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Dr. Boyce: Since When Did Black Advocacy Become Inherently Anti-Obama?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins Recently, Dr. Cornel West and his academic homeboy, Eddie Glaude, spoke up about black suffering that has occurred during the presidency of Barack Obama . Glaude and West feel that the Obama Administration has leveraged its strong support from the black community as an opportunity to engage in serious political neglect. “As folks rally to support POTUS in Charlotte, will anyone sound the alarm for what is happening in Black America?” Glaude said on Twitter. As expected, fans of President Obama will interpret Glaude and West’s remarks as political mutiny of the worst kind.  Even as America endures record poverty levels, and African Americans see an unemployment crisis that has hardly slowed over the last four years, some will presume that none of this has to do with the White House. What I find to be a bit contradictory about those who criticize men like West and Glaude who have the courage to speak up on such matters is that it is presumed that advocating for black America is somehow anti-Obama.  When someone says, “I’d like the president to do more for black America,” they are simply doing what any other political constituency does when they meet with the president: Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2012/09/is-black-advocacy-automatically-anti-obama-cornel-west-and-eddie-glaude-speak-up/#6hG2mj7Fg4CdAiVu.99 Read More »

Sil Lai Abrams Talks about the Relationship that Almost Killed Her

Sil lai Abram, relationship expert at Ebony.com, has been through a lot.  Most importantly, she is willing to tell her story to anyone who will listen, even when she is attacked for giving her perspectives.  Sil lai’s story about surviving domestic abuse is critical for those who want to learn from others who’ve confronted some of the challenges that millions of people face in their own lives.  Violence isn’t just something that affects women, it can also affect men in both gay and heterosexual relationships.  No matter what your situation, if you find yourself being abused, take steps to get away.  Here is her story: Here are some of the times I didn’t leave my partner: I didn’t leave him when he hit me so hard that he paralyzed my diaphragm and I couldn’t scream for help. I didn’t leave after neighbors had him arrested, or when he grabbed me by my throat and dragged me around the house, or when friends and family begged me to leave. I did not even leave when he threw me against the floor while I was six months pregnant. Did I think about it? Of course I did. I thought about it every single time he raised his hand to me. Sometimes I even did leave–for a night, for three. But I always came back, because as any battered woman can tell you, the leaving can feel harder than the abuse. Most of us carry with us a wretched crib sheet of times we should have left, and that list just keeps getting longer. Here’s the story of how I put an end to mine. Meeting Scott* was like meeting the rest of my life. He was gorgeous, a successful male model. I was a model too, and a single parent– devoted, but also wild and a little unsettled. He came into the picture and love-bombed me, constantly telling me that I was the most beautiful woman in the world, asking to spend every waking minute together. He took on my baggage (and believe me, I had some). At that time in my life, I was convinced that I needed a husband and a father for my son, Christian. I believed that being with Scott transformed me from a statistic–another woman of color with a baby and no man–into half of a perfect couple. We moved in together after just three months. Scott brought his clothing and a stack of video games, plus a vicious temper and a need for control that I hadn’t known was on the packing list. The fights were ugly. He’d call me “slut” and “whore” and tell me that a sexual assault I’d suffered while we were together was my fault. His words destroyed me, but I thought that if I kept Scott happy, I would have a partner and a proper family for the first time in my life, something I desperately wanted. So instead of removing myself from the situation, I became hypervigilant. I would make myself sick trying to follow all of his rules, constantly reassuring him that I wasn’t cheating and telling him that I’d always be there to take care of him. Slowly, I became estranged from all of my friends. (Scott thought that everyone–male or female–was “trying to sleep with me.”) I became totally isolated from the rest of the world and, unsurprisingly, completely miserable. Read more: Domestic Violence Stories – How To Leave An Abuser – Redbook Read More »

5 Things On Your Face That Reveal Your Health

Photography by NHOPHOTOS.com The old adage of something being “written all over your face” is very true in regards to your health. Nonverbal signals about your health come from unconscious facial expressions and by the state of your skin. Your skin reveals a great deal about what’s going on inside, both physically and emotionally. In fact, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have used facial analysis as a diagnostic tool for centuries, marrying specific facial areas and features with organs and emotional states. For example, if you’re getting a reoccurring pimple on the same part of your chin or you have a perpetually congested or flaky forehead, your skin cold be trying to tell you that your health is in need of serious attention. Facial diagnosis is not an absolute science, but it could certainly point you in the direction of a healthier lifestyle. Here’s what to look out for: 1. Mid-Cheeks Your cheeks are linked to your respiratory system, so a slight rash could be an indication that your body is starved of oxygen and you need to work on deepening your breath. Hannah Yang, resident naturopath at the unique ESPA Life spa in London says, “ Anything that allows you to open and utilize the lungs would be helpful. Try breathwork, mediation or increase your exercise .” If you’re a smoker, you’ll inevitably have/get broken capillaries, discoloration, fine lines or congestion in this area, as will those who suffer from colds, asthma or the flu. Your cheeks are also a stomping ground for rosacea, so be sure to seek topical treatment if you have persistent redness that flares up easily. It’s possible that too many stimulants like coffee and alcohol could be causing all that flushing. 2. Mouth The mouth correlates to the stomach. Where the actual lips relate to the stomach and intestine, the surrounding area at the sides that run down toward the jowls are linked to the colon. Any spots or discolouration dotted around your lips could, therefore, be a sign of poor bowel movements, bloating or a poor appetite. Find a local nutritionist and explore any food intolerances or allergies that may have gone unforeseen over the years. Bloody gums indicate an acidic stomach, while dry and flaky lips are a fairly obvious sign of dehydration. Cracks or sores, alternatively, suggest a spleen in need of care. Stock up on vitamin B and iron in this instance. 3. Chin The kidneys and bladder reflect the chin. Any kind of hormonal imbalance will usually show up here. Guys who were plagued by acne as a teen are all too familiar with this. If, as an adult, you’ve got congestion around the chin, then there’s a good chance your kidneys are working overtime and you’ve put yourself under an unhealthy amount of stress. “ This area can indicate adrenal fatigue ,” says Yand. “ Too much stress causes your adrenals, which sit above the kidneys, to release cortisol, the fight and flight hormone. ” 4. Center Of Forehead The forehead accounts for several organs, including the heart, the small intestine network, and the bladder. If you’ve been partying hard, all that wear and tear will end up written on your forehead. Congestion signals poor detoxification, while a red and flaky complexion could indicate a digestive tract in need of a bit of lubrication. If you’ve got both, then your digestive system is crying out for attention. Look into digestive aids and cut back on oily foods, processed meat, and dairy and processed foods in general for a while. And cutting back on gracing the party scene helps also. 5. Between The Eyebrows This area is reflective of the liver. Too much alcohol or excessive consumption of other toxins are going to show up around here. And, since the liver is inextricably linked with anger in traditional Chinese medicine, a furrowed brow is a good sign you might need to work through some anger issues. According to the TCM experts at ESPA Life, a stronger right brow can be found on patients who are more likely to express anger outwardly. Those with a stronger left side, however, will have a tendency to suppress their anger. Read More »

Michelle Obama Teaches Dr. Oz How to Dougie; Has She Heard the Lyrics of This Song?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins Michelle Obama took a visit with Dr. Oz on his TV show, using her popularity to bolster her husband’s chances at reelection.  Michelle is a superstar in the Obama campaign strategy, as she is one of the most beloved figures in America. The episode with Dr. Oz, which airs on September 12, shows the first lady “getting down” with Oz, teaching him about the use of dance as a great way to exercise.  One of the things to love about Michelle Obama is that she’s very serious about kids eating healthy and engaging in physical activity.  Michelle’s work is necessary in a world where too many of our kids have turned into chubby little Playstation addicts who can’t spell the word “NBA.” One of the things that the first lady did for Dr. Oz was introduce him to a dance called “The Dougie.”  The dance is popular among teens, but has been appreciated by people around the world.  The first lady, being the cool, hip woman that she is, introduced Oz to “black culture” by showing him how to do the dance. Of course, we can debate why the Obamas are the “singingest,” “dancingest” White House duo in American history.    Some would say it has to do with the long history of black folks making whites happiest when we are singing and dancing for them.  President Obama once said that he learned long ago that it’s very important to make white people feel comfortable.   He does that much better than I do. We can also debate whether or not teaching people “how to Dougie” is the most productive use of our time when it comes to achieving cross-racial understanding:   Some cultures might introduce art.  Some introduce religion.  Maybe black people shouldn’t be relegated to teaching white folks the latest dance fads.  But then again, I’m probably jealous because I don’t know how to dance. But here’s the thing that should probably concern us all.  Michelle Obama may not have ever actually heard the uncensored lyrics to the song “Teach Me How to Dougie,” performed by the rap group, “Cali Swag District.”  I’m a fan of hip hop, so I sometimes crinkle my brow when I see people dancing to songs that contain some of the most sexist, racist, violent lyrics known to man.  I even wonder if the first lady has a fact checker who actually goes and listens to the songs that she’s dancing to, to make sure that Fox News doesn’t get that information first. In case she hasn’t heard the song “Teach Me How to Dougie,” I’d like to share a sample of the lyrics: Can u teach me how to dougie? You know why? ‘Cause all da b*tches love me (aye! ) All I need is a beat that’s super bumpin’ And for you, you, you to back it up and dump it (translation:  “I would like for all those women with large booties to shake them in my face like they’re earning their college tuition at a strip club”) Cali Swag goes on with their hit song with the standard hip hop music formula of teaching black men to have sex with as many women as possible.  Of course I become the wet blanket when I mention that we lead the nation in STD infections, but we can talk about that later: I show my moves off and errbody tryna do me I leave da function and all da ladies tryna screw me You just do you and I’ma do me (all day) N*ggas love to hate so they try to shoot me (please note:  M-Bone, one of the members of Cali Swag District, was murdered last year) B*tches be stuck to me I think they tryna glue me Of course we all know the chorus so the song, which made it popular on the radio:   Teach me how to dougie Teach me, teach me how to dougie All my b*tches love me All my, all my b*tches love me All my b*tches love me You ain’t f*ckin wid my dougie! x2 Step up in da club and all these b*tches bug me All da niggas dancin’, none of them know me   Here are a few more lyrics to the song that the first lady and others are performing for Dr. Oz:   Back of the party I don’t really like to boogie I’m just tryna get bent and meet a thick redbone (Mmm) she do her dougie and all them b*tches hatin’ but I’m bout To escape with a b*tch and head home (f*ck it) She got her friends so is a two man and And I wanna run it even if her legs long She like you hubby, I think she love me but, I change da subject and I do my dougie Cuz, I don’t give a f*ck, blow trees, get money Me, smoove, hef in the back with playboy bunnies We gon’ make em do the dougie in the middle of da bed And when I asked for some head da b*tch looked at me funny Daaah! b*tch you can’t tell me nothin star make the beat   Mind you, I’m not saying that this song is not catchy.  I’m definitely not trying to be nasty toward Michelle Obama.  But I’ll admit that I grow increasingly concerned about living in a community that shares its culture in such a derogatory, stereotypical way, even at the highest levels.  The misogyny of the song, as well as the standard culture of black degradation, is part of the culture that led to the murder of the M-Bone, one of the rappers in Cali Swag district (he was killed in a drive-by shooting). The murder of one of the people who created this song, in conjunction with the first lady’s decision to do the dance on the national stage, is oddly correlated with the recent spike in deadly violence taking place in the first lady’s home city of Chicago. Much of this violence is rooted in commercialized hip-hop music, which has transformed itself into a blueprint for black male self-destruction.   The recent murder this week of Chicago rapper Lil Jojo, possibly at the hands of associates of a rival artist (Chief Keef) serves as a perfect case-in-point. The first lady can teach us a lot of things:  How to be intelligent, how to be graceful, how to be extraordinary.  But one thing she may not want to teach us is how to Dougie.  When I look around and see what commercialized hip-hop music continues to do to the psyches of our children, there’s nothing inside of me that wants to go out and party. Read More »

The Tupac Commemoration: Seven Days of Theory (Part 4)

By: Victor “Doc V” Trammell In Tupac’s posthumous, self-narrated documentary “Tupac Resurrection” he says that he “never thought” his own race of people would seek to do him harm. After being shot and robbed at the Quad City Studios, he began to sink deeper into feelings of resentment and anger. Strangely the first NYPD officers at the scene of Tupac’s 1994 attempted murder and robbery were the same officers who arrested him and testified against him in his recent sexual assault case, which was still ongoing at the time. Many theories (including the ones Tupac made public) came about surrounding this tragic incident. One theory is that the alleged victim in his sexual assault case had family ties to a rival criminal outfit. Supposedly, he was a target of revenge for the assault of the 19-year-old female victim. This theory claims that the group paid random street guys to shoot and rob him to make it look like someone else other than them something to do with it. It is also theorized that the police had something to do with the shooting. This theory came about when it was found out that his co-defendant in his sexual assault case, Jacques, “Haitian Jack” Agnant may have turned state’s evidence against Tupac to receive the preferential treatment he got at his sentencing hearing. It also did not seem like a coincidence that the first police at the scene of his shooting were the very same ones who arrested him along with Agnant for the rape charges. Tupac befriended some shady characters in New York’s underworld called the “Black Mafia.” Agnant, Walter “King Tut”Johnson, and James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond were all members of this outfit. Tupac implicated Bad Boy Entertainment CEO Sean “Puffy” Combs and his friend and marquee artist on the label, The Notorious BIG. Both men denied any involvement. However, BIG claimed to have introduced Tupac to the members of the Black Mafia, including the feared Haitian Jack. He says that he warned Tupac “not to f**k with him.” After being shot, Tupac was rushed to the Bellevue Trauma center for treatment of his gunshot wounds. He checks himself out of the hospital three hours after receiving emergency surgery. Tupac made it very clear to the hospital officials that he was in fear of his life and needed to find safety anonymously. It was later reported that he received shelter at the home of actress Jasmine Guy. The next day he is bandaged and pushed in a wheelchair to court by an entourage of armed members of the Nation of Islam security apparatus. In the court hearing, the verdict was read for his sexual assault case. He was acquitted of more serious charges of felony gun possession and multiple counts of sodomy. He was found guilty of two counts of sexual abuse. At his sentencing hearing on February 7, 1995, he received a sentence of 18 to 54 months in prison. Tupac was sent to Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in upstate New York. Part 5 of this series will cover his years in prison and subsequent release.   Read More »

Tough Question: Can You Name One Positive Stereotype About Black People?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins Stereotypes are usually not a good thing, but for some, they can make life easier.  Jews are often stereotyped as being good with money and wealth-building.  Asians are stereotyped for being math geniuses.  Even Latin Americans can be stereotyped as being hard-working. If someone were to ask you to name one positive stereotype about black people, ... Read More »

The Tupac Commemoration: Seven Days of Theory (Part 1)

By: Victor “Doc V” Trammell On this day in 1996, a murderer’s bullets ended the life of rap’s most prolific figure. Tupac Amaru Shakur was born June 16, 1971 in New York. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was a known member of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party was a nationalist movement that radically fought against the oppressive societal norms unleashed against African-Americans during the era of Jim Crow. His biological father, Billy Garland was also a member of the Black Panther Party. His pedigree consisted of various struggles, which were unbeknown to the rappers of his era. His mother was his primary guardian in his younger years and throughout his life. Though he was born into a precarious domestic situation, his mother Afeni had a vision for him to be involved in the environment of the fine arts. At the age of 12, Tupac was enrolled in the 127 th Repertory Ensemble of Harlem. He went on to portray the character Travis Younger in the play A Raisin in the Sun. In 1986, Afeni moved to Baltimore, Maryland where Tupac attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. After his second year, he transferred to the Baltimore School of the Arts. While attending, he studied the arts of poetry, dance, acting, and ballet. He also performed in Shakespeare plays. It was here that he developed his affinity for rapping and representing hip hop culture. He also attended classes with Jada Pinkett-Smith, who remained his friend until his untimely death. Tupac’s life was full of controversy and littered with rivalries with other figures in his craft. Examination of his lasting legacy is full of many questions that deserve credible answers. He brilliantly questioned the inconsistencies of American society. There are also many theories surrounding the details of his death. Stay plugged into www.Reason4Rhymes.com to learn how this revolutionary rapper changed the world we live in today.   Read More »

Nomalanga: Why Women Like Eddie Long’s Wife Stay after Public Humiliation

I just read a story about Vanessa Long sharing the "storm" she survived after her husband, Eddie Long, the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, was accused of "having relations" with five young men in the ministry . Vanessa Long, who herself is an elder at New Birth, spoke to a group of women in the Heart to Heart Ministry at New Birth sharing that the whole experience was a very gruesome struggle but her final decision was to stay with her husband and their church. As I read the story, I was reminded of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that put the then, First Lady Hilary Clinton, in a similar predicament. I remember being very judgmental of Mrs Clinton, at the time, in my arrogant and youthful ignorance. Now, as I approach eight years of marriage, my perspective has shifted. I am able to see that Elder long (and Mrs. Clinton) can seem like foolish women who are taking this "marriage thing" a little too far but I also see that it is not so simple. First of all, most people who walk into marriages take vows and those vows, usually say that the couple should stand by each other through "thick and thin" and through "sickness and health" and of course that does not just mean that wives or husbands can't walk away if their spouses get sick; it means that you vow to stay no matter what ! I will admit, I have somewhat of a bias; I was born and raised in a two parent home and in less than two years, my parents will celebrate 40 year of marriage. Through them, I have learned that if you're committed to your marriage and the well-being of your children and the stability of your community, there really is next to nothing that can convince you to walk away from your marriage. Further more, my perspective is colored by being raised in a different country where the culture places a very high value on marriage, family and community. The alarming rate at which people choose to end their marriages today is by far not an indicator of the exceptions of "through thick and thin" but instead an indication that the way modern day society perceives marriage is shifting and not in a good way. If you haven't already, just spend some time talking to a psychologist or sociologist about the crippling effects of broken homes. Of course there are exceptions; too often, we hear about battered women who stayed in abusive marriages right up until their husbands took their lives. This is an extreme example and those are the instances where divorce is almost certainly the only option. In her conversation with the women she was speaking to, Elder Long shared that part of the reason why she stayed was because she wanted to stay with her New Birth family and also because she believed that she could use her experience to inspire and minister to other women who are going through their own "storms". How I interpret what she is saying is that she did not just stay because she did not want to leave Eddie Long; she stayed because she understands that her marriage serves a greater purpose than just a relationship between two people. Maybe Mrs. Long considered her three children and thought that even though they had probably suffered a great deal of embarrassment from the attention they got in the scandal, they still deserved to be with both their parents in one household. Maybe Mrs. Long thought about having to leave all the meaningful relationships she had been building for years and the standard of living that she was accustomed to and decided that Eddie Long's alleged actions should not rob her and her children of those things. Maybe, Mrs. Long thought about the day she said "till death do us part" which meant that even though what her husband was being accused of made her vomit, understandably, he was still alive and that meant that she was still his wife. I don't believe that any woman can say with certainty what she would do if she were in the same position as Mrs. Long. We will never know what Mrs. Long's conversations with God were, as she undoubtedly knelt  to pray for the strength and courage to endure the "storm" that her husband had led her into. What I do know is that far more marriages end in divorce than is necessary. I believe that anyone who decides to get married should, as Dr. Phil puts it, "earn their way out" of marriage. What Dr. Phil means is that every possible option to save the marriage should be exhausted before a couple decides  they want to swap out their spouse like a old pair of shoes or yesterday's underwear. The people who sustain their marriages understand that marriage is not to be taken lightly and it requires commitment, perseverance, sacrifice, selflessness and an understanding that marriage serves a greater purpose than two people getting together because they "love" each other. The post Nomalanga: Why Women Like Eddie Long’s Wife Stay after Public Humiliation appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

Do Black People Think that the Obama Presidency is a Reality TV Show?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins This morning, I had to ask myself some hard questions, which I immediately took to my friends on Facebook:  Are black people, as a collective, even capable of evaluating our political options objectively?  They say that the best way to waste your vote is to stay home or choose a third party candidate.  Actually, the best ... Read More »

The (Ree)lationship Guide: Study Shows That Women Benefit From Withholding Intimacy Before Marriage

Researchers at Cornell University conducted a unique study on 600 married and cohabiting couples asking them how happy they were together. They were also asked how committed they were to the relationship, how emotionally involved they were, how well they communicated, how frequently did they argue, how long they had waited before becoming intimate, and what's their level or romance satisfaction. Nearly a third of the men and women said they became romantic within the first month of dating, while 28% waited at least six months, according to the Journal of Marriage and Family. Analysis of the data clearly showed that women who waited to become intimate were happier. And those who waited at least six months scored more highly in every category measured than those who got intimate within the first month. Even better, those who waited indicated that their intimacy was better. The researchers said couples may benefit from taking things slowly. " A strong s*xual desire may thwart the development of other key ingredients of a healthy relationship such as commitment, mutual understanding or shared values ," the report said. " Good s*x is sometimes confused with love; some couples overlook problematic aspects of their relationship that ultimately matter more in the long run ." The researchers said delaying s*x gave couples time to get to know each other and work out just how compatible they were. The study’s authors said: " Precocious pre-marital s*xual activities may have lasting effects on relationship quality. Courtship is a time for exploration and decision-making about the relationship, when partners assess compatibility, make commitments and build on emotional and physical intimacy. The rapid entry into s*xual relationships may, however, cut short this process, setting the stage for 'sliding' rather than 'deciding' to enter cohabiting unions ." Money worries and other factors that could have skewed the results of the study were taken into account. While I comprehend the results of the study, I don't believe the study will have much meaning if women aren't on the same page. There are a slew of women who'd be ecstatic to be intimate with 'no strings attached'. As long as those women are in existence, it may become a challenge for women who abstain from intimacy before marriage or for more than a few weeks to keep their significant other's undivided attention. This is especially true if the couple has been intimate in the past. Ladies, the best thing to do is be upfront and honest with guys you're dating. Let them know ahead of time that you are abstaining from intimacy before marriage so that they can make a decision as to whether or not they are willing to make that sacrifice. Men, if you date a woman who has informed you in advance that she is not going to be intimate with you prior to marriage or for quite some time, it is up to you to decide whether or not you're prepared (mentally) to abstain with her or if you would prefer to keep looking for someone who is willing to be intimate within a shorter timeframe. It is beneficial for each person to be honest with the person they're dating. If one person in the relationship lies or withholds information from the other, the relationship will inevitably be ruined and more than likely irreconcilable. Ree “The REE-lationship Guide” is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She is a contributing writer for YourBlackWorld.net and BlackLikeMoi.com. Follow her Twitter: @iDateDaily Questions, comments, and/or concerns can be addressed to Ree via email at TheREElationshipGuide@gmail.com                   The post The (Ree)lationship Guide: Study Shows That Women Benefit From Withholding Intimacy Before Marriage appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

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