Monday, January 16, 2017

Don’t Ask Me What I’m Doing to Live Martin Luther King Jr's Dream

Over the last week, I’ve gotten several emails inviting me to MLK events and twice as many “What are you doing for Martin Luther King Jr day? Or my favorite “You know Monday is a day of service, where will you be?” emails. I ignore most of them (sans a few from my darlings), for one simple reason… I Am the Dream.

America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

My family, my friends, our children are the dream. We battle daily with our love/hate relationship with America, a country that doesn’t always treat us kind. We break barriers in spaces that would rather not see us exist. We wear our cultural pride on our sleeves, despite the hate and judgement we face and we raise our Black children to do the same. We do it despite the message from our country telling us our skin and natural hair isn’t good enough, we aren’t educated and can’t go to the store without being shot. We do it despite our rights being violated and stripped daily, despite the state sanctioned murders of our men, women and children for breathing while black. We Are the Dream

“Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”-Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2016 we watched a large majority of Americans, elect a man that spewed the same hateful, racist propaganda as the Klan, George Wallace and white supremacist before him, and while we may have winced for the moment, we didn’t flinch. In conversations with my 86-year-old Grandmother the message has been the same… We’ve survived worse, keep being the dream.

“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Just 16 days into the New Year, we’ve been assaulted by problematic presidential cabinet nominations, normalization of despicable behavior, a county petitioning to celebrate Robert E. Lee and other Americans, not “just” Martin Luther King, as well as the President-elect attacking a civil rights icon, yet we organize, we continue to build and be the dream.

So today, a day slated to celebrate a man who gave his life to make America Great, I ask that you refrain from asking me what I will be doing to serve. I am the hopes and dreams of my ancestors, the shining glory of the freedom riders and I serve every day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Another Year, Another Festivus For The Rest of Us!

Image result for festivus

In true Festivus tradition, I’m here to let you all know how you’ve disappointed me in 2016! The list was much longer but I cleaned it up because I didn’t want it to become like that Pants Suit Nation coffee book *looks over glasses*

Willie Lynch: It’s almost 2016 and y’all still talking about this fake BS. I swear sometimes I wish some of you didn’t have access to the internet! WILLIE LYNCH ISN’T REAL, that letter isn’t real. There are plenty of slave owners that you can refer to but he ain’t it.

Black Men silencing Black Women:  My sister shared an experience on FB and every other comment was some black man telling her what to do. I saw another friend doing these cool experimental looks based on Black Women Musical legends, she was expressing herself. And the Black men in the comments were negative. Just raining on her parade for what.... STOP THIS SHIT! Lift your sisters up as often as you can because tearing them down for shits and giggles or because your feelings are hurt and you just need to scream “Not all Black Men” is a sign of your fragility.

Empty Gestures: I swear for GOD, if you aren’t sure you can follow through with something you told someone you’d do (baring obvious emergencies) say NO! A person will respect you more if you say I literally do not have the bandwidth, strength, energy, means to help right now more than the back and forth and no follow through. It is inconsistent and in bad taste. Maybe this is me in my feelings, but I work SO HARD (often to my own detriment) to make sure I do what I say I’m going to do.  I don’t like to see my circle disappointed, but when I can’t I say I can’t. If you are having an event on Tuesday at 7pm during the school year, know I’m not going to be there. That’s my life as a parent, it’s real shit!

TRUMP &Your Lack of Knowledge Post-Election: If you’re reading this blog you already know how I feel about voting, no need to go into that. BUT here we are post-election and some of y’all still don’t get that we are about to relive VERY DANGEROUS moments in history.  Trump is the same kind of demagogue that Hitler was, we need to start paying attention and organizing. Not sitting around talking about why we didn’t vote.

HOTEP, NOTEPS, NO THANK YOU!  I feel like I’ve ranted about this during festivus before but clearly y’all didn’t listen!! Maybe it’s because a lot of you are way guilty of #2 and therefore can’t see beyond your pen…I mean noses. But I’m here to tell you, that your notepian lifestyles are false. There is no truth in what Umar, Tariq and Boyce are telling you. The deep research from your digital bible “Hidden Colors” is easily googled information and still needs to be taken with a grain of salt and your job in life is NOT to tell Black women they are wenches, on the wrong path, need to be more modest, or whatever else you’ve been doing. It’s time to look at Africa as the many countries it is, and in doing your history realize WE DIDN’T ALL COME FROM EGYPT. You’re making yourself look silly.
Arguing with Racist, and the Nouveau Noire: This week alone, I’ve watched white people say the mist disgusting things about the First family. And then defend the clearly racist statements as “Oh I just don’t like them”. I’ve watched Black women tell white women to please explain THEIR comments and when the white person does, they are told they are whitesplaining. *sigh* I’m tired, y’all! I’ve told my friends this and I’ll say it again “I’ve been grounded in my blackness longer than the current movement. In my family, woke isn’t something we became, we were born that way. So I seriously am too tired to keep fighting with people who are blatantly racist or newly woke who just want to yell words at white people they just don’t understand. I’m 42 years too tired and I’d rather get that work in then sit around bickering on these innanets! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

This week in Blackness

When I woke up this morning I had every intention of writing about Black'ish, the critics , the racist comments on their FB page, the people I know IRL that still didn’t get the point and then I stopped myself. I crumbled up the word cloud I scribbled before bed  because their negative energy and ignorance shouldn’t cloud the beauty of what we saw over the last two days.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"I Did Not Come To Play With You Hoes" ~ Big Freedia

Last Saturday Beyonce once again shocked the world with her new flawless video, Formation. While the beyhive (and some of it's secret members in hate) shared, gawked and just plain went crazy, I watched it and listened for half the day, not because I thought there was deeper meaning behind her lyrics but because I just wanted to take in all the Blackness in private. I wanted to ponder on things like what kind of hot sauce she carried, and if Big Freedia (my love, and spirit guide) liked collard greens with vinegar or spicy and corn bread made in a cast iron skillet. By the time I shared the video I was excited about the blackness of it all, I was ready to see Beyonce and her dancers step across the Super Bowl field and remind her people how times may be challenging but with Blackness comes awesomeness!  I also knew white people were going to have a whole lot of problems with it, but like every Black person I know I was straight out of fucks to give for white people and their sad ass fee-fees (shit y’all got Stacy Dash, go cry on her shoulder).

Sunday came, she delivered, I went to bed proud and ready to twirl on the haters. Monday greeted me with snow flurries, a bevy of annoying “think pieces”, black men discrediting her and black women engaging in colorism chatter, questioning of “real” blackness, comparing her to other black women in an effort to say one culture is better than another (look we get it you got off the boat FIRST)  and all I could do was sigh, a BIG FUCKING *SIGH* .   I understand the matrix, the need to be first so it can go viral and aspiring writers get discovered, but it's exhausting. I’ll admit I read a few well thought out posts and shared them, but by Monday evening I was too tired to care anymore. I just logged off and went back to reading “Assata” like I do every year.

By Tuesday I had resolved to initiate some self care and disengage from the Beyonce vortex that was consuming my social media pages. Real traumas were affecting black people and we were still discussing a damn video.  So I posted about Mardi Gras, continued my Facebook black history month post on the actual Black Panthers and the amazing things they did, and ignored the flood of posts. But I was taking mental notes, all the well meaning posts from white people, the anti Beyonce tweets, articles from the conservative right (Faux news we know you didn’t listen to the song)and realized it didn’t matter how much was written and shared about the video, or how many times white men and women spoke out and asked their people to stand down, the wrong conversation was being had. The message that was intended, “I wanted people to feel proud” was already lost.

The message that the Beyonce invoked simply by approving a black panther-esq costumes, and the call for us, Black People, to get into formation and coordinate our own, dream it, work hard until  we own it was completely lost. And that shit made me sad , sad as fuck! So no I won’t be sharing, liking, discussing “Formation” on these interwebs anymore. I'll be reading my worn and torn copy of Assata,  remembering what she actually taught me, reviewing the ten point program the Panthers lived and breathed and dreaming, working hard and grindin' 'til WE own it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Y'all The VMA's Tho

I like most of the people in my generation ALWAYS looked forward to the VMA's. I remember that I would get so upset because they were the same week I went back to Hollins and it meant missing all the fun in NY ( I was less bothered when they moved to LA). Anyway it's been a while since I gave a damn about the VMA's and I didn't bother to watch live but then insomnia got the best of me and well you get a new post: