Midweek Tribute: Joi “SJ” Harris

I was saddened to hear of the untimely and tragic accident which claimed the life of this courageous, determined, trailblazing woman. Joi “SJ” Harris, the first African-American stuntwoman, died on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, 14 August. From CBC News:

The American stunt rider who died in Vancouver on Monday while shooting an action sequence for the film Deadpool 2 has been identified as SJ Harris, a 40-year-old from New York City.

Harris died in a motorcycle accident after she crashed through a window in Shaw Tower near Jack Poole Plaza…Deadpool 2 was Harris’s first gig as a stuntwoman. Her manager, Porsche Taylor, described her as a “trailblazer” in motorcycle road racing.

“Once she got on the track, she fell in love with it. And she was surprised that there weren’t very many women who were racing and no women of colour, or no African-American women, in particular,” Taylor said in an interview Tuesday with As It Happens.

“She was excited to be able to break some new ground.”

Harris began riding in 2009 and received her race licence in May 2013. She started competing in 2014, racing in the American Sportbike Racing Association Championship Cup Series.

“SJ was super competitive on the track,” Taylor recalled. “She would race with men as well as women — and often give as good as she got.”
In a 2015 profile published in Black Girls Ride Magazine, Harris was described as the first African-American woman to become a professional road racer.

“I am everything people never saw in this sport,” Harris told the magazine in an interview.

Muscle cars and motorcycles have always been a love of mine, and I know full well what Ms. Harris is talking about when it comes to the “good-ole-boys” atmosphere which is prevalent at any motorcycle or classic car event that I attend. With the events of Charlottesville still fresh in the mind, I recall how many confederate flags and other racist decals and emblems decorated various vehicles or articles of clothing, or people who had those emblems tattooed on every inch of exposed skin.

I’m certain that Ms. Harris was well aware of those who pushed back against her desire to succeed, and fought that much harder to prove them wrong. According to an article in the Huffington Post, Harris described herself on her website as the “first licensed African-American woman in U.S. history to actively compete in (American Motorcyclist Association) sanctioned, motorcycle road racing events.”

Kevin Elliott, president of the American Sportbike Racing Association, said Harris began racing with the association’s beginner-level Champion Cup Series in 2014 and this year moved up to a “feeder” series that is meant to prepare riders for racing at an expert level.
He said her other activities prevented her from competing enough to be automatically given expert status, but if she had requested it based on her 2016 and 2017 finishes, it would have been granted.

For the first two years she was racing on a bike that was too big, but when she switched to a bike that was more suited to her size, her talent showed itself to be “very promising,” he said.

“She was just a good, solid competitor. She rode well,” he said.

Ride on, sister…ride on. You were certainly an inspiration.

BGR 2017: Celebration in Pictures!

The Black Girls Rock 2017 celebration took place on Saturday, 5 August, but you wouldn’t know it unless you had marked the schedule on your respective calendars! I found little coverage and virtually no articles about this event, but I can’t say that I’m surprised – par for the course, sad to say.

In light of that, here are a few pictures with some positive, uplifting quotes for those of us who are overlooked and under-represented on a daily basis!

😉

Saturday Screen-Shots: 28 January 2017

Venus & Serena Williams

Here are a few of my in-game screen-shots from the past week. I also wanted to say congratulations to Serena Williams – winner of the Australian Open! Well done and kudos to her sister, Venus, as well…they are both admirable and inspiring!

😎

Looking through the “Bag of Holding”

Striking a pose

Nicely-designed tabards

Mounted up – the horses size to your character

Dancing a jig

A little Tai Chi

Shake that money-maker!

A drink at lakeside

Cheers!

Relaxing at the bath-house

Midweek Musings: My Kind of Pagans

I was looking to see if there are ANY fair representations of non-white pagans and / or “women warriors,” since the few people with whom I speak with online essentially don’t give a shit if I feel welcome at pagan gatherings or not. I commend their honesty, at the very least!

Anyway, I did a bit of browsing and found that, at the very least, I’m not completely alone! Nice to know that at least a few other sisters are out and about, brandishing sword or bow, and rocking awesome armour! We kick ass…I suppose that terrifies many, LOL! There need to be more of us, as far as I’m concerned…

😎

#BlackGirlsRock & Baseball!!!

I might offend some with this, but when have I ever let that stop me from doing or saying something, especially when it’s something positive? Answer: NEVER! With that, I add my voice to the shout that is echoing louder and louder with each passing day… BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!”
Gawddamn right and FAWK YEAH we do!!! I bought T-shirts reflecting this sentiment for myself, my sisters, and my niece…daily affirmations are a good thing. Also, Saturday, 4th April, marked the birth anniversary of Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m certain she was beaming down on everyone last night!
Of course, there has been the expected backlash from the insecure and self-absorbed who whinge and moan about not being in the limelight for the equivalent of 15 minutes. White women and the legions of men who adore them – and they span the colour-charts, mind you – are up in arms over this celebration of self-affirmation, self-worth, and reclamation of self-esteem based on our own rules, not those which have been thrust upon us by those who are “blinded by the white.” I equate those juvenile responses and behaviour to that of a greedy child who, upon attending another’s birthday party, screeches loudly about the gifts that the celebrant is receiving. Rather than be happy for the other’s day in the sun, they feel the need to bring the desired attention back to themselves – they are the ‘Eric Cartmans’ of the world, to put it bluntly!
I am putting my own colourism aside for the moment and celebrating all of us, from the light-bright ‘Café-au-lait’ to the deep Mahogany and Ebony hues. I, myself, am ‘Cinnamon’ in the winter, darkening to ‘Nutmeg’ in the Summer…I’m spicy! I would say that I’m a ‘Bronzed Bombshell’ all year-round, and my happy hubby would attest to this!   😀
To my golden-skinned mother and niece, and to my ‘chocolate-drop’ sisters, and to all of us around the world…repeat after me…
BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!!!
Finally, today is the official Opening Day of baseball – I’m ecstatic! First pitch for my Seattle Mariners is at 1:10 p.m. PDT (21:10 GMT) at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA. It is a pretty stadium, no doubt…but I still have fond memories of the Kingdome, which fell on 26 March, 2000. I still have a chunk of concrete from it!

Photo credit: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

With that, I’ll close with the classic song / video celebrating baseball, and some great Seattle Mariners advertisements…enjoy!

Seattle Mariners: “Kyle Seager – Hawt Corner

Seattle Mariners: “Fernando Rodney – Where Does His Arrow Go?”

John Fogerty : “Centerfield

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