Thursday, January 31, 2008

Should She Divorce Him?

On Wednesday Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded for forgiveness from his wife and constituents. The televised apology was made from their family’s church the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ.

His plea for forgiveness included: “Finally, and most important, I want to make a public apology to my wife, Carlita, who I fell in love with when I was 19 years old. We decided to build a family together and we did that. Our marriage has not been perfect, but it has been great."

His wife statement included: "Like all marriages, ours is not perfect, but through our commitment to God and each other, my husband and I will get through this. Yes, I am angry, I am hurt, and I am disappointed. But there is no question that I love my husband."

I don’t doubt that she loves her husband. I don’t question her decision to “forgive” him. What I do have an issue with is the fact that he and his mistress have work together for 10 years. In fact Beatty resigned on Monday from her position as his chief of staff. Therefore, I question Carlita's decision to stay married to him.

How does a husband justify to his wife that he has been involved with a woman for at least six years? An involvement that included a sexual and more importantly an emotional involvement. An involvement with Beatty a woman that he has known since they were both in 9th grade. Why would a wife stay with a man who has destroyed their lives financially, emotionally, and spiritually?

Both Kilpatrick and his mistress Christine Beatty lied under oath about their affair last summer in a whistleblowers suit filed against the city by two former cops. Their testimony was part of a lawsuit by the officers who claimed they lost their jobs because they investigated whether Kilpatrick used his security officers to cover up extramarital affairs.

Text messages proved that the pair had an intimate relationship. In hundreds of text messages from 2002 to 2003, Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty who were both married declared their love for each other. They also sent text messages in order to meet in motels in Detroit and on out of town business trips. One message from Kilpatrick to Beatty “I‘ve been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days…relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping, and making love.”

Keith Naughton of Newsweek magazine online reported that during a visit to Washington DC in 2002 for the Congressional Black Caucus's legislative conference, the mayor and his chief of staff shared a bedroom at his D.C. hotel while his bodyguards stood watch.

During the trial both denied a romantic or intimate relationship. It has been reported that Beatty lied about the affair 10 times on the witness stand in August 2007. A jury ruled against the City of Detroit and the officers were paid 8.4 million dollars. The lawsuit cost the city more than 9 million dollars.

The Detroit News and its reporting partner, WXYS reported recently that Mayor Kilpatrick was in a luxury resort hot tub and got a massage with a woman who was not his wife. The incident was reported to have occurred at a luxury resort in Asheville, NC during the 2008 Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend. Beatty legal representative is denying allegations that she was the woman with Kilpatrick.

Kym Worthy, a Wayne County prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation into whether Beatty and Kilpatrick committed perjury or other crimes. If convicted of perjury they could face up to 15 years in prison.

In his apology Kilpatrick stated, "I am the mayor. I made the mistake, I am accountable." Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should resign immediately if he truly is accountable and has any regards for is wife, family, and the people of Detroit.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."
Read excerpts from the text messages

Love Letter No. 6

Love Letter No. 6

By C. L. Wilson

I keep your love letters in my back pocket, and your memory in my heart.
It takes priority, placed in my pocket before wallet, keys, and extra pens.
I draw upon you for inspiration. If I were a desperado, your love letters
would be placed next to my firearm. I would draw with the thought of your
love steadying my hand. True hearts have the truest aim.
Mine is pure. Undiluted. Honest. True. I have taken aim,
and I have no reservations of firing in the name of love.
Test me. Tempt me. My love is a .44 Caliber, its hollow points explode on contact.
Bursting hearts, and opening minds. Love is beautifully bloody.
Cupid has a deadly aim, I have been hit many times.
Rebounding. Reloading. Aiming. Firing.

The Real Reasons Behind Eddie Murphy's Split with Tracey

Eddie Murphy as a Jekyll and Hyde? That's what the reports are saying about his recent split with Tracey Edmonds after only 2 weeks of ceremonial marriage. Initial reports had been that the couple split after Edmonds refused to sign a prenuptial agreement. But recently, insiders are saying that Murphy and Edmonds broke it off after Eddie Murphy became physically intimidating and controlling toward Edmonds.

The New York Post was told by the anonymous source, "That was kind of the last straw. She was happy to sign a prenup - she has her own money. She was very accommodating. But then it was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

The source also stated that Eddie Murphy wanted to take his MOTHER on the honeymoon with he and Edmonds.

"Eddie became very controlling and insisted on bringing his mother on their honeymoon," the source stated further.

"They got into a huge fight. He started screaming at her and grabbed her. She was scared."

Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds were married on an island in French Polynesia on New Year's Day. Although the couple had announced that they would have a civil ceremony once they returned to the US, Murphy and Edmonds never followed up.

