30 DAYS OF JAYE: Say The Quiet Out Loud

I want nights

That are quiet,

And still

Loud as thunder,

I want storms in

Oceans of sheets

And limbs pulling

Me further from

What I know into

All I want.

I want the quiet parts

Said out loud

And kisses made only

For me,

And all my inner light

Being bother magic

And woman lit

By you.

I want the now

and the present presence

Of what it means to be

Lost and still be found.

From sky above

And Earth beneath

I want to dream

Of setting future

Suns…

Again.

-JBHarris

30 DAYS OF JAYE: Deep, Still Waters

There’s magic in the water

I’ll make you hunger and thirst for righteousness you have never sampled

for a goddess is who is brown as earth

and loud as thunder once you master crescendos who hides orchestras inside of her belly as you begin to be key in her lock

I will show you the world

with your eyes closed

and just how marvelous your world

can be once you find the right tempo

I can give you

what you’ve only dreamed of…

what you thought you could never have…

I can give you all you see…

I am night

I am power,

I am rhythm and blues,

I am hives of honey,

With all lips made from sugar.

There is no need

To give the unworthy

Or lazy such access to

Attention for my blessings…

Thick and rich as sunsets and moonlight.

No need to give samples

When ownership is what

Is called for…

because such power cannot be left unchecked

I am desire

I am more, and

I am comfort

I am storm.

I am all the ocean it washes

away the cares of the day

and yet I have chosen you.

-JBHarris, 1.3.2021

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge-Week 5 (2021)

It is a hellified thing to go to work everyday knowing your managers think your existence is an issue!

At my current day job, I have actually heard the following phrases:

Im so sick of these protests.” My nurse manager said this. This woman hires and fires people. 

I’m tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter.” A nurse I work with said this. 

Now, understand this. I am a proud Black woman, working in a White space, with White people whom have no idea what it is like to be either Black or female. They have no idea that when I get in my car to either drive to or from work, I am hyperaware of police. They have no idea the true reason why I don’t friend co-workers on social media! 

The work answer:  “I’m really not on social media like that.”

The real answer: “There is no way in God’s creation I will give you people they kind of access to me when I KNOW how you feel about my Blackness! You just want to spy on me!”

Look, I have children. I have rent. Car payments. And it is a global pandemic! I need my job…and yet I have to navigate these spaces as Black, woman and activist. I realize that my activism is a deterrent and target in spaces where I don’t have agency. Right now? I don’t have agency. 

But, there’s a work around for that. I keep the Activist Self and Employed Self separate. Employed Jenn can’t say/do what Employed Jenn can! And I’m learning that. I can be both, do both…and still block everyone I work with on social media.

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.

The Life Of A Dangerous Black Girl–Lie #5: You Do Too Much!

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

-Lucille Clifton

As long as there is a world that seeks to erase Black folk, we will never be ‘doing too much.’ In this observation of ‘too much’ who quantifies this? Who can say what is ‘too much’ or why it is ‘too much’. Now, I am well aware of what the phrase means. I know what the words in their individual power mean. What I am not understanding, or what I desire to understand is how these words are so apt to be affixed to Black women! I truly do not believe the world realizes just how and how hard it is to be Black and woman–daily. To have everything from your skin tone, hairstyle, speech pattern and whether or not your knees are crusty examined. I’m sure there are no new contagions studied with such scrutiny!

Have I said this phrase to more than one woman I know? I sure have. Have I said this phrase when a situation was already out of hand, and someone’s behavior (whether Black or White) exacerbated it? Yes! The phrase ‘too much’ is itself an exacerbation! Yet–it is the behavior I want to see change, not the essence. Therein lies the rub! The current adage is we [Black women] will always be too loud for a world determined not to hear us. So, the idea of being ‘too much’ manifests in success, in victories, in triumphing over something set, thought, and set out to kill us! I must become ‘too much’ in order to be seen, heard, fed, to feed, and to thrive!

I must become my own hero because none is coming! I have accepted the title, own the space of ‘being too much’ or being seen as ‘doing too much’. I accept that there are those whom will see out that space I occupy or they will flee from it! It is not my job to acclimate to a world on a continuous basis that only seeks to destroy or deconstruct me. I have decided to celebrate–because even in graveyards, there are trees.

I have purposed myself to stretch towards that light, the power, the space of knowing all I am is valued, necessary, formidable and most of all undeniable.