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Just when I thought Black men and women had reached a semi-truce, here comes ANOTHER article from ANOTHER sister impugning the character of Black men. Watch out fellas, INCOMING!!! 

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In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “ALL MY LIFE I HAD TO FIGHT lol!”

I joke, but that was my first reaction to only the latest article about Black men (and our incessant wrongdoings) to come across my Facebook news feed.

I should have known something was up when I saw the title, “The Worthless Black Woman” followed by a photo of a young black woman (blonde weave sold separately) laying on her side, revealing pretty much all that would send any father of girls to go see Elizabeth if that was their daughter. 

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As expected, the blog read like most articles, blogs, Youtube videos, tweets, and instagram memes crafted by some sisters about Black men that supposedly passes for insightful social critique nowadays.  In typical fashion, the author bemoaned media vehicles such as BET, VH1 and various black male rappers and singers for their hand in the degradation of black women. But one thing was missing – her disgust for the black women that make it all happen.

For some reason, whenever sisters discuss their discontent for the media’s portrayal of black women, the typical approach is to nearly always lump black men in with FOX, NBC, BRAVO, BET and VH1 and ABC as some sort of corporate co-conspirators or willful perpetrators against black women; and then go on to portray the grown STRONG, INDEPENDENT black women on these shows as puny, innocent and insignificant bystanders who want to improve on their lives but just so happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong damn time. [INSERT SAD EMOJI FACE].

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It just doesn’t make sense to me to continue only blaming the vehicles but never the many female drivers who joyride willingly each week with fake eyelashes and hair to match from NYC, ATL, and LA, throwing drinks and snatching weaves while calling each other out their name.

However, after reading the blog, I can see why these type of HE vs. SHE articles make their rounds. They are like bees to honey, Solange to old bearded rich men, Bill Cosby allegedly to …,  or Sunday brunch with mimosas to the black woman about town – IRRESISTIBLE; but sadly they tend to oversimplify our reality.  You see, when you add the fact that the head of BET is a Black woman, Shaunie O’neal (black woman) created Basketball wives, and Shonda Rhimes (another black woman) is the reason you get to see Kerry Washington tossed around each week between the title of head mistress and convict girlfriend, the exact place to point your finger can become a little less clear.100914-b-real-style-beauty-on-newstands-now-magazine-cover-Shonda-Rhimes-The-Hollywood-Reporter 

Also, the author refers to the hip hop industry as cruel for what its female participants endure but seems to forget that the women aren’t the only ones being packaged and sold.  She laments Nicki Minaj and K. Michelle’s surgeries to “achieve these unrealistic body images” but pays no mind to the tatted up, smoked out brothers that are transformed and manipulated just as well to perpetuate stigmas associated with black men. From this, she concludes that “Because this is what black men often see and bob their heads to, they believe this to be the true essence of the “real” black woman.”  

Wiz-KhalifaWell, if she actually believes this mumbo jumbo (I hope not), could the same not be said for the average black women on the street and her perception of black men as all being hip hop’s depiction of the chain-swinging, tatted up, thuggerized black male? Hmmm… 

Lets be honest, black men and women are not drones merely informed of each other’s existence through the eyes of the larger society from 4-minute Youtube music videos and reality shows. Whatever Black men say in chorus about Black women is reflective of REAL experiences and interactions with black women across the nation, and should be grappled with and taken seriously rather than written off as some cable TV-sponsored perception, and I would hope Black men would think the same of Black women’s claims about us.

wiz khalifaBut by the author insinuating that Black men en masse are looking for wives or partners “in the club every weekend”or judging a potential partner based on who is “showing their body parts on social media,” it lends itself to the idea that deep down no matter how educated and worthy a black man may be like Nate Parker’s character in the new movie “Beyond the Lights,” more than likely, in the back of her mind deep down we’ll all forever be just one of “Dem Boyz” Wiz Khalifa was talking about. Sucks to be you Nate. #THISCOULDBEUS

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Make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel so you don’t miss any upcoming tales. Episode 3 COMING SOON!!!

