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On Black Pride and the Internet… (My Beyonce Post pt 2)

Categories: Blog, Media, Uncategorized | Posted by: TastyKeish

The internet is helluva place.

People are constantly debating about how much more right they are than everyone else at any given time. I always feel weird about facebook shares like the one that went viral because in my mind it’s just me speaking common sense.

Then you realize that not everyone measures their common sense with the same ruler. You also realize that perhaps you have a voice for people that can’t speak up or won’t. A repost or like could be their way of showing support if they are at a conservative job or their pages are overrun by over zealous family members.

You never know. 22,000 Likes and almost 4,ooo shares can’t be wrong.

So, I speak up more about topics of Black pride, LGBTQ issues, mental health, self- care and anything else that’s important to me. And when you get a chance to take the conversation off of facebook to a national news outlet like the Huffington Post, you do just that. Writer, Shanita Hubbard asked me some follow up questions that allowed me to delve deeper into racism, feminism, activism and more in the aftermath of Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance.

TK Feminism Black Pride and Self Love A Formation Centered Discussion With Keisha Dutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other news this week in #peakBlackness, Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards solidified this as the best Black History Month that ever existed. To which I shared on facebook:

 

James Brown , Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, and to all my artists friends using their platforms to shake up the the status quo.

I don’t care what led you to do it.

I care that you did something at all.

Thank you. 

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New Year, New Skin…

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized | Posted by: TastyKeish

I don’t want to be cliche but since we’re here in 2016 I have to be honest and say I was either going to shave my head (again) or get a tattoo. There’s something cathartic about altering yourself in the wake of realization.

After you’ve gone through all you thought you could endure and then some, you emerge from the other side battered, bruised and for the most part alive.

Then you shave your head or get a tattoo.

I got a tattoo.

2015 and the two years leading up to it were personally a wildly swinging pendulum of extreme worry, disappointment, excitement, relocation, love, and loss. Some of it as recently as a few days ago.

So, I got a tattoo.

It’s not my first one. But it is my first publicly visible one, I’m the type of tattoo wearer that got a kick out of being identified only in a bathing suit or by the eyes of a lover while naked in the bluish glow of a television set.

Today though, I’m not that person anymore. I carefully selected my badge and it’s location upon my left lower forearm and made sure to find a tattoo artist aligned with my values as a woman, activist, and culture. In the year of #BlackLivesMatter it was only fitting that I make sure my money stay within the Black community as long as possible. I found Shaun, through a referral by a friend, checked his instagram portfolio and figured I would feel his vibe when I got there.

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He was super chill, a small business owner like myself, and had been though his own hardships growing as a tattooist. I was even more intrigued during our conversation about flipping income and the book he is currently writing. It was a safe bet that I was in good hands.

I showed him what I wanted and told him about it and he got started.

Recently adinkra symbols have been a recurring theme in my most meaningful days of the past year. Adinkra symbols are West African characters that have different meaning and are printed on genuine tribal fabrics worn for special occasion. They have since crossed into daily use signs of life.

Many of the slaves that were taken to Haiti were from West Africa during the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, so this was another opportunity for me to pay homage to my ancestors.

After much research, I chose the fern or “aya“, a symbol of endurance and resourcefulness. Two characteristics people seem to associate with me, that I have come to believe in myself as well. Without endurance I couldn’t go on. Without resourcefulness where would my business be? Surely, the “aya” was meant for me.

I sat there and received my new skin. This badge wasn’t for me or lovers to run fingers overs over in private. This badge is for me, you, and anyone who want’s know at a glance that I’m walking into this new year the badass that I am. Strong and rebuilding my mind, body, and soul.

Happy New Year.

PS: Do something drastic.

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Recommended Reading: @ heaven

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized | Posted by: TastyKeish

We are well into the new millennia and one thing that continues to be shocking is death.

We know it’s coming, we expect it to a certain extent yet in the facebook and twitter age, we haven’t figured out how to handle it. Facebook only recently rolled out legacy pages and part of our “post-death” habits include reading the last tweets, posts, blogs that the person may have interacted with in their final hours.

I have many friends with cancer that may or may not be facebooking/tumbling/tweeting their last days bravely for the world to see and interact with. They have photos of chemo treatments, rays of hope on the good days, sadness on the bad days, and loving replies from friends and family in response to every post.

Which brings me to an intriguing book I just read, @ heaven The Online Death of a Cybernetic Futurist

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The editor, Kim Hastreiter was a member of The WELL an online community that existed when the internet was a less of a superhighway, more of a really busy intersection. Hastreiter hit CTRL + C  on a thread and saved what I would imagine is one of the earliest accounts of an internet user coping with impending death in an online community.

First off, as an original AOL user, I almost couldn’t wrap my head around people chatting online every single day in 1985/86. 1985, Ronald Reagan was President, We Are The World was a big deal, Michael Jackson was a bigger deal, and unbeknownst to most of us- people were on the internet exchanging ideas, memes, and personal stories.

Tom Mandel, <mandel> was his handle on The WELL and he wasn’t just any internet user. He was the prototype that so many people embody online today. He was a troll (for righteousness sake), he was a know-it-all, he was a great debater, and he was compassionate. He was also a futurist, a social scientist that predicts and works to bring the future they envision into reality. <mandel> was living the future every single day he participated in an online community. I like to think that as he sat as his computer he knew in the 80’s and early 90’s that somewhere someone like me would be writing about death on the internet and how it changes us.

@ heaven is a transcript of the fast 6 months between his original thread about a nagging cough through his cancer diagnosis and onto his acceptance where he stayed online as long as he could. It’s a glimpse of what happens to your online community before, during, and after you die. It’s about how friendships transcend zero’s and ones. It’s about faith- whatever that means to you. It’s a real life Back to the Future moment.

I saw myself in every moment that a WELL user typed hopeful messages, regret, and sadness at the inevitable outcome. I felt proud that <mandel> was able to take control of his journey and share it in his own words. I cried for every loss filled facebook post of a friend, friend of a friend, and loved one. I wonder daily who will handle my legacy facebook page? Should I use one of those services that lets you post one last message? I cried because in that last moment where you no longer have a voice, I still want mine.

And, I wanted <mandel> to “live” forever.

 

@ heaven The Online Death of a Cybernetic Futurist. is available at OR Books.

 

 

 

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