Colorism is defined as the practice of placing value on skin tones, with a preference for lighter skin

Sometimes I forget how dark I am, until I see a picture or someone passes a comment. It’s like how some people have body dysmorphia (aka a severe inaccurate body image), I have color dysmorphia. I don’t have a true sense of how dark I am, not because I have issues with my color, but because I have no issues with it at all! It is truly not in my consciousness. I honestly never think about it or obsess about it. It’s hard to explain this feeling, this oblivion to my color. Sometimes in certain settings, like work or some events, I forget I am the only black person or how dark I am till I walk past a mirror. I’m just a person. Whatever self issues I have it’s never been about color. Yearnings to be skinny – 100%. Yearnings to have a boyfriend – 100%. Yearnings to be light skinned – 0%.

 

Married life is steeped in secrecy. When people are dating, they are open (somewhat) to talking about their love lives, infidelity issues, insecurities, and so forth. The ring goes on the finger and all disclosure ceases. And when they do speak about their marriages, it’s hard for an outsider to tell what’s truth and what’s spin. Seriously, married couples are probably more secretive than the Freemasons. I think part of the issue is because married couples get advice all the time from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers. There is so much advice available it’s hard to determine what to listen to and what to let go in one ear and out the other. Everyone has an opinion on how you can ensure a successful marriage. With the avalanche of unwanted advice, of course they’ll simply keep mum on it all.

I think another reason married couples are so secretive is because there is so much more at stake. You can fail at work, friendships and youthful relationships. Failing at marriage, unfortunately, is more devastating, more crippling and more people, example kids, are affected. My third guess is that married couples feel a need to be secretive because of this paranoia (real or imagined), that everyone outside the marriage wishes you ill. This is particularly common among African marriages. The minute you’re married, you feel everyone, particularly your single friends, just want you to fail. So why provide anyone the fodder to drag you down?

In any case, somehow, I managed to find a few couples willing to talk and provide us with minuscule insight into their marriages. Putting this blog together has been challenging. Trust married couples to give me a tough time. I started the search last year after the ‘Women Tell All’ blog and found five couples. One couple dropped out really quickly, and then I lost another couple along the way. Now down to three, digging information out of the husbands was more like searching for life on the Sun, impossible. I really had no control here. The men just wouldn’t talk! I barely got syllables from them, but the women went on and on and on… Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. It’s official.

Here’s a little glimpse into the married lives of Dede and Chief, Goldie and Edem, and Tikki and Kay.Dede and Hubby_picGoldie and EdemIMG_9118

The success of Twilight: Eclipse ($83 million for the holiday weekend) and The Last Airbender ($54 million) have film critics in a tizzy. Many film critics are outwardly calling audiences dumb and stupid and so-called quality movie makers are appalled. Year after year, critics feel the audience is responsible for the churn of bad quality movies. Here’s a look at what they’re so upset about.

World Cup Ghana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is me four years ago reading the news the day Ghana beat USA at the 2006 World Cup. The whole country was in a frenzy. I’d never seen anything like it. It was our first appearance at the World Cup and I felt so proud to be Ghanaian. Four years later, I’m in Atlanta, and I’m wondering how this World Cup is going to be like for me. What will I do without the fever and pure bliss that gripped Ghana four years ago? What will I do without crazy guys dancing on top of taxis and every car horn on full blast? What will I do without the almost choreographed scream that splits through the whole nation each time Ghana scores a goal? Is this going to be one of those ‘when in Rome’ experiences? Check out my three-day video blog on experiencing the world cup in Atlanta.

This is a blog I’ve wanted to write for a while and lately some signs have been pushing me to it. So here goes.

Should women completely be themselves or should they adjust who they really are to suit what the man is looking for? Sounds like a simple question but it really isn’t.

I watched ‘Just Wright’ (starring Queen Latifah and Common) a day or two ago and the first half of the movie more or less summed up my thoughts on the subject. Latifah’s character, Leslie Wright, goes on a blind date and it seems like a fun date. They get along, they’re laughing, flirting, having great conversation, the whole nine yards. At the end of the date, the guy says he really had fun with her, she’s good people and he’d like to be just friends. I could feel Leslie’s disappointment because it mirrors what I go through all the time. Let’s just be friends.

When Leslie gets home, her cousin Morgan asks her how the date went.

  • Leslie says, ‘Dude just wants me to be his homegirl.’
  • Morgan says, ‘Well you do have homegirl written all over you.’
  • Leslie counters, ‘I’m just being myself.’
  • Morgan replies, ‘You should never be yourself with a guy, unless you’re five years into the marriage.’

My cousin Nana Darkoa has a radical and enlightening blog called Adventures from the Bedroom of an African Woman that I’m a huge fan of. A lot of people tell me they live vicariously through my blogs. Well, I live vicariously through Nana’s revolutionary blog. Adventures From is a forum for African women to share tips and experiences about sex and sexuality. It’s about time, honestly. So Nana and I decided to do a collabo about sex. I haven’t written about sex since my second post last April 2009, ‘Let’s Talk About Sex,’ so I think it’s about time I tackled the subject again. Our collabo is about sexual lessons, what we have learnt from our sexual experiences.

What’s the use of bumbling through life if you’re not learning a thing or two? Likewise, what’s the use of having sex if you’re not learning something? Sex is a discovery experience. I’m not sure anyone is born a Don Juan. And even if you memorize the Kuma Sutra from cover to cover, pics and words won’t make you a pro. It’s practice. Knowledge and experience gives you sexual power. So why not share?

Sometimes sex can be a total waste of time. Sometimes it is disappointing beyond words and you just can’t believe how useless it was. I think maybe another time, Nana and I will do a blog on ‘what not to do in bed’ because to me, with a little effort, the disappointing chaps could have been on this list. What’s worse about bad sex is if it’s with a good-looking guy who ‘believes’ himself. Totally annoying, makes you want to put a post-it on his forehead that says – Dude, you suck, bad! But that’s a rant for another day.

In any case, this list is for those who left an impact, taught us something, opened our eyes to something. This is my version and I also polled other people for their top lessons. This is a random list, so try not to figure stuff out. Check out Adventures from the Bedroom of an African Woman for Nana’s version.

There’s this perception, real or actual, that Ghana is the place where single Ghanaian women can quickly and easily find husbands. If you’ve been away for years, and you’re gnashing like crazy in whatever foreign city you’re in, its best to pack up and go home and you’ll surely scoop a man. Some women, within months, weeks or even days of arriving, land hubbies. And I actually know quite a few women who’ve nabbed within a year max of arriving in Ghana. So is Ghana really bursting at the seams with eligible bachelors? It’s possible. I get more direct stares and double takes in Ghana than anywhere else (although it could be that Ghanaian men are just rude and like to stare). In any case, I did have more attention and possible suitors in Ghana. Since I left, it’s been incredibly dry. And everyone just keeps saying, you need to go back home to find a guy.

In the wake of the devastating Haiti crisis, two things are starkly clear. People are ready, willing and able to give, and others, don’t believe in extending a hand unless they’ve taken care of their own fully.

Here’re a few comments I copied from People.com:

“How about we take care of America and the Americans’?? Why isn’t New Orleans re-built yet? Why is there so many homeless people in our own country? It’s time we start taking care of ourselves. People need to stop being obsessed with movie stars, athletes and find a hero in your own family. There is a whole lot of good American people that need jobs but yet the big companies keep exporting jobs. I just love that millionaires have to donate their time to raise money instaed of just cutting a check and going about the day. But they need to keep their name in the news or they won’t land the next multimillion dollar movie. I long for the days’ of yesterday and miss the good old USA.” – Rick

 

I’m not a big fan of New Year. It fills me with dread for some reason. I think about the New Year the same way I think about my birthday – here we go again, another year. It’s not a good feeling, never really has been. I don’t remember the last time I was excited about a new year. And I’m not that excited this year either. It’s just another day!

Each year in December, there is an incredible flood of Ghanaians who return home. Something that’s become like a part of the culture. It just happens year after year. Between December and the first week in January, EVERYONE goes home. It is really one of the best times of the year in Ghana. It feels like a national party. The whole ‘air’ is different. Everything feels different. God knows who you’ll run into around the corner or who you’ll hook up with :). It’s just a beautiful thing.