HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Y’all, it’s January! This new year is hours old! I am excited for this year and every possibility it holds! I hope you are as well.

I don’t make resolutions anymore, I make decisions. I implore you all to do the same. Resolutions seem to be trite with expiration dates. I am in favor of goal-oriented/solution-focused opportunities. However, I don’t think a resolution holds the same power and sway as a decision, or making a decision.

Decisions imply authority and control over your own life. Resolutions have always a seemed something of a last resort–something you do because other people are or were.

Decisions force you to participate in what happens in your life or what you choose to allow.

Participate in your life this year!

Don’t fear your opportunities to be better, change or have a different vantage point. It’s a new year dear ones, make the most of it!

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Our Sister Erica

At 27, Erica Garner is now an ancestor.

In hearing of her passing this morning, I thought of my life at 27 and then her mother, Esaw. I am in an active state of heartbreak. There was a tweet through my Twitter timeline when she had her asthma attack and subsequent heart attack earlier this week which mentioned the craziness you have to go through in order to prove you are human.

I, like Erica, am a part of the fatherless tribe. Only difference is Erica’s father was stolen from her by the worst of the NYPD and the world saw it all happen. The world watched her mourn, her mother all but shatter and her family be subject of the 3/5 human theory in regards to the life of her father.

People often fumble with that to say when people die, master at feigning ignorance of what to say, where to be and being intentional in times of grief after saying if you need anything, let me know.

There is something that is needed and can no longer wait. Coretta Scott King said this in from a place of wisdom and experience:

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.

The thing that people forget to tell you is that struggle is not sexy no matter what people tell you or what you see on social media. Struggle costs something, it will take something and always require more than you may willing to pay. Worst part? There are even fewer who will understand or help you.

Erica was a daughter, a mother, sister, friend, and activist. She was entitled to all her years with her children, her mother and all those that loved her. She traded peace for progress. She tried to help is all to speak louder when it was so hard for us all to breathe after the murder of her father.

Erica put a portion of this thing called movement and struggle on herself and her children and other people’s children she won’t see.

Don’t let her age fool you. Lionesses wield power and presence before 40.

I celebrate Erica today, pray for her family and make a resolve to demand all my freedom, too, for the children I won’t see and because I still can’t breathe.

Rest Erica, we gon keep going.

RUNITBACK Friday-12/29/17

#KCHonors #SoDamnBlack #LLCoolJ #MCLyte #HipHop #Dance #Ballet #Soul #LionelRichie #GOAT #Music #Blackness #PerformanceArt #KennedyCenterHonors

Tuesday, December 26 was the most lit CBS has ever been. Four out of the five Kennedy Center for Performance Art 2017 nominees were people of color. For this piece, let me just talk up my people:  LL Cool J, Lionel Richie and Carmen De Lavallade.

With me Poker hand of years before 40, I was a 8 year old girl again. I rejoiced as I saw Hip-Hop/Rap be seen as the art form that it is. I was happy that James Todd Smith was the first to get in–I turned my television up and rapped along with Busta Rhymes and and MC Lyte. I was happy to show my daughter that her mother was human and still excited about music and this life. No matter how old I get I will always sing Mama Said Knock You Out at ignant volumes…don’t debate me on this. Let me be great!

I teared up at Lionel Richie’s nomination and remembered it was my father who loved music, and had given me my first album, and it was Lionel Richie. I was overjoyed as I watched his tribute, and saw the joy come over his face–there is something that happens to you with recognition and time meet to grant honor. It’s almost as if he was able to sit and rest in the honor before him–from Tuskegee University to the Commodores to the coming into his own as an artist.

The unfulfilled ballerina in me shouted at the tribute to Carmen De Lavallade. She is the cousin of Janet Collins (Google her. It will bless you). I watched these gorgeous women from the Alvin Ailey dance company perform. I cried when Missy Copeland did her piece. I was so overwhelmed.

I know the theme for this month is influence, with that theme, you cannot survey the scope of your influence if you don’t know you where the path is or could be an ignorant of whose shoulders you stand. Influence becomes power once you understand what it is you want, your destiny is–and know your life is more far reaching that you could ever imagine.

