Jamie Mayes, AOE

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Motherhood & Gardening: For Mother’s Day

In Culture, life, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized on May 13, 2017 at 3:35 am


easterA seed was planted

I nurtured it

Started off nervously

Unsure of the process

Worried about the results

Hoping I was doing everything the right way


Plenty of water

Plenty of sunlight

Plenty of love

Plenty of time

Plenty of faith

Plenty of patience


I prune you continuously

Cutting back the excess

Cultivating your roots

For full, bountiful, abundant

Stems that reach far out and up to the sky

And bask in the sunlight


The pure joy of seeing my seed blossom

Of seeing the fruit of my harvest

The blessing to share you with others

Who are so happy to see you grow

Who pluck not your fruit

And break not your stems


What a wonder you are

Bringing beauty to my life

Giving me joy once undiscovered

Good for my heart and my soul

Before my very eyes you grow

Fruitfully, wonderfully, perfectly made


©Copyright 2017 by Jamie Mayes


Sharkeisha: Hood Hero or Criminal-in-Training?

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

The other night my cousin and I had a great and very intense conversation. We had both caught wind of the Sharkeisha situation via social media and were late getting to the video clip. However, after watching it, we had a similar reaction. What was funny about this situation?
It disgusted us as black women, a mother and a former teacher, and people who had dealt with bullies at some point in our lives. The instant perception of Sharkeisha should not have been that she was some glorified hood hero; instead, she is possibly a convict in training whose violent ego is being promoted by society. It angered me to see the number of parents and adults who laughed at this fiasco and posted comments about the situation in a comical manner. I considered how differently this situation could have been and should have been handled. Perhaps, an even bigger concern is society’s general inability to see the seriousness of this situation.
I first considered Sharkeisha from a black woman’s point of view. One of the most common misperceptions about black women is that we are all angry ticking time bombs ready to go off about the most insignificant things. While I could not understand most of the content of the video, judging from the situation I am quite sure that was not one that rendered such violent acts. Judging from some of the lines at the end the video, it seems to be a classic case of a girl who is angry about a boy. Yes, yes, that’s who we are women, raging maniacs who will fight about a guy, who seems in this video, to be no where around anyway. Sharkeisha has become, in essence, a global example of how black females deal with anger and men. She is the reason that white women cringe in discomfort when black women enter the room and white men assume that assertiveness equates anger in a black woman. She is the reason black men try to justify the degradation of black women through terms like bitch, trick, and hoe. And though some will try to say my conclusions are extreme, multiply Sharkeisha by the millions and you have only a portion of what has been portrayed across society. All hard working, degree obtaining, loyal black women, you may take you steps back thanks to this video.
Next, my cousin and I considered this video from the aspect of a parent and a former teacher and people who had dealt with bullies at some point in our lives. My cousin has two daughters; one who is a pre-teen and another is 8. She admitted fears of her children being bullied and her constant attempts to keep communication open so she can know if her girls are in situations where they become the victims of violent acts such as the one in this video. As a teacher I described to my cousin the numerous times I had to intervene in situations where a student was being harassed, bullied, and cyber bullied by other students. I can recall walking a young lady to the office after she said she wanted to die because her former friends were slandering her name on social media. I recalled a situation last year where one of my students began spending every lunch period in my class. When I asked him if anything was wrong he told me about a boy and girl who were more than double his size and had done things like slap his lunch tray on the floor, shove his head into the lockers, and hit him. The problem had gone on for almost two months before he spoke up. And here, we have Sharkeisha, following a young lady who is obviously trying to avoid the situations while her friends record the public humiliation. Yes, parents and teachers, this is what we should created pic collages and hash tags and make funny comments about after we replace Sharkeisha and her victim with the faces of our students and children.

I was able to find a follow-up interview with the victim and her mother. They flashed pictures of her black eye, busted lip, and bruised face, and as suspected, it was all about a boy. Sharmichael’s mother talked about the public humiliation her daughter faces and the fame that the victimizer has gained at the expense of her daughter’s health. Watching the short clip angered my and made my stomach turn. I recalled my experiences of being picked on by others for my appearance, skin complexion and looks as a child. I thought about times when I got beat up by girl in my neighborhood, until I finally stood up for myself. Yet, there’s no guarantee that everyone has the same emotional strength to bear these burdens, especially when one becomes a laughing joke by the world. What happens if the victim Sharmichael isn’t strong enough to withstand the constant ridicule she faces? How many of us will send flowers to her grave?
Ultimately, hardly anyone has seen this incident for what it truly is- a possible look into Sharkeisha’s future. Applauding such monstrous actions will only promote the increase of such behavior. Perhaps, she will be given television time to talk about her “issues.” Oh, no, no, she’ll be given a reality show where her feisty fight skills will be highlighted! Still, with all the glory she will receive, she will make a few very real discoveries as she gets older. The friends who recorded the drama are not really her friends. All the attention she gets will be at the expense of her peace and sanity. Lastly, this video will follow her for a long time, even when she is no longer the beast that is glorified in this clip.
However, it’s not Sharkeisha who upsets me most, for she is young and, apparently, not being steered in the right direction. I am disappointed with society for promoting and parading this foolishness and taking it to be a joke. I wonder how hard you will laugh when it’s your child.

%d bloggers like this: