Nothing’s Wrong with Empire

images[7]

Let me go on record by saying that I absolutely love Lee Daniels’ new show, Empire. On Wednesday nights, I refuse all phone calls while this show is on. That is because I MUST hear what Cookie is going to say to make me laugh or who she’s going to give a verbal lashing to. The story line keeps my interest and each episode ends with a cliff hanger, making me want to see more. It’s is an hour long but because there’s so much happening on each episode, it feels as if the show is on for only ten minutes.

images[1]

For those of you that don’t know what Empire is about, I’ll give you a lil’ description: The show is based around Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard) and Cookie (played by Taraji P. Henson). Cookie is Lucious’ ex-wife and the mother of his three grown sons. Back in the day, Lucious was a drug dealer and Cookie participated in his hustle. Well needless to say, Cookie spent seventeen years in prison while Lucious went on to become a superstar and a  highly successful businessman with his record label, Empire. Now that Lucious has been diagnosed with ALS and doesn’t have too long to live, he has to find out which of his sons will be the responsible one to take over his record label. Furthermore, once the prison gates open and Cookie was released, that’s when all hell breaks loose. Not only is she always giving Lucious’ new wife some choice words but she becomes a part of Lucious record label while trying to be a mother to her sons.

Of course, with ANY show that consists of an all-Black cast, there’s going to be some backlash from the Black community in one way or another. The reason for that is because no matter what Black show airs on television, you’re going to have that handful of Blacks that are NEVER going to be satisfied with any Black show on TV. They are going to critique it to find a reason to say that a show is full of racism, stereotypes, and/or has an unrealistic storyline. So of course when Empire aired and negative comments started swirling thru the air, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

Let me be clear: Everyone has the right to their own opinion. Everyone has the right to like or dislike something and no one has the right to take that choice away. However, when people tried to explain these particular stereotypes on this show, I found that all that they were disgusted about was the fact that Cookie is an angry Black woman and Lucious has a past as a drug dealer. In my book, this is not a valid reason to not support the show.

First of all, I do agree that Cookie is an angry Black woman but wouldn’t YOU be angry if you had to give up your freedom for seventeen years due to the fact that you were helping your husband with his hustle? Wouldn’t YOU be angry if while you were in prison, your husband divorces you? Wouldn’t YOU be angry if your ex-husband moved on with his life with another woman and became a successful superstar and businessman while you’re serving time? So before you go and say that Cookie is a stereotype character because she’s an angry Black woman, at least understand the reasons behind her anger.

Secondly, the character Lucious is not a stereotype; the character represents a reality. Yes, he was a drug dealer before he made it to stardom in the music business but if memory serves me correctly, rappers such as Nas, Jay Z, Biggy Smalls, 50 Cent and many more were drug dealers before they became the business moguls that they are today. So how can we hate a character that represents the lives of many?

As a Black woman, I can’t help but to scratch my head as to why we as Black people have to take offense to EVERYTHING? Why can’t we simply watch a show and be entertained and relieved by the fact that more and more Black actors are being blessed with the opportunity to showcase their talent? Are we as Black people so sensitive and uptight that they only thing that we find entertaining is movies like Selma and 12 Years a Slave? Please know that I saw the movies Selma and 12 Years a Slave and I enjoyed them both, however, that doesn’t mean that I want to see those depictions of Blacks all the time.

Now that I think about it, the negative feedback that this show has received from some in the Black community, reminds me of the way a lot of Black people reacted when The Cosby Show aired. For whatever reason, Black people lost their cool and claimed that the show was unrealistic for six reasons:

1. There were two Black parents that were married and lived TOGETHER, raising their kids.

2. There were two Black parents that were highly educated.

3. There were two Black parents that lived in upscale neighborhoods.

4. The mother was a lawyer.

5. The father was a doctor.

6. None of their kids were on drugs and/or pregnant.

It was absolutely ridiculous as to how many Black people turned their nose up at the sitcom because they didn’t think that it fit their definition of reality. In other words, they believed that Blacks were supposed to be poor and uneducated, with an absentee father and a mother that’s on crack. They didn’t believe that a show could have two Black characters that were educated, raising a family, and were successful in their professions. So therefore, many people in the Black community felt that The Cosby Show was a joke. It is because they didn’t believe that Blacks were supposed to have self worth and strive to have a better life.

