We learn about Scaffolding and

Flow Experience but

Live Routine Activity Theory.  Ignoring

Negative effects on student’s motivation, behavior and achievement.  In school with

Social Capital practicing Social Promotion keeping Collective Efficacy rolling on tracks

Find your path off track


Live your path.

Why I Support Chimamanda’s Statement on Trans Women

Chimamanda broke it down the way it was necessary for it to be broken down. In her words she “put her defensiveness aside and clarified her thoughts.”  SHE IS NOT HERE TO PLAY OR BE MISUNDERSTOOD.  These are my thoughts on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s post regarding her interview and the “backlash” it created.   Her response was so exciting for me to read, its like Chimamanda is in my head and in my life…She wrote…

“I said, in an interview, that trans women are trans women, that they are people who, having been born male, benefited from the privileges that the world affords men, and that we should not say that the experience of women born female is the same as the experience of trans women.”

According to some Chimamanda was “wrong and dangerous” to say that trans women are different from women.   This particular gender issue is a hot topic especially in birth work and reproductive justice, in fact I recently resigned from a birth justice organization because I could NEVER say that a man had a baby (trans man) nor would I stress myself trying to comply with gender pronoun demands, especially not in a birthing space.

I have had a hard and emotional time communicating my point of view without having words like privilege and trans phobia thrown at me.    Chimamanda, my shero, heard my distress and so eloquently and precisely shared my sentiments regarding the impulse to say that trans women are women just like women born female are women, she says:

“The intent is a good one but the strategy feels untrue. Diversity does not have to mean division.”

Diversity does not have to mean division, just like integrated does not mean united.  For the same reason why being color blind is wrong.  We have to stop thinking erasure is justice.

“Because we can oppose violence against trans women while also acknowledging differences. Because we should be able to acknowledge differences while also being supportive. Because we do not have to insist, in the name of being supportive, that everything is the same. Because we run the risk of reducing gender to a single, essentialist thing.”

It is not a coincidence that the person saying this is African, I think it is my African culture radar that stood alert and uneasy when I started hearing and joining discussions about removing the word “women” from birth work to replace it with”birthing person.”

Most (if not all) African languages are “genderless” meaning they do not assign people or inanimate objects with gendered pronouns like he, she,her etc.  It is a hard concept explain, an even more difficult one to imagine and even though gender is known to be a social and cultural construct discussions in the U.S. exclude other cultures unless aspects of “gender-less” cultures are being appropriated.   Adichie states:

“…saying ‘trans’ and ‘cis’ acknowledges that there is a distinction between women born female and women who transition, without elevating one or the other”

You can also distinct between man and woman without elevating one or the other, though this has never been the  case in the U.S. where men had all their civil rights before women. In contrast Yoruba culture did not historically define women as lesser than man.  For example Voting was never a men only event, kingships and other positions of power were not first reserved for men and then given to women at a later date.  So west African feminists are very aware of womanhood as autonomous and independent of men.

For the skeptics out there, I know there are many gender issues and injustices against women in African cultures I speak up and live up against these injustices daily, but I think it is important to give credit where it is due, especially to a continent whose cultures are as exploited and discredited as Africa’s,  and the truth is American girls and women would benefit greatly from learning the African concept that womanhood is powerful and autonomous.  Subscribe! I will be writing more about this…

Read Chimamanda’s full response here.





Molasses: My Coffee, Wine and PMS cure


My daughter had two friends sleep over last night, her friends left a few hours ago, the house has been cleaned and I have showered…. and now to write… But I’m feeling like I need a little something something… maybe a glass of wine?? or a cup of coffee?? I reached into a bowl of stale popcorn from last night and as soon as I put it in my mouth, ouch! I knew what I needed to drink… something with blackstrap, unsulphured molasses.

A few days ago I felt the roof of my mouth was sore which is something I have noticed over the years happens before my moontime if my iron is low.  So I’ll save the wine for later, instead I’m having ginger and molasses tea, a few minutes after my first sip the pain subsided!

Pre menstrual symptoms can be managed with diet.  Most of us know that as women we are likely to have iron deficiency.  The best time to load up on iron is at least two weeks before our period starts, or around ovulation.  A common mistake is to try to get iron from meat, our body does not absorb the iron from meat easily, plant based iron is best, so eating leafy greens such as collards, kale and spinach and of course the food of the hour molasses which comes from sugar canes.

Molasses is a super food that ironically is a “byproduct” of making white sugar! Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is full of iron, potassium and calcium.  Take 2 table spoons a day a for two weeks before your period, it has a strong taste so you can also have it in smaller doses by adding it to oatmeal or making a tea with ginger and/or lemon.  If you mix it with almond milk add some sugar or honey and maybe cinnamon it tastes like hot chocolate!! My daughter thought this was hot chocolate for the first few years of her life!

Try it out for the following premenstrual symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • sore gums
  • cramps
  • bloating

Let me know how it works for you!

Sobonfu Somé

Sobonfu Somé has joined the ancestors.  I recently dug up her book Welcoming Spirit Home to reread her perspective on parenting and being a child.

I started unschooling my daughter and one of the arguments people who oppose my decision constantly bring up is “I never liked school, but I did it!”
Why is it that as adults we feel the need for our children to go through the awful things we did?!
I do not subscribe to that way of parenting, I believe that it is my responsibility as a parent to heal the wounds I am aware of so that I don’t impose them on my child.  Children will go through their own shit, we don’t need to force our shit onto them.
I like Somé for many reasons, I like that her purpose, her gift was embedded in her culture but took her across the globe.  I give thanks for you, your words and your spirit, Sobonfu Somé.  Guide us to grow without oppression and exploitation.  Individually and globally, Ase.
The book also has a chapter on making rituals work for you… something I NEED if I intend to follow through on my new year intentions!!  Check out her works, let me know what you think, i’mma go read that chapter and get my rituals on.

Decolonize Childbirth- Race & Obstetric Violence

This is what WAW is all about!

Decolonizing the USVI

To  Friends and Allies (2)

Giving birth is some life altering shit. It can be a transcendental, mind warping, ecstatic, or painful experience. The child that you house on the inside of you is exiting your womb. Women should be able to give birth in safe spaces that respect and honor their intuition and power. Unfortunately, our medical practices and representations of birth have transformed the birthing process. Birth in America is over medicalized and rooted in fear and obstetric violence.

32.7% of all births in the United States are C-sections despite the fact that 1) c-sections increase risks for mothers and infants and 2) the World Health Organization argues that the C-section rate should be 5-10%. The territories are hardly doing better. The c-section rate in the U.S. Virgin Islands was 29.3% in 2013 and Puerto Rico’s rate during the same year was 48.4%. These territorial rates have declined over recent years and it is important that they…

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