To purchase one of the T-Shirts in the videos, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspired by Langston Hughes' I, Too, Sing America.
I am the living, breathing, representation of the intersectionality between being poor, black, and a woman in America.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles by a very loving grandmother, I learned a lot at a very early age. Neither my mother, who fell victim to the crack epidemic, nor my father, a Vietnam War Veteran who suffered from PTSD, were actively involved in my life. My grandmother was raised in Texas during the Jim Crow era, and she experienced a significant amount of trauma, which led her to be very resilient, and she raised me to be extremely resilient as well. She always held me to higher expectations than anyone else in my life, and now, in her absence, I continue to push myself to live a life of excellence and integrity that would make her proud.
I am a single, black woman, with two adult children. I fit the stereotype of the educated (an opinionated) black woman who has reached her 40s and has never been married! I have no regrets for that. I am an educator by trade, and a lifelong learner by passion. I am also what I call a "Legal Hustler." If there are ways for me to make money legally, I will consider them. I am on a mission to break the cycle of poverty in my family, and although I have not yet achieved that goal, I will die trying. Legally though. I ain't cut out for that jailhouse life! Just saying!
Born in the mid-1970s, during an era of "Black Pride" and "I'm Black and I'm Proud," I was born to parents who rocked their afros and daishikis with the best of them! I was given my name, which I am told means "My Black Love" in Swahili, although I have not been able to confirm that. The spelling of my name was given because my father's name is Lee, so I don't know what the original spelling was supposed to be. However, I know that I took an interest in Black History at a very early age. Although my father earned a dual Bachelor's degree in Black Studies and Journalism from Long Beach State University, that had nothing to do with my passion for African American history. I played Harriet Tubman in a school play in kindergarten, probably during Black History Month, and that's how it started. I read every book about Harriet Tubman and slavery and black history that I could find. When I started community college at Los Angeles Southwest College in 1997, my first class was an African American History class with Professor Wonda A. Powell, which was recommended to me by my dad. I remember sitting in that seat on the first day of class when she walked in with robust energy and greeted the class in a loud voice yelling, "Hellooooo Good People!!!" I said to myself that day, that is what I want to be. Years later, I would actually become a history teacher, and years after that, I would become a college professor. However, whether in the classroom or outside, I proudly take my blackness with me everywhere I go!
One of the things that you can always expect from me is honesty. I am a work in progress, learning to temper that honesty with some tact, which I have been told years ago was in low supply in my repertoire. LOL! My mouth, and the honest reflections that pour forth from it freely, have gotten me in trouble on many jobs. Nevertheless, you can expect me to tell you the real and honest truth as I see it. I will talk about current events, both in writing and in video format. While I love to write, the African tradition is oral, so I have started to record more of my thoughts with video, but I will never get away from the written word, because it is also my passion. While I am highly educated, the hood is not far from my life or my heart, so expect that range to pour forth in the content I produce. I may speak on serious matters such as poverty and politics, and I may speak on the ratchetness in the world such as men cheating and folks pissing me off in traffic because I am versatile like that! Don't judge me. Well, I don't really care if you do judge me because I will continue to be myself as wholly and completely as I possibly can be. While I never intend to offend, sometimes my passion comes across in a way that is offensive to others. I don't apologize for that. It is who I am. Expect realness. Expect authenticity. Expect to laugh. Expect to cry. Expect to connect.
I was awarded the DREAM All-Star Award for being an excellent educator in 2016!