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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Dreamcatcher

I just had this thought while watching Dr. King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech. The things he is speaking about– justice for black people; that one day we would have the rights to vote and walk freely without segregation, etc. I sit here and I’m grateful that these things have now come to pass, but it wasn’t until just now, just now, when it clicked. This march, and the actions of the hundreds of thousands of people that preceded this march, at one point, were just leaps of faith. These things were just small footsteps with faith but they set the blueprint for the freedom that we have today, and an anchor for which we can hold onto as we continue sailing through to true justice for ALL people. Dr. King had hope, and a dream and power to move people’s hearts with peaceful determination. But, he had no idea what would happen, just faith, a faith that saw that at the center of all people there is good.

 

There are people –black people- who say there will never be true justice in the legal system for the African American woman or man. I don’t doubt that there were once people who thought they would never walk onto a bus and sit down where they pleased. I don’t doubt that there was a child who sat quietly in her classroom accepting that she would never sit in the same classroom with a white child. I don’t doubt that there were people who didn’t care either way. But, if one could dream–if one could dream of true change- change in a country founded on the oppression of the very people who built it, now that’s remarkable.

That dream made provision for my dream. So, maybe it isn’t far-fetched to see a world where a young black man walking from the store with skittles won’t be judged by the color of his skin but the content of his character, or to imagine an education system that doesn’t clear a direct path to imprisonment or death for young brown men. Maybe, just maybe, I could have a dream too.

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It’s so important, and yes, haste really does make waste and if you don’t know who Keisha* is, she’s probably you. I have been learning that time can help almost any situation you find yourself in. Sometimes, you just have to be still and wait, even if you don’t even know what you’re waiting on. I sometimes feel so anxious and nervous for no reason at all. I partially blame modern technology and the addiction to social media, but there’s something more. I have realized that the reason I have been feeling incomplete or that I am not where I am supposed to be is because I bought into the Disney Princess/All American Dream that by now I’d be well into my dream job and on my way to being proposed to. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I keep telling people that I feel like I am at a standstill. How can that be when God is always moving? I’m ashamed to say that I have not been as grateful as I should be lately. I have not been appreciating this moment right now. I’m constantly worried about the next moment, and then the one after that. The reality is, these moments are going to come and go with or without my help. I am not in control here. It seems like such a simple thing to say, but realizing that God is really in control unleashes a whole new sense of power. Naturally, being the control freak that I am, I never thought I’d feel so empowered by letting go of something. I have never felt more liberated. Deciding to surrender and wait on God and live in His timing instead of my own, is truly something. I mentioned to one of my mentors that I felt that I was in “limbo”. His response was, that’s because you think you know where you’re supposed to be. I don’t. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be because if I did, I’d understand that I’m already here. I’m learning to be okay with exactly where I am, right now. I have moments of doubt, which will come and go, but I will no longer allow them to OVERcome before they go. Progress is a slow process.

 

 

*Keisha: (n) One who is not taking her time through life; rushing; hastily making decisions, or not making important decisions; ignoring her intuition.

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I want it. My mother always said closed mouths don’t get fed so why won’t I ask for what I want when it comes to love? I sit here, skirting around the word. When you ask me what I’m looking for. That dreaded conversation. If I tell you what I really want you’ll run. I know you’ll run. and the worst part is you’ll say you’re staying as you lace up your shoes to run. I know it. Happened too many times before. I want love. I want you to walk down the street with me beside you. Your Nefertiri. I want you to open doors, and pull out chairs and not just for the first three dates. I want you to be kind, I want you to be firm, I want you to settle my restless spirit when it can’t find refuge in its usual spaces. I want to be able to look at you and just know it’s love. I want to like you. I want to laugh with you and cry with you and live with you and die with you and I want that so fiercely that it scares me. It scares me to think that another human being could be of such importance to my existence. Maybe that’s why I haven’t found you yet. So I’ll answer your question the same way I’ve answered with every other suitor. “Whatever pleases you.” I will bend my desires to fit your comfort level. You don’t want a girl? “Oh , nah I don’t want to be in a relationship either; I’m too young, too free,” I’ll say. All the while hoping you’ll see through the facade and say “baby, I’m yours” – the fairy tale ending. That’s all I want.  I want to know you’ll fight that fire-breathing dragon for me – but you won’t kill him because you’ll want him to carry us home- not wanting my feet to touch the rubble or hands to be cut up as we search our way through the woods- you’ll want us, to fly. Fly over the obstacles and destruction to a higher place. It’s just gotta be love.

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I’m having a moral dilemma. I like to think of myself as a modern-day-feminist. I like to think of myself as a person who will always fight for the rights of women, especially black women, and the oppressed, which generally  fall into the same category. I am embarrassed to say that I have been struggling with how to feel about a certain situation in the popular media headlines.

I have begun re-reading one of my favorite books, Deals with the Devil, and Other Reasons to Riot, by Pearl Cleage and I have just gotten to the chapter where she discusses Miles Davis. Miles Davis admitted, willingly in Miles: The Autobiography that he hit actress Cicely Tyson when they had been together. What is so brilliant about Pearl Cleage is that she always presents readers with a question to present to themselves. We learn about how she felt when she learned that one of her favorite musicians had hit a woman. She felt a moral responsibility as a feminist to defend her sisters but in the same breath she questioned whether or not defending her sisters meant abandoning the music that was once so sweet to her.

I am faced with a similar issue when asked about the Chris Brown/ Rihanna “relationship”. I cringe just thinking about it because the image of Rihanna’s battered face left an imprint on my brain, but, it seems to have faded from her own.

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I was so upset at what he had done to her and the comments that quickly ensued about what she could have possibly done to bring him to do this. These are the same unnerving, unacceptable conversations that follow the rape of a woman because she had to have done something to get raped. We all know men don’t commit violent crimes against women without being first encouraged too, right? Wrong.

We all watched as the couple sashayed together to the Grammy’s and have been spotted cuddling around town. Now, before my brothers accuse me of giving racists another opportunity to confirm the hate against the angry black man, please understand that I am black and woman before I am anything else. I have to defend the black woman at all costs, before anything else. I also need my kings to know that my defense of my sisters should not cause an offense to any secure, honorable black man.

After all, I am conflicted about this. I started writing this post months ago and I am just now finishing it. I was so conflicted that I couldn’t even work up enough courage to publish the post. But now, I’ve had it. I’ve decided that if I stand for anything, I have to speak out against this relationship. Not solely because of the physical abuse but because of that womanly intuition that allows each of us to see one another for who we really are, when we’re in tune with it. I am not judging Rihanna. I feel so sorry for her. I feel sorry for Chris Brown too. They are perfect examples of a generation of entitled kids given everything too soon and losing everything too quickly. I know, “ain’t nobody’s business but you and your baby,” –got that.

I’ve seen that “ain’t nobody’s business” mantra do more harm than good in this short life I’ve lived.  It was everyone’s business when you cried to Diane Sawyer, when you were pissed off, heartbroken, and in love with the man that beat you. When you didn’t know how to respond because unlike most battered women, your beating took place on the main stage and now the stage hands, back up dancers and audience were waiting on your next move, literally. There was no turning back then. Rihanna couldn’t hold that in, and anyone who follows the pop princess, knows that she isn’t one to hold back on her feelings.

 

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So now, I have to decide how I’m going to handle myself now that I’ve confronted my disdain for this relationship. Does this mean, I have to turn off my radio, and delete all of my Rihanna and Chris Brown songs from my I-pod? Does supporting the music of these two individuals conflict everything I stand for? My hopeless romantic spirit is rolling its eyes at me right now. As much as I’d like to twist this into some love-story between two broken souls who defied all odds to be together, I can’t. While I can’t predict the future, there’s one thing I know about gravity: when something fragile hits the floor, it breaks, and no matter how you glue it back together you will always see the cracks, and cracks lead to, more cracks. Eventually, we’re back to where we started with a whole bunch of jagged pieces cutting you every time you try to mold them. I don’t wish ill-will to either of these lovers, actually, somewhere deep inside I’m hoping that the universe shakes things up and things work out between them, at least, for my i-pod’s sake. So it goes.

 

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I have realized that I rarely ever talk about my non-profit organization Mic Check 1-Two! on here. Well, that’s about to change! I wanted to let my loyal readers know about a talk show that I am producing, directing, and co-hosting for Mic Check 1-Two! The show is called Misled. 

Misled is a show dedicated to informing the uninformed and the misinformed. We are living in a time where negativity sells and positive images are not always easily accessible or attractive. Our aim is to bring positive images into the media. Misled will focus on common misconceptions and stereotypes about African-Americans by exposing the truth behind them and offering solutions and alternatives to broaden perspectives and perceptions.

Basically, all of the things I talk about on here, and am disgusted with, and conflicted with and otherwise, have finally found a place to be hashed out.

Episode 1 of Misled will focus on colorism within the African-American Community, specifically, the dreaded: Dark-skinned vs. light-skinned controversy. We’ll talk to a historian to get to the root of the issue, we’ll talk to some young women and men to find out just how much this issue has affected us throughout our lives, and what we can do to change perspectives for the future.

Check out the promo video for Misled, Episode 1 below.

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Take a look at the all new web series, “He Say, She Say,” hosted by relationship expert Kevin Carr. Remember him from my MANcation Retreat video?  Kevin is hosting a new show about current relationship topics. This first episode features a diverse panel of women and men as they discuss their opinions on the “do’s” and “dont’s” of dating and relationships.

Check it out!

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See my coverage of Sincerely Love below. This was my first official step off of my MANcation. Check out the video to see my interview with Kevin Carr, (“If All Men Are Dogs, then Women You Hold The Leash,) as he shares advice about post-MANcation dating.

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