It goes in cycles but seems never ending. Every generation of African Americans has that moment where the anger boils over like fire because the racism and hatred just becomes unbearable. It’s got to stop but we know it’s never ending. Watts Riots – 1965 LA Riots – 1992 Ferguson Riots – 2014 Minneapolis Riots – 2020
I’m 47 now, but 23 years ago, 1997 to be exact, my senior year, a group of students from #KentStateUniversity , got on the bus headed to the first ever #MillionWomenMarch in Philly, PA, accompanied by Dr Adilene Barnes-Harden (pictured with us in the Kente cloth outfit, I’m next to her, holding the sign) . During my time at Kent State, I switched my major about 5 times, had some interesting experiences (we’ll just leave it at that, thankfully before the Facebook lol) , and I had some very awesome professors, especially in the Department of #PanAfricanStudies . If there was anything that was constant during my college years, in between all of the fun, it was the classes I had the privilege to take at Kent State. One of my favorite and one of the best professors EVER, was Dr. Barnes-Harden who taught The Black Woman, The Black Family, and other courses that changed my life! She was so raw and so real in the classroom and inspired us as black students on campus! She has transitioned, gone but definitely not forgotten. Ashe! RIP #KentStateForever #PAS #BlackStudies #PeaceAndLove
I was a huge Nike fan back in high school when I ran track and played volleyball, but it’s been a while since I’ve bought a pair of the sneakers with the swoosh. In 2019, Nike created a huge endorsement/marketing/sponsorship deal with activist football player, Colin Kaepernick. With one fell swoop, many of us pledged to make our next pair of sneakers, a pair of Nikes.
Since the dawn of the 21st century, it seems that becoming an activist has become extremely easy. No longer is it a requirement for people to march in the streets, like in the 60s, unless they want to. Activists today, have a choice as to how they want to participate. Activism today, can be something as small and easy as signing an online petition to boycotting a particular company because of their CEO’s political affiliation to protesting in the streets in Ferguson, MO or Minneapolis, MN, against the injustice of police brutality against black men and women.
Activism also affects different age groups in different ways. For example, I was a super student activist in college at Kent State University, in Ohio, in the 90s, during the time of the Rodney King case and O. J. I marched, I participated in sit-ins, walk outs, letter writing, rallies, etc. Today, I’m in my 40s and while I’d love to march in the streets, my activism leans more towards attending council meetings, putting my signature on petitions, participating in virtual rallies and other events, and giving monetary funds, when and where I can. Either way, whatever you choose to do, it all counts towards the efforts of standing up for issues of social justice, as long as you stand up for something.
So, with that said, it’s almost time for me to get a new pair of workout sneakers and you can best believe, my next pair will be Nike.
When the topic of friends comes up, I’m reminded of the song, “What About Your Friends”, by the group, TLC. In the 90s we also had TV shows like Martin, Living Single, Girlfriends, and Friends that focused on friendships. One thing these shows had in common was that they all had strong friendship groups. Over the years I’ve developed some great relationships with people, some becoming some of my BFFs from various walks of life. In college, I met some of the best girlfriends I’ll ever have and I can now say that I’ve known them the longest, about 20 + years at this point. I’ve also worked and lived in various places and I’ve made some great friends from work experiences? I’ve also acquired a diverse group of friends and acquaintances who live in different parts of the country as well as are native to different parts of the world who have different backgrounds, life, and educational experiences. I’m proud of that. I’m also glad that, over the years, I have been able to be open minded and welcoming, which has allowed me to accept different people into my life, some of whom I may not have ever met, if I hadn’t been open to making new friends. I guess that’s why my friends call me the “social butterfly” with the ability to bring people together and I guess that’s how I ended up in the field of Event Planning and enjoy it so much. It’s the people.
How have strong friendships shaped your life? Have your friendships been long lasting? When we are young we experience breakups, etc. As we grow older, especially in our 30s and 40s, we experience marriages, divorces, child births, graduations, housewarmings, deaths, caregiving, health scares, etc. Have your friends been there for you? If so, how? And vice versa, how have you been there for them? Do you consider yourself a good friend? And if you don’t think you currently have a good solid friend group, do you think you need one? If so, how do you plan to make that happen? And lastly, does being in your 40s,make it easier or harder to make friends or keep the ones you have in your life?
So apparently, August 1st is #NationalGirlfriendsDay, who knew? But now that you know, make sure you give a shout out to your girls, your homies, your ride or die women in your life, without whom, life would not be the same! And while you’re doing that, check out the replay of my #podcast episode, all about friendship in your 40s! And share with others! Also, there’s a #Girlfriends show marathon on @tvonetv https://anchor.fm/theclique/episodes/the-clique–episode-2–friendships-in-your-40s-eaktgo