It’s a shame that there are Black people who will not support the show Empire because of the so-called stereotypes that they CHOOSE to believe are there. Unfortunately, they’re not realizing the fact that here you have a Terrence Howard portraying a Black male character who’s very wealthy and is the head of his own company. That’s a good thing and it shows just how much Black actors have progressed over the years. Not only that, you have Lee Daniels who is a very successful Black film maker who is the writer, producer and director of this show. Trust me, there’s not many men of color like him. Shouldn’t we be happy that he’s being noticed? Do we not realize that his talent can and will open doors for many more Black filmmakers?

When Empire premiered for this reason: No longer are Black actors stuck with only playing the roles of slaves and housekeepers. This also means that if we continue to have hit shows like Empire, there will be opportunities to have even more shows with an all-Black cast. For the record, the portrayal of a Black person being a drug dealer is just as real as the portrayal of a Black person being a slave or a doctor. Each portrayal is a reality whether we want to realize it or not and apparently, more than ten million viewers feel the same way because thanks to the viewers (including myself), Empire is a hit.

Sonica

 

 Copyright © 2015 by Sonica Jackson

***The views and opinions expressed here on my website are solely those of myself and do not in any way represent the views and opinions of WordPress or anyone else.

Advertisements

The Dos and Don’ts of 2015

 

 

2015 New Year celebration

Okay so a new year is here and it’s full of a lot of new opportunities that many of us need to take full advantage of. But before doing so, there needs to be some “self-cleaning”, if you know what I mean. Since I was blessed to be alive in 2014, I’ve witnessed quite a few things that I pray will be demolished for the sake of 2015. The nonsense is overwhelming so here goes my list of suggestions to make 2015 a great year for yourself. Here it goes:

Don’t #1

Please don’t make any more new years resolutions. Period. We all know that they never work. Every time it’s the new year, the first thing you wanna say is “It’s a new year, it’s a new me.” You’ve been saying that “new year, new me” phrase for the past five years. How many “new yous” do you need??? If you want to change something about yourself, don’t wait until a new year rolls around. start working on those changes immediately. It takes time (believe me, I know) but you can do it.

Don’t #2

Ladies, please refrain from using the term, Boss Bitch, to describe yourself. First of all, if you have a 9 to 5 job and have to report to a supervisor, you’re not a boss. It doesn’t mean that you will never be one but don’t talk that boss status mess when you’re still being bossed around.  Secondly, stop calling yourself a bitch. I know that a lot of women play with the word and use it as a term of endearment but if you really want to call yourself something, call yourself a queen.

Don’t #3

If you are a white individual that happens to be an ultimate racist, PLEASE do not apply to any police academy of any kind. We don’t need hateful police officers taking the lives of Black people. We already have enough crime in the Black community. We don’t need a police officer being a contributing factor to it. Police are supposed to protect and serve; not seek and destroy. Like I’ve said before on another occasion, there was an individual on Facebook who felt the need to justify the wrongful death of Michael Brown by telling everyone in complete detail of what it takes to be a police officer. He elaborated by telling people about how cops have to put their lives on the line every day and that they go thru intensive training in order to deal with the outside world. I don’t doubt for one minute that cops put their lives on the line each day that they put on their uniform, however, THAT CAREER PATH WAS A CHOICE. You CHOSE to be a cop. However, being Black, white, Asian, Latino, etc., is not something that a person gets to choose. When you were conceived, your race was already chosen for you without your consent. With that being said, a person should NOT be penalized for being Black. That’s who they are. See, a cop can choose to take off his uniform and decide to quit the force if he wants to. But a Black person can’t take off their skin color. It is with them for the rest of their lives and the minute that they walk out of the house with their skin color on, they immediately become a target for a trigger-happy cop who don’t like Blacks. So please know that Black people put their lives on the line just as much as cops do. Thank you very much.

Don’t #4

No plus-size woman of any race or nationality should ever put on a pair of leggings with a short top. Ever. Yes, you’re beautiful. Yes, big is beautiful…but that load of visible cellulite and fat pockets on your ass are not beautiful. Nobody wants to see that monster muffin top that you swear is a result of your pregnancy. My dear, you haven’t been pregnant in over twenty years so stop lying to yourself. If you want to wear leggings, at least be sensible about it. You can jazz up a nice pair of leggings with a long top that’s flattering but covers up those problem areas.

Don’t #5

Nobody likes a know-it-all. We don’t need you to be the one to ALWAYS give your opposing point of view or show off your accolades. Furthermore, just because you’re politically correct, it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be as well. Go sit yo’ ass down somewhere.

Don’t #6

I’m all for Black people wanting to wear their natural hair but don’t be lazy when maintaining it. Wearing a natural doesn’t mean that you have to wear it nappy. Either comb it or cut it.

Don’t #7

Chill on the selfies…with your self-absorbed ass. Nobody needs or wants to see a picture of your face, every waking moment of the day. The world does not revolve around you and if you stop admiring yourself for just a second, you will see that there’s a big world to discover. So put down the camera phone and discover it.

And now…The Dos

Do #1

Pray often. Don’t ever stop praying.

 

Do #2

If you work very hard for your money and you pay your bills, don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty if you decide to treat yourself. You’ve earned the right to do so.

 

Do #3

If you are single, be happy that you are. You don’t have to rush into marriage just to make other people happy. The same people that wanna talk your ear off about marriage are the main ones that are either headed for a divorce or they have a troubled marriage that they don’t want anyone to know about. Stay true to who you are and if marriage is for you, do it when you’re ready.

 

Do #4

Eat healthy. If you slip up from time to time and eat that bacon cheeseburger, don’t kill yourself. Learning to eat healthy takes time so if you eat the right things at least five days a week, you’ll still see a difference in your energy level, skin complexion and body weight.

 

Do #5

Work on eliminating your debts. Believe me, that definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Start from the smallest debt to the largest. It may take months or years but don’t give up on yourself.

 

Do #6

If you want something in life, go after it. Write down your vision and plan accordingly. The only person that can stop you is YOU. However, when I tell you to go for what it is that you want, I don’t mean the none of the things listed below:

-Someone else’s man/husband

-Committing armed robbery in order to get money

-Fighting over a pair of Jordans

-Bullying people on the internet

 

That is all. Have a great year.

Sonica

Copyright © 2015 by Sonica Jackson

***The views and opinions expressed here on my website are solely those of myself and do not in any way represent the views and opinions of WordPress or anyone else.

Playing God

 

When are Christians gonna get it? It is NOT our job to make life decisions for the lives of others. As a Christian woman myself, I have to say that I am the type of person that is pro-choice. I believe that since I am not God and I am not perfect at all, I do not have the right to force my beliefs onto someone and force them to do things my way. As long as that person show me the same courtesy, I’m cool. I don’t have a heaven or a hell to put anyone in so therefore, I don’t have the right to tell people how to live their life. That’s why I have been able to stay out of drama because of the mutual respect that is demonstrated in my life.

I just wished that the head honchos at the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby craft stores would’ve adopted that same understanding. But unfortunately…they didn’t. According to the news, the powers-that-be of this chain had to go to court on Tuesday because they believed that the Affordable Care Act violated their religious beliefs because the Act makes it a requirement for corporations to cover birth control in their health plan and thus, this law also applies to Hobby Lobby.

Of course, I understand that the Bible states that God is not cool with premarital sex. Okay, I get that. And I’m sure that issue is what’s driving Hobby Lobby to fight against birth control. However, I’m also sure that we all know that there are millions of Christians and un-Christians that had sex (and plenty of it) outside of marriage. Millions of people have done that and even had children as a result of it. We are all human. Whether you are a Christian or not, you get horny just like the next person. Some people can fight the urge to ‘do the nasty’ but some people are not as strong. That’s just how it is and it doesn’t mean that one person is less of a Christian than the other.

