Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

This morning I woke up and it was just one of those days.  My hair had a large part to do with that.  The longer it’s gotten, the more difficult it’s become for me to deal with.  It no longer stays detangled, hydrated or defined for days on end.  It loses it’s shape within hours, the moisture I spend so much time sealing in is depleted after one night’s sleep (and yes, I exclusively sleep on satin).  Don’t get me started on the frizz and shrinkage with zero definition that occurs after Day 1…I. Can’t. Deal.

Today was day 3 hair and with one look in the mirror, I immediately became discouraged.

disaster hair 1

 

Suddenly, a pair of scissors and a relaxer look like the answer to all my problems.

 

disaster hair 2

The tumbleweed that was looking back at me didn’t care.  It stood up defiantly, determined to have it’s way with me.

After a hot shower’s mist took affect, with some added Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, my hair has lived to see another day.

disaster hair 3

While I claim victory in this battle, I must remember the war is not yet won.

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The Truth Hurts

The billboard reads, "The Most Dangerous Place For An African American Is In The Womb"

In lower Manhattan, at Watts Avenue and Sixth Avenue, AKA SoHo, this 3-story ad was displayed as a means of anti-abortion propaganda by Life Always, an anti-abortion group who was willing to pay the $20,000 price tag to have the ad displayed for a month.  After receiving intense public outcry, the ad was removed yesterday, February 24, 2011.

As a Black woman, this ad is painful for me to see.  While abortion has never impacted my life directly, I do understand that I had a niece/nephew I never got the opportunity to meet because of a common obstacle, best identified as abortion.  The thought of that still chokes me up to this day.

I’m not going to get into a debate as to whether or not I believe this ad is right or wrong, because while I do believe in it’s message (Black community, let’s stop aborting our legacies), I reject it’s lack of sensitivity. 

Instead I figured I’d share some statistics I’ve found regarding abortion, to give people a better idea of the actual numbers we’re working with.

*Disclaimer: Because reporting of abortions is not mandatory, statistics aren’t 100% reliable (but then again, statistics never really are).

As of 2008/early 2009…

  • White women have more abortions than any other race.  41% of women having abortions are white, 32% are black, and 20% are hispanic
  • Black women are 4x as likely, and Hispanic women are nearly 3x as likely, to have an abortion than White women.  Black women’s abortion rates are 50 per 1,000, Hispanic women’s are 28 per 1,000 and non-Hispanic white women’s are 11 per 1,000.
  • Almost half of us (women) in our lifetimes will have one…don’t judge a woman now, because you might be making that same decision later.  An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.
  • Impoverished women are NOT the main ones aborting-it’s the middle-class. Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions; Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%; Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%; Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%
  • Most abortions are a calculated choice made out of concenience.  1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).  Those reasons include: Wants to postpone childbearing:  25.5% ; Wants no (more) children:  7.9% ; Cannot afford a baby:  21.3% ; Having a child will disrupt education or job: 10.8% ; Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy: 14.1% ; Too young/parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy: 12.2% ; Other: 2.1%

Black Beauty #nohorses (only my avid book readers would understand that play-on-words)

This definitely reminds me of my mother and I 🙂

These beauty’s are in the eyes of EVERY beholder.  It’s undeniable.  Beyond their apparent physical beauty (they’re models, hello!), we see the beauty of the (Black) American family, (Black) American love and overall, a representative of American culture…it just so happens that this representative is wearing a Black face. 

And this is a Gap ad.  Gap.  Gap is viewed as uber American.  It’s up there with J. Crew, Abercrombie and American Eagle.  That is so powerful to me!

Shoutout’s to Patrick Robinson, the Black designer who’s been the Head Designer for Gap since 2007. 

Black History Month yall, we’re still celebrating 🙂

Black People Don’t Tip

Before I even begin, please forgive my use of generalizations-I know they’re there but please, just go with it for a few minutes and focus on the overall point of the story.  Thank you 🙂

So you're really gonna have the nerve to NOT tip?!

            I’ve been working at J. Alexander’s for a few months now.  J. Alexander’s prides itself on selling the BEST cuts of beef (prime rib and filet mignon) as well as seafood (the company’s supplier of salmon is the same for the White House-it all comes from Norway.  Seriously.).  J. Alexander’s also has a lengthy employee handbook affectionately referred to as the “black and white book” that is easily 100+ pages with specifications on everything from employee attire, the multiple points of service, the spices and ingredients that are in the food, dressings and garnishments (they are all made from scratch) and the daily operations of the restaurant as a whole.

            To become a server here, employees are subjected to a very intense and grueling process.  It took me roughly a month to complete training myself.  I was trained and tested on the “black and white book,” the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine (Champagne comes from Champagne, France-if it comes from anywhere else it’s ssparkling wine), the number of seconds it should take me to get drinks and appetizers delivered to my tables and a bevy of other tasks, large and small, that adds to the satisfaction of the guests. 

            With all of that training, information and testing assessments, it’s practically impossible to get bad service.  Because the restaurant it built solidly on a “teamwork” model, it’s every server’s responsibility to get a random table a refill, food delivered, questions answered, etc. regardless of who the actual home-based server is.  As a result, it is a standard expectation among the serving staff that the tables will tip us 20%.  Honestly, it is rare that the expectation isn’t met…until you get a table of Black people.

            I’ve noticed that as soon as a Black table arrives, they generally will have the most extra requests, will “run” the server around to death and generally show a lack of appreciation for the efforts that the server makes.  Oftentimes the Black table will complain about bad service, a request not being met, or something being over-cooked, get their meal (or a portion of it) paid for and then RARELY leave a respectable tip.

            I know this sounds so rude, ignorant, stereotypical and general.  I hate it myself.  I am the only Black server (well second now-another Black server finished training last week) and am constantly feeling the pressure-while I have an allegiance to the guests (there’s no denying my Blackness) I also have an allegiance to my fellow serving staff.  The Black gentleman will peel the bills off of his ample roll of dollars, afterwards remarking to his White server, “keep the change.”  And he literally means change.  I’ve seen too many $69.92 checks be paid with $70.  Seriously, I see or hear about several of these every week.  It is rare that more than a few dollars is left. 

            On the other hand, whenever I personally get a Black table I notice they are nicer to me.  They are more lighthearted, not as particular about their meal (I’ve never experienced a Black table being unsatisfied with their meal) and I’ve yet to be shorted on my tip once the final bill is paid.  I am the only server working at my location who can honestly say that I’ve NEVER received a low tip from a Black table.  The other servers have noticed this and I was once pulled aside to have an open conversation/dialogue about it.  It was a small group of servers and one spoke up and asked me earnestly, “Do you think Black people purposefully don’t tip or are they not aware that they’re supposed to (like older people sometimes are)?”  I offered her honest feedback.  “While there are some who I believe aren’t aware that they’re expected to, I think the vast majority do it because they can.  You see their pockets of money-they obviously have it to spend but are chosing not to.  They see blonde hair and blue eyes and see it as a way to get back at a prejudiced system that has wronged them.  Let’s be honest, as soon as he pulls his car out of our parking lot in this suburb, the police can and probably will pull him over.  His offense will most likely be ‘driving while Black.’” 

            *Becky got quiet.  Then a few others spoke up and it became a “Why can’t we all get along?” and “Racism still exists?” conversation.  I didn’t have the patience to go there with them at the time but this is obviously extremely problematic.  A lot of my coworkers are obviously developing jaded views of Blacks, assuming they never tip, are cheap and rude. Given the circumstances, can I blame them?  I feel awful about all of this, I honestly do.  What do you all think about this?  Why don’t Black people tip? 

*Sidenote: I know I used the example of a Black man, but Black women do it equally as much.  They will pull their credit card out of their luxury purse and leave a tip that they might as well have kept.