As part of AT&T’s 28 days program, I was asked to investigate my moments that mattered in my own history. I worked with my family to create this video. Throughout the month, AT&T has shared the inspiring stories of African American pioneer and trailblazers, and some of you have shared your moments that mattered on social media using the hashtag #att28days.
It’s the last moments of the 29th - the end of the month, and I hope that by sharing my final post in the campaign at the end of the month, inspires you to continue to research your family history and discover the moments that matter in your life. It doesn’t end here. It starts here.
Black history month is important to all of us, but I feel a special connection to the celebration as a first generation American. My family’s history here is a little more than 50 years. My parents moved here in the 1960’s to continue their education.
For African Americans who have been here for generations, since slavery, the move here to America was not born out of a chance at a better life. While our exit from Africa into slavery in the Americas was the same, after that, our histories split. But when we move here, because of what we look like and our common ancestry, our histories and our contributions to the struggle for equality in America merge again.
Without the work of African Americans like Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr., and Caribbean Americans like marcus garvey and stokely Carmichael could my parents have come here and participated in the American dream? I look at where I am – herein the United States with my family and I feel so blessed to be here. The country is far from perfect, I still flinch every time my son wants to leave the house in a hoodie, but I have to think my life would be different if my dad hadn’t gotten on that plane.
In this video, I asked my dad about a moment that mattered to me and my family… His decision to come to the United States to pursue his education.
Many thanks to AT&T for sponsoring this video as part of the 28 days program. Be sure to subscribe to the channel because throughout the year, I’ll be sharing more of my dad’s story and the stories of other Caribbean people who have made America home.
Participate in #ATT28Days on the web by following the hashtag and visiting 28days.att.com
This post was sponsored by AT&T. I was compensated. All opinions are my own.Add a comment
I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's day. There was always so much pressure in elementary school to BE loved, evidenced by getting at least one Valentine (thank goodness many parents insisted that their kids give everyone in the class a Valentine, or else I likely would have been Charlie Brown), in high school to reciprocate love and give a carnation to whoever gave you one (what really sucked is how awkward it was if you believed, based on good intel, that someone was going to get you a carnation, and you only got them one because of that... then the intel was wrong, and not only did you waste a dollar, but this person thinks you like them when... well... you get it), and in college to avoid love... no one wanted to be caught at Red Lobster anywhere near Valentine's day and be labeled as "taken."
Maybe I just wasn't a fan of pressure. Reading about love was something that was infinitely easier. My friend consumed romance novels like they were in a heart shaped box of candy, with no nasty ones. I wasn't into them like that, but I enjoyed a good love story every now and then - the subtle stuff - not necessarily the hot and heavy. Nothing about "sweaty bodies" being "intertwined" was attractive to me at that age so...
Now that I am an adult, I get it. Love is complex, and exciting, and on the outside looking in (into a novel, not a window), it is pretty entertaining! So for a pressure free Valentine's day, look no further than our list of romance novels to download. If you are a member of the Caribbean Book Club, you know how much we LOVE love over there! Here are 10 books that you can download and check out this Valentine's Day. These are listed in no particular order. Enjoy!Add a comment Read more...
(This post is not to be used as medical advice. Please consult your physician before traveling with a sick child.)
When we plan a trip, we look for conflicts with work, school, doctor’s appointments, summer camps, exams, and all sorts of other life events. Unfortunately, short of avoiding allergy and flu seasons, you really can’t plan a trip that avoids sicknesses like colds and stomach bugs. When you’ve spent thousands of dollars on non-refundable tickets and lodging and taken the time off from work, the sound you dread the most, is the faint cough that comes from the direction of your child’s bedroom… 2 days before your trip. You pray that maybe some saliva went down the wrong way, sneak in and put a little Vicks on their chest to be on the safe side, but bright and early in the morning you hear, “I don’t feeeeeeel gooooood…”
So what do you do now? Colds last at least 7 days, and you will be leaving in 3…. or worse, in just a few hours. Do you travel anyway? If you are flying, the airline may take a look at your child and decide for you. Also, whether or not you decide to travel may depend on your mode of transportation, and if your child has a fever, has already started vomiting, is contagious, has diarrhea, or is having trouble breathing, flying (or traveling at all) may not be an option. The Centers for Disease Control website has more information on when you should and should not travel with various conditions. CDC Travel Health Website
What if you decide to travel, or what if your child gets sick WHILE you already traveling? How do you prepare? Here are six things that you can do to make traveling with a sick child (or a sick you) a little easier. This post contains affiliate links.
