Welcome back, beautiful souls, to another insightful episode of the Mother Tree Network. I'm your host, Amanda Aminata, and today, on my fifty-seventh birthday, I am filled with gratitude and excitement to share this special episode about some thought-provoking topics that have been on my mind for quite some time.
Firstly, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to my mother, who may no longer be with us in the physical realm but continues to be a guiding presence in my life. On this day of my birth, I want to honor the lineage of strong Mississippi black women, who faced incredible adversity, from segregation to Jim Crow, and were descendants of enslaved people. Their resilience and wisdom have shaped my journey, and I want to pay tribute to their legacy.
Second, in this episode, I will share my perspective on why I do not consider myself a victim. This realization came to me while listening to an intriguing podcast by a Korean American marketing coach. While she discussed intersectional justice and acknowledged historical injustices faced by black and brown communities, it left me feeling unsettled and disempowered. I believe there is a more inspiring and empowering way to tell our stories, drawing upon the strength and wisdom passed down by older generations who have faced immense hardships.
Moreover, I will discuss the importance of how we tell our stories, especially for those in positions of influence, such as teachers, facilitators, and podcasters. Rather than focusing solely on oppression and victimization, we must also highlight narratives of resistance, resilience, and creativity. By shifting the perspective to one of power and possibility, we can empower ourselves and those around us to overcome obstacles and strive for greatness.
Special thanks to my frequency mate and hubby Michael Jamanis for allowing me to use a selection from Breathing with Bach. You can go to his youtube channel to get more of his music.
If you are inspired or ticked off by this episode, let me know! Please go here to leave a comment or to get on our newsletter.
Amanda Aminata [00:00:01]:
Hey. Beautiful. It is my birthday today. Yes. Today is September 5th, and I am fifty seven years old, and it is with pleasure that I am recording the introduction to this podcast episode. So first of all, of course, I wanna just say thank you to my mother. My mother, who even though she has passed over and has been in the land of the ancestors for 27 years, has been a beautiful companion to me and someone who has guided me when I remember to ask her, And I just wanna say out loud, thank you to my mother, and thank you to my mother's mother, and to my mother's mother's mother, and these all Mississippi black women who grew up under segregation, who grew up in the great depression, who grew up under Jim Crow, who are descendants of people literally enslaved, and I just wanna give honor to my mother's lineage and say thank you on this day of my birth. I said, well, I mean, thank you.
Amanda Aminata [00:01:17]:
Thank you. Thank you, Mommy. So I wanna share with you, today 2 things. This is a 2 part podcast. So the first part is something that I wrote. It's been on my mind for such a long time, and it's about, why I don't consider myself a victim? So it all started when I was listening to a really fun podcast by a Korean American marketing coach.
Amanda Aminata [00:02:06]:
I love her. She's really funny and she's bold and brassy and all of that. Right? But I listened to this one episode that she published where she was basically apologizing for giving marketing advice that wasn't nuanced for black people in particular, but then she expanded it to brown people as well. And as I listened to her, talk about intersectional justice and apologize. I realized I start I was feeling bad. it actually didn't make me feel good or acknowledged or, you know, feel like like, I was a powerful creative being and felt instead the way that she did it when she was alluding to slavery and Jim Pro and white terrorism and over policing. It just made me feel like a victim, not like the awesome soul entrepreneur that I am, who's on the verge of profound wealth and giving and impact. You know? She, So one of the things I felt was like, the way she's telling this story about people like me about black entrepreneurs, she's missing something because even though there are so many difficulties, and their complications and their contradictions and, you know, there are good people and bad people and different ways to do business, I think it's a story that is quite inspiring.
Amanda Aminata [00:03:51]:
And when I think about what older black women have told me, these are women who've lived through the great depression, women who've lived through Jim Crow and segregation and, you know, raising children on their own and having limited job opportunities, education, etcetera. These are women who had it hard, harder than me. And one of the things they told me, what they told me is with stuff like Keep going. You're brilliant. You can do anything you put your mind to. You're gonna get there. I'm so proud of you. You're a genius.
Amanda Aminata [00:04:23]:
literally, I'm telling you things that my great aunt Besse used to say to me a lot. So, So when I think about how people talk about intersectional justice and, you know, going back to this podcast, I feel like a a recitation of how hard it is for black people leaves me feeling unsettled and complete, dissatisfied and, not really served? I feel like going over the situation can be educational for people who aren't black who don't have a sense of systemic oppression. but I wonder if even for those folks, the way we talk about it, the narrative we tell of victimization tends to invite pity or guilt. And neither one of those things does me good. It doesn't feed me. So So I really want to encourage you, encourage me to to think about how we tell the story. And the way I'm choosing to tell my story, the story of my people, of my particular individual family of myself, of myself as part of the big, you know, group called human beings, of the big group called women, I'm I'm I'm telling the story as one of incredible creativity, persistence, imperfect, bad assery. And and I wanna say this is really important how you think about telling this story.
Amanda Aminata [00:06:17]:
is really important if you're in a position to teach other people. I've had the opportunity to work with classroom teachers at the college level at K through 12, And I love teachers. I love love love teachers because teachers have saved my life many times. but I do know that some teachers with good intentions teach American history, like, it's just one horrible moment and one broken promise and one systemic experience of oppression, a genocide to the next. And I know they do this because they wanna break down and bust the bubble of of the myth of, you know, freedom and, you know, for all. Right? but to me, when you have people who have been oppressed or who've been marginalized in a room where you're reviewing has history or where you are acknowledging them, I think it's important to emphasize a narrative of resistance. of resilience of incredible capacity in addition to loss and grief. I think when you are the teacher facilitator podcaster, I think your job is to empire empower people not to make them think the odds are so much against them that they might as well stop.
