By Lisa Marbly-Warir
Kevin Samuels-My thoughts
Some of us were lucky enough to become aware of Kevin Samuels before his untimely death at 57 on May 5th 2022.
I first became aware of Mr. Samuels by watching another wildly popular YouTuber by the name of Tommy Sotomayor. Both men had a similar message and a large following. The men had beef with one another—two alpha males vying for top spot. Both men had a message towards Black women that many Black women took exception to and they wanted these men cancelled. Some women even celebrated his death.
I didn’t readily start watching Kevin Samuels; I was a staunch Tommy Sotomayor fan and still am.
At some point however, Kevin’s videos did catch my eye and I started to watch. As I watched I could see where his message and delivery could be jarring and stinging for some women. One of his catch phrases was “Get a dog and die alone” as you can imagine it didn’t sit well with a lot of women. His message didn’t bother me, as a matter of fact I agreed with a lot of what he had to say his delivery aside. I’ll go a step further and say that I wish he had been around when I was younger and single.
The Black community doesn’t always get a firm, in your face constructive criticism which was why Kevin’s message annoyed a lot of women.
Thing is, we as Black women are often given feel good messages and empty platitudes that does not lead to a life that many of the women who called into his show were after. Another thing Kevin would say was ‘Single women keep women single’. It’s true.
So many Black women bask in the glow of calling themselves a Queen, but act anything but. A lot of Black women have fallen into the high body count, sex positive, multiple children by different men trap and after that they seek a ‘high value man’. They want their own Russell Wilson.
Kevin was simply trying to get women to be realistic about not only choices that they made early in life, but what could be achievable for them after reaching a certain age. Many Black women didn’t like his message because it encouraged accountability. People accused Kevin of dashing Black women’s hopes and dreams. He was even accused of hating Black women. If women really took the time to listen to his message with an objective ear instead of listening from a place of ‘pearl clutching’ and triggers they would know that Kevin was really trying to be helpful.
Here’s something a lot of people don’t know—Kevin started off his message a few years earlier talking to men and he didn’t hold any punches there. He had harsh critiques of the men too.
It’s not uncommon for a Black woman to want marriage or a meaningful relationship, but what is very common is single women seeking advice from other single women and remaining single.
We had a man—Kevin Samuels, tell women what men were actually looking for; fit, friendly and feminine and for some reason it fell on deaf ears and it ruffled feathers. Even I as a Black woman championing for Kevin Samuels will get me called all manner of names. This is why we are unable to move forward. Feel good memes and Black girl magic doesn’t always get some Black women to the life that they say they want.
True with anything, Kevin’s message was not for everyone, but for the people who wanted food for thought they were able to put their feelings aside and listen with an open mind.
He will be missed.
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I must admit to not knowing a lot about #KierraSheard other than the fact that she is the daughter of #KarenClark—part of the famed #ClarkSisters gospel group. Kierra recently drew criticisms from a statement that she made.
She stated that she would rather put her female friend's up in a hotel instead of allowing them to stay in her home with her new husband. Years ago, mothers or older women of the church would have cautioned young wives, new wives, or wives in general not to have your friends in your house all the time with your husband. I want to make it clear, women in the church. We tend to be a different culture, or at least used to be. The church world and the world has blended so successfully (and not in a good way) that you can't tell the difference any longer. But that is another topic for another day.
When I first got married I got the same warning from my mother. "Don't let your friend's in your house all of the time."
Kierra's comments opened the door to ridicule and cackles from women who I'm guessing are not married. When you're not married you don't have a husband to lose so a comment about not having your friends around your husband all the time may seem crazy to you or you may even call the wife insecure. You can trust your husband and your friends. But sometimes familiarity can lead to boundaries being crossed.
Many a wife...or husband found out the hard way by being too trusting of human nature. You can have all the trust in the world until as mentioned above—boundaries are crossed. A lunch date here, friendly nightly calls there, etc. I've often said, cheating doesn't always start out in the bedroom.
Rumor: A popular TV chef, I won't name, lost her husband to cancer years ago.
