Friday, February 5, 2016

One blood

The war continues to rage, feelings get hurt and lives are lost. We see the need to end the war between races, the discrimination and the turmoil that continues to plague the  world. I have watched the "I have a dream" speech many times, and each time my heart ached as Martin Luther King Jnr spoke with  much conviction, I stare into his passionate eyes and listen to his voice tremble across the land, and for a while I see the hope blaze and the strength revived in the audience.

And somehow, in 2016, we have to search his name and the speech because the energy is running low. As the topic states "One blood,"  note I am not speaking of the  blood draining through our African, Indian, Asian and white brothers, it is the blood of the black man. I am in no way trying to be bias by focusing on my own, as you read, right now I am not proud of my race, there is a sense of hypocrisy among us; we stand up with cards with words written with our own blood, tears flowing uncontrollably down our faces as we  yell "Black lives Matter," but we cease to forget that you should clean your home because you try to clean anybody else's. 

The black community is separated, browse through the social media platforms, and  the shades of black are viciously fighting against each other, and we never stop blaming slavery for our mentality, but there comes a time when we have to STOP.  We rally for our brothers who are gunned down and taunted, and we feel a sense of unity because we lost one of our own, then its dead after awhile and some of us forget that anything happened and go back to tormenting our own with our words. We create Instagram pages, decorated with the ideal beauty and nasty hashtags for  those we deem unfit. 

The hierarchy never seems to stop growing and the lightskin and darkskin trend continues. We are all black, but yet between these groups we eat, sleep and smile differently. I have never been more ashamed of our poisoned minds and myopic thinking. We want freedom from our oppressors, without even knowing that we need freedom from our own thinking. Marcus Garvey said "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but our selves can free our mind." but as they say, easier said than done. 

I can't understand and will never know how we say we our lives matter when we can't even live as one in unity. There is no light skin, dark skin and brown skin race, we are all black and the same stereotypes are attached to us, the same hate is directed towards all of us, and most importantly,the same blood runs through our veins.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Why you should work hard

There has been times in my life when everything felt just right, almost perfect and it was because I could do my own thing. I had so much going on at one point that I felt true happiness. My world felt like a canvas, and I was filling in the parts as I went along, and in those moments I felt strong, I felt powerful, the feeling of genuine accomplishment should be everyone’s most desired feeling. Why is that so?

No one will be able to manipulate and control your choices: My mother always said that she would feel most sad if she was not able to live as how she wanted. She could go on her vacations without worrying about someone else taking that from her because they gave her the opportunity. It gave me inspiration to own my life and control the movement of my feet.

You will be marketable: Like a product you will be in demand. People will call you and will be able to negotiate the conditions of whatever is being offered, because you are Queen B or King Shawn Carter   

Life wont be made up of only dreams, but realities: It is okay to dream, it is often necessary  not to end up going   crazy sometimes. But imagine having a list and all your dreams are being ticked off, and you are finally walking in the direction you wanted.

You will live, and not merely exist:"Happiness is not a station you arrive, it is a manner of travelling." Unknown. A life worth living is one that is made up of hard work, dedication and persistence, then you will feel whole and live in abundance. You were maybe thinking of just referring to money. But I was just telling you to work hard at whatever you do, its not only about degrees, but talent, humility, risks and chances. You will reap success from hard work, and you can define that word however you wish.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jamaica Kincaid: Literary Genius

(Taken from Google Images)

 “I was afraid of the dead, as was everyone I knew. We were afraid of the dead because we never could tell when they might show up again.” (Annie John)  These words made me salivate and I was filled with hunger to learn more of such a strange, yet intriguing character. It was summer time, school didn’t even begin as yet, but I could mouth the quotes as my teacher spoke in her high pitched voice when we resumed lessons. My love affair began with Annie John, and I would carefully read the novel while taking care not to let the tell-tale of curry stain the white, clean pages.  But I was filled with desire to know who was the master mind and literary genius behind Annie John.

Her name is Jamaica Kincaid, she bears my Island’s name and indeed her writing reflects the colorfulness, vibrancy and rich diversity found only in the Caribbean. She was born Elaine Richardson in 1949 in Antigua, the same setting in the novel Annie John. Like her character Annie John, she was said to have a rude attitude and a trouble maker. In Annie John, the character wanted to move somewhere where no one knew her and could not contact, which Jamaica did, she moved to New York at 17, and like Annie John, she cut off her family for 20 years.

She had no aspiration to become a writer, which is surprising as she holds you with powerful descriptions and language as rich as the greenery of the mountain side and powerful as the heat from the penetration of the Caribbean sun. She changed her name to Jamaica because she feared her family would disapprove her writing, but who could really mock work so detailed that you feel the caress of the breeze she described or the unhappiness the character felt could send you spiraling into depression, waiting for the rain to end and set Annie John free.

Jamaica got her first piece, a short story published in the New Yorker, and while working there she met Ted Shawn and they were joined in holy matrimony in 1979.  After that she published ‘At the bottom of the river,” and my favorite, Annie John in 1985. Annie John was well received for its rhythmic language, and a theme centered on the mother-daughter relationship. Kincaid mentions that her writing is “auto-biographical,” which is obvious after reading her autobiography, her own mother is even named Annie, and her father is a carpenter, like Annie John And as Earnest Hemmingway states “No subject is terrible , if the prose is clean and honest and if it affirms grace and courage under pressure.”

In a turn of events, Kincaid became an enemy in the literary world for her novel “A small place,” a novel about oppression by colonizers. The New Yorker did not want to publish her work, because of its less than inviting tone. Even though her pieces became controversial, the power she held for writing was still being applauded. According to Brad Goldfarb in Interview, her work is "an almost ruthless desire to get at the truth" she came back with a tone that matched the gentle gurgling of a river, the songs of birds in the morning with a collection of essays called “my garden.” Although, nearly all her works are short, they never lack luster and displays an active voice that can’t be ignored. 

Kincaid still writes at her home in Bennington and teaches creative writing at Bennington College and Harvard University. Her current life reflects her rebirth like that of the conclusion of Annie John “I went back to my cabin and lay down on my berth. Everything trembled as if it had a spring at its very center. I could hear the small waves lap-lapping around the ship. They made an unexpected sound, as if a vessel filled with liquid had been placed on its side and now was slowly emptying out.” 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The mother's cry

A mother painfully watches as her daughter is  executed

The pain I was feeling was worse than labour, it was worse than the bitter cold. I felt her screams rip through me in one fluid movement that I fell to the ground and sobbed. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head and I screamed. I reached for her, I panted until I was hoarse and weak. She reached for me and I couldn’t help, if I could take my life in exchange for hers, there was no doubt that I would, but I was unable to do and I felt like it was my fault, I created her, I should be able to help her.

“She didn’t do it!” I shouted to the executioner, but he grinned, the man with the mask over his face, exposing only his bright green eyes.  I wanted to read them, but they were so still that I couldn’t even guess what expression those eyes held, they were still and glossy. He held his fixed gaze on me and I wanted him to feel the tiniest bit of pain that I was feeling, but he only walked on, taking big steps, as though he wanted to get over with the job, to make me experience everlasting torture, to carry this burden on my back until my death, which I guess won’t be long from now.

She screamed as he got closer. I could feel the tear-drops cling to me, the symbol of her pain and fear embraced me that once more I feel into a heap of hands that tried to help me up. The sky wasn’t even dark, the sun was shining, and the light breeze was too calming. I needed dark skies to match my gloom, thunder to match my anger and raindrops, to show that God was crying with me, but I felt mocked on this beautiful day.

She briefly held up her head and looked at me with bloodshot eyes. She was tired, her lips were bruised, and her head was a tangled mess. I tried to remember my dark eyed, strong daughter, who didn’t play with dolls, but used wood as swords. 

She was crying with her arms stretched across with a rope that marked her skin and made them torn and dark.

The women looked on me as I carried on, as I shouted. The easy target because she has no husband. She doesn’t have a beautiful house and her daughter was a rebel. Some were satisfied; some pitied me, while others blankly stared. I tried to reach out to them, to make them side with me, to just make me feel as though I wouldn’t go crazy, but they only looked at me and soon, their blank stares turned to cold steel that made a chill run down my spine.

He lifted the axe, it glinted in the sun. He closed his eyes briefly when her desperate scream tore through the air and I had lost my voice. He held his hand in the air and turned to me. I clasped my hands as though I was praying. I pleaded, but he only shook his head, in such a way that confused me, but I knew that he couldn’t help me. 

I sank lower in the crowd when his hand went down and I could feel my daughter’s fear on my back, covering me like a blanket, that couldn’t shield me from a harsh winter day. I heard her grunt when his arm went down a little more. I whispered the Lord’s Prayer, my fingers trembling, my eyes unable to produce the fluid that would make God pity me, then it was done, I heard the thud.

They walked away slowly and I was rocking back and forth, hoping that I would soon awake from my dream. The rain came, but the sky was still blue, the red fluid that flowed through her for seventeen years trickled towards me then disappeared, but it wouldn’t stop pouring from her. She was a rebel to them, she left her mark on their hearts, and killing her wouldn’t erase her words from their minds. She would be forever remembered as the girl who spoke against the king.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Netflix and Chill?

Welcome back to my Blog! I agree, it has been collecting dust, and cobwebs are growing in strange places. Truth is, it has been on my mind everyday but work got the best of me and lets just say I lost the fight. But I am back.
 Happy October everyone! I know Americans usually get excited when Fall arrives, but it is still scorching in the old J A.

Lets get to the important matter, I love social Media. I am young and excited and I love to learn. I saw the Netflix and chill joke roaming around Instagram, and surely it made me laugh. Its a little rude joke so maybe the young ones won't get it, but I agree its funny.

Although I enjoyed laughing at the different versions of the joke, it made me really think, when was the last time you really Nextflixed and Chilled (yup, it has become a verb.) I am in fact enjoying movies on Netflix right now, but there is no one to watch with me. We are so busy trying to catch up with the rest of the world that we hardly ever chill. I am a low key, homebody type of girl so I love watching movies and lounging with family and friends. But recently, my favourite youtube videos have been running in the background, while my sister and I scroll through our phones without even talking to each other.

And I know its a joke, but if you and your boyfriend plan "netflix and chill," does it always satisfy you not to chill? Call me old school, but i love the traditional catching up and laughing at a good movie. So next time you decide to "Netflix and chill," try to actually have quality talk time with your company.

Talking with my friends and family every day helps keep me grounded and connected to home. They are the most important things to me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

By The Sea

Ocean City, New Jersey

The sea's rough, the dark water rises, and its angry grasp threatens to pull in the naive walkers, the giggly couples, and the pressured teenagers who dare  themselves and others to jump in, to skinny dip or to jeer its angry roars. The sea is a place I go to relax. I am in a new place, so close to the sea that you can actually walk there. I like it by night, but I am never alone. I stand with strangers who are soon to be friends. Persons I barely know, but feel a sense of closeness, so much so that I wish to tell them everything that bothers or makes me happy.

The sea can hold your secrets, never spilling them to anyone, yet it doesn't apologize for those who it takes and never returns. It pulls them under, get into their minds, until they stop kicking, stop hoping. But a few days after, joggers, girls in skimpy bikinis and chiseled boys run along the shore, dodging the freezing, yet inviting liquid, dark as night and tempting as the Devil.

Its large home is where I sit and watch seagulls roam, and accept food from those willing to give. The salty air is fresh and one inhale can make you drunk with satisfaction of a life that is not exactly the best. I sit and observe, bottle all the stress, release the laughter,as it rushes and attempts to grab you, and invites you to a place where it doesn't guarantee you will return. Yet we long for summer days to go by the sea.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A woman should?

When I was younger I thought it unfair that my mother pinned herself to the kitchen, went to school and took care of her family. I remember questioning her, in my small voice I asked "why do you bring daddy food? Can't her get it himself?" She simply laughed, and I was angered by the  roles that were attached to woman and the labels that continue to be plastered on her forehead.

1. A woman should take care of the home: Yeah gender roles! but its the 21st century and women have climbed their way to the top, gaining roles that were once deemed  "male jobs." Many possibly stifled their potential because of social norms and culture. But I believe the roles in the home should be equal between both males and females.

2. A woman should be able to cook: Well I'm not the best and I don't really like doing it. Many guys tell me with piercing eyes that I should be able to cook for my man, but I guess we're going to both starve. Cooking is a passion for many and becomes necessary in the home, as a home cooked meal can be one of  the best greeting after a long and weary day. I would love to learn to cook like a boss, but it should be that I WANT to and not HAVE to for the sake of a man.

3. A woman should stay sexy for her man: Yeah while he sits on a couch and eat potato chips and drink soda. His stomach pops out and it is not addressed. But a woman gains a few pounds, doesn't feel like wearing sexy clothes, is quickly criticized by both sexes that she is letting herself go.

4. A woman should be seen and not heard: I don't want to sit with my legs crossed all the time, it makes my inner thigh sweat (TMI, I know), I don't want to squeak like a mouse in a corner. I don't want to accompany my husband on trips for the sole purpose of smiling and being beautiful. I want to stand on the podium and voice my opinions, not like a woman, but simply as a person.

**I know many won't agree, but this is how I have felt for a while.

I think God made a woman to be strong and not to be trampled under the feet of men. I've always felt this way because my mother was a very strong woman, without a husband.