I stand with Kaepernick

Kristi Love | February 2018

During Quarantine 2020, I’m sharing a few blogs that I just didn’t publish. What a better time than now. This will help me come back to one of my passions- writing and blogging…sharing my opinion.

I have a confession- I watched a few football games during this (2018) NFL season; including the Super Bowl (Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles- who won for the first time since their franchise began). I was on board with the Southern Black Preachers, actors, and countless others who asked America to boycott the NFL by not watching football in support of Colin Kaepernick and I commend those who decided to boycott the NFL the entire season.

Colin, in his personal subtle way, took a stance on something and his action did what it was meant to do. It started a well-needed conversation.

“I’m not saying I’m going to rule the world, or I’m going to change the world. But I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world. That’s our job, is to spark somebody else watching us.” – Colin Kaepernick

We all have the right to protest. We all have the right to challenge and question injustices when we see it happening in our families, communities, states, country, and the world. That’s what America is about. Our First Amendment right allows me to NOT salute the American flag because that is our freedom. Colin Kaepernick will go down in history with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith & John Carlos, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson and others who used their platform to fight for justice.

Over the past months, my respect for Colin Kaepernick has increased as I watched him put in the work to be the change he wanted to see. He is a true example of an individual using their actions to make a statement for the good of the people. His actions spoke louder than his words.

In case you did not know, Colin has been “woke” for several years. He did not all of a sudden decide well into his football career to make a statement that ultimately cost him his NFL career. He has been on a journey to find who he was in college but really throughout his years growing up as a child. I commend his parents (Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, who adopted him when he was a few weeks old) for being open, honest, and supportive of him during his life’s journey. His biological mother, Heidi Russo was 19 years at the time and his father left as soon as he learned Russo was pregnant. Who knows what the trajectory of his life would be if Heidi decided to raise him on her own. Without of the support of his parents, he may have never realized his full potential and calling.

The adoption alone changed the course of his life. His parents never hid the fact that he was adopted and early on he noticed the stares and inappropriate comments his classmates would say to him. Colin went on to prosper academically and athletically in high school (where he played Baseball and Football). Through high school and college (University of Nevada, Reno) he sought the knowledge of self.

Fast forward some years, Kaepernick signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 and eventually led the team to the Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. From there he would go from starting quarterback to not starting and the cycle continued.  At the start of the 2016 season, he took a stand. Out of the blue (some may have thought), Colin Kaepernick first sat on the bench during the playing of the national anthem. Once media caught on and then he started to kneel, WHITE AMERICA was outraged. What I heard when folks were upset were these types of statements, “How dare this Black man take a knee while our anthem is playing.” “How could an NFL player decide to peacefully protest while he entertains us on Sunday?” “Play football, nobody wants to hear about your political views.” White Americans were not the only ones disappointed in his decision to use his platform to send a political message. Some African Americans were also not pleased and considered his actions a waste of time thinking he didn’t need to speak for African Americans.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” -Colin Kaepernick

He was not protesting to gain popularity; he was protesting to make a bold statement.

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” -Kaepernick

I find he actions to be respectable, notable, and honorable. He did not only stand for something, he did something about the injustices- he gave to organizations that serve individuals and communities who are underserved and providing social justice education and/or services.

In 2016, this was Colin’s pledge, “I will donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of my jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities. 100k a month for 10 months.”

In the final stretch of his one-million-dollar pledge, he challenged and collaborated with friends. In January 2018, Colin decided he would give his last 100k in a #10for10 challenge by partnering with his friends who he asked to match his donation.

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If we want to make America great (or greater), we have to have the difficult conversations with an action plan in place. Just like our ancestors, we have to stand up and speak out when our civil rights are being violated. We may not live in the Civil Rights error but, we still have civil rights issues that are being violated and must be addressed.  Thank you, Colin Kaepernick for taking a stand by kneeling.

*What are your thoughts about race and individuals taking a stand during the national anthem? Let’s talk about it- comment below.

You can find the list of organizations he donated funds to throughout his campaign on his website at  http://kaepernick7.com/

Also, check out those who joined him during his encore series http://kaepernick7.com/10for10-encore/

Our future leaders speak; Power. Purpose. Belief & Belonging.

Kristi Love | The Future Project 2019 | Washington, DC

 

When they speak, we must listen.

