WHO IS TODAY’S BLACK WOMAN?

Who is todays black woman?

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If I was to just answer this question simply based on what I see and hear on the internet and television that would not be to pretty. Those outlets do not do the black woman justice. I know I can hear people yelling, “Those are just shows”, “let them live”, or “we need all the roles we can get”. Trust me I understand all of that but I believe the impact that these images have are tremendously impacting young ladies and women of color all over in such a negative way.

Reality is imitating fantasy all the time. If Olivia Pope wears an outfit, the sales on that outfit goes up. If Mary Jane has a nice bag, the sale on the bag goes up. If someone has sex in the bathroom using a shower pole, the sale on that item goes off the charts. Life is definitely imitating art, good and bad. This is only part of it, when there are fights among black women on these shows, or cheating or any other negative behavior social media will have the same activity from ladies young and old. Now the stars on these shows are definitely benefitting and being paid handsomely for it, which some of them should, and why not since the companies are making tremendous money off of it. But at what cost? I asked a question on social media this week…Who is the most positive African American woman on television today? People were hard pressed to give me an answer. So many of the roles on TV are not roles that young girls should imitate. I hear you saying why not? Olivia is hugely successful, intelligent, savvy, well dressed, and beautiful. She is a leader, an entrepreneur, and very determined. Mary Jane is a business woman, gorgeous, stylish, fit, highly motivated and very successful. Cookie, although a little aggressive, is determined, resourceful, stylish, focused and intelligent. Aren’t these qualities that we want our daughters to have? I would have to agree with you there. However they all share a common problem, men. For some reason they all have men issues. As I do a lot of networking and meeting different woman a lot of them say they have the same issues as well. They are becoming more successful in business but not so successful in love. I believe that is a reason why these shows are so successful because people can relate to them so well.

Another big part of it is that men have done a big number on so many woman. They have called them all kinds of names (THOT, HOE, BITCH, etc.), treated them all kinds of ways. You even have videos now going around where so called men are fighting woman and posting it. Everyone knows black women outnumber black men, and men use that to their advantage. So if you have a young girl who does not have high self-esteem because her father, or parents didn’t fill her with confidence growing up. Now she begins to be called derogatory names and treated horribly by young boys and men, and she is watching negative images of black women on TV, she becomes a prime victim to men all over to be used and abused.

Little Girl

I think of my mother, who used to work, come home, cook, clean, make 3 kids do their homework and put us to bed, then get ready for the next day. My father didn’t get home to midnight from work so she had her work cut out for her. I never heard her complain or say this is too much. It might have been but she handled it like a trooper. My grandmother did it with 3 kids the same way, and my great-grandmother did it for 8 kids, just the same. Now women have never had it easy in society, especially not African American woman. But they always seemed to persevere and shine through with incredible strength and grace. Somehow and someway they made things happen, came through when it seemed impossible and all with a smile. This is what I think of when I think of Black women. Not what I see on television or the internet.

So who is todays black woman? I know she is definitely not a THOT, whore or a bitch. I believe she is a strong woman who loves her family. I believe she runs her business or employment highly effectively. I believe she dresses as a queen and keeps her home in order. I believe she is not defined but TV roles, or social media but has high self-esteem and allows God to define her. Whether in a relationship or not she is confident in her abilities and talents. Who is todays Black Woman? I believe she is a true Queen. So no matter what society says, dust of your crown and straighten it out on your head. Just read Proverbs 31, I married one.

 

@THATSUITSYOU @PKSPITCH

THE EFFECT OF A SUIT ON A MAN

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When I was out of work and trying to get back into the workforce someone reached out to me and helped me tremendously. A mentor of mine who saw that I was beginning to make positive changes in my life took me to a suit store in Brooklyn and purchased me a brand new suit, shirt and a tie. I will never forget that moment, I practically cried from the emotions of another man buying me these items without wanting anything in return. That moment was etched in my heart until this day. It is that moment that I think about constantly when we give back to the men we serve today. It is that moment that got me started and keeps me going.

While cleaning out my closet of older suits I decided now was the time to make this dream of assisting men with professional attire a reality so I started That Suits You, a nonprofit organization that provides suits to men looking to get back into the workforce.

