This is a powerful video about standards of beauty among African American women.The doll experiment where young AA girls are asked to choose between white and black dolls is revealing but incredibly heartbreaking.
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning, torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.~EB White
First, take your very best friend way out into the middle of the country to visit your favorite people in the world. Make sure you stop for ice cream along the way. If your friend is an international student from Guatemala, she may want to stop and take a picture of the crazy hybrid animal grazing in the fields of a suspicous looking farm (it appeared to be a cross between a cow, a buffalo, and a goat).
When you reach your rural destination make sure you are greeted by adorable kids who have cleaned their rooms, put on special outfits, and drawn pictures in preparation of your arrival. The rest of the night you are free to play basketball in the living room, observe a break-dance competition, sing spontaneous duets to your little brother in Spanish, and get your hair done by a pair of 5 year old hair stylists. At least 15 barrets and clips should be involved in your new look. Your proud Ethiopian siblings will probably want to teach their Guatemalan guest all about their culture, so be prepared for a mini Amharic language lesson. The colors of the flag are a good start. Say it with me: aronguadey, biCHa, kai. You can continue the culture lesson with a BIG meal of injera and wat (with mango rice on the side). After dinner head outside for a bonfire! Warning: you may grudgingly have to admit there is something good about your family's new location as you can actually see the stars. Eat lots of s'mores, but try not to sit on the package of graham crackers. After you've had your fill of s'mores you should go put your pajamas on. This way the littlest kids will think you are going to bed just like them, when in reality you are going to sneak off to watch a movie with the teenage siblings. Even if you fall asleep before the movie ends you will have fun hanging out.
Oh, and make sure you take LOTS of pictures! This way, if you have another hard week you can look at them and remember how much you have to be thankful for.
It didn't take my parents long to figure out why Gloria and I are best friends--she takes almost as many pictures as I do!
Last step: Take the strength and renewed energy you got from the people who love you most and store it up for the week ahead!
My mom left this comment on my facebook page tonight. Unfortunately, getting followed in stores is so common for my AA siblings that I don't usually write about it, but tonight's incident was even worse than usual.
Just had the worse experience at JC Penneys Woodbury, MN.The security guy followed Isaac to the car and asked him to show him what he took. He showed his bag--school books only. So the security guy said he was banned from the store. I asked why and he said Isaac put 3 shirts in his book bag ...last week and took them out and left them in the fitting room.The security guy was awful. They wouldn't let us way into the store so they accused Isaac right inside the store in front of all the customers. It was so humiliating! The police showed up and threatened to arrest me and book me on obstruction because I was trying to help Isaac as they questioned him. And for blocking a fire lane because I simply left the car where the security guy approached us. And they said it had nothing to do with race.
I talked to Lacy (who was there when it happened) a little bit ago on the phone and she seems really shaken up. My mom has been in tears all night. It can be such an ugly world out there sometimes...
Here are some of the things that have kept me laughing recently...
My aunt bought this book for my family over Thanksgiving: It is one of those books that looks like it is for kids but actually has a lot of sarcastic humor. I still can't believe my family lives in the country! When my older brothers and I were driving out there for Thanksgiving we drove passed a field with buffalo, llamas, cows, donkeys, something with long horns, and an unidentifiable animal that we could best describe as a bear-cow (it looked like it could be a Sesame Street character)--and they were all just coexisting in one field!! Craziest thing I have ever seen.
Zenebesh has had a lot of doctor's appointments recently at the hospital near my school, so Aaron has been hanging out with me at college during her appointments. He LOVES coming to school with me, and we spend most of our time watching the wrestler's or "working-out" in the weight room (Aaron wants to be a wrestler now when he grows up--last year it was basketball). The other day we stopped at the store for a treat and he insisted on getting a Naked Juice. I excitedly pointed out to him that the one he picked had protein in it and that wrestler's use protein to help them get super strong. He seemed deep in thought for a few minutes as he sipped his juice, and all of a sudden he goes:
"I feel like I'm getting stronger!".
Another couple minutes passed (again, he's deep in thought), then he looked up at me with a seriously concerned look on his face and says:
"Uh-oh, I think I might bust out of my jacket!"
He proceeded to ask if he could try and pull the lamp post we walked past out of the ground--I told him that just because he drank protein and all of a sudden has super strength doesn't mean he can destroy school property ;)
We had our DinoMight fundraiser the other day and Jesse spoke about how the trip he took to South Africa when he was a DinoMight participant inspired him to study abroad in Southern Africa in college. Somehow his speech gave the 4th grade girls in the audience the impression that he was famous. Afterwards they were all asking him for his autograph and wanting to take pictures "with that famous guy". One little girl ran up to me with the paper Jesse autographed and goes "He TOUCHED this!! i am going to save it forever!" Talk about an ego-boost for Jesse.
0n Saturday night I was at my parent's house and we were all sitting around watching a Christmas movie when I overheard this conversation between Aaron and Tekle: Aaron: I want a girlfriend for Christmas! Tekle: What?? Eeew Gross! Aaron: "Nope, don't even say anything, I already decided that's what I want!"
This is Zeni's first Christmas so she is just getting a hang of how everything works. Everyone is having a blast explaining all of the fun traditions to her, but it's a lot to take in. One of the first Christmas decorations the kids pulled out this year was the mistletoe, and Zenebesh thought it was hilarious to watch everyone run around trying not to get caught under it. She didn't realize that the mistletoe was any different than the other ornaments though, so she kept running around with the MN Wild ornament over her head, waiting expectantly for a kiss. Eventually someone explained that only the mistletoe has special love powers ;)
Tekle got one of those clever shirts that says "This is my dress shirt" for his birthday this year and the other day Aaron decided to try it on. After realizing it was way too big for him, Aaron goes: "Now I get why they call it a DRESS shirt!"
How to get involved for World Aids Day 2009: Be sure to visit Lisa's blog for five ideas of things you can do to support people living with HIV/AIDS and to help stop the spread of this very preventable disease:
HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing,
sharing toys, sneezing, coughing,
sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing,
or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles).
- HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives.
- People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. If anyone wants more info on transmission, there is great info on the Center for Disease Control website