I Am My Daughter’s Keeper! Women’s History Month from the Mouth of a Babe

When Black History Month came around this year I decided it would be best for the children to learn about what it means. They’re four and six, however, so I asked the hubs where he thought I should begin. Quite a bit more reality based than I am, he said as a family we shouldn’t sugar coat anything and that we should start with African history, move into the disgustingly brutal reality of the slave trade, and end with the civil rights movement.

I shuddered!

While these things definitely did happen, I thought the kids were too young. But on the other hand (to borrow a saying), how are you going to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.

So I started the lesson with my six-year-old.

“Babe, there was a time … A long time ago … When black people couldn’t do the same things as white people.”

And she replied, “That’s not true, momma. And what do you mean black people? I thought we were brown.”

-_-

Bless her heart! I loved her answer. Not only did it say to me that she definitely wasn’t ready, but it also reminded me that the differences we see in people are created by adults.

While I don’t want to ever take that from her, there will come a time when I have to ( see my last blog post: Raising a Little Brown Boy in a Place that Hates Him ) because in some ways her life will depend on it.

So here we are in another month that should be used as a teaching experience for all: Women’s History Month.

As a graduate of a women’s college, I feel strongly about women’s rights issues and it is my duty to raise a self-sufficient, amazingly strong woman.

But I came to and impasse again. Where do I begin? With how women were bought and sold? How it was seen as a waste of time to educate a woman? How we were denied the same rights as men simply because we have what she calls “hoo haas”?

And I know what she’ll say. Bless her heart.

“That’s not true, momma.”

Maybe next year. 🙂

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Raising a Little Brown Boy in a Place that Hates Him

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Photo Credit: 4vector.com

As a mother, I believe it should be a visceral reaction to have concerns about the welfare of your children.

It’s your job to prepare them for the world and everything in it. From how to (or whether to) pursue higher education to teaching them about “the birds and the bees”, there are so many lesson plans you begin to prepare, even before they’re born.

But how does a mother of a little brown boy prepare herself for the teaching of the lesson that he’s growing up in a system that is waiting for him to mess up … and that the consequences for his youthful actions are heavier because of the color of his skin.

As with a lot of my opinions, some people will think I’m crazy or that the “playing field” has long ago been leveled, but I will once again (and always) proclaim my sanity.

According to a recent UCLA study, police officers are more likely to see black boys as less innocent than white boys.

WTF!

Yes, you read that correctly, police officers are more likely to look at my little brown boy and have less compassion for him and make assumptions about his guilt than they are a little white boy.

“Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection,” study author and professor of psychology at UCLA Phillip Atiba Goff said of the study. “Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.”

Can someone please explain to me how I cannot teach my son that the people who are supposed to “serve and protect” him demonize him?

How does a mother prepare herself and her child for that harsh reality?

With all of the other things on your itemized parental lesson plan, why is it that as a woman of color I have to add a huge section on the justice system and how it is truly unjust because he is brown.

I’d love to teach my children that the world is fair and that if you work hard you are rewarded, but given this set of circumstances, I think I wouldn’t truly be preparing my children for life outside of my home.

My kids are so young that they still think the world is butterflies and rainbows, but how to I prepare my little brown boy for the storm?

 

Sources:

 http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-a0035663.pdf

The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children

 

Tick, Tock! Is Your Relationship Clock Out of Time?

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Photo Credit: Scienceofrelationships.com

Have you ever loved someone you knew wasn’t good for you?

Have you ever known a relationship wouldn’t end well for whatever reason, but you still held on?

If you haven’t had this experience, you should consider yourself either very smart or very lucky.

Since luck has always seemed to lose me in a crowd and my smarts were generally confined to all things book related, let’s just say I’ve had a time or two in my life where I’ve been there.

Whether you’ve been the victim of a master manipulator or just knowingly involved yourself with a person of ill-intentions, the stinging effects of their “love” can be lasting.

Years ago, I involved myself with a relationship that I knew from the first second would end disastrously.

And it did.

But despite it all, I still consider it to be one of my greatest loves.

Am I a little sick and twisted? Yes. (But what fun would life be if I wasn’t.)

But I digress … as usual …

The point is is that there are some people in your life that are literally supposed to be there for a season.

 

And when that season is over,

whether the clock is ticking by your hand  or an outside force,

you change clothes and move on!

 

The trick is, however, knowing when to call it quits.

 

And that isn’t anything anyone else can tell you.

 

I’ve never been the one to have all the answers … I just have a lot of questions …

But if you’re currently in this situation, maybe you should ask yourself, “has the clock run out?”

 

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The Worst Dream Ever!

Photo Credit: Cosmosmagazine.com

Photo Credit: Cosmosmagazine.com

I had a nightmare last night …

I was broke;

My job sucked;

My children hated me;

My husband left;

The lights got turned off;

My parents had passed on;

My sisters were fighting;

I was sick … really sick;

And I was alone.

And I was afraid.

But what made it even more frightening was that I didn’t DO anything.

I just laid there … wallowing in my misery. I laid there in the dark and allowed the sickness of my body, mind, and circumstances to change who I was and the things I told myself I was able to do.

And then I died.

And that sucked.

But then I woke up.

And I’m still broke.

My job still kind of sucks.

My kids fight each other, but they still think I’m pretty cool.

My parents are still here and they’re pretty cool (OK, well 75% of the time at least).

My sisters are doing well.

I’m not sick (that I know of *knock on wood).

And I’m alone … at least until the kids wake up.

But I’m not afraid.

And while it’s inevitable that I will die one day, I now know that despite my circumstances, I must be happy and I must DO.

Happy Wednesday, Folks!

 

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