Hey Love, 

Take a deep inhale. Think of something you're thankful for. Slowly exhale. Welcome to this moment. Thank you for coming to this space and gifting me with your time. I appreciate you. Our energy is sacred. We must be mindful of how we delve it to the world. Amidst a global pandemic and the blatant erasure of Black lives at the behest of those entrusted to protect lives; the need to safeguard my spirit is vital to my survival. Since my last post, I've been musing over what it means to exist in the bedlam of this world. How do I live with joy and peace in a world that makes it difficult to be a Black woman? My ruminations reveal that this novel consciousness about the neglect of Black women is not novel to Black women. My grandmothers cried for help and we're told to be quiet. My mother cries for help and is told to wait. I've been crying for help and am told, not yet. My joy and peace is not predicated on the circumstances of the world. The echoes of my grandmothers still ring true: no one is coming to save me. It's incumbent upon me to carry the torch they've passed to me further than it's been before. This current moment of consciousness does energizes me though. For the first time in my life I truly behold the torch in my hand; I am thoroughly grasping what it means to be a Black woman. It is with this revitalization that I bask in the journey set before me. It isn't some grand affair made for a feature film; it's a day-to-day refocusing on my values and how am stepping closer to equality for Black woman. Today, I'm sharing 4 simple steps I'm taking towards abolishing the systems that oppresses me.  

Healing my Feed 

The bulk of my screen time is spend on social media, YouTube, and the likes. Many influencers have made their livelihoods, millions of dollars off of my viewership, my engagement, my contributions to their affiliate links. I'm committed to healing my timeline feed. I simply cannot engage with anyone, regardless of their content, who has not shown through the tenure of their platform to acknowledge and respect Black women.  There's naturally a great deal of performative activism, especially in the wake of this new wave of protest. It is my duty to my future and my daughters and sons, to unfollow these individuals and platforms; some of which are run by Black women. All skin folk ain't kin folk. Engagement may seem free, watching a YouTube video, following a blogger, reading a blog post, all appear innocuous. But there is a cost and a profit.  

Voting Local 

Almost 2 years ago, I became a US citizen. I've had the opportunity to vote in several local election. But I did not. I did not make the time to educate myself of what the elections were for, who was running, and what was going on in my local government. Instead, I've been "reserving" my voting for the presidential elections. This is a grave mistake on my part that I will never make again. The questions of, 'Where do we go from here?', has been posed since the murder of George Floyd. To the ballot. That's where I'm head. To my local government website to learn who's in charge and what they've been doing or plan on doing. One of the greatest takeaway from this uprising is the value and power of the local community. I will go as far to state that local government is invaluably more important than who is in the oval office.  

Mindful Spending 

Beyond "Buying Black" I want to be mindful of who and what I'm supporting with my coins. This requires greater research on my part; but it's necessary. Similar to the notion of healing my feed; mindful spending means knowing the authors I read, the creators of the movies I watch, business I frequent, and all entities the I give money to for either a good or service. This won't be easy, starting small and staying aware are what I believe will help make this possible. More, of there's something I can add, a good or product, that is not available from someone I'm willing to support; I need to add it, if it's in my interest to do so.  

Giving Audience 

We're all bombarded with information all day. Even if you're not active on social media, there are people in our life that we give audience to. Who and what I listen to matters. Similar to healing my feed, I need to be deliberate in what I give attention to. You no doubt know of "cancel culture" where social media declares that a brand or celebrity is offensive and should be cancelled. It's difficult for a mass group of people that are not connected to something deeper to truly follow through. Usually within a matter of days most will forget. "Cancelling" a brand or person is a personal matter. I have to make a decision that this brand or person does not have my best interest or doesn't care for my existence; and I can no longer knowingly support them. How many times have you said you don't care of this or that celebrity, but still stop scrolling to read about what's happened to them? Even if you don't directly engage with the post, such as liking it or commenting on it, the moment you stop and read, giving audience, that moment is registered as engagement. On Twitter I've take to muting certain words or phrases. Giving audience simply means giving my attention to matters that are valuable to me and nothing, absolutely nothing else. I won't be watching every video about an ignorant take on race; listening to gossip about celebrities I don't care for; ordering takeout from that store that only wants my money and not my presence. You'll have to examine your life and evaluate who and what you're giving audience and if they're worth it.  

The fight for my equality has been going on for over 400 years. I don't expect it to end within my lifetime; but I do expect to make significant personal strides for my children and their children. My fight is not just for me. I  think about all the women who have fought for me to be able to exist in this world, I stand on the shoulders of giants. I want to be a shoulder for future Black women to stand on.