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Category Archives: For Women

Just A Thought…”Why I Believe that Soul Mates Don’t Exist”


Why I Believe that Soul Mates Don't Exist | BlackandMarriedWithKids.com

Darius Lovehall: Romance is about the possibility of the thing. You see, it’s about the time between when you first meet the woman, and when you first make love to her; When you first ask a woman to marry you, and when she says I do. When people who been together a long time say that the romance is gone, what they’re really saying is they’ve exhausted the possibility.

If you’re anything like me at all, when you hear titles of articles like Aja Dorsey Jackson’s Why I Believe that Soul Mates Don’t Exist you instantly cringe. And yet upon clicking, and then reading, I found that I agree with most of what she’s saying. Jackson seeks to point out to people that there’s not a single individual on earth you will meet that instantly zaps the need to work at compatibility. And the idea that such a person even exists gnaws at the very root of relationships. Jackson gives a very real and pragmatic way to look at things. This blog also advocates heavily for practical and logical approaches to Love and dating. So I’m not mad at her for writing this.

At the same time though,  I don’t think the idea of having to put in work in a relationship and the idea of soul mates are mutually exclusive. Let’s think back to the first couple–no, not Obama and Michelle–but, Adam and Eve. God created Eve specifically as a helper to Adam by stealing his rib while he slept. The very word “woman”, in fact, means to come from man. Now this is no intentional disrespect to my same sex couples but the general theory is that subsequently God created every Eve with an Adam in mind. And he created Adam knowing Eve was coming. To me, the idea of soul mates refers to the creation of one soul with another soul in mind. And maybe some are actually blessed enough to meet that soul in their human life. I think it is possible. That possibility makes life and Love exciting and romantic. It keeps us motivated to go out there and suffer through the hardships of dating. You see, to quote the wise brother Darius from “Love Jones“, “Romance is about the possibility of the thing…when people who been together a long time say that the romance is gone, what they’re really saying is that they’ve exhausted the possibility”. Right now, I’m Living for the possibility that Mr. Right is the right one created by God with me in mind. And because I’ll never really know until I’m done with this life, that possibility can be endless if we want it to be and if we work for it to be. So let’s be smart about Love black folk–meaning we do the WORK involved in it to sustain it. But just because we’re working at it, let’s not exhaust the possibility of the thing.

The Deconstruction of the “Basic Bitch”


Of course, you always have the right to remain basic

Of course, you always have the right to remain basic

The derogatory insult I hear thrown so fervently around by people my age these days–everywhere from the Twitterverse to church parking lots–is the accusation that a particular woman is a “basic bitch”. Made popular by comedian Lil’ Duval and YouTube phenom turned actor SpokenReasons, a “basic bitch” indulges in various forms of inappropriate and immature behavior. These immature and inappropriate actions are always determined by the party doing the insulting and change with the perspective of that specific insulter. For example, one person may find you “basic” for donning a brightly colored hair weave. While another person thinks women who wear any type of head scarf out in public are “basic”. However, according to urbandictionary.com, the general consensus seems to describe “a bum ass woman who think she the shit but really ain’t” or my favorite “just an extra regular female”. It exists as the polar opposite of the “bad bitch”. Though I do not condone using the word “bitch” to either uplift or degrade women, I do like the idea of a “basic” class of earth dwellers identified by their extraordinary ability to be ordinary instead of exceptional. “Basic” works just like when you go to the gas station and ask for “regular”. It’s the standard package without any upgrades like when you want a Lexus but you don’t really have Lexus money so you get the most basic Lexus you can afford. No extras. No add-ons. No substitutes. Just the standard. You didn’t mature or grow up. You didn’t get better with time. You just stayed “basic”. So for the sake of this post, “basic” is an uncanny ability to aspire to mediocrity. Though we’re all born special, somewhere along the way many of us–myself included–become “basic”. I think it starts around puberty. And ends when you want it to. As adolescents and young adults struggle to find acceptance and their own minds, they pick up many “basic” philosophies from the people around them as well as media influences like movies and music. This is how you learned to navigate and survive your world. But as you age, you cannot bring those “basic” attitudes and behaviors with you as life gets more complicated. If you do, those things will weigh you down and keep you from ever reaching a deeply loving relationship and marriage destination. Therefore, I present to you a few “basic” ideologies I learned somewhere along the road and had to shed in order to keep traveling this journey with finesse and grace. Maybe you’ll be encouraged to leave your own “basic” baggage on the side of the road.

