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Day 28 – Black Consciousness

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.

This is the final post in the series.

Black Consciousness was a movement which began in South Africa in the 1960s.  The movement was founded by Steven Biko, who spent his life fighting against apartheid. He was jailed and tortured and died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody in 1977.

The movie “Cry Freedom” was made about his life starring Denzel Washington. This role marks the FIRST time Denzel was robbed of the Oscar. Sunday night’s Oscars was the SEVENTH time he was robbed … Meanwhile, Kevin Kline’s character somehow ended up the hero of the film, although it was Denzel’s Biko who lost his life in the fight for freedom and justice while all Kevin Kline did was write about Biko — but we now know this is typical based on the theory of White Fragility …

I digress.

Biko defined Black Consciousness as …

“the realization by the Black man of the need to rally together around the cause of their oppression and to operate as a group in order to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude. It seeks to demonstrate the lie that Black is an aberration from the ‘normal’ which is white”

This definition along with the circumstances surrounding Biko’s death goes to show that this World has not come nearly as far as it thinks it has or as far as it needs to go surrounding the issues of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic class.

Because 40 years after his death, we are still having these conversations daily and suffering the consequences of not heeding his wisdom all over the World.

No more.

We are not inferior to anyone. We deserve the same opportunities and privileges as every other group. We are entitled to our love, our looks, our culture, our thoughts, our opinions, our successes, our failures, our achievements and our stories. We have the right to be free and feel normal in whatever we choose to be. We are justified in working together to achieve this. We have the prerogative not to include or allow anyone else access to or joint credit our efforts.

We are not our ancestors. We are not bound by their limitations. We are not required to respond the same way that they did. We are allowed to take fresh approaches to these old problems — as long as we do it together.

I am excited by this. And I am ready for this fight.

Are you?

This blog challenge is over. But my challenge has just begun. Stay tuned.

Day 27 – Black Owned Businesses We Love

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.

Black Owned Businesses face the same difficulties and discrimination as any other person or issue surrounding Black people. So in order to be successful and maintain a reputation of excellence, they must work harder.

For those Black Owned Businesses working hard to be successful and maintain a reputation of excellence, it is important to support them. Which is why I agreed highlighting Black Owned Businesses as part of this blog challenge was so important.

As I’ve shared in other posts, I got married in July 2016. It was a beautiful day.

And what made it so beautiful were our hardworking vendors. Most of which were Black Owned. I want to shout them out and encourage you to consider them for your events and needs:

  • Elana Walker Events … Elana Walker is a certified wedding planner based out of Raleigh NC. She plans weddings and weddings internationally. She has a weekly featured on NBC where she provides event and wedding etiquette advice. She has been featured on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Southern Bride, Munaluchie Bride and other prestigious magazines. She has won the Regional Planner of the Year Awards for several years running. Her team is amazing and she is an absolute visionary.
  • Donnell Perry Photography ... Donnell Perry is a photographer based out of Raleigh NC. He not only does wedding and engagement photos — but also professional headshots, family portraits, newborn portraits and events. He is fun and creative in his shot selection. He and his team are almost invisible during events but somehow capture everything. And his turnaround time for edited proofs and prints is crazy good!
  • Cupceez Cupcakes … Zenia Hayden is the owner operator. What she does with cupcake flavor pairings is unreal. Sweet. Savory. Icing. Fondant. Cake. Cupcake. Pies. You name it — Cupceez can do it.
  • Suite Paper … Amber Crudup is the owner operator. Her focus is unique printing for special events and weddings. From save-the-dates to invitations to programs, from start to finish Amber was fantastic. She took my vision and put it on paper. As annoying as I got about fonts and spacing, she took the feedback and adjusted while adding her own creative flare to make it just right. And she personally drove our printing 90 minutes instead of risking delays from shipping.
  • Cool Receptions … They handle lighting, sound and music. For our wedding, they also provided the photobooth. Our guests had fun with unlimited photos to keep as souvenirs. And we got a souvenir book with all the photobooth pictures to add to our collection. Their pricing was amazingly affordable and they stayed until the last guest left the building.
  • Makeup by CD … Charity Dunn is a professional makeup artist and consultant. She beat my face for the gawds, hunty!! Yaaaaaaasssss!! She does wedding and special event makeup at excellent prices for all races, ages and skin-types. And she will come to you with her suitcase full of magic and mirror of dreams in tow!
  • J. Kearney Designs … Jey Kearney personally designed and created one of a kind gowns for me and my daughters. From sketch to fabric to countless fittings to literally sewing my bustle before reception so the train wouldn’t be distracted from during the ceremony or photos. He is a committed and talented designer. I suggest you work with him now before he blows up and you can’t afford his pieces anymore.

Without these wonderful Black professionals, my day would not have been as magical.

I salute them and all the Black Businesses Owners out there working so hard to be the best they can be at what they do.

Tune in tomorrow for the FINAL post: Day 28 – Black Consciousness

Day 26 – White Privilege So Fragile

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.

White Privilege is real.

And it is apparently a very delicate thing.

So delicate, in fact, that the term “White Fragility” was coined by a sociologist as a legit disorder about 10 years ago.

It is defined as the state in which a minimum amount of stress caused by racial discomfort becomes intolerable and triggers defensiveness which continues until racial equilibrium is reinstated.  Racial equilibrium is any social environment that protects and insulates White people from race-based stress and fulfills the expectation of comfort afforded to them by White Privilege.


Black humor is also real.

So real, in fact, that we will make fun of just about anything. The most difficult and hurtful things. The most precious and sacred things. We laugh to keep from crying — or lashing out.

We gamified our humor through a term we call “playing the dozens”. The Dozens is played by two or more people insulting each other until someone gives up. The most commonly known form is“Yo Momma” jokes.

Well, I think White Fragility is joke. So I’m going to play the dozens with it for the rest of this post. Here goes …

  • White Privilege so fragile they think People of Color talking openly about their own racial perspectives and experiences is taboo and race-baiting
  • White Privilege so fragile they have redefined diversity to mean other white people from different geographic areas and socio-economic backgrounds
  • White Privilege so fragile they think People of Color are obligated to answer all their questions about race because they think we’re truly here to serve them and ensure their understanding of everything
  • White Privilege so fragile they believe all People of Color are from poor and/or urban areas
  • White Privilege so fragile they think White people who don’t protect their racial comfort are traitors to their race
  • White Privilege so fragile they think representation means having one Person of Color in a prominent position is enough … for all time
  • White Privilege so fragile they allowed a racist, sexist, fascist Cheetoh with a squirrel for hair to become POTUS to confirm their authority and superiority are still in tact

Tune in tomorrow for Day 27 – Black Owned Businesses We Love

Day 25 – The N-Word

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.

The N Word still remains one of the most controversial and racially charged words in the English language.

I have written about it on the blog before. You can read the full post HERE.

My opinion about it really hasn’t changed much. So I’m just going to repost the most relevant parts of what I already wrote.

 I don’t want to debate the N-word and it’s use in every day life and/or pop-culture. If you choose to use it as a term of endearment in your life to refer to your friends and loved ones, that is your choice … There cannot be words that are OK for some people but not OK for others in [the work]place where everyone is supposed to be held to the same standard. Period. And the same rules apply to the B-word and F-word (not to be confused with the F-bomb, which I confess is one of my favorite words). There is no place for it. So cut it out — or face the consequences!

I’m not advocating terminating every employee who uses inappropriate or inflammatory language immediately. [I’m also not advocating labeling everyone who uses the word as a racist. Prejudice? Probably. Ignorant? Definitely — that’s redundant since it’s part of the definition of the word]  When it happens, there is an opportunity to teach and coach about appropriateness and inclusion that should be seized.

Once upon a time, beyond work, I didn’t feel it was my duty to take advantage of those opportunities. I was content to let people wallow in their ignorance, including people that I knew and loved.

I don’t feel that way anymore. For I now know it is that kind of thinking that doesn’t move us forward. And I especially know it is that kind of thinking that allows closet racists to keep up their ignorance and oppression in secret without ever facing consequences.


Because if Black people and Women and other People of Color and people in the LGBT community have to suffer consequences for things they have no control over, you surely should have to face consequences for judging and mistreating people for things they have no control over. Period.

If you want to be ignorant and use inflammatory or stereotypical words to describe people and it is either in my presence or knowing, I will be calling you out on it. It’s the Year of the Savage.

You’ve been warned.

Tune in tomorrow for Day 26 – White Privilege So Fragile

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