Bring Back Our Girls


200+ Nigerian Girls Kidnapped: Will You Fight for Your Brown Sistas?

Imagine waking up your daughter to get ready for school. She gets dressed while you prepare her breakfast. The kitchen quickly fills with the sounds of laughter as the two of you discuss everything from her assignment that’s due next week to the young boy who’s beginning to give her butterflies.

You hug your sweet girl, kiss her cheek and say, “Mommy loves you.” And as she heads to the school bus she smiles, “I love you too.”
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The Angry Black Woman: Why I have a Right to Defend Myself


We’ve all heard about the “angry black woman” stereotype, but last week I unexpectedly found myself perpetuating it for the first time (at least professionally).

Let me give you some background:

A businessman approached me to do freelance work for his firm. He contributes to my employer’s website; so I’ve worked with him on occasion.
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Why I am NOT Mary Jane


I know the first season of Being Mary Jane has come and gone, but I still want to speak on this. (Partly because I hadn’t been following the show and more importantly because this topic is still relevant.)

Let me begin by saying that after hearing people talk (and blog) about the new show, I did watch the pilot episode last year and was pleasantly surprised. Unlike most of BET’s productions, I actually enjoyed the episode. Minus opening the show with a sex scene (I believe TV’s oversaturation of sex decreases the content’s quality), I thought the episode was very interesting and I also respected the way BET “humanized” Mary Jane by showing her doing “normal” things (e.g. sitting on the toilet while scrolling through her phone).
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What’s the Big Deal about the ‘GIRL’ Album Cover?


The topics of Black women and skin color can be touchy for some people, and this past week’s events certainly supported this claim.

Grammy winner Pharrell Williams released the album cover for his upcoming project GIRL and not every “girl” was extremely pleased with his “ode to women” visual.

If you have yet to see the cover, it shows Williams and three other women all wearing bathrobes and sunglasses. But, after seeing the new visual, many were left wondering, Where are the Black women?
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Ladies, Your Body Should Not be Your Greatest Asset


My cousin practically ran to the TV when the clock struck 8pm to turn on the Grammys.

“Jay Z and Beyonce are performing,” he explained. And as an avid Jay Z fan, the night’s performance was one thing he surely didn’t plan to miss.

So we watched it.

Now, although I’m not a fan of either musician, I’ve certainly heard Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” hit plenty of times. Yet, I was still surprised the duo would pick that song to open the Grammys with. I mean, singing about “surfboarding” and “graining on that wood” for what people consider a family-friendly show could be considered a bit much.
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3 Things Being On a “Break” Also Produced


Dwayne Wade, Gabrielle Union, Ludacris and Eudoxie. The recent scandals involving these four people are so similar it’s scary.

If you’ve been anywhere near a computer during the past two weeks, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the issues facing the two couples. But, just in case, here’s a quick recap:

Right before the New Year, the world got wind that basketball star Dwayne Wade had proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gabrielle Union. Just a few days later, it was also revealed that Wade had fathered a child with another woman while he and Gabby were on a “break.” The child was born only a short time before his proposal.
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Must Husbands and Wives Have Equal Status?

Young couple looking at new cars

I ask this question in terms of what type of car they’re driving. At first mention, it may sound silly or juvenile, but hear me out.

I was with family during the Thanksgiving holiday and an interesting topic of equality in marriage arose. Let me give you some background information:

My cousin recently graduated law school and is studying to take the bar exam. She drives a 2008 Honda Civic, which she purchased brand new and is almost finished paying off.

Her husband works as a manager in the finance department of a Fortune 500 company. He recently (like in the last two years) got a brand new BMW. He previously owned a Honda Accord, but as it began to break down and his income began to increase, he told his wife that if he was going to have a car payment, it had to be “for something I really want.”
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Kanye West Takes Aim at Michelle Obama


On Oct. 22, 2013, I wrote an article asking, “Is Kayne West going Crazy?” It only took West seven days to confirm my suspicions.

As if bringing out “white Jesus” and selling confederate flag, skull covered t-shirts wasn’t enough to show the world West has stepped outside of his mind, this so called “creative genius” had the nerve to open his mouth and imply that Michelle Obama isn’t as popular or influential as Kim Kardashian.

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Why are Women So Pressed to be Married?


