A place where Black Mothers can celebrate excellence and motherhood.

9:03 AM

My sisters, we need to talk

by , in

Yesterday while scrolling on Instagram in the middle of transitioning in work, I saw a post that caught my eye. Lets be clear, it caught my eyes then influenced me to roll them....HARD.

I need ya'll to understand how bullshit this statement is..

We need to get away from this mentality that black women cannot feel or else the world will cease to move. Too much responsibility is on us and this statement implies that unlike our counterparts we are not allowed to FEEL or have FEELINGS much less embrace them with actions like crying. I was weakest when I was in spaces where I had to "suck it up" and not show emotion. I believed it instead of understanding that those people were truly not safe spaces and were simply afraid of what happens when you are connected to your soul and what happens when you listen to your soul crying out how much power you release when you answer. Stop encouraging the silencing of black women and our pain. Stop encouraging and praising black women being in a state of chaos instead of sitting with herself and obtaining peace. Stop reinforcing the toxicity that KILLS our spirits, minds, and hearts. Stop praising the rhetoric of how loyal we black women are to everyone but our own selves. Stop praising black women for loving black men that don't love us and protect us back. Stop stifling yourself and other black women, instead give your sister and yourself the space to take the weight of the fucking world off of her shoulders so she can love on and heal herself. We cannot raise healthy, stable, secure and confident daughters when we are still concealing open wounds, projecting our unstable, insecure thoughts and intentions on ourselves and our sisters. 

"Its Not about you anymore, its about your children." 

First off your grandmother and your mother is wrong and if they tell you this hang up on them and let them know I told you to do it, I will gladly take the heat. It is still about you, in fact its about you even more now because you are a mother. My colleague made a great point Monday as I cried into her arms over my ongoing situation as she told me straight up, "If you are not taken care of emotionally, spiritually and physically then neither are your children." Just because you have children together doesn't mean you need to be together. Black women pride ourselves on pouring into every one but ourselves. That's not healthy and its not cute. Looking back, I wish my mother would've taken those trips with her girlfriends or left my sister and I with my father because she needed not to mention EARNED the time she needed to herself. 

I have boundaries when it comes to my children's fathers and my needs. I have and continue to make it very clear that being a mother is a round the clock job and I need days and weekends to myself as well. In the beginning I felt guilty as hell for having two weekends out of the month to myself and one day a week but I NEED THAT. I need that time to be alone, to cry, binge on junk food, watch movies, go out with my friends whatever makes me feel good and will help me recharge. Yes your life is your child(ren) but you do not have to give up living just because thats what the beautiful black women did before us. Having that space between my children and I who are just as vibrant as me gives me time to miss this and unpack things that I believe stand in the way of me being a great mom. Plus, hell moms should be able to sleep in regardless of whatever age their children are. Sending your child away with their father,  trusted friend or family member will not make them resent you and it will not make you a bad mother, just a refreshed and relaxed one. 

"You just have to give him time, be patient with him. He will change, thats just how men are."

Uh, first off if you're in your twenties like me the consensus is whatever he is doing that is hurting you is this: We are too fucking old and you deserve better. Stop letting these men tear you down for the fact of calling yourself loyalty. Why does someone have to tear you down to realize how much more you are worth? Do not accept that. Black women don't owe anyone, especially men shit. We've paid our debts and we have every right to be loved and treated and respected just like the non-black women so often placed higher than us. There are enough beautiful black men out here that will not manipulate you or take from you emotionally. Decide what are your non-negotiables and stick to them. If Tyrone can't get out the car, knock on the door and open your car door for you then you don't need to be going out with Tyrone. Simple. No more doing the work for the men, let them do the work and show you how much you are worth to them. Loyalty is earned and as far as I'm concerned one-sided. I felt guilty for deciding to date a year after I had a split from my ex and he made sure I felt the guilt. Yet, for men we are constantly told we cannot question their intentions and their actions when we are not around. No thank you. You are single until he asks and is reciprocating loyalty, love and monogamy. simple. Your mental health and your heart is priority, no more jeopardizing that for men who don't even care to call you to see how your day was. 
I'm saying all of this to say,

We deserve better and we need to start giving ourselves better. Cry, scream, fall the fuck apart if you need to. Black women BEND Not Break. Trust me, your soul, your heart and your mind will thank you for finally taking that uncomfortable ass mask off. You can FEEL and get shit done. You think Oprah got to where she was by masking her pain and trauma especially as a sexual assault survivor? uhhh, I think the fuck not. Lemonade is the shit because Beyonce, a bomb ass black queen and powerhouse came out and told ya'll, I've been falling apart, standing strong, telling this nigga I'm not putting up with his shit and he better get it together or I'm out and I'm still going to be bomb. They gave themselves space to feel so they could be elevated. Sit with yourself sis, you need it. The world needs you WHOLE. Not broken and giving from an empty ass cup. Pour into your best girlfriends, children and man and tell them to do so unto you.

Last but not least,
Beloved, I assure you that crying for ten minutes will get you further and more shit will get done than if you shelter your hurt and resent while faking the funk. Sincerely, 
Your sister that is still healing and learning to trust herself too.

P.S. I wrote this post listening to CTRL by SZA best album to heal and feel too if you're in your 20somethings like me. 

Leave some love and light below. 

7:26 AM

Black Girl Freedom

by , in

I think I can speak for many black women, myself included on how stressful it can be growing up as a black girl. At age 25, I realize I'm still facing some things from my childhood and teenage years that are hindering me becoming a better woman. To be a black girl and woman in this country is draining. We are constantly being observed, poked and prodded for our mental, emotional and most importantly physical state. We don't realize that the room we give ourselves (black people) to be free and experience life as they see fit is small but the room for black girls and women is even smaller. 

My passion in conflict resolution is to bring together our community and work together as we heal, teach and learn to love one another. My passion lies further into creating safe spaces for black children, especially black and brown girls to be who they want to be. For them to show and communicate emotion,  and to become human again as they once were before they were old enough to have their own experiences with people. The work that I do calls for me to be restorative not just with other adults and children but with myself, my family and my children specifically. 

So imagine my surprise last week, when my oldest daughter Tatiyana sent me a video of her riding her bike successfully as my mother cheered her on. I felt so proud I thought my heart would burst. I instantly thought back to when I, at age 7 learned how to ride my bike (my amazing sister taught me.) I remember the joy I felt, the freedom and thinking about how much fun I was going to have riding up down different alleys, the wind blowing through my ballies and barrettes. Then I got sad, because I thought about how in this day and age black girls are constantly facing more threats than black boys at home, in their neighborhoods and their schools and how the only way my daughter could feel that freedom is as long as I'm outside and she's in my eyesight. Simply because the fear of someone taking her or worse, being assaulted by a police officer who thought she was older or agressive is stronger than the desire to let her truly feel that freedom i felt. 

To put things into perspective a report published in 2014 by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) addresses the wide discipline gap created in the school system between girls of color and their white counterparts. To date, black girls are 5.5 times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts and 3 times more likely to be suspended than black boys (NWLC, 2014). They make up 18% of the U.S. school system, yet 35% percent of the law referrals and 31% of school based arrests. Thats 29% higher than their white counterparts. The reason for suspension? 'willful defiance' which is coded language for they were being "loud", "aggressive" or "threatening." which are characteristics typically assigned to black girls and women. This is problematic for many reasons including the girls missing school, being alienated from their class and also become more at risk to being entered into the justice system (school to prison pipeline.) 

We see the impacts of rape culture on black girls because we experience puberty faster. From an early age many of us are conditioned and taught we have no say in our body. As society would have it, black women and girls are only here to do the emotional and physical labor of everyone. We are Americas workhouse and sex slave. We are told "go kiss Uncle Buck!" Regardless how uncomfortable we feel, our family forgetting we have a right to our body, our personal space and deciding who comes into our bubble even if it is mommy and daddy, regardless of our age. We are taught early on that our bodies, are our fault and never mind that we've been put in harms way but that we somehow wanted it. We looked GROWN and acted FAST.
 Black women are associated with voluptuous assets and so our girls yet again face the issue of policing and body shaming for wearing clothing deemed "too short" or "revealing" that their white counterparts wear and are accepted. This idea that black women and girls must live a life of modesty whether intentional or not to assimilate into the standards of western feminism (which is centralized in white womanhood.) This is also an 'indicator' of our value and innocence *eye roll*. 

Another report recently released by Georgetown Law this past June, presents data on Black girls seen less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers. Black girls specifically between the ages of 5-14 are believed to need less nurturing, protection, know more about adult topics and to "know more about sex" the researched was gathered based on a survey given to 325 adults of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. As a black woman and as a black mother this is troubling because I see my sweet baby as a beautiful angel curious and ever growing in this cruel world, adults who are supposed to protect, teach and love her in my absence project onto her the image of a young sexual, deviant prowess. That scares me.

It's time we have a conversation. It's time we start calling out problematic friends and family members who do not understand that black girls have a right to their bodies. It's time we start calling out toxic masculinity that damage the image of black women and girls. It's time we stop making excuses and staying silent out of fear. 

While some of this information is new much of it is not as these assumptions and biases are rooted in slavery and white supremacy , I wonder if we as black girls and women will ever be able to get to a place where we can be vocal without being labeled angry (even if we are angry, rightfully so), demand space without being labeled aggressive, love our bodies without them being sexualized and monitored. Most importantly, be able to learn, grown and experience what it means to be a child without having that taken away.
I say all of this to say, black girl love on yourself today. Love on another black girl today. We need it. Most importantly, we need each other.
Drop some love below.
I'll be in touch