From the heart: This time it’s personal…

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Recently, due to a very publicized tragedy of another law official being acquitted of all charges surrounding the death of a young black male, I decided to have a genuine discussion with my teenage sons about how they felt about being black in today’s world. It was disheartening to hear my boys say, that they feel as if they always have to be extra cautious when playing outside because of the color of their skin.  To elaborate further, I have never been a fan of toy guns and reframed from buying them myself but personal reservations haven’t kept others from giving them to my boys as gifts. My youngest son stated that he only plays with his toy gun in the house because he doesn’t want a police officer to think it’s a real gun and shoot him.  The gun is bright red with an orange tip and realistically there is no way of mistaking it for a real firearm.  I couldn’t tell him that his reason was silly, although a couple of decades back my younger brother played innocently enough with silver cap guns in the front yard with his friends with no incidents.

This is now and in today’s reality, he has a reason to be fearful.   As a parent, there is nothing more heartbreaking than hearing the fears of your children and not being able to give them comfort or defer their fears because you share their same fears.  How do you tell your black sons that there is no target on their back when there is a target on their back. I try to be pretty straight forward with my children especially my sons because I don’t want to ever leave them under the false pretense that life is fair because it’s not.  I also don’t want them to go about life as if they are owed something because of what their ancestors went through.  I do want them to understand that their lives matter.  Black lives matter, and it’s not just a captivating catchphrase that someone came up with for attention. The conversation prompted me to capture the moment of what my sons are faced with and try to leave them with some sense of encouragement through an art form.  Words that they can return to through periods where they feel defeated and know… that their mom was rooting for them through every adversity faced.

Son’s I lead you with this…

My Black Sons

This world will try to tear you down and make you question your worth.

This world will try to break you down and make you doubt your faith.

This world will try and shape the perception you have of yourself by always projecting negative images of who you are and what you stand for.

This world will try to twist your words and poison your mind and leave you feeling as if you cannot make mistakes.

This world will try to hide who and where you come from and put emphasize on the oppression you have faced and label you as doomed.

Tell you, you’re not needed here and who you will grow to be.

Make you fearful of what you will become if you react to injustices placed before you.

Make you feel like a caged animal that has to constantly fight to get some type of solidarity

This world will make you think that because you are black you are tarnished and being born with brown skin means you are a failure….

I will be here to encourage you and prove how this world is a snake pit of liars.

Surround you with a love that is strong enough to keep out the naysayers who say you can’t.

Show you how mistakes are only hindering to your life if you don’t learn from them and strive to do better, be better.

Help you to block out the noise that tries to threaten your existence and make you feel like a second class citizen.

Explain to you the journey of those cut short by this world and how their journey was not in vain

And remind you that all things are possible through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no matter how others may see me.

Remind you that this world is just temporary and we are simply just passing through

Remind you that you come from a legacy of Kings and Queens and black is beautiful and always will be.

Remind you that no matter what picture the world paints, you my sons, are warriors and will not fall victim to who they want you to be. But be who you were created to be against all odds.

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Color Barriers

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This is my opinion 🙂

krismar4493

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The year is 2014 and the world still has not figured out how to coexist in harmony as people instead of colors. Racism is alive and still rearing its ugly head hindering the nation from growth. Through my eyes I see the same oppression as my ancestors. Martin Luther King’s great renowned speech, “I have a dream” is still just a dream. It’s disturbing to hear rumors of an entities history wanting to be stripped from school books as if it never happen because it was an ugly truth. It’s disheartening to feel that the color of my skin can determine my fate. It’s discouraging to feel that my being is attached with labels and obstructions because of a heritage I wear proudly. My personal past is colorful from personas not because it was based on a skin tone.

This color stricken society in where we reside, dictates what and…

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Color Barriers

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The year is 2014 and the world still has not figured out how to coexist in harmony as people instead of colors. Racism is alive and still rearing its ugly head hindering the nation from growth. Through my eyes I see the same oppression as my ancestors. Martin Luther King’s great renowned speech, “I have a dream” is still just a dream. It’s disturbing to hear rumors of an entities history wanting to be stripped from school books as if it never happen because it was an ugly truth. It’s disheartening to feel that the color of my skin can determine my fate. It’s discouraging to feel that my being is attached with labels and obstructions because of a heritage I wear proudly. My personal past is colorful from personas not because it was based on a skin tone.

This color stricken society in where we reside, dictates what and how we teach our children. Even with the color complexities in place, I still choose to teach them love, respect, and equality for all people. A race is something you compete in and not to be used as a box to lock you in. Our communities are feeling the pressure of injustices imposed upon by colors. Celebrity and non-celebrity individuals are promoting hate by spewing out insensitive vulgarities. What was talked about behind closed doors is now a broadcast across the airways proving that the ways of the world is still inconsistent. Are we all not made of flesh? Do we all not have hearts that beat? Do we all not have the same fears as human beings in life? Do we all not shed tears of sorrow in times of grief? Do we all not turn to dust after the grave? We are more alike than not, so what is the problem?

The Power Of Words

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Healing“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!” That’s a chant known too many of us across the world but newsflash some words hurt more than lashings. Bruises eventually fade but words can stick to your heart for a life time. Words have the ability to strip people of confidence, their self-worth and hinder them from accomplishing dreams. Words have the power to break up relationships no matter how many years invested. Words have the authority to cause family rifts to fester and grow until the door to forgiveness is sealed. Words possess the weight to make even the happiest child withdraw from the world. We as people have to be careful with the words we let sprout out of our mouth, even if it is driven by emotions. How many times have we as individuals led by anger, bitterness, and hurt lashed out at someone we were close too with simple jargon. Even though those expressions are more often than not later regretted, there is no way to undo the damage or unplant the seed of doubt. On the flip side the same words that can sting like wasps can also heal even the deepest wounds. Positive words creates a positive reflection. So to keep it sweet and simple use your words wisely, no matter the situation. Remember once it is said, it can never be taken back.

Reality Check

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My Family Reality

It was always made to look super simple on television. Set bed time, morning routine, lunches of PBJ sandwiches packed into boxes with a super cool cartoon characters plastered on the front. Moms had calico pattern aprons tied around the waist with big spatulas, cooking hearty breakfasts to start the day. Dads set at the head of tables with steaming coffee mugs and newspapers before starting a hard day of work. Children sat at the table across from one another peacefully, anticipating the upcoming day at school, while the family dog waited anxiously for a crumb of food.

My reality of parenting is totally the opposite of simplicity. On a good day I do good to find matching socks, yet along an apron to wear as I pop waffles from a toaster, or pour cereal in a bowl. I don’t even own an apron. The only remotely close similarity to the images projected on the T.V. in reality, is the dad and his newspaper. Although, I really can’t vouch for it because he is actually somewhere else with his new wife.
No matter how much I may have tried to prepare for the next morning the night before, all the details fly out the window once the sun rises. My day may start off as Ringmaster in a circus or my least favorite, a referee in a WCW Smack down. All depends on what side of the bed my off springs decided to get out on, and with three, unfortunately it is never the same side. Disarray is the name of the game, and who can make mom yell before 8:15 a.m. is the way it is played.

As far as my children sitting across the table peacefully anticipating the start of the school day forget it. If that were to happen that means a trip to the pediatrician, because all three of them are sick. Between juggling getting myself and three children ready for the work/school day, that steaming cup of Joe doesn’t come until after I have accomplished my goal of getting everyone, everywhere on time. Lunch for the kiddos consists of a few dollars and whatever the school cafeteria is serving on that particular day, and on some days my face may truly resemble a cartoon character if I step in a puddle of a spilled fruity or milky substance from the day before courtesy of the poltergeist known as, “Not Me!”

Set bedtimes in my reality, sure if that’s what you want to call it, starts at 9:00 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays. It is usually an hour long process, of shouted I love you’s or did I tell you I love you every 15 to 20 minutes, before their eyelids finally convinced them to give it up. Yes, my reality of parenting is totally the opposite, but I have a feeling it is a reality that is shared with many moms and dads across the country and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Growth

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My first taste of college life was when I was a smaller than average 11 year old.  I was a participant in a summer journalism program for inner city kids at a local university.   It was supposedly a window to the future if we as a group continued to do well in school and stay out of trouble.  At the time the motto of the decade was, ‘higher learning opens the door to opportunity and success.’  The teachers, guidance counselors, and administration tried to drill the quote, “knowledge is power” into our little heads as nails into a piece of plywood.  Point blank, my first glance into education beyond high school was a tad bit misleading. 

 Thirteen years later I was ready to collect on that empty promise.  As I walked across the stage to accept the blank rolled up piece of paper with that neatly tied ribbon in the middle, I felt as if I had made it to the promise land.  With a smile as bright as the sun, I shook the hand of the university president, department heads, and anybody else standing on the stage in the appropriate attire as classmates, family, and friends cheered me on.  I was ready to take on the world, find that dream job that I had incurred a heap of debt to conquer. Too immature to realize then that I was going out into the world with no job prospects, no connections, and no mentors.  Outside of that rolled up piece of paper, college level experience, and a promise of a diploma at a later date, I had nothing.  The doors that I thought would be automatically opened were visible but required a key.  After countless, unsuccessful, job interviews in and outside of my field, apparently a key I had failed to be given. Turns out that impressive portfolio that took three years to develop and a day to put together was impressive to me and only me. 

 Ten years later, I have yet again made an attempt to collect on that dream sold to me so long ago and obtained another degree. The foundation of my craft was established the first go round and now the time has come to complete the structure. That heap of debt has now turned into a mountain, and I now have dependents.  That greenness or naïve frame of thinking that hindered my growth before is no more my limitation.  Those days of locked doors are over, and not because I have been given that magically key. This time I am kicking those doors down.  What started my journey over twenty three years ago, finally makes sense.  Knowledge is power.

New World Order

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What if the world could be simplified like an algebraic equation? All the inconsistencies of racism, hate, and violence could be balanced out by elements of love, faith, and charity, resulting in the tranquility of the nation. Instead of anger rearing anger, it is diffused at the source. The word prejudice could be deleted from the dictionary or replaced with a meaning that falls along the lines of inspiring instead of prejudging. What if the ‘bang-bang shoot em up’ group of individuals put down their choice of destruction and choose to battle it out with break dancing moves instead? Every group would have a super strong person that transports the boom box high up on his or her shoulders from corner to corner. Getting caught up in cross fire would simply mean becoming a spectator in a flash back to the eighties and once everything is said and done every being could go back to living their life.

Children, teenagers, and seniors could run, play or walk through any neighborhood without fear. Viciousness would be a name on a street sign and not a food for thought mentality. Flying bullets would become flying seeds embedded into the ground for the nourishment of the land and its people. My race would be your race although flesh tones may vary due to origins and exposure to the sun. Where the saying it doesn’t matter will really mean it doesn’t matter instead of just a Band-Aid to cover up those bigger issues.

In this world Republican, Tea Party, Democrat, Independents, Communist, and Dictators would be the name of amusement park roller-coasters for thrill seekers. Every representation of life would be presented in broad daylight in a positive manner with love being the root of all existence. Children would be labeled as all children instead of being segregated into complex murals of distinct environments embittered by hate. What if…. Just what if, all was right with the world?