Archive | September 2012

Girls Taking Action!

ImageI was talking to a male friend last night who had the most terrible view of black girls. He told me that most of the black girls that he has encountered are “ghetto”. They roll their eyes, clap their hands when they talk, enjoy ratchet things and are obsessive about their hair.  I became sooo offended by this because I know that there is so much more to black women than that. What’s so crazy about his views of black women is that he is not the only person who feels this way. Many people of different races feel that this is what being a black women is all about. Many people think that all we are capable of is popping out babies, chasing men and getting  public assistance. Many people think we are classless, confrontational  and  incapable of achieving success, and television and black females in entertainment don’t prove those stereotypes wrong. Well, during this conversation I had to remind this friend (who shall remain nameless) the strength and courage that black women have had since the beginning of time. What other race of woman had to endure slavery and do the work of a man? How is it that most of our single mothers who are taking care of multiple children, working (sometimes multiple jobs) and in school mostly are black women. There is so much more to us than what society tries to portray.

This conversation also reminded me of the Y.B.W that I know that I feel are TAKING OVER! Most of the young women that I know and are connected to are college graduates and are striving to establish careers for themselves. For instance, my cousin Jaz graduated college with a B.S in Biology and is now working for a pharmaceutical company. Not only that but she is preparing to take her MCATs to go to medical school. My big cousin Tiffany, graduated law school and has her own law firm. Not only that but she just gained the opportunity to work with the Feds (Wow, impressive!). My home girl Nyeesha, created a natural hair Vlog, which has over 3 million viewers to date. Not only that but she has established her own hosting business and was invited to host the Jesus Girl Summit in 2013!! So many young women that I have gone to school with are now in medical school, pharmacy school and law school. There is so much more where that came from, but I just used those few examples to show that there are more to black girls than society gives us credit for. We are making a difference, making something of ourselves and taking over. Shout out to all the Y.B.W out there who are proving stereotypes wrong. And to all the women who are proving these stereotypes right, get aligned with your purpose and show the world all the potential that lies within you. It’s time for us to prove the stereotypes wrong and TAKE ACTION!

P.S- Beginning in October PurposefullyPretty will have the Black Girl Taking Action of the month. I would like to highlight the achievements of other black women in our community and hope that it will inspire other young black women to strive for greatness! Be Inspired Y.B.W!!!

 

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My Big Break

I’d like to think of myself as a very spiritual person, therefore I look at and interpret things differently than a person who is not spiritual. For instance, I believe that every dream has a meaning. If I have a very vivid dream, whether it’s good or bad, I believe that it is God trying to get my attention or tell me something. (Call me crazy, idc). I analyze the simplest things that occur in my life. I believe that the simplest occurrences are a set-up for something major that will occur. I pay very close attention to my instincts. If I’m about to do something and I get a strong gut feeling that it is not right, I will stray away from it or try to avoid it. Last week it seemed as if my week were going on a downward spiral. I was clashing with the people around me, stressed at the job,  experiencing a financial struggle and had someone very dear to me walk out of my life. I know you heard that old saying “when it rains it pours”. Well, all last week my life was a tornado. I began to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, defeated and lost in my thoughts. Some people would look at me and think “How could SHE feel that way, it looks like everything is working for her”. But no one really knows and understands what it is to walk a day in my shoes. I spent a few days in my room, in bed really trying to figure out what was going on with me. Then it hit me! A person experiences the biggest frustrations when something BIG is about to break for them. The biggest problems come before the greatest promotions. It is all a distraction to try to get you off course and have you neglect the blessing that God has for you. Many people do not look at frustrations this way. People think when things go wrong, that God has forgotten them or that they have bad luck. I know for a fact that is not the case. In most cases you experience the worst season before your biggest breakthrough. Because of that I decided to get out of my bed and get back on course. I have so much working for me right now that I am confident that something GREAT is about to happen. Many of you may not be as spiritual as me, but please keep this concept in mind. What you are going through right now is just a test, to see if your ready for next promotion. Hang in there. I have confidence that we are all about to experience our big break.

–Be Encouraged

Embracing what works for me/ My natural hair dilemma

Who remembers when it used to be uncool to wear our kinky, coily, natural hair texture? Growing up, it seems as if all the girls in my class wanted long, soft hair like Barbie and the women we saw on TV. I especially hated my natural texture. I hated having a kinky fro and  always wanted hair flowing down my back. I remember putting shirt over my head and pretending that was my real hair (lol). Well, boy have times changed. Nowadays it seems as if everyone wants the natural, kinky, curly look. All of our favorite stars and celebrities are rocking this style. Even me, the girl who once wanted long silky hair decided that she wants go natural. Before graduation, I went about 4 months without getting a perm. I went to the hair salon and called myself “going natural”. When I saw how short and kinky my hair was, I thought I was going to cry. Can you guess what I did? I shamefully resorted back to the creamy crack. I then got patra braids, causing me to not get a perm for another 3 months. I took them out this past weekend and was so in love with my natural texture. I wanted to wear my fro with pride and tell everyone who didn’t like it where to get off.

