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  • Staci Sweet


This is a post that was written in 2014.  I included it here because this blog is dedicated to the hood and as such, its time for us to do and live better. Please note that the language used is intended to prove a point. 

Okay, so I’m going to be totally transparent for a moment and share something that I think a lot of women; especially women of color may suffer from. I recently finished my first book, The Reality of Sexual Purity™’; a look at the life of a self- proclaimed ex-whore’s journey into abstinence.  Because of God’s timing, He allowed my far-away mentor, Marshawn Evans Daniels; former Miss America, Entertainment Attorney, Author, Speaker and Business Mentor to holdBrand Class™; a faith-based, intensive branding and coaching program which I highly recommend.  To give you a little history, I’ve attended her free teleseminars for years.  In them, she’d give God-inspired business and ministry strategies and share testimonials about her fabulous high-end clients.  As I listened to the Q&A sessions, I could tell these women weren’t like me.  These were well-educated, accomplished, and seemingly successful women.  They enunciated perfectly and articulated their brilliance with ease.  I’d listen, with my phone on mute thinking, ‘What you doin’ on this call?  You seem like you got it all together.’  

Though I’d leave each session ridiculously inspired; I’d somehow walk away defeated because I couldn’t afford to participate in the paid programs she offered.  Fast forward three years and it’s me in the program; surrounded by yet another set of virtual divas; all chiming about their MBD’s (Masters and Ph.D’s) and masterfully plugging their businesses and ministries on our private Facebook page. And here I sit; unpublished book in hand, no degree, single and barely making ends meet.  Yet I know I’m supposed to be here.  For three years I waited on the sidelines patiently waiting to get in; now I’m here and a part of me wants to run.  Why?  Because like so many Black women, I suffer from Hooditus.  From my speech to my feet; even in my 40’s, it seems that I can’t escape that ride-or-die chick; the one that’s quick to lick, quick to spit and quick to …. See!  

And I think this is the dichotomy of reality TV. Seeing the likes of Tamar and Joseline, oftentimes lulls us into believing that it’s okay to say ‘You know what I’m sayin’?’ after every sentence. But the more I build my brand and finish this class, I see that ‘that ain’t cute no mo!’; not at my age anyway. But the more I speak, the more I hear the streets. In fact, a few years ago, God let me know that I’d have to start ‘speaking well’. Because if I didn’t, those type of women wouldn’t be able to receive what He’d given me for them.  Imagine that?  Him using a hood chick to spit…I mean to teach Bible truths to six and seven figure women.  

It reminds me of what Bishop T.D. Jakes once said.  It was something like; ‘What do you do when you’re dressed like where you’ve been and it’s time for you to get where you’re going. You can’t go back to where you were; even though you feel out of place where you’re at.  Why? Because unlike everybody there; you’re not dressed for the part.’ Well, the class officially ended today and my book is in the hand of my Format Editor as we speak and believe or not; I’m still not dressed.  But you know what?  I’m still going!  And my sweet hood sister, I encourage you to do the same.  

You’re not going to be as polished or a poised as others; but that doesn’t mean God didn’t create you to get in where you fit in.  And no, you don’t quite fit yet - but trust; there are some high-end women who need what God created you to do.  We just need to appreciate their acumen, learn from their genius, and glean in their brilliance. 

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please forgive me.  Though I know I should be old enough to know better, I have not done better. Help me to not feel intimidated or ashamed of my past and where I come from and Lord, please help me to embrace the woman I became in the hood and introduce her to the woman You created me to be.  In Jesus’ name.