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Showing posts from February, 2016

Black Fist

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Ran a workshop for teachers today and threw up my fist after, and one of the teachers said, "You're like BeyoncĂ©." That made me question whether I should post this picture on social networks because it might look like I am a poser or being trendy (and I'm a Gemini, we always double think everything we do) but the reality is, I threw my fist up simply because I can. 
Because I, a young woman of color, facilitated a workshop in a small room of about 30 teachers (majority of them were white) and I honestly, feel like far too many outsiders think they are experts on our children and what works best. It is time we, teachers of color, start leading more and more and more! because we know what our kids need! And that's why I threw up my Black power fist. And I was throwing my fist before Bey, and will keep throwing it up long after.  

What I Pray: Every Morning. Every Night.

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Morning:
Good morning Spirit, 
Thank you for another day to get closer to you, to do the work my flesh was created to do, to let your glory shine as I reflect your Light. Please allow me to walk in truth, to speak in kindness, to smile through it all, and to think positively, without even trying. Let all things that I desire manifest today. 
Let me be love, unconditional, like your love,
Amen. 
Night:
Dear God, 
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for keeping me. Thank you for your grace and your unwavering mercy. Thank you for speaking through me today. Please keep me tonight. Let me rest well. Let me dream and see visions of you. Let me have a sound mind, always. Please, don't take your peace from me. Let my waking thoughts be of how good you are, how much you love me, how you will never leave me in the darkness. 
Allow me to reflect your Light, always,  Amen. 


7:11

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7:11PM
The best way to get over something? Buy something. 
Not always true. Definitely not my go-to answer but today, I finally bought this pair of jeans I've been dying for, for months.
The guy I was feeling, we didn't work out.  And I'm not going to lie, I'm not all heart broken, but I am disappointed.
He was everything I wanted in a man, except for a few things like how far he lives, how unhealthy he eats, how haphazard his personal organizational skills are, how long he takes to respond to texts, how we only would talk on the phone every once in a while, how many women are always hanging around him... But I mean, I have these crazy mood swings that I can't always control when I'm around him, so I figured, if he can put up with my illness, then surely, I can overlook all of the things that I don't like about him. 
Wrong. 
Those very things were actually triggering my mood swings, making me very irritable, which made him go from finding my crazy beautiful to bo…

Nola No. 10

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New Orleans, LA
6:19PM NP: Talib Kweli - Life Ahead of Me
Flora is my new favorite coffee spot. Never made it to city park or back to the butterfly garden but I'll be back. And it will be different next time. I see it. 
Went from journaling to picking up my phone to blog this. I think I've done well with balancing my writing with my typing this week. And even posting on IG. 
To be honest, this has been a really hard week. Got a lot of stories and content but my love life stinks. 
Won't go into details about that though. 
But these mood swings were in full swing. I felt best when I was alone. When I was on my own, exploring. 
Went to church today and at the alter, I found God speaking directly to me about the voices. About how I still lose so much sleep at night. About how Spirit is trying to talk to me when I'm awakened. She prayed for me to have the spirit of peace not fear. I receive that. 
Free. The message was about being freed from the shackles that we've put on oursel…

Nola No. 7

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New Oleans, LA 11:10AM
"What do you write?" The sun crept under the stone colored canvas umbrella and bounced off of her hazels with every blink.

"About being a teacher, a Black woman, the current state of our culture, my bouts with depression...." 
"So while you're in New Orleans, are you going to write about how depressing it is that pre-Katrina it was a brown city and now all you see are white people?" 
I looked around Bayou Road and Dorgenois Street and like doves scattering, all I really did see were white people moving about. We were actually sitting with one. She didn't look up from her computer so I wondered how she felt about Alexi's words. 
"How long have you been teaching?" I asked her, always curious. 
"2 years..." She began to tell me about her certification process, which wasn't Teach for America but much like the program. My next question was going to be, "How long do you plan on staying in the classroom?&q…

What's Going on in My Head When Addressing White People

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I mean, I'm not going to tell it as if I'm afraid of white people, because I'm not. I was actually abashed by how nervous they made me. The resonance of being the only Black person in my classes at Hopkins resurfaced. Never felt smart enough. Never earned anything less than an A and still, wasn't fully confident in my ability to present my knowledge to them. 
The ballroom was filled with some 200 people and there was only a sprinkle of chocolate on the vanilla. (I'm still working on a smoother way to describe whites, I know vanilla has no creative appeal.)
Maybe it didn't help that I just read Hurston's, "What White Publishers Won't Print" because quotes like 



wouldn't leave my head. Would they accept what I had to say? Was I too small. Too young? Too hood? Would I have to change my diction. Code switch from my uptown accent to my white girl accent, like my Grand always did when she was around white folk?



