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Restoration=Power (Self-Care and BLM)

The Black Lives Matter movement is not something that has recently emerged in America– it has resurfaced. For centuries, America has been a place that has constantly neglected the issues at hand regarding black people. There have been constant battles from the Civil Rights Movement in the mid 1950s to the late 1960s, to the modern day Black Lives Matter movement that was started back in 2013, which is still very relevant till this day. Our American system is built on principles made to serve white men, and has been buried by slogans like “liberty and justice for all,” when in reality justice has countless times never been served for the black innocent lives lost due to the systemic racism present. 

It has been the job of the people to stand against the corrupt American system and fight for basic human rights that everyone is entitled to. There should not be a fight, but there is. There has been, and it will continue until the system is truly changed to serve everyone like they promised. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is particularly important to me because most of my life up to this point, I’ve been influenced by so many black people who have shaped me in ways unimaginable. From my childhood friends, my mentors, music teachers, and my family members I have felt so closely connected to, I feel so enraged about the current state of the country and bias against people who I have felt so much love for. Fighting for your personal community is a form of advocacy I have been exercising. Contributing to this movement and understanding why it is so important, is part of my own growth through continuously learning about shared worries black people around me and nationally have.

The worries black people share nationwide through social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram, have educated me and have brought awareness to issues that are far from the surface. As I’ve read and read through countless posts, articles, and looked at pictures, it instantly made me think if everyone deeply affected by the issues at hand have been taking care of themselves. It made me worried that the strong black people I am so inspired by through their bravery, were looking within and finding ways to stay in touch with themselves. Mental health during these times is incredibly important because sharing with the world your traumas and fears can be draining, so recharging is essential in the restoration of power. Through restoring oneselves power, your voice will be used to its full potential and clearly heard by those like me who are allies. 

Self-Care & BLM 

Many people don’t think that self-care is important during these times because there are greater problems to worry about and advocate for. However, advocacy looks different for everyone, and can actually be tied to anything relating to the honoration of black lives. For example:

  • Painting/Drawing: Painting and drawing are effective ways to perform self care because your focus will be turned over into your art instead of everything else. The problems going on don’t have to be ignored, but instead brought to light through art. Painting and drawing your feelings can help liberate your mind from the stressors contributing to your current worries.
  • Journaling: Journaling is a way where you can be completely honest with yourself and spill everything you have been feeling onto a piece of paper that no one else has to read. This will help in the organization of thoughts and feelings, making it easier to understand yourself and your feelings. This can also help you realize what you truly want to use your voice for the next time you speak up.
  • Reading: Reading is a form of escape from the real world into other stories that have nothing to do with you. Pulling out a book to read can help ease your mind but also give you new perspectives as you go. By reading books by black writers, you can take a trip into one of their stories and connect through their words.
  • Exercise/Dancing: Having feelings of frustration can psychologically be released through exercising. Dancing, more specifically is a gift that can be twisted in a way to serve you physically but also mentally. It is exercise, but also a fun activity to do with your family and friends. During these tough times, putting on music by black artists and dancing will be a way to enhance black artists’ voices through your own self care.
  • Listening to Music/Making Playlists: alongside dancing, listening to music can be a great way to amplify black voices. The stories hiding within music can be an escape from reality, similar to reading books, and you get exposure to the works of art that these artists hold dear to their hearts no matter the genre.

My preferred self care activities would be dance and listening to music since they come hand in hand. Dancing has always been a way for me to destress and recharge myself. During these times I have dedicated myself to learning some dance routines to songs by black artists that I admire. One of these artists being Lizzo. Lizzo is not only an icon of being confidently beautiful, but an inspiration to the black community in general. A black successful artist who has done nothing but spread positivity and light; she should be celebrated through times like these. Black lives matter, her life matters, her father, uncles, cousins, brothers lives matter, and all of her black fans that she inspires matter. 

More on BLM and Music

I decided to make a BLM Playlist and put together songs that I have been listening to throughout this month. There’s a variety of genres included within the playlist so you can either skip around or listen directly through the whole playlist. I recommend listening to the whole playlist because new black creators can be exposed to you, and by streaming their music as a form of self-care, their voices will be magnified. Black lives matter, these artists’ lives matter, their fathers, uncles, cousins, brothers lives matter, and all of the black fans that these artists inspire matter. Here is the link to my playlist:

https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/blm-explicit/pl.u-Ymb09NqTP8Pm8G9

I urge everyone to engage in a form of self care during these times. The Black Lives Matter battle is nowhere near over and the movement needs activists who are strong and powerful. Restoration of power is essential in working towards a changed future, and we will get there. Like Lizzo once said:

You know what I want above all things? I want people who are aware of my music right now, to believe in change.”

 - 08/10/2020 - Rose Padilla

50 Ways You Can Help

For the past couple of the days the BLM movement has turned into an unrest of wanting equality. Many people do not understand the movement because they fail to realize the privilege they have. Seeing several articles on how to stay in involved and what type of media you should be consuming so you are much more aware of what is going on. Here are a couple of lists of media I have seen that can help someone understand.

10 movies/shows you can watch that speak on these issues are…

  1. When They See Us (Netflix)
  2. 13th (Netflix)
  3. American Son (Netflix)
  4. See You Yesterday (Netflix)
  5. Dear White People (Netflix)
  6. Freedom Writers (Netflix)
  7. The Hate U Give (Hulu)
  8. If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
  9. 16 Shots (Hulu)
  10. Hidden Figures (Hulu)

10 Children Book that speak about race…

  1. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up To Be Malcolm X, Ilyasah Shabazz
  2. Let it Shine Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, Andrea Davis Pinkney
  3. Something Happened in Our Town A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice, Ann Hazzard, Marianne Celano, and Marietta Collins
  4. My Hair is a Garden, Cozbi A. Cabrera
  5. My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero
  6. Lailuh’s Lunchbox, Reem Faruqi
  7. Moses: When Harriett Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, Carole Boston WeaherFord
  8.  Happy In Our Skin, Fran Manushkin
  9. Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History, Vashti Harrison
  10. A is for Activists, Innosanto Nagara

10 Petitions you can sign…

  1. Arrest Jared Campbell who maced little girl: http://chng.it/wGPvrnB98T
  2. Justice for Sandra Bland: http://chng.it/gMHfz8gsdc
  3. Justice for Breonna Taylor: http://chng.it/2LnHYJnrYK
  4. Justice for Ahmaud Arbery: http://chng.it/mMgKzRTq9w
  5. Implement Mandatory “I can’t Breathe” Training to All Police Academies: http://chng.it/ZLqM5kDbF9
  6. Justice for Sean Reed: http://chng.it/VpdQYqxqkR
  7. Justice for Emerald Black: http://chng.it/XfMbjGmKGq
  8. Mandate Police force to take “Racial Biased Test”: http://chng.it/MJLzvm8zbm
  9. “Hands Up Act”: http://chng.it/xy4GvHDxfS
  10. Justice for George Floyd: http://chng.it/Rsns9HGJPp

10 Organizations you can donate to…

  1. Brooklyn Bail Fund: https://brooklynbailfund.org/
  2. Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/
  3. This YouTube Video was created to donate if you don’t have money. If you click on the link it will take you to the video and ads will play do not skip the ads and that money will be donated to different BLM organizations.
  4. Bail Fund: https://bailproject.org/
  5. Black Lives Matter Foundation: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
  6. People’s City Council Freedom Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/peoples-city-council-ticket-fund
  7. Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/
  8. Black Vision Collective: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/
  9. Liberty Fund: https://www.libertyfund.org/
  10. Higher Heights Leadership Fund: https://www.higherheightsleadershipfund.org/donate/

10 Podcast to listen to…

  1. 1619- NY Times
  2. About Race
  3. Seeing White
  4. Code Switch
  5. The Diversity Gap
  6. Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
  7. The Combahee River collective
  8. Pod Save the People
  9. Pod for the Cause
  10. Intersectionality Matters! Hosted by Kimberle Crenshaw

 

 - 06/06/2020 - Yaritza Montiel

Empowering Documentaries for Women

Becoming

 

Based off of her memoir Becoming, we follow Michelle Obama through her book tour as she resonates with young women all over America to tell her story. She not only speaks about herself and her successes but includes hardships she faced, connecting it back to young women in Chicago. Michelle Obama decides to speak to young women in almost every state to see how they view the world and to listen to the hardships they face.

