New Life Old Soul (Why I Took A Break)

Rest set and reflect. Something I needed much time to do.

Have you ever felt as though you were losing yourself? As if you are trying your hardest to hold on to the pieces of yourself that keep you going. Like you’re looking for ways to salvage what your reflection use to looks like. The feeling of losing ones self in some cases may be what triggers depression and anger issues. When you are losing yourself it feels as though you do not have control of your life; like everyone wants a piece of you. Or like everyone is holding on to the old frame of what use to be you. To lose yourself is to become a robot; carrying the same routine day in and day out with little to no capacity for self. We begin to slowly back track reverting to old ways. In some cases we become stagnate because we fill stuck; trapped with no where to turn. Each of us go through a time in our life where we fill we are suppose to chase something. Whether it is money, fancy items, the latest trends, fame, or all of the above. When do we reach a point where we realize this doesn’t make us who we are? How can we treat ourselves to nice things and “quality” living without falling in the materialism trap of what seems to be “normal”?

Each time you start a new chapter you are destined to fight to save yourself once more. As you shift in income you being to run after more money. You want to make sure you keep the steady income maybe even work harder to see little increases here and there. However, this wasn’t my problem. My problem was fighting to not compromise myself for the sake of keeping what was steady, normal, and secure. I felt myself embarking on a new curve of my spiritual journey; one that would test my breaking point. My fight was not with money, materialism, or temptations it was with conformity. We are often asked to remove layers of ourselves to let others in all while keeping emotions dormant. We are asked to over extend ourselves to make others comfortable. Wearing a mask in society is a normal day to day thing. Little do we know we become that mask and slowly our true self is forgotten. All because we no longer have the capacity for self.

*How much do I love myself to carve out as much time for me? That is the question I ask myself.*

As you set boundaries for yourself to protect your peace others become angry. The more comfortable you become with yourself the more uncomfortable you make others. Mask are pulled back and the truth of others will show.

My decision to take a break was a slow and gradual process. It was a must for me to pull back slowly but surely. I felt as though I was losing a grip of my peace and I wanted to asses the issue little by little. I had become very sensitive and vulnerable to the negativity around me. I found myself uneasy and in tears. I was not easily worked up  however irritability and frustration was close to second nature. I gradually became uninspired. Some days I didn’t feel like doing anything. Taking small escapes is what kept me going. Because I felt myself slipping away I would force time in to read and write so that my creativity wouldn’t fad away. However, it felt like every time I found a groove something would happen to lower my frequency. I began to pull away from people, activities, and actions that didn’t align with my values or morals. In this I created space for my meditation and yoga. I carved out a little more time that I had for writing; it wasn’t enough……… My heart craved more, my soul was heavy, and my mind wondered. While at work I found myself day dreaming about what else was out there; drifting to a space where I was doing what I loved to do. I dreamed of being in a space were I was appreciated and valued for being my true authentic self.  I wasn’t in a good head space. I realized there were times I questioned my intuition and my sacred connection. That is when I knew I needed more of a push. It was time for a radical act of self love.

For a while I had been putting into the universe that I wanted to further my knowledge and master my craft. I planned and set up a time line and the opportunity presented itself when I needed it most. Taking the leap of faith I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training. Everything that I knew was confirmed and life slowly came full circle. It wasn’t until I took a week to disconnect I realized I needed silence. No phone no social media just nature and endless adventure. My soul was happy and I was surrounded by nothing but love in it’s purest form. After connecting with nature and stepping out of my comfort zone I felt it was only right to take that time for self. I carried that with me and realized I needed to extend that period of silence. I wanted to experience the silence in stillness as well; no adventures just stillness with self. I needed time to shift my perspective and focus on the present moment. I had forgotten why I embarked on this journey back to self. Because of this I needed to remember my purpose and honor my journey. Honoring your journey allows us to honor our pace along that journey as well. To honoring my pace I needed to take time away from outside influences. I often felt it was a race instead of a tribe of people making a difference. As I focused my energy on being lighter my time at work became lighter. Once Hurricane Harvey hit I was forced to bring the self care aspect back into my life; something I desperately needed. Being in an environment where the energy and mindset is scattered or weird can drain a person mentally, physically, and spiritually. During the hurricane I had time to up the doses of self love and care. I meditated and recharged myself; reflecting on myself in every way was healing to my soul. During the hurricane I spent much needed time outside. One day while it rained I allowed myself to take a walk in the rain. As the rain rolled down my flesh it felt as though every drop was cleansing me. That day I gained clarity and started to goal set. I knew my perspectives were shifting however I didn’t know in what way.

