17 March 2008

The End

I think it's time to shut it down. I'm moving on into another realm of blogging, and this one is just kind of sitting here. Trust it will always be here and the archives are there for whoever wants to read, but I don't see myself coming back to updating this blog anytime soon.

It's been a blast ya'll.

19 February 2008

NIU Tragedy

My heart truly goes out to the members of the NIU family. I have several members of my family who are either currently enrolled or recently graduated from the school, so I am blessed and so very, very grateful that none of them were among those killed or injured. Please, pray for the families of the ones who lost their lives.

Thanks everybody

20 December 2007

But They Stay the Same

Part 2 to "Wake Up All You Children: An Essay on Race in America":

On the flip-side ladies, all men are not dogs. Stop thinking you can change a man, and for the love of yourself, stop getting involved with these immature ass little boys thinking you can force him to grow up. Boys are trouble, men are worth it. A man will respect you if you respect yourself. A man will love you if you love yourself. Most of all, stop trying to make good Black men (or good White/Hispanic/Asian men too for that matter) pay for the mistakes that a few dumb asses in your past have made! Realize that not every man is your ex. See your man as the beautifully fragile and wonderful human he is. Don’t berate him just because he’s sensitive and shows his emotions, and for the love of G-d, stop putting all of his business out in the streets if he should show those emotions in front of you! Contrary to popular belief, your friends can and will live their lives quite happily without knowing every single detail of what goes on inside of your home.

Black women, love and embrace your kinky hair, your big lips, and your amazingly ample curves. Believe it or not, you are beautiful. We've got other races trying so hard to capture the amazing beauty and sensuality we were blessed with naturally that they’re literally dying to look like us. Look at white women, with their tan in a bottle, lip injections and ass implants. All things we have already, without a receipt. Be proud of who you are. White America jocks Jennifer Lopez and Selma Hayek because they have the features of a black woman, but aren't black, so it’s safe for them to sweat them. They will never be that hard on our beauty, so stop being so deep off into theirs. We will never get the props. We will never be in GQ® or Maxims® with the article focusing on our juicy asses, full lips and womanly curves. It's beautiful to them when it's on somebody else, but when it's on us? It's invisible. Fuck that, and fuck them.

One of the biggest problem black people as a whole suffers from is lack of self love. When we struggled so many years ago, we loved ourselves. We came together as a people and made differences. We loved ourselves because nobody else did. Our leaders demanded it. We were put down, spit at, beaten, hosed down, been attacked by dogs, told we were lower than those dogs when it came to us asserting our rights as dignified human beings and turned into strange fruit, dangling from trees all over the South like so many Christmas ornaments. That's just some of the tragedies our people have endured in this century alone, yet many of our people refuse to even try to go out to vote when the elections come around. Why? I don't know why black people are so comfortable with the tiny bit of real "freedom" we have. The ability to walk down the street without getting "night-sticked" to death has made us way too content. The only time black people really come together and exercise unity is when one of us gets our ass beaten by the cops. Then we’re ready to call Al Sharpton, ready to riot, ready to make a stand. We should be doing that stuff already! We are sleepwalking through life people, and while others excel, we’re busy hitting that snooze button, begging for just a few more scraps from Ole Massah’s table.

Bill Cosby called us out, and he was 500% correct with everything he said. Black people got pissed and were ready to call for a boycott of his television shows and books. Why? Truth hurts, I suppose. He said nothing more than most educated, moneyed Black people think about the ignorant ones languishing in the ‘hood: the "Man" is not to blame for every gotdamned thing that goes wrong with your are! If Oprah Winfrey can overcome all the personal issues that she has and be the billionaire she is today, why can't we all? She went through some stuff in her life: victim of incest, loosing a child by 15, on her own by 17. This woman came from absolutely nowhere, now she's a household name. She’s educated and positive, giving back everything she can to the community, but how do we who should be her biggest fans reward her? We call insult and denigrate. Because she pronounces the endings of her words and decided not to air the contemptible morass of idiotry that are regular fare on shows like Jerry Springer, we call her a sell out; accuse her of catering to her white fans. Oprah has set an example that we should all be busting our asses to follow, but we’d rather be sitting at home visualizing ourselves as the next hot video hoochie du jour. Oprah is a worthy role model, Petey fuckin’ Pablo, Superhead and Cognac Jack (aka Remy Ma) are not.

Most Asian cultures focus on education. The White race forcuses on attaining what they need to survive by hook or by crook, but what is our focus as a race? What is the black goal? Settling? Stop settling! Damn it, we are the only ones holding ourselves back! Stop blaming whites for everything. A lot of them don’t have our best interests at heart, but believe it or not, most of them aren't trying to bring you down. Stop wanting everything handed to you on a silver platter just because your ancestors were slaves! That should push you harder. They paved the way for us, now it’s up to us to make something of it. Fight. Fight for your mind. Fight for the continuation of your freedom. This system was NOT made for us, it's been written, trust me. The justice system does not work for black people. If a black man and a white man commit the same crime, guess who's going to get ass raped for a longer period of time? It sure as hell ain’t gonna be Billy Bob, so please stop doing stupid shit that will get you locked up. The more of us that are locked up, the more us that aren't allowed to vote.

Martin Luther King died, wanted us to "overcome" and all we've done is "oversleep". We get a National Holiday and a day off from work and we think we've finally made it to the damned Big Time. We think we're finally respected. We think we're equal. We think we've got it made. We can just sit back and chill cuz it's all good in tha muthafuckin’ ‘hood, right? You better wake up and recognize, because life, and the struggle, are slowly passing you by.

Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to the lady who helped me put these ideas into words: Momma, I love you and thank you for helping me to rise.

29 October 2007

Things Change...

Hey anybody who still stops through to read what I have to say. I'm sorry that I haven't been around much lately, but real life was keeping me busier than a one-legged man in an ass kickin' contest. Too much going on to even get into, but whatever.

Anywhoo, I was cleaning out some old files the other day when I came across a paper that I had written about 2-3 years ago for a creative writing class. As I was reading it, it dawned on me that this was something that I felt needs to be said. It's kinda sorta in my usual uplifting strain, but not quite... I'll let you be the judge of that. I think it's something worth posting. I actually posted it in another place online, but since this is my spot, I'm adding it here as well. It's going to be posted in about 2 parts, so stay tuned.

This is called, "Wake Up All You Children: An Essay on Race in America"

Education is universal. It has no color, no boundaries. It's for everyone, every race, every nationality, every gender. It's both a privilege and a requirement. Smart people succeed. Stupid people do not. Smart people run the economy. Stupid people do not. For many years, black people from our past have fought and died to give us the opportunities we have today. Black people of the past are more than likely rolling over in their graves (or on their tree limbs) right now, sick to their very souls at our shameful existence. The moment one of us succeeds via education, the hate starts to roll in from our own. When you don't speak like you're from the ‘hood, i.e. yo homie yo, thas my bike punk, fo shizzle bitch, bitch betta have my sweet potato pie, etc., you're not considered "black enough". You are relegated to the annals of the Tiger Woods, the Oprah Winfrey, and basically every other Black person who bothers to speak like they have, and are using, their educations. There are many black people in this world, myself included, who want to conquer and BE. There are black people in this world who want to get out of the ghetto's, the projects, or whatever, to get a substantial position on Wall Street, be the Chief of Staff at a major hospital, make partner in a prestigious law firm. That's not trying to be white. That is called being driven to succeed, and contrary to ignorant folk’s beliefs, that’s completely okay.

Black people please, want more for yourself and your children. Stop thinking the only way you can make it is to hustle bootleg CD's and stolen watches. Sure those things will get you paid in the short term, but what about four or five years from now? Hustle for real. Life is a hustle, so learn to play by the man’s rules. White people who run this country hustle every single day of their lives, they just wear a suit and tie doing it. Black people, you don't have to limit yourselves to ghetto vernacular. Command the King’s English with veracity and eloquence. Expand your mind by acquiring skills that will be beneficial in your work. When your boss asks you if you're finished copying those documents, please don't reply with, "Shimmy, shimmy ya, I got these copies for ya *does the Bojangles*". Please, just stop.

