Detroit

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I decided to create a list of details that you need to know regarding what was taking place in the city of Detroit before the 1967 riot: And before you watch the movie “Detroit,” which will be in theaters August 4th, 2017. I have been told the movies narrative will accurately portray the plight of the citizens, and what actually happened that night to ignite the riot. Most of the list are things that were occurring or occurred before the 1967 riot, and there are a few items listed that happened directly after the riot ended.

1. There was a race riot in 1943.
2. African American (Pan Africans, Blacks) people were dissatisfied with the social conditions in Detroit before July 23rd 1967.

3. African Americans (Pan Africans, Blacks) constantly reported discrimination against them in
A. Policing (Harassing citizens and putting them in jail without cause).
B. Housing (African Americans experienced redlining meaning they could only live in certain areas).
C. Employment.
D. Spatial segregation in the city.
E. Mistreatment by business owners/merchants.
F. Shortage of facilities.
G. Poor quality of public education.
H. Lack of access to medical services.
I. The way war on poverty operated in Detroit.

4. African Americans insisted and pleaded with the Mayor to create a review board for the Detroit Police Department due to the brutal beatings and killings of African American people by the police. Of course the review board wasn’t created.

5. Police brutality constantly made African American people feel at risk. The Detroit news had headlines regarding many suspicious and unjust deaths of Black people caused by Detroit Police officers.

6. African American people were tired of being spoken to disrespectfully by police. For example addressing Black men as “boys” and Black women as “honey “ and “baby.”

7. African Americans reported police brutality as the number one problem they faced leading up to the riot.

8. African Americans felt police raided after hours unjustly because the police knew African Americans weren’t allowed in the clubs in Detroit.

9. When the riot started the unemployment rate of Black men was more than twice the amount of White men.

10. By 1967 the homes that African Americans lived in were rented from Jewish owners that now lived in the Suburbs, and they owned the local businesses as well. Most of the Black owned thriving businesses had already been demolished thanks to the Government for building I-75.

11. White Flight began, which is when White people began moving out of Detroit in huge numbers. Businesses began to leave Detroit, and businesses refused to invest or locate in the city. The 60’s are the mark of the decline of Detroit.

Let’s not forget these very important events including assassinations that occurred before the 1967 riot!
The Vietnam war officially began in 1961. President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The Civil Rights Act to stop discrimination was also signed and passed by Congress in 1964. Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965.

If you’ve read the list you’ll be able to identify with many issues because they are still happening today. I hope the information provided help you understand the frustration, discrimination, hopelessness, fear, anger, sorrow, depression, and anxiety that Black people felt at that time. Imagine being trapped in the same place with all those feelings that I stated. Imagine being punished and further pushed to the edge, because you displayed how tired you were of being mistreated. Tired of identifying the problem, and yet nothing being done to rectify the situation.

Thanks for visiting LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

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Policing Vaginas

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There has been so much celebrity gossip going on via social media lately, with the most recent subject being Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian. If you’ve been under a rock, let me give you a quick run down: Chyna allegedly sent Rob a video of her in the bed with a dude on July 4th. Rob then began to spill all of Chyna’s tea- which included posting a picture of Chyna’s vagina on Instagram. Keep in mind that they had already broken up, so doesn’t that mean she can sexually entertain whomever she wants? Since then, Rob’s Instagram account has been suspended. Meanwhile, people are talking about how Rob knew Chyna was a hoe and he should have expected it. I’m just confused on how so may people that don’t know Chyna personally know who has been in her vagina!

Now of course when they became an item, rumors were flaring about this being her ultimate revenge on Tyga. That could have very well been true. However, after watching the show, I discovered that Rob has some serious mental issues such as his severe depression-that he often took out on Chyna. I don’t see anyone discussing the fact that Chyna had her own money before she got with Tyga or Rob. All I keep hearing about is Chyna being a hoe. No one has been able to tell me what makes her a hoe exactly.

Her being a stripper previously does not make her a hoe! It’s the comments from the women with their views on Chyna that really gets to me. Sis let’s be real, how many men have been in your vagina? If your man knew, would he consider you a hoe? Do you consider yourself to be a hoe? Just because you’re older now doesn’t erase that body count from college because you just wanted to have fun! Let’s not forget the summer of 2000 when you just wanted to gain some experience (BODIES)!

When you’re in a certain social circle, of course you’re going to date men in that circle or on that level. That’s common sense right? This is really bigger than Chyna and Rob. Why is it okay for men and women to police other people’s vaginas? Men don’t even have a vagina, yet they are often the first ones to call someone a hoe. The fact of the matter is some these men were raised by hoes, and that’s why they have such strong negative opinions about women. You remember staying with your Grandma that weekend because your Mom was going to Atlanta? You know she was going to the Freak Nik, right? Do you remember she used to make you call all of her boyfriends Uncle?

Here is the bottom line: stop trying to control and monitor the bodies of women! Stop “exposing” personal information about women, because you’re mad that a particular one isn’t behaving the way you see fit! Stop associating promiscuity with images that are used for publicity! Stop associating promiscuity with revealing clothing! Even if a woman chooses to be promiscuous, how does that affect YOUR daily life? Worry about your own vagina maintenance and miles! If you don’t have a vagina, be concerned about the one you get to play in….

You don’t own anyone else’s body parts- Not even if you’re in a relationship with them! Policing of vaginas just causes resistance! Thanks for visiting Let’s talk Rae style…

 This blog was originally posted July 9th, 2017 on LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

It’s just biology

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It’s that time of year again! You guessed it prom season. Social media is filled with pictures of young men and women in their gowns and garments, getting ready to enjoy their last high school special occasion before their graduation. There was a picture that I stumbled across of a young lady going to prom and she was pregnant. If I had to guess, I would say somewhere between 6 and 9 months pregnant. She wore a beautiful form-fitting gown. Her hair was styled in loose spiral curls, and her makeup appeared flawless and perfect.

This photo was actually the first time I’ve seen a showing pregnant young lady glammed up for prom. I didn’t think much of it until I read the comments. People are so cruel, and they weren’t shy about what punishment their kids would be receiving for being pregnant in high school. Everything you could think of was listed as a punishment. Some stated she shouldn’t be able to attend prom due to her situation. People commented… “She has other things to be worried about,” “I wouldn’t spend money on prom due to the disappointment of being pregnant.” This is my favorite line “Since she wants to be grown so bad she shouldn’t be involved in kid events such as prom.” Having sex has nothing to do with being grown or acting grown it’s just biology. Biology tells us that both boys and girls go through puberty. Puberty is the time in which kids and/or teens become sexually mature. After becoming sexually mature eventually the act of sex or sexual behavior will occur. Having sex is an act of biology.

There are so many things that disturbed me about the comments for several reasons. I have never understood why reproducing has always been considered a horrible act in the African American community. I’m also curious as to why so many people were interested in punishing this girl. All these judgments were formed from this one picture. No one actually knows what her situation may have been. No one knows who paid for her prom expenses. She could be from a culture where she is already married and now expecting the couple’s first child. Folks are just shooting off at the mouth per usual.

The bigger issue of what the picture and comments represent to society- is plain old misogyny. Why do we continue to mistreat our daughters for mistakes and their bodies? Then wonder why their daughters don’t communicate with them… If we are constantly telling our girls that everything is their fault we can’t possibly be effectively teaching them to love themselves. As of lately, I have been in contact with a few ladies that were pregnant during my in time high school. Many of them informed me that they were mistreated by teachers and shunned by parents when they became pregnant. The audacity of those faculty members to display their negative feelings on a person already in a delicate and emotional state. That kind of behavior is not only appalling but it’s not productive nor necessary.

Do not misunderstand my intent for this article. I thoroughly understand that parents don’t want their teenager to become a young parent. However, if it does happen do you honestly think kicking them out the house, verbally abusing them, or any other punishment will help or hinder them in the long run? Teenage pregnancy isn’t some new phenomenon. Teenagers have been having sex and getting pregnant for decades! In fact the 2011 pregnancy rate was the lowest it has been in over 3 decades, and that’s with 54 out of every 1,000 women getting pregnant at age 15 and up.

Keep in mind girls don’t get themselves pregnant. Yet, we hardly ever hear about parents punishing their sons for their role in pregnancy. Some don’t even feel that their sons have to responsible in the situation. Reinforce safe sex and reevaluate the way you communicate with your daughter about the subject. Remember it’s not about being grown or wanting to be grown, it’s just Biology..

This blog was originally written on June 15th, 2017 and posted on LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

Family Ties

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Many thoughts and meanings are associated with the word family. Loyalty, blood, unbreakable bonds, and childhood are just a few. We often have this idea of what family should and shouldn’t be, and what they should and shouldn’t do. It seems that we hold our family to the highest standard possible when it comes to relationships with one another.

It’s important to remember that even though they are our family, they are still just people, and people are flawed. People are damaged. People are abused, and most of all, they are broken. When broken people don’t discuss what initially broke them to begin with, it just makes matters worse. Within families we have broken mothers raising daughters that will essentially become broken, because brokenness becomes the norm. Sisters become silent enemies because they would much rather suppress their feelings and pain instead of communicating their issues to one another. Aunts have resentment towards their nieces because they were treated poorly by their aunts as children. Uncles turn into deadbeat fathers because they never really had a demonstration of what it was to be an active father.

The glue that keeps these family matters sealed are the Matriarch and/or Patriarch (elders) of the family. Everyone knows that unity is a must for them! When the Matriarch or Patriarch is called home to glory, the unity is instantly broken. The arguments about nonsense begin. There is always that one person that continues to host the functions that the elders once hosted. However, half of the people show up now because one side of the family doesn’t want to be involved with the other side. In a nutshell, the foundation the leaders put together is destroyed by selfishness, lack of communication, egos, and immaturity.

We all have a role within our family dynamics. Do your part, and if you can sleep at night knowing that you’ve made the leaders of your family proud, then your work is done. You’ve done all that you can do. If you think for a second that you could do more then you should.

Have a little more patience with your family, just as the elders of your family would.

This was originally posted May 19th, 2017 on LetsTalkRaeStyle.com

Being your own boss

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Entrepreneurship has been on the rise for the last 3 years. Everywhere you turn, you see someone opening up a business- even if it’s just an online business. There are memes all over the place encouraging people to exit their 9-5’s to become entrepreneurs. “Do what you love and get paid for it,” is a popular slogan that’s often viewed via social media. There was also a post that said something along the lines of “we congratulate people that get new jobs, but don’t congratulate those that start their own business.” Shouldn’t both be congratulated and celebrated, though?

“Someone will pay you to build their empire if you don’t build your own.” is another one. Building your own empire and quitting your 9-5pm sounds glamorous, and so easy to do! However, no one seems to mention the extreme hard work that entrepreneurs put in on a daily basis without any compensation or return. People don’t mention that on average, entrepreneurs don’t actually see a profit until 5 years later. It’s probably not mentioned because many entrepreneurs don’t realize they are just getting the money back that they’ve invested.

Everyone should follow their dreams, but the harsh reality is everyone is not built to be an entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone. People need jobs and jobs need people. It’s how society has been designed. Please stop attempting to put people down because you think they should create their own business, and be leary of those who up and quit their jobs to pursue a hobby or their own business out the blue. It’s been noted that many of those people live with their parents, have no real responsibilities, or they have someone that will help them financially- which makes it easy for them not to work. People won’t tell you everything, just what they want you to know.

There are also many people selling products for a larger company, and they consider that entrepreneurship. However, that’s still working for someone other than yourself- especially if team building is involved. People often play word games when money is involved, so be careful. Do what’s best and beneficial for your own circumstances.

To those who are happy with their jobs and/or careers, continue to maintain your balance. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for being employed. There is someone right now wishing they had a job or career. Entrepreneurs, be sure that you start a pension plan, IRA, or 401K with whomever you bank with. Also, find and purchase a suitable healthcare plan for yourself as well! Keep striving and protecting your craft.

If you work a 9-5 and you want to be an entrepreneur, use your job to fund your dream!

Kalief Browder

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A couple of years ago, I hosted a podcast discussing the prison system in America, and the mistreatment that the prisoners receive there. During the podcast, I began to discuss Kalief Browder. Kalief Browder was a 16 year old black male from the Bronx, who was arrested by the NYPD on his way home for allegedly stealing a bookbag. Kalief proclaimed his innocence, but was still sent to prison. He was taken
to Rikers Island, which is an adult facility. If you have ever watched a single episode of Law and Order, you know Rikers is not where you want to be.

Kalief had several court dates that were cancelled for various reasons. His bail was set at $3,000, but unfortunately the Browder family didn’t have the resources to bail Kalief out of prison. When they were finally able to get the money, his bail was denied. Kalief spent 1,000 days in prison without an actual conviction. 800 of those 1,000 days were spent in solitary confinement. Kalief was finally
released in June of 2013, and he began publicly speaking about the abuse he endured while in prison. His speaking appearances began to shed light on what really goes on within prison facilities on a larger scale, and the media began to get involved. Kalief explained how he
was jumped on by a gang of teens while the guards watched. He even discussed how the guards would beat and starve him for days.

It was noticeable to family and friends that Kalief was not the same person that he once was. Even Kaleif realized that he was no longer the same. Solitary confinement for a few days is enough to cause a
person to have a mental breakdown, so one can only imagine what 800 days as a teen could do. Kalief had trouble sleeping at night, and would often drift off and have active flashbacks of the vile treatment
he endured while in prison.

Kalief’s mental state caused him to hang himself in June of 2015. Since then, Kalief’s story has been a national discussion. His documentary recently aired on Spike TV, which will ultimately bring
more awareness to the prison system in the United States.

How many other Kalief Browder’s are in prison being tortured for a crime they didn’t commit? The state of New York’s “justice system” needs to be completely wiped out and revamped. Stop and Frisk is in full effect in New York, and it allows the police to stop you and search you at any given time for no reason at all. 87% of Blacks and Latinos are stopped and frisked in New York. It’s noted that more
young Black men were stopped by the NYPD in 2011 than there are young
Black men that actually live in New York city (Huffington post). New York and North Carolina are the only states that charge 16 year olds as adults. That sounds like a setup for failure in life. 16 year olds
do not have the same maturity level as an 18 year old.

It seems that Kalief’s story makes him a martyr. He was failed by the system like so many others. It seems the less fortunate always pay the ultimate price for crime and being poor. It’s a triple disaster if
it’s a person of color. What can we do? How can we demand reform from
our Government when new private prisons are being built regularly? Private prisons are being encouraged!

Those that are incarcerated are still humans. They are already caged,
but if you treat them like animals they will certainly behave as such. It’s time for police and prison reform. We owe that much to Kalief.

What happened to Kym Worthy?

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The first time I heard the name Kym Worthy, I was 8 years old. The city of Detroit was in a state of bedlam due to the Malice Green beating. It was definitely a time for the community to be upset. Police officers had been getting away with murdering and harming African American citizens like Malice and Rodney King for decades.

Kym Worthy was the Chief Prosecutor in the Malice Green case. She was a 36 year old well educated Black woman who graduated from the University of Michigan and Notre Dame Law schools. With her long, jet black hair and stylish nails, she was fearless in the court room. Kym made a name for herself in the legal world with her dramatic tactics, coupled with her winning 90 out of the 100 jury trials she had conducted in her 9 years with the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

Kym being the Chief Prosecutor in the Malice Green trial is what put her in the forefront of the world! From there, she went straight to the top! Kym now serves as our County Prosecutor, which is huge! She’s the second African American to serve as a county prosecutor in Michigan.

Like most things and people, change occurs with them over time. This past summer, I watched Kym defend her actions of refusing to release Davontae Stanford, an innocent young man that was charged with murder at the age of 14. Hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to killing the people that Stanford was charged with killing two weeks after Stanford was convicted, yet Kym still would not clear Stanford. Kym’s favorite slogan is “facts matter.” But if that were the case, Mr. Stanford wouldn’t have been left in prison. Kym took no accountability for her actions.

There are more issues regarding Kym Worthy’s misconduct, lack of accountability, retaliation tactics, questionable ethics and judgment, but for the sake of time I’m going to get right to the point! Last year I was dropping my cousin off at a birthday dinner at Benihana located in Dearborn, MI. When we arrived, I noticed multiple police cars along with a car that was clearly undriveable. My exact words were “who have they killed now?” I didn’t find out until the next day that the woman they murdered was my middle school classmate. Of course the Dearborn police claimed their lives were in danger. They went as far as saying she tried to run an officer over with her car. I thought to myself “it sounds like she was trying to get away from the police.”

The video footage of the actual shooting was released last week. As I watched the video, I could not help but to become emotionally upset and distraught as Officer James Wade fired shots through the vehicle. The dash cam doesn’t show any officers in front of the vehicle. With their guns drawn and pointed, they were in no danger. His partner then says “you did what you had to do.” That’s not what he had to do, that’s what he wanted to do! James Wade is a DEARBORN PIG! Before killing this citizen he had just been suspended for his aggressive tactics, and had two other incidents on his record for aggressive tactics.

Guess who’s desk this came across? No other than Kym Worthy! Kym stated that the woman who was killed drove her car toward the officers, so no charges would be filed. I’m trying to figure out what footage she watched, and just how thick and current her eye lenses are? The very same kind of case that made her career what it is today is the same type of case that she has turned a blind eye to twice in the same city (Dearborn). What happened to Kym?

What happened to the woman who believed in justice and making things make sense? She actually had me believing for a while that she cared about the citizens and the justice system, and that she was on the right side of the law. It seems as if once she became eager to prosecute the former Mayor of Detroit, that was her initiation into the good old boys club (Not that she will ever truly be one)! However, she is accepted and tolerated, and all of the things she has done improperly are over looked. Every once in a while someone will muckrate, but the power of the political circle she’s in crushes it every time.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised or upset because I’m aware of how this game is played. It just hurts a little when someone who gave you so much hope about improving the justice system reminds you that there is a cost for everything- particularly major success and recognition. When paying that cost, people often lose themselves and forget why they originally began that journey.

No matter who’s in charge, we can never expect a system that was created against us to protect us.

Keeping quiet

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What’s one of the first things a person does when they are excited about a new business venture or idea? They share it with people! They share it with friends, family, and loved ones! After all, those are people that bring you joy, comfort, and love! There’s no harm in that, right? There is always a person that doubts your idea or makes a negative comment or two- mainly because they have no drive and don’t believe in themselves- but for the most part, you’ll have people that are genuinely happy and excited for you!

But then, you also have that one person who tells you it’s a great idea, and that they wish they would have thought of it themselves. You go on about your business and start making plans. Then, all of a sudden, the person that said they wish they would have come up with the idea has now stolen your idea! Now they are accelerating to get to the finish line off of YOUR plans!

Some people will even go as far as saying that they already had this plan in mind, or that “it’s just business.” This is the best and worst way to learn to keep your mouth closed! Imitation is not always a form of flattery. It’s often just a form of lacking originality! Imitation doesn’t have to be just about business either! I’ve seen people go so far as getting the exact same vehicle as their “friend,” and trying to make their life plans based around the events happening in their friend’s life! All of this sounds like some “Single Black Female” type of madness!

I see It happening everyday amongst people, and I will never understand why a person wants to copy the lives of others! Your path is your path! A person that feels as if they have to do what others are doing, or try to one up others is a person that’s not happy with themselves. Maybe they don’t know who they are. Some people think that their friendships define them.

Your friends should be inspired by you to do more, but they should never be in competition with you. That’s why it’s best to just keep your plans to yourself, and let your results be your mouth piece!

She has her own: Independent women

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I made a Facebook status posing the question “when did being an independent woman equal not needing or wanting a man?” Of course the comments section blew up. Some people stated that social media has a lot to do with this new found definition, while others said they actually heard women stating that they are independent and don’t need a man. However, I’m sure that the statement of not needing a man is being misinterpreted.

When most women say they don’t need a man, I believe it’s them stating that they don’t need a man to take care of them financially. After all, an Independent woman is a woman that takes care of herself, pays her own bills, and makes great things happen for herself. Shouldn’t men want women that are independent instead of one that’s begging for handouts? It seems men can’t seem to make up their minds on this matter. Do you want us to beg you for money on the first date, or do you want us to be independent?

Neyo made an entire song about Independent women, showing his love and appreciation for the women that handle their own business. The working woman. Being an independent woman has no correlation to not wanting a man or needing one. Everyone needs someone-It’s one of our basic needs as humans. Single women have no choice but to be independent. We can’t starve until we meet our future husbands.

Men should not be offended or intimidated by women who say they are independent. It’s just simply a way of a woman expressing she is proud for being able to provide for herself. She may not need a man financially, but surely there are other needs that she wants a man to satisfy.

The next time you hear a woman say that she’s independent and you’re confused about what she means by it, just ask instead of making an assumption…

End of year

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The month of December represents so much for so many people. We celebrate holidays, spend time with loved ones, and constantly hear about people dying. The combination can bring on strong emotions that often causes us to evaluate our lives.

I’ve been hearing so many people say that 2016 was a bad year for them. With there being only 1 day left in 2016, today!! I hope people can pinpoint what they would like to be different in 2017, and think about the actions that need to be made for that change. For myself, 2016 was not only a good year, but a tremendous learning experience.

I published my first book this year; that experience alone was a learning experience. During the commotion of publishing a book, putting together promotional videos, a book launch and getting the word out – I neglected my blog. I did get to discuss some topics on here such as the Flint(MI) water scandal, the death of Detroit Public Schools, and the Presidential election, my post were still far and in between.

2017, I am challenging myself to balance my time between all my businesses. Im increasing the amount of abundance in my life, and paying more attention to what people don’t say instead of what they do say. For my readers I wish you all happiness, good health and self-awareness. Remember that you are in charge of your thoughts and your inner thoughts reflect your outer reality!
Happy New Year!