Pay attention to their words.

Hold them accountable to their goals.

Prepare them by showing them integrity, being intentional, and equipping them with the tools needed to reach their definition of success.

 

Yusha Assad is the director of The Future Project at Roosevelt SHS. This school year he has built upon student leaders and guided them to pursue their present & future purpose.

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This past week, Uprising talked to student leaders at Roosevelt about The Future Project, their career goals, Nipsey Hussle and more.

You have time, click here & listen up.

 

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2020 Presidential Candidate, Kamala Harris: Is she Black Enough or Naw?

K. Love | Race Matters | Women’s History & Social Work Month

Are we really (still) concerned if a Black person is “Black enough” to get our support? Do we hold non-Black individuals to this high standard when they run for office?

I’ll wait…

No, we do not. Once an individual becomes a public figure, we criticize them for showing up claiming to be “Black Black”.

I think we have it all wrong. Especially when it comes to scrutinizing a Presidential candidate who is a woman, a Black woman.

Kamala Harris, on MLK Day, Jan 21st, 2019 announced her bid to become the next President of the United States for the Democratic Party. She went back to “The Mecca”, her Alma mater, Howard University (surrounded by the Student Government) to make her announcement.

Kamala-Harris1

We (Black folks) immediately went into attack mode. Questioning her blackness, her intentions, her marriage to a White man. Really y’all? Do we have to tear each other down and when we do, do we have to do it publicity? We stay ready to provoke a person’s Black Card, no questions asked.

Please don’t get confused. I’m not saying, “Vote for Kamala because she is Black”.

I am simply questioning your motive behind this higher standard you place on Black people than we do for others. I understand that some of us were hurt by the seemingly disregard that former President, Barack Obama had specifically for the Black Community during his presidency.

Most of his policies did not directly affect us positively or negatively. He did more for other individual groups than for us (i.e. Prison reform, Immigration laws, LGBTQ). I understand that pain, however; what has any President done specifically for our community to directly strengthen us in terms of wealth, equality, education, or health care?

What is our agenda anyway?

What is it that we actually want from a Black politician? If we do not know we can’t expect them to fight for us. Even still- who cares how Black a person is. Kamala Harris is Black- born to a Jamaican father (Professor) and an Indian mother (a scientist and civil rights advocate). Born and raised in Oakland, CA. Spent her high school years in Montreal then attended Howard University (Washington, DC), a Historically Black College/University.

Who are we to take her Black Card away? What constitutes if a person is even Black enough anyway? Please show me the rule book of standards, because we are doing too much.

When your decide on a candidate try this formula:

  • Visit the candidates website and read their platform
  • Understand how they have voted for policies in the past
  • Know their slogan
  • Support them financially, volunteer, or share via social media

“Study to show thyself approved”

“We perish for lack of knowledge”

We will not agree with every issue (policy) candidates are concerned about. However, what matters are the issues you’re concerned about. How are candidates addressing issues important to you? Look at the present Presidency- seemingly, folks agreed with one or two policies he “promised” while IGNORING  his character, his antics, and his lack of experience. Yet he is in office.

Kamala does not have to prove herself or spend time on “how Black she is”. Blackness is too broad for us to sit here and debate about it. Lastly, who really cares that she is married to a White man. That does not dismiss her ‘blackness’.

Kam & Doug

Today on the first day of Women’s History & Social Work Month , consider what really matters to you. Critique yourself on these issues as you plan to support a candidate

  • Race Relations
  • Climate Change
  • Criminal Justice
  • Equality
  • Pro Life or Pro Choice
  • Religious Freedom
  • Immigration
  • Global Affairs
  • Military
  • Voting Rights
  • Taxes
  • Education

Here is a list of individuals who have announced their bid for the Democratic Candidacy so far

Do your own research this time around. Yes, race matters- but let’s not criticize and tear down our brother(s) or sister(s). Support, vote, show up to town halls, and hold them accountable. Visit her website https://kamalaharris.org/

*Set aside time this month and beyond to read a book written by a Black woman and buy from a Black owned business. Share your experience.

Peace

A Poetic Journey of Our (Black) Love

Uprising | Love | 2019

Our love is uncompromising-

we will not apologize for it.

Our love is uninhibited.

We are a community and we bring magical powers throughout the world.

Our love empowers; therefore our love is healing.

Some fear our love because our roots were planted (on solid ground) through strength and in truth.

Our love is Contagious. Bold. Courageous.

Our love brings life.

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Black love is far-reaching.

Black love is creative.

Our Black love is restorative.

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Our Black Love is Universal

By: The With Great Care Team https://www.withgreatcare.com/

(@justdrena @yushaassadsmusic @shyshowbob_  @equanimous_soph @cameliajanelle & @iamkristilove)

Supporting Black Love

FUBU | Black Owned | 2019

Businesses created by Black and Brown people stem from the deep roots of our passions. It may have take years to be realized; years to take the leap; the next step to completion; yet we do it.

The service or the product established is because we see a need to be addressed. We conquer our fear(s) and ignore the naysayers. We look past the doubts of close family and friends. We go against the grain and take the road less traveled.

 

For most of us growing up, our path was already paved. College was the route we had to choose. Graduate and obtain the corporate job (or now days non-profits or schools functioning like corporate companies). The American Dream is our goal. Yet we knew the American Dream was not set up with ‘Us” in mind.

 

Now that we’re creating our own streams of income, it exposes our resilience. It exposes our purpose. We did it for the money, yes. However, more importantly we did it to share the gift God gave us with the world.

If you are for Us, Buy From Us.

If you believe in Us, promote Us.

There is a product or service out there created with you in mind. We challenge you to buy Black this month and beyond.

This Is What We Do

We provide access to capital through Black Girl Ventures (@blackgirlventures https://www.blackgirlventures.or)

We shower you with self-care products with Divine Purity (https://www.divinepuritynatural.com/ @divinepurity)

We Connect. Inspire. And Challenge you by doing things with great care, purpose, and intention (@withgreatcare https://www.withgreatcare.com/ )

 

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We wear the Revolution (@radicalrevolutionclothingco)

Our beauty is in our hair

It’s in our skin (@nu_natural_organics)

We design your vision (@digibeedesignstudio https://www.digibeedesignstudio.com/

We UpStart other Black entrepreneurs (@theblackupstart)

 

Our bodies become the canvas (@lauresepaintz https://lauresepaintz.as.me/schedule.php/

Our voice speaks for the younger generation (@lifewiththeprincess https://bit.ly/2WCy8o4)

We bake for your event (@shopsweetcakes & https://www.krissyspastryloungeandcakestudios.com) and cook up the cuisine for your party (@bigjerkwings https://bigjerkwings.com/ & @sluttyveganatl http://sluttyveganatl.com/)

 

We educate your children

We pump our Black fists (@davidbannerlikespictures https://davidbannershop.com)

And we create notes of LOVE (@klovenotes)

We are Uprising through our stories (@wgcuprising)

Our art becomes fashion (@abellecreations)

Our stories speak peace, power, light (@peacepowerlight)

We wear our own brands (@wgcapparel & @monadelanapparel)

 

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We speak God’s truth (@its_priscillab)

We support fathers (@thelinnerfoundation) through community initiatives

Our music challenges your consciousness (@yushaassadmusic)

We are the change we want to see- our actions are political (@salimadofo @blackunitedfront)

 

We assist you in finding your dream home (@jantricejohnson https://www.smothermanpros.com)

Our gift is in our hands- we create masterpieces (@jlamaajstudio)

We make natural products for our children (@playpits https://playpits.com)

And time is on our side (@bensonwatch)

 

We have only touched the surface of businesses founded by Black people. Black Love is supporting Black Businesses. Buy Black this month and beyond.

 

#lovejoypeace

-K. Love

 

When they go low, we go HIGH

Kristi Love | April & May News

If you have missed the news in April and in these first 5 days of May, we’re here to help. We are only touching the surface of “Current Events” however these stories of overcoming and excellence should continue to be told.

*Always know what’s happening in your local community, city, and state. You can be a game changer by starting in your backyard.