I was at a social gathering last night with a group of young, black women. Most were in this group called “Pinky Promise,” a new movement out there to stay pure before God in EVERY single way. The purpose of this movement and the different groups that have formed because of it seem like a good idea from what I could see. Yet, there was something that kind of threw me off.

During the evening’s discussion, the subject of men (of course) arose. One of the women looked around the room and asked, “Does everyone in here pretty much desire to be married?” Mostly every girl nodded yes (besides me and another girl who said, “Not anytime soon.”). And as the conversation continued, the topics of husbands, and “the man God has for you,” and waiting and being patient were on full blast. As I observed those in the room, I got an overwhelming sense of “I want to be married!” Even as I talked one-on-one with one of the ladies, she also noted how the focus seemed to be on getting a husband, which was not what she expected.

After telling my older (and married) cousin about my experience, she asked me a very good question: “Did you ask these ladies why they desire to be married so much?”

And although it was in my head (and obviously influenced this post), I never thought to simply ask the women why?

Why is it that women desire to be married so much? The entire group was black, and this also made me wonder, is this more of a focus for black women? Or does every woman have such a strong desire to be married?

Take me, for instance; I certainly want to be married one day because, as a Christian, I do believe this is just one aspect of God’s plan and purpose for my life. He designed marriage and I do believe in the long run He created men and women to ultimately enter into a marriage covenant (for multiple reasons). Like any other gal, I want a life-long partner and a beautiful relationship, but it’s not a pressing desire for me. It doesn’t consume my thoughts nor do I focus on it day in and day out.

Now, we should take into consideration that I’m currently in a relationship, and these women, from what they were saying, are not. So, in fairness, I thought, “Well, perhaps I’m not as focused on being married now or getting a husband because I have someone.” Yet, I think about my close friend who is single. She also desires to be married one day, but unlike the women last night, she doesn’t have this sense of urgency or feel like she needs and wants to meet her hubby-to-be right now. Even when I was single, which was FOREVER, this wasn’t my sole focus.

The topic made me think about something my pastor’s wife said one day. She said, “99.9 percent of women want to be married, yet only 50 percent want to be a wife.” That’s real.

I wonder if, in their longings for husbands and wife titles, women really take the time to consider what it means to be married? What it really means to be a wife?

I know God checked me about this very same thing awhile ago. My friend pointed out to me that whenever I’d talk about marriage, I’d usually only talk about my wedding. “It’s going to be this” and “I want to have that” yet I rarely spoke about actual marriage. And the Lord quickly opened my eyes to the true definition of marriage and being a wife—cause it’s not at all about a special day or a title. For so long, I didn’t know what being a wife and entering into a marriage covenant really meant, and I wonder if the same is true for so many women who are searching for husbands right now.

No one wants to be lonely; I get that. Yet, marriage is (and will be) so much more. Do we think about commitment? Do we think about serving our husbands, even when we don’t feel like it? Do we think about making sacrifices and being selfless? Even seemingly small things like visiting relatives on holidays. Perhaps you really enjoy being with your family on Christmas, but in marriage, you may have to spend plenty of Christmases away from your loved ones and be with your husband’s side, especially if they live in different states. Do we consider that? Do we think about permanently sharing our space with someone else? Learning to live and interact with another person EVERY DAY? Mixing different living styles, likes and dislikes, ideas and opinions, backgrounds and upbringings: Do we think about these things?

Even more, what about when the lovey-dovey stage fades away? What about when you can’t stand your spouse? Or things start to feel routine? Or, God forbid, offenses come (and they will come)? Do we think about forgiveness? And moving past hurts and pains?

I think that in a society filled with slim pickings—men who don’t date black women, are on the DL, bisexual, playing games, are immature, and/or don’t have any goals or ambition—we as women can start to feel desperate, even at such young ages (the women in this group were 24-25). We see a lack of quality “good men” and it creates this sense of urgency in us to have something we 1) truly don’t understand enough about and 2) most often times are not even ready for. I mean, if when referring to marriage all I used to focus on was my wedding dress or venue, it’s clear to see I had no idea what marriage truly is and wasn’t ready.

No one will ever be 100 percent ready for marriage because, obviously, there are some things about marriage one can only learn in marriage. To every woman that longs to be married and snag that husband, I think you should take the time to make sure you fully understand what you think you desire. As they say, be careful what you wish for, and you don’t want to wish for a role your mindset, maturity level and character aren’t fully developed for yet.

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: