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The Last Letter from the Editor: And It All Leads Up to This…

IMG950508To My Beautiful, Glorious, Courageous, and Intuitive Readers:

You read the title correctly. This will be my last letter directly to you on this blog :(…I know some of you are thinking it’s been months since I wrote a real post anyways and now I’m writing to tell you I’m almost done writing. Tis true. And that’s partly because of the summer. Something about the summer makes it difficult for me to buckle down and write. But the other part of me was debating whether I would continue this blog at all. Or pass it along to someone else. Just when it was starting to get good, just when I was starting to see so much growth and improvement, just when I started to take this blogging thing more seriously–c’est la fin! Well, nearing the end. I think I’ve got about two more solid posts in me. But I guess that’s life. And I’m not mad about it. Because all this debacle has been for a great reason. I promise!!! You ready for this? Are you sitting down?

Last month, Mr. Right-For-Now proposed to me under a glorious sunset by the water. I said yes! I’ll never forget it was on the same day of the George Zimmerman verdict–simultaneously the most beautiful and ugliest day I’ve experienced to date. We were at a bar celebrating when we found out the news. Fortunately, it takes more than one asshole running free for murder to put a stop to life, to put a stop to PROGRESSION. So we are planning an elegant broom jumping ceremony in my favorite season–Fall of 2014. Which makes me his future Mrs. Right Forever. And as I’m fully enthralled in this new phase of Love–engagement–it seems the old persona is gone. The woman who started this blog 3 years ago in search of something real after finding so much rubbish has found solid gold. And I plan to cash in while I can!! Therefore, I must say farewell and THANK YOU to all the LOVELY people who made this incredible journey possible.  You laughed with me. You cussed him out with me. You made up with him with me. You grew with me. You bettered yourselves as I bettered myself. You challenged me. You encouraged me. For 3 years.

100MEDIA$IMAG0325Now I’m here in this wonderfully beautiful new place. I am fully present–watching and learning STILL as engagement brings new things to light. I remember asking one of my girlfriends if I should do something for Mr. Right-For-Now in return–as a gift or as some type of gratitude for the proposal. And she said ever-so-wisely to me “no. I think you’ve done enough!” And I just smiled to myself. Because I understood her so clearly. The man got down on one knee and told me he couldn’t think of anywhere else he’d rather be than with me for life. I had certainly done enough–at least for now. No more improvements. No more strategies. No more working night and day on being the best girlfriend/fiancée/future wife ever. For now, I’m just resting in my excitement for us! I’m resting in my contentment! And enjoying planning a wedding (AHHHHHH!). I thought about doing a new blog series for you guys on engagement–and maybe I will write a piece on it. But it’s such an intimate experience and much of this blog comes out of my willingness to fully disclose my shortcomings and championships as they happen. Now, I want to focus on living in each and every one of these moments with my future hubby–staying grounded, attentive, and in-tune with myself. This is the last year I have as a “single” woman and I’d like to have it to myself as selfish as that may sound. Hopefully, you understand where I’m coming from though. Because it feels good to say I have done enough.

Of course I still want to continue bettering myself and learning as much as I can about relationships. Someone once told me, “marriage is not the destination. It is a journey”, suggesting that many women get the ring and believe that is the ultimate validation. I do not want to imply that at all. I’m definitely not done progressing just because he proposed. But my mission has changed just a tad from when I started on here.

I believe that Black Love is the cure for many of our community’s afflictions. So I would Love to transition to a blog talking about Black marriage, Black families, and issues related to how my Black community can achieve more wholeness. I did that IMG950509 (1)here. Somewhat. However, the time has come, I think, for a stronger platform–especially in light of things like the lack of justice for Trayvon! So this is goodbye for now. It is the easiest goodbye I’ve ever said. Not because I don’t Love you. But because our time is nearly up.  When you know your time is up, you’ve got to make room for new things. And because I’ve given you guys so much of me–so much of us–that’s always here on these pages for you to access, it’s not really a goodbye at all. From first date to proposal, I leave you my Love legacy. So when you’re having a rough dating day and you just want to give up, remember me on your Black Love journeys. Remember that Black Love is better when it’s real. And it IS real. We are proof. Remember that good Black guys sometimes win. And they win big!! Remember that Black women can and DO marry and stay happily married–even in the midst of social networks, people living like they’re auditioning for reality TV shows, and booty calls that come way too easily. Remember that no labor of Love goes unrewarded. The universe is waiting to unfold all it’s greatness on you!

Stay tuned for my last few posts. Enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Then, keep me in your heart as you guys are always in mine. Learning to Love like this has been my greatest accomplishment to date. And I hope I’ve inspired some of you to pursue that same path. Because Love never fails!

Sincerely yours,

The blogger formerly known as “Ms. Not-Right-Now” hehe

P.S. For my truest of fans, keep a lookout for my rebirth because there will be one. Suddenly, I have a new found understanding of why we all had to suffer through Puff Daddy becoming Puffy and then P. Diddy and then just Diddy. As I recreate myself and my brand, I will have to change names. Don’t worry though. Me and this writing thing, we go way back. And we ain’t done yet!


11 Famous Men I’d Legitimately Date…Reloaded

11. Michael Ealy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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)


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.

13 Reasons I Love Black Men

Posted on

I’m feeling a little Angie Stone-esque with this post. I concluded a few months ago that I really don’t show enough outward appreciation to my black brothas. In fact, I flirted with the line of hate and disdain. Why? Mostly because I held onto the negative advertised image of black men these days. I believed and perpetuated the lazy, violent, non-kid-raising, womanizing stereotypes that I’d seen and heard from the black men around me. But that’s not who the black man is at his core. And that’s not the only story I saw once I opened my eyes a bit wider. To all the black men I know who have touched my life positively, I want to say truthfully from the deepest depths of my soul, I Love You. I need you. I respect you. And I appreciate you. But that’s just the problem isn’t it fellas? I’m keeping it locked up and tucked away. Well, it’s time to let the world–and you–know how I feel and why. Because Love locked away and unexpressed might as well be hate. So consider this post a proverbial embrace–a kiss on the cheek just for being you.

I Love black men…

13. … for their cool

I’m going to tell you guys the real reason I voted for Barack Obama. Although I read up on them, it wasn’t completely because of his policies. It wasn’t because he reignited a belief in Hope or Change. And it wasn’t because he is an attractive guy. No. I voted for Barack Obama because he’s just so damn cool. There is something in the walk and talk of a black man that the world finds definable only by the word swagger. And even that word doesn’t quite do you justice. It is an indelible and endearing quality that’s got the world wanting what you’ve got in your back pocket. From politics, to sports, to entertainment, to business, to the pulpit–when a black man leads, people follow. He is the ultimate trendsetter. And it’s this cool that will continue to change the world.

12. …for staying good men even when we don’t believe you exist

You know how they say good guys finish last? That goes for brothas too. If black women are honest with ourselves, we laugh at the ones that are too broke, too short, too unendowed (or unblessed. Hmmm?), too ugly, too emotional, too nice, too Christian, too etc. Even if they are good men! As the black woman increases her education, gets a bit of money in her pocket, and navigates her dreams and goals, we find ourselves looking over the good ones while complaining about how lonely we are and how we’re the least unmarried. Because a lot of us women don’t know what we want. And I know a few good men out there who fight through the slew of black women who think they’re ready for commitment but always date the same kind of black man and then complain about black men as a collective group. I can only imagine how frustrating that has to be. Thank you for hanging in there with us and for putting up with our ignorance and misinformation.

11. …for your persistence in the face of an unjust system

I would like to propose a toast to the ones of you who know firsthand being black on a Tuesday is grounds for police harassment, having a car that’s a little too nice will get you in trouble even if you worked hard and honest to get it, and simply walking into an elevator can cause the old woman next to you to clutch at her purse with every bit of force in her feeble existence. There are parts of this so-called “black experience” that are uniquely yours. And I want to thank you for dealing with the facts of black American life with poise, grace, and a whole lot of comedy. And I give even more kudos to the ones of you who have managed to avoid jail time in spite of a system bent on giving you some.

10. …for your humor

Speaking of comedy, black men are hilarious! From listening to Steve Harvey in the morning to watching old comedy specials of Richard Pryor, I’ve watched and laughed with the black men who choose to fight injustice and racism with politically relevant jokes. Comedians have the right to do and say anything under the guise of humor. And some of them use those opportunities to talk about taboo subject matters. But as we laugh, bonds are broken, stigmas are torn down, prejudices are made light. The best part about it is, when everything’s all said and done, the only thing that hurts are our cheeks from laughing so hard. Thank you for lengthening my life with a much-needed laugh.

9. …for your enlightenment and spirituality

Black folk Love them some G-O-D. And at the head of nearly every church congregation or mosque meeting in our community stands a strong black man. Not every religious leader gets it right. Some are clearly called while others are made. But every once in a while, you get a truly blessed black man using religion as an opportunity to do some things in his community. One such man heads Zion Church in Glenarden, Md–Pastor Keith Battle. Keith Battle gives away offering money to the people in need in his church, makes services accessible and applicable for young people, and talks about topics that other people in the church don’t want to talk about. He is truly an inspiration to me so thank you.

8. …for your Fatherhood

You always hear about the good for nothing brothers who have as many kids as Samuel L. has movies. But you know what? That’s not always the case. Some black men know the truth–parenthood isn’t a choice but an obligation. I work alongside two very dedicated black fathers. Both of them have sacrificed time at work to be nearer to their households and help their wives out with their kids. They truly speak the language of the new black man, the 21st century black man, who does more than bring home the bread and butter. They are ACTIVE and ENGAGED fathers, involved in every bit of the child-rearing process. And I must say, I respect it–so thank you for showing me that.

7. …for your appreciation of us

Although not all black men appreciate black women, the ones who do appreciate us REALLY appreciate us. While mainstream society shuns our hairstyles, our butts, our lips, our walk, and our attitude–the black man has cherished those very same things. The black woman finds herself the object of admiration in many a hip-hop song, R&B album, and neo-soul croon. As Drake profoundly puts it, “…a little attitude problem? It’s all good, it’ll make sh*t last”. The “angry black woman” who might pose a problem for some is a prize for you. I Love it when a black man declares that there’s no other kind of woman that he’d rather have by his side but one of us. And not because there’s anything wrong with any other group of women but just because he prefers the kind of woman who raised him. Because he knows her strength, he knows her glory, he knows her pain, and he shares her story. There’s nothing on Earth like a black man’s Love. Thank you for hollerin’.

6. …for your leadership

From Malcolm and Martin to Medgar and Huey, the revolution has been televised and the Best Supporting Male Lead goes to you. Many of the fallen soldiers on the frontline of this war on racism, have been you. And you’ve lead us with peace, with God, with guns, with words, with art, with Love, with silent protest, with athletic excellence, with academic perfection. Thank you to the black men of the past that sacrificed their lives, their Loves, their dreams, their hopes, so that I could have opportunities not afforded to them. Thank you for always being Kings.

5. …for their entrepreneurial (aka “hustlin”) spirit

As Cassidy raved, a black man could “sell Raid to a bug”. Many a cover of Black Enterprise magazine features the black men who have finessed the world with their business knowledge and innovation. Some of them know how to make money and make it honestly. Although I’m no huge fan of Tyler Perry, the idea behind his monumental success is a brilliant one. Perry found it important to own his movie making studio so that people could never keep him from making movies by refusing him funding. And I respect the hustle.

5. …for your creativity

Andre 3000. Kanye West. Spike Lee. Will Smith. John Legend. Musiq Soulchild. Tupac Shakur. Louis Armstrong. Marvin Gaye. James Baldwin. James Van Der Zee. Aaron Mcgruder. Some say art is more real than life. And the black man has consistently and abundantly contributed to art for life’s sake. Our art forms have transformed the world one canvas at a time. I am inspired and humbled by the beauty in the things the black man creates with his hands. Thank you for your art.

4. …for our shared history

When black women stood up on those auction blocks, it was black men chained next to them. When black women were tired from a long day’s bus boycott, black men were at home to rub tired feet. When black women complained about the itchiness of weave, black men stepped in to take out our sew-ins. We have stood and fought alongside each other since as long as we’ve been on this Earth. I can’t say that about any other kind of man.

3. …for your intelligence

Everyone likes to talk about the brothas that don’t go to college. And I know and Love those black men. But this particular section is for the ones of you that pursued higher education in spite of all the obstacles. This is for the brothas who enjoy reading books and learning about their history, their culture, their contribution to this country. This is for the men who took the things they learned in school with a grain of salt because they understood that education doesn’t always come from a curriculum. I applaud you for educating yourself and for adding to my stimulating conversations–intelligently. Thank you for not being too cool for school.

2. …for your excellence

A person shows true excellence when they succeed in spite of setbacks. Few men in America know setbacks like black men. And yet our people have excelled in all aspects in this country with great help from you. As astronauts and engineers, as professional athletes and hip-hop moguls, as real-estate tycoons and entertainment powerhouses, as men. You have set a standard of excellence that I can only hope to follow. I love you for setting the bar so high.

1. …for being the other half of Black Love

This needs no true explanation. You are apart of me and I, you. To Love you is to Love me. And that’s why I do.

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