Laquanda (Que) Simpson
In 2013, I found myself livid and disgusted with systems spearheaded by White Supremacy, especially in Alabama. It did not bother me that someone disliked me because of my skin pigment. The reason for my anger was that a group of people had the power to dictate the quality of my life and there was not a system in place to protect me as there was for others. So what was I to do? Sit and pout or stand and make a change.
I familiarized myself with several tactics used to empower people with melanin and to ignite change mentally, spiritually, and physically. I started with nonviolent protests. They were effective in the past and influenced social change. I found myself on a charter bus with Faya Rose, Charles Steele Jr., Johnny Ford, 21st Century, Tuskegee University students and staff members, and so many others headed to Washington D.C. to make a stand. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was ruled unconstitutional. In 2015, Farrakhan called for 10,000 fearless men in the mist of the millions who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny; I went to Washington DC again to answer the call. Each time I gathered for protests, energized by the masses because we shared commonalities, I could not quantify the change after attending. My awareness was raised but I wanted to change on a higher level. I continued to seek out change.
Economic boycotts were a great idea. They were a huge success during the 1950’s. In 2015, Farrakhan announced a Christmas boycott, and I did. The boycott influenced a decline in sales but I felt the impact could have been greater. The boycott should have continued for a longer period and with a larger number of participants. This same year, I learned more about capitalism, politics, and finances. I started to feel well rounded and confident enough to implement the change I wanted to see.
Another tactic was for ‘African Americans’ to know the history of people of African descent before slavery to develop a sense of accomplishment. I realized the history I knew started with slavery and there was a possibility that this lack of knowledge affected my self-esteem. The Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization: Exploding the Myths, by Tony Browder, exposed me to the stolen legacy of African people. At this point, I was seeing a change within myself. I developed drive to maximize my potential. I set daily goals to work towards perfecting my skills.
As I familiarized myself, I was undergoing a spiritual shift. I went from a Non-denomination church to a New Thought Church that welcomed all religions and faith traditions and spirituality. I found Metaphysics and explored African spirituality, for example, Yoruba, Zulu, and Kemetic spirituality. I practiced yoga and learned West African drumming and dance. For me, the common thread between these teachings is living a balanced life centered in the god/goddess within you. It was the most potent information that helped me release my anger and to go forth in pride in being a ‘Black’ woman.
As I think back, I was hotter than boiling water. I could sniff out discrimination like a K9 searching for drugs during a drug bust. My anger started to dictate things and holding in how I felt became a problem. I am grateful I went through this process. I have come to the realization we must first make a stand within ourselves in order to affect others and our environment.
LaQuanda is a vibrant spirit moving to the rhythms of life. She was born in Selma Alabama! She believes freedom was given to her as a birth right! LaQuanda has traveled around the sun 31 times! She has invested 10 years in growing one seed. His name is Kwami Malik Ingram! Her grandparents would say LaQuanda is a good gardener because she listens! Gardening relaxes her mind and purifies her soul, drumming and dancing too! LaQuanda is a recent graduate of Geography Information Science at the University of North Alabama in Florence Alabama! She is an explorer and she loves adventure! Among friends she is better known as Que!