Kid Cudi, Kanye West and Mental Health in the Black Community.

Ever since I lost my mother I have never been the same since. I know what it is like to go through depression and have to deal with trying to figure out how to express my pain. I had to go to school and work, feeling like I had to be forced into a place where mentally, I had to suppress the though of expressing how I feel through a difficult time. If anyone out there has lost a parent or close relative, then you know how hard the grieving process can be. I wanted to numb myself by drinking heavily to wonder “what if the world was to lose me?….would they even care?…have I left a mark on the world with my purpose?” basically wanting to commit suicide by curiosity. Feeling alone, out of place, and with the idea of being in a black woman in america “we are not suppose to cry nor show emotion.” I felt embarrassed to show that I am feeling like I am in pain. Not asking for help and being prideful because since I was a little girl feeling like I had no resources to ask for help. Yet in the African American community, we look to the great white Jesus to make sure that we can be healed from all the dangerous thoughts that can be in your mind when your by yourself when there is no one around you. But what happens next? Yet mental health and black people somehow in the community don’t mix.

disappointed lhha

Kid Cudi has had this struggle with mental health for years and has decided that he is going to take time out to be able to focus on his self care and his battle with depression along with other issues. Ever since I hear his first album I knew there was something going on. Self medication, deep thoughts of loneliness, and suppressing the thought of suicide are just some things that I hear from him in his music. I am proud of Kid Cudi, and I hope he gets the help he needs, also with him coming out to the world about his issues with mental health, discussions are being made among the African American community about battles of mental health and self care, especially among African American men.

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Now here comes Kanye West, we laugh at him, call him a coon, and shake our head because he is like the cousin in your family that can’t get right. When he came to my hometown Sacramento California for his St.Pablo tour, he was late and cut the concert short as hell. He had a good 15 minute rant about everyone in pop culture including president Obama, him being broke still and getting no help from his “actual” celebrity friends, and him along with Kid Cudi being aliens. Well Sacramento didn’t take it to well and the next day everyone was saying “Fuck Kanye” and even the local radio boycotting his music by not playing it on the station. Then he goes and cancels the rest of the tour dates and then ends up in the hospital as well all in less than 24 hours.

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Yet we forget that his mother died November 10th, he had to go on tour right after and numbed the pain by going on tour and preforming all over the world, like a fucking circus monkey.He was suppose to die in that car accident, and he knows it as well as admitted it too! He ended up pushing all of this fear, frustration, and pain into albums, tours, and various other things. Yet entertaining all of us, and us as consumers buying into the bullshit with rose colored glasses though social media memes and TMZ. With his rant….it was sad, it was crazy, and it was upsetting. Yet he’s pretty much been crying out for help for years now, we as consumers along with mainstream media have brushed it off and screamed “Fuck You Kanye….dance nigga…dance”. Marie-laveau-amen

I am not favoring both sides of the situation at all. But at the same time, he needs help. He needs to stop and grieve through everything and get help. It’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to finally say “Hey, I need help. And I am scared, yet I feel like it’s time”.

How I was an Adult who Grew up in Foster Care (My Testimony)

The American foster care system is never an easy discussion and being a former foster youth and dealing with trauma is something that I still deal with to this very day. There are some days that I am able to wake up, put my mask on, and act like everything is okay. Making everyone laugh and being adorable, without anyone knowing about the deep battles of depression,anxiety, abandonment, and trust issues that I deal with day to day. Dressed everyday including make up and hair did with the thought like no one can faze you yet you would rather want to be left alone and do you all day with no make up on and turn off all social media. Not knowing that I am a really outgoing young woman who wants to be social, laugh with everyone else, and turn up but is turned off to the extra loud, overbearing, and overpowering consumption of people who want to fit in but have flaws like everyone else.

Most foster youth run alone, not with a lot of people just because for the simple fact that people probably since the age of five, have been in and out of there lives since then. That also means that it’s really hard to make close bonds with people and have healthy relationships because there was no stable foundation that showing how to deal with people and love ones because everyone was either lying to you or moving you from one home to another. Usually most children pick up unhealthy ways to deal with the fact that people in there lives are never who they say they are on they don’t advocate for them. I know for me I self medicated a lot (smoked a lot drank a lot and it got worse when my mother passed away), I lied a lot to cover up what I was feeling, and I even pushed away people that I knew I needed around me.

 These are some of the issues that  I have faced throughout my life and I am taking it one day at a time, dealing with these issues.

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The reason my group of friends are so small is that I don’t run with everyone simple as that. I am a lone wolf, someone who is known by everyone but only a few really know me. I can portray on social media that I have everything together but knowing dang well I have a group of small friends that understand me because at the end of the day they can be all different and yet have the same mind state like myself.

I know growing up, in the group home, you could never have friends because in the end they where going to go home with a foster parent or their biological parents and you are going to be stuck dealing with feeling like your in prison. For some, you grow up hating your parents and wondering if you have any worth because people who 6/10 times aren’t your family are raising you and most likely when you get older, you’re going to feel like empty and alone. That’s what I am still dealing with as an adult. But it’s going to get better! Just take it one day at a time and understand that life has so many chapters in your journey that its only the start of the story!

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When dealing with abandonment issues, it’s never easy, but overtime your thoughts get better. Once you start to deal with it and acknowledge it then it’s easier to deal with it. I know I have trust issues because at the end of the day people always have either good or bad intentions but you just have to take your time and get to know people. I know it’s okay to be quite and observe, you learn a lot from a person who is the loudest one in the room.

Over time I felt as I was becoming an adult, realized that what I have when through has made me a stronger person. I know that my story can be something that can inspire not just people who work in the foster care system but young people who are trying to find the inner hope that they need to be able to go on in there life and be able to keep going.

this is just the beginning of my story and my testimony I just want to document it one blog post at a time.

 

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.
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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.

Blue Ivy, Afros, and No Make Up: Stop Policing Black Women Beauty

My beauty is something that everyone that doesn’t have melanin wants. They would go tan, curl and crimp their hair, and even try every protective style in the book to look like me. Yet when we have children that are in South Africa protesting there right to wear the hair that God gave them and grown women from the black community are talking about Blue Ivy’s hair texture, we have a major problem.

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Alicia Keys decided to stop wearing make up and everyone thinks she weird for doing so and the sad thing is….she looks more natural than half of the women in the industry and younger as well! So whats wrong with the “No Make Up” movement but yet we are okay with the natural hair movement?

Why is it that a black women’s beauty considered a fashion trend? Why can’t we as a collective enjoy what the good Lord gave us? Let little black girls and teens have the chance to understand that their beauty is something that no one can take away from them. Let these young ladies see positive representations of what it really means to have “Black Girl Magic” and use there talents to affect there communities.

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I just want to say thank you to the young black girls that are in South Africa who are protesting for the right to wear there natural hair in school. They are really showcasing “Black Girl Magic”.

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All I can say is let black girls live! Let us live please! We come in all shape and sizes, colors and complexions, along with hair textures. Quit telling us we can’t be black when we are black. Stop saying our Box Braids, Kinky Twist, Afros, Curls, Coils, TWA, Weaves, and any hairstyle that we decide to wear isn’t considered to be beautiful and take that same style and call it a “trend”. Protective styling is not a trend! It’s a way for us to change up our hairstyles and make sure we “protect” out hair from the wear-and-tear of constant styling that our hair goes through. Let us enjoy who we are, let us support us. Empowerment comes from within, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Representation is always going to matter, Black beauty matters!

 

Life After Graduation(Transitional Period Pt.1)

I swear I feel weird. I feel like once I walked across the stage, turned my tassel to the other side, and left the arena to see my family and friends greet me with hugs and gifts, I felt just weird. College at the undergraduate level was over. There was no more fighting for classes, waiting 20 minutes in line to get lunch on campus, and trying to order books the week before (or the week of) even though the professor never used the book after all. I didn’t have to worry about trying to time manage everything when it comes to classes, work schedules, self care, and sleep. I know I’m not just going through it there is a lot of college graduates that can relate to what I’m going through.College was over. This milestone is over. It was all over!

I beleve it

 

Now a couple months go by and you start to look for work because sitting in your room, watching Netflix, and eating frosted flakes isn’t cutting it. You start looking at graduate school options but sadly you don’t have enough money to apply to  the big list of colleges that you want to apply to. You work at a job that doesn’t give you enough pay to even survive off of and yet you manage to do it. Because you have free time you go out more, even though you know dang well you are a home body (I like to call it a extrovert/introvert). Relationships suck because it seems like everyone around you are trying to get they stuff together and seems like no one has time to show any type of emotion. You just start to feel lost.

Now you wonder “What’s Next?”, you are at a cross roads on what is next in your life. This is all that I am feeling at one time, just lost, confused and upset.

I know all you can do it take it one step at a time. I know it sounds a little too simple, but that is pretty much it. Pray and follow God in all that you need to do. Keep going and do things that you love. Make sure that your self care always comes first. There is more to life than what is going on. I know it’s going to get better. Just take your time.

 

5 issues that color treated natural hair ladies can understand

Now I have to admit I have a addiction to coloring my coily curls and I can’t help it. I know that over time my curls will take a beating but I just love to change my look up. I swear I can go from one extreme to another and still have my hair in tact lol. From blue-black,copper, burgundy, wine red, light brown with blonde highlights I swear I need to start buying curly wigs because I thing I have a problem lol. Yet there are some things that I noticed that no one told me when I first started coloring my hair.

Well I am hear to warn some of my naturals that want to finally go in and take a chance on coloring there curls!

DISCLAIMER: My hair is currently black! I miss having “normal” hair so I decided that I wanted to go back where I started. I MIGHT not color my hair for the next 6 months because I am lazy with the upkeep lol.

1.) The bleach smells funny and can also sting: I swear whether I do my own color or go to the salon, the smell of the developer and bleach makes me feel like I am getting attacked. That is something I won’t miss.

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2.) Watching countless hours of YouTube videos. instagram, and pinterest to figure out what hair color you want to have: I swear I still do this to this day! I would look at pictures for hours and even days trying to figure out what color i should do next. Yet my hair had the final say and the color never came out the way it looked on social media. Take it from me, just buy a wig and call it a day!

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3.) Using box dye to color your hair and the color that is on the box isn’t showing up as the final look on your curls: I have had an incident when I had blue-black hair and tried to go reddish brown and the final color turns into purple. I have tried to color my hair red and it turns into brown and red patches. I will always try to go to a stylist to color my hair for me! I swear box dye is a gift from the devil. So many lies being told just from one application.

lookin a mess

4.) The money you have to spend to take care of your color treated curls can hurt your pockets: I am broke but I love when my hair feels good. The upkeep of coloring your coils and curls can take a tole on your checking account. This can be a bad thing, not just for you overall but for the health of your hair. Be careful and pay attention to what your hair is telling you!

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5.)  In the end, you go back to dark brown or black because you went to far on coloring your hair: I can’t even lie, I have done this before. But I miss being a classic looking beauty with jet black curly hair. It only take 6 months from now I’ll see a cute hair color and start trying to figure out how I can get this color. I swear I have a serious problem!

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This is your hair and do what you feel you want to do with it! Take care of it and have fun. But don’t say I didn’t warn you in the process!

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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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