Category Archives: freedom

some Sunday steam to get you going

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she’s called Phoenix

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Many people will read this and immediately begin to think from a religious perspective and ignore the transformation that can be experienced from this mantra.

The politics of religion is about mind and crowd control, not freedom or spiritual growth.  And perhaps this is where the frustration begins.  Instead of viewing the glass as half empty people will view it as constantly starting over.

Those hard times are where you are burning to rise.  Where you should allow yourself to come undone.  Only to give birth to yourself again.  Think differently… think spiritually.

some days i feel like, sonia sanchez

sonia sanchez

moon face full of stars.
little woman / soft voice with cursive connotations.
serendipity back
and universe hugging
woman of literature.

my love for her is beyond words.
adoring / fond / attached like a new lover.

even though she is associated with the black arts movement, she is one of those artists who have walked through hip hop with us. her words have survived the linguistic flips and inspire/challenge writers today. she joined blues music with her poetic styles of tanka and haiku. she is the key of b sharp.

she is award winning and legendary and highly sought after for lecturing on women’s rights and literary topics.

I am writing this as if everyone knows where she was born and who she was married to and how many books she has, etc. if you don’t know… look her up and land in love with poetry and prose. over. and over. again.

sonia sanchez, one of the reasons I have realized/actualized I must write.

On This Day You Made it To the Mountaintop, Remembering Dr. King

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

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Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

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a Prose for Fannie Lou Hamer’s

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She stood by the bedside of Jordan.  A lotus.  Feet grown from delta mud.  She was creation.  Exploded from chaos.  A holistic believer.

Ruleville, Mississippi.  Crooked state.  Chosen land.  Eternal cost.  Chosen woman.  Creased face.  Her memory wavers like an untuned church organ.

If you see her.  Tell her you remember.  Her protected skin that matched night.  Unafraid.  Sleep patterned to that of bats.  Called upon.  Like Nut and Shu.  To uphold the heavens.  Keep young mouths breathing.  When tempted to swallow swollen faith.  She followed the dust and escaped through the vents.

Continue reading a Prose for Fannie Lou Hamer’s

The Making of Mississippi Window Cracks

(the prologue to Mississippi Window Cracks written in 2006)

A few years ago I decided that after all the books and movies I had read and seen related to the civil rights struggles and the state called Mississippi, it was time to take a visit.  I arranged to spend a few days in Jackson, Mississippi, with a colleague of mine so I could walk the land that enveloped the energy of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Margaret Walker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Emmett Till and the streets of the infamous “Freedom Summers”.  My time there was filled with meeting civil rights heroes that are still alive, pouring libation on slave plantations, visiting museums and other historic sites, relaxing on the porch fanning flies until the sunset, and of course the southern cuisine.

One morning, my friend declared she knew the best place in town for a good bowl of grits.  Upon arriving at the cozy, corner diner downtown, she turned the car off and told me to put a crack in the window.  I told her that living in Los Angeles, people really didn’t do that but I remember it from growing up in Kansas City, Mo. Effortlessly, she rolled a crack in the driver’s side window.  I followed hastily already tasting the buttery grits in my mouth.  She turned and looked at me then spoke with hesitance in her voice.

“What’s that?”, she asked.

“What’s what?”

“I thought you were going to put a crack in the window.”

“I did.”

“That’s a crack?,” she asked sarcastically.

Now feeling totally self conscious I affirmed, “Yeah, this is the kind of window crack I used to do in the summertime in Kansas City.”

“Well this ain’t Missouri, this is Mississippi!  You better put a bigger crack in that window as hott as it is out here!”

I gave the handle on the window a few more turns to open it up.

She encouraged me, “A little more.”

I carefully cranked it until I gained her nod of approval, “Like this?”

“Yeah!  Now that there is a Mississippi window crack!”

The funny part about this story is how serious it got!  It was almost a borderline argument.  But as we walked in the diner, we laughed and joked how that would be a good title for a poem and who was going to write it first.  Well, here is my book of short stories that chronicle the tales fed to me through the trees, music, and people I met during my time spend in Jackson.  Instead of vacationing in the Bahamas or Paris, take a visit down in the deep south to a part of history, your history, our history.  You ever heard the saying, “There’s the United States and then there’s Mississippi?”  It’s the truth!  Go feel it for yourself!

with love,

nikki skies

PS – The grits were delicious!

Mississippi Window Crack

Get your autographed copy here!

just cause it’s Nikki Giovanni

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some days i feel like, Amelia Boynton Robinson

**I ORGINALLY POSTED THIS IN MARCH 2014. I just learned this civil rights leader passed this morning at 104 years old.  I appreciate what she did for humanity, civil rights and women. Rest In Peace Amelia Boynton Robinson**

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There are some terms that I believe society would love to be eliminated from the vocabulary and one of them is suffrage. Other terms or movements have taken significance over the once very popular term of saying women’s suffrage. This plight was simply blended with other movements. But some days I feel like there is more to me than just occasional recognition.

There are so many photos of African Americans who dared to change society during the Civil Rights Movement that go without being named. Like this woman:

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Perhaps the photographer knew of her importance and that is the reason why this photo was taken. Maybe as a message of intimidation for anyone who dare let her inspiration move them. Her name is Amelia Boynton Robinson, and she was pivotal in the planning of many of the civil and voting rights protests in Selma, AL. As a matter of fact, her home was used by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams and James Bevels just to name a few, as an office space to organize Selma’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. On Sunday March 7, 1965, protestors attempted to make a trek to Montgomery, AL for a demonstration on voting rights for African Americans. The above photograph illustrates why this day has been termed, “Bloody Sunday”. Around 600 protestors were choked by tear gas and beaten with billy clubs by police waiting on the other side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge as they crossed the Alabama River. For many years, she was the unnamed woman in the photograph that was beaten unconscious. Once again, her name is Amelia Robinson Boynton.

Prior to becoming involved in the Civil Rights Movement, she was active with women’s suffrage. She also went on to become a playwright and lecturer. Some days I feel like Amelia when ALL I do is a part of everything, yet goes unnoticed. Today I recognize Her and give thanks for Her nurturing contribution to the movement that has granted me many opportunities.

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