i was tagged by Highplainsgrifter to say 10 facts about myself so here goes…
1. i have an allergy to milk. it developed maybe 3-4 years ago. and unlike lactose intolerance, which just has gas and bloating and maybe diarrhea following ingesting milk, my throat closes up and it feels like i’m having a heart attack.
2. more on the topic of diet, i’m also a pescatarian. a lot of what i eat would be considered vegan, due to the milk allergy, but i don’t really like labels. i’ll eat wild meat on occasion if i know where it came from. but in general, i’m pretty health conscious. with the exception of a sweet tooth, a lot of what i eat would be considered “clean”.
3. i have a lot of ties to the military. i was born on a military base, to a military family. my parents met in the military and i lived on the base until i was 5 and lived close by until i moved out on my own. my grandfather was in vietnam, my father was deployed to Bosnia during the Bosnia/Kosovo conflict, and my brother was stationed in Iraq. i, however, have been a staunch dissident to war and any other forms of U.S./colonial imperialism. this actually has not lead to that many conflicts in my family.
4. i’ve been politically active since about middle school. i remember writing letters to my city and state representatives about the situation in Darfur and the Iraq war. they sent police to my house when i was in high school just to make sure i was a real person, and probably to send some fear to my family. i’ve also had my tires slashed when i lived in Florida. pretty sure it had something to do with my “AMERICAN IDIOT” bumper sticker that had George Bush’s face next to it. currently, though, i think i’ve changed strategies and don’t see protest and voting as my route to ending this system.
5. for the last 2 summers, for about 2 months, i’ve lived in the Oyotunji African village - a village of traditional Yoruba spiritual practitioners and afrocentric individuals alike. i initially went as an anthropologist doing fieldwork, but this last summer was just because.
6. i practice a traditional (West) African spirituality that i don’t particularly like to put a label on, but for clarification, it could be termed Vodun, Orisa devotion, or dealing with the Ifa divination system. i personally do not limit myself to the Yoruba traditions, but have used it somewhat of a introduction to many concepts. i’m open to all traditional African belief systems, but moreso focused in and around West Africa. more so on that, i’m a child of Oya - the goddess of death, transformations, change, tornadoes and other wind phenomenons. i have not been initiated as a full priestess as of yet, but it is a question of when at this point as opposed to if.
7. i’ve only been in love with one person in my life. i met him at a Fela Kuti party about 5 years ago when i lived in nyc and we’ve been together in some form or another ever since.
8. people are always shocked to know that i’m from Alabama. i suppose after the southern hip hop craze put the south on the map, everyone thinks we either sound like beverly hill billys or Pimp C or that monstrosity honey boo boo. which is bullshit. my mom is from Atlanta and my dad is from Birmingham, Alabama. and as far back as i have traced, both sides of my family have been in either Georgia or Alabama. and they don’t sound like fuckin Juvenile. and i have a belief that many of those rappers exaggerate accents in order to differentiate themselves from northern or west coast rappers. the south is where ive from, i have no qualms about it. but it isn’t where i would choose to live. and i hope to leave soon…
9. i move around a lot. or rather, i love to travel. when i left home around 20, i lived in Florida, then NYC (which i moved to just because i felt like it), then back to Alabama with a number of places in between. just this year alone, i’ve been to Texas, Cuba, NYC, and went on a road trip to Detroit, Philly, and Virginia.
10. i’m in school getting a Master’s in the Gender and Race department of the University of Alabama. i have two Bachelor’s degrees - one in Anthropology and one in African American studies. my focus, however, is on African and African diaspora beliefs, religions, traditions, cultures, etc. and note that i only list the name of my school for clarity as opposed to any sense of pride that may be perceived by me stating it. my school is a blood-sucking, racist corporation where they value football over education that i only attend because i get in-state tuition.