St. George’s Castle (often called ‘Elmina Castle’), Ghana


The girls dem suga. Oh you were thinkin' it. 

So why “Machetes y Miel”?

I was chatting with a dear friend a while back, one who pretty much knows all my shit, and he said that my stories (especially when I travel) always reflect this ill combination of the struggle for justice and romance/love. Sí. And if you couple this with your run-of-the-mill tomfoolery, I think you’ll have a sense of what I am about, and therefore what this blog/site will cover. Machetes y Miel provides an outlet to share musings on self, love and social justice. My alter ego, Carmen Jones Sandiego, is "Machetes y Miel  in motion" (as one friend put it). Through her I provide access to information and experiences about my global travels with the hopes of giving folks a piece of the world, somehow making it seem a bit more manageable, yet recognizing how awe-inspiring it is. 

The machete represents the fight. I’m presently a sociology Ph.D. and tenure-track professor hoping that one day it will all make sense. I give a shit, probably more than I should, about suffering, injustice, pain. As an African-American and Puerto Rican woman, the machete reflects la lucha of my ancestors. Picture me, machete in hand, with some badass enslavement revolters in Puerto Rico, cutting down all that stands in our way of freedom. The machete these days is often verbal, intellectual, political and ideological.

And then there’s honey. Besides my name (which means “honeybee”) and my rich honey brownness, honey is also about my perpetual search for the sweet side of this life game. I’m enamored with being enamored and am getting to the point where I can love people, things and ideas unapologetically.

"Machetes y Miel” reflects my Gemini duality, my contradictions, joy and pain, all that shit. My goal with this blog has been to speak from the heart, thoughtfully, without the pedantic overkill with which academic writing is typically rife. I’ve been keeping a journal with some decent regularity since 1989 and I see this as another way to dissect my experiences, but this time sharing them with those who may benefit in some way. If this is read by 5 or 5000, my goal is to continue to write and as the great Steven Biko said, to write what I like.