Crazy to think that in just a few short hours, this day will be part of history. As I write this, I think about how easily today becomes a memory. The question is, will it be a day worth remembering? Will I remember a cold day with clear skies and the birds building their nests in the tree outside my bedroom window?
As I sit here wearing my I am Black History sweatshirt and my blackballed fists earrings, I am forced to ask myself what it means. What does it mean to be the embodiment of black history?
When I think about it, I think about legacy. Those things we leave behind for others to grab onto. We live in a world where a person’s significance is realized the most after death. Something about the absence of their presence forces us to consider the nobility of the lives they lived and what we take from it.
Toni Morrison once said, “the function of freedom is to free someone else.” I think about the responsibility of that, and I resolve that being black history in the flesh means to live my life in such a way that black people feel free.
Still, I am constantly contemplating what that means in all its fullness. How does a person feel free? What parameters must exist for an individual to feel uncaged? These are not simple questions to answer, yet I think we answer them daily with our actions. I think we answer them with the lives we live.
Alice Walker said “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” I supposed this is why Dr. King talked about holding on to your somebodiness, because your somebodiness is your power. Your sense of identity and belonging. Your truth.
Do you know your somebodiness? Do you know your mother’s name and her mother’s name? Do you know your people? Do you know from what root you sprang? How much time do you spend investigating how to reclaim your own identity? You say you are black history. You wear the shirts, use the hashtags and pump your black fists into the air, but do you know your name? Do you know what was taken from you? Do you know what was not?
I like following authors on Social Media who post about things other than their books. I wanna know that you are human and alive, that you laugh and experience pain and joy and all those other emotions.
I don’t care for how neat your Instagram page is or how color coordinated you can make it. I don’t care about every post being your book cover or matching your book cover. Yayy for your book, but after a while, that gets boring without a balance.
What’s your favorite food? What was the last movie that made you cry? How did you get into writing? What books are you in love with? How ya mama doing?
If you like to joke, joke. If you a nerd, be a nerd. Do what works for you, not what the self-proclaimed guru says is important. (Personally, I can’t stand the fun police 😒.)
This post came randomly as I am supposed to be taking a break, but ya’ll know I can’t sit still. The point of it all is you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
Now, let me go back to watching Soul Food. I’ll have an update post for you soon. It’s been a while since we’ve had a coffee date anyway.
No, not that kind of lusting. Stay focused people.
I’m watching The Real before heading out to my part-time (which means I better hurry this post up) and I loved how Adrienne gave the story about the dress she wore and posted to IG, and how it was actually a Forever 21 Dress she paid $17 for. I appreciated this because so many young people look at the lives of celebrities and want what they have without a clue of what it actually means. I say all of that to say to my young people:
Don’t fall into the trap of ingratitude by subconsciously lusting for what you don’t have. Learn to admire from a distance, remembering that what you see is not always reflective of what actually is. You don’t know the pain behind the smile or the storms that person has endured to get to where they are. Sometimes you’ll see people with amazing strength but you don’t know what it took or what it will take for you to have the same kind of resolve. You also don’t know if that person’s possessions are honest or if they actually sold out to get it. If you log into Instagram or Twitter for instance, you will see a lot of inspirational advice from celebrities on the importance of working hard and how they acquired their success. While celebrities are real people, it’s not that simple. Not every celebrity worked hard and overcame trials and worked their way to the top. Some of them sold out. (And no, I am not saying Adrienne sold out. I don’t know her personally and I don’t know what her life is like privately. Her post is just motivation for this message. If she never said she bought the dress at Forever 21, ya’ll would be secretly wishing you had lots of money so you can buy that dress.) My point is this:
You are already in such a great place even if you’re struggling than many of the people whose lives you wish you had. The grass is only as green as your mindset to quote Meggan Roxanne. If you stop focusing on other people and instead nourish where you are it will be fruitful. Just because your cup is not overflowing does not mean that it is empty. You just have to appreciate what you have now and be content knowing there is water in the cup and it is enough. Now, I gotta go but for those of you following celebs online and secretly feeling some kind of way, don’t lust after what you don’t understand. Remember that spoiled milk can still be white. Stay woke.
Who can regret the wind’s chill and the smell of the air in the spring when the sun sets? I love it when the heavens bleed crimson with splashes of leftover daylight prophesying hints of yellow like screaming oracles; burnt orange clouds cementing inside the belly of the sky. I love the way birds defy the darkness to find refuge in the path of light, soaring on the backs of colors like they were some tangible thing and how beige highlights swing low like sweet chariots. Even the wind rejoices in the sunlight’s shadows bouncing off the concrete. It hopes to capture as much of its essence as possible before it retires into its chamber. Whether you’re driving home from work or sitting on the front porch mesmerized by the brisk wind, the silence of nightfall, and the sky, it’s the little things that bring calm. Let it fill your empty. Turn your distress into dancing, solemn into singing. Good night.
I have one simple message for you today: “Don’t be stupid”.
What I mean is, don’t be foolish. Some of us are so “overtly intelligent” that we are unable to appreciate the little things, and the simplest of manners shoot past us like a bullet. We may know the intimate details of Pythagorean’s Theorem, but we are unable to comprehend something has simple as the music in the trees or the praise coming from the lips of birds. We’ll philosophy on evolution and even teach this in our schools and at the same time admit it’s just a theory. Yet, we’re unable to understand “in thebeginning”. And despite how many times we wake in the mornings…the number of times the Almighty Yah allows the sun to dance once more in our faces…despite how many times we feel the wind on our backs I’m convinced, that because man will never know how to count his breaths, he will always be too stupid to count his blessings.