Black Dreams, Fantasies & Realities (Opinion Piece)

cropped-blackmaggie2.jpgIt’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We take this time to honor the life and vision of a man who unapologetically risked it all to work towards equality employing a strategy of non-violence. His stance on not fighting fire with fire helped shape and control the narrative to highlight exactly what was going on around the country.

His power was not in his “hands” but in the strength of his mind to do the thing that goes against every human instinct for the sake of further proving his argument and developing a stable foundation for an entire movement. His leadership in maintaining this strategy was met with opposition from within the Black community as some felt as though fighting back and taking an eye for an eye would yield better results. There were some that felt as though Blacks should completely disengage from White society as a whole and focus on building wealth.

Who was right?

This depends on who you ask and how they see the end goal. If your family suffered on the back-end of desegregation with store closures and farm profit decreases you may hold one opinion. If your family suffered from mass incarceration as a result of Jim Crow laws you may hold another. However, had the foundation not been established with undeniable video evidence of Black peace being met with extreme violence perpetrated by the State as well as White citizens at the time, would any school of thought have a place to take root? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that there’s only one right answer to how we achieve better treatment and equitable economic standing in our given environments over the years.

The social constructs of discrimination and racism are multifaceted and manifest themselves in almost every avenue of life in America (Work, worship, education, financial access, voting, socializing…) so we need every type of Hero we can muster to tackle this beast. Nobody’s wrong, but not everybody’s right in every situation.

Where does that leave us today?

Just like in every other portion of history, Black is not a monolith. Not even Black in America… not even Black in the same city. We each have a realm of experience that shapes how we would like to see the future of people who look like us. Even when we isolate the last 6 years, most of which we spent with Obama as President, we didn’t all have the same outlook on the state of Black America.

I’m sure from the outside in, it’s evident to those paying attention. The same time that we had President Obama in office, we were enraged and mourning the fact that Trayvon Martin died because of the suspicions of a White Latino centered solely on his race and presence in a decent neighborhood. While we couldn’t have seen the day of anyone other than a white male holding the highest office in our country without the work of Dr. King, there’s a hole in the tapestry that still makes horrible people feel as though they can treat us how they see fit and never have to answer for the crimes they commit. Here’s the piece that makes it even trickier, there’s no proven formula that keeps Black people from getting gunned down and/or manhandled like dogs just for being Black in a particular space. Poor kid in Ferguson to Harvard Professor… we’re not a monolith, but we are all candidates for similar treatment.

How is that possible?

Even though we have come so far on the shoulders of those that went before us like Dr. King, we have failed to establish any real infrastructure for systemic change. We have some black owned banks, but not enough to stop frequenting establishments that have been proven to discriminate against us. We have lots of black owned businesses, but not enough are in a position to employ large segments of our communities and provide alternate avenues for economic sustenance. We’ve climbed, but not together. We’ve achieved, but not as an organized unit.

How does that affect how we treat one another?

The internet is an animal that Dr.King didn’t have to endure. He was able to execute his strategies without the ever looming comment section or editorial page posts. Would we be able to accept and respect his strategy today without coming down with a case of the “If I had been there..” syndrome where behind a keyboard we fancy ourselves some version of Luke Cage or T’Challa? In this age the incidents are more easily reported and the power of the narrative is in the hands of either the one with a badge, or the camera with the clearest angle.

We look at incidents like the young woman being beaten in a pizzeria in Pittsburghand then shame the cameraman and the only visible black female employee for not going all John Stewart and Storm. We don’t ever stop to consider what’s at stake for one another. It’s easy to say, “you should have jumped in the middle of the mob” or ” you should have called the police” and “what good are you doing behind the camera?”. We’ll support a woman risking her job and possibly her life, but won’t have an answer for her as to where she can then feed her family and pay her bills afterward. We talk bad about the cameraman, calling him a coward, but he’s the only reason that there’s been an arrest on the correct side of the incident. We aren’t fair with one another as much as we could be.

Now what?

We have a present need, to understand and respect that there’s room for all of us. Not just room, but each of us have something special that we can bring to the table and in any given situation we should seek to use the strategy that fits the circumstance. Dr.King was not docile and mild, he was strategic and emotionally intelligent enough to know how to prick the hearts of those that stood in the way of progress. He knew to devise specific goals and work to achieve them. We need to move forward with a balance of proactive and strategic reactive methods if our goal is to see major and measurable positive change.

This piece is a summation of my opinion based on my observation. I encourage you to seek out the perspectives and research the concepts presented here for yourself and share your conclusions. This is a safe space for the exchange of ideas. Links provided in-text for reference.

Black & Bossy Pre-Motherhood…This Ain’t Cute.

I have been a solid Dog-Mom for the last three years, and like a Black small-footed Peggy Hill, here I find myself pregnant with a son that I never imagined would be. Yes, I know where babies come from. No, I didn’t think that I was in the danger zone. I was wrong.

Now I’m 34 weeks into this deal, and I’ve finally landed on a solid feeling about this whole situation.

This Ain’t Cute!

Don’t get me wrong, I can intellectualize the fact that this is a beautiful scientific process, but I need someone to articulate that to my hips and my plans for the future.

Seriously.

I was the kind of girl that collected horror stories along the way to help me stay on the kid-free path, despite the ticking of my biological clock. While that helped create a nice callous around my heartstrings, trying to undo three decades worth of opinion is harder than it sounds, especially in such a short time frame as 40 weeks.

I’m shook.

Even with my Rolodex of easily accessible worst-case scenarios, now that I’m in the go zone of this “journey” I’m finding out new and unnerving things.

Here’s where I get graphic and say things that my family and church folk shouldn’t read. If you’re trying to keep me in a certain light stop reading right now.

I mean it, it’s about to go down. Go read the post about Grandma.

Ain’t cute thing #1- 

When you really have no idea what you’re doing, and you have no desire to start a new dynamic in your immediate friendships in which you start discussing bodily functions; you get on the Internet like a respectable nerd and find out things from strangers. That action leads me to the realization that there’s such thing as a “pad popsicle”. The young lady on the post (not the article I just linked) had concocted a menagerie of aloe, coconut oil, sage, bitters and wheatgrass (who knows, I zoned out) for the purpose of freezing the mix on a huge sanitary napkin, to place in her panties after giving birth.

I had to scroll to the comment section to see if there was anyone else completely confused with me. Nah. Everybody on the thread had their own recipe ready to rock and the old school moms had stories of how there’s a contraption at the hospital that you just twist and it gets cold like something out of a hiking kit.

Do you know what kind of beat up your “purse” has to be for COLD to feel soothing? I’ve had some… “oh Lord just leave the hot rag in place” moments in my life, but NEVER in the history of this kitty box have I been so swollen and that I have ever even contemplated an ice pack.

Help, God!

Ain’t cute thing #2- 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmfcRaQAcZo

I’m out here trying to take over the world. Same thing I do every day, Pinky. So there’s not a lot of room for dramatic emotional shifts. As a person that has dealt with anger issues that reach as far back to the age of 5; hormonal imbalance, physical changes, and mouthy people just don’t mix. I’ve found myself having to pray aloud to keep the urge to heel kick someone in the mouth at bay.
The fact that I’m not in prison is proof that prayer works. I’ve found myself feeling levels of mad as hell that rival my years as a brand new teenager. Who has time for that? Remaining sociable and acceptable in public is probably draining more out of me than this huge baby inside of me that likes to boogie to music and wiggle when the food I eat is tasty.

Between that and moments of crushing sadness, I’m ready for this kid to get done cooking and come on out, so I can establish his LLC, schedule his music lessons and teach him how we roll. I’ve lost and missed out on enough things that I generally don’t spend a lot of my normal time being sad. So, this whole tear act is beyond annoying because I absolutely know that whatever it is, it’s not that deep; and with the emotional swings comes the act of faking like everything is just fine. I honestly don’t know the answer at any given time. Sometimes I’m cool, sometimes I break things that I don’t care about. This is stupid.

Ain’t cute thing #3- 

There’s apparently a protocol to doing this whole thing, from pictures of my waistline disappearing gradually to inspirational quotes and deep shit I’m supposed to be spewing to the masses about how I’m transforming as a woman. I’m 33 years old, at this point I’m as grown as it gets until I start going through the change of life. Since the beginning of my pregnancy there’s been a wave of articles on how black women are the most likely to die during and after childbirth so excuse me if I can’t give a damn about all the mushy stuff until after I get through this thing I’ve feared and avoided my entire life, alive. Thanks. Not to keep talking about the emotional piece, but with that, I check my blood pressure on a regular basis, especially after a mood shift. I also weigh myself twice a day, in the beginning, it was to be sure I didn’t lose too much, and now it’s to be sure that the gain is within reason to my height. I’m much too busy trying to be my own advocate, watch his seemingly rapid growth (his ass is over 5lbs already) and be sure that there’s absolutely nothing else that I can do to create the best situation. I don’t have time to be cutesy. Sorry.

Ain’t cute thing #4-

I don’t ever like to be touched in places beyond my hands and shoulders. There’s something about a pregnant belly that makes people feel like they need to reach out and put their possibly washed,  but more likely to have just touched a doorknob hands on your good clothes. I don’t even remember who it was that did it, but I’m at my Grandmother’s funeral trying to be all dignified and comport myself in a manner that wouldn’t embarrass the deceased if she saw me, and missed a belly touch dodge. I let it ride on the strength of time and place, but I was visibly upset according to my Sorority sisters that caught my body language from over my shoulder.

If you wouldn’t rub my belly to admire my work in the gym, randomly touching my belly because I’ve been screwing just seems weird to me, but hey, let the spirit move you as you see fit… it’s creepy. That’s my uterus. If you’re not directly connected with what’s on the way out, what’s the obsession?

Ain’t cute thing #5- 

I’ve been doing Kegels since the age of 15. So imagine my surprise when I find out that sometimes when the moon is just right, a gag or a good joke can undo over a decade and a half of pussy power and send me into peed in panties.

You’re talking about one disappointed woman.

I take joy in the small things in life, not stinking, being clean, having control over bodily functions. Here’s the conundrum, I’ve doubled the exercises but this baby’s head has an 8cm diameter as of last Thursday so there’s a piece of me that can’t put together a loosening and tightening routine that will soothe my paranoia.

All jokes aside, I’m looking forward to what this little life is going to do to the rest of my world. However, freaking out about strangers being around him to not knowing exactly how my leave situation is going to work, as a planner I have way more questions than answers and that sucks the last little bit of what could be fun right out of it all.

Even more, I’m bringing a brand new Black male into the world and if my Punnett square analysis is accurate, he’s going to be big and chocolate. I’m preoccupied with determining the balance of making sure he’s exposed to multiple cultures and hoping that he has a healthy understanding that everything that this world has to offer isn’t necessarily for him in the same way that all people enjoy them.

Can I afford to try and skip all of that, and if I do, will that allow him the maximum room to grow, or will it get him killed? See…it ain’t cute.

The Secret Life of The Strong Black Woman

What’s the criteria?

Like seriously, how much stuff are we supposed to take on silently, muscle through and overcome? 2016 had me wanting to call in Black, and the election had me wanting to call in Woman… but considering those options have never existed… I, like everyone else in my shoes, toughed it out no matter how exhausting it’s been.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/

Maybe I’m just tired because I started to write this post in January and now it’s December of 2017.
Maybe I’m in a mood because it took Hidden Figures to come out to realize that there are people in the world that are more apt to receive the Moon Landing as a conspiracy than the byproduct of Black Women making a way out of no-way like we’ve been forced to do over years of having to show up with twice as much no matter how qualified we find ourselves.

https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/herstory/

Maybe I’m exhausted because over the past year I’ve witnessed the least qualified employee ever, keep the highest-ranking job in the country despite every reason under the sun that he should have been marched out Call-Center “you didn’t meet your goals” style. While the only small victories have been the firings of the ever-growing list of “Creeps on TV” followed by R.Kelly and his alleged sex dungeons of Atlanta getting robbed blind.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/alabama-exit-polls/

Either way, as we close out 2017 (which has proven to be 2016X) having I’m reflecting on the power of Sisterhood. From the start of the Black Lives Matter movement to our Alabama sisters showing up and saving the day at the polls. We’ve been ingrained with this sense of duty to pick up the pieces, take the lead and use what we have to make everything alright.

 We lean on one another, pick up the phone in the middle of our hellish days and find refuge in the emphatic exchanges of “Giiiiiiiiiirl, let me tell you…” We get behind each other’s dreams, find out the scoop on the other’s behalf, keep the secrets and take the lead on speaking up when it’s needed.

It’s the Grandmothers and Aunts that don’t charge us for babysitting. The work friends that cover our shifts when tragedy strikes. We can and have organized over the years in coalitions as small as the block or as large as a united front on behalf of all of the women of the world… even when there are still parts of the world don’t affirm us. It’s the out loud “Oh no, not today!” from across the room that gives us the strength to speak up for ourselves. The text messages under the table coaching appropriate responses to blatant disrespect.

But here’s the thing. We can’t be left to be the pit bull forever. It will literally kill us. We are allowed to feel every human emotion. There’s no shame in needing to take some time to cry, get centered, regroup or heal. We have to find a way to normalize our need for help without letting others make us feel as though we’ve robbed them by not being 100% ready to bear the weight of the world.

I know I’ve been away for a while, and from my last post, you know about my Grandmother’s fight. Well, she gained her freedom from the prison her body turned into on December 3rd, the day that marked 30 weeks in my current pregnancy. By all means, I should have had a pass to just sit down somewhere and cry, and while I did, I couldn’t help but feel guilty about not staying “Strong”. A few people had to talk me down from refusing any help from the people that love me, and I’ll forever be grateful that I eventually listened.

Can we suck it up and push silently through to the next obstacle? Yep, we’ve done it for centuries.

Should we have to? Absolutely not. Let’s move into this next year and the rest of our existence, adding to our strength the permission to unapologetically take care of ourselves first. A lesson that was interestingly taught to me throughout carrying this child. If I don’t take care of myself (rest, eat well, decompress) he can’t grow properly. The same can be said of the relationships in our respective communities. When we suffer it’s evident in the absence of our light in the dark times. It takes a lot to be “strong”, life is too short to try and keep that up daily. Let’s be better to ourselves.

Update: Since this was first posted we have lost Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, activist and new mother. We can’t put off self-care one more day. This sister carried the burden of fighting for the last and next generation and it proved to be too much to handle at once. Let her story be the last of its kind.

Inheritance… (reflective motivational journal entry)

Many of you that have taken the time to get to know me on other platforms know that I’m about my paper. But today’s post has very little to do with money. Today I’m talking about the inheritance that you don’t have to talk to the IRS about. The other day I got called “older people” and as much as it stung, it was a call to action and a realization that I am now being looked to for an “inheritance”.

WHAT YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT MAGGIE? 

When I was a kid, I studied with my parents. What do I mean? I mean, my father would give me the book/ paperwork for his advancement exam to become an engineer on the fire truck and have me read back his highlighted sections. My mother would do her homework all over the house for getting her Real Estate license and even when she took a few classes towards finishing her BS before she officially “went back to school”. It mattered whether or not the tests were passed. It mattered how high the scores were, yet nobody really checked my report card during high school. Why? Because they were secure in the fact that they had given me my inheritance early in life. I had learned that the difference between me living the life I wanted and failing was as simple as failing to do the un-fun part.

One of the first things that my Grandfather taught me was how to read things for myself. He showed me how the bus system worked, and took me to the library as soon as I was old enough to get a card of my own. Some of his last words to me when I came to visit him the Thanksgiving before he passed was “Not everything is fatal.” This was in response to me feeling an enormous amount of shame after having introduced him to my first husband. He didn’t judge people, and even though by the end of the trip we all knew that I’d made a huge mistake… he wasn’t worried about me because he knew that he had given me my inheritance early in life. I can read anything in English, to comprehension. That came in handy when it was time to complete my divorce without a lawyer as well as finishing my BA in Paralegal Studies once I finally gained my freedom.

My mom’s mom (Granny) was extremely credit conscious. She paid for most things in cash, and anything that she bought with credit she did so with a solid repayment strategy. She taught me how to save my change for big purchases and be patient when filling a want rather than a need. She also taught me how to learn to do things for myself. She could fix a toilet, some broken concrete on the stairs, switch out spark plugs, put a new p-trap on a sink. All of the things that she learned to do herself helped her save money even when she wasn’t able to do them anymore because nobody could pull the “lil lady” routine on her and overcharge. She signed up for all of the warranties, so she never bought the same thing over and over. I did my best to inherit all of these things, but Granny was a different kind of tough, so while there are some things that I need to pay other people to do, I make sure that I learn what the job takes before I make the call.

Now the above are just the good things. There’s some not so great things that I’ve inherited as well. Without naming any specific sources I have a fear of germs and most activities that could be considered “thrill-seeking”.  I beat up on myself if I don’t win. I love shiny new things, I have a hard time buying outside of my preferred name brands and I hate inconsequential chit-chat with strangers just to name a few.

THE BIG PICTURE: 

Think about the examples that you set in the lives of the young people around you on a regular basis. That’s their inheritance. I have God-kids in which I hope to instill the spirit of entrepreneurship and reading everything, especially before they sign. We go through this life and we do our best to make it to the next level and all the while, the young people are watching. So if we never try to be great, or if we try again after we fail, they inherit the byproducts of our actions.

There’s a unique situation in the Black community when it comes to what we pass down. Not to say that there aren’t many of us that have things in place in an effort to create generational wealth, but we (broad sense of we) tend to ignore the positive impact that good habits and solid strategic planning can have on sustaining anything that we create monetarily. If we are sure to pass down not just cash and words of wisdom, but acts to follow, we can see an increase that can’t be shaken by an “-ism”.

The Grandparents of our parents invested in land and passed down trades. Many of us have decided that the ways of old are no longer sufficient or we got tired of having to continuously rebuild (*cough Roswell, Rosewood, Black Wall Street cough*). But if we just keep in mind that we are going to leave behind something even if we don’t try, we may find ourselves trying to do/be better in the name of the ones that will follow. Because they are totally watching the… “older people”. 🙂

DISCUSSION: 

Tell me what you think. Am I way off base with this one? I’d love to hold that discussion in the comment section as usual. Just an interesting aside, I usually try to add some pictures to the posts to keep you engaged, but I Googled “inheritance” and there were no stock pictures of black hands passing anything between one another. Then I modified my search to “black inheritance” and “inheritance black” only to find the logo of a death metal band and this link….

http://theblackinheritance.com/featured-post-black-health-matters/

Sooo…. maybe we can talk about that too.

Blackest Weekend of the Blackest Month… (Journal/Reaction)

This is my take on the high I’m feeling after the blackest weekend in the blackest month. 
I’m black all day every day, not just in February. The weekend prior to this one was spent trying to make a dent in helping a city that’s mostly black feel some sense of love after having been poisoned by their (our) government. Although there were faces from multiple backgrounds I couldn’t help but feel like the things going on in Flint are a direct attempt to extinguish the poor and the black by any means possible. This was how we started off our Black History Month, reeling from the emotional ride and 18 hour day of service and still feeling like we couldn’t do enough. Also feeling like, what the hell could anybody have done to deserve this? 
In the background of the Flint mission, I was on The Daniel Fast with my church family. We had a prayer call every evening, and even though there were praise reports on the calls, there were still points during the fast in my personal life that I felt like “oh my Lawd” with the hood problems. Keep in mind that my body was in a state of hunger and so that reaction may have been 70% hanger fueled, but nonetheless, I was “Tide..”. Because no matter how many degrees, titles or accolades we receive, we still have cousins and homies that remind us of both, how far we have come, as well as how far we still need to go as a people. 
Since I decided to work in corporate, much of my day consists of being black in a way that doesn’t make the people that do business with me uncomfortable…because that’s just the way the game is. I’m almost 6ft tall, and that above kinky head is mine… so sometimes I’m not always successful in the attempt. 
 
So when I got a weekend jam packed with all the out loud blackety blackness that my little heart beating inside of my black body could stand…
Ladies,  you know how you feel when you get home and take off your bra? 
Guys,  you know how you feel when your girl isn’t home so you can fart, scratch and leave the seat up without getting yelled at?
Yes.
That kind of freedom.
BEYONCE BEING WOKE OUT LOUD– Official Site to watch the Formation Video
Followed by her being Woke, LIVE in front of everybody, backed by what felt like a sea of black women in Afros and Berets in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Formation of the Black Panther Party… 
All of these things, to the backdrop of Super Black Huey… I mean Cam Newton playing for the Panthers, in the 50th Superbowl. I wore my “My Black is Beautiful” t-shirt all Sunday… and as far as I’m concerned, Beyonce won the Superbowl. Shout out to Peyton and all but, well you see it. 
I am so excited for the generation of little kids that are old enough to know what they are seeing. Don’t you know that when I was 5 Whoopi Goldberg  and Oprah Winfrey were who I saw on TV that looked like me. I’m sure many of us almost peed our pants when the world was introduced to Lisa Leslie because she was tall. Don’t even get me on thick version of Serena Williams during the years of early adulthood and body image shaping, when I was serving in a Navy that told me that my big butt was “Un-sat”. 
Many of us had to be comfortable learning how to define our own version of Blackness because usually if we showed up on television, there weren’t 5 of us at once, let alone a football field worth, at the same time, not just doing something with the ball. So while some may have been watching this weekend unfold as just another great marketing move, there’s plenty of us that feel like… 
…so just let us have it. 
As always, we can talk in the comments section. 
-Black Maggie 

The Activist, The Hotep and The Suit… In the Sun.

Code Switching- The term, as it relates to those of us that effortlessly dance on the balance beam across the dichotomy of what it means to be Black in America is not new, nor is it exclusive to the Black experience. There have been blog posts and articles that do a great job explaining the act. I’d like to open up the conversation and create a space to discuss how this year has created instances where the lines have blurred. 2015 has proven to be the year of the movement, and there have been plenty of times that being the only black face in the place has called on many of us to have to decide where we need to fall on the spectrum.

Disclaimer: I am making the assumption that many of us have at least a temporary Hotep persona that both inner- and overstands when it’s time to let the knowledge drip like raw-vegan, organic, cold-pressed carrot juice.

So picture this scene:
Day three of five of a major event that you’ve been helping plan for over a year. You find out, via Shea-Butter Twitter, that a peace rally is about to jump off right outside. Why? Because the tape from one of the various heinous acts of violence towards black men this year was released this morning and The People are more than aggravated… There’s you, a sea full of white people and others. The only other black person around has gone Full Corporate because they’re in the middle of conducting a service/training and they also haven’t heard the news. Everybody else is buzzing about what’s getting ready to take place. Who do you decide to be on this day?

1. The Activist- You can take the bold approach and assert your stance on the matter in an eloquent and unwaivering tone without falling into a debate trap. Stand firm on what you believe and take a walk outside to march in solidarity. Don’t talk, just do it. You may get fired, but that’s the life you live when you’re not typing TPS reports and you’re ok with that.

2. The Hotep- Find the most vocal person in the room and work to tear apart their argument from it’s origin. Giving them just enough room to draw breath and no space to provide an opposing view until you have, at least in your mind, completely dismantled their reasoning and caused them to question their very existence in your King- or Queendom. You’ll get fired, but it won’t be until they’ve been able to build a six month case around all the times you showed up late because the healing session went too long, or when you had the whole office smelling like frankencense. They’ve been waiting on a moment like this to get the paperwork started on you. You however, overstand that this job is not your source, so you’re ok with that.  You even dipped extra incense and renewed your vendor’s license over the weekend just in case because you Stay Woke!

3. The Suit- The most uncomforatble place on Earth is being in a position of feeling like you have to explain your people when you don’t really know how it’s going to go yourself.  At bare minimum you have to reinforce the fact that you aren’t afraid or you run the risk of being stuck in an environment where it’s ok to be afraid of Black people attempting to exercise their rights to protest. You decide to go in confused as to what the fuss is about, and return with an appeal to common sense. “Hey would you go get a permit to start a riot?” *insert an uncomfortabe, acceptable negro chuckle*. Then immediately enlist a socially aware and open-minded co-worker to be your stand-in “other black employee” and release all that fake smile frustration in a remote corner of the building. As long as you chose the susbstiture wisely, you won’t get fired… but how long do you plan on living like this?

 Full disclosure something like this happened to me and I chose to be The Suit. I still don’t know if that’s the right answer, but I do know it was the safe bet for me at the time. What would you do? Can keeping it real have it’s advantages or does it usually go wrong in these circumstances?

Let’s get the discussion going in the comments section, I’d like to hear which approach you’d choose and if you think my descriptions are valid/accurate.

Some Reference Articles if you’d like some explanation:
http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/04/08/176064688/how-code-switching-explains-the-world 
http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2013/04/code-switching