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HIDE YO CRAZY! …. Something’s Been Said Intro

“Something’s been said,” is a quote used by members of my extended, Southern family. Although I was raised in the Midwest, I’d heard this phrase every time something suspicious happened within our clan. It means that there is something definitely wrong, unexplainable, off-putting, or weird going on with a family member, friend or associate but no one knows how to explain it or wants to expose the real issues. Details are often missing or simply don’t add up. No one could evaluate a situation with clarity or objectivity in an environment where hidden secrets and lies existed. As a child, I instinctively knew when a story didn’t make sense, and my facial expression often reflected it.

After moving south, a native North Carolinian told me that her grandmother told her to “hide yo crazy”. The statement made me laugh out loud because it reminded me of the stories we often share that provide half the facts that simply do not add up. It’s another way of saying “something’s been said“. Most people don’t internally question what they hear. Too few are willing to investigate, research or debate a topic before making a decision. There is an even smaller group who will allow room for a presumption of innocence until proof has been obtained.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, a show called “Different Strokes” was a favorite in my household. I particularly loved the young son, played by former child actor Gary Coleman, who would question information that didn’t make sense to him…. something would have been said for sure!

In this section of Hide Yo Crazy …. Something’s Been Said, we’ll examine cultural, familial, relational, and current events, and provide a platform to examine and perhaps debate these matters in terms of appropriateness, accuracy, and relevancy. Guest writers will also participate to allow for different perspectives on subjects. I am hopeful that we will be able to unveil some of the different viewpoints and allow us to gain a better understanding of what may really be happening within our own minds as well as relationships. Come back soon …check out this video until we chat again.

Beyond Skin Deep

Exterior beauty has traditionally held power in all cultures. There can be no doubt, however, that the indoctrination we received about beauty standards has greatly influenced our perceptions even today. As women, we all understand and recognize the benefits that come along with meeting this beauty standard. In fact, most of us appreciate compliments no matter its origins – – especially if it seems genuine and isn’t imply flattery for some gain. Yet, the ignorance and hypocrisy still held by some within our culture promoting limiting beauty standards is very disconcerting. When you know better, shouldn’t we all do better and be held to a higher expectation?

Remove the kinks from your mind, not from your hair.

Marcus Garvey – – Political activist, Publisher, Journalist, Entrepreneur, and Orator

Sadly, the same old issues continue to fester with not just “others” but women of color terrorizing, isolating, humiliating other women within their own tribe using the same faulty belief systems based on colorism and featurism. And for what? How could it possibly make anyone feel better? In reality, while exterior beauty is one indicator of personal value, it should not be the only focus – – at least not in my opinion. Internal beauty, personal character at a soul and spiritual level, is the most invaluable attribute any human or woman can possess. To embrace a healthy mind, body and soul and to radiate positive energy and love towards others is foundational for long term mental health and wealth (not simply physical looks and money ).

I was raised by my mother telling me – – Always know your worth. And if something is not serving you right, walk away from it. Don’t settle for less, because that is what you will be getting from then on. And so that was my
superpower, because I was taught that way at a young age. 

Iman Abdulmajid 
Somali-American Fashion Model,
Actress andEntrepreneur

Teachable moments happen every day if one is willing to review your own thoughts and actions. If we can be completely trUthful now, we also should be able to acknowledge that we collectively have conscious and unconscious biases within communities of color. This is a fact! Therefore, WE must be accountable for how we continue to perpetuate and promote stereotypes that no longer serve our tribe. We may not be able to change the perceptions of “others” towards women of color but we can change our own perceptions of US and redefine our standards of worth and value. It’s time ladies to find and take back your SUPERPOWER. We already have women who have modeled authentic character and beauty proving that we possess diverse and distinct manifestations of womanhood beyond our exterior features alone. The content of one’s character matters – – immensely!!!

Seek god first to change your life indeed.
Which of these groups of women do you aspire to become?

Stacey Abrams
Basketball Wives
Housewives of Atlanta 
Michelle Obama
Wendy Williams
Vice President Kamala Harris
Mother, Big Mamma or Nana

Whether all women (not just women color) are successful by the world standards is not as important as the mental and spiritual substance they bring to any situation in living an authentic, quality life without unnecessarily causing harm to others. Are we really prepared to accept colorism and mean girl behavior within our own tribe?!? It may be an ambitious feat to know and appreciate one’s authentic self and to respect our tribe’s diversity but it can be accomplished if you have the heart and intention to do it. (period) We must also hold each other accountable for unbecoming behavior and not representative of who WE claim to BE. Manifesting the greatest version of you, as determined by the divine, may be a work in progress for all of us but it is most definitely worth the effort. 

Are you more than a video girl or naw?

Heart and Soul

The integrity of Aboriginal women

Always carries 

The pride of her nation

Through thick and thin

She may always be called 

A gin

Not even that 

Will make her sin

She does not come 

From a throw away society

In Australia

My mother always will have…

A.B.oriGINality

Individual freedom and spiritual belonging.

Written By Michael Thompson, Mackay, QLD

Black His-story 365 24 seven

The month of February has been designated as Black History Month. Its origins first germinated back a half a century after the Thirteenth amendment abolished slavery in the United States. Spearheaded by the G.O.A.T Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland in 1915, Black History Month was created as a means to acknowledge and honor the achievements of Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. It would take another 61 years (1976) for an American president, Gerald Ford, to officially recognize Black History Month and to encourage “US” to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans in our society. As a result, our educational indoctrination system expanded curriculums to further discuss and educate our children on slavery and highlighted a few extraordinary heroes and heroines who symbolized black achievement despite injustice. 

A child is born with no state of mind

Blind to the ways of mankind

The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five 

As this month arrived, perhaps you wondered why I didn’t post significantly about this seemingly important month. For me, the mere delineation of one month to celebrate the contributions of Blacks seemed too inadequate on so many levels, especially since black contributions to the American colonies IS American his-story. The legacy is too rich, too deep, too intertwined and too substantial to limit it to just one month. The contributions ranging from economic impact, cultural significance or even spiritual enrichment made us “US”. A tribe member recently told me that upon visiting London, he saw individuals of African decent wearing shirts that said “365 24 seven.” The meaning of these numbers is to account for the legacy and importance of black representation and achievement in everyday life (both past and present). Being black is a racial identity and consciousness that cannot be limited nor can the past contributions be contained. The opportunity to fully incorporate black contributions could be done as effortlessly and seamlessly as we have done with European history if we are willings to collectively commit to its importance. After all, we are all interconnected being a part of the same evolving human family responsible for this planet (even if we sometimes demonstrate dysfunctional and slightly neurotic behavior in our relationships with the other.) 

Victims, Aren’t We All” ...

The Crow

Change is never easy but our educational system needs to adjust its narrative for how it incorporates the contributions of not just Black Americans but all underrepresented peoples of this country (aboriginal, women, other immigrants, etc). There are representatives of every ethnicity who could and should be introduced into the profession along with more inclusive curriculums thereby influencing how we educate our children. For example, young children’s reaction to race is very innocent at first (curious but friendly and loving) until they are taught race via the educational, familial and societal indoctrination systems. By simply exposing young children to diverse people via writers, poets, inventors, politicians, scientists, activists, healers, educators, essential workers etc. throughout the school year, they will naturally come to understand that other people, besides their own immediate family and race, have made significant contributions to the success and well-being of this great country. Many might have been dependents of slaves but their economic contributions and the “black tax” carried by their ancestors produced clearly powerful survivors who are no less valuable than others and much too significant to be ignored or diminished. 

Teaching is still held as a noble profession. At its best, it can unlock the potential of any human to achieve their highest level of excellence. Clearly, we continue to mis-educate based upon past narratives that no longer serve our highest good as a society. Are we ready to move forward and expand the educational indoctrination system to more accurately reflect what it means to not only be an American but human? Exposing the greatness of the “other’ does not diminish another’s significance so why should we continue teaching false or partial, hard trUths. The benefits of changing our system may threaten the current hierarchy but if we say who we say we are  – – The United States of America… One Nation Under God  – – nothing less than accountability and trUthfulness should be accepted. American exceptionalism remains a work in process but we have to call out things that limit our potential to become better. Some don’t know who we “BE” but all may come to learn, understand, respect and appreciate what the other has experienced, overcome and contributed – – 365 24 seven.

Salute X MEN & WOMEN

I Lost My Talk

I lost my talk

The talk you took away.

When I was a little girl

At Shubenacadie school.

You snatched it away:

I speak like you

I think like you

I create like you

The scrambled ballad, about my word.

Two ways I talk

Both ways I say,

Your way is more powerful.

So gently I offer my hand and ask,

Let me find my talk

So I can teach you about me.

Written By Rita Joe

If You Forget Me

I want you to know

one thing. 

*

You know how this is: 

if I look 

at the crystal moon, at the red branch 

of the slow autumn at my window, 

if I touch 

near the fire 

the impalpable ash 

or the wrinkled body of the log, 

everything carries me to you, 

as if everything that exists, 

aromas, light, metals, 

were little boats 

that sail 

toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

*

Well, now, 

if little by little you stop loving me 

I shall stop loving you little by little. 

*

If suddenly 

you forget me 

do not look for me, 

for I shall already have forgotten you. 

*

If you think it long and mad, 

the wind of banners 

that passes through my life, 

and you decide 

to leave me at the shore 

of the heart where I have roots, 

remember 

that on that day, 

at that hour, 

I shall lift my arms 

and my roots will set off 

to seek another land. 

*

But 

if each day, 

each hour, 

you feel that you are destined for me 

with implacable sweetness, 

if each day a flower 

climbs up to your lips to seek me, 

ah my love, ah my own, 

in me all that fire is repeated, 

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 

my love feeds on your love, beloved, 

and as long as you live it will be in your arms 

without leaving mine.

*********

Written By Pablo Neruda  

Time For Change

2021 will be the year of massive change as our indoctrination systems (educational, familial and societal) are forced to evolve within the framework of COVID-19. The inherent weaknesses, faulty structures, calcified approaches, unimaginative narratives can no longer be hidden as the “unveiling” has already commenced. In other words, the ineffective systems  – – not simply its citizenry – – have generated intended and unintended consequences that “WE” have to address and fix politically and socially – – or not. What on earth will “WE THE PEOPLE”  do as a collective? The one thing I know for sure is that change is a requirement for growth but the requirements for change are not easy. It will cause angst and possibly hurt even more than what we’ve already experienced. Some may even temporarily lose hope, ground or power. However, everyone – – including me – – will now be held accountable for our role and actions in perpetuating the faulty system of the past. The unknown reality is whether “WE” will maintain some degree of U-N-I-T-Y during the current transformational process.

Photo by Utsman Media on Unsplash
There are individual sand granules but collectively 
joined together they can can create a distinct formation.

We need not, however, fear change in the long run. Our Nu Amẹríkà is due for an overhaul of sorts anyway. Change is an offshoot of the human condition. We’ve done it many times before ultimately choosing to surrender for the advancement of mankind. Evidence of this belief can be seen in all aspects of life. No human remains the same as we transform from an embryo into adulthood. If we hope to change our bodies, modifications have to be made in diet, exercise and sleeping habits. Upon entering a university, change is required to assimilate all the new information and experiences inherently present in such a rich learning environment. And if you want to change a society at its core, people within have to reach a point of frustration and possibly defeat – – choosing to let go of the the outdated, antiquated or inaccurate – – with the intention of pursuing and creating systems that may more accurately reflect our grandest ideals and core values necessary for a civilized society. The possibilities are indeed endless, with many avenues yet to be explored, assuming “WE” are focussed on the end goal and the small steps needed to produce the desired outcomes. Setbacks and failure are inevitable since success is not guaranteed (and no one may know what is truly best for us all) but with each choice “WE” get the opportunity to do better than before.

“Can’t Rain All The Time”

The Crow

So, wake up everyone! Something has been said! The sands of change are moving – – a sort of cosmic rain ready to wash away the old (any residual falsehoods, lies and deceit) grain by grain for the purpose of rebuilding something of value. Get ready for the unbelievable and be willing to relearn what “WE’VE” been taught in order to create Nu systems of governance. Our ancestors are whispering the same message once more. “IT’S TIME …..”

MLK helped to champion the Civil Rights movement. 

What changes will “WE” produce in 2021?

Preface to Leaves of Grass

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men — go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers of families — re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.”

Written By Walt Whitman

Photo by Tasha Jolley on Unsplash

The hourglass is ticking ….

ascension

The word ascension (noun) is derived from the Latin word ascendere, meaning “to mound, ascend or to go up.”  

Change is required indeed!  What can one expect the higher you rise?

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Is the sky always the limit?

Rise of the Crow

Her smile is lost and laughter fades,

her soul is growing weak,

Violence is not something that

in our hearts we seek.

Silenced were the words

our people could not speak.

Let us rise against our demons,

let go the pain and sorrow

The past is not our future –

Our future is tomorrow.

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Written By Michele “Mickey” Hetherington, NSW