Ribbon

A couple of weeks ago our six-year-old was getting her hair done for school as we watched NFL player Michael Bennett being interviewed on TV. Mr. Bennett was describing a recent incident in which he was the victim of police brutality by Vegas police, “ I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed. All I could think of was “I’m going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat.” My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her I love her?”

Chloe’s ears perked up during this and she glanced at her sister and then herself. Chloe is fair skinned while her 3-year-old sister Sofia is tanned like me. “Does this mean I have to be extra careful with Sofia if I see the police ?” I wanted to say no while my brain screamed yes but I didn’t trust myself to have that talk right then and there with minutes left before she had to head out to school. Instead with tears in my eyes, I changed the subject by asking her what color bow she wanted in her hair.

That was the incident that inspired this piece.

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Just Breathe

The fates are still writing your story.
There may be times when living is a burden and when it seems as if sadness is all you feel.
I swear to you it won’t always be that way.
Your story is still being written.
Hold my hand and let’s wait for the next chapter together. And while we wait, tell me of your sorrows and your fears. I promise to always listen, to love, to encourage and if you let me… to inspire a dream or two.
Just breathe.

EL WEPA SUGAR SKULL

A whole lot of different ethnic ingredients were used in the recipe that is Happi Anarky and while I am proud of all of them I identify with Puerto Rican the most because my dad is one loud and proud Boricua and he has passed that on to all of his children as well. Back east and in Cali people spot me as a Puerto Rican off the bat but here in my new home people look at me and can’t figure out my racial identity and b/c it seems very important to them to be able to put a label on me I tell them I am a member of The J-Lo Nation, The Bronx, New York tribe to be exact and then I throw a little Spanish in the mix minds and step back as minds are blown.
 
When the person responsible for half of your genetic makeup looks over your shoulder as you’re getting artsy with a sugar skull and says, “Mija, you never create anything reflective of your Puerto Rican heritage or do you forget I am Puerto Rican?’ Well, right then and there you’re inspired to create something to appease your earthly creator. Plus you always want to be in good with the one person in your family that’s your pastele connection aka the Rican version of tamales minus the corn masa.
 
 
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