What Has Always Bothered Me About 12 Years A Slave

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First let me say that I have not seen the movie. I have a copy of the book that I haven’t read yet. So I am not commenting on the acting at all. I’m quite sure it’s a magnificent film. 

A friend posted the following article on FB:  Lupita Nyong’o And What It Means To Be Black

This was my response in her status:

This is a great article. I must admit that while I’m thrilled that Lupita won, it makes me feel some type of way that it took a British director, a British actor and a Kenyan actress to tell a Black American story about slavery. Other blacks in the Disapora love to look down their noses at us ‘regular Blacks’ without acknowledging that they were the ones who sold us down the river. Then they come the US and don’t bother to understand the racial dynamic in play while they benefit off the sacrifices on my ancestors. I’ve written a book. I shouldn’t have blogged in your comments! Lol!

As a descendant of American slaves, this bothers me. A lot. It’s like having a small pebble in your shoe while you are walking down the street. And I probably sound petty but were there no Black American actors and actresses who were considered for the roles? Maybe there were..maybe there weren’t, I don’t know. And yes I realize that slavery existed in quite a few places, like the Carribean and Brazil, but this ain’t about those places. I’m glad the movie got made, I’m certainly glad Solomon Northup’s story was shared with the masses but still…it just doesn’t sit too well with me.

Today

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Today I didn’t do jackshit. And it was good.

I woke up at 8AM, headed to the bathroom and got back in the bed. I rolled over on my left side and scrolled through my twitter feed. I texted with a friend who had a really good date the night before. My husband came in to give me a good morning kiss and hop in the shower. Saturdays he gets his hair cut at 9AMish or so. He dressed and rolled out.

I sat upon my bed pillow and cut on the TV. I opened up my Chromebook to mess around on FB. I read the statuses of folks running around doing errands, working out, hauling kids here and there, and generally being productive. Yeah, no.

I fell back asleep.

I woke up when Myron came back home. He brought lunch home.

We ate, watched multiple episodes of Too Cute on Animal Planet. My cell rang. I went upstairs and cackled with my homegirl for an hour or so. Myron took a nap.

I got off the phone, came back downstairs, assumed my place on the short end of the sectional, and promptly fell back asleep. When I woke up it was dark. Myron had started dinner. I got up and did some laundry. He played Madden on the Xbox.

Then I started typing this blog. Now we’re watching videos on YouTube on the big TV.

I used to feel a bit guilty about not doing much on the weekends sometimes. Especially when it seems like everyone so busy, so over-scheduled, ripping and running around. Now I don’t. It was one of those Saturdays. And you need one like this every now and then.

Sometimes more than now and then.

Currently….

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Currently: Discussing why I owe out my ass to the IRS on Twitter and getting some guidance.

Watching: This Excel spreadsheet on my computer screen that I’m supposed to be working on. I have been on this particular project for some months now and I am OVER. IT.

Listening To: “Feels Good” from the album The Revival – Tony! Toni! Tone!

Planning: How to revitalize my job search. I need to take a new approach to targeting companies I want to work for so I’ve been doing some reading and some research.

Thinking About: How I need to make doctor’s appointments for a mammogram and with a dentist.

Looking forward to: My bestie’s happy hour  for her birthday TONIGHT at this place.

Reading: Payback In Panama by Noel Hyde. I’ve read all the books in this series. The first 3 are the Russian Trilogy. Last 3 are the Cuban Trilogy.

Making Me Happy: emailing with my husband and his silly jokes that make smile. Helps to get through the work day.

Stand With Jordan Davis

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Another day in Florida, another case of a young black teenager getting shot and killed simply for just being.

Today the trial begins for the man accused of killing young Jordan Davis while he was with his friends, seemingly because their music was too loud.

You can find out more information about his case here.

Please pray for a fair trial and for his family. Pray for competent judges and attorneys. Pray that justice for Jordan is rendered as it should be correctly THIS TIME.

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How Not To Be Afraid

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MLK

This was floating around my Facebook feed this weekend and rather than put up a picture and quote for MLK Day, I thought I would link to this piece from Daily Kos, which is much more impactful, IMHO. It’s a bit long but I hope you will take a few minutes to read it, as it touches on Dr. King’s impact on everyday lives.

Happy King Day.

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This will be a very short diary.  It will not contain any links or any scholarly references.  It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective.

The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished.

The reason I’m posting this is because there were dueling diaries over the weekend about Dr. King’s legacy, and there is a diary up now (not on the rec list but on the recent list) entitled, “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream Not Yet Realized.”  I’m sure the diarist means well as did the others.  But what most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans.  And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general.  His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer.  That’s why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy.  Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not color blind.

Read the rest right here.

Why I Bought A Chromebook, Part 2

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Now on to part 2 of my Chromebook review and how it works best for me.

When I first opened the box my Chromebook came in (via Amazon), I was pleased. Visually it’s not a Macbook Air in terms of style but it’s a nice gray color and it is light! It weighs less than 2 pounds. It’s well made, it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy and it opens and closes snugly.  It’s a lot smaller than your average laptop at 11.6 inches corner to corner. But for sitting on the couch or in the bed chilling, it’s a nice size that sits in your lap. And if you gave it to a kid to use, it would be more than adequate. The screen is average and has brightness controls which help. There are decent sounding speakers that get loud enough for you to watch a YouTube video or a movie but obviously you aren’t dealing with something high-end so don’t think you are going to get Beats by Dre type bass.

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My Acer on top on my old Compaq laptop.

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How the Chromebook screen looks.

My Chromebook is made by Acer and comes in 3 variants: 2GB RAM, 4GB RAM, and a 4GB RAM with a touchscreen. The base model (which is what I have) starts at $199. Are you starting to see why these little computers are popular? The price is definitely right.

I’ve had my Chromebook since Christmas and I use it daily. It charges in a little over an hour and I’m able to get 6-7 hours off of a charge. Because Chrome OS is so light, it’s almost an instant on. I open the top and get to doing what I want to do. I’ve gone to the Chrome App Store and downloaded various web apps such as Pocket, Any.DO, Dropbox, TweetDeck, Pandora and Netflix. They have been optimized to run on Chrome, and often they will sync with your phone. The Chrome App Store has various apps and extensions for business, education, games, social media and more.

A Chromebook is not a Windows laptop and as such has a very small hard drive, about 16GB, which is the same storage space as my phone. And of course, you cannot load full fledged programs. So what do you do if you need to be productive? You can use Google Docs, which allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and save them in Microsoft formats. Or you can set up a SkyDrive cloud account and use their Microsoft web apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint for FREE. They are more than adequate for light work or for a student. If push comes to shove, you can actually remote into your Windows PC using Chrome Remote Desktop. Pretty cool huh?

In fact the only major limitations I see with my Chromebook is the ability to upload music (and Google is currently working on a way to sync Chrome OS to Google Play Music) and the ability to upload pictures. I will still need to use my old laptop for that. But even then, there are several photo editors that can be used in Chrome to edit, correct or add filters to the photos you have stored online. And because Chrome is constantly evolving, Google typically puts out updates every 6-8 weeks with new features and functionality.

So those are my impressions of the Chromebook in a nutshell. I think that I made a good choice for my needs and I will be able to use this device for several years. There are several manufacturers to choose from and a few different screen sizes. In fact I typed this whole blog post on my Chromebook.

Here a few links to give you a bit more info:

If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.