Beyond Black & White » Family http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Update on the ‘Meme’ Couple! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/update-meme-couple/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/update-meme-couple/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:09:16 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35995 You’ll recall that Beyond Black & White led the charge in re-writing the rotten memes that were created by haters of Cassia and Jacob. The response was epic! We wanted to do something nice for this young couple, who are also college students, so we paid the bill for them to go out on a […]

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You’ll recall that Beyond Black & White led the charge in re-writing the rotten memes that were created by haters of Cassia and Jacob. The response was epic!

We wanted to do something nice for this young couple, who are also college students, so we paid the bill for them to go out on a date and hire a sitter so they could have some alone time.

Here’s the video of their date. I love these kids!

 

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Video Diary: For Those Who Want to Know What the Heck I Do When I’m Not Doing This http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/video-diary-want-know-heck-im-not/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/video-diary-want-know-heck-im-not/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 08:45:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35922 I’ve never done a video like this before, but the Little Man was excited to be front and center because he wanted to be like “The Nive Nulls.” Yes, my nine-year-old knows about them unbeknownst to me. Totally cool–it’s some really wholesome YouTube watching. So, for those who are curious about what the heck I […]

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I’ve never done a video like this before, but the Little Man was excited to be front and center because he wanted to be like “The Nive Nulls.” Yes, my nine-year-old knows about them unbeknownst to me. Totally cool–it’s some really wholesome YouTube watching.

So, for those who are curious about what the heck I do when I’m not doing this, here you go!

 

 

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‘Black or White’: New Film Tackles White Grandparents Raising Biracial Grandchildren http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-white-new-film-tackles-white-grandparents-raising-biracial-grandchildren/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-white-new-film-tackles-white-grandparents-raising-biracial-grandchildren/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:54:29 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35702 It’s been great to see Kevin Costner regularly making films again. (We all love The Bodyguard, right? lol). Honestly, I had forgotten all about him until he surfaced at Whitney Houston’s funeral a few years ago, where he spoke quite eloquently and lovingly about her. Looking at his imdb page, he’s actually been working steadily […]

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It’s been great to see Kevin Costner regularly making films again. (We all love The Bodyguard, right? lol). Honestly, I had forgotten all about him until he surfaced at Whitney Houston’s funeral a few years ago, where he spoke quite eloquently and lovingly about her. Looking at his imdb page, he’s actually been working steadily but apparently I’ve missed about 15 years of his films, until the great Hatfield and McCoys TV series. Anyhow, his new film, Black or White, opens Jan 30th and centers around the white grandfather raising a biracial little girl whose black father and paternal grandmother are contesting him for custody. Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie also star in the film from the indie film powerhouse, Relativity Media.

Reviews are mixed but it seems like interesting subject matter for us here, since most of us at BB&W are interested in IRRs. For those with mixed race children, have you ever thought of the possibility that your biracial children might be raised by your non black in-laws? There are many stories of this – such as President Obama’s maternal grandparents helping to raise him, as well as the fabulous story of Dido Belle. Throughout history, it seems there’s always a segment of folks for whom blood trumps race.

Check out the trailer for Black and White here; let’s discuss!

 

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Reader Weighs In: Wife vs. ‘Wifey’ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/reader-weighs-wife-vs-wifey/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/reader-weighs-wife-vs-wifey/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 15:09:48 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35565 I got this letter from a reader the other day, and it was so impactful, I had to cut and paste just as is! It also goes along with my video commentary about an exchange I saw between a man and a women discussing their irresponsible sex practices that led to an unwanted pregnancy. Check […]

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I got this letter from a reader the other day, and it was so impactful, I had to cut and paste just as is! It also goes along with my video commentary about an exchange I saw between a man and a women discussing their irresponsible sex practices that led to an unwanted pregnancy. Check it out.

Dear  Mrs. Karazin,

With all this hoopla about Tamera Mowery and her husband having another in-wedlock child and the incredulous amount of negativity that comes with it I think it is time for another lesson in the benefits of marriage. Not for the ridiculous trolls and angry people that want to reduce this woman to nothing more than a lady of the night. They will continue to bathe in the festering pools of their own ignorance. This is for the group of women that continue to be spoon-fed bull crap by society and their male counterparts. Being a “wifey” or “wifed up” is a far cry from being an actual wife. It is the equivalent to the, “I would marry you but…. (insert random bogus excuse here)” line that flows so easily from these commitment-phobic males that we are supposed to continue to chase after. No, thank you. Aside from to social implications of marriage, (the name, the ring, children born in-wedlock), there are solid economic windfalls associated with marriage:
It is less expensive (jointly) to live in comfort than it is independently (or in the “wifey in the bedroom only”/cover of darkness, phase).
Social security, tax deductions, and IRAs are all typically more favorable for spouses. Also, life insurance in most states is REQUIRED to be given to the spouse. Spouse. Not long-time girlfriend, or wifey, or baby mama, but spouse.
Financial risk is spread evenly and subsequently, so are the rewards.
No, shacking up doesn’t count. Cohabitation only increases the odds of long-term marital bliss if the original intent was to get married in the onset, so if he/she didn’t put a ring on it in the beginning, a personalized rendition of “single ladies” or “to the left, to the left” may soon follow suit.
No one is saying get married to a bum, but to be dismissive of it as if it is a luxury that is out of reach is something that we cannot allow ourselves to continue believe. Being “wifey” is not even cutting it close. You are doing such a wonderful job of shutting down the nonsense and sharing stories of us taking chances in love and getting the title, upward mobility, and happiness that even our own do not want us to have. Please, continue sharing the stories and resources for us to continue to thrive, and if you have time, encourage the discussion of the marriage-minded men vs. the commitment-phobic men.
We are marriage material, and when we accept less, when we accept the crippling title of wifey, we get caught up in the possibility of one day being the wife. In the interim we may be shacked up, even have babies, all without the real title. Real men have real intentions. We should too. Rather than continuing to be swept away by false promises built on the deck of cards labeled hopes and dreams, we must remain fixed in our convictions. “Wifey” is just another form of oppression.

And just in case you haven’t heard it lately, please continue your amazing work, you’re truly doing a wonderful job.

Who gon’ check me boo? (References):
Bartkowski, John P., and Xiouhe Xu. “Refashioning Family in the 21st Century: Marriage and Cohabitation Among America’s Young Adults.” Changing Spirituality of Young Adults (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
Clements, Jonathan. “Getting Married Has Its Financial Benefits.” The Wall Street Journal. N.p., 25 May 2014. Web. 06 Jan. 2015.

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Successful ‘Mompreneur': The Mastermind Behind Camille Rose Naturals http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/success-mompreneur-mastermind-behind-camille-rose-naturals/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/success-mompreneur-mastermind-behind-camille-rose-naturals/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 05:45:52 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=35550 Today is wash day for me. I have my staples, the things that are tried and true blue. Several Camille Rose Naturals products have joined the rotation because the results are undeniable. Big, fluffy, soft curls… Just about every item I’ve tried I like–especially the products in jars, because those tend to be heavier and […]

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Today is wash day for me. I have my staples, the things that are tried and true blue. Several Camille Rose Naturals products have joined the rotation because the results are undeniable. Big, fluffy, soft curls…


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Just about every item I’ve tried I like–especially the products in jars, because those tend to be heavier and more effective on my coily 4a hair. The reporter in me needed to know who the mastermind is behind these natural, non-toxic products that made my hair looks so amazing.

Enter Janell Stephens, mom of five and wife to an oncologist in Atlanta, Georgia. Having a husband who specializes in treating cancer got her really concerned with ingredients that could be potentially harmful to her and her family.

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“I’m an ingredients person. I just didn’t want the chemicals,” she says. She started mixing up concoctions in her kitchen that she used on herself and her kids, and word quickly got around about how effective it was. Soon, she was out at shows in the black hair capital of the world, where she met a buyer from Target who gave her an offer she couldn’t refuse.

janell

Five years since its inception in 2010, it’s pretty clear how successful her products have been in the natural hair space. What’s more, her business hasn’t infringed on family or home. “Hubby is still amazed that you can run a hair company and still care for a household!” Yeah; it’s called multitasking, and women are pretty kickass at that.

So why the name, Camille Rose? She took it as a sign that her grandmother was with her. One the day of her funeral, amongst a rose bush that wasn’t supposed to be blooming, was a single rose. The silhouette of the woman’s shadowed profile, wearing her grandmother’s rose represents for Janell “vintage elegance.”

We asked Janell what the secret of her success is, and she has three pieces of advice:

  • Have a passion.
  • Speak your desire into existence.
  • Have a drive to succeed.

And while Janell is pleased that black women are finally embracing their natural hair, she encourages us to go a step forward and make “natural” an entire lifestyle shift — food, health and fitness.

AMENT!

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Do We Give Female Domestic Violence Abusers a Pass? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/give-female-domestic-violence-abusers-pass/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/give-female-domestic-violence-abusers-pass/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:55:22 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=33743 In the last few weeks there has been a lot of uproar about domestic violence in the light of the Ray Rice scandal and others as well. Professional soccer player Hope Solo is being charged with domestic violence (she assaulted her sister and her nephew) but she is still actively playing her sport and she […]

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society, culture, rage, angry black woman, health, emotional health, hostility, depression, abuse, reflection, perception, patience, rage, disorders, therapy

In the last few weeks there has been a lot of uproar about domestic violence in the light of the Ray Rice scandal and others as well. Professional soccer player Hope Solo is being charged with domestic violence (she assaulted her sister and her nephew) but she is still actively playing her sport and she is confident she will be aquitted. I cannot stress enough how important it is to hold men accountable for their abusive ways  against women, my concern when it comes to domestic violence and violence in general is WHY is it that we as women (and society at large) are quick to want to see the heads of violent men on a platter but are strangely silent when it comes to violence and abuse at the hands of women.. Just because we as women may not be able to utilize the same physical strength when it comes to violence does not mean that we are not capable of violent behavior ourselves. We have other ways of doing serious damage that leaves no forensic evidence many times. It is a sad thing in our society that many times abusive and violent women get a pass and we provide all kinds of excuses for her behavior regardless of the actions she has done or we just simply ignore it.

In my personal experience throughout my life I have experienced more violent expression at the hands of other females that I ever have a man (Even on my FB page). When I was in school all the way up until I graduated, the most violent aggressive behavior I ever saw coming at me or other young teenage girls was at the hands of other teenage girls!! I had a few skirmishes with the boys but those were no more than just foolish words and teasing, the girls were the ones that made my life and  the lives of many other girls hell not only because they could be mean spirited but could get violent and many times did. And again I and note hypocrisy that we will express outrage even as grown women if we hear a story on the news about a quarterback or two in high school who sexually assaulted young girl, but we will say nothing or hardly anything if that same teenage girl is ganged up on in a bathroom and bullied or beaten up by a bunch of insecure females sometimes simply because “she thinks she’s cute”.
We have no problem rejoicing over a man sent to prison for murdering his pregnant wife or girlfriend, but express sympathy or silence for woman who repeatedly runs over her husband with her Mercedes when she found that he was cheating on her (True story). She was “distraught” we justify. She beats the crap out of her kids? “Maybe she was stressed”, we justify. Same goes for things like pedophilia, we want that 35-year-old male math teacher castrated and locked up for sleeping with his 14-year-old female student but that 30-year-old female history teacher who was sleeping with her 15-year-old male student? She was just confused and lonely. And we never call her a pedophile which is what she is. We may express a little disgust at her but we certainly don’t riot in the streets and twitter it to death. She may even get her wedding to her now grown lover covered on Entertainment Tonight (Mary Lay Letourneau) and we don’t bat an eye.

If we are going to have this discussion, then we have to cover all the ground. I am not looking for “fairness” as much as I am unbiased accountability when it comes to things like this. We have plenty of stories about violent men, here are some quotes from people who have suffered DV at the hands of women:

“My friend had an abusive wife who hit him and kicked him in the balls. He called the cops and while he waited for them outside, she grabbed her own throat and squeezed hard and long enough to make a mark. Nobody noticed the mark was the same size as her tiny hand, they simply took her crying word for it & whisked him off to jail. He had to take a plea for domestic violence even though she didn’t want to charge him.”

“I’m a six foot one twenty two stone biker with military history and a vicious streak…
But only for other men…
I lived with a violent woman for too many years and she pushed me into a breakdown simply because the evil bitch knew I wouldn’t hit her on principle of being a real man…
Real men DONT hit women”

“Women are just as capable of violence as men. No one stepped to the man’s aid because no one thought he was in danger – because no one takes women seriously as a threat.”

“I never hit her back, but I was forced to restrain her a few times when she came at me with a knife all drunk or jumped on top of me and proceeded to punch me in the face continuously. I shoved her off of me once And she cut her foot on something real bad, but I had to because she WAS attacking me with a big heavy glass ashtray. needless to say I left her.”

“She spanked us without warning and pitted my sister and I against each other,” said the 45-year-old, who now works in a recording studio. “She was very clever at using emotional abuse to get my sister and I to do what she wanted. The two emotions I remember growing up were fear and obligation.”

“Pamela, now 52 and the mother of two, remembers her mother screaming that she hated the children, threatening to leave and never come back. “We formed a human chain against the door but she threw us to the side and left getting in her car and driving away.”

Pamela doesn’t know how long her mother was gone, but the “record player of her hateful words still play in my mind.”

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 56 percent of all abusers — physical, mental and sexual — are women, The most common form is psychological. “Neglect and emotional abuse are every bit as damaging as sexual abuse.”, said Dr. Phillip Muskin, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. With these numbers, why are not women held to the same level of accountability  as men when it comes to abuse? Is it because many women are good at not showing evidence? Or manipulating the circumstances in their favor like one of the women above who squeezed her own neck to lie to the police to hide her assault against her boyfriend? I remember a girl I went to school with, a classic mean girl. She was an “A” student, student body president and the teachers loved her, but when the teachers and administrators were not looking, she was a monster. It was very hard to address her behavior because the teachers just could not “believe” she would do such things. I suspect that is how a lot of women get away with things as well because we as a society just cannot believe women the “frail flowers” they are capable of such manifestations of violence. A colleague of mine, a victim of bullying as a youth (female) had this to say:

“…in general females try to cover their tracks using the tendency of people to not believe that girls can be violent to their advantage.”

Many women complain about not being equal with men, but I think that’s more about the paycheck and the bigger corner office because when it comes to accountability about our own potential violent or abusive behavior we’re not as loud about it as we are with men. Somehow we justify it because their physical strength manifests the bruises and black eyes( and believe me when I tell you I am not excusing that behavior) but somehow we just can’t bring ourselves to be as outraged when a woman poisons her husband or boyfriend to death because there are no physical signs of bruising on his body or beats her children out of the house (literally). We operate in hypocrisy in the name of selective outrage. Why? Do we somehow believe in our minds that women simply are incapable of being dangerously violent on the same level as men? Or because statistically  the numbers are not that huge (so we think) so therefore it is not an issue.

We get pissed off at men who respond to our reactions to things by saying we are “hormonal” or “emotional” etc. How DARE they? But when our a** is on the line in regards to being held accountable just like the man for our outrageous behavior, then all of a sudden our va-jay-jays matter as well our hormones and emotions. we talk all day long about wanting to be equal with men and be a part of the boys club but funny we don’t want the accountability when we are caught like the men. Then come the tears and the pleas for “understanding” “I’m a girl,” we whine.

I am not bashing my own gender I am calling for accountability. BELIEVE ME I am very aware that globally women are the main victims of violence on all levels. What  I am addressing is the focus we give on the GENDER of the aggressor. A man hits a woman? We are pissed and we want his head.  A woman hits another woman or a man? Not so much. in fact if it is on a reality show we whip out the popcorn and enjoy the show.  Truthfully, when women are violent against men, it is met with humor and ridicule. “He is weak, he is a punk,” we say to ourselves never taking her violent behavior seriously but if that same guy rises to defend himself against her, he is the monster even if she is the aggressor in the altercation. After all he is supposed to exercise full self control and she is absolved of such a requirement because after all, she is a girl.

I’m a woman myself and as I said I don’t give men a pass, their mess goes without saying but I think we unfairly decide what denotes being violent. We automatically cosign against the violence if we see footage of a man beating his girlfriend unconscious or to death and we hashtag all about it, but what about a cancer research scientist whose lover refuses to dump his other girlfriend so she poisons his coffee in an attempt to kill him? (a true story trending in the news right now) SILENCE. Or a woman beats her kids almost to death? SILENCE. When the molester is a female? SILENCE. A female athlete assaults family members? SILENCE. When the bullies are girls? SILENCE. Yet when that same code of silence runs rampant in the NFL and other male dominated arenas on the matter, then we find our voices and verbalize quite loudly the outrage.

A member of my family was a victim of domestic violence as little girl along with her siblings but do you know the abuser was? Her MOTHER not her father. This lovely wife of a minister did this 50 to 60 years ago and she hid her violence under a slew of religious service and public performance. The community adored her, what a wonderful woman she was, but at home her kids knew a different person that had them terrified. She could not leave or escape and had to endure that abuse until she joined the military at the age of 17.

When it comes to domestic violence we always talk about the men but never the women and if we are going to have this discussion about violent behavior and we are going to be outraged, then we need to be outraged on both sides of the fence no matter who’s doing the hitting or the killing and stop using our va-jay jays conveniently as an EXCUSE to not be held fully accountable.

Bruises, injuries and death are not gender specific.

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