Through the Eyes of our Youth #wakandaforever

Black Panther, blacklivesmatter, Racial Conciliation, racism, systemic racism
Yesterday I had the pleasure of debriefing the movie Black Panther with four young ladies that are close to entering the real world. I learned so much from them. I walked away both encouraged and pained.
Let me tell you why.
I was encouraged because they are exceptionally aware of the world around them. They saw Wakanda not only as a world untouched by colonialism, but they imagined a world where that could be the reality for people who look like them. They still cling to that hope. THAT was beautiful. They saw strong, intelligent, loyal, black women who were not objectified. Women who were beautiful in their baldness and natural hair. Dark skinned women that looked like them. They saw black men and women portrayed in a positive light, seen as royalty and holding positions of power. Something they have never really seen in film.
I asked these young women a series of questions, and the dialogue just poured out of them. I asked which character they connected with the most. One said Okoye because of her fierce loyalty, and a couple of others said Killmonger. Now this didn’t surprise me at all. In the end we agreed that we all have a little Killmonger inside of us. They understood that his pain went much further than the murder of his father and abandonment by his people. They recognized that his pain pierced his soul. That his pain was for the oppression of his people… our people.
Now let me share that I never led their responses. I asked questions… and they spilled.
The gates of frustration opened when talking about Killmonger.  What they have experienced in the charter school that they attend (where they are the minority) was much hard to hear, and still weighs heavily on my heart.
One felt scared when she originally went to this school, surrounded by people who didn’t look like her, but she did it anyway and has almost completed her fourth year. The one thing that blessed me about her is the confidence she has in herself, because of the women in her life that have poured into her. The confidence in her natural hair, the confidence in her beauty, and the confidence to enter white dominated spaces and create a space for herself and for others who may not feel they belong. I see her busting through glass ceilings. There is no single box that can fit her.
Another young woman pierced my soul. She reminded me of myself. Trying to find her way. Not knowing her true history angers her and she longs to be fully immersed in black culture to grasp at something. She has a deep desire to know who she is.  Dealing with micro-aggressions and tokenization has had her and another precious soul weary. Hearing “Y’all”, the constant “othering,” and that you’re either talking “white” or inappropriate comments about their African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), causing them to feel singled out and shamed.
Their awareness of racial discrimination in their schools pained me. The obvious insensitivity from teachers and very clear biases towards their black students was overwhelming, but sadly not shocking.
I’ve read studies and articles regarding black boys and girls being disciplined, suspended, and even expelled at disproportionate rates from their white counterparts, but hearing ACTUAL EXPERIENCES took it to a whole other level. I mean, they could have kept talking if we had the time. The examples were there. The impact of personal biases and racism on a systemic level was staring me right in the face.
You see, this is why I find it so vital to have conversations with people. It helps us look past the stats, talking points, political bent and just connect through the human experience – realizing that the people we often speak of are actual flesh and blood. Often times I say and hear others say “LISTEN TO BLACK VOICES”, because many simply do not feel heard… even our youth. I think part of the problem lies with the lack of human contact. Diversifying our experiences with human beings can help us break out of our bubble. I say this with the utmost humility. I LIVED in a bubble myself, and the way that I viewed people was both unhealthy and damaging BECAUSE of that bubble.
Decolonizing our minds is a process. A painful one, but one that is worth pursuing.
I asked the girls… “how do we prevent that Killmonger inside of us from taking over?”
This is where self-care comes in:
Setting boundaries
Protecting your space
Leaving room for grace – ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’
Well, I expect to continue this dialogue next month because they said they didn’t want that inner Killmonger taking over. They desire true conciliation. They desire Wakanda to exist, and they have real hope that it will. They desire to be confident in who God made them to be and they desire to be more than an “other.” They desire to just BE.


Birth, blacklivesmatter, corruption, Faith, Food, God, health, hope, hurt, institutionalracism, Jesus, Motherhood, pain, Parenting, race

What comes to mind when you think of 2016? Is it the Presidential election, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, senseless deaths….Haiti? Is it social media, bathroom rights, Cosby, Kanye, The Kardashians, and Katherine Jenner? How about mommy wars, breastfeed shaming(to cover or not to cover), GMO’s, Vaccines and all those holistic dr. deaths being suspect.  What about police brutality, riots, Dallas, the New Jim Crow, Flint and …the wall.

I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking….damn.

Some of you are probably wanting to stop reading right now, but wait.

I know that this year has bene rough to say the least.  I personally left tha book(you know what I mean) right before the election. I needed to. As much as I wanted to change the world for my children the world was wrecking me.

I’m an empath.  Google it….With that said this year has been a tough one.

I initially thought that this blog entry would be about how amazing 2016 had been. Because when it’s all said and done there is a laundry list of things that I am so thankful for. It’s been a whirlwind but a good one. The tough times have brought me to a place of self reflection and healing.

The thing is…I want to encourage you. Instead of marinating on the brutality of this past year or wishing for it to be over I want you to close your eyes for a while and peel back all the thick layers of hurt and pain until you come to something…beautiful.

Keep peeling….

Peel it off…

keep on going…

almost there….

Have you found it?

Now once you’ve found it I want you to reflect on it. Go deep. See if anyone else could have possibly been affected in a positive light. After that I want you to go searching for more. It should get easier. Pretty soon you just may be focused solely on just how amazing 2016 has been. Notice I didn’t say “was”. Because 2016 is not over. You still have a few more days to make incredible memories.

Can I share something beautiful with you?

In Oct. I found myself on the verge of a mental breakdown. My husband and I were not speaking each others love language, I was overwhelmed being at home all day with three kids under five. I was always tired, I missed being fit and dancing like I use to, I was sad. Sad because my family life is not how I imagined it would be. Sad because of all the tragedy in the word and my eyes being opened to oppression and institutional racism. People of color feeling hopeless and babies dying in the womb because women feel they have no way out and a government that keeps people trapped into an oppressive mindset and way of life. I could go on and on at the things that were plaguing my mind but let me get to the good stuff.

The good stuff is that I know for sure that I needed help. I’ve suffered with depression on and off for years. And post partum depression can develop anywhere from a few weeks to a year after delivery. Is it possible that if you have your babies every 2-2.5 yrs like me, that you never fully kick it? Maybe, all I know is that with a little help from some natural supplements(I’m not talking about the ganja 😉  Although, that stuff has some amazing properties if you can get it legally(obey the laws of the land ya’ll).

Anyways supplements helped me and dare I say it(to all my agnostic and heathen friends, don’t tune me out) Jesus. I’m serious ya’ll. If there is one thing that has remained constant in my life it is Christ. The one that saved me. The one that listens even when I may not feel He is. The one that keeps me going. The one that I will always and forever give glory to. I’ve joined a local BSF where we study the Word. Not devotional, no….BIBLE STUDY. It’s been amazing. But most importantly, my relationship with God is growing. I’m grounded or shall I say rooted.

I encourage you to give up the desire to be “tha man or woman” and lay your burdens at the cross. Just lay it out. Everything……then wait. Wait for His direction and be prepared for whatever that is. Sometimes it is in line with what you want and then sometimes it reminds you that your desires aren’t His desires. People often misquote Psalm 37:4

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

They usually take out the first part of that sentence and say “Girl you know God will give you the desires of your heart”…………..WRONG……but right. Who or what do you delight in? If you aren’t delighting in the Lord then……marinate on that for a minute.

My husband teaches our children this saying. “I am what I am by the grace of God, by the grace of God”. Now repeat that.  Rap that piece. Add a little shoulder bounce and beat to it. I’m here to remind you that “You are what you are by the grace of God, by the Grace of God”.

So if you don’t take away anything from this year, take away that…and carry it into the new year.

Romans Road – Romans 3:23, 3:10, 5:12, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 10:13, 10:17

John 3:16





Hurt People, Hurt People

Faith, hope, Racial Reconciliation

As many of you know, I am an advocate. An advocate for women, babies, black lives and above all I am unashamed of The Christ that I follow.

With that said I have taken a step back and observed. I have observed the media highlight what they wish in order to stir up specific responses from people, and it has worked. But let us not minimize the response.

No matter the motive the reaction is real. The racism is real, the shootings are real, the murders are real, the loss of life is real, the fear is real, the good cop is real, the bad cop is real, the black man, woman, boy guilty or not is real, marginalized people are real, institutional racism is real, the families affected are real, residential segregation aka “redlining” is real, the history of black and white people is real, segregation is real, slavery is real, Jim crow is real, lynching is real, black wallstreet is real, Selma is real, white supremacy is real, the preschool to prison pipeline is real, abortion is real, the devastating infant and maternal mortality rates for women and babies of color is real, gentrification is real, white privilege is real, the “elite” is real, classism is real, sexism is real, prejudice is real, color is real, a stripped culture is real, poverty is real, colorism is real, corrupt systems are real, people….flesh and blood, hearts pumping and brains in overdrive are real,             THE PAIN IS REAL, THE HURT IS REAL……..

Does this list make you angry because you feel a finger is being pointed at you? If it does then I urge you to seek  prayer for clarity, understanding, empathy and compassion. Because when it’s all said and done…’s not about you, it’s about someone else’s pain. When you fail to see how you can be part of the healing process and live out Romans 12: 15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn”, you then become part of the problem.

A sweet friend of mine wrote a blog recently and something stuck out to me. I mean, it pierced my heart and made me deeply desire everyone in this world to see and apply it to their lives.

Feel before you act.

Is it possible for us to do this? Is it possible for us to take off the layers of defensiveness and just feel someone else’s pain?

For my brothers and sisters out there who’s heart’s have hardened due to the the current racial climate, I want to remind you of something. Just as all the things listed above are very real today and I understand your heart is so weary with the reality that there is a thin line between love and hate. Please know that there is one more thing that is also very very real …..Jesus.  Jesus is real.

As many will lead you to believe, He is not just the “white mans God”. I urge you to go to the feet of our Father and lay your pain at the throne. Lay it out and seek Him for ways to lead you on to a path of making a radical impact in your community.  This division you see is the enemy working overtime. He sees you are hurting and will use that to inflict hurt even among our ally’s. Let’s allow the Lord to lead us well. Allow Him to use you to bring about racial reconciliation. It starts with us. The church. #therealchurch #wakeupchurch

Hurt people, hurt people. But only Christ can bring true healing.