Sunday, July 31, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers chats with Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall about the obsession of men taking pictures of their penis

What is the obsession of men taking pictures of their penis and posting on the internet?

Find out when Funnel Cake Flowers sits down with Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Founder of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College, current president of the National Women's Association, author and co-author of several published books including Gender Talks, Traps and Who Should be First.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

I try very hard to act brown but sometimes they make me act BLACK!

by today’s Urban Chameleon contributor

My mother always said, “You are different, you don't play by the same rules.” These are words I live by, especially since I work in corporate America.

Last week I had my semi-annual review. Things were going really well until my boss went over his hand written notes about my "Opportunities for Improvement." His list included arriving to meetings early and not just on time, and to stop bringing reading materials to meetings (regardless if it’s related to my profession and even if everyone else brings other work to the same meetings). His issues were so reflective of corporate America, never mind that I’m excellent at my job, a top seller who always comes to meetings prepared, it always comes down to what makes everyone else “comfortable.”

Just as I was preparing to leave his office, assuming the meeting was over, my boss says, “Just one more thing.” Apparently, someone told him my behavior was “unpolished and unprofessional” in a question and answer session that we recently had with the CEO, CFO and Chairman of the board. In that moment it took every fiber of my being not to show him what unpolished and unprofessional looked like.

Frankly, I was shocked. The Chairman of the Board actually approached me after the session, asked how long I had been with the company and said it was nice to meet me. I later sent an email to the CEO, CFO, and Chairman of the Board thanking them for the Q&A session and invited them to lunch to show my appreciation. The CEO followed up, and we have a lunch scheduled for next month. My co-workers thought I was crazy, but I saw it as an expression of appreciation…and like I said, I'm damn good at my job.

My boss said he wasn’t concerned about the “unpolished and unprofessional” behavior, but it did have to be addressed. After the conclusion of my review, I approached our Director of Diversity, my corporate barometer, which helps me balance being a professional Black woman and navigating the tumultuous waterways of "white corporate America". She was in the in the room during the Q&A session. I recounted the details of my review, including the "unpolished and unprofessional" behavior, and she asked what I thought? For a second it crossed my mind that maybe I am unpolished and unprofessional if she had to ask. She told me it’s not the content of what I say but that my delivery sometimes comes across as overly familiar when addressing executives. I tend to address them in the same manner as my other colleagues. This is what I was being reprimanded for? With a smile on my face, I told her this is something I am very proud of. I treat executives the same way I treat housekeeping. I believe that everyone should be treated equal.

It is true that I didn't speak in the same subservient tone as my Caucasian counterparts. It is true that I didn't look up at the corporate ladder with wide eyes like a puppy dog waiting to be patted on the head and given a begging strip from the treat bowl. I'm sorry that your millions do not impress me. I'm sorry that I will never allow myself to treat you in a manner that would suggest that you are better than me. I will look at any CEO, CFO and Chairman of the board straight in the eye and talk to them as an equal. While my mother used to stress that I am different and have to play the game by different rules, including work twice as hard, it was always tempered with respecting myself, being myself, and realizing that everyone is equal in the eyes of GOD.

I try my hardest to act brown but today they almost made me act black. Ultimately, I accepted the company’s offer to pay for me to have “professional” coaching. I embrace conscientious improvement but in no uncertain terms will I allow my personality, my essence, and my “Je ne sais quoi” to be coached away.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chicken Toss & Cigars

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

About a couple of years ago I made the transition from secret meetings with the weed man and smoking blunts in conspicuous places with my homeboys to discovering a love for fine cigars. Each day I look forward to sitting on my patio and sampling a different brand. Some folks smoke cigars as a social activity but I enjoy being alone and unwinding with peace and quiet.

Yesterday, I was doing just that when a brotha dressed in swim trunks and flip flops, presumably on his way to the communal pool, yells up to me (third floor of a complex in a gated community) and says, “Hey brotha, you want a piece of chicken?” I looked down to confirm that he was in fact talking to me and see that he’s holding a large tin of chicken wings. I declined the offer but the brotha was persistent; he offered to toss a piece of chicken up to my patio. When I declined the second time he asked if I preferred a piece of corn. Once again I told the brotha I was cool. What do I look like hanging over my balcony trying to catch a piece of chicken or corn. What happens if I don’t catch it? Why am I even thinking through the scenario? My moment of cigar Zen was ruined. How is it that the ‘hood found me?!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on Tracey Morgan vs. The Gays

Another Black man bites the gay dust. Tracey Morgan provoked more minority on minorty crime when his stand up routine undermined gay rights. Apparently he joked that if his son ever came home gay that he would stab that little ninja to death. What I find interesting is that no one seems to care that he threatened to murder his son who he referred to as the n word. Where in the world are child services,  the NAACP and that boy's mother. Are we so blinded by which ever minority groups' issue is trending that we ignore other issues. Yes I'm being a little sarcastic. Black on gay crime is ridiculousness. How can one minority group not understand another’s plight for human rights?  But is that the only issue here? One might argue another issue is -what the hell are gays doing at Tracey Morgan stand up routine? Don’t let the 30 rock actor that now appeals to greater American fool you. I remember you hustle man. Like any person of color who climbs the social ladder, inevitably you have to become an Urban Chameleon.  Mr. Morgan your audience is now bigger than def comedy jam, a culture that unfortunately is comfortable with loosely using the “f” word to describe “soft” men. But might this be an opportunity where you can break a chain in Black comic culture. I know thing is for sure it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV  
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