I quit. The shift was to take another leap of faith on self. To resign and dedicate myself to the path that is carved out specifically for me. Scary? Yes. Nerve wrecking? Of course. However, it is so worth it. There comes a time in our lives where we will be tested. We often times confess to the Most High that we want our universe to shift. We speak things into the universe that we wish to manifest in our lives. We do this without expecting to take action ourselves. When we ask of anything within the universe it is expected of us to do the work that is required. This is how we grow; it is necessary to take leaps of faith on ourselves. Trusting our intuition is trusting our higher self our soul that guides us which is directed by the Most High.

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose 

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Constina’s Boutique & Design

Constina’s Boutique is filled with beautiful authentic clothing and much more. The boutique makes you feel like family the moment you visit with them. Their pricing is very reasonable and there is something that caters to every style you could imagine. I had the opportunity to shop with them at an amazing event and I was in heaven. I love the fact that everything is often an one of a kind piece with the exception of a few things. Therefore it is few far and in between that you will cross paths with someone that has on the exact same outfit as you. As vendors they were so personable and they pulled out all the stops. The owners are such beautiful souls and their shop reflects just that.

Both tops you see featured below have a loose fit that allows for comfortable movement.

You can shop with Constina’s Boutique at:

11333 Fountain Lake Dr; Stafford, Texas 77477

or visit their Facebook and Instagram here

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Dressed By: Reggae Bodege and Constina’s Boutique

 

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Dressed By: Constina’s Boutique
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Dressed by: Constina’s Boutique

New Life Old Soul

Are You An Old Soul?!

Do You Feel Like An Old Soul?!

When looking up the term old soul it is rare that we come across a concrete definition of what that term really means. We often hear the term at a very young age when we are called an old soul. Elders say it with sense of pride as though they are giving you a bage of honor. Referring to our effortless ability to hold good conversation and listen attentively as they tell stories passing on wisdom. As we look up the meaning of an old soul list come up that describe what is to be one.  The description consist of; you are very wise and spiritually in tune. Often times introverted and withdrawn from the materialistic way of living. Urban Dictionary also gave a brief definition of an old soul.

A spiritual person whom is wise beyond their years; people of strong emotional stability.Basically, someone whom has more understanding of the world around them. Some people even believe an old soul is a person whom has learned from past incarnations, or lives.

We are told time and time again that we are “Wise beyond our years”. Others may go out of their way to tell us it is almost as though we have been here on this earth before. However, we never truly knew the extent of what that meant until we were old enough to be fully aware of our actions. To be an old soul is to be unapologetic in your authentic self. We put thought into everything we do to insure we are remaining true to our self.  As we grow older we can probably think back to the many times being wise got us in trouble. For example constantly asking “why”. In being an old soul; as a child we never went about the conventional way of doing things if we didn’t understand. “Because I said so” wasn’t enough to convince us of anything. Even though we would get in trouble for asking too many questions we often got our answers one way or another.

We always knew from an early age there was more to life. The status quo often bores us due to the fact that we may feel trapped in a box. When we find ourselves confined to the beliefs of others we feel compelled to break free.We are fully aware of our divine right to be authentic in every way.  There is something deep within us telling us we have the ability to create the life we have always wanted. Fulfilling our purpose is always in the forefront of our mind.When in a box we are aware we are forced to repress our souls cravings and our hearts desire. Aware we are placed in a rat race to create competition or conformity; we consciously seek deep meaningful connections. Because of this some of us may be drawn to a none materialistic way of living. Our hearts may desire the freedom to travel the country or even the world to experience other cultures and their way of living. We acknowledge there are many perspectives within this world and we are driven to explore those views. Everything within the universe is full of life. Everything that has life has a purpose to serve. In being old souls; wise beyond our years we often feel the need to assist the universe in healing to rise back to it’s full potential. Feeling compelled to assist the universe in healing and raising the conscious level; we realize this is more than a feeling it is a purpose. The gift of purpose comes with the perspective to see that everything is connected. Everything is connected by energy because everything is energy. Energy has a divine order which can not be destroyed.

Being an old soul may consist of holding space for others as an listening ear. Often times called an empath; we relate to others and their experiences because we are very sensitive to energy. If we can not relate we are able to feel their emotions on a soul level. Because of this people are drawn to us and often times feel comfortable enough to vent about  anything. Old souls, empaths, indigo children, etc are all titles and labels that have pretty similar meanings.  The titles often refer to those that have a higher energy frequency. With those frequencies comes a sensitivity to others energy and emotions. Your energy level allows you to have a aura or energy that transforms negative or stagnate energy into something positive. However, everybody has a different experience; although we may experience similar moments. It is hard to compare each persons spiritual journey. Many of us may feel older than what are from time to time; causing us to feel the need to rush through life. We all have a purpose to feel and rushing the process causes us to forget the purpose and 9 x’s out of 10 miss the purpose. Being spiritually inclined we often feel as though we can not relate to others. We are often introverted until we warm up and get to know people. Often labeled a loner however it is normally not the case. We enjoy meaningful conversations and/or being out exploring what our surrounds has to offer. We are happy with our own company doing things that intrigue us. When we do hold space for others it is for meaningful, memorable, and adventurous fun. Old souls may be seen as the “odd ball” in many cases. Although we can adjust to just about any setting as long as at the core we do not feel out of place deep within or the need to compromising who we are.

The truth of the matter is everyone including old souls are unique in many ways. To compromise who we are to fit in is not the name of the game for many old souls or etc. Becoming a better version of self is what drives an old soul and enjoying the many gifts of life. Because it feels we have a second chance in many instances self growth is at the top of our list. Knowing there is more to life than meets the eye; stagnant is a direct reflection of what we do not wish to become. Because of this we often need to rest and reflect. Something I needed much time to do.

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose 

Why Meditation?!

When we take a look at social media, the magazines, and our TV’s  we see that zen is in.  Everyone is talking about yoga and meditation as if it were a new fashion trend. To some it is just another fad while to others it is a way of life. Nonetheless, people are looking for alternative ways to fight off the stress of day to day life and more; and meditation is in fact one of them. But why? Why is zen in? I started meditating as an extension of my yoga practice. I chose meditation as a way to calm my anxiety and anger. I realized how much smoother my days went by in college as I deepened my practice. I was able to set intentions for the day and in that I become more focused. I noticed I was more involved in my school work and how my grades improved along the way. Aside from me retaining information better inside the classroom and outside; I am more in tune with my emotions. I noticed how I responded to situations as well as why my emotions change through out the day. Creating that mindfulness assisted with being less reactive; forcing me to express how I felt and why. Allowing room to pick and choose my battles. In meditation I realized I am able to take ownership of my mind, body, and soul. Yoga and meditation is what I thank for my knee healing as rapidly as it did also. Yoga and meditation has become the cure for any ailments that I may have that doesn’t require medical attention.

Meditation by definition is vague do to the fact that there are many different approaches to meditation leaving room for many interpretation. However, meditation is holding space for yourself. As we hold space for ourselves we  begin to create more space by clearing space. Meditation is simply focusing on our breathe.  As we focus on our breathe we allow our thoughts to come and go with each breathe. In doing this we create awareness of the mind without interacting with our thoughts directly. Connecting the mind with the breathe allows us to connect with our body’s as well as bring everything in sync on a soul level. In this awareness meditation becomes a lifestyle due us becoming more mindful of our actions and reactions. When talking about meditation many assume to meditate you have to be seated only. Meditation can be in movement as well; yoga is meditation synced with movement. There are yoga practices that challenge us to place a movement with each breathe we take. Meditation can also be dancing. When we sent an intention to use these practices as meditation it is done.

*Well how do you I begin meditation?*

I am glade you asked. You begin mediating by creating space for yourself. What does that mean? It means carving out time for yourself; which is the hardest part. Once we have carved out time for ourselves we can meditate anyway we want. You can meditate laying down, in cobblers pose ( sitting Indian Style), in the shower, or even in a chair. There is no right or wrong way to meditate; as long the focus is on breathe. Many may choose to use crystals, incense, and/or essential oils to add on to their meditation practice as well. When meditating it is all about what resonates with you. In finding what resonates with you, you being to experience the many benefits of meditating.  Let’s look at some benefits of meditation:

 

To read more visit www.yogagreenbook.com

Beginners Guide To Meditation ( 4 encouraging tips to know)

When coming across those who have a pretty consistent meditation practice we often think, ” They make it look so easy”.  Seeing people who have been sitting for what seems to be long periods of time and the aspect of a quiet mind; may have us wondering how do you do that? The secrete is you can do it. We often times here people say I want to get into yoga and meditation but I ________.  Preceding the big but is normally an excuse as to how hard it may be, it is tied to a religion, and/or they can not focus for a particular amount of time. Many of these things are merely limit we have placed on ourselves. We are here to help you strip away those limits with 4 encouraging tips you should know before giving meditation a try. Consider this a little beginners Guide to Meditation; giving you some tips and tools to make your practice a little easier.

Too read more visit www.yogagreenbook.com

 

 

 

Can You Blame Them?!

We all desire to be understood in one capacity or another; if not understood we have a right to be respected. Often times we feel as though being understood is a sign of respect. However, we can agree to disagree. Meaning, we may not understand where one another is coming from but we respect each other for standing for something. Well what happens when we encounter individuals who do not want to understand us and do not respect our perspective at all? Do we get angry? Engage in throwing low blows? Why should we do anything of that nature? When sharing information with others that may go against their experiences it is without a doubt a sensitive conversation. It doesn’t have to be; yet it is because we are passionate beings by nature. But, we can not be angry with those who do not understand and  may not want to .

There comes a time when we have to take ownership and pride in our path. And often times that means turning off the noise of others. When people share their opinion it may be out of doubt, fear, their experience, or feelings. Turning off the noise entails not carrying it with us and having tunnel vision. This may lead to a lonely road for quite sometime; we may feel as though no one understands us. We may even question ourselves as to why we are on this journey. Having a moment of confusion is okay; digging deeper is always needed in these moments. When we find we are closer to the life we knew always existed it can also be scary. Living a life that makes us happy can be scary. We begin to doubt ourselves knit picking at certain things; maybe even questioning is it real, is it possible, and “what if’s” begin to form. We remember things people have done and said to us; comparing ourselves to others. Often times we can be our biggest critics and enemies all by overthinking. In moments of change and isolation compassion for self is a major key. It is a major key because we are unlearning and relearning. Some of us are entering into the dark night of the soul, others are in that moment, or some of us may be at the end of the tunnel. When evolving having self compassion for self while others may not understand you is the healing component. No, it is not easy. It isn’t suppose to be easy but it is worth it. We allow ourselves to have a clean slate and take on our fears and challenges head on. Finding your voice and purpose is the gift; the light at the end of the tunnel. In that you find you need zero validation from anyone.

Someone who needs zero validation from others is often seen as a threat. * What!!* Yikes. The reason being is due to the fact that the social structure may be at risk. That person is seen as a rebel.  One rebel may inspire or encourage another person to be themselves as well; perhaps causing them to question why they haven’t been true to who they are all along. Before you know it dynamics have changed and others have shifted their perspective as well. Many of us are afraid of the light because it shines the brightest on the truth. However, when we find our light we begin to love ourselves. Own our truth allows us to take pride and joy in all the things that we love. And in those darkest moments of our life we can find a way to make it through things that aren’t as enjoyable. We remember we are the light we have allows been seeking because it is within us; that is when we begin to free ourselves. Those who may not understand us may not want to or they simply can not process it. Often times those two mindsets go hand in hand. Can you blame them?! In being angry with those who do not understand us we discredit our own journey.  We have all been in the same exact place before we embarked on our journey back to self.  This makes us all hypocrites to some extent due to the fact that we have changed. What set us aside from a hypocrite is admitting that we have all been there before without judging others. We have all come from “nothingness” we just woke up. In this we are free to speak our truth and love others from a distance if need be. Learning from our journey gives the gift of compassion. So, can we blame them? Yes and No.

Yes, we can blame them due to the fact that there are too  many sources of knowledge to be completely in the dark. However, many people are not completely in the dark. As humans we choose what we want to receive as knowledge dismissing what we can not completely wrap our minds around. This is because of our upbringings, belief systems, and society. With that being said; no we can not blame them. Although we know we should not dismiss nothing but rather question everything.  Many have not fully grasp that concept. Being able to question things requires uncomfortable conversations. In those conversations we have to be open, willing, and able to pull back layers of ourselves and question why we think the way we do. This process can be uncomfortable and scary. It comes with the reality that we have to let go of things and people that often times we are not ready and willing to give up. Can we blame them? Sure, with compassion. * What does that even mean?!!* Agree to disagree and continue to do you. Over time we see who our true friends are. Those who accept you for you and keep a respectful relationship. Compassion eliminates judgement and leaves us light. Eventually your opinion and/or perspective will be wanted. Those are the moments when we speak truth to power.

 

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose 

The Revolution Has Come by Robyn C. Spencer

 Although the text is extremely well written and easy for the non-academic to read, Spencer fails to adequately discuss the most important term in its title: gender. Some attention is given to women in the BPP but the text does not give a voice to the women in the Black Panther Party. Writing the text through the lens of a Black women would have made this text applicable to disciplines such as Feminist Studies and a growing interest in Black women’s studies in local communities. With the author being a Black woman, the silencing of Black women’s voices is not only unacceptable, but depreciates the value of the text (as far as the title is concerned) and leaves the reader unsatisfied.

         As someone interested in organization development and management, texts such as The Revolution Has Come are necessary to push Black institutions’ toward a more radical and communitarian framework. For many, the Black Panther Party has served as an example of what a militant framework might look like. Robyn Spencer eloquently depicts the militant activism of the BPP by charting their historiography in Oakland, California. In her 2016 text The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland Spencer, Associate Professor of the History Department at Lehman College, utilizes manuscript collections, interviews, FBI records, and organization records to illustrate the political influence of one of Black America’s most radical organizations in the latter 20th century. With special emphasis on internationalism, Spencer argues the BPP in Oakland had a “commitment to making linkages with the revolutionaries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean [making] it one of the most effective ambassadors for Black Power” (Spencer, 3). This text also establishes the blueprint for revolutionary thought in Black political consciousness.
Spencer writes her text specifically to activists and community builders grappling with incorporating the legacy of Black Power in today’s Black Freedom Struggle. She asks her readers “What does Black Power have to offer in the context of drone warfare, deepening poverty, unemployment, immigrant detention, and a criminal justice infrastructure that is an engine of destruction in Black and Brown communities?”—all questions that can be directed to social justice organizations of the 21st century (Spencer, 5). Chapters one and two paint a geographical landscape of Oakland while providing insight to the community concerns that birth the BPP in Oakland. Spencer makes a point to highlight the academic genius of the BPP explaining the theories and world views that birth Black radicalism in the city of Oakland. From the identity crisis of the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense to the Sacramento incident, Spencer’s thorough research illustrates the developmental challenges of being a radical organization in the 1960s. By the close of these chapters, the BPP shifts in the consciousness of the reader from an all-black wearing, gun-toting troupe, to a group of Oaklanders promoting humanitarianism and dedicated to preserving their community (the complete opposite narrative most people have of the BPP).
Chapters three and four further transforms the BPP from a “local organization to a mass movement” while exploring the extremities of covert state-sanctioned harassment (Spencer, 61). These chapters dissect BPP coalitions and discuss the significance of increasing diversity in membership that ultimately, lead to political repression. These chapters also make a point to illustrate the flaws of historical figures such as Huey Newton. Readers obtain a comprehensive depiction of this Black leader and visualize him in human form. Activists and community builders can stop touting historical Black leaders and understand the importance of the good and the bad aspects of Black leadership. Lastly, chapters five and six bring the BPP into its demise revisiting the challenges of the BPP’s development. Spencer focuses on ways the BPP dictated community control—schools, health clinics, newspapers, and new relationships with the church. But, despite this hard work and short lived thrust into local politics, the BPP ended in 1982 with the close of the Oakland Community School.
Despite not digger deeper into the women of the movement, the reader does walk away with the ability to re-imagine radical organizing. Coupling this text with The Revolution Will Not Be Funded by Incite, can give readers a new and contemporary critique of ways “humanitarian” efforts have been co-opted by the non-profit industrial complex. Spencer’s text serves as a great precursor to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded because it explores the demise of the last radical organization in the Black Power Movement, the era immediately preceding the boom of the NPIC. The Revolution Has Come is extremely beneficial to the emerging field of Organization & Management Theory, as well as History, International Studies, and the Social Justice/Human Rights fields. The Revolution Has Come is also a very timely text given the current political condition of the nation. It seems as if every day, activists are being targeted for stepping outside of the boundaries of conservative advocacy. Spencer, with the evidence and history of the Black Panther Party, has given us the keys to imagine ourselves outside the realm of conservative community advocacy. Activists and community builders have the ability to learn from the mistakes and glorify the successful measures of the BPP. All we need to do as a people is follow in the footsteps of the BPP: keep the community first, create national and international coalitions, and trust in the power of unprecedented mobility.

 

Jalyn Gordon

Afrocentric Organization adviser

To order book press link below:

Spencer, Robyn C. The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

Sojourning for Freedom by Erik S. McDuffie

Sojourning for Freedom creates “new” history and new perspectives of Black women that epitomizes them as the trailblazers and warriors they rightfully deserve to be.

     To many African-Americans, Communism has long been associated with a domineering government, McCarthyism, and fear. Miniscule comprehensive information is given to readers regarding how Communism relates to their cultural experiences. Eric McDuffie’s Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Feminism provides a detailed account of the achievements, struggles, and significance of Black female Communist warriors and their often discounted contributions to the black liberation movement. McDuffie utilizes personal papers, civic club records, historical papers such as The New York Age, The Messenger, and the Atlanta Daily World, and interviews to argue “the Communist Left provided a theoretical and empirical template for appreciating how the international Left served as a key site where black women in the United Stated forged an innovative radical black feminist politics during the early and mid-twentieth century” (McDuffie, 3).  McDuffie’s text seeks to recover and define “Black Left Feminism” – “a brand of feminist politics that centers working-class women by combining black Nationalist and American Community Party positions on race, gender, and class with black women radicals’ own lived experiences” (McDuffie, 3). Bringing light to lesser known Black Left Feminists, such as Louise Thompson Patterson, Thyra Edwards, and Grace P. Campbell, and the triple oppression they faced from black men and members of the CPUSA, this text serves as a “conceptual framework” to the identity politics of Black Left Feminists during the twentieth century (McDuffie, 3). McDuffie has several intentions for this book. His first goal is to illustrate the Black communist woman’s relationship to Black radicalism during the Old Left Period. He also aims to define the Black communist woman and how she influenced feminists of the 1970s and 1980s. Lastly, McDuffie emphasizes the familial, mental, spiritual, and internal pains Black women endured as activists in the communist movement.
The Sojourners, the Black Left Feminists McDuffie honors in his text, not only predate, but also craft many of the ideas associated with black feminism of the 1980s. Claudia Jones’s 1949 essay “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman” is a pinnacle accomplishment of Black Left Feminists that includes several arguments made by later and more known feminists groups such as the Combahee River Collective. Claudia Jones essay outlines the “triple oppression” black women face regarding race, sex, and class during the Cold War era. This triple oppression permeated majority of the grassroots efforts led by the Sojourners during the twentieth century. Through literary works such as Jones’s essay, Black Left Feminists sought to force their visibility not only to the CPUSA and the white population, but their black male counterparts as well (McDuffie, 167). Jones’s theory of triple oppression would later evolve into Kimberle Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality in the late 1900s. McDuffie characterizes the work of these specific women as “community feminism”. One can appropriately utilize Ula Taylor’s definition of community feminism to describe McDuffie’s Sojourners. Taylor contends community feminists are “women who may or may not live in a coverture relationship [. . .] their activism discerns the configuration of oppressive power relations, shatters masculinist claims of women as intellectually inferior, and seeks to empower women by expanding their roles and options” (Taylor, 64). These women continued to break barriers with their activism engaging in activities not commonly paralleled with women: from joining men in the stepladder circuit to leading “The Revolt of the Housewives” demanding the prices of meat decrease (McDuffie, 40 & 1). Through these heroic acts, Black Left Feminists served as examples of progressive leadership in their communities while disrupting power relations and demystifying gender roles. Additionally, their communities included more than the inner city of Harlem. Black Left Feminist leaders traveled internationally, broadening their scope of community to include everyone who believed in their values and were willing to fight for their cause. Trips to Spain and the Soviet Union, in some cases unsupervised, illustrates the determination of the Sojourners to expand the opportunities for women, even outside the United States.
McDuffie’s text introduces critical concepts and perspectives in the ever-evolving and fluid Feminist discourse. The integration of community feminism, black female radicalism, and “oppositional consciousness” are all relevant to current black socio-economic movements. With an increase in coverage of police brutality and focus on identity politics in the LGBTQ community, black women and their struggles are often lost in both academic and community liberation efforts. Sojourning for Freedom provides not only historical context, but action-steps black women can take in their own communities to increase political visibility and efficiency in activism. It is particularly essential that scholars utilize each other’s definitions to create consistency and validity in theories and definitions. McDuffie’s integration of Ula Taylor’s definition of community activism increases his text’s scholastic relevancy and the ability to cross-reference feminist strategies in future research. While the research for this specific text is very thorough and highlights several unknown Sojourners of the Communist movement, it leaves readers wondering what other unknown Sojourners lie in the crevices of historical movements. McDuffie suggests there is always a group of people who serve as outliers in every movement and new research must be done to bring them to the surface. This fact highlights why there are few texts on the subject of black female communism or communist movements. Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro: A Documentary History by Walter Howard brings light to a smaller subsection of this text concerning Black Communists involvement in the Scottsboro Boys case. Black Internationalist Feminism: Women Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995 by Cheryl Higashida can serve as a complementary text to Sojourning for Freedom, however, contextually, there are few texts that focus on Black Left Feminists.
The biographical information and the level of research it took to develop the lives and work of these women for such an extensive amount of time, is much appreciated. Biographical sketches assist readers in contextualizing the actions and thinking of an individual in a much more comprehensive lens. With Feminist scholarship on the rise, McDuffie’s biographical sketches add historical context to the characteristics and work ethic of Black Feminists. Feminism does not belong to a certain ethnic or racial group, a specific portion of the world or socio-economic status.

