Monday, August 18, 2008
Two days ago a man I barely got to know passed away. That man, you could say was my grandfather. He was my stepmother's father, but he also called me his grandchild, like she calls me her child. While emotions regarding death are very minimal to me, I simply thought about how I had just seen him on the 4th of July talking loudly and sitting in his chair. This made me emotional. It seems that every person who passes in my life I use the excuse of "Oh, we were not close enough for me to actually be sad", and I attempt to move on, but his death has sparked memories of the deaths of those that I simply attempted to move on from, but couldn't. From my own mother, my grandfather, my aunt, my stepmother's mother, my grandmother, and finally my grandfather.
So, last night at about 2 a.m. I stayed up pondering why? Why is there a disconnect with EVERYONE in my life. Why do I stay so far away? But, why is it when something disastrous happens I am always bombarded by disbelief and a sense of grief? I partially feel that when my mother passed when I was seven years old, I simply tucked my feelings away in my pocket of life and moved on. I never believed that she was truly dead, instead I felt she was still here somewhere watching me, guiding me, within me. To be honest the other people who passed away I was never close to. But, maybe I failed to be close to prevent another loss. I was afraid of my aunt and my father's father and when he passed I actually dreamed that I was at a funeral and then my father woke me up and told me that my grandfather had passed away. Then when my stepmother's mother passed I remembered crying, but because we were not that close, again, I was not significantly affected by her death. When my grandmother passed it was sort of the same circumstance. I do still often cry over her because I am angry with myself about my failure to grow close to her. And, now my "grandfather"! Wow, you were a feisty person and I LIKED IT! And, while I am sorry that you are not here I know that your memory will live on.
I can no longer embrace these people in a physical fashion, but I can embrace them mentally. And, although I failed to have their backs on numerous occasions, I KNOW they will always have mine. Their souls will be my guides through life. So, now I have not one or two I have SIX angels pushing me through all of life's strife. From my "grandfather" I get my opinionated manner, from my grandmother I get my quest for knowledge, from my "grandmother" I get my grace, from my aunt I get my spirituality, from my grandfather I get my suave-like tastes, and from mother there is nothing to take because we are already one in the same.
So, for those of you who become overwhelmed with grief or sadness after the passing of a loved one, just remember that sometimes a loss transforms into a gain.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Here is an example. At night when lying in my bed, I often think about saying things to people that during the day I am often too afraid to say.
My manager is often an asshole. He does things to me and says things, often behind my back, that he could probably be fired or written up for. At night I would simply like to tell him to KISS MY ASS! No, really, I actually imagine vividly when I could just say this to him. I also imagine myself telling him, "I have so many degrees that TECHNICALLY I could be your boss and your bosses boss. So lay off and quit being naive about who you really are: a racist, sexist, man who is in denial of his true sexuality (Be True To THY Self and Maybe you will be happier)". But, again when I wake up all the words are simply lost.
I think from now on I will just write my feelings down at night when my body transforms into this omnipotent being with a cape and then i will wake up in the morning and speak my mind. Tactfully!:)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
On the fifth there are still a few families celebrating that could not the day before, but as a whole what exactly are we celebrating? Let's ask this again, what exactly are you celebrating if you are a woman, if you are of African-decent, Mexican/Latin-decent, and the list goes on. Why is it that those who are the first to celebrate something fail to realize that the holiday they are partaking in was not meant for them in the first place? Well, now it is because those who are truly independent stay that way due to our dedication to buying hundreds of dollars worth of food, beer, pop, firecrackers, and ammunition which aids in their pockets getting fatter.
Indeed, the fourth of July can simply be a reason to congregate and to eat food that maybe you did not pay for, but ultimately this is not your celebration to have. But, I can tell you a few better dates, January 31st 1865, creation of the Thirteenth Amendment, officially outlawing slavery, February 3rd 1870 , The ratification of the 15th Amendment giving African-Americans the right to vote. February 10th, 1964, the implementation of the Civil Rights Act, August 26th, 1920, when women gained the right to vote or June 23rd, 1972, when women officially were given the right to have/get an education under Title IV. I wonder what would happen if we celebrated on these dates for our true independence? Now, barbeque a pig for that!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
So, lets fast-forward to the 1960's and 1970's...
For the woman, they are also pushed into a trap. When we view music videos created by black and white rap or r&b artists the women are personified as objects. Objects that are to be seen, but not heard. So, when the little girl who is home alone, because her mother is working her second job or watching right along with her, is watching Lil' Wayne's video and begins singing "Lick, Lick, Lick,...Like A Lollipop, She Said It's So Sweet, She Want's To Like The Rapper" how does her mother explain that one. She also is bombarded with images of personalities such as Deelishis shaking her ass around the television. Oh...by the way, Deelishis was on the program as well. So for a child who knows nothing else, but rap videos and video girls and realizes that they 'seem' happy what should she do? She probably emulates that which she sees on television.
To conclude, the media is not the sole problem, which exists in the African-American community, but it is a major problem. African-Americans, as a whole, are damaged and most of us have not found ways to undue the pain. Most of us fail to even recognize that we are a hurt People. So, how can a man respect me if he is in a constant state of denial and is not aware of his history and his forced oppression? How can I respect her if I have not come to love myself and who I am? How can we love each other if we have yet to embrace our history and move forward TOGETHER towards the future? So in response to the title of BET's program, "Where Did The Love Go?", I ask, When did it begin?
All and all, B.E.T. set out to make a difference, but it simply aided in perpetuating erroneous stereotypes about African-American women and men. But, the one thing I pride it on is that it catalyzed conversations...conversations such as this one, which I hope will continue.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
In response to someone asking: Where are all the black feminists?
Raised Fists, Bronzed and Goldened
Grazed Afros, Blackened, But Sometimes Grayed
Dark Stares At The Bronzed Faces Thirst For Change...
That's When My Foremothers Came
That's When The Lives Of The Dually Oppressed Became
Firmly Dedicated To Asking: Aint I A Woman?
Soujourner, Assata, Angela, and bell
I'm Sure They Felt That With No Rights Life Was Near To Hell
That's When Raised Fists Became Moist With Sweat and Cramped From Anger
When Tears Formed The Question: Ain' I A Woman?
Lurked Deep Within Hearts Which Were Torn
Flowed, Those Words, Those Words They Flowed, Through Their Lungs
To Their Lips Tasting The Sweat Tinged Tears...
So, I Ask: Ain't I?, So, She Asks:Ain't She, So, We Ask: Ain't We...WOMEN?
Sit-ins, Protests, Speeches, Novellas, Anthologies, Too Many Damn Apologies
For The Exiles, The Denials, The Oppression, The Possession, And The Obsession
With Neglectin' Me...Because I Represent We!
Asked Once Where Did All The Black Feministas Dissapear To?
Well, By Which Medium Are You Attempting To Steal A View?
Because I, Better Yet, We Are Still Professing Their Names.
Now, Their Stories and Glories Are Our Ammunition To Continue Asking:
Ain't I A Woman?
Their Trials and Triumphs Are Our Catalysts For Change.
It's Just Somethings Resemble The Same Games But, Simply Decades Away.
From Being Called Mammies, To Prostitues, To "Welfare Queens",
To Booty Shakin' Video Hoes Chasin' HIS Green...
Things Haven't Changed If You Asked Me!
We Don't Fight Together Anymore, Or Maybe We Never Have, Only Each Other
The Real Change Comes From Both Our Sisters and Our Brothers...
not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
What is this about? Well...lately I have been feeling as if I was in some sense of a false reality. Like the life I am living is somewhat fake and the life I want to live by is somewhat distant and unreachable...So, I am now on a journey of authentication and realizing the truth about life and a real worldview. Life's little mysteries make you want to wake up, but when you do its like you are still asleep and you attempt to awaken yourself over and over and over again. So, how do you live a life that is genuine when what surrounds you is often imitated and superficial. Side note on authentic free-thinking: There is a lady outside of the locality in which I sit smoking a cigarette and drinking some iced drink and she looks free; free of complexity and anger. It seems that her thoughts are slowly perusing through her mind at their own free will, but yet she is slowly killing herself with this same freeness, but she hasn't a care in the world, she seems so free and that's the point she seems authentically free. I want to be free of labels, ie the black girl typing on her computer. I want to smoke a cigarette and be authentically free, but to me I would be filled with thoughts that keep me from letting go and simply being me. And, I would be plagued with the thought of the freely flowing nicotine filling my body which acts as a parasite to my left lung creating, twenty years from now, the beginning of my demise...SEE that's what I mean. I am not yet authentically free because every thought turns into another Negative thought which prevents me from being my true self. I am so uptight and afraid of change, but want change so badly. I want to be this free spirit, but I am not free. I am afraid of your judgement..even when I am probably not even being judged. I hate hurting people, but still I hurt them. I am against racism and sexism, but still I am not as outspoken against it as I should be! I claim I like to write, but I fail to write enough. I am against large-exploitive corporations, but still I work for one..which is killing me softly by the way. I buy books that I foresee reading, but never read them...this is not being authentic. So..it's time to do what I say and say what I mean! It's time to smoke that metaphorical cigarette that is eager to seep freedom and knowledge throughout my soul...Put simply its time to be authentically me!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
You see, in Barrien County, a county which encompasses Benton Harbor, Michigan, WhirlPool Corporation is attempting to practice a little thing called gentrification or the taking over of impoverished land and replacing it with new thriving businesses and residences. The only problem with this is that there are people already living on this land that will probably never be able to afford the new residences! So, our previously mentioned friend, and he is our friend, Reverend Pinkney spent his days protesting against these acts because the majority of the people who stayed here were..yes you guessed it...African-American. Pinkney also protested against unjust killings, sentencing, and trials of African-Americans from this area. Long story short, Pinkney, in the past, participated in activities such as voter registration drives and polling assistance, but the Barrien County court sytem found him guilty of 4, lets count 1, 2, 3, 4, felony counts of interferring with absentee ballots even when evidence showed that these allegations were false. This all happened when a certain candidate, Glenn Yarbrough who planned to lead this expansion of WhirlPool, lost in the election by 54% , but due to the allegations he got a chance to reelected and won.
Unfortunately, Reverend Pinkney still sits and jail! For more information read the linked article and to donate to help in his appeal refer to the listed blogspot site.
Related Article: www.solidarity-us.org/node/525
Well, with subsequent years come continious reflections...So, I'll reflect again this time next year
Nicole..Betty (You) In Your Prime
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
So...I talked to my brother today and I am very happy. It's been about a year since I spoke to him last. The conversation, filled with giggles and sarcasm, was a breathe of fresh air. Thank you Carlton for reaching out today. You reached out at just the right time.
I did yoga for about twenty five minutes today and for a few minutes I thought I was going to pass out from an asthma attack, but I feel good now. I am also happy I took the time to stretch and do some cardio.
So...today I had my first attempt at iced coffee and let me just say I had three cups! It was GOOOOOOOD:) So long Starbucks!
Finally, I downloaded about two hundred songs to my iPod and I am happy about it. I now get to listen to an unlimited amount of Erykah Badu...her sultry/southern voice always makes my day!
Off to doing the presentation I have been procrastinating about for about 8 hours....