to no one in particular:

(from my tumblr)

fear is what keeps your reflexes razor-sharp when there’s danger about. in case of fire, alligator, beehive attack, or hailstorm, you need fear. it’ll kinda clear your mind of the bullshit that doesn’t count.

fear is not for everyday stuff like going to the grocery store, calling your bank, smiling at someone you think is attractive, or even getting out of bed to go shower.

if you’re paralyzed by fears that you recognize as abnormal compared to your usual stuff-to-be-afraid-of (stingray fear is not the same as fear of answering the door for the UPS guy), please reach out & get yourself some support. talk to someone you trust. talk to someone who works in a supportive capacity for folks who need to be directed towards help. please, please, please, PLEASE do not let it swallow you up.

this has been yet another “i’ve been there, please don’t do it to yourself” production.

peace to the brokenhearted.

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zomg i’m single!

so the fuck what?

this is all the discussion y’all are getting out of me. thanks to this piece from the crunk feminist collective, i don’t have to go too deep.  i’m including links from a twitter rant i went on regarding this very subject, for good measure.

first, i wanted to know if anyone had introduced to this larger conversation the idea that monogamy is not the default setting for our lives, but a choice.   as in, we choose to be monogamous, or we don’t.  & if you don’t realize that you choose monogamy, this is where you should find another blog post of mine to read (like the one about tina knowles).   we do not have to couple.  some of us are polyamorous, some of us never partner — even when we decide that we wish to parent.

nobody that i know of, with the exception of the ladies at crunk feminist collective, has mentioned that queer (by queer i mean lesbians, bisexual, pan/ omnisexual, trans, intersex)  self-identified black women aren’t considered in this conversation. again: we are not a monolith. you can’t have this conversation without considering the fact that the women being discussed are hetero, cisgender (not trans women — trans ppl are invisible in virtually every conversation about marriage, and just about everything else), & at the very least hold bachelor’s degrees. because ppl who don’t finish college don’t matter in this conversation, no matter what they’re doing w/ themselves, unless it’s to count them as undesirables.  further, who’s to say that marriage is everyone’s goal or ideal? it could be argued that “we aren’t talking about those people,” but if that’s the case then it must be stated so from the onset of each conversation regarding unmarried black women of certain income levels and sexual orientations.  period. know your audience.

if the root of the “problem” of unmarried black hetero cis women is that there aren’t enough desirable black men to go around & we’re looking at that strictly in terms of education, then who’s to blame? parents? schools? both? neither? high school dropout rates are nothing to sneeze at. the prison industrial complex, fueled by some rather draconian laws, also removes men who might otherwise be “good catches” from the dating pool.  does this mean that some of those “lost ones” were never marriageable to begin with, as their parents/ support systems failed them long before they got outta high school? okay. i’ll take that. but that isn’t the case w/ everyone. i feel like too much of this conversation is based on simplistic ideas of what a “good black man” is, and what a “good black woman” needs.  also: folks get married later in general, because they’re doing more than their parents’ generations did w/ their lives. the need for a college education has increased — even to get administrative assistant gigs. so if we have to take more time between high school and college to fill up these lives of ours (with greater expectancies, even for black men & women), maybe it’s not even as deep as the media panic suggests. ::gasp:: maybe we’re doing so much that holding ourselves to standards based on folks who lived life differently (slower, w/ less autonomy as children/ young adults, w/ different or less education) is a waste of fucking time! i’m just sayin.

& really, if marrying someone is about loving them until your last breath exits your body, can we consider one thing: the purported crisis of unmarried black women suggests that there is not enough love for us. that we are not lovable. that there is scarcity in the black community, so we must either take what we can get from black men or marry white men if we want to be married at all. this is wrong. love is infinite. there is no reason to think, for one minute, that any one of us is not lovable. that we are not desirable — to anyone, whether they be white, asian, latino, man, woman, gender non-conforming, cisgender, transgender, disabled, blue collar, white collar, no collar, or anything fucking else. if we marry because we want to spend the rest of our lives surrounded by the love, care, and support of another person then why on earth would we let fear run us off our paths? no, i’m not saying that there aren’t rough patches. heaven knows that i’ve lived through my shit and may continue to go through things before i find a good lover (i don’t necessarily seek to marry). but under no circumstances is being single a detriment. it’s never wrong. it’s not a bad thing. we’re not born partnered. we choose to partner — some of us because of conditioning, some of us because we find that wonderful person to be with. & it’s all good. it’s about intent, y’all. if your intent for seeking a mate is because that shit is on your checklist of successful shit to do w/ your life, you might be setting yourself up for what we call the okey-doke.   ultimately, the lens through which our romantic situations are being examined is flawed, to say the least.   & to say the most: it’s fucked up, limited, & doesn’t actually apply to as many folks as these “experts” (like finesse “my best jokes are about my teen mother” mitchell, jimi izrael & steve harvey) would have you believe.

this rant’s over. i’m dropping the mic like randy watson. but if you wanna read more juicy commentary:

visit the sugar shack

read this op-ed via the philadelphia inquirer

& another dope post from the crunk feminist collective

this piece from the nation, featuring the words of the fabulous melissa harris-lacewell & courtney young is made of pure unadulterated win.

i’m off to go be single and cook for myself, feed myself, bathe myself, & sing my face off at karaoke. cuz that’s what manless almost-30-year-olds do, apparently.

food for thought: a stream of consciousness & general rantiness

nuggets of  truth & hilarity from my marathon talkfests with fiqah, of possum stew.

– racism doesn’t need hate in order to function. no form of oppression does. in fact, ignorance is quite the consummate fuckery fuel. think about how many times you have been confronted with information to the contrary of your (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise oppressive-to-a-group-of-people) opinion or belief & found that information was all you needed to set your lil brain in the right direction? that doesn’t, of course, mean that hate isn’t fuel for oppression.  it means that even without hate, these things exist & still manage to fuck people over.

– love can move mountains. it can also be used to justify the ugliest things humans do/ say.  love doesn’t erase fucked up shit. it can and does exist alongside this fucked up shit. don’t excuse the fucked up shit.

– when talking to a child, imagine that what you’re saying is the last thing you will ever say to that child. especially if that child is your own. what do you want their last thought of you to be? don’t assume shit. (i personally believe that this should be extended to everyone.  you can tell someone about themselves without destroying them or dragging them into a fight.  don’t be that asshole who tries to climb in the fucking casket at your girl’s funeral cuz you weren’t doing right by her before she passed away.)

– either you play the victim role or act as a survivor. you can’t throw up the shield of “i’ve been hurt” and then use that as a reason to treat people like shit. to generalize. to lump folks into the same group because it’s convenient to do so.  this includes jumping to conclusions based on something that’s triggered you instead of simply keeping yourself aware that something triggering just happened. also: if your responses to triggers of all sizes are rarely or never proportionate to said triggers, you’re fucking up. big time. & there may be a lot more healing left undone by you.

– never eat the pickles from a bodega. the pickle jars are older than that bottle of fucking steak sauce in the back of your mama’s fridge. no, really.  eww.

– most folks who feel they have alter egos may be just afraid of being their whole contradictory selves. there’s nothing wrong w/ admitting that, and eventually working that shit out.

– people who insult you in snide ways are often so intimidated that they really don’t know how to engage with you without saying some fucked up shit. cuz they are SCARED. shit. don’t feel bad. (not that i didn’t know that. but fiqah reminded me.)

– it is not absurd to love someone deeply as a person, think they’re a great lay, & then find them as a mate to be worthy of a kick across the face. the same is true of people who’d be awesome co-parents, but terrible long-term or lifetime partners.

– just because you’re louder than i am, doesn’t mean you win. allowing yourself to be dragged into a fight is feeding the bullshit.

more fiqah wisdom as it comes. i love that woman.

you can’t stop my go!

so, i love mos def’s “casa bey” to pieces. in this clip below, mos breaks down the meaning of the song to him:

& here’s the song itself, probably one of my top 5 mos songs ever.

Protected: it’s funny, you know

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self love. self preservation.

there is no way on earth i’ll ever go back to letting someone else tell me how to love myself.

there are examples that we give one another. how to love strong. how to love from within first, so that the outside parts match the inside. so that i may tell new people in my life precisely how i receive and give love. it’s important. it’s valuable. it’s not a trifle. i think that it’s apparent to most of us, what happens when we aren’t protecting/ preserving/ healing/ caring for ourselves. it’s ridiculous to me, at this point in my life, to act like i don’t. when i neglect myself, i become reckless. that is not healthy. recklessness can mean anything for anyone, but i presume it’s usually characterized by destructive behaviors & an unwillingness to slow the fuck down. but i can only speculate on what it’s like for anyone but myself.
but like i said, other folks can’t tell me how.
cuz this is my shit.
& in that space of loving oneself, there is that awakening of the fiercest instinct to protect oneself. to be honest with yourself because there’s no space or time for lies & bullshit, no willingness to allow farces to be the order of the day. we remove the mask. we, little by little, get back to our inner children & allow them to kind of run the show. not the inner child who couldn’t drive or cook a meal. but the inner child who used to snap out if mommy passed us to the wrong person. that person is the one who, through lots of anti self-love programming (that’s what i call it), learned to hide. polite & respectful are not the same. politeness smacks of fakeness. respectfulness implies an allegiance to one’s whole & full self. (for example: no apologies. respectfully disagreeing & agreeing to do so without name calling, taunting, or other shenanigans.)
preserving your core. looking out for your star motherfucking player, like katt williams said. making sure you have yourself to get around with, like the lady in green. acts of self love are likely to keep you from needing to be rescued.
it’s a thought. you don’t have to believe it yourself. but i know i do. nothing feels quite like me, to me.

erzulie.

(cross posted from my tumblr blog)

“Erzulie continues to articulate and embody a memory of slavery, intimacy, and revenge.”–Joan Dayan, “Erzulie: A Women’s History of Haiti” (2005) (via kismetfour)

working with this imagery of erzulie (either freda or dantor), i am inclined to take this quote as a reminder. no matter what happens, yeye will not be silenced or ignored. the premature celebration of some of philly’s residents around the potential disappearance of odunde is not gonna change much. the city’s lack of funds (screw what that article says, they didn’t give the st. patty’s day or mummers’ day parades this much of a hassle) does not mean there will be an erasure of the traditions of black folks. it’s not just about fried fish sandwiches, earrings & performances. odunde started as a procession to the schuylkill river to venerate orisha oshun. to say “modupe-o, yeye” (thank you, sweet mother) & make ebo (sacrifice or offering) to her, followed by a chance to fellowship. for brown faces to join in a setting that was not about a funeral, a trial, or a wedding. & the very second there’s something reminding some folks about where we come from & who we are, there’s a problem.

well, that’s too fucking bad. we may migrate to new neighborhoods & let y’all pretty things up — that’s fine. that’s a blessing to all involved, as each city needs is revenue. but there will be no erasing us. some of us are generations deep in this city.

oshun is the source. she is honey, she is beauty, she is creativity, she is the honey bee, she is the one who sprouts honey, she is the one with ears to hear. oshun is love. there is no stopping the river.

mbe mbe ma yeye (exist, exist always mother)
mbe mbe l’oro (exist, exist always in our tradition)

oshun isn’t going anywhere. we aren’t going anywhere. things may shift and change, but when we leave something behind it’s to get to something better, bigger & greater. this is something the colonizers never understood, something i daresay is still part of modern western consciousness: destroying something in the physical world very rarely means that there’s an end to it in the other realm.

spirit is not to be played with.

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