May 31, 2008

Well, the debate over Florida and Michigan has finally been decided (well, not if you let Harold Ickes or Hillary Clinton tell it). In very dramatic fashion today, the Democrat's Bylaws and Rules Committee voted to seat Michigan and Florida delegates with half the votes.

The resolution increased the "magic" number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination to 2,118 (currently it is at 2052). This leaves Obama 66 delegates short of clinching the nomination.

Harold Ickes, who is a representative for Sen. Clinton, reserved the senator's right to take her challenge to the DNC's Credential Committee which will meet at least a month away.

Clinton's camp insisted Obama shouldn't get any pledged delegates in Michigan since he chose not to put his name on the ballot, and she should get 73 pledged delegates with 55 uncommitted. Obama's team insisted the only fair solution was to split the pledged delegates in half between the two campaigns, with 64 each.

The committee agreed on a compromise offered by the Michigan Democratic Party that would split the difference, allowing Clinton to take 69 delegates and Obama 59. Each delegate would get half a vote at the convention in Denver this summer, according to the deal.

The deal passed 19-8. Thirteen members of the committee supported Clinton, so she wasn't even able to keep her supporters together.

The committee also unanimously agreed to seat the Florida delegation based on the outcome of the January primary, with 105 pledged delegates for Clinton and 67 for Obama, but with each delegate getting half a vote as a penalty. (Source)


Hightlights:

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fl) for Obama


Harold Ickes Threatens to take fight to Credential Committee


BACKGROUND

- DNC stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates for moving up their primaries. Each candidate agreed that the Michigan and Florida primary would not count which resulted in Sen Obama and others removing their names from the ballot in Michigan. Hillary Clinton was the only major Democratic candidate to leave her name on the ballot in Michigan in hopes to "not offend Michigan in the general election."

- Michigan moved it's primary up in protest of Iowa and New Hampshire always having the privelege of going first. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mi) stated that those two states "does not respresent the true demographics of the electorate."

- Primary revotes were proposed in each state, but they were rejected by each states legislature.


In a dramatic turn of events, Sen. Barack Obama has decided to resign from his home church Trinity United Church of Christ. Hot off the heels of another controversy with Rev. Michael Pfegler, the Obamas have decideded that the best thing for them to do was cut loose their affiliation with the church that had been their church home for over 20 years.

Veteran Chicago journalist Monroe Anderson reported on his blog Saturday about the Obama's resignation. This is what was said:

In the wake of the Father Michael Pfleger controversial sermon last Sunday at Trinity United Church of Christ, Barack Obama sent a letter yesterday resigning from his place of worship for the past 20 years.

I sort of, kind of, understand why he did it. But I'm also sort of, kind of, concerned about what this might portend for an Obama presidency.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Trinity are community building blocks that the right wing has turned into bricks to be thrown at presidential candidate Obama from now until the general election ends in November--and perhaps beyond. (Source)


I personally can understand why Sen. Obama would feel the need to take such an action, but it still saddens me that a church like Trinity, which has been the foundation for a community, has been reduced to political fodder. This church was very beneficial in helping Sen. Obama get to where he is today and I hate that it has come to this. Only time will tell what sort of impact this will have on Obama in the road ahead. I can tell you now that a lot of church going people I know are not happ by his decision, but I personally understand. Where a person makes their church home is their personal choice and the choice should be respected even if you don't agree with it.

UPDATE:

Obama's statement on leaving his church:

Part 1/2


Part 2/2
We make decisions every day – should we splash real milk in our coffee? Or for health’s sake suffer through the fat-free substitute that tastes like liquid chalk? Should we ride Metrobus or drive to avoid the intersection that draws a gang of loud and unruly passengers? I guess it depends on the day, because when you’re hot (or cold) and late for work, you don’t want to share seats with a woman whose megaphone voice describes in detail the beat-down she’ll give her supervisor - today. You want to keep far away from the disheveled and clearly disturbed man dragging a red, hazardous waste garbage bag and begging everyone to “gimme a dollar.” All jokes (and the Georgia Avenue bus) aside, these are small-fry decisions.

How about the big-fish decisions - those choices based on either fear or faith. According to one spiritual leader, everything we do is based on one or the other. I’m not referring to the folks who confuse faith with an unwillingness to accept reality. The special people who believe that if they drive out of the dealership with that Mercedes, the money will come. Not because they have a job, are looking for a job, or even want a job. They’re quick to pull out the Biblical “lilies of the field,” forgetting that God helps those who help themselves. Or that manna from heaven is a joint effort. And let’s not forget the well-meaning friends and family whose decisions, no matter how misguided, are all done in the name of love.
In From Dusk to Dawn, Ayo had a life-changing decision to make. I wish I could have offered her this advice. Take the gut-check test; the one that whispers “you know you wrong (or right).” If your stomach churns or clenches, don’t do it. If that warm and hopeful feeling is bolstered by rational thinking and good sense, then go for it. Keep on going - “see what the end will be.”

Speaking of the end, today marks my last post for the Savvy Sista's blog. I've enjoyed it so much! Thanks to the Sistas for inviting me, and thanks to all of you who read my posts and shared your thoughts.
Polygamy in the U.S. is not limited to remote enclaves in the West or breakaway sects once affiliated with the Mormon Church. Several scholars say it's growing among black Muslims in the inner city — and particularly in Philadelphia, which is known for its large orthodox black Muslim community.

No one knows exactly how many people live in polygamous families in the U.S. Estimates from academics researching the issue range from 50,000 to 100,000 people.

Take Zaki and Mecca, who have been married for nearly 12 years. In their late 20s, they live in the Philadelphia suburbs, have a 5-year-old son and own a real estate business.

Zaki also has something else: a second wife.

Two years ago, Mecca told her husband she wanted to study Arabic in the Middle East, which would mean a lot of time away from home. (NPR is not using any full names in this story because some of those we interviewed could be prosecuted for bigamy.)

"We were talking about it," Mecca recalls, "and the first thing that came to my mind was, 'I'm going to have to find you another wife!'"

Zaki was game. After all, he had been raised in a polygamous home in Philadelphia. Like many black Muslims, his father subscribed to an orthodox view of Islam that allows a man to marry several women. Zaki says he loved having seven siblings and four mothers, especially at dinnertime.

"I would find out who's making what that particular night. I know that this mom makes barbequed chicken better than my other mom makes fried chicken, so I'm going with the barbequed chicken tonight. Things of that nature," he says with a laugh.

Unlike Zaki, Mecca was raised by a single mother and converted from Southern Baptist to Muslim when she was 16.

Finding Another Wife

When it came to finding a second wife, Zaki said he had no one in mind, and he asked Mecca to conduct the search.

"You know, he gave me the baton, and I took it and ran with it," Mecca says.

Mecca launched a nationwide search. She found candidates by word of mouth. She scoured the Internet. Eventually, she interviewed about a dozen women.

"I had to make sure that she'd be the right fit — not just for my husband, but for our whole family," Mecca says.

But the ultimate match was right under their noses: 20-year-old Aminah, who was a friend of Zaki's younger sister. Aminah knew Mecca was looking for a second wife but thought she was too young. That is, until one night after a dinner party when Mecca pulled her aside. Mecca asked Aminah if she would consider marrying Zaki.

Click here to read this article in it's entirety.

May 30, 2008

By: Niambi Brown Davis

At first glance the shot of brown-skinned women in sterile gowns and masks resembled a class photo of medical professionals fresh out of the lab. Then I read the title – “Pregnancy becomes the latest job outsourced to India.” Attended to by a team of doctors, maids and cooks, the 15 women served as surrogates for infertile couples from all over the world, including an American couple featured later that week on a TV morning show. They had tried every other method; a solution half way around the world seemed to be their last hope.

I can’t imagine the heartbreak of a couple who tries and repeatedly fails to conceive. Emotionally and physically, it must be exhausting –from orchestrating sex around ovulation all the way to side effects of powerful drugs designed to make conception possible. For those who choose the route of in vitro fertilization, the cost is steep. According to one article, it can range from 10,000 - $15,000 per try, draining to the mind, body and pocketbook.

“Why don’t you adopt,” a reporter asked the couple who chose to use an Indian surrogate mother. Perhaps she was asking the question she thought viewers wanted to hear. I don’t think she was making a judgment, but I’m sure somewhere in TV Land, brows furrowed and fingers wagged. I’ll bet they could care less; for this couple, the only thing that mattered was the joining of his sperm and her eggs to make their baby.

It was easy for me to have children, even that late in life, almost out of time pregnancy. To this day, I can recall every minute of each labor and delivery. No other joy in the world compares to holding each of my children for the first time, so I understand the desire for that particular joy. On the other hand, a local DC anchor gave up her on-camera job to care for 13-month old twin girls she adopted from an orphanage in Ethiopia. I applaud that kind of love and dedication. My best wishes are with them all.

This time I have no questions, but I’m eager to hear your thoughts.

May 29, 2008



I've seen many things in my day, but even this had me speechless. "Rape dat ho." Are you serious? I just really don't know what to say about this. Lord, the kids...SMH!!!
Have you ever found yourself wondering where's the next Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, or Iman? I know I do. Being that I'm such a fashion junkie, I always find myself looking at the fashion magazines for inspiration, but rarely do I see anyone that represents me. And on the occasions that I do see a black model I always have to ask myself is she really black. I mean her features are so "whitewashed" it's hard to tell if some of these models are really women of color. I then began to question why is this really going on. Black women spend approximately $20 billion a year on fashion and beauty products, but yet we are truly underrepresented. Why is that? Why is it that in the year 2008 we are still having this discussion? Is this the fault of the fashion editors and designers? Or is it our fault as consumers? We sit and support the fashion industry while they tell us we are unworthy and not beauty enough. We will go out our way to buy the latest pair of Manolos or Giuseppe Zanottis and not give it a second thought. Some of us (I'm not calling any names) will go without a meal (or two) just to say they have the latest Balenciaga bag. We, as consumers, have to do better and demand better. We need to be aware of what's going on and where are dollars are going. Get hip to the black designers such as Kevan Hall, Tracy Reese, and Kai Milla. Support them and their art. Purchase fashion magazines that feature women of color on the cover. Although Essence is now own by "the man", I still purchase the magazine because it is one of the only places I can find that truly represents us and our beauty. I implore you to do your research. Your dollars are just as green as the next woman so spend them wisely.


Bethann Hardison's Roundtable Discussion About Black Models and the Lack Thereof

The Hardships Black Male Models Face


You better defend your wife, boy!!! Shoot, look at Usher getting all upset at the gossip mongers. I ain't mad at Mr. Raymond. He is doing what any self respecting man in his position would do when someone attacks his wife. You may not agree with their marriage, but you should respect it. It's a rare thing to see people getting married this day and age. So props to the brother for stepping up for his family.
In 1914, when she was 43 years old, my grandmother Mary Alice wrote her sister from Atlantic City. She was sick with the flu and had to cut her trip short. That bout of the flu turned out to be my mother, Marie Elise. Years later, my mother would laugh when she told the story. Apparently my very proper schoolteacher grandmother was embarrassed for the world to know that she and her 55-year old husband were still having “relations.” Needless to say, and for more reasons that one, my mother was their only child.

Fast forward to 2007. I watched a 60 year old single mother proclaim herself as the standard bearer for mature mothers everywhere. “There are a lot of middle-aged women having babies – 40s, 50s; now I just turned 60…they just have to keep up with what’s going on with society.” I’ve got a newsflash for her. When those twin boys start to climb on the countertop, swing from the curtains and shove Rubber Ducky down the toilet, she’ll have to keep up with more than what’s going on with society.
From stories of my mother’s childhood, “mature motherhood” was much easier for my grandmother. Her summers were free, they lived on a farm and both parents had more than enough time for their daughter. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a 21st century, city-dwelling 60 year old single woman. And that’s the point – I don’t know what it’s like – for her. Maybe this woman has enough family support to make motherhood work. She may be more than up to the physical and mental challenges of single parenting. Still, I shudder for them all when the full force of puberty sets in.

The birth of my children was magic for me. And I was a relatively “late in life” mother. Of all the parents of my children’s friends, I was one of the oldest. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But even I have limits. By the time I’m 70, the only play dates I’ll be arranging will be on the deck of a sailboat with cool drinks and good friends.

