Black Marriage Negotiations

After having many conversations about black male/female relationships, all I could do with these videos was post them and wait for feedback:

My single, successful sisters, is this us? Is this what we really expect from our men?

Brothers, are these your real fears about dealing with successful, black women?

Are these your expectations?

Let’s check ourselves people.

Virginia Thomas to Anita Hill: “Apologize for what you did!”

via ABCnews:

A few days ago, Brandeis University professor Anita Hill received  a message on her voice mail at work.

“Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginny Thomas,” said the voice. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.”

Hill didn’t think the call was real.

“I initially thought it was a prank,” Hill told ABC News. “And if it was, I thought the authorities should know about it.”

She reported the call to campus police.

Mark Matthews of our affiliate KGO learned about this and reached out to Virginia Thomas.

Thomas e-mailed him, saying: “I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed what happened so long ago.    That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended.”

Hill told ABC News: “Even if it wasn’t a prank, it was in no way conciliatory for her to begin with the presumption that I did something wrong in 1991. I simply testified to the truth of my experience. For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it’s accusatory.”

She continued: “I don’t apologize. I have no intention of apologizing, and I stand by my testimony in 1991.”

Hill remembered that when Justice Clarence Thomas’s autobiography was released in 2007, Ariane and Jan Crawford interviewed the Thomases.

ABC: “When you thing about Anita Hill … was she a pawn, was she a liar?”

Justice Thomas: “I really don’t care enough — let me be honest with you. I went through that during the hearing. I thought about it. I really don’t care. What I care about is that the responsible people didn’t put an end to this nonsense.”

Virginia Thomas: “I think there’s a lot of theories, but I hope she once day calls up and apologizes and I look forward to forgiving her. … I’m sure she got swept up into something bigger than she may have understood at the beginning of whatever she was doing, but I think she owes us an apology and I look forward to receiving that phone call or that visit one day. “

“So this isn’t new territory,” Hill told ABC News.

Why Can’t We Be Friends? Relationship Advice Gone Bad

At one time or another we are all guilty of placing our own judgment or value on somebody else’s relationship or lifestyle. It’s the way our brain works. We process information by taking it in, synthesizing it, analyzing it, evaluating it, then applying it to real life. This shapes our worldview. Problems arise when we project our worldview on others and hold them accountable to our standards.

I remember getting frustrated with a friend who perpetuated a cycle of dysfunctional relationships yet continued to complain about it. I felt it was my right to give her advice since I was the one who had to listen to her complain when dudes kept dogging her. Although I may have had a point, I wasn’t being a good friend. It didn’t help the situation at all. In fact, it made it worse. I have come to realize everyone has knowledge and experience that shapes their worldview and influences the choices they make. If you have ever found yourself at odds with a family member, friend or foe over a relationship, here are 4 ideas to consider:


As a counselor, one of the first lessons I learned is people don’t want advice. Nobody likes to be told what to do, even if it is in their best interest. We are more likely to change if we recognize a need to do so on our own, as opposed to someone telling us to change. As a friend, if you give advice a friend doesn’t want to hear, they will likely resent you and censor what they tell you-if they tell you anything at all. Your best bet is to ask questions to empower your friend to find their own solution that works. If they ask for advice, make sure you understand what the problem is and how you can help before you give advice.


If you are like me, it’s hard for you to refrain from giving advice to someone who complains about life but does nothing to change it. You recognize that in listening to their pity-party you enable their behavior by continuing to support them through the self-inflicted dysfunction. In such a case, recognize the nature of your relationship and deal accordingly. I’m not saying cut the person off entirely, but set boundaries and refer them to someone who can help. Most importantly, when they do complain, change the topic or ask: “So what are we going to do to solve the problem?”


Some people are helpers by nature and we want to save the world, but we aren’t all prepared to do so. It is important to know your limits when trying to help people or you may suffer as a result of someone being unwilling to change. Be careful you don’t overestimate your power to help a friend. Everybody doesn’t want to be saved. Some people are perfectly content wallowing in misery and if you allow them, they will take you down with them.


