April 23, 2014

Hue says my voice doesn’t matter?

by Talibah Mbonisi

In October 2008, I started to conceptualize what would eventually become the what I claim as my calling—encouraging and supporting African-American mothers and fathers who despite living apart are, want or could be parenting together. Like many vocations, mine was born not of some brilliant idea but rather of an almost desperate need to see myself and my experiences reflected among the plethora of stories and images of women, mothers, parents on this journey of parenting alone or together after a split.  Although I found many resources that supported single parents, single mothers, even, as well as those which addressed the challenges and the possibilities after divorce, none really felt like “home” to me.

I was a single, working, Black mother of a brilliantly busy little Black boy.  I was among the unwed, and I was struggling trying to find a way to manage conflict with my son’s father and keep our family as far away from the court system as possible.  I felt alone, and the absence of my resemblance in the books I studied and the sites I visited mirrored back to me that I was.

But the truth, which became clearer to me through blogging, is that I am not alone.  My experiences, my voice, colored (pun intended) by everything that has converged to create me as I am in this moment…it all matters.  Somehow it connects me to people who on the surface seem most like me.  But mysteriously, it also opens me up to those who at first glance do not.  Being able to express myself fully through this medium, through this beautiful place called Moms of Hue, knowing that what I say, who I am is embraced, provides me with a potent reminder that the same is true for all of us.  That all of our voices matter…and that there is a place for each of us to call home; a retreat to which we can retire to be fed, filled and empowered to stand strong in who we are so that our mattering might make a difference in this world.

Guest Authors

Guest Authors

We love publishing diverse articles from diverse men and women. If you have something to say and would like your voice heard on We of Hue, please head here to submit and article or here to inquire about joining our team of talented regular authors.

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Revolution

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Qpi-fW6jA

Don’t you know we’re talking about a revolution and it sounds like a whisper-Tracy Chapman

One of our house rules and, one I think a fine rule to follow in all of your interactions, is “Don’t talk about it, be about it”. If you see/feel something isn’t right, make it right. From the simplest to the most complex, make an impact. But how, you may ask? Many of our current problems have lengthy, painful histories; how can any one of us bring about the kind of revolutionary change we’d like to see for ourselves and moreover our children? By “being about it”.

I was inspired by a fellow friend, mother and artist’s post [here] to reflect on the meaning of revolution. Rotation: a single complete turn, I read. And immediately thought of the opportunities- the power we each possess to be part of the revolution one small, good turn at a time.

This week, I forwarded the video featured above to my husband, brother and son. Turning the tables on feminism, and presenting it as a way of life we all can benefit from. I want my men to be feminists too. They are the fathers, sons, husbands and brothers of daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters.

I wrote about racism, both blatant and perceived. I turned the painful topic on its head and asked if in fact race; the human race in all its flawed humanity could be mistaken for the construct of race in all its flawed complexity? It isn’t an easy question or a comfortable one to ask as a Black woman, but if one person thought about the current social clime from a different angle for a fraction of a second, I made a difference.

I wrote a friend and wished her “Happy Roshanah”, followed by an awkwardly humble, “Is that the proper greeting”? Because, I didn’t know. She said it was and, then we talked about apples and honey and Challah bread; knowledge is power. Love, friendship and the Jewish New Year are sweet.

Now, I sit and write this post to encourage and invite you all to share your stories, plans and ideas for the revolution. When you know better, you do better. -O. Winfrey

T. Allen-Mercado

T. Allen-Mercado

T.Allen-Mercado is a mixed media artist, award-winning essayist, student of anthropology, blogger, wife and, mother of two.

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Lessons from an alleged race traitor

After reading “Sometimes the White Girl (Guy) Isn’t About You”  I was reminded of a conversation that I had with a very close childhood friend (who I’ll call Tanya) right before my wedding in 2003.  Our friendship hadn’t really survived our high school years as the older we got the more different we became. When we left for college, those differences only increased and while we spoke on a semi-regular basis, our friendship was not as strong as it had once been. When I called to let her know that I was getting married, her response was, “to that White guy?” and she went on to tell me why dating and then marrying him was a slap in the face to all Black men. She called me a “race traitor” and said that once I had kids I would regret my decision.

Needless to say, I was hurt and annoyed. Strangely and even more so, I was worried that my love for this White man meant that I was not in love with being Black. I had never thought about this before. My mother raised me to love myself, my history, my culture, and everyone else despite our differences – because of our differences. Nonetheless, Tanya’s words stung and even as I remember them now, I feel a little sick thinking about the implication that I was turning my back on my people.

Subsequently, I began noticing every look, squirm, or alleged attitude that we encountered. I became hyper-aware of what everyone around us was thinking. When people actually verbalized their disapproval of our relationship (something that happened a lot when we were around Black people), I exploded with a rage that scared even my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that people did not approve even before our marriage, but it did not bother me then. For some reason, Tanya’s assertion that I was a traitor made me insecure and put me on the defensive.

I wish that I told Tanya that it had nothing to do with her. I wish that I realized that those who disliked my relationship where themselves, insecure and self-loathing. I wish that I had the insight that I have now, six years and one child later. Because, you see, when I look at my daughter, I don’t regret a thing. I know that she is the product of genuine love. She is hope. And while my White man has nothing to do with anyone else, the strength and the courage that I had to go against the grain and to follow my heart- that comes from a long history of people who said “no” to what was “normal” and yes to what was right. The only traitors in my eyes are the ones who want to undo years of struggling for acceptance.

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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Calling all moms of color

It’s time that our voices as mothers and consumers are heard. According to “The 85% Niche” by Miriam Muley, the Buying Power of Women of Color will increase to $1.2 trillion by 2010. That means that your opinions about brands and products are increasingly more important with each passing day.

But how will you make your voices heard?

Easily!

Social media has taken word-of-mouth marketing to a whole new level. With the popularity of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Ning Networks, and numerous other networking sites, there is a way for even the shyest person to become a major player in steering the direction of marketing campaigns.

It’s time to take action and become involved.

Stay tuned for more information and remember, while alone each of us is a force,  together we are a movement!

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

More Posts - Website