Friday, March 07, 2008

Interview with Marvelyn Brown - HIV/AIDS Activist

-----------------------------------------------------------photos by Steve Azzera

Marvelyn Brown - The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, & (HIV) Positive!

She's done National Talk Shows and television, Oprah and Tyra to name a few. She's been featured in numerous magazines, and has done PSA's for HIV/AIDS, leading to her winning an EMMY in 2007. And now she's here on VJBS!

But AIDS is not who this beautiful young lady is.
She is a woman, a friend, a daughter, a significant other, an entrepreneur, a business owner, and she's working on her first book, "The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, & (HIV) Positive," due to be released later this year.

I know you guys have been waiting for this and it's finally here! I had the honor of interviewing Marvelyn live on yesterday. It was absolutely wonderful and so enlightening.

Her story will compel you.
You'll laugh,
you'll want to cry,
you'll never be the same,
and you will definitely leave VJBS with more
knowledge and compassion than you had before
you came.

But the best part is - drum roll, please-
you can listen to it right here, right now!
That's right. Live here on VJBS live!

Check out the Blogtalk Radio player.
Press play, sit back, relax and enjoy the music, or simply browse around while
you're waiting on Ms. Marvelyn join us.

Marvelyn's first book, The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, & (HIV) positive, will be released this coming August!

For more on Marvelyn, log on to:

Peace, Love, Light, & Safe Sex,

-music written, produced, and arranged by
Darrin Jefferson

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just the way it is sometimes...

I feel like today I took a very important test.
But guess what?
I passed with flying colors!

I went to the supermarket to get a few things. And we all know how it is when we get to a crowded parking lot, but see the person in the very best park, loading their bags so they can leave. I wanted that park. Don't really know why. Just did.

So why is it that when people know you're waiting on their park, they automatically get slower at getting outta the way? I never do this, by the way. If anything, I move faster. But anyway, the lady was looking through her bags and fumbling with things as if she were surprised by what she saw.

Well my patience has gotten a lot longer these days, so instead of getting mad or frustrated, I happily waited. But just 'cause I decided I had time to wait doesn't mean the people behind me felt like they had time to wait. The truck directly behind me started blowing at me to move. Cars were backing up behind him and people were getting frustrated.

Now mind you, they were getting frustrated at me, not this woman, who in my opinion, was trying to do all she could to stall and make things worse for all of us. I was tickled though. I was in no way planning on moving and letting that "great" park go to someone else who was just lucky enough to get there after the woman decided she'd checked, and rechecked, and triple checked her grocery bags enough, and was secure that everything was still there since her short trip from the register.

Well after the white guys - and I'm not being racist, just want to paint the whole picture - started yelling and cursing at me and calling me a guy (I recently shaved my head, didn't have on any make-up or earrings - so this part was really not intended to insult), the lady then decided to hurry up and move. But I was impressed by the fact that I wasn't upset in the least. I wasn't offended. My feelings weren't hurt. I didn't feel the need to yell or curse back. I was still just tickled....
cause nobody was mad at her!

Then both guys got out of the truck to ask me to move. The guy from the passenger side, who was clearly very intoxicated at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, commenced to letting me "have it!" The driver said, "Sir, can you please move so we can get by?" LOL for goodness sake!

I said, "Well first of all, I'm a lady. And yeah, I'm getting ready to move right now."
Anyway, he moved, she backed up and left, and I parked. Meanwhile the passenger from the truck behind me continued to call me names, trying to insult me.

Guess what? I wasn't moved by it. I got out of my car and was chuckling to myself as they drove by and once again the passenger, who clearly had the biggest problem with me, had the driver to stop the car. He got out with his drunk, staggering, word-slurring self and asked me if I thought it was funny. Now he was holding up traffic. I calmly told him, "I think you're funny."
He then said to me, "Well I think you're a fu*#ing idiot!"
And to that I said, "And I think you're funny," smiled and continued into the store.

Another question...
And why does the passenger always have to most to say?
Then again, I guess it could have been worse.
He could have been the driver! :-O

You know, I said all that to say this:
If certain people had been around, or in the car with me at the time (and I'm so glad I was alone), this could have blown up to be such a big thing. Something bigger and much "badder" than anyone could have imagined. Someone could have gotten hurt even. And all for the sake of a park and a little impatience. It never dawned on anyone in the truck behind me that maybe I "NEEDED" a park that was close.
I didn't, mind you.
I was just being lazy, but still...

Then it dawned on me that maybe that lady couldn't move any faster and was really not trying to be ugly either. So I was actually doing the same thing the people behind me were doing - making assumptions! It's just that we handled it differently.
So I passed only the action/reaction part of the test - not the humility part.

When I returned to my car and was about to back out, there was an older, white couple directly behind me. I got out to see what was wrong and he was holding on to the shopping cart for dear life. He couldn't move his feet. He had Parkinson's and his wife said he was getting worse and worse, and she was going to have to stop bringing him to the grocery store with her. He was such a sweet, old gentleman. I asked if I could help get him to their car, and she seemed a bit apprehensive at first. I assured her I was a nurse and knew what I was doing. He was apprehensive only because he was afraid he was going to fall. But they agreed to let me help and I got him to his car uneventfully. Matter of fact, we actually rallied support from other passersby. All had worked out well. I felt good and redeemed, feeling that I'd been given another chance - a make-up test, so to speak -to do something kind for someone else as a way to make up for being such an accidental instigator earlier.

On my way out of the parking lot I thought how the dynamics would have changed for that earlier event had this been the reason for me waiting on the park. Or... if the same truck with the now infamous passenger had just been pulling up while I was helping this elderly couple, how differently might things have turned out? That same guy, the passenger, who was clearly inebriated and "so thoughful" of me, may have actually been more inclined to get out and help, rather than to get out to try to hurt.
Maybe he wouldn't have then been in such a rush.

So I was left with these questions:

Why are we always in such a hurry?
Why do we only give assistance to those who are clearly in need?
Why don't we treat everyone the same?
-And by doing so, we would never, ever leave out the people with the hidden disabilities or hidden problems.


--Now that's some Jowaje Philosophy for ya,
and that's what's up. For real.

Peace, Love, & Light y'all !