Can I Take Pride in My Blackness While Being a Lover of All?
Hello February and Happy Black History month!
In September of last year I launched my brand Strange Ones Nation, for the misfit, the left out and overlooked, the invisible; in other words: The Black Muslim. At first I was hesitant about creating something so exclusive, I didn’t want to alienate my non-black friends and followers and after all, I love everyone, regardless of flavor. But after some introspection, and a short stroll through social media and still seeing almost no black Muslim American faces, I started to think: maybe this is necessary. But the real driving force was my babies. A couple of my boys go to a predominantly Arab elementary school and I’d hate for them to think they are any less Muslim because of their blackness.
My four year old, going on 14 baby girl is EXTREMELY impressionable and I worry a great deal about whether her self worth will come into question once she starts Kindergarten. My sister and I have been making sure we breathe life, confidence and self love into her; her hair is beautiful, her brown skin is gorgeous. As of right now, she loves herself, but I see the way she loves Barbie and wants to wear little skirts and shorts like her… By the way, can someone explain to me why it is that what goes on at home is less than nothing to a child when compared to what happens on T.V.? Like, my sisters and I never wear shorts and mini skirts but because a cartoon character based off of a doll does it seems like the thing to do…
Anyhoo, I digress.
I am black (obviously), I love being black and I want other black people to love and embrace their blackness. For those who do not understand, love of ones race and culture does NOT equate to ethnocentrism. I want everyone to embrace their unique cultures and ethnicities…. so long as that culture doesn’t actually include ethnocentrism, and let’s be real, there are cultures out there that are deeply rooted in racism and prejudice…..Decorum wont allow me to create a bullet list of them.
Nothing quite reveals closeted racism like romantic relationships and marriage. Everyone loves everyone until their son/daughter/sister/brother tries to marry outside of their race. Then, all bets are off. Then it becomes, ” I’m not racist but I want to preserve the culture of my family.” “I’m not racist but I’m only attracted to straight hair.” “I’m not racist but this, I’m not racist but that.”
Now to be all the way fair, it isn’t just non black people who feel a certain type of way when it comes to interracial relationships. I see so many posts on social media from blacktivists which state more or less that you can’t be pro-black and date outside of your race. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it. Actually no, I do know how I feel about it; I don’t agree. I may be as single as single can get but I’ve only ever liked one black guy romantically. He was the first guy I ever had feelings for; a dark chocolate piece of yum. Man did I have a crush on him. I’ve also liked a Latino, a white guy and an Indian fella. Taste the rainbow baby! Those guys were really the extent of my romantical feelings because I’m not about that life. But what I’m getting at is, I don’t believe I’m less black, less about black empowerment because I don’t only have eyes for black men. Am I wrong?
I will say this though, now that I am raising five little black boys, I am now finding myself rethinking things. My boys need a role model. And it might be helpful if that man looked like them.. I think they may have some negative feelings if I brought home a non black man. While I want them to embrace people of all races and walks of life, I don’t want to raise them colorblind because I have seen how problematic that can be. We aren’t meant to be the same and there is so much beauty in our differences! Embrace that. I am a proud BLACK MUSLIM WOMAN. But I have nothing but love for everyone. However, I will continue to uplift my people in any way I can, before anyone else #SorryNotSorry.
Dont for get to get your Strange Ones Nation merch :http://www.strangeonesnation.ecwid.com
Is My Black Really Beautiful
Just putting it out there, Asian men, #indian, #Pakistani and #Bengali men make me feel so ugly because I’m a #blackwoman. And I’m talking, next level, Smeagol, the Gollum from Lord of The Rings, type ugly. They make me feel like I am less than, beneath them; like I’m a mangy stray dog they found in the woods that they play with, have a great time, become great friends with but at the end of the day, leave in the woods because dogs aren’t allowed in the house.
Perhaps this may sound harsh, but it’s not meant to be harsh or offensive and I’m not backbitting simply by stating how I FEEL. And no one can deny, or bring up a defense to how I, or anyone else feels about something, so please, don’t try.
I’ve seen some of my fellow #BMW (black muslim women) speak out on this and have seen them verbally attacked and torn apart for voicing their experiences and feelings. You cannot invalidate someone’s truth just because it makes you uncomfortable.
And one of my truths is, as stated above, is that Asian men make me feel #ugly. They make my skin, hair, features, background, ancestors all feel ugly and unacceptable. And before you ask why I singled out Asian men, it’s because that’s where my experience lies. In my very limited experience with, say, #Arab men, they either deny my existence all together or I’m the dog they adore and want to take home but their mamas are allergic.
