Category Archives: mental health




Dr. Welsing…You too shaped me


I’ll listen for you in summer seashells
Maybe the small ones with cracked corners
from adult play of wave jumping

Slide cups alongside walls anticipating your
metered tone that started slow
but always stirred brown gravy right with potatoes
or mashed breath

Just Return.

My path hasn’t fit my shoes since
You labeled my questions of “why” as

Since you encouraged my genetic pool
be developed 2nd to none
My broad back makes swimming easy
it’s the walking with familiar faces with forced tongues and
foreign feelings of living that’s hard

And you promised you’d never rest until
“black children are taught to love themselves as themselves”

Well… we still dance around the pain
And sing above the screams
And get high above the clouds
And fall below the bedrock
And you left like all the rest
without a formal goodbye or wave of the scarf
while the system is still electric with
hidden hands and privileged referees

Just Return.

for one more cooking lesson and hands in the dish water
and a soothing stare to still these fears
of polishing your legacy with highly functional thinking

toothbrush details of the Isis Papers and Keys to the Colors

Dr. Welsing   Mother Frances

We   We   We    stumble with this
stutter with the thought of your walk
to have your heart weighed to a feather

cause you promised you’d never rest until
“black children are taught to love themselves as themselves”

so I suppose…as long as the system maintains
itself against the thread of our fabric

You are here    

I’ll listen for you through my cups on the wall
and inside summer seashells with cracked corners.

  • For Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, 1/3/16


Back to my roots, Theatre

I am still floating on a cloud where dreams come true…

My art interest started in theatre, as an actress, back in elementary school.  That interest eventually led to writing, in several genres, and performance in poetry or oral tradition of interpretation.  I wrote, produced and directed a one act play in Los Angeles a few years back and I did the same for a one woman show in which I portrayed, Afeni Shakur, the ex-black panther and mother to the late Tupac Shakur.  Anyone can be a playwright by simply writing a play.  My goal had always been to be contacted by a theatre company and sent a contract to collect for Royalty Fee’s.  That finally happened to me in August 2015 and it has been a surreal journey up until the other night when I was handed the tickets and program to the production of my play, Hope’s Return.


A few years back, I read an article on LaVena Johnson.  An African American soldier who had just graduated from high school in Missouri and enlisted into the army. After only serving eight weeks in Balad, Iraq, Johnson became the first woman to die in Afghanistan or Iraq from the state of Missouri.  Her family was notified that her death was ruled a suicide from a gun shot wound to the right side of her head with a M-16 rifle. Upon her family viewing the body, the gunshot was on the left side of her head along with a black eye, broken nose, several missing teeth, scratches and teeth marks on her upper body, her back and right hand burned, her vaginal area bruised and lacerated and lye had been poured into her vagina.  The Army ruled her death a suicide in 2005.

Continue reading Back to my roots, Theatre

Sacrifice and Your Spirit by Valrie Robertson-Smith

I danced for what seems like an eternity. Even after the music stopped and everyone was gone. I danced. My legs carried me almost like the wind. I was floating, I was happy. I was dreaming. I woke up and yet again my legs would not move. That dream always made me feel like today would be the day that Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Scleroderna were no longer a part of my life. I am a wife and a mother of six,….why me?
That dream, the same one I have had for years. I use to think that I wanted to be healed so much that I was taking that desire to bed in hopes it would magically happen while I was asleep. Then I realized that the healing of the body that I craved was manifesting as a healing of the spirit. I saw the world differently since becoming ill. I loved differently. I communicated differently. I even danced differently.
It had taken some time for me to understand why I was dealing with such serious health issues. I tried to blame God and blame myself but the truth was, this was my sacrifice. This would be my way to communicate to the world how determination and faith yield healing and growth.
As women we have so much responsibility. We have to support, feed, nurture, discipline, care for, work, clean, cook, create, build, and love. So often in the midst of all that we forget that we need to be shown the same amount of love and attention that we pour out. We are faucets for the majority of our lives. We pour, we absorb, we squeeze, and we pour again, Our desire to be filled and to have someone in our life that is not a drain but is also a fountain, is what we need most.
I was shocked by illnesses. After all my ministry and my life are based on encouraging and supporting others, But I had to realize and accept that I was being placed in a physical sacrifice. Through that sacrifice, my ministry grew. However. People see my faith and they are inspired.
So I dance in my dreams. I float and smile. I am amazing and I am capable of things I can’t do when I am not asleep. But when my eyes open I realize that my spirit dances and floats while I am awake. I encourage and I uplift and I remind other women, we are victorious not victims. We are examples of God’s grace, mercy, and faith here on earth. It may not always be comfortable, but it will always be worth it. Our hearts want us to be whole. To be complete and capable of all things. But God needs us for special reasons and he chooses us accordingly. You will dance again one day but for now remember you are blessed that no matter what the sacrifice is,…..your spirit still soars.
I am a happily married mother of six boys.  I am an Evangelist, a Licensed Missionary, an Inspirational Speaker and a Survivor.  I have been blessed in so many ways.  Some of those blessings have manifested through my diagnosis of
Multiple Sclerosis.  It was not a blessing when it happened,  but I immediately started to feel a connection with so many people and things afterwards.  I was still alive and living and enjoying the mountaintop.  However, my view from the mountaintop changed.  I was also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chrohn’s, Scleroderma, Fibro, Mysositis.  It was an eventful 7 years of my life.  I grew so much even though I physically felt I was loosing.  My spirit was bursting at the seams.  Chronic Illness does not have to be the end of the road.  It is in fact a detour.  I am going to be victorious because I have faith that my purpose is bigger than any illness.  God chose me because He knows me.

Time to Rewrite the Shame and Stigma of… by M/R Johnson


Hello my name is M/R Johnson.  I am a survivor of Co-Occurring Disorders of depression and addiction.  Now before you begin to judge me let me tell you my story.

Are you aware that there are approximately 8.9 million adults who have Co-Occurring Disorders? Only 7.4 percent of individuals receive treatment for both conditions, while 55.8 percent receive no treatment at all.

I was one of the 55.8 percent who did not received help,  all because of the shame and stigma that has feared the communities of the African American people and has keep them in bondage…Or should I say slavery.

Co-occurring Disorders has no color line, or race, creed or gender. Co-Occurring Disorders  is the un-addressed epidemic that is trying to kill the makeup of our families  values and traditions in our society. So let’s talk…What is the true definition for the words shame and stigma? Continue reading Time to Rewrite the Shame and Stigma of… by M/R Johnson