Browngirl Going Green


Where I’ve Been
November 16, 2010, 7:11 pm
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Apologies for being so absent these last few months, but life has taken a big turn for me—for the good—and I needed to take a break from blogging for awhile, as well as revisit how public I wanted to be with my big news: I’m pregnant! I’m very excited to become a Mama as I’ve been wanting a child of my own for many years, and the Creator has blessed me with the new life growing inside me. During these past few months of my pregnancy, I have felt the need to go inwards, to take more time just to be quiet and listen to my baby, and of course to nest! There are lots of preparations to make before the little one is born and my partner and I have both been busy with regular work as well. My creative writing is moving along smoothly, and I feel that I need to priortize that writing for now, with my time and energy for writing in general becoming more limited.

And so while I enjoyed blogging and will hopefully come back to it after the baby is born (I already hear all the parents out there laughing at me), I am going to continue to take a break from public blogging, aside from my occasional posts on the GIFT Exchange blog of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, where I write about fundraising, movement-building and nonprofits.

I’m sure that when I am a Mama-for-real instead of just a Mama-to-be, I will have many interesting and new insights into environmental issues, writing and other things that I’ve written about previously. Thanks for reading and check back in late Spring 2011 for more from me.



Yes, I am Thinking and Saying Things, Just Not Here
July 9, 2010, 5:30 pm
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Oscar Grant mural in downtown Oakland on 17th and Telegraph

As a person of color, a writer, an activist, as a long-time resident of Oakland and someone who is Bay Area born-and-bred, I have some strong opinions and feelings about yesterday’s verdict in the Johannes Mehserle trial re: the murder of Oscar Grant. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to blog about it now because I have other writing to do, but if you’re interested in finding out more about what I think, please visit my Twitter feed, which is the main way I’ve been communicating with folks about what’s happening here.

And special shout out to Max Elbaum, fellow activist, writer and Oakland resident, whom I ran into at the rally last night downtown. He told me he's been following my blog (not sure which one) so just want to give him special thanks!



The Antidote to Browngirl’s Eco-Blues: Garden Bounty
July 7, 2010, 2:22 am
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The BP oil spill is still depressing, the City of Oakland is nearing hysteria over the upcoming verdict in the murder of Oscar Grant, and Obama still hasn’t lived up to our expectations. But some things in life are still beautiful: here are some photos of some veggies I’ve been growing in the backyard of my friend T. She grew the zukes, I grew the tomatoes (which are just starting to come in), beets and onions. Yummy and gorgeous!







My Review of the Karate Kid Remake
June 20, 2010, 1:04 pm
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Ok, this is a bit of a stretch for a blog about environmentalism and people of color, but I thought some of my readers here might enjoy this post at my other blog about the new Karate Kid movie. Would love to hear your thoughts, too, so feel free to comment.



More People of Color Voices on the BP Oil Spill
June 17, 2010, 3:13 am
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Just to be clear that I know that President Obama’s voice is not the only—nor the most important—voice on the BP oil spill. Here’s a great video from the folks at the Gulf Restoration Network profiling some of the people who live in the Gulf Coast, who have some important things to say. My favorite quote from the video is from Gulf resident Rosina Philip: “I think we can do something better, and that’s not happening because people don’t want to get off of that bottom line. And it’s all about profit, it’s all about profit! And it’s like, profit for today, and you suffer for generations afterwards…it’s enough of that!”



Black Man (Trying to) Go Green
June 16, 2010, 2:19 pm
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I don’t agree with all of President Obama’s clean energy recommendations, I did appreciate many aspects of his speech on the BP oil spill and the tragic aftermath in the Gulf of Mexico. As I watched and listened to his speech, I also couldn’t help but remark to myself, ‘This is a Black man who is the President of the United States, talking about environmentalism on national television.” Since the ‘face’ and image of environmentalism on a national level in this country has been largely White, the historical weight of that fact needs to be recognized.



Heat
June 13, 2010, 4:05 pm
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It’s been frickin’ hot lately here in the Bay Area—and while the Bay definitely has its fair share of hot spots, Oakland is generally not one of them. It’s warmer here, yes, than in San Francisco most of the time, but not as hot as, say, Concord, Pittsburg, Antioch or other points further east and farther away from the ocean.

So it’s a little weird that in early June—when at times the weather can be so mild in the Bay that you wonder whether you’ve got the dates right in your calendar—we’re having 80+ degree weather. Climate change? Natural fluke? I’m no weather expert, but I have lived here all my life, and I can say that the weather has become more erratic and extreme of late, shifting from cool and rainy (just a week ago) to swelteringly hot and back again. Weather in the Bay Area always has been a bit changeable and unpredictable, but generally we don’t get more than a 10-degree swing from month to month. And while I generally do like heat, and my tomatoes in the garden are loving it, it’s been a little strange.

Of course, all this heat is coming when all of us are thinking more and more about our dependence on oil as a fuel source, with the BP spill still leaking and tons of birds and other wildlife in the Gulf dying or suffering, and whole communities being devastated by this awful disaster. And in the local Oakland Tribune, there was an article today about how the waters of the Bay are rising, threatening to displace more than a quarter of a million residents from their homes in the next 50+ years.

On a positive note, however, there is a silver cloud to the BP oil spill tragedy—that hopefully it will get more people to open their eyes to the reality that we cannot keep exploiting the earth’s natural resources without some pretty terrible repercussions. And also, that we need to realize that everything is connected, and that the extreme weather many of us are witnessing is only one symptom of a larger problem.

In the meantime, I await my new oscillating fan/ionic filter for my home, and hunker down to do some reading and gearing up for some writing workshops, and continue to try to live as green as possible during what promises to be a hot, hot summer.




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