The Art of Self-Awareness [On Apologizing Too Much]

As a product of the South and the daughter of a woman who believed children are to be seen and not heard, I was raised to be above all things honest and courteous. Rudeness was not allowed in my household, particularly not toward folks older than me. I learned early on in the game that there are at least ten different ways to tell someone off without forsaking politeness and “class”. If I ever, in my natural born young life, attempted to get slick at the mouth with an elder I’m more than certain my mom would’ve done this to me:Bushido Brown

Of course, as I’ve gotten older, more radical, and completely indifferent to other people’s comfort with my existence, I’ve dropped a lot of the “above all be polite” rhetoric. One thing that has stuck through the years is my desire to avoid inconveniencing other people as much as humanly possible. This commitment to not getting in others’ way has led to a real strong apology reflex. An apology reflex is the feeling that one must apologize for every possible harm that they have done, are in the process of doing, or may ever do in the near future. [I completely made that definition up so don't try looking for it in real science books or something because, you know, I'm sure it's not a real thing]

It’s something I notice in a lot of other women. There have been several bits of research that show that women are far more likely to apologize than men. About what you may ask? Pretty much darn near everything. I specifically say I notice it in other women, not girls. My 9-year old cousin can step on your toes and knock your drink out of your hand and only after you’ve shouted “YOU KNOCKED MY FREAKING DRINK OVER!” will she cursorily mumble “Sorry” as she goes on about her day. She literally gives no damns about your sensitivity and she has other business to be about. 

Of course when you harm someone you should apologize and rectify the situation in any way you can. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about after sharing your potentially controversial and complex feelings regarding the coverage of Palestine and everyone else at the table is sighing or looking at you sideways and you start to feel all self-conscious so you just blurt out “Sorry I’m such a buzzkill I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” Or when your professor tells you that you need to revise your last paragraph and wrap up the conclusion better you say “sorry, I should’ve thought about that before I submitted.”

Are you actually sorry? One thing that necessitates an apology is an act of wrongdoing, did you do anything wrong? Last time I checked, bringing up the very real and important issue of the genocide in Gaza was not wrong, it may not be what anybody wants to talk about at the turn-up function, but it’s not wrong. Actually you should applaud yourself for being so woke and well versed.Dandelion

Here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t feel so compelled to say sorry for all of the things.

You Have The Same Right to This Space As Everybody Else 

Many times we say sorry because we feel like we’ve gotten too large, we’ve taken up too much space, or we haven’t gotten the approval of the people around us. The thing is, you belong here. Your voice matters and what you have to say matters. If folks hate that you talk about the pervasiveness of police brutality in Black communities in between rounds of “Never Have I Ever” well, you know, they can politely tune out or play Candy Crush for iPhone or something else that has nothing to do with you. You are under no obligation to silence yourself to appease other folks’ sensibilities and such. When in doubt use my personal life motto, “They’ll be alright”, and continue on.

I recently have become obsessed with menstrual cups and all things menstruation-related. When doing research on what menstrual cup to choose for my lady parts I noticed a disturbing trend. All these women who were about to gush about how much joy menstrual cups brought them started their videos or posts by apologizing up front to any men who may be watching because they were going to talk about periods and it might make them uncomfortable. M’am you are about discuss a natural bodily function which involves you losing ounces of blood on a regular basis and your major concern here is how grossed out that might make men watching feel?Bruised Masculinty

I don’t blame them, ’bout two months ago I would have felt the same way and we’ve been socialized to be so ashamed of our bodies and our presence that if it even potentially causes a man discomfort we should preemptively rectify the situation. You deserve to have the floor and speak your truth about whatever you so desire and you shouldn’t feel obligated to say sorry.

Your Sorry Won’t Cure Cancer…or anything else of major importance

A lot of times we as humans want to make things better as quickly as possible. It’s why when your best friend comes to you crying about how much her boyfriend sucks you say ‘sorry’ even though you ain’t the one who was taking his baby mama to TGIFriday’s for $10 endless appetizers behind her back. He was. And when you’re homie don’t make the liturgical dance team at the church because he ain’t got rhythm, it’s not your place to apologize. Just listen and be there but don’t say sorry just so you can feel like you did something.

It’s Useless Without Action

Unless you plan on making the situation better with some sort of corrective action, save the apology. When you knock over my brand new 16 oz. jar of Curl-Enhancing Smoothie from Shea Moisture spilling the contents all over the floor and rendering them completely useless, I do NOT want to hear “I’m sorry.” What I want to hear is the sound of 11.99 caressing my palm as you give me the money to replace my jar of moisturizer. Saying sorry does not absolve you from making the situation better. Connecting the word ‘sorry’ with some type of action will automatically cut down on the amount of times you say it because you’re going to have to think real hard about whether you’re actually trying to rectify the situation or not. If you aren’t…peaches eye roll

We’ve got to be confident in our skin and our presence regardless of what society tells us about ourselves and what our place is. Living unapologetically is one of THE single most freeing states of being. It’s hard, I’ll admit that. I have to constantly stop myself from apologizing for sharing too much, or getting too deep, or being too real outchea in these streets (bc everyone knows I’m the realest). There’s always going to be something that you could apologize for because there is comfort in being sorry and not coming off too strong but most good growth comes from outside your comfort zone. So get to reserving those apologies for when they’re needed, like when you accidentally bump into your professor while you were backing that thang up on down the hall. That situation very much calls for an apology.

That is all my loves! 

-Bri aka The Mother of Dragons aka The One Who Knocks aka The Chocolate Gal with the Huge Hair

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”-Hebrews 10:35-36

On Moving Forward while Standing Still

August is a time that’s generally associated with scorching heat, picnics, and the last few moments of summer before school starts. Seriously, as i sit here and think about my first semester of my PhD program starting in two weeks and summer being over I’m like:dont want itFor me though August brings up a different feeling, the first thing that comes to mind is Katrina [the hurricane that is]. This month it will be nine years since the storm hit the Gulf Coast and most importantly to me, New Orleans. There aren’t enough words or poems or documentaries to express what going through an experience like Hurricane Katrina was like. Or what it is still like to have the remnants of the storm still lingering on you when you drive past the vacant building across the street that used to be a mixed use residence with a laundromat on the first floor and apartments on the second.Hurricane Katrina is still very real for me, the people around me, and any one who was in New Orleans when the storm hit. People have coped with it the best way they know how, some just don’t talk about it, some have talked through it, and some have just moved past it by trudging forward with their readjusted life.

It would seem that nine years would be enough time for me to heal from the storm. It has been more than enough actually. It took a few years to really process what I went through, what I saw, what I felt and that no matter how much I wished for things to be the way they once were, they never would. I got through it but I won’t say I’ve moved past it. I don’t think you ever really move past such a huge event. You can definitely move past the pain, it’ll eventually stop causing a tightening in my chest, but never really the event. I have healed from the storm, but I know there are several thousand people who haven’t. Some just can’t bring themselves to talk about it and face it, some can’t truly believe they went through such a traumatic event, and some have just never really bounced back. They’re going to have to work through it in their own time.

Nine years later, I’m thriving, New Orleans is steadily getting bigger and better and those who stuck with the city through the storm and after are making it. Having such a traumatic and jolting experience still fresh in my mind forces me to empathize with any one who has gone through a great loss and a great trauma. Although I’m blessed to have made it through the storm and the aftermath with my sanity and my sound mind, I could never bring myself to judge anyone who hasn’t gotten over something that hurt them deeply.

Everyone has to work through things in their own time and in their own way. If you put a timeline on some one else’s or even your own healing you’re just begging for disaster. I know for a fact that I have to make it through something physically before I can even think of my emotional welfare. It was months after the storm before I started to deal with the emotional and psychological effects of the disaster. Others deal with their emotions while they’re going through the trauma. It all depends on how you deal with disaster. Be patient with yourself and with others. Fixing yourself is not a race, there’s no prize for being the quickest to bounce back.

By no means am I encouraging extensive wallowing. There is nothing healthy about wallowing in your sadness long term because after a while everyone around you is going to be like:

absolutely notBut give yourself time to heal. To grow. To breathe and just be okay with the changes in your life, whether they be big or small. Every period of your life is not gonna be about stability. Some of them are going to be seasons of instability and rapid change. That’s okay. Exist there while you need to and don’t believe the hype that every single human being has it more together than you because they all took the “how to get your ish together and keep it together by the age of [insert ambiguous age here]” class. The hype is a lie, everyone is outchea searching and messing up and not knowing what the hell they are supposed to be doing and it’s gonna be like that for a while. Just take your time to, as Debbie Allen in A Different World would say, relax, relate, release.

