Carrying The Dream Foward

 

Painting by: www.theuntappedsource.com
Painting by: http://www.theuntappedsource.com

 

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have college degrees to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially lasted for 381 days. Every day, the people who participated in the boycott walked out of their doors to fight for something larger than themselves with full knowledge that their lives could end that day. The immense courage it took to kiss your wife, husband or children good-bye, knowing it could be the very last. While the recent events in our lives over Michael Brown and Eric Garner have galvanized a great number of us and incited some of us to do great work in recognizing that black lives do indeed matter, we have now begun to live our lives as if those deaths did not happen. In a sorrowful way, we have forgotten the anger, sadness and heartbreak we felt when those indictments were not handed down. C.T. Vivian, a pivotal man during the boycott, said that they were willing to be beaten in the streets for our rights during the boycott. He stood on those steps and took a punch to the face from a police officer and still spoke the convictions of his heart. It was thought during that time, that a couple of weeks of protest would not suffice in making systematic change. It will take more than a couple of months of protest to change the laws in our country.

People were willing to sacrifice with no personal gain. They sacrificed their pay, their standing in the community, their bodies and freedom to push toward change. Taxi cab drivers took people to work for ten cents a ride to contribute to the cause of our people. People walked and rode mules to work. Black churches took up shoe collections to replace the worn shoes of those sacrificing leisure for purpose. It was not convenient or comfortable. With the advent of the internet and social media, it has become easy to participate in a protest. Whether it be clicking a “like” button or signing an online petition, most of us have attempted to participate in some way. However, when will we walk miles for days on end to work… to stand up for something greater than ourselves? It is fine to speak loudly about change, it is the measure of who you really are to actually DO something for change that is not convenient…that is not comfortable.

Photo source: www.welists.com
Photo source: http://www.welists.com

Women were the lynch pin during the boycott. It is said without them, the boycott would not have been successful. Juanita Jones Abernathy speaks about during those times women were to be seen and not heard. They were indeed heard from their mouths to their husband’s ears and then out of their mouths alone. Women were also at the front of the #BlackLivesMatter tsunami that changed all forms of social media for weeks. There are today, still pictures and memes created using those three cherished words that bring tears to my eyes. When we see so many images and hear words from our own brothers today, that have the ability to leave scars on our spirits, it is in the honor of women stronger than us, that we keep moving. It is in honor of women more courageous than us, that we still stand shoulder to shoulder with those same brothers when trouble may come. Women have and will always stand for others without regard to how little that sentiment is returned for them.

The everyday heroes of the boycott understood the importance of going after government. They went after the City Council/Commission. They were aware that Hoover and the FBI were watching and submitting their own narrative. Even still, they kept pushing forward. We must learn and embrace that the people who make the laws that will either bury or uplift us, are indeed controlled by us. There is no excuse to let those that sacrificed their very lives for us, down. Work in your community and take notice of the people who are truly doing the work OF the community. Make sure you are there giving of your time or talent, and when that community leader starts to make their push into local government, be there. When they move on to state legislation, be there. There are men and women still alive today who participated in the boycott and are elected officials in D.C. Say “thank you” and BE THERE every single time there is an election.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience. But, where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” What are you really willing to do to effect change in our communities and our society? Are you willing to be inconvenienced, uncomfortable, stand with and for women in the fight, vote or risk being watched? What exactly are you willing to do…?

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Single Mother Chronicles: Happy New and Old Me

TS Eliot 

‘ Tis the season for New Year’s Resolutions as some of us decided a couple of days ago, some of us may have broken them already and it is only January 2nd. (lol) The 31st of December either brings about a feeling of hope or dread. We promised to lose those last 10 pounds, reconnect with a lost friend, become more spiritual, start a new career, leave the negative folks behind or we believe the new year will bring about new attitudes, new opportunities or new loves.  And let’s be honest, for some single mothers they hope that this will be the year that the father of our children will understand what it takes to be a responsible father. And we silently pray (even if we do not want to admit it) that this will be the year we happen upon a man who will embrace us and our little ones. This is not silly or desperate, its human.

We tend to keep that last resolution to ourselves because we fear the appearance of desperately seeking…someone. However, what is wrong with wanting to share your fantastic self with someone else? Despite what some may say or wrote in those nauseating self help books, no one is meant to be alone. And most people desire some one to share their failures and triumphs with.

I usually do not make any type of resolutions. They have always seemed like a promise people do not want to really attain. It all sounds right at the time. They inspire you to feel as if you are starting over and hopeful in the year that follows. So this year, I  decided to start over in some instances and be hopeful in others, which included starting this blog. I set attainable goals for myself.

I have slowly lost contact with my best friend of 13 years. This is some one I use to stay on the phone with for at least  6 hours a day. We are each others confidant, soft place to fall and warriors. Through the birth of children and the death of  marriages we have been there for each other. At some point it began to feel like I was only bringing bad news and drama to our friendship table. So, I allowed us to drift apart. I feel like this is a friendship that deserved reconnection. Hopefully she feels the same way.

So, this year I did make some thing like resolutions. No, I take that back, I made New Year’s Affirmations that will speak truth into the things I want in my life, welcome the fact that they may not turn out exactly how I want them and stand in whatever the outcomes may be… knowing that at least I was finally open to them all.

Even through my trials and stumbles, I know I am blessed. This year I need to find out why and say ” Thank You”.

2015 here I am!

What Did You Say…?

Audacity is defined as ” The willingness to take bold risks.”  (or rude and disrespectful behavior, impudence.) In other words, to do and say what you feel without any regard to what others will say about you. In being audacious, there are those of us in this club who may abuse this character trait. Those discourteous club members who have  contracted the elitist disease. In the right hands audacity can be the most delicious thing and that is what “The Audacity Of Her” is all about. I’m standing in my truths here, whether people will accept it or not. I’m willing to take the risk of ruffling feathers, soothing spirits or inciting movements. “The Audacity Of Her” stands behind four principles:

1. The nerve to feel your convictions. – There will always be times when people don’t want to hear your truth. The great thing about that is they do not have to. What they eat, doesn’t make you…..The temerity to not only feel your convictions to your core but,truly live them is daring.

2. The courage to say what you are thinking. – We all know the saying, “Be seen and not heard.” Admittedly, there are times in life where it is best to remain quiet and observe. There are other times when you should shout from the proverbial roof top. Just because everyone you know loves the merits of “Scandal”, The Tea Party or Taylor Swift does not mean you have to bite your tongue because you have a different opinion. ( I love “Scandal”, The Tea Party gives me hives and Taylor Swift gets on my nerves.) Be confident enough to say what’s on your mind. The skilled required is…tack. No-one wants to have an intelligent debate with a butt hole.

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

3. The bravery to write your heart. – I’ve been writing in journals since I was a young child. I remember all these nuggets of child wisdom I would write to myself. Unfortunately, I am only in possession of my journals from about 2004 to presently. There are times when writing is like bleeding on a sheet of paper for me..expressing every deep seeded fear or on the surface pain. Writing what’s on your heart has the ability to free you from self-imposed chains. I always strive to write what is on mine through laughter, anger, love, fear, acceptance or pain. Writing is easy for me.. inviting everyone to have a glimpses of it, is the brave part.

4. The fearlessness to speak…loudly. – I am a “Real G’s move in silence” believer. No-one needs to know your every move unless you share their last name. ( And even that is debatable at times. LOL.) I observe much more than I speak. However, you better believe that when I do, I am passionate AND informed before reaching that decision. I will speak on injustices, tom foolery and betrayal. I will speak on politics, children and television if I believe my words will lead you to look below the surface. There is no fear of debate with me because I may learn something from others who have a differing opinion. Nonetheless, respect is mandatory.

Welcome to 2015 and “The Audacity Of Her”. The nesting place of nerve, courage, bravery and fearlessness. Kick off those 2014 shoes and stay awhile.

No Zeta, No Skee, No Wee, No DST…and the rest of your sisters too?

On the surface, the petition to stop the reality show “Sorority Sisters” created by Mona Scott Young is a great thing. It demonstrates the necessary process of standing up for something you believe in, the strength of one equaling the power of many and the fact that at least some of us are willing to stand in the way of a heavy rotation of reality shows that aren’t positive concerning our communities. If you dig deeper in your thinking, you may begin to ask yourself a few questions. The old adage ” It ain’t no fun, when the rabbit got a gun” comes to mind.

In other words, how many times has members of these four sororities created and signed petitions against the plethora of ridiculous shows that air on television every night? (One Delta is already a major figure on Love and Hip Hop. I don’t recall any petitions being circulated then.) Or does it now only matter because one just may show the same inside their house. The creator of the petition, Reynoir Lewis states that she created the petition to ” Stop the spread of ignorance and stereotyping of our beloved Black Greek organizations.” However, because Sorority Sisters has only released a brief trailer, (and it’s still in question whether the series will air) we can only assume that it may be a complete bag of tom foolery. After all it is a reality show by the queen of “reality” shows on VH1. Could it be that the potential of the foolery that takes place after walking through the burning sands and not the community service these organizations are pledged to provide is what the petition signers are a little afraid of? Rabbit…gun.

If anyone has ever been to a campus stroll, step show or Greek picnic I am sure you have witnessed the negativity they display towards other sororities, not to mention the members of their own chapters. Yes, families don’t always agree. It is a sign of growth to be able to settle differences. I wonder if it was possible that the sororities could have asked for a sit down with the head of Viacom and Mrs. Scott-Young to discuss what the show would reveal and then inform them both about the legacy of the organizations and the balance of sorority life. Is this petition stance on the right path, absolutely. Nonetheless, shouldn’t that position cover making sure ALL of our sisters and brothers are seen in the best light possible? Imagine the power we would hold if we ever decided to get up and fight against the bludgeoning of our family. It can not only be about these four sororities being seen in a bad light. It must include every woman that is viewed on our televisions participating in their own demise.

This should not be situational activism, where the Greek sisters are only moved by the sight of their letters and not by sight of any sister who looks like them with nothing on. It’s honorable to stand up and say”no more”. It is noble to get the foolishness off the air. It’s necessary to demand that there are possible portrayals of black people on television. And it is required that we command that for all of our community not just selective parts of it.