Cooking Broke

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Lemundo’s Tropical Fish Cakes


5 boneless tilapia fillets
1 tsp fish sauce
4 cloves, chopped fine
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/8 tsp crushed red peppers
1 dash of salt & white pepper


Preparation

in a pan lightly sweat garlic,cilantro,lemon zest ginger, red peppers

chop fish fine, add to bowl then combine all ingredients above.

mix very well. pat evenly into 2in. patties

Heat oil in larg skillet for frying

fry for 3 to 4 min until golden brown. make sure patty is done in the middle.

serve with bed of lettuce and hot sauce.
“the jealous bring down the curse they fear upon their own heads. “sayings on Jealousy” Dorthy Dix


Lemundos Bread Pudding

1 loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 8’s
1 quart warmed milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup sliced walnuts
3 tbsp butter

Preparation In Large bowl mix eggs, sugar and vanilla.

Add bread ,milk,raisins, and walnuts. Let soak. Mix well.

Butter baking dish; pour mixture, now refrigerate over night.

preheat oven to 350 degrees F. bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

cool and serve

Cooking with ChefLeMundo Culinary CLASSIC COOKBOOK vol.1 by ChefLemundo

email: cheflemundo@yahoo.com to request a copy of the cookbook

Poetry

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Life Story”
By: Tee Merriweather

My hearts description is a painful prescription,
I’ll tell you a story, that will end with a lesson.
I was born a bastard, bet you didn’t know, That I was hated by family, as this
story goes on.
My life was the hardest, emotionally scared,
Mentally bothered why is life so hard? Wasn’t considered a blessing, people
hated me!
Picked, kicked, and spit on by my enemies. I was a rolling stone, no place to
call my home,
Where was the love? Why was I left alone? Moved around from house to
house, the forgotten one, no one knew about. Used to wet the bed, because I
was so scared, of a man who wasn’t my daddy, messed with my head. Mama,
where is my daddy, I just cut up my knee,
I don’t want him here, I want my daddy please! Let us move on to trailer park
living was cool, a childhood
that I thought was so simple. Kevin, my only friend at a time we both had, single
mothers addicted to drugs it was bad. No pops around, we both stayed down,
rock n roll
all summer long, we ran around! Moved on up and into high school, my first
crush, my first boo, I’ll always
remember you! Left the trailer park, back across the city, moved in with my
aunt, feeling real shitty.
There were opportunities my mama couldn’t see, one step away from making
the b-ball team! Nevertheless I’m
headed backwards bound,

becoming a menace to society, made it to Upward Bound. Gotta thank you for
everything you did, you made me realize I was acting like a kid. She once said
something to get me thinking, had me looking at myself re-evaluating. Hold your
head up and keep your eyes open!
Life will pass you by looking at the ground! FOCUS! Now I’m 18, yet still high

school, causing mischief thinking it was so cool! I was the bigger fool for not us-
ing the my tool, between my shoulders, I guess I forgot the rules. Then my

grandpa passed and it messed me up, chip on my shoulder, life was so tough!
Granny held me down, helped me push
through, forever my lady I will never forget you! I got myself a job, time to help
out, mama’s got it hard out here with no spouse! That was back in 92, no one
really knew, the challenges and the pain
that I was going thru! Mentally drained from the pain embedded in my brain, life

was not the same, felt that I was the blame! “Life is a test many quest the uni-
verse, and thru my research I felt the joy

and the hurt! The first shall be last and the last shall be first! The Basic Instruc-
tions Before Leaving Earth!” You were my sunshine, closet person to me, my

Erykah Badu who opened my eyes wide enough to see! We were together thru
stormy weather, we were like RUN-DMC
tougher than leather! You were my best friend! Somehow we lost touch, now I
can only imagine! You were the one that got me thinking with that question, and
then you hit me something that had me really second guessing. If you had to
give your last breath, to me or your sister,
it would have been a hard decision, yet. I didn’t tell you that later on I cried, you
had me feeling like I died inside! I will always
hold those memories of you so very close, you gave me the
fire that I needed most!

“The Enemy Within” by: Sky


I am a victim of my own sins
either life or death so I have to win
but how do I defeat an enemy I can’t see
how can I defeat the enemy inside of me
he knows me like a book from front to back
killing all of my strategies with a single attack

how do I beat the enemy who knows me best
an enemy that haunts me while I try to rest
what is it that he wants from me
what is it that he seeks
why is my enemy inside of me

an enemy that wages war against me from within
an enemy that torments me over and over again
strikes that feel like an icy wind
what will it take to feel warm again
a war in a storm that is what is being fought
my enemy taunts me even in my thoughts
some call it curse some say that it is karma
my enemy is causing me the worst trauma
the war wages on even until this day
answer this does your enemy attack this way

Love Letter

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To My Queen,
I know it’s nothing I can say to fix this. I did a lot of things to you. Let’s not forget
the things I did for you. I never cheated on you and I stuck by you. Our first two
years were the hardest because I needed to grow up. Once we were married, I
knew I had to be a man for you. I had to be a man for me. I was a man when we met
but you helped complete me. We spent so much time tearing each other down…it’s
a shame we didn’t spend as much time rebuilding. I did you so wrong and you were

always there. You never closed your doors on me. You were there when I didn’t de-
serve you. You did more for me than any woman ever has. You are the only mother

of my children. The problem is I didn’t know what I had when I had it. Queen, it
broke my heart when you told me you were with another man. It broke me period! I
don’t know how to stop the hurt. At first I felt so much anger towards you and him. I

couldn’t understand how you could want to be in the arms of another man? He does-
n’t know you like I know you. He doesn’t know when you aren’t well. He doesn’t

know your true dreams. He doesn’t know where you’ve been or where you’re going.
How could you give your body (my body) to another man? Does he touch you better
than me? Does he take the time to learn your body the way I do/did? I’m trying to
understand why you cheated? I fucked up a lot, and I do mean a lot. But how could
you crave another man? Was I that bad to you? We experienced a horrible break up.
I don’t know if I can trust again. All I know is; I didn’t know what true love was until
we found it together. Our bond is unbreakable. Our children only add to what I’m
telling you. Maybe, I can’t be as good to you as he is. Maybe, you think the grass is
greener on the other side. I don’t care! Did you read that? If not, I will write it again,
I don’t care! You do what you need to do with him. Have fun and enjoy life. Get

“whatever you like” and have a nice time doing it. When you are done fooling your-
self, your King will be right here. I don’t care, and I love you enough not to care. I

think it makes me a bigger person to look past your infidelity. I’ve missed you and
my family. I know you miss me. I know you do. There was a time you wouldn’t hear
me out…now you listen. I can’t speak for you, but I love you. You gave me so many
second chances and I want to give you one. Queen, take your time because I’m not
going anywhere. If anything, I want to be your friend. If you need me, I’m here. If
you just need to talk, I’m here. I won’t overstep my boundaries but I have to be

apart of your life somehow. Maybe it’s a phase for you, maybe not. I regret not fight-
ing harder for you. I’m comfortable and miserable all at the same time. I’ve changed

so much; I just wish I could share this with you. I’ve made changes to all the things
that bothered you. Without you, I’m not completely blessed. I spend my days praying
you find your way back to me. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I just want you
to accept me the way I’m willing to accept you. Come as you are, I know the real
you. I love the new you and I love the old you. I’m here.
Love Always, Your King
People, this is a love letter of regret and sorrow. Don’t allow yourself to walk away
from the one you love. Don’t allow yourself to hurt if you don’t have to. Love…and
love hard. -Aquarius 2-2-0

Poetry

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Just Thinking

Thinking of the nights we would spend
if we were more than just friends
Your hands around my waist
your nose in my hair
Your breath on the back of my neck
while your hands caress my breasts
my nipples reaching for your finger tips
then waiting for your lips
Softly you say things to me
But I can’t hear
Your love is loud
and I can’t turn the bass down
and it gets harder to breath
and sometimes I can’t see
I have to ask myself is it getting hot in here?
And then my nose detects your essence
And Then I inhale the scent of you
And I am brought back to this reality
without you – breathing you
Inhaling exhaling
drowning in your touch

kissing your lips to keep my lungs blown up
Inhaling taking short sips
To savor you like dark chocolate

Is my wish

making love over and over again
My Love …. Ohhh how I miss HIM

A. Marie

Exgirlfriend Blues
Rewinding memories of you
Good times & bad times
The wish i had times…
Lonely nights with you…
Stuck in a different reality right next to you.
Wondering why she gets the best of you.
And who left who last time
Ex girlfriend blues
Rewinding memories of you
Like that time you touched my spine
and whispered to me
let me hit that one last time
And the taste of your lips on my waist
The way you held my hand
and made the earth shake
Hearts beating
Windows steamy

And you ask me to wipe the sweat off of your face…..

Ex girlfriend blues
Rewinding memories of you
Like tattooed skin
The memories float to the surface
from deep within..
Like scents on the wind
And suddenly I miss him all over

Ami Brown –

Cooking Broke

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roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and spiced maple

sauce
Ingredients
2/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into large dice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Directions
Heat oven to 450 degrees F and arrange rack in the middle.
While oven heats, place pecans on a baking sheet to toast until they smell
nutty and are slightly darker, about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil. Season well with
salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until golden
brown and tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it
foams, stir in maple syrup and cayenne
and let cook briefly, about 1 minute. Serve sweet potatoes
with a drizzle of maple butter
and a scattering of pecans.

Balsamic chicken with baby spinach

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
8 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked


Directions
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil
and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken
and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and
juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same

pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach,
chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

caramel apple cheesecake

Ingredients
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup caramel topping
12 pecan halves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Reserve 3/4 cup of the apple filling; set aside. Spoon the remaining
filling into the crust. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and
vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour this over the
pie filling.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set.
Cool to room temperature.

Mix the reserved pie filling and caramel topping in a small sauce-
pan and heat for about 1 minute, or until spreadable. Spoon the ap-
ple-caramel mixture over the top of the cheesecake and spread

evenly. Decorate the edge of the cake with pecan halves and sprin-
kle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Commentary:

An Artistic Appeal…in Poetry

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I remember the moment I wanted to become a writer. I was fifteen years old, and I
had just been blown away by “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”, by Prince. Although I
had been a connoisseur of music at an early age (thanks primarily to my father), I had
never been so drawn to a song! I was blown away by…and that’s when things got
“complicated”. For the first time in my life, my vision of the song extended beyond
the mere melody. More than just the words…more than just the music…more than
the two working together so perfectly as to paint the picture in your mind with every

measure…more than a melody that plays in your mind long after it’s finished, but be-
gins as if there is no end. More than all of this, I began to create an entirely new

story!
In the past, I began life ‘in song’ as an “extra”. As the song played, I could see the

image, but I was never a part of the story. “Crazy Train” by Ozzie Ozbourne, is a per-
fect example of my simply standing in the scene. The train was moving, yes, but I

wasn’t on the train nor was I ‘in control’ of it. I was an observer of the “main charac-
ters”, but I was not the star. However, as I began to grown in music, I graduated to a

