FanMail: Kevin Hart

kevin hart

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For this edition of fan mail I’ve decided to depart from my usual sarcastic commentary of ridiculous celebrity behavior and do something a little different.  It’s easy to point out who’s behind in taxes, who’s getting arrested and who’s getting divorced, but I think it’s important to highlight the celebs who every once in a while try to set a good example.

Many of you know when I’m not writing, I spend most of my days working at a non-profit that specializes in parenting education for teen parents.  What you may not know is how much love I have for my teen fathers.  For every 15 students I serve in a class, I get maybe one or two fathers.  Unfortunately, they often feel outnumbered sitting in a class full of teen mothers, many of whom have already adopted the mindset that they are both their childrens’ “mom and dad” based off of their own negative experiences or resentment they harbor from failed relationships.

I’ve been lucky to witness my fair share of teen fathers who are making the effort to break the cycle.  They’re working legit jobs, they’re fighting for custody and they’re going to school.  But when they try to participate in class, as I’m sure in many other areas of their lives, people have already made up their minds about them.  They’re instantly met with confrontation because everyone’s already assumed they’re a deadbeat before they’ve even told their story.  Unfortunately what I also witness far too often is that no one is standing up for them.  Even within my own agency, the number of female facilitators greatly outnumbers the males, and I worry that many of these young men have limited access to positive male influences.

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On Being Mary Jane…

You may not be sleeping with a married man, but at some point you’ve been Mary Jane Paul.  If you’ve ever abandoned your standards just to be with a man, you’ve been Mary Jane.  If you ever felt ashamed of it, you’ve been Mary Jane. If you’ve ever done it over and over again anyway, you’ve been Mary Jane. If you’ve ever been judged for that by the very family you’re busting your ass to support, you’ve been Mary Jane.  If you’ve ever had an unhealthy obsession with Post It notes, you’ve been Mary Jane.

I was skeptical of the BET show starring Gabrielle Union that Twitter followers commented watching made them feel “uncomfortable because it was too closely connected to her life”.  After the first episode I even attributed Union’s great acting to the fact the she was telling her own life story.  But by the third episode I was hooked.  Being Mary Jane gives black women something shows with predominantly white casts have been hip to for a while now:  Our very own Walter White.  Dare I say, our first anti-hero.  She’s the woman we hate to love because she’s the perfect validation of the fact that villains have feelings too.

Being Mary Jane forces black women to swallow the bitter truth that the proverbial “good girl” and your man’s side-piece can be one in the same.  Mary Jane is not some ratchet who gives good head and can fry up some chicken.  She’s a professional who’s not only taking care of herself but her trifling relatives as well.  It’s a harsh reality for many black women who rely on the assumption that their man being unfaithful has everything to do with sex, and nothing to do with the fact there are good women out there who make questionable choices.

10 Things I’ve Learned In My Two Weeks As An Editor

woman frustrated at computer

So about a month ago as I was waiting inside the lobby of my job for my ride and I scrolled through my Yahoo inbox to see an e-mail from the deputy editor at MadameNoire.com titled “Weekend Editor Position”.  It turns out that the current weekend editor had some other obligations leaving the position open.  A little birdie otherwise known as the site’s awesome assistant editor had referred me noting that my writing was clean and after writing for the site for five years, I expressed wanting some growth in my writing career.

You may note that a little over a month ago with the start of the new year, one of the goals listed on my dream board stated, “I will not freelance forever, however, I will be a journalist, staff writer, editor or assistant editor.”  Now maybe I’m a little high on faith and the laws of attraction, but ever since I’ve been reading my Christmas gift, Joel Osteen’s Breakout!, I been trying to put into practice this idea of praying big.  I’ve never been the most religious person, but I had reached a frustrated point in my progress as a writer where I needed something to believe in.  I needed a sign that I should keep writing and not start filling out grad school applications. I couldn’t tell you whether recent opportunities in my life came just because it was finally time for my hard work to pay off or whether someone heard my prayers, but I will say this:  Never underestimate speaking (or tweeting) things into existence.  Whether God heard my prayer or my editor paid closer attention to my blog than I thought, someone heard me and someone helped make my goals happen.

As a result I’ve quickly realized I only have two hands and those are spent covering breaking news like celebrity baby showers and bad fake booty jobs on the weekends for the site. The time I devote to BulletsandBlessings has taken a hit, but I’m begging you to please be patient as I discipline myself a little more and rearrange my schedule.  In the meantime, I’ve noticed some incredible differences between writing and editing that I’d like to share before anyone decides they want to start their own blog or edit someone else’s.

LeanIn.Org & Getty Team Up To Create More Empowering Stock Images For Women

This has me excited. So tired of searching “professional black woman” images only to see the same generic business suit and plastered smile. Go Getty!

HelloBeautiful

leanin-getty “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” author, Sheryl Sandberg has teamed up with Getty images to offer a special collection of images that represent women and families in more empowering ways.

“When we see images of women and girls and men, they often fall into the stereotypes that we’re trying to overcome, and you can’t be what you can’t see,” Ms. Sandberg said in an interview. The current stock images of women on Getty feed into old-fashioned stereotypes and Ms. Sandberg claims that the ubiquity of these images is hurting girls and women because of their stereotypical imagery. These images are in heavy demand as the three most-searched terms in Getty’s image database are “women,” “business” and “family.”

The LeanIn/Getty site says:

We are proud to present the Lean In Collection, a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people…

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