Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

Real Talk About Black Women
and Our Vaginas

Tracie Collins
For the entire month of November, I'm bringing you my Black Women & Sexual Empowerment Series. Follow on social media at #BlackWomenSexuality.  

We don't give our vaginas enough credit. In my younger days I went with the word "pu$$y" to describe a weak or pathetic person. What an insult to my vagina and our vaginas. Women push human beings out of their vaginas, sometimes more than one at a time. Blood streams out of our vaginas every month. Yet many of us still get up and go to work when our bodies are cramping and just want to rest though the period process. Vaginas are delicate. They have to be tended to, loved, aired out, cleaned, groomed, examined for health reasons and touched the way they want to be touched. Vaginas are not weak. They're amazing. 

Black vaginas don't get enough love either. Black women have been told since the days of European explorers invading Africa for slave labor, that our vaginas were odd, animal-like, inferior, an uncontrollable and oversexed part, a place to breed deviance, a place to abuse, a part that we don't own. Many of us have internalized this thinking and passed it down generations both consciously and subconsciously. Some of us look at our vagina as something unclean or a magnet for assault--something that shouldn't be talked about. We need to talk about vaginas, especially to our children. Black vaginas have a story. Black vaginas are amazing.  

Actress Renee Wilson 
 Tracie Collins wants Black women to talk about their vaginas. She opened that discussion through a production in Oakland called, “The V Monologues: A Black Woman’s Interpretation.” Tracie Collins was the show’s writer, director and producer. It was derived from Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking production “The Vagina Monologues.” Tracie has worked in theater most of her life and and produced a number of shows. This was her first time in the director’s chair. Since showing this production a few years ago, she has gone on to produce other shows. Her latest is a one-woman show, "Who Is Tracie Collins?"which tells her life story and includes personal issues surrounding sexuality, womanhood, motherhood, body image and discrimination.

I spoke with Tracie, a charming actress from The V Monologues named Renee Wilson; and the play’s narrator—retired San Francisco news anchor Dana King. I never thought that I'd be discussing vaginas with a journalist I admired as a teen! It was a fun woman-to-woman conversation.

We spoke about black women's sexuality and vaginas. All three of these conversations were so real and I loved every second of them.

Now let’s talk about vaginas! Listen here or below.

Veteran Journalist, Artist and Actress
Dana King