Happy Birthday Frida!

“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
—Frida Kahlo, July 6, 1907-July 13, 1954

The Two Fridas
Painting by Frida Kahlo, 1939

The Two Fridas is an oil painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The painting was the first large-scale work done by Kahlo and is considered one of her most notable paintings.

The Hypocrisy of Our Nation

I saw this on Facebook last night, and I had to share. Unfortunately, I do not know the original author so I cannot give credit. Yet, it was so powerful and truthful that it had to go beyond my Facebook Page. I hope that you will share this message as well. If I find the author, I will be sure to come back and update this post. 

Let’s talk about hypocrisy. 

If you voted for Trump because of Hillary’s email “problem” but are not upset that the Trump administration is using a private email server and unsecured phones, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe Jesus was a persecuted refugee fleeing Herod, but support the ban on Syrian refugees, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe life begins at conception, but support defunding the countries number one source of prenatal care, planned parenthood, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe the mainstream media lies but believe Trump when he spouts verifiable lies, you are a hypocrite. 

If you dismiss the AP, Reuters or NPR as biased media but accept everything Fox news says, you are a hypocrite. 

If you think all life is sacred, but do not support reasonable gun control, you are a hypocrite. 

If you think children are the future, but support reducing funds for SNAP, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in education, but dismiss evolution or climate change as hoaxes, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in the sovereignty of the United States, but support forced incursions on Native American lands, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that we need to drain the swamp of Washington but support Trump’s cabinet picks, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in the Constitution, but support indiscriminate detainment and torture, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe our troops lives have worth, but support Trump’s claims to foreign countries natural resources, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that unborn black babies lives matter, but black lives don’t matter, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that we deserve life, liberty and happiness, but support taking away healthcare from millions of Americans, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe that the practice of your religion is more important than the practice of no religion or a different religion, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in equal rights under the law, but don’t support marriage equality and non discrimination for LGBTQ Americans, you are a hypocrite. 

If you are glad that California or New York do not decide national policy for you, but insist on forcing your red state policies on others, you are a hypocrite. 

If you believe in the first amendment, but call people who peacefully protest the President as hooligans, you are a hypocrite. 

If you are an American but think dissent is disrespectful, you are a hypocrite. 

If you think that anything that has happened over the last week is normal or acceptable, then you have not been paying attention.

**Not written by me. Sharing is encouraged.**

 

Who Will Speak For You?

Speak up now before it’s too late. Who will be left to speak up for you? #Think #Speak #BeTheChange #EngageTheEnraged

A Journey of 50,000 Words #NaNoWriMo

For the month of November, you may see less of your friends as they participate in the annual event known as NaNoWriMo. Writers—veterans and newbies—vow to spend the month of November writing a book of 50,000 words. I’ve thought about participating before, but 50,000 words seemed so overwhelming. These past two years, however, have proven to me that nothing is overwhelming when you break it down into smaller bites. I have started my own business, began my blog, and I have even been speaking around the country about becoming socially active (a huge fear). By no means am I an expert, but with each opportunity, I become a little better. Each opportunity, I am building upon my dream. Now, I am beginning to fulfill another dream—writing books. If you are hesitant in moving forward with your dream or fulfilling your purpose, remember this famous Chinese proverb.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”—Lao-tzu

I decided to update Lao-tzu’s quote for NaNoWriMo.

“A journey of 50,000 words begins with a single character.”—Her Own Beat

Enjoy the journey!

 

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The Miscalculation of the Black Woman

Her Own Beat’s Note: I wrote this article the night that Simone Manuel won her Olympic gold medal. I wanted to post this immediately, but I had submitted for publication  so I had to wait. It has been more than two weeks, but I believe that essence of this article still rings true.


As a purveyor of all things epitomizing #BlackGirlMagic, I am surrounded by greatness—in reality and virtually. In fact, I believe that women like First Lady Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Amandla Stenberg, Ava DuVernay, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are all my girls.

While watching the Rio 2016 Olympics this week, I have been blessed with my shared of #BlackGirlMagic on Team USA with members such as Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Lia Neal, and Simone Manuel. All of these women have made history within their individual sports, but their coverage has not been equal. Unfortunately, for one, there was a major miscalculation that so many black women experience—the underestimation of our skill and talent.

As I was watching NBC Olympics before the women’s 100-meter freestyle, NBC Olympics decided to air a package about the Campbell Sisters from Australia. Interesting…sure. If you blinked, however, you may not have realized that there was a woman from Team USA swimming. Manuel is a black woman and a two-time NCAA women’s swimming champion. Did I mention that she broke the American record at the 2015 NCAA championship? Yet, it seemed like NBC Olympics was more concerned about showing baby pictures of Cate and Bronte Campbell and trying to figure out if they would get the gold and silver. The USA’s own, Manuel, seemed like an afterthought.

Sometimes, however, being an afterthought is the best way to win. Neither Campbell Sister placed, but Manuel made history. She was the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming. The commentators may have been in shock, but Manuel’s joy was overwhelming when she realized that she had tied for gold. I cried with her as she ran and hugged her coach. I cried again as that single tear could not stop streaming down her cheek as our national anthem played during the medal ceremony.

