I just got a brand spanking new royalty check from Amazon, which I’ve donated to Africare for Ebola relief. I’m challenging all my fellow interracial romance authors to donate as well. Come on ladies, do it for the sisters.
And for those of you who aren’t authors, make a donation to Africare through Gina’s link between now and midnight on October 3rd 2014 and get a FREE copy of any book from my backlist. Simply email me the receipt and tell me which one my books you want and in what format. Now come on, you can’t beat that one with a stick.
As the primary caregivers during this epidemic women are more likely to be exposed to this disease. Gina McCauley of What About Our Daughters has started a fundraiser with Africare to purchase protective gear for those women. Imma need all y’all to do me a solid and help out our sisters in this time of crisis. Please give what you can, and thanks ever so much.
According to their site, a $25 donation will buy 200 exam gloves, $50 can purchase 5 isolation gowns, $100 purchases a complete set of personal protective equipment including a body suit, goggles, gloves and shoe/boot covers, $250 purchases 10 pairs of rubber boots and $500 purchases 5 cases of face masks and 10 boxes of sterile syringes and needles.
This is a post on Gina’s page directly from Africare explains in detail what an “unrestricted” donation means.
We completely understand that an unrestricted donation can feel, at times, like a bit of a risk for an individual. Currently, all unrestricted money raised is being directed to Ebola. What does that mean? It might mean direct cash contributions to families who have lost loved ones, and thus lost income which sustained an entire family. It might mean paying for gas for our staff in Liberia to deliver personal protective gear to healthcare workers in more remote locations. It might include equiping microphones and sound systems to trucks to blast messages to communities about ebola, educating them on methods of contraction and prevention. It might include working with local organizations to trace individuals who have come in contact with disease. As What About Our Daughters notes, unrestricted money allows our Liberian staff in Liberia to direct the funds to where the need is the greatest. We are audited every year, and 92 cents to every dollar, including unrestricted money, is allocated to projects. Please do check out our ebola page — http://www.africare.org/ebola, but also, our president’s message on how money is allocated http://bit.ly/1aaqpNC The rate has decreased slightly due to the cost of doing business, however, the premise is the same. Please feel free to contact us on twitter with any other questions! @africare
If you want your money to go only to Ebola specific items, please use this link and indicate you heard about it from Gina’s page where indicated.
I’m hearing too many tragic tales about young women these days and it’s making my heart and soul just weep. The basic story is a young woman goes out with friends, has a little too much to drink and winds up hurt, or missing or dead. The latest one is a young woman in New Orleans by the name of Terrilyn Monette. Apparently she had too much to drink at a bar one night and went out to sleep it off in her car. Unfortunately, she’s never been heard from again. I’m sorry, but this story is just saturated in WTF!? She was drinking with FRIENDS and they let her go off ALONE at 4:00 a.m. to sleep it off in a car. Are you kidding me? Are these friends are extras from Game of Thrones? As someone who has had far too much experience with all night bar crawls and being far more intoxicated than I should’ve been I can firmly say that the only reason I’m here typing this lesson today is because of my girlfriends. If Monette was so drunk the bartender had to cut her off, she was far too wasted to make ANY decisions about her safety. You don’t let your drunk friend go wandering off ANYWHERE by herself! And if your friends would do such a thing, get some new friends! Don’t get me wrong. No one should be drinking to the point that they can’t get home under their own power. And we also know that it is a common occurrence. If you know you like to imbibe, have a plan in place to ensure your safety.
And I know you all are savvy enough to know not to take your liquor from anyone’s hand but the bartender’s, and never leave your drink on the table. One young lady I know almost died after someone slipped her a roofie. Her core body temperature went up to over 108 degrees. Were it not for fast medical intervention she would be deader than hell today. If your friend seems overly intoxicated after only a drink or two, get her to the hospital IMMEDIATELY. Some of these drugs out there today will not only incapacitate you, they can kill you. Remember, people are mixing this stuff up at home and in other unsupervised labs all over the world. Predators will slip it to you and then wait until you’re alone to drag you off somewhere. Yep, just like a lion isolating a wounded zebra. There is safety in numbers ladies. Don’t let some sicko get his hands on your friend that way.