This one may be controversial, but I believe our purpose as human beings is for our souls to learn lessons and grow while we are here on Earth. When you say “I would never date him” or “I would never stay with a guy who did that” the universe seeks to show you that you never know what you will do in any given situation and should refrain from placing judgment. Experiences evoke feelings, feelings shape beliefs and beliefs govern behavior-which puts the age-old karmic law into motion.


Before you conjure up the advice your mother gave you, ask yourself “What is my motivation for giving this advice? What will I get out of it?” Most often people who give advice get something out of it, otherwise what is the point? It could be freedom from complaining, confidence in your own relationship, or a sense of fulfillment once the person achieves success. If your motives are selfish, check yourself. Your relationship isn’t everybody’s. People need and want different things.

Barrino & Keys, What’s So Different?

We recently learned that former American Idol winner, Fantasia Barrino, attempted to take her own life. This news came in connection with a relationship Barrino is having with Antwaun Cook, a married man. Since this relationship has been made public, Barrino has been called every name in the book from a home-wrecker to a whore. What Fantasia chooses to do and who she chooses to do it with is her business so I will not speak on that. I don’t know her or Cook personally and can only speculate. One thing I did find interesting was that her “relationship-with-a-married-man” situation is quite similar to another stellar musical artist’s recent situation. Alicia Keys was also involved in a relationship with a married man, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean.

In both situations, it is reported that the marriages were estranged.However, Fantasia appears to be receiving the brunt of media’s back talk. Keys was not looked down upon in the same manner Barrino is. Why is this? Well, there isn’t one answer to this. And again, I can only speculate. Could it be the two women’s backgrounds? Keys comes from a strong, single-parent family, she’s intelligent, talented and highly revered on an international scale. Barrino dropped out of high school, became a teen parent, made a name for herself on a reality television show, and plays out the trials of her life on her television show Fantasia For Real. I would have to argue that this is a major factor in the way the two stories are being portrayed in the media. I believe that people have developed ideas of these two women based on their backgrounds and it isn’t right.

Are they home-wreckers? According to the men in their lives, they are not. This is what should matter. Unfortunately, it is the beliefs of a few, the media, that influence the thoughts of many, the public. It is with poor taste that the members of the media tell these stories. Because of it, women like Barrino are looked down upon while others in her situation are not. In my opinion, the media should stick to reporting the NEWS and not the personal lives of others.

Fellas, Lets Talk.

Fellas, we need to talk. Although we live in a time where women believe in equality by no means does that imply you can forget how to treat your girlfriend and how to carry yourself as a man. Here are a few guidelines:

1. Do not have a girlfriend if you cannot maintain her. Now I’m not saying you have to spend mad money on her and buy her everything she wants. However, it is your responsibility for AT LEAST the first six months of DATING to pay for your dates . This includes but is not limited to gas for your car, movies, dinner, clothes, bus fare, and or anything else that is relevant to the relationship.

2. Make the effort. Just because you have a girlfriend does not mean you can slack on being the man you made her think you were. In any relationship communication should be, for the most part, 50/50. Nevertheless, do not make her regret the decision she made to be with you by participating in random disappearing acts for more than 2 days at a time.

3. Watch your company. If you’re going to your girls’ house it’s cool to bring some of your homeboys, within reason, as she would bring some homegirls. Conversely, this does not mean you can bring a girl who is NOT blood related to her house. Not only is that disrespectful, it also leaves your girl wondering: what kind of girls do you kick it with? No girl, who has values or morals, will agree to go to your girls’ house (especially if you two are just getting together), and if you know one who will…. Go ahead and question their logic and I can promise you that she will have an ulterior motive. She was also wonder if you even refer to her as your girlfriend?

4. Stay respectful. You’re the man in the relationship (hypothetically) it is your job to be a gentleman. If you’re mad or frustrated for whatever reason, especially with her, by no means should you ever call her out of her name. Nor should you refuse to meet her wishes if she asks you to leave, you need to leave. You two can have a civilized and mature conversation about whatever the situation is when you are both calm. & even if she wants to have the conversation when both of you or one of you are mad, step away she’ll thank you & you’ll thank me later.

