“Unbreak My Heart” an e-short by Tamika Newhouse #PassionateSpot

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My eyes seemed heavier today than it did on yesterday. Perhaps all the tears I could muster up had dried out and the swelling had begun. I was tired of crying. Hell I was tired of this pain in my chest. A broken heart.

Fuck!

How the hell did I end up with a broken heart? I thought I was safe this go round. But with a name like Alonzo I should had known.  I cursed under my breath and finally roll over to the side of the bed and Wince in pain.

I eyed my pipe and lighter and thought about taking another hit. But I shook my head and opted to get out of the house instead.

“I love you. I’ve never loved anyone like you before.” Alonzo’s voice echoed in my head and it forced more weight on my heart. I lean forward and breathed in and out.  Rapidly trying to catch my breath.

“My heart Hurts Lord. This shit just isn’t fair.” I didn’t care about cussing in my quest to question God about why I was suffering right now. On why I chose to love a man who did nothing but lie and waste my time.

As I began to walk towards my bathroom the buzzing of my phone halted my steps. I grabbed it and went to my text alerts. Alonzo!

Leave it to this ass hole to speak sweet bull shit until  his lies hits the fan and splattered all over my now broken heart. My eyes just studied his texts. His lyrical I’m sorrys waving like a rescue flag in the sky screaming “belive me. Feed into my bullshit so that I can waste more of your time!”

I’m not going to lie. Deep inside I just want him to take it all back. I want him to unbreak my heart. I still cared. I still loved him. And rolled my eyes and took my thumb to write back some ugly message. I just wanted him to feel my pain. To understand that now I was alone.

But my finger was stuck.  The beginning of my text read, “I gave you everything…” and then I thought.  He doesn’t even deserve to know that he had me. That I was completely and absolutely loyal to him. That I lived and breathed him. That I made plans for us.

I threw my phone on to the bed. “Fuck that nigga!”

With my heavy heart and with my swollen eyes I took four huge steps to my bathroom and studied my reflection. I was beautiful but in this moment I was dark, colorless, aged, sad. Look at what love did to me.

Was this love ? Was love this incomplete feeling that resulted in unimaginable pain?  I closed my eyes and squeezed them real tight as if I were Dorothy from the wizard of Oz wishing to go back to Kansas.

“Get it together Roslyn. You are a good woman who just loved the wrong man.”

I opened my eyes and starred at myself again.  Step 1 go ghost on that nigga. Step 2 wash your ass and your face.  Step 3 put on that dress that makes your ass look like a stallion. Step 4 pull out that rolodex and call up Timmy or John, that cute guy from the bar, Eric, Jerome, or shit call Tyrone and get you a drink, some food, and a smile. And if you want to get a nut while you’re at it; by all means do you!

I laughed at myself as my thoughts went into overload. I couldn’t believe I was faced with dating again. But at least I had options. Does he think I’m going to just sit around? He didn’t know Roslyn like he  thought he did.

I walked into my room grabbed my cell erased the words,  “I gave you everything.” And replaced it with,  “You good Alonzo.  Xo” I scrolled through my contacts and stopped on Eric.  “Hmmmmm I wonder.”

I clicked his name and texted, “hey!”. I fell back onto my sheets and smirked as I waited on a text back.  “The best way to get over one is to get under a new one.”

The buzz of my phone broke my thoughts. Eric”s text read,  “hey beautiful.” I laughed out as I started write back.

Now where was that dress…….

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Court Overturns 20-Year Sentence for Woman Who Fired ‘Warning Shots’ at Husband

PHOTO: Marissa Alexander in her car in Tampa, Fla.

 From ABCNews.com

A Florida woman who claimed to be a victim of abuse yet was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for allegedly firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband was granted a new trial Thursday.

The appellate court ruling erased a decision by a jury that took just 12 minutes to convict Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, of aggravated assault.

The conviction of Alexander, who is black, sparked outrage and cries of a racial double standard in light of the exoneration of George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, for the death of Trayvon Martin, who was black. In particular, outrage aired on social media and among some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as the same prosecutors who unsuccessfully worked to put Zimmerman behind bars told the court that she did not act in self-defense.

In granting the new trial, Judge James H. Daniel also seemed unmoved by the Stand Your Ground defense.

“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous,” wrote Daniel.

