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There is Space for Everyone’s Blackness

There is space for everyone’s Blackness. Remember, before we were brutally stolen from our land, there were many tribes, there wasn’t a singular way of life. Although we multiplied our culture to ensure our survival in any area we were in, it was a testament to our magicalness, to be celebrated. We must uplift the various parts of us, even if 1 way seems dominant, it does not erase the other, just as magical parts. We each need each other, there is nothing to be threatened by, only something to be strengthened by.

Our Blackness should intertwine, us coming together should represent our origins. Us dividing only represents our enslavement, division was given to us by design. Whether boujie, ratchet, upper class or lower, at a point we must intertwine to get back to balance. If your sister is suffering, help her, with uplifting words and not terror. Yes, she can be loud and ratchet, and it’s ok, her character is more than enough if she has the ability to treat you right.

Well, what’s your Blackness? And how can it match with another’s Blackness? Celebrate!

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My Why: My Heart is For My People

Wherever my people are, I’m concerned with what’s going on with them. I want to know what we think and feel, I want to know what we like. I know that all of us are not the same, but That is the beauty of who we are.

Since I was a kid, I always paid attention to what was going on with Black people, you all know that, I’ve told you that. However, I believe that I was put on this earth for my people. I do not believe that everyone has to have the same cause, but I’m well aware that it’s all I think about, and any idea I come up with always has my people in mind.

I am here to liberate the minds of my people through education and entertainment to help them be more confident in whatever it is they do. I believe in the small steps, the small steps lead to great results. I believe in being the change I want to see.

I always say my mind is wired in Blackness, meaning, I have no other thought process. Like when a person walks in a house and thinks of ways it can be decorated, I don’t do that when I walk into a house at all, but that person is a decorator. When I see Black people and think of ways to make them better and uplift them, I’m a decorator, decorating the lives of Black people everyday. When I say make better, I mean their soul, how can I be a light?

In my eyes we do no wrong, even though we do, but it’s a child I’ll protect, I’m not anybody’s mama yet, but I’m the mama of Black unity and I mean it, nothing else makes me happier.

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Renaming Our Names

I remember I tweeted this on July 4th, white Americans Independence Day, because you know, on that day, Africans were still enslaved. I said “Native Americans should be called Americans & white people should be called illegal immigrants 🤔 Non-Happy illegal immigrant Codependence Day 🙄”

Why did I say this? Because, when history is told from the Eurocentric standpoint, they’ll always look like the founders and the hero’s, and the other parties will look like they have not contributed to anything. Why should the people who were here have to change their names while everyone else gets to call themselves American? Oh, because it feeds the narrative that america was founded. Founded by whom? It was here already. Therefore, when you enter someone’s home, you share an experience, they teach you about them and the ways of their home, not the other way around. They teach you their names, you don’t get to name them. You’re never superior in someone else’s home, if anything, they name you! The European experience is codependent, it is not independent outside of the cultures, customs, and resources that should have been shared and exchanged for goods, but instead stolen. The same thing with the enslavement of Africans, we were enslaved and violated, we were not slaves. We have been renamed at least 7 times since being forced into America, and each name is not our original name. Even when the Europeans came to Africa, they forced Africans to change their names to go to particular schools, that’s why in my dad’s era they had English names. Thank Ala I was given all Igbo names in this here america.

We need to start taking ownership of our names and words. We need to start taking ownership of our practices. Listen, again, Europeans claim to find things and name them, but renaming what’s not yours is actually not to be celebrated. We’ve just come to claim these titles and not question it. Why go to Africa, European, and start calling something an African mango? It needs no prerequisite in Africa, it’s a mango. Even in Africa, being forced because of colonialism to have 2 weddings, and calling the original, “traditional wedding”, a wedding is a wedding; the white dress wedding is a tradition, of the British, so should we call the white wedding a traditional British wedding? I’m going to start doing that. I’m not, for sure, going to keep changing the name of everything that’s mine every time the Europeans bring their version, or not even their version 99% of the time – it’s just their name based on their interpretation.

Speaking of interpretations, my favorite European misinterpretation is the Egyptian book of the dead. It actually, in Egyptian culture, translates to the Egyptian Book of Life. The Europeans did not understand the ways and practices seen in the book, therefore misinterpreting. That is why gatekeeping is so important, we have been thinking for hundreds of years that the people who enslaved us were genuinely interested in our cultures, however they have always, without fail, misinterpreted our cultures to the world. The biggest one being the renaming of Africa, you think all those countries and languages existed? They did not, they were divided according to the territory of the colonizer. To be a Nigerian means nothing, I am Igbo and will no longer claim European borders on Africa. Through our renaming all over the world, especially where we’ve been enslaved, our culture has been robbed from us and trying to the world to not represent the fullness of our traditions and who we are. Twerking anyone? I won’t even get into twerking, but I tell you this, whatever Miley Cyrus was doing wasn’t twerking, and whatever the origin of twerking is, is not sexual, but you wouldn’t know that because you let Miley teach you; I leave you with Miley’s teachings.

You want to know the real? Come to the next Decolonize Your Mind class on Monday, August 9th!

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Let’s Communicate! #ForwardFridays

black men with balloons and smartphone

Melanated Gems, do you know communication is key? We as a diaspora are moving into liberation, we can feel it as things intensify, there’s always a little storm before change happens, and we recognize that; but now it’s up to us to communicate. Communication isn’t always what we want to hear, but what we need to hear. If we are expressing our concerns as a community to move forward, we shouldn’t be attacked, or attacking each other. We have become so used to divide and conquer against us as a people, that we continue divide and conquer. Feedback is not always an attack, listening carefully to words used when the person is speaking, did they attack you or did they specifically state their experience. Through dialogue comes understanding.

In the case of history, we as Africans know that colonizers did their best to confuse us and detach us from our history. The point was for us to not know. The point was to rewrite it in a way that favors them, so those of us who may have contradictory knowledge to white’s, should not be dismissed. I have countless examples of lived experiences and passed down actual knowledge, also knowledge that I sought to find by researching and researching, it may not be “first in the google search” but it’s there. I put that in quotes because it’s not just google, it’s books, human accounts, and comparing and contrasting through connecting the dots. I don’t just come up with stuff by reading something once, I evaluate it against other information and draw conclusions based on strong analysis. When I state what I’ve found, someone will send a screenshot of their first google search. The point is, we have to start believing each other and engaging at least in conversation that doesn’t tear down before finding out what the person is trying to say. Divide and conquer knew that the misinformation would cause us even to argue about that, that was the point.

Our narratives are more important than the misinterpretations that were passed down to us. We also have to be real about what we inherently see now that is trendy amongst us, besides all the arguing, what is inherently African culture that is displayed around the world through the continent and all the descendants. There is nothing new under the sun, we have to begin to look to us currently, and historically to debunk myths about us. I always say, westerners will tell us that our African stories are myths, but their misinterpretation of our stories are truth. We have to take back our narratives. That starts with engaging with and believing each other, or at least engaging for understanding. We can walk away with our inherent beliefs, but let’s remain in peace before, during, and after the engagement, do you get? I’ll dive more deep into this topic in upcoming posts.

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