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Hello Everyone!

For one of my law school courses title Race and the Law, I had the pleasure of reading The New Jim Crow.  Its a great read and it presented some very interesting assertions and theories that I think are very relevant today in 2016.  Check out my thoughts below:

Michelle Alexander’s purpose for writing The New Jim Crow was to alert “liberals” like herself about her theory of the true purpose of the criminal justice system.  She wanted people to understand how “people are being targeted, criminalized, [and] stereotyped to support popular complacent consent for [individuals being criminalized and] incarcerated, and then denied full citizenship upon release.”

In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander addresses the issue of racism being nonexistent in America by explicitly stating that racism is not dead, because it exists within the criminal justice system and its treatment of Black minorities.  In the book, Michelle Alexander discusses the rebirth of the caste system, mass incarceration, the war on drugs, and her theory of the New Jim Crow.  Michelle Alexander also discusses how this theory of the New Jim Crow originated, and she discusses the history and the purpose of Jim Crow laws. Michelle Alexander specifically speaks to the oppression of Black Americans by discussing slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of the racial caste in America.  The racial caste system being a system in which seeks to control an entire race.

Michelle Alexander then discusses the issue of mass incarceration and its impact on Black America.  Michelle Alexander sees mass incarceration as a process that causes individuals, especially Black minorities, to be swept into a system that brands them with the label of being a criminals or a convicted felons, places them in prison, and then releases them into society as permanent second class citizen.  These individuals become second class citizens because they are stripped of many of their rights because of their criminal records.  Specifically, Michelle Alexander compares this issue of mass incarceration to purpose of the earlier Jim Crow laws.  Michelle Alexander speaks specifically about the War on Drugs in relation to it’s devastating impact on the African American community, and the way in which it has enabled the criminal justice system to control and oppress people of color.   Michelle Alexander acclaims that mass incarceration has placed minorities at a lifelong disadvantage. In the book, Michelle Alexander draws parallels between the issues of mass incarceration and past racial caste systems such as Jim Crow laws. Michelle Alexander places an emphasis on the way in both systems were formed to racially discriminate and control society.

This book really addresses the issues of racism and racial insubordination in today’s society.  As discussed during class discussions, Black Americans, in particular, Black men, are incarcerated at higher levels than white Americans.  During the course of our class, we addressed some of the factors that have led to these high percentages of incarcerated Black men including issues related to a lack of resources in Black communities, disparities in the American Education system for minority youth, and institutionalized racism.  In this book, Michelle Alexander is addressing the issue of racial discrimination in the context of institutionalized racism.

Michelle Alexander really explored the impact of the criminal justice system on an individual’s life.  Once a person is convicted of a crime in the criminal justice system, their life is changed forever.  As a result of a person being a convicted felon, they are no longer able to legally obtain government housing, they struggle with securing employment, and they are denied benefits like Medicaid and food stamps.

Convicted felons are also prohibited from voting until they pay all of the necessary fines, which is often nearly impossible for many individuals because of the difficulty they find in obtaining employment.  Likewise, convicted felons and people with criminal records are often negatively categorized as a result of the stigmas that convicted felons are associated with in society.  Michelle Alexander was speaking to all of these known issues for people with criminal records in The New Jim Crow, and she was speaking specifically about the impact mass incarceration and the War on Drugs has had in the African American community.

In this book, Michelle Alexander wanted people to understand that racism still exists in America today, and it’s just as significant as it was during slavery and the years of Jim Crow laws.  She wanted readers to understand how racial control is just being perpetuated through our criminal justice system.  She wanted people to understand why race matters by discussing the way in which our criminal justice system disproportionately incarcerates African Americans and the impact that incarceration has on the African American community as a result of that incarceration.  Essentially, she introduced America to an issue that has oppressed and deprived many Black Americans for decades.  This book is a must read.  It exposes many truths about the criminal justice system, and it really exposes America’s intentional colorblindness to racial issues that are negatively affecting minorities in America.

Please comment and let me know if you’ve read this book already.  I’m also open to hear opinions both in favor and against!  I hope you all check it out!

*Please note that all of the quotes in this blog are from The New Jim Crow.

“if you have faith in God’s plan for you, you will fulfill your duty…” This speech was AMAZING!  Very inspiring!  Enjoy!

Completed my first year of law school this week!  God is able!  His promises will never return to you void!  i’m a living witness that the God we serve is faithful.  I drove to the law school on Tuesday morning for my last final, said my morning prayer, and then just became so overwhelmed by his goodness 🙂  Statistics would say that someone like me, should have never made it this far.  However, the word of God says that for “the vision is for an appointed time” such as now!  All the glory be to God.

I was sitting here thinking about how worthy God is.  I mess up all of the time, yet he still blesses me and still loves me.  Despite me being me.  He doesn’t point out my flaws to condemn me, but he shows me my mistakes to better me.  Wow, what a mighty God.  I’ve been blessed with an amazing clerkship with a judge for my first summer (PAID too), and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity.  One thing I know for sure, is that God is real.  I know that i’ve faced many trials and I will have many more to come as God continues to elevate me into my destiny.  However, as long as I have him in my corner, I’ve got all I need to be more than a conqueror.

Be blessed this week.  Be blessed at work, at school, in your cars, in your homes, and wherever else you might be.  Know that you have a God that loves you, he’s working and intervening in your situations on YOUR BEHALF.  i’m a living witness that things get better and that your feelings are not always indicative of your reality (basically, you’re fight a fixed fight, this war has already been won for you!).  I pray that great things happen this week for all who reads this.

P.s.  I have decided to write a book over the course of the next few years.  I believe God has given me a beautiful gift of encouragement, and I want to honor him and be a vessel to the world (more information in the future, I will definitely be sharing my journey with you all).

What’s your gift, and how can you use it to bring glory to the kingdom of God?

The Faith Over Fear Woman

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Hope you have a blessed week, full of favor, joy, peace and victory! Remember, God has it all under control. Faith over fear 🙂

I know how cliché people find New Year resolutions to be and I completely understand some of the reasoning. However, I think New Year resolutions are great! I like to refer to them as a yearly declaration.

We get an opportunity to greatly impact how we approach an entire year. Of course we have the opportunity to make this decision at any point throughout the year, but on Jan. 1st we get the opportunity to do it with people around the world, and everyone knows great things happen in numbers (Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my father who is in heaven Matt. 18:19).   So here, we are given this opportunity to celebrate with each other and speak life over our next year.

As I thought about my 2014 I thought about how it begun, the beginning days of my 2014 were brutal. So many things went wrong and I had no idea how I would endure the 360 days that would follow. BUT wow, do I serve a good God! I experienced God’s grace and favor at great heights in 2014! It wasn’t a perfect year but God fulfilled promises in 2014! I was surely MORE THAN A CONQUEROR in 2014!

I learned so much about myself in 2014.  For 2015, outside of just continuing to better myself and work toward my purpose, my goal is simple. I JUST WANT TO LIVE!

I want to live life more passionately.  I want to be less concerned about the past and more focused on where I am going.  I don’t want to be trapped by bitterness or worry, I want to love deeply and forgive quickly.  There is freedom in choosing to live!

I don’t want to spend another day of my life blaming people or circumstances for habits, hang ups, and hurts I possess.  I choose to move forward, to let God touch me in the places of my life that I can’t even reach and move on.  It’s really that simple.  I serve a God who is sovereign, he is in complete control of EVERYTHING.  His promises for my life and for your life are clear, we are destined to shine and prosper, to LIVE abundantly!

I challenge all of you in 2015 to LIVE.  Keep your eyes on God, and enjoy this very special gift we have been given called life.  People are losing their lives daily, young and the old, yet we are alive today.  LIVE!  Become all you’re destined to be.  Live with peace, live with joy in your heart, those are things that you can have in spite of the trials and tribulations that may come your way in 2015.

One last thing, LIVE and ENJOY LIVING, in front of those who might have thought it was over for you.  People who may have spoken negativity over your life, and the people who may have tried to declare your situation dead (you know, the one you have been fasting and praying for) going into 2015.  Enjoy living in front of those individuals who may have told you that you would never get where you desire to be!

LIVE, because you are on your way to destiny, breakthroughs are coming for you and your family, Deliverance, freedom, healing — its yours in 2015!  In spite of what naysayers may believe or even what things looked like coming into 2015, remember that IT IS WRITTEN, victory was yours even before the storm.

Be encouraged, this is going to be a great year for you.  No matter what may come your way in 2015, trust in God, his promises will never return to you VOID.  To “live” is to make the decision that you are going to put all of your trust in God.  It is to make the decision that no matter what you feel or face in this new year, you are going to choose to believe in what you know.

Choose Faith over Fear for 2015!

FYI: I have officially completed my first semester of law school, God is good!  So, one of the most interesting things I observed among law students over the semester was how competitive they are with the other students.  Some of those students believe the only way they can be at the top is to knock others down.

I think that is a depressing mindset and perspective.  I hear the horror stories of people ripping pages out of others student’s law books and I have witnessed the mind games that some of the law students like to play.  However, I think that it is really an unnecessary burden take on, to think that the only way you can live out your purpose is by hindering someone from theirs, is crazy to me.

I really believe that the only person you should ever be competing with is yourself.  You should be working your butt off to be a better you than you were yesterday.  However, I believe to intentionally try to hinder someone else’s blessing, is truly to destroy your own.

I am a believer of the idea that EVERY person was put on this earth to fulfill a unique mission.  Every person has a purpose that involves them doing something that has never been done. Something great, something that impacts lives, something that makes their life meaningful!

BUT in order for a person to become all they are called to be one must stay true to their brand.  One must stay true to who they are, in spite of how difficult it may be to do so.  I love to encourage people and help people in any way that I can.  I don’t mind encouraging someone as they go into a interview for the same job I want.  Why? because there is no competition for destiny.  What’s meant to be will always be.  If they get the job, than thats great!  Seeing others succeed should be empowering not discouraging.

We have to walk BOLDY and with CONFIDENCE in our calling. My brand involves me choosing faith over fear in everyday life and challenges.  That is who I am!  That is what I am called to do.  I have had to trust God in some of the most fragile times of my life.  I have had to show transparency about some of my most personal decisions.  Not because I wanted to but because I cannot get to where God is trying to take me by being someone else.  That’s not how you elevate to the next level.

As a future lawyer, so many people question how it is possible that I am going into this profession.  They stereotype all lawyers to be liars, aggressors, manipulators, and nobody pictures someone like myself to fit the description.  I always smile when I get that type of feedback because it a reminder of how important it is for me to stay true to my brand.  God is going to use me in this profession in ways that I believe are inconceivable for me right now.  He is not asking me to change for the profession but he wants to use me as I am, I once heard someone say that “God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the called.”

Today, I just wanted to tell you that it is essential to your purposes to be who you are called to be, unapologetically.  God wants to elevate you.  He does not want you to worry about what other people are doing or achieving because he wants you to be too busy and focused on your own purpose. Destiny awaits  and the only way you can get there is by being you.  Your brand is valuable, it is unique, and it was personally designed by God (which means you are the BOMB).

Love who you are, own it, and thrive!  Listen, I love who I am.  The choices that I have made, by the grace of God, to be where I am today is nothing less of destiny.  I love my flaws, and I love the things about myself that makes me different.  People don’t always understand or accept different, but different is what makes people great.   “Different” is a gift from God.

Stay true to you, use your faith to overcome fear, uplift others, and watch God move in your life.

Regardless of what you are dealing with today, no matter how hard it is to face the issues of your reality, always remember that all things are continuously working together for your good!  You will win!  You are victorious!  God gives his biggest battles to his strongest soldiers.   It will all be worth it in the end, nothing you are going through right now is without purpose.

I heard a sermon one day, the preacher said words that I will never forget because they helped me adapt to a new perspective:  We all go through storms.  Its about choices.  You can either let the storm kill you, or ride it to your destiny!

Storms were never purposed to kill us, but it is through storms that we grow into who we are purposed to be in life.  It is through storms that we learn how to overcome!  It is through storms that we learn about our amazing God!

Right now, in this moment, it may not be easy to feel broken and still grab hold to enough hope to keep going, but it’s worth it.  Your story is already written, you know what happens in the end.  You’re victorious!

Be encouraged!

Choose Faith Over Fear!