Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sheneneh = The Single White Man's Greatest Fear

Essence magazine posted commentary about the challenges black women face with online dating.
Referenced was when it was mentioned that white men rarely list black women among their preferred choices. I have dating online however I've never been on
From my personal experience, on the general online dating sites (meaning those that are not niche sites), white men were the ones who contacted me the most and yes many of them on did not openly list black women among their choices. I think I've figured out why. Okay so if a white man is "wit the swirl" as Martin Lawrence has said, most of them, even the ones called, "white chocolate", have a fear of attracting "Sheneneh" or Jaime Foxx's "Wanda", yes, stereotypes are considered truth by some. I don't think that there is a politically correct or polite way to include that in your profile, so I believe they've decided to take the matter into their own hands. Can't say I blame 'em. By the way, I don't think black men are real fond of them either, at least not the ones I know.
Thankfully I've never really seen a real life "Sheneneh" but I've seen a few who've come pretty close!
What do you think is the real reason?

Helen Willis, The Zebress

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Millionaire Matchmaker

 Ok so I'm a fan! I know I'm "The Zebress" and all but Ayinde is a great guy! Wish them the best.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sistas Seriously You've got to Get Over It!

(Ok so I said I was content on not commenting about this article...maybe not).
Dr. Phil has said, "Spend 5% of your time trying to figure out if you screwed up or got a
raw deal and 95% of your time trying to figure out what you are going to do about it".
Sistas, I love you, but you have got to get over this "black men dating non-black
women" thing.I read an article in the March issue of Essence by blogger Jamilah Lemieux (beautiful
name) that bothered me. She made a statement that had me SMH. She said, "How can
black women be expected to gladly share this already small dating pool with women who
are not lacking options?". WHAT??????????????????What are we? Chopped liver?
I don't know about you all, but I have never had a problem attracting men of any race and
let me tell you, I have loved one race more than the last! Surely, you can appreciate the
beauty of a man of a different race can't you?CNN's Roland Martin (whom I luv) was on Fox news and in regards to Tiger Woods' mistresses mentioned, I paraphrasing, "Every black woman (not this black woman) who sees a black man with a non-black woman on his arm feels bad about herself, ultimately thinking, 'I wasn't good enough for that black man'". Are you people crazy? No one walking the face of this earth, who bleeds like you bleed should have the power to make you feel anything about yourself.
Sistas listen, did Asian women complain that Asian men apparently don't have whatever
it is they are looking for? No, they went out and got themselves some white men!
Did the Kardashians complain that there weren't enough half-Armenians to choose from?
No, they went out and got themselves some of the brothas you all wanted! Only 10% of those who marry are interracial couples, if you don't like those odds I'll advise you too not take part in the stock market.
Jamilah Lemieux mentioned Kobe Bryant, Quincy Jones, John Legend and Keenan Ivory
Wayans...really, Jamilah? What about Barack Obama? Will Smith? Denzel Washington?
Sam Jackson? Chris Rock? LL Cool J? Steve Harvey? Jay-Z? Boris Kodjoe? Wyclef?
Don Cheadle? Forest Whittaker? Emmett Smith? Laurence Fishburne? Are you kidding
me? Jamilah Lemieux mentioned that baby mama, Heidi Klum "snagged" Seal (Seal? Really?)
but didn't Shaq's wife have a couple kids when they got married? And remember how you all
pounced on Usher's wife? She was a super-baby-mama wasn't she?
Looks to me like black ladies are doing just fine! So quit your bellyaching!
Listen, my man is European and he is the best man I've ever known of any race!
I will always love black men, they are my family, but I can fall in love with whomever I
want! Ain't love grand?

PS Sistas if you still desire the attention of every black man in a room, show up with a
white one!

If you feel this whole argument is a waste of time, let me know what you think.

Helen Willis, the Zebress

We All Are One

My pastor, Donnie McCLurkin sings a song, "We All Are One", this isn't just utopian
ideology, this is a Godly and scientific fact. There's a program coming on tonight, "Who
Do You Think You Are?" that is very intriguing. I saw the last program that featured one
of my favorite running backs, the NFL Hall of Famer, Emmett Smith.
"No one is 100%" the genealogist told him. This was something I always knew.
Since humankind originated in Africa, where I believe the garden of Eden is,
where I believe Adam and Eve, humankind's original ancestors resided, we must all be
connected, ALL of us. But I did learn something from this program and Henry Louis
Gates Jr.s' program, Faces of America, on PBS. "We All Are One".
I'm thought I'd made amends with the idea that I would never know my African ancestry,
Like Emmett, I thought my search would end with the slave owner who purchased my
descendants from our African ancestors (which I learned they are still doing to this very
day!). But this program brought to light that I already know my lineage and it didn't end
on a plantation. The last names of my parents may not have only been the names of my
ancestors slave owners, but of those whose blood I share family.
I may not be in the will or be listed on certain family trees, but the blood that runs through
my veins, ran through the same veins of those who considered my ancestors property.
This has been evidenced time and time again. So maybe one day I'll start connecting a
few a dots, it'd be interesting to know. So to that end, like it or not, black people, white
people, Natives, Asians, we are ALL multiracial,"We All Are One".
But the best part of it all, if you believe, you already know where to start and where to
end your search for who you are in Christ.

So who do you think you are?


Helen Willis, the Zebress

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just sent in our 2010 census form, did I see a race option for "Negro"...really?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zebress Hall of Faves

Iman/David Bowie

Paula Patton/Robin Thicke

The Nilons (Garcelle Beauvais Nilon)

Halle Berry/Gabriel Aubry
The OZs !!!!! :)
Tom and Helen Willis

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Millionaire Matchmaker

The most recent episode included a white guy from the mid-west. He commented to Patti Stanger that he had never had "a serious conversation with a black woman" to picking one for his mini date, how's that for progress! I'm so proud of him and Patti Stanger for the work she does. What would've been even better if he would've picked the black girl and took her back to the farm...he knew he wanted to! In any case, another job well done by Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker in the world of straight, Christian folks!
The other match...not so much.


Predjudice comes from being in the dark; sunlight disinfects it.
Muhammad Ali

Roger Ebert's Still Got It!

God bless you Roger Ebert and your lovely wife, Chaz.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Roger Ebert's Oscar Picks

Roger Ebert's Oscar Picks:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges

Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique

Best Supporting Actor: Chris Waltz

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow

So we shall see!

How this blog came about

Like drops of water in a bucket, eventually the pail will fill. It was a little something here, a little something there until I's time. Here's a drop...I'm a screenwriter for film and TV, I was honing my craft one day and I picked up a book about writing for TV. I got to a section about writing reality shows and the author made a statement that stuck out. I'm paraphrasing, she said when you are writing for reality shows make sure the subject matters works for the audience you are trying to reach, do your research. You don't want to produce a show that has say, an interracial couple in it to an audience who doesn't want their children EXPOSED to it. When I hear the word "exposed" used in this context, I think of chemicals, hazardous waste or the swine flu, not interracial relationships. I was reluctant to finish the book.
Another may or may not be well known how black women feel about black men who date other races but what may not be as well known is how the reverse works. As you will find out when you read on, it's exactly the same. One difference is men in general try to pretend they have their emotions in check in regards to black women in interracial relationships whereas women are generally more emotional and don't mind being verbal about it. But when it comes to interracial relationships, get a black man out of view and he'll let you know exactly how he feels, passionately. As I said before and I will repeat, not all of my
experiences are bad, not even the majority of them are, for instance, white girls...super nice when I'm with a white guy for some reason, I mean I know I'm not a threatening looking woman by any means, but I've noticed it. It may just be because we were in upscale restaurants and such but I've been to upscale places before, it was just...different. Now if the white woman knows him, then there may be a little shade coming, but I'll have to delve more into that one another time.So I was out with an Italian-American guy at a nice lounge on 5th Avenue in Manhattan,there was a guy there who resembled the black guy from "Leverage", he was with a whitewoman who had a Nicole Kidman kinda thing going on. Can I tell you he sat across from my date and me and stared almost the whole time? It was too dark inside to fully make out his expression but it was painfully clear where his expression was directed, I thought that was weird. Now when I have these experiences, I don't automatically hit the "trip" button, I'm not that kind of black person. Pardon my immodesty, but I'm used to being stared at by haters and admirers, black men among the latter. But I'm starting to see a side of black men I have never seen before.In fairness, I've had black guys themselves encourage me to be open to other races.I was in class with a wonderful black guy, a family man, with whom I'd had many conversations. He told me that he encourages his many sisters (biological not "power to
the people" sisters) to be open to dating men from other races, as many of them were still single and longing to be married and start a family. My cousin remarked to me once when I was single, "Black dudes don't seem to have it together", he was not prompted by me in any way. It seemed as if it was a confession of sorts, evidenced by the disappointed sigh that followed his statement. And this is nothing new, President Obama has said it, Bill Cosby has said it, Steve Harvey has said it, Atty.General Ron Holder has said it,
CNN has said it, BET has said it. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Of course this is not to vilify all black men, no one can speak to all of anyone about anything. But it seems, it's too many black men that are this way and not enough of them that aren't, that's a problem. Now let me say boldly and with conviction, I make no apologies for my man, I love my man and would not take anyone for him.
No one had to push me toward him, he is everything I wanted and more. Yes I see that he is white and I love that. I love his differences and I love his similarities. I celebrate him, I love him. And no unfamiliar or familiar man will ever make me feel guilty, bad or ashamed about that.

