After Sunday: 10/23/16

Sometimes I listen back to the podcast and I cringe. There were so many moments, in this episode, where I felt as if I had no clue how to articulate just exactly what was on my mind. And, I do believe, that’s the beauty of this After Sunday series.

We started this weeks episode with an announcement, that low-key, went seemingly unnoticed. Perhaps it was just that natural, but LUHRAY is the official co-host of The Sunday Afternoon podcast. I’m thrilled for many reasons. Not just because we have known each other for the most of our lives, or because when I first had the idea to go in and start a podcast I wanted to do it with her, but more than anything, because we gel so well together! I believe ours is a relationship that will grow both of us, the show, and our brands, collectively and independently. There is so much work to do, but I truly am excited to move forward into all that is to come.

Also, I wanted to flush out a bit more of the conversation we had about my father and his birthday. You can check out the backstory on our relationship, here. I think that Laure’s advice was deeply insightful, to just be, and invite the man to do things that we can both appreciate, together. I won’t lie, it won’t be the easiest thing in the world, for me. However, it really changes my perspective and takes the pressure off of trying to repair a relationship and just foster a space to build with the man.

In many ways, thats the exact same sentiment we have to take with relationships in general. Getting rid of all the pressure and just learning to be with people and communicating with them. More openly and more honestly. That’s the challenge of adulting. At least as I know it to be.

The idea of support is pertinent to me. When you think about you dreams and your goals there is no way you can consider them coming to fruition without some semblance of support. The topic was liking and lurking. Which one are you? I’ve spent a lot of time considering my vantage point and changing my mindset when it comes to an assessment of social media. It’s hard y’all, because we spend so much time in our own heads consistently evaluating the way in which other people perceive us. I can save you some trouble, it leads to nowhere. Chin up and check out this episode.

We’ll definitely see you Sunday. Oh, and I have a few tricks up my sleeves!


After Sunday’s: To Pee or Not to PEE!

After Sunday’s is a weekly blog that will chronicle, or kind of decompress a lot of the things we discussed on the podcast, things that I may have overlooked, or missed out on the chance to really unpack. This week I sat down with Delontè and we had a conversation that I really enjoyed!  I wanted to pick up on a few things in writing.

Tanikka. Thats my oldest sister, she has Lupus, two beautiful children, and she consistently exudes a level of grace (in front of people) that is completely unmatched. Anytime she is sickly in the hospital she is always beyond well mannered and courteous. She speaks to everyone who come into her room, nurse, doctor, housekeeper; and asks intently how they are doing. Her spirit is pure and genuine, kind. The most pure kindness I have ever experienced, even in her illness.

It’s almost baffling. She has spent the majority of her life sick and without complaint. We know that fear is not of God, and that is how I know that she experiences God, or at the very least, the love of Christ. Because, I’ve never left feeling that she was in fear of her life. Well, maybe twice, in so many years have I ever felt the extent of the severity of this chronically life threatening disease. I attribute that to her, her behavior. When I really sit and think about it, it makes me change my prayer, because I am grateful that God would grant her with such strength, she face her illness head on and she is unwavering in her ability to defeat it, consciously or not. Also,  it reignites in me a passion for family. The necessity to take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate, love, and be with them, now; presently.

gay church members are disillusioned? -more on this later, I’m still exploring this and I’ll wait to discuss this after my sit down with the Bishop.

The ordeal of the pee. Look, I don’t know why this was such a big deal for me because it’s something I so easily don’t subscribe to; however, something on the call made me feel inclined to help this person, with whom I so clearly no longer share a friendship. And so, the bigger issue is discovery. Having to sit and identify what within myself, still struggles with people pleasing. To be completely honest, it is an area that I feel has hindered me in so many ways! In the past I have been more eager to help and contribute to the success of others, before I even contribute to my own. That’s overwhelmingly flawed and I’ve come a long way, but this was a reminder that progress is just that, progress…

Check out this episode and let me know what you think! I love your responses and they may find themselves in next weeks episode.



This is Why I Rock

Since its inception really, Black Girls Rock has been a pretty big deal. In 2006, Beverly Bond launched an organization for empowerment with a mission to uplift and actually mentor young Black women, by celebrating great Black women. What she has accomplished is so much bigger, and ceiling shattering, than just that.


One of the most fascinating aspects of Black women is the fact that there is this shared sisterhood of likeness. Black women have found increased ways to bond over communal experiences, similar trials and tribulation, and overall and unwavering will to overcome and succumb to greatness. It is beautiful to see how one Black woman can link herself, her voice to another, especially in media and that camaraderie has served as a platform to usher more Black women into the room, seated at the table.

Conversely, there is not a similar sentiment for Black men in media. Interestingly enough, I don’t think its a conversation thats been had, but there is no voice to celebrate Black men, particularly, and there absolutely is no bond of brotherhood.  I think its unfortunate. I mean don’t get me wrong, there are so many great Black men that I follow and consider myself a student to; Toure, Jesse Williams, Michael Arceneaux, Barack Obama, Will Smith, Marc Lamont Hill, Stephen Curry, John Legend and the list goes on and on, and on.

There appears to be a common disconnect when it comes to black men relating to one another, openly, and I think it all is rooted in the idea, facade, and/or appearance of masculinity. So much of our culture is rooted in defining a sense of hyper masculinity. Think about it, the images projected in media and reality alike all come down to a black man being a “no good” or gay. That’s the spectrum and it is those same ideas that not only limit the ways in which others view us, but the ways in which we view ourselves. Ultimately we lack in challenging those beliefs.

Prime example. Two black men go into a restroom. There are three urinals and one is occupied. Instead of standing next to another man, one of the gentlemen will elect to wait or use the toilet facility, but why? It’s all about masculinity. It is as if there is something so deep inside of us that makes us follow a stringent guideline. One that gives a head nod in passing each other in public, or deepening our voice to speak to another black man we don’t know, or even averting our eyes to one another, so as to not have to speak at all. This happens more often than not for me because in most encounters I am the polar opposite, the complete antithesis to what “manhood” looks like.

prince-lianne-la-havas-clouds-mp3-mainLately I’ve taken more notice to the whole idea of finding a formula that allows Black men to come together and celebrate each other. The untimely passing of Prince reveals much. Here is a man who broke every standard and narrative of Black manhood. He did so diligently, he owned every ounce of who he was as an artist and a Black man. From what appeared to be the fluidity of his sexuality to his religion, he was most conscious of his presentation of himself,  and he managed to do so with the respect of Black men. Moreover, the African American community.

Yet, Prince remained an anomaly of sorts. A rare occurrence of acceptance that so many people will never willingly acknowledge. Still, examine the relationship of Prince and Michael Jackson, one would expect that these two “otherlings” (when it comes to what is perceived to be Black manhood in America), to be the very best of friends. However, there is no record of friendship between the two, even with all that they seemingly appeared to have in common.

Black men have difficulty accepting each other. I deeply believe that there is a craving, and a space available for us to shape the thoughts and experiences of Black boys in this country through the lens of media and entertainment. Black men are brilliant, intelligent, solution oriented, problem solving, handsome, compassionate, resilient, protective,  genuine, and unique. I am a Black man. This is why I rock. Because I stand on the backs of my ancestors, because I believe in the oneness of the human experience, and because I readily accept the challenge to reshape the standard of our Black identity, as well as the plight of community instead of angst in each other.


9479_WM_6panelRollOUTWilliam McDowell has an amazing new gospel CD out! I purchased the album on iTunes on my way to work yesterday and I fell out. My grandmother introduced me to Jesus on her fireplace so many moons ago, and this is exactly how I first met Him. The CD is full, its praise and worship, free forming and it gives you the opportunity to completely participate in the experience. Its not black. Its not white. Its just Jesus.




