Current read pin

Rock My Soul 5-9

Hello readers, how are you?

I really mean to ask you all about yourselves at the beginning of my posts because as a socially awkward person, I simultaneously feel like I don’t talk but talk too much about myself. But it’s especially important to connect in stressful and uncertain times. So I hope that you’re all doing well!

Have I really not blogged in a month? Well, I had been kind of busy trying what I can in this presidential election that is bizarrely still happening. I did one thing and had a bunch to think about and consider… and now a pandemic! No time like a quarantine to change around my neglected blog, eh? I’ve relegated “Fashion” to a tag and upgraded “Mental Health” to a category. I feel like mental health can get lumped in with self-care meaning spa day, but after reading Rock My Soul, my focus will more holistic.

Ch. 5- Refusing to Be a Victim

No black person in the United States can have any measure of self-esteem if he or she has not cultivated the capacity to be a critical thinker, to live consciously.

To the chagrin of conservatives, this chapter isn’t about shirking racism, claiming that it’s over or doesn’t exist. While there is discourse about people embracing a victim mentality, personally, I’ve not really found that to be a big issue, but I am not black, it’s not my place, and maybe that’s an internal discussion.

There is emphasis on living “consciously,” which Nathaniel Branden calls “a tool of survival– the ability to be aware of the environment in some form, and to guide action accordingly.” hooks says that it’s needed as part of positive self-esteem and to eschew seeing oneself as powerless, “[black] people must willingly engage in a politics of self-reliance that upholds taking responsibility.”

Current read pin

(I put “black” in brackets because the author who is black is speaking to a black audience, and I do not want to make it seem like I’m speaking at/scolding them and that this can apply to anyone! Additionally, I’m not sure if she means that having a community eschew victimhood mentality would be more meaningful than a singular person)

Victimhood and responsibility seem like big words which can sound like the “bootstrap” ideology. However, I think that hooks means to not fall prey to notions that you can’t do anything to improve yourself or life even if that is living consciously and refusing white supremacist messaging on tv.

Ch. 6- Thinking Critically

This chapter does not provide a process to clarify hooks’s idea of thinking critically so much as discussing how damaging education systems can be on black students’ self-esteem. When is it especially racist, hooks calls it psychological terrorism. It is perhaps ironic because education with anti-biased settings is what is needed to create an environment that will foster self-love.

Ch. 7- Teaching Values

This chapter is about the importance of reading and an encouraging culture to develop critical consciousness. It may be the fault of those in power when institutions fail, but individuals or even communities can do what’s in their power for collective racial uplift and not just individual material gain. Even if one cannot read, hooks champions atmospheres in which even more social exchanges involved discussion regarding decolonization of our minds.

Ch. 8- Spiritual Redemption

African-American slaves interpreted Christian scripture to their needs of human validation. God especially choosing the oppressed allowed them to accept reality but also devise spiritual practices expressing their humanity. hooks believes that modern established churches have abandoned spiritual needs for conservative conformism that creates hierarchies and therefore the valuation of some over others. Such stress has led to young (black) people abandoning the Church and unfortunately the communal nature of  spirituality and therefore liberation altogether.

It was incredible to read hooks’s critique of books marketed to black children because I often feel that I’m maarte with my Filipino Kids Books reviews. But if a supportive education leads to self-esteem and freedom, shouldn’t it be necessary especially for more children who are more vulnerable? hooks goes on to cite the lack of a space for critical review, and I was just like… !!! I couldn’t believe I was kind of on the same path as this legendary thinker. 😅😎

Be sure to check out the first part of these notes.
Stay safe!

Filipino childrens books

Filipino Kids Books 5

Season’s greetings readers, are you in the holiday mood?

I must admit that I didn’t get my pet anything and should technically buy some gift bags. But I am just not going to go out in this weather and deal with the crowds. My dad gives Charlie more presents than me anyway, and I probably won’t see the people that need bags until the new year! So, I think I can get away with it. 😁

I probably should be posting some holiday-related content, but this is just the way the cookie crumbles, baby! I recorded a bunch of videos months ago, but photo and video editing is the bane of my existence. So I’m just getting to them when I do. Something kind of Christmas-related will be posted next week!

