National Women’s History Month

March 1st. The beginning of our month long celebration of women. I could rattle off a list of names from the history books but we, as women, should be bold and brass enough to celebrate ourselves as well. I am all about giving kudos to those who paved the path I now tread but I want to begin this month respecting my beginnings.

This month I want to honor the fabulous women who have helped shape my life with the very essence of theirs, starting with my mother. The most influential woman in my direct life. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have you in my life.

My mother raised five children, on her own, in the heart of a tough North Philadelphia neighborhood. Throughout the 80s and 90s she ran her home with a precision that would be considered extreme by today’s moralless standards. She understood how dangerous the streets could be having come of age in the gang-run streets of Philadelphia in the mid- to late 60s.

During a time when women and children were to be seen and not heard, my mother was outspoken, speaking up and standing up for what she believed in. Many times incurring the ire of my grandmother. Being raised in the South during the aftermath of the Great Depression, my grandmother’s reaction was to be expected.

Not one to give in to someone else’s idea of how she should live her life, my mother made ends meet selling dinners from our home until the last of us was school aged. Instilling in us early on the importance of going to school everyday sparked my love of learning.

Thank you mom for being the phenomenal woman you are. You are more than just a woman. More than just my mom. You are an inspiration to many through your perseverance.

Which woman inspired you to become who you are today? Leave a thank you for them in the comments.

Why A Thug Can’t Love Me by Monica Jeremie

I just had the pleasure of interviewing brand new author, Monica Jeremie on my show, On Why Yet’s Watch. A mom of two, she has her hands full but she didn’t allow that to halt her dream of writing a novel of substance. Why A Thug Cant Love MeHer debut novel, Why A Thug Can’t Love Me, was published by Mahogany Red Books. With a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies under her belt and beginning work on her degree in Public Administration, Monica has set her sights on her second novel, part two of Why A Thug Can’t Love Me.

Monica’s passion for writing began after reading Mary B. Morrison’s Soulmates Dissipate. With aspirations to help teens and young women learn to love and accept themselves for who they are and where they are in life, Monica’s goals mrb-monicainclude creating stories that are relate-able, entertaining, and original. You can follow Monica on facebook: @monicajeremie twitter: @monicajeremie and on instagram: @monicajeremie .

On Why Yet’s Watch with Mya Kay

wpid-img_20150618_134820.jpgI am truly enjoying my radio hosting gig at BRPP Radio on blogtalkradio.com. I have the pleasure to meet and interact with the coolest artists, writers, musicians and entrepreneurs. I have been hosting since March of this year. I started out co-hosting a show, Sistahs With Purpose, with my real-life sister, The Author Yani on BRPP Radio. She had to go on hiatus for a bit just as our “boss” Kim Morrow started a sister station – BRPP Presents: The Interviewers. It was scary when I began hosting interviews by myself in May. Since then I have learned to relax and have fun with my guests. That makes the show less stressful. Tonight’s show was proof of that.

Tonight I had the pleasure of interviewing Mya Kay. She’s an author, writer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, whose energy and upbeat attitude is contagious. From growing up in North Philadelphia to teaching English in South Korea for a year – Mya is not afraid to open the door when opportunity knocks. During her year in South Korea, Mya took the extra down time she had after work and wrote three books. After many rejections from Barnes and Nobles, Mya succeeded in having one of her novels, A Song For Jordan, booked in one of their locations in Atlanta, GA for a book signing event where she ultimately sold 11 out of 20 books! Proof that positive persistence pays off. A Song for Jordan

Not slowing down, I asked Mya about her newest venture – Empress by Mya Michele, a nail color line she just launched. Mya stated she was inspired by Tammy from an episode of Basketball Wives who had started a similar business of signature nail colors. Inspiration can come from anywhere as long as you remain open to it. To celebrate the launch of her new nail color company, Mya is currently promoting a giveaway. You can read about it here: I Love A Good Giveaway. I asked Mya for advice that she would give to new authors and entrepreneurs and she stated these three principles to follow:

  1. Grace over Grind
  2. Keep God First
  3. Believe in your vision before you tell anyone about it

You don’t have to take my word for it. You can hear it in her own words On Why Yet’s Watch with Mya Kay.

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Author/Entrepreneur Mya Kay

Just Finished My Advanced Reader Copy of Girl’s Night In

Girl’s Night In is a short story collection from CeeCee and friends of the Cougarette series by Eliza David.

Grateful for any opportunity to read a good book, I leapt on the chance to be a reviewer before the book’s release date of August 28th. All I can say is make sure the kids are asleep, your glass (or bottle) of preferred beverage is chilled to your liking and you have a relief plan on standby. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.

You can pre-order Girl’s Night In on amazon.com. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!

Excerpt from Ego Trippin’

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-apple-iphone-iphone-6-1000x667A few days later Nathan met up with Mark at the Red Roof Inn on Roosevelt Boulevard. Mark was sitting in his Black Acura MDX listening to All Eyez on Me by Tupac when Nathan tapped three times on the tinted window. “Aye man what‘s good,” Nathan smirked.
“Come on man, let’s go relax. My girl Diamond is in there and she brought out all of her best girls.”
“Is Ruff Ryder in there?”
“You know it. I told you, Diamond brought all of her best girls. You need to relax after what you‘ve been through. We‘re in room 313.”
“Then let’s go.” Nathan stepped back from the car so Mark could get out and they began walking towards the hotel.

