Kimberly Jones Wise – A Place For Us

Kimberly Jones -Wise

Kim and I have been friends for some time now and to be truthfully honest I lost track of the years. When Kim and I first met we use to ride public transportation together from our hometown to New York City for work. She and I shared the same feelings about commuting which we hated every minute of it but we had to do it to pay the bills. During our commute we would talk about what we wanted out of life, which was to find a job out of NYC, land a promising career doing something we enjoyed (at the time we both wanted to do something in media), get married and start a family. Here’s a summary of our lives, we both did something in media but Kim reached the finished line obtaining her Masters Degree, getting married and becoming a mother, me on the other hand, I’m still trying to find out what I want to do with my life. Kim has been a very good friend to me, very supportive and we speak on the same level about life and issues so I know if I ever need a voice of reason she is there and although we don’t speak all the time when we do talk we have a whole lot to talk about. Kim is very much into advocating for the rights of people of color, while obtaining her Masters Degree from NYC for Journalism she put together a documentary called A Place For Us which highlighted police brutality against black men in America and different parts of the world. Kim is now a mother of a young son and a wife who is witnessing the traumatizing effects of a pandemic, racism, high number of unemployment and utter chaos taking place in the world at this very moment. I wanted to talk to Kim to get her perspective on the reality of raising a baby boy during this time and being a wife. I also wanted to talk about adjusting to married life after all being married is totally different from being single.  

Lets jump into this interview with my girl Kimberly Jones – Wise

ASCSW: Hello Kim, I hope all is well, it’s been awhile since we chatted. How have you been and how is your family? So many things I want to ask you because I know you’re going to be open, honest and candid, lol. You’re quiet but you speak your mind. Let’s jump into this interview to catch up and chat about life in 2020.

Kim:   Hey Ms. Nina! I see you out here doing what you do best, uplifting women and people of color. As always, I’m so proud of you.  My family and I are well despite all of the craziness that is 2020.

ASCSW: First I want to talk to you about life in 2020. Girl, this is crazy isn’t it? Pandemic, high unemployment, racism is in full effect, election time and etc. How have you been holding up with all this chaos and unrest of social issues that’s taking place right now? I know you’re very outspoken and passionate about these very issues.

Kim: 2020 came in with a bang and it just keeps reverberating. Part of me just wants it to be over, but the other part of me sees the many blessings that have come out of all this mess. I believe God is using this time to make us better. It’s no coincidence that everything is happening all at once. It’s a perfect storm. God is giving us a chance to see ourselves and  reevaluate our priorities. That belief and trust in Him has kept me afloat during all of this. It is almost to a point where I feel separated from it. I see the news and hear it but it doesn’t affect my soul like it used to. Back in the day, I’d get angry and be on the front lines protesting and run myself ragged taking on the emotional toll of it all. But these days, it’s different for me. While it’s still upsetting to see the heinous murder of Black people by police and completly dumbfounding how a man like Trump is our president, I use my energy and resources to donate to Black Lives Matter and bail funds as well as inform my community about their voting rights.   

ASCSW: I know you put together a film called A Place For Us which was for your exit project correct, to obtain your Master’s Degree in Journalism from NYU? I loved the film because it is a true picture of the discrimination that takes place on daily a basis between law enforcement and black men in America. What made you want to put together a film like A Place For Us?

Kim: With all the police shootings taking place at that time. It seemed like there was a new one every week. It just became too much and I started wondering if there was a place to go that we as Black people could feel safe. The family that I found to follow were God-sent because they were wondering the same thing I was.

ASCSW: Is there a link where readers can view A Place For Us?

Kim: Here’s the link https://youtu.be/WUYzvM2ebqU  

ASCSW: Is film something you can see yourself getting into especially now, to bring awareness to social injustice and the inequality taking place? There’s so much of it, it’s scary and sickening.

Kim: I’m not so sure that I will continue with film; it’s very time-consuming and expensive. There are so many black people creating their own production companies now. Literally almost every black celebrity is starting to get on board the production side of things because that’s where the power of storytelling really takes place. And it’s great because we are not a monolith. Black people have so many stories to tell.

ASCSW: Kim, I know you always talked about the mental health aspect of seeing the constant videos of police brutality, the acquittal of the officers involved and the politics which surround all of the cases. Can you elaborate on how detrimental this could be on someone mentally? What are some of the ways you think could help people cope with the reality of what we are witnessing at this very moment with police brutality?

Kim: Self care is key. While none of us can block out the barrage of tragic stories, it is also true that none of us are the energizer bunny. We can’t keep going and going. You can’t fight the good fight if your tank is empty. So pray for strength, comfort and guidance. And listen when God speaks. If he tells you to rest, then sit your butt down. Get together with  friends and family; watch a funny movie; exercise. Just take a break from the serious stuff for a little while because it’ll be there when you get back.

ASCSW: You’re a mother to a baby boy, a wife, daughter and sister what are your thoughts surrounding the current climate of the world? What are some things you do to keep yourself sane and focused?

Kim: You know what, I was so scared of having a son because of police brutality. I would worry about my husband, my dad and brother to the point where it was debilitating. And I still worry to some extent; I always will. But I’ve made a choice that what I’m not going to do is let these racists steal my joy. My husband, dad and brother are here now and I’m going to love and enjoy them as much as I can. My son, who is my entire world, is growing so fast. I am enjoying every second with him. His dad and I are doing our best to make the world a better place for him but I’m not willing to miss a single second of joy with him spinning my wheels on what ultimately is in God’s hands.

ASCSW: Your son is still a baby so I know he doesn’t understand what is taking place in the world right now but one day he will be old enough to question things. Have you thought about what you would tell him about being a black male in America?

Kim: I’ve thought about it. It makes me sad to have to have that talk with him but I know that it has to happen. But what I would stress to him, is his power to bring light to darkness. I will encourage him to shine his light bright, live in his joy and speak his truth. I don’t want him walking around afraid. I want him to walk around with confidence that radiates because he comes from greatness and answers to a higher power. I will also teach him that in instances where he encounters police officers to realize that they are afraid of him because of their ignorance and insecurities. They are child-like in their mindset yet have access to deadly weapons so he must treat them like the scared children that they are. So with kid-gloves but not in an antagonizing way. His main goal in these encounters should always be to do everything in his power to get home to me safely.

ASCSW: How do you prioritize your time between being a wife, mother and yourself? Do you have any self care rituals?

Kim: I’m still trying to figure that all out. Once the day is done, I usually just fall out. I’m actually going to start a 20 day raw, vegan cleanse soon in an effort to get healthier and gain more energy. Once the cleanse is done I would like to keep to a vegan or vegetarian diet. I’m starting to learn that what we eat is probably the most basic but most important form of self-care. Cause honestly, prior to my revelation, my self care used to be shopping and all that did was make me broke.

ASCSW: What are some experiences you have encountered so far during your journey of life that has helped you grow into the woman you are now?

Kim: The experiences that shaped me into the person I am today were probably more painful than not. I’d really rather not travel down that road. But what I will say is that God uses painful experiences to shape and grow us. They happen so that we learn to lean on Him and our character becomes more Christ-like. 

ASCSW: I remember when we used to commute to NYC for work and we would talk about wanting to get married and have kids one day. You went after that goal, what was the hardest thing you had to adjust to being a married woman? How did you adjust to this new experience? Example the most difficult part of a relationship I would have to adjust to is sharing my space. Is this something you had to adjust to as well? How did you overcome that?

Kim: Everything about marriage is hard. Our 6th anniversary is coming up and we’re still adjusting. My parents have been married 40+ years and they are still adjusting. It’s a lot of work. effort, grace, patience, etc. One thing that happened to me in my marriage was that I lost my sense of self. I moved to his town, started going to his church, adjusted to his schedule. It wasn’t until very recently that I started to find myself again. I actually feel like I had to start from scratch. Having my son was a big inspiration as well as strengthening my relationship with God. So this new me is a work-in-progress.

ASCSW: What do you think are some of the hardest things about being a woman and why?

Kim: Men and periods. You already know.

ASCSW: What are some of the things you’re doing to help uplift and inspire others?

Kim: I just try to be positive. I always have a kind word to say to the people I come across. Even if it’s something as simple as a smile or a compliment.

ASCSW: In your opinion what do you think makes you A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Woman? I know you personally and your energy have always been encouraging, confident, positive, uplifting, supportive, respectful, fun and vibrant which are all elements in my opinion of being A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Woman. I ask this question because my mission is to have women point out all the positive elements about themselves. We are all Queens however some of us may not recognize our true value/worth during the early stages of our journey, we could be in situations where we lose sight of who we are to please others or possibly we just don’t know at all. I want to encourage women/young girls to start speaking positive affirmations about themselves.  

Kim: Thank you for your kind words, Ms. Nina. For a long time I didn’t feel Sassy or Classy or Sophisticated. I didn’t even feel like a Woman. I felt like a lost little girl. Thankfully, I’m slowly starting to come into my own. I do appreciate my resilience, though. I’m a sensitive soul and I get down quite often, sometimes for long periods of time but, through the grace of God, I always find a way out. I’ve also found that through my closer relationship with God and my increased faith, I still get down but not for nearly as long as before. So, I think that’s what makes me an up-and-coming ASCSW. I would encourage all women and young girls to grow their resilience and their spiritual muscle.

ASCSW: Last question. What would you want the readers to take away after reading your interview/story on ASCSW? 

Kim: God is good all the time.

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