Show Transcript
[MUSIC] Today on Essence Live we are talking all about race. In light of Beyonce and Kim Newton's Superbowl performances, how black can black celebs really be? Why do some white people get so offended by the mere mention of black culture and what is up with this new black thing? We've got special guest, drinks and food courtesy of our friends at Red Rooster. Hello Chef Adrianne. [LAUGH] Thank you for being here, I can't wait. Alright, so get ready because this is a conversation you do not want to miss. Its Thursday February 18th and Essence Live starts now. [MUSIC] Welcome to a very special edition of our Essence Live. I'm your host, Dana Blair. Alright Essence live fam, let's just go ahead and jump right into it. You know how we do on this show. We have celebrity guests, fashion shows, music performances, news and are hot list games and the whole works. But today we're switching things up a bit and getting a little more intimate Essence kitchen. This episode is dedicated to race, and specifically who's afraid of blackness. Meaning, how black can you really before white folks and some black folks now, get uncomfortable. Joining me are Low Key from Beats 1 Radio Hi, how are you. Welcome back. Such a pleasure to have you in the kitchen. Of course. Lola Ogunnaike of Arise TV. Hello, how are you? Hi. Thank you for coming to Essence Live for the first time. Thank you for having me. Datwon Thomas of Vibe, hello. Hello, how are you. I'm watching you. I know, I know. You know. And Kesha Plymouth of our very own Time Inc Video family. Hello, how are you? Hi. I cannot wait, I've always wanted to [UNKNOWN]. Always. Plus we also have chef Adrien from the Harlem restaurant Red Rooster preparing some tasty treats for us. Hi Adrien. Hi. First I wanna talk about blackness in the media and black celebrity. Specifically it's been a huge topic of conversation right now because Beyonce's black [LAUGH] She's made some statements. For real. And her formation video, which actually, as a Louisiana girl hit very close for me. You know, Katrina, New Orleans Police Department. The stop shooting us of Black Lives Matter references, and of course Cam Newton. All of this happening around Superbowl time ironically. Making comments about grits and things of that nature and collard greens things that seem to make the general public if you will, uncomfortable. So why do you think that is? I mean, it's kind of obvious their ethnic group but anyone please just jump right in, this is kitchen table talk. Personally I think that we've been trying to get the message of Black culture out for so long and the things that are happening to us in America that we chose Superbowl as the biggest platform for us to really express our message. Beyonce is not the biggest activist, and Cam Newton is not the biggest activist, but if they can sprinkle some kind of message in there like Beyonce did with her Superbowl performance. I see no issue, we're not saying it's us versus them, it's just saying, hey, these are the problems that we're gonna address through our art. But don't you think that's what maybe made so many people uncomfortable, because Beyonce was the safe black girl. She was the girl next door, you're like, she's cute, she's your one black friend that can come to the birthday party, don't bring two, you know what I mean? And she was also your one black Friend that everyone aspire to be. So, you know, when you speak with any celebrity of any stride they're all like, we bow down to Beyonce. We all want to be Beyonce when I grow up. Every one from Taylor Swift to anyone on down. True. So the fact that Beyonce Beyonce, someone who has sort of been one of the poster children for being "post racial" was so overtly black, and the most overtly black statement that she's ever made in her career It was, I think jarring to a lot of people, because a lot of people had essentially forgotten that Beyonce was black. They're just worried about her influence. The fact that she's able to reach so many people on both sides of the coin. It's like, wait a minute. We have another one that's that big that can influence now My little Becky to think and wake her up to, " what is black lives matter, and if Beyonce likes my lip stick color, and I find out like who Huey P Newton is," that can be a problem within the households of America sometimes. And for her to be so outspoken on women's rights, for her to go on the black route That's just. I think that that might have even drawn, and we don't know yet. But I wonder what her endorsements are going to be like. Coming out of this. That's interesting. The business side. Don't you feel like Beyonce has gotten to a point where in her career where she can take those types of risk. Because if she never makes