Court Jester gets Punked

This Wednesday I was summoned to court on contempt charges by my daughter’s douche bag sire. I can’t assign him the title “biological father” or “baby daddy”, because even those monikers carry more respect than he deserves. Anyhow, the charges read:

Refusing visitation


Illegally changing my daughters name! (He is too illiterate to know that there should be an apostrophe in “daughters”).

The penalty if found guilty of contempt was time spent in jail and repayment of his filing and court fees. Armed the knowledge and the confidence that I had done neither of these, I trudged down to Fulton County Superior court to waste what was one of the sunniest afternoon’s we’ve had this winter. All the same, I readied myself to becoming a pole dancing prison meat sandwich. After all, you never know how the person sitting on the bench was going to feel that day and if they just want to throw to book at someone.

With my two witnesses in tow, I waited patiently to be called into the conference room. We arrived before Old Douche Bag, and the bailiff asked me where the other party was.

“Er…I don’t know,” I replied.

What I really wanted to say is “Am I that nigga’s keeper?!?”

Finally we were called in. The judicial officer was in a congenial mood, greeting us pleasantly and asking why we were here today.

“This is a contempt hearing,” I answered.

She shuffled through our file.

“Oh, ok. Tell me why you are filing contempt charges against Mr. Grant, Mrs. Franklin.”

He began to speak. She cut him off abruptly.

“No, no. I asked Mrs. Franklin.”

“I’m Mrs. Grant,” I said in correction. “He’s Mr. Franklin.”

He sighed deeply and said “Judge, my daughter was supposed to spend Christmas and her birthday with me. I’m also supposed to get her every Wednesday with her. Mrs. Grant also didn’t let me spend my birthday with her. That’s why I’m filing contempt charges.”

The judicial officer raised her eyebrows, and obvious sign that this was a grievous offense.

“And what is your response to this, Mrs. Grant?”

“Our court order simply states that Mr. Franklin is to receive supervised visits with my daughter until a supervisor says overnight visits can begin. So far, no one has said so.”

“I see,” said the judge. “So why…what is the problem?”

Douche Bag piped up quickly.

“The center told me they don’t give recommendations as to when they let overnight visits begin,” he said. “I sent an email to Mrs. Grant asking when we could begin them, and she said she was not going to. ”

This would have been an appropriate Joe Wilson moment. I fixed my lips to scream YOU LIE!, but thought the better of it and kept my eyes averted from his lying face. He went on to say that the visitation center was one that she herself had recommended. She looked confused, and said “I didn’t recommend anything. That would have been the mediator.”  I seized on the moment, and informed her that the mediator had indeed offered this center as an option, as well as the Fulton County Juvenile Center or any other place of our choosing.

“I believe the onus is on Mr. Franklin to find a recommending supervisor if he wants overnight visitation, ” I said. “So far, he has not made any attempts in that direction.”

After some more chatter, the judge offered to call our visitation center and see if they had a suggestion. She left the room to make the phone call and left us alone. Now this is where it gets funny.

***The Court Jester looks Desperate and Idiotic***

As soon as the judge left the room, I shifted my attention to my purse. Suddenly I heard:

“Okay, Malaka, let’s come to some sort of an agreement!”

I was flabbergasted.

“Agreement?? YOU have us here. What is there to agree on? “

“None of this is necessary,” he insisted.

“Oh I agree. It’s not necessary, but you are the one who filed contempt charges and sent a sheriff to my door to serve them.”

“We can work something out.”

“Look, I really think you should stop talking to me while the judge is out of the room. I don’t want to talk to you while she’s not here.”

He ignored me.

“Your hair looks nice.”


He said something akin to me still looking nice, but I was too distracted by his bloodshot eyes to remember the exact verbiage. I do recall wanting to retort that he still looked fat. As he droned on about other irrelevancies, all I could think was that he looked…used. Old, used and not even remotely attractive. How could I have ever slept with this man, let alone madly loved him? I was repulsed with the whole thing. I was shaken from my thoughts when I heard him say:

“I want to be your friend.”

“We don’t need to be friends,” I retorted.

“That may be so, but we need to at least tolerate each other so that we can raise this little girl.”

“I do tolerate you. I only contact you when it’s necessary, and outside of Christmas, it has not been necessary.”

