My Soul is a Witness

Annndd here she is!

My next collection of poetry releases this year and I have decided on the title, “My Soul is a Witness.” I want to thank the members of my email list for helping me to choose the perfect image (we had a contest featuring several images. If you are not subscribed for exclusive first-looks and sneak peeks, you may click here).

This book releases in the fall and will be available for preorder soon. Exact date to be announced.

Haven’t read I am Soul yet? Get it here.

 

One of my favorite movies (I have lots of favorites lol) is The Great Debaters. I love the use of language, history, and education, and it also feels like to me they are doing performance poetry, not just debating. When the movie comes on, the Negro Spiritual song, “Witness,” is being sung as the people dance.

Just as with I am Soul, My Soul is a Witness jumped out at me and I felt it in my spirit that this was the appropriate title for the book. The soulful, sacred, and riveting Negro Spiritual songs taught of freedom, of hope, of redemption, and biblical justice and righteousness. I hope these poems do the same for you. I hope that they are liberating, restoring, and reinvigorating. “My Soul is a Witness,” is poetry that reminds us that in our darkest moments, there is still hope. It reminds us that our scars do not cripple us but prepare us for a work, and that our greatest weaknesses make us strong. Here, I give you my ache and my praise. This is a love letter to our overcoming, of yours and mine. My Soul is a Witness.

 

Why My Blog Name is Weird

PBS is short for Pearls Before Swine and is a term that comes from Matthew 7:6 of the bible:

Mat 7:6  “Do not give what is set-apart to the dogs, nor throw your pearls before the pigs, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

In this context, pearls are symbolic of the word, truth. It’s precious, delicate, and priceless. A pig, on the other hand, is a filthy and unclean animal. Anything you put in front of a pig he will either eat it or step over it. When you give a pair of pearls to someone who wants it they will accept it, protect it and value it. But, if you give a pair of pearls to a pig he will tear it apart. Some people are pigs and will not accept what you have to offer. When you give people the truth not everyone will value it or take care of it. Some people will take their disagreements and turn their anger on you. When this happens, it’s important to step back and not allow yourself to be put in a situation in which a pig will trample your pearls.

If people don’t want the truth, don’t force it on them because the truth is precious and should be protected. Thus, “don’t cast your pearls before swine.”

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My views are controversial to some so it gets a bit heated on this blog! I don’t follow trends or jump on bandwagons. I am my own person. If the majority says the sky is blue, I will probably say the sky is really black. Maybe the sky is only blue because of the sun’s light reflecting off the water and when the sun sets, maybe that’s when we see the sky for what it really is, black.

I don’t say much but what I am passionate about I will speak up on. I don’t shy away from the truth or bite my tongue when the spirit compels me to speak just because it makes people uncomfortable. I don’t scratch my head unless it itches and I don’t dance unless I hear music and nine times out of ten, not even then. I believe you can be both humble and firm at the same time.

In the words of Nina Simone, “you can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times”, and here I strive to reflect the times, no matter how ugly that reflection may be.

That said, due to the controversial nature of some of my topics it’s important for me to remember not to “cast my pearls before swine.” That is, not to argue back and forth with people who have already rejected the information. You can’t make people believe anything so I am not here to force anyone to agree with me, see my point or slap me on the back. I am not here for praise or applause. I am here, to tell the truth.

PBS is a reminder to me of why I am here and what I must do and that’s why I stuck by the name.

The Tagline

“Because Truth is Stranger Than Fiction”

When I first started this blog someone reached out to me. They said that I had made a mistake. They thought I had meant to say that truth is stronger than fiction. No. I did not mean stronger. I meant stranger.

“Truth is Stranger Than Fiction” isn’t just a fancy tagline put together by a writer of fiction; not something I dug up between the inspirations of Mark Twain. What it seeks to communicate is the notion that nothing we can create can be as unusual as what we are bound to find in real life, and speaks metaphorically of the unsettling realness of truth. The “strangeness” of reality. You think something is weird until you find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes. You think my blog name is weird until you understand what it means.

