The Affluenza Defense for Police 

Betty Shelby is pleading not guilty because she said the stress of Terence Crutcher caused temporary deafness, resulting in her not knowing that another police officer was going to tase him. What kind of mess is that? Is this going to be the affluenza defense for police officers? Can the families of murder victims use this defense/excuse in their civil suits?

Michael Brown didn’t hear you due to the stress of the situation. Tamir Rice didn’t hear you due to the stress of the situation. Freddie Gray didn’t hear you due to the stress of the situation. Tyre King didn’t hear you due to the stress of the situation. Alfred Olango didn’t hear you due to the stress of the situation. 

The list could go on for days, and unfortunately, there will probably be more by this time next week. This list will continue to grow until we hold people accountable. 

More Love…Less Hate

Taken today at the opening of the National Museum Of African American History And Culture (NMAAHC), we can see that true friendship can cross party lines. I hope that the friendship between First Lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush can be used as an example in politics and life. 

Original image from Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer, David Kennerly

FIVE Latinos were shot and killed by cops in the past week…and we barely knew it.*

FIVE Latinos were shot and killed by cops in the past week…and we barely knew it.* While the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile occupy the news waves, the shooting death of five Latinos this week slipped by.Since last Sunday Vinson Ramos, Raul Saavedra-Vargas, Melissa Ventura, Anthony Nuñez and Pedro Villanueva were shot and killed by cops, but only a few local media barely reported their deaths…

This story is from July 10, but this is just another sign that communities must come together to fight racism, oppression, and injustice. We are stronger as one. Read the entire story at: FIVE Latinos were shot and killed by cops in the past week…and we barely knew it.*

Lecrae Quote

Take a knee…people riot. 

Take a bullet…people quiet.


#TerenceCrutcher #BlackLivesMatter #StopKillingUs #LoveWillWin

A Prayer of Comfort and Hope–Dr. Alyn E. Waller

It seems that every week we, as a community, are grieving another life lost. I continually say, “I am more than a hashtag.” Yet, it seems that we may be one mile, one block, one step, one breath from becoming the next hashtag. Good people from both sides have lost their lives, and we have shed too many tears to count. Community activists. Church members. Police officers. Leaders. Students. Mothers. Fathers. Daughters. Sons. Christians. Muslims. Black. Brown. Everyone. It seems no one is safe.

As a Christian, I have faith, but sometimes I find myself asking, Lord, help me with my unbelief. Dr. Waller’s prayer provides that answer.

And so, yes, we echo, even with tears in our eyes, pain in our hearts. We echo the words of the great hymn of antiquity, It Is Well with Our Soul. It is well knowing that God has a way of turning it around. It as well knowing the God has a way of using this to galvanize our efforts so that one day we shall stand and truly safe.

We cannot give up. We cannot give in. Let us fight the good fight knowing that one day we will be able to stand together safely united. Share this video as a reminder that it will be well. #LoveWillWin

What Does a “Bad Dude” Look Like? #TerenceCrutcher

I am constantly amazed about the police shootings that occur throughout this country–black, brown, yellow, green, orange, purple, and white. Every time, I think I have seen it all, another hashtag is created, and I am left sitting here shaking my head. My heart heavy. My soul just a bit more empty. Wondering what more can I say. Thinking how much more can I give. Saying what else can I do. Then, I stop my pity party and remember this is not about me. It’s about us, our community, and our next generations.

(Warning graphic content in the video) – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – |

Can somebody please tell me, what does a “bad dude” look like? In the video below, one of the helicopter police officer (yet to be identified) can obviously tell from way up in the clouds that Terence Crutcher is a bad dude. Really??? Get the heck out of here with the stupid ish. Was it because Mr. Crutcher was black? Was it because Mr. Crutcher was big? Was it because Mr. Crutcher was a man? Or was it the perfect trifecta, Mr. Crutcher was big, black man. If that is not some classic stereotypical profiling, I don’t know what is. I wish the bad officers out there would let me know what a bad dude is so that I can give a heads up to my brothers, my cousins, my father, my uncles, my nephews, and my godson. Better yet, let me know what a bad one, bad girl, etc. looks like so I know how to protect myself.

So now I know that I cannot:

  • Have my car stall on the road #TerenceCrutcher
  • Ask why I was pulled over #SandraBland
  • Reach for my identification #PhilandoCastile
  • Try to reach for a child in my house #AiyanaStanleyJones
  • Be the victim of a botched raid #KathrynJohnston
  • Walk to get some tea and Skittles #TrayvonMartin
  • Leave from a party #RekiaBoyd
  • Do my job #CharlesKinsey
  • Worship in church #CharlestonNine

The list can go on and on. Did all of the people look bad? No. Were they all bad? No. So somebody please tell me. What does a bad dude look like?

Maya Angelou Quote

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.—Maya Angelou


Remembering 9/11

On September 11, 2001, we all died. Our lives were never the same. Many people lost their lives on that day because of hate. Many more sacrificed their lives to save us here and abroad. Whether a physical death or an emotional death, we understand that loss. 
It is now 15 years later, and though some may disagree, I believe our country is stronger. I pray that we never have to experience another 9/11 again. I pray that I don’t have to see smoke coming from the Pentagon. I pray that I don’t have to wake up and go to bed with military copters flying over my home. I pray that I am not worrying about the safety of my family and friends in NY, PA, and DC because the phone lines are jammed. 

Let us continue to pray for our nation as we heal from 9/11. I do not think anyone that was living in 2001 will be completely healed because our lives were forever changed. Yet, let us work on getting stronger with each year, and never take anyone for granted. Tell someone you love them today. God bless you!

Embracing What Makes You Unique

Her Own Beat’s Note: I’m posing these questions as an extension of my post, Redefining Yourself. I became interested in knowing what others were doing. 

What makes you unique? What makes you stand out? Share how you embrace what makes you unique. How do you march to your own beat?

Redefining Yourself

“I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.”
―Janelle Monáe

Yesterday, a memory from two years ago popped up on Facebook showing my new ‘do. I had just cut off my beautiful Sisterlocks because they were making me hot. So hot that a lady in church had me convinced that I going through the change early. After calling my mom crying, I knew it was time to cut my thick head of locks. Little did I know that one haircut would symbolize great change, not realizing I stood on the edge of the precipice. Just days later, my life was turned upside down as my dad and all my uncles dealt with major medical illnesses. I stopped asking what next or how much more as we wondered if my father would make it. My father pulled through, but one uncle is now resting in paradise.

In the midst of this, there was our umpteenth reorganization at my job. I was home with my family, but my coworkers and my boss tried to keep me updated. As the date neared closer to our reorganization meeting, I knew that I was on the chopping block. Many tried to tell me that it would not be me because out of my cohort, I had been at the company the longest, and I got one of them promoted into our equal position. Nevertheless, I had a feeling this was not going to happen. I knew I was on the chopping block because I was no longer the token black girl. During our previous reorganization, our department had merged with a larger department and they had two black female managers. I was no longer safe. As soon as that occurred, I knew I had to redefine myself within the company and outside the company.

My efforts to redefine myself within that company were not fruitful, but I am blessed to say that my work outside of the company were. I started using the talents that I had honed since high school to help others write their biographies and other written pieces. I began to learn the process of working in the literary world, as well as the pain of being a ghostwriter. You know there is a great story there, but you cannot force a person to sit with you to create it. As I continued to redefine myself, I expanded my offerings to social media because that just made sense. If you know me, you know I may be slightly addicted to social media. I just enjoy all that it can bring to the world.

Well, lo and behold, I was laid off. I was upset, but I was prepared because my company was already formed and ready to go. No longer was I somebody else’s employee; now I owned my company and I made the rules. Redefining yourself, however, is not limited to just your career. Redefining yourself also takes place in your personal life. What you may have decided you want in high school may no longer fit you now. I think Janelle Monáe’s quote is beautiful and fitting because we are not here to be perfect. Could you imagine if you were living your idealized perfect life that you imagined when you were six or even 16? I would be married, a First Lady in the church…not in the White House, with two sets of twins, who was running to be the first woman president. The timing is perfect, but I could not imagine trying to run against Donald Trump right now, or during the racial tensions that are rampant throughout this country. Furthermore, my views may have negatively affected my family because Super PACs would have taken everything I had written and exaggerated it. They would have me as a pure socialist. Honestly, I do not know if I would have the ability to write because of my position as the First Lady. The church has become more open and accepting, but I do not know if my husband’s career could outlast my writing, my posts, and definitely not my tweets. I would have been muzzled.

Life is a journey. I am learning to embrace who I am more and more each day. When people ask who I am, I generally say, “I don’t know,” or “That’s a hard question to answer,” because I am constantly evolving into a better form of myself. Who I am today is different than who I was when I was 17. I wish I could have been like this at 17, but I know people could not have handled this version of me. Who I am today is different than who I was this time last year, or for that matter last month. Each experience molds you into who you are. Have no regrets…live life to its fullest (even if you are the only person having fun).