Poetry In Motion…Two Decades Of My LIfe

pop culture

I am a 90’s baby….

the epitome of infancy growing up in the 90’s.

Im talking about when we did the bounce and not the beyonce

Im talking back when we thought the letters TLC

were close together in the alphabet

chasing waterfalls in our LA Gears and Jellies

kicking back in our Nautica and Fubu Jumpers

jumping over toad-stools with mario-brotherspop1

On our Nintendo 64!!!

Make 2010 A Post "Post-Race" Year

“Brooklyn we did it”. Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls, the larger than life hip-hop icon, carried a lot of weight, most of the load he carried was from his corpulent frame, but another portion was from carrying the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant on his back. As Brooklyn’s unofficial ambassador in the mid-nineties he gave a lot young people hope. Through Biggie, many aspiring rappers, and those who never dreamt of aspiring at all, saw that it was possible to become successful without having to use illicit activities as a means to garner that success. When Biggie said “Brooklyn we did it”, he implied that his accomplishments were the shared and collective achievements of everyone in his borough. While his borough jingoism on it’s face sounded good, in actuality Biggie’s accomplishments could not be attributed to all of the roughly 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn.

Fast forward to November 4, 2008. If Biggie was still here he would say “America we did it”.

New Year, New Resolutions (Not to Keep)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_CYGMoSYCs

Dear Common, Did you seriously say, “I’m a man”?  With a straight face?


Generally, I resolve not to make New Year’s resolutions.  That way, I’ve already broken my resolution by day one, and don’t have to spend 364 days talking about how I failed yet again.  Since I’d rather watch football than go see racist-ass Avatar, I’m low on blog ideas.  I know you don’t want to hear me rant about the Colts’ stupidstupidstupid “rest the starters” approach to the end of the season, and how they’re totally going to get their butts kicked by the Chargers if they don’t get their act together.  So, I’ve compiled a list of things I resolve to do in the new year.  No, finish my dissertation is not one of the things I plan to do.  If anything, I am a sensible human being.

The Abortion Healthcare Christmas Edition: Everybody Ain’t the Virgin Mary

For many Christians around the world, the Christmas season signals a time to remember the Immaculate Conception of Mary of Nazareth and the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a time to remember when hope in the form of a baby boy came into the world. You see, when I was a little Pentecostal black girl attending Bethany Baptist Church on Homestead Road, I dreamed of being Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. I dreamed of being chosen by God above all other women to birth his son. For some of you reading this blog, I know this childhood dream of mine seems a little ridiculous if not fundamentalist, but it made sense. You see Mary of Nazareth was special. She was unique. She was not like Jezebel the Harlot or Eve the Disobedient who in Pastor Montgomery’s opinion was the primary reason we have sin in the world and why women should sit quietly in the church.

Oh no, Mary was S-P-E-C-I-A-L—special. And for a little black girl who grew up seeing women in her family beaten by men for their transgressions of simply being a woman (i.e. daughter, mother, and wife)—I wanted to be Mary, God’s chosen and “privileged” vessel. Furthermore, the idea of being able to have a baby without having to have sex with a man was quite appealing to me as well. As a child I thought how amazing it would be to accomplish the ultimate role of a woman which is birthing a baby and still remain pure in the eyes of God, a virgin.

But, of course, I was a deeply wounded girl child who thought these thoughts as a way to survive being a little black girl in my family. I now know as a recovering wounded girl child that conceiving and having a baby as a single black working class woman is not a divine “you are highly favored among all other women” experience. If anything it is the opposite of divine. It is deeply marginalizing. And in society’s eyes it’s downright evil. The worse sin you could ever commit in a white supremacist patriarchal capitalistic society as a black girl or as a black woman is to make hardworking tax payers fund your fatherless child who will probably end up in jail further burdening the good hardworking tax payers. So, I realize that some women by virtue of their class, sexuality, and race could never embody the divinity albeit the “privileges” of Mary of Nazareth. Everybody ain’t the Virgin Mary. Everybody cannot immaculately conceive and then give birth and have their son become the Messiah because some women and their children are not valuable. Some women are figuratively without the divine favor that Mary had making their ability to conceive or not to conceive a political game where current senators and house members can decide to throw them literally under the bus in order to pass a lack luster healthcare bill denying federal funds for abortions. Once again, everybody ain’t the Virgin Mary. As a caveat, I do know the story of Mary and how King Harold (i.e. the State) was hoping to kill her baby (i.e. the Messiah), however, Mary still had God’s divine favor (i.e. white privilege and class privilege) working on her behalf.

It's better than money: It's FOOD STAMPS!

 

 

FoodStampsI read the New York Times article titled “Food Stamps Usage Soars, Stigma Fades.” The article is about the lessening of  stigma regarding the use of food stamps. What comes to mind when you think of the U.S. welfare system, specifically food stamps or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

 For me, I remember seeing black single mothers with multiple children (read: more than 3) in the grocery store handing multi-colored slips of paper across the counter to the cashier. Others, like President Ronald Reagan, associate with this program certain women, like Linda Taylor, Barbara Williams, Arlens Otis, and Dorothy Woods. As defrauders of government sponsored welfare programs, these women’s public “transgressions” aided Ronald Reagan to stir the public imagination and create the “welfare queen. ” In his most famous of quotes regarding the welfare queen, He said:

Ronald-Regan “She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husband. She’s got Medicaid, getting food-stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names.” 

 
 
 

The Lies That History Tells: Merry Pagan Holiday

I want to find the truth. I want to discover a history that doesn’t lie to me. I want to explore the past in a light of pure actuality. I want to walk on the trail of tears with Native Americans. I yearn to be the child of a jobless single mother in the great depression. I want to lose my house to hurricane Katrina. I want to feel the truth of oppression, so I can know what I have to be grateful for.

Over the past month I have been writing about the lies that I was told in grade school. As I conclude this series I want to encourage everyone never to look at anything from face value. Always question, always find several credible sources, always challenge young people to find their truth.

xxxmas

My parents spared me. They saved me from the mid-adolescent crisis of figuring out what the truth is about one of the most influential times in any child’s life. Since my first memory of Christmas my parents explained to me that there was no Santa Claus. This is not a push to destroy a harmless tale that we express to little kids in fun. In my personal opinion, I think its up to the parents to decide what they do or don’t want their children to believe (at least when it comes to mythical ideas that encourage kids to be nice all year.) But as I grew up and realized that some kids in my 4th and 5th grade classes still believed in Santa, I began to appreciate my parent’s truth.

My Thoughts On Christmas

When most people think of Christmas they usually envision images of an older, portly, White man in a hot, itchy red costume, encouraging children to sit on his lap while desperately trying to not look like a pedophile. Others may think of a grandmother getting trampled in Best Buy because she did not move fast enough to let the unemployed, thirty-year old video gamer get first dibs on the new World of Warcraft game. But I’m sure everyone thinks of Black Friday. It’s one of the few times of the year when even White folks are happy to take part in a “Black” event. Christmas is all about sales right? Enough with the sarcasm.

When I think of Christmas many thoughts run through my head. One of the recurring thoughts is about Harry T. Moore who was murdered on Christmas night in 1951 while at home with his wife, Harriette V. Moore.  Harry T. Moore was an educator and activist who fought tirelessly against racism and for the full citizenship of Blacks in his home state of Florida. Moore established the first NAACP in Brevard County in 1934. Later he served as President of the Florida Conference of NAACP Branches. Most of his short life was dedicated to ensuring equality for Blacks at the ballot box, in the workforce, and in the courtroom.

December 14, 2009 – December 20, 2009

City Schools’ New Criteria for Diversity Raise Fears
Crystal Yednak and Darnell Little, The New York Time, December 20, 2009

Violence leaves family facing grim holidays; Murders of son, cousin shatter happiness — but not faith
Mary Mitchell, The Chicago Sun-Times, December 20, 2009

Health gap kills 3,200 black Chicagoans a year; African Americans miss out on treatment advances, expert says
Monifa Thomas, The Chicago Sun-Times, December 18, 2009

Black fraternity leaders meet in Atlanta
The Associated Press, December 18, 2009

For Colleges In Connecticut, An Increase In Hispanic And Black Students Earning Degrees
Kathleen Megan, The Hartford Courant, December 17, 2009

Georgetown students say campus satire is racist
Brett Zongker, The Associated Press, December 16, 2009

IUP seeks to enroll more black students
Daveen Rae Kurutz, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, December 16, 2009

Middle Schoolers Identify Violent Content in Youth-Targeted Entertainment as a Strong Influence in Causing Youth Violence; Gang Violence, Drugs and Bullying Also Serious Factors
PR Newswire, December 14, 2009

Study Investigates Relationship Perceptions Among African-American Youth
La Monica Everett-Haynes, University of Arizona News, December 14, 2009

A decade of Gov. Jeb Bush’s One Florida has seen minority college enrollment rise
Shannon Colavecchio, St. Petersburg Times, December 14, 2009

The gifts that last
Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe, December 14, 2009