High Tea Time

On Saturday I attended my first ever Tea Party, hosted by my dear friend Shavon and let’s just say, it was to die for. It was at the Bosie Tea Parlor in the west village and was inspired by Alice and Wonderland.

Of course, I got there late because I had an unexpected date but I was just in time for the food and the tea. I am not a fan of tea, however, in the spirit of the afternoon, I decided to order a berry tea to go with my teacakes and scones. My friends and I, (I call them my college sweethearts) spent the afternoon chatting about fitness, boyfriends and our careers.

After the tea party, we gathered for some pictures and promised each other to do this again. I was overjoyed with the success of my Saturday. It was absolutely divine.

Kydee Williams

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BROOKLYN STAND-UP. I still remember a time when I was afraid to say that. I was 12-years old in Las Vegas riding the gondola in the Venetian hotel. There was a couple riding with me who asked where I was from and I abruptly said “Manhattan” before my cousin could say, Brooklyn. That was one of the biggest lies I had ever told as a child. My cousin looked at me completely bewildered and later asked why I would tell such a lie. To be honest, I was too ashamed to admit in front of these suburban white people that the two black kids in the gondola with them were from Brooklyn, Manhattan was so much more upscale at the time. The couple serenaded me with questions about city life as I dug myself deeper and deeper into the lie. Brooklyn for me was not a source of pride when I was younger. It represented dodging gunshots at parties and drug dealers on every corner. It was a place that I desperately wanted to escape.

When I returned home from college, so much change took place. There were cute little shops, cultural events and Brooklyn somehow emerged as the center of New York. I fell in love with “my hood” that I took for granted for so many years. My backyard was the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, The Brooklyn Museum, and Prospect Park, landmarks that people travel from all over the world to encounter. Why did it take me so long to realize the value in that?

Brooklyn is my soul. It shaped me into who I am and showed me who I didn’t want to be. This summer the most profound thing happened; not once did I have to leave the comfort of my borough to have fun…Brooklyn became the new Manhattan. From the beer gardens to the beautiful summer nights at the museum, I am proud to say that I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I AM BROOKLYN.

A few Sunday’s ago marked the 9th Annual AfroPunk Festival in Commodore Park. My friends and I decided to go and ultimately had a blast. We listened to the funky mixed beats of Quest Love and the hardcore conscious rap of Public Enemy. We danced in the dewy grass and signed petitions to help women in Africa gain better health care. We ate from the fish taco food truck and sipped the foam off of our beer cans. We enjoyed a day of fun in the park while simultaneously the MTV Video Music Awards was going on at the Barclays Center. By 11PM  we didn’t want to go home; we were in Brooklyn during one of it’s biggest nights, ever, so we headed straight to Myrtle avenue to watch the VMAs and listen to the dope 90s musical vibe of Va$htie and Oscar. Never in my wildest dreams would I picture the day when Va$htie would bring her 1992 party out of the Lower East Side and into Brooklyn. As the lyrical flows of Brooklyn rappers, Biggie and Jay Z blasted through the speakers of Brooklyn Tap House, I couldn’t help but feel proud of how far my borough has come. A place that once served as a source of shame was now a source of pride and a name that I  proudly wear across my chest.

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Criticizing Kids…Really?

I am starting to get sick and tired of the negativity that surfaces from tabloid blog sites. If the harsh words and criticisms did not have an effect on the celebrities who contrary to popular belief are human beings with actual feelings and emotions then I wouldn’t be so enraged by the negative backlash, but it does. I will never forget how my heart dropped when I read the cruel words used to describe a beautiful baby named Blu Ivy; the negativity that came about from the birth of that child was disgusting. Some people even went so far as calling the newborn the “anti-christ”.

Furthermore, someone had the nerve to criticize Tia Mowry’s son Cree who is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen. What has this world come to? Have we stooped so low in our morals that it has now become acceptable to attack children?  If comments from ignorant bystanders sitting behind their computers all day are encouraged then we should eliminate the comment section altogether. Sticks and stones may break bones, but words hurts too. We have to do better people.

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Letter to my 19 year old self

Dear Lost One,

You are beautiful. Don’t you ever let anyone have that much power over you again. Yes, I get it, you love to be in love. You love companionship. You love having that special person by your side. You sometimes even go as far as to dream about true love one day. Your fantasies hinder you. It’s sweet that you have optimistic dreams of being in love but don’t confuse love with straight lust.
Once again you are beautiful. You have an amazing personality and you are so smart. You have the whole world at your hands and yet you don’t see that. You have dreams and aspirations. You are smart enough to make Dean’s List and get over a 3.5 GPA every semester thus far. Yet your thoughts are warped around a guy who doesn’t feel the same way that you feel about him. He doesn’t like you that much. He doesn’t see your worth. And with knowing all of this, with knowing that he is not the man of your dreams you continue to chase him relentlessly. In math class, your thoughts are surrounded by him as opposed to algebra. You can’t seem to get him out of your mind. What does he have to do to make you see that you are worth more than him? I mean he already has tried to talk to your best friend; He stood you up to sleep with other girls on New Years; He calls you once in a blue moon; After leaving your school and spending a wonderful weekend with you he uses Facebook to tell the world that he is taking applications for wifey, and this is all in the span of knowing him for only 3 months. The red flags are there. Does he have to go to the extent of getting his ex-girlfriend pregnant for the second time and forcing her to do the unthinkable?…oh wait he did that. Does he have to scream from the rooftops “I don’t want to be with you”? wait he did that and finally, does he have to critique your every move and make you feel terrible about yourself damaging your confidence?… Yah he did that. Aren’t you embarrassed?
What will it take, Lost One, for you to see that you can do better than him? You still think that maybe, just maybe, he can change and if you drunk text him enough exclaiming that you both should be together then maybe one day he will realize this too and ask you to be his girlfriend.
Lost One, you are blind. How could such a pretty face be so blinded to your own worth? How can you look in the mirror knowing that you are in college, working towards gaining a degree and yet you settle for someone two years older than you that cannot even get a job? You want so desperately to call someone who chains smoke reefers all day your man? What is wrong with that picture? Does he even know his own worth?
Aren’t you sick of being afraid to call him because he may not have time for you? Aren’t you sick of waiting around for his call and drop everything that you are doing so he can have your undivided attention? Aren’t you sick of being last place in his eyes? Lost one, you are so much more than this life you are living. You deserve calls every day, all day if your heart desires that. You shouldn’t be depressed, in your bed surrounded by darkness while your friends are living their lives. You should be out living yours as well. LOST ONE…HE IS NOT WORTH IT. Why can’t you see this? What is blinding you so…Do you even know who you are? You have picked up on all of his bad habits including drinking and partying to forget about the predicament you have gotten yourself into. When he ignores you, you find refuge with other guys. He sometimes makes you feel so low, that you have to be with another guy to feel better about yourself. You are not you. You are different. You have hit a rock bottom but you still haven’t learned. It will take two more years of turmoil and insecurity for you to realize you have had enough. It will take finally realizing that if he had the chance he would leave you for the next girl that was “light-skinned” enough to meet his standards-oh yes he is a colorist too. One day you will see you are better than this.
Lost one, you are so beautiful. The faster you see this the better you will be. Don’t you know that you could be using your time more wisely instead of wasting it with a low life. You spent a whole year preoccupied with someone who has yet to give you the type of attention you devote to him. He is too selfish to have a girlfriend and to deal with a girl as strong, intelligent and positive as you. He sees that you have a lot going on and he is threatened. Walk away as fast as you can he is not for you but hold on tight God has something greater and better in store for you, just exercise patience.


Letter to my 15 year old self

Dear Young and in Love,

You are beautiful. You are mature and you get what you want. You are very blessed. Your life is in transition yet you manage to stay true to yourself. You are one confident person. You love your friends, you live for your boyfriend but you are not having such great luck with your family. They don’t understand you. They want you to succeed and you do as well but having a social life and being popular is way more important. You find out about your mother’s past a lot during this period. It finally hits you that your mother was only 22 when she had you…22, which meant she was still very young and still had her whole life to live before you came into the picture. Talk about dreams deferred. You finally understand why your grandmother and aunt are saying “Shes going to end up just like her mother.” Does this comment sting? Sure it does because you are very protective of your mother. Although you are at odds with her, she means the world to you and you would be nothing without her.

If ending up just like your mother means being the positive light that she is, then you are more than happy to do so because she is a strong black woman who has been through it all, lost her husband at 26 and became a single parent overnight, yet was still able to hold her own and not ask for one ounce of pity.

Young and in love, you are losing your way. School is not a privilege but a burden. You fake sick in the nurses’ office so you can leave school early. You invite all your friends and your boyfriend friends to your house after school and sneak them into your closet when someone comes home early. When do you have time to do your homework? Did you forget you need to do good in high school to get into a decent college? When will you realize you are jeopardizing your life by the poor choices you are making now…who are you? You spent all your life getting good grades and being smart. When will you understand that you have to start taking your life and future seriously?
Love. You are fortunate to have found true love at such a young and innocent age. You’ve met your soul mate. He is kind. He is sweet. He is innocent. He is patient. You have this unrelenting passion for him. You are in a love far greater than your years which is why you don’t really know how to handle your feelings and emotions. You are in a reciprocated type of love.
You live in a world where sex is the thing to do in a relationship. Are you ready for such a huge commitment? Well, I guess you are, since you’re “so grown.” So once you and your boyfriend establish your unrelenting love for one another you take it upon yourself to say “Let’s Do It.” His face is mixed with shock and excitement but he obliges quickly and that night, just like that, it happened.
The next day no one could tell you that you were not a woman. You called just about every friend you had bragging about how romantic your experience was. Romantic indeed. Till this day you can still say you lost your virginity with no regrets. It was with a guy who loved you more than anything and you didn’t have to fear like so many other girls your age that he would go telling everyone about your escapades with him. Not only was he the love of your life but your best friend.
Young and in love you are a risk-taker. You live in the moment, you take chances and you do things without thinking. Some of the decisions you make during this time will have an effect on your near future, yet you are living life and enjoying the trials of being a teenager.

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