I voted for the 1st time in my entire life this year…
A little back-story: I was raised very conservative Christian growing up, I was a preacher/minister and voting was seen as not trusting in God and His plans. So, I didn’t vote, I didn’t voice a political opinion, and I remained neutral every election.
My revolutionary spirit was always present, always showing up throughout my life. I was the kid that would “take the spanking to do what I wanted”. Becoming a midwife was a revolutionary act, choosing to focus on the Black community and our reproductive health disparities was a revolutionary act. Choosing to give birth to my children at home was a revolutionary act. So I was always on my way to where I am now.
So this year, WELL on the other side of divorce, single parenthood, birth center owner, and midwifery student preceptor, a major shift had taken place. It took work, an abundance of self love, sometimes therapy, meditation, lots of dancing and taking pride in a life I’ve created for myself and these three beautiful children I had given birth to.
When this presidential election rolled around, to say I was concerned would be an understatement. I quietly rooted for “The Bern”, and gave a little cheese to my homegirls that were fundraising for him. I even went to a couple fundraising dinners and events. When it became apparent that he wouldn’t be in the final running, I KNEW it was time…my ass HAD to VOTE! I wasn’t going to possibly face the WORST president in my lifetime and NOT have my say, I was gonna help keep him OUT of the white house!
I registered with a 68 year old Black woman named Doreen, in front of my local grocery store. She cried when I was finished and told me about getting spat on the first time she went to vote, and that she was proud of me. “We only have one option dear heart, so we have to support this woman we know and don’t trust.”
I read articles about the propositions and measures; I used two media groups I respect to read about all the options. I made a list and went and did the damn thing, I voted. Where I was prepared for all of this to go any kind of way, I was not prepared for my children’s responses.
The morning I had to tell my children that Trump had won the electoral votes and would more than likely be the president of the United States, it didn’t go well, at all.
The youngest of my children is 5 years old, and she immediately started crying. “But Mama he’s a BAD BAD MAN, he touched peoples privates and says not nice things about my friends! He can’t be the president of the all the states!! Nooo MAMA!!”
My middle son is 10 years old, he only knows Obama, that is his reality, his preference (for many reasons) and he is a child that does not like change. He came close and hugged me for what felt like an hour. Then he looked me dead in my eyes and asked, “Mama, is he gonna try and make us slaves again? Cause I would fight that”
My eldest is 12 years old, and he just quietly shook his head and asked if I would “do the sage before we go to school Mama?”
So I smudged them with sage, and I burned my sacred oils & resins. We sang along with Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted, and Black” LOUD on the way to school with the windows rolled down. At a stop light on Crenshaw the cars next to us nodded, they understood and when I dropped them off we told each other how much we love each other and I told them “Be Brilliant!” I cried as soon as they were safely inside school.
I feel like my little pebble of a vote and my daily affirmations of empowerment to my children are making a difference. The presidential candidate I voted for didn’t “win”, and my children will continue to be Black children in America. A country full of people that show them every day they are of little to no value, and now a president elect that is supported by millions who will openly behave in such a way that will continue to support racism.
Fortunately their mama is healer…with a machete, who will always FIGHT for their physical, emotional, spiritual well-being. They will ALWAYS KNOW they are #BlackExcellence and can be whatever they believe they want to be.