I remember in elementary school during Black History Month wearing a gold and cream pants suit with little heels and presenting myself as Mary McLeod Bethune. With braids in my hair and smile on my face I presented with excitement about a woman who faced adversity and succeeded in the field of education. At this tender age it had never dawned on me that Black History Month was a somewhat recent installation in the world of education or that people in other places and spaces of learning would not be exposed to all the different people and variations of successful and achieving Black people. Let me further state that never in my life would I imagine as an educated adult that I would be around people who would want to connect or contribute to society and challenge me in the most deceiving of instances. No, I would not know that when they hear about Rosa Parks that their minds do not automatically include the part of her story where she was fought at, removed and jailed for advocating for her and others to be able to use the bus. I gladly focus my attention on transportation and say “thank you” for the advancements with every bus token I purchase and simultaneously keep my contribution to being an environmentalist with every avoidance of creating my life route in a way that requires a car. I would not realize that young people growing up with me would not know that the dark smoke coming out of factories and cars can kill you and the environment or that they would never be exposed to the fact that some conditions such as asthma are a result. Furthermore, I never would realize that people who know and celebrate Martin Luther King would not include or know the part of his story where he was admitted into college at fifteen and that he was a preacher. When I discuss him and other figures in Black history I have details others have missed. Never would I think there are people who would not realize that people had been fought and jailed at nonviolent protest and that bus boycotts are in response to something. More importantly Martin Luther King was developing the Poor People’s Campaign before his death. I guess it is me who has a perception problem for knowing he was shot while smoking a cigarette and standing on a hotel balcony. I can see the picture vividly in my mind and another image that automatically pops up in my head is of him putting on his jacket as a young “boy”. The Harlem Renaissance, Black Wall Street, Rebellions, Mariam Anderson, Josephine Baker, Huey P. Newton, Carter G. Woodson and knowing someone black invented the refrigerator and the filament for the light bulb gives a person with this information a different vision than someone who lacks this information. Where some people argue against healthy and proper participation I often wonder why they do not vote, volunteer or participate in organizations such as the NAACP in their community. I also hope people would understand that emancipation does not mean access and participation to education, business and other societal institutions. I am going to now use this space to discuss my personal “foot notes” on the publication “Black Women Speaking From Within: Essays and Experiences in Higher Education”.
In chapter two of this text, author Antoinette Bonnie Candia-Bailey mentions that Blacks where admitted into spaces of higher education after the Civil War. As I theorize the inner framework of this statement, I can see where admittance may be due to the number of civilian deaths within the nation. Knowing information like this might make people realize to take access to education more seriously in its entirety. As in recognize why there may be an opening for you and see the benefits of utilizing this. There are posters in classrooms that discuss how people cannot take your education. If someone abandoned you and took all your things, knowing that peanut is what makes peanut butter or that rubbing too sticks together can start a fire will make all the difference. More importantly, I have noticed that there are people who make comments about things that are occurring because they do not understand that the access to a particular space is new or how it was granted. Some people cannot see that they are making a ruckus or commotion and the people they seek to tell are listening or ignoring them at the same time. As in telling a butcher that people are talking about killing cows. I guess there is something about not knowing what a “butcher” is or how beef got to the grocery store. My decision making is rooted in being able to see a package of chicken and knowing that “killed” is what is in my hand. In addition to knowing I would prefer to not eat meat or kill an animal for food but that biologically it is unsafe to make those decisions without proper guidance, learning and experimentation. Yes, I am pretty much a vegetarian but I am not stupid and I can comprehend that I can’t handle even having more than five outfits if I go completely vegetarian and that is not sustainable at the moment. I can also see Native Americans traveling by foot and killing or eating dying Buffalo and watching them dry out the skin and fur to wear for warmth. There are some locations where people eat Buffalo wings and wear coats and have no comprehension of how these items came to fruition. Would you kill a buffalo for food and wear the skin for warmth is the obvious, far from radical question, statement and thing to answer. There are people who have grown up watching television and seeing ratings and make things inappropriate when they are actually not in the context in which they are existing. Or not recollecting that rated R is fine, that is just what someone is telling you. I will add my sarcasm about how the grocery store is more than rated R. Let’s go with a complete horror film and there is most likely a farmer somewhere who is mad that their milk and fruits and vegetables have traveled, but no one is equipped to teach their kids in public or at the community center and no one is using the library to help with the development and life sustaining practices. People who utilize their knowledge and space would not cut someone like me off from wanting funding that would provide wet wipes and dinner for people who store and do inventory at grocery stores. There is something to be said about knowing to eat a mango and not act like health insurance is necessary or free, especially if you are not voting. How well do you think you will do in education and employment if you do not comprehend that the package of meat in your hand is killed or slaughtered. I am sure if there was enough attention paid to the overall cycle of life people would notice that there are people expecting them at the library, doing programing, buying soaps and oils from particular locations and knowing when the way they speak means they should be a regular at the Board of Education meeting or present in the politics in their community, more importantly understanding what fits the description as doing such. I would have a hard time not understanding what is not clear about this. There are people growing up who think that there is no way to birth a baby except in a hospital room. They also think that breast feeding is abnormal and would be mad if someone made them go and milk a cow or watch their newborns suckle or make them suckle the milk to see what exactly is occurring. I am know understanding that there is a blind spot for me to think that people who have access to education and organized religion would understand the conception of civilization and also that the first hospital was built in the 1700’s. And to say “well look where they are now”, is to be completely aloof that people also are still dying in hospitals. I will theorize that this is because of people who fail to acknowledge the advancement and that birth only requires one person and more than that is great. No baby should suffer from bottles. As in if you do not have a wounded leg with a deathly infection, you would most likely not want to amputate where a cut or opening simply needs to be cleansed with water at the lake. There is dire need for understanding that most public spaces would like to see well oiled, well dressed members of society. Yes, even the guy that works at the liquor store would want people to share information about the lines on the red solo cup and be well dressed to make a purchase. There will always be people who wonder why people have not chosen dancing, music and bottles of Cîroc over years of pain medication. This is education and what happens when it is provided and utilized. Education is realizing that hair dressers use gloves to wash people’s hair and realizing that the exposure to the chemical is in the equation. More than educated, a person who can see to use the gloves if they wash their own hair is known as smart. There is nothing more humiliating than watching people lose the battle of education and also failing at what their community would deem as smart. If you chose not to read, sitting in the back yard on the grass is the actual normal thing to do. The person you may mimic who is going to get coffee, knows it’s use and that there should be an activity that takes place after consumption. There is no reason to copy the behavior, the same way a reading person would not sit in the backyard without a proper explanation by request and it would most likely include words of the day, as in how these things contribute to overall mental health and wellness and sometimes people with schedules miss the opportunity to regain that strength.
Robin Phelps-Ward and Erin K. Phelps contributors of Chapter 8 “Hair as Rebellion”, talks about hair being political. I love her statement, “because my existence is resistance”. When you fully participate understanding these concepts are natural or integral. As an active member of a community I know when to identify moments that my afro is needed, that my ponytail is needed, that my puff is needed, that my braids are needed, that my perm story is needed, that my hair weave in all styles is needed. There is vocabulary that can go with this, but sometimes the visual is needed. As in when the comprehension of personal life, political, professional and intersecting identities requires learners to comprehend that I LOVE my hair texture, someone changed it in the spirit of “hair culture” with no comprehension of the fact that people are discussing self-hatred, passing or doing this to look like “others”. In addition to showing them how to learn, focus and implement. As in yes I love my afro and am happy to have to have it back, but no I will not stop looking for the perfect moment to wear my red or blonde weave and use diamond nails to aim to attract someone’s attention. I have also learned that acknowledging I want my pink and red hair weave days makes me no longer have an attitude in creating a response to people who will sincerely say things like “I thought you said….” The day they see me with my braids or eating Cheetos while I am practicing an overall life detox. I also will never relate to people who eat three meals a day consistently and do not know how to see eating patterns of those with no intention of going to places of education or worship for a meal. Especially if they are not going to use the energy. There is nothing more alerting than someone pointing out a woman, especially a Black woman’s hair choice as political statements and acts of rebellion when there are “white” women working as statements of rebellion and Asian women looking for clients. Pointing out rebellion among people who have rebelled is an indicator of a disconnect. Even the “man” sitting in his desk has potentially rebelled from his father.
