My father grew up under a dictatorship…

My father grew up under a dictatorship in Haiti. By the time I was born in 1992, he was politically active and the Duvalier regime was dead but their legacy remained. I have memories of him hosting political meetings in our home in Jacmel and fighting for what is right. Yesterday, I stood with hundreds of people who are fighting to Keep Families Together and I told our story. We were lucky to achieve political asylum in 2000 but there are families that have escaped worse — murder, rape, trafficking — and they’re being denied entrance to the U.S. or they arrived and have been treated worse than human. Children as young as toddlers have been separated from their parents and this administration has taken on the viciousness of Andrew Jackson days. We, as citizens and people who know right from wrong, need to keep to the streets. Like John Lewis says, we have to cause some good trouble and demand humanity for every single person. Some things you can do: contact your senators, donate to Raices / ACLU, disseminate truthful information, vote in all elections especially midterms, watch the money (on Republican & Democratic sides), arm yourself with the ability to discern right from wrong, and ask political candidates the difficult questions. 🎥: Adian

I only break my heart
when memories become permanent in me
in the moment they solidify and i try to make play-dough instead of letting the movie play.

Moments are beautiful
be in them like a human should
there’s an urge to snap, to caption, but some memories are just meant to be.

It hurts sometimes
my heart breaks as i write this poem with slides playing through my mind — my stomach tells no lies.

But i only break my heart
when memories become permanent in me.

Written by: Flose Boursiquot (goo.gl/oE72rh)

The Last Lecture

Pick your secret valentine, the Delray Beach Public Library told me as I made my way back from the fiction section where I had just picked out some Octavia Butler gems.

I stopped, thought about my difficulty making decisions but quickly realized that my eyes were fixed on a small book in pink wrapping paper with a heart glued to the material. The center of the heart had three words— biography, inspirational, philosophy; three things I’m down for.

Later that Friday evening, I unwrapped the book excitedly in my room and let my fingers run across the title, The Last Lecture. I had heard of Randy Pausch and this amazing lecture from a dying man back in college, but I never pursued the book. Perhaps, the Universe feels I needed to read the powerful work now more than I did back at Syracuse University.

What do I think 

Well, I have just finished wiping tears from my eyes as I finished the 206 page body of work. It’s incredible. Although Randy was a left-brain and I happen to be a right-brain, I found The Last Lecture moving, inspiring, and philosophical in that it encouraged me to think deeply about the meaning of life, death, love, family, and all the shit I hoard in my life.

Lessons that stuck most 

I read over 120 pages of the book in one sitting and probably could have finished it all if I hadn’t made plans to take myself to see an awful box office success.

Okay, back on topic. Here are the lessons that struck me most from The Last Lecture:

  • Brick Walls 
    • Nothing is impossible. Treat the things you want as a brick wall, you might not be able to jump it today, but work yourself up to make that leap.
  • Don’t think about it too much 
    • What other people think about you is none of your business, live your life.
  • Be honest 
    • Lies always come back to bite you whether you know it or not, so stay honest.
  • Communicate 
    • Talk directly about your needs and be willing to listen.
  • Materials don’t mean much 
    • If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So what if your car has a dent or two, does it do what it is meant to do — then why spend money on vanity. Clothes come in and out of style, don’t waste so much money on a wardrobe.
  • ‘No’ isn’t an answer unless we’re talking about consent 
    • When you want something don’t take the first or second no, keep pursuing it — it’s like the brick walls.
  • You can lead a positive life 
    • You can be a left-brain like Randy and remain a positive human. An even more important point, you can be diagnosed with terminal cancer with months to live and still live life positively. Be a Tigger not an Eeyore. 
  • Watch how you spend your time 
    • Plan your day and watch how you spend your time. You can accomplish so much in this life, all your childhood dreams, if you spend your time strategically. Maybe cross a Netflix series off your list and work on pursuing one of your dreams.
  • Fundamentals matter 
    • I got a C in calculus in college despite how hard I worked because I never learned the fundamentals of math — don’t be like me. In whatever field you find yourself, learn the fundamentals otherwise you’ll always be playing catch-up.
  • Let your children dream, question, and write on the wall 
    • Don’t stifle your children. Encourage your kids to dream and when they want to do something get inquisitive with them.
  • Take care of your needs first 
    • You cannot do what you are purposed to do if you allow others and the things you encounter in life to drain your battery. Charge up then worry about everything else.

Although the above are what struck me most, all 206 pages offered insight. Randy wrote The Last Lecture after delivering his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. The book and lecture encourage us to live out our childhood dreams and leave a tangible piece of himself behind for his three young children. It’s clear that Randy is in love with Dylan, Logan, Chloe and his beautiful wife Jai. It brings him great grief knowing that he won’t be around to live out the life he and Jai dreamed — that tragic realization and Randy’s openness about crying in the shower or how he and Jai cling to each other in tears is heartbreaking.

Despite all of that, I leave the book knowing that Jai, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe will survive (and have, since the book was published in 2008) without Randy in the present form but will carry pieces of him as they journey.

The Last Lecture begs you, the reader, to answer the following questions:

  • What is important to you? Are you working toward achieving it?
  • Are you living a logical and positive existence?
  • How are you doing on accomplishing your childhood dreams?
  • If you had to give a last lecture (no matter what field you’re in), what would you leave behind?


Ineye: Her Afro is a Crown of Knowledge and Unity

Ineye Komonibo & Friends

There she is, Ineye Komonibo (pronounces in-NAY-yay), a gorgeous carefree woman. She is standing on the far right in this image with two of her college roommates. All three women wear their hair out in huge afros, are dressed beautifully, and wear accomplishment on their shoulders with the same strength that they carry their black skin.

This image is floating in the virtual Twitter world with over 11 thousand likes and eight thousand retweets. Under it, the caption “the carefree black longhorn grads who ‘stole’ your admission #StayMadAbby.”

Thieves. How could these three women be thieves.

“I posted the picture [with that caption] because it was amazing to hear someone say that black students—not Latino, Asian, White—but that black students are not capable”

That someone, Abigail Fisher, the young woman who does not want race to be considered in college admissions, because her sub-par academics didn’t get her into the University of Texas over black students.

“It’s a form of psychological terrorism to tell black students that they are not enough.”

Terrorism. That’s a big word. Ineye is not shy to use it, because the way she sees it, the American education system is “fundamentally anti-black and black people constantly have to prove themselves.” Every single day when a person of color wakes up, they walk the streets in a society that “does damage to their psychy.”

Abigail Fisher is not an anomoly, she is a small part of a larger system that Ineye believes in anti-black.

Unfortunately, Ineye isn’t dreaming up an anti-black world, even U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia partakes in psychological terrorism. Justice Scalia speaks the same language as Abigail Fisher. In his eyes, black students are not ready for university education at a place like the University of Texas, which is where Ineye received her undergraduate degree in Public Relations with a minor in African American Studies, they belong in “lesser universities.” You’d think this U.S. Supreme Court Justice has enough knowledge to know that America has a pretty bitter history of giving black people lesser treatment, but here he is quoted in The Guardian backsliding.

Ineye doesn’t just have a say about the serious stuff going on in American news, like Affirmative Action, she also dabbles in social media sensations. Before we get into that, I’d like y’all to get to know Ms. Ineye Komonibo some more!

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The recent University of Texas at Austin graduate is 23 years old and from Houston. Ineye describes Houston as an international community with a strong Nigerian population. She herself is Nigerian, but in the last couple of years has adopted a black radical identity.

“I’m at a very interesting place in my life where my perspective about a lot of things turned out to be wrong. Anyone familiar with Nigerian culture knows that it is patriarchal. We are socialized from a young age to see the world in a specific way,” she goes to describe her upbringing as very conservative. However, a couple of years ago, Ineye experienced a shift.

“I realized that I was black. That as a woman, my gender is something that can hinder me in society. I realized that a lot of people are oppressed.”

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Ineye describes herself as the kind of person people get tired of, not because she’s always hyped up on sugar, but because she’s very conscious of oppression and her mind is constantly at work—she’s the kind of person who is “super aware.”

“I’m Nigerian, but I am a black feminist. I’m a Christian, but I believe everyone deserves rights. My parents, sometimes, I think they get tired of hearing me talk about race and sexism.”

Earlier, I mentioned that Ineye partakes in what some would call social media hype.

About two weeks ago, Ayesha Curry sent out this tweet:

Ayesha Curry Tweet

Since then, the social media world has been afire. Some women support her modesty, while others feel that she is shaming other women for choosing to show more skin. Men, for the most part, have praised Ayesha though their reason for uplifting her may indicate more implicit thoughts about a woman’s body, sexuality, and the male gaze than we think.

What does Ineye think. Well, here’s what she shared on Twitter.

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“I’m cool with Ayesha Curry. I think she’s awesome,” she goes on to discuss that Tia Mowry is among the list of woman who have shared sentiments about modesty being sexy. What struck a chord about Mrs. Curry’s popular tweet is how she phrased it. “There was a tone like ‘I like to do this for MY man and y’all other HOES could do whatever,’ That’s fine, you have a husband. But, as a woman, it is your job to support all women.”

Those comparing Ayesha Curry and the Kardashians aren’t on the same team as Ineye, because she’s about supporting all women in the skin and life that makes them happy. Really, Ineye feels that we all should be able to live freely.

“When I think of an ideal world, I think of a place where people are allowed to be different. A world where people are encouraged to exist in the way that they are. A situation where people can exist happily. Imagine a world where everybody acknowledges that we are all different, but decides to worry about other stuff, we would become a giant machine ready to change the world.”

Keep up with Ineye on Twitter as she works for change @eyekomology.

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