Being Black and in STEM

Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner, and Bria Snell came up with an invention to purify lead-tainted water in school drinking fountains. This idea came from their personal experience at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC. Their innovative idea lead them to be entered into NASA’s high school competition,  They are finalist in the competition which includes seven other teams. These three DC teens were the only all Black all-female team in the contest. Online voting was encouraged (for one portion of the contest) and toward the end, the DC crew was ahead and winning. Until a well-known hacking group apparently became upset that the all Black female team was in the lead. On April 29th, NASA closed the online voting due to the negative online push to discredit the DC ladies.DC teens-NASA

It’s not social media that has spread the word, but individuals using social media to point out discrimination and requests for explanations. Theses 3 young ladies have responded with humility, courage, and they stay encouraged. DC’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser has committed to providing $4,000 to the ladies so they can continue to build on their idea. The final decision will still be in the hands of NASA and will be announced later this month.

 

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Seats Taken- We don’t like you, please leave

A couple in Plano, TX decided to dine at a well-known spot to them and may Texans, Sambuca 360 on Saturday even. They were seated, handed menu’s and completed their order. Out of nowhere, they were asked to move from their seats when another patron wanted to sit where they were sitting. Johnny Wimbrey (author and motivational speaker) and his wife were asked to move to another seat. They refused, stating they liked the view and respectful declined to move. *Something told them to start recording.

Moments later, the manager said they were trespassing, that he didn’t like them, and he was going to call the police. They left and watched from across the street when police arrived. Sambuca 360 apologized and blamed the hostess table for the mix-up. You decide. We are sure Mr. Wimbrey will no longer hold work luncheon of 200+ at this restaurant.

Can’t Sit Here

Rashon Nelson & Donte Robinson have accepted and settled with the city of Philadelphia for only $1 each. Instead of pocketing the larger amount for themselves, they asked for a commitment from the city to invest $200,000 in a pilot program for young high school entrepreneurs. They will continue to be involved in conversations about race relations throughout the city and the country. If you did not hear, last month, the two arrived early for a business meeting at a Starbucks in Philly.Starbucks men

While waiting they did not purchase any items and declined when the manager asked if they wanted to buy anything from the store. Within two minutes of arriving and declining the manager’s suggestion to purchase any items, the police were called on them. They remained calm and were arrested for trespassing. It was captured on video (that went viral) thanks to Melissa DePino. She knew that white people wait for friends all the time in Starbucks and are never asked to leave. Because of this incident, 8,000 Starbucks locations will close on May 29th for a diversity and inclusion one-day professional development.

Not On My Watch

James Shaw, Jr. has remained humble although the country has declared him a “Hero” because of his actions on April 23rd. James made a split second decision to fight instead of fleeing. James Shaw, Jr. stopped a mass shooter in Nashville (Antioch), TN at a Waffle House. The deranged white male shooter had already killed four people of color when he started to reload his gun to finish the massacre. Before the shooter could kill again, Mr. Shaw jumped in, wrestled with the shooter, grabbed the gun, and throw it behind the counter. James does not want to be labeled a hero- he wants us to know he went into self-preservation mode. His heroism has received national recognition (except from Trump) and James Shaw, Jr. is just happy to be alive and care for his 4-year old daughter. He started a $15, 000 GoFundMe account for the four victims because he wanted to help pay for their funerals. That fund raised over $200, 000. Then, journalist Yashar Ali started a GoFundMe account for Mr. Shaw and alone raised $205, 000.

James Shaw, Jr

Of course, Ellen caught wind of the story and brought him and his friend (who was with him April 23rd) to the show. She thanked him for his bravery and presented him with a check for $225, 000 where she and Shutterfly donated $20,000. The recognition didn’t end there. Ellen surprises James by having his all-time favorite NBA, Dwyane Wade come out to meet him. Wade also donated $20, 000 to James Shaw and thanked him because not only did his save lives, Wade can now tell his children about a hero in the community. James is passionate about mental health awareness and wants more advocacy and attention towards breaking the stigma and bringing awareness to mental health.

Stand Up For Right

In 2006, Nelson Mandela received the Ambassador of Conscience Award that is awarded by the Amnesty International. Amnesty is a Human Rights Advocacy Movement that exposes the truth and recognizes those that speak up against injustices. In April 2018, Colin Kaepernick was recognized for his work off the field.CK

Colin took a stand by taking a knee during the start of his last football season in 2016. He kneeled to draw attention to the injustice that happens to people of color, especially African Americans. Since late 2016, Colin has raised over 1 million dollars which he donated to organizations that address racial issues and provide advocacy and services to underserved individuals, families, and communities. He continues to speak for those who don’t have the appropriate resources to speak up and speak out about inequality, injustice, and more.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

White mother

Last month, a mother deliberately drove her SUV off a cliff in California, killing herself, her Black adoptive children, and her partner. Child protective services had recently been contacted by neighbors and school officials because of reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. Instead of reaching out for help and/or fear of exposing their family feuds, she murdered the family. A person who is healthy mentally will not harm themselves and the people they claim to love, on purpose. We have to break the stigma and pay attention to the signs. Too many lives are being abused, mistreated, and murdered because of lack of mental health treatment and awareness.

