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Showing posts from 2017

Fear As A Writer

When people tell me that I write well I am often in disbelief. Not that I don't write well in the sense of writing college research papers or high school reports, because I feel that I'm able to do that well or at least I've proven that I can do those well by graduating from school. But when it comes to writing things that people WANT to read, I don't know where I stand. People read my blog and take whatever away from what I write, but they aren't affected by it in any real way, at least I don't think so. I want to be prolific. I want to change the way people see Black men. I want to change the way people see Black suburbanites like me. I want to redefine Blackness and let brothers like myself out there know that we count just as much as the brothers in jail and on drugs, and as much as the successful brothers who have left the hood behind for corporate America and PhDs.

But what do I have to offer the culture? Where does my experience land me in the spectrum o…

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to DC and finally getting to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I really enjoyed myself. It was great to finally have a place where the story of my people, Black people, can be told for all to come and see. I love museums and this place definitely does not disappoint. As a student of history, I was really happy to see how much information they put into this building and how they tried very hard to tell our story with dignity and respect, while keeping intact not so popular truths of our place here in America.

The building itself is beautiful, and placed in a very prominent place on the National Mall right next to the Washington Monument and close to the White House. It definitely holds prime real estate in the center of DC. The lobby is a clean and open space, with the information desk dominating the first floor. There's a large square elevator that takes visitors to the bottom level where the tour b…

This Christmas

It's almost Christmas time and I just wanted to write a little bit about where I am and what life is treating me like at the moment. The tree is up here at the house and there are even gifts under it. Not as many as there used to be when I was a kid but it's just Aunt Bert and me here now so I guess it wouldn't be expected to be full. But it's feeling like Christmas nonetheless. The weather has definitely changed and going outside for anything is sure to make you think twice. For me, going to have a smoke has become damn near torture. The cold has me re-thinking smoking all together, which might be a good thing depending on how one looks at it.

The holidays have kind of lost their magic as an adult, especially one who doesn't have kids around. I don't have to put up the lights or keep secrets in order to make the magic of Santa seem real to some little boy or girl. Even my nieces and nephews are grown now and have their own children to create Christmas for.  F…

Mt Brother The Prince

While we may not have the same father or mother
I mean what I say when I Call you my brother
We may be quite different, but we're also the same
We both look like Africa, thought I carry the White man's name
We are different hues of brown, and have different kinks in our hair
We got those Jackson 5 nostrils to help breathe in God's air
WE're from the same city, same school, same hood
In the morning you say, "Blessings!", I answer with, "What's good!"
I talk about my husband, you tell me about your wife
We both know that love is essential to life
I read from the Bible, you recite a Sura or two
But our God is unchanging, Allah is always true
While you prayed that your words not fall on deaf ears
I was praying for a sign, and waiting to hear
You teach me about law, how to set ourselves free
I teach you about the Ancestors and our storied history
Sometimes we bump heads, and don't always agree
But I have respect for you and I know you respect me

A Day in D.C

Virginia's 2017 Elections

As I've said before, I can't vote, but I'm still very interested in local, state and federal politics. At the beginning of November, Virginia held elections and the democrats swept across the state with wins at the state and local levels. I'm proud of the people of the Commonwealth who came out in great numbers to reject the policy and personality of the Trump administration and the republican party that's been leading them nowhere since the Presidential election in 2016.

One election I followed with special interest was the race for Commonwealth's Attorney in my hometown of Portsmouth, VA. My high school friend Stephanie Morales was the incumbent, and she won her election by a large margin. I'm so proud of her and happy that our city chose her again to bring justice to the citizens of our wonderful city. She's a dedicated public servant and she's the most qualified and experienced person for the job. She's not only done a great job as the city&…

4th Wedding Anniversary

Today isn't just Halloween, it's my 4th wedding anniversary My husband and I are separated right now, but that doesn't keep me from celebrating a day that I remember as one filled with love and happiness. We got married in DC, a little while before our home state of Virginia allowed same sex marriage. We didn't have a big ceremony, just us at the courthouse and a few of our friends as witnesses. Things might not be the way I want them to be right now, but I'm happy that I had a chance to share love in this world with someone, and I know that even though our circumstances aren't perfect, we still have love for one another and that will likely never change.

I love you DeWitt, and I hope you have a wonderful anniversary.

The Confederacy Falls Again!

Since the events in Charlottesville on Saturday, there has been a revived debate on whether the monuments erected all over the American South are relevant and whether they should be taken down or left to stand with more context to the history they are part of. As a Virginian, I've seen these types of monuments everywhere in my state, and there's even one in my hometown of Portsmouth, VA that has been the topic of controversy lately. 
People want these monuments removed. They don't seem to care where they go or what happens to them, but in a country where we all want to be able to honor our history and heritage, we have to provide some kind of plan for incorporating these things into our national history, because the Civil War did happen, and millions of men did die in it.
As a student of history, I understand that movements don't just die out when a generation does. People's emotions and feelings are real on both sides, and even those who we feel shouldn't hav…

Just tired of living...

I'm tired of life. I'm tired of being expected to stay positive when I literally have nothing. I'm tired of being alone and lonely. I'm tired of being broke, or having just enough money not to do anything. I'm tired of having no type of job to identify myself with. I'm tired of owing people money that I'll never be able to pay back. I feel like I wasted my time doing well in school and going to and graduating from college. Nobody sees me as a well-spoken and intelligent college graduate, I'm just a worthless convicted felon who has to continue pay for the mistakes that I've made even though I've served my time and paid my debt to society.

I've been looking for work and I just feel like giving up. The process just seems to backwards and stupid to me. If I take the time to fill out an application or to send in a cover letter and resume, why do I have to contact you yet again to follow up? Either I'm good enough for an interview or I'm …

My natural hair journey

In college I found myself allowing my hair to grow for the first time in my life, and I loved it. It was a great way to express my individuality and it felt good to be able to be more of my authentic self and have people love me for what I really looked like, not chopped and greased and brushed into submission.

Over the years, mostly because of a need to conform in job situations, I've cut my hair and worn it short. I've never been the guy who was consistent about going to the barber shop every other week, so keeping a short cut turned out to be a lot more maintenance than I wanted to put into my hair.

For a while I'd just let it grow until it was too unruly and disrespectful, and then I'd shave it off and start back at a bald head. I've probably repeated that process for the better part of a 15 years or more.
Now, I'm starting another natural hair journey, this time more influenced by my spiritual need to tune it to things that are naturally part of my cultur…

Today's depression...

Today, I find myself a little depressed. Not for any particular reason, or because something has changed from yesterday to today. I'm depressed because I've been thinking about my life and I'm wondering if I will ever truly be happy. I'm wondering if I will ever be successful and have the things that will make my life more pleasant than just surviving as I am now.

I have been out of work for about two years now. And right now, even though I should be sending out resumes and filling out applications, I'm paralyzed by fear of rejection.  As a convicted felon, it doesn't make me at ease to think about the people who will say no to me getting a job just because of my past. It makes me mad on one hand, and on the other hand it makes me feel like shit because I'm only in this position because of my own actions. But I'm not perfect, and there's nothing I can do to change the situation at the moment, especially as long as I'm at the mercy of others when…

Breaking Ground

Before God can plant a seed, the ground must be prepared
Without the breaking up of soil, no harvest can be shared
Right now my life seems all a mess, confusion to and fro
But that's just God, breaking up my weeds, so that his fruit can grow
I've taken life for granted, and have not always done my best
I'm now, embarrassed and ashamed, and unprepared for God's test
God's test is not much different than the ones I took in college
He wants to measure what I've learned, my growth in wisdom and knowledge
His seeds need soil, rich and fertile, nurtured by the waters of life
It will hold the roots of the fruits that grown, steady through turmoil and strife
Breaking the soil is not easy work, it often brings sweat and tears
But the reward is great, and evident in the fruit that soil yields
So even though my days might be dark, like the soil in which gardens grow
God's seeds are sprouting within me, and soon will start to show
And from one seed, comes many fruit a…

Angry man

Why am I so easily angered?
What makes my mouth so slick?
How do I go from 0-100
Real fast, real easy and real quick?
I'm not a hateful person at all
And I try to show love when I can
But why do I have to be nice to those
Who try me like I'm a boy and not a man?
I hate the abuse of authority
Or using a position to put others down
Yet those same folk who stepped all over me
Expect my extended hand to help them not to drown
Why should I apologize for my good life?
For loving parents and excelling in school
And yield to trouble makers and high school dropouts
Who are now paying the price for playing the fool
I know my attitude is not perfect
But I try hard, despite what others see
Only Jesus was perfect, and I am not him
i was created and given life to be me
So maybe I'm supposed to feel angry at times
Because it ignites that passion within
But I have to control it, and not let it control me
That's the difference between boys and men
So the next time I feel that monster …

I Miss

I miss falling asleep with his locs in my face
And my hand rubbing across his belly
I miss white seedless grapes, and Welch's Fruit Snacks
And my favorite, peanut butter and jelly
I miss all my music, Jill Scott and Badu
Tupac, Outkast and Queen Bey
I miss having windows, seeing the trees
For real I must miss being free

I miss Uncle Wendell, may he rest in peace
I miss my girlfriends and my crew
I miss Aunt Bert's breakfast, bacon, eggs and toast
I miss looking up and seeing the sky is blue
I miss all my clothes, my closet and my room
I miss all my books and my art
I miss seeing frames with pics of my family
Even though they are etched in my heart

I miss being able to walk to the store
Or to the field to watch the boys and girls play
I miss all the familiar slang and speech
Like "jamk", "lightning bugs" and "Out the way"
I miss everything and almost everyone
My dreams remind me of it every night
But soon enough I'll be free, and back to my li…

State Struck

They've already been to prison And that's where their minds are stuck Because they talk and behave like prisoners The definition of "State Struck"
They play spades all day, and argue And yell at each other across the table They never want to watch the news And I doubt they get the concept of cable
They think they're big fish in a little pond But more like tadpoles inside a drop They run whack jokes into the ground And have no clue when to stop
To them every woman is a bitch Especially when they don't get their way They complain of hunger, then complain about the food They're miserable and unhappy either way
I refuse to be just like them I keep my dignity intact 'Cause they're on their way to prison again But I'm going home and that's a fact


Can you believe that I still dream of getting high
Even after being here for 85 days
In my sleep I buy a dime, and roll up a blunt
And smoke and try to wake up still John Blazed
But it isn't just weed that my mind craves anymore
It's the process and the act of getting high
Because it gives me the chance, to leave reality behind
And just float, like a cloud up into the night sky
I'm a drug addict, and it's not easy to admit
But being real is my best shot at escaping death
I've smoked tons of weed, snorted likes of coke
But I fucked up when I shot up with meth
We've all heard this saying, at some point in our lives
"What's good to you ain't always good for you"
Well that shit felt too great, and I knew it was no good
Because it took days before my body recovered
I'm not proud of that shit, but I live in my truth
And maybe I can help someone else avoid it
Because depression is a lie, and when you think you've lost your mind
All that'…

The Hole

I'm ready to leave, I'm ready to roll
Can someone come get me from up out this hole?
I've completed my time, all 45 days
I've learned my lesson, and changed my ways
Let me go back to my pod so I'm able
To eat like a human and sit at a table
I want to watch tv, and talk on the phone
So I can know daily, what's happening at home
This has been worse than jail, more like captivity
I wouldn't wish this on my Mama's worst enemy
PETA wouldn't let anyone treat a dog this way
But for us, it's legal and somehow okay
You never have to worry about me coming here again
I'll keep my thoughts to myself, or write them down with a pen
And for the next bout of cussing and yelling I feel
Instead of giving in to it, I'll go into prayer and kneel
And ask God to help, and give me self control
Because I never want to end up back here in the hole

My Daddy is sick...

Today I got a message from one of my cousins that my Daddy was in ICU. I didn't know what to think then and I don't know what to think now. I've been to visit, and got to see my sisters and a few of my nieces and nephews while at the hospital. My Daddy and I have not always had the most loving and respectful of relationships, but as time has passed and we've both grown older, we have a new type of love and respect for one another that seems to work well.

Seeing him laying there weak and tired, really messed with me. But isn't this a part of life? Everyone we love will some day pass on, whether we're alive to witness it or not. My Daddy has been sick for quite a while now, but this is the first time he's unexpectedly been hospitalized and it's an unnerving situation to deal with.

There's nothing that I want or need to say to him that I've left unsaid. Every time we see one another we embrace and I always tell him that I love him. Years ago, that…

I ain't your Bro!

The last time I checked, "Bro" was short for brother
And to my current knowledge, we don't have the same mother
Growing up we never shared a room or any clothes
And clearly we do not have the same wide-ass nose
Is your daddy named Bennie? Was his mama named Amy?
Then cut that shit out, and stop fake trying to claim me
We really aren't homies, and certainly not friends
You're only in my face because you see I got ends
]Yeah, I got a few niggas, that I refer to as "Bro"
But they've proven their love and loyalty long ago
And I didn't just meet them when I came to this jail
We've laughed through the good times and cried through our hell
They've been in my corner, on my side for years
They know my shortcomings, and even my fears
So excuse me if you think I'm feeling some type of way
Because I truly only have one brother, and his name is Neavrae

Boy, Bye!

Yeah, that's right I'm gay. But nigga what's it to you?
If you're straight then what I am don't matter.
Unless you're on the DL, and frontin' undercover.
Trying to serve up some ass on a platter.

Nigga I'm flattered, but that's not how I roll.
Besides, this band on my finger mean's I'm taken.
And even if I wasn't you'd still have no chance.
'Cause I'm turned off by your frontin' and fakin'.

Nigga quit playing, quit smiling in my face
Weren't you just braggin' bout having all the hoes?
Well then call them hoes up, and go spit game to them
Because your rap is so tired and it shows.

Boy Bye, Nigga! I'm still not trying to hear it.
And I don't think you quite understand.
You ain't shit in my world, not worth a nut, or a squirrel.
And I told you, I already got a man!

The 4th is a Lie

They say today is a holiday
They call it the Fourth of July
But as the U.S. celebrates it's independence
I refuse to buy in to the lie

How can you call this the "land of the free"
And proclaim it "the home of the brave"
All the while being hypocritical
By making the African your slave

You talk about freedom and liberty
And God-given unalienable rights
But in order to claim what the Creator had given
My people had to march, boycott, and fight

I once pledged allegiance to the American flag
And to the republic for which it stands
But no longer do I salute the red, white and blue
Because my Ancestors' blood are on American hands

I no longer join in "The Star Spangled Banner"
I'd rather "Lift Every Voice And Sing"
And the only monument I visit when in DC
Is that of Dr. Martin Luther, The King

Yes, it's true that I was born in this land
But the U.S. will never be my home
'Cause my heart and my soul are fully African
The Motherland…

Our Magna Carta

Let me set the record straight
I feel a need to remind you
That it's no longer 1607
And damn sure ain't 1492
We are no longer your slaves
This ain't the Antebellum South
So be careful how you talk to us
And the words coming from your mouth
How could this be the land of the free
And the home of the brave?
When you can't admit you wouldn't have shit
If it were not for the slaves
And now 400 years later
You still try keeping us down
Take that shit to Deep Creek, Chesapeake
You got me fucked up! This is P-town!
White supremacy doesn't live here
Jim got evicted a long time ago
Now we can freely teach our sons
To allow their locs and beards to grow
And we can teach our daughters
That they're the mothers of all creation
And life up our people, from sea to sea
In a Moorish-America civilization

Calling Me Nigger

What do you really get
Out of calling me a Nigger?
Are you expressing anger
Because nature made mine bigger?
You called me out of my name
Just to gain a violent reaction
But I refuse to let hate win
And give you that satisfaction
And the you called me Faggot
Tried insulting me another way
But I held my peace and let God work
So no victory for evil today
The ignorance you showed is sad
And pitiful for any human being
And instead of disrespecting me
You should be bowed before your king
If you think that I'm a Nigger
I have some real bad news for you
Your King David, your Solomon, your Moses, your Aaron
And even your Jesus were Niggers, too
So keep shooting with your words
And cutting with your eyes
Because the next time you call me Nigger
You wont live to see the Sun rise

Greater Than One Nation

African-American, Black, Colored, Negro
Why so many different names?
In reality we are all ONE PEOPLE
Even if we don't look the same
Some say we're the original Egyptians
Others claim they're Hebrew Israelites
There are even Moorish Nationals
But all of them are right
The motherland has blessed us
With such rich physical diversity
Skin tones that range from dark to light
Make us a rainbow of humanity
We may practice different rituals
Or worship in a different way
But we all believe there is a God
No matter if we face East or West when we pray
We've never held just one religion
Or lived in just one location
WE are at home all around the world
We are greater than any one nation
What they call us now doesn't matter
Names change, as time comes and goes
But what's most important now is our unity
Coming together so our sons and daughters know
That they are heirs to many kingdoms
Even further than their eyes can see
And that they can be great, or greater, the greates…

Miss Wright

If doing your job isn't your job
Then what are you here to do?
Why not just quit, and stay your ass home
So that I won't have to look at you

No one held you at gunpoint, and made you apply
To become a C. O. in this jail
But a career change might be an option for you
If you have issues changing channels, and passing out mail

Or are you just here to boss people around
To help life up your low self esteem
Well, I'm sorry your life didn't turn out as planned
Because working here could not have been your dream

It's not my fault that you hate your job
You should have gotten some more education
Or applied at the shipyard, became an apprentice
And picked up a trade or vocation

I know it's probably hard, to be who you are
And at your age not know how to read or write
But that's still not my fault, and keeping it real
Check your fucked up attitude before coming back tonight

From Cell To Cell...

Bennie and Patricia combined cells and made me
Buster and Bert did their best to raise me
At Norcom, Alpha Chi for damn sure hazed me
But all that's helped me become who I am

To Nashville I went, off to Fisk for college
There I studied, and people watched from the Tree of Knowledge
Walked the same paths as the Ancestors and paid them homage
And learned the history I'd been taught was a sham

Back to the Commonwealth I came when it was time to return
Still so much to do, experience, accomplish and learn
There were now men to date, and there were more trees to burn
But I had a goal, so I tried hard to stay on track

My 20s were like the twister that took Dorothy to Oz
I fell in and out of what felt like love and found that I was Poz
But I was still determined that I could beat all the odds
So I dug in my heels and did not look back

For a few years I tried avoiding fate
But eventually enrolled myself at Norfolk State
The green and gold hood on me, it looked and felt so great
But I…