Spilling Lemonade ~ Tiaras and Diamonds

A post that may interest my women of color readers…

Tiaras and Diamonds



“No Strokes For Different Folks”


Like this woman above, I’m already rolling my eyes at the fact that I feel the need to write the following “disclaimer” as an intro to my post but here goes:

This post is NOT intended to call anyone “ignorant”. This post is to raise awareness about how uncomfortable people can feel when seemingly harmless things are said and done to them, oftentimes by people who don’t mean any harm and don’t realize how their actions are being received.

But when we know better, we do better right?

That is the objective of this post and the reason why I’m bringing this to you.

I’m climbing off my soapbox now…


In my “Life of Pie” – 12 Totally Random Things You Never Needed To Know About Me” post, I told you that sometimes people I barely know have gotten into my personal space and have touched my “_____”, taking me off guard before I could even react.

In that post, I purposely left it blank so that you could guess. Some of you guessed right and some of you guessed …not right.

Well, as luck would have it, someone who knew exactly what I was referring to in that post forwarded me a real-life example of my #12.

Take a look:

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I cringed the moment I saw that outstretched hand…

It boggles my mind why some people think that it’s “okay” to cross that personal boundary, physically touch someone they may barely know and even sometimes go so far as to glide their hands over another person.

How would those same individuals like it if someone they barely knew stroked them?

I don’t care if the gesture is meant to be a compliment.

Do not touch me without my permission.

Yes, that woman looks amazing at 53. And I’ll even let that co-host’s words slide this time (because it’s an entirely different conversation).

But the touching?

Uhhhh…hell no, no, no.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don’t do it. Not everyone will be as polite as the woman in this video. Recoiling like a snake while giving you my “subway” face has been my go-to move for years now because it’s been much more effective than being “polite” by pretending to be okay with it.

Oh…the stories I could share with you but I won’t.

As food for thought, I’m leaving you with a link to “21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis“. If you don’t have time to read, the photos speak volumes.

Microaggressions are not limited to “race”. There are many that abound related to gender and sexuality too…

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox now. My rant is over. 🙂

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews


“Shopping While Black” #racism #racialprofiling #black #blackhistorymonth

For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing some of my thoughts…

Photo by MTSOfan on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Please never say this to me:

“Are you really sure that it’s because you’re Black? Maybe you’re just being overly sensitive…”

Yeah, if you say this to me, I’ll be forced to provide you with receipts…

My vibes are never wrong and I know when I’m being watched and/or followed in an establishment. Drop me in the middle of any store and within minutes, I can point out the plain-clothed security guard.

And do you know how I know that I’m right?

For fun, when my vibes kick in and I am within earshot, I say this just loud enough to be heard:

“Security sticks out like a sore thumb in this place…”

That’s when their head will snap around with surprise in my direction and they make eye contact, right before scurrying off in the opposite direction…

I wonder why???

Whether it’s a make-up free (and unrecognizable) Oprah trying to buy a $38,000.00 purse in Switzerland and being refused because the clerk assumes that it is “too expensive” for her…

Or little old me shopping for two dollar disposable beach doodads in a pre-cruise Vancouver Dollarama and being followed around by security…

“Shopping while Black” is a very real thing.

(I’ll save the story about what I told that security guy in Vancouver for another post..)

I’m sharing this “What Would You Do” video to provide a little awareness to those who have never had this kind of experience.

Let me know what you think.

M xoxo

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

“Black Was Never Beautiful” #1minfiction

This was written for this week’s One Minute Fiction photo prompt at “Lovely Curses“. I’m considering this as creative non- fiction.

Black was never beautiful.

The photographers were not of our choosing. Our photos were taken with the smallest aperture, lacking perspective and underexposed for our likeness.

Photos that were oftentimes already faded and placed into a broken frame, if there was even a frame to spare…

But the tides are turning and with each passing day, we realize that Black is beautiful…that Black was always beautiful.

Stepping out of the darkness, standing in the light and being our own photographers, we simply needed to take our own pictures and reflect the beauty of ourselves.

2018. All rights reserved. Marquessa Matthews

“What You May Not Understand” #writerwednesday #black #blackhistorymonth #race

(Updated repost)

I’m sure you heard about the H&M “monkey hoodie” scandal and other insensitive advertisements i recent times but in this post, I’m focusing on the “Dove ad” controversy from a while back.

And if not, you can click on the link above and the link here for a general idea.

It was quite interesting to read social media comments that varied from “That ad is racist and I’m boycotting the company” to “In what world is that ad offensive? Get a grip you over-politically correct people!

Whether the ad was insensitive, offensive, racist or okay, that’s up to you to decide.

However, for those of you who don’t see why the ad could possibly be disrespectful, I’m sharing a few of my experiences to show you.

You may not understand all about:

  • a little boy in my kindergarden class (who had probably never seen a Black person before) who turned up his nose and asked me why I came to school “dirty”, right before scraping his finger along my arm to see how much “dirt” would come off;
  • my second grade teacher who say how “brown” and “black” people were smelly and stupid (keep in mind that I was the only “black” person, the “brown” boy was the only East Indian, the only unshowered stink came from that teacher herself); or
  • the next door neighbor kids who would call me “caca” through our chain link fence for years.

