Monthly Archives: February 2014

“You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people”

Awesome read

Media Diversified

Young Writers of Colour

by Hip Hop Teacher

I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.

1)    Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.

2)    Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.

Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.

Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”

is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.

Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial…

View original post 1,265 more words

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I am. Fluid Imagery…..

Letters to my Life...Finding My Way to Purpose.

I am a poet, I twist words to look like images, I spit lines that paint pictures. I cascade living

waters from my mouth like waterfalls…. I build not destroy. I resurrect dead imagery and call

them masterpieces.. I walk a thousand miles to pen a million poems.. to touch but one soul….

I breathe this… I write this… I live this… I love this… I hate this…

I live life outside the box. Never quite learned to color inside the lines, choosing instead to live

beyond the confines of others’ thoughts of me… you see.. .because my own.. were already

so negative.. Never quite feeling good enough, pretty enough, smart enough.. not enough of

anything to be noticed.. Living on the sidelines inside bars constructed by minutes of what will

they think of me thoughts… and so I write…. Poetry became a manifestation of my lifeline… I

breathe this……

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Augmented Reality, “Her”, and the Story of You

This augmented reality is something I am not to sure about, but I feel that it is inevitable and we will definitely have to draw a line in the sand.

AR Stories

tumblr_my58njS7rs1seyhpmo1_1280Her pixel art by QuickHoney

Her is a story about people-centric technology. Spike Jonze shows us a near future where it’s all about you. This is our new Augmented Reality (AR), and it’s not science fiction.

I’ve been working with AR as a PhD researcher and designer for the past decade. The second wave of AR will surpass the current gimmickry and extend our human capacities to better understand, engage with, and experience our world in new ways. It will be human-centered and help to make our lives better. Driven by the one thing that is central and unique to AR – context – our devices will be highly cognizant of our constantly changing environments continually deciphering, translating, analyzing, and navigating to anticipate our specific needs, predicting and delivering personalized solutions with highly relevant content and experiences. Our smart devices will act on our behalf. This next wave of AR…

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I am. Fluid Imagery…..

I am a poet, I twist words to look like images, I spit lines that paint pictures. I cascade living

waters from my mouth like waterfalls…. I build not destroy. I resurrect dead imagery and call

them masterpieces.. I walk a thousand miles to pen a million poems.. to touch but one soul….

I breathe this… I write this… I live this… I love this… I hate this…

I live life outside the box. Never quite learned to color inside the lines, choosing instead to live

beyond the confines of others’ thoughts of me… you see.. .because my own.. were already

so negative.. Never quite feeling good enough, pretty enough, smart enough.. not enough of

anything to be noticed.. Living on the sidelines inside bars constructed by minutes of what will

they think of me thoughts… and so I write…. Poetry became a manifestation of my lifeline… I

breathe this…. I am this…

I am that 14 year old girl with a child.. staring down the barrel of a gun called life… stoic..

refusing to be statistically placed in glass houses with falling chandeliers.. I am superwoman

consistently conquering any semblance of weakness, now I no longer know what to do with

my emotions.At year 32 I am that 14 year old girl again.. scared… lost.. embarking upon a new

path that finds me alone….disconnected… fears resurrected and bloody… Past scars now open

wounds found bottomless pits of emotions and… I drown…

I am broken., a shattered dusty mirror forgotten. Once so beautiful, now just pieces of what used

to be.. No longer adored, now used for quick lipstick applications in smokey club restrooms

and in the living rooms and bedrooms of strange bedfellows… I am cracked and I honestly can’t

remember a time when I wasn’t….the smooth reflection and sterling silver lines were apparently

a figment of my imagination…the cracks soon turned to shards of missing glass and the rusted

silver outlines nicked all that came close…I hate this..

I am a work in contradictions.. wanting, needing, yearning to be seen yet choosing instead to

stay behind the brightest star hoping that my shadow will eclipse its right side. Wishing to hold

my thoughts deep inside yet allowing this pen to rape me over and over again only to pimp my

words out to the highest bidder…I am far from average, but to fit in I have found that brilliance

has to reside in trash bins and liquor bottles.. Prophets must spit lies turned into faraway fairy

tells and poets have to work to eat.. I am strong yet fragily walk towards the glare of mediocrity

in the guise of excellence..

I am a storyteller. Afraid to tell the story of the beauty and pain that lies deep within me…hiding

behind twisted words and painted images…hoping that the past can get past the past so now can

see the future….

