Self love as told by an ant, a hill and a house for sale

I am always looking for new books for the boy child and little madam. One of the great things about the internet is the access it gives us to books that are diverse, representative and reflective of different stories. So, I am always super excited when I hear of new books coming out. This one, Anthill For Sale by Johnny Ray Moore, is one for the holiday book list.

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In all honesty, I was skeptical when I first picked it up, but it’s a charming book with a great lesson about appreciating and valuing what you have, especially when others don’t. The book is illustrated beautifully, and the story is told in an upbeat and lyrical way, so kids will love it. Parents will love the nuisances of the book (in other words, you won’t fall asleep reading it).
The story surprised me, the pictures are so lively and the story itself is told in a way that is so animated. The sentimentality of the story surprised me too. Have you ever had to move? All those feelings of excitement and longing to stay where you are, worry about loosing the memories you made in your home, are all captured in this book.ladybug

But for me as a Black mom, I drew deeper meaning as well about seeing value in yourself especially when others don’t. Alvin the ant is shocked and upset that people won’t love his home and value the same things he values about his home in the same way. The story is about self love for me. It is about learning to value yourself and essentially protecting yourself, from other’s who may unwittingly bring you down. So deep right? Who knew an ant, a hill and a for sale sign could be so inspiring. That’s when you know you’ve found a good kids book I guess. When the message is subtle, but strong enough to leave kids with a beautiful lesson.
If you get a copy, let me know what you think. Drop a comment.

A chat with Black Moms Connection founder Tanya Hayles

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Tanya Hayles, Founder, Black Moms Connection

When the boy child was 5 years old, he called me ‘Blackie’ and proudly told me that his friend from school told him that ‘Blackie’ was another word for Black people.  To say I was shocked, upset, angry was an understatement.

That moment, that time the boy child called my a racial slur, was my awakening.   Aside from the racial slur, this was the period when the boy child decided he didn’t want to be black, that he wanted blond straight hair. It was the time he would cry anytime I came near his head with a comb.  It was also the summer I had to explain to a crying six year old that no, he couldn’t have the toy gun that someone had bought him for his birthday, because a little boy named Tamir Rice had just been killed, playing with a toy gun in a park.  And, it was the summer that I was kicked out of a mainstream moms group because I was looking for support and asked if any other Black moms wanted to connect. Despite all this…it was the summer I found my village…Black Moms Connection.

In the season 2 finale of the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast, I chat with the founder of the Black Moms Connection group, Tanya Hayles about all things Black Motherhood….and Black Panther…just because.

Subscribe to the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast anywhere you get your podcasts.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/po…/wokemommychatter/id1293971353

Libsyn: http://wokemommy.libsyn.com

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/wokem

 

The Push for Work Life Balance

I-want-to-be-a-mother-for-more-than-just-one-hour-a-day-1024x576-1518045111I recently wrote an article about only having one hour a day to spend with my kids if I accept a full-time 9-5, no flexibility job. One hour. That is my reality, and for me, that is not acceptable.    Why is it that in a world (at least in Canada), where maternity leave has been extended to two years and where men are now being given the opportunity to take six weeks off after the birth of a child, flexible working once women go back to work and children get older, seems elusive.

In this episode of the podcast, I chat with Brainne DeRosa, authour of the Red, Round or Green blog, about a recent article she wrote for Motherwell Magazine, ‘On not leaning in, but not leaning out.’

This is a two part discussion.

Download  PART I of the podcast.

Woke Mommy ChatterSubscribe to the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast anywhere you get your podcasts.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/po…/wokemommychatter/id1293971353

 

Searching for my own Wakanda

Killmonger-WKabi-and-TChalla-Black-PantherThe Black Panther movie was epic!  It was magnificent and just completely and utterly excellent.  But, it also left me thinking about the complicated connection that all of us of African ancestry, living in the diaspora, have to the land from which our ancestors were taken.  My own family tree is a network of blank spots and unanswered questions. Simply, because we don’t know the answer to the question of who our people were. Our history of quite literally stolen from us.

My sister though, has spent over 10 years trying to piece together the pieces of our family history and on the latest episode of the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast, I talk to her about her journey, reveal her DNA test results and chat about a family ancestor that could be the key to our African roots.

//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6279379/height/90/theme/custom/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/“>Listen to the Podcast

 

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Subscribe to the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast anywhere you get your podcasts.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/po…/wokemommychatter/id1293971353

 

The One Where We Talk About Black Love

Woke Mommy Chatter – The Podcast is back with 8 new episodes.  We are kicking off season 2 with an episode on Black Love.  I chat with Destinii and Brandon from the @BlaqLoveSoul Instagram blog about the beauty of Black love, some of the challenges and their own love story.

Brandon and Destinii
Brandon and Destinii, creators of the @BlaqLoveSoul Instagram blog.

Black love truly is beautiful, in some ways it is revolutionary.  It is defiance in the face of injustice and racism.   Black love is perseverance, in a society that has attempted for years to undermine black relationships, to strip black people of their ability to love each other, to uphold each other and to bond with each other.

Black love is comfort, home, it a sense of security and peace in knowing that you are enveloped in an embrace of those who share common experiences, who understand the struggle, who strive to achieve despite all odds.

Black love stands strong in the face of societal pressure from billboards, and commercials and marketing campaigns and television shows and memes, and Instagram posts that seek to perpetuate the myth that black love is dying. That it no longer exists, that its blackness is toxic.

Black love is community, it is protests, it is standing hand in hand, and it is support for each other, supporting neighbours, supporting family.  It is hope in the future. It is uplifting.

Black love is resistance, it is a fist in the air, it is the power of convictions, it is striving towards change, it is people who dedicate themselves to their community, it is unapologetic in its blackness.

Black love is pride.

Black love is hurt and pain.  It is complicated.  It is the grief of communities destroyed by lack of opportunities and injustice of biased societal structures that uphold white supremacy.  It is fear for black children, for our partners, for ourselves.

Black love is migration, it is building a future away from those you love, communities you love, in the hopes that the generations after will do better.  It is sacrifice. It is courage

Black love is beautiful.  It is Sunday afternoon hair days, and cook-outs and worship.  Is carnival and bacchanals and dance hall.   It is celebration.

Black love is empowering.  It is community. It is about thriving against all odds.  It is about defying the oppressor.   Black love will always be political.  Black love will always be divisive, black love will always exist.

Black love is everything.

Listen to the Black Love episode of the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast.

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Subscribe to the Woke Mommy Chatter podcast anywhere you get your podcasts.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/po…/wokemommychatter/id1293971353