This is the Friday of the week beginning on June 15, 2020. Welcome to Free-thought Fridays!
We continue with GEMINI SEASON! The most wonderful time of the year!
So many June babies! This week, shout-out to my kid cousin. She’s 22 this year.
This week there is Juneteenth and the first day of summer. A Black Power and a Montell Jordan to you.
Bigs-ups to all the fathers out there doing they thang. Happy Father’s Day, menfolk.
This week, on June 16, Tupac would have been 49 years young. Play one and pour one for da homie.
These are my top ten (shareable) thoughts in this week’s rhapsody of Miss Jae’s Musings:
1. History Buff. Years ago, I used to teach Juneteenth lesson in Atlanta. Memories! Who knew that in 2020 it would be this popular! I remember having to educate folk each time I was asked, “What are you teaching this summer?” Today? It’s a thing. A whole-ass thing. Yes Y’all better come through with the Black Lives Matter! I want to give you a history (and Juneteenth) fact that is rarely shared. Two traditional drinks from West Africa that had serious social meaning were the koala nut tree and bissap (also known as hibiscus tea). Both plants arrived to the Americas with the slave trade; and so red foods are customary in a Juneteenth celebration. The color red (crimson to so be exact) is a symbol of resiliency in bondage. It’s possible that this is why Black people favor red foods and drinks (and in my modern association call red-flavored foods by the color instead of the flavor). Watermelon, Texas Pete hot sauce (yes, it was this brand because the celebration first took place in Texas), red velvet cake, strawberry pies (or just strawberries), and strawberry soda was (and is) common. This week’s pic-of-the-week is my latest Juneteenth lesson with my babies steeping their hibiscus tea as they learned about its origin and history both in Africa and America. It was enlightening and spiritual. #Juneteenth
2. Movie Buff. Did you all see Spike Lee’s latest joint, Da 5 Bloods? He chose such a great cast of Black men to play five Vietnam vets. Delroy Lindo (one of my favorites) you may remember from Crooklyn or more recently the TV series The Good Fight, Chadwick Boseman from Black Panther or 42, Norm Lewis (who was new to me, but we share the same birthday), and my two of my most-memorable actors from the hit show The Wire, Clarke Peters and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. I think Spike portrayed just about every emotion one could imagine for a war movie and the plot itself. There is love, joy, faith, grief, bitterness, brokenness, betrayal, pain, PSTD, alcoholism, regret, greed, hope, death, freedom, life, and newness. The movie is rated R for the profanity (there’s enough of it, but not extremely overkill) and the violence. Frankly, there is a scene in the beginning where a Vietnamese child is shot in the head, a montage of war aftermath, two shoot-em-up scenes, and a flashback to reveal how Norm died. For a war movie, it’s not violent-heavy; but you will see some blood (less guts). Other than the superb acting, my favorite tenant was the historical vignettes that flashed the screen to teach (and boast) on Black firsts and/or success. Check it out! #Da5Bloods
3. Vino, Vino! It’s so interesting to see how industries and business execute their Phase 1 re-openings. Would you believe that I visited a winery this past weekend? It wasn’t the typical vibe, but it worked. It was more festival-style with blankets and lawn chairs, personal speakers for music (though there was a live band present) and bring-your-own food and wine glasses. We all parked in the grass more than six feet apart and it was so damn lovely! So nice to get out and breath fresh air while sippin’ on the spirits with friends and music. #redwineplease
4. Teenage Milestones. Last week, I commented on the highs and lows and motherhood, but I must be doing something right to have two high back-to-back. My oldest son has made one of Washington D.C.’s debate teams! Whoop! I need to record this here and now just in case he pulls this off, I have some proof. He has the skills to make one hell of a defense attorney. Though he is not big on law school now. Let’s see how the next decade pans out, shall we? #greatdebaters
5. The Poetess. One thing that few people know about me is that I’m a part-time poetess. But, long are the days where I grace the stage of Atlanta underground clubs to have my stay at the mic. When the mood strikes, I now raise my poetic voice in this space. This week I wrote Being Black Thrice to pay homage to Black motherhood. You should check it out. #BLM
6. High School Planning. In this week’s post I shared how to help support your high schooler with “looking ahead”, and offering a freebie for you to download that includes a two-page worksheet set for both students and a checklist for adults. Check it out! #highschoolmama
7. Outschool. If you know of a teenager (14-18) who could benefit from lessons in time management and planning, please share my latest class. Class starts July 8, 2020. Thank you in advance. #properplanningpreventspisspoorperformance
8. Netflix. If you do not know who Hasan Minhaj is, allow me to introduce you. He is best known for his Netflix show The Patriot Act. This past week, he released an eleven-minute episode titled, We Cannot Stay Silent About George Floyd, that exclusively discusses the plight of Black American as related to civil rights and the advantages other peoples were granted from our own fight and struggle. It is a must-see. Go watch it now. You’re welcome. #blacklivesmatter
9. Professional Development. I teach university-specific courses at local college and the curriculum is need of a revision. This summer we are not sure revising the general content influenced by updates and student feedback; but we are aiming to make it “anti-racist” in the thick of policy brutality and protest at this time. I applied for a seat at the curriculum revision table and I was accepted! Here’s to be the change you want to see in the world … or maybe just at your workplace, but you get the idea. 🙂 #curriculumconnoisseur
10. Lift Every Voice and Sing. If you’re celebrating Juneteenth today, add the singing of the Black National Anthem to your holiday roster. I have a few versions that I fancy, but this one is my favorite! #Blackness
Love, Light, and Musings
I’m so happy to see so many people celebrating Juneteenth! I made a bit of a feast today and I was just about to go to the store to get something to make for dessert and some tea. I think I will make a gluten-free Red Velvet cake today! Thanks so much for spreading light and knowledge. Happy Juneteenth! ❤️🖤💚