Week 8- Get In Where You Fit In

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“I’m just trying to be me…”

-Lil Kim

 

This week was hard, loves.

When I started this week? There was all matter of dopeness! And as the week ends? I almost have a panic attack.

Why?

Money.

It always, always, always comes down to money.

These past 8 weeks have been something serious! I mean it truly has. When my husband told me to go back to school while I’m on this hiatus from work, I said why not. But in the ‘why not’ I knew that my financial aid was sketchy at worst and iffy at best! There were things that I needed to do–still haven’t done!–but this whole semester has been based in faith.

Let me tell you something. This how all this came to be.

I took a nursing exam for a LPN program and passed. Awesome! But, there are multiple hoops I had to jump through before I could ever start! One of them is I had to go through three interviews before I could even be let in! On top of paperwork, immunizations and other academic scrutiny. I was so frustrated. And I cried.

My husband, seeing me cry, offered that I should go back to school. Finish the English degree. In the course of a Saturday afternoon this happened–

I got a degree audit. I was able to reapply to my program. I only needed 9 hours, not the 12. This meant I could graduate in December. In reapplying, I got to start in Fall 2019, not Spring 2020. I started class that Tuesday. 

I believe that God was tired of me fearing what it is I was supposed to do:  I am a writer, not a scientist.

I am a healer of a different source…and that is okay.

 

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The dope thing that happened this week:

My professor, Dr. Welch, put me up on game. She asked me after turning in my second reflection paper, she asked if I was an undergrad student or graduate student (I’m an undergrad–last semester). Then she said this:

“I don’t know what your life journey includes, but you should consider grad school.”

You have to know what this means. A Black professor, of English, saw a Black student–and her promise–and told her to dream. Bruh! Not even dream, but prepare to take over! She told me that there is a way to complete my Master’s degree, and get paid to finish my doctorate. As a Black woman, in doing being in halls of academia–like a college–that would allow me to be in a space of influence that just being a freelance writer cannot touch.

Besides, the goal of the artist is to disturb the peace. What better way to do that than by degree at a time?

 

I’m A Dean Girl…Always.

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I’m an unbashed Fangirl.

From the moment I saw Dean Winchester in his leather jacket, forest green eyes, and driving that 1967 Black/Black Chevrolet Impala? He had me.

Completely.

I remember watching the Route 666 episode in Season 1 and was thrilled. Why? I called my best friend DiAndra at work and screamed this in the phone:

“Sis, Dean likes Chocolate! Dean likes Chocolate!”

I remember she had no idea what I was talking about, until she remembered that it was Thursday–and who Dean was. Who is Chocolate you ask? Oh, that was the girl he proposed to–Callie. She was Black. Even now, I sniggle hardcore when I hear uber confident Beckys sound in the belief that White men don’t like Black girls. And when they reconnected on that episode? Chile, lookahere. You couldn’t tell me Callie’s back wasn’t broken and her legs didn’t wobble. Why is that? I would have worn that green-eyed monster out!

Dean has BDE. Look it up. Let’s move on…

I have seen his character go from this slick, boyish–slut (I mean let’s be honest! Dean has a body count like an assassin on him), to this sentient, compassionate man. As a fan of his, as he is (one of ) the husband of my imagination–to an evercrush. I’m always going to be a Dean girl. And ergo, a fan of Jensen Ackles:  now a married man, and father of three. Yes, I follow him on Instagram. When I saw him shave his hiatus beard for this last season?

I whistled. Yes, I did. The old boy still has it.

With the Supernatural series coming to an end after 15 years, I had to think about the life I have lived parallel to it. I got married and divorced. Became a mother, twice over. I lost my grandmother, got remarried, started writing again, all while battling depression. Dean and Sam were the highlights of my week sometimes, and it feels right to say good-bye to him. These fifteen seasons feel right.

As a Black girl that loves a good story and boyish charm, I can let him ago. At least for a little while. There’s still binging to do on Netflix.

Click here for a fan video that only seems as gift now.

Jensen Ross Ackles is a gift. He is the first man I ever saw without a shirt (Eric Roman Brady, Days Of Our Lives–I was 15). And seeing him as Jason Teague (Smallville) and that stint he had on Dawson’s Creek–I was thrilled to see him Supernatural. It was my crush on him that got me over being in love with someone else. 

The top image is from Season 1 of Supernatural. And is one of my first favorite pictures of Dean/ Jensen.

