Having survived over 400 years of direct oppression, the correct classification for us is PURE MAGIC.

Photo by Gideon Hezekiah on Unsplash

Let’s start from the beginning to address every person who continues to accuse Black people of “playing the victim” when speaking about systemic racism.

Many of us in America are direct descendants of men and women who endured unthinkable atrocities at the hands of vicious, brutal, and greedy colonizers who chose supremacy and dominance over humanity.

These extraordinary human beings survived their journey to the New World after being taken from their native countries and chained to one another at the bottom of slave ships as they laid side-by-side in menses, feces, and death.

Upon arriving in a strange, foreign…

No one can be you better than YOU

Photo by Vladimir Yelizarov on Unsplash

I thoroughly enjoy being a Black woman.

Dealing with racism and discrimination is no picnic, but I still love being in my skin and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I believe we were all put on this earth with a specific purpose to fulfill and those born into adversity have a special task to perform. …

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted — just thought I’d check-in

Photo Credit: Adobestock.com

Thanks for taking the time to hear the honest thoughts of a Black woman.

It’s been a while since I’ve attempted to facilitate this much-needed conversation between Black and White women, particularly those who bear the name “Mom” because as women, we are the first teachers of new generations. Racism can’t continue to thrive if mothers refuse to teach bigotry, supremacy, and intolerance to their precious, impressionable babies.

This is no easy task and it will require a lifelong commitment. I’m sure many of you have already seen articles questioning where you have been and if you’ve given up the…

It was easier to just be myself

Photo of the author — August 2021

It took fifty years for me to carve out my own space, dump all my belongings into it, and happily claim it as the place I could exist without worries of judgments or limitations.

You can imagine how long the first forty-nine years of my life have been.

I spent a great deal of them worrying about what others thought of me. Was I good enough to be around people who had accomplished more than I? Was I pretty enough to be around gorgeous women who fit the universal standard of beauty without fading into the background? …

My trip to the happiest neighborhood on earth couldn’t save me from the loss of my lifetime

Photo courtesy of the author. Gravesite of the author’s beloved mother, Pauline Gloria Coats.

Sunny Day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street? — Raposo, J. (1969) Sesame Street Theme Song

I happily sang along with the children whose voices filled the speakers of my television as I settled in to watch my favorite show.

Sesame Street was magical to me. It took me to a place where I could learn new things, sing funny songs, practice my numbers with The Count, and surrender to my love of chocolate chip cookies with the Cookie Monster.

Meeting up with my childhood crush was everything

Photo by Laura Margarita Cedeño Peralta on Unsplash

I knew he was special the minute I laid eyes on him.

It was 1982 and I was walking down the hall at school with my two best girlfriends in tow, trying our best to look cute and nonchalant at the same time. I doubt we succeeded, but it did help me catch the attention of the boy who became my favorite reason for going to school for the next seven years of my life.

Andrew* could easily be considered the epitome of a junior high school major crush. He was taller than most of the other boys, had more…

I owe it to those who came before me

Photo by Ian Kiragu on Unsplash

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.” — Toni Morrison

I could never fully begrudge the time I spend working.

I am human so naturally, there are days when I’m less than enthusiastic to wake up early and join the rat race, but the voices in the back of my mind never let me stay in that space for long.

They constantly remind me that I am free to decide where I will devote my time and energy to make a living and to pursue my passion to secure freedom and equity for all Black people.

My ancestors…

The assumption that Black women have “super-human strength” is a by-product of our ongoing dehumanization

Photo Credit: diariocriterio.com

“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too,” Biles said, according to The Associated Press. “We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.” — Simone Biles (Silva, NBC News, 2021)

The misconception that Black women can function under any conditions without negative effects on our mental or physical health is a dangerous stereotype that has followed us from slavery to the present day.

Naomi Osaka made headlines around the world when she withdrew from the…

I’m in this club, but I think my premium benefits got denied

Photo by Brands&People on Unsplash

I’ve read several articles lately that caught my attention about the recent changes and new programs on Medium.

From the bonuses that were distributed over the past few months to the change in algorithms to the over-saturation of new writers infiltrating this platform within the past year (guilty, I joined in 2020) causing difficulty for the more established writers, there has been much discussion on what writers will do next.

Will they stay?

Will they go?

Will they continue to rage against the machine and speak out about what they consider unfair practices?

Will they conform to what is deemed…

The dismissal and denial of America’s true history created a monster that is not just a “Black issue”

Photo by British Library on Unsplash, Enslaved humans cutting the sugar cane on the Island of Antigua, 1823

There are White people who comment on my articles with words dripping with disdain at my audacity to continue to discuss the events of slavery.

I’ve become very familiar with the following statements:

“Slavery was hundreds of years ago. Why are Black people still talking about it?”

“I wasn’t even born. I didn’t own slaves and neither did my family. Why is this my problem?”

“Black people just want to turn all White people into racists and blame us for everything wrong in their lives.”

“It’s not my fault Blacks have a hard time in this country; they just need…

Jeanette C. Espinoza

Mom of 2 amazing humans | Author of 3 books | Speaker | Activist | Creator of Jeanette’s Jewels www.jeanettecespinoza.com

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