Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hurt Bae and conversations with exes

What would a conversation with your ex look like?

So there is a viral video posted by The Scene of college sweethearts having a heart to heart conversation. People are upset about how the guy in the video behaved and are calling the young lady "Hurt Bae."


According to Essence, Hurt Bae was only 22 or 23 when the video was shot, last November. She claims, in their exclusive interview, that she is now over the relationship and has learned a lot about forgiveness. 

Frome Essence:
In a now-viral video shot for The Scene, we met ex best friends and lovers Kourtney Jorge and Leonard Long III, who parted ways after he cheated numerous time during their relationship and showed no remorse for his actions. Viewers watched in agony as Jorge confronted Long after their breakup and her heartbreaking emotional response to their painful conversation has spawned memes, timeline debates over who's to blame after infidelity and endless retweets.

When I wrote Your Boyfriend's Best Girlfriend: A Tomboy's Guide To Knowing, Loving And Understanding Men, it was after I had my own conversations with exes. My conversations weren't quite like the one in the Hurt Bae video. My relationships didn't end because of cheating, but some ended because of mistrust, poor communication, and immaturity. 

One thing I hate about this Hurt Bae video, is how the young lady comes off like a victim. Honestly, the victim role of women in relationships annoys the heck out of me. I often tell my women friends that they are responsible for their own feelings in relationships, the dude is responsible for how he acts and treats are responsible for what you accept and how you respond. Have I ever been hurt in a relationship? ABSOLUTELY!!! I have also done things that hurt guys I dated. But, I am only responsible for my actions, not for their feelings. (Responsibility for feelings is also one of the topics in the runs deep.

A couple of my homegirls and I have talked about this video for a couple of days. One felt that the guy was a jerk who hurt a lot of women. I disagreed. I don't know this guy's particular character currently, nor how he was with the women he slept with while dating Hurt Bae, nor do I even know the level of their commitment. He definitely was a jerk to her. It sounds like a lot of their relationship happened in college. 

College me is nothing like current me. That's why I'm not quick to label this guy. He seems cold in the video, and he probably is very cold toward his situation with Hurt Bae. In the book, I talk about how cold I was in certain dating situations. I was so cold because I did not want to commit, and quite frankly only cared a little about how anyone else felt about it. 

I was young, having fun and just meeting new and different people. Many of my schoolmates were so heavy on settling down, not me. Yes, at times in college I had a boyfriend...I did not cheat...but I usually ended the commitment rather quickly. I was a serial dater-non-committer. That made me happy...and quite frankly, at that stage in my life, my happiness was all that mattered. 

In the book, I also write about the reasons why some people (people...not just men...but women as well...) cheat. The guy in the Hurt Bae video hits one of the main reasons when he says: 

Hurt Bae asks him why not, and he responds: I just didn't want to.

Simple enough answer. His wrongness was committing to her (if he actually did) when he didn't want to, and treating her as though the commitment never happened. She was wrong for staying in a situation that hurt her emotionally. She could not trust him to be who she wanted him to be...but she could have trusted him to be exactly who he was and showed himself to be.

People are who they are, not who you want them to be. 

I expressed the following to a number of guys I dated: I do not want a boyfriend. I honestly just wanted to get to know them, hang out and have fun. Somehow that translated into "she's playing hard to get." No, I really was not. My wrongness was dating someone who wanted a commitment, when I knew I never would. So, I would enter these temporary relationships. then poof... I'm gone.

My friends often did not understand how I could date such great guys and not want to lock them down or settle down. Why would I? I was young and had not even experienced life yet, nor discovered who I was as an individual. Longlasting romantic love was not even on the radar...and that should have been okay. Not every teen and twenty-something walks through life daydreaming about fairytales.

Honestly, I did not cheat, but sometimes I did lie. I lied my way out of relationships. I lied about my feelings while I was in them. One of my main goals was to make me happy...and that's just the truth.

When you look back at your former relationships, are you able to take some of the blame for the hurt you felt, or do you put the blame solely on the other person? 

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Monday, January 16, 2017

#MLKDay: What if we never had to overcome?

What if the US actually treated all persons equally from the beginning?
Where would we be? 

Have you ever stopped and wondered where this country might be had, at the end of slavery, former slaves were granted full citizenship rights and privileges...separate but (un)equal never existed...the Black Codes, Jim Crow, lynchings, and firebombs never happened? What if all citizens were treated equally?

What if redlinging, restrictive covenants and gerrymandering were never implemented, and therefore neighborhoods weren't cut off from building and fully enjoying the benefits of economic prosperity?

Black men fighting for the Union in Civil War.
Where might this country have been, had these human beings been treated as human beings...finally free to determine their own fate in life without facing the terrorism visited upon them within the bounds of this country? How far ahead of the competition might this country be, had it implemented fully the ideals it espouses so boldly these days..of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

What if grand marketing schemes built to dehumanize Black citizens never existed? What if people were punished for crimes and rehabilitated from criminality equally without thought to race, socioeconomic status, religion or color?

Where would we be, if the history taught here included all contributions by all citizens with no thought to the color of that person's skin? What if we didn't have to name a movie Hidden Figures because the figures weren't hidden?

What if jobs, dignity, and lives weren't the payment due for being treated as mere human beings and citizens of a country? What if the Civil Rights Movement was never necessary? What if oppression and inequality never existed in the United States? Where would we be as a country?

Signing of the Civil Rights Act July 2, 1964.

Print transcript
Deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome.
Now I join hands often with students and others behind jail bars singing it: ìWe shall overcome.î
Sometimes we've had tears in our eyes when we joined together to sing it, but we still decided to sing it! ìWe shall overcome.î
Lord before this victory is won some will have to get thrown in jail some more but we shall over come. Don't worry about us, before the victory is won some of us will lose jobs, but we shall overcome.
Before the victory is won, even some will have to face physical death. But if physical death is the price that some must pay, to free their children from a permanent psychological death, then nothing shall be more redemptive. We shall over come.
Before the victory is won, some will be misunderstood and called bad names and dismissed as rebel-rousers and agitators. Oh But we shall overcome.
And I'll tell you why.
We shall overcome because the arch of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
We shall overcome because Carlyle is right: "No lie can live forever."
We shall overcome because William Collin Bryant is right: "Truth crushed to earth will rise again".
We shall overcome because James Russel Lowell is right: "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. Yet that scaffold sways the future. And behind the dim unknown standeth God within the shadows, keeping watch above his own."
We shall overcome because the Bible is right, "You shall reap what you sow."
We shall overcome. Deep i my heart I do believe! We shall overcome.
And this with this faith we will go out and adjourn the counsels of despair and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism and we will be able to rise from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope. And this will be a great America! We will be the participants in making it so.
And so as I leave you this evening I say, ìWalk together children! Don't you get weary!î

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Friendships: Choose wisely

Real Housewives of Atlanta costars Kandi Burruss
and Phaedra Parks' friendship implodes. 

2017 Friendship Tips by HK
Choosing good friends is like walking through a maze filled with explosives and determining who's there with you at the end and whether you helped each other get through or just happened to arrive at the same place at the same time.

People toss the word "friend" around too freely and then wonder how they end up falling apart, realizing that they had the kind of "friend" who was never an actual friend but just ended up in the same place at the same time. Friendship, for me, is that we both actually care that the other makes it through and sometimes we may even make sacrifices for  each other to see that our friend is good. It isn't necessarily about where that friend can take you or you him/her, it's the concern that no matter where you end up, the friend has your back and you his/hers.


Like any relationship, friendships aren't supposed to cause you pain and suffering. Yes, misunderstandings happen and hurt feelings occur, but a true friend will not take actions to cause you harm. That means a friend will not disparage your name, lie on you, operate dishonestly with you or seek to become your competition.


Friends hold each other down and are dependable. In having your back, your friend will be an addition to your life, not a subtraction. Hangers on are not friends. I always like to use LeBron James as an example. LeBron has his friends as part of his management team. These guys actually work to add to James' bottom line. He doesn't have a group of male groupies from his old hood just hanging around to get access to what he's earned. They bring something other than a good time and trouble to the table...that way everyone contributes and everyone eats. Folks hanging around who are just eating off of you will watch you starve as they get fat. Those folks aren't your friends.


A friend takes time to understand you, hear you out, make critiques in love... not to tear you down. Friends are honest with you and don't play you sideways. True friends are vulnerable with each other and protective of their bond. They do not have to fake it to make it and realize each party to the friendship is an individual, not a clone. They honor and respect each person's need for autonomy (individualism and free space to grow) and know that the friendship goes beyond a persons growth and development. When a friend can no longer thrive within the dynamics of the friendship, the friendship dynamics can adapt. Time and space do not change a friend into an enemy, it just adjusts the structure of the friendship. And that is okay.

I wrote this particular blog because a hot topic in the uber superficial social media sphere is the fallout from the break up of Kandi and Phaedra's friendship on Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Real Housewives of Atlanta is one of my TV watching guilty pleasures. As with all reality TV, I see the entertainment in it, more so than believing the "reality" of it. Sure, these people purport to give audience a free pass at voyeurism, but it is hard to believe that anyone would truly allow you to see that deeply into their lives. Plus with edits and re-shoots, it is difficult to get a clear picture of what really goes on behind the scenes.

What does often come through, however, are the personalities of the subjects and some glimpses at their individual character. On the show, I believe Cynthia and Kandi reveal more of their real lives than the other ladies. I believe Kenya shows some but not all and I definitely don't believe she ever lets the audience see into the gamut of her real life. From the beginning, I felt like the show was just another acting gig for her and she's playing a role and not taking it too seriously. I actually think Kenya is super private.

I have felt from the get go that Phaedra is the original Joanne the Scammer and Porsha and Sheree are there for the check.

That said, the end of Kandi and Phaedra's "friendship" did not come as a surprise to me. I never thought they were BFFs. I thought they happened to be at the same place at the same time and clicked. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people you just click with and it isn't as deep as it seems. However, people confuse clicking with true friendship and treat the clique (intentional change of words) in the same way they would treat a friendship.

Cliques are for good times and commraderie, they are not for confiding  in or bearing your soul to. I'm sorry...some members of your clique ain't about 💩and you all know it! Cliques are good for a ki-ki, but you can't trust them to always keep it 💯, have your back or do you no harm.

If all you have is a clique and you don't have real friends, ask yourself what kind of friend you have been and have sought out. Sometimes it is best to role solo if a person cannot be a true friend to you or you to him/her. Check out Hassan K's friendship tips above and handle yourselves accordingly.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Blogging 2017: Growth, engagement and planning

Blogging is more than just writing.

Blogging for me began in the Fall of 2010. I had no plan, no direction, and no real end game. My sole purpose in blogging was writing. Over the course of the six plus years that I have been blogging, I have learned that it takes more than great writing skills to blog successfully.

Year after year, I promised myself, and my readers, that I would blog more professionally. Blogging as a business was low on my radar, and honestly still is. However, blogging often brings a number of opportunities that require good business sense.

I have had so many doors open for me through blogging, most occurring within the first two years of starting. Brands have reached out to me to help with promoting their products, I have hosted events and appeared as a reoccurring guest on a local morning radio show. I've written two books, interviewed celebrities and attended and/or been invited to numerous events and concerts.

What I have not done, but should have done, was build from all of those things. I should have built my audience, I should have built a business plan with strategies to grow, I should have built a stronger engagement plan for my audience.

So, going forward in 2017, I resolve to do better with blogging.

My 2017 blogging goals are:

Growth- I would like to grow my audience and grow my brand.

Engagement- I would like to engage more with my readers. I want to hear from you. Let me know what you would like to see more of on here and what you want me to get rid of...

Planning- I plan on creating an editorial calendar and some events of my own.

What are your 2017 resolutions when it comes to personal and business undertakings?

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fix a Black man's heart

Black man
Black men appeared on Iyanla Fix My Life to unravel the stereotypes
and issues that plague many of them. 

Fix a Black man's heart was the title of an Iyanla Fix My Life series that played out over three episodes from October 29th through November 12th. This blog post will be about that series and how many of the issues broached can be about any man, no matter his race.

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Black & Missing Foundation Inc