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What if you pursued a dream and no one cared?

Posted on July 25, 2016 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (2)

What if you pursued a dream and no one cared?

By Tracy L. Darity


If one of your friends contacted you today and said he was inspired by current events to walk almost 200 miles to encourage peace and unity, what would you say, what would you do? Would you be an encouraging force even if you did not understand the mission? If he asked you to join him on the walk—the day, time and distance, being up to you—would you take a few hours out of your life to support him? Even if you couldn’t or wouldn’t participate in the actual walk, would you donate to the cause, help spread the word, try to help get media recognition; or would you stay silently on the sideline and wait to hear if he succeeded or failed?


This scenario is actually playing out right now, and I chose to write about it because I was recently engaged in a discussion about supporting other people’s dreams. The question raised was, is it fair to assume the people closest to us will support our endeavors. One person said it is an unfair burden to place on someone, it’s your dream not theirs. An opposing view was, if I can’t depend on the people closest to me who claim to love and support me, how will I get the courage to step out of my comfort zone and get strangers to do it.


Both viewpoints had validity. It is a debate that many people have internally as they battle against negative feelings towards the people they feel let them down when they need their support the most. Whether you specifically made requests or assumed family and friends would get behind you, it can send you on an emotional rollercoaster when the support doesn’t come. In listening to the guy walking for peace and unity, the disappointment is evident in his voice. It is the same disappointment many of us have felt at some point when stepping out on faith and following our passion. However, because he is so passionate about what he is doing, he is encouraging himself along the way. That is a very important attribute to have if you’re going to be successful in bringing projects to fruition.


If God placed it in our hearts to accomplish something, no matter what others think or do we have to trust him to bring onto our paths the right people at the right time. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a business, writing a book, planning to move cross country, or walking for a cause you believe in, never defer your dreams because of who isn’t on board. Even after you’ve taken the first, second, third or tenth step, there will be moments when you ask yourself “where are they, why aren’t they…?” No matter how painful the snub may be, keep in mind it is your project not theirs. Instead of getting down, use the moment to focus on those who are buying your product, who do share your information, who do encourage you along the journey. No one said it would be easy, but getting across the finish line is the reward.


Remember, the race isn’t given to the swift, or the strong, but to the one who endures until the end. Sometimes along life’s journey we will feel as if we are alone, in essence, we never are, we just have to look around to see who really have our backs.


Peace and Blessings,


Tracy


In the meantime, visit A View From Tracy’s Point and checkout my latest blogs. If you see something you agree with—please like, if you have an opinion—please comment, and if you with me—please share.


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and The Red Bear Society. Available in print and e-book. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com

 



It's Time to Put Daddy Back into "Daddy's Girl" #FathersDayChallenge

Posted on June 18, 2016 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

It’s Time to Put Daddy Back into “Daddy’s Girl” - #FathersDayChallenge

By Tracy L. Darity


June is the time of year that we celebrate fathers and if we’re lucky our social media timelines are filled with awesome daddy daughter moments. Bonding moments like those between Nicole Paris and her dad Ed Cage who took the internet by storm. The duo lit up social media last year with their beatbox challenges, landing them guest appearances on shows like Good Morning America and The Late Late Show with James Corden. Another moment that comes to mind is a story about the Chicago Police Department and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, hosting their 2nd Annual Daddy Daughter Dance. The dance made headlines last year during the time the youth ministry at a local church here in St. Petersburg was struggling to register participants for their daddy daughter outing. What made the Chicago dance stand-out and set it apart fromt the local event is men, in this case police officers from various ranks, stood in the gap for girls with absent fathers. This in a city that makes the news daily in regards to the number of shootings and deaths, mostly among black men. I’m sure a large number of the dads are absent due to incarceration and homicide. On the same day that I read about the Chicago dance, I heard a very different story about a man standing in the gap. Instead of men stepping in to ensure some special girls had the opportunity to dress-up and attend a dance with their father or a positive role model; this story took a different turn.


If you haven’t heard, Periscope is taking over the world. (JK) If unfamiliar with the app, check-out my blog Is Your Lemonade Sweet or Bitter? It is a wonderful tool full of useful information, but also a time killer if you are not careful. On this particular day Timothy D. Massey (@Tim_is_TSPEAKS), author of 8 Steps to Wholeness, was sharing with his followers something that happened at his local gym. He subtitled the scope That Could Have Been My Daughter and Sons. In the video he talks about catching three teens, two boys and a girl, in the gyms’ sauna. The trio was in a compromising position and when he approached and addressed them, the boys left the girl to fend for herself. To his surprise the girl did not run off, but stayed and talked with him. Through their conversation she admitted she was about to engage in sexual acts with the boys, whom she stated were her friends. He was shocked by her bluntness, but even more surprised when she stated she wasn’t from a home without a father; her parents were married and they all lived together.


I was the epitome of a daddy’s girl. When my dad died almost seven years ago, a part of me left with him. It is an unexplainable feeling to know that there is one person in the world who loves you unconditionally, with all your faults and blemishes, screw-ups and missteps. Someone that will always choose to see the best in everything you do, and never judge. Even to this day when I mess-up, I can hear my dad saying, “Baby you got to do better.” It is easy to assume that misbehaving promiscuous girls are the product of single-parent homes and have daddy issues. But this is not always the case. A father can be in the home and the daughter still missing that special relationship she should have with her daddy. Too often men believe that being the provider, working hard and insuring the family’s safety is enough; unfortunately this is not the case. Girl’s often need more attention than boys and constant reassurance that they matter. If it doesn’t come from the most important man in her life, she will seek validation elsewhere.


For the young lady in the gym there could be a thousand reasons why her self-esteem could be so tainted at such a young age, with her father in the home. I commend Tim for taking the time to speak with her and sow encouraging advice into her life. It would have been amazing if he had the chance to meet the dad and share with him how blessed he is to have a daughter. He could have also expressed how important it is to really get to know her so he can have a significant impact on her life. This thought resonated when Tim revealed in a scope the other day that he has a daughter, but due to issues with the mom, has been unable to develop the relationship he so desperately desires.


Earlier I mentioned a local church hosted a daddy daughter outing last year. The event did take place, but it was disheartening to see the organizers begging mothers to sign-up their daughters. The level of resistance to the idea of their daughter spending time with her father at a church led event was sad and embarrassing. In the end, about ten daughters participated with their dads…and this is not a small congregation. The experience made it clear, there is so much to be done in our communities to combat the absentee father epidemic; everything from changing the hearts and minds of mothers, to instilling in fathers how important their presence is to their children. Our girls cannot think it is okay to freely give away herself to any boy that comes along and asks. There are simply too many consequences to this behavior…unwanted pregnancy, STD's and the latest trap, human trafficking among teenage girls, to name a few. It is time for fathers to be present, engaged and the men we need to stand on the front line to protect our daughters.


So as we celebrate Father’s Day, I want to challenge every father who has a relationship with his daughter to write her a love letter. A letter telling her how much she is loved and admired, expressing his emotions the first time he held her, and share all the dreams and aspirations he has for her life. Even if you are not active or present in your daughters’ life, write the letter and get it to her by any means necessary.  I would also extend the challenge to father's of adult daughters, we still need affirmations, too. It’s time for our girls of all ages to know what it truly means to be a daddy’s girl, it’s time we put daddy back into her life.


Don’t forget to comment, like and share.


Peace & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and The Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com


Are Your Panties Clean?

Posted on May 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (2)

Are Your Panties Clean?

By Tracy L. Darity

 


Girlfriend’s Pray is an online ministry that someone turned me onto a few weeks ago and I have found it to be very inspiring and motivational. I’ve noticed that some of the people I follow on Twitter are using Periscope these days and this is how I was invited to watch Dee C. Marshall, author of #PrayLiveWin: 52 Practical Prayers for Women and founder of @GirlfriendsPray. The invitation was right on time, because I had been wondering if there was a scope that provided prayer and daily inspiration for women. Yes, He hears our unspoken prayers.


On today’s call Dee Marshall asked us if we were wearing clean panties. It was an odd question, and I was quickly reminded of those words of wisdom from my mother, be sure you always have on clean panties just in case you’re in an accident and have to go to the hospital. When I got older my experienced friends would say, always have on clean panties, just in case you get caught-up in the moment and decide to give him some. #Memories


I used to have a friend in my early twenties who was notorious for what they call today “ho baths.” She would wash off with a wet rag, spray her personal parts with some cheap Walgreens body spray, and put on clean panties. It was something I could never do, because to me my body has to be clean for real, as in a hot shower or bath, before I put on clean undergarments. Otherwise, I just don’t feel refreshed.


