Eloiza's blog

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Beyond Statistics

According to FBI statistics, black men made up 40 percent of all murder victims last year. That is a stunning number for a group that accounts for only 6 percent of the nation's population.

You've likely read the grim stats. The homicide rate in the US is among the highest in the industrialized world. The high incarceration rate of Black men, coupled with the homicide rate, result in what many would call genocide. At the very least, we, as a nation, are faced with a crisis that has deep roots in both historical and current economic and social conditions.

I dedicated most of my undergraduate studies examining racial identity formation and the history of slavery in (all of) the Americas. My graduate studies focused on urban education, analyzing what I understood to be the present day outcomes of institutionalized social and economic practices. That's not what I want to discuss right now...

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Motherhood-- Fo' Real

I joke about good enough mothering and chide my friends for feeling guilty for letting their kids watch too much PBS Kids (gasp) or play one too many learning games on the computer (the horrors).

But there is something very real and vulnerable about that guilt. Wondering if I'm doing right by my two children, if they've eaten well, been active enough, slept enough, if they're polite and well behaved "good listeners". If (and when) others judge me for being too lenient or too controlling it hurts.

Do my kids know they're loved, even when I'm mean and cranky? Do they know I care even when I'm distracted and scattered? Do they know I want them to be themselves and develop their own thinking and passions, even when I chide them for not following the rules? Do they know they're wanted, even when I'm annoyed and irritated by their whining? The answer is: I don't know!

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Losing My Cool

I like to think of myself as a cool person: likable, fun, intelligent. But sometimes my behavior just doesn't reflect that. One place where I get to feel extra cool is teaching some amazing, fun and open-hearted women at my dance fitness class at the local YMCA. On days when I am feeling blue or cranky, I can count on feeling much better after leading a class. Even if I have to fake a smile in the warm-up, by the third song I am in a zone-- feeling inspired, motivated and just happy to be shaking my thang.

I am not sure exactly what happened (well now I am, but I have to tell the story first), during class the other day I went from cool to not-so-cool (aka angry *&#@^) in less than 2 minutes. Here's the story: