Several weeks ago, I was asked to be a panelist for a “Girls Who Rock” STEAM event in Spartanburg, SC. STEAM is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics. The original STEM program decided to add the ‘A’ because ART brings a sense of balance coupled up with Technology which aids innovation! Creativity and Technology are not distant cousins but more like brothers and sisters and I believe that acknowledging the ARTS was making it ‘official’ even though it has always been a part of the technological advancement of science and engineering. I hold a dear place in my heart for every component of STEAM so if you could only imagine, I was delighted when a good friend of mine referred me to be a part of this event.
I was aware of the nature of the event but I did not know anything about the ‘company I would keep’ as one of the 5 panelist. Even though I am an engineer and poet, my role in this forum was to represent engineering. When I received my itinerary through email I begin to look over the list of panelist and something stuck out immediately—I was the only person there that was not a Doctor. My immediate thought was Wow…..Then I stared at the itinerary for several minutes as my mind ran a million thoughts…One of those thoughts were, God I am familiar with the challenge of obtaining a Doctorate and I know several people in my life personally who are ‘Dr.’s’ of their respective fields so I don’t take it lightly…God…just please…represent in me when I open my mouth! (ha! Yes, that was my prayer)
But let me tell you what happened ‘in’ me while I was sitting in the mist of what I deem a ‘powerful panel of very intelligent, not only smart on paper but through life experiences as they opened their mouths” people….I had a lot to contribute as well without the DR. in front of my name. You see, I had a moment where God flashed my ‘past’ before me as I looked out into the sea of people waiting on me to ‘speak’. Sometimes I don’t think about all of the wonderful life experiences I have lived unless God brings it to my remembrance because of something happening in that moment or if I am asked to speak about my past. The Holy Spirit begin to remind me of the part all of those experiences are playing in this moment.right.now.WOW.
Please hear me…I don’t want you to leave this post saying it’s not necessary to get a Doctorate because I think that its admirable and has its place in your career goals and objectives. I just want to encourage someone who feels like they are not ‘worthy’ on paper. God has ‘kept’ you through some good and not so good life experiences that are worthy of mentioning in the company of people who may have more accolades and degrees.
There is a PLACE for your STORY and God will put you on a platform to tell it! AMEN….
And for me….I didn’t feel like, “Okay, maybe God is trying to say I need to get a Doctorate because why would He put me in the mist of all these Doctors?!?!” LOLOLOL! See, some of y’all probably thought I was going to go there but nope, my spirit didn’t unction that to me AT ALL….that moment for me was special. It was powerful and humbling. It made me appreciate my education AND my life experiences up to that moment in time. Things change and life has a way of coming back full circle to reach someone who is listening and living your life experience in that moment. That was confirmation for me as many parents and young girls came up to me afterwards to say how inspired they were by my story. Wow…..
So I say, be obedient and courageous. Speak your truth because God has created you to be a blessing to the world BEYOND A TITLE.
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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For informational purposes, “Being Mary Jane” is an American drama television series created by Mara Brock Akil and starring Gabrielle Union, that debuted January 7, 2014, on BET. The story is about a young, black, professional woman with a career as a tv anchor, a lavish lifestyle, single and has a ‘worldwind’ affair with a married man. The series takes you through her emotional rollercoaster ride with her personal life, her family and her job showing the extent that a woman would go without considering the consequences of her very careless decisions and desperate heart to have the fairytale ‘every after’.
I watched the series from the time they aired it to the season finale…
For me, it was ‘entertainment’ and not to be taken literally. I personally can not say that I have dated or even had an affair with a married man but it happens and tv has made this “acceptable” clouding the perception of what it does to a woman’s well-being and moral.
Some will easily say,”Well, why do you watch it if appears as if it portrays this young, professional black woman so degrading?”
For some Christians, like myself, watching a show that does not reflect my Christian beliefs does not persuade me to feel as if what she is doing is OKAY but it does help me to address it with young girls. Some of them don’t see it as ‘entertainment’ because it has been there reality through the lives of other adults in and out of their homes. As an artist, whose desire is to “SpeakLIFE” through poetry, real life situations are my breeding grounds for creating a piece of work that will offer other options that honor who God created you to be as a woman. God desires for us to carry ourselves with respect for our bodies. And mentally, its important to THINK about the choices you make before your hormones respond!
The negative influence of t.v in reference to music videos and reality shows on our young ladies has increased to an all time high in the 20th Century. There are no filters to the nonsense and the disrespect that women have allowed in their lives. I still believe in the values of our young ladies beginning in the HOME and then the parents making sure that their children, girls and boys, have positive influences that reflect their morals and values. Nice suggestion, but I do understand that this is not the case with every young lady. Some come from broken homes where there is not a mother there or a female that can be that role model.
So what do you do?
This is a matter of OUTREACH for every Woman to grab a couple of young girls and start the conversations. SHOW them the options of life that they may not have been exposed to them through a parent or love one. Not because they didn’t desire to show them, but because they probably didn’t KNOW…and its true…it takes a VILLAGE to raise children…always have and always will…
So as I close, I wanted to share not what I would necessarily consider a “poem” but more so some words of encouragement to our young ladies..a verse of some thoughts…Poetically…
not Mary Jane
Living life with no roadblocks and letting your
biological clock tell time is
Not even contraceptives can prevent
of your insecurities
God gave you the WORLD
but you won’t take it
because someone told you
with all of the evil and hate
you wouldn’t make it
but you are HERE
so open your ear to HEAR
the direction of your spiritual connection
because you are a QUEEN
belonging to the most high GOD
He is KING
I ODE to you…As a your fellow QUEEN,
I am assigned to do
everything I can to pour back into you
We have work to do
ending these words but never my love for you
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
Share your thoughts, your testimony, your heart with me below in the comments section! And most importantly let’s stay connected!
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