Dear Black Consumers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 09/07/2012 by Terina Maria

There is $850 billion moving through Black consumers’ hands each year, with 90 percent of that amount going to businesses owned and controlled by non-blacks. That’s data from a study done by James Clingman Jr, an author and educator considered one of the nation’s “most prolific writers on economic empowerment for Black people.” That number has been predicted to reach $1.2 trillion in 2015!!!!!!! Call me crazy, but aren’t you to imagining what life would be like if we could keep those billions of dollars circulating in African-American Communities around the country!!!! We could singlehandedly pull ourselves out of this cycle of poverty sociologist keep saying we’re trapped in couldn’t we?
Well, supporting Black-Owned businesses has always been a priority for me. What I want to do now is create a place right here on my blog that you can come to and easily access a plethora of Black owned Businesses. I’ll call the page….ahh, what the hell, it’s taking me too long to come up with something clever. I’ll just call it, Black Business Directory, and Ill post in it once a month. Access it anytime over to the right. Below you can access the first list written By Sakita Holley. She’s composed a list of 8 Black-owned nail polish brands. I mean hey, we clear Opi and Essie off the shelves quicker than they can put out new collections. Why not support and patronize the beautiful and brilliant women behind these Black-owned Companies! Happy Shopping!

Here is the link—>

Black communities cannot build wealth by being everyone else’s customer or patient. We must explore production and distribution in order to create wealth and economic stability in communities of color. ~ Ladonna Redmond

Terina Maria


Wordless Wednesday!!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 10/05/2011 by Terina Maria

Dear Rep. Barbara Lee, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Can We Talk?

Posted in In Other News. with tags , , , on 08/19/2011 by Terina Maria

As a constituent who resides in your district, I just want to weigh in on the hatred and political divisiveness that I hear and read about on the news and on the Internet. There are forces working very hard at making sure that President Obama is defeated in 2012. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took an oath or signed a pledge to that effect.

The newest political strategy is to turn the African-American community against the first black president. The idea is to get black folks to scream at the President and to threaten to withhold our support come November 2012.  Due to the very high unemployment rate in the black community, this could be an easy sell. The well-paid professional propagandists don’t ask African-Americans to lay the blame for the lack of employment at the feet of the business world (which is hoarding up a couple of trillions in their rainy-day fund), or to consider the fact that governors everywhere are cutting down on the public sector workforce (comprised of  large numbers of black Americans per capita), or to holler at the Republican-dominated House, which has blocked most of the job-creating programs introduced by Democrats. Instead, they want us to aim our fire solely at our President and to blame him for 30 years of white men’s policies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~This is A Must-Read!!! Please Click here to read this letter, written by Joan Ruaiz, in its entirety.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Terina Maria


Posted in The Issues! with tags , , , , , , on 08/14/2011 by Terina Maria

There is no doubt that Tavis Smiley and Cornell West are two of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever encountered. Hearing Mr. West speak for me is comparable to hearing Barack speak. Only instead of cool and calm, you get loud and angry. Loud and angry moves me, makes me clap thunderously, gets me out of my seat even, but then what? I just left their 16 city Poverty Tours last event, held in Memphis, Tennessee, feeling empty. While I have never and won’t ever question the twos commitment and dedication to Black America, I do believe that dedication has been lost to what I can only describe as a hasty attempt at visibility and celebrity(with a little ego on the side). Much of the lecture made me check the signboard to make sure I hadn’t walked into The Comedy Central Roast of Barack Obama. The other half offered tons of rhetoric but no solutions. I wanted to hear a plan, something new I could do, or get involved in. Something concrete I could take back to my community and try. Maybe get advice on resources we aren’t tapping into. Or hear them say something like, “next we’re sponsoring a nationwide job fair”. I wanted to hear a way forward I hadn’t already thought of myself. There was none of that. All I took from the lecture besides some really great quotes and talking points was, “Poverty in America is Obama’s fault. Let’s holler loud enough to get his attention and then see if his magic wand can fix our problems. I WISH I had the spotlight they have. I WISH I had their resources, their help, their support systems. I can predict for you now the number of speeches & lectures that would appear on my schedule…….Predicting……..Yep, I can fit that prediction on one hand. After a brief introduction, the people would no longer hear me. They would watch me.
If the purpose of the poverty tour was truly to hear the people’s woes then I am equally unimpressed. I am doubtful that the people whose concerns you really need to hear, those people in community’s who truly need your help, were at any of these events. On the contrary I saw mostly politicians, prominent preachers, teachers, writers, and a pretty well-to-do looking audience. People in the worst kinds of situations and circumstances you can imagine don’t get up and come to fancy poverty tour lectures. They dont even hear about them. No, you have to go to them. You find them in their neighborhoods, on their street corners, in DHS lines, at homeless shelters. You go find kids fresh out of high school, and moms and dads in Temp Job offices. So my review of this poverty tour is a C-, and it’s only that high because I refuse to fail a brutha. My advice to any one who’s truly dedicated to fixing poverty in Black America or any and every cause for that matter is simple. I can’t understand how black leaders haven’t figured it out yet. The young folk say it all the time. Don’t talk about it; BE ABOUT IT.

Terina Maria


Posted in In Other News. with tags , , on 07/06/2011 by Terina Maria

Terina Maria


Posted in The Issues! with tags , , , , , , , , on 02/13/2011 by Terina Maria

I loved Sister Souljah’s “The Coldest Winter Ever” and Zane’s “The Sisters of APF” just as much as the rest of you, but this is not that list. This is a list of books that I believe are not only essential to a quality education, but to our understanding of the African-American experience in the United States, and how to connect that with what it means to be an African-American today. My list is only 11 entries long, but keep in mind that there are far more books by us and for us that I believe are essential. Noticeably missing from my list is Maya Angelou’s, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Frederick Douglass’, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. I also left off important reads that have been made into award-winning movies, such as The Color purple, Roots, and A Time to Kill. Still I came up with a list that is, in my opinion, the 11 books an African-American must read to understand the effect our history has on our thought process, our culture, religion, wealth, and our health. This is why I argue that our schools are failing us. It is not enough just to know Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks if we are unaware of the black struggle from capture to the civil rights movement. As we enrich our understanding of our past, we change the consciousness that created the crisis in the first place. So print this list and get to reading! And let me know what you’d add!

1.From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Frankln
“The Negro has no history.” That’s what one Harvard Professor told Carter G. Woodson. But Black History Is American History! So why don’t our textbooks teach us so? I assure you your children are not learning the things they need to learn about African-American History from the U.S textbooks they are using in school. Even college kids only get the ABC’s of black history.This is why I believe this book should be in everyone’s library. You will not learn your history, unless you search for it yourself.

2.The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson A lot of what needs to happen in the black community is not just what we need to learn, but what we need to unlearn. Namely, the lie that we are inferior because of our skin color. Our miseducation, Woodson argues, is why we still linger in our communities and the educational spectrum.

3.Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
These pages examine the roots of why more than 140 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, so many of us still think like slaves. In Brainwashed, we will question why we still think so little of ourselves, why our grandmothers still put their savings in a special offering plate to help pay for the pastor’s new luxury automobile, why our children answer when called ‘ho’ and ‘nigga’… and why we, all too often, avoid critical thinking about any of this…I took that excerpt straight from the introduction! I call it The “Mis-Education of the Negro” of our time!!!

4.Up from Slavery Booker T. Washington If Booker T. Washington’s rise from slavery doesn’t inspire you, nothing will. I urge you to allow his philosophy of self-reliance and his strong belief in education to help push you pass your limits. Here’s a link to the entire book .

5.Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison My absolute favorite book of all time! Heavy read, but well worth it. Ellison makes you feel every emotion possible. At times even a little nauseous. Nevertheless it’s been especially influential in my life and teaches a great lesson to all. The lesson of invisibility. How dangerous it is to make invisible any human being. In my opinion, one of the greatest stories ever written.

6. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano

People often ask me why I insist on rehashing slavery times. I often get the same response “I ain’t no slave”. I insist because YOU CAN NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORLD YOU LIVE IN NOW UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORLD EQUIANO AND OTHERS LIVED IN THEN.. As you begin to connect the dots between 500 years ago and today, you understand that the problems in the black community are nothing but the leftovers of slavery.

7.Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley. Have you been taught, Martin, Good, Malcolm, Bad. Please read this autobiography. But not just to dispel the myths behind his name, but because he is the perfect role model to teach humbleness, how to be a man/woman of action, and most importantly how to transform your life.

8.Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama He had a tough childhood and he came out a winner! The important question I believe this books begs us to answer is “Who Am I?” As long as we continue to struggle with our identity and our heritage we will continue to be lost.

9.Black Robes White Justice by By Bruce Wright The United States criminal justice system is, as one article I read put it, the new Jim Crow. Point Blank. This book written by ‘turn-em-loose Bruce” encourages us to challenge those with power to practice fairness and guarantee justice for ALL, regardless of race.

10.Drugs Masquerading as Foods: Deliciously Killing American-Afrikans and All Peoples by Suzar
They look so innocent, they taste so good, they are deceptively presented to us as food. We need to understand why we are the sickest race in America and in the world. This book helps us understand that and gives us choices we can make that are more beneficial to us. Here’s a sample -The following common advertisement is a BIG WHITE LIE “Milk Does A Body Good.” Milk is rich in drugs, pus, poisons & ‘crack-hormones’ fed to cows.
And here is a sample recipe!
Banana Marble Ice Cream
­6 large bananas, frozen on tray or in a cellophane bag
­2 cups of any (frozen) berries
Feed the bananas, one at a time, in a grinder, with chilled dish to catch the ice cream. When the banana is nearly ground, add a few frozen raspberries or strawberries for marbling. Serve at once. Serves 6

11.Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro I have never heard or read a bad review of this book. It’s a powerful tool for success tailored to black people. He asks the question, How can impoverished black Americans pull themselves out of their poverty and reach their full potential? And then he answers it in a clear practical, empowering way.

1.Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike And Tonya Lewis Lee
2.Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
3.Of thee i sing by Barack Obama
4.I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
5.Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales
6.Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Terina Maria

4 Tips For A Successful 2011!

Posted in The Issues! with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12/31/2010 by Terina Maria

I can’t help but smile as I go over the list of New Years resolutions I made at the beginning of 2010. No, I didn’t complete the half marathon I trained so hard for, and I still can’t speak in front of a crowd of strangers without getting nervous, but ask me did I reposition myself so that my immediate, near, and distant future all look bright. Yes I Did! I’ve been hearing a lot of friends and family expressing some pretty ambitious goals for 2011. Let me start by telling you, if you dreamed it, no matter how ambitious, you can do it! I want to share with you the 4 rules I followed in 2010 that helped me to take control of my life’s direction and feel more fulfilled than I ever have. I hope these ideas work for you, but keep in mind that they may not. ALWAYS make decisions effecting your life based on your own critical analysis of your situation. So, with that being said, here we go!

1. Just Do It.

I never do anything on a whim. You can be sure that if I came up with the plan, every single detail was well thought out all the way to the finish. BUT in 2010, I threw caution to the wind. I didn’t plan things out, I didn’t think things through. I just did it. I came out of 2010 with a new job, a new non-profit organization, a finished manuscript, new boobies(reduction not implants :-)), and even two cans of fire-red paint for my dining room! Boldness!!!!! My simple advice is when an opportunity or idea presents itself; JUST DO IT. Your job wants you to relocate to Alaska, DO IT. You get an inkling to start a T-shirt business, DO IT. Want to take in a couple of foster children, DO IT. Want to take pole dancing lessons or audition for American Idol, JUST DO IT! Go ahead and commit and figure out the particulars later. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. You just might take a risk that changes your life. Stop dreaming and do it.

2. Make Allies.

I don’t network instinctively or naturally, but I vowed that in 2010 that would change. I put on my friendliest smile, a good attitude, and a little charm and went out and made several genuine connections that not only added to my personal life but benefited me professionally as well. While networking serves mostly as a way to build a business, find a job, or make a career move, you’ll be surprised how empowered you feel by other people. Sometimes a simple conversation can spark your next big idea. And nothing beats meeting someone who believes in you and wants to help put your ideas in motion. Always remember, there is no such thing as a self-made man. Having a team is incredibly important. So the goal here is to reach out to other people this year and by years end have a phone book full of new contacts, friends, and mentors who are willing to help you achieve your goals!

3. Remember, Karma is a B**ch

I had a really, really, really, bad 2006. So yes, you can have a bad day, every day, for one year straight. If something similar is happening to you, here is a question you must ask yourself. What am I doing wrong? Our moms said it repeatedly and it is as true now as it was when you first heard it. “You reap what you sow”. In 2006, I was doing everything the angel on my shoulder was telling me not to do. So you see, I simply suffered from cause and effect, action and reaction. Karma always makes me think of a joke Mike Epps tells. He went into a store and though he had money, he chose to steal some candy. When he got back to his house he found he had lost his keys and was locked out. He ended up spending $60 on a locksmith. Now that’s Karma! He paid $60 for a few pieces of penny candy. So in everything you do, every decision you make, make it with the best of intentions. You were born with an innate moral sense of right and wrong, so always listen to your heart and do the right thing.

4. Awake is the new sleep

If you want your dreams to come true, don’t sleep. Yes, I understand the health and beauty benefits of a good nights rest. I don’t want to encourage unhealthy habits, but for someone trying to accomplish big goals, sleep is your enemy. Train yourself to live with the recommended 7 maybe 8 hours of sleep nightly. Have you noticed that sleeping any longer than this just makes you feel more tired. You end up feeling just as groggy as a hangover. The bottom line is that successful people do not sleep their day away. They rise early, they stay up late, they do what they must to get the most done. I want you all to watch a very inspiring video that deals a little with this.

I hope you all make 2011 your best year yet!

Terina Maria