Songs To Get You Through Finals #ThankMeLater

Hallelujah, I made it! The semester ended today and I’ve never been so relieved. This semester has been my toughest thus far. To make things more stressful than usual, I had to bring the kids to class with me for the last month of school. It’s one thing to drag 1 kid to class but imagine toting 2 humans around campus! Some days, I questioned my sanity!

Every college student knows that your semester grades aren’t official until finals are taken! Preparing and taking finals is like the last 5 minutes of a 30 minute cardio session; you’re almost to the finish line yet, you’re somewhere between motivated and over it! You experience thoughts like, “Eff it, I’ve done enough running for the day!” verses, “I’m almost there; only five minutes to go!”

I like to start my day off with prayer, coffee and a bomb theme song of the day. My theme songs vary from hot mess trap music to the holiest of gospel. It depends on my mood and what I need to hear to get me prepared for the day.

Did you know that the first sound you hear in the morning, dictates the progression of your day? Science has taught us that music plays a key in mood change. Constant examples of the powers of music are in movies and commercials, music tells us how to feel—how to move.

Because I know the stresses of finals and I want YOU to be great, I’ll share my favorite CRUNK songs that get me hype before every test life throws at me!

1. Truth Hurts by Lizzo

Taken from CNBC.com

“I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% about to pass my exams!” Thank me later for the remix! Speak it over you life yall! Speak it in Jesus name!

2. Hustler by Cassidy

Taken from dopeboy.com

“Betta ask about me, I’m a hustler!” Yo, this song makes me feel like the Crim Dela creme, especially when I have the kids in the backseat! This song makes me feel undefeated and badass!

3.Unstoppable by Koryn Hawthorne

Taken from getuperica.com

I’m a believer of speaking things over your life! There’s power in the tongue! When the devil throws a curve ball, I remind him of who’s child I am! I’m unstoppable because Jesus says so!

4. Diva (Homecoming) by Beyoncé

Taken from ew.com

I lived for the entire HBCU themed Coachella show! I blast the album in my car while imagining myself marching on somebody’s field! This remix of Diva has the famous breakdown with O.T. Genesis’, “Everybody Mad’ “I’ve been getting too many A’s, everybody mad!” Again, thank me in advance for the remix. Call me DJ Chris. #AnotherOne

5. Follow God by Kanye

Taken from bbc.com

Call me crazy but, Ye’s new album has been a mood for the past couple of months. Follow God has simple but powerful words and my kids love the song too!

6. Before I Let Go by Frankie Beverly and Maze

Taken from Facebook.com

Besides being every black family’s traditional cookout anthem, it’s something about belting out, “before I let you gooooahahaoooo,” in my car. It’s a feel good song and immediate mood changer!

7. Knuck if you Buck by Crimemob

Taken from discog.com

This Negro spiritual makes my bones tingle! When the beat drops I feel my ancestors swaying in their graves. This song gets me hyped for any occasion! This song was on my birth playlist with Zora! No matter how old this gem is, when another person of color pulls up beside me and hears me blasting this in my car, they look over and give me a nod of approval because, they already know what time it is!

8. Ape Sh*t by The Carters

Taken from dazedigital.com

“Ima gorilla in a effin coupe, finna pull up to a zoo. I’m like Cheif Keif meets Rafikki, who been Lion King to you?” If that wasn’t the hardest line of Hov’s career, direct me elsewhere! This line alone paints the picture of my everyday life. I’m a young black queen attending a PWI. I’m fierce wisdom filled being, playing the game of life administered by my white counterparts. Aye!

9. Don’t you Worry Bout a Thing by Stevie Wonder

Taken from britannica.com

Tori Kelly’s version has taken over our home thanks to the movie Sing but I vowed to never let my kids erase the legend that is Stevie Wonder! Every so often when I need a sweet reminder to chill and let life be, I play this song!

10. If I Ruled the World by Nas ft Lauryn Hill

Taken from rap-up.com

Nas has taught us all a lot. He gives a brief history lesson all while empowering black excellence; reminding us that our lineage didn’t derive from slavery but of royalty. “If I ruled the world, I’d free all my sons;” the chorus sung aloud is me verbally manifesting the emancipation of generational curses and stagnation within my family! I also love singing Lauryn’s ad libs.

