11 THINGS BLACK MEN SHOULD KNOW

Black Love

***ATTENTION***

To begin 11 Things Black Men Should Know, I’ve been pondering about what I can do to uplift the black family unit a lot lately. Specifically as it relates to our intimate relationships. This in turn, uplifts our community as a whole. For the most part, I see dissension, division, and a disconnect. We’ve lost all compassion, understanding, and forgiveness with and for one another. Not to mention, patience. That left the building a long time ago. I know “they” want us to believe the black family is so broken there is no way to heal and mend our disfunction. But I totally disagree. I’m willing to be part of the conversation and traverse the path which changes our narrative.

I feel there couldn’t be a better way to start, than with the head of household. So here goes the beginning of my list series. Proceed with caution and an objective mind.

DEAR BLACK MEN…

1. IF YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE MULTIPLE WOMEN, DO IT IN A NOBLE MANNER.      

By the same token, I’m not telling you all to run out and find a bunch of sidechicks to shack up with, no. What I’m saying is, there is a multitude of women who are willing to be in a polygamous relationship with you, if you’d just be honest about your intentions. Many of you are going to do it anyway, so why not do it the right way? You’d be saving everyone the heartache.

2. WE SUPPORT YOU BEING WITH A WHITE WOMAN, SO LONG AS IT IS NOT DUE TO SELF HATE, OR THE IMPERFECTIONS OF YOUR BLACK FEMALE COUNTERPARTS.

If you fall in love with a white woman (or any woman that isn’t black), that’s ok.  But please, do not allow your reason to be because of the shortcomings of black women. Do not perpetuate the bosh that black women are too strong, too loud, too hard to love.  We are just as worthy as everyone else. Kimberly Foster of For Harriet explains my sentiment in her video titled “We Don’t Care Why You Don’t Date Black Women.” The only thing I’d change, is my tone when communicating the message. Otherwise, she’s dead on.

3. WE DON’T WANT TO CONTROL YOU, WE JUST WANT STRUCTURE IN OUR LIVES.

It is imperative you realize we need to work together to create structure and consistency in our home life. When we request that you handle business with urgency, it isn’t because we want to control your actions. We’re just trying to provide stability, consistency, and set a standard of excellence and growth in our homes, and for our children.

4. WE HAVE YOUR BACK.

And it’s really that simple. We are not asking for praise because of it,  just know we have always been down for you. We are here to support you, hold you up/down, and will be your rock while the world continually tries to break you.

5. BLACK MEN, WE WILL NOT GIVE UP ON YOU.

No matter what happens. We will not give up on you. So long as you are living. We will not give up on you. They will make you second guess yourself, they will make you want to give up, but we, we will NOT give up on you.

6. WE NEED YOUR COMMITMENT.

Desperately, and for the long run. We need you to commit, and stay committed to your commitment; and to us.

7. WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY.

First of all, whenever you are stressed or feeling defeated from the world beating you up, we are your first target. While we may be the easiest to release on, that’s not why we came nor is it what we are here for. I’m here to tell you, WE are not the enemy.

8. WE NEED YOUR TRANSPARENCY/HONESTY.

Yet, we’re only offered deception. So, I’m gonna repeat it for the people in the back. WE NEED YOUR TRANSPARENCY, AND HONESTY! What do I/we need to say or do to get yall to understand how important this is?! It is not an option. We are resilient enough to hear the truth.

9. WE ARE GOING TO BE LESS SUPPORTIVE.

Much as I hate to include this, you may even think it is a contradiction to #5, but the way it’s looking out in these streets, yall haven’t supported us for a long time. We cannot be expected to continue on our own. There has to be reciprocity, or we’re simply going to stop supporting yall.

10. WE ARE TIRED…

Because the world tells us we are not beautiful, do not matter, and we turn to you for solace. Only to face being alone, called selfish, beaten, abused, abandoned, and hung out to dry. We are tired.

11. WE ARE NOT SELFISH, WE ARE AMBITIOUS.

Seems like there’s a mysterious consensus among black men whenever a black woman (yes that’s important to mention) starts working towards a goal, that she instantly becomes “selfish,” How do I even address this foolishness? Since forever, we have lost ourselves bending backwards as wives and mothers. We shouldn’t have to choose between personal growth or the success of our family. The two are not mutually exclusive.  We want to be visible, successful, and celebrated the same way we celebrate you and your accomplishments.

IN CONCLUSION

Black men, please take this to your circle of friends. Share this with your brothers, fathers, cousins, colleagues, and anyone else who needs to hear it.  Most noteworthy, if nothing else, just take a moment to let it all sink in. See how you can take this list and apply it in your personal life and relationships. Thank you for your time.

With love,

Bibi Watts

MY FITNESS JOURNEY

ZUMBA | BODY SCULPTING | YOGA

That pretty much sums up my Fitness Journey it up ladies and gentlemen. I have a membership to an all women’s gym, and those are the 3 classes provided.

Ok, ok, ok, let me back it up and tell this story. So, about 3 and a half years ago, I was introduced to Zumba while volunteering for a youth lock-in. Basically, a Zumba Instructor came the night of the lock-in, and taught a beginner class to all of the young girls and advisors (the boys did Martial Arts). We absolutely loved it, did Zumba allllllll night, and even into the morning. The instructor was tired by the time we got done with her, LoL! So I’ve been hooked ever since.

Intro to Zumba Fitness Journey
Youth Lock-in Advisors

BODY IMAGE EPIPHANY

 

I didn’t actually decide to join a class until late July of this year. It took so long because of circumstances and the fact that I wasn’t committed  to my health journey yet. That’s the honest truth. In addition to that, I saw a picture of myself, and realized how big I was/am. I mean I knew I was bigger, but didn’t know how bad it had gotten, until I saw it.

Zumba Fitness Journey
Left: early 2016 – Right: late 2017

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD” – MAHATMA GHANDI

As a result of that shocking image (not the exact image above, but you get the point), I made a decision to stop complaining about what I don’t like, and work to change it. So I’m on that journey now. In making that decision, I also decided I would do something I really enjoyed, to find that inner peace. And that happens to be Zumba.

So, back to the gym I joined. It’s an all women’s gym that offers Zumba, Yoga, and Body Sculpting. I take part in all 3 classes. I enjoy Zumba and Yoga the most, because Body Sculpting is just HARD. Zumba allows me to dance often, which I LOVE to do, and Yoga is he centering I think we all need. It also helps with my flexibility goals.Honestly, I started off slow in the beginning. Maybe going 2-3 times a week. But now, I’m on a roll, and have been attending about 5-6 times a week since October. Finally, I can see the progress, and am feeling a lot more optimistic. It didn’t start easy, and it hasn’t gotten any easier, but I don’t plan on quitting either.

INSTRUCTOR IS IN THE FUTURE FOR MY FITNESS JOURNEY

Ultimately, you’re looking at your soon-to-be Zumba instructor. I love it so much, and the way it is transforming my life, I want to help others change their lives as well. I’m on a mission now. Everything must be done with a plan, and process though. I have to get to a certain point in my fitness journey, before I can help anyone else. So, I hope you all don’t mind me venting about my struggle every now and then. You can use this platform to do the same.

What are your fitness goals, and what are you doing to reach them?

 

 

Are you a Coffee Lover?

I’m The Worst Coffee Addict I Know!

One of the first things you’ll learn about me is my love for coffee. I’m going to call it an addiction to be completely honest with you and me both. This love affair has been going strong since the tender age of 12 when my father first allowed me to start drinking coffee regularly. He said if I were to start consuming it before that age, it would stunt my growth (and from my personal research, I have found that isn’t actually true). I can’t believe how many cups of Coffee I missed out on waiting to turn 12. I’m smh at you Abs (nickname of Abu/father).

The Fruit Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

Because Abs was actually the first person to introduce me to the beverage, so it’s no wonder I’m addicted now. I remember how meticulously he’d make each cup of coffee, and then serve it to my Ummi (Mom), with such pride. I just couldn’t wait my turn to be served some love in a cup. Sure enough, my turn came, and when I tell you it was worth the wait – I mean it! My father can brew a mean cup of Joe. One day, you HAVE to try it!

I Decided To Share My Affair With The World.

Coffee Shop View
Coffee Shop

So I started a #CoffeeIsBae review on my Youtube channel.  I will travel the world looking for the perfect cup, coffee shop, and experience. And being the coffee connoisseur I am, I can’t tell you how excited I am to do this! I will rate each shop on a 25 point scale, with 5 categories. 

5 Categories To Make A Perfect Cup

The scale is 1-5, where 1 is the lowest, 5 is the highest.

  1. Atmosphere – look, feel, energy.
  2. Customer Service – no brainer here!
  3. The First Sip – the way the first sip tastes, feels, and the energy it gives me.
  4. Sweetness, Acidity, Body, Cleanliness – you get the point.
  5. Aftertaste – whether it’s pleasant or painful.

First Stop – Doux Cafe

Doux Cafe for Coffee Lovers in Houston, Tx
Doux Cafe – Houston, Tx

 

I started not too far from my home at a little French Coffee Shop called the Doux Cafe. It was mid morning when I went, so my Husband and I actually sat in to grab a bit as well. The food was REALLY good. I’d say better than the Cup of Joe even :-/. everything was good overall, but there were a few kinks that didn’t result in the best rating. Checkout my first #CoffeeIsBae Review here- #CoffeeIsBae Review.

If you’d like for me to visit and review your shop, send me a message @coffeeandthedailygrind@gmail.com

What’s Your Addiction?

As a result of watching – leave a comment, subscribe to the channel, and share away! Oh, and please don’t leave without answering the following question.

What’s your addiction, guilty pleasure, or favorite beverage?

A Muslim at Saint George Orthodox Church?

I’ve always wanted to visit a Church for some kind of program to experience the environment first hand. I would have rathered it be more a happy occasion my first time, but life comes at you, and sometimes you just can’t be prepared.

The Invitation To Church

I was invited to the funeral service of my dear friend’s father on Wednesday, October 25th. It was not an easy invitation to accept, but one I didn’t want to pass on either. Hadeel and I worked together for less than a year and formed a strong connection. I’d even call it a sisterhood. So, I was aware that her father was sick, and this day might be coming – I just didn’t know how soon it would be.

Who would have thought the Christian Palestinian, and Muslim African American would be so compatible?

I was very nervous because the last (and first) time I was at a church it was for a funeral, but ironically, to honor the passing of a Muslim. It had been so many years since then that the memory of it is just a blur now. So, I wasn’t sure how the service would be hosted.  What happens during? How to act afterwards? Or anything in between. And I knew my friend would be with her family so there wouldn’t be a tour guide for this experience. No one holding my hand through the discomfort, and no one to answer my 2,389 questions I was sure I’d have.

My sole purpose for attending was to be present for the homegoing of my friend’s father; and that transcended all apprehensions.

Church - Houston, TX
Saint George Orthodox Church

Upon arriving I became overwhelmingly nervous and anxious. I’m not a shy person (unless in certain environments), and am comfortable in my skin 99.9% of the time (ok maybe that’s a little bit exaggerated but you get the point).  I wasn’t happy about the way I was feeling. There were a group of men dressed in all black standing on either side of the entrance door, greeting everyone as they arrived. There was a peacefulness as I walked into the church. It was a breathtaking vision. There were vibrant colors everywhere. Complete silence. And occasional crying.

It’s always been frustrating to me how races, creed, classes of people would separate themselves from one another. But this gathering, forced everyone to focus on the one thing that is certain, we all will face our end one day; we just don’t know when.

So, here I was, a Muslim woman in all black, covered from head to toe, sitting alone on a pew in the middle of a church.

