Dr. Maulana Karenga May Have Invented Kwanzaa BUT He Did Not Invent The Principles by Junior Burchall

There is a big scandal within the black community on whether we should or should not celebrate the African American holiday we know as Kwanzaa. What do you think?

photo found on Tumblr

By Junior Burchall

Dr. Maulana Karenga is a piece of human trash, in the eyes of many who found his violent abuse of Afrikan women and the clashes between US and the Panthers that left Alprentice 'Bunchy' Carter and John Huggins dead to be unforgivable crimes. As a result, they steadfastly refuse to celebrate Kwanzaa.

I can dig that. Fair enough.

But, a question: do the principles of Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Co-operative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith 'belong' to him?

In other words, did Karenga make them up?

...absolutely not.

These principles predated him - in some cases, by many thousands of years. The Nguzo Saba have their point of origin in the various Continental ethnic groups and harvest celebrations (as well as in the strident calls for Afrikan economic self-sufficiency championed by UNIA founder, Marcus Garvey) that he studied.

Karenga's only contribution was the clever re-packaging of these principles for ease of assimilation by a critical mass of Afrikan people battling Babylon and seeking to reclaim subversive, liberating memory in the here-and-now.

Without a doubt, the man is most definitely flawed...just like EVERY SINGLE ONE of the Afrikan artists, freedom fighters and radical intellectuals of note who left their indelible mark on the turbulent Sixties.

Let us be wary of casting Kwanzaa aside simply because the 'delivery system' is far from perfect.

...I dunno. Thoughts?

Junior Burchall is a Pan Afrikanist writer, speaker, author, husband, stay-at-home unschooling Baba of two irrepressibly brilliant, Afrikan boys.

Learn to grow a avocado tree in pictures :: Aprender a crecer un árbol de aguacate en imágenes

Reuse those Avocado seeds bought at the store! 

This is a great science project for the kiddos. 

After you purchase a yummy avocado, learn how to grow one with this image. 

It takes several weeks, even months for the avocado to crack! So, be patient.

Keep a daily or weekly log of the changes the seed is going through. If the child cannot write, they can draw. Have them write/draw what they see or what they feel. Let them imagine how the tree would look like. Let them estimate how long they think it would take for the seed to crack. 

The seed will turn into a tree in several years, so this project would be perfect for a place where you can visit in the long haul or at least drive through, or in your family home. 

For more information on how to grow an avocado tree. 

Happy gardening, 

Mama Juju

Happy Mother's Day for Difficult Daughters

I don’t really expect for people to care about my feelings. 

That is the way I grew up. My mother was too busy being. I’ve often felt unnoticed or unloved as a child. My mother said that I rejected her as a baby. That she didn’t feel loved by me and as I grew older she felt very much unloved by me. 

Now as an adult, I have a hard time vocalizing my feelings. Sometimes this gets misconstrued as being too strong, too unattached, or too damaged. Most times, I just don’t know how to say what I want to say. I think it comes from a lack of practice and fear. As a kid, when I did express myself, I felt ignored, or I was scolded at because I wasn't supposed to say or think in that way. Essentially, I wasn’t supposed to feel because it was inappropriate or because God would fix all those feelings or because my mama just ain’t have the time. I remember being told a lot to take it up with God. 

The truth is my mom doesn’t know all the answers. And instead of her telling me that, I felt like I was blamed for things that I had no idea or control over. I was often told that I wasn’t enough in various ways. When I told my mother that I was being sexually abused by her live-in boyfriend, that was a lie. When I wore my hair natural, I couldn’t go anywhere with her because I looked ugly. When I spoke my mind, I was hit or cursed at for being ungrateful. When I was around my mom (which was a lot) we didn’t do anything special or bonding related. We didn’t watch movies together or talk about my teachers at school. We didn’t read together or talk about how to form friendships. My mom didn’t teach me how to cook. She didn’t teach me how to dance. She didn’t teach me how to wash my ass. I learned those things through trial and error, through other women, knowing now, guided through my ancestry. I learned by staring and reading, but never directly through my mama. 

I was not an easy kid. I’m not going to paint that I was a patron saint. I was very defiant as a child. I was very angry. I was very bitter, too. I HATED my life and my mama. I remember wanting to go home with my guidance counselor in Elementary school. My mom tells me all kinds of stories of how I was a mischief. I thought all the other kids were better than me. They listened and were well-disciplined. I remember as a kid wanting to help my mother in the kitchen and she would run me out. I always felt like I was in the way. As a kid, I had recurring nightmares of being chased and killed. I think that was my subconscious. I learned to not trust others, my mama, nor myself. I felt very alone as a child. And often times, I still do. It's difficult for me to ask for what I need or to express my feelings because I am afraid of being shut down.

This is why I don’t like mother’s day. I feel alone in my motherhood, although I have Zi. I feel alone. I feel like my feelings don’t matter because there are more important things that need to be handled. I have to wake up early and make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have to pay for those things. I have to explain to my daughter when she sees me in my sads, that I don’t feel like doing any of those things because I feel under-appreciated, under-loved, and unvalued. When I get into my sads, I have to come out of that. I tell her because I don't want she to feel like it's her fault.

Today I don’t want to feel forced to call my mother. The woman who brought me into this physical being. The woman who fed me, clothed me, nursed me into this adult version that I'm still learning to love. A disabled woman, who couldn’t always be there for me because she needed to work outside of the home, or because she needed to feed us, to shop for food for us, or because she needed to rest. A woman who was so emotionally unavailable until she became tired and lashed out on the person who was always by her side, me. A woman who has lived with physical pain since she was hit by a car at 19 years of age. A woman who should have stayed in the Dominican Republic because this American world will tear you out of your center, your family, and your mothering. 

There are many things I wish today. I wish that I still didn’t grieve for the loss I have felt in the motherhood department. I grieve because I don’t want to show up, but I have to. I have to for my daughter, for my community, and most importantly for myself. 

I show up because that is the only way to change what comes after me. You have to love yourself. You have to forgive. You have to give thanks. 

I have to love my difficult mother for all of her invisible work. For the fridge, that always had milk and fried cheese. For the mashed, green plantains in the morning. For the laundry being washed. For the floors being swept. For the pressed school uniform. For the rice and beans. For the hustle. For the skill of negotiation. For the love of god. For the love of her people. For her contribution to the lives of others, that has formed my resilience in this struggle.  For carrying me to term on her two wobbling, over 30+ surgeries legs. For the swelling, for the fight, and the pushing and the love. I love her despite and for her trauma. It was passed down to her and to me. And through this passing, I have learned of the work that I need to do, so I don't pass it on to my own child. I have learned that silence is not the best medicine. It is the best poison. 

I will not die here. I will tell the stories to my daughter so that she can learn how to mother herself when I’m not enough. 

In wholeness & in brokenness & love, 

Mama Juju

(AMI) A Mother's Intuition Stories Seeks Mothers & Those Who Love Us

“I am pregnant, now what?” is what Elena Perez asked google when she found that she missed her moon cycle. 

Elena Perez is the creator of A Mothers Intuition Stories, a video-documentary series that captures birthing people in their mental, physical, and spiritual transition into motherhood. Through this project, her hope is to capture the lessons from pregnancy and to inspire other people to trust their decisions in parenthood. 

In our society, birth happens all the time, but it’s a mystified process. Most folks don’t know what happens during pregnancy, birth, or during the postpartum period. It’s not surprising considering birth is separate from our day to day lives; we have moved birth from homes into hospitals. There is a lot of uncertainties, confusion and anxieties in pregnancy. It’s interesting that the way we got here is a technical mystery to the majority of us. 

However, birthing people hold a multitude of stories. Stories that aren’t shared with EVERYONE enough. In the journey into parenthood, you learn real quick who and what is meaningful to you. Suddenly you become a facilitator of life, not only for the newborn but also for yourself. It’s through this process that you finally realize how tough and resilient birthing people are. 

Elena Perez says that she started the project after her own surprise pregnancy. 

She writes on Kickstarter:

“When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I felt an overwhelming flood of worries and anxieties about what I felt was a lack of knowledge about how to prepare for this life-changing journey with holistic success, and how it would affect my then-current idea of myself.

After asking around my peers, I found that they were also anxious, for a variety of different reasons about the experience of or the concept of being pregnant. However, most did not know how to address these internal fears. In identifying this gap in cultural/community knowledge, I knew it was one too big to leave agape. I created AMI Stories to serve as thought starters to help women think through their own personal questions--questions whose answers will impact the rest of their lives.”

Currently, Elena is raising monies through Kickstarter to finish the series. She is raising funds to cover the cost of videographers, editors, and for travel to the interviewees. She hopes to gain a diverse range of experiences and is interested in interviewing women that can articulate their spiritual and mental shift as a result of their pregnancy. She wants to capture the time when birthing people defined parenthood for themselves in a way that empowered their version of motherhood. 

To find out more about the project, please visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/969471704/a-mothers-intuition-stories-ami-stories

Please support mothers and birthing people!

If you know of anyone who may be a good fit for the series, please feel free to contact: perez.elena.m@gmail.com 

Please support this project and share this post.

In solidarity, 

Mama Juju

How Our Ancestors Gave Birth (Video)

Here is what our ancestors did during birth since the ancient times!!

I am an advocate in looking back to see how our ancestors did things. There is a knowing that we have lost because of modernization. In this short documentary, we see the classic birthing pose. This pose is named that because it is the way that most birthing people gave birth. This is what birth is supposed to look like in every single situation, outside of EXTREMELY rare occasions. The proof is right here through art and anthropological observations from around the world. 

Mother's Advocate published this video. They are a nonprofit and an online resource that empowers birthing people to take birthing back into its natural state through knowledge. Thank you for this visual! Thankful for all the hands that created this beautiful snapshot on the most sacred ritual: BIRTH! Thank you for our ancestors and this body that carries all the wisdom birthing people need.

Pinch yourself, you were once an ancestor.

How did you get here?

In wisdom,

Mama Juju

Our Portable Life: Update on Housing

I want to get better at being a self-published writer. I also want to get good at celebrating and giving thanks for the life around me and the things that are going well and the things I am lovingly working on. I tend to be pushed to write when I feel an emotional upheaval is about to excavate my heart. Yes, that is extreme, but I know sadness very well and I am working through a lot, but I am also very blessed and I must remember to share that. 

This April, it will be three months since I have secured housing in Oakland. Something I have felt many times would not work out for us. When people ask me how I did it, I tell them it was magick, but I don’t think they take it very seriously. But I am DEAD serious. It took ancient traditions, sister circles, and ritual to get to this point. I am truly happy and blessed that I now have a foundation I can work from. I feel like I can make better decisions for myself from this point and I also feel like I have one less major thing to worry about. Now, it is time to work on other things like love, writing, and birth work, but I will save that for another post. 

Living in a collective house with ten people is pretty great. I mean, the downsides are rooted in fear and selfishness than anything else. Hair in the bathtub and waiting for the stove pales in comparison to the benefits of living in a collective home. The people that live here are like family. Half of the house is people of color. Besides Zi, our youngest housemate is 27 and there are no other children living in the house, yet. 

I feel safe in our home. Some housemates have helped with childcare and I am not forced to cook every day. We have weekly meetings and clean together as a house. We practice great communication skills and we share our stories and lives with one another. The rent is extremely affordable and we even accept food stamps as a part of payment of rent.  

There is yard where we grow our own food. There is space for guests. We have no landlord to worry about because the house is owned outrightly and is in the process of becoming a non-profit, so that this land can always serve as a resource for marginalized folks in East Oakland. We never have to worry about getting kicked out or living in a home falling apart, because we are the ones responsible for maintaining our home the way we see fit. Because we have no mortgage, the house created a SEED fund where every month we donate a portion of our rents to a cause we care deeply about. 

One of my goals is to create a similar model, but for single mothers. I have read your e-mails and Facebook messages calling out for support. I wish I had more to give y'all. With the Bay Area and New York getting ridiculous with rising rent costs, I would love to co-create a safe haven for people who are struggling with housing for themselves and their children... That day will soon come... 

For now, I am really happy to be here. It encompassed most, if not all, of the things we were looking for. We are truly blessed and I hope this story tells you something about hope and faith. We all deserve a place to call home and a family to love us. 

I want to praise the most-high, Yemoja, and the ancestors for this. Without them, none of this could be possible. 

I also want to thank you. Thank you for your encouragement, your faith, and for your ears.


Mama Juju

Halloween with Style POC Edition 2015

Halloween keeps getting better & better for me. As a mom, I get to play dress up the kid. As a kid, I was not allowed to participate because of how misrepresented it was in my motherjesus eyes. So now, I actually get to celebrate dressing up bc my mom isn't breathing down my back with her dismissal of the dead.

But, this ain't about my mommy issues...


I had a lot of fun this year. My daughter's school does not celebrate Halloween, so they came up with a concept called CHANGE MAKERS DAY, which had the children working all month long doing research on a peaceful change-maker that they choose. They had to write reports, present it, & dress up as the change maker. 

My daughter was Rosa Parks & before I show you her costume, I complied from Facebook and IG some of the best dress downs I found on this Fun Fun Day. 

Here we go!

What did you think? Okay, some of these were like absolutely CRAZY, but I laughed my ass off none the less. I also got noglastic when I saw Coming to America & Salt-n-Pepa... I loved all of them. They were great.

Now, to check out my babygirl: 

Isn't she channeling the Parks. YAS... I hope y'all all had a lovely time this Halloween! I went as MJ, who did you go as?

Show me some of yours & your fams halloween costumes. I wanna see! 

-Mama Juju



Teach Your Child the Love of Traveling for under $20: Little Passports

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

*I wanted to post this because there is a sale going on & I don't want you all to miss it. I am working on a review for this product that my daughter LOVES. I will post that at a later time.

Here it goes:

This holiday season, give the gift of Adventure! From now until November 10th, Little Passports is offering 15% off ANY subscription plan. All you need to do is use code: GIVE15 at check out.

Click on the image to find out more about this adventurous & educational program. 

**This promotion is valid online only at www.littlepassports.com. To redeem enter code GIVE15 at checkout. Offer valid on new subscriptions only and cannot be combined with any other offers and/or applied retroactively to previously placed orders. Offer applies only to the first month on a Monthly Plan. Offer not valid on Personalized Products and Shop items. Offer excludes shipping and taxes. Offer valid from Nov 1, 2015 at 8:00AM EST to Nov 10th, 2015 at 11:59PM EST.


Tell Em Why You're Mad Mondays: I AM NOT CRAZY!

If we are friends & you are doing something I dislike & we talk about it & it doesn't get fixed, why are you soooo shocked or confuse or want to describe my behavior as irrational when I ask & take space. Why am I crazy when I say “I’m done” & I don’t want to talk circles around it anymore?

It really pisses me off when men do this, especially. It’s triggering.

My whole life, I’ve been hearing men dismiss & describe women's emotions as crazy, irrational, childish, hormonal... 

I'm tired of men getting a pass in introspection bc they think women are crazy. 

I am also tired of women who propagate this malepatriarchalprivilegebullshit. 

Can we just honor the fact that my knowing is not your knowing? 

But, when I make a very rational statement that says, “I cannot be in this relationship bc it isn’t authentic to who I am & what I believe in,” you somehow dismiss my truth as me having housing & money problems. 

Yea, I got those & these conversation doesn’t make it any easier, but that shit has nothing to do with your lack of transparency in relationship to this one thing that is major to me. 

Come on, Ninja.  Please do you one better & stop trying to convince me that I am crazy. I don’t dispute that. 

I know I am crazy. If I was sane in this fucked up society, I would be complicit & full of ignorance.  I would still be in an emotionally abusive relationship with you.

I am not the one to over-explain. I prefer to give you the cold shoulder. I have standards & after 2-3 conversations you should get why I am done.

Emotional intelligence is important. It’s all of our guides & if this ish don’t feel right, I’m out to something else that does… 

& usually that is just me.

#FlashBackFriday in Recognition of #BlackBreastfeedingWeek2015: Zi & Me

 Middle finger to the world! Nothing matters when you are on that nip. #beenmilky #blackbreastfeedingweek2015

Middle finger to the world! Nothing matters when you are on that nip. #beenmilky #blackbreastfeedingweek2015

Black Breastfeeding Week 2015 is from August 25th-31st. It is an initiative that sheds light on the injustices that black babies & families face from the womb & to also serve as an inspiration for black women to breastfeed.

You are not alone.

When I was pregnant with Zi, I already knew that I was going to breastfeed her for a long time. I did a lot of research & asked my family what their traditions around breastfeeding were. I am thankful that my immediate family, my mama, supported my decision. She was breastfed in the Dominican Republic until she was 5 years old. But I wasn't supported in my hood. The young women who did have children rarely breastfed. They may have done it in the hospital, but that's about it. 

I think that women who decide NOT to breastfeed (outside of health concerns) do with the lack of concerned, quality support, & lack of information available to new black mothers in the hood. I also feel like there is a negative relationship to breastfeeding for oppressed, enslaved people in this country because black women were wet nurses. The generational trauma doesn't allow them to even WANT to breastfeed. Another reason may be because women feel like the baby would do fine with Similac, which is one of the worst things you could ever give your child. #IJS, do your research. Start with the article: Exploring the Ingredients in Similac Infant Formula

But, I want to proclaim *Raises hand* that poor black mothers do breastfeed their children! I am one of them. & since moving to the West Coast (which is the best coast) I have seen hecka po', black women breastfeed their seeds.

I advocate for titty milk all day everyday. Breast milk is the best milk. And I #beenmilky. This #FBF is proof. I am serving y'all my bare chest for the first time, publicly... Hope Zi is okay with that ;-)

To read more about Black Breastfeeding Week: http://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/

Shout out to Summayah Franklin for putting me on to Black Breastfeeding Week.

Read her story to see how she is using her voice & body to support & celebrate black motherhood: http://www.gofundme.com/moreblackmidwives

Tell me,  what are your feelings around breastfeeding are? Were you breastfed as a child? Will you breastfeed your children?

In nipple solidarity,

-Mama Juju


A couple of weeks ago, I was denied a room, AGAIN, in a POC, Queer home in Oakland by a lease holding, white, sex positive, feminist, who has no idea of the impact of her decision on me, nor my daughter, or the countless families that resemble my hue-story. I am out here navigating all types of shit with an 8 year old. My job aside from being pissed off is to soften the blow on us. To not be upset to the point where I feel like giving up. If you know me, you know I have talked about leaving Oakland bc sometimes it just gets to feel like too much, but my daughter is like, “Nah, I like it here.”

I like it too… but there are definitely some drawbacks. This post isn’t for everyone though. I have met some down folks who have offered their space with no to little qualms. & I appreciate their generosity... But at the end, the beginning, & in the middle of the day, I just wish people weren’t so insensitive to parents. 

I had different expectations for Oakland. I didn’t think it would be so hard to find housing; I didn’t think that people would be so oppose to living with ONE child; I also thought that this was a community oriented place where people understood the importance of living in multigenerational, multicultural homes. I understand the importance of living in spaces that are POC identified, or specifically for Queer folks. I don’t understand the need to push good people out because they are younger or older. At best, it’s selfish & it doesn’t help to make the world a better place. 

With folks who are looking for housemates, I have seen them be sooooo particular on how they want their space to be & it has been a sad journey to witness this lack of personal freedom for others. I have the right to exist as a mother & so does my child. Folks shying away from housing me & my child, & witnessing other parents face the same sort of thing, is counterintuitive to the revolutions the pro-black, conscious, community seems to want.

When you deny a child, you deny your inner child, which means you deny the divine, ancestry, & community. I thought that living here amongst African & First Nation people, we would understand that. I thought with white people appropriating our culture, they would understand that. But, folks are more theoretical, than committed. 

One day you will be old & you will need someone who is a child right now to take care of you. 

The energy of individualism has made people who cannot afford your insincerity a real struggle. All acts of discrimination stem from personal preference. I am not saying that all accounts of personal preference is bad, but I am saying that personal preference usually has a lack of vision of expansion. Personal preference often leaves people alone, in their own self-made cults, & it leaves other good people out. Me having a child shouldn’t be a thing. I am grown. I am supposed to have a child. If you are building a home, a community home at that, there should be children. It is natural. It is radical. Me, being a single mom shouldn't still be a thing. I thought we understood that the black community is under attack. Zi's sperm donor is in prison. I didn't create that, nor am I fighting this alone... 

 My mood when folks are like, sorry we don't want kids in our home. They cute, but nah... 

My mood when folks are like, sorry we don't want kids in our home. They cute, but nah... 

Let’s teach the babies acceptance, love, appreciation, family through actual application. Sometimes I feel like I don’t get it. We are all buying into individualism now through personal preference & calling it self-love, or I know what I want bullshit. Recognize your non parental privilege before you say no to a mama & her child. I don’t want to call you a selfish bastard, but… The excuses I have heard are ridiculous. I appreciate the honesty, though. Y’all have a lot of internal work to do, for sure. If you cannot show up for the children. You cannot show up for the betterment of this society. It’s simple. We need the children. We need the elders. We need everyone in between to understand this.

My focus is vibrating higher, communing with folks who get it, & voicing it to those who don't. I am not gonna take it lying down.

-Mama Juju 

What REALLY Took Light's Life

“The vulnerability in being love is knowing that you might not get that love back” -ItsReaLight

I mean no harm by this post. My intentions are hood. I am angry at us. At me. Like Nina Simone sang, I am just a soul/ whose intentions are good/ please don't let me be misunderstood.

It wasn’t Lupus that killed Light…

You did. 

The “you” is universal & maybe I am talking to myself, as I am not excluded from this post either. But, I don’t even have my own couch to give. 

It goes back to worth. What was her life worth to you? Was it just a poem? A performance or a song? Was her worth an external manifestation or one of an internal nature? How did you measure up & show up for Light. Again, the you is me too. & I feel like I didn’t do enough. I feel like I wasn’t enough of a comrade to her. Actually, I haven’t been much of a comrade to myself, either... My current housemate told me I need to change my self-talk, & she is right, but I am not done with the darkness, yet... I wish I could have done a lot more. I wish life didn't distract me from you. I wish a lot of things. I know better, now. I will try to do better.


The last time Light called me, I didn’t answer the phone. I was tired, emotionally. I am bad at being present over the phone. I wasn’t in the mood to listen bc Light can talk for hours & I was tired of talking about housing, about how fucked it all is. When we do talk, we laugh, we cry, we sing gospel songs, & we plot. 

Light has lived an incredibly hard life & was mostly misunderstood by the people around her. Her poems of positivity is what got her through life. Light has dealt with neglect, abandonment, homelessness, & most recently, Lupus. 

In the spoken word community, we talk & write a lot of shit about justice; about THE MAN, about how cruel this world could be. We also talk about love. Love for our culture, for our people, & for the struggle. However, a lot of us ain’t really riders. We aint bouty bouty for community. We that punk ass kid who talks mad shit, but never takes the first swing. 

Some of you may say, but I lend Light a helping hand. She stayed at my house, blah, blah, blah… I am here to say, that’s your duty. Duuuuuuh.

I have seen people in the community talk hella shit about Light’s weight. I seen people call her a mooch bc she legit didn’t have a place to live. I have seen people just be straight up disrespectful to her & then sing a song about black freedom in their wack ass poems. Light & I have laughed & cried about it. We have questioned it. All she wished was to be understood. 

Y’all be out there marching & singing & teaching, but you are not about freedom for real. My sista was straight up struggling, but she never cried about it. She was in pain, & she never verbally ached about it. Her light was always in her vision for the future. I am so sorry that I could not be there for her in the ways that she needed it most. She craved for a family to love her unconditionally. 

Many will say that her life was cut short, but I know her life was long. Age aint nuttin’ but a number. You don’t ever have to worry about Light coming to your house & eating all you food or not cleaning after herself after she prepared for you a wonderful meal. The extent to the pettiness in the material is what really shows me that the revolution hasn’t come bc we are not equipped for it. We are not ready to lose our comforts.

The extent to which I feel her loss is just to say, although y'all tried to cut her down & Lupus won, my homie has been on your death beds with your tongues. Don’t praise her now that it is easy to just bid her farewell. 

I wish you (Light) could have been here while your world celebrated you. 

I will live my life differently now. I will be present in a different way now. I am sorry it took your loss for me to gain the insight that I need to toil on. I am homeless still. I am hurting still. But, I will change soon enough. 

