Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sister, Let that Fool Go!

Folk look at you and wonder what’s wrong with you
“Why she can’t keep a man?” they say behind your back
“Somethin’ wrooooong with her,” they say in a deep southern drawl
But you know what?
It’s those fools you keep going out with
Those fools you open your heart up to
The same fool in different forms
Over and over
That fool, who was beneath you on day one
That fool, who was still beneath you when you finally moved on
Why don’t we value ourselves, my sisters?
Why don’t we wait for a worthy man?
A man that will compliment us
A man that will bring out the best in us
A man who is NOT threatened by a strong (black) woman
Get tired of the abuse
Take control of who you choose

© 2011 Folake Taylor

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

God is Good all the Time...(Part 2)

Silly me! In the post yesterday, I didn't talk about what made it so clear to me that truly, God does want us to be thankful all the time and he is indeed good all the time.

On Saturday morning, after that train wreck episode on Friday that I spoke about in my first post--God is Good all the Time...(Part 1)--I woke up to an apparently legitimate bill for $395 for something we wanted as a family. Needless to say, I was none too happy about it.

By some stroke of favor (not luck), by the afternoon when I had finally accepted we would either be paying the $395 or not getting that service, I suddenly got an email saying it would be done at NC, in other words, No Charge. Why? Because they wanted us to have it and be happy.

Wow! That's what I said. Now, nobody can tell me that was not a miracle. If I had spent the past day brooding about the loss of the $99 in spilled gas and could not find it in my heart to be thankful for God's protection, I doubt I would have received favor worth $395, putting me way ahead of where I would have been financially if the Friday episode had not occurred at all.

Another thing I almost did on Friday immediately after the gas spill when I momentarily wanted to ask God why was to remind God that I pay my tithe, like I'm doing him a favor or something! It's a very bad habit that I have and even though I never say it out loud, I start to think it each time before I shut it down. I owe God tithe regardless. I don't pay tithe to get favors from him. But I do know I am covered under his wings by following his commandments, including but not limited to paying tithe.

I thank God once again that what the devil meant for evil turned around and became a testimony, but I strongly believe it was only because I managed to get my attitude right. If I hadn't, I would have missed the blessing of the following day and not even have known it.

Let us be full of gratitude and thanks and appreciation of God for his awesomeness at all times.



(Singing "Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above, With wisdom power and love, Our God is an awesome God..." Thank you Michael W. Smith)

Monday, April 4, 2011

God is Good all the Time...(Part 1)

...and all the time, God is good!

That is Ms Jordan's latest saying and I love to hear it. She initially used to say God is good sometimes however! But now she understands he is good all the time.

On Friday afternoon, I drove up to a gas station and started to pump gas. Then I got back in my truck and drove off, all the while with some troubling issues weighing heavily on my mind. About two minutes down the road, I noticed my gas tank was half full and not full and that's when it hit me that I never finished pumping. A quick check on my tank door revealed it was indeed open.

What to do? I turned around and headed back there, all the while expecting the worst because I was sure I had ripped the pump out or damaged my truck or something. When I got back there and surveyed the damaged, my truck was fine and the pump had finally stopped at $99, with most of that gas spilled on the floor of the gas station. The pump was still attached. I sighed with relief.

They were all so gracious and sweet and after making sure I was OK and back in my right mind, they let me go. Of course, I gave them my cell number.

And even as I started to question God about why, I immediately switched gears to thanking him instead for forestalling what could have been a disaster such as my truck or the station catching on fire or something huge that I am sure the devil planned. I did not have $99 to spare but it was a much lesser evil than what it could have spiralled to.

My dear people, there's always something to be thankful for and if you think you're alone, remember others are going through something too.

So once again I say, God is good all the time.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review and Release: A Love Rekindled by Myne Whitman

Pre-Publication Review of A Love Rekindled by Myne Whitman

If you liked A Heart to Mend, you’ll love A Love Rekindled.

Myne Whitman is on her A-game and her second novel definitely has the makings of a bestseller. She is an amazing storyteller with a fresh twist on her story plot each time, as evidenced by A Love Rekindled. Her growth as an author is also phenomenal.

