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Someone Should’ve Called Me

August 5, 2019

I woke up late this day. It’s not clear to me right now how it was revealed to me… I’m sure if I sat in mediation and thought about it things would come back. But, thinking about this day still make my nose sting. You know that sting that happens before your eyes water…

I woke to the news that Toni Morrison had passed. I was heartbroken. I felt like she left me, like she should’ve had someone call me to let me know she wasn’t feeling well. No, we didn’t have a relationship like that but… she had been with me all of my adult life and so I just thought… I guess I thought she would stay around like the books on my shelf. Am I making sense?

I had just been in contact with her production company this past summer for private screenings of her movie in Atlanta, “The Pieces I Am”. The movie that has the wings to change the process of writing just as her books change people as readers and thinkers. I had just bought her book, “The Source of Self-Regard” as my summer reading as I traveled. I…. cried. I just flat out cried. I, like the world, felt the energy shift. It went from powerful to immensely powerful with her transition.

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On social media, I had seen several of my friends attend memorials and remembrances celebrating their artistic experiences with Morrison. I was speaking with a friend and expressed how I had not had the opportunity to mourn, laugh, share my love of Morrison in an intimate setting. She offered her studio space for “Tea with Toni”.

img_20190922_2218308170029858474793464.jpgWe got together and shared our favorite characters and passages from her books. I read from “Sula” and had time permitted, I would’ve shared my favorite pages from “Song of Solomon” when Milkman received his nickname. (that is some good writing!) It was so serene to be around other creatives who needed this space to discuss such an important literary figure, the Pulitzer Prize winner author, Toni Morrison. A genius wordsmith. The sole creator of language(s) for the preservation of humanity, communities and black women. She fearlessly showed the world our beauty. Shared with the orbits our sweetly spiced tongues.

Mother Toni, we see you smiling

we see those fingers pressed together for rhythmic snaps / grooving.

Thank you for everything and all!

Not Worth the Degree?

“There has to be more than what you see.”

This is what I say to friends that tell me that if they could do it over again they would not go to college.  A majority of them have found jobs outside of the fields they studied and made successful careers in them.  A few of them say for the work they are doing now, they only needed the on the job training offered so they are paying student loans “for nothing”.

“There has to be more you got from college.”

The majority of my friends from undergraduate and graduate school are from the Humanities and Social Science fields.  According to the National Center of Education Statistics, on average the unemployment rate for those fields have always been a steady 9.6%, the highest of any field of college study.  My friends divide between specific studies in theatre/speech communication, and the fields of psychology and criminal justice.  I look at how much these fields have grown with cultural and societal changes and clearly understand the difficulty in finding work.   I myself have had to find other fields of employment for financial support.  But would I say my degree wasn’t worth it?

I studied for my undergraduate degree at Grambling State University and chose to major in Theatre.  I had been into community theatre and the arts since I was a young child and had been writing poetry at a young age.  I remember during my senior year in high school, a friend who graduated a year ahead of me, and had the same reverence for theatre that I had, describe her displeasure she had with first year of college at a predominately white college.  She told me that the production season was booked with white productions and her confidence at being considered for any of the lead roles was dismal.  She “created” a love for costume design.  That gave me a different perspective on how to choose where I would go for college.  Being that I wanted to go into theatre, I applied to Pace University in New York and to Grambling State University (GSU) in Louisiana and was accepted to both.  I chose GSU.  “The Place Where Everybody is Somebody.”

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