Black Buying Power: The Importance of Supporting Black Businesses

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

I have conversations regularly about how we as Black people should support Black businesses. When the option is available, we should always choose to work with a Black business owner, especially if it’s a locally owned small business. Minority business owners seem to suffer from the myth of offering bad service and not providing as good of a quality product as their white competitors. I’ll admit that I have often had that thought in past. I have a friend that always said she never lets an Asian do her manicures and pedicures. She will always find a Black nail tech and support her first. Me, being prejudice and ignorant about the abilities of my own people [Black] would say, “I don’t think anyone can do nails better than Asians.” Please don’t judge me by my ignorance, I’ve since broadened my mind and accepted that we [Blacks] are capable of absolutely any and everything.

When referencing Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs, people tend to make comments like, “Black people don’t know how to conduct business” or “I don’t support Black businesses because they can’t be trusted.” How do you know they don’t know how to conduct business or they can’t trusted if you’ve never given them a chance? So you mean to tell me that every white business owner is trustworthy and conducts business in a proper manner ALL THE TIME? Every last one of them? Nah bruh, I can’t except that. Whenever you hear about a business man embezzling the money of investors or a Ponzi scheme, isn’t it usually a white person? I’m sorry, that’s stereotyping isn’t it? But it’s true. The term ‘Ponzi scheme’ was even named after Charles Ponzi–a swindler, con artist and WHITE man from the early 1920s. So why are Black people seen as sub-standard when it comes to operating a legit business?

Whenever we get bad service from a retailer or restaurant, or any establishment that offers a service, we are quick to submit a complaint to the manager or through the business’ online website. We sometimes say we’ll never go back again, but after a short period of time we usually do go back. Especially if it’s a place that we frequent. Or if this business has multiple locations we’ll usually just visit a different location. Unfortunately, in most cases, Black owned businesses do not have multiple locations to choose from. Especially if it’s a locally owned small business. So let’s say you decide to support a Black entrepreneur and you receive not so favorable service. Instead of voicing your concerns or dissatisfaction, we just never go back; because that’s the kind of service you were expecting to get anyway right? But let’s say you go to Chick-fil-a and you get bad service; you’re more likely to complain and just vow to never visit that particular location again. But you can go to another location on the other side of town and still give your money to chick-fil-a. You can’t likely do that with a Black business because often times there is no other location.

Despite the lack of support, Black businesses are actually thriving. A 2011 survey of business owners conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of Black owned businesses increased by 60.5% between 2002 – 2007. There are multiple reasons we should support Black owned businesses. One is that they usually employ a high number of Black people, thus contributing to the decline of the Black unemployment rate. Those that open businesses in their own communities are helping to supply necessities to those who don’t have the means to venture outside of their neighborhoods and communities. We [Blacks] have a $1.1 Trillion spending power. Supporting more Black businesses contributes to the increase of Black incomes, giving families a chance to properly provide for their children and fund Black education. We should make a conscious effort everyday to buy Black. Even if we have to go out of way to do it. Other races and ethnicities are always going to stick together no matter what, it’s time for us [Blacks] to do the same. If you get bad service, which is most likely to be from an employee of that business, make it a point to talk to the business owner about it, even if you have to return at a later date. They want your business and will surely do what they can to rectify the situation. We should never think that what we are doing to personally contribute to the rise of the Black community is enough. It’s never enough…commit to doing more.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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2016 Election Aftermath: Why I Had To Say Goodbye To Some Of My White Friends

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. ~Maya Angelou

This is probably the most commonly used quote and also the most ignored. Ignored because we let these words flow from our mouths like water flows through a stream, but rarely use a sponge to really soak it up, retain it, and put it into action. People so often display signs of their true character, whether good or bad, and we often dismiss them like a random Donald Trump billboard on the freeway. Then we have the audacity to be shocked when someone that we thought we knew does something to hurt us or something that is considered unethical or inhumane.

The 2016 election campaign was very interesting, to say the least, and now that it’s over and we’re all officially doomed to hell, there are some changes that must (or had) to be made. I made a post on Facebook the day after the election stating, “Anyone that voted for Trump is racist.” While I stand by my comment and wholeheartedly believe it to be true, it sparked a flow of comments in both agreement and retaliation. One of those comments came from a colleague/friend. She first gave me a disclaimer of how she loved me dearly, and then told me she was offended by my comment, thus identifying herself as a Trump supporter. She proceeded to say the first thing a racist says in defense and denial of their racism, “I am not and never have been a racist.” I’m sorry ma’am I have to disagree, because I clearly know you better than you know yourself (is that possible?). You see my ex-friend, racism can be displayed in many different forms. For this particular person, she was big on stereotypes. For example, when she refers to one of her white employees she uses terms like ‘unprofessional’ and ‘loud’ when they raise their voice or do something out of character. When referring to one of her Black employees she uses ‘ghetto’ or ‘hood’ to describe their behavior. So what makes the Black employee ‘ghetto’ and not just ‘loud’ or ‘unprofessional’ for having the same reaction to a situation that the white employee had?

Let’s back up to her reasons for voting for Trump. She said she disagreed with what Hillary stood for so much that she had no other choice but to vote for Trump…”I voted for a platform, not a candidate.” So never mind all the racist, sexist, and derogatory remarks Trump has made. Never mind that he hates all people of color and would LOVE to ship us back to wherever he thinks we came from. And let us not forget that grabbing women by the pussy is just as normal for him as brushing his teeth. You may not consider yourself a racist, but his racists remarks were not enough to deter you from voting him in as our leader, and that’s NOT ok. A vote for him is a vote in agreement for everything he stands for, says, and does.

What I cannot continue to do is be tolerant of certain people, prejudices, and behaviors. The progress that we have made is being attacked…the well-being of my people is under attack. By overlooking some of her comments about certain people and the comments she sometimes made about the events in the news referring to another unarmed Black person being killed by police, I was tolerant of her behavior. Just like she was tolerant of me because, in her eyes, I was the stereotypical Black person. I remember her saying how she was so ‘sick’ of hearing about and seeing news stories on the fatal police shooting of Mike Brown. Never mind how ‘sick’ Mike Brown’s mother must be over losing her child. They say history is starting to repeat itself, I say these injustices never stopped. We were so distracted by the so-called progress and advancement of the Black race, that we slowly became blind to our continued state of mental and institutional slavery. White people gave us a little freedom and a few rights and we conveniently started to dismiss, or become content with, the barriers that were still stacked against us.

In order for me to rock with you, you have to stand! Stand up and speak out on the injustices that my people and any group of people are constantly plagued with. Racism has become so open and blatant and I can no longer be silent and I don’t expect my circle to be silent. If you can’t empathize because it doesn’t directly affect you then for me that equals another form of racism. She never once spoke out against the violence that have been inflicted on people of color at the hands of the very people that are suppose to serve and protect us. As my friend, anything that affects me negatively and threatens my well-being should be of concern to you as well.

I know that not all white people are racist, nor does this blog represent my hatred for white people. But to the ones that are, you will no longer be tolerated.  

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Church Questions: From The Mind Of A 14 Year Old Boy

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

There are so many questionable things that go within the church. Like the many different funds that they collect money for (building fund, parking lot fund, new baptismal pool fund, choir fund, etc.) but members never actually see the fruits of the money they pour into the church. Or the pastor living more lavishly than anybody else in the church. My now 14 year old god son recently pondered some more humorous questions while sitting in church one day…some of which I’d personally like answers to.

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  1. Why are church songs 3 minutes long but take a whole hour for the choir to sing?
  2. Why when people stomp it shakes the whole place? Exactly how old is this church and is God trying to tell me something (in my male Sug Avery voice)? Like get out now before the whole building collapses?
  3. Are all the people that sing in the church choir ‘fruit snacks?’
  4. Why is that church only last for 2 hours but it feels like 365 days? Is it time for watch service again?
  5. Why is it that one old person that looks like your substitute teacher from school?
  6. Is that swaying motion really necessary?
  7. Why do you get sleepy so fast in church? Is the holy ghost really the sandman in disguise?
  8. Why is there always one old woman in every church name Margret? What is a Margret?
  9. What is that “yeeeyeeeeyeeeyeee” sound old women make when they sing?
  10. Why does my mom clap like a crab pinching its’ claws together?

These are questions that have gone unanswered for years. If anyone has any answers for my god son please share and I’ll pass them along to ease his inquiring mind.

Until next time,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Summertime Cool: Doerilla

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

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Imagine being in the middle of the always chaotic New York City. The busyness, the people everywhere, the city that never sleeps…and it’s the middle of December and colder than a penguin’s butt. Ignoring the cold that’s causing everyone else to run home to their little space heaters, you remain cool…as cool as the guy stuntin in his drop top [rental] riding through the streets of Miami with his Tom Ford shades on. No matter where you are, no matter the situation, nothing can negate the fact that you remain cool like a summer breeze…summer time cool.

Jon Herron, a.k.a. Doerilla, has been on the music scene since the early 2000s when he and his cousin Carl joined forces as the Kinfolk Boys and released their first mixtape, Meal Ticket. Shortly after, they decided to disband as the Kinfolk Boys, with Carl deciding he wanted to be more behind the scenes as a producer and Doerilla having a strong passion for writing. So Doerilla took this opportunity to step out and release music as a solo artist. A Jackson, TN native, he is definitely one to watch out for and with the release of his newest mixtape, Summertime Cool, he’s destined to take over the local music scene. With tracks like Already Made ItPower and my favorite Monday, this mixtape will make you forget that it’s 30 degrees outside while you’re cruising in your car.

The inspiration for this new music simply came from his love of music. As he banged out four different songs in one weekend, that Summertime Cool feeling took over and he knew he had to release this music for the world to hear. Like most artists, Doerilla uses his music as an outlet to vent and express himself. With Summertime Cool, he hopes to peak the interest of his listeners and score more opportunities for him to perform and showcase his music…getting the music in the ears of more people and hearing the lyrics being repeated by his fans. Currently the track Monday has been featured on local radio stations. Up next, the No Chill mixtape…

“this album will be no chill, no feelings. I’ve had a lot of people hating on the side since I dropped Summertime Cool. I won’t have any filters on this next project.” ~Doerilla 

To download Summertime Cool go to Spinrilla and be sure to connect with Doerilla on Facebook and Instagram the request bookings and stay up-to-date on new music.

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Until next time Laughers,

~Keep Laughing

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What If?

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Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

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As another birthday approaches, and now that I’m in my thirties, each passing year brings thoughts of all the things I still haven’t experienced and the places I have yet to visit. But everyone else tends to focus on the fact that another year has passed and I’m not getting any younger and I still don’t have any kids. Never mind the ‘first comes love, then comes marriage’ part. Just BABIES! Now I’ve never been the girl who dreamed of getting married to my prince charming and having his puppet head babies. And I’m still not sure that I want that life, I really enjoy my freedom and not having to consider anyone else when making decisions. I was telling a friend about a few of my upcoming road trips and someone overheard me talking and asked if I had any kids. When I said no she said, “That’s why you can do all of that traveling. You’re carefree.” Yes, I am rather carefree, besides having a full-time job that slows me down sometimes. But will my carefree lifestyle eventually leave me with regrets?

Most of my close friends have families already, and those that don’t have plans to one day have a family. What if I am the only that ends of single with no kids in a few years? Will I be left behind. Does not having kids or the desire to have kids make me somewhat immature? Maybe I’ll just be the god-mother to all of their kids. Will that be enough? Or will I be envious and long for my own family? What if I changed my mind? Can I do that? Can I put my selfish ways aside and make the decision to have a husband and some little Kittas? Is it too late? Have all my years of constant anti marriage and kids talk caused me to miss out on my chance?

