray about it.” There was a probation officer position opening with the Department of Juvenile Justice in Sumter County, and I immediately thought “Ok, this has to be from God.” Not only did I meet the qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, 3 years of experience in probation, 85 or above on the state probation officer’s test, the job was in Americus, and on top of that the person that would be doing the hiring was a friend of my mom’s and she’s been knowing me since I was little girl. So, I was like YES, I’m so in there! So I called the state office and got my scores mailed to me, I went online and filled out the application, I got my friend to juice up my resume, I hand delivered my packet to the main office in Muscogee County the day before the deadline, and then I called the family friend to notify her that I completed everything. She then told me that she would check on my application, and that they should be doing interviews within the next week. The day after the deadline to have everything in, that same family friend called me around 7:30 am and said, “Brit I’m sorry, I won’t be able to interview you. You forgot to submit your scores with your application and resume.” I’m like what do you mean??? Ya’ll just can’t look up my stuff online, I passed the test, it was an honest mistake. At that point, there was nothing she could do. Feeling defeated, I called my mom to let her know what happened, and surprisingly she was very calm and she assured me that God had another plan for me.

One of my mom’s customers had given her the Tri-County Journal, and listed in it was a job opening for a Program Manager of a Teen Pregnancy Prevention program. She encouraged me to go ahead and send in my resume, I did, and a few weeks later, I got a call from Michael Ellison to come in for an interview. That interview lasted for about 2 hours, and a few days later I got another call to come in for a second interview with the Director of the program. That interview lasted about 15 minutes and I walked out with the job.

That was 3 years ago! On March 27, 2012, I became the Program Manager for the Marion County office of Swagga & Lace Initiative.

I LOVE what I do. I love the communities that I work in and with. I  LOVE the children that I empower! I would’ve never thought in a million years that I would be getting paid for something that I’m so passionate about. That I would be getting paid for something that I did for free at FMBC for years, actually this is something that I would do for free now. I love young people, and I love that I have the freedom to plant seeds and watch them grow. I enjoy getting to know them and building relationships that will last a lifetime. Over the past 3 years, I’ve had the pleasure of servicing over 300 children in this area. The past 3 years have been the most productive and rewarding years of my life. While working here, I’ve been able to travel to so many different places and network with so many people in this field. I even had the honor of being one of the presenters at the National Youth At-Risk Conference. I have grown so much as a person. These children have literally changed my life. I’ve been blessed to be a blessing. I honestly feel like jobs in the social service field are after God’s own heart, and every day I am grateful to Him for giving me this opportunity to make a positive impact and help change the lives of His children. I truly believe that I am serving Him every time I pour into these young people.

My friends joke me all the time, saying that I don’t work for real, and honestly they are so right, this doesn’t feel like work at all! My Gift made room for me. God is AWESOME; He made my Passion my Paycheck!

I took you through 2011 and the beginning of 2012 to encourage you to trust God and His timing. I honestly believe that I would’ve been successful working with the Department of Juvenile Justice, however I would not have been in the Perfect Will of God for my life. Our plans are not His plans. We have to trust and believe that He knows exactly what He is doing with what He created. He chose us. He set us apart. God loves His children, and He wants the absolute best for us. I truly believe that He will blow our minds if we let Him!

  • If you are feeling stuck, talk to God.
  • If you feel as though you are at a stand still, talk to God.
  • If you’re not quite sure of what it is you should be doing, talk to God.
  • If you know what you should be doing, however you don’t know how to make it happen, talk to God.

So many times when we are faced with tough situations, we like to turn to people for the answers. I’ll be the first to admit that even though I give pretty good advice, I am human and that means I don’t have all the answers. However, I know someone who does; God, and He makes no mistakes. So if you want to be in the Perfect Will of God, talk to Him. Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. We have to trust the timing of God in our lives. As my Bishop always says, “Rejection is just God’s Redirection.” Even when it seems like everything around you is getting out of hand, just remember whose Hand you’re in; He’s got it all under control.

Oh, and Mother knows Best!

~B.

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

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Flock Together!

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

Whoop, there it is!

This is another one of those scriptures that holds us accountable to one another. Just as friends can be bad influences, they can and should be good influences. I read a quote that said, “Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” Link up with people who are going to push you to do better, people who don’t mind challenging your way of thinking. Many times we choose to hang around people that we feel superior too. We pick friends that are always looking to us for the answers. We do those things because we enjoy being needed. We enjoy being the top dog, and the “President of the Clique.” We enjoy being the smartest one in the group. However, is that considered a healthy friendship? No, it’s not.


“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”


Friends feed off of each other. We must hang around people who are like-minded. Our friends don’t necessarily have to have the exact same goals or dreams; however, they do need to possess the same drive and passion when it comes to advancing to the next step. We need friends who are strong when we are weak, friends that don’t mind lifting us up when we’re experiencing a low place. We need friends that are smarter than us, we are not experts in everything; and being able to reach out to someone close to you for a solution is definitely a plus. Connect with people who have been there, done that and have the key chain and t-shirt to prove it. As friends we must be able to cheer each other on as we are making progress. If you hang around people who lack ambition, eventually your fire will begin to die down. However, if you hang around people who know how to make a plan and then execute it, then you will begin to do the same. “Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious!”

If you see a friend drowning, you would call for help, throw them a buoy, or better yet you would jump in and save them. Bottom line, you would do something. The same thing should apply when it comes to telling the truth. Truth is. . . sometimes the truth hurts, and most of the times we push honest people away. However, we must be friends with people who don’t mind putting us in check. Even if that means making us mad. You can’t be afraid to lose a friend because of the truth. If a friend walks out of your life because you were honest, then it was just their time to go. “The ugly truth is better than a pretty lie.” So many times in our friendship circles, we do each other a disservice because we won’t tell the truth; even about the smallest things. If the outfit doesn’t fit my body type, tell me. If my hair is looking busted, tell me. If I’m ashy, musty, crusty, tell me. If my Facebook status was out of line, tell me. If the picture I posted on Instagram made me look desperate, tell me. If I said something that hit below the belt and it hurt you, tell me. Just be honest. When I am wrong, let me know. . .don’t let me drown!

Accountability is a must. True friends bring out the best in each other. We need those friends that will check on us, and double-check on us to make sure we’re doing what we should be doing. We need those friends who refuse to celebrate in our weaknesses. We need those friends who won’t attend our unnecessary pity-parties. Those friends that will remind us of the goals we set, and that will commit to getting us there even when we don’t want to go. We need those friends to remind us of our new healthy lifestyle, and refuse to let us eat more than one slice of turtle cheesecake. We need those friends who refuse to let us settle for less than we deserve. Those friends who will not let us wallow in our mess. Those friends that won’t let us dwell on our past mistakes, instead they give us tips on how to move forward. We must be responsible for each other. We must look out for one another. We need to keep each other grounded. We need to keep each other focused.

You need friends that have your best interest at heart. You need friends that will pray for you without you having to ask them too, and vice versa. You need friends who will make wise decisions, and who will encourage you to do the same. You must surround yourself with people who inspire you. Connect with people who will push you to be the best version of you. Remember, birds of a feather flock together.” Your friends are directly linked to your future; if your friends are the bomb.com, then you will be too!

~B.

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Thanks So Much!

My mama always told me, “Britney, always tell people thank you because nobody has to do anything for you.”

So to everyone that read and/or shared a post, THANK YOU!

Its been 1 month since I launched my contribution to the world, and the warm welcome along with the positive feedback has definitely kept me encouraged. Y’all sure know how to make a girl feel like somebody! I remember when I first purchased my name back in October of 2014, I wasn’t quite sure about what I was going to do with it, I just knew I wanted to do something. And so, after being inspired by my girl Bey, I decided to start my own public-private diary (oxymoron, I know.) Because my mind is ALWAYS all over the place, my Jay has always encouraged me to write, she assured me that I would feel better after getting it all out; and I’ll admit, this blog has definitely been a release for me … kind of like therapy. I learned a long time ago, that when you know that someone else understands, and they have gone through and overcame some of the same issues that you are faced with, it makes it a little easier to carry the load. It gives you hope that the sun will eventually shine if you just hold out.

There are some conversations that need to be had, there are some topics that need to be discussed, and I plan to post things that will do just that: start the convo. It is also my hope that something you read will cause you to think; I want to inspire you, encourage you, motivate you, and challenge you to be the best version of you.

Thanks for the support, thanks for the extra push! This is only the beginning.

~B.

