It is now midnight and before I close my eyes, I must give thanks to the universe for such a blessing. Many do not live to see the age I have made it to. I know that personally as a parent who has buried a child. To live to see another day, another year around the sun, another waking moment has me feeling if nothing else but grateful. As Covid has hit and knocked the world in a state of chaos, I have found motivation for many firsts. 2020 was my year of yes and branching out. I have become more consistent with showcasing my work not only on my blog, but also on Instagram, my work will be in not 1, but 2 online magazines, I have found a love for painting and getting pretty darn good at it, and I am preparing to launch a business with my husband. My support system has showed up and showed out with the love and I am eternally thankful for those. Many I have known for years and some just recently, but it goes to prove to me that there are good people in return that only want the best for you expecting nothing in return. Moving forward, it’s full steam ahead to finish out this year. I pray that the most high continue to find me worthy of this life I live and continue to rain blessings down as needed and not just off of wants. May universe and ancestors continue to guide me down my intended path and protect me from all that is meant to cause harm. I hope that I inspire may as others have inspired me on this journey I have been on and may my love and passion flow through my craft. Asé
I just want the world to know my name like Basquiat or Kara Walker
Minus the graffiti and silhouettes
Stun the world with abstract visions until they think I’ve done my best
Then tell em I ain’t done yet
Putting my paint brush down for a pen
Creating message after message
Planting seeds to help my people win
Because you see,
One day on common ground we must all meet
It’s enough out here for everyone to eat
We not the crabs in the bucket
We’re the Kings and Queens
With the heart of the lion and lioness
Broken free from the chains
Destined for greatness
Like the ancestors that left writings on the walls
Our actions will do the same for those next in line
And after I’m gone and my many greats say my name
It’ll be followed by words such as this:
My many many Great-Grandmother was an artist. She created abstract visions that stunned the world like Basquiat and Kara Walker. Minus the graffiti and silhouettes of course. When she wasn’t painting she was writing. Some would describe her as woke and others would say passionate. A conversation with her was always full revolutionary topics and funny jokes, but at the end of the day she was for her people and the people are for her. So when I say her name, I say it pride. Be a use of her, I come from greatness and now the world knows her name.
Silence filled the night as the young girl sat near the lake.
“What you doing out here,” a whispering voice touched her ears.
“Who said that,” she called out while standing.
“Dangerous place for a lonely girl,” the voice said again.
“Who’s there,” her heart sped up with fear.
Backing up preparing to run, the girl saw something that made her want to pass out. A glowing figure began coming out of the water. It was a African American girl about the same age as her wearing old tattered clothing. Her eyes held a hint of sadness and a lot of anger
“Where are you going girl,” her voice got stronger.
She turned to run, but a force stopped her.
“Going so soon,” the spirit taunted her.
Tears flowed down the girls eyes as she pleaded, “Please.”
With the snap of a finger, the spirit had the girl sitting back at the edge of the water with her.
“Relax girl, I won’t hurt you right now.”
“What do you want,” the frightened girl asked.
“What is your name,” the spirit asked back.
“Nechole,” the girl answered.
“Well Nechole, I am Polly. Named after my mother,” she said with pride.
“Are you going to hurt me, Polly,” Nechole’s voice shook.
“You intrigue me,” Polly looked closely at her, “Why would you be here alone despite the history of this place.”
“Lake Lanier,” Nechole was confused.
“You people must do better with learning history,” Polly scoffed, “Have you never heard of Oscarville?”
Polly waved her hand out towards the water and an image of a city appeared. In it you could see people running for their lives, buildings on fire, and so much death before water rushed through the town and the image sank back into the water. When she looked at Nechole there was tears running down her face.
“Was that real,” Nechole finally spoke.
Polly shook her head while sighing. It had been awhile since she told the story to anyone. Many were not worthy, but it was something that stopped her from letting happen to Nechole what happened to the others.
“It was very much real. Those that didn’t make it out safely, were killed all because people felt we didn’t belong in a town we created. Then they lived in the town like nothing happened before flooding it further disrespecting our bodies.”
Nechole sat there taking in all that was told to her. Not only was she talking to a ghost, but receiving a history lesson as well.
“Is that why there’s so much death here,” Nechole’s voice rose like she had just uncovered and major secret.
“Over 600,” Polly stood, You should go now.”
“What’s wrong,” Nechole was scared again.
“The others will be waking soon and they won’t be as nice as me.”
Nechole backed up from the shore and moved quickly towards land. Looking out at the water she saw other glowing figures begin to rise out of the water lighting up the night and watching her. What appeared to be the leader, held up his hand and made her stop in her tracks.
He then looked at Polly,” You told her our story?”
“Yes Father,” she moved closer to him.
“She has good energy. She is the one to tell the story.”
The father looked back at Nechole. In the blink of an eye he stood in front of her. He circle her with glowing eyes studying her before stopping back in front of her.
“My daughter is a fine judge of character. You radiate purity. Will you tell our story?”
“Is that what you want,” Nechole’s voice shook.
“Will the killing stop,” she inquired.
“We do not wish to kill,” he told her, “but with our sacrifice the descendants of others must pay the price as well.
“You take our people as well,” she stressed.
“They did not heed the warning,” he shrugged, “we were not welcome here then and we do not need to enjoy the creation that came from our deaths. Go back to your people, tell our story, and make sure the world knows what awaits them should they not heed the warning.”
With that he was back at the shore with the rest and they all disappeared except Polly. She lingered a second longer.
“It was nice to meet you Nechole, “ she waved.
“Interesting, but nice Polly.” Nechole waved to her.
“Tell our story and don’t come back.” She warned with a smile before disappearing.
Note: Oscarville, Ga was one of the city’s located in Forsyth County that experience what many have referred to as a racial cleansing. 1,100 African Americans were chased out of the town making it an all white town. Many tactics were used such as burning buildings, lynching, and more. In two separate occasions, a black man and two teenagers were hung in retaliation to the rape of one white woman and the murder and rape of another in 1912. Towns like Oscarville and others were then flooded to create Lake Lanier which took 5 years to fill up.
I fell in love in a juke joint
Surrounded by moonshine and bourbon
Soulful sounds flowing from Buddy Guy on stage screaming oh baby please don’t leave me
Brown skins gyrating closely
All speaking different languages to their lover
With one mutual understanding
Suddenly there you were in the center of it all
Skin the color of molasses and honey dipped eyes penetrating every inch of me
Caught up in the moment I moved my hips
Activating a sirens call only meant for your ears
You answered and we danced as if we were the only ones being serenaded
Slow and steady movements while staring in one another’s eyes
No words were needed
Our bodies did the talking
Song after song telling many stories
Last call for alcohol and we still weren’t in a hurry
As the last note played you placed your lips on mine
Sealing an unspoken covenant to
The beginning lyrics of a blues song detailing a love
Found in a juke joint
Are we living to die?
Constant tears watering graves as countless mothers cry.
Brothers, sisters, husbands, uncles, nieces, and somebody’s cousin gone away.
While it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday is left in the background to play.
What is it about us that you fear?
Is it the melanin engraved deep beneath our skin?
The skin the gives proof of where live begins?
Within us we gave birth to many generations,
Powerful enough to lead nations.
Or maybe you’re scared of what we leave behind; Legacies
Legacies you intended to strip from us with your privilege
Your privilege that no longer compares
To the generational wealth we now create
The generational wealth that scares you like our melanin
Our generational wealth that will transform our black dollars into black businesses
So you’re scared
Scared enough to use your badge and privilege to sin
That many sins you committed by taking the life
Of the descents from where life began
Confident, that’s what you have been with each one taken
Our silence has had you severely mistaken
We have walked in the light of peace like Martin
But oh how quickly we can get it cracking like Malcolm
For it was he that said:
Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
Now that I have your attention, let me be clear
We are done being filled with fear whenever we get pulled over
There will be no justification for the wrong doings of others
Our voices will not be silenced or bought
No longer will loved ones spend countless times in the cemetery
Consider the grass to be overwater by mother’s tears
No longer will we live to die.
You hated your hair.
You wished it looked more like the girl on tv.
Long and straight.
But you’re not like the girl on tv.
You are one of my greatest creations.
Coffee with a dab of cream colored skin,
Brown eyes that sparkle in the sun,
The brightest smile that winks with dimples
In each cheek.
And your hair;
The hair that you didn’t like,
Is now your favorite after a year with locs.
Locs that resemble the strong roots that you come from.
Roots that want you to see the beauty that is inside and out.
Roots that will do whatever to protect you and shower you with love.
Roots that have now taught you to,
Love your hair.
Thoughts while writing: As a parent, we want our children to love everything about themselves. Especially when living in a world that does everything to get them to hate themselves. Although Kai is young, I noticed she was very self conscious about her hair. Mainly because a lot of videos she saw would have girls that looked the complete opposite of her with long straight hair and she thought that’s what she needed. For Kai that’s not possible since she’s this chocolate ball of energy with the curliest hair that shrinks. So she would always ask if her hair was short and things like that. Fast forward to her brothers getting locs and she fell in love. She asked for a year to get locs. I made her wait so long because she’s young and I wanted to be sure that she really wanted them. Finally I started them for her and a year later she is the only one still going strong with her journey.
Tonight as you come in and rest,
I need you to know..
I see your pain.
You try to hide it and
you’ve done a good job so far.
I get it…
Society says you have to be this big brave
Man that never shows any pain because pain is weakness,
But the Queen in me won’t let you suffer in silence.
Where you are weak I’ll be your strength that
Strengthens you to walk in your light.
Walk in your truth
So that you may be that best you
The best you that walks with the fierceness
of a lion
Unfazed by the dangers that prey on your weakness
The dangers that really aren’t dangers
Lioness lies in waiting to protect your neck
Should they strike
You are not alone with me by your side
So let me see all there is to see of you
Your worry’s, your fears, and your uncertainty
Hand me the key to your heart that you hold onto protectively
And let me love you
I thought we had a connection
A connection that no one understood
A connection only you and I could comprehend
Because we were the intended
On an alternate plane
Tattooed with a mixture
Of guns and roses
We created a love
Swirling in a pool of melanated bliss
You completed me
I completed you
Together we were one
Heartstrings laced together
Soul ties that became soul lies
Lies that flowed from your lips
Like the loose lips that sink ships
Ships that contain our love from that alternate plane
Now down at the bottom of the abyss
Never to be found and easy to miss
If only someone would tell my heart
My heart that finds it hard to get over you
Days and night filled with thoughts of what had been
Until I’m overcome with passionate rage
Turning my world like that ship that dwells in the dark murky waters of the ocean
Never to see the light of day again
I thought we had something real
I thought we had something only you and
I could comprehend
I thought we had a connection
As the colorful display lights the sky
And God Bless America plays
Take a moment to remember
Remember that on this day
A day that many people celebrate
It is also a day that not everyone can relate
Relate to the feeling of pride and freedom
Love for a battle won
That battle won was only for some
Those melanated Kings and Queens were still
Destined to sacrifice for another 2 years
And years to come as the physical became mental prisons and modern day lynchings
Replace the plantation with projects
Slave masters with white supremacists with a badge
Throw in the school to prison pipeline
and most importantly
Separate the King’s from the Queens
As long as they are not together America shall have its freedom
After all 3/5ths of a person couldn’t possibly need freedom
So yes, let the fireworks shower across the sky and God Bless America play
As we celebrate NOT MY INDEPENDENCE DAY
I am fed up.
Fed up with being expected to lead your battles
While staying silent for mine.
Mine that consist of the countless black men and women fallen victim to senseless Killings by police officers.
This is the part where someone says, “Melanin, black on black crime is a thing.”
Honey, of course black on black crime is a thing.
What do you expect in a neighborhood that is predominantly black?
Just like in white neighborhoods.
Now let me tell you the difference.
The spotlight is on the black neighborhoods.
Because the hood is a project,
The project is a trap,
In the words of A1 Juug Trap Lives Matter.
In the eyes of the creator of the trap
Trap lives don’t matter.
Insert the flooding of drugs and weapons being used to turn the hood to a war zone.
Destined to kill the rose that grew from concrete,
But how can you stop the rose from growing back
When the roots are embedded deep in the soil?
Just like you cannot continue to expect us to be silent,
While watching our brothers, sisters, and children’s lives be taken.
Although silence is golden,
That silence ends now.