Are WE Being Feared into Silence?

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Truth be told, I think I came into the world with my fist clinched, shouting “Black Power.”  My date of birth was April 5, 1968, literally the day after the assai nation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It was this act of violence that pushed my mom into labor and being born in a city miles away due to an enforced curfew after the shooting probably help to shape my mind about the struggle of equality.  Then there are my parents who taught me to be proud of who I am and what it meant to be black in America and I’m forever grateful.  My skin tone has always been extremely light and my entire life, my nickname was/is “white gal.”  Looking at my family, it was easy to spot me.  There were times when people didn’t believe my mother was my mother due to our skin tones.  She was a beautiful dark sister and when that would happen, often I felt hurt and mad.  I mean that’s MY momma, to me we looked just alike.  However, I remember wanting to be darker because I hated the way people made it seem that we were two totally different looking people based on our skin tones because the face was really the same!  Nevertheless, passive, remaining silent has never been my style!

I was driving in the car and contemplating on beginning the T-Shirt business.  I put a statement out on Facebook one (which incidentally I can’t remember for the life of me), and one of my friends said, I need this on a T-shirt.  Confirmation!  I had designs, pictures that had been saved for this purpose.  I have no clue what I had been waiting on to do it.  In the car, I thought about the stance, Kapernick, took and what it meant not just to him but what it represents to us all, as black people in America.

We’ve all recited the pledge of Allegiance and the words speak volume unless you find yourself on the other side of the justice that you have declared your allegiance.  Not just you, but people who look like you.  Justice is not perfect for everyone but consistently we have seen that the justice system in America is actively against Black people.  We’ve watched injustices, marched, protest and not just recently but for years.   So when Collin Kapernick, used his name, fame and position to take a knee during the singing of the National Anthem, the black-lash and outrage from fans that he received and encountered was both unfair and alarming to me.  IT REALLY TICKED ME OFF!  I felt he used his platform respectively and responsibly.

With him in mind, driving in the car, I thought about the words to the pledge of allegiance and the ending struct me……………..”indivisible with liberty and justice for all”?  Really?  We know that not to be the case The majority of inmates (those who were blessed enough to live to stand trial are Black American Men, an overwhelming number of those black men are innocent, let’s not mention the sentencing variations that ensure our black men do hard time for years and even life over crimes that others would only receive minimum sentencing or even probation.  This cycle of policing ensures that there are more black boys growing up without fathers around and that the cycle of making money on us will continue.  In addition, bring on private prisons that gain free labor and continue what really could be known as “slavery.”  This is the America that far too many of know and experience!  Our communities have yet to see, consistently “justice for all”!

So the singing of the National Anthem is even about an America most do not know.  The words imply that we are united and the home of the brave but too often, our men and women have fought and been treated every way BUT EQUAL.  Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say home of the fearful, home of those supported, as long as, you do, behave in manners that make the majority happy, secure or as they desire, whatever that may mean at any time?

Protesting is the foundation on which the country we call “America”, the great melting pot was built!  Yet repeatedly protest for Civil Rights for Black Americans is punished physically through violence, socially and financially through ostracism and poor portrayal on social media and media in general.  Demonstrations by Black Americans are labeled as riots or radical movements while the KKK marches and it’s called peaceful protest.  Watching this Pro NFL player take hits or fines for his belief and to silently but strongly protest was absolutely beautiful!  Indeed, he demonstrated courage and tenacity as well as one who will put their money where their mouth is.

I created this T-Shirt in honor of his sacrifice and simply because I believe in what he did and his right to protest peaceful and labeled being disrespectful, rude or unpatriotic.  Like I said when I thought about the “allegiance to this flag” the words said, I was highly motivated to continue making the statement.   Lots of people have viewed this shirt and THEY LOVE IT, but you would be surprised as to how many will not buy it because they are afraid to wear it.  Yes in 2017, the age of freedom, the age of saying whatever, the age of social media journalist and freedom speakers; yet people are afraid to wear a shirt that vocalizes their belief.

And so it begins……………………………………..Are we being scared into silence?

TAKING STANDS WILL COST, HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY?

 

Kimberly Davis, OUTSPOKEN FOR LIFE

“Punish me for my words, because I will not die cowardly silent”  Kimberly Guy Davis

My next T-Shirt and yep that quote, me!

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PHENOMENAL WOMAN

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I RISE!

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

 

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Dr. Maya Angelou

The Black Woman’s Anthem #BlackLivesMatter

IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH

“When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions.”  Carter G. Woodson.

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was
the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a
proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of
one’s divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma
in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in just a few years.  In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University.

Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of blacks in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.

In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout thecountry as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience.  ASALH views the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most important components of advancing Dr.
Woodson’s legacy.

In honor of all the work that Dr. Carter G. Woodson has done to promote the study of African American History, an ornament of Woodson hangs on the White House’s Christmas tree each year.

#Black365  #Blacklivesmatter #BlackhistoryISAmericanHistorywoodson_carter_g

Carter G Woodson