For NBC, unfortunately, it seems like Simone Manuel was more of a non-factor. She was treated like just another black woman. Yet, Manuel, like so many black women showed her #BlackGirlMagic. She swam the race of her life with poise and power; style and strength; grace and greatness. Black women are not some complex area of mathematics where an underestimation is probable. We are not a calculus problem in which you compute our limits…for we are limitless.

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How to Systematically Annihilate Black America

  1. Enslave them for 245 years
  2. Rape their women and breed their men while enslaved
  3. Use them as free labor to create the world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation 
  4. Set them “free” with no money or education and no means of protecting themselves from the lynch mob that we will send later (see #5)
  5. Use Jim Crow and its associated systems to keep them from acquiring property or accessing the American dream, lynching them when they assert themselves 
  6. Burn down the communities they build for themselves 
  7. Since redlining and community burning bars them from using property ownership to access the American dream, pile them into ghettos
  8. Make sure you blame them regularly along the way for the conditions you created for them (this is very important – it makes you feel better about their condition and could keep them confused about the historic truth as well.)
  9. Give them inferior schools with hand-me-down facilities, books and supplies
  10. Disproportionately label them as Special Ed so they can’t use education as a social or economic lift (we certainly don’t want them ever going to law school or becoming judges and infiltrating the criminal “justice” system to any significant degree!)
  11. Start their criminal record early using disproportionate numbers of discipline referrals creating the school to prison pipeline
  12. Write laws that disproportionately incarcerate them – especially their men, so that the family unit is severely compromised, and children are left fatherless
  13. Keep them off juries so that we can keep this whole incarceration thing going – our retired grandparents will throw the book at them!
  14. Maintain a steady flow of propaganda that makes the uneducated among us constantly afraid that their men want to rape our daughters and that they are all violent and lazy BUT that they simultaneously want our jobs (don’t worry about the apparent contradiction here – fear always short-circuits rationality)
  15. Gentrify the gifted among them and convince them they’re “not like the other Blacks”, thereby continuing the Willie Lynch divisions among them.
  16. Use racial profiling police tactics to invoke and perpetuate a general fear among them, and at regular intervals, kill one of them in cold blood during these unlawful encounters. Don’t worry – the criminal “justice” system will take care of you. 
  17. And if all else fails, label the “WOKE” ones among them that get a clue about this handbook and make any noise about it – label them as race baiters and spewers of hate. That will distract everyone from the truth, muzzle them, and dissuade any White sympathizers from speaking up. 
  18. Above all, hold on to the reigns of power, privilege and prestige at all costs – poor, frightened Whites will be your best resource followed closely by others who take refuge in the lie that we live in a “post racial America” (over our dead bodies!)

‪#‎MakeAmericaWhiteAgain‬ ‪#‎IMeanGreatAgain‬

 


Her Own Beat appreciates this thought-provoking piece by Bishop Paul A. Hardin. You can find Bishop Hardin serving at his church, Dominion Church International, and throughout the Houston, TX community.

Independence Day

Today is the great day known as Independence Day. Many are celebrating with their family and friends. They may be having a cookout in their backyard, enjoying a local parade, going to the shore, or enjoying a local concert. This great day of celebrating will end with a grandiose display of fireworks set to a mix of contemporary music and patriotic tunes that make us proud to be an American. We sit back, smile, and reflect. Wow…it’s so great that we are independent and free. Whoa hold up…

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think that all of us are so independent and free. Many people are still fighting for equality. We are still fighting to live in a nation where privilege is not limited to only white, cis men. We are fighting for equal sentencing where someone’s daddy is not worried that he won’t have steak for six months. We are fighting to have less regulation over women. Why do guns get a better deal than my body? We are fighting against police brutality—Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Freddie Gray, Mya Hall, Jonathan Sanders, and Sandra Bland should never be forgotten. We are fighting to keep families together instead of building walls and deporting anyone with melanin. How do you plan to make America great again? Do you plan on pushing everyone out based on the one drop rule?

As we continue in this year, let’s continue our fight for equality for all. Fight hate and discrimination with your words and actions. And as always…march to the beat of your drum. 

Lessons from Jesse Williams — Soulful Success

‪When I saw Jesse Williams speech last night, I noticed something. As he was getting introduced I got the sense he was a bit annoyed. At first, I couldn’t figure out why, but the more he talked the more I understood.

It seemed like he was annoyed because too much of the focus was on him. As I listened, I realized he wanted to highlight the people doing the work. He was simply using his time in the spotlight to bring attention to the inequalities many of us see on a regular basis.

There was a lesson in his delivery. For me, it was a reminder to live and give outside of myself. Also, we should acknowledge those who have paved the way, those who are working at the grassroots level, and really that all of us have a role.

Each of us should be doing something to better our community. Each of us should be vocal in the things we value.There was a lot of talk […] ‪

 

Continue reading on Soulful Success.

Source: Lessons from Jesse Williams — Soulful Success

Jesse Williams: 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

“Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that (video).

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award—this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country—the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics—the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now…I got more y’all—yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12-year-old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money—that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t levied against us—and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so…free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little side note—the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright—stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil—black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though…the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.”

Jesse Williams, 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

Jesse Williams Dropping Serious Knowledge #BETAwards

“Freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But the hereafter is the hustle. We want it now.” –Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams spoke the truth at the 2016 BET Awards. I hope people weren’t just emotional for the moment. Rather, let’s continue to take action.