What color is love? Whatever color you want it to be. What do you think?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Essence Takes Heat For Reggie Bush Cover

Essence Takes Heat For Reggie Bush Cover

Published by Dior Noir

When Essence editors chose to put Reggie Bush on the cover of their February 2010 “Black Men, Love & Relationships” issue, I’m sure they thought they were just giving their readers a little dose of sexual chocolate eye candy (those abs!), but instead all hell broke loose!

The boards are flooded with seething comments from people who can’t understand why a magazine geared towards Black women would make the NFL player who is dating a non-Black woman, Kim Kardashian, the cover choice for an issue that celebrates Black love.

Here’s a sample of the backlash:

“Why is there a white supremacist on the cover of Essence magazine? Because any person who thinks white women are better is indeed a white supremacists. Having this man on the cover is beyond offensive to me as an African American woman. He is just another crude reminder of all the black men who perpetuate racism against black women, by rejecting them and showing the utmost disrespect by choosing to date non-black women, Reggie Bush is even more offensive since his mate is nothing but some white trashy woman. I suspect those of you you do agree with this mess are either Aunt Jemima’s or products of an interracial relationship.”

“This Brotha don’t dig us, so why, pray tell, do we have to see his face staring back at us, on a magazine that celebrates US? This disappoints me. It’s an insult! Later for Reggie Bush and all the other Brothas who turn their back on the black woman once they are successful.”

“Why put a man who clearly prefers the bottom of the barrel of white women than a good black woman on your cover? Clearly, he has no love for the sisters. This magazine is supposed to empower black women not remind us of the disadvantages that we face in today’s society. Please don’t insult our intelligence.”

(There are dozens more comments along the same lines, but you get the point)

The February issue featured 10 black men, including Idris Elba, LL Cool J and Lance Gross in the cover story so they could’ve easily picked another one of those men as the first image you see on their Black love issue, but is it really that big of a deal or are people just making an issue out of nothing? What do you think?

Is Black Love Under Attack?

I initially started this blog as a response to a recent issue of Essence Magazine that explored the backlash it received after having Reggie Bush on its cover but when I read one of the readers comments, it spoke volumes to me and there really wasn't much else to say.
Unfortunately, he or she didn't leave a name. But here is the comment:

Why does black love have to be between two black people? Isn’t black love any love that comes fr. someone who is of the black persuasion or who loves someone who is black. It’s a good thing for people to date and love outside their economic level, local community, culture, and yes race – it promotes understanding and ultimately leads to people treating each other better. We are all God’s children, so why keep buying into separatist, racist ideals of segregation? Let’s love each other as God loves us all.

What do you think

Race on Broadway starring Kerry Washington

The play tackles the issue of race, duh :).
Kerry Washington stars as an attorney at a firm with two older lawyers (David Alan Grier and James Spader) hired to defend a white man accused of raping his black girlfriend.

"Precious" starring Gabourey Sidibe and Paula Patton is nominated for 6 Oscars

"Precious" starring Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Lenny Kravitz, Sherri Shepherd, Paula Patton and
Mariah Carey is nominated for 6 Oscars:

Best Actress:Gabourey Sidibe
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique
Best Director: Lee Daniels
Best Picture
Best Adadpted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher
Best Film Editing

"Precious" comes out on DVD starting 3/9/2010 in stores nationwide.

Is It Safe to Date Black Women??????

Is It Safe to Date Black Women???????
by Sixx King via Essence Magazine

Posted on February 17, 2010 6:42 AM

If you ever really wanted to know what most Black men are thinking, just spend an afternoon in the barbershop. You will get a glimpse of what they discuss. The new phrase: "If it ain't white, it ain't right" is the new relationship mantra straight from the barbershop.

Upon further investigation, the phrase comes from the recent reports about HIV rates among African American women from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, the rate of new infections in Black women was 15 times that in White women - 55.7 infections versus 3.8 infections per 100,000 women, respectively. With that said, Black men are now avoiding Black women in fear of being infected with HIV. In their minds, these stats warrant the new slogan: "If it ain't White, it ain't right".

I for one feel this new slogan and trend is another cowardly avenue created by ignorant Black men who should be asking: "Is it safe to date Black men?" It is my belief that the high HIV infection rate that is plaguing Black women is a direct result of exclusively dating Black men who are not getting tested to know their HIV status or being dishonest about their true sexuality while engaging in unprotected sex.

Is this for real? Do black men really think like this? What do you think?

From Morocco With Love by Iman via Essence Magazine

What do red carpet veterans Salma Hayek, Debra Messing, Marion Cotillard, Renee Zellweger, Katy Perry and yours truly have in common? We are all lovers of MoroccanOil! I discovered it while hosting Project Runway Canada for 2 seasons--my hair dresser in Toronto, the fabulous Janet Jackson (not THE JJ) introduced me to the benefits of this extraordinary line that works brilliantly on both straight and curly hair. MoroccanOil Intense Curl Cream leaves hair bouncy, shiny and frizz free (which I really needed, because all of my ever-changing hairstyles on Project Runway left my strands frazzled and damaged).

If you didn't know, let me confide in you that I love wearing wigs. Five years ago, I decided I'd had enough of hair extensions, and wanted to start taking care of my "real" hair. I know that many of us who've been wearing extensions for a long time can start to think that it is our hair... but, girl, let's face it is not! I should know--I almost feel that I was part of the "invention" of hair extensions. Let me clarify it ... some twenty years ago I was traveling to Paris for the couture shows, and my hair stylist Ellin Lavar decided to experiment this fascinating technique on my hair. Voila: in a mere ten hours I was transformed.

Fast-forward to five years ago, and hairdresser extraordinaire Oscar James has introduced me to wigs! He not only styles the wigs, but he colors them and even darkens the roots at the part so it looks natural. I love that I can wear different styles in different lengths, which gives me multiple red carpet options--but I also love that wigs allow me to take care of my own hair, which has bounced back to health after years of being neglected.

And this is where Morrocanoil comes in. The product instantly absorbs into my hair without any residue. Plus, it offers the rare benefit of strengthening and reconditioning the hair while also adding fabulous, frizz-free luster. Almost all of us need some type of cream/oil in our hair, and I'm all for Morrocanoil Argan Oil blend, a fantastic, vitamin-rich serum that's harvested under a free trade program that provides socioeconomic support to families in Morocco's Souss-Massa region. The revenue from this project provides income to families and helps improve the working conditions of rural women. This is one of the many great reasons why I'm happy not to wear extensions any more (especially after seeing Chris Rock's "Good Hair"...remember the journey of hair from India?).

I know now i am taking care of my own natural God given hair while doing good.... and that is a good thing! has a complete list of Moroccanoil salons closest to you.

NB.... I am not under a contract or endorsement deal with Moroccanoil.... just wanted to share my own personal view

Fresh Start from Jamiaca with Iman via Essence Magazine

Darlings, I learned years ago not to make resolutions because I somehow end up breaking them and feeling very frustrated. Like when I wanted to stop smoking cigs! Yes, I used to light it up (and baby, I looked fab holding it, a movie-stars-from-a-bygone-era kind of way). Mid-March some fourteen years ago, I decided to stop smoking, and it happened! Life is about taking steps forward and steps backwards, so I make resolutions all year long--not just on January 1st.

To me, a "fresh start" is all about turning your attention to your own health and happiness. I start my fresh start right during the Christmas holiday, since I'm usually being pampered in some fab getaway, with no mommy duties (like homework, after school activities, play dates etc...), or homemaker duties. I know you're thinking "homemaker duties? Are we talking about Iman?" Anyway, this year, our holiday was in Jamaica. Jamaica is so fab...wait, let me rephrase it. Jamaica is a bloody gorgeous place for a vacation! It is not far from New York, but far enough to get a tan and not talk shop. Yes, darlings, even I need a reprise from La Mode. The Spa at Round Hill Resort is a magical, calming old world resort infused with history and very chic Ralph Lauren decor (Ralph has a villa in Round Hill). With its secluded beaches, villas with private pools and exotic aromatic gardens, it makes you want to hide away forever. One by one, all your worries melt away. There's even an "All about Me" spa treatment for teens.... you're never too young to de-stress, right?

Now, my skin is glowing, my tan is golden, my posture is erect and my butt is taut! Post-holiday, I am back, black, fierce, refreshed and ready to take on the world... or at least New York.

Jet-Setting with Iman via Essence Magazine

As you know, February is Black History Month--but in New York City, it's also Fashion Week month. God knows we've made sufficient noise about the lack of black models on the runway, so instead, I'd like to celebrate Black designers!

Stephen Burrows, Tracy Reese and B. Michael have defined our times and weathered the storm that is the fashion industry (these days, everyone is a critic, aren't they?) Here, I chatted with all three of these fashion visionaries.


When I arrived in New York in 1975, there were few African American designers and certainly none who had achieved any kind of stature--with, of course, the exception being Stephen Burrows!

IMAN: What was the inspiration behind your Fall 2010 collection?

STEPHEN BURROWS: My biggest inspirations were the colors of artist Gustave Klimt,

Tiffany Lamps and the interbellum period between World Wars 1 and 2, when the artistic community was most needed, embraced and celebrated.

IMAN: What is the biggest obstacle you have come across in the past five years, and how have you dealt with it?

STEPHEN BURROWS: Retailer recognition has been a struggle for me. Just getting them to come see my product has been very frustrating, but you have to keep pursuing until you get them, or run out of financing and have to close the doors.

IMAN: What do you think the future of fashion is during these hard economic times?

STEPHEN BURROWS: Fashion has no future. Fashion is dying because retailers are ruining the business by being lazy and not searching out new resources. They concentrate only on the big, trend-following companies and leave the small fashion companies out. Hence, everything looks alike and the customer is bored and reticent to buy new clothes.
Sometimes in the near future, we'll likely see the death of the 'department store' as we know it. It'll be killed off by lazy and computerized buying habits of that sector. The profit-margin driven syndrome is dealing a death blow to what once was a thriving and exciting industry in America.


This fantastic designer launched his first couture collection in 1999 and, similar to his approach to millinery, his design exudes a glamourous, clean aesthetic. He heightens his couture vision by infusing emotions such as joy, adding a discern-able feeling and festive mood to his creations.

IMAN: What was the inspiration behind your Fall 2010 collection?

B. MICHAEL: I am building a collection of sharp but feminine suits and dresses for day time. Important clothes that will work in the board room or for lunch. Cocktail dresses that are very politely sexy and gowns that are modern glam. Overall, it's about blending what is classic with what is modern.

For me it's about global culture... which is how we now live and what we are now exposed to. Mixing the cultural elements. This is a couture collection, and in June, I'll present it in New York to an invited audience just before the Fall/Winter couture shows in Paris.

IMAN: What is the biggest obstacle you have come across in the past five years, and how have you dealt with it?

B. MICHAEL: I would say the biggest challenge is choosing the right managers and business partners who understand the delicate balance of business, branding and the nuances of the fashion industry.
With the help of new partners and a strategic PR campaign, the objective is to make B. Michael America
a life-style brand.

IMAN: What do you think the future of fashion is during these hard economic times?

B. MICHAEL: I think that fashion will play a role in the recovery of our economy.

It is important that products give both value and a definite point of view. There has to be a reason to buy another dress.... Resonating both value and romance.

One Million Mentors

National Campaign to Save Our Kids
The Michale Baisden Foundation

72 Cities - 7 Months

Join Us in our efforts to sign up one million mentors.
For dates, locations and more info on becoming a mentor,
go to www.

Helen Willis, the Zebress