A Poem by Hess

Good Evening Everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I’m back with another Black History post and this time, I’m going to share a poem. But not just any poem. Tonight’s poem was written from the perspective of a female slave.

For those of you who have followed my blog for some time, I discussed in the past about wet nursing during slavery. If you aren’t familiar with wet nursing during slavery, it’s when a nursing / pregnant female slave is forced to breastfeed the child of her slave owners.

This was a cruel practice because many times, the female slave’s child or children went hungry. Some babies actually starved to death because the slave owners prohibited the female slave to share her milk with her own child. Why? Because it would leave less milk for the slave “owners” child to nurse on. I find that to be unbelievably ridiculous and cruel seeing how that child’s own mother should have been breastfeeding them.

The poem by Hess Love is touching in so many ways because it shows what many nursing / pregnant female slaves must have felt. Imagine having to watch your child cry from hunger while you breastfed your “owners” child or children first. Breastfeeding your child first was never a priority, only your “owners” children. If you did, you risked being severely punished or having your child killed / murdered.

As you read the poem below by Hess Love, try to read it from a female slave’s perspective because when you do, her words don’t seem so harsh. It really gives you something to think about.

Poem by Hess Love

Until next time…

Black Bait

Hello again everyone! I hope that each of you are doing well. I know that I haven’t been posting on my blog regularly, but I will be soon. I’m almost done settling in my new city. Woo hoo! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to it. This is going to be a fairly long post.

Can you imagine a time where babies were used as bait? It’s kind of hard to imagine something so heinous and cruel, right? What if I told you Black babies were used as alligator bait here in the United States? Would that shock you?

This troubling dark history has been tucked away and rarely discussed because of its long and disturbing history. The reasoning behind the use of Black babies as alligator bait is not only racist and cruel, but it’s stupid too.

Made popular in the state of Florida, Black babies were used as bait because these racists believed that Black babies couldn’t feel pain. Adding to that, they believed alligators were attracted to their dark skin and smell. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, racists are imbeciles.

These crying babies were sometimes dangled from hooks or placed in shallow alligator infested waters. The crying and flailing of the babies would cause the alligators to come which would then allow the alligator hunters to shoot them. Some alligator hunters wouldn’t shoot the alligator until it had the baby in it’s jaws. Why? Because these cretinous racists believed that Black babies skin was so tough it could withstand alligator bites.

Some unfortunate babies lost limbs and some were even killed by alligators. For the mothers of these babies who were taken against their will, they were sometimes paid with alligator bait by these alligator hunters. Why? To make the unauthorized snatching of their babies seem less cruel. Not only that, some would blatantly lie to newspapers that the mothers “rented” their babies as bait. C’mon now. You can’t make this type of stuff up.

There are caricatures, post cards, newspaper clippings and the like mocking this cruel and unsettling practice. I fail to see the humor in such a vicious and disturbing practice. If you find humor in this, something is seriously wrong with you. Seek help immediately.

With Black History Month just around the corner, I’m just getting started. More rarely known stories to come.

Until next time…

A Better You

Good Morning Good People. I hope to find each of you doing well on this Saturday morning. I came across this beautiful quote by a well-known author and I wanted to share it with you.

Now that’s something to strive for. I’m sure you agree. Always strive to be a better you. πŸ˜‰

Until next time…

Sugar Shack

Good Evening! I hope to find each of you doing well this Sunday. I was reading an article not too long ago about a famous painting by an unlikely famous artist. Now that I have a little down time, I wanted to share it on my blog.

I love, love, love art and I have a strong fondness for African American art. Not only because I am African American, but because of the uniqueness and depth of African American art. Millions of people agree so I’m not alone in making such a bold statement.

The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the late Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack painting on August 28th and I just about flipped. I have admired this painting after seeing it for the first time on the show Good Times.

Sugar Shack is such a beautiful and enamoring piece amongst the majority of African Americans because many of us share same or similar stories of how our grandparents and great grandparents boogied down in a Sugar Shack. I know in my family, such places were also called juke joints, barrel houses or a hole in a wall.

