Read Smoke!

Read Smoke!
My latest book, "Smoke: poems of love, longing and ecstasy" is available for purchase on Amazon in e-book and paperback. Click book for link.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Angela Basset Recieves Star in Hollywood's "Walk of Fame"

Actress Angela Basset recieved a star on Hollywoods "Walk of Fame" this past Thursday March 20, 2008 and it was an emotion-filled experience. "Today my cup runneth over" said Basset to a crowd of proud on-lookers including former co-stars Laurence Fishburn and Forest Whitaker. "I am crying now, I cried yesterday and the day before."Angela Basset, veritably one of the finest actresses that Hollywood has ever seen, is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic "What's Love Got to Do With It" earned her a Oscar nomination. Other powerful and memorable performances include her portray of Betty Shabbazz in Spike Lee's "Malcom X" and of Bernadine in the film adaptation of Terry McMillan's "Waiting to Exhale". She is currently cast to portray Voletta Wallace, mother of late rapper Notorious B.I.G. in his biopic film "Notorious".

Suzan-Lori Parks to direct Broadway Revival of August Wilson's "Fences"

"Fences," the first play in August Wilson's 10-play cycle, will be revived in the fall in a Broadway production to be directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ("Topdog/Underdog"). Carole Shorenstein Hays, the San Francisco-based producer who presented the original production of"Fences" is behind the revival. Set in the 1950s, "Fences" tells the story of Troy Maxon, once a famous baseball player in the Negro Leagues and now a proud garbage collector, father and husband. When his youngest son is offered a football scholarship, Troy must reconcile his anger at past racial inequities with wanting the best for his family's future. James Earl Jones won a Best Actor Tony as Troy in the original production, which also starred Mary Alice, Courtney B. Vance and Frankie Faison. The original production earned the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as four Tony Awards, including Best Play.
"Fences" is currently being presented as part of the Kennedy Center's "August Wilson's 20th Century" series.The production is expected to open in the fall, with specific dates, theater, and cast information to be announced at a later date.Wilson died of liver cancer in 2005, at the age of 60. During his lifetime he was the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, a Tony Award, two Drama Desks, seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and numerous other honors, all of which he achieved before . His other plays include "Gem of the Ocean," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "The Piano Lesson," "Seven Guitars," "Two Trains Running," "Jitney," "King Hedley II," and "Radio Golf."

(Courtesy of Black Talent News Feed)

Tyler Perry Plans to Direct a Barack-Michelle Inspired Love Story

At a press conference for his upcoming film, "Meet the Browns," Tyler Perry announced that he's working on a film project inspired by the relationship between Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. "For the Love You" is about a man's love for his woman. "It's an amazing story," Perry says. Perry came up with the idea after having dinner with the Obama's and after watching Barack debate with Hillary. He described it as "a love story with a political twist," Perry says he hopes he can cast Angela Bassett and Denzel Washington.Perry is determined to get this project made. The actor-writer-director who has partnered with Lionsgate on his five feature films, says "if they won't do it, I'll do it with someone else." Producing partner Reuben Cannon hinted that the project might go into production by the end of the year.

(Courtesy of Black Talent News Feed)

India Arie to star in Broadway Revival of "For Colored Girls"

Grammy winner India.Arie is headed to Broadway to star in a revival of Ntozake Shange's "for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf." The Tony Award-nominated and Obie-winning drama which tells the interwoven stories of seven women, is expected to open early August in a theatre yet to be announced.
Shirley Jo Finney will direct the production, which will feature choreography by Tony winner Hinton Battle. Whoopi Goldberg and DreamTeam Entertainment Group (Victor Walker, Harold Wheeler and Ned Goldstein) are the executive producers.
Arie's previous acting credits include a short run portraying Nina Simone on NBC's "American Dreams."
(Courtesy of Black Entertaint News Feed)

Beyonce, Idris Elba to star in "Obsessed"

Beyonce Knowles ("Dreamgirls"), Idris Elba ("American Gangster") and Ali Larter ("Heroes," "Resident Evil") have been tapped for Screen Gems' thriller "Obsessed." Knowles will play the wife of a successful asset manager (Elba) who has a Fatal Attraction-type temp office worker (Larter) stalking him. Steve Shill (NBC's "Knight Rider" telepic) will direct from a script by David Loughery. Beyonce will executive produce along with her father, Mathew Knowles and Will Packer ("This Christmas") of Rainforest Films. Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper is overseeing the project.Knowles is producing and co-starring as Etta James in Sony BMG's "Cadillac Records." Elba next stars in Screen Gems' "Prom Night."Production will begin this summer.

(Courtesy of Black Talent News Feed)

Wedding Dress of the Week

Happy Saturday Divas!
It's that magical time again... Wedding Dress of the Week! 'Sofia' from Melissa Sweet's 2008 Collection is a silk shantung strapless column gown with ruched bodice and harem-hemmed overskirt. It's available in Diamond White and Ivory. Now this construction of wedding dress was very popular in the nineties, but every once in a while it still appears on the bridal fashion runways. I've always been a fan of this design and I imagine that when I walk down the isle it will be in a similar dress. It combines the sexiness of the sheath, with the modest a-line silhouette. It marries chic simplicity with high wedding drama. The bonus, this cut is a great way for a woman with fuller hips or the "pear shape" to pull of a sheath.

Also: Check out the scrunched shear gloves the model is wearing. It's the future of bridal fashion. Fabolah. Love the look!

Flyness and Funk,

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Boondocks Episode, "Hunger Strike", that was Banned From TV


This is the episode of "Boondocks" that was banned from television by network execs (Viacom) who would have had a fit if this was shown. It is a brilliantly done satire about an evil Cruela Devil-like BET executive( at the beck and call of her white superiors) out to do what "hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow and malt liquor" could not; destroy the Black race. Now, we all know that BET is carcinogenic. We all know that watching that network ritually is about as good for you as inhaling second hand smoke on a daily basis. Nevertheless, what this episode does best is shed light on the nature of our contemporary Black leaders, some of whom (I won't name names, that's tacky) in their attempt to enlighten the "hip hop generation" about social change, fall into same decadence of those they criticize. In this epoisode, "Hunger Strike" food becomes a metaphor for this decadence of which I speak. The activist figure, Rollo Good Love, who oddly resembles a cross between Al-Sharpton and Ronald Isley, believes that he can effect change from within by joining the very entertainment world that he speaks against. But in doing so, he becomes blindsighted by his own celebrity. We should remember that a civic leader is a position of service. While notariety may come with it, the moment that a leader is motivated by achieving self glory he becomes ineffective. It's just a good episode. Watch it while you can. I'm sure that it will mysterioulsy vanish from the internet as it has done several times before.

"It's 2 PM, time for our morning staff meeting."
"When I sit and watch BET my dignity is sucked away."

Bill Richardson Endorses Obama

The governor of New Mexico and former presidential candidate, Bill Richardson, formally endorsed Barack Obama today in Portland, Oregon. His endorsement means a lot to the Obama Campaign. Bill Richardson is a democratic super delegate and he is likely to influence the Hispanic voting population. Richardson is the only Hispanic governor in the country. Richardson becomes the second 2008 presidential contender to endorse Obama, following Sen. Dodd of CT. Sen. Clinton has yet to be endorsed by a former candidate. Edwards and Biden remain neutral.

This comes from MSNBC's First Read, written by Mark Murray.

*** Richardson’s endorsement: When John Edwards made an appearance on Leno last night, we were bracing ourselves for a possible endorsement. We just didn’t know it would be coming from Bill Richardson, who will formally throw his support behind Obama at a campaign event today in Portland, OR. The endorsement isn’t too much of a surprise -- Richardson had been hinting his support for Obama for a while. Still, it’s significant for two reasons: 1) Richardson becomes the second Dem presidential contender to endorse Obama, while none has backed Clinton (Biden and Edwards are still neutral); and 2) Richardson specifically cited Obama’s speech on race as a reason for getting off the fence. “He asked us to rise above our racially divided past, and to seize the opportunity to carry forward the work of many patriots of all races, who struggled and died to bring us together,” he said in a letter to his supporters. “As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words.” The Obama camp, though, has to be a bit disappointed the endorsement didn’t come before Texas. In fact, of the remaining contests, Puerto Rico is the only one left with a significant Hispanic population. Expect some bitterness from Clinton land on this one, in particular because many of them believe that without Bill Clinton appointing Richardson to two Cabinet posts, he wouldn't have had the experience that makes him a viable veep candidate. Of course, Richardson’s endorsement means another superdelegate for Obama, raising his overall delegate total (pledged and supers) to 1,626 vs. 1,506 for Clinton.

The Look of L'Wren

I'm crazy about fashion/costume designer L'wren Scott these days because with her it's all about the woman. She understands that at the end of the day it's less about the artistic statement and more about honoring the women who wears the clothes. She's making an impact on the red carpet having dressed stars such as Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman. Her designs hug the female silhouette, not with a cloying hug (the kind that is too tight and last just a few seconds too long) but with a warm embrace that accentuates the woman's Goddesss like assets. She limits her collections to a few key designs; knee length dresses, slender pants (right, not for everyone), trench coats and some show-stopping sheaths. She sticks to a simple no-nonsense color pallete and infuses her graphic designs with incredible detail and luxurious materials. While we all can't look like her(she's a tall, skinny thing and former model) we'd feel incredible in her clothes. Fabolah! No wonder she's becoming popular on the red carpet.

Okay, admittedly if you're not a Hollywood A-lister her line is hard to find, but you can purchase some of her line at Shop Style and soon at Net-A-Porter.

Flyness and Funk,

Below: Selections from Fall 2008, Spring 2008, and Fall 2007 Collections.

Fly Alert: Ralph Lauren Silk Dress with Full Skirt

Extra! Extra! Read all about! This just in at Macy's, a gorgeous silk chanteuse Ralph Lauren dress that effortlessly girly, figure flattering, and so fashion forward. Thanks Ralph. Purchase here for $220.

Flyness and Funk(-y Fifties Inspired Dresses),

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Should a Woman Settle for the Sake of Marriage?

Afternoon Divas,

So what about Mr. Good-Enough?I stumbled across a fantastic article in the Atlantic monthly written by guest-author, Lori Gottlieb,a thirty-something career woman and mother by anonymous sperm donor. All her life she'd been waiting for a man with whom she'd share an intense passion with and someone that fit all of her fantasized ideals of her perfect suitor. Needless to say, she escorted endless men who could have been "the one" out of her life and Mr. Perfect never came.

In hindsight, she writes that she regrets not being married, despite having total self-sufficiency, the child, and the career. In hindsight, she suggests, that it may have been better to not have been so picky and stubborn in her romantic ideals that she passed over quality men with whom a long term commitment may have worked. Here's an excerpt:

I don’t mean to say that settling is ideal. I’m simply saying that it might have gotten an undeservedly bad rap. As the only single woman in my son’s mommy-and-me group, I used to listen each week to a litany of unrelenting complaints about people’s husbands and feel pretty good about my decision to hold out for the right guy, only to realize that these women wouldn’t trade places with me for a second, no matter how dull their marriages might be or how desperately they might long for a different husband. They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone, because they, like me, realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection—it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.

Click here to enjoy the rest of the article. Not only is it worth the read but it's worth being circulated amongst your female friends, single and non-single, and discussed.

Now I've been thinking about this whole issue since I posted the Oprah Clip last week about 70% of Black women being single. First of all, I don't know where that statistic comes from, so I do question it's validity, but even if it is correct I would ignore it. . I believe that the moment we as Black women begin to think that because we are Black women we are doomed to be single forever, have relationship issues, or have to date sub-par men... the moment we embrace this defeatism is the moment we really will endure these issues. If marriage is what you truly want (and it doesn't have to be), then marriage is what you shall get. Seek and you shall find.

However, with an obvious disparity between available Black men and Black women you either need to be open to dating outside of your race or dating Black men who are not necessarily from America, and if not (and it's okay if you don't want to) be willing to not make the dating pit falls that many women do. With odds stacked against you my sisters, you can not afford to make costly, time-consuming mistakes. This of course, is my opinion.

What are these mistakes? Okay, well first of all, women approach every aspect of their life, career, networking, buying a car... with pragmatism. We strategize. We network. We have a game plan to success. We don't make major decisions without first weighing the pros and the cons. We believe that things are possible and we pursue them. When we are in pursuit of something worth while, we are practical creatures.But... for some reason, when many of us are in pursuit of a man with the ultimate intension of finding a husband, we lose all sense of practicality. We become short sided, emotional, and in some cases defeated.

Now some of us will meet "the one" in high school or bump into him by chance while walking our dog in Central Park. For the rest of us, we need practicality. The author of the article, Lori, calls it "settling". No! A fly woman should never settle, she should just be realistic. If marriage is in your heart, God will grant you that blessing. You will attract what you desire by the nature of karma, but you must be able to recognize that blessing when it comes.

I think that the major problem women suffer from is setting fickle ideals about the man they want to be with. We are all, to some extent, waiting for Prince Charming to ride in his Benz CL 500 and give us the life of our dreams. We dream up Mr. Right from a place of superficiality and often from a place of shallowness. Not in the negative sense of the term, but in the fact that we have personal voids (like beautiful paper with wholes punched in it) and we form our desires for a mate out of the need to feel complete. But we have to do the completing. Our joy must come from within. We need for him to be a certain height, a certain biuld, work in a certain industry, come from a certain upbringing, like the same music we like, like the same food we like, and etc. Now while attraction is important, a woman shouldn't be quick to exclude a man because he isn't 'her type' that's a superficial desire.

Furthermore, don't be blinded by the smoke screen of compatibility. I once dated a man with whom I was compatible down to the 't'... but he was a dog!!! Surface level compatibility is not all that serious, it's your inner-most ideals about life that need to match up.

How I see it, what really matters is that you are compatible in terms of your ideas on family values, marriage, relationship, and life. Of course there needs to be an amazing physical and emotional connection and to many women it's important that her partner have a similar educational background and socio-economic status. Nothing wrong with that. But when women discount potential suitors on account for superficial reasons it saddens me. If the odds are stacked against women of color, then she can't afford to be close minded.

In fact, no woman can.Neither can she afford to waist time in dead end relationships with men who disrespect their mind, spirit, or body. Don't get so caught up by what he does, or how good the sex is, that you are oblivious to bright red flags. Everyone has different standards, but me personally, I need to know that my sig-o is honest, has a sense of ethics, believes in God, respects my body, mind and spirituality, has strong family values, and is willing to make sacrifices (small or large) for the sake of our relationship. And if these items are not in order, I move on! My best friend, the Chocolate Diva has a great saying. "Wait... I actually don't have the time. Next!" But really, I could care less if he likes hip hop and I like jazz. Variety is the spice of life.

A final concern of mine is women who 'seek'. While I do believe that we should form networks that help us to meet potential suitors, I don't believe in women who chase. If you catch something, you'll ultimately probably want to throw it back. First of all it's so important that a woman is in touch with herself, loves herself flaws and all. You need to be a complete person to even know what you want in a man.

Furthermore, there's such a thing as a seductive personality. When you're fly, you're doing your thing, and meeting different people, he's going to come to you. And you want that. You want that genuine admiration. You don't want that guy approaching 30, thinking about getting married soon, dating 3 women at once, and trying to make a decision (it happens like that sometimes). You want that man who's smitten. Who tells you that you are beautiful and that you smell nice and he really notices when are wearing a different scent. That man that is trying to know more about you, rather than more about your body. That man who is understanding. That man that can handle you (because some of yall, including me, are crazy). That man who looks into your eyes and gives you the chills because you feel that he is really searching for your soul. You shouldn' t feel like you have to keep up a facade or that dating someone is like a show, where you need to be 'on' in order to keep him impressed. When it's right it feels natural.

So while I agree with Lori about opening our eyes and not passing up on a potential blessing, I disagree that this is settling. I think it's being smart, rational, realistic and honest. I think it's getting to know and love yourself so that you can truly know and love someone else. Hmmm, tell me what you think. I know my ideas will strike a chord with some of you.

Flyness and funk,

A Love Poem for Spring

Spring... Earth's renaissance, a season for growth and renewal, a season for love, for perfumes that sing high pitched notes of jasmine, bergamot, and rose, for being woken by bird songs and the sun beating at your window pain, for taking time to smell the flowers as they stretch open and yawn, and a time to thank God for the beauty in nature and the glory that is life.

And because spring, for me, is the season of romance, here is a poem by Nazir Qabbani, an incredible Arab poet noted for his love poems. It captures the spirit of things.

On Entering the Sea

Love happened at last,
And we entered God's paradise,
SlidingUnder the skin of the water
Like fish.
We saw the precious pearls of the sea
And were amazed.
Love happened at last
Without intimidation…with symmetry of wish.
So I gave…and you gave
And we were fair.
It happened with marvelous ease
Like writing with jasmine water,
Like a spring flowing from the ground.

-Nizar Qabbani, translated by B. Frangieh

She said what???

"Did you forget who this is? Did you forget that I bring the drama, I love the drama, and it's fun to me?!"
-Tiffanie on 'Girlicious' before she told a few girls off ol' school style

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SPOTLIGHT: Dizzy Gillespie, Manteca, 1982, Finland

As good as Latin jazz gets...

Taking it Back to the T-Strap


While a slingback and an ankle strap may go in and out, a T-Strap has timeless sex appeal. It's also flattering to any leg and appropriate at any age. This season, it may not be the main shoe trend, but quite a few have caught my eyes. I thought I'd share.

Flyness and Funk,
1. Fendi Rnway Metallic Circles Heel, $625, E-Luxury
2. BP Plie Pump, $59.95, Nordstrom
3. Miss Sixty "brodie" Pump, $175, Nordstrom
4. Claudia Ciuti Dalia HIgh Heel T-Strap Sandal, Shop Bop
5.Miu Miu Patent T-Strap Pump, $495, Saks
6. Le silla T-Strap Sandal, on sale for $200 from $670, Foot Candy
7. Versace Stamped Croc and Raffia Wedge, $810, E-Luxury
8. Christian Louboutin Coxinellse T-Bar Pump, $695, Net-A-Porter

Fly Alert: Elliott Lucca 'Marakkesh' Woven Patent Drawstring Bag

In homage to the arrival of Spring Fashion, the one accessory that we can only get away with two seasons out of the year; the White Bag. I need for a summer bag full enough to fit my entire life in it and I think the woven detail and gold metal makes this bag pretty fabolah. It can be purchased at Nordstroms for $328.
Flyness and Funk,

She said what???

"Pat [Buchanan] I have an idea. Why don't you try being a Black man for a day and see how that works out for you. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time in America."
-MSNBC Political Commentator Kelli Goff

Please note that during this heated debate on MSNBC about whether or not the basi for Obama's spectacular campaign was his race, conservative, republican pundit and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan tells Kelli Goff to "shut up". He has never told anyone else to shut up on national tv. She handled it with tremendous dignity. The clip below. The incident is after 4.30.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Turner Complex: Can a man honor his people and not his woman?

The Turner Complex- group of symptoms associated with a Black male who simultaneously identifies with the revolutionary behavior of Nat Turner and the abusive behavior of Ike Turner. He is passionate about the advancement of his people and spends his time reading Michael Eric Dyson and listening to John Coltrane. He can quote from the Auto Biography of Malcolm X and there is a picture of the Black Panther’s on his wall, however he can’t help but disrespect woman after woman as he concerns himself chiefly with his own satisfaction. If he doesn’t leave her with physical scars he leaves her with emotional wounds. The problem with a man suffering from the Turner Complex is that he is so self-convinced and often receives such affirmation from his peers that he is never forced to confront his faults.

CAVEAT: This is not at all a generalization en masse about Black men. This is an observation I have made about a FEW Black men I've encountered that lead me to ponder a more general point about human nature that has no race and has no color boundary. I use life experience frequently as a lead in to my blogs, but they almost all have a greater point that many people can take from. This is not meant to be "sexist". It is an observation made based off a few encounters, romantic/non-romantic and while there are few men for whom my ficticious complex applies, there are MANY more men for whom it doesn't. And for that, I thank God. Enjoy.

*** *** ***
While I coined this term comically about a year ago amongst my friends, it came to mind earlier today while browsing Myspace. I came across the page of the very man for whom I’d coined the term. Let’s call him Prince Charming because he was charming as all hell, and at one time I believed that he was the man who would make my fairytale come true. (Well, for about two weeks) Now our relationship didn’t progress very far. I quickly realized that I was dealing with a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but I feel as if the experience is worth discussing.

Prince Charming’s Myspace profile is filled with quotes by the likes of Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon, quotes about the liberation of the Black race and the context of freedom. One that particularly stands out is taken from one of Malcolm X’s most notable speeches:
“If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her.”
Now let’s make it clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man that is passionate about freedom and the advancement of people of color. It is a trait that I need in a man. In fact, his ‘consciousness’ is what attracted me to him in the first place. I thought, finally, a good looking, educated, older man who believes in God, likes jazz and loves his people. Jackpot! Boy was I disillusioned. Sure, he could speak at length about the state of Black America and perhaps he’d even read some Amiri Baraka, but this man treated Black women with up most disrespect, so.. .he wasn’t all that elevated in his consciousness.

It is absolute hypocrisy when a Black man proclaims his commitment to elevating peoples of African descent, and ritually disrespects Black women, physically, sexually, or emotionally… and emotionally does count. The black woman is the bearer of the Black Race. No, this doesn't mean she carries it on her shoulders single handedly. It means, quite literally, she gives birth. She is the mother, the grand mother... the matriarch. How can a man belittle a Black woman, her mind, her spirit and her body, when it was through a Black womb that he came into existence, or that his parents came into being? How can he express his love for the Black race and denigrate the female in the process? Is it feasible fora man to be committed to honoring his people and dishonoring a Black woman when in many cases, a Black woman raised him? How can one circumvent the Black woman when she is such an integral part of the Black race? It doesn’t make sense. In the same way, it doesn't make sense for a woman that proclaims her commitment to elevating people of color routinely disparaging Black men. In both cases these are contradictions of major proportions. I dont know, it's like being crazy about pizza, but hating the bread. Then you don't like pizza. It's like being a jazz fein but abhoring the bass and the drums... Then you don't like jazz.

If a Black man, no matter how militant he is, lacks the integrity it takes to honor the Black woman (and that doesn't mean he has to love or like all black women) then he can not possibly honor his race or really, love his self. And Prince Charming isn’t the only man I’ve encountered suffering from the Turner Complex.

Now, I won't go to deep in this but I wonder if the Turner Complex to some extent manifests itself on a national scale. Like every ethnic or national group of people (we’re getting into gender studies here, but remember I’m still a senior in college) the woman ultimately signifies the ‘people' and the nation. Politics and ethnic discourse are often played out on her body and she is considered to be the keeper of tradition. Hence you have terms like the “motherland” and the “mother tongue”. In the Arab world where Islamic Law and custom are constantly being put under attack by the West, many Arab female scholars will argue that this phenomena makes it more difficult for Arab women to attain equal status in civic society because the act of defending Islamic tradition manifests itself in the suppresion of women. Literally, she becomes the keeper of tradition, and the counter to intrusive Western Thought. This is an example of how women signify the nation or the group on a larger cultural stage.

To return to my point, I find it interesting that as a collective, Blacks are interested in social ,political and economic advancement, yet we condone (and silence is a form of condoning) the sexualization and objectification the Black woman on a national stage. Is this not a ghastly contradiction? And to think of it sociologically, if the 'woman' indeed does signify 'the group' then how are we to interpret our predilection for denigrating Black women for viewing and entertainment purposes. It was on the slave block that a woman was told to strip naked and bend over so her hind parts could be examined by potential purchasers, but when I look at some videos and magazine's today... not that much different. I don't have the answer, I can just ask decent questions. (Below: Frame from Nelly's 'Tip Drill' video as he swipes a credit card down... well you know)

Now there is nothing at all wrong with a conscious Black man and many of them are respectful and admirable Black men, heroes in fact. My dad is a wonderful example of this. We're talking about men who wear their consciousness on their sleeeves... but not in their hearts. The issue is that life is about balance. When a man defines his self by his convictions, be his convictions about race or even his piety, we have to wonder for what character flaw he could be over-compensating. This statement may step on some toes, but we all know that there are men of all races in positions of political, social and religious leadership who have philandering ways and no respect for women with whom they are romantically involved. In most of these cases, however, we are willing to look past his character flaws because of his distinguished public role. Every time you watch a male politician publicly apologize for adultery and his wife is there stoically by his side, this is what’s happening.

Men who seem motivated by some deeply rooted goal to inspire change are very attractive. They seem determined. They seem whole. Their very charisma and sense of purpose is the source of their magnetism… and in most cases they know this. There is nothing wrong with an inspired man (it’s great) but a woman must be strong enough to see beyond the mask. We all wear masks. Are his convictions apart of his character or his well constructed fa├žade? Is he fooling even himself? The song says “order my steps in your word dear Lord”. Is he merely capable of articulating his beliefs in a profound way, or does he “order his steps” by them? We can always find people whose words contradict their actions, men and women, but it is dangerous to form relationships with such people.

We have to be careful about being infatuated by the “idea” of a man, or what he represents. We can’t fall in love with an archetypal figure, we need to fall in love with the reality if love is to have a chance at all.

I’d love to know what you all think about this.

Flyness and Funk,


FIERCE FILES: Remembering Our History Through Fly Women of Color

Tina Turner during her days in the Ike and Tina Turner review.

Fly Funky Diva Joins Essence Ad Network

Afternoon Divas,

I thought I'd share the good news. Fly Funky Diva has been accpeted into Essence Magazine's exclusive ad-network. This is my first major sponsor and I'm thrilled to be affilliated with a brand name that has provided women of color with a voice and commendable literature for decades. Of course I almost blew it, as I hadn't been checking my FFD account. Last night I logged in and found a flurry of emails in response to my "Stuff Educated Black Women Like" post (go figure) and two requests from Essence magazine for me to apply. Yehp, they'd even sent a follow up. So I completed the application last night, praying it wasn't too late, and I heard back from them early this morning. Terrific! This will also mean that my blog will be publicized on the website and I will have the opportunity for publication on or even the magazine.

In the mean time, I'm getting my thoughts together about my weekened escapade in NYC with my sista girl from way back. It's time to talk about personal voids, and the danger of letting a man fill them. Watch out for it!

Flyness and funk,


SPOTLIGHT: Nina Simone, Feeling Good Remix

A jazz classic remixed off of Verve Remixed, a fantastic album!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Stuff Educated Black Women Hate

A terse list, here goes it.

Tacky Christmas decorations, Tiffany “New York” Patterson, racism, video vixens who write tell-all books, any music/movie/television show that sets the race back several decades, rain, baby mama drama (maybe a baby mama, but definitely no drama), Black female reality tv characters who perpetuate stereotypes, gold teeth, singledom, technicolor weaves, Black men who exclusively date non-Black women, being labeled as angry, stereo types, chitterlings, run over shoes, anything that can be labeled as trite, ‘bama, or ghetto, men who have no business approaching them but do so anyways, BET (with the exception of the BET awards), gangster rap, kanekelon hair, condoleeza rice, war in Iraq, genocide in Sudan, HIV/AIDS epidemic, Nelly’s “Tip Drill” music video, the “down low” phenomena, any EBW who is flyer than them, long acrylic nails/claws, the fact that Kara Saun didn’t win Project Runway, Kobe Bryant, the so called “achievement gap”, Toni Childs departure from ‘Girlfriends’, Soul Food being canceled, the American prison system, the ratio of available black women to available black men, finger waves, cheap men, public pools, and their mother’s opinion.

Click here for Stuff Educated Black Women Like.

Stuff Educated Black Women Like


I too have jumped on the "let's stereotype an entire demographic of people" band wagon. You've read, or heard of, the groundbreaking 'Stuff White People Like', which inspired Stuff Educated Black People Like, Cobb's 'Stuff Black People Like', and even 'Stuff Asians Like'. I felt obligated, clearly, to contribute my own insightful and witty list to the collection of internet pop-culture. A few caveats before you begin, please be reminded that this is self-deprecating humor, the kind where the very thing that makes you giggle might make you shake your head. This is all based in truth as I see it, and I took an entire week to seriously compile this list. Now, I know someone, probably Black will think, "Why couldn't she just make a list of things Black women like? Why did she need educated?" Well first of all, I'm responding to "stuff Educated Black People Like". Furthermore, I speak from experience and the customs and lifestyles of my friends and I do not represent all Black women. In fact this list won't even represent all Educated Black women. 'Educated', to address this term, indicates more than a BA or BS. 'Educated' has nothing to do with your upbringing. It does not, necessarily, mean bourgeoisie, though clearly at times these lines will be blurred. It indicates worldliness, an awareness of culture, and a Black woman who strives to live an impactful life. In many cases, however, this will refer to a woman that has attended college and even collected a few post-grad degrees. However, an educated black woman may very well be a housewife, a ballerina, an actress, or a fashion designer. It's a term that denotes a way of life, rather than a path in life.

With all of this said, if someone has grievances (but I doubt you will because my list is good), please leave comments. I love those. Or as an educated black woman once said, "Build a bridge, and get over it."

The List: Stuff Educated Black Women Like

28. The ‘Two Step’ (and not Ciara's version)- You will never find an EBW “bustin’ out” on the dance floor, “droppin’ it like it’s hot”, or laying on the ground doing the “cry baby”. We like to maintain an upright position and an even tempo suitable for light flirtation and making sure we don’t sweat out our hair. Step-touch. Step-touch. We sway from left to right and then from right to left. No matter if the dj is spinning R. Kelly, Nelly, or Beyonce, we two-step. We may speed it up or slow it down. We may do it standing very close to our partner, or an arms length away. We may add a hand clap, a snap, a head whip, a turn, or even a little more hip and back action, but all in all, we keep doing our same two-step.

27. Africa- EBW’s are in love with Africa the romanticized idea, the unrealized fantasy, and the Motherland. We are inspired by the historical narratives of Nefertiti, Sheba, Nefertari, and Cleopatra and believe that we descended from a long line of Black Queens. We even believe that early life began in an African woman’s womb. We carry a bit of Africa’s glorious history in our proud step, our sassy attitudes, and in our willingness to set you straight about any issue that has to do with race, in particular Black Women. Yep, we blame the White Man for deflowering Africa but we try not to hold the grudge. We believe that because we come from Africa we have better rhythm than you do and that our S-shaped bodies are made of divine material. In fact, because we love Africa so much, we are quick to tell off any man who dares defile it. Now, many of us have never even been to Africa and may never go, but that doesn’t stop us from feeling a deep attachment to her. Africa is like the family matriarch who died before we were young. We’ve never met her but we’ve been told endless stories about her greatness and we instinctively love her. Any EBW over the age of 35 will have amassed some collection of African art and artifact. It’s like a family portrait. We need to know that Mother Africa is watching over us and our homes.

26. "The Black Girl"- EBW's love rooting for the one or two Black girls in a position typically filled by Whites; the one Black ballerina in the New York City Ballet (though Aesha's gone), the one Black news anchor on the 10 o'clock news, the Black CEO, the one Black beauty contestant in the Top Ten, even Oprah Winfrey!!! It didn't matter that many Black women thought Star Jones was arrogant, when she was fired from The View we were pissed! We wanted to riot when Kara Saun didn't win Project Runway. Really, EBW's love to see Black women breaking barriers because it reaffirms our sense of purpose. At least once, most EBW's have experienced being "The Black Girl". What do we hate? "The Black Girl" that was type-cast on reality tv to represent all Black women. Why? She's either "ghetto", the "vixen" or the "bitch" and neither is accurate.

25. Exclusive Affiliation- We don’t like exclusive organizations. We love them! We swear by Black organizations with rigorous admission standards as a means to validate our status in Black Society. Exclusion is a time honored tradition amongst Black Women. Prestigious affiliations make us feel like we’ve arrived, and quite frankly, like we’re better than those who aren’t involved. We also love the connection we feel with other EBW’s, particularly famous ones, when we discover they are in our same organization. We’re secretly on a mission to amass as many exclusive memberships as we can by age 50. Black Sororities, the Links, Girlfriends, the Drifters, 100 Black Women… we like to belong to anything that ordinary folk could never get into and the older and more exclusive the better. We even judge men based on their exclusive Black affiliations. Is he Greek? Is he in the Boule? All of these organizations increase a man’s eligibility. And we like paraphernalia too. What sense does it make to belong to an exclusive organization if you can’t flaunt it? We like jewelry, scarves, jackets, t-shirts, hoodies, broaches, banners, posters, license plates, key chains, coffee mugs, purse hangers, pot holders, picture frames, paintings, figurines, beach towels, and clothes for our babies adorned with images of our organization. We especially enjoy incorporating our organizations colors into our home design palette. Legacy, well…. That’s one of our favorite words in the English language. We especially can’t wait to have little ones so we can put them in Jack and Jill and start a new generation of Black folk with exclusive affiliations.

24. New York City- NYC is the premiere post-grad destination for young Black professionals working on Wall Street, top law firms, publishing, media, or perhaps studying medicine at Columbia or Cornell. Sure, we may have to put up with expensive cramped apartments in the less desirable neighborhoods of Manhattan (God forbid you reside in Brooklyn, Queens, or ghasp…. Jersey) and possibly annoying roommates, but Manhattan is the social hub of the Black up-and-coming. There’s no better place to hobnob with other educated Black Folk and potentially meet our future educated Black well-paid husbands than New York City. Hmmm…. But let’s be real and many of my BAP friends have learned, being single in NYC is like being dehydrated in the middle of a salt water sea.

23. Black Weddings- An EBW loves herself a Black Wedding! Black weddings celebrate all the values and joys in life that she holds dear; True love between a Black Educated Man and Woman, family, invitation only, pomp and circumstance, dressing to the nines, and the ‘Electric Slide’ (the only time she breaks her two-step). Now we don’t love all Black Weddings. We can’t stand the wedding where Uncle Rufus gets drunk during cocktail hour, the Best Man has gold teeth, the hubby's wearing a du-rag and the maid of honor has her dress hiked up on the dance floor as she does her spirited rendition of the Tootsie Roll. We like classy, well attended affairs; Black Weddings where we can hobnob with other educated Black folk and if we’re single, cozy up to the Educated Black Groomsmen who are still bachelors. The best part of a Black wedding is the next day when EBW’s critique everything from the wedding dress to the favors. One more thing, we may acknowledge that another EBW's wedding was a nice affair, but we will never acknowledge that was better than our own, real or imagined.

22. White friends- EBW’s love our white circle of friends. We all have friends from childhood, college, and work who are very near and dear to us. Chances are, we’ve shared some of most important life experiences with them. Now, these friends are tested and approved. They don’t try to impress us by touting their love for Hip Hop and Dave Chapelle. When they’re drunk they don’t begin mumbling crazy things about our hair and Al Sharpton. They’re cool white people. They like us for who we are and we like them for who they are.

21. Sushi-EBW’s love sushi. It’s cosmopolitan, light on the waist line and sooo delish! If you want to impress her on a first date, take her to a fabulous sushi restaurant (and know how to use chop sticks). In general, EBW's have an appreciation for internation cuisine like Ethiopian and Thai. It doesn't mean she won't throw down on some yams and collared greens, but her tastes are much broader than that.

20. Martini’s- It’s not that we collectively love the taste of a Martini more than we do red wine, pinot grigio, or champagne, it ‘s that we love the way the glass is shaped. A Martini glass is just a sexy instrument to hold between our delicate fingers as we so elegantly work the room. We also love to congregate in Martini Bars and try different types. Pomegranate anyone?

19. Yacht Parties/ Dinner Cruises- The only thing an EBW enjoys more than an exclusive party where she can dress up and hobnob with other educated Black folk is an exclusive party on a boat. There’s something about the breeze off the Hudson blowing through her hair and the Statue of Liberty in the background that makes the vibe just right. Maybe it’s because they make for good pictures.

18. Blackberries- Educated Black Women are beyond the cell phone. We like whipping out our blackberries at any given moment; walking down the street, having dinner at a restaurant, shopping. We appear to be contstantly checking our barrage of e-mails and we do want you to know that we are very important people, but in reality we’re probably texting our sig-o to see if he’s coming over later, seeing if our husband picked up the kids from ballet class, gossiping with other EBW’s, and maybe responding to a work-related e-mail or two.

17. Travel- What begins in college as Spring Break in Jamaica and semesters abroad turns into a life-long commitment to seeing the world. EBW’s are cosmopolitan and we love experiencing different cultural landscapes. We like to travel with our husbands or ‘Sig-O’’s and with our best girlfriends. We especially like to frequent places where there are other Educated Black Folk, like Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, Sag Harbor, and Hilton Head. EBW’s also enjoy European vacations, and most will experience London, Paris, Italy, and Spain at least once in their lifetime.

16. Paying Exorbitant Prices for Ordinary Things- An EBW may swear by a t-shirt, Gap Jeans, and a worn down pair of Birkenstocks, but even the most modest of EBW’s won’t hesitate to pay 60 bucks for a 16 oz. jar of Miss Jesse’s curly Pudding. We love to pay high prices for ordinary items, like Frederick Fekai hair products, Carol’s Daughter, and Kiehl’s skin cream. We especially like brands that ordinary folk have yet to hear of and we are quick to abandon them once they become popular. We know that conspicuous consumption is a sure sign of a faker, and we know that ordinary folks will pay top dollar for designer gear and skimp on everything else. So to prove our authenticity as true elitists, we avoid being walking build boards, but we flock to expensive ordinary items; bottled water, take-out, pots, linens, greeting cards, flip flops, Swarovski studded card holders, pens…you name it. We also love to shop at expensive grocery stores where we can buy quality expensive apples, hummus and organic cereal. Many of us will ultimately think we’re too good for Shop Rite. We prefer Dean and Deluca, Whole Foods, and Kings and other high-end grocery store chains.