Amanda Aminata [00:07:52]:
or they might as well just sit and despair. Ricardo Levin Morales, who's someone who I really Myer. He's a Puerto Rican born, artists and longtime organizer from the 19 sixties. And Ricardo said, something like this when he was answering a Q and a, he said, focus on resistance. So to me, for every rotten, awful oppressive system, there has also been human kindness, transcendence, unforeseen triumph, transformation, creativity, So I think we need to look at our lives and ourselves as being in a stream a lineage of power impossibility. In my own case, when I was a 1st generation college student and foster kid at Stanford University, I felt less than a lot until I got to study black women writers And then all of a sudden, the whole world of art as a as a zone of resistance, as a zone of liberation became apparent to me. I'll never forget the day when I left a class at Sanford where I petted everyone in the room who wasn't a black woman. Why? Because only black women in my eighteen ninety year old mine, only black women could be that very special thing called black woman writer.
Amanda Aminata [00:09:46]:
To my mind, black women writers were the most astonishingly sensitive, brilliant, insightful, artistic, and super accomplished people on her I remember one of the books that I love was called We specialize in The Holy Impossible. There's another one called all the men are black, all the women are white, but some of us are brave. Oh my god. You should Google these books. I love them. So the books and the conversations that we have and gave me such a sense of Ashay of the power to make things happen that I saw myself as this gifted actor as this inheritor of these traditions of this power, And I, obviously, I felt really good about it. And here it is, like, 30 years later. Let me see.
Amanda Aminata [00:10:41]:
I'm 57, 37 years later. I still remember that moment, when I left that classroom. So shifting the story to look for resistance and magic, I started to see the parts of my identity that you could say are marginalized or press because of class or race or gender, I start to look at those parts of my identity as special as sites of power, as places to stand and see war, to go deeper. even today when, you know, I'm talking to people, I often tell people, you know, Don't feel bad for me. I'm not a victim. I knew the score when I incarnated on planet Earth. I saw the realities of separation in this 3rd dimension, and I chose to come here as a black woman in my particular familial lineage from Mississippi, with all the hardships and the spiritual wealth, I chose this experience. And if I wanted ease or non duality, I could have stayed with source, with the 1, you know, wherever the other dimensions I'm occupying, but, no, I chose to come here.
Amanda Aminata [00:12:17]:
And The way I see myself is, like, I came here to heal, to transform, to cocreate with mother earth's consciousness and with other living beings. So I don't I don't need people to tell me how bad they feel for me or how bad they feel for us collectively, instead what I say is to stand beside me. to back me up, to look to me for brilliance, for depth, for magic, especially when it's not about race. Instead of reminding me of the obstacles and apologizing, you know, for her oversight, I wish that the funny podcast who had said something to me like, Hey. For all you amazing black women out there who are facing obstacles that maybe Asian or white women aren't facing when you do your marketing, I've got your back. And I wanna make sure that all my advice going forward is really gonna be nuanced so that if you need to tweak it to work with what you're dealing with, it's gonna work. if it doesn't, I want you to come back and tell me about it. I appreciate you said something like that.
Amanda Aminata [00:13:32]:
You know? okay. So I guess this whole thing about not being a victim, so I've been thinking about it. So I'm like, okay. Listen. I'm an intergalactic being. You know, I think about the character, BT, in the BT series, by Nanare O'Kora for, And, you know, she's from a whole line of people that they're called harmonizers. I'm a harmonizer. I specialize in the holy impossible, just like all these, you know, generations of black women before me, some of us are brave.
Amanda Aminata [00:14:13]:
You know what I'm saying? That's that's that's who I am, and that's who I invite you. I invite you to look at the myth or the story that you're living in. And if you hold various or press identities or experiences in your lineage, I invite you to, reinterpret the facts in a way that reminds you how awesome you are. I had an experience when I was doing a meditation being led by this amazing teacher from India. This person was so one point, and I was like, oh my god. The heavens can hear you when you pray, dude. anyway, Zoon is meditation with him. And it it just occurred to me.
Amanda Aminata [00:15:08]:
You know what? If the story or the myth that you're living in, has you stuck in it as a, as an object as someone who is being acted upon as a victim, then it's time to elevate the story, to look at it from a higher perspective. to see how else you might contextualize this. So in my own situation, I talked about being intergalactic, So, like, you know, I've been told and I choose to hold on to that, you know, Doctor Mandekamp, I'm a need to soul, I mean, not to soul plant work of fire woman, is from the Sirius star system. You know, I choose to hold on to, that I've got some serious magic you know, that I walk with, that I carry with me, that I have, like, I roll deep in ancestors, I mean, I don't do this all the time because, you know, I I feel small and sad and scared. a lot more than I would like to, but when I consciously choose to reframe myself as this badass, beautiful, amazing black woman, then I feel good. I get more shit done. I reach out to people. I have a big heart.
Amanda Aminata [00:16:39]:
I take people inside of my heart. And at 57, wow, I guess I can say that's what it's about. I have a big heart. I take people into my heart, including myself, I I exude magic and high frequency love when I move around in space. and I'm incredibly adventurous and curious about what I can do, what we can do co creating together with our mother, the earth. It's all looking I was gonna say it's all looking good. It is all looking good, and I know it's all looking bad because of all the stuff that's happening. My heart goes out to the people experiencing loss and death right now, and there's so many of us.
Amanda Aminata [00:17:34]:
And I also wanna say, you know, I got a message from the ancestors, and they wanted me to share that Don't worry. Don't get hard. Don't get tight. Don't get reactive. because we've won. In the future, we've won. And if we can say relax we can stay compassionate, clear, grounded, rooted, we will get to that future, that victory sooner. Alright.
Amanda Aminata [00:18:23]:
Love you all. Peace and love until the next time.