This is the Friday of the week beginning on June 8, 2020. Welcome to Free-thought Fridays!
We continue with GEMINI SEASON! The most wonderful time of the year!
I know so many June babies. This week, shout-out to my twin cousin and my nephew’s mama.
This week there is national sweet tea today and primary voting. Did y’all vote?
In D.C., the streets are more active and restaurant dining has resumed on the patio with reserved seating.
1. Honest Box. This was a trying week for me. Race relations, crime, death, protests, and the pandemic… it was thick and heavy; not to mention I had a few giants to slay in my personal life as well. I usually write a fresh piece here on Mondays and it did not happen. I abandoned scheduled social media posts for my blog and I was very tempted to ditch Ms. Jae’s Musings. Since this is my only contemporary feature, I am committing to it. Here we are. Thank you for being here. #freethoughtFridays
2. Living History. This past weekend, thousands of Washingtonians gathered in front of the White House to protest. The mayor had BLACK LIVES MATTER painted on the street that leads up to White House and added “Black Lives Matter Plaza” to 16th Street. It was the first weekend since Floyd’s death and other matters that had since ensued. The city planned for upward 100,000 citizens to gather and exercise their first amendment right. I joined. It was a good vibe. It felt great to be out of the house and connect with like-minded people. There’s always that one older Black man who can be found playing music and keeping the party alive. I enjoyed him. There was one group who had a more militaristic feel and they were my favorite. Something about the sound of a Black man’s voice in command with rhythm and flow in addition to the organization and unity of the group does it for me. I imagine that one day I will see a picture on a page of in a history book of this very street with those large, yellow letters. I’ll have a story to tell. I was there. I was a part of history. Later, Pastor Rich Penkoski filed a lawsuit against D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser claiming that street message deems Black people as the favored race of District of Columbia. #BLM
3. Sharpe v. Dungy. In most of my African-American history studies, the argument has been Washington v. Du Bois or Martin v. Malcolm depending on the era. Even today, many Black people will cite one of these leaders to highlight where they land on a particular issue. It may be that Sharpe’s latest rant about Dungy’s response to Brees’ racially-charged statement has the power to be added to the roster. On this issue, I am certainly pro-Sharpe. We have forgiven. We have turned cheeks. It’s time for white people to just stop punching us in the gahtdamn face. #ionlyhavetwocheecks
4. Teenage Milestones. Motherhood is an interesting journey. I have days where I am kickin’ ass and takin’ names as “can’t nobody tell me nuttin’” plays on queue in my head. I have other days where I am so sure that I failed them that I prepare financial provisions to fund their therapy. This week was a kick-ass week with my oldest son landing his first summer job. As we continue to develop money math sense, financial literacy, and good spending habits, these two resources have helped greatly: The Mathematics of Work and Why Didn’t They Teach Me This In School? The first is a workbook that is good practice as a teenager searches for a job and by the middle of the book it is very relevant as a current employee. The second is a book organized by money principles that are easy to read and presented in bite-sized info that teenagers can grasp and appreciate. This text is good to read through once in theory before working and then again in practice once the job has been secured. #moneymoneymoney
5. Professor Lady. My survey results are in from my Spring 2020 courses. It’s one thing to have your supervisor and colleagues critique your work and performance, but when you are a university professor students get to weigh in too. At the end of the semester, after all students have responded a report is generated to reflect my teaching. There’s always that one student. Other than that one, I did pretty damn great! On a scale where 7 is “strongly agree”, I am most pleased with the “this course provided me with the tools to describe how historical and current structures of power, privilege, and inequality influence the creation, access and use of information and knowledge” category. #blackgirlmagic
6. Mentorship. The graduate school mentor that I wanted said yes! I now have a Journey to Dr. Jae grad school coach with a success plan to achieve. I love it when experienced, accomplished Black women invite me to learn under and with them. Graduate school applications here I come! This Black girl magic enchants again. #DrJae
7. High School Planning. In this week’s post I shared all about course descriptions, key language, and gave examples to transfer the knowledge learned to you own student’s planning. I also offer a teaching video and a freebie for both students and adults. Check it out. #highschoolmama
8. Vaccines. Lawd, white people make it hard to trust them even when I believe they may be well-intentioned. After healthcare workers, the Gates Foundation wants to offer Black people a COVID-19 vaccine in the name of health equity or by a means to test the vaccine on Blacks first? See, I cannot tell. The motive behind why non-Blacks would want to support the Black community remains questionable—even when I try to override the funny, skeptical feeling I never feel 100% clear. Sigh. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and Henrietta Lacks plays out in my mind and I just cannot quite trust yet, or maybe even ever. #nottodaysatan
9. Human Dualism. This article by Esther Perel (one of my favorite psychologists) has blessed me this week. I would not have articulated everything the way that she did, but I agree. In today’s society we have too many independent mantras that usually serve as farces with “do you” or “doing me” leading the pack. It has the energy of cutting yourself (or someone else) off from others in a way that can never actually be. Humans are social creatures. Not only do we desire to be around others but we learn more about ourselves through others too. We’re kidding ourselves by claiming individualism and isolation in a way that we cannot actually maintain. In my time of watching little people develop into their own identities, I have found it fascinating that one must mimic before they individualize. This does not stop at toddler-hood. Any new task we dare to learn, we must first have a model, a template, an example, something or someone to shadow. Then, we transform and present in our way thereby making it unique. Human beings are acutely dual, and usually our dualism is contrasting; and so it’s probably more accurate to state that we are dependently independent. It is okay to need other people and it is okay to learn something from someone else before you’ve learned how to do it for you. The heart of the matter is to be aware and accept that a level of imperfection and inconsistency is present in human expression. It’s okay. Perel ends so eloquently with, “Self-love is less about the ability to withstand loneliness or establish independence and more about awareness and acceptance of our incompleteness. It’s about letting others love us even when we feel unlovable because their version of us is often kinder than our own.” #nohumanisanisland
10. Praise Report. Weeks ago, I had to visit the ER. I was irked because you know … COVID! The pain was damn-near unbearable so I reasoned I could die from it, die from COVID, or get treated and maybe not catch corona-virus. Decisions, yo! Needless to say, I survived but then the hospital bill came and I nearly died again. A whopping $2,500! I work for a non-profit organization and I have a social work degree so I know how to squeeze some charitable donations if I have to. As I picked up the phone to dial the first org, my supervisor rings and I take the call. I proceed to tell her that I had some calls to make and once she inquired she states that the organization will take care of the bill. Say, what now? Y’all can have it! This is a story all about how I saved my money and my life! All praises to the Highest! Whew. #wonthedoit
Love, Light, & Musings