I breathe this. I write this. I love this. I live this. I hate this. I am this.. I am poetry

.Image

StRaNgE Fruit

I was always a strange fruit, picked from the most delicate tree.

Too strong to be devoured and too soft to stand mishandling.

The strange mind that resides in me calls for perfection, pessimistic optimism drives decisions made. I am an enigma.

standing atop revolutionary past lives.

Seemingly divided yet congruently I walk towards my destiny.

Built from the soil of Kemet’s royalty. formed in the bosom of the most high I am the THIRD EYE. Pregnant with divinity.

I the strange fruit hang like vines from times past.

Hams blood runs through my veins.

My father Abraham indeed.

Illuminating  an ill-lighted earth with my words I be.

Strange…. but see strange can’t define me.

Can’t stop the greatness inside me. Ancestral brain waves find me.

Place deep thoughts true words inside me.

Strange my kind be.

Crafted like Damascus steel. Treated like Black Opal… Rare.

Beauty of darkened skin my cross to bear.

Roots flow to the kings and queens that bore me.

A force and power set before me.

Body shackled but mind stayed free.

Strange my kind be.

Me be the blackdom they tried to eradicate

My virtue tried to assassinate.

forged by love…reared in hate….

Thought they killed me, but suffering revealed the real me.

Saw my greatness tried to terminate me

Stole my style now they emulate me.

Couldn’t beat me tried to join me.

Royalties rhythm beats inside me.

Strange my kind be.

Strange

Death Letter

With this pen I write my death letter,

Purchase my soul by placing black ink on white paper.

                                    {Put my dreams inside}

Red lines too small to define my destiny. Voices inside my head detail a life I swear I never had, while prose written displays a haunting tale of a life caught in the balance between

                ………….here……….and…….. nowhere.

Once called perdition, now called the blocks on my street. Sharp thoughts cut tender wrists that drip black blood while silent prayers manifest themselves as doomsday messages encased in delicate glass globes filled with muddy waters.

With this pen. I write my death letter….

Forced closed eyes usher in the darkness and memories of a past not forgotten, while malicious deeds done by loved ones wage war with what is and…. what. used. to. be.

Double-edged truths slit to bone as nightmarish recollections of incestuous activities crowd my mind like hollow point bullets looking for targets.

With this pen. I write my death letter…..

Pin my confession onto boards of scarlet and where them around my neck like the jewelry of ancestor’s past. Laid my bosom down in the pit of BABYLON and sang Zion’s songs in a foreign land. Languished in the

                                                          depths

                                                                                  of

                                                                                            hell.

While fear played fiddler on the roof of my soul. Became a willing participant in the devil’s schemes while singing praises in the Hallelujah harvest.

With this pen. I write my death letter….

Play peek-a-boo with skeletons locked In OPEN closets while counting inSaniTY sane. Foraged the former sins hoping to find grace in familiar faces. Doing that which I Will NOT to do while what i WANT to do STANDS.

                                                               STILL.

Still I wait at mercy’s door to enter into the throne of GRACE. where brokeness revealed brings Healing. There I fall upon my face. Faced the battered mind inside this death letter penned, bowed down on bruised knee opened my heart and set captivity Free.images

Sometimes all I can do is shake my head.

As an educator I have seen a LOT, and in my case not too much of it good unfortunately. I feel for these children that are coming up. We are raising a generation of weak willed, faster-than-the microwave generation. They (not all) want it now, without the wait or the struggle; and it seems like the administrator’s, policy-makers, parents, and EVERYONE else who has YET to step foot into a class room and TEACH or TEACH again is hell bent on giving them what they want. NO accountability. NO responsibility, NO idea how to even SPELL those two words. But have the AUDACITY to tell me what I can and cannot do as an educator. WTH?! I am sure that with the budget cuts, limited funds, money from my family’s mouth to spend on someone else, I should just SIT back and bask in paradise. Le’Sigh. What are we showing the children world. Who will take care of us when we eventually get old (if we make it). What will happen to them when they enter the wolf-laden workforce. Where all the sheep have fangs. Who’s going to separate the special education population from the general education fry maker?  Seeing as how I teach elementary special education AND college courses, I have encountered the same student in each level. Grown college degree seeking individuals who cannot write, nor seem to follow basic instructions. Students with NO, I REPEAT, NO critical thinking skills. Where have we gone wrong? I am shocked and appalled at the FACT that the powers that be THINK we are in a better situation than we were just 10 years ago. Ask any college level professor that has been teaching for at least that amount of time and has witnessed the comings and goings of what we produce her in the Lovely U.S of A. and I am sure they will spit explicative s in your face. The FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM generation has taken over with NO life skills, NO business skills, but EVERYBODY wants to be rich and famous. Well Let’s just say good for them there is more than one way to land your 15 minutes o’fame…….Yes. I am shaking my head.

Going to teach in a monastary. ( Is that even possible?) A. RANT.

The last couple of weeks at work have been maddening to say the least. Administrator’s sorely unaware ( or blissfully, willfully unaware) of what is REALLY going on in their building. No support for their teachers, scared of the students and parents, not willing to discipline students that CLEARLY need it. I.AM.TIRED! Parents are creating lazy little tyrants, searching for the next instant gratification. Did I mention I.AM.TIRED! After only 6 years teaching I want to get out. The summers, holidays and random days off have lost their luster. My ability to maintain composure when a student is being willfully, wildly, mercilessly disobedient is waning. This comes from a special education teacher that taught a behavior unit and LOVED it. We are doing these children a disservice, but not teaching them true discipline, not equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in this life that WILL eat them alive as soon as it can. What are we raising? Where did we go wrong. CAN we get it back on track. HOW? I know that with all the feelings I have floating around in my I am doing less than my fair share of  teaching them. I want so much for them, more than I have to give, and I cannot want more for them than they want for themselves. I know that it is time to get out, and I have been trying. I am no longer effective and I cannot keep affecting the students like I am. This leads me back to square one. Purpose. Find it. Live it. Walk in it. I am TRYING!.Image

Write on, Right on. Write Right?

As I take this journey to find the truest me. The very essence, the quintessential form of who I am. Pleasure and purpose rolled into one I remember. I have always been a writer, a speaker and devourer of words.  I started out writing short stories to escape from the life I was living. I liked my fantasy world much more than the real world. It was too cruel, too unforgiving. I then moved on to longer stories, with more intricate characters and better details. As I got older I found my way to poetry. It is wear I told the story of my life, my love, my all. At first I only wrote to exorcise my demons. To rid me of the thoughts and words that continually found their way into my psyche. Eventually I found my way to the stage. My first experience was not so lovely. It would be 5 years before I returned. When I returned I was surrounded by love and acceptance. I was quickly rising to notoriety on the poetry scene ( or my narrow view of the scene). My poetry was even said to be transparent and relevant. Little did I know I was a VERY small fish in a VERY big pond that wasn’t so forgiving or loving or welcoming. But aren’t we all artist? Where is the love. I had come into the poetry world, not knowing that the little venues I was doing and the people I was surrounded by were not all there was to this word thang. When I hit the “REAL” scene and saw the “REAL” poets. I LOST me. I soon began to compare my poetry to those who had been doing it for years. I no longer felt relevant just transparently boring. That was almost 8 years ago and I still find myself struggling with that same demon. Why? Because I am chasing after the wrong thing. Living a LIE! Saying that I don’t want notoriety while secretly yearning to be seen, heard, known. I often say that If I touch just one person I have done my job. But do I really and truly believe that. I found myself looking for people to talk to after shows, just one person that would “confirm” that I had done a good job. That I had touched them. I was searching for all the wrong things.  If I am to call myself a Christian and say that I am doing this because I love God and because HE has gifted me I must make sure that it is the truth. I must make sure that I am not dealing in false humility, by always demeaning and knocking my gift. I would often deflect compliments or say that I wanted to be like this person or that person because I wanted to seem like I was humble. True humility can only come from Christ. So now I say “thank you” when given a compliment. Through some truly gifted, humble and loving poets I have found my voice. I am still very cautious and I still seem to get scared when I am set to go up with who I consider to be heavy hitter and I still find myself wondering if other poets are just being nice when they compliment me. But I must Write On, Right on, and I will do just that. Until all the insecurities are exorcised from me. So if you write. WRITE ON, RIGHT ON… the world deserves to hear your words!

 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ”
― Saint Paul

Whatsoever a man thinks, so is he. I am determined to think on the good things. That doesn’t mean the bad will not happen. But knowing that ALL things work together for the good of them who Love the Lord and who are called according to HIS purpose I can find good things even in the bad.