The novel is not only a romance novel that affirms one’s belief in true love and that it truly does conquer all. It also proves that though external forces can cause a delay, they cannot kill love.

A Love Rekindled is very entertaining and written in a unique style where the flashbacks are as interesting and real as the present. There was no stone left unturned in this multi-faceted plot and intriguing storyline. I learnt a lot about our tribal wars in Nigeria and it was as much informative and real as it was pleasurable to read. Characters were well developed and multi-layered. They literally leapt off the pages of the book and drew me into their world, hearts and minds.

I look forward to her next novel and seeing Myne Whitman’s success unfold in this industry. The book comes highly recommended.

I give A Love Rekindled a 5 out of 5 stars.

About A Love Rekindled (Book Blurb)

Efe returns to Nigeria after years in the United States, dreaming of a happy, independent life. However, her nights become plagued by nightmares of Kevwe Mukoro, her ex-fiancé. Long hours at work and drinking in nightclubs only provide temporary relief, and when she encounters Kevwe's twin brother, she knows it's a matter of time before Kevwe is back in her life.
Sparks fly when they finally meet again, but desire is no match for bitter memories of heartbreak. All these years, Efe believed she was rejected; now Kevwe claims he'd never stopped loving her. Stuck at a crossroads, Kevwe prefers to look to the future, but Efe is not so sure. Can the traumatic events of the past be resolved, and will she give in to rekindled love?

About the author, Myne Whitman

Myne Whitman was born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, where she spent most of her time, studying, reading and daydreaming, or climbing trees and playing with the boys. She has a Master's degree in Public Health Research but chose to go back to her childhood dream of spinning stories. Myne is living her own love story with her husband in Bellevue, Washington and volunteers as an ESL tutor for a local charity, writing and blogging the rest of the time. She critiques with the Seattle Eastside Writers Meet-up and is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.

A Love Rekindled is available on in paperback as well as the Kindle format. The paperback is available for sale already but the official release date is April 3rd, 2011.

So there ya have it folks. Why not scoot on over to her blog and become a subscriber? While you're at it, you can follow my blog too. If nothing else, I have cool writer friends that I feature on this blog and sometimes, you can win something.

Check out this teaser on YouTube as well:

Well people, what are you waiting for? Get you a copy of A Love Rekindled. And if you haven't read A Heart to Mend, you might want to pick up a copy of that too.

Sheltered Gladys Eborah has spent most of her life in a suburb of Enugu brought up in a deprived single parent household after losing her father as a young girl. After finishing her education, she moves to Lagos to seek a job and moves in with an estranged aunt. New friendships and career achievements gradually transition Gladys into an independent young woman. Soon, she begins to fall for wealthy Edward Bestman who, though physically attracted to her, is emotionally unavailable. Edward is very wealthy, but he is haunted by the past of his illegitimate birth and other secrets he will not share.

A Heart to Mend was released in December of 2009 and you can find my review on

One other thing about Myne, she was selected for the first round of the ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) with her pitch for A Love Rekindled and we are cheering her on for the overall contest. Just one more reason why you should want to read anything written by this author.



Thursday, March 10, 2011

BLOG TOUR: We Ain't The Brontes by Rosalyn McMillan

Exclusive Interview with Rosalyn McMillan
1) How did you come up with the idea for this book? I am intrigued already.
From the original Bronte sisters from the 1900's. There were three sisters who wrote literature and were very successful.
2) How long have you been writing?
Since January of 1992.
3) How long have you been a published author?
Since January of 1996
4) As a bestselling author, what's the secret to your success in the publishing industry?
A good work ethic. I work eight to ten hours a day, five and six days a week. I'm very consistent.
5) What advice would you give to new authors like myself?
Learn the mechanics of writing. Take creative writing and advanced creative writing classes. Finally, find a good agent who believes in you and your work.
6) As an MD, I couldn't help but admire you for finding your inner strength even through medical challenges that could break others. What is the source of your strength?
My children and grandchildren. I want to be an inspiration to them and a good role model.
7) What can we expect from Rosalyn McMillan in the near future in terms of more books?
An e-book. It's entitled Midnight Pawn. It's a series and will be out this month.
Thank you!
About the Book
The relationship between Charity Evans and her sister Lynzee Lavender brings new meaning to the term “sibling rivalry.” Lynzee writes science fiction, and her New York Times bestseller status gets her into A-list parties and fattens her bank account. She can’t stand the fact that Charity is a published author too, though she swears that Charity is nowhere near as good.

It seems like the publishing industry might agree, because Charity is having trouble getting her contract renewed. Is it possible that Lynzee has had her blacklisted? With her savings dwindling, Charity struggles to pay her bills, and the pressure is putting incredible strain on her marriage. Things only get worse when Lynzee drops a bomb: she reveals that Charity’s husband is the father of a child she gave up for adoption years ago.
Charity’s life goes into a tailspin as she struggles with the shocking news. Should she tell her husband about the child he never knew he had, or would that be more drama than their already fragile marriage can handle? Charity chooses to fight back against her sister in a very creative way, but the fallout from all this drama might leave plenty of casualties in its wake.
Bestselling author Rosalyn McMillan narrates the tale of two literary sisters that will make readers ask: How much of this is based on actual events?

Here is my review of We Ain't The Brontes.

Purchase the Book Online at:

About the Author
Rosalyn McMillan is a dedicated wife and devoted mother of four, and grandmother of five, who is currently surviving both rheumatoid arthritis and Alopecia Totalis, a disease that causes bodily hair loss. Rosalyn worked as a sewing machine operator at Ford Motor Company for nineteen years before medically retiring. She used the challenges in her own life as inspiration to become a successful novelist. Rosalyn loves to research newsworthy stories and use them as sub-plots in her real-life novels.

Her first novel, Knowing, debuted as a highly successful initial achievement. Knowing sold over 70,000 hardcover copies and over 400,000 paperbacks. It was a national best-seller and charted admirably on many book lists.

Rosalyn then followed the success of her first book with One Better, then Blue Collar Blues, The Flip Side of Sin. This Side of Eternity was Rosalyn’s fifth novel; the plot centered around the sanitation workers strike in 1968.

Rosalyn remains a loyal student of her profession by reading two to three hundred books a year. She feels that it’s imperative for an author to keep abreast of the New York Times best-sellers as well as fresh voices of fiction.

Currently, she lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband, John, where they relax fishing in their stocked pond.

Some of her favorite authors are John Sanford, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, John Grisham, Toni Morrison, Eric Jerome Dickey, Kimberla Lawson-Roby and Terry McMillan.

By the way, Terry McMillan does happen to be her sister. I found this biography quite interesting.

Visit the full blog tour and LIVE Radio schedule at

Want to invite Rosalyn McMillan to Your Book Club Meetings? Take a sneak peak at this book trailer for the fun you can have with author Rosalyn McMillan.

For More Information:
Visit the author online at 
View the blog tour schedule at

Monday, February 7, 2011

Good Teachers versus Bad Teachers

I'd like to start off by quoting (and paraphrasing) Michael Baisden from sometime last week. Quoting Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, Mr. Baisden said, "Two consecutive bad teachers can ruin your child academically."

Boy! Can I tell some stories, especially about High School; Moremi High School Ife and St. Saviour's & St. Olave's in London.

I will leave out some names to protect the guilty! And if you know who they are, please keep their names out of your comments people. Thank you in advance. Not that I can remember all their names after more than twenty years anyway. Sad.

I had a certain Physics teacher who was an alright person but a bad teacher. Let me just add that I would be a bad teacher myself if I'd gone into teaching, and so I didn't. Moving right along. Anyway, this person made me lose interest in Physics, be it in the classroom or in the lab where it was supposed to be fun. Back then, we would go home for a quick lunch after regular school hours and then head out to evening lessons on the O.A.U campus. At some point, we realized we would be getting this same person as our Physics tutor at our evening lessons. We all started to mumble amongst ourselves, we were unhappy and somehow, we voiced it out to Mr. Osuji, the organizer. Y'all have to realize I have always been vocal, and I have never been scared to tell the truth, even at fourteen or so years old. Being the simple honest man that Mr. Osuji was, he told her exactly why he would not hire her, the students didn't want her.

