Dr. King, The Revolutionary – Why We Need His Thoughts Now More Than Ever 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Americans like our leaders sanitized, captured in Pinterest quotes and witty tweets. We teach kids to swallow comfortable myths about historical figures, instead of thinking outside the box. But now in the age of Google, you and I can seek different narratives, rediscovering these men and women in the fullness of their humanity, not reduced to occasional  sound bites.

This is how I fell in love with Dr. King, the revolutionary. There I sat as the sun illuminated my childhood bedroom, tears streaming, college textbooks thrown haphazardly on the dresser, as I read what I believe is his greatest speech at the Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, “Beyond Vietnam – A  Time to Break Silence.”

I remember running excitedly to my mother’s room that day, “Mom, listen to what he said!” ” Yes,” she shook her head calmly, smiling, after I finished. “I know.” Of course she did; she lived through all of it, and I didn’t. And yet as much as she told us about Dr. King growing up, there reading his words, I discovered him for myself, anew – a man  deeply committed to revolution, such a radical and courageous way of being in the world.

Friday, as Trump was sworn into office, I thought of that day I sat enraptured by King’s words. How tragic is it that we are content to reduce his legacy and vision solely to the “I Have a Dream” speech? Perhaps its because doing so makes us feel better about upholding this illusion of “colorblindness?” 

I mean, if Dr. King said we should not judge by skin color, but instead look at the content of character, well, those people caught up in our massive prison industrial complex, and oppressed by economic and educational inequality, have all brought it on themselves. This perspective completely absolves us from questioning how systems, laws and institutions are designed to oppress whole segments of American society.

Questioning the status quo takes courage; most people are drawn to the comfort of denial.  Dr. King challenged not merely the government, but intersecting forces of domination – economic and social, militarism, our way of seeing one another. He understood the path forward meant transformation from within, and a revolution of values:

“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies… True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see than an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. 

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.” 

Across the world people are waking up and they are resisting…

Not one of us knows what will happen during the next four years, but we can choose to cultivate values which take root in our hearts. We must begin to see one another in radical love, understanding there are commonalities within our struggles, while not denying the uniqueness of our truths.  

Perhaps in an odd way, the ascension of Trump is an advantage. It is giving rise to voices which have remained silent for far too long, and causing us to question the values in our society. But the even deeper and far reaching question is
this: How do we show up in everyday life? Is it with a heart of compassion, or one so hardened by our own pain that we cannot see ourselves in another living being?

Now, more than ever, we must become clear about what we value, so we can sow seeds of compassion and light, as we resist the toxicity of:

hatred

racism

patriarchy and white supremacy

homophobia / transphobia / xenophobia

social and economic equality

 

Further Reading:

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Michelle Alexander

 

Who are you all reading these days? What are you doing in your community to sow seeds of understanding and love?

 

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: Artist Kendrick Lamar Connects with High School Kids, Amazing Dads, and Drawing Close to God 

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Photo Credit: Karsten Moran, The New York Times

Despite the chaos and utter despair of the last several days in Orlando, there is still hope, inspiration and light. Here is what caught my eye this week on the web:

Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar visited a high school in New Jersey, connected with both students and the teacher (who views Lamar not only as a musical artist,  but a writer whose work should be studied). I love out-of-the-box teaching!

It warmed my heart to read about these inspiring Dads on Father’s Day!

One of my blogging besties and sisters in Christ, Brittany Orie (Living a Beautiful Life), wrote a beautiful devotional in Our Words Collaborative. She explores an interesting subject: How God transforms some of our own quiet spirits, or periods of  loneliness, into opportunities for deeper connections with him. ▶️ I am honored to be part of this tribe of writers and I hope you’ll subscribe for daily devotionals, and follow us as we walk out this faith journey together.

Artwork by Ainsley Jordan

She is authentic – not one of those Mamas on IG who drives you nuts, because the photos are flawless 24-7. Nope, Abbie of Grumbling Grace, cracks me up and makes me think simultaneously. I loved this piece on what Dads bring – oh so much!

Peep contributing writer / blogging bestie Nellie’s thoughtful piece on rising above the fear and hatred we saw this past week in Orlando and sharing God’s love.

This courageous Dad found hope and an online community after his wife abandoned both him and their 1-month-old baby girl.

Beauty / Style Finds: Socially Conscious Fashion from Mompreneur Zorana of Wanderlust 

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

I met Zorana (founder of Wanderlust) on Instagram several months ago, and instantly admired the beauty of her pieces.  However, the message and philosophy behind the work is particularly inspiring. She is a change agent, a woman committed to transforming the world through mindfulness. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading about the story behind the brand. Plus, Live In Color blog readers get a 15% discount (see coupon in the post).  Grab some tea, coffee, or a smoothie (my personal fav.) and  enjoy!

Zorana, founder of Wanderlust

Tell us all about Wanderlust. What materials do you select? What is your business philosophy?
I am a small business owner, and I embrace the attitude of ethical, fair production and a purposeful life! I strive to grow my business through a route of honest work, and the creation of modern simple goods for life and home.

All my bags are handmade, hand painted and crafted. Every piece of fabric is washed, ironed, painted by hand, sewn, folded and tied up with a hand-printed label in my home studio.

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I have a strict policy for sustainable environmental work. I use only water-based textile colors, acid-free. I use a  100% cotton canvas, producing on a small scale, it gives a soft and natural feel. I do not work with leather.

All my bags are ethically sourced, made in small sustainable batches, responsibly, both on a human and environmental level. I’m all about ethical fashion and care for our planet.

I believe that the stuff we use shouldn’t cause harm to people, the planet and animals. There are no animal-based materials in my designs. 

I also believe that it is very important to know who makes our stuff, too. Each of my bags has it’s own story. I like to think that my bags add style to a life with purpose: ethics + aesthetics.

I create reusable bags that people may  take with them when they do their grocery shopping – this is a small act with a big impact. I encourage taking your canvas tote reusable bag anywhere! Our planet is begging us not to use plastic bags. Make life thoughtful and intentional! My new collection of kitchen textiles painted by hand is expected by the end of the month, so stay tuned.

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Wanderlust Coupon for Live In Color Blog readers
Wanderlust coupon for Live In Color Blog readers

What lead you to start your business?
Women makers led my family for generations. All my grandmothers were seamstresses, dressmakers, and one was a famous weaver of traditional kilims. I guess my calling was probably determined by that [history]. I studied fashion & textile design. After a break to have my twins, my fashion collection grew into an Etsy store, eventually becoming a small business.

Wanderlust Packaging

Wanderlust LogoWhat inspires you to keep creating?
I’ve always had an urge to create, but after I discovered ethical fashion my desire grew! It is the amount and quality of attention that counts – and slow  making equals quality.

I think we are what we wear. We should match our outfits to our beliefs. Act as if what we do makes a difference because it does! We should use our buying power to support brands that produce their products fairly, and are not exploiting people and planet. It’s all about buying smarter.

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I draw inspiration from this [outlook]. It helped me realize my mission. I have  [a] quote by Mahatma Gandhi that currently guides my life, and hangs on my wall: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I truly love what I do! Textile art and brushstrokes painted by hand are a thrill to create. My favorite cup of morning coffee is served with black textile paint! That’s how I like to start my work day.

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Note: All my photos are taken by Zorana and her sister Ivana Pavlovic of “Beads & Happiness.” 

Stay Connected to Wanderlust:
Web site: www.wanderlust.madefreshly.com

Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/MCWanderlust

DaWanda shop: en.dawanda.com/shop/Wanderlust-Tote-Bags-and-Textiles

Social Media:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/moderncraftwanderlust

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mcwanderlust