February 21, 2014 · 1:24 pm
*I write this in response to a creeping Kola Boofs Twitter timeline and seeing a back-and-forth between she and Rosanne*
The women reading this Blog are gainfully employed, running functioning households, controlling successful businesses, busy being beautiful, whatever; So, I’ll TRY to keep this short and sweet 😉
Tommy Sotomayor IS sending a message which although particularly controversial, is one that some people feel is a motivating force within the Black Community. Many people understand the use of his platform to simply be a self-reflective mirror showing that we ought to be holding ourselves to higher standards of morality and ethics; A necessary evil of sorts.
Others at the polar opposite of the spectrum instead believe that he is a contagion; A deadly strain of ideological virus compiled of hatred and contempt toward Black Women in general and that he is set on propagating the lie that we are on a path of self-destruction. That we are ugly, matriarchal failures. Genocidal maniacs.
I’ve watched my fair share of TS YouTube clips and am familiar with the jargon of “Beasties”, “Snow Queens”, “Mixed Nuts” and “Hair Hatted Hooligans”. I’ve also become fluent to the language of “Simps” and “Madden Kings” and so, I well understand the “message of his media” and where both sides have formed their opinions from. Tommy Sotomayor openly and scathingly critiques Black Women and Black Men however, like him or hate him; His types have become an important enigma in the world of North American internet savvy Black People. Tommy Sotomayor and the like are speaking about us and therefore they are speaking to us. But ultimately, it is our prerogative to acknowledge, discuss, ignore or silence their condescension. That us being Black People however; These messages are far reaching and unfortunately not only falling into our ears, so instead of hitting home only within the realm of our particular communities, it’s breaching cultural “boundaries”.
I believe that the judgment that some white people are allowing themselves to openly express toward Black Women is a side-effect after also being exposed to TS type messages; Collateral damage so to speak. (As if having the loaded finger of detriment pointed at us isn’t enough.) You want to judge us? Fine, it’s your right but, I suggest you sit quietly by and in blood curdling suffocating silence.
Stop assuming that the world needs you to speak for it because you can’t and yes, you assume the implication right; It is simply because you are white and inexperienced with what it means to be considered “other”. As much as it’s your right to direct your misinformed judgement toward us, we’ve every right to call you out on it and demand that you miss us with your foolishness. When we catch you in blatant acts of prejudice and discrimination, it’s not a reflection of our inherent “angry”ness to reject your violation, it’s simple self preservation of which we are also entitled to. It forces to mistrust you and therefore sometimes refrain from truly connecting with you. I digress…
Though, I don’t presume to speak for all Black Women, I think it’s safe to illuminate the sacred sorority that does exist between us.
We are all our mothers daughters but we are her first born and therefore delightfully special and beautifully unique. I choose not to pretend to understand a hierarchy where you feel you deserve to be placed above us, undermining our right to exist within the norms, mores, taboos and boundaries of our own cultures. Undermine our own agency to navigate the complexities of our relationships. Undermine the acceptance, indifference or the critiques of our own men. Men who may not love us but of who we are by nature innately designed and bound to love in spite of ourselves. (A WHOLE other essay entirely…)
Understand that we do not consider you to be beneath us; For our Mothers taught us to be especially respectful of other Women but, if you continue to chose to NOT be beside us within our framework of true and inclusive sorority which protects the integrity of Women as a whole and does not cheapen the right to exist of certain individuals, then inevitably, you will subjugate yourselves invariably.
Contrary to your popular opinion, we do not need you in order to be relevant. We are not in juxtaposition with you. We do not worship you. We can and do reject your assumption of dominion over us.
White supremacist Euro-Judeo-Anglo Saxon superiority is an utter fallacy and if you refuse to see us as equals, as fellow She-People; We will refuse to see you at all. We have each other, the majority of us do not take it for granted. Intersectionality is simply a theory, a theory that can be bitterly rejected.
P.S. Some of You will deconstruct this and claim that I am defending Ts; Resoundingly, NO I am not. I’m saying that we are mindful enough to deal with the fallout of his ideologies on our own and are also intelligent enough to see through a White persons “co-sign” on his perception of us. We see that your support of people like that is simply you giving your-less-than-perfect-self permission to stereotype and paint all Black Women with the broad stroke of ratchetness without a) Knowing more than maybe two Black Women and likely not that intimately and b) Understanding ANY thing about us. So, unless you’re defending the right of all Women to exist, be silent.
Black Women can support and hold each other up magnificently therefore, where there are changes and areas for growth within our circles, we can help to positively influence each other and we do. We have each other to help Mother and Sister each other to self-improvement, striving to becoming better individuals so that we can be better Daughters, Sisters, Mothers, Wives, Lovers and Friends. Solidarity is nothing short of love.
TS is welcome to his opinion, but as we all know by now, opinions are like assh*les; Everyone has one and some are shi*tty 😉
The moral of the story is; Always think twice before You openly climb aboard some bandwagon full of bull sh*t because we can see through misogynistic f*ckey just as well as the next Lass.
Light Reflected is enlightenment infinite.
Filed under African Canadian, Black Canadian, Black Educators, Black Literature, Education, Eurocentricism, Literacy, Musings, Parents, Racism, Uncategorized, Women
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Canadian Success, Afro-Centric Education, Black Canadian, Canada, Education, Ghetto, Harmony, Know Better Do better, language, Leadership, Love, Mis-Education, Motherhood, Peace, Racism, self-improvement, Womanist, women
August 1, 2013 · 3:07 pm
I will always return to Zimbabwe
Precious jewel of Africa
Birthplace for my love of travel
And my fear of ignorance
First away from Neverland experience
Where I was never treated like a stranger
So far away from Nova Scotia
Welcomed and protected
Educated and informed
My exodus to a “home” I can never claim
But wish I could
I will always return to Zimbabwe
Bus rides to Bulawayo
To meet the Sandy plains of Hwange
On to Dete for a polite midnight Braai
and warm sadza
and Scud shared from a cup
Lazy train ride to Victoria Falls
Where my ashes will one day scatter
Forever flowing on the Zembezi
To mingle with the Crocodiles and the Hippos
Where being colored is just the state of being
I will always return to Zimbabwe
She in all her Babobab beauty
Glorious sunsets and freezing cold mornings
Nachies for breakfast
The best fried chicken and tomatoes
I’d ever tasted
Non genetically modified foods
Still tasting Nando’s on my tongue
All these years later
Rich red Earth
Dusty sandals and toes
After a walk through Harare suburbs
Realizing suburbs exist beyond Canada
I will always return to Zimbabwe
Friendships forged through
About politricks and passion
And way too much cheap alcohol
High density areas that taught me
District 9 isn’t just a sci fi movie
It’s a social commentary
“have and have not” mentality
I grew a whole foot in Zimbabwe
My 24th year of life
~Rachelle M. Turple
June 20, 2013 · 2:12 am
The journey of a million miles begins with a single mother
Her weeping woes of wisdom seem to transgress like no other.
The open arms of honesty hold steadfast though they tangle
Her children cry obscenities as her love begins to strangle.
When toddling becomes crawling and walk turns into run
Every bump and bruised is kissed away still her grip becomes undone.
The nursling grows now a form independent of her plea
No matter of mere prayers or tears or pure tenacity.
Beyond the trials of motherhood she cannot bear to vision
But while she constantly constrains, her cubs become imprisoned.
Her love becomes ferocity and protection their division
The babes privately premeditate their eminent excision.
When soon her fledglings have enough and plan to leave the nest
She makes to mind a watchful eye in futility at best.
The world has opened up and swallowed all that she held dear
She cannot conceive a life without her babies near.
Space and time her allies yet she feels she is alone
Maturity and malevolence start to lead her offspring home.
They desire of the guidance and protection of their youth
Somehow she’s seen it all and they are honored by her truth.
A mother’s work is never done and seldom does she rest
She will worry when she sleeps, constantly in stress.
Her children will respect her when they learn that she knows best
For them she’d walk a million miles and for this she is blessed.
Rachelle M. Turple
Filed under Education, Literacy, Poetry
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Centric Education, Black Canadian, black literature, Know Better Do better, language, Mis-Education, Motherhood, Mothers, Parenting lessons, Peace, poetry, self-improvement, Womanist, women
June 11, 2013 · 4:55 pm
“Man that school shit is a joke
The same people who control the school system control
The prison system, and the whole social system
Ever since slavery, nawumsayin?”
These Schools ~Dead Prez
Consider These Challenges…
Do You believe that as parents, it is our primary responsibility to educate our children or, are you of the mindset that it is perfectly acceptable to turn our Black children over to the public school system and have that duty outsourced?
Do You believe that our children can effectively learn from people who do not look like them and may not be truly committed to educating that child.
Do You believe that your children will and can rise to the level of your expectations? What are the expectations you have for your children? Do You believe that they matter to your child?
Do You believe that if the educator doesn’t truly care about or value the child being taught, that they are then unable to grow that child academically?
Do You believe that the real reason many of our children are not learning is because the people responsible for their learning couldn’t care less?
Do You believe that children need to feel content, valued, wanted and comfortable before they can effectively learn?
Do You believe that education content and curriculum today is relevant?
Do You believe that negative stereotypes are affecting the quality of education our Black children are receiving?
Do You believe that the mis-education of our children is not on purpose?
Do You believe that there is a deliberate and systematic effort to eliminate preparation for life after high school for Black people?
Do You believe that access to opportunity is equal across the board?
Do You believe that racism is no longer a threat to your son or daughter’s education and career opportunities?
What do YOU believe?
I urge You, dear reader to please leave honest feedback and comments on this as it was posted to inspire conversation and I’m interested to know your thoughts on these questions. This is an open forum designed to help us unite as parents, educators and social activists on the battlefield to stand in the gap for our children.
Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.
PS! I urge you to try and get a copy of the below book by Dr. Umar Johnson. I will be adding it and a few others to our ‘Black Literature’ list that I have been very neglectful in growing!!!
Filed under African Canadian, Black Canadian, Black Educators, Black Literature, Black Youth, Education, Literacy, Musings, Ontario, Parents
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Afro-Canadian Success, Afro-Centric Education, Black Canadian, Black Canadian People, Black Community, black literature, Black People, Canada, Education, Peace, Private Education, Public Schools, Womanist
June 4, 2013 · 8:45 pm
She is a Woman who is who she is
Does what she wants and lives how she lives
She is a Woman with so much to give
Open and freely she wonderfully gives
She is a Woman who wears what she wears
Treasures her body and looks as she dares
She is a Woman who sensually shares
Erotic to all she evokes to ensnair
She is a Woman who openly cares
Loves who she wants to and faces her fears
She is a Woman who believes in herself
Takes risks and chances because she trusts herself
She is a free spirit who knows that to Be
She must exist in a veracious pure state of She
She understands that she can’t possibly Be
An underrated cheapened shallow version of She
She is a believer in diligent prayers
Knows God is listening and comforts her tears
She is a warrior her victory clear
Always ready for action never caught unaware
She knows her lover must honestly be
The truest most masculine version of He
She submits to her man because she trusts that He
Will do what he must to take care of She
She respects her virtue and knows her true worth
Understands that as woman she mothers the Earth
She is crowned royal because of her birth
And celebrates life with a tangible mirth
How dare that Woman feel at home in her skin
Accept who she is both outside and in
If only all Women could beautifully be
Her truest and honest authentic own She
~Rachelle M. Turple
June 4, 2013 · 8:02 pm
A yellow woman approached me
Slanted were her eyes
And asked why she had never seen a black woman cry.
I could answer not her question
And was taken quite aback
Does not every woman cry no matter yellow white or black?
We absolutely do cry.
What else consoles our pain?
We pray for our oppressors and then we cry to calm our shame.
A black woman’s tears are sacred.
They cleanse her as she weeps
But sorrow sends to soil her soul and steadily it creeps.
She cries when she’s with wisdom
There’s none left to do but cry
Her lament surrendered honest, it needs not an alibi.
After pondering the ponder
I believe I’ve found reply
I know why it is you’ve never seen a black woman cry.
Seldom are her whispers heard
Far too often she’s invisible
The world around her seems to think that she’s somehow invincible.
She runs nowhere when she’s wounded
Pain enough to want to die
Silently she suffers as she finds the will to try.
Perhaps you’ve never noticed
Truly coming eye to eye
Maybe that is why you’ve never seen a black woman cry
She cries because she knows
People think she doesn’t cry
And she doesn’t need
~Rachelle M. Turple
Filed under Poetry, Women
Tagged as African Canadian, Afro-Canadian, Black Canadian, black literature, Canada, Female Poets, Harmony, language, Love, Peace, poetry, Womanist, women
June 3, 2013 · 6:01 pm
Picture the ugliest ugly
I’ll make it heavier
Multiply it by 10
So that it really
Grotesque and unpleasant
Repugnant and monstrous
Ominous and loathsome
Sordid and horrid
The revolting stench
of something repugnant
Rancid and rank
Disgusting and putrid
This is the reeking
Reality of hatred
Biting and ruinous
It’s gonna ruin US
It’s screwin’ US
Rotting us from the outside in
And they say that sex is
But way back in Genesis
Abel was slain
And for what?
The jealousy and hatred
Of his own brother Cain
Leads to certain
The assured extinction of humanity
Hatred is ugly
But I want you to see
Immorality fiddles up our
If that ain’t an incentive to be
Just a little bit righteous
I don’t know what is
This might just…
~Rachelle M. Turple