May you fly home in peace. I will call for you soon. 

From the stage to my altar. 


Mama Juju

For those of us who care, Light’s younger sister, Quiana is raising funds so that her family can burry Light in NY. Light passed away in Colorado Springs yesterday. To help, please follow the link to her GoFundMe page. No donation will be turned away. Stay, blessed. 

how to not be a f* boy at the party

This is a guide to STOP SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE PARTY! Where sexiness is everywhere. You can still control yourself.


Once I became a babymama, hanging out became less of a thing for me. To begin with, I was never really a party girl, but I do like to dance & bc I don't go out as much as I would like to, when I do go out, I want to wine up me waistline... in peace. 


I don’t go out to the club to drink or to talk or for the purpose of hooking up. If those things happen, cool, but my intention is loud music & some open space for me to get down to. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex. It is great & wonderful & I am not repressed. I am just not interested in dry humping in a public space with a stranger. Does that make sense? The vibes have to be so right for me to be okay with that.  I am not judging anyone else who operates differently from me. I JUST WANT TO DANCE... IN PEACE! 

I like to have a good time. DANCE. I am in love with the way my body contours to bass, treble, & snare. I activate my womb space. I wine with footwork; while I’m spinning or just two-stepping. When I began swaying my hips, I wasn’t as aware. I didn’t know that I was activating my powerhouse, my foundation, my connection to manifestation. I just felt good dancing with my people. I wasn’t aware of the chakras or sacred sexuality.

Now, I know more. I realize the pleasure in connecting my root chakra with other folk doing the same. I am opening direct communication to ancestry, fertility, vibrating higher, & healing. All of this while busting a move. I open my shoulder blades to open my heart chakra. I am livened with love. I am proud. I am free until… some variation of a human comes up to me & just awkwardly stares, or interrupts me by tryna push their body parts against my backside. I can dig it. I'm sexy.You are attracted. But, I am still sacred. I am still sexy. DON’T TOUCH ME! ESPECIALLY  with your penis. It’s sacred. Why can’t you see that? I mean, you came out of there…

Although, I am not here to attract you or to mate with you, some may be. So, here are some tips so you don’t make anymore mistakes (with me) at the club. THE LADIES ARE TIRED OF YOU. TRUST ME, I KNOW. THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BUM ASS FRIEND, BROTHER, FATHER, or *gasp* GRANDFATHER.


Unless I have been licking my lips & giving you eye contact from across the room, PLEASE don’t come up to me & just assume I am going to dance with you. It’s probably not going to happen, especially if you press your “privates” on me without asking. 


Let’s say you do introduce yourself. The music is loud, you are trying to be polite, you want to talk more, I cannot hear you. & I didn’t come here to talk. Can’t you see me spinning away from you whilst you are trying to creep up. Or can’t you see my giving you the back or shoulder.  Move. I don’t want to dance with you. Simple. 


Back. Away. Now. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don’t say anything at all. Just play it off like you are walking past me. Save yourself. 


By this point, I have asked you to leave me alone with my body & with my words. I am now saying things like, “I don’t care” “leave me alone” or “don’t touch me.” But, you still trying to convince me. All this shows is that you don’t care about respecting my feelings or space. Just stop & walk away. Getting a dance bc I want you to shut up, isn’t a dance. Somebody saying yes to you bc they want you to leave them alone is not a yes. Hashtag male privilege or rape culture. 


Please don't kick game. In that moment, I don't care about your opinion on how I look. I didn't come to the club to garner it. I literally came out to dance & then to take myself home to my family. But, you wanna holler, based on what you see. OH OH. Uh,  try something like: “Hey, I know this is awkward, but I am about to go outside for ___ . It’ll be nice to talk to you.” This shows that you actually want me to listen to you, not blow your breath into my ear. 

If you can’t be that forward or you cannot find a quiet PUBLIC space, try making some small talk by noticing something funny at the club. Acknowledging this weird moment of trying to get to know somebody in a loud place may just break the ice. Just don’t interrupt my dancing for small talk. Wait till I am done. I HATE being interrupted in the middle of a groove. You wouldn’t interrupt someone who is praying, right? So, don’t interrupt me. 

A sis at the club got hugged from a random stranger that told her happy birthday. When she responded that it wasn’t her birthday, he tried to convince her that it was. LAME!


Did I mention forget to mention that I came here to dance? The REAL way to connect with you is to dance. If you busting a move on the dance floor, chances are I will notice you & I want to join the fun. Let’s form a dance bond. 


We dancing, you want to offer me something to drink. I say water. You say, “you sure.” I say, water. You press me to get something else.  At this point, I say forget it & get my own water & walk away because you are controlling & just want me to be drunk so you can have your way “consensually” … You are a rapist, at least that is what I will assume. 


You do not own me. Do not follow me around for the rest of the night. I will buy you that drink back. I do not owe you anything beyond a thank you. Don’t assume that your time & money investment will earn you a reward & that the reward will be my telephone number or my yoni. Do I have to get into ‘the why’ here? Your generosity isn't tax deductible & it doesn't come with a perk. 


NEVER EVER grab me. Like EVER. Unless I am about to bust my ass or beat somebodies ass, which would never happen UNLESS someone grabs me… Do you get me?

Wooo  Saaaaaaaah… I aint even tell you the half. But, let’s just say at the latter part of my evening, I smacked a pimp with my sombrero bc I asked & demanded he step out of my space bubble, but refused. 

Do I really have to write this? Yes I do. Should you share it? Yes you should. This list isn’t for only the fellas. It could apply to some butches too. 

Did I miss anything? Comment. If your brave enough, comment below on other crazy things that have happen to you. Do you agree? Share & comment below bc sometimes "men" be doing too much. 

-Mama Juju


There is nothing like being a mother & to all the women out there doing their thing—raising their babies, loving, nurturing, & managing the mouths, hearts, & minds of our communities, families, & schools—I see you. I feel you. & I love you. There would be no men, no women, no us, no Earth without MAMAS.

I want to send infinite blessings to the divine feminine, the motherhood energy in everyone & in everything. As a mortal, mother is the ultimate thing I could be. “Birth” is the ultimate creative act. So for those of you who have decided to become a mama through birth or through other means, I salute you.

Every manifestation started as a seed.