15. Bohemian Men- We get turned on by the sight of long locks. We yearn to seduce that man with bronze skin, high cheek bones, and a thick… Caribbean accent. We like poets, writers, musicians, underground rappers and artists, especially sculptors who work with their hands. We like men who traverse Harlem River Drive with a scribbled on note pad in their back pocket, humming Dizzy Gillespie, pondering the plight of the Black race. Okay, ultimately we may not marry a bohemian man but we will at least have a fling, or for some timid EBW’s, a recurring fantasy. For the EBW, his sex appeal lies in his very willingness to break with the status quo. In our tradition-filled world with clean cut, social climbing, corporate-bound men named Darius and Joshua, we long for a man named Jafar who will blow our back out, and then smoke a blunt and explain what this whole Rasta thing is about. Yes, well, this is just true.

14. Financial Independence- Despite the fact that for some of us EBW (NOT ME), our secret ambition is to marry a well-off Educated Black Man, quit our job, have babies and become a PTA/Jack & Jill/ Soccer mom, until then, we are wiling to climb the corporate and academic ladder. Our mother’s taught us the gospel of self-sufficiency and the value of an excellent education. We’re not dating to hit the jack pot. We don’t have our palms out. In fact, we strive to realize our greatest potential, whether it’s as an entertainer, entrepreneur, or any other profession. We just want a man that can match us in wit, intelligence, and success. We also know that as long as we have financial independence we can hold our own in a relationship. So if our Knight In Shining Armor leaves us for, let’s say, a cheap courtesan, we can take care of business. Let me just state, this separates a real EBW from a fake one… and a fake one can be educated academically, but not in self. An EBW is not a gold-digger, we just attract the men with the gold. We don’t enjoy merely making our own money, we know how to balance a check book and keep track of funds. In a marriage, the EBW will frequently handle the finances.

13. Negro Geography- Forget Monopoly, an EBW’s favorite game is “Negro Geography”! “Negro Geography” is a rapid fire, question and answer game played between an EBW and another Educated Black person upon meeting. It goes something like this:
“Hi! What’s your name?”
“Where are you from?”
“What do you do?”
“Where did you grow up?”
“Where did you go to college?”
“Did you pledge a fraternity/sorority?”
“Where did you go to grad-school?”
And sometimes, “Were you in Jack and Jill?”
The catch is that after the EBP responds to each question, the EBW will name a long list of people who are affiliated with that school/region/company/organization. Example, “Oh you graduated from Wesleyan in 2000, do you know Jeff Williams?” The EBP that can answer yes to the majority of her “Do you know…?” inquiries wins. What do they win? Her instant respect and friendship.

12. Languages- EBW’s have an affinity for speaking more than one language fluently. Being Multi-lingual is a sign of education and worldliness. We also love to show off our language skills in front of unsuspecting White People. While French, Spanish , and Italian are by far the most popular, other EBW’s have been known to master Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic (moi), German and Russian.

11. Competition- EBW’s thrive on competition. Nothing inspires them more than the thought of doing what they do better than the next person. It starts in school when we are conditioned by our parents to be twice as good as everyone else (in particular White People) in order to get ahead. So we compete against our peers for the highest GPA. If we play a sport or practice an art (of course we do) we compete to be the best at that. Competition is a way of life for EBW’s. We even compete against ourselves. In college we compete to be the most visible student leaders. Then we compete to see who can get into the best grad school and/or land the best job, who can go the furthest in their career, catch the finest, most successful husband, and then bear the best children. We compete against ourselves and sometimes we don’t even know who we’re competing against, we just strive to surpass perfection by instinct.
We don’t just compete against our peers though. We especially like to compete against other EBW’s (and yes, they can be our friends) because while we learned that we always have to be twice as well to prove ourselves in the real world, we are also lead to believe that there can only be ONE EBW at the top of her game in a chosen field. And then, when we discover that there is a shortage of black men, we fear that if we aren’t the most outstanding woman in the crop, we’ll end up 46 and never married. We compete to be the best dressed. We compete to have the smallest waist line. We compete to be in the most exclusive organizations and to have the most finely decorated home. I’ve seen an established grown woman demand a bigger engagement ring from her husband (and the original was fabulous) because her long-time friend received a brand new 5 caret from her husband on her anniversary. Competition inspires us. Often times it brings out the best, but sometimes it brings out the worse. Now I don’t condone this “crabs in the barrel” nonsense, and it doesn’t apply 100 per cent for all of us, but I call it like I see it.

10. The Arts- Because most EBW’s participated in some capacity in the performing arts during their childhood, we grow up to be lovers of culture. We love going to the theater, and not just the Apollo and the Beacon Theater to see the latest production on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” (though don’t get me wrong, an EBW will be front and center at a Tyler Perry play or some other “Momma I Want to Sing”). We enjoy performances such as Alvin Ailey, Jazz at the Lincoln Center, and Broadway musicals, especially those shows starring Black Folks. We love to spend an evening at a good jazz club and we usually become avid collectors of Black art.

9. Scarves- Scarves are the erudite fashion statement. EBW’s swear by their scarves and not the ones we wrap around her heads at night to protect our 'do at night (though those are very important too). The scarf is a class marker. It says, “I am an educated Black Woman”. That's why we only wear ones you'll notice, like vibrant pashminas, pastel plaid Burberry’s, beautiful silk scarves and even retro-print Pucci neck ties. EBW’s have made scarf tying an art and we try to out-do each other with new ways to drape our scarves around any chosen outfit. Scarves…. Its just something we do.

8. Taking Pictures- EBW’s take photography very seriously. You can spot the EBW at an event because she, or her most trustworthy friend, will have her digital cam in tow. Now the difference between an EBW and other folks that just like to snap pictures is that an EBW doesn’t take pictures just to remember an event, we take pictures to remember how good we (and maybe or posse) looked at an event and who of importance was there. We like to take a lot of shots to make sure that we have options when getting them developed, e-mailing to our friends and family, or posting them on websites such as Facebook. We like individual shots, group shots, shots with people we know, shots with people we just met, shots with people we don’t know at all especially if they’re important, background shots, full body and close ups. We also like to take pictures before the event, on the way to the event, and in the diner afterwards. What we don’t like is candid shots (particularly while we’re eating) and a good way to make a quick enemy is to shoot an EBW in an unflattering position. In fact, we will kindly ask you to delete that photo if we catch you, and will have you scroll through your pictures to make sure that you did. An EBW understands that a photo is forever and she wants to be captured in her best light. She makes her posing seem natural, but trust, an EBW knows her angles, her bad side and her good side, and she has practiced her smile on several occasions in the mirror. Now, what separates an EBW from other girls who like to pose for pictures and let’s say, post them on Myspace, is that we refrain from appearing to be amateur porn stars. We will not post pictures of ourselves in sexual positions wearing lingerie, cut off booty shorts, or displaying partial nudity. The purpose is not to advertise our goodies or apple bottoms. We have too much class for this, and trust that we look down on women who do.

7.Black Gay Male Cameraderie-EBW’s are open-minded. Not only do we accept a Black Gay Man’s sexuality, we love having them as friends. Many EBW’s have at least one good male friend that is not heterosexual and he needn’t be flamboyant. Nevertheless, he generally does provide good conversation, company, a shoulder to cry on, and sound relationship advice. Our gay pals bring out the best of us and he provides an excellent support system. He’s like a best girl friend, without the cattiness and implicit competition. Now, contrary to popular belief, not all women use gay men for style advice because not all gay men have an instinctive sense of how to style a female. But we will, however, use him for honesty. Our gay pals keep it real. “Sweety I can’t let you go out with your hair looking like that.” “Sweety, I know you think you love him but this man is the scum of the earth.” “Sweety, I’m sorry, but chocolate brown and black don’t go.” Yep, we love our gay friends. We may even have several, but because they’re a bit jealous, only one will hold a special place in our lives. Oh and one more thing, while we love gay men as friends, we abhor them as lovers. No woman, forget the Educated and Black categories, wants to discover that her lover is indeed gay. Black Women hate “the Down Low” phenomenon because it’s killing our sisters, and we don’t want to have anything to do with that type of deceitful gay man.

6. Giving Back to the Community- Since we were little girls, we were taught the mantra, “To whom much is given, much is expected”. Now even if we weren’t born in the lap of luxury, growing up we did community service; with the church, with school, or even with Jack and Jill. Chances are that our parents, particularly our mothers, set a standard of giving back and we follow it until well until our adult lives. In college, many EBW will at least for one semester, mentor or tutor a child (a Black child though this is implicit). The best aspect of the Black Women Organizations that many EBW’s join is that many of them are founded on principles of civic involvement and philanthropy. Our goal in life is to get ahead and uplift our people in the process, though admittedly some EBW’s partake in do-gooding because it ‘looks good’. Even if the adult EBW doesn’t give her time to the community (and by community we mean Black community), she will at least give back monetarily. Giving back to the community… it’s just something we do.

5. Networking- If an EBW goes for a week without networking she feels a little queasy. How many opportunities for social and/or career advancement might she have missed in the past seven days? Sure, a lot of people network , but you have to understand, an EBW swears by it. She incorporates networking into her daily life. It’s a highly practiced art form. EBW’s have been learning how a firm hand shake, charm, and some friendly wit can take her places and she doesn’t miss an opportunity to broaden her circles. You never know who may come in handy. EBW’s join organizations to network, they join the right church to network, they get their hair done at upscale Black salons to network under the dryer, they travel far and wide to conferences for networking, they throw parties, they attend events, they write notes, they send gifts, they do lunch… all in the name of networking. In fact, when she receives an invite to a exclusive society event, she feels as if she just hit the lottery.

Many EBW’s by age 30 will have exhaustive social calendars. Networking takes time. There is no such thing as separation between business and pleasure. EBW’s even bring their families to Martha’s Vineyard year after year, so they can lounge on the beach… and network. There is always a place for networking. And she doesn’t just network for her own social and professional advancement she networks on behalf of her husband and children too. Even her friends, and her children’s friends.” The mayor’s wife is also a Link…. “ Suddenly the hubby is hired by the city. She sets up play dates for the children and single-handedly creates lifelong contacts. “You want to Harvard Law, I know someone on the admissions board .We used to play tennis together.” If you ever need anything, ask an EBW. A true EBW knows someone in every field and socialites in every region. She works hard to be at other’s service so that when she needs to, she can always call on a favor.

4. Michelle Obama- Barack Obama is an awesome candidate, but despite his honorable stance on the War in Iraq, health care, and the economy, what an EBW likes best about Barack is his wife Michelle. That’s right. Thank you Barack for choosing a successful, highly-educated, sophisticated, and beautiful Black woman as your wife and as the mother of your children. The election may not be over yet, but already Michelle is our First Lady. She is our patron saint. She is the Corretta Scott King of our generation. She’s not just the senator’s wife. Michelle has an identity of her own and an incredible academic and professional background. She can deliver just a fiery speech as he and address an audience of voters on any issue. And still, we can see how devoted she is to supporting her husband. We love that. We especially love that Michelle defies every stereotype that the media tries to project onto Black Women, those stereotypes EBW’s constantly fight to contradict. Older EBW’s admire her, and in case you were wondering, Michelle is the women that all of us Generation X EBW’s are trying to be.

3. Their Mother’s Opinion- It’s a love hate relationship and we don’t necessarily love our mother’s opinion, but we care about it. Actually, we care about it deeply. It's not like we can avoid it. If mom is in the picture, then so is her opinion. It's there, even when she isnt. We've heard mom's take on our lives so much, it has nestled into a part of our brain, the part that makes decisions. Most EBW’s will make very few, if any, major-life decisions without her say. And if by chance we do, well… We’ll hear about it for the rest of our lives. Love you mom!

2. Flowery Language-Okay, so we’re educated. Of course we have fantastic sentence structure, pronunciation, and a broad vocabulary. We are articulate. But remember, we are not just Educated Women, we are Educated Black Women and like all Blacks, we like flavor (salt and paprika please). And Black Women have found a special way to season the english language. Lightly of course, she doesn't do ebonics (except behind close doors), but she will add some flair to the generic sentence with off-beat expressions and spicy words like “fabulous”, “fly”, “fierce”, and “darling”. Cece my love, that outfit is baaad!" Now don't get me wrong, the EBW is merely reacting to a legacy of innovating the English language, something Blacks have always done but in many ways the EBW is the mediator between the vernacular and mundane English. She weaves the two together seamlessly.

1. Educated Black Men- This requires little explanation. What an EBW loves best next to God and her family is an Educated Black Man… that loves an Educated Black Woman. Our ultimate ambition is to form a power couple. We want a man with class, intelligence, and ambition. And he must love his mama. It doesn’t matter where he came from, he just needs to have his eyes on the prize. And when we fall in love with that lucky EBM, we provide him our deepest love and support .


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