Category: Thoughts, Musings and Reflections

Black Women Have Warned You Time and Time Again…

Black Women have warned you time and time again! Do you want to know the trajectory of this nation? Listen to Black women! Do you want to know the health of this nation? Check the health of Black women. Black women are the foundation. Black women are the backbone to what would be a spineless nation that doesn’t dare to stand up and speak truth to power! Warning comes before destruction! Continue reading “Black Women Have Warned You Time and Time Again…”

“You Gon’ Learn Today” – My Racial Bias Training

In light of the recent typical racist bullshit incident involving Becky, Holly Hylton, calling the police on two Black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson in just 2 minutes of their arrival at Starbucks, the company has announced that it will be closing 8000 company owned stores on the afternoon of May 29, to provide racial bias training to 175,000 employees. This is to address the apparent racial profiling that happened while Nelson and Robinson were in the Starbucks waiting for a friend to discuss a business deal. Presumably, both men were waiting for their friend’s arrival before ordering, you know, like most people in the world. But because Black people seem to turn into the Incredible Hulk when doing everyday things like driving, walking, exercising, talking, jogging, eating, breathing, Holly took it upon herself to immediately call the police and put in a Code Red for Two Black Men Breathing.

Continue reading ““You Gon’ Learn Today” – My Racial Bias Training”

Dear Police…I Don’t Care That You Milly Rock On Any Block

On March 18, Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old Black man was murdered in his grandmother’s backyard by Sacramento Police after the police claim his cell phone was a gun. While many Black people were dealing with the devastation of yet another murder by the police, just days later, Saheed Vassell, a 35-year-old Black man, diagnosed with bipolar disorder was murdered by the police, who claim the showerhead he was holding, looked like a gun. The news of Vassell’s death came on my Twitter feed just as I was about to teach a workshop to Black youth on the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination. How could I stand in front of them and tell them that their lives mattered when everything in the world is telling them that was not the case? Even Faith Linthicum, a nurse that was fired for saying that Stephon Clark deserved to die, raised over 20,000 dollars on GoFundMe. Being racist has always been lucrative in America.

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I watched the funeral of Stephon Clark, and my heart shattered. I was once again in this awkward space, mourning children that I never birthed, mentally preparing to bury children that were never biologically mine. But somehow, they all were mine. Trayvon, Aiyana, Sandra, Mike, Rekia, and now Stephon. They were my brothers, my sisters, my cousins, my sons, my daughters…

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Stephon Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark Photo:Josh Edelson

This photo of Stephon’s brother, Stevante captured everyhing that I was feeling. On one hand, fighting for justice, screaming Black Lives Matter with a megaphone yet agonizing and in despair at the same time. How strong are we required to be?  I wanted to keep fighting but I needed a moment to grieve. I needed to take my mind off the state of Black people in this nation. Just one moment to breathe. I scrolled through my Facebook feed looking for images of cute cats and puppies and as if on cue, CNN posted a video of an officer in Chattanooga, Tennessee dancing with Black people.

The Facebook thread of this video had thousands of positive comments. And I sat looking at this officer dancing just shaking my head. Don’t get me wrong. I do not think that ALL police are bad. I believe some people join the police force to be a positive influence in their community. I believe some police officers really want to make this world a better place. I believe some police officers genuinely believe and live out the mantra of protecting and serving the people. However, I will always believe no matter how good a police officer may be; they are part of a corrupt system. It is fruit from a poisonous tree.

This has been pointed out numerous times online and my friend posted it on his Twitter feed.

Hello! It seems EVERY TIME there is a police shooting up pops a video of an officer, in full uniform, breakdancing, pop locking, voguing, duckwalking, twerking, moonwalking, or doing the Single’s Ladies dance. These videos, of course, go viral and is a convenient way for people to say, “See not ALL police are bad. They know traditionally Black dances.”

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REALLY?  Being able to have a little blue-eyed soul? Being able to clap on the beat? Being able to move with rhythm? Is that the measuring stick? One stanky leg and ya’ll ready to invite EVERYONE to the cookout! 

I DO NOT CARE that an officer can break dance.

I DO NOT CARE that an officer can do the electric slide.

I DO NOT CARE that an officer knows every step to Single Ladies and Formation.

I DO NOT CARE that an officer can Milly Rock on any block.

Dancing with Black people means NOTHING TO ME!

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Because I know you can dance with a Black person one minute and pull out your gun and kill an unarmed Black person in the next moment.

You can electric slide with Black people one minute and refuse to stand up against your fellow officers that have murdered Black people in the next minute.

You can pop lock with a Black male one minute and have your knee on his back the next minute.

You can hit dem folks with a Black woman one minute and be raping her in the back of your squad car the next minute.

I will be impressed when you Michael Jackson moonwalk your way into your sergeant’s office and tell them an officer used unnecessary force.

I will dance alongside you when you Cabbage Patch your way to the witness stand and say, “I was corrupt, and so were members of my unit.”

I will pop lock when you say, “I am not supporting this officer with my money on their GoFund Me page because when they murdered an innocent person they were wrong.”

I will start stomping my feet to the beat when you admit that you used deadly force when it was not necessary.

I will clap my hands to the rhythm when you stand up and say Black men and women have been unjustly targeted by the police.

I will dance at your wedding when you admit THE TRUTH, that you NEVER feared for your life, that you NEVER thought a cellphone or wallet was a gun, that your so called FEAR was driven by racism.

You, Dear Officer, are blinded if you believe our dances are for you to co-opt to show solidarity.

When we sang songs, it was not for your entertainment. We sang songs that were melodies for freedom.

When we danced, our feet moved in tune to our liberation!

When we sway to NWA or Kendrick Lamar it is a war cry!

With every beat of the drum and movement of our bodies, we were dancing towards freedom and that, Dear Officer, can NEVER be replicated.

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Tale of Mike Brown’s

Once upon a time
There were two Black boys
Both Named Michael Brown
One, they called a thug
The other, a scholar
One was considered a disgrace to society
The other was respectable in all areas of society
One died in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri
One is headed to a prestigious college
One they labeled as troubled, and an outcast
The other they labeled obnoxious for his excellence
 
A Black boy can never win in a racist society. 

 

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Dear White Allies, There Will Be No Cookies

Years ago, I was part of a college summer program, and we hiked Pikes Peak. I will never forget how grueling this task was and I spent most of the hike thinking, “Hannah, what in the hell were you thinking?” I was not equipped to hike Pikes Peak. I had not trained to hike Pikes Peak. But there I was, putting one foot in front of the other, hiking up a mountain. Once I got to the top of Pikes Peak, I was elated. It seemed that I had forgotten my lungs were on fire and the soreness in my legs seemed to disappear. Continue reading “Dear White Allies, There Will Be No Cookies”

The Inconvenient Victim-Black Women & Stephon Clark

Yesterday I watched the wake of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old Black man that was murdered by the Sacramento Police on March 18, 2018. I remember the moment that I heard the news that another Black man had been “new age lynched,” and my heart broke. Right in the middle of an uprising for gun control and “marching for our lives,” I wondered if Stephon’s life was included in these newfound cries for justice? While many people are championing a new day for gun control and commandeering slogans from Black Ferguson youth such, “Don’t Shoot”  after the murder of Mike Brown, it seems the murder of White youth and the murder of Black youth are being handled very differently.

Continue reading “The Inconvenient Victim-Black Women & Stephon Clark”

This Is For Those Black Girls

This is For Those Black Girls

For those Black girls that were told they were too fast, too grown. For those Black girls that had to swallow down pain and hide bloodstained panties cause Momma had to keep the lights on. This is for those latchkey Black girls that that were forced to play home. This is for those Black girls who were told their hips were too wide, their lips too big, their skin too dark, and their hair too kinky. For those around the way Black girls that life made greasy.

This is for them.

For those Black girls that had to grow up too fast, that knew too many uncles, and front doors were revolving doors. This is for those Black girls that were called whores. This is for those Black girls that life silenced. For those Black girls that were told to keep grown-up secrets and just stay quiet. For those Black girls that never got called on in class even when they raised their hand. For those Black girls that never were allowed to dance. This is for those Black girls that never saw their pictures on the cover of magazines. For those Black girls that were told that black was ugly. This is for those Black girls that whispered when they wanted to shout, that screamed when they wanted to cry. This is for those Black girls whose souls died a little bit every night.

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This is for them.

For those Black girls that became women. For those Black women that are mentally stuck because they were never allowed to be children. For those Black women that didn’t seek mental help because a man told them to pray. For those Black women that stayed in closets, that life shamed for being gay. For those Black women that cannot afford a day off to march for freedom. For those Black women that cannot say Me Too because they wonder if anyone would believe them.

This is for them.

For those Black women that go missing that we never hear about. For those Black women that suffer in abusive relationships. For those Black women that have buried their sons and daughters. For those Black women that life has led to the slaughter.

This is for them.

For those Black women that have toiled, that have labored. For those Black women with callouses on their hands and their hearts. For those Black women that suffered in silence. For those Black women that we will never hear about. For those Black women that will never be on a movie screen, that won’t walk the red carpet, that will never wear designer clothes.

This is for them.

This is for those Black girls and women that life didn’t allow to bloom.

This is for Sandra Bland, Shereese Francis, Courtlin Arrington, Miriam Carey, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Rekia Boyd, Jaquarrius Holland, Marielle Franco, Dajerria Becton, Malissa Williams, Ciara McEvleen, Erica Garner, Shelly Frey, Tanisha Anderson, Alesia Thomas, Alberta Spruill, Darnisha Harris, Yvette Smith, Tarika Wilson, Jojo Striker, Keke Collier, Shantel Davis, Mesha Caldwell, Kathryn Johnston, Chyna Dupree, Kendra James, Korryn Gaines, Gynnya McMillen and countless more.

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Sandra Bland

This is for our Black sisters that sacrificed their lives. This is for our Black ancestors that we will never know that died.

This is for them.

I see you. We see you. And we are here.

You are enough. You have always been enough, Black girl.

So shine. In all your splendor, Black girl. Shine!

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Thank you, #NaomiWadler for inspiring this piece. At 11 years old you spoke truth to power! I applaud you. You speak boldly for those Black girls! Thank you!