3rd Annual Poetry Contest Spotlight 2019: Buddah Desmond

 

Welcome to the blog Buddah and congratulations! Your poem, “Claiming Victory” was so uplifting it won you the #2 spot. Please tell us, what inspired this piece?

This poem was inspired by the challenges many of us face in believing in ourselves and doing what’s necessary to fulfill our purpose and achieve our dreams. Too often we think we’re not good enough. Too often we think we don’t have what it takes to make it. Too often we allow the noise, conditioning, and all the junk we’ve been fed by external forces to negatively impact our outlook and our ability to act. When we’re able to change our mindset, own all of who we are, and shed all of which hasn’t served us, we’re unstoppable. That’s when we can embrace abundance. And claim our victory!

“People get caught up on the highs, peaks,
and successes
They don’t see what went down in the valleys
What it took to get up, get out, and rise again
It’s what we’ve been through—
the periods between life’s highs and lows—
that make us so resilient
We can’t concede
We have to keep on”

-Excerpt from “Claiming Victory.”

As one of the top winners you get a full interview so go ahead and get comfortable. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea? Water…wine?

Thank you. May I have water please?

Copyright©2019. Buddah Desmond

Certainly!

Now, let’s start from the top. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us your name and where you’re from.

My name is Buddah Desmond (aka BDez). I was born in Washington, DC. Was raised in P.G. County MD (primarily in Forestville, MD and Greenbelt, MD). I currently reside in Alexandria, VA.

That’s very specific Buddah lol.

LOL, yes. I know. I can’t help it. Just call me Mr. Specificity. LOL

Soo Mr. Specificity, are you employed outside of writing?

Yes, I am a User Experience (UX) professional with over 13 years of experience crafting timely, intuitive, and forward-thinking solutions to improve the overall usability / UX of websites, apps, and services for non-profit, commercial, and government clients. My specialties include user research and analysis, user-centered design, user experience design, usability testing, content strategy, and information architecture. I’m also a health and wellness coach. Finished my masters in Nutrition and Integrative Health earlier this year. I’m in the process of completing my hours and studying to become a certified Nutritionist, and in the very early stages of starting my health and wellness coaching practice.

Wow. Congratulations on all your endeavors! With all this, what was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream (and still my dream today) was to be a Renaissance man… To be able to pull from my many talents, do work that matters, and to make a difference. I’m striving to achieve this mission still to this day.

What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?

A number of favorites here, but one show that continues to be at the top of my list is Queen Sugar. The writing, acting, cinematography, the landscape, and the issues that are addressed with each episode—it’s phenomenal. I love everything that Ava DuVernay has done. She’s a gem. A national treasure. The epitome of Black Girl Magic! In terms of film, Black Panther has been sitting at the top of my movie list since it’s opening weekend. What an inspiring, impactful, and empowering film. A classic. Ryan Coogler did that!

He did indeed. We love music on The PBS Blog. What kind of music do you like?

Music is my first love. I come from a family that deeply loves, appreciates, and respects music. A number of us, myself included, are musically inclined. I have an eclectic taste in music. I love Jazz, R&B/Soul, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Classical, Reggae, Dancehall, Afrobeat, Latin, Country, and Rock… Music is an undeniably powerful and universal art form. Life wouldn’t be the same without it.

We agree there. Speaking of the Universe, with a name like Buddah I have to ask, religious or nah?

No, I’m not religious. I’m more of a spiritual being. I believe in the Most High… The Divine Creator of our universe that ties us all together. I’ve always been fascinated by religion though, and learning about how people worship, where they worship, their sacred texts, and the similarities / differences between the guiding principles we abide by.

Let’s talk about writing a bit. Favorite writer. Go.

These questions are always tough because it’s a rarity that I can ever narrow down to just one favorite of anything. LOL!

I knew I’d get you eventually.

Okay. I’m done. Carry on.

I have so many favorite writers. Maya Angelou. Langston Hughes. Nikki Giovanni. Sonia Sanchez. Saul Williams. James Baldwin. Toni Morrison. Alice Walker. Terry McMillan. Yrsa Daley-Ward. Nayyirah Waheed. Lucille Clifton. June Jordan. Janet Mock. Ntozake Shange. Devon Franklin. Octavia Butler. Amiri Baraka. Haki Madhubuti. Zora Neale Hurston. I could keep going, but I’ll stop there.

What genre do you write in, why?

My primary genre is poetry. I also write prose, essays, short stories, song lyrics, and blogposts. There’s a universality and musicality to the language of poetry. I couldn’t deny it when I first started reading it. And definitely couldn’t deny it when I started writing it. I think Amiri Baraka said it best, “Poetry is music, and nothing but music. Words with musical emphasis.”

I absolutely agree. It’s like poetry has this ability to bring out the depth in us in ways nothing else can.

YES! Poetry gives us the freedom to get soul-deep to tell our stories in such extraordinary ways.

Soul-deep. I like that. Yess.

The beauty is that we can each write a poem in any form about the same topic, emotion, or experience, and it can be embraced and interpreted quite differently by readers. What we as writers get out of it may be worlds away from what our readers get out of it. And that’s amazing. Truly amazing. Poetry has the power to change minds, and change lives.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I self-published my first volume of poetry, Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics, in June 2012 through iUniverse. The experience was exhilarating, rewarding, frustrating, so many things. When I made the decision to publish my manuscript, I had a “no turning back” attitude. I was at a point in my life where it was imperative to go all in for the things I wanted. I couldn’t be mad at anyone but myself if I didn’t put in the effort or work to make my dreams come true. And I’m grateful I did. Publishing Prevail afforded many opportunities for growth and development, reading and speaking at a number of events, and connecting with other writers, creatives, and readers alike. Not to mention, many learning lessons about building a platform, social media, and book marketing and promotion.

Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics is available now on Amazon.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

That’s a great question. Hmmm… The most difficult thing would be pushing through writer’s block. Or periods when you really want to write, but the muse, inspiration, or motivation is sorely lacking. The most exciting thing is the freedom of expression. Being able to create you own world or worlds. New possibilities. And the blessings of your work opening minds, speaking for those whose voices aren’t being heard, and making deep, meaningful connections with a larger audience.

Nice. Buddah, what is humility?

Humility is quiet confidence. It’s being comfortable in who you are, your abilities, and what you bring to the table without being rude, brash, egotistical, or narcissistic. It’s also about being open to change and possibilities. And knowing that your way, whatever it may be, is not the only way.

What is love?

Love is one of the greatest emotions. It’s more than just deep feelings for something or someone. It’s in the actions. It’s all in what you do (or don’t do). Love can be life changing. Life-saving even. It’s unconditional. As I wrote in a recent piece, “I am nothing without love. I am everything with love.”

Beautiful. Thank you Buddah for spending this time with us. We certainly enjoyed you.

Be Sure to Follow Buddah Desmond below and look out for his piece, “Claiming Victory” in the 2nd Edition Lit Mag Literary Magazine, 2020.

Copyright© 2019 BuddahDesmond

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buddahdesmond/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BuddahDesmond/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/buddahdesmond

Website: http://buddahdesmond.com/

Get the Book: Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics


Stay glued guys! Our first place winner is coming up!

Hit subscribe so you don’t miss it!

 

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews Special Edition: Introducing William Spivey’s “Strong Beginnings”

Title: Strong Beginnings

Author: William Spivey

Publisher: TBA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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This is the last book review of the year and what a way to go out. Today’s review is a special one.

I am honored to introduce to you William Spivey, a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, and Enigma in Black. William is also the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education”. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL.

His goal now is to make his voice heard and make a difference, and he has given me the honor of advanced reading his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel “Strong Beginnings”.


When Frederick Douglass Strong witnesses the murder of four African Americans on the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Covington Georgia in 1966, he set into motion a string of events that would influence the actions of his family for years to come. After all, Frederick wasn’t the only one to witness what would be known as The Moore’s Ford Bridge Four but so did Chris Lee Thomas, the teenage friend of his son Roosevelt and the son of one of the white men who just murdered the four.

Gripped with anxiety, Frederick goes home and is unable to sleep. With a thorough understanding of the time, he is drenched in the fear of what could happen next. Neglecting to reveal the details to his pregnant wife, he suffers silently until a knock is heard on the door. It’s Chris Lee Thomas and he wants Frederick to step outside. Frederick does and is faced with a lynch mob. Meanwhile, his son Roosevelt is peeking through his bedroom window, watching as the men chase his father.

However, Roosevelt is also seen by Chris just as his father was and the family is panicked with a decision of a lifetime. After Frederick’s death, it is clear, they must leave Covington if Roosevelt is to survive.

The story goes on to follow the life of Roosevelt and his family fifty years after The Moore’s Ford Bridge Four in Orlando Florida. His daughter, Voncelle Strong is one of the foremost voices of the novel. She is a passionate teacher and blogger and we watch as she positively influences her students, battles the unfair school system, juggle relationships and come face to face with relatives she didn’t know she had. As a former teacher, I enjoyed Voncelle’s fight for the student’s well-being.

As for the incident, can the Strong family outrun their beginnings? What will happen when they come face to face with their past?

There were many things to love about this book, such as the History, the family bonds, and education. Most of all, I loved how the title to this book is appropriately titled. Not only in its relation to the Strong family and the symbolism of new beginnings, but the beginning of this novel also starts out strong. I was nervous for Roosevelt as the family was deciding what should be done before making the decision to leave Covington. I also enjoyed the relationships, how they were tied into the story in a realistic way. For instance, when Voncelle travels to Europe she meets two young men who have more in common with her than she thinks and when a family member contacts Roosevelt all those years later for a family reunion, it sets in motion a string of revelations that would impact the family for a lifetime I am sure.

I recommend Strong Beginnings to anyone with a passion for the plight of African Americans, for those concerned about the politics of education and those who have a love affair for strong families.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Characterization: 4/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

Strong Beginnings is not yet available. Stay tuned.

Don’t forget to Follow this Author online!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001


I hope you enjoyed our final review of the year! It’s been amazing and I am truly honored to be in the company of such a talented group of individuals. Don’t forget that you can contact all of the authors on the new Indie Author Page HERE. It’s a new page so there isn’t much going on right now but over my break (which started about…5 seconds ago) I intend to update it so it looks more “authorly” (whatever that means lol).

I have many more authors to come so be sure to return to The PBS Blog after the new year. If you’re an author in need of more reviews, be sure to register your book HERE for consideration. Also, do not forget to update me on any special occasions or anything exciting you have going on! I love supporting the authors I review so let’s stay in touch. Each one, reach one.

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White Privilege in America #MayChallengeDay18

It just is what it is. White Privilege exist and is alive and well in our society. It means basically that a person feels like they are entitled to things because of who they are and where they come from. Even more, not only are they entitled, but society itself entitles them. In America, white privilege is not something that is exclusive to Jim Crow or something that existed a long time ago. White Privilege exists right here today in our society. Just look at Ethan Couch, better known as The Afluenza Teen. The young man who murdered four people and got away with it on the premise that he suffers from a condition called “Affluenza” or someone who has an alleged lack of motivation and isolation due to being affluent or wealthy. When they labeled Ethan with this supposed “psychological” condition, they were basically saying that he suffers from white privilege. That is, he was born white and wealthy. This is just one such story in which white people can get away with what other people cannot. And I really hate saying “white people” since I don’t really believe in identifying any group of people by colors. There are not white people and black people. There are nations of people. So anyway, for the sake of understanding, white privilege is real and its time for us to stop denying it exists. Just to use politics as an example, had Ben Carson said half of what Donald Trump said he would have been metaphorically lynched. Destroyed. Over with. Stick a fork in him, he’s done. Everybody can see the obvious racism of this “Trump Card” but what many have not said is why he’s winning. Trump in short, plays on the people’s emotions (and not just white racists, many black people are agreeing with him too). He’s simply appealing to the heart of what many Americans have felt for years but have not voiced in public. Donald Trump is not a politician, he’s a business man. So yes, he’s a racist. Yes, he’s a clown. Yes, he’s this and he’s that but the reality is what? Many Americans are supporting him and many will vote for him. Now, what does this say about America? Because this is not about voting or about Trump. What it says is that contrary to popular belief White Privilege still exists, and more so, many Europeans do wish to make America great again. Do we understand what this term means? Making America great again is a term used by racists who wish for things to go back to the way it was in the days of Jim Crow, you know, when niggas knew their place. “Make America Great Again” is for those who wish for America to go back to the way it used to be. Blonde hair, blue eyes, white privilege. America’s sweetheart.

Millionaires Fleeing Chicago For Fear of Civil Unrest

Chicago

There’s a lot going on in this world. Keep your eyes wide open.

Click Here For This Article

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