Alicia Keys On Forgiving Her Father. Says “If You Hold On To All This Anger The Only Person You’re Hurting Is You”.

*This is a reprint of a past post in honor of Father’s Day 2014*

Singer ALICIA KEYS decided to mend her relationship with her estranged father after her grandmother fell terminally ill in 2006.


The Fallin’ hitmaker was raised by her single mom Teresa after her dad Craig Cook left the family when Keys was just two years old, and she spent years resenting him.


But the star, who is now a mom to two-year-old son Egypt, had a change of heart when her beloved grandma died, and felt compelled to reach out to Cook to start afresh.


She tells Britain’s You magazine, “My father and I are fine now. I would say in the process of growing up you realize you’ve been holding on to anger. I was angry then and am sure I had the right to be angry, but if you hold on to all this anger the only person you’re hurting is you.


“The process started when my (paternal) grandmother became ill. You realize what’s important when you see a person you love dearly and you’re not going to have them for long. It was important to her. And I saw (my father’s) love for her. I realized he wasn’t an evil person so I said, ‘Can we start from this point on? Can we be friends? I can start to understand you and you can start to understand me.'”

Alicia & her mom

Hang Out With Ayize & Aiyana & Learn How To Turn Up The Love & Sex In Your Relationship! JAN. 12TH @ 9PM.

By Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at

Hey Fam! We are soooo excited and pleased to announce our new Relationship Renovation series that will be kicking off in January 2014!

As we sat and talked and evaluated how 2013 has been for us and what our goals for 2014 should be we kept coming back to the idea that we want to connect more, help more, and do more. Yes, that’s what we said—In 2014 we want to:


HELP MORE……for you and

DO MORE……with you  🙂

We said “How can we be the most helpful and make the most impact?” We asked you on Facebook and Twitter and via our other social media platforms and YOU ANSWERED. You said you wanted to talk with us more about very important topics that so many of you are dealing with in your relationships. We received such great feedback and so many different topics that we decided to begin a Bi-Weekly Relationship Renovation Series. 

  •  This is where we will discuss important, juicy, fun, and fundamental issues that are relevant to relationships of all kinds.
  •  This is where you will have the opportunity to participate!  How? You can be “on” with us to share your story or ask a question as it relates to the theme of the Hangout. You can also share by asking questions when we have our “Ask Us Anything”Hangouts. And, of course you can chat with us during the Hangout as well.
  •  This is where you can come every 2 weeks to “go to school” and get insight and answers on all things relationships!





For our first Hangout–We’re looking for singles or couples that would like to be featured on the Hangout. You should be willing to either share your story around sex and intimacy and/or ask a question. No questions are off limits. Any issue you have when it comes to sex and intimacy in your relationship(s)–past or present—BRING IT. We want to hear it!

Interested? Send an email with your issue or question to or by clicking here:


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Can Men Be Sexually Assaulted?

By Team BLAM

When you hear the words rape or sexual assault who do you tend to think the victim is?  Many people admit that they automatically think of a woman or girl. However, men and boys are often the victims of the crimes of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape. In fact, in the U.S., about 10% of all victims are male 1. And, I think that number is probably very low due to under reporting. Because of the culture we live in, men and boys often don’t feel comfortable talking about what has happened to them.

In the African American community I think it may be even harder for males to admit to themselves let alone someone else the fact that  they have been violated. If you’re reading this and you or someone you know is dealing with a past or more recent sexual assault, abuse, or rape—PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. MEN CAN BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED TOO.


What does that mean?

It means you need:



Reassurance that it IS NOT YOUR FAULT

A safe space to explore what’s happened

Tools to move beyond the trauma

What doesn’t it mean?

It doesn’t mean that you:

are weak

asked for it

need to get over it or “man up”

you were not “really assaulted, abused, or raped”

should be ashamed and keep what has happened to yourself


Get help. Contact the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network(RAINN) for assistance.

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1 This percentage provided by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

Star NFL Player Brendon Ayanbadejo Makes A Stand For Equality. Calls For An End To Homophobia In Professional Sports.


Fresh off his Super Bowl victory, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is continuing his push for gay rights, calling for an end to homophobia in professional sports.


“There are many reasons why no gay athlete has come out in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, most of which are likely to go away with support and acceptance from the straight community,” wrote Ayanbadejo in a USA Today op-ed published Wednesday. “As leaders and even role models for millions of young people across the globe, professional athletes have the ability to fundamentally eliminate prejudice from our sport and live up to the incredible privilege we enjoy.”


Ayanbadejo began speaking out in favor of marriage equality four years ago. Most recently, he used all the media attention around the Super Bowl to continue his efforts. He told ESPN that in addition to speaking out publicly, he’s tried to turn his teammates away from homophobia.


“I stand with Brendon and every other person, athlete and non-athlete alike, who says that discrimination in any form is not the legacy we will hand down to our children,” Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who has also been a strong proponent of gay rights, said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “I am proud to be an Athlete Ally, and I hope others will join us in treating all people with compassion, dignity, and respect. A gay player in sports is not defined by their sexuality, but by how they play, and I support any player who wishes to be him or herself with everything I have. Treat others the way you want to be treated.”


Brian Ellner, a marriage equality advocate who spearheaded the Human Rights Campaign’s push in New York, also praised Ayanbadejo’s work.


“Brendon’s been amazing,” he said. “An Athlete Ally extraordinaire, he carried LGBT rights all the way to New Orleans and the Super Bowl. Back in Maryland, he’d already helped us win marriage equality and now he calls for our Jackie Robinson and sends a message to gay athletes around the globe that it’s time to come out and that there are professional athletes ready to embrace them.”


This week, Ayanbadejo also released a pro-marriage equality video for the group Respect for Marriage Coalition. He told CNN on Monday that he was hopeful his Super Bowl win would give him a larger platform for his advocacy work.


“Now that I’m a Super Bowl champion, now my voice just projects that much further and hopefully it can lead to more change and more positive things for the LGBT community,” he said.

Source: Huffingtonpost

Cissy Houston Releases New Book On Whitney

In “Remembering Whitney,” Cissy Houston, the mother of the late Whitney Houston, writes that she always doubted whether Bobby Brown was right for her daughter. She also thinks that Whitney, who died a year ago at age 48, might not have ended up so “deep” into drugs had the couple ended their relationship early on.

“I do believe her life would have turned out differently,” Houston writes. “It would have been easier for her to get sober and stay sober. Instead she was with someone who, like her, wanted to party. To me, he never seemed to be a help to her in the way she needed.”

“Remembering Whitney” is being released on Jan. 30, two weeks short of the first anniversary of the iconic star’s accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub in Beverly Hills, Calif. Authorities said her death was complicated by cocaine use and heart disease.

During a recent telephone interview, Houston said she has no contact with Brown and didn’t see any reason to, not even concerning her granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina. She reaffirmed her comments in the book that Whitney Houston would have been better off without him. “How would you like it if he had anything to do with your daughter?” she asked.

Houston said she wanted the book published so the world would not believe the worst about her daughter. Cissy Houston, herself an accomplished soul and gospel singer who has performed with Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, describes Whitney as a transcendent talent and vivacious and generous person known affectionately by her childhood nickname, “Nippy.”

But she acknowledges in the book that her daughter could be “mean” and “difficult” and questions at times how well she knew her.

“In my darkest moments, I wonder whether Nippy loved me,” she writes. “She always told me she did. But you know, she didn’t call me much. She didn’t come see me as much as I hoped she would.”

But, “almost always,” Whitney Houston was “the sweetest, most loving person in the room.”

Source: HuffingtonPost

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan And Dr. Boyce Watkins Examine “Django Unchained!!”

‘Django Unchained’ has inspired a lot of talk since it’s release on Dec. 25th.  Spike Lee has come out calling it a spaghetti western and it’s representation of slavery in such a manner is disrespectful to our ancestors.  Katt Williams has said that he is going to punch Quentin Tarantino in the mouth when he see’s him because nobody in “niggadom” gave him a pass to use the “N” word over 180 times.  Others have applauded the bold display of heroism and black masculinity in the character Django, alluding to the idea that he was a remix of Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey.  Others have been left questioning, “Where is my Django?”, a brotha that will go through hell and high water to find and fight for his wife.  In the below video Minister Louis Farrakhan and Dr. Boyce Watkins have a candid discussion about the movie and give some additional perspective.  Check it out and let us know what you think.


A Horrible Moment That Will Leave Us Forever Changed…

By Lana Moline

Babies are gifts from God and life is the packaging that the gift comes in. Even at Christmas, we feel bad when the wrapping is torn. So when a life is taken it is reminiscent of tearing the paper and burning the scraps. My heart is heavy as I am sure many of yours are as well. It’s hard to comprehend a senseless tragedy, such as the one in Connecticut today and so many recent others, and even harder to reconcile what this will now mean for us as parents and for the world in general. I started today anxious about my son’s basketball game after work and although I am still excited to see him play I have that overwhelming feeling that life is different now and we have once again encountered one of those horrible moments that will leave us forever changed. My cousin said it best on facebook: How can we raise our kids and not live in fear? How can we not be paranoid? While we are comforted that we have a Savior, we must also place our human emotion on the altar. I want to cry out “why.” I want to grab all the babies I can and hold them and tell them that it’s okay and to some extent the thought of hugging my kids when I see them at the game this afternoon brings a sense of ease but I hurt for the mothers who won’t be able to have little arms wrapped around their necks. I pray for those families whose Christmas holiday season will always remind them of a loved one who is no longer with them. My prayer is that the peace of God blankets the entire world.


Lana Moline is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at

Can People Celebrate Kwanzaa & Christmas? Is Kwanzaa An Alternative To Christmas?

Source: Dr. Mulana Karenga/

Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday. And it is not an alternative to people’s religion or faith but a common ground of African culture.

One of the most important and meaningful ways to see and approach Kwanzaa is as a self-conscious cultural choice. Some celebrants see Kwanzaa as an alternative to the sentiments and practices of other holidays which stress the commercial or faddish or lack an African character or aspect. But they realize this is not Kwanzaa’s true function or meaning. For Kwanzaa is not a reaction or substitute for anything. In fact, it offers a clear and self-conscious option, opportunity and chance to make a proactive choice, a self-affirming and positive choice as distinct from a reactive one.

Likewise, Kwanzaa is a cultural choice as distinct from a religious one. This point is important because when the question arises as to the relation between choosing Kwanzaa or/and Christmas, this distinction is not always made. This failure to make this distinction causes confusion, for it appears to suggest one must give up one’s religion to practice one’s culture. Whereas this might be true in other cases, it is not so in this case. For here, one can and should make a distinction between one’s specific religion and one’s general culture in which that religion is practiced. On one hand, Christmas is a religious holiday for Christians, but it is also a cultural holiday for Europeans. Thus, one can accept and revere the religious message and meaning but reject its European cultural accretions of Santa Claus, reindeer, mistletoe, frantic shopping, alienated gift-giving, etc.

This point can be made by citing two of the most frequent reasons Christian celebrants of Kwanzaa give for turning to Kwanzaa. The first reason is that it provides them with cultural grounding and reaffirmation as African Americans. The other reason is that it gives them a spiritual alternative to the commercialization of Christmas and the resultant move away from its original spiritual values and message.

Here it is of value to note that there is a real and important difference between spirituality as a general appreciation for and commitment to the transcendent, and religion which suggests formal structures and doctrines. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural one with an inherent spiritual quality as with all major African celebrations. This inherent spiritual quality is respect for the Transcendent, the Sacred, the Good, the Right. Thus, Africans of all faiths can and do celebrate Kwanzaa, i.e., Muslims, Christians, Black Hebrews, Jews, Buddhists, Bahai and Hindus as well as those who follow the ancient traditions of Maat, Yoruba, Ashanti, Dogon, etc. For what Kwanzaa offers is not an alternative to their religion or faith but a common ground of African culture which they all share and cherish. it is this common ground of culture on which they all meet, find ancient and enduring meaning and by which they are thus reaffirmed and reinforced.

Dr. Maulana Karenga is the Creator of Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, Chair of The Organization Us and The National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO). His organization maintains and the material on the site is summarized from Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (

MUST READ: A Lesson In Conservation For Selfish Old People From A Smart A*! Young Person

We found this floating around  the web and, boy, does it make you stop and think…
Being Green…Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older
woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags
weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and
sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.
So they really were truly recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused
for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was
the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This
was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by
the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to
personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store
and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb
into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the
throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our
clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their
brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember
them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen,
we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines
to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the
mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or
plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn
gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human
power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club
to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or
a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled
writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the
razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just
because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes
to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi
service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of
sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized
gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in
space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it
sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just
because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

Black Support For Gay Marriage Is Steadily Growing

When Californians voted to outlaw same-sex marriage four years ago, one factor – both revealing and alarming to the civil rights community – was African Americans’ support for the ban. Proposition 8, which passed with a 52 percent majority, had 58 percent support among black voters. It was a different story Nov. 6 in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, where voters endorsed marriage rights for gays and lesbians, and in Minnesota, where state law already prohibits same-sex marriage but voters rejected a Prop. 8-style ban in their state Constitution.


Surveys show a majority of African Americans now support those rights, said Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which campaigned hard for same-sex marriage. In Maryland, where blacks make up almost 30 percent of the voters, their backing was crucial. “We’re talking about it as a civil rights issue,” and people are listening, Jealous said in an interview last week during a visit to San Francisco. He also said President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage rights in May, followed shortly afterward by an endorsement from the NAACP, was a “game changer.”


If the issue reached the ballot again in California, “we would see majority black support,” Jealous said. “I’m very confident that … we would win.” San Francisco’s NAACP leader, the Rev. Amos Brown of Third Baptist Church, agreed. “People are enlightened,” said Brown, a member of the NAACP’s national board who took part in the Maryland campaign.


A different view came from the Rev. Maurice Scott of Oakland, one of many African American clergy members throughout the state who vocally supported Prop. 8.

“People of African descent are very religious people,” said Scott, pastor at the Great St. John Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church. “I think that many are supportive of the president but not supportive of homosexuality.” Even today, he said, all the parishioners with whom he has spoken “would not vote for (a) man-and-man, woman-and-woman relationship.”


Not all assessments of the Nov. 6 vote in Maryland agreed with Jealous’ assessment of African American support of same-sex marriage. The NAACP leader said surveys just before the election found majority backing for the measure among blacks, but the Washington Post said an exit poll pegged support at 46 percent, compared with 52 percent of all voters. The surveys agree, however, that attitudes toward same-sex marriage among African Americans and other racial minorities have changed even more rapidly than the views of the general population.


In Maryland, supporters of same-sex marriage sought to turn the issue of religion in the black community to their advantage. One of their leading ads featured the Rev. Delmon Coates, African American pastor of the 8,000-member Mount Ennon Baptist Church, telling viewers, “I would not want someone denying my rights based upon their religious views; therefore, I should not deny others’ rights based upon mine.” The Baltimore Sun said tests with focus groups found that the ad was a hit with voters of all races and helped the campaign raise crucial funds.


Jealous said he was particularly heartened by exit polls in four states – Florida, Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina – reporting that a majority of African Americans in each state would favor a measure establishing same-sex-marriage rights. “When we’re polling majority black support in Georgia,” he said, “the issue has changed permanently across the country.”


Read More HERE