Well, what Dee Marshall was talking about took me and probably many others on the line by surprise. It was an emotional moment of reflection. The simple things we take for granted, like having clean panties, is something women in our communities lack on a daily basis. She shared with us her commitment to donate a pack of brand new underwear to a friend’s ministry that is providing panties to woman and girls in homeless shelters. Wow, can you imagine how the simplest things to us, can mean so much to someone in need. Think about it, when was the last time you passed by a homeless person and wondered what it must feel like to not have a bath or be able to put on clean clothes every day? What about the children who attend school with our children and grandchildren that live in shelters? Do we even realize these kids are in our local schools? Does it ever cross our minds that a hot shower and clean pair of underwear can raise their self-esteem tremendously, as they face a new day? The answer to these questions is probably no, because most of us are so consumed with our own day-to-day lives that we take the smallest things for granted.


Before today’s scope I was dreading going to the store to buy laundry detergent and toilet bowl cleaner. Mad because I had forgotten to get these and other items during my trip to the grocery store the day before. Now I’m sitting here thanking God that I have a washer and dryer and my own bathroom to clean. But most of all, I am thanking him for clean panties. Not only the ones I just washed, but the ones I can go to the store and buy for a woman or girl in need.


If you would like to support this project or learn more, please visit TeamJesusMag.com. As was pointed out on the call, the size of the assignment doesn’t matter, just be willing to do your part. Oftentimes we ask ourselves what more can we do to impact the lives around us, sometimes it is just providing someone with the basic necessities.


When you’re done, visit A View From Tracy’s Point and checkout my latest blogs. If you see something you agree with—please like, if you have an opinion—please comment, and if you’re with me—please share.


Love & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. Available on Amazon.com  To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com, to follow me on social media, the keyword is always @TracyLDarity

 


#AreYourPantiesClean

 

 


Is Your Front Porch for Sipping Tea and Providing Shade

Posted on May 11, 2016 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Is Your Front Porch for Sipping Tea and Providing Shade

By Tracy Darity


There was a time when front porches were a symbolic part of our American culture. It was the place where people relaxed at the end of the day. Neighbors used their porches to sip iced tea or lemonade and talk life, community members gathered at the homes of their leaders to discuss strategy and planning. While couples sat on the porch to keep an eye out on their kids who were playing in the yard. With the popularity of home air conditioners and privacy fences, the front porch began its decline as people started moving their gatherings to the comfort of their homes and the seclusion of their backyards.


Recently while listening to a sermon by one of my favorite pastors, he compared front porches to the vices in our lives. In the fashion of great preachers, he showed how the things that we do intentionally or reflexively to divert attention from our purpose are like front porches. They bring us comfort, make us feel better (if only temporarily) and if we stay on them too long we become lazy and sometimes stuck, giving energy to things we shouldn’t be doing. Things like gossiping, jealousy, being mean-spirited, materialism, ignoring our health, making excuses for our failures, and more.


Yes, front porches, if comfy enough and the weather is just right, will have you sitting and sipping tea, as the world passes you by. If we could be honest most of us build our porches to suit our needs, while others just hang-out on our porches for what they need for the moment. Check it out; you ever had that person in your life whom you shared your every dream with, and they always told you why it would never work, so you wouldn’t even try? But the moment you stopped sharing and surrounded yourself with people that encouraged you, they stopped coming around. What about the person who only hangs around because you have information they want, but the minute you are no longer in a position to give the information their phone calls stop, or they no longer connect with you on social media. Well, this simply means they only enjoyed being on your porch because you had some good tea. Now they are on to a new porch.


Is gossiping your thing? Do people know that when stuff goes down you are the go to person to get the scoop, so they show-up with the ice, lemons and sugar, because your lemonade is always on point? What are you avoiding in your own life that has you so focused on everyone else’s? And for those of us who love to listen to gossip, thinking we aren’t hurting anyone because we aren’t going to repeat it…what do we get out of this behavior? What an awful feeling it will be to one day become the topic of someone’s front porch chatter.


Front porches isn’t just about minding other people’s business, they are also about wasted opportunities. Sometimes we get so accustomed to our perfect place that we take our focus off of important things, like our health, our families, and our dreams. Can your porch be hanging out with friends, clubbing, shopping, or traveling? Do you spend more time with your girlfriends (or guy friends) than you do with your spouse and/or kids? If so, then you could very well be missing out on important moments and decisions that needed to be made. Now your front porch has become an unpleasant place used to reflect on how different things could have turned out had your priorities been in order. What about the users in your life, the people who only show up when they want something from your porch. The people who know you have a special gift or talent and want you to give it to them for free. You get caught-up in the porch of accolades and never understand that God gave you that gift for a reason, to support your family or to bring in extra income, not to give it away to freeloaders. 


Girl, did you tell us last week on your Facebook page that you went to the doctor and he said you were borderline Diabetic, yet here you are today posting pics of the unhealthy soul food feast you cooked last night? Now social media is really an open invitation to join people on their front porches. They invite us in and tell us to take the best seat before others arrive. We get to see the break-ups and the make-ups, we get to see all the men and women coming in and out of your life, we get to see you at your happiest and then your most Bi-polar moments. Some will “love” your posts no matter your high or low, your happy or your sad, your good or your bad, and like a FB friend shared, some just lurking by the rose bushes never joining the conversation. See, the lurker is a front porch all of their own, they’re like the old widow lady at the end of the street that just sit, watch and rock all day.


As I began to examine my front porches I knew the pastor was spot on about them being distractions. Once I realized this I had to ask myself why? Why was I allowing the small nuisances in life distract me from the bigger things I need to be doing. People are always asking me when I am going to release my next book. Truth is I made a seat on a front porch and became complacent and lost my focus. I was thinking of great ideas but not writing them down or following through on them. Then becoming distracted when I would build myself up to focus and just write. Now that I have left that porch I understand better and have adjusted my lens. My renewed goal has been to write even when I don’t want to write. When the ideas aren’t formulating for the book I am working on, I still have to write. I’ve started back working on my blogs. The more I write the better I feel and the more I want to write. The House of Jezebel and another project I am working on will be coming to you soon. I told some friends I was shooting for my birthday weekend in September, so if you want to be on my porch, you got to be there to encourage and motivate me to get it done.


In the meantime, visit A View From Tracy’s Point and checkout my latest blogs. If you see something you agree with—please like, if you have an opinion—please comment, and if you with me—please share.


Peace & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. Follow me on Amazon's Author Central to learn more about these great books, and to be notified of my new releases.

 



Mother's Day Isn't Just About Being a Mother It's Also About Honoring the Women Who Have Touched Our Lives

Posted on May 7, 2016 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Mother’s Day Isn’t Just About Being a Mother It’s Also About Honoring the Women Who Have Touched Our Lives

By Tracy L. Darity


It’s the day before Mother’s Day and I just came across a blog post titled, An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day). In this blog a woman speaks on behalf of women who have lost their children, who have experienced miscarriages, and those who have yet to start a family. She talks about feeling like an “empty shell” when the pastor of churches asks the mothers to stand on this special day.


The blog goes on to give a litany of things pastors can say to acknowledge every woman in the congregation from those who have kids, those who have lost kids to miscarriages, those whose kids have become adults and left home, and even those who suffered abuse at the hands of their mother. Can you imagine if pastors did this on every holiday? Think about it, we all have had moments in our lives where we have experienced loss, hurt or disappointment. Imagine on Valentine’s Day if the pastor did a shout out to every person that had been dumped, cheated on, whose spouse had died, and who has never received roses or chocolates. What about the child on Christmas Day who has never received a gift because they were poor, or their mother or father was deceased, maybe their parents didn’t believe in God or Jesus Christ.


I started reading some of the many comments that women were sharing as their own experiences as to why Mother’s Day is a solemn day. I couldn’t help but think, they have totally missed the point of what this day is all about. Mother’s Day is about honoring the mother’s in our lives. Not just our mother or the woman who is a mother. The blog came across as another attempt at someone wanting to change things for their own selfish reasons. You know, the parents who want all children to get an MVP award at the end of soccer season, the students at a Christian college who do not want to be told that they should forgive, and my favorite, the mothers who want to be acknowledged on Father’s Day,


Everyone has their own unique experience with their mother’s and for some with motherhood. Yes, there are women who desperately want children but can’t have them, and there are women whose own mothers have transitioned from this life. But to suggest that the focus be taken off of the countless number of women, whether living or have passed, whether with children or childless, seems a bit much. My mother is still here and thank God for her. There are also my sisters, aunts, cousins and friends. Numerous women have made a tremendous impact on my life and some have transitioned from this world. On Mother’s Day I remember them all and what they did to make me the woman I am today.


My father passed away seven years ago, and on Father’s Day, his birthday and countless other days I miss him with a pain so deep in my soul it seems almost unbearable. However, this doesn’t make me not want to celebrate the man he was, or what other men in my life have been, on their special day. I wonder if the writer of the blog thinks Father’s Day should encompass all the men who have lost children, haven’t had children, whose fathers have passed, or who were abused or adopted. Or is this just a female thing?


Sometimes we have to realize that everything is not about us. Life is so much more and we should learn and grow from every experience. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have in any given moment, we should focus on what we do have. Someone may not have given birth to a child of their own, but may be impacting a child’s life in a very positive way. Doesn’t that child’s acknowledgement mean something on Mother’s Day? Your mother may have been abusive or didn’t show you the love you wanted, but does that mean you can’t celebrate female figures in your life that did. I am in no way discounting what any of these women have experienced or feel on Mother’s Day, I’m saying, look beyond yourself and see all the marvelous women who have touched your life in some way, and be grateful for the experience. And if you feel it in your heart wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, because the day is really about her. If the pain is still that unbearable, stay home from church, spend the day doing something that will hopefully make you smile, but don’t ruin it for it for the rest of us. Please don’t try to guilt us into not celebrating the wonderful mothers of the world.


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Don’t forget to comment, like and share.


Peace & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com

 




That Old House I Loved as a Kid

Posted on May 7, 2016 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)


That Old House I Loved as a Kid

By Tracy L. Darity

 

Who hasn’t driven by a house and immediately fell in love with it? For me, I was probably 7 or 8 years old. My dad used to take my sisters and I to the local 7-11 convenience store and nearby was this huge house that I thought was so amazing. At 7 years of age the home that sat at 2807 7th Avene N, probably looked like a mansion to me. It sat on a corner lot and towered over the other one-story homes surrounding it. The unique design made me think of the Tudor style homes I saw in television movies.


As time went on and I began to venture out with my dad to the Home Depot store, we would pass the home, and although it was no longer in the best condition, it was still beautiful to me. By now I was probably around 14 years of age. This is when I first began to dream of one day owning it. I would have graduated from college and returned home to a great paying job that would allow me to fix it up. However, by the time I purchased my first home my focus was no longer on this particular house or neighborhood. Yet, every time I decided to bypass the interstate and venture down Twenty-Eighth Street, I would glance longingly at its deteriorating edifice and wonder, what was up with this house. It seemed to rarely keep an owner for long, or it sat on the market for periods of time. After a while its grandeur began to fade and it no longer seemed all that awesome anymore.


Low and behold, the other day while scrolling down my timeline on Facebook, I came across a photo and posting about the house. It has been totally refurbished and is back on the market. Its outside has a fresh facelift giving it a more modern look, and for the first time I get a glimpse of what it looks like on the inside. I’m in awe all over again. Hopefully this jewel will finally find an owner with a family that can love and cherish it, but most importantly, call it home. If it wasn’t for the price-tag, which is totally out of my range, I would consider it, because even now I still love that old house.


If you want to check it out, click here.


Don’t forget to comment, like and share.

 


Peace & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com

 

 


Do White People Watch Underground?

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Do White People Watch Underground?

By Tracy L. Darity


On Wednesday nights millions of TV viewers are tuned into Fox’s hit show Empire, while WGN has grasped hold of its own audience for a popular series focused on the lives of black people. If Empire is my guilty pleasure, then WGN’s Underground is my sinful delight. I live for this show on Wednesday nights at 10:00 PM. I literally watch the first airing balled into a stiff fetal position, remote in hand, finger on the mute button. At 11 o’clock I relax and watch the encore. It’s that dramatic, realistic, everything that exceptional dramas are made of. Writing this piece has me laughing at myself, because after I mute the TV and close my eyes on the violent scenes, I check the #UndergroundWGN feed on Twitter to see what just happened. Yes, I’m squeamish like that. No horror movies for me.


Each week the show leaves me on an emotional rollercoaster, but last night’s episode reminded me why I wasn’t going to watch the series to begin with. I didn’t want to see another slave movie that reminded me of the brutal pain and suffering of my ancestors. But the first episode had me hooked, even if I questioned how such a tragic era in our country’s history could be made to feel sexy, urban, hip and left me yearning for the soundtrack. The answer was apparent; they had devised a plan to appeal to the younger generation. Underground is the Generation X and Millennials answer to Alex Haley’s Roots. (Which by the way is about be redone).

 

Last night’s episode was heart wrenching to say the least. The series itself is based on seven slaves who make a daring escape from a plantation set in Georgia and chronicles their 600 mile journey, to freedom in the north. Last night was the eighth of the first season’s ten episodes (it was announced this week that the show has been picked up for a second season). A phenomenal cast has been assembled to bring the story to life, including the role of Ernestine, played by Amirah Vann (I love her). Ms. Ernestine is a pivotal character in the show because she is the head house slave, mother of one of the runaway’s, and mistress to Tom Macon (né Hawkes), the plantation owner, who is the father of two of her three children. We have watched her work her black girl magic all season, but last night brought a turning point. For the first time we saw Ms. Ernestine unable to take charge and finally breakdown from the weight of her burden. They gave us an unapologetic look into the true hatred and evil of the white man. Last night, we saw just how little the they valued the life of a slave, when Tom used Ernestine’s son, Sam, as a pun in his political aspirations.


In the previous episode we learned that Sam had runaway. In this episode he was returned by a “good” neighbor. The punishment is usually to cut off a portion of the foot to keep the slave from running again, but Tom changes his mind at the last minute, leaving viewers to believe he truly loved Ernestine, and cared about Sam. However, later in the episode after being riled up by his compadres, he has decides to lynch Sam during his campaign speech to prove to the others that he is all in.


This scene hurt so much for another reason. It stung like a fresh bite because it was a reminder of our current racial political climate. Just as Tom is pandering to the racist fears of other plantation owners and people in the community, we have our modern day Tom in the form of Donald Trump.

  

Honestly, I do not believe that Donald Trump is a racist. No, I think he is much more dangerous than any racist; he is a calculating businessman who is using the fear and hatred of a group of people as a marketing ploy to secure the Republican nomination. Perhaps he doesn’t read the comments left online to articles regarding black people, because if he did he would know that the hate is real and racism is very much still alive in America.


So how does the topic of this blog relate? Well, after my mind made the comparison between 1857’s Tom Macon and 2016’s Donald Trump, I began to realize that outside of the cast, I never see white people on Twitter discussing the show. Nor have I seen any posts on my Facebook feed from my white friends or connections. I’ve convinced myself that they are watching, but the silence is probably closer to fear. The fear of expressing one’s self and being seen as insensitive, or worst, as racist, if their comment or question isn’t worded just right.


In my angst during last night’s show, I began to imagine the rude, mean-spirited, race-mongers with the ignorant hate-filled comments about unarmed black boys and men dying at the hands of police, watching the show and getting off at how cruel and inhumane our people were treated. Do they wish for days when they can freely celebrate the legal lynching of a black man? Is this the life they envision in a Trump presidency? Or, has any of them watched the show and its harsh cruelties and had an awakening that this way of thinking is so very wrong?


The true tragedy of a show as amazing as Underground would be the failure to open dialogue, not only among the younger generations, but also between black and white people. If at least one person’s heart has been changed, and if one young person better understands their past, then the series has done so much more than entertained us.

 

Kudos to the actors, writers, producers, directors and crew, you have done a great thing.


Don’t forget to comment, like and share.


Peace & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com


#Underground #WGN 


 


Is Your Lemonade Sweet or Bitter?

Posted on April 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Is Your Lemonade Sweet or Bitter?

By Tracy L. Darity


Today on my morning walk I was wondering what motivational speaker and author, Tray Kearney thought about Beyonce’s new album, Lemonade. Instead of listening to Tasha Cobbs One Place Live, (my morning inspiration) I searched Tray’s Twitter feed to see if she had done a Periscope about it. I’m grateful I did in that moment because an hour later the Periscope expired.


For those not familiar with Periscope, it is an APP used via your mobile device that allows you to live stream video and share it on social media. Your audience is mainly Twitter followers who can watch the live broadcast and interact via a chat feature. The downside is the footage automatically deletes itself after 24 hours. Can we please bring back Katch, the app that allowed users to save their broadcasts indefinitely?


Tray articulated what I was thinking after I watched only 2 or 3 videos from Lemonade, sorry, I haven’t been excited about Beyonce in quite some years so I didn’t view the work with the same excitement and anticipation as others. Nor am I easily impressed with smoke and mirror gimmicks. Give me some music that 30 years from now I will still remember the words to, and takes me on a trip down memory lane when I hear it. But I digress. Besides, this really isn’t about Beyonce or lemonade, but more about an impressionable generation and the messages they internalize.


We often hear that parents should be mindful of the words they speak and the things they do in front of their kids, because children learn what they live. But let’s face it; many parents aren’t in the home training up their children in the way they should go. There are a lot of children who are being raised by the imagery they see and the words they hear from people who are not their parents. And let’s be honest, a lot of it comes from music videos and what they watch on TV. I can remember when people would argue that music, TV and video games do not alter our perceptions, because we know right from wrong and fact from fiction…it’s just entertainment. But honestly, can we still say that today when it comes to the current generation of neglected and forgotten youth?


In her message, Tray was so on point when she zeroed in on the subliminal messages that were being transmitted, the darkness or the videos and the blatant disrespect of men, relationships and marriage. After you have cussed, called him a nigga, smashed windows, emulated suicide, gone to the dark side, you come out of it all still happy and in love. For some people this is possible, but I think it’s called a toxic relationship. Some on the broadcast argued that it was female empowerment, the feminist view and just music that was being taken too serious. But what is the true effect of seeing an entertainer you idolize, speaking to the very real issues you are dealing with at the moment, and responding in this manner?


Marketing genius, perhaps, but at a time when I’m scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook and see headlines about a young promising pastor being murdered by his 48 year-old girlfriend –a mother taking her own life in front of her kids because of marital problem—a video of 2 teachers fighting in the hallway in front of students over a man no less—girls rising up to boys spewing profanity laced hate and provoking them to violence in a battle they will never win—and just last week, a teen girl beaten to death in a school bathroom over a boy – it’s hard for me to say, it’s just music, it’s not that serious.


This journey called life has taught me that each generation is becoming more fragile, and we can no longer take this lackadaisical approach to everything. Our youth are in crisis, because their parents are in crisis. If mama hates men and constantly speaks ill of them, if societal ills are forcing men out of the home, and if our best boys are constantly being emasculated for the sake of record sales and entertainment, while the benefactors sail away with their pockets lined, how do we right the path of humanity.


Sometimes we have to think deeper than what’s on the surface, yes artistry is a great gift, and what we put out in the universe has it effects. At what point do we change the narrative so that positivity sells and marketing stunts show our love and relationships as that thing to get excited and blow-up social media about. The other day my daughter posted a graphic on her Instagram, which spoke to young people in their 20’s not being able to obtain intimacy and commitment when they live in a society of hook-ups and dissolutions. Someone responded (and I paraphrase) she should forget about love and just focus on making money. Unfortunately, too many artists are promoting that same hopeless thinking.


Don’t forget to comment, like and share.


Peace & Blessings,

 

Tracy

 

Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com



Being Ungrateful Isn't Cute

Posted on April 25, 2016 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Being Ungrateful Isn’t Cute

By Tracy L. Darity

 

One thing my siblings and I were taught growing up is to always be grateful for what people do for you, especially if they didn’t have to do it. In response to any random act of kindness, we were taught to say “Thank You.” As a parent I instilled those same values in my kids. When they were younger there were times when people went out of their way to make sure they didn’t miss out on certain opportunities. It was always my practice to say thank you, and to encourage the girls to show their appreciation. Even as adults, I remind them of the importance of sending thank you cards to acknowledge the generosity and thoughtfulness of others.

 

Throughout life we encounter people along our journey who make an impact on our lives, be it good, bad or indifferent. About a year ago I had the opportunity to meet two teenagers and their mother. She appeared to be a kind and giving person, and at times reminded me of when I was raising my kids and wanted them to have full access to enrichment opportunities. One such outing took place recently, it was a day long trip in which the participants were rquired to have money for meals and souvenirs. Out of concern, I asked her kids if they had spending money, to which they replied, “no, but our mom is coming back to bring us some.” It was almost time for the bus to depart so I asked the host of the trip if their mom didn’t show-up before they left if she would give them cash from the registration money; and when they returned I would replace write her a check. She agreed. When they returned later that night, I learned not only did mom not bring the money, but she had already picked up the kids and left. At this point, I decided if she didn’t repay the money it would be a donation.

 

On yesterday I ran into mom (the second time in the two months since the trip) and immediately I was reminded of the money. Not because I wanted it back, but because it was the second time I saw here and she didn’t speak. So this time I turned to her and said hello, asked about the kids, exchanged small talk. As she walked away I thought, wow, how ungrateful. Not only did you never acknowledge that someone had to ensure your kids were able to eat that day, but when you had the opportunity to say thank you, you let the moment pass you by—not once, but twice.

 

This morning I was sharing the experience with a friend and I could hear her prayerful pause, before she responded. “You know, it’s not the kids fault, you did the right thing. Unfortunately, there are people who have the mindset that others won’t let their kids go hungry, so they think nothing of it. Maybe by acknowledging it, she thinks she has to repay you, so ts easier to just ignore the elephant in the room.” She went on to add, “The sad part is, the kids will probably grow-up never understanding the value in being surrounded by people who care.”

 

I understood what she was saying, but I was still annoyed. Then I was reminded of something someone said to me once, “It is unfair to hold others accountable for the expectations we set for them. It’s a recipe for disappointment.” I had to ask myself, did I set an expectation…has anyone? I simply assumed that if someone does something for you that you acknowledge it. So, if God places me in her path again, I may just pull her to the side and tell her what I tell my kids, "Acknowledge what people do for you and always say thank you…it doesn’t cost you a thing."

 

Peace & Blessings,

 

Tracy

 

Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com


 

Digital Doping...the New Amazon KENP Model?

Posted on March 22, 2016 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Digital Doping seems to be the phrase of the day when it comes to the latest innuendo surrounding the ease in which people are making tens of thousands of dollars off of loopholes in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited KENPC model. Just check-out these graphics allegedly from the  royalty report  of a 15-year old who claims to have earned over $70,000 by taking advantage of weaknesses in the KENP system.


For those reading this post who are not familiar with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) program, per Amazon’s website “it is a service that allows you to read as much as you want, choosing from over 1 million titles and thousands of audiobooks,” that allows users to “Freely explore new authors, books, and genres from mysteries and romance to sci-fi and more. You can read on any device. It's available for $9.99 a month and you can cancel anytime.” The KENPC (Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count) is the model Amazon uses to pay authors for downloads of their work via the KU program. Previously, authors were paid roughly $1.30 every time their book(s) were downloaded. This royalty varied by the month based on different variables. Under the KENPC model, authors are now paid by the number of Kindle pages read. These pages are not your typical book page. For example, my novel He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! is 435 pages in print form, but is about 1200 KENPC pages (Amazon continues to tweak the formula for calculating KENPC page counts causing this number continue to change), so every time someone reads my full novel via KU, I earn approximately $4.24 per book. Yes, that equates to less than ½ a cent per page read.


Back to the digital doping saga…It has been speculated for some time that it is very easy for unscrupulous individuals to scam Amazon when it comes to self-publishing on their Kindle e-readers. Over the years authors have claimed to have seen their books stolen and a new cover and author name slapped on the front. There have been scandals involving fake reviews, whereas author’s devised a scheme to get 100’s of reviews that ultimately boost the placement of their books. The idea being, the more visible the title the more likely someone is it give it a try. Now the latest is the accusations that scammers are uploading Kindle books loaded  with bogus content (to the tune of thousands of pages), placing a link in the front of the book that encourages readers to click on it, which sends them to the last page of the book. Amazon then considers all the pages read and pays the “author” accordingly. So what does that link say that would encourage someone to click on it? It’s simple, offer something for FREE.


It’s a complicated ruse that author, Selena Kitt, has so eloquently laid out in her blog SCAMAZON – Amazon “Kindle Unlimited” Scammers Netting Millions. Give it a read and let me know what you think. Can a company of Amazon’s size, be this easy to get over on?


Peace & Blessings,


Tracy


Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com

 


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