“We Overcome satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” (Revelation 12:11)

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Birds Of A Feather. . .

“Don’t be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Point. Blank. Period. I could just stop right there.

This is one of those scriptures that punched me right in the stomach. Because come on, we all have friends that we know should do better, that we know could change, however they refuse too and we just won’t let them go. They are dragging us down, and frustrating us, and draining all of our energy, but we continue to spend our time with them. We spend our money on them. We hang out with them. We fix their problems. We make excuses for them. We tell ourselves that it’s not that serious. . . that as long as we are not participating in their bad habits, then it’s nothing wrong with being friends with them. WRONG.

My mom always said, “Association brings on assimilation.” You become who you hang around. It has been proven. The 5 people who you hang around the most, have the biggest influence over your life. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we can see the truth in that.

We all have spirits and energy that can be transferred to one another. That’s why if one of your friends is crying, you want to cry. Or if one of your friends is mad, you begin to get mad.  If one of your friends curses a lot, then chances are you will start sounding like a pirate soon. If one of your friends gossip all the time, then chances are you will begin to stay in other people’s business as well. If one of your friends is Negative Nate or Debbie Downer then chances are you will start to see your cup half empty.

It is a fact; birds of a feather flock together. It’s also a proven fact that spirits transfer. We are drawn to people with the same energy as us, kindred spirits. As humans, we like to be around other humans who are just like us. We like to feel needed. We are social creatures.

So check this: If you go hang out in the smoker’s lounge too long, 9 times out of 9 you will come out smelling like smoke; and other people will automatically assume that you’re a smoker whether you were actually smoking or not. . . Right? So that means if you don’t smoke, don’t go in the smoker’s lounge. It’s just that simple, we can’t get upset when people paint their own pictures of us; especially when we continue to give them the paint, the primer, and the brushes.

If you are practicing celibacy, you can’t hang out with people who like talking about their sex life all the time; because you will find yourself wanting to engage in sexual activities. You are trying to lose weight for the fourth time this year, but your friend is always offering you a Quarter Pounder with cheese; sooner or later you are going to take them up on that offer. You stopped drinking, but every weekend your friends are taking Jell-O shots and popping bottles; after a while you will be sipping as well.  And I know some of us like to get all deep and say that “We are Christians, and we know how to withstand temptation, we have self-control, we have will power. . .” and I agree, God is with you, and I’m glad you are living for Him, however your flesh is weak and to continue to put yourself in compromising situations that will only lead to dead ends is just crazy. You are asking for trouble. You’re playing with fire, and eventually you will get burned. If your friends are living a certain way or engaging in activities that are no longer good to you or for you, why would you continue to be around them?

People often come to me for advice about friendship, and most of the times I ask everyone these few questions:

  1. How are you benefitting from that person?
  2. Are they adding to you, or taking away from you?
  3. How is that person benefitting from you?
  4. What do they bring to the table?

If you have a friend who is selfish, and isn’t attempting to help you in any way, drop them. If they always have their hand out, and are taking away from you, drop them. If you are always doing for them, and you feel used, drop them. If they don’t add any value to your life, if they don’t encourage you to be a better person, drop them.

Stop tolerating that emotional abuse! Rid yourself of the leeches who are sucking you dry. People like that will do more harm than good.

Either you will change your friends, or your friends will change you. It’s no way around it. No matter how good you attempt to be, if you keep hanging around trash, you will start to stink. And nobody wants to be a hot, funky, moving mess.  So set yourself apart, and align yourself with people who are heading in the same direction as you. We can’t choose our family, however we can choose our friends. Choose wisely.

~B.

2014 hh

 

 

My Grass Is Greener

Have you ever looked at a yard and wondered why certain parts of the grass looked brown and tough like it was dead or something, while other parts of the grass looked really green, and thick and full of life?


If you have, good. . .I’m glad I’m not the only one.

This is the thing, everybody wants the fancy award-winning yard with the plush green grass, but let’s be real. . .nobody wants to do what it takes to make that happen. Nobody wants to put in the extra work.

Honest Moment: I used to be one of those people, yep I was there. I was one of those people who felt like if I gave “just enough,” then I should still receive more than enough. And even though I knew I was more than capable of doing better, I would still just do C- work, and expect an A+ grade. Listen, I am so thankful for a renewed mindset because I really almost missed my blessings by trying to stay stuck in that place. Luke 12:48 is a scripture that my mom doesn’t mind sucker punching me with, “…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” After reading and re-reading this scripture, it finally started to sink into my inner woman, my grass, and I had to stop whining, pick myself  up, and throw all of my excuses away.

I had to face the harsh reality of the direction that my life was headed if something didn’t change. I had to stop trying to cover up my mistakes, my bad choices, and my short-comings. I had to come to the realization that in order for me to live the full, prosperous, green life, that I desired, some drastic decisions had to be made; and I was the only one that could make those decisions.

So now I able to say, my grass is greener. Yes, I said it. . . my grass is greener. As a matter of fact, it is a whole lot greener than it was a few years ago. And I’m no longer ashamed to show it off because even though my yard is still a work in progress, my Lawn care man worked a miracle and revived those dying parts that had already started to thin out and turn brown.

I read a quote that said, “If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.” I am a living witness that, that is a TRUE statement. The sacrifices and the choices that had to be made to get to this point were extremely challenging, however it was worth it. And let’s not exclude the test and the trials, the storm and the rain, that were sent to make my grass greener and stronger. 

I am constantly reminding myself that every decision was necessary. The break-up was necessary. Cutting the ties was necessary. Deleting the number and the text messages was necessary. Walking away from toxic relationships was necessary. The rejection was necessary. Changing my mindset was necessary. An attitude adjustment was necessary. Exercising my self-control was necessary. Fasting and praying was necessary. Drinking more water was necessary. Going to bed on time was necessary. Spending time alone was necessary. Shutting my mouth was necessary. Listening more was necessary. Not spending every penny I earned, and actually saving was necessary. No it wasn’t easy, but those growing pains were necessary. I know without a doubt that it was God who covered me during the grass growing moments of my life. He definitely put in some work with me. From the fertilization process to the deep watering, to pulling up the weeds, it took work to get this yard in tip-top shape. The blades were extra sharp, and the constant mowing was painful; but it was necessary. *cues music* “I’m stronger. I ‘m wiser. I ‘m better, much better.”

And the great thing about this is: your grass can be greener too! We must be willing to help ourselves. Because we are given new mercies each day (Lam. 3:22-23), everyday is another opportunity for us to make a change. For us to make some type of progress; for us to make a difference in our own lives. Remember this, “The grass is always greener where you water it.” We have to stop spending so much time being concerned with everybody else’s yard, that we start to neglect our own. You pass by, and you see how great their yard looks, however you have no idea of all the steps that had to take place in order for that to happen. As the saying goes, “You see the Glory, but you don’t know the Story.”

I said all that, to say this: Allow God to care for your yard. Allow Him to deep water yours. Allow Him to pull your weeds and fertilize you. Ask Him to revive the dry places in your life. Note: Remember to be very specific when you ask Him. I won’t tell you that the transition for greener grass is easy because there are some rough patches; however I want to encourage you to allow God to do His work on you and in you . . . the end results are so worth it.

~B.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

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What’s Really Going On?

Did you know that most schools no longer have Black History programs during school hours? School officials claim it’s taking away from academic learning time? Whet?! Am I the only person that has a problem with that?? Yet, prisons are built based on the 3rd grade reading levels of our Black boys. The stats are showing that if a Black male is falling behind in reading in the third grade, he will most likely not graduate from high school, and he will end up in prison because over 75% of the inmates are high school drop-outs. Now THAT just takes me there, because maybe if they were able to read about things and people and places and experiences that they could relate too, then maybe they wouldn’t be falling behind; BUT that’s another post for another day.

Back to what I was saying,

I remember being excited about Black History Month when I was a kid. I used to be ready to get my poster board and pick out my markers and colored pencils and head over to my Grandma Faye’s house. She was an elementary school teacher, and she used every moment she had with me to teach me something. I grew up with encyclopedias and dictionaries on the book shelf, and going into my dad’s office to find out more information about Mary McLeod Bethune was something that I looked forward too. Not copying and pasting off the internet, but literally doing research each year on the person I chose for Black History Month. That was in the mid 90s, fast forward to 2015. . .What the heck is going on?!

