Freshly squeezed lemon juice, tart strawberries, and a healthy dose of rum make up these Strawberry Lemonade Rum Pops! Super refreshing, lightly boozy. One is never enough!
Song that gives me life: The Animals – Don’t let me be Misunderstood
Last time I checked, it was 2017. Seriously, I had to pull up a calendar and make sure it wasn’t 1963.
Humans, it’s been over fifty years since the Civil Rights movement.
I feel as if I’ve gone back in time. I feel like I’ve traveled to a time where people who claimed to be “Christian” hated people who didn’t know their place.
Last night I watched a video of a mayoral candidate who said – And I’m paraphrasing – That reparations came in the form of Barack Obama and if they didn’t like it, they could go back to Africa. A mayoral candidate. Not some uneducated stereotype. Not some person with a stained shirt and a mullet loitering at a Walmart. This is a candidate who as an elected official, plans to represent a city.
I can’t address these statements without addressing our own history of anti-blackness.
Flow with me, I have a short story.
I have a standing appointment with my hairdresser. I usually go after work and ride a cab home. This particular night, I was driven home by a fellow Dominican. It was a 10-minute ride and our conversation was peppered with pleasantries.
Until it was time to pay and he tried to overcharge me.
I’ve taken the same route for at least 9 years. I say, with authority – This is the fare. If I am charged less, I never ever take the money because I feel it’s unfair. This man who was pleasant not three minutes ago said something to the effect of; “I see living in this neighborhood has made you cheap, like these Africans:”
We argued back and forth and the argument escalated. I called him a racist Latino hating thief, and before I slammed his car door I heard him spit out ‘Maldita Africana, maldita Haitiana’, like being called African or Haitian would somehow offend me.
It took a few minutes to calm down and make sense of that encounter. This man hurling what he thought to be insults was at least three shades darker than I was. In fact, he resembled my half-Haitian grandfather. His anti-blackness, the way he used it as a weapon against a fellow Latina angered me.
Dominicans partake in a caste system of anti-blackness. There are many Dominicans who if they carry as much as a drop of Haitian blood, they vehemently deny it. This stems from an era when our country was under a dictatorship rule which was very much anti-Haitian. A lot of this present-day anti-Haitian sentiment stems from an era fueled with disinformation and ignorance. That same anti-black sentiment was on display when that cab driver hurled insults aimed to degrade my status as a Latina, as a Dominican. This encounter was at least four years ago and I go back to it whenever I see Latinos acting a fool.
I am a proud Afro-Latina. I am raising proud Afro-Latino children. I can’t deny my blackness and neither can they. We wear it in the color of our skin and the coarseness in our hair. My features are a mishmash of my ancestry. I am a mixture of slavery and monarchy. I am a descendant of slaves and kings. It’s rare when someone can identify me as Dominican, even when I speak Spanish.
When I’m confronted with anti-blackness in all its forms, especially from fellow Latinos – I call that shit out. Because the truth is, out in the world we’re considered black, no matter what the shade. Practicing anti-blackness, at least for me is a disservice to those
who were hosed
who were spat on
who died for me, yes me – To have rights in this country.
Until we face and eradicate our own system of anti-blackness, people like this mayoral candidate will always have a platform.
I leave you with these Strawberry Lemonade Rum Pops.
If this post resonated with you, share it.
If you feel triggered I urge you to stop before you attempt to insult me or issue threats.
Unpack and evaluate your anti-blackness. We have all participated in this at one time or another. And guess what, if we are aiming for true sustainable change – Anti-blackness serves no purpose in what is supposed to be a post-racial world.
For the strawberry syrup
- 3 cups Strawberries hulled and sliced
- 2 cups Granulated sugar
- 2 cups Water
For the Strawberry Rum Pops
- Strawberry syrup
- 1 ¼ cup Lemon juice
- ½ cup Coconut rum
- ½ cup Light or dark rum
- Combine the strawberries, sugar, and water in a blender. Blend on high until combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the mixture of any seeds ,and set aside to cool completely. Transfer mixture to a large measuring cup with a lip. To the measuring cup add the lemon juice and both rums. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust rum as needed. Please note, adding too much rum will prevent pops from fully freezing. Place ice pop pouch inside a large glass. Open the ice pop pouch and carefully fill each pouch to the fill line. Do not fill to the top, as the mixture expands as it freezes. Seal the pouches and place in the freezer for 5-6 hours or overnight. Makes about 14-15 pops.