Saving Ourselves: Our Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me.  Let’s explore this together! Both the process and the content are an experiment.  An experiment in self-expression, and in sharing socially conscious, and potentially life-altering, insights with all those who have  been historically exploited (a self-defined category).

I am part of a historically exploited demographic, but that does not mean people like me will stay that way.  We can change course.  This Blog, an experimental vehicle I’ve chosen (and I am a social media novice), is a forum for creating and sharing our Liberation Plan.  There will be missteps. But we will keep on steppin’.

Step 1:  Acknowledge the Problem:  ongoing prejudice, persistent white supremacy ideology, racial hatred, exploitation, greed, cultural genocide, injustice, miseducation, fear…

Step 2: Analyze the Problem to identify Solutions to strengthen families, reverse ‘miseducation’ and mental slavery, improve literacy, raise cultural pride and awareness of the full history of exploitation, develope economic opportunities and collaborations,  empower young people…

Step 3: Implement Solutions: restore relationship commitments, elevate the station of marriage, embrace extended family support, learn our history, unite our visions, educate ourselves, redefine ourselves, reject harmful values that intensify our dysfunction, and embrace values that unite and empower us as historically exploited people, no matter our race, ethnic origin or nationality.

Step 4: Share resources, support each other, collaborate and commit to a vision of unity, justice and prosperity for all people.


Yearning for Wakanda: “Black Panther” Can Change Our Lives

Last week this time, I was overcome with the feeling of yearning for a place I had never imagined. On Saturday, February 17th, 2018 I saw the movie “Black Panther” with several million others across the water from me in the US.  I saw the movie in Hamilton, Bermuda with about 100 Bermudians, at least 50 of them supporters of the Bermuda National Library and Ashay University, an African-centered educational program for adults.

The event was preceded by a brilliantly-conceived pre-show event: a lecture by Melodye Micere Van Putten, the originator of Ashay University, and a Youtube video summarizing the family tree of the monarchy in the fictional African country of Wakunda.  All this in preparation for the Bermuda premier of the movie, being shown just up the block from the library.

We all walked to the movie theater, most of us wearing African-inspired clothes or black. We expected to be dazzled and delighted.  Well, we were all blown away by the original themes, state-of-the arts special effects and the vision of the movie.  It is the vision of the movie that left me unable to think of much else for several days, and on the Sunday following the movie left me with an intense sense of yearning, longing for what could be.

I have been thinking all week about the promise of recovery from hundreds of years of systematic oppression; of a world no longer poisoned by prejudices and torn apart by historic exploitation; a world where women and men labor and endeavor side by side with respect; where there is orderliness and respect for traditions which support and strengthen family, village, tribe, and nation.

What has literally infused itself into my dreams and daydreams, is the vision of empowered black people who not only can protect themselves, but who are magnanimous enough not to seek revenge or blind self-interest, but rather do the right thing by choosing forgiveness and altruism. That is the world I want to live in!

This movie triggered something in me, a creative yearning was catalyzed into action. It seems to me that it is possible this movie could spark inner transformation in a whole generation of folks, it could change the world: spark in young girls and boys an interest in science, inspire rival gangs to stop killing each other, and motivate all people to view each other as members of one human family.  Black Panther could change our lives, if we allow it.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

 Continue reading Saving Ourselves: Our Journey Begins

Blog post # 9, September 17th, 2022

A Step 2 post, Free Ourselves from Mental Slavery

World Afro Day*…Really?

I found out that some well-meaning person or organization declared September 17th  “World Afro Day”*.  Really, did we need that? Apparently so.  When sexism, racism, capitalism and preoccupation with external appearances converge, we get “World Afro Day.”  To the millions who have been sporting their natural hair all along, who have fearlessly and unapologetically resisted pressure to assimilate, to conform to someone else’s ideal of beauty, I say, “Strut on with your bad self!” 

But let’s dissect this matter a bit more.

 The topic of hair for Black women is fraught with emotion, anxiety and sometimes even shame.  Or so I was reminded in the article that brought this observance to my awareness.  A large number of us have been miseducated, indoctrinated and coerced into believing that we are not feminine, professional or desirable unless we look like the majority culture’s vision of female beauty.  If our hair is naturally curly, kinky, or sparce, we will not win in this world unless we wear a weave or hairpiece or wig or whatever other artificial hair accoutrement mainstream Western culture dictates.  We cannot relax and just be.  We cannot just wake up,  wash up, our brush our heads and go.  We must DO SOMETHING with our hair before we can leave the house.  We cannot swim or sweat too much.  We cannot be intimate with abandon or enjoy playful physicality with our partners.  That might upset our coif.  We cannot go through life mostly unaware of our hair, just relaxing and living and engaging with the world in an unselfconscious fashion.  We must always carry the weight of self-awareness, go outside our nature and spend money we do not have to look like we were never meant to look.

 So, when did this Law take effect?  And what happens if we all break it at once, not just on World Afro Day, but all year long?   All of us, everyone!  Take the plunge!  Literally, let’s just go under, fully submerge for a while and come up ready to be ourselves.  If we all did this at once, would all our men leave?  All our bosses fire us?  Our friends and family disown us? Will we hate looking in the mirror?

Or, maybe we would slowly rid ourselves of people and perceptions that oppress and devalue us.  Maybe we might just relax and have time and energy and money to focus on more meaningful endeavors. Maybe we would begin to feel more carefree and unburdened, creative and strong, resilient and sassy.  Maybe we would just love ourselves, our natural selves.  And our daughters and sons will love themselves.  And in time, maybe the laws of Black Hair Oppression/Black ‘hairpression’ will become null and void and we, with a bow to our forgiving and humorous nature, will  consider designating a ‘World Weave Day’.


Blog Post # 8, August 1st, 2022

Control How Much We Consume…Remember, They’re Trying to Kill Us

In our search for wellbeing, balance and joy we must remain discerning.  We all want beauty and levity, feel-good entertainment and Lord knows we need to laugh.  There is so much to consume and if it’s ‘trash’ you want, it is unlimited and easily accessible.  We all love a little trash now and then.  Nothing soothes the frayed edges of our psyche like mindless content on social media or cable television.  I confess to watching more than enough on HGTV, even stuff I know took no time or talent to produce.  Pure trash!  But after watching too much news, it allows me to sleep better, and so I rationalize it.  I bet you can relate.

What we must all be mindful of is that in our search for relaxation and entertainment, we can be manipulated.  Advertisers take advantage of our vulnerable states: our fatigue, our loneliness, our thirst for entertainment and our desperate unconscious search for meaning in a world filled with frustrations and catastrophes. Subliminal messages and sometime shameless promotion in the media lead us to eat unhealthy foods, drink alcohol to excess, or to engage in unhealthy, unsafe personal behaviors.  Look at the commercials, analyze them.  If you’ve never done this, you will be amazed at how few ads encourage moderation in lifestyle, or encourage altruism and kindness.  In recent years there are inspiring public service announcements.  But the majority of commercial ads and reality television promote living to excess, going to extremes:  buying, eating and buying some more.  More, more, more.  It’s all about me and what I have or can get, and by any means necessary.

If  you stop to consider, who benefits from us spending more, eating more, drinking more, buying more, frantically competing with each other to have more things, more, more, more, more?  Who benefits from our spending money we work hard to earn, or even money we don’t actually have?

So, when you watch too much reality TV or indulge in too much mindless social media ‘trash’, all  sponsored by Them, remember,  “they are trying to kill us”.  They ‘kill us’ by stealing our time for self-development, depleting our economic power, reducing our quality time with our children and loved ones, and by filling our minds with a value system that does not enrich our communities.  The entertaining ‘trash’ is not serving our needs.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t indulge in TV or social media from time to time, but we must control it and not allow it to control us.  Be aware.  Be discerning. Pay attention to what we are being fed, and control how much of it we let in our lives. 

Practice setting a time limit in advance and sticking to it.  Say to yourself, “Powerful Mind, I want you to be productive and self-determining.  You get 30 minutes (or whatever you feel is reasonable) of this nonsense and then we get back to Freedom Fighting.”

You will be amazed at how empowering it is to enjoy popular entertainment on your own terms for a few minutes, and then hear the click and feel the surge of power when you press “Power Off”.

Blog Post # 7, August 1st, 2022

Been Too Busy to Write…Just want to thank the Young’uns!

The infrequency of these posts would lead one to think there is not much to say on the topic of Saving Ourselves.  Of course, it’s quite the contrary.  There is just too much to say, too much to do, so many ways to be constructively engaged, that writing about our situation seems secondary; an academic exercise that we don’t really have time for.  And so months go by.

In 2022, I have been sustained by watching the valiant efforts of so many African American journalists, community activists, politicians and others who are waging war on our behalf.  I am so proud and so very inspired by the young’uns who are really stepping up to promote what is in the interest of all people: truth, justice, fairness, honesty, accountability and so forth.  They are fighting against the Big Lie, against a system that would have us feel we are imagining our persecution, the violence, the inequalities and the absent opportunities.  I am so grateful to your youthful energy, brilliance and passion!  I am so very proud of you:  Joy Reid, Elie Mystal, Stacey Adams, Fani Willis…

God bless you all!