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!

fyah fridays- occupying space

one billion risingAre you rising on the 14th February? I will be. So will many around the world. Much of my writing, reading and some of my working has been around raising awareness around sexual violence. 1 Billion is a large number, find a rising near you…. learn the dance (debbie allen’s teaching) or create your own but make that day and the days to come one/ones in which you rise against sexual violence. Big up to igds at Cave Hill in Barbados.

Speaking of taking over spaces. Qui Dorian says take over yoga studios this year! I’m all for it… well I would be if it
yoga matdidn’t cost so much. That’s why I’m uber thankful for Brown Girl’s yoga for making a space that feels comfortable and accessible for people who look like me to practice.  I can’t do headstands, I’m not dreaming that far ahead… and the thought of one day being able to do the crow pose makes me simultaneously giddy and frustrated… but I do believe the practice helps me. I pay attention to my body, and for 20-60 minutes there’s nothing else to do but be with me. It for me has been a gift.

I was raped t shirtNnzinga Job’s TEDx Port of Spain talk on Love, rape and sex
.  She talks as a survivor, a believer and a dreamer. What stood out to me most was her sharing that her realisation that we create the meaning of sex has in our lives, once we do this it is so much easier to say no. Journal people, our, all our journeys are worth documenting. Towards the end she shares tips for a healthy sex life. I was going to list my favourite but I actually love them all: 

#2 take the time to know what you like and dislike sexually and why

#3 have sex only to celebrate and commemorate never to forget

#4 get physically fit and flexible and practice sexual expressiveness through dance

#5 save money into a sex fund

Completely off topic but had my cracking up. Artists who need to stop making crappy music. I disagree with Erykah making the list. I loved New microphoneAmerkyah Volume 2. But everyone else, so feeling their place on the list plus I think it’s hilarious that Alicia Keys isn’t on the list b/c we have to accept her albums have never really cut it to start with. lol

black power booksClosing off, 100 books by black women everyone should read. I’ve read about a third of them; and it’s not nearly as straight and African-American as I thought it would be. Shout out to all the queer, African and Caribbean (and their intersections) authors on the list. Check it out- Nalo Hopkinson, audre lorde, Jamaica Kincaid, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Stacey Ann Chinn, Octavia Butler, Shirley Chisolm…. come one, you know you’re intrigued.

fyah links- self care, feminism and vulnerability (all the same thing really)

audre lorde- self careMy self-care was going well up until the end of November.  I was exercising, cooking, eating right, wining while flossing, and the usual,  following a schedule… life was good. pieces2peace came to visit and I used that blip in the routine to introduce mayhem to my life. I came across this wonderful list of things one blogger does to take care of herself. One I already do: go to dinner alone. One I need to do: think/ speak positively about myself. One that’s fun: dance fights! 🙂

I got into a facebook conversation about this article. My comments are plentiful, but as a self-This is what a feminist looks likeidentified feminist who I think in many ways could be read a black hipster feminist I took plenty issue with this article. These comments will the most sense of you read the article: Her concerns re: the appropriation of African culture through fashion with Solange and others are pretty complicated. Definitely it’s a little uncomfortable getting kente clothes from American Apparel, not necessarily a route I’d take… but I struggle with the use of the term appropriation for people who are descendents of enslaved and displaced African people. As a light-skinned woman I definitely understand the privilege around the choice of this fashion being more likely read as a statement vs. an identity but it’s complicated.

A Caribbean man talking about feminist issues without derailing them… actually as an ally without a million caveats. Impossible you say? Shout out to groundation grenada. 🙂

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this here b4 but a great friend of mine posted this on my wall awhile back and it resonated with me so deeply. It’s a little on the long side at 20 mins but the speaker highlights her research findings around what makes people feel worthy and why we hold on to shame. I have another friend who says we often do things we shouldn’t b/c we lime with shame and pride too much and “them fockers could talk”. That still making me laugh. Anyway, she speaks about the power of being vulnerable and what we do to avoid it- we numb it, we make that which is uncertain, certain, we pretend… give it watch. It’s about a year old but she came out with a part two that’s also pretty good, not as good as the 1st but still pretty good.

Fyah Fridays – The SK Music Edition

I’m cheating since I finally found the music links for this carnival… welcome to the songs that (for the most part) had us skinning out on the road in SK.

1. Small Axe Band – DCH

I was anticipating the release of this song since I heard Small Axe perform the chant (just the chorus) when I was home this summer. When I first heard the song, I was seriously let down – I thought they could have done so much more. But hearing it 200 times, wukkin up on the road to it jouvert and my love of Ras Kelly’s riddim box won out and I do get excited when they ask me “Can you feel it, you feel it, tell me can you feel it?” and wasn’t too upset when it won Road March.

2. Grand Masters Band – Hollywood

I appreciate Grand Masters – they’re a band that’s actually made up of real musicians. That being said, these days Grand Masters does bore me. I like this song and it was nice to jam to on the road but I actually completely forgot about it until I went searching for the GM releases for this year.

3. Nu Vybes Band – Oxygen

I have no words for how disappointed I am in Nu Vybes this year. I am/was a big Sugar Head (Nu Vybes is known as the Sugar Band so Sugar Heads are diehard fans) and have been making excuses for them for the last few years but when J’ouvert is early Dec 26th and you release your songs on Dec 22nd, you’ve reached a new level of ridiculousness. I didn’t even want to post a song for them and I absolutely refuse to post that One Order song that cyan ketch me till now. I so vex I like “Oxygen”. Anyway, here.

4. Kollision Band – Big Shake

This was the song I had to be Road March. Although it “borrowed” significantly from a Haitian commercial, what music doesn’t use samples from Haitian commercials these days? This carnival I officially became a Kollision fan – the band seems to work hard, their live performances have been hype, their sound is clear on the road and they aren’t one of the big 3 bands (Nu Vybes, Grand Masters, Small Axe) and have the potential to break their monopoly. As you listen to this song you need to do the big shake dance. To not would be disrespectful.

5. Kollision Band – KB Mix

This mix performed live does mek me practice wukkin up on me head like de young girls dem. Riddim!!!!!!!!!!!


Any of the songs hitting your sweet spot? Did I miss any that you loved this carnival, fyah stirrers?

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