Posts tagged ‘fyah fridays’

fyah links- books, Grenada & class politics

Growing up I read a lot of Sweet Valley and Goosebumps. not a childblack girl reading 01 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.

revolutionLast 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 shopping bagsdynamics 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.

fyah links- weed, reparations, genderbending & saying no

Regionally there are a couple big discussions go on that have somewhat piqued my interest.

  1. An increasing push towards decriminalising marijuana. The Prime Minister in St. Vincent has spoken in favour and so as the Chief Justice in Trinidad. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I’m less interested I think the CJ’s endorsement is particularlydecriminalise marijuana relevant when one thinks of the people* are put in jail for possession with intent to sell for what are typically quite small amounts. I fully support the decriminalisation of marijuana, jails do not need to be full of recreational users and those with addiction issues should be supported outside of a jail setting. I’m much less concerned about the marketing opportunities. But it took talking dollars and cents for the enslavement of Caribbean people to end, maybe if they can prove the region will make a lot of money from export governments will look more favourably upon the matter. So sad that quality of life, unnecessary imprisonment and mental health aren’t seen as great priorities.
  2. We now have a Caribbean Reparations Committee, “to seek compensation from Europe for native genocide reparationsand enslavement of Africans during colonisation”. I’m very curious to see how the process progresses. Hopefully as it moves forward ways to get involved and give input will be made available to the general public. If/ when that information becomes available I’ll definitely be posting it. The question for me as always, is what do we think reparations should look like? It’ll be interesting to see if there will be any women on the committee, any young people, any… I hope the committee will not be all be straight middle aged men of high academic standing from middle and upper middle class back grounds.

Have you seen this interacive genderbread person? This person is wonderful. It’s certainly not a cut and try formula on how to understand genderbreadgender and sex but it’s eye-opening when you consider how many manifestations of being there are for our various gendered performances. I highly recommend playing around with it!

Fatimah Best-Jackson breaks down the difficulty of saying no. And she’s not talking about sex or drugs.

I have always had a tendency to say yes. No matter how many responsibilities there were at work or how tired I felt, I would agree to that one extra thing someone asked me to do. Sometimes it resulted in staying up all night proofreading a friend’s essay or being at an event when I really would have rather been in bed. At keep calm and say nothe time, I thought it was worth it because I did something for someone else that made them happy, but I rarely stopped to think about how I felt.

Saying no is a real challenge for me but I try to make and effort to recognise the limits of my own boundaries. It is very easy to fall into the people-pleasing effort/ superwoman trap. But I will say, that I’ve been most inspired to say no when a friend tells me s/he can’t. It’s a reminder from someone who loves me, someone who cares that they can’t be there all the time. So be a friend… tell someone you can’t today. 🙂

*read: young, poor and working class men

fyah spots- we’re back!

These posters are so hype. CARICAN i.e. CARICOM can take a stand against homophobia. Support the site b/c really, CARICOM can, and only canCARICOM flags if we ourselves take a stand.

This page is part of a collective response to recent mob-killings of gay and transgender Caribbean citizens in Haiti and Jamaica. Using Rosie the Riveter as a theme, the tagline “We Can Do It”, is an attempt to lobby CARICOM governments to take a clear position on homophobic and transphobic violence. Contributors are asked to wear their flags as a head tie and pump their muscles for peace.


This link kinda plugs us… but have you seen it? Top 10 Caribbean Feminist Blogs you should follow? If it were in order the blog that put out this list should be number one! Big up to all my Caribbean feminists out there, those who write, those who act, those who think, those who are slowly crossing over. Our fyah makes things that much sweeter in the region. I’ve even missed a few of these over the years. But if I had to pick my favourite favourite, I’d have to give it to Creative Commess, and you should definitely follow her on facebook.

Speaking of Caribbean feminists… Fatimah Jackson-Best has been representing Caribbean Muslim faithwomen over at aquila style superbly for the last few months. Check out her latest post on mental health and illness in Muslim communities. Her piece offers advice that is relevant to all communities religious or not. It’s crucial that we talk about mental health, support people when they seek help, and individually that we not see it as a weakness in our faith or sense of self.

skin care productsI’ve been sleeping on Black Girl in the Ring and I missed this great post on dealing with acne naturally. As I head into my 30s with this acne still following me I think (read: hope) that maybe this Wadadli (Antiguan) remedy for acne may be the answer.

In my hat tip and final good bye to Toronto, I remember Sammy Yatim who was killed seemingly senselessly by a Toronto police justice for Sammyofficer. I share the reflection of a friend of pieces2peace prompted by his witnessing of a protest for Sammy Yatim in downtown Toronto. I remember my own confusion when I heard to story, and increased confusion when I saw the video. I remember my own outrage that this young man had been killed. My own disappointment with myself for not showing up for the protests.

yoga matAnd because I’ve been gone for so long I’m giving you 6 links instead of 3. Here are 23 problems only yoga people understand. I related 100% to numbers 2, 7, 9, 13, 15, 22 and 23. I have a hard hard life.

fyah fridays- grannies & music

Granny Grace- back in the dayI rarely acknowledge mother’s day, but this tribute to a grandmother made my eyes water. I love that this piece does two things (1) troubles motherhood- it’s not just the biological but the mother/ sister/ Granny Helen- back in the dayaunt/ godmother/ grandmother/ greataunt/ neighbour/  friend/ [older] woman in your life combo (2) doesn’t do the trite simplistic thing, and I hope to share these same values with my daughter blah blah… no she says, “I am passing that wisdom on to others,” she is in the act of doing and sharing with all. Two things my Grannies taught me 1. the importance of treating all people with respect 2. how to entertain!

I’m super impressed by Janelle’s Monae new song, aren’t you? Maybe I’m reading too much into itJanelle-Monae-QUEEN-Ft-Erykah-Badu(as are lots) but I think in many ways this song is the embodiment of queer politic, that deviation from the norm. Black womyn enjoying their sexuality in a plethora of forms. And though this isn’t quite my music of choice, I know that when music does play, my bootie doesn’t lie. 😀 And sometimes I do think I am made to feel weird for dancing a lone late at night. But I think my favourite lines:

Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?
Say will your God accept me in my black and white?
Will he approve the way I’m made?
Or should I reprogram the programming and get down?

don’t get upset with me when you see me this summer in a black and white striped dress.

I’m a biter like that. 🙂

The MisEducation of Lauryn HillA friend tagged me on this on facebook: Ms Hill and Beyonce…. Disclaimer: I am very much team Lauryn and not at all team Beyonce. I think the writer does a good job of drawing parallels between their paths and choices. For me the Cuba trip as an act of defiance is a bit of reach… probably b/c I don’t like to give Beyonce much credit and b/c JayZ is the only one who responded to criticism of the trip. The wider point however is regardless of path, the scrutiny is high simply because they are black women.
Also, I do have genuine concern for Ms Hill’s mental health b/c though I do recognise the maddening effects of corporate control and capitalism her responses appear to have been far from strategic. It is however probably too much to expect that strategy is possible when forces are actively working to undo you. So though I think there are mental health issues at play I am in no way downplaying the very real attacks the industry has mounted against her and many others who play, and refuse to play ball. The struggle will not always be won….

fyah fridays- feminism, depression & love

I’ll admit, I’m not super big on Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, I thoroughly enjoy her writing- be sure to check out her new one, and her speaking but Ithis is what a feminist looks like met her once at a reading and the vibe wasn’t great. But that’s another story. That out of the way, I endorse this talk, I don’t agree with everything she says but I think her anecdotes will hit home with many viewers. One of the lines is that gender (the social convention) is so busy telling us what we should be it often limits what we are. #feminismisnecessary.

Thanks to pieces2peace I saw this lovely article on managing depression. There are actually 21 tips, and it’s not just of the unfuck tomorrow variety. The step that I most related to was:

tv“#17 . Avoid fictional drama and tragedy like the plague. No Grey’s Anatomy, no to The Notebook, or anything that won a Pulitzer prize. You’ve got enough going on In Real Life. Comedy only.  Or trashy stuff. Old episodes of WonderWoman? I’ve got the box set. Mindless drivel, like the latest CGI blockbuster. Or clever, funny books. David Sedaris. Jenny Lawson. Fiction exists to elicit emotion, and the emotion you need to express most right now is laughter.”

Heavy entertainment drains me, granted the high consumption rate of the light entertainment I do consume is probably also draining. But if most of my television and movie watching surrounds death, murder, crime, injustice… it no longer becomes just tv.

I may be getting sappy in my old age, but I put this on my facebook page followed by #swoon. It’s all about polyamoryromantic partnership, not just who we should have in our lives, but I like to think, who we should be as well. Everyone should bd checking out Creative Commess on facebook, she brings fyah with every single post. Ignore the very white dated heteronormative picture that accompanies the article.

Fyah Fridays- Girls, Food and Science

girls1. I have been watching Girls on HBO. I watch it because it’s a captivating story, featuring unique perspectives and characters I have never seen on Television in this light before. These are some screwed up, delusional, without-a-clue, privileged, reckless, self-involved women living in a dream world and it’s hella entertaining to watch. There are many scenes that make me quite uncomfortable around sex acts and relationships but I know this shit really happens. Another aspect about Girls is that not one of the characters are remotely likeable, not one of them. Yet I can’t stop watching.  This is an article I read that sort of reflects how I feel about the show. I know the season has ended but I don’t have HBO so I have to find alternative viewing options so that leaves me quite a bit behind.

food2. I love food, probably too much. I love to go to fancy grocery stores and buy up special sauces and oils and frozen samosas and other delicious things. I found this article on food prices globally and its progression in the last few years. I found it interesting the amount of money spent on food at home. As a student I try my best to eat at home and prepare food to go when I can. How much money do you think you spend on food away from home?

3. I Bleeping love Science. This is my most favourite facebook page. Get into it! science

Have a great weekend!

Fyah Friday



Here are a few randoms that caught my eye this week.

  1. This was an interesting article about the far-reaching fallout of the recent Lance Armstrong developments. I do not have any tattoos although I have come close a few times. Apart from a family member’s name, I don’t think I have found is a symbol/word/picture that I can commit to.  I found it interesting how these people viewed their body art when the LiveStrong association became tainted by association.
  2. I came across this one on a sisteren’s facebook page. While the Harlem Shake viral video phenomenon has been rather interesting, I was struck that there were so many people that don’t know the original Harlem Shake dance. Apparently someone else felt this way and went to the streets of Harlem to ask Harlem natives what they think about the videos baring their neighbourhood’s name. It is funny to watch but it provides current proof that appropriation is so very real.
  3. Any Fire Stirrers in Philly should go check out this exhibit of costumes worn by the Supreme’s. I would argue them to be one of the most significant music groups in US music history and I would like to personally thank them for influencing some of my favourite songs and groups. The costumes are awesome. Can you tell that I like glitter J?
  4. Last but surely not least is this new Amnesty International petition to put sexual and reproductive health and rights on the global agenda. Sign on! Take part! My Body! My Rights

Have a great weekend!

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