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Eve On Finding Love Outside Of Her Comfort Zone: "I Had To Import.”

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A conversation with Eve is like sitting back over cocktails with your home girl—she's unapologetically open and unafraid to keep it real on everything from failed relationships to the ins and outs of being in an interracial (and international) marriage.


In short, she is comfortable with who she is, and she's not apologizing for it. We've come to know Eve not only as a multi-platinum rap artist, but also as the current co-host of The Talk, and the sassy and quick-witted Terri Jones from the Barbershop series.

We've also seen Eve go through a beautiful evolution from being one of a handful of respected female rappers in the game to now being a wife to a British millionaire and stepmom to four kids. Though she's still the Philly-bred rapper that isn't afraid to keep it all the way real, 39 years of wisdom under her belt has taught her that she no longer has to prove her worth in her career nor in her relationships. And in the process of dealing with breakups and make-ups, she's found that being true to herself was more important to holding on to unequally yoked lovers of her past.

“As I got older I was like, I come like this," she says, her famed paw print tattoos peaking out of her peach-colored jumpsuit. “This is who I am, but I also don't have the energy to hide it anymore."

Though she may be a little rough around the edges, she's refined on the inside, and it permeates in everything from her down-to-earth demeanor to her desire to give back to others. Today, she's dropping knowledge about the lessons she's learned as a woman who's been through the various stages of love. We sat down with Eve for some girl talk about cheating men, monogamy, and how marriage has helped her grow as a woman.

She had to stop dating what was familiar and step out of her comfort zone to find love:

"I can't even lie, I'm not saying that it's impossible, but [dating in L.A.] was hard. I had to import. I think it was also the circles that you're in especially when you're in the industry, that breeds the same thing and I lived there for so long, if I went back and I was single I would do it a different way. I wouldn't be trying to find someone within the people that I hung out with or the circle that I was in; I would actually try to get out of my comfort zone."

Marriage has taught her to be more vulnerable as a woman:

"Being married and having stepchildren has completely changed me because when I first met him, I didn't even know how to talk to kids. I was like, 'Do you want to color? What do you want?!' I was so weird with the kids, and it takes a minute to settle, but I definitely softened as a person. I don't come from a family of huggy, 'I love you' type of affectionate people. If we kind of know you, you'll get the head nod and, with the kids, you have to be open to hugs and that changed me, and it's a really nice thing. Being in a relationship and being married, nothing changed much except for the fact that we [can be] like we're together. No questions, no stress, that's my partner. That's my homie. That's how it's supposed to be, and I've never had that before, so it's really nice."

She embraces her role as a stepmom:

"Can I tell you, I got lucky because the kids are always sweet! But I also got into their lives early, now some of them are teenagers, I couldn't be trying to come in now. But because I came into their lives so early, they grew up with me so now it is what it is. Which is nice."

She hopes to one day be a mother:

"We absolutely want to have babies, but I think it is what it is. It'll happen when it's supposed to. I feel pressure, but not like pressure I have to hurry up and do it. It's more like, I want to be a young mom (laughs). I feel like we both understand it is what it is. I can't make it happen any faster, sorry. But I hope and pray it's going to happen soon."

Why she's no longer hiding who she is:

"We want to please—men and women—and we mimic that person that we're with. But it took me a few horrible relationships where I bent over backwards trying to do all of this stuff and be this girl and do this that and the other and not be respected but because I was in love. But I think a lot of times, we forget that a person falls in love with you for you, and that most times that's when you're your genuine self. And as I got older, I was like, I come like this. This is who I am, but I also don't have the energy to hide it anymore. Like you either get it or you don't, and you never need to change. That person is out there for you. I'm crazy; my husband probably thinks I'm a nut sometimes. But thank God I found somebody who can deal with my nutty shit. And vice versa. And you just have to find someone and they are out there, you don't have to compromise."

Being monogamous is a decision, and infidelity is an excuse:

"It's not just men; it's women! Monogamy is a decision that you make, like not drinking and driving. That, to me, is what it is because, as women, we can keep two if we wanted to. I do think that we are more evolved; we're more mature. Our emotions do stop us from doing certain things, but it's not impossible, and men saying, 'Oh men aren't meant to be monogamous,' that's bullshit."

Her biggest career mistake was not trusting her instincts

"I used to not really treasure my own opinion as much as I should've. I always thought that my manager would know better or my friends would know better, and nine times out of ten, my gut was always right. So that probably was my best mistake because now I live by my gut. Now if I'm not feeling it, I'm not doing it. I don't care what it is. It saves you from so much."

She is very self-aware:

"I think, especially now with social media, they're brainwashed. It's like a song that plays on the radio fifteen times a day—a song that you might not necessarily like, but you find yourself singing that song. When you're on social media, and all of these ideas of what beauty is are coming across the screen and they all look alike, then I think some people who are not as strong in themselves can be brainwashed into thinking this is the new crop of women, instead of standing up and saying I need my woman to be an individual and celebrate her beauty in a certain way. But that's just the day and age that we're in unfortunately, and I think a lot of men don't know what they're looking for, just like a lot of women don't know what they're looking for. Social media plays a part in what you're supposed to be or supposed to have.

She's no longer out to prove anything to anybody:

"In my 20s, it was more about proving things. I need to get this done and I'm going to do this on my own and I don't need your help—you know, trying to make things happen and going towards a goal of this is what I need to be. I don't even think I thought about being a wife or mother, it was more like this is what I need to do in my business. And now that I'm older, I see things that are bigger than me and, as a woman, I never want to not work, but I also want to have a life. It's very important to me to have lived and breathed and have fun with my husband and my family and friends. That's really important to me."

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Having a supportive partner helps her to have balance:

"It's hard, but also, at the same time, I have somebody who is supportive and also I live on the other side of the world now. It took me probably two years to be like this is who I am right now at this part of my life and in this world. But I made the decision and I live with it. I love being [in London]. I think it helps me to have a life."

She's finally comfortable with who she is:

"I'm pretty comfortable in who I am. I don't feel like I have to make excuses for myself. I think I used to, in the past, have to try to explain why I did this, but I don't feel like that, so I think that is good. I second-guessed myself a lot when I was younger, and just being in the business, I went through it."

What she wants people to remember about her after she's gone:

"The older I get, now I want to be known as a good human, a good woman, and a good person. I want to be more than just about myself. I want to be seen as someone who cares about people and wants to help people."

Featured image by Karwai Tang/WireImage

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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