Deal with your pain and be okay with the scars left by your battles and struggles. Just don’t ever let the scars distract you from the beauty that is your struggle.

Now that I’m off my  *in my Iyanla voice* “Beloved, look at yourself and the mirror and tell that person you love them” soapbox, here’s a picture of Dorothy and The Scarecrow easing on down the Yellow Brick Road. ease on the roadStay believing in yourself,


“But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a people who belong to God. All of this is so that you can sing his praises. he brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”-1 Peter 2:9

Having the Biggest Afro Physically Possible [and other things you will deal with]

I stan for my natural hair. Once an avid relaxer fangirl, I now shout “YASSSSSSSSSSSS” really loudly any time I see a natural proudly rocking her kinks. I’ve also received so many compliments on my extremely nappy and puffy hair that I have no darns to give about folks who feel natural hair is inappropriate for school, work, church, Big Mama’s dinner table, whatever. If you don’t believe black women should be “running round here nappy-headed” well you know avoid me at all costs because I’m basically the nappiest-headed of them all.

It’s one of those things that you just have to accept when you choose to associate with me. If you don’t like it, that’s fine.
Over It

Here’s a list of other things that you should be prepared to deal with when dealing with me. Otherwise you can politely exit, stage left.

My Love of Makeup and My Passion for Feminism

“If you love yourself so much why do you pile all that makeup on your face?” “Aren’t you a feminist? Feminist hate men right? If you’re not putting your makeup on for men, who are you putting it on for?”

I’ve never been asked these things directly, but I know people who have. I’ve also seen several comments on the interwebs regarding women who have a feminist politic and choose to powder their nose. Yes, there are feminists who don’t wear makeup or paint their nails or wear high heels. Good for those women. Guess whose not one of those women? You guessed it. So why do you think you’re gonna dismantle over a year of feminist learnings and beliefs by pointing out that I wear makeup? Are your beliefs so easily swayed? Didn’t think so. Stop attempting to destroy the things I, or any other person, align myself with. Is my makeup affecting your feminism? Is my makeup attacking your attachment to patriarchy? 

Well we ain’t got a thing to discuss.

My Deconstruction of Whatever Foolery you Tryna Propagate

If you walk into a room and yell something like “I don’t understand why all you angry black women are hating on Miley. Why you can’t let her, Iggy Azaelea, Justin Timberlake, and Robin Thicke do what y’all do without any social repercussion and be happy for them?”

I’m going to first hit you with this:

See, Naomi know my struggle

See, Naomi know my struggle

Then I’m going to hit you with this:

My President ain't got time for it either

My President ain’t got time for it either


Lastly, I’m going to read you for filth. Not only will I give you a quick history of appropriation in the western world. I’m also going to drag you for knowingly saying something so ignorant. There are several articles on the internet that will inform you on any social issues. So many that there is absolutely no reason  for you to be walking around stirring the pot. If you don’t like being called out on your foolishness when you know darn well that it is 100% Grade-A nonsense well you need to never cross my path.

I have more than one side

Somedays I want to talk about the wonders of Breaking Bad and the intricacies of the state of healthcare in the United States. Other days I want to revel in the goodness of Janelle Monae and Nicki Minaj and some days I want to listen to “O.G. Bobby Johnson” six times in a row. I’m a diverse human being, like most people, and I can’t promise that I’m going to be who you want me to be any given day.  All I can be is Brianne and if you were looking for philosophical Bri and got ‘Started from the Bottom’ Bri instead…. bad

…my bad

I Wasn’t Put on this Earth to Make You Comfortable

This one sounds self-explanatory. Yet, people still have the tendency to get all up in their feelings when someone speaks their truth. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be understanding and conscientious of your words, but don’t let some one’s feelings get in the way of you sharing your reality to the world.

