Happy Birthday Coolikan

Coolikan turns 3 this month. In celebration of her journey on this earth, we find ourselves talking about the very topic that got this blog and podcast in motion: racial injustice and inequality and the role of the Church in addressing it. While this podcast is not entirely devoted to the topic, given the events unfolding in the the U.S. we can’t help but wonder and hope for a time when a Coolikan Birthday Celebration doesn’t include a discussion on racial injustice because we’ll have made substantial strides in the coming years and decades. One can only hope and that’s what we have: faith, hope and love. And above all these is love, which we hope, despite being in need of love today, will swell and flood.

In celebration of summer and vacations, and potential relocations abroad (depending on the U.S. Presidential Election results), we’re talking about traveling while black.  Lifelong nomad and travel aficionado Acasia, leads this conversation on the importance of Black folks traveling domestically and abroad and her experience as a Black American Wanderlust!

Happy Listening!

**Honorable Mentions**:

  • The Negro Motorists Green Book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Negro_Motorist_Green_Book
  • Travel Noire: http://travelnoire.com
  • Awe Inclusive travel: http://aweinclusive.com
  • Self Care for People of Color After Psychological Trauma: http://justjasmineblog.com/self-care-for-people-of-color-after-emotional-and-psychological-trauma/
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Shot of Novocain and a pair of shades

By Acasia O.

bridge

Jared Frondu

I now live in another country, a place where my most persistent reality includes getting acclimated to a new culture, meeting new people and finding a job.  I also happen to live in the Middle East, a region of the world that is most often depicted as war-torn, unstable, and connotes terrorism to those who aren’t from here. The local news stations don’t reflect the modern events of my homeland, not the way I know they do on American news networks. Before moving, I was aware of the local protests and riots that took place throughout various neighborhoods and seasons in my new home. Fueled by the frustrations from the Arab Spring of 2011, there are tire fires and road blocks not too far from where I live. The weary find ways to express their frustration, and to be honest, I don’t feel threatened, worried or as if their actions are a cause for concern but a natural progression of what happens in most situations when marginalized people get fed up. In fact, the reality of the unrest in my new home didn’t phase me, because I left a land where unrest and frustration with the ways of life are bubbling over like a pot of water over a high fire.  I went from one area with an underlying problem to another area with an underlying problem.  And, as far as I know, very few countries have little to no social maladies. Before moving abroad, I used to worry and wonder if I or my husband would become one more statistic or hashtag in the Russian Roulette of America where we might encounter that one officer who doesn’t think twice about pulling the trigger and blaming us for resisting arrest while in a chokehold, wearing our seat belt or already impaled by the bullets lodged in our weeping backs. Because we are in the Middle East, and my prior knowledge of this area was informed by reports of non-natives, I also had to combat this notion that I would be living a catch-22 where residing in America while black was a daily risk but living abroad as an American was also an invitation for assault and hostility, especially given the most recent threats and historic sentiments against the ‘Leader of the Free World”. Not only would we have to remain vigilant in the U.S. but now, there’s another layer of awareness and protection we have to assume because we’re not from here and, contrary to what we want to believe, everyone doesn’t like the U.S.

spiral

Photo Credit: Len dela Cruz

I don’t know what’s going on back home in the the land of my birth. I’m somewhat removed, not by choice but because when you live eight hours ahead of Eastern time and your daily routine doesn’t include watching TV or skimming online news sources, you tend to miss out on the latest happenings both in and out of country.  But thanks be to God for pouring out the spirit of innovation which brought about social media.  It’s not a muted source of information.  To be honest, there is a level of respite to be found in the distance and space between me and that cruel, cold and carcinogenic reality of racial terrorism and white fragility that threatens the progress of our nation. There’s a lot of brokenness and sometimes I wonder if it’s better to just win the lottery, purchase an island and go about life in my own little corner of the world. But then I think about the indigenous people who, once upon a time, lived on their land masses and went about life in their own little hemisphere of the world, before someone invaded, killed, kidnapped and all but exterminated them. And that’s when I realize, as much as I want to escape, ignore and detach myself from it all, even if I press mute, the scenes, emotions and reality will still be there.  If a cop shoots a person in the back and no one is there to hear it, the bullets still make sounds.  If a cop cuffs a corpse, it’s still crazy and absurd. And if we choose not to return to America to raise our family, the system still exists. So, do I turn off the TV all together and go about life detached from a world I may eventually return to, a world that my family, friends and community still swim in?  Do I press mute, silencing the sounds but not the images? Or do I leave the volume on, knowing that for each story, each replayed scene, each report and post on social media, I risk becoming numb and unfazed by an appalling new norm? These are the questions I ask myself while living in a region of the world that, according to multiple “news” sources, is unstable and full of hate. Yet,  I watch, from afar,  the hate of those living in my unstable nation, metastasize into psychological disorders, amnesia, apathy and a social paralysis that will eventually turn the infirm into the walking dead.

The Revolution (2014)

by Elise Lockamy

tv

The revolution will not be available the next day on Hulu
You will not be able to download the podcast on your iPhone my brother
You will not be able to check it out from the Redbox my sister
The revolution will not be brought to you by Lebron James and the Cavaliers
The revolution will not be sponsored by Kia or Cadillac
There will be no social commentary on CNN or Fox News
There will be no “On the Run” concerts
Or inspirational words from Oprah and Iyanla
You can’t “Keep Up” with this movement on E
Or add “Love &” to the title and hope that everyone will tune in
There is no Olivia Pope for this scandal
Or Annalise Keating telling you how to get away with it

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised
Will not be televised, will not be televised
There will be no DVR playbacks brethren
The revolution will be live…

For the original and authentic piece, listen to Gil Scott-Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised ‪#‎peace‬