Showing posts from August, 2019


I made it back to the states safely but every time I think about posting about my trip, I get knots in the pit of my belly. I know those knots are my gut telling me to take my time and speak out when I have thoroughly prepared my messaging. Telling me a post will not be effective enough. Telling me to put this phone down and organize an action plan. Telling me to develop essays that will not be biased but stand on facts and truths. Telling me to teach my peers and continue learning with them. The anxiety I feel is giving me permission to slow down and do things right, not right now. 
Even with the urgency I feel around the subject, I know I cannot act. I must be strategic and organized, there’s no room for reactionary moves in the revolution. 


Notes on being pretty with my weave and lashes. My look was inspired by Nneka J.  I love her style, head to toe. 
Found this suit a year ago at the Goodwill, for $4 !

I vividly remember leaving home and starting my new life as a freshmen at Morgan State.  The smell of pine sol in Blount’s halls.  My grandmother getting a box of biscuits from Popeyes.  The whole car was packed.  We went to Walmart and got things for my dorm room. 
I didn’t see her cry, though.  Not until the second time she brought me to school. As she was putting the last of her things in the trunk of her car, I felt her energy. Sure enough, when I looked up at her, she was crying. She was proud of her gran. 
I wonder how my mother would have felt.  Or my father...
When those freshmen girls began filling up the seats of the ballroom, I found myself smiling the entire time. I could tell, even from where I was sitting, who was from up north like me, who was starting to feel the silent tax of being away from a dysfunctional home, who …


I am in control of this energy. 


I need to write a thank you letter to Rihanna when I am done with my homework. 
I also want to reflect on my silence during a city-wide professional development session I was in this week. A fellow participant, who is in leadership in one of our city schools, used a very problematic statement to describe our youth, during a debrief. Since I was the one who added a norm requesting our session be a “safe space,” I won’t repeat what was said, but I’ll simply describe it as a disappointing. 
I looked around the room, searching faces for a reaction but everyone seemed to agree with the free spoken micro-aggression. It was as if the deficit-thinking was cloaked and only I could see it for exactly what it was. I wanted everyone to hear it how it I heard it. Could not let that propaganda live with them as they head back into the classroom in just a few more weeks. My mouth wouldn’t open to stop the person from finishing even though my heart wanted to dead the noise. I don’t know why I couldn’t …

Recitatif by Toni Morrison

My mother danced all night and Roberta's was sick. That's why we were taken to St. Bonny's. People want to put their arms around you when you tell them you were in a shelter, but it really wasn't bad. No big long room with one hundred beds like Bellevue. There were four to a room, and when Roberta and me came, there was a shortage of state kids, so we were the only ones assigned to 406 and could go from bed to bed if we wanted to. And we wanted to, too. We changed beds every night and for the whole four months we were there we never picked one out as our own permanent bed.

    It didn't start out that way. The minute I walked in and the Big Bozo introduced us, I got sick to my stomach. It was one thing to be taken out of your own bed early in the morning-it was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a girl from a whole other race. And Mary, that's my mother, she was right. Every now and then she would stop dancing long enough to tell me something imp…


11:58AM—Yesterday, I read 30 pages in 2 hours (2 hours less than the night before last) and then, read another chapter while getting my weave sewn in. I’m not sure how long it took me because I didn’t set my timer but I know I fully understood everything I read and she was just finishing the braid down with the net, which means it had to have been less than an hour. I’m seeing myself grow as a reader and it feels good. Makes me smile at myself for slowly overcoming the emotional tax that came with procrastination. 
3:13PM—I waited too late to get her picture.  She was petite in height but thick in the places any lover of a woman’s body would appreciate.  She was brown,  the hue of the leaves when ushering autumn to the forefront of our climate.  She played no games.  Sat down.  Opened her bag. Took her notebook out and wrote. 
8:50PM—On my balcony. Still reading....sharing links to some of the more interesting articles of my day: 
Why Corporations Want You to Shut Up and Meditate 

As Trauma Touc…


Today’s Learning Goal & Affirmation: I chunk and digest complex texts with confidence in my ability to accurately make meaning. 
I just read for 4 hours straight and this is as far as I got: 30 pages. 
In reflecting, I realize, using close-reading strategies such as text coding, defining words I was unfamiliar with, and rereading some of the pages a couple of times in order to understand the main idea, made me read way slower than I do when I am reading fictional texts. Last night, I read almost 200 pages of With the Fire on High because I was determined to finish it! Now that I am reading something way more complex in vocabulary and ideas, I’m not only reading slower, I am falling asleep. 
But it’s less about what it took to get me here and more about the fact that I got here. I did it. I met my learning goal of reading, with confidence. Though I didn’t finish as many pages as I would have liked to, I thoroughly understand the pages that I completed. 
My next goal and affirmation is …

8:34—Quickwrite (Unedited)

This is my garden.   I am the water, the seed, and the soil,  the plant and the light. 

I’m not saying I don’t like the love my students and I get online, I’m saying: that was never my intent. All I wanted to do was teach the babies, become a writer, and sell my vintage clothes. I didn’t ask for everything else. 
I’ll admit, I cut the rope to my anchor when the wind of fame hit my sails. Once the attention was directed toward our videos, I began to focus on crafting documentaries. I loved that work. I still do. But I had to put it to the side when I realized Instagram became a red herring. 
Writing took a back seat to the curation of visuals that I thought would be a means to an end, a way to change the issues my students and I were dealing with—issues that I believed society needed to be made aware of in order for us to redesign the current educational system into one that is truly equitable for all. There were others leading the work of amplifying these issues but I felt I had my own audie…