Roots & Inspiration supports : Coco & Breezy [Eng, Fr]

“Quand nous étions jeunes, nous étions harcelées à l’école parce que nous étions différentes. Et nous avons transformés le fait d’être différentes et d’être harcelées en quelque chose de positif : les lunettes de soleil. C’était une sorte d’échappatoire, nous les portions face à ceux qui nous harcelaient et bien avant de nous lancer dans leur design, nous en portions tout le temps, déjà. Les lunettes de soleil étaient un moyen de nous fournir un certain de niveau de confiance que nous n’avions jamais eu.(…) A 19 ans, nous avons quittés nos boulots, nous avons vendus nos vêtements, essayé d’avoir autant d’argent que nous pouvions, et nous avons acheté nos billets d’avion. Les gens pensaient qu’on était folles… et nous étions folles ! Mais vous avez besoin d’être assez fous pour changer le monde !”

Originaires du Minnesota, les jumelles Coco et Breezy racontent leur parcours : comment elles sont passé d’un simple Myspace pour aujourd’hui fournir les accessoires à des stars telles que Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj…etc, en passant par un appartement aussi grand qu’un matelas en plein New York.

Super inspirant !

Advertisements

Bookfair, publishing, and new category [Eng]

Hey there !

Those last days were crazy, so I take this time for giving you some news. I don’t know necessarily where to start, so let’s make a list:

  • Editorial blog : It turned out my blog became more and more involved in some specific topics, and sometimes I am wondering if there is still a place here for my personnal daily posts. It gets more professional but I still feel this blog will remain mine if I am able to keep this kind of post available. However, I see my blog more as an editorial project than ever ! There is now an e-mail adress if you want to contact me, and I updated the “About” page, so check this out 😉
  • National Bookfair of Paris: every year, I dream to go to the National Bookfair of Paris, THE place to be for those who want to meet their favorite authors, publishers, assisting to conference, getting autographs, discovering new books etc. I already went to the Bookfair of Brive, but this year will continue as good as it started : I will be at the National Bookfair of Paris with the greatest bookshop’s team of France and the publisher of Toni Morrison’s books in french, Editions 10-18.  It’s so crazy, and I just can’t wait to be there.


    All started with Twitter, and now I will have my pass as an intern at this great event. One day, I will probably write an article about tips I find out, by and by. But let’s see how it goes first. I am superstitious, you know that.

  • Roots&Inspiration, new category ! I planned it for a long, long, long time.  I came up with a new bilingual project , “Roots&Inspiration” which will point out artistic and inspirational project of ethnic communities (so, not only afro, of course!) : through portraits of interesting and inspirationnal profiles, I hope to underline the diversity of creation and its several origins. Art, entrepreneurship, music, website…everything !So if you want to let me know your project, send me a mail to mrsroots.blog[at]gmail.com. If you feel that ethnic culture, origins and creation are part of your work, or if you have questions about it, ask me ! 🙂
  • Google’s innovation : I couldn’t end this post without talking about this new innovation. Google is seriously freaking me out: it literally realized an e-book, as a substitute to paper book, taking into consideration the important of the use (manner to hold a book, sliding pages).
    Innovation is in this way to insert in people’s habits: like Facebook which became a part of our lifestyle, our habits concerning books are corresponding to a way of use. In France, and mainly in Europe, resistance to reader and tablet were sometimes justified by that, so Google’s e-book gets closer to our habits. Very interesting.

livre numerique : comment tourner les pages from zaouaikarim on Vimeo.

[Les Enjeux] Why can’t we wait – MLK et le racisme invisibilisé

Me revoilààà ! Précédemment(voir article précédent ici), je vous expliquais pourquoi la lecture de ce livre était l’occasion de percer une représentation galvanisée du mythe MLK, et comment cette mystification invisibilise parfois le racisme moderne, dans tout ce qu’il a … Continue reading

Rosa Parks, Mandela… “Why can’t we wait ?” MLK said [Eng, Fr]

Ce matin, une amie m’a réveillé avec la triste nouvelle de la mort de Mandela. Puis, j’ai vu les tweets, les statuts facebook. Puis les journaux télévisés et chaque homme politique qui y va de sa petite parole, parlant de Mandela comme un héros. Les gens adorent ça. Mettre le mot “héros” avec des étoiles dans les yeux, participer à ce cirque de contemplation et d’admiration, sur ces modèles. Faire des biopics avec le bon acteur/la bonne actrice, une bande-annonce avec une musique poignante à coup de violon.

Oui, nous aimons terriblement ces icônes. Moi-même, je les lis, je regarde ces films à en avoir des frissons. Seulement, pas une seule seconde, quelqu’un se lève pour dire “mais ce n’est pas fini”. Quand on fait remarquer les problèmes sociaux actuels, il y en a beaucoup qui haussent les épaules, à coup de “c’est dommage mais c’est comme ça“. Il y en a beaucoup qui traitent d’illuminés , de radicaux ceux qui dénoncent, ceux qui évoquent même la nécessité de faire quelque chose. Parler d’action ? beaucoup trop radical. On préfère accrocher sa petite photo d’icône au-dessus de son bureau, de garder un livre de leurs mémoires, puis d’aller se coucher dans le confort de son quotidien.

Rosa Parks, puis Mandela… On laisse à ces hommes et ces femmes les problèmes d’aujourd’hui, comme s’ils avaient tout résolu. Comme si aujourd’hui était un monde meilleur. C’est un peu le paroxysme de notre mauvaise foi.  On veut juste garder ses pantoufles.

“Ce n’était pas pareil qu’aujourd’hui ” diront certains. C’est vrai. C’était pire. Pensez-vous vraiment que ces hommes se sont dit “oui, les années 50/90, c’est le bon moment pour protester, pour lutter ?” Non. Les luttes que ces grands hommes et grandes femmes ont commencé ne sont pas finies. Elles perdurent, ont laissé des traces, en France comme dans d’autres pays.

Je l’ai déjà dit, je pense que chacun peut contribuer à son échelle à changer les choses. Encore faut-il accepter de déranger le confort des autres, de percer cette respectabilité sousjacente. On adore applaudir ceux du passé, et taire ceux d’aujourd’hui. A nous de continuer, d’aller de l’avant, et de ne pas faire du travail de Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, Angela Davis et bien d’autres, de simples pages jaunies dans des bouquins oubliés au fond d’une bibliothèque. Arrêtons d’en faire des bande-annonces quand on ne peut même pas regarder en face notre propre réalité.

Combien parmi ceux qui liront cet article diront “ok”, avant de fermer cette fenêtre, sans aller plus loin ?

C’est un peu mieux aujourd’hui. Mais ça peut être encore mieux demain.

This morning , a friend woke me with the sad news of the death of Mandela. Then I saw the tweets, facebook statuses. Then the news and every politician who says his little speech , referring to Mandela as a hero. People love it . Putting the word “hero” with stars in their eyes , to participate tothis circus of contemplation and admiration on these models. Making biopics with good actor / actress , a trailer with a poignant trailer of violin music .

Yes, we do love these icons . Myself, I read their memoires, I watch these films having chills. But not one second , someone stands up and says ” but it ‘s not over .” When we pointed out the current social problems , there are many who shrug their shoulders , with the  same “It’s a shame but that’s how it is .” There are many who claim as illuminated , radicals, those who denounce and even evoke the fact we need to do something. Speaking of action? too radical. It is preferred to hang his little photo of icon above his desk, to keep a book of their memories, then to go to sleep in the comfort of the daily life.

Rosa Parks and Mandela … We let to these men and women today’s problems as if they were all solved. As if today was a better world. It’s a little peak of our bad faith. We just want to keep our slippers .

” It was not like today,” some will say. That is true. It was worse for them. Do you really think that these men have said “yes , 50 /90 is the right time to protest , to fight  ” ? No. The struggles that these great men and women have started are not finished . They persist, have left traces in France as in other countries.

I have already said, I think everyone can contribute to the scale change. However, we must accept to disturb the comfort of others , to pierce the underlying respectability. We love applause those of the past , and silence those of today. We have to continue to move forward; and not to simply keep the work of Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk , and others , in simple yellowed books’s pages forgotten in a library. We should stop to make trailers when we can not even face up to our own reality.

How many people reading this article will say “ok” before closing this window , without going further ?

It’s a little better today. But it can be better tomorrow.

Calling dreamers

 

Wishing and dreaming are described with beauty, but when I look at the clock’ and see the late hour of the night, I do believe that dreams are doomed. Even when everything succeeds around you, they’re feeding your last hopes and illusions. Life is rewarding you but you keep daydreaming with this incredible fever : what if ? You washed apart all these “what if” you left on the road, but you keep hoping for something else.

 

Yeah. Even when everything is alright, even everything is great, you keep looking for him. You think about this scenario, repeating it endless in your mind. You think about what you would say to him, how you would hug him even if you don’t love him anymore. You think about the sound of your lost laughs – how was this wonderful sound, between the loss of breath and the explosion of joy on your faces ? You can’t remember – the taste of the beer on your lips when you keep talking to him, the warm of his arm. It would not be the same, but it would exist with the same old affection, the one you kept all this time. You would tell him what you became, how you built yourself after him, how proud you are to be what you are now, where you travelled, what you accomplished as human being.

You would show off a little bit, silly you are, but you would deserve it. Because you need to. Because this silly daydream keeps you awake so late, even when you are happy. Because.

Sometimes you forget, but it never lasts. You imagine yourself in front of him, and you see how foolish those hopes are the same, how you still hope it would change a little bit the end of the story. You hope, silly daydreamer, that someone comes to cut the throat of your unceasely wishes.

At that utmost point, where this dream seems to disappear and to loose its heavy blooming colors, you realize how foolish you are. Damned. Damned are you to be hoping these incredible minutes of joy when you will, maybe, see him again.

Wake up, wake up, ’cause tomorow, you will erase those words from your fingers.

Some News – Greatness is coming !

tumblr_msx1pynw5k1qzl2pdo1_1280

Hey guys !

How are you doing ? I take some minutes to tell you some stuff about what’s going on in my life lately. Not that it will bring you something,  you can just skip this article if you want to, haha.  You are now 35 followers on this blog and 80 on Twitter, and for that, MERCI BEAUCOUP !

These last days marked my comfort feeling about this new city where I am living. My studies are great, I met some people IRL but also on Twitter. Yeah, lately, I had been very active on my twitter account (if you do not follow it, what are you waiting for ? You will practice some french ! hehe : @mrsxroots ), and I learnt a lot about Afrofeminism, racism, transphobia, islamophobia and so on.

If you know me, you know that I love to break all my potentiel prejudices and rest of ignorance by learning and travelling. Well, this is what I did for hours, reading articles, writing some and I hope you will like it, because being okay with ourself is dealing with this ugly background of our world.

I understand there is a time for opening your eyes on all these problems , and it seems it’s a part of adulthood somehow but it’s not enough to say “things need to change” and to wait for someone like Martin Luther King or this kind of big figure of history. It’s about us, and we have to do something. I don’t say we have to do a revolution, but just be aware and talk about all those problems; stopping to keep our illusions.

It’s not pessimistic to say “there is a problem in here”, it’s optimistic because it means you are strong enough for being aware of it. Doubting is good, being scared is natural but you have to overpass those states of mind if you want to change your environment. Because it begins with you ! 

It is easy ! Look at what I am reading, tweets and books. I saw a documentary about Coca cola and it made me feel good to see how my effort for eating healthy was a good way. Your changing will impact around you, and that’s how we have to stop to think that one person can’t change anything. You can change something if you talk around you, if you stop to be scared about people who are disagree. I had been scared to say what I thought and I hoped for someone to tell it for me. But no one will come for saying what you think, no one except you.

Hum… This was not the goal of this article but whatever, it gives you a reason to read it ! lol.

Greatness is coming 

In plus of all these news things I learnt, I am preparing my Copenhagen trip ! YAY ! Can’t wait to show you everything. And I just learnt I will participate to my first BOOK FAIR ! Participating, not attending. My CV is on fire haha.

When you want to work in a book field, people see you as a future homeless person but, by and by, I feel that every little victory I get is a snap in their face. I did not finish my studies so I can’t say what Lord is preparing for me, but until now I am just grateful and happy to do what I want. Not what my parents want, not what people want, but what me, myself and I want.

It’s a sane feeling, it’s exciting becaus you don’t clame you succeed, you just TRY. And people can’t take that from you, people can’t tell you if you will succeed or not, or if giving a try is vain. Because they don’t know what success means to you and maybe you don’t know yourself ! I don’t know when, or if, I will succeed. I just want to do like I do right now : step by step, trying and hoping for the best.

That’s all for now ! Can’t wait to tell you about my adventure ! Keep smiling and wish you the best for this week, month and year !

Madame Vulnerability

 

I wish I could live without any expectations.

Even if you have this thrilling seconds when you realized that they come true, I would sacrifice these little seconds of transe for a perfect ataraxia. Or holidays of ataraxia. Can you imagine ? Take a break when you think about nothing then “what will I eat for lunch ?”, “which movie will I see tonight ?”. Some people will call that boredom. The others ? happiness. I have nothing against expecting something. I just hate the processus. You know, when you loose yourself in this paranoiac mind, which lives only for an answer ? I hate that. Everytime, there are same symptoms. First, I am confident, then suspicious, then worried, and finally, extremely vulnerable.

I hate feeling vulnerable, it’s like being nude to me. I spent so many years to build my confidence that vulnerability is a monster to me. If I had to depict it, it would be me, naked in front of a canon. Yeah. Just like that, haha. During a long time, I thought vulnerability was independant, but our relationships work on it entirely. Most of the time, when you say that you refuse to act like this because you don’t want to be vulnerable in a situation, people say “you have to”. And there comes everything : if you want to be true to yourself, true to the person you love, true to your convictions. You have to. Like when you are in a relationship, and you need to give up your protections for showing who you are, you have to drop all your fears of being hurt…Etc. You have to be vulnerable for appreciating the essence of things around you. You need to be naked to see how comfortable it is to be dressed/touched/comfortable to be home.

Somehow, it is true. It’s not weakness, but bravour to show up. However, it’s not that easy. I mean, being vulnerable would not be if we did not need to protect ourself, to be tough, and to seem confident. If it would not be necessary, vulnerability would not exist. I would like to not be afraid everytime I begin something with someone that I love. Being a white paper where a new story can be written. I try to, but it is not easy.

So, what ? you will say. What should we do ?

 

Well, it is simple. First, we should accept to be scared, afraid, hurt, vulnerable… Because it is a fatality. Fatility is not necessarily bad, you know, it can help to go further. I am vulnerable sometimes, so what ? You never know if you can be surprised.

You think she/he doesn’t love you ? You don’t know until you will tell him. FACT.

You think your project won’t come true ? Well it won’t if you are discouraged and spend your time to read this blog instead of working on it. FACT. You think people won’t accept who you are ? Who cares if you accept who you are. At the end…

You think something ? Well, just stop thinking for a while, and do what you want to do. When I said “I wouild like to go to Finland, it is maybe silly like plan”, the girl next to me told me “it’s chimerical !”. I could have thought about why and how she knows, but I just went to take an application and filled up for going to Finland the year after. I did, and I spent the best year of my life.

So yeah, Mrs. Vulnerability is still there when you are not sure. But if it’s there, it means some how that you act and hope something, you believe in something. Isn’t it great ? To have a goal to accomplish ?

If you fail, cry. Cry during a long day. The day after, pick a new goal. ‘Cause at the end, you never know if these little insane seconds of striking happiness will be somewhere else… and longer than you excepted. 😉

Moving on, strength of next days

Weird title, I think. But it seemed to me obvious that “strength” takes place in it. Nothing goes as we expect that it will be. Disappointment is something that I am familiar with, somehow, in love. Some of you appreciated my last article, and I don’t regret my words but since that, disappointment came upon it. God I would like to erase it in order to give some logic to my life and my text, but life is surprising. In an “up and down” way.

However, I refuse to let myself drowning. You already know it, I am optimistic. It’s tough to remain optimistic in love. Specially when it’s soooo complicated !

However, it’s also easy to tell about positive things : feeling good, acting in a good way, being a good person… All of this is easy to relate. It is easier to congratulate an ego and admiting its fault. Few weeks ago, I felt pride and good to have helped a woman in the metro. Nothing heroic, just civil act of helping someone else. I felt good because I did not follow the easy way which is following the crowd, taking the metro, going down to my usual station, going back home and closing the door behind me. I was proud to do not let the routine crashing me in my individual way of life.  Again, proud to have taken a minute to stop my steps and looking back for someone else than my ego who wanted to watch the last episode of Homeland or Mad Men. I was happy because it was me.

How bad is that ? Not that I think it’s bad to be proud of some acts that we do sometimes, some way of action which surprises ourself; but it would have worth it if it was not exceptionnal. Few days after, I spent a bad day after hearing a bad news, I came back home and a woman who needed help in the stairs of the metro was there. I skipped this woman. No matter how hard it is to write it, no matter how I turned back for helping her afterward, no matter how much I realized my mistake… I had been selfish and did what I was scared about. Following the routine, finding an excuse of “I don’t feel well”.

Same for this poor fellow that I saw in my metro just after that, I did not give even a food coupon because “if I give to every poor people I see, I will be myself poor”. Another excuse.

When I came back home for relaxing… I could not. I felt bad. So bad face to the truth of my actions. I was not different.

Then I thought “I will do better tomorow”. Isn’t it what it is about ? Being a better person, isn’t it trying everyday ? Learning of our failures and pursuing our goal ? Feeling so involved that we have this will to change ? I think so. I don’t say it excuses everything, but I sincerely believe that trying harder, instead of being stuck on “I am a bad person”,  is what make us better.

‘Cause being better, it is also reflecting on ourself afterward. No ?

What do you think ?

My life fits in a box

You probably thought I disappeared ? I thought too.

Among empty boxes, I put a little bit of myself in all of them : Time to leave, guys ! But I’m not as sad as I was few days before. I realized all the goods things which are coming and when I see my roomate so happy to go back to USA, I finally think that I should be optimistic.

Why that ? Because my trip is not over. I will go to Roma with my best friend during five days – travel posts coming soon ! stay tuned -, then a big internship is waiting for me in Paris where I will spend my summer.

Many differents places, different kind of trips where I will plant my roots further.  So, for now, I am quite excited because, what I called “coming back”, is not as static as I believed.

Packaging all these memories shows me how much I lived, ate, drank this wonderful experience ! And it woudn’t be so amazing if there was no end to it. I hear my friends seriously planning to live here in the future, what permits to me to know what kind of person I am.

I would be tempted to live one per one year in different countries, I need to experience other places. I don’t know if I purchase the idyllic city, the one which will give me the envy to settle down – for now, only Stockholm and Liverpool approached my traveller’s soul.

What I know is I will escape, as much as I can, the static and reductive “coming back”.