That’s all I got folks! Let me know what people have to accept when they come across you.girlllllll

Hope summer is treating you right and you ain’t been left outchea,

-Briizy Bri

“So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it. then it will be yours. And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”- Mark 11:24-26

You Should’ve Left It To Beaver [on romanticizing the past]

Every day there is a new reason why I should just delete my Facebook account and never log on to that website again. The only thing keeping me on there is because FB was more or less shooting with me in the gym regarding my social media life. And you know how it is when somebody was with you shooting in the gym…Chris Jamming

But regardless of being with someone from shooting in the gym sometimes you gotta cut some social media outlets off especially when that social media outlet refuses to let your intellectual spirit be great with its foolishness. The latest trend that has me rolling my eyes is the barrage of articles that have these annoying click bait titles (“The Second I Got Married, I Realized I Shouldn’t be Married” blah blah I’m basic blah blah please click my article blah blah this is going to be about the exact opposite of what the title reads) and then proceed to talk about some foolishness I either don’t give two damns about or just wholeheartedly disagree with.

Usually I scroll past these articles but there was one that came across my timeline that was being praised by Black Christian Facebook that although I knew I was going to despise I read it anyway. The title was something like “[ambiguous number that the author made up] things that women should start doing again[ or should have never stopped or should at least look like they do or else they'll die old and alone]“. It was written by a black woman (so I wanted to metaphorically support her and let her be great] but, of course, the top things on the list was cooking, cleaning, and looking good for her man. And her reason for why women should behave like this is because back in the day women put time into themselves and you never saw women on 50’s Tv shows behaving like that…

For real? That's what we basing our behavior off of now?

For real? That’s what we basing our behavior off of now?


First thing to remember about “50’s TV shows”, those women were white. Like the whitest most stereotypical white women you ever did see were presented on the TV. That ain’t our history, that ain’t our struggle.

but we young black women though

but we young black women though

Do you know what most black women were doing while Lucy and Mrs. Cleaver was cleaning the home and cooking these elaborate meals and keeping themselves up?


‘Cuz they ain’t the luxury nor the income to be playing Mrs. Cleaver. Another thing, these women were on TV SHOWS. Depictions put out by the people who control the media. Know what that means? THE STUFF AIN’T REAL!

If you’re basing how you treat your man or how you run life off what white folks decided they wanted to tell the world about marriage and domestic life 60 years ago, girl you are on a smooth road to being outchea. Wanna know what part they left out the depression and drug problems the magical mythical housewife had back in the day, but I’m sleep though.

There’s nothing wrong with cooking and cleaning and being cute for your man…if THAT’S what you want to do. But there’s no golden rule on what you should be doing as a wife or a partner in order to be perfect. Just like there is nothing wrong with a man cooking or cleaning or taking care of the housework if that’s the arrangement you two have regarding your relationship, but I’ll be damned if I’m round here cooking (which is very much not my favorite thing to do) and cleaning (which I also despise most days) and killing myself to stay fine (and he over here looking like Homer Simpson) just because somebody told me that’s what a woman should do.

I’m all for treating your man like a KING, girl do you thang, but best believe he is treating me like a Queen in return. Because that ‘s the foundation of successful relationships, not just romantic ones but ALL relationships, giving and taking and having it balance out somewhere. I may have to compromise and cook a couple of nights out the week but I’d expect my man to be cleaning that week or washing my car or something. I’m not gonna just be doing all this work because Leave It To Beaver told me so.

Neither should you! Don’t live your life based off what the older folks tell you about “back in their day.” I’m not saying ignore your elders or ignore the wisdom of people who’ve walked the road before you but always take into account that people romanticize their childhood. EVERYONE romanticizes their youth.

Don’t believe me?

Have you been within a five foot radius of any person born between 1988 and 1995?

Born in 1990, I can say with no shame that 90’s kids are the WORST at “back when I was a kid things were so much better.” For some reason, we love to highlight Super Mario Brothers and the prevalence of great hip hop and ignore parachute suits, video game cartridges that you had to blow in to make work, and the prevalence of those weird cartoons that I’m sure had to be made by people who were very open to various types of drugs.

People will have you living a lie and wondering why your life ain’t going the way it’s supposed to all because you’re trying to live up to what used to work in their day (if it ever did work). I’m just saying don’t be outchea living your life or striving for days of exaggerations past because you believe you’ve missed out on some great time. God placed you on this earth at this time for a reason and you better go out and make the Creator proud by living your life and balling out the way YOU want to, not the way big mama, Uncle Elroy, random clueless blogger, and Pastor so-and-so told you should.

Go forth and prosper, freedom fighters!

