Dear Colin Kaepernick: All You Had To Do Was Play The Game, Boy.

All you had to do was throw the ball, boy. We concealed this auction block well, didn’t we, boy? You didn’t know you were on sale, boy? Didn’t we tell you to just run, boy? Entertain us, boy. Win championships for us, boy. Stay in your place, boy. Don’t you dare get these other slaves, Black men riled up, boy. Didn’t we pay you enough, boy? Why can’t you just be satisfied, boy? Stand up and salute this flag, boy. Honor your allegiance to the system, boy. Didn’t we give you enough money to entice you, boy? How dare you reject your master, boy. Didn’t you like your name in lights, boy? Didn’t we stroke your ego, boy? All you needed to do was play the game, boy. Keep dancing for us on Monday Night, boy. Make us rich, boy. We don’t care if you get hurt, boy. Our job is to break bucks like you, boy. Didn’t you know boys like you come a dime a dozen, boy? We can replace you with no thought, boy. Make sure our new boy is a controlled boy. Thought you knew we don’t trust Negroes to be the quarterback anyways, boy. We did you a favor, boy. How dare you turn your back on us, boy. If you are kneeling, it will be before us, boy. Ain’t this game your God, boy? Don’t you see how everyone else bows down before us, boy? Don’t you know what we do to Negroes like you, boy? Back in the day, we let Negroes like you sway from the trees, boy. Make an example outta you, so other Negroes will stay in their place, boy. Don’t you smell that strange fruit in the air, boy? All you had to do was just shut up, boy. We don’t have to kill you, boy. All we have to do is silence you, boy.

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Love Letter to Black Women

Dear Black Women,

Black women, I am enchanted with the way that you cast your spells. If this is how Black Girl Magic feels, allow me to bask in your alchemy. Your wombs have birthed nations. Everyone that ever was and ever will be, begins with you. Your wisdom is unrivaled. From mathematics, astrology, medicine, poetry, you set the foundation. Black women, you are royalty; the seed of Nefertiti resides in your being.  Black women your beauty is timeless, spanning time before time was time. You are often imitated but never duplicated. You cannot artificially replicate what was given to Black women from the heavens. Black women, you are not an accident or an afterthought. You were always the forethought of creation, a spiritual being that became an earthly goddess.  Because you would be entrusted to birth humanity.

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Black women, I love you for your cornbread and collard greens. Your fried chicken and black eyed peas. Your hey girl and high fives. I love you for your encouragement on late Saturday nights. I love you because with you I can just be me. With you, I am not expected to be anything else. There are no unrealistic expectations here. I can sit with you and unbraid my hair.  I love because you scratched out my head when I was ailin’. When I was low, you sang to me Ms. Celie’s blues.

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With you I can be authentically me.  I love you because with you I can breathe. You give me the power and strength to exhale. You stand by me and hold my hand even when I am walking through hell. You were my Underground Railroad and my Sweet Chariot.

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Black women,  I love you for allowing me the space to dance and to sing. You show me love and how to love. You give me the strength to keep going when I want to quit. I love you for your sweet potatoes and buttermilk biscuits. I love you for your sun-brewed sweet tea and ice cold lemonade. I love you for lazy days spent getting my hair in braids.  I love you for your grandma’s macaroni and cheese. I love you for remembering all our stolen recipes.  I love you for your wisdom and your laughter. I love you for the look and the nod of acknowledgment. For recognizing that I exist. That we exist in this world together.

Black women, I see you.

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Black women, I love you for everything that you are. Everything that you had to overcome. I love you for being my home when I didn’t have a home. I love you for praying for me. For standing in the gap. For showing me the way. For being the epitome of what I aspire to be. From Harriet to Phillis to Fannie to Betty to Coretta to Maya, I love you for making the road I trod a little easier to navigate; for making the load I carry, a little bit lighter in weight. For entrusting me to carry the baton. For instilling in me the wisdom to know when to pass the baton on to the next generation of young, Black women that will carry the flame of justice.  I love you, Black women, for holding me up; for allowing me to place my footprints on your shoulders and stretch my hands into the universe. I love you for allowing me to dream the impossible. I love you for giving me a moment in time to stand among Black women that have used their lives to change the trajectory of the world.

Black women, you are everything to me.

I love you for being you and for everything that you have allowed me to become.

Love,
Hannah

First They Came for Mike Brown…

Last year for some unknown reason I became enthralled with North Korea and started reading and watching videos about North Korea. I was stunned at the way people lived under the dictatorship of what they call, “their supreme leader,” Kim Jong Un. While Americans can visit North Korea, their visits are often very staged by the administration in North Korea. There is an image that North Korea portrays to the world and the reality of living in North Korea a totalitarian state. Most of its citizens are programmed to be loyal to Kim Jong Un and support his policies with no questions asked. Some have managed to flee North Korea and enter South Korea, but it has not been without fear, heartache and sometimes the murder of those they have left behind. While I found the information on North Korea fascinating, there were two things I was certain of after watching countless documentaries on North Korea. 1. I would never visit North Korea and 2. If I ever found myself in North Korea for some reason unknown to me, I would be certain to do everything by the book. North Korea is not a country where I would play around.  Continue reading

By Any Means Necessary!

Baldwin said, to be a Negro in America & relatively conscious is to be in a constant state of rage
Since ya’ll want to treat us like animals then consider me uncaged
Every day I see the sun rise I wake up enraged
Wondering if today will be the day Black America goes on a rampage
And you think you bout that life cause you post a hashtag on your page?
While I’m canning food and storing water, plotting how to live in these last days
And you have the nerve to ask me why I am angry as if need to give you a reason
The biggest perpetrators of racism, injustice, corruption and treason Continue reading

I’m Black. I’m Female. And I’m Angry. With No White Permission Needed.

In typical I-Am-White-And-Need-To-Tell-Black-People-What-To-Do fashion, Washington Post columnist, Sally Jenkins, felt compelled to write some bullshit an article telling the Golden State Warriors, a majority African- American basketball team, they should attend a meeting at the White House after their championship.  I don’t know if they will attend a meeting at the White House or not but what I do want to know is, who the hell gave Sally the right to tell them what they should do? Continue reading

White America Got Another Wake Up Call

Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

What. Happens. To. One. Happens. To. All.

I don’t care how many designer suits you own, you cannot escape violence.
I don’t care how many expensive jackets you wear; you cannot escape violence.
It doesn’t matter how big your bank account is and if you live in the “good part” of town, you cannot escape violence.

Senseless violence affects all of us.

Until you are ready to confront and deal with the systematic issues that cause violent episodes like what happened in Alexandria, Virginia on a local practice baseball field they will continue to happen. Until you are willing to admit that during this election, your president lit a fire underneath people to engage in acts of violence, this will continue to happen. Until you are willing to admit there are deep issues in America that have not been addressed, this will continue to happen. Until you are willing to admit that you just didn’t care because you thought it would never happen to you, this will continue to happen.

While I certainly do not condone any of the violence that happened, I must wonder where has this outrage been for the rest of America? Where was the outrage when Black people were physically and verbally assaulted at Trump rallies? Where was the outrage when the KKK supported and backed Trump? Where is the outrage when White men are killing Muslims and Black people in the name of “Making America Great Again”? Where was the outrage when indigenous people were assaulted at Standing Rock? Where was the outrage when Trump criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of the terror attacks which killed at least seven people? Where were you then?! Where were the cries from the floor of the government then? Where was the standing ovations for standing on the side of people that were killed senselessly?

That’s right. You were silent. And in your silence, you continued to create the perfect storm for violence. I find it ironic that this episode of violence happened while mostly White men were participating in an activity that is as American as grandma’s apple pie. If even that could not protect you, do not believe that your Whiteness, power or privilege will protect you from violence. It won’t.

While Congress may still be in shock, after that wears off, ask the families of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, University of Texas, Red Lake, the list is endless and dates back for decades, how they feel when you do nothing to address their concerns?

When the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan said, “An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us,” perhaps that is how the families and supporters of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Rekiya Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Philando Castille, Terence Crutcher, Jordan Davis, Jordan Edwards and countless others felt leading to the formation of Black Lives Matters. I suppose with this incident, Paul Ryan’s quote was a way of saying, “Congress members lives matter.”

Yesterday, members of Congress and White America got yet another wake-up call. At this point I am curious, how many more wake-up calls will it take? How many times must we keep saying the same thing before you listen?

Yesterday, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois said, “It’s my breaking point, we have to stop this.” This was the breaking point? You represent Illinois, and THIS was the breaking point? Are you that far removed from the violence in your state that you thought this wouldn’t happen to you?

Many in White America sleep in a bed of delusion, blanketed in power, resting their heads on pillows of privilege not even realizing the nightmare is now at their doorstep. They  foolishly thought what affected us, would never affect them. Because they believed their own lies. They painted a narrative that sadly, many Americans bought into.

They painted a narrative that there was you and over there, were “those people.”

Now a lot of White people are shocked, like, “Oh that meant us too?”

Oh, they meant we wouldn’t be getting healthcare too?
Oh, they meant jobs weren’t coming back to America for us too?
Oh, they meant my food stamps would be cut too?
Oh, they meant if my kids have a preexisting condition my kids can’t get healthcare too?
Oh, they meant ALL women would be affected not just Black women?
Oh, they meant my reproductive rights too?
Oh, they meant they would deport my friends too?
Oh, they meant there wouldn’t be an increase in my minimum wage too?
Oh, they meant they weren’t gonna do anything about gun violence in my neighborhood too?
Oh, they meant if I was poor they didn’t really care about me too?
Oh they meant that we should just pray about this gun violence and not do anything too?
Oh, so it’s not all White people that will benefit, it’s just White people that have money?
Oh, so it doesn’t matter where we live, what we drive, or how much money we make, gun violence can affect us too?
Oh, so you mean this will affect all of us too because I thought…Wow, that’s really a wake up call to me. I was fine with it, as long as it was them.

Damn.