Police Brutality, Lynching, and Higher Education (the modern day trauma)

I swear my heart hurts so bad write now but writing is currently my therapy. I feel like I need to call on my ancestors and burn some sage in order to cleanse all the killing of black souls that have been happening in the last couple of years. I have a duty as a blogger to write how I feel along with reporting whats going on as an educator but a storyteller of the struggle.

I feel like ever since “The Election” of our new president the world has had there….as Paul Mooney would say….”the Nigga wake up call”! Everyone seems as if they are walking on eggshells just because at any moment the state of the nation can get really ugly, well technically it already has been ugly. American history was naver made for the minority. Politically our thoughts and ideas to better this country that lives of the idea of “manifest destiny”(which was a lie, and a scare tactic to come and rape, murder, and steal from native Americans buy saying it was Gods plan….was pretty fucked up) has never been welcomed either. We are reverting back to the 1950’s and Jim Crow era along with Bull Connor (aka Donald Trump) back tracking and promoting bullshit. Hate producing hate, racism producing racism, and shady politics promoting more shady politics.real-racism

Sometimes self care is the best care. Everything isn’t going the way it’s suppose to be in life sometimes and these last couple of months are trying times. People are in a mass sense of depression and worry. I pray for the state of the nation, I pray for the national government. I pray for all minorities that are willing to stand with each other in solidarity.

Even though I am a newly college graduate, I am still a black woman and that will never change. I can still get shot, raped, and arrested. I can have everything taken from me and still be told “you didn’t work hard enough….your being lazy”. Even though it took me 6 years to get a degree, I now have a $50,000 price tag by the federal government that I have to pay off too. Slavery can come in many forms, from the school to prison pipeline all the way to taking 10 years to get financially stable after going through undergrad, masters, and Ph.D. My black excellence matters but it took me almost half of my life being in my own skin to be able to love myself.

They tell you growing up that you can be anything that you want to be yet they make it 100% harder than anyone else. Well hopefully, times are going to change.

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The tactics with police brutality in the last 20 years have been to me considered modern day trauma. We have to stand together no matter what! IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!

Being a black woman and working in urban education (Part 1)

When I first wanted to become a teacher I went to a orientation at my university for the Multiple Subject Credential program. All I wanted to do was get more information on the program and learn what I would need to do if I was to become a teacher in California. Well when I walked in, the majority of the room, about 80%, were middle age white women and the rest of the class was three black women including me, two black men, three middle eastern women, and five Latinas. Sadly I realized that the same orientation that I was taking part of reminded me of all the different classrooms that I had worked in. disappointed lhha

Ever since my first day of kindergarten I was in love with school. I don’t know what it was, but I was one of those kids that would cry at the end of the day because I had to leave school. I would love playing outside, the pet hamster that was named “Whiskers”, and even some of the schoolwork that we had to do in class. Yet times have changed since the 90’s and so has the educational system. Common Core has taken over the school system and teaching children as young as Pre-K “life skills” along with giving parents more headaches than relaxation. The “better off” school districts have more funding, which means that they won’t beg the state for educational funding compared to the “urban” areas that are always asking and never silenced. These are just some of the things that I have noticed since being apart of the educational system but in urban communities. That’s why I call it urban education. We are educating out future but there current circumstances maybe not the most promising.
the lord is testing me

Being a black women I notice things when I am in a classroom with young black boys and girls that most teachers wouldn’t notice. I know that there is a need for more black male teachers. Yes, I said it, we need more black men in the schools. We need more Ethnic Studies classes taught in k-12 education. We need to be able to have discussions with the children, not just the older children, about issues that is currently effecting the United States. They need to know there TRUE African history and where they come from. How they come from a long line of kings as queens that ruled nations. They need to learn about the concept of social capital and the importance of creating there own legacy. And yet we wonder why our black children are acting the way they are acting in the educational system.black educators 2

It’s time for us as educators to be the ones to be the change and role models in the classroom along with being able to mold the young minds for the next generation of leaders.

All Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter

Why can’t we have our own shit! Yup I said it, and I’ll say it again.Why can’t we have out own shit. I feel like this phrase “Black Lives Matter” makes people who are non-white uncomfortable. I swear this is something that we should be able to have. What is the problem? No seriously, what is the problem because as an educator I have learned children don’t see color, yet for black children there is that one moment in there life with other children when they learn who they are because there classmate making a joke, a slur, or a goofy drawing that mentions there identity. In other words this is where this starts the concept (TO ME) the young scholars “black experience”. It bothers me that I can’t go down the street without being cussed out by a white man for wearing a shirt that says “Black Kids Matter, What’s Your Purpose?”. I am a African American female who works in a low income school district with the majority of my children in my class being black or brown. So what do you expect me to feel when I see black children and teens getting harassed by the police or murdered? Okay so like I was saying black kids do matter lol!

Yes all lives do matter, but at the same time right now at this very moment black lives matter because ever since we were kidnapped from our motherland of Africa, sent off to various parts of the Americas and the Caribbean, and forced to to labor work among white Europeans who would beat, rape, and kill us because of various ridiculous reasons we have never mattered. EVEN THOUGH we built the white house!

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As a community we are tired of being sick and tired but we do have a lot of issues in the community. We are not perfect yet we will stand for each other because that is in out nature. Like my granny use to say “all ya skin folk aint ya kin folk” and sadly I believe that is so true. Some black people don’t agree with the concept of black lives matter, and I understand there reasons why. That doesn’t change my view lol. Yet in this day and age we need to say basically the affirmation “BLACK LIVES MATTER” to keep moving forward because it seems like society is moving backwards.

I swear saying all lives matter is like a fire truck putting the water on every other house in the neighborhood but the house that is burning!
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Stop saying “Well what about Black on Black crime”!

I am so sorry that I took a super hiatus from you ladies and gents but I have to come back out of my rabbit hole. I told myself that I would watch what I say but FUCK IT my goal on this blog is to represent the people who want to speak up but can’t.

So with that being said, STOP TALKING ABOUT “BLACK ON BLACK” CRIME IN SPACES WHERE WE TALK ABOUT “BLACK LIVES MATTER”.

shit omg

Stop saying “All Lives Matter” when in all actuality they don’t unless you have “the complexion for the protection”, in other words white privilege. Right now black lives do matter, we are the ones that are being killed, raped, and incarcerated. We are the ones that have gentrification happening in neighborhoods that have a predominantly black and Hispanic populations with rich culture and history. We are the ones that have young black men and women who are not making it to see 18 let alone making it to see there first day of college because of gang violence and police brutality. We are the ones that lost all of are rich culture and history because of the slave trade that broke up our families and communities, broke up history of the diaspora that come from west, central, and south Africa, and put us in a inner generational trauma and a serious case of post traumatic slave disorder on a whole forced enslaved culture that is displaced still to this day. We as a people are tired of trying to fit into spaces that we obviously don’t fit in. We are tired of people taking a culture that we have worked so hard to create because of the lack of teaching in k-12 education about who we really are as a people before the forced enslavement.

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I am tired. I am sick and tired of all of this shit! I get it, white people will never understand the trauma that we as a African diaspora have went through but shit can you stop acting like we are overreacting! I am sorry, but I will never understand what it will be like being born with “the invisible knapsack of white privilege” because even if I have a chance of making it to this somewhat overrated idea of “the american dream” I will still be reminded that I am a Black woman who will always be at the lower end of the pole of the intersection of race, class, and gender.

Even with my college degree I will never be equal with my white female counterparts. I will be told that I “look better with straight hair” because my big curly red afro is “unprofessional” and “distracting”. I will be compared to TV and social media stereotypes that are portraying women of color in a wrong light and always have to hear “you are really pretty for a brown skin/dark skin girl”. I will still be trying to deal with the obsession of my curves and unique skin tone that was blesses and sun-kissed by God, yet still being told that European beauty standards is what is considered truly beautiful.

We are targets, we have always been targets. I swear every time I hear about someone who has been killed by police brutality my heart get heavy. Right now its time to educate ourselves and stand together and support each other.

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Cultural Appropriation #1: The Box Braids Debate

 

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I was once asked on tumblr a question from a white (or not person of African decent) a question about a topic that I had a strong issue with. Looking in my inbox this person asked, “How do you feel when you see white women, or other women who aren’t black, wearing box braids? Does this make it cultural appropriation?”.  At first, I was stuck on this question, and I thank this person for asking this question. I know people wear Native American, Latino, Middle Easter, and various Asian costumes during Halloween, along with many white fraternities and sororities wearing blackface with “Kanye Western” or “Compton Cookout” party themes. People have spoke out about this issue saying that this is “cultural appropriation”. For some who don’t know this term, this usually means another non ethnic culture, usually the oppressor, taking various different elements of the oppressed culture, and making it usually relate or reinforce negative stereotypes for example,the concept of blackface.

Now as black women, we have this magical gift of changing our hair to whatever we want it to be. And one of the most common is Box Braids, a type of hairstyle statement that has been around since ancient Africa and variations can be seen in different parts. Now that this style is making a comeback, being phased as “Poetic Justice Braids” or “Patra Braids”, every black women has rocked a pair of box braids with little gold or wood beads either shoulder length or all the way down their back. But now this simple hairstyle has became a fashion trend among mainstream media. Once non-women of color put this style in their hair, they may start to feel their attitude changing, including their walk, speech might become different, and then finally they become this “alter ego” of a “black woman”, ready to take on the world with plenty of neck rolling and hair flips. Yet, this can be seen negatively as cultural appropriation and usually can be brushed off by the media and fashion industry as “white girls being cute and on a curve of a fashion trend”.

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My answer to this question was this, yes this is considered cultural appropriation. No matter how you feel about it, mainstream media along with the fashion industry really haven’t been recognizing black women for the many fashion trends that we helped create and make popular. Go ahead and wear box braids if you want to, but don’t be surprised if I laugh at you in the process!

What grinds my gears #1: the concept of “White Student Unions”

 

cultural appropration 1Now I am only going to write about this one time and one time only. Over the last couple of weeks there has been a outcry from many students of color on PWI campuses (which for some of you who don’t know, these are private/public white institutions). There has been an issue with safety on campus, requesting more professors and staff of color, and even more classes on racial diversity. My issue is, If we don’t feel safe and have been saying that then someone in the administration has been doing one of two things, 1.) hears the concerns of students but because of funding (either federal or state) doesn’t want to address the issue or want to care, or 2.) has seen the issue and concern of students, wants to help address the issue, but yet because of politics going on in the administration, can’t do anything about it!

That’s why on campus we establish organizations like Black Student Union, African Student Association, The Divine Nine (which are the nine predominately African American fraternities and sororities), and other academic clubs on campus to bring awareness as well as a community on campus for the representation of the Pan-African diaspora on campuses all over the nation. These clubs give black students a chance to come together and find a community within a bigger community that most of the time doesn’t except us. These organizations are our safe spaces, places where we can go and vent out our frustrations, issues, and concerns being students of color. We build our own social networks within each other by asking about classes that people have taken, events going on campus, and even finding people to study with or even hang out with.

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So when I found out that these same universities are creating “White Student Unions” for white students to gain solidarity and feel like the have a community on campus, I felt really baffled and confused. The majority of the white students on these campuses have social capital (what this means is either social or economic benefits that come from preferential treatment and/or cooperation between individuals or a group). They can sit in a class and see someone that looks like them, they can join various organizations and not have an issue with membership because they either know someone or have the financial gain, and by the time they graduate college they might be able to earn a career because they have gained enough social capital that they can walk into a career. Now not all white people have this but the majority do. I feel like this is another way of cultural appropriation to be honest. As black students, we have to work twice as hard and also deal with being in places of higher education.

Do I agree with the concept of “White Student Unions”? Nope I don’t, and I don’t think I ever will.Do I agree that the “White Student Union” is needed? Hell no! I feel that it’s just another attempt for white students to cry out white tears about an issue that they can’t understand nor will they ever understand. They have there own organizations and things to make them feel like they belong as students. And to be honest, the idea of “a few rotten apples can spoil the bunch” totally applies when it comes to the attempt to create “White Student Unions”.

707f6dec487b64c79d5b6ec07a867c6e at least you tried