Thursday, April 19, 2007

After The Vent...

I still hold to the sentiments I had before...I think the Black community needs to raise up seriosuly and get off this whole talking, whining, and crying thing. It's just not cool...I think that the same civil rights leaders that we hold up in a demi-god light would be ashamed of us.

I spoke with the woman who I wrote the letter to (Andrea, creator of and she started to break it down to me. came down to a big ole 'DUH,' because what I felt yesterday has been the same things she's been seeing, hearing, and living for the past 3 years in trying to get Uppity Negro (which is a movement, NOT a fashion statement) up and running. She wanted to mobilze us as a people, have each of us in our own way take part in some activism and start making the changes we'd been whining for. But at the end of it all there was a lot of talk, and no action on our part, and so she's given up on UN. I don't blame's hard to mobilze people who don't want to be mobilized because in mobilizing them they just MIGHT have to let go of some of the 'comforts' of life.

I'm not exempt...I saw her story in a paper a few years ago and contacted her with a willingness to help, but when she responded and I heard all she was going through, I don't think I was prepared to step up to the plate. Why is it so hard for Black folks to help each other? To come together for a greater good? To struggle and appreciate the fact that the sacrifices made as an individual are for the benefit of the collective? What's happened to us? Why...are we so non-trusting and even hateful towards one another? Where is the REAL Black love? Someone let me know something...because I just do not see it.

I'm still tired of the talking, the intellectualizing, the postulating, and posing. I still want action. So then I have to turn inward and ask myself if I, ME, am ready to take action. Am I? And the response that comes to my head is 'but what about law school? grad school? what if this action thing leaves me destitute?' 'Cause admittedly, no one nowadays really wants to struggle, suffer, or go without. It might sound messed up, but at least I'm being honest. So I don't know WHAT I'm gonna do. More than likely, I'm gonna try and conjure up someway in which I can have my cake and eat it too. Meaning, I'll prolly try to go and get more education (because I DO think I'm gonna need that in my arsenal) and still take action. But...where do I start? We all have specific gifts and talents that we should use for the greater good of society...I just haven't figured mine out yet.

I still love my people. I'll die and go on to heaven still loving my people. I guess I'm just waiting for the answer to a question to magically appear, when it very well might be right in front of my face.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This Is How I'm Feeling Right Now...A Vent

I wrote this letter to a friend of mine this morning out of angst with all that's been going on. I've kept quiet lately, and I guess I just had to get it out. I figure people may not agree with what I've said, but these are my thoughts as of right now.

Lately…with the Imus thing, and the Duke players, and all of this talk about race and the Black community…I’m just fed up. I’m so tired of people passing the buck and looking back and talking about marches and Dr. King, and romanticizing the civil rights movement. I’m just not impressed, I’m just not moved, and I think the Black community has gotten used to pumping out a lot of hot air and it’s starting to piss me off. With Imus, aight yes he was wrong and what Snoop said was just plain dumb. Now that Imus is gone, I really honestly don’t think that the Black community will do a blessed thing. The greater population of us is too into the hood life and all things associated with it and I don’t think that we as a people are up for holding ourselves accountable, which is plain sad.

And I’m tired of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Lord bless them for the roles they’ve played in the civil rights movement, but those days are gone and they just strike me as sensationalists who are ready and willing to throw up the race card and make Black folks seem like victims. Yes, we as a people have undergone some heinous treatment in the country and the effects of some of the racial, social, and economic discrimination established during slavery is still being felt today, HOWEVER, we are NOT victims! Sharpton just makes my head hurt because the man just does not move the people towards positivity and growth with the same fervor that he uses to move us to anger the moment some white person does something stupid. I’m just tired of him and Jesse too, for that matter…just a lot of loud talk when the cameras are on, but that’s just my opinion.

What is wrong with us? It’s just frustrating and I’m starting to see what you’re talking about in terms of action or the lack thereof. I once wrote in one of my poems about how Blacks have given way to complacency so there’s no desire to change, but what I’m seeing or have been hearing lately is that the more educated of us just want to talk and intellectualize things versus acting upon them. I read the article you sent, and yea…I think that the ‘talented tenth’ is part bull and part useful. I don’t care how many make it ‘out’ the point is to go BACK and help get others out. Yes, uplifting our community is a daunting task and it cant be done in one large swoop, it’s a continuation of service and showing love, compassion and understanding. It’s a changing of attitudes towards one another and gathering a better (and more informed) understating of who we are as a culture, where we came from, and why things have come to be. We can do it, but like anything, it is going to be a struggle. The ‘successful’…no, some of them (because you can’t ignore those out there who have ‘made it’ and do go back) have just gone for self from the beginning with no intentions of giving back. And you know what? Lord have mercy on them when the time comes, because to not help your people is severe ignorance and cold-heartedness on their part.

I feel like I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve been very quite lately, for months it seems I’ve just been taking things in and just observing what’s going on. With the Imus situation popped up and Black folks all of a sudden got passionate and where basically calling for his blood it seemed, I just remained a lil indifferent. They didn’t let him go because they were listening to Us, they let him go cause the advertisers took away that $$, and that’s real. Now if we’d just take that same anger and turn it towards ourselves and the artists who perpetuate hate and derogatory attitudes towards our own, then MAYBE we could get somewhere. But, call me cynical, but I just don’t see us doing that collectively as a people.

I’m just tired. I want more. I want better. I want us to stop b*tchin and start a revolution. Who am I kidding tho? We aren’t ready for a revolution. We don’t even want one. We just want to continually make the White man walk on eggs about race while the rich Blacks get richer and ease on out of the community and those who have any semblance of intelligence just settle for discussion groups and hold forums and conventions, talking themselves into circles. It just really makes me feel sick to my stomach. I haven’t put all this out there, I’ve kinda kept it inside, but I guess the reason why I’m venting to you is because I felt like you were the only one who gets it. Cause I’ve seen what you’ve gone through with Uppity Negro ( and with trying to get us to mobilize and move, and now I understand how even we who love Black folks so much can get so discouraged and pessimistic about the state of affairs.

Ha, and we’re lookin at Obama like he can save us? lol, Lord have mercy on us, we are just so freakin lost and blinded by our own ignorance and complacency.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reflections of a Liberated Dread

As a black woman I’ve been through some serious stuff with my hair…I got my 1st perm when I was 7 years old, and wore them until I began to get ugly head sores from the chemicals when I was about 15. I then went to wearing braids exclusively for 2-3 years and took them out after all the perm had gone only to perm them again for my junior prom…back to braids until…senior prom. Going to college I went right back into the safe haven that was braids, and then in my sophomore year I got bold enough to rock an afro and thus began my napptural life. Since then I’ve loc’d my hair and 19 months in I’m still loving it.

As a member of I’ve learned a lot about maintaining my locs (which I now freeform, and do next to nothing to – I highly recommend it), and I’ve participated in some discussions on the dread aesthetic as well. Yet today while reading a particular post about a newbie’s issue with puffy roots I realized just how little we as black women know about our hair.

Sure, I was one of those women who just didn’t know how to do my hair when I was a permie – all I wore were wraps and ponytails, with the occasional flip thrown in from time to time. I simply didn’t know how to take care of or style my own hair. Once I went napptural, I got to become more involved with my hair as I’d wash it and style it on my own, and now as a dread I’ve learned so much more about my hair from doing absolutely nothing. It’s an enlightening and liberating experience to not feel bound by what’s on top of our head. Sometimes I think black women love our hair so much that we fear it, thinking that anything that we might do to it would ruin it, and so we leave it up to the ‘professionals.’

But my goodness, my sistahs if only we took the time to get to know ourselves and our own hair…just imagine how much money we could save, how much peace we could find, and how much more confidence we’d have! Why is it that we still, even as nappturals, cling to this mentality that uniform and manicured manes are the way to go? Our hair is naturally wild and free, why can’t we accept it? I used to go to a loctitian to get my locs maintained because I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own. I also liked how the uniform locs look, so I understand that as well.

But it is just so LIBERATING to have your hair and be proud of it and feel sexy in it even when you think it’s not looking its best. Whether my hair is short, or long, super curly and thick, or locs doing their own thing…napptural hair is and can be only as beautiful as the person rocking the style is. If you’re not comfortable within yourself, there ain’t no way a new ‘do is going to help. I think we need to free ourselves of the standards that society has placed upon us and the standards we place upon ourselves. God has already done a wonderful job when He made each and every one of us, so we need to say thanks to Him for it and go forth and be fly! lol

Seriously, I suppose the reason why I’m even bothering to say all of this is because it just hit how unaware I and a good deal of my sistren are of our own hair and how we can be scare ourselves into a box when it comes to hair care and styling. Embrace that untamable mane of yours and don’t be afraid to flaunt it wherever you might be. Yes, people will always have something negative to say or some just may not understand, but that should never deter you from being proud of who you are, how you look, or what it is you represent. If you’re napptural or if you’re a permie, take the time to acquaint yourself with your hair, and if you’re a permie I hope that one day you’ll get to experience the freedom that can come from wearing the hair that God originally placed on your head (chemical free!) and I hope that all of us can look upon each other and see our own beauty reflected in the eyes of our sisters.

Peace & Many Blessings