Before Venus, Serena, Gaby and Simone (Biles or Manuel), there was Surya Bonaly. I first saw Surya Bonaly when I was in fifth grade. I loved figure skating and was obsessed with triple axles. And in the early 1990’s I didn’t see anyone that looked … Continue reading I Remember Surya Bonaly
#Monique #ThisAMess #WhatsNext #Netflix #Boycott #Purpose #PurposeOnPurpose #PUSH #UnderstandDynamics #DestinyInTheRoom #NameInTheRoom #Observations #Realizations #Business #Economics #DontMissThis #TheSetUp
This is my official position about the Monique situation. There is a way you do business, and a way that you understand the opportunities presented to you. I was asked about this at work, and I said this, “God put her name in that room, and this is how she acted. You don’t know what God was going to do–had she used wisdom.” This is why I say this.
Monique was on a talk show with Russell Simmons around the same time she had her own show on BET. She said that in regards to being black and in entertainment she said she learned to ‘make opportunities’. No one said she had to take the money, no one said she was untalented or undeserving of literally ‘being in the room.’ This is my issue.
This is what agents are for. Had she played a little 3-D chess, she could have maximized her opportunity to make the most of what was presented to her. This nation constantly underpays, undercuts and devalues the talents of black women and women of color since–ever. From Ma Rainey, to Moms Mabley, to Bessie Coleman, to Oprah Winfrey, to my mother, and even myself. How we overcome this is to have people in our corner whom can fight for us, even when we aren’t in the room. Instead of maximizing what was presented to her, she lashed out.
Monique did what so many people when the are hurt do–look for someone that will and would listen to her. She went to Instgram wanting boycotts. She did the talk show circuit and said she was the most decorated living female comedienne. Monique went into recon “Imma get all these hoes” mode. Whenever you get pulled off your square like this, God can’t move, the universe can’t be open to you because you are too busy trying to overwhelm to bash in, rather than create to be granted access.
I can understand Monique’s frustration. I am empathetic to feeling you need to defend, check, buss in, buss up and let every hater know. TRUST. I GET IT. However, one thing I have been graced to understand that the opportunity, even the smallest is maximized by finesse and wisdom. She has snapped off, and we as the Fam at large have heard her, but now what to do, bae?
I support Monique, and I need her to #LevelUp. Like for the culture, for herself and those that follow, #LevelUp. It’s time. It’s time.
#JemelleHill #ESPN #AprilDRyan #BigSisterJemelle #ThisSo meOle #TheSix #Solidarity #Family #AuntieApril #WhoThisWomanHarpo #TryingToBeGreat #HowLong #IRideForThemDoe #GetEmSis
Folk can’t stand to see black women being great and leveling up (yes, #LevelUp is now an official hashtag of TIFS–Fight me.). Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to you leveling up as a black woman is another black woman. This is non debatable fact–I have lived this. Often. This is why I do my best to not let another black woman who is my life, my sphere of influence to never feel less than. She is not my enemy nor my competition.
These are not greater than those whom are for me–or her.
Now, that said–the awesome news this week is Jemelle Hill is leaving TheSix on ESPN (the 6pm SportCenter with Michael Smith) and is going to the show The Undefeated. This show fuses race, sports and culture. I think this is awesome for her and I’m excited to see her blossom–and flex–and be brilliant! #GetEmSis
For all this dopeassness this week, there was a tweet towards April D. Ryan, journalist whom is indeed a superhero, by this legendary bedwench of the Trump suppository whom now has a cushy job in the Department of Health and Human Services when she used to be a wedding planner–I will not mention her name here. Y’all goggle it. This same woman called April Ryan, “Miss Piggy.” And when this wench got clocked by Ana Navarro, then she wanted to apologize and delete the tweet. April Ryan, in her clapback akin to thunder, gathered her like kids under streetlights, telling her how wrong this was of her to do and was like ‘this is not over.’
I know in the first portion of this blog, I said I do not make habit or room to come for black women–they are not my competition. However, in love, I will gather a sis when necessary. This trollop has forgotten how expendable her boss sees black women, and chose the wrong one to come for in April Ryan. See? What she forgot is, how they came for Omorosa, they will come for her! Rather than accept and see what is, she feels like her boss’s incompetence is her cloak of invisibility. She is legit maximizing her coonery through the vessel of white privilege–who has time for that?!
There is a madness afoot, y’all. Friends don’t let friends come Stacey Dashes or Omorosas or this trollop whom will not be named. You can’t tell a broad to level up whom thinks the bottom is all she needs.
(Notice: This may contain spoilers.)
I am such a fan of Netflix, like most people that work nights or suffer from insomnia. I came upon 1HIRTEEN R3ASONS WHY. I needed something new to watch after exhausting my reciting and analyzing of The Twilight Zone or other random Netflix documentaries. I saw this 13 episode show, and I thought that I could kill it in like 2-3 nights. Not so.
As a writer and a mother, it was indeed HARD for me to get through this series of episodes. I found myself wrapped up in what Hannah was feeling, and even turned my head as she committed suicide–yes, the show SHOWED it. They needed to. They needed to.
I was rapt in her voice, in what she was feeling and examined my own high school experiences and the potential awareness of what my children may experience. That was disheartening. As a woman in my 30’s with bigger things that I have come through than that 14-17 year old girl. I was bullied in middle school, and after Freshman year of high school, the bulling continued. I was made fun of because I was awkward, called ugly and fashionably different. I ignored it, yeah, but I found a solace in words, attentive parents and a core group of friends. High school was awkward and I hated it.
I hated it because I was in a new school far from all else I had known in St. Louis Public School District and now I was in Jennings School Disctict. I hated it because I was bored. I hated it because I was–depressed. No one seemed to notice that I was depressed because I went on with life, and tried not to exist. I really, really did. After my father died my Senior year of high school, I wanted to leave school even more. I hated high school because I wanted to a be ANYWHERE else but the high school I was at. Those feelings were deeper than “not being comfortable in your own skin.”
What I saw with Hannah is this consistent abandonment. It’s the kind of abandonment that you see that ends up being learned helplessness. She tries to embrace life, even the dirty parts, ugly parts, but every time she reaches for the better–some new craziness is heaped on her. From Justin liking her, then turning their innocent evening together into a vicious rumor. To her ‘best friend’, Jessica, finding popularity aside from her and then calling her a slut after being upset that their mutual friend, Alex, beginning to date Jessica. But yet Hannah is still a friend to her–consistently. Alex then puts Hannah’s name on a sexist list for best body parts, and her body is put up for public consumption: cat calls, ass grabbing—all under the school’s nose.
I admired Hannah standing up for herself. I admired her for not getting sucked in to the vortex that is high school. I rooted for her, felt bad for her, and all of me that was a mother and once a wounded girl wanted to snatch her back. I wanted to tell her that even though Tyler stalked her with pictures outside her house, Courtney used her as a shield to hide her own sexual identity, I wanted to tell her to hold on. I wanted to tell her not to give up!
When Marcus made her wait for their Valentine’s Day date, tried to paw under her skirt because he thought she was DTF and “easy” was and she pushed him out of her booth? I cheered. I was proud of her. I was horrified when Zack didn’t come to her rescue, because he saw what people where doing to her. I was mad that Clay was afraid to go after her, and was so hung up on avenging her after she was dead. I rooted for him to not be a timid boy like 17 year old boys can be and go after her!
I was upset at the counselor that seemed so focused on the whole forest that he could never see the trees and couldn’t reassure her that she wasn’t alone or crazy after her rape. As an adult, I understand his predicament-the icy way responsibility gives you tunnel vision in the wrong direction.
When Brian published her poem? I celebrated. I wanted her to see she had talent. But I understand and understood the need for privacy as a writer. I am familiar with the cocoons we make to create and can become horrified when those walls are breeched. On top of what she was living through, I get WHY it hurt so much. In times of pain, you really don’t want people to bust out your genius thinking they did you a favor.
I was horrified when she sat in the rub of water, with clothes, and razors and cut horizontally up her arm. I was a hopeless voyeur as she contemplated whether or not she wanted her heart to still beat. I wanted to stop her, I wanted to tell her that she would get through it. I wanted to grab her arm and tell her this:
“Hannah, stop! You do not need to kill yourself over people that you won’t even remember after graduation. Hold on, Hannah. You don’t have to give any more of you away. I promise you that it sucks right now, it hurts right now, and I know you can’t see any light anywhere…and I know you want it to stop hurting. But in order for it to stop hurting you have to see where this ends up. There are things you can do. Think of what you’re leaving…think of the story you have left to write. Don’t quit in the middle! Don’t quit! Wait! We can make it, let me help you! Just– put the razor down, shug! If you want this life, if you want better, you are going to have to rage against the dying of the light. You gotta fight. You are gonna have to fight. Death does not revel in the reaping of the young. Get out the tub and we can talk…”
At the last few minutes at end of the series, I looked off past the screen I was watching, and thought. I was mad she was dead.
I was mad at Clay.
I wanted to slap Jessica and Justin until I GOT TIRED. I wanted Marcus and Zack not to be so arrogant and smug. I wanted Courtney’s iron crisp life wrinkled!
I wanted Jessica to realize that real friends, real friendship, is forged toughest when both people recognize they are needed.
Then I thought of that quiet, shy, wallflower that had my name. I wanted so much to even reassure the portion of my 16-17 year old self not to give up. I wanted to remind myself that even though it was dark and horrible and my father was dying…I didn’t have to die with him.
My dreams, my heart where not to be buried with him. I was going to be okay. In the diligence of living, I had to be able to LIVE. I had to remind myself of what my anchors were, where they were, and how to drop them and not to drop them on drifting people.
The reason why I chose to live, and remind myself to keep living is because I want to see where this life ends up. I want to see how my story ends. I want to own every part of me that is wounded, impaired and secret. I refuse to give my happiness, power and autonomy to another person. This meant that I was going to have to remember the rock that I had been given to stand on in my soul. The part of me that stands up for herself, no matter what and who is able to withstand bullsh!t because I recognize it as bullsh!t.
I wanted to tell Hannah that she had something to hold on to, that it’s beyond what she thought and that if she just hangs on…if she just hung on…she could have joy again, and Clay would be an awesome and doting boyfriend and Bryce will get what’s coming to him because Clay was brave enough to go in a lion’s den came out with his head.
What you have to do in the mean time, she may ask? LIVE. You live because that is the goal of life…and that gift is yours.
Make no mistake, I am a proponent of therapy, prayer, faith communities and coping strategies; and if need be, medication.
I believe that mental health is a real crisis, an important issue and I believe there are pains and wounds that people cannot see that are deeper than anything that will bleed.
I believe there are people that suffer on this spectrum in silence and there are some that shout at the ends of guns, inside cars or razors in tubs. We have to take stock of those whom walk wounded around us. We can’t ignore them. We can’t ignore the Hannah’s. They need to know it’ll be better. They need to know life still belongs to them.
The gift of voice and words is that you have to right to edit, record and honor what you feel. You can’t let all the noise stop your heart from beating. You have to be strong enough to realize this is…hard.
This is why it’s important to have people that know when your swag is off, when your mood is changing, when your eyes no longer shine…there has to be one that is willing to through you a life preserver or even go out in your rowboat, and reach out.
I’ve decided to be a Life Preserver. I have a boat, and my lifeguard walks on water.