Black and Bullied

When we stand up for injustice, we are told that we shouldn’t.  Whether peaceful and silent, or loud and violent we’re continuously told that it’s best to keep out of it, but what about the bullied?

Another man was killed in broad daylight because he was seen to be threatening.  This “threat” was now lying face down with his hands handcuffed behind him, eventually begging for his mother and for his humanly instinct to breathe.   He’s already in a position that would require assistance to get up, so how does he continue to be a threat?  The only thing threatening about him was his full lips, broad nose, coarse hair, deep voice, broad shoulders, and dark skin.  Being a black man made him threatening.  This is something that’s been happening since the first African set foot on American soil at the hands of white people.  I was once told that since black people, to some, are not seen as having souls, like animals, killing them is no big deal.  George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others are dead because they were black.

The world has been trained to view black people as threatening and in a negative light.  The world has been trained to view black people as loud, obnoxious, wild, and lazy.  Black women are viewed as ratchet, ghetto, hood, overtly sexy, jealous, and angry; yet our African features, our movements, our style, our personality is imitated throughout the world. Black men are viewed as being angry, uneducated, and thugs, yet the way they “entertain”, the way they move, and their style is envied all over the world.  We are seen as savages, uncivilized, uncouth, and less than second-rate. 

No matter how much black people have adapted to Western European standards… no matter how much of our African traditions and heritage was beat out of us to be replaced by the customs and traditions of our slave owners, no matter how much we’ve done to assimilate, we will NEVER be seen as equal through the eyes of many.  We’ve been told to change the way we speak, the way we dress, and our hair because the way it grows out of our scalp is not right.  It isn’t decent and it’s unacceptable.  Black people will always have to continue to do more to prove ourselves, and even then, some would prefer to believe that we must have done something unethical to have been able to achieve.

When we stand up for injustice, we are told that we shouldn’t.  Whether peaceful and silent, or loud and violent we’re continuously told that it’s best to keep out of it, stay quiet on the issue, and just run after the ball or continue to play fetch.  We’re supposed to just go along and never speak up.  “Just do your job and stay quiet to make life easier for yourselves”.  We’re told that we should feel blessed and not complain about any mistreatment.  But what about the bullied?

We teach children that if they are being bullied, they should tell someone that has the authority to bring an end to the bullying.  The goal is to take the power away from the bully so that the victim can feel strengthened and no longer feel alone.  This can only work if the bullying is truly stopped.  If not, the bully will continue on knowing they’re able to get away with their actions.  If the one being bullied continues to keep their frustrations inside while feeling voiceless… if they have told the appropriate persons and nothing has changed, the bullied tends to do something dramatic to finally be heard.  From my observations, the bullied either violently takes it out on the school or on themselves.  When this happens all that knew about the victim’s situation begin to  speak up out of regret and remorse, for not having taken the child more seriously, for not being aware, or for not doing enough.

Too many times the bullies have been allowed to get away with their actions.  They’ve gotten a slap on the wrist, so they continue to get away with actual murder.  The thing is, by now all that have the authority, have seen the signs and have done nothing. Those that were supposed to listen to us didn’t and are now feeling remorse and regret.  With the use of social media and smart phones the signs of hate can not be ignored; but they have been ignored.  You ignored us and told us that we just needed to work hard and obey the laws and everything would be okay.  You ignored us and told us we were making something out of nothing.  You ignored us and told us that you didn’t believe our tales of the racial injustices we’ve experienced.  You told us that if we just change something about ourselves things would get better.  The bullied are tired.  They’ve been tired.  In the last few years the bullied silently attempted to protest, and the meaning behind it was purposefully misinterpreted. 

The bullied will no longer silent in their protest, and now many are taking dramatic action. We are screaming out for change! We are screaming out for justice! We are screaming out for Equality! We are screaming out because it is right! We are screaming out because we matter! 

My Life Matters–My Husband’s Life Matters–My Family’s Life Matters–                                Black Lives Matter!

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Gram Gram said WHAT?

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mother’s and future wonderful mothers out there in the world.  Happy Mother’s Day to the beautiful mother’s of the past, that despite the hardships still mothered. For many this is an easier day to celebrate than Father’s Day.  For some it used to…


I Admire You

You are living in your dream…

I cannot be like you.  As much as I may try and as much as I might want to…


I admire you.

Every day you arrive with a smile on your face and great expectations in your spirit.

Eager about this year, you are already planning for the next.

Warmth you deliver while focus and understanding are your goals.

