All Articles Tagged "Texas"
I never realized how important it is to know where you come until I moved to New York City.
I can remember the day I moved into my first apartment by myself, less than a week after moving into the city. A neighbor that lived below me introduced himself and had a thick but charming accent. As ignorant as it probably sounds now, after exchanging pleasantries, I asked him, “So what part of Africa are you from?”
As the sheltered daughter of a Nigerian, I honestly assumed most black people I encountered with accents probably were from West Africa. But that was not the case for this jolly older man, skin a rich chocolate, accent something I had never heard before.
“No, no, no, I’m not from Africa,” he shook his head and said. “I’m from Guyana…in South America?”
“Awwwww okay, I’m sorry,” I said.
While I might have apologized, my first thought was, “Where is that?”
As I settled in here, navigated the different neighborhoods by myself and with friends, and went to parades and festivals, I encountered an array of cultures that I could appreciate. With these cultures were very proud people who put the flags of their countries and islands in their apartment windows, in their cars, on their shirts, and even wore handkerchiefs with the country or island on them on their heads at the gym. It was nice to get to know about other people’s cultures, but I had my own that I needed to respect and embrace.
I’m actually very lucky in that sense. My father, as I somewhat previously stated, is from Benin City in Nigeria, which is in Edo State (Sorry to disappoint the people who always ask if I’m Yoruba or Igbo, I’m neither). I knew this information since I was young, but that was about all I knew. We weren’t taught the language. We didn’t really eat food a lot of my Nigerian friends and their family ate, aside from my dad’s take on fufu. We didn’t practice a lot of the cultural traditions, including curtsying for our elders, and we even called our aunts and uncles, Aunt ___ or Uncle ___, even though I would later learn that these things could be incredibly offensive (my auntie literally yelled at me one day when she thought I called her solely by her name–so after being briefed on things, I just call her auntie). However, our extended family members were well aware of the fact that my brothers and sisters and I were the odd relatives, so Americanized that during my first visit to my father’s city, one of them called my dad a Yankee. Something he was furious about and that at the age of 13, didn’t realize how insulting such a statement was.
Once I started living here and started traveling to Benin City more, I tried to engross myself in everything that I could. I picked up some Bini that I spoke with my sister and my uncle (and still speak with that aunt who yelled at me when I visit her in the Bronx); I ate all the food that caused my sinuses to drain as I could; I bought as many coral beads as my bag could carry before I returned home; I wrote down all the names of my many cousins (more than 40) and started learning how to cook an array of dishes I saw made in Benin City and just at the homes of my aunts and uncles. Jollof rice, fried rice, Efo, and so on and so forth. I still have so much to learn (which my Nigerian friends and boyfriend love to remind me of), but I feel more connected to that part of my culture now than I ever have in the past.
But on the other side of things, I know very little about where my mother comes from. When people ask me about my last name (Uwumarogie) and say, ‘What is that?’ I say “My dad is from Nigeria!” And when they ask me about my mother, the reply is a shrug and “My mom is from Austin, Texas.” All I know of my mother’s side of the family is that they are all over Texas, and as far as my family tree goes for them, Texas is the beginning and the end. But I’m not okay with living with just that information.
I know I’m incredibly blessed because I can say that my father and his family are from Nigeria. They were born there, and those who moved abroad are moving back to die there (my uncle just retired there to start businesses and live happily in the place of his childhood). But there’s another part of me that’s missing. I want to know where I come from not only for myself, but for my mother. My mother, a woman from Austin, Texas who tries her best to welcome and be a part of my father’s culture, even though some relatives say she’s not doing enough to understand the language or practice the customs, or try to speak Bini in front her of face to talk about her, figuratively, behind her back. A woman who told at the Nigerian embassy that she was trying to be Nigerian by marrying a Nigerian man in the process of our family collecting our visas. All the geles and Ankara fabric doesn’t seem to make a difference.
I’ve already made big strides through my family tree on Ancestry.com, but seeing the results my colleagues have obtained just from a tiny saliva sample has me excited for the possibilities. Before my mother’s family members were working day and night to keep a roof over their heads in Texas, including doing so with limited education in the 1800s, they were in Africa, living and thriving. In honor of them, I would like to uncover their roots. My roots.
A dance troupe has claimed to be victims of racial profiling while traveling in Texas. Houston police reportedly stopped the troupe when they saw a white female and two black males sharing a vehicle. Landry Thompson, the white female who is 13 years old, told KHOU-TV she and her dance partner along with their instructor were approached by policemen at 3 a.m. when they stopped at a Houston gas station.
Although the trio told police they were a dance group from Tulsa, Oklahoma and had spent the day recording a dance video with a local Houston group called Planet Funk Academy, the officers didn’t believe their story. According to the Daily News, Landry stated:
“They were convinced I was a runaway. ”
So Landry, her dance partner Josiah Kelly, 22, and their dance instructor, 29-year-old Emmanuel Hurd, were taken into custody by the police. Once at the station, the police called Landry’s mother, Destiny Thompson, to confirm her story. The policeman who spoke to Thompson allegedly stated: “Are you aware that your daughter is with two black men?”
After Thompson told the officer she knew of her daughter’s whereabouts, he then began to question her parenting. Thompson mentioned to the officer that her daughter is home schooled so she can focus on building her professional dance career which often gives her the opportunity to travel on the road. Thompson also noted to the policemen that Hurd had paperwork that showed Landry had permission to be away from home.
“Emmanuel had a letter signed by us, had every contact number they could’ve possibly needed,” Destiny Thompson said.
After thoroughly explaining her daughter’s predicament, the police officers told her she would have to drive to Houston to get Landry who was placed in Houston’s Child Protective Services. Although Hurd and Kelly were not charged, they are considering taking legal action against Houston’s authorities. They waited for Landry to be released from Child Protective Services, six hours later from the time she was initiated into the system.
Houston Police Department did not give a comment on the actions which took place but refuted the dance troupe’s claim of racial profiling. The department told KHOU-TV:
“Given the age discrepancies … and the child had no relatives in the area, officers in an abundance of caution, did their utmost to ensure her safety.”
Below is the KHOU-TV news report on this incident.
Do you think Landry should have been traveling alone with Hurd and Kelly?
Last year, Texas woman, Mia Washington didn’t plan on giving birth to twins but when she did she ended up getting even more than she bargained for — her fraternal sons have two different fathers. You are probably wondering, how did this happen so allow us to explain.
As you know, every month a woman releases one egg from her ovaries that can be fertilized by sp*rm. As for Washington, she released a pair of eggs. According to Dr. Hilda Hutcherson of Columbia University who reported to TODAY News:
“sp*rm can remain alive and well and viable for up to five days in the reproductive tract. Thus, a woman can have sex with different men within those five days and the sp*rm just kind of hang out there waiting for the egg to be released.”
Washington, who is 20 years old, had sex with another man a few days after she slept with her 44-year-old boyfriend, James Harrison — hence her double conception. James investigated the issue when he noticed the twins, Justin and Jordan, who were born seven minutes,apart looked very different, even for fraternal twins. He requested a paternity test and discovered Justin was not his child. When Harrison found out the news he was devastated:
“I was hurt, torn apart — didn’t know what the next move was gonna be.”
Although he was hurt, Harrison continued to raise Justin as his own. And despite the odds of a situation like this, this is not the first time twins have been born to different fathers. Studies have revealed 1 to 2 percent of fraternal twin births have different fathers, but this often goes unnoticed. The terminology used to identify this type of birth is called: “heteropaternal superfecundation”. It was reported on first by John Archer who was the first doctor to receive a medical degree in the United States in 1810. Archer dubbed the term when a white woman had sex with two men, black and white and later gave birth to twin boys. One son was white whereas the other was of mixed race.
As for Mia Washington and James Harrison, they plan on marrying each other in the future. And in the mean time, they will prepare for their new family addition- a baby girl. She will add some sweet and spice to their clan of three boys (Washington has a 4-year old from a previous relationship).
Watch Mia Washington’s interview with TODAY News below.
Somebody Come Get This Fool: Man Tries To Access Michelle Obama’s Bank Account Claiming To Be Adopted Son
You know you can’t be the brightest criminal in the world when you go to the bank, claim to be the child of someone, and actually think that will gain you access to their bank account. And to claim that the special someone is Michelle Obama of all people, you have to be highly confused. But a man in Texas tried to do all this recently and seriously thought someone was going to believe him.
According to the Huffington Post, the man, named Johnnie Fletcher Gooden, Jr. walked into a Chase bank in Bryan, Texas and told a teller he was the newly-adopted son of Michelle Obama. Mind you, this man is grown as hell, 29 years old at that, living in a completely different state than the Obamas, talking about he’s “newly adopted.” Gooden did this on Saturday morning, and told the teller that he had been formally adopted into the family the day before. Despite his best efforts, the teller informed him that she didn’t even have an account with Chase, but he wasn’t trying to leave after the fact.
Police were called to the scene and Gooden allegedly tried to explain to them that the FLOTUS had personally contacted him via Facebook, asking him to join the family. Fool-proof plan, right!? Unfortunately for him, not only was this plan terrible, but police looked him up via a background check and found that he had outstanding warrants for resisting arrest and assault.
And he had marijuana in the pocket of his shorts. All bad.
Gooden was of course arrested and is currently being held on $52,000 bail for his assault charge. The struggle is real folks, so much so that people are out here trying to be claimed by the wife of the leader of the free world. C’mon Johnnie…C’mon!
This might be the reason why many people are scared of amusement parks.
On Friday evening, a woman fell to her death on a roller coaster ride at Six Flags over Texas. Accord to CBS News, the woman has been identified as Rosy Esparza and it was her first time at the Arlington, Texas amusement park.
Neither Six Flags nor law enforcement officials would comment on how this unfortunate and tragic incident occurred but many witness say Esparza was a little uncomfortable with her safety on thrill ride, Texas Giant. They say she didn’t think her lap bar was locked in properly.
Other witness say she got on the ride with her son and when she was presumably ejected from the ride, he started screaming, “My mom, my mom — we’ve got to get my mom… she’s gone.”
Six Flags released the following:
“We are deeply saddened to share that earlier this evening an adult woman died in the park while on the Texas Giant. Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately. Since the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time.”
The Texas Giant is a 23 year old wooden ride that went under a $10 million renovation back in 2010. This is the first incident of its kind.
Our condolences to the victim’s family.
Last year, on Memorial Day weekend, while we were supposed to be celebrating the men and women who fight to protect this great nation of ours, two black women were unnecessarily harassed by a police officer. During a speeding violation, a police officer performed body cavity searches on the two women on the side of the 288 highway in Brazoria County Texas.
This past weekend, the two women started speaking out what they both describe as embarrassing experience and about their intent to file a federal lawsuit against the three officers involved in the situation.
Two Texas women, Brandy Hamilton and Alexandria Randle were driving in Brazoria County Texas after returning from Surfside beach. They were speeding and were pulled over by an officer. The officer smelled marijuana and asked the women to step out of the car. The women, still in their bikinis asked if they could put some clothes on before they got out of the car. The officer said no. He searched the car and found a butt of marijuana.
At that point, he suspected that the women were hiding more drugs. So he called for a female officer to perform body cavity searches on both women. The woman who searched them did not change gloves in between searches. Instead, she had the lay on their sides in a squad car on the side of the road. They didn’t find anything on the women.
Jennie Bui, the female trooper has been fired. The male trooper Nathaniel Turner has been suspended while the department conducts an internal investigation.
Director of the department, Steven McCraw, released this statement in response to the incident: “The department does not and will not tolerate any conduct that violates the U.S. and Texas constitutions, or DPS training or policy.”
Hamilton and Randle are filing a federal lawsuit for pain and suffering for an undisclosed amount of money. They say they want to send a message in hopes that this type of violation doesn’t happen anywhere else.
Clearly, the woman shouldn’t have been smoking weed. But searching body cavities is not the type of “punishment” that fits this crime. It wasn’t coke and since there was only a small amount in the car. what would make the officer believe they would be hiding more in their private parts?! Despicable. Having your body probed like that is one of the most degrading experiences a person can endure, especially on the side of a highway! These officers essentially reduced these women to animals. This is just another incident where we see how black women’s bodies are disrespected and disregarded as less than human. While the department has taken the right step in firing the female officer who conducted the search, they should also fire the man who called for back up in the first place.
I don’t see this faring well in court but I wish them the best because this truly was excessive.
You can watch the traffic stop and body search and the women tell their side of the story on the following pages.
“Give Me 30 Days”: NBA Star Tim Duncan Tells Wife To Wait Until The NBA Season Is Over To Proceed With Divorce
Well, this might be the most we’ll ever hear about Tim Duncan.
He is an NBA superstar, one of the living legends and yet, we never hear about the San Antonio Spurs superstar. But after a 16 year career, he is finally “up next” to be in the spotlight.
According to TMZ, Tim Duncan’s wife, Amy, filed for divorce in March stating that the marriage had become “insupportable because of discord and conflict.” Well, isn’t that different from the normal “irreconcilable differences?”
However, Duncan (who is “affectionately” known off the court by fans as “Blankman” because of his lack of facial expressions) has gone back to the courts to file his own documents saying that his job “is currently making extraordinary demands on him and hopefully will continue to make those demands for the next 30 or so days.”
Say what now? Well, for those of you who don’t follow sports, Duncan and the rest of the Spurs team are currently in the Western Conference Finals battling for a chance to play in the Finals for the NBA championship. So in other words, he needs to see if he can win the championship before he proceeds with a divorce.
If he weren’t serious, this would be a hilarious joke. Unfortunately, he’s not playing and wants his wife to wait before they legally end their marriage.
Duncan also cites in his documents that Amy signed a prenuptial agreement when they married in 2001 and he wants to make sure it is enforced. He’s currently making $12 million per year under his three year deal with the Spurs that was signed last year. That’s quite a bit larger than the deal he received when he entered the league in 1997.
Tim and Amy have two children, an eight year old daughter and a six year old son. Hopefully, they can work things out amicably enough so the children won’t be too negatively affected.
We all knew Beyonce had pretty girl-hoodrat in her. We ALL knew.
If things continue to go down this road, Pilar Sanders is in trouble.
Last Wednesday, A Dallas court ruled that while Deion Sanders and soon to be ex-wife Pilar will share custody of their three children in a week on/week off schedule, Deion is the only parent that will hold exclusive rights over the children. Well, at least until the final divorce trial, according to The Dallas Morning News.
What does this mean? Judge Ray Wheless decided that Deion will solely be allowed to make decisions about the kids’ primary residence, school(s) they attend and choose their athletic activities. Athletic activities? That sounds weird that they would eve be involved in the ruling. They’ll share all other decisions.
In December, a court granted Deion custody of their two sons, Shilo and Shedeur, while Pilar was granted custody of their daughter, Shelomi. She also had her child support reduced from $10,000 to $5,000.
Pilar has also maintained that she is a victim of Deion’s celebrity status and that his finances are doing all of the talking.
Their divorce trial should begin somewhere around March 4th.
In the meantime, Deion will have to pay legal for the amicus attorney who represents the interests of their children. Both he and Pilar will share the medical bills.
Wow, this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Based on reports, it seems like the adults may have forgotten about the most important thing: the kids (which explains why they had to bring in another attorney).
Do you think Pilar has a point in saying that Deion’s money is actually doing all the talking or has she presented herself in such a way that isn’t pleasing to the courts?
Listen, don’t shoot the messenger.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, TLC will be premiering “Best Funeral Ever” tonight with an hour long special. The show will follow Dallas funeral home, Golden Gate Funeral Home, as they come up with some of the most eccentric homegoing celebrations you’ve ever seen. The owner,John Beckwith Jr wants to bring about a certain attitude to the sad situation, looking to give a smile to the mourning friends and family, versus just going with continued sadness. They can pretty much make anything happen; as Beckwith said, “If the deceased wanted to dunk a basketball, we can make it happen.”
Golden Gate, while providing the wishes for the family and possible “too little, too late” dreams by the deceased, they also provide professional funeral mourners. Now, some of you may have seen this type of person at a church service or funeral you’ve attended , but they do it for free. The professional mourners hired by Golden Gate are trained to grieve loudly and excessively at funerals of people they’ve never met so the family will open up.
The show will likely turn into a full reality show if the special does as well as TLC expects with the ratings.
I’m not sure that I’m interested in watching a show about eclectic funeral arrangements but it certainly can’t be any worse than anything else on television.