Us….

Us….

Watching CNN… looking at my Facebook feed and just really pondering the plight this world is in… just a few of my thoughts in prose…

Us

Too many of us are dying out here in the streets,
By the hands of people who don’t give a damn about keeping the peace…

Too many of us are being harassed for barbecuing or selling water
…in front of our  own building

Or sleeping in the common lounge of the institute of learning we attend
Or having a roommate do deplorable things to our toiletries instead

Or having the police called on us because we look like we don’t belong,
In the affluent neighbourhood where we’ve rented a home

The ones who said they would serve and protect ,
Are doing just about anything to break our necks #handsupdontshoot”

Too many of us are dying at the hands of thugs
Who don’t even care about our  lives,  only about selling drugs

Too many of us are dying on account of street CRED
Not worrying about who they’ve  hurt or misled

Too many of us are dying at the hands of our own
Like Rodney King said , “Can’t we all just get along?”

Too many mothers are burying their sons
Too many dreams cut short by the trigger of a gun..

Too many places are now deemed unsafe
What on earth have we done to this place??

Tupac said it best; It’s time for us to make some changes !
But some of us don’t wanna listen!

 I don’t wanna listen to the CNN reports ..,
I don’t want to see the #RestInPeaceSoAndSo’s

I don’t want any more Trayvon‘s or Mike Brown’s or Juniors or Philandro’s
Being talked about on the radio…

I want to see more Harvard grads
And another black president..

I want more people to see the beauty that this culture represents!

But…

If we don’t get it together… They never will

˜fin˜

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©sophiawindett for http://www.justlovethemanyway.com
2018

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!

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

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(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.) 

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: Brother, I’m Proud of You…

Monday Motivation: Brother, I’m Proud of You…

Hey guys,

Quick post today!

After a beautiful long weekend ( its Victoria Day here in Ontario,Canada) I sat here at my computer trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today. I had some ideas but, honestly I just couldn’t make a connection to any of those topics today. I had set my mind on not posting anything at all today.

So. I just began browsing through my old blog posts and I came across one I wrote almost a year ago called “Black Brother”( check it out here) and I got to thinking about something I witnessed this weekend. I have a little brother named Philip Robinson ( remember this name y’all!) who is a young man who is evolving into one of the greatest drummers of his generation.  Watching him play this weekend reminded me of how far he is coming from. As a little boy, I used to give him money after he played at Sunday service because he honestly truly blessed me! I was actually doing it because I wanted him to know that he was appreciated and I was proud of him! Still am!

So often our opinions of black men are marred by what society shows us. Gang bangers, drug dealers, deadbeat fathers, stupid , uneducated and of no value to society.  But why do you think sometimes the young men that fall into this category, find themselves there?  Maybe, they didn’t have anybody to encourage them to do better. Maybe, the environment ( including the people they surround themselves with) they live in doesn’t provide positive role models .Maybe they have never been made to feel like they are worthy enough to make a valuable contribution to society… So how to we combat this epidemic of young men making bad decisions? The answer is simple: Love them! Show them that you care! Let them know that they matter!!

I am blessed to have a group of “brother friends” who are truly helping to raise the standards of young black men! These guys are husbands ( and husbands to be) men of faith, entrepreneurs, coaches, talented artists and musicians, fathers and the list goes on! Great role models for young men to look up to and learn from!

Brothers you are strong.
Brothers you are needed.
Brothers you are important.
Brothers..you matter!

I’ll leave you today with Angie Stones” Brotha”

You mean so much to me, you give me what i need,
I’m so proud of you (I said I’m so proud of you)
I love you for stayin strong, you got it goin on
I’m so proud of you (I’mmmmmmmmm)
Going through thick and thin, brothas you gonna win
I’m so proud of you (I said I’m so proud of you)
Whenever you facin doubt, brothas gon work it out
I’m so proud of you (I got my shakable faith in ya) -Angie Stone “Brotha”

Have a blessed week!
xoxo