Entertain Your Own Hearts by Gracie N. Berry


Entertain Your Own Hearts by Gracie N. Berry

So many people blame others for repeated hurt feelings from intimate relationships. For instance, I was dating this person several months back. My gut coaxed me to resist. Then to rebuttal all I stood to protect, they laid on thick loving gestures, delicious sex, stimulating conversations. Even sparked ideas of being in love only to sever the cord. I cursed and blamed them to hell. However, I remembered that I felt those things because my spirit was in need of those things. Those things felt so good for the time and I wanted more. that’s why I was hurt. I wanted to heal the void with a temporary fix if that makes since? And while there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable to intimacy, it is our responsibility to be clear about our needs before diving heart first. I wasn’t clear, so I was hurt. People seem to play when they have something to entertain them. I’m learning to entertain my own love, a journey I’m committed to take. -gnb

And Another Thing: To Parents Outraged by Bey’s Performance

To all of the parents outraged about Beyonce’s performance should be outraged with themselves. The expectation that you simply stopped being role models to them, and put all of your trust, hopes, moral standards, and dreams into a stranger that is in the business of entertaining is perplexing to me in the first place. And another thing had you been truthful as your child’s first human examples Beyonce would be no greater a disappointment than you. After all you sheltered and cultivated the seed by allowing them to listen to her music, purchase her merchandise, watch her videos, and attend her concerts. -Grace


Body Shaming: The Epidemic by Gracie N. Berry


Body Shaming: The Epidemic by Gracie N. Berry

It’s sad and hurtful that people use violence in their words, actions, thoughts to hurt other people. It’s an epidemic that needs to cease. I believe in the value of all bodies. It’s outrageous when people resort to something one is naturally to try and hurt them. I remember being called ‘black girl’ as a white kids way of insulting me as a teenager. I thought why are they trying to insult me with who I am, something that I had no control over. That’s when I stopped taking it personal and started fighting back with questions like is that the best you’ve got, is that all you can say? I realized that those folks who were not of color likely wanted to be just like the black that they were attempting to assault me with. That redefined my experience against racism. Body shaming is the same. And the despite that people can alter their bodies, some people will never look any different even if they tried. Shit! So why not embrace the love one is. All shapes, body types, abilities etc?

Stop it with the subliminal shaming, the “Don’t you think you should eat a little less?”, the “I think that shirt would flatter your fuller figure more”, the “Have you weighed yourself recently?”. And stop resorting to the cheapest, most shallow, and sadly overused comments in the book: “fat”, or “ugly”, to insult someone.


Drunkin Love: Commentary by Gracie N. Berry


Drunkin Love: Commentary by Gracie N. Berry

Consent, permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Love, a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection to pleasure. Drunk, intoxicated with alcoholic liquor to the point of impairment of physical and mental faculties. To be clear Beyonce Knowles Carter is an adult, woman of color, mother, wife, and last I checked she is perfectly capable of sharing in the kind of sex, love, and life she desires? Did she not do everything right by the standard of what it means to be a respectable American? Responsibility, it is not her responsibility to take on the people of the world and their opinions. I’m confused as to why she was called a whore, a person who engages in sexual acts for money. And while their are many people employed as sex workers I don’t see the relevance. I believe wholeheartedly that her position isn’t dark and rebellious, yet well lit and rebellious! As a victim and survivor of rape I do not for one moment believe that Beyonce’s intent is to objectify, or condone the horrendous acts of sexual violence that women are victims of while under the influence of a substance. Furthermore this song in my opinion was an expression of a type of sex, ‘drunkin’ sex’, in this case, all within the confines of consent. I love that the song and video features her husband, her child’s father, the person she loves which sends a clear and stung message in support of consent in my opinion. Although I’m opposed to marriage for myself I like the boldness in her choice as an entertainer to find an additional way to keep her marriage exciting. Think about it, in 20-years from now this song will be a permanent reminder of the love they share. So many people expect entertainers to save the world. Yet in still Beyonce is saving the world of girls by being unleashing her ability to embrace her sensuality with her talented, beautiful self. She has let the world in on one of the many ways she expresses love toward her husband. I guess society will stop the sensuality shaming and degradation of black women when whites are not taught not to recognize white privilege, or males are not taught to recognize male privilege? Sensuality is not evil, nor should it be shamed. Just as I have the right to walk naked only wearing bobby socks at midnight, or the right to share in aggressive sex with a person of my choosing, the key word is consent. As a consenting adult that drinks alcohol I’ve engaged in consenting ‘drunk sex’, and have thoroughly enjoyed it; just as I’m sure other consenting adults have as well. Remember, it’s one’s choice in the matter because consent is sexy. I strongly believe that this song is talking about consent, sensuality, and the power one’s consenting gain’s, not loses from being vulnerable with someone they love.

In addition black women are too often hypersexualized. Their is this unspoken expectation of a slave mentality, for black women to be the good little house niggers that can do no wrong, that have no rights of expression, that it is her job to serve her master only in private, to meet the needs of all of those around her without ever acknowledging her own needs. As a woman of color society makes it so damn hard to live comfortably in black skin. It’s like a body mask that covers all of the painful and beautiful truths of a woman of color. Our bodies are natural phenomenon’s and some of us choose to express the beauty of our bodies, our movements with no apologies. I remember being told after confessing my love to a white guy I was seeing and that I consented to sleeping with that he only phucked me because I was black. Their is a sickness attached to people like that and it goes beyond skin deep. It is inherited from a time when they sold black slaves like beasts. His expectation that I was their to fulfill a long awaited desire or need that was burning in him, only to be blatantly disposed of, hurt. As he put it, it was always his desire to phuck one of ‘my kind’ and that somehow I was asking for it, or that I knew what it was. These outraged people reminds me of being raped, and how my perpetrator told me in in choice words that I was asking for it. It was easier for him to blamed me the victim instead of accepting his own desires and sickness. Beyonce was not asking to be called a whore. Those who are offend by her most likely religious, desire her, or wish they could be like her. Beyonce having grown up Methodist in Huston Texas has challenged the role of sexuality in the black church since the beginning of her career. Kelly Douglas, who wrote, Sexuality & the Black Church: suggests a dialogue by which the church and community can “nurture the kind of discussion that promotes acceptance and appreciations of the rich diversity, even sexual diversity, of the black community.” Beyonce has broken away from such confines and has chosen to liberate her own experience and good for her! Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said,”We teach girls shame. Close your legs, cover yourself, we make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up–and this is the worst thing we do to girls–they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.” I phucks with Beyonce because she is liberating the experience of the modern girl. -Gracie N. Berry

watch video, it’s amazing! 🙂

Tackle Human Trafficing: Super Bowl 2014

As we prepare for football festivities, merchants peddle Super Bowl gear and human traffickers peddle people. Though human trafficking is endemic 365 days a year, it is especially rampant on Super Bowl Sunday. This week is the time for us to urge everyone — in the shadows of the Super Bowl or the streets of your hometown — to do your part in helping stop the scourge of human trafficking. 1/3 American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. Vulnerability to human trafficking is far-reaching, spanning multiple different areas such as age, socioeconomic status, nationality, education-level, or gender. Traffickers often prey on people who are hoping for a better life, lack employment opportunities, have an unstable home life, or have a history of sexual abuse – conditions that are present in all spheres of society. For combined intimate partner and non-partner sexual violence or both among all women of 15 years or older, prevalence rates were as follows:

  • Africa – 45.6%
  • Americas – 36.1%
  • Eastern Mediterranean – 36.4%* (No data were available for non-partner sexual violence in this region)
  • Europe – 27.2%
  • South-East Asia – 40.2%
  • Western Pacific – 27.9%
  • High income countries – 32.7%