Insecure Got Us Wondering If Your New Boyfriend Can be Your Ex?

Jay Ellis
By Mwabi Kaira

A petition floated around the internet demanding that Lawrence return to Insecure when it was assumed that he wouldn’t appear on Season 3. Team Lawrence championed hard and fans of the show were pleasantly surprised when Issa ran into him at the 7-11 while she was at Coachella. Lawrence has been on every episode since then and his story line has been interesting to watch. To get over Issa he got on top of a lot of women, and a visit to the doctor scares him right on over to Church. Although both Issa and Lawrence have moved on and agree that friendship is the best thing for them right now, this week’s episode has them getting coffee and reminiscing and we are reminded of why they worked when times were good. The episode ends with viewers wondering if they’re going to give their relationship one more shot.

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Yay or Nay to Telling Your Friends What Your Man is Working With?


By Veronica Wells

In a lot of ways, I grew up in the “I’ll take your man” era. The sentiment was in the music. Terry McMillan was writing about it in Waiting To Exhale (which I read probably a little too early), and most importantly they were in the warnings from elders. For better or worse, my grandmother was preoccupied with the concept of jealousy and we received more than our fair share of warnings about people who masqueraded as friends but were secretly jealous of some aspect of your life.

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Quad & Dr. G's Cheating Scandal Got Us Wondering, is it Ever Justified to Cheat?

Quad Webb Lunceford and Dr. Gregory Lunceford
 By Brenda Alexander

Their marriage started off rocky with them canceling the wedding just weeks before getting hitched only to turn around and jump the broom in a ceremony while guests watched with side-eyes at a later date. Being newlyweds on reality tv didn’t help. She took pride in being a stay at home wife while catering to her man only to fester into a real life version of Beyonce’s “Resentment." He worked to maintain the household and yearned to start a family while she strived to establish some financial independence. She claims he grew to be emotionally unstable, became a nagger and increasingly made a mockery of her pain. Not helping were outside chatter from viewers and castmates that Quad was never satisfied. It was speculated that she loved the lifestyle he provided more than him and dragged him along while she climbed social ladders. The final straw was Quad’s emotional revelation that Dr. G was caught in an extortion attempt after an apparent hotel affair.

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Sexual Compatibility, Marriage and the Black Church


By Devon Mac

The Black church anchors much of my childhood and adolescence. It was my first experience of nurture and care outside of my family. Where mint candies were sweet gifts of love from older ladies in stockings and knee-length skirts. Where I nervously sang my first solo in the children's choir. Where I rocked white gloves and patent leather shoes on Easter. And as a teenager, where I fell into a range of crushes and formed life-long friendships. The church was also where I came to understand a love that was beyond what anyone on earth could ever give me. It is where my faith was formed. I also received my first formal education about sex in the church.

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Tell It Tuesday: Why First Impressions Aren't Always the Right Impression

BACA
 By Ta-ning Connai

By the time I got to my friend's church, it was already in session. You could hear a pin drop as I tried to quietly squeeze myself through the congregation while scrambling towards that one empty seat. And before my butt could even hit the pews, the pastor decides to integrate me into his already scheduled program..."Yeah fellas, look out for these light skin girls strolling into church with their big curly hair, batting their big blue eyes, wearing their fly fur coats and them high heel boots. Uh huh, the devil is just trying to tempt you, and you gotta be strong because ya know they ain't up to no good! Oh yes sir, you better watch yourself because all they gonna do is get you caught up! One look into they eyes and they gonna steal your heart and take you for everything you got! I'm telling you ladies you better get your life right, stop playing with God because he ain't playing with you!"

I was stunned.

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True Story: I Was Dragged by Social Media When My Wedding Video Went Viral

Photo BlackLove.com
By Nicole Pender

“Love is patient, love is kind, love requires longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith.”

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Tell It Tuesday: To the People in Church Who Don't Want to 'Hug Thy Neighbor'


By Ta-Ning Connai

I LOVE TO LAUGH! Just sitting here thinking about it makes me feel like belting out a huge Ahahahaha! And nothing brings me more chuckles than a Facebook page called Church of Laugh, where nothing churchy is off limits. From feathery hats large enough to be a lethal weapon to choir leaders that should be officially banned from the mic forever, get ready for some gotta-catch-your-breath hilariousness! I find their mix of humor and the Christian experience quite the clever combo; ‘cause I just don’t see why everything about loving Jesus gotta be so sad like those old gospel hymns (sorry but, no I don't wanna go up yonder, yes I can DEFINITELY wait to get to Heaven, yes His grace is amazing, but do not call me a wretch, thanks). And while they usually have me in stitches, one recent post pointed to something that happens to me, and lots of other people in church, way too often.

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Should You Take the Bed From Your Single Days Into Your Marriage?



By Veronica Wells

From the time I was born until around middle school, my parents had a huge waterbed. I loved this bed. It was temperature controlled so it was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If you’ve ever slept in a waterbed, you know that they cradle you. We loved our parents’ waterbed so much that they bought me and my sister twin size ones for our rooms. And then one day, the waterbed, my parents’ waterbed was going.

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With Friends Like This...Is Your "Friend" Secretly Your Biggest Hater?


By Sonya Eskridge

Among the pages and pages of Instawisdom and motivational pics on the gram is an oft-replicated adage that advises, “Make sure everyone in your boat is rowing and not drilling holes.” To me, this is a shoutout to all the people on social media with shifty friends in their circle. Having been through a few toxic friendships, this spoke to the core of my spirit. How’s a girl supposed to unwind with her friends when she’s not sure she can trust everyone in her orbit? Looking back over my life, I’m astounded at the number of people who I thought were friends but were actually enemies in disguise. Sometimes it's hard to spot them in the moment, but there are red flags to watch out for.

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The Hypocrisy of the Braxton's Family Values

Photo Courtesy of WE TV
By Brenda Alexander

Nothing irritates me more than seeing black kinfolk treating each other like enemies on any public space while we and non-coloreds (i.e. white people) sit and consume their familial drama for entertainment. We have enough outsiders preying on our downfall for us to partake in the mess, especially publically. Unfortunately, this has become the case for my beloved Braxton family.

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7 R&B Songs That Sent Toxic Messages About Love & Relationships

Via TheShadeRoom
By Veronica Wells

Earlier this week, Michelle Williams had to let y’all know that even though she’s found a good man who is worthy of love and special attention and privileges, she has no intention of doing all the things outlined in Destiny Child’s hit song, “Cater 2 U.” I was with her. Even during my childhood, I could recognize that the song was a little too extreme. I mean in one of the lines Beyoncé literally says, “My life would be purposeless without you.” C’mon sis. It’s too much. I like to think of myself as a romantic and as a child, with no real world experience in love, music and particularly love songs were my peek, my gateway, my initial exposure to what love could and would be like. And to be honest, more than a few of them sold us some pipe dreams or toxic ideology about love, relationships, sex and dating. Check out just a few offenders below.

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True Story: I Became a "Trailing Spouse" and Hated It


By Nissa Francisco

Over seven years ago I left Canada to live in London where my husband was pursuing a work opportunity in his career. The idea of moving to a different country to be with him was something I didn’t think twice about at the time. There was nothing more thrilling to me than having the opportunity to support his career endeavors while giving me the opportunity to start fresh somewhere I had never been before. I had just fought my way to finishing a Masters degree I wasn’t even sure I wanted, while working a full-time job that was not fulfilling or progressive in the ways that I had hoped it would be. I was really beginning to question my purpose and my life condition was at an all time low. London seemed like just the shake up I needed. I would take the opportunity to pursue interests that I would never dare pursue in Canada while taking advantage of a new culture and way of life. I worked in fashion retail, took acting classes and completed a course in fashion buying and merchandising. I ended up working for a really great start-up clothing company and could see myself growing with their brand…but I still wasn’t happy.

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4 Takeaways From Diddy's Life of Love Via The Gram

Diddy & fam via the gram
By Kaila Kea

When Diddy announced he was changing his name to Love last year, the media went into a bit of a frenzy. Those of us (me included) who still call him Puffy were unbothered, but others wondered what brought this on. Although he soon announced that he would not be changing his name after all, he has certainly embodied nothing but love since that time. In fact, Diddy’s Instagram posts alone are enough to get your day started right. So, if you haven’t been watching or perhaps you’re just out of the loop, here are 4 takeaways from Diddy’s life of love (per the ‘gram). 

Sorry Ladies, Liking IG Photos is not Shooting Your Shot. This Is.


By Veronica Wells 

Earlier this week, I saw a meme on The Shade Room that didn’t initially strike me as anything special. Usually, I like to go into the comments and check the pulse of the culture to see what people have to say about a certain topic. But with this, I just kept scrolling. Nothing to see there. It wasn’t until I saw my friend like it and then I saw it again on an associate’s page, that I decided to read it again to see if I missed some type of profound truth. Women were actually saying that they consider liking several Instagram pictures in succession to be a form of shooting their shot. 

Chile.

Is it Time for Ray J's Mom to Butt Out of His Business?

Ray J & mom Sonja Norwood
By Mwabi Kaira 

I’ve noticed a trend when it comes to “our” reality shows; mothers of grown black men stay in their business. First there was Mama Jones on Love and Hip Hop New York, who stayed in Jim Jones and Chrissy’s relationship in the first season back in 2011. She didn’t like not being her son’s number one priority after Chrissy came along, and it doesn’t seem that things have gotten any better since the three of them went on to appear on Marriage Boot Camp. Then there’s Scrappy’s Mama, Momma Dee, on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, who proudly proclaims to be the Queen of Scrappy’s castle in the Atlanta franchise and doesn’t want anyone knocking her off her throne. Not to be outdone, we now have Sonja Norwood, mom to Ray J, and her sidekick Brandy on Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, all up in his business.

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Tell It Tuesday: What Slim Thug Gets Wrong About Ciara Leveling Up

Slim Thug & The Wilson's 
By Ta-ning Connai

We haven't heard from Slim Thug since he spit rhymes on Beyonce's “Check On It” way back in 2006. And based on the rapper’s recent backlash he’s incurred, he’s probably wishing we weren't hearing from him now.

During a radio interview last week, the Houston native was asked if he thought a girl could date a good guy after having dated bad boys for a while. And that's when he decided, for no reason at all, to drag Ciara and her husband ‘cross the living room floor! He basically said that Ciara had a thing for street dudes and since she ended up with Russell Wilson, it must be all about the dough. He called Wilson corny, a square, lame and not cool...meanwhile, he just bought a pair of Russell's Nike shoes! Yo Slim, you had the nerve to tell the world you’re an undercover fan? But the worst part was when Slim said Ciara ain't changed and can’t adapt to a good man 😲.

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Remember When We Thought the Worst that Could Happen in a Relationship Was Cheating?


By Veronica Wells 

My friend of nearly twenty years was visiting me this past weekend. So naturally, we were reminiscing over our middle and high school years. As she was describing how our classmates’ lives had turned out, she said, “Remember when the worse thing we thought a man could do in a relationship was cheat on us?”

I responded, “Yeah girl. There were only two things. Cheating or hitting us.” 

Forget the Fluff. Power Tackles Grief This Season

Photo courtesy of Starz
By Mwabi Kaira

I was late to the Power party. Everyone was singing its praises Season 1 and I just wasn’t feeling it.  I finally got past the first episode and binge watched the entire season. It was hard for me to understand how everyone was so clueless with what was going on when it was right in their faces but I rocked with it and got on the bandwagon. Tasha and Kesha are my girls, Ghost is fine but makes bad decisions, Angela does the most, Dre went from 0 to 100 with too much confidence for my liking, Tommy is a hot head, Canaan is a snake, and Tariq makes me and every Mama on this earth’s blood boil. Raina’s death last season was a shocker and very unexpected.

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Admit It or Not We've all Dated a Stevie J.


Photo via Hollywood Life
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Like many music lovers, I have been waiting not so patiently for real R&B to make a comeback. Last week my wish kind of came true; however, nobody told me it would come through the seemingly drunk in love nuptials of Faith Evans and Stevie J... Let us pray.

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Meet the Police Officer Who Blew Up on Instagram Doing Good in His Community

Officer Norman and kids in his Little Rock community
By Ta-ning Connai 

Officer Thomas Norman is clearly cut from a different cloth. Through his strategy for community policing (a mix of relatability, love, compassion and respect), he is changing the way many of us see law enforcement. He was doing good deeds behind the scenes in his hometown of Arkansas when rapper and community activist Killer Mike took notice. Mike took him on CNN as a prime example of what police can do to assist and engage (not taunt and terrorize) people of color. But it was west coast rapper, The Game and his son Harlem, who brought Tommy to rock star status in 2016. On the heels of the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, The Game found it important to let people know that there was an officer out there making a tremendous effort to restore hope and mend the wounds that bad cops have caused. So he and his son created a GoFundMe page for people to support Norman’s outreach. From Hollywood celebrities to everyday folks, the blessings are STILL pouring in! Officer Norman’s IG page- which has over 1 million followers- has a fabulous reality show vibe; it's heartwarming, hilarious and keeps you coming back. Even the neighborhood regulars have a bunch of fans following their every move. But hey, don't take my word for it, just see it for yourself and I'm sure these Best Officer Norman Moments will make your heart just melt!

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