Get Out -By Selena Haskins

You may have watched TV Shows like Cold Case, The First 48, or The Coroner, and many of those shows are based on real-life crimes. The investigation makes you curious and you hope that justice prevailed by the end of the episode. Well, recently, I wanted justice for two women. One was pregnant and murdered by her boyfriend and the other was pregnant as well and severely burned by her boyfriend. I said to myself, ‘why didn’t they GET OUT???’

After my anger cooled down at the men who committed these terrible acts, my mind began to analyze the subject of domestic violence. I realized it was probably not easy for those women to get out, and when one of them did leave, maybe it was too late. I absolutely loathe domestic violence, and I hate the acts of men who abuse or even kill a woman, but it also saddens me that some women choose to stay.

Stand By Your Man sang Tammy Wynette, and many women do stand by their men— with a blacked-eye and busted lip. They will defend their man even til’ his death or her own. Why? Perhaps their mothers stayed in abusive relationships or maybe they feel like they’re not smart enough or have enough money to survive on their own or they’re too afraid to leave. To quote a character from my book, A River Moves Forward, “the only excuse for a man who abuses women are the ones we give him.” Pray for the courage to leave, educate yourself, learn to make your own decisions, and to say NO to others without regrets. The more a woman can do for herself, the less she will have to depend on a man. Gone are the days of yesterday when he once romanticized you in a cunning way. What’s the reality?

An abusive man may have seemed sweet, kind, and respectful, but if a woman plays the scenes of yesterday all the way through in her mind, she just may notice some red flags that she missed. What should a woman do when she sees the red flags? Should she wait it out? Time won’t change a man the man must change himself, and he can only do that if he recognizes he has a problem and is willing to seek help. Remember, an abusive man is a sick man. You cannot heal him. The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the harder it will be to leave.

Men who abuse women may have been abused themselves or witnessed domestic violence in their household. They may have also experienced a really bad break up and believe that if they allow themselves to be vulnerable again, that a woman will take advantage of him, so he becomes controlling. His control makes him feel powerful, and then he starts to become verbally abusive, and the verbal abuse leads to physical abuse, and ultimately the physical abuse leads to murder. Whatever other reasons psychologically or via his experiences in life, it is still NO excuse for him to abuse a woman, and he should seek help immediately!  In the meantime, be more concerned about your safety and your own life. Here is a list of some red flags you should not ignore.

  • Possessive and obsessive behavior – He wants to know your every move. Acts suspicious of others, especially other men. He isolates you from friends and family by having you cancel events or visits with them. He pays for everything including your rent, but it’s only to control what you wear or what you do.
  • Gets easily angry over little things.
  • Smacks you, because you made him jealous or didn’t do what he said, and then he showers you with more gifts and promises not to do it again.
  • He insists on having his way and does not compromise or consider your needs and feelings.
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol, and his abuse worsen while under the influence.
  • Threatens to kill you or himself if you leave.
  • He has a history of abusing women or violent criminal record.
  • He is always the victim. Nothing is his fault; it’s yours or somebody else’s.

GET OUT! Seek help from a family member or trusted friend. Call the domestic violence Hotline for professional guidance on this matter: 1-800-799-7233.

Photo Credits:  Pinterest board:

Writer:  Selena Haskin

Selena-1058She is a native Washington who enjoys music, spirituality, basketball, and spending quality time with her family. As a young girl, Selena always had a vivid imagination, and would tell make-believe stories to her friends. As a teenager, Selena begin to journal her personal thoughts, and write poetry. Before long, her talent for writing was recognized by her high school English teacher, who encouraged her to write articles for the school newspaper. The articles motivated Selena to write many stories and essays, mostly as a hobby. After completing high school, Selena would major in English at Johnson C. Smith University, and the University of the District of Columbia

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Wake Up by Toni Larue

“Don’t be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn’t do what you do, or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.” ~Malcolm X

What does it mean to be woke?

Does it mean that I’m against my people when I don’t buy everything from Black owned businesses? Am I an insult to my people when I wear weaves and artificial nails? Am I the enemy for having friends of different racial backgrounds?  Am I not woke because I believe in the political system, economic system??? Am I not woke because I don’t think every decision made for me or against me is because of the color of my skin?

I know this article is different from previous, but I felt that is was relevant because mindset plays a huge role in how successful we are as a community, whether it be financial, physical, mental and/or spiritual.

I had a discussion with some friends about what it meant to be conscious and It amazed me how many definitions, some I listed above, that people had. Like the feminist movement, a plethora of definitions consume the actual meaning. It gets buried in the quick sand and before you know it everyone is living their own definition of WOKE.

I’d like to think I’m woke.  I am aware of systematic racism and oppression that hinders the development and growth of my people. I try to do my part by using my platforms, supporting my people in their endeavors and educating them on solutions that we need to conquer collectively. However, I’m nothing like the top tier of WOKE people like Brother Polight and Red Pill and Blue pill and many more, but does that make me less of an influence? Or does is work like your carbon footprint? With every bottle you recycle you make the world a better place?

I’m telling you guys, I searched the net and YouTube and anything else I could find to give an accurate definition of what it meant to be woke and what I got was a matter of perspective and perception.

So, like many other people, I’ve come to my own conclusion (lol). The two quotes I included are from Malcolm X and Angela Davis, both these individuals did their part for the betterment of the Black community. But they weren’t perfect. They weren’t perfect and they made an impression in our future. So, I’m saying all this to say…do your part but don’t worry about how woke you are because you can never be something that isn’t clearly defined.

“I’m not longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” ~ Angela Davis


Give The Ring Back by Amy Michelle

We’ve all seen this post floating around since Evelyn Lozado, has called off yet another engagement. How is she even on Basketball Wives when technically she’s never been a wife?! Only one or two of them are actually still married to a ball player but they’re retired! I do not hate in any kind of way, Eva is actually one of my favorites on the show but it brings the social media world to a good question….
Is it okay to keep the engagement ring after you both decide it’s not the best idea to get married?       Seriously let’s think about this question from the guy’s first. He bought the ring that she wanted and she accepted it obviously, when or if he proposed. Sometimes you run across a couple that just went to the jewelry store together, picked out a cute ring, bought it and set a date as they drove home. It happens; maybe that sporadic behavior is the reason why the engagement is called off in the first place.

However it happened, he saved his coins and took thought into not buying some crap he didn’t need for the bachelor pad. He made the purchase so why can’t he return the ring and get his money back just like we return gently used things to Walmart because they take EVERYTHING back! Actually he would only get some of his money back because I’ve heard of some jewelers that only give you 20% back for what the ring is worth.

It’s a huge risk buying something so expensive on hope that it works out for the best. So why can’t he get his money back when the ex-fiancé moves everything out the house and scratch his rims us? Why would she want to keep it?       Now as a female, personally I wouldn’t want the damn ring! Whatever reason we had to end an embarrassing engagement he must really be scum and I wouldn’t want any reminder of him.

I would be like home girl Lisa from Coming To America when she gave The Prince 👑 those gorgeous ruby earrings back! “Bye Felix! 🖕🏾” But there are some women that feel entitled to the ring as payment or pain and suffering of having to put up with the guy throughout the duration of their relationship. I can understand that as well, but why? Why do you want to be reminded of it?!

Maybe there was even an instant where the cost of the wedding was split in half and somehow she contributed to the funds of paying for the rings…then is it okay to keep it? Just because a woman wants to keep the engagement ring doesn’t make her an automatic gold digger. There are so many contributing factors that leave us being judgmental about people we know nothing about. At the end of the day, we hopeless romantics dream of happily ever after and sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

It happens to the best of us AND the worst of us sometimes. We just have to be ladies about it, “Suck it up Buttercup!”, is what my daughter use to say. I don’t know about you dolls, but sound off….is it fair to give it back or are we actually saving these guys the embarrassment of only getting 20% of their purchase back? …now on the occasion that I feel like his sneaky, cheap butt would give the ring I picked out for myself to his next girlfriend or new fiancé….I would definitely keep that shit.

Hopeless Realist Romantic,

Amy Michelle