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Showing posts from April, 2015

Who is The Man?

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Teaching social justice issues such as the abuse of power in America can get very controversial. It's even harder when you have a class full of Black children and only 2 that are white. Not to mention, one of those white children is your boss' son. Today, I was faced with.... 
To be continued...

Post Freddie Gray Protest Lessons

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Today was a beautiful day. Do not let anyone tell you anything different. I woke up at 6:00 AM and the birds were chirping. The sky was completely blue. I read the a few scriptures and fell back to sleep. By 7AM, I was reawakened by the sound of helicopters. I wasnt surprised.


A little after 9, we were out of the house, heading to school to meet up with our teachers to plan an assembly for our students and think of some ideas on how to help our students cope with everything that has been going on. The meeting went well. There we were 20 teachers, on our day off, in school - creating things for our children, making sure that they will have a place that will make feel loved and safe tomorrow, and everyday after, of course. 

I went to the rally at Cloverdale and it was all love. There were so many beautiful Black kings, queens, and children and everyone was laughing and having a good old time. Felt like a summer block party. All of the black fraternities were there, ministers, old folks we…

If We Must Die

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If we must die, let it not be like hogs  Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,  While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,  Making their mock at our accursèd lot.  If we must die, O let us nobly die,  So that our precious blood may not be shed  In vain; then even the monsters we defy  Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!  Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!  What though before us lies the open grave?  Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,  Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Claude McKay

2:25 at the Drake

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Sunday, April 26th NP: Mick Jenkins - Free Nation Rebel Soldier 2 2:25 PM
For the past couple of days, I've been in Chicago at the Network for Public Education conference. It feels good to be in a conference where everyone agrees that standardized tests like MAPs and PARCC and the SATs do not measure the intellect of our students but instead, they measure and expose their lack of adequate resources. I just wish there were more black and brown educators and activists here. It feels like everyone else is studying us - it's always been this way. But I keep asking myself, how do I begin to educate the educated? How do I get more of my young, Black professionals to value and fight for equity in education? I appreciate the current support and determination of the white Americans that are helping to shed light statewide and nationally but I can't lie, I question how much of it is really for us? How much of this fight will really benefit us if it isn't being fought by us.
Last nig…

8:40 at BWI

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8:40 PM 
NP: Common - Time Traveling 
Sitting on this plane, trying to finish my post about my trip to Europe. Usually doesn't take me this long to summarize my journeys but I've really been spending more time reading than writing as of lately... Books are addicting and by the time I put them down and get ready to transfer my memoirs from my journal on to the computer, my pitiful butt falls right to sleep. When I was stuck in the darkness of my depression a couple of months ago, I wasn't able to sleep at all. So now, when I feel myself falling asleep, I dare not fight - I have to put work to the side and my mental health first. But I'm almost done typing it now and I just love this story. The further along I get in writing it, the more I learn about myself. 
I am so excited about this trip that we're taking. 
I feel so blessed. I've been time traveling for the past 3 months. I just can't stay still. 
I was talking to the woman next to me and her life is the tota…

Friday Night Mood Swing

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i get the greatest satisfaction out of allowing people to think whatever they want about me... 
... how else do i stop someone else's negative energy from becoming my own? 
... today was a good day ... no one was killed in baltimore 
my thoughts are getting more clear because i have been washing them with prayer and meditation 
wisdom is different than knowledge just like believing is different than knowing 
peace is going to be my first born's name and free for my second child and journey for my third and root for my fourth and light for my fifth and will let peace name the sixth 
what makes you  what are you made of 
what moves you  you are moving even when you are still 
praises go up and blessing come down for you to drink and be full and be satisfied 
grateful grateful grateful 

6:31 on 25th St

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My car broke down and I'm not getting it fixed  I love walking riding my bike and taking the bus  The more I walk, the more I get to see things like this I gave myself a night to be upset about the money I put into that bmw, the fact that I should've got it looked it at before I went to Europe, the mistake of attempting to drive it to Carissa's house.  But this morning, the birds are chirping and tulips are open, the bees are feeding, and the wind is blowing  God is alive and well  Why should I worry about money  Or a car  Or anything  Lessons are learned  Moving forward. 


Code Switching Ain't a Lesson that Can Be Taught

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Now Reading: Assata pg. 37

Why do we have to code switch when we get around white people? I was never taught this, explicitly... My grandmother inadvertently taught me this by the way she would answer the phone in the most proper, welcoming tone - as soon as she realized it was one of her sisters, she would turn her southern twang back on. I would watch ...

To be continued ...

Ahmaud and Freddie Gray

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April 21, 2015 6:54 PM

I walked into the historic church, which has been transformed into the Baltimore Urban League building

"Hey, didn't I meet you last week?" 
"Yes, you told me to come." 
I followed him into the elevator and told him to pardon my appearance. My allergies made my eyes bloodshot red and my face was swollen. I'm still not quite of sure why I felt the need to apologize to him for my appearance.
The tv in the meeting room was loud enough for me to hear the news. The man who invited me last week walked into the smaller room where the tv was playing. There were two other men sitting in there that greeted him. 
"If the police commissioner would've listened to us, he wouldn't be in this mess, now would he?" The men shook hands to greet one another as they continued their conversation. 
"Remember when we met with him? How long ago was that? ....and I had a subsequent meeting with him after ours." 
"Man! I was sitting right…

Ironic Eggs

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In the hood, you can't even bring bags into the grocery store. You have to check them in with the security guard. I didn't know this until I got on the line. This was my first time going into this market. 
The line was pretty lengthy and there was only one lane open. 
"I'm the manager, the cashier, and the custodian today honey!" I overheard the heavy set sister proudly saying this to a younger woman, holding her new-born in one hand and keeping a close eye on her two toddler sons at the same time. I still can't understand how she could be the only person working in this market with our sky-high unemployment rate in Baltimore. Surely, they should be able to hire more people.
It was so crowded that I couldn't even make my way into the aisle to get in back of the line, so I stood on the side of the last person, which created an L-shape in front of the store after more people started getting behind me. 
"Where is the line? Ma'am were you next? Where did…

Job 38

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The Lord spoke to Job out of a storm. He said, "Who do you think you are to disagree with my plans? You do not know what you are talking about. Get ready to stand up for yourself. I will ask you some questions. Then I want you to answer me. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you know. Who measured it? I am sure you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What was it built on? Who laid its most important stone? When it happened, the morning stars sang together. All of the angels shouted with joy. "Who created the ocean? Who caused it to be born? I put clouds over it as if they were its clothes. I wrapped it in thick darkness. I set limits for it. I put its doors and metal bars in place. I said, 'You can come this far. But you can't come any farther. Here is where your proud waves have to stop.' "Job, have you ever commanded the morning to come? Have you ever shown the sun where to rise? The daylight takes the eart…

Salvation on Coldspring Lane

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grumbling winds provoke   mating calls  feathered flutes sparkling hooks ascend from  hand painted acoustics strums  Californian fingers  wood spread  over indigo  pearl pastels  silk-spun sky  delicate footsteps  cucumber beetles tickle petals  salvation on coldspring lane

Refilled

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I met 2 young ladies yesterday, both 23 years old. Girl A is beginning her masters and is the co-founder of a mentoring program for young women. Girl B has been working on her associates for the last 4 years and has no idea what she really wants to do in life. Girl A went to dinner with her co-founders, while Girl B tagged along with me because I wouldn't let her eat alone. As we rode in her truck she said to me, "That girl is the same exact age as me and she has accomplished so much. I don't even know what my purpose is. I envy her. I wish I could have it all figured out too." I listened to her and heard so much of myself in her words... As much as I wanted to give her a word about how at 28, I don't always know exactly what I am doing either, I couldn't make it about me. I had to address the one thing that would forever hold her back whether she knows her purpose or not.. I said, "Don't ever compare yourself to anyone else again. Embrace the place …

Breakfast

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April 7th, 2015
6:04 AM

3:46 PM in Paris

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April 6th 3:46 PM
The best thing about having mood disorder is that when you're up, you're all the way up. It's like a natural high that doesn't end. Everything is brighter and every sound is as clear as the pyramids at the Louvre.

6:22 PM in Paris

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Sunday, April 5th 2015 
(6:22 PM Paris Time) 

My writer's block is dissolving and I promise you it's because I'm in France. This country does something for my creative juices that no other place does. I'm standing on the train platform, waiting for the express to Paris. Listening to SZA sing Sweet November. I remember when I first discovered her voice and played her on repeat when the girls and I toured Thailand. Now here I am, exactly one year later bumping her, bopping my head, and stomping my blue All Saints on the concrete of anther foreign country. Life is good.

Spent the last two days and Istanbul and if I could describe my first experience with the Turks, I would have to say it was on some "eat pray love" sh't....
To be continued...