“Basic” Behaviors & Attitudes I No Longer Subscribe To:

1. “I need a hood nigga to handle me”

The idea that a hood nigga can offer the most stable and enriching environment to raise a family is a ludicrous one. Though I can see how women get things confused. Thugs have many of the qualities a woman looks for in her man. They protect and provide for their families. They take charge of situations. And they certainly don’t let a woman walk all over them. Women are often attracted to their strong leadership. Personally, I just thought good boys were all boring and life would be a much more thrilling ride with Mr. Wrong. But having a man that makes his money illegitimately, whatever the hustle, brings a host of other things with it from jail time to jealousy. Those things usually get in the way of creating anything real. long-lasting, or stable. And having a man that makes his money legitimately but operates like a crook and a thief has its pitfalls as well. So be careful who you’re allowing to handle you. Make sure he/she undergoes a thorough moral background check.

Apparently you can boast your basic status to the world for $29.99

Apparently you can boast your basic status to the world for $29.99

2. “Money over bitches” or “Don’t chase hoes, chase money”

Admittedly, I’ve never believed this myself. But there are so many adult men who still walk around saying this, I feel the need to discuss it. This is a “basic”, childish idea on two totally different levels. Of course economic development and independence are important–absolutely no argument there. However, to live a balanced life, you should chase your dreams and pursue healthy relationships. The pursuit of money will leave you without any real wealth. For example, if you simply get up every morning and grind it out at work, you’ll get a check and you’ll make money. Unfortunately, you will have to maintain that pattern to get the money. So God forbid you lose that job or you lose the ability to get up and go to work, then where are you financially? If you’re going to explore anything, explore how to create wealth–the type of money you don’t have to grind it out every day to get. And on the other end of this, refusing to chase after women will leave you lonely. Do you need to chase down every skirt that walks past you? Hardly. But the good ones are certainly worth chasing and their worth and value in a man’s life far exceed that of money! A good woman can make you smile even when you’re penniless. And you can’t put a price on that. The key is determining which ones are worth your time and attention and which ones are not.

3. “I can save him/her”

Whatever the ailment, whatever the predicament, saving someone does not create a Loving union. I always envisioned the biblical Eve being a helpmate for Adam and so as a woman like her, I believed that my role. To help men. So I always dated men that were below me in a sense and would spend a lot of time and energy trying to pull them up to my level. I would imagine myself bringing him to have a closer relationship with God, or getting out of the drug dealing life because of me, or suddenly stopping his lying and dogging ways and committing to me. But I always saw more for those guys than they ever saw for themselves. And in the end, they always backed away–feeling they could not live up to my expectations. It is not necessarily “basic” to think you can change someone. People definitely change due to the influence of others. The basicness comes from offering your assistance to those who did not ask for it and do not want it. You can only change a person that already wants to change for his or her self.

4. “If I’m going to have sex with him (or mess with him), let me at least get something out of it”

Ahhh. This reigned as my motto for most of college. I thought myself somewhat better than most women because I wouldn’t just lay on my back for no reason at all. I didn’t believe in giving up something for nothing. So I would get expensive dates, money, clothes, groceries, whatever I may have needed. I didn’t consider myself a gold digger because I never sought out men with big bucks. And I didn’t see myself as a whore because I wasn’t taking money in direct exchange for sex. It didn’t even always escalate to sex. I would make men “pay” for my time. But at the end of the day, I sold myself tremendously short because I put price tags on my most valuable assets. I used material goods to justify messing with men I should’ve left alone. Some women make themselves worth vacations in the Bahamas while others rather get their rent money. Either way, you’re worth far more than any of that. You’re worth real Love. Now I’m not saying don’t let a man dote on you. I think a man you’re dating seriously absolutely SHOULD dote on you. But I’m talking about messing with men solely because of what they can do for you and contribute. That’s not fair to yourself or to him.

5. “Never let ’em know that you care”

If you still don't know what a "basic bitch" is, put the term in the search box of youtube and view away.

If you still don’t know what a “basic bitch” is, put the term in the search box of youtube and view away.

Mostly, when I said I did not care about someone or something, I meant it. But what gets confusing is when you finally DO care because you still end up acting and behaving as if you do not. I went many years not really caring or at least thinking I did not care, and then one day I did care. For whatever reason though, I thought caring was a weakness. It seemed like if he knew how much I really cared, I would lose my power in that relationship. So I did not express that care directly. And that relationship didn’t work out for me in the end. The second time the care bear attacked, I decided to try a different approach. I cared, knew that I cared, acknowledged that I cared, and expressed that care. I learned quickly that vulnerability is much harder and shows much more strength than not caring. True relationship power comes from vulnerability. Pride will make sure you end up alone. Everyone’s pretending like they don’t care. But they’re just pretending. Or they’re stuck in a numb place. There is nothing extraordinary about that. Dare to care. Because someone has to.

6. “If he can do it to me, I can do it to him”

This was a toughie for me to let go because I’m a pretty spiteful and vindictive person. I remember a long time ago my grandmother told me I’d “cut off my nose to spite my face”. And I didn’t get it then. But I soon learned. I based many of my actions off what the other person did to me or what men had done to me in general. So if he cheated, I cheated. If he juggled his women, I’d juggle my men. If he cursed me out, I’m cursing back. I always felt some type of entitlement to hurt a person back when they hurt me. And even if I didn’t do the exact same thing as you, I’d find a way to wreak vengeance. But basing your actions and reactions off of another person’s may be the most “basic” thing of all. On judgement day, I’m going to have to answer for myself. And I don’t think “see what had happened was, he started it” is going to fly with any deity. Really, I had to learn that I just wanted people to acknowledge and understand my pain. After a person does that and even if they don’t, the best thing to do is let it go. Karma usually makes a better teacher than you or I anyways.

In what ways are you still operating basically in your relationships? Do you think it’s about time that you self-upgraded? Share your thoughts!

Oh and enjoy this video from SpokenReasons.

“Life Lessons Learned from Pussies”

“Life Lessons Learned from Pussies”

Hey Loves. I am featured on another relationship blog this month! A friend of mine is the editor of the Sexy Single Mommy, a sassy relationship blog with an in-your-face flair for the real. And you know how the saying goes, “real recognize real”. So, I’ve just been kind of a passerby fan for a while. But I finally decided to try my hand and submitted a piece. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a successful guest contribution relationship. 🙂 Check out the piece here: Life Lessons Learned from Pussies. Until next time my Loves!

An Intelligent Person Under 30’s Guide to Infidelity in the 21st Century


black-man-cheating

All the things you hear, see, and digest about infidelity would have you believing that it is the single most worst relationship sin in the world. Listening to Michael Baisden’s radio show a few weeks ago, I found out many black  mothers teach their daughters to leave a man as soon as he cheats on you. Don’t ask him any questions. Don’t give him any second chances. Just leave! Then, watching Oprah Winfrey Network’s Unfaithful–a show dedicated to telling the painful realities of infidelities–taught me that 69% of marriages do not survive a case of infidelity. Apparently even God has a cheating clause in the Bible, siting adultery as an approved reason for divorce and public stoning. And I’m sure many of you have experienced firsthand the debilitating effects of extramarital affairs, whether with aunts and uncles, your own parents, or maybe your own marriage/relationship.

