Fatherless Daughters: 5 Things She Needs Her Father To Know

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My relationship with my father has never been a close one. Even when I was a child he wasn’t around much. I saw him on holidays and I spent most of my summers in Missouri with him, accompanied by my grandmother. I thought I was fine with our relationship because, well, I was a child and when all you’ve ever had is a part-time dad you really don’t know that it’s suppose to be different. When he came around I knew that I could get whatever I wanted as far as material things. I figured that was his way of saying ‘I love you’–eventually I figured out it was his way for making up for not being around much. Even though I didn’t see him on a regular basis I still thought he was a good father. But that was partly because, at the time, I didn’t really know the difference between a good father and a bad one. It wasn’t until I got older that I started noticing things and became aware of the fact that my father could be doing a way better job. He played no part in raising me. He was more like the favorite uncle that you looked forward to seeing during the holidays and at the family reunion. As I got older the relationship got worse—virtually non-existent. He got married when I was in middle school and didn’t bother to tell me. The summer before he got married was the last summer I spent with him. I went several years without having any contact with him and finally got acclimated to not having a father in my life so I mentally blocked him out. It was like he was dead. I’m now in my thirties and since the age of 12 I’ve only spoken with him maybe 3 times.

No matter how old we get, we still need our parents around. We never stop needing our parents. We may pretend to be okay with that absent parent, but if those of us who don’t active an active father (or mother) in our lives, IT HURTS! The feeling of not being wanted, by your parent of all people, is one that cuts deep. If I had to speak for all women who had a father that chose not to be around, I would say there are a few things we need our father to know.

I cried when you didn’t show up.

Children remember everything. Every promise you made, everything you said you were going to do, every place you said you were going to take me…I remember. So when you made a promise to show up for me and you broke that promise it hurt. No matter how many times you broke your promises to me, I never got used to it and it hurt the same every time.

You were the first man to break my heart.                                                                                

I’ve had a few failed relationships and had my heart broken more times than I would have liked. But the first heartbreak I can remember is the one that came from you leaving me behind. Tossing me aside like I didn’t even matter. Did you ever think about me or miss me? I’ve recently been in the same room with you and watched you speak to everyone except me…like I wasn’t even there. Fortunately, I’ve learned that not all men are like you and I am now open to receive love and have children of my own.

I wanted you to choose me first.

Everyone wants to be put first sometimes–to be the first choice. I wanted to know that I was more important than everything else you had going on. Choosing your girlfriend, new wife, or other children that aren’t biologically yours should never happen. I should have never been in second place to anyone or anything.

When you hurt my mom, you hurt me too.

What goes on between parents should really have nothing to do with the child. No matter how well, or not so well, the parents get along, the child should always be priority and that relationship should not determine whether a parent remains in his child’s life. But no child wants to see either of their parents hurt. When I saw my mother visible hurt by the things you did and didn’t do, it affected me. I lost a little more respect for you each time I saw my mother hurt.

For some reason, I still love you.

Whenever someone does something to hurt us, we wish we could instantly turn off our love for them. Unfortunately, for our hearts it doesn’t work that way. I feel like I should have no love for you–I barely know you and you show me no love at all. But because you are my father, I still love you.

Fathers, you are the first EVERYTHING for your daughters. You are the first man she loves and respects. She looks up to you and to her you can do no wrong. She will either admire you for the way you treat her mother, or resent you for causing so much pain. She learns from you how to be treated by a man. That can either have a negative or positive effect on what and who she allows in her life. The relationship, or lack thereof, that you have with her mother shouldn’t affect you being there. She doesn’t want your money or your gifts, she wants your time. She wants you to love her and fight for her and protect her. Don’t be the reason for her tears, be there to wipe her tears.

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Black and Missing: The Search Stops Here

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Every 40 seconds a child goes missing in the United States. Every 40 seconds…which means every time we blink a child is being snatched. Ever wonder how many of those children are Black or brown? Recently there’s been a spike in missing Black and Latinx children in the Washington, D.C. area. Latinx refers to the gender-inclusive way of referring to people of Latin American descent. The D.C. Police Department tweeted a list of 10 Black and Latinx teenagers that have gone missing in a matter of just a week. Since that initial tweet, 2 of the teens have been found but there are still 8 missing. Besides the tweet by the police department and many retweets, there has been little to no media coverage on this. Would it have been different if all of these teenagers, or even just 3 or 4 of them, were white? Many, including myself, believe so. According to the late reporter Gwen Ifil, the media doesn’t care about missing people of color. They are too caught up in the “missing white woman syndrome”, which means they have a strange fascination with missing white women who are young, pretty, and usually from middle or upper-class families. Many of those that live in the D.C. area, who are signed up for Amber Alerts, said they never received an Amber Alert on any of these children that have been reported missing. But the very moment that a white baby crawls out of his crib in the middle of the night we get an Amber Alert about it and the baby hasn’t even left the house yet. So why isn’t the same precaution and urgency put into finding our children, those that are Black and brown?

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Let’s look at some numbers. Did you know that minority children make up 65% of all non-family abductions, with 42% of that number being Black children? Because there has been a high number of missing cases since January of this year, some believe that it may be related to sex trafficking. It’s said that 79% of human trafficking victims are women and girls. It’s estimated that there are between 12.3 million to 27 million people enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, or sexual servitude at any given time. According to FBI reports, 83% of those victims are U.S. citizens and 42% of those victims are Black. The alarming thing for the African American community is that the majority of people sold for sex in the U.S. are Black and brown children. The scary and heartbreaking thing is that a lot of countries, like Africa, Asia, and Latin America, do not even track missing children.

Let’s look at why children go missing. There are typically two reasons that children go missing: they are either abducted or they run away. With abductions, if it’s a family abduction, it’s usual because the family member (abductor) is trying to force a reconciliation or continue interaction with the left behind parent, punish the parent, or protect the child from a parent who is perceived to molest, abuse or neglect the child. If a child is abducted by a stranger, it is usually for sexual purposes. In 99% of family abductions, the child is returned alive, while there is only a 57% chance the child is returned safely in stranger abductions—40% of victims abducted by strangers are murdered.

These numbers are alarming and the fact that we don’t hear about a lot of the minority kidnappings and missing children is even more reason to be concerned. But perhaps the most heart wrenching piece of information I ran across was the existence of pedophile gangs. A pedophile is a person that is sexually attracted to children, and yes these people have formed their own gangs. Pedophile gangs are rare in the United States, although they do exist, but are very prevalently in the United Kingdom. Once these gangs have kidnapped a child, their members pay $10-$15 each to have sex with the child, after which the child is killed in order to prevent them from saying anything. Members of these gangs usually wear a distinctive piece of jewelry so they can identify each other.

This information should frighten us so that we start playing a more active role in protecting our children. If the police are actively shooting our young Black men every day, we can’t be surprised that authorities aren’t doing more in the way of searching for missing Black and brown children. Social media is a powerful tool and most of us spend all day looking at and posting selfies and other not so important pictures and videos, so why not use it for something productive. Whenever you see a posting about a missing child, share it, even if the child is not from your city or state. The more it’s shared the further it spans and you never know who may have seen something or who may know something. Follow organizations like Black and Missing Foundation that provide information on missing people of color and educate the minority community on personal safety. Get involved in search efforts if you have the opportunity. If there is a local search party in your area, do your part to help. Or if you know a family that is missing a child or family member and they aren’t getting much help from authorities, offer to help in their search efforts, even if it means starting a search party yourself. Parents, talk to your children and pay attention to what’s going on with them. Be mindful of their friends and know where your kids are at all times. Also, pay attention to any little changes that may be taking place with your children and always let them know they have your undivided attention, and don’t be afraid to talk to them about any and everything. If children are feeling neglected, unloved or abused those are often good reasons, for them, to run away.

For more information on missing Black children and ways you can help visit the Black and Missing Foundation. And if you’re in the Baltimore area be sure to sign for the Hope Without Boundaries 5K Walk/Run to benefit the Black and Missing Foundation.

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Would You Date You?

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Would you date you? Odd question right? When I asked myself that question my initial answer was NO! Because I’m a girl and I like men. But when I dive a little deeper into my psyche I have to really ask myself, “Kitta, would you date you?” If I were a guy and I met me at the grocery store or at a party or while I was out for a Saturday morning run and I’m looking all good in my workout clothes and I asked me out on a date, after getting to know me on the first few dates, would I continue to date me? I talked to one of my former pastors/mentors and I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, I once was a member of a church. Anywho, he asked me the question that everyone always asks when they haven’t talked to you in a while, “How’s your love life? Are you dating?” I’m sorry, my what? Love life…Can I get the definition please? Nope, still don’t comprehend…can you use it in a sentence? Whenever I’m asked that question my answer is the same as it’s been for the last few years, “Boys Suck!” I can’t seem to get the hang of this dating thing. I’m either not interested in the guys that show interest in me or I seem to pick guys that have no interest in me…the guys whose like isn’t mutual, or so it seems. So that leaves me with one question: “Would I date me?” What am I doing or not doing that still has me in this single stage of life?” Okay that was two questions, but…just be quiet and keep reading.

My pastor/mentor asked me several questions that made me think about what guys see when they look at me…the vibe that I give off every time I speak. One question that he asked was, “Have you come to terms with the fact that guys find you intimidating?” That question almost hurt my feelings. Now this isn’t the first time someone told me this but it’s still surprising to me. I’m not sure what I am doing or saying that would intimidate anyone. I mean am I supposed to be a damsel in distress to attract a guy? Do I downplay my personality? I’m not really sure how I’m coming off as intimidating so any observations that you’ve made and would like to share are welcome (constructive criticism only please). He also said, to some, I can come off a little harsh with my words and may seem to not have a sense of humor. GASP! Now that one DID hurt my feelings. Me not have a sense of humor? Is that really how people see me? His words make me sound like a mean, stuck up person who doesn’t know how to laugh and have fun, and I know that’s not me at all. It made me kind of sad to think maybe that’s how people see me and that may be one of the reasons I’m not dating as much as I would like to be. But in my wanting to rejoin the dating world, and failing miserably at it, this conversation made me do a hard self-evaluation and figure out if I would be willing to date me before I expect someone else to want to date me.

As I let this self analysis sink in, I made some mental notes about myself. I’m not approachable, and if I’m not approachable I have very little chance of being asked out. I realize that I have built this wall of protection and I don’t let a lot of people pass, but those who have taken the time to get to know me understand that I’m not as tough as I seem. But I guess I need to at least knock a hole in that wall if I want people to know the real me. I’m buckets of fun to be around, but the only way to know that is to spend some time with me. But I also realize I have to be open to letting people get to know me. I also have a tendency to be very independent ALL THE TIME! I love when someone does something for me that possibly lightens my load a little or makes my day a tad bit brighter…but the way I reject acts of kindness sometimes you’d hardly be able to tell. Even when I’m with my guy friends and they offer to help me down the stairs or carry a bag for me I immediately say, “I got it“, because I’m so accustomed to doing things myself. I fail to realize that they’re doing these things for the mere fact that they’re gentlemen and that’s how they were raised. So, now that I’ve done this critique on myself I can honestly say right now NO I would not date me. Dang! I wouldn’t even date myself…that’s cold! But sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and recognize that there is a reason for everything, including why you’re still single (if you happen to be a single person reading this). We’re all looking for someone who can bring just as much to the table as we ourselves bring. But just what are you bringing to the table? You can’t bring baggage, a negative attitude, trust issues, and insecurities and expect someone to sop it up with a biscuit. For my singles who are wanting to date more or maybe looking for a more serious commitment, I urge you to do a short, honest self-evaluation on yourself. And ask yourself if you would date you. If your answer is no, pinpoint those areas of needed improve and commit today to making a few adjustments. If you keep doing the same things you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten…another weekend alone on the couch watching Netflix. ..or Pornhub (I don’t judge) LOL

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product, and event coverage.

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Open Enrollment Season

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For many of us it’s open enrollment season. Time for us to decide whether we want to keep what we have, drop what we have, need a better plan, or if we need more coverage. You may be getting unwanted notices in your mail, people trying to show you why you should choose their plan over someone else’s. Hell in the past you didn’t need a plan and now all of a sudden, or so it may seem, you think a plan may be best. Before, you couldn’t see the real benefits of having one because you’ve gotten along just fine in life for quite some time. But now, you’re having regrets over bypassing the plan every time it was presented to you. I’m experiencing open enrollment season myself, and no I’m not talking about an insurance plan. The open enrollment season I’m referring to is relationship season. Yep, I’ve finally entered that season and I must say I’m not really sure how I feel about it. The unwanted notices in my mail are the DMs on Instagram and the messages on Facebook of guys trying to entice me with their “plan”.

Do I give in to the need for a better plan, any plan at all? Do I keep the same plan I’ve had for the last 7 years, which was no coverage at all, or do I upgrade to take advantage of a better plan? One that will offer me more security and coverage in the event that something goes awry. Now I know all my independent, ‘I don’t need no man to complete me’ women are yelling, “You don’t need a man to feel secure!” And you’re right, I don’t need a man…I WANT ONE! I’m a big girl that can take care of herself, and has taken care of herself for quite some time now, but it would be nice to have someone to lean on sometimes…someone to share the load with when it gets too heavy or I just get worn out. Sometimes when I come home from work I just need to fall into some D&D. For all of my adults that’s a drink and some d***. I need it to be waiting for me when my foot crosses the threshold. Some of you are probably wondering where this sudden need to toss aside my singleness came from. Well, it may be out of the blue for my readers and my family and friends, but this change has been gradually taking place for a while. For years I’ve boasted about how much I enjoy the single life and not having a desire to get married. I’ve avoided relationships because of my past failure rate and just couldn’t find the energy to put into another relationship that was guaranteed to fail. You may be experiencing this change yourself and wondering if you’ve entered your open enrollment season. Well, let me help you and tell you how I recognized the signs of a shift happening in my life:

  1. I started thinking babies were cute. Not all babies…just the truly cute ones, not the ones who mama and grandmama think they’re cute and no one else. I began to love everything about them…there little noses, the way they smell, their adorable smile. I even started shopping for baby clothes. (your judgment is not welcomed at this time)
  2. I started reposting things on Instagram with #RelationshipGoals. WHAT?! Relationship goals? Who? Where? How Sway? Me, that’s who. I actually started wondering what it would be like to be in a relationship again. It’s been so long I almost forgot how to spell relateshunship.
  3. I created a secret board on Pinterest (did you know you could do that, and you’re the only one that can see it?). It’s filled with wedding stuff…from bridesmaid dresses to sample vows for my future husband.
  4. I started including ‘my future husband’ in conversations about my future plans. “I’ve been trying new recipes trying to improve my cooking skills. You know, so I can cook for my future husband.”
  5. I started sizing up my male friends to see which one of them would make the best candidate for a future husband and father of my kids. They say the best relationships start as friends first. Needless to say they stopped returning my phone calls.
  6. Every time I go into a store, I head straight for the baby section and home goods. I’m taking pictures of baby clothes and sending them to my friends like “Isn’t this cute!” Roaming around in the home section wondering how mine and my future husband’s style will mesh together.             

If you find yourself doing at least 4 out of these 6 things you may have entered your open enrollment season. If you’re like me, you’ve spent too much time running from relationships for fear of being hurt or whatever your hang-up may be. Stop robbing yourselves of having someone in your life that loves you and can hold you down when life tries to uproot you. I know you may have family and friends that love and support you, but we all know there is nothing like that ‘special love’ you receive from that one person that loves you and your dirty draws. If you’re still listing your parents as your emergency contact and you’re over the age of thirty, I think you should take advantage of this open enrollment season. It’s okay to admit that you need extra coverage.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product and event coverage.

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I’m Coming Out…Of The Friend Zone

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As a single Black woman I can definitely feel the effects of the lack of good, single Black men. It may seem that all the good ones are taken, married, or they don’t meet our, often times, extensive list of qualifications. But many of us, especially women, tend to quickly categorize everyone we meet. There is the potential mate zone, the booty call zone, and the infamous friend zone. Why do we seem to put so many men in the friend zone so quickly and why do we often refuse to rezone them? When your kids are zoned to a particular school and you don’t think they are benefiting from the curriculum or maybe they are just advanced in their learning, beyond what they are getting from that school, you’ll figure out a way to get them in a different school in another zone correct? Because their education and growth is important to you. That’s exactly how we should treat these ‘friend zone’ situations. We often spend and waste so much time looking for love that we don’t see that love exists right under our noses. We may talk to and see our love on a daily or at least regular basis, but we call it friendship. But like the popular 90s R&B group Shai sang, “If I ever fall in love again, I’ll be sure the lady is a friend.” They say the best relationships start out as friends, but do we really live by that creed?

I was listening to online radio one day at work and the crew read a letter written by a woman that had a male friend of over 18 years. During the years he expressed many times that he wanted to be more than friends and finally after 18 years she decided to date him, but now she’s disappointed that he hasn’t made more of a commitment to her. Now for 18 years he watched you date other men, obviously unsuccessful because she’s still single, and after making him wait you want him to jump into a commitment with you? How sway? Is it fair to make him rush when you’ve made him wait for so long? So why do we friend zone people so quickly and why are we so hesitant to go beyond the friend zone? Speaking from personal experience, I never want to assume that every guy that approaches me wants to get with me. So I always consider their approach to just be of a friendly nature or him just being polite or just striking up a friendly conversation. Steve Harvey says that every guy has an agenda and no guy wants to just be your friend. He is always waiting on the right moment to slide in and take that friendship to the next level. I don’t think that’s always true. I have 2 really good guy friends that I trust and are very comfortable with and neither of them have ever tried anything. And recent events prove that we can’t rely on Steve’s advice, and the fact that he’s on his third marriage may prove that he’s not the expert that he has so confidently deemed himself.

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So let’s discuss why and how people get friend zoned and how to climb your way out of the abyss of friend zoneness, if you so choose. Most of us have a list of qualifications for our potential mate, a sometimes very unrealistic list. If the person we meet does not match the items on that list, but they still prove to be a good human and someone you could have fun with, they may immediately get dismissed and thrown into the friend zone basket. Sometimes we have these friendships that have lasted for years, someone you really care about and would be devastated if they left your life so you’re not willing to take the risk of ruining it by attempting a romantic relationship. We also friend zone people out fear of rejection or being hurt. When you are carrying baggage from your past it can be hard to trust, so you put everyone in the friend category to avoid the potential of being let down…again. Other reasons for putting someone in the friend zone is a lack of attraction for someone or simply being incompatible with a person. Or maybe that attraction was there and that person did something disgusting, immoral, or unethical that turns you off. Deciding to start a relationship with anyone is a risk because no one can predict the outcome. And if you decide to move a valuable friendship into relationship territory it can be even more of a risk. First, you need to establish how strong your feelings are and if you feel that your friendship is worth the risk of losing if this relationship doesn’t work or your friend doesn’t feel the same way you do. You can try to establish rules in the beginning like, the friendship won’t change or if it doesn’t work out you’ll work on just being friends again. But let’s face it, that’s a bunch of BULL! It’s damn near impossible to go from being friends, to lovers and seeing each other naked and, if y’all part ways, go back to being just friends. Someone’s feelings are bound to get hurt, things will be said, and people will move on to other relationships. After that, ain’t no mo friendship bih!

Now that you’ve decided that you actually want to use your graveling hook to climb out the friend zone hole, let’s talk about how to actually do that. Depending on how close you are with the individual that you’ve friend zoned, or that has friend zoned you, very few people will know them like you do. That’s your advantage…show them how much you know and understand them. Now don’t do this in a manipulative way, but what better person to have a relationship with than someone who already knows you and all your little funny and disgusting habits. With a stranger, you have to teach and show them who you are and what you like and dislike. When you’ve already established a friendship with someone, the rest should be fairly easy. I’m not saying you won’t experience the same hurdles that all relationships do, but the getting to know each other process shouldn’t be as hard as it would be with a stranger. The most important thing you can do is be patient. It may not be easy for your friend to go from friendship to relationship, especially if they had no idea you had feelings for them beyond friendship. Give them time to process it. If you sincerely care for this person and want to experience a future with them, respect their feelings and their space if they need it.

If you’re trying to get out of the friend zone I hope it works out for you. And if they reject you, F*** em…they weren’t that cute anyway.

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Kitta is an Interviewer and Freelance Blogger/Writer from Jackson, TN. She can provide blogging services for your business or product and event coverage.

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Black Buying Power: The Importance of Supporting Black Businesses

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I have conversations regularly about how we as Black people should support Black businesses. When the option is available, we should always choose to work with a Black business owner, especially if it’s a locally owned small business. Minority business owners seem to suffer from the myth of offering bad service and not providing as good of a quality product as their white competitors. I’ll admit that I have often had that thought in past. I have a friend that always said she never lets an Asian do her manicures and pedicures. She will always find a Black nail tech and support her first. Me, being prejudice and ignorant about the abilities of my own people [Black] would say, “I don’t think anyone can do nails better than Asians.” Please don’t judge me by my ignorance, I’ve since broadened my mind and accepted that we [Blacks] are capable of absolutely any and everything.

