Miss MEW's Musings

Is there anything that I can do, a lot of young people have written to ask me, to avoid becoming an out-of-touch, entitled little shit? I don’t have a satisfying answer, short of telling them to transfer to a public university. You cannot cogitate your way to sympathy with people of different backgrounds, still less to knowledge of them. You need to interact with them directly, and it has to be on an equal footing: not in the context of “service,” and not in the spirit of “making an effort,” either—swooping down on a member of the college support staff and offering to “buy them a coffee,” as a former Yalie once suggested, in order to “ask them about themselves.”

Instead of service, how about service work? That’ll really give you insight into other people. How about waiting tables so that you can see how hard it is, physically and mentally? You really aren’t as smart as everyone has been telling you; you’re only smarter in a certain way. There are smart people who do not go to a prestigious college, or to any college—often precisely for reasons of class. There are smart people who are not “smart.”

First Lady Michelle Obama & Stephanie Kyriazis, Chief of Interpretation and Education, at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas.

First Lady Michelle Obama & Stephanie Kyriazis, Chief of Interpretation and Education, at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas.

Ruby Dee in this scene from “Jungle Fever”….absolutely amazing. 

History.

History.

Don’t commit the crime if you can’t fucking have flour.

—Gloria, OITNB

Sam Smith + Mary J. Blige, “Stay With Me”

peechingtonmariejust:

Dr. Maya Angelou speaks explicitly about her experience with the stigma and shame of being a sex worker/former sex worker.

"I had a very rough time at 18… and I went on a national show and a woman did the interview who I knew slightly [she smiles softly here and raises her eyebrows] and she said “Maya Angelou! How does it feel to know you’re the first Black woman to have a national bestseller non fiction, your second book nominated for the Pulitzer, and to know that at 18 you were a prostitute?” 

And it was like a kick in the stomach! However, there is this: You must always be careful who you call out. [She smiles very broadly here and nods to emphasise the word “careful”] When she said that, I said, “Ahhh but there are many ways to prostitute one’s self and you would know about that, wouldn’t you dear?”  

Whereupon they went to break, [The interviewer laughs heartily] Yes, whereupon her co-host came and concluded the interview.”

(via jessehimself)

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I‘ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

—Maya Angelou

jsmooth995:

Why Does Saying Racist Things Matter More Than Doing Racist Things?

Some thoughts on the Donald Sterling tape.