Monday, December 14, 2015

Black, Unarmed, and Rocking

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Did you ever notice how it happens that once you learn about something you begin to see it everywhere? In the past couple of weeks there have been a couple of issues that I've been learning about, reading about, and finally seeing how they impact my life. It's almost like having new eyes. 

Earlier this year my good friend Be-Asia McKerracher recommended a good book to me called Authentically Black by John McWhorter, a provocative book on the state of the African-Americans here in America. I didn't begin reading it until quite recently and now I'm hooked; the book was almost nothing like I thought it would be (whatever that is). I'm learning so much. I plan on reading another book by McWhorter called Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America. I have often wondered about the black culture in The States, with an obvious understanding that there in not a single culture. I'm also learning so much from my wonderful friend Rayven Holmes who is sharing so much of her own journey toward being strong, female, and black with me.

In March of this year we had a friend move in with us. I've probably mentioned him. His name is Jhevaunte and goes by his initials: JD. He is 19 years old and has become a real part of this family. JD has quite a history and is, sadly, a young man without a mother. He started calling me Mom quite soon after moving in with us but it was another few months before I realized that I would be honored to be JD's parent. He is an amazing young man and I am truly honored and delighted to count him among my family.

Dread Repair
In Progress
A few months ago JD went and got himself a lovely head full of dreadlocks. Unbeknownst to us, dreadlocks require regular, even daily, upkeep. Needless to say, we didn't know that. After two months of sleeping on his dreads, poor JD had a massive mat of hair on top of his head and he needed some real work done on it. I spend a few nights reading and watching countless videos on youtube about how to attack those neglected dreads. My efforts turned out quite well. And to be honest, I'm feeling pretty proud of my work tonight.

Another place I have been learning is in the surprising area of guns and gun control. I've had many conversations with people both on the side of Freedom to Carry and on the side of Gun Control. The many horrible stories in the news have induced me to FINALLY learn more about the issue...beyond the obvious inconsistencies in the practice of pharmacies that limit my access to Sudafed while allowing anyone purchase of ammunition by the barrel online.

Recently while visiting friends in another state, John and I realized that we were living in a house with an actual arsenal of weapons and ammunition. This household we were visiting had many, many weapons, including a bloody Gatling Gun, many stored in easily-accessible places. I held more than one gun in my hands last week during our visit. My confusion and curiosity and questions sparked many, many conversations on the issue and I'm feeling both better informed and more certain that those in favor of increased gun control laws must be heard.

And a third thing that I have been diving into is Led Zepplin. This English rock band formed in 1968 and was composed on four amazing musicians: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones. Although, as a kid, teen, young adult I didn't realize it, Led Zepplin was a real favorite of mine; their music was almost always in the background of my life. Their psychedelic blues music was unique and absolutely inspired. I simply didn't appreciate them and their musical talent fully until recently. In the last weeks I've been listening to them like a mad person as well as learning about each of them, following their stories, listening to music history. Give a listen.

There you go, three examples of recent obsessions. LOL
What are some of yours?

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