It’s becoming more difficult for women to find “good” men out there because of the expectation set out for us by media today. If you happen to grab one of those “good” girls you’re are lucky, don’t let her slip through your finger because you were too busy focusing on the quick fix media sets out for you. Please remember that I am 19 years old and all of these guidelines are developed from conversations I’ve had recently with my girls.

Job Search 101: A Game Plan for Workplace Success

When my mom first taught me the game I was still in high school. I got a C in Biology and she wasn’t having it. “You just gotta kiss his butt,” she said, as we left my first parent conference ever. I didn’t like the teacher and didn’t like the class, and mom was telling me I had to kiss his ass. Wtf?

As an adult, I get it. Mom was teaching my to play the game. In life you have to do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do. If I wanted an A in that class, in addition to developing my talents and abilities, I had to make the teacher believe I was passionate about the course and wanted to do better. True or not.

I’ve carried this lesson with me and the rules apply to many aspects of life other than school. They also translate to workplace success. Consider these tips for playing the game to win in the workplace:

1. Learn the Game

In order to market yourself, you have to learn your natural talents and abilities and how they will translate to the workplace. There are career, interest, personality and learning surveys online free of cost. The qualifications listed for a position usually exceed the actual skills or training you need to do the job, but keep in mind the job market is competitive. You can take a refresher course in reading, writing or math at an adult school or a community college to refine your basic skills. You also need critical thinking skills to find and keep a job. An employer will expect you to generate new ideas, set and achieve goals, and organize and process information. At the foundation of workplace skills lie your personal qualities. Employers seek responsible, confident and sociable self-starters with integrity and honesty. Your job is to create a game plan that will showcase how your talents and abilities translate to workplace success.

2. Make a Game Plan

How we spend our time is largely a matter of habit. During childhood, we develop patterns of dealing with time that are likely to carry over into adulthood. The kid who never arrived to school on time becomes the adult who is late for appointments. The good news is that with time, we set new priorities in our lives. If you want a new job, don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen. Set a goal and manage time spent achieving it. If you spend months online looking for job and you haven’t gotten any interviews, you may consider networking strategies instead.

3. Get in the Game

Searching for a job can be frustrating, especially in today’s economy. You are not alone. Even the most well-educated and experienced applicants feel despair when they don’t get any leads. Rather than letting the work search control you, control your work search. Plan it out. Networking is rated the #1 strategy for seeking employment. Employers may be experts at whatever they do for a living, but that doesn’t mean they are experts in hiring. Employers like to hire people they know, so seek creative ways to meet people who are in the position to hire. You have to market yourself and convince an employer you are the right person for the job.

4. Step Your Game Up

Whether you desire better relationships, more money, improved health or a deeper understanding of your own natural talent, you can have it by changing the way you think. Saying statements about what you want as if you already have it increases the likelihood you will actually get it. Think about the lifestyle you want and affirm what your future will become. If you are truly honest with yourself, you will find that your behavior and attitude make a big difference as to whether or not you get what you want. How you respond to an event or situation is what determines the outcome.

5. Play By the Rules

Far too many workplace errors are cause by ineffective listening and speaking. Good communication comes from paying attention to actual words, how the words are spoken (tone, rate and volume) and non-verbal gestures (facial and body movement). Keep this in mind when you interact with a potential employer. Don’t talk too much, or interrupt the talker. Show you were listening by asking questions to make sure you understand what was said. Be sure to use forms of English that are appropriate in the given situation. Using slang or jargon may not be a good idea. Keep in mind your body language also communicates how attentively you listen. Poor posture or fidgeting may make the employer feel as if you are easily distracted or disinterested.

6. Cover All Bases

Finding a company who is looking for someone with your talents and abilities can be hard work. You have to be as organized and proceed as though you are selling a product – and the product is you. Gather as much information as you can about the companies you want to work for through networking, online publications, magazines and newspapers. Investigate to see if you know anyone who works there. Call the company to find out about their current openings, hiring procedures and contact information of the person who does the hiring. Once you make contact with a potential employer, be considerate of their time. Listen attentively, speak precisely and question for clarity. Focus on selling YOU!

Good luck!

Boomerang: Lessons In Love Part II

I know some folks are chomping at the bit for the rest of the love lessons I learned from Boomerang. The wait is over!

11) A woman that truly loves you will not discuss your sex with other women.

My mother was the first to share this love rule with me and the way it plays out in the film is exactly why she teaches against it. The first clue we get that Jacqueline (Robin Givens) has no true intention of taking Marcus (Eddie Murphy) seriously is when she tells Angela (Halle Berry) about their tryst in New Orleans. As expected, Angela’s already developing curiosity about Marcus is piqued and she sets the wheels in motion. When a woman really loves a man she knows that sharing the intimate details about their sex life with other women will only make those women curious. It serves no purpose and it’s none of their business.

12) Sex in the workplace should be avoided. Period.

It’s happened to all of us. You come to work one day and are introduced to your sexy and single new co-worker. No matter how delicious they are, starting an intimate relationship with them is the worst possible thing that could occur. Unless the two of you have concluded that you are soul mates and a long-term commitment is on the horizon, a relationship with a colleague can be a setup for disaster at work. If it works out then you have to try to keep the whole staff out of your business. If it doesn’t, now you have to be cool with this person without anger/disgust/lingering feelings getting in the way of work, otherwise your job could be on the line. Case in point: Marcus’ sabbatical after realizing Jacqueline doesn’t want more than casual sex at her convenience with him.

13) Heartbreak is all-consuming. It takes work to get over it.

Like Marcus, many of us want to “Sit at home, stare at the wall, and listen to Sade” after we’ve had our hearts broken. It’s easy to wallow in sorrow for yourself after you’ve been hurt. It’s worth the work, however, of getting up, getting back out there and trying again in order to move past the last relationship. Besides, what’s the point of dwelling on someone who isn’t thinking about you? It won’t bring them back.

14) Men are hunters; women are prey. Let the man chase…                                                            

My grandmother always says, “When a man wants you, he’ll tell you and you’ll have something. If you’re doing all the wanting, you have nothing.” Angela becomes emotionally vulnerable in her relationship with Marcus the moment she is readily available to him at all times. Equipped with the knowledge of his prior player status, she should have known better than to move in with him. Marcus gives her hints of not being on the same page by not acknowledging that they are living together when Jacqueline calls. This also leads to his cheating on her. I’m not justifying his actions, but the moment a woman gets too comfortable in her position with a man (especially while dating), is the moment he gets bored and is back on the hunt.

15) Being too forward is a definite turn-off.

No better example of this in the film then through the character, Strange (played by Grace Jones). Though her forthright nature was appealing to some, like Nasty Nelson (played by Geoffrey Holder),  her gratuitous use of the word “pussy” got her nowhere with Marcus.

16) Men, you can never justify cheating to women.

No matter what the circumstances are, cheating hurts and can never be justified to the party that gets hurt. Women will never accept the excuse of “it’s a man thing” and it works only to cause us to mistrust the next man. And when a woman is good to you, she’ll never understand why you strayed. In spite of having a good woman at home, and despite knowing Jacqueline wasn’t looking for anything other than casual sex, Marcus allowed himself to backtrack with her once he got his swag back. The temptation to bed Jacqueline again, this time without an emotional connection was great revenge for Marcus – but it meant losing a lover and friend in Angela.

17) Never mention something your ex, mistress, etc. said in the midst of an argument with your current partner.

If you are already in the midst of a disagreement, this just fuels the fire. It’s beyond disrespectful and it will get you slapped. For Angela, Marcus’ mentioning Jacqueline’s name while they’re arguing is insulting and embarrassing. What Marcus fails to realize before he cheats is that these two women work together. Can you imagine how uncomfortable that first interaction between them will be?

18) Ladies, though some of us dislike saying it, men need to feel needed.

A lot of my single sister friends never want to say they need a man. If they say that and never find one, that means they will always be incomplete. I totally understand their perspective – but what I know after being in a long-term relationship is that men have to feel needed in order to stick around for the long-term. After losing Angela and getting back into Jacqueline’s bed, Marcus finds himself bored once again. Why? Because he’s been here before, been through this before, and knows it’s going nowhere. What’s the point in sexually exhausting himself with a woman who doesn’t want or need him? Jacqueline makes that clear from the onset, and once the novelty of sex with her has worn off, Marcus realizes what he misses: being truly desired and loved.

19) Long-term love requires the couple to be on the same page – and sexual compatibility is a must.

I truly believe there is somebody for everybody and this is best displayed by Gerard’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, played by John Witherspoon and Bebe Drake. Even though Gerard is embarrassed by them, they aren’t at all embarrassed by each other. Their sexual chemistry is so hot and heavy they have to sneak away from the dinner table for a little taste, much to the chagrin of Gerard. And when Mr. Jackson goes into his tirade of “Bang, bang, bang!” all his wife can say is, “Ooh Daddy please!”. They compliment one another perfectly.

20) Life is a journey not meant to be taken alone.

When we find ourselves lonely, we look for something to mask that and we hide behind it. So often my single friends (both male and female) get heavily involved in their work and careers to stave off the sense of loneliness they feel from not having a companion. In the final scene of the film, we see Angela has acquired this ability: she is no longer the sweet, smiling woman we first meet, but a cold, stiff woman who Marcus calls out for “hiding behind her work”. However she sees it as “taking care of her business” – she doesn’t feel she can depend on anyone other than herself at this point, especially not a man.  Despite her best effort, she gives in to him because she loves him and misses his companionship. For all the drama they experience, there is something between them worth holding on to. What I took from this scene when I first saw the film and that resonates with me now is what Marcus and Angela understand at the end: Life is that much sweeter when shared with someone else.

From 1992 until now, the film Boomerang maintains its relevance regarding male/female relationships. Though everyone will experience something different, many of these lessons can be applied to a myriad of situations. If you find yourself sharing similarities with Marcus, Angela, or Jacqueline, apply a lesson to your relationship and learn from their mistakes. Good luck in love!

Black Men Revealed: The Problem or the Solution?

This morning I caught an episode of “Black Men Revealed” on TV One. The segment topic was cheating. Representing black men were an old cheater, a young “pretty boy”, a “reformed” cheater, and a man who is in a committed relationship. They initially began to reminisce about times they were caught cheating and how their partners reacted. The pretty boy bragged about how he had sex with the mother of one of his “Starting 5” ON Mother’s Day. He called it her “present”. Then he was heralded “the man” when he confessed his starter was so angry with him he felt obliged to put her twin sister in the game.

The men also discussed ways to avoid confrontation when their woman suspects them of cheating. One man revealed, quite proudly, that whenever his girl suspected something he turned it right back on her and accused her of cheating. He said she became so obsessed with proving her innocence she forgot all about his dirt.

I could go an and on about the ridiculous inferences made during the show, but it ended with the revelation that most men on the panel had been cheated on at one time or another. It was then I realized these men are no different than all the women who have been cheated on and are jaded because of it. These harsh realities have left men and women furious with one another, questioning the merit of monogamy and naturally mistrusting of others.

Optimistically speaking, the producers of the show had good intentions when providing a forum to discuss issues related to black males. Unfortunately, the show serves as a vehicle to reinforce stereotypes about black men, such as them being pimps, cheaters, users and abusers. The show leaves much to be desired. Rarely if at all was there mention of these men or women being WRONG when they cheated. Rarely if at all did they mention how their families were affected. Not once did one man say to another “we gotta do better”. Not once did they mention the rising number of HIV/AIDS infections and other STD’s. The show glorified cheating and portrayed men on the hunt as a part of natural selection. ANIMALS hunt multiple prey. Doesn’t man possess the ability to reason and control instincts?

Is “Black Men Revealed” the problem or the solution?

Haaaaay girl signing off.

Boomerang: Lessons In Love Part I

Boomerang is undoubtedly a classic Black film. From the all-black cast, to the LaFace-produced soundtrack, the film showcased Black people at our finest. Successful, attractive, and intelligent come to mind when each character enters the screen, and Chantress had to be the most progressive company ever with its all-black staff. When the film dropped in 1992, it was quintessential cool.

