Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Dynamic Definition of Family


According to a new Pew Research Center poll more than 34 percent of U.S. children are being raised by a single parent. And only 46 percent of us live in a “traditional” family household (two, married heterosexual parents in their first marriage). The decision to rebuke marriage is cited for some of the shift. The study does not include information on percentage of children in same-sex marriage households.The benchmark seems to be data from 1960.

Having not delved into the actual data (although I am unsure if it dug in), I am guessing that people feel more secure about choosing what is best for them rather than the popular choice. What I’m curious to know is the resulting analysis: are our children happier?

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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in Family, Relationships, Single Parenting, Youth


Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

Andrea McDaniels at The Baltimore Sun wrote an article that I had to thank her for writing! It is one in a series but I just stumbled upon this installment via my Twitter feed this morning. And I am sharing it with as many as I can…

I was a 20 year-old college student when I lost the man that I planned to marry, Frederick Walker aka “Bula.” He was also a college student, studying Electrical Engineering. Bula was shot multiple times by his best friend’s nephew who was 15 at the time.

This all happened three weeks before my junior year in college. Instead of going back to school, I sat out for a semester. I found out that I was in the early stages of pregnancy but miscarried with the grief.

The only reason I returned to school was because he would never be able to earn his degree so I could at least earn mine. IT WAS THE HARDEST THING THAT I’VE EVER DONE. Burying him, then getting my head together to finish school. I was functional but crazy and I don’t say that lightly. Somehow I did it. My college friends rallied around me and my writing helped.

But graduation brought a new wave of hurt. My graduation gift from him was to be an engagement ring. He asked me to marry him, but could not yet afford the ring. We had picked it one out together and he promised to give it to me at my graduation. He was working several jobs while in school and we were so excited for a life that we would never share. I graduated and returned home to him being gone.

I used to tell anyone who would listen that the field psychiatry needed to study this issue of family grief resulting from homicide. I knew that the intensity of such loss could impact the health and well-being of people; and because African Americans were disproportionately suffering from this pain, I knew it was changing our community. People who loved me chalked my theories up to grief.

I can identify with people who were interviewed from the article who said that people judge the loved ones who were killed. As an African-American woman who was very young at the time, people assumed that he must have been a drug dealer or somehow on the wrong side of the law or doing something that earned him those bullets. (And even when that is the case that doesn’t lessen the pain felt by those who love them dearly!) But it was quite the contrary; he remains one of the best people that I have ever known! He had been helping the 15 year-old get his life together. The young man got into some mess and my fiancee found out. He was angry with him and they began to argue. Reportedly, the young man became afraid (although Bula was unarmed) and shot him repeatedly in the chest and torso.

Although I did not receive any counseling, I have learned to carry him in my heart and to release most of the anger. But losing him in that manner changed me in ways that I probably have yet to realize – people can not begin to imagine. I still plan to seek professional help because I think it can still be valuable and, as an adult, I am unafraid to do so. I am so thankful that research is beginning to address the “ripple” effect because we live in a violent world that doesn’t seem to be getting better.



Not just a subway issue!

Attention males: stay in your seat. You can not have mine unless you paid for two! This is also applicable in movie theaters, concert halls, airplanes, conference centers.

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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Real Talk



I Disagree with President Obama (this time)


Anyone who knows me knows that I HEART Barack Obama! On so many levels, he captivates and humbles me. And I am indebted to him for the inspiration that his face alone lends to coming generations who will strive to follow in his footsteps.

With that said, I disagree with him on Sony’s decision to pull the movie, “The Interview.” I absolutely believe that it is the right thing to do; it actually should never have been made.

Let’s rewind.

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I are watching NFL pre-game coverage when we see the movie’s trailer for the first time. After it goes off, we slowly turn to each other with blank expressions. “Is that a good idea?” I ask, my rhetorical question hung in the air.

Fast forward to Monday when the shit began hitting the fan. Fast forward again to Thursday when news broadcasts were reporting the outrage coming from Hollywood citing censorship and First Amendment rights. A colleague of mine and I stood and stared at the television, silent. She turns to me and I say, “Lyn, am I crazy- am I the only one who thinks this movie should be pulled? And before you answer, we ARE talking about a comedy with a plot to assassinate a country’s leader, correct?”

“Don’t you know that assassination is funny?!? No, you’re not alone…”

Let’s put aside how this country or any other feels about North Korea and/or Kim Jong-un. How is it okay to make a movie with a plot about killing a country’s leader who is volatile, to say the least? Are there no better film topics? Is this advancing social commentary? I know every film can not nor is meant to be Oscar-worthy but aren’t we crossing a line here?  No, I have not seen the movie obviously, but it never would have been on my list.

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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Arts, Movies, Politics, violence


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Daily Indignities

It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress. – President, Barack Obama

I don’t have any Black friends, especially male, who have been spared the indignities (and much worse) shared by POTUS in this article… NONE. We don’t make this shit up.

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Civil Rights, History, Race, Real Talk, Youth


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WE Can’t Breathe


Georgetown Hoyas make a statement.

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Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Civil Rights, Family, Politics, Race, Sports, violence, Youth


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You Better Say It, Kenny!

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

I can not and will not lie.

Although I respected his prowess when he was on the court, I have always thought that Charles Barkley was an ignorant idiot. Thank you to Kenny Smith, for calling out his friend and colleague.

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Civil Rights, History, Politics, Race, Sports, Youth


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World AIDS Day


Today is World AIDS Day.

We’ve come a long way in advancing the effectiveness of the drugs but not the effectiveness of public communication. Talk to your partner about it. Talk to your friends about it. Talk to your kids about it.

I’m gonna check out this documentary tonight. And if you’re doing some Cyber Monday shopping, today Apple is contributing a portion of all proceeds from every product, accessory, and gift card sold at the Apple Retail Store and Online Store to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Do you know your status? Find testing locations in your area and get tested TODAY. It can save your life.

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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Health, Politics, Real Talk, Relationships, women, Youth


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