“Well,” he insisted, “we still need to talk to each other for her sake.”

“Talk to each other about what? She’s in pre-school. She colors. There is nothing to talk about!”

He chuckled, noting that we’d only been talking for a few minutes and were now fighting.

“That’s why I asked you to stop talking to me when the judge left the room.”

He then tried to sound like the voice of reason, asking that we stop sending each other nasty emails and text messages. At this, I was incredulous; I reminded him that I do not text, email or call him…and when I DO he responds with sarcasm and threats.

“I just miss my little girl so much,” he said. ” I just love her so much.”

At this, I didn’t know whether to sneer or chortle. This from the man who flatly told me he didn’t want a girl before she was born, who burst into curses and flatly hung up the phone on me when I announced her gender, and had the nerve to call me back days later to say he didn’t want a dark skinned daughter? If I had the strength of Zeus I’d strike him dead with lightening if I could.

“Can you believe we made a baby together,” he laughed, stretching his arms behind his head. He began to whisper. “I remember the last time we had sex. I knew the moment it was over you were pregnant. I said ‘Damn, she’s pregnant’.” He took much delight in this trip down memory lane.

“Yeah,” I said flatly.

“And remember when my cousins got to fightin’ and you were sitting there with your eyes all wide, pro’lly thinking my family was crazy.”

I smirked.

“See! You think it’s funny too,” he said gleefully. “You’re smiling.”

I didn’t bother to correct him, and instructed him to stop bringing up the past (his favorite request of me when I remind him he owes me money in addition to failing to pay for 3 years of support for the child he “loves so much”). I looked towards the door, willing the judge to come back soon.

“I’m bringing up the good times,” he said. “Look, can we just move forward? How about we do this visitation thing for another month? Then she can come stay with me. Or how about you make a suggestion?”

“A suggestion for when she can come stay with you? I haven’t thought that far out. I’d rather just wait to hear what the judge gas to say.”


“And furthermore,” I continued, “you have me here on charges saying I illegally changed Nadjah’s name. Do you know what a serious charge that is??”

“You did change her name. Before September.”

“Do you have printed proof of that?” I challenged.

“Well, I do, but I sort of don’t,” he said mischeviously.

I was peeved.

“Hey, either I changed her name or I didn’t. Either you have printed proof, or you don’t. Which is it?”

“I can’t say. If I do, it would require me to reveal how I got it.”

“Oh! So you’re going behind my back and digging up personal information on me?”

“You went on my Facebook,” he said in justification.

What an idiot. His Facebook (up until recently) was open access to all. It was how he prowled for women.

“So I didn’t change her name.”

“Well, you must have just wrote ‘Grant’ over it when you signed her name.”

What on Earth was he talking about? I told him I was still going to bring it up to the judge, and he mumbled something about having dropped that charge. He lamented that he didn’t get to see Nadjah at all. I asked him what all the visits over the last 3 months were then?

“Come on!” he exclaimed. “An hour every 2 weeks?”

“It was 2 before you changed it.”

“Because she would get antsy after an hour! And I have to pay for those visits!”

“What??! Like $5.00??”

“No! I have to pay $20 a visit! In fact, I owe them $100. That’s why I haven’t …” his voice trailed off.

What a liar! The payment for that center is based on a sliding scale. If you make $45K and above, it’s $20. According to our child support agreement, his stated income was $25K a year…which put him in the $5 category. Every owrd he breathes is a lie! I was dumbfounded.

Finally, after 18 minutes of pointless talk, the judge returned.

****The Jester gets Shamed****

The Judge informed us that she had spoken to the visitation center director, and it was indeed true that they could not provide a recommendation. Old Douche Dag quickly made a suggestion.

“I’d like Mrs. Grant to come up with a time-line for when she thinks it would be reasonable for my daughter to begin overnight visitation. My daughter and I have really bonded, and I’ll go along with whatever she say.”

The judge smiled and nodded. She thought it would be a good idea. Sneaky bastard! But you won’t catch me that easily.

“I’m afraid I’m incapable of doing that, your Honor,” I said ever-so-remorsefully. “I wrote a letter to the court prior to receiving this contempt citation asking for direction on this very matter. It is for the reasons stated in this letter that I cannot make a decision of this magnitude.”

She read the letter and came back to the conclusion that the visits should still be supervised, and offered to have the social services coordinator who took our statements monitor the visits and make her recommendation. We agreed that this would be fine. I then asked her what was to be done about my concerns about his objectionable home environment. Would anyone address those concerns in making their recommendation?

“If I recall correctly, she hadn’t spent much time with him in the past?” she queried.

“Unfortunately, that’s one of several false statements that Mr. Franklin provider to the coordinator. Nadjah spent consistent weekend visits with him up until July 2008. He’s not a stranger to her. She knows full well who he is. That’s not my concern. My concern is for her safety.”

Douchey bristled.

“Judge,” he said. “Can I talk about this letter?”

“No. We can talk about it after we meet with the coordinator.”


I brought up the name change charges, and the judge said she didn’t see them on the sheet.

“I dropped those,” he interjected.

“Then we don’t need to discuss them,” she said. She sounded…relieved.

I asked her for an amendment to the final order, because Nadjah’s name had been so botched. She happily did so, even providing a story on Hispanics and their name issues with hyphenated names, etc. And so ended my duel in court. My daughter still has supervised visits; I have kept a misogynistic, lying man-whore from parading her in front of his female victims (for the short term at least); and we have our next court date in 60 days. Lord in Heaven only knows what that day will bring.

Why I Abhor Family Portraits

My mother in law is a saint. She has a heart of gold and is overall just a good person. But like most saints and good-natured people, she is blind to the ugliness of this world. Whether it’s because these folks choose not to see it, or lack the ability to see the darkness coming, they lack the wherewithal to dodge the bolts of lighting that accompany these proverbial storms.  This darkness..this evil…extends to the long honored tradition of sitting for a  family portrait.

Christmas 2009, my mother-in-law gleefully announced that she would like all of us to sit for a portrait Sears. “All of us” includes her and her husband, me and my husband and our 3 kids, and my sister-in-law and her 9 month old son. (Her husband had to work Christmas and could not make it. He should count himself lucky.) That’s nine people in one photo. When she told me that she wanted a family portrait, I knew it was all going to go very badly. I knew this because my kids are crazy. But you can’t tell old people nothing, and you especially cannot dash a sweet old ladies hopes, so I dutifully trekked with my children to Ohio for what would have been a good Christmas, outside of the sh*t storm that I knew was coming.

Mrs. Grant happily got the girls ready for the photo.

“I haven’t decided if they have a press and curl or if we should get braids,” she mulled.

She had already purchased the most darling red dresses for them, and holiday sweaters for the boys.

“I’d like everyone to wear red/black/white for the picture,” she cooed. It was all very sweet.

The girls were ecstatic over their new hair-dos and everyone was showered and powdered for the portrait, which was scheduled at 4pm. Mistake number one.

We encountered Mrs. Grant’s best friend leaving the portrait studio with her family. They were all clad in jeans and white shirts, the pre-teen girls looking sassy with their press and curls. A look of envy swept over my mother-in-law’s face. After she and Henrietta (her best friend) exchanged pleasantries and family introductions and were out of earshot, she turned to me and said “We’re going to do jeans and white shirts for our next picture too!”

I could hardly wait.

As soon as we got into the portrait studio, Stone took a massive green dump. We had to wait 10 minutes while I wiped him down and made sure the stench of baby guano wasn’t clinging to either of us. When that was done, I found the family sitting sullenly, trying to choose the appropriate background for the shot. I stepped in and it was decided that it would be gray. The girls gasped when they walked in and saw all the props and toys in the portrait studio. Nadjah made a beeline to one of the stools and declared that that’s where she wanted to sit for the picture. When the photographer explained that Grannie had to sit there and she must stand in front, a torrential cascade of tears followed.

“Stop it,” I seethed.

The rest of the family was more compassionate, offering her praise and encouraging her to smile for the picture. Satisfied that the fate of this photo rested in her grubby 5 year old hands, my daughter the wannabe model smiled graciously for the picture. The next 20-30 minutes was spent taking several shots of the same pose, some with the babies looking elsewhere, some with my left eye half closed, some with Marshall refusing to smile. After much toil, we got the money shot!

“I’d like one with just the grand kids,” Mrs. Grant decreed. Oh how cute, we all agreed.

Suddenly, Aya began to cry.

“Why are you crying???” I asked, visibly irritated. Of course being 3 years old, she had no good explanation why. I supposed she might have been tired or hungry, but there was nothing to be done about either at that point.

As the photographer tried to convince her that the felt covered box she was sitting on was a princess bed or a magic carpet, Aya just began to shriek harder. Her cries only succeeded in irritating her otherwise peaceful baby brother whose watery grin transformed into a confused facade of terror.

“Aya,” said her grandmother. “Please smile. Don’t you want to make Grannie happy?”

Aya vigorously shook her head and screamed “No!!!”. Grannie sat forlornly on her stool, unsure whether to be angry or saddened by this announcement.

That little heathen.

With 2 shrieking children and Nadjah preening model-esk poses worth of Vogue, it was decided we would take the picture and capture the moment. This was the result:

After it was over, Pop-Pop took the kids out for ice-cream and the rest of us went home to recoup our streght, like weary soldiers bloodied from an uncalled-for battle.

And it is for this reason, folks, that you will never see a complete family portrait proudly portrayed anywhere in my home!

So I saw Avatar…

…and I didn’t really like it! (Wait while I duck from the stones and boulders that will be hurled at me shortly.)

Sure, Avatar was a cinematic triumph featuring 3D technology, special effects and amazing color infusion, but I don’t watch movies for the technology. I go for the story. Call me old fashioned.

Prior to seeing the film, I’d read a critique that essentially said Avatar was shock full of liberal bias, portraying the military as mindless gumps waging an unjust war against a peace-loving nation of tree-hugging beings. After learning the native ways, a newly converted White guy (the hero) is tasked with saving the day, because the poor “blue monkeys” are incapable of doing it themselves, no matter how stout their hearts. It was, sadly, very Dances with Wolves as the critic analyzed, and I so very wanted that critic to be wrong!

The story line was disappointing for the sheer fact that it was nothing more than a formula. It was King Solomon’s Mines, The African Queen, and any other movie you can recall featuring defenseless natives armed only with bows and arrows facing a foe fortified with obvious superior technology and intellect. Yes, the natives may had had their victories in a few skirmishes, but these only make the “Sky People” (the US Military) come back with greater force and resolve. It is at this point that our hero enters the scene, fulfilling ancient prophecies and winning the “hearts and minds” of the people. I was ultimately saddened that I’d paid $14 to witness this drivel.  What fueled my anger further is that as I was leaving the theater through a side exit, a middle aged Italian/Arab guy in an orange jacket slid in past me so that he could go watch a movie for free! If I HAD to pay $14 to see Avatar, dag-on-it, he was going to have to too. He disappeared into the crowd before it occurred to me to turn around, point him out and shame him.

At the end of the day, I would only recommend you go see Avatar just so you can say that you did; and for the special effects. If you posses any level of independent political or social thought, you will most certainly be disappointed. The political messages (or biases) aren’t hard to read through: The military, corporate greed and technological advancement are bad. Beings who love trees and eat roots are good. Perhaps I’m just tired of the same old Hollywood recipe. Maybe it’s the indignant savage in me that thinks the idea of Jake Sully the Savior sucks.

To right these obvious affronts to my senses, I recommend that the next Star Wars (featuring the very fine Mr. Chris Pine)  incorporate the technology of Avatar. Now that would be a film worth plunking down $14 to go see!

White Power!

Quick! What was your first reaction when you read that title? I bet you images of skinheads and men in long white robes flashed in your mind. Maybe even a burning cross on a Black family’s front lawn. “White power” means a lot of things to different people, and I wager it is most closely associated with physical pain and fiscal ruin. As a Black mom/woman, White power means something completely different to me, and I’m almost ‘shamed to admit it:

“White power” is the sound of my beautiful little Brown daughter asking me when she will be White.

Nadjah turned 5 last December. As I understand it, this is the typical age when Black girls growing up in America try to look more mainstream and model themselves after their heroines on TV and/or in books. Nadjah has had a color complex since she was 3. One day, just out of the blue she said “Mommy, am I white?”

“No, baby,” I said. “You’re Black.”

“I don’t want to be Black,” she said. “I want to be white!”

Of course I was taken aback. I looked around the house to check for any contraband that so negatively influence my daughter’s thinking.

  • Self-affirming Black baby dolls: Check
  • Self-affirming Black girl books: Check
  • Regaling stories featuring her Ghanaian heritage: CHECK for sure
  • Affirmations that her curly hair was beautiful and NOT nappy or kinky: Check and double check!

What on earth could it be? Suddenly the voice of a little red-headed character on Playhouse Disney announced she was going to “slap her cap” and go sleuthing. Na spent a good part of the morning watching Playhouse Disney. A quick run down of all the shows reminded me that there were no little brown heroines running around magic forests solving problems. Ugh. Malaka, you idiot!

I then began to wonder who had introduced the topic of race to my eldest anyway? My husband and I had never referred to anyone by skin color or ethnicity as far as she was concerned. I had also been very careful to include dolls and toys of all races in her toy box. The world is neither purely white or all black. Who was responsible for this line of questioning? Who was the culprit?? My frustration slowly turned to fascination as I decided to gauge Nadjah’s dissatisfaction with her blackness. I conducted the Kenneth Clark doll test.

  • “Show me the doll that you like best or that you’d like to play with,” – She picked up the white doll.
  • “Show me the doll that is the ‘nice’ doll,” – Again, the white doll
  • “Show me the doll that looks ‘bad’,” – She picked up the black doll
  • “Give me the doll that looks like a white baby,” – White doll
  • “Give me the doll that looks like a Black baby,” – Black doll
  • “Give me the doll that looks like you.” – Black doll

Nadjah’s face suddenly registered confusion and mine heartbreak. It was as though some dirty family secret had been revealed and we were left to deal with it. Yes, sadly, Nadjah was Black AND she was evil and no one would want to play with her.

This same subject came up again just a few months ago when she went over to a friend’s house for a playdate. She bounded back from Jennifer or Vanessa’s house (or whatever that blond lady’s name is) and asked me expectantly

“Mommy when will I be White?”

“Never Nadjah! You hear me? N-E-V-E-R.”

“But I want to be white, ” she wailed.

Lawd, why did she do that? Half the ride home was a lecture on several things including  how she was thumbing her nose at God for making her the way she was; which is Black, baby. BLACK.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is what real white power is. Convincing scores of generations of girls and women around the globe that if your hair isn’t straight and their is any hint of melanin lurking in your DNA, somehow, you are not good enough.

It's GREAT to be White in the USA

Man. I’ve always known you had a good thing going if you were born White in America. For a while, it was good to be born anything but Black in America…However thanks to 9/11, Arabs and Muslims have taken our place as the lepers of society (thanks guys!).

White people earn more, they generally have better homes and schools (unless they live in West Virginia), they set the standard for “beauty” in the media. But when a White can have 8 kids and get her own tv show, and 5 years later get a weave and it becomes headline news, we’re taking this thing too far. Yes folks, I’m talking about Kate Gosslin.

If a Black woman had approached TLC and said ” ‘Ey! I got a story for your network. Me and my 8 kids, we just gonna live life and I can show you my scruggles (struggles) and yo’ crews can film us. People will watch! We can call it Shaquan Plus 8, Minus 7 Baby Daddies. The title is mathematical too. Hello? TLC? Are you there??”

But Kate and Jon Gosslin, her little green eyed Korean husband approach the network, and suddenly millions of viewers are tuning in to see what she and the kids are going to do today. Like she’s the first woman to raise 8 kids!?!? That sh*t happens in the ghetto everyday. If I want to see a woman loose her mind because 16 little feet are following her everywhere she goes, I’ll open my front door and peek my head outside. Now it’s cool to have 8 kids all at once? Oh! And she gets paid to go ape on her kids! It’s just not fair.

Even worse than that is this whole weave business. I woke up at 1:30 am last week to watch my infomercials and eat cereal (just like I’m doing now) only to stop on HLN. What do I see but AJ Hammer excitedly gabbing on about Kate Gosslin’s new hair-do featured on People magazine.

“Stick around folks, you aren’t gonna want to miss this,” he drooled.

So I took the bait. I stopped channel surfing and waited for them to come back from commercial break. What I saw astounded me. Kate Gosslin had tracks.

AJ Hammer and Brooke Anderson were thrilled, I tell you, thrilled!

“New year, new Kate!” they both exclaimed. On and on the went about her hair and how it took 20 hrs to put in and cost upwards of $5K. Do you know how many hours Black women spend in the salon putting in weaves and how much rent money has gone toward that effort? I could poke my head out of the door right now and see 12 $5,000 weaves walk by. That sh*t happens in the ghetto every day I tell you! Do WE get a cover on People? No. We don’t even get to be featured on Creative Loafing. Never heard of it, have you? That’s because their of of business.

Kudos to you Kate, and every other bleached blond white woman out there. You’ve taken this good to be White thing to a whole ‘nother level. If I had a hat, I’d doff it…but you’d probably take that away from me and make it “cool” too.

Something New

Typically when I hear the phrase “Something New”, I think of interracial couples and the angst they face a-la Sanaa Lathan and that very yummy blonde guy whose name always escapes me. But as of last week, the phrase “something new” means something completely different. It means the birth of a new child. Yes, I will bring a new brown baby into the world in the new decade.

Now before you all break out the celebratory confetti and congratulatory champagne, I must tell you I just had a baby 5 minutes ago; May 29th 2009 to be precise. It was a blessed event and one that I was looking forward to repeating in 4 years, not four months, which is when my new child was conceived. My newest loin fruit will make his/her debut somewhere between July 6 – 8th of this year. No one knows for sure, because the whole thing is still a mystery: The conception date, the mechanics (well, not so much the mechanics. I know how it happened, I just don’t know how it happened), the actual delivery date.

I have already endured surprised looks and a good scolding from an elderly health aid professional by the name of Astrid. Astrid (whom I’d never met prior to the meeting we’d had to confirm my pregnancy) told me very matter-of-factly that I was putting my life in danger and could die on the delivery table. Why was I putting my life at risk she asked? I endured her tirade for a full 20 minutes. After all, I was recently unemployed and in a position of need, sitting there in a dreary government office looking to suckle off the government’s Medicaid teat. Had I not been secure in my numerous accomplishments including a tertiary education, I might have felt like the low life ghetto guttersnipe she assumed me to be. I endured the diatribe for as long as I could before I asked her what she would have me do? Have an abortion?

“Don’t you worry Ms. Astrid,” I assured her. “I’ll be getting my tubes tide after this delivery and you won’t have to worry about another Black baby being brought into this world.”

Her eyes widened. In a flurry of sentences, she assured me that that’s not what she meant at all.

“I just want you to be safe,” she said.


So there you have it folks! Something New. Apparently, folks don’t conceive babies within four months of delivering another. It’s not en vogue and SO 19th century. I just wish someone had sent me the bloody memo!

On the other hand, I could stand and accept your applause for making what was old new again. Yay for my new baby.

This post is an entry for the My Brown Baby writing contest at For all my writing friends, feel free to join in the fun! There are fabulous prizes at stake.

Anybody else miss the 90's?

As far as I’m concerned, the 90’s were awesome. There was global prosperity, playboy Bill Clinton was president, and everyone was generally in a good mood. Well, except for the Middle Easterners, but then they’re always pissed off. Tyra Banks had shown us Black women could be sensational super models, and the Fresh Prince made us laugh every week with his antics. Were there really Black millionaires? I say again, the 90’s were awesome!!

What I miss most about the 90’s is the music. I sympathized with a Tribe Called Quest when they left their wallet in El Segundo. En Vogue encouraged me to hold on to my love. Mary J Blige had me and legions of other girls scrambling to find tek boots and baseball jerseys, and it was ok for dudes to dance with dance, as Kid N’ Play showed us in House Party.

In the 90’s if a guy asked a girl to dance, it didn’t automatically translate into a gratuitous sexual experience on the dance floor, with pelvic and backbones grinding and gyrating furiously against one another. We danced hard, sweated profusely and if the guy (or girl) was cute enough, shared a slow dance to the sounds of H-Town or Black Street, funkiness and all.

Suddenly, everything changed. Women traded in their baggy pants and baby doll dresses for bikinis and tight mini dresses in droves. Suddenly, no one wanted to dance anymore. The dance floor became a strip joint with huge black booties jiggling and bouncing with wanton abandon. The fun was all gone! I pin the demise of 90’s hip hop on one song: Rump Shaker.

Rump Shaker was the mainstream, acceptable version of Luke’s 2 Live Crew beach and pool side antics. The chicks in the video showed just enough skin to make them look desirable and not trashy. The guys made jet skiing and rapping about booties look like great fun! Who wouldn’t want to live life like that video? So from then on, that’s what we did as a generation. We eschewed the “running man”, the “bogle” and the “butterfly” for dropping it like it’s hot and whatever it is when you call it when a guy walks up behind and girl and sticks his crotch in her crack while she bend over and bounces her behind up and down. I sound like an old biddy, but ugh!

Thank you Wreckx-n-Effect. Indirectly, you gave the world Li’l Wayne, Nelly and every other mysogonistic crap rapper who objectifies women through their lyrics and videos. You ruined what was a very good party. It was all fun and games until you released that “hit!”

Terror on the pole

I’m really hoping to go to Ghana this summer with the girls. I’m in the midst of looking for a Twi teacher to help them assimilate a little bit better, and have been plying them with plantain and stew so that they can appreciate good Ghanaian cooking when it comes across their plates. Their immersion into Ghanaian culture is nearly done, with only one thing alluding me: the money for the plane ticket.
Conservatively, the price for the girls and I to travel to Ghana in the summer will be close to $3,000. I make $8 at my part time job where I work 8 hours a week, so it will take me about 4 years to save up the money for our vacation. This, my friends, in unacceptable. It has become increasingly apparent that I must take matters into the palms of my mommy hands and do the unthinkable: I must dance for money.
Adwoa and I discussed it this evening, and detailed the chain of events which are to take place. A svelte and leggy girl steps off the stage after gracefully enthralling the male viewers in the audience with a seductive dance. They enthusiastically throw $1 bills at her as she finishes her number. Suddenly, the room gets a little darker and the trembling voice of the club owner announces that there will be a special treat this evening: Post-partum Delight.
Taking my cue, I shuffle onto the stage in green granny panties and a nursing bra. As the speakers blare a catchy techno tune, I try in vain to heft my jiggly frame, riddled with stretch marks up the pole. Half way up, I give up and drop to the floor in defeat, sweat pouring from my brow. The next part of my routine is to expose my right nipple from its harness, also chapped from years or nursing, to please the crowd. The audience gasps, whether in horror or delight I cannot tell. I’m too busy thinking of how to end the routine and do not bother to reconnect the bra. My bare breast hangs lifelessly as I maneuver around the stage. For my finale, I roll vigorously on the stage, as if I’m having a seizure. After failing to spin on my back like that chick in Flash Dance, the whole routine ends with a half split. The music stops and another dancer has to help me off the stage. I wait expectantly on the stage’s end for my tips. I get $3.00 from a sympathetic viewer who begs me never to return their again as he drops the singles into the strap of my nursing bra.
Undeterred and undaunted, I vow to return again and again, until I have made the $3,000 needed to ferry my children to the land of my birth. At $3.00 a dance, I would only have to disgrace myself 1000 times to earn the needed amount.
If you want to prevent this tragedy from happening, feel free to send me your loose change to add to the Back to Africa Fund…or you can pray for a miracle.

Can I live without Facebook?

I grew up in an age when teenagers memorized addresses and telephone numbers, and could rattle off the 7 digits (6 if you lived in Ghana) assigned to a particular individual. We walked our neighborhoods and could give you 4 different ways to reach a destination point. In 1995, none of my friends had cell phones or pagers. Only doctors and drug-dealers had pagers. If I needed to be reached, everyone knew it would be after 6 pm when I got home. Nothing was that critical. It was a different time. Was it really only 15 years ago?

Today, I live in an age where my husband of 5 years and companion of 12 doesn’t know my cell phone number by heart. Before I leave my house, I have to Google my destination to make absolutely sure of the route to take. If I leave the house without my cell phone, I panic, turn back around and search frantically for my device while my children wait patiently in the car. And in the wake of these toddler killings and snatchings, I’m seriously considering getting a pre-paid cell for my 5 year old.

And then there’s Facebook.

This morning at 4:58 am, I shut down my Facebook account. The shut down is temporary, I’m sure. As of now it’s 10:03 am and I’m already feeling the effects of not knowing what everyone is “thinking about” or doing. The decision to discontinue my Facebook activity was a somewhat difficult one. Could I really go through the day without letting all my people know that I had just eaten the best pizza of my life, or that I witnessed a shooting in the hood apartments behind me? Where would I post all my witty and snarky one-liners? Could people really get through the day without hearing from ME??? The answer, sadly is yes. I myself have had several friends drop off the Facebook circuit and I myself have yet to reach out to them via email, phone or smoke signal. The Facebook community will thrive without me.

On the flip side, the shut down was fairly comforting for those reasons as well. When I broached the possibility of a shut down in my status late last year, one of my friends commented “No!! How else will I find out about what’s going on with you and the children?” She was right? How else would she know how we were faring? Then I remembered this girl lives in Snellville, which is a 30 minute drive from my house…a reasonable distance by Atlanta standards. Why, she could invite me over for tea, or she could email me. Heck! She could even call me once in a while! There are no long distance charges between Snellville and Roswell. Another friend objected my leaving because I was “one of the best Facebookers out there”. All that means is that my statuses are more amusing than average, since I have found that in recent months, everyone is trying to push an agenda or an album with their status. I know God is great and that you’re probably a really good rapper, but can I get a raw honest emotion or thought out of my connections for once please? Jeez!

After all is said and done, I admit that I do love Facebook. I’d rather be online than folding clothes or doing dishes. And now what am I going to do with all this spare time? Play with my kids or read a book? That’s absurd. My addiction to Facebook must be pretty apparent. Within minutes of posting my intent to disconnect, two people wanted to place wagers on how long I could stay away, if I could stay away. To those people, I say bring it. Let’s say for every 30 days that I am off Facebook, you make a donation of $5-20 to my non-profit, KBFF at Your lost money (which is tax deductible) will help pay for the medical bills of a needy Ghanaian child. OR, you could make a contribution to my Back to Africa fund, in which case you will still be helping a poor African child get home. That African child would happen to be me. I need money for a plane ticket to Ghana. If I get back on Facebook, I’ll pay you the amount of your wager. Email me at if you think you’re man/woman enough.

(Maniacal) Muhahaha-ha!

Shame on the Ghana Consulate in DC

When Sean Goldman’s father was in the midst of a 5 year international custody battle with his Brazillian ex-wife, his NJ rep stepped in and threatened a multi-million trade embargo with the country. When Laura Ling and Euna Lee were detained in North Korea, Bill Clinton negotiated for their return under international scrutiny. When Eric Frimpong, a university foot ball star and student from Ghana was woefully charged for the crime of rape that many people believe he did not commit, the entire Ghanaian consulate did nothing. They were as a whole, unresponsive and full of excuses, just like many of our officials back in Ghana.

I read an article penned by Joel Engel on Joel is investigating Eric’s case pro bono, and is more than convinced of his innocence after conducting his fact finding mission. I wrote Joel to thank him for his diligence and kindness, and this is what he said in response to my email:

Thank you for the kind words. As a Ghanaian, you should know that the G consulate in Washington D.C. was contacted at least a dozen times for help, financial or otherwise, and did absolutely nothing. Only two of those 12 times did anyone ever take the call, and both times the same gentleman, who wouldn’t give his name, promised to get “right back to” us. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

There’s no question in my mind that an ordinary public defender would have won this case. I’m not sure if Bob Sanger felt like he wasn’t being paid enough, or if he was so arrogant that he believed he was scoring points right and left. In any event, the lawyers and I are committed to righting the wrong.

I was not surprised by the treatment he experienced. A young man is languishing in prison, now going on his third year. As his life is hanging in the balance, the staff of the Ghanaian consulate are telling his supporters and investigators to “go and come”. I am thoroughly disgusted. I pray that no other Ghanaian national finds him/herself in the grips of the American judicial system without just cause, because you can believe that your government WILL NOT BE THERE TO HELP. In my opinion, the entire staff of the consulate are a bunch of stooges, holding their position only because of nepotism rather than merit.

Shame on the lot of you. SHAME!