When referencing Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs, people tend to make comments like, “Black people don’t know how to conduct business” or “I don’t support Black businesses because they can’t be trusted.” How do you know they don’t know how to conduct business or they can’t trusted if you’ve never given them a chance? So you mean to tell me that every white business owner is trustworthy and conducts business in a proper manner ALL THE TIME? Every last one of them? Nah bruh, I can’t except that. Whenever you hear about a business man embezzling the money of investors or a Ponzi scheme, isn’t it usually a white person? I’m sorry, that’s stereotyping isn’t it? But it’s true. The term ‘Ponzi scheme’ was even named after Charles Ponzi–a swindler, con artist and WHITE man from the early 1920s. So why are Black people seen as sub-standard when it comes to operating a legit business?

Whenever we get bad service from a retailer or restaurant, or any establishment that offers a service, we are quick to submit a complaint to the manager or through the business’ online website. We sometimes say we’ll never go back again, but after a short period of time we usually do go back. Especially if it’s a place that we frequent. Or if this business has multiple locations we’ll usually just visit a different location. Unfortunately, in most cases, Black owned businesses do not have multiple locations to choose from. Especially if it’s a locally owned small business. So let’s say you decide to support a Black entrepreneur and you receive not so favorable service. Instead of voicing your concerns or dissatisfaction, we just never go back; because that’s the kind of service you were expecting to get anyway right? But let’s say you go to Chick-fil-a and you get bad service; you’re more likely to complain and just vow to never visit that particular location again. But you can go to another location on the other side of town and still give your money to chick-fil-a. You can’t likely do that with a Black business because often times there is no other location.

Despite the lack of support, Black businesses are actually thriving. A 2011 survey of business owners conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of Black owned businesses increased by 60.5% between 2002 – 2007. There are multiple reasons we should support Black owned businesses. One is that they usually employ a high number of Black people, thus contributing to the decline of the Black unemployment rate. Those that open businesses in their own communities are helping to supply necessities to those who don’t have the means to venture outside of their neighborhoods and communities. We [Blacks] have a $1.1 Trillion spending power. Supporting more Black businesses contributes to the increase of Black incomes, giving families a chance to properly provide for their children and fund Black education. We should make a conscious effort everyday to buy Black. Even if we have to go out of way to do it. Other races and ethnicities are always going to stick together no matter what, it’s time for us [Blacks] to do the same. If you get bad service, which is most likely to be from an employee of that business, make it a point to talk to the business owner about it, even if you have to return at a later date. They want your business and will surely do what they can to rectify the situation. We should never think that what we are doing to personally contribute to the rise of the Black community is enough. It’s never enough…commit to doing more.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Old School vs New-Old School

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

It’s 2017 and music has sucked since around the year 2001/2002. It’s like once the 90s ended music died and went straight to hell…do not collect $200 dollars, do not pass go, just straight to hell. The real singers and songwriters faded away. If you’re like me, whether you want to admit it or not ;-), you’ve been trying to figure out what happened to good music ever since Soulja Boy hit the scene. Music that actually had meaningful lyrics, when people wrote from the heart…and you could actually understand what they were singing without having to Google the lyrics.

Those of us that are in our 30s and 40s, when times get rough, can refer back to artists such as New Edition, Monica, Boyz II Men, Tony Terry, Hi Five, Toni Tony Tone, Troop, and Brandy. My heart aches for the younger generation, because their old school music will consist of artist such as Designer, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, and Young B (the Chicken Noodle Soup song). We had Tony Terry who sang lyrics like, “When I’m with you, I wonder why, people do stop and stare and smile at us. When I’m with you, the sun shines my way. Baby our love reflects its’ rays of light on everyone in the world.” Damn!!! You knew for sure he was in love! And if you and your girl had an argument and you sent her this song she’s guaranteed to take you back no matter WHAT you did! Hell I’m falling in love just sitting here typing this. But my poor younger babies, your music has no meaning. You can barely understand what artists are saying, let alone interpret what they’re trying to say. For example, Designer! What the freak is he saying in his song Panda? With lyrics like, “I got broads in Atlanta, twisting dope, lean and the Fanta…”. Are we talking orange Fanta soda cause I’m lost??? People don’t even slow dance anymore because there is no current ‘slow dance music’ (I really miss slow dancing). How about y’all just take a trip down memory and claim the music of the 80s and 90s as your old school as well because your generation is totally lost.

