Being black and living abroad – Carolyn Vines talks about her new book on Uncaged Birds

Listen to Carolyn speak about her new book on Uncaged Birds.

Carolyn Vines

She speaks about what triggered her decision to move to Europe, as well as the both internal and external hurdles she had to take to make that decision. She also talks candidly about her experiences as a Black American abroad and how she gained unexpected insight into her own identity. Most compelling about Carolyn’s story is its ordinariness. She’s an “every woman” who also happens to be black. Despite its universal character, Carolyn hopes her book will inspire other, especially black women to venture out beyond the immediate circumstances of their biology, nationality and socio-economic circumstances. Because, as Carolyn’s own life has shown, there is a wealth of beauty and possibilities available to us all, if we only have the courage and faith to pursue them!

Buy Black and (A)broad on Amazon:

American Politics for the Expat Community with Harolynne Bobis and Trina Roach

Click through to hear the replay of the kick-off of a new monthly show when special guest, Harolynne Bobis (Greece), talked about American politics. Here’s what Harolynne wants to share: So the big question facing American expatriates is should I vote in the midterm elections or should I just forget about it. Of course, the answer is “You should vote.”

Editor’s note: The US Democratic Party lost a lot of seats in the House of Representatives and its majority, and less in the Senate and hung on to its majority, during the 2010 mid-term elections. Many call this a referendum on the Obama Administration. Statistics show that young people were not engaged this year as they were in 2008 while the Republics leveraged domestic issues, including high unemployment as a rallying cry to take back the US. The historic health care legislation hangs in the balance as the Republicans threaten to reverse all of the progress the Obama Administration made in a brief two years following 8 years of Republican rule.

Could the overseas vote have made a difference?

As American society becomes more and more polarized, the elections are closer and closer. And the last votes counted, and therefore the ones that count the most, are those of Uniformed Service and Overseas Civilian voters. Uniformed Service voters include all active duty military personnel, their spouses and their dependents, whether they are stationed within or without the United States. Overseas Civilians are all the rest of us.

The Department of Defense is responsible for making sure that these two constituencies can vote. Military personnel first got the right to vote absentee during the Civil War. It took quite a bit longer for civilians who were not members of the Foreign Service apparatus. A quick anecdote – Several overseas citizen groups began campaigning for the right to vote absentee by attaching tea bags to letters to their members of Congress (but they didn’t call themselves Teabaggers).

Their movement was finally successful during the presidency of Gerald Ford. A current member of the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, suggested that President Ford veto the legislation to protect against “voter fraud.” Thankfully, Senator Barry Goldwater convinced President Ford that he didn’t want to be the first president since Reconstruction to veto a voting rights act.

Uncaged Birds Sisters in Europe profiles

Trina was one of the first sisters I reached out too after launching the Black Women in Europe blog in 2006. I profiled her and was delighted to learn that post led to a meeting for her with another sister I profiled. I think it turned into a business relationship.

Trina has been a staunch supporter of my social network and was an original member and now a Beta tester for the new Black Women in Europe Social Network platform. So of course it was a pleasure for me to support her Uncaged Birds project by way of spreading the word and planning to participate in at least one of the round tables.

She is running a Sisters in Europe profile series and while I am dragging my feet in submitting my information, I can’t wait to cross post those profiles here!

So here we go.

Profile #1 is of Noah Sow. I have made several posts about Noah and her musical, theatrical and literary pursuits in Germany and around the world.

Here’s Trina’s take: