WEEK 3: THE TAO OF WOKE

Being woke is the trendsetting thing when cameras are watching, or there is a hashtag to be shared to increase a social media following. However the reason to be woke is two-fold:

1.) To be aware, actively engaged in the world around you.

2.) Acknowledging the world around you, if left in the state it is in, will devour you, all you hold dear,  and smile while doing it.

What is seen now is a rush to acknowledge, affirm and change everything that is perceived to be a hindrance towards marginalized people. In this rush towards change, and changing, I am reminded of a quote from a favorite movie with Keanu Reeves, Constantine:

“If you do this, you can’t go back. If you see them, they can see you.”

So it is with being woke. Once you decide the world outside your sphere, your family or car doors is not how it should be, you can never unsee these things. You will begin to examine slights, arguments or disputes where your ethnicity or race may have been a factor, with a vision unlike anything before. And because you now see it, you must something.

In being woke, you acknowledge you must do something about the world you are forced to engage in on a daily basis. In being woke, you admit that you can no longer feign ignorance or apathy about the things by which affect you or those around you. You see it.

As a shero in the St. Louis area said on one of her Facebook post in regards to being woke, and activism work, “There’s more than enough work to do.”

The question is, are you too busy being woke to do it or are woke enough to realize what is being done?

RUNITBACK FRIDAY-2/16/18

It’s a Wakandian holiday! We will serve Black Girl Magic!

(Happy Black Panther Day!)

#USATeam #ShaunWhite #GoldMedals #EffThisFlag #Distractions #WorriedAboutNothing #ThisIsWhyPeopleHateAmericansWhenTheyTravel

After Sochi, Shaun White was inhuman on his gold medal snowboard run! He earned it, he was overcome and cried and…the flag drug the ground and the internet ripped him apart.

These internet patriots get on my nerves! Y’all are focused on the wrong isht ALWAYS! With all going on at “home” y’all trip off an athlete dragging the flag? Aight😒.

This is why people from other nations make fun of Americans–the stuff we need to pay attention in order to solve, we don’t because it’s easier to criticize people for stuff we don’t like or offends us.

Let Shaun live, and you do the same. People are buying assault rifles with the ease of cheeseburgers and shooting high schools up, the NRA is running Congress, and the flag he DRUG ain’t even MADE in America!

Buy by all means…carry on.

#StormyDaniels #ThisIshtHere #HowLongLord #TheHoeStroll #TheHoeHustle #TheHoeHustleIsReal

$130,000.

They paid this woman and EXTRA $130,000 to be quiet about her tryst with a man who is used to everything and anything being for sale…knowing the value of nothing. And to credit? Stormy is smart! She really, truly is. She supposedly has a dress with proof of her encounter with this client now president.

Chile…look.

All I have to offer is…watch where you aim. You never know who is watching–or washing.

#UsedUp #Ashtrays #SoulVacancy #JustWriteTheBookSis #CelebrityBigBrother #OJustForOhNo

There is no other use for Omorosa. None. The grace she pretends to possess and the class she thought her MBA paid for grants her countless opportunities for fuckery and coonery. She’s on Celebrity Big Brother–and at this point? I got nothing for sis. Not NATHAN. She’s whispering secret fears to Ross The Intern about how bad everything is, but we tried to told you sis!

She was talking bigger isht than a Lotto winner about this Cinnamon Stalin nightmare! She got him a prayer shawl, a black card for the coons on call, and told us ALL how we would have to bow down to him!

All nall, sis!

And then to run to the next chance to have yo ass where folk can see you?!

Aight sis.

Aight.

My mother told me the best way to get back at people is to show them up and better. For all her talent, connections and favor this is as best she can do. In the age of Wakanda and all things unforgivably black this is goals?! She is a degreed, disgraced Instagram model. I will not suffer to speak of her anymore this year.

I love myself too much to be allowed to be brought so low as to be a Queen Coon.

Game peeped, set and matched.

Maybe next week will be better, Firestarters.

Maybe next week will be better.

Going To Wakanda

So, I’m excited…I’m Christmas morning knowing I got the Barbie Dreamhouse excited! My squad and I are going to see BLACK PANTHER on opening night Friday, February 16, 2018. I cannot wait. It’s to the point I have minimized even looking at the trailers because I just want to stay surprised. I want everything I see to be new, to be wondrous, and just be able to take in everything that I see…

In preparing myself to even see this movie, I have thought about films, representation, and what it means to be seen or support ‘a black movie’. I thought about the career of Chadwick Boseman. I pray for him earnestly. I pray that this role encourage him as a black man and an actor. It’s beyond being BLACK PANTHER at this point. There will be so many young, gifted and black children whom will have their idea and representation, meaning of blackness and to be black expanded.

That itself is dope.

I saw the TIME magazine cover for this week, and broke into tears. I don’t know why, but I surmise the portion of me that is writer, comic nerd, and unapologetic black girl is ecstatic because the tide is changing. There are more people that look like me doing the things I secretly wished to do. There is a validation that I feel as a black woman and an artist which I cannot explain, but it is a sensation beyond joy. It is beyond a pride of community and self.

It feels like I have gotten a key to a treasure chest. In that treasure chest, I see possibilities, renewal in the arts and confidence. I see progress. It’s not perfect, but the chest is opened now. And we know what is in it–hope.

Love From Mother Audre Lorde

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I became aware of the power of Audre Lorde in my mid-twenties. My mother was a huge fan of Maya Angelou, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. It was because of these voices, I was able to form a poetic roux. There was, is a power to her work that I envied. There is a rawness which I believe can only be mimicked, never recreated. With impersonation being the more sincere form of flattery, I indeed consider myself an fan of the oracle, Audre Lorde.

When I came across her quotes regarding self love and acceptance, I was unable to breathe. I was unable to breathe not because of the truth presented, but because of how relevant the truth it. This the quote seen at the beginning of this post.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”    

-Audre Lorde

 

There is an element to self-love, self-acceptance, that is radical. In the face of the world which desires to devour you, and all you offer or contain, being able to tell the person in your own mirror, “I love you” is powerful. Being able to honor all that you are, all you contribute is amazing. Being unafraid to continue loving that same person when the world tells you that is not good enough  is revolutionary.

From flaws, likes, eye color and the way you chew your gum, you are worthy of preservation. In the harsh realities that life brings, where it is easier to give up and change, rather than be content to be yourself, loving you, taking time for what you need, saying what you want  can be social defiance.

The act of being bold enough establish boundaries, wants, desires and dreams and be unapologetic about it?  This allows the world to know you are aware of its influence, and will be unchanged by it. Indeed, political warfare.

 

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Caring for yourself is not a catch all phrase for the elite unable to cope with life. It is not a phrase to make you believe your life is unmanageable. Self-care is what you do in order to make sure you are okay. It is what you do to take stock of the things that matter to you, and to maintain presence and acceptance of your own life. Self-love keeps your accountable for your actions, and free to forgive yourself for mistakes or inaction.

Intimate knowledge of self, is independent of Instagram followers, and blog subscriptions. Self-worth is independent of selfies. You determine your worth, and your power. Let no one tell you different.

This life is yours…be in love with you first. From that love, comes all others.

(Happy Valentine’s Day!)

You Are Worth It!

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As a child, we are taught to be selfless, humble and to put others before ourselves. If you are always thinking and doing for others, who is going to take care of you? Who is thinking about you? When you are consistently putting others before you and you’re not being taken care of the same, you will start to feel used, unloved and underappreciated. Which in turn will lead to other feelings such as: anger, bitterness, frustration and the list goes on and on.

Be advised everything has a balance and in order for you to care for anyone else, you have to take care of you first. As Katt Williams would say: Your Star Player. That is truly that art of self-love. If the team is depending on the star and the star is not up to par, the whole team will eventually suffer.

The definition of self-love simply means: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. We should strive to be the very best version of ourselves. Here are a few tips on how you begin to be in touch with your ‘star player’:

  • Self-Maintenance- Would you drive a car that you knew without a shadow of doubt that would break down on you as soon as drive on the highway going 60 miles an hour in high speed traffic? I would surely hope the answer is NO! The same things go for you. Taking proper care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is a vital part of self-love. Embrace the things you know will get you going and moving in a positive manner.

 

  • Establishing Boundaries and Protect Yourself- Don’t place yourself in situations or circumstances that you know are not safe and nor conducive to a peaceful, healthy lifestyle. It’s is okay to recognize when you need to let go of people or jump ship. Even for close friends and family. Never hold on to a relationship or situation which does not serve you. This is the fastest doom to self-love. If it is friendships, relationships or work interactions don’t serve you or bring you higher to help become your best self, these situations are dead weight and a detriment to your life.

