26; 27

I would like to front for yall. I’d like to tell you I have it all together, that I’m healthy and not broke. I’d like to tell you that I know what I am doing and what I want to do in life.

I can’t.

I’m stressed. My skin looks bad and my hair is thinning. My cycle is irregular and I ain’t got an appetite. I am not myself. I’m super sensitive. I’ve had 2 bad anxiety attacks in the past two days (at the time I’m writing). My father has me blocked on facebook and I didn’t hear from him on my birthday. I’m fighting mad at him. I’m broke. I was sick on my birthday. I am grieving. I don’t enjoy the holidays. Seasonal depression. Crazy dreams. Donald Trump is the President-Elect. So, I’m not ok.

BUT.

I’m still here. (Runs around sanctuary)

There comes a time when you have to get honest and make a decision. I WANT to give up. But, I’m still breathing. I still wake up every morning and that means it aint over.

fb_img_1481767149017I got this damn semi colon tattooed on my hand.

I was inspired by project semicolon. Check them out.

Yall know I’m a grammar/spelling snob. Punctuation is useful. A semicolon separates two independent clauses; I like to think of it as more than a comma and less than a period.

The semicolon project brings awareness to people who have struggled with mental illness, for people who have struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The idea is that if we are the author of our lives, a semicolon goes after that struggle, not a period (oooh, i almost shouted. The Holy Ghost almost threw me off of this couch).

I am at the point right before the semicolon. I’ve learned that God will keep you in the storm until you learn your lesson. I am hardheaded and oblivious. It took a year almost to learn why I was struggling. So what did I learn?

I learned that I am not invincible.

I learned that I need people. I need friends and family that will listen or just sit with me until I’m ready to talk. I need friends that will go off on me if I’m not taking my medicine.

I learned that I must struggle (financially, physically, mentally) in order to help people who are struggling. Hebrews 4: 15 says “… we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one… who was tempted.. yet did not sin” Our greatest help went through what we go through in order to identify with us and intercede for us. I ain’t Jesus by a long shot. I certainly need a lesson or two in sympathizing. I feel a calling to help people. I believe good help comes from those who can identify with those in need.

I read 2 Corinthians today. Paul and the thorn. I wonder what Paul’s thorn was. I have my theories. My thorn (one of them) is my mental health. God didn’t take away the thorn even after Paul asked 3 times. But he did give Paul grace to deal with it. How would we know the power of God if we had the power? God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (v. 9) so we can boast about our weakness because that is when God sees us.

Thus are my birthday reflections. Thank you so much for your support.

– CAGW

 

 

Reflections on The Black and Blue Lives Matter Form

bluelives 2Let me preface this by saying that the following reflections are mine and mine only. They don’t reflect the thoughts, feelngs or values of any organization. Don’t hold my ratchet mouth against anybody but me (but know idgaf).

This flyer (left) appeared on my Facebook newsfeed last week. I reposted with the caption #Nope. I then shared it in a certain group and on my Timeline with the question “Why do we (local BLM activists, millennials and regular ass people) keep getting left out of these conversations?”

A few people had the “kumbyah we all need to unify” rhetoric. I ain’t with it. I’m a proud member of the #CallOut Ministry. The old heads keep having forums and panels with the #BlackLivesMatter tag AND keep not inviting the activists or anyone under 137 years old. There is an official BLM chapter in Louisville. If BLM is not invited, don’t put #BlackLivesMatter on your flyer. RESPECK THE NAME. Is we finished or is we done? I’ve had to voice this to two events. In the words of Snoop Dogg “Do I look like the type of nigga that likes repeating himself?”

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with beef and arguing. Especially if we have the same goal ultimately. Should we do it publicly? Absolutely not. But we should do it. (I’m sure Dr. King and them argued. I’m sure somebody was like Dr. King can you quit fucking everybody?)

Nevertheless, we had a good conversation and somehow I got bamboozled into attending. I’m still not sure how it happened but here I am on Saturday at 9am at this fuckshit forum.

9am on Saturday was the first mistake. People my age and younger are not going to be anywhere at 9am on Saturday given a choice (I don’t even go to work until 10 at the earliest). People my age and younger are also the ones that are victims of police brutality. You cannot have a conversation ABOUT people that you won’t have a conversation WITH (Darrell Scott and Omarosa don’t count, Donald Trump).

2nd mistake. There was no repast. Jesus preached, and then everybody got fish sandwiches. Any time I’m a guest at somebody’s church I expect to sample the punch of the shadiest church motha. WWJD?

