Earlier this week I read a post by Naturally Fashionable that inspired me. In the post she wrote about choosing a guide word for 2017. Thirteen days into 2017 feels a little late to write this, but I loved the idea so much I figured I could choose a guide word for spring 2017. Spring semester began this week and after reading the syllabi for all my classes, I’ll need a guide word, prayers, and anything else you can offer. I am confident group projects will lead to my demise. I am also confident the trauma of group projects will be passed down to my future offspring through epigenetics. I’m exaggerating, of course (not about the epigenetics part).
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” – Viola Davis, 2015 Emmy acceptance speech
It’s no secret that I am a nerd and also want to intentionally support work staring or created by people of color. I couldn’t wait for Hidden Figures’ release and this little nerdy heart almost exploded in excitement watching black women in STEM outperform white counterparts on the big screen. I may have cried too. I quoted Viola Davis speech because I believe opportunity and access separates “us” from “them”. Oftentimes, no matter how hard we work, we’re overlooked while mediocrity is rewarded. This happens in just about every white/male space. I don’t want to pick on an easy target, but let’s look at Jennifer Lawrence. She’s good, not great but she’s the lead in about every movie, especially around the holidays. There are far better actresses of color, but they aren’t given the same opportunity.
Happy New Year! I hope all of you are doing well. I hoped to reflect on 2016 and wish all of you a Happy New Year sooner, but never quite found the time or the motivation without my computer handy. If you’ve endured any hardships and challenges in 2016, I hope 2017 is filled with many blessings, good health, hope, and all your dreams come true. I hope it’s as bright and colorful as the peacock above. May you begin to live your best life now. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in goal-setting and being intentional so…what do you hope to be intentional about this year?
*The peacock above appeared as I was touring Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville a few days ago. I squealed in excitement. There were three of them.
This year I read non-fiction and memoirs written by POC, but I’m usually a fiction girl. My goal going into the new year and beyond is to intentionally support fictional stories that represent people who look like me. The books listed below are fiction or Young Adult fiction written by writers of color or have POC main characters. If you know of any YA fiction or want to make recommendations, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
On to the working list (will be updated frequently):
Wrapping up the last few days of the my first semester in grad school. I know! It feels strange typing those words. Where has the time gone? I’m so close to freedom I can almost taste and feel it. It feels like being in an open field with wet grass under your feet and cool breeze in your hair. It tastes like every seafood meal I tried in San Francisco this summer with a side of bacon. and milkshake. and pulled pork. That was a strange analogy because I hate wet grass. See what’s happened to me in a matter of months? I’m comparing freedom to wet grass under my feet. I need a vacation and sleep. and mixed drinks. and books. and sun. and massages.