No like for real what is going on?! Our history, who we are, how far we’ve come, is so important. The challenges that our parents and grandparents and great grandparents had to face and overcome is important. All the harsh treatment that they were forced to endure to make sure we could enter a restaurant through the front door, or use a public bathroom, or vote in the elections, or sit in any seat on the bus, or go to college, all of those things are important! But for some reason, so many of us still don’t get it. Especially those of us who are apart of this current generation of “entitlement.” For some crazy reason we think that world owes us something, and that we are doing everybody a favor by merely existing.

Young people, especially those under 25 years old really think that things were always this way. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. probably one of the most famous people in Black History. . .I double dare you to ask a teenager to tell you just 5 things about him. I bet they couldn’t do it. I dare you to ask a teenager to tell you 5 things about our current Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama; I bet they wouldn’t be able to do it. Smh! It’s already bad enough that the television shows that actually shined a positive light on the Black community like “A Different World” and the “Cosby Show” and “Family Matters” and “Fresh Prince” have been replaced with all the guilty pleasure, ratchet reality shows like “Love & Hip Hop” and “Basketball Wives” that only highlight all the negative stereotypes of Black people (fussing, fighting, cursing, sleeping around) in order to boost ratings. And to now learn that Black History programs and projects are being snatched away from our schools. And then to add insult to injury, the Churches are no longer taking the time to do Black History programs. Heck, the parents aren’t even telling our kids about prominent people in history that happened to look like them. What is going on? What happened? When did Black History Month become just another month? When did we get so disconnected from our roots? Who dropped the ball? Where did we go wrong? How can we fix this problem? Look y’all we are suffocating ourselves. We are participating in our own demise. We are so overly consumed with things that don’t even benefit us. We are the biggest consumers, yet we are at the bottom of the chart when it comes to owning our own stuff.

It’s a sad thing that a kid can tell you the exact date that the next pair of J’s is dropping, but can’t tell you when Dr. King’s birthday is.

I’m an optimist, so I honestly believe that there is a solution. I mean, it has to be. This cycle of ignorance has to stop and WE have to break it. Let’s make something happen. Let’s do something. I challenge you to find a young person and take them under your wing. Teach them something new. Ignite their fire. Let them know that they are not just the descendants of slaves, but they are connected to Royalty as well. Began to mentor them. If we all were just to start with one young person and then that person grabs somebody and then the next person grabs somebody, then maybe just maybe there is some hope for us. Make a difference in the life of some African-American boy or girl. We scream that we want things to get better. We post on social media that #BlackLivesMatter. Well we have to start being the change that we seek. I believe we can breathe again. We can get better. We can turn things around for our people. We can make a difference in our communities, in our states. We can change the world.

~B.

In the words of my Soror, Eunique Jones, Because of Them We CAN!

tm 1 tm 3 tm 2 tm

Jiggaboo’s Vs. Wannabee’s

Colorism is a practice of discrimination by which those with lighter skin are treated more favorably than those with darker skin. In the African-American community, this is traditionally played out via the paper bag test.  In the past, those lighter than the standard paper lunch bag were allowed entry into fraternities, sororities and other realms of black upper class life, while dark-skinned blacks were excluded.  Colorism has become a very serious, emotional and psychological battle among the African-American community.

The Jiggaboo’s vs. The Wannabe’s  is still ringing loud in 2015.  (School Daze)

It’s heartbreaking to me when I think about how much we as a people contribute to our own mistreatment. Things will never get better until we start doing better. Until we stop competing with one another, and begin to love and embrace and support one another. We do more harm to ourselves than any other race ever could ever do. The drama that we put each other through is unnecessary. To some, the battle between Light skinned long hair, Brown skinned short hair, Dark skinned natural hair is petty and non-existent, however to most teenage girls and grown women alike, the stresses of trying to look the part is very overwhelming . . .  and even though some like to say, “it doesn’t really matter because (technically) we’re all still a part of the same race” the battlefield in the minds and the hearts of our little Black girls is real. The media (Music, Television, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube) tells them how to dress, what their bra cup size should be, how small their waist needs to be, and what type of booty would drive a black man wild. Social media is teaching our girls that what you look like is more important than how smart you are. As Beyoncé said, “Pretty Hurts.”

Being a young Black girl in 2015 is difficult. The pressure is real.  That’s why we must take our girls back. We must be the examples. We must be the light. So that means we have to do some self-evaluation, and get ourselves together because our little sisters, nieces, cousins, daughters are depending on us. They need some role models and mentors to look too for guidance.

Let’s start encouraging one another. Let’s start lifting each other up. Let’s love more. Let’s break this destructive cycle. We are the most versatile ethnic group; we come in all shapes, sizes, and shades. God made us special. We are intellectual. We are trendsetters and trailblazers. From music, to the arts, to sports, to food, we are in the spotlight. We are innovative, we are creative, most things that are used every day we invented, we came up with the concept. So let’s use our power and influence to help benefit US, instead of using it to belittle one another. We are strong. We are intelligent. We are beautiful. We are lovers. We are powerful. We can change the world.

~B.

“Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst

Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst

We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see

It’s the soul that needs the surgery.”

Shhhhh, Be Quiet.

“The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear.”

Initially when I read this quote, I thought about people in conversation, especially a heated one. I thought about how many times we don’t really listen to the other person’s point of view . . . we just began to prepare our comeback in our mind as they’re talking. And of course most times that’s how miscommunication happens because of the lack of listening. But then as I begin to think, and I read it again something else came to mind . . . so many times, because there is so much noise being made, and there is so much chaos in our lives, we get distracted. And because we get caught up in all that’s going on, we miss out on the most important things.

The most important thing to me is: self-improvement. There is always something that we can fix, change, and improve when it comes to us.

January 2015 was a quiet month for me. I went on a fast with my church family not just from certain types of food, but social media as well. And I can honestly say it’s like everything became so light and easy. Instead of being on the phone or IG for hours throughout the day, I was able to actually hear myself think. I was able to have meaningful conversations with the people in my life as well as get things done. I went to bed on time, and I actually experienced rest. I wasn’t grumpy when I woke up. I didn’t feel sluggish or heavy or irritable. And no I’m not saying that eating meat and being on Instagram are bad, I’m saying being away from those 2 things in particular made me feel good. I’ve learned that when you get quiet, you began to understand what’s working for you, and what’s not. Your inner man/woman begins to speak loud and clear to you. You become more self-aware. You began to come up with the answers to the questions that you once had. You start to find solutions to some of the problems that you are facing. You are able to disconnect from things and people that are no longer benefitting you. Because you have blocked out all of the drama and the chaos, you are better able to understand what’s really going on with and around you. You start to realize how the people in your life really feel about you. You realize who’s for you, and who’s against you. When you stop making so much noise, things become clearer. I was able to think straight because my mind was clear. I was able to self-reflect, to meditate. I was able to talk to God without feeling like I had to rush our conversations because I had other things to do. I didn’t have all of the distractions.  I told a few of my friends, that out of all the years that I have been doing this fast, this year was the best year for me. I didn’t have to eat any of the Morning Star products; I strictly stuck with fruits and vegetables. I tried broccoli and I fell in love with it. I now also eat bananas and would rather drink soy milk. So not only did this fast/quiet time help me clear my head, but it opened my mind up to trying new things. During January, I learned so much about myself.

I’m thankful for my January Lesson. Chapter I (Shhhhh, Be Quiet) was just what I needed. Now I’m ready to experience the next 11 chapters.

~B.

Self-improvement (self-im·prove·ment)
noun
1. Improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts.
2. The improvement of one’s mind, character, etc., through one’s own efforts.
3. Improvement of one’s status, position, education, etc., by one’s own efforts.
4. The improvement of one’s condition through one’s own efforts.
2014 bb

TGIT!

Dear Shonda,

I’m soooooo glad it’s Thursday!!!!

Grey’s, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, I LOVE all 3 shows! Thursday nights belong to you! 3 great shows on 1 network all in 1 night. In my opinion, You (Shonda) are one of the most talented people in Hollywood. I am so proud to call you sista!

Times are changing, we finally get to see three very talented women play the “leading” characters on three of the most talked about primetime tv shows: Dr. Meredith Grey, The Formidable Olivia Pope, and Professor Annalise Keating. I appreciate Shondaland for bringing these powerful women to life. They are flawed and fabulous all at the same time! I’m so glad the break is over! I’m so ready for all the drama that these shows bring to my life!!  I know that we are in for an emotional rollercoaster! The Gladiators are pumped and ready to go!

With Anticipation & Excitement,

~B.

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