Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
6 months was Jan 19th but like I said. I'm late.
The hair is touching the neck already! Everyone keeps asking me if I using something to make my hair grow faster. Like Wild Growth or some special butter...The answer is the power of simplicity...
Me and the locs endured a lot. I self maintain them and learned that patience is essential. I don't even care about the fuzzs anymore because I realized it's a part of the process. As you can see, they're starting to fatten up and getting fuller. Now I only re-twist them ever 3 weeks. I'm trying to re-twist them once a month from now on. I still keep my hair regimen simple. I use tea tree shampoo, shea butter moisturizer, aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil. My hair feels so much healthier and softer. I started using Grapeseed oil and so far me like...This is the best decision I've ever made.
Friday, January 22, 2010
During the holidays, I was sitting with my girls talking about books. We were on the topic of African American books and authors and I told them how I have yet to read a Zane book.
-"Fo real? You haven't read any books by Zane?"
-"No" I replied. "I don't like the way some African American authors talk about their characters. It's always about sex. For example when I go to the African American section of Borders, I see Black women pinned up against a wall, in all the book covers. Don't these authors realize they're supporting the Jezebel stereotypes and further exploiting black women as sex objects?"
-"Yea I know what you mean but there are some really good books out there even with those types of characters. Check out 'Coldest Winter Ever', you could learn something from it..."
So I did.
I went into Borders, looked for Sister Souljah and bought "Coldest Winter Ever".
The minute I opened that book up, I was captured into Souljah's grip and into Winter Santiaga's life. Although I can't relate to her, something about it was so magical. I myself am Black, but I was never familiar with the happenings of the ghetto.
Girls hiding razor blade inside their mouths?
I know about the ghettos of Haiti and other islands, but not America's. I was duped yet enlightened. Excellent book. It had me questioning my own position and class. It had me asking myself how would a girl like Winter describe me and why? It had me wondering why material things were far more important than education to her? Everything was about control. What I love most about this book is that it took no shortcuts and did not switch it around into a perfect Hollywood ending.
It was raw.
It showed you the rawness of reality.
I caught myself judging Winter and her decisions, forgetting about motives and the environment she grew up in; yet, wishing I were in her shoes living the glamorous life and getting all the attention.
I caught myself dreaming about having a father like Ricky Santiaga, showering me with material things and calling me the prettiest girl in the world, without wondering why in the beginning I idolized this man and automatically crippled this good father image once he got caught.
It's funny how money change a situation...
I caught myself wonder if Mrs. Santiaga was right about womanhood and that beautiful women are suppose to be taken care of and that being her definition of a bad bitch meant you was a real woman. I completely forgot that she gave birth at 14 years old and never developed as a woman. I also didn't pay attention that she didn't have a name in the novel. She had no identity. She was just Mrs. Santiaga, Ricky Santiaga's property...
When Winter met the character Sister Souljah, immediately I wanted to be like Sister Souljah. I wished that I had a mentor like Sister Souljah in my teens and early 20s. She didn't have the looks like Winter, but her mind and words were so powerful and still managed to attract guys like Robert Langdon to clues, even when her legs were "super glued".
Midnight was also a fantasy of mine. Not because of this good looks but because of his humility. He defied my definition of a man by showing me what real manhood is about. I'm used to insecure men who are concerned about cars, sex, and money. Not men like Midnight who values family, loyalty, and have morals.
I was late on this book. I should have read this book years ago. It really changed my perspective on woman and manhood, and it takes a damn good book to change my world. "The Coldest Winter Ever" is not just a book, it's a damn good book. It caused me to miss my bus stop numerous times, ending up in towns that I never heard of, hopping on the wrong train, etc.
This book can help African Americans take a good look in the mirror. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates learning about different messages from another world...
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Senegal's president says he will offer free land and "repatriation" to people affected by the earthquake in Haiti.
President Abdoulaye Wade said Haitians were sons and daughters of Africa since Haiti was founded by slaves, including some thought to be from Senegal.
"The president is offering voluntary repatriation to any Haitian that wants to return to their origin," said Mr Wade's spokesman, Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye.
Tuesday's earthquake killed tens of thousands and left many more homeless.
Buildings have been reduced to rubble, the distribution of aid is slow, and people have been flooding out of the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.
"Senegal is ready to offer them parcels of land - even an entire region. It all depends on how many Haitians come," Mr Bemba Ndiaye said.
"If it's just a few individuals, then we will likely offer them housing or small pieces of land. If they come en masse we are ready to give them a region."
The spokesman emphasised that if a region was given, it would be in a fertile part of the country rather than in its parched deserts, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Personally, I was elated when I heard the news. The first thought that crossed my mind was that the philosophy of Marcus Garvey was coming alive. He advocated for us Blacks to return to our homeland, Africa and now Haitians have a chance to walk on Africa's soil. I never been to Africa, but always thought of it as an utopia. Maybe it's because Lion King is my favorite movie and I still sob when Simba climbs Pride Rock, but something about Africa is enticing. This proposal is crucial to take under consideration since thousands or millions are left homeless; but, if residents of Haiti don't take this opportunity, I'll understand.
Because our ancestors fought, drew blood, labored, and sweated for Haiti. Many Haitians ran away from poverty, political corruptions, lack of resources, etc, migrated to land of opportunities, North America, and never looked back. I myself haven't been to Haiti in 10 years. Although I am Haitian American, born in Brooklyn, I am still held accountable for not standing up, taking the fortunate education I gained in America, and feeding knowledge to my fellow Haitians back home. With unity, Haitians can help rebuild Haiti.
Knock Knock. Where is the government in Haiti?
Response. No where to be found.
For years I've been running into many Haitians in the U.S. who have plans of running for president and bringing change to Haiti's economy. If these people were truly passionate about their disclaimer, now is the time. I'm aware that it's very difficult, maybe close to impossible, to bring Haiti to a prosperous state, but I believe in hope. If Haitians continue to run away, not only will Haiti lose it's culture, but Haiti will be occupied by foreigners.
I know a lot of Haitians here in the States are not opposed to the idea of U.S. taking over Haiti, but it still hits the P-spot. The pride spot. Haiti is the first Black nation to free itself from slavery, and that means something. I do believe that Haiti needs leadership. Leaders who will serve ALL people and bring forth better education, better engineering ( appropriate infrastructure), better health and legal system. Many look towards the white man to provide leadership, but what about Haitians? Can't Haitians be leaders too? Looking down the history line, I know many of the political figures in Haiti has caused great pain and suffering, but we're resilient people, and I know someone with fundamental values will step up.
On another hand, it doesn't seem like Haitians have other choices but to leave. Many would prefer to move to DR, U.S., or Canada but borders are tight and well I'm pretty sure y'all know about immigration laws in North America...and so on so forth. Yes North America is offering (TPS) Temporary Protected Status, but it's only covers illegal immigrants who are already here. Not the victims in Haiti. So what should Haitians in Haiti do?
a. Take up the offer to settle in Senegal
b. Migrate illegally to nearby islands.
c. Stay. Move to the rural village and help the world r
ebuild or build back better the capital and areas severely affected.
I pick (c) because the bottom line is that this is Haiti's chance to have a productive future. Haitians in Haiti need to focus on building themselves agriculturally. Help bring the farming sector into the 21st century.
I'm no expert so I'll keep my opinions at a minimum, but I'm still an observer and descendant who has the best interest in mind...
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Not sure if Haiti will ever be the same after this. It's like we've been wiped out. I still go to bed thinking if I've been dreaming. Apparently I'm not.
There are several ways of helping the people in Haiti.
Wyclef’s non-profit organization Yele is raising funds to that will go directly to the people of Haiti. Wyclef Jean is urging donors to text 'Yele' to 501501 and make a $5 contribution to the relief.
Also if you text HAITI 90999, $10 will be donated to the Red Cross.
Please send aid to Haiti.
L'union fait la force
P.S. As I'm sitting at work writing this, I'm listening to a ignorant co-worker of mine saying that Haiti deserved this because of voodoo. For anyone out there who believes this non-sense, think about people of different races and cultures who've died from cancer, AIDS, car accidents, natural disasters, Asian Tsunami, Oklahoma city bombing, Katrina, 9/11, Virginia Tech, WWI, WWII, Hiroshima...Much Haitians are far more Christians than the people you find in US. Check out CNN, the people who are screaming Bondye, Jezi, are crying out to God. The people who have their hands in the air, are devoting themselves to God. And it's not because they're in a horrible situation and now looking for God, they cry out God's name since the day they were born. After the earthquake, they were singing gospel songs into the night. Know your history. Much of Haiti's and Central America's current problems go back to Reagan's economic policies. Haiti's buildings and houses weren't built for earthquakes. California has quakes all the time, but their buildings are designed for it. Voodoo caused this earthquake? Give me a break. Voodoo is done in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, etc. It's a religion. Religion has nothing to do with natural disaster. Learn all the ways that U.S. government has screwed over Haiti for the past 50 years instead.
Ignorance of cause and effect if you blame voodoo...
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Something has been bugging me. Usually I would store these type of thoughts in my secret vault called my journal or I'll let it rent space in my mind, culminating those things called negativity, false assumptions, fear...very detrimental to your immune system. But since it's a new year, I've decided to share certain thoughts and frustrations with hopes that someone will say they can relate along with feedback of how to overcome the illusions.
Side note: So I realized that my posting comment thing is not working. I don't know how to fix it so if anyone ever want to comment, please e-mail at email@example.com or contact me via facebook. My job is boring and I love reading. So comment away...
Anyhoo. I'm not so sure it's wise of me of sharing this type of information for "business" reasons of not looking like a complete loser, but whateves. For the past 3 months, I've been contacting online magazine & blogging sites to share my artwork on their sites. Hey they said if you want to be a featured artist, please contact me via [blank] and we'll get back to you... so I collected the guts to say "why not". I won't disclosure their names but they're small and have a lot of followers, thought it would be a good way to expose myself some more. I also figured if my friends like my artwork, maybe strangers would too... Some didn't even acknowledge me but others gave me false anticipation that they would post my artwork on their blog/magazine in a few weeks. Didn't happen.
Wait! I thought they said sure! You'll be featured in a few weeks...as she scratches her head...more like never
Instead of being bitter about it, it has me wondering what is the definition of an artist. Is my work too amateurish to be featured? Did they not have the heart to say "we're sorry but we have better artist to talk about"? Yo no se but it got me thinking a lot and has me questioning if I really have some raw talent.
Back to the definition of an artist. Today while I visited one of the blogs that said they would feature me and instead featured another artist, it got me running to google to examine techniques & talents of others, and got me looking up amateur vs. professional artist. I tripped upon a forum on about.com "When Can You Call Yourself an Artist?". I must say, the various opinions gave me hope.
- “I always point to Van Gogh who couldn't sell a painting in his lifetime and now is one of the best known artists in the world. If you read the letters he wrote to his brother, they just have an artist's soul. He talks on endlessly at one point about a particular shade of blue he saw that day. To me that's an artist. It wasn't what was in his pocket but in his heart.” -- Sue
- “I think being an artist comes from within, like a state of mind. … an artist is anyone who can express what is going on in their head/soul through any creative medium, whether it be spoken, written, sung, played, danced, or put on canvas. It is the act of releasing and documenting thoughts and feelings that makes one an artist.” -- Thoms Minotaur
- “An artist makes art, sees art in the world around them and, most importantly, feels art in their heart. If they sell their art or not does not matter. What matters is that they make art. If you never put it down on paper, canvas, clay or stone you only have ideas, not art. Your ideas might be brilliant but until it is tangible others cannot enjoy or appreciate your art.” -- Dianna
- “Everyone is an artist as a child. It's when they get older and start critisizing themselves that they stop creating art. I consider myself an artist because it's what I am; not for how many paintings I've sold. Maybe that's what makes you a professional artist. ” -- Sue
- “If you have a vision different from other people then I say you are an artist!” -- Jim
- “Whenever the thing that is uppermost on your mind; when you get up in the morning, when you have an unoccupied moment during the day, when you can't sleep at night; is ‘What can I (create) today?’ or ‘How can I finish that (creation)and make it spectacular?’ When the passion to make that painting, photograph, drawing, sculpture, etc. never quite leaves your thought processes and is a motivating/driving force in your daily life...then you are an artist. Many of the greatest artists in history were never famous until after they died. .. It's not about selling, it's all about the passion of creating something new and beautiful! Some artists don't care to share their work with others...it's just for their own enjoyment. And true artists don't care if anyone else thinks they are good or not and they are not concerned with what anyone else thinks of their work. They are strictly in it for the pleasure of creating, and if they sell and make money that's just icing on the cake! Especially if they are still alive to enjoy the income. You decide if you are an artist and don't let anyone else tell you any different if you are one.” -- SkyRamsey
Yes indeed an artist is one who makes art. I make art thus I'm an artist. I have no formal training, but I like to explore and let my brain control my hands. Isn't that good enough? Unfortunately, I let these informal rejections stamp this block on my creativity and that's why I haven't painted anything in 6 months. My bad. So one of my goals for this year is to stop taking things so personally and thrive to be a true artist; one who doesn't care if anyone thinks I'm good or not. So with all of this said, I'm going to stop asking people to feature me and allow myself to be as you American people say: discovered. I'll still continue to share my artwork and post "inspiration and story behind " because I refuse to be selfish. Time for me to stop worrying about making money or if I'm marketing myself the right way, and just draw when I feel like drawing and share them.
Thanks for the support!