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UBAWA's Poetry Contest (ENTRY # 2)

Posted by Author D Leach on July 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (3)

I am Beautiful! I am a Woman!


In the dark of the night shining bright is me

My God I am beautiful

Weaved, curly,kinky,long, straight,short, braided and all over the place.

I am Beauty even on my worst of days

My smile bright and shiny

Even when I am sad I am the essence of Beauty

Carrying babies on my back, working full time and yet

In all my mess

I am Beautiful

I am Queen

To know me is to love me

To desire me

You'll learn the depths of my soul

Learn the power of my attitude has help warriors win the war

I give strength to the weak

I am Power when the lights go dim

I bring forth life

I love with my heart

I have built legacies of King and Queens

I water the concrete and grew roses from it

I as a woman I rule over land flourish it with fruits

I've built businesses and made millions

I ran with cheetahs and howl at the wolves

At the end of the day

I am not just a color

I am Beautiful

© 2012 Tamyara Brown- Tamluvstowrite

UBAWA's 1st Poetry Contest

Posted by Author D Leach on July 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Calling ALL writers and authors with a gift for poetic expression!

Put your imagination and skill to the test by participating in UBAWA's 1st Poetry Contest.

Entries must be submitted no later than July 30th at 12 p.m. EST.

1st Place Prize Winner will receive:

*A choice of their favorite poetry book

*A choice of their favorite fiction book

*One year free promotion on UBAWA's website

*Honorable mention at UBAWA's 1st Annual Book Fair

*VIP at UBAWA's Local Bookstore Grand Opening

2nd Place Prize Winner will receive:

*A choice of their favorite poetry book

*One year free promotion on UBAWA's website

*Honorable mention at UBAWA'S 1st Annual Book Fair

Winners will be announced AUGUST 17, 2012. To enter the contest, please carefully read the following submission guidelines below:

STEP ONE: Become a member of UBAWA at www.theofficialauthorscorner.webs.com. Already a member? Proceed to STEP TWO.

STEP TWO: Submit an excerpt of your best poetry sample of no more than 700 words to [email protected] with the subject heading: UBAWA's 1st Poetry Contest. Please also include the following in your email:

1. Your Name

2. City/State

3. List of past publications

4. Website (if applicable)

5. An author headshot

STEP THREE: Look out for your confirmation email that includes information and details on what happens next.

Contest closes after first 20 entrants. GOOD LUCK!

UBAWA's Poetry Contest (ENTRY # 1)

Posted by Author D Leach on July 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)


What does BLACK MEAN TO YOU…..


Black is the preeminence of excellence

Black is the cornucopia of exquisiteness

Black is the origination of all life in its pure eminence

Black is the culture that stands above all in transcendence

Black is what popular and social media strive to emulate in all its goodness

Black amplifies the characteristics of perfection, purity, worth, in its overall superbness

Black is a distinction that cannot be ignored regardless of ignorance

Black is the human epitome of opulence




Posted by Author D Leach on July 11, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Nine Lives

6~Days only to whist out the game

of a mouse chase that is

forbidden in

the cat's eye


with envy

5~O'clock time to change the linens

on the bed because the

cat has been bad

tearing holes in the sheets

clawing again~Repeats


the cat

is hungry. . .

The Look of a Man

Posted by Author D Leach on June 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Date: June 24, 2012

Writer’s Name: Charlotte Templeman

Title: The Look of a Man

When I think about what a real man looks like I do not have to look far for the answer. A man is an individual who takes care of his family by providing a safe environment for them. He is the protector of his household and he leans on God or his spirituality for guidance. He provides his family with a secure sense of stability while being there for them emotionally, physically and spiritually. He has a strong work ethic which he shows every day by going to work, even when he does not want to. A real man respects women, especially his mother and his wife. He loves her unconditionally along with his children and he supports her every endeavor. A real man not only takes care of his immediate family but he extends himself to others when needed.


From an early age I was blessed to see first-hand the look of a real man. That man was my father. He worked daily to provide an income so that my mother had the resources to take care of me and my siblings. Not only did he financially take care of us but he always encouraged us to do our best. His motto was “go to school and learn something.” He gave us accolades when we did something wonderful but he also reprimanded us as well. It was all done out of the love he had for us and we appreciated it as we grew older. My father instilled values and morals in us by teaching us to respect our elders and other human beings. He showed us the importance of loving ourselves and each other. Today my father is 83 years old and he continues to be loved by his family and friends. He continues to teach his grandchildren, especially the males, about valuing life and living it to the fullest. He truly exemplifies what a real man is and from his teachings my two older brothers know it too.


But what if a young boy growing up today does not have the example my siblings and I had? What would their definition of a man be and what would he look like? Would he be the drug dealer on the corner making a fast buck? Would he be the rapper who constantly degrades women and put them down? Or would he be the man who does not work but relies on a woman to take care of him? Often within our communities there are single mothers who have the task of raising boys to men. Most of them are doing their best without the help of a man but as we know it can be difficult raising a son alone. The difficulty does not come in the lack of love they give or the resources they provide in ensuring their needs are met, the difficulty is a woman cannot teach a boy to be a man. That is why it is imperative for single mothers raising sons to have positive men around them.

Young boys growing up have to be made aware that it is okay to be respectful, hardworking, loving and kind with a solid foundation to do the right thing. They have to understand that a real man does not hurt, degrade or abuse their loved ones but instead uplift them and motivate them. They have to also understand that a real man never stops learning and is always eager to learn something new. The trend of young boys growing up without fathers or positive men in their lives has to change. This change can come from the old saying; “it takes a village to raise a child.” As a village if we do not get a hold of our boys early and teach them right from wrong and the look of a real man, it is highly possible that we may lose a lot of them to unfortunate circumstances. Our African American boys are too valuable and needed. Are we committed to raising men or non-productive males? It is highly important that we nurture our boys from an early age and surround them with positive images; doing this will increase the number of African American boys going to college as opposed to jail. Let’s show them the look of a real man and give them a head start in life. They deserve it. Are you on board?

Saving Our Children

Posted by Author D Leach on June 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Date: 06/25/2012

Writer’s Name: Tyeisha Downer

Title: Saving Our Children

“Child what are you up to out here in everything, but the right thing? Your parents have no idea what you’re up to while they’re at work. Well I got news for you! I seen what you did now go pick a switch off the tree… and not a little one either because I’m fixing to spank you real good and then I’m going to call your parents and tell them why.”

Those are the words that you used to hear when children were being disobedient to themselves or others. Once upon a time it was okay for the neighbors in the community to get together and teach children the difference between right and wrong. Nowadays most parents will be ready to fight if you touch one strand of hair on their child’s head – no matter if their kids are right or wrong. Many parents believe that their child could do no wrong and are very over-protective of their children.

Society and the media has polluted our children’s minds with the music that’s being played on the radio, and even encouraging our youth to dress half naked by implying that you have to look a certain way in order to appease a crowd. There is less focus on education and empowering the youth. It takes a community to raise the children of today’s world. No longer do we implement plans on disciplining our children the old fashion way. Now we will tell them to go sit in the corner until I tell you it’s okay to move and then when we tell them to move they are back to their old ways.

The young men are missing fathers, thus having no idea what it takes in order to become a man. Maybe if some of the elder men in the community took action in teaching them properly the world would be a better place. Years ago the men of the community would rip a young man to pieces if they even had a clue that they wanted to sell drugs and drop out of school. Many disciplined them and spoke from their own experience in doing the same thing and tried to protect them from going down the road they once traveled. Ruining your life was never an option.

Young women carried themselves like ladies and knew their self-worth because other women embraced them and taught them at a very young age on how to be a woman. These women knew their own self-worth. Lessons were given on the art of courtship and demanding respect from men and others. Now young ladies are confused on what has to take place in order to get a guy to like you. Questions surface like, do I have to dress sexier or pretend to be something I’m not? Maybe if we went back to being involved in displaying discipline for our young women, dressing too sexy may not be an option because others would intervene and instill these positive values in our youth.

Our community and elders need to go back to the basics in teaching our youth discipline. Get to know your neighbors and their children. Open up the line of communication. Start to gain trust amongst your peers. Granted we can’t trust everyone with our children but if you go with your intuition it will never steer you wrong. Maybe we can start off with one neighbor getting involved and disciplining our children and once that’s established we can move on to the next trustworthy neighbor that would never mean our children any harm – but rather who would want to see them successful and disciplined. Eventually we can end up with a neighborhood full of mentors for the youth and then gradually we will gain a community. Get involved. Start disciplining early. Our children need us to be their protectors, mentors, and role models. We hold their future in our hands.

Five Traits of an Effective Leader

Posted by Author D Leach on June 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)


Date: June 18, 2012

Writer’s Name: Andrea “Dreas Stokley

Title: Five Traits of an Effective Leader


“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." -Max Lucado

This is by far not only one of my favorite quotes, but also one that I have strived to emulate in my own journey of becoming an effective leader. And so by studying a few effective leaders who have paved certain roads, I have gathered that setting yourself away from the crowd is only one skill set of many effective frontrunners. Self- discipline, confidence, patience, and faith are four others.


Self-discipline goes hand and hand with obedience. It is a skill worth executing in our daily regimes, and definitely one worth mentioning as a trait in an effective leadership role. Self-discipline involves a person taking the necessary sequence of action regardless of his or her emotional state. We sometimes hear this manifested as, “Do what we have to do now so that we can do what we want to do later.” I’m sure this sounds cliché, but by sticking with this course, a leader limits the traps which are sometimes set by the pressures of their peers.

Confidence is another important trait to have. A leader undeniably needs to be confident in order to stay determined that he has everything needed to proceed on his track. Confidence is vitally important. In fact, I would even venture a step further and say that if he doesn’t believe in his own gift, skill set, or craft then why should anyone else? Not only should confidence be seen in a leader, it must be felt in his presence and also in the way he communicates his message. I have often heard that confidence can sometimes come across as being a little cocky, but this is nothing a humbling spirit shouldn’t be able to balance out.

Patience and faith are the last two qualities a leader should possess; and in my opinion should go hand and hand because a faithful person patiently trusts that as long as he puts forth the efforts and stays true to his gifts, the rewards will come.

Patience involves drowning out the noise levels and the ego that sometimes seeks out to deliver the message of, “YOU SHOULD BE HERE BY NOW!” This message is anything but true. The rewards will come in due time. However, when waiting for rewards an effective leader must also remain truthful to him-self. And if need be he must take a step back to properly access the changes that may need to be made in order to continue on with the path which lies ahead. Many individuals want to be leaders, but not so many are willing to exert the traits outlined in these paragraphs or to stay diligent while encountering certain challenges. It is my belief that the traits outlined above should be interchangeably used as a person sees fit. Just as there are several routes which may lead to a certain destination, there is no one trait which will lead you to becoming an effective leader. Take time out to develop your crafts and hone your skill and then proceed accordingly.

A Lesson in Life

Posted by Author D Leach on June 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Date: June 18, 2012

Author: Norlita Brown

Journal Topic: A Lesson in Life


Society is making many attempts to save our sons and daughters from drugs, alcohol, pedophiles and predators but who is making the attempt to save them from reckless upbringing? The words may sound harsh, and honestly, they were intended to. This question is not just posed to the obvious abusers, the ones who hit their children unmercifully, abandon or neglect them; it includes the parents who have fought their whole lives to insure they would never repeat the child rearing of their parents; the ones who try to do everything right but find that they are doing everything wrong. We shake our heads every time we see disrespectful teens, intolerable children with pants worn at their knees versus their waist, or another teenager pregnant entering yet another statistic. While we wonder what has happened to our children, many times, we neglect to acknowledge there has been a shift in parenting. The behavior of our children did not change overnight but is the direct result of the lack in proper parenting, the absence of discipline, and the decrease in community involvement. What is oddly ironic is that many times fear first strikes in the home, the one place where they shouldn’t be fearful at all.

Lack in proper parenting rears its ugly head in many forms to include the single parent who works multiple jobs, the absentee parent who chooses to remain absent, and of course the teenage parent who will not accept guidance, to name a few. “A child with problems does not necessarily have problem parents.” (Turecki & Wernick, 1994) Though this is a valid point of fact, it does not negate the fact that proper parenting can lessen the amount of improper children because “it’s also true that most parents could improve their behavior toward their child and help him more. Knowing it’s not all their fault, but that they could do better. They can then move forward in a way that’s practical and constructive.” (Turecki & Wernick, 1994) After all, isn’t that the bottom line? The intent is not to place the blame solely on the parent, but it is to shift some of the weight that has been given to the children. “In order to effectively solve any problem you must first identify what the problem is and where it lies,” Jerry Day points out in his work How to Raise Kids You Want to Keep: The Proven Discipline Program your Kids Will Love (And that Really Works!)

If a child is not securely attached or bonded to one or both parents, the child learns to trust only himself and will not submit to authority. In some children, an insecure attachment is the result of difficult or traumatic experiences suffered under the care of one or both parents. Neglectful or inconsistent parent care may also produce an unbounded child. A child under the care of a rigid, harsh, or abusive parent cannot safely submit to the authority of his parent, so he learns a system of elaborate avoidance and rebellion (Day, 2007).

In order to save our sons and daughters we must put strength back into the family unit. Having a home with both parents is ideal, but not necessary. Putting strength in the family unit is not meant to insinuate that the structure needs to be there, but more that the role does. The mothers need to be mothers and the fathers need to be fathers. Where ever their place is in life should not deter them from being the parent they have agreed to be the moment that child was conceived and brought forth into life. Although “a happy nuclear family is the best environment, [it has been] repeatedly seen that children can be brought up successfully under many familial arrangements: by a single parent; by an unmarried couple; by a divorced mother and father who share custody” (Turecki & Wernick, 1994). Therefore, it is not the structure that is the issue but the role that is. Too many times children are telling the parents what to do as well as what they’re not going to do. The roles are drastically reversed to the point that it is damaging to the healthy mentality of the child.

The absence of proper or correct discipline is playing a pivotal role in choking the life out of our children; well the productive life. Many may argue that each child is different so there is no way to define what is proper or correct. Yet, too many times children are spanked, punished or “disciplined” while the parents are still angry at the situation or circumstance. Barbara Coloroso, author of Kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline, makes a statement so wise with regard to effective discipline and parenting as she says, “I will not treat a child in a way I myself would not want to be treated. If I wouldn’t want it done to me, I have no business doing it to my child” (Coloroso, 1994). That is a pretty good gauge. Of course there will be those who believe that the punishment fits the crime and therefore may argue that they didn’t do the crime so therefore this rule wouldn’t apply to them.

There is an old African proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” Though this statement has brought the ‘poe tay toe – poe tay tah’ mentality to the forefront as Kari Hulac Bowers points out in her article, It takes a Village “conservatives say it means the government is trying to take over the family. Advocates say it’s all about reaching out to one another and lending a helping hand” (Bowers, 1996). The conservative belief is most likely the reasoning behind walking away from a philosophy that was so beneficial to our children, but the advocate’s way of thinking is what we need to return back to. The mere change in our children’s behavior from the times when this was instilled to the time when it is no longer a factor, should be evidence enough in the strength of the community working together as a whole. Turecki and Wernick attest to the influence of community involvement, understanding that “Youngsters experience difficulties for many reasons that have nothing to do with their families. For example, school may be a source of stress for a child” (Turecki & Wernick, 1994).

Influence on a child does not begin and end with the parents or the teachers but with every person that child comes in contact with to include neighbors, hence the understanding behind the village that we must return to. Bowers’ article was written in 1996 during a time when “Families young and old, black and white, single and married help[ed] each other raise the 11 or so children” in their Lincoln neighborhood. In this article, Bowers quotes Kim Fitzke, mother of four as saying, “it’s an unspoken neighborhood rule that if anyone’s children get out of hand, the adults have the right to correct the behavior and report it to the child’s parents” (Bowers, 1996). This concept was stolen at the hands of the abusers and the pedophiles, but it was also stolen at the hands of the parents who have lost their direction.

Some may say that these words are an over exaggeration to a simplistic situation. Yet there is nothing simplistic about parents who feel restrained or restricted from parenting properly because they fear their children. Gone but not lost are the days when the children feared their parents.

Parenting comes with many questions and for each question there are a million different answers. Though it may prove difficult at times to decipher what is good and bad advice, the ultimate deciding factor is the behavior of the child. The children we raise today very honestly are the leaders we will have tomorrow. Therefore, children become a huge lesson in life because our lives depend on how we nurture theirs. Finally, before you choose proper discipline for your child, ask yourself if your goal is to have your child fear you or love you.

The Game of Life

Posted by Author D Leach on June 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Date: 6/18/12

Writer’s Name: Sheri Henry-Harrigan

Title: The Game of Life

Suicide is a topic that hits home. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the number of suicide deaths is up to 36,909. That is a pretty high number. It doesn’t include the growing number of people who are suicidal. What is causing people to become suicidal? What are the signs that a person is suicidal?

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website these are the warning signs of suicide:

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill one’s self.

• Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.

• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

• Talking about being a burden to others.

• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.

• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

• Sleeping too little or too much.

• Withdrawing or feeling isolated.

• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

• Displaying extreme mood swings.

The signs listed above can also be associated with other disorders or problems such as bullying and depression. They are also causes of suicide. In order to recognize the warning signs of suicide, we must know the person. If a person used to be social and now they don’t want to go out or talk to anyone something is wrong. Don’t sit back and not do anything; you could be saving someone’s life. At one point a person may even say that they want to die or that they will kill themselves. Those words are not a joke even if the person seems to be joking. Immediately get the police involved!


So what is one to do when a person displays any of these warning signs? The first thing to do is to get them some professional help. If that doesn’t work then the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK is available. Suicide isn’t a joke and most people don’t realize that they are contributing factors to the issues of a person. They say “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Well that saying is a lie! Words do hurt and if they come from someone that you love they will never be forgotten. I have been hurt by loved ones my whole life. Now that I have a child of my own I will never let him feel the heartache I felt growing up.


As a person that was at one point suicidal I know how hard it can be to deal with certain issue; like when there is no one to talk to or nowhere to go or when people make fun of you and constantly put you down. My suicidal attempts came from the pressures of trying to please everyone. Living my life knowing I was by myself even though I had all these people around, made me so depressed that I attempted to slit my wrist at the age of twelve just to escape the hell I lived. I have so many suicidal stories of my own that it isn’t funny. However I managed to cope with my depression by seeking professional help. And I urge you or anyone you know to do the same. It helps and can prevent a tragic accident from destroying a family.


Life to me is just a game that we are all trying to win. But we all are not dealt the same cards. We must take the cards that we are dealt with and try to end up with a good hand. For some it will come easy, for others it will be hard. The goal is not to give up because once you do you lose. Giving in to depression and other issues takes you out of the game. I understand that times get hard because I have been there and done that but you can rise above it with the right help.

Big Things Come in Many Different Packages

Posted by Author D Leach on June 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)


Date: 6/18/2012

Writer’s Name: Tyeisha Downer

Title: Big Things Come in Many Different Packages

Girl his swag is out of control! Look at his back; he walks with confidence and he demands respect and power whenever he steps up on the scene. I bet you his money is long and that he will give me some of it if I play my cards right. He probably has a girl, but who cares? I can make him mine look at him! He is gorgeous!”

Now that’s what a real man looks like….or is it? I have heard so many comments like the ones listed above from various women of all cultures, and all ages all over the world, but what does a real man look like? Even I had a closed mind towards certain men in my mind. I envisioned the perfect man to be tall with dark features, an exhilarating smile, an unusual fashion sense, broad shoulders, God fearing, powerful, romantic, and in tuned to my every emotion. In a perfect world, meeting a man like that would be easy; but not in today’s world. Most women are lucky to even get a door opened for them. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that a man like this exists in some parts of the world; however it’s very rare in today’s time.

What ever happened to courtship when a man pursued a woman and made her his loving wife? Yes, they together they provided a home, but the woman was usually a help mate and a man took care of his family working various jobs or overtime just to provide a certain lifestyle for his family. Somewhere in between a man still made time to play with his children, instill values and morals, and had his wife feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. Granted everyday wasn’t perfect and sometimes even marriages seemed hard to stay in, but a real man or woman never allowed that to happen because they remembered the importance of their wedding vows – “for richer or poorer, for better or worse until death do us part.”

Marriage used to be sacred and meaningful, not just an opportunity to buy expensive items and impress family and friends; to go into this would be a different article within itself.

Real men take care of their family. They’re able to vibe with their significant other mentally physically and spiritually. A real man provides and protects, and although no one is perfect, they take care of their home. Respect helps determine a real man; in order to receive respect you have to give respect. In other words, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Many feel like you have to earn respect, but when was the last time you did something worth respecting? Being a man is more than your swag, how many women you laid down with, or how much money you have. Being a man takes great character, integrity, morals, patience, values, and knowing the importance of hard work. A real man doesn’t have to look a certain way; he may come in a variety of different packages. Question is, will you recognize him when he comes your way or will you cut your eyes towards the tall, muscular, great looking man with pearly white teeth, a sense of style and a fragrance you could never forget? Don’t block your blessings by having a closed mind towards great possibilities of meeting a real man. Big things come in many different packages.



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