Monday, January 31, 2011

African American Parents...Are We Part Of The Problem?

January 12th was Phylicia Barnes’ 17th birthday. It’s a day when she should have been planning a party, eating cake, and opening presents. However, there were no celebrations. Instead, her family grieves because she disappeared several weeks ago without a trace. No, she did not run away as the police initially suspected. Anyone will tell you that Phylicia is an overachieving young woman and not a troubled teen with a history of hard partying. In fact, she’s the All American Girl Next Door…with a megawatt smile. This straight “A” and college bound student vanished on December 28, 2010 while visiting family members in Baltimore. As would be expected, her parents are devastated.

It’s easy to draw comparisons between her story and that of Natalee Holloway. Both of them are pretty, smart, and were visiting an unfamiliar place when they disappeared. However, this is as far as the similarities go because although Natalee received around-the-clock coverage, Phylicia’s coverage has been slim by comparison. That’s right, no initial Amber Alert, no news conference, and no 24-hr coverage by CNN. The evening news teams are not camped outside her parents’ homes, and her story has not made the cover of People Magazine or Newsweek. So why is Phylicia’s image not plastered everywhere we look? Is it because she’s Black?” 

Many are crying foul that a teen with such a stellar track record was all but shunned by popular media in the early and critical days of her disappearance. Instead, stories like Kaylee Anthony, Zahra Baker, Haleigh Cummings have consumed most of the airwaves. Don’t get me wrong, they deserve every second of the coverage that they have receive. But why can’t all children/ missing people be given the same attention regardless of race. The answer is simple, black children are lesser valued. Whether they are poor and under privileged, or a super star student like Phylicia, Black kids don’t appeal to the larger public like a White child does.  I doubt that this is a newsflash for anyone. We know the problem, but I want to focus on the solution.

So here’s where I flip it on you!  How can we expect others to care more about our kids than we as people of color do? Let me ask you this!  Do you know more about the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta or what’s going on in Hollywood than you do the names of missing Black kids. Like, do you know what plastic surgery Nene had, who Kim’s baby daddy is, and where Diddy spent the holidays, but don’t know if there are missing African American kids in your town???  Hmmm....You might be part of the problem.

But here’s how to be part of the solution…learn their names and stories. You would be surprised to see how many children of color there are that are currently listed as missing from your state…most without an Amber Alert. Next, is to share this knowledge with everyone you know.

There is so much that the African American community can do to help children like Phylicia and the countless others. Of course, we need to continue to demand that our missing children of color be represented in the news because they, too, are beautiful, valuable, loved, and missed. However, we need to do our part as well!  We can’t expect others to care about our missing children if we don’t even care enough to know learn their names. It’s our community. They are our children. Let’s make them a priority…starting today.

PLEASE..... If you know anything about Phylicia’s case, please call the tipline at 855-223-0033. AND...if you know anything about any missing the authorities.  It's EVERYONE'S job to save our children. :)

Much Love,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

5 Tips On What NOT To Do If Your Child Has Been Molested

It's every parent's're child tells you that they've been molested. Your emotions run wild, and you don't know what to do! Here are 5 things that I HIGHLY recommend that you DON'T do if you are faced with this reality. Please watch....and share:) 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm Sorry...My Child Killed Your Child

Jared Loughner
Saturday's tragic Arizona shooting spree sent shockwaves through the nation, and this recent assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has the world is reeling in the aftermath of this senseless crime. Jared Lee Loughner, age 22, has been charged with wounding 13 and killing six people.  His eerie mugshot only helped to confirm that he had to be "crazy" to do something like this!

One of those killed was 9-yr-old Christina Green. Her mother described her inexplicable grief as “beyond words,” saying her daughter was a beautiful and intelligent child who was interested in government. "I just can't even put it into words,” Green said to news reporters, her voice trembling. “I can't express the devastation and hurt and how we were so robbed of our beautiful princess.”

But just as Christina's parents are trying to cope with her murder, another family apologizes for her killer's actions. Recently, Jared's parents released the following statement:

"There are no words that can possibly express how we feel. We wish that there were so we could make you feel better. We don't understand why this happened. It may not make any difference but we wish that we could change the heinous events of Saturday. We care very deeply about the victims and their families we are so very sorry for their loss."

This had me thinking...can parents truly apologize for their child's actions?  We do it all the time, don't we?  Think about how we apologize to other parents on the playground when our child doesn't take turns on the slide.  I'll never forget the time that my, then 2-yr-old, daughter hit a classmate in the face (sigh) for no apparent reason.  I must have apologized for months because I felt remorseful for my baby girl's actions. there a difference between apologizing for your underaged child's actions, inactions, and faults and apologizing for your adult child.  I think so.  When parents apologize for their adult children it seems as though it is an attempt to assure others that they are good parents and not the cause of the problem.  Moreover, it's a way of distancing themselves from the choices that their child made.  You see it in the statement that Jared's parents released as they describe his actions as heinous.  However, the truth is that there is nothing that Jared's parents can say to ease the pain that his actions caused.  Yet the fact that they tried to do so is human nature...or should I say parent nature

Christina Green
So today as I write this post, two sets of parents are grieving.  One set because their adorable baby girl now has angel wings...and the other because their son is responsible for causing her to earn wings prematurely.  Sigh....  My thoughts and prayers are with all of those directly and indirectly affected by this crime.

Sidebar note to parents....

Mental illness is a true issue, and early detection and treatment is critical.  No, not all individuals with psychiatric concerns are homicidal or suicidal. However, proper diagnosis and treatment is always beneficial.  If you have concerns about changes in your child's behavior, habits, social circle....intervene immediately before it's too late.

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An open and honest blog about what matters most...Children and families!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My 40!

The 4-yr-old ME...sassy as ever:)
 My road to 40 is well underway…6 months and counting. Who would have ever thought that baby g would become a 40-year-old, savvy mommy, wifey, professional, confident, feisty kind of woman? ME!!!!!!!!!!! But I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that four decades snuck up on me quick…REAL quick (lol)!

I won’t call it a midlife crisis because I don’t believe that I’m at that stage. But I am definitely at the stage where I can analyze my life with the wisdom that my age brings.

So in my teens….I was a daydreamer .

In my 20s…I got a few degrees, found love (after a few duds), got married, and became a mom for the first time 
to my minnie-he.

In my 30s…I gave birth for the 2nd time (to my minnie-me), grew into my own, and found my true passion.

In my 40s…The sky will be the limit:)

Always Camera Ready

Those of you who follow my blog know that I’m not the girl who moans about getting older.  In fact, I make it a point to celebrate each birthday, and give thanks for the fact that I was granted another blessed year of life with my loved ones. Soooooo…you already know that the fact that I can celebrate 4 decades is monumental to me :) Therefore, I feel compelled to do more than commemorate this milestone with my usual purchase of a “birthday shoe.” 

I made a list of 6 big things that I plan to do before the clock strikes. I bet you can’t guess what I’ll be doing during the next several months!!!! No worries because I’ll be bringing the camera with me so that you can be part of my journey. From my fears to my wildest dreams….I’ll be doing them all ! So stay tuned for the vlogs of my journey…to 40! 

Here's To Bucket Lists,
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An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!