Mark called Diamond after he left Nathan’s house three days ago. He was positive that Nathan was the cause of all of Lydia’s ‘accidents’ and miscarriages. Just like with Georgia. Nathan didn’t know that Mark bought the plane ticket for Georgia and her son to leave and gave her money to start her life over in California. He knew Nathan was insecure about getting older but not to the point of targeting young girls so he can manipulate and viciously abuse them. After explaining what he saw at Nathan’s house with Lydia, and telling about Nathan’s treatment of Georgia, Diamond was all too eager to get even.

5

Nathan walked into room 313 and smiled when he saw the variety of women waiting. In the far corner of the room on a chaise lounge, sat a slender Thai woman dressed in a pale pink, sheer baby doll trimmed in fur. Her tight nipples were visible from where he stood at the door. She smiled at him and gave him a thai bow. Sitting next to her was a curvy Puerto Rican mami, with fiery red hair and a Caribbean blue thong on with matching bra and boots. A set of twins, Russian, were teasing each other on the floor wearing matching white leather one pieces. Sitting on the floor in front of a desk near the window was an olive colored Italian beauty. Large, almond shaped eyes and dark hair accented full breasts cloaked in an emerald green velvet gown. A black velvet choker with a chain attached drew the attention from her eyes to her full breasts. The chain led up to a leather handle held by a deep chocolate woman with curves like Nikki Minaj and Kim Kardashian who sat on top of the desk dressed in a black leather cat suit and boots, watching everything.

“That bitch must be Diamond. Sitting there like she run shit. Hmph. She better watch her step. I’m no body’s punk bitch,” Nathan thought as he eyed her up and down.
“You must be Nathan.” Diamond extended her hand as she rose up from the desk and stepped towards him. Nathan looked her in the eye, “Yeah.” Pulling her hand back she smiled and waved her hand at her ladies, “These are my ’diamonds’. I have cultivated each of them to be skilled in pleasure, be it their own or someone else’s. I understand you are a fan of Ruff Ryder. She is unable to be with us today but I am sure the rest of my ladies can thoroughly entertain you in her absence.” Nathan began smiling, “This bitch think she slick. She fucking with the right one. She mess around and I’ll have her bent the fuck over, fucking her in the ass to let her know I’ll fuck her up.”

Diamond recognized an egotistical, bitch-ass man when she saw one. It had only been fifteen years since she got up the courage to dispose of her own after living in a tortured hell for ten years. Her elite ‘diamonds’ were very skilled at entertaining customers such as Nathan…

My Interview with Lisa Sparrow and How Mental Illness Affects All of Us

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Lisa Sparrow is an inspirational woman. She sat with me for an hour on my blogtalk radio show, On Why Yet’s Watch, and was completely open about her daily battle with mental illness. That in itself is bravery in my book. Mental illness is such a touchy topic to speak on because growing up we (as a society) were taught to only speak of such things in the house – especially when it pertained to a relative or close loved one. Lisa shared her story with our listeners and I am truly grateful.

Depression is the most common form of mental illness that people are familiar with. There is NO one single cause of depression. There can be a combination of causes that can trigger depression:

  • Trauma – a serious trauma that occurs early in life can change our brain’s response mechanism.
  • Genetics – mood disorders and risk of suicide tend to run in families but anyone with a genetic tendency would be more likely to show signs of depression at an early age
  • Life Circumstances – marital status, financial standing, where you live could all influence or trigger depression
  • Brain Structure – depression is associated with changing how your brain responds to hormone stimulation
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse – 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have depression

16 million Americans had a least one major depressive episode last year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression. Young adults aged 18-25 are 60% more likely to experience depression than people aged 50 and over. Unfortunately, Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be misdiagnosed.

There are many forms of treatment:

  • Medications
  • Psychotherapy
  • Brain Stimulation Therapies
  • Light Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Self Management Strategies and Education
  • Mind/Body/Spirit approaches

Should you or someone you know suffer from depression or believe you do, seek help. There is strength in asking for help because we all need help at one time or another. For more information about depression and some of the causes of depression check out the following websites:

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Joyful Heart Foundation

To listen to the interview with Lisa Y Sparrow, listen to On Why Yets Watch with Author Lisa Y Sparrow

There is nothing to be ashamed of when dealing with ourselves or a loved one who battles mental illness.

Stay blessed.

Black Women and Mental Health

Mental health is a serious issue in our communities but is rarely addressed directly or openly. Especially in black communities.

With week after week passing and the media constantly showing police murdering innocent black people across the nation, the psyche of the next generation is being molded.

Police terrorism is a major contributing factor in black people developing mental health problems.

When the court system repeatedly fails to prosecute the abuse of power and tampering of evidence that sends a loud message that justice does not exist for everyone.

We have also seen it is far from equal. Black women are less likely to seek out professional help because of the negative stigma attached as well as the ratio of black psychologist to white psychologist.

You can read more about the importance of black psychology here:
http://blackwomenshealth.com/blog/black-women-and-mental-health/