The Black Feminist Project

Tanya Fields the founder of the Black Feminist Project in the Bronx, NY was interviewed in Women’s Health magazine.

What she said: “It’s a little ridiculous for people to see activism as a job as opposed to a responsibility to create a better world.”

Tanya Fields launched Black Joy Farm. On a sliding-scale fee families can have fresh fruits and vegetables delivered in their South Bronx neighborhood.

What if activism was no longer needed because there was no injustice anymore? Then the task for humanitarians would be uplifting others in different ways. Like doing motivational speaking to inspire teens to graduate high school.

There’s likely always going to be a cause to advocate for. The Tanya Fields activists of the world deserve credit for making their corner of the world a better place.

You can log on to The Black Feminist Project to donate money and buy their tee shirt and read about the nonprofit.

Something to think about as holiday time nears.

Grape Expectations

The 11th District election showdown is in full swing.

In her TV campaign ad Nicole CacaCola [Malliotakis] wears a purple sweater.

I see right through that clever marketing ploy.

Purple is a color that signifies spirituality.

CacaCola voted NO to giving American workers national paid sick leave.

She voted YES to funding the Pentagon with upwards of $1.4 trillion dollars.

Money that would be better used helping Americans buy food when we go hungry.

Giving every citizen 18 and older a $1,000 per month Universal Basic Income (UBI).

In a book I checked out of the library about ending poverty one of the solutions listed was giving Americans a monthly UBI payment.

Not that Max Rose the Democratic contender is a whole lot better.

Afro-Latina Brittany Ramos DeBarros who I voted for didn’t win the primary.

Though she garnered 20 percent of the vote which is phenomenal.

A woman I corresponded with said she votes–and she lobbies after the election is over.

Which is what I do even though no candidate can do everything you ask them to do.

I’m no fan of CacaCola’s funding of the perpetual war chest.

She wouldn’t debate Max Rose on TV. This leads me to believe that CacaCola knows she wouldn’t stand a chance if she had to speak for more than ten minutes on real issues.

The Green Party has gotten kicked off the ballot in New York State.

We are also voting for Governor. In a match between Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin.

Hochul appears brilliant in the TV campaign ad I saw her speaking in. Not trashing Zeldin. Stating her victories on gun control and other measures. The TV ad was impressive.

I have yet to come up with a catchy nickname for Max Rose.

Hopefully this last week before election day doesn’t turn into a barrage of TV ads with potty-mouthed Staten Islanders taking profane pot shots at Max Rose. Like two years ago.

Brittany Ramos DeBarros should’ve won the primary.

Who I vote for is a mystery I have no idea about. Though no way will I be voting for CacaCola.

Here’s the trick: ever since the first George Bush the father invaded Iraq with Operation Desert Storm in 1991 I refused to vote Republican after that.

Twenty-six years old then why did I think that war wasn’t justified?

This is all I’ll say about politics today. Coming up my latest great nonprofit that I’m donating money to.

23&Me

At first I thought DNA testing amounted to a parlor trick. Then I changed my mind. Sprung for a 23&Me DNA kit.

My intent in doing this was to connect with others. Be a citizen of the world.

My DNA composition:

95.2% Italian – Sicily + 9 other regions.

Western Asian and North African 4.5%

Northern West Asian 4.3%

Iranian Caucasian Mesopotamian 2.6%

Cypriot 1.4%

Broadly Northern West Asian 0.3%

Broadly Western Asian & Northern African 0.2%

Trace Ancestry: 0.2%

Unassigned: 0.1%

The weird facts section of the report was amusing:

45% chance of slightly wavy hair.

Yes I was born with wavy hair.

Think this percentage should’ve been higher given how unruly my curly “summer hair” is.

Coming into October my “winter hair” will be in effect–straight all day when I blow dry it.

Fear of public speaking:

Less likely to have a fear of public speaking.

Hello–I perform on stage at poetry readings. I do motivational speaking in front of audiences in rooms.

I recommend springing for this DNA testing. It’s a fun amusement more than anything.

The 23&Me DNA kit costs $99. Or $89 if like me a friend who used it gives you a discount code.

