Wednesday, February 29

The Fountain of Youth!

This story blew me away!  The woman in this video has found the fountain of youth!  She's 70 years old (YES 70!) and looks incredible. It just reminds us all that you will reap the results if you sow the seeds.  She has been eating a vegetarian diet since the 1960s and went raw vegan 27 years ago.  (raw vegans eat no animal products; only organic, natural uncooked/unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.)

She started on a quest to feel better and have more energy, but she got more than she bargained for...

It's funny to see her and her husband, who are the same age, together....she really does look like his daughter or even granddaughter.  To think that she has 50 year old children and is a grandmother seems unreal.

I'm not telling you to go vegetarian or even raw vegan, but let this video inspire you to add a little more balance in your life.  Start including more fruits and vegetables into your diet and watch your health improve.

I personally have been watching what I eat and have changed my diet over the years and have seen amazing results.  It's all about balance! And in today's self indulgent society it can seem difficult to leave to fast food alone, it's easier to drive thru a window instead of preparing healthy meals at home in the name of "saving time," but in the end you are only doing your body a disservice.  

You only have one body!  Treat it right and it will do amazing things for you!

And if you need help overcoming you eating issues, please contact us at Girl Doing BETTER! - It's time to start doing BETTER and we can help!

Monday, February 27

My thoughts on Octavia's Oscar Win...

I was happy to see Octavia Spencer take one home for the team yesterday.  She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'The Help'.  Her acceptance speech was heart wrenching and so sincere and I celebrate with her.  The thing that bothers me is that in 84 years, Octavia is only the 5th African American to win an award for Best Supporting Actress.  Only 4 other Black women has graced the stage to accept that prestigious award before her:

1940 Hattie McDaniel - Gone with the Wind
1991 Whoppi Goldberg - Ghost
2006 Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
2009 Mo'Nique - Precious

In one way there is a saving grace in seeing that the awards are coming closer together and we're not experiencing the 50 year gap there was before Whoppi Goldberg won in 1991.

I guess the question I have this week is: Is it important that we honor our own (with our own awards) or is is more beneficial to try to continue to break boundaries?  Do our own awards have as much 'weight' as the Oscars?  What do you think?

Video of her speech:

Friday, February 24

Most People Fail In Life Because They Aim Too Low!

Have you ever really thought about that?  "most people fail in life because they aim too low".  Have you been dreaming big enough, or high enough?  Or have you fallen victim to the 'I can'ts' or maybe the 'shoulda coulda wouldas'?  It's so important to constantly dream and dream BIG!

This weekend is as good a time to revisit your goals and dreams.  Have you been dreaming just enough to make it seem like you have a dream? Or have you set your life's bar in such a way that in order to jump over it you have to change the way you look at or approach things in order to succeed.

Take a look at this video by Les Brown that is sure to inspire and motivate you to dare to DREAM.

If you need help dreaming, or don't know where to start searching for your passions in life contact me at Girl Doing BETTER -  I provide life coaching that you do from the comfort of your home. It's time to put your best foot forward....and I can help!

Enjoy the video and your weekend!

Wednesday, February 22

If you knew it could kill you would you still use it?

This is very interesting!  I came across this yesterday and had to share it with you.  There has always been a part of me that wonders what the effects that hair relaxers or 'perms' have on the body.
Researchers at Boston University have recently completed a study that suggests a link between hair relaxers and uterine fibroid tumors in women early puberty in young girls.
They followed "more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009 and found that the two- to three-times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers."
Those stats are astounding!  To think that fibroids may be linked to something we put in our hair to relax it doesn't make me feel very relaxed.  To me that's a huge price to pay to have straight hair.  
Whether you choose to keep your hair relaxed, natural or dread....the thing to remember is to know what you are getting into.  Know what these products are doing to your not only your hair but to your body as well.  For the most part relaxers are not FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved so who knows what fillers or cheaper ingredients companies are using to inexpensively make the 'creamy crack'.
While these studies can only provide us with a suggested link between the use of relaxers and ailments like early puberty and fibroids, it's important for us to know that these risks exist and are very real. Studies of this caliber take years to complete and there haven't been too many studies of this kind (in comparison to other ailments). 
How many of you have watched Chris Rock's documentary 'Good Hair'?   He raises some good points and does some simple experiments with the ingredients found in relaxers.
Question for the relaxed ladies: Do you know what's in your relaxer?  Does that have an effect on your choice to relax your hair?
Question for natural ladies: Why did you go natural? Do the possible effects of the contents of a relaxer deter you from relaxing your hair?
Remember: this is not about relaxed vs natural it's about making informed decisions! 

