My New Skates

I bought new roller skates last week. They arrived at my home while I was at work. I put them on right away and went outside to try them out. It was a humbling experience. I hadn’t been on skates in more than thirty years. I set out to skate around my sub division by taking a step outside my garage with my skates on. My street is quiet and most of my neighbors don ‘t travel in the evenings so I had the street to myself. That’s great for safety’s sake and it spared me some embarrassment.

My driveway has a decline that I don’t think about unless there is ice or snow on the ground. I flew down my driveway and fell at the end. My new skates were scraped and marked by asphalt after having them on for about ten minutes and I hurt myself and my pride.

After struggling to get to my feet at the end of my driveway I set off to continue skating. I never realized that I live on top of a gently sloping hill until I tried to skate down the street. I flew down the street and into a perpendicular intersection on my skates. I was unable to stop until I aimed myself into my neighbor’s lawn at the bottom of the hill. Their lawn was my first opportunity to stop after speeding into the T intersection.

I laid on my neighbor’s lawn for a minute or two, collected myself and continued to skate down the road which as another hill. I got to the end of the cul de sac and barreled into another lawn. I picked myself up again and wobbly made my way up the hill and back to my house.

The entire experience lasted no longer than thirty minutes. I was shook and sore. I recalled my youthful days of skating at the roller rink. I don’t remember learning to skate or having an major falls. I felt very old.

I watched a few You Tube videos about skating and learning how to stop, particularly downhill out doors. There is a lot of good information out there. I was encouraged by the commenters. I guess it’s common to get to middle age and decide to skate after not skating since your teens. There were many that had similar experiences to mine.

I went to Walmart and got some safety gear. I bought a helmet for around $20 and a set of knee and elbow pads and wrist guards for about $15. The safety equipment is worth the money. Even if it was more expensive it’s cheaper than hospital bills and time off work. It helps me to be more confident because the fear of injury is reduced.

I’ve been on my skates a few times this week and I’ve already improved but I’m still wobbly and I need to work on stopping myself. I’ll give myself a pat on the back because yesterday I got down the driveway and maintained some control over myself. It was slow and clumsey but I’ll work on it. Out door skating is a great work out even if I’m not very graceful.

In 2023 Black Women Need to Find Balance and Get a Personality

I spend a lot of time on social media. I’ve probably been on some form of social media every day for the last thirteen years. I’ve made a lot of interesting observations and I’ve come to various conclusions. As a Black American woman I’ve come to the conclusion that Black American women need to learn to find balance in their lives.

Black American women need to get a life. Black American women need to relax and learn to enjoy things. My observation from social media use is that there is too much focus on advocacy. There are too many Black women on social media that make social causes their entire personality. It’s the lead in. We can’t all be Angela Davis and we should not try.

I’m not in favor of being a vapid, uninformed woman. That is also well circulated on social media in ditsy posts, fight and twerk videos. It’s as if Black women on social media need to adopt an online persona devoid of personality. She gets two choices: advocate or sex kitten. Both personas dehumanize Black women.

I don’t support the divestment movement on social media either. The divestment movement tells Black women to not take any interest in politics and social matters that affect Black Americans. This is completely delusional. Black Americans need to continue to make strides but I think we can go about seeking equality, justice and a better quality of life differently than past generations did. We’re not sharecroppers, laundry women and slaves anymore.

There is a sub culture on social media that promotes Black women living a “soft life”. By that they mean that Black women should learn to enjoy leisure. However, the subject matter and conversation is often sociopolitical. It’s not just about things like fashion, cooking, hobbies, etc. It’s just being Black and going on vacation or going to the park or something and the creator is hyper aware of being Black in the environment they are in.

Most of these content creators haven’t reported anyone hurting them or discriminating against them in a significant way. They are clearly uncomfortable and seeking validation. These travelers are driving themselves crazy when they need to just enjoy their vacation.

I follow an account on Twitter that discusses Black people in film. The account creator critiqued the upcoming movie Barbie and referred to it as a show about a White supremacist toy. I get it I guess but good grief. They take the enjoyment out of everything and I don’t think Barbie is doing anything to hurt anyone. People like that particular person on Twitter pick things apart and don’t address real and impactful matters.

It’s important to have convictions and stand by them. I admire passion, pride and devotion but I don’t think resistance is as useful in 2023 as it once was. Looking forward I think building infrastructure within families and communities is key. Black Americans have more tools and resources to do that now more than ever.

That takes emotionally whole and healthy people. That takes the proper social and networking skills. There needs to be balance. Black women need to know when to take a stand. Pick your battles wisely so you have energy to invest in yourself, in enjoyment and in relationships with those around you. Black women have more to offer the world than advocacy, political organizing and raging against the machine. In other words, get a personality.

Spring Book Review: A Black Women’s History of the United States

I recently finished “A Black Women’s History of the United States” by Kalie Nicole Gross and Daina Ramey Berry. I recommend the book and found it to be very interesting. The authors did a good job of presenting information beyond commonly taught lessons about Black American history.

The book spans pre colonial America to the early 2000s. It discusses the contributions, accomplishments and advocacy of Black women throughout America’s hostile and oppressive history. Black women were/are very active in civil rights and labor movements. Black men are the face of the Civil Rights Movement and various Black organizations and the support, organizational efforts and legal actions taken by Black women have been overlooked by history.

The book is very divers. It cover Black women in different time periods with different points of view and various circumstances. This specific study of American history teaches a lot about American history overall. The book isn’t very long and you can probably get through it relatively quick. If you are interested in American history, women’s history or Black history I think you will find it valuable. I borrowed the book from the library but I’m considering buy a copy for my home library.