Ok, so here’s the thing, everyone needs a passion project! Despite your age, sex, occupation, all of that, we need to be inspired and these projects give up room to grow creatively. Aside from The Sunday Afternoon w/ Keith Andre Podcast, and this site, I had an epiphany a few days ago (I’ll share more on the podcast) to direct and perform in one of my favorite plays. I am incredibly excited, and overwhelmingly anxious, but I believe in my dream and I’ve been reminded to believe in the vision that God has given me. I ordered the play a few days ago and I can’t wait to get started with the project!


janet_hubert2011-med-wideLinda listen, I really wish y’all would allow her to be great! We’ve all heard about her response in regard to the Oscars and the Smiths, but she landed herself an interview w on HuffPost Live where she dishes further on her beliefs and the little miss Dash who must not be mentioned. Agree or disagree, I’m here all the way for Aunt Viv! I think that she is talented, she has a pedigree and I live for the way she presents herself. Give her one more chance world, I’d like to see her acting again, or at least a Celebrity Apprentice type of gig.


Yea right! I have been struggling with my body goals for a few months now. To be completely honest, I managed to fall completely off the wagon and I am having the most difficult time hopping back on! Fitness is important. I’m all about having goals for yourself and finding ways to accomplish all it is that you aspire, but above all I want to be healthy and I hope you do too. And I don’t need your skinny shaming. My body is compact but it aint all that I want it to be so hush. I’ve been working with The Hawk Personal Training to find ways get my fitness back in check! The hardest part at this point is starting, and making the time to get it done. Owner and trainer, Ty Hawkins, based out of NC sends me a detailed regiment every Friday for the week. Continue to pray y’all, and you can email her directly if you’re interested as well.

look, 4 out of 5 aint bad! lol. See you Sunday,


I can’t think of one time that I have went into Barnes&Nobles and  not been excited about the trip. It’s the type of place I frequent with a purpose, there are not many times you’ll find me hanging around the shelves of books, just for kicks. I remember I used to go and sit, and enjoy a snickers brownie from the Starbucks inside. Those, my friends, were indeed the good days.

In case you missed this weeks podcast, I announced the first book I’m reading this year. None other than The 48 Laws of Power, by  Robert Greene. This is one of the many books on my list, that has kind of been there, slightly overlooked, for a few years now. I have had many a friend discuss this book. Exalting the possession of these laws of powers and how impactful they have been in changing their lives. Also, on the contrary, I’ve had friends review the book and assert that the style, the cadence in which the authors’ thinking, or the the forthright of this perspective as being too foreign or unsettling with their person.

That is exactly what I found to be most interesting. You see, on my quest of #thinkchanging I find myself easily enamored with things that appear paradoxical in nature. I am absolutely here for the challenge of examining my own thoughts and the way I present myself, my believes, and perspective to this world. Having read great works, life changing even, like The Four Agreements and The Alchemist, I am compelled to see how this body of work will impact those believes I’ve garnered and grown to see as so very valuable.

I made my way to Barnes&Nobles this morning before work. I didn’t have time to tarry, (I was also uninterested) having mapped out my day with enough time to pick up my book and hit it to work. I wanted to be early with enough time to get situated, and begin to read the first few pages. I walked into the bookstore, asked for help, and my initial response to the big orange paperback was to be taken aback, in my head the book wasn’t as thick, or intimidating as it now appeared before me. For some reason, or another, I thought the #48laws would be a quickened devouring of principals (I blame the Facebook/instagram posts.) I flipped through the pages, examined the back cover and then ruffled through about three or four copies to find the one that felt most new. I hastened to the register, feeling accomplished and ecstatic about this challenge.

I expect to learn a lot. I look forward to embracing new ideas and the examination of so many of the thoughts that already run around in my head idly. More than anything, I can not wait to see how I can implement these laws and garner the power and greatness that already lives within.

If you’re looking for your next read, you are more than welcome to read with me, I’ll keep you posted. I’d love to know what you think or what you’re reading.

See you Sunday,

Write the vision; make it plain!

That’s somewhere in the bible, for sure.  Habakkuk 2:2. I have always known the importance of that, the ability to see and read your vision so that you can receive, actualize it fully, and then make it happen. Sometimes it’s just the doing that holds me hostage.

On Sunday Afternoon I got to finally see one of my visions come to life. I planned a brunch! A vision brunch. Each guest invited distinctly, and with a particular purpose. I wanted to create a space for likeminded individuals, all filled with potential; goal oriented, business driven, entrepreneurs to share in an experience of growth. An environment where we could continue to be transparent and honest so that we can learn from each other.

