I know it has been a while since I blogged but I’m getting BOOKWORM back up and running and hope to have fresh content on a regular basis again. As I promised before this blog is about ALL THINGS BOOKS. That means content about books, authors, and anything other current events in the book, writing, and publishing worlds. In keeping with that promise, today I’m featuring a Q&A from well known author and advice columnist (as well as fellow blogger)Deborrah Cooper. I have been a follower of her YouTube channel and advice column for a few years now and I hope you will this Q&A as informative as I did and want to check out her blog AND buy a book.
Q: I made your acquaintance because of an article you wrote that made the national news (I saw it on Michael Baisden’s Facebook page). The name of the article was “The Black Church: How Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely”. You also wrote a book on the subject called The Black Church: Where Women Pray and Men Prey, which I read and found very interesting. Your background is as a relationship expert. What made you decide to tackle this subject?
My primary market is African American women. And over the years I’d noticed a consistent pattern with the women who came to my AOL and web pages who were single – the majority were frequent church goers and said they believed in the word of the bible. Connecting the dots between the things the sistahs were telling me they were being told in church by their pastors, and the high number of single black women looking for their God-sent husband to be a church goer too – it was easy to see that they were being duped by the millions into believing in and hoping for something that was never gonna happen.
Black men, unless gay, married, damaged, very young or very old (and undesirable for marriage by a woman seeking a husband and children), are the only men up in churches. I wanted to point out the contradictions in the messages being given to single black women and the reality of the church environment. I also wanted to highlight the benefits that black pastors received from having hundreds or even thousands of single black women in their churches. Ultimately though, whether a black woman decided to go to church is her business. My goal was simply to point out that what you believe something is about, is not always what it really is.
Q: Can you expound a little more on your education and expertise in the area of relationship advice? What made you decide to become a relationship coach?
My major in college was communications, with a minor in psychology. I’ve always been a great listener – able to hear what people say as well as what they don’t say, and then ask some really hard-hitting questions that dug deep and get to the root of people’s issues within just a few minutes. That’s a skill set I’ve had since I was five years old my mom and aunts say, so I can honestly say I was born with this expertise. I believe that our path in live is fate. I didn’t choose to be a relationship coach – it chose me. People came to me for help, understanding, support, encouragement and guidance. I was able to provide it, and to do a really good job of understanding not only their problem, but how they got themselves into that mess in the first place. Based upon their belief systems, experiences, the mental messages they fed themselves, socialization – all kinds of things come into play to make us desire the things we desire, and make the choices that we make. My goal has always been to guide people, especially black women, to take a look at their choices with an open mind and ask themselves why. Who told you this was the best way to do things? The right way? Who told you that you had to say, look, act, talk, walk wear these things to get approval? Why do you feel you need others okay to be who and what you are? These and many other very probing questions form the basis of the advice that I give.
Q: I see that your latest book is about the vegan lifestyle. Can you describe it and discuss what made you transition into that lifestyle?
Hey my name is Ms. HeartBeat! Whether that heart is beating from love, or beating from health – the fact remains that the heart is central to the health and longevity of the body. I help guide sistahs to a healthier lifestyle in two ways – through diet and exercise (I was a nationally
certified Senior personal trainer for 13 years), and through education and advice about their interpersonal relationships. To me they tie together, as health encompasses the entire body our hearts and our minds. Black people are killing themselves with greasy, high sodium fast foods and chemically laden packaged imitation food products. Our ancestors never ate like that! Look at how many of us have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes! Look at all the kidney dialysis companies in black neighborhoods! We are killing ourselves with food and I thought it was high time to bring this to the attention of women who cook for their husbands and families. You cannot in good conscience keep giving them that garbage food and calling it love. I wanted to provide black people with options for eating an animal free diet with flavors that their palate was used to. That’s why I took a lot of my grandmother’s and aunt’s recipes, removed the salt pork, butter and bacon fat, and made them vegan. They taste very similar but have zero cholesterol, one-third or less of the sodium, and all of the flavor of the originals.
Q: If you would like to, you can use this space to promote one your works or your advice blog (shameless plug)
LOL! I would like to invite single women looking to understand why they’ve chosen the men they have and how to make better choices going forward to visit my blog and You Tube channel.
The blog, Surviving Dating (www.survivingdating.com), is designed for mature singles 30+. There is info for dating after divorce, as a single parent with one or more children, how to avoid becoming a “baby momma”, and how to figure out what it is you really NEED in a man vs what you’ve been wasting time with.
My You Tube channel was dormant for a few years while I wrote books, but I’ve finally revived it this past summer. I created a series of 25 videos exposing The Games Black Men Play to Make Black Women Jump Through Hoops. I talked about everything from why black men promote that “give a broke brotha a chance!” Mess to the men who manipulate women’s minds and behavior by holding marriage out as a carrot. Find all 95 of the videos on my channel at http://www.youtube.com/debsterism.