Annotated Pearls

#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.

 

There are times when I look above, and beyond There are times when I feel your love around me baby I'll never forget my baby When I feel that I don't belong Draw my Strength From the words when you said Hey, Its about you, baby Look deeper inside you baby

Janet Jackson

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.

Shaun Jones

Diana Jones
Vanessa Siddle Walker 

June Jordan

Maya Angelou

Nikki Giovanni

Barbara Jordan

Megan Thee Stallion

Tiffany Pogue

Patricia Pendleton

Mary McLeod Bethune

Marian Wright Edelman 

Sister Souljah

Kimberle Crenshaw 

Fannie Lou Hamer

Ella Baker

Septima Clark

Solange Knowles

Toni Cade Bambara 

Angela Davis

Barbara Clifton

Anna Julia Cooper

Lugenia Burns Hope

Alice Walker

Patricia Hill Collins

Lucille Clifton

Toni Morrison 

Shirley Chisolm 

Lorraine Hansberry

Gloria Ladson Billings