BlackFace 101

This is a detour from my normal posts, but I think it’s important that we have an open and honest conversation. I’m black. I’m a woman. I’ve made no secret of that. However, we can’t be afraid to talk about race.

I’ve been blessed to have friends of all nationalities and races. Let’s have a frank discussion about blackface. I’m entitling this BlackFace 101. I recently read an article about a white teen who dressed in blackface to ask a girl to prom. He believed he did nothing wrong.

If that is true, then his parents failed him. Why? Because as a parent, you have an obligation to teach not just tolerance, acceptance and empathy but history to your children. The school’s don’t do a good job of it anymore. They are literally omitting and changing history in the textbooks.  You need to fill in the blanks. Just like I have to do.

Our job as parents require us to encourage and educate our children every step of the way. If you are a parent in 2017, why would you think it is okay for your child to dress up in blackface? If you knew it was wrong and you don’t think it’s a big deal, then stop asking for forgiveness for your child’s ignorance. You failed them. Plain and simple.

I’m black, but I have to teach Munch about all cultures. Not just our own. Not the watered down versions that the schools are teaching now. It is my responsibility to make sure that he knows and respects everyone’s culture. That’s what we seem to be lacking…respect for other cultures.

If you don’t teach your children this, then you are ill preparing them for the real world. We are a melting pot of many cultures and nationalities and ignorance isn’t bliss. I don’t care what anyone says. Preparation for the future is key.

If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. Mahatma Gandhi

The history of blackface is not something that is ever appropriate. In short, white America’s conception of black entertainers were overly exaggerated. They were mocking us as the socially and racially inferior race. It was pure ignorance.

The fact of the matter is that if you choose to wear blackface after knowing it’s offensive history, you’re in essence telling me that you don’t give a crap about my feelings as a black woman. I’m supposed to take it as a joke. The thing is though…you can’t forget history. I can’t wipe off what happened to my ancestors like you can your painted blackface. It isn’t acceptable and if you do it, at least be man or woman enough to not ask for forgiveness over your ignorance.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

#NationalTeachersDay

Today is National Teacher’s Day and I wanted to publicly thank all you wonderful teachers out there. Today is a day where you should be honored. Honored for all the hard work that you do. The countless hours spent on lesson planning and making sure that you are providing both knowledge and life skills to the little minds you teach. I thank you.

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I thank you as a former student of some wonderful teachers. Teachers that encouraged me to go after my dreams. Teachers that stayed late after school to tutor me or came in early to make sure I understood the lesson. Teachers that made me believe that I could learn anything. You are truly appreciated.

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I thank you as a mother to a wonderful little boy that has learned the value of who he is by your continued support and encouragement in the classroom. Having no prior foreign language experience, you create an environment where he is learning French. Your wishes for him have come true and he is learning by leaps and bounds. He is both confident and fluent in French and I thank you.

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I thank you as the daughter of an educator. It is sometimes a thankless job to teach children that seem disconnected, but if you continue to encourage them and create a spark of interest you will realize that their flame of knowledge is burning. They listen. They know that the future will be brighter because you took the time to invest in them.

May your day be as wonderful and encouraging as you!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

#TuesdayMotivation – 5/2/17

Here’s to wishing you an amazing Tuesday. Be inspired. Be encouraged. Be motivated.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Parenting 101: Be Involved

This is a continuation of my post from yesterday: Parenting 101: Don’t Give Up

You are your child’s best defender. Now, don’t be naive and think that your child will do no wrong, but you have to always know that you must fight for your children. Be vigilant. Be an advocate and be involved.

Teachers make mistake. They are human. This is not to bash teachers. I believe in the educational system and I believe there are many wonderful teachers out there. Heck, I actually like all my son’s teachers (including the one who gave him a zero).

I think the disconnect comes in when we aren’t being transparent with one another. As a parent that constantly communicates with a teacher why wouldn’t you send a zero home to me immediately or scan and send it to me that day? There has been no answer to this question. Only a lot of head nodding, I suppose in agreement, but we will never know.

So, we met with the principal when spring break ended on April 5th about the bullying issue (which I will post separately) and the graded zero paper that no one can find or made a copy of.  The Principal agreed to exempt the grade. This means that it won’t count for or against him. Since the paperwork can’t be produced.  Hopefully his 3rd quarter grade will increase since classwork is 35%.  We’ll see.

The teacher who gave him the zero was not present at the meeting. The Principal didn’t really respond when I mentioned how I felt that she should not have tried to analyze my child’s handwriting site unseen and I found that to be inappropriate. Do you normally do that? I asked. How is his handwriting so different from his peers? I’ve seen their handwriting and it is just as worse. His main teacher was present and said that my son’s handwriting is on par with the other students and that he sometimes writes at an angle or on the line instead of above it but he takes his time to read it. He indicated that my son has no problem spelling or writing words phonetically.

I told the Principal that I expect that all teachers are following the same guidelines or that she is putting forth written expectations so that I know what rules we are working on. I can’t be expected to follow something that doesn’t exist in writing and how are we helping my son by an imaginary set of rules. Crickets. She agreed to exempt the grade so I guess she felt like that was enough. As of today, she has not done so. I sent her an email late Sunday night as to when this will be done.

I’m frustrated by the lack of rush and concern for things that matter to me as a parent. The zero, the missing paperwork, the ability to define a child’s learning without having seen a paperwork and then put the responsibility back on me. I’m not giving up on my son and I will keep on their a** until they are doing what they’re supposed to. Heck, I keep on Munch’s back when he’s not doing what he’s supposed to. I would be less than a woman if I didn’t hold them accountable.

It is imperative as parents that we are involved in our child’s education.  All the time. Check the grades. Meet with all the teachers frequently throughout the year. Munch is in his last quarter of second grade. I am making sure that he finishes the school year successfully.

We have to partner with our children’s teachers so that we are ensuring our child’s success each school year. Be involved. Go up to the school and do drop-ins. Ask questions. Email your child’s teacher. Follow-up on missing grades, assignments and/or classwork. Your child needs to know that you care and the school needs to know that you will not go quietly into the night. We’re all a part of the village trying to ensure the success of ALL children. Not just our own.

Broken And Wounded

I have to tell you that sometimes I don’t pray. Not that I don’t know how to pray. It’s not that. It’s that I am embarrassed because I hadn’t done it in so long. I hadn’t just had a conversation with God and meditated on His word. I was so busy being me and living life that I put God in the corner. I put the almighty in a box. – Journal entry

Sigh.

As I started writing my #wednesdaywisdom message, I re-read my journal post and realized that I was fumbling with my faith. That I was not praying like I should. Actually, I hadn’t prayed in almost a month when I wrote that journal entry. I was trying to handle my own stuff.

I bet I’m also not alone on this. I think we all get in the mindset that we can handle it on our own and that things are going well we don’t need to check-in with God because He can see us right? I became a fair weather Christian. Calling on Him only in my time of need. Making decisions without seeking God’s counsel.

You know what happened next right? Tragedy. I found myself in the worse pain of my life. My marriage had ended and I was brokenhearted and distraught at the pain I was going through. It was brutal. It was like a never-ending cycle of hell. I was so wounded by the words that were thrown around, the sides people I loved were taking and the inability to stop the noise in my head.

I was on my knees praying and crying for a peace that I felt like would never come. How could it? How could I get the peace I was praying for when I couldn’t stop the noise?

By submitting. I needed to submit. I needed to submit to the will of the situation and allow God to come in and do His will.

He did.

It was done.

I want to encourage you on this #wisdomwednesday with this message:

Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

No matter what you’re going through know that God heals the brokenhearted and will bind your wounds. Give it to God! Pray. Sometimes it will seem that you can’t hear God’s word because of the noise in your head and here’s how you can clear the noise:

Write a list of three things you’re thankful for on that day!

That’s it. It’s that simple. Make it a part of your daily prayer and meditation process. This writing your blessings and acknowledging His gratitude and grace over your life will help clear the noise out of your life. It will start to diminish the chaos in your mind and spirit. You are then able to see visually all that you have in spite of what you have going on in your spirit.

It is easy. It won’t happen overnight though. You have to keep with it. You know you “have to go through it to get to it” right? Peace will come. Your spirit will heal and your wounds will be bound. You will have a testimony once you’ve gone through the test. Just be patient my love.

Be blessed!

Gearing Up for Spring Cleaning

As you know spring is here!  Although the temperatures here are spring-like today (70 will be the high), I had to start my list and spring clean. What kind of cleaning do I need to do? Cleaning both my personal and professional lives.

Some of the things that I want to do personally:

  • Pack away my winter clothes in an organized fashion and get those totes in some closets. They are just collecting space in the corners.
  • Repaint my dining room wall that was damaged last year due to multiple pipe bursts. I think I was too emotionally drained to repaint. I need to do this.
  • Change my bathroom colors. I need something warm and brighter. I need to feel energized and excited.
  • Organize and donate excess clothes and toys in munch’s room. It’s overflowing and I’m getting tired of tripping over it all.
  • Finish my book.

Some of the things that I want to do professionally:

  • Attend this conference locally on April 25th. I need the credits for my re- certification for a professional license I hold.
  • Get re-certified.
  • Get another certification.
  • Find a mentor.

That’s it. I know it seems like a lot, but I really have to focus and get my mind right. Clear out the winter fog and get busy. I hate lists, but I know if I don’t right it down I can’t remember anything. What about you? What kind of spring cleaning are you planning to do?

Order My Steps

One of my favorite songs is this old gospel song called “Order My Steps”. Every time I hear it, my eyes well with tears because it reminds me that I need God to order my steps. My tongue can sometimes be used to do harm instead of good. So, I’m constantly asking for Him to lead me.  I want to walk worthy. Don’t you?

Here are the lyrics:

Order my steps in Your word dear Lord,
lead me, guide me everyday,
send Your anointing, Father I pray;
order my steps in Your word,
please, order my steps in Your word.

Humbly, I ask Thee to teach me Your will,
while You are working, help me be still,
Satan is busy, God is real;
order my steps in Your word,
please, order my steps in Your word.

Bridle my tongue let my words edify,
let the words of my mouth be acceptable in Thy sight,
take charge of my thoughts both day and night;
order my steps in Your word,
please order my steps in Your word.

I want to walk worthy,
my calling to fulfill.
Please order my steps Lord,
and I’ll do Your blessed will.
The world is ever changing,
but You are still the same;
if You order my steps, I’ll praise Your name.

Order my steps in Your word.
Order my tongue in Your word.
Guide my feet in Your word.
Wash my heart in Your word.
Show me how to walk in Your word.
Show me how to talk in Your word.
When I need a brand new song to sing,
show me how to let Your praises ring,
in your word (2x),

Please order my steps in Your word,
Please order my steps in Your word.

I want to walk worthy,
my calling to fulfill.
Please order my steps Lord,
and I’ll do Your blessed will.
The world is ever changing,
but You are still the same;
if You order my steps, I’ll praise Your name.

Please order my steps in Your word,
Please order my steps in Your word.

Let’s ask God to order our steps in our decisions. No matter how inconsequential they may seem. Let’s ask for His will to be done.

Be blessed loves!