#MentalHealthCheck

Global mental health in the time of COVID-19 - Harvard Health Blog -  Harvard Health Publishing
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hello World! I know that I had said that I was going to post regularly for Native American Heritage Month, but life got in the way, and I needed to step away from this blog for the sake of my well being. I hope you guys understand! Of course I will try to finish the rest of the posts, but they will be more sporadic as school consumes my life.

This past week was Thanksgiving, and I know how emotionally complicated this holiday can be for people. So, I wanted to come on here and say everything you are feeling at this time is valid and that you are loved. Difficult thoughts and feelings are part of being human and do not take away from your value. No one is perfect. You should not feel pressured to be perfect. What’s important is you! You are a living, breathing human that has traits that make you unique and should be embraced! You are important. You matter. Thank you for being you!

Below, I have listed some ways you can practice self-care during this time!

  1. Step outside for some fresh air!
  2. Listen to a song that makes you smile! One of my favorite songs is Renee by SALES.
  3. Check in with yourself! Ask yourself how are you feeling, what do you need, and reflect on yourself
  4. Put yourself first
  5. Cut off any toxic relationships
  6. Say no to the things you don’t want to do
  7. Ask for help
  8. Do something that you enjoy! What makes you happy?

Here’s a little frog tiktok that might make you smile 🙂

@tootymcnooty

Here are some Phrogs to make your day better! Some of the backgrounds are done by the amazing @copicmechanism 🎺🐸💕

♬ Renee – Sales

VOTE VOTE VOTE!

Heading to the Polls on Election Day in Chicago? Here's Everything You Need  To Know | Chicago News | WTTW
VOTE 2020

Tomorrow, November 3rd, 2020, is Election Day, so please vote! Tomorrow is the last day. Please make sure to bring all necessary information such as a photo ID like your driver’s license or a passport. This event will include voting for president and vice-president, 1/3 of the Senate, and all of the House of Representatives. State and local elections will also be on the ballot in many areas.

Federal elections take place every two years, on even-numbered years. State and local elections can occur at other times throughout the year. This includes primary and special elections. Check with your state or local election office or the U.S. Vote Foundation for elections coming up in your area and to see if you can vote early or by absentee ballot.

You are not only voting for a president. You are also voting for your representative and for your senators!

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that every vote counts! There have been many instances where just a few votes yielded a significant difference. For example, in 2017, a Virginia House of Delegates races ended in a tie out of more than 23,000 votes cast. This tie was broken by pulling a name, placed in a film canister, out of a bowl. Republican David Yancey was declared the winner that night. This result was significant as this win gave Republicans control of the state House by the single seat. In 2016, a Vermont state Senate Democratic primary was determined by a single vote out of more than 7,400 cast.

I have attached a good resource that might help if you have any more questions about voting on Election Day!

https://www.usa.gov/election-day

powerful speech about police brutality

Hello! I know this isn’t my usual day to post, but I wanted to share with you a post that I saw on my Instagram feed today. This video, posted by Columbia University, shares one man’s take and reflection on his experiences as a black man in a world of police brutality. His name is Marquavious Moore. His words are extremely powerful and shine a light on police brutality and white privilege when it comes to the police. I hope you take the time to listen and reflect on this!

LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN – LANGSTON HUGHES

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine—the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

LANGSTON HUGHES

Langston Hughes | Biography & Facts | Britannica
Langston Hughes; picture credits: Britannica

To my mind, it is the duty of the younger Negro artist, if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering ‘I want to be white,’ hidden in the aspirations of his people, to ‘Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro—and beautiful!’

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Brief Biography of Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, born James Mercer Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin Missouri. He is an American poet that is most known as the central figure in the Harlem Renaissance—an intellectual, artistic, and cultural explosion of African American that took place in Harlem, New York. Hughes sought to portray the joys and hardships of working-class black lives, avoiding the idealization and negative stereotypes that it typically connotes to.

ODE TO THE ONLY BLACK KID IN THE CLASS – CLINT SMITH III

You, it seems,
are the manifestion
of several lifetimes
of toil. Brown v. Board
in the flesh. Most days
the classroom feels 
like an antechamber. 
You are deemed expert
on all things Morrison,
King, Malcolm, Rosa. 
Hell, weren't you sitting 
on that bus, too?
You are everybody's 
best friend 
until you are not. 
Hip-hop lyricologist. 
Presumed athlete. 
Free & Reduced sideshow. 
Exception & caricature.
Too black & too white
all at once. If you are successful
it is because of affirmative action. 
If you fail it is because
you were destined to. 
You are invisible until 
they turn on the Friday
night lights. Here you are —
star before they render
you asteroid. Before they
watch you turn to dust. 

An Update

Hi everybody!

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been as active as I usually am on this blog. This is because my school has started back up again, and I am swamped with homework and deadlines. However, I will make it my mission to have one post up each week! My posting date will be Wednesday at 3 p.m. If you have any requests for topics, please leave them in the comments!

If you want to explore more about Black History and Literature, click here to access a google drive full of documents covering topics from Afrofuturism to Black Feminism!

CUT THE STRAPS OFF YOUR MASK

With the ongoing pandemic, you should be wearing a face mask. However, if you are using disposable face masks, please cut the straps off your face mask and properly dispose of them! Do not leave any PPE on the ground as this is littering! Also, if you can, please do not dispose of your mask in any outdoor trash cans as it can be blown into nature. Leaving your face mask in nature can harm animals. In the tweet above, employees of a car dealership had seen a young gull trying to walk with a face mask tied and twisted around its legs. Because of the face mask, it could not walk and its joints were swollen and sore.

Save an animal’s life, cut the straps off your mask!

There will never be a new world order unless women are a part of it.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul | National Women's History Museum
Alice Paul: women’s rights activist, suffragist, feminist

Today, August 18th, marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. The 19th amendment represents the fight and protests that suffragettes put up against men in order for their voice to be heard. It represents almost a century long struggle. The 19th amendment guarantees women the right to vote.

Edit August 20:

It was recently brought to my attention that this amendment wasn’t inclusive for all women. The 19th amendment marks the United States’ allowance for white women to vote. Up until 1924, Native Americans weren’t considered citizens of the United States. Along with that, they also didn’t have voting rights until 1924. Also, it wasn’t until 1965 that Black people got the right to vote under the Voting Rights Act signed by former President Lyndon B. Johnson. I apologize for not knowing all of the details before I posted this. As a blog, I aim to inform myself, so I am able to inform all of you guys. I have attached a link to a pdf that has a useful timeline of voting in America. If it can’t pop up for any reason, I have included the URL here.