2016 sucked and not just because that is the general consensus, but because it truly did.
Personally it’s been a year of transition for me. We started 2016 in a new home, in a new town, that still doesn’t quite feel like home. The DH started 2016 in a new job that’s really enlightened us on the value of family time and balance.The little madam is growing up and is truly not a baby anymore. The boy child left kindergarten behind and started grade 1.
On the world stage, this was the year that the randomness and fear of terror attacks truly hit the western world with the attacks in Brussels and Paris.
Then there was Syria and the baby Alan Kurdi, whose tiny little body, washed up on a beach and shocked the world out of complacency.
There was the Dakota pipeline and the beauty of defiance.
There was Brexit and the racist vitriol of that campaign that culminated with the murder of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox.
And there was Trump, and death, and more Trump and more death.
But what really defined 2016 for me, what galvanized me to start this blog was the shooting after shooting of black and brown unarmed men in the United States and the denial of the existence of racism, the nonsense of colour blindness and the comments after comments that refused to accept that systemic racism exists and impacts decisions, both in the US and in Canada.
I realized, through many of those conversations, that I was part of the problem, because my experiences, or the challenges my kids faced because of their race, was not something I discussed openly, but instead was something I saved for my black Facebook groups, or to discuss with black family and friends. No wonder people think racism doesn’t exist!. So in a way 2016 gave me a voice. This blog has truly been a gift ( a much much more time consuming gift than I thought, but a gift non the less;))
So 2016 wasn’t all bad….here are a few more of my highlights:
1. Lemonade! This album just defined 2016 for me. Beyoncé was everything this year. I was NEVER a fan. I thought she was shallow and fake and well, silent. But I was wrong…and from the moment she blasted onto that Superbowl field in that black panther outfit,with all those beautiful black women behind her, I was converted. Then there was the visual album, which was just beautiful and unapologetically black and just magic.
2. Angela Rye.…because she said what every black person in the western world was thinking and she said it loud and proud on national TV.
3. Jesse Williams at the BET awards- Black women are always the first to jump to stand up to injustice and defend and fight for black men, but sometimes that isn’t reciprocated, and here was a black man who acknowledged that and told the world… and it was nice…and well, vindicating
4. Solange…this was also the year of Solange. She’s so woke, she was woke before anyone else even opened their eyes and I can bet she’s the one who breathed life into Beyoncé…. her album, A seat at the Table was magic. 4 words…’Don’t Touch My Hair’
5. Trudeau. Trudeau. Trudeau. He’s North America’s only hope now. Enough said.
6. Colin Kaepernick: Because it’s one thing to recognize injustice, but to fight and protest against it, by putting your own career at risk, is truly heroic.
So 2016 wasn’t all bad, but I am still hoping that 2017 will be better. Happy New Year Woke Peeps. See you on the other side!