Though the film is nearly 20 years old, the subject it sheds light on that remains relevant to me is the nature of Black male/female relationships. I have watched this film countless times, and when I caught it again this past week, I decided to make a list of the relationship lessons I learned from this film.

1. Seeking opportunities for sex is part of a single man’s daily routine. Through the eyes of Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) and his buddies, Gerard (David Alan Grier) and Tyler (Martin Lawrence) we see that the search for women and sexual opportunities happens every day for the single man. Marcus’ job has the greatest of perks since part of his position allows him to interview models for campaign ads, i.e. Hometown Buffet for the single man. It makes sense – if a man isn’t married or in a committed relationship, why shouldn’t he be on the lookout for his next great sexual conquest?

2. Sex once had so much value, a man might have chosen it over money. In today’s oversexed society, this rule no longer applies because 1) we are flooded with sexual imagery daily, and 2) so many women no longer believe that their sex has power, so they don’t believe in making men wait for it. In the film, however, Marcus continues to work for the Lady Eloise company after it acquires Chantress in spite of a having to take “a smaller office”  just for the chance that he might get to sleep with Jacqueline (Robin Givens).

3. Desperation is never attractive. If a man doesn’t want you, acting desperate or helpless, does nothing to help your case. This is best exhibited by Marcus’ scorned neighbor, Yvonne (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and all of her cockblocking.

4. Beauty isn’t everything. Especially if beauty lacks brains. Marcus displays how easy it can be to get over on a woman who only has her looks to fall back on in his interaction with Christie (Lela Rochon). And having “hammertime in her shoes” did not help.

4. Success attracts success. One reason Marcus falls so hard for Jacqueline is because she’s a woman in power. Despite the stereotype that men find women in power intimidating and/or are uncomfortable with a woman who is the breadwinner, there are some men who find power sexy. It usually helps if the man in question is successful himself.

5. Women drop tons of clues that they like a guy, and men rarely pick up on them. From her entrance into the film, Angela (Halle Berry) is constantly showing Marcus that she likes him. She’s all in his business, going out with a friend of his she’s clearly not into, inquires into he and Jacqueline’s relationship, and attempts to help him get over Jacqueline. Marcus doesn’t take the bait until after Thanksgiving.

6. A man will put in work for a woman that he wants. Want is the operative word here. My grandmother has told me for years when it comes to relationships, “If a man wants you then you have something going, but if he doesn’t want you, you have nothing”. In spite of Marcus’ player/baller status, he was willing to do some serious hoop-jumping and waiting to get Jacqueline in bed. The passion he feels when he finally succeeds is felt through the screen.

7. Never be too available. This goes hand-in-hand with being desperate. If a man knows anytime he calls you, he can reach you and be with you, he knows he has you. The chase is over, and he’s on to his next prey. Marcus having to book an appointment with Jacqueline is an extreme example of not being available, but you get where I’m going with that.

8. Lameness will leave you lonely. Sometimes. Fellas, inexperience shows and it’s unattractive. Marcus’ buddy Gerard acts as his foil in the film. He is so incredibly uncool that next to Marcus, he doesn’t stand a chance. In spite of Angela’s sweet demeanor, why would she ever go for the guy that digs in his ear upon introduction? So lame, and so not booking that second date. As Angela put it, “Gerard couldn’t hit it even if he had a bat.” 

9. Your reputation can both help and harm you. Because Marcus’ sexual exploits are office news (thanks to Boney T played by Chris Rock) women are fascinated by him and want to know what the buzz is all about. Even Lady Eloise (Eartha Kitt) had heard about Marcus being “very beguiling to women”. However, when he met his match in Jacqueline, that information was nothing but fodder for her to use to toy with him as she wished.

10. Most players have been played. Jacqueline is not the average chick – and how she handles Marcus lets us know she is no novice to love. If we read between the lines of this script, Jacqueline was gamed by some man before, and that shaped her into the emotionless vixen she is when we meet her. Her life is all work, and men are there for play and nothing more. As hard as she seems, the wall she stands behind to protect herself also keeps her from a man who really wants to love her. It’s a no-win situation.

Stay tuned for Part II coming soon…