If you’re new here, I’m a Filipino-American that did not have a community with the best self-esteem and therefore, esteem toward their community! Instilling such lessons was not valued. So when my brother and his wife had a baby, my Miss Grotke™ auntie/ate aesthetic was revealed and so, I have to make sure the child doesn’t become a jerk. 😄

Juan Tamad

On the surface, it makes sense to dissuade laziness. However, in a hyper-capitalistic society where everyone is competing and trying to win favor with/for privilege, I’m concerned about non-conformance  to such attitudes especially by a child being written off as laziness.

Juan Tamad (Lazy Juan) is about a young boy that seems like he doesn’t do any work. We see the results of him not picking guava until it falls (ants) and not bringing dinner home, but I’m not sure if he learns his lesson as the book just ends with the moral.

Can someone like a child be lazy? Of course. But I also think that they’re especially vulnerable to not being understood when they may not have the language, experience, or resources to address their own well-being. Dismissing someone as “lazy” doesn’t address any underlying issue, puts the blame on them, and does that whole narc and “notice me” thing. It’s like calling the authorities for the most minor inconvenience instead of developing a community that takes care of one another rather than punishing. I guess you could say it’s… lazy. 😎

Filipino childrens books

Masaya Ako!

Masaya Ako! (I’m Happy) is a board Adarna book like Masayang Magtanim! and Kayang-kaya! in my first review. It illustrates different emotions and is in English and Tagalog. Pretty useful but may be difficult to buy outside of the Philippines. I borrowed this copy from the library which was on the other side of the country!

The Little Red Hen

When I first started this series, I didn’t set specific parameters like solely Filipino authors and didn’t think about books that were translated. This story is about a hen that wants to make some bread and asks all the other farm animals to help with every step. They all claim they’re busy until it’s time to eat, but the hen only shares her bread with those who helped her.

The Little Red Hen is probably the lesson I wanted from Juan Tamad. But I think that from now on I’m going to try to avoid translated books because technically, I could just end up with Harry Potter, right? While that might be cool, it’s not really the reason I’m doing this.

TL;DR

Title Juan Tamad Masaya Ako! The Little Hen
Author Rene Villanueva L.R. Hen
Illustrator Jo Ann Bereber Yasmin Doctor Jago
Publisher Lampara Adarna Mantra Lingua
Year 2002 2013 2005
Language Tagalog & English Tagalog & English Tagalog & English
Level 3rd grade baby 3rd-4th grade
Recommended Not really Sure! Depends

Not 100% sure on that Hen author and illustrator but that’s what it says. If just a translated story is fine for you, go ahead, but if you’d like something more culture-related, check out my past reviews!

FKB 4 + Better World Books Review
Filipino Kids Books 3
Filipino Kids Books 2
New Series: Filipino Kids Books

Hope everyone is having happy holidays and new year!

Current read pin

Rock My Soul 1-4

I can’t speak for all Filipinos as anyone of an identity shouldn’t be expected (in general it’s a good idea, but we really should start using the noggins more than eyes about what is good for people). I’ve European heritage, have lived only in the US. I hash together vlogs about Filipino kids books I wish I knew existed as kid. I wrestle with my experience of the only Filipinos I know seeming incredibly reactionary and in what/who their interests are tied.

It’s difficult to come from a background whose poverty is fetisized not only by external paternal forces but those in our own culture, our individual selves. Pageants over policy. It describes not only what garners the retweets but what’s considered “pride.” Stick a flag emoji in your handle and share a video of sob story answering trivia.

I’d heard of bell hook’s Rock My Soul: Black People & Self-Esteem, and my mind would come back to it when I’d see such kind of contradictions. How can there be so much of this excitement for a people yet unwillingness for the betterment for the lesser statused of them? I don’t mean to take a black woman’s work and just insert myself into it, but 1) I’d have no idea where to turn for any kind of Filipino work like this 2) While specifics may be for black people, others can probably relate to more general themes and probably should connect how they’re related 3) That’s kind of what I intend to do.

Current read pin

1: Healing Wounded Hearts

In the opening chapter, bell hooks introduces why it’s no wonder black people may have “wounded” self-worth. Slavery and segregation have imposed observable white supremacist violence, but because self-esteem or the wellbeing of peoples’ souls aren’t very valued, the psychological impact of things like beauty standards and more namely, integration have not been studied and discussed.

