Category Archives: Reflections

TIMESTAMP: Law Enforcement & Accountability

Nothing to add here. COLORLINES has summed up the tragic state of affairs just fine. No America #WeHearYou!

KilledByCops_Infographic8


Makes Me Wanna Holler: Pondering Dred Scott & Black Life in America

Ferguson Protests

A few days ago, during her first week in 2nd Grade my daughter was asked by a fellow student, why she wore a “black mask”. It was not a question of innocence or curiosity. The same child, on the first day of school, brought a Vietnamese student to tears with mean-spirited, racially-charged comments about her ethnicity.

This from a 7 year old? Who will he be at 27 or 47 years old when there’s no authoritative figure in seat to mandate a less than sincere apology?

There are NO WORDS for how sick I am of the “race matters” discussion! Tired of explaining where racism and culture bias occurs to people who don’t have to live within its historic time stamp. Repulsed by people who wield their sickness openly and willingly, while expecting me to be patient, understanding and capable of looking beyond it.

Angered by having to educate my innocent 7 year old (I’ve been through this “coaching” twice already with my sons) about the crap she’ll have to face as a result of being sugar-honey brown!

Unbelievable I walked away from a life rooted in Civil Rights and Social Justice 15 years ago only to find we’ve made little to no progress in the struggle for freedom and justice. Feels more like we’re living in 1964 rather than 2014.

As the senseless deaths of black males continue to be a tragic American past-time, inconceivable the 1857 words Chief Justice Roger B. Taney spoke to Dred Scott and the world ring truer than ever! That black men…

had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

And this is our PRESENT DAY reality?!

My Great Grandmother Annie Jackson’s Jim Crow South admonishment and warning to her sons has found its 21st century incarnation and medium in ME?!

Damn. Damn. Damn!

How the hell can this be?! Makes me wanna holler!

Luckie

Sources:


Behind The Veil & Life Inside The Jim Crow South

Behind The Veil ~ Duke University

The Devil’s Tale, Duke University’s Special Collections blog announced yesterday that 310 oral history interviews from the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture have been added to the Behind the Veil Digital Collection.

From The Devil’s Tale:

The addition to the collection documents the lives of African Americans from the state of North Carolina who lived through the era of Jim Crow in the Charlotte, Durham, Endfield, New Bern and Wilmington areas. The digitization efforts were made possible by the Triangle Research Libraries Network’s Content, Context and Capacity grant project to document the Long Civil Rights Movement in the state. Researchers now have access over 400 digitized interviews from the collection from states throughout the American South.

Given my Ancestors descended from Alabama (maternal-paternal) and Georgia (maternal-maternal) before migrating to Ohio, hearing the first person accounts of those who endured will be enlightening.

It’s exciting to see so much of our history emerging online. We live in a very special day and time!

Might  be time for me to make another onsite visit to the Rubenstein Research Library at Duke. I’m curious to see what’s contained in the 42 narratives that are considered “closed” and not online.

Luckie

FOOTNOTE:


Be A KING!

Martin Luther King Jr. - DREAMOn January 15, 2014 in honor of the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1300 Community House Middle School students taught an awestruck online community a much needed lesson in dreaming!

From simple, clear promises to well thought-out pledges, student after student shared how they would contribute to Dr. King’s Dream of a better future. We got a glimpse of how society’s future citizens and civic leaders #DREAMFORWARD.

And here’s what I learned about our Dreamers. They not only understand the challenges we face and tackle them head-on, they understand their role today and the one they’ll play tomorrow in resolving them!

Our Dreamers were so unified in their #DREAMFORWARD message, it was difficult distinguishing race and ethnicity among them.

The scars left by our country’s blemished history ARE fading, and this gives me hope someday we will live in a society capable of self-correction.

I’m convinced our greatest chance of fulfilling Dr. King’s dream of equality and true freedom, rests within the genuine intentions of young people to not repeat the mistakes of the past, stand for what is right and vest in treating ALL people fairly with respect.

Thanks to Congressman John Lewis for providing our Dreamers their charge forward! Who better than you can speak to the sacrifice and reward of being willing to stand for justice? You epitomize civic leadership and we were thrilled to have you dreaming with us!:)

Thanks to our Dream Team coordinators, Principal Brooks, Katy Coffelt and CH teachers for your support in making this event happen! You folks ROCK!:)

And to our Community House Dreamers you outdid yourselves! Thanks to your vision, we’ll be tagging the #DREAMFORWARD Tumblr with dreams for MANY days to come!:)

NEVER stop dreaming. BE A KING!

Luckie

P.S. I’d be remiss. Our Dream Team has more than earned its dream…

It is our dream, as an administrative team, that public schools will stop participating in the type of labeling, sorting, and selecting that is so characteristic of our society as a whole. It is our dream that all students will have equity in education, where every student gets what he or she needs, regardless of background. It is our dream that every student will be taught at the highest possible levels and a rigorous academic course of instruction is available to all students. And it is our dream that doors will open for all students as a result of having received the best possible education our schools can offer. #DREAMFORWARD

Ongoing MLK Campaign: 100 Days of Nonviolence – The KING Center


Thanks To You AAGSAR’s #BLOGFEST2014 Was EPIC!:)

Dora KOONCE & son, James HARDY(EN) KOONCEI’d searched ALL DAY for the word to sum up my feelings regarding our first New Year’s #BLOGFEST – We Call Your Name event. Then after the tweets died down and we were all descending from our Ancestors clouds, Bernita (still a NEW KID herself) of Voices Inside My Head nailed it, “BLOGFEST was epic!”.

It was indeed. I’ve never in all my years of researching genealogy, felt more connected to a body of work, than I do today. I never planned on it, have frequently complained about it, and sometimes [almost] get up the nerve to question the Ancestors why they have me doing it. But I know this work is Divine, and I’m so thankful to be a part of bringing not just my, but MANY Ancestors out of the dark. They are SHINING. BREATHING. REJOICING!

I’m hard on you NEW KIDS because I need you to embrace fully the responsibility [and joy] that rests on your shoulders. And should the day come I take hiatus, I want you equipped with EVERYTHING you need to push your Ancestors, and our collective Community FORWARD.

NEW KIDS your work will bloom and spread. Many will follow your lead. If you call them, Ancestors and newly connected Cousins will come (in my best James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams voice). You’ve shifted the landscape and narrative of our genealogy research FOREVER.

I thank you AAGSAR for tolerating, listening to and supporting me. You’ve been the vehicle my Mama sent to keep my heart beating.

Thanks to Kristin of Finding Eliza for penning the BEAUTIFUL Ancestor Homage, We Call Your Name and sister, Pearl CLEAGE for the poem contribution from We Speak Your Names”.

Thanks to the genealogy community for continuing to champion our Ancestor work!:)

If you have ANY doubt about the significance of this time and work, spend a moment reading the We Call Your Name comments and visiting all the remarkable Ancestor Blogs introduced.

A New Year. A Fresh Start. I’m clear now.

No complaining about the weight of the work or worrying about who understands [or supports] the effort. Just enjoying the gift of being able to help descendants and Ancestors find their way, while they help me to find mine.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

Yeah, 2014 is going to be EPIC!:)

Luckie

P.S. Please make sure to visit Ms. Dora and her son James KOONCE via Stones, Rainbows and Doves. Our girl Joanie worked EXTRA hard to afford her Ancestors their rightful time to shine! Well done Joanie!:)


LIBATION: Tribute To The Ancestors

Homage to the Ancestors

ANCESTRAL LIBATION

Water Offering to the Known and Damballah (Unknown) Ancestors

I show honor and respect to the spirits on my mother’s side.

I show honor and respect to the spirits on my father’s side.

I show honor and respect to the spirits which are known to me.

I show honor and respect to the spirits which are unknown to me.

To my Ancestors; to those remembered.

To those whose names which are forgotten, lost in the seas of time, I honor you.

To those whose ashes which have been scattered to the four winds, I honor you.

To those whose bones that lie within and upon this land, I honor you.

To you, from the living.

Ashe-O! So be it!

Image Source: Homage to the Ancestors by Ilari OBA, At the Crossroads: Afro-Cuban Orisha Arts in Miami Exhibit – Historical Museum of Southern Florida


River Rise: Our Ancestors Are Calling…

AncestorsOn many levels I’ve always had a close connection to India.Arie. Our Atlanta roots. Our Oshun nature. My love and respect for her family – Mother, Simpson and Big Bro J’on. Though I didn’t have opportunity to fulfill my promise, in 2009 I was offered a gift to design her brand, Soul Bird. And Lord, the music…

India’s music ALWAYS seems to flow in parallel with my life journey. I often find sanctuary in her melodies.

This morning I take refuge in River Rise from her Testimony: Vol 2, Love & Politics album. By far one of my favorite tracks, River Rise is a beautiful, sincere petition to the Ancestors for guidance. A call to return to all things familiar and soul-fortifying.

As we make final preparations for our first AAGSAR BLOGFEST2014 on Sunday, Jan 5th and set our feet for a New Year overflowing with Ancestor discoveries, this is my wish for myself and all those seeking to connect with their lost lineage.

Not to fly blind. Be my eyes. I surrender. Show me the way…

There was always a power I could feel
It was guidance to tell me the way to go
But nowadays I feel like I can’t hear that voice
I’ve been flying blind
I need You to come and be my eyes

River rise, carry me back home
I cannot remember the way
River rise, carry me back home
I surrender today

I was always a charmed flower child
I would sit for hours and listen to the sky
But nowadays I feel like I don’t have that choice
I’ve been looking down in desperation
I need You to be my inspiration, yeah

River rise, carry me back home
I cannot remember the way
River rise, carry me back home
I surrender today

I bow down and I humble myself
I can’t do this, Lord I need Your help
All the material things, they feel like chains
If You’re not here beside me
You’re the reason I see

Help me to remember the way
I surrender

Help me to remember
Only You can show me
Only You can show me the way
I surrender, I surrender today
You are the only way
Lord, I need You

**************
Ashe-O! So be it!:)

Luckie

Image Source: GOGO & the Ancestors by Marietjie Henning