I said much the same thing when Natalee Holloway disappeared. Her girlfriends let her leave a bar with three dudes she didn’t know. Seriously? I have actually almost come to blows with a guy who was trying to take my girl out of club when she’d had too much to drink. He said I was cockblocking. Ya think!? If my friend was sober and wanted to do something like that, I would have tried to talk her out of it, but that would be her business. But drunk? No way was that going to happen. In Holloway’s case they had chaperones there with them. Possibly the threat of calling one would have been enough to keep her from doing such a foolhardy thing. If your friend is drunk, insist on driving them home. If you too are drunk call a taxi. If a taxi is too expensive a friend or relative will do. If you can’t get her keys away, as a last resort call the cops. Yes, you can get a DUI even if you’re just sleeping behind the wheel of the car. Again, just the threat should be enough to deter someone, if not, follow through. Yes, the cost of a taxi will put a dent in your wallet, but better that than a MISSING poster.
Bottom line ladies, while you’re out having fun be careful out there. There are predators and only a fool goes swimming in a pool full of sharks wearing chum drawers. Make sure you have a GOOD wingman, and make sure YOU’RE a good wingman as well.
One of my friends posted this picture on Facebook. The headline speaks for itself, and when I look at this young woman I can’t help but think of Lil Kim, who went from being a pretty black girl to looking like a villain from a Batman movie. There are a million blogs covering this issue, but I don’t comment on other blogs these days, plus when I ask this auestion I get accused of being insensitive, even so, I haven’t seen anyone answer my question, What in the hell happened? I graduated high school in 1982 and yes, I had my romantic catastrophes, but never did it occur to me that my skin color was an issue. I’ve had many angst-plagued relationship discussions with friends of all hues and don’t recall one discussion about this. And lest you think I grew up in some progressive bubble, please recall I’m from North Alabama. Was I just totally blind and missed this, or did someone do a Vulcan mind meld on a helluva lot of colorecd folk? I’d especially like to hear from those of you who are closer to ny age. I’m starting to feel like I’ve awakened in Bizarro World.
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Black women have a longstanding tradition whereas we say something really awful about someone, then justify doing so by saying, “I was just telling her the truth.” White southern women do something similar, only their amelioration is done with an insincere “bless her heart.” By calling it truth telling we wrap these daggers we throw in self-righteousness. After all, what could possibly be wrong with telling the truth? Essentially, they let us throw a rock and hide our hand. In other words, it is the exact opposite of honesty. Because here’s the thing, I guarantee that nobody needs to be told anything negative about themselves. They. Already. Know. We live in a culture where we are trained nearly from birth to find fault with ourselves. After all, fixing yourself is big business, and America is all about business. Don’t believe me? Then try this experiment with your friends. Ask them to make a list of positive attributes about themselves and a second list of negative attributes. I guarantee the negative list will be significantly longer.
See when it’s all said and done, so-called truth telling is not for the benefit of the tellee. How could it be? You’re essentially taking coals to Newcastle. No, truth telling is about the teller. It’s a put down. How do I know this is true? Simple. How many times have you heard someone claim they’ve just “told the truth” about something positive? I’m nearly fifty years old and I’ve never heard it. Are you telling me that all these so-called “honest” people never have anything positive to say in all their truth telling? Of course they don’t.
As black women we live in a culture that is constantly throwing brickbats our way. We’ve heard all the slams time and again, we certainly don’t need to direct them at each other. We are so rarely treated with kindness and tenderness that it’s hard to find any for one another, but it’s past time that we try. The next time you feel the urge to do some “truth telling” dig deep and decide what your motives are. Are you really trying to benefit the other person? If you are, reconsider. Would it not be better to offer that person loving kindness and support? How about doing some positive truth telling? Certainly it would have a greater effect. The receiver will probably be so shocked she might choose to change the behavior you find so troubling in the first place. Because that’s how we enact change–through love. And, if nothing else, you won’t be contributing to the pile on that so many of us deal with every day. As black women we hear so much harshness and downright hate directed toward us that many of us have grown immune to it. We don’t even hear it anymore, and actually that’s a good thing. But love and support? That’s like the warm sun on a chilly morning. A welcome surprise. Try telling other black women that you love them. Talk to and about them with love, compassion and consideration. I make a point of complimenting all the black women I see, most respond with surprise, and then a warm smile. It’s my hope that they will do the same with other black women they encounter, but even if they don’t, at the very least I’ve added a bit of kindness to another woman’s day. Try it and see if it doesn’t feel better and is far more effective than so-called truth telling.
All this talk about Beharie and Fassbender leads me to another question. As I noted, the interracial-sphere was all a-twitter over the news that they’re dating. Which begs the question, why? Maybe I’m just a cantankerous old coot, and I know I’m seriously jaded when it comes to celebrities, but I don’t care one way or another who is sthupping whom. Do you think it’s the validation issue? One blogger mentioned “normalization of IRs” and that sent my blood pressure into the stratosphere. My marriage IS normal. There’s nothing special or unique about it and it doesn’t need “normalization.”
