Fear.

When you choose to be unapologetically Black ,  it shouldn’t be on a when-I-feel-like basis. You know ,  with one foot in the Eurocentric Starbucks and straighteners world; and the other raising a fist with your printed turban made ethically in Namibia. The thing is, once you stare racism in the face, you realize you are stronger than you thought.  You ask, really, is that it?

And of course,  we shouldn’t have to deal with discrimination and have our warrior shield on 24/7. But being charged higher car insurance in a Black neighbourhood,  getting stopped by police yet not having police assist or side with you when you need help , and being told “Go back to Africa, you f—– n—–r” are part of the parcel of being melanated,  at least while white supremacy is still the order of the day.

I’m not saying we should accept abuse, ostracism and blatant racial harassment and profiling .  I’m saying we need to be fearless .  We need to be strong. Because white supremacy is fear, hatred and evilness wrapped in a white suburban house with a picket fence and a little Retriever in the front. It’s in every institution that was not created by and for Black people .

 

And until we can put away our armour for good, we must not fear.

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Religion vs Revolution

I joined a church this summer after being invited by my Kenyan hair braider. She is in fire for the Lord, and I only went because we live in a racist, rural town and I was desperate to see Black faces. There were Black children for my son to interact with, and not only were the pews filled with Kente cloth and dashiki-clad families, the pastor was Jamaican.

I’m from a Christian family, like most West Indians but as an adult I am highly critical of the church and it’s role in maintaining Black oppression. The church could be a revolutionary place. But instead of touching on freedom from white supremacy, it only speaks of a better life in Heaven…not on this earth. Great way to pacify the masses, pastor.

However, in the church there is Black pride. There are more married Black families and college students. There are more natural hairdos. There is more respect for one another. So I do not dismiss the church as a place for revolutionary work. Perhaps you can meet a compatriot there, a future spouse or an acquaintance who furthers your economic growth. And if not, it never hurts to have God on your side!

The African Disillusions of My Youth

MINDSIGHTCOLLECTIVE

I am an African who had their scales fall from their eyes

Traumatised from the revelation behind their lies

Of “You can be anything you want to be”

And “Follow your dreams”;

I mean, look what happened to Dr King

Follwing those smooth slithering serpents’ doctrines.

While I’m climbing on the rough side of this mountain

Living off the miseducated high; drunk off the “Whites only” fountain,

That Koolaid tasted fresh but my anger cannot be quenched

By the bleaching of my flesh and the injustice paraded in the press.

It doesn’t matter that I have the IQ of Einstein

If I have to reason and prove to “them” that I am mankind.

You see, my energy is spent marching the streets, picking up bricks

For my rights not be poisoned, my melanin not to be stripped.

So what if I have my masters, I still have to work in…

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Kwanzaa Preparation

This will be the first year we will celebrate Kwanzaa, and it’s very exciting to learn more about it. My son and I are memorizing the Nguzo Saba, and I have already prepared the “mihindi”. We colour Kwanzaa pages and talk about the harvest season.
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It’s been a rough week for me, and as I am in anguish, my son has really pulled through to do more self-led learning and even helping clean the house without my provocation. This demonstrates to me that I may need to step back sometimes and see what my son is capable of.

Some Things Never Change

There will always be that white man in the grocery store with that stare.

There will be always be that one Black leader rising from the ashes of the fire of misery of his country.

There will always be that Black businessman in the Mercedes-Benz with a white wife.

Some things never change.

 

There will always be the surprised glances at your impeccable English.

There will always be the sniggling at your heavy, magnificent African name.

There will always be suspicious ogling at her hijab.

Some things never change.

 

There will always be the white elderly woman who clutches her purse tighter as you walk by.

There will always be young white men who view your female Black body licentiously.

There will always be African woman who wear their gele proudly and dance with the slopes and arcs of the earth in their bones, the light of the stars in their eyes.

Some things will never change.

 

There will always be a white leader hellbent on destroying equality and liberty, and the path to unity and peace in the name of greed and power. Their names just change over time.

There will always be a Black boy who dreams of becoming a doctor. And makes it.

There will always be the future of freedom in the womb of our women.

Some things will never change.

Rap x Trap = New Message

Entertainment and art are two very important spheres that can transcend and define a movement. Right now, our generation needs positive vibes and we need positive, uplifting music. The new tracks I’m hearing in 2016 are a lot more mellow, sensitive and open-minded than the tracks that were out say in 1998 or 2000, like Ruff Ryder’s Anthem or 50 Cent’s What Up Gangsta, or a number of any other gun-slinging, hoe-slapping “hits”. These are truly hits, hits to the Black morale, to the Black collective, to Black unity–they were hitting us like bombs–because it’s not the message we needed back then and definitely not what we need now.

Instead, I’m hearing more about the beauty of the Black female and more bars discussing the tragedy of police brutality against our brothers and sisters. Future, Drake, Kanye West are showing that healthy relationships are not only attainable but desirable, even though we still hear the “H” word and “B” word. What I want to see is a call from these artists, both locally and internationally, to unite and uplift the people. We need messages of hope, cohesion and encouragement. Not encouragement to stay in the traphouse and grind, but to work on that degree, get married to a brother or sister and focus on what is truly important which is not chains, trips around the world or cars with heavy artillery.

I still don’t think I’m at a point where I’d allow my son to listen to rap music. I feel the overlying message is still very destructive to a young psyche. But at the same time, the face of rap has changed. It’s not about pimps and macho guys in bullet-proof vests. As we evolve and reach a certain collective consciousness about our reality and what obstacles we face, I hope our music can reflect that and offer a portal of entertainment but also a sense of empowerment and exclusivity. We need music by us, for us, that is relateable. The struggle is always relatable, but it’s time to take the conversation to what happens when we are ready for a new Black identity and how to fabricate that into our music. That needs to be our new message.

 

 

Fragile Like China

LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

The dating game is tough when you’re single. I know it. Throw in being a single parent, or just arriving from another country, or emerging as a broke graduate–there’s always another aspect to make it difficult. But one thing that is worth it is the outcome: Black love. If you aren’t on the Black love train yet, get on it. It’s worth the ride and destination. It’s going to lead you towards a new consciousness, a new awareness of the collective Black people, unity and power. If you are striving for a Caucasian partner as the highest prize, then you are not striving high enough, my friend.

I am in a new relationship (early dating phase) with my young king. That new Black love is not just new because he’s someone I’m getting to know, but it’s new because there is a stratum of significance that is occurring as two Black people meet and fall in love. I am treating this relationship, guarding this newfound love like delicate china. I am peeling back the layers of lies, of distrust and inferiority that Western culture has placed on the Black man to reveal the beauty, the truth and the power of the Black man. And indeed, he is all these things and more.

We as queens have to have our king’s backs, and have them pick us up and regard us as nothing less than royalty. We need to hold our heads up high and regard each other in the highest calibre. When we decide that we want nothing less than a Black queen or king, when we begin to emanate that respect and admiration for our own people then that love will soon follow. And if the brother you are with, or sister now isn’t on the same wavelengths as you; there is someone out there waiting for you who will love you and bring out the queen or king in you. Don’t settle for anything less!

 

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