Mommies in Black and White

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Category: Vulnerability (Page 1 of 5)

The Loving Supreme Court Decision: Love and Marriage 50 Years Later

 

photo credit: Andersen Designer Portraits

 

Some of you might not know about Virginian trailblazers Richard and Mildred Loving. They were a mixed race married couple that battled the law barring interracial couples to legally wed. On June 12, 1967, The Supreme Court ruled in their favor. They were married during the height of the Civil Rights Era. They were two simple people who loved each other, but with odds stacked against them. I have always admired their courage to fight for marriage equality.

When I met my husband we had just graduated from college. We started as friends, but progressed to more. We received puzzled looks and pushback from ‘friends’ and some family members. We also received dreaded questions like, “How did you two meet?” Or, my favorite (insert eye roll), “Were there any black men at your college?”

Oddly, people would look at us and think there was added competition on both sides. At first I felt that I had to prove to outsiders looking at our relationship that I’m proud of my blackness eventhough I was in an interracial relationship. Through the need to constantly prove ourselves, confirm our identities and field troublesome and often hurtful questions, we grew to appreciate each other even more. And, we found ourselves with more courage to speak up to “haters.”

With the support of our family and true friends, we’ve continued on with life. We have a happy marriage of twelve years and two strong boys. As I reflect on our interracial marriage in this country, I see us not as trailblazers, but beneficiaries. Grateful to people like the Lovings, who paved the way for us… so that we could marry our best friend without fear.

Our family is just like every other. We want a strong foundation. We want to raise our family in peace and harmony. We wish not to field puzzling questions or push back. Although this is often the case.

At the end of the day we truly believe that people come into our lives for a reason. These are the people I put my trust and energy into. People that have strong opinions against interracial marriages are not worth my energy. And, no, we are not past this. I see and feel it every day.

I know we are not alone. There are thousands of interracial married couples who face the same challenges and obstacles. I found two articles that speak to this very topic including Loving Day, a celebration of that pivotal supreme court decision. Both are very powerful. I encourage you to keep reading and keep reflecting.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/06/12/npr-interracial-marriages-face-pushback-50-years-after-loving

http://www.10news.com/news/national/loving-day-celebrations-mark-50th-anniversary-of-legal-interracial-marriage

Valarie Kaur Speech: An Opportunity to Listen, Learn, and Reflect

Immigration is HOT right now. As a blog written in half by an immigrant we are extremely in tune to the rhetoric and current cultural conversations related to the topic.

We don’t speak to every issue, every story, or debate. We try not to judge or spread hate or disrespect by attacking others’ perspectives or ideas. We do, however, encourage our readers to listen, reflect and learn…about each other, about diversity, about ways that you can engage and make a difference in your daily life by being an informed, open and compassionate person.

The video below is a passionate perspective from one side of the immigration debate. It’s worth watching because it provides insight into a life experience, a reality that you might not truly understand – unless you’ve lived it. Jebeh has lived it. Her experience was her own. It was emotional, challenging, heartbreaking and exciting all at the same time.

Every time I listen to Jebeh and open my heart to her experience, I learn and I grow. Every time we can see, truly see the world through someone else’s lens, we become better. We become smarter, stronger, and more empathetic people.

So, I encourage you to watch, to listen, to grow. I encourage you to see an immigration story through someone else’s lens.

WATCH: Valarie Kaur Speech

 

Gratitude in turmoil: Finding peace in a time of uproar

10 Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Life

(photo by David Wagner)

 

 

 

 

 

Again, it’s been a while. The pace of life and daily demands continue to get in the way of writing. But, it doesn’t get in the way of reflecting. I reflect daily, when something doesn’t sit right. When a comment, smile, nod doesn’t feel right or when I notice something beautiful. Practicing reflection takes conscious effort and I don’t always get it right, but I’m trying.

The last month has been charged. Politically. Socially. Spiritually. We all feel it. I’ve watched friendships disintegrate on Facebook. I’ve watched constructive conversations go terribly array. I’ve watched news cycles turn into churning critiques, filled with frustration, fear and bitterness. Once again, many feel helpless, powerless, and disheartened.

It’s not new – this social uproar. It may feel HUGE right now and it is. But, social uproar can be a catalyst for change. For bringing pivotal issues to the forefront. It forces conversations to be had out loud, in vibrant tones. Conversations that may otherwise have been had behind closed doors or in hushed voices.

I’ve sat with all of this for a month now. Watched highly intelligent and passionate people articulate so eloquently their points of view. Watched others rage in fear, pain, and dissolution. I felt it all. Every bit. Every comment. Every heartfelt plea.

I felt it and this is what I want to say. Don’t give up. Reflect. Daily. On the joys in your life, the friendships you’ve built, the passionate, intelligent people around you. See the good – on both sides (of the aisle, issue). Speak up, respectfully. Do good, daily. Our ability to break down the BIG things into small daily reflections and actions will make change.

Regardless of your political or religious affiliation, this season brings hope and light. It’s a time of reconnecting with family and friends. What we also need to remember is it’s a time of respect for and reflection about our true place in all of it. A time to be reminded of our humanness and the humanness of those around us.

Perspectives and passions may differ, but our job is not to change others. It’s to LISTEN to others. To SEE how they see. Only by seeing what others see, feeling what others feel can we truly understand them. In doing so, we build compassion and also insight that can help us share ourselves and our own views more authentically.

My hope is that we can all find a little peace in this tumultuous political and social environment. That we can reflect daily and be grateful for the opportunities we have to connect with others. For me, this past month has required mindful reflection to find gratitude in turmoil and peace in a time of uproar.

A Thank You Letter Leads to a Powerful Gift From J.T Brown

JT Brown Jersey

This past February I posted a Thank You letter to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s right winger J.T Brown. Much to my surprise, my post went viral. Mr. Brown himself even reached out to our family. He sent a very heartfelt and inspiring letter to my sons. His words of courage and understanding in the sport of hockey will continue to guide my children.

J.T Brown also sent our sons autographed jerseys because, as he said, he is their fan as well. My boys were so excited that J.T Brown sent them a letter and jerseys. Our oldest exclaimed, “I can wear this my whole life time!” My husband couldn’t help but to point out the irony, “Leave it to my Liberian wife, who hates the cold and has zero experience in hockey to connect with a professional hockey player.”

Pure Joy #JTBROWN

Pure Joy #JTBROWN

In Liberia we say, “Sharing your blessings with others will come back to you and the generations after you.” J.T Brown, your generosity to our family will bless your family for generations to come. You’ve made this Liberian Hockey mom proud beyond measure!

God Bless,

Jebeh

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