You Matter

I implore you to remember what you want and who you are.

In a world at present where the idea of being yourself in the face of the onslaught of not being good enough, is monumental. In a world where you are shown who you are versus who you should be is normal, there must be a point in which you become able to sift what you allow to effect you, or allow into your space. If you allow your life to be determined by the sole influence of other people, you will have a life solely dependent upon the whims and voices of other people.

The inner voice you develop is strengthened when it is challenged, not suffocated. You must develop respect for yourself which will allow you to give weight to your own thoughts or opinions. This comes with time, life and trail-error situations. In this life, more is caught than taught. You may glean and use the experience of other people just for the moment, to see if it works—however, with every situation, you determine how you react to it.

You matter, dearest one. You matter. Your voice, your presence, your mark upon, in, after the world is important. You will be tempted to give up portions of your self to louder conveniences, and even succumb for a while. It may even be comfortable. But eventually, what is within you will either die or awaken.

In allowing it to die, you have in effect declared yourself unimportant and property of other people to be discarded by other people. In allowing what is within you to speak, you have make the decision to have this life be your own. Win. Lose. Or Draw. Don’t fear that.

Don’t fear your past, the things that challenged or harmed you or didn’t turn out as planned. The beautiful thing about this life is it is ever dynamic, and from that, is the capacity to and for change. In that change, the resolute of you, the unchanged pieces, that core self, will always speak. Even if you have to say, “No. Not ever again.”

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Pretty, Petty & Black (1808)

(1808-This is going to be NSFW. Fair warning.)

Brianna Brochu put a toothbrush in her ass and gave it back to her roommate.

Let that shit sink in. The reach of white supremacy and privilege is mind-boggling.

She smeared used tampons on her roommate’s bookbag, put old food in her toiletries, even going the extra step of being beyond trifling, and spit in her coconut oil.

Now, this silly white girl bragged about this mayhem on the ‘Gram and called her roommate Jamaican Barbie. This is sh she got caught. But she swears up and down she’s not a racist. So she just trifling and evil?! That makes this better.

She wasn’t charged with a hate crime, but with, lemme get it right, it reads in part from NBC News:

Civil rights advocates had asked the state to add a hate crime charge to the criminal mischief and breach of peace counts Brochu faces. NAACP Greater Hartford Branch President Imam Abdul-Shahid Muhammad Ansari attended the hearing and said that he, along with other NAACP members, are not pleased with the decision.

Allow me to translate:

“This is some absolute bullshit.”

This girl got expelled from University of Hartford, and assaulted her roommate but people want to shift this as “an ill-suited dorm assignment.” Nall. She clearly don’t need to be on anyone’s dorm–she ain’t been taught nothing!

There are RAs, and Housing Directors for “ill-suited dorm assignments.” She’s smart enough to get into college but can’t fill out a form to change her dorm assignment? And she says she’s not a racist…

Nall.

If you put my toothbrush in your ass, imma whup yours. Flat out.

The killer part? Peep what she called, Sis, doe! Jamaican Barbie. I don’t know what it is about white women whom see black women as pretty. Like you hate us…but wanna be us ala GET OUT?!

The reason why this angers me so is I’m a sister, a godmother, mother and a black woman all my life, with a black mother and father whom told me I was pretty–and never be ashamed of who I was.

This broad assaulted her black roommate, bragged about it in detail to the world, but doesn’t want to be seen or labeled a racist.

Tough.

She is.

The reason she gave as to why she did what she did was this (from the Hartford Courant):

Brochu, who is white, told police that she did not have a good relationship with her roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, who is black. Brochu claimed Rowe was rude to her and posted videos online of her snoring to make fun of her.

I’m not even amazed. But this being the Christmas season, the one piece of advice to give to the young woman this happened to, Chennel Rowe aka Jazzy, is this:

Shine.

Get this degree. Make your money. Make this system work for you. This trollop, this school may never apologize or recognize you for all that has happened to you. However, don’t let one silly (bleep) who couldn’t be you, or like you, stop you. This broad will ever be famous for what she did to you–but that won’t define you. You can be mad, embarrassed and ready to fight. You’re entitled. But also know what the real enemy is.

We got you.

In All You Do

Power is to whom you give it. There comes a time in this life where you will be forced to evaluate whom has power over you, and why.

Outside from the agencies whose existence is based in protection, there those in your life whom will try and tell you their intent is of a similar ilk.

This power, this influence, for the most part is wielded by people in your life whom only wish to see you win. It is wielded in benevolence, with courage and boldness to remind you of whom you are and can become.

However, more often than not this influence roots and lingers in under the beds Shakespeare says are crowded. This is from the people closest to us whom have seen us at a point of weakness–rather than helping us, they tell is what we did wrong, always do or will never do right.

They become evil sooth-sayers, casting hexes of discontent, bitterness, jealousy and apathy over all those in their pathways. They will tell you these things as if you have no concept of your own self. They have not lived a life or had experiences where someone celebrated them, wanted to celebrate them or denied their existence.

These people can only give you what they have: nothing.

Every day you choose whom you will become. Each day you are given holds the potential to be life-changing. I don’t say this as if the world around you does not present or beset you with unique problems. I say this because no matter how big the problem is, you will always be larger than the problem. You determine what you determine.

Some things spoken over you may be hurtful, disguised help or frank opinion. You do not have to accept this, even from from the people you know or love.

You don’t have to accept poison as medicine or influence as a Gospel. You determine what will steer your life–nothing and no one else.

I am fond of saying the first 18 years of your life may not be under your control, but the rest of your life is. Uprooting the weeds in the garden of your heart and head is never easy, I assure you. It took me a decade to get over what my father had said about me writing as a career.

What helped me what the feeling I had when I wrote. The attention I got as a I wrote and now that feeling could not be replicated by anything else.

Choose what you will listen to that will shape and empower you. All you are exposed to indeed shapes you. What does not add to you will only steal and a chief thieves of joy ads competition and envy.

What shall you become once you decide who it is you are?

RUNITBACKFRIDAY- 12/15/17

10 days till Christmas.

8 days till you gotta prep for this meal no one will help you wash dishes afterwards.

Let’s get it!

#BlackMedia #BlackNews #BlackMen #Platforms #MediaPlatforms #TVOneNewsNow #BlackEverything #RolandSMartin #TVONEYouTube

I like Roland Martin. I enjoy his show! I love that he is knowledgeable, and does not take any. I love the fact TVOne made room for him and all his blackness. The troubling thing is near the end of the month TVOne is cancelling his show (I believe it’s December 21).!

This is troubling because we can’t afford to be silent or silenced by any force. The advantage of technology is it is a tool which gives everyone a platform, should they desire it. However, there is a power that comes with the audience gleaned as you hone your particular platform. With that audience, you garner and perpetuate influence.

TV ONE NEWS ONE NOW has a predominately black audience. It is a platform where national issues are discussed as well as issues that affect us as people of color. It has been reported that he will still have a voice on TVOne (as he is a commentator) but no longer will he have a show. I wish Roland the best and larger platforms! #BringTheFunk

#Eminem #NewAlbum #MarshallMathers

I heard today, literally minutes that bae has apologized to his ex-wife on his new album. I don’t know what to make of this. I remember the MARSHALL MATHERS LP (yes, I bought the CD and wore it out so that some of the tracks skipped!), and I believe it was track 15 that was titles Kim that was too much for me to listen to. The chorus goes, “So long/bitch you did me so wrong/I don’t want to go on/living in this world without you.

BRUH.

I mean if Jay-Z can grow up and apologize to the woman he calls a soulmate at damn near 50, I mean let Em do the same. 2017 seems to be the year to try and do better. Perhaps we need to give space to let people atone–perfection is a myth and err all too human. Before you snap off on Em, check your own porch.

#ThePutOut #Omarosa #TheWhiteHouse #ChilePlease #SunkenPlace #Georgina #GetOut

I know y’all have been waiting to hear my take on this mess. Chile, I AM STILL LAUGHING. Why you may ask is ALL of Black America laughing? It’s the ultimate I TOLD YOU SO. It’s the validation that she got exactly what she deserved–no more no less.

There is nothing wrong with being brilliant and ambitious and beautiful. And she is all those things. However…to what cost! She turned her back on the very people whom look like her. Omarosa thought her MBA stood for Make a Bitch Acceptable in certain company.

No.

No ma’am.

Am I hating on her degree? No. Her education? Of course not. I am happy to see anyone strive and achieve. It’s enough light for everyone to have some! But I don’t have to get my light from taking yours, blocking yours or stealing it!The hard reality is she is still a black woman in a world that sees her as less than a white woman.

I said it.

Fight me.

Omarosa had to be reminded that she was a black woman in the most public and degrading way possible. It’s hilarious because she really thought she had transcended race…when Barack couldn’t. It’s hilarious because she forgot the first rule of engagement: know your enemy. Know what it is you are fighting.

In the Shakespeare play Coriolanus, there is a quote that says , The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Omarosa believed she didn’t need a people to help or warn her. She didn’t believe the secret knowledge of her foremothers in how to balance academia, excellence and blackness. She forgot that when she made it, would need to help someone else. Omarosa just got fronted as an ‘uppity negro’ and now she mad. We are laughing because we all saw it coming. We ALL saw it coming.

I don’t feel bad for her. I wish her the best and with everyone and everything else this year, “Do better.”

In The Gloaming

I was 17 when my father died.

I am now 19 years past that 17. I now have more living years without my father than I ever had with him. I take nothing away from those that never knew their fathers, or have lost them through heinous circumstances. That, too, is a grief unparalleled and there is no sufficient comparison–and need never be.

This the 19th anniversary of the passing of my father,  I am in a unique place. I struggle to remember him now. So much life has passed since his passing, I have done so much, seen so much, and desire so much more. There is a reason I am as driven and ambitious as I am. There is a reason why I had to become more resourceful than I ever thought–Dad. I live my professional life by these quotes:

“There is always a way to do something.”

“If you can’t get in the front door, go around to the back. If they won’t let you in the back, bust a window, and jump in.” (This quote is in regards to being told what you cannot do, or being told no.)

Richard L. Bush (1948-1998)

In reflecting on this day, 19 years later, I am now able to reconcile and recognize his impact in my life. In 17 years, I got more than the average little girl did. By no means does this mean my father was perfect, or slave to his own ambition. It means that I can appreciate his humanity in light of adulthood. I can now unravel the Gordian knot that was our relationship. He saw so much more in me at 17, that it took me until 36 to see.

He saw the woman I would become. He saw the drive he had placed there, there resourcefulness, the forcefulness and saw the beginnings of me learning to breathe fire. He saw it first. In that shaping, I thought him unreasonable, arrogant and mean.

In the reflection of time, I can integrate that grieving self with the public one: I am just as much his daughter, as I am my mother’s daughter. There need be separation because I didn’t feel good enough for so long. I thought in order to preserve sanity, I had to only be my mother’s daughter. I thought to be adequately angry, I had to remember everything bad he said. In order to remain what I thought to be whole, I had to give him up. Ergo, it’s easier to forget.

The greatest thing God permits is us to age. In the passing of years, we see people for who they are, what they are, and the air of perfection is lost. They are more human than divine, more accessible.

What I would tell my 17 year old self if this:

Mourn. You have the right to mourn. It does not make you any less of a ‘strong, black woman’ to admit you are suffering, and not okay, and you, too, need help. Mourning allows your heart to remember what you lost. You have the right to remember. So, remember. As you remember, remember as broken as he was, he gave you what you needed to get to where you must. You’re still his girl…and that is all that matters. Go and be amazing. 

Validating

In this life, the only thing you own, is you.

Today I meant to write about something uplifting, but that was before the onslaught of this week and the case of Cyntoia Brown.

For those unaware, see here for the complete article.

Twenty-nine-year-old Cyntoia Brown has been locked up in a Tennessee prison for 13 years, after she was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the killing of a man who hired her as a prostitute when she was 16.

At trial, Brown’s lawyers argued she was a runaway who was raped, abused and forced into prostitution by a man known as “Kut Throat.” She will be eligible for parole after she turns 69.

I saw her documentary on her a few years ago and was astounded. The documentary was on YouTube. Before reading further, I suggest you view it.

I know you may be thinking this deviates from my topic of influence this month, but I assure you it doesn’t. Influence is only as potent or insidious as those who wield it. The more I looked at this story (before Kim Kardashian sent her lawyer after it), the more my heart grieved for her.

“Kut Throat” used his adult influence on a then 16 year old girl to force her into prostitution. In new millenium terms, we would call this sex trafficking.

He sold a 16-year-old girl for sex to the highest bidder. He put a child in an adult position by sheer force of will–ergo ill influence.

After she was violated by all these paying monsters, “Kut Throat” pimped her. A John took her to his home to have sex with her. When she thought she was reaching for a gun, she shot and killed him. She took his guns and whatever money he had and ran.

Now, should she have killed him?

Probably not.

Was he going to let her go?

We will never know.

The dirty fact is this: she did what she had to in order to live. With all she had endured, all Kut Throat did to her, on top of her life before the pimp found her–Is unbelievable. However, this nation likes its black girls docile or ratchet. Controllable and predictable or whorish and savage.

The favorite is the silent, suffering mammy.

The incredible thing? She now wants to use all that has happened to her to help everyone whom will listen. She wants to tell what happened to her so that the same trick that trapped her will not ensnare someone else.

Now, the third tier of this influence is the legal system–a system never designed to benefit or serve women, people of color or immigrants or the poor–God help you if you intersect any of these.

The legal system saw Cyntoia Brown like many of us see feral cats: Something for someone else to deal with and when dealing with them, do so harshly so there will be no others like those. The legal system decided her life was inconsequential and irredeemable in the face of all that had happened to her, so they decided to throw her away. The influence, the power and sway of the rule of law, let those in power do as the mob wished with her.

There has been new effort for her release and I am overjoyed. She deserves a chance at life and to impart and yes, to live. If all you own in this life is you, then whom are other folk to tell you whom you are or the limits of what you can become?

——————–

Contact Information:

Ms. Cyntoia Brown #410593

Tennessee Prison for Women

Unit 1 West, D-49

3881 Stewarts Lane

Nashville, TN 37218

#NeverthelessShePersisted

Above All Else

More often than you may think, you relinquish your power to other people. What they think, they believe or their perception of you and all you are.  Too often we forget this heart-powered vessel is ours to steer, command and harbor. There is  a power and difference in knowing who you are and accepting who you are. The main influencer in your life is you, Shug. Never forget this.

There will always be forces in this life and of this world whom make it motive and mission to change whom you are and will become. The world knows if you were to become all you have determined to become, you will be indomitable.You will be a force, akin to water breaking rocks. There will be nothing that will hinder all you house.

You must remember the words of courage whispered to you by those whom see and nurture the divine in you. Those words, these words, become anchors in your being, forming your person until you become the personification of what Jeremiah chapter 1, verse, 5 says: