Curry Chicken- Ivys version of Jamaican style

Time: 1.30 hour

Preparation:10 mins

Ingredients:

How much seasoning you want is up to you. I use a lot.

Disclaimer: Im not Jamaican but I know how to cook. Ive combined recipes from my friend Deidre who is from Jamaica, YouTube, and online recipes to make a version of what works best for me.

Add a little water to cabbage, lightly season with Greek Seasoning

Add bread crumb to thicken gravy if needed

Prep:

  1. Dice Tomato, Scallions, Garlic, Pepper. Put chicken thighs in a bowl and season it seasoning pepper and curry seasoning.  Mix diced vegetables and Chicken in bowl to marinate about 30 mins-1 hour. ( curry and veggies should be sticking to chicken)

Dice Potato for later

  1. Heat oil and 2 tablespoons of curry powder in a large iron skillet over high heat until oil is hot and curry powder changes color. Add chicken and veggies to oil. Once chicken start to turn brown. Reduce heat and add water to skillet. Add potato.
  2. Covering is optional. Cook until chicken is cooked and gravy is thickened.
    Trust me you will know the its done. I let it cook for about 40mins

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Galentines Day 2017 <3

Hi!

I wanted to share these pictures of Valentines Day this year in Brooklyn with my bestfriend. It was my first year without a boyfriend, but ironically it was one of my favorite Valentines Day celebrations thus far. We dressed up and went out to a bar to  stuff our faces with tacos, tequila, and guacamole. What more can a girl ask for? 🙂 Ladies if you don’t have a Valentines don’t freak out. Remember we live in a capitalist society and Valentines Day is Big Businesses favorite holiday in America. Forget the candy, flowers, and future headaches. In the great words of Beyonce “ladies leave your man at home” and go out with your friends to celebrate Galentines Day.

 

When black girls run away, what are they running from? Article By: Stacey Patton

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Recent Article that I thought was important share

By: Stacey Patton

The Washington Post

Last month, a rumor that more than 500 mostly black and Latino children from the District of Columbia had been abducted and sold into sex slavery went viral on social media. A new decision by D.C. police to alert the public whenever children were reported missing had backfired; most of the kids had been found safe within 24 hours, but those updates never spread as far as the initial reports. Worried people, from the Congressional Black Caucus to LL Cool J, raised alarms over what looked like an epidemic going ignored in ways that would be unimaginable with white children.

Hoping to quell the outrage, Mayor Muriel Bowser assured the public that there has been no surge of missing kids. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t children that need our help,” she said March 24 as she unveiled plans for a task force to work with vulnerable teenagers.

Hundreds of children of color have been reported missing in D.C. at some point since January, but those numbers aren’t higher than usual. The police say 2,242 children were reported missing in 2016, down from 2,433 in 2015. Virtually all were found unharmed within 24 hours; in many cases the children, who showed no evidence of being exploited by sex traffickers, had repeatedly run away from home, according to a spokesman for the mayor.

Which means many children do indeed need our help – and we need to pay more attention to the home lives that they might be running away from.

Rates of reported child abuse are disproportionately high for black children. According to the Justice Department, black children ages 12 to 19 are “three times more likely to be victims of reported child abuse or neglect.” As many as 7,354 young people ages 12 to 24, most of them black, experience homelessness each year in D.C., and more than 2 million children nationwide do. In one national survey, nearly half reported intense conflict, neglect or physical harm by a family member as a major factor in their homelessness. Others experienced family instability due to unaffordable housing, or left the juvenile-justice system or the foster-care system without enough education or support to make it on their own. Research from the Administration for Children and Families shows that up to 42 percent of runaway and homeless youth are sexually abused before they leave their homes.

 

Black children are also disproportionately likely to suffer treatment at home that’s so bad that they want to flee. In 2015, black kids had the highest rate of abuse and neglect, at 14.5 per 1,000 children, compared with 8.1 per 1,000 for white children, according to the Children’s Bureau, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 3,600 black children in the United States have died as a result of maltreatment in the past decade, a rate three times higher than for all other racial groups. Suicide rates among elementary-age black children have nearly doubled since the 1990s, while the rates for white children have fallen, according to a 2015 report from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

 

A disturbing number of children in D.C. and elsewhere are gambling that life on the street could not be worse than their abusive homes. I made the same choice in 1987 and in 1991 while growing up in Trenton, New Jersey.  I ran away from my adoptive family when I was 9 and again when I was 12. After the second time, I refused to go back, and I ended up yet another black child in New Jersey’s foster-care system. A warm bed and steady meals were not worth constant “whuppings” and verbal abusewhich my adoptive parents and the wider black community said were love, discipline and protection from the police or white racists. I felt safer on my own, even if that meant living on the street. From age 12 to 14, I was shuttled between foster homes, youth shelters and group homes, until I was fortunate enough to win an academic scholarship to the Lawrenceville Prep School. So I understand where many of these kids are coming from.

My own experiences helped shape my role as an advocate for children, and it’s painful to see how common such abuse still is in my community. Without question, the toughest part of my work is convincing black people that a “no hitting” zone at home is crucial to helping children feel and be safe. Whupping kids is not “a black thing.” But parents argue that without the discipline they think whuppings instill, their children will end up in prison, even though we’ve been having national conversations about mass incarceration for decades. They cherry-pick Old Testament scriptures to justify hitting. They argue that there’s a difference between spanking and abuse, as if a child’s body experiences pain differently based on what parents call a swat or the intent behind it. And many people proclaim that they were whupped as children and “turned out fine,” even though they’ve grown up to see striking a child’s body as normal behavior. It’s a violent, unnecessary parenting practice planted in our culture through colonialism, slavery, forced indoctrination into Christianity and centuries of racial trauma.

If we are going to talk about missing children in D.C., we must look at beating kids as one of the root issues. Yes, sex trafficking does happen, and yes, the types of children who go missing in Washington and other cities – mostly black; mostly poor; disproportionately lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer – are more vulnerable than other kids. But neglect and abuse are among the most common factors.

 

So much of our national focus on black children is on how “bad” they are: how they need more physical punishment, zero tolerance at school, harsh sentences from the courts. They are blamed for their own deaths at the hands of adults who claimed they were afraid of them. That systemic devaluation of black children even extends into classrooms. In 19 states, students are still subject to corporal punishment; a disproportionately higher number of black children receive it. According to reports by the Education Department’s office of civil rights and Human Rights Watch, racial bias contributes to this problem, along with black parents giving teachers and administrators permission to hit their children.

 

These messages have consequences. When black children are constantly told that they are a problem, that they are unworthy and undeserving of empathy and kindness, that they can be beaten in schools, in the streets, by cops and by the people who love them, running away from home doesn’t seem like such an extreme choice. If home so often isn’t a safe haven, should we be surprised?

 

The best way to keep black children out of the headlines – to protect them from a predatory foster-care system, the school-to-prison pipeline, sex traffickers and other traps – is to make their homes safer and more loving. That means more parental education on child development, so parents can set reasonable expectations for their children, as well as giving parents information on nonviolent discipline practices. Churches need to become sanctuaries that reinforce positive parenting strategies, instead of preaching “spare the rod, spoil the child.” We need to send a strong message to black youths that their families and community institutions will protect them by providing counseling, advocacy, shelter and emotional support. Service agencies need ethnically diverse, culturally competent staff members who will avoid policies and practices that perpetuate trauma and institutionalized racism. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for impoverished communities dealing with generations of poverty, trauma and divestment.

Black children’s lives need to matter before they become a statistic or a hashtag. But the blame doesn’t rest entirely on outside forces. We need to take responsibility for protecting our children in the place that matters most, so that home is the place they’ll run to, and not away from.

