Friday, November 13, 2015

An Open Letter to Lee Daniels

Re: Andre Lyon

Dear Lee Daniels,



"I've finally found the right combination between medication and faith."

That quote from November 11th's episode of Empire inspired this post. I must say I thoroughly enjoy your show. I like most of the music, Cookie's quips and the interesting storylines.

What I like most about the show, is how the Lyon family still tends to come together when either of them have been threatened even though they are all in competition with each other, which is cause for dynamic melodrama.

But most of all, I am eager to see what you do with Andre's character. I recently wrote, Bye Lisa in response to her suicide on Being Mary Jane, but Andre Lyon gives me hope that Mara Brock Akil dashed. The complexity of Lucious' experience dealing with his mother's mental illness and how it relates to his relationship with Andre is compelling television.

Thank you for dealing with mental illness in the Black community, the hardship it presents on the family and the struggle of the sufferer to just maintain. I'm sure Jesus did not tell Andre to blackmail that woman. That's the beauty of the show.

We will talk later about your jabs at Donnie McClurkin.


Love,


a fan

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Who Will Carry Me Home?

#BlogLikeCrazy
 
 
 
The fear of death has been weighing heavily on my mind. For the last three years many people around me have died; some expectedly but most, unexpectedly.  At least that's what it feels like. This fear has propelled all these questions to dance in my head. I'd rather not think about these questions for fear that they will trigger the real event.
 
Who will carry me home when they are gone? When my parents are gone who will nag me about the condition of my house and car? Who will ask me if I was productive at work (managers don't count)? Who will find a way to come get me if I get hurt like back in '08 when I fell in my garage. My dad said you know you could have called an ambulance. I replied incredulously, why would I do that when I have people who love me to come get me.  But who will carry me home when they are gone?
 
Why do some recover from illness, others don't and some just pass away with no warning? The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.  What does that mean? Is that meant to give comfort? Not necessarily. It is meant as a reminder; the true order of life. Despite popular belief, if it is to be it is not up to me rather whatever He wants will be. All I must do is trust that He will take care of me no matter what happens. He did, He is and He will always carry me.
 
 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"The Impostor Syndrome"

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As I was reading through See Jane Write's founder's blog, I ran across this phrase, "impostor syndrome."  That struck a cord with me. I often feel like an impostor in this writing and blogging game. Even though I have started a blog and self-published a book, I don't feel qualified to speak on these issues.

I started blogging because I wanted to build a platform and audience for myself as a writer. Also, I have a lot of stuff to say and I want to share those thoughts with the world or my readers, at least. I believe I have talent but sometimes I lose focus and become discouraged.

Oh, and there is the fact that I am lazy. I don't like that word so I Googled antonyms and decided to go with un-persevering.  That sounds more accurate. Promoting a book and a blog seems like such a daunting task and I become disheartened when I don't get an expected amount of page views, likes or comments. I don't want to be disappointed when something doesn't turn out the way I wanted it to so I just give up. It is much more comfortable and safe to be just an employee and collect a check.

But its this nagging guilty feeling I get when I don't write. Go figure.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

15 THINGS I'VE FOUND IN SEARCH OF SATISFACTION

Continuing to. . .#BlogLikeCrazy


Lime popsicles

 
 
Buying cute notebooks/journals even though I already have plenty of empty ones at home. 

 
 
 Hulu

 
 
 Playing with my niece and nephews (don't tell them, they want me to come over every day)

 
 
Laughing at my parents (They do too)

 
 
Adult Coloring Books

 
 
Tina Campbell's It's Personal album

 
 
 Heavenly Sparkles cleaning service

 
 
 Small group bible studies

 
 
Lecrae's Anomaly album

 
 
 idol Addiction CD series by Julie Sparkman

 
 
Reading challenges

 
 
A thoughtful conversation with a friend

 
 
 Ginger Ale

 
 
 God


 Not in that order

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Magic of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

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Another Classic has gone down for the history books.