Look at 2 Chainz taking life by the reins

Look at 2 Chainz taking life by the reins

vogue on the romantics and the haters

vogue on the romantics and the haters


Peace, Love, and Freedom,
-Briiiiiiiizy aka @kewl_briize aka The Chocolate Girl with The Masters Degree aka she gonna be a doctor


“I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come”- Jeremiah 29:11





Talk that stuff now roll with it [and other ways to be responsible with your words]

I am a talker.

I always have been. I used to talk so much that when I was younger that my mother would literally have to ask me to let her exercise in peace for 30 minutes and then promise the rest of the evening was mine to talk about whatever I wanted to. Sad right?

Well as I advanced in school and started taking discussion based questions I started to realize that you don’t really always have to have something to say. Sometimes it’s fine to just not share everything that’s on your mind. Particularly since I was never one to want to stay a minute longer in a classroom than necessary, I always despised the people that over shared or had a question right at the end of class.

But we all know those people who DO believe that they should share everything in their head with the world. There are certain people who I’ve come across that believed it a little too hard when someone told them at some point in their life that their opinion and their voice mattered. And I am in no way saying that people’s voice don’t matter. I’m saying that not EVERY opinion matters. Sorry friends, it just doesn’t.

It’s like when someone posts a long Facebook status about how Donald Sterling isn’t the only racist NBA owner…

Oooh thanks for the novel interjection, never heard that one before

Oooh thanks for the novel interjection, never heard that one before

And I must admit that I’ve probably been that person at some point in time. Contributing a bit too much, saying more than needed, speaking over folks who probably had better stuff to say, but as I grow older and more conscious of the power of my voice and the weight it can sometimes carry I’ve become more conscientious about what I say and when I say it in public forums. But sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re the person who’s sharing too much and using their voice a little too loudly so this post is for you and here are a few tips on how to use your voice a little more wisely!

Is this REALLY something that needs to be said?

So there is plenty of time before one lends their voice to the greater conversation for her to think about what she’s going to say and how she’s going to say it. Value this time, cherish this time and really mull over if what you are planning on saying is something that needs to be said.

Ask yourself these simple questions:
Will the lives of the people listening to me be changed for the better because of what of I say?
Do the people listening to me actually care about what I’m saying?
If I were the people listening to me would I actively listen or pull up twitter on my phone?

If the answer to any of these questions are no [or in the last case pull up twitter on my phone] then you probably shouldn’t say what you were thinking about saying because no one cares and people just outchea tryna learn and enjoy their lives, not listen to you talk about how when you were in middle school, you too felt the struggle experienced by Jean Valjean in Les Mis and how that crafted you into the academic you are today and how that vaguely but not really connects to what we were talking about.

Am I talking over or potentially silencing someone else?

I’ve been in enough forums and discussion-based lectures to notice a certain class-dynamic pattern. There’s always ONE or TWO people who will answer ALL THE QUESTIONS and CONTRIBUTE ALL THE OPINIONS, then there are like 4-10 people who will contribute occasionally if the talkers are sick, or missing class, or the teacher has explicitly stated that they can’t talk anymore, and then there’s the rest of the class that are either too shy, too bored, too busy on facebook, or too unenthused about school in general to contribute anything. For those too shy, they may be intimidated by the talker and feel they have nothing to contribute because you, a talker, have pretty much said it all and even if you didn’t say it all, you’ll probably have something to say about what they’re saying and that might just be too much for them. If you have been talking ALL class you should probably open the floor up for others to contribute.

If you spend the entire time when some one else talking, thinking about what you’re about to say instead of listening to them well you probably need to calm down a bit and just take a break from contributing to the class. Because although it looks like everyone is nodding and agreeing with you what they’re really thinking inside their heads is:

Pleassssse for the love of everything pure and holy stop talking

Pleassssse for the love of everything pure and holy stop talking

I know you sound great to yourself but really people are tired of hearing your voice.

Has this been said already?

There’s this trend in public spaces where people feel the need to say something, ANYTHING even if that includes saying something that has been said already for the fifty-leventh time. Seriously if you start the phrase off with “just like Akbar said…” and then you proceed to say exactly what he just said in YOUR own way, then you LITERALLY have just repeated something that the world has already heard before. If you are expanding upon a previously stated thought and adding a nuanced interpretation of it well then great, go forward in what you are saying but otherwise:

seriously just stop

seriously just stop

Am I doing this to make people like me or make them think I’m funny/cool/interesting etc.?

Peer pressure is real y’all and every one wants to be liked. EVERYONE. If you say you don’t, well you’re lying because you may be so deep and cool and enlightened that “only God can judge you” and you “asked God to take away your enemies and you started losing friends” [or whatever the hell else y'all say in Instaquotes] but every one wants to be liked/loved/appreciated by somebody. I get it. And there are some of us who want to be liked a little bit more than others by our peers and we will use any opportunity to show people that we’re clever or cool or funny.

There is a time and place for such events and in the middle of this class or public discourse is not that time nor that place. It’s kinda like the class clown in middle school who would do anything for laughs even if it meant disrupting the teacher and/or other students and after the fifth “accidental falling out of chair” the rest of the class was just like:

not funny

So yeah, the same thing applies here. We don’t need you to prove to us how funny you are, by the dumb/pointless things you say in class. Honestly, if we’re in a public forum or college-level class we probably don’t care about your existence outside of this class, no shade, but you know you and your sense of humor are not that important to us.

Well that’s all I got friends. Any other ways that people can prevent themselves from being THE TALKER? Let me know in the comments section.



“So let me give you some advice. Leave these men alone! Let them go! If their plans and actions are only human, they will fail. But if their plans come from God, you won’t be able to stop these men. you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”-Acts 5:38-39



On Perfection [and Sally Ride]

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it”- Zora Neale Hurston

[Disclaimer: I'm writing this for anyone who have felt like the world or the people around them was too much, but I'm writing it from the perspective of a black woman. I hope you can find your truth in here somewhere even if you don't look like me]

I’m currently having a brilliant day and on this day I decided to venture around my neighborhood and dig into this phenomenal book of poetry titled Job’s Daughter: The Adventures of Trill Yeezy by a 20-something black woman from New York. Her words have been moving me since I started reading the book a couple weeks ago but there was one particular set of lines that spoke to me so deeply that I damn near fell out:

“Pick up my own bed and walk
In the name of my own transgressions, beautiful
By any other name
Make sure you call me God to my face, I never desired the
name Khadijah, never wanted to be the favorite wife
Never desired to offer a man my life”

basically after reading that:

dancing soccer

If you’re not aware of the Khadijah reference, long story short she was the Prophet Muhammad’s wife and is sometimes referred to as the “Mother of Islam”. I am in NO WAY any type of expert on Islam, actually I am not even remotely familiar with the major tenets of the faith but I do know that Khadijah is very widely revered and loved and a lot of it has to do with her being the favorite and first wife of the Messenger of Allah aka the Prophet Muhammad. She also by the end of her life, left all her wealth so that Islam may grow and prosper. There is truly nothing more noble and honorable than that.

Basically what Yaya, the author of this book of poetry, is saying is that she doesn’t want to be put upon a pedestal for what she is to an even more important man. She does not want the burden of queendom or the Matriarch or being the best of all the other women. She takes no joy in such titles or such praise. From one black woman to another, this line just resonated with me so much because so many times I’ve been an ideal. I’ve been a fantasy. I’ve been the backbone of another man’s, particularly a black man’s,dreams. And I’m gonna admit it right now that it’s exhausting and it sucks and I don’t want to do it ever again.

I’m not referencing the commonly used image of a controlling partner trying to change everything about so that he can feel powerful in controlling and changing you [even though I've dealt with that]. No I’m referring to the more subtle ways in which I’ve bent and flexed and fit myself to fit people’s requirements of what they need me to be. I’ve had male friends refer to me as someone who “teaches them so much about themselves” or who “didn’t deserve me because I was always so caring and a great listener and was there for them no matter what”. I’ve been the best friend someone could ever need me to be, I’ve been there to listen to their sorrows, let them cry on my shoulder, and complain about their day, and share their hopes and dreams, all in the name of being there and never letting a black man feel like he was alone in the world. And these different descriptions of me as a friend can very safely be considered compliments and testaments to my character but I also realize that at some points the friendships became more about the compliments and what I was to them and less about me as a human being. Me as a person, me as someone deserving of the same love and attention and care that I was so intentional about giving to them. Me as more than a teachable moment.

And from early on, I’ve been taught to be everything he needs you to be. Whether that HE be the church or another man or the commonly referenced gender of the Creator. Whatever you do, be there for HIM. Fill his gaps. Make him feel like a man, never encroach upon his manhood or make him feel less like a man. Which is problematic for a number of reasons, but the ultimate reason is that it completely silences my humanity. It’s very hard to focus on nurturing and caring for one’s self when you are making sure you’re properly holding the world around you together so that no person around you feels less than they should be. So that no person around you should ever feel inadequate or uncomfortable or like they are a burden to you…even if they are.

I’ve seen pictures and statements made by black men and women that more or less says that we should treat our women [black women] with respect and dignity and like queens because they will birth the future kings of our society. On the surface that may seem like a good notion…to some people, maybe? But at the root of that is the importance and dignity of black women resting upon her contingency and usefulness to black men. Are we less worthy of dignity and respect if we choose not to birth any one let alone the “kings” of our society? If we choose to never marry and devote our lives to spreading light and love through the love of ourselves and the world around us, do we not get the honored and revered by our fellow brothers and sisters? I know that is not the point of statements like these but it is these types of statements that perpetuate the notion that black women, or women in general, are only as useful as what we can do and produce for the men around us and I’m sorry I’m worth more than that.

i deserve more than that.

I’ve spent a good 15-20 years of my life being strong for whatever reason. Because I am a black woman, and we are strong, we are so strong that we are damn near indestructible. We’re every woman and it’s all in us, right? Your hurt, your pain? Give it to us and we will make sure that it not only goes away but that you never have to see the pain ever again because we will take it into ourselves and make sure you never feel incomplete ever again. I learned pretty early in the game to not let them see you sweat. You suffer in silence. You shed your tears when no one is looking and if you are broken you never let the people who broke you see the damage because at the end of the day you gotta be strong. You can never let go of being strong. Even through tears, and hurricanes, and being ignored, and being silenced, and being told you’re good but I want better and by better I mean someone who is not you, you can’t let go of being strong. You can never break because God will never give you more than you can bear and we made it through slavery so you can make it through this minimal, unimportant hurt that you feel right now. Because Black women are basically Superwoman incarnate.


I gave up being Superwoman about a year ago and I’m pretty sure I burned my cape, buried it in my back yard, and salted the ground I buried it under so nothing could grow there. There’s nothing wrong with strength and because I am human I do have an endless amount of it but I also have a lot of other emotions inside of me that I have a right to feel and understand and bear to the world because it is not my job to keep the sky from falling.

Janelle Monae sings in the song Sally Ride” that “I’m packing my spacesuit and I’m taking my shit and moving to the moon” and closes the song with “I know you love me but I’m still going”. Sometimes you have to leave certain people and causes and relationships behind because they ask too much of you and even when you tell them how exhaustive they can be they continue to pull at you and drain you and suck all your life force. you don’t love them any less because you leave, sometimes you just have to prioritize your well being.

You don’t owe it to anyone to absorb their hate and their pain for the sake of being a good woman/friend/wife/associate/coworker. There’s so much hate thrown at us as and we take so much of it on, because we don’t want to be a killjoy or seem like the one who doesn’t get the joke or seem selfish or seem like you’re asking for too much. If you don’t want to listen to that sexist, racist joke…don’t. It’s not funny to you, it’s harmful to you, and anyone with good sense will tell you to not gladly accept poison so don’t. You don’t want to hide your tears caused by your partner’s dismissal of your efforts to make them happy..don’t. Your feelings matter.

Anyways, this was a rant but I felt the need to publish it because there’s too many of us slowly suffering in silence and letting the world and the expectations of the people around us send us into early graves.

If no one told you they love you to day…

I lOVE you!

I lOVE you!


Peace and blessings and all the things that bring you joy,


“Their strong hands couldn’t give me any help. That’s because their strength was gone.”-Job 30:2


20 Feet Tall [and other ways that we run the world]

On the tail end, it’s the 31st and there’s less than two hours of March left on the East Coast, of the month of March I had to come write a blog about…WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH!!!!! If you didn’t know it was women’s history month, well it’s not too late to- actually yes, yes it is too late celebrate because you know it’s practically April-but I’m guessing it’s kinda like Black history in that you can celebrate 365 if you want to…maybe. Anyways, March was women’s history month and of course, being the crazy little black feminist that I am I had to dedicate my March post to the ladies and our complete awesomeness.