“Who In the Hell Left the Gate Open” is a transcending title, in my opinion, coming from the editor Kelly. K. Hope. I loved her discussion on “Know Your Worth and Self-Advocate”. You have to know what you were built for. That is an amazing concept. Something that many would say they already know. The thing is they cannot always notice when people cannot see that they are not actualizing that they comprehend. I have learned that there are people around me speaking who have no access to words, language or fight violently when they are clearly misusing terms. There are people who discuss jail, police, marriages, rapes when they have no exposure to the language. These individuals to not notice when they are not being responded to, the same way they may not have used the time and space for education, advancement and acceleration. As in how would I be able to know that people think someone has lost a fight, when they cannot see that the person being fought can see all the way into the attacks of nonviolent people on busses and in marches. A person who can see that you never get the promotion you want or the luxury vehicle you are pursuing while they are attempting to create world peace and limit pollution. What assault are you making aside from looking most likely like a person who should spend time in an insane asylum but not receiving that hospitality? If you do not notice this essential they attacks you launch and the fights you start can showcase that you have already been left to wither away and die by the larger society and even people who allow you to continue to record their shipments. I recently discovered that families who experience incest, especially in a domesticated household, unbeknownst to other family and community members often to not realize how closely they are presenting themselves to the “judgement”. As in not knowing that a father has impregnated a daughter can cause people to veer off. If there is a framework or ideology being followed by the father, the daughter regardless of location will most likely embody this at the core. Some people will not see when they have failed immaculately in the public with no room for growth or change. This is who they are and they would be heartbroken too see it in video form. The presentation is essentially incestualized. As in imagine me as a person who is doing excellently and being fought at. The same way that the incest has occurred and there is a father who begat a baby with his daughter is the same way you cannot deny that a person is being seen as being excellent and being fought at by people who are failing to see that everyone has responded. When the incest is known, they would not even start the fights or would avoid particular spaces in which they showcase certain behaviors that they want to hide or eventually have time to grow from. Because of this perceptual error there are things I can automatically understand and things that I can see being communicated. There is a person who I can recognize has being proper and speaking properly and participating in society with a proper behavior but never advances or actualizes. This person might fail to see that if there was slavery or limited to no access for blacks into education he is receiving the actual privileged and doing well. He would be doing this, when no one else can or knows how. This can sometimes make his errors and lack go unseen because other people will not be using the skill in such a direct manner. His language is as clear as a person who would look like “you” and give the proper direction on how to find your lasso if you do not wake up at 6am and then he’ll sleep anyway whether people are looking or not. Speaking from within is vital and essential in a language based and literate community. Imagine being in a world where you have to tell someone you love them in more ways than one because there is a such thing as a print job. There are corporations, businesses, business, books, inventions and designs that exist in the same fashion as if you tell another that the answer is forever, the same way you would if there was a forest and you sit together, leave together and well, get to the buffalo together.
There is a perceptual bias of people being trained and tamed in patterns and behaviors. Some people have developed the habit of sitting with you, clapping with you, singing with you and doing it thoroughly on a regular basis and fail to showcase their direct disagreement or apathy or do it in the way they would without routine. There are people who wound not be able to sit through anything and perfect employment like a person who would know to pull out a table because it is that time and they will respond to the announcement. Then there are those who willingly pull out tables with excitement, learn, understand and help bring things to fruition. No, I will not point out or ask why there are police at protest. Mostly because these things were included in grade school and also if you do business and politics the positive is for public safety. Some people will never understand how their presence at a protest is violent, if they are expected to already know that attendance means that they are in it, all the way until the “shots” get fired. That is not a safe mix up and if a person participates where this is not known the smart thing to do would be to hide from the danger. Because there would be anger and protest from civilians and participants against them in front of the people who are also there to keep the safety. Allow me to state in closing that there is also commentary that will always seem out of place. I remember not attending a protest in regards to “Trayvon Martin”, however I support the People Against Police Brutality and help with situations in the local community. My contribution overall would be to create “Boss Boys” that goes along with my programming for women and girls. This would be obvious to the protesting community, political leaders and even the police. There are people who cannot see why questioning this as a way to participate is violent, especially if you work in the community. Collective and shared responsibility is understood and some people blindly protest where they should choose to volunteer. There is nothing more self-destructive than pressuring people to follow all the proper actions and protocols to attack someone, only to find out that the backlash is that this same method will be utilized for YOU. There is high regards to the person who prevails and realizes that those who would want to launch this attempted “attack” would have to erase everything they ever “hallucinated” that they accomplished or contributed to society. They may realize that there failure will be first noted by not having a pencil for class. Nothing more disheartening than being exposed for an illiterate try and not even being able to get a “Thank you for your contribution even if minimal” because you show every time you failed at getting to that location when there is no advancement, leeway or ability to conceptualize changes in action by those involved. There is also nothing misunderstood about people who will allow groups of men to fight at successful women who would save them from accidental, blind and illiterate deferment with one word or statement. This is as obvious as a game of Battleship. I am never confused by lunch, coffee breaks and Christmas cards after a rivaling group watching people who would elect em for president of the US having already failed. Yes there is laughter that comes with being told to "shut up and get my frap before I lose access to my sparkly journals and my little pink pens too". This is funny when you have used your access healthily. There is also nothing funnier than someone who cannot see someone who is seriously checking them in their face. There is laughter. The government, employers and funders will always know to never give a person an extra $400, why ask when they already saw the declines. This comes from the distortion of whose, who and whose participating in what capacity. There are people who exist as if a name does not have a biography and a job title does not havea description.
I will close by saying how I will always be proud when people tell my son that he was breastfed, that I made my body how I wanted it for most of his birth, that I know how to healthily discuss abortions because I know I am in an environment where people will just beat at things and how we got into fights. As in how I responded to his emotions and let him fight at me and fought at him back. I mean who wouldn’t want every compliment about not doing anything like a slave mother while free and especially after having read an entire book about psychic trauma. Also having a mom who understands women and even what women face in the military. Those are my responses and the expected ones. My son will always be told real recognize real and some of what you see are people whose rights got taken away or whose children abandoned them and they are waiting, ducking or working their way away from “shots fired”.