Where is your attention?

Black joy comes not from denial of racial injustice, but from Black sovereignty.

Sovereignty = Freedom + Power.

After the (understandable) flood of grief and anger, let’s focus our collective energy and attention on building.

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

Toni Morrison

What are you doing about screen time?

Do you worry about the influence and impact of media on our kids? Black children take in more TV, music, and online videos than other groups of children and I worry about the impact that this has on their brain development, socialization, and self-image. But I also get tired of constantly arguing with my kids over these addictive devices!

Do you disntiguish between educational and entertainment, or is all screen time the same?

Especially in the wake of homeschooling, how do you attempt to curb their reliance on these devices…or do you???

I’m open to a conversation with other parents about what strategies seem to work (although every family, child, and developmental stage may differ)…LET’S CHAT!

Here’s a link to the article tagged in the video:

Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys

https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/Media-Impact-onLives-of-Black-Men-and-Boys-OppAgenda.pdf

New Normal

Homeschool Resources

  • BrownMamas.com – Muffy Mendoza is a brilliant sista out of Pittsburgh who offers homeschool strategy, online conferences and a moms’ support group for those in the PA region.
  • KamaliAcademy.com – Samori Camara was a teacher in New Orleans who decided to ditch what he calls the “Public Fool System” in favor of education for liberation. He now lives and teaches in Ghana, but his online classes, homeschool curriculum, and workbooks are available worldwide through the site.
  • RaisingFreePeople.com – is the brainchild of Akilah S. Richards, a homeschool podcaster and writer who helps families wrap their minds and practices around the concept of radical unschooling. She argues that freeing our children from the practices of institutionalized learning is also an act of liberating ourselves.
  • Sankofa Homeschool Collective – this Washington DC-based community of African-centered parents and educators offers a full slate of writing, history, and arts classes for children of all ages each semester (and summer). Now with virtual offerings of their classes, the village of like-minded parents spans the globe.
  • Kibolebole Institute – a fun and affordable family-run online educational program featuring live classes with skilled teachers and an Afrocentric perspective. Classes tend to focus on science and math.
  • AYA Educational Institute – This is an amazing online school which offers full days of live math, science, language arts, and social studies classes for middle and high schoolers. Unapologetically Black and proud.
  • Outschool.com – an incredible resource for those seeking one-time or ongoing live classes on a plethora of topics, from Roblox design to math review. Kids from ages 5-18 can find classes of interest to them, and no commitment is necessary outside of their selected class(es).
  • Education.com – not free, but worth a premium membership due to the countless lesson plans, printable worksheets/workbooks, and online games covering reading, grammar, spelling, math, and typing for grades K-5. Super helpful if you are piecing together your own curriculum and just want raw ingredients to work with.
  • Fun Weird Science.com – Family run, Georgia-based STEM program with both live and online offerings. Sign up for a weeklong science course and they will mail your child all of the needed materials for five cool experiments, to be conducted while Zooming with the teacher each day.

Enjoy these resources, and let me know in the Comments what your “new normal” will look like in the coming months.

Coming home

The other day, I heard a really good podcast interview of Tiffany Dufu, the women’s leadership guru and powerhouse author of “Drop the Ball.” Because Tiffany is, like me, an African American working mom with a Ghanaian husband, I wanted to feel camaraderie. Her message – that modern women should learn to do less and delegate more, to rely on their “village” so that they can focus more energy and attention on achieving their highest visions – was solid. I wanted to support the work that she is doing to help women and girls, so much so that I quickly hopped over to my local bookshop and grabbed the bestseller off the shelf in order to get a closer look. Thumbing through each chapter, I searched desperately for a hook. I wanted badly to relate. But the truth was that in many respects, I couldn’t.Continue reading “Coming home”

Are your “distractions” really your guides?

I’ve always been the good student.

I went to “gifted and talented” school growing up, was voted “most likely to succeed” in high school, and graduated summa cum laude after four years of university.

I had found my “thing” – academics. I loved school so much that I kept going for a long, long (long, long, long, long) time.

In my early 30s, I graduated with a PhD in Psychology. My husband and four kids attended my graduation ceremony.

So, was I a “success” now? Would the red carpet roll out for me to a world of opportunity and prestige now that I had achieved the highest degree in my field? Would all of my book smarts and all-nighters pay off?

