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Titles Don’t Matter… As Much as The Work #TeachMeTuesdays

I don’t disagree with the philosophy of many titles, I’m just authentic to myself, and always one to never care about what you believe more than what I see you do – more importantly how you treat me, and other people. You see, it’s the English language, titles were earned in African languages; it’s only in English where people put titles before actions. Even in some African cultures, babies aren’t named until you see their character. I identify with action words. You can see it in how I talk, I tell you what I’ve done, I’ll tell you that I teach, I’m not so focused on you calling me a teacher.

I’m African first, African is Ubuntu, that shows up especially in how we treat other Black people. I love and respect and follow many philosophies of PanAfricanism, but as I’ve said, I’ve already reckoned that I’m fully African. No matter what one believes, it doesn’t absolve them from the self work. I’m well versed in enough African history to know that I embody all of what PanAfricanism is, and more, which is completely African. More than a title, it’s the reclaiming of my heritage, especially the parts that were stolen. You see, that means I accept and not reject other Black people who even follow religions and ways that I don’t agree with, because the African mind is an understanding mind, especially knowing our 400 year history, we work to restore not reject. That means I show love to Black people who live lifestyles I don’t agree with, unless they’re causing unnecessary physical harm. That means when I am amongst my own people, I should be doing my best to unite us and not divide us. If you can’t greet the poor black Woman or Man, don’t say you respect me.

That’s just it, I have never in my life met anybody from any belief system – to include religion, politics, social, and philosophical, that talked about their title so much and also embodied the qualities of the title, even to this day, even many of the people who follow me and that I follow online. I talk a lot, but about ways I embody the titles. I keep reminding everyone that there is so much pessimism in our community that I tell these stories to change the narrative and say that it can be done at a micro scale, let’s join together and achieve these victories at a macro scale, but people are waiting for me to claim a title and that will never happen. People claim to be revolutionaries and have not named one solution and state the problems all day, and are hopeless pessimists! They come and comment on my posts then go back to posting their pessimism. People claim to be PanAfrican but go back and forth insulting Black people all day, publicly, that they don’t like. In 10 years on this blog and online, you have never seen me do that, because I find no fulfillment in it. Our enemy is not other Black people but the system that has divided us. I’m African because I’m African, not as a political title but it’s literally my DNA, I don’t believe in politicizing everything, especially life.

It’s hard for people to understand when human beings are so complex. I went to graduate school to get a Master of Arts in Africans Studies, to learn and be able to educate and serve my community from many angles. I enjoyed learning, and especially loved learning about PanAfricanism and Marcus Garvey. I just never believed in following someone so hard that I never met, and I understand that in this life I have my own purpose. While I respect and love the greats, they lived their calling, I have my own greatness to live. We take what is useful for us but we don’t have to agree with and embody everything a person said just to seem dedicated. I wish for people who quote Marcus Garvey and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. all day long to actually tell me an original quote of their own. I know it’s in there, but I notice people get so caught up in wanting to know and be well versed in other people, that they live their whole lives not being well versed in themselves. Wake up! The same greatness is in you! The same greatness is also in those around you. You can celebrate someone living, the only reason many people celebrate the greats who are dead is because they didn’t know them. The way people go back and forth about the greats who are living; tearing them down, is the same thing that happened to the greats who are dead, and many now who praise them would’ve joined along in tearing them down based on some things they did and believe.

I can come up with any group today and if people are infatuated with me enough they’ll follow everything I say, that’s never my goal. My goal is to get people to think for themselves, and follow their purpose because this world is big and there’s enough room for many ways to achieve the same goal. That’s why I’m not quick to criticize other African leaders’ styles such as Dr. Umar Johnson, or whoever people ask me my opinion about; because if his work is liberating people, then that’s his style; my style reaches different people. As long as we’re reaching, that’s what matters, and it doesn’t look the same for everybody. I empower people by letting them know that I am not needed to lead you because you have those same qualities in yourself. A lot of times people see me as strong, which I am, and strong enough to lead them, which I won’t. All this energy I have is also your energy, which is why I change the narrative in people’s mind, because I understand the power of a transformed mind and actually believing in the person of the mind you are transforming. It’s also my teaching style, the reason my young students were successful is because I gave them the tools to think for themselves and empowered them to exceed their expectations, which they did, and the expectations of other “professionals” who didn’t believe in them. Critical thinking is a gift.

We have to understand that the framework of the world we live in doesn’t allow for authenticity as much as we claim to believe. That’s why we create it ourselves. I’ve come to my own understanding of the world and that I am a speck in billions of specks. I can live authentically to myself and attract other authentic people based on that. That is my tribe. Those who connect with me, will, and those who don’t, won’t. The way capitalism and classism has destroyed the minds of people, all philosophies are tainted. Which is why within many philosophies and religions, it leads to more division. People ultimately agree with who has the most money and influence, hence, following so hard those who are dead and popular, and can’t appreciate those who are living and genuine.

