“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Last month we went on a jam-packed family vacation to Illinois, Tennessee, Washington D.C./Virginia, and a brief stop in Indiana. It was three weeks filled of some much needed fun and love. We spent every single dime we saved plus some, by the time we got back home, so it’s safe to say we had a great time LOL. We spent the first week in Illinois, two days in Tennessee, five days in D.C./Virginia, and the remaining five-ish days in Illinois.
We got to see my beautiful little cousin get married on October 15th to my new cousin, Justin, and as anticipated, it was an amazing time. Jordyn was the adorable flower girl who made Mommy and Daddy so proud she walked down the aisle all by herself. She was saying “uh-oh” as she stepped on the flowers while walking down the aisle LOL. Then of course we partied hard as any family should at the reception. We were all so sore the following day from all the dancing we did.
We went to Knoxville, Tennessee as a mid way stop on our drive to D.C., and stayed with our awesome friends, the Hawkins. We all used to be based in Montana together (they were lucky enough to escape ha!) and we haven’t seen each other since 2014. Our babies finally got to meet and quickly became the best of friends. They took us around town for some good ol’ sight-seeing and Tennessee culture. We also got to hang with/meet one of Kris’ friends, Matt, and his sweet boys. It was an all around great time!
Those of you who know me well know I absolutely LOVE Washington D.C. If it was in my power we would live there. I love the city and surrounding areas. One of them being Alexandria, Virginia. Kris’ Dad a.k.a Jordyn’s “Dad-Dad” met us there for the last two days which made an amazing trip even better. It was nice to go somewhere and be tourists on an actual vacation. We ate at delicious restaurants, got a tour of the Pentagon, visited the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We met famous people, visited a majority of the national memorials and monuments, and I even got to see an old college friend. We are already planning on going back for a follow-up vacation when we get the chance. It was Kris’ first time in D.C. so I’m happy he enjoyed himself!
On our way back to Chicago we stopped in Indianapolis to visit our friends the, Wilcoxs. We were able to meet their beautiful new addition to their family, Averie, as well as see her beautiful sister, Alanna, again. We were even able to see Alaiya’s memorial in the front room and visit her. (We miss you babygirl) It was a good time as always. Jordyn and Alanna had a ball playing together too. At one point Alanna had Jordyn on the ground with her arms behind her back “arresting” her. In case you can’t tell, Alanna’s Dad, Brandon, is a police officer hahaha. I wish we all lived closer to one another, but even if it was a small amount of time we spent together, it was a great time.
When we arrived back in Chicago we were all beyond TIRED. We had originally planned to hang with friends the last few days, but as it has seemed to become a tradition, Jordyn and I caught colds. (My Grandma and Mom are the real MVPs for nursing us back to health lol) We were out of commission for two of the four days. We did however win tickets to the Chicago Bulls season opener, the night before we left back for Montana, thanks to my awesome Mommy’s nomination, and my friend John’s huge heart. The Bulls won their game and we all won Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s during the game. It’s safe to say we went out with a bang! Lol.
As much fun as we all had on vacation we couldn’t WAIT to get back in our own beds and back to our “normal” every day life routine. Yesterday made an official week of us being back in Montana and I’m already anxious to leave for vacation somewhere else…ha! Thankfully, Thanksgiving is two and a half weeks away, and we’ll have family and friends in town. Followed by Christmas when we’ll have family in town again. Life is great and I can’t/won’t complain.
I dubbed the month of November: #ThankfulNovember and it’s only right I share how thankful I am for our vacation this year. I’m thankful we’re blessed enough to be in a position to take family vacations, have so many people to love/love us, and create beautiful memories together. I’m also thankful for safe travels to and from our many destinations. What is there NOT to be thankful for? Thank you, Lord!
I’m sure, by now, you’ve all heard all about the buzz surrounding last night’s episode of the show, “Black-ish“, concerning police brutality towards Blacks/minorities. I’ve watched the episode three times already, and I cry each time I get to Dre’s speech explaining the sense of fear we felt on President Obama’s inauguration day, when he got out of the car and walked next to it. So much about last night’s episode was not only needed because of current events, but because we NEEDED this television show in general. How perfect is being about to see extremely hard but moving issues being talked about on television, and giving us the light-hearted, yet perfectly timed, laughs in between?
I haven’t felt so deeply moved about current issues, through a television show since the late 80’s early 90’s sitcom, “A Different World“. As most of you know by now, “A Different World” is my favorite television show of all time. It is my favorite show because of how much it taught people of all colors how beautiful Black people are, it taught me about my own Blackness, and more importantly it taught us about real issues in the Black community. It was also one of the best Black love stories we’ve ever seen between a successful young Black couple (Dwayne and Whitley). Last night’s episode of the show, “Black-ish“, reminded me of the episode of “A Different World” surrounding the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict. The show was cancelled the same season this episode aired because of this particular episode…of course -_-. It was such a powerful episode and gave insight to those who weren’t aware of the real injustices that happen everyday in the Black community.
Fast forward to 2016 and we’re still fighting these exact same injustices. However, in an age of obsession with empty and overly stupid reality television, we have a show like “Black-ish” to remind us of the power of television. With all of the
Love & Hip Hop trash shows constantly showcasing Black people to the world as ignorant, uncivilized, savage animals, who don’t know how to present themselves with class; when I say we NEEDED “Black-ish“, I mean it. I’ve been a loyal fan to the show since it first aired last season, and I haven’t been disappointed. As a Black woman who grew up in the surrounding Chicago suburbs, they are touching on conversations and topics I could have only imagined being talked about, on a large platform, while I was growing up. Being the only Black family on the block or one of very few in the entire neighborhood is something I understand all too well. To see the writers bring it to life with a perfectly picked cast, and perfectly timed comedy, is all I could ask for in a television show.
If last night was your first time tuning in to the show “Black-ish” I hope you have now become a new loyal fan to the show. If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch the episode, please do yourself, and those around you a favor, and watch the episode. You will not be disappointed. Thank you, Kenya Barris, for creating “Blackish”, and sharing your comedic brilliance and heightened consciousness with the world. I can’t wait for next week’s episode to keep filling us all with the hope you shared in last night’s episode.
Black-ish comes on every Wednesday night at 9:30|8:30 c.
Doing some late blogging tonight because I’ve had Nina Simone on my mind lately. I’ve been listening to her music a little more than usual the last few days and decided to look her up. This upcoming Sunday would have been her 83rd birthday. Maybe this is why she’s been on my mind a little more than usual? Whatever it may be, I’m more than okay with it, because how can you go wrong with more Nina Simone in your life?
One of my favorite songs by her is “Four Women” because it reminds me of the beauty in Black diversity and how strong Black women are and always have been since the beginning of time. I especially loved the remake of this particular song by: Jill Scott, Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius and Ledisi at the Black Girls Rock award show in 2011.
If you get a chance to listen to this song tonight really take in the words and vocal abilities of the late Ms. Simone. I hope it inspires you to go listen to more of her amazing work to reacquaint yourself or introduce you to her music. Either way, enjoy it, and have a great rest of your night.
This Sunday is Valentine’s Day as I’m sure you all have noticed by now. My husband and I have dinner, family time, and gifts planned for this weekend. But if you ask me, what is a weekend of love without the greatest genre of love music? (Don’t debate me on this. Jazz music is every emotion but above all it’s LOVE). In addition to it being Valentine’s Day weekend it is still Black History Month. I decided I wanted to share a post with a few of my favorite jazz love ballads by some of my favorite Black jazz musicians. Prayerfully, one day soon, the majority of my fellow Black people will come back to appreciating real music again. Music sharing the beauty of love and beautifully explaining heartache. Music that uplifts our people and those around us. Music that expresses our grace and strength through the perfect match up of instruments and words.
Fellas, if you’re wanting to impress the lady in your life, play one (or all) of these beautiful songs for her, and watch her be impressed with your caring, impeccable, and sophisticated taste in music. 😉
I hope you all have a weekend filled with love. Always remember sharing and spreading love on Valentine’s Day is not limited to those who have a significant other. Whoever you chose to spend the weekend with I hope you all have a fun, love filled, and safe weekend.
Today, the world found out the co-founder and band member of the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White, passed away in his sleep yesterday. To say I feel sadness would probably be an understatement considering how much I adore the music EW&F shared with the world. If you haven’t been able to tell from my musical taste and blog posts I am a huge fan of old school music. I often tell people I was born in the wrong generation because my heart belongs to old school music. The hardest part about getting older is realizing everyone else around us is also growing older. This year has hit the music world pretty hard and it’s only February :-(.
I want to thank Maurice and his band mates for sharing their beautiful, classic, funky, legendary, soulful, and timeless music with the world. I may only be 27 years old but I know musical genius when I hear it. I also know how much you make me even more proud to be a September baby! 🙂
I will share some Earth, Wind & Fire songs with you all below. They have WAY too many hits to put them all on here so I will share my favorite ones.
Rest in peace,
This upcoming Saturday would have been Bob Marley’s 71st birthday. If you haven’t been underneath a rock the last twenty plus years, you know how much influence Bob Marley had, and continues to have, on our culture. You can even count the multiple Bob Marley quotes you see while scrolling down your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter timelines every day.
As a young woman who loves being part Jamaican, and representing the Jamaican culture, I thoroughly enjoy how much people have continued to embrace Bob’s talent. When I’m not in the best of moods, I can always count on my Bob Marley playlist or Pandora station to lift my spirits. I will share my two favorite Bob Marley songs. The first one: “Is This Love” always makes me think of my husband and daughter. Reminds me as long as we are together, even with the bare minimum, I will always have and be surrounded by happiness and love. My second song: “Redemption Song” reminds me of how resilient and strong Black people are. Through everything we’ve seen and been through in our history and lives, we still stand. Bob also reminds us how real mental slavery is too. In light of it being Black history month this is perfect to share with all of you.
I wonder how much genius was left in this man when he passed away at such an early age? Can you imagine what music would be like if one of the greats, such as himself, were still around to make music? In a perfect world, the music world would be MUCH different, which means it could only be better. Rest easy and happy early birthday, Mr. Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley.
Fun Brie Fact: While typing out Bob Marley’s full name I said it in my head the way Matthew from the show, A Different World, says it when answering a question at the Campus All-Star Challenge. I’m sure all of my fellow A Different World fans remember that scene too 😉
Today is February 1st, 2016, which means it is officially the first day of Black History Month. As a Black woman who has gone through life being taught to celebrate every aspect of what makes me different from everyone else, it’s a month long celebration I both enjoy and will always believe is much needed. If you’ve been paying attention to anything regarding the media in the last year or so, you have without a doubt seen much talk about race, and specifically what it means to be Black in this country. We don’t even need to go in detail of how critical this years presidential race has been in proving racism being an issue. As nasty as some people can be hiding behind their keyboards, talking about race and what makes us different, and causes us to lead different lifestyles, with different opportunities, is a LONG overdue discussion. There will always be people who immediately go on the defense when discussing racism. Then there are those who have expanded their minds enough to want to talk about it, and learn as much as they can to make the people around them feel comfortable.
However, to those of you who get uncomfortable when talking about anything racially related, I challenge you to learn how to be comfortable talking about race starting this month. You would be amazed how enlightening it will be for you and your friends when you sit down and have intelligent but passionate conversation about uncomfortable topics. The biggest lesson I hope all non-people of color (and people of color) take from Black History Month this year is the understanding that celebration does not equal exclusion. I have plenty of friends, who are not Black, who enjoy and celebrate Black culture the same way they celebrate their culture(s). You don’t have to be Black, or a person of color, to pick up a book or research: Black activists, actors/actresses, doctors, inventors, musicians, politicians, teachers etc. and learn what contributions they made to this country that directly effect you every single day. Your eyes will also be opened to learning there are more to Black people, and we have contributed so much more than slavery, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to America as our history books have taught us since elementary school.
My challenge to people of color this Black History Month is to take the time to teach your children about the thousands of amazing Black people who have done amazing things in this country. We can no longer use the excuse of school not teaching our children when the information plus more is available at our finger tips to teach them ourselves. As parents and guardians, we are our children’s first teachers, and we should be teaching them to celebrate and understand the bravery and sacrifice those before us endured to get us where we are, today. Have your children read a book, or go to a museum, to teach them about people such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and W.E.B. Du Bois. How else will the children learn about their history if we don’t teach them what isn’t taught at school? Which is almost everything about Black History -_-.
To those of you who know me, you know I am a person who has family members and friends every shade of the rainbow. I love the people in my life, and to love them I celebrate the important aspects of their lives which makes them who they are. I expect the same in return, and one of the largest parts of being, Brienne Jamieson, is being a Black woman. Don’t tell me you’re “colorblind” or “you don’t see race“, because you are denying a large part of ME. If you move to, or visit, another country you want people to know you’re an American, right? Or on the flip side, if someone from another country moves to America we don’t expect them to reject their heritage, and all of a sudden call them selves an American do we? No. So think about these examples next time you tell someone you’re colorblind. Don’t let my Blackness, or anyone else’s Blackness, make you uncomfortable. Instead, see us for who we are and join in the beauty, celebration, and struggle, of being close to someone who loves her heritage. In turn we get to celebrate one another through our differences and similarities year round.
Happy Black History Month everybody.
Always remember Black History is Our History.
Today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 87 years old. I could ramble on and on about how extraordinary he was then, and how important he still is to this day, but instead, I’m going to share my favorite speech by, Dr. King. In case you’re wondering, the “I Have A Dream Speech” is a great speech, but it’s not his most powerful to me. Sometime this weekend, make time to listen and/or read at least one of this incredible man’s speech about equality and justice. If you have children, take time to teach them something new about Dr. King not taught in the paragraph from their history book at school. (Yes, that was meant to throw sarcasm and shade to the lack of Black history in so called history books.)
Happy birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You are surely missed and the fight is still being fought with your teachings and words at the forefront.