What’s Up Zo? #3: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

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Oops! Supposed to say July 10, 2016. 

PERSONAL UPDATE

If this is your first time reading my blog: Welcome! I’m a black woman and living in America.

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Welcome to my life.

For some, that statement instantly gives you an idea of how my week has been but for others, let me spell it out for: I’m scared for my life and the life of my friends, family, and anyone else who has black or brown skin in America. This is a fear that will I will carry every day.

The past week has seen the death of two black men due to excessive and unchecked police force as well as the senseless deaths and injuries of police officers who were doing their job and protecting a peaceful protest.

I’m not going to go into the whole nitty gritty of these attacks in this post. There are people who are much more eloquent and have done much more extensive research than I have. (And to be perfectly honest, I’m too tired and stretched thin from even the few conversations on this topic with people in my life to even deal with it on here with strangers so, sorry not sorry.) However, whether I knew the two black men or not, these events along with similar occurrences of police using excessive force when they didn’t need to that has been highlighted a lot the last few years, has still caused me (and other members of the African American community) certain levels of mental and emotional distress. What good does living in “The Land of the Free” do when you’re trapped in a perpetual state of “Will I, or someone I care about, die today for something as simple as wearing a hoodie and looking ‘supposedly‘ like a ‘thug‘ just because of the color of their skin? Will I ever not tense up when I walk pass a police car by myself? Does reaching in my pocket for my phone look like I’m reaching for a gun?”

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-sigh-

I am not okay. And unless some significant changes happen in the U.S. to protect all of its citizens, I will probably never be okay. Not really. Don’t get me wrong, people in my life will undoubtedly see me smile, laugh, and just overall living life, but know that constantly, at ever waking moment I am aware of my vulnerability and possible risks to myself as not only a person of color but more specifically a black person in this country.

So…that’s where I am this week…and this month…and basically my life. I’m not okay, and that’s fine because I have that right and I’m more than validated (in general and personally) to feel that way. For the families and loved ones of the officers killed in Dallas, I’m sorry. Believing in the spirit of #BlackLivesMatter does not mean that I believe that police officers, who are actually doing what they’re supposed to do – protecting and serving all of America’s citizens – should be killed senselessly.

If this personal update makes you feel uncomfortable, I would really suggest that you maybe ask yourself why you feel that way…

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Geez. Sexy and woke.

And while you do that, “I will travel across the land searching far and wide,” for Pokemon GO. #TeamRed #TeamValor

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“WHAT ARE YOU READING?”

So usually I would post any new books I read this last week. Other than the books I’ve posted about in the past, I haven’t really started anything new. Instead, here are some articles I’ve been reading, some related to my personal update and others that I just found interesting:

A PODCAST YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO 

og_image Not to be cliche but the majority of topics and themes of the  Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast are honestly things my mom never told me. 

What I really love about the podcast is that the two hosts do their research and in every episode they humbly acknowledge that they may have missed something, allowing space for their listeners to submit further information on a previous topic to be shared on future episodes.

Some of my most recent episodes include the series they did on romantic comedies, breaking down and exploring the genre through the lenses of race and sexuality, showcasing movies that aren’t always highlighted in the genre because the main characters aren’t a white heterosexual couple.

As I said before, I really appreciate the ladies of the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast because of the time and effort they put into each episode’s research. What’s great is that if you go onto their website, for each episode there are a list of resources and references used that you can look at on your own time.

You can listen to one of their most recent episodes here.

THE SONG I JUST KEEP REPEATING…

Yeah…none of you should be surprised by this if you read the rest of this.

“I wanna be the very best,
Like no one ever was.
To catch them is my real test,
To train them is my cause.

I will travel across the land,
Searching far and wide.
Each Pokemon to understand
The power that’s inside

Pokemon, (gotta catch them all) its you and me
I know its my destiny
Pokemon, oh, you’re my best friend
In a world we must defend

Pokemon, (gotta catch them all) a heart so true
Our courage will pull us through
You teach me and I’ll teach you
(Po-ke-mon) Gotta catch ’em all

Every challenge along the way
With courage I will face
I will battle every day
To claim my rightful place

Come with me, the time is right
There’s no better team
Arm in arm we’ll win the fight
It’s always been our dream

Pokemon!”

Well, that’s all for now, folks! Until next time!

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