read more here:

Monday, February 20

Are you a diamond yet?

I saw this quote today and I was reminded that we are all diamonds in process!  Life will bring challenges our way, causing us stress in various degrees.  The end result, however, will be a reflection of how we handle that stress.  Don't give up in the middle of the pressure, because you are on your way to becoming a diamond.  Stay strong!  And if you need help finding your inner strength, Girl Doing, BETTER is here to help! Send me an email or join us on Facebook Girl Doing, BETTER (on Facebook).  You don't have to do it alone....two heads are better than one.  It's time to do BETTER!

Friday, February 17

Life Without Black People

I had to share's a great way to put into perspective the many inventions that African Americans have created over the years.  

Leave a comment with the inventions you were surprised to know were made by African Americans.

A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.

At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief.

'At last', they said, 'no more crime, drugs, violence and welfare.'

All of the blacks have gone! Then suddenly, reality set in. The 'NEW AMERICA' is not America at all - only a barren land.

1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.

2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.

3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man,
invented the traffic signals.

4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Albert R. Robinson.

5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper..

6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the
Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, Black.

7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.

8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.

9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Lattimer later invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern, and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.

10. Their children met them at the door - barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board, and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.

11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.

Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Blacks, as African-Americans?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'by the time we leave for work, millions of Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks.'

Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois.

Wednesday, February 15

No More Excuses!

The caption says it all: "Whatever your excuse is, it is time to stop believing it."

I saw this picture on Facebook and I was mesmerized. Here is a man with no arms standing on one leg creating beautiful art. What's your excuse?

Take a moment today to take stock of your life and find something that you really want to do but always find a million and one excuses as to why it can never happen.  Maybe it's dusting off the runners and starting your workout.  Maybe it's finishing that book you've always wanted to read but work and kids 'get in the way.'  Maybe you've wanted to learn to play the piano, or write in a journal or learn how to sew.....whatever it is, take a few minutes each day and stretch your limits!  Find your excuse and shatter it! There's no time like the present.

And if you need help finding your passion contact me at Girl Doing BETTER,  It's time we all did better today than we did yesterday!  New sessions start in March.

Monday, February 13

The Craziest Thing I've Ever Written

It's mental health week this week and I thought it would be the perfect time to share this with you.  This  article is the hardest and craziest thing I've ever written.  I hope that it sparks a conversation for you at home, at work, or with your friends and/or family.  We don't talk about mental health as much as we need to in the Black community and whether we want to believe it or not, we are affected by mental health too.  Please take a moment to read about my uncle....hopefully my story will help you to talk about yours.

