Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Does Torrei Hart have to be Bitter?

I’m just going to get straight to the point: stop calling Torrei Hart bitter.  Reality TV have conditioned us to see all ex-wives as crazy and we start lumping them all into one group.  We have all seen the ex-wives who live lavish lives because of alimony and/or child support checks.  So we make quick judgments about all Hollywood ex’s and call them jaded and greedy.  However, I’m not going to put Torrie is this category because homegirl is just being honest. 

Torrei has made news throughout social media because of the uncanny way she speaks about her ex-husband, Kevin Hart.  Back in April 2014, she was asked about how she felt about Kevin calling his girlfriend “my rib”.  Ms. Hart kept it all the way real and responded with:

"It's easy to be somebody's rib when their millionaire."
Of course, the interwebs went crazy and went on a “she’s bitter female dog” campaign.  But let’s go on to what else she had to say after that comment:

“You’re working at City Sports and I’m taking you to your shows, you’re driving my car, you’re crashing my car several times, and I’m still there for you, supporting you, went out and got a job for the phone company and still making sure I got your back so you can pursue your dreams…That’s what ribs do!”

Some might say she is living in the past but what I hear is someone who is telling her truth.  Kanye said it best with this lyric in Gold Digger, “And when you get on he leave yo a—for white girl.” or in this case, mixed girl.  She was there when we didn’t know what a Kevin Hart was.  She made huge sacrifices so he could live out a dream that she probably doubted at times.  Why is it that when she tells her side of the story, she has to sugarcoat it and give old tired PR responses?
Just this past week, Kevin Hart proposed to girlfriend, Eniko Parish.  Because he did it on the night that Vh1’s Atlanta Exes premiered starring Torrei Hart, some said that it was a blow at her.  Kevin has said that he did it that night because it was Eniko’s birthday.  When asked if she thought if Kevin would cheat on Eniko, Torrei responded,Well he cheated on me..."  
I congratulate her for being honest.  We, as women, constantly put our feelings aside, heck, bury them 6 feet under.  We, too often, blame ourselves for every wrong thing in our past instead of placing blame where it needs to go.  We continue to put up a front when we are actually breaking down on the inside.  It’s almost like women aren’t allowed to be angry or hurt.  God forbid, we act like humans.  We are just supposed to suck it up, smile, and keep it moving.  But the moment we tell our truths, we are bitter, angry, or “stuck in the past.”  Torrei Hart isn’t stuck in the past, she is stuck on the truth.  He got on, cheated on her, and now gives new girl all the praise and glory. 
Before you start calling me a feminist Nazi, I know there are two sides to every story.  He has admitted to his wrong doings and constantly wishes Torrei well.   Torrei has even admitted to the part she played in their divorce.   In fact, I’m actually a huge fan of Kevin Hart.  My point is that being classy doesn’t mean that she has to hide her feelings about what she has gone through.  Anybody that has gone through a break-up will tell you that you may move forward but the scars are always there.  Unlike most ex-wives, Torrei has to constantly see her husband professing his love to new girl.  So the healing process is a bit different from the average ex-wife. 
Only time will tell how Torrei will continue to speak of Kevin and Eniko.  Since she is doing this reality show maybe interviewers will stop only asking her questions about Kevin and more about herself. 
How do you feel about how Torrei responds to Kevin’s new relationship?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams: Depression is Real and Riches are False

This past week we lost a comedian great, Academy Award winning, Robin Williams.  Rather you were a fan of his comedy or not, you have to admit that the man was successful at what he did.  When I first heard the news, the first movie I thought of was Nine Months.  Williams played the eccentric foreign doctor, Dr. Kosevich who had only assisted monkey births.  Even though I was nine when I first saw this movie (and probably shouldn't have been watching it) I knew then he was a genius at what he did.  And don't even get me started on Aladdin.  You can't call yourself a 90's kid unless you had the VHS where Robin Williams played one of the top 10 best Disney characters ever.

