Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Do You Really Understand Your History?

In a conversation with my sister this week, coupled with a quick scan of my FB timeline I began to question if a lot of my black friends have an honest understanding of the plight of the American slave. And not in the mythical Willie Lynch set us up for failure and a life plagued by crime *cough Bullshit* cough way.

Let me explain:

This week BET aired the first of six episodes of "The Book Of Negroes" an amazing narrative of a young women from capture to freedom. Yet all I saw from a large number of Black people was disdain and "why do we need another slave movie" and if you know me it took everything in me not to say "WHY NOT?, you bunch of idiots."But I refrained and instead came here to ask the questions I need answers too.

What about a slave narrative makes you so sad?
In order to truly release yourself from the mental slavery of the world you must know your past. And NO, our past isn't limited to slavery, but there are many lessons to be learned from this large part of our history. A history that we are forced to deal with everyday in these. United States of America.

Are you bothered by the images of slavery because you are worried what white people are thinking?
GET YOUR LIFE! This is their legacy, and American History. Race relations will never get any better until we speak about things openly.

Do you realize that Black History Month is the ONLY time schools even talk about our contributions in building this country?
And listen if you have issues with slave narratives I'm going to put a $100 on the fact that you don't either. This is the problem! A mini series like "The Book Of Negroes" should be a time when we sit down as family, watch and discuss with our children. Then build. My mom did it with us, giving us a strength in our blackness that not many have.

Why are we so quick to silence tellers of our stories and able to collectively scream "Ugh stop telling us these stories of weakness" ?

First, slavery didn't make us weak, discussing it doesn't keep us in our place, segregation didn't make us weak, we are a strong and resilient people. SO STOP saying it, you sound foolish!
Second do we ever tell out Jewish brothers an sisters to stop telling their stories of genocide? Stop lifting up their ancestors? NO. So neither should we. We should walk with our heads held high and our ancestors hearts on our sleeves, screaming that we will never forget. NEVER!

I know the people that need to read this rant won't and that's okay. To quote my sister "We all have a lane to stay in" and some of them are narrower than others. But if you're reading this and you're offended, maybe you're part of the problem.

Monday, February 24, 2014

White People Have Gone Mad (AGAIN)

So one time in band camp I was called a racist.

I usually take these things in stride but this woman was so up in arms and clearly not the brightest bulb in the pack.  Let's start with the picture and her first comment:

Illegal Immigration started in 1492: Now let's see what is that year tied too? That's right when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. What in the hell does that have to do with her immigrant people coming through Ellis Island? NOT A THING.

But more importantly does history not teach us (now hold on people) there were NATIVE PEOPLE living here and having a grand ole time before they were invaded?  But apparently that didn't matter to our commenter because there were no LAWS. I mean none. There was an entire civilization thriving, but no laws.. OKAY BYE FELICIA!

Pay attention here because this is when it all goes FOX NEWS on me, quoting (via a google search)  a great American to let me know how foolish I was being. Thank You Abraham Lincoln as I have now seen the wrongs in my life.

Moral Law.. WHO CARES. There were no laws, Savages don't have laws.

When I asked why do we only speak about Black and Brown folks when we discuss immigration she striked! : Missy You ARE A RACIST, even though I'm the one talking about fences, illegals taking people as slaves (when did that happen?), raping women and children, and killing! Wait was Zimmerman an "illegal" cuz....

So anyway I'm a racist and I'm so ashamed. I'm going to go conquer some white people's land, make them feel bad about their skin, hair and just being, then have lunch. Whose with me?  Applications will be accepted when Black History Month ends... WAIT why is there no WHITE history month. #RACES

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It Didn't Happen To You

When I read Jen Caron's It Happened To Me on XO Jane I was immediately annoyed and offended. Not because I'm Black and have practiced Yoga for 15 years, but at the notion that Yoga belongs to a certain group because of affluence, color (read white) and weight. It is infuriating!

I have practiced with all races, sizes, financial brackets and it has never mattered because my focus during practice is MY spiritual journey. Whether at home, a new swanky studio or the gym my practice and the universe allow me to become one with those around me. There is no judgment, fat, black, poor, only bodies moving in unison to reach a spiritual level.

I practice Yoga to calm my mind.
I practice Yoga to allow my body to become one with the Universe.
I practice Yoga to create a safe space.
I practice Yoga to heal through my breathe.
I practice Yoga to relieve stress.
I practice Yoga for fun and flexibility.
I practice Yoga to commune with my ancestors.
I practice Yoga on the railroad, subway and at work because Yoga is not simply about the Asanas it's a way of living.

Something the author of this piece should really re-evaluate.

And just so Jen Carson knows there are other a black Yogis and Yoginis out here. Don't believe it go here:
Black Yogis


Friday, January 3, 2014

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other....

I've been a dancer my entire life, at one point in my life it was all I wanted to do. For me dance was a release, it was a safe space for me to grow, shake off my shyness and not to toot my own horn but to outshine everyone around me. From jazz, ballet, pointe to dancehall, once I hit the stage/floor I would leave everything there. So when I see kids enjoying dance the way I did it makes me happy. What doesn't make me happy is all the judgmental grown ups on the Internet. The ones that stop and leave negative comments about these kids. ESPECIALLY the Black kids.

Every time a child of color dances we don't need to say the following:

* But can she read and write at her grade level
* Where are he/his parents?
* That's so sexual.
* We can't talk about little girls being overly sexualized then post videos like this!

If you've posted comments like this please drink from this chalice of STFU happily. Dance is an art form and these kids have a talent that should be nurtured.

So let's look at some dancers...Shall we!

Care to guess which video got the responses I listed above? Care to guess why? Well I'll tell you. BLACKNESS, that's why!

So to all of you judgey McJudgies, dancers like the girl dancing to Beyonce often become this

and this!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leave It All Behind

Life has gotten the best of me again and I missed Festivus and the Airing of Grievances. I even wrote them down this time but between keeping Le Munchkin from taking over the world at the kids Christmas Party and fighting a nasty stomach virus (kids are petri dishes and parents suffer for it) I just couldn't find the time. But don't fret, there is still time for my end of the year post where I plead with you to leave all the BS in the past year.. SO here we go.

1. Celebrities: This year it feels like we've spent so much time focused on what celebrities were doing, are doing or shouldn't be doing and it's time to say no more! I won't begrudge you all of your escapism but there is so many important things going on in the world we SHOULD be focusing on. I also want people to stop blaming celebrities for their kids wayward ways. Parent your children and cut the blame game. Beyonce rocking daisy dukes, blonde weave and singing about being drunk in love ain't got a damn thing to do with your child because you control what she/he is exposed to. Michael Jordan doesn't make boys go out and fight for those sneakers, you fostering commercialism in your home does. SO STOP!

2. White People: Don't be alarmed! I'm not saying you need to cut off all the white people in your life but in 2013 white people have been making a pretty penny off victimizing people of color more openly. From the attacks on a murdered teenager to black women and their appeal to others it's been a free for all when it comes to our community. I believe these things must be challenged but I also wonder what happens after? I've been following some amazing women that challenge and then do the work. They have been a great source of strength for me and I'm grateful. In 2014, I would say let's try to stop focusing all our collective energy on how they see us and start investing that same energy in creating a better, stronger community. Challenge the BS but also work to change the narrative (as much as we can) and force the world to take notice.

3. Not Being Intelligent: Nothing irked me more this year than seeing people who are relatively smart post unintelligent comments on social media. I'm not saying you need to be a know it all but don't say stupid shit like "OH I didn't know who the Black Panther Party was" just google that shit! The Google Machine is your friend! And when you find out then share what you've learned, you can even let people know that you did a little research. Sharing your ignorance just makes me lower my specs to glare at you.

4. Policing Opinions: Everyone in the world will NOT agree with you and they have their right to their opinions and you don't have the right to police their feelings. I have watched people jump into ongoing conversations armed with nothing but their police opinion badge to tell others they are overreacting...STOP IT! This goes especially for those of you brave enough to discuss race in this country, you had better be ready for what others have to tell you and learn to disagree without the oh you're being sensitive BS that is often spewed. It's inappropriate and condescending. STOP IT

My festivus list was much longer but I'm trying to work through all that and bring the new year in on a high note. What are some negative things you'd wish people to leave behind?