Monday, November 8, 2010

for colored boys

So, I read a review about Tyler Perry's new movie For Colored Girls today that I had to respond to. The author of the article, a man, basically bashed the movie for it's portrayal of the black man.While I could provide an excellent rebuttal of some of the accusations and also point out the many negative portrayals of the black woman in the media, I can see the authors point. Unfortunately, the portrayal of black men and women in the media leaves much to be desired. Instead, as a black woman, I wanted to lift up my brothers. While there are many negative experiences I could recount, I must say I LOVE the black man...just like my Sisters, I love the diversity of the black man...from smart and clean edged, eccentric and poetic, athletic and strong, political and opinionated, spiritual and deep, even the one's with a little roughness about them. The black man is the love of my life! There are many good black men out here. For every negative experience I've had, I can name a positive experience with my Brothers. I know many black men who are excellent fathers, grandfathers, uncles,brothers and cousins, loyal and faithful husbands, constant and platonic friends, spiritual advisors and partners, etc, etc, etc....MOST black men are not criminals, on the down-low, fresh out of jail, addicted to drugs, abusive, uneducated, womanizers, etc, etc...Like most PEOPLE there are good and bad apples in every bunch. The first black man I ever loved was my Daddy.  Like alot of young black people, I was the product of young teenage parents. So I am not going to lie, there have been some trying and disappointing moments in our daddy/daughter relationship. However, one thing I could always appreciate was my daddy's presence in my life. The influence he has had on me and the memories I have are priceless. My love of music, my ability to laugh at myself, forgive myself, my shyness, my spiritual growth are all things I owe, in part, to my daddy. I was blessed enough to have a father who could be both strong and sensitive, laugh and cry in front of me, admit wrong-doing, has a strong faith, is spiritual, and who shows thanks for the relationship he has with his children. I love that I can count on my daddy to cook a meal for me, and when we sit down at the table to share the meal we have the best conversations! One of my favorite childhood memories is my daddy running up to hug me after playing basketball...this was a tradition...after each game, he would run up, all sweaty, and give his "baby girl" a hug (yep he took his little girl with him to his playground games!)...I would squirm and try to run, but all the while I couldn't wait for that hug...LOL...I also remember a bedtime game we used to play where I would hide under the covers and he would pretend to not be able to find me, once he did, he would lift me up and fly me around like I was an airplane and tuck me back in the bed and give me a kiss...I also remember, him trying to do my hair as a little girl...LOL...can we say disaster...or the one and only time I remember him spanking me (which was more like a pop on the hand) and he felt so bad when I cried we went to get ice cream...LOL...Like I said earlier, it wasn't all peaches and cream. I am also a product of divorce, so their are alot of sad memories that were created as a result of being the child of a young father, but life goes on and at the end of the day it is what you choose to focus on...Now, I focus on the relationship and friendship I have with my daddy and knowing that I always was and always will be his "baby girl"! Is my daddy perfect? NO! Is the black man perfect? NO! Like my daddy once told me, "I've got a lot of atoning to do" does the black man. Does this mean we should love the black man any less? NO...while we hold our brothers accountable, we should always remember to lift them up and celebrate them..To my sisters, if you know or have a good black man, make sure you do what our foremothers have done for years, hold him down (slang for support him), lift him up, praise him, respect him...and make sure he gets the big piece of chicken! LOL ....So to the author of that article, please don't commit homicide brother...the rainbow is enough!

He's misunderstood, some say that he's up to no good around the neighborhood
But fo' your information - alot of my brothers got education....

Black Brotha, I love ya, I will never - try to hurt ya
I want ya, to know that, I'm here for you - forever true-
Angie Stone

Sunday, November 7, 2010

recovering, undercover, overlover

So I had a great weekend! I was a little apprehensive about the weekend to be honest, because I was returning to Raleigh..or the scene of the crime, as I like to sarcastically call it. Raleigh is pretty much were I have spent most of my adult life..and experienced most of my love and heartbreak. There are only three men in my life who I can ever say I was "in love" with and they all live in this area. So coming here brings on a bag of mixed the past I would numb myself with lots of partying but now (Praise God) I've learned to sit (literally) in peace and deal with the ghosts and demons of the past. It's funny because my girlfriend with whom I am staying literally lives up the street from my old home...surprisingly, for the first time it didn't pain me to stay here. I didn't feel like I was up the street from my former home and life...I felt like I was visiting my girlfriend. Major breakthrough for me. I guess time heals all wounds. Another great moment of the weekend was going to see "For Colored Girls" with my friends. This movie was very emotional for a lot of reasons. It was easy to identify with the women in the film. Most women would not want to admit to being able to identify with the traits of these women, but sadly I would bet the farm that everyone could identify with at least one character. I found myself identifying with ALL but one. There were some great moments in the film, but my favorite was when Loretta Divine said, "Someone tried to take my stuff!" I realized in that moment that someone had tried to take my stuff too! Someone tried to take my trust, my compassion, my kindness, my weakness, my willingness to love unconditionally, my ability to see the best in people, my ambitions, my sense of self, my self-worth, my self-confidence, my fearlessness, my optimism, my belief in love, even my faith...yes, someone had seriously tried to take my stuff!   Not just one someone either! It was in that moment that I realized I had to admit my addiction, "Hi, my name is Jamila, and I am a love addict" LOL (it's really not funny but a defense mechanism...I blame this little character trait (laughing) on my daddy)...In my quest to detox myself I have turned the complete no one gets in, because no one is going to take my stuff!! Right?? Well, guess how that's been working out for me? So here I am as Erykah Badu proclaims a "recovering under cover, over lover"...the good news is I am in recovery..I am recovering all the things that I allowed people to take from me...and it feels good! In the movie, the women go around and complete the sentence "My love is be thrown back in my face!" Well my love is too "forgiving" to be thrown back in my face. So I realize I can't be an "over" lover but I cant be an "under"lover either. All I can do is love...but the biggest lesson I've learned is that I was created to be loved, I deserve to be loved, and I am loved...even if you (who try to take my stuff) can't. You well put together, emotionally stable, never been through nothing folks may not be able to relate, but this wasnt for you...
...So I am putting down my bags and picking up my stuff!

My love is deeper
Didn't you know this,
Or didn't you notice?
Jill Scott