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Refocusing Black Culture

photo of couple dancing together

We can acknowledge that something unfavorable is happening within Black communities due to slavery & colonialism but it’s irresponsible to say that it must continue. It’s not part of our culture, we’re not “taking it back”. If it was beaten into us, we must rid ourselves of it. There’s so many things I can think of, namely, the “N” word, perming our hair, celebrating certain aspects of religions, and so much more. I am not here to condemn anybody, but say, consider why you’re doing what you’re doing. There are many things we do that were actually beaten into us, ex. many black women perm our hair (I stopped in 2009), because employers discriminate against our God given hair, that is a form of beating. However, after slavery, they implemented laws requiring us to cover our hair, because the presence of our hair invoked jealousy in the white women – I experience that today. A lot of us carry on narratives that were meant for evil and are trying to make it good, ex. “we have to straighten our hair to look professional”. It will never sound good to me to do something out of fear rather than a sense of pride. It will never sound good to call each other the “N” word, especially if we know better and we know the trauma that was attached to that word. We need to bring back words and practices that gave us a sense of pride. When I have friends, calling me a B word as a term of endearment is unacceptable, but people think it’s excessive if I refer to my fellow sisters as Queens? All because they say we are not all queens, well we’re not N words and B words either, so which would you prefer? I always say, why not just say the positive word, it can’t hurt at all.

Even rap music style was proverbially beaten into us. There was a time when rappers rapped about meaningful content, just as we’ve always used music for liberation purposes, then the white owned record labels started discouraging us from making those kinds of songs. They encouraged more of the mindlessness that creates the songs we have today. We can see in history where Black artists such as Billie Holiday who spoke up about issues in their music were even jailed. Again, as I teach about in my Decolonize Your Mind class; everything we do is demonized, stolen, copyrighted, and sold back to us as something else; so now we have eminem being hailed for being so thought provoking, when we have greats who have been doing that, but not promoted or discouraged, or punished. So we owe it to ourselves to uplift our own who are doing original things, and stop accepting things that were forced on us to do it their way. We owe it to ourselves to use our big voices to make influence with our culture, our way, and not listen to society beating a way into us. Authenticity translates way better than a copy.

Have you seen our ancient hairstyles and studied our traditions that I’ve written about extensively in this blog over the span of 10 years, take some time to read, such as this one. We have too many originals and we need to get back to the enjoyment of that.

Toodles!

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Call Yourself the Right Name

What I notice is, people love to call their ancestors slaves but hate the idea of calling themselves African. Those slaves were enslaved Africans. How can one consider themselves a descendant of an African slave, but deny their Africanness?

I always say, if you take a Chinese person who has 2 children, one goes to live in another country and never returns, never talks to their parent again, but has children and grandchildren in their new land; that does not cut the blood ties, it only cuts the location. So many people have traced their habits/talents back to tribes in Africa. For example, I met a lady who was so into basket weaving. She stated that she did her DNA ancestry test, and she found out that the tribe in Africa she is from is known for basket weaving. There is noting wrong with acknowledging your roots. People are only ashamed to identify with Africa, because America teaches that African American history starts with slavery, no, Africans have a long history, part of it is slavery, but we were enslaved as victims, that is nothing to be ashamed of, but something to continue to fight against. We take no blame, although society likes to victim blame, we are not to be blamed for the repercussions of slavery, only to be blamed individually if we know better and don’t do better. But let’s not get it twisted, we have done better, extremely better, thrived throughout evil imposed circumstances, revolted at every chance – we never accepted our status as slaves, and have made major world accomplishments that are not credited to us – copyrights and patents stolen. We are so busy listening to narratives by people who are not us, mainly white people, that we forgot, they are paid to paint a negative picture of us, but would never paint that negative picture of themselves. They are so calculated that they framed rapists, murderers, and enslavers as “founding fathers”, and “revolutionaries”, if anything, that is something to be ashamed of. Instead, they want us to be ashamed of something that happened to us, and gaslight us into believing that being loyal to america, one of the countries that enslaved us, is patriotic. Never! I am patriotic to the nation that birthed me, that great nation is Africa, and it will never change. Africa is the reason I am resilient, the reason I am brown, the reason I have tight coily hair, the reason I have a place to call home always, and the reason that the entire earth has resources. Let’s not be fooled, every cell phone you hold is thanks to Africa and Africans. Therefore, being African is nothing to be ashamed of, but everything to celebrate. No matter the current status, we are still the only people in the world who shape every single institution with our ideas, energy, vernacular, style, and resilience. The world would simply not be without Black people, and I mean that.

Make sure you check out Melanated Gem™ empowering handmade jewelry! My African Ancestors gave me the idea and I am keeping it going, order today!

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Last Day of Juneteenth Sale!!!

Get Your July Decolonize Your Mind Course for 50% until the end of today! Use Code ‘FreeMind’ at checkout.

Get Your Melanated Gem RBG Freedom Sets for 20% off until the end of today! Use Code ‘RBGFree’ at checkout.

I hope you enjoyed your Juneteenth Weekend? What did you learn the most?

I learned that the Juneteenth vibe was so great amongst melanated people, we were really excited to see each other. I learned that Black people are ready to be vulnerable with one another. I also learned that we have to do better at educating in these moments, but I felt the vibe was unity. At events there were Africans from all over the diaspora in their red, black, and green ready to unite! I was even surprised. I understood the power of our united vibe and keeping those spaces just for us…

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Juneteenth is more than a day! It’s a lifestyle… & a surprise!!!!

Juneteenth, well, it’s a nice little combination between the words June and nineteenth, but what does it really mean?

You see, when slavery was abolished (not out of the kindness of America’s heart but to calm the rising storm of civil wars), there were reluctant states that did not want to end slavery, namely, TEXAS, also a couple of other states, but I would like to redirect the attention back to the enslaved Africans in this story.

First celebrated in Galveston, Texas; freed Africans held celebrations to commemorate the ending of slavery in June 19, 1865 (3 years after Abraham Lincolns emancipation proclamation), it is considered the “longest-running African-American holiday”. These celebrations were often held in churches, or near bodies of water, because even though we were physically “free”, we were still “prohibited” from using public facilities. It is Black people’s TRUE Independence Day, we don’t celebrate July 4th around here being that we were still enslaved while white Americans were fighting to be free from the British. We celebrate Juneteenth with educational events, barbecues, and use the time to reflect on where we’ve come from, strategizing where we’re going.

After a while, the holiday became more commercialized, and in Texas, became a paid reduced staff holiday. It used to be called Jubilee Day amongst other names, because it truly was a celebration of freedom. Black Texans raised their own money to purchase 10 acres of land to celebrate Juneteenth, that meant a lot to celebrate our own holiday on on own land. It soon gathered Black Texans from all over Texas. I often say that what used to be survival for us has now become commercialized and watered down. I say that about everything from Caribbean carnival to jerk Chicken to African spirituality. We’ve now commercialized it for tweets and likes and sponsorships. I would like to remind us all that we should get to the root of our traditions, not that we shouldn’t have fun, but we should never take it for granted. Everything we do should be to uplift our people, make sure we educate our communities, celebrate our holidays, and sell our products with joy and integrity, with authenticity.

I created the Juneteenth sale because I want to celebrate it with something the customers can take away with meaning. These Melanated Gem RBG Freedom sets were created for my audience (who mostly identify as Pan-Africans) but with an empowerment message, I pray you all receive the items with joy and truly understand your purpose and value. I created the Decolonize Your Mind courses to really help us break down the walls of colonialism in our mind body and spirit, and for individuals to walk away understanding their purpose. As you all know, DiasporAfri, LLC is for all Black people, the Global Black Diaspora, I like to highlight holidays and traditions that are meaningful to us, but I always remind us that the work is 365. I hope that the whole Global Black Diaspora can join along in celebrating Juneteenth as we begin to join our movements together.

Enjoy 20% off of Melanated Gem RBG Freedom Sets until 6/21, enjoy 50% off July Decolonize Your Mind Courses until 6/21 as well. I strive to provide service for the Global Black Diaspora with the upmost joy and integrity. Happy Juneteenth, everyone, we are FREE!!!!!!!