It was this moment when I realized how much I stood out, but also, that it didn’t even matter what our differences were. We were all contemplative and still. Everyone shared the sentiment of loss for the man whom I never met, but hear, was a compassionate and loving person.

The last, and most poignant part of this experience, was how much the ceremony felt like home. There were 3 men conducting the service. They would take turns speaking, and then singing. The song, for the most part, was in English. At other times, short stanzas were in Arabic. That is what spoke directly to me. Although I cannot speak /understand Arabic fully, at a young age Muslims learn to read the Holy book/Qur’an in Arabic. Therefore, it’s inevitable we become familiar with certain words and phrases in the language growing up. He uttered words I knew, I use, and I understand.

Being present for a friend mourning the loss of a loved one, is hard. You never know the right things to say, you don’t really know what to do, and every movement feels so contrived. Fact is, I’ve been there before. I lost my brother in 2005, and I know what it feels like to be on the other side. So, I did what I’d like for anyone else to do should they come to support my moment of sadness. I showed up in honor of a homegoing, and simply stayed true to who I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I chose to Blog

On why I chose to Blog.

I was working in the Mortgage industry for only a few months, I truly loved what I was doing, and the people I worked with. Moving up the corporate ladder quickly in a field I’d never even scratched the surface of before. Surrounded by so many phenomenal people from all walks of life, and we had become a family in an office space, literally.

No sooner than #DonaldTrump came into Office, did homeowners policies and plans change for the worst. Thusly, our jobs as Mortgage Bankers became that much harder and less convincing to our customers. Immediately the market started declining, and layoffs began. This is something we were all prepared for, because that’s how the “market” is right? It’s up, then it’s down, and then right back up again. So, I’ll be fine, I thought to myself. It became something I told myself daily, that I’d survive the storm of “let-go’s,” and come out just as strong as I’d started. I had faith, and nothing could break that.

After 6 groups had been released from my project, Thursday, August 3rd had arrived. The Account manager called a mandatory meeting and told us there would be a lot of changes coming our way, and quickly. An overwhelming feeling of worry filled the sparse room, but my faith remained intact. I woke up the next morning with that feeling of intuition most women are blessed with. I knew it was my turn. It was as if God had tapped me on the shoulder and said, “you’re bigger than the building you work in, and I have better plans for you.” So, I put on the best thing I had in the closet, made sure my #wingtips were flawless, my #NyxMatteLipCream was as close to perfection as it could be, and walked into the office like a superstar.

I told myself if I was released, it would be in style. By 11AM I had received an email of directions detailing where and when to meet with the HR department. It was at that moment the feeling of failure hit me. I knew it wasn’t because of my performance, and had nothing to do with scores, accuracy, or production, but it didn’t feel good regardless. It felt like shock I was already prepared for.  Took a few days for it to sink in that I was really, out of work. I had nowhere to be the following Monday morning, other than to drop my daughter off at school. After a few weeks enjoying the freedom of being home with my family and catering to them. I knew there was something ore I wanted and needed out of life.

Not having to work gave me time to think about exactly what I wanted. It propelled me to start a journey finding me again. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy process, but l knew it was something I needed to do. When you have a family to take care of, are working, and always busy making sure everyone else is happy, it’s easy to lose yourself. And honestly, it’s bittersweet. I love taking care of my family, cooking the best meals, finding ways to be healthier, cleaning, rearranging the house for better order, but getting lost in the meantime, isn’t fun.

I decided I’d get back into blogging. I used to blog years and years ago, but stopped once life got too busy. I love blogging because, for one, I’m a writer so it comes naturally. But also, because I can share my passions in and for life. My personal family, fashion, beauty, household, and all kinds of other tips with the world. Choosing a platform over saturated with glitz and glamor isn’t easy, it’s necessary. And what I know makes me unique, is the authenticity of self. I am not here for the spotlight, rather, I’m here to share with you a journey. I am the essence of imperfection, and I’m eager to share with you the beautiful mess I contribute to the world. Either you’ll come along, or you won’t…💖