 

Forgiveness– After you’ve gone through self-maintenance, you’ve set boundaries to protect yourself, you are going to upset some people along the way. They are going to notice that you are happier, but they are also going to feel like something is wrong with you. They may feel like you are acting funny, you think you are better than they are or being shady. It may make you feel like you did something wrong and you will mostly start to feel bad about it.

 

DON’T FALL FOR THE TRAP!

 

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It’s okay. The ones that feel like this, are the ones you probably should have let go of a long time ago. We are extremely hard on ourselves at times. You must forgive yourself. If you can’t forgive you, how can you forgive anyone else? Holding on to all the hurt, pain and anguish that you know you caused or someone may have felt that you have caused them is never good for your soul or your spirit. You need to release and relinquish those feelings! Forgiving yourself is not making the bad behavior or mistake okay. Its recognizing that you may have done something that was out of order, making a conscious and consistent effort to not repeat the behavior, apologizing (if necessary) and learning from it to teach others. 

In today’s society we are always at the service of others, but when are we going to realize that we need to serve ourselves so that we can service others? Remember, you are worthy of your own time, space, love and attention just like others are. It’s not being selfish. It’s taking responsibility for yourself first.

WEEK 2: STOP WORRYING WHAT WHITE FOLK THINK

I don’t really have time to trip off what white folk think. I have never considered myself to be a ‘good Negro.’  And I’m not. I wasn’t raised to be one. I was raised to love, to think  and to question. It was only when I began to examine my own childhood, and my own experiences, where I could see elements that were taught to me that indeed were supposed to help me become–less me.

My father taught me to not let everyone know exactly what I knew. Or say exactly what I thought. These are two things which put in Jim Crow context keep the young, gifted and black alive. However, it’s really hard to tell a writer not to do exactly that.

When I think of what it means to think about ‘what white people think’, it makes me remember being a respectable, good Negro is a myth. It makes me think of unaffordable censorship to be black. I don’t have the time to worry about what people who are not my experience and community (read:  white) think of my boldness, the reverberation of my voice, and my audacity being black and female while doing it.

I don’t have the time worry about what the oppressor thinks, I am too busy heeding the advice of a Mother Oracle:

“For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.”

-Audre Lorde

You don’t have the time to worry about what white people think. You don’t have time to worry about the perception of what white people think about your blog–you have no time for those opposed to your voice, drive and vision to dislike what you have to say.

Now, if there are genuine allies whom like your stuff, support your art, this is awesome. Blogs run by people of color, written by people of color, need allyship but are no defined, and will not be censored by its acceptance.

Writing gives and creates space–it always has. In that creation, I am able to truly not give a damn…and not care what white people think about what I wrote, or may even hunger to read it. My words are mine–even if only God and I see them.

 

WEEK 1: BLACK BLOGS STILL MATTER

Black Blogs still matter.

They matter because the voice of black people matter. Blogging allows us to express ourselves in the a way that mainstream media and social media does not allow. There is a freedom language offers bloggers, especially black bloggers, that cannot be mimicked to or by other people. Blogging takes the oral tradition, and allows it to stretch to examine what else can be done. Blogs run by black bloggers offer a view to the life experiences of black people. Black writers offer something unique most blogs run by non-persons of color do not offer.

We offer earnest emotion, unique perspectives and fresh looks on things society often don’t pay attention to. We shine light on issues that pertain to us as a culture and community allow us to network and understand we aren’t alone. There is a power in putting culture and talent out for consumption for those that look like you. It allows room to groove, flow, and be genuine.

Being genuine is something writers are told to be in order to convey imagination and ideals. Blogging forces the black bloggers to do both. Black bloggers matter because we create space, we network and create community. These things are important!

Black blogs matter because our lives matter, baby. What happens to us matter. We *does these words, and we get these sites and we make room, elbowing if necessary, to make this space, preserve this space, where we can say, “This here is mine and you can’t tell me how to run it.” Blogs allow us to not see our own voices as merely echoes.

We don’t take up space, we occupy space. We recognize our voices, use this vehicle of the internet or domains to occupy this space that black people are known to do:  we turn out, whatever we use!

Black blogs still matter because black lives matter. Our experiences, talents, dreams, desires all matter. Black blogs allow windows to be opened into the rich talents of black people. It matters, these blogs matter, because we matter.

 

*-This phrase was coined by me in regards to writing. It means someone that allows the full use of words and potential of language. Indeed, “I does these words.”