Written by Tonja Renée Stidhum

The topic of breastfeeding is certainly a hot one as of late as has sparked huge debates with passionate views from either side of the table. Whether it’s fight for or against public breastfeeding or the age of the breastfed child, the debates can often get very heated. Well, one mom has upped the ante by adding an unconventional component: breastfeeding during sex.

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Meet Tasha Maile, a vlogger who recently took to YouTube with her baby latched onto her nipple to explain why she believes it’s “ok” to breastfeed her child while she’s engaging in intercourse. Vlogging under the name “Spiritual Tasha Mama” and serving as a helpful resource for women looking to learn about breastfeeding, Maile often includes her baby feeding from her breast in her videos, which has become somewhat of her brand.



She posted the video with the caption, “Sex is beautiful, thanks to sex we are here, experiencing life. Are you thinking for yourself? or has someone else told you what to think/believe?” and firmly proposed the positive effects of sexual energy. With over 4 million views, Maile’s original video has gotten people buzzing with many viewers outraged at her controversial choice.

Maile recently appeared on This Morning with Phillip & Holly for an interview in response to the backlash, in which she defended her choice as a mother who has to multitask.



“If the baby is OK, the baby’s OK,” said Maile, who also conducted the interview -- true to form -- with her baby latched onto her nipple, feeding. They’re not sitting there judging you and thinking ‘my mom and dad are having sex.’ It’s a 2- or 3-month-old baby. They’re so innocent." The hosts challenged her, asking her whether being present during the sex act could be damaging to the baby or child depending on their age. Maile countered that the baby was sleeping while breastfeeding, but also noted that it’s not uncommon for children to walk into the room while their parents are having sex, which she believes to be harmless. In addition to her 2-month old baby, Maile has a 5 year old child (who the hosts pointed out also still gets breastfed by Maile), to which she pointed that she did not have sex in front of her eldest child.

In terms of her growing popularity, the hosts asked whether she was ever concerned about the contrast between people who watch her videos purely for education versus for more implied “impure” reasons. Maile simply noted that she initially created the channel for her and was happy to share with others, but the reasons behind viewers’ choices to watch is “none of [her] business.”

Further, the hosts asked if there was ever a time where she felt it was ever inappropriate to breastfeed the child, as Maile added that she has showered while feeding her baby before. Overall, Maile believes there is no “right or wrong” in regards to her choice to breastfeed during sex.

This is certainly a hot topic! So, let’s talk about it in the comments!

What are your thoughts on Tasha Maile’s choice to breastfeed while having sex? Is there line in regards to age when breastfeeding your children? What do you all think about public breastfeeding, in general?
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

By Sharee Silerio

In life, we all have moments that we want to wish away. Whether it’s losing a loved one, financial struggles, an illness, a dead end career or strained relationships, everyone is going through or trying to get through something.

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“Queen Sugar” is no different, which is why I love this show so much! It’s so real, and often reminds me of my life at the present time or of what I have experienced. The show’s representation of life, love, hurt, healing and self-discovery is beautiful.

This week’s episode carries a couple of major themes throughout it – control and fear. We fear what we cannot control and we try to control what we fear.

Charley, Micah, Aunt Vi and Darla demonstrate what fear looks like; in their facial expressions, actions, words and being. It’s amazing to witness how they learn that their fears are unfounded or how to push through them anyway.

This episode, titled “Caroling Dusk”, starts with Charley and Micah talking about their therapy session, Nova and Dr. Dubois connecting in love, Charley realizing that her childhood has crept its way into her adulthood, and Darla feeling the impact of her absence in Blue’s life.

Here is my “Reel Noire” recap of last night’s episode, on the sweet lessons that stood out to me:

1. There is nothing wrong with seeking therapy when you need it. Sometimes we need help to unpack the wounds, frustrations and struggles of the past and present in order to move forward in a healthy way.

In the beginning of the episode, Charley is sitting on a couch in an office calling Micah. He is supposed to be there for his first therapy session, but isn’t able to come. The therapist tells Charley that it’s helpful to talk to her client’s parents so she can help them better, but Charley wants to stick to her concerns with Micah. When Charley can’t weasel her way out of the situation, she takes a long, cautious breath.



2. Learn to take care of yourself before you let others take care of you. You don’t need anyone to rescue you. Rescue yourself.

Last week, Darla lost her job at the parking garage because she went to the farm to help Ralph Angel instead of completing her shift like her manager told her to. Since then, she’s been looking for a job so she can support herself, and Ralph Angel wants her to move in with him. She stays stands strong and tells him that she needs to be able to stand on her own two feet by herself.



3. Striving for perfection stunts personal growth. Progress is the road to freedom and fulfilling all of your potential. Instead of finding a way around obstacles, discover a way to get through them, and choose to learn something in the process.

During the impromptu therapy session, Charley ends up revealing that she felt like her mother wanted her to be perfect growing up. She calls Nova, who shows up to her house after sensing that she needs some sister time. Nova performs a home cleansing ritual then they talk over dinner. After discussing Micah and their new life in St. Josephine’s, Charley reminisces about how much she practiced playing the piano as a child, including the time she walked out of a recital in the middle of her performance because she couldn’t handle the pressure. She mentions that her mom told her she should find a new hobby and they never talked about it again.



4. Give yourself a fresh start each and every time you need it. Start over whenever, however, wherever and as often as you need to. Sometimes creating something from nothing is the only way to see things clearly.

At the same dinner, Nova tells Charley that her momma made her a control freak, adding that “You have a blank slate, with yourself and with Micah. Color it how you want.” Charley tells Nova, “Well, your slate is blank now, too.”



5. Fear is something we must get through in order to fully live this thing called life. We can’t avoid it. It will always exist in some form. Let fear motivate you to make a difference, to become and accomplish all you can be.

Micah and Davis walk into the gym when Davis says that they’re going to play a special basketball game. When either of them shoots a three-pointer, they get to ask the other a question, no topic off limits. Micah shoots a “3” first, then asks Davis a question. Davis shoots one next then asks Micah if the cops roughed him up. Micah responds then says that he felt out of control and was scared, and it was something he hadn’t experienced before. Davis replies, “Fear is a rite of passage for us. The question is, how do you use it to make yourself smarter and better.”



6. Building your dream from the ground up is tough. Resistance doesn’t mean that it’s time for you to give up. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. You have to keep on when things get difficult, when people tell you no, and especially when you don’t feel like it. You must believe in yourself, and surround yourself with people who believe in you, even when you don't believe in yourself.

After Hollywood taste-tests Aunt Vi’s pies, she takes them to local restaurants in the neighborhood to see if they’d like to sell them to their customers. The next day, she’s in the bed when Hollywood walks in the door. He asks her if she’s going to get out of the bed and she tells him that she doesn’t feel like dealing with people. She tears up while telling him that every place she went to said no. He asks her if she’s going to listen to sad songs all day, then says, “That ain’t the Vi I know...it was one day. One very hard, bad day. But you ain’t got to let it turn into two.”


7. The way you treat other people comes back to you, whether it’s good or bad. We’ve heard this many times before, but treat others the way you want to be treated. Reaping and sowing, also known as karma, is real.

Ralph Angel is in an alley, digging in a dumpster when two cops pull up on him (if you watched, then you know why he’s doing this, lol). As he shows his face to them, one of the cops recognizes him, and saves his behind. Toine, the cop who saves him, is a transgender man that Ralph Angel has been friends with for years. During their conversation about Darla and Ralph Angel’s protectiveness of Blue, Toine thanks Ralph Angel for supporting and looking out for him in high school and later in life.


Did you watch the fifth episode of “Queen Sugar”? What are some of your favorite moments?
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Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.
Kevin Winter/Getty

By Sharee Silerio

Dr. Dre is giving back to his hometown community by pledging $10 million for a new performing arts center at a high school in Compton.

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“My goal is to provide kids with the kind of tools and learning they deserve,” he told Variety. “The performing arts center will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future.”

Could this be a response to the backlash of 2013? Was this $10 million donation a part of his philanthropic plan all along?

We probably won’t know for sure, but we do know that four years ago, he received backlash for pledging $35 million to the University of Southern California to help start a program in his and Jimmy Iovine’s name, instead of promising it to a black school or historically black college.

“I feel like this is the biggest, most exciting and probably the most important thing that I’ve done in my career,” Dr. Dre told the “New York Times” then.

Everyday people wrote opinion pieces on it, university presidents asked the rapper and producer why he didn’t choose to donate to their institution, and some people were just mad to be mad – about how he spent HIS money.

I understand the beauty and righteousness in giving back to your community and offering people who are where you came from opportunities to build their best lives, but at the same time, we don’t know someone’s whole financial or giving plan. I mean, is it really any of our business?

Plus, why wouldn’t you help an organization build an entire academy that honors you, your work and accomplishments? If you want to have a say in how it’s done, then it makes sense for you to invest in it.

Maybe his goal was to donate to a specific education program instead of a school’s general expenses. Or maybe no other school presented an idea that matched what his heart desired to put money on.

Regardless of what we think, the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation exists. And it sounds like a great program, described as:

The undergraduate degree program focuses on nurturing and developing original thought, leading to breakthrough products, systems, technologies and more. Drawing on the talents and experiences of industry leaders from a vast array of fields and driven by passionate, committed faculty, the Academy empowers the next generation of disruptors to change the face of society.

Now back to 2017. This new pledge sounds life-changing, too, like it could open doors of opportunity to the arts and media industries for a great deal of teens. Dr. Dre’s donation to the high school will help fund a 1,200-seat theater and digital media production equipment for the center, which is expected to break ground in 2020.

What do you think about Dr. Dre's contribution?
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Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Earlier this week, rapper, T-Hood, posted a video of actress, Maia Campbell, pumping his gas and saying she wanted some crack. In the video, Campbell is clearly missing a tooth and is barely dressed in a bra and spandex shorts.

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It wasn't long before the video went viral. Right now, a search of 'Maia Campbell' on YouTube yields more than 800 results for videos posted this week.

If you're not familiar with who Maia Campbell is, she played the role of Nicole on the 90's show, South Central. She also appeared on Iyanla Vanzant's show, Fix My Life back in 2012, detailing her battle with bipolar disorder.

LL Cool J, who was Campbell's co-star on another 90's show, In the House, attempted to get in contact with the actress through Instagram writing, "If anyone has a contact on Maia pls let me know... " In response to the video posted by T-Hood, LL also took to Twitter: “Instead of pulling out your phone and filming someone who’s obviously having trouble. Maybe lend a helping hand? A kind word?”

As Campbell revealed in Fix My Life, she stopped taking her medication for bipolar disorder, which eventually led to her losing custody of her daughter, Elizabeth Elisha Gutierrez. Campbell has been in rehab before for drug addiction, but has relapsed multiple times.

Rapper T-Hood, who also filmed Campbell denying help from LL, has received a mountain of backlash on social media. Many people felt that he was exploiting Campbell's mental illness for views and was wrong to film her in the state that she was in.

T-Hood responded to the criticism in a video stating that he's known Campbell from "the block for years" and that she is not suffering from an illness, but that "... this b***h is just high as f**k". He even went as far to say that if she was white, like "Hilary Duff", and not black, viewers would care less.

Instead of using Campbell's life as a source of entertainment, it should be a call to action in the black community. Not another community issue that gets twisted into a race issue and deflects our focus away from opening our hearts to those who obviously need support. The worst that can happen is someone be considered a "lost cause" because they are struggling to deal with the stress of losing their mother, their daughter, and their career while also battling a mental illness.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, people with bipolar disorder may use drugs to help "control their moods or treat their symptoms". However, this will only make their illness worse, potentially leading to "more frequent relapses", thus creating a cycle of mood swings, drug addiction, rehab, erratic behavior, and relapse.

The constant re-posting of this video sheds light not only on the MIS-education of folks on mental illnesses, but also to the stigma around black mental health and its intersection with drug addiction.

If you don't remember, crack was brought into black and brown communities - after white people fled for the suburbs - and was followed by the mass incarceration of black and brown men and women. The crack epidemic of the 80's and 90's is still haunting us in 2017 and unfortunately, its victims are faced with hurt and criticism when they really just need help.

This is an inter-generational issue and like so many other problems that plague the black community, has been normalized and transformed into a topic of comedy, i.e., the term "crackhead" and movies like Friday.

With the normalization and mockery of such issues also comes denial, from both the sufferer and the observer.

T-Hood initially denied that Campbell had a mental illness until social media dragged him after which he had a change of mind, apologized to social media, and offered to take her to rehab if LL Cool J did not reach out to him.

Social media is obviously not the space - nor safe - for individuals with mental illness to seek help. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter, when used outside of private messaging, can put victims of media exploitation, like Campbell, in a vulnerable position, compromising their willingness to seek help or be helped. When a community lacks the knowledge and skills necessary to have a real discourse around mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder, its members perpetuation of stigma associated with mental health.

Campbell's own response to LL Cool J's offer to help can be seen as an extension of stigma around black mental health from being solely external to the individual, to existing within that person. She makes it clear in another video filmed by T-Hood that she does not actually want to connect with LL. Although there is truth in LL's statement that "you can't help someone who doesn't want your help," it does not mean that the community should give up on people like Maia Campbell.

It is unfortunate that there are so many people out there in the world like Campbell who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and have a co-existing mental health condition. To expand your knowledge on mental illness, here are some articles from the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses' website:

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Ariel is a 23-year old SoCal native, working professional, and Alumna of the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and through her studies, acquired a passion for gaining knowledge that would improve the quality of her life and further allow her to interact with and touch people in a positive way. You can follow her own blog, The Freewoman Diaries, at www.thefreewomandiaries.com

Written by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

Tatyana Hargrove was biking home after picking out a Father's Day gift when she stopped for a drink of water in the 103 degree heat. When she turned around, three Bakersfield, California police cars surrounded her.

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The 19-year old told her story in a viral Facebook video  shared by the Bakersfield NAACP. Officers "mistook" Hargrove, a 5'2", 115lbs "soaking wet", 19 year old girl with braids — for a 5' 10", 170lb bald black man with a goatee who was allegedly threatening people with a machete outside a nearby grocery store.

“She appeared to be a male and matched the description of the suspect that had brandished the machete and was also within the same complex the suspect had fled to,” Christopher Moore, the arresting officer, wrote in a police report obtained by the Bakersfield Californian.

In the Facebook video, Hargrove, on crutches, describes how police demanded she hand over her backpack for a search. When she asked if they had a warrant, one officer pointed to a police dog. She says she was frightened and told them to take it. “I then got scared and then I was like, here, take the backpack, just take the backpack.”

Hargrove alleges that even though she complied, police grabbed her wrist and then punched her and threw her to the ground. An officer pinned her down with his knees while the K-9 “came and started eating at my leg.” She screamed for help. “I told him ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and then I started yelling out, ‘Somebody help me, somebody help me! They’re gonna kill me!’”

Arresting officers have a different story. Officer Moore's police report states that Hargrove tried to flee the scene after he pointed his firearm at her. “She turned and looked at me and said, ‘What you all stopping another black person for? I’m out of here,’” the officer wrote.

He claims that another officer approached the young lady and grabbed her hands to “gain control of her,” but she maneuvered around him, causing him to fall and become tangled in the bike before she “quickly turned over on top of Senior Officer Vasquez in a mounting position.” Moore acknowledged that Officer Vasquez punched Hargrove “one time in the mouth in an attempt to force her off of him,” before the dog was released.

Police claim they didn't know Hargrove was a girl until after she was handcuffed. “I asked what her name was and when she provided it as ‘Tatyana’ I said, ‘Don’t lie to me, that’s a girl’s name. What is your name?’” Moore says. “I’m a girl, I just don’t dress like one,” she responded.

Hargrove was arrested and charged with suspicion of resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer. No weapons were found in her backpack.

A Change.org petition has been created to have Hargrove’s charges dismissed, and a GoFundMe page is raising money for her medical bills and legal fees.

What can we do to prevent more situations like this from happening? 
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.