Hear Ye! Video Podcasts: When Decisions Elevate Life – Forms & Lessons

Background PODCAST

eve-ada-06-15de0364-400xEvia and Adah, my granddaughter, when she was almost 2 years old.
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It’s been a while! I’ve been involved in plenty of stimulating activities, lots of learning, and reflecting on various things. I’m worn out but loving it all.  Thanks to all of you who continue to register for my mailing list. I appreciate you so much.

This brings me to the new series of video podcasts (emphasis on podcasts) that I’m currently doing, focusing on life elevation lessons. I dedicate this series to my sons and my grandchildren.

I will launch this series of podcasts to accompany my next books in which I compile articles I’ve written over the past 10 years. Some of you know that I began years ago compiling some of my hundreds of past blog articles, along with the comments into books, like the ones you see in my sidebar. I had put that project on the back burner for a few years and was focusing on other things I enjoy doing. But I’m going to make this a priority to start up again now for 3 main reasons: (1) I have grandchildren. (2) My sons have been urging me to not only record, but to elaborate and provide the details behind my views, outlook, philosophy about life. They believe that the way I think and my experiences are highly valuable and will continue to be so for generations to come. Wow! What a vote of approval! That warms my heart so much, as their mom.

When they were growing up, I and their dad, too, constantly talked to them, teaching them. There were always long talking sessions, conversations, discussions with them. We poured all we had into them. As adults in their 30s now, they’ve now seen how our teachings paid off for them. They have seen how my and their dad’s decisions elevated all of our lives. They want my teaching lessons to be available, in all forms, to their children and to many others. (3) I compile the articles and the accompanying comments from my previous blog into books because it’s important to document black women’s herstories, unveiling details surrounding the different directions that large numbers of black American women took at stages of our journey.

One thing about history is that only the people who are considered “important” are usually talked about in history books. Well, black women are of great importance to me. I am a black woman. We are important. It’s up to us to record our stories and make them a part of the historical record.

 In these upcoming video podcasts, I will read portions of each article that will be in the next new book, and elaborate on the article’s central message, with details and examples. Later, the entire article with links to the original photos or other relevant material, will be available in the book that can be purchased for e-readers or as a paperback. Since YouTube is free and easy to use, I’ll post the video podcasts there. That’s the plan, but I may change. I don’t plan to take comments there because it’s too time-consuming, but you can post comments here.

I dedicate this series to my sons and my grandchildren. I realize that I’m a thought leader, among some on certain slices of life. I know that various others have generously helped themselves to the pillars of my work which I’ve mostly aimed at black women: promote self interests first and foremost, marriage to quality men only–from any group, vetting, reciprocity, mix and mingle in the global village, highlight black beauty and desirability, play the female card, escape from poisonous people and places, living well, make silent moves, use shrewdness and common sense in all decisions, supreme importance of culture, etc. I’ve also stressed the continuing need for black women to form networks and make sacrifices, if necessary, to form intentional communities/networks made up of women who are likeminded, with similar values. There is great power and protection in numbers when those people are connected, so I will continue to stress all of these.

 Forming and joining high functioning intentional communities/networks is the ONLY way to survive and elevate/thrive, especially in the coming decades, for most black American women.  I aim that message at black American women, in particular, because what most don’t seem to realize is that the average person in other groups belongs to either an automatic or an intentional network already. The world is run by networks.
Others have said that I said certain things, which I didn’t, or imposed their own interpretation on things I’ve said. This coming series represents the quintessential Evia Moore. Nothing fancy. No frills.
My ideas and teachings are for anyone who may find value in them, although I would love to be mentioned, if or when my ideas and teachings are referenced.

“Should I Tell Him About My Polygamous Past?”

Hello Ms. Evia,

My name is Kayla. I am 23 and I have been reading your blog for quite some time. It and other BWE (Black Women Empowerment) blogs have really helped validate things which I had felt and observed for so long. I had grown up in one of those households that trained me to sacrifice for the “black community”, and I’m grateful that I threw off that yoke and chain while I was still young. I am writing to you because I have a question about how to conduct myself in my IRR. Am I doing the right thing by not divulging certain things about my past to my boyfriend, particularly the fact that my father practiced polygyny? I do not tell anyone about that, even most of my close friends, to avoid the stigma that comes with it. I feel that I am protecting my image by doing so, but I also feel like I am keeping secrets. I’d appreciate any input you might have. Or perhaps there is a blog post you wrote touching on that?

