Melanated Stamps

A Podcast showcasing dope people who do dope things. Let's read, dismantle, uplift, and get stamps together.

20 Suggestions for being a better friend to/for your non-white friends.

I got blocked by a white woman that I created a boundary with a couple days ago. For those remaining, I have 20 suggestions that will help you navigate relationships with your non-white friends:

1) Ask permission before asking about racial issues or their experience being Black.

2) Know that what you think and feel and our daily reality are most likely night and day.

3) Give us the space and opportunity to say no to engaging with you in a potentially difficult for us conversation.

4) Don’t tell us you are really sad about racial issues in America. We really REALLY don’t care about your feelings right now because our literal sanity and lives are at stake.

5) Never come with an agenda or pre-planned objective where we will be backed into a corner or coerced into responding in certain ways that will in turn support your feelings of high self-value to the detriment of our psychological well-being.

6) Do not randomly slide into our DMs or casually saunter over to us face-to-face and expect us to drop everything we are doing and thinking about to have a conversation with us about our Black experience and perspective.

7) Do not barrage us with 97 hot button topics and expect quick answers that support what you already think and then get mad when we disagree or have data that gives a counter-narrative.

8: Do not be surprised that we have changed our thinking in regards to vvhite people since you have known us—especially if you have never asked or truly listened to our perspective before. Literally living in America has forced my generation to change our minds in how we connect or choose not to connect with vvhite people.

9) Know that after difficult conversations about race, you will probably be unscathed, but will leave us reeling and emotionally destabilized for unprecedented amounts of time. This most recent “conversation” resulted in me not sleeping well for 2 days, very tense body, waking up with balled fists and hunched shoulders, emotional binge eating, shortness of breath when engaging in regular daily tasks, absentmindedness, significant fatigue, and overall body aches.

10) You may say or feel as though you “come in love” and deeply care or have concern about us, but you must allow us to have a differing view and perception of said “love.” When you are in a position of power socially, ask if what you are doing and saying and your approach is being received as love. Ask us how to love us best. Never assume.

11) Proximity to Black and non-white people does not make you not racist. The goal is to be anti-racist, not “not racist.”

12) You cannot know if you are or are not being or acting racist if you have not done serious introspection, research, and if you ask your other nice vvhite friends if you are being racist. You need an outside verifier to check you and keep you accountable. Nice vvhite people are racist ALL the time. It is what it is. If you casually ask a non-white person with whom you do not have a strong relationship with if, when you did or said X, if that was racist, you may not get a genuine or accurate response because we are not interested in having a conversation with you or dealing with your vvhite tears at that moment.

13) It is not our job to be your teacher on racism. Go find another white person who is further ahead of you on your journey to chat with you about racism BEFORE talking to your Black friend. Or pay your Non-white friend real dollar bills for their time, energy, and potential rehashing of racial trauma. Or, better yet, support and follow Black and Brown scholars, activists who do this work for a living and give them real dollars.

14) Know that it is incredible difficult for us most days to get out of bed and go outside because we know there will be a barrage of micro- and macro-aggressions that we will have to face and stand up to and wipe off our shoulders and smear off our faces. A small thing you can do is make your negative impact in our lives less by trying and researching and being a support and creating safe spaces for us. This is the least you can do.

15) Quit praying for the rectifying of all bad things in the afterlife. That’s a copout and we are 0% interested in this response from you.

16) Never tell us that you are tired of fighting vvhite people in conversations about racial matters or the few things you’ve done in your life that you deem as not racist—especially with the intent of getting us to give you a high-five for you doing the least.

17) Let us have whatever emotions we will have on any given day in regards to us living in our skin color. Some days it’s absolute elation and love and pride beyond belief. Other days it’s rage and deep sadness. At any extreme or anything in between, our feelings and emotions are valid and need to be heard. We can feel all of these at the same time and it may be hard for us to articulate that to you.

18) It is not our job nor should it be your expectation for us to explain our feelings to you whenever you want us to. Forcing us to talk about our identity or lives for your enjoyment is disrespectful, toxic, and basically a minstrel show in the year of our lord 2021.

19) If you see us talking with our friends of the same hue and we have code-switched into vernacular you are unfamiliar with, leave us to have our safe space away from whiteness and quit sticking your nose into our conversation. We are not interested in translating our code-switched language for you to be a part. It is not our job to translate our culture for you in order for you to feel wanted and appreciated whenever you are around or want to be included.

20. Our culture is not to be consumed for your enjoyment, pity, and entertainment. Do not expect us to explain all the non-white things you see around you whenever we see you. Ask first. Some things in our culture are for us only and we guard them highly because of the colossal number of things that have been stolen, pillaged, plagiarized, and assumed to not come from us because they are excellent and the brilliant.

**If my Black and Brown and non-white friends have others they would like to add, please do so in the comments and I’ll add them to my list and give credit where credit is due.”

Dr. Jenaya Perdue

Running shoes and a colorful metal cover in Shenzhen, China.

Denver While Black: Angela Wells

Click here for our conversation on the pod!

Angela Wells is a Denver transplant who has fallen in love with the city and the community she has built for herself and her family. She is a marketing executive for an insurance company and an entrepreneur who aligns her purpose and priorities in everything she does. She currently provides quality products at affordable prices with great customer service in her business Serein Naturals, a vegan haircare and skincare product line and Angie’s Vegan Cakes.

Her Career: Corporate and Entrepreneur

In her successful corporate career in marketing, she knows how to find a need, a niche, and build a sustainable product that supports her values. She did just this when she started Angie’s Vegan Cakes. She had to solve a deeply personal problem—she wanted a delicious vegan cake for her birthday and couldn’t find one. So, she made one for herself, everyone loved it, and asked her for more. In Serein Naturals, she has created 20 vegan and ethically sourced products for all kinds of skin types and many different kinds of challenges.

Being Vegan

Veganism and the plant-based lifestyle is, for her, her life mission and conviction. It began during a spiritual crossroad. She didn’t want to abuse, harm, or exploit animals and found this to be best for her. Being Black and vegan can be difficult sometimes, but she shares that, “If being vegan was easy and simple and flooded the market like animal products, people would be vegan. It’s supply and demand and marketing.”

Work, Life, Balance, Community

The work life and parenting balance can sometimes be, albeit not a vegan phrase, similar to “running around like a chicken with my head cut off!’ She relies heavily on her calendar knowing that not everything has to happen today. She puts important things she needs to get done on her calendar with the time and date—simple and efficient. In the interview, she shares how transformational hiring a life coach was to helping her maintain balance in her life as a working mom, wife, and entrepreneur.

Moving from Atlanta to Denver was a huge culture shock. She relocated after reconnecting with and marrying her now husband. She credits Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center and SistaBiz Global Network for giving her tools and opportunities to build her community here and support her business ventures.

Being Black

Angela shares that being a black woman today is difficult, but that we are empowering each other as a collective and helping each other. “I’m surrounded by support, love, praise, celebration, and all the beautiful things of being a Black woman. It’s a great time to be a black woman. And we need to walk in our feminine power and beauty.”

Recommended books:

Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

(Buy books from Black independent bookstores, not Amazon! Use link above to purchase and support Uncle Bobbie’s Books.)

Connect with Angela Wells

720.837.9703
Www.instagram.com/Sereinnaturals
Www.facebook.com/sereinnaturals
Www.sereinnaturals.com

Instagram: @AngiesVeganCakes

From Angela: My name is Angela Wells and I am the owner and operator of Serein Naturals, a collection of vegan hair, face, and body care products for women, men, and children. The company is rooted in a love and success with essential oils and finding the best ways to harness their power in hair and skincare products. The ingredients that large corporations advertise, but have at the bottom of their ingredients list, ours are at the top. Serein Naturals offers eco friendly products that hydrate, nourish, and seal in the good stuff at affordable prices with excellent customer service! I also make vegan cakes in the Denver metro area and can be hired for birthdays, holidays, weddings, and more!

Connect with Jenaya Perdue

Instagram: @melanatedstamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Book: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Are you Black in Denver and want to be showcased in the series #DenverWhileBlack? Email melanatedstamps@gmail.com

“The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism” Book Review

Listen to the Podcast Episode!

I always intend for my book reviews to be like 15-20 minutes or less, but this book struck a nerve, a chord, and resonated with so much of what I think and see today. I had to reflect more and give some context. I’m not going to retype all my thoughts here because it’s a lot, but I do suggest that you listen to the pod episode in its entirety—especially this one.

3 Favorite Parts

Normally I do 3 favorite parts to every book I read, but there is no “favorite” when it comes to racism. All of it is trash, genocidal, traumatic, cruel, and incorrectly retold by those with power—or folks imbued with whiteness.

Second, the framing of the shenanigans I see today from folks I grew up with, news I read, and social media makes sense. The response of no response or silent complicity has been the American church’s answer to racism for its entire history. This is nothing new. As Tisby shares time and again in the book, racism is not new nor is it going away—it consistently changes forms.

Third, I saw the convenience of switching from race relations—a problem that was too prickly and polarizing within the church due to money, influence, and power—to being anti-abortion. It almost seemed like the Southern Baptist Convention woke up and was like, “Aha! Since Black folks aren’t going away and neither is the civil rights movement, let’s attack something we CAN do without too much issue. Let’s focus on abortion. It’s simple and easy.” And then, boom. Everyone is pro-birth. How convenient. How droll.

Reasons to Read This Book

—It gives the reader specific, tangible, do-nows that help to right this ship today. Big steps and little steps. You have a plethora to pick from—pick one or several. But what is not ok is to not pick anything. That’s complacency and complicit and ought to be formally shunned from the pulpit.

—It frames what is happening in white churches and puts it into historical context so you’re not surprised by the daily malarkey.

—Not a single “But what about” was not addressed. So fully comprehensive and every argument and tangent addressed.

—So many folks think that Black folks are filled with rage and hatred. It’s not hatred. It’s righteous indignation because what we see in regards to whiteness, white privilege, racial inequity, and white complacency doesn’t have to be this way. White folks can and need to do better. We, the Black Collective, see where we are and where we can be, yet the divide and gumption—the wherewithal-to move in the direction of equity is sluggish and stalled. This for us is maddening. White folks need to do better.

Who Needs to Read This Book

—Every single white church leader and layperson. Tell your friends, your buddies, your social media following, your E-Board, your people. Do a book club and read this.

—Folks in church mad at Black Lives Matter who think this is something new and our rage just came out of the blue. We the Black Collective have had the same message for centuries and the White church has had the same non-action response for centuries. Black folks are not the racial problem, as Toni Morrison states, the racial problem is white people.

—People who think that American Christianity is doing a great job and needs no changes. American Christianity is great at being divisive and overlooking social justice issues. That’s not what Jesus would do.

—People going on mission trips who think American Christianity is the way the truth and the life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, not American church. Stomping on indigenous cultures assuming that their way is depraved, second-class, more murderous than Christianity is whiteness and damaging for the whole society it’s trying to “help” and to “save.” Who really and truly needs to be saved? And who really has the truth? Who determines this?

Read this book. Amazing.

Description from Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books:

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller!

An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically–up to the present day–worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.

The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don’t know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

The Color of Compromise

1. Takes you on a historical, sociological, and religious journey: from America’s early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War

2. Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today’s Black Lives Matter movement

3. Reveals the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about meaningful integration

4. Charts a path forward to replace established patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, immediate action

5. Is a perfect book for pastors and other faith leaders, students, non-students, book clubs, small group studies, history lovers, and all lifelong learners

The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God’s people. Starting today.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books:

Jemar Tisby (B.A., University of Notre Dame, Mdiv Reformed Theological Seminary) is the president of The Witness, a Black Christian Collective where he writes about race, religion, politics, and culture. He is also the co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast. He has spoken nation-wide at conferences and his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, and Vox. Jemar is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century.

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon. Buy here instead!

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Let’s Read: “Becoming” by THE Dr. Michelle Obama

Listen to the Podcast Episode!

After showing who was boss at the inauguration, her book showed up on my queue and I was not upset. I’ve been waiting to read it for about 4 months and it was worth the wait! Becoming by THE Dr. Michelle Obama was basically like reading #BlackGirlMagic page by page. I love her even more than before I read this book and I highly recommend that you add it to your queue.

Favorite Parts

First, as someone who has no idea what’s happening in life and who needs help, I loved that at pivotal times in Obama’s life, she sought folks who were well-connected and smarter than her to give her insight.

Second is a part that annoyed me. I cringed when I saw how she had to take the backseat in her career in order to support her husband. She did so many incredible things and I wonder how many more incredible things she could have done If she hadn’t taken a chill pill and supported her partner. She did, however, still found space when she could to continue building and initiating while her husband was in politics.

Third favorite part is that she made motherhood work for her. I grew up in a world where the woman was subservient, quiet, docile, and meek—always secondary or tertiary to man and kids. I was never ok with this and am still not ok with this. Even where I live in China, I see the same thing. However, Dr. Obama weaved motherhood, her own identity/being, career, wife, and community member together to make a life of her own. She sought assistance when she needed it so that she didn’t have to sacrifice one area for another. Balance is key if a woman is to have many hats and I saw how to do this in this book.

Also, a fourth favorite part for free: Her badassery seemed approachable. Any Black woman can be a badass by leverage her influence and how she’s been made in order to be unstoppable. Dr. Michelle Obama is unstoppable.

Why You Need to Read This Book

—Dr. Obama is a real woman and could be any of us.

—Life is hard for everyone and she sat in her grief and disappointment and anger at injustice. She didn’t try to move through it in order to accomplish more. This is a lesson for us all.

—She did what she could to make the world a better place when her neighborhood was small and when her neighborhood was the whole world. We all need to do this as well.

Description from Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – WATCH THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY – OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK – NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America–the first African American to serve in that role–she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her–from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it–in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations–and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service. The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon. Purchase here!

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

Follow and support Dr. J’s work:

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

#DenverWhileBlack

Brittany Green

Relationship Coach, Marriage and Family Therapist, Black Woman

Click here for our conversation on the pod!

Denver While Black

She remembers being shocked that Denver actually had white people because she grew up in Houston, Texas, with yearly and extended visits to Denver, but only going to Black neighborhoods. She was in for a big surprise when she moved there as an adult to continue her professional career!

Being biracial forced her at an early age to hate boxes as she was told that she had to pick one box for her racial identity even though she was two. Being biracial in Denver afforded her less overt racism, but she still felt unwelcome and not seen or heard so often because she was still Black—or not white. And then 2020 happened and the covert, in the closet racism came out in full display and folks wanted to see her as connected to their whiteness, but not for her own beauty and what she brought to their relationships. She deeply desired and wanted to be seen for her uniqueness not her sameness.

During the riots and protests of last year, she realized who her friends were, what they thought. She feels freedom to talk about the hard parts of being of color now because everyone else is. She is clear and careful to identify and define whiteness—as not all white folks are steeped in whiteness. She says that whiteness tends to lump all non-white people into one category. Folks who have the lens of whiteness project their view of the world that they want everyone else to have without stepping into another person’s shoes.

Her Career, Therapy, and Coaching

Brittany Green is a marriage and family therapist by training who now does coaching for women looking to transform their self-image so that they can position themselves for relationships worthy of their time, energy, and whole selves. She does her work through private coaching sessions and her online membership program Collaborative Healing Spot which gives people access to different types of coaches that they can work with on the platform or hire for personal work.

In her work, she prioritizes translating pain into light, helping women to embrace their entire being so they feel worthy and pursue relationships that they deserve, and shedding the archetype of the Black woman is a motherly figure to be selfless and to help everyone else but ourselves. She helps clients to reframe trauma from the past and incorporate it into their story as a strength. She can also help you to excavate negative beliefs and replace them with healthy ones so that people can find love.

One thing I loved about our interview is how she explained the difference between therapy and coaching. For either, it only works when a person is willing and ready to do the work because prioritizing yourself is a big cognitive and life shift. Go to a therapist immediately after trauma, if you have been carrying pain for a long time, to help you stabilize and find normalcy and grounded in your being so you can continue meeting your goals. Therapy is client-led and gives you a mirror to see yourself.

For a Coach, you have already been in therapy and now are asking yourself, “How do I get that next thing?” Hire a coach to help you get to a specific goal from Point A to Point B. You are ready to solve the problem and the coach will guide you along a coach-centered journey.

How to find professional therapists and coaches? Use social media using hashtags and watch videos on YouTube. Schedule a free intake or phone call to get a feel with a therapist/coach to see if you feel safe, heard, and connected. Ask them, “How long have you been doing this? What are some of your successes with past clients? Can you take me through some strategies that have worked with other people that you can try with me?”

Her advice

Black people—Hold your boundaries. You don’t have to be the Black friend or explain your blackness if you don’t want to. Find safe communities and get a professional coach or therapist who can validate and hear your thoughts, pain, and identity. Give yourself permission to not talk about race issues and to convince people that your own lived experience is real.

White people—Do your research, be open to the stories that may be counterintuitive to your beliefs, and be curious.

Favorite Place in Denver: Irish Rover and Wash Park

Recommended book: Human(kind): How Reclaiming Human Worth and Embracing Radical Kindness Will Bring Us Back Together by Ashlee Eiland

(Buy books from Black independent bookstores, not Amazon! Use link above to purchase and support Uncle Bobbie’s Books.)

Connect With Brittany Green

Instagram: @brittanyrosegreen

Website: www.brittanyrosegreen.com

Relationship Coach and Collaborative Healing Spot ($19 a month) with experts and professionals to guide your wellness.

Connect with Jenaya Perdue

Instagram: @melanatedstamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Book: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Are you Black in Denver and want to be showcased in the series #DenverWhileBlack? Email melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Let’s Read: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue and Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

Click here and listen to the podcast episode 🤸🏿‍♀️✊🏿

Hey y’all! I’ve got 2 books for you today! I just finished reading Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue AND Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. Both fantastic and must be added to your list of literature to enjoy.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

What’s the book about?

A couple from Cameroon who tip-toed around the immigration process with a shady lawyer and ultra-moneyed family with serious problems in NYC.

Description from…Uncle Bobbie’s Books

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty–and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job–even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Books

Imbolo Mbue is a native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for more than a decade, she lives in New York City.

Behold the Dreamers, her critically acclaimed debut novel, won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was named by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of the notable books of 2016. It was also named as a best book of 2016 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The novel also won the 2017 Blue Metropolis Words to Change Prize.

3 Favorite Parts

—Both socio-economic levels had issues that money nor immigration status could solve.

—Author chose to not solve the couple’s issues by throwing money and charity to the couple

—Reads like butter. Word pictures were genius and effortless throughout.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Read This Book

—Story of immigration

—Pain behind closed doors is normalized

—No solutions are presented, no happy ending

Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

What’s the book about?

Alice Walker takes us to the streets and in the homes of where female genital mutilation is commonplace and expected of all women. We meet women of all stages, perspectives, and convictions regarding this old tradition and Walker encourages us to think deeply about the purpose of pleasure for and agency within the woman’s body.

Book Description from Uncle Bobbie’s Books…

From the author the New York Times Book Review calls “a lavishly gifted writer,” this is the searing story of Tashi, a tribal African woman first glimpsed in The Color Purple whose fateful decision to submit to the tsunga’s knife and be genitally mutilated leads to a trauma that informs her life and fatefully alters her existence. Possessing the Secret of Joy, out of print for a number of years, was the first novel to deal with this controversial topic and managed to do so in a manner that Cosmopolitan called “masterful, honorable, and unforgettable storytelling.” The New Press is proud to bring the book back into print with a new preface by the author addressing the book’s initial reception and the changed attitudes toward female genital mutilation that have come about in part because of this book.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Books…

Alice Walker is one of the most prolific and important writers of our time, known for her literary fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple (which was also a major Broadway play), her many volumes of poetry, and her powerful nonfiction collections. She is the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The World Has Changed (edited by Rudolph P. Byrd), The Chicken Chronicles, The World Will Follow Joy, and The Cushion in the Road, all published by The New Press. Some of her other bestselling books include In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, The Temple of My Familiar, By the Light of My Father’s Smile, and The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart. Her advocacy on behalf of the dispossessed has spanned the globe. She lives in Northern California.

3 Favorite Parts

—How much care without condemnation of the practice leaving reader to decide what to think/do

—Seeing how woman’s rights and body agency is taken from us always and forever

—Watching change happen in cultures based on new research and how it’s introduced

3 Reasons Why You Need to Read This Book

—Challenge thinking of women’s rights and body agency

—Prioritize and value women’s sexual pleasure

—Get angry and teach about the woman’s body differently

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

NEXT BOOK: Becoming by Dr. Michelle Obama

What’s your favorite book?

Tell me about it in my DMs.

Reminder: Beloved, drink your water and dismantle white supremacy by reading Black authors.

Dr. J

Amanda Chambers: Writer, Business Owner, Publisher, and Future World-Schooling Parent

CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE!!​

On this episode, I chat with Amanda Chambers, owner and brain behind Divine Legacy Publishing. We talk about her journey as a writer now business owner, her plans to world school her daughter, being a Black woman in 2020, and the importance of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

To find her online, see below!

Social Media Handles/Websites:

Blurb About Divine Legacy Publishing:

Divine Legacy Publishing, LLC helps authors successfully self-publish their books by providing writing coaching, professional editing, self-publishing coaching, branding and social media coaching, graphic design, website design, illustration design services, and audio services. Our mission is to help authors share their stories with the world while they retain creative control of their work and their profits.

And now for some pics of Amanda and her family:

A few reminders for the lovely people out there:

1) Follow @melanatedstamps on Instagram

2) Subscribe to melanatedstamps.com for 2021 plans and updates

3) Plan to join our inaugural Blackity Black Book Club where we will read books, listen to podcasts, and have great discussion on the complexities and beauty of Blackness while identifying and dismantling whiteness.

4) Buy my book #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

5) Drink water 

6) Never apologize for resting

7) Do something dope everyday.

Much love.

Dr. J

Heather Oglesby—Rwanda, White Saviorism/Allyship, Marriage, Therapy

NEW PODCAST EPISODE!!

Heather is an amazing human who does dope things and I got to snag her for almost an hour. She is a Peace Corps veteran who served in Rwanda, a newly wed to another amazing human, a mental health professional, hiker of mountains, reader, therapist, and so much more.

In this interview, we chat about marriage, the LGBT journey for her, living in Rwanda, returning to life after Rwanda, white saviorism, being a white ally and advocate for Black/Brown people, and the absolute necessity of therapy.

Enjoy the episode, reach out to her on Instagram at @newoglesby, and share with your friend circle!

Also from Heather..

My social media accounts are newoglesby (Instagram) and my blog can be found at http://www.hoglesby.com. I forgot to mention this during the call, but a GREAT account to follow on Instagram is called No White Saviors (nowhitesaviors) — an advocacy organization based in Uganda. They have a lot of information and resources about combating white saviorism.

Heather: All the above are PC photos (the first one is with my host family that I mentioned). The second is the school I taught at, the other is one near the home I lived in. The last is with a group of students I worked closely with!

Hiking and wedding photos above.

Terri Harding: Author, Mom, Wife, and #BlackGirlMagic

LISTEN TO PODCAST EPISODE! Yes

Hey good people,

Jenaya here. I hope you’re having a great day! So today, I am interviewing one of my favorite friends, Terri Harding. I’ve forgotten how long we have been friends, but it was before she procreated and was even married! She is a newly published author of a book! We talk about her writing process, her vision for her story, marriage (cuz I’m hopelessly single and she’s been married for over 10 years which is basically 100 years), being a mom, and being a Black woman in 2020.

Check out our chat and buy her book! Support Black woman authors!

You can find her on the internet:

Facebook: Terri Harding

Twitter: Terribell85

Instagram: Terribell85

Buy Terri’s Book!

Terri, Bill, and Kobi Harding, 2020

Alice Walker, Chinese Homework, Minority Mental Health Month

Hey good people!

NEW PODCAST EPISODE!!

I just finished reading a book that I need to talk about. Here it is: “Temple of My Familiar” by Alice Walker. It’s the story of Black women in South America living. The part that caught my eyes and ears and heart was how she weaved the Black woman’s sexuality into the narrative and normalized it. I was slightly obsessed. She talked about the wetness between our thighs, our soft bellies and strong legs, our scent enticing men and us having the choice and options to pursue or not to pursue, be pursued or not. Ugh, just so much great.

Next, I talk about homework for Chinese students. I teach in China and have been taking pictures of desks here in China. It seems mundane, but I love to capture everyday things that tell stories. Here, I’m slightly obsessed with desks.

Last, it’s Minority Mental Health Month and I encourage the white people to Sshhh! (Be quiet) and for Black people to find our voice and seek the help we need to find balance in our volatile contexts.

Check out the podcast here and find me on Instagram @melanatedstamps!

Bye friends 🙂