Kiyonna.com and New York City, Thank you! Love Kimberly

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Photos: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter, Union Square

Clearly beautiful, tomorrow is the day.  Prepare for glittering paper, wrapping dreams of blue around pearl brilliant skies.

A job offer for Kimberly in a Kiyonna dress.

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Fruit Vegan Spread

Eat this while glad in the knowledge that God is in charge.

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Lemon
  • Vegan butter spread
  • Agave if needed
  • A little water and whatever you like that’s good

Place into the mini Kitchen-aid.  Blend.  Place mixture into clean container.  Melt in microwave for a little bit, stir and store in fridge.  Serve on toasted potato bread, or whatever you like.

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girl, 15

White House calls slaying of girl, 15, a terrible tragedy.

Hadiya’s brilliant pumpkin smile, warmly greets and breaks our hearts as we read the grim and terrible headline.  The City of Chicago, home to Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls, Bears and other brilliant children attempt to gather the broken pieces of their hearts.

I know that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel like the Mayor Daley’s before him and Mayor Harold Washington will not rest until he finds a real solution to the violence in Chicago.

I grew up blocks from Hadiya’s neighborhood.  I walked those streets while dancing to keep from being caught running from nasty nefarious punks that would roll along and offer rides to good little brown girls on their way to school or the park.  Smiling the entire time, I practiced Ali’s two-step.  Bobbing and weaving, in my mind the future was worth learning to leap from curb to curb.

I am here to tell you, I am mad like an epic whale jumping like Jordan toward God to say, THIS IS MY CITY–This here entire area was good land; the water and everybody in it from DuSable to the very last.

Mayor Rahm, I challenge you to make it safe for the kids.

We want to sneak out at midnight, under the watchful eye of the moon, and camp on the lakefront with only the quiet noise of a hungry owl disturbing our fun.

We want to run down our blocks with one raggedy sneaker on, and an open change purse with quarters flying toward the Good Humor truck, hoping & wishing he did not forget to hide one Creamsicle or a Bombpop underneath something, way, way in the back of the freezer.

CTA drivers that laugh at folks who don’t have the sense to know the bus schedule and not have to run at the last minute when the light is about to turn green, want up-and-coming jerks in the city to just sit down, and conduct themselves accordingly.

I believe Cleo Cowley wants the parks, and the city where Hadiya called home all her life to be safe for children again and forever.

Fish don’t use guns

Fish are smarter than humans.

Fish do not use, smuggle or trade hooks.  They don’t keep them under kelp beds or float around hiding behind coral waiting to hook another swimming neighbor.

Fish know just how far to stay away from certain underwater caves, because some kind of evil lurks there.  They know that larger than me, means I’m lunch.  The only cool thing about that is, a guppies energy becomes beneficial to the larger fish.  Human’s might think, “If it’s a shark eating the guppy, then golly gee!”  Nope, the guppy had plans for the entire day.  A day for a guppy cannot be measured by a watch.  A guppy goes out, taking a chance the entire time, but loving their life all the while.

Hooking one is not cool.

Guns are stupid.

We make up all sorts of reasons for needing them, when a well delivered, on the money, paragraph of words coupled with the implied suggestion of whatever incites passion will do.  You don’t even have to use expletives if you are well educated and familiar with good manners.

Too many have died because a gun was used.  Supporting laws that allow guns to remain in our communities, owned and operated by licensed or unlicensed people who would deprive us of a moments time with someone’s precious treasure: a child that perhaps was told the secret to deliver us all from this human disease of hating each other so much that we would cuddle with a cold piece of steel, protecting it with organizations and the fear of a losers vote, should be considered criminal and is insane.

We are wrong for loving guns more than our children.

Fish don’t like hooks, guns, bombs or chemicals that interfere with the quality of their life.  They would swim up, climb onto the beach just to protest in a very personal way, thinking the entire time, “Damn you humans.  My life is worth something!  This fish you will not eat!”

Come now, my fellow humans.  Can a gun, empty of bullets be recycled into metal that can be used for good?  Have we tried?  Do we care about our children?  Do we care about the future of humanity?

Annihilation is not the answer.

In the Spirit of Love Let’s Give

When I was a child, commercialized attempts to encourage my desire for things unrelated to the true Spirit of Christmas made the day nearly unbearable.  Cries from other children on our block, amid the sound of wrapping paper snatched from that year’s “must have” toy and the smell of food that I hoped was also being prepared in our empty kitchen introduced me to adult-sized disappointment.

This year especially, I would like you to consider the giving spirit of Christmas as something we can do everyday.  We can give without buying friends.  We can give without going into debt.  We can give without borrowing or selling merchandise that is made to break on the very date specified on the warranty.  We can give without continuing to reward retailers that do not pretend to be in the business of giving when they take and refuse to care about anything other than their quarterly dividends.

We can take the cost of 1 present and instead donate it to a worthwhile charity.  We can take the time spent in raging insanity that someone took the parking spot you idled and cussed through rounds and rounds of parking lot merry-go-round and help someone who you know, or don’t.  We can take the pain of swollen feet, bad food and the crush of crowds in malls and offer to go caroling or visit with or simply communicate with someone alive and in need of human contact and Love.

We can take the hours of false cheer on cable televised shopping channels with their “Special Today Only Values” and work on those dreams we deferred for cubicles and thinly veiled work contracts that only make us feel like wage slaves.

We can take the educations that we earned and are struggling to pay for and actually use them to help, not just ourselves, but others.  Be still and remember that education can spark new ideas that will help society, and our individual need to achieve dreams that our ancestors did not know existed.

Someday is today.  It’s Monday!

Let us get to work.

Song suggestion:  Mercy, Dave Matthews Band

Family Reunion

Wal-Mart Workers Threaten Strike as Shoppers Get Ready for Deals – ABC News.

As we approach Thanksgiving 2012, once again I try managing my expectations.  Each November, a meal shared with family brings the entire nation together with common ingredients found stocked on most shelves in grocery stores or prepared in restaurants.

Every year, my big brother would invite me to New York City to share the holiday with him.  I always look forward to meeting up with family, and my brother especially.  Time together with the family, the people who have your back, and show support all year, is what makes me excited about Thanksgiving.  My family is just like yours.  We are not perfect.  We care about each other despite distance, differences and economic circumstances.

Bottom line, Thanksgiving is all about family overcoming everyday roadblocks that make enjoying a moment together like a slice of lemon chess pie.  It ends discussion, bickering and stupid stuff.

Hush the noise, because the food is good.  Have a second slice after a nap, some music and fun.

Sit down and enjoy the smooth magic that a well prepared meal can have on an adult forced to sit at the children’s table of poverty wages, reduced or lack of health benefits and the granddaddy of them all: employment-at-will regulations, which will put the taste of the nastiest potato salad, coupled with flat beer, and grocery store made pumpkin pie in your mouth.

The reality that consumer greed has overtaken the essential reason for the holiday is apparent with Black Friday ads appearing a week before Thanksgiving, and stores pretending to have once-in-a-lifetime-this price-won’t-last sales to increase revenue.

I love a good sale.  I hope to find one concerning a new pair of shoes, or a doll that I have wanted since I was a little girl.  But, I would walk by a window filled with both (while sneaking a glance) on the way to meeting up with family for Thanksgiving dinner.

I want to dine on food supplied by workers that have been shown they are valued by their employers.  I want to dine with family members that have not been demoralized by provisional working conditions or contracts that make living, and doing what they love a nightmare.

Employers do not have to follow the unprincipled rules ascribed to by Ebenezer Scrooge.

Thanksgiving is one day, and can be honored as a right of American citizens by honorable employers who say they believe in family values.

Employment contracts that are designed to gleefully and legally protect the interests of those who do not value their employees, see them as family members or American citizens, or reward them with salaries/benefits and time off to be at home on Thanksgiving or Christmas are agreements meant to disenfranchise, humiliate and reduce adults to members of the children’s table.

I have worked for at-will employers that bullied me on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the health of my sanity–the security of my job.  You put up with it because you have to work to pay the bills.  You don’t complain when the same people manage to earn more time off or earn more than you.  You think of the consequences and what it may mean to those counting on your income and health and persevere.  You try to bank tears when you hear of others plans to meet up with their family, when all you really want to do is enjoy the day yourself, see a movie, go to Central Park and visit with the people who cherish you.

Each year when Thanksgiving arrives, you hope this will be the year that someone remembers the very workers serving dinner, or selling the ingredients at the grocery.  This year, in solidarity with workers who toil without complaint during holidays, please buy your last-minute honey-dos the night before.  The stores will stay open late.

On Thanksgiving, Christmas and all Beloved Holidays, stay home with family and enjoy each other.    Families that were already hurting from systemic structural violence, are still without heat, adequate shelter or access to the goodies we take for granted on these holidays, yet they look forward to them.

This Thanksgiving let us be thankful for family members here and abroad that pray and work toward peace.  Let us be grateful to those who will stand and protect peace for all and the health of the home.

The History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2012

As we approach Thanksgiving I find myself in a space of reflecting upon the notion of family.

I am often asked, “Do you have family here?”  My usual response is yes, I have family everywhere.

Please join me as I reach out to family and adopt all who would positively wish only the best for my future and yours.

Please sign my petition Meet the Emancipation Proclamation to encourage ongoing discussion on how we are related.

Remember, and be joyful in the knowledge that we will celebrate the 150th Anniversary of a cherished document–the Emancipation Proclamation.

Please sign my petition Meet the Emancipation Proclamation requesting a permanent website to encourage a continuous relationship with a document that deserves a place at the table of those who love, cherish, and would protect freedom for all in the United States of America.

As we set a place at the table for President Barack Obama and the First Family, please remember President Abraham Lincoln.

Let us be thankful the People of the United States of America are members of the same family.

Meet the Emancipation Proclamation

Happy Thanksgiving!

Music suggestions for your family’s continued celebratory feast:

“Who Am I,” performed by Alfie Boe

“Amazing Grace,” performed by the Blind Boys of Alabama

“Children Will Listen,” performed by Barbara Streisand

“As You Are,” performed by Phyllis Hyman and Pharaoh Sanders

“The Best is Yet To Come,” performed by Patti LaBelle and Grover Washington, Jr.

“Pure Imagination,” performed by Lou Rawls

“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” performed by James Taylor and Natalie Cole