Alexander testified that, on Aug. 1, 2010, her then-husband, Rico Gray Sr., questioned her fidelity and the paternity of her 1-week-old child.

She claimed that he broke through a bathroom door that she had locked and grabbed her by the neck. She said she tried to push past him but he shoved her into the door, sparking a struggle that felt like an “eternity.”

Afterwards, she claimed that she ran to the garage and tried to leave but was unable to open the garage door, so she retrieved a gun, which she legally owned.

Once inside, she claimed, her husband saw the gun and charged at her “in a rage” saying, “Bitch, I’ll kill you.” She said she raised the gun and fired a warning shot into the air because it was the “lesser of two evils.”

The jury rejected the self-defense claim and Alexander was sentenced under the state’s 10-20-life law, sparking outrage over how self-defense laws are applied in the state.

A Florida appellate court ruled today that jury instructions, which unfairly made Alexander prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that she was acting in self-defense, were wrong — and that there were other incorrect instructions that self-defense only applied if the victim suffered an injury, which Gray had not.

Today, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., lashed out at Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, who oversaw the failed prosecution of George Zimmerman and the prosecution in this case, saying, “Arresting and prosecuting her when no one was hurt does not make any sense. … What was certainly absent from the courtroom during Marissa’s trial was mercy and justice. Indeed, the three-year plea deal from State Attorney Angela Corey is not mercy, and a mandatory 20-year sentence is not justice.”

Corey’s office argued that Alexander, who had not been living in the home for two months leading up to the shooting, provoked the incident, and that there was no proof the garage door was broken, Alexander’s rationale for not leaving the altercation. Her office offered her a three-year plea deal in the case that was rejected.

Alexander testified about three other alleged incidents of physical abuse by her husband, including one that led to his arrest. Several witnesses claimed to have seen the injuries she allegedly suffered and the final defense witness in the case testified that she met the criteria for “battered person’s syndrome.”

In a statement, prosecutors wrote, “The defendant’s conviction was reversed on a legal technicality. … We are gratified that the court affirmed the defendant’s Stand Your Ground ruling. This means the defendant will not have another Stand Your Ground hearing. The case will be back in the Circuit Court in the Fourth Judicial Circuit at the appropriate time.”

Inspired by #RNBDivasLA My innocence was taken away too! #PassionateSpot

74541_456680585484_6296926_nInspired by RnB Diva’s LA’s Divalouges

I always had a dream or somewhat of a vision. I had to have been three maybe four years old but not too much older than that. And it was a normal summer day or so I thought it was. My cousin’s and I were at Big Mama’s house like usual. We played, ate, watched TV, held sleepovers, and whatever else you could think of. I had a dozen brothers and sisters within them. I loved being around them. You see I was the baby. The actual baby. Mama had me last after more than thirty other grand kids at the time. In present day I have over 120 cousins. No lie.

But this had to have been the year of 1990. I along with my sister was spending some days at Big Mama’s house. We were outside playing. I being the youngest I could never be alone. This time my overseer was my big cousin, he had to have been about eleven or twelve.

I looked up to all of my cousins and my life was safe with them. Or so I thought. This day. I don’t remember when actually; but I lost my innocence on this day. No one knows this story. Everyone is finding out about it as they read this message. Why say it now? Why talk about it so openly?

Well why not?

What is the purpose of holding it in now?

You see I was touched. Maybe I was three years old; maybe I was four years old. But whatever age I was when I close my eyes I am taken back to that day. Along the side of Big Mama’s house he got me alone. I followed him innocently. He didn’t waste any time pulling down my panties. With his hands he touched me there. Told me to open my legs as he took his fingers and violated my small opening. He then took a stick and stuck it in me and I cried out. The memory goes dark after this. But the pain; the pain never went away. The fear of the male species never went away.

I stood there confused. I knew the feeling wasn’t right. But I watched him and waited for someone to come tell him to stop. Was this right? I148343_456680645484_3584450_n asked myself.

You see this very story never came out of my mouth until I was 21. Mama was dead and gone and I never told her. But I told my sister. One day I recanted the story in my head and for the life of me I needed to know if this actually happen to me. I mean, what kid has a vision like this in their head and it never happened.

So I said to her; “I have this thought in my head and I don’t know if it happened.” And I pieced little by little of what I wanted to tell her…..without giving away some of my sister’s personal stories she confirmed this story actually happened. And I grew angry.

I sat there stuck. I sat there unmoved and frozen in place. It all made sense now. From since I can remember I have always been watchful around other men. Especially family. I always made sure I wasn’t alone with any male and when I became a mother at 16 my daughter stayed glued to me.

“No she can’t go with you.” I would tell my child’s father. Because; not even I could trust him to not allow any one of his family members to touch her. I just didn’t trust any man.

Today I teach my daughter the same survival skills I have grown accustomed to. I was a victim but I will not be a victim to my past. I will not allow my assailant to have power over my mind.

I haven’t seen this cousin in years, but growing up when I use to see him I felt pure disgust. I hated him. I hated what he looked like, the sound of his voice; I hate the air in his lungs. But now at 27 I know that same hate can take me to hell. Forgiveness is a powerful act. It allows you to gain power of your destiny. Choose power. Choose forgiveness. Choose life.

My innocence was taken from me. But you know what I took back? Tamika. And she’s still here!

Tamika’s New York state of Mind #PassionateSpot

I had the pleasure of enjoying a nice long business trip to New York City during the ever so popular New York Fashion Week. It is the premiere fashion week in the country and I definitely went in with a intrigued mind. Fashion shows, models, bloggers, magazines, editors, designers, stylists, and so much was going on in the city.

I hosted a Books and Brunch which will become a city to city event during this year’s fashion week. Many of the country’s elite bloggers were in attendance. The topic was to discuss women entrepreneurs. We also ran a contest to bring in aspiring bloggers who were able to feed off of our business savvy minds. The event was sponsored by Cover Girl Queen collection and LiftLabSkin Care. Look out for more Books and Brunch events to come.

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I second attended the Harlem Row Fashion show with attendees from VH1, TvOne, Debra Lee of BET, actors, musicians, and so much more. I got some back stage action too.

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My weekend was topped off with many meetings with magazine editors, publicists, columnists, and other professionals making this my most busiest NY trip to date. 2014 is going to be a great busy year I tell ya.

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I ended my weekend with a photo shoot for a new campaign I have coming up and some preview shots are below. To be revealed soon, very soon.

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All in all I had a great business trip. I took some time to entertain myself and squeeze in some fun times. I met people on the street and gave away books, had social lunches and dinners, and man I tell ya this trip made me look at Atlanta like catch up already lol. The life of the city is all that in a bag of Doritos. Can’t wait to get back to the city. But until next time back writing for me. New series called Trust No Niggas is under works.

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curlBox unveils the nude issue

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From In Her Shoes Blog

As the Chief Experience Officer of curlBOX and one of THE flyest female entrepreneurs I know, Myleik Teele is constantly pushing the creative envelope and encouraging women of color to truly embrace their natural beauty. Let it be known, curlBOX is not just about hair, it’s a lifestyle. In what I consider to be her boldest move yet, Myleik made an otherwise mundane Tuesday afternoon a steamy one as she began unveiling photos from her recent NYC curlBOX shoot on Instagram. Imagine scrolling through and suddenly seeing this gorgeous image of a tastefully nude Myleik pop up on your screen! With skin as smooth and silky as fine chocolate, Myleik single-handedly shows us exactly what self-love and confidence looks like.

Each year, the September issues of fashion magazines present the most highly-anticipated release of new products and stunning photography for fashionistas around the globe. curlBOX, the coveted subscription box service for women with textured hair, pays homage to this tradition with The NUDE Box for their September edition. For the popular mini-magazine included with each box, curlBOX commissioned noted fashion and beauty photographer Itaysha Jordan to reveal a side of today’s textured tastemakers never seen before. This unique shoot showcased some of the most popular bloggers and vloggers in the natural hair space alongside curlBOX founder Myleik Teele–in the buff. “curlBOX has always been more than a collection of product samples, but part of the larger conversation on beauty, fashion and lifestyle,” shared Teele. “We wanted the September curlBOX to be daring and nontraditional in the subscription and natural hair space. When I created curlBOX my goal was to help women that looked like me become more comfortable in their skin a lot sooner than I did.”

Featuring beloved bloggers and vloggers in the textured hair community alongside Teele, subscribers will receive one four different commemorative curlBOX mini-magazine. Bloggers invited to pose sans clothes include YouTube phenoms Taren Guy and Ms. Vaughn along with Antoinette of Around The Way Curls and Folasade of Love Fola. This collection of textured hair experts rarely has the chance to come behind the camera or computer and be recognized for the style arbiters they have become. Jordan, whose work routinely appears in top fashion magazines and has been likened to icons such as Helmut Lang and Richard Avedon, created a series of artful nudes that are suitable for framing.

curlBOX subscribers for the month of September can anticipate a selection of products encouraging them to “Dare to Bare Their Hair.” In keeping with the NUDE theme, these curated products were chosen to help hair look its best with a minimum of manipulation.

Congrats on what I’m sure will be one of curlBOX’s best sellers, Myleik! To learn more about curlBOX visit www.curlbox.com or follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter (@curlbox).

Woman ordered to pay 2 million back after lying on football star about a rape #PassionateSpot

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A woman whose false claim of rape sent former prep football star Brian Banks to prison was ordered to pay a $2.6 million judgment in connection with the case.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered Wanetta Gibson (seen below) to pay a $1.5 million, plus an additional $1.1 million in fees, including for making a false claim and court-related costs.

Gibson was a former high-school acquaintance of Banks in 2002 when she accused him of raping her at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, according to the California Innocence Project, an organization that helped exonerate Banks.

Gibson sued the Long Beach Unified School District claiming the school was not safe and won a $1.5 million settlement.

On February 27th, 2011 Brian was contacted by the alleged victim via a Facebook  friend request and private message wanting to reconcile their friendship and as she put it, “let bygones be bygones.” Brian, realizing the opportunity to prove his innocence, falls to his knees, praying to God for an answer. And with that, his proceeded to play the role of interest. They agreed to meet. Brian immediately contacted a local private investigator to video and audio record the meeting.

Gibson ultimately said she lied and made up the story so  a judge reversed Banks’ conviction on May 24, 2012.

After 5 years and 2 months of incarceration,  nearly 5 years on strict parole and sex offender registration, an electronic GPS device attached to his ankle,  and a number of other crazy circumstances, Brian has finally been EXONERATED!

Banks was picked up and signed this year to play with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

No one gets it unless you are black #PassionateSpot

t1larg.mills_selmaRacism exists just as much as it did when our ancestors were fighting for our civil rights. Yes it is still prevalent today but it’s not thrown in your face so blatantly. The George Zimmerman case for the murder of Trayvon Martin is underway and it’s not a trial on if he murdered him it’s on whether it was justified.

Now I am no genius when it comes to the law but what justifies murder in this case. What justifies any one being unarmed and gunned down? We don’t want a civil payout as they often do when an unarmed black man is killed and the city just pays the family off in a civil case as the officers stay on the force or the civilian just walks away. I am tired of reading stories like Sean Bell. We as a nation should be tired of the injustice and stop being blind to the racism.

To prevent herself from being attacked Marissa Alexander fired off a warning shot and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. A black woman. However she also used the stand my ground law as her reasoning. The same law George Zimmerman used. But how is a woman who did not harm anyone now be in jail for 20 years and this man be given hundreds of thousands in financial backing for actually killing a teen boy.

The media has tried to depict Trayvon as a thug. A thug who obviously was doing something wrong, so he was the reason why he was shot and killed. Now is that right? Does this sound correct to you?

How many times do our black men have to make sure they change lanes appropriately so that the cop behind him holds no reason just to pull him over? How many times must a black teen be considered a menace to society if he chooses to wear his pants baggy?

Why must we not fight against the fact that Philadelphia is closing over 20 schools because they did not have over 200 million dollars to financially support them but green light a 400 million dollar prison project?

When is it not fair to automatically assume that a black man is guilty of rape when a white woman screams it? When is it not right that when a black woman is raped our first question to her is, what did you do?

I’m nervous because I am raising a black man I don’t want to be shot out of spite if he reaches in his back pocket for his wallet. I am raising a black woman who I don’t want her rights taken away if she screams no to a rape and is never believed.

MOST of all I am nervous because in spite of the fact that I preach to my kids that as long as you do right you will never get in trouble with the law. As long as you are in the right place at all times you will never be victimized. I am nervous of these last two statements most of all because I know it’s a lie. What I am afraid of is the day my kids discover that regardless if they never do wrong in life trouble may always find them because they have a black face.

These are my thoughts. These are my truths. These are my fears. I have been told by others who are not black that racism doesn’t exist anymore. My response to that is….walk in my skin and then say that again.

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