This lady now went ahead and called a meeting with all of us and wanted to know why we tried to sabotage her. I can't remember how it all panned out at this point but I know she had her eyes all glassy and she was close to tears. And I did feel bad. But my point was this: if you made me hate it in school, and then you teach it to me after hours, I am doomed with Physics, for life. Till this day, I never did get to love Physics quite the same anymore. In University, I only studied for it the night before a test and that was it. Thankfully, I was not an engineering major and I somehow scaled through but I know I never did excel in Physics.

On the other hand, in the same year in high School, we had an amazing Geography teacher, Mrs. Ige. She made me go from a slight dislike of Geography to loving it. She was smart, she was tough, she was a no-nonsense person but whatever she did worked for me. And even though I didn't major in it, I will never forget her.

I also had a great Chemistry teacher and in this case, I looked forward to the classes, and especially the lab sessions. Whatever he did worked for me as well. And I remember.

My English teacher in London was a class act. Mrs Leach loved a well travelled young person, as she would call me. If there weren't so many people by that name in the UK, and if I could remember her first name, I would try to find her. I might just need to contact the school. Ding, dong! That whole year was a wonderful and different learning experience for me that I still cherish after a very long time.

This reminiscing cannot be complete until I remember Mrs. Adeniyi in Integrated Science when I was ten or eleven years old. That's like early Biology. She taught us reproductive health. She taught us many more things but that stuck. Really stuck. She was an amazing teacher and even now, she is my facebook friend. I might even tag her on this post! Her office used to be on the other side of that square that was our Assembly, in lieu of a hall. Thank you Pastor Mrs. Lakishokun-Adeniyi. She used her full name back then. Good times.

But four years after she had taught me, I found myself losing interest in Biology. This was the same year we were going to sit for our GCE/WASC, the equivalent of a High School Diploma here. It was not teacher related this time, it was me. Then looking at myself, and realizing I wanted to be a doctor and Biology would be the foundation for a future with a lot of Anatomy in it, I went and got myself a copy of a big book called Modern Biology, and read it from cover to cover as we used to say. From pali to pali. That changed my life. Here I was at age fifteen, taking control of my life and my future.

I didn't discuss it with anyone, nor did I discuss the episode with the Physics teacher with my parents. At some point in early life, they had given me the tools to be independent, to think for myself, to be confident and to voice out my opinion, and most importantly, to take charge of my own affairs. At some point. And it worked, even at age fifteen. Sometimes it worked so much that I didn't seek their help when I needed to!

I am thankful that one or more bad teachers did not affect my destiny, but how about those kids who had a bad teacher for the very thing that was their passion, the very thing they had a gift for? Instead of being guided correctly, maybe they had a teacher who made them turn their back on it instead. Try to imagine that.

As parents, we need to pay attention. Not all kids are take charge kids. I was, but I know everyone wasn't. And this is not to say I didn't have any bumps in the road but that is for another post. Or you can just catch up with my book, The Only Way is Up for a dose of some of the struggle!

May our kids not run into that teacher that antagonizes them in the very thing their destiny is connected to, and if they do, may the good Lord give them the fortitude to pass through it and come out in flying colors on the other side.

A bad teacher truly can change your life, and not in a good way.

Kudos to the good teachers. Our future is closely linked to who teaches us and what we are taught.


PS: And don't y'all laugh about the state of my old school now as you can see in the pictures. We're going to fix it. Yes, we can. For those who have never been to Nigeria, we had the most amazing times in these places and did not see any ugliness; just love, education and lifelong friendships. Can I get an amen?

And as for St. Saviour's, we just lacked space. It's the UK after all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


When we write Christian Fiction, are we writing about heaven? And if we’re not in heaven yet, are all our characters Christians? I am so tired of the so-called constraints of the genre. The main character cannot drink alcohol, or curse, or have sex before marriage. What world are you writing about? And what if the main character did all those things before they got saved? Must the book start only after they met Jesus? And surely, even if the main character was a clone of Jesus, all their friends and acquaintances couldn’t possibly be clones of Jesus too. I’m just saying. That’s not the real world. I have been told even words like "crap" as an exclamation are borderline and it's best to stay away from it.

While we must not overdo the negatives and we must make sure to paint the negatives as negatives and show a positive progression or have an underlying Christian message, can we not just write about how it is in real life, how people talk in real life, how people act in real life and for Pete’s sake how people live in real life?

As long as it’s not young adult fiction, surely, adults can keep it real? One would assume, but maybe not.

I am so tired of seeing the phrase, she called me anything but a child of God. Whenever was the last time someone said to you, “You are anything but a child of God” and you were offended by it in the same sense? I know we can’t dwell on the curse words and all but come on, can we be a little more innovative here? I have to say I have only seen that phrase used well in one book recently and because of how true to life the whole story was, it didn’t bother me the same. That would be Delilah by Ms Shelia Goss. Kudos!

And even if all our characters were Christians, do these people never falter? Do Christian brothers and sisters never have sex outside of marriage? Seriously? Do they never have an evil thought or do they never do something bad when nobody is looking?

Pre-marital sex can be explored in a secondary character but not in the main character. That’s a common one in those submission guidelines. I sigh every time I see that phrase. How do you truly connect with the people if your characters don’t sound anything like them or like anyone they know? While I am not advocating for full sex scenes, surely, in the history of this world, there has been a Christian sister who did things she was not supposed to do. Does anybody know one?

I am reading A Woman’s Secret by a friend of mine, Toyin Adon-Abel and I love that it is not all stiff and uptight because it is a Christian book. He slips in the Christian undertone even without you noticing. He gets around the issues of language with a few scattered explicit words in some parts and yet in other parts, some dashes (–) and dots (…). While I’m not quite sure about the dashes and dots, he definitely made progress on what I’ve seen commonly. It’s a great read with an unusual and thought provoking plot and anyone will enjoy it.

Thank God for the few authors who are keeping it real but every time I read the submission guidelines for traditional publishers, I have to ask myself how do I write what I want to write, make it as real as I want it to be but still get a book deal from one of them? It seems almost impossible. But I will forge ahead till I get where I want.

Most of what we have on the market now is still for a restricted audience is what I’m saying. Thankfully, it's not all. If only Christians can stomach reading your book, then have you really helped save a soul? Fine, you’re touching and inspiring Christians. But what is being written for the non-saved who just wants a good read? I’m not saying there are none of such. I’m just saying we need more.

I know I’m a newbie and I don’t know much yet but is it too much to ask that Christian books sound like real life? And while I know that style works perfectly for some, how about others, like me? Can some of us please, please, please not write in Christianese 100% of the time?

Where are my overcomers at? Let’s do this. Watch out for my next book, Anonymous Gift Giver, coming soon. I have not queried anyone yet but I’m getting there. I will not disappoint you!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Steppin’ Into the Good Life Blog Tour

Steppin' Into the Good Life by Tia McCollors will be released on February 1st.

About the Book

Shelia Rushmore thought she’d be the last woman standing when it was time to fight for her man. Instead Ace, her boyfriend of two years, chose to reunite with his ex-wife, leaving Shelia emotionally devastated. It’s a year later when Sheila is convinced that sneaking into their wedding ceremony will put closure on the gaping hole in her heart.

But it’s on the back pew of the church where a new relationship begins for Shelia. She can’t explain the touch she received from God on that day, but she’s determined to be a better woman-a woman of faith. Since high school, Shelia has been chasing her definition of the good life – it’s left her with no home, no man, and no money. But now that’s she’s living life for God, things should get better, right? Shelia learns that living a faith-filled life isn’t always easy.

With faith, tough love, and some tough decisions, Shelia realizes that the life she’d been praying for she could have for herself is actually attainable. Being wrapped in God’s arms, she decided, was by far the safest place she’d ever been.
Purchase the Book Online at:

About the Author

TIA MCCOLLORS is a national bestselling author who secured her spot in the publishing industry with the release of her debut novel, Zora’s Cry. She received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina. After ten years as a public relations professional, Tia emerged as an inspirational speaker and author of faith-based novels. Her other titles include The Truth About Love and A Heart of Devotion. She continues to pen inspirational works and is currently writing a series of children’s early reader chapter books targeted towards girls, ages 7-9.

In addition to being a novelist, Tia is a motivational speaker and instructor for writing workshops. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization, and serves as the vice president of Visions In Print. Tia was voted as the Breakout Author of the Year by the Open Book Awards of the African American Literary Awards Show.

Tia lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her husband and son. For more information, visit her online at


How did you come up with the concept for this novel?

I think it was a natural “literary reaction.” After reading my previous book, The Last Woman Standing, some readers felt sorry for Sheila and others didn’t care for her at all. But regardless of how they felt, readers wanted to know what happened to Sheila Rushmore, the girlfriend of two years that was kicked [to] the curb. Well, she’s dusted herself off and trying to get back into life.
I guess the concept for both of these stories boils down to me asking the “What if?” question. I knew an associate who had a close relationship with her ex-spouse. I had a chance to see how they reacted and treated each other, and wondered if there was still an attraction for either. I couldn’t help but think that they would give each other a “second chance” if one of them was brave enough to express their feelings.

And so was birthed…The Last Woman Standing…and the Steppin’ Into The Good Life.

Do you write only Christian fiction?

Currently all of my books are fiction. I do have an idea for a devotional floating around in my head that would uplift and inspire women like me. By “women like me,” I mean those who are driven to live a purpose-filled life, and do so while taking care of children who pull out toys as soon as you’ve cleaned up, being a helpmate to your husband, and trying to think of something new to put on the table instead of recycling old recipes, etc. The list goes on!

How long have you been a published author?

My first novel, A Heart of Devotion, was released by Moody Publishers in January 2005. That was an awesome way to celebrate the new year!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think it originally started in seventh grade when I had an “advice column” in my school’s newspaper, called Tia Talks. When I entered high school, I decided to take “Newspaper” as one of my electives…and I was hooked. But even before that I used to enter every fiction writing competition that was school and county-wide. However, I never fathomed that my love for writing would lead to a career as a novelist. I’d planned on going into broadcast journalism…and writing the truth, and nothing but the truth! It wasn’t until I was included in a round of layoffs at a job in 1999 that God I truly began to search for my passion and purpose. I guess you could say God married my love for reading and my love for writing!

Any advice for other authors or aspiring authors?

Keep writing until the end, even if it’s not your best. In fact, your first draft WON’T be your best. But you can’t edit or revise blank pages.

For More Information
• Visit the author online at
• View the blog tour schedule at

Monday, January 24, 2011

The African Divide in America

That was the topic of our panel discussion yesterday in which I had the honor of being a panelist. I didn't voice out even a tenth of what I wanted to say during the discussion, because I didn't want to cry and we would run out of time. But as I sat in church this morning, I let it all out. I cried.

Here's what I had to let out and let go of, so I can move forward: How long will I have to pay for my ancestors being among those who were left behind? It is not my fault and every single day in this country, I feel guilty about slavery. I can never come to terms with it. But I can't change slavery. I can only change what is going on now; help to fix the aftermath of slavery. As I assimilate and imbibe the beautiful things about the American culture, I would like to share those things about the Nigerian culture that I intend to teach to my child which have been lost through the years in the African American culture, those things I never want to forget. But nobody wants to listen to me. Maybe not nobody! But you get the drift. There aren't enough people who want to know.

I even wrote a book about it. And while some understood and loved it, others have called me prideful and arrogant, perceiving my confidence and pride in my heritage to be me looking down on African Americans. Some think that I am saying Nigeria is better than America and I have to remind them that Nigeria is a developing country and though there are several good things about Nigeria that you don't see on TV, they are missing the point.