More than anything, I wanted each of us to have the opportunity to speak. When I look at my peers, each of whom I invited, I feel that we all have a platform, or are working towards a platform thats deserving of notoriety. Each individual has an offering for the world and when I look at social media, there is no reason we aren’t on panels, invited to speak in spaces that discuss culture, and business etc. I wanted us to share in that experience. What I wanted most from my guests, and myself, was to really stop and think about how we would present ourselves, and our dreams, before the world.

I think my greatest concern in planning the brunch centered around the guest list. Not necessarily with whom I invited, but with who would actually attend. Naturally there are a few thing to take into consideration when planning any event: People may not be on time and some folks just won’t show up. That gave me anxiety! Only because this was to be an intimate event and I know the majority of the guests personally. I also know myself, and my expectation. Truth be told, I was fearful that I would harbor feelings of angst to any person that RSVP’d yes and didn’t show. Well, I’m still working on that. Of course there were a few people who in the end, could not attend. All for reasons that can be understood, but part of the feel I wanted to engage in my guests was wanting them to feel booked. I wanted my Vision Brunch to be considered the first of many of our own bookings to speak publicly, to present in a room of our peers, standing in the comfort of our own experiences, sharing our platforms and our offerings. Naturally, I’m disappointed that some could not be present but I don’t take their offerings any less serious.

From L to R: Reginald Ford, La’Tia Turner, Keith Andre, DoMonique Goens, Lamont Baldwin

There is honestly no way for me to be more pleased with the success of our very first vision brunch. Each attendee was bright, forthright, open and honest. They all presented well and we impacted one another. Thats the vision. We connected and left The Green Onion filled with hugs, fueled with ambition and inspired to set our mark on 2016.

I am hugely grateful! You can click on their names to follow their offerings: Lamont Baldwin, Stephanie Williams, Reginald Ford, DoMonique Goens, and La’Tia Turner, all have something to say that YOU should be hearing!

Get inspired!


And a happy new year.

The morning after Christmas Day. This year we did things differently. Instead of a traditional Christmas at home, we tarried down to North Carolina on Christmas Eve to fill my baby sisters new home with our presence. We had an amazing time. She and her girlfriend, Ty, have made quite the home for themselves. I felt love and happiness, peace and comfort. We spent the night cooking and laughing, drinking, playing games; fueled by Christmas spirit.

Naturally, I got to thinking. It’s been a many of moons since I’ve spent my Christmas unwrapping presents, tucked beneath pine needles and tree skirts, and I’m okay with that. I find that my holiday season is so much more connected to being surrounded by love. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t want lots of presents on Christmas? But, I am growing accustomed to an environment that gives way to allowing you to just be you. Without any pretense or effort, just being yourself and sharing in the company of those who want to share in that space.

“Change aint change until you change.” My mom used to say that and it’s all I’ve been able to think about lately. Well, we traveled back home on Christmas Day listening to ‘A Christmas Carol’ on audiobook and all felt right in the world. Here’s to new traditions, I’m vowing not to spend another holiday in NN, VA.


Beyond that, I find that it is so easy to note all the changes that I want to see in myself, over my own life. I don’t doubt that you agree and can understand how easy and tempting it can be to just bask in all of that. You know, those things that overwhelm us with anxiety and make us scurry into trying to be that which we were all the time. It is just as important to celebrate the things that you’re most proud of. Those traits and qualities that have gotten you thus far in life. The talents or dreams that guide you into greater, striving to fulfill you purpose. Don’t sweat the small stuff. As 2016 quickens her step, approaching as vivid and steadily as ever, keep a tally of all the things you are working on and don’t forget your strategy. Yet, just as important, celebrate all the victories you’ve accomplished this year and design a ‘get bag’ that shows off all your greatest assets. At the end of the day, no matter how far you have to go to accomplish your dreams, you are already a big deal, so just don’t forget to celebrate in that too.

How did you spend your Holiday? Tell me all about it. See you Sunday.