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Today Today!!!

Hello all! Today the Decolonize Your Mind Webinar is back and I am so happy for you all to join me at 5:00pm CST! If you have not registered, please do so here. In this class we will talk about the why behind the need to decolonize our minds, especially during this time to be agents of change. This is an inside out work, so we as Global Africana People need to be ready, we have to believe in and do the real work for ourselves. It is a liberating work, it is a work that will actually relieve stress, so i shouldn’t even call it work. This is more like a cleansing. Please join me!

Did you get the Garden of Love: A Book of Poems yet? Well, a favorite seems to be “Ode to Redemption”, join along with your fellow readers and order here! Also, I got some great reviews on Melanated Gem Handmade Accessories, I told you I have male items now too right? Order your custom jewelry today by clicking here! Always remember, everything I do is to uplift and unite the Global Black Diaspora!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

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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!

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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~

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Time, African Time, and just… Time #TeachMeTuesday

concentrated young black businesswoman having coffee break in cafeteria

Hello All! Time, we all have it, we all know it, and to an extent, we all see it; but what lens are we seeing it through?

Let me backtrack, so, did you know that in Ethiopia right now it’s technically 2013? This is true; when I lived in Washington, DC; I met a lot of Ethiopians, and I served Ethiopians as clients who would teach me a lot. The one thing I learned was, Ethiopian New Year is in September! It is celebrated on September 11th. You see, like many African nations, Ethiopia has their own calendar that precedes the Gregorian calendar. Even Igbos, of present day Nigeria, had a calendar based on 4 market days, the 4th day being the Sabbath (prior to Hebrew concept), with 7 weeks in one month – if we can even call it months – as these are all western interpretations of Africa’s superior time system.

The Ethiopian calendar is 13 months, and did I mention that Ethiopia was never colonized? I always find that interesting, that where we can find traditions not tainted by western civilization, is in a place that was never colonized. Also, when I was in Namibia, the Himba people specifically who were not colonized, lived life outside of time. They did not use clocks, or even western interpretations of age. My students told me that their grandmother would say “she was born in the year of lots of rain”, and they were named after events. I watched the Himba people live a sophisticated, simple life; and they were wealthy because they shared their resources amongst Himba people, despite the narrative of them being “poor” due to their non-western systems, and their traditional attire of less clothing.

Himba People of Namibia, picture taken by me – Ndidi Love

Back to Ethiopians, I was using my knowledge of other non-colonial African systems to make my point on why the Ethiopian time system is important, because it represents what would have been if we were able to keep the systems that are inherent to us as Global African People; that includes, every person of African descent. We hear things like “black don’t crack” and “colored people’s time (CPT)” or “African Time”, or “Caribbean time”, you know! You see where I’m going? We have always separated our idea of time from what is mainstream, even if it is a joke, we still somehow know that our concept of time is different.

We live outside of time, inherently, things of importance came first. When I was earning my Master of Arts in Africana studies, one of the first things Dr. Sutherland taught us was that, in African worldview, if you are on the way somewhere and you see a person, you take time with them, you greet them, you don’t rush to go somewhere else, what is in front of you is important; everyone will meet up at the appointed time. I tried that for a week, after I came back from Namibia, and it worked! I remember saying, “I’m not going to use my phone for a week, and I want to see what it’s like”. I kid you not, every person I thought about that I needed to see, I met up with, randomly (well, not random but you get it). If I thought about them, the next thing, they were walking past me, and we got to talk about things of importance! I remember the culmination of the week being, meeting with everyone I needed to see at once, we all met up, naturally, no prior conversation, and we chatted for like an hour. We stood in the middle of campus, it was like 10 of us, and that had never happened before. All that was important to me happened that week without a phone.

When things are not aligning, we naturally won’t vibe with it, it is good not to force things. When we force things, especially if it does not feel right or natural, I feel like we hold up time. Once we begin to break free and allow things to happen naturally, I believe that is when time is on our side, and things begin to flow naturally. I believe this concept applies to the Global Black Diaspora as well, our concept of time was replaced with something else, and I believe we are breaking free of it and rejecting it. I am seeing it in the moves we are making, the reclaiming of African identities that we are not even realizing are African, and other concepts that are African, we just don’t have the proper name for it. We are literally getting back to a place of peace for us; one of alignment, one of purpose, and rejecting systems that have been traumatic to us. It is my observation, as the universe realigns, and I feel that we as a people are gaining back our youth, especially for all we’ve been through as a people, our youth was robbed form us as many of us understood and felt the realities of white supremacy (which I now will refer to as an inferior system) from a young age, despite income or status.

I started off talking about Ethiopian time, and tying it into other concepts of time amongst the African diaspora. I then moved into why it is important to maintain aspects of our concept of time the best way we can. I then talked about the revolution and reclaiming of African concepts of time. I think that we should deeply interrogate ourselves, and get down to what brings us peace, living outside of constructed time the best way we can as a solution. When we open up to our true selves and true systems, we allow life to flow naturally. I think we should investigate concepts of African time, and give it a try! This will truly help us become free and begin to unite with those aligned with our designed purpose, just as it did the week I had no use of my phone. Be blessed, Melanated Gems!

~Ndidi Love~