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 <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

@Celebrate: Being BLACK in America@

February is Black History Month in America…The controversial question that still begs 2 be answered IS= Does America really NEED a Black History Month? And if so, why is it important? Also, is ONE month tribute ENOUGH? For those that are BLACK; aren’t ya’ll BLACK every single day? For those that aren’t Black ; do you attempt to learn anything new regarding Black History during February? One last question I’ll give my views on= IS Black History Month just a “token” given to Blacks to put a band-aid on old wounds? WHY is it so difficult to have a decent, honest, OPEN dialogue about RACE still in America today? ~~~~~ First, a brief history lesson on how Black History Month came to be. Or do ya’ll already know? Oh well , for those that don’t know it began because of the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson & Rev. Jessie E. Moorland. Dr. Woodson was the former son of SLAVES and the SECOND Black person in history to receive a degree from Harvard University. Because Dr. Woodson felt preserving one’s heritage was important he urged the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to create ‘Negro History and Literature Week’ in 1920. He “chose” February to honor two men who had a great deal to do with altering the future of Black Americans. President Abraham Lincoln and Abolitionist Frederick Douglas(both men were born in February) Thus the creation of what we now celebrate as Black History Month in America was born…

I’ll briefly answer my own questions I posed earlier..Later, I’ll dig deeper. First of all , NO, Black History Month, isn’t a “token” given to Blacks in America for any old wounds caused by years & years & years & YEARS of slavery…As I’ve briefly explained earlier Black History Month was created by a Black man for Black American citizens to feel a sense of PRIDE about themselves..Something that was badly neeeeeeded when he first worked so diligently to have it created. Next, do I feel America still needs a Black History Month? Yes, I sure DO…Why is Black History Month important? I’ll dig deeper into that later. Aren’t Black Americans Black & proud every day and not just during Black History Month? Well , I sure AM. Every morning when my feet hit the floor and I look in the mirror I know several things for sure. I AM BLACK. I am a WOMAN. I am a loved child of GOD. Not necessarily in that order but being Black is always first…and I make no apologies for that. But later I will try to explain why. And the last question=WHY in the heck is it so very difficult to have an open & honest dialogue(among Blacks , Whites, and any other race/color/creed) about RACE in America??????! Especially when WE all know it is still very much an issue in our country….

For the naysayers, Black and White, who want to keep their heads in the sand; and think RACE issues don’t still exist in our country…Ask President Obama’s good friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr if it does. A highly! educated Black man who in recent years was reminded that NO matter how educated he was/is..he is still BLACK. Not even being the close friend of the President of the United States could save him from public humiliation. Just because WE don’t discuss race issues doesn’t meant it isn’t still an issue…And mayhaps IF we did discuss it more(in a civil fashion..) it could finally begin to solve the issue. Unless you were blind and deaf you certainly have seen RACE raise its ugly head just prior to and since President Obama became President of the United States…I don’t have enough time to list all the ways but ya’ll can google all the incidents/things said/happenings if you don’t believe me..

In my opinion , Black History Month, is necessary to educate ALL American citizens..Quiet as kept there are MANY Blacks who don’t even know their own history! For IF they did why would “some” feel Black History Month is no longer necessary? Begun by a Black man to give Blacks a sense of pride; I truly think it is still needed for that very reason..and more. Mayhaps if other races are educated about Blacks the race issues would cease! As I’ve said many times before we are ALL far more alike ; than different. And often times ignorance about a topic can cause people to have distorted beliefs/thoughts about said topic. Note to parents: IF you’re depending on the American public educational system to teach your child about being BLACK or about other races or Black History …it won’t happen! Get them books, share their family tree with them/ share with them family history stories..etc..KNOWLEDGE is POWER. My sincere hope/prayer is that people are indeed learning something new every single time Black History Month rolls around…As much as I’ve studied Black History including my own family history; I’m still learning new things my dang self. It is closed minds that will take far longer to move past the old ways of thinking…

~~As a person I love ALL people…of all races/creeds/beliefs. As a Catholic Christian I know we are ALL loved children of GOD. I don’t understand how any Christian could with good conscience call themselves a Christian and yet HATE with the level of hate I’ve seen/witnessed/experienced! ; simply based on the color of one’s skin. Matter of fact there is no one on this planet I hate. There are a handful of people I ‘ve run into that I don’t care for; real talk. But I don’t hate them. I just don’t care to spend ANY of my precious time being around them nor speaking of them. And only one of them isn’t Black.. I’m still praying on how to get past that…never said I was perfect.

Quite honestly  in recent years I’ve heard the N word used more by Blacks than anyone else..As a word of affection no less! What kind of shiiite is that?!? You can’t turn a WORD thats past is so negative that Blacks died cause they REFUSED to be called that word; into a positive word. I don’t care if it is JUST a word. I don’t allow it to be said in my surroundings . And I didn’t allow our sons to say it either…the ignorance has to stop somewhere. And I draw the line there. There is enough ignorance about what is or isn’t racism to wrap around our country a cazillion times..For the record there is a difference between racism and prejudice. Every time any of us labels a person by race, unless asked to describe someone by their race, we are exhibiting our prejudice. I’ve got my hand raised high; I’ve done it. And I try to catch myself but I’ve done it…I’m still working on that too. More proof I’m not perfect. In closing my sincere hope is that we can open up honest exchanges about RACE our country…Its past time. We’ve just TOGETHER put into office , for the 2nd time, the first ever Black man in the highest position of our country. That alone wasn’t enough to stomp out racism..Anyone who thought that was going to be enough wasn’t thinking logically. Rome wasn’t built in a day…nor can something so monumental be solved in one day or action. BUT we’re making progress…and that is wonderful! Like any good parent my DREAM is for my sons to live in a country that they are considered EQUAL…judged based not on the color of their skin..but ALLL of their years of education, their experience, their HEARTS, and all of their hard work. I co-raised my sons to LOVE all people and they do! I refused to teach them to hate..What we did do was teach them to be PROUD of who they are. Which includes embracing their Black heritage. One can’t know where the heck they’re going in life; if they don’t know who they are & where they’ve come from. And while I do have  a preference for who will be my love mate/life mate; I’m not racist. Though! I’ve had White guys who have asked me out say they felt that was racist. It isn’t . It is a preference. I just happen to be HONEST about my preference from the jump…Chalk it up to the level of highest respect I have for my highest male role model. My Father/Daddy who is Black..Little girls either are attracted to men like their Fathers or the opposite…I fall into the first category. Think about the preferences people have with who they’re attracted to??? Blondes. Women with big boobs.(even if they’re FAKE) Women with small waists & big butts. Women with small waists/big butts & big boobs! How about women who won’t date a man under 6 foot? Or won’t date anyone that isn’t fit or fyneeeee as heck. My preference just happens to involve skin color. And I absolutely LOVE chocolate skin..and the swagger of a confident brother??? Omg, no substitute for that…. Also, if anyone out there reading this has anything to add or correct me on things I’ve written; feel free. I’m ready to rap if you are…4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)

 

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, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^

“`Why I am BLACK..Not African-American“`

English: African American History
English: African American History (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disclaimer: Please read what I’m saying before assuming what I’m saying. I’m not saying I am not in love with my African roots nor am I saying I don’t love that I was born American. I love that both of those things are FACTUAL. Understand also that we all have opinions N are entitled to them. When we don’t agree its perfectly fine to agree 2 disagree. I wrote what I’m going to share in   response  to a very well written piece(from a blogger on this site)  on this very topic. It is a controversial topic yet not one that I fear opening for dialogue. So feel free to read with an open mind & ears N lets rap..