The Craziest Thing I've Ever Written
T. Anthony
dedicated to my grandmother
I bet you didn't know my uncle is Jesus? He is the Soul Destroyer! He is under surveillance by unknown sources. He yells on public transit that he is GOD! Often, when he forgets or refuses to take his medication he leaves me long rambling phone messages threatening to blast my soul to hell with his super powers! When I finally answer the phone he holds me captive for hours, reciting bible passages. His vile homophobic rants sometimes make me cry. I'm the biggest sinner he knows, his queer niece, and he needs to save my soul before it's too late! I want to hang up and erase his messages.
I no longer recognize this crazy, yelling, incoherent person, yet I know buried deep somewhere inside the madness of his mind, the real him is frantically trying to get out. He desperately needs someone to talk to, who will listen to him, love him through the voices that are in his head. These voices take over his tongue, keep him pacing the floor at night, having full conversations with himself, by himself. These voices encourage him to take strangers home to his one-room government-assisted apartment so he can preach to them the word of God. These newly recruited "disciples" will often rob him of his few precious dollars and his simple possessions, and afterwards they laugh at him, mock him and call him the "Mad Man of London!"
My grandmother has asked me numerous times to write a play, a movie and/or a book about mental health. She has begged me to write about my uncle, write about who he was. But I couldn't. Found my shame got in the way of my crazy love for him. Because before he was the "Mad Man" who prowled London streets barefoot reciting biblical passages, before he was the Soul Destroyer, and way before schizophrenia took over our lives, he was my lovable, handsome uncle Cee.
The man who rewound Thriller nearly twelve dozen times so his daughter and I could learn the words, and he could teach us the dance moves. Cee taught me how to moon walk! He was a brilliant dancer who could mimic every single Michael Jackson move. He was a tall, chocolate, dark brother, with white sparkling teeth, a mischievous chuckle, and the slickest dresser on the block. He made me proud that he was the guy on the block who everyone looked up to because he made it -- made it the legit way. He was a hard worker, sometimes working two, three jobs. He owned his own home by 22, lived in an upscale neighborhood, drove a Porsche, had a beautiful wife, and beautiful kids. He faithfully picked me up every other weekend to take me to his fancy home so his wife could braid my hair in the latest styles. He gave me money for school dinners, ice cream, taught me how to roller-skate backwards! He was a father figure to me, my biggest role model. He sat me down and gave me motivational talks on the value of hard work. I was in awe of him. He had big dreams. Crazy to think I was a true believer. Crazy to think we didn't see crazy coming. But schizophrenia snuck up on him and robbed him of his wife, children, and life. Schizophrenia stole our biggest living dream.
And I am ashamed of my own shame in dealing with his illness. Cee has been my dirty little secret. The person I do not talk about in polite company. Last year, Cee called me a few months before Christmas. He was taking his medication so the conversation flowed more naturally between us, and I was reminded of why I loved him. He expressed to me that he was lonely; he didn't want to spend the holiday season alone in his dingy flat.
So I impulsively invited him to come to Atlanta to spend Christmas with me. Before the words were out of my mouth, I was filled with regret. What would my upscale neighbors think if Cee decided to not take his medication and walk across their fancy, manicured lawns barefoot reciting bible passages? What if he started spewing his message of homophobic hate, loud enough for my neighbors to hear? What if he became emotionally and verbally abusive again? Would I be able to handle his behavior by myself? I knew that if I called him back to renege on my invite this might be the new thing that would cause another one of his "setbacks."
Cee called faithfully every week, excited about our upcoming visit. My stomach turned. Three weeks before Christmas, he was hospitalized. He had stopped taking his medication again and had taken another unwelcome visit to his ex-wife's house. He wanted to see his estranged children. His frustrated ex-wife called the police, and they threw the crazy man back in the hospital. I was relieved. No Christmas visit. My secret was safe again.
However, there has been times when my world and Cee's world have collided and it has been a beautiful collision. When my play," 'da Kink in my Hair," opened in England, I nervously invited Cee to the opening and to a private dinner that was being held in my honor. I will never forget the look on his face, how eager he was to be a part of something, finally a welcomed member of society! He came with my beaming grandmother. He was a bit overdressed for the occasion but looking handsome.
He sat at the table and I held my breath. He was charming, overly chatty with everyone and maybe someone with a keen eye may have noticed that something was a little "off" with him... but he was there, and he was my uncle, and I wanted him to be there to experience my normal. I needed to have this new memory of him, laughing and drinking expensive champagne, talking, eating, feeling accepted, living this life that should have been his. Me, believing that if he was a part of my normal that maybe this would distract him from the voices in his head, the craziness of his world. I wanted to make him forget all that he had lost. Make him feel alive again. It was a beautiful night. I caught glimpses of him, the old and the new Cee, and I shamelessly loved him.
I often talk aloud to myself; sometimes in the shower I have full conversations with myself, by myself, going over my long daily to-do list. I talk to strangers on the bus. My brain never shuts down. Insomnia strikes me often. I pace the floor when I'm stressed. I've been told I over think things. I turn on music in the wee hours of the morning to quiet my thoughts and to stop my brain from reeling. When I catch myself doing these things, I get scared. Is it possible that Cee's illness is going to strike me at any minute?
I constantly worry that there will come a day when my children will no longer wish to see me, when my niece will worry more about what her neighbors will think than about my own wellbeing, that my mother will only talk about me in the past tense, and that people will whisper and stare at me, and call me crazy. And l worry that I will call my family members late at night, threatening to banish all their souls to hell! I wonder if they will they be ashamed of me? Ashamed of their own shame? Maybe. But I hope they will love me through their shame, love me in a passionate, crazy, mad, kind of way.

Monday, February 6

Happy Birthday Mr Marley

I had to take the time out to celebrate one of the greatest reggae artists to have graced the earth with his presence.  The legacy Bob Marley created in a short 36 years on earth is quite incredible.  And even though he`s been gone for over 30 years, he continues to inspire the world with his wisdom and his music.

His music and life have inspired me over the years and I always wonder what the world would have been like had he celebrated his 67th birthday today.

Let's celebrate him with some of your favorite them in the comments.

Happy Birthday Bob Marley! 

Friday, February 3

Letter From Freed Slave to Former Master

My mission this Black History Month is to present you with new faces from our history.  We all know (or should know) the major players: Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks...I mean the list goes on and on.  Don't get me wrong, they are extremely important people who have done significant works, however, I would like for us to expand our data base and find new facts.  

I found this letter written by a freed slave to his former master.  The former master had written him in an attempt to get "his slave" to return to work on his farm. However, since Jourdon left the Anderson farm, he became emancipated, moved his family to Ohio (from Tennessee) and was even working for pay.

I don't want to say too much before you get the chance to read this incredible letter....I want to letter to speak for itself.  It is beautifully penned! 

Leave a comment with your favorite part of the letter.

Here it is...ENJOY! 

Dayton, Ohio,

August 7, 1865

To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

From your old servant,

Jourdon Anderson.

Wednesday, February 1

The Truth About the History of Gynecology

I've seen this posted on several people's Facebook pages and I thought this is a message that needs to spread to as many people who will listen.

When I saw it, I wondered about it's accuracy and I did a little research on J Marion Sims.  Every medical reference/journal etc... I found confirmed the 'controversy' (as they call it) regarding his use of slave womyn to conduct experiments. 

It's incredible to think that a lot of what we know about the female body was due to the butchering of seven slave womyn.  The next time you see your ob-gyn be sure to thank the seven nameless womyn who were sacrificed in the name of science!

The text below are not my words, but the text that captioned the picture I saw on Facebook. 

Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 



"J. Marion Sims is called “the Father of Gynecology” due to his experiments on enslaved women in Alabama who were often submitted as guinea pigs by their plantation owners who could not use them for sexual pleasure.

He kept seven women as subjects for four years, but left a trail of death and permanently traumatized black women.

Anarcha was one of the women Sims experimented upon. A detailed history of this monster is in Harriet Washington’s book, Medical Apartheid.

Sims believed that Africans were numb to pain and operated on the women without anaesthesia or antiseptic. The procedures usually happened this way.

Black female slaves who were guinea pigs would hold one subject down as Sims performed hysterectomies, tubal ligation, and other procedures to examine various female disorders."