Arrogance

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We weren’t allowed to get married

So, we jumped the broom

As a sign our union.

We weren’t allowed to read

It’s okay,

We found other means

Our strengths and resilience is what you hate

Our innovation swept under the rug

You want us to be stripped of all sense of dignity and pride

You take our music

Our swag

You enhance your shape

To reflect what we always knew was great

And yet, you chastised it once before

Why should we not be arrogant?

All that we are is what you secretly idolize

Appropriation or acculturation

Pick one

You hate us for our arrogance

And wish we would tone it down

But, why?

Daddy’s Girl

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Defying Stereotypes

I grew up in household of a mother, a father, a sister and a dog.  We were not the perfect family by any means. We were a middle – hardworking class family who struggled with debt; the “bird and the bees” conversation consisted of “You betta not come home pregnant (with enough force that you knew what you should not do if you wanted to live).” There were ups and downs however my parents made sure food was always on the table, the lights were on, manners and respect to our elders was always given and you worked hard for what you wanted in life.

Growing Up

I was never allowed to take the easy road out of anything.  If I wanted to know what a word meant, I had to look it up in the dictionary and to show I knew what it meant; I had to give the definition/use it in a sentence.  When I began my first job, a 15 and 9 months, the only way I was going to get my license and a car was if I kept a job.  And so, I did.  When I turned 19, responsibility was solely on me. My mom helped me with a career change, I moved out of my parents’ house and started the process of becoming an independent woman.  Did I have a few setbacks? Yes but, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Thinking I was Grown

One Thanksgiving I decided to challenge my father…I thought I was grown and he should have respected my opinion and I his.  Instead, the conversation was one sided and in return placed a huge strain on our relationship resulting in us not speaking to each for several months.  It was tough on me because, I lost a huge part of my life; my dad, someone who was always there for me. Results of that one event affected other aspects of my life in a negative manner.  It changed who I was and I how I treated others, especially men.

Fast-forward to My Now

I never truly remember how my dad and I began speaking to each other again however; I know our relationship has blossomed into an unbreakable bond.  When my son was born, my dad showed up to the hospital – showing his grandson and I so much luv, when I was struggling to buy my sons formula – he purchased some from Amazon for me, when my house was flooded – he gave me a place to stay until it was fixed, when he sees his grandson he makes sure he has chocolate chip cookies for him, when I said I wanted to build a Jenga Set we spent all day cutting and sanding wood, when we hang out with the family he makes sure I am enjoying myself and not solely focusing on my son, when we talk on the phone – we are able to talk about politics, family, life, sports, etc.


So…yes I am a Daddy’s Gurl.  My mom and my dad have always been there for me, my mom to teach me how to be a woman but, my dad to teach me how a man should love me and take care of his family.  He was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and no man or woman ever is however, when it counted he always there.  Daddy’s Gurl does not mean spoiled or overly attached to her father in my eyes.  Rather, what you should expect in your future husband.

 

Perfection

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Endlich and his beautiful garden

Perfectionism: Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.

Hello! My name is Danielle and I am a perfectionist. I will take on a project – do it to the best of my capability and if I don’t feel it is complete then; I ponder until “I am one” with the final product. I am like this with work, home, the arts and anything else I tap into.

When I began blogging, I read successful tips on how to write a blog; writing from the heart, have a common theme, be truthful, and own everything you publish; a code you should abide by. Again, as a perfectionist, I do write from the heart, I own what I say and still try to have a common theme. However, with everything taking place in the world today, my focus shifted. My want to be perfect, transparent, true to me, while being politically/un-apologetically correct took over. News clouded my artistic writers form. I realized, I had to take a hiatus – to self-reflect on the overall reason of my blog. I needed to make sure that it is and will be for its intended purpose. To give others a perspective they never thought of, to educate, to be a joyous read, to hopefully help others in areas they may have needed an unbiased opinion in. I took a hiatus because I needed to hone in on my purpose and not fill people’s mind with my anger.

Ta-Nahisi Coates wrote a book, Between the World and Me, in the book he writes, “The Dream is the enemy of all art, courageous thinking and honest writing.” In the sense of my life, my dream is to be perfect when it comes to art of writing and trying to convey a message that I don’t want to be interpreted negatively. I have to let that dream go but, I also have to separate some of my strong personal feelings too. While I work on this, I will continue to write the traditional way, pen and paper. And, I SHALL RETURN.
Dunh dunh dunh
1-Luv

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The Wind is My Friend

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My hair free and of natural flow wanders aimlessly in the wind.  As she whispers go left, my hair sashays left, as she whispers go right, my hair trots right.  In this environment my sight is obstructed, she has disengaged from the effort of being previously styled, she is thanking the wind because now, she is free.  The wind was her liberator, her way of saying she would not be tamed. This was how my hair was when I had a relaxer.

For those who are often confused to the difference between relaxers, perms or being natural.  Relaxers chemically alter (relax) the natural curls in your hair, perms are also chemically altering products giving volume and curls to once straight hair, and natural is a state in which nothing has been used to chemically alter the state of hair you were born with.

