One Year (and One Month) Later

Jillian “Mama J” Love
10 min readApr 17, 2021

It’s been 3 weeks since my daughter, Jaylin’s First Day @ School.

18 days to shift into a new schedule and new habits.

And, quite frankly, rest and reflect.

Because the first quarter of 2021 has been a doozy.

And, let’s be honest…

IT. HAS. NOT. LET. UP.

A reminder of why I started this series…

Offering a window into the lessons of grief, surrender., and Liberation as a parent in the intersecting pandemics of COVID-19 and Anti-Black Racism.

It’s now been 57 weeks of sheltering-in-place.

I know, I am the parent still referring to their baby in weeks instead of months, as I attempt to remember the last time dropped my kid off at in-person pre-school. It’s also a reminder that 57 weeks ago. I intentionally registered a new legal last name — Love — with the state of CA for my daughter and me before a non-mama weekend, marking the start of a new reality in her Oakland home.

As Hamblin begins COVID-19 Is Different Now, “Trying to remember March 2020 feels like sticking your head into a parallel universe.

And so, before I can no longer remember the experience of the “parallel universe,” this article is an act of practicing what I do for my clients: hold space to pause and reflect — a braving space where I can be a love leading, truth-teller Black queer mama born and raised in the Midwest with now nearly equal parts Bezerkley, CA. All to say that before this unprecedented time is out of sight, I am capturing what I am seeing in the rearview mirror of the last year -ish.

Cozy up, tho, this piece is intentionally long.

Because how can you summarize over a year in less than a 10-minute read. I’ve got shit to say that I’ve held back from saying for too long. And, I want to honor the need I had to pause in late August until mid-December to personally reflect on what wanted to be integrated and still needed to be burned.

Doing so, activated praxis — Friere’s notion of reflection and action.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a foundational text that has guided how I lead — through a cyclical love of practice and theory. While imagination…

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Jillian “Mama J” Love

CEO & Intentional Justice™ Strategist @mamajlove1 🌈 Bite-sized + deliberate action every damn day! #IntentionalJustice