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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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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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Spirituality Requires Prayer!

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My spiritual spiritual people; a lot of times, as we are Decolonizing Our minds from the brainwashing that has happened to us as a people, we start latching on to other things. I do not think that is a bad thing, it is good to be tried and tested and know what you stand on through trial and error. However, people must not forget that as we find our faithd, we cannot forget the core aspects of these practices.

I am a faith girl, no matter what situation you put me in, my faith leads to action. I at least try, and with it I pray for guidance. I’ll tell a story to help it make sense. I am a bit of a spoiled girl, but I have values and believe in finding out things for myself. Well, there was a time in life where I had a financial difficulty. I did not panic, because I have learned that panicking does nothing, and I live by the mantra that, “there is always a solution”. At the time the difficulty was me being able to pay my rent or not, up until that point I hadn’t paid rent late in my life ever. I had no gas in my car either, and I remember I was supposed to transfer some money so that it would be there and not cause an overdraft fee. I forgot to transfer the money and fell asleep, I woke up the next day and gbam! overdraft fee, which left me with less than I had. All I did was pray, “God, what is the solution, help me find a solution.” Suddenly, I had the image of my bass guitar come to my mind. I had a bass guitar, a piano, and a TV that was worth something. I suddenly had the idea to go and sell my guitar at the guitar center. Mind you I had no money plus an overdraft fee. I could’ve called for help, but I chose not to. I got in my car, took the guitar to the guitar center, and they gave me $30. I took $25 of that $30, put it in my car for gas, then took the other $5 and got something to eat. I was registered to drive for Uber and lyft at the time, even though I hadn’t driven in months, so I took my tank full of gas and drove uber and lyft for the next 2 days. Between those 2 days I made hundreds of dollars (thanks to them airport runs, plus I’m really nice so I always got nice tips and 5 stars). I still didn’t have exactly the amount I needed, so I sold my TV for $100, and that next month I paid my rent on the 1st. I wasn’t late, nobody would’ve ever known what happened. I continued to drive uber and lyft and eventually got a job shortly after that. But what did I do? I prayed and asked for a solution, then acted on that solution.

My Africana people, we always talk about African spiritualities and this and that, but I rarely see people activate the power of that in their lives. When the Igbo warrior women of the Aba Women’s riot overthrew the British imposed tax and laws, they used their spirituality and their physical force! So many people want to be on the front lines as warriors, but I never read of a slave revolt that didn’t include active spirituality, guidance, and prayers. A lot of our guidance comes from our prayers and our actions. Reading books and calling out the actions of oppressors doesn’t help as much as people think it does. The ability to rely on spirituality and action and all parts of our complex systems will guide us on this road to liberation quicker, and help us unify better. The reason I have overcome in many situations is through prayer and action. Prayer guides the action. That image of the guitar in my head, shortly after I prayed was the answer prayer. We are too busy looking for big signs and not looking to the small useful things around us. Liberation is often is in the big and the small, knowing your position and your tools is much more helpful than micromanaging everyone else’s. A small guitar that I only received $30 for, helped me pay rent. I hope you all are getting what I am trying to say here. Stop waiting for the revolution to be televised and use what you have. I could go on and on, I mean, last year, the company that I got my car from paid my car note and extended my warrantee from 1 year to 7 years, because I fought them hard about my Bluetooth not working all the time. Someone who works for the company said they never even heard of the company paying someone’s car note. Guess, what, I continued to pray, and act, and fight, and ask for crazy demands until I got it. But I don’t do anything without prayer, not even talk to you guys. If we are going to return to any spirituality, we will have to pray and act. imagine if everyone had a solution mindset, or enough of us did, we’d have reparations times ten!

Begin to pray my people, it does not have to be elaborate, but what I do every morning is pray that I show up in the world exactly how I was created to be, and I pray for situations to bring out my purpose, so that even if the situation seems troublesome, it is actually an answered prayer to be resolved with my purpose. You get?

Come join me in my Decolonize Your Mind class to learn more about how to activate the purpose within you!

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Follow the Roadmaps…

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Dear Black People, we can do it, it’s not a matter of just saying that, but pulling out the roadmap our ancestors left inside of us.

Listen, as we sit here, our ancestors are with us; guiding us, and letting us know the way to go. There is nothing that we cannot do, our ancestors may have not been successful in every revolt, but they successfully revolted. That fire inside you is the ancestors, they know you are their dream, you are to achieve what they laid the foundation for. At a point someone invented a chair, then another person came along and said I think this thing should roll, then someone else said, “hey! this thing should recline!” Did this all happen in the same generation? no, it happened over time. I don’t know why people quote ancestors, but don’t do the actions they did, a liberated mind is nothing without action.

I am the way I am because I know who I am, I know my ancestors stories, and I know what my ancestors have accomplished, especially Igbo women. I know what I can accomplish because if they did, I can, I am them. We must all think this way and act with faith. Don’t worry about it, it will work or not, half of the battle is acting, you never know until you act…