1. Try to make a quick appointment with your child’s pediatrician. It is important to find out exactly what the problem is before you travel. Whether or not your pediatrician still recommends traveling for your child may depend on whether it is a bacterial infection or a virus, whether it is contagious or not, or whether the illness is likely to get worse. You can also get any prescriptions that your child needs written and filled before you leave. Your pediatrician may say it is unsafe for your child to travel… she may say that it is just a cold, and your child is fine to travel. It is best that you know what you are dealing with before you get on the road or in the air.Add a comment Read more...
Me circa 1978. That looks more like a magazine than a children's book...
"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." — Frederick Douglass
The first time I read this quote, I read it, "Once THEY learn to read, you will be forever free." Both are true I guess. I used to spend a lot of evenings doing flashcards and reading to the kids. It was great for them, AND for me. They got a great foundation for learning to read, and I enjoyed spending time with them.
My favorite books to read to the kids were books from my childhood like, Where the Wild Things Are, and Where the Sidewalk Ends, because they took me back to a familiar place in my youth, and I was able to take my children back there with me to experience it.
Once they learned to read, not only were they forever free - to choose their own books from the shelf, read at any time, and learn whenever, wherever, and whatever they wanted (within limits) - but I was free to say things like, "go read a book," and eventually the three of them would take turn reading bedtime stories to each other. I got my evenings back, and was able to do a little reading of my own.
Here are some Caribbean children's books to read with your kids, and to add to their bookshelves so that they can enjoy them on their own when they are reading independently.
This post contains affiliate links.
Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale by Marjuan Canady
"Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale follows Winston, a young inner city boy who goes to Brooklyn, NY to get ingredients for his Aunt's callaloo dinner when he is magically transported to the Caribbean island of Tobago. There, he encounters the mythical folkloric characters that roam the island. Winston's fears and fantasies fuse together as the reality of his situation becomes dire. He must find his way out of this haunting paradise or risk being lost forever. For Ages 3 to 7."Add a comment Read more...
Early bird! Sunrise selfie on the beach in Turks and Caicos.
Photo Credit: Eva Wilson
As you probably know, I am a law student who is a wife and a homeschooling mother of three children. I am finishing up my second year, and I am reflecting on all of the things that I have learned thus far. I have learned some amazing things about the law and how this world works, but I have also learned a great deal about myself and motherhood, and I am excited to share those lessons with you. I shared the first three lessons here, and I am sharing three more today. (This is part two of a three part series. You can read lessons 1-3 in part I here.)
4. It is a marathon, not a sprint. In law school you can’t just react to things as they come. Assignments are given on the syllabus on the first day of classes for a reason. It isn’t just to give you a heads up – it is so that you can start early and do the best work that you can do. In law school, I learned that it is not 3 months of stretching, then a sprint in the last month to the finish line. It is a marathon. Stretch and start running – you know where you are going, so start doing what you have to do to finish the race. Motherhood is that marathon too. It seems like a series of tasks that you see coming and just deal with when they come up, but it’s not. It’s not just about preparing your child for individual tests, but making sure they are prepared for life. It’s not just about getting a date night away from the kids with your husband, it is about having a successful marriage. It’s not just about carving out time to have a tea party, it is letting your daughter know that you will always make time for her, today, and every day.Add a comment Read more...
The fridge the night before a road trip. Photo Credit: Eva Wilson
We took a lot of road trips when I was young. We traveled to see family friends up and down the east coast, took trips to amusement parks like Disney World, and short trips to nearby Hilton Head, SC. When we traveled to see family in Trinidad when I was 16, my aunt took the teenagers took a little road trip to a wonderful secluded beach. This time when we took the kids to Trinidad for the first time, we spent a couple hours in the car and took a quick trip to spend the day at a really great beach.
On our road trips in Trinidad, I noticed several parallels between our road trips growing up, and the road trips I take with my family now. I could assume that it is a Caribbean thing, but I am sure that many elements of the Caribbean mom's road trip happens in other cultures as well. If you notice similarities, or differences in your own road trips, tell us about them in the comments.
1. Organize. Great organization is something that I noticed that all the Caribbean moms who planned the road trips, long or short, had in common. They were up early in the morning and transport, routes, pit stops, meals, gear, and everything in between was planned out - ready for flawless execution. Soccer balls, music, towels, trash bags, changes of clothes, extra everything - packed and ready to go. The trunk is to be packed in reverse chronological order so that if we are hitting the beach, for example, swimsuits are on top, then towels, then food - extra clothing and personal items are in backpacks carried by the person who will be using it. One or two people who are responsible for unpacking and making sure everyone gets what they need when they need it, man the trunk - no one else may go in and upset the system... or inquire about the system... just reap the benefits and enjoy the trip, no questions asked.Add a comment Read more...
My life literally began at Howard. I was born in Howard University Hospital to a Howard Medical Student, and a recent Howard Law School graduate. A series of interesting coincidences found me here, a student at Howard Law School, in 2014, listening to Trinidadian Howard graduate, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick speak at his first convocation as president of the university. I seriously felt like I was in the Twilight Zone in an episode called "Vortex of Howard U" or something mystical and catchy like that.
Fast forward to the day I was asked to share my Moments that Matter as a partner with AT&T on their Black History Month program, 28 Days. As usual, I start going through the materials, and whose face do I see as part of the Framework section of the 28 Days website where "Black innovators, creatives and activists share the tools, tips and hard-won lessons they rely on to do the exceptional?" Trinidadian born president of Howard University, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. Dr. Frederick was admitted to Howard University at 16, and earned not only his bachelor's degree, but also became a Doctor of Medicine and did his surgical residency at Howard.
AT&T asked Dr. Frederick to kick off Black History Month by sharing his tools and tips for accomplishing personal and professional goals:
"The tools that help me accomplish my goals are my smartphones. I have two of them because my mother and grandmother live outside the U.S. I use my personal smartphone for keeping in touch with them." ~ Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President of Howard University
He answers this question and many more on AT&T's "The Bridge" website and will share more on February 17th. I am honored to share my story alongside amazing people this month. To learn more about Dr. Frederick and other Black innovators, visit http://28days.att.com, and follow the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram #ATT28Days.
How can you celebrate Black History Month with us? Sharing a photo for a chance to win a tech makeover prize pack of Samsung products from AT&T 28 Days.
1. Sign into your Twitter or Instagram account.
2. Submit an original photo that represents a moment that mattered to you, with a brief description and/or caption explaining why.
3. The tweet or post MUST also include the hashtags of #ATT28Days and #contest to be considered a valid entry.
Get contest details here: http://28days.att.com/contest
This post is sponsored by AT&T. I have been compensated, and as always, my opinions are my own.
How will you be celebrating Black History Month?Add a comment
First day of law school... Photo Credit: D. Wilson
Some days I am not sure what I was thinking. I decided to start law school as a 38 year old mother of 3. I am finishing up my second year, and I have found that my first year of law school made me a much more efficient mom. Here are three things that I learned as a first year law student that I have been able to apply to my life as a mom.
1. Show up and participate. At the school that I go to, attendance is mandatory, and sometimes it is a part of your class participation grade. If you miss more than 25% of your classes, you fail that class. I kept track of my own attendance for each class in a spreadsheet that I kept open on my laptop.
I was so vigilant. If I was a minute late, I noted that. Each time I answered a question in class, I made a note of that as well, so that when it came time to discuss grades, if things didn’t line up, I could challenge it.
I was not nearly as present in my every day life as a mom. If I actually went to 75% of the boys’ games? I would be such a winner. If I said ‘yes’ to 75% of li'l bit's requests for manicures and pedicures, Lego parties, and baking cupcakes? Golden. But I don’t always show up and participate. Sometimes I am tired.
Eventually I started asking myself how I could do the same thing I did in school with the kids. The next lessons on the list helped me to figure out how to really be present and participate in activities with my little ones.Add a comment Read more...
Last night I had the best time recording a podcast with Kerry of CarryOnFriends.com. We talked about work – life balance, and how being a Caribbean woman impacts the effort to balance it all. You’ll have to wait for the podcast to hear my answers, but one of the things that had us laughing was what Saturday morning means in a Caribbean household. My Saturday mornings may have Caribbean moments, but they are nothing like traditional ones. Is your Saturday morning thoroughly Caribbean, do you have your own weekend routine, or is a combination?
Caribbean 5 am: Mommy is up – fixing breakfast, having tea, getting ready for the day.
My 5 am: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…………… *goes to pee* …………….ZZZZZZZZZZZ
Caribbean 6 am: Kids hear mommy start to gather clothes to wash, and hope that it isn’t the signal that they need to get up… even though they know that it is.
My 6 am: *alarm goes off* “Somebody turn it off! Who set the weekday alarm for a Saturday?!” *STEUPS*
Caribbean 6:15 am: Kids should have gotten up when they had the chance. Mom has been up for an hour and a half, first set of laundry is washing, and no one has moved. Mom starts non verbal cues and muttering… *STEUPS*….. “But wha de…” “Dees BLASted chirren…” “ Eh eh…” and so on.
My 6:15 am: *alarm goes off* “If… You… Don’t… Turn… That… Off. I don’t mean ‘snooze.’ I. MEAN. OFF!!! Doh mek meh tell allyuh again.” *STEUPS*
Caribbean 6:30 am: One child feels Mommy’s frustration and gets out of the bed and says ‘Good Morning’ to Mommy. This is a smart child. This is Mommy’s favorite for the rest of the day. The one that all other children in the house should aspire to be, but never will be… at least not on THIS Saturday.
My 6:30 am: I am still staring at the ceiling because the multiple alarms have ruined my chances at a peaceful sleep.
Caribbean 6:45 am: Mommy has had enough. She is waking everyone up with a shake, flipping the blankets back, and a cuss. The Child of the Day is peacefully eating his or her breakfast at the table, basking in their winning status.
My 6:45: *stares at ceiling* I start making decisions from the bed. If there is milk in that fridge… they are having cereal. *Checks Twitter to see who else is up and miserable on a Saturday*
Caribbean 7 am: If the kids haven’t brushed their teeth, washed their faces, changed clothes, and had breakfast by now, this is going to be a long day for everyone. It is time to assign chores, and mommy has already started washing up the dishes from breakfast. For the late risers, ah piece ah bake in a paper towel it is.
My 7 am: I finally have given up on going back to sleep, so I consider studying for something. I look at the clock and realize that it is 7 am, and I may never get this alone time back, so I head downstairs to watch something from the DVR, have some tea, and eat my English muffin in peace.
Caribbean 7:30 am: Chores are in full swing. Kids are mopping, dusting, washing walls, vacuuming (or using the sweeper) sweeping, hanging clothes on the line, moving furniture to clean under it, cleaning out school bags, beating rugs on the step, and scrubbing bathroom tiles. Mommy is supervising, picking up things here and there – but eventually sitting to have tea and talk to friends on the phone about how these wotless children don’t do anything.Add a comment Read more...
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