News Worthy

Black Panther’s T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman will bring Wakanda to “The Mecca” on May 12th as the commencement speaker at his Alma mater, thee Howard University. #WakandaForever Chadwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize award for music, becoming the first rapper to receive the award and the first to not be a classical or jazz musician.

Kendrick Lamar

 

Recognizing Those Who Have Made an Impact on The World

Barbara Bush (b. June 8th, 1925 d. April 17th, 2018) – Former first lady of the United States as the wife of George H. W. Bush who was President from 1989-1993

Bush

This picture was taken on the day of Barbara Bush’s funeral. Pictured- George H.W. Bush, Mr. & Mrs. George W. Bush, Bill & Hillary Clinton, The Obama’a (Barack & Michelle), and First Lady, Melania Trump.

James Cone (b. August 5th, 1938 d. April 28th, 2018, 79 years old), Known as the first Black Liberation Theologian. Dr. James Cone

Verne Trayer

Verne Troyer (b.; January 1, 1969 d. April 21st, 2018), Known famously for his role in the Austin Powers movies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Do you have any news worth sharing? Please comment below. Thanks in advance!

History Lesson: From Woodstock to Coachella to BEYCHELLA. Translation- Black Woman- Know Thy Self

Kristi Love | Black Excellence

We don’t know how, but in case you missed it- Beyoncé performed at Coachella over the weekend. Here’s your lesson plan outlined

Beyoncé is the First Black Woman to perform as the headliner at Coachella

HBCU Homecoming/Halftime Show Experience

  • Her sorority- Beta Delta Kappa (BAK) including her line sisters (dancers)
  • Her probate- introducing the ‘Bug-a-Boos
  • Her step show
  • The band (The Buzz)- her halftime show with a Drum Line highlighting (of course) a majorette and the percussion section
  • Swag Surffin- if your HBCU didn’t play this on campus (at all), we may have to question if it’s an HBCU
  • Dislocating dancers and pop-lockers
  • Sphinx shaped bleachers

 

 

 

Beyoncé gave homage to:

  • Fela Kuti – The Buzz played ‘Zombie’
  • Nina Someone- 1954, ‘Lilac Wine’ and a small excerpt from ‘Strange Fruit’
  • Malcolm X- May 5th, 1962 speech, ‘Who taught you to hate yourself’ salute to Black women
  • Women Empowerment (specifically to Black Women)- ‘Ok ladies, now let’s get IN FORMATION
    • Excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 Tedx Talk, “We should all be feminist”
    • An all Female line of violinist

She sang the Black National Anthem- “Lift Every Voice”

  • We could end right here

Beyoncé’s fashion

  • Greek attire- Bodysuits, boots, jumpers, Greek lettering
  • Beyoncé’s Shield 2018- Branding and representation
  • Homage to the Black Egyptian Queen Nefertiti
  • Black Power/Black Fist
  • Black Panther
  • Infamous Bee- The Beyhive
  • Military attire

Special Guest

  • Her husband, Jay-Z
  • Destiny’s Child reunion- her ‘sisters’, Michelle and Kelly
  • Her sister/dance partner- Solange
  • The Les Twins- Laurent Nicolas & Larry Nicolas Bourgeois

Bak-7Bak-8Bak-9Bak-10

What did we miss? Please comment below on your favorite part of the show and more. What songs were played that we did not give props to? Beyoncé took us to Wakanda, a HBCU Homecoming, a probate, step show, and the halftime show. She gave us Black excellence and showed us poise in the midst of a wardrobe malfunction the last 10 minutes or so of her show. This two-hour show was one of her best performances to date. Lessons learned- Make no apologies for who you are. Be unapologetically Black- be YOU. Now stay woke!