RUNITBACK FRIDAY 4/6/18

Imma need The Avengers to assemble because I am convinced #45 is in league with Thanatos and trying to take over the world! The White Wolf (Robert Mueller) needs to Voltron assemble and form the Blazing Sword and come on here! #80sKid #GoogleIt

#Resist #HowardUniversity #TheH #FunnyMoney #MonopolyMoney #ThisAintRight #FinancialAid #MessingUpPeoplesLives #BSOfStudentsOnFedAid #HUProtests #HBCUs #HBCUAlumni

Fire erre lass person IN the Financial Aid Office.

ERRE. LASS. ONE.

I touched on this LAST WEEK and THIS WEEK? I had to spotlight Tyrone Hankerson, Jr: law student, embezzler and coonin’ for the ‘Gram. I can’t. The #HUResist Movement started in response to the scandal involving the embezzling of members of the Howard University Financial Aid Office and a student worker Mr. Tyrone “I’m Only About To Sit At A Bar Not For It” Hankerson, Jr.

This week? Let’s focus on the students! The real victims in this are them! The only reason I couldn’t go to the college I wanted was BECAUSE THERE WAS NO MONEY TO GO!

The students are demanding the President of the University be fired, and are occupying the Administration Building until their demands are met.

Good!

My heart breaks for them. I’m angry and we deserve better! So people get to steal Fed Aid from people who look like them on the age of draining the swamp during the reign of Devos?! Just checking.

#DevonteMatters #BlackChildrenMatter #DevonteHart #SierraHart #HannahHart #Adoption #EvilStepmothers #Why #HeartBreak #WhereAreTheConsequences #BlackLives #BlackLiveMatter #BlackLife

Adoption is always an option, people in pro-life arenas say. There is no need to endure the shame of abortion, when adoption is an option. Now, where is the pro-life juggernaut for this? There are six children who are now dead because those charged with their care–haven’t/didn’t care for them. They drove them off a cliff into the infinity of the life beyond–because they could. They were just little black kids. Who would miss them?

To this posting, the remaining three of the six Hart children have not been found: Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16 and Sierra, 12. It can be assumed they may never be. But the religious conservative right has been MUM on this! Did they not deserve advocacy and their right to life as well? Or are only American white children are granted those two things simultaneously?

We have to do better, y’all. We just have to.

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WEEK 10: DON’T LET YOURSELF BE THE ONE BLACK FRIEND

I cannot and do not count the number of non-black friends I have. I have no reason or desire to count the demographic of the diversity of people I encounter. Why? I have no need to be/search out/confirm who is the token.

To those unfamiliar, a token is the person that is among a social group to offset a homogenous appearance of said group. The/A token doesn’t hold any real status or power in the group but can claim some sort of exclusivity from some other social group.

Pro-Tip from Your Big Sis At The Ideal Firestarter:

DO NOT LET YOURSELF BECOME THE ONE BLACK FRIEND!

This type of nonsense opens you up to coonery and being the social fulcrum and focal point for the phrase, “Well, I have a friend and he is black and he’s not offended by ______.” Don’t do it!

By all means, associate with the well meaning world, but don’t cotton to madness either! If you look around your social circle and you are the only black person in it–and there are no immediate plans for that to change? Nall.

Don’t be used that way, fam! Don’t be set up to be sat out like that. Don’t become numb to the microaggressions and coded languages. Don’t become immune to what your spirit senses and reminds you is right!

Don’t allow yourself to be the one black friend because you may have no other black friend to help you when you wake from The Sunken Place.

[images from Google]

Dear Martin

Dear Dr. King:

How marvelous it is to know and read of you! How wonderful it is to know your compassion lead you to action and how your wife has supported you. I wish to thank you for your life and service. I’m sure those two words are rarely heard, and never heard enough. On behalf of those whom benefit from history and hindsight, once more, thank you.

In the fifty years since your passing from living to ancestry and then to legacy, there is still so much to be done, Martin. There are strides, stutter-steps and fighting for every inch of ground we as a people have. There are policies and laws in place now that weren’t fifty years ago, yet there are places in this nation where my almost seventy year old mother would still be called a ‘colored girl.’ There is still so much work laid, yet so much work to do, which at the weight of it all–sometimes threaten to crush my soul, spirit and heart.

As this new movement, this strive to be ‘woke’, has been something akin to what I am sure you, Coretta and all of SNCC and the NAACP saw. There has been a unity emerging which is needed and necessary, yet there is a thread, once pulled reveals motives, hearts, agendas and intentions. It is sometimes such lonely work, Martin. Such lonely work.

What I have decided to, Martin, perhaps what you considered:  work my niche. I have found my niche to be organizing, support, mentoring, refuge and education. I have found that the work, this work of the gospel and social justice, will always be ongoing. The mission field is too wide a swath to tackle alone! I am learning it will not be perfect, I will not be perfect in learning, but there is a restlessness in me which makes me want to keep going. I have to keep going.

Martin, Dr. King, I understand more what Margaret Mitchell meant when she said, “Respectability is the punishment for the wild.” For all the fires I caused and walked away from, I now must start and kindle to others.

I want to thank you for not giving up. I thank you for showing what a possible path to freedom looked like. I thank you for your grace, fierceness, courage and boldness. I don’t believe to change the world as a person of color you have to be ‘the good negro’–and I have always rejected that depiction of you. I know now, to change the world as a person of color you have to know the game you’re playing and play it better.

I’m deciding to play it better.

In Hope, Fight and Faith,

Pastor Jennifer P. Harris, Spirit of Life Church-St. Louis

Call Tyrone

“I’m gettin tired of yo shit…”

Eryka Badu, Tyrone (Baduism)

I want to know what he thought when he hit the lick the first time. I want to know what he was thinking the first time he got a financial aid check for over ten or fifteen thousand dollars. I want to know what he said to the people he knew on his dorm, or out on the HU Quad who were waiting with bated breath for Fed Aid Day. I want know when world around him broke into the world within him, telling him he stole $435,000 who did he call first–his Mama or Jesus?

The ramifications for this young man and the Historically Black College University system he attended are innumerable. Not only were their employees stealing Fed aid by claiming tuition reimbursement and Fed grants, but this too! Keep in mind, there is a particular question that asks if you have tuition reimbursement because you cannot be eligible for need-based grants and tuition reimbursement while applying for financial aid!

So, everybody stealing? Okay.

I want to know what he thought or thinks now. Tyrone Hankerson, Jr. was a law student set to graduate within a year. I want to know why he did this! I want to know where this money is! I wanna know if he taught someone else to do this! I want to know…was it worth it? I want to ask all those involved was it worth it?!

So…the whole Financial Aid office raggedy, a student employee (a FEDERAL WORK STUDY POSITION), is stealing so no one was going to say anything to him, because they would have to tell on what they were doing! This man made up award letters to grants that didn’t exist and the Howard University Financial Aid Office paid it out! Again, if the staff he was working with busted him, they would bust themselves too.

I cannot say I’m surprised more than I can say I’m astounded. I really am. I wanted to attend an HBCU, Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. It was because of money I couldn’t go. There is rage in this I cannot place…but often familiar to understand for those who often have the grace to attend college, just never the money to enroll.

There comes now, the aftermath. The potential transfer students (in and out of Howard University), new high school grads that idolize HBCUs, the enraged alumni, shifty donors, disgraced board members and broken hearted students. This isn’t a easy fix, fam.

The window is broken and we are holding a broom to sweep the glass up–but when we look out to see who did it? There’s a mass of folk pointing at each other saying,”It wasn’t me! They did it.”

Yet, imma still hold this broom! If we don’t hold each other accountable, who will…

 

[images from Google]

Bitter Fountains Run Deep

Image result for depression

There is something to this trend of black children wanting to leave the world that needs them, and they have every right to be in. There is something to this vehement sense of hopelessness, depression, anxiety and apathy. There is something to this sense of isolation and pain.

This sense of apathetic isolation is not foreign to me or to a select free I have been graced to call friend. That sense of not being enough, less than or simply not there. That sense of believing the world would or could be a better place without you…without me.

The first time I felt that way in was 10. But y’know–black girls don’t get depression.

Liars! Yes. We. Do.

It is stigmas like these which makes little black girls cry when no one can see them…

I hadn’t gone as far as making a plan, but I knew I didn’t want to be called a nerd anymore. Or made to be bullied because of the clothes I wore. I didn’t want to feel like just being me was wrong. I didn’t want to feel like I was wrong. So thinking if I wasn’t in the world…it would be better. And I would be better because I wouldn’t hurt anymore…

The dirty secret about strong black women is that they once were little girls–who are human and subject to hurts and sadness. The world tells us we are incapable of such things which makes every pain worse.

I found writing to dig me out of emotional barren place I found myself in. Seeing what was wrong with me was healing–from that healing I can leave a map.

However, when I think of what might have been, had I not been able to harness this, I would not know such light could come…

These feelings are real. The pain is real. The availability of help is real…and so is the hopelessness. So is the hopelessness…

 

[images from Google]

*NO DAYS OFF (For US)


I’m tired.

I’m like Fannie Lou Hamer,

My mama, and a mama with three

Kids and no job tired.

I’m tired of bleeding, crying,

And sleeping with my fists

Balled up, and my eyes just as tight.

But for this kinda anger,

Rising inside of me?

They’re are no days off.

I’m tired of sirens, tears, signs,

No shoulder support and jail support to

Go to court because my existence

Is a fight to exist, but I can’t call off

No more to do this work because

I ain’t got no days off.

I’m tired of paying attention.

I’m tired of fighting to be relevant to

People that don’t love me, see me, or

Think me real, relevant, valiant or available.

I’m tired of benches, jumpsuits, my name on lawsuits,

Hotel kitchenettes, bail funds, because

Don’t no body Go Fund Me or

Stay close because they claim they

can’t stay when they ain’t got no days off.

I’m tired of the quiet to make room for the loud.

I’m tired of pretending I’m alright

After I see my brother my brother’s color

Whose bleeding is feeding the ground.

I hate cherries I can’t eat while

I’m driving, I hate I can’t stop crying.

I can’t stand everything around me

Dying, lost, and  limping

But I can’t keep lying ‘cause I’m really

Trying to be alright, but ain’t no way to

Stop the ache, and breathe at the same time,

Because I work at nine,

I don’t get no days off.

I focus on the Cross that carries,

This legislation that varies,

Watch those that decline Movement,

Because they are scary.

I watch who records.

I watch who eye rolls.

I watch the low polls.

I watch the media who

Treated my blackness as

Disease and my voice with

Its roar as fodder and noise.

My life is not nothing.

My being is not for sale.

I take my blackness everywhere

Because there are no days off.

(c) JBHarris, 11.3.17

*-The title of this work is from State Representative Bruce Franks, Jr. from St. Louis, Missouri. At the end of a battle rap session, he had a black hoodie with a silver Superman emblem on it. On the back of the hoodie, were the words “NO DAYS OFF.” That phrase, and his passion were cemented in my creative conscious. This work is a nod to all of us, no matter the capacity, doing what is called in this social justice movement, “this work”. There is enough to do, that we don’t have time to point at whom isn’t doing something. Be a support. Love on one another. Care for one another. We all need it.

Thank you, Mr. Franks. Thank you to all those that do, did and still are alive and remain. I love y’all and I love us. In the immortal words of a shero, “We lit.”

[image belongs to author]

Dark Fountains

In this the fourth month, eighteen years into the new millennium, my heart has an ache, it’s as heavy as stone (I Cover The Waterfront-Billie Holiday). In this most rainy month, with the freak weather the Midwest had over the holiday weekend, perhaps it is fitting this month I talk about, the contributing staff talk about, is this uptick in black children, young children, committing suicide.

Suicide.

Ending the life not even two decades old!

Consider this an introduction to a portion of Black life, the Black experience, we don’t talk about often or often enough. We fall victim to the invincibility of our own mythos. Too often we despise and detest the frailty found in ourselves, but accessible to non-people of color. Psychology and coinciding therapies are or may be seen as stuff “white people do.”

Indeed.

But we’re supposed to fight through it? Because we saw our mothers, fathers, grandparents and alienated family fight through it? From that legacy, we get children whom wander through these dark orchards, eating of these bitter trees.

We see children now, the children that hold and bear our reflections, in a place of learned helplessness, panic, isolation and apathy. If the police aren’t murdering their neighbors and family members, they get made fun of at school for being smart like 12-year-old Storm, in Washington, D.C. in January of this year!

Black children are expected to deal with trauma, death and suffering like no other demographic of children. They are supposed to be impervious to bullying, immune to billets and illiterate to the world around them! The emotional soil tilled in the life of black children in this nation is hard, rocky and neglected. Today, I will start tilling this ground, planting trees and gardens to offer help, safety and space to not be okay.

We who are alive and remain can no longer sit as if this slow catastrophe is not happening! We must be proactive in the lives of children who do look like us, whose struggles we know and have overcome. The time has come and now is for us to pay attention!

The children are crying, but they keep covering their own mouths to muffle their own screams of pain. Why? It’s what they have been taught to do.

 

Share this post often.

Share the suicide hotline number.

Life is all our responsibility. Help someone keep living. Thank you.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

[images from Google]