Mission, Purpose Goal

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My mission for this blog is to spread truth by way of the written and spoken word by any means necessary. Whether we are talking biblical truths, historical truths. Writerly/Authorly truths or my own personal truths. To paint poetic justice against the backdrop of heavy keystrokes.

To paint poetic justice means to use my writing as an underground railroad to freedom. If people can’t be liberated in their own lives, I hope that my writing (in whatever form that may be…my books, poetry or this blog) can provide a road-map. Of course, this isn’t easy to do considering the heavy misinformation, deception, and religious ideologies that have enslaved us for so long. These are the heavy keystrokes.

Here you will find:

  • Poetry
  • Articles (various topics)
  • Creative Writing
  • Indie Author / Self-Publishing Tips
  • Blog Tips
  • Inspirational Quotes
  • Biblical Analysis
  • Black History
  • Music / Throwback Jams

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So there you have it. Doesn’t sound so weird now does it? Tell the truth 😁.

Misrepresentation

I know we are all still on a high from The Black Panther movie. It’s a great film. While we are in this space–this feeling of pride and empowerment– I’d like those who choose to do so to not let something else go over our heads. If you think about it, it is easy to miss. There’s so much happening around Black Panther, no one has said anything about the misrepresentation of ourselves (Blacks) happening right before our eyes. The misrepresentation I am referring to is The Samson Movie.

If you don’t believe in the bible you may exit now. I don’t expect this to have any significance to you. If you believe in the bible however then there is one thing we must realize about two things that have taken place before our eyes, overshadowed by the excitement surrounding Wakanda and T’Challa.

Both Samson and Nefertiti have been misrepresented. They have both been portrayed as Europeans when this is not the case.

(See my thoughts on Nefertiti Here.)

On February 16, 2018, The Samson movie came out. I don’t believe in coincidences so it’s no coincidence to me that this movie came out on the same day that Panther came out. Naturally, Black people will be excited about seeing themselves represented, for once, on screen. Naturally, we would support Black Panther over The Samson Movie. Naturally, we are tired of seeing white heroes. Naturally, we would miss this. I am asking you not to miss it. I am asking you to pay attention. Now, I am not asking you to go see Samson. Do not misunderstand me. I am asking you to realize that Samson was one of our heroes and he is being misrepresented in this movie. I am saying that Wakanda has got Blacks searching and talking about identity for once, which is great. Interestingly enough, Samson is our identity. The Israelites were black. The Philistines were black. The Egyptians were black.

As we are being represented in Black Panther, we are being misrepresented in Samson. Showing Israelites and Egyptians as Europeans is disrespectful. Do not lose sight of this. It is not a small matter. Samson was a very powerful man, a superhero with great strength. Black Panther is a great film with powerful symbolism and messages (that I hope to address soon. In the meantime, see my recent post on 6 Reasons Black Panther is Popular (and it’s not even out yet) I wrote before the movie released.) In short, Samson’s portrayal as a white man is just as offensive to me as Nefertiti being portrayed as a white woman and no one’s talking about it.

Beta Readers Needed

“Beta reader has been adopted from the software industry where programmers release a ‘beta’ version of a new program to people who will test it. The beta version comes after the Alpha version (a writer’s first draft). Beta Reader means someone who evaluates a manuscript. Beta testers find the bugs and improve the software’s usability before the final “release” version goes on sale. A beta reader tests your manuscript (by reading it), and tells you about the ‘bugs’ so you can improve its readability, its usefulness and even its sales ability.”  

– Belinda Pollard of “Write & Publish Like a Pro”

I am looking for people willing to “Test Drive” Keep Yourself Fulla short inspiring reminder that self-care nourishes the quality of our life and makes us fit to be of service to others.

Keep Yourself Full is perfect for:

  • Bible Believers
  • Inspirational / Motivational Readers
  • Poets / Creatives
  • Life Coaches

Having a few of you Beta read before the edit would be enormously helpful.

You’ll get a copy of the book in exchange for constructive feedback. You will also get to leave your Honest Review of the read once it goes up for preorder. 

As a reminder, the rules are as follows:

  • Download the book when it’s emailed to you.

 

  • Read the book and email me your feedback / suggested changes.

 

  • When the book is up for preorder, in return for the free book, you are to leave an Honest Review* on Amazon and any other retailer of your choice when it’s available.

*You can leave a review anywhere the book is available but to get credit a review must be left on Amazon*

About Book Reviews:

  • The review doesn’t have to be an essay, college paper or thesis. You are not required to be the smartest person in the room.

 

  • You are only required to leave your Honest thoughts on the book no matter how short or long, whether you liked it or didn’t like it.

 

  • Please leave a disclaimer at the front end of the review that you received the book as an ARC or gift from the author. Example: “I received a copy of this book as an ARC (or gift) from the author.”

 

  • Be sure that you notify me of the review in some way (tag me on social media, link to this blog, email me) when it’s posted so that you are given credit and remain part of the program.

This book is short so it won’t take up much time and is perfect if you fall into the following categories:

  • Bible Believers
  • Inspirational / Motivational Readers
  • Poets / Creatives
  • Life Coaches

Interested?

CLICK HERE SO THAT YOU GET A COPY WHEN IT’S EMAILED OUT.

I am looking for readers who are interested in something inspirational and motivational but also biblical and poetic with a touch of self-help and life lessons.

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Characteristics of a Proverb 31 Woman

Proverbs 31:10-31

Image Credit Compliance: Designed by Freepik

Who does find a capable wife? For she is worth far more than rubies.

= Capable, Precious, Rare 

The heart of her husband shall trust her, and he has no lack of gain.

She shall do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.

= Kind, Trustworthy

She shall seek wool and flax, and with delight she works with her hands.

= Works Joyfully

She shall be as the ships of Tarshish, she brings in her food from afar.

= Goes the Extra Mile

She also rises while it is still night, and provides food for her household, and portions for her girls.

= Disciplined

She shall consider a field and buy it; from her profits she shall plant a vineyard.

= Enterprising, Sensible, Prudent w/ money

She shall gird herself with strength, and strengthen her arms.

= Energetic

She shall taste when her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out by night.

= Good Steward

She shall stretch out her hands to the distaff, and her hand shall hold the spindle.

= Diligent, Attentive

She shall extend her hand to the poor, and she shall reach out her hands to the needy.

= Generous, Compassionate

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is dressed in scarlet.

= Provident

She shall make tapestry for herself; she is dressed in fine linen and purple.

= Elegant

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

= Influential

She shall make fine linen and sell them, and shall give girdles for the merchants.

= Industrial, Hardworking

Strength and splendour are her garments, and she rejoices in time to come.

= Poised, Balanced

She shall open her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.

= Wise

She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

= Manages Her Home

Her children shall rise up and call her blessed; her husband too, and he praises her.

= Praiseworthy

Many daughters have done nobly, but you have risen over them all.

= Distinguished

Loveliness is deceptive and prettiness is vain, a woman who fears Yah is to be praised.

= Yah Fearing

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

= Honorable

The Bible and Black History

4b97bb3247922b8da36c3838cca7ffdbSpeaking of Black History month, one of the primary concerns I hear among African Americans about the bible is: “Where am I?” With movies like Noah, Exodus Gods and Kings, and The Ten Commandments it is difficult for most black people to have faith in a book that rarely include them. In fact, many of them have been told that the bible is a white man’s book (which is not just insulting to black people but other nations as well). For centuries we’ve been taught that we’re non existent in this book or that we have small rather than significant contributions. But is this true? Were there any black people in the bible at all?

Fun Facts:

  • Location of The Garden of Eden:
    Pishon surrounding Hawilah > East Africa
    Gihon, surrounding Kush > Southern Egypt
    Hideqel, East of Assyria, Euphrates
A skull of Mitochondrial Eve was discovered, and through digitally reconstructing her features, this image was constructed.
A skull of Mitochondrial Eve was discovered, and through digitally
reconstructing her features, this image was constructed.

The Garden of Eden stretched from East Africa to the Euphrates River

  • Ham: Means Burnt Black
  • Moses, the Israelite, passes as the Grandson of the black, Egyptian, pharaoh for 40 years – Acts 7:22-23 (This means that he had to look just like him)
  • Kush > Ham’s first born son. Traced back to the Ethiopians and Nubians
  • Moses Hand Turns White – Conveniently left out of every 10 commandment movie is the second miracle. The one where Moses puts his hand in his bosom and it comes out white as snow. Wouldn’t be much of a miracle if it was already white- Ex. 4:1-7

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  • Paul mistaken for a black Egyptian – Acts 21:37-38
  • The Kushites lived south of Egypt in what is called the Sudan today.
  • The Israelites with dred locs: Numb. 6:5, Ezk 8:3, Samson, etc
  • The messiah’s feet compared to burnt brass, hair like wool – Rev. 1:14-15
  • Ethiopian comes from the Greek word Atheops meaning burnt face
  • Joseph looked like the Egyptians – Gen. 42:7-8
  • Egypt: Ham’s second born son < Blood brothers to the Ethiopians
  • Ethiopian > Burnt Face
  • Egypt > Burnt Black
  • Phut: The Somalians – According to the ancient record of Egypt, Phut has been traced back to the Somalians
  • Shem: Means Name
  • Elymites – Descendants of Shem, black men with Afros and full Beards

I Understand

BlackJesus

As if I had not awakened
from a slumber of lies
baptized in tradition’s rebellion
As if I had not been unplugged
From the matrix of deception intoxicated by the signs of the times
I finally understand
As if you had not left prophecies etched on the calcium of my bones
Like you didn’t leave your footprints in the sand drenched blood
dripping from the curse of our ancestors lips
Like you didn’t carve your every scripture into my very skin
like a big brothers reminder that there is always a rainbow above our father’s head
And above your sister’s head
When it rains
I understand now
You see Endurance
the prominence
comes like a splashing dose of faith
like a car accident that knocks me off my feet
and kills me
I get it
18 years later
The irony
Of life and death
finds itself a home in this house of poetry
scattered somewhere across Yahoshua’s piercing skin and these broken bones
for this I know
somewhere between the compassion of Moses intercession, the call of John’s cry
to the forgiveness of my wretched sins
They mock you more than they did back then
today
Though you chose to wear the bravery of our lustful scars upon your skin
Your narrations written a thousand times greater than the stars
that your faith taught us never to put our trust in
cause milky ways never shed its blood for us
I swear
Of all the times I daydreamed in childhood
I never saw chocolate fall like snowflakes of obedience hammered to nails
Cause Cocoa beans never gave itself for me
But your salvation’s never been a fairytale
But they mock you now
As they did back then
And sell your story for gold encrusted tithes
they don’t know why
or what it’s like for a father to give birth to a son
For salvation to give birth to the sun
You are a millions times braver
Than the best solider and your skin shines brighter
Than the sympathy beating inside the chest of broken legs and wounded body parts
You are far braver than one trillion purple hearts
Or bleeding pens on the white paper of a soldier’s goodbye
deaths footprints on cold caskets
we should be ashamed
cause we value metaphors and similes like the colors of picnic baskets with healthy fruit
but there ain’t enough poems about the day they hung you
the burnished brass of your skin tone and the wooly texture of your hair
centuries before we knew what a lynching was
but at least we understand
that you was, and you are
and you will be
this
I do understand