Bambadjan Bamba 
By Mwabi Kaira

"The Sunday before the announcement, the President called a national day of prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. So I posted on social media, “here’s one thing we can agree on.” Then a friend hit me up and said, ‘what are you agreeing with him for? He wants to cancel DACA!’ I thought, no way. Then sure enough, the following week they announced the cancellation. My heart sank. It was the same hopelessness that I felt before I got DACA. I looked at my daughter and I knew I had to do something." -Bambadjan Bamba

Continue
For Bamba, who was brought to America as a child by his parents who were fleeing political persecution, and didn’t discover that he was undocumented until college when he was applying for financial aid, the American Dream is more than just a slogan. In America, he discovered the English language through his love of hip hop, African Americans and the way they have your back no questions asked, and the ultimate prize of becoming a Hollywood actor. Bamba has appeared in multiple TV shows and will play in the highly anticipated Black Panther film. In America, he also met his wife and welcomed a little girl. America is Bamba's home, and now it might be taken away if Congress can't pass a law.

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, aka DACA, enacted in 2012, immigrants who entered the U.S. as children have been able to receive renewable two-year deferred action from deportation so that they can work or go to school. For a while it looked like the over 700,000 ‘Dreamers,’ as they are called, might actually have a pathway to citizenship. But with this current administration, it doesn’t seem likely. Every day 122 Dreamers lose their status; 11,000 dreamers have lost their status already. Democrats are fighting to save DACA by threatening to shut down the government on December 22nd, and there are multiple DACA replacement bills being introduced to Congress. If a bill passes before the March 5 deadline, qualified applicants will be able to remain in the US legally.

But nothing is certain, and Bamba couldn’t just sit around in limbo, waiting for something to happen.
“I was always embarrassed by my status and was hiding behind fear. Fear of getting deported, fear of career suicide, but after having my daughter I knew that I had to step out and face it head on. I never want to be separated from my family," says Bamba.
Bambadjan Bamba with his family in LA via Define American
So he teamed up with Define American, an organization that helps immigrants share their story, and went public about his DACA status. It's definitely a risky move, some have called him crazy. He hopes that his position as a Hollywood actor can help bring awareness to the issue, and put a face to DACA. He's also urging Hollywood to stand with him. He says,
“There are so many immigrants working in Hollywood behind the scenes and in front of the camera and we need them to stand with us. We need the studio heads to stand with us.”
Bamba being supported by 5th St. Studios Casting in LA
So far, support has been overwhelming from Bamba’s peers including actors Mark Ruffalo, Alyssa Milano and the creator of NBC’s ‘The Good Place,’ where Bamba is a recurring character. He's also shared his story with the LA Times, CNN, and NPR. 

Bamba on the set of 'The Good Place'
The media will have you thinking DACA is just a Mexican issue, but there are an estimated 3.7 million foreign-born black immigrants who aren't citizens, and many are facing deportation if a bill isn't passed. Call your representative. Take a picture and #standwithBamba #standwithdaca #defenddaca #dreamactnow and sign the petition here!

 Will you take a stand for DACA?

Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

By Erickka Sy Savané

Back in the day, naming your son after his father was an honored family tradition. You’d have Eddie and Lil’ Eddie. No one questioned whether it was a good idea, and when you spent 20 minutes on the phone talking to Bobby Sr. instead of Junior you laughed and kept on going.
Today, however, people are breaking with tradition and stepping out on their own for many reasons. In fact, some people love nothing better than giving a son his own unique name. Had you ever heard of the name Shemar before actor Shemar Moore? Probably not, since his name is a combo of his mom and dad. Now boys named Shemar are common…
But really, there are pros and cons to naming a son after his dad, so if you're currently struggling with what to do, hopefully this list can help!

Continue


REASONS TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER

1. A 1940’s study showed that III’s, IV’s and V’s don’t have as many mental health issues as the general population. So the peace of mind that comes from having a family name can increase your chances of birthing the next Bill Gates III or Tom Cruise IV.

2. A 1980 study showed that sons named after their dad had fewer behavioral problems, which makes sense because a kid is constantly aware that he is carrying that name. It’s like having dad breathing down your neck 24/7.

3. It’s the ultimate family bond. Dad’s with a namesake are more aware that the child is representing him in the world.

4. It gives your son something to live into. George Bush Jr. Definitely followed in the footsteps of George Bush Sr.

5. When dad has a fancy name like Sammy Davis Jr. It’s like automatic PR.

6. A family name is handy when you just don’t want to spend countless hours coming up with a new name. Just name him after his or your dad already!

7. It can encourage a 'wandering' dad to stick around. Can Ronald Sr. just turn his back on Ron Jr. so easily?


REASONS NOT TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER

1. You’re pregnant by someone with a name like Charles Manson. Probably not a good name to pass on.

2. You don’t want him being called "Jr." and you hate the word Lil’ on a grown ass man.

3. You don’t want your son getting used to being II or III. It’s not his lot in life to follow any man, not even his dad, and his dad's dad.

4. There are ten people in the family with the same name. Talk about a chip off the old block!

5. You’re stealing his identity. Did George Bush Jr. really want to become President or did he want to be an artist? (Seen any of his paintings?)

6. You’re not really sure he’s the father. Maybe you should wait for Maury and the results of the DNA test.

7. His name is Djakarakabeebojalagyshu. It’s got to be pronounceable.

8. Dad hasn't been paying his bills so creditors are constantly calling you. 

So what do you think? Yay or Nay to naming a son after dad?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

By Erickka Sy Savané

Back in the day, naming your son after his father was an honored family tradition. You’d have Eddie and Lil’ Eddie. No one questioned whether it was a good idea, and when you spent 20 minutes on the phone talking to Bobby Sr. instead of Junior you laughed and kept on going.
Today, however, people are breaking with tradition and stepping out on their own for many reasons. In fact, some people love nothing better than giving a son his own unique name. Had you ever heard of the name Shemar before actor Shemar Moore? Probably not, since his name is a combo of his mom and dad. Now boys named Shemar are common…
But really, there are pros and cons to naming a son after his dad, so if you're currently struggling with what to do, hopefully this list can help!

Continue


REASONS TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER

1. A 1940’s study showed that III’s, IV’s and V’s don’t have as many mental health issues as the general population. So the peace of mind that comes from having a family name can increase your chances of birthing the next Bill Gates III or Tom Cruise IV.

2. A 1980 study showed that sons named after their dad had fewer behavioral problems, which makes sense because a kid is constantly aware that he is carrying that name. It’s like having dad breathing down your neck 24/7.

3. It’s the ultimate family bond. Dad’s with a namesake are more aware that the child is representing him in the world.

4. It gives your son something to live into. George Bush Jr. Definitely followed in the footsteps of George Bush Sr.

5. When dad has a fancy name like Sammy Davis Jr. It’s like automatic PR.

6. A family name is handy when you just don’t want to spend countless hours coming up with a new name. Just name him after his or your dad already!

7. It can encourage a 'wandering' dad to stick around. Can Ronald Sr. just turn his back on Ron Jr. so easily?


REASONS NOT TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER

1. You’re pregnant by someone with a name like Charles Manson. Probably not a good name to pass on.

2. You don’t want him being called "Jr." and you hate the word Lil’ on a grown ass man.

3. You don’t want your son getting used to being II or III. It’s not his lot in life to follow any man, not even his dad, and his dad's dad.

4. There are ten people in the family with the same name. Talk about a chip off the old block!

5. You’re stealing his identity. Did George Bush Jr. really want to become President or did he want to be an artist? (Seen any of his paintings?)

6. You’re not really sure he’s the father. Maybe you should wait for Maury and the results of the DNA test.

7. His name is Djakarakabeebojalagyshu. It’s got to be pronounceable.

8. Dad hasn't been paying his bills so creditors are constantly calling you. 

So what do you think? Yay or Nay to naming a son after dad?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

 By Erickka Sy Savané

Should your boyfriend discipline your kids? “Hell, no!” says my aunt. Never one to hold her tongue, she tells me that it reminds her of women who let their kids call their boyfriends ‘daddy.’ “If that ain’t your daddy, don’t call him that,” she says, adding that she’s seen women with so many boyfriends/daddies that the kids don’t know who their real father is. She’s got a point.

Continue Reading

 You can’t just give that title away. Feeling super chatty and thoughtful this particular evening, we try to come up with reasons as to why some women do it. She says that it probably feeds a mom’s desperation to have a ‘family.’ If the kid starts calling the boyfriend dad, maybe he’ll start acting like one. I speculate that the mom doesn’t want to break the kid’s heart by saying, “That’s not your father!” especially, if the real dad isn’t around. I mean, what kid doesn’t want a daddy?

It’s tricky for me because I never had a daddy. I mean, I did have a man whose sperm helped create me, but we only saw each other a few times a year, and I only called him by his first name. Daddy? No way. That title is special. But still, we can’t say that it’s never appropriate for a boyfriend, can we? I decided to get off the phone with my aunt and go directly to a source, the daughter of my BFF. She’s in her mid-twenties and has a 2-year-old son that calls her boyfriend daddy. I was curious to see what she had to say.

“I never told my son to call my boyfriend daddy, he just started doing it,” explains T. “Da-Da" was the first words out of his mouth.”

Okay, but what about his father?

Basically, she met her son’s father while broken up with her boyfriend of 10 years. The friendship quickly turned sexual, and before she could figure out that he wasn’t about sh*t, she was already pregnant with his 8th kid. From there, things fell completely apart. He only saw her once the entire time that she was pregnant, and only spent 15 minutes at the hospital when his son was born. The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred when she called to tell him that their son was in the hospital about to have emergency surgery and the phone went dead. He never called back. To date, he’s seen his son a hand-full of times. And while she doesn’t regret having her kid, because she loves him unconditionally, getting involved with his father, she will tell you, ‘was the dumbest mistake of my life!’ Back to the boyfriend…Obviously he was crushed that his childhood sweetheart was pregnant by another man. However, he held the baby when he was just a few days old and felt an instant connection. In fact, he told T. that he loved the boy before he was even born. Incidentally, he was at the hospital when the baby required surgery and he’s been in his life ever since.

“You can’t tell him that’s not his son,” T. says of her boyfriend. “His parents love him too. Actually, they’re out-of-town with him right now.” She says that it’s possible that she and her boyfriend will marry one day, and they’ve talked about the possibility of him adopting her son. While it may not suit everybody, clearly there are some instances where it is appropriate to call mom's boyfriend dad. Especially, if bio dad is not around.

What do you think? Yay or Nay to calling mom's boyfriend dad? 


Erickka Sy Savané is the managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or