October is Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness: But Are We Truly Aware of Both??

So, I am sitting here trying to understand why during the month of October Breast Cancer Awareness gets more media attention and corporate sponsorship than Domestic Violence Awareness which is also remembered during the month of October. I know that most women have breast irrespective of their size, pigmentation, and function. And, I also know 1 of 8 women will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. However, what I am having a hard time trying to understand is why it seems to be favored, if one could favor one personal disaster over another, over domestic violence especially when 1 of 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime meaning women are more likely to be exposed to domestic violence than breast cancer.

This acknowledgement is not to reduce the level of attention Breast Cancer Awareness’ initiatives receive because it is important. And, evermore important to me because a couple of months ago my “beloved” godmother was diagnosed with it which caused me to become a consumer of all things related to curing Breast Cancer. However, as a survivor of domestic violence—lived through my mother’s daily beatings—and goddaughter of a breast cancer survivor, I see the interconnections and similarities between both issues and why they must be addressed simultaneously.

A Daughter’s Reflection on Sickness, Intimacy, and her Godmother

When I was a little black girl I would secretly pray to God, the Father, to become sick. You see, when I was sick my non-domestic black mother would cuddle me and become the “ideal mother.” She would busy herself with medicinal concoctions and Vick’s rub. Yes, my mother thought and continues to think; Vick’s rub sees all things, cures all things. It is her personal on-call physician. Looking back, only when I was sick could my non-domesticated black mother let down her veneer of calm and her embodiment of “the eternal girl” to obsess about her daughter’s physical welfare.

And, because of this, I learned to play the role of the ailing downright contagious sick child. With one cough, I could produce bodily spasms. By holding my breath in 5 minute intervals, I could produce a mild fever. And, if these things did not work, I would simply say to my mother in my most sick, cough . . . cough . . . cough . . . woe is me, voice that I could not go to the school today because I felt quite ill . . . bubonic plague ill (I could say bubonic plague because we were studying it in history class). And, my mother would grant my request and tend to me as if I was her one and only love . . . her one and only obsession. When I was young, I thought being sick could bring my mother back to me. Make her stay. Keep her from wandering from man to man. But, it did not. Her presence was only momentary, there to wipe a nose, to rub a sore chest. Mind you, my mother did the best she could, but her sense of care and nurturing came fully alive when I was sick.

Lauryn Hill Plays Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Lauryn Hill shows up in the darnedest places these days.

Out of absolutely nowhere, Ms. Hill appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and performed not once but twice with her current touring band. Decked out in a flowing and (very) colorful outfit, Lauryn performed two exquisite covers Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” and “Chances Are.” You can view those performances here and here.

Dear Yemaja: A Year Later and Haiti Women Cry Out at Kanye West's Monster

Dear Yemaja (Lucumi/Santeria Mother Goddess),

Last year, I wrote a blog entitled, Some Natural Disasters are not so Natural but Vodou (Spirit) will Prevail. Yes, I wrote that Spirit and Spirits would rise and rattle those who seek to indebt and control Haiti. I wrote that Haiti would rise. I wrote that Vodou—a spiritual and communal practice—would rise just as the sun rises in the sky to light the dark places. Oh, I wrote that on the eve of remembering Dr. Martin Luther King that the spiritual fire of a people could not be quailed by manmade devastations (i.e. The World Bank).

Yes, I wrote. I wrote. I wrote. With a small measure of hope, I wrote.

But, now, I write.

I write a year later, Yemaja, with less optimism about the fate of Haiti in particular the fate of your daughters in Haiti