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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!

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Solutions Solutions! Ideas & Conclusions… #ForwardFridays

Hello All! When you’re a solutions person, don’t complain around excessive complainers, because they can only meet you at one level of conversation…

I find that, the reason why so many people can’t relate in conversation with me is because their mind is wired in complaint mode, while mine is wired in solution mode; and as the brethren told me yesterday, “I saw that you turned your words into action”. I believe in my line of work, we as Black people are well versed in the problems because we live them every single day, and we have enough information now that even if we didn’t know everything, we know enough. What I find is that the problems become the eternal conversation, then when solutions, or positive results of past actions are mentioned, people challenge it, refuse to believe it, or they tell you why a solution won’t work. So you mean to tell me that you’re comfortable with the problem? That is why I try my best to not complain unless it’s attached to a solution, I am not always perfect at it though. I know that even as I type these blogs, educate my audience, and write complaints to huge corporations, that I am also actively working towards solutions at the same time; and my efforts in the past have led to solutions. Why should I engage in conversation with a compulsive complainer? I’ll just show them how to get it done, not in a bragging way, but I just do the work, and come back with the results. Does every result change the world? No, but it adds to the collective effort.

Especially on platforms where the world is watching us, they are watching as we shout Black Lives Matter, they are watching as we are the only group that eternally has to fight for reparations – and everything else – we have to actively support those who are trying. I know that many initiatives have let us down and capitalized on the oppression of Black people, and it is hard to trust, but don’t give them that energy, put the energy into what’s working. I know some people watch and wait to see who you are before trusting you, and that backlash when we are continually betrayed comes from hurt. I know that so many people present solutions for their own gain, and really don’t care about Black people even if they are Black. I know that the government has hired black people to betray Black movements. That is why I assured my audience that I am really here for you all, no white person or corporation can hop in my DM’s and sway me away with dollars, nobody can mute my voice when it comes to Black people, and I will not take whatever I gain and run with it. I know people may try, but I will not give in, 401 years of being tricked into selling our people is finished. You all will hold me accountable I know, but all my energy is good for the liberation of Black people, and I ask God everyday to keep me on the right direction.

So my people, let’s rewire our minds to be solutions minded. Even if you think of a problem, think of a solution and put it out there, or at least actively write it down so that it’s out of your head. Next, tell someone; if they think it’s a bad idea, then actively work on it. Use bad advice to understand that their feedback is a reflection of a non-solution based mind. A solution based mind will always try to help build with you or support it in a way, even if they don’t understand it. However, if that is not how your mind operates, then at least be careful of your words towards people who have solutions. And never ever ever listen to a person who says your idea won’t work because “white people won’t let it”. How many times have I heard that? It is advice straight from the devil, because no race can stop what God has in store.

Be well, Melanated Gems.

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Be Authentic: #Forward Fridays

Melanated gem, do you know that you were created for a purpose? Everyone says that, but let’s get a bit deeper. Do you know that the very curl of my hair, width of my nose, volume in my voice, quirk in my personality was created to reach the very people I was supposed to reach. I see so many melanated gems complain about features that were downplayed by the very people who created false beauty standards, but literally, you are beautiful. You literally look at yourself, and tell yourself that you are the best version of yourself because it is uniquely you. Not because it’s in comparison to anyone else, but because it has a very reason why it is that way. I love myself so much that I can’t wait to have a daughter to look and act just like me, she’ll have her own purpose too. I see a lot of internalized oppression that reveals itself in colorism, mistreating darker women because the Black woman’s body is seen as ok to abuse and mistreat, that’s the reality. People associate dark with manly and aggressive, so people are comfortable mocking and tearing down darker women. The same with Black men, seen as strong and tough so it’s ok to treat them all the same, according to society. we are seen as beings without feelings, after 401 years sure we’ve become desensitized, right? Not at all, we are still gifted, crafty, intellectuals who shape the world, and we need no validation. I’m here to tell you to take your power back and literally find the strength to see yourself for all the good you are. You validate yourself. Even if someone comes back around and says the opposite, they are telling you more about themselves than you. Be yourself, why? Because the people you are supposed to reach are depending on you. You are depending on you. Imagine living a whole life and never appreciating who you are because of a mere human. A human who is going to their own home, their own purpose, their own self hate, that has nothing to do with you. Once you embrace the very part of you that is harmless and authentically you, then you will discover that it is all part of the purpose of uniquely being you. The laugh, the walk, the harmless thoughts, are your gift to the world. There are loud leaders, and there are silent leaders, Obama led with calm, Malcolm led with boisterousness, but they reached who they were supposed to reach, and so will you! Check out this video I did a couple of years ago on this very subject, enjoy!