When You Know Better You Do Better

Food is a lot of things to me. On this journey, I am learning something new. One of my favorite foods is tacos and I always fool around with the recipe to make them better.  I have learned to make meatless tacos and love them.  Not only that, my body loves them.

Here is the recipe.

I use Gardein Beefless Ground.

I brown it in a pan (because I southern I use bacon grease, but you really don’t need any oil to brown this)

Once it is brown, I let it sit on a paper towel to absorb the oil. I mix taco seasoning and water in the pan.

Then I pour meatless ground into the mixture. At this point, I also add fresh pico de gallo.

I let it simmer about 15 minutes so the flavors can mix. I warm tortillas in the oven.

 

Once the mixture is ready, I add it to the tortilla along with cheese and salsa.  I enjoy this more than I imagined I would.  And the thing that sold me was that I did not have heartburn like beef sometimes gives me.  All of the pleasure and none of the pain.

 


 

Fascinating Places

2019 will be a fascinating journey for me. It has started with a bang.  I have spent the first part of January reading books that take me deep into the jungles of the African continent. I read the story of one of the last people brought to the United States on a slave ship. He spoke of what his life was like before being captured. He spoke of his family and their customs, the rituals to become a man and get married.

More important, he spoke of the process of being captured to be a slave and what it was like watching everyone he loved being murdered. Like the author of the book, for many years I thought that the Europeans had seized the Africans from their native homes. But in Barracoon by Zora Neal Hurston, the old African man told a different story.

He spoke of other African tribes who ruthlessly killed entire villages just to capture the young and strong people to sell to the Europeans.  These killers left their regular way of life, which was farming, to become slavers. Motivated by greed, they created soldiers that could terrorize and take out a whole village. These soldiers were paid by the number of heads they brought back. The skulls were collected as a prize by their king.

It made me think. As these greedy people sold off all of their strength for material wealth, they were not prepared to fight the colonization that would overtake and suppress them. It reminds me that the greedy people today won’t get away with their evil deeds. They are just getting prepared to be undone by something more evil than themselves.

Another book took me into a different part of the continent. I loved reading how Nelson Mandela’s father was the family historian. He could recount the family’s history for hundreds of years, yet he could read or write.  Our history was repeated by word of mouth through the generations.

Mobile

It reminded me of my own family who would sit and tell stories of the way it used to be.  Even today I question older relatives to the point of annoyance because I want to know more. I want to know what it was like and what they did. But I am finding that some of the secrets older people tried to keep, are coming to light.

But this part of the journey makes me appreciate a history told orally and through art, like masks and other sculpture. It tells us what is beautiful. What is powerful. What is important. The thing I appreciate about African Art is that it finds beauty in the work. It is not an exact replica of someone or something. It just is.

We need to do the same. We need to tell our children the stories orally of our family. We need to create art that represents what legacy we leave behind. Many of the previous generations of my family were poor and undereducated. They did not think they were leaving much behind, but the truth is they left a lot.

I love the story Nelson tells of the first pair of pants he wore. They were not a brand new pair fresh from the tailor. They were an old pair of his father’s pants. His father cut them off so they would fit, and used a rope around the waist to hold them up. Nelson said it was one of the proudest moments of his life.

Think about what legacy you are leaving your family. What kind of objects are you making to represent it? Do your children know your family’s story? Do you? Remember when you carve out your part of your family history, it does not have to look like someone else’s. Like the African mask, it only represents what you want it to.

Looking For Participants

three hats stencils

The legacies we pass on are the ones that shape our society.  We teach our daughters how to live in a society that does not value women. How are you doing that?  What steps are you taking to ensure that your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and cousins have the tools to be great in a world that does not value them?

I am making a documentary about you.

I am looking for women who are passing on the legacy of marching and protesting in the tradition that gained us the right to vote.

If you are that person or know someone like this contact me at uppcreative@yahoo.com

 

Ordinary People Changed History

These women changed history.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Nov 18, 1815 to Oct 26, 1902, changed history by joining with a group of women to form a women’s rights group. She did this in 1848 before it was popular and lots of women were involved. She stepped up for what she believed in and spent her life fight for women to have equal rights as citizens of the United States.

Print

Susan B Anthony Feb 15, 1820 to March 13, 1906, changed history by helping to form many organizations that championed women’s rights.  In 1872 she was arrested and convicted for actually voting in an election.  Anthony and Stanton presented Congress with an amendment that was known as the Susan B Anthony Amendment. It was ratified by Congress as the 20th Amendment in 1920.

IdaBWells

Ida B Wells, July 16, 1862 to March 25, 1931, changed history by documenting lynchings in the United States. She was one of the founding members of the NAACP and an early member of the civil rights movement. Wells had no qualms about offending her white counterparts when she accused them of turning a blind eye racial discrimination while championing rights for women.

Print

Mary McLeod Bethune July 10, 1875 to May 18, 1955 changed history when she started an African American private school which later became Bethune-Cookman University.  She was also appointed national advisor to Franklin D Roosevelt.

Alice Paul

 

Alice Paul, Jan 11, 1885 to July 9, 1977, changed history by being one of the main leaders of the campaign for the 19th Amendment.  She also worked for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 

 

Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, I am going to share some African American History moments with you throughout the month.  I love history because it is like a present in a wrapped box. You shake it and think you know what it is. You unwrap it and find out it is something altogether different.  Prepare to learn and be entertained this month.

Black History Month

Each week, I will give away one of my books. the first book, Destiny’s Dilemma, is perfect because it is a historical fiction set in 1912 Fort Worth, Texas. Checkout Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Monday to see how you can win a copy.  There are also copies available if you want to purchase a printed copy for $10.

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Today I learned about an African Latina woman, Anita Scott Coleman.  She was a writer during the Harlem Renaissance, but never lived in Harlem. She lived in New Mexico and California.

fd1b85e4cd470e27f1dda71b6057a94d (1)

 

Here is a link to more information about this amazing woman.

http://www.somosenescrito.com/2016/01/afro-hispanic-writer-anita-scott.html