#Annotated Janet Jackson’s “Together Again”
I’ve been on this path since my Father died in 2019. It was like I woke up from an unpleasant sleep in a dark wood ensnared in tangling choking vines. I struggled to break them because I was terrified. I expended every ounce of energy to escape. But I kept having to rest. Not like before. Not link needing to rest after pulling an all-nighter. Like needing to rest because I was breaking down. Needing to rest because there would be nothing left if I didn’t. Still I begged my body to keep struggling to break free. One day, I head a quiet but clear voice say, “No.”That word reset me and I gave myself permission to rest.
I slept so long and hard I woke up on fresh ground, the vines retreating from me. Though I was not yet ready to move I was ready to finally accept what had happened to me. What I had lost and what I would have forever. God gave me 6 months to talk to my Father face to face without the fog of disappointment that kept me away so long. Six months to find the friendship we could have had all along. It felt cruel but also more beautiful than I had ever imagined. I finally had access to all of my Father’s love that he had kept to himself most of his life.
Suddenly, I felt no qualms about correcting people that my name is Dr. Amber Jones, After all, Dad wanted everyone to know so not I do too. He encouraged me to shape the energy in a room because he knew I could. He stood by me when I needed to speak truth to power. He laughed with me because we both enjoyed explaining in detail why someone else is very wrong and we are very right a little too much. More than a little actually. I could feel him beaming as I laid my case for being treated with dignity and respect. I am a disabled person AND an extraordinary person. I could say it without shame because I knew he dared anyone to argue with me about the life I deserved. I walked away from that trauma with my full self. The darkness did what darkness does and yielded to the light.
Introducing The Annotated Bibliography
The following is an exhaustive list of Black women who have directly and indirectly influenced the GRIND System. In this Blog we will be celebrating and annotating every single one of them. For now, a list.
Vanessa Siddle Walker
Megan Thee Stallion
Mary McLeod Bethune
Marian Wright Edelman
Fannie Lou Hamer
Toni Cade Bambara
Anna Julia Cooper
Lugenia Burns Hope
Patricia Hill Collins
Gloria Ladson Billings