To the White Woman Beside Me…

January 20th came sooner than you know it for most of us. The inauguration of Donald Trump wasn’t like your usual presidential inauguration at all. Attendance was low, he quoted Bane from the Dark Knight movies, and Americans went into full effect in major cities nationwide, as well as worldwide in protest of the new president.

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J20 Anti-Trump Inauguration Rally & March, New Orleans

The day after the inauguration was the Women’s March on Washington, the biggest anti-inauguration march in the history of America. Women (and men) came from various parts of the country, as well as marched in different cities and countries worldwide to come together to speak up and stand in solidarity on the issue of woman’s rights in this society, especially after the inauguration of a vocal misogynist.

With the march being on the center stage of the world, we cannot forget that most of these women marching voted this man into office. We cannot also forget that most of these women looked at this march as a way to speak on issues pertaining to them, and not issues pertaining to all women, especially women of color. No, I am not bashing the march at all, I participated in the one where I live and I was very touched and inspired by the acts of solidarity between us all, but most of the women who were there most likely are very quite on issues pertaining the communities of black, Hispanic, and Muslim women. How do not just I, but many other women of color know this? Where has there been a black lives matter march with a turnout number the size of the Women’s March or even more with the law on our side, not against us? Never. Again, I am not bashing the march, just many people’s reasons for marching.

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J20 Anti-Trump Inauguration Rally & March, New Orleans

Women’s rights are human rights, but we must also realize that the rights of minorities are in jeopardy as well. We cannot sleep on the matter that President Trump also has spoken negatively about people of color. After this, let’s continue to march and protest, but let this as well open your eyes to more than just what you see from your world’s point of view.

Let this be a learning experience for you so next time you can use your privilege to fight for ALL human rights. Use your privilege as an act of alliance. If you want to end racism, sexism and white supremacy, don’t just tweet it, be about it and see about to that change.

Speak up, speak out. Be loud, be proud. 

Martin Luther King Jr. paved the way for many minorities to begin speaking on issues that many pushed aside for the longest, as well as speak on social reform and justice. Every third Monday in January, right after his official birthday, we take the time to honor his legacy and his life. His speeches and marches have inspired countless activists and organizations. Hate killed him, but love is what is keeping his legacy alive forever
A quote that popped up on my twitter feed early this morning said this, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This quote really popped out the most out of all the ones I’ve been seeing, especially at this pivotal time our country is about to endure soon with the swearing in ceremony of President-Elect Donald Trump. Not speaking up on things we know should be said is what keeps change from happening. Letting others get in the way of us speaking up and speaking out, telling us our voices won’t be heard is what keeps change from happening! Personally, I know what it feels like to be silent verbally, but mentally and emotionally inside you’re dying because you know you need to speak up. But when you start speaking up, that’s when your heart feels whole again. 
When you have something big that’s in your heart, it’s either you speak up, or you feel the outcome. I’ve learned that letting my voice be heard actually does work to help with change happening, and especially if you could be the change through the gift God has given you through your life, that’s even better. If your gift is photography, dance, writing like me, or even public speaking like Dr. King, using God’s gift to help bring change makes it even better. Speak up, speak out. Be proud, be loud. 

a love unconditional 

as i’m laying in bed, trying to stay warm, something told me to open the bible app, so i did it. soon as it opened, Ephesians 5 came up and what caught my eyes was “wake up” because i need to get up and start my day, but this weather telling me otherwise. so i read the first 2 verses and i’m honestly happy the spirit told me to open my bible app. these two verses in Ephesians 5 not only reopened my eyes to the never dying love of Christ, but as well how we should love one another. “watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents” and what God does is love us unconditionally, so why can’t we practice living a life of loving unconditionally? then Christ loved us extravagantly and that’s where my heart got taken away… “His love was not cautious but extravagant” like wow just reading that took me honestly. then when it said “He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us” that’s where the icing on the cake came. like He wants to give everything of HIMSELF… one individual… all to us. that’s one heck of a love, like that’s an undying, everlasting love you have to have to give your everything to someone, sometimes those who don’t even deserve it. 

when i read finished reading the text, i told myself for one, i want to love like that & two, i have to find someone who’ll love me like that. i feel like these two verses come pivotal to relationships, especially those looking into marriage. you must love your partner as God loved you, there’s no other way around that. even when one messes up, you can’t just not love them, because God never switched his love on us, so why must we switch on one another. like the last words of the second verse says… “love like that” we must continually love like God and Christ loves us. unconditionally. 

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight 2016

2016 has been a year, some of us see it as a good one, some of us see it as a horrible one, but for me, personally… it’s been one hell of a year. 
In the public eye, many dub this year as “the worst” probably in possible years because of the deaths of many legends such as Prince, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire the list goes on but personally, it’s been a testing year of lessons learned, no loses just lessons learned. I’ve finally realized a lot about myself this year, and 2017 will be the year of self love. 2016 was my year of self discovery, but through it all I never really knew how to love myself for me. There were times where I tried to make myself feel loved by other parties by being something that I wasn’t and the only thing that does is make you worst inside. I learned that without loving myself first, you can’t have another person love you as well. 
2016 hasn’t been the worst year though. I graduated high school and became a college freshman, but my first semester has become a lesson learned for my years to come. 2016 also gave me a group of friends who I believe are set for life. 2016 has also been a test of faith in countless occasions, but like Matthew 19:26 says “…with man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” and that statement is the truth. I thought I could do a lot without His guidance but I was WRONG, but He was still there like that dad who says try again with a smile on his face. 
In all I thank God for every year on Earth He gives me. I thank Him for waking me and my loved ones up, making sure we’re all good, but I really thank and love Him for how loving and gracious He is. 2016, you was one heck of a ride, but 2017 I’m ready for you!

PWI’s vs. HBCU’s — 2016’S biggest debate between millennials on social media.

Being a senior in high school, you have two priorities: making countless memories and getting accepted into college. The hardest part of selecting a college is to see if it fits you in many categories such as; race, class size, academics, and athletics. Many people go to schools based on their academic excellence, while many chose to go to schools based on how good their athletic programs are. And for the rest of us, we choose a school that would benefit us academically as well as emotionally. For many people of color, they see HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) as a safe haven from a white washed America. From a personal standpoint, being raised in Louisiana, I always wanted to attend the flagship university which is also a PWI (Predominantly White Institution), Louisiana State.

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Becoming older and more aware, as well as attending a predominantly white high school, I knew LSU wasn’t where I wanted to be, so I began doing research on HBCU’s. HBCU’s were first created for people of color to get an education because at the time, white universities excluded them from getting an education on their campuses. As well as opening their doors to us, they also come with very rich histories of how well people of color excelled abundantly by attending these institutions. As PWI’s began to integrate their campuses, many saw that as a way to make history by attending these colleges, but many too have saw it as a way to bash and put down HBCU’s. In the recent years, many statistics show how poorly, as well as excellent HBCU’s are doing as a whole academically, but many people, including black students who are high school seniors or currently enrolled at PWI’s chose to talk about the bad parts of an HBCU.

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Me being student attending one of the top HBCU’s in the country, I tell those interested in furthering their education to attend college all together, but talking to another African American, I would influence them to attend an HBCU, not only because of the rich history that was brough-forth from our ancestors struggle to get an education, but because of the atmosphere of being around people just like you, the countless memories but most importantly, the molding the university will bring forth in your life academically as well as mentally and of the networking system you will get. You can network at any university, but at an HBCU, you would be able to network with heads of companies, doctors, and lawyers who come from the same background as you.

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I asked a few of my friends and followers from social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook the question which asked them what are their thoughts on the debates between attending a PWI or HBCU and here are some of my responses:

A black student attending a PWI:

“I’ll first start off by saying I always wanted to attend an HBCU but my parents wanted me to go to a PWI because they felt that HBCU’s were party schools, bad education, etc. Now as far as the debate, I feel that is is HIGHLY unnecessary. Often times, people (family members) make negative comments about my decision to attend a PWI. It’s like they feel that I am a sellout because of the school I chose. We are all trying to get a degree, and it doesn’t matter where we’re getting it from.”

A black high school senior:

“I honestly feel like it’s up to the person. There are many different things you can get from both schools. Neither one is “better”, they honestly both have strong points. Coming from a 70% white high school, of course attending a HBCU will be somewhat of a culture shock for me. but I honestly think it will help me become a better person in a way. Not only will I be around people who face the same struggles as me, I’ll be at a school that educates us on how to come about those problems. That’s something I will surely not get at a PWI because the people pouring money to a PWI do not face these struggles everyday, therefore they can’t sympathize with me.”

A white student attending an HBCU:

“Personally, I’m glad I attend an HBCU. The parish I’m from was like a bubble where I was forced to think like everyone else and majority of the people there are racist. I’ve only been here for a semester and I’ve learned so much about minorities. Becoming more educated on social injustices made me want to change my major. I want to do something to help create equality now and if I would have gone to a PWI, I highly doubt I would have been educated as much in my whole college career as I have in this one semester.”

A black student attending an HBCU:

“I think it’s one of the most ridiculous debates to have. Its annoying when POC that attend PWI’s say that HBCU’s are easy and have no diversity. HBCU’s were created as a safe space for black people and I couldn’t be more proud to attend one. I was accepted into a PWI but I turned it down because Xavier (of New Orleans) would propel me into my career. We’re all trying to get degrees and make something of ourselves, so why discourage me because I didn’t want to attend a PWI?”

From the countless responses I received, these four stood out the most. In all, we all want to meet the same goal of graduating and having a successful career and future, wherever we choose to go. If that’s a PWI or an HBCU, we should all respect each others decisions of where we chose to go as well as uplift and speak positive messages of where we or the other party chooses to go, because our harsh words could impact someone else from enrolling at that college.

 

God shed His grace on Thee

….honestly, its sad that I am here AGAIN writing how about a topic that has already been touched upon COUNTLESS times, especially on my blog site. I trust in God and everything, but I would be wrong to not say that I am not scared. I’m scared for my life, I’m especially scared for the lives of my beautiful black brothers. Knowing that they are literally being hunted as if they are deer is sad, but again I must trust and pray to God, because He is there through this all and will continue to be there and be faithful through everything. This is a poem I wrote after hearing about the senseless death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Like my “What If” poem that was written after the events of the shooting death of Alton Sterling, this poem is very similar to that poem. So please, like I said in July after posting this poem… All we can do is pray, fight, and speak up in this fight for justice and equality.

God,

why does my country hate me?

I thought I was born here.

I thought that I lived here.

I thought I was born with the same freedoms as every other citizen….

I thought I could go in a store without getting followed.

I thought I could conceal the gun, not feel the gun.

I thought I could speak up without arrest.

I thought being loud was just my personality, not me being ghetto.

I thought…..

….that I could be a 13-year-old child and be able to play with a BB gun.

I thought I was free…
But in America…

Being black isn’t.

love is kind.

WARNING: I wrote this about a month ago, and in this last month, I’ve moved to college in New Orleans and well.. its been a struggle. But all these downfalls will be so worth it soon because He has greater plans for me!

*By the way, this is like a month old so please mind me talking in past tense.*

This morning, God led me to Hebrews 12:14-15 and 13:1-3, 5-8, and 15-16.  The scriptures I highlighted spoke to me, touching on important life lessons, especially ones to help me though this new chapter in adulthood.  The first few scriptures highlight on loving others, something that is mentioned COUNTLESS times in the Bible.  In Hebrews 12:14-15, it says “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one falls short of the grave of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”   So God wants us to use the dame peaceful attitude and grace that He uses on us to use on others so that no one falls short of that feeling.  With that, He wants us to go after everyone through peaceful attitudes and live and love just like Him.  And even when we mess up, that doesn’t mean He hates us one bit, but He loves us as much as He did from the beginning and the same at the end.

In Hebrews 13, it starts off on how God wants us to keep loving one another and showing hospitality to everyone – the people that did you wrong, the people you don’t know, and to also pray for those being mistreated as if it was us.  God wants us to be like Him!  Some might ask “How? How can I be like God?”  Easily, just let Him live through you.  It’s like when your earthly parents tell you to behave and remember that you’re a representation of them — literally the same thing.  We’re all a representation of God, so He wants us to live just like Him.  Now that doesn’t mean go around thinking you’re better than someone else because we are all made in His image and likeness, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be like Him and go out and serve and meet the needs of people as well.  He uses us to get to those that He has His eyes on; those who He wants to feel His presence.  One little thing that we do in a positive way could help them with something thats going on, or could ultimately lead them to Christ.  Speaking and doing things in love could change a life that could one day change the world.