2: Lasting Trauma

Although science has been a tool of racism that can be suspicious, mental health must be a part of liberation. Everyday violence reenacts trauma and without proper strategies that include decolonized thinking, healing can’t take place. hooks also critiques conservative blame and denial of black pain by noting their failure to connect ongoing trauma (like PTSD) to certain behavior and a perpetuation of racism by judging black people more harshly for this.

bell hooks quote

3: Ending the Shame That Binds

The shame of this chapter is that being (physically) ugly in white supremacist patriarchy. Shame conditions to intimidate especially vulnerable lower-statused people. The author wonders if black employment gains have come at the cost of psychological ones. Colonized minds value the imitation of acting and looking white.

I hate to bring this up but seeing as how white people have no problem, I’m reminded of mail-order brides. I can’t say the degree to which it’s encouraged culturally, but just from existing in the US, when you look at who is famous, who is rewarded, who has resources, who receives justice (who is denied), who is fawned over for doing the which actions, whose actions are met which such unmatched animosity, it’s easy to imagine the need to keep women impoverished financially and psychologically to pimp out for cheap labor. And how is this working out? Are we still getting beaten, raped, and stuffed into the backs of freezers? It’s no wonder that men that buy women stand with macho politicians.

4: Living With Integrity

Integrity is defined by Stephen Carter and Nathaniel Branden as being able to tell right and wrong and acting on it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it seems like greed and other unethical behavior is rewarded. So to exist or even succeed, people must assimilate to bad behavior. However, if one comes from decolonized background, the imbalance of behavior and values create crisis and hypocrisy which Branden says is self-invalidating. There’s no integrity without honesty; lying spreads to other areas of one’s life.

I know it’d be nice and clean to end at chapter five, but this is already 600 words, and I’d like to include thoughts from the preface where hooks wonders why she and her siblings, who were more economically and academically privileged than their parents, were more psychologically fragile. I totally relate seeing my mother and others uproot their lives across the world, yet I have severe anxiety. I can only attribute it to Mom and at least one other woman I’m thinking of grew up in environments where everyone is literally family. Obviously, family is not synonymous with support, so I wonder about how toxic behavior is dealt.

I probably could’ve written a lot more but I read and didn’t write and already started 3 other books on here and don’t want so many posts on one book, so perhaps in the future when I re-read!

Filipino childrens books

FKB 4 + Better World Books Haul

Filipino childrens books

Good day readers, are you keeping cool?

Despite all of the heat advisories, I also mean mentaltally, spiritually, all of the -ies. If you follow me on Insta, you’ve seen that I’ve decided to try to sort my -ies out which should be, unfortunately, a long and arduous task especially since I’m kinda one foot in this boat and the other finding a lot of this hooey. But like with everything else here, I share in hopes that it helps you too.

According to this definition of spirituality, one should ask themself if they’re contributing to their community in a way that energizes them. Can I count this series? 😅 I do not find it particularly nourishing at the moment. But things that typically come up like church or volunteering honestly make me anxious. I suppose what energizes me is meeting people that are actually like me, on my level. But then I fear that they actually take action, and I am a coward!

Ah well, I will uh, meditate or whatever on it some more. In the meantime. Here are some Filipino kids books I actually bought this time. I wanted to send a care package for my new nephew and his parents and fortunately had already found a book I liked through the library. I would just have to find it to purchase! At that time, Better World Books was having a sale, so I decided to take advantage and try them out. Here’s what I got.

Alpabetong Filipino

This is an Adarna House book. My cover says it’s by Victoria Añonuevo but others say Virgilio S. Almario. It’s illustrated by Paul Eric Roca. It’s a basic alphabet book with illustrations of letters and words that start with them (or have the letters in them). At the time of the recording, I hadn’t seen other Filipino alphabet books before, so it seemed fine, but since then I have which are definitely better! Most words are in Tagalog with some in English.

Ang Bagong Kaibigan ng Bing Butiki (Bing Butiki’s New Friend)

This story is about lizards that hang out on the ceiling of an old couple’s home. Their son used to torture the lizards and fear him. He returns as an adult with his own daughter, and Bing wants to befriend her. She ends up being nice, but Bing really doesn’t have a reason to do this seemingly other than “she’s cute.” Perhaps the instinct to approach without caution (I’m giving them this as a benefit rather than superficiality) stems from the book’s Christian publisher which prints a verse on the back.

Inside Illustration

Perhaps not a problem but something others may want to know. The son/father also tells about how the daughter can’t take the lizards home because they have to stay and eat bugs which I don’t really understand.

Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories

This is by the same Liana Romulo of Filipino Friends in my last post! This was actually published before Friends, and surprisingly, I liked this much better. It’s a collection of folk tales. I’ve since read other collections, and I think this is edited for children. However, Stories was the book I decided to buy (and the previous two were lucky enough to come along), and I chose it because a few of them contained messages of organizing and rebellion! And I absolutely love the animated illustrated of Joanne de Leon whom will be making at least another appearance in this series in the future!

TL;DR

Title Alpabetong Filipino Ang Bagong Kaibigan ng Bing Butiki Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories
Author Victoria Añonuevo/ Virgilio S. Almario Yna Reyes Liana Romulo
Illustrator Paul Eric Roca Jason Moss Joanne de Leon
Publisher Adarna House Hiyas/OMF Literature(?) Periplus Editions
Year 2003 1993 2000
Language Mostly Tagalog Tagalog & English English
Level Pre-school 1st-3rd grade 4th-5th grade
Recommended Eh 😑 Yes

As for Better World Books, they are definitely an option to keep in mind. I’ve a reflex to go to Amazon for cheap books, but BWB has deals such as buy 2 used, get 1 free. I believe they also always have free shipping. I was able to score these 3 which can be difficult to find (and therefore expensive) for about $11. However, I did not receive tracking info. You might be able to pay for another shipping method to provide it. It seems like it is kind of like Amazon in the way that other users can sell on it rather than BWB being a retailer, so you may find condition descriptions like “may have wear.” 😅

Filipino Children's Favorite Stories Cover
Affiliate link
Pre-order the paperback at Target

Do you know what’s up with the two authors? Have any books you to see before you buy or want any other recs? Be sure to check out my previous reviews 👇
Post 1
Post 2 
Post 3

Filipino Friends Is It a Mermaid Cora Cooks Pancit

Filipino Kids Books 3

Ahoy-hoy readers, have you eaten today?

I feel like I just ate a bunch and could still go for some pudding. Anyway, here’s my latest installment of Filipino kids books reviews. Watch my video because my mother interrupts! 

Filipino Friends

This book is a wealth of information. There’s a main storyline but also a bunch of words with Tagalog-English translations and even a game and song. My main issue is that there’s an whiff of bougieness about it. It’s like it’s in the view of a Fil-Am that doesn’t maintain any relationship with the Philippines. Everybody is hella light-skinned. I suppose it’s ok for a child because of the info otherwise, but please make sure it’s not their sole link to the culture.

Is It a Mermaid?

This is a very cute book that’s almost basically a picture book. It’s about a dugong that thinks it’s a mermaid. I thought that might be a metaphor for something, but I would not interpret it that way. There’s a little boy that tries to keep telling the dugong that she is a sea cow, not a mermaid. She cries, and he feels bad, but she pretty immediately forgives him. I would prefer to show kids to mind their own business or a portrayal where someone who was possibly bullied not have to immediately forgive their bully, but like I said, maybe just don’t think about this one, lol.

On the back, it also says that it takes place in the Philippines, but there is no indication of that in the story.

Cora Cooks Pancit

Now this is how one writes a book not about a culture necessarily but incorporating it into a regular story. I think this is a perfect example of what people talk about when they say, “Oh, I wish I had this when I was a kid!” There’s none of this hand-wringing or sad desperation for acceptance from white supremacy which can be understandable. I can totally empathize with experiencing racism and wanting respect and wanting the world to see that injustice. But we deserve an alternative. We deserve stories that don’t center around it and use just being able to thrive and enjoy ourselves.

Cora’s older siblings are out for the day, so her mother asks her what she’d like to do. She’d like to make the noodle dish, pancit. Preciously, her concerns are whether she’ll be able to do older jobs like cut vegetables and if the family will like her cooking. It even comes with the recipe!