Some critics pointed out that when her children are 10, she’ll be 70. When they deliberately plan for children much later in life, is it fair to accuse older parents of being selfish?

With so many grandparents raising their grandchildren, is there a difference?
CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- The R&B singer Sean Levert, who died at age 39 after falling ill in jail, suffered from a variety of ailments and died of natural causes, the county coroner ruled Thursday.

The 39-year-old Levert, a member of the 1980s R&B trio LeVert and son of lead O'Jays singer Eddie Levert, died March 31 at a hospital after he was taken from the Cuyahoga County jail. He was serving a 22-month sentence for failure to pay child support.

Levert's family had questioned officials' account that Levert had been acting strangely and was restrained before he fell ill. But in his ruling, County Coroner Frank Miller ruled out foul play or trauma.

Patti Webster, Levert's publicist, did not return a call seeking comment on the coroner's findings.

Miller said Levert died from complications of sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in body's organs. The coroner said Levert also suffered from other conditions, including cardiovascular disease and withdrawal from alprazolam -- a drug used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks.

After Levert died, jail warden Kevin McDonough said he had been sick and guards were watching him because he had been acting strangely. When he started pounding on his cell door, guards strapped him in a restraint chair, McDonough said. Levert's breathing became shallow and he was taken to the hospital.

Levert's family questioned McDonough's account and wanted the FBI to investigate. Levert's cousin, Michael Gibson, said Levert never had any outburst such as the type described by McDonough.

FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said in April that agents were willing to meet with Levert's family. Wilson said Thursday that the FBI was never contacted by the family.

Messages seeking comment from Sean Levert's publicist, Patti Webster, were not returned.

Levert and his brother Gerald formed LeVert in the 1980s with childhood friend Marc Gordon. Their hits included "Baby I'm Ready," "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind" and "Casanova."

His brother died in 2006 at age 40 of an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Sean Levert, who was trying to start the group LeVert again, had pleaded guilty in March to six counts of failure to pay child support. He was accused of failure to pay $89,025 to children ages 11, 15 and 17.

He had pleaded guilty in 1995 to drug abuse and was placed on probation and required to get treatment. (Source)
(CNN) -- In 1835, Alexis DeTocqueville, in his seminal work, "Democracy in America," prophesied that the abolition of slavery would not eliminate racial prejudice, which he declared was "immovable."

Sen. Barack Obama, in running for the presidency of the United States, is challenging DeTocqueville's bleak assessment of the human heart. It remains unclear whether the Illinois senator is on a hopeless mission, or whether the American people will decide to make history by breaking with it.

Any discussion of race or racism inevitably stirs uncomfortable reactions. America is, indeed, a nation of immigrants. Most of our ancestors came here in search of a better life. Africans, however, arrived here in chains to make a better life for others. Yet to date, we have been unable to discuss the horrors of the enslavement, lynchings, segregation and degradation of African-Americans without prompting resentment or indifference.

"That's all in the past," is a common retort. "We had nothing to do with it. It's history. Get over it." The problem, however, as the results in a number of the primary states reveal, is that racial prejudice is not history, and neither whites nor blacks are over it.

While Obama has moved the subject of prejudice out from the shadows, more than his exotic name, origin and religious affiliation are at issue. When Colin Powell, one of America's most accomplished military leaders and diplomats, contemplated running for the presidency in 2000, his family feared for his safety. Also, during that same year, when Sen. John McCain ran for our highest office, he was the victim of a vile, racist smear in South Carolina.

There are deep grievances held by black Americans over their past and present treatment by the white majority and equally profound resentments held by many whites over what they see as preferential treatment for the black community. Unfortunately, a discussion of the racial divide in our country is too often reduced to sound bites or shouting matches. Moreover, the preachings and exhortations of several prominent religious leaders, rather than nurturing and appealing to our spiritual needs, have instead served to inflame passions and reinforce old falsehoods and antagonisms.

We are convinced that what is needed in America is a serious, open, civil dialogue on racial, ethnic and religious prejudice. To this end, in July, we are convening a conference in Washington on race and reconciliation with political, spiritual and business leaders. Our goal: to further a national conversation about the need for truth, tolerance and reconciliation. (Source)


What do you think about William Cohen's assessment of race in this country?


Are you kidding me? People crack me up with these faux controversies. With everything that us going on in the world, this is what people choose to focus on.

Does Dunkin' Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men. Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin' Donuts boycott. "The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad," Malkin yowls in her syndicated column. "Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons." The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin' Donuts decided it'd be easier just to yank the ad. Said the suits in a statement: "In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial." (In case you're wondering, the stylist who selected the offending scarf was not Gretta Enterprises boss Gretchen Monahan, who appears on Ray's TV show as a style consultant.) For her part, Malkin was pleased with Dunkin's response: "It's refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists." (Source)


What do you think of this whole "controversy"?

May 28, 2008

Dear Readers,

Some of the fellas and I had a very interesting conversation on yesterday concerning men and woman going out on dates. As we began to talk, one of the topic of discussions was who should pick up the tab on a date. To make a long story short, here’s the question: Do you think the man should pick up the tab no matter what? If not, in what situation would you pick up the tab? The feeling amongst the fellas is that if a young lady asks to take you out for a meal she should be willing to pay for the meal. Do you (ladies) agree with this scenario? Why or why not? Ladies please be sincere in your answers...

The Player
"It crept up on her in small steps until the morning she woke to find the full weight of her old enemy sitting heavy on her chest. "I’m back," it leered."

For some, Ayo’s experience in from Dusk to Dawn is exactly how it happens. Instead of the unpredictable vibrancy of every day, life slowly turns to flat line shades of gray. “What difference does it make? Why bother?” are the answers to every question. The only reason for getting out of bed is responsibility to a loved one who needs you or a job that puts gas in your tank, a roof over your head and food on the table.

Depression is a condition I describe as being shut behind an iron door with no windows, no knobs and no way out. Well-meaning friends and family offer their opinions and advice. If you’re peri-menopausal, post-menopausal or anywhere in between, it must be the hormones. Some chalk it up to a temporary blue mood -“don’t worry; you’ll be alright. ” Others insist that all you need is prayer. But when the blue mood stretches into days and weeks, seek help. Think about it; you might pray for relief from a toothache, but you'd still call the dentist! Depression is an illness, not a weakness. And God helps those who help themselves.