*Whats in a name? Some might ask that question but I don’t. Lets see if I can properly express how I feel about being “labeled” either Black or African-American.
What is IT with our country having to label folks anyway?!? Shouldn’t it be a personal choice? Why can’t we put OTHER as I’ve seen “others” allowed to do? Others that don’t exactly fit to a T the multiple choice slots on all the forms WE have to fill out in this lifetime…What about the situations folks that are White yet from Africa fall into? Are THEY African-American when they become American citizens? I actually meant a guy that fit that case scenario; he was a coworker . Awesome guy and we had conversation after conversation over this exact subject matter. Interesting to say the least!

Personally? I identify with my BLACKness before any other title/label I hold. When my feet hit the floor in the morning & I look in the mirror the 1st thing I see N know I am is BLACK. N I loveeeeee that I was created in the image of Jesus.(another topic for another time..) There is nothing else I’d rather have been created as..God makes NO mistakes. But I digress..

Some in the generations behind me feel that its oldskool to want to be labeled as Black. I figure we’re all entitled to our opinion..and I’m open to dialogue with anyone who can properly argue their points. But at the beginning and end of the day aren’t we all still..Black? A point those in favor of the African – American label make is that to NOT use the term is to deny our tie to the motherland. Africa…Hmmmm. Really??? I’d like to take a poll to see how many Blacks a/k/a African-Americans truly know a thing about their roots! Where they hail from in Africa? Where there ancestors first landed in America? How they acquired their birth surname…was it acquired from their slave master? Should the name @ African-American be carried by folks who have NO clue where they come from? Must I be labeled with the term African-American to be a PROUD Black Sista? I think NOT. And who is the infamous “they” that gets to determine how I’m going to be labeled anyway? Shouldn’t I have a VOTE in what I’m going to be labeled? In my life journey I’ve gone from Negro to Afro-American to BLACK to African-American..heck its surprising I’m NOT confused my own dang self about my..identity! And yet we sit back N wonder why generations behind us are out of touch with who they ARE.

I am BLACK. I am American. Period. Exclamation point. When 1st I wake I’m a BLACK woman/daughter/sister/mother..in that order. Every single day of my 49 yr old life. That is who I am. Regardless of who feels they have the right to “label” me it won’t change who I am. And I sincerely hope that is how more folks , BLACK folks, begin to look at it. And NOT let such topics further divide US…I love people. All people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. I just happen to be part of a bloodline of the very 1st line of people on Earth. How could one not be extremely proud about that?**

>In summation when WE(or anyone actually..) let “others” define who WE are & then re-define(or place a title on..) over N over N over again ..it is NO small wonder some  in my generation and many in those behind my generation..have lost sight of WHO they are. Or least that is the way I see it.<

Wishing all that read this love, joy and peace. Stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in <<COMING SOON, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^Political

>>>>a DREAM inferred….>>>>

Election Day in Massachusetts, 2012 [311/366]
Election Day in Massachusetts, 2012 [311/366] (Photo credit: timsackton)
Alright as promised to MYself & to ya’ll I’ve been working on my 2nd tribute to ‘President Barack Obama’..ooooooo that feeeeels SO good to B able to say that for a n o t h e r FOUR years! Was able to complete my 1st tribute right before Election Day N my goal to complete Part 2 is President Obama’s 2nd! Inauguration date approx. a month from now. Yep time is flying N waits for none of us ..For those who are just joining in reading the 1st tribute I penned to President Obama is listed on the right hand side of my page..Let your fingers do the walking (& clicking) and check it out. Its one of 2 pieces I’ve written that I’m elated with the finished product..and so very important to me. Hoping I can B fully amped UP by tomorrow to complete the draft of  ‘a DREAM inferred’. So stay tuned folks because I’m just getting started N I’ve got a feeeeeeling it will B well worth the wait. Til we link up again stay UPlifted N Blessed.  4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

>Update: I’m still working on this…2day is Dec. 15th and I anticipate completing this prior to President Obama’s Inauguration date so stay tuned <