TL;DR

Title Filipino Friends Is It a Mermaid? Cora Cooks Pancit
Author Liana Romulo Candy Gourlay Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore
Illustrator Corazon Dandan-Albano Francesca Chessa Kristi Valiant
Publisher Tuttle Otter-Barry Shen’s
Year 2006 2018 2009
Language English w/ Tagalog keywords English English
Level 2nd-3rd grade 2nd-3rd grade 2nd-3rd
Recommended eh it’s ok yes!

Filipino Friends Is It a Mermaid Cora Cooks Pancit

Check out my previous posts!
Review 1 feat. Hand Over Hand, Masayang Magtanim, Kayang-kaya!
Review 2 feat. Abadeha, Lakas the Manilatown Fish, An Eagle’s Feather

I’m always looking for recommendations.
Thanks for reading!

Filipino kids books

Filipino Kids Books 2

Filipino childrens books

Hey hey readers, have you been working out?

I can’t believe I’m actually following up on a series. It’s true that I technically have an unboxing tag, but I don’t continuously subscribe to services, so it’s not that consistent. I also made a What I’m Reading series to have a collection of notes from other books I read, but those aren’t as easily read! 

Well, I was so excited when I thought of this idea that I sent out all the requests to the library and didn’t really realize that yeah, I’d get 12 books at the same time 😅 So hopefully, I’ll have a good few more posts, and I’m not jinxing it. I’ve also deiced that I might as well blog about these as well, or at least as I do with my other videos of being supplementary to this blog. ☺️

Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella

The subtitle pretty much says it all of this Myrna J. de la Paz book. I don’t know if Abadeha is a common tale in the Philippines, but I like that it’s not exactly the same as Cinderella. There is actually a pre-colonial setting with datu and babaylan which I just happen to learn about! I absolutely love the illustrations of the dress of that time. This book is in English.

Lakas and the Manilatown Fish

This Anthony D. Robles book claims to be the first English-Tagalog story set in the U.S. It is about a boy that meets a talking fish that leads him across the historic Manilatown in San Francisco. Personally, it was more interesting to read the history note at the end about the 1977 International Hotel demonstration, but I can totally understand that may not be the story for kids. But I’m also not a fan of giving kids the impression that it’s funny to kiss strangers and take their clothes.

Filipino kids booksAdditionally, there’s kind of a weird refrain, mostly used by the fish, of “Hoy, hoy, (hey hey) Pilipino boy!” IDK, maybe if you’re from a place with an actual Manilatown and people that have your back, greeting each other with your ethnicity might be cool beans. But I did not! And just feel like it’s not a stranger’s business. It’s one thing if you are someone looking for community– I am!!– but that is not the situation a lot of the time for people of color but another experience of a stranger projecting their ideas onto you. And depending on what they are, it can feel and be unsafe. I just want everyone to know that just so that they know they shouldn’t have to feel obligated to accept this.

An Eagle’s Feather

Now this is what I call a story! Apparently based on a story by the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Minfong Ho tells the tale of a Philippine Eagle named Kalayaan that gets shot and taken to a sanctuary by a little boy and his father. I liked it so much that I don’t even want to spoil it, but I will say that I was honestly crying??? It even has some facts about the Philippine Eagle and Philippine Eagle Foundation. The illustrations are very good as well.

tl;dr

Title Abadeha Lakas & the Manilatown Fish An Eagle’s Feather
Author Myrna J. de la Paz Anthony D. Robles Minfong Ho
Illustrator Youshan Tang Carl Angel Frances Alvarez
Language English English & Tagalog English
Level 3rd grade? 3rd grade? grade 1-2
Recommended Meh :  😭 Yes

Check out my first installment featuring Masayang Magtanim!, Kayang-Kaya! and Hand Over Hand.

Filipino childrens books

New Series! Filipino Kids Books

Kayang Masayang Hand

Howdy folks, how are you?

I’m sure that somewhere among my Internet channels and platforms I mentioned that I’m going to be an aunt! Truthfully, it’s so weird that I get a title as if I had any input into the matter 😅 But since I am getting it, I’m going to utilize it! It takes a village, right? Not just to help out when a baby’s born but continuing raising them and protecting, not just from physical danger but other harm.

There is a lot of push nowadays for diverse books for good reason. I’d previously never read a book with a Filipino character in it. As a child, I was desperate for this and didn’t even realize it. Maybe it wouldn’t have made any difference in something like a counting book, but as I began to read on my own, one does book reports, school projects that touch upon identity. One begins the search for the people with whom they choose to surround themselves, feel safe with and develop their worldview.

This is why I’ve decided to seek out Filipino kids books to send the new family. I don’t think that “representation” is a complete solution, so I’m not just sending whatever I find straight to them. I’m going to try to get whatever I can through my local (and not-so-local) library and review them! And then send ones that I like if I can.

Filipino childrens books

Masayang Magtanim! (Happy Planting!)

This is a very cute cardboard book by Gelai Manabat that really only has 4 pages with words. It is about what a small child needs to grow their mungo beans and is in Tagalog. The publisher is Adarna House which is in the Philippines so it may be difficult to find a copy outside. I couldn’t find one online, but my dad says searching for Adarna on eBay can help.

Kayang-kaya! (You Can Do It!)

This is another cardboard Adarna House book. It is by Alyssa Judith Reyes and about kids asking themselves if they can do various things and eventually confirming oo, kaya ko na! It even has a little shoelace on the back so readers can do one of the activities the kids do in the book. I’d actually like to get this book, but again it’s hard to acquire. Characters in both books are very light-skinned especially the dad in Kayang.

Hand Over Hand

When I had the idea for this series, I didn’t set any parameters which is how I ended up with this book by Alma Fullerton whom I don’t think is Filipino. It is about a little girl overcoming notions of what girls can/can’t do, in this case: fishing. I didn’t grow up in the Philippines, so I don’t know cultural specifics. My mom has told me her dad told her to behave in such a way, but I don’t know if there’d be such a reaction for fishing.

I’m just very defensive about a white Canadian veering into “Look how backward these little brown people are!” territory. Additionally, you end up with the little girl saying things like, “posh,” but at least the author uses “Lolo.” It almost ends up being kind of patronizing like: they literally call the girl a fisherwoman like it’s a good thing. Just say fisher!

TL;DR

Title Masayang Magtanim! Kayang-Kaya! Hand Over Hand
Author Gelai Manabat Alyssa Judith Reyes Alma Fullerton
Publisher Adarna House Ardana House Second Story Press
Language Tagalog Tagalog English
Level pre-school pre-school grades 2-3
Recommended if easily accessible yes! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

for the sake of me not knowing what real reading levels are, pre-school is about ages 0-5
grades 2-3 are about ages 7 – 10

Have you read any of these or have any suggestions?

Current read pin

Women, Race, & Class 1

Hey hey readers, what are you reading?

I have to admit, I’m kind of tech snob. Not in a Apple superfan way, but that I was wary of e-readers, and I’ve no idea what I’d do with tablet or smart speaker. But Haymarket Books (which often offers great sales) was offering Remi Kanazi’s Before the Next Bomb Drops for free, so I decided to try to figure out how to use e-books. And now I’m downloading all of them! 

Current read pin

The first e-book I checked out from my library’s system is Angela Davis’s Women, Race, and Class. After realizing how devoid of diversity my bookshelf is, I was really excited to start reading work by feminists of color (even if yes, I am already in the middle of 13 other books 😅). Since it’s Black History Month, I thought I’d share some highlights of what I’ve read so far.

Chapter 1: The Legacy of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood

Black women were women indeed, but their experiences during slavery– hard work with their men, equality within the family, resistance, floggings and rape– had encouraged them to develop certain personality traits which set them apart from most white women.

Ironically, there was an equality for slave men and women as they were oppressed the same. Black women were not afforded the higher status that motherhood brought white women i.e., pregnant and new mother slaves still worked, were still whipped, still had to care children in the field. But because of this, the passive role expected of white women wasn’t applied to slave women. Eugene Genovese described slave families as “a closer approximation to sexual equality than possible for whites.” Consequently, Black women’s resistance matched that of men.

Chapter 2: The Anti-Slavery Movement & the Birth of Women’s Rights

This chapter was about white women that joined the abolitionist movement. Working women and middle-class housewives lost economic and social status from industrialization and may have noticed the similarities in subjugation. Women like sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimke challenged women to “join in on that struggle with the understanding that their own oppression was nurtured and perpetuated by the continued existence of the slave system.” As they organized, these women learned about those power structures, how to take action upon them, and how to challenge male supremacy from the abolitionist view which would assist in the fight for women’s liberation years later.

Sojourner Truth
When heckled that male supremacy was a Christian value as Christ was a man, Sojourner Truth replied, “Where did Christ come from?”

Chapter 3: Class & Race in the Early Women’s Rights Campaign

Chapter 3 is about the failure of those women considered part of the Women’s Rights Movement to include working white women and all Black women, enslaved and free. While there was rightful concern about inequalities in institutions like marriage, in which men controlled women’s finances, there was a lack of associating the economic control recent European immigrant women faced in unsafe mills. The first women’s rights convention, held in Seneca Falls and organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, did not have a single Black woman in attendance.

This was unfortunate because it was not as if these women weren’t fighting for their rights as well. Mill women striked and Maria Stewart gave speeches years before Seneca Falls. There are a few quotes that come to mind that convey that if one party isn’t free, one’s self isn’t free. Davis uses an Angelina Grimke quote to condemn the solidarity deficiency: “While the South has waged this [Civil] war against human rights, the North has stood by holding the garments of those who were stoning liberty to death…”

Chapter 4: Racism in the Woman Suffrage Movement

As middle-class white women neglected building “an alliance embracing labor, Black people and women,” it’s not surprising that leaders for their suffrage possessed a biased analysis of the political moment. After the US Civil War, people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton viewed emancipation as total liberation and that Black people were then on the same level as she. Yet, she became so defensive about the proposed 15th Amendment– which would grant suffrage to Black men but not women– that she would align with anyone who supported her cause including staunch racists.

Frederick Douglas, who was not only an abolitionist but an ardent supporter of women’s rights (he was only Black person at the Seneca Falls Convention), argued that because of violent attacks on Black people, support of the 15th was a means of survival. He didn’t mean to say that women’s suffrage shouldn’t be supported; it seemed like he called the passage of the 15th a boost to energize the movement for women’s suffrage. 

book cover

Hopefully, I can complete this book in a more timely manner than the last one I started for my series! Check out my last read for Black History Month about a Black Panther photo book I won from Goodreads here!

Surviving R. Kelly Reflections

Hello readers, can you take a second to make sure if you’re prepare to read about sexual assault?

Initially, I did not think I was but felt that it was important to learn about since I didn’t know about accusations. Watching a documentary is literally the least I could do if when I do get around to reading articles, that’s more graphic and overwhelming for me. So it’s completely understandable if you’re not comfortable…

I’m kind of in the continual process of rearranging and organizing my blog, and as preferable (and probably more profitable) as it is to only write about makeup and music, I gotta purge about other stuff for which I wouldn’t want a blog (i.e., troll comments) to be solely dedicated. Enter my new Reflections tag.

In watching Surviving R. Kelly, whichever Clinton/Lewinsky program was recently played, and just my own got danged product-of-an-older-white-man-and-(Southeast) Asian-lady life, I can’t help but notice the parallels. Kelly’s victims may not have become a household name like Monica, but the predation on young women and the relegation of them to a fucking punchline is stunningly disgusting. The exploitation of white supremacy to get away with abuse of black and brown women. I’m reminded of a poem by Barbara Jane Reyes where she says she can’t find an article about a Filipina woman whom was dismembered by her white, USian husband that doesn’t mention that he was in the Navy or a tenured professor or something.

Statused, privileged men are able to exploit those titles, their wealth, and connections to prey on and manipulate young, impressionable women. Yet, who is supporting the abuser? The community of the abused. Whenever I see this type of dynamic, I think that people like supporters in this case, want such structures. Perhaps they think that if they stand by the statused, if they believe, they will be rewarded, recognized either by the person in power. Or they otherwise benefit from misogyny or xenophobia. So long as they’re beating you, they’re not beating me. Who cares if a few of them are mutilated so long of the rest of them keep sending those remittances, baby!!

I just happen to be figuring out how to use ebooks and am reading Angela Davis’s Women, Race, and Class. It’s not surprising that rape is about power and control rather than any sort of attraction. But what Davis brings to light is putting this in the context of slavery and imperialism: “Rape was a weapon of domination, a weapon of repression, whose covert goal was to extinguish slave women’s will to resist, and in the process, to demoralize their men. … Since the Vietnamese women were distinguished by their heroic contributions to their people’s liberation struggle, the [U.S.] military retaliation specifically suited for them was rape.”

