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]


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.


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.”


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]


Microaggressions are always meant to minimize or question blackness or anything different or non-white. It’s a slick way to chip away at your person, your worth and right to be whom you will.

It can be a simple as your name! The thing behind your birthplace, family and cis-gender you cannot control. I was told that my name was a white girl name since I started school! And this was told to me by black and white kids! I tell my children that the easiest thing you can do to show someone that you respect them is to learn to pronounce someone’s name correctly.

In addressing microaggressions, these slick social assaults, you have to understand microaggressions have their roots in the following: stereotypes, prejudice and racism. They are ways to poke at racial issues without being seen as being noticeably racist.

But here’s a pro-tip: it’s still racist.

No more, no less. No retraction.

You have to consider the source of this ignorance on order to defuse it. It’s like the sun in an empty room—once you see it, there is no way to unsee it.

The defusing of these situations requires you remain confident in who you are in the midst of white supremacist nonsense. You have to be willing to look at the situation you are in so that you can effectively defuse (lookahere, and when need be? READ FOR RUPAUL LEVEL DRASTIC AF FILTH.)

Microaggressions are to make your doubt your worth and all you contain–to undercut and devour. Even if it’s one cut at a time. But like any other bully or virus, unless you are willing to confront it where you find that bullshit, it will persist. Whether that be ally, enemy or friend! If they can’t handle that–treat them like Beyoncé would.

Microaggressions lead to a comfort in those whom tolerate and perpetuate it! Which allows room for the one black/Asian/Gay/Hispanic or Latinx/Muslim friend they have. Microaggressions cannot allowed to flourish because they breed–bringing their cousin big cousin bigotry, Auntie -Isms, and their roommate, Apathy.

It’s 2018, y’all! Solange told Becky not to touch our hair. Next time she do? We snatching her up!



[images from Google]

In A Police State #AltonSterling

Like the rest of the mourning black America, I saw the press conference of the AG of Baton Rouge, L’siana. Through the window of social media, I watched. I watched the sickening, feigned concern by which this swarmy Cajun lawyer. I was not impressed. They might as well have run the grainy cellphone video with the running red tape at the bottom which would read, “We will always believe the police. The police protect us good white folk from the inescapable blackness. We will always believe the police. The game is rigged.”

As I watched this streamed video, I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t shake my head. I felt all of me that was mother, wife, daughter anger and cool. I remembered how I didn’t want to watch the video again. I didn’t want to be reminded of the lie he told with its visual backing. I didn’t want to be tagged in a #AltonSterling video. I sat and listened, everything in me roaring and hot and angry.

It is the most precarious, dangerous thing in this nation to be black in it. Not the kind of black the ruling bourgeois mass produce–the kind that washes off, or change with hair, outfits or voice octaves. In a deep red Republican open and carry state, there was no whisper of support from the NRA!

In the same still photographs from the cellphone video, you see nothing Alton’s hands. One of the officers involved (Ofc. Salamoni)  had previously been sited for police brutality in then Baton Rouge Police Department!

You have to be able to examine this, and truly see this incident, and others like it for what it is! You can no longer look away as a non-person of color. You can no longer say, “If they would just do what the officers say, this wouldn’t happen.” For those that do, whom still preach and teach the gospel of comply or die, you are not paying attention.

Again! You are not paying attention!

You are not paying attention if you can continue to believe the police are this godlike organization, impervious to criticism or oversight. You cannot be paying attention if you believe  all lives matter, but enraged when we say black lives matter. Clearly, Black isn’t considered a race or life so we gotta rage and remind y’all every now and then!

Black life in this nation is a highly traded, vied for commodity. We are wanted, lusted, taken and hated. The need for law and all its proported protection is invaluable-but for some reason that courtesy of personhood and life lived is not afforded when someone of color is accosted by the police!

Spare me the backlash of how hard the job of law enforcement is and, ‘they are doing their job and it’s so dangerous’, and they were following a up a description. Let me help  you right quick:  then why take the tape from the store he was in front of, and had been there for months selling CDs?

I’ll wait.