Even though most of the music that’s out now sucks, there are still artist out there that are putting out quality music. Most of these artists are still unheard of or don’t get much attention or play time on the radio. So I’ve done you a huge favor. I’ve made a list of my top 10 favorite love songs from the 80s and 90s. Now of course my list is a lot longer than 10 songs, but you’d probably stop reading at some point if I listed them all. I’ve also included some of my favorite, not so popular, artists that you can check out and add to your playlist.

My Top 10 Love Songs (in no particular order)

Tony Terry – With You
New Edition – Can You Stand The Rain
Lisa Fischer – How Can I Ease The Pain
Whitney Houston – All The Man That I Need
After 7 – Ready or Not
Force MDs – Tender Love
Roger – I Want To Be Your Man (just because I love the movie Love & Basketball)
Artists To Know
The Internet – Soul
Lizzo – Alternative Hip Hop
Emeli Sande – Contemporary R&B
What are some of your favorite love songs and artist? Leave your comments and let me know what songs and artist I omitted. And my 20 something and younger crowd, if you can name a new artist that is actually putting out quality music, feel free to comment also.
Until next time,
~Keep Laughing
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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

 

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2016 Election Aftermath: Why I Had To Say Goodbye To Some Of My White Friends

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. ~Maya Angelou

This is probably the most commonly used quote and also the most ignored. Ignored because we let these words flow from our mouths like water flows through a stream, but rarely use a sponge to really soak it up, retain it, and put it into action. People so often display signs of their true character, whether good or bad, and we often dismiss them like a random Donald Trump billboard on the freeway. Then we have the audacity to be shocked when someone that we thought we knew does something to hurt us or something that is considered unethical or inhumane.

The 2016 election campaign was very interesting, to say the least, and now that it’s over and we’re all officially doomed to hell, there are some changes that must (or had) to be made. I made a post on Facebook the day after the election stating, “Anyone that voted for Trump is racist.” While I stand by my comment and wholeheartedly believe it to be true, it sparked a flow of comments in both agreement and retaliation. One of those comments came from a colleague/friend. She first gave me a disclaimer of how she loved me dearly, and then told me she was offended by my comment, thus identifying herself as a Trump supporter. She proceeded to say the first thing a racist says in defense and denial of their racism, “I am not and never have been a racist.” I’m sorry ma’am I have to disagree, because I clearly know you better than you know yourself (is that possible?). You see my ex-friend, racism can be displayed in many different forms. For this particular person, she was big on stereotypes. For example, when she refers to one of her white employees she uses terms like ‘unprofessional’ and ‘loud’ when they raise their voice or do something out of character. When referring to one of her Black employees she uses ‘ghetto’ or ‘hood’ to describe their behavior. So what makes the Black employee ‘ghetto’ and not just ‘loud’ or ‘unprofessional’ for having the same reaction to a situation that the white employee had?

Let’s back up to her reasons for voting for Trump. She said she disagreed with what Hillary stood for so much that she had no other choice but to vote for Trump…”I voted for a platform, not a candidate.” So never mind all the racist, sexist, and derogatory remarks Trump has made. Never mind that he hates all people of color and would LOVE to ship us back to wherever he thinks we came from. And let us not forget that grabbing women by the pussy is just as normal for him as brushing his teeth. You may not consider yourself a racist, but his racists remarks were not enough to deter you from voting him in as our leader, and that’s NOT ok. A vote for him is a vote in agreement for everything he stands for, says, and does.

What I cannot continue to do is be tolerant of certain people, prejudices, and behaviors. The progress that we have made is being attacked…the well-being of my people is under attack. By overlooking some of her comments about certain people and the comments she sometimes made about the events in the news referring to another unarmed Black person being killed by police, I was tolerant of her behavior. Just like she was tolerant of me because, in her eyes, I was the stereotypical Black person. I remember her saying how she was so ‘sick’ of hearing about and seeing news stories on the fatal police shooting of Mike Brown. Never mind how ‘sick’ Mike Brown’s mother must be over losing her child. They say history is starting to repeat itself, I say these injustices never stopped. We were so distracted by the so-called progress and advancement of the Black race, that we slowly became blind to our continued state of mental and institutional slavery. White people gave us a little freedom and a few rights and we conveniently started to dismiss, or become content with, the barriers that were still stacked against us.

In order for me to rock with you, you have to stand! Stand up and speak out on the injustices that my people and any group of people are constantly plagued with. Racism has become so open and blatant and I can no longer be silent and I don’t expect my circle to be silent. If you can’t empathize because it doesn’t directly affect you then for me that equals another form of racism. She never once spoke out against the violence that have been inflicted on people of color at the hands of the very people that are suppose to serve and protect us. As my friend, anything that affects me negatively and threatens my well-being should be of concern to you as well.

I know that not all white people are racist, nor does this blog represent my hatred for white people. But to the ones that are, you will no longer be tolerated.  

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Church Questions: From The Mind Of A 14 Year Old Boy

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

There are so many questionable things that go within the church. Like the many different funds that they collect money for (building fund, parking lot fund, new baptismal pool fund, choir fund, etc.) but members never actually see the fruits of the money they pour into the church. Or the pastor living more lavishly than anybody else in the church. My now 14 year old god son recently pondered some more humorous questions while sitting in church one day…some of which I’d personally like answers to.

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  1. Why are church songs 3 minutes long but take a whole hour for the choir to sing?
  2. Why when people stomp it shakes the whole place? Exactly how old is this church and is God trying to tell me something (in my male Sug Avery voice)? Like get out now before the whole building collapses?
  3. Are all the people that sing in the church choir ‘fruit snacks?’
  4. Why is that church only last for 2 hours but it feels like 365 days? Is it time for watch service again?
  5. Why is it that one old person that looks like your substitute teacher from school?
  6. Is that swaying motion really necessary?
  7. Why do you get sleepy so fast in church? Is the holy ghost really the sandman in disguise?
  8. Why is there always one old woman in every church name Margret? What is a Margret?
  9. What is that “yeeeyeeeeyeeeyeee” sound old women make when they sing?
  10. Why does my mom clap like a crab pinching its’ claws together?

These are questions that have gone unanswered for years. If anyone has any answers for my god son please share and I’ll pass them along to ease his inquiring mind.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Summertime Cool: Doerilla

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

summertime-cool

Imagine being in the middle of the always chaotic New York City. The busyness, the people everywhere, the city that never sleeps…and it’s the middle of December and colder than a penguin’s butt. Ignoring the cold that’s causing everyone else to run home to their little space heaters, you remain cool…as cool as the guy stuntin in his drop top [rental] riding through the streets of Miami with his Tom Ford shades on. No matter where you are, no matter the situation, nothing can negate the fact that you remain cool like a summer breeze…summer time cool.

Jon Herron, a.k.a. Doerilla, has been on the music scene since the early 2000s when he and his cousin Carl joined forces as the Kinfolk Boys and released their first mixtape, Meal Ticket. Shortly after, they decided to disband as the Kinfolk Boys, with Carl deciding he wanted to be more behind the scenes as a producer and Doerilla having a strong passion for writing. So Doerilla took this opportunity to step out and release music as a solo artist. A Jackson, TN native, he is definitely one to watch out for and with the release of his newest mixtape, Summertime Cool, he’s destined to take over the local music scene. With tracks like Already Made ItPower and my favorite Monday, this mixtape will make you forget that it’s 30 degrees outside while you’re cruising in your car.

The inspiration for this new music simply came from his love of music. As he banged out four different songs in one weekend, that Summertime Cool feeling took over and he knew he had to release this music for the world to hear. Like most artists, Doerilla uses his music as an outlet to vent and express himself. With Summertime Cool, he hopes to peak the interest of his listeners and score more opportunities for him to perform and showcase his music…getting the music in the ears of more people and hearing the lyrics being repeated by his fans. Currently the track Monday has been featured on local radio stations. Up next, the No Chill mixtape…

“this album will be no chill, no feelings. I’ve had a lot of people hating on the side since I dropped Summertime Cool. I won’t have any filters on this next project.” ~Doerilla 

To download Summertime Cool go to Spinrilla and be sure to connect with Doerilla on Facebook and Instagram the request bookings and stay up-to-date on new music.

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Until next time Laughers,

~Keep Laughing

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