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Category Archives: Family

The Answer Is Yes

Steve Kerr talks about elected officials’ responsibility.

I loved Steve Kerr when he played for the Bulls. I love that he uses his platform to speak out. But, to answer your question Steve, it is a resounding YES. Legislators are and have been more interested in holding on to their power than to pass any legislation that would curb the ongoing violence in America.

I knew in the aftermath of the slaughter at Sandy Hook that nothing would change. If a classroom of murdered kindergarteners didn’t change hearts and move them into action, nothing would.

 

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Love Versus Hate

The level of hate that it takes for an 18 year old to shoot a bunch of strangers in a grocery store! WOW… it is mind-numbing…

Radio Raheem with the story of love and hate from Do The Right Thing.

And of course, it’s not the first time. I don’t think people realize what it does to you: the daily reminder that people hate you for a trait that is predetermined. We were born in this skin.

We know what he was being taught at home. The difference it would make if parents taught love versus hate.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2022 in Civil Rights, Family, Race, violence, Youth

 

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Who is Tica Ayoka?

No se. I am unsettled… perhaps that is a poor word choice because I feel amazing! I simply don’t know which direction this new me will take.

I seldom know what day it is and those days speed by in technicolor. We continue to homeschool and my son has now started boxing lessons, twice per week. My schedule is dictated by his activities which is not unusual for a Mom. However, this is the time to carve out my place…

My goal is to truly lean into “pura vida” and know that all is well in time.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2022 in Family, Motherhood, Reflection, women

 

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My Son is 14 Today

Today is my son’s 14th birthday. I have mixed feelings… Of course I am joyous that he is celebrating another year of life. I left the states to ensure that. However, he is a teenager and all that comes with it!

He is a young 14 and still finds joy in simple things. Thank you! And the girl obsession hasn’t kicked in yet, another blessing. But I think as a parent, especially Mothers, we get very nostalgic for their younger, adorable years. SIGH…

 
 

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My Grandma Has Alzheimer’s

This year she will be 94 years old. She is in great health, albeit a bit thin. Amy Scroggins is the matriarch of our family. She is the only surviving child of her parent’s 11 children. She raised nine children (seven boys) with my Grandfather in southern Maryland, outliving him and two of their children. She was an avid reader and seamstress and the disciplinarian. She is the great grandmother of 14. And she has Alzheimer’s Disease.

My Grandma and my son last fall.

She was diagnosed in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and shortly after unexpectedly losing a son and granddaughter. There was a rash of erratic behavior then, but then it vanished.

There are moments when her mind slips and she is in another time, detailing the one-room school house that she attended. Or she is telling me that she had a good day except for the spanking that she got… then her mind shifts and she is quiet, trying to reconcile it all.

Grandma and Granddaddy at an event.

My mother and her siblings have a rotating schedule. They stay with her a week at a time so that she can be in her home. It has been rough on them, seeing their mother slip away. Having to help her with the basics as she once did with them. However, she remembers everyone and can walk, talk, eat, breathe and bathe on her own.

There are moments of regression, but they don’t last. Sometimes, she is far away and sad. She knows something is wrong but cannot understand or repair it. She repeats herself frequently in a conversation, but I just listen and agree as if it’s new information.

Grandma at age 20.

I love my Grandma. I am glad she can’t recall some things because she is a strong, proud woman and she would be frustrated and ashamed that she needs this level of assistance, especially from her children.

I know the disease can and will progress. Being so far away from her is my only regret for relocating. But thank goodness for technology.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2022 in Family, Health, Reflection, women

 

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Stranger Fruit

In 2022, our fruit doesn’t hang from Southern trees. It lies rotting in streets, alleys and fields. We seldom know who plucked the precious fruit… or it goes unpunished.

 

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Passion Project

Many people don’t know that I am the executive director of a non-profit based in Delaware called Empowering Single Moms, Inc. I am that behind-the-scenes person who maintains the website, conducts intakes, brainstorms, creates content and strategic plans.

Dr. Crystal Edwards is the face and personality and my long-time college friend. She is a brilliant educator and speaker who is all about public service. We were both Single Moms at a relatively young age who leaned on each other when it got rough, which was often. We needed an organization like ESM.

We were both Single Moms at a relatively young age who leaned on each other when it got rough, which was often. We needed an organization like ESM.

We create a network and community for Single Moms who often feel (and sometimes are) alone. Our programming is developed to support them in their journey to create better lives for themselves and their children. It’s alot of work and we sometimes take two steps back for every one step forward. However, the reward is transformative for all involved.

Check us out and share with a Single Mom who could benefit. (Our service region is limited to Philadelphia, PA and a few counties in Delaware and Newark, NJ). We could always use volunteers and donors!

empoweringsinglemomsinc.org

 

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The Water’s Fine!

I’m slowly dipping my toe back in…

It has been many months, longer if you count consistency. I haven’t been able to write. And it’s made me off- balance, not myself… There’s just been SO MUCH NOISE, I couldn’t. This is not something that you want to admit as a writer. But there it is, I said it!

And so I’m testing the water.

A few things changed that have freed me. I quit my job a year ago. (A job where I was attacked by microaggressions on a daily basis, not to mention ignored by the director of our group.) Then, and this is a big one, I moved. My son and I relocated to Costa Rica. Right?!?? I said it was big. It’s what my soul needed. The United States stopped working for my family years ago: its racism, violence and frenetic pace were crushing us.

Now, I’ve joined a Black Writer’s Group. I revived my blog. I’m dusting off my four, copyrighted poetry books…

And I’m feeling goooood (nod to Nina Simone).

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2022 in Career, Family, Reflection, writing

 

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So What?!??

Here’s the thing… they’ve been held accountable. That’s it… I guess it’s progress; let’s see how sentencing goes. Simple truth: George Floyd should be alive.

But a systemic problem still exists. They all thought that they were within their rights as officers. They showed no humanity and failed to recognize it in this man that lay dying at their feet. You can’t even argue the bad apple theory because this scenario of police brutality and police fatality repeats itself. People, Black people, are being killed by police and this country’s institutions (Fraternal Order of Police), the justice system says it’s acceptable.

Unfortunately, it will happen again and we will be “saying their names.”

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2022 in Civil Rights, Family, History, Race, Real Talk, violence

 

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Heart of the Matter

The saga continues…
Antwan Wilson, the former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, maintains that Mayor Muriel Bowser knew that he circumvented the school lottery system for his daughter. Bowser denies it, of course.

Chancellor Wilson stepped down once it came to light that his daughter did not go through the school lottery, in order to go to a different school. Rather than review the details of this scandal, let’s get straight to the heart of it: our public school system has so few quality options that the head of said system is willing to risk his ‘good government job’ to secure the best education for his child. How about we focus on that sad but true fact?!??

 
 
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