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May 29, 2016

Why Grandfather Blake is not Here.

I have decided to dedicate every Sunday to my home Sint Eustatius. So welcome to Statia Sunday!

During the last week my dad posted this photo of his fence:

The fence is obviously damaged and the person to blame was not a person but a cow. For as long as I can remember roaming cows as well as other livestock has been a serious issue on Statia. Every four years the general public was fed the same lie by political parties "if elected we will take the animals off the street." Unfortunately we have always been disappointed until now because now we are just furious. Furious because things are getting worse and it is not 100% the government's fault.

The new government has been trying to live up to their word and Statians have not been helping. Materials were provided for livestock owners to keep their animals fenced and yet they are not doing much to keep the cows in the pastures where they belong. There are laws in place to protect civilians' property if a cow causes damages but often times the cow is not claimed.

Fortunately there is a solution check out my YouTube channel for more information!

May 25, 2016

That's my Face on my ID

I am in a train to Utrecht. It is raining and I am late for school. I'm in no way prepared for this day. With my bare face and uncombed hair I seem to fit right in with the other passengers. They are all having their morning coffee and all anxious to finally get to work and like me they are praying that nothing slows down this train because being delayed is not a good look right now. The conductor announces herself as she comes to check our cards and tickets. My card like the lady sitting next to me in a yellow plastic holder. So if the conductor wants to make sure that I am who her gadget says I am she will have to slide the card up to see my picture. It only takes a second so this should be no problem at all. She takes the lady's card first since she is in the aisle seat, holds it up to the scanner and hands it back to her. She then takes mine slides it up, looks at me and returns it. I immediately notice what has just happened so I keep my eyes on her as she merrily does her job. I look for passengers with card holders and she does not look at their pictures. Finally she leaves the car and I sit and ponder exactly what just happened. I replay the situation over and over in my mind, I remember her cheery voice and her warm smile. She was not a mean person, she seemed friendly so why did she feel the need to double check me? As I sat thinking about it I realized that it is probably because I am black.

The Netherlands is a tolerant country meaning that they manage to get by with knowing that you exist but that's where it ends. My incident is just one of many and they occur more often than they should. When I am faced with a situation that would make any human being lose their cool I am reminded that I cannot because being an angry black woman is not a good look. Often times people tell you to just ignore it or to accept that people are stupid but how do you cope with people who do not know that they are even racist. A person close to me once went to Groningen for his job and a kid no older than three called him a Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The child's mother was extremely embarrassed and apologized as much as she could but what she did not understand is that her child's ignorance was the problem. Every year thousands of people protest the existence of the holiday character and every year Dutch people claim that is a tradition and tradition is important. What does that really mean though?

Tradition has been an excuse for almost every foolish practice under the sun. "My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were slave owners and I will not give mine up." - Some Southern Idiot
We believe that we have evolved and moved on from such ridiculous thinking and maybe we have. I mean no one really thinks that people should be enslaved but what do we think about race? A recent study showed that when Dutch white parents were asked which race their sons should never bring home a  partner black was on top of the list. If that does not open our eyes I do not know what will. I have yet to meet a person who does not think that my skin is beautiful but the person beneath the skin is what is truly important and what is lost to many.

So coming back to the tolerance level in the Netherlands, the country on a whole is extremely tolerant but is not accepting and will not embrace differences. Basically if you are a Muslim you can be one  just as long as you keep your belief over at your house and do not let me see or hear it and all will be well. That is the Holland we live in and it is time to change that. My face is on my ID but that is all it is, a face. There is one way to know more and that is to close your eyes to my gorgeous color and open your heart.

May 22, 2016

Why I'm a Feminist!

On November 30th, 1993 Rosabel Blake gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and named her Urisha. That's Me! My dad missed my grand entrance because I postponed the show several times so he gave up and went back to work. For those of you who don't know Sint Eutstatius (Statia) is very small and it takes 5 minutes to get just about anywhere. I entered the world in a room filled with strong women and that was probably the day I became a feminist.

I was raised in the church, LITERALLY. We would go to church on Saturdays (Sabbath), Sunday- and Wednesday evenings. I was in a church club as soon as I was old enough and before that I attended with my parents who were club counselors. When I was about six I told my mom that I did not like the fact that the bible had so many boy stories. My favorite story was the one of Queen Esther because I like queens but also because she saved the day. Years later her story is still my favorite but I now see beyond the shiny crown.

Today we live in a world in which women who embrace their sexuality are called sluts. Girls are taught that they must hold on to their virginity until marriage while men do not have the same rules. Rather, male sexual experience is welcomed in relationships. I realized a long time ago that I would not be a slave to society. The amount of sex I would have would be based on MY beliefs and convictions. They would have nothing to do with what a church or society deemed correct. I decided that Miley Cyrus is a perfect role model for young girls because when you are 23 you are your own woman and if dressing half naked makes you comfortable you should be free to do just that! In a world where nudity is not main stream shows like Game of Thrones highlight the strength of women in characters like Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister. They embrace their sexuality and emotions and use them to be cunning and rule even better than many men do. Yet on that show we have seen those women naked more often than we should while we have yet to see a penis. The injustice seems to never end and I find myself asking "how is this still a thing?'

While Hillary Clinton is fighting to help and serve her country she is accused by male chauvinist pigs like the orange skinned buffoon Donald J. Trump for playing the "woman card". I am a feminist because I will play the "woman card" everyday of my life until things are equal. Being a man should not make you automatically get a higher salary in the same way that having my period does not get me off of work for a week every month. Feminists are not women (or men) who think that women are the superior race rather we are people who fight for equal rights.

As an enlightened black woman it is almost impossible for me not be a feminist. It is really just one more thing that I have to fight for and in this fight I am not alone. Women's rights are not for one race but for the human race! I will never say that anyone needs to become an activist but I am saying that regardless of your gender you need to start to pay attention. What type of world do you want your daughter, sister, and friend to live in?

Welcome to my World!

Welcome to my blog!

I live in the Netherlands the land of sex, weed and cheese but I am originally from the Historical Gem of the Eastern Caribbean, Sint Eustatius. Like most people from the Dutch Caribbean I moved to Rotterdam to study. Along the way I have been faced with many challenges but I am slowly finding myself and figuring out exactly who I am. I have learned many things in my 22 years of life. I now have way too much makeup knowledge, I am passionate about poetry and I still love singing.

You'll learn about me as well as life in the Netherlands. I will collaborate with my best friends and bring you some pretty interesting footage. We'll try a lot and learn a lot.

I want to talk about everything and anything! So read, comment subscribe and enjoy the journey with me. It is about to be a blast!