National Chocolate Day: Why Black Women are the Best Chocolate

If you didn’t know, yesterday was National Chocolate Day! I have such a sweet tooth and chocolate is always my go-to dessert. Today I’m going to share with you my favorite chocolate. It’s not the fluffy goodness of a 3 Musketeers or the crunchy delight of a Butterfinger. My favorite chocolate is black women.

Now before your mind starts wandering, let me clarify exactly what I mean. I am not attracted to black women, I admire black women. From the Reese’s cup mixed girls to the Godiva dark chocolate girls, I love them all. As my generation says, melanin poppin’. If you’re smart you’re nodding in agreement right now. If you don’t agree, I’ll pray for you. I’m serious! Black women do not get enough love so I’ll be the one to praise us. Somebody has to right?

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Pictured are my friends and I (right) showing off our melanin in Miami this past summer.

Why the sudden appreciation post? First off, the violent assault of a seemingly harmless African-American girl at Spring Valley High School shows the fact that black women are still thought of as less than. Second, yesterday at my Black Student Union general board meeting we played a game called “Stereotype Headbandz”. Based on the game Headbanz where you have a card on your forehead and guess what your card says, our general board members shouted out stereotypical clues. The game was fun and thought provoking. It hit home when the card “Black female” flashed and people started to shout out clues like ratchet, easy, and aggressive. Finally, one boy ended the harsh stereotypes by shouting out the clue “you’re beautiful”.

Black women ARE beautiful. As I said, black women are my favorite chocolate. You can keep your Twix and Kit Kat. I want the chocolate that doesn’t break when society bends it. I want the chocolate that doesn’t melt under America’s pressure. That’s Black women. Not only are we beautiful, we’re strong. I myself have become a little Almond Joy: chocolate on the outside, white coconut on the inside that some people don’t enjoy, sweet but with a hard almond core. There are so many different shades and tints and sizes and shapes of Black women. Sadly, what we all have in common is being last on the totem pole.

I realized this fact in the tenth grade when I read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurtson. From that book I learned something I will never forget. In the 1937 novel, Janie’s Nanny tells her, “De n*gger woman is de mule uh de world so far as Ah can see.” Black women are the mule of the world. Not only are we Black but we’re considered the “weaker sex”. We have always come last to white men, white women, and Black men. This type of thinking and hatred of Black women subsequently became self-hatred. And some of our counterparts praising every ethnicity of woman before us hasn’t helped the problem.

The putting down of Black women will stop here, today, with me. I love my mocha color, my mom’s milk chocolate skin, my best friend’s cocoa hue, my classmate’s brown sugar complexion. You don’t have to like us, but don’t you dare say we aren’t beautiful. If you need any proof of how gorgeous my race is, check out a blog I follow called Black Girls R Pretty 2. Black women are the best chocolate for National Chocolate Day and every day!

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Things Taken for Granted…

It has been said that things taken for granted get taken. Thank you to the anonymous person whose words have now become an Instagram post. I completely agree with this statement. It is especially true of relationships, both romantic and platonic. Here are 3 very good reasons why you should tell your loved ones you appreciate them today:

1. To have someone in your life who is truly kind-hearted is rare.

We live in a time where people can be very selfish. People can be deceitful and manipulative to get what they want. If you have someone in your life who is 100% pure in their intentions, you are very lucky. It’s uncommon to find someone who does good for others without any conditions. It’s rare when people give without complaining or expecting anything in return.

2. You could lose them one day.

This person in your life who treats you well may not expect anything in return, but appreciation and gratitude should be given. Those things are free and easy to do. If they don’t receive that, they may start to feel unappreciated. Everyone has a breaking point. If this person is smart, they will not let their kindness be taken for weakness. He or she will be honest with themselves and find the strength to leave. Taking them for granted will open the door for someone else to take this special person away from you. Even worse, if something were to happen to this person, you will most likely regret not treating them better.

3. Taking advantage of them can change them.

I have heard many times that you should not become the person who hurt you. It’s hard to embrace this if being nice got you taken advantage of. With that being said, if you take a kind person for granted, they may learn their lesson and never treat anyone else nice again. You don’t want to be the reason a good person goes bad. The world is in need of more good people. It would be a shame to lose one because someone didn’t appreciate them.


In my opinion, these 3 reasons should go without saying. Unfortunately, a lot of people forget these things when dealing with kind people, myself included. On the other hand, I have also experienced feeling unappreciated. So, no matter if it is your mom, best friend,boyfriend/girlfriend, remember to tell that special someone you appreciate them today.