 Well…If you know my story, then you know the answer.

Continue reading “Are your “distractions” really your guides?”

My activism: Unapologetic Black JOY

A child of a Black Panther and an escapee of the Jim Crow South, I grew up steeped in Black pride and an understanding that one of my core duties on this Earth (and requirements for survival) was resistance to an interlocking system of oppression that would love to see me and my kinfolk destroyed, and preferably by our own hand.Continue reading “My activism: Unapologetic Black JOY”

The Creative Quarantine

I used to think that work-family “balance” was a goal to strive for, but now I think that balance is probably the worst thing for my brain. Balance implies that I will spread my energy and attention equally across the various demands on my time, gracefully keeping all the plates spinning in sync (or, at least broken into equally tiny, sharp pieces across the kitchen floor).Continue reading “The Creative Quarantine”

18 reasons my kids hang out on a farm

Our weekend excursion, every weekend: harvesting on the organic farm where I work during the week. Might sound like an awfully difficult way to handle grocery shopping, or maybe just thinly veiled workaholism, but the kids usually end up having a blast and we always end up with a hearty dinner.Continue reading “18 reasons my kids hang out on a farm”

Love of Self, Love of Community (aka Chicken and Egg)

Terisa Siagatonu, a Bay Area spoken word artist, recently inspired me to reconsider the often-heard and readily accepted idea that “you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.” Continue reading “Love of Self, Love of Community (aka Chicken and Egg)”

10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels for Kids of Color

When I was growing up, being a sci-fi geek seemed antithetical to being an urban Black kid. Or so I thought. Thank goodness that in recent years, thousands of melanated folks with a hankering for time travel, humanoid species, dystopian visions and other “out-there” phenomena have leapt out of the closet, blowing the white wash off of the fantasy/sci-fi genre and ushering in an age of Afrofuturism where a kid can be (get this) Black and nerdy at the same time. Lucky punk…Continue reading “10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels for Kids of Color”

Mantras for New Parents (and Even the Not-so-New)

Who has time to read parenting books? Certainly not people with actual babies and children in the house! Sometimes what parents need most is a simple, quick phrase to remind themselves of what is true and real. When you need re-centering, speak these brief phrases aloud or silently. Repeat daily, hourly, and every minute if you need to. The Universe may just respond with a burst of positive energy for you…Continue reading “Mantras for New Parents (and Even the Not-so-New)”

5 Ways to De-Stress with Essential Oils

Numerous scientific studies have uncovered the helpful effects of essential oils on pain, anxiety, memory, attention, mood, relaxation, and sleep. Whether inhaled through aromatherapy, applied directly to the skin (with a safe carrier oil), or ingested via tinctures and teas (more common in Europe than in the US), there is mounting evidence that these organic compounds have a positive effect on the human nervous system. Here are a few ways that you can use nature’s “smell-goods” to lift your mood and combat daily stress. A few of my favorites…Continue reading “5 Ways to De-Stress with Essential Oils”

6 Time Management Tips for Creatives (and Other Folks Who Hate Time Management)

Corporate culture talks incessantly about time management and productivity….which is exactly why I have avoided both of these concepts like the plague. As a bona fide free spirit, I run away screaming from anything that smacks of “other people telling me what to do, how much to do, and when to do it.” I contend that I am supposed to be late for most things, that daydreaming is a perfectly valid use of the hours between 9 and 5, and that the concept of “working through lunch” should be added to the list of cardinal sins. Continue reading “6 Time Management Tips for Creatives (and Other Folks Who Hate Time Management)”

What the Law of Attraction Really Means (And why it’s not that different from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

Have you heard of the Law of Attraction? Of course you have.Continue reading “What the Law of Attraction Really Means (And why it’s not that different from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)”

The Simple Life (Isn’t So Simple)

“Living simply makes loving simple.” ~bell hooks

Simple living is all about consciously choosing to live with less material possessions, reduced work time, and sometimes even less technology than the average modern American. How one chooses to design their simple life may look differently for each individual, but the underlying premise is to develop a sense of gratitude and satisfaction for you already have rather than enter the vicious cycle of always seeking more.Continue reading “The Simple Life (Isn’t So Simple)”