Skin Deep

 

 

It’s February, which we all know, whether you like it or not is Black History Month. I debated about writing a post like this for several reasons. Black History Month, slavery, race, the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. are very controversial topics/issues among Americans. Nonetheless, let me go ahead and exercise my First Amendment Right, FREE SPEECH.

I’m sick and tired of people asking me,”are you mixed”, “what are you”, are you foreign”. These are some of the most ignorant questions I’ve heard people ask. My birth certificate states that I’m African American but the history of my families roots is a different story and frankly, it is nobody’s business, unless I choose to make it their business. I hate when people pose the question “what are you?” I’m a human. What are you? I’m fully aware that ignoring race is a part of the problem but I can’t help but to stop and think… why does race pose such a problem and/or create such a threat?

Some Caucasian people look at me funny because they think I’m too dark to be White and some Black people look at me funny because they think I’m too light to be Black. Can’t I just be Amber? Why is it that we are so color struck despite the obvious history of our country? I truly don’t understand. I wasn’t raised to judge people based on the color of their skin, or appearances in general. I hate being judged because I’m a Black woman and it’s not always by the White community. I feel as though someone always wants me to prove my blackness, or as if I always have to validate my intelligence because of my blackness…it is exhausting.

I find it interesting that people still use terms such as “The White Man” as if the entire race of white people is still trying to oppress Black people. I understand where the term came from but come on! As a Black woman, I have broken myself from the institutionalized  chains that “The White Man” controls my every move. I will not be intimated into thinking I’m “less than” because of my Black skin. I will not be forced to feel inferior because of my Black skin. I will not behave a certain way because of my  Black skin. I will not like anything any more or less because of my Black skin. And I certainly will not let who I am as an individual be charged to who people think I am because of my Black skin.

As people, I think it is important to recognize our difference and rejoice in them.  We need to start conversations. We need to address race as an issue. We can not expect to move forward if we constantly sweep everything under the rug and act as if praising Black people for one month out of the year compensates for the years and years and years of oppression that our ancestors were forced to endure in this very country.And I speak for myself when I say this, Black people have to learn to free themselves. If the system won’t educate us, we must educate ourselves. We must learn to invest in ourselves, we have to free ourselves from the illusions that we can’t own businesses or be doctors and lawyers. We have to free and rid our children and our generation of statistics. We have to free ourselves from this mental imprisonment that we were once forced to take ownership of.

Now…I’m curious as to when we’re going to come together and create a better tomorrow for our children? When are we as a community going to unite and stop allowing these police officers to kill our babies? When are we going to unite and teach our babies not to kill our babies? When are we as a human race going to show compassion and understanding towards PEOPLE…regardless of their skin color. In case you didn’t come to this conclusion…we as PEOPLE have a lot of work to do both separately and collectively.

I’m tired of being hated simply because of my skin color. I’m tired of being uncomfortable in certain areas or around certain people because of the color of my skin. I’m tired of being told I’m acting light skin. I’m tired of being told I’m acting White because I speak proper English. I’m tired of being forced to fit into a bubble because of the skin I had no choice in choosing. I’m tired of reversed racism and I’m tired of being tugged at. I hope that one day and it might not be any time soon but one day I can just be Amber. Amber the author. Not Amber the light skin girl, not Amber the “I think, she thinks,she’s a white girl”,Amber. I just want to be Amber, not being judged by my skin, not feeling forced to prove myself in every arena of my life because of my skin and not being pressured to live up to someone I’m not because of my skin.

 

I leave you all with this question,”Can you laugh at yourself without attributing it to your race…Can you own up to good/bad habits without attributing it to your race?”

 

 

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I Love Food!

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Today I tried a new recipe that I found on Pinterest, Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats. I’ve never had zucchini so I figured this would be a great way to try it. I also really enjoy Mexican food. I’m going into week three of not eating meat and I’ve been trying out new recipes. I followed the recipe exactly the way it is except  I didn’t use cumin because I’m not a big fan of it and I also didn’t season my cilantro with salt. After the zucchini was finished baking I did a taste test. The stuffing for the zucchini was delicious but I didn’t like  the zucchini which isn’t a big shocker. I figured that I didn’t like it which is why I never tried it. But you never know if you like something or not unless you try it.

The recipe was really easy to follow and I love cooking with colors so I was pleased with the different produce that I used. I provided the recipe below in case you guys would like to try it.

In order to make the recipe you will need the following items:

Produce

  • 1 (15 ounce) can Black beans
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Corn, kernels
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 1/2 Red onion
  • 4 Zucchini, large

Condiments

  • 1 cup Salsa

Pasta & Grains

  • 1 cup Brown rice, cooked

Baking & Spices

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 Salt

Oils & Vinegars

  • 1 1/3 tbsp Olive oil

Nuts & Seeds

  • 2 tsp Cumin

Dairy

  • 1 cup Cheddar/monterey jack cheese

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by greasing a 9 x 13” casserole dish then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hallow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
Next warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt to taste to the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each half with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veggie Delight!

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Wooooo!

So if you read my previous blog you’re fully aware that I’m not eating meat for the entire month of February. So far, so good! During week one, I tried veggie burritos, salads full of different types of veggies, fruit and veggie smoothies, veggie stir fry and I even tried a veggie sandwich. I went an entire week doing pretty well. I avoided eating a lot of bread, pasta and sweets. I drank a  gallon of water every day and didn’t drink any juice or pop with the exception of orange juice. I attempted to work out but that didn’t  go all that great but I’m hopeful that I will get into a daily routine of some sort of physical exercise. All in all, I’m happy with my first week. I can see the difference in my energy and my digestive system. I’m not sure if I’ve lost any way because I’m a moron and don’t weigh myself…I digress.

Week two began yesterday. Between yesterday and today I’m off to a rocky start. I still haven’t eaten meat. Nonetheless, last night I had a small veggie pizza and yes I ate the entire thing and washed it down with a Cherry Pepsi then today I had a Sprite. Not too bad but I was trying to stay away from pop, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I still have been drinking plenty of water but I haven’t reached my gallon a day point,yet. Although the original goal was just to stay away from meat, I’ve incorporated a few additional things to avoid in hopes of maintaining a healthier and more balanced diet.

So far not eating meat or poultry has taken me out of my comfort zone, I’ve been forced to try new things. I realized that I actually may be able to be a long term vegetarian or perhaps even a long term vegan. I do miss chicken tenders but I haven’t had a dire yearning for them. Thus far, it has been an interesting journey. I can’t lie, the first few days were difficult. A few of my students were eating KFC and I found myself wanting a piece when I don’t even like KFC.  I think resisting temptation was the hardest part but I overcame the challenge. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the veggie burger I made way more than I can ever recall enjoying a beef or turkey burger. As far as saving money, I’m not sure if I saved anything but I’m get more for my buck. Groceries last way longer than eating out even if I’m spending more money on groceries it is a way better value than buying food out every other day.

Today’s overall message… You never know what you can or can’t do until you try. You won’t know if you like something until you try it. You won’t know if you can accomplish something until you try. Most things fail or succeed simply based on the way you think. Adjust the way you think and watch so many things change.

 

 

Finding,Amber!

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I know, I stink at this whole blogging gig. (Sad face) I’m not consistent enough with writing a post once a week to save someone else’s life, better yet my own. I could say it’s because I’m so busy or because work has me so mentally exhausted. But, it’s honestly because I’m not organized and because I don’t plan out my time well enough to incorporate blogging into my week. I really enjoy blogging and I hope people enjoy reading my blog, so PLEASE, PLEASE cooperate with me as I pull my life together and get myself on track. One day, I don’t know when but one day, I’ll be consistent and consistently interesting!

After saying all that let’s do this!

When I moved to Ohio I started spending way too much on fast-food, like way too much. I probably buy pizza every Friday and don’t get me started on how many visits I’ve made to Chickfila. They have the best breakfast sandwiches. Places like Marcos Pizza and Chickfila are convenient and easy, therefore they have gotten all of my coins.  I looked in the mirror the other day then looked at a picture from 2014 before I left Detroit, major difference. I’ve gained more than a few pounds. I decided to challenge myself, for the entire month of February I will not be eating meat and I’ve cut back on fried foods,have incorporated more veggies and fruits into my diet and. I’ve also been drinking more than a gallon of water everyday or at-least trying to. This has forced me to try new foods and an added bonus is that I’ve been saving money by not eating out every other day.

 I also realized that sometimes I curse way too much and that I needed to be closer to God because my life just going well or “right” with me living without God’s direction. Overall I had and have to adjust certain things about myself and my life. I started to pray to be a better person. I started to pray for my state of mind to be shifted, to have the thoughts of my imagination cast down along with an abundance of other prayers. I also started a prayer book. I literally write to God as if I’m writing a letter to my bestfriend. God has been working with me and I’m slowly starting to see myself in a different light. I’ve been seeing change within myself from the inside, out.  I’m much happier than I was a month ago or even a week ago. Yes, I stumble and have bad days. Curse words still fly out of my mouth from time to time and I still have moments where my temper gets the best of me but I’m learning and growing. My thought pattern has elevated and I’m on an entirely different path.  Everyday is a blessing and I’m excited for my journey and what is yet to come.

In closing, I would like to say this,stand strong in who you’re. Be confident in the person that you’re and do not fold because people of this world don’t understand or agree with who you’re and what your journey is. If you believe in God than trust in Him. Walk in his path and allow him to navigate your path.

 

 

 

Stay blessed!