Author: Stephanie Graves

is a publicist, freelance writer, and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. She lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two children.

I’d never thought twice about going back to work after he was born. After my six-week working maternity leave was up, I was right back at it, cranking out 50 to 60 hours a week in my job as a public relations account supervisor. I was in love with my new baby, but I also liked my job, even though it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to manage it all. I was nursing, I had difficulty sleeping at night, and my account work was getting backed up. Still, it never registered that something was going to give.

Being a winner at basketball was balm for Yvester’s emotional wounds. At home, he felt worthless; his mother drove home that message. On the court, he was somebody. Friends and family esteemed him, and he fed off of their affirmation. Drinking and drugs were the icing on the cake. First, there was weed, then lines of powdered cocaine, then crack rocks.

I don’t know many pastors who would hold their smartphones up in a mirror and snap pictures of their reflection. I certainly don’t know any that would do this while wearing Spandex biker shorts, a muscle shirt, and a backward Kangol cap and then send it to a young man. Moreover, four men have come forward with eerily similar stories, and some have offered details of their experiences with Long that most young men would be too embarrassed to share with their closest confidants, much less the public. That’s a lot of smoke.

When I posted this image from Pinterest’s “quotes” board to my Facebook page, I got responses like, “So true,” “Forget the working full-time part!” and “Hey! I think I’m being taking advantage of.” It got a ton of “likes” and was shared numerous times. And I’m certain it’s because most women can relate to being pulled in so many different directions that giving our families the option to choose the top two things they can’t live without doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Full disclosure: I’ve never cared much for Lance Armstrong. Long before everyone was all abuzz about doping allegations, and maybe even at the height of the seven-time Tour de France winner’s battle with testicular cancer, there was something about Armstrong that didn’t set well with me. Maybe it was his arrogant demeanor coupled with the fact that he always seemed so downright angry.

It’s almost impossible not to like Jordin Sparks. Her stunning performances on American Idol’s sixth season instantly won her a place in the hearts of many music lovers, not to mention she’s gorgeous and comes off as exceedingly humble. What’s not to like? Well, with last month’s release of Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name, there is at least one thing. Her acting.

When Minny bakes up a chocolate pie, mixes in her own feces, and serves evil Hilly Holbrook two “delicious” slices, everyone in the theater where I watched The Help exploded into laughter and applause. I didn’t. But we’ll get to that.

There’s been no shortage of conversation over the last few weeks about the big-screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller, one of the year’s blockbusters. As entertaining as it is–blacks and whites alike have raved about the film to me—The Help is a re-warmed version of countless fictitious looks at the Jim Crow-era South, where racism is presented like a Saturday-morning cartoon full of laughs and underdogs and superheroes and good prevailing over evil.