Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Rihanna Drama &
"Fly Lady" of the Day
Tina Turner

March is Women's History Month. Funny how I haven't seen any articles arguing we don't need Women's History Month, but soon as February rolls around all the anti-Black History Month talk starts. Anyway, you know my thoughts about that.

Getting back to Women's History Month, I will be recognizing women I respect and admire throughout March in my "Fly Ladies" series. The women are entertainers, artists, activists, fictional characters and everyday ladies doing something positive. Originally I was planning to kick off the series with Josephine Baker, but this Rihanna and Chris Brown stuff changed my mind. I read the affidavit and was shocked. Not only did Brown allegedly beat and bite Rihanna, who is referred to as Robyn F. in the affidavit. The documents also reads that Brown "placed her in a head lock positioning the front of her throat between his bicep and forearm. Brown began applying pressure to Robyn F's. left and right carotid arteries causing her to be unable to breathe and she began to lose consciousness."

IF this alleged action is true, he could have killed her. Let's keep it real, he could have killed her. And I still can't believe when I hear people, especially women, say, "She probably deserved it" or "They're just young." That's bull. If Chris Brown the award-winning singer, was Chris Brown who lived off Crenshaw Blvd. by the car wash, I don't think they would be saying the same thing. I don't care how cute Chris Brown is or how well he can sing or dance. Nor do I care what Rihanna said to him that allegedly sent him into a violent rage, and that's exactly what happened-- a violent rage. What Brown allegedly did was wrong and disgusting. If he was that P'd off he should have taken her home and went on his way. Now his career is in the toilet and possibly Rihanna's.

As for Rihanna, I really wished she left Brown. Many of my friends and family warned me that she would stay. I volunteered at a domestic violence safehouse one summer so I'm not surprised they're seeing each other again. Some of the women housed went back to their abusers. I feel bad for Rihanna. She's so pretty and talented but she must not think she's worthy of respect. And I bet a lot of those people critical of her wouldn't be saying "she deserved it" if some dude put their mother, sister, aunt, daughter or niece in a head lock and was beat the crap out of them. It doesn't matter if you're a pop star or a janitor, no woman deserves this and I hope for Rihanna's LIFE and career, she moves on. They both need to move on.

You've probably figured out why I chose Tina Turner. She's one of my favorite singers of all time. This month she's a Fly Lady because she got out of an abusive relationship. She had the strength, courage, and heart to save her life and LEAVE. Now look at her. The woman lives in Europe, is in a relationship with a younger man, looks 20 years her junior and at 69 her legs are still simply the best. Ms. Tina will be 70 this year. I also must acknowledge Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia, and all the other women around the world who escaped abusive relationships.

I also love Tina for stepping out of the box in the 1980s and going rock. That's not a genre of music where you see black women. I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother would blow dry my hair before pressing it. I had a lot of hair so it flew all over my head when my grandma blew it out. My aunt, who was more like a big sister, would tease me and say I looked Tina Turner as I bopped around the house. I took it as compliment because even as a little girl I knew Tina was fierce.


  1. Yes Tina Turner is simply the best. And as for Rihanna and Chris Brown I have a feeling both of their careers are waning down.


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