Showing posts from March, 2017

I am Gold.

I'm not saying not to celebrate being Black. I'm saying, know your history. Know that there's no reason for one "race" to be treated differently than another because the fact is: there is no such thing as race, except for the human race. Those that enslaved us needed a way to console their guilt and remain in good standing with their Christianity, therefore, the concept of race was invented as a way to brain wash the entire world. They needed people to believe that people of color were animals, not humans, in order to justify their actions - despite their motto of being the "land of the free." But the lines of division that they drew are erasable. It will take time but it is not impossible. 
Nothing is irreversible. 
I must also acknowledge the fact that racism  and race are two different concepts. Racism is very much real and alive. I know that. And I am doing my part to teach the youth such. It's been a long school year and they have learned their h…

For Lou. I love you, sis.

What is my purpose? That's the question I keep asking myself. What am I working for? Writing for? Speaking for? Teaching for? 
To enlighten others  To inspire people to educate themselves  To promote learning  To show people who battle with depression that they can find peace in doing what makes them feel whole Educating others makes me feel whole  Educating others diminishes my depression  Educating others has taken me out of poverty and off of welfare  Educating myself has allowed me to forgive myself and others who hurt me 
For instance: I did not understand why my grandmother used to be so angry and mean and beat me, or why my mother could not raise me because of her addiction, or why my father did not want me until I understood the history of racism in the south, the war on drugs, and systematic oppression. Until I understood the history of mental health in the Black community. Until I understood that colorism and discrimination lives and breathes just as healthy as it did during slav…

Shiny Ashes Under the Sun: Special Education and Black Boys

There's no one more invisible than a homeless Black man in America. No one sees him. He is thin air. But in the heart of the harbor, where a runaway by the name of Frederick Douglass once stood, I noticed him. Skin of shiny ashes under the sun. Eyes of a thousand prose. A distant song so familiar. I wondered what his teachers thought of him back when he was only a child. Did they foresee his future? How did he become shelterless? Who's fault? 
These questions often make me wonder about my students, particularly, my students with disabilities. When academia becomes too much of a struggle, I watch their alacrity fade to apathy. Is this how the homeless Black man gained his status? Did he give up the fight instead of grappling? I wonder... about my boys. Will they learn to channel their anger? And recognize that their ADHD is actually their most tenacious attribute? Will they understand: their inability to "sit still" and stay focused is what it takes live up to the titl…

5:16AM in Baltimore

I took a long bath last night.
Meditated.  Saw through my third eye.  Practicing such. Takes practice to focus on the light in darkness. Mind wants to wander to memories. Third eye offers a glimpse into the great unknown. Takes practice to hone the skill of seeing through what's not there in the physical.  I'll keep getting better. 
Voices took me back to my first scare. The night I slept in the closet. It was my first time acknowledging them being there, in my head...
Now they detox my soul.  Rebirth. 
Tonight I learned that I must trust myself. I was gifted with Voices to guide me.  Not to hurt myself. 
Nothing is to harm me. 
Trust myself. 
Energy into things that feed my soul. 
Humble and grateful for where I am in this very moment. 
No big words needed. No rhymes. No metaphors. 
I am enough.

Additional Commentary from David DePeña on Dominicans and Blackness

My friend, David, tried to post this last night on my IG post (see previous post) but it would not go through. I had to upload it here for you all to read. It's so true. On so many levels. And I'm still learning. 

I used to teach a lesson where I showed the kids all different pictures of Black people like Tracee Ellis Ross and A-Rod and Homer Plessy and so many others and I asked them to sort who is white and is not and they would have all these categories of Asians, Indians, and Blacks, and "Spanish" and in the end I said, "No, everyone is Black."
But my struggle now is that I really want to say, "There's no such thing as Black. We're human. We are only Black because Western Civilization has labeled us Black .." But for so long, we all shunned from being proudly Black, that to denounce being Black would almost be blasphemy... Right?? 
David: Exactly!! Black is operating as a social construct at this moment. But I don't want to abandon bl…

Are Dominicans Black?

About a week ago, a reader asked me for advice about being considered "too black" or "not black enough..." My response is below.

My Advice? F*** them.  Define yourself.  Too many problems that need to be fixed out here; your time is too valuable to spare. Don't waste it on analyzing and helping the haters too. They don't matter. Lead. Lead and let them learn from your example. Work from your heart, that is all that counts. Besides, in the eyes of the oppressor: niggers are niggers. There's no difference to them and there shouldn't be a difference amongst us either but our own people insist on perpetuating the enslaved mentality that was engrained in our ancestors... Let your work be a strong enough example that it reprograms the minds of your peers. Let your actions speak for themselves.  It's not your job to prove yourself to anyone. You don't need validation. You just need to find your passion and focus on living in your purpose.
Then a few ot…

No Distractions

Letting them all go was easy. It's keeping myself entertained that will be hard. 

reading.  working out.  cooking.  writing. 
Operation: Consciously putting all of my energy into myself starts now. 


Safety over Sanity

I have never not warned myself. My intuition is always on point. At times I ignore it because my desires don't match the reality of my intuition's visions but even then, even when I hurt myself, I learn from myself. 
Nothing is to harm me. 
Lately, I've been listening to it. Lately, I've been paying close attention to my dreams. Lately, I've been reticent and wise not to move without overthinking. I sleep. My sleep is my high. I can't smoke. I hate drinking. But sleeping takes me into a different world and allows me to see things for what they are .. My dreams show me people and signs and places and I am so powerful that it scares me into depression. Because how can I use all of this power and not fail? 
But I won't let the old voices from my childhood speak to the new voices of my adult-self's confidence. I got this. I got this power and I am using it. I got ancestors and they will never leave me. I got loved one who never judge me. I got peace of mind an…

5 Things NOT to Say to a Person with a Mental Illness

Dont pity me. When I post about my depression, I do not do it for sympathy. It is not a cry for help or a ploy for attention. I do it to free myself from myself. I literally let go of all of my feelings, for my own breath of air. I get tired of holding it all in. I usually log off after I post something really raw, to avoid the anxiety that comes with being so vulnerable in public. When I get back online, I don't re-open the post or read the comments but today, I saw a few comments on a friend's page that really disturbed me. It made me realize that people really don't know what to say and what not to say to a person with a mental illness. 
Please, understand: there are two types of people that will view your comments: people who are able to relate to the post and people who will just want to help and can relate to you. Speaking for the people that may be dealing with the same exact issues as I am, seeing your comments may mistakingly cause them to be more afraid to open up…

Wellness and Work

Grateful: I work at school that upholds mental health. Never will I take that for granted. My work is appreciated. My voice is valued. My mind is safe. It's freeing to be able to say how I am feeling, to cry in front of my administrators about my anxiety around my  sheer desire to be a great teacher and they respond with support. It wasn't always like this for me - because I used to wear a mask and harbor my feelings. Learning to be honest about my melt downs and seeking support is proving to be a stronger coping mechanism than just journaling and keeping things inside... When you work with children, it's important that you stay healthy in the head. It's important that you let people help you. It's important that you are humble enough to ask for help, no matter how many times or different things you may find yourself needing help with. You're not alone. You will be disservicing the children if you don't seek help for yourself. In order to seek help before a…

Midnight. Via IG 3.6.17

would never know how much i cry ... how dark my depression is... how loud the voices get... will never know  because  i will not harm myself.  i will overcome every battle with my mood swings every time me and the other side of me meet in the ring.  i will love myself a little more for every morning that i can wake up from dreaming of ending it all the night before.  i will love myself even more for pushing through my past and my regrets  and my fears my anxiety and self doubt. I know now, more than yesterday that I am enough.  I am more than enough.  I will always love my enoughness.  I will always love myself more for getting help when I can't manage alone.  I will always love myself for ignoring how embarrassing it is to let others see me so low,  so weak, yet, so strong.  I flaunt my transparency.  I acknowledge  my bravery. I stand firm in my will to free every woman that stands beside me as I free the little girl inside me.  I will always find beauty d…

Numbers and Windows

The other day, someone asked me how many books I have sold... I said, "I don't know. I don't look at the numbers. I see the money in my account, I pay my bills." To be honest, I don't look at numbers. I don't look at my "likes" on social media. I don't read comments on my posts at all, whether positive or negative. I just create. I create from my heart. The numbers symbolize the opinions of viewers. The numbers have nothing to do with my craft. Once I post something, I don't even open the post back up. I don't look at it again, unless I decide to delete it. But this morning, I received an invoice from my publishing company and instead of ignoring it like I usually do, I read it. It said that I sold 250 books on Amazon in the month of February and then, one of the independent book stores my book is in in NYC  sent me an invoice for the books they have sold out of and requested more. This is great. But even if I only sold 11 on Amazon, li…