Archives for May 2021

Decoration Day = Memorial Day

Did you know, it was Black People that started the Memorial Day holiday?

Let me explain.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance.
But check out what is documented some three years earlier.

David Blight, a Historian, discovered that on May 1, 1865, freed slaves, with the help of White missionaries, would place flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers & called it “Decoration Day.”

“Decoration Day” became Memorial Day.

In my imagining, I see those freed slaves laying those flowers on the graves of Black soldiers as a thank you for their freedom in 1865.

Today is the day we honor the brave men & women – especially the unsung Black soldiers who fought in EVERY war our nation has been a part of — who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Nearly 40,000 Black Soldiers died fighting for freedom in the Civil War.

I have served my country in the United States Coast Guard Reserve. I give humble thanks to all of the Black Soldiers who died so I could join the military as a way out of poverty.

America is imperfect and unfinished.

As a Black Woman American, I am proud of our Black Soldiers that never seem to get the recognition for ALL they gave to this country. My People, from Buffalo Soldiers to Tuskegee Airmen, fought with valor and died with dignity in the face of vicious Racism for the United States. They fought and died so I had a fighting chance to taste the American Dream.

So I give thanks to our Ancestors who died so we… so I can live, free. I hope you take a moment this “Decoration Day” to do the same.

God bless America.

Plantation Pimping

“I don’t agree.”
“I will not do it your way.”
“I have a mind of my own.”
“I don’t have to explain myself.”
“Who do I think I am? I’m my own boss.”
“I don’t need you.”
“How is stating the truth bragging?”
“Marketing to Black Women is NOT racism. It’s a niche.”

“I am NOT dividing the race or leaving Black Men out because I say Black Women Billionaires through tech and content.”

“I am NOT dividing the country because I address White Supremacy, White Privilege and, White police killing Black People.”

“I owe you nothing.”
“You are not my God.”

As I get closer to birthing my tech startup for and by Black Women, these are some of the statements I have had to make to Black Men and White Supremacists.

I have come to expect Whiteness to try to have me banned, call me names, and pollute my threads with their verbal violence.

That’s the very nature of White Supremacy. Its arrogance is its feigned power AND Achilles heel.

The assaults that hurt most are from wounded and petty Black Men who attack, shame and take away their support because I say no.

Standing in my power is offensive to Black men whose sense of self was born in the belly of White Supremacy, patriarchy, and misogyny.

I’m clear some Black Men’s disdain for Black Women is a fallout from slavery. We were pitted against each other then and we suffer the consequences now. An unhealed Black Man can be just as ruthless against Black Women as a plantation owner.

Both relate to the Black Female body as a site to know himself as power.

Because we as Black women desire to know the love and partnership of Black men, Black masculinity can do more damage to our sense of self than White Supremacy ever could.

So our “no” is sacred. In many cases, it’s the difference between life and death: financially, socially, emotionally, and physically.

I assert Black Men who have NOT done the deep healing work to be well, have an internal White Slave Master that becomes triggered when they feel disrespected.

I know that’s a huge assumption.

But if you consider that Black masculinity is a mimic of White privilege, it’s not surprising that some Black Men, have as much hostility and anger towards Black Women than White Supremacy.

At least that’s been my experience.

Black Men have accused me of stepping out of place, bragging, talking down, being stupid, unappreciative, thinking I’m better than, etc.

They, this sort of Black Man, offer support, does their best to build a dependency on him, and when I don’t do things his way or obey, he takes away communication, access, support, and resource.

As a street girl, I am clear on the dynamic.
Pimps use this strategy all the time.

They prey on a female’s insecurities. They shower her with compliments and time.

They give her pretty nothings while showing her off to friends.
They make a Black girl feel special.

When she does, she gives him her trust and her heart. Once he is clear he’s “in” he begins the turn out process.

He starts to test his boundaries, to see if she will forgive him.

He makes suggestions that eventually become commends that have her trust his judgment more than her own.

He takes himself away and withholds himself from her until she calls, or comes by, or apologizes when she has done nothing wrong.

He asks for gas money.
Rent money.
Bail money.

He does this until she is trained to give him her money without a fuss or questioning him.

He introduced her to his “friends.”

He creates a crisis (i.e., death in the family, he has to make “a run, ” he needs her to do him a favor of he will go to jail or get gang banged, ” etc.) that only SHE can save him from.

He tests her loyalty by asking her to do something for him that literally puts her money, her safety, or her life at stake.

It could be putting her house up as collateral for bail.

It could be having her drive the car after robbing a liquor store.

It could be letting his “friends” run a train on her to pay back his debt.

Once she has sacrificed herself as an act of love for him, he changes tactics. He becomes mean, disrespectful, and cruel.

He stops treating her special and starts testing her like trash.

Because she remembers his kindness, she tries HARDER to get him to love her again.

The more she tries the more he pimps her out.

This cycle goes on until she tries to end it.

That’s when things turn ugly and his real hatred for women reveals itself. It’s the same mercilessly hatred Messa demonstrated on the Plantation toward the Enslaved Black female body.

He stalks.
Ties her spread eagle on the bed.
Trashes her credit.
Spread lies.
Kidnaps her/their children.
Discredits her in the workplace.
Tells family secrets to destroy ALL support so she has to crawl back to him.

All under the auspices of love.

And when she stands for herself and he realizes she is no longer his puppet, rage takes over and he tries to kill her.

If he gets away with it, he goes and finds another insecure, fatherless, unprotected little Black girl who had known so little kindness in her life, a teaspoon feels like heaven.

So when I say no to misogynistic Black Men, rich or poor, street or cooperate, traditional or “woke, ” I’m clear what’s at stake.

My no, as soon as I sense the violence that shapes a wounded and unexamined Black Man, is my way of standing for myself.

And staying alive.

Title: Plantation Pimping
By: Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Why Black Women Feel Inadequate

I’ve been feeling inadequate over the last few days.

Grief due to my brother’s then my cousin’s transitions…

Overwhelm from becoming present to the weight of the Calling on my life to serve Black Women with my tech startup…

Inadequate because what made me successful as an internet marketer is TRAGICALLY inadequate for marketing a tech startup.

So if I’m in my feelings (which I am), I’m justified.😊

My feelings of being inadequate revealed something to that helped me understand what’s at stake for Black Women.

If inadequacy were a tree, then “not enough” would be the soil.

Black women (and I imagine women worldwide of all races in some way, shape, or form) are born into a world where we are positioned, seen as, and related to as being “not enough.”

My mind began to trace back to when did I start to see myself as not enough. All roads lead to the violence of my birth and youth.

But this I know.

I know this to be true for myself and many Black women who have experienced trauma by those we love as well as the double consciousness of being Black and Women in America.

But the violence that was inflicted on me didn’t start with my mother.

The “not enough” is not a function of the absence of my father.

Black women historically have been used, (especially our bodies for labor as well as sites of violence and another’s pleasure) under duress and against our will at home, at work, and in society.


The real question is: how can a majority of a group have the same variation (i.e., not enough/too much; bad, wrong, etc.) of feeling not enough?

The answer is as spiritual as it is historical.

When one is bought and sold to the highest bidder, it contorts the soul.

When another person can do what they will with your body, your sense of self becomes deformed.

When you are unprotected and aren’t physically strong enough to fight them off and then BLAMED under the justification, “you brought it on your damned self,” feeling like damaged goods is an appropriate response.

You start to relate to yourself as the problem. So your sense of self becomes skewed toward self-blame and self-hate.

It’s like a mirror in a Funhouse: you can’t see yourself as you truly are. You can only see yourself distorted.

I am going through the birthing pains of giving life to my tech startup. But instead of relating to the natural and normal breakdowns that come with ANY new business venture, what arises in my spirit is a demeaning of myself that is 7 generations perfected.

My mind screams:
— “Who do I think I am to disrupt the tech space?”
— “What makes me think I’m SO special I can scale Black Women content like Steve Jobs did personal computers?”
— “How dare I even DREAM I can birth a Black Women billionaires business model as a self-referential economic ecosystem that’s not dependent on favor from White Men venture capitalists?”

So when I say I feel inadequate, what is really speaking is a historical wound I inherited as the descent of enslaved Black Women.

As Black Women, we have always had to prove ourselves. Only a person who is not enough would have to do so.

It’s unspoken. It’s the air we breathe.

I felt inadequate because I’ve been taught my WHOLE life that I’m not enough.

So what do I do?

The truth is nothing.

Any action I take will feel “inadequate.”

I don’t need an “action.” I need “access.”

When you are trapped in the power of a historical wound, NO action gives you access to God.

The access to God is complete surrender to the feeling tone.

To give up hope that I CAN do what God has kept me alive for.

And it’s only when hope dies, God has room to do God.

I’ll keep you posted.

But I will say this before I go. In the giving up my will, my education, my strategies — ALL of it! — I feel my power and confidence coming up through the roots of that inadequacy tree planted in “not enough” soil.

As a poor Black girl from the streets of Baltimore, I actually AM inadequate for the task set before me. The flesh and bone me is inadequate for the life I have.

But spiritually I’m not alone.

Just as our ancestors leaned not to their understanding to get us out of chattel slavery, I surrender my way, my will, my flesh.

I let go and let God.

Startup Stress.

(Startup Stress 🏋🏽‍♀️😩🤷🏽‍♀️) I have a love/hate relationship with my Personal Trainer. He talks MUCH SMACK, when I’m struggling!
I wanna punch him in the neck!
I give him dirty looks. He grins. We laugh.
He helps me to remember that if I want results I have to put in the work.
The same principle applies to my tech startup.
I forgot that “startup” means:
—stay up
—speak up
—if need be back up
—DON’T give up.
We had to pivot last week.
Change the timeline.
I realize the things I know about marketing high-ticket/high-touch services are NOT the same strategies for the successful launch of an app.
It is humbling.
One of the things I have to account for is making space for “early adopters.” Because this product is tailored to how Black Women buy and engage with content, the women who preorder will now have the opportunity to “test-drive” the app FIRST.
This added a WHOLE other level of “putting in the work.” It’s a fourth set of push-ups, sit-ups, and swats after your muscles are so fatigued they shake.
But it’s worth it to create an INFORMED product that really serves Black Women.
Our voice. Our way. Our terms.
It matters to me that Black Women have a voice. Allowing the preorder consumers behind the scenes ACCESS will help us create a product that Black Women LOVE!!!
If you want the opportunity to be an early adopter, join me Sunday 1pmPST. This digital platform is about us as Black Women creating and consuming media that makes us feel PROUD to be Black women. I’m done with how the media paints us. Are you?
Here’s the link for the deets:
Ok. Back to work. I need my body strong to birth this startup. 💪🏽🏋🏽‍♀️🥵

It is finished.

I wonder how Jesus felt when he uttered these words on the Cross.

Was he tried?

Did he feel alone?

Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled the Law, the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah who would save the world.

Did he ever become afraid that he would fail?

The phrase, “it is finished” implies he knew what he was doing AND when it was done.

Then he gave his spirit back to God and died.

I wonder if Jesus replayed his life in his mind. All the different states he went through to he could fulfill that which he was born and cultivated to fulfill.

I think on Jesus a lot.

His integrity to his truth.
His grace and mercy in the face of the ugly parts of humanity.
The gentleness of his love.

Who was gentle with Jesus when he was afraid or doubted himself?

I don’t know.

But I understand those three words.

I understand what it feels like to have your entire existence culminate into “it is finished.”

I can imagine the loneliness of knowing the past but seeing the future as he took one step closer to that cross.

“It is finished” means you have done EVERYTHING in your power to the best of your ability. Now you have to release it to God.

So, Lord, I release it.
I’m am not Jesus.
I am afraid the world won’t get it.

Every insecurity I have about me is so loud right now.
“Who do you think you are?”
“You’re so stupid.”
“Nobody cares about what you have to say.”

I know it’s not true, but I still hear and feel my inadequacies screaming in my ear.

I’m not what they said.
I’m not my wounds.
I am not a worthless piece of shit who should never have been born.

I’m the one you died for, Lord.

–The one you got out off the street and out of rat-infested condemned buildings.
–The one you taught through pain how to hear people’s wounds so clearly my chest hurts.
–The one you kept in school for 13 years and then made me teach for 10 more so I could dismantle then master ANY system.
–The one you let fail her way into success for 10 more years as an entrepreneur so I would become RELIABLE at creating from nothing; to DEFY impossible, as an art form.

So the tech startup has been birth.
It is finished.

I now release it to God’s hands.
Please let the world say yes.
Please Lord let them get it.
Please let this love offering do what you kept me alive for.


Title: It Is Finished
By: Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL KINDS of Moms!

Today is Mother’s Day.
I don’t have kids, but I do have Happy.
He steals food from my plate.

He serves as my look out.

He has a social life and gets invited to his puppy pals birthday party and eats cake!

He is my baby.

I know Happy is a dog. And yes, as a Service Animal, he takes care of me. But one of the unexpected joys of my life is I get to take care of him.

Happy has the same significance (and fills the void of my barren womb) that I imagine a human child for mothers.

So on behalf of all fur moms, foster moms, grand moms raising their children’s children, same-sex moms of all genders, CIS born moms — HAPPY MOTHER’S Day!!!