“stand-in” role. I studied the script and I was “invited” to the story, thus becoming a
part of it. As I began to study the purpose of melody to sound equations, pitch to
tone theories, and a host of other elements that defines “aesthetically pleasing” in
music, I began to elevate my “expectation” of the art. Soon, I accepted the leading
role and the main character was me! I became the lonely “Man on the Corner” by
Genesis…I was the frustrated guy bangin’ on the drums (although I couldn’t play, nor
had a clue Phil Collins was singing a song about divorce) “In the Air” tonight…I was
the guy with Lucy & Cynthia Rose having “Starfish & Coffee”. As much as I was the
lead character, I was still nothing more than an actor in a script written by someone
else.
When the last note to the ballad had been played, seemingly the song didn’t stop. It
continued on somewhere in my mind that not only had its own set design, but the
characters were already in place! The song extended onward so, that not only was I
offered the opportunity to pen the rest of this beautifully un-ending silent film that
has a supplied soundtrack, but I was up all flippin’ night from the excitement. A rush

had come over me so severe, I literally woke up the next morning like a kid on Christ-
mas morning. A writer was born that night, but it has taken several years for me to

even feel comfortable telling people I’m a “writer”. My skills were refined from criti

cism both in and out of art. My television viewing changed. What used to be greeted
with utter disdain suddenly became a welcomed subject (for whatever reason). I took
notice to what “appealed” to the senses. I noticed that my objections to previously
presented sounds, were then investigated & re-catalogued. What could have been
‘offensive’ to the pallets, were tasted again to ensure “quality assurance”. I examined
everything I ingested and graded all that crossed my path. Being the agent of chaos
that I am, I questioned others as to why they “accepted” what was being fed to them,
regardless the source.
Seemingly, my generation has ushered in an age of media dependency, and the public
appeared to me as “zombies” dancing to whatever tune the piper’s were playing. The
more I examined the content of the messages being sent through main stream media,
my depression grew greater from the impending doom that was soon to appear.
When “quality entertainment” is defined by planted ex-convicts who portray role
models for separation purposes, drug abusive under-acting individuals who’s lives

will never be perfect, and power hungry horemongers who inaccurately define suc-
cess, it’s a wonder why society has issues defining beauty…it’s a wonder as to why

it’s complicated to define beauty in one’s message (art). Art, like life, is not complicated…it is the combination of simplicities working in concert to produce a compelling appeal to the witness of said work. Even the most putrid of products can contain

an appealing element that both attracts & entraps a witness. The question that must
be answered by onlookers is what is the “separator”? Where is the line drawn, when it
comes to whether a work “works” or not?

Plato emphasized proportion, harmony and unity when examining aesthetics. Aris-
totle exhumed the notions of order, symmetry and definiteness. By definition, aes-
thetics is pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as

opposed to pure intellectuality. So then, art is nothing more than a message from

one sender to a receiver that “should” appeal to the senses. Is anyone paying atten-
tion to the plural tense in ‘senses’? If there are five (5) senses…if we perceive by way

of our senses…our perceptions mold & churn our beliefs…then, would it not make
sense to be attentive to ALL the “senses” are processing with any communication, be
it art or otherwise? The purpose of any work of art, is to transmit a message. The
appeal of that message is largely induced by the level of the witness. What is the
message’s meaning? Is the meaning congruent with what the senses perceive? Is that
message being conveyed correctly?

There are a number of ‘needs’ that require attention in terms of the message, but the
sole heir of the “is the message being properly presented”, rests on the presenter…
the artist. What motivates the artist, and is that motivation visibly apparent in the

work…or does it linger in the shadows? Is the message’s intent clear? The more ele-
ments added to the piece, the more “dimensionality” is added. As in other aspects of

life, art is not exempt from the asinine ideology that more is better. Too often, artist

(including myself) are guilty of over-indulging in the gluttony of an audience’s acco-
lades, we completely disrespect the craft (whatever craft we partake in). We drag

story lines out that should have been cut…we sing too many runs in a too long
song…we add too much color to a perfect picture. By adding more than should exist,
we destroy the beauty of perfection and reduce & demean the work to a ‘novelty’ item
as opposed to a collectible.
If we are to produce a better society, then we should be creating better artist. Along
with creating better artist, we should also be demanding of the art we DO ingest! If
poetry is an ‘elevated’ form of artistic expression, then there is a charge…a call…a
responsibility…to produce work that either questions, answers or possess a quality
that contains elements of both as well as entertain. We who would call ourselves

“poets” or those who seek to join the ranks of those regarded as poets, are educa-
tional entertainers who appeal to those who would hear. We are creative expression-
ist who paint pictures with our pens and make magic with our words. We are more

than mere puppets for claps & finger snaps…we are not rappers. We are defenders of
the truth. So, why are SO many of us feeding the foolishness?

S.A. Thomas

Spot Light Bio: Socra Teez

The goal of any poet/spoken word artist, is to assemble words together to capture & maintain the audi-
ence’s imagination and attention. Few have understood this ancient art, and even fewer have mastered

it. S.A. Thomas, largely known as Socra Teez, is one such artist who has mastered the art of written
and oral interpretation.
Socra Teez is a native Houstonian, who maintains a certain ‘integrity’ within the literary community.

He has performed in venues throughout the state of Texas , as well as a number of “spots” abroad creat-
ing a well-respected name for himself. In his efforts to keep his works “timeless”, he continues to be

one of the most romantic poets of our time. Bordering eroticism, he maintains the focal point of his
collective works: life, liberty and love. In referring to his approach on writing, he states, “If you don’t
enjoy life, you will begrudge it. It should be pleasing … it should be fun. At the same time, to live and
not love is equaled to not living at all.”
As one of the most enigmatic performers on the spoken word scene, “Soc” portrays the ‘emotional
man’. His belief of performance, is to offer the “real” … that which many think, but are to afraid to
speak. Often referred to as the “consummate ladies man”, a number of people have described him as
being “eccentric, yet exotic”. Some have gone so far as to say that “his words are like a melody of their
own … as if music is the only element missing.” Regarding his work, he says, “If I can assist others in
expressing his/her emotions/feelings, or affinity for another, then I feel like my words are touching
someone. At the same time, I am still making my plea for that which I’ve always wanted, but never
completely experienced.”

To be known in the “community” is not hard. To be remembered is a mission. To be admired & revered is both an accomplishment and credit to ones work. Socra Teez, the Head Heathen, is an icon.

Brother’s View

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Something About Purpose

                 Until we share our deepest fears or strongest desires we are mere shells of ourselves. Maybe the day will come when we talk of our innermost wants but today is not that day. At this particular juncture the theme is purpose. How many times have we sat thinking vision clear, target acquired; then someone we love, someone we trusted with our being told us – no, not that. Your goals are too high. What if you fail. Then began to tell of others they were acquainted with who suffered from falls similar to the one they have already predicted for us. This could be their version of  the protective shield of love they covered us in. Reminiscent of plastic on sofa’s to keep them stainless. We all know whether used or unused time has a way of leaving its mark.

I prefer sometimes to use analogies: Let’s say I’m walking toward my given destination and the road less taken is now covered by a baseball field? I would rather not play games, so I walk the trail still slightly marked if you look hard enough. Long before I reach the diamond it seems no one has traveled this way since the mighty oaks were young. As I stroll aimlessly across the diamond there is a pick up baseball game. In my approach everyone begins to yell go to first! Hey! Go to first! I look around knowing all the while I’m not playing, so what do I do. Normally if not focused I would listen to the cry of the masses and take first base leaving my destiny unattainable. I on the other hand always hope I could be the one to yell back. This trail was here before the diamond….. I’m just passing through! I can’t afford to lose my place again! and continue with my forward progress.

Here we are members of everything streaming; MySpace, Twitter, You Tube, Facebook, Tagg, Mingle City, Reverb Nation, Black Planet, Linked In, Instagram, every Greet-Up and Meet-Up internet site our friends send us links to. I have to believe you are here

with the same purpose I wear like loose gloves, hoping to somehow by accident or osmosis find a way to propel my dreams higher than I could toss them myself. This is the place. Right here and now, not a second early or a minute late I believe we were meant to be at this time. Together we possess the ability not to do the same as other individuals but so much more. We only have a small window to make up our minds if we are a group, a unit or to remain on this journey alone. I must admit I can’t do it on my own. I need everyone who ever closed one eye to get a better look at a dream only they were able to see. Maybe you are not yet a believer, don’t worry as we grow; we all enter the realm of understanding that nothing beats a failure but a try. So help me to help you and together we can make this vision of a united Family of Artist a formidable force in what ever area you live in. Not just for slam or open mics all performance venues, including all forms of the art.

I thank you for reading, if  you are surly like me wanting this to be more than a mere stop in our never ending search for purpose. We may not be in control of much, but we do control our mouse clicks. Each and every one of us is just one click away from being noticed. The world wide web has endowed us with the marketability to reach a global audience. We possess the power to move past the usual circles we run in just by clicking. There are enough television shows depicting the funny and the senseless. Their usual occurrence of a million hits on YouTube, and hundreds of thousands of like clicks has me baffled. While the conscious videos never have many viewers at all. We can change this or rather we have to change this. There is something about purpose making me understand we have no option but to. There is something about the way we sound as we move forward, soldieristically marching, giving us motivation, energy and strength to keep going.  The sound of progress has only one motion………  forward ONLY.

Single Parenthood Struggles

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Being a parent is a huge responsibility and with the latest events surrounding parents /relatives doing harmful things to children or even killing them, I wanted to give you a positive look at some stunning examples to look up to. I will introduce you to three adults taking on single parenthood and all the challenges. The kids mean
more to them their own dreams.


The Parents:
Name: Jay Gray, 27, male(JG)
Children: I have 3; One Girl Age Six, Two Boys Ages Three and Two
When you became a single parent: I have been doing it alone for about 3 years.


Name: Talisha Townsend, 22yrs-old, female(TT)
Children: I have a beautiful, 1yr-old son who is the light of my life.
Thoughts on becoming a single mom: Me being the person that I am, I never wanted kids at all. I always pictured
myself getting married and that’s it. When I found out that I was pregnant, it changed my whole world around.


Name: Marcus Mosby, , male(MM)
Children: I have 2 children a daughter & son. My daughter is 9 & my son is 7.
When did you become a single parent: I have been a single parent for 5 yrs. since me and my children mother
separated. My children have my last name; I knew this was important because I didn’t want my children
illegitimate.

The Talk:
What is the most stressful thing about being a single parent?
(JG): There’s no let up, you have to do everything every day without any help. Also, having to deal with the other
parent about things can be whole other battle.
(TT): The most stressful thing about being a single parent is having to do it all on your own. Trying to be both the
mother & father is hard but you have to do it because that’s what your child needs. Getting up early, going to sleep
late, making sure there’s food on the table, clothes on their backs, and still juggle your own life is very stressful.
But who else is going to do it but you.
(MM): The most stressful thing about being a single father is doing the job by yourself. It’s hard raising children
single whether you are a mother or father. . I receive no W.I.C. or free housing (even though I never applied.)

Do you have a support structure? And is it important to have one?
(JG): No. I believe, however, that it is important to have one because no one can do it alone and it can become
very stressful.
(TT): I believe it is very important to have a support structure. There are going to be times when you reach a
breaking point (especially with a newborn) and need that extra support because life as a single parent is stressful
enough. My support structure is my boyfriend. He helps me a lot. When he sees I am about to crash, he comes in
and lends a helping hand.
(MM): Yes I have a support structure and I think this is important. My structure is my family. They help me with
watching the children when I’m at work. This is so important to me because it helps me thru the struggles of
having to be a single parent. They also help by watching the kids when I want to go out and have fun, but that
seldom happens because I have responsibilities.
Do you feel that single fathers get treated unfairly?
(JG): Yes, because I believe that mothers are overly glorified. Also, fathers have more to deal with legally, lack aid
with the state, etc.
(MM): Yes I think single fathers do get treated unfairly. I think the reason for this is because if your not married
then you have little if no rights if you go to court for custody. A woman has majority rights in court and can tell the
smallest lie to make a father life miserable.
Are you worried about raising a daughter? (males)
(JG): Sometimes I am. It’s difficult to relate to her on a female’s level. It’s impossible for me to see things from a
woman’s perspective so I have to “guesstimate” and try to be as understanding as I can with her.
(MM): No, I’m not worried about raising my daughter. Long as I’m in her life she will grow to know how a man is
supposed to take care of his responsibilities and will know how a man is supposed to love her as a woman.
Are you worried about raising a son? (females)
(TT) When I found out that I was having a boy, I was kind of worried about being a single mother raising a son. Boys
take it the hardest not having their fathers around and I sometimes question myself on how can I teach a little boy
how to be a man when I’m a woman. I just figured I would cross that bridge when I got there.
How is the dating scene when you have kids?
(JG): It is very difficult for me because it is hard to find time to do so. I also don’t want to bring any other women
around my children until I am close enough to that woman. With it being hard to find time to get to know
someone that makes it almost impossible to date.
(MM): I think dating is kind of hard, due to the fact that you can’t bring just anybody around your children, but the
good side to that is your children will help you find a good mate because you are a package deal.
Are you able to get out and do adult things often?
(JG): No, I recently had to send my children to their mother for a couple weeks just to have some time to just go
have a drink out and do adult things. And that was doctor ordered because my stress level was so high.
(TT): I am able to get out and do adult things every now and then. When my son was like 3 months old, I remember
my mom telling me to get out and take a break before I drive myself crazy. So still to this day, both my mom &
sister help with my son when I need a breather.

What are some of the most important lessons you want to teach your children?
(JG): Continue to be family oriented and to never lose sight of family and the importance of sticking together. Also
not to be caught up in chasing things that have material value before doing things that you love to do and be
around. Never be superficial, lazy, or stopped from any opportunity.
(TT): Some of the most important lessons I want to teach my child is to never be afraid to chase your dreams and
don’t always wait for opportunity to knock.
(MM): The most important things I want to teach my children is about life and how they should carry themselves
as they grow old. So when they do get grown I’ll feel like I taught them well.
What are your feelings about bringing a potential partner around your kids?
(JG): I don’t do it. That’s the dilemma I have with dating because I just do not want to bring “potentials” around
my children. I do not want that stigma of having multiple women around my children.
(TT): My feelings about bringing potential partners around my child are first I got to make sure it’s right. I don’t just
want to bring anybody in his life that would quickly walk right back out. Like whoever it is, I need to make sure they
are in it all the way because if not, then it will never go anywhere.
(MM): I feel that if a person is not down for me and my children then they are not good enough for me and
shouldn’t be around my children anyway.
Are you a strict parent or your child’s friend?
(JG): Neither. I’m not strict because that produces rebellion. I’m definitely not my children’s friend, I’m their
parent, so I will make the tough decisions that they sometimes may not understand now but will later on.
(TT): As far as being a strict parent or child’s friend, I plan on being both. I want him to know that he can come to
me about anything but at the same time don’t get too comfortable because I am his mother first.
(MM): I’m not my child’s friend but I am their parent. I’m not strict but I will chastise them to let them know I’m
the parent.
Are you involved in every aspect of your child’s life?
(JG): Absolutely, I have to be involved in all aspects. That, to me, is what matters. I work hard to make sure that I
have the freedom to be involved as much as possible in my children’s lives. That’s the decision I made and I take a
hit within my own personal life, but it is worth it to me.
(TT): When my son gets older, I do plan on being involved in every aspect of his life. I look at my childhood and
what it would have meant to me if my parents were around more. I want him to be able to come to me with any &
everything and know that his momma, if not anybody else, got his back.
(MM): Yes I am involved in every aspect of their life. From when they were 1st born, to their 1st steps, potty
training, their days at school, financially, until they get grown, and I get old, I’ll be there no matter what.
Do you work outside the house?
(JG): Yes, I work 3 jobs actually, but my jobs give me some form of the freedom I need to be with my children as
much as possible.
(MM): Yes I do work.

Do you cook your children home cooked meals nightly for you children?
(JG): Majority of the time. Sometimes there are nights that we eat out and times that microwave dinners will be
made but I try to cook more often than not.
(MM): Not every night do I cook a meal, but I don’t take sitting down at the dinner table with my children for
granted.
What are some of your biggest concerns as a parent?
(JG): If I’ll die before they are adults. Also, if I am doing, as much as, I possibly can for them.
(TT): One of my biggest concerns as a parent is that conversation when my child asks me where his father is or why
he wasn’t around. I don’t want my son growing up feeling like his father abandoned him but at the same time how
do you word that without it sounding like he did? I just don’t want to see my son hurt.
(MM) My biggest concern as a parent is my children’s well-being, making sure they grow up, and go in the right
direction. As a parent we want to see our children doing well. So that’s a big concern 2 me.
Do you censor what your kids watch and hear?
(JG): Not really, because if they don’t see/hear it with me, they will definitely get exposed to it away from me.
That way I can at least see how they react to those certain exposures.
(MM): Yes I do you can’t let your children do and watch any and everything.
What do you do to relax?
(JG): I stock up on entertainment at home. Movies, T.V., video games, or take my children somewhere that works
for all of us.
(MM): To relax I make sure my children straight then I relax.
How do you measure your success as a parent?
(JG) How a child reacts with their parent. I feel that my children will come to me for anything and respect me to be
their parent. They also take heed to the things that I try to teach and show them and give back great feedback
that they are paying attention. But I also feel that my job is never done.
(MM) I know I’m a good father because my children tell me so.
If given the option would you send your kids to public school?
(JG) Not in elementary, but high school yes.
(TT) If given the option to send my child to public school, I would say yes. I feel public school is a small dose of the
real world and what to expect out of life. I mean of course he would be going for education but at the same time
you build bonds with different personalities you may not come across in private or home schools. I feel you can
learn to be a better judge of character.
(MM) Yes I think there is nothing wrong with the public system long as you are teaching your children how to act
and what you expect from them by going to school.

Do you think society has made single parenthood seem like the norm?
(JG) Not yet, it is overly exposed in opposed to married parents but I do not believe that has been made the norm
just yet.
(TT) I do feel society has made single parenthood the norm especially with shows like 16 & pregnant and Teen
Mom which glorifies teenage pregnancy. Now days it seems cool to be young and pregnant because you can get a
chance to be on TV or you have some parents that take full responsibility of their child’s child which to me feels
like they are condoning it.
(MM) With all the independent women and society making it seem like families don’t need both parents it is
becoming more regular than not.
Is there a lot of drama between you and the other parent?
(JG) There used to be because we could never agree on anything. But as time passes we begin to understand that
it really is not about us but more of what is best for the children to give them the best opportunity to grow.
(MM) Yes there is a lot of drama between us. This is why I try to be the bigger person cause after all the bad
feelings and drama we put each other through we still have children to raise. So it’s uncalled for.
Has having children made you grow up or just more aware of what you are doing?
(JG) Both, it makes you sit and value what is important and also acknowledge what you have accomplished thus
far. Makes me more aware of the decisions I make and puts things in a clearer perspective.
(TT) Having children does make you more aware of things. I feel it has made me grow up and snap into reality a lot
faster. Being a young adult, all you’re thinking about is yourself and what you’re going to blow money on next.
When you bring a child into the equation, it is no longer about you. Everything you do from now forward is to
better your child’s life.
(MM) My children made me the man I am. If it wasn’t for them I’d probably still be ripping and running the
streets. I thank GOD for my blessing because my children truly are a blessing.

Single parenthood is not what they had in mind when they had children, but they cannot see living a day
without those children. Single parents are not always just women there are men who step up to the challenge as
you can see from this story. No matter who is being the sole provider for the children it is important that the
children have a sound foundation. I commend all the single parents that took part in this story and those out there
living it every day.

Queen G

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