Dissecting Intersectionality

Last night, I attended an event in Houston, Texas called "The Black History Project 4 - Change The Narrative". This event was held for all people within the African diaspora to come together collectively to share their thoughts, ideas, and solutions in regards to the black experience in the United States of America. There were 3 topics, but the first topic (and the one that interested me the most) was "Intersectionality". 

What exactly is intersectionality you might ask? Intersectionality (according to the pamphlet I was given at the program) is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping, and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. 

And if all of that was a mouthful, I completely understand. Please see illustration below. (This was also on the pamphlet but I found it on google.) 

intersectionality illustration

So in terms of intersectionality, the discussion was of course how it pertains to people of color. The topic got pretty heated really fast. We talked about the LGBT community, and how their issues always seem to be overlooked in the black community, which I can definitely agree with. And then we got on the topic of black women and feminism and womanism in which is what I essentially want to discuss on this post. Until this event, I had no idea what "womanism" was. The way panelists attempted to explain it was very vague for me, but I wanted to know more about it because I truly do not understand it. From what I could gather, womanism was created because the feminist movement was intended only for white women. So of course I googled. What I found was that the term "womanist" was coined by Alice Walker. She spoke of this in her book, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose which I plan on sinking into when it comes in the mail. To learn more about womanism as a whole, Progressive Pupil has a pretty good write up about this. But my question is: why do we need both words? Up until this event, I considered myself a feminist. (I mean, Beyoncé does why shouldn't I?) But now I feel like, will I be considered as not being for black women in the overall black movement in general if I don't refer to myself as a womanist?! This is hella stressful. 

in search of our mothers' gardens book cover

Then I came across an article put out by the USA Today discussing intersectional feminism. Which is basically the definition given above for intersectionality, but now only applied to women. A dissection within a dissection. Super weird right? It has some great points that I resonate more with. This article was published after this year's Women's March, and it brilliantly articulated why all women need to be included in the overall feminist movement. To me, this country is divided AF as it is. Why continue as black women to keep disconnecting ourselves from issues that affect all women overall? America is waking up, and to me that means that we have to come up with solutions to be included in the same space. Yes, I do agree that some white women are ignorant to (or choose to be rather) issues of women of color. I know shit won't happen overnight, but I truly believe that we need to continue to educate everyone on the importance of equality. Why do some white people feel like they'll lose power or feel threatened is beyond me, and honestly another topic for a different day. But I think I'll stick to the word feminist. In no way is that to dismiss what Alice Walker essentially created for the black woman, but I feel that we cannot come together as people if we remain divided. Some things I truly believe we distance ourselves from. 

What do you think? I'm willing to have a civilized dialogue about this matter. Please leave a comment below or leave a comment on my social platforms.

*p.s. I am in not referring to Black Lives Matter when talking about feminism. It's still Black Lives Matter over here. All lives will not matter until Black lives do. Just putting that out there for anyone thinking me wanting to be all inclusive for feminism was mutually exclusive of the ridiculous All Lives Matter movement.

How Deep is My Love?

Love. It's a funny thing. It's a beautiful thing. It can also misunderstood. Me and love have been on one hell of a rollercoaster... And I still choose to love. 

Love for me has taught me so much. I have learned that if it hurts, it was never love because love is unconditional. Love can come in many forms. The Greek gave us 4 types: Eros, Storge, Phileo, and Agape. We all possess these 4 types, but we tend to lean more towards one than the others. For me, that one is Agape. 

Agape means that you possess an unconditional love that sees beyond the surface, and accepts people... flaws and all. Even when we don't like someone. (Tuh.) It is said that this type of love is all about sacrifice and giving as we don't expect nothing in return. It's a committed and chosen love. 

For the longest time I could never understand why I always loved this way. As many times as I have had my heart broken; I still wanted to love. Over time I have learned that there was nothing wrong with me loving this way, but I also learned that not everyone is worthy of my love. In the last year or so, I have been carefully selecting who is worthy of receiving my love. Whether it be romantic, or platonic. 

I'm proud of me. I'm proud of my love. I love myself, and I have room in my heart to love someone else. From being with someone that loved me that I didn't love back, to being in a verbally abusive relationship that wasn't love at all, to being with someone that I loved deeply that didn't have the heart to tell me that they were gay, to being with someone that I loved and had to learn how to love more gently only to find out they were only in love with the idea in their head of me... I'm grateful for these experiences. For they have shaped how I love today. My love is not bitter, nor boastful... my love is pure and genuine, and overflowing. I'm so happy that I am able to love and be love. 

To all the lovers out there, single or not, I love you all. Self love always comes first, then comes the rest. Your love shall be effortless. Whether it be Eros, Storge, Phileo, or Agape. 

Happy Valentine's Day my loves. More posts to come. (Yes, I went on a hiatus.) I'm back now. For good. Got a whole lot of loving' for ya too. Stay tuned. <3

 

 

27

 

Today is my birthday. But for a while now, that has been nothing special to me. I don't expect gifts, cake, a Facebook comment; none of that. Each year that passes by I take the time to reflect. Has anything changed? Will this year be better than my last? Am I happy? 

I've noticed for the past few years that the things that used to matter for me don't anymore. This year my birthday fell on Mother's Day, so not that it mattered to me but the focus wasn't going to be solely about me anyway and I am perfectly fine with that. I find myself now looking for genuine people that want to spend quality time with me. Right now, I only have a handful of people that I can do this with, and really they're all I need. While I spent my birthday with my family, I was ready to go home and be by myself. More often than not I am alone and I kind of like it this way. 26 for me wasn't really my cup of tea, but I will say that it made me a lot stronger. I learned a little bit more about myself in depth. What kind of shit I would tolerate and what I absolutely would not. All shit is not created equal you know? With that being said, my tolerance for certain things are very low. I know exactly what I deserve and I will not put up with things or people for very long once I find out that they're full of shit. And I've always been this way, I just figured out faster whether or not I would put up with things. I finally got my brand going so that was the highlight of being 26 for me. I'm still adjusting, but I'm happy to be on this path. I know that I will have so much greater in store for lovekdot so ya'll stay tuned! 

27 doesn't really feel that much different from being 26 given that this isn't a milestone age. But I have definitely grown quite a lot and I'm loving myself more and more each day. Through the good and bad of it all... I know I'll be just fine. 

Final Four Houston 2016 x Kendrick Lamar

 

The first weekend in April the NCAA Final Four games were held right here in my hometown: Houston, Texas. While the games are exciting, events like these bring out some major celebs to the city.

The moment I found out K.Dot (Kendrick Lamar) was going to be performing I knew I had to be there! He's one of my favorite rappers at the moment and not to mention we share the same nickname. Lol so I let my friend know to clear her schedule so we could go. She was down! This event was FREE. Like… whaaaaat?! So I already knew we needed to be there as early as possible because Discovery Green was about to be packed like Houston has never seen it before.
I wish I could show y'all how incredibly packed it was! As soon as Kendrick came out the crowd went CRAZY!

Below are some video clips from the show and a few pics. The energy there was so amazing, I'm not sure if this will do it justice! Nonetheless it was an experience I will never forget. This was an awesome show and I'm so happy I got to attend! 

Spring Tingz

 

Spring has finally arrived, and that makes me super happy because I'm a spring baby! Spring is the best season not only because I was born at this time, but also because everything kind of in a sense is reborn as well.

You have these plants that have been dead all winter that come back with so much life and it's so beautiful. It's a time to refresh and renew. People "spring clean" their homes to clear out clutter and make room for new things… and so on, and so forth.
I realize I have not written in a while, and I can explain. I had not been in a good mental space. Every time I had an idea for a post, my mind would get all cloudy and I couldn't put my words and thoughts together. I've mentioned in my very first blog post that I live with anxiety and depression. And while I'm definitely in a better place, I still fall into pockets of depression, or I get anxiety about things. It definitely wasn't a good feeling and it was holding me back. I actually have had a draft blog post sitting in my drafts for a month now. It was about this very thing. My depression and how I was feeling. I want to get the conversation started about talking about it more but I couldn't find the right words to say what I was experiencing. I don't think I'll post it at this point, but it is still in my drafts.

But anyway, I wanted to post and say that I'm doing so much better and I did a mini mental cleanse. I "spring cleaned" my brain.
Contrary to popular belief, this black chick right here loves nature. Being outside for me I've learned that nature really helps better the state of my mental health. And I should be in nature as often as possible. This past weekend after an impromptu iPhone shoot with my friend Rex, I decided to go to the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens here in Houston. I go places alone a lot and often times it's the best thing for me to do. This was my first time at this place, but it won't be my last. I absolutely fell in love with all the greenery that surrounded me. Everything there was beautiful. From the garden, to the people there taking their family photos, it was a great place for me to sit and absorb this wonderful atmosphere.

Last week was an anxiety week for me where my car got vandalized where I live. I live alone, and so my anxiety went through the roof after that day. I couldn't sleep, and I had really bad chest pains. So for me to decide to go to this garden… that was the best decision I had made for myself. After I left the gardens I had a sense of clarity that I haven't had in a long time. My ideas started coming, and I was able to organize and make sense of them.

m glad spring is here. It was time for me to renew and refresh my mind. For my sanity. Sometimes we get so caught up in our minds that our brains can't function. I hope this post encourages someone, even if it's just one person, to spend time with just you and nature. You just might find that peace of mind that you were looking for.

To: You, Love: Me

 

Happy Valentine's Day loves! Obviously today we're gonna talk about love! Even though this little day has become a huge part of our mainstream culture and it's all cute and fun, a lot of people fail to realize that this is a made up holiday.

Each year, millions upon millions of people break their necks and bank accounts in attempt to make someone else happy. Our society has made us believe that if we don't do/give something for our loved ones on this day then somehow we are not worthy of their love. Although I realize this tradition of St. Valentine's Day will never die, I wanted to talk about the value of love.

Now well I may not know all there is to know about this 4-letter, yet complex word, I do know that you cannot put a price on something that's real. We do not need a day to remind us to love somebody! The person that you have chosen to love should know everyday that you love and care for them. Love is not materialistic. Buying someone a huge bear or store bought chocolates inside of a heart does not mean that you love them. While it can be a nice gesture, it says absolutely nothing.

Aside from this mini lesson about us Americans and our love for materialism, because… capitalism… I want to also stress the importance of self love. I truly believe that any kind of love starts from within. That's right, it starts with YOU. Loving yourself is the most crucial part of having the ability to love others. Without self love, love as you know it will cease to exist. If you're one of those people that can't seem to be alone you've got a huge problem. Spending time alone is the best way to get to know yourself and what you love. I believe it is crucial to our sanity as humans. While you may be a social butterfly, take time to yourself so you don't get lost in doing things because of someone else. This goes for whether you're single or with someone.

If you're single right now and feeling mad bitter about today we've got a problem. Being single is the best time you have to find yourself and love you! So what everyone is posting photos of where bae took them, or what they got them? What's it matter to you? Don't find yourself alone and sad that you do have someone to do Valentine's Day with. Do something for you. Log off of social media so you won't be tempted to either hurl or curl up in a ball and cry. Instead, make your favorite dish, watch your favorite movie or tv show, read a book you've been meaning to pick up, meditate, take a luxurious bath, etc… just don't sulk in sadness ok? Doing what you love to do over and over again will make you happy when you're solely focused on it. And, it makes it even sweeter when you do find someone because you can now share these things that you truly love with them.

For those of you with someone, realize that a healthy part of any relationship is time apart. Even though you love this person, you must be able to maintain your individuality. Otherwise, the relationship will be hard. Don't be surprised if it fails. All those things you did that you loved when you were single, still find time to incorporate that into your daily routine. Time apart truly does make the heart grow fonder.

Past experiences have taught me a lot about what I now know about myself and what I have shared with y'all today. I spend quite a lot of time alone, and I've come to appreciate this aspect of myself. Depending on someone else's presence is draining and can often indicate that you need to take some time alone. Each relationship, platonic or romantic, needs your individuality. Taking the time you need for yourself is what will keep the love of those relationships going.

I hope that these things give you enlightening peace today. Remember not to give into materialism, and to love yourself so that you can love somebody else.

Proclaimation -Houston

Last weekend I attended the flyest party I've ever been to! So many beautiful people were in the place! If you don't know, Solange has an online publication called Saint Heron. They posted about this event, and without hesitation I purchased myself a ticket! Solange hosted the event, and while you couldn't get to her because she wasn't taking photos, you got to see her just have a good time along with the people surrounded around you. It was magical! Be sure to follow the Saint Heron page on Instagram so you can know if Solange is coming to your city next! It's a party and night you won't want to miss!