TBS14: Honoring Dr Welsing’s Birthday with Gus T Renegade from C.O.W.S. Radio.

Brothas and Sista’s,

I am so excited for you today because it’s The Black Steps first interview and a legendary one at that!

In this episode, I am humbled to be chatting with Gus T Renegade from C.O.W.S  (Context of White Supremacy) radio show to honor the birthday of the late, great, counter racist scientist, Dr Francis Cress-Welsing. For those of you who are unaware of her and her work, I did a previous episode about her here.

In this show we talk about her legacy, their friendship and women behind the Isis Papers book. I also find out a little more about Gus the black man, and his views on how we can continue to empower ourselves under the system of white supremacy.

There are a lot of notes, books and references which I have captured below.

Enjoy x

 

Links, books and authors mentioned in this episode:

Sabrina Johnson COWS radio show appearance.

Dr Welsing birthday tribute event.

Saturday March 18th 2017

Thurgood Marshall Centre

Washington DC

Sabrinajohnson27@earthlink.net

 

RADIO INTERVIEWS.

C.O.W.S radio iTunes link

C.O.W.S episode with Dr Welsing regarding the Charleston Massacre with white supremacist Dylan Roof.

Dr Welsing and the Trump presidency prediction.

Dr Welsing sharing her views on cannabis.

Dr Martin Kevorkian 

All the book references from are in an empowerment sheet. Just enter your email address and get them with all the links to buy directly from Amazon.

 

MUSIC REFERENCES

 

FILM AND TV REFERENCES

www.getoutfilm.com

 

MISC REFERENCES

Black self care e-book for discharging racial stress.

www.theisispapersbookclub.com

12 Step Recovery for beginners.

Mr H fox YouTube channel

 

GUS T RENEGADE ESSAYS.

http://atlantablackstar.com/author/gusrenegade/

wwwRacism-notes.blogspot.com

COWS email address : untiljustice@gmail.com

 

Don’t miss another episode!

If you have any feedback, comments or questions ask me here.

If you would like to work with me you can find out more here.

You can find lots more literature about racial wellness, addiction, and the 12 step recovery process in the link below in the recovery/addiction category:

http://www.yardofgreatnessstore.com

#racialsobriety #theblacksteps #recovery #sobriety #racism #whitesupremacy #blackempowerment #blackgirlmagic  #racialintimacy  #thetwelvesteps

5 Empowering ways to connect with your child this summer.

You is broke.

Now that the school summer break is in full swing, how’s it going? Are you tired and fed up yet? I’m sure a lot of parents on social media saw the meme’s flying around at the end of term showing teachers jumping for joy, and parents already counting the days till their children return to school in the autumn. As much as we love them, caring for our children over the summer can often be emotionally exhausting. Many of us are left daunted by how we can enjoy the break and hold onto our last frazzled nerve at the same time.

 

A couple of summers ago beneath my fake, ‘strong black mother’ cape, I secretly dreaded the holidays and buried my shame around not really understanding how to bond or connect with my child. To avoid these feelings, my default was always to lean on the summer clubs so I wouldn’t be emotionally overwhelmed, or disrupted by the changes to my term time routine. Then last year, it hit me how fast my daughter Zuri was growing up. I felt ashamed and guilty about not enjoying the break, so I decided to plan a more strategic approach last year and use the space to love bomb her with cultural events and activities to make memories, focus on our relationship, and build our racial esteem as a family. This compassionate space was so powerful, that Zuri cried a lot when it was time to go back to school. I also missed her terribly which had never happened before.

 

Some of us may find this level of parental intimacy uncomfortable, because we’re not use to engaging with our children in this way. Our work responsibilities may create limited time, or maybe you were raised in an environment where parental play was not a priority so this feels awkward. If this is your story then it’s important to really be gentle with yourself. It might feel hard at first, but little and often works, and this is also a powerful opportunity to upgrade your pathology, and begin building a deeper legacy of connection with your child. Today, I am excited to serve you by sharing the tools and ideas we now use every year to slay our summer.  

 

Create the space to build closeness.

In order to be more present for our families, scheduling space to have fun and hang out is crucial. This will not only be used to spend more quality time with family, but also to give yourself permission to rest and be more emotionally available during the activities. Book and schedule whatever time you can get off work (even if it’s only a few days) and reschedule anything in the family diary where possible, that doesn’t support this commitment.

 

Use these bullet points to build your family bucket list.

I love this part of the process because everyone gets to be involved in building the program of fun activities. Set a time and call a family meeting to brainstorm the following……

  • Write a list of how each of you wants to feel about the holidays.
  • Ask each family member to contribute activities that are connected to how they want to feel. (this tool helps to build a child’s emotional intelligence, as they not only learn how to define their feelings, but also how to articulate what actions will meet those needs.)  
  • Research local events, music festivals, and museums etc, for any activities to explore. Include some same gender specific activities also to nurture the male/feminine  energy.
  • Choose some cultural s/hero’s you can research and learn about together.
  • Have a good list mix of scheduled events and chilled home activities, this way no one gets too overwhelmed with all the organisation and running around.
  • Plan how and when you will spread the events across each week.
  • Set some gentle boundaries around daily screen time, so you can all be engaged and committed to the activities.

 

Capture the summer experience in a creative way.

With most of us posting and storing our memories on social media these days, a hard copy family diary or scrapbook is a refreshing way to record our feelings, joys, challenges and events with good old fashioned paper and pen. A trip to the local pound/dollar store will provide plenty of scrapbook crafts to bring the joyous family quotes, pictures and stories to life. You can still post your fun on social media, but it’s always wonderful to read the diary entries at a later date and relive the warm fuzzy feelings that accompanied them.

 

Teaching life skills, feeds empowerment.

Teaching is so much more powerful than rescuing, but sometimes our busyness keeps us caught up in checking off our lists, instead of empowering our children with what and how things needs to be done. Cooking a simple meal, growing something, or sharing some easy financial literacy, are simple suggestions to get you started. As your child practices and perfects her new skill, you save valuable time as she’s now empowered to complete it independently. As a natural consequence of sharing this energy, The relationship will build between you as your self esteem and confidence grows independently. As a side note, it’s also important to say that this is not only about practical tasks, but also a chance to review and teach the family values. I have an earlier post on this with a free ebook, which will help you define and implement them as a family. www.juneallen.net/values

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Build racial esteem with cultural education.

The summer break is now one of our favourite times of year to work as a team, (hopefully with some sunshine) to explore, educate and celebrate our identity. What could be more irresistible to our black children than having a cultural learning experience within the community with engaged parents who adore spending time with them. In this month already, my daughter and I have attended our annual African storytelling festival which honoured the late Jamaican poet, Louise Bennett. We’ll be highlighting Marcus Garvey’s birthday on 17th August and also attend the annual steel band competition on 27th August at the Notting Hill Carnival. The African presence is not always taught appropriately (if at all) in ‘mainstream’ European dominated education. However, our cultural S/hero’s continue to provide a rich hue of flavor and black brilliance around the globe so we must continue to absorb and re-tell their stories as part of our legacy.

 

I know this piece has focused specifically on the summer holidays, but including more time for family to play during term time (even if its a hour at the weekend) is a great way to nurture and maintain your family self care. If your summer break has been a disaster up to this point, I hope this piece has provided some value to give yourself permission to restart and reclaim the joy in your family space! When we make the time to prioritise and implement these tools, our children will not only experience our love for them, but also how much we actually like them and adore being in their. I’d love to know you spent yours in the comments below.

 

Have fun,till next time.

June

5 Loving ways to manage racial stress.

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In my previous post, I shared Jesse William’s powerful speech from the BET music awards, where he shared the unapologetic truth about our black pain. Many felt empowered at being acknowledged on such a public platform, and his speech along with our appreciation went viral. However like clockwork, it didn’t take long for white supremacy to slap the hope out of our mouths, with an onslaught of black male murders, committed by racist white law enforcement. This erupted into violence, where officers were also killed in the fall out.

As I send virtual condolences to the families of the deceased, I am also deeply concerned about the impact of the video murders of Alton Sterling, and Philandro Castile on our black psyches. One of the most valuable commodities in maintaining white supremacy, is our ongoing traumatisation and emotional abuse. When we remain in this confused state, it’s much easier for us to be manipulated and controlled on mass.

I chose not to watch any of the videos, because seeing my people killed with impunity is to upsetting, and I need to be as present as possible in order to be productive. It’s hard enough that I’ve been trying to finish this post for the last 2 days, but my insomnia and the daily rise in dead bodies meant that I needed to just surrender to being human, and take some time to collect myself, before coming back with something supportive from an emotionally sober place. Now that I have refueled a bit, I’m sharing 5 simple tools to help you manage your racial stress.

Process not projection.

When we’re exposed to this trauma, we can feel powerless, angry and numb as a consequence of the initial racist abuse, and then the secondary social abandonment. Our body reacts to this emotional violence, by generating the energy which prepares us for a fight or flight response. If this is not discharged, it can end up being negatively recycled and projected unconsciously into our closest relationships. This means that our heightened state may cause more irrational responses towards our loved ones. We may also feel resentment, mistrust and anxiety around other white people in our personal and/or professional circles. These feelings are all completely normal, and if we’re able to be honest with ourselves whilst practicing the other tools, we’re less likely to act on them in a destructive way.

Discharge the energy.

Discharging this energy involves doing an activity which will help to process and move the stress outside the body. When I woke up this morning, I was exhausted from very little sleep and still feeling anxious and emotionally numb. However, after 30 mins of Jamaican style movement to some banging Afrobeats, I felt a lot more present and willing to engage the day. Other suggestions include,

  1. Punching pillows or the bed (in private). Set a timer for 1 min, and fill up the time. When I do this exercise, I also like to picture someone who represents my upset. May I appropriately suggest Donald Trump or for my UK people suffering after the rise is racist attacks after Brexit, you can use Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson. Pick what works for you and pound it out. You’ll finish exhausted, but so much lighter.
  2. Take long, deep, conscious breaths for 3 mins and visualise the negative energy leaving your body.
  3. Rage journaling is where you allow yourself to do some free flow writing about your feelings, cussin’ to the max when necessary! Finish off with some slow breaths and a gratitude entry.

Self – Soothing

Self soothing techniques can really help the recovery process, as you consciously practice behaviors which will reconnect you to yourself. This self care is about self-compassion, being gentle in the same way you would a young child. Use each of your 5 senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch) and right a list of your favorite things to build a  self-soothing toolkit. You will recognise a lot of these simple techniques, but to practice them more consciously will empower you inside this system of powerlessness.    

 

Discharge (5)

Community

Community spaces, particularly at this traumatic time are incredibly important. Choose one that feels safe with people you trust to share feelings and give support. Religious organisations and culturally specific support or recovery groups can be great resources to find help and explore your feelings. Community empathy from your tribe can be very healing and great for processing our collective grief.

Boundaries

Our personal boundaries mean that we can identify and communicate clearly what is acceptable to us. At this vulnerable time, the natural reaction may be to withdraw and protect ourselves emotionally and psychologically, so understanding where the boundaries are, are an essential part of the healing. It will also help to have an honest discussion with your family about how you will deal with this, and be clear on where your boundaries are as a unit. Consider carefully where your triggers are regarding social media and take a break if needed.

In closing, Jesse Williams explained that ,‘it is not the job of the oppressed to comfort the bystander,’ so if you need to take some temporary time away from your white friendships, give yourself permission to do so. You are under no obligation to justify or engage in conversation about your boundaries with any white supremacist, ‘all lives matter,’ ‘not all white people,’ ‘what about black on black crime,’ ‘not all cops,’ ‘yeah, but he should have moved his right foot,’ rhetoric, which are clear deflections from the truth about the war on black people. It’s your pain, your choice.

Be tender with yourself, till next time

In Service

June

The Inspirational Ali Legacy

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On the 3 June 2016, the great Muhammad Ali became an esteemed ancestor. He not only left a blaze of sporting excellence inside the boxing ring, but also a glorious legacy of truth and integrity inside the black struggle. What I adore most about the Champ, was his commitment to speaking up about racial injustice at a time when black leaders were regularly being murdered by the government for doing so. Despite this, he remained fearless and consistent in fighting to free his people.

 

It was only when I became pregnant that I really started to think seriously about legacy, and what I was doing with my life. What did I inherit? What behaviours would I teach inside our connection, and what wealth would she inherit when I pass? I thought about my slave legacy, the disastrous relationships, my financial illiteracy, and fears and vague notion of values. I knew they were not in line with what I wanted from life, or hers, and then set about writing a plan to build the internal foundation from which to build an abundant legacy my own.

 

Defining your values.

Creating a legacy requires taking consistent actions in line with your values. Values are defined as the personal principles and standards of behaviour by which you live. I found it helpful at first be really clear about what my values were, so I’ve created a worksheet for you in the next post about values, for your own clear definitions. Your life decisions will become so much clearer when you know what you stand for. Get your partner and children involved also, it will be a much more powerful exercise if you do this as a team effort.

 

Fill in the gaps.

Once you’ve completed the worksheet and are clearer about what’s important, you should be able to see any gaps, similarities or differences between the values you may or may not have with your friends and extended family. It’s OK for them to be different and neither party is right or wrong. It just means that you’re giving yourself permission to be your own person and/or family unit. You want to start taking responsibility for the new vision you have for your life.

 

Dream and execute.

Now that you have more of idea of your vision, you can start brainstorming ways to create the life and legacy you want to build. Plan and think consciously about how you can integrate your values into everyday life. Dream big, start small, but be consistent. When I did mine, I realised that I wanted to create a daily morning devotional time for spiritual connection, which honours my ancestors and African spirituality.  It took me a little while to write, and I still tweak it occasionally, but we now spend 30 minutes in the morning with a short preamble, a libation ritual, prayers, meditation, a gratitude list and affirmations to close. My daughter absolutely loves this ritual as it creates a wonderful space for intimacy, positive cultural connection and a peaceful springboard which sets us all up for the day.

 

Be unapologetic.

Before Mohammad Ali died, I was still a little anxious about sharing my black thoughts, because I regularly see successful black entrepreneurs being racially abused during live broadcasts, and none of them even talk specifically about racism. However, after seeing so much recent footage of Ali showing up in his fearless glory, I know I must do what is right and not hide inside the fear. I want my daughter to be proud of me for practicing the same depth of integrity. She also needs to be equipped with the tools to maintain her own racial wellness, so I want her to see the tangible actions I take to produce justice and not be all talk.

 

My commitment to the ongoing black struggle, is to continue to share my experience, hope and truth with a view to building a movement with tangible tools for empowerment and emotional wealth. This, I hope will liberate the individual minds of black people; to heal and build a legacy of greatness for themselves and the community.

 

Every decision you make is another opportunity to build your own legacy. Any pain underneath your why will make you unstoppable. I don’t weep for the death of Ali, I take inspiration from his shining example of what it means to really  live a life of purpose. Today he has been laid to rest and my thoughts are with his family. Rest well Champ, you will always be the greatest!

Are you jumping into your purpose?

 

I watched an inspiring video today by Steve Harvey where he talks about jumping into your purpose. Facing the cliff of uncertainty, but doing it anyway, trusting that the creator is the parachute to catapult you soaring into your greatness.
I’m feeling well chuffed today because all the personal work I’ve done over the last 6 years has led up to this moment. This first blog post is my ‘jump.’ A jump into documenting the legacy of love and wholeness for my family. A leap into receiving my birthright of financial abundance. An opening of my heart to share my experience and hope to those still trapped and lost in their inhibility to love themselves.
Change has been painful and exhausting, but I would go through it all again because the freedom in speaking my truth, showing up inside my black skin, and having my daughter be proud of me has all been worth it.
So now, I’ve jumped. I have begun. This first post is published and I’m  ready to live in my greatness. Are you ready to jump? It’s ok if you’re not. You can start small by just being open to making changes. Each small action is a victory.
I’ll be live streaming on Periscope this week @juneallen with some simple ideas to start practising self compassion. Join me and let’s start building your SOULpower tool kit.

Look forward to seeing you there.
June
p.s. Here’s the link to the Steve Harvey ‘Jump’ video. Enjoy and have a blessed day.