No Longer Living To Die

Artist Unknown

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.

Enough Is Enough

Emotions are very high right now. After just witnessing Ahmaud Arbery and Sean Reed, here we are again with George Floyd. I have to ask, when is enough enough. How much more blood has to be spilled for America to get that our lives matter? Will America ever get it? At this point I don’t care if they ever fully get it. Just know that my life, my children’s lives, and all people of colors lives matter. We will not continue to be hunted and laid down for the world to see as an intimidation tactic.

Intimidation can no longer work, fear can no longer flow through our veins at the sight of someone considered better than us or legally able to take a life, and we cannot continue to move peacefully. We are going through the same motions moth after month; angry, protest, pray, and forgive. When does the action come? When do we stand up for our lives? Too much blood has been spilled and I refuse to see anymore spilt only to go silent after an arrest. An arrest does not mean a conviction. People get arrested every day and still do no jailtime. I am not satisfied with just an arrest.

I need to see action. Anyone can share, hashtag, and complain. That only goes so far, and history shows that that distance is not far enough. Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Pamela Turner, Korryn Gaines, Emmett Till, George Stinney, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd. All the times where our distance was never enough for proper justice. 

Once again, my mind is tired and my heart is broken. Everyone loves the culture, but don’t love the people the culture comes from. We have become a trend for the world to embrace when it’s cool, but silent when the harsh reality is put on display. Where is the people that love the culture now? Where are the people of privilege that shout, “We are all equal?” For those who are silent, you either don’t see a problem, you don’t care, or you’re too afraid of losing your privilege to speak out. Therefore, you are part of the problem. 

In a world full of Martin Luther King, Jr’s, I see sprinkles of Malcolm X as more and more people awaken to say enough is enough. That makes me proud, that gives me hope that although there are people that still wish to bury us, there are even more sprouting out the ground from the strong roots they come from. It’s ok to be Martin. The world needs balance, but even Martin said in the end, “I fear I am integrating my people into a burning house.”

Enough is enough people.

The Sacrifice

Close your eyes and listen closely,

As you stand in this space take in the moment. 

Can you hear it?

The soft chains rattling in the distance,

The haunting melodies of your ancestors singing,

The footsteps shuffling through the sand towards the water.

This place is not for them. 

This place will not be their prison. 

Just as the lyrics to the song they sing,

The water brought them here, the water will take them away.

The time for spirits is high,

Open your eyes and watch the world come alive. 

Do you see them?

Out in the distance,

Chains so loud you want to cover your ears,

Melodies sung with such passion your eyes water,

Footsteps closer to the water making you want to reach out to stop them. 

Just as you take a step forward one turns to you.

She is beautiful and she is fearless.

In your head her voice speaks so clearly,

“This is our sacrifice, don’t let it be in vain.”

Side note: Thank you to the many ancestors that gave their lives at The Igbo Landing. Let’s not let their sacrifice be in vain. We must do better.

Unprivileged In A Privileged World

As I watch the news recently about Sean Reed and hearing the detective joke about his funeral being a closed casket my heart hurts. While this young man was laying lifeless in the street without being covered up, that was something to laugh about? I still cannot figure out what he did that was so wrong that caused him to lose his life. Many will say, he shouldn’t have ran or he posed a threat. Eye witnesses say that he only had his phone and his shirt while running away. That seems accurate since he was filming on Facebook live the whole time.

Now I know many people at this point are saying they are tired of hearing about this kind of stuff, there is no such thing as racism, talking about it makes it worse, and there is no difference people just need to work harder for what they want. In the eyes of myself and many people of color that is bull. This is something we live with everyday whether we want to or not. There is no option. We must talk about it or else no one would know about it. Just look at Ahmaud Arbery. It took two months for the world to know what happened to him to get the ball rolling. How many others do we not know about?

As for him not running away, well the truth of the matter is he could’ve had the same outcome if he had stood there and complied. It’s been seen time and time again. Philando Castile informed the officer that he legally had a weapon before attempting to get his license like the officer wanted before being shot. What I find even more shocking about the Sean Reed incident is that the same day is that two men of the opposite color did the same thing minus being on Facebook live and these two men were armed plus wearing body armor. Those two men were also arrested without injury. They live to see another day. So my question in this case is, “What made them less of a threat?”

During a time where my boys (Age 11 and 7) are supposed to be living young, wild, and free; they must start their life lessons. Those lessons go something like this:

  • These are the laws you must study today. Always know your rights.
  • When you get pulled over stay calm, turn your music down, have your license and registration attached to the visor overhead so it is always readily available, and no matter what keep your hands on the steering wheel. Do whatever you have to do to drive away safely.
  • When you walk in the store take your hood off. It does not matter that the person next to you of the opposite color has his on. You are seen as a threat and he is not. Also keep your hands out of your pockets until you leave out the store.
  • When talking to an officer or anyone else make sure your hands are visible at all times to prevent the escalation of the fear within a person that could cause harm to you.
  • Choose your battles wisely
  • Most importantly, should you find yourself in a situation where it is your life or someone else’s, DEFEND yourself at all times.

These are the life lessons that many children males and females of color have to go through at a young age. It does not matter that my children have been raised in the suburbs their whole lives and that their parents are veterans. Once they leave our neighborhood and even inside, they are still just a color to many that are filled with ignorant information about people like them. Many ask, “What do we do?” I wonder if there is anything we can do. There are still so many blind to everything that’s happening, many do not want to speak out because of fear of backlash, and then there are the main ones that are part of the problem. So for those that read this and want to chime in, feel free to tell me, “What do we do?”

What If My Son Was Ahmaud?

Looking at this picture and watching everything going on currently with Ahmaud Arbery, I’m filled with so many emotions. Anger, frustration, fear, and many more.

I find it ironic that the very car my son has to walk past to get home could contain an individual so insecure and afraid of his melanin, his strength, his power that they consider him a threat already at the age of 11. Many really don’t understand the emotions we go through raising our young Kings in a world that wishes to harm them.

In the end it’s all just ignorance. Ignorance that has been passed down from generation to generation. Since the days of Emmett Till, George Stinney, and the many before whose names we do not know. Why must this continue to happen? What will be done for some type of justice? I have to say I have long ago lost date in the justice system. A system that I hold a degree in.

Many will say it’s all in our head, the victim did so many things wrong, he should have just complied, and the list goes on. The truth of the matter is the side of blue is not always right. Now I have to admit, there are some good ones out there and they try to make a difference, but very rarely do you see those people speak out in the public during times when their voice matters the most. I still will not discredit them for the good they are trying to do, but the time to be silent has long left the building.

At the age of 11 my child should not have to be ran through drills on how to behave just so I can feel somewhat secure knowing he has the tools to make it back home to me when the time comes. Another truth is that no matter how much he is trained, that means nothing when you have someone that is afraid of him based off the color of his skin or how they see his type to be portrayed on the television. He should be able to enjoy his youth without being looked at sideways because he wears his hood which he loved to do. He should not be considered disrespectful because he did not reply when he actually did not hear what was being said due to the fact that he currently has his earbuds in and not looking at the person to know they are speaking to him. He should not have to fear being shot down while jogging because people automatically assume because he’s running he’s committed a crime.

I try not to be that angry mother, but it’s difficult. Especially when you see these things constantly happening and nothing been done about it. An arrest doesn’t mean a conviction, the victim’s life shouldn’t be a trial when they’re not here to defend themselves, something clear as day on video should not be excused to appease those considered to reign supreme. My son will be a strong black man raised by a strong black man and woman. His parents fought for this country even when people in this country fought against them.

He will walk this earth with his head held up without an ounce of fear. I will house that fear that he is not allowed to have. He will know all the rules to abide by during a traffic stop and he will know all the ways to protect himself should he be put in a situation when he has to defend himself. He will be prepared.

Inspiration Post: Find Your Groove

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what you want to do with you life. There’s endless options, but seems as if it’s not enough time. We feel rushed to jump into a career field that’s supposed to make us happy because of the amount of money being made. In the words of Bob Marley, “Money can’t buy life.” What good is a job if you can’t be happy doing it? How can you provide the best service possible if you don’t want to be there?

I’ve tried many career fields over time and many hobbies that I turned out to be quite good at. Hit me with a medical question and I’ll answer it with no problem, T-shirt making with silk screens was a breeze, and the list goes on. Although I was good at it, I didn’t have a passion for it. I’ve always wanted to walk to the beat of my own drum at my own pace. Ownership is the key in the end.

That led me to something I enjoyed and didn’t know it. I’m a book nerd who has discovered a love for writing. Some days I can write and never get tired, but then there’s days where I don’t want to think about writing a thing. That’s part of the beauty of independence. I don’t answer to anyone and don’t feel forced to push out anything.

I released my first book last year which was a fantasy called Lemuria: The Return Home by K. Nicole. Now although it didn’t do as well as I’d like, it gave me that experience and a idea of how to move forward. I’m sitting on a few rough drafts that’s waiting to be polished up and enhancing my writing skills through my blog. They’ll release when it’s meant for the world to see them. If my time is up before then, I know those that support me will unveil them for me.

I’m in a good place right now. I could’ve easily signed with a publisher already and feel as if I’m pumping out books on an assembly line, but where is the fun in that? I don’t saw that to down anyone with a publisher because some people actually enjoy pushing out books that quickly and I even thought about it for myself at one point, but it’s just not for me. I will take my time and grind in a way that sits well in my spirit.

So I say this to say, no matter how long it take you, you will find your groove. Don’t be in such a rush to pick a career or hobby just because society deems that you should be in a certain place in life because of your age. You’ll know what’s meant for you when you actually enjoy what you’re doing and it doesn’t feel like mandatory work. Just look at me up at 5 a.m. getting my thoughts out without feeling forced. I found my groove and now perfecting it. Make sure you find yours and live life!

In Your Presence

It’s been 15 years since I stood in your presence, before that I don’t remember.

The memory of you can’t even be described as fleeting, in reality it’s non-existent.

I used to wonder why out of all of us I was left alone without any memories of you, but then I realize that it was probably a blessing.

None of the others have many memories of you and to be honest the ones they have aren’t that great.

I guess the universe did well saving me from years of heartbreak, years of wondering why I wasn’t good enough,and the vision of you walking out the door I will ever know.

All of that I have been sparred from ever having to feel.

It would’ve been nice to have something though. I guess that’s why I reached out for some type of connection.

Out of that strained connection, I got your voice and your memories of the past.

Some of those good and some of those bad, but still there is your voice going back down memory lane for the few minutes you’re willing to stay on the phone.

And once the call is disconnected, I go one with my life as I have always done.

Wondering if it’ll be another 15 years before I’m in your presence again or if that last time was the final.

Introvert Life

Photo captured after my morning meditation

While everyone is sitting at home going stir crazy because of Covid-19 shutting everything down, I’m happily in my home reading books, watching documentaries, and meditating while my children fill my home with the rowdiness that would normally be seen in the outside world. I have my balance. As an introvert, Here is where I feel less drained from being around a lot of people and less of a chance of having that awkward moment where a random person wants to have a conversation about something I know nothing about, but feel inclined to talk because I was raised with too much respect to come off as disrespectful to anyone.

Quarantine life is not so bad to me. I do it with ease because it pretty much my everyday life. Now there are moments where I’d like to go do the little things that I used to like go to Hobby Lobby, go to the movies, or even a random date night with my husband, but even that moment is fleeting. I always wonder if a time will come where I experience a shift that makes me want to be around groups of people and embrace random conversations, but even as I write this I cringe and hope it never happens.