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Make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel so you don’t miss any upcoming tales. Episode 2, “Cutthroat Convo” is COMING SOON!!!

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SPOILER ALERT: It takes 16 days of a #Govtshutdown for the leaders of our banana republic to have a kumbaya moment and not default on our national debt. But when was the last time you reached across the aisle in your own house? Has contention become the new compromise for us, too?   

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Strange days in our nation’s capitol…strange days indeed.

Now that the national recurring nightmare known as the #Govtshutdown has become a somewhat distant memory of our 24-hour news cycle, and Americans, from sea to shining sea, are back to work and once again too busy to focus on the antics of the “The Real ‘House’ Husbands of DC” (aka the new, dysfunctional reality show from the C-Span channel formerly known as our U.S. Congress), I think it’s about time we pon the replay and analyze just WTH happened and what it might say indirectly, if anything, about our own relationships.  

**Side note to all the couch potato/loveseat gladiators out there: Is it just me, or was it kinda peculiar that just when Washington actually needed a real life Olivia Pope-type figure, Scandal just so happened to come back on the air? Does Shonda Rhimes have an upper room security clearance we don’t know about?…but I digress** 

nnnnnnIf you recall, during the 16 day shutdown, many furloughed workers decried the historic political stalemate, invoking the famous sentiment of the late Rodney King, “Why can’t our leaders all just get along?”

But in response, many Tea Party Republicans (mostly from places where the sweet tea will give you instant Wilford Brimley-pronounced die-uh-beat-us) channeled the side-eyed spirit of Sheree Whitfield of RHOA fame, asking, “Who gon’ check me, boo?”

Yeaaa, really.

Not since Miley Cyrus’s hapless and booty-less assault of Beetlejuice at the VMAs in August, had Americans been so embarrassed and disgusted of Obama’s nation.

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Now for the less politically-inclined, here’s a quick non partisan recap of the two sides of the shutdown:

In my best Michael Buffer voice…

In the blue corner, hailing from the southside of the Chi (stand up)! The home of Keef and Kanye, with an oratory only second to the Kinnng himself. Weighing in at a solid 165 lbs…he’s lean, he’s the American Dream — he’s the man that put the ‘Obama’ in Obamacare. Let’s hear it for Mr. 44, your President, Barack “The Rock” Obamaaaaaa!  [Applause]

Michael-Buffer-internet-radio-royaltiesAnd his opponent across the ring, fighting out of the red corner…representing H-town to the fullest. He’s a one-man wrecking crew for the Tea Party. He’s kingpin of the Obamacare haters…weighing in at a staggering 192 lbs of pure hate for gov’t programs. He’s Sarah Palin in a business suit! “Mr. Conservative Canadian”, himself, Senator Ted “no new friends” Cruuuuuuzzzz!!!! Now ladies and gentlemen…lets get ready to rumbleeeeeee!!!

Well, it sorta went like that. (Hey, this isn’t the NY Times.) 

Anyway, as popular elected officials, I’m sure both men felt very entitled to their positions.  But I bet if we were to look just underneath the surface of it all, (past the telegenic smiles and poll tested one-liners) like the rest of us, both were probably just afraid of what the future might hold if the reigns of power were tipped too far towards the other.

michelle_obama_bangs_white_shirt_joe_raedlegetty_images_18i880t-18i8811And with such extreme gridlock and party division, I bet that neither felt comfortable enough to even come off of their positions the length of Michelle’s bangs (in other words, just a couple of inches longer than necessary). Thus, bringing us to our issue at hand…

Whether you’re a veteran dater or veteran pol, you should know by now that in order for any semblance of progress to be achieved in the state house or in your own, compromise is in order. It’s essentially the dirty, late night Trey Songz-esque song adlib phone convo and subsequent make up sex that recharges almost every relationship battery.

But unfortunately, due to past trial and heartache, several depressing post-K-Ci Mary J. Blige songs, Drake’s emo-raps, and Keisha Cole’s / Jazmine Sullivan’s whole catalog combined, so many of us have begun to question and abandon pursuing the requisite courage/faith needed to find that rich and gooey necessary center. 