   Nonetheless, when I got to the hair salon  to get a wash and treatment, they told me I would have to cut my hair again. I did not want that :(. Can anyone guess what I did? Yes, I resorted back to the creamy crack! Back to my short cut that myself and everyone around me loves. I guess I’ve come to the realization that natural hair isn’t for everyone. As bad as I wanted to follow this trend, it was not meant to be worn by me (lol). I’ve said ALL of that just to encourage all of the beautiful ladies reading this. Natural hair wasn’t for me, but if you have begun your journey don’t quit! Stick to whatever works for you! Embrace everything about yourself; whether your hair is kinky or straight; long or short, weaved up or cut off. Make whatever it is work for you. Don’t try to follow any trends (the way I did). Master being YOU!

P.S- I have attached a link from my friend Nyeesha Thomas’ natural hair vlog. I think it’ll be a great guide for all of you on the natural hair journey. www.youtube.com/Uniqu3neverway

This entry was posted on September 20, 2012. 3 Comments

A Really Good Desicion

“Life is about progression. Anything that is not progressing in life can be a detriment to your purpose. There comes a time when you must let go of those things which are stagnant. It may seem like the most devestating thing at the time, but your destiny will Thank You for it.”–Me

Letting go of things has always been extremely hard for me. I am like a hoarder when it comes to people and things that I love and care about. For instance, my favorite dresses. Anyone who knows me knows the obsession that I have with dresses. I give a lot of my clothes away, but there are a selected few that I refuse to let go of despite the fact that they do not fit anymore. These dresses serve no purpose in my life, however I refuse to let go of them because of the attachment that I have with them. I found that there were many connections in my life that were the same. Throughout the years I found it very hard to let go of friendships, relationships and even jobs and extra-curricular activities that I was involved in because of the attachment that I had with them. As I grew as a young woman many of these connections became draining, annoyed me and felt like a waste of my time (seemed as if I outgrew them). They were not progressive and began to feel like a hinderance to where I was going. Although I still functioned, going about my everyday tasks felt like a struggle. I would wake up and say “I have to do this, this and that today; but I also have to deal with his nonsense, her drama and this job that I can’t stand. I can’t wait until this day is over”. It wasn’t until I heard a sermon that my Pastor preached entitled “When Forgetting isn’t Bad”, that I realized what I had to do. I had to “forget” about everything in my life that was not progressing. For where I am going, I cannot take everyone and everything with me. Since that day, I have let go of everything that I felt was not progressive in my life; from the people that I was holding on to, to the dresses that no longer fit! Since then the path to my purpose seems much clearer. Opportunities are presenting themselves and I am getting so much more accomplished. Sometimes you must decide that you will let go of everything that is not progressing in order to fulfill your purpose. I did, and it proved to be a really good decision for my destiny.

Chase the Dream, Not the Competition

As I’m strolling through my Twitter timeline the other day, I notice that one of friends from college tweeted “chase the dream, not the competion”. It may seem like just another phrase to you but it really hit me! I know so many young women around me that are chasing their dreams. However, many young women (especially in the black community) are more worried about what another young woman is doing and how much further they are. I find this to be a major problem. When going after something, you must put your complete focus into it. Worrying  about the progress that someone else is making, is a distraction and hinderence to the empire that you are trying to build. There are so many young women around me that are going after many of the things that I’m seeking to do. I am applying and hoping to get accepted into grad school just like my best friend and many other women in the area. I am trying to develop a blog and expand it into a foundation, just like so many other young women around me. However, if I focus on what they are doing, and where they’re going, I will not see my dreams come to pass. 

   I am a strong believer in support. I believe that when you help and support someone going after something, there is no way that your dreams cannot come to pass. As young women, we should want to see each other succeed. The problem in our communities is that we are so competitive with one another, that none of us are going anywhere. When you see a person going after something, do what you can to help them. When we focus solely on our dreams, neglect competition and help our fellow young women who are going after their dreams, WE ALL WIN. Please keep this in mind as you pursue your purposes. Kill the Comp.!

 

P.S- In saying that I would like everyone to support the blog of Sapphira Martin; AllThingsSass.com. I would also like for you all to vote for Brittany Yates, CEO & founder of EndlessDreams Inc. as she has been nominated to be featured as a young woman Making A Difference on B.E.T’s Black Girls Rock.

 

“Black Girls Killing It!?!?..Meet Michaela DePrince.