Would my message be accepted as an exp…

Nola No. 6

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New Orleans, LA 10:34PM
NP: Little Brother - Dreams

Her long dark lashes shone like rayon above her eyelids. She wore bright red lipstick and box braids, adorned with silver cuffs. The register closed and right before we walked away, I decided to pick her brain. 
"Can I ask you something?" 
"Yeah.."
"How do you feel about Beyonce's video?" 
"Oh I haven't seen it." 
Her shoulders gave a couple shrugs, signifying her disinterest. 
"I don't care about them." 
"What do you mean?"
"They don't do nothing for me. They spendin' money on stupid stuff when we need real things. I 'on care about them. I'm doin' what I gotta do out here." 



Nola No. 5

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New Orleans, LA 8:44 PM
You don't have to do anything. Just be. 
9:06 
Fancy. 
9:15 
Stay grounded.

NOLA No. 1 and 3

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New Orleans, LA NP: Rihanna - Love on the Brain 7:14 PM 
I was here for seven days during the last week of 2015. Left the morning of Jan 1st. I didn't post anything that week. I needed to quiet the world. I was depressed but I didn't really know it until I got here today and started noticing so many wild and vivid colors that I didn't see last time. Be and I drove down the same roads that we did everyday last time and the teals and purples and pinks were like fireworks. They were blindingly beautiful. How had I not seen them last time?
When you're in the dark.... 
7:17PM
I don't want to be picked and put into a vase. I want to be free. Let me be free. 
7:18
I don't drink but sometimes I wish I had a vice that I could turn to. That's just the truth. But the reality is: no substance works for me. They only make the pain more intense. And the happiness cease to exist, even if I was happy prior to ... 
7:19
7:20
How. 
7:25
Lots of people love me. But you know sometimes I sti…

hands up we just doing what the cops taught us. hands up then cops shot us.

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Chicago, IL  Monday, February, 15th, 2016 NP: Kanye & Kendrick - No More Parties in LA 11:33PM
Ive been watching the world. I tweet a lot more. Still not on snap. No desire to join but I like when Meekz sends me her funny videos. 
Ye.. He's funny. Remember when he sampled Strange Fruit? Or when he dropped New Slaves? The message behind All Falls Down? Drug dealer by Jordan, crack-head by crack, and the white man get paid off alladat? No? Oh. Maybe that's why people keep saying he never spoke out about Black lives "like Kendrick." NO!!!! It's not LIKE Kendrick! They are two different people. Let their art be. Not supposed to be the same, in no way, shape, or form.
Super corny how everyone is comparing Ye and Kendrick tonight on twit... Like, I just want them to stfu. Nobody can just be great. Everyone is always reaching for someone to compare another person to. So wack. 
Kendrick's grammy performance was everything we needed. Funny how they censored his lyrics ab…

Teaching Black Stuff

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...a white student told me that his father was questioning the amount of "black stuff" I was teaching. He said his father said, "You teach us about this so much because its all you know." I was very offended. Even with all of my degrees and accolades, in this parent's opinion, my belief in the need to expose the youth to such vital and often misinterpreted/ misrepresented aspects of history was not because it was important enough for them to learn about but because it was all I {their young black teacher} knew. I was infuriated at such an ignorant  accusation and indignant at the way he facilely passed the torch of bigotry down to his son. But instead of standing strong on my beliefs and subverting against him, I grew insecure. Maybe I believed his father. Maybe that was all I really knew. So I cowered away from wanting to empower my students through the exposure of their history as a people and began to try implementing more Eurocentric pieces of text, while k…

Have You Ever Had a Vision?

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The Suicide Journal

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"Give it to me doc... Give it to me straight... I'm ready.. Come on out with it." She was taking too long. I wanted to choke the words out of her. Instead, I put my hands under my butt and began rocking back and forth. The sound of the wax paper wrinkling on top of the hospital bed was irritating but I couldn't control my nerves enough to stop moving. 
"Ms. Clay, you're not bipolar, you seem to have Mood Disorders. We think you're severely depressed. You've been suffering for a long time. You were very brave to come here today." 
"So do I need medication? What will happen next?" I was overwhelmed with relief but still so confused. She suggested  Shepard Pratt for a few weeks. Shepard Pratt? Hell no, I'm not that crazy... Am I? 
*** 
In suicide watch, you can't take anything with you, but I had a paper due in my PhD course so I was able to convince the docs to let me take books and my journal. They couldn't let me have a pen bec…

Who Needs Black History Month?

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By Melyanet E.
Every year, the same thing. Every year, the same names. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, etc, etc. We read the same books, dance the same African dances, and listen to the same speeches from the Civil Rights era. 
For the first few years of my childhood, Black History Month was a time everyone looked forward to. It was always the time when our teachers taught us about people we all wondered about, those that came before us, that actually resembled us. But as soon as you got old enough to realize that every single year it was always the same people, fighting for the same old thing, you got bored and found no value in any of it. It was no longer a fun celebration of black pride, it was tedious, to say the least. For all of these years, I was almost fooled into believing that this was all there was to learn and all there was to being a person of color. 
   After watching Stacy Dash's interview and seeing Whoopi Golberg ask her white co-host on The View, …