About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

In a similar way, I want this blog to be a space for fun, spirited and light-hearted discussion on issues regarding black females, our bodies, our hair, our men, and our images. But I also want it to be a forum for intelligent and respectful dialogue as well. Like Jill's poem, this blog will tackle some real topics, and they won't always be light-hearted. They will, however, be about lifting each other up. I welcome such discussion, but if you have nothing positive to contribute, please don't participate. Otherwise, join in!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Michelle Can't Eat Some Ribs?

"Rush Limbaugh says First Lady is no swimsuit model"? Really, Rush? Kudos on the significant weight loss, but don't get life twisted. You're not looking like model material yourself. I'm just sayin', Glass House.

People have been talking about Michelle's figure since early in the 2008 campaign days, from her supposedly too muscular arms to her outfits that were too form-fitting. This is really nothing new, but now she's apparently "no swimsuit model" and therefore can't encourage healthy living. And while we're on the subject of Michelle's physique, let's do a little comparison:

 
Official White House photo, Feb. 2009


Speaking about Let's Move's partnership with Wal-Mart, Jan. 2011
 Maybe there's the slightest inkling of a thicker middle in the latter photo (maybe). Even so, Michelle is FINE. Look at that shape! I'm sorry, but that does not look like an "unhealthy" physique to me--not even close. I hope I look like that when I'm well into my 40s. What's up with all the haterism, then?

Well, I do understand part of what Limbaugh, Palin, Bachmann and others are trying to suggest. For Michelle to spearhead a campaign like Let's Move!, which promotes healthy eating and regular physical activity, it's important that she walk the walk. Yet, does eating some ribs qualify as not walking the walk? Since when is a healthy lifestyle and an occasional rib or burger mutually exclusive? As the Let's Move! campaign advocates, a good combination of healthier eating and exercise makes for a healthier lifestyle, as opposed to a primarily non-nutritional, sedentary one.

All this talk about Michelle being a hypocrite, then, comes off as more of the anything-anti-Obama-is-right mantra that has been circling around since day one. While the argument regarding Michelle's eating could have some merit, it's predicated on the idea that she should eat like a rabbit all the time. That wouldn't necessarily make her lifestyle a healthier one, and it wouldn't take into account an exercise routine. Then again, I guess it's not like a hater to be logical.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First, let me thank all the little people...

Folks, this post is all about a fun, silly little blogging award that is making the rounds, and I am so lucky that I got it! Lol. The first "little" person I have to thank for the most awesome award ever made is the person who gave it to me, Mrs. H. of A.Hab.'s View of the World, and a special shout-out goes to Jillsmo for creating this silliness in the first place.

According to the rules, my acceptance of this award comes with certain duties. I must:

* Link back to the blogger who awarded you
* Display the graphic from award creator Jillsmo
* Post 5 statements, 4 of which must be lies
* Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers, who must also follow the rules
* Link the post back to "Memetastic Hop" so that Jillsmo can keep track of recipients

Now, for the next order of business, my 5 "facts":

1. After having stalked me for over a year, my now-hubby finally asked me out and proposed marriage on our first date.

2. Growing up, my twin and I had best friends who were twins. Their father is a twin who also had twins.

3. During my senior year in high school, I tried break-dancing between classes, strained a muscle in my back, and had to walk bent over at about a 90-degree angle to my car so that my sis could take me to the doctor.

4. In my second year of M.A. studies, I got the opportunity to appear on Wheel of Fortune, one of my all-time favorite shows, but it conflicted with my M.A. exams.

5. I once got barbecue sauce in my left eye. FYI: barbecue sauce stings.

Good luck, and I'll post the correct answer soon! Bwahahahaha!

On to the next order of business, choosing the next recipients of the Memetastic Award. These recipients have inspired me in various ways, with their friendship, wit, and/or intelligence. In any case, I've certainly been inspired by the stories and insights they've shared in their blogs! :-) And the award goes to (in no particular order)...

1. Diving into the Wreck: Writer and travel addict Lacy Marschalk merges her two loves in a heartfelt blog about her journeys to pursue these two loves of hers. You might get jealous reading about her adventures, but I really enjoy reading about her ups and downs as she seeks to realize her dreams because I can see them coming true. :-)

2. The Sistah Cafe: As The SistahChick states in her blog description, her blog's name says it all! A warm, lively woman who encourages sisterhood, The SistahChick shares her experiences with striving to live a healthy lifestyle: cooking, hairstyling, skin cleansing, the works. I love her positive energy, and I hope you will too!

3. Love Is, Love Ain't: Sista Outsider and M-Boogie share their insights as single ladies on the dating scene, lesbian and heterosexual, in very real and very humorous ways. Whether you're single, in a relationship, gay or straight, you'll definitely take away some nuggets of wisdom and some laughs.

4. Stony Places: Cristine gives us an honest look at her observations and feelings about her everyday life, from her hopes and goals to her fears and reservations. I really love her willingness to be real about what she's experiencing, which is so hard for many of us to do at times. Enjoy following Cristine on her next journey.

5. The Crunk Feminist Collective: The CFC, as its name indicates, is actually authored by a group of folks who share their individual thoughts about feminist-related issues concerning TV, books, the news, movies, dating life, domestic violence, marriage, you name it. It's "where crunk meets conscious and feminism meets cool." I personally know blogger Susiemaye and love her deeply intelligent, crunk takes on so many subjects. I hope you'll check out the CFC for the smart, fresh dialogue it always inspires. I don't know how this nomination will work with a collective, but I hope Susiemaye will take up the challenge!

Awardees, I hope you'll go forth and fulfill your new duties (and please don't hate me!). For everyone, let's see how you do with the 5 "facts"! Thanks for indulging. :-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Loc Appreciation Day!

Do you love locs? I do! If you're like me, then you may be interested in Loc Appreciation Day, which is tenatively scheduled for June 25, 2011. My girl MeroĆ« Khalia is publicizing it, as are others, and I'm helping to spread the word. You don't have to have locs to appreciate them--I don't have locs, but I almost did about a year ago. Check the profile pic! :-) This day will be about a collective celebration of a beautiful hair/life style. See MeroĆ«'s video below for more details.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"I Don't Really Care": Ruminations on History-Apathy Among the Young

I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon. You know, the I-don’t-understand-what’s-wrong-with-kids-these-days type. Arguably, the biggest issue with this way of thinking is the lack of consideration for upbringing. “Kids these days” are the way they are for a reason (or reasons). “The way they are” being, for many people, lazy, entitled, spoiled, addicted to cell phones and other technologies, etc. Of course, someone allowed the kids to be lazy, someone entitled them, someone spoiled them, and someone gave them cell phones at eight years old so that they became anatomical attachments by third grade.

In my own home, I’ve been guilty of some of this finger-pointing toward the child, and I’ve been trying various methods to point that finger where it belongs. My latest idea? Embrace the cool, little known bits of history that make Black History Month so much fun. Of course, I know black history is important every day of the year, but February offers a way to make my new idea especially festive—so I thought.

Upon sharing the news with the kid that I want him to find out about some new people this month, the following exchange ensues (or something like it):

Kid: If I do the Black History Bowl [annual trivia competition at school], do I get a pass?

Me: No.

Kid: But I’m not interested in any of the people.

Me: You don’t even know who they are. How can you already know you’re not interested?

Kid: I’ll only be interested if they’re from Africa. If it’s anybody else, I don’t really care.

Me: What do you mean by “anybody else”?

Kid: I don’t really care about hearing about people getting the right to vote. Or like Jackie Robinson, the one who was the first black guy to play baseball in the majors. I don’t really care.

Me: How can you not care about the things people did that allow you to go to the school you attend or that allow us to live in our neighborhood? How can you not care about your own history?

I’ll stop there. I don’t know if this is a generational thing, and I used to say that younger parents have got to do a better job of making sure our kids know and appreciate their history, which is why I was inspired to go forward with my idea in the first place. What do I get? Apathy. Jadedness. Over-it-ness.

I tried to understand why. Is it that the kid is so privileged that he can’t conceive of identifying with any struggles that would have precluded that privilege? Is it that our world is becoming increasingly “global” so that young people have a hard time appreciating their differences and the histories related to those differences (not to be confused with being preoccupied about race or engaging in superiority/inferiority complexes)? Is it because the kid is a teen now, and this “appreciation boat” has sailed?

I’m not gonna lie. I’m disappointed. My hopes for this month are shattered. Do I make him do it because he should know this stuff, or do I let it go until he’s reached a point where he can appreciate it? Do I force-feed him or wait for him to come to the table? I honestly don’t know. I want him to be proud of his heritage and to be eager to explore it. Is it too much/too late to ask?