Beans and greens every week,
Salad and fruit every day,
One child on the hip,
One child in the play pin,
One child in the high chair
And one child working your last nerve.

Boys making trouble in the neighborhood
And acting a fool in school.
Daddy’s working a full time job,
Side jobs, and odd jobs.
So it’s all on you.

House is a wreck,
Dishes are piling up,
Clothes are stacked high as the ceiling,
Baby is about to wake up.

Daddy needs his uniform pressed.
The baby needs to be fed.
The kids need to be dropped off at school.
But you’re running out of time.
The school bell is about to sound.
So you hop in the car with your night gown on,
And Mr. Brown wants to talk to you about your child’s behavior.

Report card conference is later that day.
The light bill is due on that same day.
You’re running low on cash and gas.
You’ve just realized the baby needs pampers.
Oh, and the kids have early release.

Now the car won’t crank up,
But daddy’s at work.
Sister needs to be picked up
Because her tummy hurts.

No time to cook a meal.
So banana sandwiches will have to do.
Brother needs help with his homework,
And the nosy neighbor wants to gossip with you.

You made the impossible possible.
Tell me, “How’d you do it?”
There’s not enough time in a day
To do all you did.

I’m saved because of you.
You made me who I am today.
You instilled the best morals and values.
How could I every repay?

I didn’t get pregnant at sixteen because of you.
I didn’t cut class because of you.
I didn’t smoke or drink because of you.
I didn’t do drugs because of you.
I didn’t sell my body because of you.
I didn’t commit a crime because of you.

I did go to church because of you.
I did go to college because of you.
I did get married because of you.
I did save my marriage because of you.

I do pray because of you.
I do keep my word because of you.
I do eat healthy because of you.
And I like to write poetry because of you.

You always went above and beyond.
You never took shortcuts.
You never cared about what others thought of you,
Saying thirteen kids were too many.
I have enough siblings to open up a business,
And it’s because you saw the value
In keeping each one of us.

Who are they to judge anyway?
How dare they speak negatively of you?
You kept your family together,
You were our spiritual glue.

You never left us,
And you always made sure we had.
You dug in your purse fishing around for money,
Even if it was your last.

Today, I wear your teachings.
Today, I repeat your words.
Today, I call you my hero.
In case you haven’t heard.

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Is Simple Beauty Still Sexy?

I recently watched an episode of “In Living Color” in which En Vogue were guests on the show. Those women were simply beautiful with light make up and real hair; not to mention Pam Grier (Foxy Brown), Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Ruby Dee, Cecily Tyson and so many others who wore beauty so well in their time without the cosmetic boost kit we see in today’s celebrities and everyday woman.

I don’t think make up and fake hair debase women at all, but I do think heavy make-up should be reserved for special occasions like weddings, balls, galas, fashion shows, and the like. What woman doesn’t want to feel beautiful? Many of us have our days when we feel “unpretty” or just plain Jane. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spicing up your look every now and then. Men admire women who take pride in their appearance.

Ladies, I don’t care what color or race you are. You are so darn beautiful because you are a woman, one of God’s greatest creations. If you wear heavy makeup often because you feel “plain” without it, you really don’t know true beauty. Man made makeup, not God. It’s called “makeup” because it is designed to produce a look that’s different from the natural being.

Instead of piling on a bunch of makeup every day, practice good skin care and healthy eating, combined with drinking plenty of water. Too much of anything is not good for you, and too much makeup wear will have you depending on it to achieve good looks. If you have to wear it, lighten up and try making it look more natural, for it was also designed to enhance your beauty.

I know some of you ladies just love playing in makeup, so does my daughter. Some of you work in industries that might require it, like fashion and cosmetology. Some of you are just not satisfied with your natural look. If so, I’m here to tell you that makeup can’t make you look good because you look better without it.

My sisters, I’m admiring the natural styles I’m seeing. I must say, I’m truly inspired. I’ve never seen a more beautiful work of art. Whether you are natural or relaxed, you wear it best with little or no makeup and your own hair.

Hair weaves and extensions are great for protective hairstyles, while you are in transition, or when you just need a break from the struggle, but if you just don’t like your hair, you are not embracing your natural beauty. It was not meant for everyone to have fine, limp hair also known as “good hair”. Your hair is as good as your looks, so take that stuff out of your head and show them what you’ve got!

The nappier the hair the stronger. The less chemicals the longer. Covering it up causes breakage. Let it breathe, or it’ll go naked. Lock it up, twist it up, braid it up or wear it in a bun. Nappy hair might be hard to manage, but it’s a whole lot of fun!

Keep it simple. Keep it lovely. Keep it natural, ya know. Let that beauty shine so bright that your skin starts to glow.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

Photo: Flickr. Pam Grier by Ian W. Hill CC

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Haters Come with Success

You can’t have success without haters. People like to see you in a tight spot because you’re more relatable when you are. A person who can’t match your success will criticize everything about you. This is common in the black community. I’m sure it is in other communities as well, but I can relate more to my own.

I love the rhythm, resistance, and resilience of my people. We have endured some tough times and overcome many rejections. If I start adding them up, I would surely lose count. But you can’t let rejection change your perception of those who chose to defeat it.

We were all born with a gift or talent. Your failure to properly use yours gives you no right to rain on someone else’s parade. Fellas, if you spent more time shaping your future and less time shining your rims, you could have your own rim shop. Ladies, if you spent less time guessing how she can own that house off of McDonald’s income and more time trying to get out of debt, you too can own a home and a business. However, how people reach their level of success is none of your business.

Black people spend so much money trying to upstage one another, even if it costs them their last. Coach, Gucci, Prada and the like will only keep you in debt, not get you out. Some of you are so self-conscious that you won’t buy the “knock-off” brand because you are afraid of what people might say or think. You’d rather carry around a $300 bag with $30 in it just to give people the impression that you might have money. Then you want to gossip about the girl who bought a $30 bag but might be carrying $270 in it. In the meantime, she is working a full-time job and attending college. When she’s finally able to afford that $300 bag, you will know it because you’ll be the first one to hate.

My brothers and sisters, we must learn to come together to work together. I see so much talent and potential rotting in the possession of some of the most ignorant, blind-sided people. I wish I had the talent of some of these people who are wasting it. We’ve made history with many of our brilliant inventions, and now we make history with our small-minded goals and empty aspirations.

Ladies, you’d rather build a reputation with your looks than your brains. Fellas, you’d rather shine for the moment and cause others to suffer the consequences later. Your loved ones should not have to sell chicken and fish plates to bury you.

Haters, you can learn how to hustle and become great from successful people. Successful people, you can learn how to track your success from haters, for no one does it better.

A Message to My Successful People

If you know who your haters are, you’re only keeping them around to show off. Stop it! Successful people don’t have time for that! If you even acknowledge or entertain your haters, you’re wasting valuable time you cannot get back. Your memes are meaningless, if they don’t make you any money. You’re just as ignorant as they are for entertaining losers. If you can avoid them all together, you should. If you can’t because they are family members, co-workers, and etc, keep it cordial and carry on.

If you don’t know who your haters are, that means you let your success do the talking. They’ll continue to hate on you for sure, but they’ll respect you more.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.

Photo: Flickr. Four the Haters by Tjololo Photo CC

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