For My Daughters-Lesson 3: Ambition & Dreaming

 

 Dearest Darlings:

I want you to remember one thing, if nothing else:

If you believe you can, it will be so.

Most innovation and change in the world has come from someone dreaming. It is that energy, to build what only you may see which fuels ambition!

They go hand in hand, loves.

I want you to be bold about what you want from this life! If you do not see it, build it! I want you to take every gift, talent and skill and master them. Push them. Explore them!

Do not be persuaded or dissuaded by the opinions of stagnant, dreamless, vapid people. Do not fear the outcome of something before it begins! Don’t fear failing or falling! It is okay to be anxious, dear ones. It is even okay to be scared. Life is sometimes scary–especially, when you are embarking on something the surrounding world thinks you shouldn’t be doing; or succeeding in a field women, Black women, shouldn’t be in!

I am raising you to Torches!

This means your power is in three parts:

Light. Heat. Strength.

From your light you can, do and will inspire. You will lead a groups, movements and a generation! You will be all God has asked.

From the heat of your Torch, you will be able expose injustice, as well as provide compassion! You will be able to be strong when it is easier to quit. You will be able to care for those who can’t, and speak when others may not be able.

Torches provide strength, even when they stand still. They are a beacon–a place of hope. This is the flame of ambition. This is the power of dreaming! Strength is power put to use! You can do, will do, so much! And even being able to light the way for someone else is just as crucial.

Go forth and do good, dearest ones! I am already proud of you.

The Value Of The Put-On: Reflection On ‘Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready.’

Image result for tiffany haddish presents they ready

 

*the put-on:  Noun

This is cultural colloquialism which means to give someone you know a chance or opportunity; in a field you are familiar with or currently working.

 

I am a fan of Tiffany Haddish!

I love that she is loud, so Black and hood in white AF in white spaces. I am familiar with her story. I know that she was almost functionally illiterate. I know she was living in her car. I know she was doing comedy, when Kevin Hart talked to her. I know that he gave her $300 to get a hotel for the week. But what I also know is he put her on.

He saw her talent. He spoke to it. And he gave her an opportunity.

That is beauty of the put-on.

In watching this series on Netflix, what I heard so often was, “Tiffany came and got me.”

“Tiffany and I had  pact that whoever went first, they would throw the rope back. And she through it back.”

There is a power in maintaining space, but it is a totally unique power to create it! What Tiffany did is not forget the people that grinded with her, laughed with her, cried with her–and hustled together. It made me so happy to see!

A Black woman, whom is making and solidifying her own career, made a space for other women, especially those that look like her! This is the power of a put-on!

Let me explain this a little further.

 

Image result for tiffany haddish presents they ready

 

THE POWER OF THE PUT-ON

My best friend and I call this ‘putting someone in the room.’ But I like to use ‘the put-on’! This means that you know someone with skills, talents and abilities that someone needs to see. It means you have decided to build as you climb! The goal of it is visibility by an means necessary. The glorious thing, the beautiful thing? The put-on is a ripple in a pond. It provides a space for talent to be discovered and seen by more than just the person that put you on!

But what is the most important thing about the put-on is being able to give shine to people whom may not have it before. Or giving unique opportunities to those whom may never have had them otherwise (classic example:  the Wayans)!

The put-on is a best kept secret, and a card not often played. Why? The fear of other people’s greatness and competition. The put-on nullifies that! It grants presence to people whom need it the most! Or, sadly, may not have ever had it.

The beautiful thing about the put-on, is you don’t have to do anything but open a door. Or drop a card. Or a name. Even, in the case of Tiffany Haddish, go back to where it started–and some folk that people need to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[images from whatsnewonnetflix.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plucking & Planting Of Strange Fruit

Image result for michael brown jr funeral

At the time of this posting, Michael Brown, Sr. called for the current St. Louis County Prosecutor, Wesley Bell, to reopen this case. Read more about that here

 

I have lived in St. Louis Metropolitan area for the greater part of my life. When Michael Brown, Jr. was murdered by Darren Wilson–five years ago yesterday–there was no part of me that questioned why he killed him. None!

I have seen first hand how and why the police departments in St. Louis City and County treat Black people, and people of color. I have seen how police officers were used, are used to intimidate, corral, and control Black people and people of color! I have seen White officers in Black neighborhoods, and never felt protected.  I have seen the extent police officers in this region will reach to in order to protect their own. Or, when they must control the social narrative.

I have seen the farce that is Blue Lives Matter. The flag is toliet paper. Tell a friend.

When Wesley Bell won this election last year against Robert ‘Bob’ McColloch, my heart was overwhelmed. But, I had no peace. I had no peace because this is, still is, Missouri–or as some people refer to it as Mississippi North. There are still towns in this state I do not feel comfortable driving in, through or towards because of the general feeling of distrust, fear and unease! The fact is, this police officer killed this young man. He killed him because pro-police culture, city government indifference, and the fact Bob McCulloch’s father was supposedly killed on duty–by a Black man no less? Oh, why would Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department with White police chief Tom Jackson, with County Prosecutor McCulloch in office not think he would be protected?

As it was with the first chattel slaves beaten on whims; to slaves raped and murdered; to slave patrols and klansmen whom have day jobs as law enforcement, murder of Black men by nefarious men with social clout is not new! Police officers are not an endangered, as the token Black pundit, Candace Owens, is paid to say. The lies police officers tell to control the narrative are endangered! The worship of law enforcement as an unquestionable entity is endangered!

Police are being questioned, and people are not liking their answers. People are questioning the merit, skillsets and honor of those called to protect and serve:  who do neither!

I am not shocked that Ferguson exploded. It was time. It has been time. I regret the circumstances. I regret the fires. I regret the loss of faith in the police. But I do not regret being angry! I do not regret being vocal, for marching or for being on the ground! I do not telling a White woman in Webster Groves, Missouri this:

“Wait until they kill your son! You have no problems, ma’am. You wake White ma’am! You wake White!”

I make no apologies for being angry.

This young man was old enough to be my brother. Or son! As a mother, I could never have sat in the house as this unfolded around me and my surrounding community. We have every right as a people to be enraged! We are no longer pleading for attention, and sometimes a riot is the best way to let people know you are no longer playing with them!

It is not longer okay to kill men, women and children whom are Black and think no one is going to say something! We are tired of seeing our children become ancestors due to the zeal and impunity of badged Reapers! The police are not the keepers of a city–the people are.

I want Wesley Bell to reopen this case. I want to know exactly what Bob McCulloch told the grand jury that made them think this was okay; why he never challenged Darren Wilson on the lies he told; I want him to slap Tom Jackson with the things he hates:  facts. I want the lawyers that lied for McCulloch to be disbarred!

I want the wrath of the law to be felt by the powerful! What better way to demonstrate that power than to confront a chief tenet of white supremacy:  police officers. You cannot kill with impunity. You cannot serve at convenience. Protection does not make exemptions for race, and Blue lives don’t exist.

If your protection and service are steeped in racism, which dehumanizes me or invalidates my life along with those I love, a riot should be the least of your worries.

Image result for micah 6 8

 

For My Daughters-Lesson 2: Value

Dearest Ones:

The world outside my door will confront you on all sides. It will try and tell you what you are not, what you will never possess, and need to attain to be whole. What I want you to know, what I need you to remember, is your personal value. I want you to remember that value–is priceless.

I never want you to sell yourself short. I never want you to think your value–how you see your own self–should be or is determined on something as ordinary as how you look. Or what you wear. I want you to never fear what people think of you, or have your worth be tied to what people think!

I want you, my dearest hearts, to remember worth and value are internal work. They come from, and spring up from what you  know of yourself; the things you know of yourself! You have been created for success, beauty, travel and ambition! I want you to embrace all that life has for you. Regardless of what the  world thinks:  they don’t matter!

The world outside my door is fickle, forgetting and feral in matters of the evaluating of what is feminine, girl and woman. You cannot depend of the opinion of the collective, any collective to determine who you are. Or what you must do! As young women of your mother’s blood and ilk, I want you to remember who you are.

I want you to discover the things about you which are different and unique.

I want you to be steady in the things which make you distinct. Your interests be determined by your own counsel and desires. I want you both to be confident in what makes you–you.

There are things about this life which desire to uproot and change fundamental things about you. As you mother, I will give you a key to withstand these onslaughts when they come. The way these sling and arrows of outrageous fortune will not win is when you know who you are–and refuse to change. You resist transforming when people are uncomfortable.

My dearest ones, I know who you are. So you must never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BH90210: Who Asked For This?!

If you are a girl of a certain age, you already know who is missing. Who is it? Exactly.

First off, lemme say this: I was about 10 when the first permutation of Beverly Hills 90210 aired. I started watching it because that’s what every girl in Lowell Elementary School was watching! I could not suffer to be left out!

I remember my mother telling me that the show was ‘too grown’ for me. But, by the time I was 10, 11, I knew what sex was! I knew I couldn’t have it. But I knew my Mama didn’t want me to see Marky Mark drop his pants (thank you to Queyonna M. Barnes, my fifth grade best friend, for showing me his Calvin Klein ad in the magazine she had!) and I knew whatever she didn’t want me to see in him, she didn’t want me to see in the show!

This is the cast I remember–with Dylan.

With that said, I don’t know why Fox execs thought revamping this 20 some years later would be a good idea! I mean Dylan McKay made the damn show! Luke Perry is dead! Like?! I remember being caught up on whether or not you were a #TeamDylan girl or a #TeamBrandon girl! This was waaay before Twilight! I was always #TeamBrandon. But, let’s focus.

I think that this is a check grab. I really do! As memory serves, these this is where life left this squad:

-David and Donna got married

-Brenda is in London

-Kelly IS A THOT: she slept with her best friend’s man (Brandon and Dylan were best friends! Brandon and Brenda are twins–Kelly slept with her brother! Trollop!)

-Steve (who also slept with Kelly!) got married or in a committed relationship with a chick and had a daughter.

-Dylan was involved in mob stuff and his wife got killed and he left Beverly Hills.

-Brandon proposed to Kelly, but I don’t remember if they ever got married.

-Gabrielle Carteris’s character? Chile, I don’t even remember her name on the show! She left after the first season. I remember her coming back, but what I most remember? She had feelings for Brandon and never acted on them!

-Kelly? Chile. Look. Whatever peen she wasn’t chasin, she was ridin! She broke Girl Code by banging best friend! And her brother! Like, BIHH! Stop it! Coochie is not a buffet! It is not for everyone!

Will I be watching this? Even as a mockumentary? No. There is no Dylan, and Brenda is the definition of entitled bitch, and Kelly never deserved Brandon. There I said it! Ain’t no body ask for this, so I cannot devote any time to this.

Y’all watch it for me, hear? Thank you.