Proud Mama: My Daughter Leni’s First Guest Post on Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake

17 Jul


my daughter, Leni

Ever since I can remember, my mom has never failed to inform me on race and black culture. I even questioned my mom, when I was about 5, if my grandpa was black because he’s not pasty like me. I wasn’t confused. I didn’t really think anything of it. I just wanted to know if he was black.

When I first found out what racism was, I didn’t understand. I understood what it was but I didn’t understand why. When I first got a gist of learning about racism, it was most likely around the time they taught about slavery in school. That’s when I started to notice it more in my school.

My middle school was not as diverse as my high school is. My middle school is on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island, where the majority of the kids are white. In middle school I noticed which kids got in trouble the most and what they got in trouble for. The black and the Hispanic girls got dress coded much more than the white girls, and the black and Hispanic boys got harsher punishment for fighting than the white boys. The girls noticed they got dress coded more, so they got pissed and pointed it out and asked the teachers why. The teachers would usually just say something about how to dress respectably, but didn’t mention singling out the minority students like they did.

At Classical High School, white kids are the minority. There isn’t any discrimination in my high school. Classical is very mixed and thankfully we don’t have teachers who like to dress code a black girl because an inch of her stomach is showing. My school is very academic and most kids keep to themselves and work. Nobody has time to be an ass. The negativity that comes to the school sometimes, comes from the sports teams competing from suburban towns. One nasty girl from another team called one of our girls “black trash”. The girl was very, very upset but she didn’t want to start anything. She even told our coach to not talk to the girl or anyone on the other team. So the negativity comes to our school sometimes, but doesn’t stay within the students and the school.

Growing up with my mother influences me and causes me to notice a lot and question a lot, mostly having deep conversations in my head. With all the news today on tragedies around the country with the shootings and protesting, I wonder why much isn’t being done or helped and then I remember that the people in charge are cops, who are causing the problem in the first place. Then I question why can’t the people in charge of the cops do something, that leads into government which they seem to care less since most of those cops still are walking around free and even with their jobs today.

So growing up with my mom being obsessed with race and black culture has gotten me noticing and questioning a lot around me and usually I ask her if I have a question. I have her to thank for informing instead of finding out through the media which mainly seems like opinion-based information, *cough cough* Fox News, but growing up like this has given me a more open mind to the world, and I’ve learned not to judge. Thanks mom for not making me a judgmental piece of garbage and informing me of real matters in the world!!

For Leni inspired posts, since she and her sister, Darla, have been my muses, read these:

Whose Ghetto Is It?

Leni-isms: My Daughter, My Muse

More Leni-isms: “Run Like A Black Man”

Leni Continues Role As My Black Entertainment Alerter


18 Responses to “Proud Mama: My Daughter Leni’s First Guest Post on Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake”

  1. Sherry Gordon July 17, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    Dear Leni,

    Hello, there, Leni! Wow, Leni, what a powerful and astounding blog post article in which you have written with such rich details! I, too, am very proud of you, Leni! I thoroughly enjoyed your great observations about the goings on racially when you were in middle school and how the racial climate is like at your high school. Leni, you gave such a cool and very astute analysis of racial matters, and I am very impressed at how you at a young age already have such a sharp and a keen racial awareness. You just give me such inspiration and hope for the future, Leni in all that you do towards racial healing and reconciliation. I loved reading your dear mom’s blog post article about how you wondered if your dear Grandfather was black. I am a black woman and I had the same questions about my now late maternal grandmother whether or not she may have been biracial, and I even wondered the same about being biracial about my now late mother. I am so sad that they did not open up to me in their life more openly and honestly about their ancestry and heritage, Leni!

    Leni, you have such a gift of beautiful and masterful composition in the written word! It is such a great joy and a blessing to have read this spectacular blog post article of yours! I would love to read even more of your great guest blog post articles! Please have a very fun-filled and fantastic Friday, Leni, and a wonderful weekend!

    Blessings and Blessings To You For Always,Leni,

    Sherry Gordon

  2. grace welch July 17, 2015 at 6:51 am #

    great job, leni! keep writing…

  3. Vickie July 17, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    Very nice job. Hope this will become a regular feature. Love to read more.

  4. Marcia Wilson July 17, 2015 at 7:13 am #

    I wish there were more people like your mom. Racism is an evil that needs to be eradicated.
    Continue to be influenced by your mom, she wants to see a world where everybody can feel free.

  5. robin ledversis July 17, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    great job Leni!! What a great tribute to your mom’s work, You make us all proud! Make sure to be that leader for your friends and others, and don’t be afraid to share and educate when you see or hear injustice. I have had a few times when I shied away from correcting someone’s ignorance, prejudice, or inappropriate comments. Not only on race or cultural issues, but judiasm as well. Keep leading the way you do!! Go Leni!!!

  6. Shelly Fowler July 17, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Excellent! Keep it up Leni!

  7. Julie W July 17, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    Well done, Leni (and Wendy)!!! You are very observant , thoughtful, and honest in your blog post. I am optimistic about the future of this country (in terms of addressing race issues) because of people like you and your family. Keep it up! 🙂

  8. Ellen Taylor July 17, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Leni, this is great. Think you could get a gig as a regular guest-blogger? Your insights about racism are honest and first-hand (and refreshingly different from “cough cough” Fox News, ha). I know what a great source of information and encouragement your mom must be — she is totally cool, and you’re following in her footsteps. I look forward to more!

  9. karen kidd July 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    This is wonderful, Leni. You are your Mom’s daughter–for sure. Keep writing and expressing yourself, as you definitely have a voice that’s worth hearing.
    When my children were in HS, they too, noticed that the Black and Hispanic girls were picked on more– due to their attire. I didn’t want to believe it at first, until I saw it for myself. My daughter was cited for her dress, which btw was worn over capri leggings…but still, they said that it was too short. As, I dropped off her jeans, I was stunned to see only Black and Hispanic girls waiting for “decent” clothes. I asked to speak with the Dean of Girls, privately. I told her what I had observed, and what my children had told me. She stuttered out some flimsy excuse, about not being able to catch the White girls, in their short skirts, because they were usually in the HONORS hallways. I mean, really, lady?? And, she was Black. Sigh. Anyway, Leni. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, on your Mom’s wonderful blog. Xoxo…

  10. Denise July 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. I think it’s a good idea to keep questioning whatever you hear on Fox News.

  11. Sarah July 26, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    Nicely done Leni. It’s a good thing to grow up with an awareness of how unfair life can be, especially regarding race. And you’re mom is certainly one to take notice of that and to keep pondering it. I hope you continue to write and share your insights of life in HS. Things certainly have changed. Looking forward to your next blog post. Love you.

  12. Wendy Jane July 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    Thanks y’all. Thanks for the feedback. It means a lot to me. I’m glad you liked it.I hope to write more and share it with all of you.


    • Eric Ward July 18, 2016 at 6:26 am #

      Great job…Keep up the good work!!!!

      • Wendy Jane July 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

        Thanks so much, Eric! I’ll pass your note onto Leni. She’ll appreciate the support!

  13. Youngor Dennis July 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    Rock on Leni!!!
    Your Mom is an awesome person as well.

    • Wendy Jane July 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

      Thank you, Youngor! I will pass on your note to Leni–she will appreciate it. And thanks for your kind words. You are awesome, too.

      Wendy Jane

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