Looking in the Mirror

Spiritual Revelations for those seeking Humanity in Humans ~~CordieB.

Archive for African American

I will know peace. . . when I reclaim all the pieces of my self ~Iyanla Vanzant


Print, Entitled "Peace, Love and Soul" Courtesy of CordieB.

If you can’t seem to get it together, it may be that you have given too much of yourself away.  It may be that you have compromised, over-compensated, given in and given over so much of yourself that you no longer know where all of the pieces have been scattered.  Perhaps the things you thought you needed to do to get love, to experience yourself as loveable, to be acknowledged, left you splintered, shattered and broken into so many pieces you feel like you will never be able to pull yourself together.  Don’t worry!  You have simply experienced an invasion of the body snatchers!

A body-snatchers invasion will distort the truth about you.  It will make you forget your true identity.  it will make you feel guilty about your desire to take care of yourself and honor yourself.  It will point out the wrongness of your choices, the dangers of your decisions, the impossibility of your visions and the fallacy of your beliefs.  A little nip here.  A little peck here…

There is a way to pull yourself back together when you have been accosted by body snatchers.  You must examine all the times you gave others the right to make your decisons, when you expected others to do for you what only you had the power to do, when you gave others the right to decide your destiny and when you dishonored yourself in order to pelase others.  When you remember what you have done, forgive yourself!  Most important, you must say, "Never again."

Until today, you may not have realized that you had been invaded by body snatchers who have dismembered pieces and parts of your identity.  Just for today, protect yourself!  Be aware of the things you do that deminish and distort the sense of wholeness, worthiness, and your ability to make your own choices and decisions. 

~Iyanla Vanzant

Sweet Revenge Turned to Eternal Regret

Troy Anthony Davis, Execution Stayed on Tuesday by Supreme Court
Troy Anthony Davis, Execution Stayed on Tuesday by U. S. Supreme Court, Let Us Pray Justice Prevails!

Sweet Revenge Turned to Eternal Regret

To the dismal chambers I watched him walk
His breath so shallow; he could not talk
I gazed into his coal, cold black eyes
He’d finally face well deserving demise . . .
For killing the man I loved so much . . .
..the wife I can no longer see, no longer touch
…the child who brought all my earthly joy banished
Due to an evil man; soon rightfully before my eyes vanquished
I felt my blood flow warmly through my veins with sweet revenge
Closure! My love one’s death finally avenged . . .
 . . . . . . .
Two years have passed since the revenged death ejection
Of the man convicted solely on witness recollection
Seems evidence proves the man who walked the mile
Was not the man who stole my joy; my love, my smile
With hatred, I watched an innocent man die in vain
Funny, his death never brought closure or eased my pain
I still recall that young man’s mother’s scream
Agony in heartbroken eyes, such as I’d never seen
The pain of unjust reality literally took her breath
When her innocent son was sentenced to death
Her agony leaves me feeling numb, emotionally wrecked
Sweet revenge has turned into eternal regret

~By CordieB

Fellow writer, Paisly has taken on a brave effort to bring our attention to the many executions that have taken place and continues to take place in the United States in which the evidence is based soley on eyewitness testimony, cohersed testimony, and false evidence; many, many of which are later proven by DNA evidence to have been wrongly accused.  The statistics are staggering.  Statistics show for every seven executions, one Death Row inmate has been exonerated.   Although guilty individuals may receive stays; it takes extreme evidence to the contrary to be "exonerated."  This figure will increase, as more and more people are convicted of capital crimes, proponents push for speedier executions, and legal help becomes less and less available for those who are accused of committing capital crimes.

Like Paisley, I have been quiet to this complicated issue we face; as it has never really effected me personally.  However, as a human being; a person who speaks and writes of unity, love, and freedom; I can no longer sit still without speaking out.   As a free nation, I feel it is barbaric that we, the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, could actually be putting innocent men to death.   Also, like Paisley: 

"i believe the only real entitlement we as humans can lay claim to at birth,, is a little something called common sense..  and as i employ mine,,  it becomes increasingly impossible for me not to realize that given the right set of circumstances,,  it could (and very well might some day) be me,, for which they come….."

 

Photo Friday – Old Cars (Sunday Afternoons After Church) ~By CordieB.

Initially, I had not planned to submit for this week’s Photo Friday because time did not permit me to take a picture of an old vehicle. Additionally, I did not have any photos that I had previously taken. But the rules were adjusted somewhat this week, whereas we can submit pics that we did not take. So I thought I’d share a picture taken in the early 60’s of my mother and aunt Anna. Both have gone on to another realm; bless their souls.  To see this pic in a larger view; please visit my photo blog or click on the pic .

Sunday Afternoons After Church

Sunday Afternoons After Church

Sunday afternoons after church in the 60’s were so full of neighborhood and family values: Families and friends gathering together for Soul Food, good conversation–everyone wearing their Sunday best – so full of love and tradition. Boy do I ever miss those days. I myself often carry out the Sunday tradition; but unlike the days of old, it’s always me doing all the cooking and most of us did not come from church! Wow do I miss the days when many of the women gathered in the steamy kitchen talking trash, laughing – whilst the men, admiring their families, talked “business” in the dining room. Now I know that we’ve progressed so much from the 60’s; but some things, in my opinion, did not promote progress, but a sense of individuality bringing forth separation that saddens me. No longer do I see the community and family unity – everyone’s for self now. This, in my opinion, has caused depression, poverty, violence and a malady of social problems. So today, let’s strive to live that life of the 60’s, and bring family and community together.

Sunday Afternoons After Church ~By CordieB

Oh how I miss the days of old . . .

