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July 29, 2016

My Family is Here!

I feel as if there has not been a post from me in years but I have a fantastic excuse! My parents and sister are in the Netherland!

My parents arrived on July 14th and my sister on the 18th and we've been spending a lot of time in Leeuwarden because of the cutest pumpkin in the entire world Dempher Joachim Cassius Henry also known as DJ. Our family welcomed him on July 17th and we've been enthralled ever since. Please excuse my absence as I soak up his cuteness. See yall soon.



At church the day before DJ's arrival


July 13, 2016

Killing the Magic

There is no way for me to begin this. I hit the backspace button so many times on these few words that I am shocked that we have arrived to the end of the second sentence. I think the first steps are always the hardest ones. #BlackLivesMatter Let's just do this!

I am a 23 year old living in one of the best cities in the Netherlands: Rotterdam. I am also a woman and I am black. Many people may not understand the gravity of what they've just read but to be all those things make me one of the least privileged people in the world and unfortunately I am one of many. According to Buzzfeed's privilege test I scored 33 out of 100 meaning that I am not privileged at all. I grew up on an island and I think that sheltered me from getting an even lower score on the test. I would love to begin this by saying that there has never been a time that I have been more or even that there has never been a time that I have been less but I cannot. You see not much has actually changed for my demographic and that is why I am writing.

In the wake of last week's shootings many have come out on social media criticizing the #BlackLivesMatter movement calling it the new KKK. A movement for equality and really the right to live and not be harassed is being called a terrorist group! For years black people have been told that they are free but we have always had conditional freedom. You can get angry but you are not allowed to do so in public because you should not come across as aggressive. I could tell you that slavery was an American problem and that the civil rights movement was theirs as well. I could point out that no black people are being shot by cops in the Netherlands or the Caribbean and I would not be a complete liar. That is probably the reason why most people outside the USA are unconcerned but let me be clear on one thing. If you are black you are at risk.

A sprinter born on the island of Curacao runs for the Dutch national team and he is very good. Churandy Martina actually won the European 200M championship this year but was disqualified because his foot was on the line. One would think that our country would feel sad about the fact that the gold was taken away but happy that he is so fast that he could win in the Olympics. That was not the case! When winning Churandy was referred to as the Dutch runner but when he lost he was suddenly the islander. That is the Netherlands I live in! Statian young men and women live in cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam where being black is normal but also live in places like Leeuwarden where they are viewed as criminals. Let us not forget about the justice system problems we have in the Netherlands where blacks who are in the minority somehow manage to commit the most crimes and spend the longest time in prison. Sound familiar yet? I live in a country that allows people to say "all black people are from the ghetto in public", only to hear that the person is free to say what they would like. I am live in country that thinks that if a black woman is being harassed or even robbed by a black man that they must know each other.

Many consider peace as the only way and that we should not be too forward in our dealings. "Ignore the racists" they say. "They are idiots and a waste of time", I am told. "Don't retaliate because you will make your race look worse." All of this and still I have yet to hear a person say that the slavery rebellions in which black slaves slaughtered their masters was a bad move. How can we then think that in 2016 we should react with peace? How can we say that we should not fight IF we have to? I will not criticize black Americans for standing up for their rights, I will continue to criticize blacks around the world who do not. Progressive news stations like the Young Turks have been telling the truth about our problems as a race for years and yet it has taken the massacres of our brothers and sisters for us to start talking. Racism is not dead, discrimination breathes and slavery merely shapeshifted. Now ask yourself how much longer you are prepared to accept this life and do you want the same life for future generations?

The Netherlands will never carry Jackie Aina's ELF eyeshadow palette and I will never walk into an Etos and find my shade of drugstore foundation unless we do something about it. Unless we start demanding everything that we want. Until we stop working on July 1st (Slavery Emancipation Day) and allowing our children to celebrate Sinterklaas with Zwarte Piet nothing will change. Until you scream no more TOGETHER nothing will happen. At the 2016 BET Awards Jesse Williams called the black race magic it's time for us to tell the world that WE ARE REAL!



July 12, 2016

Thoughtful Tuesday

I just wanted to share something that I found very interesting. This truly sums up the way I feel about white people who care but not enough.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." 

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection." (King, 1963)



July 9, 2016

No Statia Sunday.

I'm really sorry but in the wake of last week's shootings I cannot write anything about Statia when my race is suffering. I will be back on Wednesday with a post on the Black Lives Matter movement. See you soon!



July 5, 2016

Madness Monday!

I did not know that this could or would be a thing but here we are. This is my commentary on an Island Council meeting on Statia. Do enjoy!



July 3, 2016

Meen Able!

Welcome to another Statia Sunday! I really wanted to post something about growing up on Statia but unfortunately the self-proclaimed leader of government (SPLoG) ruined it for me. So due to last week's events here we are once again hanging our heads in shame. Let's do this!

So Mr. Clyde Van Putten's (SPLoG) latest antics are proof of the crazy on my beloved island. I am still shocked by his choice to go to the United Nations for a second time. I would say that his going should save our government money as he does not stay in four/five star hotels but since the money he saves goes into his pocket I feel cheated. For everyone who missed last week here's a quick recap. The SPLoG and some dudes from Bonaire went to complain about Holland's unfair treatment of the lovely islands. Statia did this last year though at the time Mr. Merkman and Mr. Zaandam were a part of that little circus.

Mr. SPLoG has been fighting for more autonomy and I have been wondering what he intends to do with it. He keeps saying that under no circumstance will Dutch people hold key positions on the island when our people are qualified. The term 'our people' seems to have a very loose definition to Mr. SPLoG as it should be less someone points out that discrimination is a bad idea. I firmly believe that Mr. SPLoG wants our island to become more like the islands around us and this is reflected in many things. These subtle hints like the use of the name speaker to refer to a chairman (something that is British) or the way he has stated that he wishes to work with the English/foreign islands rather than the Dutch ones. Statia has never been an English island. We do not speak English in an English way, we don't dress English and we definitely do not act English so why in high heavens is the SPLoG trying to turn us into them? The islands of the Commonwealth are in no way better off than the islands of the Dutch Kingdom.

This next bit is directed to you Mr. Van Putten so pay attention!

There is a constant back and forth between Statia and the Hague and the only people that have suffered is the general public. While you were busy fighting for more autonomy, did you ask the public if they wanted you to talk to the Hague, cooperate and give us a better quality of life? How much time did you waste when Holland decided that enough was enough and boycotted our island for months? You come out and spew all of this emancipation, colonization, slavery nonsense and people in their desperation believe you. I'm exhausted by your constant bashing of the Democratic party with whom you refuse to work. I am over hearing the same song about the Dutch wanting a colony. OF COURSE THEY DO now take that information and spin it to benefit our island because should we ever want independence the United Nations will give it to us if we are ready. For now let's just work on getting better. Most of all I am sick of being sick of your racist, derogatory, sexist comments. You are our Trump and as a person with a brain I cannot follow you. I remember you calling me an educated fool once and it stuck with me. How could a local politician tell a student something like that? I realized that you needed to find a way to bring me down to your level as you have no education. Any fool can die for his country Mr. Van Putten, it takes a man to live for it.

It really is time for Statians to start thinking for themselves. We need to start tackling our problems together. When the roaming animals issue is resolved what will be next? These are things that we need to start looking at and working on because Statians are much more powerful than we think. I truly believe that by cooperating with every good initiative on the island we can bring about change.

Let's wrap this up so that we're clear on everything shall we? We're Dutch and we do not wish to change that so the government needs to stop pushing the Hague in that direction. Secondly Statia needs actions not words so Mr. SPLoG should do us a favor and shut up. Lastly it is time for everyone to understand that we have the power to change our island and shape our future so we need to get up and move. We can no longer keep silent, I refuse to. Not in 2016, not ever! The revolution will not be televised it will be live!


IslandGyal (Urisha Blake in case you were not 100% sure)

July 1, 2016

Livestock: A Horror Story

It's July 1st, Emancipation Day! I'm always happy and grateful for the right of freedom. I never forget about what my ancestors had to go through to get me where I am today.


Come to our lands, come to our shores
You want them? You got the stuff?
Take 'em they’re yours...

I’ve got 550,000 healthy ones
Male and female, young and old
They are ready, the lot of them, they’re ready to be sold.

Here! To seal the deal take this girl she can be your toy!
She is untouched so take her as your Lord commands
She will enjoy the ravishing as much any animal can
Take her now!

Scream scream scream and wail
You don’t want it there?
Hmm ok into your tail

Wag your tail! Bark you bitch!
Get a needle and thread she needs to be stitched

Yes my captain as you wish!

75000 dood?
Die dieren waren niet zo sterk!
Take the rest and sell them all!
Black, blue, purple big and small

The little pet, she will stay with me.
Can she fetch? Oh no?
I will train her you watch and see.

–Urisha Blake