Grapes of Wrath: Baltimore 2015, Detroit 1967

Nonviolence as Compliance ~ The Atlantic

The older I get the fewer words I have. I find myself asking, “what hasn’t already been said?” when it comes to the discussion of American racism, bias, oppression and historical injustice. I find myself believing less in mans ability to evolve from his transgressions. I find my anger rising while my faith and hope diminishes.

I understand better human acts I never expected to understand. I seek solace only the Divine can give. I miss more and more the aged wisdom of an Elder’s presence in my life.

Rev Albert Cleage - The Grapes of WrathYesterday I sought and found comfort in the words of Rev. Albert CLEAGE, father of fellow genealogy blogger Kristin CLEAGE (Finding Eliza). Words spoken when I had just turned 1 year’s old that unbelievably ring true today as I approach 49 years this July 7.

I shared these thoughts on my Facebook page last night:

TV off. Thankful to have the consciousness of Rev. Albert CLEAGE streaming into the soul of my 15 yr old Justis tonight. You have to REALLY listen to peep this sermon was delivered in 1967 not 2015. Time hasn’t stood still but the struggle for EQUALITY has. Understanding the nature of RIOTS is not the issue. Work to understand the criminal nature & legacy of oppression. Across decades. Fighting, standing, working, protesting, praying & advocating for change that never comes. Watching life after life loss without just cause & sans protection by law. When you can understand the HIGH toll of living with oppression… you can see how hope gets lost… how anger […]

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 7: IMANI = Faith

ANCESTORS River RiseIMANI (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

2014 has been a year where we’ve felt our faith in humanity stretched to its limits. The year when when I gave voice to my greatest fear, mankind is hopeless and beyond repair.

In my darkest and angriest times, I take refuge in Spirit. I hold fast to faith that flows beyond any ignorant deed or act of aggression; faith that rises above my understanding and despair.

It’s my faith in the larger plan, the bigger, DIVINE picture that I am anchored to. It’s my awareness of what my Ancestors endured that assures me we CAN and WILL make it.

We are not alone. This is all part of the journey. This day must manifest so better ones can follow.

Just like the seeds of America’s past have yielded fruit, so has (and will) the harvest planted by our Ancestors, family and community. And in that harvest, I plant my faith.

Habari gani? IMANI!



KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 5: NIA = Purpose

NIA (Purpose) Day 5 KwanzaaNIA (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Wow. Another year has come and gone, and it was a blessed one!:)

No it wasn’t without its struggles, life challenges and character building opportunities but it was blessed nonetheless.

We’re here. Healthy and with presence of mind, we’ve been given yet another opportunity to live to NIA (purpose).

I rebelled for many years against the notion of being born to help others. Such weight always seemed unfair to me, as if my 9 Life Path could be altered by my own selfish desires!

Aging is beautiful when we accept ourselves for who we are, invest on changing what can be improved and offer grace/forgiveness to our own humanity.

I’m thankful that my questions related to my purpose are no longer WHY but HOW?

2015 upon us Family. What will we do with this gift?

Habari gani? NIA!



KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 4: UJAMAA = Cooperative Economics

The Road To TaosUJAMAA (Cooperative Economics): To build our own businesses, control the economics of our own community and share in all its work and wealth.

In 2013 I posted this picture to offer friends and family a view of the road ahead for me. It’s the road leading to Taos, N.M.

1 year later I’ve made the journey. I take in that glorious blue sky and those mountains bringing me such peace, daily.

Today is a reminder for me my work is not finished. It’s not just enough to make it here. I must fulfill ALL the reasons I came for.

I’m surrounded by inspiring examples of UJAMAA by way of my circle of friends. Tonie V. who recently opened her Taos Libelulas Etsy store showcasing her beautiful beaded jewelry. Michelle L. the dynamo behind our favorite soap EVER – Nature’s Emporium Cherokee Soap. Adrian T. who despite my lectures begging him to slow down, continues on the grind selling from his collection of amazing global artifacts at SAIOTE. Rocking the showroom of my interior design dreams Ivelisse B. of Antiquarius Imports. And my earliest Taos inspiration, Lenny F. of Living Light Gallery. For his photography there are no words! Lenny’s “Healing Hands” was my 1st […]

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 2: KUJICHAGULIA = Self-Determination

KujichaguliaKUJICHAGULIA (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

In 2014 I renewed my commitment to living a life defined on my own terms.

I sat aside the expectations of others to decide how I should work and/or where I should live.

I discarded the opinions of anyone who questioned my ability to “call the shots” for my life and shut down anyone who dared to define “my normal”.

I’m blessed to know who I am at my spirit’s core and to be totally at peace with who she is.

Thankful to pass on the charge to my children to be as different, unique and diverse as they need to be, so long as it leads to true happiness and enlightenment.

Don’t live outside the box — reject the notion of a box completely.

Just live. Be. Thrive.

As long as I have breath and presence of mind, may I continue defining who I am and who I need to be according to the Law of Luckie.

With God’s grace, I have that right and you do too. EMBRACE IT today for tomorrow is not promised.

Habari gani? KUJICHAGULIA (self-determination)


And thank you Audre Lorde for showing me the path. Walk in light Gamba Adisa. ASHE!


KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 1: UMOJA = Unity

UMOJA (Unity) Kwanzaa - Principle 1UMOJA (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

It’s the relationships, the bonds, the fusion of like-minds with common purpose that carry us up and over life’s hills.

The beauty of aging with your spirit intact is the benefit of learning the truth about life and what sustains us.

Now we understand why preservation of family and community meant so much to the Elders who came before us.

Now we know. When we get down to it and evaluate what REALLY matters about this life journey, it always has and will rest with the circle of people we’ve had in it.

Be they living or walking among the Ancestors, it’s the bond that sustains us.

UMOJA = unity. Find it. Create it. Protect it.

Happy Kwanzaa Family!



Open Letter to The Blatantly Racist & Passively Biased: I Am Out of Patience

Civil Rights March - Seattle REDUX

I have no desire to see you enlightened or converted. I am not your voice of reason or by cultural default, source of untapped tolerance. There’s nothing in me willing to offer any measure of diplomacy to the sickness you openly and passionately spread. All the graciousness I’ve wielded for close to 30 years, in a desire to work and live among you peacefully, is depleted.

Make no mistake, though you observe me mothering with love, laughing with authentic joy and seeking refuge in the Divine, I’m brimming with anger I work hard to contain, daily.

To the BLATANTLY RACIST, I’m sickened by your transparent race hate, cruelty and cowardly attempts to veil your poison behind political rhetoric and desire for “American values”. Appalled by your ability to excuse, ignore and/or deny away your barbaric crimes against humanity — past and present. Disgusted by your boldness to reinvent a 21st Century incarnation of the Jim Crow South; once again hiding behind a deliberately broken justice system, jaded laws and morally corrupt champions who represent anything but peace.

You’ve created a psychotic American culture thriving on hate, ignorance and fear; rising by oppressing others. You are history on rewind, and of that you should not be proud.

To the PASSIVELY BIASED, your permissiveness is alarming. For you, racism is non-existent because after all, we elected a “brown President”. Dismiss all claims of bias and injustice as “playing the race card”. Complain frequently about how black people should “just get over it”. You boast of being “colorblind”, as if to be accepted my beautiful brown hue is better […]

Happy Birthday Anbownes!

If you missed knowing this REMARKABLE woman, you missed somebody mighty special! God broke the mold with this one! Happy Birthday Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICK, our Anbownes!:)

Fannie Louella Jackson Barwick

December 7, 1920 – March 5, 1992

A Worthy Timestamp: Discussing & Understanding White Privilege


Discussing and finding common ground on the subject of ‘White Privilege‘ is always “eventful”. Checkout this recent exchange between myself and other commenters on the subject matter. Then please, PLEASE read (and absorb) the 11/27 CNN article “The New Threat: Racism without Racism”, which completely conveys all the points attempting to be made in the exchange and shines light on why denial of our cultural and societal realities is so damn scary!

* ALL names of commenters have been removed *

COMMENTER #1: I like it except for #4. I am as white as they come and I have never considered myself more privileged then anyone else. My parents taught their kids to be color blind in this regard. WE are human beings.


COMMENTER #3: C1, with all due respect, white privilege is what you automatically have as a member of our society. You have even more as a white male. It isn’t about what you were taught (though that sounds commendable and spot on)–it is about a certain level of advantage that you carry because of the color of your skin in this particular system we live in. Most whites don’t even realize they have privilege because it is so invisibly a part of the structure of our society.

COMMENTER #3: Here’s a pretty good, brief discussion of white privilege (from a white woman):
On Racism and White Privilege | Teaching Tolerance
Excerpted from White Anti-Racist […]

Ancestor Reverence: To Acknowledge

To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps to God; or to Gods. We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love and die. The grace with which we embrace life, in spite of the pain, the sorrow, is always a measure of what has gone before.

~ Alice WALKER

By |November 22nd, 2014|Journal, Reflections|0 Comments