#MichaelFlynn #TheDon #Flip #PancakeSeason #WeGonBeAlright #Russia #MadnessInPolitics #RussiaInvestigation

So, then diet John Gotti is shook? The lawyers for this Executive monstrosity are getting ready to attack Michael Flynn. I called this. All this situation needed was a Sammy The Bull and Flynn is it.

Why is this important?

We all know someone like this treacherous P.T. Barnum circus monkey. We all do. My mom would say, “the type whom thinks they can out slick slick.” The lesson we glean from this is to pay attention. I cannot stress that enough. Don’t be deceived by words–make people honor what the commit themselves to and realize forfeiture brings consequences other people may have to pay.

Don’t put yourself on the line for people whom will pay to have you replaced. Those people value what can be graded or drafted with a receipt; what can be bought, bartered or exchanged. They respect prices not people. This year was the year of the set up.

Don’t make 2018 the year of being caught out there. I’m warning y’all know…it’s coming. Don’t get sat out or let down by people you wouldn’t trust with a parking space or drop mail off for you whom have proven their worth.

Pay attention. If you see people for whom they are the first time, don’t second guess.

With Dead Wait

This year has been one of total preparation. It has been twelve months which have tested and confirmed the best and worst of all of us and for all of us. This entire year has either been a confirmation or preparation.

Flat out.

The country is being thrown into a meat grinder, the survivors into a Brazen Bull, and all witnesses to justice thrown from a cliff as the Emperor Caligula’s uncle, Germanicus, did:  for amusement.

This being one of last two blogs I shall write for this year, I write from the vantage point of vigilant hope. The woman I call Mother Oracle or Grandmother Oracle, Maya Angelou, said when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Believe them.

This election, the result, the dismantling of legacies, the erasure of progress, the erecting of the resurrection of every demon conjured by Confederate ancestry–it has been enough to make one utterly give up. It is enough to make sure your heart remains broken and eyes more comfortable closed.

As you watch this year close and the year before you open–be mindful of these things, these people: the heart breakers, the liars, those whom left as swift as they entered your life. Those whom shunned your apologies, dismissed your purpose, challenged ideals you held, and thought nothing of what you would become after all had been taken from you.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

I am fond of saying this, “Anger is fruitless lest but towards a positive purpose.” You can be mad, but what are you going to do when you stop being mad?  Will you stop being mad, can you stop being mad?

There are times in this life where it is imperative to know what is you want, why you want it, and what you will allow to stop you. One of my favorite scriptures is from the Apostle Paul. He says this in the book of Hebrews, and in times of heartbreak and frustration, I gather strength from it:

As you determine your course along this life, you will be convinced and confronted to hold on to things and people which no longer suit you, aid you, profit you or add to you. There will be and are times where it is easier to carry what is bitter and sour than to let go of these same things in order to heal, be better and run faster. Being able to admit that which does not suit you allows you to own all what you will become.

Being able to allow into your life and limit negativity yields the medicine of peace. Releasing those whom desire to bring energy and situations to your life set to overwhelm and hinder you is a protection of your sanity.

These types of weights settle in your heart, these type of people bring you shadows where there was light to adequately see their intent. In times of transition, like the ending of a year, it gives you pause to decipher the motives of other people  as well as your desire to be what it is you desire. Do not be dissuaded from what you want.

Do not be dissuaded from what you want.

In not allowing these weights to persist, you make the decision to grow. You decide the formation of the self you shall become is worthy of torturous waiting. The dirty truth is,  beloved, it is work to become. You must work in the waiting. There is work to become, and sometimes–this involves waiting.

The year of 2017 has four days remaining. Take this time to consider what you will hold onto, let go of and need to find solace or more of in the year to come. Why? Not everything, nor everyone, is suited to accompany you on your journey. Don’t fear this. Even if you have only you to go–that is enough.

You are enough…rest in that.

Merry Christmas!

I still love Christmas.

I love the preparation, the fussing and even gift wrapping. I love still being able to see my mother’s face light up when her tree is up, and the my kids visit her, and my husband drinking coffee as I cook.

I still love Christmas.

This year I’m in a space of realizing my mortality and my worth. I know I have less holidays with my children than I do with them. I know that there will be a time where my children will have their own families and traditions–and those may or may not include time with me.

I value the time now…

I value this time, remembering I don’t have to be perfect, but present. I understand how important it is for me to appreciate time-now rather than time-future.

The day is for celebrating, for love, for family, for those of a faith tradition, it’s a sacred time of reflection and humility. I encourage you to remember the same: strive not to be perfect, but present. The people you love will remember that more.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Ideal Firestarter!

(Besides, when my kids move out, I can have my tree the way I want it. And not worry about lights, bulbs or it being pulled over by dogs or children. My mom said the same thing when we were little.)

Evernight

Nights are long without him

Because he is the lingering

Everywhere.

I close my eyes

so the dark envelopes,

but never quiets.

When I wake, the light

Will kiss me as he should.

As I have lived one more

Day without him.

(c)JBHarris, December 12/23/17

RUNITBACK FRIDAY-12/22/17

Holiday is in three days! Get these hams, turkeys and yams!

Or beans, greens, potatoes and tomatoes! YOU NAME IT!

#LaVarBall #NCAA #NCAAAthletes #NCAABasketball #HoopDreams

We know the NCAA is a hustle. We all know that. We see the popularity of certain universities to the point cult worship. For starters, Duke, Louisiana State University, University of Missouri-Columbia (affectionally known as Mizzou), University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University.

Universities have been making crazy stupid money with athletic programs. That includes apparel sold and television network broadcasts. The argument of playing NCAA athletes is not new. However, the JBA is. Allow Mr. LaVar Ball (yes, that LaVar Ball) to explain via Shaun King from The Intercept:

On Tuesday, Ball announced his intentions to start the Junior Basketball Association or JBA. A league with 10 teams of eight young players each, salaries for each player would range from $3,000 to $10,000 per month. It’s a brilliant gambit. High school basketball is already so popular that some high school stars, including Ball’s own children, have hundreds of thousands — and sometimes millions — of followers on social media. Highlight videos regularly have millions of views on YouTube, and bootleg livestreams of competitive games featuring emerging stars regularly go viral.

Because of an agreement between the NBA and the NCAA, high school athletes are no longer allowed to do what Kobe Bryant or LeBron James did and go pro straight out of high school. They must play a year of college or overseas basketball before they can be drafted. Only a tiny percentage of American high schoolers take the overseas route first. Instead, they are doing something that is now routinely called the “one and done.” This is when high school stars go to college where they attend for a year – playing basketball – then declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft.

It’s brilliant. Say what you want, it’s brilliant. Pay the athletes. The common argument is the players are students first and are athletes second.

I’m old enough to remember when Kobe got drafted, Kevin Garnett got drafted, hometown dude and SLU (St. Louis University) student, Larry Hughes. In The Saint Louis Post Dispatch there was reporting of the debate he had between going pro and finishing his degree at SLU. The crux? His mother was ill and he wanted take care of her.

College students are real people with real problems that require real money. If they can become self-sufficient and in charge of their own destinies, why not?

As a side note: Aight. 😒 don’t like him.

Y’all just made he’s black, loud and thought of in first. Gon’head, Mr. Ball. Make and sign the checks.

#Panthers #NFL #FireSale #SeanCombs #OwnersBox #Affiliated #7 #CarolinaPanthers #SitWithColin #StillWithColin #TeamBlackout #Diddy #DiddyDoesIt

So…more owners are getting caught doing what they believe other people can’t see them doing. This week it was Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, has his hand slapped from the cookie jar to the point he has to sell his team!

Dig this from The Bleacher Report:<<
st-forward to now and the devastating report from Sports Illustrated that stated Richardson, on at least four occasions, reached significant monetary settlements for inappropriate workplace comments to female employees, and in at least one instance directed a racial slur to a black scout.

The NFL is investigating, and the Panthers have announced that Richardson will sell the team.

Men are who are used to buying everything, trying to buy everything.

< strong>I’m not surprised. At all.<

ut here comes brash Howard alum, Sean Combs. He and Colin Kaepernick are trying to recruit buyers for the Carolina Panthers.

Thing of what this would mean?! It would be reminiscent of the ABA! This needs to happen. The NFL/NBA boast of greater than 70% African-American athletes, but no owners to whom represent players. I’m praying this occurs, dear ones.

I really am.

Influence was the theme this month, but nothing influences like money, shug.

Nothing.