It is finally 2016, the perfect opportunity to start over fresh. No longer do you have to feel shackled by your past. This is the time to go after what is important to you. A new year gives way to start new things and set new goals. Such as, taking up a yoga class, growing closer to God, etc.
Knowing your worth is so important. Too many times in life we settle for what we think we deserve instead of what is sent from God. We allow partners to mistreat us because we want to feel loved. Or we seek validation and acceptance from an emotionally unavailable guy. Oftentimes we begin to place blame on why we were not good enough if a relationship fails. But if you weren’t treated with respect and care from that particular person then you are certainly not the one to blame for someone else’s bad behavior.
What I don’t want us ladies to do in these particular situations is to dwell over what happened. Get back to your regular routine because lo and behold there’s better waiting for you just around the corner. Sometimes as much as it hurts to let people go it is mostly for your benefit. Don’t stay emotionally hung up on an asshole jerk because YOU DESERVE BETTER. You deserve better than a liar, manipulator, user, cheater. God loves you and he’ll never send you someone to hurt you. Living your life and fulfilling those dreams will boost your self-confidence so you will not only move on from the hurt (because he’s more than likely moved on and is hurting some other unsuspecting poor woman) but attract a better quality of people into your life.
So in 2016, Know Your Worth, Don’t entertain b.s from anyone. You’re worth it ladies! Someone is always waiting to love you just the way you are! But we have to first love ourselves first. 😘
By Jasmin Wells Imagine being in class and thinking that everything was normal only to find out that fact would quickly change. Students on the campuses of a Sacramento city college were alerted to stay in classrooms and take safety precautions after campus police learned that there was a shooting. Three students were shot, leaving one student dead and the two others injured. Even though police don’t know what happened before the shooting, they believe that it escalated over an argument before the shooting accrued and the suspect left the scene. Sacramento police also believe that the suspect that they are looking for is also involved in another shooting that was committed that same morning.
“You are the lucky one. I will not shoot you if you give this to the cops,” a student in Oregon at Umpqua community college, Matthew Downing, was told by the shooter that was involved in the shooting on campus that killed nine students and injured nine others. Downing told police that he felt he was living inside of a horror film because he couldn’t believe that this was happening to him. He gave full details of what happened from inside the classroom, pointing out that the shooter was killing students because of their religious beliefs. Even though the killer did not shoot Downing, he feels he was left with something to live life by, by saying, “You never know when it’s going to be your last minute, so take it upon yourself to be more nicer to people.”
A fight between two groups of students in Arizona is what escalated a shooting on Friday. One person was killed and three were injured in the first shooting at Northern Arizona University that involved a fraternity. The shooting at all three schools has given President Obama the fuel he needs to do something about gun control, and was the topic of decision when he talked to the families of all the persons involved. After reading all the articles on the different schools it made me wonder as to why when African Americans are killed, we don’t get this type of exposure from the media, or if we do, it doesn’t stay the topic long.
We never hear about what happens when an African American is killed by the media first. It is put on social media and then once it has been passed around enough the families might get lucky to get a fifteen second clip about their family member. I don’t know if we can ever change how society looks on our lives but just know that just because they are not reporting it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I am not trying to take anything away from the lives lost in these different events but I am furious to know that this is the type of stories reported inside of the loss of other races through the same senseless violence. Condolences to all the families for their lost ones you are continuously in our prayers.
It is impossible not to notice the racial tensions that are growing within the United States as many Black Americas are enduring hardships and navigating their pent-up anger from the accumulation of racial injustices. Black Americans are justified in being fed up with how this country has handled race relations; however, to gain any substantial progress it is essential for the current generation to act wisely and deliberately as did the Civil Rights leaders of the past. It is imperative that as Americans we understand that hate will not produce love, and that re-segregation will not get rid of inequalities. Recently I read an article on re-segregation where the basis of the article was simply stating that the author was for re-segregation because it would help specific racial communities flourish if that specific racial group were to simply ban together and exclude other racial groups. I disagree with this perspective for various reasons:
1). If people were to re-segregate, than the lines of communication and understanding would close.
