The Racial Inequity of Standing in Line!

Customers line up to buy new iPhones and other gadgets in Chicago on 9/21/2018
Image courtesy marketwatch.com

My friend Marquis sent me a couple of articles that addressed the furor that has developed over Popeye’s new chicken sandwich and people standing in line to get one.  Full disclosure:  I too have stood in line attempting to get the sandwich, but have left because it just wasn’t worth the wait to me. 

I am generally against the shaming of anyone, but was glad to see that the internet took Janelle Monae (and others) to task for asking whether the black people standing in lines at Popeye’s would be standing in similar lines at polling booths during elections.

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Go Ahead and Pray – It’s a Copout!

My heart has been heavy the past few weeks because of the confusion that is currently happening at the George E. Peters Seventh-day Adventist School.  I don’t know what it is about Adventist education, but we have a hard time getting it right.  And I am tired of us being the “tail” and not the “head”.

I struggled when deciding to send Jalen to GEP.  I decided to mostly because we are an “Adventist education” family.  My siblings and I matriculated from Adventist schools from elementary to tertiary.  Same for my husband’s siblings.  There were problems (some very serious) at each level.  Everyone knew this, but the prevailing sentiment was, “Don’t worry; God will take care of it.”

THIS.  IS.  A. COP-OUT.

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Surviving Sixth Grade

Jalen and me – December 2018 (Trinidad)

We are nearing the end of sixth grade, and I’d like to share some things I’ve learned along the way.  This year has been a STRUGGLE.  Jalen has been frustrated, his father, teachers and I have been frustrated – it’s been a mess.  I’ve cried, gotten angry, cried some more and realized now, looking back, that I’ve also spoken things into my child that didn’t do him any good.

I’ve learned so many things about me and things about Jalen this year – and for those of you who may be struggling with a middle schooler, hopefully this may be helpful to you.

1.  I am not alone in the struggle.  What I am going through is not unique to me.  I’ve realized that just about everyone with a child older than sixth-grade age faced some or all of the things I’ve looked at this year – and made it through!  I am not the recipient of some “brand-new-to-the-universe” problem.  There are lots of people who can say, “Been there; done that”.  I need to get over myself.

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Akala – #forthewin

I do not have words to describe the pleasure I had listening to this interview.  This young man is AMAZING!  So, so, so articulate.  Once again, my little brother turned me on to something fantastic.  Thank you, Maxwell.  🙂

Akala talks about race relations in the UK, focusing on experiences of West Indians (he says Caribbeans – I hate that term :-D) who migrated to England, and their children’s experiences. There’s also a dash of the “myth of meritocracy” thrown in for additional flavor.  The story resonated heavily with me – myself a child of West Indian parents who migrated to the US.  But the power in his words is not that he discusses racism against blacks; it’s how he shows the oppression of those in power toward those WITHOUT power, regardless of skin color. Continue reading

Tears of Joy

Little african american baby girl crying - Black People

Source: Dreamstime | http://www.dreamstime.com

I sat at a traffic light this afternoon crying because Hanya Yanagihara had just done something so amazing for Jude St. Francis – something so deserving, so perfect – that it brought tears not only to my eyes, but down my cheeks.

I am a reader.  I’d like to say “avid” reader but…life.  Fellow readers know the enjoyment one experiences when a book makes you truly care about what is going to happen when you flip the page.  How words on a page can cause you to feel rage, anger, sadness, desperation, indifference, happiness, triumph, love – toward people who may or may not exist!  Yes, Hanya Yanagihara is an author, Jude St. Francis one of the protagonists in her fictional book – A Little Life – and yes, I was crying because of a book! Continue reading

My Stubbornness Caused My Child’s Unhappiness

sunshine-kids-seat

Image courtesy Buy Buy Baby

When Jalen was born, I developed an unhealthy fascination with car seats.  I read somewhere that the majority of children die in car accidents, either because they weren’t in a car seat, or the car seat was not properly installed.  I joined car seat boards.  I had my seat professionally installed.  I double checked the installation of any seat that I knew my child had to ride in.

Then it was time to buy a “big boy” seat.  I went nuts here too.  After hours of research, I decided on the Sunshine Kids / Diono Radian brand.  This was the perfect seat because it could hold kids up to 80 pounds, which meant I would be able to use this seat until he could use the car’s belt.  And, they didn’t expire for forever (yes, car seats expire!). Continue reading

Get You A Village!

villageEarlier this evening, I took these two rugrats and unceremoniously dumped them off at their aunt and uncle.  I was this close to sending them off to meet their Maker!

Yesterday was Christmas.  They were showered with all manner of gifts from adoring family members.  Today, their loving mother chauffeured them to a playdate with friends and cousins, after which they enjoyed a favorite meal of their choosing.

What did they do when they got home?  Smile and think contentedly about how fortunate they are, when compared to the millions of children in the world who didn’t even recognize that yesterday was Christmas because all they wanted was something to eat?  Continue reading

The Hoodie: A Perfectly Good Piece of Clothing – Ruined

hoodieI think the hoodie is probably one of the most functional pieces of clothing invented.  It’s basically a hat that goes where you go, and stays attached to your clothing, so you don’t forget it someplace.  It protects your ears from the wind, and your hair from the sleet.  Depending on the style of the neck, you can tuck your chin in and run.  You usually have a nice set of connected pockets for your hands.  It’s made for cool weather.  It’s perfect.

Except if you’re a black or brown male. Continue reading

You Said What?

accusations-blog-e1510342093934.jpgWhen I was about eight or nine years old, some family friends visited us. The son was a few years older than I – he might have about 12 or 13. We were playing, and then he asked me to go into the bathroom so we could play some more. When we got there, he proceeded to pull down his pants and attempted to get his penis into my vagina. I was totally confused about what was happening, and more than a little scared.

We heard my mom calling for us, and he told me that he would go out of the bathroom first and then I should follow after and pretend as if nothing happened. I did.

I didn’t tell my mom. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell anyone until I told Vaughn. I can’t remember if we were married or not at the time I told him, but I would have been about 27 or 28 at the time. Continue reading

Cautiously Optimistic…

back-to-runningThe last time y’all saw me, I was icing my foot and reporting that I’d done something not-so-good to one of my tendons.  I didn’t run at all that week.  Last Sunday, I went for a short jog, and then I did three miles one day during the week.  Spoke to Lloyd last night and his instructions were to try 10 miles today – if things went well, we’d get back into the swing of things.  If they didn’t, we’d rest again this week.

I’m happy to report I did 9.5 miles this morning, with no (so far) noticeable issues, apart from the regular soreness one feels when one hasn’t run in two weeks and one decides to just up and do 10 miles.  (What happened to the other .5 mile?  Laziness.  Lol). Continue reading