Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What LaTeacha Did

        I originally wrote this months ago immediately after Teacha's passing, but today being her birthday, I see this as a great way to honor her memory.
         The weekend of April 10th I saw something beautiful come from sadness. I saw a family bond being renewed. All to celebrate the loving memory of LaTeacha Adams Coleman who passed away from breast cancer at the age of 32. Teacha has such a big heart and beautiful spirit and she fought an amazing fight 3 times to beat this disease.
        Over the years of getting to know Teacha, I knew how important family was to her. She constantly tried to get all of the family together. The last time many if them got together over two and a half years ago. Teacha brought people together whom haven't seen each other in over 5 years. I was able to meet my future in-laws who knew me only via Facebook. Nygel's brother was home from the Air Force and I got to see them with their Dad and his family for the first time. I saw so much love and joy even through the tears over that weekend, and it was a blessing to my spirit. 
        We get so caught up in our day to day live that we let our family ties become loosened. It's not what we intend but it happends. We just have to be aware and work on that balance. and some believe this was one of Teacha's last acts and she can rest easy knowing the family loves each other. 
        Teacha was a not only a Queen holding many pageant titles, she is a wife, mother, daughter and breast cancer advocate. She lived her life as an example to others letting them know there is a life after cancer. She founded the Life After Cancer sharing her story and experiences with others. We as her family will continue honoring her legacy through the LaTeacha A. Coleman foundation. What Teacha did is inspire us to be better and value life and family. We will carry on her legacy.



There have been people with negative opinions and comments about what the students at University of Missouri standing up against racism at their school.  Some even going as far as saying the students should have just gone to an HBCU. As a person who has attended both types of institutions, telling a black student they should've gone to one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) instead of a Predominantly White Institution (PWIs) is ignorant and unfair.

NC State University Alternative Spring Break Ecuador South America
You cannot avoid racism, you may try to delay the exposure to it, but you cannot avoid racism if you are interacting with people on a day to day basis.  Both HBCUs and PWIs serve a purpose. These institutions allow you to get a great education and exposure to different experiences and people from all walks of life. An HBCUs in my opinion allows Black students an environment of learning that's still culturally diverse, and psychologically comforting. When I mean culturally diverse, at an HBCU, majority of the students are Black, but we all do not come from the same background and/or upbringing.  Our economic status varies as well as different things were were exposed to are varied.  
NC State University Alternative Spring Break Ecuador South America

We get the opportunity to learn from other black students about our culture and expand our horizons. The environment is psychologically comforting because even though you have these different walks of life coming together, there is still some sense of community and familiarity. Attending A&T was different than attending NC State, but a good different. I felt comfortable, I traveled, I became apart of professional organizations and I was apart of a group of students where we all helped each other succeed. I most definitely developed a strong sense of AGGIE PRIDE after attending NC A&T. 

Uninhibited Praise Gospel Choir NC State.
        I chose NC State because of it's diversity of races and ethnicities.  I grew up in a town where my interaction was with Blacks majority of the time and I knew that wasn't going to be the case in my career field. My experiences at NC State University have prepared me for what I expect in the real world. I've been the only black person and black woman in my engineering classes. I also have had people judge me based off of my appearance.  I also have had some great experiences there. I have traveled the country and the world and met many amazing people from many different races and cultures.

         The truth is as Black people, we will have to come out of the comfort zone regardless of where we attend college.  Attending an HBCU does not make you exempt from racism. Looking down on Blacks who did not choose the same path you did, doesn't make you any better than those who treat Blacks unfairly. There were many different people (not just Black) who fought for our right to choose. I am grateful for that opportunity and took advantage of that right to get the best education possible and I did that from two of the best institutions in the country.  I salute and support those students at Mizzou for fighting for what is right. 

NC State Basketball game.
Society of Women Engineers NC A&T University.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prayers for Paris, Prayers for the World

I will not withhold compassion for Paris or any other place in the world when they go through a trauma like this or any other injustice that affects its people. I know there are injustices taking place in countries that get no play in the media and nothing gets done to help them, but people are still hurting  and losing their lives. I will not let my heart harden because the same compassion isn't shown for me.  I am an American.  Not only that, I am a Black American. I travel the world and people harden their hearts because of the choices my government made and the color of my skin.  When I travel, I am vary aware of who I am and pray that no one wants to punish me for the sins of America or their thoughts on my race. My country has committed some heinous acts and we have had some heinous acts committed against us. With all of the things that happen in government and politics, the people living in the country not knowing all the ins and outs reap the consequences.  I acknowledge that I do not know everything that is going on around the world, but when something bad does happen, I feel bad for the people who suffer the consequences of those choices. I will continue to do my part and do service here within the States and around the world.  I will not knock those who do stand and show support in the midst of the tragedy.  Everyone does it in their own way, but this world and the violence is out of control.  We do need more action to fight against the injustice in the world.  We need to get out of our comfort zone because what happened in Paris could be back here in America. Not just in America, but to you, your mom, any of your family members or friends.  Take some time to figure out how you can do service in your community and the world as a whole. Pray not only for Paris but pray for our world.

Friday, November 6, 2015

My Choices

I've been making some big life changes over the last few years in all facets of my life. I went back to school, changed churches, moved to a new city, and most recently I got married.  Through each change and time period in my life, it was an opportunity for growth and self development. I've  learned that no matter how great of a plan you have, always be opened  to change and the chance things may not go your way. My life is the result of the decisions  I've made and if I am not happy with it, that means I need to make better choices.

A big choice that impacts my life are the people I allow in my personal space. You have to be careful with whom you share your time and energy. Energy is constantly transferred between individuals. Everyone is not going to be high energy all the time,  but you have to practice discernment and know when to keep those people at a distance or not have them in your life at all.

These are a few things, I have learned to live by:
  • Forgive quickly and often.  
    • Holding on to the anger and hurt of a situation is not good for your health.  This rule for me has been a tough one for me, but it makes my life so much easier when I let things go and move forward.
  • Trust in God and not in man.
    • Man will always let you down even when it is unintentional. Humans are inherently selfish by nature so we are always looking out for "Number One." My belief is people will be people, and I will not hold what I may consider their faults against them when they don't live up to my expectations. Placing my expectations on them is honestly unfair in the first place.
  • Do not fight to keep someone in your life.  
    • Whether it's a significant other, family member or friend.  You spend all that energy on a situation when someone clearly wants to be left alone.  I give them their space, move forward, and pray for that person. If that relationship is meant to be, it will be.  You cannot be the only person investing in that relationship.
  • Don't tell every move you make or tell everyone your dreams and aspirations.
    • Everyone is not in your corner. Everyone will not understand your journey and not everyone is meant to take that with journey with you.  It is best to keep the negativity out because you will have to overcome the obstacles of the world beating you down. You don't need that negativity from the people who are supposed to believe in you the most.  Dreams are things that may not seem the norm or they are just different.  You have to have the mindset to pursue your dreams.
  • Learn from your mistakes and keep move forward.
    • The best thing to do after you mess up is to not dwell on it, but evaluate what went wrong.  Once you have learned from it, keep it in mind and use what you learn for later moments in life.
Love, Peace, & Blessings