THIS👏🏾RIGHT👏🏾HERE: “Young black activists have been in the streets advocating for gun reform for decades without much attention or mass appeal, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, or that they work without leadership, or that their demands are unclear. While we celebrate the success of the Stoneman Douglas teens, it's crucial to examine which progressive movements are embraced and legitimized — considered worthy of a passionate public response and united steely resolve — and which are received with skepticism, restraint, and apprehension. And why that might be.”
No one ever hat tips the birth mother—the one who made the Herculean decision, against all odds, to have the baby and give it away. This takes courage. And the might of angels. Today, I honor my birth mother in a Black History Month piece meant to celebrate a hero. She is mine, because without her, I would have neither life or the arms of Bettye and Jimmy, my parents, the ones who raised me, encouraged me. Loved me beyond measure. This is a story about true love.
There are so many reasons I love "Black Panther"—far too many to count—but my favorite of all is how the images and story touched hearts. Made people feel like... home. This piece, by my friend Ekene Onu, on the intense, tenuous marriage of two soils and the belonging that long eluded her, is a beautiful meditation on what Wakanda can mean for someone who is both African and American.
I don’t know what made her do it. Perhaps she was scared and overwhelmed about the prospect of motherhood. Maybe she was a teenager and her parents, afraid of how society looked down on young, unwed mothers in the late '60s, forced her hand. Or maybe it was a boyfriend, unready to wield the responsibility that came with caring for a family, who convinced her this was the right thing to do. [ 643 more words ]
By EKENO ONU I was born in America and I have some memories of my early life here. Peanut Butter. Montessori school. Snow. My parents have different memories of their life here. Some wonderful. Some curious. Some sad. But everything they saw was through the lens of being Nigerian and so when they finished their studies, they took us to this place that we had never seen but that they called home. [ 670 more words ]
"I know many of y’all nilgrims consider yourselves evolved—aka on “some new negro shit.” Y’all out here eating right, eating clean, eating trees and grass. I respect that (lies), yet I imagine your palate has descended to the sunken place. Not only has Black soul food blessed our lives, but it also has historical and sentimental value..." Ida Harris breaking down, quite brilliantly, why we need to respect, rather than turn away from, the food created by the hand of our ancestors. Get you a plate, today on MyBrownBaby.
Now that Black History Month is officially open for business, we can get to the heart of a different matter. If y'all are anything like me, you're probably Black as hell on a daily basis. If you're not like me then chances are you ain't Black’n right. Now, you can atone. The next 18 days is your opportunity to get right with… [ 1,103 more word ]
Some observations on the Tyler the Creator concert I attended last night:
1. I love this kid. Let me start there. "Find Your Wings," "Keep Da O's," "Smuckers," Glitter," "Boredom," "See You Again," and "Pothole"—hell, all of his latest offering, "Flower Boy"—are my jam.
2. I LOVE that he charged only $39 per ticket and there was no formal seating arrangements. You fit in where you got in. Totally Lila and her two girlfriends finagled seats four rows from the floor—about 20 rows ahead of where I had us sitting. Note: never underestimate the cunningness of 15-year-old girls. They will get you to the front. With a smile. No sweat.
3. Despite the ticket price, the majority of Tyler's audience was white. Like, there were SOME Black people there, looking like pepper in milky chowder, but his audience is white kids from the 'burbs. Like 45 minutes outside Atlanta proper, wearing trucker hats and tight camo and way too much eyeliner and absolutely zero rhythm. They know all the words though. And do this really awkward performance of rapper moves while they're singing them... lots of hand movements and chopping the air and hard knee bending and scrunched up angry faces and bouncing on the 1's and the 3's. It's a sight to behold.
4. I don't know how I feel about this. Like, I know Black kids dig Tyler's music, right? I do. My kids do. Their (Black) friends do. Is $40 too steep a price for them to come? Is it not cool to hit up a Tyler concert? Do they prefer Future or Migos? Where do Black teens go to be entertained? Are they, like me, looking for a more, say, "authentic" experience with Tyler that they know they won't get a venue that herds fans? Does Tyler notice? Does he care?
5. Continuing on this line of observation, I know the words to Tyler's songs, too. And I was praying he wouldn't perform "I Ain't Got Time." Not because I don't love it: I bump that shit in my car because it's a massive "fuck you" to those who work your nerves. The chorus, in part, goes, "I ain't got tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime for these niggas." Typical Black people shit talking. But in the mouths of white folk, those lyrics take on a different meaning, don't they? "I ain't got tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime, for these NIGGERS." They damn sure do for me. And when Tyler silenced the music and told the crowd he wanted them to get hype AF on the next song, and then I heard the beat drop, I evil-eyed every white child within a 30-foot vicinity of me. Because dammit, what I was not fittintado was stand there and watch white kids awkward rapper dance while saying "I ain't got tiiiiiiiiiiiiiime for these NIGGERS" at the top of their goddamn lungs....
