New Release Alert: How it Really Went Down

This week there is a double feature special release!!!

Click HERE to purchase my second novel and second installment of the Playing with Fire series, How it Really Went Down.

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Is Kylie Jenner Self-Made or Family-Made?

I’m sure we have all seen the news that Kylie Jenner has been named the youngest ever self-made billionaire , according to Forbes. Since that news has come out, social media has been ablaze with outrage at the fact that Kylie has been placed in the category of “self-made”.

Now, just for good measure, I googled the definition of “self-made” and found the following via my good friend Merriam Webster:

“made such by one’s own actions; especially, having achieved success or prominence by one’s own efforts.”

The debate begins when you question the mere facts; did Kylie become successful or prominent by her own efforts, or is the fact that she comes from wealth, and has unlimited access to the means to be successful, nullify her from this category? Is she truly self-made, or did her family make her successful just by biological association?

I was reading an article where Forbes stated why they considered Kylie for the title; stating that she built a company on her own rather than inheriting it. They even scaled her on a 7 out of 10 on the self-made scale, 10 being completely self-made. Oprah was a 10. Comparing Oprah’s story to Kylie’s, I find it shocking to agree with Kylie even being a 7.

Do I personally believe that she is completely self-made? No, I do not. I believe that if Kylie Jenner was not who she is, she possibly would not be in the ballpark of a 1-billion dollar business. But her name, her notoriety (along with her families) allows her the platform that some others do not have, and I believe 100% that her platform and her family name catapulted her to the level that she is now. Granted, her company is 100% owned by her; however, I truly don’t feel like she had to work that hard to achieve what she has now (but I’m not saying she didn’t work hard). Her parents and siblings have money, fame, social media following, etc. Their names typically stay on the tips of everyone’s tongues and there is usually something brewing in their lives on a pretty frequent basis (at least according to my trending topics).

To me, Kylie becoming a billionaire is a no-brainer; I mean, you’re apart of the Kardashion-Jenner franchise, there’s no way you can’t develop something and it not turn to gold at your fingertips. But, to say that she achieved it by her own actions? ehh, it’s a bit of a stretch to me *shrugs*. I think there were efforts and I don’t doubt that Kylie didn’t work hard for it, but I can name a few people who actually had to work from the ground up, with nothing, to achieve what they have today. Kylie Jenner just had one hell of a head start.

Quick Public Service Announcement: Y’all Gotta do Better.

I’m truly tired of high-end name brands debuting clothes that I am confident they know are problematic, and continue to throw the rock, hide their hand, and then come back to apologize.

Burberry is yet the next brand to receive public scrutiny and rage as they debuted a hoodie with a noose hanging from it.

Why?

How?

Did NO ONE try to even interject and state that maybe this is not something that should be debuted on a runway? I just don’t get it.

There are several times that this has happened. Brands have brought out different clothes, campaigns, slogans, etc. and there has been some level of problematic notion within them. What I continue to not understand is how there is no healthy conversation before these things hit the media as to how this is not a good look.

I will admit, there are some things that have come out that I have kind of side-eyed and thought, “well maybe that’s a stretch”. And I’m mature enough to say so; however, Burberry’s noose, Gucci’s sweater, H&M’s monkey hoodie, all these things definitely stung in a way that was uncomfortable.

I just have one wish that if you are a high end fashion design company, a global store, a product, a brand, ANYTHING, please have someone on your design team that can talk some sense into y’all. Have someone on your side that can relate to a more socially-conscious society and who can articulate why things are problematic. Because it’s clear, that some of you do not have that type of team; and it shows in the process in which things are presented, and then immediately retracted.

I’ve always thought that it takes more work to get something wrong, then have to rectify it, than to just get it right the first time.

Just sayin’

-🖤

The Beginning of a Powerful Movement in Black History

Black History Month is now among us, and as we use this month to commemorate powerful leaders and trailblazers amongst the African American race, I believe this should also be a time to pay tribute to those who unfortunately lost their lives to unjustified crimes, and the power and strength of a community to grow a movement that rose from those tragedies.

The month of February also signifies Trayvon Martin’s birth, and even sadly, his death. He would have celebrated his 24th birthday today; however, unfortunately, his life was snatched away from him only shortly after his 17th birthday. The tragedy of Trayvon’s death also marks the beginning of one of the most powerful movements for Black Americans. Black Lives Matter became a powerful and earth-shattering force, because of such utter disregard for such an innocent Black life taken from this world so soon, simply because his appearance was perceived to be a “threat” and “suspicious”.

On February 26, the world was rocked by the news that Trayvon, an unarmed 17-year old child, was shot and killed because one man single man called the police on him for being what he assumed to be suspicious. Even after George Zimmerman was told NOT to follow him, he disobeyed and felt that he had to be responsible for an unnecessary “consequence” for Trayvon. He was doing absolutely nothing wrong, and what is painful is to know that no one on this earth expects to be so innocently living life, just for it to be taken away from you in a second.

In an even more outrageous occurrence, Zimmerman was acquitted of charges of second degree murder, based on what the jury felt was self-defense. It was because of this ruling, Black Lives Matter was created by three amazing women; Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. This organization was formed to take on a fight against institutionalized racism and police brutality against black people.

Sadly, since Trayvon’s death, there have been other tragic events to occur in the Black community, all riddled with the same questions, mainly beginning with “why?”

Why are people who are doing absolutely nothing to lose “threat or fear” being killed, and officers using that lie to justify their actions? Why is it that families of these victims constantly let down by a justice system that does not see blatant crimes being committed?

Unfortunately, Trayvon’s untimely passing was truly an unnecessary and jarring tragedy; however, it has created such a response from communities that have now shed a gleaming light on injustice everywhere, and brought the African American community together to take a stand against what would become a widespread and unfortunate epidemic on the Black community.

Even nearly 7 years later, the circumstances surrounding Trayvon’s murder and other murders since are still haunting and even give some pause to doing things that felt like normal innocent behavior in the past. Walking down your neighborhood street becomes a hesitant decision, wearing a hoodie may cause sideways glances, seeing a police officer behind you makes you wonder if they will notice the color of your skin as a reason to pull you over. It’s like living your life walking on eggshells; not knowing whether your presence alone is causing someone “fear for their life.” This is our reality, and on most days some of our biggest and most pressing fears; to be misjudged, falsely accused, and paying an unnecessary price for the color of our skin.

In this month, it is important to reflect on history; and in order to do that, we cannot forget the movement that was sparked and ignited due to this unfortunate situation.

Happy Birthday, Trayvon. We will continue to strive for the justice you deserved.

🖤

Just a Few Gems I Keep Close.

There is no shame in needing.

Sometimes, you have to cry for no reason to find peace.

Sometimes, life is hard. Life hurts. And it can suck. But it gets better with time.

Time truly does heal all things; let time consume your pain.

You have to dig deep for happiness; it’s ok to admit that you’re not always in a great mood.

Don’t entertain foolishness and don’t let negative energy in your space.

You. Are. Lit. Don’t forget that shit.

Queens never stop fighting.

Take 5 deep breaths and handle that shit.

Live in peace.

Be aggressive in your ambition.

Worth requires WORK.

How much do you value your worth?

And if you do not hold much value to yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?

I’ve had a hard time channeling my worth and purpose. Sometimes when I ask the questions of myself, I cannot find an answer. Such is life. Sometimes life can get you so down or so low and dark, that you cannot find the answers to the burning questions of your soul-search.

This is where the work comes in. Not just outer work, but the inner work. The work that requires you to make hard choices, and make the uncomfortable revelations of self. You have to really sit with yourself and find the answers you seek; and sometimes, not having the answer could be the key to a journey that you need to take in order to get to the root of why you do not have those answers.

We all have a purpose on this earth. Something makes you happy; something makes you want to get out of the bed in the morning. Even if it is to ensure your bills are paid and there is a roof over your head, there is purpose to your life. Remember your purpose and remember why you wake up in the morning.

Do the work to remember your worth. Don’t let anyone make you believe that you don’t deserve to know your worth and then add tax. Also, do not go through life believing that valuing your worth and allowing others to value your worth does not require you to do the work it takes to be seen as such. No one will know your worth if you don’t make it known. The real work begins within, and then shines through you.

🖤