What has not been addressed, what wouldn’t be addressed is the systematic racism with the front man of white supremacy that fuels this type of police brutality! What is not addressed is that this shit keeps happening! What is not addressed is that there are policy and internal politicking conducted which allows police sanctioned murder! There is not enough accountability or oversight for the police to function as a healthy law enforcement entity! Comply or die does not work, cannot be sustained, and it happened with hands up, kneeling down and playing with BB guns!


In the age of Black Girl Magic, supporting Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter, ongoing activism and lit-level Wakanda blackness, I still fear for my college educated husband when he leaves the house! In this working golden age, we still have to embrace portions of respectable blackness when we see cherries we can’t eat!

Supporting the police does not mean giving them carte blanche to do what they want!
Police are necessary to serve and protect, not suspect, hunt and execute. Psych evals and assessments of fitness are not curse words. Training and de-escalation works for white people, right? I mean, Dylan Roof got a burger and a Kevlar vest–Alton couldn’t get the respect of a lawful-gun carrying Louisiana citizen?

Perhaps if these Blue Lives Matter people actually examined why they gave and give this God-like worship to people who aren’t aware that blue isn’t a ethnicity or race, in that criticism they are likely to tell you they have black friends and know black police officers, and on an on in Right-wing drivel. But if you ask them why it is they with all this blue-armed power, facilitated with or without white sheets, why the can’t help but kill people of color? The look at you ask if they cursed their mammies out. But I know why. And so do you?

Oh! Because blackness.

Always that damn blackness…


[images from Google]



There was so much this week. So much! Welcome back and welcome home.

Let’s get it!

Part 2 of 2, Firestarter!

This one is a 1808. Remember 1808 is NSFW.

#StephonClark #California #KillingFields #FTP #KillingFieldsAreBackyardsNow #ThisIsTooCommon #AbolishThePolice #UnapologeticBlackness #ShutTheWholeStateDown#ThisIsBullshit #PUSH #PleaseUnderstandShitsHectic

They shot him 8 out of 20 times in the back believing he had a gun. Shot in the back means he was running away. The colors black and blue don’t wear well no matter the season–black is never in fashion to the police. He was in his grandparents’ yard, and they thought he fit a description. The pathologist said it took him 3-5 minutes to die, and those bought with tax payer money waited all those 300 seconds to call for help. I’m tired, y’all. I’m tired!

I will say it again until policy changes and these motherfuckers underdamnstand! WE ARE HUMAN! We are not animals! Our skin color does not determine our accessibility to humanity! We will not be reduced to hash tags! We come from the continent where life begins! Black contains all colors! If blackness is to be restrained stop tanning, getting ass implants and idolizing Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter!

Shut it all down, Cali fam!

#AnthonyLamarSmith #BlackBloodDoesEqualMoreGreenDollars #CivilSuit #ReopeningTruth #StLouisIsDamnNearASundownTown #MissouriIsMississippiNorth #FTP

This week the civil suit the Smith family has against the second mediocre whiteness mascot (the first being the scary cop that murdered Michael Brown Jr., I think the coward is hiding out in Lake St. Louis or New Town!), because the DNA presented and the DNA found don’t match!

Aight, Sis…we all knew something was up!

This is the madness of the legal system we navigate. This is the bullshit that is allowed to be pervasive when law enforcement goes from mortal to godlike. Nall. Tell St. Louis number one badgelicker, Trish Dennison, Jenn Harris said, “Jesus is black, and I don’t give a damn about no one who thinks a life is worth more because it’s blue!

“Blue lives don’t exist.”

-Very Smart Brothers (blog)

I hope his family RAILS this damn city! The mayor don’t do shit, the police ain’t shit, and they want to kill all us because we know all this shit!

Our brothers, sons, husbands, uncles, cousins, friends, fiancées and fathers are no the bucks almost 160 years ago! They are not the problematic nigras Willie Lynch has to break! They cannot be taken, murdered and then murderers that write the reports offer more money than we may work to gather for ourselves!

First, we value ourselves.

Second, we do like the urban prophet Nas said on the God Son album, track 7:

If the truth is told, the youth can grow

Learn to survive till they gain control.

No one said you hand to gangstas, hoes,

Do more learn more, change the globe.

If they reopen this case, reopen Michael Brown, Jr’s! We don’t even know where the Ferguson police car he used is!

#WhereIsDevonte #DevonteHart #BlackLivesMatter #AdoptionWithNoOversight #BlackChildrenMatter #HowTFDidThisEvenHappen #WhatDoesCPSEvenDo #TheyShouldHaveTakenHimAndCaredForHim #BlackBoyMatterToo #ThisIsRotten

Devonte Hart was in a viral photo hugging a white police officer, and at 15, four years later, the woman who adopted him drove all her adopted children off a cliff in San Francisco, after fleeing the state of Washington under allegations of abuse and neglect.


Now, authorities don’t know if he or two of his other siblings are alive! And to this posting haven’t found his body! How in–how?! When I heard about this I was confused and flabbergasted! Is it because she’s a white woman that adopted the po’ lil ole colored chillun, she need to be sainted because ain’t no body else want them?!

That’s now how this works! None of it!

Standards are just that because they are supposed to remove bias in order that expectations be set. If a child is begging for food from neighbor, the minimum stand for his care isn’t met. If his sister had to jump out a window to escape what was happening to her at home, and 16 with her front teeth missing? He asked that food be left by a fence so his parents wouldn’t know!


So black children can’t even be protected by the minimum standard?! As a mother, I want to hold my babies tighter and watch out for the kids that look like me. Tears ain’t enough–now we have to make sure we good for real.

It’s time to rebuild our communities, fam! It’s time.

*badgelicker: noun; adjective. A person that supports all aspects of law enforcement without question.

Closing thoughts:

I know it was heavy this week y’all. But the Mother Firestarter was mad as Hell. Damn this.


It’s Friday y’all!

It’s the most important weekend on planet Earth. Don’t miss the Saviour looking for a bunny!

Part 1 of 2 y’all! Let’s get it!

#HBCU #HowardUniversity #FinAidScam #WTH #WTF #EducationIsImperative #NoOneHasTimeForThis #IWantedToGoToSpelman #Nonsense #Nall #TheH #WhoGonExplainThisToTheAlumni

I’m embarrassed! This sh!t right here?! I thought was a Fox News plant! There were six employees who were fired due to double-dipping: they got tuition remission AND grants between 2006-2017, and the total? Over a million dollars!

The President of HU swears up and down those employees caught in this scandal (found only by audit) didn’t take any federal monies. Sir! In the time where we are fighting megalomania, you can’t be having people siphoning fed aid money! Do you know how this sh!t looks now?! This is DeVos-Carson level fuckery!

My heart is so broken, and I am so mad! These people skimmed off the top and said NADT (Not A Damn Thing)! We all trying to figure out how to send our kids to college, Black women saving the whole damn world in the process, and these cats are pocketing Pell grants?! I can’t.

Throw the whole front office away, and start over–including the financial aid person (CLEARLY NO ONE CAN FILE CORRECT PAPERWORK!), and the President. This is high grade fuckery. #HUResist!

#Beyonce #BitterBroads #QueenBey #BiteGate #WhoDidIt #WhoBitTheQueenInTheFace #EveryoneNeedARiderLikeTiffHaddish #ImScaredToKnowWhoItIs

There has to be a reason this week has been as bananas as it has been! So at a party, some actress was on drugs and felt common enough (read: high enough) to bite someone in the face.

No words.

Bey even stopped Tiffany Haddish from her gatherabroad nature–see? I might have had to assist in that fade run! Bite me in the face with all my Black Girl Magic?! No, no ma’am!

My immediate thought?

Who would be bad enough to bite the most recognizable face on planet Earth?!

Why Lord?!

#DarkAndStormy #GetItPoppin #TheInterview #StormyDaniels #DavidDennison #DavidDennisonIsALiar #DavidDennisonIsAFuckingLiar #BitchBettaHaveMoney


I did a piece for Contemptor on this called The Good, The Bad and The Stormy. I don’t know what this woman has on this 71 year tiny penised tyrant…but—this is about to be good.