From The Crates

I originally did this challenge as a new blogger on The Ideal Firestarter. I wanted a way to have content and not have to think really hard about what to come up with next. With that said. I believe it is time to revisit this challenge!

There are so many things that I still want to say, so many things that I have lived through and I believe it can only be a good thing to revisit this challenge with new eyes! I believe, just as bell hooks does, that no woman has ever written enough! There is a need always to write–there is always something to say. There is always something to observe, work out, or report!

I am excited to redo this challenge, and I believe it will a good way to stretch. The only things I am going to change:

Week 3: Why Erasure Is Trash

Week 11: Beware of Karens

I am looking forward to this. Two posts a week for the next 15 weeks. This is going to be fun.

Week 4: “Is Love A Myth?”

Is love a myth? No.

In the space that I am in now, I know two things.

First, Sex is not medicine.

Second, I value intimacy over sex.

Love like I want, and like I have read about, it is something that is special. It is rare. So incredibly rare. I realize that I am precious and valuable, and have no need to reveal that specialness to anyone else. Not right now, anyway. Love is not a myth, it is a power source. You an build with it, take it with you, and it is deep enough to last longer than social media. That is what I want, and what I am looking for. I am looking for something that I am aware that few people will find, or know how to hang on to.

Love is often said, and not shown enough. At this point in my life, I understand that what loving someone means, versus being in love with someone means. If I tell you “I love you” that means that I support you, care for you, and want the best for you whether it benefits me or not. From those three components, I am promising that I will do all in my power to care for you, and being your soft place in the world. Love is a door, window and a mirror. Never a wall. Love, real love, will always make windows and walls–that is it’s nature!

Love is not a myth. It is always waiting. And right now, I’m waiting on it. For the first time, I’m waiting on it to find me–rather than running after it.

Good thing come to those who wait, right? I’m about to find out. What do I have to lose? I refuse to lose myself again.

BLACK HISTORY: WHY IT STILL MATTERS-Excellence

Black history is made daily! It is the evidence that progress is happening and is still needed! There is a pride that comes with discovering history, and seeing your face in it! The teaching of Black History still matters because it ignites a child or adult to learn more about where they come from–so they can know where they can go!

There was a reason why my heart races when I think of the teaching of Black History is because it is a validation! It is a reminder that our history, our collective history, on these shores does not begin nor end with slavery. Since it does not, but the world wants to define it us as and with the chain of our ancestors, we have to remind ourselves of this very fact! Slavery and captivity is not the destination, nor definition of all Black people!

The word excellence is defined two ways:

the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

an outstanding feature or quality.

When Black History is taught it dismantles the lie white supremacy worships that says::

Black people are nothing without the hand of white supremacy.

Blackness is all things lackluster and evil.

Blackness is where all goodness goes to die, and unless washed with the detergent of white supremacy–which is erasure!–it cannot be acceptable. Will never be accepted.

Yet, Black History is American History. The nation was built, sustained, and maintained by the enslaved people, and other immigrants/minority groups. White supremacy tells the world at large that all those who worship this god of whiteness can only be great or seen if those in power say so! Having a minority person be ignorant of their history is just another way to control them!

Black history tells us that Black people are not an anomaly, neither are they ignorant, nor a mistake. It teacher all those willing to listen white supremacy is the lie! It always has been! Why else would the truth be hidden unless the inferior didn’t want it known? Black history didn’t start with Dr. Carter G. Woodson–it was him that was dogged enough to find it in order to share it! For that bravery, we are charged to go and do likewise! We must! Our excellence, history and future demand it. We cannot stop. We will not stop.

History matters–and it matters who tells it. The time is over for the hunter to tell what happened when their are lions and their cubs still present! We are the lions. We are still the victors–and history is the spoils!

BLACK HISTORY: WHY IT STILL MATTERS-Elevation

I found my hero in the face of Ida B. Wells Barnett. I found a power in her face that was familiar, not sweet, that reminded me that my head should never be bowed. My life was mind to wield, and when I found out she was a journalist? Oh, that was game over. At that moment, with her eyes like fire, face looking up, I knew what I wanted to become. I wanted to be just like her.

This is the power of knowing Black History Month. This is the power of seeing people that look like you, having done or doing what it is you want to do. And for me, with this passion of knowing, needing to know what it is from the very beginning, it is not lost on me the thing I love to do, would have gotten me killed If I had been born in 1881 or 1781, than 1981. I have always been wary of that, then reverent of the fact that I am Black, woman and literate. This is the power of knowing history, your own history. In knowing who you are, what you can become, you realize that the low place the world wants you to stay in is not for you. As Beyoncé said, “Life is your birthright they left that in the fine print. Take a pen an rewrite it.”

Black history is always going to be needed and necessary. There will always been a need to tell a child they are young, gifted and Black. They have always been gifted, beautiful, needed and necessary. In reminding the children of enslavement, the product of the worst kind of capitalism, they are not defined by history whitewashed to tell them they were less than. They are unseen. They are a nuisance and unnecessary. There is always a need to tell a child who they are, what they can become and there is a trail for them to follow.

History will always light the way, for those brave enough to hold the torch to light and to follow. Oh, yes! There is always a reason to teach a child who they are. How else will the world change unless you are told it can? Black history makes a Black future, which will change the world.

It’s Love Month, And I Ain’t Worried…

I have been married twice. I have always been in a relationship. So, to be in this position after being with someone almost 7 years, it is strange to be by myself for the first time in almost a decade. But, it’s strange how quickly I have fallen back into just doing me.

Like truly doing me.

I am in a place and at an age that I have become intolerant of my time being wasted, I am not randomly smashing, and have my own money. I can lay out in my bed, and not touch anything but pillows and peace! There is a peace that comes with this level of singleness, with being single this time, it feels different. I am not sure if this is because of me about to turn 40 (I am still in real disbelief about this!), but this bout of singleness feels different. Dare I say it, this feels natural. It feels appropriate to be single right now. I mean, I am in awe of that right now. I am in awe of how settled I am–I don’t take that lightly though. I am at the age now where I would rather be alone than wishing that I was!

I am learning to be okay to be by myself. I am learning myself again, what I like and even who I want to spend time with. I am becoming more me than I think I ever was before. I am…happy. I have peace when I wake up now, and when I lay down. When I have to make a decision, I can do it without thinking about how it will sound to anyone else–or needing their approval!

I am a single girl who has never had a problem getting a date, or laid, whom has called herself an Eternal Juliet; whom in a former life had the nickname, Amoranda (which means worthy of being loved), is single for the first time in over a decade collectively.

And I am now in love, with myself. As it should be.

BLACK HISTORY: WHY IT STILL MATTERS-Education

The creator of the BECAUSE OF THEM WE CAN movement, Eunique Jones, has this as her mantra: “Children cannot be what they cannot see.” And I agree! You cannot expect a child to be excellent, without then ever seeing what excellence is. Black history is still made daily, and for that reason, we cannot stop.

From the inception of Negro History Week by Dr. Carter J. Woodson, to right now, you have to understand that magnitude of what it is he started. It is through the vessel and tool of education that shows people–especially children!–what they can be and do. For this reason, there is no reason to ever stop teaching Black history. It is through this month long opportunity that we show Black children who they are descended from, and remind them of what they can be.

It is through the opportunity of Black History Month, that I found my heroes. Those heroes are Ida B. Wells Barnett, Queen Hatshepsut and Dorothy Dandridge. The last two I found on my own due to my voracious reading habits.

Image result for dorothy dandridge

In Dorothy, I found that Black women have always been talented and hotter than any habanero pepper.

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In Queen Hatshepsut, I found that Black women have always run things–and wield power well.

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Well, in Ida, who I call my grandmother of the truest sort? I found a woman that looked like she could belong to my family who never let ‘No’ be her final answer. Ever!

Black children need to see both legacy and opportunities set before them and trails yet to be blazed! Black history is essential to the social encouragement and development of Black children. Period. Besides, you never know what will happen! While on this hero’s journey of raising Black children, it is essential for them to know they are not alone. They need to know their dreams are real, valid, and there may still be space to be the first to do that very thing. History is a road map–and when you teach Black children how incredible they really are? This is how you remind them to change the world–because of them we can; because of them we must.

[ images from cleveland.com, amysmartgirls.com and biography.com]

About ‘Malcolm & Marie’-Part 1: Writer Thoughts

Reminder: this is a two-part review.

I watched Malcolm & Marie the first night it was available on NETFLIX. I was excited about it because I am a fan of movies. I am also a fan of Black character lead love stories. As a writer, as a woman, as a Black woman writer, I need to see this! As a writer, here are 6 things I take away from this movie.

1.) Cinematography. The movie is done in black and white, which forces you to pay attention to the characters and what they really have to say.

2.) Character positions/Body language. I like how the characters say things, without ever saying them. This is good writing here! I was sucked in the moment that Marie walked in with her back Marine Corps straight, and when she cut the cold butter in one stroke.

3.) Music is a character. I am known for writing to music, and even inserting a song every now and then to introduce a new layer into the story or to express what the character is feeling. The same thing happens here in this movie. Very smart thing to do.

4.) Setting. I like that the house Malcolm and Marie are renting is literally a glass house. There are so many windows! The fact that they are alone in this house, which is full of windows, the house itself is the embodiment of two adages:

“People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

“You never know what goes on behind closed doors.”

5.) Dialogue. Oh, the dialogue! The writers of this movie pulled no punches. There are certain fights that Malcolm an Marie have I cringed at. I had to walk away because I had similar fights with people who said they loved me too. The fact that the dialogue is a that realistic? It’s triggering.

Dialogue is a weapon. Dialogue is a key. Dialogue is a means of control.

6.) Character development. As the movie continues, I find myself irritated Marie. I find myself irritated at Malcolm. Then, I was irritated at both of them! I was irritated because I could see each other’s point. The more they spoke to each other, even when the arguments ebbed and flowed, we see more and more of where the root of this argument was. The dialogue helps us to see exact where the pain for both of them is. It is awesome to see this and it forces you to engage in the story–even when it’s messy.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

[image from indiewire.com]

BLACK HISTORY: WHY IT STILL MATTERS Week 1: ERASURE

Dr. Carter G. Woodson is an unsung hero. In the creation of Negro History Week, the magnitude of what he found—and what children that looked like him needed to know. With the advantage of time, we know what a vision this is, and what it means to participate in! When you have grown up in a society by which prides itself on control of a narrative and control of the people it effects, the need for exposure of the cancerous nature of those narratives!

As history told from the vantage point of the ‘victor’ will always be seen as, treated as, propaganda! This cannot be so in the new millennium in the age of Black lives matter! This cannot be so in the age of Black CEO’s and VPOTUS’s! The fact that we have to find out more about our history, and still making Black history daily, the needed to know more about who we are and where we come from is essential!

We as a nation can no longer afford to hide the achievements of the same people that helped to build it–involuntarily! This nation has a debt to Black people, and that is deeper than any sort of financial reparations. This debt is steeped in the continuous, deliberate measures to hide and dismiss the contributions and achievements of Black people. There is no reason for this! It cannot be excused! The reckoning for the adequate telling of history, you have to tell all of it!

History has to reflect the realities of Black writers, soldiers, artists, politicians, abolitionists, scientists and even Roman soldiers whom were Black! History, and those that ‘teach’ it have to accept and confront that their telling of history has been subjected to extensive whitewashing–for the comfort of White historians.

History has never been favorable to the unseen, even when they are an integral to the relayed victory. The best way to counter erasure is with radical visibility…and its time has come.

Week 1: “Am I Bitter?”

I’ve been known for the phrase, “I’m running out of sweet.” All this somewhat enigmatic phrase means is, “I don’t feel like being nice anymore.” What I have noticed in this latest bout of being single is there is a coolness that has come on me now. It is the roux of hurt, suspicion, and doubt–and it has formed brick around my heart, and I can feel it. I fight it off, and sometimes that doesn’t always work out.

The thing that I confront, or try to confront at the end of relationships is the simple question of, “What happened?” I understand that the greater question is always this, but I ask it aloud. I understand that my problem is that when I am in love with someone, I want the best for them, and I want them to be cared for. I want them to be happy! I give and give until I cannot give anymore. And in that giving, I realize the reason I do this is because of doubt. That, and I don’t want the ghost of being considered a ‘bitter woman.’

You know the ones! The women that are the protagonists in Harlequin novels: tough as old bread, believing love is a lie and then she meets a bad boy with the same hurts. Then through the magic of time an circumstance, they have kismet sex on to run from each other. At the end they wind up together. Happily ever after in 200 pages–Nora Roberts is aces at this (no shade, she’s amazing).

But I have been wondering in this. Really wrestling with this, dear ones. I have been married and divorced and done it again. I have chosen to not drag either ex-husband through the gauntlet of the internet because they don’t need that. That is the last grace I can give–I can be a classy lady when needed.

But the thing now, after the end of this almost decade relationship is this, and I ask it aloud to all of you, and the angelic host:

“Do I have enough in me to do that again?”

What is the ‘again’ you ask? The dating, talking to people, trying to get to know them, and being serious about them–or they being serious about me. Do I really want to go through that again only to end up hurt again? What I have done is give my all to my romantic relationships so that IF/WHEN they end I can say that I did everything I can.

The question that still linger is, “Do I have enough in me to do it again?”

Introduction To Black History Month 2021

In this stolen land, inhabited by stolen and subjugated people, Black History Month feels like the most cohesive and organized protest to have. It still humbles me that Dr. Carter G. Woodson, historian and teacher, thought enough of is of us whom are alive and remain to leave us history in a land that prides itself on lies and erasure! With that said, Black History still matters. Moreover, how ones teaches Black history still matters! Lastly, why we teach Black history still matters!

For the month of February, I will be explaining and discussing why Black history is important from the vantage point of The Four E’s of why Black History still matters and matters how it should be taught:

February 6: Erasure

February 13: Education

February 20: Elevation

February 27: Excellence

Black history is still being made on a daily basis, and it would be disingenuous to not celebrate that, and not teach that. History is written by the winners, and their memories are valid. But if we are unaware of all those who contributed to that history how can we know what is or is not real? Losers sound like winners if the lie is good enough. Accurate teaching of history separates the lie the covers and the truth that separates.

BLACK HISTORY STILL MATTERS.