The inside source says that Edmonds was initially quite devoted to Murphy, "She was even willing to change her name to Tracey Murphy, and all the wedding invites and place cards had her labeled as such."

Edmonds' reps had nothing to say, but Murphy's reps stated, "We won't comment any further on this."

There were also reports that Murphy's mother did not get along with Edmonds and that this was a source of stress in the marriage. Eddie then allegedly sided with his mother, which led to further alienation for Edmonds. Finally, Edmonds' own children were apparently not too happy with Murphy, leading to additional conflict.

Murphy has five children with his wife, Nicole. He also had another child with Mel B, the former Spice Girl.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How To Check A Black Man: Part I

How To Check A Black Man: Part I
Alduan Tartt, Ph.D

I was at dinner the other day and overheard a conversation with a group of girlfriends who were “consulting” about how to handle their man. One of my beautiful Black queens was lamenting about her man working all the time and how she felt that he cared more about his job than his family. She then went on to brag to her friends about how they had just decorated the living room with new faux paint and how she was hoping that they could vacation in St. Lucia this summer. One of her girlfriends, who was single, I know because she never talked her man the entire dinner- gave her friend some of the worse advice I’ve ever heard.

She was like, “Girl, you need to check him and let him know who’s number one. See, if you don’t check a brotha they get out of control…you need to nip that in the bud”. I’m sorry, but due to my own past issues and the sincere love and respect for fulfilling black love relationships, you know your boy HAD to say SOMETHING. I rose up from the adjoining booth and introduced myself (yeah, I’m bold like that). I apologized for overhearing their conversation and asked if I could briefly give some much better advice…coming from a black man’s perspective. They were a little taken aback, but they could see the sincerity and pain in my face, so they acquiesced.

I hope what I told them over wine and dessert was useful and they went home and immediately put it to use. I can tell you if they did, they were thanking me shortly thereafter.

I told them that black men don’t like being “checked”. You check your child and even they don’t like it. You converse and discuss your desires, feelings, and inner most needs with your man. You listen when he speaks and desire his influence on your feelings. If you listen first and have the right attitude he’ll reciprocate tenfold. So I told her, “When he comes home, you ask him about his day, cook a warm meal and pray over it, and tell him that you admire his work ethic and will to bring home the bacon. Then, sit on his lap, kiss him, and tell him that you miss him and you want to discuss what changes need to made…in lifestyle, work schedule, etc., in order to spend more time together. If he’s resistant, kiss him longer, stronger, and with every ounce of feeling that you have. Physically convey how much you miss him and repeat your needs."

My beautiful, black sisters if you do that your black man will be home early or maybe even picking you up for lunch! Remember, with the Black Man you can ALWAYS catch more bees with honey. So, if your relationship needs some adjustments tell your single girlfriend to peep game and get your honey ready!

Dr. Tartt is a licensed psychologist, power life coach, and motivational speaker in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He is available to speak on a variety of topics and enjoys coaching and supporting believers on their walk with faith towards a better tomorrow and better relationships. He can be contacted at or 1-877-377-4002.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dating After Divorce

By T. Camille -

No matter what amount of time the marriage lasted: two years, ten years, or twenty five years, getting back into the dating scene feels like entering scary, unfamiliar territory. The vows “til death do us part” were truly heartfelt when they were uttered. So to trying to date someone besides whom those vows were sworn to is a hard pill to swallow. Forgotten are the painful memories of what caused the divorce, and the stability and comfort of that “one”. However, despite the discomfort, the leap back into the dating scene is unavoidable. There is love again after a divorce! Overcoming personal attitude changes and adapting the lessons learned from the previous marriage can potentially make your next relationship much healthier.

Regardless of how amicable a marriage may have ended, there are always some hurt feelings. It is pretty safe to say that many divorcees are jaded, and less open minded. Some experience trust issues, others are fearful of commitment, and even worse, some fear being alone. No matter what your personal hang-ups may be after your divorce, the most important step is to resolve them; within your self. Too often, people jump in to relationships with the next person they find of interest without truly getting to know them, out of desire to fill that void left by their spouse. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow time for you to relearn yourself, and determine what you want out of the next relationship. Taking that time to heal, and learn and grow, is vital to healthy worthwhile dating after a divorce.

From any relationship, good or bad, there are always life lessons. Those are the lessons you can carry with you throughout your interactions with others. Finding the lesson, however, is not always easy to do; nor does it always happen right away. After a divorce, time spent reflecting on the marriage, although painful, is to your advantage. With in the marriage there were good points. What made those experiences good? Might anything have made them better? At some point during the marriage, things went south. What were those causes? What can you do to improve yourself? What do you not want from a mate in the next relationship? All of these are things that can better your knowledge of self in regards to dating and relationships. After all, if you don’t know what makes you happy, how is anyone else to know? Use this new knowledge when dating again, to determine who is “friendship” material versus “maybe more” potential. The beauty of dating is those that you deem to be friend potential provide you more insight on what you do and don’t want in a mate. It’s a win-win situation.

