The Bigger Picture

I’m feeling some sort of way lately. The passing of my grandfather and the failing health of the beloved Nelson Mandela have dampened my spirit a bit. Not to mention what’s going on in this awful country…

Recently, we’ve been inundated with reminders of just how fucked up American society really is, like the Paula Deen controversy, the Zimmerman trial and the SCOTUS ruling on the VRA, just to name a few. And while there is so many instances that point to never-ending racism, classism, immigration problems, a failing education system and privacy issues, many of us, no matter the color, remain in deep denial and go about our daily lives as if this doesn’t or will not at some point affect us.

Perhaps that is what rubs me sore the most. The apathy of it all. A “what can we do about it” mentality. The “I’ve got other things to worry about” mindset.

Sure, Paula has been the sacrificial lamb for her supremacist beliefs (you do know she’s not the only one with these beliefs, right??). But if we use her to confront the ingrained ignorance of racism instead of Whites defending her and Blacks attacking her, we’d make so much more headway socially, collectively weeding out the ignorant and reprogramming their thinking.

Which brings me to Georgie-boy. If he only took the time to educate himself (or to be educated) on racial profiling instead of assuming that every Black boy is a criminal, he wouldn’t be trial for murdering one. Spilled milk…

The Justices of the Supreme Court has made it easier for non-white votes to not count, although this country is quickly being made up of many people of color. There should be some serious outrage over this, but I guess there aren’t enough angry White women to make a fuss so…

There is a point, in which we have to start thinking ahead, like really far ahead in our decision-making. Are we going to continue to allow old supremacist mindsets and old slavery-rooted attitudes lead the plans we place for future generations? Or will we recognize that times are changing, accept that all of our ancestors came here on boats (whether voluntarily or forcefully) and plant the mental seeds necessary to promote real, innovative growth?

Think of it this way: we can get mad at all of the “shiny” distractions such as the Paula Deens of the world or the criminalizing Black boys for how they wear their pants and, like many of us do, we can even continue to ignore the issues altogether. But we gain nothing, NOTHING, from it. Until we gather some unity that crosses the color lines, and really fight for equality for ALL, we will continue to ride this hamster wheel we call America.

I’ll end this with a quote I just love and that rings so true: “We are drowning in information, while we starve for knowledge.”

Wake up.

Post Racial America

“History shows that it does not matter who is in power… those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.” – Carter G. Woodson

 

Thought Provoking Perspectives

(3)Today if you look at the election process you will clearly see White Supremacy on full display. The Donald exhibits all of the characteristics. His main claim is that “the system if rigged” when in fact he has gotten and taken advantage of privilege at every step and stage of his life. I was talking to a white friend a few days ago, and trying to impress upon me how fortunate “your people” are to live free in America, which is now a post-racial society and the usual proof bigots give is that we have a black president. Another old standby came from her lips; “we have problems, but it’s not as bad as it was”. She has no sense that it was her people who made it bad in the first place. To say that I was shocked in an understatement!

I sat back and enjoyed the foolishness of…

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Trying to Find My Armor: Helping My Children With Loss

dead I have a battle to prepare for.  I wish I could say it was something physical, like a boxing match or something mental, like a chess tournament. But it’s far more intimidating and strenuous: its an emotional battle.

My grandfather is dying. He’s been diagnosed with Myeloma, a particular kind of blood cancer that attacks his white cells. Before this all went down, my grandfather, whom we all affectionately call “Papa”, was in pretty good shape for a man in his late 70’s. And all of a sudden…

Now he’s in and out of ICU, on oxygen and pretty much non-responsive. I’m fully aware that dying is what old folks do and that this life must come to an end sooner   or later. But what makes his impending departure all the more difficult is when I consider what he actually means to me and my family.

He is the Patriarchal figure, to my mother, me and to my children. He has played an integral role in the lives of my children more than their respective fathers ever have.  Not only has he helped me with my children, he helped my mother with hers. I remember going to baseball games and various social events with him.    Accompanying him to the backyard each time he barbequed.  Then it was him picking me up from the hospital after giving birth. Him getting my children on and off their school buses and picking them up from school when I couldn’t.  Buying birthday cakes and ice cream for each birthday they had. He was my emergency contact on every school form. He was reliable. He was consistent. He cared. We mattered.

I will never forget him letting me wrap my arms around him in an embrace that seemed to go on forever, as we both cried after hearing about his diagnosis. We cried together… something I’ve never done with any other man.

Now the thought of losing someone so entangled my day-to-day life makes me feel so selfish.  I ask myself, what am I going to do now? But honestly, I think he chose to fight this disease, using chemo and radiation, just for us. He knows how necessary he is. He knows his value to us. And although he is a man of very few words, we always knew how much he loves us.

As I prepare myself emotionally for his departure, I’ve seemed to have misplaced my armor… that protective coating that can take most any blow. I know I have to be strong for my children. They cried over my mother’s dead dog, for pete’s sake! I’m predicting his death will devastate them. We are all extremely close. They’ve seen him just about everyday of their lives.  And as a looked through photos of his many photo albums recently, I noticed that my mother, children or me are represented very little. It was then that I realized that he didn’t need pictures of us; we were with him all the time.

So how do I deal with my own grief while simultaneously helping them cope with their own??  One article I read online said to encourage them to ask questions or talk about how they feel. I really don’t think I can get through that. I’m extremely impatient when it comes to that sort of thing, especially when my mind is already too heavy to carry.  A grief counselor is another option, if all else fails.

I just need to find this armor, or I will be no good to them nor myself.  My babies will need me and I will need to hold onto my sanity. I need my armor. I need my Papa.

“White Like Me” Documentary Trailer

Say what you like about Tim Wise, I’m a staunch supporter.

Tim is one of the few Whites who actually acknowledges that there are indeed benefits of White privilege and is rather transparent about the advantages afforded to him through the color of his skin.

Does he profit from racial inequality? Perhaps. And if that is found to be true, he’s in good company; the US prison/justice system, the US school system and housing market are just few of the beneficiaries of racial inequality.

However, he serves as the antithesis of these beneficiaries. Instead of promoting the belief that racism is no longer a concern or denying the problem even exists in today’s society, he lends his White voice and his White face to what many people of color who have stated for the longest:  that this is simply not true.

I commend anyone at the forefront of the fight against racism and racial inequality, no matter the color.  Tim understands what alot of people don’t: that not only does it make the lives of people of color more difficult, it effects your lives as well.  Hopefully the full length documentary can help shed light on how and hopefully it will spark some change…

Defining Curls when Making the Relaxed to Natural Hair Transition

Defining Curls when Making the Relaxed to Natural Hair Transition

So before you dive into this video, let me just share the DIFFICULTY of finding help for us Black women who are making that transition from processed hair to natural hair. Overwhelmingly, we are told to do the big “chop”, which is to have all of your processed hair cut off. It’s usually very short and for some of us, that’s just not appealing. So what do you do when you have both new growth and relaxed hair???


I found this neat little tutorial just for that dilemma. Check it out. I’d like to try to see if this would work on my hair, as well as my daughter’s, who’s completely natural to see how it goes. Great advice, nonetheless!

FYI: All the products used in the video can be found at http://www.beautifulcurls.com

UPDATE:

Using the tips from the video, I managed to curl my hair without heat! I’m so excited!! Now I did price the products featured in the video and they’re not cheap. So I tried my local Family Dollar and found the custard and conditioner, similar in ingredients that was way cheaper. Since my hair is short, I also used curl rods along with wrap lotion. Now I have the “natural” curly look, without the heat. Success!

Black Weight Loss Success

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Yes!!! Courtesy of Facebook, I ran across a wonderful weight-loss blog called Black Women Losing Weight. 

It contains a WEALTH of nutrition, exercise and weight loss success posts, all centered around the Black Woman. Why, you say? Its really simple. There’s this myth that Black women actually enjoy being fat and unhealthy. And while many of us do admire our natural curves, it should not be confused with wanting to be at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and a plethora of other health risks associated with obesity. There’s another myth that we don’t like exercising because of hair (yes, HAIR. But’ that’s a whole ‘notha post). Thus, major weight loss franchises seem to target the majority (read: White women) and there’s little support and praise for Black women who are working towards the goal of living a healthier lifestyle.

Now we have Black Women Losing Weight! They are not alone in the fight to keep us health-conscious but they are definitely worth highlighting…

Be sure to check out the blog for great health and weight loss tips and get inspired by the countless success stories. Congratulate these sistas on a job well done!!

Also, visit their online store for even more inspiration by purchasing one of their fabulous tees (like the one above). Enter the coupon code MYSHIRT2013 during checkout between June 3rd  and June 7th to receive a 15% discount on t-shirts (only!).

 

Jaheim – “Age Aint A Factor”

ImageThis new single from Jaheim helped to catapult my inner-appreciation, value and self worth. Ladies, you can give yourself as many hugs as you wanna, but nothing compares to a man affirming what you should already know… you are the SHIT.

I’ve never really been a big fan of Jaheim but this song right here??! It tickles all of my love handles. Finally, a song that celebrates the sexiness and the full-figured curves that accompanies the experience and wisdom of a grown woman;  not a “bad bitch” or “five star chick” … a GROWN WOMAN, sang beautifully by her counterpart.

Sidenote: Sooooo glad he cut his hair. He’s much more attractive…

 

Ummm… Mother Nature, What Did Oklahoma Do To You?

Ummm... Mother Nature, What Did Oklahoma Do To You?

UPDATE:

ok1More pics and tragic stories released from the grounds of Moore, OK., Including the death of 24 children by way of drowning while trapped under debris…

ok2I hope the families of loved one that were lost in this devastating tragedy will eventually find peace. Losing ANYONE is hard enough… I cant imagine the loss of a child.

My thoughts are with you, Oklahoma.

Photo Source: thejasminebrand.com