Posts tagged “history

Queen of Spies

A poem inspired by: “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” & “Harriet the Spy”

RIP to the queen of spies (the one who told the truest lies)


Most beautiful when she didn’t have her cigarette, Maya, was the kindest person I ever met!

The Queen who spied was the same when the sun rose and when the sun set; not a liar at all if I had to make a bet


Don’t know for sure if everything I heard is fact or just a story


I wish I were lie detector… Where the hell is Maury?

I’ll tell you what happened to the Notorious Q.O.S (Queen of Spies) and try my best to explain this mess


I’ll tell you all about the day she died, it might make you cry or her demise might go over your head, it might just pass you by…


…if you let it.


Some say, on the third day, when God said “Let there be light” Maya was there, looking over God’s shoulder


From the vast seas, to grassy plains, to huge mountain boulders

She was there, and writing too, saw colors that filled the sky before the creator decided on blue

There she was writing all about God’s creations, witnessed the formation of every nation, before everyone became anyone this someone came and this someone knew


Maya was there to see the world sparkle, she got the first look, describing all of the world’s glory in her little book; how didn’t she run out of pages trying to describe how lit everything looked?

I wish she could tell me about the sun, and how she sat and watched the huge burning star grow; I want to hear all about the huge celebration she helped the angels throw


Alas, the world’s oldest notebook(s), which is how it all started; so many pages filled with words, sweet, yet tarted


They say Maya-ette, with her cigarette, wrote a story and made Jesus weep; wrote into the souls of men and with the flick of her pen she could change reality…

She knew why the caged bird sang, why children were really afraid of clowns, visited the black utopia, witnessed the Queen of England crack a smile, heard she greeted the Pope at the Vatican with a “My Nigga,” and laughed as he frowned…


Dubbed a “liar,” she wanted to hide the book deep inside her


Protecting her secrets all while keeping a level head

She could have shared her knowledge but decided to consume it all instead


I believe she recorded the truth, some say it was all lies, but now we’ll never know who really shot Malcolm, Martin, Kennedy, who ran down the Princess…or if Tupac is dead or alive


All because Maya decided to fill up her tummy; she ate all her secrets like they were yummy


Page by page she tore up the notebook and ate it away

I hate to spread rumors and gossip but this was a crazy day


I’ll never forget how the neighborhood just stood by and watched as Maya faded away…


Maya-ette, with her cigarette, the only living being knowing the world’s biggest secret


To the end of the earth she traveled and then she went way beneath it…


What she wrote throughout her journey she never told a soul and finally the secrecy had taken its toll

I think she went crazy, you see, so much of the world’s mystery, all bottled up she could no longer contain them


I’ll tell you about the day that came, the rainy day full of shame, the day she decided to die than to rise to fame


A sad day when she devoured all her power, like a cake made with real sugar and real flour


Delicious, private, secret words, curry, jerked, and filled with lemon curds


But no matter how people spin it, it was her own private notebook (no matter what was assumed to be in it)

First, just let me say, RIP to the queen of spies!


Here’s how she met her demise:

The Queen of spies, now permanently living in the skies, kept a notebook to write what she felt inside and who and what she encountered when she traveled through time

She recorded the first bigfoot sighting, was the only person to touch lightning, was friends with the last living giants, she knew why the men and women who went to war would come back and be sworn to silence, she was present for the signing of the Magna Carter, she traveled throughout the galaxy, some say she visited the “farther”

Words cold as ice, her spying came with a price, pages burning like fire, she would go down in history and the world’s most honest liar

I don’t really know how she felt inside, if she wrote the truth or if it was only lies, whether she was only 23 or really 2099 all I remember is how died.

Now, I’m sad to say, there’s no one to attest if there’s really a hell or if heaven is a lifetime away, who was behind 911 or if global warming is only a hoax, and why babies are the only ones who can see ghosts…

No one really talked to the girl who ate the “lies” all we know is how well she spied, so let me tell you how she died:

Her neighbors who thought she was a living lie, got together and made a shoe fly pie, made of real shoes and real flies (hardly any real pie) and presented the terrible dessert to the Queen of spies, all while trying to steal away her “book of lies”

In one gulp she finished the pie, she licked her lips and said goodbye, you would think that was all it took, but she held onto that notebook, and left her gifters shook

Holding tight onto her notebook, day by day, if the tales of monsters and demons inside it were real, I couldn’t say, all I know is that she was a creature of habit

People-watching and writing was all she ever did, and she was a pro at keeping it all hid

Never shared how the interviews went with all the children torn from their families at the border, never mentioned the mental conditions of the lifers in prison growing older, people living their lives in their cages, so much heartbreak must’ve filled her pages

You know, she never took the credit when she convinced congressmen to raise minimum wages

Some say she saw the inside of the first bible’s pages, was there when it was written, visited the earth’s core, and touched the bottom of the deepest ocean’s floor

I heard she met the president’s president (the secret societies society), made friends aliens even married twin dwarves, read the minds of all great historians, visited the moon and finds time to comfort all of the mothers’ who’s babies are “gone too soon,”

You could tell there was something that pulled and tugged and pulled and tugged, and pulled and tugged at her

Although few really tried to, no one could ever figure out what was the matter

Always looking like she fell to the bottom of a pit, she kept a facial expression that looked like she seen some shit

The more the chatter, the more people wonder what was the matter, the more she grew nervous about what people would find

She was ridiculed, called names, but if she really knew what was being said I don’t think she’d mind…

After all, you can’t really offend someone who saw how the world would end…or the one who figured out how to make reality bend

Maya was more concerned about her writing, her truth, her stories, the one thing she had that no one could take away

Here’s how she tried to hide the spying, here’s what led to her dying, here’s why people thought her stories were only her lying, here’s to what happened that day:

 I think she knew that day would come, the day when her own people would revolt against her, not the government that controlled their lives, but a little lady deemed an enemy of the state, a state of mind, a witch of a spy who had devoured a poison pie

I heard it was all a fantasy world she created while she spied, mixed with stories of monsters and demons and spirits that dwelled inside…

They say she wrote stories to heal the pain

The pain that came each time it rained

It rained because she was so sad inside

Was what she wrote the truth or lies?

I know it was the truth, she dedicated her life to traveling and crossed many tides

RIP to the queen of Spies

So, finally, here’s exactly how she died:

She was poisoned by the shoe fly pie (the one her neighbors made filled with real shoes and real flies and hardly any pie)

Then she decided to continue eating her notebook like it was cake

I saw her swallowed down her lucky pen the one used to write about heaven and the world’s end


Then a spare, without a care, she swallowed what some say was the pen she used to record a formula to create air

It isn’t fair how quickly she ate her contact lenses and glasses, no one would ever be able to look through what she saw not even if they bought the same lashes

She swallowed down the lenses to her camera, contacts too! Oh and her glasses and her eye lashes, pens and her notebook, you would think that was all it took even after eating the shoe fly pie (the one made with real shoes and real flies) but she continued on until her last breath until she died

RIP to the QOS (Queen of Spies)!


Next, she ate her favorite pets and washed them down with her cigarette, keep reading this, I’m not done yet; I can still hear Brownie barking in her stomach, a puppy, a guppy, a snake and it’s charmer

she swallowed her lighter, and her belly grew warmer…you could see the flicker of the flame burning and shining bright from deep inside her

Then, all of a sudden, there was a huge fire, the pages she ate reacted to the lighter, that was ignited by the cigarette, I’m not done yet, the pets got sick off of the uneaten shoe fly pies that stuck to her insides, as the cigarette burned and her pets’ stomach turned Maya turned blue

The flicker of the flame grew larger the one that burned and shined bright from deep inside her…


Out from her mouth was the loudest belch with a bunch of smoke so to contain the flames she swallowed some tea (more pages from her notebook), the secrets of a brewing WWIII, the future, and more unwritten history

She swallowed a first aid kit, some antibiotics, some anti flea and tick tablets her pets; a heroic meal for her sidekicks

She ate up an umbrella for that dreary hazy day god forbid if any moisture got in her way

Call her crazy, or just remember her like that girl lazy Jane, the one would wanted a drink of water but would wait for the days it rained


Maya thought she needed a raincoat, to go with her umbrella so she swallowed that in just one gulp, she swallowed the coat to protect the “GOAT” (a spare notebook) which should’ve been all it took but she kept on eating; all while her neighbors trembled and shook…


Pages from her notebook, pens, a spare, a formula for creating air, a rain coat, an umbrella to protect the GOAT, delicious tea, secrets of a brewing WWIII, consumed and you would think this was all it took but she continued on devouring anything anyone could use to read between the lines of history books

She continued to eat everything she thought would protect her, she consumed all the things she could quickly gather and the flames from the fire grew bigger and brighter…


Throughout the grape vine, they say, she swallowed boots, that were laced, with a drug that would make her pace, that would help her digest so she could continue her race

Pressed for time she swallowed mace (just in case), what a taste, she felt herself slipping away you could tell it was written on her face

Oh dear, down went some pretty underwear, momma always said to keep a spare pair

She swallowed her savings; dollar bills and piggy bank cents, bargaining chips for the afterlife and some common incense


Where she was going next, was a world full of more nightmares than dreams…giving meaning to the phrase nothing is what it seems


They say she consumed her entire room (and in it was a special broom, she would occasionally take flight at night but no one ever caught that site), a listening piece (the one she used to spy on her niece) and she ate it all down to the wire, to secure all the juiciness and details deep inside her.

Next up a recorder that hooked up to the listening piece, her favorite laptop that stored all the chatter, that tumbled and tumbled you’d asked what’s the matter?

By this time everyone had gathered around, to see the Queen who her spied on her hometown…


They watched, then laughed as she went and swallowed her own Fingerprints, we know because she was the only one who wore henna on her fingertips


By this time everyone had pulled up, all the cars from the neighborhood, some with the darkest of window tints


Watching as Maya-ette kept going, I’m sad to drag on, but she swallowed a DNA kit/she thought that idea was lit, Promised that was it, but she was still in a pit, of nervousness, so let me continue on…


She thought her passport would keep her out of court so she went and swallowed that and her fake ID, so no one could prove her true identity


So she then ate her real license, I know you’re in suspense, so let me attempt to make this make sense


She swallowed her passport and everything else I guess to keep from going to court

Maya-ette the spy decided that wasn’t enough, she wasn’t too stuffed she huffed and the smoke puffed, after she devoured her Flash drive to really save the data you would think she was finally done.

Everyone had finally won, she sat down weighing a ton, big as a house in the middle of her street not making a peep

Quiet as a mouse she closed her eyes for a really long sleep away one by one did all the neighbors creep

It was a sad sight looking at the many pounds sitting on the ground frowns stayed upside down

Hardly anyone was looking but I saw her get very tense and with the last bit of her strength, Shoved down her throat her newest iPhone, no more social media, she was finally all alone, but not on her own on her own

She swallowed her bike she used to ride to her car

She swallowed her car but down her throat it didnt get too far


It got stuck but she kept trying and eventually it slid down with the help of some muck


Then she swallowed a gun to protect her Bike, the one she promised to return to Mike


She swallowed a Gun and that made her dizzy/ she spun, she quickly changed her name to Lizzy, still protecting her secrets til the very moment she was done


All in the effort to protect her “lies” this is how she met her demise.


Here I am, her protégé, reporting on how she died that day.


Short story made long, meaning for it to be a long story short.


I went to her grave and dug up everything and began to sort, through all the things she swallowed, through every piece of precious junk


RIP Maya-ette, I’ll miss you and your cigarette, you are gone but your mission lives on.


I’d like to reintroduce myself.

Hi, I’m the new Queen of spies.

 

 

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Four countries in one week: Part. III “I made it out of Paris, France in one piece”

Four countries in one week: How I survived my impulsive solo adventure Part. III:

Despite the Protest, I made it out of Paris, France in one piece!

“Melting Pot”

The world is a huge melting pot.

Merriam Webster defines a melting pot as is “A place where different peoples, styles, theories, etc., are mixed together” and I couldn’t think of a better description to give the United States of America, London, Lisbon, Toronto, and Paris. In the short time that I’ve spent traveling throughout different parts of these countries (10 days total), that’s what I concluded from seeing so many places and so many faces (I did a lot of people watching lol).

I don’t know if it was just my ignorance but I never thought I’d carry on a conversation with an Asian man with a heavy British accent, or witness a young dark-skinned Portuguese girl playing with a white Barbie doll with Purple hair. I met a Filipino woman in a hostel in Portugal who spoke proper English (better than me). I heard so many different languages, beautiful accents from a variety of people that I would have never met if I hadn’t taken a chance and went on this awesome, crazy adventure!

As I said, it is/was just my ignorance of maybe the fact that I’ve been stuck in a small Philadelphia bubble for the past 27 years but I’m so glad that I’m finally got out in the world, way beyond my comfort zone…and now, there’s no stopping me!

There are people on the other side of the world, so many people different from me, but the same, it sounds completely crazy, absolutely mad, “utterly ridiculous” but please try and follow along.

See what I mean (I love rollerblading and I love Mary Jane!)!!!

Paris, France

Out of all of the places I visited PARIS was my favorite! Despite the violence and protests I’ve managed to avoid all of it and I had a great experience!

I took the train all around and it was so simple (compared to Portugal):

Paris❣️❣️❣️ stole my heart what a magical place❣️❣️❣️ It was definitely a great last minute addition to my itinerary & ended up being one of the highlights of my trip. I’m glad I was able to end my tour on a great note lol It didn’t rain at all (haven’t seen a blue sky in 7 whole days), the weather was warm & I finally met up with some family. Traveling solo was fun but it felt good to be around someone familiar.

I ate some tasty crepes at the BEST Creperie:

Saw the inside of an amazing Cathedral:

VISITED THE ICONIC EIFFEL TOWER:

I MEANNNNNNN…..😍 “TOUR EIFFEL”

I took the train and you couldn’t miss the stop…

No fancy descriptions: this was an absolutely beautiful experience (1. To see it light up & 2. to stand under it and get the view while looking up!)

Next favorite:

The Palace of Versailles, King Louis XIV royal residence 😍everything about this palace from its architecture (all that gold OMG) to the gardens was just 😍😍 one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been…

(The Palace of Versailles was the official royal residence of Louis XIV & the official residence of the court of France! It was abandoned after the death King Louis in 1715..)

So yes, Paris was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited 😍 and I was lucky enough to visit #arcdetriomphe (one of Paris’ most famous monuments built in 1806)! My grandfather was in the same spot taking in all of its glory in the 1950s❣️I thank God I was able to have a wonderful experience and see its beauty, again, all without getting caught up in the protest that began just a day after I got home.

“One Solution: Revolution (System Change Not Climate Change)”

Buckingham Palace’s beauty & the unexpected protest I ran into on my solo adventure in London, England (11.24.18)

I arrived in London, England after an extremely long twelve hour Megabus ride to Toronto Canada, then another seven-hour plane ride courtesy of West Jet.

I was so eager to get out and start doing all of the touristy things I’ve always dreamed of.

The first thing I wanted to do after I checked into the PubLove Hostel, where I would be spending one night, I was off to visiting Buckingham Palace!

I wandered through the city of Westminster, without a working phone or a reliable WiFi connection, just a screenshot of google map directions that revealed Buckingham palace was only a short distance (25-minute walk) from where I would be spending the night.

I passed by Victoria train station, where just an hour before I was dragging my luggage in one hand and a Burger King meal in the other, lost and frustrated trying to find my way to Publove; now luggage free and full, I followed “Buckingham Palace street” (so clever) all the way to one of London’s famous places.

I heard the palace before I saw it!

To my surprise, I was greeted by loud chants, songs, drums, and people waving flags with half painted faces.

At first, I thought to myself “I must have this all wrong this isn’t Buckingham Palace” but…it was, after all, I was on BUCKINGHAM PALACE STREET and after all of the tourist and swift moving locals I dodge on the way there it just better had been.

It’s just…not exactly what I expected, instead of it being a completely magical experience, it was sort of ruined by the large group of people creating a huge ruckus in the name of climate control; but one thing I’ve learned is that in protesting is there are no rules and it has known no bounds.

I had a brief conversation with one of the yellow-jacketed police officers, guarding the gates, just to confirm what I already knew.

I asked if the protest was really happening before my eyes at Buckingham Palace? To his reply was simply “yes it is.”

The friendly officer, with the awesome accent, followed up by explaining that prior to this protest demands for better climate control programs (by the same group) were demonstrated at the Parliament (law making- city council headquarters) but on this particular day “they chose to come here” out of all of the days I thought!

Anyway, for the record, if I were to be caught up in a protest that would have been the one to wonder into…

Nothing compares to America’s protests or more recently the uproar in Paris where locals (with yellow jackets ironically) are literally setting fire to the streets and police are launching canisters of tear gas for crowd control all over fuel prices.

No, this was something different; it was peaceful, people were singing and dancing, and there was clearly a huge mixture of tourist in with the locals (I could tell by all of the selfie-taking).

Typically you wouldnt think a local would yell “CLIMATE CONTROL” but first, let me get this selfie (although today that may not be too far from reality…)…

I missed the changing of the guards but I still caught a glimpse of the guards marching back and forth at the entrance, in uniform, protecting the Palace.

Let’s get into the details!

Buckingham Palace’s physical appearance is GORGEOUS. The Gold trimmed gates, huge fountains and carefully sculpted statues were just amazing; it was like looking at a page from an art history book.

Although this was not what I expected for my first experience at this famous landmark in England it was nothing short of amazing and is unforgettable.

Suppressed Deity & Young Loud Proud’s presents: Sick, Lit & LOUD

“We have been on a journey from the age of 7, creating our own stories and characters. Being underrepresented as young girls of color, we began designing our own worlds where we were able to exist freely. Presently, we are still creating platforms for disenfranchised groups, proclaiming self-acceptance. Our most recent project, Sick & Lit, is an empowering series that pokes holes in the stereotypes surrounding race, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Please join the movement by sharing & following the link in our bio to donate to our cause.” —Suppressed Deity, LLC.

“Suppressed Deity, LLC” is an organization based in Philly that produces media content for entertainment and educational purposes.

SuppressedDeity is looking to fund their first project: “Sick & Lit” a project based on the struggles of Millennials. (please follow this link to help support their project https://www.gofundme.com/sick-and-lit-series

✨✨Check out the trailer and let me know what you think!!!✨✨

Founders, Gabbi (@november_drums) & Mishea (@diva_sass), are special guests on #YoungLoudProud’s #SpeakUpPodcast (Episode 4 titled “Sick, Lit & Loud” with #MayaDanielle @mystik.y) where they’re discussing the series Sick & Lit as well as Race, Hair, Gender, Sexuality SocialMedia, MentalHealth & so much more 🖤✨

・・・THANK YOU for a very exciting collaboration 🙏🏽💕Catch the episodes 1-4 of @YoungLoudProud’s Podcast Speak Up: An Invincible Girl’s Podcast (clickable link in bio) https://anchor.fm/invinciblegirl

Make sure you’re following @suppressed_deity (on Twitter& IG) so you don’t miss any of their upcoming projects! Stay Tuned!

Please email: proudloudyoung@gmail.com for all inquiries.

The immediate aspect of receiving information has created an impatient society #YLPtalk

The immediate aspect of receiving information has created an impatient society. The live broadcasting of the news, via video, has taken away censorship which has affected human empathy among viewers.

Compared to the past, our society does not have to create our imagery or rely heavily on a professional to deliver information; this has negatively affected trust. We are in a society of go-getters for information.

The Internet has become a source of continuous information and the capability of access is a new concept which is not easily adaptable to without effects. The use of social media has become very popular as the delivery of information is quick and available through various technological devices.

“Most young people are using online technologies as a way to connect with their real-world friends, with a small portion-17% of 12 to 17-year-olds using online social networking to build networks of new friends. (p.17)” Society has advanced in technology since the introduction of the printing press, making digital technology a primary means for communicating especially among youth.

There is a permanent nature that has come with digital technology never seen before. “Once information is online, it is not easy to remove it completely. Even if you eliminate the information from your profile, saved or cache versions may still exist on other computers. (p.39)” Everything that is put onto the internet or in the digital world lasts forever, in some form.

This is a complete distinction between the initial idea of media to the present. Even with the advancements of the telephone to the cell phone. The first invention of the phone did not include storage features. The telephone has advanced into a technological device capable of storage, phone calls, applications, access to the Internet, pictures, video, emails, in some cases word documents. “To remove data from your phone, you need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and remove your SIM card as well as any inserted memory card in your phone. “(p.43) There is a complete process for removing any information.

The development of digital technology has opened the door and created new job opportunities. In return, many print media companies have seen downfalls in profit.  Major corporations have tried to transition and adapted to digital technology. The majority has created platforms, corresponding applications, and secondary sources/outlets for the public. The developments in digital technology increased the engagement in news stories. Often news outlets will provide direct links for live updates via social media.

 

Media. (2016). In S. Bronner (Ed.), Encyclopedia of American studies. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/jhueas/media/0

Coatesville Cultural Society Presents: The Gospel at Colonus- Oedipus the King

This past weekend my mom and I honored an invitation to attend this play by the Coatesville Cultural Society titled: The Gospel at Colonus- Oedipus the King. We traveled downtown (in Philly) without really knowing what we were in for.

My mom’s co-worker handed her two tickets to this play and honestly I was reluctant to agree to be my mom’s plus one, but at the same time I was so excited to see a play (it’s been years since I’ve attended one).

I knew very little about the story of Oedipus before going to this play. I remember high school English class touching on this story a bit, so I was familiar with the overall tale of the man who killed his father and married his mother, BUT I had no idea how detailed the story was.

Barring witness to this rendition really touched my heart; I really don’t know how I ended up feeling compassionate for a man who committed so many vile acts. It just goes to show that judging a book by its cover, in this case, judging a play by its title, rarely works out. The people that benefit are the ones who actually inquire and stick around to get the details.

This rendition was everything; it was Shakespeare with an African/gospel twist. From the good-looking actors & actresses dressed in African garb to the gospel choir singing and belting out hymns, this was a phenomenal play.

Bishop Bruce Parham played the role of King Oedipus, and he stole the show. There were some powerhouse voices in the choir; I even enjoyed watching the choir directors do their thing.

This was a play by Lee Breuer and Bob Telson.

Here are some pictures I captured:

There’s a plethron of amazing pictures on the Gospel at Colonus’ official website along with more details of the play, a list of cast members, and dates for more upcoming shows.

If you’re in Philly, tickets are still available for next week (Thursday – Sunday) email Bob Lohrmann, Co-Producer : (boblohrmann@yahoo.com)

We do plays too. #youngloudproud

MOVE on (inspired by an actual Philadelphia tragedy)

MOVE on

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Inspired By A True Event

Black Power

We have begun to raise our fists in solidarity. Black Power is loud, no longer patient or kind but boastful and proud. When I wear my hair natural that’s black power. As I face all of the evil stares of disbelief and smile, I feel the most powerful. Black Power isn’t passive or is it? I think that’s what I love most about my people. We’re so versatile in how we get our message(s) across; our collective confidence is sexy. Whether we’re taking a stand against an injustice, marching, or burning everything to hell, it’s clear that we have power too. Real power. Our strength is driven by an inner love, that we never really had, but know it exists. Our power is driven by many desires inclusive of equality. Respect on every plane of life and full acknowledgment that we are deserving of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are a natural, passionate people who are consistently mistreated (without apology). Well, now we won’t apologize. After all, how can we apologize for adapting to this cruel world and somehow finding a chance to find self-love and a love for our brothers and sisters? How can anyone not understand or be mad at that? My pop pop always said, “even if there weren’t a black voice left in all the world our people would still have dominion; it’s something in our eyes, the way we walk and the way we’re able to change the course of history even if it’s unintentional.”

B.B.

I only saw a shadow at the front door before my mom slammed it closed, but a little glimpse was all I needed to know exactly who it was. “You better stay away from that boy” my mom came storming into the kitchen with a few of my books (that were purposely left on the school bus earlier this afternoon). Literature book in hand, she pointed straight at me, “here, looks like you forgot something important on the bus today.” See, it’s not Buddy that my mom hates it’s his family, no- it’s the presence of his family in our neighborhood. I don’t think anyone in my community likes anyone with the last name ‘Black.’

I thought to myself “who is this glorious boy in front of me and why is his hair so frighteningly attractive?” Buddy, his brothers, and sisters all look the same (but you’d be able to tell Bud apart). He was confident in his walk, and he liked to use words I can’t begin to spell let alone know their meaning. Buddy Black speaks loud, he’s pretty, the type of pretty like maybe he should’ve been born a girl, but at the last minute, God changed his mind. I was staying very far away from Buddy, despite what my mom thought. I never dared to say anything to him anyway. I mean, it was even this one time I saw Buddy in the grocery store he said hello, and I fell, literally fell into the free sample counter. Tripping over my own two feet while standing still because I was stuck.
My dad said that only dirty, unkept people had dredlocks and shame on his parents for not setting a better example. Everyone in the neighborhood talked about the Blacks, and it made me uncomfortable. Ever since school started, I’ve set this goal to get closer to him. I always just watched him in admiration, Buddy Black.

Buddy was the biggest crush I’ve ever had, and he was just here, on my doorstep, returning my books. He knows me; he knows who I am! Well knew me until Nora scared him away. Anyway, who is this guy that goes by the surname Black? Doesn’t his father know that’s a color it isn’t a name at all? Then I get to thinking deep like perhaps his family descended from the motherland herself and maybe she gave them that name. I know he had another name, but of course, I’ll never find out the details because I can’t talk to him.

I have never experienced a longer weekend. I rehearsed my “thank yous” over and over. I need to see Bud but how am I getting out of this house? Nora has horse ears and hawk vision; just waiting to swoop down on me and grip me with her talons. I needed to get to Sage Avenue, and that was three blocks up and two over. Buddy wouldn’t be that hard to find all I needed was fifteen minutes 2 times. You can hear his house from here, just follow the bullhorn. It’s been that way ever since his family moved out West or so I’ve heard. I’ve only lived out here for two years ever since my dad got tired of me living with him.

Finally, I took my books upstairs to start on my essay; thinking out loud “I can’t stand the smell of pigs feet.” When I reached the top of the stairs, I could barely smell anything, but as I quickly came back to reality, I realized a note on a small green piece of paper fell out of book. It read “free your mind, expand your knowledge beyond these books, you’ll see there’s so much more to this life.” The way it was written I thought maybe it was my teacher, but at the very end it was signed “your bud.”

Cattle or nah?

The Blacks’ house is huge. I mean everyone’s house in West looks the same, but the Blacks added to the top of theirs making it look even huger. I was attracted to that house almost as much as I was to Buddy. “A person will ignore his pride when he hears what’s right; an unjust man will ignore what is right and hold onto that goddamn pride!!!”- Mr. James screamed through the blow horn every day. My mom called him uncouth. She doesn’t talk to me about the things we hear Mr. James say. I hint it’s because she thinks I’m too young to understand, but I do understand. What Nora’s explaining is sweet and sugary, Mr. James is raw uncut and unapologetic. A strong brown man is addressing his community, making people feel uncomfortable but having them think simultaneously. His words seemed harsh, but if you listened, you’d find a message filled with love. I heard small bits of encouragement while warning our people not to conform but to live their authentic, natural lives as nature entailed, adopting a healthier way of thinking. Buddy was lucky to have his dad.

“Are we a free people who can live however we want or are we cattle?” Mr. James was protesting all of the horrible things that go on in Philly and across the country. Brown people are being terrorized every day, and the only people who seemed to be upset were my neighbors and upset at the fact that someone had an open opinion about it.

I purposely tried to miss my school bus on Monday’s so I could walk to school but good ol Nora, the early bird, made sure I was up, suited and booted lunch and backpack in hand ready for me to go. She wouldn’t go back in the house until she saw me step on the bus. The bus is always packed before it gets to my block, Grand high is a straight shot from here so my ride would be quick and awkward as usual. I bravely stepped up on the bus and just like I thought the only seat available was all the way in the back. It was painful walking past every pair of eyes glued to my face, but once I realized the empty seat was next to the big-haired angel, I smiled big. That was the first time I was able to make an expression toward buddy and keep it consistent and not make a huge fool out of myself. I sat down and said thank you, then not another word the whole ride Buddy was busy writing in his journal, and I just watched. That was the last time Buddy rode the school bus.

A couple of weeks went by, and still, I haven’t seen Bud in school. Once again, despite what my parents said, I found myself in front of that house. Yeah, I had four fifteen minutes to spare before Nora was supposed to be home, so I took full advantage. When you’re on Sage ave, you may not be able to see the Blacks’ house, but you could always hear, but this time it wasn’t Mr. James on the roof it was commotion and screaming.

I’ll never forget the blood, all the blood pouring from their faces. I let out the loudest shriek and cry where was Bud? Standing there only thirteen years old, I knew hate, the definition of actual racism and I was witnessing the brutal treatment of people who looked like me. I was terrified. I’ve never seen so many police officers in one place at the same time ever in my life. There was over a dozen, and they were all running into the Blacks house and in no time returned out dragging Mr. James. I saw Buddy’s mom Angela thrown down the stairs in handcuffs and nothing to brace her fall on the concrete. I’ll never forget this day how they were treated less than human; they were the most significant people I’d never known. They never hurt anybody, that didn’t deserve it.

I stood there frozen in shock as everything around me continued to move so fast in a single moment my shocked gaze latched onto Mr. James and for the moment we locked eyes I heard him say so much without saying anything at all. I heard him loud and clear as if he wasn’t bloody face down but stand tall on his roof screaming into his blow horn for the entire neighborhood to hear.

I ran home, so fast that I felt like I was flying at one point. Every time I blinked, I saw a bloody Mr. James, and honestly, that made me run even faster. In 2 ten minutes, I was finally home. I saw Ms. Laura 2 five minutes back, and I’m sure in no time Nora will know where I was. “School is over at 3 pm young lady!” Where’s your mother? Didn’t you see all of those cops why you over here?” I heard her questions, but my feet wouldn’t allow me to stop. They had a mind of their own. The last thing I heard her say was the same thing as Nora “you better stay away from that house and that boy!”

When I got home I went straight into my room to bury my face into my pillow and cried harder then I’d ever cried before. I get it. The warnings. But at the same time, the reasons I am warned to stay away from are the very reasons I am drawn to Bud. I’m not staying away from him or his house, I want to learn from them and spend as much time as I can. That night I had a dream I was apart of their family. My name was Mystic Black, and my hair stood tall and was just as thick as Mrs. Angela. There was glitter all over my body, and Buddy who was standing right in front of me could hardly look at me because my face shined so bright. In the very next moment I looked at him, and his face was like mine, then it wasn’t; it was covered in blood.

“The System”

The Blacks’ house is huge. I mean everyone’s house in West looks the same, but the Blacks added to the top of theirs making it look even huger. I was attracted to that house almost as much as I was to Buddy. “A person will ignore his pride when he hears what’s right; an unjust man will ignore what is right and hold onto that goddamn pride!!!”- Mr. James screamed through the blow horn every day. My mom called him uncouth. She doesn’t talk to me about the things we hear Mr. James say. I hint it’s because she thinks I’m too young to understand, but I do understand. What Nora’s explaining is sweet and sugary, Mr. James is raw uncut and unapologetic. A strong brown man is addressing his community, making people feel uncomfortable but having them think simultaneously. His words seemed harsh, but if you listened, you’d find a message filled with love. I heard small bits of encouragement while warning our people not to conform but to live their authentic, natural lives as nature entailed, adopting a healthier way of thinking. Buddy was lucky to have his dad.

“Are we a free people who can live however we want or are we cattle?” Mr. James was protesting all of the horrible things that go on in Philly and across the country. Brown people are being terrorized every day, and the only people who seemed to be upset were my neighbors and upset at the fact that someone had an open opinion about it.

I purposely tried to miss my school bus on Monday’s so I could walk to school but good ol Nora, the early bird, made sure I was up, suited and booted lunch and backpack in hand ready for me to go. She wouldn’t go back in the house until she saw me step on the bus. The bus is always packed before it gets to my block, Grand high is a straight shot from here so my ride would be quick and awkward as usual. I bravely stepped up on the bus and just like I thought the only seat available was all the way in the back. It was painful walking past every pair of eyes glued to my face, but once I realized the empty seat was next to the big-haired angel, I smiled big. That was the first time I was able to make an expression toward buddy and keep it consistent and not make a huge fool out of myself. I sat down and said thank you, then not another word the whole ride Buddy was busy writing in his journal, and I just watched. That was the last time Buddy rode the school bus.

A couple of weeks went by, and still, I haven’t seen Bud in school. Once again, despite what my parents said, I found myself in front of that house. Yeah, I had four fifteen minutes to spare before Nora was supposed to be home, so I took full advantage. When you’re on Sage ave, you may not be able to see the Blacks’ house, but you could always hear, but this time it wasn’t Mr. James on the roof it was commotion and screaming.

I’ll never forget the blood, all the blood pouring from their faces. I let out the loudest shriek and cry where was Bud? Standing there only thirteen years old, I knew hate, the definition of actual racism and I was witnessing the brutal treatment of people who looked like me. I was terrified. I’ve never seen so many police officers in one place at the same time ever in my life. There was over a dozen, and they were all running into the Blacks house and in no time returned out dragging Mr. James. I saw Buddy’s mom Angela thrown down the stairs in handcuffs and nothing to brace her fall on the concrete. I’ll never forget this day how they were treated less than human; they were the most significant people I’d never known. They never hurt anybody, that didn’t deserve it.

I stood there frozen in shock as everything around me continued to move so fast in a single moment my shocked gaze latched onto Mr. James and for the moment we locked eyes I heard him say so much without saying anything at all. I heard him loud and clear as if he wasn’t bloody face down but stand tall on his roof screaming into his blow horn for the entire neighborhood to hear.

I ran home, so fast that I felt like I was flying at one point. Every time I blinked, I saw a bloody Mr. James, and honestly, that made me run even faster. In 2 ten minutes, I was finally home. I saw Ms. Laura 2 five minutes back, and I’m sure in no time Nora will know where I was. “School is over at 3 pm young lady!” Where’s your mother? Didn’t you see all of those cops why you over here?” I heard her questions, but my feet wouldn’t allow me to stop. They had a mind of their own. The last thing I heard her say was the same thing as Nora “you better stay away from that house and that boy!”

When I got home I went straight into my room to bury my face into my pillow and cried harder then I’d ever cried before. I get it. The warnings. But at the same time, the reasons I am warned to stay away from are the very reasons I am drawn to Bud. I’m not staying away from him or his house, I want to learn from them and spend as much time as I can. That night I had a dream I was apart of their family. My name was Mystic Black, and my hair stood tall and was just as thick as Mrs. Angela. There was glitter all over my body, and Buddy who was standing right in front of me could hardly look at me because my face shined so bright. In the very next moment I looked at him, and his face was like mine, then it wasn’t; it was covered in blood.

Melancholy

After a couple of months of walking and talking with Bud, the guy I was utterly fascinated with, I finally mustered up enough courage to ask about his family’s name “Black.” Where did that name originate? Was he born with that name? Or was it made up as our teachers said? Buddy, with a huge smile, began to tell me all about his father’s organization “MOVE-on” and its legacy. I would always hear people whisper and call them radical; Buddy corrected that by saying they were liberal and explained the difference to me.

“Our people are hurting, my family has taken on the mission of healing.” the wind carefully carried Mr. John’s voice, and today it wasn’t the usual intense, fiery, or the usual demanding message. His words sounded different, it was kind of melancholy, and from the look on Bud’s face, I could tell that something made him uncomfortable after hearing his father’s words.

I hadn’t enough courage to ask him anything else, so we just walked silence for a minute. After a short silence, Bud picked up where he left off. “MOVE-ON is all about building up strong minds within our people who can break free from the slave mentality and step up to be the leaders, doctors, and teachers.” Buddy taught me his family’s beliefs that we are equal to all living beings.

He had a way of explaining life so that I could see it. He painted pictures without using paint or brushes. Natural law, the order of life, and power of the truth were their morals. I wanted to live by those colorful morals. Nora would say that for every action there’s a reaction. How about when the script is flipped? Does the cause and effect rule only apply to agencies or are us little people important at all?

Father-Like

A lot of Philly jobs moved overseas, and as a result, there are a ton of empty factories and a lot across the city, and they’re just abandoned. Buddy and I looked at a lot of them, even went in a few to plan out our joint business. All we saw was an opportunity, and for the first time, I started thinking on a broader scale, not selfishly but an advancement of my people.

First buddy and I would go to North and scope out the small buildings where we could start having our meetings, Mr. James could do him, and maybe we could throw a couple of community parties. All of the party suggestions were my ideas (I’m still working on Buddy, and his willingness to mingle and be social). What a better way to bring the community together with the Blacks? Buddy was not amused.

The Blacks just want to solve the many problems in our community by encouraging a healthy lifestyle and by not being afraid to voice their unpopular opinion and never doing any of it quietly. “You don’t always have to be loud to be heard” My teachers would make sly remarks in class, and I always knew what and who they were referring. Although that may be true, one thing I’ve learned is that you have to be willing to listen to people with other views than your own. If people are not willing to listen, then give them no choice.

Buddy was different with me, and I just wanted more people to see this side of him. I loved him and how he was able to break down the unbreakable. Buddy would follow in his father’s footsteps and begin having small teachings after school about love, life and the future of our people. His face would always start off intense and dangerous, but that didn’t last long. Eventually his furrowed brows would relax, and he would wear a big bright smile (sarcasm filled our course) I think he’s just mocking mine. I saw Mr. John in him always. I know he’ll make a great dad someday.

Angela, Jessie, Charlene & Moses

I love when Buddy and his little sister would debate over Angela Davis. One thing I had in common with his sisters was the love we had for Ms. Davis. Women’s rights and equality was my thing, the topics that I spoke most about in the teachings and debates I went to with buddy. I learned the more I talked, the more I didn’t know much, well…there’s just people with so many different views, so it’s not that I didn’t know anything at all, I just didn’t know the half.

Among these talks with Buddy and his sisters, we learned (from each other) about some of the other greats we never talk about in schools like Mandela and WEB Dubois and how being outspoken, assertive, and loud is not always a bad thing; black power is confident.

I mean we would go on and on about different people and buddy wouldn’t say a word he’d just listen, he was that type. If he didn’t know much about a particular thing he’d hear, then look up the information himself and learn as much as he can so the next time the topic came up in a conversation you’d get pummeled entirely with facts and his “well did you know.” This particular day Buddy talked about Jessie Jackson’s candidacy and about how Regan and the way some activist, including Angela Davis fought for the agenda for uplifting Jessie and how 90 percent of African Americans voted against Regan.

He was proving the point that there’s a power in numbers when we all work together even when we may not like each other there’s an underlying love between all black people. Buddy called that real black power. He taught me that the real power stems from life, self-love and how you can put aside your shit for your people and he called that true black power.

Plans for reducing the military budget and the promotion of women in politics by being the first to suggest a woman on a ticket as his running mate (black power/love). The first party to put women on a presidential ticket. At that moment I daydreamed a woman as president. If I were Shirley, Charlene, Charlotta, or Angela and I somehow got that spot…the first thing I would do is to free all my people, I’d March right to the top of the capital hill with my squad, and like Moses, I’d scream “let my people go!” Then lay down the holy book of law and remind them whose land this is.

Enemies of the state

Buddy and I shared a lot of firsts. Before I met him words were just that; only words. For example, terrorism was just a word, a foreign concept but Buddy was the first to teach me about it. I loved the classes I had with Buddy; sometimes I felt like I learned less from my teacher Mrs. Riley and more from Bud. He carried a lesson with him always. I brought all this up to tell you about a debate Buddy was having with Mrs. Riley one day. You see, Mrs. Riley, along with the other teachers at Grand High treated the Blacks like terrorists. Mr. James took the four youngest out of their elementary schools for homeschooling because of the stories the youngest would come home with.

When I looked into Bud’s face, his eyes showed no emotion. He stated his case clear, confident, not scared. He explained while addressing the classroom, that “the definition of a terrorist is an enemy of the state, a dangerous man.”

I zoned out and thought about a couple of months ago when I was frozen, standing in front of Mr. James, his bloody face, and his nonresistant wife being thrown down in front of the whole neighborhood. They were being treated less than human. How could they be the terrorist? They were confronted and brutalized by over a dozen of members of law enforcement who didn’t hesitate for a second to use excessive force despite the two six-year-olds twins standing on the top floor of the window. On that day Mr. James was beaten by terrorists.

I snapped out of my daydream just in time to hear the last of what Buddy was saying “we’ll never give into the powers that be.” Mrs. Riley just sat down in her chair with an angry pink face for the rest of our period. When the bell rang, it was a relief for her, more than us. That wasn’t the first time I saw Buddy get into a heated discussion with his father and the lies spread by people who just didn’t understand.

The presence of the Blacks offended people. The presence of the Blacks in our community disrupted some people, people were always complaining and petitioning their household, but no one understood. It’s a conditioned way of thinking. The slave mentality. Buddy called them robots, and he told me he loved me because I wasn’t one.

On our walk home the same day, Bud pointed out that his father was acquitted of all the charges brought against him by the government. I didn’t understand what charges he was talking about, I just listened. Then I thought it was all ridiculous after all where would Mr. James get a bomb from? More importantly, where are all these automatic weapons hiding? And who are they using them for? I know that they love the community it was evident that it was the Philadelphia police department they hated. Again, I couldn’t blame them..it’s the reaction. Today we walked a different way home, we wound up behind the Black’s house, and Buddy invited me in. I guess I finally get to see…

What if?

