I am female, fiery and unapologetically Black. I'm in no position to mince words, so I don't. This writing, this craft, is what I delve in, drown in, and seek to master. From that mastering, comes portions of the divine through light and screen or ink and paper.
I invite you all on this journey of thought, conversations and other benevolence life has to offer.
You can also follow me on Twitter (@authorjbharris) and my networking page on Facebook (Jennifer P. Harris).
Thank you for stopping by and remember to live, love, write and repeat.
I exhaled when President-Elect Joe Biden won. I had been holding it since November 8, 2016. I was at work when the election was called for Donald Trump four years ago and had not even realized I had been holding my breath. I had taken a sabbatical from social media in September, determined not to venture back into the quagmire of social media until after this election.
I was scared. I was more scared than I have ever been in my life. And I have been in some scary, crazy situations in my almost four decades. But this? This here?! No, this fear was ancestral, primal and I have never felt more helpless! But I am getting ahead of myself.
I gave in to curiosity and turned on my television on Election Night, after working the night before–I stayed up to go vote. I didn’t want to risk going home, sleeping, and shenanigans break out about my poll place. For reference: I am in a red state (Missouri), governed by a COVIDidiot (Gov. Mike “I hate science” Parsons), and I am a Black woman. I had my voter registration purged, and had to re-register. So participating in this election I knew would be a fight! But, I had been ready for it. And I put myself in seclusion since before Halloween. I turned by notifications off. I didn’t check Facebook. I didn’t go on TikTok. I hunkered down.
I waited. I prayed.
When I peeked at my social media because of curiosity, I almost started screaming crying. I saw a sea of red–just like in 2016! I saw Joe Biden’s lead shrink, and I panicked. All I saw was red, and as I sat in my apartment by myself, I fought tears. I was on the phone with my love and he told me, “It is going to be okay.” That was a slap in the face! I told him he had no idea what that meant! I told him how scared I was! I was scared for my daughters. Scared for my mother and sister. Scared for my godmother, queer family, activist family and everyone attached to me. I was so scared I wanted my father–and he has been dead for almost 20 years. I wanted my father because that was the only man that I had ever known that would be able to protect me and my daughters. I could not breathe. I called my Godmother Vickie and panicked in her Facebook inbox. She told me not to panic–and that brought me down from a 20 on a scale of 1-10, to a solid 10.
My chest was tight. My hands cold. I paced through my house, and fought tears. I thought where I could go with my girls. I am divorced from my first husband (and father of my children), and he lives deep in Trump Country Missouri. Due to paperwork and wording of my divorce decree, I couldn’t move without his ‘permission’. I knew he would never give it, and he would never let me leave! I knew he wouldn’t understand, and would not protect the girls like they would need! I knew that he would deny my fear, say I was overreacting and say I was ‘trying to take his kids.’ It was the most obscene sort of auction block. I could not be assured the father of my children would be able to protect them–or have the desire to!–and he would do all in his power to make my life a nightmare, while I try to protect these children from the world, the flesh and the devil! With that knowledge, I realized just for a moment, what the ancestors felt while enslaved. I was in a land where the people in it wanted my death, my body or my complete erasure. And there was nothing I could do about it! NOTHING!
I got to bed after 2:00 AM that night. And it took all of my faith to pray, and pray to sleep.
My mother, my sister and I supported one another through this madness! My mother and sister were watching CNN/MSNBC as recounts were happening, and when the mail-in ballots where added and the map began to change. We all watched and prayed. Prayed and watched, needed Nevada, Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania to certify their results and call this election.
It was my sister that texted me to let me know Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:41 AM CST this: “Biden wins Pennsylvania, biden in the 46th president elect! “bout to lose ‘yo job!” Then, I exhaled. I know that President-Elect Biden is not White Savior. Yet, neither is he a incarnation of Nero, starving for the blood of the poor, Black, Brown, Latinx, queer, Muslim, etc. There is still work to do, and now that I can breathe? I can fight again. Too much depends on the next four years to be silent!
Special thanks to my TikTok fam for getting me through the crazy of Election Night and the days that followed! Namely Conscious Lee (@theconsciouslee); Quentin (@quentinjiles); Tommy (@my_doode); Jason (@bardude97); Nicole (@nikkinoo813); Sunny (@_sunny_laluz) and Tiffany (@doubledeemuva). If you want to follow me, I am @whatjayesaid.
*Note: The other books in this series are based around the characters found in the book THE COLDEST WINTER EVER, written by Sister Souljah in April 1999. I suggest that you read this before reading this book–or reading it again. This book will be released March 2021.
The Coldest Winter Ever starts off with this sentence:
“I came busting out of my momma’s big coochie on January 28, 1977, during one of New York’s worst snowstorms.” This is how the main protagonist, Winter Santiaga, got her name.
From that point, with that sentence, I finished the book in two days! I was actually mad–I was legit ANGRY!–that I had to go to bed! Sister Souljah became my favorite writer (and she makes her own cameo in this first book!) and I devoured everything she wrote, and everything she said, or had to say.
She was unapologetically Black, smart and knew what it was like to grow up broke, Black and brilliant. With that said, when I found out that we as the audience would here more from Winter, find out what happened to her siblings (Porsche and Mercedes), her father whom was in jail–and all her girls she was locked up with after her 15 year bid! Man, don’t even get me started on the last dude she was messing with that let her take that case, her not snitching, and the abortion she had! And she saw her mother get hooked on crack?! Whew!
Through this pandemic, I find and continue to find solace in books by Black authors, the platforms we provide (and are building), and the joy that reading gives. How fitting it is for one of my favorite authors to come through with this fitting sequel!
I don’t want to hear anything about how long it took her to write this sequel! If you had read the first book, you would be aware just why it needed to take this long. You cannot rush Black excellence.
I made the mistake of reading the synopsis of the series finale of SUPERNATURAL.
I read it.
I read it at work.
I read about my guy DYING—at work!
Now, I have made no secret that I am Dean Girl. I have been since 2005! I have liked Jensen Ackles since he was Eric Brady, but that’s another story. But, there was something about this show, it’s writing and the characters that drew me in. It was the bravado that he had which made me forget about my broken heart over the man whom shares the same name as the problematic angel in the show!
I still don’t think that’s a coincidence. But, I digress.
But this, this hits different! For fifteen years, I have seen this character grow, grow up, DIE (at least like 6 times!), and to just have Dean just be GONE?! I feels like a Puric victory! But yet, it feels fitting that I learn about his final passing into this Valhalla at work.
All of me is happy though, and impressed! This series finale was fitting. It was quiet, it was noble, loving and worthy of its dedicated fan base. It didn’t go out with a bang; my heart in my chest for months; I wasn’t in tears until Dean and Sam came back—they are gone now.
Resting. Happy and resting.
How fitting that the guy that made the snarky remarks, and looks incredibly sexy holding a shotgun, get to Heaven and wait on his little brother.
The boys are gone, y’all. Our boys are gone…
Carry On Our Wayward Son indeed.
Hold on! But I got on question: Who is Dean’s (Sam’s son)mom?!😳😳😳😳😳
Insert Dean voice: “SONOFAB——!” They did it to me again!
I cannot even tell you how tired I am. I am tired of the endless roll of death and injustice with 15-year-old Quawan Charles–found dead in a sugar cane field in Louisiana earlier this month.
I have seen the pictures of him. I have heard the coroner’s report. I have seen the apathy of the police.
Let me say this, joining my voice with all the other outraged and grieving mothers:
SOMEONE MURDERED THIS CHILD AND Y’ALL KNOW WHO IT IS!
From the details which have been released, Quawan was picked up by people he knew. His mother and father didn’t know he had been picked up. The door to his room was locked from the inside. The car that Quawan was in reeked of bleach. There was no Amber Alert issued. The family needs another independent autopsy! With the wounds that I saw, there was nothing about those wounds which correspond to drowning.
I am reminded of the writer and spoken word artist, Sunni Patterson especially her poem We Know This Place. One of the lines which I have quoted most often is: Not always have we had amnesia.
Say it again: NOT ALWAYS HAVE WE HAD AMNESIA.
There is foul play here. The people that were last seen with this Quawan, are now in the process of moving?! And the further insult, there was an anonymous call made to Quawan’s mother by someone who ‘knew’ what happened! And the police still don’t have a desire to investigate…because the tears of Black women are the amusement of White supremacy.
Yet, we fight. We resist. We question. We ask. We work. When asked why we fight? I answer as only a poet can:
I got this idea from the lovely and brilliant Luvvie Ajayi Jones. In her post, she talks about all the things she saw in this picture. With that said, let’s examine this.
I have said that President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr is inheriting a mess.
The country is on fire.
The country isn’t even a country! We are more divided than oil and water could ever be! There is a LOT to clean up. So much to clean up! When I look at his picture, I see something that I think is easy to over look.
It is always the job of adults to clean up after children. The outgoing president is a child. There is nothing redeeming about him. But with all that said, let’s look at this.
*1.) I see the bravery of the new POTUS, and taking stock of what we have witnessed over four years (I wanted someone else to be president, and I did support Bernie Sanders! But here we are, about to depose Cinnamon Hitler Vader).
2.) Through the window, watching this evil man, we see Orange Thanos being drug out of the White House. DRUG! Why? This is what happens when you shatter the illusion of a narcissist! They cannot cope! The fact this ‘grown man’ might be drug from office, rather than having some degree of decorum, grace or statesmanship associated with the office–he does not possess.
3.) The Tweets. Four years of insane tweets and tweeting. I cannot wait until he gets put off of it. Just now, the overlords of Twitter are fact-checking him. Fact-checking THE PRESIDENT.
4.) The Presidential flag and insignia associated with the office. He has robbed any integrity of this office–and that cannot be overstated.
5.) The ripped drapes. The drapes are often pulled to hide things. Well, see all that he is now.
6.) The lumps under the rug. We know now what he is hiding–but not everything. The SDNY will find that out, just wait.
7.) The MAGA hat. It’s the new Klan hood. Irony that all of these hats were made in CHINA, CHINA, CHINA.
8.) The fast food wrappers and Diet Coke. We know he served McDonalds at state dinner for a NCAA champion football team. And it was cold. Also, he denied the state of his own health–and broke into a doctor’s office and Walter Reed Medical Center to get his records. The man is sicker than you all think he is…
9.) The spray tan on the wall. Well this could be from him being thrown against it to get him out–and also the stain he has left on the office. Until the end of his life, he will be known as a former United States President. As well as the rumors of him tanning in his bedroom–and the very visible tan lines he has.
10.) Now, Luvvie said the body of Lady Liberty is under that rug. But look at the placement of her head. She’s not under the rug–she’s discarded! Do you all understand what fascism is?
11.) There was no policy–Cinnamon Hitler Nero wanted to play king. Signing executive ordered allowed him to believe they were decrees.
12.) The fallen American flag. Demonstrative of our place in the world–fallen.
13.) The picture of Mt. Rushmore–remember how he wanted to be on it?!
14.) The pouting Putin bust on the wall. Aw, is Pootie upset that his sub is leaving?
15.) The golf clubs. Always golfing. Never governing.
16.) The tie. Now, I am not a man. But I do know that when a man wears a suit, the tie needs to be an appropriate length. But this is a reminder of that superspreader event in Tulsa (the one Herman Cain went to!) when he left Air Force Once without a tie. Why? Not enough people came!
17.) The TV. Now, love said that this is because of the results of the 2020 Election. I don’t think so though. I think is because once FOX NEWS (which was cable news bae for 4 years) called it, that is when he knew he was gone. I think that the broken TV and nearby remote shows just how much he relied on television to be see and heard.
18.) The US Constitution ripped. All you can see is the top that reads WE THE PEOPLE. It was the people whom voted to remove him. It was the PEOPLE the deposed him in an election.
19.) The oil drum that is leaking. The nation thrives on GOD–Guns. Oil. Drugs. This is also a reminder that DAPL happened on his watch! Also, how the oil industry only wants money! This and remember Scott Pruitt? He was in bed with the oil and gas lobby–AND WAS HEAD OF THE EPA!
20.) The Bible on the floor. This man was back by the Evangelical Right, and couldn’t quote a scripture, didn’t think he needed to repent or ask forgiveness for anything–and had protestors tea gassed so he could take a photo op at a church he never attended, holding this same Bible upside down.
21.) The deep grooves in the land outside. He will do anything to hang on to power. Anything.
22.) The Bleach bottle. Remember that time he told people to drink disinfectant to ‘cure’ COVID-19? Yeah.
23.) Look at the desk. There is a phone knocked over, chairs everywhere—is representative of the relationship with allies and how he didn’t want to talk to anyone that didn’t agree with him.
Micah 6:8 (NIV): He has shown you, O mortal what is good . And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
I make no apology for being a follower of Christ. It is my faith that has sustained me, my family and sanity since I came to faith at 8 and formally at 16. Since then, all I have ever wanted was to make God proud, and help people. With that small prayer, I have dedicated my energy to activism, helping people and being a support–much as I saw and see the followers of the Savior do.
Then came the Election of 2016…and I held my breath.
Then came the Election of 2020…and exhaled. Four days later.
What I have seen in these four years is nothing but racism, deflection, and the worship of a man as a god by the vox populi of the greater part of the country because they are still mad they no longer have the right own people! What I have seen is how the Evangelical Right prostituting the Gospel of Christ–which is so precious to so many people!–for the sake of power!
I, for one, will never forget how people in the faith that I respected and listened to, were in this room praying for a man whom would mock the faith which so many have died to proclaim! I will never forget hearing Dr. David Jeremiah (whom I have never been able to listen to since), Bishop Clarence McClendon, and Jetezen Franklin praying for a man whom was proven not to know God! Who can such a thing be?! And to see Paula White–whom is the spiritual daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes (just like Dr. Juanita Bynum is) praying for him–as well as becoming his ‘spiritual advisor.’
My heart is grieved. Completely grieved. And here is why.
For the sake of power, the Gospel by which I have revered, treasured and the God I treasure, I have seen trashed! I have seen those whom are considered elect and wise, praise a man whom is a racist! I have seen people pray for a man that has tear gassed protestors for a photo op! I cannot understand how this has happened in a nation which claims to be built on Christ.
Yet, in looking at this image I found on my professional IG (@authorjbharris), I was angry. The last four year cannot be erased! It cannot be pushed aside, or even easily forgiven. There is a such a pain that has been shown in this nation, and there is no amount of “I’m sorry” could fix this.
It is not ‘just a vote’. These people applied GOD to lie! To defend a liar! To justify their own racism, compliancy, privilege and to disparage people whom do not believe as they do! This cannot be overstated!
Forgiveness is a far off. I wish these MAGA cultists would understand what they have done, and what cannot be undone. Your sorrow is hallow. Your tantrum is evident. You cannot simply roll up a flag, take off a hat, and think that those vain actions will fix it! The work of reconciling will be work…real work!
And do not ask Black women to be on the forefront of it. We just flipped a ruby red state, voted in droves, and are about to help deliver the country from destruction–again!–after a lunatic tried to destroy it!
The Mammies are done, there are none left. There are none to come to rescue White America from their tears this time.
I fought to get into this world, and I have a fought every day thereafter to stay in it. On the eve of this election which feels like the into Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV if you’re counting), I feels as if the Empire has indeed ascended and the only hope left in the universe is the Resistance–us!
According to astrology, one of the most rebellious signs is a Cancer. My birthday is June 24–I’m not on the cusp, I’m a true Cancer. What ever the outcome of this in the succeeding days and months, I am indeed a part of the resistance. I am a part of being a point of resource, help, and light to all that need it! It took the Avengers 10 movies to snap Thanos, so I don’t have room to sulk or cry! I gotta suit up!
The preceeding four years have been dark, scary and eye-opening. I have seen like never before what people will do to hold on to power, access to privilege and proximity to powerful. I have seen the Gospel of Jesus Christ—a rebel in His own right!–whored, watered down and shown to be sold to the highest bidder. I have seen division as I have only read about in dystopian novels!
Am I shocked? No.
Am I scared? Yes.
How unfair it is to have lost Stokley Carmichael and Chadwick Boseman in the same year, only to have Racist Vader’s life be preserved by healthcare average people cannot get! How is this life?
Do understand I ask this rhetorically.
What this election has shown is what people respect, what people honor, what people cherish, what people want, is all tied to what they can control–which is all the more scary. With this said, I’m not too scared to fight. I am too scared as to what will happen if I give up! I am afraid what will happen to my children if I allow the learned helplessness to encroach, overtake and rob me of that fire Audre Lorde spoke about. That light that Dylan Thomas told us to rage against–‘rage, rage against the dying of the light.’
Then, I shall rage. I shall roar. I shall work and love and support. I will do as my forbearers have! I will cry loud, and spare not–there is work to do. There is an Empire to takeover, and I will not allow the story of my life to be told by someone whom did not help me write it.
The Resistance is now. The Resistance is happening. The Resistance is on-going.