Are African-Americans more inclined to see help for physical ailments rather than mental illness?

As descendants of people who have endured and overcome, do we see mental illness as a weakness?

Are men less likely than women to seek help?

May 27, 2008

By now it’s obvious that for Ayo and Bilal, the course of true love has not run smooth. There is very good reason to name this book tour “Against All Odds!” Add religion to the mix and you’ll understand why - Bilal is Muslim and Ayo most definitely is not.

Some of us know couples in modern-day “mixed marriages. For them, a belief in God is more important than how He is worshipped. They consider themselves equal opportunity believers with a healthy respect for each tradition, observing each other’s sacred days and exposing their children to the tenants of each. But according to others, anyone so “liberal” in matters of faith isn’t a true believer in the first place. For these people, their religion is like breath; a necessary, nonnegotiable component of who they are.

I asked this question a while back, and blogger Vee Jefferson put forth her opinion so eloquently: “Because a person's faith and religious customs and beliefs may influence the way he or she eats, sleeps, prays, and possibly even celebrates holidays, it would be ridiculous to think that a major difference in two views would be of little concern. Also, that faith is the determining factor for how the person will both act and react in a certain situation and how circumstances are viewed.” (Thanks again, Vee).

What say you?

In Islam, Jews and Christians are called “People of the Book” because God revealed Himself to their prophets as well. If you are any of these religions, could you have a serious relationship with anyone who was not?

If you’ve ever seriously dated someone of another faith, was that difference too great for the relationship to survive?

If you met a loving, committed, hardworking, generous and compassionate agnostic or atheist, would his questioning the existence of God or total disbelief in God be a deal-breaker?


Now you know Faux News is not going to do anything to discipline this fool. Taking someone's life is a serious matter and it should not be joked about on television. The people over at Fox are disgusting and that is the reason the my television does not go to that channel. There are some sick people in the world.

May 26, 2008



By S.A. REID

Published on: 05/25/08

America's first family of civil rights welcomed its newest member early Sunday.

Yolanda ReneĆ© King — first grandchild of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King — made her appearance at Northside Hospital in Atlanta at 6:47 a.m.

King, weighed in at 7 pounds 5 ounces. Mother and daughter are doing fine, a family spokesman said.

The baby King takes her name from her father's older sister, Yolanda Denise King, who died in 2007.

Martin Luther King III described his new baby girl as a "precious gift from God."

"It is truly the happiest day of our lives," he said in a statement released Sunday. "I know my parents are smiling down from heaven."

Little Yolanda's birth comes two years after her parents married in Santa Barbara, Calif. The couple lives in Atlanta and had kept news of their marriage private until last winter, when they announced both their union and the pregnancy at the annual Salute to Greatness awards dinner put on by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. (Source)
It’s been a long time coming, but that glorious day is finally here. After a few frogs, some trolls and a couple of Mr. Right Nows, your shining prince has arrived. He’s kind, attentive and employed. He finishes your sentences and rocks your world. But all is not well in Loveland. Your kids can’t stand him. His parents don’t like you. What’s a happy couple to do?

In From Dusk to Dawn, Ayo and Bilal face a similar situation. Ayo’s grown son has been the only man in his mother’s life for most of his. Kedar is absolutely horrified at the idea of his mother in an intimate relationship with any man other than his late father, let alone a man only twelve years older than himself! Bilal’s father believes that Ayo is unacceptable as wife material.

The easy answer to this dilemma is found in a few well-place words: “I’m grown!” or “mind your own business!” From my completely unscientific survey, it’s not that simple and much easier said than done. Grown kids have (or should have) lives of their own, but the feelings of young children are much more difficult to ignore. Should their emotional well-being come first? "You can always get a man," a woman said after breaking up with the man her nine-year-old hated. One friend ignored the advice of her entire family, and to this day, bitterly regrets that walk down the aisle. Unless you leave town or are content to live in loving isolation, family ties are forever. But just how much should they bind?

Older offspring have lives of their own, but would you allow the feelings of young children to make or break a relationship?

If you’ve been in a similar situation (or not) what’s your advice to a couple walking through the minefield of opinionated family members?

Any other advice? Please feel free to share!

***Niambi Brown Davis is the author of From Dusk to Dawn. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her family lived for many years in Washington, DC and for three and a half years, made the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago their home. She has written for Bronze Thrills, True Confessions and Black Romance Magazines. Niambi indulged her passion for sailing and travel by serving as publicist for the Black Boaters Summit and as a member of the National Association of Black Travel Writers. Presently, Niambi writes for Travel Lady Magazine. Her first digital novella was published in January 2008 by Arrow Publications, LLC. Aside from writing and travel, Niambi is an avid reader of historical fiction, and deeply involved in tracing the history of both branches of her family tree. Her day job is running the business of Sand & Silk/Soleful Strut, where she produces private label products for hair and skincare companies as well as her own line of handcrafted soaps, creams and scrubs.

May 25, 2008

In addition to standing as symbols of strength, courage and determination, Harriett Tubman and Diahann Carroll had something else in common – both were married to men nearly half their ages. Today they’d be called cougars. So whose bright idea was that? There’s got to be a better description - cougar conjures up the image of a glittery-eyed desperado on the prowl while stuffed into her daughter’s clothes. Or what my mother would call an “Old Miss Young.”

Truth be told, an older woman doesn’t need to pull a gun on father time to attract a younger man. She just has to be! Younger men swear by the experience and self-assured sensuality of older women. Many women claim their relationships with younger men are fresh, affirming and oh so satisfying. In the words of Ayo Montgomery in From Dusk to Dawn, in a relationship with her 10-years-younger lover, they both win.

But what happens when the fling takes a serious turn into love? It takes a brand new playbook, and lots of soul-searching, especially when the woman is December and the man is May. What if he wants children and she doesn’t? Or she’d love to have their child but can’t? And for the most secure women, occasional self-doubts rear their pointy little heads, whispering about gray hair and gravity. Even Vanessa Williams admitted to questioning her femininity and desirability when courted by the younger Rick Fox. You think Ron Isley and Donald Trump had any such self-doubts?

While you’re pondering the answer (lol) add these questions to the list:

Is age really nothing but a number? Do shared interests and values count more than age?

