The topic of wealthy black people giving back came up multiple times this week. It started with a video I saw of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley on Oprah in 2005. Barkley told a story of Jordan swatting his hand when he tried to give money to a homeless person. The theory being that if he can ask for change, he can ask for a job application and work. We will not discuss that theory today, but it did make me think about the issues others have when someone does or does not give back.
This week #BlackCoffee on BET posed the questioned, “Are wealthy black people obligated to give back to the community?”. The panel had many opinions along with Laverne Cox’s statement, “It is rude to tell people what to do with their money.” A statement that I 100% agree with. Wealthy black people are not obligated to give back to their community, but I do think they should. Their contributions do not need to be publicized or be financial.
We have seen celebrities, and wealthy black people give generously to various charities, and there is almost always celebrations from the black community. During the 2017 hurricane season, we saw many celebrities get on social media and post about the x amount of dollars they donated. We also saw some challenging their peers or making it a competition as to who could give more because they "Got It Like That." While these acts benefit the charities themselves, it can also hesitate others from posting their donations as they fear of being shamed if the internet thinks they could have given more. A prime example would be, Kendrick Lamar buying his sister a new Toyota Camry for graduation back in 2017 and the internet was upset because he “should” have gotten her something fancier. I must refer to back to Laverne Cox’s statement again.
This could be the reason celebrities don't always announce and post their charitable efforts because they don’t want criticism. We also must remember giving back does not always mean giving money. You can give your time, your space, or your influence to better the community. Our community needs to celebrate all charity efforts from the cutting of checks to mentioning of social issues. All of these can affect our community and bring positive changes.
When it comes to giving back to the community, I think we all - wealthy or not - should do it. It does not always take money or power just a kind heart. You should not tell other people what to do with their money or resources, especially if you aren’t doing the same with yours or you aren’t 100% sure that they aren’t contributing in some way. Start or continue to support the organizations and charities that you believe in and make the changes you can.
Come one! Come All! As I tell you about my date with a MF Trump Supporter!
Some backstory for you: I am on the dating apps and going on dates with the plan to continue all through summer. This guy was from Tinder, and I plainly have in my Tinder bio “NO TRUMP SUPPORTERS!!”. I do not want or need to align with someone who aligns themselves with the orange monster.
I have talked to this guy on Tinder for a few days, and we decided to meet up at a bar for a drink on Wednesday night. The date is going well. He is telling me about his many businesses, his love for his family, his Nigerian background and upbringing (yes, he is BLACK.). We are flirting, laughing, and having a good ole time. UNTIL…
He asks, “Are you a Democrat or a Republican?”
I say, “While I do not label myself as either.”
He quickly interjects.“You are the reason Trump won”.
I quickly clarify, “Hold up! While I do not label myself as either, I do lean more toward democratic ideals, and I absolutely did not vote for that monster.” I need to make sure NO ONE is out here thinking I’m on that Stacey Dash bullshit.
He asks, “Why didn’t you vote for Trump?"
Now at this point, I am thinking this question is dumb because there are so many reasons, but I list, “He is a womanizer, racist, transphobic, homophobic, and a downright…”
Before I can finish, he interrupts, “That is just his personality. He is a businessman. I am a businessman. I voted for him because of the tax break. I get the biggest tax breaks because of him.”
At this point, I am sitting in shock and disbelief because HE VOTED FOR TRUMP!
This immigrant (legal or not) black man voted for a man who during his election campaign told us he would restrict immigrants just like he and his big ass Nigerian family and voted for him anyway because of A FUCK TAX BREAK!
The fact that you voted for Trump back in 2016 for whatever fuck ass reason, after the last 3 years you still feel comfortable telling people you did. After the travel ban on countries with a “proven history of terrorism AND, after he is ripping immigrant children from their parents and sticking the children in cages. AFTER ALL OF THAT, you still want to rep this non-nigga. GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!!
After he confessed that, I looked at my phone, “Wow! It’s getting so late. I should really get home because I have to work tomorrow”. Then I left.
I was shocked! The date was going so well until he wanted to rep his set. This is a lesson that Trump supporters come in all forms, and I must stay vigilant and keep my energy pure.
He texted me Thursday morning to say he had fun. I let him that I was having fun until I found out he voted for Trump. He said we could continue to get to know each other but not talk about religion or politics. I replied No because you Voting for that monster for a tax break means that you care more about money than people and that is all I need to know.
Y'all pray for me in this world of dating. Being single is ruff. I need a BAE to take me from these incompetent niggas.
As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece called "To All The Women Who Raised Me" This piece was a thank you to all women in my life who help make me into the talented and awesome women who writes for you today.
Since Father's Day is this weekend, I wanted to continue this trend of thanks to all the men in my life. However, there is a drastic difference. Every woman who has entered my life has been an inspiration and positively affected my life. Unfortunately, all the men in my life have not. This hard fact caused me to hesitate to write this piece because I want the same loving and positive energy the first piece. I realized that people affect your life – some negative and some positive – but those experiences shape you into whom you are. While all the men in my life have not positively affected me, I am still thankful they helped me become this fantastic person.
My parents got divorced when I was eight, and my relationship with my father became complicated and distant. This situation was very hurtful as a child, especially seeing how my uncles and godfather treated their daughters. They doted on them and built these beautiful relationships with them that I still admire. Even watching my older cousins like Rel, Joe, and Chauncey, who are all now fathers, build relationships with their daughters. It is beautiful, and I hope they never take that relationship for granted.
While my relationship with my father was complicated, I did not go without unconditional love from a positive male figure. I know that my father loves me unconditionally and had amazing uncles and godfather who loved me and helped whenever I needed anything. TO THIS DAY!
These men (uncles, cousins, etc.) have also shown me what black love looks like. The love they show to their beautiful black wives shows me what healthy and beautiful relationships look like. Inspiring! I have also seen what toxic traits look like in a partner and what to stray away from.
The complexity of my relationship with my father caused insecurities, self-doubt, and not knowing my worth. However, over the last few years, I have worked through these issues with professionals and talked with my dad about them, which was very therapeutic. Our relationship is still not perfect and has gone through phases of closeness and distance. While love is never lost, the relationship is not what I could or should be.
While the energy of this piece is not the same, I want the thanks to be just as genuine. I am very thankful to all the men who have given me love and support throughout my life. All of you that fixed my car or taught me how to fix things myself. All of you have offered me guidance and support. I want to say thank you, and I love you!!
Happy Father's Day to all the men in my life!!
It’s my Birthday!!!
Today I turn 25. I have officially been on this Earth for a quarter of a century. I am usually not excited about my birthday, but this year I am really happy about it. I am in very happy place right now. I feel good about my body. I am letting out creative energy. I feel good.
I am spending the actual day of my birthday with my favorite people, MY FAMILY, and some friends. They are my happy place.
My favorite birthday memory is when I was a kid. I don’t even know how old I was turning. I had a party in my yard. There was a birthday cake, a kid’s pool and so many of my family. I remember feeling so happy to have all my loved ones there. I was so young with no care in the world. JOY!
Over the past year, I moved, bought a car, and took more financial responsibility. I also took care of myself mentally. I worked through a lot of childhood insecurities and issues I have been putting aside for far too long. With the help of counseling and journaling, I am so much stronger mentally and spiritually. I am so happy about that.
My goals for 25 is to continue this work on my mental health. I want to get back in to the gym like I was before, not to lose weight but to get healthier. I want to express myself creatively and share more of my work consistently. I want to continue this path of happiness.