To Pimp a Butterfly

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This dialogue between Pac and K. Dot on Mortal Man is the epitome of many African American men experiences growing up in this country 

[Outro: Kendrick Lamar & 2Pac]

[Kendrick Lamar]
“I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence
Sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power, full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screaming in the hotel room
I didn’t wanna self destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers
Until I came home
But that didn’t stop survivor’s guilt
Going back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earned
Or maybe how A-1 my foundation was
But while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city, I was entering a new one
A war that was based on apartheid and discrimination
Made me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learned
The word was respect
Just because you wore a different gang color than mine’s
Doesn’t mean I can’t respect you as a black man
Forgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streets
If I respect you, we unify and stop the enemy from killing us
But I don’t know, I’m no mortal man, maybe I’m just another nigga”

[2Pac]
Shit, I like to think that at every opportunity I’ve ever been threatened with resistance, it’s been met with resistance.And not only me but it goes down my family tree. You know what I’m saying, it’s in my veins to fight back

[2Pac]
In this country a black man only have like 5 years we can exhibit maximum strength, and that’s right now while you a teenager, while you still strong or while you still wanna lift weights, while you still wanna shoot back. Cause once you turn 30 it’s like they take the heart and soul out of a man, out of a black man in this country. And you don’t wanna fight no more. And if you don’t believe me you can look around, you don’t see no loud mouth 30-year old muthafuckas


[Kendrick Lamar]
That’s crazy man. In my opinion, only hope that we kinda have left is music and vibrations, lotta people don’t understand how important it is. Sometimes I be like, get behind a mic and I don’t know what type of energy I’mma push out, or where it comes from. Trip me out sometimes

I wanted to read one last thing to you. It’s actually something a good friend had wrote describing my world. It says:

“The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it
Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this mad city
While consuming its environment the caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive
One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him, but praises the butterfly
The butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness, and the beauty within the caterpillar
But having a harsh outlook on life the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits

Already surrounded by this mad city the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes him
He can no longer see past his own thoughts
He’s trapped
When trapped inside these walls certain ideas take roots, such as going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city

The result?
Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant
Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the internal struggle
Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.”

 

What about Black LGBTQ lives? The importance of intersectionality within the Black community

 

Lgbtq

(not sure who this artist is but I love this painting)

So last semester I took an online class called the Psychology of LGBTQ Issues with Dr. Matthew Robinson; a professor at Harvard University. There was a few take aways I got from this class that I wanted to share. All quotations below are a combination of old post from weekly write ups written by yours truly.

Overall when you hear the word intersectionality it is often used when talking about feminism. This class made me aware that  intersectionality also includes POC (People Of Color) LBGTQ individuals.

  1. Realizing my privilege as an Heterosexual African American woman

“I never thought in detail about how minorities as a whole share common struggles until now. I never realized that being Heterosexual means that I am a part of a group that may contribute to homophobia (Matthews 2007). Such as white Americans may unintentionally benefit from white privilege. Ethic minorities and the LGBTQ population share similar issues of being labeled “minority”, yet LGBTQ ethnic minorities have to also endure heterocentrism within their own ethnic group. (Greene, 1994). An example of Hetrocentrism is the perpetuation of a romanticized heterosexual family structure seen in the media; painting a picture of how a family is supposed to be according to society. ”

2. Bisexuality do exist in the Black Community….

“Sexual Orientation is often viewed as being dichromatic in nature such as being either homosexual or heterosexual; this type of view often does not give others who do not fit into these categories of sexuality much visibility or thought. Bisexuals are often seen as being confused, promiscuous or not certain with their identity.

I personally thought about the depression and anxiety an individual must go through when having to endure being double a minority, such as African Americans who identify as being bisexual. Ethnic minorities such as African Americans are subject to higher rates of harassment while being apart of the LGBTQ community (Mays & Cochran, 2001). Racial related stress and being apart of LGBTQ community makes this population vulnerable to mental health disorders (Fisher, Wallace, & Fenton, 2000).  When compared to the Lesbian and Gay population, bisexual individuals report lower levels of perceived social support, with higher levels of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal ideation, or actual attempts (Balsam & Mohr, 2007). experience poverty, increased workplace discrimination, and endure violence at higher rates (Tweedy & Yescavage, 2015)”

3. Get rid of the DL phenomena 

“Oprah did segments in the 1980s on African American men who are “down low” i.e. having a wife and kids but also have a boyfriends on the side. These segments are seen as the driving force behind perpetrating the stereotype that African American men are  on the “down low” and carrying HIV. Even in the movie For Colored Girls a character is married to a man who has sexual relations with men without her knowing it…“next time you should admit you’re mean, down low and low down; trifling and no count straight out. Instead of being sorry all the time, enjoy being yourself. When I get back I want you gone and take your HIV with you” giving him a paper displaying that she has been diagnosed with HIV positive (Shange, N., Scott, O., Law, L., Venza, J., Carroll, 2000.) Unconsciously internalizing media stories such as this could effect how the African American community (especially black women) I believe that black men should be able to identify as bisexual without feeling the need to pick one or be placed in a box. Sexual freedom should be able to exist within the African American community as it do in White communities.”

4. Spirituality can be used in Psychotherapy for African Americans who identify with LGBTQ…

“Religion and spirituality is often seen as being a major part of someone’s identity and/ or culture (especially with African American patients). Many heterosexual individuals are able to say their religion vocally without feeling a sensibility towards their affiliation. According to Boswell (1980) institutionalize religions have been a driving force of oppression towards Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual men and women since the middle ages. I personally appreciated Davidson (2000) article on ways of incorporating spirituality into psychotherapy and counseling. I have never thought about the spiritual side to the coming out process until reading this article. Religion played a role in the results of Dahl & Galliher (2012) LGBT youth study that showed participants made efforts to deny their attraction to the same sex and felt a disconnection to their religion. In therapy patients may also disclose to therapist that their families have attempted to “pray the gay” away.”

As future therapist it is important to know a patients sexual and religious development, in order to build on their spiritual side, without feeling the need to suppress them.”

 

P.S. Check out Moonlight its really good. 🙂

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An Ode to Choice

IMG_0627IMG_0623IMG_0621For April Fools Day 2017, I flew from New York to Atlanta to witness a ceremony of two people professing their love for one another in front of a sea of black family and friends. I have to emphasize “black” because the wedding was really all black. Seeing a young black couple get married in their early 20s defies stereotypes and  shows that black love is still alive; here in a barn in Toccoa, GA we came to celebrate it.  No April Fool Jokes or Drake Fake Love here. All real and Authentic. Kelle and Rods love is pure and true. Seriously. I met Kelle while working at a psychiatric institution after her and I had to endure dealing with extremely mentally disturbed children. Some how in the mist of that chaos we became close friends. We instantly clicked and have been friends ever since; Kelle is not only beautiful but she also has a hilarious unique personality to match it.  One day Kelle randomly told me if she ever got married she wanted it to be in a barn LOL and she was not playing. The wedding was in northern GA in a barn with hay and I Loved every minute of it.  Ironically, I also knew Rod. We attended Tucker High School together and were Facebook friends. During undergrad I used to always “like” the pictures he would post of his beautiful girlfriend. Who would’ve known that I would one day meet her and become close friends with her? I Thank God for giving me the opportunity to meet Kelle.

Kelle and Rod love is a testimony to choice and true love. These two were designed for each other by God. Their love shined so bright at their wedding that the whole church could tell that these two are the epitome of true love. Rod and Kelle made the choice to love each other, get married, and to commit to each other forever before family, friends, and God.

I loved the wedding, I loved seeing them together ,and I am truly thankful I had the opportunity to witness “Love”. Personally,  I’m still figuring out “Love” but I know it’s a choice. To seriously commit and build towards marriage. To chose to love your partner everyday. When Kelle met Rod for the first time at Savannah State University she called her mom and said “I think I just met my future husband”. Once you meet that person you will just know it.  Once you make the choice to choose someone God will be there to lead every step of the way or tell you that this person isn’t the right one. Either way God will be there and will never leave your side. The presence of God and the Holy Spirit was in the room at Kelle and Rods wedding to let us know that he will continue to be their with this couple as long as they continue to also chose Him. A Love rooted in God can not be easily broken.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12

P.S. They met at an HBCU IMG_0477.JPG

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