Now I do not want to undermine any life experiences or religious beliefs, but I am here today to challenge the most commonly held ideas on infidelity and present you with a new–maybe even radically revolutionary outlook on the issue. Dare say I, cheating is just an unhealthy byproduct of negative feelings and patterns in a relationship and a healthy couple can completely overcome a case of infidelity. For men and women under 30, the chances are pretty high that you’ll either cheat or be cheated on at some point in your dating/married life (See “Truth About Deception“). So it’s high time that we face these situations with a bit more modern knowledge and know-how, hence  An Intelligent Person Under 30’s Guide to Infidelity in the 21st Century. Let’s begin with some cold, hard facts.

Myths on Infidelity 

(1) All Men/Women Cheat

I hear this one spewed around a lot by both men and women and it’s simply not true. One report I read stated only about 20% of men actually cheat on their spouses. Another report claimed a whopping 50% of men violate their wedding vows. The naked truth is that any clinical studies or research polls on infidelity rely on self-reports of it which can vary greatly depending on something as simple as the time of day you asked the question. So researchers can only estimate anywhere from 30 to 60% of married individuals will go looking for sexual gratification elsewhere. But no matter how unreliable the numbers, we logically know that no one group–male or female–make up all those cheating cases. We also know that gender is not the best means for predicting cheating behaviors. In fact, female cheating has almost completely caught up to male cheating. A 2011 university study saw 23% of men admitting to cheating to 19% of women (See “Is Female Infidelity on the Rise?“) Making us ladies what we’ve always wanted to be, equals–at least in the cheating department.

faithful

(2) Cheating Is/Isn’t a Big Deal

Interestingly enough, though 30 to 60% of the married population may engage in extramarital extracurriculars,  99% say their vows expecting full faithfulness from their spouses. And a significant majority 80% of Americans still believe adultery is wrong, a 10% increase from the 1970s (Check out “How Common Are Cheating Spouses?“). Wait wait wait, so what’s going on here exactly? More of us believe it’s wrong but at the same time more of us are doing it? So is cheating a big deal or isn’t it? It appears we haven’t decided. Alarmingly, that says we’ve become an increasingly hypocritical nation when it comes to this issue. For the 30 and under set, in particular, it seems we use our parents’ outdated rhetoric and beliefs to negatively judge behaviors we partake in more and more frequently. In short, infidelity expectations aren’t meeting infidelity realities. It might be time to modernize the expectation.

(3) Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’

At times, we are the get-over generation. On one hand, we often find innovative ways to do a task smarter and faster than generations that came before us. But on the other hand, we are always looking for a shortcut or loophole to something–like girls who technically remain virgins because they only have anal sex. -__- Infidelity proves no exception. Nowadays, every man and woman has a different definition of cheating and therefore ways to technically circumvent the whole thing so that technically you never did anything wrong (Peep “The Definition of Cheating In a Relationship“). I suggest adapting the simplest definition of cheating–behaviors and acts meant to mislead, fool, or deliberately break rules. That would expand cheating to include something as diminutive as chatting your ex-beau up on Facebook if you lied about it. But that definition simultaneously frees you from the burden of anything done in truth. So if your girlfriend allows you to have sex with another woman with her full knowledge and coherent consent (also known as a threesome), well, go for it!

