Protect one another and yourself by creating a joy that is an activism despite the need for activism.Love your skin when you aren’t taunted to do so. There is no greater time to properly love theblack folk with a specific love. An intentional love. We deserve a brighter day. One that outshines that endless night. Free the skin and all that lives between it.
What do you want from life?
Who are you?
What will you offer to the world?
These are the questions that I daily ask at this point in my life journey. In the second year of my three year attempt to receive an MS in Speech-Language Pathology (Speech Therapy for those who are unfamiliar with the official title), and I am learning and accepting more and more about who I am and who I am destined to be. I have always been told "you're a hard worker". Based on what I know about myself now I can say this is not true. I am a bare minimum worker. Something I hate, and am moment by moment seeking to change. People comment on how lucky I am to have such a beautiful singing voice. I won't negate that, but I will say that to whom much is given, much is required. I have lived in 3 different countries and traveled to more than a handful, experiences I am truly grateful for and would not change for anything. But I think about the relationships that suffered and continue to, as a result of that distance.
It is all around us.
In the crisp fall morning air.
In the tear of frustration that promises to spill from my eyes as I get deeper into my profession.
Possibility seems too far from my reach and yet I can't stop chasing it.
Choices must be made and at times I want to throw my hands up in despair.
With each decision I face, possibility is right there waving it's hand and beckoning me in one direction or the other.
I'm aware of the fact that anything and everything is possible under the right circumstances, but I often question do I have the right mix?
To say my current pursuit is difficult, exhausting, and intimidating would be the understatement of the century. But the challenge feels good. Rising to the occasion will take sacrifice, the ability to have foresight, to accept my strengths and acknowledge my weaknesses, sleepless nights, and lots of coffee. Still I look forward to all the things the future holds in store.
This is the story of People's Temple -- a religious movement founded in 1955 by the Reverend Jim Jones.
People's Temple is notorious for a 1978 incident where 918 people died in Guyana in an organized mass suicide. The Temple began humbly enough with soup kitchens, clothing drives, a mission to integrate Black and White members, as well as a few faked miracles and healing methods. Membership rose quickly, spreading from Indiana throughout Ohio.
Along the way, Jim Jones' ideals and doctrines began to change and his Communist philosophies began to warp the minds of his congregation. The church began requiring members to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with their Temple family instead of their own blood. Jones made all sorts of fanatical assertions and predictions, having visions that Chicago would come under nuclear attack and Indianapolis would be destroyed. People's Temple was then moved and headquartered in Redwood Valley, California, where services were held in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
As People's Temple expanded rapidly, so did Jones' control over those who served him. Temple members were subjected unwittingly and gradually to sophisticated mind-control and behavior modification techniques. Jones preached a pseudo-atheist doctrine that placed himself in the "christ-position" and cultivated worship from his followers.
In 1974, People's Temple signed a lease to rent land in Guyana to create a "socialist paradise" and "sanctuary" community for Temple members, many of which were Black. Jones encouraged his members in California to follow him there; by 1978 there were more than 900 people living at the People's Temple Agricultural Project, aka Jonestown.
On November 17, 1978, Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown investigating claims of abuse within the People's Temple. During his visit, many Temple members expressed that they wanted to leave immediately with Congressman Ryan. The following afternoon, on November 18, these members accompanied Ryan to the local airstrip where they were intercepted by Temple security guards. The guards opened fire on the group, killing the congressman, three doctors and one Temple defector. That evening, Jim Jones ordered his congregation to drink a concoction of cyanide-laced grape Kool-Aid, even instructing parents to inject the mix into children under a certain age.
In the aftermath, 918 people died -- including 276 children. It was the greatest loss of American life in a single deliberate act until September 11, 2001.
This story is an allegory. You are being deceived every single day. You are being deceived about your history. You are being deceived about who you are; your mind, your body, even your spirituality. You are being led to slaughter; forced to consume filth and grime with a smile. You are nourished by partial truths and false doctrines. Don't be fooled, fam. Not by the media. Not by the radio. Not by your "leaders."
Stay Woke. Don't Drink the Kool-Aid.