Posted in =Self Discovery=, @Cultural

^Pondering Emotion

Ponder this…

**Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think? **

Sigmund Freud believed that mental illness came from ‘repressed emotions’ in the unconscious mind. He believed that release & acceptance of these denied or repressed emotions & memories were VITAL for mental health. If this emotional energy wasn’t released , Freud noted it led to physiological symptoms and illnesses…>> Memorized this many moons ago when I studied psychology..For some reason or other , this Freudian tidbit came to mind while reflecting on why my emotions free-fell to anger after watching a video clip last night..

A friend sent me a video clip last night..My first reaction to it was anger..Not seething; but full of passion! And immediate..So much so that I didn’t finish watching the clip until much later..Curiosity forced me to finally watch it. At the time I didn’t realize why it made me feel angry..I’ve not “personally” experienced the sentiment expressed in the video clip..Yet , I took it personally. It was hard to watch and swallow..As a Black woman it hurts to feel judged & stereotyped(as a group) by everyone–especially those that we’ve stood by ALL of our lives. Black men. I later realized my feelings of anger directly translated to ; my realization of the myriad of reasons the gap is getting larger @The disconnect between Black men & women. As a single Black divorcee that makes me “feeeeeel” sad, disappointed, abandoned, a sense of betrayal and yep, angry…Briefly! We’re all freeee to do who! or whatever we choose to do..But dang, dangit & dayuum why heave us under the bus! The description @Angry Black Woman has never been applied to me as an individual; but it doesn’t mean I can’t/don’t/and won’t express and feel anger from time to time..We live in a culture that views expressing anger as taboo. My personal belief? Holding it in & denying it isn’t good for our spirit..I’m hopeful to write more on that & this topic at a later date… So anyways, that led me to ponder/reflect/wonder why we feel the emotions we do..Just wanted to give a little backstory on the prompt of the thoughts that inspired this piece ..Again I pose the question@ ** Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think?**

I’m sharing the actual clip in the spirit of seeking insight..Curious what , if any, emotions are evoked when y’all take a peek. From any perspective..As a woman. As a man. Of any race..In my experience emotion transcends all..Especially the greatest which , of course, is love! But I digress and badly.. If you feel the need to share then just know this is an emotion-friendly zone! Let it flow…



Special thanks to my friend for , again, broadening my scope of knowledge

Posted in @Cultural

I am just , BLACK…

Going to try to write this out & articulate how I feel about it..So hang onto your hats, caps, wigs & weaves I’m diving in head first! Ready?>.

I’ve experienced something new for the past 2 years..Very new for me..Time after time I’ve been mistaken for other than; Black. Been asked IF I were a multitude of things..Hispanic, Latino, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Dominican, and today? Panamanian. My response , more often than not, is simply..No, I’m just ole-fashioned BLACK American..The new part of it is that it is other Blacks that have asked the question..Great majority of my life Whites have always asked IF I’m mixed..I’m not totally sure WHY it mattered whether I was mixed or not! But I was a bit surprised, now, that I’m not the only Black in my environment(or part of only a handful as I was on the West Coast); that any type of questioning about what I am comes into question>>

At first I didn’t know how to handle it..The behind-my-back comments(& sometimes to my face..) about how I talk.(you don’t sound BLACK) About the texture/thickness /style of my hair(wow, its yours!) About my background(well, you can’t relate to us because of your background..) Etc, etc, yada yada..I won’t lie my emotions have ranged from flat-out pissed off to butt-hurt feelings..WHY does it matter? I am just ME..Black & proud American born Sista! And how come I’ve never been asked IF I’m African??? I find myself thirsting to know more & more of African culture these days..Thus? I would love to be mistaken for an African Nubian Queen! Yet? That never happens>>

Then today? It hit me! While conversing with someone new(Panamanian); I realized she just wanted to CONNECT…She said you look SO familiar to me & your features remind me of HOME..As I listened to her talk it became crystal clear to me..I feel it when I’m back in the place I call home @ New Orleans..Its a feeling of being HOME. A feeling of comfortability that I feel NO where else on the planet. A feeling of familiarity with people; even people I don’t know..It just feels GOOD. Could that be the reason why other folks want to label others as theirs? A sense of bonding..A need for connection. >>

I’ve said often I’m a people lover..And I truly AM..The more I learn about & from other people; the more I learn about myself..From now on I’m going to look at the question @Are you ____? ; as a GREAT opportunity to open dialogue about other Black cultures..I won’t take offense & instead look as a chance to teach and learn..Teachable moments. Love IT.

Posted in @Cultural

PBS *The African Americans* >Many Rivers To Cross..Airing Oct 22 – Nov 26

**EPISODE FOUR** “Making A Way Out Of No Way” Airing on PBS Tuesday 11/12/2013 8 p.m. ET/PT Check your local listings>>

During the Jim Crow era, African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans migrated away from the South, fleeing racial violence and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. At the same time, there was an ascendance of black arts and culture, such as The Harlem Renaissance.

Making a Way Out of No Way is episode four of the six-part series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr

**EPISODE THREE** “Into The Fire” (1861-1896) Premieres Tuesday, November 5, 2013 @ 8 p.m. ET/PT >Check your local listing..Whatever you do; don’t miss IT!

Episode Two >> “The Age of Slavery* (1800 -1860) Due to air 10/29/2013(Check local listings)

…”The Age of Slavery illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For free black people in places like Philadelphia, these years were a time of tremendous opportunity. But for most African-Americans, this era represented a new nadir. The cotton industry fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories, and a Second Middle Passage forcibly relocated African-Americans from the Upper South into the Deep South. Yet as slavery intensified, so did resistance. From individual acts to mass rebellions, African-Americans demonstrated their determination to undermine and ultimately eradicate slavery in every state in the nation. Courageous individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass, played a crucial role in forcing the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics, helping to create the momentum that would eventually bring the country to civil war…”

>>After watching Episode One on its 10/22/2013 air date..I decided I wanted to share with y’all about the PBS ongoing series..It is hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr and consists of six episodes..I’ve attempted to post a copy of the video preview for episode two; but it is registering an error message. Ugh! If nothing else hope this serves as a notice to all of the upcoming episodes. The first episode kept me glued to my seat for the entire hour! I’ll post air dates for episode three & on when it becomes available. If you missed episode one; it can be viewed online at PBS. (and quite possibly PBS will re-air it on TV until episode 2 airs) Feel free to post your comments here after viewing each episode..

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^^Thought Provoking^^

~150th Anniversary*Jan.1,2013* of the Emancipation Proclamation~DP PostaDay..Berna’s Way~

~Did YOU know that January 1, 2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation?  Me neither. I slept it and as a Black American, American period!, that is awful..Thankfully the date is NOT too far past to pay tribute to it here on my blog. I am a very proud Black woman. I am a very proud American. I celebrate life daily and in doing so pay homage to my GOD, my ancestors , my parents, and myself..There is a project in the Black Voices section of the Huffington Post(I’m a subsciber and read it on a regular basis) that is called “Letters to Our Ancestors” It is in tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Huffington Post asked leading members of the Black community to share their own letters to their(our) forefathers. With these letters, it is hoped to look back on the progress our community has made & give thanks to those who paved the way for US…They were a generation of BRAVE souls who embarked into a NEW world after hundreds of years of subjugation…You’re free to pull up the Huffington Post site and read the many letters there in the section of this project. For the sake of this post and tribute in my blog I’ve selected a letter from The Rev.Dr . Otis Moss III to post. He is a descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”. I found his letter to his forefather very inspiring and heartfelt..So I chose it out of all the other letters I read there. This is an excerpt from the actual letter…

A authentic actual postage stamp*….”Dear Tinko, …..Much has been achieved in these post-emancipation years, however, what has been achieved has been hard won by named and unnamed men and women of courage.

I wish you could visit Harlem and hear the songs and sounds of  who took the genius of your contemporaries and created poetic works and literary songs of a new “Negro” renaissance. I wish you could walk the campuses of Tuskegee, Morehouse, Spelman, Howard, and Hampton, and witness ideas blossoming in the mind of the grandchildren of slaves yearning to be men and women . I wish you could witness Marcus Garvey speaking to us as God’s children and not “the wretched of the earth”, or read the essays of W.E.B. Dubois, as he reflects on life post-reconstruction, or sit in on an organization meeting with A. Phillip Randolph as “Pullman Porters” claimed their dignity through organized labor. Atlanta, Georgia the citadel of the genteel south produced a prophet named Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who forced the Constitution to repent and America to reflect upon her creed.

I know I am leaving out much more:yet, the triumphs are too vast and tragedies are too numerous to count. I must also share an unbelievable moment in our history. Our current President and First Family are people of African descent! As unlikely as it may sound, democracy and history collided and produced a moment you or our ancestors only dreamed was possible….

There are those who claim we live in post-racial society and others who claim we still live in a racist society. I say we live in a race-consciousness society, fearful of class and apprehensive about color. We are NOT post-racial, nor are we soley defined by the social construction of race. We are post-emancipation, but, we are still a pre-promised land nation still looking at the future from the mountain-top and not the plain of realized dreams. Gains have been made in this nation, but the beloved community still waits in the harbor of our prophetic imagination. Maybe ONE day we will reach it but as of now we still dream….

I thank you for your courage this day, and look forward to meeting you one day in our Father’s house, when time and space cease to be weights upon our temporal existence.

Sincerely,

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III(Descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”)

**I found this letter to be close to what I feel to this day….I’ve read books from every single author he noted(starting when I was a child in my own Daddy’s house..) I’ve read in history books, NOT the ones I was given in school, on dates/events the Rev. Moss speaks of..Reading his letter has inspired me to follow up on the family roots(he has done extensive work on “my” family tree:maternal & paternal sides)  that my own Daddy  has  worked on for over 30 years!(collecting data from records from long ago isn’t easy by far)..And I’m hopeful to also encourage/employ my 3 sons to help with completing the task. One needs to know  where their  roots begin. Yep,  including me!/my 3 sons/my future grandchildren. How many of us as Blacks here in America(born & bred here..) know IF we are descendants of slaves? How many of us as Blacks here in America know with certainty we hailed from Africa? Stumbling upon this tribute to the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation re-awakened an internal spark inside me to know.  Mayhaps it just might have also done the same for one of ya’ll reading this. Until I read you/write you stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in @Cultural, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~Poetry A Berna Original~

~Single Sista’s Anthem~An Original Berna Creation

**

Single Sista’s Anthem(Message to my younger Sistas)*An Original Berna Creation*

Alright ya’ll I’m amidst your ranks so don’t get angry nor mad

But I’ve got a few things to say I collected on my mental notepad..

Notes I saved along the way of lifes’ journey  for myself

Dusting them off N taking them  down from the shelf

N its about high time

2 lighten it UP by rhyme

Which is what I do best

So let me address..

While I can’t agree with all Steve Harvey wrote about..

Though it made for an excellent read no doubt(yep , I read it)

I have to admit he did indeed make *some* good points

N to some of you what I’ve got to say might disappoint

But 1 must stay true 2 themselves at the end of the day

I sincerely now believe what I’m about to lay down & say

WE can often send very mixed messages to our brothas

Wanting a husband yet we all to often accept a role of a lover

Have we forgotten what our Dads  taught us long ago about getting free milk from a cow??

When a man won’t wait for our “treasure” our response should be …ciao!

And yet we think we can change him all the while knowing its not so

One day we look UP and wonder where did all the precious  years go..

As we waited relentlessly for a frog to change into a Prince

Until we no longer have even got ourselves convinced..

That

He

Will

Change

The beauty of life is each day brings all of us a new chance

To re-evaluate our position & re-think our stance

Whilst we wait for ‘the one’ to discover us we have to work on US

We must stop throwing our own selves under the bus

The added bonus of being in a state of singleness..a plus

Is time to get our shiiite together.. pardon  me if thats too brusk!

A goal of mine is to keep it real with myself N likewise with U

And I’m in a phase of my life where to myself I first vow to be true..

By manipulating nouns N verbs I pray my message is seeping through

Stead of worried only about what a man is bringing to the table

Shouldn’t we be more concerned with making sure our lives are  solid..stable?

Lord above gave us all the tools N skills to be fully capable N able

WE rein supreme as the 1st Mother of ALL mankind

Any man who can’t see our attributes has GOT to be blind

“I” once lost myself  but now by the Grace of God I’ve found “me”

For 2 yrs now I’ve sworn to celibacy/learning to love ME/and taking time to just BE..

Single by choice and building UP every  single part of MY life ..I am finally, finally so FREE

I say to ya’ll with the utmost respect, sincerity N bonded by blood in  Sistahood

Love starts from within and only then will a Brotha love us like he should

WE are far much more than a pretty face, curvy hips N  big butt

R* E *S *P* E *C *T starts with how one thinks of oneself

Mama taught me long ago even if I only had one dress on the shelf..

Dress for success..So looking my best is 4ever on my mind

Translation: Cover UP your breast  N your big  behind!

Sexy,  doesn’t mean we have to be naked or half nude

Heck in American society that’s still considered CRUDE

Unless

One isn’t trying to attract a husband N instead a pimp

My message is clear ..via words I will not ever skimp

Lyrically using  every part of the alphabet from A thru Z

Praying with all my might ya’ll are really feeeeling me

As I try to relay my lifes lessons  learned the hard way

Trying  hard to keep a floodgate of  emotions at bay

Hoping my poetic flow can help save a young Sista from wasted years  N heartache

For it can often take many moons 2 recover from heart~break

If ya’ll take away nothing more from my collection of mental notes

Let it be said that I tried to infer a lot more than what I actually wrote..

~N~

In my heart of hearts I know God created a man who was born to love just ME

When he discovers me he will look upon me with familiarity

He will see my warm  inner spirit and soul through my eyes

Cherish me as if he’s won the worlds’ biggest lottery prize

Loyalty won’t be an issue*he’ll be worthy of my trust

He will know that with me communication is a must

But

What I wish for you is to know/feel these same things

Know that you were CREATED to be loved & adored by a KING

N though I’ve saved this type of love for my very last

I don’t possess a crystal ball nor  Alice’s  looking glass

Yet I yearn for you to take heed N learn from my past

Strive for YOUR  goals and to your dreams stand fast

Everything about you should represent a beautiful Black butterfly

I’m hopeful you’ve read something here that to your life you can apply..

_Bottom Line_

Always love yourself more than even the ‘flyest  guy

N

When he discovers you 2gether you’ll experience the highest of highs(Real Love)

 

 

Posted in @Cultural, ^Political, ~Poetry A Berna Original~

~~Berna’s Tribute 2 President Barack Obama~~

Image

44th N 45th soon to BE

So personal its become to me

This entire political process

I sincerely have to confess

I’ve grown tyeeeed of this mess!

My feelings are difficult to compress

With sincerity and conviction I will try to express…

Who knew that even with 4 years of slow but steady progress

(And) endured every single ploy, stall tactics, N Republican tests

Having given Americans  his all N his very best

That President Obama would still have to impress

Not only the fickle masses but some of his very OWN

Certainly the latter couldn’t have even possibly known

The irreversible damage done by their blatant treason

*Lord, why must some of us need more of a reason…

2 stand united other than having been born BLACK?*

I must apologize for I digress

My mental still trying to digest…

The 3 ring circus that has become our political process

Whats going to happen from day 2 day is anyone’s guess

Bear with me as I break this down N take it apart

Feeeeeling every keystroke written word in my heart**

May author of ‘Dreams of My Father’ hear my prayer

N please know for some of us this is a personal affair

Your ‘Audacity of Hope’ motivated me to keep reaching

HIGHER

To always dare to dream/share what I’ve learned/ N to

INSPIRE

You’ve inspired Black children they can BE anything they aspire to be

That message also resounded ever so loudly to ME

When a little boy asked to touch your hair * a request so rare

You understood why N let him * because you truly care…

I pray for YOU each and every single day when I rise

Daily silently hoping your values you won’t compromise

Many of us know this race shouldn’t rightfully be close

Unless Americans sincerely want yet another ‘Bush dose

WE stand behind you millions mighty and forever strong

Wanting you to stay in the White House where YOU belong!