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Category Archives: Family

What is the Definition of Freedom?

I missed Jesse Williams’ powerful and honest speech a few nights ago (not a supporter of BET). I am hopeful that Debra Lee (and the audience) was paying attention…

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Jesse Williams accepting the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award

 

Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that.

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.

Now do SOMETHING!

 

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Belated Father’s Day

My First Love

Trips to the beach
Weekend shopping sprees
You holding my hand in yours,
Protecting me from the world.
I was your “Boop”.
Tall, lean and caramel brown;
A clefted chin and
Beautiful smile.
Your singing drove me to breath-taking giggles-

I thought no one could compare…

My hero
My king
My love.

Lonely days of waiting melted into lonely nights
And inconsolable tears.
Years went by.
You came back, charming as ever.
With your sincere words and tender kisses, that would lead to
Days unaccounted for
Unexplained.
Broken promises,
Money borrowed.
The shock of your fist knocking me to the floor.
The flashing lights,
Me giving a statement
As a crimson print settled onto my pale cheekbone.

At graduation you came smiling
As if you had a hand in my milestone.
Be nice and smile for the camera, said mom.
You had no right.

My hero
My king
My love.

So save the apologies
And personal attacks on my integrity.
You were an asshole long before the rock
Became your motivation.
I remember Mommy on the floor of my room
With a blood-stained Afro.
Me, wide-eyed in four-year-old feety pajamas
And you, swooping down to take me.

I remember our trip to Florida in a yellow, foreign car
You shimmying up a tree to get me a coconut.
Then twenty years later without decency or restraint, you shattered that tender memory
with the truth-
A truth that would have changed my identity.

My hero
My king
My love.

So excuse me.
Excuse my contempt.
For you
Your family and
Your life.
Excuse my hardened heart
And inability to trust.
That mean streak that everyone loves to hate-
Lovingly molded by you.
Excuse me,
For shielding my children
From your poisonous nature
And lobotomizing you from my life.

As a woman, my journey continues.
For the one to console me
Who will guide and protect me.
To rub my hair
And tenderly kiss my forehead
As a father would.
To rescue me
From the world
From myself
From you.

A girl never forgets her first love.

 

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PRIDE

As I continue to see news surrounding the horrific attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I urge all of us not to lose focus. This was an act of hatred which targeted the LGBTQ community. Yes, it was a terrorist act, but I don’t want to get sidetracked by the ethnicity of the shooter. Let’s embrace tolerance.

From Cincinnati to Nashville, from Guadalajara to Poland to Australia, love is pouring in.

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#OrlandoUnited

 
 

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The Greatest of All Time

Is still the greatest to me.

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RIP Muhammed Ali
January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016

Professional boxer, father, husband, Heavyweight Champion, activist, philanthropist, friend

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2016 in Family, History, Politics, Race, Sports

 

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There Are Still Good People

This Tweet halted my late-morning Hootsuite headline scan.

 

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I clicked the short link and read the article, periodically wiping my tearing eyes. This is an excerpt from Deborah Greene’s blog post.

Such stories give me hope. 🙂

 

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Tenth Circle of Hell

An additional circle has been added to Dante’s Inferno.

This bastard is going to be subjected to some serious jailhouse justice! I’m good with it…

Rest now Angels.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in Family, Rant, Single Parenting, violence, women

 

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POTUS Strikes Again

I have made no effort to hide how much I love our President. So add this to the list of reasons.

I’ve ranted about gun violence in this space repeatedly. After Sandy Hook and no new law, I knew we’d never see it from Congress. But then… [sound of triumphant horn blaring] Obama whips out his executive privilege! Thank GOD!!!!

Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad… And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.

For those thinking of voting for any candidate who promise to repeal this new executive order, SHAME!

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Family, Politics, Race, Real Talk, violence, Youth

 

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Glimmer of Hope in Dark Times

shoepaintingI’ve been having a hard time staying positive and seeing the light in this world of ours. Everywhere you look there is violence, despair and hate. But lately – no doubt due to the holiday season – I’ve learned of a few people who refuse to give up or give in.

Maurice Kie, Life Pieces to Masterpieces in DC: A young man and after-school program uses art to help young children cope with living in neighborhoods stricken with gun violence.


Tiffany Anderson, Jennings School District in Jennings, Mo.: A school superintendent who actually cares about the students and implements innovation RESULTS to real problems.

Amy Peake, entrepreneur in England: Empowering women in other countries with employment by making a necessity – sanitary pads.

Journalists out there: we need these stories YEAR-ROUND! Apologies that we make Amy Peakeyou think we only want “reality”,
depravity, terror and salaciousness.

To anyone reading this post, you’re welcome. 🙂

 

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Crime and Punishment, Part II

Didn’t mean to leave you hanging!!

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The judge found my daughter not guilty of APO.

I was not permitted to remain in the courtroom until closing arguments. I was also able to hear the judge’s ruling and his reasoning for it.

Crime and punishment was at the core of what the judge said that he was looking to hear.
1. Did the alleged bite that my daughter gave the transit officer occur AFTER and as a result of her being hurt by the officer?
2. Was the force used against her excessive for the “offense.”

He stated that he now knew the answer to both of his questions. He chastised the officer for not being truthful and cooperative in his testimony.

I’ve never heard the phrase escort someone to the ground. I don’t even know what that means. Be truthful, you threw her to the ground then put your knees in her back.

The judge then stated that after obliging the prosecution and giving consideration to granting more weight to the cop’s testimony, he did not appreciate the number of times his answer was “I do not recall.”

You do in fact recall, but wouldn’t answer the questions. You heard this young lady telling you that you were hurting her.

I was only on the stand briefly and kept my cool. I wanted to grab the prosecutor by the neck, but luckily she did not approach. She tried to minimize the photos of bruises on my daughter’s arms, leg and wrists that I took which were entered into evidence. Obviously did not work. FAIL Ms. Prosecutor!

I am so truly happy with the outcome because although truth was on our side, the law was not. Her attorney argued using exceptions to DC law on assaulting a police officer. They include when someone can not breathe, they believe their life is at risk (and I forgot the third). It is now wonder that Mr. King reportedly began his opening with three phrases:

Help. You’re hurting me. I can’t breathe.

I have so much more to say on this issue, but for now I am grateful.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Civil Rights, Family, Girls, Politics, Race, Real Talk, violence, women, Youth

 

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Nos pensées sont avec toi

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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in Family, Politics, Reflection, violence

 

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