Tag: current events

When Kids Die

 

 

This work is not my own, but written by a Father Oracle, Langston Hughes (1902-1967). In keeping with the theme of this month, I thought this fitting. Let us be reminded that life is precious–and black children are entitled to know and see theirs are just as precious as anyone else’s.

Thank you.

JBH.

 When Kids Die

This is for the kids who die,

Black and white,

For kids will die certainly.

The old and rich will live on awhile,

As always,

Eating blood and gold,

Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi

Organizing sharecroppers

Kids will die in the streets of Chicago

Organizing workers

Kids will die in the orange groves of California

Telling others to get together

Whites and Filipinos,

Negroes and Mexicans,

All kinds of kids will die

Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment

And a lousy peace.

Of course, the wise and the learned

Who pen editorials in the papers,

And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names

White and black,

Who make surveys and write books

Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,

And the sleazy courts,

And the bribe-reaching police,

And the blood-loving generals,

And the money-loving preachers

Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,

Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets

To frighten the people—

For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—

And the old and rich don’t want the people

To taste the iron of the kids who die,

Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,

To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together

Listen, kids who die—

Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you

Except in our hearts

Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp

Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,

Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht

But the day will come—

You are sure yourselves that it is coming—

When the marching feet of the masses

Will raise for you a living monument of love,

And joy, and laughter,

And black hands and white hands clasped as one,

And a song that reaches the sky—

The song of the life triumphant

Through the kids who die.

-Langston Hughes

 

[Google images]

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]

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]

RUNITBACK FRIDAY- 1/26/18

#Monique #ThisAMess #WhatsNext #Netflix #Boycott #Purpose #PurposeOnPurpose #PUSH #UnderstandDynamics #DestinyInTheRoom #NameInTheRoom #Observations #Realizations #Business #Economics #DontMissThis #TheSetUp

This is my official position about the Monique situation.  There is a way you do business, and a way that you understand the opportunities presented to you. I was asked about this at work, and I said this, “God put her name in that room, and this is how she acted. You don’t know what God was going to do–had she used wisdom.” This is why I say this.

Monique was on a talk show with Russell Simmons around the same time she had her own show on BET. She said that in regards to being black and in entertainment she said she learned to ‘make opportunities’. No one said she had to take the money, no one said she was untalented or undeserving of literally ‘being in the room.’ This is my issue.

This is what agents are for. Had she played a little 3-D chess, she could have maximized her opportunity to make the most of what was presented to her. This nation constantly underpays, undercuts and devalues the talents of black women and women of color since–ever. From Ma Rainey, to Moms Mabley, to Bessie Coleman, to Oprah Winfrey, to my mother, and even myself. How we overcome this is to have people in our corner whom can fight for us, even when we aren’t in the room. Instead of maximizing what was presented to her, she lashed out.

Monique did what so many people when the are hurt do–look for someone that will and would listen to her. She went to Instgram wanting boycotts. She did the talk show circuit and said she was the most decorated living female comedienne. Monique went into recon “Imma get all these hoes” mode. Whenever  you get pulled off your square like this, God can’t move, the universe can’t be open to you because you are too busy trying to overwhelm to bash in, rather than create to be granted access.

I can understand Monique’s frustration. I am empathetic to feeling you need to defend, check, buss in, buss up and let every hater know. TRUST. I GET IT. However, one thing I have been graced to understand that the opportunity, even the smallest is maximized by finesse and wisdom. She has snapped off, and we as the Fam at large have heard her, but now what to do, bae?

I support Monique, and I need her to #LevelUp. Like for the culture, for herself and those that follow, #LevelUp. It’s time. It’s time.

#JemelleHill #ESPN #AprilDRyan #BigSisterJemelle #ThisSo meOle #TheSix #Solidarity #Family #AuntieApril #WhoThisWomanHarpo #TryingToBeGreat #HowLong #IRideForThemDoe  #GetEmSis

Folk can’t stand to see black women being great and leveling up (yes, #LevelUp is now an official hashtag of TIFS–Fight me.). Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to you leveling up as a black woman is another black woman. This is non debatable fact–I have lived this. Often. This is why I do my best to not let another black woman who is my life, my sphere of influence to never feel less than. She is not my enemy nor my competition.

I am She. She are we.

We are they.

These are not greater than those whom are for me–or her.

Now, that said–the awesome news this week is Jemelle Hill is leaving TheSix on ESPN (the 6pm SportCenter with Michael Smith) and is going to the show The Undefeated.  This show fuses race, sports and culture. I think this is awesome for her and I’m excited to see her blossom–and flex–and be brilliant! #GetEmSis

For all this dopeassness this week, there was a tweet towards April D. Ryan, journalist whom is indeed a superhero, by this legendary bedwench of the Trump suppository whom now has a cushy job in the Department of Health and Human Services when she used to be a wedding planner–I will not mention her name here. Y’all goggle it. This same woman called April Ryan, “Miss Piggy.” And when this wench got clocked by Ana Navarro, then she wanted to apologize and delete the tweet. April Ryan, in her clapback akin to thunder, gathered her like kids under streetlights, telling her how wrong this was of her to do and was like ‘this is not over.’

Pause.

I know in the first portion of this blog, I said I do not make habit or room to come for black women–they are not my competition. However, in love, I will gather a sis when necessary. This trollop has forgotten how expendable her boss sees black women, and chose the wrong one to come for in April Ryan. See? What she forgot is, how they came for Omorosa, they will come for her! Rather than accept and see what is, she feels like her boss’s incompetence is her cloak of invisibility. She is legit maximizing her coonery through the vessel of white privilege–who has time for that?!

There is a madness afoot, y’all. Friends don’t let friends come Stacey Dashes or Omorosas or this trollop whom will not be named. You can’t tell a broad to level up whom thinks the bottom is all she needs.

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.