another album again. If she never makes another dollar again. She's good, Blue Ivy's good, if Jay-Z never makes any money again, she's like I got you. We're going to Red Lobster, we're gonna do it in the helicopter [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] For the cheddar biscuits, she's got the cheddar And the cheddar biscuits. Looking at her leggings. So she can say what she wants to say now, and isn't that the definition of f u money, I got this, now I can truly say what I want to say. As a celebrity, they really have no choice, everyone's always going to hate on anything that they do. But what I find interesting is that someone like Trump can go out and openly say racist things. And those same people who were trying to protest Beyonce, who actually didn't even show up. Two people showed up. Mmhuh. Right. Two people showed up. Two people showed up. Two people showed up. It was probably just like, No, it was like some old guy and I think, Think like he's white or something. [LAUGH] They were outnumbered obviously. Right. But where were they when Trump says things like he wants to close the border. And he says racist things about Muslims. So I mean it's just interesting that we see this reaction. [MUSIC] When Beyonce is talking about things that are actually happening in this country. Kids are actually being shot by police officers. Yeah. These are facts. These are facts. [INAUDIBLE] Right. And we've spoken a lot about Beyonce. What about Cam Newton? He made a small comment about collard greens, and it made people extremely uncomfortable. He's from the South. True. They eat collard greens in the south. Yes they do. All right, now what? [CROSSTALK] It's an association because- I think it's him being on that platform. And one, he's not supposed to be there, they don't want to see him there being how much he celebrates his success. His blackness itself. So when he says collard greens, when he gives a detail of how to cook them then compares them to sports and compares them to winning, that's just very uncomfortable. It makes people cringe. No, you're not supposed to say that. You're supposed to talk about the game. You're supposed to talk about your strategy. And just keep it moving, you're not supposed to incorporate your life or black culture that makes people uncomfortable, so that in itself on top of him being Cam Newton. Who he is already. Yeah who he is already. Dancing, making sure everyone knows he's happy about being there. And most of the time they're upset at Marshawn Lynch, he doesn't talk to the media. Right. For that same reason. Like, if I say anything about anything, you're gonna find something wrong with it, similar to your point. But when Cam does do the things that they, hey, you're supposed to talk to us after and all that. He should Show the emotion. What do you want him to do? Right. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. On top of that, I'd rather Cam/sp talk instead of, not that I say I don't want Marshall/sp to talk, but if he talks then we're really going to have issues. On no, it's gonna be trouble. And we know he does not bite his tongue. Right. That's why he retired cuz he's like I can't take this. [LAUGH] Enough. [CROSSTALK] Go ahead. Something about An athlete, a black, male athlete in particular, be that confident in his ability. Yep. That comfortable in his own skin. And that celebrated as a human being and an athlete. The fact that he's not this one dimensional character. Who doesn't utter the canned speech, I just want to thank God. Right. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] I just try to be humble and it's just about my mom. The fact that he's happily saying more than that, giddily saying more than. Able to articulate exactly How he feels and she knows his self worth and I think people, the masses feel uncomfortable with that, particularly when it comes to black male athletes, like don't go getting any ideas about how superior you are. Serena and Venus also experienced the same thing, when they came out with the B's and then It was no longer wearing the tennis whites. Serena's had all kinds of outfits. [CROSSTALK] Let's be very clear about it. If she gets upset and throws a tennis racket, a John McEnroe type of format, she's too aggressive. She's too passionate. She's too X, Y and Z versus she's just an athlete that's On adrenaline in that moment, like damn it, I want my championship. The problem is, she's too good. Right. You know, she can back all of that up. They can get mad all that they want. She can actually play. When I was younger, my dad used to take me to tennis matches. Mm hm. Because I played tennis. And we would be one out of five people in the whole stadium, at Arthur Ash Stadium Stadium. Wow. And whenever Serena or Venus would come out they would automatically duke, before they even started playing on the tennis court. So I feel like, it's probably all of that aggression that's built up over these years that of course when she wins And its in front of this worldwide platform. Its like you have to just celebrate and understand that there are people hating on you just because you're black. And no matter what, we're all human so there's really only so much a male or woman can take in that regard. But I want to take a quick pause on this right now and call on our Chef Amy [UNKNOWN] What are you serving us today what you got? What's up first cuz I cannot wait. It smells delicious. First thing that you're going to have is our first course on our black history month tasting menu at Red Rooster. They're duck liver macaroons. Duck liver macaroons. So a little sweet, a little savory. Sort of sticky, aged balsamic vinegar on top Something that I probably can't cook at home basically. You definitely can. [INAUDIBLE] skill set. They're very easy. As you see I've been preparing it back here Now Adrian where does menu come from? How does this tie into black history History. I wanted to do a tasting menu at Red Rooster. So what better time than black history month. We've incorporated different courses with different influences And this was our first course which was a dish that I had been working on. Mm-hm. With Marcus and he just let me do my thing. Put it on the menu and go for it. Are the flavors and ingredients tied to culture? How did you decide what's going to go into this particular dish? Well, actually each course on the menu is inspired by a different black female chef. Vmail. [LAUGH] I love that. A very under represented group in the culinary world. Definitely. But we're here. I'm not the only one, I came from somewhere. There's several people who did this before me and several that are We're doing it now. So we really wanted to highlight those people around the country that have really been working hard and doing their thing. Thank you so much, Adrian. I know you're sticking around, everyone dig in and drink up. Enjoy. Don't go anywhere, we've got one more Dish coming up a little bit later on in the show. And of course we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back, I wanna talk about white guilt, or as the Internet say, white tears. But first, Lalah Hathaway explains how being the daughter of R&B legend Donny Hathaway shaped her own music. This is really good and I love salt. [LAUGH] I'm Lalah Hathaway and this is my music, my life. Pretty much everything I've been writing over the last 25 years has been inspired by personal experiences, but a lot of the songs on my albums' self portrait are super autobiographical. So a song like Little Girl, I had the music and I was hanging out with [UNKNOWN]. He was like come to my car. Listen to this. He said, [MUSIC]. And the whole song came from that lyric and that melody and that inspiration. [MUSIC] That song pretty much takes you on a journey of my childhood. I'm talking about my mother and my dad. About my mom's car and the food that she cooks. And how she raised us. And my dad, and his hats. Really the experience of growing up with so much color and music around me. [MUSIC] Hiding in the shadow of the light. People always ask, what's it like being in your father's shadow? And I never really considered it a shadow, it's always been a light. So I recognize How it could've foreshadowed my coming but I always have seen it as a really bright light. [MUSIC] Welcome back to a special edition of Essence Live, I'm your host Dana Blair, and today we're talking all about blackness with special guest Low Key. Lola Ogunnaike, Datwon Thomas, and Keisha Lamothe. And, of course, Chef Adrienne from the famed Red Rooster restaurant is also here, and I cannot wait to taste a little bit more. Yes. All right, so, I want to get into white people now. All right, that was not an awkward transition. Not at all. [LAUGH] Is it just me, or do white people Especially bothered when you make any mention of race, even when it's not racism. Have any of you ever had conversations about race with white people and how did it go? Whether it's in the work place, at home. I mean, the The problem I have with my white friends I try to limit the random white conversations that I do have, but those kind of conversations Like a surprise I don't want to go up to Like a white person comes up to you and you're like hey let's talk about race [CROSSTALK] You loud [CROSSTALK] You black. Yeah. Why you so angry? But like We just met. DMV thank you. The conversations that I do have with them like they understand it they get it. It's not an awkward conversation, and I try not to make it awkward. I try not to blame the things that we've been through on them. So what is the conversation? [INAUDIBLE] It ranges form music, it ranges from black lives matter, it ranges from in the workplace. It just depends how you're feeling that day or what do you want to talk about. But I don't limit it just cuz I work in music We talk about do, white artists trying black artist's things, I try to keep it as broad as possible. Do you feel like they really understood you, or they were just scared of you and said mm-hm and backed out the room slow. I've gotten the mm-hm, and I've gotten a couple rebuttals. Because it's touchy. Yeah, I mean, it's a very touchy subjects, but the ones that I do talk to get it, and they have good conversation, good things to say back. Okay. I feel like you kind of self Select the type of white people that you're around also in your personal life. So you're freer to have conversations with your white friends who are legitimately your white friends. And you can listen to Kanye with them. Right. Right. [LAUGH] I only worked in predominantly white places. And I Tries to avoid any conversation about race at any cost. As soon as I see it coming, I'm like, whoop. [LAUGH] I give you a matrix. No. [CROSSTALK] No, no no. My God. I have to use the bathroom. My God. Parents, I'll be right back. I'd hide out. I don't want. No, no, no, no because I know that there's the potential for a third reel moment and I don't want to have to be personally offended. I don't want to say something in defense of myself or people that offend you. RIght. So let's just not and say we did. Right, right. It's always interesting especially after the Super Bowl or the Grammys to see how they react. That's when I call in sick. [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] That's entertainment to see how they react. Not when it's the black Grammys and Kendrick Lamar comes out in a chain gang. That's what I'm saying, you see how they react to it. Sick. Right, right, right. This is like are they gonna address it? Are they going to be uncomfortable? Are they gonna talk to you about it? Are they gonna approach you about it? Mm-hm. So as always It's great to see how they react those certain situations. But look I also fee like I'm kind of, and I know this is not going to be in Essence Live people. Don't. Send the comments to her because she invited me here. Don't send them to me but I feel like a bit sorry for white people because sometimes they just don't know how to have the conversation. They want to have the conversation, they genuinely want to be engaged they genuinely want to understand How you feel as a black person functioning in a racist society. But then they accidentally say the wrong thing or they accidentally call you a colored person instead of a person of color. And you're like see, this is why we're [LAUGH] or you're hanging out with your friends and its a mixed Group. And then there's an awkward moment where there's a rap song that comes on and they sing the N word. What do you do? I don't think that that's right. I feel like, cuz I know that I'm pretty sure that white people at home, in their own room, they say the N word. They do. Very loud, all day, everyday. You're reliving sip [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] But in front of me, do not say it. Right. Cuz I think that's disrespectful and knowing the history of it Mm-hm. I mean I just, I'm the type of person I don't think anyone should say it around me. I don't think a black person or a white person should say it. Because especially a black person saying it in front of another white person, they think it's okay. Right. And they think we're cool like that so hey what's up? Well what about when Kanye and Schoolboy Q and everyone they're like all right, if we're at the show you purchased my album, you clearly like it cuz you're hear. It's okay for you to say it I mean it doesn't give them the right to say it. It doesn't, yeah. But they're saying it's okay. Go ahead. It doesn't give them the right. They are, they are okay with saying it and knowing that their white fans are gonna say it. I do agree with that. Even at the shows. Even at the shows. And we're at the shows. Right. I mean, I'm not gonna police every white person that says the N word. And I get what they're saying and the context of what they're saying. If they're not addressing someone like that then I really have no issue with is. But if you're at a show. Be mindful that it's not just a white audience, it's a mixed audience. So if someone hears it, they, not to say they have the right to, but if you get punched in your face. [LAUGH] There's a reason why you got punched in the face. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] Right, just like you got punched in the face for saying it. Well, we've all been at the club when Gold Digger comes on and what are you supposed to do? Fight everybody involved? And they're not playing the edited version. I'm not here to police them so. [CROSSTALK] The white girl is right here and she's drunk, and the white boy's right here and he's He's drunk and your with your mixed group of friends, she ain't messing with no And then they look at you. [LAUGHTER] get down, get down You're mad and then you're [UNKNOWN]. What are you supposed to do? If you're a good friend, drunk or not, you pull them to the side and say, listen, me personally, I'm not gonna hit you. I'm not gonna do nothing, but I'm not always gonna be around you. Yeah. I'm not gonna go to every club you go to. But not every person is gonna be understanding. Yeah you're not gonna have this, You're going to become a statistic sir. Be very mindful, of how you say it, and when you say it, and where you say it. Why can't we hold these rappers to task for also making it so melodic to say that word and so catchy. They're gonna say I have the creative license. Difference to do so. Everybody has a speech. [CROSSTALK] But then don't get mad when you're treated that way. That's fair enough. And on that note, cuz we're gonna continue this conversation, we'll be right back with more of our Essence live, who's afraid of blacks in the conversation. But first, my [UNKNOWN] Jamal Wrant discusses his role on the people versus O.J. Simpson. Well, American crime story The People versus O.J. Simpson is a really awesome ride in terms of finding out a lot about the players in the trial. Because a lot of times you hear, this O.J. Simpson story. Why? Why is he doing that? But when you see the show, you are taking on a really. Engaging ride on the players of the trial. The show is not to change anyone's view of how they feel about the trial or the verdict. You just get a chance to see a lot of the intricacies And the back story of all the players involved in Toronto. You're watching a special edition of Essence Live, dedicated to blackness. We're eating delicious macaroons from the black history month menu at New York's Red Rooster restaurant, courtesy of Chef Adrienne And we have lots lots more to talk about. I want to pick up on the N word conversation that we were having just now. [CROSSTALK] I have a confession, you've hung out with me personally. I do use the N word in my personal life. How often? It depends on how comfortable I am. Like for example. If it's my brother and I.. [LAUGH] Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, however, I did grow up in the deep South. Okay. I have been called the N-word with the. I have been physically threatened. I have been told I can no longer play with people's kids anymore. Wow. So I know both sides of it, Okay. I have to co-sign with you. Don't get mad when you get punched in your face. I tell them all the time, it's gonna happen. But what I don't understand is why do wanna fight to say that word to me. That's a very good question. Why the Fight. You know, okay yeah, freedom of speech, I get it. But I can't go around throwing around any other slur against- Ethnic slur. Jews, Hispanics, Italians. I can't do that. Not an option. Not an option. So why are you fighting to say this word to me? Because they see us use it. Right. We use it so freely. We use it so freely. And it's In our music, it's in our culture so much. It's in our comedy. We use duh and we use and freely. No one's fighting to use duh. That's true. [CROSSTALK] And what. And what. I'll putting two e's on it. You don't hear me Detuan, you gonna hear me. They see how comfortable we use it around our peers and our culture so they want to be incorporated with that comfortability. Until it's used against them in a manner Of just disrespect. They don't want to be disrespected. They want to enjoy the fruits of the N word, and it's, you can't do it all the time. But I feel like a white person who's using the N word as a term of endearment to a black person is probably using it in an offensive manner, as- So, you're saying that tone of racism is there. I do think so. I do think so, cuz I lived in the south. I lived in Pensacola, Florida. And I was around a lot of white people who I heard Say the word and songs, but then if I was in the next room and they were talking about another black person, I would hear them refer to that person as the N word and think that I didn't hear it, and it wasn't an endearing term. But not you, them, cuz you're not like them. [CROSSTALK] It was. That's different. Again, I'm not giving the green light so all the comments go to her. [LAUGH] But If they say it with an a it's just like, okay. I get it. You would be okay with a white person saying it with an a you'd be like, yo, what up my N? With the A. You'd be okay with that? If I know that person and I know how they mean it and I know- Yeah. I'm not okay. [CROSSTALK] I feel like because that word is still so electric in our culture, there's something titillating about being able to use it for them. It's like, when a Seven or eight year old just learned how to curse for the first time, and all they want to do is curse. And they're like [LAUGH] Yeah. Right. I still think that they get some sort of glee out of using that word because they know how electric it is in our community. Cuz it- I mean, we were joking earlier, but I would listen to Gold Digger. And they would hit that N word so hard. She ain't messing with no broke. [LAUGH] I'm like. [LAUGH] Why are you hitting it that hard? That's not like, give me the straight tiger [UNKNOWN] I'm like but it's not, the song didn't even it it that hard, so why are you hitting it that hard? [CROSSTALK] Talk about- [UNKNOWN] [LAUGH] And I'm like woah. When we were talking about And Kanye when he did, in Paris and he did it 19 times and it's pretty much nothing but white people at that show and it's like, you have two of the biggest black artists in the game Saying it's okay Saying lets do it again, and let's do it again, so that's kind of saying like hey guys, it's okay to say n word for the nineteenth time. Right. Maybe if they said You can say it here and then you can never say it again. So if it was like a collective like get it all out of your system. Right now. [LAUGH] 19 times. [CROSSTALK] 19 times. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] Yeah, but it's funny- [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] It's funny that you say that because. [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] Number 20 [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Allow me to reintroduce myself. I've seen artists do that. I've seen artists address the crowd saying, y'all can stay here, but once you step out of this arena, this place, it's not okay. Artists have started out their sets saying Here, cool. Outside, no. What about our thoughts on the conflicts we have within our own community? How can we stand against other communities, if you will, or stand up for our culture if we're battling internally? I mean, it starts at home. And a lot of this stuff is projected on social media. You see these pictures that people up, this light skinned girl, or this dark skinned girl, or this brown girl. We're segregated in our own color. And it's sickening. It should be this black girl, this African American girl. This white girl, this Asian girl. It shouldn't be like, this dark skinned Asian girl. Or this dark skinned. I mean, why are we doing that. And I'm guilty, I'm not gonna lie to you. I'm guilty of doing that. Guilty of it. I see the ramifications of it. What'd you have to say about a dark skinned girl? Right? I'm just asking. [CROSSTALK] I'm not, I'm not saying [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] I have to say about a dark skinned girl. I don't know. What you had to say love? I have nothing against dark skinned girls. You better be Kanye, got a license. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] Got a dark skinned [INAUDIBLE] And what it is is [LAUGH] And what it is like from past, recently the girls I've dated have been a little bit lighter. But I think that's because my mom is light skinned. My mom is a little bit lighter so it's nothing against. I love dark skinned women, they're beautiful, but it's a preference. And that's it's not just me, it's a lot of people. And you've been addressed. I've been addressed by that plenty of times. Plenty of times, but women have that too. I'm just like I want a chocolate, the n word. And it's like well what's wrong with the brown skin, the light. Even in the all start game, this weekend like after all the guys on Saturday One, you know, Klay Thompson. Yeah, yeah. [UNKNOWN] Gordon, and the other dude. Yeah. They we're like team light skin took over this weekend. whoo! I'm on [CROSSTALK] So, it's like the undertow of it is just projected in, in any format that we have. And it's sickening, almost, so. So why do you We do that, as a community. Why do we do that? I mean, it started all the way back in the days of slavery. [CROSSTALK] I think it's engrained in our minds. It's the same way that racism is still alive today. We haven't really moved forward from that. So People say that we've progressed because we have a black president but obviously we haven't we still have black kids getting shot by cops. So it's something that's ingrained in all of our minds and it takes more than just like talking about it amongst each other we need to have a larger conversation with all races present And it needs to be something that's taught in schools where people understand this is something that you shouldn't shy away from. You should talk about it openly so that it's not something where when you become an adult you're like team light skin, team dark skin. You wouldn't even think in that manner. But that's how we think. But see, especially if you're going to a mainstream school, they don't know how deep the illness is in our community in regards to colorism, race, light-skin versus dark skin. They're barely teaching black history in a coherent way. Very valid point. So the fact that you want them to delve deeper and understand the psychosis that divides us. Her long shades of skin. They can't do that. It's up to us to fix that problem. And it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of honesty. It's going to take a lot of people being. Like I am self loathing. Yes. I don't like the way I look. And as a result I don't like the way you look. Because you remind me of myself. That's a hard thing to admit. And and and and that's a very deep conversation. I mean that's. It's so many different levels. So many layers. [INAUDIBLE] physical aspect Take up going to the mental and spiritual aspect, there's so many of it. As a social class, there's so many tapped onto tha tone thing. That's true. I'm gonna take another quick pause to the conversation, it's really great conversation but I really want some great food right now So if I can ship Adrian. So you guys ready for dessert? So ready for that jelly. What is this? Yeah, what is this? This is an adult version of Frosted Flakes. [SOUND] But imagine eating it on a beach in the Caribbean. There we go. So it's a coconut rice pudding. Okay. There's a little bit of crushed Corn Flakes, Some toasted coconut flakes and a rum foam on top. Rum. Rum? Okay. I'm good, do it. Gave it a little blood orange for some acidity, cuz you gotta break up Up all the rice pudding. This is delicious. What do you guys think? I like this a lot. This is so good. I'm going to continue to nosh on this, more Essence Live is up next, but first Essence Love and Relationships editor, Sharia Jackson catches up with Devonne Franklin and Megan Good to talk about their new Essence [UNKNOWN] Online course on celibacy. Thank you, Dana. The wait is over, the new book by Devon Franklin and Megan Good is here. Tell us, why the wait? Why this book and why should more people consider it? My wait started because I had always believed that that was something that I should do I didn't grow up on the church but my mom was very spiritual always encourage us to read our bible always talked to us about God so you know I think I'll wait until I get married And then you turn 19, and then you don't. And then, throughout relationships over the years, it was always something I was convicted about, but I wasn't able to stick to. It was very challenging, because, you know, I was making mistakes, I was being self destructive, I was You know had a lot of fear, had a lot of damage, and I decided to be celibate, right before him. And I got together, to find out that he was celibate, and I had no idea. I had no idea he was in ministry. I just knew him as you know, working at Sony, and being this incredible guy. That I got a chance to get to know a little bit better then jumping the broom, but he was like you know the boss. And you don't. Was even thinking that. For a lot of women, I'm interested in the way, I'm nervous if a man I would date or the man I'm already in a relationship with would be open to us being celibate. Talk about that conversation. How do people bring it up? When it comes to practicing to wait, of course it is not easy and making the decision Is wrought with fear. Because what if the person I'm with rejects me? However, what if you choose what's best for you and you receive that? Even if the person rejects you, maybe that's God's way of clearing out the room to bring you the right person. And if you're in a good relationship, a loving relationship, you will be able to bring it up. Now it might be difficult, the conversation might be a little aggressive, but if it's a loving environment you will have an environment that will allow the conversation to be had and you might be surprised by the result. You don't shy away from the power of sex. We talk about it as a gift from God- Yep, that's it- Your sex drive is natural Can't be anti-sex if you're that you're anti-God So it's beautiful. It's like bracing it responsibly The biggest thing is knowing when you have Created a space where what your relationship, the foundation of what your relationship is built on is so strong and so solid and it's a safe place and it's a place where you really love each other and you really know each other. There's nothing that you all can't teach each other. The first time people are intimate you're always learning someone for the first time. Just to be specific, like what feels good to them, what works for them, whatever it is, it's always that way. So it wouldn't be any different. The only difference is that you guys are exploring each other for the first time. And that's a good thing. [LAUGH] [SOUND] This has been such a good conversation today. Good food, good drink, good people, except for Lowkey. I know you're going to continue the conversation online and via social media, so Keep those comments coming. Before I let you go I wanna do something just a little bit fun with all of you. Since we're talking about blackness and everything, let's play one gotta go. So this is how it works. I'm gonna give you four options, and you pick the one that has to go. Okay. Just like boom. Just fire off one answer. Okay? All right, first one is old TV shows. The Cosby Show, Martin A Different World or Fresh Prince of Bel Air? [CROSSTALK] Man. Cosby Show. Cosby Show? Cosby Show's got to go. Really? The image has been tainted. Mm. Good-bye sir. Hand gesture, too? But the message is there. [CROSSTALK]. [CROSSTALK] Cliff Huxtable. Okay, Lola? [LAUGH] One gotta go. God, you're killing me. Fresh Prince of Bellaire because I didn't like the later seasons. Okay, okay, okay, all right. Going with A Different World. What? Yep. No! Why? [CROSSTALK] It was cool. It was cool. I'm gonna go with A Different World, man. XM Live, this is the last time you'll see Dexter on this show. I'm just gonna let you know. It's the last time you'll see him. On the show. Talking about A Different World, man. You know my parents love me. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] But I'm gonna have to go with The Cosby Show because it is kinda tainted and I, they're all [UNKNOWN] shows. [CROSSTALK] Adrien, get up in this. [CROSSTALK] Bring your wine glass, bring your wine. Adrien Has to go Cosby show, Martin, A Different World, Fresh Prince of Bel Aire. I would have to go Cosby. Cuz I can't see it the same any more. [CROSSTALK] I'm not proud of it [CROSSTALK] You do realize that Cliff Huxtable was a character, right? Doesn't matter. Tainted. She said tainted. Okay so here's the next one. Here's the next one. You ready? I can't. One gotta go. I can't do it. [LAUGH] You can do it, one person gotta go, Stacie Dash, Raven Simone, Don Lemon or Uncle Ruckus from the Boondocks. [SOUND] Stacie Dash, Raven Simone, Don Lemon. Stacie Dash has been really reckless lately. Mm-hm. So I'm just gonna kick her off the island. Yeah Stacie Dash because she said we don't need Black History Month. Right. So Stacie Dash. Right, she's totally clueless. Yeah. Morgan Freeman also said that though at one point. So he got to go too. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] Boy got to go? [LAUGH] Stacy. Stacy. Lola? I don't want to play no more. I don't want to play no more. I was like what in the world? Dequan messed with the whole flow. The step show with Whitley. The football game [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] I think Raven Simone would have to go, because she's so strong and so wrong. Okay. [CROSSTALK] Stacey Dash on mute and be like, she's really [INAUDIBLE] Here's our last one. All right. Actors. You kind of foreshadowed this a little bit. We have Denzel, Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson or Morgan Freeman? You know I quit. [CROSSTALK] I pass. I'm gonna go Morgan Freeman. What? Why? [CROSSTALK] light on this subject or No No, But he makes some valid points for it. Why? I don't know. Samuel L Jackson because he was against rappers becoming actors. So he tried to Gata? Lord Gata? He tried to pigeon hole rappers and not letting them get out their box, I didn't like that. Keisha, Dequan, Loyla? Come on. We're gonna be two for two Come on, now. [CROSSTALK] My position, Denzel can do no wrong. Yeah, I can do no wrong. [CROSSTALK] Every movie, I will still watch it. Well, clearly, this is something that you'll have to carry over till the next show. All right, there we go. All right, so that's fair enough. I want to thank each and every one of your for joining me, and thanks for our viewers streaming us live. Tune in next week as we broadcast live from Los Angeles for Essence's annual Black Women in Hollywood event. I'm your host Dana Blair I'll see you next time.

This Week on ESSENCE Live: Why Is the World Afraid of Blackness?

On this week's special episode of ESSENCE Live, panelists discuss Blackness: Why does Black culture make some people feel so uncomfortable? How can we discuss race with our White counterparts? What's up with White guilt? We dive into it all.

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