1. COMIMG SOON #babymamahood

     
  2. I wasn’t even going to publish this. I figured that if you cared so much, you would do some primarily study on google for yourself. But, I wrote it for the naysayers. The silent ones in our subconscious and the ones who actually tell you who & what you are to your face or on Facebook. Nobody got time for your fears. Babymama is my word. I claimed it. It’s not a term, two words. It’s one word and it’s mine. Babymama. #motherhoodmyway #babymamahood

     
  3. New post up for #babymamahood Link in my description box.

     

  4. Why Babymama: Do Not Call Me a Single Mother


    When I’m asked, Why I rather be called a babymama. I’m like, why not? Why not be called a single mother? 

    I am my baby’s mother. Single mother doesn’t accurately define my experience. I am not a mother to someone named single. Nor do I have any desire to define my motherhood in the context of my past or my relationship to any man. 

    I AM A MATRIARCH 

    Motherhood is a huge part of my identity. I knew early on that I would be pregnant, give birth, and raise my daughter without her sperm donor. I am not sorry if sperm donor is offensive or inaccurate, Zi was made through making love, because it is MY truth and I have reconciled that.

    Yea, my daughter would have not been born if it were not for sperm, but she is here, right now, because of me and the ones who stayed. Being a father or a babyfather requires some form of presence monetarily or otherwise.  

    Therefore, I am a mother because of my baby, not because I got pregnant. Hence, babymama.

    In society, women are looked down upon when women decide to be single, unless you are a ‘virgin’, ‘ugly’, ‘crazy’, or want to be like a man. *cues penis envy bullshit theory* And there is something especially wrong with you, if you decide to have children without a father present and you are poor.

    I am not saying that fathers aren’t important. I have to write that because some people like to get defensive when women talk about being independent. What I AM saying is that I have given myself the permission to define myself and the way that I choose to love and build my family structure around the virtues of having a daughter and me being her mother.  Again, I am not defining my motherhood through someone being absent. 

    Babymamahood is not a problem. I repeat, it is not some thing that needs to be solved. It does not mean that somehow I am at a disadvantage or that my daughter will be too. I have learned to be very careful with the language I choose to internalized. I refuse to feel depressed, shame, or guilt because of my conscious decision to have my babygirl. I refuse to feel shame, guilt, or disgust towards the word babymama. I am empowered by the lingo of my hood. I do not need to front for the world. 

    THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING IN THE WORLD

    Besides what is so wrong with the words baby & mama? Why do such beautiful words hold such negative connotations when they are held side by side? Is it because we have internalized a caricature of being an unmarried, black, poor, mama in this country? 

    When I text my single mama friends, I asked them how they feel about the word. I unanimously read things that reflected a negative point of view. One thing that caught my eye was when a friend said that babymama sounded as if the relationship between the child’s parent meant nothing. 

    Also, Babymama brought up a lot of images of a bird.  An ignorant, promiscuous, popping gum over the phone, whining for child support, pampers, new sneakers, and stress, black girl. Basically what you will see in the B-Rock & The Bizz video, My Baby Daddy.  



    What is interesting is that I know so many mothers from the hood who are not only like that, but feel disempowered in babymamahood and would rather be called a single mother because it sounds less hood, ghetto, or ignorant…

    DO NOT CALL ME A SINGLE MOTHER 

    I am not single. I am plural. I made the decision to have my daughter through conversations with friends and family. I also made the decision knowing that there was a strong possibility that I would have to raise my daughter without the sperm donor.

    I choose not to focus on that. I have a community. I am empowered by raising my daughter independently and in using language from where I am from. 

    Remember, this is Motherhood My Way.

    Today is my seventh year anniversary of me giving birth and my daughter’s birthday. I have seven years of physical, emotional, spiritual, writing, teaching and relationship experience as a babymama that I plan to share here. 

    This is Babymamahood. A virtual destination for all mothers to be sisters under motherhood. 

    Peace & Welcome. 

     

  5. Why Babymama: Do Not Call Me a Single Mother


    When I’m asked, Why I rather be called a babymama. I’m like, why not? Why not be called a single mother? 

    I am my baby’s mother. Single mother doesn’t accurately define my experience. I am not a mother to someone named single. Nor do I have any desire to define my motherhood in the context of my past or my relationship to any man. 

    I AM A MATRIARCH 

    Motherhood is a huge part of my identity. I knew early on that I would be pregnant, give birth, and raise my daughter without her sperm donor. I am not sorry if sperm donor is offensive or inaccurate, Zi was made through making love, because it is MY truth and I have reconciled that.

    Yea, my daughter would have not been born if it were not for sperm, but she is here, right now, because of me and the ones who stayed. Being a father or a babyfather requires some form of presence monetarily or otherwise.  

    Therefore, I am a mother because of my baby, not because I got pregnant. Hence, babymama.

    In society, women are looked down upon when women decide to be single, unless you are a ‘virgin’, ‘ugly’, ‘crazy’, or want to be like a man. *cues penis envy bullshit theory* And there is something especially wrong with you, if you decide to have children without a father present and you are poor.

    I am not saying that fathers aren’t important. I have to write that because some people like to get defensive when women talk about being independent. What I AM saying is that I have given myself the permission to define myself and the way that I choose to love and build my family structure around the virtues of having a daughter and me being her mother.  Again, I am not defining my motherhood through someone being absent. 

    Babymamahood is not a problem. I repeat, it is not some thing that needs to be solved. It does not mean that somehow I am at a disadvantage or that my daughter will be too. I have learned to be very careful with the language I choose to internalized. I refuse to feel depressed, shame, or guilt because of my conscious decision to have my babygirl. I refuse to feel shame, guilt, or disgust towards the word babymama. I am empowered by the lingo of my hood. I do not need to front for the world. 

    THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING IN THE WORLD

    Besides what is so wrong with the words baby & mama? Why do such beautiful words hold such negative connotations when they are held side by side? Is it because we have internalized a caricature of being an unmarried, black, poor, mama in this country? 

    When I text my single mama friends, I asked them how they feel about the word. I unanimously read things that reflected a negative point of view. One thing that caught my eye was when a friend said that babymama sounded as if the relationship between the child’s parent meant nothing. 

    Also, Babymama brought up a lot of images of a bird.  An ignorant, promiscuous, popping gum over the phone, whining for child support, pampers, new sneakers, and stress, black girl. Basically what you will see in the B-Rock & The Bizz video, My Baby Daddy.  



    What is interesting is that I know so many mothers from the hood who are not only like that, but feel disempowered in babymamahood and would rather be called a single mother because it sounds less hood, ghetto, or ignorant…

    DO NOT CALL ME A SINGLE MOTHER 

    I am not single. I am plural. I made the decision to have my daughter through conversations with friends and family. I also made the decision knowing that there was a strong possibility that I would have to raise my daughter without the sperm donor.

    I choose not to focus on that. I have a community. I am empowered by raising my daughter independently and in using language from where I am from. 

    Remember, this is Motherhood My Way.

    Today is my seventh year anniversary of me giving birth and my daughter’s birthday. I have seven years of physical, emotional, spiritual, writing, teaching and relationship experience as a babymama that I plan to share here. 

    This is Babymamahood. A virtual destination for all mothers to be sisters under motherhood. 

    Peace & Welcome. 

     

  6. Why Babymama: Do Not Call Me a Single Mother


    When I’m asked, Why I rather be called a babymama. I’m like, why not? Why not be called a single mother? 

    I am my baby’s mother. Single mother doesn’t accurately define my experience. I am not a mother to someone named single. Nor do I have any desire to define my motherhood in the context of my past or my relationship to any man. 

    I AM A MATRIARCH 

    Motherhood is a huge part of my identity. I knew early on that I would be pregnant, give birth, and raise my daughter without her sperm donor. I am not sorry if sperm donor is offensive or inaccurate, Zi was made through making love, because it is MY truth and I have reconciled that.

    Yea, my daughter would have not been born if it were not for sperm, but she is here, right now, because of me and the ones who stayed. Being a father or a babyfather requires some form of presence monetarily or otherwise.  

    Therefore, I am a mother because of my baby, not because I got pregnant. Hence, babymama.

    In society, women are looked down upon when women decide to be single, unless you are a ‘virgin’, ‘ugly’, ‘crazy’, or want to be like a man. *cues penis envy bullshit theory* And there is something especially wrong with you, if you decide to have children without a father present and you are poor.

    I am not saying that fathers aren’t important. I have to write that because some people like to get defensive when women talk about being independent. What I AM saying is that I have given myself the permission to define myself and the way that I choose to love and build my family structure around the virtues of having a daughter and me being her mother.  Again, I am not defining my motherhood through someone being absent. 

    Babymamahood is not a problem. I repeat, it is not some thing that needs to be solved. It does not mean that somehow I am at a disadvantage or that my daughter will be too. I have learned to be very careful with the language I choose to internalized. I refuse to feel depressed, shame, or guilt because of my conscious decision to have my babygirl. I refuse to feel shame, guilt, or disgust towards the word babymama. I am empowered by the lingo of my hood. I do not need to front for the world. 

    THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING IN THE WORLD

    Besides what is so wrong with the words baby & mama? Why do such beautiful words hold such negative connotations when they are held side by side? Is it because we have internalized a caricature of being an unmarried, black, poor, mama in this country? 

    When I text my single mama friends, I asked them how they feel about the word. I unanimously read things that reflected a negative point of view. One thing that caught my eye was when a friend said that babymama sounded as if the relationship between the child’s parent meant nothing. 

    Also, Babymama brought up a lot of images of a bird.  An ignorant, promiscuous, popping gum over the phone, whining for child support, pampers, new sneakers, and stress, black girl. Basically what you will see in the B-Rock & The Bizz video, My Baby Daddy.  



    What is interesting is that I know so many mothers from the hood who are not only like that, but feel disempowered in babymamahood and would rather be called a single mother because it sounds less hood, ghetto, or ignorant…

    DO NOT CALL ME A SINGLE MOTHER 

    I am not single. I am plural. I made the decision to have my daughter through conversations with friends and family. I also made the decision knowing that there was a strong possibility that I would have to raise my daughter without the sperm donor.

    I choose not to focus on that. I have a community. I am empowered by raising my daughter independently and in using language from where I am from. 

    Remember, this is Motherhood My Way.

    Today is my seventh year anniversary of me giving birth and my daughter’s birthday. I have seven years of physical, emotional, spiritual, writing, teaching and relationship experience as a babymama that I plan to share here. 

    This is Babymamahood. A virtual destination for all mothers to be sisters under motherhood. 

    Peace & Welcome. 

     
  7. Celebrating another year around the sun. Thanks @gottaluvk for the photos & for coming out. Zi loooooved her gifts.

     
  8. Tryna get my hair laid for tonight. I will be at the East Orange Public Library. 21 South Arlington Avenue, East Orange, NJ. I am paying tribute to the Jayne Cortez & Amiri Baraka. What a way to start spring, honoring our poet ancestors. Feel free to spread the word to your NJ friends & fam. Free. 6pm-8:30pm #NJ #poetry #openmic #selfie

     

  9.  

  10. Why Teachers Don’t Look Like Their Students: Why I Was Fired from the NYC Teaching Collaborative

    I always find it alarming when the Department of Education pushes this narrative of closing the achievement gap in public schools without thinking about the people they hire into Transitional B Certificate programs. 

    As someone who has been teaching for the past twelve years in the capacities of an artist and has been in two teaching fellowship programs, Citizen Schools and the New York City Teaching Collaborative, I have seen and experienced first-had the cultural insensitivities these programs play out to the teachers who are like the students which whom they are trying to serve. 

    My family is poor, dirt poor. We are not middle class or come from a strong educational background. Our yearly income has always been around $13,000. We only survive because of governmental assistance. My mother was nearly killed as a young adult when she was hit by a drunken driver. She is disabled, woman of color. She raised me and my brother by herself. And although the specifics may not be the same, the socio-economic-political realities of the students I worked with are. 

    I am a college graduate with over a decade of experience as a teacher. I have worked in the Lower Ninth Ward, Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx. I like to think of myself as a cultural worker. I am overly dedicated. I also suffer from self-diagnosed depression. A lot of my students have been classified as lacking motivation by their teachers, but I think the issue is much more deep-rooted than that. 

    My skill and potential as a classroom leader derives mainly from experiences in the hood. Besides working with students, I always been a leader amongst my peers. I babysat people’s kids in the neighborhood. I taught spanish speaking children English and always had a knack for warm and strict discipline. 

    Although these programs stress the need to provide high-quality teachers, the NYCTC just yesterday fired one. I was let go unfairly, despite the support of my mentor’s teacher and vice-principal. 

    One of the problems with these programs is that they demand too much without financially compensating for their demand. I worked about 50 hours a week, including training, reading, researching, and planning curriculum and given a monthly stipend of $1625. I worked six weeks before I received my first check. I am also a single mother with a seven year old daughter. 

    The reason why I was let go was because of the unforeseeable circumstances of severe snow weather. On those days, I wasn’t abled to work because I couldn’t get to work because the buses in Yonkers shutdown and also because my daughter’s school was cancelled because of the weather, so I had no babysitter. 

    Although, my mentor teacher who runs the classroom was kept abreast of my absences, my supervisor had a personal problem with it because she said that if I were a ‘real’ teacher, I would have to come into work. I was then threatened of losing my job if I were absent again.

    ‘Real’ teachers with an undergraduate degree are given starting salaries of $45,000. I am not a ‘real’ teacher. With that amount of money, I can hire outside support and even afford to hire a car to take me to work in dire circumstances. $1625 translates to $19,500 a year, which is way below the poverty line, especially in New York City. 

    In addition, this program has no health insurance, nor housing. We were advised to subsidize our poverty by applying for public assistance, despite the fact that it is overseen and run by the Department of Education. 

    These are the reasons as to why these programs are overpopulated by young, white people, or by those who do not come from the same class. They do not serve people in their own community. I was fired because of circumstances that were beyond my control, circumstances that show that my life is complicated, but I am still a damn good teacher and I was let go and unsupported by the people who ‘want’ to diversify and maintain high talented teachers.

    The truth is I am a college graduate because my teachers understood my extreme circumstances. My supervisor, Veronica Soloman often said things like “I get it. It’s hard with a baby” with her wedding band on her finger, with her quadruple salary. The NYCTC is not a family, nor is it a cohort. I haven’t met anyone like me: economically poor, single-parent, with twelve years of experience in education. I was hardly supervised by my boss, because I didn’t need the classroom support. The support I need extended beyond instruction. 

    NYCTC’s support is more intellectual than practical; more for people who come from a middle class home. The only achievement gap they are actually raising is their own because if these students face the same realities as me, they face severe poor housing conditions, language barriers at home, poor quality foods, and broken familial structures.

    Everyone knows the NYC education and food system is broken. I am a product of that system and although I have the credentials, the experience, and the passion and perseverance, I was let go because of inclement weather. 

    The truth is the achievement gap will never be closed if we keep recruiting talent that comes from outside our communities. Education needs us. They need us in the administrative roles, teaching in our classrooms. They don’t need an education that is insensitive to their students physical and historical struggle.

    P.S. It is time I start my own business. I have enough experience in writing curriculum. 

    ~

    juju angeles is a poet, teaching artist, and babymama from New York. She is a first generation Dominican-American and creator of A Love Adventure Project—a cause that supports and empowers low-income, single mothers to travel with their children. Follow her on her blog, Mangú y Tunafish and on twitter, @jujuthepoet.

     
  11. jprosper:

    This week’s installment of Morir Soñando is of the young luminary Aja Monet At the ripe age of 19, she was the youngest individual slam winner out of the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. We were given the privilege of talking with a woman who is beyond a wordsmith. She is a visionary, a scholar, and a person who embodies her mission everyday- to sustain her art full time. #morirsonando #jprosper #poetry @misha_merino @jujuthepoet @ajamonet (at New York)

     
     

  12. "i would say that most of the people I see for things like depression, addiction, chronic pain, chemical sensitivities, digestive complaints, heartache, fatigue, grief, anxiety (just to name a few) are connected because most of their suffering is rooted in generational and collective trauma and oppression…usually their healing is a long and non-linear path, supported by some awesome healing practitioners, leaning into their connections to their communities, creating rituals and new habits around food, movement, and rest, and having their pain acknowledged and held with compassion and tenderness. and when we heal, we have to remember we are not just healing for us, we are healing through time, healing patterns woven through us, healing our ancestors and our lineage."
    — dori midnight (via caitsmeissner)

    (Source: azaadiart, via caitsmeissner)

     
  13. Spent the better part of my Sunday morning turning an old shoe box into a magic box.

     
     
  14. I got to interview Tony Peralta for a video series entitled Morir Soñando. Check the link and let me know what you think: 

     
  15. Before I met the legend, Tony Peralta, I saw him everywhere through his independent T-Shirt company, The Peralta Project. If you live in NYC, I am sure you have seen his fitted caps, WASH. HTS everywhere.

    I had the privilege in interviewing Tony and working alongside the Director of Morir Soñando, Jonathan Prosper, my younger brother! 

    Through this series I have learned so much about perseverance, integrity, and culture. This series has definitely left me inspired to work harder at my job and my craft! 

    Check part 1 and please, rate, comment, subscribe, and share widely! 

    <3

    juju angeles is a poet, teaching artist, and babymama from New York. She is a first generation Dominican-American and creator of A Love Adventure Project—a cause that supports and empowers low-income, single mothers to travel with their children. Follow her on her blog, Mangú y Tunafish and on twitter, @jujuthepoet.