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I fear that, well, because of fear, itself, too many daters have settled into the idea that holding each other’s principles for ransom and hijacking the total affair is now an act of practicality and sound reason. Now if any of this sounds remotely familiar, then you may be dating a relationship republican.

These are the kind of daters that generally overlook olive branches, and see most things as an all or nothing enterprise. They are not necessarily selfish, as they are afraid of succumbing to another’s will.

In no time, they can take an otherwise strong and independent man or woman, and almost overnight turn him/her into a strong candidate for a deep, eyes closed, head hug from Iyanla on ‘Fix My Life’.  SAD.

fixmylife They are keen on making you their emotional hostage–pulling you away from your friends and family, making you question your judgment and former nonnegotiables all in the name of wearing the unattainable crown of the “good guy” or “perfect girl.”

Next thing you know, you’re liable to wake up one day as the tragic protagonist of a Tyler Perry flick with some lightskinned girl hanging her clothes up in YOUR CLOSET without you knowing. (You know the ones that look like they could be related to La La.) And much like the post-engagement Kanye, pretty soon your friends and fans may not even recognize you at all. Can I get a SAD, two times? SAD, SAD.

yeAt this point, you may be wondering, “How can anyone be expected to resolve all of this and salvage the relationship in some nice and neat made-for-TV way?” Well, I’m glad you asked, because in all honestly, you can’t. If you want my advice: pretend you’re a member of TLC and your mate is Pebbles and get the hell up out of there!

And for goodness sake, try and date a Democrat from now on. If Scandal has taught us anything, it should at least be that, right? Ijs lol!

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HAVE YOU HEARD???

Yea…I know I’ve been slacking but just like Dwyane Wade’s ex wife, I’ve been working on ways for the world to better notice me. In other words, HGHI is getting an upgrade!  

They say people don’t read anymore but they certainly do listen, right? Well, to accompany my blogs, I will now be adding a tag-a-long video series called “Note 2 Self.”  

The purpose of N2S will be to expand on some ideas in my blogs and foster more dialogue amongst the HGHI community and beyond.  So basically, it’s just one man’s poor excuse to try and get his hands on some blog awards, eh!  And if that doesn’t work some blog/book groupies, straight Hill Harper style! [Isn’t that how it works, anyway lol?]

I’m not serious, but just in case I am be sure to check out N2S COMING SOON!!!!!

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In 2013, daters seem to believe it’s in their better interests to share almost any and everything about their pasts. Well, except for one thing…

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Being the junior choir singin’, Outkast lovin’, fish and grits eatin’, son of the south (but not Brad Paisley’s south) that I am, sporting an all too fresh North Carolina driver’s license (complete with holographic lighthouse), it may come as a surprise to you but according to the world of politics, I am considered pretty darn liberal. 

Believe it or not, whether the issue is — gay marriage, female presidents, Tiger Woods dating black women or Kevin Hart making history being cast as the first leading man at the giant dwarf height of 5’2 — you name it, I am probably on board.  As they say, what’s good for the goose is still good for the gander, right? 

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However, when the topic turns to the increasingly daunting yet potentially life-altering world of love and relationships, you could probably hand me a clipboard and a yard sign and sign me up for the Black version of the Tea Party right there on the spot.

*Honestly, I do think many African-American relationships could stand to benefit from having the clock turned back just a few milliseconds, but maybe that’s just me.*

1227sleepnumberBut don’t you worry…I’m not talking about turning it back in a Kordell Stewart “Babe, wait till you see the new apron I got you for your birthday, you are just gonna melt just like the party tray you were supposed to have finished for me and the fellas over an hour ago!  NOW WHERE IS IT, WOMAN?!” kind-of-way.  (And for loyal RHOA watchers, yes, I know Kordell did not actually say this on the show but would you be surprised if he did? My point exactly.) 

But in a more “Hun, just be real with me, do you reeaaally want to get your ‘outdoor woman’ girl scout merit badge in proper winter vs. summer tire pressure, oil grades, transmission fluid, dry heat lawn care (for the non urban folks) and air filters?” kind-of-way.

Yea, I didn’t think you did. 

