Thanks for the memories, 2013!

As I wind down 2013 and begin a vacation that takes me to 2014, I want to thank everyone whose spirits touched my life, whose goodness made my heart soar and who forgave me when I forgot to do the same! It was a pretty daggone good year. (Yes, I’m still from North Carolina. I still say daggone.)

derek lukeI won a National Headliner Award. I dined with really interesting people (Spike Lee) and met quite a few others (Derek Luke among them).

I kissed a boy, and I liked it (Hollywood actor who shall not be named. No, it wasn’t Derek Luke.).

I watched women ascend to top spots at one of the Big Three and got to write about them – Mary Barra, the soon-to-be CEO of General Motors and Alicia Boler-Davis, a senior vice president who is one of the top two African American women in the entire auto industry. They were huge news event and ones that, as a woman, I had to privately applaud.

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 12.39.18 PMI was honored to be part of a United Way for Southeastern Michigan campaign to inspire children.

I didn’t go to Africa this year, as I did for the past three (to Senegal and Kenya). But I spent a great deal of time planning my trip to South Africa in the spring.

Instead, I did further exploration of my own country, eating oysters every day for a week in New Orleans and drinking great wine for a weekend in Napa, walking parts of New York, that even after all these years, I had not seen.

I hosted the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame inductions and watched my friend, the late, great photographer Hugh Grannum, join the number.

I went to the Final Four with my cousin Roderick for the third year in a row, keeping intact our promise to go together every year. God, I love NCAA basketball.

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 3.19.19 AMI saw “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and loved it. Yes, a Peter Jackson movie is still an event.

But it was the little moments that mattered most. I visited my mother, and she knew who I was. I made a dish, for the first time, uh, ever, at Thanksgiving dinner, and my family loved it. Continue Reading

GM names first female CEO on day lege committee
passes bill allowing women
to breast-feed in public. Sigh!

Sometimes, it’s just about timing. 1386696709000-gmmarybarra3

A Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill Tuesday allowing breastfeeding mothers to actually breast feed their babies in public. Now we’ll see what the rest of the legislature does.

The passage came just hours after General Motors, the second-largest automaker in the world, named its first female CEO. Now we’ll see what other auto companies and non-auto companies do.

Even as I wanted to rejoice in the latter, I couldn’t help but sigh at the former. Why? Because men are still telling women what to do, and women still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. And that remains 50 years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in an effort to end wage discrimination.

So women are making true progress in some areas, making progress that is laughable in other areas and still fighting for equality in nearly every area.

I once said that if women stopped having babies, men might come around. They might understand that civilization depends on the most important joint project that continues  to happen in history.

But I was wrong.

Women would have to stop having sex to force change. And that’ll never happen.