When family unity was the goal

Of every bright or weary soul

Oh how I miss the lost tradition

When helping hands was the mission

When we knew all our neighbor’s names

When we’d speak to all who peacefully came

walking down the clean sidewalks

stopping for friendly gossip and small talk

When neighbors would watch over the young

and everyone knew every one

when neighbors could spank that ass

for talking smart or acting fast

and then I’d get another one

after the neighbor told my dad or mom

When children still played hide and seek

When strong families always helped the weak

When unity meant what it should

and not simply another cliche’ buzz word

When fathers could not abandon theirs

without humilitation, points and stares

and of course lots and lots of old folk’s prayers

When the corner store owner lived in the neighborhood

and there was no such thing as “living in the hood”

And people usually acted like they knew they should

The Sunday afternoons after church dismissed

When family and neigbors gathered to reminice

And laugh and cry and love each other

and every one was treated like a sister or brother

I miss it all, but alas life goes on

So at least I’ll carry the tradition on

So if you miss those days, come visit soon

My home on Sunday Afternoons

~Written By CordieB

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Tall Chick Tales

A Curious State of Affairs

SpatulaHandle’s

Idea Jump!

Ivey’s Story Weblog

Just for Fun

Have a soul filled Sunday!

African-American Grandmothers ~Written by CordieB

Cordieb and BabyCocoa

Cordieb and BabyCocoa

I’m reposting this due to an interesting blog posting I read today on RawDawgB’s blog, entititled, "When the grandmomma’s gone "   Now, if you’ve been blogging with me for some time, you will know that I judge people for themselves, not based on color, religion, sex, or anything else.  But this topic is based on stats – and I’d appreciate any feedback you might offer, no matter your race, creed, or nationality.  Please be frank and honest with your opinions; however any opinion that are based on racisim or hatred will be deleted as they were on the first posting.  Peace, Light and Love . . . . CordieB. 

Why is it that African-American women tend to take care of their extended families and non-families more so than our caucasion sisters.   I visited my Aunt (who is 70+)  last weekend, and was amused, as always, at her streangth and her many stories of days gone by.  While I was there, two of her great- grand children were preparing to eat.   Now, my aunt, who is 70+ has raised her children, some of her grand children; and now – God bless her soul, she is raising two of her great grands!  These children are still in elementary school!   She receives very little assistance, –other than finacial help from her son who lives with her.    Most of the physical and emotional tolls all fall on her.  This same woman took care of my grand mother when she became too old to care for herself.  She would not have ever thought of putting Granny in a nursing home.  She took care of me when my mother passed away  (And I thank her for it).  She has taken in so many people with hard luck situations, and hardly ever complains.  But what’s so amazing about her is that she is the norm among African-American woman 50 years of age and older.  Now, some may feel that this is a myth or a belief that is not based on fact.   I made this observation based upon people whom I’ve encountered (my family, my friends)– and true enough, there are studies that show this to be true –  see below: 

Goodman and Silverstein (2001) found that compared to grandmothers of other ethnic groups, African American grandmothers were more likely to have more life satisfaction and lower negative affect. However, further empirical research has pointed to other reasons that suggest the issue of grandparents as caregivers for their grandchildren is especially relevant for African Americans. In the United States, the largest percentages of children living in a grandparent headed household are African American (Pebley & Rudkin, 1999; Pinson-Millburn & Fabian, 1996; Fuller-Thompson & Minkler, 2000; Caputo, 2001). Studies have found that compared to White grandparents who are caregivers to their grandchildren, African American parenting grandparents are more likely to be unemployed, live below the poverty line, and have more grandchildren for whom they provide care (Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Similarly, others have found that living beneath the poverty line, being African American, and being single raises the probability of becoming a grandparent who is a caregiver to their grandchildren (Roe & Minkler, 1998). Fuller-Thompson

To read the entire study, see http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/tlmills/pub/Mills%20Publications/Mills,%20Gomez%20Smith%20&%20DeLeon_Grandparents.pdf

If you read the whole report you will see that among grandmothers raising grandchildren, African-American grandmothers make up for 69 percent of the total. 

Now back to the question.  Why?  I have more than a few answers of my own, but the best one that I can give is because we are expected to. 

Now expecting a 70 year to raise an elementary school aged child is nothing to brag about–in fact it is ludicrous.  I find  this type of expectation is what oftentimes leaves whole generations without proper guidance and discipline.   Where are the mothers? God only knows where the fathers are.  What are we teaching our children when we give them the expectation that we will always be there for them and for their’s-no doubt.  How many borderline unfit mothers would straighten up if we threatened to call social services and not do the work ourselves? 

Now I know that I might pee a lot of my beautiful people off by saying this; afterall – it’s not only that we are expected, we also have those spiritual virtues of love, caring, and being responsible for others who are less fortunate. 

However, love sometimes has to be learned the hard way.  Caring means, sometimes no matter how hard it might be, we step back and let our children or friends actually pass the grade and not do the work for them.   By doing the work for them, we are making  a contribution to a new generation of ignorance and complacency.

The Bible says, give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. 

There is a difference between helping and "enabling."    Enabling is a term that I, until recently, only associated with addiction.  However, when we allow self sufficient adults to become totally dependent upon us, we are not helping them at the least.   In fact, we are enabling them to become addicted to a cycle of dependency.

We can’t stop this cycle overnight.  But we can stop it by gradually putting our foot down and not allowing people to make so many unhealthy and unloving demands on us. 

We have to again teach our children and our neigbors self-sufficency by providing tough love–that which will have lasting and significant assistance. 

Peace, Light and Love. . . CordieB