Posted on Leave a comment

Keep it in the Family #SoulfulSundays

Today I had a meeting about what we should do with the land in the family and I was so happy that as descendants of enslaved Africans who were given 100 acres of land and a mule, that we chose to keep the 30 acres that’s left. It’s interesting that the area where the land is in the same area where so many Igbo enslaved Africans were brought to, that is the area that I visited a few years ago to look at the Igbo village that has been reenacted at one of the museums. I would love if we could give legacy to both the Igboness and legacy of our great grandparents. I have my ideas but I’ll keep them now to myself.

Anyway, I feel that as a people as we are growing and moving forward with our liberation, that we should remember never to sell our legacies. So many of us have had legacies whether products or businesses that were bought out by corporations all in the name of the dollar. We have to look at legacy only, everything isn’t a business deal, we need things to pass down to our children and our children’s children. I hear so many people say that a person sold their company because they got a big check and it was worth it. I will always say that it is not worth it. In 100 years they can change the narrative and we will never know that it was a black person who started that very thing, but when we keep our legacies and keep our dollars within our communities then they will always know that we have, that we do, and that we will continue building legacies with our ideas and our gifts.

I know that us keeping the land will be blessed by our Igbo ancestors and they will guide us on what to do. Cheers!

The picture feature is actually a picture of me with my mom, aunts, and cousins in Virginia.

Have you registered for the webinar course yet? Do so here!

Posted on Leave a comment

Release the Tension #TeachMeTuesdays

You know, when you have two people building a house, I’m sure it would take longer to build the house. Imagine if 20 people were building that same house, how long do you think it will take? As Africana people all over the world, without realizing, we have internalized the “every man for himself” mentality. Coupled with that, we have internalized that we need to fight for or compete with each other for resources because that is what we were taught by capitalism. Meanwhile, the people that created capitalism and taught us to fight for resources, unified to gain their resources, and now they pretend to fight with one another when they really have each other‘s back, which is the basis of white inferiority (what some call white supremacy).

Now I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, wealthy or modest, old money or new money; this is something that we face around the whole entire global African community. What we need to realize is, the quicker we each stand up for our truth we will naturally begin to join together with others who are willing to build this house. When we depend on and look to 1 or 2 leaders to do all the work, the tension rises, that is why each Black leader we have is criticized and scrutinized on every level. It’s similar to how people look at God, we were taught that all we have to do is believe in God, and somehow that would make everything better. But I ask people, where is the faith piece? You can believe in anything that you wanna believe in, but if you don’t act, then nothing will get done – “faith without works is dead”. That is why we pray, ask for direction, then move with that direction. In the Global Black Diaspora, we have treated our leaders the same way. That is why even though a lot of people call me a leader, I always encourage people to think for themselves, because I never want to be the person who everyone is looking to, to the point where they forget who they are. I believe true leadership is allowing the people who follow you to create their own paths. This is a journey for all of us, whatever I do will benefit all Black people. That is why I created my courses. As a teacher first, my goal was to always make sure my students understood for themselves, and then I made sure that they were able to teach each other what I taught them. So if I had just gotten done teaching a concept, and maybe 1 or 2 children still had questions, I would ask the students who know and gained a grasp of the concept to please help their fellow student. I would like to add that the majority of the time it was the “misbehaved” students who grasped the concepts, and the ones that I asked to help the other students. It made them feel important that I asked them to help their fellow classmate. Anyway back to what I was saying. We need to help each other release the tension, there is this inherent fear constantly running in our mind about “what if?”, but I guarantee you that once you begin to live out your true calling, the work will get done.

Again, as I sat there and called each of the Congress and Senate members, each and every time I thought I would be rejected, because again, they kept reminding me that they usually don’t talk to non-constituents. I didn’t tell you guys, but I just finished round 2 of my letter sending to Senate and Congress, this time around I still didn’t ask people to help me because I said, “let me just get it done”. The next time though, I will be asking people to come forth and help me. This is not about begging the government to do anything for us as a people, it is creating a sound of unity with each other, and noncompliance with the government, while making everyone aware that we are fighting for our own change. Anyway, back to what I was saying again. We are the generation that is not going to be comfortable until we get it right. Even those who think they live comfortably, when the weight of the world is on the shoulders of people who look like you, I truly don’t believe you can really be satisfied. I know all of what I accomplished in my life, but each and every time I keep thinking I want the majority of people who look like me to be freely able to accomplish the same things. I say majority because even if you have 100 people who can benefit from something, there may be 1 or 2 that’s still choose otherwise. I think there is a running myth that the majority of Black people don’t want something different than what we have right now, but when I was a case manager I had hundreds of clients (99% Black) over the years and I will say that only a sliver of them truly didn’t want to make change in their lives, but then again they had more deeper rooted issues than I could get to in the position I was in. Now I do understand also that my upbringing required excellence out of me, but that is why I wish to gift that excellence to those who may not have had access to the encouragement I received. I just feel honored to be able to share that with people, I have never been the type to keep it to myself, the encouragement that I received is the encouragement that I give to others and that is why I believe it was given to me, so that I can share it genuinely with the people that I am looking to help achieve greatness. Needless to say, I’m doing my part, and I truly just wish to help others get to their part, so let us all release the tension of each other and do our parts, to get to global Black freedom as we all desire. Amen.

Sign up Decolonize Your Mind entry level course that’s tomorrow!

Posted on Leave a comment

How Has Your Culture Shaped You? Interview Ft. Jerrell Sweetgrass #ForwardFridays

Hello All! I had the privilege of interviewing Jerrell Sweetgrass, he is a professional Chef with his own catering company, former military personnel, filmmaker, and all around entrepreneur with a WEALTH of knowledge on Global Black/African culture. The reason I chose to post his interview for #ForwardFridays is because he is a forward moving man with many ideas & well thought out initiatives for the Global African/Black Diaspora. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him teach me and break down aspects of culture through hip hop that I had never even thought of or heard explained that way. Jerrell is also a Gullah Geechee man, an ethnic group native to Georgia and the Carolinas, that I’ve written on many times, but I actually got to hear him explain the culture from his own lived experience. I believe you’ll love the interview as much as I did, and this is why I do what I do, to give authentic voices to the diaspora. It’s one thing to study, but to hear people give their authentic stories from lived experiences is what we need as a people. No more false narratives, we tell our own narratives from now on. Watch the video below, and connect with Jerrell for authentic Gullah Geechee food that he works so hard to share within his culinary creations. Thank you so much, Jerrell, DiasporAfri celebrates you!

Follow Jerrell on IG:
@SweetgrassFoods
@GullahCoast
@Dkc_Experience
@SinceElementary

Posted on Leave a comment

Your Confidence is… #SoulfulSundays

black people posingfor photo

Melanated Gem, everyday when I wake up I ask God to present me to the world the way I was designed. As an Africana woman, our confidence often offends, and that’s a good thing. I’ll tell you why, the design of white inferiority systems was to create loyalty to whiteness, and be able to assimilate into their worlds. That’s why the narratives of what is good and acceptable has all been in proximity to whiteness. That’s also why as of 2020, when I still entered and office, I had to make an example out of a coworker who told me “Black women have bad hair”, or the whole of 2019 when I had to constantly correct white men who commented on my hair, and forced my boss to have a staff wide meeting about it. I remember in 2019, a group of white men were going on, with their wives there, about my hair. They were saying “you remind me of Flo-Jo with that big hair”, and their wives got annoyed. I was even asked by someone “why are you so confident?” Either way, our appearance and confidence is always on trial because white people feel they’re the norm, and they find it offensive that we are able to embrace ourselves, go against their norms, and even challenge them when they say something that requires challenging. For example, I remember another Black queen telling me, “wow, you’re confident around white people”, that was in 2018, because my whole life I have corrected white people who say wrong things about African cultures. For example, a white guy tried to lecture me about Nigeria and the main languages, when I’m the Nigerian; he said “there’s only one language in Nigeria, Igbo and Yoruba are just dialects”, that was in 2019, I said NO, I am Igbo, it is a complete separate language, culture, and tradition from Yoruba people. I’m only giving the dates for all the people saying racism ended with slavery. Trust me, I have the energy each and every time, these are not life changing situations because I know who I am, but I understand it’s not that way for everybody, and you have the right to be sad and angry if it does happen, I am not minimizing that.

Anyway, you know I don’t like to give life to too many narratives of white inferiority systems. Unfortunately, to make some points clear about how to raise our confidence, I have to address the behaviors and let you all know that it is not ok. For hundreds of years, our narratives have been falsely interpreted, we have been told that our hair is not professional, or to “not act black”; and even many of us, have told me, that they don’t eat certain foods around white people, IMAGINE! It’s all a bunch of bull to be honest. I always say, you make them your God when you’re always concerned about what they will say about you, and, it is disrespectful to God to care more about what a white person thinks about you, than just being yourself. I know what I am talking about, I can’t have a conversation til’ this with many people without them saying what white people will think. I’m like wow, I don’t even consider their opinions, because they are not relevant as it pertains to my beautiful life. Even if my life wasn’t beautiful, what a white person thinks of me can’t be anywhere on my list. Now the systems that they’ve created, and the lies that have been told to oppress Black people, are of top concern for me to dismantle, that’s macro; opinions are micro, and non-existent in my world. I’m from the suburbs and some of them have said I am from the ghetto, I am not offended by that at all because, if I was from the ghetto, I’m still one of the greatest of all time, so what are you really saying here? So just me being affirmative, loving myself, correcting wrong comments, knowing what I want, holding my head high, has offended many. That is why, when I pray to God in the morning, I ask God to present me to the world as myself, even if it offends, and let it offend, so long as it’s authentic. I am glad to offend you, because you know that you don’t own me. I walk away from your offers, low-balling offers at that, I escape your ideologies, I hurt your ego, I don’t protect you, because I have to do what protects me, and honestly dismantling a system can start from these micro interactions that happen daily.

Your confidence is your mark in this world. Once you live life by design, you activate a uniqueness in you that cannot be taken away. Even if someone’s purpose is similar to yours, it is designed to do something different. Therefore, no need to compete, just be. I have this blog, and many other things, and I love and hype up everything I do, why? because I am certain it belongs here. I know everybody won’t like it, but because I live by design, I know that when God gave me a gift, I was given an audience. That is exclusive of what white people think of me (insert laugh emoji), I have to laugh because that is the one thing I want to eradicate my people of, is thinking that a white persons thoughts will hinder them. Once we all walk in our designs, we dismantle a system while building up ourselves, because we are each actively living in confidence and not fear. I tell you, confidence for Black people will do much more than you think it will do, and it will be a key to unity. When I say confidence, I mean holding yourself to a standard as well, not only acing on what you believe in, but making sure it builds up Africana people.

My Africana people, you are great. Don’t listen to people who tell you to humble yourself in this system, and wait your turn. In this world, humbling myself means – don’t get to big to the point of disrespecting people and tearing people down to think I am better than them, but let’s be clear, you have every right to get what’s yours. Faith without works is dead! We have been taught to wait while unqualified white kids get positions and higher pay than the black person next to them with a masters and years of experience (I used to work in HR, I know!). So no more of that beloveds, go after what you want, with your head high, and speak your experience, you are brilliant. Don’t forget your ancestors built the entire western world with intelligent language systems – (ex. Nsibidi, Andinkra). I used to teach and I was always told that the children, 99% Black, couldn’t do this and that, blah blah blah, and I would prove them wrong every single time. Nobody can tell me what a Black person can’t do, because I’ve exceeded expectations with Black Children, and even adults, that is why my students at the lowest performing school where I was in Namibia were the only ones making PowerPoints. Am I talking too much? Oh well, I am just trying to make sure you know that you are great, Melanated Gem. By the way, have you purchased any Melanated Gem items yet? You should! This body jewelry empowers you and reminds you of who you are with empowering messages and bright colors to represent the colorfulness of the Global Africana Diaspora. Check out these reviews (review #2) from a customer who purchased the other day! Also, get your book of poems, I wrote those to inspire you too! You are love, gem.

~Ndidi Love~