For so long, I was addicted to the “creamy crack” called a Relaxer.  My hair was free and easy.  I luved her and she luved me.

Fast forward, to my pregnancy.  An experience forcing me to give up the creamy crack.  WHAT THE HELL!!!  We as women give up so much during pregnancy and the ease of taming the beast or learning how to style natural hair was never an easy feat.  My hair no longer blew in the wind so carelessly, it felt like no matter what I would do to my hair (when I did do something) she would battle with mother nature and mother nature would always win.  The woes of going back to a natural state of mind and body.
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In my early days of being natural, I had no idea what I was doing.  I hadn’t been natural since I was a kid and even then, it was my mother was doing my hair, not me.  If I did not keep it curled, I wore weaves.  I did not want to be bothered and when I wore my hair naturally I always felt self conscious.  This was a new life for me; it almost brought back a little insecurities of being accepted in “Corporate America?” However, breezes of wind blew in my ear and whispered that I was not alone.
I began networking in a completely new way…finding other groups of women who were having the same problems as me.  Ways to style and keep your hair healthy was becoming second nature to me however, I still did not accept nor understand the true meaning of being natural.  In all truth, most who go natural are never truthful as to why they went natural and if they are…they glamorize it to make seem like they are connecting to their roots.  I began my natural journey because I was pregnant and stayed with it because my hair began to thin ( a side affect of my munchkin being born).  Being natural and keeping my hair curled allowed me the volume I needed.  If I still had thick hair after pregnancy I would have went back to the creamy crack.  Much easier.
It wasn’t until my fourth 3rd year of being natural that I began to have a true appreciation and respect for being natural.  I began to luv it’s versatility, and in a way it made be become more healthier.  Because I use a lot of natural products in my hair (olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, Jamaican black caster, vitamin e etc) have a wonderful stylist, and began doing my research on how to grow healthy hair- pinterest and youtube became my best friend, the food I prepared also became healthier.  And now, in my fourth year, I still luv being natural and I also luv my protective styles including wearing weaves or “tracks.”  The wind and I have come to a truce.  She showed me another side to her silly yet helpful ways.  Now, when she flows through my hair, I no longer hide from her assertiveness but accept her with open arms.  She adds more volume to my hair; she gives her life.  I once thought the creamy crack was the best thing in the world…not so much.  I once thought wind was my enemy now, we are best friends.
I have become naturally me!

Daily Prompt – Nightmare

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You receive the call, you have one or two choices, show them all of your cards or play along until you gather all the information you need and TRAP them in their “web of lies.”

Wait, let’s try this again. You receive a call, your nightmare has become reality.

Strike #1:

“This is the IRS calling.” “Is this Danielle Mackin?”

“Yes this is she.”

Strike #2:

“We recently performed an audit of your tax returns and we are calling to let you know we’re filing suit against you due to fraudulent taxes.” The representative states. “Due to your incorrect filings from 2010 -2015, and your inability to pay the debts owed. You are facing criminal charges, the potential to go to jail, accounts frozen, liens against all properties, and note that because it is Friday and if you chose not to settle your account today, you could possibly be in jail all weekend. You currently owe $3802.50 worth of back taxes. You have one or two options,  continue with our current course of action and fight this through the courts or pay your balance in full today.”

Danielle replies aloofly, “I was unaware that I filed incorrectly as I have someone do my taxes for me every year.  I also set up a payment plan with the IRS to pay my debts already, can this be added to my current payment plan?”  When has anyone ever given a courtesy call stating there would be a warrant of your arrest if you don’t pay your bill? Okay, I will still play along.

“Ma’am, is your current address 7500 Gentle Shade…?”

“No. It is…Can I contact my lawyer before I make any decision?”

“Danielle, you only have an hour left before we continue with the filing of your court…” Wait are you filing a lawsuit or are you arresting me?

“Can I speak to a manager to set up a payment plan?”

Strike #3:

This conversation goes on for more than fifteen minutes.  Me explaining that I don’t have the entire amount, the manager is negotiating with me as to how much I can give as a deposit now and that it can’t be via bank accounts, credit cards and other forms that I KNOW FOR CERTAIN THE IRS takes as monetary payments.  Finally, he ask me if my i can borrow some money from a friend, I told him when he called back I would have the money.  He says, “You do understand this call is being recorded and if you do not comply to your ‘end of the bargain’ we will be forced to continue with the suit filed against you.”

“Yes sir, I understand.”

At this point, I am on the IRS’s website trying to find a way to report the SCAM and waiting for them to contact me again.  I am also realizing that I was just involved a SCAM that I thought would never happen to me.  They had a lot of my information and even though it wasn’t current, it was still a part of me.  Finally, there are many people who will actually concede to the SCAMMERS because of the conviction in their voice that you are doing something wrong (I am not going to lie, for a second they had me scared – thinking I did something wrong – my livelihood was flashing before my eyes.); luckily I knew the laws of the IRS but, there are some who are not awareand become caught up.

 

I leave you with this, IRS does NOT call you about your debt.  If you receive a call, IT IS A SCAM (IRS Website attached).  The end result of my “Foolishness Friday,” they called back…

“Can I speak with Danielle Mackin”

“This is she. I have contact the IRS, they stated my account was in good standings.  I told them that their local offices contacted me…” click

“Hello? Hello?”  They hung up.  I guess, I am okay now.

Glass Half Full

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True or False – Am I scared of the times we are living in?  True. True or False – Am I scared for my son? True True or False – Does racism still exist? Hell mutha-cussing yeah True or False – With …

Source: Glass Half Full

Glass Half Full

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True or False – Am I scared of the times we are living in?  True.

True or False – Am I scared for my son? True

True or False – Does racism still exist? Hell mutha-cussing yeah

True or False – With all that is going on, would I change the color of skin? – False

True or False – Would I change the times I live in? False

True or False – Do I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel? True

 

The Past

The Civil Rights Movement was a myriad of needed changes for women, minorities, the disabled, gay rights, and or otherwise discriminated.  “The most important achievements of African-American civil rights movements have been the post-Civil War constitutional amendments that abolished slavery and established the citizenship status of blacks and the judicial decisions and legislation based on these amendments, notably the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of 1954, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”  http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (the major faces of the African American Civil rights movement) while different in their methods wanted a better life for generations to come.  We, black people, overcame some obstacles and thought we won the war.  We became complacent because we were able to get jobs and were treated “equally.”

The Present

Because we never overcame our pass we didn’t understand what it meant to respect and luv each other.  Now, we have issues with black on black crime, an internal problem that only we, black people, can correct.  Yes, we have a lot to work on in our community however, with the recent shooting caught on video and extremely difficult to watch, I fear for my son.  Those who have done right, died.  Those who were in the wrong were never able to be tried by a jury of their peers, died. And, these shootings took place from those who swore to protect and uphold the law.

#BlackLivesMatter.  Everyone gets upset when black people say, Black Lives Matters but, guess what?  They do.  We say it because, guess what? We are black and we can only speak of something that is happening to our community.  Two wrongs don’t make a right and there is an issue in the black community of needing to be united however, we did not swear under oath to protect and serve.  Officers did, and the strings of incidents taking place are showing SOME officers being the judge, the jury, and the executioner.  I am not a statistician by no means but, when you have websites being created to map “Police Killings” whether they were right or wrong makes you wonder about SOME who chose to protect and serve and if you are truly safe. http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/

The Future

The Civil Rights Movement came about because of the inequality and unjust behavior amongst people of color and rightfully so now, the Black Lives Matter movement has come about because inequality and unjust behavior amongst people of color.  Tupac said, “We don’t need more rappers, we don’t need more basketball players.  We need more thinkers.”  The Black Lives Matter movement can be a beautiful thing if we work together, if we set plans, goals, and proper courses of action to ensure equality for all.

I think the recent string of events is finally awakening the eyes of our celebrities to stand up for the true meaning of equality.  I feel as though, those who did not know where they stood in life are accepting their calling and answering it with, “What do I need to do?”

And Me

It use to be a time when I would wake up in the morning and thank the Lord for allowing me to see a brand new day…lately, I have been praying to keep everyone safe from harm.  I am waking up scared of what may happen to the “man” standing next to me.  I am scared that I could be the next Sandra Bland.  Change needs to happen.  We don’t need instant satisfaction but change that will last a lifetime.  Don’t give us the crumb of hope but, the full loaf that we’ve always asked for.  Equality and Justice for all.  People questioned Jesse Williams speech…let’s question officers who are never brought up on charges for killing innocent lives, let’s question the judges who do not give fair sentences to suspects who black or white committed a crime, let’s question those who hate “people who are different” so much, they shoot up churches and clubs, or shoot people without hesitation.   Let’s understand the real reason why your Jesse Williams, Martin Luther Kings Jr, Officer Tommy Norman, are standing up for us saying there has to/will be another way.  Let’s understand they were and are one of many willing to stand up for what they believe in.  Let’s respect their courage and embrace the truth.  There is a lot of work needing to take place in this beautiful country.  If we are supposed to be “Big Brother” why aren’t we acting like it?  Change needs to and will happen.

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P.S. If you are stilling wondering why Black Lives Matter and couldn’t understand it before and still don’t get after this weeks recent events, then I don’t think you will ever get it.

And, for those idiots who are taking matters into their own hands killing innocent police officers, please have several seats, you are not helping the cause.   You are hurting it.  I understand you are angry but, there is always another, peaceful way.  The peaceful march/demonstration in Dallas was meant to show that we must unite and demand justice.  Instead, it was turned into a massacre of innocent lives, innocent cops who were doing their job by protecting, serving and ensuring the safety of others.

Taking life is never the answer.  That is what we are fighting for, the respect of life.