What if I’ve already curved the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with? I’ve purposely sabotaged a lot of relationships due to my abandonment issues. I typically leave before I’m left. Or I automatically ‘friend zone’ guys as soon as I meet them. Will God send me another one? Does He have a backup for those of us that mess up His first choice for us? What if there really isn’t someone for everybody? Am I not being proactive enough in my dating life? Wait…my non-existent dating life. What if I never overcome my self-esteem issues? What if [he] can’t overlook my insecurities and love me anyway?

What if [he] turns out to be like my father? What if my child goes through what I went through? What if my child never knows what it feels like to have the love of a father, the feeling of protection? How will I give my child enough love, like my mother gave me, to make up for the pain and hurt of not having fatherly love? Will my daughter’s first heartbreak be at the hands of her father? What if my daddy issues is the reason I fear falling love and having kids?

Fear! A realization…an admission of fear. What if?

As always Laughers,

~Keep Laughing!

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Friends With Real Benefits

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” ~Genesis 3:16

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Who would want to have children after reading that scripture, knowing that you’re going to be in excruciating, oh Lord hold my mule while I shout, pain? HUH?! Who? Where? How? Not I said the cat. And what the freak is this 20 bones simultaneously getting fractured at a time? The h***?! I don’t even like going to the dentist for fear that he’s going to stick his big hand in my mouth and snatch out a tooth. And desiring my husband…chile please, that’s another blog for another day.

Now that I’ve released that, here’s what’s going to make me sound bipolar…I would really like to give my mother a grandchild. I’m her only child, thus her only chance of being a grandmother. Now my mother isn’t pressuring me to ‘put some beans in the oven’ but I know she would be an awesome grandmother and my child would have so much love that he/she might be in danger of overdosing on cuddles and ish! Unfortunately, I’m not sure that will ever happen. I’m already in my 30s and I’m not even in a relationship…I’m not even in like with anyone. So while on a mini getaway with 2 of my friends, I came up with a brilliant idea…or something like that.

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I have a male friend that I’ve known for about 10 years now. Really great guy and great friend that I know will one day make an awesome father. He’s at a point in his life where he’s ready for a wife and 2.5 kids with the big yard and picket fence. I’m at the point in my life where I want to give my mom a grandchild…not that I want to be a mother but, like I already said, I am my mother’s only chance at having a grandchild so I have to make some life decisions. So here’s the deal I put on the table: he’s a successful good looking man who’s on his way to being even more successful in the future. I’m not an ugly person, and neither is he, so we’d definitely make a cute baby. So I proposed that he give me some of his little swimmers so I could be artificially inseminated. I told him he could have the baby whenever he wanted, even have full custodial rights over any decision that has to be made regarding the child, as long as my mom is able to see the baby whenever she wants. He can even name the baby. What do I gain from this transaction? Well, I provide my mother with a grandchild, my friend gets his first child before he turns 40, and I get the security and confidence of knowing that my child has a good father…the father that I didn’t have. Sounds great right! I thought so too…he didn’t! He wants to be able to tell his child he/she was made out of love. My counter argument was that the child would definitely be made out of love. I don’t just consider him an associate, he’s on my real friend list…like I’d give him a kidney if he needed one so of course I love him. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of love he’s referring to. He wants his WIFE to birth his children, not his baby mama…or in my case, his friend. And since I’m not his blessing, beyond friendship, I think he’s declining my offer. And in an interesting twist, he doesn’t want to have to tell his child that “I’ve never seen your mama naked.” Why that would be a topic of discussion between father and son/daughter is beyond me, but if you knew my friend it wouldn’t come as a surprise.

But how awesome would it be to have an arrangement such as the one I proposed above. If it could actually work. I mean I’m not getting any younger and the process of finding someone to date, falling in love, getting engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, and THEN having a baby can be very lengthy. I’m already in my thirties, once I hit forty it’s a wrap. I ain’t birthing no babies. So why not draft one of those friendship contracts like Nene and Cynthia and seal the deal with a friend to have a baby.

Now for all of you biblical people out there, I’m sure you’re saying ‘this is not of God’, in your most stern and judgmental church voice. But I don’t remember reading anything in the bible that speaks against this type of arrangement. We wouldn’t be fornicating, it’s artificial insemination. Yes, I’ve read Deuteronomy 23:2, but my interpretation of this scripture is that it is referring to a child being produced from sex with someone who is not your spouse. Thou shall not artificially inseminate is not the 11th commandment, so don’t come for me. The trick is finding someone that would be willing to sign that contract. But what better benefit of friendship than producing a baby together. I want that benefit…give me the pen and sign me up.

The risks of a deal such as this: loss of or changes to the dynamics of that friendship, developing an attachment beyond friendship, not agreeing when it comes to raising your child, jealousy if that person enters into a romantic relationship with someone. But aren’t those the same risks you take when you have unprotected sex with someone? Because if you’re having unprotected sex then you’re saying you want to get pregnant right? I mean the production of a baby shouldn’t come as a surprise.

All I know is that I’m working on the first draft of my ‘Friends With Real Benefits’ contract and I’ll present it to him again in about 2 years when he’s closer to forty and not in a committed relationship.

As always Laughers,

~Keep Laughing

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Kitta is a blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in healing pain through the power of laughter.

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Getting Over Your Gym-Timidation: An Interview With Fitness Trainer Danya Love

Ambitious Girl Blogger Network

Fitness has become the new black. Everyone wants to be in shape, but some don’t know where to start. My friends make comments all the time about working out and getting in shape. They say, “girl I can’t get up that early” or “what you do is too hard, I can’t do pushups and burpees” or my favorite, “I’m going to start working out Monday.” Many people are intimidated by the gym and gym equipment because they don’t know how to use the machines or they think they are too weak or too overweight to be able to do most of the exercises when working with a trainer. You may know people that frequent the gym and they make it look effortless.

My mom doesn’t like going to the gym because her perception of the gym, much like a lot of other people, is a bunch of muscle men pumping…

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The Harmful Effects of Being Overweight

Ambitious Girl Blogger Network

 

I came across a video posted on Facebook the other day titled, “I’m Fat But…”. Individuals were making statements like, “I’m fat, but I eat healthy”, “I’m fat, but I’m not a glutton”, “I’m fat but I actually like going to the gym”, “…but I’m a runner”, “…but I’m not lazy”. Now my first question is why do the individuals in this video feel the need to justify being fat or making sure people don’t stereotype them as being lazy or loving food a little too much? Second, just because you may not currently have any visible health problems, why would you wait until you start to have problems before you decide to do something about your weight? Or maybe you don’t think your weight will ever pose a problem. Now before I go any further, let me make it clear that I do not support body shaming but…

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10 Things Most Runners May Never Tell You About Running

Ambitious Girl Blogger Network

I’ve always admired runners, those that are committed to making running a way of life. About a year ago I started working out with a trainer and part of that training includes running. I was so excited because I thought I would finally be able to call myself a runner. I usual run 6 days a week, unless I’m having a lazy moment and I decide to sleep in. Did I mention I workout at 4am? Yeah, it’s hard to get out of bed that early to go run, especially in the Winter. Since I started this new fitness journey, I’ve learned that running isn’t an easy feat. You can’t just take off running and think the more you do it the better you’ll get. No, one has to learn how to run properly. I’ve also discovered some things that you may not learn until you start running regularly. I’ve…

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5 Reasons You Should Never Diet Again

Ambitious Girl Blogger Network

It’s Saturday morning and you have a wedding to attend in about 5 hours. Time to do what you’ve been putting off all week…finding something to wear. You spend the next hour trying on everything in your closet and nothing is working. It either highlights too much of the body parts that you aren’t happy with or it doesn’t fit at all. So you finally decide to go with old faithful–the flowy black dress that can be either casual or dressy, with the right heels of course. After getting dressed and taking one last look in the mirror you know exactly what you must do–it’s time to go on a diet.


Diets…you’re either on one, just finished one, or are thinking about starting one. I’ve personally been on just about every diet you can think of. I’ve tried the cabbage diet, Slim Fast, the liquid diet, vegetarian diet, and even…

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