You’re the only one standing in the way of the goals you want to achieve! This semester may have started out rough, but you can end it strong! Good luck on finals! I encourage you to create your own finals playlist! Eat or get eaten! You got this!

Xoxo,

Christian

Ay Yo Judge Tammy, What’s Really Good?

The black community is in an uproar and rightfully so. Another unarmed black king by the name of, Botham Jean was shot and killed by a police officer and after his murder’s sentencing, the chick not only got a slap on the wrist sentence but she too, received a hug from the judge!

Botham was lounging on his couch in his apartment, enjoying a bowl of ice cream when Amber Guyger walked in and shot him. Amber’s, (the police officer) argument is that after a long day at work, she walked into the apartment, mistakenly thinking it was her own and saw a strange man in her home. In rebuttal to what she thought to be a burglary, she withdrew her gun and shot Botham dead. She said that she was too delirious to know she wasn’t in her own apartment and out of “fear for her life,” she had no other choice than to shoot the accused perpetrator dead.

GTFOH!

Amber’s argument is crap, so much so, that I propose that we investigate every arrest—anything she did on the clock, because if she was too delirious to know that she walked into the wrong apartment; an apartment that smelled differently than hers, an apartment that had different furniture than hers and apartment with a half-dressed black man enjoying tv on his couch; how do we know she was coherent when she was on the job leading up to the event?

After the shooting, the police searched Botham’s home. They searched his home and not hers. This is a prime example of racial bias, making the black victim guilty for just being black—finding fault or ammo to support the racial intent. This is an example of the idealistic mindset that “all black people are bad in some way despite who they are, what they do or where they are!” This brother was in his own home minding his business and even still, he was treated as a threat, even after he was dead.

 

Amber received a 10-year sentence and was even able to argue the “stand your ground,” law because, “she thought she was standing her ground in her own home.” Do yall remember when Marissa Alexander tried to use this same argument against her abusive husband? The black on her skin caused the jury to convict her with a whopping 20-year sentence. The hypocrisy! So what’s being subliminally taught is that, if you’re black your life doesn’t matter and if you’re white not only is life deemed greater, but any crime you commit is due to accident or unfortunate circumstances.

 

I’m not shooketh at Amber Guyger’s light sentence, she’s a white woman in American. She cried in court. We all know the power of white tears! What upset me to my core is the reaction from the judge.

 

During the trial, Botham’s brother, Brandt Jean, hugged Amber and wished her well in life. He did this because, “I know that’s exactly what Botham would want.” Never will I ever tell someone how to heal. Brandt felt that he needed to forgive Amber in order to honor his brother and to heal himself. I respect that. Although, I don’t think my reaction would’ve been the same, I understand him. Brandt Jean is entitled to tackle his healing however he chooses, this incident directly affected him but guess who had NO RIGHT to display any emotion in that courtroom? The judge! Judge Tammy was completely out of line for embracing that murderer, one, in front of the victim’s family and two just in general! What was she thinking? Many people in the black community including myself suspect that she wasn’t thinking at all!

 

To hug that women was a blatant slap in the face to the family and the black community. Her hug implied that she sympathized with the plaintive and maybe even had regret for sentencing her. Her hug translated to the black community told us that she one, doesn’t love herself, her people and although she reigns in the highest position in the court, she still seeks the approval and ok of her white masses. I am angry!

On a professional aspect, how inappropriate and unprofessional to even hug anyone? As a judge, you should leave all opinions and biases out the courtroom. Realistically we know this doesn’t always happen but damn sis!

So I was already pissed at the judge’s coonish behavior but what really placed the cherry on top was the picture surfacing of the black bailiff fixing Amber’s hair? What in the Samuel L. Jackson in Django is going on? I’ll tell you, black people so low in pride, so eager to please massa, that they’d disrespect the people that look like them—even when that means the person they’re really disrespecting is the person in the mirror!

This has to stop! How do we expect white people to honor and respect black lives when we, black people don’t respect ourselves?

“The enemies are not so much from without as from within the race.”

-Marcus Garvey

Black people, we have to do better–we have to love ourselves.

Xoxo,

Christian

 

 

 

 

Black Hair in a Not so Black World

I just dropped my son off to school for the day and my son’s teacher did something that left me feeling slightly offended. She touched his hair. I’d like to put this in context for you …

Liam has a curly Afro! He has a serious and tedious hair routine that some parents might find ludicrous but to me, it’s a very important part of his hygienic routine. I start off with shampoo and follow up with a deep conditioner. I then pat his hair dry and moisturize it with a cream. I seal that cream with an oil. His hair is really dry so his curls appreciate the extra love. Some mornings when I drop him off to school, his hair isn’t fully dry. You’re able to see some of the product settling into his curls and it may look a bit odd. Never the less, by the time I pick Liam up from school, the product can no longer be seen and his hair and curls are full of life!

I’m assuming that Liam’s teacher unfamiliar with black hair, was confused as to why his hair was coated in a tan looking liquid? She patted him on the head and asked, “did you wash your hair today?” I immediately followed up with, “yes, he sure did!” She was left awkwardly holding out her now damp hand.

A couple of thoughts crossed my mind. One, why the heck did she think it was ok to touch my son’s hair? It’s an unwritten but known rule since FOREVER to NOT TOUCH A BLACK PERSON’s HAIR. Periodt! Secondly, why did her face turn to distaste when she realized her hand felt damp? Her face looked as if she had just accidentally touched the wet rim of an overfilled trashcan.

Her face brought me back to a childhood memory. Once in 3rd grade I was practicing braiding in my Caucasian friend’s hair. This was after school and I had no combs or hair products just my 8 year old hands. I remember after finishing up with what I thought was a braid masterpiece, my friend’s mom walked into our classroom. She looked at her daughter’s new-do. My friend’s mom touched the braids both in astonishment and disgust and said, “eww what did she (me) put in your hair? It’s so greasy?” Even as an 8 year old girl I understood what that comment meant. My friend’s hair wasn’t greasy. I didn’t use any products or utensils. What her mother meant was that her daughter’s hair looked “too black,” which she felt was disgusting.

Back to Liam. So when his teacher’s face changed after running her hand through his hair my heart dropped. As a mother I don’t want my child to experience any hurt, especially hurt I enabled! I chose his hair style. This is my fault! Immediately after dropping Liam off, my mind started racing. I sped to a local beauty supply store. I had just recently changed his shampoo and conditioner and his curls had been dryer than usual which is why he had EXTRA product in his hair this morning… The hair store was closed. I thought, “maybe it’s time to give up the curls? Should I cut off his hair?” A mired of things ran through my mind. I preach, live, stress black pride in our house because growing up in a predominately Caucasian area as a child left me feeling ashamed of my blackness too often.

I ask Liam daily does he like his hair. I don’t want white society shunning my baby because his hair is different. That. That alone is enough to break my heart. So here I am sitting outside in my car with anxiety because I don’t know if Liam noticed or felt what I felt. I’m unsure of how his day will go. I’m unsure if his teacher has the gall to change his hairstyle so that it’s more appeasing to her. I’m unsure if I’m over reacting. Am I over reacting?

I decided to drive back to Liam’s school. My body wouldn’t let me do anything else. I drove back. I walked into his classroom. I walked him out of his class. I whispered to him, “You are a handsome, strong and intelligent brown boy. Your hair is the coolest hair in all the world. I love you and Jesus loves you. Do you understand?” Liam replied, “yes.” We hugged and kissed.

This moment reminded me of how impressionable children are. My experience as an 8 year old made me feel like braids weren’t cool. I never told my mom but shortly after that incident I refused to wear braids in my hair. She thought it was phase but in actuality I wanted to detach myself from anything my peers thought was bad or different—even if that meant disassociating myself from my own culture. Because my son is 3 years old, and I wasn’t sure if he understood what had just happened, so to combat any of my doubts I decided to remind him of what I’m sure he already knows– his black is beautiful. xoxo,

Christian