“I Am Woman” chronicles the stories of 21 Birmingham women


By Andre J. Thomas

Have you ever said to yourself, I want to take back the power I gave to people! You’ve said it to yourself over and over again that you will not allow the new boo to take advantage of you. In your quest to be loved, you accept the hurt and pain over and over again.


Sometimes in our journey, we find ourselves wanting to please people so much that we lose the power we have to say NO! In our quest for acceptance, we give away the very power the universe gave us to govern our destiny. Have you ever wondered, how did you get off the road to happiness? You ever wondered how did you miss the signs?? I can only answer this question for me. Today I did a self-evaluation in an effort to align myself back on the path of greatness.



While relaxing today, I had a chance to finally sit down and read the section of the best-selling book, “I Am Woman” written by my Joe Lockett Show castmate, Melva Tate. I can’t begin to tell her how proud I was that she triumphantly shared her life-changing story with the world.


Melva revealed a deep dark secret that haunted her past for nearly several decades. Like many young girls, Melva experienced child molestation at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. In her account, Melva chronicles the thoughts of “where is my mother” and “what would my mother say if she found out?” Melva explained how she went from being victimized by her offender to becoming his protector out of fear of breaking her mother’s heart. Echoing the sentiments of many young women across the world who wish they could forget the experience, Melva described the event as “damaging.”


Breaking herself free of the chains that were binding her, Melva posed a very powerful question to the readers:

“How many free passes do you give out each day, week, month, or year? What are you allowing to happen in your life that you don’t deserve?

“Instead you accept their apology even though you know that at their first opportunity they will commit the offense again, yet you allow it to happen anyway. You don’t know that each pass you give away diminishes your value, right? ~ Melva Tate


After reading this line, without thinking I automatically answered her question and began counting the number of individuals I gave passes to walk all over me just in 2016 alone. I encourage my readers (right now) to name the individuals that you gave a free pass to hurt you. From this day forward, it’s time for us to “set the boundaries” with them.


So many times I sit and listen to people with their fake apologies because I really want to believe the best in people. I know it may seem harsh, but if we truly want to get back on the right road to success, we must accept the fact that there are simply people with bad intentions in this world. We must protect ourselves from them and make it clear to them that they no longer have a free pass to hurt you. Serve notice to those people who don’t respect you and let them know that your life and feelings aren’t a game. You mean something and you have value. Love yourself, imperfections and all!


Andre J. Thomas is a 5x Award Winning Producer and Entertainment Blogger based out of Birmingham, Alabama. He can be heard every Saturday on the hit radio show, Joe Lockett Show. The Joe Lockett Show airs on 101.1 FM & 1260 AM (Metro Birmingham) every Saturday from 4pm to 7pm CST. You can also read articles written by Andre in The Birmingham Times, Black Moguls Magazine, Gumptown Magazine, and on andrejthomas.com.

All rights reserved, 2016.


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