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I’m sure you all by now have heard of the bizarre story of staff sergeant Terry Achane, 31, whose daughter was secretly given up for adoption by his estranged wife, Tira Bland, 27, without his consent while he was while he was stationed in South Carolina. For days, we heard the events of what lead up to the controversy; all parties have told their sides of the story, interviews have been booked, and I’m sure t.v. shows will be in the works if they’re not already. I’m sure the first thought that comes to many people’s mind is “How can something of this nature occur?” “How does someone get away with doing something like this? I know I’ve asked myself those exact same questions, along with many others as the initial story unfolded, and more as new details were being brought to light.

In late 2010,  Achane accepted a position as a drill instructor at South Carolina’s Fort Jackson and was ordered to report for duty no later than Feb. 1, 2011. Achane and the girl’s mother, Tira Bland, soon began having marital problems shortly thereafter and she grew concerned that she would become a single mother with two children; Bland then suggested the couple either pursue an adoption or an abortion, both of which Achane rejected. After considering a move to South Carolina, Bland later told Achane she wished to stay in Texas with her relatives for the birth of their daughter. Achane had planned to return for the birth, with the new family joining him in South Carolina afterward.

Birth mother Tira Bland

Bland would later proceed with an adoption, according to the judge’s ruling, contacting the Adoption Center of Choice, which brought Bland to Utah to give birth. According to experts, Utah’s adoption laws are less strict than other states. Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute said:

“For whatever reasons, Utah’s laws appeal to people who want to get it done quick, rather than people who want to get it done right.”

Two weeks ago a judge ordered Jared and Kristi Freis to return the toddler, who turns two in March, to her birth father within 60 days. The Freis’ appear ready to fight for custody of the little girl they have raised since birth. In a statement to ABC News, their attorneys say:

“They [Jared and Kristi] believe the district court made some fundamental errors in its decision and they will raise those with the appropriate appellate court.”

Achane says he will do “what it takes” to keep his daughter. The next hearing is set for Jan. 16, 2013 to discuss the transition of the child.

ABC News reached out to the birth mother Tira Bland, but she did not respond.

Birth father, Terry Achane with daughter Teleah

Now, I have SEVERAL questions about this story, and I’m going to vent them out, so I suggest those whom have an aversion to rants divert your vision now, it’s okay, I’ll wait….

We’re good? Okay so, as I’ve said I’ve questions and concerns about this whole thing:

1. Why did Bland feel the need to secretly proceed with the adoption? Was Achane abusive? Did he display any ill will towards her and her other child? What was the history between the two of them? Something’s just not sitting right with me, and as they say in the south “That dog don’t hunt”. I’m not passing judgment; I’m just going off of what Ms. Bland has stated (in her own words), and nowhere in any of her statements did she give any indications as to the father’s inability to provide for his child. If that were the case, that should have been the first thing she should have addressed, and proven in a court of law. The whole thing reeks of shadiness.

2. Where was the adoption agency’s discretion in allowing this to happen? Even if the mother was creditable, for legal protection, they should have investigated her claims. Basically, crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s essentially.

3. How come the adopting parents didn’t double-check?! I would’ve covered my ass in a heartbeat if that were me, and immediately asked about the father! No one asked for documented evidence of ANY of this!!!! o_O

Uh…I’m gonna need to see some proof.

4. Tira Bland claims that Terry Achane wasn’t providing any income for her and her child, accusing Achane of abandonment. Uhh…okay, so if he did abandon you, why did he ask for you to come to South Carolina with him????? Hmmm…sure does sound like someone who wants to get rid of you.

5. Again, this is for the adoptive parents, why would you prevent a parent who’s obviously showing desire to raise his child, the chance to do so? I understand you’ve had this wonderful baby for months, and have grown to love her as your own, but unless you have irrefutable proof of neglect and mistreatment from said parent! Step aside, and give him the opportunity to do be what he is, her father; with many black children being raised without their fathers, don’t add one more to the list.

6. Did no one in Ms. Bland’s family advise her as to how much trouble she could face if she proceeded with such a plan? Where was the sense of reason in all of this????????? Are we (black people) going back to the barter system? I’ll give you my child if you give me etc? It kills me to see ish like this amongst my people. Ms. Bland’s claiming that she” wanted a better life for her daughter”  and that “she would rather see her struggling with her, than to see her with him” But you were willing to abort the very same child you now claim to love through tears on national tv? Parenting starts at the moment of conception…and we saw just how motherly you were. Again, not judging, just stating facts….hmm.

I don’t condone abortion as a means of contraception, because if you were adult enough have sex you should be adult enough to raise that child; nor do I agree with abandoning your children either. I see a gradual extermination of the black race through these means– children being sentence to a life of torment, only to become fractured adults, because they had to endure a childhood without both parents. We have to do better my people, we have to stop condoning this behavior; nipping the cycle in the bud, beginning with our children, and our choices we make as their parents, elders, and mentors!

I still have hope, I haven’t given up on us yet.

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“If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents.”

– Author Unknown

How many of you know who the 761st Tank Battalion, 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group & the 477th Bombardment Group aka The Tuskegee Airmen were? or the 366th Infantry Regiment; or the 92nd Infantry Division? and countless others? Many of these men fought and died for our country during WWII. However, how many of you heard about the women that served in their own way as well? “Invisible Warriors: African-American Women in World War II”, a documentary chronicling the patriotism of black women during the war, despite battling racism and genderization. Hollywood had immortalized the deeds of African-Americans during World War II with movies like Red Tails, A Soldier’s Story, and Hart’s War etc– Our history as seen through the eyes of cinematic history buffs or the zeal of some theatrical fact finders that push to get the story told. Although, I would rather prefer our heritage not be relegated to just stage and screen as a means of getting it seen or even heard, but I’ll take it being shown period, regardless of the platform in which it’s seen. Hence why, I’m hoping that this movie about these courageous women be made, and not just made, but celebrated and cherished especially for the younger generations to come– most importantly our little girls.

This is the debut solo project of Gregory Cooke, who served as associate director to another World War II inspired documentary called “Choc’late Soldiers from the USA”, which premiered at the Smithsonian Institution in 2009.

I love anything which gives our young ladies positive role models to carry within their spirits; to fashion themselves to emulate, and strive towards. Invisible Warriors is scheduled for completion in mid-2013,and will be donated to educators, cultural and civic organizations.

You’ve heard of the old adage “Curiosity killed the cat”? Well, this is one time I wished I wasn’t going through one of my “bored/research” phase, because the devil is a LIAR!!

Why do I say this? I say this, because as I was doing some research for my Facebook fan page, I stumbled upon a tumblr site called “That plate”. A virtual cornucopia of people’s culinary talents aka mishaps, oh good lawds, and WTHs! all on the plate… Where’s this been all of my life?! I live for comedy like this! Although, I’m pretty sure that the individuals who uploaded their “masterpieces” never envisioned their pictures would land on a website like this. Oh the shame! tee hee. After a moment or two of scrolling through these images of death and destruction, one picture caught my eye and made me clutch my pearls. It was a picture from Lil Scrappy’s twitter account.

I rebuke you Satan! Get thee behind me!

I can hear my grandmother now “Oh Bless her heart!” Well, at least something’s getting blessed, because this plate needs all the benediction it can get. If you’re wondering what clump of damnation is that in the corner, well your guess is as good as mine…I mean that. However, I’m not ev’em mad at him though for standing by his woman, and if Erica happens to read this, I hear by offer up my services to give her some lessons, because I can’t let a sister go down like this. Man down! Man down! Cuz it’s 187 on my stomach!

Sigh, I guess the struggle continues.

Easy reading on a Sunday evening….

I can’t sleep. So, what am I going to do? I’m going to read people on the events of Sunday, November 25, 2012…yeah, I had to get official with it.

So, first and foremost I need to put down my two cents on the Soul Train Awards. I, along with millions of my fellow melanin infused brethren watched, eyerolled, and probably danced to many, if not all of the performances of last night’s show. I’ll admit there were a lot highlights, but dammit if the lowlights didn’t want to make you scream bloody murder! Yes, people are going to get read to filth in this post, and although I’m all about positivity within my race, I’m not above  checkin people who need to be checked. Like big mama! ” I only beat ya’ cuz I luv ya!” So here is goes…

1. What was the whole point of having Billy Crystal in the intro of the show? It seemed so out-of-place like Ann Romney during praise and worship at a black Baptist church!

2. Is it me or was Bill Bellamy’s hairscalpaskull glowing last night!? I mean, it was glistening! Like Chris Rock said…”Throw some sand on him”

3. Everyone’s already commented on Miguel and his, um…look, but I’m shocked no one said anything about how his girlfriend was hanging AWL OVA him when he accepted the award for best r&b artist! It was like she wanted everyone to make sure dat a** was hers! Like she put a down payment on it, and waiting for the rebates to start coming in. Sheesh girl…calm down.

4. What’s the deal with Ne-yo and the white trench coats? Is he bringing back a newly envisioned version of the ‘Weather Girls-It’s Raining Men”? Also, I wanna know whose idea it was to have that dawn of the dead crowd pit next to the stage? They had to have been the most stoic crowd EVA!

5. Another huh? moment: the skit of Cedric w/ Donnie & Marie Osmond? o_O uh, yeah. Huh?

6. Too many and ill-timed commercial breaks!!!! I mean they were throwing those suckas in like the Superbowl! I was waiting to see a half-time show afterwards.

7. Who else is getting tired of Keyshia Cole and her “angry, bitter black woman” persona? I need more joy Keyshia! You’ve got a fine milk chocolate husband and a beautiful baby boy….See Ms. Celie, you’s has a pretty smile!

8. Sword swallower? Really? I would sooo loved to have been there when they asked her if she’d liked to do a trick on the show! Lmao I would’ve needed a few drinks in me to do that.

9. Why why why did they dust off Flava Flav and put him on stage? Poor Estelle and Mc Lyte looked traumatized. However, they handled it! Like champs! No Abilify needed. Pow!

10. I’m glad that New Edition were honored with the lifetime achievement award for a 30 yr career and all, but I’m mad, because that would mean my behind is how old?!!!!

11. Is it me or was Bobby Brown trying to recapture his career during their performance?! lol Just snatching the air–just snatching!

12. I wonder, is Quentin Tarantino scared that black people won’t go see Django? They were pimping that movie harder than a retired prostitute with yuck mouth and a wooden leg! And Jamie Foxx was almost begging–begging hard too, as if his whole entire career was riding on it ( maybe it is). It’s okay man…I’m sure people are going to see it for nothing other than to see DiCaprio acting all swarthy! lol

Whewwww…ok I’m done.

Now, what’s this croonery going on with Chris Brown spitting words of FIYA at this woman Jenny Johnson? Twitter was aflame involving the antics of said Ms. Brown (yes, I said Ms. Brown) getting all huffy about what Ms. Johnson posted on her twitter! I feel like I’m gossiping with my mother over what happened at last year’s welcoming ceremony @ church! lol OOoo lawd chile…Ms. Brown and Ms. Johnson are cussin each other again. He and Rihanna need Jesus and a seat. #phoreal

have a seat right here, next to me!

What were your huh? moments?

Macho Time is Over

Hey people I want to talk to you about the death of former boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho. Hector was a brash fighter with a mean jab, and an aggressive style, who beat some of the biggest names in boxing.

He died Saturday after being taken off of life support by his mother. Hector was ambushed in a parking lot in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where he was born. Police say packets of cocaine were found in the car in which he was shot.

Now Hector was never an angel, but to make it all the way up to 50 then get shot, wow.  I wonder what he was into? I remember before each of his fights, the fans would cheer “It’s Macho Time” and he would show his fearsome skills that made him one of the top fighters of his generation. Hector’s family moved to the United States when he was a young boy. He grew up in the streets of Spanish Harlem, where he landed in jail as a teenager before he turned to boxing.

After his boxing career, drug, alcohol, and other problems followed him. In 2007, Camacho was sentenced to seven years in prison for a burglary. While being arrested, police found ecstasy on him. He eventually had all, but one year of the sentence suspended and was given probation. Unfortunately, he served 2 weeks in jail after a parole violation.

Camacho’s former wife Amy obtained a restraining order against him in 1998 after alleging that he threatened her, and one of their children. The couple who had two children later divorced.

Doctor’s pronounced him dead after being removed from life support at his family’s direction. He never regained consciousness after at least one gunman crept up to his car, and opened fire on him and a friend who was in the car with him.

No arrests have been made and the detectives have released few details in the case other than cocaine was found in the car, and that the boxer and his friend had no idea the attack was coming.

Now I know people do bad things in life, but I don’t think anyone deserves to be shot. The gunman never stopped to think what this would do to his mother or his children. I just think we need to stop, and think about what we do to each other and that more people suffer not just the one they’re after.

In another edition of “Jesus take the wheel” news, reports are buzzing about the alleged  altercation between Halle’s current love interest Olivier Martinez, and the father of her daughter Nahla, Gabriel Aubry Thanksgiving Morning. Apparently, the two french hunks decided to have a brawl for it all over the mashed potatoes and gravy; deciding who should get the last piece of pumpkin pie. Seriously, sources close to the couple have said the fight started while Gabriel (baby daddy) was returning daughter Nahla back to the house, for the custodial handover.  Aubry, still parked in the driveway, was then approached by Martinez, where the two supposedly had a heated exchange of words– no one knows exactly what was said, because the two were spitting french words of FIYA! at each other. Vive la France! et Canada!

Unfortunately, the melee escalated quickly to punches being thrown at each other, ending with Halle’s soon-to-be hubby straddling the beaten and worn baby daddy on the ground. Police were then called, and Olivier decided to make a citizen’s arrest against his fellow ‘Mon Frere’ for assault. Aubry was then taken to the ER, and cited while he awaited treatment.

Sad…and you thought you had your own batch of hot baked drama on Turkey Day! lol

Law enforcement sources report, that a judge will most likely issue an order or protection, which requires Aubry to stay at least 100 yards away from the happy bunch.

Mon Dieu! Qu’est-ce qui se passe? Halle?

Chamique gets all “Waiting to exhale”

Well well, in another ‘Jesus take the wheel’ moment, Former Tennessee and WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw, was charged with shooting into a woman’s car, and if that wasn’t enough, she also decided to take a bat to the woman’s vehicle as well. Smh

Now I know she is, or was being treated for clinical depression, but shooting up and swinging for the fences at someone’s car windows is…umm…yeah wow! Woman have a seat, literally, and collect yourself.

I remember her when she was coming up, playing ball with the guys in the projects in Queens NY; I followed her career from the time when she went to Christ the King H.S., up to when she led the Tennessee Lady Vols to a national title. I can’t help, but sit in amazement at how you can spend all that time, cultivating a successful life just to have it crash and burn in a matter of seconds?!! This woman was even an Olympic gold medalist! She even had a decent WNBA stint playing for several different teams.

Rumor has it, she has even stalked Jennifer Lacy, 29, who plays for the Tulsa Shock. Reports say, that Holdsclaw followed Lacy to her car, and proceeded to fire at the car; shooting out all of her windows in the process. Thankfully no one was injured in the incident. Apparently, the two women were in a relationship, which ended badly to say the least. Uh yeah!

I know things can happen in a relationship, especially when you involve the heart…I’ve seen cars get keyed, windows busted, and on rare occasions a tire slashed here and there. However, to throw your WHOLE life away over a break-up is beyond foolish, and worthy of a scared straight episode!

Holdsclaw, was arrested and held on a bail of $100,000, and has to wear a monitoring device, in addition to keeping a HEALTHY distance from former girlfriend Jennifer Lacy. Man, I can’t tell you how saddened by all of this I am, especially given the fact this isn’t the first time Chamique’s encountered tragedy in her life. In 2006, the troubled WNBA star attempted suicide while she was a member of the L.A. Sparks, by taking an overdose of prescription drugs, and locking herself inside of the home of her late grandmother, who had raised her, who sadly passed a few days before.

Hopefully, she can get some help for dealing with the inner demons she has, because sometimes things are just too big for you handle alone. I wish her all the best, because the way the world is now, you’re not guaranteed a second chance. Life’s too short.

I will pray for her. Seriously.

Catch me! I’m falling…

Recently, I’ve become increasingly aware just how hard it is to find things to talk about, or better yet write about when it comes to a blog. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read, Twitter updates I’ve glazed over like some drug addict, in my quest for the holy grail of sensationalism! Till I just said screw it, let me just talk about my life, and the crazy “oh heel naw” moments I’ve encountered within it, especially the ones which roam around in my mind.

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The Lakers give ol Mike Brown the boot!

Hit the road jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more…

This week, I want to start off by reporting to you that the Los Angeles Lakers have fired their coach, Mike Brown after five games this season, in which the Lakers have a record of 1-4.

The Lakers announced the move Friday Nov. 9, several hours before they were to play the Golden State Warriors, dang. The Lakers started their season off, thinking that they would have a chance to win the title, after they’ve traded for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to play with Kobe and Pau Gasol, but they only went 0-8 in the preseason and they started their season 0-3. They won last Sunday, but once again they looked bad when they played Utah on Wednesday.

Brown put in a new offensive system this season, but it didn’t seem to suit his players; on defense the Lakers didn’t look too good either, and that’s Brown’s specialty. Brown said “I have a great respect for the Buss family, and I want to thank them for the opportunity that they gave me, I love the coaches and players that I worked with this past year, and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Assistant coach, Bernie Bickerstaff will take over as interim coach for Friday night’s game, and The lakers haven’t decided yet if they’re going to hire an established coach or stay with Bickerstaff. There are few coaches available for the job such as Phil Jackson, Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan, and Jerry Sloan. However, they don’t think it’s likely that Bickerstaff will stay on for the long haul. Earlier Friday, sources told ESPN they were going to use their upcoming six game home stand to evaluate Brown, but after a few discussions over the past 48 hours, the lakers management came to a decision that the team clearly wasn’t getting any better, and it was best to fire Brown now.

Unfortunately, firing Brown now will also come at a substantial cost, as he was just in his second year of a four-year deal worth 18 million. It’s still early in the season, but it’ll be interesting to see if whomever they bring in can right the ship, that seems to be way off course.

We shall see.

She looks to you as the first man in her life.

Wow…

So, I just finished watching a re-broadcasting of BET’s “Black Girls Rock”; I must say that the experience left me feeling a little uplifted, but sad at the same time. I’m sadden, because deep down I know the message would end up lost, like some wonderfully written letter forgotten at the bottom of some dresser drawer– ignored. It got me wondering, do our black girls TRULY know that indeed they do rock? Do they know their self-worth, and the power they possess?

If you were to go by the programs sweeping the media today you wouldn’t feel so sure. In the world of Basketball wives, The Real Housewives of wherever or Love & Hip Hop and their popularity, you would think the next generation of black females are learning to hate themselves; to set their self-worth at a lower rate than that of their other female counterparts of different races. Gone are the days where Chaka Khan sang about being every woman, or Aretha, who demanded respect! Where are Donnie Hathaway songs or the sounds of James Brown who sung about their love for black women? Where are they? Do we need to put a flier out and APB? Long missing are the songs of my childhood, and the generations before which glorified women! Now, in their place, are songs which neither revere or celebrate the female, but denigrate and malign our existence. Everyday our girls listen (and see) how their sex isn’t worth anything more than just to be ogled at and lusted after. It’s a constant battle to instill value in our daughters. Unfortunately, many young girls are being forced fed the notion that they were born to a gender that has nothing to offer, expect ONE thing. Now, I can’t put the blame solely on hip-hip– in fact I used to love hip-hop as a child, but as I grew up, hip-hop and I grew apart. We went our separate ways, and I let it keep the house and the car. Interestingly enough, there have been a few trickle of songs in my day that didn’t paint a very nice picture of the lady regal; I knew it, but I’m happy to say that foolishness didn’t go down in my house. My parents wouldn’t allow it. My mother and my father made sure that their children weren’t brainwashed with garbage. However, not all girls are as fortunate as my sister and I were. However, where do our girls today go to have a strong foundation of self-esteem? In the above mentioned shows, if you ever heard an interview, the one commonality, the one strain which has an undercurrent to all of them, is the absence of having a father in their lives. In many ways the divine feminine image has been traipse through the mud, and define by the hyper-sexualized male ideology of what women SHOULD look like… The big booty girls, all shined up and shipped out for the wagging tongues of over-sexed men. I’m not saying all men are  like this, but some are, and the ones who do display this behavior are the exact same ones who are front and center for our children to see.

I for one, count myself fortunate enough to have a positive male in my life– my father, who never ceased to instill in me all of the values that I have today. It is because of how my father treated my mother, is the direct cause of why I have a HEALTHY…let me give that one to you again, a healthy perspective on how male and female interpersonal relationships should be, and I’m equipped with the necessary tools to spot the BS– the red flags if you will. The evolution of gender play has changed over the years,  women have become more independent and more self-reliant, even though I’m sitting up here and advocating the role of father in our kids lives, a lot of men out there have given us women no choice but to step up and be BOTH parents. However, our responsibility, and I’m talking to my ladies here. We need to really start being selective in who we allow to become the father of our children. As a woman, I can’t speak enough on how the father/daughter dynamic can immensely influence the life of that young lady.  When a girl grows up without that positive reinforcement she will get her cues from the world outside; incorporating those images into her psyche and using it as a guideline on how she relates to the world at large, thus defining her womanhood.

Now before, I get angry email from single mothers, let me stress the fact that I’m not saying that being a single parent will be detrimental for your child– not in the least bit. However we have to ask ourselves, why are so many of our children growing up in fractured households? When do we say enough is enough? We as women need to ensure that our choices in potential mates doesn’t result in our children having daddy issues, especially our daughters who will be future mothers one day.

When a female child is raised in a household where a (positive) male figure is actively in her life, her self-image improves greatly.

Here are some of the ways that influence is felt:

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