Generations of becoming "WOKE" in America
Posted October 6, 2020 from United States

I dedicate this story  to dearest Nini Mappo,

I was having a difficult time getting started with my first story.  I saw your story because I followed you.

First, big congratulations on the award for speaking your truth about my country America, African Americans and how you feel for us. It is admired and appreciated.


I am an African American. To be specific, Caribbean via Grenada, British West Indies, 100 years ago. My birth certificate says "Negro", 1956.

I was born in NYC, and NOT with the right to vote. I had to grow into having the right to vote. My parents fought for it.

My father was a Tuskegee Airman. And My uncle is one of the handful still living today. (First Black Army Airforce WWII).

I was born into segregation in NYC.  And I grew up during desegregation in Long Island, NY, the suburbs.

We moved to the suburbs in 1968. The second Black family to move into a White neighborhood.

Complete with cross burning on my cousin's lawn, because they were the first Black family.

And the former KKK headquarters was around the corner, a big plantation style house.


A few years later came the White Flight. Our neighborhood was redlined and our home became worth less than half the value of the purchase.

Meanwhile this was the 1970s and in my small town near the sea of the New York suburbs, there were plenty of race riots, police brutality and quiet segregation, because desegregation was a new project.

We attended Adelphi University Black Studies program learning Black History, African dance, Revolutionary poetry and visited the Black Panthers in Harlem.

Our Black pride was educated, directed, focused and nurtured. Angela Davis was my lookalike shero.

The biggest Afro hairdo was the most beautiful and we sported our cornrows, using lots of AfroSheen and African printed outfits. We were shocking!

We were bused from our cushy, middle class, neighborhoods to the upper class white high school that looked like a college campus.

And our brothers and sisters across the tracks in the projects were too. Yes we had economic Black segregation as well.

My sister and brother attended Ivy League schools and I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Later, Hip Hop, computers, weed, crack cocaine, jeri curls, polyester and the Rodney King beating took over the USA. 


Fast way forward...working in NYC and 34 countries later I found myself needing to stay in the USA.

Why? Because I missed it! I also felt that something was about to happen.

I was in the Far East and Middle East during Desert Shield. I felt international disappointment toward America and Americans. 

Luckily, no one could decide what I was and where I was from. Especially if I grasped a little local language and dressed properly.

Mask in the Far East because of pollution, and hijab in the Middle East out of respect.

I had to switch gears fast from far, international countries to local USA, Canada, Central and South America.

I moved to Los Angeles and switched to Fashion Merchandising with a design staff for private label mass merchants.

I was traveling the USA a lot, because God-Spirit told me to stay home, in my own country.

Then 9/11 happened. 

No one around me understood the magnitude of what happened. I knew because I'm from NYC. 

The World Trade Center roof was my refuge. And I watched it on TV completely disappear. Life changed forever. 

I was glad to be where I was. Not overseas, not in NYC. Home was Los Angeles. Thank God. And thank God I listened.


For twenty years I worked, witnessed, and felt the stagnation, lack of interest, lack of awareness regarding my young people. 

Like our children were stuck in a bubble. They were. Their heads were controlled and locked from screen to screen. 

From sunrise to sunset. And hardly anyone cared about the other side of the world. Or their own world.

They only cared about and lived for LIKES. 

Social media brought down countries and validated personalities. It was a new force to use and to be reckoned with.


Unfortunately so many events transpired that forced the creation of a woke generation. Black Lives Matter, lots of chants, demonstrations, catch phrases and cliches.

I said to myself, FINALLY!!! A new generation has finally awakened. I was wondering when or if it would happen at all. And it did.

The struggle was never new. The struggle started hundreds of years ago. But finally a new generation has claimed it, and given it ownership.

In my lifetime I saw my grandparents and parents do it. My generation did it. And finally the new/next generation is fighting the power.

And I could not be more proud. I am so proud of the children of my generation because they lifted their faces from the screens and said  "enough". It is a cry or rather a scream for justice that is multi-racial, multi-gender and multi-cultural.

Systems are being called out like never before. Answers are being demanded like never before.

But all I ask is that you take the time to go beyond the noise.

Write law that is right. Uphold and protect it, for the next generations to come.


Big hugs to Nini Mappo, my sister for pulling this out of me. Love you baby girl! So happy you are WOKE! Amen.

JoMarie (Josette)

This story was submitted in response to My Voice, Our Equal Future.

Comments 13

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Oct 07, 2020
Oct 07, 2020

HI JoMarie,
Thank you for dedicating your first post to Nini. How awesome! She is one of my faves too...I am a big fan of hers. 'Glad that her story inspired you to share your first post and a big welcome to the sisterhood...where to be!:)

I enjoyed reading every line of your story in deep reflection. Wow! I saw endemic issues being raised here and I can imagine the feeling of being neither here nor there. So sensitive and touchy. Thank you for sharing your awesome and colourful journey, because we need to give Him thanks in everything as things could have been far worse. As affirmed, "...Systems are being called out like never before. Answers are being demanded like never before." I fully agree that for the good of all, the right thing need to be done.

Please, keep writing and sharing. So nice to have you join us.

Love and hugs,
E. J.
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Dear Andrace,
It's great to have goodness in common. I appreciate that we know goodness when we see it. We are both fans of a right person. Let's both keep righting, writing and sharing. Your appreciation is truly heartfelt.

Nini Mappo
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Thank you for the love sis E.J. :)

Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Thanks too, Sis. 'Love ya!

E. J.

Nini Mappo
Oct 07, 2020
Oct 07, 2020

Hello dear Josette,
I am honoured that you should dedicate your first post to me, thank you. I am glad that my story tenderly carried your life experiences to the surface, and into our hearts through this post. I am glad to have another kindred spirit sister!
I read and re-read your story, and googled up so much history to keep up he hee :)
Questions like, 'what was the Desert Storm? Who is Angela Davis--was sure she couldn't be an actress...Why is the far east so polluted, wait, where is the Far East?' and so on
The thought of a mob of you walking down the streets in floral prints and giant afros made me laugh out loud. History happens in cycles, I thought the current 'natural hair movement' was a novel idea, only to learn here that you guys gave it a shot, it cooled off, and is gaining traction again.
I read about the Tuskegee airmen while doing research for a story a week ago, and their incredible track record during WW2, and reading about your family's involvement gave me goose I was 'meeting' history!
There is such tangible goose-bumpy history in this piece, and I watched America change through your words. It gives me so many questions as to shifting perceptions if self and the African community in light of segregation and desegregation, and changing identities of what it is to be African American over the years, and places in the wider American society.

I am in danger of writing you another post ha ha :) So I will say that I am glad that God has kept you safe through all the transitions and major calamities in your lifetime. I am also so thankful to read this first hand account of racial history. I can't believe you are a 'Negro'. You know, I have a friend around your age called Eddie Broussard who's practically white--fair, fair hair, blue-eyed. But He's 'negro' too, because he has some % of black. I hope this circus is near it's end, and legislation will indeed be enacted and protected that upholds the dignity and value of every American regardless of colour
Thank you, I didn't even know I was 'WOKE'!

Thank you so much for the honour you have shown me through this story. I appreciate your sincerity and thoughtfulness.
Thank you too, for the love. Sending back love and hugs and smiles:)
Stay sparkly JoMarie;-)
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Dear Nini,
You shine so bright! I must confess that I am already in danger of writing another post. You sparked another issue that I am working on. You can't help yourself...sharing the sparks of inspiration and change. Bravo girl!

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Oct 07, 2020
Oct 07, 2020

Dear Sister Josette,
I would like to say "A LOT" of your story resonated with me. Locations, experiences and culture.
A wonderful and interesting experience to teach and educate many from I may also add.
In faith and trust we are being divinely guided by the High Source Most High call it what you will in religion, spirituality but yes we and most of us will agree on LOVE hopefully.
Thank you my Sister,
Mama Queen
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Dear Mama Queen,
You are our mother. But we are also sisters in time, space and our realities. I know we have walked different paths that lead to the same destinations. And vice versa. It all adds up to wisdom. And so it is!

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Amin Amin Amin, XO!
Sister Mama Queen

Stacie Dickson
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Nini is indeed wonderful ! Wow, what a captivating piece . Your life is so vivid and full . You inspire me!
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Dear Stacie,
Thank you for the love. You inspire me too. I am enough. And so are you!

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Oct 26, 2020
Oct 26, 2020

Hello, Jo Marie,

Nini truly has been a blessing from the moment she joined World Pulse. She has blessed me through words and actions that make me cry with joy when I think about here. I'm glad that you were inspired to write your story after reading her featured story.

You have such an inspiring journey. I wonder if you have thought of writing a book, a memoir perhaps. I wonder if God is leading you to do so.

On the term "Far East" and "Middle East", those are terms coming from the US' perspective. We have not used the word, "Far West" or is there even such? I often wondered why we in the Philippines were considered to be the Far East, and we asked who coined that one? This would be a good post to write for me in the future.

I love how we read World Pulse stories and it gives us "AHA!" moments to write coming from the inspiration of another storyteller. Thank you for your courage to share your story with us! I see that you already posted a lot here. :) When you write more, that's a book in the making already!
Oct 26, 2020
Oct 26, 2020

Hello Karen,
Thank you for your comments. It's always so interesting how the "sparks fly" from one writer to another. How a mere word can ignite a heartfelt thought or a major question, that leads to another journey. I live for those "AHA" moments. I have been asked by many people about writing a book. I'll let you know when it's done... ;-)
I will be sure to include Manila!