 

Jalyn Gordon

Afrocentric Organization adviser

To purchase this book please click link below:

McDuffie, Erik S. Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.

YSF Catering Co.

If you are looking for a good home cooked meal on the go or catering for your next big event look no further Houston. YSF Catering Co. is a Black Owned Business with quality food and customer service. YSF Catering Co. puts their heart and soul into every meal that is prepared. I have had a great experience ordering lunch from this wonderful establishment. The food is exceptional and the service is nothing short of family vibes. You have the option to pick up your food if you stay near or you can have it delivered personally to you home or work place. All forms of payment are accepted and YSF even adjust the order to fit my none pork or beef life style. All in all I support YSF 100% and look forward to ordering even more delicious food.

Immediately after graduating from Lamar University with a B.S. from the Lamar culinary program Zoia Taylor started the business with her partner Jamilah Thompkins. I have had the pleasure of attending college with this beautiful soul and order a meal or 2 myself. YSF Catering Co. will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary December 6th and they aren’t showing any signs of stopping.

For Order Vist Their Facebook Page here.

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Naturotica

 

I’ve had the pleasure of ordering from Naturotica numerous times and the consistency keeps me coming back for more. All of the products I buy are organic in every sense and I make it a point to order from businesses that are centered around just that. Naturotica and the sister brands Nene Organics and Yoni Poppin are the only brands I trust when it comes to feminine health and hygiene. The products are organic and vegan based; when shipped to you the owner Nerissa Irving provides facts about the products you purchase as well as useful tips. Naturiotica offers products such as: Yoni Steams, Yoni Eggs, PH balancing body wash, PH balancing feminine spray, Waist Beads, Skin care products, and Hair care products (locing products as well), and much more. Ordering the products online is a piece of cake and products take less than a week to arrive at your doorstep. Below I have listed the products I have purchased thus far.  

 

 

 

Traditional Waist Beads ( Click For Full Image)

Menstrual Cup ( Squeeze Drain) 

The menstrual cup I purchased allows you to drain the cup without having to remove the cup itself. The cup is  soft silicone which allows to be manipulated with ease to fit snuggle inside the vagina. The is a slight sensation when you first insert the cup however it subsides after 2 mins or less. I prefer to wear the cup over tampons or passed now because it is more sanitary. It also puts me more at ease and is comfortable to wear. The first day you have to empty frequently to prevent it overflowing however that is not an issue. It helps me stay more mindful during this time. To purchase menstrual cup, see benefits and more (click here)

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Feminine Spray

The rose water and lavender blend last majority of the day and smells really refreshing. I also noticed on extremely hot and humid days it prevents excessive sweating as well. You do notice a change in your PH balance.

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Yoni Egg ( Drilled)

The yoni egg I ordered is the African Blood Stone Crystal that holds some amazing properties and benefits. When I first used the yoni egg I was very nervous however Nerissa Irving provided me with instructions and her social media outlets carry alot of information. Since using the yoni egg and frequently doing kegels my menstrual cycle is lighter and I experience less harsh cramps sometimes none at all after the first day and a half. As of now my yoni eggs acts as a crystal more than a kegel tool. The drill is in place to add a string in case you would like to add small weights to strength your muscles.  (Click Here) for more information on yoni eggs.

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