Tag Archives: reading

Your Morning Routine: The definite deal-breaker and habit-maker.

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So I’m not coming into this post as one who is an expert NOR knows what she is doing. I am coming as a concerned professional and creative, who is worried about her inner thoughts and ideas that have been flushed out by the day-to day priorities of life.

This hit me one morning when I woke up 2 hours after my alarm clock. When 25 minutes was the only thing that kept me from being at work, and yet I hadn’t even moved out of bed yet. It was after I became a ninja and hopped out of bed, threw clothes on, and sprinted out  of my house. I sped down streets and cut through corners saying to myself, how do we get here? Something definitely had to change and I knew it was my mornings.

As a tired (literally) snoozer and procrastinator, I began looking up morning routines and the things that people do to prevent ninja mornings like the one that I had myself. I was extremely surprised to find that the most successful folks are ones with solid morning routines. That people usually use mornings to work out, meditate, and figure life out in the wee hours of the mornings. And here I am, still wiping the crust out of my eyes at my computer screen.

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SO I changed, for the better. I didn’t say it was easy, now. But I began waking up early. And when i discovered the joys of waking up simultaneously with the sun and listening to the newness of the morning, I was sold.

Morning routines are crucial. It is time that you have with yourself before the world enters in and takes you for the storm of the day. You know, the “let me tell you what happened last night” texts, the 9:30am conference calls, and of course, the  demons that try you each and every day. Morning routines are the moments to reaffirm your position in the world and motivate yourself to get through properly.

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And for my fellow creatives: what are some things you would like to do that you don’t have time to? you don’t even have to tell me. Those mornings will definitely allow you to get to work on some of those long term projects.

Whether you take 10 mins to drink your morning coffee at home and reflect on the doings of the day, or if you want to journal your thoughts out, I truly encourage you to find that happy place. It not only helps in the morning, but it also gives you something to remember when you are having a rough day. Take it from a snoozer, who used to crawl out of bed and believe that everything was going to be alright.

 

Have a morning routine? Tell us what you do! Don’t have one? What are some things that you might want to accomplish during those morning hours?

 

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Book Review: Our Black Year.

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“..because you are dealing with a Black people who are inflicted with their own sense of inferiority.”

Maggie Anderson tells us the small story of feeling frustrated about the economic conditions of Black people. She wanted to make a change. And she did. Deciding to take a huge risk with her family, The Andersons decided that for the next year they would only purchase and support Black businesses. What does that look like? How is that even possible? Our Black Year is the record of their results. Her findings are not only ludicrous, but they also shed light to the biggest elephant in the room: Black people lack capital, which correlates to the oppression that we suffer from every day.

It is obvious that when we need to think about the Black dollar, and how much we are suffering from the lack of investing in our own products, businesses, and communities. This book proves that we have a stronghold on spending power, yet we barely own anything. Strange, right? We have the power to keep designer brands and corporations in business, yet we can’t find ways to fund our own businesses properly.

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Things like leakage, gentrification, urban planning, impoverished neighborhoods, and domination of other ethnic businesses are all discussed in the book for the plight of economic empowerment.

To sum, a very impactful paragraph slapped me in the face:

“These cold realities – that buying from businesses in Black neighborhoods doesn’t necessarily work, that so few Black-owned establishments have shortcomings—become clear in the early days of The Ebony Experiment. Uncovering the reasons why [the experiment] would take longer.

Despite a few points of privilege that needed to be checked (in my copy of the book, I definitely marked and scratched a few of her ideas) Maggie’s experience of simply buying Black for an entire year was filled with many emotional, physical, and mental roller coasters.

With dense research and great references, it is clear that Maggie finds herself torn between the facts and her actual opinion. I noticed that many of her personal statements were contradictory towards the facts that she presented about the state of the Black community and the lower class. I think this distinction is also important in understanding how people can disagree with the how’s and why’s of our institutional state of, well, lack.

I won’t give too much of the book away, because I am URGING folks, as usual, to begin to think about their financial future. This book is definitely a great start to begin to get your mind going about the economic state of the Black community.

Gonna leave you guys with one more gem:

“How will history view this generation of African Americans? Will they say that we had it all, that we made headway in corporate America and in the legal and educational arenas, but we earned our individual success and left our neighborhoods for disrespectful outsiders to raid? Will they say that we sold our history, potential, dreams, and destiny in exchange for the comforts of suburban life, shunning our own entrepreneurs and professionals, and treating them with condescension? Did we squander our chances? Fail to deliver on so much promise?”

Happy reading!

Beloved: Week 1 Synopsis.

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This past week, we finally kicked off our reading and discussion, and we must say that our first dialogue was a success! The best way to dive into the beginning of a great book! Breaking down themes that were clearly noticeable and helping others to see different perspectives was definitely needed and we wanted to highlight some things that we did discuss, along with some ideas that we didn’t. We also have some tweets for reminding and acknowledgement!

Points to remember:

1. Morrison’s common theme in this first segment is a plethora of emotions around adversity. Desperation, grief, guilt, isolation, evil, heavy, sad, lonely, rebuked, etc. All these words lay the groundwork of how unfortunate our scenes are set, but in fact very powerful. 

2. Each theme or unsuitable situation is not only a reflection of the book’s time period, but the reality in our current events as well. Trauma from slavery, gender issues, motherhood, Black womanhood, truth-telling, spirituality, etc also bleeds through the world we live in today. 

3. Denver’s character is very interesting to observe. Not only does she manage the Beloved spirit in the house, but she is the realist in Paul D’s and Sethe’s relationship, along with the after effects of Sethe’s parenting. 

4. “Its not evil, just sad.”

5. “Anything dead coming back to life hurts.”

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Things that were not discussed:

Each week we have a small segment of something that was not mentioned on Sunday. This column is very important to us, as it attempts to shed more light and perspective to the book, providing us with a new angle in understanding the text. 

The Symbolism of the Chokecherry Tree

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Photo Credit: Kelsey Otocki

We read in the text about Sethe scars on her back being her “Chokecherry tree”. Could this depiction of a tree be symbolism of the family baggage that she carries throughout “Beloved”? Besides the flashbacks of her experience in Sweet Home and the casual talks and conversations about Baby Suggs, could each scar have a meaning behind Sethe’s real story and truths? Moreover, can the idea of taking off the tough shell (her clothes) to reveal the horrible past and her current situations be the rhetoric behind the Black Woman and the reason for the pain and suffering in the Sethe character? What do you think?

Stay tuned for our sunday discussion followed by another synopsis next week covering our second portion (68-124 in hard copy, 97-205 pdf version) of Toni Morrison’s Beloved!

 

 

Prose Poetry.

It Occured to Me One Rainy Afternoon,

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Upon hearing the singing of a bird,Maybe the question is the purpose.
The questions that crowd my mind, begging for my attention.
Perhaps my purpose is not
in answering them,
but living them out.
Here Is one:
Why do birds
sing?
I have been struggling against this wind.

Perhaps, it is that
they never cease to sing.

Neither rain nor night nor snow
Can keep them silent.
It is a brave species that will stand against the Night and
sing a song.
Perhaps,
a bird knows there is glory in his singing.

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Glory starts small.
It grows, like an ocean wave that God braids. And we are all stringed along like hairs in his palm.  Glory starts small, pebble by pebble are the questions we are patient enough to live,
in a world that demands
answers.
We breathe the questions unanswered.  We wear a glory unseen. Then it will be us who sing the song. Like the bird who knows true glory, we will give true glory.

End of Summer Reading!

“Meeting the minds through the medium of literature.”

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For the month of August, we will be reading and debriefing Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. This book has been said to synthesize the the identity of the Black women in the South in the early 20th century. Zora Neale Hurston was a phenomenal writer during the Harlem Renaissance era and her books are still best sellers throughout the United States. This month’s book is too not only get into the politics of self-identity of the Black women, but for males and females to understand the plight of self-control and struggle through the African American experience.

We will begin the discussion, right on this tab next Monday, August 12th on the first chapter. This gives participants to go out and get the book and begin to embark on Hurston’s craft!

Time is ticking!  We aren’t getting any younger! Lets stay informed and read!!!!