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

Result Of ‘The Talk’

Note: I am a single mother of biracial children. I have to teach my daughters how to move in the world is Black, as woman, and not die myself while doing it.

The Talk - Race in America

I had The Talk with my daughters, 12 and 13 1/2, while doing 70 mph going down I-70 going to my best friend’s house to see their best friends. I had done all I could to bury the nastiness of the world from them. I tried to keep just how mean the world could be from them, why it can be to them, and what they could do about it.

My daughters are in middle school. And really? Honestly? It was almost too late…I should have had it earlier. This is what it is like to be Black and a parent in a nation that is decidedly anti-Black. You are constantly playing Chess–never checkers. White families can do that, not us.

When I made the decisions to get my daughters cell phones, my mother protested and I screamed internally. I have been her child almost 40 years, and when I was 13–my father suggested I get a pager. My mother said no. Now, 27 years later, her granddaughter have cellphones. And she protested. The only thing that I could manage to tell her was, “The world is crazy, Mama.”

The world is crazy, Mama.

I had already had told my daughters not touch things in the store (“People may think you’re stealing!”), what to do if you get lost in the store (“Don’t go to store security/police, go to someone that works at the store and give them your Mom’s name.), and the emergency contact list (“What is your grandmother’s name/number? What is your aunt’s name/number?”). But when I had to tell them what to do when stopped by the police? I screamed. I howled. When I realized that my youngest daughter is the same as Tamir Rice. When I realized that in September my oldest will be as old as Emmitt Till will ever be, and one year younger than Jordan Edwards–I fought the air!

I felt helpless–for all I did, am doing, to raise my daughters to be ‘respectable Black girls’—a police officer with a God complex can take that way. And never be accounted for. As I sped to my best friend’s house, the safety of her house, husband, and daughters who are best friends with my daughters, I fought tears.

I had to tell them: “Even though your father is White, your mother is Black. And because your mother is Black you will always be seen as little, Black girls.” And then I thought of the 4 little girls, the young women in Birmingham–whom would be the same age as their maternal grandmother, 71.

Again we went over what to do if they were stopped: Don’t go to the car. Make sure they see your hands. Do what you are asked. Ask if you can call you mother. “If you can’t get me, what do you do?” “Call grandma.” My heart, my heart in two places, shattered. All I can do, all I do, is give them what they need to survive. What more could I do? Being Black in this nation comes with the Unwritten: in order to survive, you have to know exactly what can kill you, and who may try to.

We got to their best friends’ house, safe and sound. I collapsed on her table and almost scream-cried. The world I had constructed for my daughters, the last peace that I tried to give them, was gone. The world was in my house…again. But this time, I was Mama. Like my mothers before me, I had to learn how to put down a wolf or a dog–and know the difference. The only thing I found that works, if make my daughters into the wolves…and give them a pack that will protect them above all else.

In Defense Of Sha’Carri Richardson OR Being the ‘RIGHT’ Kind Of Black Girl (Part 1)

Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension for Marijuana Defies Common Sense | Time

I am old enough to remember Florence “FloJo” Griffith Joyner. I remember how beautiful and how FAST she was. I remember being so sad when she died (in her sleep, not from steroids or any other illicit drug!). When I see Sha’Carri? I see that same beauty and talent. I am solidly #TeamShaCarri.Full stop.

With that said, my heart is breaking for what is happening to her at present–and how the Black community seems to be split as far as just how (or if!) to support her. I am fully persuaded that at this point, respectability politics is internalized racism! Let me elaborate further.

Sha’Carri Richardson is a talented athlete. Just as FloJo was, and Serena Williams is. With that talent, she has been denigrated for being “too masculine”. I am still trying to figure out what is ‘too masculine’ when it comes to female athletes! What does that really mean? What does it mean to have your femininity stripped from you because happen to be athletically gifted?

But that is another conversation.

What I want to focus on is this idea of being the right type of Black girl. This is the caveat when you begin to become the type of woman that you have decided to be! In this life, we have to under the world we navigate loves to do three things with Black women: erase, minimize or destroy. That’s it!

Fast fashion: Olympic star Flo-Jo's one-legger legacy to spice up biopic
A Becky WILL NEVER! #FloJo

If you are the type of Black woman that is problematic, then the world around you will see and declare you as problematic! It starts with something as simple as our names! Then from there, we are taught what it means to be respectable–hair, speaking voice, how she dressed, interests, physical representation, etc. Sha’Carri Richardson is problematic for the same reason most Black women are seen as problematic! She is not able to be controlled or defined by other people!

This nation sees Black women as the naughty children whose parents keep leaving alone! We are seen the perpetual problem children of this nation who are constantly in need of raising.

We aren’t! We are in need of re-raising by a nation whose fame and infamy has come from the stealing and murdering of our sons. No, she is not the respectable Black girl. Sha’Carri is a Black woman who is confident in herself, knows when she has messed up, and should not be discounted because she made a mistake! The nation voted for an internet troll, so we can get over the fact Sha’Carri smoked weed to handle a tragedy–and she still dusted her competition!

Tell me why you really mad.

[image from Time.com]

My Mood Is Simone Biles

My mood is Simone Biles.

I know who I am

Among a set of people

And circumstances who

See both skin and mouth

As problem.

I do what I know

I can, and make no apology/I don’t smile.

Why?

My mood is Simone Biles.

“Smiling doesn’t win championships.”

I soar.

I tumble.

I see the world

From the vantage point

Of eagles.

With bare feet

With no hair

Out of place.

I am between sky and ground.

Needing the approval of no one.

My mood is Simone Biles.

I reverse twist on naysayers.

Vault over the negligent

Powered by ignorance

Landing in the promised place

Whispered about by ancestors

Lead by the conductor with

Both gun and lantern.

I cannot be held where there are none who can compete.

My landings are meant to stick, unwavering.

My leaping meant to jolt,

My run meant to scare.

You did all could

To stop me—-but I am still here.

My mood is Simone Biles.

(c) JBHarris, 2021

The End Of An Era & The Brilliance of Ryan Murphy

The Category is: Trans Representation — “Pose” Review | by Micah Glidewell  | incluvie | Medium

First: Billy Porter is everything! Now, with that said, let me get to a proper reflection.

I loved POSE from the first episode of Season 1, Episode 1 when the Mary Jane Girls were singing IN MY HOUSE. I got into the show after Funky Dineva’s review of the show on his YouTube Channel. I loved it! I loved it! I don’t know what I am going to do on my Sundays with this being gone! But, perhaps, I am getting ahead of myself.

One of the things that I loved about POSE was the unapologetic nature of the show! How good the storytelling is! And how bomb Elektra is! I am fan of this show and a fan of Ryan Murphy because POSE is the continuation of what PARIS IS BURNING truly was! There are no caricatures in this show! There is nothing forced in this show, a cis-het woman, it has forced me to confront any biases I have, see exactly the world that transwomen have been going through since FOREVER, and realize that the way I felt when Candy was murdered by a trick when she was only trying to take care of her House? The way I cried with that? This is how transwomen feel when another transwoman they know is murdered for just being themselves!

Shows like POSE are needed because representation matter! Ryan Murphy with the help of Janet Mock and Jennie Livingston, and the other excellent staff kicked in the door of FX! They were just what the world needed right now, and for three seasons, he GAVE all of that to us–every ounce!

I cannot wait to see what he does next! I cannot CANNOT wait!

Stanning Moments (in no particular order):

Besides, nothing will be as good as Damon reading Pray at the table when he found out him and Ricky were smashing! Whew, chile!

When Stan got Angel that condo and put him out of it when she was mad!

When Elektra and her House broke into that museum and took all the clothes!

When Papi and Angel first got together.

When Elektra and all the girls went to the rich man’s house for a weekend and he just wanted to be in latex in a garage.

WHEN ELEKTRA READ THAT BECKY SUE JANE DOE LIKE A DR. SUESS BOOK!

When Damon got into Dance school and joined Bianca’s House.

When Candy was haunting people, and the moment when her Dad and Mom.

When Elektra killed that man on accident at her job and went to get Candy at her job to help her.

For more, watch the show yourself. You won’t regret it.

[image from Medium.com]

For The Culture—Why DMX Matters

“To live is to suffer.” -DMX

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t wanna write this piece. Because I’m still quite upset that Earl Simmons is no longer in the world. I was a fan of DMX starting in high school in early college (late 1990’s, early 2000’s). I liked his gravely m voice, his linguistic dexterity, and he said exactly what he wanted to say! A trait every writer can get behind. But remember: rapping is still just poetry in its elements in at its function. Poems are just a form of quick storytelling – – so why would rap be any different?

And losing him, the world has lost something precious. We all know about the drug abuse, we know about all the kids, we know what the drama with his babies mothers—but he was talented!

He was worthy of love and to be appreciated just as he was. The one thing that makes me so irritated, that is so heartbreaking about his passing, is the world wanted to focus on his drug use, not his work. But this is always the case with Black artists who die before their primes—before truly realize their potential.

They are remembered for the tricks and traps of fame and fortune; those being used in trying to fill holes that they never fill, and didn’t cause. These traps are worse than anything the SAW universe could dream up!

But the one thing I can say that I miss about Earl Simmons, about DMX, is that they won’t be another one like him. And I’m glad things are being put in place now to put his work out. To release or we release songs in certain cases things to Swizz Beats.

Black artists matter. Rest in peace, Earl.

#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge–Week 14 (2021)

Before we get started, let us get some terminology:

Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them. A catfish is the person that does this.

Performative allyship is still oppression.

Know this. Remember this. Share this.

In this Cold War Civil War social justice movement we are in, the new thing now is allyship. Being an ally. Are you a ally? Should you be an ally? In the justice of that, in the wanting of justice, it is impossible to do the changes the world needs without help! In acknowledging that white supremacy and white privilege exists, the dismantling of oppressive systems can only happen when those with privilege admit they have it, and use it for the betterment of those that who do not have it!

The killer part to this is the rash of performative allyship, there is a hyper vigilance with those whom are working for change! It must be! This is most often seen on TikTok (follow me on TikTok–@whatjayesaid)! In the almost year I have been on this app, I have seen people whom have been thought to be allies/accomplices whom have been found out to be neither! Yet, they used social media and the work of social justice for clout.

Black. Lives. Are. Not. Clout.

Black. Lives. Are. Not. To. Be. Used. For. Clout.

Vetting for those whom are not Black into Black spaces, to help (read: not take over!) movements and their progress, is necessary! It is needed! You have to know who is with you, who isn’t and who is faking–it is those who are faking/constructing personas of social justice whom are the most dangerous.

Trees have fake, weak and dead branches too. That’s why you have to prune them.

Be aware.

#BlackBlogMatter Challenge-Week 13 (2021)

Ah, and here we go–CENTERING MINORITY VOICES.

As a writer, as a minority writer, as a minority writer with a platform, I am a minority writer, who takes great happiness in finding other minority voices, I cannot stress how important this is…how needed!

I have been a freelance writer for 7 years, and a blogger for 5 of those years. One of the most powerful things that I do in running platforms is two-fold: I am creating content and looking for those who want to create! Part of my job as an administrator is to create a place for my own voice. As a writer who is Black and woman, and a Black woman writer, I have to make space! If I do not value my own voice, if I do not mine the strength to make my voice priority–I will not be able to give that strength to anyone else!

In making a platform through my talent and voice, I must be aware that puts me at an unique advantage! I must be able to recognize who can benefit from exposure, from mentorship, and the kindness writers extend to other writers!

I would be lying to you if I said writing was easy. It isn’t. It’s not. That difficulty is amplified when you race is added in the mix! The writing community is so vast, it is so confusing at points, that if you do not have a community to support you…you will quit. What I do to help writers to not quit is to maintain space, remain steadfast and remain consistent. I offer support. I offer guidance. I become the support I didn’t have, creating a community that I didn’t think that I needed. In building this network, in building these platforms, my goal is to show the world the talent that Black writers have.

We exist. We matter. We aren’t going away.