Monday, June 8, 2020

All Men Are Created Equal - 1776

Many people have reached out to me asking to write on the topic of current events and issues. I was a bit taken back because that is not necessarily the tone of my traditional blog post, but it is a platform. I am a black female. I am disappointed beyond comprehension. As I was thinking through how to make this both logical thought and convey sincere emotions, I decided to start at the beginning—the start of this country. 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration of Independence – written and sent to King George in 1776. 

Yes, sure are, we are all created equally by our God. However, we are not all treated equally by our fellow man. It is a tale as old as time, however my focus on this country. Let us call a spade a spade. We are all endowed with unalienable Rights, but many of us have never really had genuine access to said unalienable Rights. Life. Liberty. And/or The Pursuit of Happiness. 

Unalienable Rights - unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor (Yet black Americans have not had the same level of access to those rights, ever in this country.)

Then post declaration was the articles of the confederation leading into the constitution. The constitution, carefully and intentionally crafted, brought about the three-fifths clause (Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution of 1787). In this section of the constitution, it was declared that for purposes of representation in Congress, enslaved blacks in a state would be counted as three-fifths of the number of white inhabitants of that state. Let me reiterate, 3/5 of a human being for all black people (slaves - but people in mind, my ancestors) in the United States. 

Right now, given the current state of the country, many people are wondering why so many of us are frustrated, why so many black Americans are angry, and why so many blacks are hurting. Because we as a country know better than this, yet never did better than this. Let us re-read that statement - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." What?! Were we created by a different Creator that made blacks 3/5 of a person? 

The declaration was never written for the black Americans that were in the country in 1776, and even now, but we hold this document in such high esteem due to its cultural significance. We take the words and apply them to today. Yet many of us have never seen progress in our ability to attain Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Unfortunately, this is nothing new for this country. During the next few weeks, I will walk you through the build from slavery for black Americans into Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, up to the events of the past couple of years. 

Life: (Definition - the existence of an individual human being) 
An existence of being stolen and/or sold from our homes, dying of disease in unlivable conditions on slave ships with no regard, sold as property, forced to reproduce like livestock, and beaten or killed if there was an attempt to run away.
Liberty: (Definition - the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.)
Generation, after generation, of slaves. "Living" without any form of due process, choosing the course and direction of our lives, and opportunity for a better life. Beaten and killed into submission is not liberty nor life.
The Pursuit of Happiness: (Definition - feeling or showing pleasure or contentment)
How can one attempt to drive towards any level of happiness when children are taken from their mothers' arms, many never to be seen again. Living an existence to make America great on the backs of hours of labor in conditions (mental, emotional, physical), many of us would find unbearable to pursue happiness. 

Please tell me how this doesn't break your heart and kill your spirit – yet we survive.

So I can't help but beg the question, if our Declaration of Independence holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness - why were and are black Americans so different? I find any answer almost laughable except the truth - we are created equally but not treated equally. Because the declaration is nothing short of just words on paper.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Why Do I Write?

I recently had someone ask me why I write? Why do I write this blog, and have been for about 7 years? Why do all of this work, but I do not get paid for it? Well, my answer is to follow. See, I was on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, and I follow a group called the ChristianGirlBlog. They posted the following bible verse, and at that moment, I had a spark of insight. 

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

As the ChristianGirlBlogs paraphrases this statement, "Be generous with your loves. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." Amazing! It really sums up why I write, how I write, and what I write. I wrote a blog a few years ago based on the song Little Drummer Boy and Dr. Martin Luther King's Speech - Street Sweeper. Now I will just disclose my gift is not necessarily the writing. By this, I mean the blog and the actual writing is not my gift per se. But instead, the thought process behind everything that I eventually put on "paper." It's not just thinking but tying concepts together to try to make more sense of this thing called life. You know it's the whole concept of all things working together for good. (*Smiles*

I guess the better question is, "why do I CONTINUE to write?" Well, the above is the answer to why. Because writing forces me to keep thinking and tying things together. Because when I think I gain clarity, understanding, and peace. Because when I put it out there for the world, I can only hope someone else gains more clarity, understanding, and peace. So here is it letting your light shine - so someone else's light can shine as well.

Monday, April 20, 2020

A Rose In A Concrete World

Ladies, this post is just for you. Sorry gentlemen, I can only speak from a woman’s perspective on this one... But let me know your thoughts…

This post is purely about standards – I have them, and I try (sometimes very hard and sometimes I slip into unintentional living) to uphold them. I find “lack of standards trend” concerning, like very concerning. I, at the present moment, have a 10-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old daughter. I want them to maintain high and realistic standards as it relates to how anyone treats them. Especially how they are treated in romantic and intimate relationships. What I have observed is the systematic devaluing of the standards we set for ourselves.

We can see this visible in our interpersonal relationships with other women. Then again, in how we hold men accountable to the way we are expected to be treated, loved, and honored. As women, sometimes, we do not leave a lot of room for us to remind men that we are far too good for this world. Unfortunately, we do not, sometimes, allow ourselves the space to have our partner wonder, “now that I am gone, how can you go on?”

I cannot help but wonder if this culture that we have created, put on a pedestal, perpetuated, and emulated is an unhealthy lifestyle for young women. (If you do not understand what I am talking about listen to music and look at social media.) I am sorry to say this (but not sorry), but not a single woman is worth being a side chick. Not a single one of use with worth the lack of commitment that a new style of relationship brings (if that’s your “thing” then go for it – but, love, you are worth so much more). Not a single one of us is the common B-word name we reference ourselves, and allow others to do the same.

Remember, you’re a rose in a concrete world.