After a couple of years, Bud and I became best friends, and I fell deeper in love with him. Often I thought about what we would do after we graduated. Would we go to college together, maybe we would go to Africa and disappear… would we get married? How many children would we have? Would I have to loc my hair too? I learned so much about myself and how far I was willing to go NOT to become just another number statistic, another added to the herd.

I thought about my history, my actual history and learned about it aggressively. In turn, I learned how to love myself and my people. I appreciated my people so much more knowing what we are capable of how much power we possess. I’m important, and I’m on this earth for a more significant purpose. I was so appreciative to Mr. James for his teachings, I was in love with his son for being patient with me, and I wasn’t afraid to tell him that….not scared to talk to him anymore.

I often think about how my life would be right now if I never left my books on the bus that day…what if I never talked to Bud and followed Nora’s instructions to a “T” and stayed away? Who knew close as we grew to each other, we would continue to experience firsts. I’d never known a broken heart until now. I’d never wanted to die.

I watched myself laying sound asleep. I moved in closer to hear my breath just to check to see if I was alive. I reached my index finger out, and carefully placed it under my nose, not to wake myself but to feel the calm of my breathing. I look like I’m dreaming about Buddy because now I’m smiling. I watch as I remain sleep until something wakes me up. It’s a funny smell. A burning smell. Flesh and gunpowder. As soon as my eyes open, I am in a room filled with smoke. Black gasses pour through the closed windows and doors as if they were wide open. The place is consumed with thick black gasses. I wake up and see buddy lying next to me when I blink he’s gone. The grim reaper is forcing his way into the room to meet my love. But he isn’t here maybe he’s coming for me. I could see Buddy’s face it was right in front of me then it wasn’t. It was mine, face to face with myself once again. Now everything is dark, and I can’t move all I can see is Buddy’s burning body running, running away from me, running into the street.

Sixteen Candles

My body is a temple, a sacred place where purity dwells. I learned about love and what it meant to be a friend, honestly. I miss my best friend I miss my love. I lost him only in a physical sense; he’ll live forever. I feel him every day, his spirit and love. I can hear him now “a smile is free, but it’s the best gift you can ever give me in this ugly old world.” He was the most influential person tough and stern with everyone but me; we were different.

I lost everything on my 16th birthday. The sounds of gunshots tore us out of our sleep. Before I could make a wish, we were on our feet scrambling for our clothes. I could only find my shirt and a pair of shorts, so I grabbed them as Buddy ran out of his room naked to find his family and to see what was going on, met with nothing but smoke and commotion I was right behind him. Then I was thrown over his shoulder running in the opposite direction. I couldn’t hear or see anything at this point. My ears were pinging, and my eyes were burning. I shut my eyes so tight hoping to wake up from this nightmare, but I couldn’t escape this time, this was my reality.

I clenched onto buddy’s neck so tight I don’t know how he drew any breath. We ran, finally entering the back room, I was instructed to climb out of the window but I couldn’t. How could I leave bud? What the hell is going on? With a kiss he let me know there was no time for a debate. Not this time. He told me he loved me as I climbed out of the window and onto his roof; that was the best gift I could’ve gotten that day, but the feeling of never seeing him again overpowered that feeling. I wasn’t ready to look at him for the last time. Standing on the roof three stories up high I could see everything. I saw nothing, but I saw everything.

Burn; Baby?

There were smoke and chaos. Police officers were performing their executions, police running into Buddy’s house killing anyone trying to leave out. The onlookers were saying nothing just looking; the whole neighborhood was only watching. Then there it was I’ll never forget the loud roar of the helicopter as it vibrated the entire block, it made me drop to my knees when I saw it. Only later to find out that it was responsible for transporting the explosives that were then dropped on the Black’s house and burning the entire neighborhood.

As jumped onto the neighbor’s deck something else caught my eye. There he was, my father, standing in front of the police officers as their commissioner, the one calling the shots. I hated him. Before I jumped onto that back balcony, I screamed so loud, so many tears poured out of my eyes and snot covered my face I can hardly see or breathe. When I finally reached the ground in the back alley I saw how the police officers were positioned, standing by the slain bodies, I saw all of buddy’s brothers and sisters except for Buddy and the twins. As I ran fast, but the last thing I was able to catch was the looks of satisfaction from the firefighters as they stood by without any attempt to put out the wild flames from the now burning house. I hated my dad, his posse, and the entire neighborhood for looking but doing nothing.

I saw Ms. Renee, the most honest woman I knew, her house was three houses down from mine; there she was standing in front of her burning home screaming “Jesus!! Jesus!!” I ran through the streets and saw everyone watching their homes burn and how the firefighters let them burn. Everyone homeless in an instance, I desperately searched for Nora. When I found what was left of my home, I found Nora sitting on a huge rock across the street with her face dropped into her hands with one backpack full of memories “I told you to stay away from that boy.”

The One That Got Away

I dreamed of this horrific day before, but all, it was only a dream. Who knew my nightmare would result in 61 houses (including mine) burning down right before my eyes? Sometimes I wish I never made it out of that house. In some ways, I didn’t. I got away, made it back to my mother, yes, but I never saw Buddy get out and that just broke me. I saw a special report on the news a week later and saw the video of Bud running out the house naked and on fire, and I couldn’t live with that. Some people are saying seeing that is what drove me crazy. I guess it’s easier to call me than to admit the truth. Just like in my dreams. Now, it’s my reality, and there’s no more waking up.

“I mean, all that screaming was for nothing. Everything they stood for, what was the point?” Hearing people speak those words on tv just broke my heart. I refused to believe that he’s dead. I’ll always believe that he found another way out and he’s waiting for me somewhere, and maybe it’s just too soon to come back. Forever imprinted in my brain are the images of Buddy’s burning body and the discomfort of knowing that the law enforcement meant to protect us were his demise. I never saw or heard from buddy again.

Nora sent me away to this place not to long after all that. She thinks living VA and in counseling twice a week will help to “make me well again.”

“I explain this to you every day, and we talk about my dreams, but you don’t look interested.” I say to my new doctor but just like the last he just looks up and with the smile says ” I’m here to help you to release the idea of Buddy and to move on from that day.” The day I felt like I lost everything this doctor is telling me that I didn’t. I can tell Dr. Idgaf just doesn’t care. He never makes eye contact with me. Just scribbling words, flipping pages, then scratching some more. If only he were compiling evidence for a lawsuit I desperately want to file against the city of Philadelphia.

How many times can I explain how I feel? Broken. I explain over and over how the police murdered my family and burned my family’s house down AND my father, who could never be a fraction of a man Mr. James was, ordered that bomb.

If only I could have the opportunity to stand tall in a court of law and point the finger toward Philly PD and screamed out loud “Murderers!” That would be only the beginning for justice for Buddy Black. Justice for my neighborhood that was burned down. I’d put my father on the stand and slap him with all this evidence. I’d press him to admit to the courts that this vendetta against the Blacks was personal and it led to a crusade down Sage Ave. Not on battlegrounds but in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. How could any human being have that much hate in their heart to do that?

The world watched the execution and did nothing. ‘They’ say this is the first time in history a bomb was dropped on US soil by our very own government. Everyone watched Buddy run out naked, burning skin melting right off his body. I think she told me that to make me hate my dad even more but that wasn’t possible. There my father stood in front of the crowd, he didn’t have a uniform on that day, but I always recognize him; he stared at the burning house as if he was staring in the Devils face himself and defeated him. I only saw him a few times over the past few years, but I know now just like bud I’ll never see him again.

I only receive a couple of letters here, and the last one I got from Philly mentioned that Bud was sent to live in Florida, some people have been saying that he died in the hospital. I need to know for myself. If there’s a chance in this hell that he’s alive. I’ve been saving for a train ticket ever since I got the letter. If I can get out of here or break out, that’s where I’m going. I’ve written him almost 100 letters, but something’s telling me they’re not making it past this hospital’s front door. Either way, I’ll keep saving my money right now I only have enough for a one way so tomorrow on my 21st birthday I’ll never look back…maybe that’s ok. I’ll never have seen these doctors again. No one will ever tell me again that I didn’t know Buddy or that our relationship was all in my head. Hopefully, I’ll leave here and find someone that’ll really listen and believe me…one day. I’m just tired of people wanting me to just get over it. I can’t move on. Could you?

Harlem (a poem by Langston Hughes)

By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?
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I hope you’ve missed me.
I’m done putting things off.
I’m done procrastinating.
I’m going to do better as a writer, blogger, journalist.

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela

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Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela also know as Winnie Mandela  spent over two decades fighting a racist government on behalf of the people of South Africa.

Between 1962-1985 Winnie Mandela only accounted for 10 months of “freedom.”

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Winnie fought racism and apartheid by remaining an unrelenting, courageous advocate for freedom.

During Winnie’s Political development and advocacy she was jailed, spent 17 months in solitary confinement, and was brutally beaten so many times that she stopped counting.

Winnie Mandela was placed on house arrest, banned from her homeland, harassed by people, endure endless death threats & attempts on her life, survived a house bomb, and witnessed her watchdog die due to poisoning all by government authorities.

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Winnie Mandela is a woman who can definitely be looked at as a revolutionary.

She was brave and stood her ground in her beliefs for justice and equality.

In a collection of interviews and letters published ( “Part of My Soul Went With Him”) Winnie shares her experiences in growing up without any understanding of racism and the very first moments it was introduced, her political development, and being separated from her husband, African National Congress leader, Nelson Mandela for over 27 years.

“I knew when I married [Nelson Mandela] that I married the struggle, the liberation of my people.”- Winnie Mandela, ( “Part of My Soul Went With Him”)

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“When I was a child, I thought then we owned all. The freedom you have as a child, those undulating plains [of the Transkei}, beautiful greenery-how we would run from one end of the river to the other, running over rolling beautiful green hills. I thought that was my country…then…when you grow up…a white man tells you that your own country doesn’t belong to you, and that you must have a piece of paper to stay there…”-Winnie Mandela, Excerpt from  “Part of My Soul Went With Him”

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The country of Bizana was made up of 4.3 million white people, 18.6 million black people, and 3.1 million people with Asian backgrounds.

With the presence of  18.6 million black people, none had the right to vote.

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In 1990, Winnie and Nelson Mandela were reunited after his sentencing was lifted and charges thrown out in the case of engaging in anti government activities.

“I am convinced that your pain and suffering was far greater than my own,” –Nelson Mandela to Winnie Mandela

Nelson Mandela went on to become the first Black President of South Africa 1994-1999 & won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Brace Yourself For This Long List of Black Inventors

Happy Black History Month!!!!!!

Here’s a list of black inventors and their inventions:

Bessie Blount Griffin (1914-2009)

Patented a device allowing amputees to feed themselves

Garrett Morgan (1877–1963)

Hair-straightening products, a breathing device, a revamped sewing machine and an improved traffic signal

Sarah Boone (c. 1870–1900)

 Ironing board

Alexander Miles (1830s-1918)

Automatic elevator doors

Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928)

Light bulb and the telephone (longer lasting, less expensive)

George Washington Carver (c. 1864–1943)

Scientific Agriculture practices-the many uses of peanuts

Marjorie Joyner (1896-1994)

A”permanent wave” hair machine (flat iorn/curlers)

Elijah McCoy (1844–1929)

Lubrication devices used to make train traveling more efficient

Alfred L. Cralle (1866-1920)

Ice cream scooper

Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919)

Hair products for African-American hair & the first American women to become a self-made millionaire

Lonnie Johnson (1949–)

Super Soaker water gun

Samuel R. Scottron (1843-1905)

Adjustable mirrors

Granville Woods (1856–1910)

“Black Edison” contributed to the development of the telephone, street car and more

Benjamin Banneker (1731–1806)

Self-educated mathematician, astronomer, compiler of almanacs and writer

James Edward Maceo West (1931–)

Electret transducer technology  used in microphones

Benjamin Bradley (1830-1897)

Steam engines for a war ship

Frederick McKinley Jones (1893–1961)

Refrigeration equipment used to transport food and blood during World War II.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852–1889)

The shoe lasting machine (making footwear more affordable)

Otis Boykin(1920–1982)

A wire precision resistor and a control unit for the pacemaker

Percy Lavon Julian (1899–1975)

The chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids and birth control pills

Sarah E. Goode (1850–1905)

The first African-American woman to receive a United States patent

Thomas L. Jennings (1791-1859)

The first African American to hold a U.S. patent-dry cleaning

Henry Blair (1807–1860)

The second African American to hold a United States patent

George Robert Carruthers (1939–)

Ultraviolet cameras

David Nelson Crosthwait Jr. (1898–1976)

heating and air conditioning

Andrew Jackson Beard

“The ‘Jenny Coupler’- automatically joined cars by simply allowing them to bump into each other, or as Beard described it the “horizontal jaws engage each other to connect the cars.”

Norbert Rillieux(1806-1894)

Multiple-effect vacuum evaporator, revolutionizing the processing of sugar

Lewis Temple (1800-1854)

Whaling harpoon, known as “Temple’s Toggle” and “Temple’s Iron” becoming the standard harpoon of the whaling industry

Emmett Chappelle (1925-?)

“the detection of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an important compound in all living organisms.  Through the patented method he developed, exobiologists are able to more speedily detect bacteria outside the earth’s atmosphere.  The presence of bacteria is considered strong evidence for extraterrestrial life…”

Ben Montgomery

A propeller that could cut into the water at different angles, thus allowing the boat to navigate more easily though shallow water

Marie Van Brittan Brown (1922-1999)

A system for a motorized camera to show images on a monitor (home security)

Lloyd Hall (1894-1971)

Meat curing products, seasonings, emulsions, bakery products, antioxidants, protein hydrolysates, and many other products that keep our food fresh and flavorable

Lyda D. Newman (1885-?)

An improved hairbrush design

John Parker (1827-1900)

The Ripley Foundry and Machine Company, manufacturing slide valve engines and reapers

Janet Emerson Bashen (1957-)

A private consulting group that investigates Equal Employment Opportunity complaints Janet is the first African American woman in the United States to hold a software patent.

 

Don’t forget to use the Umbra Search engine for all African American history inquiries. #HappyBlackHistoryMonth #HappyBlackHistoryYEAR

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