Love Welcomes Mat

The photo is of the welcome mat woven by a woman in the Love Welcomes collective of refugees in Greece.

The mat features upcycled fabric with strips of the life vest they wore to escape their home country.

It cost $65.50 total which is a fair price. I’m gearing up to make a donation to Thistle Farms the nonprofit that sells the welcome mats and other products on their website.

Today I’m tuned in more to what’s going on in America and around the world. Every day in my inbox I get social justice emails.

Just being aware of the injustice is the start. Then we must act together to defy the status quo and do what we can to change things.

I was born in 1965—the first year of Generation X. The older I’ve gotten I’m more committed to seeking justice.

I’m 57 and a child of the 1980s. Like the famous Mr. T in that long-ago TV show “I Pity the Fool” who would mess with me after they found out my story.

The quote is that we can’t just seek to change the story. We must change the storyteller.

Giving column space to unique voices and the original perspectives of often-silenced individuals is called for.

My time on OKCupid having crashed and ended I’ve decided to turn my sights on my Advocate work instead.

One thing I’ve done is to publish a second book a career guide for peers. It was my attempt to seek economic justice for people with mental health issues traditionally shut out of employment.

The goal as I see it is to get to the point in society where Activists can go out of business because there’s no more suffering in the world.

As I’ve always said in here one person reaching out to help another person is the way to go.

I have my eye on a pair of earrings on the Thistle Farms website.

Coming up a review of a biting and brilliant book on the fashion industry and the size inclusion revolution.

Thistle Farms

I check out of the library business books shelved in the 658s. At the end of Story Dash the author recommended readers check out Thistle Farms.

Located in Nashville, TN in America the non-profit was founded to give women survivors of human trafficking and addiction housing and employment.

There’s a free 2-year residence for recovery in Nashville. Thistle Farms also sells goods that women around the world handcraft.

The home decor and apparel and jewelry items are sold on the Thistle Farms website. I’ll link to Thistle Farms at the end of this blog entry.

There you can buy a beaded bracelet as cheap as $10. I have my eye on a welcome mat that refugees craft in Greece using strips from their life jackets.

A great find is a black leather tote bag for $99. It’s the kind of pocketbook that stands out. Why order a handbag from Nordstrom online when it will be a mass-produced item that everyone will be carrying everywhere.

The goods sold on the Thistle Farms website give fair trade employment to women living in countries throughout the world.

There are so many great finds on the website that I might break my vow not to spend money. I’m tempted to throw caution to the wind and buy something to support Thistle Farms.

Check out Thistle Farms today.

Brittany Ramos DeBarros

Yes–I promise I will talk soon about the way to do good and make a difference that I discovered last week.

For now I have the urge to preempt my regularly scheduled programming. With a startling thing that happened.

I tune in to the Post-Modern Music Box channel on audacy.com. I’m stuck in this time warp listening to the alternative music of my youth (1980s/1990s).

You can imagine the shock I was in when an 11th District candidate for Congress advertised herself between songs as an “anti-war combat veteran.”

This was uncanny marketing on the part of Afro-Latina Brittany Ramos DeBarros who lives on Staten Island and served in Afghanistan.

How did a political candidate know that an anti-war person like me would be listening to the Music Box channel? That’s a brilliant plotting for votes.

I’ve always thought these American invasions were unjustified. Upwards of $1.4 trillion is being given to the Pentagon.

This money would be better served to give every U.S. citizen 18 and older a $1,000 monthly Universal Basic Income– a remedy to help end poverty here.

Every night as I listen to 1990s alternative music Brittany Ramos DeBarros invades my ears. I’ve gone on her website and her platform is legit.

Nicole CacaCola–the nickname I’ve given to Nicole Malliotakis the current 11th District person–responded to an anti-war email I sent her after she was sworn in. She told me it’s OK for the U.S. to engage in war in Syria and Yemen. That it’s perfectly fine to sell arms to Saudi Arabia.

OK then–what is the U.S. government using this money for after we get it?

CacaCola voted NO to giving American workers national paid sick leave.

A book at the library attacked the U.S. for starting these allegedly “humanitarian” wars that only serve to ravage the citizens and natural resources in other countries.

I can’t say LL Cool Joe–my nickname for Joe Biden–has been any better. He’s allowed the U.S. collusion in these wars to continue.

In one week I’m going to vote for Brittany Ramos DeBarros. I’ll be stunned if she wins. Hardly anyone I vote for wins an election.

Coming up:

The method I discovered for doing good that helps women in America and around the world recover from human trafficking and addiction.

Screwed

I realize that not every woman is like me. Some of us might think abortion is equivalent to a crime. Or simply that they would choose to have a baby and keep it if they got pregnant.

Their right to have a baby should not be viewed as the only choice that is acceptable.

If you are a woman who is against abortion that should be your personal choice. Yet your right is not the only right that is “right.”

Soon every other right that a person has in America is going to fall one after the other. Now that Roe v. Wade has been rejected.

Using my iPad I curiously could not bring up other websites because the Chrome browser gave this error message: The URL could not be verified. Chrome wouldn’t even verify its own Google URL when I typed in google.com.

Remarkably the only website I could type in successfully in Chrome on my iPad was the New York Times. That’s where I saw the headline that the Supreme Court ruled against Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court has taken away women’s right to have an abortion.

With access to birth control hard to get and no ability to have an abortion women in America have been sent the message that our only role in society is to be a Wife and Mother.

The No Sex Outside of Marriage and Marriage is for Procreation edicts of major religions relegate American women to being celibate or being Breeders.

Viewing women as dumb dumbs who can’t decide for ourselves who we want to love and when and how.

As a woman with a disability I’m going to get crucified for not having wanted to bring into the world a child who could develop a chronic illness or severe disability that is permanent.

Today it’s not up to me or you to decide whether or not we want to have kids. The Supreme Court has ruled that women don’t have this right.

No couple would adopt the kid of a woman who had a medical condition or a disability. They would be the exception to the rule if they chose to adopt a child who could develop schizophrenia or bipolar.

Besides most couples adopt children from China right so you can’t claim they’ll be swayed to adopt American babies.

What is up with adopting kids from China when American babies need loving homes?

“Adoption is an Option” is what Conservative men driving Chryslers stick on a bumper sticker on their cars.

No–adoption is NOT an option for a lot of women.

We have tactics for sending a message to those states that make abortion illegal.

One strategy might not work yet it bears talking about as persons who can satisfy our own social justice ethic:

Refuse to go on vacation to a state where abortion is illegal. Refrain from doing business with that state.

Take your tourism money elsewhere.

This might barely make a dent in the state’s coffers. Yet at least you could have peace of mind for your own sake.

I will live in New York forever. Not move to Florida when I retire or go anywhere else to live.

Right now I’m seriously rethinking where I’ll travel on vacation to in America.

A lot of women myself included work in a “pink ghetto” where we’re underpaid and overworked for our emotional labor.

Forcing a woman like me to have a child and raise them when we can barely afford to live on our own–and where are we going to get childcare help as single Moms?

Not all men stick around after their girlfriend gives birth to a child. Which busts the Republican myth that a two-parent family will elevate a child’s prospects in life. Not all women can rely on a husband to help care for their child.

Again–you might be a woman who is against abortion. Fine. So you don’t have to get an abortion. That’s your choice.

Let me make my choice.

Pretty soon every other right will be taken away.

The issue is that white men are deciding what’s normative behavior and what isn’t. They’re deciding who has the right to have free choice and who doesn’t.

My claim to fame is that I live my life Left of the Dial. That book title and by extension way of life will forever stick with me.

I’ve known since I was a teenager that I didn’t want to get married and raise a family.

What about you? How do you feel about the Supreme Court decision?

It will be interesting to see what happens next in the kinds of court cases the Supreme Court decides to take up.

Hair Artistry

This is a photo of Bozo the Clown.

When I was 7 years old my mother and friend took us kids to see Bozo in person.

I was terrified of Bozo and wouldn’t sit in the audience. I stayed behind the curtain backstage in tears.

The reality is that when I or other women look in the mirror we can magnify what we think of our appearance into a distorted image.

Seeing this Bozo the Clown hairstyle convinces me that my hair is perfectly fine the way it is. It should cure all of us from looking in the mirror and hating our hair.

Nobody has to like our hair. Only do you like me worry what other people think of your hair?

I want to tell everyone reading my blog to love your hair even if no one else does.

When your hair is gorgeous and it’s a work of art and your crowning masterpiece no one’s fingers should go near it.

You don’t ogle a Van Gogh from 5 inches away in a museum. The same goes for hair.

A couple of years ago in here I wrote about my hair. I was born with curly hair. My natural hair is curly.

In humid or rainy weather it frizzes up and curls in unruly directions. The hair on my head doesn’t curl the same way twice in the summer.

It’s like I get 50 “hairstyles” for the cost of one haircut.

Simply by scrunching up my hair when I’m drying it (without using any product) presto I have curly hair.

Finally October is here and it’s (hopefully) goodbye to the humidity.

You can predict the weather by watching my hair. Frizzy and curly and it’s rainy. Straight and sleek and it’s sunny.

Dreadlocks–a derogatory term–are called locs today. I think locs are hair artistry at its finest.

Natural Black hair is beautiful.

A person whose hair can’t be touched has a power no one else does.

An OKCupid question asks: Would you like your hair pulled during sex?

Cupid, my hair’s too short to pull. If like me you answer No that’s a liability.

This is another “algorithm” that is biased. Like typing “images of beauty” in a search bar.

I prefer to have short hair. I don’t like the feeling of long hair against the nape of my neck. Odd yet true.

Today I go to a trendy salon where the haircut costs $65. I spring for the cost because I’m afraid of getting a bad haircut again like at the old salon.

At the end of the day loving your hair gives you power.

If you’re riding the New York City subway and your hair looks like Bozo the Clown’s no one will mess with you.

Something to think about when you’re having a bad hair day.

Motivational Millionaire Book

I’ve checked a lot of personal finance books out of the library.

Too often the books require you to follow the author’s investing strategy to the Letter. Or the book is too dense and difficult to read through.

Even though I have a Masters degree in library science I’ll stop reading any book that doesn’t hook me.

My all-time favorite finance book is Simple Money by Tim Maurer. It’s short and detailed and not a read you’ll have to plod through.

The Rachel Rodgers book above is impressive too. Her life experiences that she talks about are what pulled me into reading her guide.

Coming from a family that had to count every cent Rodgers saved up $33 in quarters and rolled them up.

As a teen she was going outlet shopping with well-off friends. After they had left one store she went to the register on her own. Plunked down her $33 in quarter rolls to buy a wallet.

Rodgers today is a financial empowerment Activist. How telling that her first solo hard-earned purchase was a wallet.

Anyone who becomes well off should help others who are less fortunate.

Engaging in acts of conscious charity that empower others to have a better life should not be seen as “giving handouts.”

I was given a handout until I no longer needed to rely on outside income.

For others having a job isn’t possible. My motto in life is: “No Judgments.”

It’s so inspiring to read Rachel Rodgers finance-and-memoir book rolled into one.

I understand the benefit of having characters in books and authors that represent a person like you.

When browsing the personal finance section I’m keen to see if women authors are on these shelves.

Right away I grabbed onto the book Rachel Rodgers wrote.

We should all be millionaires is a great finance guide. I’m going to install it on my iPad.

Under the Lemon Trees

Who buys a perfume without spritzing it on her wrist first?

I took the chance on Under the Lemon Trees.

One day I decided I had to buy something from Sephora.

Could scent be refreshing and perk me up?

I was willing to test this theory. To the rescue: a Replica travel vial of perfume.

To my surprise the vial is bigger than I expected.

The scent transported me to a lemon grove in Sicily.

Readers: I have fallen down on self-care.

No one told me that when I reached menopause my energy would tank and I’d get fatigued.

So I hired a health coach to create an eating plan to help me regain my energy.

Along with this I decided to test my theory that a fresh scent could spark joy.

So far it’s working.

It’s possible that engaging all 5 senses is the secret to living indoors through the pandemic.