The Break – Black TV and Relationships

In this episode KC, Chris, Toria, The Other Chris, John and Triana discuss some great television shows that came out recently, including Insecure, which spins into a conversation about friendships and relationships.

Music: AbJo – Reprisal (Radio Edit)

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25 Rules Men Should Follow After Turning 25

1. Acknowledge and appreciate that 25 is official Grown Man Status! Welcome to young adulthood. New mature age bracket! Embrace It!

2. No one will take you serious with just words. 25 is about following through and taking action. Stop telling people what your plans are and what you are about to do. Start showing people what you are capable of. Let them see you are a major player in the game and u going places.

3. This is the age where you began to be who you are. Three years out of college, a few dead end jobs under your belt, a few ex-girlfriends – and now you have to start being stable. Develop a certain seriousness about yourself.

4. Stop trying to impress the fellas by pretending to be “The Man” and just be a man. Its cool to brag about how many chicks you get when you were in college and young and dumb. Now that you are 25 you have to start looking at females as potential wives or a mother of your children. Treat one girl special and make the effort to please her.

5.If your “Niggas” are not adding value to your circle or investing in the plan they are LEECHES and holding you back. Your circle of homies should all be unique and bring something to the table besides a handout.

6. Instead of copping a pair of Jordans or buying weed, start upgrading your wardrobe. Purchase some neckties, v-neck sweaters, and own several pair of dress shoes.

7. Support the ideas and the work of your peers. Be ambassadors for them. Each One Teach One! Success is NOTHING without being able to share it with people you love. There is an abundance of opportunity for all of us.

8. Develop a stronger bond with your relatives. Getting older means someone close is getting closer to going to Glory. Sometimes we forget the ones that tolerated us when we weren’t so great. Be a better relative. You never know who looks up to you.

9. Be an expert in all current events. Read newspapers, go to the library, exercise your brain. The more you know the more you grow.

10. Start going to the gym. Beer and pizza after 2 am will catch up with you if you don’t work out. Make sure you are physically fit.

11. Start eating proper meals and slow down on the fast food and snacks. As a minority we have a tendency to eat bad foods and die from food related illnesses. Eat more fruit and drink plenty of water.

12. Look the part, you’re 25. Have a certain memorable thing about you. Make sure its something that sets you apart from everyone else. Be neat, and refreshing.

13. STOP Complaining and START Doing. At 25 it’s no one fault but your own for the way things are going in YOUR life. Man Up. Be the Change you think you deserve.

14. Know your status and have the papers. Get tested, use protection. Understand that your special thing isn’t for everybody. Be exclusive and selective. Your grown – now act like it. You’ll get farther than you think.

15. Develop a better relationship with God. Understand that he is the beginning and end to all you do. He comes first.  Never under value the power of GOD.

16. Find a church to go to and listen to the word. Get a great start for each week. Have something to believe in and see by FAITH!

17. Keep nothing less than $1000 in your checking account. At 25, emergency money is very necessary. You never know when you might be in a bind. Start learning how to live on a budget. Don’t spend foolishly and don’t go above your means. Set aside a certain amount and stick with it.

18. Invest in black businesses, communities, and people. This will create opportunities for everyone. Lend a hand when needed. Be a role model. Speak at elementary schools. Help out in the neighborhood. Become financially literate and fiscally responsible.

19. Volunteer your time. Network. Have business cards on you at all times. Always be prepared. If you love it you’ll do it for free. You never know who knows who. Do it with a smile.

20. Keep your house and car clean. Cut the grass around your place. Wash your car twice a month. Handle your responsibilities. Don’t get comfortable or lazy.

21.Think for yourself. Don’t let your friends or family control your final decision. It’s cool to take advise from people and get ideas, but don’t try to please everyone.

22. Live on purpose. Don’t be superficial or a jackass. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Understand your position and make the most of that. Aspire to inspire without looking for a handout. Make the opportunities come to you.

23.Be a man of your word. Develop trustworthy traits and good business habits. At 25 people should trust the fact that they can count on you. Honesty and loyalty is key at this stage in the game.

24. Get your passport game up. Travel the world. Take trips as often as possible. Visit other continents and learn different cultures and languages. Have a global understanding of life and the economy.

25. LIVE IT UP! Enjoy every minute of it. Don’t turn 30 and say I should have done this or I could have done that. The time is NOW. There is no right opportunity to wait. Waiting is a verb created by fear. At 25 you should be FEARLESS! Thoughts, ideas, goals, and ambitions happen for a reason. Stop waiting and start living. Be all that you want to be. 25 is where you go from talking to doing. Make it happen. Enjoy being 25!


Aubrey Grier resides in Atlanta, GA and is the voice behind The Authentic MANual. Aubrey comes to us with over 10 years of writing experience and worked previously for Clear Channel Radio. Check him out on Black Is for life tips and relationship advice for Black men.

BFF Heartbreak

I’ve had three big heartbreaks in my life. Two of which were women. Not in the way you may be thinking. They were both my best friends at different points in my life.

In a lot of ways the hurt you feel when your relationship with your most trusted confidant, best friend and sister is more gut-wrenching and painful than the hurt of being hurt by a man. It’s because on some level, I think we as women can more easily understand a man letting us down than we can one of our own. Think about it. Friendship is sacred. We get to choose or friends unlike being born into a family. It is a very conscious choice to maintain a relationship of any kind. There aren’t words for missing the person that should be the Maid of Honor at your wedding or the Godmother to your children but won’t ever hold those titles in your life. Reconciling that is difficult. For me, it has taken years.
The funny thing is I can’t pin point why either of the girls aren’t in my life anymore. There wasn’t a huge argument or any clues that would make me have an “Aha moment.” We just drifted in different directions. The process of getting over heartbreak with your female bff is a lot like getting over the boyfriend that stomped all over your heart. I actually got over my boyfriend heartbreak in record time in comparison to getting over the failed female relationships.
Ultimately, I have learned that people are transitory. We have to allow people to move freely in and out of our lives with out trying to keep them from leaving. No one will ever be with us forever. Here are some tips to getting over your “Thelma and Louise” heartbreak.
  • Allow yourself to reminisce about the good times but let the memory come and go.
  • Take inventory of the relationship. It’s quite possible there were some signs that things were not as peachy as it seemed.
  • Get it out. Most of the time women just want to know the we have been heard. Write a letter, email or facebook to get your feeling out once and for all. Phone calls or face-to-face meetings are ideal but do what works for you.
  • Accept that you may have to let that friendship go and lean on the other girls that are in your corner for support.
  • Join social group. Joining a club with women of common interests is a great way to have that girlfriend camaraderie that we all crave from time-to-time.
  • Be the best friend you can be. Surely there are other women in your life that look to you for advice, support or just a bit of fun and frolic. Be the best friend you want and chances are you will get what you are putting out.


Mikki Bey is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who believes in the power of the universe to bring her all the desires of her heart. Fearless, determined and capable – she’s a bad mamajama! She can be reached at


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.

BLACK is…the New Sheriff UPDATE!

Allow me to introduce you to Ryan Anthony Lumas. Who is  Ryan Anthony Lumas? Besides being my friend and  former member of the US Navy, whom I’ve had the pleasure  of serving with, Ryan is a writer, artist, cartoonist, actor,  comedian, rapper, verteran and he recently, by chance, added political activist to his resume. How so? By simply doing a family member a favor and writing a song.

Ryan was asked to put together a rap about Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel and professor of law at Harvard University. In a new western-themed music video from Main Street Brigade, featuring Ryan, Warren is hailed as “the new sheriff.” The spot highlights her deep credentials and makes the case for why she should be the Obama administration’s pick to head the recently-established CFPA.

A Time Magazine cover story published in May, lauded Warren as one of “the new sheriffs of Wall Street.” Ryan, and the Main Street Brigade took it from there.

Since the  video’s viral appearance on YouTube and , it has caught the attention of other sites, including the Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Federal Times, Washington Post,  and even BloombergTV.

I’d like to give a BLACKis shout out and congrats to Ryan Anthony Lumas. Keep entertaining while educating, and inspiring us ALL!


Ryan was recently featured in a New York Times arcticle! here


It Takes A Village…

This weekend my other half, Chris, and I had the arduous task of pulling off a birthday party for our 2-year old son, Eli. It would be our first official “kiddie” party, and in spite of whether or not Eli knew what was going on, we were determined that it be an event he and the other guests enjoyed. After reading a “how-to” article on throwing parties for kids, we decided to set an end time and make the party a short and sweet, 2-hour event.

We tried to keep party preparations within a budget, but as events tend to do, we overspent a little. An hour before the party we had transformed our backyard into a kiddie carnival: a slide, basketball hoop, a trike, and balls and hula-hoops were everywhere. But by the time the party was suppose to start, we had no guests.

I watched as Eli ran around the yard, oblivious to the fact that anybody was suppose to enjoy all the toys other than him. When 45 minutes had passed, he let it be known it was time to eat and Chris and I agreed. Of course, once we sat down to break bread, guests began to arrive.

Needless to say we went way past our two-hour plan, and didn’t notice or care. Once all of our loved ones had arrived safely, we were happy to spend time catching up and watching our children/godchildren interact. I sat back in awe of the folks in our backyard, most of which we had grown up and went to school with. It’s always amazing to think that we’ve sustained friendships long enough to now have families of our own.

In classic Black tradition, the kiddie party simmered on down into an adult party once the children wore themselves out. We spent a few hours having some amazing grown folk conversation, challenging each other on various Wii games, and just spending time together. Though Chris and I should have been worn out too, spending quality time with great friends renewed us, and gave us our second wind.

A good village does more than just raise children; it supports, uplifts, and upholds families. We are so grateful for the one we’ve been blessed with.