Vietnam War quote
Source: Women in Vietnam, Arlene Eisen-Bergman. 1975

While women bear the brunt of these actions, men and boys are affected as well. They see what’s permitted; they see what happens to loved ones. It’s very dispiriting to see people so actively against their own people and interests. But we must address systems in addition to individuals to ensure sure “never again.” Although that seems like a big task, it makes me hopeful to see survivors living and all the people screwed over by power {vs. those in it} who will overthrow our oppressors!

To watch: Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime. They’ve also provided several organizations that help victims of abuse.

To support survivors + their work:

Sparkle

Kitti Jones

Asante McGee

Jerhonda Pace

Gifts for Harry Potter Fans That Aren’t HP Merch

Wingardium leviosa readers, are you still a Potterhead?

I was a hipster child and had always been reading, so when everyone and the news busted a nut about how J.K. Rowling got kids to actually read, I was like: “Hello? I’ve been reading about sharks and dinosaurs, and y’all are queueing up at midnight for some dictionary books? Nerds.” When the last movies were coming out, I figured I might as well try it, so I’ve actually seen all of them and read 3 or 4 of the books.

I gotta say, I stand by my 8 year old self. No foul to fans– my closest friends love it– but there’s other stuff out there! Not only do I get a little tired of watching the films at gatherings, but I also don’t want to keep relying on Harry Potter merchandise as gifts. I’m sure they’d like Dobby socks or handcrafted wands, but 1) they already have tons of HP stuff and 2) it can be difficult to know what all that stuff is. Are you in a similar position? That’s why I’m going window shopping, thinking about what else I think Harry Potter fans would like based on my Potterhead friends.

This post contains affiliate links.

Media

T. Swift, Game of Thrones, the Black Panthers, The Fault in Our Stars

Media Gift Ideas
T. Swift Record | Fault Stars DVD | Power to the People post | SoIF collection

If someone was a fan of the magic and fantasy of HP, perhaps they would like the equally vast world of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice & Fire series, popularized through HBO’s Game of Thrones tv show. Or perhaps another popular young adult author like John Green. 

Dog Stuff

Harry Potter Dog Gifts
Reusable Bag | Hearts Socks | Santa Tie | Retriever Ornament

Cats might be a familiar pet within witchy tales, but 75% of Harry Potter fans that I know have dogs (3 out of 4 is still 75% 😜)! Cute accessories are a great stocking stocker. Or if you’ve a dog and are more comfortable buying for them, a treat for man’s best friend might be acceptable.

Instant Camera

Harry Potter Polaroid Ideas
Fujifilm Instax | Polaroid Gradient Frames | Instax Case

If your budget is on the higher end, an instant camera is a fun idea for anyone! I’ve really no HP connection other than my fan friends have them. But if a camera is pricey or they already own one, maybe you can slip some mystical aspect with themed film frames. Cases are so practical, and this one makes it look like you’re going on some kind of epic adventure.

Arts & Crafts

Arts Crafts Ideas
Scrapbook Page Kit | Cross Stitch Kit | Emergency Color Kit

Are Hufflepuffs supposed to be artsy-fartsy? I believe my friends are both. One is a painter and another is getting into cross stitching. I’ve no idea if people are still doing it, but for a hot second I thought I saw people doing dollhouse furniture kits like it was the next adult coloring book. Are they still doing it? If not, there’s all sorts of other model kits out there!

(Fantastical) Home Goods

Home Goods
Coconut Tea | Unicorn Mold | Feather Pen | Star String Lights

I don’t think that any of us are sous-chefs by any means, but we sure do like dreaming about Instagram-worthy rooms. A canister of tea or a strand of lights may easily fit the aesthetic, but it’s the Harry Potter pillow or Lord of the Rings welcome mat that inject personality and make a house a home.

Hopefully I don’t come off as some kind of miser that thinks you kids are going to hell for practicing witchcraft!! If someone really wants a Harry Potter thing, by all means! … if they are a child, lol. As I said, this is just for inspo and when both parties have already bought a lot of HP stuff. What do you think of combining ideas like a HP color-by-number?