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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Mule of the World

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I see her often,
That young woman with sad, troubled eyes.
Her vacant stare looks through me.
What troubles her so?

She was once a strong, Black woman!
But the world has made her weak.
So weak,
That sometimes, she doesn’t feel she can hold on.
But what does she have
To hold onto?
Pain and loneliness are her sole companions.

So many thoughts
Of love and joy swirl through her mind
Like watercolors, beautiful colors…
They are far away.
She is lost-
Or maybe she has lost her mind.
And so she writes,
Because you see the pen is mightier than the sword
Or so someone once said.
Still her pain is dry and hot
Like the blue of a flame
And burns from within.

Eyes are the windows to the soul.
The ugliness of the world is reflected in her empty eyes.
Because Zora said, “the Black woman is the mule of the world.”
The doormat of society, the scapegoat of her community.

Eyes of a young, Black woman.
If you look closely, you will see they are mine.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Girls, Poetry, Reflection, women, Youth

 

RIP Lady T

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There will never be another…Teena Marie.

March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Music

 

Justice Aint Blind

I am a HUGE James Baldwin fan. His quote from 1972 has been ringing in my ears lately.

“If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected — those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most! — and listens to their testimony.”
No Name in The Street

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Civil Rights, Race, Reflection

 

Join the Village

This morning I heard a news headline from October about a young student and football player who was killed in New York by a white officer. The officer shot rounds into his car, fatally injuring him and injuring his passenger, another young, Black man. According to eyewitnesses, the attack was not as officers have reported it- in self-defense- and this young man is dead. This was my first time hearing the tragedy and my heart lept into my throat as tears spilled down my face. There was a churning in my stomach as I looked into the rear-view mirror at Diallo’s sweet face.

I have always felt pain when a mother somewhere loses her son, but it is right below the surface for me now as a single mother of a Black son. I know that this country has still not come close to rectifying its hatred for Black men- the younger and more vibrant, the stronger the disdain.

We need to resurrect the Village y’all and we need to start raising some hell. I know the Village isn’t gone but it has been pillaged and under attack. I/We need everyone’s help to rebuild. I am asking everyone to re-engage. Now I know we get frustrated, overwhelmed and preoccupied with our own problems/lives. But guess what, this is OUR problem and OUR life. Sometimes even I lose sight of the Village but we can’t afford that. There are too many of our boys- and girls- losing their lives and futures because they did not have a Village to rally and protect them.

When I see young men in my neighborhood on the corner, walking down the street, I look them in the eye and speak rather than clutch my purse. I have had people tell me I’m crazy, that I need to be careful. Guess what, if I’m gonna “go” then let it be while I was trying to show respect and love to one of our sons.

I don’t have the answers, but I know that when there is a family or support system lifting up a child, those who enter their lives understand that they will be held accountable. Let’s become that village. Become be a Big Brother, mentor, tutor, concerned family member, Godfather, cousin, elder. Donate some money to some organization that is doin’ it for our youth/boys and needs it. Be an advocate – go to those school board and city council meetings; know what’s going on in your community and city. Become a “mother bear” and fight for these cubs!

I want to give a shout out to some Village elders who are putting in work: Monica Haslip of Little Black Pearl in Chicago, Geoffrey Canada of Harlem’s Children Zone in Harlem, Tim King of Urban Prep Academy in Chicago (I am noticing that all these people are linked to education- that’s the topic for a future post). Please shout out others in your comments.

As a single mom, I will be counting on the village. I am rebuilding, please join me…do it for our children.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2010 in Civil Rights, Family, Reflection, Youth

 

Still Waiting for Superman?

Yesterday I saw a snippet of Oprah where she revisited a conversation with former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, broadcast during the promotion for documentary, Waiting for Superman. Rhee was back to announce her decision to fight for the nation’s children by creating Students First.

Now, as a DC resident, I was not a Rhee fan, but I did not disagree with all of her actions. If you are an educator but are not serving our children you need to go- PERIOD. Too many educators are burnt out, just coming to earn a check and mistreating our children. Yet, I was impressed yesterday by her announcement and her decision to begin a MOVEMENT on behalf of our children.

As a nation, we should be in an uproar but sadly we are not. Access to quality education in this country is inextricably linked to class and race; interestingly, all of our children are losing ground relative to other nations. Until we realize we all have a stake in all children succeeding, it will not be a priority. The resources allocated to our public education system and their management is dispicable, not to mention the resources allocated to our youth, in general. The United States has fallen so behind in education, it is quickly becoming an issue that has national security implications. If you are unable to produce scientists, economists, researchers, engineers…

I admittedly have not seen this movie. As an education advocate, I received invitations to private screenings but was unable to attend any. Yesterday was my reminder that I need to carve out two hours in my schedule to go.

I’m putting students first, will you? Learn more at www.studentsfirst.org

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2010 in Civil Rights, Education, Family, Youth

 
 
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