Monday Motivation: The First Time I Realized I Was Black…

Monday Motivation: The First Time I Realized I Was Black…

Hey guys!

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page a video from CNN.com with the hashtag, #realizediwasblack. This series CNN is loosely based on the works of WEB Du Bois literary book entitled, ” The Souls of Black Folk”. CNN asked celebrities of colour to recount their stories of the first time they realized they were black. I was captivated and this led me to think about my own “discovery” ( for lack of a better word). Here is my story:

As a young black girl, you know the struggle of “wash day”. Wash day was usually on Saturday  when your mom would wash, chiney bump ( aka bantu knot) blow dry, grease and either braid or style your hair for the week. Now as a young black girl, with thick natural hair, this could be a whole day process! Nevertheless, week after week this had to be done, and week after week I would go to school and see my kinky coils and compare them to the silky ringlets of many of my peers( I mean besides me and my cousin, there were no other black girls in our school at the time)  I wanted my hair to flow down my back like theirs did! I never took into consideration that my hair didn’t operate like that.

Now every so often, my mom would use the hot comb and press out my hair ( mostly to make it easier for her to manage and manipulate) and when she did that I felt like a superstar. My hair was “flat” and laying down my back like my friends.

My mom and dad worked the early shift. Which left me on my own to get ready and get myself off to school at a pretty young age ( don’t judge lol this was over 2 decades ago where it was socially acceptable  and much safer for kids to be home alone and  walk to school by themselves) Every morning, I would get up, get ready and meet my cousin at the corner and off to school we would walk together. I  must have been about 7 or 8 years old at the time.

One particular time,  my mom pressed my hair and had just left it in a simple ponytail without the usual frills and ribbons and clips. I saw this as my opportunity to “wear my hair down” . So when I got to school, I had my cousin take out my ponytail and brush out my hair and help me put on a headband.  I strutted like a peacock into that classroom and was met with stares….

Immediately I began to feel funny.. Why was everyone staring at me? and then it happened …One of my  peers looked at me and said, “Eww Sophia! Why does your hair look like that? It looks so weird!” I was confused! I was embarrassed. I ran out of the classroom and straight to the restroom. When I got there to my horror, my “beautiful” silky pressed hair had reverted back to its natural afro by way of humidity! I didn’t yet understand  that my hairs texture was not conditioned to stay in its silky state.  I had never noticed before the immense difference between my hair and the rest of the girls in my class, and the fact that my peers first reaction to my hair was “Eww” really hurt me!

I ran to my cousins class ( she was a few years older than me) and begged her to put my hair back in a ponytail. But we were kids whose moms still did our hair, so we had no idea what we were doing! Needless to say,I didn’t look like a child who’s parents even glanced at them before they walked out the door.

Finally, recess came. Outside we went…. and then something happened that really put the nail in the coffin of this awful day… and probably solidified my understanding that I was different.. and that people are going to judge me because of that.  We were playing races. I was naturally fast , so I easily beat this one boy. I ran and gave my friends high fives and then the boy that I beat turns to me and says, ” You’re so ugly and your hair is ugly. You like poo!” Go back to Africa!

I stared at him and burst into tears and ran into the bathroom and hid. I stayed there for the rest of recess and pondered what he had said. Was I really ugly? Was my hair ugly too? How could I go back to Africa, when I had never been there in the first place?

Naturally, I was glum for the rest of the day. I had completely forgotten about my hair until my mom came home and saw my head and said, “What happened to your hair???!” ( she was not pleased) So I had to tell her my whole days ordeal. She looked at me and said, “Well Sophie, remember you’re black. You’re not like them and every opportunity they get , they are going to remind you of that.” So off to the bathroom we went, where she re-washed and styled my hair and  I never did that again.

When I got older and got my hair relaxed, I enjoyed the easiness of “wash day” but relaxed hair was never really for me. That’s why in 2007 after being a bridesmaid in my god brothers wedding and having my hair gelled up and slicked for an updo, I washed all that gunk out of my hair.. grabbed a pair of scissors… and cut it all off! I called my girl and she hooked me up with some braids, and I never relaxed my hair again! Almost ten years no relaxer! Best decision ever. Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to hair care I AM LAZY! I hate washing it .I hate taking care of it, so weave and wigs and braids are right up my alley. But don’t get it twisted ! I love my natural hair  that God blessed me with and I don’t think I would ever relax it again!

Now my mom always instilled in me that I was black and that I was to be black and proud! Never let any one of any race or culture make me feel like I was less than!  She always taught me that my black is beautiful and that I am perfect just the way God made me. I wish more young black girls had strong examples in their lives, that encourage them to love the skin they’re in and embrace their melanin! 🙂  Sadly, many young girls live a world where they have been taught ( or forced) to feel less than beautiful… less than powerful.. less than important… less than valuable!

I want every black young lady ( and gentlemen) to know that YOU ARE IMPORTANT!  YOU MATTER! BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE!!

Psalms 139:13-14 says: For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 

God makes no mistakes! You are you for a reason, for a purpose!

You’re fearfully and wonderfully made so be black and be proud!

I think the amazing James brown said it best 🙂  ( take a listen)

Have an amazing Monday!

xoxo

ps check out other stories like mine here:

Black Woman, Did You Know That You’re a Queen…

Black Woman, Did You Know That You’re a Queen…

Hey guys!

Happy Monday! This weekend I was sidelined by a nasty cold that just drained all the energy from me,  so please excuse the lack of activity this past week!( and probably this one too… sorry in advance)! However,  I did mange to get out to the movies to watch “Hidden Figures” and boy am I glad that I did! What an amazing film! I encourage all women ( especially women of colour) to run out and watch this film! So empowering! I also watched the Golden Globes and was honoured to watch great talent like Viola Davis and Tracee Ellis Ross receive accolades for their work in film and television this award season… all of which inspired me to write this piece. Enjoy!

(Side note: All women are queens and are to be honoured and revered. I am a woman of colour and so often we are overlooked and overshadowed! This is just a special reminder to them)

 

Black Woman, did you know that you’re a Queen?
From the kinky coils of your hair  and the melanin in your skin

Skin rich as cocoa or with a caramel hue
Yellow toned beauties and deep tones too

Black Woman did you know that you are strong?
Your strength overpowers all those who have done you wrong.

Like the person who told you, you’d never be enough
Or the ones who did everything to make life rough…

Black Woman did you know that you are smart?
Your  mind is truly an impeccable piece of art!

Your wisdom surpasses them all
You turn the largest problems into nothing at all!!

Black Woman be proud
Hold your head up high

For although they may limit you
Your destiny is reaches far beyond the sky…

Black woman you were born to persevere
Through every adversity every toil, every fear

However, some black women must have forgot
That they were born to wear a crown and not to be a thot

Or a passing thought , a fleeting memory of someone not worthy
Black woman let them marvel at your beauty !

See, a black woman gave birth to a black woman who gave birth to a black woman and that woman is me…

Determined to be everything God intended me to be
A perfect design made in His own image … Black Woman take ownership of your royalty!

Black Woman…. did you know that you’re a  Queen?

Rich
Regal
Royal….

YOU…ARE…A…QUEEN! and don’t ever let anyone tell you different!

img_3748

 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by the blog tonight! Pray my strength so I can get back to regular scheduled posting! Until next time! xoxo
******************************************************************

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

img_3751

(I figured this song was appropriate for tonight! 🙂

Disclaimer: The image used  in my featured image,  is an image found on Pinterest. I do not take ownership for the image.) 

Monday Motivation: Let Praises Rise…

Monday Motivation: Let Praises Rise…

Hey y’all,

Quick post today…

There’s a lot going on in our world. Senseless killings of black men and women have left people of colour afraid for their lives. There are those who will cower in fear, those who will speak up politically to bring about change, and then there are those who will retaliate with the same semblance of violence  we have become so fearful of…

As a woman of colour, living the Christian life, its hard not to harbour feelings of resentment with each passing day, hearing that another Alton Sterling or Trayvon Martin has lost their life… It’s difficult to hear about another life being cut short at the hands of those who took an oath to serve and protect,  because of their unmerited fear.

How do we as Christians let Christ shine when we are so hurt and angry and scared? As much as I would love to retaliate ( the flesh in me is a warrior) , I know that vengeance is not mine.

Romans  12:19 New Living Translation (NLT) reads:
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,“I will take revenge;  I will pay them back,”[a says the Lord.

I listened to a song today that reminded me of the path I need to be on. The song “Let Praises Rise” by Myron Butler has a lyric that reads, ” Fill my life, till all they see is you Lord..”.

Let them not see my hurt and anguish or pain.
Let them not see me in the depths of lament or despair.
Let not my anger take precedence in my life.
But through me, let them see You God! A comforter, A father, A friend…

Today and everyday,  I want God to be glorified in my life. Through the happy times, but especially in the dark times. Even then, He is still a God with a plan… we may not understand or even agree with it, but he is a sovereign God who’s plan is always right.

“All I want, is for you to be glorified, for You to be lifted high”

Take a listen to “Let Praises Rise” and have a blessed Monday!
xoxo

VERSE

Let praises rise
from the inside
From the inside of me
May you delight
in the inside
In the inside of me
Come fill my life
from the inside
From the inside of me
Set me on fire
from the inside
From the inside of me

CHORUS

Cuz’ all I want
Is for you
For you to be glorified
For you to be lifted high
All I want
Is for you
For you to be glorified
For you to be lifted high

BRIDGE

Fill my life
till all they see
is you Lord
Glorify Your name
Fill my heart
till all they see
is you Lord
Glorify Your name

We Will Fight For You…

We Will Fight For You…

Disclaimer: This post is simply how I’m feeling at the moment. I literally watched a man on camera being shot multiple times by law enforcement. Yes, All Lives Matter but let’s remember to include Black Lives in that conception…. No disrespect to anyone… ❤

Guys…. my heart is once again distraught over another senseless killing of a young black man at the hands of law enforcement. Alton Sterling… I don’t know everything about you or what happened before or after the cameras went off… all I know is that you didn’t deserve to be held down and gunned down like an animal in street… neither did Trayvon, Eric, Mike, Sean, Amadou and countless others… Pray for peace in these streets y’all……

Philippians 4:7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 

These are my words in a poem.