Are May/December relationships more “acceptable” when the man is older?

Just for laughs: if there isn't one yet, we need a word for the male equivalent of “cougar!”

***Niambi Brown Davis is the author of From Dusk to Dawn. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her family lived for many years in Washington, DC and for three and a half years, made the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago their home. She has written for Bronze Thrills, True Confessions and Black Romance Magazines. Niambi indulged her passion for sailing and travel by serving as publicist for the Black Boaters Summit and as a member of the National Association of Black Travel Writers. Presently, Niambi writes for Travel Lady Magazine. Her first digital novella was published in January 2008 by Arrow Publications, LLC. Aside from writing and travel, Niambi is an avid reader of historical fiction, and deeply involved in tracing the history of both branches of her family tree. Her day job is running the business of Sand & Silk/Soleful Strut, where she produces private label products for hair and skincare companies as well as her own line of handcrafted soaps, creams and scrubs.

May 23, 2008



Hillary Clinton's argument for staying in the race took a disturbing turn today. While meeting with the editorial board of South Dakota's Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, she raised the specter of assassination while discussing why she would stay in the race:

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it." (Source)


The media is going crazy with this one. I agree with Gov. Patterson of NY; I think Hillary has become desperate and she is acting accordingly. There are a lot of theories on what Clinton was trying to say with this one, but I'm going to leave that to the professionals who actually get paid to give their theories. David Rees over at Huffington Post gave a very intersting response. Click here to check it out.

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment


With the California Gay Marriage ruling, many people are deciding what side of this issue they stand. During one of the Democratic debates, Rev Reggie Longcrier asked a very poignant question. How would you answer this question put forth by him? Do you think you can answer it honestly? What Say Thee...



This was Sen. Edwards response to the question:


I just want to see if the mainstream media is going to spend just as much time on this "controversy" as they did on Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I already know the answer, but sometimes it's fun to be blindly optimistic.

For me it strikes me as comical that John McCain now have to denounce the very endorsements that he himself sought out. I can't say I have any sympathy for him. The Republicans started the game and made the rules. Now they are crying because it is coming back to bite them in the behind. The wanted to play the guilt by association game so let's play it. I hope they play snippets of Rod Parsley and John Hagee's sermons constantly on every channel (except Faux News because you know that's not a real news channel) just like they did Rev. Wright, but we know that's never going to happen.

For me, this is a very scary moment in our country. If you are a person every considering running for public office of any kind you better make sure you go through ever sermon your pastor ever gave. I don't care if you are one of those fair-weather christians. You better do your research because everyhing is fair game this day and age.

Rod Parsley - Islam is Evil


While many are praying for the demise of Usher's marriage, he was on Ellen discussing what it meant to be a father. Here is what he had to say:

And speaking of honesty, when asked what surprised him most about having a baby, the star replied with a laugh: "That I had him – that was a big surprise!"

That – and "learning more and more about the beauty of fatherhood," he said. "As an African-American, to be there for my child is so important when there are so many young African-American kids without their fathers. I just want him to grow up to be as wise as he can possibly be, kind and open hearted. [Fatherhood] changes everything about me." (Source)


In other news, Usher's manager Benny Medina released a statement about the internet rumors that Usher and Tameka are separating:

"It's 100% not true. Usher and Tameka are currently traveling in Europe together as a family on his promotional tour. This rumor is completely false." (Source)
Why can't we be on top, ladies? (sorry about the stick figures but you get the point) Missionary is cool, but hey, even the reverse cowgirl can be empowering. I wrote a book under my pen name, Pynk, called Erotic City, which comes out later this year. The main character, Milan Kennedy, is sexually liberated to say the least. So liberated that she owns a swingers club. She also enjoys empowering women about breaking away from the stereotypes that cause us guilt unless we're "good girls." That if we don't remain virgins until we get married then we're slutty and fast, whereas men are studs.

At the end of Erotic City there's a message from Milan called Women Have Wet Dreams Too. She encourages women to get to know their bodies, to initiate sex more often, to seduce our mates with afternoon sex text messages as foreplay, to watch sports with our men while we wear a team jersey, preferably pantiless, and bet on the winner of the game with a sexy surprise for the winner. Enjoy a meal under candlelight, play soft music, watch porn movies, use honey and whipped cream, dress up, role-play, and talk dirty in bed, sometimes in different languages (and if you don't know the language, fake it - he won't care one bit), and ask for what we want.

When I talk to book clubs, I find that sometimes, women find it difficult to talk about sex, and that's understandable. At a young age, with good intentions, we're told to abstain and stay pure, yet our brothers might not get the same message. Though once we become adults, we still carry that message in our subconscious. It's difficult for some to be the aggressor and to shatter those myths. I believe that once we remove the guilt of being a bad girl, we'll enjoy being a real "bad girl" with our mates - in the sheets, or on the kitchen counter, wherever you want it to be. The sexual revolution has been an interesting journey. We've come a long way. We shouldn't forget that women burned their bras and fought to legalize birth control, among other issues.

I'd like to know if anyone has any other suggestions as to what might spice up our sex lives and bring us more pleasure. We can all learn from each other.

I've enjoyed being your guest blogger this week. Stay savvy, stay sexy, and stay on top (sometimes)! :-)

May 22, 2008



This is one of those "What the hell were you thinking?" moments tht seems to keep coming up this election cycle. There is a lot I want to say about this foolishness but I think Gina over at What About Our Daughters said it all. Click here to read her commentary.

Tell me what you think?

May 21, 2008


I have read the recent stories that Shania Twain's 14-year marriage might be over because of alleged infidelities on her husband's part, possibly with his assistant.

I attended a relationship seminar years ago where the love doctor told the group that there are negotiable and non-negotiable relationship issues, and that infidelity is negotiable. That men are not monogamous by nature, and that some women are the same way. She said that most couples who have been together for twenty-plus years have experienced it, learned from it, and found a way to forgive and stay together. I suppose Hillary Clinton would be one well-known example. The love doctor suggested that the main non-negotiable issues relate to situations involving violence, abuse of any kind, or financial improprieties.

Is monogamy natural? Have you ever stayed with someone who fooled around on you? To all the wives, would you head straight to divorce court if your husband broke his vows and cheated, or try to get counseling and work it out? Inquiring minds wanna know?


Why didn't nobody tell me my girl performed my song on American Idol? This was one of my favorite songs off of her last album. I loved the performance, but I'm not so sure about the red hair.


Now this is where Geraldine Ferraro should direct her anger. I think she was wrong in referring to Obama as a sexist, but if she had directed her anger towards the media then she would have been on to something.

While watching CNN last nigt, I couldn't help but be disgusted. Although I didn't vote for Sen. Clinton, I still admire the woman for her tenacity. So when I heard what came out of GOP consultant Alex Castellanos' mouth I almost hurled my shoe through my television. Is this man serious? It is never appropriate for the media to refer to Hillary Clinton as a 'white bitch' just as it would not be okay for them to call Barack Obama the N-word. Just because they may not like the woman as a person does not give them the right to disrespect her.

Castellanos went on to refer to Clinton as "abrasive, aggressive [and] irritating." Now if she was a man her determination would be admired, but because she is a woman she is a bitch. It's okay for a man to be aggressive or abrasive, but boy, if it's a woman heaven help us. This double standard is not just something you see in the media. It is something that is played out in corporate America everyday and women have had to deal with it. I wished Hillary Clinton would have done more to address this topic. Instead of running away from the topic of sexism, she should have embraced it the way Obama did with racism. We have a long way to go in this country on both issues and until we start discussing it nothing is never going to change.

This topic reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my friends. She told me the reason she wasn't voting for Hillary Clinton was because she was a woman and women are too emotional to be Commander and Chief. I can't recall a time I have ever been so angry at a friend. There are plenty of reasons not to support Clinton, but the fact that she is a woman is not one of them. Sen. Clinton is more than capable of running this country and had she ran her campaign a little better she would be the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party.
Today, like many others, I was extremely moved by the news about Senator Ted Kennedy being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The Kennedy family has been through so much. And Senator Kennedy is a man among men who has had an amazing private and political life. He has been a consistent, untiring advocate of liberal principles.

To continue saying that life is short may seem like a common statement, sometimes overused and perhaps taken too casually. As one who buried five close family members in the 90's, my husband, brother, father, grandmother, and mother, I know all too well about how short life really is. Learning to live without their physical presence has been challenging to say the least. You just plain old miss them. Just when you think you've adjusted, a song plays or a memory creeps into your mind that touches you deeply. And though memories are supposed to be comforting, sometimes they just plain old bring up intense sadness.

To be diagnosed with cancer, or any other disease is surely devastating. My husband passed from Leukemia in 1991. And though cancer can be a death sentence, Robin Roberts and many others serve as evidence to the fact that when it's your time, it's your time. When it's not, it's not. But through it all, all you've really got is the love in your heart, and faith.

I had a health scare when I was diagnosed with Lupus back in 2001. And then I found out last year that in fact I do not have Lupus. I was misdiagnosed, or as some say, I was delivered, thank God!! And recently, I have found it necessary to get serious about what I eat, and about working out in some way. Sitting and writing can cause people to fall into a sedentary lifestyle, barely getting more than the minimum number of footsteps in a day. And before you know it, your midsection expands and that ugly back fat starts to mess with how your darn bra fits. You see yourself from behind and freak out. And as vain as that may be, the most important thing is that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to health problems.

The bottom line is that we are all here on a temporary basis. And though the spirit never dies, our bodies give way and start to show signs of age. Or worse, we discover that we have serious challenges with our health without warning.

We cannot take for grated that God has given us another second, let alone another day. My kids and I email each other every morning with a simple GM - good morning. This means, I'm okay. And our replies from one another bring peace to our hearts.

I suppose this post is a reminder to make the most of the time that's given us. As best we can, we need to take the time to make sure that our bodies and minds last as long as possible. Sometimes it takes a bad scare to kick us into gear, but even those scares are blessings.

I pray for health and healing for Senator Kennedy, comfort for the Kennedy family, and for people everywhere who face health challenges. Only God knows when our time here is done. But, let's remember to make the most of it, and above all else, take the time to show care and appreciation to those who we encounter. Take the time to call someone you have not been in touch with. Cherish those who are here now. Make a difference. And always, always remember to simply say, I love you!

With peace and love, I say to you, good morning!

May 20, 2008



Today Sen. Kennedy, who suffered a seizure this weekend, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Anyone familiar with Ted Kennedy knows that he has been a champion for the "little man" every since he joined the senate in 1962. Known to most as the Liberal Lion, Sen. Kennedy has championed causes such as healthcare, social security, and other social causes. My prayers go out to this political giant and his family as he goes through this rough period in his life.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor.

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma, they said.

His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.

The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home.

His wife and children have been with him each day but have made no public statements.

His doctors said in a statement released to The Associated Press that he has had no further seizures, is in good spirits and is resting comfortably.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year -- and the most common type among adults. It's a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types -- such as glioblastomas -- or to about five years for different types that are slower growing. (Source)


Here is what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had to say about Sen. Kennedy:

Barack Obama:

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear the news about Senator Kennedy's condition today, and we plan on doing whatever we can to support him, Vicki, and the entire Kennedy family during this time. Senator Kennedy has been a fighter for his entire life, and I have no doubt that he will fight as hard as he can to get through this. He has been there for the American people during some of our country's most trying moments, and now that he's facing his own, I ask all Americans to keep him in our thoughts and prayers."

Hillary Clinton:

"Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history. Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery."

Sen. Byrd gives a very emotional reaction to news about Sen. Kennedy


Some even accuse Mr. Obama of chauvinism, pointing to the time he called Mrs. Clinton “likeable enough” as evidence of dismissiveness. Nancy Wait, 55, a social worker in Columbia City, Ind., said Mr. Obama was far less qualified than Mrs. Clinton and described as condescending his recent assurances that Mrs. Clinton should stay in the race as long as she liked. Ms. Wait said she would “absolutely, positively not” vote for him come fall.

Ms. Ferraro, who clashed with the Obama campaign about whether she made a racially offensive remark, said she might not either. “I think Obama was terribly sexist,” she said. (Source)


So not only is Obama the "affirmative action candidate", but now he is a sexist also. So you are telling me the only reason people are not voting for Hillary is because she is a female. No one can deny Sen. Clinton is a formidable candidate who is worthy of respect and admiration, but I can't recall one time where gender was as dominate an issue as race. If Hillary really wanted to up the ante on the inequalities of gender in this country maybe she should have done a speech like Sen. Obama did on race. Maybe then there will be some real discussion going on about gender in this country and how women doing the same job as men receive only a precentage of a dollar as their male counterpart (and don't even get me started on how unfair black women are treated).

People will look for any reason to point out why their candidate is not winning. Maybe Clinton is not winning because she represents old-style politics and people are looking for something different. Maybe people are sick of this Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton dynasty thing we have going on in this country. There are a lot of reasons people are not voting for Sen. Clinton just as there are a lot of reasons why people are not voting for Sen. Obama. So to all those Clinton supporters that are saying that they are being told to sit at the back of the bus because their candidate isn't winning, how do you think Obama's supporters would feel if he is denied the nomination. He is winning on all fronts, but yet we as his supporters, should be relegated to the back of the bus because your candidate is entitled to the nomination. I don't think so.

People like Geraldine Ferraro needs to understand that sexism goes both ways. You can't just label a man sexist because he is a man. She called Sen. Obama a sexist and she had absolutely nothing to back up her claim. She called Obama a sexist, a man who has said on many occasions that the only person he would never want to run against is his wife. The same man that speaks on how he was raised by a single parent who happened to be his mother. Give me a break.

Now if she doesn't wants to support the senator from Illinois she is well within her right, but she is going to have to come up with something a little better than the fact that he is a sexist.


You better defend your woman, Obama...

This is one of the most refreshing interviews with the Obamas that I have seen. When they started discussing a dog for the kids I couldn't help but to smile. They are a regular married couple just like anyone else.

This post serves as my literary contribution for this week – one of my favorite subjects – books.

I had a conversation with another writer about how many books a person reads in one year and how that plays into an author’s book sales, but also, how the large number of books is affecting the reading habits of the average reader. Are readers overwhelmed or are readers elated by the vast number of choices?

Last February, there was an article in Publisher’s Weekly called Word-of-Mouth Top Book Buying Decision, which basically stated that among African American readers, 33% buy between 5-10 books per year, and generally decide which books to buy based upon word of mouth. This was a survey that tracked book-buying habits which was conducted by GMI, Global Market Insite. It stated that 52% of those studied indicated that the last book they read was not written by an African American author.

So who’s buying books written by African American authors? Should books be written to attract a certain race, or just written about characters who are part of the human race? I know that when I first read contemporary books with characters who looked like me and had issues similar to mine, I was able to connect to the story easier because the way-of-life was similar to mine. Not to say that reading about characters in other countries, fantasy type book, sci-fi books, etc., do not appeal to me. I enjoy a wide range of genres. But reading books I could relate to encouraged me to write. I prefer to write relationship type books that explore love and family and careers and real-life, broken folks who encounter every day situations, whether the fiction-friction is jaw dropping or illegal or tragic, it’s real life stuff.

I always believe that when a survey is conducted, it all depends on who makes up the group. You can have three groups of one hundred people each, and come up with totally different results. Though I will say that compared to the options that AA readers had ten years ago, the increase in the number of choices readers have now is like day and night. I believe that even though some readers select a book they’ve never heard of simply based upon the cover and back-copy, most readers know which book they want before they step foot in the bookstore. So in order to reach these readers and let them know about a certain book, authors must target core audiences through specific types of marketing and publicity. What is it that will get the word of mouth going? What gets readers talking about the great book they just couldn’t put down?

Another aspect is the fact that years ago, readers would wait for their favorite author’s book to come out and follow that author no matter what, along with maybe a few other select favorite writers. But now, when I ask readers who they read, more and more they name authors I’ve never heard of, who the reader just discovered. Readers are giving newer authors a chance more than they ever would have before, simply because there are so many choices, or that author’s book caused such a buzz that folks were talking about it at work and that buzz prompted a reader to go straight to Amazon and order it.

So if it’s true that AA readers only read 5-10 books per year, and if there are more AA authors with bound books sitting on the shelves than ever before, waiting to be chosen, (as well as non-AA books, which the survey suggests we’re buying as well), then what are the chances that a great number of authors can sell the expected number of books to keep their titles on the shelves? I'd like to believe that the readers always will outnumber authors. I believe there's enough room.

How many books would you say you read per year? I tend to believe that for avid readers, it’s more than 5-10 (I actually pray that it is :-) I’ve talked to readers who finish a book in two days and rush back to their local bookstore for another fix. I’m talking true- blue book lovers!

Is it a question of who you read, or what you’re reading at the moment?

May 19, 2008

Dear ThePlayer:

Q. Can you ask some of your married friends what qualities their wives possessed that let them know that she was the one for them? I think something like this will shed a light on what men are looking for in a mate. And please asked them to be truthful. We want the real deal.

- Sweet Lady

A. Sweet Lady,

Believe it or not, it’s not about her being able to jump off dressers and swinging on ceiling fans...Lol. Generally, guys will tell you that my wife has to be first and foremost beautiful. Some men like want to have a woman they can look at day in and day out and say DAMN, DAMN, DAMN . However, the fact of the matter is beauty ban be misleading when choosing a mate. An ideal wife is a soul mate, someone you share the most cherished moments in your life. A wife is also someone who stands by you in the good times and the bad times. A wife has your back when all else fails. A great wife also gives you the courage to be successful, grace to be proud and love to live a fulfilling life. In short, a wife is your best friend, soul mate, buddy, guide, mentor, follower, prayer partner, lover, cheerleader and the source of peace, happiness, health, wealth and prosperity. See, ThePlayer doesn’t have to get with the married men to tell you the true qualities of a wife. We as men, married or not, know (or ought to know) and understand the qualities that we are either looking for or have in a woman.

ThePlayer
Fearlessness is not the absence of fear -- it's the mastery of fear.

-Arianna Huffington



Joshua Packwood represents a first at historically black college, Morehouse College. Packwood will be the first white valedictorian in Morehouse's 141 year history.

Packwood, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, turned down a full scholarship to Columbia University (against the advice of his family) to attend Morehouse.

Packwood fit in immediately at Morehouse. His charm, movie-star good looks and chiseled physique made him popular among students. He was elected dorm president and to class council during freshmen year - and was a favorite at campus fashion shows.

His experience was so positive that Packwood's younger brother, John, will follow in his footsteps when he enrolls as a freshman at the college next year.

Morehouse, in Atlanta, Georgia, is one the nation's most prestigious universities of its kind. For more than a century, the school has prided itself on personifying the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the school's most notable alums, by producing "Morehouse Men" - intelligent and successful black leaders. (Source)

I, for one, do not have a problem with this young man being the valedictorian of Morehouse. I know there are some people that do have a problem with this situation, but I am not one of those people. I feel that if the guy earned the honor then he should be bestowed with the distinction of being identified as the valedictorian. You can't take his accomplishments away from him because of the color of his skin.

So I want to know how do you feel about Morehouse having a white valedictorian? Do you think focusing on Packwood's race is a double standard in racism? What Say Thee...

First of all I'm honored to be a guest blogger this week on The Savvy Sista. I enjoy the wide variety of topics and interesting mix of quality posts. I know I have big savvy shoes to fill here, so I'll do my best to bring it on!

I've decided that the very first post should be about something I love and enjoy. And so I just have to ask, is anyone feeling and appreciating the quality level of writing on the hit show Grey's Anatomy like I am? I love this show!!

I've been writing books for ten years now, and I've found that ever since I wrote my first novel, I almost have to fight myself when watching a movie or a play or a television show so that I don't focus too much on the quality of writing, but that I simply sit back and take it in. Though usually I find that I focus on the dialogue and structure of what is communicated through words. It's like food to my soul when I hear a symbolic selection of words that moves the story along at a deep level, and that stimulates my senses in a rich way. I so appreciate the effort and talents of the all important and seldom appreciated writers who bring these characters to life though the scripts they write.

When I watch Grey's Anatomy, not only is the acting superb, but the story lines, even into season four, are very good. I tip my hat to the show's creator, the gifted sista Shonda Rhimes, and her staff, for coming up with the types of situations that occur at Seattle Grace Hospital.

The fact that the characters are created on a "non-predescribed" basis and that the actors are chosen on a "blind casting" basis is so rare in television and film. I sometimes forget that a couple is interracial, or that the top hospital positions on the show are held by minorities. The diversity factor alone is not common. But also, these characters are multi-dimensional, extremely dysfunctional and scarred, humorous, hot-to-trot, talented, intelligent, and yet they desire what most people strive so hard to experience in life . . . peace of mind, and love.

The association involved with the scene in which Meredith Grey was drowning, yet her thought processes while under water correlate to her life, was so moving. The level of drama just before the commercial breaks is similar to the way I strive to end each chapter in my books so that readers want more. And the voice-over narration before, during, and at the end of the show, where most of the character's situations somehow tie in to one general theme, is quite entertaining.

Okay, so yes, you know by now that I am wild about this show. Rarely do I look forward to a television show to the point where all writing stops (and most other things) when Grey's is on, so for me, they're doing something right.

And while it is true that some of the situations are a little bit over the top, such is life. After all, it's all about the drama, just like in writng fiction. Sometimes, a little bit of exaggeration is necessary just to keep it interesting. But if one looks closely, viewers will see and feel the lessons "shown" when a patient dies in surgery after making the choice to not accept a gay lover for fear of being rejected by the patient's own father, or a theme that suggests it's not about why people are crazy, but why people aren't crazy, as in life is enough to drive us nuts, makes us think long after the credits roll.

And so I ask again, is anyone else feeling and appreciating the level of writing on this show like I am? Even if the answer is no, perhaps you have another show that you truly enjoy. But obviously the anatomy of Grey's Anatomy has me enamored. And to be entertained and impressed at the same time these days is a rarity and a real treat! Shonda, you are the bomb-diggity! You are this author's she-ro!

MARISSA MONTEILH (MON -TAY), a former model, television news reporter, and commercial actress, originally self-published her first book, May December Souls, in November 2000. By the following March, Marissa signed a two book deal with Harper Collins, who re-released May December Souls in March 2002, and then released her second book, The Chocolate Ship, in January of 2003. Part two of The Chocolate Ship, called Love Overboard, is in the works!

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now resides just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, is the mother of three, and a proud grandmother.


Learn more about Marissa Monteilh at www.marissamonteilh.com.

May 16, 2008

By Sandra Block, USA TODAY


To help boost the economy, the Bush administration has tried to put tax rebates in consumers' hands as fast as possible. Yet, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who thought they would have their checks by now are still waiting for their money.

To date, the IRS has issued nearly 30 million stimulus checks, totaling more than $27 billion. The rebates range from $300 to $600 a person, or $1,200 for a married couple. Parents with dependent children are eligible for an additional $300 per child.

This is the first time the IRS has used direct deposit to deliver rebates — a step intended to quickly pump money into the struggling economy. But several problems have delayed the process:

•Taxpayers who applied for refund-anticipation loans or who had their e-filing fees deducted from their refunds won't receive their rebates by direct deposit, even if their regular tax refunds were delivered that way. Through April 17, more than 20 million taxpayers applied for such loans or had fees deducted from their refunds, according to IRS data.

Those taxpayers will have to wait for their checks to arrive by mail. The IRS is scheduled to mail rebate checks May 16 through July 11, based on taxpayers' Social Security numbers.

Click here to read the rest.


This is the ignorance that Barack Obama faces in this country. If you think racism is dead in this country then you are fooling yourself. These are the people Hillary Clinton was referring to when she said "...hard working Americans, white Americans will never vote for Barack Obama." If you have made any calls or went canvassing for the senator then you know exactly what I am talking about. We still have a lot to overcome, but in the end Yes We Can!!!


It looks like some people in the media are actually deciding to do their jobs. This video alone is a prime example of why I love history and why I think it's important that people know what they are talking about before they open their mouth. Talk show host Kevin James obviously didn't get the memo that reading is fundamental. Because if he had, he would have known what mistake Neville Chamberlain made in 1938.

James is just a microcosm of a bigger problem in America. People like him think because they talk the loudest then obviously what they are saying must be true even though they don't know what they are talking about.

LESSON OF THE DAY: Please know what you talking about before you open your mouth. You only make an ass out of yourself when you don't.