"Coincidences" and Slaves

February 26, 2009

So, as I started my week with a smile, morning quickly went to afternoon as the work day flew by. The delivery guy came by with a small box for me and I realized I hadn't opened a package I had gotten earlier in the day. For someone who loves getting mail, I was surprised I hadn't rushed right in:) I opened the box, dvd for "Role Models." Ehh.

Opened the small package, out comes a biography on First Lady Michelle Obama. I look up and look around like I am being punked and expecting someone to pop out. I am a big fan of the First Lady and it's kinda not a secret (and if the screening committee for the government is reading, I am no fanatic and could totally handle working around her, really:). So as I wonder who sent the book, a note slides out. A publicist at the Publisher wrote me a note, sharing thanks to my online page she knew I was a fellow fan like the author. I was intrigued. Happy to have the book. Scratching my head how a stranger could so easily find out my deep appreciation for the First Family (probably was my Essence.com Community page - Friend me;)

So today on the train I was able to crack open the book (I had been reading "The Shack" with my church, but left it at work so Michelle time it is). The biography, written for tweens, quickly points out the important achievment that First Lady Michelle is the first descendent of slaves to live in the White House. That hit my heart, and just a part of the perfect combo that the President transcends so many levels and has such an inclusive background, and Michelle's is complimentary and opposite of two hard-working Black people settled in Chicago with southern roots, like most Blacks post the Great Migration.

I continue to read. The author details the rice fields her enslaved great-great-grandfather worked in the same town she and her family spent their summers south - Georgetown, SC.

My jaw drops. My heart slows.I had just been calculating a day earlier if a trip to Georgetown would be possible in my weekend to Atlanta tomorrow.

And for completely different reasons. It's where my cousins Linda and James have just buried their second son, and where the two are spending a few weeks to come to grips with the devastating lost. The funeral was Sunday, after he was killed by a man they had welcomed into the family and tried to help. Linda is my father's cousin and our family lives about an hour and a half from the town where James's family is mostly based.

Reading the fascinating history of Georgetown, which had the highest slave concentration in the nation where the average slave owner had 300 slaves and the national average was 15, and the enlslaved Blacks had the ability to hold onto so much of the culture, which we now call Gullah, all gave me some personal pride, as the physical shell of my cousin Enrique settles into that rich land and his spirit lives on.

I had been wanting to get to see Linda and give her some love, so now Im more determined than ever to enter Georgetown, SC a place of personal and national treasure. There really is no such thing as coincidence . . .

It's Not You

February 25, 2009
. ..it's me. And the fact I don't think we've really met or if we saw each other on the street I don't think we would speak. Those are the people I am losing on facebook. I was already feeling weary with all these people I dont know at all and accepting their friend requests of strangers and they didn't even say hello. Now I dont feel bad at all, and if we really are meant to be connected we will meet. And Im very aware Im not that cool and the only reason a lot of the people have friended me is because of the industry and place I work. That's what LinkedIn is for, not my personal FB

Then today a private investigator came and chatted with a few of us at work. She works some with CNN and so fab - and using facebook to get the dirt. She is hired by companies to check applicants and one place her team goes is Facebook. Crazy pictures and friends often trip people up, along with lying about the school they actually graduated from.

I had a funny experience over the weekend. I went to dinner with two publicist last week (the ladies of 135th st, they are so fab) and a writer friend of theres comes along. He's all, I think we've met before. He doesn't look familiar at all, but his name is familiar. He tells me about a hot exhibit at Studio Museum of Harlem and I definitely plan to check it out. Anywho, we have a great time and I love hearing their stories of coming up through the industry, as I dig into my Turkery Burger at Cafeteria (that Macaroni and Cheese with Truffles is BOMB). Well, the itis kicks in and I am almost nodding at the table before we head uptown:) The next morning he posts on my wall - somehow we are already facebook friends. I dont friend strangers so I must have accepted his request and not even looked at the profile. Not good. Luckily it worked out in this instance, but that PI has me thinking . . .operation access denied is in effect . . .


February 22, 2009

No matter how in a funk I feel, this song makes me smile. I had a good heart to heart with my mom (I had been highly upset with her all week) and I felt so much better getting her perspective and getting a better understanding of her. I was so disappointed thinking she was nonchalant over the tragic murder of the son of one of our cousins. She broke it down that her delayed reaction in telling me when I called her and she was in WalMart wasn't disinterest but her way of coping, as she takes care of her sick mother. She matter of factly said she had no idea what she would do if something happened to me or my brother and that ice melted I had been feeling around my heart. Seems we have more in common than I realized that we are always yapping, but clamp up on sad news. Anywho, I always thought of Joy by Blackstreet as the ultimate love song, and how every girl wants her special guy to feel about her. But seeing the video I realized it was a lot deeper than that, as they serenade their baby girls. Thank God for parents, even when they aren't perfect, for loving so hard.

*Thanks so much for the condolences and emails! I really appreciated it and feels good to know you aren't alone out here

Life and Death

February 19, 2009
I felt like I was on a roll with this blog thing. Then had two deaths in the family on different sides. One old. One young. One not totally a shock. One heartbreaking tragedy. And since I haven't wanted to talk about it. i don't. Just so you dont have to relive the story and hear the reaction. My godsister and our friend did come up for the weekend . That was cool. Went to premiere of Madea Goes to Jail last night. That was cool. But sometimes you just wish you were near family . . .and even they let you down sometime.

Ok, but this isn't a diary. So what is also cool is giving life. Just got off the phone with an amazing woman, who's helped welcome more than 500 babies into the world as a Ob/GYN. Makes you wonder what are you doing with your own life . . . think Ill work on my book this weekend if I dont make it south for the funeral(s).

Wanna Prez Barack of Your Own?

February 16, 2009

Most single gals do:) For Black women President Obama is looked at as hope and the importance to not settle for less. And part of the First Lady's charm is to constantly remind us she isn't that different from women all over the country at heart.

So as we celebrate the first President's Day in history where a Black family is included in observance, I have to point the single ladies to a gem of a piece we did on taking tips from the first couple to be closer to finding your own best half. After seeing him say he started smoking a little back in the fall the thought kept coming, man, good thing Michelle's deal breaker wasn't smokers . . .lol

Well, that led me to a more developed thought and now we have 15 tips for a love first class in Finding Your Own Mr. Obama! Here are a few . . .

Get Over His Wardrobe

Mrs. Obama discovered a diamond in the rough when she began dating the President, if you judge by the latest fashion trends. She looked past his well-worn shoes and suits to see a heart of gold, a passion to change the world and sex appeal that transcends the latest fashion craze. And 15 years later, while on the campaign trail, Mrs. Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha ratted out Dad for the pants he was wearing for being a decade old and his far-from-new belt and shoes. A man who chooses substance over style will make a great choice in the long run.

Don’t Neglect Your Inner Circle

We’ve all had that girlfriend who finds a man and becomes missing in action for everyone else. But not our First Lady. Not only did Mrs. Obama’s friends become the President’s friends, but she also kept her mom with her all the way to the White House (literally). Bring along the people who played an integral part in the person you are. Just like your mate, these people also play a vital part in your happiness and wholeness. Always keep friends and family close to heart to make for a healthy relationship.

Make Your Desires Known

Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama may appear like the perfect married couple, but getting the President down the aisle wasn’t a sure thing. The duo had many back and forth discussions on if marriage meant anything, but Mrs. Obama was vocal of her want for him to put a ring on it. Over an upscale dinner in 1991, again Mrs. Obama laid out the reasons for them to get married and was speechless when dessert was served and she discovered an engagement ring, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. Be upfront on what you want out of the relationship when you meet a special guy and share the benefits for both of you, without giving an ultimatum.

*By no means are we saying they are a perfect couple or everyone would be happy with a guy like him, just basic dating and relationship tips we all could remember in life and love. Keep me posted on your presidential love stories (and crazy dates in betweeen;)

Happy Blogaversiry!

February 13, 2009

I forgot to give a big thanks for you guys hanging in here with me. I celebrated my three year anniversary with Queen to Be. Hopefully Im closer to queendom now than I was when I turned 21, but definitely still a work in progress.


And reading the first post ever, it's crazy how much nothing changes at all as the negro (dont use the N word, we got a Black prez) I referenced in the first post is still up to his no-good ways. Now the girl is pregnant and he ain't doing right at all. such is life.

Well, it's been a lot of fun and I look forward to being more interesting and frequent

Not the average girl from the video . . .

February 11, 2009

Last night I went to India.Arie's album release party. It was sooo sexy. My editor invited me during the day so I hadn't dressed that cute and was stuck in jeans and a printed shirt but it was India.Arie, I lived and breathed her music when I was in high school as she made being a chocolate girl so sexy.
Once we got in there was this huge white poster on the wall with "Love..." on it. You were suppose to write a message to her I guess in relation to the new song "Love and Politics." I was so overcome already after being so frustrated a girl at school was saying some ugly things to my little sister. I jotted about the one song that I cried my frustrations out in high school to, "Beautiful" So I posted

"Time was right. I packed my bags. Thanks for the soundtrack of my life. Love, CJ"

Corny yes. But just a crystal moment of how far I had come from that high school kid with a boom box and some lip liner.

The vibe was cool and saw plenty of the music event regulars. Ahmir, aka QuestLove, was killing it as DJ. And I saw this girl who I knew was familiar. I went up and asked had she gone to my high school. She actually had gone to my middle school. I'm good! And works at Vibe and was helping Shanel who I knew from her days at Vibe Vixen and is now heading HoneyMag's site. Small world, right?? I didn't realize the site was live but it had just had its soft relauch and is looking good. I chat with them and then take my seat near the stage.

India comes out and walks right past us, and waves after my editor says hello. She switches from big necklace to belt and takes the floor. She jams from the first album and Im standing up against the wall seeing over the crowd from atop my seat and just loving it. Im singing along and hadnt even heard some of the songs. They do "Chocolate High" and i thought I was officially backup. As the crowd encourages her to do more and more its great to witness the evolution of this artist as she sings conscious music. But it is February, so it wouldn't be complete without a love ballad. She strums the guitar for 'Brown Skin' and we all about lose our minds. That song is just the truth, and probably not what I should have listened to if Im trying to keep my mind off of men folk. hmmmm

I was definitely still on my Chocolate High. Loving her new music and still killing the old

"I learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a queen . . ."

A Spike Lee Joint.

February 10, 2009

I pick up the phone with my official "This is _____"

"Hi, this is Spike"

I knew I was on schedule to interview Spike Lee and that they would be calling. I hadn't expected him to call me directly and so calmly. I recovered and had a great time chatting with the film legend. Of course I had to slide in a lil shout out to School Daze having went to Howard. Can I tell you how envious I am that First Lady Obama will be on said campus tomorrow? Oh to be 20 again.

Back to Spike. He's a riot. Smart. If I can't get a Barack, a Spike will be quite alright. ok. Ill stop

Feel free to check the finished product

A Woman's Worth

February 8, 2009

Wow. Chris Brown shanked Rihanna? So disappointing and shocking.

Right after reading that story on People I saw the one with Tameka Foster being in serious condition in Brazil after plastic surgery. After my lengthy rant on the ills of the entertainment industry (Sorry roomie), I was just wanting to go read to babies in South Africa and live on the shore somewhere down south . The one thought that hit me was "Go Rihanna for pressing charges."

Nobody ever thinks they will one day be assaulted by someone who says they love them, but it happens and can happen to any of us.

And once it does, the ball is in your court.

I can only imagine the thoughts going through her head and what was said to get her to let it go and not ring the alarm. She put her own pride aside and what people would think to say this is wrong and Im worth more than this, and stood up for herself. Im sure in the coming days and weeks more of what really happened will make its way to headlines (on Jessica Simpson mom jeans naseauting levels I suppose). But one thing I do hope comes as well is that more women realize they are not alone, it can happen to anyone, including the young and beautiful, and that you matter and deserve respect!

Im having a fantabulous Bday:)

Celebrating 24 years . ..and my last time using one pack of 24 candles:)!

This was the Friday I was born in Atlanta, Ga at Georgia Baptist.

Mail Mishandling

February 7, 2009

Soo, I just did a change of address submission online. But since my "home" address for credit cards is Atlanta, I couldnt submit for my old apartment in New York to the new one down the street.

And I didn't think I would have to after switching my other accounts and mailing lists. Until I went home a few weeks ago and a few people told me they had sent me Christmas cards and they came back in the mail.


It seemed my former roommate was sending my mail back. The more I thought about it, the more upset I became thinking of all the things I let slide while I lived with her from strangers hanging in my room when I wasnt there and breaking my DVD player to things I you wouldnt believe if I told you. And yet I still gave of myself. Gave her a bday cake and plenty of clothes while I was there when I didnt get as much as a 'Happy Birthday' on my day. I could sense something much bigger than me was going on with her and whispered a prayer.

But sending back my mail when I live on the same street now?

There was no excuse for that. I almost laughed at the irony of me sending her a Christmas card, only to have her sending mine back.

So, all that to say, if you ever want to mail me something make sure its the 305 address. wow . . .

Is That You Pam?

February 4, 2009

Last night me and the roomie were counting down the minutes until Martin came on, and rolled the whole time it was on, happy it wasnt an episode they play a lot like the ones of Living Single that followed.

So as what happens to me more than usual, it was a prelude to the next day, as Tichina Arnold stopped by the office and chatted with the staff. Half way through an amazing story of her time on a USO tour and the Black faces she saw around the world, many single moms, she stops as about 7 more people join the 12 of us already in.

And then she belts out "DAAAAAAAMMMMMNNNNN" I almost hit the floor laughing like, yep, That's PAM. She was so humble, real and refreshing to see she is so much like the person you would hope she would be. When I interviewed her a few months back we went from Everybody Hates Chris to discussing her boo, a football coach. Yesterday as we're talking I bring it back up and she's like, yeah he shies away from attention like this and is reserved and low key, red carpet isnt his thing - the complete opposite and women around cosign that's the best route. Then a true legend at the office and master of all trades adds also when these men are in the pages of the magazine with their famous ladies, a lot of them end up breaking up. Things that make you go hmm, I just hum "I dont want no Fly Guy, I just want a Shy Guy:)"

I lie

February 2, 2009

. . .about my age. More than a few times. I know nobody is trying to hear somebody young talk about being discriminated against for their age but it does happen. So if somebody thinks I'm 27 I just play along, and laugh at jokes I don't get as an almost 80s baby;). I'm an old soul but I am in no rush to age, since it will happen anyway. I've gotten better at not coming off as the rookie (I hope) after getting shut down one summer for not knowing the Transformers characters when Beyonce came out in the robocop gold suit, and being quizzed for the next year on all things 80s, lol. Yes, I know who He-Man is. I know Im a weirdo to actually add years on and now the spooky part is Im actually getting older, and my bday is Sunday. Yay! Guess, I may not lie about my age since I'll fit in more, but we'll see . . .

Is Falling in Love a Crime?

February 1, 2009
Today has me thinking. My pastor read a note someone had left in the collection plate the week before to begin his sermon. The note shared how the person had been coming to church and been flirting with the idea of joining but was held back by feelings the congregation and pastor wouldn't be so welcoming once it was out that the person was HIV+.

Wow. The message was one of there being room for us all, no matter ailments, and it's not for us to decide who is and is not worthy or holy. I completely agreed and was so proud to be a part of such a welcoming church. After speaking, he invited members of the congregation and HIV+ to come down front. A few did, happy, healthy and positive and it touched us all as wrapped our arms with love around them.

Looking at many who were women, it wasn't my place to speculate how they contracted the virus, but chances are at least one got it after falling for a guy who carried the virus, and my heart contracted for them all. It amazes me sometimes how people can be so judgmental of others, forgetting any of us could have been dealt different cards.

Later that day I was talking to a friend who is excited to be carrying her first baby and I'm happy for her. . .though her boyfriend hasn't always done right by her. You hope the best for her and that he has gotten his act together, knowing she will love him regardless. Knowing he may not have changed.

And my job is just to love because falling in love isn't a crime

Ride the Maverick

I always have had dreams of going into politics. In the days when I had my life mapped through at least 60, politics came after a few years of practicing law, but before I taught school as a retiree:). Now I don't know what Ill be doing in September, but that draw of being a part of change and having an impact on government is burning bright.

If I could afford law school, I definitely would go. But luckily, researching some of my favorite politicians and political wives let's me the see the many routes traveled to political posts. I finished Connie Schultz's memoir on her husband Senator Sherrod Brown's run a few weeks ago and I happened upon Majority Whip James Clyburn's site this morning. I saw his and his wife's name on a guest list to a South African dinner at the White House and wanted to see the two of them together . . . and also found out he's from Monck's Corner, an area of South Carolina my girl Satara repped like it was Los Angeles in college:) She is adorable (that's them and the family at his swearing in) and his story was inspiring as he was told as a child to leave politics alone, and after losing a campaign for Congress in his 30s, went for his dream again in the 90s at 52 and won. He also went to Undergrad at South Carolina State, like both of my parents did.

I needed to see that and probably should have looked up more politicians like him while I was in college. Feeling ignored by politics, I realize I started to ignore the government back, probably when it could have used a new perspective telling the story more than ever. But with Bush in office and my district Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney plotted out of office by another Black woman Denise Majette, I wasn't feeling it.

So on the first day of February and Black History Month, I definitely am even more excited for the new regime and politicians of color making their mark. I found solace from being ignored by politics in literature and Zora Neale Hurston has the perfect quote for feeling alienated . . .

"Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me."