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#SoulfulSundays – Africanity and balance between women & men…

“Strong Black woman” did not come from feminism, it’s been here since the beginning of time. Our strength is what has sustained us, and coupled with mans strength we build nations. We can be soft and healing to each other at home, and a united strong force to the world. A multifaceted woman will be all things, and her man will be the lucky person to see all sides of her – feminine and gentle at home, while receiving that masculine gentleness at home as well.

Men have been taught not to be emotional but I believe men should be able to carry and cover their woman’s emotions as well, as women have covered & carried men’s; a woman cannot bear the burden of emotions alone. Neither women or men have all the answers in their relationship, and each will need their time to be vulnerable and weak. Patriarchy is so wild that it made people believe that the gender who is responsible for life entering the world needs to be lead somewhere, where are we being lead to? Our minds and bodies have the capacity to give life, we are capable of leading in decisions as a team, just as we were leading our lives as single women (shout out to the women visionaries living unapologetically, your visions are valid and will change the world).

People have attached the word strength to a man, that is why strength is seen as masculine. There is women’s strength, and men’s strength, but together it builds nations. Clearly, men and women are physically different and have different bodily functions and energies. What happened is capitalism changed the dynamics of relationships and monetized the actions of men and women in relationships. I believe that, even men at home don’t have to be strong 24/7. Love itself is a safe place, healing place, building place, and home can be a place to be free and rest to build back up to be strong for the world.

Women and men should be there for each other according to their needs. It’s not just that men provide, African women have always worked. It is clear in how women currently run the marketplace in Africa, as well as how I witnessed the precolonial tribe of Himba women contribute to physical labor as well. Not being strong all the time does not make a man weak, I shouldn’t need a man to be strong 24/7, what are we even fighting at home? We are taking care of each other watching movies eating popcorn and strategizing/building. What you’re good at, contribute to it! We help each other. The only reason I feel some men stress they need peace and need a woman to be quiet is because he is not doing right. Women always know, just be honest & there’ll be peace. Miscommunications may happen but that’s human nature and doesn’t have to be toxic.

I’ve seen men lie and cheat, and be mad that their wife is reacting. I feel some men just want to do what they want without being questioned, and that’s not how life works. I’ve never seen a good man stress his need for peace, because he IS peace. Dear men, break from the shackles of patriarchy. Men are used to tripping on women’s emotions, but a woman who knows herself won’t let you play your silly game. Is that what you’re running from? Just tell the truth & treat a woman as a human, it may work. Yes, I have a word for women too – men aren’t machines to be overworked and looked to for all the answers.

The only imbalance between African women and men is that men haven’t learned to balance and enhance the strength of African women, and instead have tried to shame us for it. Us women have tried to shame vulnerable men and force strength, 24/7. We can be all things, and balance each other. We were all given something to contribute to the world, it’s not burdensome if we find the right people to build with. In reality, our purpose doesn’t stop, it just grows when we marry. In singleness, we all have a purpose too, so anyone in our life, friend or spouse, should add to us – our well being, mental health, and purpose, everything with intention.

I believe there is 1 true person to help us live out our vision and purpose, and others who can get close. But the 1? The visions would match and enhance each other’s, I believe. It doesn’t mean you need a spouse for your purpose, it’s just that a spouse is to enhance and not drain. Others who are close but not the 1, would just require extra effort on our part. Ultimately, the purpose is enhanced & continued with the children, I believe, and even if a wrong spouse is chosen, all hope is not lost, it just takes a lot of self correcting and intentional spiritually to get the bloodline back on track, like I did, and now I am ready to match my purpose with the right 1. I also, through my work, wish to help people find their true purpose, as I believe it is key in finding a true spouse. That is why my class Decolonize Your Mind™, helps people do just that. Everything I do is attached. Check it out!

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Jumping the Broom, no, Crossing the Sticks? Or Both! #Throwback Black History Month Post

Hello All! This blog post featured below is probably the shortest blog post I’ve ever written, but not much explanation was needed. I’ve often had to challenge myself when it comes to Black history. Something that seems so small usually means something so big, but the narrative having been watered down doesn’t always allow us to fully appreciate it. Just as any other culture who has customs, when it is told in it’s original form, not downplayed by outsiders, it can be authentically passed down to generations. Well, considering the great value Africans held for nature, I am pretty sure this crossing sticks custom held much more meaning outside of slavery, but when that communication was cut off, we had to reinvent many traditions, however, we’ve always found a way to remain African. That is why for us specifically, who have had our cultures robbed and forced to replace with others, being African is in spirit! I remember once meeting a woman who had love for basketweaving, and she told me that once she did her ancestry test, she found out that the tribe she is a descendant of from in Ghana was famous for basketweaving. I mention this because, melanated gems, we may have love for something that may mean so little to those around us, but it tells a greater story of our ancestry than we ever knew. Wow! This excerpt is longer than the original blog post, enjoy below!

CULTURE TUESDAYS

We’ve all heard of the wedding tradition of jumping the broom, but what about crossing sticks? Crossing sticks is a tradition that dates back to the slavery era where African-American couples demonstrated their commitment by crossing tall wooden sticks. Crossing the sticks, represented the power and life force within trees which, for the couple, symbolized a strong and grounded beginning.

❤️

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Igbo Marriage Tradition: #Throwback Black History Month Post…

Hello All! Let’s learn about the Igbo Marriage tradition on this fine Valentines Day. I took these pictures at my cousins traditional wedding in Nigeria in 2011. We do not need western traditions! I think it is interesting that non western cultures always have 2 ceremonies to validate their marriage, when our ancestors were perfectly fine with one, sophisticated ceremony. Quick fact: the white wedding dress became popular because of Queen Victoria, not because of tradition, it was a fashion statement. Every culture, especially we as Africans believed brighter colors in weddings showed one’s status in society, as you can see in the below pictures. The purity of the whiteness came from presenting a white sheet to the bride’s father to show her virginity, that never had anything to do with the dress. Even though that wasn’t Black history, that was important history, check out today’s Black History blog post below, originally written on May 17, 2016!

CULTURE TUESDAYS

 

Marriage
in Igboland is not just an affair between the future husband and wife but also
involves the parents, the extended family and villages. First the groom asks
his potential partner to marry him. Assuming that this is affirmative, the
groom will visit the bride’s residence accompanied by his father. The groom’s
father will introduce himself and his son and explain the purpose of his visit.The bride’s father welcomes the guests, invites his daughter to come and asks
her if she knows the groom. Her confirmation shows that she agrees with the
proposal. Then the bride’s price settlement (Ika-Akalika) starts with the groom
accompanied by his father and elders visiting the bride’s compound on another
evening.

They
bring wine and kola nuts with them, which are presented to the bride’s father.
After they have been served with a meal, the bride’s price is being negotiated
between the fathers. In most cases there is only a symbolic price to be paid
for the bride but in addition other prerequisites (kola nuts, goats, chicken,
wine, etc.) are listed as well. Usually it takes more than one evening before
the final bride’s price is settled, offering guests from both sides a glamorous
feast.

Another evening is spent for the
 payment of the bride’s price at the bride’s compound when the groom’s family
 hands over the money and other agreed prerequisites. The money and goods are
 counted, while relatives and friends are served drinks and food in the
 bride’s compound. After all is settled, the traditional wedding day is
 planned. The wedding day is again at the bride’s compound, where the guests
 welcome the couple and invite them in front of the families. First the bride
 goes around selling boiled eggs to the guests, showing to both families that
 she has the capability to open a shop and make money. Then, the bride’s
 father fills a wooden cup (Iko) with palm wine and passes it on to the girl
 while the groom finds a place between the guests. It is the custom for her to
 look for her husband while being distracted by the invitees. Only after she
 has found the groom, she offered the cup to him and he sipped the wine, the
 couple is married traditionally. During this ceremony, there is also the
 nuptial dance where the couple dances, while guests wish the newlyweds
 prosperity by throwing money around them or putting bills on their forehead.

Nowadays, church wedding follows
traditional marriage. During this ceremony, the bride’s train, made up of the
bride followed by her single female friends, enters the church dancing on the
music, while the guests bless the bride’s train by throwing money over the
bride and her entourage. The groom receives the bride at the altar for the
final church blessing by the priest. Sometimes, the traditional marriage is
combined with the reception that is then preceded by the church ceremony.

Be sure to click the link above to watch a video of a traditional Igbo wedding!

-Description taken from http://www.igboguide.org/HT-chapter11.htm

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Jumping the Broom, no, Crossing the Sticks? Both! – Culture Tuesdays

CULTURE TUESDAYS

We’ve all heard of the wedding tradition of jumping the broom, but what about crossing sticks? Crossing sticks is a tradition that dates back to the slavery era where African-American couples demonstrated their commitment by crossing tall wooden sticks. Crossing the sticks, represented the power and life force within trees which, for the couple, symbolized a strong and grounded beginning.

❤️