(4) Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater

I don’t know who started this sack of lies and frankly I don’t care. This is almost as absurd as saying once fat, always fat or once a smoker, always a smoker. People make mistakes! All of us. And sometimes people learn from those mistakes and make changes for the better. Yes, cheating hurts for all parties involved but there are ALSO cases where couples work through the infidelity and find themselves closer and even more in Love than before. I can honestly say this is precisely what happened to me when Mr. Right-For-Now stepped outside. His cheating brought to light some issues we hadn’t yet been able to talk about. And when he expressed himself to me, I actually felt sympathy for him despite what he’d done. To go a step further, I even saw how my own actions contributed to the situation that drove him into someone else’s arms. That didn’t make him any less wrong or me any less hurt. But when those initial feelings dissolved, we made it out on the other end. So I can tell you firsthand some devastating affairs have extremely positive effects for couples who dare move beyond it (Not convinced? Also read “Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?“). This is not to minimize the existence of serial cheaters, playas, and sex addicts. I’ve dated some of those too. But you have to be able to distinguish between a Lover who made a mistake and a Lover who lives to lie to you. One of the first signs you have something worth saving is when your partner admits their wrongdoing to you.

unfaithful-man-and-womanDo’s & Don’ts (Your Infidelity Takeaway)

(1) Don’t write a person off immediately for cheating. The first phase is disbelief, shock, hurt, and anger. Try hard not to make any irrational decisions while in this phase. Because when the smoke finally clears, you might see things a little differently than you did during your fit of rage.

(2) Do take the time to explore the person’s reason for cheating. When you’re ready, it’s worth it to ask why. One way to help prevent future cheating is to figure out the factors that caused the past cheating. If you know why you made a mistake, you’re less likely to make that same mistake again.

(3) Don’t think yourself above cheating. This applies to getting cheated on or doing the cheating. People with this haughty attitude often find themselves falling victim to it because they weren’t ready for the possibility of it. A person who cheats isn’t necessarily a certain type of person. Almost anyone under the right or wrong circumstances can cheat.

(4) Do forgive a cheater. Even when you don’t stay with the person, forgiveness is worth looking into. If you don’t take the time to heal and forgive, you’ll just carry those trust issues into the next relationship.

(5) Don’t belittle the damage cheating does. One of the worst things the cheating partner can do is play the blame game, continue to lie and keep secrets, or shrug off the feelings and emotions of the hurting party. Emotionally, cheating IS a big deal. But it doesn’t have to kill your relationship.

(6) Do take the time to heal yourself. A person could read this and think I’m fully advocating for excusing all cheating partners. And I’m not. I’m advocating a less emotional and more intelligent approach to dealing with infidelity. This calls for balance. Take the time you need to heal and go through all the emotional phases you will go through. But don’t let your pain, which shall pass, keep you from seeing light in a dark situation.

Another Letter from the Editor


To My Beautiful, Glorious, Empowered Readers:

Me in 2013

Me in 2013

Leading up to and in this new year, 2013, I have reflected, analyzed, and mulled over many things. And to some of your disdain, my posts have become a bit less frequent. I figured I at least owed you an explanation as to why. So please allow my transparency. Maybe it will help someone.

Over the last few months in my relationship with Mr. Right-For-Now, I have been obsessed with one thing and one thing only: the ring. Much of this blog has been about me learning how to Love and be Loved. I’ve dedicated myself to elevating higher than the you-can’t-find-a-man-and-keep-him-cuz-you’re-too-sassy-independent-and-unattractive rhetoric geared toward black women. All with the hope that if a regular, young black woman could do it, so could others! And as I’ve become a better and better girlfriend/woman/partner/lover/friend, through my self-exploration, relationship classes, and relationship research, my impatience with the dating game increased. Because if I’m honest, the goal of all this elevating was a ring–the ultimate pudding proof that I (and others like me) can do this Love thing in spite of everything. And although I’m smart enough to know everlasting Love doesn’t start nor end with a ring, I wanted what I wanted how I wanted it.

Sometimes, our own wants and desires blind us. We cannot hear or see God’s working or more importantly God’s timing. This may happen a bit more often in my life lol but maybe someone reading can relate. I feel like I do the work, I do what God asks me to do, and then I want my blessing. My own ego and entitled-ness does not permit me to hear God clearly shouting at me, your time is not now! Prior to this ring example, it took me five years to graduate college with two degrees. But in a last-minute effort to graduate on time, because I simply wasn’t the kind of girl who needed to do a fifth year, I took 18 credits, in addition to working an overnight job and acting as president of my collegiate honor society. As a result, I failed two courses–which severely lowered my GPA–and missed out on many hours of sleep. And still ended up doing a fifth year. It was a completely humbling experience. I remember crying to my sisterfriends, a bitter and angry spoiled brat because I hadn’t yet graduated. But who was I to think myself above having to do a fifth year? In the end, that extra year resulted in my meeting Mr. Right-For-Now. Had I graduated on time, I may not know him to this day and I certainly would not have dated him.

Mr. Right-For-Now & Ms. Not-Right-Now at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball 2013

Mr. Right-For-Now & Ms. Not-Right-Now at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball 2013

So when I realized my impatience for my ring put a dark cloud over my relationship, I pulled back on the reins. Whoa there. Easy girl. I must be here again because I did not completely learn my lesson the first time. And God will bring me back here again and again until I get it right. So I’ve thrown my hands up. And accepted the most simple of facts, if he hasn’t proposed, one of us or neither of us is ready. I could read a hundred more relationship articles today and that fact will remain. Now I’m not going to trick you and tell you that I’ve been some kind of happy camper since this realization. Actually, it’s been quite the opposite. I’ve been struggling and at a loss of words and advice for my other young sisters and brothers out there–hence the lack of posts. Because I do not have the answers. And I’m questioning the questions. I don’t know if we’ll work out and I don’t know if Mr. Right-For-Now will be Mr. Right-Forever. All I know is that there is a protocol for waiting that I haven’t been following. So I’m attempting to become a better waiter in 2013. And I don’t mean in the sense of waiting on my man or any person really. But because there will be lots of waiting in life. Especially for the finer things. And I figure I better get good at it now.

I love you all. And wish you LOVE in all shapes, sizes, and colors this year! There is no force greater than that of Love on this earth. Love connects us all.

Yours Truly,

Ms. Not-Right-Now

11 Famous Men I’d Legitimately Date…Reloaded


11. Michael Ealy

michaelealy

The Rundown

|age: 39

|sign: leo

|where you know him from: the sexy chef with potential in Think Like a Man

Ealy approaches each oh his endeavours with an almost spell-binding quiet dominance. He’s not over-the-top but somehow you can’t take your eyes off him. And despite his recent mainstream popularity, I still don’t know much about this guy. The choices he’s made as an actor show that he takes his craft pretty seriously. Wiki says he’s from Silver Spring, MD. But that’s about as much information as I could find. So you’ll just have to live with the fact that he’s on this list because he’s forget-your-first-name-stammer-over-your-words sexy. And the mystery just enhances my attraction!

10. Idris Elba

idris-elba

The Rundown

|age: 40

|sign: virgo

|where you know him from: the captain with common sense in Prometheus

The only thing better than tall, dark, and handsome is tall, dark, and handsome with a British accent. This half Sierra Leonian half Ghanaian prince quickly captivated Hollywood’s eyes and mine too. It’s no wonder there’s talk that Elba will be the next James Bond–though that’s been a historically white role. Does Elba have enough swagger to break the color barriers? Barbara Broccoli sure thinks so. And I guess the rest of us will have to keep watching him to find out.

9. Young Jeezy

youngjeezy

The Rundown

|age: 35

|sign: libra

|where you know him from: as the tenured professor of Thug Motivation 101

Somewhere between “Soul Survivor” and “Lose My Mind”, I fell in like with Young Jeezy (née Jay Jenkins). There’s just something about this man. Jenkins carries himself differently than the average sellout rapper. Even his spat with Rick Ross was an actual fight as opposed to some long drawn out radio beef to sell albums. I’m no advocate for violence but if you’re going to talk about it, be about it. Jenkins seems to get that. So I still get regular-guy-off-the-street vibes from him despite his increasing celebrity. I’m not sure if that’s humility or just another rapper trying to “keep it real”. But it works for him. And it works for me.

8. Ne-Yo

NeYo

The Rundown

|age: 30

|sign: libra

|where you know him from: for coining the Year of the Gentleman

Ne-Yo, also known as Shaffer Smith, may have singlehandedly restored artistry to the R&B industry–particularly when it comes to songwriting. When he writes something, whether you like it or not, you know he worked hard on it. His content is refreshingly original and well thought out. And it’s resulted in some of the best Love (and baby-making) music of this new generation. Pair this crooner’s lyrics with his impeccable sense of fashion and you’ve got a class act. It gives me the sense that this self-proclaimed gentleman makes a great Lover and friend even outside the studio.

7. Justin Timberlake

justintimberlake

The Rundown

|age: 31

|sign: aquarius

|where you know him from: as the time poor fugitive Will Salas 

There’s just something about a white boy who can successfully rock a fade. From his music to the big screen, Timberlake has always had a bit more soul than average. That cool might explain why GQ named him the “most stylish man in America”, he ended up lip locking with fifteen-years-his-elder diva Janet Jackson, and he landed his way into this post. But his boyish good looks don’t seem to interfere at all with his talent or his ability to commit! Timberlake recently married long-time girlfriend Jessica Biel. Kudos to Mrs. Timberlake for snagging “the most eligible bachelor in the world”.

6. Andre 3000

Andre-3000

The Rundown

|age: 37

|sign: gemini

|where you know him from: as the other half of the aquemini duo Outkast

Andre Benjamin has managed to dabble in a little bit of it all. Conscious rapping? Check. Acting? Check. Creating his own cartoon series? Check. Always adding his finesse and quite a bit of creativity, Benjamin is often hip-hop’s voice of reason. In 2008, he was the spokesperson for the Declare Yourself campaign encouraging people to vote. And he was later named “The World’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity”.  Not to mention he has a child with fellow soulfully political crooner, Erykah Badu. But above all else, I love him for being such an individual. Benjamin is clearly a one-a-kind artist with a cause. So wherever he’s leading, I’m following.

5. Derek Luke

derekluke

The Rundown

|age: 38

|sign: taurus

|where you know him from: the sailor with the sordid past in Antwone Fisher

You’ve got to be a pretty amazing actor and person when the real Antwone Fisher calls you up and personally asks you to audition for the role of him in a movie. Then you really know you’re something special when your audition catches the attention of Denzel Washington. Luke bursts unto the scene with the maturity and grit of a veteran. He’s got a likability both on-screen and off that makes you want to take him home to mama. Hell he even turned Diddy into a likable character! But what I find most attractive is Luke’s positive way of embracing life. Things never came easy for Luke–including breaking into the acting business. But he got where he is through sheer determination, faith, and fearlessness. Luke is just as much a looker as he is a role model for young men in bad situations. So he’s got my heart!

4. Don Cheadle

don_cheadle

The Rundown

|age: 47

|sign: sagittarius

|where you know him from: as the British bomber in the Ocean’s series

Though he first caught my eye as a brazen family man in the Jim Crow south in Rosewood, acting talent is just the beginning for powerhouse Donald Cheadle, Jr. He’s also a heralded poker player and a world-renowned humanitarian. He’s won peace awards for his efforts to help the citizens of Rwanda and Darfur. But if that doesn’t hook you then maybe his long-time relationship with “wife” Bridgid Coulter will. They’ve been together 22 years despite the pressures and temptations of Hollywood. Now THAT’S skill.

3. Marvin Gaye

marvingaye

The Rundown

|age: 73

|sign: aries

|where you know him from: as the Prince of Soul

Marvin Gaye, born Marvin Gay, Jr., is one of the most unforgettable voices and figures this world has conjured up.  From rape to child abuse, Gay suffered through much of his life. And his resilience shows in the haunting power of his musical delivery. He could sing soul because he lived soul. So much so, I just wish I could wrap Gay in my arms and give him a big hug. Many of his songs are still played religiously to this day–proving that in the midst of all that pain was a legend. Though depressed and suicidal, Gay spent the last moments of his life in an altercation with his father valiantly defending his mother. Gay lived a hard life but died a hero. And who can resist a hero?

2. Malcolm X

malcolmx

The Rundown

|age: 87

|sign: taurus

|where you know him from: as one of the most influential African-Americans ever

Never was there, and maybe never will there be, such a man as Malcolm X. Both universally Loved and hated, X had a way with words. And the man knew how to shake up a crowd. So it makes perfect sense that he wanted to be a lawyer. He taught black people not to shy away from their own humanity or their blackness. He accepted himself before it was cool to do so. Though he was no ladies man in his later years, I admire his courage, his bravery, and his unadulterated honesty. I Love X for growing, changing, and hoping the world would grow and change right along with him. The epitome of fearlessness and black manhood, it would’ve been an honor to stand by his side. The world is a sadder place without him.

1. Mos Def (Yasiin Bey)

Mos-Def

The Rundown

|age: 38

|sign: sagittarius

|where you know him from: voice of the downlow gangsta rapper Gangstalicious of Boondocks

Dante Smith, or Yasiin Bey, or Mos Def–depending on which day you read this–has the total package. He has class, a sense of humor, fashion sense, understated good looks, charm, talent, a great career, and concern for the world and its problems. Whether its hosting Def Poetry Jam or starring in a film, everything he touches turns to gold. He’s been a narrator, a poet, a rapper, a stage actor, a screen actor, a philanthropist, an activist, and even made an appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba. His multi-faceted resume may be as long as Samuel L. Jackson’s movie list. But he also has no problem championing a political cause–in his music, on screen, and in his spare time. He got arrested in 2005 for performing his record “Katrina Clap” speaking out about the Bush administration’s handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He’s got just the right amount of everything you want in a man. I’d be rather proud to call him mine…if I were–you know–single.

“Women, Can You Submit to Your Man?”


For your perusal pleasure, a conversation in the life of Ms. Not-Right-Now and Mr. Right-For Now:

Me: I get that you get it, now what are you going to do about it?

Mr. Right-For-Now: That’s for me to know and for you to find out.

Me: What? No.

Mr. Right-For-Now: You need to learn to relax and let me be your man.

Me: *blinks rapidly in silence*

Me 10 minutes later: Wow

Mr. Right-For-Now: Yeah

Me: Um okay then

As women–and dare I say especially as black women–griping about what bothers us and what’s not right in our relationships comes second nature to us. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Both my man and I have grown and benefited from my ability to see our flaws and my eagerness to always work towards a solution. But sometimes, a man just wants to hear “yes” or “okay” or the very rare “you are right”. Because, get ready for this, he is perfectly capable of handling business without your help. I know, I know, that comes as a shock to some of you. Ladies, catch your breath. But I’ll explain. In many ways slavery threw off the power balance in black american heterosexual relationships. It stripped the black woman of her womanhood and castrated the black man. As a result, you often see loud, aggressive women and a lack of male leadership in our community. We coddle our sons, our brothers, our husbands and then give our sisters the cold shoulder and the boot. As a result, men stopped stepping up and leading their families. Fast forward to 2012 and the black woman, not the black man, hails as the newest face of power and success. Therefore it is my belief that when a woman actually finds a man that wants to be A MAN and more specifically HER MAN, it is her job to sit back, shut up, and watch him work. Maybe that is traditional and old school. But you know what? Old school works. Relationships last longer when everyone plays his or her part. And a woman’s role is submission. Does that mean submit to everybody? No. But it does mean find a man worth submitting to. And then do it. Don’t believe me? Check out what this brother had to say in the piece Women, can you submit to your man?

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