But here’s the thing, you dont need my experience, ask just about any BMW of a certain age. They nearly all have a story to tell. Let’s face it, black people, black women have been seen as the lowest of low globally since, well, practically forever. And if you don’t believe that, educate yourself.
And I’m not the kind of person who ever cared about or focused on #race, but when you’re constantly rejected because of it, your perspective starts to shift.
You have to start actively trying to accept and love yourself not just as a woman, but as a black woman. Honestly, growing up I never cared one way or the other about my race, it was just part of who I was, like being female or short. I look very, what one would call “ethnically black” and never did I see it as a problem. But as I got older and more exposed to the world and saw and experienced how much negativity is associated to that one aspect of me. I started to understand why women would repeat #MyBlackIsBeautiful, creating a positive association with our race and features to combat the hate we get from all sides. And when I say all sides, I mean all sides. Many of our own men find us distasteful and, wait for it, some of our very own black women think we should try to be “less black”, whatever the heck that means. 😐
In #Islam, racism, colorism, culturalism are all explicitly forbidden, but I suppose people will be people, Muslim or not😕. And for those with blinders on and are in denial that racism is alive and kicking within the Muslim community, it’s story time!
I’ve been on a Muslim marriage website for a couple years now, not and active or paying member but I wanted to get an idea of what’s out there. Well, let me just tell you, those websites, no matter how much they claim they are for practising Muslims are not really made for black #muslimahs. Now my profile clearly states that I’m black. But it’s as if guys are like “she sounds incredible.. but… dang, she why gotta be black though.. maybe she doesn’t look black 🤔 *requests photo*”. 99% Of the asian guys disappear as soon as they see me. (About 85% of the Arab guys disappear). Just the other day a guy messaged me, we coincidentally went to the same university. He was all gungho about getting to know me, said he uploaded some photos and hoped we could do a photo exchange. My… slightly irritated and possibly uncalled for response, “I’m so done with all the racism on this website. I’m a black woman, as my profile clearly states. If that’s a problem for you, stop right now.” He stopped. Oh I have sooo many other stories. A little tip, if a guy’s profile says he’s open to all ethnicities…. don’t believe it.. or maybe it’s not because I’m black at all, maybe I’m just #fugly😂💁
I’ve Always Been Afraid To Want
Hope your week is going well thus far. Nothing to complain about on my end. Yesterday, I got called into work and I was more than happy to do so! I need every extra hour I can get so it was great. Another pretty great thing happened as well.
I can’t recall if I wrote about the Graphic Design internship that I applied for some weeks ago. Well, as I was leaving work yesterday evening, walking the empty halls of the already closed museum, I saw that I had a couple missed calls and a voice message. Hmmm? I figured it was about one of the millions of jobs I’d applied for. Nope! It was about the internship, which I’m sure you’ve already guessed. He wanted me to call him back to discuss the position and what not. And I fully intended to do so. But he beat me to it! I’d accidentally left my phone on vibrate last night rather than on mute (my phone is on mute 90% of the time) and thank goodness I did because that vibration woke me up to the most incredible phone call.
No, I don’t know if I’ll actually get the internship, but guys, listen to me when I say that in that moment, everything felt possible. Just put yourself out there, try, take chances. I know its cliché but truly, the only failure is failing to try. And y’all….. I was just browsing images of the company… OH. MY.GOSH. It’s so gorgeous that it brought tears to my eyes. Granted that could have been because #1 PMS, #2 Allergies are kicking my but. Either way, I felt some strong emotions looking at those images, lol. But I had the ugliest thought, that creeped right in before I could stop it: This place is too beautiful and perfect, I’m not that lucky.
You see, for a long time I’ve refrained from wanting things too deeply because, that’s how you get disappointed. But I’ve made a vow to myself that I won’t live that way anymore. If I don’t get the things I want, fine, it’s for the best, but dangit, now when I want something, I will at least try to attain it! And boy do I want that internship.
Hugs & Kisses
-Krazy Aunt KAt
Life happens… Then what?
It’s been a while. I just much prefer to blog on a computer rather than my phone and I haven’t been to the library in a bit… which explains my overdue DVDs. *lowers head in shame*
Feliz Sabado! It’s a frigid 20 degrees today in North East Michigan and my skin is not happy about it, neither is my heart, soul and spirit, lol.
Life if full of an accumulation of good and bad, happy and sad moments and happenings. It’s out of our control. But you know what is in our control? Our reactions. Our reactions to negative stimuli is ever so crucial to living a happier, healthier life. Mind you, oftentimes it’s far more easily said than done but I’m living proof that not only is it possible to remain positive and upbeat in the midst of trails, but also necessary.
Life will happen, and continue to happen, whether or not you’re in a good place, or equipped to deal with it. You can either sink or swim; those are your only options.
– Krazy Aunt Kat
I am happy to report that I am now officially, officially, official at my new job! I completed my job orientation on Wednesday and Thursday and let me just tell you, I have never in my life come across people who are so passionate about their jobs/place of employment. It blew my mind. I learned so much in those two days (8 hr both days) that will not only help me in my specific job, but also in my life and my future. I finished orientation feeling so inspired and life felt so full of promise.
Orientation started at 8 A.M. so I decided to stay with my sister for those days since I live about an hour from work. It all worked out… Until it didn’t. On Wednesday, several parts of Michigan experienced severe winds that caused some major power outages state-wide. Thankfully my sisters home kept its power and made the false assumption that my apartment would have kept its power. Wrong. Last night I got home, the lights were, sigh of relief. Then I opened my freezer, it didn’t feel as cold as it should have. Then I felt my frozen fruit… not as solid as I should have been, my ground beef, covered in ice crystals, also not as solid as it should have been. Crap.
So this morning I collected the contents of my freezer and fridge and threw them in the dumpster. On the plus side, I honestly didn’t have much, however, I went to not having much to having almost nothing in the way of food. I do have pasta and sauce so I know what I’m having for dinner tonight: Spaghetti. I foresee myself losing a lot of weight in the coming weeks, but it’s all good. I praise God and take in my stride. I don’t get paid till Friday.My car needs gas, I’m hungry, bills need to be paid, still haven’t secured a second job, but I’m genuinely not kidding when I say I’m not worried. Worry isn’t going to help me in the least. Prayer and action are the only things that will help me. I’m going to keep applying for a second job, I’m going to use what little money that remains in my account to put gas in my car and buy a few things to eat. I may even splurge on some chocolate! I’m going to be just fine, and so will you.
Hugs and Kisses,
Krazy Aunt Kat
And Keep Trusting Those Instincts…
It’s March! And that means Spring is just around the corner! Although, I’ve been fairly warned about what to expect from a typical Michigan winter, which is temperatures flipping anywhere from 30 degree(Fahrenheit) and snowing to 70 and gorgeous until BOOM, Summer. Hot. Sticky. Summer. But I much prefer warm (not hot) to the cold so I shall make a point to go out and embrace the sporadic higher temps when I am graced with them.
So, this week has been interesting! Remember that car rental place I interviewed at last Wednesday? The one I was not feeling and was sure bombed the interview.. They called me on Friday and OFFERED ME A JOB. I’m still utterly confused! My friend and niece said it must have been because the thought I was cute and was too charming, respectively. The guy called FIVE times within less than an hour. I really didn’t want to deal with it but I had to put on my big girl panties and deal with it so I answered the fifth call.The coversation:
Him (HR Rep): Hey, this is *insert name here*, we were looking over your resume and we’d like you to join our team!! You’ll start on Monday, I’ll send out an email with the details.
Him: Yeah! *giggles*
Me: You sure??
Him: Yes! Sure! Sure! *chuckles*
I know, that wasn’t the most professional conversation I’ve ever had but Good Lord I was confused! I specifically told the owner of the company my misgivings about working there. Seriously, what was he thinking? And onto what I was thinking after I hung up. Is this a sign? Am I supposed to take this job after all? Were my instincts that wrong? I’m broke. This is my only job prospect. I’m broke. Maybe I misread the entire situation. It’s full-time. Huge growth opportunity. Pays well. Did I mention I’m broke? What choice did I really have? Saturday morning I, hating myself, went to Target and purchased a black blazer and white blouse in preparation for my first day of employment after nearly two full months. A whopping sixty bucks that I really didn’t have to spare by the way!
Fast forward to that evening. I get a phone call, Detroit area, I didn’t answer, a message was left. It was from a job that I had applied for, what seems like an eternity ago saying that my drug test and background check had gone through and that I could start on Tuesday…. So. Now I have two job offers, starting within a day of each other, one is full-time and pays well, one is part-time and not so much. I’m broke remember, the choice was pretty clear. Sunday night rolls along, I iron up my blouse and blazer, set my alarm.Ready.
Alarm goes off Monday morning. I can’t do it. I just can’t. Sure the “adult” thing would have been to get my butt out of bed and do what needed to be done but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t make that sacrifice. I’m a dreamer after all, an aspiring risk taker. In that moment, it wasn’t about what I should do, but what I needed to do, for my self, for my spirit. So I sent the HR Rep an email thanking him for the consideration but that I had to decline because I had received another job offer. Tuesday morning I was finally able to get in touch with someone from the other job, I went in, got their 40 minutes late, met my new coworkers. Yesterday was the second day at my new job. At a museum. And yes it’s part-time with unsustainable pay. But yesterday was special. Yesterday, this happened:
Fellow trainee: You’re into graphics right?
Me: Yeah… how did you know??
FT: I was in it for years, I can always tell
Me: Oh! I actually have a degree in graphic arts
FT: So you do websites and stuff??
Me:I mostly do print work, business cards, signage etc
FT: Alright. We’ll talk.
Yesterday, I had a moment where I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
– Aunt Kat
When She Loves…
Take yourself off that pedestal sweet one and sit with me for a while
I’m going to say some things to you that most will disagree with
And you can take it or leave it
The choice is yours
But at least take a moment to think about it
Because I’ve been around a long time
And I’ve seen a thing or two
Take yourself off that pedestal
I’m not saying you’re not special
Because you are
You are unique
Delightful and so many other great things by the grace of God
Stop treating yourself like rare treasure
Buried beneath the dark sea
Bound by steal chains
And guarded by sharks
Stop making it such a trial for people to get near you
Stop making it such a feat when someone gets you to open up that chest to see the trinkets that lie within.
Now hear me out
As I said before, you, without a doubt, are special
But when you view yourself as a secret
You’ll feel like you’ve lost a piece of yourself with every person you tell yourself to
And you become hurt, sad and angry for “opening up” to someone “undeserving”
You feel like people are stealing pieces of you
Am I wrong??
I say, instead
Be free flowing
Coming and going as you please
Giving people the delight of your existence or the ferocity of it
The more open you are
The less vulnerable you are
Now I’m not saying certain things shouldn’t be kept private, because they should
But you are not something that someone can earn
That’s how powerful you are
You are a force of nature
Be your most authentic self with every single person you meet
Take control by relinquishing control
By letting go of that death grip of who can come in and who can’t
Every single thing that makes you in the moment
Stop nitpicking about what you can and cannot show for fear of being stolen away
You are the a breeze
And I mean no one
Can steal the air.
– Krazy Aunt Kat
You can check out more of my writing on Instagram @kaptures.by.k
Ninety Days to New
Spring semester start in 90 days! ( Yes I’m wearing that hoodie again from the previous university I attended) That’s 90 days to secure a new job….I REALLY hope I get something within the next two weeks. 90 days to decide if I should move closer to the university (Apartments are way cheaper over there). 90 days seems like a long time, but trust me, it’ll be Spring before we know it, and I’ll need to ready. Pray for me ya’ll.
Honestly, I’m seriously excited about going back to school! I love learning, and since I FINALLY have a clear idea of what I want to do, no more feeling lost, no more wasting money… Oh, money.. The route of all evil, Lol. I’ve applied for financial aid, but I don’t want to take out any more student loans. Student loans are the devil -_-. I’m still trying to pay off my previous ones. I gotta say, it’ll be quite an accomplishment to pay my way through school though. I can see me now, working by day, school by night (or vice versa), Hustling hard. Online classes would be ideal, except that getting internet service is out of the question. The last thing I need is another monthly bill. The struggle, as they say, is oh so real. But I got this.
“They plan, and God plans, and God is the Best Of Planners.”
Life is funny sometimes. So even though I have goals, and plans to achieve them, God may have another plan for me, or another route for me to get there. So I’ll keep doing what I have to do and take things as they come. Balance is key. Faith and action.
I had plans to spend my income tax refund to decorate me apartment. Yeah, well, now it looks like I’ll be spending it bills. But I ain’t mad though. I’m just grateful my bills will get paid. Decorating can wait.Or I’ll do it a little at a time. OOOOR, I’ll have a job by the time a get my check! A win, win, win 😀 We shall see shan’t we? A girl can dream right?
When Life Gives You Lemons..
They say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade… But what if I don’t have sugar, honey, agave nectar or some kind of sweetener? Better yet, what if I don’t have water by which to make said lemonade?…. Yes I’m being difficult. I know very well that the age-old saying means one should make the best/something good out of a wonky situation. And that’s what I do, all day, everyday. That being said, it’s not always easy. Continue reading “When Life Gives You Lemons..”