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The journey of starting the organization involved collecting suits from family and friends. I was amazed at the results I was received. My wife and brother joined the team and we began holding suit drives and reaching out to churches, businesses and individuals all over. I have found that people don’t mind giving these items if they know it will be helping people. The idea of men who have completed training and are ready to work but do not have anything to wear to their interview is heart wrenching and very sad to see. However when we see their face when we present them with a suit, tie, shirt and occasionally shoes, all at no cost to them, it is priceless. That same emotion I felt when I received my suit is what we strive to do to these men. When I received that first suit I felt empowered, I felt important, and I felt like I could take on the world. We want the men we assist to feel the same way and we have seen it time and time again.

There is something about a man in a suit. There is something empowering about it. Women love to see them, and men love to wear them. A man in a suit, says he is working, he is making things happen, he is successful. That may not be the reality but it gives that perception. When people see young men saggin their pants, that statement speaks volumes to the world. That look says they are not working, they are not being positive and they are not being successful. Although that may not be true, that is the image it portrays. A lot of times men dress that way because they haven’t been taught better or they don’t have the means to obtain better. We want to be a part of changing the culture, look, dress and perception of men all over. We want to be a part of teaching men to dress better. We want them to have that look of a well dressed man. Once I had my first suit, I wanted to wear them more and more. I believe once we get a man in his first suit, he will have that same feeling.

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We recently did a job conference workshop with NYC College of Technology, where we donated ties to some of the young men who came. We also taught men how to tie a tie and did mock interviews with the young adults. However to me, the most powerful part of the day was the time we spent speaking and sharing to everyone there. Having the opportunity to pour my heart into these young people was priceless. I shared with them about starting a business and seeing a dream become a reality. I also expressed the importance of dressing appropriately and being professional in everything you do. That Suits You places us in position to give back to teens and young adults and hopefully steer them in a positive direction to being a success story.

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I AM IN EXCELLENT HEALTH (NOT)!!!

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Just this week I have heard about several friends and family that have been sick, rushed to emergency or hospitalized. It is never a happy situation because it puts a strain on the person and their family to care for that person. Some of these situations may not have been preventable but a good number of them can be. I think that is what is most upsetting about this whole situation. A lot of these situations can be avoided if better choices are made.

Now once again some sicknesses are not as easily avoidable as others, but then again if people really think about it they would admit that they can do a better job of taking care of their health than they are. Now most everyone believes that they want to live a long, healthy, wealthy, peaceful life. However, not everyone does what is needed to obtain and maintain that desired lifestyle. Most people will even go harder for money than they do for their health. They will buy books, on making money, go to seminars on getting rich, but not spend nearly the time and money on living healthy. So generally they may end up making money but being overweight. One of the reasons is most people don’t see themselves as being overweight. While they may obviously see the need for more money, or bigger house or better car, they don’t readily acknowledge their need to lose weight or to eat healthier. I was on the NYC Health and mental Hygiene page and read that 3.2 million New Yorkers are overweight or obese.

According to Medical News Today-If a person’s bodyweight is at least 20% higher than it should be they are considered obese. If your BODY MASS INDEX is 25-29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 and over you are considered obese.

Now we know that BMI is not 100% accurate,  but it does give us some good information most of the times. (www.BMICALCULATOR.CC/BMI.com) So for those who would choose to argue about BMI, there is also the MIRRORNEXT test, which I believe is totally 100% accurate. Simply strip down and stand NEXT to a MIRROR. LOL. You may be able to argue with the BMI calculator but the mirror doesn’t lie.

But seriously we all have to get just as serious with our health as we are with our wealth. I have been in the hospital to see too many people lately and it is not a good scene. Health has to be part of our mindset for it to happen. Easy? No! Possible? Yes. It is not easy because as you walk 2 blocks you will see these people Mr. Mcdonald, Ms. Wendy, Mr. Burger King, Roy Rogers, etc. Not the healthiest of places. And I remember going food shopping at WHOLE FOODS (pre-twins), we used to eat very healthy but the bill was much higher than SHOP RITE. So it is not as easy to eat healthy but in the long run it will be worth it. Even if we were to just add 1 healthy activity to our life or eliminate 1 unhealthy activity from our life it would add benefits and push us to continue that journey.

 

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Check the list and see what you can add or eliminate to add to a better healthier life. I mean, who wants to make a lot of money but not be able to enjoy it because of poor health choices.

  1. Exercise
  2. Fast food
  3. Smoking
  4. Over eating
  5. Sweets
  6. Sugar
  7. Drink water
  8. Eliminate soda/juice
  9. Candy
  10. Cakes
  11. Walk
  12. Jog
  13. Drugs
  14. Heavy breakfast
  15. Heavy lunch
  16. Excess sleep
  17. MCRIBB
  18. Sports
  19. Excessive TV
  20. Heavy dinne

 

 

 

Church 2015…Do We Still Need IT?

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Growing up my parents made sure that my brother, sister and myself attended church EVERY Sunday. When I say every, I mean every Sunday. Even when my parents didn’t go my aunt Linda was sure to pick up the slack and bring us….by the way, auntie, I meant to thank you for that!! Sheeshhh. It seemed to me like that was the core belief back then. Making sure that children received that basic belief of God, church, etc. Like it or not I do believe that has helped mold me in many ways to be the person I am today. However, it really got me to thinking, Is this still being taught? Is church attendance stressed like before? Is going to church still a priority for people of all ages in 2015?

No way am I saying growing up in the church leads you to have a perfect, no problems, everything about you is on point and you never make bad decisions, kind of life. That is not it at all. However I do believe that it can have some effect and help us in our decision making.

I had a long conversation with a few people about this topic and here are some of their views. I will use fictitious names (they may sound familiar to some of you) to protect the innocent..lol

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Fitz: My view is that I definitely believe that church is crucial to society today. If we look around and see all that is going on it seems obvious to me. If you ride the subways and listen to our youth, 90 percent of what you hear is “this nigga, that nigga, that bitch, this bitch. When you go to social media, it is definitely obvious. I can look at a timeline and see updates that say “PRAISE THE LORD”, “GOD IS GOOD”, and then the very next update is a twerking video, or naked photos from the very same person. I believe 2 reasons for this is a lack of understanding of who God is and the lack of the family structure. No one to show them examples of Godly living and no to take them to church. I am not perfect at all, but I do believe church and the teaching of the Bible have helped me in my life.

Hakeem: My view is on one hand I definitely believe that church can add value to one’s life, however on the other hand I have seen too many hypocrites in the church that it makes it hard for me to go back. I believe it adds value because the principles and teachings that you learn in church are very valuable. Especially if it is a church that teaches the Word. I am not one to be yelled at and condemned for 5 hours on a Sunday, no thank you. But if it is a church that teaches and explains how to make better decisions, then yes. On the other hand time after time I see too many people proclaim one thing and then purposely live in total opposition to that. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying people who go to church won’t miss it from time to time, but when they purposely gossip about others, have double lives for years, or other judgmental actions, it is contradictory. God will have to heal my heart to return because I know church has value but right now I just can’t get past the people issue. Now I know people say well it is hypocrites at the mall and I still go there but like I said right now I just can’t get past the people thing in the holy place.

Olivia: My view is people have it all wrong, the church is just a building. I am the church. The Bible clearly states that we are the church. The place of worship is just a building. Since I am the church, God is with me everywhere and I don’t have to go to a building to worship him. I know God loves me just the way I am. As a matter of fact I am doing better in life than most of my friends who go to church 3 times a week, which proves my point. Not that I am comparing myself to others but, it is what it is…

Andre: My view is I am God!!!

Maryjane: My view is I love God, I love the church but I really don’t have the time to attend. Although I don’t have any kids, I travel, work, and do more work. I run a few businesses so it leaves me very little time to attend a church. Like I said , I love the Lord and read the Bible every so often but I don’t have time for church.

Cookie: My view is I agree kind of with Hakeem. I keep the love of God in my heart but church just isn’t for me. I love to party, and I can’t lie, I love sex. I have to be real. I just can’t deal with the judgmental folks who would try to condemn me for what I enjoy. I mean, it may be wrong but at this point in my life this is what I enjoy. Maybe my future husband is in the church but until I find him I will continue to enjoy myself. I still pray every day and listen to Creflo Dollar from time to time, and I might occasionally attend a church but just not regularly. You are not going to include my real name right?

Ghost: My view is, I agree totally with Cookie, especially about the sex part.

Tommy: My view is a love God and I love my church. I will continue to go every week and bring my family

Do you see yourself in any of these? What is your view? We want to hear it…..