I was not surprised when The Los Angeles Times reported how many people lined up to take a look at this painting up close and in person. I would too because it’s such a powerful painting that captures a major part of the Black experience.

Ernie Barnes, a professional football player, author and painter, was known for his unique style of painting. His artwork is just as unique as his back story. I invite you to read a little more on Ernie Barnes when you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be inspired.

To read more from The Los Angeles Times on Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack, click here.

Man, I would love to own an original piece of Ernie Barnes’ artwork. A woman can dream, right?

Until next time…

Shine!

Good Evening Good People! I hope that everyone is doing well on this Sunday. The weather has been so crazy lately and I hope that each of you are safe.

I came across a song yesterday that gave me a much needed boost so you know I had to share it with you. I needed something to motivate me to write and this was the song to do it.

This song took this blogger and writer back and I mean wayyyyyyyyy back. Back to a time when me, my sisters and brother were cleaning our house one Saturday morning while our Mama played her funk records blasting in the background.

When this particular song came on, we didn’t just clean, we boogied like we never boogied before. Our Mama’s hips were swinging while she was sweeping up the floor. Me and my two older sisters hips were bouncing as we vacuumed and dusted around the house. As for our baby brother, he was too busy busting a move.

Funny how music can change a person’s mood.

The song that had me in my feelings was Shine by The Bar Kays. I remember watching Larry Dodson get down when he delivered his vocals on a Soul Train rerun. And I can’t forget the handsome Lloyd Smith. He’s the guitarist with the long luxurious hair playing behind Larry. He sticks out like a thumb so he’s hard to miss.

Click here to see for yourself and while you are at it, don’t forget to Shine folks! Did you see what I did there? Of course you did and you smiled.

Until next time…

Nigerians Steal the Show

Good Evening Good People! How is everyone? I hope to find each of you doing well.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now and have finally had the chance to do so. If you’ve been on Instagram, Facebook or watched the news back in May, you probably know what I’m talking about. It’s been viewed over 50 million times on a number of social media platforms! 😱

If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry. I’m going to post a YouTube clip.

In May 2019 for Fashion Week in Vienna, Austria, a group of Nigerian women showed up and showed out for the Colors of Africa runway show. What made these women go viral was the realness of themselves and their bodies. Healthy real women who have shown millions of people around the world how to love the body you are in and of course, how to move and have fun.

When you see the clip, notice the smiles on their faces and how the “Mama” of the group moves in the beginning. She’s in the blue. I love all the traditional clothing, dancing and cultural elements. The crowd was eating it up.

Seeing this touches the root of my heart in so many ways since I am mostly Nigerian myself. It’s amazing how such rhythmic moves are still ingrained in many of us African Americans. It’s in the blood. Dancing like this just comes easy to me. πŸ™πŸ½β€οΈπŸ€—

Click here to see these ladies in action. I’ll go ahead and warn you, the song is catchy.

Until next time…

Nah

We live in a world where the definition of beauty is warped and I mean severely warped. I often blog about Black people and the Black experience because well, I’m Black. Hear goes nothing.

Due to slavery and its long-lasting stereotypical effects, many Black women struggle to find themselves beautiful. Some feel that in order to be seen as beautiful and acceptable, they must have straight hair, a narrow nose, thin lips, light skin or long hair. I have no such features except the long hair. Broad features are just as beautiful.

This sad and unfortunate way of thinking has lead some to go to drastic measures to achieve such looks. How sad.

I’ve had some well-meaning Black women over the years tell me that in order for me to be more acceptable, I need to straighten my hair more often. Well, here’s the thing: I’m going to straighten my hair only when I feel like it. Not because I want to be accepted. If I find my natural hair acceptable, that’s all that matters.

The last time I wore my hair straight was six years ago after cutting six inches off. Even then I didn’t like it that much because I prefer my hair in its natural state. To each it’s own. πŸ™ƒ

Not too long ago, I chopped my hair off again and I love it. Did I consider the thoughts and opinions of others? Nah. It’s my hair. I know how to keep my hair professional while wearing it in its natural state. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

In all seriousness good people, I want you to ask yourself, who really has the right to define if you are beautiful? I’ll go ahead and tell you, no one but you.

Until next time…