Evia responds:
Re your question, a lot would depend on your boyfriend’s background and specifically how much exposure he’s had to a broader range of ideas, cultures, and ways of life. Maybe you’re talking to the wrong person about this since I’m a cultural Anthropology enthusiast (lol), but polygyny is just another lifestyle, to me. I first heard about polygynous cultures during my first year in college and have met many Africans who grew up in that background. To me, there isn’t much difference between folks from that background and any other person. Or, I should say: it all depends. I would have 2nd and 3rd thoughts if my potential husband had personally come from a polygamous home. We’d have had a very serious talk–upfront. LOL

Not sure why you think your boyfriend might view you negatively if you told him–since you’re a woman?

My ex-husband and I did talk about it since you know that polygamy is widely practiced in Nigeria, but he didn’t come from a polygamous home. He assured me that he was very much against polygamy and considered it “backwards” since he’d seen how divisive it can be. He’d seen how it had caused major issues and setbacks in other families. He also knew that if he’d try to pull that with me, I would have been out the door before sunset. I always have my parachute right inside the closet, and I’m the type of woman who won’t hesitate to use the parachute. LOL

I have a close black American girlfriend who married a Muslim man from the Middle East. After they’d been married for about 12 years, he married a younger wife and had 2 children by the new wife behind my friend’s back. For years, my friend had no idea about this. When she did find out, his defense was: “Well, you knew I was a Muslim when you married me, so you should have known I have the option of having more than one wife.” OMG–my girlfriend was shattered by this and hasn’t recovered yet–though that happened many years ago. He is a professional man. She was a savvy professional woman before that happened to her, but that whole experienced demolished her.

Since you’re a woman, not sure why your boyfriend would consider that ‘less-than’ in any way, but maybe I’m not understanding enough about your socio-cultural background? Tell me more.

Kayla replies:

Well, as far as my boyfriend’s background, he is LDS (Latter Day Saint), and born in Utah, but raised in Georgia. And I’m sure you know that polygamy was practiced early on, but now it isn’t an accepted practice now by the mainstream LDS commnunity, except by, as LDS church members will stress, by fringe Mormon groups. My boyfriend is very adamant that Mormons don’t practice polygamy and is very much against it. I have heard him express how he is strictly a monogamous person and would only ever have one wife. I have not wanted to ‘other’ myself to his family by telling him that I actually came from a polygamous home, although, as you mentioned, since I am a woman he likely would not consider that ‘less-than’. I was hesitant on discussing it, especially earlier in our relationship because my experience with it was very negative and I wanted to keep things light, but we have been together for close to a year now. However, I had very briefly dated a Nigerian guy of a Muslim background before and I had discussed the subject of polygamy with him very early on, but I felt more comfortable talking about it since I knew that polygamy was widely practiced in Nigeria, and I wanted to get a read on what his views on it were. It intrigued him that, as AA, I had come from a polygamous home, and, as a Nigerian, it did not shock him at all.

I’m African American, Caribbean-American, and Puerto Rican. My mom is Haitian/Jamaican-American and my father is AA and Puerto Rican, but mainly identifies as AA (African American). Both of my parents converted to Islam when they were teenagers, and I was raised Muslim in my formative years. My last name is Arabic because my father legally changed his name to an Arabic name. I used to speak some Arabic as a child as well. I am also from New York City, so I have been exposed to a variety of people having grown up there. And actually, when I was younger I wanted to a be cultural anthropologist! I have always been very interested in different cultures and ways of life.

Personally, I view the practice of polygyny by AA Muslim men as largely dysfunctional. I consider my father to have been a DBR male who was able to sanctify, so to speak, his desire to have multiple women under the cover of Islam. As I mentioned, it was mostly a negative experience for me. In Islamic culture, men who take on more than one wife are supposed to have the means to support them, instead my father lived off my mother and his other wife and refused to work ‘for the devil’ i.e. white men. Your questions did have me think about why I think my boyfriend would view it negatively. And I have to say that my boyfriend probably would not care that I came from a polygamous home at all. I realize it is probably not so much that I think he would view it negatively, but that I view it negatively, and I am concerned that his family would think it reflected poorly upon my background.

Evia responds:

Kayla, I’m glad you’ve traced where most of your anxiety is coming from, and since your prospective husband and in-laws are from a reformed LDS background, they would most likely be appreciative that you’ve separated yourself from that type of background too. Sounds like that’s something you’d have in common with them, but I know it’s not the same. I would just mention it casually to my boyfriend–slip in it, just so he couldn’t say in the future that I never told him.

Yes,  a large portion of black American men have been bamboozling black women for years, very selectively picking around in the “cultures” of black and brown men from other parts of the world, and using the Bible, the Koran, white hegemony (I never use the misnomer “white supremacy”), etc. in order to justify or excuse their promiscuity and other foul deeds. As you know, polygamist Muslim men in other parts of the world and Nigerian men (whether Muslim or not) absolutely must financially support their wives and children. My ex-husband told me it was common for ‘mysterious’ deaths and crippling ailments to occur in the homes of some who practiced polygamy, and that was one of the reasons he was so against polygamy.

No reflection on your parents, but what has stretched my tolerance to the limits about too many black American women is that they continue to listen to and allow other  people who have ill intentions towards them to promote destructive propaganda about them and to bamboozle them with countless okey-dokes (cleverly-constructed, destructive lies). SMH I’ve wondered whether women who convert to Islam ever really think critically about what they’re getting into. My girlfriend was bowled over by her Muslim husband because he was a tall, foreign, and “cute” Arab man. He was also well educated and to his credit, he was a well-employed professional, but obviously, she didn’t think about his culture’s grip on him until it was too late. Funny how he wasn’t cute at all to her after she found out he’d deceived her!

As an aside, I must point out that deceitful people have always been among us. I believe in trusting people until or unless they give a hint of a reason not to trust them. Most people give advanced warning before they con you, but many women refuse to see the warning signs. Women should have their antennae on high alert, especially women who come from cultural backgrounds in which the males or older people around them do not protect women from male users and predators. We know that the black American culture has collapsed, so millions of unsuspecting black women no longer have any protection from males such as this one.

A lot of black American women stopped vetting black (and sometimes, even brown) men during the Civil Rights movement and have been cutting them insane amounts of slack ever since then. That’s because black American men totally convinced typical black women at that time that holding them to the normal standards–that women around the world hold men to–was unfair, racist, and akin to siding with hateful whites.  You may find it hard to believe but prior to the Civil Rights movement, most black women held black men to a much higher standard and insisted that the men do all in their power to provide for and protect women and children.   There were exceptions though: there’ve always been a minority of women who were utter fools.

Kayla replies:
Yes, and thank you, I appreciate it. I’m sure I can casually slip it into conversation.

Limited finances were a big issue in my home. The lion’s share of what my mom made went to the “household”. My mom was too “nice”, so my sisters and I ended up losing out a lot and being deprived of basic things because my mom wasn’t aggressive enough. While my father’s first wife was very sure to make certain that she secured the best of what was available for herself and her children and my father was sure to take care of his needs first and everyone else’s were secondary.

The LDS community is very family-oriented, so my rationale when I first began dating my boyfriend was that, with an LDS upbringing, chances are he was likely to see being a provider as natural to a man’s role. I feel that’s a basic standard, but it also was particularly important to me and one of the first things I was looking for during the vetting process.

I can believe it, but AA standards for bm are so broken down now. I don’t think AA women realize how much women shape the standards for men. My mom likes that my boyfriend treats me well, but, of course, she wishes that he were “chocolate” *sighs*

Evia responds:

There are always lessons to be learned from any situation. Many younger women in the U.S.  have been plopped down in the middle of a situation where some of the most critical “rules” that used to work for women are working against them, or there are no discernible rules. The feminist movement has caused a degree of confusion for women and men, but it was a good and necessary movement because it addressed some heinous wrongs practiced against women for centuries. Critics of feminism conveniently forget that the feminist movement rose up for that reason. If women had not been oppressed, the feminist movement would have never occurred. And that movement is still not over.   Self-correction and balancing in the social realm is still going on. Balancing is always good.

In summary, I  would urge black American women to continue getting as much formal and informal (social and skills) education (as cheaply as possible), set and work towards realistic standards and goals for themselves, be critical thinkers at all times, require reciprocity in their interactions, take care of themselves physically, have at least 2  private plans that they are implementing everyday, always, always, always aim toward excellence, do all in their power to leave spiritually deflating environments, form uplifting connections with others globally, and most importantly: nourish their spirituality. If black women do these things reasonably well, they will thrive.  I promise you this: Smart people in the world will flock toward black women who do these things because smarter people gravitate toward others who are thriving.  Smarter people from all backgrounds and cultures will never ignore the excellence in others.

Required Motto:  Aim towards EXCELLENCE!

Ziplining

On a hot, muggy August day a few weeks ago, I went ziplining! It was my first time. The idea of it was scary at first, but after I watched a few others do it, I decided to take the plunge or maybe I should say ‘ride the vine.’

As I was getting into the harness, I asked myself, “Whatever are you thinking?” I nervously chuckled and got myself braced and enjoyed my last moments of life as I’d always known it. After all, I knew that if I fell, well life would never be the same for me again–if I even lived.

But what is life for, but to have adventure in it, albeit cautious ones. So I went ahead. Darren was there with the others, making sure that I was strapped up snugly. And off I went!!

While I was sailing through the air, I wasn’t afraid of falling; my biggest fear was that my body would somehow swerve off the sailing path and I’d slam into a huge nearby tree that really wasn’t in the path. My mind fixated on that tree.

The tree? Not a problem at all.  And I LOVED the whole experience!

I can now so much better understand why some people–who others often refer to as crazy–love potentially body mangling activities like that, whether rock climbing to death-whispering peaks or scaling the sides of slick buildings. It’s such an incomparable, peaceful experience. My usual noisy thoughts disappeared while in the air for those moments,  and aside from worrying about the tree, I was super relaxed.

Garden Produce & Natural Living

darren organic tomatoesWe’re still in the dog days of summer here in the next lane, eating lots of goodies from Darren’s organic garden, but the hint of fall is upon us.

Just thought I’d stick in a few pics of some of the produce from our  garden. Actually all of the land here is certified organic soil. No chemicals, whatsoever and this is a relief. We don’t even need to wash these tomatoes–just rub them off and eat them. Another thing is that getting  vegetables from the garden and seeing them sit on the table shows quickly how quickly vegetables will spoil if they haven’t  been chemically “treated.” I’ve noticed that store-bought tomatoes will last  an unnaturally long time just sitting in the refrigerator or on the table, however our garden-grown tomatoes will begin to go bad in a bit more than a day!

These cherry tomatoes are so sweet. Adanna (granddaughter) loves them. She can eat about 15 of them without stopping! Since there’re no chemicals on them, she can pick them from the garden and plop them in her mouth.

darren organic corn 082015Here’s some of Darren’s corn. As usual, he has 3 corn patches this summer. He never plants in  the same exact spots since this would be too much of a drain on the soil and wipe out the nutrients. So, he rotates where he plants. Darren’s corn is known as some of the sweetest corn in the county! Yum-yum.

He also grew lots of beans, cucumbers, potatoes (white, blue, yellow, and red). I grew up on a farm where we grew lots of vegetables but that was a long time ago, so I had forgotten the taste of real tomatoes and potatoes. Trust me–there is very little similarity between the taste of the  tomatoes and potatoes bought at the supermarket and real home-grown ones–especially the ones grown in natural soil.

It’s a joy to get back to living more naturally.

—VOCABULARY: Southernisms & Acronyms Used

For the benefit of listeners  from other continents, countries, regions or those who are unclear about certain terms, abbreviations, acronyms I use, here’s a listing of a few common terms, phrases, expressions I use that some of you have written to me to question.

1. Y’all  –  You (plural)  is an abbreviation for “you all.”  This is a common term used by those who grew up in parts of the southern United States or were influenced by those whose speech pattern mimics certain terms in the southern speech dialect.  Unlike some other languages, like French, for example, the English language doesn’t have a specific word for:  the plural of you.

I’ve often listened to how non-southern Americans get around using y’all.  I’ve heard some New Yorkers use the term youse, which makes me cringe, for real! Other non-southerners totally avoid the plural of you by wording their sentence in such a way that you plural is understood by the context. This is among the reasons why English is thought by some to be one of the world’s most difficult languages. I am always totally impressed by people who grew up with a different mother tongue, yet have mastered English!

2. CQLL – compatible, quality, loving, and lovable

Intercultural Interracial Next Lane Living – IINLL 001

Play

IINLL Episode 001  – – -Show Notes:

~~Welcome to  IINLL Podcast

~~Scope of what’s covered in upcoming episodes of IINLL Podcast:

1–Cultural customs, intercultural &interracial relationships/marriage, cross-cultural connections, multicultural practices
2–Life-enhancing/uplifting cultural practices shared by guests from backgrounds and cultures inside the U.S. and worldwide
Continue reading Intercultural Interracial Next Lane Living – IINLL 001

My Second Chance

I’ve always been intensely interested in other languages and comparative cultures, but while in college and majoring in Cultural Anthropology, I wisely and unwisely listened to others who told me it was impractical to put all my eggs in that fruitless basket. They pointed out that there were barely any actual careers in Anthropology, and I did want a career and a well-paying one.

I had no mentors to direct me in the pursuit of  that career path, and I was too unfocused and maybe lazy to invest in finding a mentor. Mainly, I was too afraid to reach out enough to others and be either rejected or harmed in some other way. So it made me feel safer to listen to these others who discouraged me.

Still, I went ahead and majored in the discipline anyway and went on to marry interculturally and then interracially, which required a huge degree of immersion in other customs and backgrounds and to live an intercultural lifestyle, all of which I relished. On the educational and career fronts,  I went on to get a graduate degree in another area and have a fruitful career. However, late at night in bed, I held fast to my dream of pursuing  my passionate interest in Cultural Anthropology.

So, with this IINLL podcast, I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do! This is my second chance and I’ll enjoy this to the max.  I know now that I could have very likely had a  career of some sort in Anthropology IF I’d been willing to put my all into doing that. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that the more of the right type of investment you put into anything, the more you will get out of it.  Whatever the case, I’m thrilled I’m getting a second chance! Yay!