Aside from his untimely death, I was shock by the alleged cause of his death: suicide.  Who knew that one of film's funniest leading men was tackling inner demons such as depression and alcoholism so much so that he felt the only way out was to take his own life? It blows my mind how he could make millions of people laugh but only saw darkness in his own world.  It breaks my heart to know this man didn't know how much he touched people, young and old, with his talents.

Williams' situation makes me think of two things.  First, as my mother use to say, "You never know what's going on behind close doors."  We see people everyday on our way to work, at work, at a worship service, at the store, dining with friends and family and never truly know what that person is going through.  A lot of times we ask the question "How are you doing?" but mostly out of social norms and out of social norms the answer is usually "Fine".  End of conversation.   With so many anxieties that we all experience everyday, we forget to stop and ask our friends and families how they are really doing.  And something I'm guilty of and others probably are too is not telling the truth about how we are doing.  We must learn to let our loved ones help us.  This is one way we can stop our troubles from building inside causing sadness and despair.

Second, if we haven't learned yet we need to learn now: Money does not buy happiness.  We are constantly bombarded with the riches of celebrities.  We see the fancy clothes they wear and the big houses they occupy.  We at times start to think that if we had the money they had, our lives we would be a little easier.  However, with instances like Robin's we are reminded that money at times only complicates things (Remember the song, Mo' Money, Mo' Problems?).  What money doesn't do is help us get to the root of our problems.  Money doesn't get rid of depression.  Money doesn't mend broken marriages.  Money doesn't make our children act right.  One scripture I keep in mind is Hebrews 13:5:
"Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things.  For he has said: 'I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.'"
I'm not saying that Robin Williams was a person of greed but I'm speaking more to our desires to have what the rich have.  As the scripture says "be content with the present things."  Chasing after riches and material things can cause also depression.  Some of us will never get the white picket fence so that means we have to be content with having a roof at all.  So to look at yourself as a failure or disappointment for not having these grand things is pointless.  As we have seen over and over, riches do not bring joy, peace, or love.

I can't say enough that if you are experiencing a sadness that will not go away reach out to someone and get the help you need.  It's better to talk with someone than to decide upon a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kanye Type of Love

I’m in no way a relationship expert.  Lord knows I have made more than a few mistakes in the love department.  I’m also not so fond of those relationship memes.  You know the ones that read “Find a man that finds your love as vital as oxygen” or “Don’t chase. Stop. Turn around. Look….There he is” or “Love is not a game but a journey” or some other mushy statement that makes me gag.  I’m not anti-love but when women post these quotes 20 times a day it screams “I’m single and hopelessly looking for love.  When will someone love me?”  I’m sorry but I can’t deal.
But today I found one of these love memes that explained everything I want in a man perfectly:

Yaaaaassssssssss!! I’ve been looking for the words to describe the type of relationship I want and some humble anonymous poet put it on a flea market chalk board.  The love Kanye has for Kanye is real love. It’s the kind of love that will stand the test of time.  Forget  Romeo & Juliet, I want to see Kanye & West.  Get me a Hallmark card with this quote on the inside, stat.
I want a man that will recognize me for the creative genius that I am.  He will put me on the same level as Walt Disney and William Shakespeare.  He will repeatedly tell people how great I am even when not inquired about it.  He’ll be like:
         “Ebony’s skin is softer than a million lambs and her hair is shinier than all the Brazilian                    hair weaves in the world.”
         “Sir, all I asked was do you want waffle or curly fries?”
         “Curly fries don’t deserve to be in Ebony’s presence.  Waffle fries with an extra honey                    mustard.”
         “That extra honey mustard is going to cost you 25 cents.”
         “Blasphemy! Why does Ebony have to live in a world that is so cruel and greedy?”
Who doesn’t want someone like that?
You will never have to worry about being in second place when you getting that Kanye type of love.  You not getting the props you think you deserve from your employer?  That special someone that lives by the Kanye love code will be on your job bright and early in the morning telling that employer that they are making a huge mistake by not recognizing your greatness.  They are committing crimes against humanity by not highlighting every second of every work day the tenacious worker you are.  He will then demand the Director relinquishes their duties and hand them to you.  Yep, sign me up for that type of love right away.
Stop giving your heart to lames.  Stop crying over scrubs.  Find you a man or woman that will constantly, unnecessarily tell everybody about your greatness. 

Does your mate live by the Kanye love code?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Fire Challenge: Why I'm Not Having Children

As a single woman, there are times when I imagine being a wife with kids: cooking dinner for my family, walking through the park with baby in stroller,   beaming with pride as I watch my little girl in her first dance recital or my son’s first T-Ball game.  But then I get on Facebook and I’m reminded why there might not be in little Ebonys running around anytime soon. 

The reality is I’m scared crapless to have kids because apparently it’s the “in thing” to set yourself on fire, film it, and post it to Facebook for the world to see.  What I have just described is the Fire Challenge.  These are videos where the world’s dumbest adolescents rub some flammable fluid on their chests and then set a lighter to it.   No, I’m not talking about some rite of passage in a tribe documented by National Geographic.  This is Man Man and Pookey in the bathroom giving themselves 6th degree burns while some idiot is standing on the side using his phone to record instead of calling 911.

My mom use to say “If you think things can’t get any worse, just live a little longer.”  Well, I never thought I would live to see the day where someone sets fire to their own limbs.  Don’t they know being on fire is ranked the worst pain you can feel? Right up there with labor pains with no epidural.  So on top of parents having to make sure their kids don’t join a gang, get pregnant at 16, and don’t do crack, now they have to lock up all the lighters and lighting fluid because of a new trend?  Does Obamacare even cover self-inflicted burns? I can’t. 

We are becoming a society that is controlled by the number of likes on a post.  And honestly, I’m not sure if I want to bring kids into a world like that.  The day I hear my child say she set herself on fire because her friends were doing it is the day she learns to eat through a feeding tube because every tooth in her head is being knocked out.  I get that peer pressure can be something else but really?  Being popular can’t be that serious.  When a child has set his/her mind on causing bodily harm to themselves for a few hundred likes, who is to blame?  I’m not even sure how to start a conversation with someone who has that reasoning or logic. 

I fear for today’s youth.  There is already another challenge where kids are causing themselves to pass out.  I try my best to not imagine what the next challenge is going to be.  If any kids read my blog, please put the lighter down, it’s not worth it.  While I’m pretty sure that procreation is not for me, I pray that our youth will get it together soon.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spoken Word: N.W.A Casting Call

Source: Todd MacMillan/Universal Pictures
Last week, a casting agency caused a lot of uproar in the interwebs.  The Sandi Allesi Casting posted a casting call to their Facebook page looking for women for the new N.W.A Biopic.  In this decade's most racist casting call, women were broken down into 4 categories: A, B, C, and D.  The A-C category requested women who were the hottest of the hottest, mixed race, medium to light skin with long hair, natural or weave.  Being of the darker shade myself, I had a bit of a problem with Category D.  Category D asked specifically for dark skin women who were not only out of shape but poor looking.  Because as we all know only dark skinned women are out of shape and poor.

To express my disgust for everything in this casting call, I decided to find my inner Love Jones and come to you with this post in spoken word.  So turn down the lights, light a cigarette, and snap as I approach the stage and give you


2014, but it might as well be 1943 
Too dark to be "the hottest of the hot"
But just right to be a rag, wearing mammy

I can be cast to be the loud mouth baby mama or
The girl twisting her neck at the corner store
Shaking my hand as I talk
Oooooo, maybe I get the part as Dr. Dre's Compton whore

Hair not long enough for Category A
Skin not medium enough for Category C
Dark skin, short hair, chubby stature
Just right for Category D

Why can't I be the love interest?
Why can't I be the woman that Ice Cube strives for?
Why is that light is right,
But dark gets ignored?

I thought this dispute was over
This way of thinking was in the past
But I'm still having to defend my dark shade
All my childhood insecurities coming back fast

My mom repeatedly having to tell me I'm beautiful
Giving myself pep talks before I left for school
Being intimidated to wear vibrant colors 
And only clear lip gloss was the rule

But the pep talks are few
I wear every color on the spectrum
I embrace my dark skin 
Rather than view it as an incurable infection

Casting call agent 
I have some words for you
The next time you mention my shade
This is what you should do

Pair it with strength, perseverance,
Vulnerable, charming, and beauty,
Funny, smart, sarcastic,
And maybe a little snooty  

Casting call agent,
Listen to my plea,
Do not shame my black women and black girls
With Category D

*Snap, Snap Hope you enjoyed the flow of my words.  What did you think about the casting call? 