Willing to assist others however you can, because no one is a stranger to you.

You are full of relative news, insight, and opinions;

but always aware of making sure to be respectable.

You are living in your dream…

I cannot be like you.  As much as I may try and as much as I might want to…

but I do admire you.


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Featured Image found online from Google; used at


How I Honored His Dream

Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  A U.S. Federal holiday that many companies, businesses, and school districts observe by cancelling this day of working…except my district.  Don’t get me wrong, students were off, but teachers had the great pleasure of attending more Professional Learning classes also called Professional Development.  Weeks prior to this day I proudly proclaimed that I would not be going to work.  The problem came when I couldn’t come up with a valid reason to explain why I would not be going to Professional Development.  I couldn’t just walk into my principal’s office and say, “MLK Day is a black holiday, so I should be excluded from coming in next Monday.  Forget the man and forget you.  If you don’t like it then you are racist.”  First of all, I would have never said that.  Plus it’s ignorant and stupid and a lie.  I also couldn’t say, “I feel disrespected at the utter fact that this district doesn’t fully acknowledge MLK Day as a holiday.  So since this district won’t honor him, I will honor Dr. King and not come in to work”.  One of the reasons he and others were fighting were so that people, especially people like me, could be able to work.  Anyway, none of those reasons, I felt, would suffice.  My principal would most likely run home laughing about it to her husband over a glass of wine.  I mean, if I were her, I would.

I went to work.

Because of the dream that Dr. King and all of the many others that dreamed this same dream, I am able to have the job I have today.  I work in a district that seems to slowly be coming out of the dark and into the light, the irony, and can finally see that all people can make America Great, and have made America the great country that it is from the sweat off of all of our brows.  Slowly but surely more and more people of color, not just black people, are being hired.  Three years ago, I was the first African American to be hired as a teacher, not aide, at my current school.  Every year since, there has been 1 more “W.O.C” (Women of Color) hired.  From some discussions I have had with some of my co-workers, they never realized that all of the teachers were able to blend in with each other, until me.  They noticed how un-diversified their faculty was, and wanted to make a change.  Kudos!

Earlier in the year when discussing Dr. Martin Luther King, I explained to my young students that because part of Dr. King’s dream had been fulfilled, someone that looks like me can be their teacher.

So instead of taking the day to volunteer, or watch a MLK Day Parade on the “black side of town”, or sleep in, I chose to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by going to work.  Also in remembrance of the many black people that could not get jobs in the past and presently, simply because of the color of their skin.

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Featured Images taken by KATherine of Dear Diary… July 2017


Eleven Things I Learned in 2017

On New Years Day until today, I actually reflected on things that I learned about myself last year. I usually don’t do that, but in my attempt to become an adult and find growth within myself, I thought this could possibly be beneficial for this new year.  Here are 11 things that I have learned in 2017:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year EVERYONE!  I pray you all had a blessed and enjoyable time with your family and loved ones.  If you were on your own, I hope you were able to enjoy this Holiday Season with time to yourself.  I haven’t posted in a while, but I am back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On New Years Day until today, I actually reflected on things that I learned about myself last year. I usually don’t do that, but in my attempt to become an adult and find growth within myself, I thought this could possibly be beneficial for whatever is in store this brand new year.  Here are 11 things that I have learned to live by 2017 and on:

  1. Forgive yourself from past mistakes, because God has.
    • Sometimes we keep our own selves bound by not forgiving our own selves even when we ask people or God for forgiveness.
  2. Don’t stress over not having children.
    • They will come in due time.
  3. It’s okay to not have everything figured out by 30…you are still growing up.
    • Reaching 30 doesn’t mean you have all the answers.
  4. It’s okay to make mistakes; learn from them and move on.
    • Get over them, basking in them only adds stress to your life.
  5. Unplanned things happen.
    • How you react to them is what matters.
  6. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.
    • Don’t allow anyone to disrespect you. Stand up for yourself and respectfully speak your mind.
  7. DO what makes you happy. 
    • Stop living your life according to how others think you should be.  If it doesn’t displease God, then you’re good!
  8. Everyone isn’t going to like you & that’s okay 🙂
    • Just continue to be the best you that you can be.
  9. Don’t feel like you always have to explain yourself. 
    • Some people just don’t want to understand you.
  10. Never hide who you truly are, if it offends someone, that is not your problem.
    • Don’t add more problems to your life.
  11. Be Patient
    • Everything happens for a reason, no matter how slow the process may seem.


Moving for Love

Moving to an new city, can be a daunting experience.  The presence of Alone, is all around You.  Trying to learn this new place…trying to learn a new culture is, scary.  Even if you have moved because of Love.

Moving to an new city, can be a daunting experience.  The presence of Alone, is all around You.  Trying to learn this new place…trying to learn a new culture is, scary.  Even if you have moved because of Love.  As Deborah Cox said, “Love can make you do some crazy things”, but You thought it was just a song.  You didn’t realize how much you would be missing.

You are leaving what is familiar to you, to begin a new journey with the one you Love.  You are starting over, but still expected to blend in.  Families don’t often times try to understand how You, the new member, feels.  They continue on as if nothing is new and You are expected to just go with the flow.  To adapt to how things have always been, without a second thought of how You feel about it.  Yes, it is unfair.  It is unfair to not be considered in plans.  It is unfair to be remembered in plannings as an afterthought.  It is unfair when the times You attempt to bring the family into things you’re interested in, there is no submission.

You must always give, but there is no give and take.  You are the one giving and the one missing.  You miss your home, your city.  You miss your family and friends.  You miss out on watching your younger siblings and/or cousins grow up.  You continue to miss out on the life of your blood.  Not being able to be there with your parents as they grow older.  Not being able to assist them with their aches and pains of growing older, but being able to be there for your Love’s.

Time goes on, and You keep the bitterness of it all inside.  To keep the peace, your anger and screams remain bottled up. Your true frustrations continue to boil within as you quietly cry over not feeling appreciated.  Silently crying over feeling like your sacrifice of moving for Love, has never been acknowledged by your new family. You begin to  desire to leave and never return.  To go somewhere neutral so that Love’s side can understand what it is like to be missing.  Besides, You never gave your heart to this new place, now matter how much time has passed.  Without a second look back, You just moved for Love.

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Featured Image from GR0WING.COM, post Moving Made Easy by Jane Brown.


BLUE Is Not a BOY Color

Remember back in elementary school, when it was important to follow the rules of gender or your classmates?  As a little girl in the 1st grade, I definitely felt this way. Not in everything, but in some things.

I can remember during this time, realizing that I liked the color blueI was told that girls were supposed to like red, pink, or purple and boys could like blue, green, or black.  So, to not be accused of being a boy, I decided that I would choose the color red as my favorite color. Don’t get me wrong, I did not see myself as a boy, nor did I want to be a boy.  I was very much happy being a girl, but I didn’t want to be accused of being a boy.  This could lead to the devastation of being teased and losing friends.  Even though the strength of the color blue brought me satisfaction, doing what was expected of me was more important. 

I believed I had to change myself for the comfort of others. 

I hated this new choice.  I dealt with it internally, for about a day, but it was a big deal for me.  I remember feeling like I had just let myself down.  I no longer felt comfortable in my own skin.  I felt the heavy burden of having lied to someone, and that someone was me.

The next day at school, when we were again either discussing favorite colors or choosing colors to use, I proudly professed my love for the color blue.  I declared to my class that I didn’t care what they thought about me; my favorite color was blue!  This was one of the 1st times in my young life, that I had to let someone know that I was going to be happy and proud of the choice I had made, regardless of what anyone else thought of me.  Loving blue made me comfortable with myself, even if it was considered a boy color.  

I say all of this to ask this question: What Choice are You Making because of Other People’s Expectations of You?  Does it bring you happiness or peace?  Does it allow you to be your true self?  

If any of your answers are no, it’s time to realize that you have to stop living to make other people satisfied.  

If it’s not going to bring physical pain to you, your friends, or family, do what is true to you!  Do what you know you are supposed to be doing!

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The Honesty of Words

Words are important.  They are powerful enough to bring a novel to life and resonate good vibes to your soul through music.  There is an honesty with words that can bring joy and pain.  This honesty can praise and they can damn.  Growing up you may have heard the saying “Think before you speak”, “Watch what you say”, or “If you can’t say nothing nice, then don’t say nothing at all”.  Some people, like myself, often say what we think or feel, but it doesn’t always come out the way we practiced saying it in our heads.  The words don’t come out sounding the way we intended them to sound.  Those like us have been told that we don’t have tact.

I struggled with the honesty of words in college.  People thought I was seeking attention or being tactless without care.  It was actually because I was nervous and could not figure out how to say what I needed to say, so I would just let it out.  This honesty caused offense and brought about the awkward silence that let me know, “Dang it!  I did it again”.

Due to the continuous offending of others, I tend (believe it or not) to not say anything because of looking out for the feelings of others.  I’m not trying to offend, so I’ll just keep silent because I can’t figure out how to say “it” with hurting someone’s feelings.  This isn’t the best self-saving method, so I am working on this.  I do realize that every feeling or thought doesn’t need to be said, but I also cannot continue living in fear of offending others when others continue to offend me seemingly without a care.  Remaining silent and allowing others to offend me because I am looking out for their sensitivity, is not healthy for me. It may seem that I have a hard-shell, but like a blue M&M there is softness inside.

I intend on trying Michael Jackson’s method of adding “with love” on the end of my statement, hoping that whomever I am talking to knows my heart. Hopefully this helps, because I refuse to wait until I become a grandmother to speak my mind, and I don’t want your offense to become an issue for me…especially when I’m speaking up for myself and my feelings.

I want to use the honesty of words to build others up when they have been knocked down.  I want to use the honesty of  words to speak life over myself and the lives of others.  I want to use the honesty of words to speak truth as well as my own truth.  


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The Angry Facebook Friend

Dear Angry Facebook Friend,

As I read your comment or status, I can hear the yelling and see the eye rolls from behind your computer/phone screen.

Facebook should not be the place where you tell everybody your business.  It’s also not the place where you should share all of your opinions.  No where on social media should be a place for that.  Yes, there are those that bring up conversations to start fires, and there are some that feel they have to comment on every status someone adds to FB.  Just because you are allowed to air your thoughts, doesn’t mean that you need to…some people sound so bitter and mean and judgmental.  If you don’t understand why people do what they do, what is the point of disrespecting them?  Just because you disagree, doesn’t give you the right to insult even if you are just saying.  Conversation is different than debate.  Some use Facebook as a platform to debate with all that have a different way of thinking or seeing the world.

Dear Angry Facebook Friends,

As I read your comment or status, I can hear the yelling and see the eye rolls from behind your computer/phone screen.  Stop trying to win every “battle” and shut-up! Be quiet and try to see things from another’s perspective.  You just may learn something because you don’t know everything.  Give another voice a try.  I don’t know what has happened in your life for you to sound so angry at those that disagree with you.  They are not trying to attack you, but just like you, they want to be heard.  They want their opinion to have the chance to be analyzed by others…not just you.  Stop waiting to pounce on the person that agrees with their stance and not yours.  Stop taking your frustrations out on all of us and learn to deal with the real issue.  The real issue is that you have been hurt and you are angry.  Maybe those that oppose you remind you of others that once had a hold on your voice and kept you from speaking out.  Please stop taking your past out on all of us.  We just want to be able to voice our opinion, like you, without being attacked all because we think differently than you.  You don’t always have to share your insight.  You don’t always have to be included in the conversation.  Just scroll up or down and move past that Facebook post.


Your Facebook Friend

Autumn & Pumpkins

Fall is here and everywhere I go, I see pumpkin stuff.  Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin flavored cereals, and pumpkin vanilla candles.  Pumpkins, Pumpkins, everywhere! I, for one, am not a pumpkin person.  Sweet potatoes??? Yes!!!  It’s a cultural thing.  I have  decorated my yard and the inside of my home with pumpkins because of the harvest and the autumn season, but I don’t care to eat pumpkins nor do I get excited at the pumpkin flavored food and drinks crowding the store shelves and coffee shops.

I too like the colors of the fall or autumn, as I prefer to say, so I do enjoy seeing the pumpkins.  The oranges, yellows, greens, browns, and deep reds.  The coppers, bronze, and gold make me smile.  I enjoy the smells of the fall… warm vanillas, caramels, apple cinnamon, and Glade’s Cozy Autumn Cuddle (this fragrance is my favorite right now, yes gawd!!!).  This is also my mother’s favorite time of year, so it reminds me of her.  She lives in Chicago, so she actually is able to see the seasons changing. *Her home is also surrounded by trees whose leaves change to the beautiful red and oranges as mentioned above.*

With autumn also comes the cooler weather.  Unfortunately, the desire I have for sweaters, scarves, and boots is annually unfulfilled.  It is still in the 80s where I live.  This is cooler, but nothing I would deem appropriate to celebrate the fall with. #sideeyetotexas Last year we probably got maybe a few days of cooler weather, but it only reached the 60s.  Long sleeve shirts are a joke.  If they are button up, they can be worn as a jacket possibly.  Hopefully this year it will get cooler.  The fact that the temperature is in the high 80s now gives me some hope.  Leaves are actually beginning to become yellow, so yay!!!!

I am enjoying this time of year, especially in my new home!  My television is set for Hallmark’s Harvest shows, the smells of Cozy Autumn Cuddle is in the air, and my mind is ready to harvest the blessings God has for me, my household, friends, and my entire family!

Bring on the Pumpkins, Bring on the colors, Bring on the Harvest!!

Coffee with You

I enjoy my coffee with you.  It is something that I look forward to.  I imagine us growing old together continuing to keep the fire going on our love as we sip on a cup of coffee.  How would you like yours?  Vanilla cream and a little sugar?  Same for me please.  You know how I like it.  I think your coffee is better than Starbucks; it’s cheaper too.  Over coffee we discuss current news within our families and on the television.  We talk about our dreams and goals.  We talk about what makes us happy and what frightens us.  Sipping this coffee allows me to see the side of you others are not able to see.  A side of you that I can have just for me.  Here I don’t have to share you.

Sometimes it feels like you are an octopus with your 8 arms, while me and so many others all have one of your arms.  I am an only child, but I don’t think its selfish of me to want you to wrap all of your arms around only me.  I understand though, even though others choose not to see it.  They don’t care that I am here now in your life and that I am not going anywhere.  You get it, but you have such a big heart.  You don’t want to disappoint everyone and you are getting better at saying no.  But right now, you are mine.  I have you all to myself.  You are focused on me, so I will bask in your arms now until I have to share you with the world, as we drink our cup of coffee.


A Donut, A Spider, and Me

So before we had time to catch the spider to determine if it was poisonous, my Knight in Shining Armor vanquished the evil creature by vigorously smiting him until nothing about him could be made out.  It was most honorable! 

A lot has happened this past week. It was the first week of school, a Lunar Eclipse happened that Monday, and then my family and I evacuated from a horrendous Hurricane named Harvey that Thursday.  To keep my mind off the latter and all that it brought, I have been thinking about a recent event that happened all while wanting to enjoy a donut in Maryland.

This summer I got bit by a spider.  It was a warm July day in Maryland.  Evening was quickly approaching and my husband Lloyd, our friends Billy and Joy, and myself had just come from the wedding rehearsal of our good buddies Kenneth and Shannon.  We had decided to stop at a Duncan Donuts for a quick snack before we would all have dinner later that night.  The area we were in was beautiful.  The sun was beginning to go down and the trees slowly swayed in the light breeze while the Marylanders complained about the cool 85 degree weather.  All of us being from Texas, were enjoying this break from the scorching heat of 97 or higher degrees (with or without humidity) that we were normally subjected to.  We thought it felt great!  So much so, that we decided to enjoy our donuts at the tables that were outside of the establishment.  This was probably around 7 something in the p.m., so I should have used more caution before deciding to have a donut.

This particular day I decided to have an apple fritter.  I mean, why not?  They’re good right????? Yes they are.  So as soon as I received mine, naturally I bit into it.  That wasn’t the best choice.  I mean, I shouldn’t have chosen to do this so hastily.   The freakin’ donut was hard, which I can only assume was from being out all day!  This caused me to break my wire.  I wear braces you see.  Thank you DD for not changing out your donuts throughout the day.  Quickly I began to panic.  I was trying to run down the list of why this was a problem.  Thank goodness it wasn’t poking me in the jaw, but I knew it would be difficult to eat, and possibly sing.  I had been asked to sing in the wedding and didn’t want to mess Kenny and Shannon’s wedding day up by not being at my best.  Kenny has heard me sing, but Shannon hasn’t.  She was trusting the word of her future husband.  Would this incident affect my singing?  I was already nervous!  So at this point, I was a tad a lot-a-bit irritable.  With an attitude, I threw the donut away.  If I was thinking clearly, I wouldn’t have paid for it.

As we sat outside so Lloyd, Billy, and Joy could enjoy their donuts and coffee, my bad mood began to leave.  The conversations were going well and we were all excited about our close friend Kenny getting married.  We were all eager to see this day come to pass.  While sitting, I had been telling Joy how I always feel like something is stinging or biting me, but it’s always nothing.   And then it happened.  I felt a hard sting.  I pulled my arm off the table and saw a tan-ish spider, that was as big as my pinky finger nail, in a tight ball under the spot where my arm was laying.  We were sitting at one of those tables that is made to look netted, so there are holes in it.


I looked at where I was feeling a burning and announced, “I think I’ve been bitten by a spider”.  No one moved because my company was now on their phones.  I said it a little louder, and finally I got a response. *See here is my problem.  It seems that the only time anyone hears me the 1st time I speak, is when what I’ve said has been interpreted as rude…this is truly annoying!!!!*

So before we had time to catch the spider to determine if it was poisonous, my Knight in Shining Armor vanquished the evil creature by vigorously smiting him until nothing about him could be made out.  It was most honorable!  He then rushed to get me ice so that I could immediately place it upon my burning and possibly poisoned arm.  We quickly located an urgent care and I was seen and prescribed antibiotics.  Some tears were shed, due to online searching of what we remembered the spider to look like, which popped up as possibly being a type of Brown Recluse.

While at the urgent care the area on my arm where I was bitten, appeared to have dented in.  This caused some more internal panic, self-encouragement, and quiet tears.  I had been bitten on my right arm, my dominate arm.  The arm I hold the microphone with to sing!  I had already been thinking about a friend from college that had been bitten by a Brown Recluse and how her arm looked after the bite…frightful!

A close up of the dented bite area

We weren’t able to have that dinner, but the next day I sang in the wedding with my broken wire not being an issue and it appears I wasn’t poisoned.  I can still see the 2 bite marks, but sadly no super powers…yet. 🙂


Comfortable Conversation

My circle is extremely small and those few people KNOW me.  They know when I am uncomfortable and they know when I need to recharge.  They can also tell if I am saying things because I am uncomfortable, and not because I am trying to be rude. 

Conversing is a skill that must be taught and people soon learn that there are different conversations for different audiences.  Conversation and comfort go hand in hand.  You should be comfortable with those you are speaking with.  What about those times that you are forced into places with people you aren’t as comfortable with, but conversation is expected?

I love being around my circle of friends or my closest family members. These are the people I feel most comfortable around.  I don’t feel pressure to force a conversation or to end the awkward silence that has pushed its way into the car or room.  I’m not concerned with what they are thinking or how they feel about me.  My circle is extremely small and those few people KNOW me.  They know when I am uncomfortable and they know when I need to recharge.  They can also tell if I am saying things because I am uncomfortable, and not because I am trying to be rude.  That’s another topic to write about later.

I am an introvert and I am most comfortable being around those that I know and I am uncomfortable around those that I don’t know.  I am an Introvert not by choice, but that’s the way it is.  Growing up and even through college, I was unaware of this characteristic.  I enjoyed, and still enjoy, going out and having fun with friends, but I also prefer to be by myself.  I am an only child, but that too is another writing topic for later.  In college, my friends and I would often go out, but I was with those I felt most comfortable around, so I was okay.  After graduating college I didn’t understand why I preferred to be home and not out with others.  It wasn’t until I watched a YouTube video to see what an Introvert and Extrovert was, that I made the connection.  I also realized that I had married an Extrovert, which explained why he was always the life of the party that I was eagerly trying to get away from.

There are times when I cannot be my true introverted self, such as in my classroom.  I must talk with my students and their parents, or the year will not go well.  Education, like other jobs under the umbrella of customer service, must have communication between the company and their clients or stakeholders.  This is something I have to do, but oddly enough, in my classroom I feel very comfortable.  I am nervous, but I get through it.

Often when I am around others or in places that I do feel uncomfortable, the only thing that is on my mind is the great escape.  I am determined to figure out how I cannot be around these tormentors; these people that I don’t know but have to be around.  I try with all of my might to think of something in order to strike up a conversation.  I am aware of the awkward silence and the need for talking, but I just don’t know what to say.  I also want whatever is said to come out sounding like I am truly genuine in my questions and conversations.  I feel like it would be obvious if I wasn’t genuine.    All of this wanting to converse exhausts me.  Along with feeling uncomfortable my energy is drained. I need to gain my strength back in the presence of isolation.  Oh Solitude, what sweet joyous songs you sing to me when it is just the two of us! Having this characteristic is very challenging when this issue is continued for multiple days.  It wouldn’t be too bad if this discomfort didn’t come from those I now must claim as family.  How can I get to know you, when it is obvious you are uncomfortable with me, but you bring friends and family around as distractions for you to be comfortable?  Hopefully I am wrong, but that’s how it seems.  I don’t need to get to know them, just you. Only those that think they know me, see these challenges as social anxiety.

God, Gold, & Glory: Should I Celebrate the 4th of July?

Today in America, the sounds of laughter entangled with music and good times will be heard all around. The air will be…

The 4th of July is finally here! Today in America, the sounds of laughter entangled with music and good times will be heard all around. The air will be engulfed with the comforting smells of bar-be-que and mosquito repellant. Backyards and parks will be overflowing with family and friends gathered together for a fun filled day.  Many will be adorned wearing their best Red, White, & Blue ensembles!  The Stars and Stripes will be waving proudly throughout the day, and bright colors from fireworks will illuminate the night sky. Patriotic songs will be sung during parades and battles of the Revolutionary War will be reenacted.

Many know that July 4th is a day Americans celebrate this countries Independence from England in 1776.  I can remember teaching my students about what led to the American Revolution.  Leading up to this point, we read about the Early European Explorers.  We learned that these explorers set out for God, Gold, & Glory.  (They added God to make themselves feel better in their quest for land and global domination by any means necessary, but I digress.)

When the chapters discussing the Revolutionary War came up, I was Mrs. Proud to be an American.  The pride I felt in explaining how these colonists and our fore-fathers bravely came together to fight and die for this nation was sincere and honest.  As a proud African American, I included how Crispus Attucks, also an African American, was the first to die in a shoot-out that started the Revolutionary War.  Wait, why is his death celebrated again?  A shoot-out? Was this foreshadowing the plight of the African American man in years to come???

Anyway, I remember reading along with my students about how the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. These intelligent, successful, and respected men each represented one of the 13 Colonies.  They came together to draft ideas of what they believed America needed to be founded on in order to be Great.  This document would let England and the World know why they believed America should be independent.  The members gave ideas to be discussed for inclusion in the draft.  The ideas would be included if they were agreed upon.  Thomas Jefferson requested that slaves be given their freedom, since they had written that “all men were created equal”, but the southern states would not agree to this.  They argued that removing slavery would bring a downfall to the south’s economy, so slavery remained even though “all men were created equal” remained in the draft.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Slaves weren’t seen as “men”.  Slaves were property to their master…like an animal or farming equipment.  Slave owners and southern representatives couldn’t have their “billion-dollar industries” go under, so slavery had to continue.  These southern powers were also motivated by “Gold” and “Glory”.

As  we continued to read, I tried to think back to when I learned about this in school.  Either I didn’t pay attention to this part, or this part of the lesson was not focused on by my teachers or district; similar to how the district I work for chooses not to place a strong focus on slavery in America.  It suddenly dawned on me, that America was never supposed to be Great for ME.  These men were gathered to discuss what they believed would make America Great, but I was to be excluded from that.  I was never supposed to be a college graduate or a teacher or free.  My ancestors were stolen from Africa and brought to America with the intent of only being slaves who would eventually produce more slaves.  The life I now live, was not supposed to be.  I was meant to be property and learn that God had created me for slavery.  Remember, God was used to justify the wrong doings of the powerful…the wealthy…the masters.  God, Gold, & Glory right???

So now that July 4th is here, a series of questions haunts my mind starting with, “Why am I celebrating July 4?”  America was made free.  I wasn’t seen as an equal, American, or someone that could benefit from her greatness.  I also wasn’t free.  So does it make sense for me to celebrate the 4th? The English that live in America don’t celebrate the 4th of July because it’s not their holiday.  It’s a reminder of a war that their country lost and wouldn’t they be making a mockery of themselves if they did celebrate?  If the descendants of slaves celebrate this day, is it then a reminder that “Yes you helped build this Great country, but you were not meant to be Great in this country”.  Should this knowledge be overlooked, since African American’s are “free” now?  Maybe, like so many other holidays, I can use the art of ignoring its true origin and and make the 4th be about having a good time with family and friends.

Why do you celebrate the 4th of July?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Featured Image: The Bronx Chronicle

A Divine Perspective 05: Dedicated to L.D.Y

I am thankful for you and that I am the ONLY 1 that has the privilege…

I was with my daddy for Father’s Day this year!

As a little girl I admired my dad so much!  I remember being so impressed with him being in the military and seeing him in his army uniform.  You were so handsome.  I enjoyed watching you buff and shine your boots while we watched Speedy Gonzalez or Pepe Le Pew on Looney Tunes.  He never complained about me wanting to watch the same cartoons over and over again.  He just watched them with me, so now we have our own Looney Tunes jokes.  The very first book I ever read, was a book he read to me every night.  Since I requested this book every night, I had memorized it and was able to read it back to him.  As a child seeing your muscles, I thought you were the tallest and strongest man around.  No one was like my daddy.

Daddy, you were my outside buddy.  We would hike and ride bikes and discover new playgrounds for as long as I had the energy for it.  I remember going on drives and saying, “Ooh daddy, lets’ stop at that park”, and you would.  This would be an “as long as the sun was out” kind of day.  When we lived in Europe you took me to castles, and all I wanted to do was play in the play areas they had, but you didn’t mind.  Not one for roller coasters, I remember you taking me to Six Flags.  We were there before it opened, and stayed until after it closed.  You even got on a ride with me and ended up having a headache for the remainder of our time there, but he wanted me to have as much fun as I could.

I trusted my dad completely and felt so safe with him.  One particular time, we stopped at a park in Brussels (when we lived in Belgium).  I was hanging upside down on one of the numerous bars they had for climbing.  Next thing I knew I had slipped off and fell and the gravel, which thankfully softened the fall of my face (cue the sarcasm).  I jumped up and ran with my arms outstretched.  I had my eyes opened a little so that I could see where I was running.  I saw my mom with her arms opened to me, but I turned and ran to my dad.  I don’t know why I did that and I’m pretty sure I caused my mom to feel some type of way.  I may have run to him because I was used to him being at the parks with me when I would fall.  I just know that my dad made and continues to make me feel like everything will be alright.

You taught me how to put my education first and to always present my best me to the world.  I watch how you are a leader and a take charge man.  People look up to you and respect you and your decisions.  You are admired for your strength and your talent of just saying what people need to hear.  You stand by your choices and back your choices using biblical evidence.  I have watched you mature as you have gotten older and I am so happy that you are walking and living in your happiness.  You are a man after God’s own heart.  Watching you helped me to know the kind of man to ask God for.

There are so many more memories and great things I could say about my dad. I am thankful for you and that I am the ONLY 1 that has the privilege to call you daddy.

From Daddy’s Burp

Your Smile


You are the woman that did everything you could to bring me joy.  I remember as a little girl, you trying to sweetly wake me up singing “Arise and Shine and give God the Glory Glory…” while opening the curtains to my window so that God’s Light could shine through.  Oh, the TORTURE of it all!  I remember you teaching me how to make the bed, fold sheets, and clothes as we conversed about whatever was on my 4-year-old mind.

I remember going to the library with you and being so excited about checking out as many books as I could, especially for the Summer Reading Programs.  I remember you allowing me to watch Annie as much as I could because I wanted to be black Annie, in 1987, in my imagination.  I remember you checking out vinyl records that you would take to record the songs from them so I could sing to them on my Fisher Price Cassette Tape Player in my room.  I remember how you connected the string to the light switch so that I could turn on the light from my bed, and no longer be afraid that something would grab me under the bed at night time.  You were my first date.  We went out every Friday and you introduced me to Cherry Coke.

You taught me my first Easter speech, that you had written.  We dyed Easter Eggs together, while daddy ate most of them. You took me to my first Cafés when we lived in Belgium and when we would travel to Paris, France.  You would allow me a taste of your cappachinos and as I pretended to drink what you had, even though it was Hot Cocoa.  You taught me the difference between eau de perfume and eau de toilette.  You taught me dinner table etiquette, like how to place my knife on the edge of my plate.  You taught me how to vacuum using “elbow grease” and recorded me saying silly things like “I love washing dishes mommy”.  Sadly, you replayed this recording and I soon learned how quickly one’s opinion can change.  You introduced me to so much, Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson, My Fair Lady, Stormy Weather, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Santa Claus, the love of God, being proud to be me, and so much more!

You taught me that boys are fickle, when I experienced my first 7th grade heartbreak.  You taught me that even though a man may say he is a minister, he is still a man, and after 1 thing.  You taught me the importance of wearing a slip and dressing with decency.  You showed me that using God’s Light helps you to see how your make up really looks and how it can be used to check if under garments could be seen through your clothes.  You taught me what to look for in a man and to never settle for anyone.

You have the most beautiful smile I ever seen and wanted.  Your smile lights up any room you enter.  I love your smile and I love you…FOREVER!  Nothing can take this love away!  I gave you the nickname Ladybug not knowing that they symbolize luck.  Well, you have been more than a good luck charm to me, you have been a blessing!

God made you different for a reason.  If you weren’t the way that you are, I wouldn’t be who I am today. You continue to teach me and expose me to many things, that others look at as unnecessary.  I stand out from the crowd because of you even when I struggle to blend in.  There is a reason you opened your world to me and there is a reason I accepted it.  Thank you for helping me to be me.

 I hope you have an awesome Mother’s Day!

-Love Baby Bug

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