Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sweet Home Alabama

Being that I was born and raised in Alabama, I’ve been feeling some type of urgency to do something about this Senate race in Alabama, and I just didn’t know what to do. Then it hit me, I can use my small platform and write.

When the news first broke about Roy Moore having inappropriate contact with underage girls, I nervously read all of the stories. I did not know what to think, but I just know that it is never all right for a grown man to rob a young girl of her innocence.

The stories continued to unfold, and then when asked when was the last time that he thought America was ‘great’ and according to CNN and other media outlets Moore stated: "I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another.... Our families were strong, our country had a direction.” 

Then I started to read even more disturbing things about Moore, and I feel like I want to go to Alabama on Tuesday and go door to door, and take everybody to the polls. We’ve got to stand for the moral integrity of the state of Alabama and our country.

I know there are rural, remote areas where people may not have a car and the polling places are far away, but I desperately want these folks to be heard and vote for the integrity of Alabama and our Country. I know there are people who may not have voted in quite a long time, and they may be a little afraid or intimidated to vote, but I want those folks to speak up for the integrity of Alabama and our country.

Yesterday, in one of my desperate moments, I reminded my eighty-three year old mother to vote.

“Jack, you don’t have to tell me to vote. I was pregnant with Tricia and the bottom of my stomach was hurting, but I still went and did what I needed to do to get qualified to vote.” (Now, my sister whom she was pregnant with is currently fifty-three year olds.)  "I’ve been voting every sense.” She went on to explained to “get qualified to vote” she had to fill out some paperwork, and someone had to vouch that she was who she said she was.

“Filling out that paperwork felt like taking a test to me.”

Mom told many more stories about voting, and I anxiously listened and asked tons of questions. Y’all, I wanted to know every single detail.

Still feeling like I needed to do something about this Senate race in Alabama, I stated: “Mom, will you call your sister and nieces and nephews and remind them to vote?”

We hung up, and I felt better!

Today, I read that Senator Corey Booker was at Tuskegee University encouraging students to vote in the upcoming Senate election, and my mind started racing. Yes, there are lots of Black colleges in Alabama and if those students who can vote, would vote, perhaps their voices could make a difference. I picked up the phone to call my niece who is currently a student at Tuskegee to remind her to vote if she can, and I wanted to ask her to remind all of her friends to do the same. However, I put the phone down. (I’m not sure if she has changed her voter registration from her home state of Texas to Alabama?) 

My folks in Alabama, I am not sure where you stand on this issue, but I really want you guys to stand for the integrity of Alabama and our country. I do not want to ask folks to do things that I have not done, like drive an old person to the polls. But, please check on your neighbors, talk about the issues, and do whatever it takes to get them to stand for the integrity of Alabama and our Country.

Our country is going through changes, and we all know that change is hard and many of us resist it, because it is hard. But, today we have to face the fear of change and be heard and recognized. I was telling some people that it seems like our country is experiencing a birth, and I believe that if as many of us as possible would search our consciousness and act on it, I believe that what our country gives birth to will be great.

Y’all, it is a great time to be alive, and we cannot be on the sidelines; we need to participate....

Alabama... please show the world that our country's arch is bent toward justice!

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just Because...

Image result for image for thoughts


Lots of rambling...(You’ve been warned!)

Last Wednesday, I was able to sleep an hour later. I slept until 6:30 actually and that felt soooo good. I had Step Up To Writing training, and I thought we would learn more about Step Up To Writing, but instead we learned more about how to train people. However, I went with the flow. It was good to sit back and learn and not have to lead. I enjoyed every moment of allowing the leader to lead.

Well,

I got an email while in the training that pretty much made my day. It was about being on a literacy panel this coming summer. You know sometimes it feels like God stops talking to me, and then something like this email happens. I am sure God was like “Girl, I ain’t forgot about you; You of little faith!" I am still growing in this area.

Later,

After the training, I did an easy ride on my bicycle, washed my hair, cooked, and ate. I answered a few emails and sent a few text, wrote, and went to bed. Rest is not overrated. I felt so much better after having quite a chill day.

Y’all!

I just love GOD, I mean, I really love God. He knows me better than I know myself and is always on time. I mean he is always on time... Like always on time. I have been working on stuff, and he has been showing out. Oh, how I love Jesus. Not because he first loved me, but because I don’t want to think about not loving him.

So,

I bought an electric trainer. For those who don’t know, an electric trainer is a way for me to do my cycling workouts on the inside connected to a computer. This trainer helps to make my workouts more efficient. I actually look forward to the workouts now. You know, when I finish, and I see my average speed, I kinda feel like a badass. AND, I love that feeling.

AND,

I’ve been thinking about Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, and all of the other men who have been sexually harassing and raping women. I’ve also have been thinking about women, including myself, and our society. We got tons of work to do...  I was talking to a lady who told me that at her daughter’s orientation for college, they talked to the young ladies about looking out for each other and staying together to keep from being sexually assaulted or raped. I was thinking “Are they protecting themselves from their young, men classmates?” I wonder if the young men were being told to never have sex with a woman without her consent? Y’all, as a society, we got work to do.

Thirty minutes,

I’ve been writing almost every night, and it is amazing the amount of writing that can happen in thirty minutes. It is also amazing how we can start habits and continue them if we are committed. I am actually starting to look forward to sitting down each night and calming my thoughts, engaging my entire body, and writing.

Tomorrow,

Is Friday..... AND I am thrilled!

What have y’all been up to?


Monday, December 4, 2017

Evicted by Matthew Desmond



I finished Evicted by Matthew Desmond today, and I must say that I cried many tears while reading this book. After a few pages, I would have to take a break and think. This book has me thinking about so many things that really, really have not been on my mind. You know how people say out of sight, out of mind. Well.....

In Evitcted, Desmond puts names with these stories and humanize these people. I found myself really pulling for Lamar, Scott, Patricia, Chelesa, Arleen, and Natasha. Desmond helps us to see those cycles of evictions and how difficult they are to escape.

I want to believe that I am empathic, but I think that we can never, ever have enough empathy. I have never really given a lot of thought to people being evicted chronically. Folks who just do not get enough money monthly to pay their rent and bills and are chronically late on rent and are always facing the threat of an eviction.

Now, when I first started teaching, my money was tight. I remember coming home to eviction notices or my phone being cut off. So, I am not new to money problems at all. But y’all, there are folks caught up in these eviction cycles, and there just does not seem to be away out except perhaps some "Fairy Jenny" comes along and bless these folks with a lot of money.

What breaks my heart the most is the kids. Kids who have to go from house to house and school to school. Kids who can’t do homework because of their condition. This book helped me to see how a kid can get to the tenth grade and be on a third grade level.

Y’all, life is really hard and complicated for some folks... Like really hard and complicated!

Reading Evicted, I thought about my own life, and with just a very changes, like my Dad leaving or dying, I know my life would have been much different.

Grace and Mercy, Grace and Mercy, Grace and Mercy.......

Y’all READ THIS BOOK!!!
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