Many people go on after their divorce to live and love and remarry. And usually, the second time is the charm. From one point of view, with the first marriage you learned “what it takes to make a marriage work, and not work”. The second go round is your chance to do it right. Next, I’ll discuss how to overcome those first date – post divorce fears and anxieties.

Rambo: Saving the Best for Last

By Cine-Brother

I went to see Rambo wondering what everyone else in America might be wondering: How can a sixty something year old man walk around pretending that he is 22 years old? Stallone, a man known for his muscles and white man ebonics, was becoming known for not knowing his own age. In his latest Rocky film, for example, Stallone pretends that there is still some chance that a man on his way to a retirement home can defeat Antonio Tarver. I thought he was smoking crack.

After seeing this film, I had to confess that the old sucker had me hitting the pipe right there in the movie theatre. Say no to drugs, but say yes to this movie.

Rambo gives you 150% of everything that Rambo films have given us in the past: lots of blood, guts, violence, killing and ass whooping galore. If you don't like violence, then you should probably see the movie in the next theatre over.

Yes, the concept might be simple, but the truth is that this simple concept has never been presented this way before. Taking place in Burma, Stallone plays a mildly insane, yet compassionate vet in solitude, who walks away from violence, rather than toward it. But of course, he is drawn into the violence and that is when you get to watch him kick some ass.

Truth is, Rambo was not a complicated film. The same formula, same stuff, same recipe. But damn it was awesome.

On a scale from one to live, I give Rambo a three and a half.

Taking Time Off Work After a BreakUp

by The Love Doctor

Is there any feeling worse than the one you have after ending a long-term relationship? It seems that if anything is deserving of a sick day, this would be it.

Well, a Japanese Marketing firm agrees with you. The firm offers its employees "heartache leave" to help them get over the pain of a lost relationship.

Hime & Company says that the time off allows its workers to cry off their pain and move forward with their lives.

"Not everyone needs to take maternity leave but with heartbreak, everyone needs time off, just like when you get sick," CEO Miki Hiradate said.

If you are 24 or younger, you get one day off per year. If you are between 35 and 29 you get two days off. If you are older than that, you get 3 days.

"Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it's tougher for women in their 30s, and their break-ups tend to be more serious," Hiradate said.

The company also offers women two mornings off twice a year for "sales shopping leave".

"Before, women could take half-days off to go to sales, but you'd have to hide your shopping bags in lockers by the train station," Hiradate said.

"But with paid leave, we don't have to feel guilty about bringing our shopping bags to work, and we can enjoy the best part about sales shopping -- talking about our purchases afterwards."

Taking time off for love makes sense, since there is scientific research stating that losing a relationship can be as painful as drug withdrawal. Perhaps firms in the U.S. will consider a similar policy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This is a great time to love ourselves and our nation. We can demonstate our love for each other by actively engaging in the 2008 election process. You can start by voting in the primary election in your state. If you aren't register to vote please register ASAP.
While working at my polling place in Newport News, VA during the 2004 presidential election I discovered that many minority voters were not allowed to vote. The voters were not allowed to vote because they could not produce identification. To my dismay and surprise the polling workers required a state issued identification card from the voters attempting to vote. Some of the voters returned with the necessary identification.
I would encourage everyone without proper ID to call your local Division of Motor Vehicle Department to inquire about getting a driver's license or a state identification card if you can't or don't drive. Therefore, you will be prepared if you are required to present an identification card in order to exercise your right to vote. It is time that we "got fired up and ready to go". Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Celebrating 100 Years of Service

Happy Founder’s Day to all of my sorors including my daughters Banke Tiffany and Julieannah.


"OCALA - In 1908, William Howard Taft became the 27th President of the United States, Mother's Day was celebrated for the first time, and Henry Ford produced his first Model T car. It was also the year that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., came into existence.

Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the sorority's founding, an event that has inspired a yearlong series of tributes and festivities that will take place across the country. The culmination of the celebration will occur at the sorority's biennial international confab, during which more than 20,000 members are expected to travel to Washington D.C., the birthplace of the organization.

Saturday, members of the Eta Tau Omega Chapter hosted a centennial luncheon at the Hilton Hotel in Ocala, where sorority members and their guests reflected on the history and accomplishments of the organization. The women created a special video in honor of women who have been members of the sorority for at least 50 years, and later recognized all visiting members. The luncheon concluded with a balloon send-off involving 100 pink and green balloons.

Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, on January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., is the first Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-trained women. Led by the vision of a young woman named Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, 20 Howard University students are credited with its creation and eventual incorporation on January 29, 1913.

