Black Women Don’t Hate You

During slavery the Black woman was the backbone of the Black family because she had to be and more importantly, she was allowed to be.  She was not seen as the threat Black men were accused of being.  She was also possessed of a variety of resources and uses.  A Black woman could work in the fields, bear the children, nurse their children and the slave owners’ children, work in the house at any age without the ever-loooming thought that they might ravage the white woman if given half the chance, however, she could be ravaged by the slaveowner whenever he chose.  Much like lighter skinned Black people received privileges, so t0o did women because of proximity if nothing else.

In all of this, most Black women used every advantage they had to keep whatever semblance of a family they had intact if at all possible.  But it was also necessary to make sure their children knew their place.  It was better to break a child’s spirit than see one broken, killed or sold away.  Thus, the practice of whippings that sometimes left children bleeding and uncomforted.  And the instances of Black children learning for the first time that they were not the same as white children, in fact they were less than, they were the livestock and whatever their former playmates now “masters” said or did was right and they were wrong.  It’s devastating enough for any child when they learn their parents are not indestructible.  Imagine the child of a slave learning their parents station in life and their own.

These practices did not simply stop.  No more than slavery simply stopped when outlawed.  Jim Crow roared in with lynchings, segregation and humiliation.  The horrible, inhuman image of Emmitt Till that no doubt, loomed in every Black person’s mind and was burned into their souls accompanied the knowledge that he was, by far, not the only one nor the last one to suffer that fate.  So believe you me Black children’s spirits stayed broken by the system and by their parents and as Dr. Joy DeGruy asked in a seminar on her ground breaking research on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,  “Does anybody remember any therapy?”  After all this trauma.

No.  The breaking of the spirit was passed down through the generations.  The boys being given particular attention for obvious reasons.  But the girls were expected to take on much more than they ought to at younger ages.  In my little rural community the girls took care of the younger children.  I was eight years old plaiting my little brothers hair, changing his diapers, and later, getting him and my sister ready for school.  I remember being expected to be tough or get beat down.  As a dark-skinned girl, I was expected to take care of myself and be very careful.  Because that cute boy you were talking too and decided to have sex with might take you to his house where his friends were waiting to gang rape you and it would be your fault for being so fast.  Chilvary?  Please child.  Black feminity was not valued.  Our brand of feminity was simply expected.  Next.

Now here we are in 2016.  Technology is rampant but knowledge is sparce.  The old ways of raising Black children, for the most part, remain the same but without historical context and what do we see on TV?  Happy white families gathered around the dinner table.  Tiny tots attempting to pore up a cup of juice for themselves, making a mess of it and here comes mom to the rescue with some name brand paper towel, smiling brightly.  No harm, no foul.  And how much care-free fun is being had by that porceilined skinned woman while washing her face.  Lord knows I have never had that much fun washing my face.   In other words, that ain’t my life but I’m being told left and right that it could be, should be. And while ads have become more diverse, Black people are still more than likely represented at the light end of the color spectrum.

Is there any wonder we have boys and grown men, especially those raised in a single parent household, believing that the root of their problems lie with their mothers and by extension all Black women.  As I watched Jesse Williams’ now legendary speech at the BET awards, I thought to myself, would he have been so generous to Black women had he been raised by one.  I think of OJ Simpson’s love for his mother but we all know how that story ends.  When a Black woman is killed by police why are there women on Twitter wondering where the outrage from Black men is.  #SayHerName they say.  Speaking of #SayHerName I wonder what Korryn Gaines son will think of her as he grows.  His mother’s words had to frighten him more than police outside their door.  I’m sure she did not mean her son harm.  She meant to protect him.  How will he process what happened?

Perhaps those Black men who pretend to believe Black women hate them, simply hate Black women and are torn with guilt, confusion and more than a little self-hate. Organizations such as the Black Isrealites propose to seek the healing of the community but there can be no healing in division.  We must look at every issue facing the Black community from the poorest to the richest.  Because we are all in this together whether we like or not.  You can run from being Black but where the hell are you going to hide.  If there is hate for one another for whatever reason, remember what we came through, start with compassion for youself and then for one another.  Jesus said love your enemy.  That’s a hard thing to do.  We are not each others enemy so the loving ought to be easy.  Black women don’t hate you.  We love you more than we love ourselves sometimes but we all need to relearn how to show it.

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To Hell With Inspiration, I Got Somethin To Say

“I am really making an effort to force myself to write.  No matter how I feel.  I generally want to wait for inspiration but inspiration sho as hell and waitin for me.  So if my posts are a bit journally and rambling then so be it.  There is too much going on right now for me to be a hostage to “inspiration”.

Darren Goforth, a white Texas county deputy, was brutally murdered by a black man on Friday, August 28, 2015.  The “all lives matter crowd” is using this as an opportunity to accuse the Black Lives Matter movement, not to be confused with the organization, of having blood on their hands.

If anything, the response to this murder is substantial proof of white privilege.  If a person of any other race was consistently targeted and falsely accused, wouldn’t you expect a movement?  Shouldn’t a true citizen of this country expect protest?  If Walter Scott’s murder had not been surreptitiously filmed and the policeman responsible hadn’t actually been caught lying then a murderer would have walked free.  The same is true with the murder of Sam Dubose at the hands of a lying officer of the law.

That’s two cases out of way too many of police murdering citizens they are sworn to serve and protect and lying to protect themselves.  Hell, ain’t one too many?  How long should ANY group be repeatedly targeted before they fight back?  So if a movement arises because civil servants are murdering taxpayers and leaving their taxpaying family and friends to grieve, why wouldn’t there be outrage and action?

If anything the ALM crowd should be out there protesting these atrocities with BLM.  If you think these victims are criminals then let them have due process.  How important do you have to feel to think that because a police officer is killed then an entire movement spurred by repeated systemic injustices should just fold?  More than that, how absolutely useless and disposable have you judged the lives of those victims killed by law enforcement officers with that line of thinking?  When a white man walked into a school and murdered as many people as he could, why was he a “Lone Wolf”?  While the recent random shootings by Black men are attributed to a movement.

You want this madness to stop?  Start ACTING like all lives matter.  Who in the hell do you think you’re fooling using this particular senseless murder to argue that it is the BLM movement’s resistance against state-sponsored terrorism that is the cause of all the trouble?  Your definition of “trouble” being a white person or police officer is the victim of random violence and not a black person who was just asking for it like say, Sandra Bland.

“Stop resisting!” is the rallying cry for police officers bound and determined to use excessive force.  That’s really what this ALM bull crap is about.  “Just stop resisting and stay in your place.”  “Prove you deserve to be a part of “civilized” society”  “Show your papers and the proper amount of respect.”  But you see, my ancestors paid my way and this is my country just as much as it is anyone else’s except for Native Americans, I suppose.

The activists at the forefront of the BLM movement are non-violent and so are those who protest with them.  They are not responsible for the actions of deranged individuals who do not understand that violence begets more violence.  That is a concept every citizen should understand and should therefore, speak out against a corrupt system and vigilante police officers.  Because if the system is corrupt and the people know it to be corrupt, how long do you think it will take for total chaos to ensue?  “What happens to a dream deferred?”, wrote Langston Hughes.  Pray to God that the movement brings change.  Because I don’t want to be around to watch the dream “explode.”

 

 

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It All Falls Down

There is no need to believe in gravity.
It is a fact like air.
Invisible though it may be,
What goes up must come down.
It’s easy to forget,
Riding that high horse around.
But nothing jogs the memory,
Like an ass hittin the ground

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At Night I Roam

I can fly. Effortlessly. Gravity has no power over me.

Down. Deep Down Into the depths of the sea.

I swim effortlessly

No tanks. No air. No need.

Just water, the fish and me

Back and forth. I roam.

 

 

When I found my Self standing

Before God’s throne,

I marveled. I was seen.

I was naked and unashamed.

He smiled upon me.

I apologized for presenting

Myself so abruptly.

 

He did not speak.

He just loved me mightily.

And I performed my most

daunting feat.

I loved Him right back

Just as fiercely.

 

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The Children Done Started Somethin

I’ve vacillated between hope and despair what with all the upheaval going on lately.  Even while I know true change does not happen without disruption it’s still painful to witness the process. It was, as in centuries past, state-sanctioned murder that sparked this latest uprising.  Beginning with the murder of Trayvon I believe and then, one hash tag in memorial after another the resistance began in earnest.  How many videos of Black bodies being brutalized could we watch and do nothing after all.

So there was Ferguson after Mike Brown and now Baltimore after the murder of Freddie Gray.  All around the country citizens are protesting in solidarity against agents of this rigged system disposing of human beings as if they were garbage.  I confess that, while I prayed, meditated, and attempted to generate positive energy, despair sometimes managed to creep in unnoticed like the family cat. But following some of the protestors and organizers on twitter has kept me well and accurately informed.

Because of this, I have great hope that true and lasting change is not only possible, but probable.  I watched one of those I follow, Deray McKesson, on CNN. During an interview with Wolf Blitzer who was continuously focusing on rioting and ignoring the death of an innocent citizen; Deray stood there in his blue vest and with straight back and even tone and  informed Wolf Blitzer in so many words that he was NOT going for the okey doke.  I became positively giddy with the prospects of this new movement.  It made me feel the children are indeed well.

Add to that, Marilyn Mosby power walking to a bank of microphones to answer the question, “What it is young blood?’ with feminine energy so powerful it might put many a strong man in the fetal position, and I’m just about skipping in to work at 0600 hours.  Indeed Moses may not lead us to true equality but Joshua and Caleb seem determined to take the land.

Looking at history it’s very easy to concentrate on the high points and give the lows little consideration.  But the lows fuel the engine of any revolution.  A content person seeks to remain content.  An oppressed person, though he labor long under the yoke, will soon seek freedom.  What has taken place since the civil rights movement is injustices happen, uprisings result and are quickly condemned, then the people return to business as usual;  wash, rinse, repeat.

Through it all the system has remained fully intact.  A system which without question presumes white supremacy, benefits white people in numerous and sometimes seemingly innocuous ways and disadvantages Black people in ways far from innocuous.  Not this time.  The system has been breached and the walls might come tumbling down.

No longer are those challenging the status quo seeking to appease the powers that be.  As in the example of Deray McKesson, they are boldly speaking truth to power.  They are not allowing hypocrisy to go unchallenged and they are not allowing those who benefit from lies and the minimization and trivialization of the suffering of the oppressed to control the narrative.  They are full of youthful energy and idealism.  They are well-informed and strong-willed.  They are assuring that current events are discussed in historical context.  In short, as Wolf Blitzer learned, this ain’t no game and they ain’t playin.

I said in a previous post that Black people needed to do the hard work and begin the deep healing we’ve never collectively afforded ourselves.  I said that this healing would undoubtedly begin with we Black Americans as we are a peculiar people.  I see Ethiopian Jews have followed Baltimore’s lead and are protesting and demanding to be treated as true citizens of  Israel, which is just as much their country as it is any other Israeli’s.  I see a change coming and young people are leading the way. I couldn’t be more proud.

DR. JOY LEARY HAS DEVOTED MUCH OF HER LIFE EXPLAINING POST TRAUMATIC SLAVE SYNDROME AND THE NEED FOR AMERICA TO ADDRESS ITS TRUE HISTORY.

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Don’t forget to rest

God knows I’m feelin just like Boo Boo Davis today.  I’m so tired y’all. These videos of Black men being murdered are, without a doubt, desensitizing to us all.  I feel the need to remind everyone  that Black people are human and feel pain just like all of creation.  I don’t want to see another video shown over and over again in which, a Black body is brutalized.  I’m disgusted that there are those who conveniently continue to pretend that justice is meted out equally in this country.  Because it is not, and it never was.  I’m taking a big break right now.  I write when I’m moved.  I’m meditating frequently and I think my next post will be full of humor.  Laughing, loving, creating, crying and fighting is what we do that we may continue to be.  I hope listening to Boo Boo Davis will be as cathartic for you as it is for me.  Don’t you forget to rest up and come back strong!

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Is the ghost of Cornel West marching for you?

There are many who find Professor Michael Dyson’s article in the New Republic “The Ghost of Cornel West” objectionable for various reasons.  However, I, for the most part, agree with Professor Dyson’s perspectives.   Dr. West’s personal attacks were NEVER necessary.  It is sufficient to question the logic and/or effect of ideology or policy without resorting to calling anyone Uncle Toms etc.  It is well pass due that others in the public eye call Mr. West on his moral crusade, not against the system, but against extraordinarily successful Black people who have the nerve to disagree with West’s approach.
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Though the arc be long…

Justice is truth, that’s all. Stark naked and irrefutable truth.  It is the full picture, not a perspective. That is why we have trials, to hear all perspectives, examine all evidence and decide then, what is most probably just.  That is why history always has the last say.  During the Civil Rights Movement there were many perspectives.  Those who marched, protested and preservered knew that morality and truth were on their sides.  Those who oppressed and opposed were certain God was with them.  Those on the sidelines knew that it would resolve itself somehow.  Meanwhile, it was best to lay low.  History books,with the objectivity that time and space afford, while not perfect, provide the whole story.  No one today would argue who had the moral advantage, except those who have no concern for justice.

“The arc of the moral Universe is long but it bends toward justice.”  It will not be prevented.  Judgement Day will come.  Nothing will matter then except what is the absolute truth.  When all is said and done.  When nothing else can be added nor anything removed.  We will have the absolute.  Every human soul will understand why to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is not just a commandment but the truth.  No human being is separate from another.  What you do to another you are doing to yourself.  Like Adam and Eve, who did not die immediately after their disobedience but began to die; acts of injustice begin a chain reaction called karma.  The bill immediately comes due though payment seems a long time coming.

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I have a charge to keep

 

 

As a little girl attending church in rural Alabama, I always had an emotional reaction to the hymn A Charge to Keep I Have.

“A charge to keep I have
A God to glorify”

Of course, like most of the other young children, I thought the song began, “Hey Charles!”  Who Charles was I didn’t know and apparently wasn’t too concerned.  Because I never asked any of my elders what he had to do with God or Jesus.  I just knew I loved that hymn.  A deacon would start in a confident, clear and loud voice and the congregation would join in.  Then he would sing/recite another stanza and the congregation would repeat after him in a melody passed down through generations.  My favorite stanza was and still is:

“Oh may in all my powers engage
To do my master’s will”

At the time I thought, “I’m supposed to do what’s right”.  Which meant no sinning.  Except the “I”, I was referring to doesn’t have any power.  This brain and body ain’t never able to do right.  That team is always up to no good to their own detriment.

Consciousness, my spirit, my existence is my power and whatever I focus that consciousness on is effected for good or ill.  My focus should be on what is unseen and not on what is seen.  In other words, I AM should be concerned with nothing save I AM and the rest takes care of itself, including the timing and type of doing.  Seek ye first the kingdom. That is my master’s will.

I have begun, second by second, inch by inch to focus on Spirit more than the material.  In fits and starts mostly and lately, the most amazing things have begun to happen.  My meditations have been powerful.

A meditation session is what started me on this post.  I considered the hymn and I considered those who question why Black people still call themselves Christian, the religion of those who oppressed us; one of the tools used to oppress us.  I think for the first time, I truly gave this some thought.  I believe that the moment the ancestors began to call upon the name of Jesus he became their God.  Period. It had nothing to do with religion. So powerful was their connection to Him that through centuries of subhuman existence the light of their spirits shone brighter than the north star.

The most cursory examination of the African’s journey in modern western civilization reveals miracle after miracle.  It was the ancestor’s steadfast belief that there is power in the name of Jesus  that kept them through generations of lives full of crushing, malignant experiences.  What’s more, they knew that, though their oppressors knew the name; they did not know the man or the nature of His power.  The moment the ancestors claimed Him, He was theirs.  Through the rape, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the art, the songs, the laughter, the marches and the stubborn determination to live anyhow; they called Jesus and He called them His own.

It is this irony more than anything else that gets me each time I give it thought.  The name used as a tool of oppression is the name of the Being the ancestors used as a cornerstone.  They built their futures upon Him and demonstrated not only their humanness but their divinity.  More than their misguided oppressors they revealed themselves as children of God. That focus of will, that. – I AM agreeing with the I AM- began a process.  To this very day it is still operating. So I believe in and I am connected with Jesus, and I remember that I have a charge to keep.

Addition:  I haven’t been having a big prayer and meditation session everyday because of obligations that may take precedence at that time.  But I do try to remember to set my intentions and maintain mindfulness wherever I find myself at that time.  I am not so spiritually minded that I am of no earthly good, so I got work to do.  It’s time to start healing and that begins with honesty about this society and all of its ills.  However, I am grateful for what is and expectant of what is to come.  The children are well.

 

 

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Eeny Meeny Miny Moe

I’ve seen the murder of Walter Scott several times now and since the ebbing of shock and numbness, I’ve developed a chronic case of “the chills.”  You see I had a revelation in the form of seeing the entire incident from Slager’s viewpoint.  The nursery rhyme Eeny Meeny Miny Moe was also sung by racist whites who had no compunction about killing Black people, Black men in particular.  Their version went like this:
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