Friday, February 24, 2012

Run It!

I started running after Halloween.  This is my second attempt to run.  I was motivated by my son, who kicked ass on his first 5k with my long-running, accomplished, marathon husband.  My first attempt  at running was two years ago.  It started with a run and stride assessment at Fleet Feet Shoes in Nashville.  I walked out with a great pair of shoes, inserts, socks and a deer in the headlights feeling.  My first attempt found me on the treadmill at our apartment complex and every now and then at the local track.  It wasn't fun, didn't feel good and I wasn't feeling it.  So I stopped.

This summer, my son - motivated by my husband who had completed the Richmond Marathon and the National Half Marathon - decided he wanted to do a 5k.  They started training in the summer and all through fall.  I was so proud to watch my fit husband and my fit kid getting their run on.  On race day, I took my position of bag watcher, sign holder and finish cheerer solo.  My son who usually assumed the race position with me, now got his own bib and was running with his dad.  I was left in my race position solo, while my husband got the benefit of my race partner.  My husband's Half and Full Marathons have brought me to tears so you know when my son crossed the finish line of his first 5k, I was so proud and motivated. 

Not too long after my son's first race, hub's Runner's World article came.  Jay Jenni's brilliant piece on "Why is Running So White" spotlighted running groups for runners of color across the country.  I decided to get off the couch and reach out to the Black Girls Run chapter in DC.  Next Saturday I joined them to walk/run...mostly walk.   I LOVED it.   This is the most positive group of women, knowledgable runners, interesting folk and really affirming for runners at all stages of their journeys.  If new runners like me can connect with ultra marathoners and find some common ground, you know the group is fabulous.

So here I am today.  10lbs lighter than this Halloween.  My bank account is also lighter thanks to new shoes, bras, gear, gadgets and race fees.  I LOVE it, though.  Ran my first 5k on the coldest Sunday of the year.  My hub will be running the Boston Marathon on April 16th and I'm running the BAA 5K on April 15th.  I'll have to dust off the sign for him to hold up for me on the 15th!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First Son

Posted on Facebook - 1/24/09

I wonder how America would look at little boys of color if the Obamas had a son. I've read comments from parents with daughters of color who are ecstatic about the fact that in Sasha and Malia Obama perhaps people now see their daughters value and will respect them as children, honor them and work to improve their lives. With the ways that boys of color in this country are mistreated and not honored - I just thought hmm--how would we view little boys of color if the Obamas had say Sasha, Malia AND Malik for instance. Would little Malik get a Beanie Baby and a Jonas Brothers serenade? Would Billy Ray Cyrus be so quick to let Miley be all up in HIS grill? Just a thought...

Keri and Beyonce

Posted on Facebook - 2/27/11

It's been a bad week for young singing stars (in my opinion) Keri Hilson and Beyonce. Hilson went on the Chelsea Handler show (mistake no. 1 - ok, just playin') and said "I'm not Black, I'm Caramel". Beyonce posed in blackface for a European Vogue magazine demonstrating (in her words) her level of support and love for Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti.

Not to mention that CNN reported that both Beyonce and Mariah Carey played private concerts for Khadafi's son.

Ok - so here is were some grace and Dr. Angelou's quote about "When you know better, you do better" comes in. Yes, I thought it was incredibly stupid and insensitive (not even GOING there about the concerts for hire) of both Hilson and Beyonce. Hilson has a song out right now about being pretty, she is a mediocre vocalist at best and we all know TONS of family members, friends, babysitters and cashiers at Whole Foods who can sing CIRCLES around her ass. BUT - no record deals for them coz they are not pretty or caramel. Same thing for Beyonce - when she was little, she was home schooled and practiced for HOURS, groomed to be a singing star. No one took her to Amiri Baraka lectures or museums or made 60 Minutes must see Sunday TV since 1975. ( I could not name all the Sylvers but I sure as hell could tell you who Andy Rooney and Mike Wallace were). Mama and Papa Knowles probably didn't school her about racism, colorism and classism but I bet she knows how to write a contract rider and identify the best lighting and sound in a room.

Yes, Hilson and Beyonce are both grown. Yes, they have a diverse fan base. Yes, they both said/did really stupid things this week. Yes, people should hold them accountable. We also should educate BOTH of them and explain to them the madness and ignorance of what they did.

We had a birthday dinner for my girlfriend this week and I said that it was extremely possible that Beyonce had NO clue about the historical significance of blackface. She may know nothing about minstrels, Al Jolson, all of the sad, ugly history. My girlfriend said "How the f...could she not know about Amos and Andy on the radio and the ignorance of that" and I said "Easy. That's the kind of stuff your parents and grandparents equip you with...or not". Same thing with Hilson...if she was brought up all of her life being told she was a pretty, caramel can you expect anything more of her.

I'm not giving either of them a pass just offering up that sometime before we cuss people out about being stupid...we gotta take a step back to find out why they are stupid...or how they got stupid.

My hub was sure that our child knew what blackface he asked him. Child thought blackface was a rapper. He had NO clue. So - we definitely have some education to do as well. Because heaven forbid - I see my child posed in a magazine or on Facebook at some frat party in blackface....or worse...telling some reporter that he is caramel or cablinasian.

When we know better...we do better.