When I was a little girl my Mommy read me fairy tales.
Princes on horses who would come and save me.
Brave men who traveled great distances
to save princesses.
The princesses were always blond
Nothing like me.
But I believed.
And I wanted desperately
to be saved.
No decisions to make
no battles to face
a brave prince
that would cover me
ride me in to my happily
ever after on his brave and reliable steed.
I kissed frog after frog after frog after frog
He was coming
to absolve me
of decision making.
I put the responsibility
in the wrong hands
time after time after time after time after time.
And do you know who saved me?
Blood and by choice.
Helped me find my voice
cleaned my wounds
pointed me at the mirror
YOU ARE CAPABLE!
YOU ARE ABLE!
And I didn’t believe them.
Kept looking on the horizon
for the prince I just knew was coming.
But my sisters
they were there.
Showing up. Reflecting care.
Loving me more than I did.
biting back the “I told you sos.”
Nothing but helpful.
I’m writing new books for my daughter.
Princes are amazing.
But your sisters?
Babygirl your sisters
Choose them wisely.
They give selflessly.
And they never leave.
My fairy tales for my princess girl
are about sisters who stand by her side
eyes open brimming with pride.
Brave and true.
Slaying dragons AND looking fly.
Scared but brave
not afraid to cry.
Look to your sisters babygirl
leave the frogs for the other girls who do not know.
I wish I could hug you
wrapped around your body
heart to heart.
Mother to mother.
There are no words.
Nothing that can ease the burden you now live with
Nothing can fill the emptiness in your household.
I’m so sorry.
Lord knows I am so sorry.
But those words are insufficient.
Living in a country
that can justify
A court system that says no wrong was done
And yet you live without your son.
12 years old
My heart weeps.
I wish I could hold you.
Mourn beside you.
Form a fence around you.
Burn shit down for you.
He was a boy
playing with a toy.
He didn’t have a chance
And the fact that the entire nation
doesn’t open their arms
doesn’t stand in solidarity with you
is a secondary crime.
The fact that your boy was denied
comfort in his last moments of life
I wish I could hold you.
The whole damn system is guilty!
There is NOTHING justified about it.
Mother to Mother
I wish I could hold you.
I’m thinking of you
lending you all of the love and light in my heart.
This Thursday when I sit down with my family
I’ll be thinking of you and of yours.
I’ll be setting an extra place at the table
to remind us all.
We all we got.
It’s not enough
all at once.
If I could live anywhere in the world that I haven’t visited I would move to the Republic of Botswana. I have always wondered what it would be like to live in Africa. Really most places on The Continent fascinate me. But Botswana is special. It’s landlocked. It’s mostly desert. It’s not densely populated. It’s government is Democratic and not grossly corrupt. And if I am totally honest I grew interested in the country when reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. LOL
It’s hard to explain how it feels to be a Black person living in America. It’s hard to explain how it feels to long for a connection to something timeless. A history, a culture, rites of passage all of it is denied us. My Father is in to genealogy. He’s done a lot of work tracing my ancestors in this country and beyond but slavery changed us as a people and there is a part of me that will always wonder what it would be like if we have never been uprooted. A continent too vast to wrap my arms around is the missing piece of my soul.
To be Black in America is to live in the legacy of slavery. Some people refuse to even attempt to understand it but it’s true. We were brought here as slaves. We did what we had to do to survive. We fought for our freedom. We got freedom but was it truly freedom or another subjugation? We fought our way through that. We “won” integration and voting rights. We made strides. We learned how to play the game. But the be Black in America is to ALWAYS be an other. It’s to always wear a hypen. It’s to either tap dance for White supremacy or to oppose it with everything you have. To be Black in America is to be divorced from the freedom most people have of just being in the world. Just knowing you belong. Knowing where and whom you come from.
I’ve fallen in love with many countries in Africa. I’ve read stories and fables and history. I’ve watched youtube clips of dances and ceremonies. I’ve read all I can about Egypt and the Nile. But currently? I’d love to live in Botswana. I’d love to meet and listen to the Khoisan tongues (sometimes called the ‘click’ languages) even though I know Setswana is the main language (other than English) of the country. I’d love to visit Gaborone and see a growing city in Africa. I’d love to go on safari. Not to hunt. But to see the animals in THEIR land. Where they belong.
But mostly I’d love to live in Botswana. I’d love to be reclaimed by the continent I lost. I’d love to belong. I’d love to live somewhere where I could just be.
1- I speak Spanish and English. When I speak Spanish I think in Spanish. When I speak English I think in English. Funny story. Once I went to Puerto Rico with a friend who didn’t speak Spanish. We were hanging out at a bar in Old San Juan and we met some guys. I’m sitting in between her and the guys. They say something in Spanish and I translate in to English for her. She replies in English and I translate to Spanish for them. About 3 drinks in I am repeating what they said in Spanish to her and what she said in English to them. I didn’t even realize I wasn’t switching anymore. LOL A little buzz and my ability to translate was gone. It all made sense to ME. LOL
2- My favorite color is purple. I love every shade of it. Purple makes me happy.
3- I notice the sky every single day. It’s free art from God that is always different. I remind myself to look up and appreciate the beauty surrounding me daily wherever I am.
4- When I was a teenager I had a crying bench in my room. It was an old wood toy box that I covered with pillows and a blanket. I would sit there, put on some sad music (Mariah Carey’s I don’t want to cry was a favorite) and just cry. Sometimes my best friend would come over and we would take turns sitting there and crying.
5- My favorite poem is Iyanla Vanzant’s, “Yesterday I cried” If you have never read it you totally should. I love that piece.
I really want to go back to school and be a teacher. I’m going to go back to school and be a teacher.
7- My biggest regret is not finishing college.
8- Self confidence is my Moby Dick. I work so hard at it but I can never seem to hold on to it.
9- I write erotica but I don’t write it down. Jasmine and Steve entertain me on a regular basis. I don’t know why I don’t share them with the world. One day.
10- I miss wearing make up but I don’t put it on. I love the way I look with at least eye make up on but I rarely take the time to apply it.
I am so tempted to rewrite this list in an attempt to be more interesting. LOL
Five problems with social media
1-You can’t always tell tone.
A one word comment can start an entire war based in miscommunication.
2-Re-posters who don’t fact check.
Black Friday doesn’t come from slave traders selling slaves at half price the day after Thanksgiving.
Social media is chock full of people being disagreeable just to be disagreeable.
4-Although a great tool for organization we are subject to someone else’s “rules” for what is and isn’t allowable conversation. Facebook is a great example of people getting banned for even using the phrase “white people” while others spewing actual hate suffer no repercussions.
5-It takes longer to recognize someone isn’t who they claim to be.
People post what they want when they want. Social media profiles rarely give the entirety of a person. It can take a lot longer to realize someone isn’t the person that they are posting to be.
Your earliest memory
Memory is a funny thing. My earliest memory would probably be in preschool when I got to hold the rabbit for the class picture. It was a coveted thing. We all wanted to hold the rabbit. I don’t remember how or why I was chosen but I remember proudly holding that rabbit when everyone’s picture was taken. I also remember sitting in the corner for talking too much and getting in trouble while in the corner because I talked to the wall. I was angry because I didn’t feel I had been talking and I told the wall all about it. I remember the teacher telling my Dad when he came to get me and I remember both of them laughing before turning stern faces my way.
Your first love and your first kiss
My first love and my first kiss were definitely Gerald Bethel. I remember being in third grade and running around the playground while the boys chased us relentlessly. We ran for our lives with no idea why we were running or why they were chasing but it was fun. I remember the first time he caught me and kissed me. I remember the feeling of his chapped lips on my cheek. I remember feeling excited and confused. I remember taking off running again but checking to make sure he was following. Gerald was my first “boyfriend” I was convinced that I loved him and we were going to get married and live happily ever after. LOL
I was wrong.
November’s writing challenge.
I’m going to try and do this. I already know weekends (when I disconnect) are going to be the hardest for me. I may journal those and update on Monday.
Join me! 🙂
I read this post today. I immediately commented and shared it on Facebook. I shared it on my page. I shared it in groups. I liked and commented on mutual friends’ posts when they shared it.
Source: Sandra Bullock, black women have been fearing for our sons for centuries!
As this spread to integrated spaces the tears for Sandra Bullock made me angry. How could you read this and come away feeling sorry for Sandra? How sway?
“Why is this writer picking on Sandra?”
“Sandra cares. She’s an ally. She doesn’t deserve this?”
Why are we minimizing Sandra’s experience as the mother of a Black child?”
Are ya’ll kidding me?
You have GOT to be kidding me. How can you READ this and worry about Sandra? No one is minimizing Sandra’s love of her Black child. No one is minimizing Sandra at all. What IS happening here is the centering of Blackness. What IS happening here is truth telling. Adopting a Black child does not make you Black. It doesn’t. Waking up to the realities of injustice because you personally love a little person who is impacted by those realities is not the same as growing up in the skin I’m in.
Furthermore if Sandra is the ally you think she is, she already knows this.
Sometimes, when something makes you uncomfortable you don’t have to speak in your discomfort. Sometimes you can sit in that discomfort and examine it. Sometimes you might even grow from it.