Shocked to See: Slavery in 2017

By Sheila Pope, Ph.D

This morning I was shocked to see Matt Lauer had been fired from the “Today Show”. I was shocked to see so many of my African American political Facebook Friends still support State Representative Ron Reynolds after he was found guilty of stealing his client’s money from settlements. Yes, I question how we can uphold any government officials with serious integrity issues and act as if they need to be in photos with candidates that have yet to prove themselves. It taints their credibility before they get elected.

However, I was more shocked to see that in 2017, we have allowed our people to be sold into slavery in Libya! This image says it all! Black Friday has a whole new meaning in the world. The images of Africans men being hung upside down by their feet should make all Africans and African-Americans living in the USA get up and get active. What about Caucasians you ask? What about them? Our President tells you where he stands on race relations on a daily basis.

We have a responsibility to understand, what happens around the world is a threat to us in America. Dr. King said it best, “Moreover, I am cognizant of the INTERRELATEDNESS of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963).

If we allow this to continue to happen in Libya soon, we will find more of our people missing and being shipped overseas into slavery. While some of us travel internationally, we should consider how easy it would be to become “lost” and “found” in shackles. Sounds like hyperbole, but it is real people. The climate is set for more stuff like this to happen in our backyards. Thanks, Steven Solari for the image.24291751_10215594255517246_4536367000504789490_o

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Pushing Your Sons Out of the Nest

by Dr. Sheila Pope

Today, I am happy to announce my oldest son was pushed out of the nest last week and on October 13th, he learned to fly independently! He is moving to Mississippi. He is driving with a few friends to Mississippi and living in his own apartment across from his dad, my ex-husband.

Image Credit: Dr. Sheila Pope

For the single mothers struggling to let go of their adult sons, listen to your inner voice and trust God to help you release them. I held on to Chris out of fear that he would not survive without my help. Yet this last year, I realized I prepared him to become an awesome young man. Last week, I realized I needed to let him go before I killed his spirit and before I killed his motivation to survive. 

When I released him, I had peace. I had no worries. When he returned with his plan, I knew I made the right choice as a mother. His sibilings were happy to see him and to know they could talk with him via the phone. Chris was not angry with me. He had his chest stuck out. He is finally getting his road trip. Now, his father in heaven and his dad can help him become a responsible man. 

When he came to say goodbye last night before leaving, I gave him several hugs, told him I loved him, and gave him his cell phone.  I will admit I was proud of him. I asked if he was sure of his plans and he said yes he was sure. 

I have three more children to raise as a single mom and I am excited to start this new journey. Chris has helped me so much with the children, but they are able to rock and roll with me now. My life changes too! However, I will not let fear and discomfort cause me to hinder Christopher’s ability to become the man of his own home. 

Single moms we have to know when to let go of our baby boys. When they are taller than us, can talk back to us, capable of manipulating us, they  are not paying any bills, they are taking more than they give, they are failing to see you as a blessing, they are a high school graduate, they are intelligent, they are physically able to work, and they are 18 years of age with a car, it is time to push them out of the nest.

Moms don’t let fear hold you hostage and cause you to create a irresponsible man. Let go and let God show you how to support him from a distance.

The Fall 

by Dr. Sheila Pope

On Thursday of last week, I fell down in the mudd. My nails and toes were on point before the fall. I had a French manicure style on my feet. My nails were metallic pink. My hair was fresh and my jeans were starched.

Before the fall, I was literally walking away from a guy I thought would be in my life for sometime. I was feeling good about myself as I walked to my clean SUV. For those of you that know me, my SUV always needs a good shine. Anyway, I was talking to myself about my next step in life and down I go. I stepped off the curve and fell down to my knees.

I catch myself, but not before my fingers and toes were covered in mudd. My toes hurt so bad. The two people walking in front of me quickly turned around and helped me up. I was so embarrassed. The white woman had a look of terror on her face. The white man had my hand in his. I was just trying to gather my thoughts.

My butt was in the air, my body and mind were fighting against each other. I was thinking, ” Dr. Sheila Pope YOU need help! Your behind is in full view of the folks in the restaurant and the people going into the Westin hotel can see you.”

To top it off, I think the person I was walking away from saw me fall. That thought almost ripped my heart into shreds. You never want your ex to see fall or fail at anything! You want your ex to see you with your Super Girl cape on. No, I think my guy saw me in mudd. To be honest, I did not see him, but I thought I  saw his vehicle drive by as I got up. My mind could have played tricks on me in the moment. My thoughts were racing.

I got into my clean SUV and put mudd on the seats, floor, and stering wheel. I needed a moment to grasp what happened. I needed a moment to cry. I did not cry; but, I did say a few expletives. My toes were chipped and scrapped. My nails were nasty. My pride was at zero.

I can laugh now, but Thursday I was filled with shame. I have had to pick myself up from falls before, but this fall hit home. No matter how accomplished you are professionally, you never want people, especially your guy to see you appear weak and helpless. I found out in that moment, it was ok to appear weak and to need help. I thank God for the white couple that helped me. I quickly received the help that was offered. I replayed the incident too many times in my mind and each time the shame was worse.

I shared the story with a few girlfriends and we laughed. I was finally able to laugh at my foolishness. I am resilent; I may fall again. However, I will always get up and find a way to laugh at my crazy!