“I crave some longer experiences with young people. Through the community events. The tour could do a great job of giving me a little taste of it.” 

She gives them advice and makes sure that they are not giving up, making sure that they follow their dreams. Following the story of the first woman of color becoming the first lady and having her husband be the first Black president. She speaks about her experiences in the White House and how it has had an affect in her life. Telling stories from her childhood to adulthood and how they made her the woman she is today. Students in colleges asking her questions about being a successful black woman. What it actually means to her to preserve. 

“I have been at, probably, every powerful table there is in the world. I’ve been at G-summits, I’ve been in castles and palaces, in boardrooms and academic universities. And I’m coming down from the mountaintop to tell every young person that is poor and working-class and has been told, regardless of the color of your skin, that you don’t belong, don’t listen to them. They don’t even know how they got into those seats”

Knock Down The House

This movie is a little different because it is not just about one person but four different women from different places across the US trying to speak up. This shows how just to get one seat at the table is extremely hard to do and to see that only one of the four women makes it is very devastating. The four democratic women who run are Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearengin all back in 2018 who were trying to get a seat in congress. 

“Being a woman of color, our image is really scrutinized. You have to speak like this, you have to dress like this, I decided that ‘Yea, I don’t care.’ Basically, you deal with it. You know, people in my district, this is how we look. I’m going to serve and represent the people of my district.” Cori Bush

The movie does primarily focus on Alexandra Ocasio Cortez because she ends up getting her competitor. But also the true story that the women went through in order to transform Congress. Politics are includedm but it helps to show this side of how and who influences politics. All women make reasonable claims about being a woman trying to have your voice heard in this day and age. Overall, it is very uplifting to see AOC Bronx born to succeed and represent minorities in congress. Ask and propose the things that are important to the working class. 

“For one of us to make it through, 100 of us have to try.” AOC

I believe that overall these two movies are by far some of the most empowering movies that actually help you see the bigger picture. These movies tell you a story of different women and different upbringings, but at the end of the day they still end up succeeding. Both AOC and Michelle Obama have made just a big difference in people’s lives. Their stories are one of a kind but still stories that us minorities can find hope and motivation. Motivation to stand out and continue proving people wrong. Being the person to speak up for when something is wrong, not being afraid to give up when it gets hard. These documentaries are very helpful to young women as well to be able to see the harsh truth of the world and to learn from it. To show women that even if you fall, get back up and try again.

 - 05/20/2020 - Yaritza Montiel
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JUST MERCY

Yesterday, we went to see JUST MERCY with my class afterschool, and it was a great experience. The movie was amazing, and we all had some laughs and just really enjoyed being there. The movie was very touching and made a few people emotional. I would really recommend people watching this movie because I would definitely watch JUST MERCY again.
-Coudjegi Haidara

 - 03/02/2020 - Nedjra Manning
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Posada 2019

December 18, 2019 | 18 de diciembre de 2019

5:15-6:45 pm

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Student Reporting – Jocalyn’s experience

Recently, I went to see the film, Harriet. When I was younger I learned about Harriet Tubman but I learned a lot more after watching her film. One thing I learned that I didn’t know before was how (in detail) she would free slaves. She was a slave herself before anything else. And the fact was that she was so resilient regardless of what the consequences would be. She fought for her family and fellow slaves but most importantly, she fought for herself. She did what she thought was right despite what others around her thought. Overall, the experience was every encouraging and the realness of the scenes made me very emotional. I was able to feel all of the emotions and it was nice to finally get out of class and watch a film. Also ,the snacks were amazing.

Reflections from Blackity Media Studies HS 223 Students

 - 11/26/2019 - Nedjra Manning

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