I think sometimes that the interracial-sphere serves to do the exact opposite of it’s stated goals, which is presumably to encourage black women to mate/date out. It seems to me that all this obsessive navel gazing has actually led to the otherization of interracial relationships. We’ve developed a separate lingo, most of which annoy the pig crap out of me: swirling, rainbows, playing in the snow. I resent this effort to make my marriage sound like some novelty you find in a head shop. And this veritable alphabet soup of acronyms is frankly, just stupid. DBRPABINXSBBQ! I guess because I’m a professional wordsmith/communicator I take issue with anything that makes language more obscure. This constant litany and rhapsodizing every time a famous white male looks at a black woman looks both desperate and pathetic. Seriously? Are we that thirsty? Do we really need untold numbers of bloggers reporting on the bedroom activities of countless celebrities like NORAD tracking missiles? Am I the only one who finds this more than a bit disturbing?
Essentially we’ve taken what is after all a pretty basic activity; a man and a woman getting together and turned it into an industry. And that’s pretty scary. I’ve been saying this for a while now, but apparently no one is listening. Spend less time reading blogs and more time socializing. Get some figure flattering clothes, put on some red lipstick and go get yourself a man, or two or three if you’re inclined. Men are not that complicated, if you look good, smell good and are even remotely friendly they’re going to approach you. Their egos are much too large to do otherwise. If you want some dick you’re going to have to go get it, and trust me, you’re not going to get laid reading a bunch of blogs written by people whose motives, and even sanity are questionable.
So unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few weeks you know that Michael Fassbender (Hot British officer in Inglorious Basterds. Yeah, THAT guy!) is apparently dating a black actress, Nichole Beharie. If you follow the interracial-sphere at all you know that Mr. Fassbender previously dated Zoe Saldana, and is the lovely gentleman who went out of his way to compliment Viola Davis on the red carpet. But what really has the interracialites all a-twitter is that he has actually stated a preference for women of a darker hue.
Now we come to my question, how do you feel about white guys who are into black women? Have you ever come across one in a romance, and how did it make you feel? From what I gather, a lot of black women like it. Or maybe they like the validation from celebrities. Certainly I can understand that, validation can feel really good. Note the near worship of DeNiro in the interracial-sphere, but what about in real life? I admit, I’m somewhat biased on this issue because every white guy I’ve ever met who was “down with the sisters” was also irredeemably hoish. And y’all know how I feel about that! It was like they had some weird compulsion. If she was black and said yes, or even maybe, he was going to hit that. Almost as though they were hoarding black booty! (Now there’s a reality show for you!) Do you have a similar experience? I’d love to know that they aren’t all like that. After a while it gave me a really freaky feeling. I got to where I avoided them altogether. It’s like the fetish thing, you know? I know some interracial bloggers say black women need to get over the fear of being fetishized, but I have to assume they’ve never experienced it. That shit is creepy, I don’t care who you are. I wanted a man who saw me as a whole person, not as my skin color. Not saying that is the case with Mssieurs DeNiro or Fassbender, but it can give one pause.
Oddly enough though, despite the way these guys are celebrated, I don’t recall ever seeing a hero in an IR romance with a stated preference. Do you think authors fear they’ll be accused of fetishizing? How do you feel about the fetish issue? Overblown, or a real concern?
Black women, contrary to popular belief, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Secretary of State with five degrees, or chicken plant worker with a GED. Short hair. Long hair. Nappy or straight. Weave down to your oh my goodness. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Vestal Virgin or Whore of Babylon. Lesbian. Straight. Somewhere in between. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Married. Unmarried. Or It’s Complicated. You are not your marital status. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Passel of kids. Child free or Child less. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Interracial dater. Monoracial dater. BOB or BOG. With a uterus or without. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Skinny as a rail or comfy to hug. YOU ARE ENOUGH. OOW or SAHM or WAHM or any other acronym they create to divide us. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
You have the right to love and be loved or choose none of the above. You don’t have to make yourself over in ANYONE’s image, especially those who would tell you otherwise. It is they who are lacking. It is they who have such low self esteem that they must demean others in order to uplift themselves. They are to be pitied, but never believed because YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Copyright 2012 Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
Feel free to distribute, but please attribute properly and link back to my blog.