That’s why I created my Decolonize Your Mind™class and the Dear Black People™ series. It is based on truths and facts that I put years of research into, and I provide references; but the purpose is for everyone to leave thinking for themselves, and to create the dialogue in their mind that leads to true freedom… join!!!!

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You Can’t Insult My Blackness…

If you’re calling me ghetto to imply that I’m acting black, fine. If you’re calling me ratchet to imply that what I’m doing embodies Black qualities, fine. Im not saying you’re right in your words, I’m saying that I’m not insulted, because I know it’s your way of saying I’m acting Black, and I am black, so I act Black. I notice that this society labels anything Black people do that literally everyone else does as ratchet or ghetto. You’ve done it too. You see black people being loud, you say, “why are they being so ghetto?” No one thinks to say, “they’re being loud”, because that would be too simple to call an action an action. You see a white girl with pink hair and she’s creative, the black girl with the pink wig is ghetto. I lived in Washington, DC and I witnessed this daily. I see a group of white kids being loud at the train station, everyone literally laughs it off, “they’re just being kids”, “they must be excited about the hockey games”, “I wonder what they’re excited about?”. Black teenagers being loud? “See this is why they end up in jail”… for being loud? Wow black crimes get more interesting everyday!

I told you all that Black people are not always wrong, we are just criminalized, a very big difference. Blackness has been ingrained in peoples minds as some type of defect. We can’t just be loud and excited, it has to be attached to some negativity, but let me ask you, have you ever been to a black church? Wedding? Cookout? Anything? Tell me if you notice a difference in our expressions versus, pretty much everyone else’s. Ok, ok, you say Indians are just as loud at their events, but you call that culture my friend. What happens when you rob a people of their culture and minimize it? Exhibit A-Z being Africans and descendants all over the world, you mislabel it and interpret it according to whatever Europeans stated that it was, and that my friends, is wrong.

There are ways to describe our cultural expressions: happy, excited, enthusiastic – these things can be heard as loud and boisterous, and can be displayed with great body movements. I encourage you to go to YouTube and view some African cultural practices such as Ogene dance, and see if you notice similarities. We are a people of great movement, excitement, loudness, and proudness – not ghetto. Even when we are angry, it can be loud and passionate, you know, the way you describe white peoples anger – “oh she was just having a bad day, she was passionate about it and had to raise her voice”. Add the name Shaniqua to where the word “she” is, and see if that even sounds right. It should sound right, but Shaniqua would’ve been labeled as angry and loud for no reason, and “she could’ve handled it different”. Mind you she’s just been robbed but often black people are told to remain calm……. to not be seen as ghetto. Haha! You all don’t remember the famous Karen video last month (July 2021) where the white lady was BUGGING in bath and body works, shouting like a baby at the Black woman, but people in the store were telling the Black lady to calm down and she was the calm one! Y’all have to start seeing your anti-blackness and actively change it.

People actually provoke black people to be angry, then when we react, they say it’s ghetto behavior. I have seen it with my own 2 eyes many times. It has happened to me. White people and others, sometimes even other black people who feel that they’re not ghetto, literally say the most disturbing, provoking, things; and when you react, “why do you have to be so ghetto?” It’s the whole victim blaming, “I know I said the wrong thing but you don’t have to react like someone from the ghetto”. Hahaha! Hey listen, like I said, Black people, not all, but collectively we’re naturally loud. Growing up, my “Nigerian” side was so loud, that everyone knows what I’m about to say, “Nigerians” can be having a normal conversation but you’ll think they are arguing, especially coming from America. They’ll be like “no we’re just having a normal discussion”. That’s it my people, we are just loud. (I think you know why I put Nigerian in quotes).

Listen, there are loud black people who live in these so called ghetto’s that are actually gentrified areas and many times represent places that were once flourishing for Black people; but the government couldn’t have that so they actively removed resources, sometimes with violence and burning, leaving the black people in those areas as now newly created poor people (google six square in Austin, Texas). An area of living that lacks resources can sometimes lead to behaviors that help survival, you may call that crime, fine, but remember that the original crime was capitalism and the ghetto hood rat behavior that is colonization. Y’all don’t remember how America was “founded”, and maintained? On violence, rape, killing, and destroying every area they placed foot, to include actively withholding resources from whole communities they feel are not deserving. Face it, and you can say whatever you want, every attempt for Black people to flourish as a community is stopped by the government, individually no problem, but community? No. That’s another blog post though.

Do you know that growing up with white kids, they labeled my butt as “ghetto booty”, literally in 7th and 8th grade, the white kids used to call me “ghetto booty”. My body part, a butt like everyone else. I lived in the same neighborhood as them, my whole life, but because they are ignorant, they labeled me “ghetto booty”, don’t you people have shame sometimes? So I beg you to remember that the next time you criminalize my loudness, or anything for that matter. Oh, I’m going to be loud, hopefully you hear me, and when you label me ghetto just remember that I’m not ashamed of being black. Did I grow up in the ghetto? It doesn’t matter because I’m not ashamed of being lumped in with Black behaviors. You see them as bad, I see them as culture, carry on.

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New Item Preview!!!

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The Brand New Beautiful Headband© design!

That’s right people, I got some new lettered beads that brings this design to a whole new level, it is absolutely gorgeous! This brand new design will be available in a range of colors, including multicolor, and will be available on August 4th, so be on the lookout! These beads are made of bronze metal and I am so excited to be incorporating bronze metal beads into ALL my designs now. Thank you all for your support so I am able to continue making and perfecting the products you love. 

It Doesn’t Stop There..

The Melanecklace™, the Melananklet™, and the Melanated Drip Earrings™ are all here! Shop now for these items, I guarantee you will loveeeeee!

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Check out the updated course descriptions and sign up for a liberating experience!
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Toodles!

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How Do You Know You Believe in It? #ForwardFridays

frustrated black girl between arguing parents at table

“If you’re not willing to answer the hard questions about what you believe in; then you don’t believe in it.” ~ Ndidi Love

Everyone, I would hope, believes in something. There are those of us who believe in something strong enough to fight for it, there are those of us who believe in something strong enough to put it on the front lines. With that, people will question you. They want to know if you’re about what you say you’re about. That’s normal. It is easy to get annoyed when people are asking you questions about what you believe in as if to challenge you or even doubt you my Melanated Gems. I had to get used to it. Trust me, I know I have lived what I believe, so a lot of times, I say, “who is this person challenging me about what I believe?” but I had to understand that their challenge allows me to become sharp. Not only will people challenge you, but life will challenge you. Once you put something out there, believe a situation will come to put you to the test. That is part of life, and we should even be challenging ourselves. That is another reason I argue for the validity of higher education as a sharpening tool to become a scholar and expert, being critiqued by professors and your peers; it is not just a piece of paper if done right. I am pretty sure the person who invented the first car did not just put it out there, she/he had to drive it first, test it out, and work out the mistakes. That is what often happens in life: we put ourselves to the test, then the people come and test us, then finally life comes and tests us again. I often say that Washington, DC was the building of my faith, and Texas is the activation of my faith. My, my, my; all the things I believe as it relates to resistance, faith, and overcoming planned injustice towards Black people, has all greatly challenged me here in Texas. I’d say I have always had a strong willed spirit, even my mom told me that, but Texas brought out that strong will a little more loud than usual. I am very loud with my resistance now, and I find that the more I resist, it gets easier. It’s like life is saying, “show me what you’re about, don’t just talk about it.”

Life talks to me, you know, and so do humans. But I have learned that I need to take these challenges with joy, and learn from them. We are not above error, and the challenges allow us to tweak our approach. So long as there is a challenge, there is always a solution. For me, Texas is the challenge of corporations. From the workplace, to my car manufacturer, to my apartment complex, I said “gollee, I have never had to challenge this many corporations in my life!”, but I can say that with these challenges I have been victorious, and have found my strength that I can apply to other areas of the fight for justice. I literally can’t believe I sat there in 2020 and called all 523 seated congress and senate members, and literally typed up a 4 page presentation on my own to present to them. I look back and say wow. What I found is that once you continue to resist and stand up to the challenge, life responds positively. I literally was told by the good majority of senate and congress members that I connected with (70+), that they usually do not, and haven not talked to non-constituents (a constituent is a member of their governing district – ex. district 2 of Louisiana). Although they expressed that they never do that, they were impressed with my will to educate them on solutions for African Americans in such a way, and at least 2 actively stated their intent to utilize a couple of my bullet points to incorporate into their ongoing changes. I didn’t want to meet with them as a representative of an organization, I wanted to present to them as a citizen. I invited others to join me, but they all expressed intimidation. I was pleased to meet another brother online who is doing the same thing, fighting for reparations, on his own, and meeting with senate and congress members. I would tag him, but I don’t know if he wants that publicity as of yet. I said all that to say, sometimes what seems challenging is just a call to act. I have to answer for what I believe in and what I stand for; I have to be the example of what I believe in, because it’s my belief. Again, as I stated yesterday, prayer! I prayed for a solution to contribute to the well being of my people during the time of uprise during quarantine, and that was the answer.

My dears, of all the representatives, 2 challenged me as if I was public enemy of the United States, but I was glad to be challenged, because I stood my ground, respectfully, and I understood that they would want to know why one Black girl would put herself on the line to argue on behalf of America’s Black people. They could have asked in a different tone, but the feedback from others was so great that I said hey, somebody has to eventually disagree, it’s all good.

So, what are you willing to answer for today? What do you believe in? Are you shy when the opportunity comes to show yourself, or are you standing up to the challenge? Big up your chest na!

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