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“I hope to inspire a lot of young children; no matter what people tell you, you should focus on your goals and you should do what you want to do, especially if you want to be a ballet dancer” –Michaela DePrince

As I was updating the PurposefullyPretty page on Facebook, I came across a page that quite a few of my FB friends liked. It was entitled “Black Girls Killing It”. I was very moved by the title. I was curious to see some of the accomplishments and positive things that young black women were doing in their communities. Come to find out this was a fashion page. Yes! black girls killing it in fashion. Although it was a very interesting page, I found myself disappointed with what it entailed. A black girl is killing is because she dresses nice? Ummm…perhaps, but what does she really have going for herself. I observed how this page went from 90,000 to 100,000 views in 5 days. I’m sure that girls and women all over are very interested in fashion and what trends are in this season, because I am myself. However, I am less interested in what young women are wearing, and more interested in how they are furthering themselves in life (Call me a prude idc).

As I explored this page, I thought of all of the women that I have read about and even know personally, that are “killing it”. Not because of the things that they have in their closet, but because of the goals that they are striving for. One young woman in particular that came to mind was a ballerina that I read about a few days ago. Her name is Michael DePrince; a 17 year-old young women from Africa who has become one of the most popular ballerinas in America. I was very moved by Michaela’s story. Growing up in Sierra-Leone (West Africa), Michaela was left to be an orphan after losing both parents in the Sierra- Leonean civil war (1991-2002).  She experienced very poor living conditions while in the orphanage, being deprived of the basic things that we take advantage of on an everyday basis (food, water, clothes, a bed etc.). In addition, she was discriminated against and considered to be the “devil child” while in the orphanage because of a skin condition that she had known as “vitiligo”. Michaela experience extreme poverty and sickness while growing up, however, was given the opportunity to make all of her dreams come true. After being adopted by an American family, Michaela identified her purpose and went after her dreams. Today Michaela is a famous dancer, having performed in many ballets. Furthermore she is  a part of two dance companies in Africa and has even appeared on Dancing with the Stars.  Michaela has landed a leading role in a ballet documentary entitled “First Position”, and even has a movie in the works that will depict her story.

Michaela lived through a civil war, lost both parents, suffered from various illnesses and even faced racism in the dance world. Nonetheless she still fulfilled her purpose and continues to do so. If that isn’t a “Black Girl Killing It”, I don’t know what is.

–Be Inspired, after reading about Michaela, I know I am.  

Click the link, to see a segment of First Position featuring Michaela DePrince http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5sdNwZSWpU

Greatness is a Mentality

http://globalgrind.com/news/chicago-police-investigate-chief-keef-death-lil-jojo-dead-photos

Many do not believe it, but you must be very careful of the choices you make and the way you conduct yourself when pursuing greatness. Many people obtain great opportunities, but allow their ignorance, immaturity and disarrayed  mentalities to ruin them.  The article that I have attached is a prime example of such. I’m sure many you have heard on various radio stations, the song “I Don’t Like”  by Kanye West and his G.O.O.D music posse. Believe it or not, this song was actually created by a 17 year old from Chicago by the name of Chief Keef. While on house arrest for gun possession, Chief Keef made the song “I Don’t Like” and uploaded it to YouTube. This song became a smash all over, and caught the attention of Kanye West. As a result, Chief Keef was paid off by Kanye to make the song his own, put on the track and even signed to Interscope Records. In addition, Chief Keef became CEO of his own record label; Glory Boys Entertainment. Who would’ve thought that a troubled teen on house arrest, would encounter so much success in such a short period of time?

   Although Chief Keef was on his way to greatness, he allowed ignorance to slow him down. Chief Keef currently finds himself being investigated for allegedly being involved in the shooting of another young rapper from Chicago. Although he was probably a lot further than his rivals or the other potential rappers in his neighborhood, he decided to neglect everything that was working for him and resort back to the mentality that he had before greatness knocked on his door. I’ve noticed that this isn’t only common in the entertainment industry, but it is familiar to each and every one of us. We have all been presented with opportunities, that in some cases could have changed our lives (for the better) forever. Many of us have had the chance to make our dreams a reality. Most of us have been on the route of working our way to fulfilling our purposes, but allowed distractions, bad choices and bad connections to make us neglect our promise. I’ve come to the realization that a person can be great and have a world of opportunity, but will ruin everything that is working for them if they do not have the right mindset. For all of you who are pursuing your purpose, do not allow ignorance and immaturity cause you to ruin your destiny. GREATNESS IS A MINDSET. If you don’t think great, then you can never be great. Just because things seem to be working for you, does not mean that you live recklessly and make irrational decisions. You can work for something for years, and one bad decision can cause you to lose it all in a matter of minutes. Be careful of the way you portray yourself (your image). Keep some things to yourself, everyone doesn’t need to know every detail of your life. Cut off every connection that will hinder or distract you. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT or react. Learn from the mistakes of Chief Keef and many others that allowed bad choices to ruin their promise. NOTHING is worth your destiny. If you want to BE GREAT, learn to THINK GREAT!

(Please read the article, which delineates the ignorance and disarrayed mentality of Chief Keef; a young man who was given a second chance at greatness)