Growing up I read a lot of Sweet Valley and Goosebumps. not a child of colour in site. I managed to come out all right, but I certainly wouldn’t want generations to be further inundated with whiteness and token racialised persons. So for the children in your life- biological and non-biological, 25 books featuring strong black girls.
Last month marked 30 years of the killing of Maurice Bishop, leader of the NJM in Grenada. Groundation Grenada shares two reflections from two generations on the revolution now and then. Watching an documentary on the revolution I was moved by how excited and hopeful people were. I’ve found maintaing hopefulness for meaningful political change pretty difficult in my adult life time…
I’m likely not to understand the full dynamics of this story surrounding young black men buying extravagantly priced items at a high end store NY and getting profiled. But one of my favourite commentators of higher education and its complications especially for poc in the US has a wonderfully personal reflection on the how and why of spending money when working clas. She highlights how people make judgements on our appearance all the time, and those judgements can close and open doors of opportunity.
I like to start my workout like I’m now going out to get paint and mud all over my body on j’ouvert morning. Undoubtedly one the biggest songs for the year, that I still don’t know the words to.
When it’s time to increase the speed I like to remind myself of FANTASTIC FRIDAY. On actual fantastic Friday I was shoveling snow in Toronto wishing I was in the stadium. Boy am I glad those days are over.
Keeping the run in high gear. It hurts me to post this, but that “we not staying down, we getting off the ground” makes me pick up the pace every single time. I’m seeing this video for the first time… I may be in love. That little boy holding he head at 3:27! Ah love it!
A great cool down! pieces2peace reintroduced me this Kes song. I must say I wasn’t on the Kes train in the early days. Lines like, “tonight the red man feeling to party” will never get you in my good books but he does give a great live show and I’ve never heard him repeat those words.
Family, I hope you had a great week. I had a pretty exceptional week (if I should say so myself) because on Monday I started grad school. Classes are interesting and demanding and my free time has been left in the dust. However I wanted to make sure I shared with you all some of the interesting things that I read this week between all the scholarly articles. I promise to not post any of those here lol
- Catfishing and such. Over the past month or so I got into the MTV show Catfish and it is entertaining to no end. Only one situation that I saw ended well and that was because both parties were being dishonest about themselves and by chance they happened to connect in the end. In all other episodes it has been anger, tears and major disappointment. It is really easy to say that you would never get caught up in an online dating lie, and there are some pretty simple ways to mitigate at least some of the foolishness early out, but if we really think about it is this really that uncommon and new-age? This NYT article fleshes it out really well and gave me some new perspective on how we really go about knowing someone.
- Faith and Spirituality. I don’t talk about God and faith much, but I think about it quite often. Growing up very very catholic is a significant part of how I got here and I am still negotiating a lot of how I feel about Christianity on a whole. I came across this article from Esquire and read it about three times because I sometimes feel this is where I want to be, other times not so much.
3. NKOTB. When I was about 9 or 10 I was in love with Donnie and Jordan from New Kids on the Block. I was obsessed. I had all their music on tap, nighties, notebooks, stationary, videos of their performances and I am pretty sure I wrote them about 46 letters (I was that kid) and waited with baited breath for the responses that never came. I wasn’t big on the other boy bands but NKOTB brought me great joy. Can you imagine how excited I was to hear that New Kids on the Block is teaming up with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees for a 2013 stadium-sweeping super-tour called THE PACKAGE. Sigh. I could go on and on but me sister from another mister Lindy over at Jezebel lays it out in hilarious plain language for those of you who may not know. Best believe that I have already scoped out the NYC dates, best believe.
Enough of my randomness, have a great weekend yall.
One of the standard workshops I run is on self-care. The last activity in the workshop, we ask people to write themselves a promise, a “Self Care Pledge”, one thing that they will do for themselves i)each day ii)each week and iii)each month. Each time I facilitate this workshop, I fill out my pledge and, more often than not, do not follow through on my commitment to myself. Fyah stirrers, I’m sharing my self care pledge with you today in the hopes that I will have too much shame to break such a public promise.
I pledge to go to bed early every day. I am not a person who can feel rested on 6 hours of sleep – I need 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night in order to wake up smoothly and not suffer a severe energy level crash at 2pm. Something always tends to feel more important than getting to sleep by 11pm though – finishing a True Blood episode I’ve already seen, having a phone conversation with someone I can call the next day, online shopping on Forever21. Going to sleep late also means I am less likely to get up early for a run, and I’ve learned running 3 mornings a week can make my mood infinitely better. So, I promise that I will make every effort to be in bed and asleep by 11pm at the latest.
I pledge to prepare lunches for myself every week. I used to be really good at doing this every weekend. This requires me to go grocery shopping and set aside time to cook which is simple enough, but often by Sunday I’m so tired that I fail at my half-hearted attempts to get myself out of bed. The times I do manage this, my week tends to go a lot better – I spend less unnecessary money, I feel better since I generally cook healthy and delicious meals (yes, that was me bigging myself up – I good to put in house), and my weekday nights feel a lot less rushed because one major task is already done. With 40 days left in Toronto, my evenings are throwaways in terms of not spending money on food and eating healthily since I’m going out for dinner with friends a lot more often, but my lunches can still be sensible.
I pledge to take time to reflect and unpack every month. I remember derevolushun telling me once that a lot more people should go to therapists because we pick up so much little shit in our daily lives and never take the time to think about it/unpack it/release it. In this vein, I’d like to promise myself to take some alone time every month (maybe go on a date with myself) to evaluate my thoughts, feelings and journeys for the month past, and figure out how i’d like to move forward into the next one.
Fyah stirrers, are you good at taking care of yourselves? Do you need to make some public promises here too? Let’s hold each other accountable!