I’m currently in the process of composing and polishing off the first draft of my thesis, which is a black feminist analysis of the works of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, and Erykah Badu. Through the analysis of their latest albums I’ve been up to my eyeballs in black feminist glory and I love it. Digging through the sexual freedom of Beyoncé and the revolutionary nature of The Electric Lady is pretty much the most awesome research I’ve done up to this point. And as I watch Erykah Badu challenge groupthink in her “Window Seat” video or listen to Nicki as she out raps and earns the respect of her male counterparts, I can’t help but think My God women are awesome.

As Bey once sang “strong enough to bear the children and get back to business” and even if we don’t bear the children-which we are under no obligation to do & should only do if we so choose-we’re still amazing. We face the multitude of barriers put in front of us and we push through and survive. It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always appealing or attractive to our male counterparts but hey we make it. I, of course, can only speak from a black middle class perspective, but I know enough lower class and upper class women who-although their struggles are different- have resisted the titles and stereotypes and expectations pressed upon them. Patricia Hill Collins notes the goal of black feminism is to work toward group survival and institutional transformation and I must say I’ve seen enough surviving and transforming to know that we are well on our way to some type of black feminist glory. And if the thought of black women, or any women, fighting for their rights as a woman with the same vigor and passion that they do as they fight for their rights as people of color, or their rights as an impoverished person ,or any other intersection of marginalization intimidates you or bothers you or “rubs you the wrong way” or troubles your sensibilities, well:

That's me caring about your bothered sensibilities

That’s me caring about your bothered sensibilities

and that's side eyeing you for getting in the way of my revolution

and that’s me side eyeing you for getting in the way of my revolution

And while you’re over there being a hater and holding fast to your patriarchy, me and the rest of the awesome women who are fighting the power and staying strong in the struggle will just be over here like:



and like this too:twerk in the mirror

Because we are women, hear us roar.
Badu opens her New Amerykah 2 album with the song “20 Feet Tall” where she says “and then I recall I’m 20 feet tall”. And that has always encouraged me because sometimes we get beat down-by whether we’re keeping our weight in a good place or whether we’re being supportive enough friends or if we have the right amount of makeup on to make it look like we don’t have any makeup on [so that all the rappers who want us to "stop hiding behind our makeup" will stop devoting four minute plus songs to us and assuming that we have self esteem issues because we wear makeup and weaves] or if we’re being good mothers or if we’re balancing the right amount of stoic so that our male counterparts won’t dismiss any valid point, we’re making in either an argument or in the workplace, as us being “too hormonal or emotional” with the right amount of feelings so as not to be mistaken for the cold hearted wicked witch of the West- and we forget that we are in fact magnificent.

That we are capable of any thing we put our minds to, and not just being the best wife ever or being the mother that your {hopefully} non-misogynistic sons will dedicate Proverbs 31 to, but really ANYTHING we put our minds to. We can be President, if you know the U.S. decides to tuck in its misogyny, or we can raise our kids on welfare and minimum wage and still get up in the morning even though as soon as you turn on the news you’ll probably be bombarded with elitist, classist propaganda that you’re only poor because you choose to be. Yet you go on about your day, you put in your hours, you do what you got to do and you try your hardest to not internalize the hatred. As Janelle Monae sings, “Carry on Ghetto Woman, I see you working night to morning… carry on ghetto woman cuz even though they laugh and talk about the clothes you wear….and when you cry, don’t you know I am crying with you…oh ghetto woman hold on to your dreams and all your great philosophies you’re the reason I believe in me”. And that’s true, we are all the most fantastic beings to be placed upon this earth by God herself and we should never ever forget that.

So even though I’m late I just had to come and give my fellow ladies a shout out because we’re awesome. Look at the leader of “doing the damn thing”, Maria Stewart. The first woman, of ANY race, to speak to a co-ed audience was Maria Stewart, like back in the 1800s when women couldn’t vote and there’s good chance blacks weren’t free. She was a devoted abolitionist and she before her life ended she opened two schools for free African American children in DC. She was THAT deal and she is female history and black history. We’ve been doing magnificent, life-altering, powerful stuff for centuries women, and we got a ton of centuries left to keep making change and fighting the patriarchy.

Never forget you’re 20 feet tall.


Stay vigilant and know that She is always standing beside us,


P.S. if you’re thinking of letting the phrase “but what about the men” slip from your mind to the keyboard, just don’t

“They were around me on every side. But by the Lord’s power I destroyed them.”- Psalm 118:11