Share of the Week: Watch “DEALING WITH LONELINESS” on YouTube

Patricia Bright is one of the sunniest aspects of life in the U.K., in my opinion. This week on her YouTube vlog, she gives 5 tips on how to overcome loneliness. That’s a great topic, especially for people who live in big cities. You might think that in bustling metropolises like London or New York people run into each other all the time, and that no one would want for companionship or friendship, ever. But it can be very hard to connect with others in places like that, to establish reliable and close friendships to share the highs and lows of life. Patricia takes that subject on with her usual charm and aplomb.

I just wish a “Patricia Bright” had been around for my rather tough re-entry into ths country. My mother had brought me back from Jamaica when I was six, and she sent me to the local public school. I was really struggling to make friends among these American kids. They seemed so rough, loud and  unforgiving. They didn’t like my accent, clothes or religion. And I was naturally shy, prim and conservative, so I got a lot of “Oreo” and “house negro,” with the name calling, and I got into a lot of fist fights on the schoolyard and in the neighborhood. On one really depressing day, I remember sitting in the kitchen crying about how I didn’t have friends. There was no pep talk for me! Instead my mother gave me a scornful lecture for being soft. But I eventually learned from her how to make a fist and throw a punch, so the physical bullying faded by the 4th or 5th grades, once the tormentors realized that I wasn’t going quietly.

I eventually grew out of feeling sorry for myself. I always treated others with fairness and respect, and I figured if someone didn’t like me, I would have to fight them and just move on.  By fifth grade, I had friends, some of whom I keep in touch with to this day.

Patricia Bright doesn’t advocate that we box our way out of uncomfortable social situations, but she did lead us off in singing with a new attitude — “Encourage Yourself,” from Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers.

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Share of the Week: Ladies of Resistance

Today’s Google doodle features Harriet Tubman, an American-born slave who boldly fled to freedom, became an abolitionist who helped rescue more than 300 from bondage in 19 Underground Railroad mission, and went on spy missions for the Union army during the civil war. This incredible woman was one of the first figures that I, and my peers at school, encountered during Black History Month exercises and the slavery era in American history.

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Thank goodness those days are long gone. Right? Well, mostly yes, but that is a conversation for another day — and maybe another space.

But some people insist on trying to impose old shackles on modern Black women, especially concerning their decisions — of their own free will — to marry white men. I underscore free will because Black misogynists and their handmaids who “don’t agree with” interracial dating often prefer to liken these loving relationships with the master and bedwench dynamic that happened so often in that horrendous era. It’s horrid. It’s gross, and it is transparent. Most of all, it is far removed from the close and loving relationships that Black women are choosing to have with men outside their race. Sometimes these relationships go long term and lead to marriage. Why shouldn’t they deserve the same shot at happiness as Black women who were lucky enough to find their IBMs and are living stable and healthy lives?

The answer is they shouldn’t, and they are not going back into patterns where they likely face life alone if they don’t find the Black man of their dreams. Or patterns where they take abuse and mistreatment from men inside their race if they can find a reasonable chance of happiness with someone outside their normal circles. Things are changing. Black women are increasingly making different choices, and they feel like it is working for them.

We’ll see where this all ends up, I guess!