Tag: Blog

“I Love You, But My Thumbs Are Tired”

Guys, you gotta stop texting me when I ask you to call me instead! Why is that such a hard instruction to follow? As nice as it is to hear from you in the middle of the day, texting should not be the primary method of communication, especially when you are just getting to know me.

If when I met you, I specifically asked you NOT to text me & you proceed to text me then I automatically know you aren’t good at following directions. I’ve even had men text me, “I know you asked me not to text you, but…. ” SO WHY ARE YOU TEXTING ME THEN??! This is an instant turnoff, guys.

You can’t get to know my personality by texting me. You can’t hear the inflection in my voice or hear how my day went if you don’t pick up the phone & call me.  You certainly aren’t focused on me if you text instead of call because hours can go by between texts, but a call can be wrapped up in 15-20 minutes.

I don’t get to hear your sexy voice if you’re always texting me. I can’t crack a joke over text the same way I can over the phone. I can’t sing to you if we aren’t talking. I can’t even focus on what I’m supposed to be doing if I have to keep checking my phone so I can respond to your texts. And I certainly can’t get anything done if I have to keep typing back & forth.

I try to compromise by texting back occasionally but don’t get it twisted – I would much rather talk to you then strain my neck & my fingers messaging you instead. So, why oh why men, do you insist on texting when you know it’s not what we want?! STOP texting me, and pick up the phone instead!

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#SaturdayStamps: Charles W. Chestnutt

Charles W. Chestnutt was born June 20, 1858 and died November 15, 1932 in Cleveland, OH.

Chesnutt was the son of free blacks who had left their native city of Fayetteville, N.C., prior to the American Civil War. Following the war his parents moved back to Fayetteville, where Chesnutt completed his education and began teaching. He was named assistant principal (1877–80) and then principal (1880–83) of State Colored Normal School (now Fayetteville State University), but he became so distressed about the treatment of blacks in the South that he moved his wife and children to Cleveland. He worked as a clerk-stenographer while becoming a practicing attorney and establishing a profitable legal stenography firm. In his spare moments he wrote stories.

Between 1885 and 1905 Chesnutt published more than 50 tales, short stories, and essays, as well as two collections of short stories, a biography of the antislavery leader Frederick Douglass, and three novels. His “The Goophered Grapevine,” the first work by a black accepted by The Atlantic Monthly (August 1887), was so subtle in its refutation of the plantation school of Thomas Nelson Page that most readers missed the irony. This and similarly authentic stories of folk life among the North Carolina blacks were collected in The Conjure Woman (1899). The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line (1899) examines colour prejudice among blacks as well as between the races in a manner reminiscent of George W. Cable. The Colonel’s Dream (1905) dealt trenchantly with problems of the freed slave. A psychological realist, Chesnutt made use of familiar scenes of North Carolina folk life to protest social injustice.

His works outranked any fiction written by blacks until the 1930s. Chesnutt’s thematic use of the humanity of blacks and the contemporary inhumanity of man to man, black and white alike, anticipates the work of later writers as diverse as William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin.

Things That Turn Women On

Different things turn different people on. There are a lot of tangible & intangible reasons why we like what we like, but whether it’s rational or irrational sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. Below are some things that turn women on –

  • Intelligence
  • Cleanliness
  • Music
  • Good cook
  • Newness
  • Nice voice
  • Good listener
  • Hand holding
  • Athletic clothes
  • Beautiful eyes
  • Smell good
  • Height
  • Good smile
  • Nice teeth
  • Man-tears
  • Sense of humor
  • Affection

Men, how many of these qualities do you possess? What qualities turn you on?

Black History Month is Over (but there’s always more to learn!)

Unfortunately, Black History Month is officially over (darn!) but I hope that you were able to gain something from my daily Black History posts. I love this time of year because it allows me to introduce lesser known, yet highly influential African Americans in history. We have made so many contributions to this country; I absolutely love celebrating February!

Even though February is now gone, I will continue to post topics that are relevant to the African American community or share articles of interest pertaining to my heritage. I’ll also continue to highlight African American artists throughout the year every Saturday – #SaturdayStamps. Feel free to post photos of any old stamps you may have!

March is here and I have a lot of new topics. I will continue to include articles of interest on subjects like dating, marriage, having children (or not), friendship, church, etc. And the Question of the Day is coming back! I’ve got plenty of great questions that I’m going to throw out there so please Respond, Like, or Re-blog (or all 3)!

Here’s the new schedule:

  • Sunday: I’ll continue with my weekly scriptures & my inspirational quotes of the week.
  • Question of the Day: They’re back starting next week.
  • Monday – Friday: These posts will vary day-to-day, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! Please Respond, Like, or Re-blog
  • Saturday: African American postage stamps will be posted every week. #SaturdayStamps
  • Instagram (Chocolate_Vent): More from Chocolate Vent!
  • Facebook (Choc.Vent): Articles about any & everything will be posted here.
  • Twitter (Chocolate_Vent): My usual “randomness” throughout the day. Keep up if you can!

Happy reading & please leave comments. I love hearing from my readers!

#TheologyThursday: James Cone

Professor James H. Cone, known as the founder of black liberation theology, was the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He attended Shorter College (1954-56) and held a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College (1958). In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. (1963) and Ph.D. (1965) from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone was conferred thirteen (13) honorary degrees, including an honoris causa from the Institut Protestant de Théologie in Paris, France.

Among his numerous awards were the American Black Achievement Award in religion given by Ebony Magazine (November 1992), the Fund for Theological Education Award for contributions to theological education and scholarship (November 1999), the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion (2009), the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award in recognition of seminal theological scholarship from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2010).

Dr. Cone was an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Religion, Who’s Who among African Americans, and Who’s Who in the World. He was the author of twelve (12) books and over 150 articles and lectured at many universities and community organizations throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was an active member of numerous professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) in the Philippines, and was a founding member of the Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER).

Dr. Cone was best known for his ground-breaking works, Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970); he was also the author of the highly acclaimed God of the Oppressed (1975), and of Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare? (1991); all of which works have been translated into nine languages.  The 30th Anniversary of the publication of Black Theology & Black Power was celebrated at the University of Chicago Divinity School (April 1998), and a similar event was held for A Black Theology of Liberation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (April 2000) and at the Catholic Theological Society of America (June 2001). His research and teaching were in Christian theology, with special attention to black liberation theology and the liberation theologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  He also taught 19th & 20th century European-American theologies. His 2012 book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, received the 2012 Nautilus Silver Award in Religion/Spirituality-Western Traditions. It was an Amazon.com #1 best seller in religion in February 2012. Naming it one of the top religion books of 2011, Huffington Post editors said: “One of the great theologians of the late 20th century, Cone forces us to look hard at suffering, oppression and, ultimately, redemption.”

Dr. Cone passed in 2018.

How Much Should A Single Woman Compromise?

As you get older, you start wonder what it is exactly that is keeping you from meeting that “special someone.” You see your friends, younger family members & your co-workers get married and even get re-married and you wonder why haven’t you been able to find the love of your life yet although it seems like everyone else has. To know that people are on their second and even third marriages while you’ve never even been married once can be a painful blow not only mentally but also emotionally. How is that some people can find multiple partners, yet I am unable to have just one?

It makes you wonder if there’s something wrong with you or if you’re standards are too high. Why is it so difficult to find the person who is just right for me? Grant it, everyone wasn’t meant to be married and others have chosen to never get married (like a priest or a nun) but when you want something really badly & don’t have it seems like you’ll never have it, it’s only natural to look introspectively.

Naturally, my journey of looking inwards begins with me. How do others perceive me? Am I putting myself out there enough? Or maybe too much (can’t keep going to the same watering holes expecting to meet new people). Do I look & dress the best I possibly can when I go out? Do I reek of high self-esteem or are men turned off by whatever vibe I might be putting out there? Am I making an effort to be the best woman I can be to attract the right type of man (attracting men is easy; it’s all about attracting the right man)? These are all questions every woman should be asking herself when she’s not meeting the kind of man she wants to meet.

Next, I look at my standards. Should I be willing to compromise my standards? And if so, which ones? –

  • Should I start dating men with kids?
  • What about dating men who don’t have any formal education?
  • Should I be okay dating men who are inconsistent & don’t call or take me out regularly?
  • What about men who text a lot even though I’ve made it quite clear that I prefer phone calls instead?
  • Is it too much to want to be with a man who actually attends church?
  • Can I meet a man who doesn’t automatically expect sex (either before or during a relationship)?

These are only some of the standards that I don’t want to compromise & shouldn’t have to. Why is that too much to ask for?

#TuesdayArt: Henry Ossawa Tanner

The most distinguished African-American artist of the nineteenth century, Henry Ossawa Tanner was also the first artist of his race to achieve international acclaim. Tanner was born on June 21, 1859, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Benjamin Tucker and Sarah Miller Tanner. Tanner’s father was a college-educated teacher and minister who later became a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopalian Church. Sarah Tanner was a former slave whose mother had sent her north to Pittsburgh through the Underground Railroad. Tanner’s family moved frequently during his early years when his father was assigned to various churches and schools. In 1864 Tanner’s family settled in Philadelphia where his early artistic interests were developed. At age thirteen, Tanner decided to become an artist when he saw a painter at work during a walk in Fairmount Park near his home. Throughout his teens, Tanner painted and drew constantly in his spare time and tried to look at art as much as possible in Philadelphia art galleries. He also studied briefly with two of the city’s minor painters.

Eager to discourage his son’s interest in art, Bishop Tanner apprenticed him to a friend to learn the milling business. For Tanner, a frail young man whose health was never strong throughout his life, the work in the flour mill proved too strenuous and he became seriously ill. His parents encouraged his painting during his recuperation, and Tanner lived at home during the next few years except for several trips to the Adirondack Mountains and Florida for his health. In 1880, when Tanner was twenty-one, he enrolled in the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. There he studied with a group of master professors including Thomas Eakins. It was Eakins who exerted the greatest influence on Tanner’s early style. Tanner left the Pennsylvania Academy prior to graduating to pursue the idea of combining business with art. In 1888 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and established a modest photography gallery where he attempted to earn a semiartistic living by selling drawings, making photographs, and teaching art classes at Clark College. In spite of his combined efforts, Tanner’s Atlanta venture barely profited enough to provide living expenses.

In Atlanta, Tanner met Bishop and Mrs. Joseph Crane Hartzell, who became his primary white patrons over the next several years. In the summer of 1888 Tanner sold his small gallery and moved to Highlands, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains where he hoped to study and earn a living by his photography. He also felt that the mountains would be good for his delicate health. While there, Tanner may have made many sketches and photographs of the region and its African-American residents, some of which were later used as subjects in his most important early paintings.

In the fall of 1888, Tanner returned to Atlanta and taught drawing for two years at Clark College. After discussing his ambitions to travel abroad with Bishop and Mrs. Hartzell, they arranged an exhibition of Tanner’s works in Cincinnati in the fall of 1890. When no paintings were sold, the Hartzells bought the entire collection. This endowment allowed Tanner to sail for Rome in January 1891. After brief stays in Liverpool and London, Tanner arrived in Paris. He was so impressed by this center of art and artists that he abandoned his plans to study in Rome.

In Paris, Tanner enrolled in the Académie Julian where the painters Jean Paul Laurens and Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant were among his teachers. It was not long before he painted two of his most important works depicting African-American subjects, The Banjo Lesson of 1893 and The Thankful Poor of 1894. During the summers of 1892 and 1893, Tanner left Paris and lived in isolated rural areas in Brittany. His best-known paintings from that period are The Bagpipe Lesson of 1894 and The Young Sabot Maker of 1895. Both depict French peasants, and Tanner assimilated the inhabitants of his rural French environment into his works as he had done previously in the mountains of Highlands, North Carolina.

In 1895, Tanner painted Daniel in the Lion’s Den, which won an honorable mention in the Paris Salon the same year. Two years later he completed Resurrection of Lazarus, which so impressed Rodman Wanamaker, a Philadelphia merchant in Paris, that he decided to finance the first of Tanner’s several trips to the Holy Land. Before leaving, Tanner sent his Resurrection of Lazarus to the Paris Salon where it was awarded a third class medal and was purchased by the French government for exhibition at the Luxembourg Gallery and eventually entered the collection of the Louvre.

Spurred by his newly found acclaim, Tanner visited Philadelphia for several months in 1893. The visit, however, convinced him that he could not fight racial prejudice. Tanner returned to Paris and focused on painting religious subjects and landscapes. In 1899 Tanner married Jessie Olssen, a white opera singer from San Francisco, whom he had met in Paris. The couple’s only child, Jesse Ossawa, was born in New York in 1903. Their marriage may have influenced Tanner’s decision to settle permanently in France, where the family divided its time between Paris and a farm near Étaples in Normandy.

During the final decades of Tanner’s career he enjoyed consistent acclaim. In 1900, his 1895 painting, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, was awarded a silver medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris; the following year it received a silver medal at the Pan American exhibition in Buffalo.

In 1908 his first one-man exhibition of religious paintings in the United States was held at the American Art Galleries in New York. Two years later, Tanner was elected a member of the National Academy of Design. In 1923 he was made an honorary chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor, and in 1927 he became a full academician of the National Academy of Design, the first African American to receive that honor. In his later years, Tanner was a symbol of hope and inspiration for African-American leaders and young black artists, many of whom visited him in Paris. On May 25, 1937, Tanner died at his home in Paris.