Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October Fourth

So we celebrated our seven years of marriage October fourth. And I think after reflecting on our journey thus far, it has been to say the least quite adventurous. So much has happened, but we press on trusting that God in His infinite wisdom will never give us what we cannot handle. We have experienced great losses and great joys. Sometimes I say wow! How did we survive all those difficult times? The only answer, is Christ in our lives and all our wonderful friends and families. I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I have matured in many ways, but I know there is more maturing that needs to take place. I am optimistic, and I am most grateful to my husband who has been an amazing partner through the years. I want to be accountable , so I will share some areas in which I pray that God helps me with. I truly want to be a better wife to my husband, a better Mom to our son and also a better friend. My focus is to be gracious, humble, and try to take a deep breath before acting or responding to situations that are not in my control. God has blessed me with so much, and I want to bless others too, so Lord help me to be a better follower of your word... Amen.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blessed Mother Teresa

Today I read a bit about mother Teresa, and I an pressed to say that she was certainly a remarkable person. I am so moved as to say that in her life of devoted service to the poorest of the poor, and not feeling the presence of God, is a testament of her faith. As a convert to Catholic Christianity, I felt deeply like I understood her dryness in my own little way. I may not quite understand everything about being a follower of Christ, but I know that I believe. And even when I don't know, my faith carries on, unwavering , trusting that God IS. And will always be, ever present. So thank you mother Teresa, for your deep faith and trust even as you felt dry. And was steadfast till the end in doing the work you were called to do. All glory be to God now and forever...Amen  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saying good bye

These past couple of weeks have been hectic, a lot has happened that really puts things into perspective for me. Two friends from my church family have been called to the banquet table of our Lord, and saying good bye is not easy. As we celebrate the lives of our friends by remembering them, it not easy to accept that we Will not see them again here on earth. Times like this bring back memories of family who have been gone but never forgotten. I am not sure that anyone will ever understand, but knowing that we serve a living God helps to ease the burden of pain that is felt after such a great loss.

So today I can try to be better, love better, help better, listen better, play better and let things that I can not make better be a reminder to me that somethings will be better ONLY at the banquet table of our Lord... Amen

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stand firm in your faith!

Yes! We must stand firm in our faith regardless of our life situations. We just attended the Catholic charismatic renewal at Anaheim and the experience as always is up lifting and spirit filled. My spirit is renewed and I am so blessed to have God in my life. There is no other way to have joy, God is the one that makes our joy complete. There is a lot to be done, we have to rise up and not become lukewarm in our walk with God. Like it or not, apart from God we can do nothing.Take a good look around and see all that God Has made possible. Every breathe we take reflects God's gift to us. May we take time to be grateful today. And be just a little kinder to those we meet.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dr. Laura and the N-- word!

I have listened to Dr. Laura for many years, though I appreciate a lot of her advice, I find her to be grossly insensitive and incompassionate most of the time. She seem to deal with people as if they are robots and in my opinion has a holier than thou attitude about herself. All that been said, I do not think she is racist. Just my opinion. I listened to the call that has caused all the upset, and her saying she is quitting her show. I just think it was about time for her to leave the airways anyway. Overtime she had become predictable so I am sure she will not be missed that much. Back to my point on her using the n-word 11 times on the call. I think she was just trying to make a point and got in over head because she was getting frustrated with the caller. At the end of the call, when she was trying to clarify herself, one can sense that she felt bad, but cannot take back the way she had responded to the caller. In my opinion, she should have just apologized to the caller, and thought a little more of what was been said to her, but in her arrogance and lack of sensitivity, she crushed herself to the ground ouch! I personally was not offended by the whole call, but Dr. Laura came across as unprofessional and defensive. Her pride got in the way and she ended up looking like the crazy one at the end of that call.

As an African American, I have to try to just listen to people and try not to be overly sensitive about race issues. After becoming an American citizen, I do not want to allow every racial issue to cloud my love for people . In my life experience in Africa, race was never something I had to worry about, but I can also appreciate that our country has had some really bad past history concerning race and still does. My life today is to focus on celebrating with those who value me as a person of character and integrity. And if that is not good enough, 1000 angels trying to convience those who do not value me will never make a difference. So I have no time for such people and could care less about their miserable opinions of me. You are only afraid of others you do not know because you have a warped sense of yourself . I was not raised to fear people, but to learn to understand them and find a common ground with them. Thanks be to God that we are different, because I will be the first to say hey Lord how about some variety...He he! Now go take on your life!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life's abundance

Today was a special day to me, just because of the grace of God in my life. I have been reading a book The heart of abundance , though these are words I have already read and quite aware of, this time it just gave new meaning to every word. I believe in true generosity, life is not worth much if we only care about ourselves alone. So as I was driving and reflecting on what I had just read, I became acutely aware of how awesome and great God is and how magnificent He is to all. We are sons and daughters of the Most high, who has given us everything we can ever hope for. My contentment in life, is knowing this fact and believing in it. God Has made it so that all the greatest gifts are giving equally to all. The hours of the day, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, the ocean and it's vastness, the air we breathe and the sky above, just to mention a few . Wow! Ears have not heard, eyes has not seen, what God Has ready for those who love Him. I love these words from the Bible, if we have this beautiful earth as our home, how much more we have to look froward to. Lord, I thank you for the grace of knowing you. Help us to be content everyday knowing that we have all that we need ,and worry not about anything. May we strive to be generous like you Lord, giving of what is most important to everyone we meet...Amen

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mannequins in Africa

It has been awhile since my last entry, blame it on the boogie! I guess it is high time I get off my silk box and write on issues that really make the world a much better place. Thank God for those who make a difference everyday.

So I recently went home to Africa and spent sometime with my friends and family, I have to say that it is very refreshing to be around such wonderful people. I got to do a lot with Christopher and my niece and nephews. It was a fun time. As we went about our daily lives, I was
Of course being more observant of my sorroundings more so than I have done before. I was truly focussed on taking everything in, especially because I want Christopher to really value his African heritage and love it.

It was this experience that really makes me appreciate so much where I come from. It was funny at first, but as I reflected on the incident, I only feel so much more confident of who I am and my heritage. So my cousin and I who love shopping, we were doing what we love most and as we went from plaza to plaza checking out the fashions, I had to stop and ask. Why are all the mannequins in the shops white?
I actually asked one manager and he was surprised at my question. He told me that is what they had so that is what they use with absolutely no qualms. Of course for someone like me who is from America, it was a shock. Especially when Nigeria is predominantly Africans who are dark in complexion. There was no shadow of concern in their minds about it. I was actually happy to see how the color of the mannequin was irrelevant to them. They were just happy to show case their merchandise and that was all that mattered to them. I shopped as many shops as possible and all the mannequins were the same. I just had to mention this, because who we are as people should be to uphold one another and never be so focussed only on the color. So I find myself giving thanks for such an experience, because it makes me feel so confident and proud of who I am as an African American.

I just had to share this, and I hope that anyone who reads this will also see the beauty in the experience with me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Healthcare Craze

Am I the only one saying what the heck is going on with the politics of our country? After the health care bill passed, all of a sudden crazy remarks are made to disparage the efforts. If the tables where turned, they will have done the same. The debate was on for almost a year and they still cannot get over it. If you do not like the ideas before you, then produce your own. Instead of complaining and raising unnecessary out burst. You had your chance and nothing was done, someone else comes and did something and now you are overwhelmed with contempt. I am an independent voter, and this childish and incompetent way these people have expressed themselves has really shown how crazy some politicians are. It just makes me so peeved. In America we have what we call the elections, and if you want to see change go and vote when the time comes. So for now, SHUT THE HECK UP! We do not need all the rhetoric's, we have heard them many times over. So do yourselves a favor and grip about something else! At least the people who voted for change are seeing results and not a bunch of talk with nothing to show for it. And stop using scare tactics to get people on your side, it's not working! We know what we want and we are not afraid to take risks. If at the end things don't work out, we make changes and forge ahead. And until that time, go into your cave and bang your heads on the wall, because no body cares about your self righteous way of thinking. In short GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!!

What the HECK!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Even Barbie!

