Saturday, November 26

"Adventing" :)

This is going to be my 1st year observing Advent. It's something I didn't grow up doing probably because I didn't grow up in a "traditional Christian" home, but I am excited to experience this season in a new way, which I guess is an old way...I just haven't gotten into it ever, until now.

I think more than anything I want to do the opposite of what the world influences me to do. From Thanksgiving through Christmas, everything around me feels like hurry up, sugar rush, bright lights, discounts, excessiveness in the midst of emptiness. With Advent (which I like to think of as a baby shower for Jesus ;p) I just want to wait and listen. I don't know what that will be like, cause I talk a lot and get things done along the waiting and being silent is not "me", but here I am entering into a new kind of everyday.

Thursday, August 11

Keep Shining...

much love to my hermano, Milt, for sharing this with this track to death.

theme song for my soul.

Wednesday, August 10

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl...

So proud of this crew and excited about this project! I started supporting and watching ABG in early July, and today just saw that they raised $20,000 over their goal!! Really hoping this show makes it to a broader audience!

Check out the kickstarter video here and how the series began:

My 2 favorite episodes (so far...)
The Icebreaker

The Dance

Friday, August 5

Black Best Friend.

i love this video. i can relate to not always meeting the "black friend" expectations,"gurrrrl...".

Tuesday, July 5

Friday, May 13

Louder than a Bomb.

I saw "Louder than a Bomb" -this week with a friend and one of my was crazy powerful, and really impacted me.

One of the most powerful pieces (out of many) was Lamar's piece, "...The Shooter." This clip is not from the documentary, but I was so glad that I still found it good.

I really love all the students they featured in this film...go see it! for real.

Wednesday, April 20

in the student newspaper this week...

So I was interviewed this week by a student regarding the Kobe Bryant incident:

Something else I spoke to the reporter about was how interesting it is that we have a basketball player who gets fined $100,000 for using the "F-word" toward a referee during a basketball game...yet the Westboro Baptist Church is protected when they use slurs during military funerals. With their signs that read, "God Hates F---" and their digusting protests during the funerals for the brave, young people who sacrificed their lives for our country, the Supreme Court, "our" Supreme Court does not hold them accountable for their hate...for their words:

This world is funny...and by "funny" I mean stupid.

Saturday, April 9

explain yourself.

The only thing worse than being singled out, questioned and treated like a suspect, is when I have to watch it happen to the young students I work with.

That was my night tonight...

Friday, March 25

"That can't be God..."

Tim Wise is an anti-racist educator and author from Nashville, TN.

I went to see him speak on Wednesday at Pacific Lutheran University with some friends and with my supervisor (yeah, she's a great boss).

So, Tim shared a lot of powerful information, history, truths and personal stories.

One out of many stories he shared that I appreciated most was this one...

Here, Tim Wise talks about addressing race with his young daughters as they watch "Evan Almighty," where God is played by actor, Morgan Freeman.

He talks about the impact of racialized images in our society, specifically, the common racialized images of God and what that communicates.

Wednesday, March 16

The journey to Maya Angelou...

In 2008, Maya Angelou came to Seattle. I was so excited, and I wanted nothing more than to see her...but tickets were I passed.

Fast forward to Dec 2010 - Maya Angelou is coming back to Seattle...this time it wasn't about whether I wanted to go...I had to go. And how crazy was it that when I called the box office, a few days after tickets went on sale, there were still front row seats available.

I had it in my mind, that some guy from Boeing, Microsoft, or some fancy schmancy Book Club would have acquired the entire front section by this point, just because it was Maya...but the seats were still open and after freaking out, asking the guy on the phone how long he could hold the seats, emailing friends, facebooking friends, calling friends, running around my office to see "who's coming with me?" and freaking out again...8 friends and I were able to get a group rate for the best seats at The Paramount to see Dr. Maya Angelou.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I had to be there. It was even better to know that I could share this moment with so many good people in my life who loved Maya too.

My first exposure to Maya Angelou was when I was about 13 years old through 'Poetic Justice'... I had never heard someone describe a black woman so creatively with so much beauty, elegance, and strength. As I heard Janet Jackson quote Maya's 'Phenomenal Woman' piece, I thought, I need to get to know who this writer is. This is so different than anything I've ever heard.

After that, I began to write and read poetry, and learn about other writers on my own because they were never mentioned in school. Poets and writers like Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes and Rita Dove...

Maya's words, her influence, her brilliance opened up a new world for me, it was very magical for me at that age.


So here I am, March 14th 2011, 30 years old...going to see Maya Angelou in Seattle...craziness :D!

Her presence made the city warmer, more colorful...And yes, I definitely noticed an increase of people who looked like me walking around downtown Seattle...the crowd was diverse and different, and I loved it.

After meeting with friends, happy hour, taking photos, passing out tickets, watching an usher's funny facial expression when she found out we had front row tickets, running to the bathroom and two great opening acts...
I am at my seat, and Maya is introduced...

...the curtain raises, and there she is smiling in red. I am caught between a scream and a cry..."I LOVE YOU MAYA!" and then some silence...some shock, I sit down and start crying...this is so corny...but I was really like a dream to be there and to finally see her.

She began singing, "i shall not, i shall not be moved, just like the tree that's planted by the water, i shall not be moved..."

One of the first pieces she shared:

She does not know her beauty, she thinks her brown body has no glory. If she could dance naked under palm trees and see her image in the water, she would know. But there are no palm trees on the street, and dishwater gives back no images.

Throughout the evening she moved in and out of sharing her poetry, the work of others who inspired her, stories about history, faith, family, community, travelling...and all of this while making us laugh, reflect, and stay captivated.

She is 82 years old and lovely...I was so amazed by how she was able to memorize so much work and so much knowledge:

Terence Afer (A freed slave who became a playwright in Rome)
- she quoted him, "Nothing that is human can be alien to me."
and how powerful it was for him at that time in history to proclaim, "I am a human being."

- she told a story about how the words of this poem got her son through a painful surgery: "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." How these great works belong to all of us. This was one of the 1st poems she taught her son...

And she was so playful, and wise...
She joked about how she is trying to be a Christian and is really working at it. How amazed she is whenever, someone sticks out their hands and says "I'm a Christian." and she thinks, "Already?" It's like trying to be a good friend, trying to be a parent, or trying to be a lover. You work at it. It's not something you achieve and then sit back and say, "I got it now, I'm cool."


There's so much more I wish I could express, it was an incredible experience...

I am beaming and inspired.

That's all, for now.

Monday, March 7


My friend, Courtney Nikki sent this spoken word piece to me this morning...I watched and listened in awe, in joy, and with so much gratefulness that this was communicated so creatively.

it's redeeming, it's spiritual...and it's so dope.

Sunday, February 27

Talking about race: the Louis C.K. learning tool

I am preparing for a workshop with students this week on white privilege.

After students learn about white privilege, sometimes they feel discouraged, and ultimately wonder how they should respond to the reality of racial issues and privilege.

This is why I am thankful for people like Louis C.K.

Whatever gifts you have, use it to discuss (not ignore) these issues, educate yourself and others, change your world, pursue justice...and if you're funny...if you keep it real, you'll always get the respect of the band.

For J. Berry

Tonight, after briefly watching the Oscars and noticing the irony of Lena Horne's tribute...I was encouraged by a friend, "J.Berry" to update my blog.

Lena Horne was beautiful, talented and a trailblazer for people of color in Hollywood - In a time of "ridiculously evil" segregation and oppression, she was the first African-American actress to have a major studio contract. This was almost 70 years ago...

During tonight's Oscars she was paid tribute by Halle Berry, who was the 1st African American actress to finally win "Best Actress" 10 years ago in 2001...

"She opened doors so we could have our place in the sun..." said Halle Berry.

Yet, there was no place, no sight of any actor, writer, producer, director of any race other than white, who was nominated.

A New York Magazine writer noted, "While speaking about Horne's career, Halle said, "that was a very different time in Hollywood." ...Well, Not different enough."

The lack of diversity at the Oscars isn't just a coincidence, or another complaint that people in the majority wish others wouldn't notice or talk's a symptom of something bigger...something that we all wish would have been over by now.

The irony of the tribute was followed by a "We are the World/Disney" style finale by a diverse kids chorus from New York City. They sang "Over the Rainbow."

The lyrics, "why, oh why can't I?" echoed in my head, as I am hopeful that Hollywood will reflect more stories, more diversity, more acceptance.

This is a gift that many people take for granted when they always get to see people who look like them reflected constantly and consistently (on television, movies, magazines, etc.)

The effect communicates something...are we visible? are we valued? are we wanted?

We shouldn't have to wait another 10 years for a sign of acceptance and equality in Hollywood...and when I think of actors from more ethnicities who are underrepresented (Asian American, Native American, Latino...)
I cringe...and then I hope even more.

Oscar Nominees 2011 (click to enlarge - one guy on the right, but

PS22 Chorus - They Performed for the Oscar Finale