I was all of 23 and looked like I wasn't even yet of legal drinking age and I was a black woman, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise that when I'd show up to mayoral press conferences with my reporter's notepad and my mini tape recorder and my questions, my fellow journalists mostly male, mostly white, mostly a decade or two older would make quick work of rendering me irrelevant. In their eyes, it seemed, I was a lightweight an affirmative action baby taking up valuable real estate in both the New York City political press corps and in the pages of the Daily News, then the sixth-largest newspaper in the country. Clearly, I was not worthy of working such a prestigious beat. Or at least that's the way they treated me certainly the way it was taken.

It never seemed to occur to them that I was young and fresh and hardworking and good at my job. That I'd earned my keep. And while on most days I just shrugged it off and threw it down with my reporting and writing skills, there were those days when the ignorance and the sexism and the racism and the ridiculousness of it all would get the best of me.

Enter Nick then a competitor and friend. I'll never forget how he saved me and my sanity on one particular day when I let some side comments and blatant disrespect from a colleague bring me to tears. You, he said simply in a clandestine phone call to my desk where I sat, slumped and defeated, are better than him. He's lazy and dumb and you? You can write circles around him. Don't let his jealousy and bitterness steal your joy. I believe in you.

I believe in you.

I can't tell you what those four words meant to me how they lifted both of my shoulders and steeled my back and dried up the water in my eyes and raised the corners of my lips. It's not that I needed validation particularly from a man. But it was a much-needed reminder that I really was a helluva writer and reporter and deserved to be where I was at that stage in my career, and it felt good to walk into the den of lions confident that someone had my back. And when I made up my mind I was untouchable when it came to my writing skills? It was over for them.

I owe that to my man.

He saved me.

It is this that I think about as I help Essence bloggers Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, the creators of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com, celebrate the release of their latest film, You Saved Me, the follow up to their best-selling debut, Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage. You Saved Me features candid looks at the hardships, trials, and ultimate success stories of real couples, who give an unprecedented look not only at black marriages, but what it takes to make them work.

You Saved Me is on DVD beginning March 29, but you know your girl has the hook-up, right? Lamar and Ronnie gave MyBrownBaby two DVD's to give away to two lucky MyBrownBaby readers. All you have to do is leave a comment saying what you love about your significant other (whether he/she is a spouse or simply someone extra special). Want to earn extra chances to win? Tweet: @MyBrownBaby is celebrating love with a You Saved Me giveaway! http://shar.es/mg9Dt up to three times for a total of four chances to win.

The contest ends Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced Friday, April 2, 2010.

Don't want to wait around for your copy? Well, you can purchase the DVD at a discount up until the official release date, March 29, 2010, by clicking HERE.

And if you can't bear to wait for the DVD, you can check out movie premiers in more than 25 cities this weekend. Click HERE for movie listings.


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    After being married for 21 years and then having him cheat on me not just one time but other times that I'm just now finding out about, Boo came into my life. He put value and love in my life that I never knew existed. He made me feel beautiful again when all I wanted to do was crawl under a rock. Even now, when I look into his gorgeous eyes, I see a reflection of a whole, adored woman who is loved by him like I've never been loved before. He saved me.

  2. Vivianne's Vista

    My B saved me from insanity. I was married for 11 years to an abusive individual who literally tried to suck the life out of me, without care or concern for our children. I had fallen into depression and was trying to get out when B came in and gave me kindness and strength to finally make the move. Years later we are married and I have to pinch myself constantly because after having been miserable for so long, the joy I feel is unbelievable. His devotion to me is amazing, and for the first time, I truly feel loved, for everything I am, and without any fear.

  3. I so love reading your Nick love stories. Your marriage is a testament to true love and hardwork. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I saw their first movie. It was great. I love my husband's kind heart.

  5. 3 Boys and an Old Lady

    In August 1993 I met a man who would forever change me. I didn't know it then but he would encompass every thing I wanted in a man. I had some wonderful relationships but when trouble arose I was quick to abandon the relationship. Rather than stay and work things out, I always left. I just didn't want to face the challenges of a relationship. I didn't know how to face the challenges of a relationship. After dating a few months our first problem arose and I was quick to call it quits. However, this man would not let it be so. He challenged me to discuss the problem and deal with it rather than just up and leave. That was nearly 20 years ago. This year we will celebrate 14 yrs of marriage. Marriage is a job…a job best worked full time.

  6. T.Allen-Mercado

    My Joseph, my joy…he saved and continuously saves me from myself. Pointing to my heart's center, I will tell you, as the child of THREE addicted parents, trust and forgiveness were not in abundance here. Spending more than half my life with this man has taken us on many an unpaved, unchartered road-many, MANY wrong turns were made, but each time we found our way and kept our groove. Why? Because he trusted the purpose of our union and he taught me to forgive not only myself, but him as well. We had no map, we were two people going it alone as one. The fact that we'd even set out on this junket from broken homes, towing broken hearts, is a testament to our love, and to all love. We broke a vicious cycle and everyday my belief in him, and in us is reinforced. Now, excuse me while I go cry into my coffee.

  7. I love my husband because he is supportive of me, no matter what I want to do. I always know he is behind me 100%. He loves through the good and the bad. He made me want to be a better person. I love that I am able to wake up and go to sleep next to him every day and night.

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