Okay, a lot has happened since my last post, and it seems to me that somehow we just have to accept somethings but at the same time speak the truth. There are somethings that I know will always vex me, and they will always be unacceptable. Like the issues I will discuss in this post, I may sound harsh but guess what ? It is what it is. So it was the comment that John Mayer recently made in his interview with playboy magazine, and I guess the idea was that he made a comment about his private part being racist as he was asked about his interest in black women. The other one I heard on the radio was about barbie dolls and the indication was that two barbie dolls that were exactly alike except for the color were priced differently, the white doll was $5.75 and the black doll was $3.00 and then they all laughed at the idea, saying does that mean that white women are worth more? The point again is to belittle a group of people. First off I didn't see it that way I thought it was a matter of demand. After all I don't think that blacks are running to the store to buy a doll that doesn't look anything like them. The point here is this, beauty tome is of every race and no particular race has monopoly on beauty. To everyone who thinks like John Mayer I am sorry to break the news to you, black women are NOT sitting around waiting for you to come and rescue them, the rejection is totally mutual. I was actually saddened by this fact when I first came to America, because I never thought that people will actually refuse to date someone just because of their race, what a shame. I can understand if there is a character or integrity issue, but to reject each other in such a way is quite sad. It goes back to the beginning yet again, of how the blacks were treated. The women watch their men being beaten and humiliated, while the same men will go and rape the women. There were kids everywhere that were born as a result of this, and they had no fathers to claim them, because the black men were sure not the fathers. I still find it hard to understand why there has to be such a put down especially of black women. They were the ones that had to endure such violation and exploitation when they were brought to this country. The only reason I feel we are so put down, is because the men who started this destructive pattern are trying to save face, so they will do anything to prove to their women that they do not like black women. If I was a white woman, my first question to those men will be if the women are savages and animals like you described them, how come you kept raping them? And most of the men were actually married at that time, so figure that one out for me please. Such hypocrites and pin head minded people. And so to compensate for their inhumane behaviors they have made it a point to sell to the rest of us that somehow beauty is a monopoly, but unfortunately it has now backfired on everyone including their own. Because today the low self esteem issue is a plague that consumes the women of this country. A standard that has been set cannot be reached even by their on women that have been placed on a pedestal. America compared to other countries is so focused on looks and appearance that even barbie is finding it hard to keep up. Most women feel bad about their looks, suffer from eating disorders, or lack self esteem. The sins of the past generation are reaping havoc all over the place.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Now what?

I am sure everyone is aware, one way or the other, about the evil of what slavery has done to our society. I am also sure that the response about the issue, especially today, is that blacks should move on with their lives - after all, it happened long time ago. Well, I was one of those who thought the same way until I began to understand what such an experience does to your psyche. It is not enough to just say get over it - there is a missing portion of reality that no one has bothered to consider. The fact that most black Americans do not have a clear knowledge of what part of Africa they came from, and have a very warped view of Africa in general, plays a huge role in their ability to embrace it. The founding fathers did not go out of their way to preserve the Africans and their heritage. They brought them solely to build this new country and could not care less about them. That is why I feel blacks have not shown much interest in pursuing the truth of where their ancestors came from. What is shown on television about Africa in general by the media is so far from what life is like there. The perception is that Africa is some kind of dump where nothing good can be found, and yet Africa is most exploited of her great natural resources by all the so called civilized nations.

When I first arrived in the USA, I wanted so much to make friends with everyone - It didn't matter who they were. I especially wanted to form close relationships with the black Americans, but to my dismay, they actually were very critical of Africa. I asked them how they had come to such harsh conclusions, and of course the response was connected to what the media portrays to everyone. I am very proud of my African heritage - I will not even wish to have it any other way, but over time I can understand why they have such a negative view of Africa. When all you see on TV are kids with pot bellies and flies all around them, living in the most difficult conditions that seem hopeless, it will definitely turn anyone away. The truth is most countries have a segment of their population that experiences such hardship and marginalization and this is true for Africa too. Africa is still a developing country and to compare it to developed countries is ridiculous. If blacks in America will ignore the nonsense being sold to them and truly focus on what is true, I believe the effect of their past history will be put on the right perspective.

There is no greater teacher than the place where they came from, which is the Western parts of Africa. All the programs and mediocre curriculum that the school system teaches will never make a difference. It is imperative for blacks to go to Africa and truly experience the culture and heritage. This is what I know and believe will bridge the gap that has kept the black community from attaining great heights in America. The first time I ever knew about our President Barack Obama was when I saw a biography about him, before he had even run for the highest office in America. And in this biography, they had shown him visiting Kenya, his father's birth place. It was a very informative piece about him and I just knew that he would never be the same again after that visit to Kenya. In later months, I also came to find out that he was in the running to be the President and I said to myself - he is going to win. I just knew that the visit to Africa solidified his identity and the innate sense of self that made him know and feel that there was nothing he could not do. That is why blacks MUST make it a great priority to go visit Africa and learn the truth about their heritage. And if the government, as they claim, want to bridge the gap for blacks, they MUST encourage and make it possible for it to happen. The experience will be life changing - I guarantee it. So if we all say "now what?", the answer is let the blacks go to Africa and learn about who they truly are as a people.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Think again

I knew more about the Holocaust as a young student back home than I did of slavery. And now that I am a mom and my son will be learning more about history as he also grows up, I wanted to make sure that he learns all the aspects of history and not just what the text books might say. I am now very biased about history lessons, because it is written only from one point of view. As I piece together all that I know, I am more equipped to express my views on the subject of slavery through the eyes of an African child. I remember when my dad was telling us stories about the colonial masters who came to Nigeria in search of new lands to conquer and also natural resources that they did not have from where ever they came from. He told us they gave villagers mirrors,clothing and of course alcohol. One may ask why such basic things? I believe now that these items were given because it gave the receiver immediate gratification, and the giver knew exactly what they were doing. My dad said, they where told more will be given to them as they corporate in allowing them take some of their natural resources in exchange, which also included letting them use the people to get the work done. It was suppose to be a fair exchange, so they thought. And this began a series of life altering events that has changed a group of people forever. From what I know, my dad also learned about this from his parents, and the other elders in the villages.

As I learn about all this, I want you to just think about this for a moment, and place yourself in the shoes of an African child, and let me take you back to how it all began. It is a new day and you have just woken up and your mom and dad were already up getting ready for the days work. In those days farming and hunting was the stock in trade. You live a very simple life surrounded by friends and family. The compound is your haven, you have all that you need, food, shelter and yes maybe just a piece of something that covers only your private part, life as you knew it was good. Your parents give you instructions for the day and you helped to prepare whatever was needed. This was life as you knew it, simple but filled with what is familiar and you were content. Day after day, that is what happens, and at times the neighbors in the other compounds will gather together to sing, dance and play games with everyone. Then one day the village chief calls for everyone to gather around because there was something wonderful he wanted to share, so everyone assembles and with excitement because this usually means something good was happening, maybe one of the villagers is getting married or maybe a fun and festive occasion was coming up. As you all gathered, you see all your friends and you tell jokes and laugh and play with each other. Then chief comes out, greets you and you chant all the necessary chants to settle down so that you might listen to this exciting news.
The chief who has since been approached by the new immigrants who came from a foreign land and gave him all the goodies they have brought, mirrors, clothing and alcohol now wants to share it with you too. So now everyone is excited and wants to have some it for themselves and the chief says you can, but the foreigner wants you to work for him to get more so that you can also give some to your extended families. Of course anyone who has never seen or have such a thing that is new and amazing will want to be apart of the action, so you sign up. And this was how the deception began. It seem like a fair trade, but the truth is life was about to change forever for those who participated.

So you report for duty after everything has been explained to you, and you were looking forward to work and get these great new things for your family that has been promised. The foreigner said they will bring you back after the work is complete and you will see all your friends and family again. That was the PROMISE. Then they came and took you, as left you waved to all your friends and family, the chief was there and bid you good luck and said come back soon. You walked with all the rest who signed up and the foreigner led the way. You walked and walked for what seem to be a never ending journey. Then finally you came to a canoe and far in the distant in the water is a huge voyager waiting to take you to a distant place that you never knew of and will NEVER return. For those who did not want to go, they were snatched and forced to go, chained neck and feet so that they cannot escape. The villagers were not aware this was happening, because the villages where far apart from each other and it took awhile for word to get around.

Do you know what they called my brothers and sisters? Savages! That's how they referred to them when they communicated within themselves. They beat the villagers who refused to take orders from them and will not give them food or water. And as the villagers waited to be taken away to a land they do not know, the wicked ones among the foreigners will select the young girls and rape them OVER and OVER again, taking turns. And they call my brothers and sisters savages! They must have been out of their flipping minds. The savager himself calling his victims savages, what planet are they from? So rethink what you think you know about black history, I am from Africa and I had to learn about this in my adult life. It really hurts as I began to understand the depth of the history surrounding slavery and of course I am more apt to speak out on the issue with passion.
There is an inherent difference in how you feel about yourself when you are forced or deceived to leave your home, friends and family in the promise that you will return, only to find out that it was all a BIG LIE. Your name is changed, you are beaten, and humiliated in every way possible among your people, even killed. You have no way of escaping the hell you are in. Then you work and work for nothing and you are treated like an animal by animals. Wow! Black Americans should be very proud of what they had to overcome and deserve our respect regardless of how we may feel today.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How it all began

When I arrived in America in 1992, I was very excited and looking forward to new experience and adventure. The most important was to get an education, so that I may go back home and share my knowledge. That has not been the case for God Had other plans for me. So that is why I am choosing to write now, because there is much to be said about my experience and I truly believe that those who are open to listen, may appreciate my insight. I am glad that California was my destination, because after all that I have witnessed, any other place would have been difficult to bear. I will be the one talking about the gorilla in the room that everyone is trying to avoid and hope that it will allow my readers to pause and reflect on what I am trying to say. It took awhile to get to this point and I am ready to face it head on. I have learned much from each and everyone of you and I am better for it, I want to be honest and transparent in letting you into my thoughts and point of view.

On arrival to The USA, my expectations were high and America delivered in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Everything was beautiful and clean, it was raining when we arrived at our new apartment and I was overjoyed to be apart of this new life. As we continue to familiarize ourselves with the culture and traditions, it didn't take too long to see that something was not quite right. Back home in Nigeria I felt comfortable and confident wherever I was or went, it never occurred to me to think that somehow I am not welcome in certain places, I was perplexed about the idea that some how I may have sticky fingers when I go into a shop, so was constantly followed or will have to wait longer to get service while I can see that I had been waiting longer than some people. I was so naive, I thought maybe they didn't see me, so I will go and approach someone, only to be told that someone will be coming to help me... but who? It took awhile to catch on, and when I did, I fought back with everything in me. How dare someone actually look down on me when I have only shown them respect. I was raised to respect everyone, and when I come in contact with people to show them value and acknowledgment. Of course not everyone was this way, but I must say, the ones that were have left a mark. I never knew what racism was, this is where I came to learn about it and experienced it and let me tell you, it was not fun. It changed who I was, but I made it my duty to learn as much as I could about it and to understand the reasons behind it.

As a Christian today, I question why? Why did such ever occur? Christians are not supposed to be that way, that is if Scriptures are what we use as our examples. So I started writing and wanted to publish my life experience in America, with a focus on the Black community and what I know is true based on all that I had studied and drawn from my life growing up in Africa. It is not a simple subject to discuss, but it is imperative that it is, because I believe that there is a gross understatement of the impact of what such an experience can do to someone. I say this as an African immigrant who had the great and blessed opportunity to have been born and raised in Africa. I am at least able to separate the lies and focus on the truth of what it is to be who I am. To be continued...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Give me a break!

I am a black woman of West African origin, I was born & raised in Kaduna which is located in northern Nigeria. Since my move to the USA, I have learned a great deal about the culture and custom of America, though it is a far cry from what I was accustomed to, it has now become my culture too. After my swearing in ceremony to become a naturalized citizen of this great country, I find it necessary to share my views and thoughts about my daily experiences as an American. There has been quite a few times where I felt like screaming my head off when I hear about all the stereotype and crazy insinuations people have of Africa or other cultures that are not American. It is right to say we have a great country, but to assume that nothing else is good out of our realm is pretty shallow and unnerving to say the least. I use my self as an example, the only thing anyone can say that will make any sense to me is probably that they have had a specific experience that I may have not had the opportunity to have. Other than that
there is nothing I cannot do if I set my mind on it. There is nothing out of my league unless I choose not to pursue it. If it's what God has placed in my heart, the pigmentation of my skin has no bearing on my ability to achieve it. Unless of course if someone stands in the way with their little minds to think that only certain people have the ability to do well. I try not to allow it to bother me but sometimes it just vex me to see it happening. I have lived in America for most of my adult life about 18yrs and I think with all I have experienced, I can say HEY GIVE ME A BREAK!