I recently sat down with over a dozen African-Americans to discuss the rollout of the Covid 19 Pfizer vaccine and what to means for the black community. Should you take it or shouldn’t you? Well check out the video and hopefully it can help you to make a more informed decision.
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 ✊🏾.
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.
In March when the stay at home orders just went down my good friend and current San Jose State English Professor Keenan Norris called me up tp talk about one of my favorite poems of all time The Idea of Ancestry by Etheridge Knight. Please watch the video that I created and let me know what you think.
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.
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.
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.
A few months ago I sat down with the great brotha Keenan Norris to express my deep appreciation for the poetry of the late Etheridge Knight. What came of our conversation was one of the most amazing audio recordings that I have ever been a part of. Please listen for yourself here:
I saw a 27-year-old iconic black woman named Megan thee Stallion hobble backwards in the middle of the street at the behest of the Los Angeles Police Department. Her wounded foot leaving a trail of blood on the concrete as she continued to walk backwards with her hands up. Recording artist Tory Lanez laid face down on the opposite side of the vehicle. Initially it was reported that the car was pulled over because an occupant was shooting in the air and that glass from the window cut Meghan’s foot. Then that narrative was replaced with a more disturbing one. Apparently Tory Lanez shot Meghan twice in the foot in a domestic dispute as she tried to leave the SUV. The police then pulled them over a short while later. Tory was charged with weapon possession and quickly bonded out. Meghan has yet to tell the police that Tory is the culprit, but she has made a few social media posts which seem to not only point the finger at Tory but at black men in general.
“Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own,” she tweeted. “It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”
I feel like a failure. 482.4k people to date liked this post. I would assume a disproportionate amount of them are black women who agree with her sentiments. Many of whom were probably retraumatized by watching a performer like Meghan who is normally so full of confidence and one who possesses an unabashed ownership of her sexuality wounded and bleeding by the hands of a black man. I hate that this feeling of being unprotected is so pervasive amongst black women. I hate the truth of it. I hate that when a black woman sees a group of black men that she does not know then she is much more likely to feel extreme anxiety than comfort. I love black women and it bothers me that in these moments of high-profile domestic abuse, my love can be overruled by the actions of a coward. I wish that I could heal Meg. I wish that I could restore the dignity of black men in the eyes of all black women who have been abused, but I cannot. All I can do is hate what I see, log off of social media, and try to come up with a real-life plan to bring some understanding to our fractured relationships.