For 74 years, Alabama State University (Montgomery, AL) and Alabama A&M University (Huntsville, AL) football teams and bands have battled it out for bragging rights. The game- played in Birmingham, Alabama is usually the last weekend in October and arguably the best Historically Black College/University (HBCU) football classic in the country.



The Magic City Classic has always been a part of my life. Growing up, I loved and looked forward to The Classic but as an adult, I’m over it. I’m over the traffic, crowds and inflated prices to do the same thing I could’ve done the previous weekend for a quarter of the price to see the same people from the year before. I’m too old for this ish. But my sister-in-law brought something to my attention-  this type of event isn’t regular for other folks. 



She helped me see The Magic City Classic with fresh eyes. She was so excited to see a collective of African Americans celebrating our heritage; coming together as a family around our shared experiences. She was ecstatic for her children to see Birmingham’s African American mayor, judges, doctors, nationally-known entertainers, HBCU students  and alumni in The Magic City Classic Parade.


She was so full of pride as she explained to her sons and daughter that they could be an engineer or policewoman like the ones we saw around us as we sat on the sidewalk across from City Hall and next to the Greyhound bus station where Rep. John Lewis and other Freedom Riders were bombed for exercising their rightsto ride. It was a beautiful thing.

I caught her excitement and felt bad for taking it for granted. . .until we got stuck in traffic again.

The Magic of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Part 2

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For those who aren't familiar with HBCUs, they were created after the civil war to correct the disparities of educational opportunities for newly freed slaves.

I graduated from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta GA which is part of a consortium of 4 other schools- Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College and Morehouse School of Medicine in what we call The Atlanta University Center (AUC). Yes, I still claim Morris Brown even with all of its troubles.


My mother graduated from Lane College in Jackson TN, one of my aunts graduated from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL and another aunt graduated from Miles College in Birmingham, AL. I come from a long line of HBCU supporters.

Many people of all races feel that HBCUs have outlived their usefulness because African Americans are now able to attend any school they so chose and qualify for in Obama's post-racial America. Is there really a such thing as post-racial America? That's another discussion for another post.

I have a bone to pick with those people. They argue that maintaining HBCUs promotes exclusion and segregation but HBCUs have always welcomed people of all colors, races, cultures and creeds. HBCUs are diverse. I went to school with people from Africa, The Virgin Islands, South America and even Iowa. We are not a monolithic people. Even though we may have variations of brown skin, we still come from completely different walks of life.

As long as students leave these institutions with a stellar education, broader worldview and a better understanding of the world and themselves, HBCUs will always be relevant.
  

Justifiable Paranoia and Police Brutality




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About a month ago, I saw a white kid in my neighborhood pointing his toy gun at every car that passed by.  Instantly, it brought to mind the tragic story of Tamir Rice. Neighbors called the police on him because they were afraid the toy gun he was wielding was a real gun. Tamir Rice was eventually killed by the police for playing.  Of course, I knew the kid in my neighborhood was just playing but why didn't Tamir Rice get the same benefit of the doubt?
 
Confession: I wanted to call the police just on GP but I realized that was petty and unnecessary.
 
Too frequently we hear allegations of a police officer killing an unarmed black person for talking back or looking suspicious or playing with a toy gun. Quite frankly, all of these news stories have me 'noid and tripping.
 
What if someone mistakes my hand for a weapon when I'm doing the "black girl head pat" while driving trying to preserve my hairstyle and not irritate my scalp? Or when I'm sitting in my own driveway for a long time trying to find the perfect playlist for my morning commute? Or when I'm sitting in the dark parking lot of a Vestavia church trying to program my GPS to get me out of this unfamiliar area? They don't know me and I don't know them.
 
As a child of God, I know I should only fear God and not fear man. I must trust that He is in control and will take care of me. But I can't trust the police! They shoot to kill instead to apprehend. They don't ask questions and get defensive when the community wants answers.
 
It used to be that parents had to worry mostly about their black boys and teach them how to deal with the police but after Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd and Shereese Francis, we women must watch our backs too. We have to be careful of our hand gestures, tone of voice, facial expressions, station, gait and range of motion.
 
Again I ask, are my fears irrational?