Today is rapper J. Cole’s birthday. The 30 year old is celebrating top record sales with his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, and he is also giving back in a major way:
“One of the most endearing aspects of J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive release was the rapper’s willingness to both literally and figuratively invite fans into his childhood home. Now, Cole is apparently taking it a step further and recently announced plans to use the house as a rent-free haven for single mothers with multiple children.
Speaking with the Combat Jack show for a lengthy breakdown of his new music, childhood, and rise to success, Cole explained his experience moving from military housing to a trailer park to the single family home that graces his latest album cover. Explaining his excitement as a kid to move into the now-iconic address, Cole said he wants to give other kids that same opportunity.”
Gabrielle Union is my girl! She is promoting the new season of “Being Mary Jane,” one of my favorite TV shows. I love Mara Brock Akil ; her skill as a writer, her story lines, her creative vision, is EVERYTHING! Her stories are so engaging.
Our girl Gabby is her own woman, much like the character she plays on the show. Gabrielle has this to say about her union with Dwayne Wade , of the Miami Heat, and why she requested a pre-nup: “For women in Hollywood, when they’re coupling, everything is about the brand. Everything is about latching on to a rising star, so you can kick your heels up. That’s never been my story, ever. I make sure to let people know all of the hard work that’s gone into my career. I want people to know the work that it took to get through UCLA, that I had student loans and worked. I was eating Top Ramen and lived well below my means. Now that it’s time to get married to a man who happens to play basketball and has done well for himself, I want to make it clear that I have in no way hitched my wagon to his star. I have my own wagon and star.”
I feel you on that one Gabrielle, (((yelling “WE WANT PRE-NUPS” in my Kanye voice))) 🙂
Are you giving too much? Well, there is a difference between functional and dysfunctional helping and giving. One should not stop helping completely, and just shut down. However, one should set helping boundaries when telltale signs of unhealthy helping appear.
These are a few of the “Twelve Red Flags of Dysfunctional Helping and Giving”:
1. It’s increasingly obvious that your help and giving fosters dependence, irresponsibility, incompetence, or poor character.
Burn states, “Sometimes we have to face the fact that our good intentions have gone bad. Continuing to help and give under these conditions is a waste of our resources and isn’t really helpful. Remember healthy helping promotes other people’s growth, independence, and the development of their positive potential. Unhealthy (dysfunctional) helping does the opposite. Use you’re helping energies and resources to help people and causes that will truly benefit from your help.” Know when to pull away and allow a person space to grow independently.
2. The other person continues to violate. Violations include numerous agreements, requires many bailouts, and hasn’t used the help to do as promised.
From the upcoming book “Beyond Declarations of Codependence: The Psychology of Dysfunctional Helping & Giving” by Shawn Meghan Burn, PhD, “At this point, it’s time to stop believing them and giving them chances, at least for now (once you get strong evidence that they are ready to use your help to progress in life, you might try helping them again). When people use your help to escape responsibility over and over again, it’s best to summon the strength to terminate your helping. Continuing to give to people who don’t uphold their end of the deal is a waste of your time and resources. If you continue, you’ll become increasingly angry and resentful.” When it has been demonstrated that the other party won’t compromise. You must let it go before you make yourself angry and resentful.
3. The help or giving causes one to stagnate, or become stuck in an age-inappropriate earlier stage of development, or prevents them from developing needed life or professional skills.
Burn suggests, “You can be too helpful and in the process create people who can’t take care of themselves or do their jobs well. Unhealthy helping can doom others to be less than they’re capable of. Healthy helping promotes others’ independence and life progress; it doesn’t retard it.” Do not allow yourself to step in the way of another persons growth.
4. Your helping or giving requires you to be dishonest and/or compromises your integrity.
The examples that Burn describes are as follows: ” making bogus excuses for another or covering for another, are almost never forms of healthy helping and giving. Healthy helping doesn’t typically involve deception, secrets, nor does it require that we violate our moral code.”
Once you start lying for someone, it never stops. You can hide a lie but you can’t hide the truth.
Finally, you should pull back from “helping” those who take advantage of your help when it is more about you proving to yourself or others what a good person or family member you are. Be good to yourself, be nice to yourself, protect, preserve, and promote yourself. When you help those who truly appreciate what you bring to the situation, you will feel the difference.
Wondering if it is love or just lust? Well, there are 11 indicators developed by John Gottman that use a behavioral approach to determine if it is real or as fake as NeNe Leake’s He-Man Wig.
Test these outward signs of human behavior to determine if your baby loves you, or not.
1.Wants to spend time with you-Face it, “someone who truly cares about you will use whatever time is left over to have some alone time together.” Nobody is too busy to give or receive love.
2. Asks about your day-Your loved one wants to know how you feel, “couples build their love for each other not necessarily on the ethereal, but on the practical supports that keep communication routes open.”
3. Trusts you- Partners who truly care about each other will be reasonable. You can’t be with someone 24/7. Things come up. Your partner may work with or spend a lot of time with a member of the opposite sex. You must feel at peace knowing that your partner is trustworthy and trusts you too.
4. Helps you when you need it- Bottom line, “as busy as we all get, adding extra chores or duties to your day may be the last thing you feel like doing.” If he or she loves you, they will make a sacrifice from time to time.
5. Shows respect for your views-Current research on complimentary relationships says,” it’s possible for you and your partner to be on completely opposite poles of the political spectrum and still remain happy together for years.” The key is not what your beliefs are but, how open you can be to accepting your partner’s perspective as well. Agree to disagree and get busy.
6. Shows affection-Couples don’t have to engage in frequent sex, or even any sex at all, to be emotionally intimate. However,physical contact with your partner, even if you are lightly touching his or her arm, shows some connection to you.
7. Looks at you-The nonverbal cues that partners share with each other reveal their deeper feelings. Your partner will look at you if they like what they see! Even if the two of you don’t look into each other’s eyes; even a quick glance can be enough to send positive, love-confirming, vibes.
Want to learn more about it? Check out the rest of the article “here“
In order to have love you must show love. See if you are giving your partner something he can feel!
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South. Unfortunately, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, which made it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the home of the fight for suffrage.
Despite opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on a historical march from Selma to Montgomery across the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge. Finally, their efforts resulted in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Selma” was released on, December 25, 2014 (USA) was directed by, Ava DuVernay, and produced by, Brad Pitt, Christian Colson, Dede Gardner,Oprah Winfrey, Jeremy Kleiner and through production companies: Pathé, Plan B, Entertainment, and Cloud Eight Films.
Selma received several Golden Globe nominations, but took home the Globe for the best original song, “Glory” performed by Common and John Legend. Common, who also co-starred in the film, gave a rousing acceptance speech that not only serves as evident humble gratitude but even more of a strong call to action for us all to recognize and continue the passion filled fight of our ancestors. Common’s acceptance speech evokes a spirtiual response that encourages us to continue the fight today, without wavering.
David Oyelowo played Martin Luther King, Jr. in a riveting performance. He provided an intimate look in to the life of a leader who was spiritually and morally challenged to provide a beacon of light for the community while providing the loving supportive leadership of his own household. His challenges go far beyond what pictures and speeches provide. We get to peek into his private space. For instance, when he calls to wake Mahalia Jackson out of her bed where she lay peacefully with her husband, to allow him to, “hear the voice of God.” She sings him a lullaby that gives him the strength to press on.
Oprah Winfrey portrayed Annie Lee Cooper, who was denied the right to vote several times for reasons too trifling to recount. Although her role as Cooper meshed well within the several back stories of freedom fighters, her performance is eerily reminiscent of her portrayal of Miss Sofia in “The Color Purple”.
Carmen Ejogo who plays Coretta Scott King, gave what I feel was the most convincing and heart-warming performance. She not only embodied the beauty of Coretta Scott King, she was able to convincingly express her spirit, as well. Recently, on the Ellen Show, Winfrey mentioned that the King children agreed Ms. Ejongo’s performance was spot-on. The King descendants believed that she perfected Coretta Scott King’s mannerisms, speech pattern, stance, walk, and overall demeanor. There is no greater compliment to be given than that. What an honor.
The scene that affected me the most was when Hoover relays his utter disgust for King and his leadership. He says, “We can weaken the dynamic, dismantle the home…” It became the pet project of the US Government to weaken King’s power of persuasion over the people by attempting to dismantle his home and his family’s security. For maintaining a strong home, and a balanced life for their children, Coretta Scott King did a job that inspires awe.
Perhaps the most evil of all characters was Governor George Wallace played by Tim Roth. His performance signifies and symbolizes the hatred that beat in the hearts of many during that contentious era. We are able to capture a behind the scenes look at how laws were passed and how rules were manipulated through his interaction with his subordinates and with his superior, President Johnson.
I did not review every performance, nor did I want to spoil the film by giving away too much. I definitely recommend that you see Selma, not only for the biographical and historical significance, but also for its relevance in today’s present political landscape. While we may point to our leaders to make change, we must first think, speak, act, and commit to positive change. Watching the sea of humanity cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge gave me an overwhelming sense of purpose and responsibility to not let the fight of our forefathers go in vain. We are all responsible. We are all Selma.