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.

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.


Podcasts To Listen To: 1619

Follow Nikole Hannah-Jones on all her social media. She is a blessing!

I have followed Nikole Hannah-Jones (@nhannahjones) on Twitter for a few years now. I mean, she has my dream job: writing for the New York Times. With being a fangirl of hers, I both followed and devoured everything she is involved in. With last year marking the official 400 year macabre anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I had heard the rumblings of this project only denoted as ‘1619′ through her social media.

This was all I needed, fam.

With this announcement, I followed her more closely, read all articles connected with it and began to be be overjoyed at the prospect of this project becoming an actual curriculum! How fantastic! Black history taught–truly taught!–without hype or gloss? I’m here for it. So when I found the accompanying podcast on Apple Podcasts? I listened to all five episodes over the course of three days!

1619 podcast tells truth of slavery
Find the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Find wherever you get your podcasts.

I won’t lie to you–it was hard! And because it was hard, I couldn’t help but think how necessary it was to be a part of this project–even to just hear it. The five episodes are as follows:

Introducing ‘1619’

Episode 1: The Fight For A True Democracy

Episode 2: The Economy That Slavery Built

Episode 3: The Birth Of American Music

Episode 4: How The Bad Blood Started

Episode 5: The Land Of Our Fathers, Part 1

Episode 5: The Land Of Our Fathers, Part 2

You will laugh, be taught, be angry—then mad as Hell. Perhaps that is the best thing and the representation of my favorite quote by Gloria Steinem: “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

Waiting On ‘Candyman’

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the retelling of ‘Candyman’ will be in theatres on September 25–pushed back from its original June 2020 release date.

I saw this new trailer through my Facebook feed early this morning, and had to watch it twice. Despite (and perhaps this is too my detriment) never having hear of Nia DiCosta before directing ‘Candyman’, this short film–this new trailer–has me more hype than I was before to see this movie. And if you look carefully, you will see snippets of other Black history/horror stories in it as well. Within 2 minutes, I am that much more of a fan of hers. The short is intelligent, complex and telling. It reminds me of something that should have been included in the SHUDDER documentary, Horror Noire (Please cop this book! Please watch this documentary!).

The thing that is awesome about this teaser, about this retelling is found in the tweet of the director: “…the symbols we turn them into and the monsters they must have been.” This goes into the controlling of narrative, the controlling/ownership of language, and how minority people will always suffer from the retelling of their own stories by people who don’t look like them! This dovetails into the quote by Tananarive Due: “Black people have always loved horror–horror hasn’t always loved us.” And my favorite quote by her being, “Black history IS Black horror.”

Perhaps the issue remain in the fact that this story was originally written as a short story by Clive Owen. From that story, was the film. From that film, with its premise, allowing pain, anguish, revenge and autonomy through the vehicle of this angry spirit, I believe, is one of the reasons relegating Black people to tokens, magical/sacrificial Negroes or the ‘other’ is comforting to White audiences!

There is a shift vibrating through Black art right now–through all its medium. Besides, if there can be literally 10 movies featuring Jason Voorhees, the world will deal with the angry vengeful spirit of a Black artist whose hand and life were taken because he dared be who is was–and loved who he did! Jordan Peele said it best when he voiced the White male lead horror protag has been done—to death. Now, in this age where freedom is continueally paid for with time, I am anxious to see what else Nia DiCosta is allowed to create. This has to be–must be!–only the beginning.

2020 Black History Contest- ‘I Am Black History’

Image result for black history month

I am overjoyed to the announce the first annual I AM BLACK HISTORY Essay Contest!

The contest is open to 13-17-year olds, with the submission date opening February 3, 2020, and deadline being February 25, 2020 at 11:59 PM CST. Here is your theme:

Black history is on-going:  future and past. Describe a person (living or dead) or a movement within Black History that you admire or identify with (i.e., Ida B. Wells Barnett as an admired person; The Harlem Renaissance as a movement; resistance against apartheid in South Africa as a movement) and why. 


Here are the criteria:

-Essay should be between 2-4 pages (this is roughly 500-1000 words)

-Must be typed, double spaced, written in Microsoft Word.

One entry per child.

-All entries need to have name and contact information in the body of the email.


Now, the good part. The prizes:

First Prize:  $75 Amazon Gift Card

Second Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Third Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card


Entries should be mailed to

Winners will have their essays posted on the I Breathe Fire site, and read on the The Writers’ Block Podcast.  Decisions will be made on February 28, 2020. Winners will be notified through email (please make sure you have correct email address listed!). Gift cards will be sent via email on March 1, 2020.

Good Luck!

I Have Surrendered To The Air To Ride It.

Image result for toni morrison freedom quote


I was about 15 when I discovered Toni Morrison.

In my fury of reading ‘dark’ literature, romance and horror, I found her. There was a girl in my Spanish I class that had a copy of The Bluest Eye. I read the back of it, and was enthralled. However, how our high school was set up, I never got the chance to take the class this classmate did.

In my house, there were more books than television sets. At any of my maternal aunts’ houses I visited for that matter, there were books. Harlequin. Avon books. Encyclopedias. Langston Hughes. Toni Morrison. The first book I saw of hers was at my Aunt Stella’s house:  Sula. 

I finally read The Bluest Eye in my early twenties. I read her next to last book, Home, before I got a chance to read God Bless The Child. I had a habit of lending out my books, and sadly, due to this generosity, I lost a swath of my books. Most of them, by Toni Morrison. Thank God for Amazon, and Amazon Prime’s ability to replenish a library!

I found a home in Toni Morrison, I believe, due to her age and her physical resemblance to my maternal grandmother. I knew that Mother Morrison was getting older, and I knew she would pass away, but this loss? Her loss? It feels as if the world has gotten all the more dimmer. There is more of a chill to my day. There feels like there is all the more, that much more, lack in the world.

The one thing that I have to remember is writing, being a writer, carries its own immortality! Right now, I can go to a library, a book store, or the retail monster known as Amazon and find her!  I can find her imagination present in fictitious people or  in essays of power and substance. She may be lost, but she is not lost to time! In this, for this reason, am I comforted.

The question is now, how shall we proceed? We have long held up the artists of our parents’ and even grandparents’ generation. We have lauded over them, and protected their memories, with no thought of who will come after them! I understand (and it goes without saying) no one can be Toni Morrison. But what I can say is there are a generation of writers she inspired. Another generation of writers both/all Black, female, woman whom are grateful to her. Whom are steadied by the volume of her work, and whom now, I hope, shall be brave enough to put pen to paper. This is what I want…I want the work of writing to continue! From the accomplished novelists and essayist, to the young girl starting her first journal.

I want the work of writing to continue. This is how best to honor this giant of a woman is to have her spark, remind, invoke, provoke the writers whom will add to the canon of this glorious genre of Black literature.

As her body as surrendered, doing all it was purposed, let us be reminded of her quote in Song Of Solomon:

“If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.”


Ride the air, dearest ones. Ride the air.












In The Honor Of Great Men


If the world were fair, Martin Luther King, Jr. would be 90 today. He would be on a porch, somewhere warm. He would be enjoying his grown children and perhaps even grown grandchildren. He would have been able to see how dynamic Corretta really was. Martin would have been able to see the rise of Bishop TD Jakes, the boldness of Serena, Gabrielle and Simone. Martin would have been able to see a community organizer whom was a law student, become a president. Martin would have seen that the dream was possible–even in pieces.

On today, in lieu of a birthday party, have a whole national holiday to remember what is, what was and what is yet to come.

I feel the same way about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as I feel about Jackie Robinson. I think the world saw their ‘softness’ as weakness. I think that we don’t really appreciate what it takes to be the grown up in the room at points. We don’t take into account the cost of self-control, and we often don’t understand the price to keep it.

In the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, we see this incredible man, with the capacity to influence and direct the gaze of the entire nation! We see a man driven by a single thought amid forces that would seek to destroy all he dreamt could be better. I believe that the ability to channel pain, loss and suffering is a skill worth perfecting. It is that channeling, that active resisting–the raging against the dying of the light–which allowed him to be as dynamic as he was!

In these early hours, in remembering the life he lived, and the promise of what’s to come, I can only remember one of the most poignant quote that he gave:

Image result for mlk quotes we have so far to go

On today, the best way to keep his memory, to honor his legacy is to just keep moving.  So, I  will keep moving.


[images from Pinterest]