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What Self-Care Looks Like To R&B Singer Jazmine Robinson

"Being happy is a choice that I have to make and it's got to be the first one that I make in the morning."

Finding Balance

You don't know what you've got until it's gone, and after R&B singer Jazmine Robinson got into a car accident that could have potentially stolen her God-given gift for life, she realized that it was time to kick her hustle into overdrive.

Just shy of her 23rd birthday, Jazmine was headed to see longtime family friend Kandi Burruss, and her family when she was hit from behind by a reckless driver. She told xoNecole, "And at first I got out the car and I was fine, but then like everything just started aching. The first thing I thought was, 'oh my gosh, my body.' I use my body to dance. I definitely took mobility for granted up until that point. I'm just like, 'oh my goodness, I cannot move.'" According to Jazmine, the only thing more crippling than the shock of her accident was the thought of never being able to dance again.

"It made me think that all those goals that I had written on my list would never get accomplished. Like, what if it was worse? What if I couldn't move again? I didn't want that."

Not long after, Jazmine knew it was time to become fearless in the pursuit of her purpose, packed up her things, and moved from Atlanta to LA to pursue her entertainment career full-time. For Jazmine, her near-death experience was what pushed her into her destiny. "I feel like maybe that was the tipping point. Because it could all be over, over."

Now, Jazmine says that she can take pride in starting and ending each day knowing that she's doing the damn thing, without fear that she'll ever leave this earth wondering "what if". The entertainer recently released her latest project, Ocean, for which she single-handedly self-produced a visual for and sis has more heat otw. Between auditions, recording, and being a nanny to the stars, Jazmine says that she can barely find time to find sleep, but the entertainer did get a minute to fill us in on how she finds balance despite her ultra-busy schedule:

When do you feel most beautiful?

Tee J (@hustleandnap)

"If I'm like accomplishing something I feel most beautiful and it doesn't matter how I'm looking in the moment. I can't pinpoint that to a look, it's more of a feeling. Like me driving 36 hours to LA, that was beautiful to me. That's when I was most proud of myself and I thought to myself, 'wow, girl, you look good, you doing the damn thing.' When I get up in the morning and I don't want to, but I go exercise; I come back and I'm like, 'girl, you look good!' I remember it was such a time when I didn't do those things; when I wasn't kind to myself in that way to schedule personal time for myself, and it really just made me sad. Being happy is a choice that I have to make and it's got to be the first one that I make in the morning."

"I remember it was such a time when I didn't do those things; when I wasn't kind to myself in that way to schedule personal time for myself, and it really just made me sad. Being happy is a choice that I have to make and it's got to be the first one that I make in the morning."

What are your mornings like? 

"Praying, whether it's by myself or with my friends. We'll all call each other on a group chat and just literally pray and speak over our lives and our dreams. Like every day, it's serious."

What do you find to be the most hectic part of your week? 

"When I'm having a busy week, the most hectic part would probably be finding time to sleep. I will literally schedule myself to do things and never schedule sleep and then look up and it'll be like four in the morning and I'm like, 'gosh, I really need to be up at six. What am I going to do?' So though I have been running with this ambition, I'm now trying to pace myself in it."

Do you practice any types of self-care?

Tee J (@hustleandnap)

"For me, self-care is a good hair mask, a good Michael Todd or Sarah Jakes Roberts Sermon, and that's about it. I'll really just sit there and watch sermons all day or, speeches, interviews, things like that. To me, that is like a form of self-care because it's someone pouring into me versus me pouring out all the time."

How do you find balance with:

Love/Marriage?

"The way that I find balance with having fun with them is doing business with them in some way or some form. Like, we'll do a dance class; one of my friends owns like a shoe boutique and we'll say, 'hey, we'll do a heels class and give away a pair of shoes at the end of the month, let's both promote it together'. We'll work together so that we can spend time in that atmosphere and still not feel like we have a bunch of work to do after hanging with each other."

Friends?

"I guess I kind of infuse that too. We'll watch YouTube sermons together and we'll read books together and talk about them because that's kind of just what space I'm in right now."

Exercise/Health?

"At the top of the day, [I] get it over with, just go ahead and do it. Because if it hits 12 and I have my makeup on and my hair done, sis is not throwing on a pair of track pants unless it's for dance class. So just getting it over with at the top of the morning is the best way and nothing in the world beats that shower after a weightlifting session. Nothing."

Do you cook or find yourself eating out?

Tee J (@hustleandnap)

"I'm not sure if it is my sense of me trying to adult and be frugal and I guess I'll know the more money I obtain, but, I much rather cook. Because I think, why am I going to spend $20, 30, 40, $50 on a meal and I want to get my song mixed or I want to go to dance class or I want to shoot something and I need to buy an outfit for it? Maybe I'll make the outfit, but I need to buy the fabric. To me, if that does not register. You mean to tell me I'm going to make a decision about food three times a day, sometimes more, and I could spend that money and then just do it again tomorrow? Or I can get a song mixed and put it on iTunes and it'd be on there forever."

Do you ever detox? What does that look like for you?

"There's this girl who wrote a book called detoxing your brain and she talks about how your brain can physically challenge your body to do certain things. I always think, let me start there. Getting a journal and writing everything down, that's me detoxing. I'm a letting all these thoughts out of my head so I don't have to store that. Your brain can only hold so much like storage in your phone; at one point, you're gonna have to put them in a cloud and tuck them somewhere else so that you don't lose them. So that's my form of detox is getting a journal or writing music."

What does success mean to you? 

"Success is literally writing a goal down and being able to accomplish it. Whatever that goal is, whatever that amount of money is, whatever that standard is. Just being able to literally cross off my to-do lists at the end of the day, that's a successful day to me"

You can learn more about @Jazmine by following her Instagram and make sure to check out the 3-part visualization of her new single, "Ocean" on Youtube ASAP, sis!

Jazmine | Ocean - a serialized story | Part 1 www.youtube.com

Featured image by Tee J (@hustleandnap).

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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