#SheInspiresMe

March is Women’s History Month, a celebratory month I had only been made aware existed this year. I think this is due to the fact that women’s issues have been at the forefront of our nation’s discussions recently with the election and the Women’s March, and now that I’m older I’m able to see that more clearly.

So, because of the fact that it is Women’s History Month, I’d like to send a message to women everywhere about how amazing they are.

Dear Phenomenal Women,

You have faced adversity in every stage of your life and come out stronger each time. You are diamonds— forged in pressure and fire and you shine in the midst of ghastly chaos. Since the dawn of time you have been put down and labeled as lesser, but you refuse to accept such a role and instead rise like the phoenix in a blaze of glory. In the past you fought: you fought to be educated; you fought to vote; you fought for employment; you fought for fundamental liberties; and still today you fight for these things. You are warriors, fighting a never ending battle for independence and equality against adversaries intent on keeping you submissive. But submissive is something you never were. Never did you lay down and let your rights be stripped from you. Never have you sat idly by or remained silent in the face of injustice. Never have you been lesser than a man or any other being. For this you are phenomenal and an inspiration to the next generation of warriors. And for this I thank you.

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Separation of Church and State

We as Americans are guaranteed in the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” yet it so often seems like the government is giving us a monumental slap in the face with Christianity. Our currency, our government buildings, even the Pledge of Allegiance, all give mention to God. Today, as I watched the Inauguration, I was once again bombarded with the Christian religion. At arguably the most important event for American politics, several speakers passionately spoke the word of God on behalf of an institution that has promised not to support any one particular religion. And the Oath itself― the 35 words carefully selected and strung together in a profound promise to the American people― is said with the right hand placed on the bible and followed vehemently with “so help me God.”

I have nothing against God, Christianity, or its followers. I made this post solely because I was reminded of the facts presented above by watching the Inauguration and found the situation interesting; it makes me wonder, is there really a separation of Church and State?

Tuesdays With ____________

I was recently assigned to read the novel Tuesdays With Morrie for my English class and I fell in love with it, as I do with all of the novels my teacher assigns. After the class finished the novel, we had a discussion— arguably my favorite part of class— on the book’s central topic, the one that no one ever wants to approach: death. Several students shared heartbreaking stories that gave insight into their lives as well as life in general, and the whole class grew closer because of it. Because of the fact that I happened across it this morning, that we watched the Tuesdays With Morrie movie today in class, and that it happens to be a Tuesday, I have decided to share what was on my mind that day, a little paragraph that my teacher told me to call Tuesdays With Sabine.

I think about death a lot. I think about what I’ll have accomplished by the time I die and if it’ll be significant. I ponder over whether if I died the next day or 60 years into the future if I’d be able to say that I accomplished everything I set out to do. I wonder what will happen to my possessions. Will they be distributed to my loved ones, or will they remain undisturbed except for the occasions when my mother blows the dust off of them and cries as she remembers me? I think about my funeral. Who will be there? Who will speak? What color will the casket be, and what type of flower will lay on my grave? I wonder if I’ll have a grave at all. Sometimes I think that I want my ashes to be turned into fireworks so that I’ll go out with a bang. Other times I think I want to be turned into a record of all my favorite songs so that even when I’m gone I’ll still bring music. And sometimes, I consider becoming a tree so that I’ll grow and be a useful source of air and wood, but then I think of how many dogs will try to mark their territory on me and I think better of it.

There was more to the paragraph, but not much. I didn’t get to finish it, but I began to write about my family and friends and how I’d react to their deaths. It would have been nice if I’d completed my thought, but now as I’m typing this my eyelids are drooping and my body is begging me to sleep. Maybe one of these days I’ll continue this thought, probably on a Tuesday, because after all, I’m a Tuesday person.

 

Roots

Nathalie and I discussed this more than a few hours after it was posted, and though I had no knowledge of the post, its topic was as relevant that day as it is every day for people with these national identity issues. I am one of those people, though I don’t feel that my case is as severe as most’s. I was born in the U.S., but because of my Haitian descent and upbringing, I feel split. I don’t speak the languages (though I do have a high understanding of them), nor have I been to Haiti, but I feel that I am too Haitian to be American and too American to be Haitian. I recently joined the Caribbean Culture Club at my school, and when they asked me to introduce myself I thought that I was going to have to give an awkward explanation of how I’m Haitian, but not really. In reality, I felt accepted, and I think the kids who attended that weren’t Caribbean felt the same way. We may be “Americanized”, but we will forever be drawn to the people and things that remind us of our native culture because of that feeling of home.

The Escape Vision

This week I found myself talking with a friend about children who are part of two ethnic groups but seem to belong to none. This hits home as a was born in Colombia and I lived there for five years, however, I have lived here, in Florida, for the rest of my fifteen years. There is a gray zone where all with the same situation as me stand. I am not considered American but in a sense I am not considered fully Colombian either. Family members joke about me being “gringa” but here I’m Hispanic. Honestly, I am beyond proud of my Hispanic background but I embrace the culture of the place I was raised, to a certain extent.

Cultures in Hispanic countries seem to be more strict and structured in comparison to cultures here, in my opinion. I find myself in the middle of this, having been brought up a…

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#BLM

I wanted to make a post addressing the shootings of the past week – and police brutality cases as a whole – that was emotional rather than factual journalism, but for some reason, the words wouldn’t come. Regardless, I feel the need to address the issue, so I have decided to share a song entitled Water Guns (click title to listen) by Todrick Hall from his original music motion picture, Straight Outta Oz, which expresses an emotional view on the matter.

Additionally, here are some images from protests regarding the shootings of the past week:

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Photo credit: Google Images

Major Racial Controversies on the Big Screen

The Harbinger

By Sabine Joseph

Controversies surrounding the old issue of racism have plagued Hollywood for some time now. This racism has occurred both off and on screen starting with the refusal to hire actors because of race and the lack of diversity at the Oscars to, most recently, the cyberbullying of Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. Despite what has been done to bring light to these issues, many still feel that Hollywood has turned a blind eye.

The online harassment of Leslie Jones is the most recent instance of discrimination. Several social media platforms have been flooded with negative comments bashing the Ghostbusters reboot for multiple reasons, including its all-female cast, but Jones seemed to be the only actress individually targeted.

Internet trolls bombarded her with tweets that included racial slurs and began a campaign against her, causing Jones to leave twitter for some time despite supporters trying to combat the hate…

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