Read the rest at http://mybrownbaby.com/2018/02/tyler-the-creator/
Some observations on the Tyler the Creator concert I attended last night: 1. I love this kid. Let me start there. "Find Your Wings," "Keep Da O's," "Smuckers," Glitter," "Boredom," "See You Again," and "Pothole"—hell, all of his latest offering, "Flower Boy"—are my jam. 2. I LOVE that he charged only $39 per ticket and there was no formal seating arrangements. [ 583 more words ]
Sending up Hosannas to Scott Woods, a dope librarian doing dope things, like creating lists of children’s books featuring Black characters who are not slaves, bouncing basketballs, marching for the movement or singing and dancing for a living. Included on this list: “Crown An Ode to the Fresh Cut,” (http://bit.ly/CrownDMB) and my first solo picture book, “Early Sunday Morning.” (http://bit.ly/ESMDMB) Thank you, Scott, for shining the light and celebrating these beautiful books!
And this right here is why black teachers matter. *heart melt*
Look here: I'll be 50 this year. To some, that's old. To me, hitting that age means I'm just getting started. All this experience? All this wisdom? All this mouth? All this fine? All this "I really don't give a damn what you think about me"? Shoot--buckle up. My friend Lucrecer Braxton, who also is out here lying about her age (looking 22 years younger than she say she is), agrees, and writes about the benefits of aging, particularly from a woman's perspective, as part of this incredible AARP campaign designed to #DisruptAging, in partnership with WomenOnline. #ad
"...there are still a lot of great mommy bloggers out there creating the same realistic, timely, funny, sweet, useful and inspirational content that they’ve been creating for years. They just happen to be not White. So, if you are looking for some great mommy blogs because you’re sick of “fake motherhood,” [as written about in last week's Washington Post article about mommy blogs] check out Ms. Meltingpot’s five favorite Parenting Blogs that aren’t Written by White Women. And FYI, you can be White and still enjoy these blogs. You’re welcome.
Loving this list of great places to take the babies to learn about Black history—both the old history and that new history in the making. Read on for info and links on museums, galleries, libraries and the like that celebrate the beauty and authenticity of us, from New York to Chicago to Atlanta to LA and stops all up and between, today on MyBrownBaby.
This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own. By LUCRECER BRAXTON I’ve never looked my age. When I graduated from high school and started college, I looked older than my 17 years. That made me feel good and I appreciated the good genes I was blessed with from both sides of my family. [ 676 more words ]
By KJ EDWARDS Carter G. Woodson, is the “Father of Black History,” and we owe the Harvard-educated historian the honor of sowing the seeds for Black History Month. What began as Negro History week is now nationally recognized, with February 1 marking the first day of the month that centers African Americans exclusively. Parents and teachers will likely break out Dr. [ 980 more words ]
😂😂😂 The reverence for Blue Ivy just tickles me. (I don’t know about hushing up her Mama, though.)
“Sulwe, which means ‘star’ in Ms. Nyong’o’s native language, Luo, is the story of a 5-year-old girl growing up in Kenya. In the book, Sulwe has the darkest skin color in her family, a fact that makes her uncomfortable and determined to find a way to lighten her skin. As the story unfolds Sulwe embarks on a whimsical adventure in the night sky that, coupled with advice from her mother, helps her see beauty differently.”
As the mother of a college student, I FEEL this. Kudos to Stacey Patton for putting in the work, collecting funds to go exclusively to college students struggling to get that book money together for class. ONE book can cost as much as $400 (yes, I've had to pay that or Mari), and if you come from a family that doesn't have it like that, where just paying the tuition is a struggle, passing classes becomes that much more difficult. Please, help these kids. We need them to succeed, and they need us to do it. Even $10 goes a long way toward helping a student in need.
"Dr. King’s assassination, on April 4, 1968, played a direct role in Franklin’s creation. Eleven days later, a Southern Californian named Harriet Glickman wrote to Mr. Schulz, introducing herself as 'the mother of three children and a deeply concerned and active citizen.' In her grief, Ms. Glickman explained, she had been pondering 'the areas of the mass media which are of tremendous importance in shaping the unconscious attitudes of our kids.' She then proposed an idea: 'the introduction of Negro children into the group of Schulz characters.'"
What our kids know is this: Dr. King had a dream, and then he was shot by a bad guy and now black people can do the same things as white people without anyone getting mad about it or in trouble for it. We have a holiday in his honor and fete his work with sales at the mall. For these kids and most of their parents, the days of hoses and snapping dogs and burning crosses might as well have happened 150 years ago, rather than just 50. This is a disservice to children — and not just because they’re missing out on the significance of a crucial piece of American history. Relegating it to dusty history books makes them miss out on how far our country has come; how much further it has to go; and, most importantly, how the passion, righteousness, ideals, and actions of even one person can change our entire world for the better. Here, how to celebrate Dr. King with children.
H&M messed up. And now the Swedish clothing and retail company is apologizing for marketing a hoodie. Well, not just any hoodie. A hoodie that reads: COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE. The problem? It is worn by a Black boy. And to make matters a bit more messy, a contrasting hoodie, worn by a white boy, had a starkly different epithet: MANGROVE JUNGLE OFFICIAL SURVIVAL EXPERT. [ 551 more words ]
So honored to have my work—indeed, my dedication to celebrating and documenting the lives of our babies—recognized on USA Today's parenting site.
Proactive coping—“anticipating potential stressors and acting in advance”—helps prevent and mute the effects of stress. Here, a few ways to shave time and lower anxiety levels—tips that give you one less thing to deal with. I'm here for these—and implementing stat.
By KJ Edwards Along with the new year comes the attempts to be our better selves, aka resolutions. And while MyBrownBaby colleague, Ida Harris, dropped a list of things we should all leave behind in 2017, some of us are carrying self-sabotage forward. I’m looking at you, SIS. 2017 was real—real depressing, real taxing, real hectic, especially for Black women. [ 553 more words ]
I'm here for this list. All of it. Ida Harris breaking down the foolery of 2017 so it'll forever be broke. Get some.
I wish 2017 a swift death—as in fuck dropping the New Year's ball, but rather drop a gotdamn guillotine on that shit. Like throw the whole year away and all its fuckery, too. I mean, I could spit a fully cited listicle of trash shit that needs to be funeralized, eulogized, and buried, but it would read like a dissertation and there are collards to cook, chitlins to clean, and black-eyed peas to soak. [ 641 more words ]
Also, that time when new NBC darling Megyn Kelly got her panties in a wad over Santa AND Jesus being colored? I’m never gonna forget that. Ever.
Super sweet story about Santa, whom, in our house, we all know is Godiva chocolate brown. 😏
I’m still upset about that NPR story detailing why Black mothers are dying at alarming rates during childbirth and postpartum. Here is a piece I wrote years ago about my #birthingwhileblack experience. But don’t just read my piece; look at the comments section. Story after story about poor treatment of Black women before, during and after childbirth. Believe. Black. Women. We are not making this shit up and it is not simply in our minds. Our babies and we are in danger.
My God. This story. The statistics. The reality for Black women and our maternal and postpartum care. The racism and stress and lack of care we face for just... being. The peek into Shalon’s life and death. I am absolutely devastated. If you do nothing else today, read this. It is important. It is necessary. We need to do better by Black women—Black mothers. Full. Stop.
BY K.J. EDWARDS The adults our children grow into is predicated on many factors. These factors are labeled the “Agents of Socialization.” They include family, school, peers, and media. With family children learn their first lessons. They develop basic life skills: how to feed, bathe and clothe themselves. They also learn emotional intelligence: how to empathize with others and show kindness and compassion. [ 778 more words ]
Retweeted Agate Publishing (@AgatePublishing):
"A celebration of self-confidence & self-worth, a beautiful window into a snippet of a boy’s transformation that enables him to feel recognized & powerful. The voice, the word choice, the rhythm—it is all astonishingly perfect." https://t.co/f4k9DvNauO @mommyshorts @KidLitLauren https://t.co/IUF36VgmJZ
Retweeted The Conscious Kid (@consciouskidlib):
Don’t miss the Facebook Live reading of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Author Derrick Barnes’ son! Sunday at 7 pm EST on the @mobbunited FB page: https://t.co/lL8PjxARec @MyBrownBaby @AgatePublishing #weneeddiversebools #ownvoices #blackbooksmatter #blackboyjoy https://t.co/cArMutyvQ3
“ Such is the case with “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, beautifully illustrated by Gordon C. James, a real standout that reads like spoken word poetry in its bold tenor and lyrical writing. And it’s not just a pleasure to read, it also does something important, and that is to show up and show out for black kids, black culture and black language. It’s about that time honored tradition for black folks of sitting in the chair at the barbershop, and the power of being seen as a black boy beyond stereotype out here in America. Barnes writes: “A fresh cut does something for your brain, right? It hooks up your intellectual.” Hook yourself up with this sweet and mighty book, both for you and your kids.” Thank you, Rebecca Carroll, for this awesome nod!
LOVING this gorgeous interview Hope Wabuke conducted with Derrick Barnes about his love of brown babies, books, HBCUs, black boy joy and the fresh cut—today on The Root. Click the link and get you some! (And don't miss the super special reading of "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" this Sunday at 7 p.m. EST, hosted by Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United)! Buy "Crown" here: http://bit.ly/CrownDMB
For the Love of Black Boys: Derrick Barnes and His Ode to the Fresh Cut https://t.co/VFazzxcSIL via @TheRoot
"I am deeply committed to wanting to stay a whole person. One of my biggest frustrations after having my oldest son was that the messaging that I kept getting, that as a single mom I needed to give up my own dreams and ambitions. Basically becoming a mother meant that I had to derail all of that and I needed to become, for example, an x-ray technician. I needed to do whatever it would take to survive. I didn’t pursue any dreams or ambitions that kept me connected to who I am. Since then, I’ve always fought very hard for that and I want my kids to see that. I want them to see and to understand that their mom isn’t just their mom. As much as I love them and I love who they are, they are a part of my world but they are not my whole world. I am more than just their mom. I am a person, with my own dreams and desires and insecurities.
I want my kids to see their mom not just surviving motherhood or surviving her life, but living it and thriving and pursuing it. As a feminist raising boys, it is important that they see that. Mom can be a lot of different things, all at once even." LOVING this interview of Addye Nieves—and particularly what she has to say about being a FULL woman as she mothers and creates. Also, the artwork throughout the piece is drool-worthy. I'm so adding her to my collection.
Black Boys Wear the Crown! -
We at Denene Millner Books are deeply appreciative of Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United) and The Conscious Kid Library for putting together this incredible list of books featuring Black boys—and especially for including “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes on the list. MyBrownBaby is proud to republish the list with permission. Want the PERFECT Christmas present for the sweeties on your list? Grab one—or a few—of these incredible books and put them under the tree. There is no greater gift than the gift of literacy—especially when our babies are celebrated in the pages! Plus: a special announcement about a super special reading of CROWN!
By IDA HARRIS I've been hair-free for a minute, now. It's a choice I don’t regret. Most women aren't willing to go that route, but every women should—at least once. Going completely bald is the next best thing to being naked. I should be clear: I ain't talking about a bald head. At least not the one on your shoulders, but rather the one that rest between your legs. [ 720 more words ]
About to go live—I got my books and my drank. Come through!
“But a part of me simply wonders, ‘Isn’t this what we as parents want to happen?’ There is a natural order to it all. Right? Now I can’t lie. There are moments when I worry about Chloe. But I worried a bit when she started full-day preschool, went to sleep-away camp and, perhaps most terrifying, drove to the mall for the first time. As I did in those times, I talk myself down with faith that angels are with her when I can’t be. In other words — grace.
But unlike in the early days of parenting, I now have lots of reasons to have faith in Chloe herself.”
This is a beautiful read from Ylonda Gault Caviness. I can cop to being slightly unhinged when we sent Girlpie off to Yale, but what got me through—what keeps me getting through—is trusting my Mari soaked in the lessons and is putting them to good use.
One of them, 26-year-old Charity Moore, shared with Yahoo Lifestyle the intention behind the photos. “We wanted to do something to capture the essence of how natural breastfeeding is,” she said. “We used crowns to remind each other that we are queens and to keep one another lifted. We chose to come together to normalize breastfeeding. And it’ll never be ‘normal,’ unless it’s seen.”
"...fairness and compassion and empathy and a loving heart. And those things translate in any environment. Those are the main base things that... I would want my child to have. You know? Treat people as they are, no matter who they are, no matter where they sit in the world, not to, like, be super nice to someone at a high position or mean to someone who they've deemed to be below them. I can't buy you love, I can't show it to you. I can show you affection and I can, you know, I can express love, but I can't put it in your hand. I can't put compassion in your hand. I can't show you that. So the most beautiful things are things that are invisible. That's where the important things lie." —Jay-Z <-- YES. This is beautiful.
Listen: my homegirl Ida Harris BEEN tagging me on those Plies IG videos, but I'm just not coming to understand the pure genius of this man. He country, Black AF, and full of the good sense God gave him. Today, a tribute to Passuh Plies, a bonafide national treasure that makes our hearts leap with joy. Bless ya life. Read this.
By IDA HARRIS Since the first African footprint marked our Black ass arrival onto American soil, Old Negro Spirituals have been instrumental in transforming us, up from the bowels of slavery into the most glorified symbols of resilience. This form of gospel is a staple in Black culture. Inspiration for negro spirituals come straight outta text from The Bible: "Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. [ 717 more words ]
And another one: only a week after Publisher’s Weekly named “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” one of the year’s best books, now, too, does Kirkus! We at Denene Millner Books are so proud of this work! It’ll make a GREAT Christmas present for every little in your life!
Yes, the school teachers are still telling the babies that Thanksgiving lie about the pilgrims and the Native Americans and that sharing of a big meal and recipes and whatnot. Don't let it go down like that. This mom didn't. Instead, she told the truth. She tells how to break the news and why it's important to do so, today on MyBrownBaby. http://mybrownbaby.com/2017/11/thanksgiving/
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