Over time, the organization grew as members joined and went on to charter chapters across the country. Today, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., is comprised of over 200,000 college-trained women and has more than 950 chapters in various countries around the world, including the United States, the Caribbean, Germany, Korea and Japan.

Members of the sorority include many of the world's most renowned and influential African-American women, such as author Maya Angelou, civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, and most recently, singer/songwriter Alicia Keys.

Operating under the sorority's motto, "by culture and by merit," members of Alpha Kappa Alpha have spearheaded a myriad of community service programs and activities at the local, national and international level.

Some of the sorority's most innovative programs include the Mississippi Health Project, which worked to improve educational opportunities among children in rural Mississippi; the Cleveland Job Corps Center, a residential training center for women; and the Educational Advancement Foundation, which provides educational scholarships and community service awards.

The sorority's current national program, entitled E.S.P. (Economics, Sisterhood and Partnerships), encompasses five major platforms: non-traditional entrepreneurs, economic keys to success, the Black family, technology and health resource management.These programs are often designed to address pressing issues of universal importance, such as education, economic empowerment and health, but the primary goal of Alpha Kappa Alpha, as stated by its members, is to create a legacy of "service to all mankind."

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Cheating Black Man Speaks

I am a black man and a cheater. Not all the time, just every now and then. The itch comes to me, and no matter what my wife does, I still can't help but want another woman. At least for a night, or two, or three.

I love my wife very much. No woman I've ever met or will meet will hold a more important place in my life. I also love my kids, our house, my job and the fish in my daughter's room. I love everything about my life at home, even though my relationship has become dull and rocky. But while I love having a strong black family, I also love being a man, and there is a part of me that just can't handle monogamy.

I see alot of misinformation in Essence and other black women's magazines about men and what we want. It's silly to me, because women don't know a thing about us. At the same time, they spend all their time talking about us. They always think they have us figured out, that we can be changed, and that they can come up with some magic formula that will control us and make us want to give them all the blissful matrimony they are seeking.

They couldn't be more wrong.

Here's the deal on cheating. Not from every man's point of view, just mine. You would never know I was a cheater, because I don't act like one. I don't think my penis is made of candy, and I don't want to have sex with every woman I see. I just want one sexy black woman, every now and then, as long as she is not my wife.

I have four confessions to make, please hear me out before you attack.

1) Love usually has nothing to do with cheating.

Women have this silly belief that if a man cheats on you, he must not love you. That's like saying that if you really love God, you won't scratch your toes. One has nothing to do with the other. I could be faithful to a woman I hate and cheat on a woman I love. Whether I love a woman is communicated by whether I continue coming home to her, or whether I visit her if she is sick, help her pay a bill or take care of her aging, yet annoying parents. The woman you love is the one that you want to see when you are NOT horny.

2) I didn't care much about being married, and many men can do without it.

I don't need the emotional security that women crave, I never wanted the ceremony or the legal commitments that come with matrimony. Personally, I would rather NOT have the state involved in my relatonship. I got married because my wife was a good black woman and she wanted to get married. That's it. If I could have had my way, I would have continued to date her forever, without ever getting married. It's not because I am a dog, but I would have been considered a dog for not marrying the woman I love.

I recall seeing all my friends who were married, bored and miserable. On top of that, they had to answer to someone every single day, take out the trash and deal with some irritable woman on her period, who feels that she can hold sex over their heads. I never wanted to be that guy.

But it was love that made me willing to be that guy. I have been that guy alot, especially when my wife was pregnant. I also support the African American family, so I do what I can to keep us together. But even though I have experienced the ups and downs of marriage, I still don't see what's so great about it.

3) You can't control us with sex.

I have heard women say things like "If you don't do this or that, then I'm not giving you any." Some men may be affected by this kind of thing, but I'm not. If my wife withholds sex, I give her 2 weeks. If she is not having sex with me within two weeks, I find someone else to have sex with. It's not her right to decide if I get to have sex, and she can't use sex as a weapon.

What she doesn't realize is a couple of things. First, men NEED sex. Again, it has nothing to do with love. We need sex the same way that a woman needs to socialize or a good daughter needs to hear from her mother. It's a purely physical urge, like when you have to go to the bathroom, but not bad enough that you're going to burst. The discomfort from the unfulfilled need is just strong enough that you sigh when you are finally relieved.

Second of all, as a black man in my early forties, there are always at least 5 other beautiful black women willing to drop their pants for me in a second. It's just a numbers game, since a black man with a job and all his teeth is considered a good prospect. So, whether she knows it or not, my wife has competition. But then again, maybe I have competition too and don't know it, I accept that. In fact, if she is tempted to cheat, then that supports my argument that we should never have gotten married in the first place. Women ask us to do something that we don't want to do, then get mad because we don't do it right. It reminds me of when my older sisters used to force me to play house with them, and then get angry because I put playdough in the teapot out of boredom.

Because I love my beautiful ebony wife, I am willing to wait for sex. But only two weeks. After that, I get resentful and start to think bout exercising my options. It's at that point that one of my many unmarried ex-girlfriends gets invited to lunch. They are always happy to meet me.

I am not trying to be conceited, but it's the honest to God truth. I hope that the truth is appreciated, but I suspect that some of you reading this might feel more comfortable with the same old lies. Perhaps if I weren't so committed to telling the truth, I could become more comfortable living the big marital lie that exists in America. It's that same lie that makes Internet Pornography the largest industry on the web, with most of the content being purchased by married men.

4) If we want another woman, there usually isn't much else you can do about it.

I truly believe in the theories which state that men are genetically wired to want more than one woman. We don't choose to be that way, we just are. We are also trained to lie about it, since there is nothing that turns a woman off more than saying that you want more than one woman. But get a bunch of guys together and ask them to describe their sexual fantasies (with no women in the room, of course), and most of them would describe something that involved at least 2 or 3 women. I have shared these thoughts with my wife and I find that she is only interested in killing the messenger. So, that throws honesty out the window.

I am not sure if I will continue to cheat, but I know that my male friends do it all the time. I envy the single guys, who can do what they want, with whom they want, and no one calls them a bad person. I share my life, my space, and my time with a woman, deal with her moods and am continuously there for her, yet, if I fulfill one fundamental need that I have as a man, I become a villain.

It just doesn't seem fair.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Basketball Star Tony Parker Files $40M Lawsuit over Alleged Affair

NBA star Tony Parker has just filed a $40 million dollar defamation suit against celebrity photo agency X17Online. The site was the first to run a story about a french model's claim that she and Parker had an affair just two months after he married his wife, Eva Longoria.

X17 published Alexandra Paressant's statements, in addition to text messages that were allegedly exchanged between Parker and Paressant.

According to Parker's court complaint, X17 "had to know that the story was false, or at the very least, it had to have entertained serious doubts about the credibility of its supposed source".

Only hours after the story was released, Parker and Longoria released statements claiming that the allegations were not true. Parker even claims that he never met Paressant.

"Celebrities are easy targets—both for those who would seek their own fame and fortune by fabricating salacious stories about them, no matter how damaging or hurtful, and for those who make their living publishing these false and defamatory lies, no matter how patently baseless," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that none of the company's reporters contacted Parker or his associates to verify the story before posting it on the Internet. It also claims that no one took the story down after being informed that it was not true.

After hearing of the lawsuit, X17 filed a statement with E! online, claiming that they, "conducted extensive research for the reporting of this story," and that the information uncovered was "significant and newsworthy"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oprah Leaves Stedman Out of her Will

The National Enquire, MSNBC and other media outlets are reporting that mega mogul Oprah Winfrey is not leaving any of her $2 billion dollar fortune to long-time boyfriend Stedman Graham. Instead, Winfrey has left the funds to the three adopted children, whom she has yet to adopt. She also mentions several charities that are set to recieve donations upon her passing.

Winfrey mentions that she wants to adopt the children and raise them on her own, and doesn't mention Stedman helping her to do that. Some question Winfrey's age and whether or not a woman in her 50s should adopt 3 young children and try to raise them alone.

Stedman has amassed a small fortune of his own from writing and speaking. Oprah leaving Stedman out of her will has fueled speculation that their long relationship may be in jeopardy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Don't Give Up, You Are Loved

Sisters you are all beautiful. I hope this song reminds you that you are indeed loved. Loved by God, you, and all the wonderful friends and family that God has placed in your life. As an added bonus the black female in this video is Julieannah who is one of my wonderful daughters. Celebrate with me as she pursues her dreams.

Don't Give Up, You Are Loved

Sisters you are all beautiful. I hope that this song reminds you that you are indeed loved. Loved by God, you, and all the wonderful friends and family that God has placed in your life. As an added bonus the black female in this video is Julieannah who is one of my wonderful daughters. Celebrate with me as she pursues her dreams.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Black Love: Resuscitating Our Love Life - Gina Streaty

by Gina Streaty - Your Black World

Romantic relationships get stale. Sexual interest wanes. The Midas touch can mislay its golden stroke, and that magical feeling that once made you levitate can lose its conjuring power. It happens. But just because those fireworks that used to light up a room whenever you and your Boo connected have fizzled to a puff of smoke doesn't mean the passion is dead and can't be resurrected. It simply means you have to work a little harder to get those fires going again.

What happens is we get all wrapped up in the romance initially. We start out so excited to be with that special someone that it's the thrill of being together that makes the relationship hot. The way he looks at us, touches us, and talks to us sends those butterflies in our tummy into frenzy. Then over time, as we begin to take our "togetherness" for granted, romance is relegated to the backseat of our relationship and what's left becomes a boring, yawn-inducing routine. We start doing the same things over and over again or cease doing them altogether. For example, dining out is replaced with leftovers in front of the TV, and the TV remote control unit becomes our partner's preferred companion. Spontaneity peters out. Cuddling and talking with each other falls by the way side. Bedroom activities are toned down or abandoned. Even something as intimate and intensely erotic as passionate kissing is swapped for a quick peck on the cheek, lips or forehead. Togetherness becomes less than exhilarating, losing much of its magic. And we're left wondering when and how the romance in our relationship crashed and burned.

Many women (and men!) say it is these kinds of disenchanted feelings that give way to infidelity or, at the least, thoughts of playing dangerously close to temptation. As a friend of mine once said, "If a man is boring and doesn't excite me, it makes me want to have an affair." She described her MIA romance as the result of her boyfriend's lackluster boudoir performance and general inattentiveness. However, if our men are romantically handicapped, a great deal of the blame could fall on us. These totems of truth can be substantiated, if we take the time to be honest with ourselves. First, if you're one of those women going around complaining about how mundane your love or sex life has become, ask yourself why that is. What changed? Second, if you're in a committed relationship with a man you love, there is no reason for you not to be turned on by him. If your man really loves you and you can articulate your needs and desires to him, you should be getting romance and sizzling satisfaction in every aspect of your relationship. I have yet to meet a man "in love" who doesn't want to rock his woman's world.

If he's not able to accomplish the mission, then you need to help him. Go back to elementary school, ladies: Show & Tell! Teach him. Buy a book or video, if you have to, to help him get it right. Quit pretending it's copasetic when you know you're discontented. We’ve got some pitiful, risible men strutting around like peacocks thinking they're God's gift when it comes to romance and sex, and the reality of it is they are sorely misinformed. Why? Because some woman (or women!) has lied through her teeth about his abilities. We have a tendency to stroke a man's ego with hyperbole to spare his feelings or shroud his shortcomings. And we end up frustrated and dissatisfied. That's not our man's fault. He can't improve if he isn't aware that he needs to. Furthermore, we get lazy in our relationships. We expect the man to do all the work. Cater to us. Buy us gifts. Take us out to eat. Rub our feet. Massage our shoulders and back. Initiate sex—every time. Ladies, men like to be catered to too! They have sore feet and aching backs. They like to be taken out to dinner. Let's turn the tables once in a while and spice things up for our man.

I have a friend who constantly complains about her man's lack of interest in her. She "loves [him] to death," as she puts it, but finds him mind-numbing. "All he wants to do is sit at home and watch sports. I've got all of this luscious play equipment"—she gestures to her bosom—"and he acts like he doesn't even know it's there. It makes me want to find someone else who does." I know for a fact that home girl never communicates her feelings or needs to her man without harshly criticizing him. I also know that she's never tried gussying up her "play equipment." She will be the first to confess that she's all about comfort when it comes to clothing: warm-up suits, baggy sweats, oversized T-shirts, and granny drawers. Forget sexy lingerie, enticing, form-fitting outfits, and plunging necklines. In the beginning, when she was trying to snare him, her style would have given Beyonce a run for her money. But now that she has him, no need for extra effort. That's backward thinking and it's no wonder she's bitching. Ladies, we can be the best cook in the world, but if we used to fix our man steak and now we're giving him the same soup warmed over, he’s eventually going to get tired of it. Sometimes we have to “kick it up a notch” for him, add a few more ingredients, or serve it with a side dish, ladle it in a fancy bowl, throw a steak in there for old time’s sake. And instead of waiting for him to "come and get it," take it to him! In other words, be creative and initiate. Men LOVE that. Make him feel like he's the sexiest, most romantic man in the world; and tell him exactly what he has to do to keep you feeling that way about him. He'll be so excited to think he's doing something right for a change; he’ll hang on to your every word.

Remember, men are visual creatures. So always offer him an eyeful. Give him a vision he'll commit to memory and will want to replay again and again. Once when I was in Victoria's Secrets, a man walked inside the store and right up to me and said, "There's something so sexy about a woman buying herself lingerie." His woman was two steps behind him and shot out, "You have to excuse my friend. He's ignorant! I told him you must be in a new relationship." I informed both of them that I wasn't in a relationship at all, but rather, I love lingerie. He seemed surprised. She looked at me as if she thought I was lying, as if I couldn't possibly be interested in lace bras and red velvet thongs just for myself. When he suggested that she pick something out for herself as a gift from him, she quickly rebuffed the offer and declared, as she walked toward the door, "Boy, please! I don't need anything riding up my butt making me feel uncomfortable. Let's go!" Before I could respond, they were outside the store and he was licking his lips and winking at me through the window, his eyeballs walking all over my backside. I never forgot that incident. I made a vow that day that I would never be THAT woman; that if I was fortunate enough to find a good man, my lingerie drawer would stay filled to the brim with mind-blowing whatnots—no matter how much they rode up my butt—and scintillating romance would epitomize our relationship.

We have to try harder, if we want to add zing to our relationships. We also have to stop being so critical of our bodies and our men. Men love it when we're confident and comfortable with our sexuality. They get high off of it. One of the happiest couples I know is an attractive, successful man in a long-term relationship with someone many would describe as a less than average-looking “big girl” who makes him feel like Adonis. He says all the time, "She's the sexiest woman I've ever been with in my life." She dresses sexy. She walks around like she's Halle Berry on the red carpet and no one had better tell her otherwise. He buys her gifts, gives her flowers, and takes her on romantic weekend getaways—things he says he rarely did in previous relationships. He is madly in love with how she makes him feel. She won't hesitate to call him on the job and tell him what she wants and to "come home and take care of my needs." That's a happy man—and a smart and satisfied woman!
We were just like Big Girl once upon a time. We were a virtual buffet of sexy, romantic offerings and our man was catering to our every whim. Before his first plate of us was licked clean we were slinging another in front of him. We need to think back to those times and how we interacted with our man. We need to remember what it was about us that knocked him to his knees, made him salivate and grin from ear to ear, and had him treating us like a queen. We can still give our man the equivalent of a drug induced high, if we want. Greet him at the door and wear nothing more than gauze and 4" heels. Call him up and invite him out to his favorite restaurant, and show up looking like dessert. Set the mood at home: candles, music, mirrors, sex toys, massage oils, a pole for dancing, whatever! If we put our mind into it, our body and our man will follow. And he WILL return the favor, believe me!
The key is to keep it fresh, exciting, honest and reciprocal. If it doesn't feel like the 4th of July in our world after that, then we need to check his pulse. Bottom line, we can resuscitate our love life. Just remember that, when it comes to love, romance and sex, sometimes the more we give the better we receive.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Reports: Eddie Murphy, Tracey Edmonds Must Marry Again

The Australian news site is reporting that the marriage between Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds is not valid. According to legal experts in French Polynesia, the couple was required by law to live in the region for 30 days before they are allowed to be married.

"You need to have residence for at least 30 days - one month in the island of Bora Bora for instance - and this has not been the case," general law specialist Malgras Benoit said. "If you want to get married in Paris you have to live in Paris for at least one month."

Reps for the couple say that the problem will be easily fixed once they are married on US soil. They also claim that this is a common problem for couples who marry in foreign countries.

"As is typical when couples get married in foreign countries, a legal ceremony will take place when they return to the U.S.," says Edmonds's rep. "The wedding that took place in Bora Bora was a ceremony to bind Eddie and Tracey spiritually in the presence of family and friends. The couple plan a legal ceremony as soon as they return to the States."

To add to the peculiarities of recent events, there are reports that Eddie Murphy's ex-wife Nicole was seen partying on New Years Eve with New York Giants star Michael Strahan. Strahan also went through a very messy and expensive divorce with his wife last year.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Embracing Loving Relationships

My relationship with my children is very loving and supportive. I was living in Newport News, VA on January 5, 2006, when I received a wonderful e-mail from my then twenty-one year old daughter Tiffany. The day that I received her letter I felt unloved, lonely, and depressed. Tiffany’s letter lifted my spirits and makes me very proud to be her mommy. I started crying as I praised and thanked God as I read and reread her e-mail. After I cried, rejoiced, and praised God I forwarded Tiffany’s e-mail to my three other children.

We all need love and encouragement. On my birthday, February 18, 2006, I started writing my book "A Case of Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined." Tiffany's email was that loving motivation that I needed to start and complete my book.

Hey Moms,
I am writing you because I was disheartened by our last conversation. Mommy you have led a full life. You were a teenage mother but never became a statistic. You decided that you did not want the same plight as the people in your family and you went to college. You saw the life that you wanted to live and you chased after it. Of course there have been some detours along the way. You and Pops dropped out but both of you eventually got your bachelors while working full-time and raising four bad a-- kids. That is an accomplishment in itself.

Mommy you are one of the prettiest, most graceful, stylish women I have ever met. I remember when I was little thinking that I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. Somewhere along the line you have forgotten who you are and all that you have been through. I know your marriage left a huge burden on your heart and your romantic life now is doing the same. But mother as women, especially as Black women, we cannot hand over our destinies and mental and spiritual happiness to someone else. I know this is easier said than done. I know that you have read or heard the self-help gurus and it is all basically the same s--t. The only thing that can change is your reaction to it.

You told me the other day that you have changed because you are saved now. Well let me tell you that Jesus was no punk. I'm no biblical scholar but He did not go around asking demons to please come out. No He said demon come out. He did not back down when Satan tempted him on the mountaintop. He was not walking around with his head down nor did He let what people said affect Him. Christians strive to be like Jesus but we often forget His boldness. Jesus wasn't meek and you cannot afford to be so either. How can you think that your life is over when God continues to pump air into your body? How can you even dare to entertain such thoughts if you truly believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins? That fact alone should be the source of all the self-esteem you need.

Mom you have survived poverty, failed relationships, and motherhood. Is middle age that difficult? It could always be worst and it has been worst. You just need to remind yourself that you have seen harder times and did not fail. You are still that feisty, smart, gorgeous Vera Bell. Until you realize that for yourself no one around you will treat you as such. Playing the victim or even entertaining thoughts that you are a victim will weaken you. You are not a victim you are a survivor. You need to act as such. Wisdom is the culmination of knowledge and discipline. Most people know the right thing to do but do not have the discipline to do it. A wise person has the strength and self-control to deny themselves certain things because it will pay off in the end.

After all of the nonsense that you went through with the NYSDOC your house is one of the only things you have to show for it. You are in the right region for you. Any area is what you make it. You cannot chase after your kids. You did a wonderful job as a mother. Now all you can do is sit back and see if your children will correctly utilize the lessons you have taught us. You have sacrificed already. Think about how you always took us to cultural events, how you have played a major role in your grandchildren lives, and how you have encouraged education and our dreams.

So I am not going to offer any advice because people rarely listen to it. All I ask is that you remember all of these things and know that your current situation is just a lull. Good things come to people that wait. But waiting is more active than most people know. While you are waiting you need to be preparing yourself mentally for what is to come. It is a new year and you have to take an HONEST assessment of your life and what part you played in it. No more pointing fingers and blaming others. You need to figure out who you are, but more importantly who you want to be and how you plan on getting there. If you cannot do this whatever problems you have will follow you wherever you go. So thanks Mom for ensiling in me pride, laughter, intelligence, and charisma.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Vivica Caught in "Love Mode" by a Dude's Cell phone

Rumor has it that Vivica A. Fox may have an opening to get her dead ass career back on track. Porsche Foxx at V-103 in ATL is confirming that there is a sex tape circulating where Vivica allegedly got drunk off her booty and started giving head to some dude. The dude allegedly took advantage of the situation and recorded it on his cell phone.

That damn technology!

Apparently, the tape was forwarded to old dude's friends, who forwarded it to Vivica, who then forwarded it to the police.

Here is the truth:

1) The dude who put out that tape is going to get Michael Vicked. You go to prison for taping someone "in their rare form" without their permission.
2) I can only pray that old-ass Vivica isn't doing this ish on purpose. Dang girl, is it that hard to get an acting job?
3) Should anybody really be embarrassed over this too much? I mean come on, it ain't like we all don't take care of our man in some special way. We dog out chicks like Superhead for doing it on tape, but alot of people can outdo that girl in private. Get a damn life.

In fact, if you ain't taking care of your man, somebody else probably is. But then again, a man who ain't your man recording you on his cell phone and sending it to all his friends? Well, that's another story.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Sistahs are Doing it for Themselves: The Independent Woman

The first time I heard rapper Lil Webbie’s “Independent” I thought that it was an uplifting song for Black women—a group that is normally degraded in rap music.

However, I was seriously disappointed after listening to the words. In the song, Lil Webbie points out that he loves an educated woman with a house and a job. Lil Boosie goes on to say, “I got an independent woman on my mind—that spoils me.”

Shouldn’t a man make his own money instead of depending on a woman? How far have women really come in the gender equality struggle?

It's 2008 and even the independent woman continues to be oppressed—used for her beauty as well as her wealth. A number of women let their unemployed boyfriends move-in with them. Some of these women find themselves constantly catering to their partners.

In other words, independent women are allowing themselves to be abused and pushed to the side.

This is not a purely recent occurrence.

Throughout history Black women have been an integral part of a number of social movements and organizations. Many women financially and emotionally supported the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party. Still, these brave souls had to take a backseat to the men in their organizations.

There are also economic disparities between men and women.

The independent woman must deal with the continuous struggle for gender equality, as well as economic equality. Today, women make 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Although this is an increase from previous years, we still have a long way to go.

Independent women deserve men that don’t sit around waiting for a woman to take care of them. A real man should respect a self-sufficient woman and not take advantage of her kindness.

Yes, “she got her own house and she drive her own whip” and one day she may even get paid the same amount as a man, but she is not here to spoil a man.

Keep up the hard work ladies!