Growing up Bey: Yakub Bey Speaks

This may be the most important interview that I’ve ever done in my life. Yakub Bey took the time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about growing up in a very powerful family. He spoke very eloquently of both the joy and the stigma associated with being a Bey. He also spoke of his entrepreneurial endeavors as well as his affinity for Bay Area hip hop. Please check out the video about and like, subscribe, comment, and share if you feel so inclined.

-Roger Porter

The 2020 Elections: Biden won but what does it mean for US?

I recently got over a dozen of my Tribesman together to discuss the Democratic victory in the 2020 elections. What transpired was a very engaging and at times volatile discussion about Kamala Harris, the wedge between black men and black women, and whether or not black people should continue to participate in the political process at all. You DEFINITELY want to check this one out. Let us know what you think. And remember it’s free to subscribe, please drop a comment, and a like is always nice ✊🏾.

Is Ice Cube Staying True to the Game?

Ice Cube shocked the black universe when it was announced that he had been meeting with the Donald Trump Administration to endorse his “Contract with Black America.” Recently I had a zoom conversation with over a dozen brilliant black people–each one with their own unique perspectives–about how they feel about Ice Cube’s move. Check it out! You will not be disappointed. Please like, subscribe, comment upon, and share this video.

-Roger Porter

I refuse to watch the Jacob Blake video

If being aware requires me to watch one more video of a black body being torn apart by bullets from the gun of a white police officer then I choose to be functionally oblivious. I understand police brutality on a visceral level. I do not question it’s pervasiveness. I do, however, worry that the instant virality of a black body being shot up may be causing more psychological darkness than consciousness in its viewership.

Jacob Blake ought not have been permanently maimed, and in front of his children no less. I overstand that. I do not need to watch it playout on Instagram in order to feel his pain. I refuse to watch it.

Consternation

As the days leading up to me returning to education pass way too quickly I find myself filled with consternation. I have been on hiatus for over a year now. I have traveled. I have created. I have sheltered in place. I have started my brand. I have made money independently. I have crafted every day of my life to be exactly what I want it to be. My time has been mine for the first time ever in my adult life. And now I have to prepare myself to surrender it to the institution once again.

 

I feed off of energy during my lectures. I look into the eyes of my students. I read the room. I put people on the spot who look at me quizzically by asking them to throw their questions out on the floor. I bless those who sneeze. I engage those who appear to be sleepy. I raise the energy level in the room to the highest possible level. Now I wonder how might this skillset that took me decades to master be inhibited by Zoom.

 

I have never taught an online class. The idea of lecturing to a computer screen has never been appealing to me, but here we are in the Fall of 2020. I fear that Conference Zoom is not a proper conduit for my soul. I am afraid of the disconnect that has been brought to education thanks to COVID 19. I am not sure how I will face it. I am not sure that I have the patience to return to form.

 

Remember the Rain

 

Before Kadjha Bonet told me to remember the rain I almost forget why I was hurting the way I am. I’ve spent by entire adult life one ugly cry away from being labeled insane. It was the guitar that brought me back. Her voice sounds like the ceiling in the Louvre, her face reminiscent of Habesha royalty. I don’t be dancing right…but I danced with her though. In my mind it was like an early 90s slow grind but much more respectful. Imagine if the movie LaLa land was filmed in Richmond, CA—yeah something like that. Except in the end I get the girl. We get evicted from our studio apartment in Emeryville but we still have each other though. Every now and then she turns one of my poems into a song. She gets gigs on the weekends. I wait tables during the week. I would never miss one of her shows. I love to watch the people’s faces get all euphoric when she plays “remember the rain.” It reminds me that she’s mine as long as I don’t do too much, and I’m ok with that.