So DID YOU SEE THE GRAMMYS LAST NIGHT??? Well, I didn’t, I had a test to study for (Let’s not talk about how it went..) I heard anyone who was anyone really didn’t show up anyway. However, I did hear all about Kendrick Lamar’s win for Best Rap Album of the Year (J.Cole Best Rap Album of the Year 2017!!) and the shade Taylor Swift threw at Kanye (don’t really care). But what I really wish I did tune in for was Kendrick Lamar’s EPIC performance of songs from his album To Pimp A Butterfly. He started off with “The Blacker the Berry” and ended with “Alright.” Now not only is the chain-gang totally epic but I was so feeling the African drums and dancing. It made me think of those live art installation at MoMa or a tribal dance portrait I’ve seen throughout the years. While it was a great kaleidoscope of colors, it also spoke to raise the social consciousness. It dealt with issues of incarceration, fame, and the black experience. While some woefully missed the message and gave him the same treatment they gave Queen Bey, I urge you to pay attention to what he says and the world around you.Be socially conscious. Do not settle. And to those who are comfortable in their ignorance and misinformation…fuck you! Our time is now, whether you like it or not.
So Sunday was the Super Bowl, and if anyone knows me knows that I have no interest in sports. The only thing I did watch was the Halftime Show. One word. BEYONCÉ! Ok so I know Bruno Mars and Coldplay were there too, but let’s be honest, no one cared. Now, I’m not like a superfan or part of the #Beyhive or anything, but I do enjoy her music and performances. This one I liked immensely! From her Black Panther-esque background dancers, to her drum majors and marching bands, the majorette formations and slick dance moves…I was being so ratchet I’m surprised my neighbors didn’t complain. She performed her new song Formation. Total #Blackpride anthem!
Now for those who are saying this is some sort of “anti-police” song. I’m gonna need you to actually open your listening ears and pay attention. There are even articles online breaking down the meanings and images in the song, just Google it. What she is speaking on is nothing new. Our concerns have always been the same. You just now realize what we have been screaming about for centuries, since you forced my people on those boats and into slavery. It’s about celebrating the black experience and being proud of where you came from and where you are going. As James Brown’s iconic song goes “SAY IT LOUD! I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD!”
So I am back for the third time. (Maybe, this time, it will stick) I was wondering what my problem was before, I think it was that I was trying so hard to find inspiration and something to write about for an audience, I forgot to write about what makes me happy. So now at 21 years of age, I think I am going to approach this blogging thing differently. This shouldn’t feel like a chore or obligation. I forgot that this is a hobby. I’m not necessarily trying to make money off of this space. (However, that would be great if I did.) So just bear with me. Let me get into the groove of things and I’ll let you know when I finally get the hang of this.
So I just watched a couple of videos about what other races think about black women and how blacks sometimes perceive whites. What I learned from both is there is a lot that we as culturally divided humans do not know about each other and we need to have an honest open dialogue without fear of reprisal.
So now I am going to do just that from my side of things. I am a young African American college educated woman but that doesn’t mean I am exempt from the struggles of a black woman. I have had comments about my hair, face, and body. Especially my ass cause I have an ass. Some of those comments have been positive, some negative. And I realize that if I was a less informed person I would be super offended by these actions*:
1. Touching my natural or braided hair (especially right after I spent 8 hours in some French-yelling African lady’s chair who spent the whole time pulling on my scalp)
2. Asking me if I wash my hair (Do you? There is your answer.)
3. Touching my boobs or ass (can you say a swift beat down? I know my rear looks like it is a whole planet by itself but “look don’t touch”)
4. Touching my face (My smooth chocolate skin is not for you to pet. Plus I don’t know where your hands have been.)
5. Calling me loud and defensive when I ask legitimate questions.
6. Assuming my name is ghetto because it is different (it is Ah-sha. Not Asya, Asia, Iesha, Isha or Ursula. It is Swahili. I am Nigerian as in I-still-have-relatives-who live-there)
7. Telling me I can’t wear a shirt because it is “distracting to the learning environment” (I am not going to apologize for the curves I can’t control. Boys are stupid buttheads sometimes, not my fault)
8. Telling me or my sister our bottom piece of clothing is too short or the rear sticks out too much when we clearly saw Samantha and Kelly with the same exact skirt on.
9. Telling me I am pretty for a dark skinned girl (that’s a whole other post).
10. Starting a sentence with: “I don’t mean to be offensive but…”
*Btw, just because I understand and am willing to fill your curiosity doesn’t mean you should repeat these actions. THIS LIST OF ACTIONS ARE OBVIOUSLY NO-NOS!
Honestly, if you are curious about anything I’d rather you ask and I’d be uncomfortable for 2.5 seconds then you say some ignorant shit and upset people. Speaking of ignorant shit people say…
I debated whether to put this subject up, but I am anyway. White privilege…yes I know some members of the majority like to think it doesn’t exist but it does. When people of color talk about white privilege they aren’t talking about Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerburg rich white privilege. We are talking about knowing people of color’s struggle and oppression. The depth of the scars that were left on a culture of once kings and queens of Africa will never be known. It will never be known because they have no reference point. Just like I have no reference point about being a white American woman. The privilege is the subconscious betterment that the majority gets over the minority, societally, racially and culturally speaking. No matter what how equal one is in socioeconomic status, there will always be a dividing line. As humans, we naturally categorize things. That’s okay, the not so okay part is the advantage that is clearly shown a bit too often.
So you’re back! Yesterday was Valentine’s Day (or Single Awareness Day, which I think is stupid) and I didn’t do a thing for it. I mean of course I told all my friends and parents Happy Valentine’s Day and all. However, I realize just how not having a significant other worries people. Do you know what I say to those people? Stop worrying.You don’t need another person to show you love. Be your own Valentine.
Valentine’s Day for me is always a bittersweet holiday because I wold love to have someone do all that mushy things with like going out on a date, getting flowers or chocolate, or even getting a gift. At the same time, I don’t want all that. Especially only for one day. I feel that is desperation out of trying to stave off loneliness. To me, that is all the wrong reasons to be with someone. Valentine’s Day should be the day to show the people in your life that you appreciate them. I mean you should do that everyday but February 14th just seems extra special.
All I can really say about Valentine’s Day is that is no different than any other day. You have to love yourself before someone can love you. So if you are single, embrace it. If you aren’t embrace that too. Valentine’s Day isn’t about getting some gift that you will probably never look at again afterwards but it is more just to say “I thank you for being you and that you are in my life”. That applies to yourself and your boyfriend or girlfriend. Celebrate love, just not on Feb. 14th but everyday.
Hello all bibliophiles! If you have stumbled upon my little corner of the cyber-net, then you are in for a treat. Today was a normal day. I went to class, work and all the other things in between. But today was also a special day. I discovered a-long-lost-book-love. Sharon M. Draper. Now you might have heard of this name WAY back in middle school. She is the fantastic #1 NY TImes Best Seller who wrote the critically-acclaimed The Jericho Trilogy and The Hazelwood Trilogy. She is also a five time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for her great stories. She wrote one of my favorite novels as a middle schooler Romiette and Julio (Sorry Mrs. Meyers). Ms. Draper is just all around a great author and she gets the book-addict named Felicia inside me just so giddy.
Now, at this moment I am going to tell you about Out of My Mind. This is the story of Melody Brooks, an eleven-year old genius with a photographic memory. However, she has never said a word. She is physically disabled with a neurological disease called Cerebral Palsy (CP). The story goes on to present her struggles as someone who is trapped inside her own body, screaming to be heard. She just desires to be normal; she realizes with her smarts that she can be. With the support of her family and friends, Melody enters her school’s Quiz Team in hopes to be like all the other kids in her class and win a trip to Washington, D.C.
This story is just poignant and hopeful. I found myself frustrated when she was frustrated. I was happy for her when she brushed off the haters. To be honest, I did a total fist pump when she basically told all those naysayers to go to hell. If you want a book that not only is an interesting read, but also makes you think about the people around you go purchase this book either from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or even pick it up from your local library.