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Week 7 of 100 Collages

So on Friday I posted the collages from Week 6 and today I’m giving y’all Week 7. This is the week when I really felt myself growing in my style and making some real waves. I started getting more political with a lot of these. It was a nice way of channeling out these emotions. If you’d like to learn more about ways you can help the Black Lives Matter movement, check out this article!

Day 43

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Posted in Art

Week 6 of 100 Collages

Life has been really wild lately. I thought quarantine was something but then everything else happened. I want to write some essays on it but I’ve been struggling to put it all together. I wrote a post for The Paradigm Press about ways to help the Black Lives Matter Movement so check it out if you’re interested.

Even though I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve actually stayed consistent with the challenge. I’ll be posting all the updates this week. Here’s week 6!

Day 36

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Posted in Art

The 100 Day Project: Week 5

Hey y’all! We’re up to Week 5 of this project and as we get deeper into this, I’ve gotten a lot bolder. I haven’t even been staying on a set theme at this point. I usually just flip through magazines and cut out things that I think will work together or that inspire me. I’ve been growing a lot in my style and I love getting inspiration from Jordan E. Clark and @thejournalbean. They both make amazing journal spreads.

Day 29

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I’m a Published Poet!

Hey y’all, so I’ve been writing poetry since the 7th grade and I recently decided to take my poetry more seriously. If you’ve seen my 100 Day Project posts, you may already know that I’ve signed up for a trial of Skillshare. Rachel Mindell’s lesson on How to Get Published was exactly what I needed.

I started submitting my poems to different literary magazines last month and the first one to get back to me was Rigorous Magazine, a literary magazine with work specifically from people of color. I submitted 10 poems and they accept 9!

If you’d like to check out my first set of published poems, click here!

Posted in Uncategorized

My #100DayProject

I was watching this Kennie J. D. video, as I tend do on Saturdays, and it was sponsored by none other than Skillshare. I’ve been hearing about Skillshare on YouTube for quite some time now, especially since they sponsor just about everyone. I decided with quarantine and all, now would actually be a good time to try it out.

I’m using the two month free trial right now that was in the bio of the video so I really have nothing to lose at this point. I just have to make sure I cancel it in time, if that’s something I end up doing. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

After signing up for the account, I decided to browse around the videos and ended up on the 100 Day Project. It wasn’t something I was familiar with but I had the time so I decided to check it out.

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Posted in Culture, Family

Haitian/American: The Cultural Balancing Act

Growing up, I was used to things coming in twos. Two languages, two cultures, half the time it felt like I was leading two lives. As a child, I loved my home culture. In elementary school, when my teacher asked what our favorite food was, I said “diri” because that’s what I knew it as. When my white teacher gave me a puzzled look, one of my classmates said from the side of his mouth, “she means rice.” I gladly accepted his translation, though rice was not a part of my vocabulary at the time, it soon fell under my frequently used terms. The longer I was in school, the more I could feel the tension rising between my two cultures.

If it weren’t for my grandmother, I would never have had that experience to laugh at. She first immigrated to the United States from Haiti, along with my grandfather, in 1980. I love sitting down with her for breakfast or dinner as she recounts the story of how she and her fellow passengers got to Miami by boat and were welcomed into this country with a towel and buffets of food. They flew to New York to begin their citizenship process and she has no issue emphasizing that Jimmy Carter is and forever will be her favorite American president. (Obama is a close second though.)

Soon after finding their footing in a new country, the real work began. And by real work, I mean field work. The US was begging for immigrants in the 80s. Who else would be able to keep up with this farm work for such little pay? How else could they get people in the marsh and swamps to make sure their children had fresh fruits and veggies for lunch? But isn’t that how the cycle goes.

Picture this: The US needs people who are willing to work for loose change and they need a whole lot of them. They go to Mexico and the Caribbean to find workers. They promise the immigrants a good life, American money, and residency. The immigrants come in, the work gets done, and then they have to figure out a way to discard the very people they begged to come in.

Thankfully, my grandparents found their way back to Florida before New York got any wilder. They found themselves in South Florida in 1987 and haven’t left since (outside of visits to the homeland.) Growing up, my Haitian heritage was always important to me, but I didn’t always have the understanding of why. As I’ve grown, that why has come to be the fact that we didn’t just build our country as the first free black republic. Haitians, along with Cubans, Mexicans, the Irish, Venezualans, Nigerians, and every other immigrant have helped build the United States into the world recognized nation it is today. For better, or for worse.

Looking back on my kindergarten experience, I said what I said. Rice and diri bring two different images to my mind. My culture has always been an inseparable part of my life. I could not have one without the other and I’m thankful for that fact. I’m thankful that my grandparents chose to leave everything they knew behind in hopes of providing a better life for their future grandchildren.

Sidenote: I originally wrote this for via a gig from Fiverr. If you want to check out my gigs on Fiverr, click here.

Do you have to balance multiple cultures?

What are some of your elementary school memories?

Where does your identity life most?

Let me know in the comments below, let’s chat!