Thank you to all the actors, directors, writers, set designers, editors, PAs, researchers, copywriters and all other staff that made this show possible. Thank you.

 

 

 

The Beginning Of The End

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Fifteen years, y’all.

Fifteen seasons.

Tonight. Tonight? It is the beginning of the end. The show that reminded me that horror writing is a skill, is ending.

Mane.

My boys–my boys–Dean and Sam–are leaving!

I remember the first episode of this show. I remember watching it my mom’s house, and knew I would love it. There was a grit to it, an underground nature to it, that made me want to watch it every week. Why? This line here:

“Dad’s on a hunting trip. He hasn’t been home in a couple days.”

At this point, at that moment, I was in love with Dean Winchester. I was in love with this show. I was enraptured by the writing–becoming a fan of Eric Kripke and Sera Gamble. The imagination, the reading, the lore and the walking around knowledge this writing staff has?! These were my people! These were my people.

I remember taking off work to make sure I could watch season premieres, and season finales! I remember telling my bosses I couldn’t work on Thursdays! I wrote fanfiction, I live Tweeted and texted with my best friends. I was a card carrying #DeanGirl. And still am.

For fifteen years, these guys were apart of my life. I was pregnant with my oldest daughter at the beginning of Season 2. I had my youngest two years later. I had gotten married and divorced by the time Dean had been to Hell, Purgatory and Sam killed Lucifer with The Colt.

I remember when Chuck came on the show when I started nursing school! I saw Jared and Jensen get married–and be Daddies! I stepped away from the show a while working, writing and building my own stuff.

I knew it was ending…and knew it would have to end. They’ve killed Sam and Dean at least 4 times. Especially, Sam. I mean, Dean killed his own daughter! I mean, where else can you go? I mean–I’m a writer. I know it could keep going. But I know it can’t.

Am I sad? No.

I’m amazed. I remember when the show was almost cancelled because of viewership! I remember Googling legends and stories the show featured (I looked up what a rougarou was!). It pushed me as a writer. It reminded me not to shut down what my imagination saw. Dark or light.

The show reminded me that I can love Jesus and the things that go bump in the night.

Remember y’all:  Driver chooses the music, passenger shuts his cakehole.

 

[image is fanart from aliexpress.com]

Tyler Perry Presents: The Elements Of ‘The Blackprint’

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I am in awe.

It has taken me three days to get to the point where I can put thought and excitement in the same space.

Tyler Perry has created the first Black-owned (and owned outright!) movie studio in this modern era. As a woman, as a Black woman, as a Black woman writer, I am in awe. I am overjoyed. I am overwhelmed…

And I am writing. Like mad.  Like. Mad.

Tyler Perry has said that Hollywood obeys the ‘Golden Rule.’

Whomever has the gold, makes the rules.

In the middle of the eras of #OscarsSoWhite, Malignant Racism, diet fascism, and  the otherworldly shenangians of Orange Thanos, Tyler Perry, born as a little boy named Emmitt Perry, Jr., has made space where there could be none–in front of a world Ralph Ellison revealed in his novel Invisible Man is determined to not see anyone Black.

To control how Blackness is perceived.  Or depicted. Or control.

In the creation of this studio, this legacy, you see that the hustle–when done consistently–is lucrative. It is sustainable–and there is something to work for and towards!

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Tyler Perry just proved the thing that I have wanted to do, knew I could do, have wanted to do, for the better part of a decade is not a waste of time. That the talents that I house, the stories I tell, the observations that I have are rich. They are worthy. They will be seen.

I know there are detractors who made fun of this better than six-foot tall Black man with wide shoulders in a dress, playing up the most common stereotypes of Black women: a mammy (mammie). I remember the Black professor from USC, Dr. Todd Boyd, speaking about this as well as the historical significance of Stepin Fetchet  (born Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry).

However, I want to challenge Dr. Boyd.

Those tropes still exist in modern cinema. They exist, they are propagated, and perpetuated not just by Black actors. There are White actors, especially in certain genres (namely horror) Black actors and actors were only seen as either magical or sacrificial. American cinema has a century head start on how Black people and other minorities are depicted. With that said, this achievement cannot be taken from him–even from people that look like him.

You can hate this move if you want to! But if you do, I pray that you never encounter an artist.

Matter of fact: yes, I do.

I hope you fall in love with a writer, a musician or a photographer. I hope that you fall in  love with a person that sees what you don’t see, and begins to build it like Noah. I hope that you fall in love with a person that daydreams–and says they want to start production companies.

Or music conservatories.

Or that they want to travel the world playing trumpet or violin.

I hope you fall in love with someone that refuses to get the safe job to make you feel happy. Then you will see what it means to build something, dedicate time and skill to something that you–and maybe only you for a duration–will ever get to see.

Helen Keller said the saddest thing is not to be blind, but to have no vision.

What Tyler Perry just did–What he encouraged every Black artist to do?–is incalculable. The journey towards greater visibility is ongoing, it will not, cannot end with Tyler Perry Studios. Now, let us all go forward. Encourage one another. Writers. Painters. Musicians. Photographers. Directors. Set Designers.

Edify. Support. Encourage.

There is a power in the Put-On. Why? For the grace of God, go US.

 

Dear Dave Peterson and All Of “Penn State Proud”

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What is it with this White fans that think they own Black athletes?!

There is something about Black men living their lives, in a fashion that offends White people! What is it about dreadlocks that offended this man to the point he felt he had to express his opinion in such a fashion–and  sign his name to this letter!

Wow…

The utter damn audacity.

As the mother of brilliant, Black children, I have to be mindful of this type of shenanigans. I have to watch how their  hair is styled, how much oil is in it, and the place they are going. My ex-husband is married to the most basic woman in creation whom thinks my Black children having oil in their hair makes it look dirty.

Before you ask:  Yes, she is. And so is he.

I know what it feels like to be criticized for something you have no control over. Lately there have been rashes of Black children being bullied, put out of school, or suspended just for how they wear their hair.

Their hair!

Oh, I get it! The coils, the curls and the ‘fros are scary. They frighten you! If their hair is controlled, they are controlled. Docile. Amicable. Quiet. But to have the hair contort, twist, dye in the shape of crowns–you can’t handle it right?

The comedian Paul Mooney said that when Black people’s hair is relaxed, White people are relaxed. I mean this man was so offended by a child whom he did not give birth to, with locs he did not twist, saying how he preferred players he neither pays tuition nor coaches!

On behalf of collective Blackness,  he disrespectfully ask you to shut the fuck up. Immediately.

 

The Toxic Side Of Comic Book Culture: Stop Idolizing Joker & Harley Quinn

 

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Best Joker ever:  Heath Ledger.

 

It is no secret that my oldest daughter loves comic books. As a happy Blerd mom, this thrills me. It wasn’t until she started liking Harley Quinn that I got a little nervous.

My daughter is old enough to have crushes, like boys so I know the odd boyfriends and tastes are coming (she actually likes Chris Pratt, Russell Wilson and Tom Holland at last count–I’m okay with that). However, it came to a head when we went shopping for socks.

She had seen these Harley Quinn socks and asked for them. Cool! Not an issue! I, too, like Harley Quinn! I remember seeing her on Batman:  The Animated Series in high school. Even as a high school sophomore, there was something odd about their relationship. I didn’t like how he (Joker) treated her (Harley). The whole dynamic was crazy and toxic! So, when I saw the pair of socks my daughter had which depicted them all cozy, lovey-dovey with hearts around them?

Dude. I was appalled.

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I know the relationship is not real. I know that this character, this personification of malignant narcissism that is the Joker, is fake. But how he treats Harley? As a DV survivor, twice over, this makes me cringe! I never want my child to think this shit is normal. A man hurting you to prove what you mean to him isn’t normal!

This couple is not relationship goals!

Stop saying this shit!

Even in doing a search for the images to use for this piece, I cannot tell you how many  images popped up of Joker hurting Harley–viciously!– or her making light of how crazy everything in their relationship is.

This is bigger than a pair of socks…

However, maybe this is my fault. I have been a comic fan all my life almost. I know what my kids don’t know. I know what it’s like to be with someone that says they love you and then try to kill you in the same week. No, that’s not an exaggeration. I know what it’s like to try and change your life to fit the shifting needs of a vapid person–and that not be enough.

Their relationship is violent, volatile and psychotic. This is legit something I never want my daughter to know about. I never want her to know what a wound from a man that says he loves you feels like. Her mother does. For that reason, I cannot be silent while she grows up in a world that wants to consider this madness ‘a goal.’

I’m even willing to say that this observation is me being hyper vigilant. I can even concede that maybe this is a moment of me railing because I’m closer to 40 than I am to 20. But the part of me that is warrior, mother and survivor–nall.

This is why I let her read Marvel.