KENDRA G tells the story of going to a Philadelphia public school and asking a group of about 30 seventh- and eighth-grade girls how many wanted to be married.
Four raised their hands.
Then she asked how many of them wanted to be mothers. Almost all raised their hands.
These girls all wanted to be unmarried mothers, or "baby mamas," as they're commonly called. The idea of becoming a wife first was a foreign concept, which isn't surprising considering that a staggering 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock.
And as out of control as the problem is, there's not a whole lot being done to combat it.
There's a giant deafening silence surrounding the issue. That's why I'm a fan of how Kendra is trying to get the message out to these young girls that there is another way.
Maybe Kendra, whose given name is Kendra Gilliam, can get through where the mothers and grandmothers of these children can't. Kendra is sexy, glamorous and hip. She's an on-air personality on WPHI-FM Hot 107.9. But she's also living the lifestyle she's trying to get young women to adopt - celibacy.
It wasn't always so. In her new book, Abstinence is Kool: Challenging Girls Everywhere!!! Can You Say No to Sex for the School Year? ($14.95, www.abstinenceiskool.com), she writes about all the mistakes she made in the past - getting pregnant at 19, trying to fight a girl who was involved with her boyfriend, having unprotected sex with a nonmonogamous partner and on and on.
"I'm candid. I'm up-front and I'm giving you my life," she said, after stopping by the Daily News last week wearing black spandex leggings, rhinestone-encrusted ankle boots and a midriff-baring denim jacket. "I just want the girls to know the truth, that sex doesn't equal love. Sleeping with a guy won't necessarily get you what you want from them."
I wanted to jump up and holla "preach, sister."
But that would be totally unnecessary. Girlfriend was already in her pulpit and testifying, speaking from experience and years of heartache.
"Guys don't treat every girl like their wife. But we give every guy the husband treatment. Women, we need to pull back a little bit and treat every guy like a friend. Let him get promoted to boyfriend. Don't give him boyfriend treatment right away," she continued. "Get to know him. Have a standard that I'm not having sex unless I'm in a relationship."
"I'm not really mad at the guys because the guys are doing it right," Kendra said. "These girls are just ignorant."
But what girl or woman hasn't gotten caught up in the idea that maybe they can change a man? That's a mistake most people make at least once in their lives, even Kendra.
"I was dealing with a person who I was the Michelle to his Barack Obama and thinking things would change and they never did. His position was always known that we were friends. But I don't sleep with my friends."
Our conversation turned to Beyoncé, the entertainer, who recently announced she was expecting a baby with husband Jay-Z.
"Beyoncé is the quintessential 'Abstinence is Kool' girl because she focused on herself. She made her dreams a reality, and now she's a mother," Kendra said.
That's a model girls should follow.
"Until you're a wife, you need to be a selfish woman and handle your business," she said. Then, "you have to link up with someone who is going to allow you to be who you are fully."
As for Kendra, she is getting closer to being ready to handle the ultimate commitment with The One.
"I've been dealing with right-now guys for the last two years. I'm no longer tolerating the madness."
Can a sister get an "amen"?