So with being said, the ‘big wigs’ at Hobby Lobby needs to take three key points into consideration in regards to them fighting the requirement to cover birth control:

1. Unwanted Pregnancies.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobby Lobby, please put your heads together and realize that if you choose to fight the requirement to cover birth control in your health plans, there will be a slew of unwanted pregnancies (which also includes pregnant teenagers) that could be avoided if birth control is made easily accessible. Am I condoning premarital sex? Absolutely not. But what I do condone is the fact that there are women out there who want to be responsible when it comes to having sex and do not want to bring a child in this world that may be a financial burden to them and/or their families. Not only that, with unwanted pregnancies comes the possibility of more recipients needing welfare, food stamps, and every other kind of governmental assistance. And who has to pay for that? The working class…the same working class that has to pay taxes and take care of their own families. So if it can effect the working class, you can best believe that it will also effect YOUR money, Mr. and Mrs. Hobby Lobby.

2. Disconnect from God.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobby Lobby, anytime that people start playing the ‘Christian Card’ and get on their high horse, turning up their Christian noses at people, acting holier-than-thou, and acting like the sun don’t shine unless they say so, people who are NOT Christians have a tendency to be completely turned off by Christianity and even from having a relationship with God altogether. You don’t have to agree with the way that some people choose to live their life but you should definitely respect them for who they are and not try to force your beliefs onto them. Would you want someone to force their beliefs on you? Over the years, Christianity has had a bad rap with people who are not saved by the blood of Jesus because we don’t know how to stop being so damn judgmental. We are so quick to be a dictator instead of a listener. Simply put, this birth control issue has nothing to do with anyone trying to violate your religious rights. If anything, it is YOU that is violating the rights of others by taking away their right to choose to use birth control or not by trying to weasel yourselves out of covering it. If you’re trying to get people to develop a beautiful relationship with God and learn about what He requires from us, forcing your ways onto someone is not the way to do it. The best thing that you can do as a Christian is be an example of love, kindness, understanding, and patience. Leave the rest up to God and quit playing God. If we were to take a look into your closet, I’m pretty sure that we would find a slew of things that are not Christian-like.

3. Birth control helps with PMS.

Let me get a lil’ personal for just a second. Ever since I was a teenager, I suffered with PMS. I used to sweat a lot, experience heavy bleeding,  and the menstrual cramps were so severe that they used to make me regurgitate tremendously. I couldn’t even keep water down on my stomach and the more I threw up, the worst the cramps became. I used to miss days from school and when I became a working adult, you can best believe that I missed some days from work because of the uncontrollable symptoms. My menstrual cycle damn near controlled my life to the point where I had to plan things around it and if I had anything planned on the day of my cycle, I had to cancel it immediately, fearing that I would get sick in public. Things stayed that way…until I turned thirty-years old and I paid a visit to my gynecologist. I informed her that I had been suffering from severe PMS for years and I wanted to find out what I needed to do in order to control it. She placed me on birth control and I must say that I didn’t experience severe PMS anymore. I was able to eat and enjoy my day with ease. Before using the birth control, pain pills wouldn’t even work for me at all. After taking birth control, if I felt a twinge of pain, I would be able to take a pain pill and keep on keepin’ on with my day. And the cherry on top was that my cycle was no longer heavy. So basically, birth control does more than just control an unwanted birth.

In a nutshell, my take on this whole thing is that if you’re not the one taking the pill, then mind your own business. No one has the right to make decisions for someone else, whether their decision is what you agree with or not.  Whatever they choose to do or not do, that’s between them and God. Just continue to sell awesome craft supplies and leave the choice of birth control to those that give birth.

Sonica

Copyright © 2014 by Sonica Jackson

***The views and opinions expressed here on my website are solely those of myself and do not in any way represent the views and opinions of WordPress or anyone else.

A Word from Tyler Perry

This morning, I was checking my email and I saw an email from Tyler Perry that was very profound. No, I do not know Tyler Perry personally (yet) but I signed up for his newsletter about two years. So every once in a while, he’ll send out an email to his supporters in regards to anything that’s on his mind. Well this morning, I was reading one of his emails and I felt the need to share it with all of you. It may just help you figure out why things in your life may seem uncomfortable sometimes. So here it goes:

Hey guys,

I haven’t written in a while so this is a little long, but it’s so worth your time to read.

I was in Wyoming recently and I was taking in the beauty of the place. I mean, I love it. As I was looking up at the mountains I saw an eagle flying above me. I had to stop and take in its majestic beauty. I had never seen a real life eagle.  All I had heard about an eagle was in church when the pastor said that the eagle pushes its young out of the nest to teach it to fly. It really did move me watching this bird that had no doubt been pushed out of the nest and had learned to do what I was watching it do. 

I got back to the cabin that evening and I started doing some research on eagles. I was so excited to read the story of how it learned to fly. Well, to my surprise, eagles pushing their young out of the nest is a myth. I was shocked. I know that I heard a preacher say that in church… now I ain’t gonna say that that pastor lied but I will say he didn’t do the research… LOL. So I did it on my own. I did find some interesting facts that got me thinking about life… mine and yours. It’s funny how God can speak through everything. Here’s what I found.

Eagles build the biggest nest of all birds. It’s huge, comfortable and deep. One of the most interesting things that I found was the way that the eagle gets its young chicks to fly out of the nest.  For many weeks it brings food to the nest. The little eagles have no worries, they have all they need to survive. But when the adult eagle deems that it’s time for the young eagles to fly, things get uncomfortable.

Now the young eagle doesn’t know that it’s time to fly, but the wisdom and the bird’s eye view of the mother knows that it’s time for the chicks to leave the nest. So you know what she does? She doesn’t bring food to the babies anymore, and this is what I found fascinating. Many times she will fly around the nest with the food in her beak so that the young eagles will be tempted or so hungry that they are forced to fly out of the nest and take it out of her beak. Stay with me I’m going somewhere here.

As I thought about this, I thought about my life and how many times I was in a very comfortable space. I had all I needed. There was no need for me to go any further because I was comortable. I wanted to stay there forever. You have to be careful when you get comfortable and stay too long. It’s easy to stop dreaming when your belly is full. You won’t feel the need to fly at all. 

The truth is, as long as I was there in that really comfortable space, I wasn’t fulfilling my own destiny or my purpose. I wasn’t flying, I was content. Remember this, your greatest prayers are not usually answered in comfort. Think about it. I can really get deep into this with stories from my past but you’re probably tired of reading already… LOL… so I’ll try and wrap it up.

It took an uncomfortable situation or being hungry to make me get out and fly. Many times in life things are going well, but then everything that was so great changes and we wonder why. We wonder what happened. We are caught off guard. I am of the opinion that in those times God, who knows when it’s time for us to leave the nest, is allowing it to become uncomfortable so that we can move on to our next mission in life. Our next hope, our next dream, our next level.

After not realizing this for many years and resisting changes and going through hell, I’m glad to say that I have become so sensitive to when it’s time to move that I will move without having to have the turmoil.  I’m telling you I was so stubborn that the house had to burn down for me to move. Now I know better. I’m aware of when it starts to happen, like things happen that don’t make any sense. People you have been friends with or in business with or otherwise for years just seem to go crazy and you don’t know why. What I’ve learned in those moments is that it is a time to fly. Business changes, jobs go away, friends break your heart, marriages end, relationships end, and most times all these things are signs that it’s time to take flight to your next level.

Nobody likes change, I get it, but don’t be angry or bitter when things change. Don’t be mad with people, especially when you know you did right by them and you did all you could do for the friendship or relationship.  I’m sorry to tell you this my friend, but this moment was not about them it was all about you. I’m telling you if God has allowed you to become so uncomfortable in your situation, whatever it is, then its time for you to move! Don’t be afraid, just fly!

Last thing and then I’m done ;-). there is one part of the eagle story that I haven’t told you yet, and this is my favorite part.  If those baby eagles get out of the nest and they are trying to fly and it’s not going well, then that same mother bird that provided for them while they were in the nest, that same eagle will fly under the baby eagle to keep it from falling, to keep it on course, and give it a sense of security. God’s got you, don’t be afraid! He won’t let you fall!

Now here’s the question: what situation in your life has become so uncomfortable that you feel like you’re being starved for what you need? Maybe its God’s way of telling you it’s time to fly! It’s time to fly for your own dreams and your own hopes and goals. Fly for true love and real hope. This is your moment to fly, in 2014. Make this the year that you leave the nest without fear.

‘Nuff Said

Need I say more?  Bob ain’t playin’. Someone took this picture and posted it onto Facebook and all I could say was, “In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” There’s nothing worse than trying to run a business and you get people going into a store and looking for a hook-up. When my mother and I owned a thrift store, there were times when I wanted to make a Public Service Announcement and say, “THE STICKER PRICE IS THE PRICE…PERIOD.”

So whoever Bob is, I guess he got fed up with hearing one lie after another and got tired of seeing his revenue go out the door. So in other words, Bob is letting you know, “If you want your Black & Milds, your liquor, your condoms, your whatever, PAY FOR IT. You damn right, Bob.

People need to understand that when you are a business owner and you are leasing commercial property for a business, you have to pay rent every month on that property, just like you would on a house or an apartment. If the owner of the business does not make enough money to pay his rent for that commercial property, the owner of the property can and will start the eviction process and the store’s entire inventory may get thrown out.

Who in the world wants to get evicted from their commercial property and have to start their business over, just because people wanna play the “Hook-Up” game and not pay for what it is that they want from that store? Customers, if you know damn well that you wouldn’t go to Saks Fifth Avenue and ask for a hook-up, don’t do it anywhere else.

Sonica

Copyright © 2013 by Sonica Jackson

***The views and opinions expressed here on my website are solely those of myself and do not in any way represent the views and opinions of WordPress or anyone else.

The Case of the Funky Monkey

There’s nothing more traumatic than to walk into the women’s bathroom and it smells like fish grease and garbage, which is one of the reasons why I don’t like using public bathrooms. But when a sista gotta go, a sista gotta go. I don’t know the conditions of the men’s public bathrooms and so therefore, I can’t speak on that. But the women’s public bathrooms tell a scary tale that has yet to have a happy ending. To all of you nasty girls out there in the world, let me ask you a question: Do you NOT know how to clean up after yourself? Do you not know how to flush? Seriously. Do you not smell that god-awful stench coming from your lil’ monkey? Don’t bother washing them panties; BURN THEM.

I’ve always believed that women are supposed to smell like fresh flowers, shea butter, exotic fruits, etc., and that we should set our personal hygiene standards higher than a man for the simple fact that we are women. To all of you nasty girls out there in the world, you truly need to get a bang out of life and take care of the fruit in your garden. They have way too many feminine products on the market for you not to take full advantage of. Of course, I understand that some women may be allergic to certain feminine cleansing products but that’s still no excuse to be walking around smelling like an old tampon. This may seem a lil’ old school to some of you nasty girls but there is such a thing called WASH YA’ ASS. You’ll find out that a wash cloth, hot water, and soap can save you a lifetime of embarrassment and your man just might be willing to kiss ya’ monkey…finally.

It’s true that there are some men out there that don’t like to take the ‘oral exam’ on woman because they simply don’t feel comfortable doing that (Strange, but true). But you can best believe that most men who are in love with their woman don’t mind ‘tasting her love’ just as long as that’s all that he’s tasting. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t want a surprise party in his mouth. So don’t get mad if ya’ dirty lil’ monkey is the reason why your sweetie won’t kiss you no further than your belly button and he’s making all kinds of excuses as to why he won’t go no further. More than likely, it’s not because he has a toothache, my dear.

In a nutshell, take care of your monkey downstairs before she starts to tell all of your business. I most certainly don’t want my eyebrows burnt off every time I enter a bathroom stall and I’m tired of women acting like it’s no big deal. IT IS A VERY BIG DEAL. Little do you know, you are abusing and disrespecting your monkey each and every time that you choose to neglect her. If you wouldn’t treat your kids like that, don’t treat your monkey like that. The monkey takes a beating; she has stuff coming in and out of her while staying in shape. So with that being said, handle her with care. That is all.

Sonica

Copyright © 2013 by Sonica Jackson

***The views and opinions expressed here on my website are solely those of myself and do not in any way represent the views and opinions of WordPress or anyone else.