Tag Archives: #racism

Re-Establishing my Journey

Years ago I decided I would not never become a teacher. I envisioned it as confinement. I am a creature of routine BUT I do not want one imposed on me. I always saw being an educator as someone who was doomed with routine and rewarded with low pay. That was not the life I wanted to live.

As time and the ancestors would have it, my poetry created a platform for me to engage my art at colleges and universities. Not just as the “entertainment” but additionally as an educator to young writers on the importance of preserving the black vernacular. My art eventually evolved to focusing on the feminine narrative. Encouraging the black feminine voice expressed and written from a holistic perspective and not just as a presence to move a plot forward. These discussions exposed two things, (1) I had more questions than answers and needed to do more research to educate myself (2) I was pretty good at this teaching thing.

My community knows me primarily as a performance poet and from the theatre. Both of these creative platforms allowed me to express undivided and intellectually intact. I had the company to be beautiful and the security to laugh at myself and others. As I immersed myself more with the writing community, plays and novels, I felt absent- invisible even. I was stifled with this feeling once before when I studied film at Howard University for my M.A. In screenplay writing, I didn’t have the company of voice, meaning the character written or represented on film, was not a bridged visualization of my existence as a woman. A black woman, a woman of color living in this country. My questions about the presence or the acceptance of what was represented as the black feminine narrative, now became a plaque of concerns. That was until I got my hands on Toni Morrison’s “Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination”.

Continue reading Re-Establishing my Journey

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“Reverse Opinions” a poem for “Rebel Yell”

It’s Tuesday so you know that means “Rebel” comes on BET tonight!  Enjoy the last poem I wrote for the “Rebel Yell” series on BET.com entitled, “Reverse Opinions”.  AND TUNE IN TONIGHT!

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Dr. Welsing…You too shaped me

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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
Brilliance.

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

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Tune in! PoetrySpeaks today!

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Tune in today at Atlantanx.IBNXRADIO.com to the show “Live Life in the Purple” from 3-5 pm est. I wrote a poem for the late educator, scholar and afrocentrist psychiatrist, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, that will air during their “Poetry Speaks” portion.  

The works of Dr. Welsing were foundational to the shaping of my critical and independent thinking on living and creating as a woman of color in this country. She transitioned on January 2nd and I was moved to write, “I’ll Listen for You”. I hope you can tune in and enjoy!

Political Focus in college SGA and BSU

 

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Allow me to introduce Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., the parents of the unarmed young man gunned down in Ferguson, Mo. in August, Michael Brown Jr. aka Mike Brown.

The images from this tragic incident have quite powerfully paralleled to that of images from the civil rights movement.  Images from all over the world that prompted political attention and involvement from communities in Mexico to parts of China.  In my opinion, some of the most significant photographs came from colleges and universities that participated in the “Don’t Shoot”
Continue reading Political Focus in college SGA and BSU

a map can assure this once was a quiet suburb; ferguson, mo.

it’s not a feeling.  it’s more like a sting.  I don’t believe a sting is a feeling, it’s more like an impulse.  a flicker or tease of a taste.

and the taste is a jar of honey left open during the month of August.  it has remnants of sweetness but only the frame provides certainty it was honey.  only the map can assure us it used to be a quiet suburb of st. louis.  the city of ferguson, missouri.  which is the sister city to sanford, florida and detroit and atlanta and chicago and new york and… and.

the city connects corners of churches to grocery stores and movie theaters to court houses.  there are miles of studied architecture on houses of bungalow, cottage and manor homes that are primly arranged around squares of cemeteries.  and the neighborhood has picked up traffic over the past few years. but the neighbors don’t complain. in fact they don’t notice.  their big houses have big mortgages and so they work during the day and then through the night.

Continue reading a map can assure this once was a quiet suburb; ferguson, mo.