Her good friend would send her husband over to her house to comfort said TV chef. Well that good friend ended up losing her husband to the grieving widow. I'm pretty sure the friend didn't think her best friend and husband would stab her in the back. We've become such a pro other woman, mistress, side chick, creepin', society that people don't understand a wife taking a proactive stance to keep her marriage and family intact. Ironically enough, when a wife is careless about her marriage she is blamed and judged. When a wife makes a statement like Kierra's she is still judged.
A rebuttal may be if a person is a cheater he/she will find a way to cheat. And that is 100% true. But inviting it into your home increases the possibility for cheating. Cheating is often opportunistic. Another thing you may find is, not all of your friend's are happy for your marriage. Which can also increase the chance of impropriety.
Well what about the husbands? People always let these trifling, a$$ men off the hook. Haven't we all heard that one? By no means am I letting men off the hook. But as a friend of mine said years ago- 'Sometimes as the wife you have to protect your husband'.
In closing, I found nothing wrong with what Kierra said. In today's society I can see how outlandish her comments may seem to some. But today's world is also anti-marriage, pro-divorce and pro-messy, unnecessary relationship drama. So I don't expect the masses to truly understand a wife being dedicated to her marriage.
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Yes, the dead horse is about to be revived and beat again. This is a topic that never seems to go away—you know—interracial dating. Recently I responded to a Madame Noire topic on Twitter about Taye Diggs
Something curious struck me—the chorus of ‘we don’t care, I don’t care or my favorite no one curr’. I find it baffling that when a Black male celebrity dates out some Black women lose their collective minds—
I never liked him
He corny anyway
His wife is fugly
But the minute that man makes a comment about the insults hurled at him we see the whole ‘no one checking for you boo’ But weeks, months, years earlier when that man started dating a non-Black woman the comments were incendiary.
So, I’m like which is? Women who don’t care don’t go on the verbal attack about a man they never liked anyway, a man they find corny anyway etc.
Obviously, some people do care otherwise we wouldn’t keep having this topic come up week after week, year after year. And likewise, some Black men will get bent out of shape and resort to calling Black women who date out—bed wenches, belly warmers and worse for women they too claim to find ugly, let the dorky White guy have her ass, etc.
And something I’ve noticed online, just mention Black woman and White man in the same sentence and Black men will rage a verbal attack against you. I’m sure White men do the same to White women who date out (and definitely vice versa), but my article is about our community.
I never understand the angry outbursts from Black men online who by their own admission hate Black women, or find Black women unattractive.
I’ve said many times over that many Black men are only mad because they want to explore their options with women of other races, but they want Black women at home pining for them. They want Black women upset when they date out and sadly too many Black women give them that satisfaction by reacting to it.
Both sexes need to get a handle on themselves when it comes to getting mad, or upset about a Black man or Black woman dating out. Notice, when Black men become enraged when a Black woman dates out, but you hear crickets when it’s a Black man.
Same thing with some Black women, they get mad and upset when it’s a Black man, but don’t say anything when it’s a Black woman who dates out. It’s that inconsistency that is making people mad. I say if you’re going to be mad, then be mad at your sex too.
The fact of the matter is—dating interracially is still a sore spot for some people, probably most regardless of race. But in our case there are many underlying issues still at play between Black men and Black women.
I personally don’t have an issue with people who date out as long as they don’t degrade the opposite sex to do so. I can give a few stories of being accosted by a Black man in public who had a non-Black girlfriend or wife.
Some of those men can be downright nasty, unprovoked. It seems as though any Black woman becomes their enemy whether he knows you or not, you’re a Black woman and he is ready to attack.
I actually had a Black man shove me in a movie theater once, when I saw who he was with, it became clear. Now had I reacted, he would have told his White wife or whoever she was, ‘see that’s why I don’t deal with Black women’, yet he SHOVED me.
It hurt me at first, because I didn’t know this man, I was just the nameless face of a Black woman who had hurt him. That is what I have a problem with.
And finally, why oh why do people act like Black women are the only ones who care when Black men date out?
Notice on Married to Medicine reunion when Andy Cohen asked, Dr. Simone and the other ladies how would they feel if their son brought home a White girl? Why doesn’t Andy ask the White housewives that? Guess what? Their reaction would be the SAME!!
So newsflash, White women don’t like it either, not in the very least. White men goes without saying, we know they don’t like Black men with White women unless it’s some fetish bull crap.
So bottom line, the reason why IRR still a hot button topic is because
a) there is still bad blood between races,
b) there is bad blood between the sexes in the Black race—a lot of hurt and unresolved pain from both sexes.
And for some IR dating is the ultimate betrayal.
A lot of Black women feel that there aren’t enough decent Black men to begin with, etc. At the end of the day, people are going to date interracially. For people who have an issue with it, if you drop dead tomorrow, people are going to still date interracially.
And something I've written online before on this very topic, Black people who date/marry IR is still a very small percentage. If our community as a whole was more cohesive, I don't think IRR would be so glaring.
Please note, just my observation and opinion.
I really could care less who dates who, as long as they don’t degrade the opposite for their choice.
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I have always been a Marvel superheroes fan—not to the point of going to Comic-Con or dressing up, but simply going to watch them at the movies or on TV.
I must admit that Black Panther was never really on my radar. But when I heard it was in the works I knew I wanted to see it. My husband and I went to see this movie on the 3rd day of its release and the theater was packed. I loved seeing how we came out to support this movie and the actors/actresses.
I went to see the Black Panther with a preconceived notion that I might not like it and it would be cheesy—I am happy to say the movie proved me wrong. It was well done, not cheesy and it even brought a tear or two from my eyes.
Why? Well, because, I think we are in agreement that we are tired of the slave movies, movies like The Help, or down-trodden Black women movies, I know I am. So anytime I can see a movie about a Black character that is not a stereotype is a breath of fresh air to me.
Black Panther was a thrilling experience to the senses. The movie takes place in a fictional African country by the name of Wakanda. To the outside world it looks like a third world country, but in another dimension it is really a vibrant, modern and rich country closed off from the rest of the world.
I loved how the movie kept traditional African Elements but infused it with modern technology. I absolutely loved the cohesiveness of the Black country—the love, the respect and strength of the Black race—in this case untouched by slavery and years of the civil rights movement. These people are self-sustaining and proud.
I loved the fact that they used Black actresses that looked Black and not racially ambiguous. Certainly not hating and no disrespect to racially ambiguous women or actresses, but come on, be fair with it then. They rarely use racially ambiguous Black men to portray Black men.
Chad Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther) is becoming my new favorite Black actor—move over Denzel (still love you though ;) ) Chad was perfect, he had vulnerability and a strength about him which kept your eyes glued to the screen. Plus he is not hard on the eyes at all.
I also enjoyed the cute little banter between him and his sister (Shuri) played by Letitia Wright.
Lupita Nyongo was stunning as his love interest. I would love to see her and Chad in a nice romantic movie. It’s about time to showcase a love story with melanin rich people in love in a sweet romance. I won’t hold my breath that it will happen, but one can dream, right?
Danai Gurira as Okoye. I’m a fan of hers anyway because of The Walking Dead. There is so much that can be said about this movie and I will probably revisit this article as more people watch the movie and make their comments.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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By Lisa Marbly-Warir
Lord where do I start? We are two episodes in and the arrow on my cringe-o-meter is still pointing towards what the crap is this mess? I want to like this show. I love the fact that Black women can be showcased as vulnerable, wanting love like any other woman and getting their happy on.
As a matter of fact I probably would have loved this show twenty or thirty years ago—in regards to a Black woman being fawned over by a non-Black man and let me explain-this was before I knew how deep stereotypes about Black women went and how many other cultures view Black women as naturally loose and not wife material.
I even had an African man tell me one day that Black American women were known for having five men at one time.
Not to mention, we as Black women since girlhood have been told directly and indirectly that we are not as pretty or desirable as other women.
I am a little dismayed by this show. I feel it is falsely telling Black women that Italian men are waiting to romance and marry them. Does it happen? Probably, but is it the norm or an exception?
I can see this turning sour fast if Black women en masse decide to go to Italy only to come back as unmarried and with child. Right now we are watching women who’ve made bad choices with relationships and now want a White Knight (pun intended) in shining armor to sweep them off of their feet.
The issue isn’t Black women wanting to cross the ocean for love; it’s the issue that many of us aren’t/weren’t taught how to be in a relationship. Many are not taught about being wife vs. a baby mama, or a forever girlfriend.
The grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side.
We aren’t trying to fix what is going on over here in regards to dating/relationships/marriage stats etc.
But, if these women find genuine love in the arms of one of the Italian men, I’d be the first to be happy for them.
Twenty to thirty years ago, the dating landscape was not as dire as it is now and yes I believe it is worse for Black women and for a variety of reasons. It would make my post too long to cite every reason. But you can check out my Youtube channel. I discuss things like-
Are Black women raising their daughters to be single?
Is Church keeping Black women single?
Click below for videos
I am feeling some kind of way about this show—mostly because in the back of my mind I’m thinking about what other people are thinking about these women.
They’re older, divorced, have been in long term (never married relationships) baby mamas, mothers etc. Do these Italian men want them as wives? Do these men want a readymade family? I think this show would have been better if it was more of a random type situation.
I think these women’s heads were gassed up believing that Italian men were just waiting with open arms to women they’ve never really been involved with before. And the women are acting, well, desperate. At least they were in the first episode.
There is so much more that can be discussed here and I may revisit at a later date. I hope there is some redeeming quality to this show, because right now…
Please note—I am not against interracial relationships at all and this is not what my article is about. I’ve written two interracial romance novels. I just feel this show needs a little tweaking.
Thanks for reading.
By Lisa Marbly-Warir
I put some because obviously many Black women are married, getting married and are for marriage, but there is still a large amount that are not. I often wonder about why, or at least I used to wonder until I started seeing a startling protest against marriage from many women who say they are Black online.
Every so often I will see posts on a particular website that suggest that Black women are better off not being married at all. I recently saw an article called Ways to commit without being married on Madame Noire. Is there an agenda to push this on Black women?
I believe that specific article was written by a White woman but it was posted on a largely Black female forum. Honestly, I don’t think White women or other race women get these articles geared towards them.
Look at how the media is geared towards White women and women of other races—she and a man running through a field of flowers, holding hands, a marriage ceremony etc. But for Black women you’d be hard pressed to see the same types of images. (Not that you don’t, but it’s not the same)
The scary thing is many young Black women eat up the ‘I don’t need to be married brigade’ like candy. But then some of those same young women will ask ‘Why aren’t men asking their baby mama’s, their fiancée of umpteen years etc. to get married?
Or some will wonder why they are raising a child or children by themselves. If marriage is just a piece of paper, or no big deal to you as a woman, why would it be a big deal to the men who asks for the woman’s hand in marriage?
I’m going to post a list of some of the reasons I have seen online from Black women who say they are against marriage.
The site that I speak of, any time marriage or wives come up it turns into a—them (single) against us (married) or vs. versa. And the post usually crashes and burns with a lot of name calling on both sides. So without further ado here are some of the reasons I have seen--
So we have to consider why the marriage rate in our communities compared to others is much lower.
Black women are raising the men who don't want marriage
Black women are raising the young ladies who don't see marriage as a viable option
Also, some women think they have years to snag a husband. That’s not to say that you can’t meet and marry the right man at a later age (I did)
but I am an advocate of getting your husband young(er) if possible for a variety of reasons.
I realize the dating landscape has changed from when I was a younger woman. But I know that marriage is beneficial to men, women and especially children whose biological parents are in a healthy marriage.
Please note as I always do, this message isn’t for all women. Some women are very content not being married or ever being married. I’m talking to women who are pro-marriage and want to be one day if they aren’t already.