Update: The casting agency and N.W.A has made a public apology for the ignant casting call.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nicki MInaj & Iggy Azalea: Why We Need This

Hip Hop has always been competitive: who has the better lyrics, who has the biggest chain, who’s rocking the cleanest sneakers, or who has the biggest bank account.  This competitive spirit is what makes Hip Hop stand out from other genres.  Admitting that the East Coast, West Coast beef got a little out of hand, some of the greatest moments in Hip Hop came from friendly competition (Remember Jay-Z and Nas?)
This is why we need both Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea to be great.  There have always been complaints about the woman’s place (or a lack of) in the lyrical realm.  At times, we have gone as long as a decade without strong female MCs.  We have gone even longer without having more than one female rapper on the charts at the same time.  With both Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea on the scene, it shows a promising future for females in Hip Hop.
I know some people are bothered by Iggy Azalea’s presence.  Not I.  If she is good at what she does, let her shine.  Don’t hate, congratulate (yea, I know that's from 1997).  Forbes wrote an article about the Iggy’s surprising success and needless to say some African Americans were not here for the article.  For me, her success is not a slap to black women in the genre but a chance for us to see how Nicki Minaj is going to handle the competition (and possibly see other women bust onto the scene).
Let’s keep it real: who has been Nicki’s competition (To be honest, I wasn’t expecting Nicki to last past her first single)?  For the past 4 years, the female rapper category at the BET Awards has been a joke.  This was the first year that I wasn’t sure if Nicki was going to take the award home or not.  Nicki has had the freedom to experiment with different sounds because she didn’t have to worry about anybody snatching her wig.  Now that there is someone else on the scene it’s makes  me wonder how she is going to deal.
At this year’s BET Awards, shots were fired when Nicki made it known that she writes her own bars. She has said that this was not shade towards Azalea.  However, I can't help but wonder why she felt the need to explain the authenticity of her work?  Is it because Nicki knows that play time is over and a rumble is getting ready to start?  Whatever the case may be, Nicki wanted us to know she is a force to be reckon with.  Will Iggy be the one to reckon with that force?
This was me when Nicki was giving her acceptance speech
As long as there are no real shots fired, beefs friendly competition is a good thing in hip hop.  This separates the rappers from the lyricists.  I’m ready for the females to get a piece of the action and I feel that Nicki and Iggy are the ones who are go to do it. 

What do yall think?

Monday, June 30, 2014

BET Awards 2014: Not One Damb Was Given

If this is your first time visiting my blog, I would like to welcome you with a "Yaaaaaaaaasssssssssssss" in my Reginae (Lil Wayne's daughter) voice as I shake my hand in a sporadic motion.  Usually, I write the highlights of the show.  However, sometimes words are just not enough.  So I would let others express my emotions for me:

Every time Chris Rock Clowned Rick Ross or T.I. or Solange 

When August Alsina was giving us faux tears during his acceptance speech

How excited I get to when I see Nicki Minaj looking like a human

The girl is gorgeous!

How I looked when dancing to Lionel Richie's All Night Long

When my SISTAH, J-Hud, was bringing back the new Walk It Out

When I didn't know who any of the groups were in the Rap Group Category

When Young Money gave there acceptance speech

When Phylicia Rashaad came out to give a tribute to Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou

When I saw the it was passed my bedtime and the show was still going on 

Every year when it's time to present the Best Female Rapper award and you know Nicki Minaj is going to win it

When Nicki Minaj said she wasn't throwing shade

That Beyonce and Jay Z "performance"

As always I had an awesome time watching the awards along with #BlackTwitter and if you want to follow me during any award show, you can find me at @ebonymariere.  

Special shoutout to and for the awesome GIFs.

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