We do have tribalism and religious divides in Nigeria. But we will come together in a heartbeat against any other group of people. The one thing nobody expects in a developed country is resistance from other black folk because it does not happen like that among blacks in Europe.

Yesterday, we all agreed that to fix the divide between African American and Africans, we would need to collaborate and unite more, we would need to educate our kids, African Americans would need to visit Africa more, we would need to show people in Africa the worst of America (for balance), we would all need to study each other's cultures more and be more tolerant of our differences. Most of all, if we concentrate more on the ways we are alike than the ways we are different, the world would be a much better place.

One of the statements I found to be the most profound yesterday was when John McQueen mentioned that what changed his life was when he spent a year and a half in Europe and he got a chance to see America as the world sees it and realize there truly are opportunities. And it saddened me when he mentioned that he did not grow up knowing America was full of opportunities and it was not taught to him. I realized that growing up to see and know that the world is full of opportunity was special and we all need to make sure we instill that in our kids. If you want it, go get it. It's there. But nobody is going to hand it to you.

Another issue that touched me was when Alistair Edwards said he was taught that when you meet people, the next thing you do is ask what you can do for them to make their life better. That is a winner!

Delson Adeoye and Muyiwa Babalola went so deep into history and research on this issue, they had my head spinning!!! Brandi Mitchell reminded us that whether giving service, or being serviced, as African Americans/ Blacks in general, we need to step it up and make sure we are competitive in the business world and providing quality service. And if we are receiving service, appreciate and value it, pay what it is worth and don't try to get it for free.

While Klarque Garrison was helping me with my things and walking me to my vehicle last night, I casually looked up at Grady hospital and mentioned how I worked out of there for three years during residency. I also mentioned some other places farther out where I had worked and he wondered how I had worked in all these cities he'd never been to. When I explained to him how needing a work visa almost guarantees you can't get a job in certain desired locations as a foreigner, he was almost speechless. "We have a different set of challenges that y'all don't understand," I had said to him. And because we're programmed to be resilient as Africans, you might look at me and think I have it all, because I don't complain. But you don't know how many thousands of dollars go to my attorney to process immigration related issues or the challenges that are unique to me as a non-American.

For Africans in America, our challenges are current. We don't hold on to the past, we let that go. Whatever things were lacked while back home are quickly forgotten. Whatever you suffered in your early years here become something to laugh over. For African Americans, half of the challenges are perceived, psychological or emotional (which doesn't make it less important) and half is current. Like Brandi said last night, slavery is a mindset that is hard to break. But we all have unique problems and only in coming together can we have power in numbers.

When I got home last night, I was rejuvenated and drained at the same time, so much so that I felt weak in my body, like I had run a marathon. My hips hurt and I hadn't been standing all day. That was my personal breakthrough working through every fiber of my being. So while I was giving, I received as well.

After I let it all out in church today, I fell in love all over again with my blackness, my Africaness and especially being black in America. I love this country. I love living here and this is my home now. I love Atlanta especially. I'm here to stay. And I won't give up, until all our voices are heard and we all become one.

Give us a chance people. We are one!

Thank you Survive 365 and Klarque Garrison for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to future collaborations with you.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Invite to FREE Panel Discussion: "The African Divide in America"


D.K. Garrison, Author/Speaker

(866) 642-9125 office

(404) 447-8265 local

Atlanta based author hosts 6 panel discussion: African vs African-American sociological divide

“The African Divide in America”


Atlanta, Ga.—January 22, 2011—Since 1865, blacks in America have had their freedoms. Soon after, African immigrants started migrating to the US for better education and opportunities. Almost instantly African-Americans and their brothers from Africa have had an invisible divide between the two communities. Rarely is there an economic or social collaboration anywhere in the US between them.

On Saturday January 22, 2011 4pm-6pm EST at the Auburn Ave. Research Library, 4th floor (101 Auburn Ave. NE Atlanta,Ga. 30303), a panel of six successful entrepreneurs (3 Africans, 3 African Americans) will meet to openly discuss why? The event will be hosted by D. Klarque Garrison author of “How to Survive the Next 365” & Moderated by Michael McFadden host of the wildly popular radio show “Real Talk with Michael McFadden”. Special Presenter/Speaker will be Mr. Chris Gloss who is the Nation’s #1 Possibility speaker. The six person panel includes stalwarts Dr. Folake Taylor (Author), John McQueen (entrepreneur), Delson Adeoye (businessman), Alistair Edwards (motivational speaker), Chloe Taylor-Brown (Life Coach), Muyiwa Babalola (attorney). The event is FREE and open to the general public. The format will be a moderated forum with a Q&A period for the audience. Our goal is to enlighten, provide insight and create an open dialog for future partnerships.

For more information, contact D. Klarque Garrison (404) 447-8265, Folake Taylor (770) 312-7973, or Delson Adeoye (404) 781-5909

Media: Contact Host D. Klarque Garrison for interviews or coverage at klarque@survivethenext365. For ad, bios, headshots or more info call (866) 642-9125.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Day, A New Year...

Happy New Year!

Now, about those New Year Resolutions we all insist on having every year. Though I have a slightly different take on those, since it is January now, whatever was not already implemented in 2010 is now something we are struggling with and hopefull succeeding at. First rule of thumb is this: If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again. My second rule is I have renamed them All Year Resolutions and not just to be implemented at the start of a new year. I believe that as soon as you recognize and decide the change is needed, you should plan for it in the near future if not immediately, so as not to load up this one magical day of the year with too many changes that you couldn't possibly keep to.

That being said. If you have more than three things on your list of New Year Resolutions, I suggest you stagger them. By that I mean set a date to implement each one so that you are not working on ten different things at once. I say that because if you get overwhelmed, you stand a huge chance of not succeeding at any of it. This is the advice I give with any kind of life changes, except if they are related. For example, if your resolutions are all along the lines of "I'll stop cheating on my spouse; I'll spend more time with family; I'll skip the strip clubs..." those to me don't count as different resolutions! They essentially count as one. But if on the other hand they are "I'll lose twenty pounds; I'll stop smoking; I'll stop taking prescription pain medications I'm dependent on..." then you might need to stagger it. I give the last example of course with my dear patients in minds. Those are probably three of the most common changes I hear people wanting to make, especially at the beginning of the year. Other common ones of course are alcoholism, non-adherence to medications or diets for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol as well as preventive care.

Let me break it down for you. One of the hardest things to do at the same time is stop smoking and lose weight. This is because when you stop smoking, you gain weight. I think this is multi-factorial. People who smoke are used to having something to do with their fingers a lot of the time. They replace the cigarette with food. Also, many people have anxiety which the nicotin deals with and without the nicotine, they suddenly get very nervous and jittery and comfort eat. What I normally suggest is that you stop smoking first, allow yourself to gain whatever weight might come with it and figure out how to get past that and be at a stable weight before you try to lose weight, with or without help.

I know this is not the scenrio for the general populace or outside of a doctor's office setting of course. On the street, you might hear more of "I want to be closer to God this year; I want to start a business and be successful with it; I want to write a book; I want to be a better parent to my children; I want to be a better spouse; I want to be a better child to my parents..." etc.

We are not machines. We are humans. We want to do all these things but rather than set ourselves up to fail, I suggest we map out a plan to stagger it and once we achieve one or two goals and master them, we can take up the next challenge. I use the same technique with lifetyle nutritional changes (note we are not saying diet anymore) and that way, the ability to stick with the changes are permanent and not temporary or intermittent. In turn, the results are also more permanent.

I think the traditional way of approaching New Year Resolutions sets us up for failure and by the third month, many people have given up on many of their resolutions. It seems like it's too hard.

If you chose to adopt my approach, I would love to hear back from you by email or otherwise. I wish us all a fantastic year full of blessings, progress and growth. More importanly, let us remember to give back. Be a blessing to somebody else. That is the only resolution I am working on presently; to be a blessing. With the exception of less time on fecebook. Shhhh. You'll be surprised that by the time you are done, God has taken care of your business.