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Maya-Angelou-quote

 

When I logged on to Facebook today , the first thing I saw was the news of Dr. Maya Angelou's death. It literally took the wind out of me; her words are so powerful I'd forgotten that she wasn't immortal. Like many others today, I reflected on my first encounter with her writing. It was a copy of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, that I read when I was fourteen. Reading about how she grew up in the isolated, segregated rural South, yet still managed to pursue her art and dream beyond the artificial boundaries of place and circumstance had a profound impact on the girl I was and the woman I've become. It's part of the reason I'm so determined to live boldly. Her life is a reminder that there is power in each of our stories.

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vona dismantle2

 

Hey y'all!

Long time no see, huh? My apologies. I've been taking a B1 German class since the end of January. It's just like the class I took last year--four days a week, four and a half hours a day--only harder. By the end of the day, my brain is fried. The #DeutschStruggle is real, y'all.

 

So I'm not sure when I'll get back to regularly posting, but I did want to drop in make a quick announcement: I have a short story appearing in the forthcoming anthology Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Workshop. More about the book:

 

Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) was founded by Elmaz Abinader, Junot Díaz, Victor Díaz and Diem Jones in 1999. Each envisioned an arts organization that could change the landscape for writers of color by supporting individual writer growth, creating a platform for community engagement and providing a workshop and mentor focus to expand writing opportunities. Over 2,000 writers from around the globe have participated in VONA. Dismantle is an anthology of creative work from VONA alum and its award-winning teachers including: Chris Abani, Nikky Finney, Maaza Mengiste, Minal Hajratwala, Justin Torres, Cristina Garcia, Mat Johnson, Laila Lalami, Mitchell Jackson and many more.

 

This book includes the work of some super talented folks, and I'm honored and grateful to be included. If you're a lover of literature (and if you're curious to see what I write about outside of the blog) then PLEASE pick up a copy. You won't regret it.

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Guten Tag, y'all!

Today, I went on Twitter and found a nice surprise waiting for me: TheLocal.de has included me on its list  "Ten of the best English-language blogs in Germany"! Woop, woop! I'm in good company, too. Check out the other blogs listed, especially the hilarious Oh God, My Wife is German.

 

Now, if you've ever checked out my Moving to Germany page, you'll see that TheLocal is one of the first resources I list. It's my number one source for keeping up with all things Deutsch, so I'm very honored that they'd include me. So Danke!

 

And if you're new here, be sure to check out some of my favorite posts, including...

 

Would you Move for Love?

Dispatch 69: 30 Years, 30 Lessons

Natural Hair in Germany

Horse Meat vs. Chitlins: 6 Cultural Differences Between the U.S. and Germany (pt. 1)

As always, thank you guys for reading and for sharing my adventures!

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black-people-in-germany-2

 

 

Guten Tag, y'all!

 

Ever had a question you felt silly asking? I have! Especially before moving here. I wanted to know about Germany, specifically from a black person's perspective. Let's face it--there are certain concerns that many black people, especially black Americans, tend to have when traveling or moving to another country. Luckily, I have family who've lived here before, so they were able to answer some questions. For other concerns, I turned to the good ol' Internet to read the experiences of black people who live and have lived in Germany. Now that I've lived here for a few years, I feel like I can add a little to the conversation. So, here are a few questions that people often ask me privately!

...continue reading

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Happy New Year, y'all!

One of my goals for this year is to be more creative with my blog content. So this year, to share my goals, I made a little video! Granted, it's kind of a #struggle video, but I had fun making it. :) I'm thinking about doing some Q&A videos (which will be a lot better looking than this one), so if you're interested in a particular topic, let me know!

And for those who'd rather read than watch:

My 2014 Goals

1. Write consistently

2. Dress well everyday

3. Exercise for health (and vanity)

4. Make money, save money

5. Speak B2 level German

6. Don't shop mindlessly

7. Skype more (with friends, family and sorors)

8. Travel to new places

 

 

What about y'all? Any big plans or goals for 2014?

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2013 was pretty good to me. If I had a theme for the year, it could probably be summed up as "simplicity and gratitude." I spent most of the year trying to de-clutter and un-complicate. Still not quite finished, but I'm definitely heading into 2014 with a lot less physical and mental baggage than I came with. I also had some beautiful moments that I'm supremely grateful for, like talking for hours with my best friend (while eating ALL of her Krispy Kreme donuts), watching my son play with his cousins, and getting to play with my cousins. It was a happy year.

 

 

2014, I think, will be the year of Supreme Effort. I've got dreams to achieve. Time to put in the work. But first, a last look back at some of my favorite moments.

 

 

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One of the owners at our favorite Italian place. He let the Babycakes help him make this crocodile breadstick.

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My first trip to Paris! Hopefully not my last.

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Minus 7 Celsius. It was a LONG, cold winter.

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Getting his hair cut by my brother, the best barber in Greenville!

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Even though I was sick with the flu during our trip, seeing this made it worth it.

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Exploring in the forest. I live for these moments.

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I told them to say "cheese." This is what they did.

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My little fearless guy, who wanted to ride all of the most dangerous rides at the fair.

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Got my hair laid at the dopest natural hair salon in Germany.

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Second anniversary breakfast in Cologne.

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My husband we planted a balcony garden.

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Looking forward to more adventures in 2014.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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The Man and I spent a few days in Cologne last week. Of all the German cities I've been to so far, Cologne is definitely the friendliest. It's a beautiful city, especially during Christmas: we spent one day trying to go to all of its Christmas markets. We made it to five of them. And I have to say: even though I love Berlin, I have a sneaking feeling that Cologne might become my new "weekend escape" city of choice. It's one of those rare big cities that manages to feel "in the moment" as opposed to "of the moment." Bis die nachstest mal, Koln.

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Tatiana-Richards-Hanebutte

"Tat, where you been?"

A fair question. The simple answer is I've been offline. More detailed:

I been writing, I been writing.

Listening to Beyonce.

Decorating our Christmas tree.

Playing Wii with my guys.

Celebrating two years of marriage.

Reading about Jon Snow and 'nem.

Essentially, doing everything but blogging. These little breaks are necessary now and then, but I think I'm back. :)

 

Tat