My First Book 'When A Purple Rose Blooms' is Available NOW

I am beyond excited to announce that my FIRST book When a Purple Rose Blooms is available!! You can order copies directly from my publisher Nomadic Press. Order here
The book is a collection of essays and poetry about my experiences with black womanhood. There's lots of humor, pain, and love on every page. This book wrote itself. I had no intention of releasing a book of poetry and essays, but when I saw how much I've written over the last 20 years I thought, "why not?" and went for it. 
The book launch is tonight, 7pm at the Oakland Peace Center. I will be launching my book along with 6 other new writers to Nomadic Press. I'm in great, literary company. 
Thank you to every person who has read this blog over the years, attended my readings, listened to my radio stories or read my articles. Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy the book! 

Pick Your Movement
Fight the Power or Burn Your Bras

I haven't blogged much about the Chris Brown alleged beating of Rihanna because the rumor mill has been in full force since the news broke. From what I've read over the last week in other black blogs, some people in the comments section are saying Rihanna probably brought on the beat down. They've bought into the stereotype of the "typical" Caribbean woman saying Rihanna was probably acting like a, feisty, hot-headed West Indian woman who doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. And that justifies her beating? It's not just men blaming Rih Rih, women too. Surprise, surprise. For years black women have been in the middle of this racism/sexism tug of war. We either fight for the black community or fight for women's rights. Standing for women's rights means calling out all men, including brothas on their sexism and male privilege. We saw this with Mike Tyson, the OJ Simpson trial and Kobe Bryant's rape case. Do you defend the woman who's crying out rape or physical abuse? Or do you stand by the black man who you think is being attacked by society and the media because of his race? Some black women wont report their black abusers because of "racial loyalty," which Howard Professor Tricia Bent-Goodley describes as a black woman's choice "to withstand abuse and make a conscious self-sacrifice for what she perceives as the greater good of the community but to her own physical, psychological, and spiritual detriment." So once again the black woman is putting the community before herself, her life even. What good is the black community if the black woman is unhealthy, unhappy, or dead? Supporting women shouldn't automatically equate with abandoning your race or being anti-black man.

I brought all of this up because Chris Brown, his father and Rihanna's father made comments over the weekend. Rihanna's father Ronald Fenty, told People magazine that his daughter has some bruising. Fenty said," I hope she will stand up for women all over the world."As for her relationship with Chris Brown ,Fenty told People, "If it were me, I'd move on."

Good advice Mr. Fenty.

Chris Brown says he's "sorry" and "saddened" over what transpired. Brown's father Clinton, who is ironically a correction officer also spoke to People magazine. He said, "This is unfortunate, this stumble, this situation," Brown continues. "Hopefully, he will get past it. We all have our shortcomings. We all trip."

No Mr. Brown, tripping is snapping at your best friend because you had a bad day or cussin' out the waiter for bringing you blue cheese instead of ranch dressing. Allegedly beating a woman is more than just "tripping." It's a serious problem that can land your son in jail.

The saga continues. In the meantime I've picked my movement. Maybe I'll wear my Malcolm X t-shirt to a "Vagina Monologues" show.