Coming Out in Hip-Hop

Last night #OutinHipHop began to trend as rapper Miles Brock aka “Siir Brock” came out to his friends, family and the world on Love & Hip-Hop: Hollywood. While the show normally provides me with ratchet drama and celebrity gossip, this episode was very serious and heart wrenching. The hip hop star has been secretly dating rapper/producer/model Milan Christopher, secret to his friends and family that is. The rest of us have known all season. Miles finally revealed to his long time lover and friend Amber Hunter aka “Fabb Abb” that he was gay at a sit down with his therapist. He later told his sisters at home.

Miles Brock

Miles Brock aka “Siir Brock”, 27, recently revealed he is homosexual on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. Photo courtesy of VH1.

In the world of hip hop and in the African American community as a whole, being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is not only frowned upon but seen as a disgrace to many. I don’t know why it is worse to my people but it just is. It seems that way at least. Heck, I was called a dyke in elementary school as an insult and I was so young I didn’t even know what that meant. It’s not uncommon for slurs and prejudice jokes like this to be in rap songs or the homes of Black people.

Without getting too political with my views on homosexuality, I want to express why this episode was so “heart wrenching” as I said. It was a combination of the look on Miles’ face as he told Amber and how the words seemed to be stuck right in his throat. A grown man was afraid and embarrassed to share a part of who he was. Now, of course he was more scared because he strung this girl along romantically but that’s besides the point. The point is, I watched in awe as he had to muster up the courage to tell her he liked men. Consider this: was it that hard for me to tell my parents I had my first crush on a boy? No. I never ever had to endure what he did. Let alone on national television. The reason being because I am a girl and it is ok for girls to like boys. As soon as a Black man has feelings for another man he has to hide it and feel ashamed. That’s just not right to me. No one should ever have to hide who they are in fear of being judged.

I could really say more about this topic but maybe I’ll save it for a later date. I just wanted to share that it still amazes me that in the year 2015 when gay marriage is legal, millions of people are still “in the closet” so to speak. Millions of people are living a double life every day just to fit in. And in the Black community, they better not dare let their mask slip off. Whether you agree with homosexuality or not, be empathetic. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you be able to juggle two lives or would you get exhausted? If you or someone you know is going through this day in and day out, you don’t have to. It took Miles Brock years to come out but now that he has, a weight has been lifted. Join him by visiting outinhiphop.vh1.com.

The Art of Dance

If my heart was made up of a few different pieces, art would have the biggest piece. I have ben drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. Painting, drawing, sculpture – they all inspire me. Art is not only fine art, but also culinary art, music, poetry, dance. Unfortunately, God only gave me the artistic ability to draw. That did not stop me from taking an African dance class yesterday on campus.

I am the Vice President of Administration for the Black Student Union on my campus. October 12-15 is our pride week where we have 4 days of fun and educational events (check out #BSUPrideWeek2015 on social media). Yesterday’s event was the cultural event. Instructors and drummers from the Egun Omode Shule dance school of Trenton, NJ came out to teach our members a traditional African dance. You know I had to join in. The dance we learned was called Sorsornet. It is a right of passage dance for both boys and girls of the Baga people from Guinea, West Africa. When I tell you this dance class was a workout I’m not kidding! Even through the sweat and burning quads, I had a blast.

African Dance Class

There’s me in the gray!

As we did some of the West African dance movements, I was reminded of today’s popular dance crazes. Everyone was hitting the “whip” last Friday at a school event and celebrities joined right in when iHeart Memphis began to “hit the Quan” at the BET Hip Hop Awards on Tuesday. I always wonder who came up with these dances, but never think about it long before I’m doing them too. These dances as well as tap, jazz, and even ballet, all sprouted from the roots of African dance. When our instructor moved her hips and back yesterday it was very reminiscent of “twerking”. It is amazing to me that movements that symbolize a right of passage in one country get manipulated to symbolize sex in another.

African dance is not done for play. Every movement has a meaning. Every combination is done for a celebration whether it be a right of passage, wedding, or funeral. Even the drums that the drummers played had a purpose. One set of drums played the rhythm while the other played the “break” which told us when to stop, start, and transition. The biggest and loudest drum was the mother. The medium drum was the father. The small drum was the child. This tells us the family structure in West Africa and how important the mother is.

While African dance is fun, there is value to it. It is a form of communication, as all art is. By learning the Sorsornet I now know an important part of the Baga people’s culture. What do our modern dances communicate? What do they say about our culture? Does “hitting the Quan” have a purpose? Let me know what you think!

Culture Costumes Aren’t Cute

It’s 2015. So why on Earth are students dressing in blackface like Whites did in the 1800s? I’ll tell you why. For some reason my generation thinks that if wearing blackface is part of a costume it’s fine. They’re just playing dress up. It’s cool right? Wrong. Perhaps I should rewind and fill you in on the origins of my frustration.

This past Tuesday, October 6, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority at UCLA threw a theme party called “Kanye Western”. Attendees of the party were to dress in costumes resembling African-American rapper Kanye West and his bodacious family the Kardashians. To portray these celebrities, many members of the two Greek organizations sagged their pants, stuffed their butts to appear enlarged, and smeared their faces with what looks to be dirt in order to look Black. These are all stereotypes of the Black community that are considered offensive and unacceptable, costume or not. The blackface is especially offensive given the history of White performers using it to play simple-minded Black characters during the 19th century up until the 1960s.

Cosmo Blackface TweetXXL Blackface Tweet

UCLA has a painful history of racism if we remember the 1969 shootings of students Bunche Carter and John Huggins on campus. “Sometimes I appreciate these things for all the students that doubt that we live in these times,” an anonymous UCLA staff member said in regard to the party (Castle). As expected, when African-American students at UCLA found out about the party they were outraged. Current Black students organized protests on campus and a sit-in at their vice chancellor’s office demanding repercussions for these acts of racism. UCLA’s vice chancellor, Jerry Kang, told a crowd of protestors,”It’s one thing to suggest you are actually focusing on one celebrity who is African American, it’s another thing to take it as a license to perform every attribute, every stereotype, every grotesque minstrelsy that you see” (Rocha).

It’s ironic that this incident would occur with Halloween right around the corner. Cultural costumes have been worn on this holiday for as long as anyone can remember. Recently, more people are starting to notice that this is more offensive than they thought. The phrase “my culture is not a costume” has been trending everywhere thanks to the Students Teaching About Racism Society at Ohio University who started it. President of the club, Sarah Williams, said, “During Halloween, we see offensive costumes. We don’t like it, we don’t appreciate it. We wanted to do a campaign about it saying, ‘Hey, think about this. It’s offensive'” (Grinberg).

When I used to dress up for Halloween, I never realized wearing an article of clothing from a culture that is not my own could offend someone of that ethnicity. In the 7th grade I was a “Greek goddess” for Halloween. Then in high school I realized it made me uncomfortable when classmates called themselves “dressing Black”.

Blackface isn’t necessary to be an African-American celebrity, just like a sombrero and mustache aren’t necessary to be a Mexican. These are stereotypes that are being sold to us by the costume industry. My request to all my readers is that you research the image you are trying to portray when dressing up this Halloween. If it draws off of any part of a culture that is not yours, stay away from it. Racism isn’t cute.

Castle, Cerise. “UCLA Students at ‘Kanye Western’ Frat Party Under Fire for Alleged Blackface.” The Daily Beast. N.p., 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.

Grinberg, Emanuella. “‘We’re a Culture, Not a Costume’ This Halloween – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

Rocha, Veronica. “Kanye West-themed Frat Party at UCLA Sparks Protests, Claims of Racism.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

Young, Black, and Motivated

As my blog goes on, you (my lovely readers) will learn a lot about me. One thing I would like to share is that I am the graphic design intern for the Office of Campus Life at my university. It’s a wonderful opportunity for experience and pay. I even get my own little cubicle. Obtaining a paid position based on my talent at a predominantly white private institution made me extremely happy. What makes me even more happy is seeing other Black students working in the office.

There are plenty of college students partying and goofing off, wasting the 4 years they’ve been given. But my colleagues and I buzz around the office all week in between classes. We are determined to make professional connections to further our careers. In a study* I read from 2014, the graduation rate for Blacks at private colleges was 44.5%, far below the 68.1% for White students. I refuse to be a part of the percentage that does not graduate. The other Black student workers seem to have the same goal. You are the company you keep. I believe when you surround yourself with like-minded people you’re more successful.

For example, at the young age of 23 my boyfriend has recently started his own business with his two friends. Their clothing line represents them and everything they stand for (stayontheloe.com). Although my boyfriend has a college degree and his peers do not, their motivation and desire is completely equal to his. It is because of this fact that they have been successful. We’re talking about three minority males doing something positive and crushing stereotypes.

It pleases me to see young Black adults around me doing big things. I’m not the only one paying attention. The generation under us is watching our every move. My younger brother will be applying for college this fall. My work at school for the past three years has set forth the perfect example of good work ethic for him. The kids in my boyfriend’s hometown are going to learn to follow their bright ideas from watching him run a business. As the older folks say, children are the future. If they stay passionate and level headed, they can be great entrepreneurs, doctors, whatever they want! If you’re a young Black kid in school or just out here living your dream, don’t stop. That’s what society wants. Join me as I break yet another stereotype. Stay young, Black and motivated.

*Statistics from http://www.jbhe.com/2014/01/the-racial-gap-in-college-graduation-rates/