So as a child, I understood that I was seen as “less than” and “dirty” because of the color of my skin.

You may not understand all about:

  • a loser classmate in high school who would sit behind me just to pull on my braids and call me “Medusa” (which only stopped because I introduced him to my fist);
  • growing up bombarded by ads and messaging reinforcing that the only path to “pretty” was blond hair and blue or green eyes; or
  • knowing that “skin tone” make-up or “nude” colored pantyhose didn’t include people like me.

So as a teenager, I accepted that I had to live with being “ugly” because I could never meet those unattainable norms and standards plastered in magazines, on billboards and on television.

You may also not understand being complimented on how you are “pretty for a Black girl”, having someone touch your hair without your permission, or assuming that because your hair is long it must be a weave (and then again, touching it) like you’re not worthy of personal space and boundaries.

So as a grown woman having had to endure those kinds of early experiences, I quickly noticed the “issue” with the Dove ad, as did my 79 year old mother and 16 year old niece when I showed it to them.

At face value and for many, that Dove ad is …”quiet”.

But for others, it is a quiet menace that speaks volumes. It is a reminder of the false truths many of us were taught and learned about being “bad”, “unclean”, “unworthy”, “dirty” and “not the ideal”.

You see, with the tiny bit I’ve shared with you, maybe your eyes will not catch what is insensitive about the ad.

Because from where I sit and through my dark eyes, that is what lies behind the controversy.

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews

“You Married One Those?” #race #racism #blackhistorymonth

For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing some of my thoughts…

Growing up, we were surrounded by racist neighbors.

It didn’t matter that we had moved onto that street before they had and before I was even born. It only mattered that we were Black (“Go back where you came from!“), that we spoke English (“We hate English people!“) and that we didn’t fit their stereotype of what “des nègres” were supposed to be (you can fill in those colorful blanks).

We endured so many years of stupid sh*t that I could give you a laundry list. But I’ll won’t here.

Those neighbors were brutally bold and boldly brutal but we were too badass to break.

During a family BBQ when I was about 10, one of the most offending neighbors approached my uncle’s (White) wife at our backyard fence and asked her one simple question:

“You married one of those?

I don’t remember my aunt’s response but I clearly remember the look of disgust that clouded the neighbor’s face. My aunt had drunk the Black Kool-Aid and was in need of some deep deprogramming, right?

Funny enough, I heard that the neighbor’s husband sold his business, jacked the mortgage on their house, dumped her for an English-speaking darker-hued woman and moved to Florida with new lady – leaving her high and dry with no choice but to sell the house and move into a tiny apartment on the other side of town…

Sorry but I had a big ol’ laugh when I heard that gossip. Petty, petty me…

On the issue of interracial couplings, here is another interesting “What Would You Do?” video for you.

Quite amazing to see that most women in this salon only cared about two things:

(1) if her man made her happy and

(2) if he was treating her well.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

“Brown Eyes Blue”

This was written for this week’s One Minute Fiction Challenge at “Lovely Curses“.

This week’s theme is “Protest“.

photo taken of the Black Panther movie billboard on 2018-02-18

Jax and I chattered away as we spilled out of the movie theatre and onto the sidewalk with the rest of the moviegoers.

“I’m totally blown away! We need to see Black Panther again but in 3D the next time!”

“Yeah, I’m up for that!”

Jax opened the passenger door for me and I slid into the car. As he slid into his own seat, I found myself distracted by my Twitter feed. Noticing the scowl on my face, he turned and hesitated before starting the ignition.

“What’s wrong?”

I sucked my teeth and without saying a word, I handed him my cell. He thumbed through my screen and soon he was frowning too. Jax shook his head as he read some of the tweets out loud. Then he handed my cell back .

“I can’t believe that idiots are posting fake news and pictures about White people being attacked by Blacks at showings of Black Panther just to make us look bad? What the fuck is wrong with these losers? Instead of protesting against things that really matter like gun control, this is the kind of shit people are wasting their energy on?”

I felt my excitement over the movie slipping away into anger. Jax pulled the car out of the parking lot, rested his warm hand on my thigh and leaned over to kiss my forehead.

“Seeing Black people proud and excited about being positively represented for the entire world to see scares them silly. They can’t handle it. It’s way too uncomfortable for them. That‘s what it’s all about,” he replied as I stared out the window as we whizzed down the highway. “But fortunately some of us White people are “woke” you know…”

I couldn’t contain my laughter as I looked at him. “Jax, did you just say “woke”?”

He tried to hide his grin but as soon as his blue eyes met my brown ones, Jax burst out laughing too.

“What’s wrong? Do I sound too much like a White boy when I say “woke”?”

I kept laughing. “You’ll need a little more practice before saying it again. But I’m glad that you are “woke” Sweetie.”

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews