Black Women Aren’t Coming

*Written in response to White women demanding solidarity with this abortion issue (the Heartbeat Bill) in Texas in September 2021. This is dedicated to all the Black women whom keep saving the world from people determined to not have us (Black women) move in it. -JBH

This is above me now. Y’all fix it. I’m not coming.

Black women aren’t coming.

No heat, no fire, no smoke.

Black women aren’t coming.

No cavalry, no drumming, no singing.

Nothing.

Black women aren’t coming.

The Queens will send no soliders,

Their sons will not die, or be blamed.

The far off Kings from time and lands

Will not bend to your tears.

Black women aren’t coming.

The clouds have broken.

The rain has stropped,

And our feet are still.

Our backs are turned,

Our shoulders are square,

Mouths silent.

We are walking…away.

There is no reason for us to come.

There is nothing to do.

BLACK WOMEN ARE NOT COMING.

-JBHarris, 9.9.2021

Behind the Scenes: The Death Of Peter Parker And Other Fairy Tales (Part 4)

–and I held the mask.

Peter Parker being content

to be both open and secret,

the love unseen because

you could not be what I needed–

but the mask.

Oh, the mask.

Spider-Man to Peter Parker to

Spider-Man, leaving me to love both

lie, myth, and man.

I lived for the kisses in the rain,

upside down, to be held right-side up

making tears as rain–

living for the secret.

–JBHarris, July 2021

Behind the Scenes: The Death Of Peter Parker And Other Fairy Tales (Part 3)

Yet, I die in secret.

Yet, I die alone.

Yet, I die holding the mask of the One

whom promised me everything–

if i could give him anything.

The anything has become time–

now made immortal and absolute

sealed behind the myth of, “Just wait for me”

With the headstone in gravel and graphite

now covered in the same webs

you left me with.

Love in the webbing made indestructible

by my tears, and our youth,

spent dreaming and pining for

he who left me atop a building–safe, sound and high up–

when I asked, “Who are you?”

You only gave only your superhero alias.

Leaving me there because love

held me safe and to you.

For you.

Life was in me and

with you.

-JBHarris, July 2021

Behind the Scenes: The Death Of Peter Parker And Other Fairy Tales (Part 2)

This is a poem from the book “The Death of Peter Parker And Other Fairy Tales.” Mark your calendars for October 31, 2021.

Masks hide many faces, don’t they Peter Parker?

They cover lips that kiss–as well as lips that lie.

What have you given me other

than lies, Peter Parker?

What have you given

me to hold on to other

than what can wash away?

Even memories fade–and in there lies the true justice Plato spoke of.

Ah, justice! This, too, is a lie.

The justice of waiting for you to come back

to me and the me inside of

the Us to make whole together and all at once.

The waking dream of life with you,

to be yours in and out of times,

masks no longer needed–

not this time.

-JBHarris, July 2021

In Defense Of Sha’Carri OR Being The ‘RIGHT’ Kind Of Black Girl (Part 2)

Note: There is a poetry series coming with topic as well. One poem of this three part series will be posted here. The complete set will be in SEND FOR A POET: Poems for Love, Godliness & Revolution. More information will be given for that next week. -JBHarris

Sha'Carri Richardson used marijuana legally in Oregon, now out of Olympic  100-meter race after drug test - oregonlive.com
Sha’Carri is not here for what people think of her.

There is a power to Sha’Carri Richardson that I am in love with! There is an undeniability to her that I make known to myself and my own daughters. She knows how talented she is, what she brings, and doesn’t care if you can’t get over her full set, blonde hair blends and tattoos poppin’ on all that melanin.

Sha’Carri is not here for what you think.

What I have paid attention to about this is just how the Black community has either rallied to support her, or demonized her for ‘knowing better’. For those not paying attention, Sha’Carri found out that her biological mother died from reporter. She smoked marijuana to deal and still go run. And still won.

Pause: Black women are not given the privilege to deal with painful emotions (such as grief)! We are expected to deal with painful emotions and soldier on. To not do that is doing what ‘white women do’. Here is the origin of the Black Shero mythos. Black women are human–why are we not allowed to be it?

Yet, this fall out of her smoking (and still winning! Don’t forget that part!), the suspension and now the threat of her not being on the United States’ Olympic Track and Field team?

The fact that some Black folk are cheering that she was put off the team–talking about the ‘rules’?

The fact there are even some Black WOMEN who are saying, ‘she should have known better’?

I don’t get this. She had a whole moment of weakness, coped as best as she could, and still performed. This nation loves to support Black women it can predict, that are non-confrontation, who look and do all the right things–then they are crowned respectable. This word creates the dichotomy of respectable vs. ratchet. As much as I love our Forever FLOTUS, she is an example of a Respectable Black Woman (RBW). Any Black woman whom cannot be seen as a RBW, is then (by default) considered a Ratchet Black Women (rBW). One of the worst things to call a Black woman is ‘ratchet’!

Most Black women are taught (myself included!) that if I have a good speaking voice, education, don’t scare White people, educated, pump my own gas, have children with one man, don’t have/enjoy sex, never question the world, know how to be ‘submissive’, cook, keep house, natural nails, and don’t color my hair, etc…then I will be respectable.

Now, that makes you a Handmaiden. I am not a Handmaiden.

We as a culture have to give Black women breathing room, to stop confining us to these extreme dichotomies! Stop limiting Black women to superhuman, mammies or whores! Black women are unique in our experiences, yes, but we are not immune to them! We are entitled to support, love and compassion, empathy, sympathy without having to die to get it.

Long story short: SUPPORT BLACK WOMEN. FULL STOP.

So….I Am Doing A Thing. Again.

For those of you whom are following me on TikTok (especially @whatjayesaid/jayesaidwhat) will know that I was been toying with the idea of starting a Patreon again. This time, I am creating a Patreon solely for anti-racism essays and think pieces.

Oh, yes, this is happening!

There will be between 4-5 essays posted a month with the following tiers:

TIER: $3 (Firestarter: Light, Heat & Smoke)

Access to Reading List; essays included

TIER 2: $6 (Nikki Giovanni)

Access to Reading List; Early essays

TIER 3: $10 (Toni Morrison)

Access to Reading List; Access to Behind The Scenes footage; Early essays

The official launch date for this Patreon is going to be July 30, 2021. This will give me enough time to organize all I need to in order to launch this effectively. In the meantime, follow @jayesaidwhat on TikTok. For what I am about to say, for the conversations that need to be had, they will ban my account.

I’m not afraid of that, but I am aware.

Thank you for all your love and support!

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge—Week 12 (2021)

Sis. Noun. Short form of the word sister; a female sibling; term of endearment among women.

I have an issue if you are not a Black woman and you call me ‘Sis’. I do. I always have! I feel the same way when people call (or try to call) me Jenny rather than Jennifer! But that is a different conversation. 

In being on TikTok (@whatjayesaid) for almost a year, I have somehow managed to avoid any real dramatic stupidity (a White dude with a lip ring who looks like he never washes his clothes face and a Black man who tried to read me in front of a shower curtain), but I through my bra in the fight (to quote @glammelanin) over the word “Sis”.

It is a term of safety, love and recognizing. It is not meant to be said by people that didn’t understand what it was like to fight for things, have lost things, and move in a world that chooses either to erase you, mock you or steal from you. 

Sis is not meant to be said by those outside this sphere. I know there are other cultures that use sis and that’s fine! But for me? Don’t call me sisbecause you don’t know me. Don’t know what it feels like to be ignored by the same world that expects you to be in it—as they see fit. 

This thing, our thing, this is just ours. PERIODT.

For The ‘POSE’!

I am already crying.

I NEED ALL THE THINGS TO HAPPEN ON THIS SHOW THIS SEASON!

I stopped my entire life to watch the Season 3 premiere of POSE on FX! I made sure my kids were in bed, that I had snacks, because I was prepared to have my emotions snatched from me.

It was then that I remembered that this was the last season. Then I remembered that there are transwomen being my murdered left and right—including my dear YouTube sister, Jahaira Balenciaga just this month!

I am looking forward to what Ryan Murphy and company do this season, because so far (we have now jumped from 1991 to 1995):

Blanca got a bae

Papi and Angel are still together

Ricky and Pray together still

Cubby died (Whew, Jesus!)

Pray back to drinking

Lulu got Angel back on that sh#t!

Blanca going to nursing school!

Electra is still shady as hell!

Whew! And that is just the first two episodes! What being a fan is this show has broadened my scope as it relates to empathy. To love and even what it means to be and ally, accomplice or an advocate. You cannot love POSE and not support Black transwomen.

I said what I said.

I know this is about to be so good, I know I am going to cry so hard, and I know I’ll be cussing at the television in two languages again—BUT! That is the power of great writing. That is the power of great story telling. That is the power of representation.

Let’s hope the Emmys get it RIGHT this time. Indiya Moore and Mj Rodriguez deserve EVERYTHING!