This piece is entitled, “We will fight for you”

God bless the dearly departed..
The ones who did nothing more than
Lose a battle that was started…

A war raged on men of a particular hue.
A man like your father, your son…. even you
To be protected by those who wear blue
Instead shot six times, the gunman took his cue
5 kids are fatherless too,

Can’t walk home with some skittles or some juice
They can kill you, make it look like protection from abuse
They can tell a lie the dash cam can refute… dispute
Take the case to court and it gets the boot

How long must we suffer the plight of today?
Where nowhere is safe if your melanin is darker than whitish grey
Leading you astray… astray meaning right where you are supposed to be
Minding your own business
Now they hear your pleas…

They get mad when we chant Black Lives Matter
All Lives matter they hoot and they holler

But… when do they have to worry about sending their white son to the store?
And him not returning..6 shots he’s no more

Sure, All lives matter,  but black ones do too
Alton, Mike, Trayvon, Sandra
We will fight for you

No justice NO PEACE
Know Justice Know PEACE

No conviction rings true….
Eric, Sean Amadou
We will fight for you

Judgement is not ours
Let PEACE abound too

Tamir, Freddie, Kimani..
We will fight for you…
WE WILL fight for you…
WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU…

I pray for peace and comfort for those who have lost loved ones to senseless crimes at the hands of those who are called to serve and protect….

Be safe y’all
xoxo

Monday Motivation: There Is A King In You…. #BlackLivesMatter

Monday Motivation: There Is A King In You…. #BlackLivesMatter

Hey y’all,

I hope your weekend was as lovely and fun-filled as mine. We finally had some beautiful hot weather and I had an opportunity to spend a weekend away ministering in song with some awesome people!  When I returned home yesterday, and was preparing to cook and meal prep for the week , one song in particular kept running through my head. ( It seems  like I always get one song in my head that inspires my monday blogs 🙂 )

The song is “There is a King in you” by Donald Lawrence.The lyrics of the song are as such:

[Verse:]
You come from Royalty,
An aristocratic dynasty.
The goal of the enemy,
Is that you don’t know who you are.
There’s power when you speak.
Be mindful of words you release.
I know that life has challenged you,
But the King in me speaks to the King in you.
You were born to rule.
There is a king in you. [Repeat]

[Bridge:]
Is there no King in you,
Then why do you speak, speak with such defeat.
Is there no King in you,
Then why do you speak, speak with such low esteem.

I know life has challenged you,
But the King in me speaks to the king in you.
You were born to rule.
There is a King in you.

[Vamp:]
There is a King in you

( Please take a listen to this song)

This song speaks volumes! So many people ask themselves,”Am I good enough?” and doubt the fact that their existence even matters. I’m not sure who this message is for today ( I feel led to speak to young black men) but your life matters! It may seem that life has dealt you a raw deal, but sometimes the toughest battles are given to the strongest soldiers.

With all the things that happening in the African American community as of late ( Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Amadou Diallo and countless others) It may be hard to think as yourself as worthy in a society that has already deemed you less than worthy. It may cause you to lose hope, doubt yourself. But remember, despite what society may tell you, you weren’t meant to live in a jail cell and you weren’t meant to be shot down in the street for walking home with some skittles. However, you also weren’t made to be a menace to society either. You were born to rule! You were born to be providers. You were born with a purpose.

Ask yourself, how does a king carry himself?. What is the role of a king? A king rules over a nation. He sets the precedence of how society should be governed.He keeps himself well put together, he keeps company with those who have the same mindset and behavior as him.

Young men stand up and stand strong! Make and impact on society that will make people stand up and take notice of your good works and not only mourn and protest about you after you are gone. Take control of your fate. Make good choices. Choose your company wisely. Honor your parents. Be an example for younger men to follow. Set no limits to your achievements. Get connected to something!  Stay connected to the source! When you are disconnected from the source (God ) you tend to lose sight of how valuable you really are! You are as valuable as the creator who made you! You are valuable BECAUSE He made you!   Anything created by the  KING of Kings must be worth something!!!

Jeremiah 1:5 reads:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,  before you were born I set you apart,  I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Think about how you would behave if a King were in your presence. How would you treat Him? That’s exactly the way you should carry yourselves, so that people will treat you as if you were royalty!

Young men…. “You were born to rule! There is a KING in you”

xoxo

Dedicated to the memory of all the young black men ( and women) who were unfairly and unjustly robbed of their ability to live up to their kingly ( and queenly) titles. #Blacklivesmatter 
#TrayvonMartin #MikeBrown #AmadouDiallo  #KimaniGray #SeanBell #OscarGrant #EricGarner #SandraBland and countless others…. Rest in Peace….