See, although the phrase “turning back the clock” usually triggers thoughts of age-old patriarchy and gender bias, it has also safeguarded many men and women from doing a whole bunch of ish WE NEVER REALLY CARED TO KNOW OR DO in the first place.

black-woman-cookingFor example, though I would give my overall cooking ability a grade of C+, which is a passing grade (though sadly a D on the Paula Dean 4.0 scale), for some reason I just find it a hell of a lot more sexy when a woman cooks. 

To me, there’s just something about watching a woman hover ever so gently over a stove top, staring down the barrel of four piping-hot aisles; or one who just so happens to know a few quick recipes off the top of her head with alot of syllables in the name made with ingredients only found in exotic places like aisle 3 at Whole Foods or the Food Network.

But other biases like a partner’s number of sex partners are not so easily hashed out.  For most of us, there is an unspoken protocol with hot topics such as these: WE IGNORE THEM to a fault.  But why? 

photoThough we all claim to be card-carrying members of the “mature and civilized adults” society, Inc., we know that uncovering a partner’s “number” could almost certainly puncture that sentimental veil of innocence we bestow upon new potentials and simultaneously unpack all the overhead baggage we’ve been socialized to keep stored away about gender roles.  

We fear what to think and feel if his/her number is higher than ours, his/her number is zero, or if his/her number makes Lil’ Wayne look….well….even more Lil’, so we bury the issue in the backyard of our frontal lobes or lock it away in a time capsule to be discovered one day by our progeny, “Ewwww, did you know Granddad was such a hoe bag, Grandma?” 

But on the other hand, we kind of want it to be known.  I mean, after all, if we’re truly serious about being who we are and accepted for it, then why not share your story, right? (and not the abridged version, either.)  Since our youth we have been sold the idea that love conquers all or something like that but what if that concept has expired?  

I-Hit-It-First-single-cover-1024x1024What if we have made “sex”  such a behemoth of an issue in our relations (the same reason we can all correctly pronounce Kardashian and not Quvenzhane’, and Ray J annoyingly still believes he’s relevant), that it has superseded the power and strength of love?  Such a possibility leaves us with questions like: if you reject a person over their “number” does that make you unreasonable or just principled? 

Surely, this topic will not be resolved in a blog posting, and I’m more than certain that new couples will be tackling or avoiding this issue for the foreseeable future; but if our past is any guide I think it’s in a couple’s best interest to not share it unless you have taken away its power first.  

Maybe before you share, try to sit down and list all the things you appreciate about the other, and choose to decide then and there if a number could be worth throwing all those qualities you were so fortunate to find in each other away.  It won’t be easy but it will definitely help you to start looking forward instead of backwards. 

To me, the earlier in a relationship that you start looking at a person and what they offer holistically and not according to the black and white TV standards of the past, the better for you and your dating future.  And correct me if I’m wrong, but until scientists find some way to build a time machine isn’t that all we really have?

P.S. In case you’d like to continue the  discussion, here is a web series that attempts to tackle this very issue.  It’s called The Number. ENJOY!!!

   

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As a seasoned 30-something, its only fitting that I write off the dating mishaps of my 20s as some new millennium Invasion of the Body Snatchers rewrite.

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**WARNING!!! The following blog is entirely true and features real incidents and events.  None of the dialogue has been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. In fact, any resemblance to actual persons, both living and trifling, is expected, but, therefore incriminating lol!**

      Much like Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls”, for three seasons the Investigation Discovery network’s Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?” has made it their sole raison d’etre to scare the living ish out of all womankind.  

Well, at least to me it has.  

Cheaters_Revamped_TitlecardAs if the long-running trifling show du jour, “Cheaters,” hadn’t inflicted enough damage on the psyche of potential daters, the documentary-styled reality show and its bizarre tales of love gone Elin Nordegren-level wrong has come along like a hitman to ‘eff off any morsel of hope daters may have had left.

Have you ever considered having a background check ran on your significant other?  No?  Well, if you’ve ever seen this show you may give it a second thought.  

Each week viewers are treated to the most egregious stories of betrayal and lies from everyday people who come to find out their once on-the-surface very normal spouse is keeping secrets from them well above Olivia Pope’s pay grade.

On any given episode, a loving, family doctor could turn out to be a bigamist or head of an international drug ring.  Or worse, the charismatic Catholic priest you’ve lived beside for 15 years that’s always been good with kids could actually turn out to be a Catholic priest that’s actually good with kids!  Oh, and did I mention his real name is Jorge, not Francis?

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Nevertheless, it was this show that got me flipping through the tattered pages of my own mental rolodex, reminiscing on all the WTH, WTF and OMG girls that might star in my own personal VH1 dating reunion show entitled: Curtis, this is your 20s (WTH were you thinkin’ dude?).  

The first guest on the couch with Lala Anthony would probably be miniature Mesi Jackson.  She was lightskinned, had shoulder length hair, and an indistinguishable accent that said I am from Atlanta and nowhere else. Overall, she had a sweet demeanor, and our relationship probably could have gone somewhere except for one thing.  ONE.  BIG.  THING.  

You see after we had gone out a few times, she informed me that her last relationship had ended abruptly due to cheating (which is sadly not abnormal), but just how did she choose to respond to said infidelity? Well, that’s when the conversation took a turn off the cliff of reasonableness and into the ravine of ridiculousness.

angry-black-womanThe first flashing yellow road sign was her saying, “Well, I’ll be honest” which everyone knows to be the universal rhetorical shot across the bow for pending craziness.  And then she just hit me with it: “I tried to STAB HIM WITH A BOX CUTTER,” and we’re off the cliff, “IN HIS MOMMA’S HOUSE,” and BOOM! right into the ravine. (Yea, my mind actually heard it in bold and all caps.) 

“Whaaaaaaaat?  Please tell me ‘box cutter’ is some new black slang for kindness or something?”  

At first, I tried to write off her attempt at raising the local Atlanta mortality rate as a one time thing, but all I could think about was how staying with the lone black Bin Laden hijacker might one day land me on Oxygen’s “Snapped.”  Coming to my senses, I expeditiously got off the phone and we never spoke again. I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, whoooo! but that-was-too-reaaaaallll! 

Next up on the couch, Ms. Alexander.  On the surface, she was everything a mother could ask for in a daughter-in-law — well mannered, came from a good home, and carried herself like a lady, but underneath she was a character and a half (and not the kind the USA network welcomes).

black-woman-angry-on-cellphoneA trained dancer, she had moved to Atlanta from Ohio to possibly tour as a background dancer for Nivea and Usher. Like Mesi, everything about her seemed to suggest she meant well, that is, until she didn’t. Four months into our relationship, only weeks after I moved her into her new apt, I caught her entertaining another guy at her apartment through some sort of sexy Janet Jackson dance (circa Damita Jo album) but that’s not what made her crazy.

After we broke up, the wheels came off the train and her other side began to show.  Besides threatening to call the cops over a DVD she said I had of hers (I did), for the next month and a half she proceeded to stalk/annoy me by reenacting classic Biggie tracks over the phone.  

If you recall the phone call intro from the song “My Downfall” on Biggie’s Life After Death album with all the airy, heavy breathing, well, it was just like that except I don’t think she wanted to kill me.  Whether 3pm or am, she would call and just sit on the phone for minutes blowing air into the receiver. How did I know it was her?  Well, her number would sometimes show up as a page instead of a voicemail.  

One day, after several calls, I called her asking if she had something she needed to get off her chest besides her new found affection for classic hip hop.  Her response, “Ain’t nobody thinkin’ about you Cuurrrtttiisss.” I let it go, stopped answering her “Private” number calls and we never spoke again.

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UPDATE: Ms. Jackson still resides in Atl and still somehow doesn’t have a criminal record.

Ms. Alexander never went on tour with Nivea or Usher but still lives in Atlanta and is currently dating.

Curtis, now a Washington, D.C. resident, is still afraid of steep cliffs, doesn’t dare answer private calls and misses Biggie dearly.

P.S. stay tuned for “Who the (Bleep) did I date? Pt. II  (this time the ladies have their say)

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