Black Love #2

Let’s talk ’bout sex. Shoot, I wish an elder or two would’ve introduced me to all this in my teens. Let’s commit to doing this for our youths! In the meantime it’s our job to learn as much as we can. Get ready to step dat game up! ENJOY!!!

There are more videos on youtube so don’t miss a beat!

Schooling our Youth

Folks, some of us choose to send our teens abroad for high school. Rarely do you hear of folks researching schools in the rest of our region, the Caribbean. Most look to the U.K. and North America. Hands down.
Please encourage people to look at other options within the region. There is quite a bit to choose from. Public & private schools.  There’s SO MUCH to be learned from studying/living in St.Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, T&T, St.Kitts, Bahamas etc.
P.S. – I just spoke to a woman who pulled her son (around 13) out of a local private school. He had studied there since P1 and was thriving academically. At the same time he encountered other issues as a black male and wouldn’t hold his tongue about them. He is now studying in Jamaica and loves it! The young man was part of the decision-making process and voiced that he wanted to continue his schooling in Jamaica (an island he’s grown up visiting regularly). He is doing well all around and is already considering heading to UTech or UWI upon graduation.  Go ‘head li’l warrior!!!

Educating our youth – Samori speaks

Samori Camara heads Kamali Academy. He has lots to share so give him a listening ear:

People, let’s do a better job of promoting our own schools. If your local community could use an Afrikan-centred school/homeschool co-op consider starting one. CIBI ( can help.

Navigating Halloween – Part 2

So you have a mixed household? One parent is fine with Damballa Hwedo/Samhain/Halloween/Dia de los Muertos and the other sees no reason to engage. That’s the reality for many families and it’s really not worth fighting over. Who wants all that tension?
So what now? Try to be flexible with one another. Here are some ideas:
– Have a costume party at your place. No scary costumes. Instead set some ground rules on the types of costumes you’re down with ie. s/heroes, plants, animals, book and dvd characters. Try to stay away from buying dress-up items. Check your own closets and/or borrow what you need. Have a few treats, play some games. A sleepover may work well. Use natural face paints like:   Natural face paints  ” ” “ ” ” “. Use fruits & veggies for colouring.
– Be mindful of buying into the idea that children must engage in the festivities. If it’s not your thing it’s not your thing. Skip the Halloween/Dia de los Muertos festivities and see how your family does/feels. Treat it as “just another day.” Go to bed early. Do something special with family/friends at another time.
– Take your children out for a round in your neighbourhood. Allow them to give/receive treats along the way.  If the words “trick-or-treat” don’t sit well with you choose something else that does. Ensure that your children enjoy their treats over an extended period of time (to prevent sickness). ie. put most of them in the freezer, give some away etc.
– Try reverse trick-or-treating:
P.S.- For those vegans who don’t want their children eating mainstream treats that’s perfectly fine. Just have some alternatives around for them. For the sweets you collect from other folks find a shelter to give them to.

Navigating Halloween

Fall is a great time to honour our ancestors. It makes perfect sense to me. Halloween & the Day of
the Dead provide opportunities to do so, however, some of us don’t
celebrate these. What are your family’s plans this season? Here are a
few suggestions:
– Stand firm and just say “no” to traditions like Halloween & Day of
the Dead. If so please ensure that your children understand why you
take the position that you do. Inform your children’s schools in
advance and ensure that your children are exempt from related
activities. Liaise with other families who don’t celebrate
Halloween/Day of the Dead. On Oct.31 turn your lights off early and go
to bed. Even if we’re not Muslim some of these suggestions can help.   Dr. Barashango speaks on “The Truth about European Holidays”

– Declare it Ancestors’ Day and have a dress-up party/sleepover for
your fam. Have some treats on hand, homemade and/or bought.
Encourage everyone to dress up as ancestors, spiritual figures,
plants, animals. Make this a choice not an obligation mind you.  Book or dvd characters like Anansi, Doc McStuffin,
Afro-Man or Kirikou work too. Nothing scary. The party/sleepover may fall on/around
Oct.31. That’s a personal choice. Play some games and go to sleep a little later than usual.

– Support local candy makers or make your own candy. Think: coconut
drops/cakes, fudge, glass & rock candy, chocolate or carob clusters,
ginger drops, peanut brittle, sesame bars etc.

– Put flowers on your family graves.

– Host a fall harvest party.

– If you allow trick-or-treating consider donating the collected candy
to a shelter, community centre etc. Encourage your child to hand out
healthy treats from home and as they make their rounds. Non-traditional goodies are
motivational stickers/pencils, granola bars, pretzels, nuts (be mindful of allergies), raisins,
activity sheets, seeds, balloons, popcorn, sesame bars, tamarind balls, juice boxes etc.

– In making your rounds come up with an alternative to the words
“trick or treat.” As long as it works for your family it’s all good.
For young children you may want to pre-arrange the spots on your
round. They’ll never know that you’ve actually done this.  Drive them
around to the homes of friends & relatives that you know. As long as
you’ve planned it in advance they’ll be sure to have some treats
waiting for your little ones.

– Lay low on sweets. Ensure that your children eat their candy over an extended period of
time in order to avoid sickness.

– Get costumes from thrift stores or Freecycle. What about going
through your own closet or borrowing from friends or family? Here are some more options:    How to celebrate Halloween the green way    Info. on costume swaps

– Head to a local fall festival and/or Day of the Dead event.

– Check out 1-2 short books/films about the history of Halloween. Try
to stay clear of those that demonize others’ traditions. Instead focus
on the facts. Find ones that are appropriate for children. Discuss
them as a family.

Have FUN!!!

P.S.- For more info. check out Luisah Teish’s “Jump Up.” It’s a phenomenal book!