Searching

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Who am I? 

I know what I like to do. I know what makes me happy.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses, but what is the driving force behind the very things that define me?

I’m a daughter, a sister,an aunt, a student and a writer, but in the end none of these things define who I am. They add substance to my being and they contribute to who I am, but still they do not define my identity. I believe that who we are goes far beyond what we like to do and the titles that both ourselves and others label us with. Defining who we are includes how we treat others when they can’t do anything for us, how we act when we’re angry, who we are when people aren’t paying attention, and a variety of other things.

Discovering who I am has become a priority, but it is my opinion that self-discovery is a virtue and not a  destination. As we grow and as we change, we define and re-define ourselves. It is important to remain true to our character as we do so. Character is the foundation of our moral and mental qualities. I want to find and understand my purpose. I want to exude positive vibes and live up to my own metrics of success. I want to break down barriers of who I thought I was and focus on personal growth and new experiences.

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I complied a list of things that I believe to be important in finding yourself:

  1. Understand past events that have helped shaped you into the person that you are presently.
  2. Distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others.
  3. Find your confidence.
  4. Overcome bad habits and forgive yourself for your mistakes.
  5. Organize and prioritize your life. Put things in perspective.
  6. Remove pressures created by the rest of the world.
  7. Question yourself and the world around you.
  8. Be courageous. Understand that failure is apart of the journey.
  9. Lose yourself to find yourself, in the words of Gandhi.

 

 

“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

-Danielle LaPorte

Don’t Shoot

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If you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or simply watch the news, I’m sure you’ve heard about the killing of yet another unarmed black man, Alton Sterling.  The officers were caught on video by civilians in Baton Rouge. The video shows the two officers killing Sterling in cold blood. Sadly, this is probably another one of those incidents where the legal system will pull an excuse out of their ass as to why the killing was justified. Within the first three months of 2016, police killed 250 UNARMED people. What has been done? In most cases, nothing.

I can’t justify whether the police were TECHNICALLY right or wrong in the case of Alton Sterling,but time and time again it is proven that police apprehend black suspects completely different than white suspect.

As an African American Woman I feel like I have a target on my back. I know that all police officers aren’t racist and all police officers aren’t going to shoot without just cause, but they don’t come with warning signs on their foreheads. “There aren’t bad officers just bad people with badges”, as Dr. Jesse Jackson III stated. Whenever I see a police officer behind me in traffic I get nervous, not because I’m doing anything wrong,but because I don’t have to be doing anything wrong for them to pull me over.

Let’s discuss a few facts and statistics:

Education

Education is suppose to be an equalizer,right?  African  Americans are twice more likely than Caucasians to not finish high school. It is also more difficult for African Americans who graduate from college to find a job compared to Caucasians with the same level of education.

Legal System

Let’s say a Caucasian man kills an African American and an African American man kills a Caucasian man. Both crimes were committed in the same manner, in the same state. The Black man is more likely to be charged with felony murder. Black youth are also more likely to get charged as adults than White youth. But, White privilege doesn’t exist, right and the justice system is equal,right?

I hate walking into a store and being followed because the owner is under the assumption that I’m going to steal because I’m Black. I hate being spoken down to because people assume I’m not intelligent because I’m Black. I’m tired of working ten times as hard to earn something that was just handed to someone because they are White.I’m tired of being scared for my life because I’m Black. It’s almost as if Black people are being hunted. We get harassed if we’re in certain neighborhoods because people think we can’t afford to be there because we’re Black. We get pulled over and searched simply for being Black.

I try to tell my family members, friends and social media followers not to harden their hearts to an entire race of people. I try to keep people uplifted, letting them know that we can’t harden are hearts and exhibit hate. It is important now more than ever to pray for one another, to look out for one another and to speak up for ourselves and for others. In case you haven’t realized by now this is why the movement #blacklivesmatter is so important. Not because our lives are more important than others, but because they are equally as important and we do not deserve to be shot down in the middle of the street like dogs.Our lives matter because we are HUMAN-BEINGS. I would also like to add that while I understand that we need to highlight these meaningless killings, I do not agree with making a video of HOMICIDE go viral. Have we forgotten that people like Alton Sterling have children and family members?  While police brutality and these deaths are no secret, I don’t believe that we should sub-tweet,re-tweet, Etc these gruesome videos in respect for ones family.

April 30, 2014: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee)
July 17, 2014: Eric Garner (New York)
Aug. 5, 2014: John Crawford III (Dayton)
Aug. 9, 2014: Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson)
Aug. 11, 2014: Ezell Ford (Florence)
Aug. 12, 2014: Dante Parker (Victorville)
Nov. 13, 2014: Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland)
Nov. 20, 2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn)
Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland)
Dec. 2, 2014: Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix)
Dec. 30, 2014: Jerame Reid (Bridgeton)
March 6, 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison)
March 31, 2015: Phillip White (Vineland)
April 2, 2015: Eric Harris (Tulsa)
April 4, 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston)
April 19, 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore)