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A Call for Powerful Parenting!


This weekend I
had a major mommy breakthrough. Actually, call it, a blaring
realization. Let me tell you about it. As you may know, I had the
privilege to participate in a panel discussion on parenting with Rev.
Run and Justine Simmons and the director of the New York State
Fatherhood Alliance at this years WBLS Circle of Sisters event in New
York City.

The event was phenomenal. (see great pics below!!)

the end of the rousing and funny discussion–you should have heard
Rev’s and Justine countering versions of the story of how they first
met!!! we opened up the floor to questions. The lines at the
microphones quickly filled up.

There were mothers and fathers
frightened for their children and feeling nearly helpless as they
battle the rump-shaking, belly-baring music and images, the negative
stereotypes amongst our own community that compare educational
excellence with selling-out, and the lack of positive male role models
for our sons. One mother desperately sought our advice over her 15-year
old daughter who was living in and out of homeless shelters with a man
more than twice her age. She felt helpless as to how to get her
daughter off this destructive course.

One thing is blatantly
clear. Black mothers are in the fight of their lives for their
children’s lives. But we can not lose our power as parents. This is
what I told the crowd over the weekend, and I had thoughts of our Mocha
Manual movement on my mind. Yes, we may get tired and yes, we will be
overwhelmed, but the stakes are too high to slack off or ever give up.

I look at my 4-year old son, I know that I am raising a black man in a
world that is statistically stacked against his success and his very
survival. When I look at my 8-year old daughter, I know that I can only
protect her for so long and so much before the influences of school and
her peers affect her. My BET-ban, and no-belly baring Bratz dolls rules
are at odds with what most of her classmates see and do. How do we
continue to foster positive self-love and positive images of black
women to our daughers when our own culture shows us as scantily-clad

At the end of the day, we are raising children
in difficult times. The last days, if you ask me. Those of us who are
wholly committed to raising strong, confident, beautiful Black children
face an uphill, though NOT insurmountable battle. The cultural forces
are strong, I know, but we can be equally powerful as parents.

need to be extraordinary women and extraordinary mothers to do what
needs to be done for our children. That means we have to be
healthy–physically, emotionally and spiritually. We can’t win this war
with weak armor. We need to be alert to the political and economic
climate. Nov. 4th is coming! Y’all know what to do!

We need to
be their first and primary role model. We have to make time and
communicate with our children–we may not like what we hear, but we
need to know what they’re thinking and keep the lines of communication
open. And our children have to know that we are their biggest
cheerleader, champion and sometimes drill sargeant. That we expect
greatness and nothing less. And that our love is limitless.

will not give up on our kids. We will not go down without a fight. We
will not give up our power and the privilege of being parents.

Holla if you hear me!!!

In motherhood,


Me & Justine share a moment in the Green Room

The fab panel and our moderator

Ready to work at the Mocha Manual booth!

Nedy wins our lux make-up brush set (as seen on Rachel Ray!) and free consultation from Fariweather Faces (http://www.fairweatherfaces.com/), the wildly popular traveling beauty service. ($500 value)

Tricia wins our fabulous gift set from http://www.newarrivalsinc.com/ featuring hot items from
celebrity nursery stylist Tori Swaim.

The winner of our baby stroller Giveaway sporting her new Mocha Manual maternity tee. Sombeody is about to pop!!

ohh baby, the eye candy at the expo was SWEET! So many six packs, so little time….

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