Lessons Your Parents May Not Have Taught You #black #racism #race

Excellence is the best deterrent to racism…

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https://pixabay.com/en/girl-child-black-african-486950/

As children, our parents taught us a number of life lessons at a very young age. Whenever we would gather around the dinner table, they would regale us with stories of their upbringing, childhood and their day at work and in return, we would share all the details of what had happened during our school day.

But being raised by vigilant parents, oftentimes those dinnertime conversations would be sprinkled with “lessons about life” that were important for us to know as First Generation children of immigrants growing up Black in a mainly White and French speaking environment – an environment where being “outside the norm” wasn’t always well-received.

These “lessons” were rooted in real-life incidents experienced by those in our small circle of family, friends and friends of friends.

Growing up, your parents taught you lessons too.

But different teachers provide their students with different content material based on the classes they took in the school of life:

  • When stopped by the police (not “if” you are stopped by the police), keep your hands visible on the wheel and do exactly what you are told. Shooting first and asking questions later are the rules of the game. Dead men tell no tales and when you’re dead, only one side of the story will be told and it won’t be yours. Remember that…
  • When you’re in a store, never put your hands in your pockets and avoid opening your purse until you’re in front of the cashier. The ones that hate you because of your color will not give you the benefit of the doubt and will be quick to treat you as a thief. Remember that…
  • Excellence is the best deterrent to racism. Be kind to all, get your education, keep your eye on the prize and secure your future. Racists assume that you are nothing, come from nothing and know nothing. Surprise them by being “someone”, coming from “something” and knowing that you are capable of greatness. They will have to find another way to try to break you and your spirit. You won’t let them because you’ll know better. Remember that…
  • Think carefully about your actions and how you approach certain situations. What is perceived as “a pass” for someone else will likely be seen as a “crime” if you’re in the same situation. Remember that ; and
  • When you see your friends doing wrong, walk away. Because if the authorities are called, you will be the first one they haul away – no questions asked. Remember that…

Those are a just a handful of life lessons I learned being in the skin I’m in.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted July 8, 2016

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Gone #fiction #fictionfriday #abuse

I studied the shadows of his face and wondered what I had ever seen behind those evil eyes…

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credit to and fund at https://giphy.com/gifs/26tnliO4939jp5l3G

I inhaled deeply, wanting to take in the scent of his cologne that I had come to dislike so much, wanting to remember every second of this last encounter.

I tilted my chin upwards to him for a goodbye kiss before I went through the gate, knowing that this simple action would make him do the complete opposite. He leaned down and planted a light kiss on my forehead instead, just as I had predicted.

“Have a good flight. Give me a call when you get home.”

I smiled to myself, the shaking of my head was slight and uncontrollable.

He frowned. Of course, my smile annoyed him.

“What are you smiling at?”

I shrugged my carry-on and purse back onto my shoulder to stop them from slipping off. This time I smiled directly at him and looked him straight in the eye. I studied the shadows of his face and wondered what I had ever seen behind those evil eyes.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Take care of yourself Dex.”

I turned around, handed the boarding pass that had been burning a hole in my hand to the gate attendant and slowly walked away.

“Wait. Delaney! Wait!”

I could hear the mistrust and confusion in his voice as I continued down the jetway. He was tuned into the heartless vibe I knew I was giving off.

“Delaney!”

I didn’t look back. I no longer felt lost.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Right Reserved.

Originally posted on April 9, 2015

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended

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What Now Wattpad? #52things52weeks #simplymarquessa #wattpad

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I tackled 2 easy items on my 52 Things In 52 Weeks list before I start a number of mini 7, 14, 21 and 30 day challenges…

I uploaded “Two Can Play That Game” and the first installment of “We Can’t Be Friends” to Wattpad.wattpad_cover

I had no clue that I had to develop a cover for each of these but I’m happy that I learned something new.

But now that the stories are up, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do…

Am I simply waiting to see how many Wattpad readers stumble across it?

Do you have anything posted on Wattpad?  If so, do you have any tips to provide? 

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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Tell Me Why – #52things52weeks #writerwednesday #reblogs

A part of me has a HUGE pet peeve with certain blogs that I just can’t overcome…

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http://giphy.com/gifs/editingandlayout-ly8G39g1ujpNm

I love it when some of you reblog my posts.

If I didn’t want you to, I wouldn’t enable the “reblog” function on my posts. And if YOU have the “reblog” function enabled, I assume that you are of the same thinking.

But I’ll be very honest.

A part of me has a HUGE pet peeve when my work is reblogged on blogs/sites that do not have original content created by the owner of the blogger himself/herself.

When I say “no original content”, I truly mean “absolutely no original content” by the owner of the blog:

  • No poetry or fiction that took the owner of the blog hours to ponder, draft and finally post;
  • No essays or commentary on current events that took energy to present the pros, cons and their personal opinions by the blog owner;
  • No book or movie reviews that involved hours of reading and watching of movies by blog owner; and
  • No vlogs that took time to make, edit and post…

The blogs to which I’m referring oftentimes don’t even have a common thread that links any of the reblogs together so it’s basically a collection of other people’s hard work!

It bothers me because I pour a lot of time, energy and love into my blog posts and it feels as though someone is simply scooping them up to fill in gaps on their blogs or increase the number of followers to their site.

It bothers me because they don’t even offer an introductory statement stating why they are reblogging someone else’s post.

If I reblog someone’s post in one of my #Showcase Sundays or Press This, I try to remember to redirect readers back to the blogger’s original post to comment – I think that it is the right thing to do.

I may be wrong to feel this way but I can’t help it. It’s simply the truth.

And while I’m at it, below are three blogs I enjoy that encourage networking, they often reblog quality content from others and they have great original content of their own:

An Opinionated Man

Dream Big, Dream Often

The Story Reading Ape

Enjoy!

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

 

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I’m Not Lost – #traveltuesday #traveltips

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Many years ago, I saw a tv program on what airlines do with unclaimed and lost bags with no tags.

Around that same time, a relative of mine went on a cruise to Hawaii from the UK. Not only did her airline carrier lose her luggage, they also kept sending to it wrong port – Hilo instead of Honolulu, Honolulu instead of Hilo…you get the drift. And of course, since luggage can’t be delivered on sea days so she basically had no proper attire for the entire 2 week cruise.  She was distraught, depressed and had to spend precious vacation time buying essentials during the ports of call.

Needless to say, that television program and her negative experience led me to come up with this idea -leaving a detailed itinerary in the visible inside pocket of my suitcase and carry-on that looks like what you see above.

Contact coordinates, flight details, hotel address and anything else that would be important. If your luggage tags get ripped off, an agent could at least open your bag and find all the details to contact you.

I also leave a copy with a relative so that they know where I am in case of an emergency.

Side note: I never put my FULL address on the outer tag of my luggage – just my last name and cell phone number. Being the paranoid traveler that I am, putting full details on my outer tag is like inviting those who may handle to my “visit” my “secured” but possibly unattended home.

What are some of your travel tricks?

Image and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

 

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