It is sociologically proven that people naturally form prejudices, which are reinforced by a person’s social environment such as school, family, neighborhood, media etc. As a result of individual being shaped by society and close individuals around them, prejudices are naturally taught to them. This can be seen through certain images shown in the media such as the “dangerous Black male thug”, or racist jokes or memes told between friends. Such prejudices have real consequences as we have seen in current news headlines about racial profiling. Since people naturally form prejudices, the only way a prejudice can be refuted is by open dialogue and communication. It is known that in this society many fear Black men and women. If Blacks re-segregate, how will people realize that not all Black men and women are loud, angry, criminals looking for a fight? It is up to Blacks and all people of color to desegregate to therefore show that they are kind, intelligent, hardworking and trustworthy just like other racial groups that have those character traits automatically assigned to them. The only reason why the American Society has come so far in regards to racism is because institutionalized segregation was taken down for the most part. During the times where segregation was the norm, black people had no voice. If Blacks re-segregate, than we risk losing our voice. People learn through communication and new interactions and therefore if we de-segregate as much as possible we can reeducate those who accept the lies fed to them from the media and other social influences.
2). Re-segregation rejects everything that many during the 20th century Civil Rights Era fought for.
People gave their lives to eradicate segregation because they personally knew the negative effects it had on communities of color. If people segregate again, it will make it easier for institutionalized racism to perpetuate itself. Since power in this country is still with the White American majority, the images and ideas that are released into society are still controlled by those in power. This means that people of color will continue to not have equal representation or equal access to resources as the white majority does. Re-segregating would only make it easier for those in power to keep people of color down. The phrase “divide and conquer” comes to mind. If those in power are successful in dividing people of color against each other, than there will be no substantive progress. The Civil Rights Era as well as during the times of slavery had people from many racial backgrounds fight for equality. People of color as well as white Americans gave up their lives for racial equality. During those times of everyone (people of color and whites) banning together against institutionalized racism is when the Civil Rights movements were most productive.
3). Practice of “racial love” only helps to perpetuate racism.
I read an article explaining how an Asian man only would conduct business with other Asians, which therefore meant that he was practicing “Asian love”. I strongly disagree with this reasoning. Let’s put things into perspective. If a white store owner said “I only conduct business with white business owners”, he would obviously be looked at as a racist, all people of color need to be careful in not doing the same. Doing business with someone should not be contingent or race in general. People should do business with whomever meets the professional qualifications for the job. Hiring anyone or excluding anyone on the basis of race is discrimination.
By being inclusive, people naturally become exclusive. The solution is not to become more inclusive, however less inclusive to give everyone with the talent a chance to be successful. If we take the logic of “Black love, Mexican love, Asian love etc.” and to “engage business only with our own race” than can we really blame whites for doing so all throughout American History. People have already applied the concept of doing business only with “their own”, which is why there is such inequality in the United States today.
4). Desegregation has never fully been accomplished, which is why to some it may seem that desegregation has not worked.
Contrary to popular belief, segregation still exist in the United States, and is still very evident in a variety of social settings. Like I stated before, I attend Sacramento State, which is arguably one of the most diverse campuses in the United States. With this said, I still observe segregation every day. The segregation that I observe is not forced, however chosen by the people who knowingly or unknowingly engage in self-segregation. An example of what I am talking about is how although a campus may have diverse demographics, many tend to spend time with and engage in activities with members of the same race. In order for desegregation to truly be successful, the American society must first truly desegregate, and by doing so it would truly breed a greater understand and a collective push for equality.
Instead of re-segregating, communities need to unite, and not on the basis of race. The problem does not lie in being desegregated, however it lies in the fact that many have adopted the mindset of looking out only for “me and mine” rather than looking to see how they can help those around them and increase the standard of living for all. It is dangerous to believe that in the United States racial groups should simply stick together. The concept of re-segregation should not be adopted because it puts the solution on turning inwards and banning together. To adequately produce a greater understanding open communication with all racial groups is essential to produce lasting results that work for the good of everyone.
I believe that the authors of the articles I have read are actually trying to address a different problem that is within the Black community. Members of the black community should not pull each other down like crabs in a barrel, but rather up lift and support each other. An example of what I mean can be seen in numerous real world examples such as skin tone and hair texture.
Growing up, I have heard many men exclaim “I only date light-skinned Black girls”. This single phrase works to tear down some black members and elevate others within the Black community, and is therefore problematic because it illustrates a blatant rejection of Black qualities such as dark skin, while reaching towards physical White attributes such as light skin.
I read an interesting book by Beverly Tatum called “Why Are all of the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”. In her book she stated how spending time with members of your own race is beneficial, however it ultimately depends on the motives. If a person is exclusively spending time with their own race to simply reject all that is associated with another race, than it is counterproductive. However, if a person decides to spend some time with members of their own race to encourage each other regarding racial struggles, than it is beneficial.
Black Americans should share who they are with those who do not understand them, or with those who only know the Black stereotypes shown to them in the media . Doing so would debunk the fearful and negative stereotypes that people have about the black community and in result breed acceptance and understanding from all racial groups. To sum it up, open communication is key, and communication comes from de-segregation and seeking multiracial interactions.
As racial tensions increase in this country, it is important to not self-segregate, but to show the love of Jesus to everyone. To love your enemies and to forgive as we have been forgiven. There is evil in this world, however the Bible says:
Another year is about to end as we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in 2015.
A new year ushers in a new you, right? As you create your list of new year goals, take the time to really think about what goals you would like to set for yourself, short term or long term, and stay committed to those goals. Ever wanted to open up a restaurant, for example, write a book, or start your own business, but you felt as if those goals that you had were just impossible for you to follow through with, that they were unrealistic? This new year, I want to encourage you as you write down your goals to pray and give them over to God, and trust that in this new season of your life He will make a way for you to accomplish those goals through His will. Have faith and know that God makes the impossible possible. There is nothing too big or too small for Him.
So when you set your new year goals, stay committed and do not give up. Have a happy new year and may God’s blessings be upon you in 2015.
In this touching video, “Evelyn Richardson Documentary, “Defies All Odds.” She discusses her story of being born with Spina Bifida and a single parent to a handsome wonderful little boy. Encouraging other people around the world to know that regardless of your limitations or circumstances you can be successful in life.
I am just like you, we all face challenges but only you control your success.
Evelyn “Eve” Richardson is the CEO of “Go Gettah Apparel” and a walking testimony. Richardson graduated with her BA degree in Business Admin and Sales & Marketing from DeVry University. She shares her story with Young Urban Voices and explains why she created the brand of clothing and accessories she has now.
Young Urban Voices: What is Eve’s story?
Eve Richardson: I am a single parent of a handsome-wonderful little boy, Nehemiah. I was born with Spina Bifida, a Neural Tube Defect. From birth I never let anything stand in my way or stop me from what I wanted to do. Since I couldn’t walk, I crawled & BOY! was I fast. Since I couldn’t run, I hopped. I taught myself how to swim and how to ride a bike. I graduated from college with my BA. I’ve never been without anything that I needed. It may not have been what I wanted but I am blessed. My life story, struggles, limitations etc. is how “Go Gettah” came about. I KNOW I am a “Go GETTAH”. No matter my disability, no matter that limitation, no matter being a single parent or circumstance, “shout out to the mothers and fathers raising their kids on their own.” Yes I have a physical disability and I am limited with doing stuff but I do not let get in the way of my success or happiness. I am determined to succeed for my son and everyone who said I couldn’t do it. For those who need a role model or an example to look up to. This is my testimony and I am here to share with whomever is willing to listen. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13 – that’s my motto.
Young Urban Voices:Can you explain more about Go Gettah Apparel?
Eve Richardson: My friend and I was talking about how people are just living out their dreams and creating clothing lines. We said we should start one and I began to think of the name; then Go Gettah came to me, then I began to think of the definition and that came about from what was going on in my family and what I seen from others.
Noun: someone that does not let their limitations or circumstances get in the way of their determination to succeed. My friend was pursuing a dream of his own already so he could not give it his full attention, so I said you know what this describes me.
I launched GGA October 2013. The Logo is a representation of me and my son. I am the Big G and he is the little G with our backs to each other. “Go Gettah” so I saved up my disability checks and researched everything I needed to know and had my first set of inventory made and began business.
Young Urban Voices: Why do you feel so open about sharing your story and inspiring people?
Eve Richardson: My sister made a good point about how I am a living testament. Looking back at all my baby pictures and accomplishments all you seen was God’s glory. My strength, my courage, my struggles, so I began to think well I know there are people around the world that face the same challenges as me so I must reach out to as many as I can and let them know Philippians 4:13.
Young Urban Voices:Do you have a new line of clothing coming out soon?
Eve Richardson:Winter Apparel dropping October 20th my 1 year anniversary. You can purchase it at www.gogettah.com.
Young Urban Voices:What do you want your peers to take away from your story?
Eve Richardson:I am just like you, we all face challenges but only you control your success.
Young Urban Voices: How have you turned your company into the popular and growing brand that it is?
Eve Richardson: I have met so many wonderful people along the way of networking and being at different events and I have taken what I have seen and heard and put it to use. It is not a race thing, a disabled thing, a single parent thing: each and everyone of us that have overcome/coming their circumstances are too Go Gettah’s. So I have created a brand that can relate to many!
Young Urban Voices: What advice do you have for other inspiring entrepreneurs wanting to get started with their own business or just anyone who has to overcome an obstacle in life?
Eve Richardson: You have already been given the power to achieve whatever you set your mind to. It may not be easy, but you can do it. I am a living testament to that. When business is slow, look at it as a chance to get organized for the big flood of business that will be coming shortly.
Young Urban Voices: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Eve Richardson: Show others better then you can tell them!!!
Disappointments. We all have had our share of those. Whether you had a bad break-up, lost a job, didn’t get into the college that you wanted to go to, been hurt by someone you love, or have experienced an illness or loss of a loved one, disappointments no matter how big or small can really take an emotional toll on you. So, some of the questions a lot of us ask ourselves when we are going through a disappointment is, “How do I get over this? How do I make it through?”
The first thing we need to do is have faith and believe that the disappointment we face right now will not last forever. When I talk about having faith, I mean trusting and believing that God has something greater in store for you even after you have lost your job or didn’t get admitted to the college of your choice. Remember when one door closes, another one will open! When you experience a break-up, just know that God has someone special set aside for you who loves you for who you are and wants to spend the rest of his or her life with you.
When you have lost someone close to you, there, of course, is no easy answer to help you get through the loss. During the time when my dad passed away when I was seventeen and the flood of emotions that I was feeling inside, I realized where my strength and comfort came from and that was from the Lord as He sent people in my life, friends and extended family from my church, to show me the love and encouragement I needed to get through the loss. Losing a loved one is devastating, but surrounding yourself with people who love and care about you makes the process easier to handle.
I have experienced many disappointments in my life. Through those disappointments, I have learned not to let them get the best of me. My mom always says that “I can choose to be bitter or I can be better.” When I experience a disappointment, big or small, I see it as something I can gain from, and one day I can use that experience to provide encouragement to somebody else who may be struggling.
When you go through a disappointment, remember that it won’t last forever. You will experience joy through Christ as you give everything to Him and allow Him to turn your disappointments into blessings.
Every night I had to hide. Every night I had to hide from the pain I felt inside. I had to escape from the world I was in. The days he, my father would come home drunk, yelling and screaming as my mother would leave me alone with him as she rushed off to work as a District Attorney or so I thought. She didn’t give a damn about the misery I endured at home. Tonight like any other of his drunken nights, would be the day he would strip me of my innocence. Every night he’d come into my room, to kiss me good night. But those visits seemed so unnatural. The things he did, the things he wanted me to do.
“I’m going to teach you to be a woman,” he said.
I was only thirteen and was scared shitless of him. I knew what we were doing was wrong but what was I suppose to do? Yell, kick, scream then he may kill me too? I watched him unbutton his pants. I clinched the sheets, feeling a strong nerving feeling flow through me. I had never seen a penis before and I certainly never wanted the first one that I saw to be one of my own fathers’.
“Touch it, grab it and hold on to it,” he orders me. Frozen in fear I did nothing but look at him until his voice grew louder and with more anger, he took my hand and wrapped it around his penis. I let out cries of sorrow but he just slapped me and told me to “grow up.”
“I’m going to make a woman out of you.” He often repeated to me. “This is what makes you a woman. Now lay back as I put this inside you. You going to be a real woman, not like your mother that selfish bitch,” he tells me. I begged for my father to stop. I even tried to kick him in the groin but he punched me in the face and tells me to be a “good girl.” I hated my father for continuously taking my innocence away from me. I was never the same after what he did. I cried, screamed, shouted and pleaded for him to stop. I could feel every piece of me ripping apart as my father shoved his six inch manhood inside of me. I wanted to kill him and vowed to myself that one day I would. I resented my mother secretly for staying with a man so drunk, evil and crazy. I knew after tonight my life would never be the same again. He kissed me on the forehead as he fastened his pants to get ready to leave.
“Remember Danielle, if you tell anyone, they’ll never believe you. They’ll just say you’re lying,” he states to me as he walks out the door.
No One Would Listen
It had been almost two years later before I found the courage to tell someone what was going on between my father and I. I finally decided I would tell my mother. Surely, a good mother would stick up and support her child right? Hmmph, or so I thought, I found my mother working on some files buried on her desk, while tapping a computer keyboard in front of her. Slowly, I approached her with what was the hardest confession I ever had to make.
“Mom, can I talk to you about something?” I asked standing in front of her.
“Ugh, Danielle is this important, don’t you see I’m busy,” she replies with an attitude.
“It’s about dad.”
“What about him” She questioned annoyed as her friends tapped the keyboard, and eyes still glazed at the computer screen.
“Well,” I said, clearing my throat.
“When you are gone to work, dad does things to me,” I admitted.
“Does what things to you?” She says not batting one eye.
“He does things to me…he should be doing to you.” As quickly as the words poured out from underneath my tongue, my mother finally took her eyes away from the computer screen. That did it, that’s what got her attention. I just knew she would come rescue me from the dark hell I felt I was in.
“You lying bitch!”
“Always trying to seek attention, now if you don’t mind; I am very busy, Dani.”
“I’m not lying,” I yelled as tears rolled off my cheeks.
“He does this every night, you are gone. If you don’t believe me, ask him, ask him, momma!”
I painfully cried out as I tried hard to make this woman who gave me life believe me.
“Ok Danielle, what does he do to you?”
“He used to make me touch his penis, and then as I got older, he would come into my room at night while you were at work and have sex with me. I begged him to stop but he would just slap me across the face and tell me to be quiet. Please mom, leave this man, I beg of you for my sake?”
I pleaded with this woman to be a responsible woman and mother to do the right thing.
“How long has this been going on?”
“For two years,” I answered
“For two years…Why the hell didn’t you say anything?
“I was too scared. He told me not to tell you but I am tired of this. He is my father. I am fifteen years old. This is not right mom. If you don’t believe me ask him,”
My father had just walked through the door which meant soon it would be time for my mother to leave but not before we finally got to the bottom of this. I had hoped my mother would put him in his place. I was hoping his place would be on the corner of Woodward and 6 Mile.
My mother and I walked into the living room where my father was drinking a can of beer and staring out the window.
“Hello, Warrington, you got a minute? I need to talk to you about something ,” my mother asked my father.
“Um, sure, what’s going on?”
I waited in the kitchen while my parents talked I didn’t want to feel the awkward tension in the room. The conversation didn’t last long because, the next thing I knew my mother calls out to me.
“Danielle Latrice Turner, get in here right now!”
“Yes, mother,” I said, as I entered the living room but before I could figure out what was going on. I was greeted with a hard slap across the face. I broke out into tears as I grabbed my stingy face.
“What the hell did I tell you about lying Danielle? Now he tells me, you’re going around being fast with boys at school and you wanted to cover it up before you got into trouble. Well, Danielle, I have no damn tolerance for this nonsense. You brought this on yourself. Stop lying. Are you acting out for attention or something? I’m leaving for work now. I swear girl, I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.”
“Mom, I’m not lying and I’m not messing with any boys at school. Mama, please believe me,” I begged.
“Danielle, that’s enough!” my father interjected.
I looked at him and rolled my eyes with anger. How dare he say I am lying he is the cause of all of my pain. My mother grabbed her briefcase, gave me a disapproving stare and walked out the door. I tried to run out after her.
“Mom, please don’t leave me alone with him. I beg you, please stay home today.
“Danielle, please, get yourself back in the house,” I watched her drive off into her car as I stood on the porch too afraid of what to do next. I tried to sneak away down the street but before I hit the stairs my father called me back into the house.
“Oh, no,” I thought.
I went back inside going against my gut feeling. I should’ve kept walking. He told me to shut the door behind me. His eyes were stern and I could tell he was furious that I had told mom about our dirty little secret.
“Didn’t I tell you not to tell anyone about our secret?” He questioned frustrated.
“Didn’t I?” he repeated.
“Yes…” I answered as my father hit me so hard across the face I fell to the floor.
“I’m going to teach you a hard lesson about keeping secrets,” he said. I watched him take the belt from his pants off. I tried to make a run for it, to try to lock myself into my bedroom but my father caught me halfway up the stairs. He dragged me into my parent’s bedroom and locked the door. He shoved me onto the bed and told me he was going to make me pay for telling on him. He pulled down my pants and forced himself inside of me from behind. I let out small wails of agony and pain. My father was relentless when it came to destroying the purity I was supposed to have. I was only fifteen and already had the sexual capacity of a grown woman. I hated my parents; my mother for never sticking up for me. It was almost as if she knew what was going on between us but didn’t care. My father; for raping me of a childhood because he would rather torture me instead of stick his dick in some old woman. My parents were two messed up individuals. But why did my life have to suffer for it? This is the day I decided to take back my life. I told my mother and she did nothing. There was no way on God’s green earth would I allow this to continue. I’m ending this once and for all. By any means necessary. Danielle Latrice Turner is getting the little piece of happiness they took from me. My father was going to pay for being a sick and mentally disturbed pervert if it was the last damn thing I did.
He finally tired himself out and collapsed on the bed, falling asleep, the sick bastard. I got myself together and quietly left the room as my silent cries shielded the pain I felt inside but not before I grabbed one little thing from on top of the closet shelf. I unlocked the door as he lay in the bed knocked out. I left with something that I knew was going to help me get my life back.