A thought was implanted in my mind to create this piece of writing. There was a marriage between the physical & the nonphysical. The thought appeared out of consciousness & then became flesh on my word processor. & so it is.

It amazes me how wonderfully careless making children can be. They seem to appear out of nowhere, out of the infinite darkness of our souls. & no matter how random our thoughts may be, or how unplanned pregnancy is, what remains is what comes after.

How will we uphold ourselves to vibrate higher, so that our children can see us as their lighthouses? That is my everyday question. Outside of the mundane of washing, feeding, & cleaning, I must be more than a doer of the physical. I must pay attention to the nonphysical as well. What are the seeds, the thoughts I am nurturing with my seed, with your seeds?

This past Sunday, nationally, we were celebrating motherhood. My inboxes was full of love from family & friends. & I am very grateful to be thought of for a moment, but I am also critical bc I am more than just a day. I am a lifetime. This duty is forever.

We step foot everyday on the ground. We are breathing every second. How many times did you thank the original mama, the Earth, her seedlings? That is to say, what have you done for me lately? What made you want to send me mother’s day thanks? Does my child even know you? 

Don’t let social media fool you! Don’t let holidays fool you! We are not sustaining ourselves from a calendar date or our inter-webbed connections. It’s cute. It’s nice. But I log off daily. Motherhood, not so much.

Do you want to celebrate my motherhood? Do you want to celebrate we? Let’s build community consciously physically. That is how you make mother’s day count to me.

So, around this time next year, when you reach out with your blessings, I can thank you for honoring me with more than just the nonphysical.

-Mama Juju (www.babymamahood.com)

Originally appeared on B.M.C

This post was originally published for the B.M.C. (Bomb Mom Club)

FYI: A new contributor writer for the Bomb Mom Club

I am so excited to announce that I will be writing for B.M.C.

I was asked a couple of questions, introductory-like ish. Click on the pic above to read more.

If you'll be in Oakland, #BMC is having a relaunch party. Here is the Facebook invite: CLICK HERE. It's this Saturday. 2pm. Downtown Oakland

Curated by Kate Dash of the Maildoma Collective

Hope to see you there. See you on the interwebs... 

-Mama Juju



Video Post: Girl Searches for Herself & the Countless Others Still Missing

Today is a conflicted day. Today marks the one year anniversary since 270 Nigerian girls were abducted by Boko Haram. 39 of those Chibok girls have escaped, but over 200 girls are still missing. As the world questions is the Nigerian government doing enough to rescue the remaining girls, I am asking am I enough.

Today is also the day that I birthed my daughter & BMH (Babymamahood). It is Zi's 8th year anniversary & the site's 1 year anniversary.

As a mother to a black girl, I feel conflicted in our celebration. Motherhood is challenging. But, to be a mother & not have the ability to have your child, or know where they are is frightening & just fucked up. The isolation & loneliness these mothers must feel for their birth story carry a child to term, to raise said child, & to lose them to uncertainty is so unfair, to say the least.

And then, the current narrative around black people & the police... On average, every day a black person loses their life to a white police officer. 

Today, I am afraid to say that I am fortunate to have my daughter. I get to see her everyday. I have the privilege to know where she is & have a say to where she is going. I am also tired, like spiritually tired.

With the help of my brother, I created this short documentary.

This narrative was shot when Zi was about six years old. I was working full time & I felt absent as a parent. I worked full time as a teacher & organizer. I came home late, & I did not want to make dinner, or clean anything, or help with homework. But, I had too. I had to be there for my daughter bc no one else could or would. The love I feel as a parent is inescapable, but it is also grounded in the reality that I must create an independent child. My level of presence can only be for so long, or for so much. I have to work, to put food on the table, to write. I must love myself, so that I can love my daughter. I must let her go.

This shit is hard. I want to be by her & watch her every move, protect her. But, that isn't realistic or fair...

I am sorry for those of us who feel incomplete bc of how life keeps taking from us. I am sorry for the parents who let go of their children so that that they could go to school or wherever & don’t make it back.

I will pray for the safety of our children by being present for my own. That is the only way I know how to live.

Artistic Statement on Girl Searches for Herself:

Is a depiction of a six year girl getting ready for school by herself. In her head, her mother is somewhere. In theory, the girl’s mother is at work. Snippets of her mother’s presence can be seen by the brief notes she leaves her daughter as the girl gets ready for school. There is an uncertainty happening. The short film is full of questions. “Where is her mother?” “Is the child too young to be alone?” But more importantly, who are the girls confronted with their loneliness bc of their independence. Independence for women isn’t something that is fairly easy to accept. In a Christian & Islamic society, girls are expected to stay under the rule of their fathers, until they are married & then they’re supposed to follow the rule of their husbands. But, in a society where feminism is fetishized as an ideal where women should be allowed to express their femininity as they see fit, the questions begs, what about us, the ones in the trenches of poverty, homelessness, food deserts, poor education, & single parent families, what about those of us who been independent, but uncelebrated, unrecognized bc necessity isn’t glamourous, unless you gave up your picket fenced, suburban motherhood barbie depiction of motherhood, & decided to do the “revolutionary” thing & work & not have kids. But, this film is NOT political. It is practical. It is a child who knows how to wake up & start her own day despite her mother’s absences. It is a child being raised to be independent, out of necessity. It is a mother using creativity, trying to forge connections with her absence & her daughter. It is about being as a voice. It is about a mother letting her go, so that her daughter knows how to survive with herself as the guide. It is also political.

Jhené Aiko had no parts in making this video. This song is used as my own artistic license. 


Want to say Happy Birthday to Zi? Share the video with your friends & comment below. I would love to showoff your love to her tonight. <3

Beyond the Deadbeat Dad: The Dead Beat Community or Why It's Unfair to Call me "Single"

Shaming babymamas doesn't just happen by folks discriminating explicitly against us. It doesn't just look like statistics & direct ignorant, Facebook comments. It happens in smaller ways. It happens in ways of not happenings: where single folks don't create conscious spaces for children, & therefore, babymamas. 

Today (3/16/15) my daughter asked me, “What do I need to do if I don't want to have a baby?” I was a little confused by the question bc I wasn't sure how involved I should get with my answer. 

My response was, “You just don't have it.”

She looked at me confused. What do you mean, her face asked. 

I said, “When I was pregnant with you, I made a choice on whether I wanted to keep you or not. I decided to keep you.”

She then smiled & hugged me & said that she did not want to have a baby bc it would hurt. 

She is right. It does hurt. & I am not referencing the pain of labor. When folks deliberately & consistently don't make considerations for Zi, it shows the lack of community. It assumes that it is my sole responsibility to figure out childcare.  Which translates into, you don't give a fuck about my motherhood, so you don't give a fuck about me or the Earth. 

Yes, it is extreme. But it is also real. My feelings.

Nowadays folks aren't just tripping on whether or not you are a virgin. 

They trip off of your desire to have babies & to move on from those partnerships bc the assumption is that Zi should be taken care of by her biological parents at all times, or that it is solely my responsibility. 

I don’t disagree with neither of those statements. Nor can I agree with them bc those statements are not my reality, nor do I think it is real or reasonable for me. As a black person from the hood, who is also in conversation about community, I see my role much larger than being Zi’s mom. Like how I see your role, much larger than being a non parent. 

I get that some folks do not want to have children & that’s cool. However, that doesn’t mean that as activists, people who push for stronger community, for the end of institutional racial discrimination, police brutality, safer communities, & empowering relevant  schools, that you don’t have a role in the life of my daughter & all the other children in your world. 

This lack of parental awareness is lonely. It perpetuates this idea that children are just for parents & people who work with them.

It is unjust to deny us entry into your circles bc I am a mama, the most universal kind of love, the love that brought you physical here, the love that lets you stay. 

I can’t say I am surprised. If we look at the way the Earth is shifting from global warming; the way California’s heavens hasn't cried enough; the way we keep taking of her waters; the Earth becoming numb or delayed in the seasons. She is adjusting to the cold realities of your heart.

Extreme, I know. But, it doesn't make it less real or feel less true. 

 I haven’t seen many take the Earth's considerations into their relationship to small people, women, & the mamas in the hood.

I am not hurt per se. I am ironically understanding of it all. I see the ways in which I participated in her exploitation: buying bottled water, throwing recyclable materials in the trash, or purchasing chicken from factory farms, to name a few.

I have too limited the Earth over convenience, ignorance, & the lack of imagination. 

I've become numb, too, like the Earth. 

It's a metaphor to how mothers are treated, especially black & brown mothers, babymamas.

Birthing a child has taught me how lonely the world is, how isolating it could be. As if the only community is immediate family, but I digress... 

The work in poverty with babymamas, in particular, is crucial. If we really care about the future generations of the hood, of keeping Oakland black & accessible, it is important for the sake of black love & our children that we band together- parents and non-parents alike. 

We are all in this together. Right now, a lot of us are just living  side by side. But if your vision is for the world to evolve your, ours, & their (our children's) birth story, the question is, when we deny children & their mamas are we healing & evolving the narrative between black women, black mothers & patriarchy, white supremacy, & capitalism? Are we clearing those intersections? Or are we unconsciously participating in this set up that our parents, their children, & their children keep falling prey to. 

The next time you go out for a drink or watch an adult movie, ask yourself, is there something more pressing I could do with my time & my dollar? Or a more specific questions, "When was the last time juju went out to dance?"

The answer is, months ago. Why? Because my daughter wasn't invited & I am not dropping my daughter ANYWHERE for the sake of a good twerk.  I don't always want to party with my kid. But, most days I do.

In African traditions, once a child is born, they are no longer yours. They belong to the village. My child belongs to you as well. So, throw a party, we can all dance together too... Don't worry, Zi is sex positive, just don't try to fuck her, or my community WILL show up to see me beat you down. We do stick together too. 


I made this little rant video. I was sassy & I thought you should know that I am tired of my community being undercover douche bags. I love you. Change your ways. <3

Video: Your child wants to know about their absent father...

This video is about how you should talk to your children who have an absent father in their lives. It is about addressing that reality in an honest way where it does not impact the development of the child in a negative way. 

All of our babies deserve a healthy future.

On Choosing "Bad" Men

The trope of the single black mama shames babymamas for having kids early or picking the stereotypical physically absent father. One proves that she is not young, chaste, & pure in a twisted Catholic sort of way. The other trope shows that she cannot keep a man, which only intensifies if a woman has multiple babydaddys; it also shows her multiple failures at motherhood, which is directly impacted by her failure at keeping a man. 

As if motherhood is something you can fail at if you have babies young &/or single. 

Motherhood is challenging, period. The challenges do change according to circumstance. Being a healthy parent is one that requires a lot of support. So, just bc a woman decides to have a child with a deadbeat doesn't mean that she should still raise her baby alone. 

We need to get out of the binary that motherhood is “good” if you are a married woman. It is not helping, nor is it accurate

Women & men love to pop out their chest when you ask them if they have children. Some of them, simply say, “No” while others add on, “I am not married” bc their body starts getting fertile after they say, “I do.” 

Marriage is cool. I am NOT throwing shade at it, however, we have accepted marriage as a natural evolutionary process for motherhood. It’s not. In fact, you don’t need marriage to live happily with children or to have children, period.

I wonder why people are in shock, disbelief, or mad to see teenagers have babies. Their body is ready. It’s been happening. It is a part of the language of our bodies, our nature. Many cultures have rites of passages into adulthood aka puberty.  Their bodies are getting ready to be procreators. Rites of passages celebrate sex, fertility, & children. They celebrate the continuation of lineage & family. Creation will always have its’ way despite marital status. 

& then there is me. 

When I became pregnant, my parents asked me how could I make a baby with such a man? Why didn’t I know better? I was in college. I was smart. They felt like I made a stupid decision. I could see their point, but I felt like no one feels mines. 

The question for me isn’t my lack of awareness. Why I should have known better.

It’s about acknowledging a history colored by trauma from White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy & loving black men through that lens of the Americas' version of white nationalism & how that informs black masculinity.

Our current narrative is that the black community is incapable of black love bc our family units aren’t intact with two parent households. Our grandmamas are raising the babies, while one parent works & the other is not around. Grandmothers are too old to keep up with her grand babies. The absence of fathers translates to more violence, crime, incarceration, & school dropouts. 

Black boys don’t have positive male role models, so they keep going to prison. Black girls don’t grow up with their fathers, so they don’t know how to keep a man bc their mothers didn’t model how to love a man. So, these women keep choosing “bad” men. It’s all a cyclical process that could be stop if women stop having babies or choose better men to have babies with. 

The black mother is left with the responsibility of raising the next generation. She is blamed bc she is a queen, a goddess, & she should have known better. Black women graduate at a higher rate  & are more gainfully employed than black men. & since we control the kind of men we choose to give birth through, women should be making better decisions. 

The research of father-absent homes focuses on the dangers of men not being present in their child’s life. But I have yet to see research as to WHY black men are leaving their children to be raised solely by their mothers.

There are links between the devaluing of black boys & men & single parent home. These absent-fathered homes blame men & women, but don’t take into the account of how racism is directly to blame for “broken” homes.

Black parents are incarcerated, unemployed, & face evictions at disproportionate rates compared to whites. Our children need presence. Presence doesn’t just translate to having a parent who is there physically, but a community who are there for the WHOLE CHILD & the WHOLE PARENT. How can that happen if individually we are fucked. Black “broken” homes translates to black “broken” communities.

But how can a marginalized people, be present for their children? We are out here trying to escape the “man” by working long hours, self-medication, & providing the basic needs for our children. How can I be a fully present mother living in poverty, racism, & sexism? But, more importantly for me, how can I raise my baby girl believing in black love when I am seen as a lost cause, unless I find a “good” man to rescue us. 

But the question still stands. 

I should have known better. Knowing all of the challenges, why did I choice to mother a child without a father?

The truth is that as a black caribbean girl, growing up in the hood, my pick of the litter was not the same as those who had access to “better” neighborhoods or “better” schools. Most of my closet friends grew up without their fathers, whether he was physically there or not, doesn’t attest to the affects of White Supremacist Capitalistic Patriarchy on black mental health & livelihood. If I don't care for myself, I cannot care for my child. It's simple arithmetic.

I was not in the gifted & talented programs or went to prestigious schools. I went to my zone school, down the block, or less than a mile away from my home, so I had to pay half fare for the MTA. I am a result of free lunches, public housing, & the thick rack of government cheese that made the best melted cheese over mi mangu breakfasts. 

People tend to NOT see the privilege in living in "better" neighborhoods & how that affects the kinds of partners we attract. 

We blame the government or society for everything but that, bc somehow I have a choice in picking who I decide to father a child with. & yes, although there is some truth to that, the majority of it is bullshit. 

It’s a numbers game, really. It is less likely that I would choose a “good” man bc “good” people aren't made in the American hood. Those who are, made it in spite of it.  

So, babymamas, the next time you feel guilt & shame for conceiving with a man, most call a deadbeat, remember that you didn't create that man. However, you did create them children. Learn from the challenges & circumvent it.

That's the only reason why I am still here with child. 

Universities that Specifically Support Babymamas

Being a mama isn’t hard because it is brain surgery or particularly difficult. Being a mama is hard bc society is a set up. But, what happens if I do want to be a brain surgeon? Is my life over bc I had a child outside the sperm support of a man?

In a world where more than half of our children are being raised by single parents, it makes you wonder, why isn’t the world more child friendly?

It’s obvious all children need more than one, & even two people in their lives. So, why don’t all jobs provide in-house child care? Or allow children in the workplace? Or why can’t I grab a glass a wine while my daughter sips on a ginger ale at a pub? People in the UK do it. Why am I assumed to be a ‘bad mom,’ if I want to still do shit regular humans do? 

I remember one time I went all the way to Newark, NJ from Yonkers, NY to a poetry show with Zi, who was a toddler. I was a co-organizer of the show & my own co-workers didn't let me in on that winter night with a kid bc they felt like a child did not belong in a place where they sold alcohol. Although, I didn’t come to drink. 

I can’t say how many times I have been denied in social spaces bc of opinionated non-parents, or part-time parents who have a say on your life bc let’s face it, they are assholes who have the privilege of not needing support the way I do. 

It is a pretty lonely feeling when someone denies you your right to a particular space bc the person you love more than anything in the world cannot be there. 


I graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2012. I started college in 2002. It essentially took me ten years (I wasn’t in school the whole time) to get my undergraduate degree. I went back to school when Zi was three years young. In my first semester, Zi spent every other weekend with me on campus until I got my housing situation figured out.

SUNY Purchase use to house families, but bc of the shortage of housing they split their one bedrooms apartments that would house one family into doubles & triples for space & money sake. I went back & forth with Resident Life bc I wanted to live on campus with Zi, but babymamas ain’t got no rights as a parent.

SUNY Purchase had an obligation to house me, but not Zi. 


Luckily, I found a studio apartment that was a 15 minute bus ride to & from campus & my daughter was enrolled in the day care on campus that cost more than my rent, but I digress… 

Before I settled on SUNY Purchase I was looking into Wilson College bc they have a Women With Children Program

In my initial stages of research, I found other schools that support mothers & children. So, I compiled this list of universities that provide childcare & housing (a winning combination) for those of us who are budding scholars & babymamas & want a degree.

What is dope about these initiatives is that it allows mothers to not only be academic, but also social. Mothers & their children can both get their needs met. & the mother can stay close to their child(ren).

As the only babymama on SUNY Purchase campus, I had to create makeshift ways for me to still be present, which meant Zi wasn't with me half the time. I was the founder of the first national collegiate slam team & a yearly hip hop festival. I was also writing a manuscript, a justice for the student gov’t, & combating the kids of white privilege everyday. 

So here are the schools that encourage & support babymamas to get their degrees. I recommend that you check all of them out, as they have some specifications for qualification. Not only do these programs support women in earning a degree, but these women are also given a space to learn & bond over financial literacy, parenting & life skills specific to babymamahood.

All links provided takes you straight to their single mother programs:

Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA

Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH. 

Berea College, Berea, KY

College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NA

Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

Misericordia University, Dallas, PA

Mills College, Oakland, CA

Endicott College, Beverly, MA


Please share this post with parents, educators, youth workers, & teens who want to go to college, but feel like they do not have the support to do so. It is out there.

Do you know of any other college programs that support babymamas? Please share the wealth in the comments below.