Young black men, man up in school. Study your books instead of the anatomy of every female who passes by. School is not a fashion show. Please stop thinking that just because you have the newest Jordan’s, that fly FUBU outfit and more gold chains than Fort Knox that you're the man. You’re not. You're still a just an ignorant brotha who can't spell, can't read, can't add, but spent all his lunch money on a pair of expensive shoes and yet is rockin’ a report card full of D's and F’s. And then you have the nerve, the utter audacity even, to demand respect? Tell me about the Civil War or World War II, why they started and why we were forced to fight them, and then maybe I'll respect you a little bit. Pull your pants up. Respect the people who gave you life. Respect your elders and treat them as the gold mines of wisdom and knowledge that they are. Don’t be so quick to disrespect a young Black woman who ignores you when you approach her speaking like you just stepped one foot out of the ‘hood. Stop laughing at people just because they don’t conform to society’s standard of beauty. Own up to your responsibilities as a man and as a father. Find positive role models. Read. Try to invent something besides a new sex position. We come from a long line of great inventors. Research the lives and works of people like Benjamin Banneker, Carter G. Woodson and Madame CJ Walker.

Grown men, take care of your women. Stop ho'ing around. That has never been cute, and your "But I'm a man" excuse is invalid. You are not a man. You’re nothing more than a little boy pretending to be something you clearly are not. Black men, realize that the amount of sex you have and number of women you get to lay down for you does not substantiate your level of manhood. Having a job, an education, self respect and self love are what make you a man. Keep getting all that sex and you will most certainly find yourself infected with the Magic Johnson Disease or something else that you can’t take a pill to kill. Stop calling every woman you meet out of her name. Eat better, because too many of our black men are dying of heart disease and high cholesterol. If you have children, be a part of their lives. Raise them. Don't just come around to drop off some Pampers® and a check. Don't just come around to SAY you've been around. Make that child remember who you are. Make that child miss you. Love your kids and respect them, they'll love and respect you back.

Young black women, 2 years from now, nobody is going to give a hot damn that you were the lead Skank shaking her ass in that Lil Jon video. Try to acquire better goals for yourself. You may be beautiful to look at, and your ass may shake more than a Parkinson’s patient, but how about you put the thongs down and pick up a book? Adjust your weave. Fix your broken acrylics. Bathe. Love yourselves. Get born. Embrace positive Black women who are fearless leaders. Sisters, realize that just because that brotha around the way has a nice car does not mean he's rich. Stop going for men who you think will spend all their money on you. That doesn't make you a woman: that makes you the gold digging tramp that most men assume we all are. Love and support your man, but realize your life does not begin and end with what makes him happy. Educate yourself. Make your man and your children proud to call you ‘Wife’ and ‘Mother’. Make your own money. Do your own thing. Have a life outside of your home. Financial independence is a beautiful thing. Stop supporting these sorry men who don't want to work because they're sharing your check. Stop opening your legs for every Tom, Dick and Tyrone.

Young women, stop making babies just to prove that you can. Respect yourselves. Learn to be a lady. Speak English. Stop hating on your sisters just because. Give yourself time to grieve when a relationship ends. Don’t just jump into a new one because you’re afraid to be alone. Enjoy and embrace periods of alone time as a chance to rekindle your passion for you and the things you love to do. Remind brotha’s around the way that neither you nor any of your sisters of the spirit are a bitch, ho, or any other demeaning name. Don’t just say the words, “I am a strong Black woman”, mean them! When you see Black men disrespecting another Black woman, stand up and say “Enough!” Strong Black women, remember you come from a heritage of royalty. Your ancestors built the pyramids in Egypt while other races were still struggling to harness the power of fire. Stop rolling your eyes and rolling your neck all the time, you don't have that disease that Muhammad Ali has, so what is your problem? You only reinforce all the negative stereotypes that many of us have fought to overcome when you act the role of ‘Hood Rat De Jour’, so please, reevaluate your actions.

That's part one... part two is coming soon, so let me know what you think

17 August 2007

This is 4 Tha Nappies... Strictly 4 Tha Nappies!

Ok, hey peoples who actually read here. Tonight I was on and a young woman wrote about her constant struggle to keep her head on straight about her nappiness. I could really identify with what she was going through. This is what I wrote in response to her post:

First of all it's going to be okay lil Sis.

Second, don't feel depressed about the state of your feelings towards your hair. Every nappy has days when she may think twice about the decision she made to take back her hair (and her self confidence). All of us can become bogged down with the negative energy that makes us doubt the wisdom of our choices. Just recognize it for what it is: the centuries of ingrained dislike (and that's putting it mildly) for our nappy hair.

The next time you feel that way, stop what you're doing and look at yourself in the mirror, even if it's just a lil old hand mirror. Look at all of the beautiful parts that make up the absolutely amazing whole. Your eyes are gawgus. Your nose is perfection. Your smooth cocoa skin is craved by women of other colors the world over, as are your lips and smile. Your hair is amazing... do you know how many non Black women would love to be able to do the things you do with your hair?

Heck, do you know just how amazing a gift it is to be a strong Black woman who is free of the lye and embraces the natural beauty that G-d gave her? It's humbling that He gave me the strength to be able to do this. Know that you are blessed to be where you are because so many sistahs will never get there.

You are beautiful! From the top of your nappy head to the bottom of your feet. Now go out and rock those napps baby!

You know, sometimes all it takes is for one person we may never ever meet in this life to step in and give us that something we've been missing. This was my chance to be that one single person. Here's hoping that you take your one single chance to change the course of a person's life.

Peace and blessings ya'll!

02 August 2007

Makeda - Les Nubians

You can't tell me you don't wanna just sit and chill somewhere after you listen to this song. I love this song and video, which was filmed in and around N'awlins back in about '97 or '98

Too bad N'awlins might never be the same again :(

18 July 2007

In & Out of Time

Hey people! I was sitting with my little people the other day, playing with the babies and listening to #2 Daughter reading to her little brother and sister while #1 Husband and Daughter were sitting on the couch watching TV. It just so happened that the movie they were watching was Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion. Now some people know how I feel, but the majority of ya'll don't, so let me tell you I LUFF Madea! She may be ghetto in the extreme, but man does she have some good things to say. I have a Madea in my life (hey Big Momma!), so I know how valuable their input can be on our lives nowadays... especially when love seems like the most disposable commodity in the world.

Cecily Tyson (Aunt Myrtle and one of my Ms. Jenkins) was talking about how she had been blessed to share time and space with someone who she believed that G-d has created especially for her, and that stopped me cold. I looked at my #1... and in that heartbeat... that, second, I knew what she meant. I always fuss about him being able to read me like a book, but I do the same thing to him. We walk and talk--and sometimes we even breathe at the same rate... was he, this man who has been my comfort and my strength through so much adversity and pain, this amazing man that sometimes I admit I have taken for granted... was this beautifully human person created just for me? It's a humbling thought that G-d took time out of His busy schedule to create someone who makes my life whole...

Now I have seen Madea's Family Reunion live and in movie form, but I must say that the movie really touched on something I believe: Love is something so special that is shouldn't be rushed into because of outside forces compelling you to do it. And you darned sure can't allow anybody to live your life for you! Stand up and let your voice be heard! Love yourself enough to say "No More!" Be of one mind and one heart with the special person in your life... unless that person is not any good for you. Then you need to find the strength to walk away.

Maya Angelou read a poem in the movie that really touches on this theme. It's called In & Out of Time:

The sun has come.
The mists have gone.
We see in the distance
Our long way home.

I was always yours to have.
And you were always mine.
We loved each other in and out of time.

When the first stone
looked up at the blazing sun.
and the first tree struggled
from the forest floor.
I had always loved you more.

You freed your braids.
Gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honeybees.

I reached in the mass
For the sweet honeycomb there.
God, how I loved your hair.

You saw me bludgeoned
By circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.

I screamed to the Heavens.
Loudly screamed.
Trying to turn our nightmares into dreams.

The sun has come.
The mists have gone.
We see in the distance
Our long way home.

I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We loved each other in and out,
In and out,
In and out of time

Stay blessed and remember, someone has been created, some one special and unique and beautiful who will love you in and out of time!