Thanks for reading
Of course some of my stories are inspired by real communities (Rosedale Park, Palmer Park, Sherwood Forest in Detroit) fictionalized through my characters.
**any similarities between these communities, my characters and real people are purely coincidental**
For me romance is about entertainment and escapism. Going into a world of make believe for an hour or two and even longer. Ironically enough when I was an avid reader—gothic romance or historical romance were my go to genres. I could go through two romance novels a week.
Thing is, none of the heroines looked like me—a Black woman. As a Black reader I wanted to read a story about women that looked like me, in love with her handsome Prince Charming in the scenario that I wanted her to be in.
So what did I do? I decided to write my own stories and chose affluent Black communities as the backdrop—as opposed to the hood/urban romance that are highly popular.
Which brings me to the point of this post—when I started writing, my goal was to write clean, Christian romance. And though I think there is a market out here for that, the landscape of courtship and dating has changed since the first book I wrote some 16 years ago.
I ultimately veered off and decided to be a little more realistic with my heroines, in that, most women are not waiting until marriage today or even 16 years ago, but that was the story I wanted to tell of my characters. For some readers the idea of waiting is just too unrealistic.
So, you may wonder, what does affluent Black communities and gothic romance have to do with each other? Nothing actually, but to write a believable story for a Black heroine I had to think of a world to put her in.
As I mentioned earlier, hood/urban stories are all the rage right now and while they hold no interest for me, I have incorporated some superficial urban nuances in some of my stories.
For example in Jewel—A Chance at Love, Jewel is instrumental in helping to revitalize her urban community.
Or, I have some of my characters spend time downtown—specifically downtown Detroit.
I like to tell myself that my stories are Hallmark Channel-ish, but with Black characters. Although, when I think of Hallmark Channel, I think of small town, quaint, picturesque—cutesy. I hope when people read my stories this is what it conveys. Light-hearted, feel-good with a balance of romance and drama.
So, where are the real affluent Black communities?
I got this list from BET
Starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pickett, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish.
When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there's enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. Credit IMDB
Before seeing this movie I read on a social media site about a YouTube video by Boyce Watkins and a forum where Black men were talking despairingly about this movie. (According to them—showing Black women in a negative, stereotypical light)
The majority of women who took exception to their words were upset because they felt it was just a blow against Black women trying to be happy, carefree and living life on their terms—and men being upset because they weren’t the center of attention etc. (don’t know how true that is, that’s just an example of what I read online)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXNJqzSCqvE Boyce Watkins video
I listened to what Boyce Watkins had to say—but wasn’t going to let it be a deterrent. I still wanted to see and support this movie. I enjoyed the movie, it was well done, it was LOL funny and it had some touching moments—pretty predictable.
Now, as much as I liked this movie, Boyce Watkins does have a point—the over-sexualization of the characters in this movie and the subliminal message of what it is sending to young Black girls and young Black ladies in general—a demographic that is already high risk for STD’s and adding to the OOW epidemic.
At the same time, part of me says, it’s just a movie and we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. At the end of the day this is a movie Black women wanted to see and didn’t we come out and support this movie? We sure did. 30.4 million opening day.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel that we as Black women are almost starved for a movie that shows us as something other than a slave, asexual, the Black *man-less token friend or the struggling downtrodden Black woman trope that I am so tired of. This movie was a breath of fresh air to me but I do see the pros and cons of the movie.
*Speaking of man-less, ironically all of the women were man-less in this movie except for Regina Hall’s character and even then her husband was a cheating so-and-so. But that is another point for another day.
Pros—funny, seeing 4 beautiful Black, educated, successful women, living life on their terms, sisterhood, a throwback to the 90’s—did I mention funny?
Cons—for me it was age appropriation, some of the antics showcased in this movie would have been better suited for younger women (even still it was a bit much at times)
Having 40-something, educated women acting irresponsible over sex and drinking wasn’t cute. As a matter of fact some of the lingo was definitely of a younger generation.
The swearing, I know people swear. But I was never a swearer and neither is my family. However, I know its common place for many homes.
I give the movie ★★★★☆
Get your girlfriends and support this movie
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This question “What is your favorite book that you wrote?” was posed to me the other day at a book fair. Fair question, but I was stuck like a deer in the headlights. I’m used to asking people what their favorite book is, or people asking me what my favorite book is—you know, a book written by someone else. So when the question came my way about one of my own books I was slightly taken aback and had to think about it.
I pointed to the book cover with my character Destinee on it A Love Worth Waiting For—Destinee’s Story. I said, well she is my first published work—I put my heart into her character. To the point where some readers asked me if the book was about me. It isn’t, but I do think a lot of writers put some of themselves into the books they write.
A writer and an author would understand. When you write, the book becomes a part of you, or maybe you become a part of that book—it’s a tossup. You eat, sleep and dream these characters and sometimes it’s hard to separate from them. They’re always in your mind doing or saying something.
I was glad for the question because it gave me a chance to answer a buyer and reader about what makes me tick, in a sense. I also told the reader, I was torn between my very first book A Love Worth… and my newest release The Millionaire—Diamonds are Forever.
These two books and the main characters Destinee and Quisha are opposites for the most part—although similarities are there. They are both college students, reared by single mothers. Each character had a wealthy man take a liking to them. Isn’t there a Cinderella in all of us?
But that’s where the similarities end in regards to—to be blunt, sex.
Destinee wants to maintain her virginity until marriage, and of course that hinders her dating prospects in modern dating. Quisha on the other hand, doesn’t have that constraint hanging over her head; she ends up working as a stripper to pay for college.
I chose these two books as my favorites because I think both characters, while different in some aspects are similar in that they want love, respect and happiness just like any other woman. Plus, I like their male counterparts. Perhaps one day I will do an article about which of my heroes I like the best. Edward (Destinee) or Chad (Quisha) hmmm.
By Lisa Marbly-Warir
Charley from Queen Sugar
First of all I would like to start off with, I absolutely love this show. So what I’m about to talk about isn’t a diss, but an observation I’ve witnessed a few times on TV in regards to well-to-do Black female characters. I’ve even seen it IRL.
Taking the Black woman down a peg or two—that’s how it seemed to me in the My Soul’s High Song 7/5/2017 Queen Sugar episode.
I could see—or at least it was my perception of disapproval on Remy’s face when Charley was looking at that beautiful stately home in gasp—the Landry’s, her competitor and nemesis’ community (I personally wouldn’t want to live down the street from an enemy especially the Landry’s)
However, I understood the message conveyed during that short exchange between Charley and Remy—Remy’s reasoning why Charley acquiring a big fancy house would be deemed audacious to the Black farmers in the area the very people she wants to help. Or was it something deeper, subconsciously? Was it a way to keep a Black person of means, especially a Black woman in her place?
I mean, how dare this successful Black woman buy a big house that she can clearly afford at the risk of offending the people in the area—both Black and White. I can’t think of a successful White female character, or successful White woman in general having to explain why she wants a big beautiful home in the area that she wants. So why is it a problem for Charley? Why does she have to downplay who she is? Was Remy right to question her about her choice?
It’s like we as a race have this idea that if one Black succeeds they should feel guilty about having more than the average or less fortunate Black and if a successful Black person is fortunate they must downplay it—as not to front or stunt on people still trying to get their piece of the American dream.
A few years ago I wrote about a successful Black hair care entrepreneur Jewel—A Chance at Love
who had the same type of scenario Charley had with Remy. Jewel wanted to purchase a home in a gated community. Her own business was in an urban area that she had helped revitalize and she wanted a home to reflect her new status in life. She was instantly met with haters who accused her of forgetting where she came from. So when I saw the same thing happen to Charley it struck a chord with me.
At the end of the Queen Sugar episode I did like the moving into the mill scene with her family rallying around her. Even after all that I just wrote, Charley and Micah living in the mill just made sense but I didn’t like that she had to be questioned about her original choice first.
If you haven't watched this show please check it out.
If it helps it's got some eye candy.