My Sweethoney Glistening

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“It’s a hell of an honor supporting self reliant, little black girls and boys. Those who love themselves, or need extra support, but allowing them to love themselves nonetheless. Building self-confident, self-assured, aware, #blackchildren without fear, without burdening them with the worlds problems, or with our own needs and problems, without expecting them to fulfill all the things we didn’t, is a feat, that we’re working through. Shout out to all of the beautiful, black mamas and papas (to include loved ones of my own, doing it right now), raising RAD ASS, capable ass, black humans! It can be a difficult road, yet it’s not an impossible journey. Keep up the fantastic work. You got support! We got this!”

Had the privilege of spending a few hours with my 7-year old goddaughter, this afternoon. Her mother went on a job interview (that she scored, on the spot, by the way 🙌🏾)! I was asked to spend time with her until mama finished. We went to my goddaughter’s favorite store, or perhaps, favorite for most children her age, Toys-R-Us. As we walked through the maze of toys, she kept asking for things that I didn’t have the money to buy lol! Its a thing convincing a 7-year old that you’re not rich and barely have money to pay your rent, but knowing she’s still a child I decided to contribute to her experience the best way I could. I snappped photos of all of the items that me, I mean, she wanted, so we could show them to her mother (a big kid like me can dream right 😜 lol?!) She told me that I could show her mama the pictures, but that Santa 🎅🏾  was really the one to tell, since he did all the hard work on Christmas. I didn’t want to burst her bubble about Santa not being real, plus she was at a vibratory frequency, so elevated that I didn’t want to destroy a moment so pure.

I listened instead of talking at her. It seemed therapeutic for us both, the experience of walking through what I call a real live toy jungle #toysrus. We used the time to catch on previous weeks. She was rambunctious, yet mildly subdued while showing me her favorite toys, behaving almost well enough, so that I might buy her something (wishful thinking kid lol)! At any rate, she especially liked the #shopkins, some grocery store item toys and other funny things like that. She told me about doing well in school. I asked, what her favorite part was. She replied, “I loooooooooove reading #chapterbooks!” I asked, why? She told me a story about being able to read them really fast and that she likes all the big words. She went on to tell me that she wants a hundred chapter books to read. Talk about AMBITIOUS, you go girl 🙌🏾🤓🤪!

We walked around most of the store before my feet started to hurt lol! Before leaving, she suggested that we go over to the dolls section. Part of me was nervous because from my view, there was little representation of any dolls that looked like us. I had to trust her though. It’s something about trusting our children in their ability to lead, at least in that moment. Immediately, she gravitated to the few dolls that looked like us #blackandbrown. I was like, I’ll be damned lol! Not that I was surprised-it was more a refreshing feeling, if that makes since? I was beyond happy to know that she was intuitively paying attention! She asked me to take a picture of the first doll she liked. Talk about honored, I was! Photo below

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I captured the brief moment on video, perhaps two seconds too late because she raved on and on about this particular doll, or maybe I was right on time because she still got the point. The moment she chose a doll that had the same hair texture and complexion as her. She didn’t shy away from the familiar. She didn’t shy away from how she really felt. She was in awe of this inanimate objects reflection of herself! It was so much bigger than that. She exclaimed, she’s so pretty!” Here is the short video link from my Instagram page @girlrillavintage ⬇️

She went on to choose, several more dolls of color that she liked. She payed a compliment to her mother by showing me a doll that she said, “looked pretty like her mama”! She asked me to take more photos of dolls that she wanted for Christmas. Here are some of the photos I captured in those moments. I’m so pleased at how at age seven, she hasn’t yet been damaged by our society’s anti-black messages in that way. How inspiring it is to witness her mother, my best friend, raising, three, thriving black daughters. And to witness how the women in her family encouraged her sense of self (from her Nana, to aunties, to her older sister) all who wear their hair #natural and funky other styles!

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What an awesome experience to have had with her! How, I used the opportunity to empower the power within her. How, she sought a reflection of herself in that store. How, I watched her #fallinlove with her beautiful #afrikanface, despite, us being underrepresented in that moment. How AWESOME, witnessing her compliment the black girls in her life. How, she recognized the beautiful familiar in those dolls, and embraced the same within herself. God-mommy win of the year lol! Safe return to the little black girl inside me, living vicariously through her, and all those cool #toys lol! And although I never got to be a playful, little #blackgirl like her, look at how beautiful it is that she gets to be. Sweet honey, glistening! 🍯 ⭐️ 💫 🌟

 

Oh yes and after I showed her mother all the photos and video, she urged me to share this with the world on social-media because it made her proud too, so here we are with permission lol!

Warmest,

#TAG AKA #THEEAMAZINGGRACE AKA #GRACEBERRY #DJBOODESTANK AKA #SLEEPY AKA #MIKE AKA #BROWNSKINSKINNYKID

Beyond the Seven Letters In Forever

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I keep pulling memories from my follicles, little bro. Wish you had left here a little easier. A little softer. Calmer. A bit more peace left behind. A little less dramatic. But shit, it wouldn’t be you. You remind me. You remain, the deepest love I’ve ever known. My brother. Missing you on this day of your death. Shoutout, to my loved ones for showing me today! ♥️

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On the eve of your departure, little bro. Post-up In the mirrored halls we’ve spent so much time. Time being #queer #young AND #black lol! I peak over my shoulder, only to see you there. Missing you beyond the 7-letters in #forever. #tribesgiving #belvedere #mybrothersswag #agingmakesmeknowit #magicalspirit

To the Maia Campbell’s of the World, We love you!

IMG_5349We always have the opportunity to value someone in a low place. A friend and I met a gentleman of #afrikanfacedescent yesterday who was visibly troubled. He stumbled through each step like a baby first learning to walk. His hands and arms were badly swollen and bruised. His shoulder was injured, covered in a thick, bloody gauze. His eyes were glazed over. His clothes were disheveled, draping over his frail bones. He looked fucked up! As my friend and I approached we asked how we could help him. He could barely speak. We probed until finally he agreed to some water. I ran to my house to grab something cold. It was hot out there! We encouraged him to seek medical attention, but he refused. He told us that he was a accosted by the police the night before and all he wanted was to go home. He never told us where home was. But we stayed with him, listened to him, put water on his neck, showed him that he matters. He finally got the strength to continue on to his destination. He reached to give us hugs and thanked us for our help and told us he would never forget us. His eyes became brighter just for a moment. We embraced him, tight because healing is what he needs. He might’ve been on #dope but none of that mattered. My mother was #crackaddicted and didn’t survive. Human beings are spiritual beings and they need love. Sending all my love to #maiacampbell who needs all the love she can receive.

Warmest,

Grace

Letter to NY Daily News Re: Alton Sterling Cover

Mr. Mortimer Zuckerman,

Are there any limits to the images NY Daily will publish? Your agency, being the fourth-most widely circulated tabloid in the U.S., I find it hard to believe that it would be acceptable to publish the blood soaked images of officers slain in Dallas, so why Alton Sterling? Or maybe that is a level of trauma and dehumanization reserved only for civilians of Afrikan descent? I’m deeply troubled by your lack of concern. Even the 1928 cover of Ruth Snyder’s execution was more dignified than Mr. Sterling. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

It reminds me of how my life as a woman of Afrikan descent is not in my hands. And how we are all hard-wired to endure, overcome, hold on a little longer when our bodies are left alone to die with cameras trained on us like guns. And publishers like you dissect and sell our pain for profit. Llike it’s “sport” to kill Afrikan bodies the same way it is to kill Afrikan wildlife, for trophies? Our existence is a catalyst to the indifferences we face EVERY TIME racial disparities happen. And you express no moral sorrow and publish it anyway.

We are all #micahxavierjohnson. The pain that caused the reaction. When we’ve had enough. When our silence no longer comforts. When our pain suffocates us & we become brave enough. AND I DON’T HATE WHITE PEOPLE, OR WANT TO KILL THEM. I WANT me and my loved ones to live. We NEED to survive encounters with the police. We NEED to survive their judgements about us before we open our mouths. We NEED hugs, mental, and emotional sensitivity. We NEED white publishers like you to look at your own humanity, know when you’ve gone too far and fix it!

Concerned,
Gracie Berry
Huntsville AL 35810

We Are All Micah Xavier Johnson

“Micah Johnson’s tactics are not my own, yet I’m all too familiar with his pain. I’m black. I’m alive while black today, yet my future is uncertain. My future does not seem to be in my own hands. I can’t help, but to feel his pain. And NO I don’t hate white people or want to kill them! I want to live. I need my family and fellow friends of Afrikan descent to live. I need us to survive encounters with police. I don’t want our bodies riddled with bullets when compliant. I don’t want us to be judged before we open our mouths. I want questions asked first, a safe return. I want an excuse offered to the state of our mental and emotional health. I don’t want our bodies riddled with bullets or chokeholds, blood. I want our bodies to be our own. I don’t want us struggling to be black. To struggle to exist. I want the world to know that we do and on purpose. I want them to accept that we do and let us live like we do. In some ways we are all #micahxavierjohnson, when we’ve had enough. When our silence no longer comforts. When our pain suffocates us & we become brave enough.”

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Micah Xavier Johnson

My second point is, FUCK false supremacy! Yes. I said, False Supremacy. Perley Cooper taught me that. The “white” is to incite inferiority. They don’t have any more power over us than we do, its an illusion tactic to overpower us to feel inferior. They plaster all things white all over the world, ALL over as to account for what is “normal” “acceptable”, “respectable”, or the “standard” for all living creatures. But they are not. They try to confuse us, chip away at our humanity, our images, our very lives. They try to evoke in us a feeling of less-than who and what we know we are. WE ARE RICH WITH MELANIN! We must change what we feel to believe what we KNOW. WE ARE AFRIKANS-THE MOST POWERFUL SPIRITS ON THE PLANET! AUCTOCHTHONOUS-THE FIRST PEOPLE, JUST LOOK AT EGYPT AND NIGERIA AND MARS. Don’t ever forget that.

Thirdly, to all of my friends and family of Afrikan descent who are parents don’t fret you’re doing just fine. Continue to guide those babies just as you always have strong, loving, black, proud. Don’t let fear override the great work you’ve done. Love is our freedom. Teach them the ways of our people, so that even if they decided one day to be an officer of the law, they will NEVER compromise themselves or our people. They will always know their truth and honor that no matter what. We can’t shelter our babies from the realities of racism and injustice in the world, but we can teach them and nurture them in the way they grow, teach the their power, that we as Afrikan people indeed have POWER! Believe in their ability to choose. BELIEVE IN THEM!

Love is and always has been BLACK-who we are. Love is in our DNA. Just look at how resilient and accepting, and forgiving sometimes to our own demise because thats where we come from, the home from where we come. We have to believe that. We must believe in our own abilities. Our people are winning in spite of ourselves and aside from all of the death and destruction plaguing our communities. Many will die to free our people, but they will never be forgotten, their deaths can never be in vain. Their struggle is ours to wage, and we must stay in it. We are limitless in our abilities. We can truly be and do anything. Grow them seeds and they will give us more fruit. One love to the people! Afrikan people, I don’t need to know you to love you to tears.

#TAG #TheeAmazingGrace #Girlrillavintage