For this reason (in my opinion) there were only about 30 people tops. Which looks like 5 when in a sanctuary.

The forum was held at Spirit Filled Ministries (Louisville, KY). I THINK Bishop Kelsey (a retired police officer) is the pastor. That’s another mistake. Having a forum in the sanctuary. The sanctuary of a black church is (typically) NOT a space that young people or women can be comfortable speaking out. I also am not going to cuss in the sanctuary and I need to be able to cuss at a forum called Black and Blue Lives Matter.. ’cause yall out your rabbit ass mind for that title.

The first speaker was attorney (Tibbs) that gave us this handout. (below) I’ll try to provide a better pic tomorrow. Yall gon deal for the time being.

bluelives 1

His main point was to know our rights, not argue with a police officer but instead take up our issue with the police officer in court. So I asked “what if the police officer kills me first?”. Tibbs and Kelsey responded by telling me to get involved in local politics. Bishop Kelsey also kept calling me ‘baby’ and cut me off. I passed the mic and knew I wasn’t going to take it anymore.

How in the entire hell can I get involved in politics if I’M DEAD MY NIGGA? Somebody told Philando Castile to be respectful to the police. He was and he was still killed. When are we going to address police officers behavior and not victims?!?!?!?!!? Whew. Let me calm down.

I AM involved in local politics. I’ve worked on (winning *flips hair*) campaigns for judges, council members and state reps. That doesn’t make a bit of difference if a police officer with bad aim and bad judgement pulls me over.

“But officer, I work in local politics!”

“Oh you do?” *Puts gun up*

The next speaker was DeVone Holt. He could only stay for so long because he had to get to the studio for his radio show. He finessed that appearance so he could talk and not have to answer questions. He talked about how he’s not going to vote for Trump or Hill and how Black America hates him for it. As a member of Black America, I don’t give a damn what DeVone does much less who he votes for. Hell, I #barely know who he is. Negros are soooooo important. *Rolls eyes* I don’t know what any of what he said had to do with the forum.

The speaker after that was Ray “Sir Friendly C” Barker. He got up and talked about… himself. He discussed the thousands (i promise he said thousands) of children he mentored and his experiences as a cop.

He was reminiscing about the good ole days and trying to defend shooting somebody. He said that cops are trained to shoot twice in the chest (not the leg or arm) and damn near had an orgasm talking about it. He also talked about how he didn’t agree with some of the ‘antics’ of the BLM movement. I think this was the point I wanted to lay in the pew and scream at the top of my lungs. But God. I. got. your. antics, old man.

My fellow activist friend and Sir Friendly got into a heated discussion and a few of the men of the church including Bishop Kelsey surrounded him. My friend was speaking passionately and using his hands, but he wasn’t a threat. Back up off the homie.

I got up and used my womanly charm to defuse the situation. These soft hands, tiddies and eye lashes serve many purposes, one is to manipulate men.

Bishop Kelsey and I ended up exchanging numbers and he’s gonna invite me to some talk he’s having with somebody next week. Negros aren’t getting another Saturday morning out of me for a few months so it better be on a weekday evening and HAVE REPAST.

After that Judge Denise Brown got the mic and stanched edges. She said not voting is the ‘dumbest argument’ she’s ever heard. I again resisted the urge to lay in the pew.

I then got up and observed conversations in the lobby. This lady, wife of a police officer asked me and my fellow activist friend if we wanted to be police officers. #Nah, Lady. I’m tired of people telling us (young black people) to become police officers whenever we have criticism for the police. I criticize my doctor. I’m not going to medical school. I criticize my mechanic. I’m not going to mechanic school. I don’t want to be a police officer. I shouldn’t have to be one to ensure my people aren’t getting killed.

I told her we could set up some programs in predominately black high schools that puts kids on a track to become a police officer like ROTC but I certainly won’t be becoming a popo. I can’t pass the drug test. 

This concludes my reflections on The fuckshit Black and Blue Lives Matter Forum. I’m not going to anymore forums/panels/discussions/pow wows/hotep meetings. I AM going to invest my efforts in programs and organizations that are worthwhile though. Stay tuned.

It’s 2am and I got *sings* church in the morning.

-CGW

 

 

 

 

 

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#CarriesLifeMatters

Britney shaved Yall remember when Britney Spears had a break down of sorts and cut her hair off in 2007? Thats what I’m coming out of. Maybe it was a quarter life crisis. Maybe I called in black for a couple weeks. I still have my hair but I wasn’t at work from July 6th-July 25th. #Imbackbitches

No seriously, my depression and anxiety took me to a place where I was unable to function. I was in the bed MOST of the time. I was working and sleeping and working and sleeping. Rinse. Repeat. I was existing, not living. I stopped going to church. I didn’t have the social energy church required. I didn’t have any social energy or any motivation to DO anything.

What’s important to know about depression is that you may not necessarily feel sad. For me, it’s more of feeling just absent which may or may not make me feel sad. I was absent for months and did not realize it.

I also have anxiety attacks that were becoming more frequent and making it hard for me to sit down at my desk at work for long periods of time. I was also making lots of mistakes on my work.
I haven’t been myself this year. I got fired in January. I THOUGHT I bounced back (because them bitches had to hire me back) but I had not bounced back. I hadnt healed from a very traumatic experience that hurt. Getting fired sucks and I should have taken the time to deal with it. All I did was fight for my job back and go right back into the situation that was harming me.

Looking back there was no reason for me to be mentally healthy. I was fired in January and hired back a month later under the same supervisor that obviously didn’t want me there. I had to work under someone i wanted to punch in the face for months; no wonder i lost it. Also, my medicines had not been adjusted in YEARS.

I went to my hometown for the 4th of July weekend Its always a festive time because all my family is in town and it’s my mom’s birthday on the 6th. I did not have a good time. Again, I stayed in bed most of the time with no social energy. I WANTED to have a good time with my family but it was like I couldn’t. Depression on top of anxiety and a constant headache.

On July 5th when I went back to work after the holiday wknd. I was too anxious to sit at my desk and do my job and thought to myself “I can’t do this.” I told my mom, my therapist and a few trusted friends that I need to go get treatment for my depression TODAY.

I made arrangements to take a leave of absence for work. I told my boss. She prayed for me (laid hands everything and chile) which is funny because she’s a big part of the reason I was so sick. Ho.

Anyway, that day after work my friend “Isabella” came, got me and took me to the hospital to get me an assessment.  I would not have gone without her. I came home that day after work and got in the bed with plans to go the next morning.

Chiiiiile, I had to wait 4 hours to see a clinician. I would have gone home after 20 minutes. I’m so glad Isabella was with me cause I don’t like waiting on a good day and that was a bad day, honey.

I wish I had time to tell you all about the people that I had to wait with. It probably isn’t a good idea to have a bunch of anxious ass people in a quiet ass waiting room (and my phone was dead!!!!!).
I finally got to see a clinician and she asked a bunch of questions and decided that “Intensive Outpatient Therapy (or IOP)” was good for me. I didn’t need to be admitted because I didn’t want to hurt myself or anyone else.
IOP was a group therapy setting Mon-Fri from 9am-12pm. I would also have access to a psychiatrist.
In short, group therapy did not work for me. The room was too bright, no windows, the chairs were uncomfortable and I had nothing in common with the people in group nor was I interested in their problems.
When we would first come in the morning we would do ‘mindful meditation’. We’d sit there and stare for a few minutes. Again, did not work for me. I had to sing a song (usually a hymn) in my head and rock back and forth to not have an anxiety attack.
We would go around and do ‘check-ins’ where we would talk about how we were feeling. On one of my check-ins I needed to talk about how frightened I was that Donald Trump would become POTUS and the therapist stopped me because we couldn’t discuss politics. That was the day I decided I was over ‘group’. If I can’t talk about politics or white people, the sht ain’t therapeutic.
In the mean time, I had seen the resident psychiatrist and he had adjusted my medicine. I was feeling better. I had more (social/mental/emotional) energy. The downside is the medicine has become more expensive but feeling better is worth it.
I told them I needed my walking papers and was going back to work. I have learned that it is important in this broken healthcare system to decide what you are going to do because often times providers are more concerned about money (especially those with mostly medicare/medicaid patients) than your care and aren’t going to necessarily do what is best for you. Them people would have had me in group therapy miserable for as long as my insurance would cover it.
Don’t get me started on insurance, Jesus.
OH! and in the middle of all that I got food poisoning! On Tuesday or Wednesday of group I woke up feeling very anxious but went to group anyway cause therapy is supposed to help right? I’m not going to give yall any details but I ended up going home early from group and was very sick for the rest of the day. I thought I was a goner, yall. I was writing my obituary in my head. I’m dramatic. I THINK I got food poisoning from Papa Johns because that’s what I had to eat the night before.
Thank God for Jehova-Rapha, I don’t look like what I been through.
My mother named this #CarriesLifeMatters probably because I stress myself about the happenings in the world and my vessel was empty so I was useless to the movement. I haven’t been able to do any activism work locally for a long time. I will be back soon though.
There were a few things I had to do and a few decisions I had to make when it came to getting better. One decision was that I was going to stop trying to convince white people and men of racism and patriarchy. I cannot wake everybody up. It isn’t my job and it is stressful because stupid people tend to do that. I’m no longer going back and forth on my social media posts. If you don’t get it, I’m sending you on your merry way. My people are getting killed. I have to use my energy to fix this thing.
I also have to make sure that my physical spaces (namely my bedroom and car) are not cluttered. Lack of motivation comes with depression and I wasn’t motivated to clean my space it really made my anxiety worse.
The adjustment in my medication almost instantly helped my energy and my sleep schedule. Once that I’m used to it (and ain’t broke no more). I’m hopping back on this get healthy train. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been. It’s 100 degrees outside. The devil is a liar. I could not get physically healthy because I was not mentally/emotionally healthy. Knowing is half the battle. I’ll post the #CarrieShrinks plan next week.
Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me a message of encouragement and or prayed for me. I needed it more than you know. Hope I can catch you all individually.
I’m STILL HERE.
-CGW
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10 Things That Tickle Me about the Black Church Experience

This article was inspired by Very Smart Brotha’s “10 Randomly Specific Things to Blackness that Always tickle the Hell out of me” shoutouts to Damon Young and all the brothas at VSB.

I’m told that I first went to church when I was 8 days old. I was born on a Saturday, Lisa (aka momma) rested the next day, but when Sunday came back around her super saved self was in church with a big ass newborn. I have always been chunky and I have always been in church. Since my granddaddy was the ‘passa’ I was probably in church more than the average church goer. The black church was all I knew until my white home girl from middle school had her confirmation and invited me down to the white Catholic Church. I was amazed and confused. (I need a white contributor to the blog, affirmative action)

I have “backslid” to one service per Sunday and since Empire comes on Wednesday, I usually miss bible study. I’m gon watch via streaming faith this afternoon though. Here are 10 things that tickle me about the black church experience.

 

The Ushers  

The ushers are the church’s bouncers and you want to be friends with them. For some reason, their right, (left?) hand is stuck to their back. If church is full when you show up, they will tell somebody to scoot down while looking over their glasses and show you your seat.

No, you can’t sit with your friends/family. You’ll sit where the hell she/he told you to. Sit on your coat/jacket or put it on the floor. You can’t save seats, and put the lap scarf on she/he gave you even if your dress is down to your ankles. Don’t argue.

Get a fan or envelope when they come down the aisle. Cause if they have to come back you will get a side eye.But they will take care of you, I was distraught at my grandaddy’s funeral and the usher wiped my eyes for me WHILE fanning me. They the real MVPs.

Believe it or not, I was an usher back in my day. I quickly realized that I was not humble enough to serve in this capacity and put my white gloves up. I haven’t picked ‘em up since… ain’t going to.

The Musicians 

My daddy and brother are musicians so I got to deal with musician foolery 7 days a week. They may have on a 3 piece suit. They may look like they are about to go hoop at the Y. They will not have the right colors on. They disappear like your baby’s daddy during the sermon (especially if your church has multiple services). They probably played down to the bar last night and will start a groove during offering and forget and slip some secular music in there.

The length of service 

My church at home has combined men/women’s day (see the next one) and we were in church until 2pm that service; in large part because somebody let my mom and her sister (aka my auntie) on program. Make sure you bring a bag of grippos and your soda/juice of choice to service (there’s a store walking distance of every black church in America). You’re in it for the long haul. 10 songs, 2 scriptures, memorials, offering, prayer, 10 more songs, shouting and THEN the sermon, altar call, remarks, and benediction. I usually get a headache mid sermon.

The “Days”   

Children’s Day, Youth Day, Young Adult Day, Men’s Day, Women’s Day, Senior Adults Day is what I grew up with. We called it “Loyalty Month” not sure why. Loyalty month is the only time we saw most of the participants. These hoes ain’t loyal.

Women’s day is coming up. The theme is “Get In Formation”. I’m probably gonna participate just out of curiosity of how we’re going to take Beyonce’s song and put Jesus on it.

The “Days” are a big production, complete with a theme, assessment ($$$) and what colors the ushers and choir are supposed to wear. There’s always one person that isn’t going to buy a new outfit and will either wear their black suit/white suit REGARDLESS of the colors (ask Lisa if she buying something. She ain’t)

The kids/teens 

Somebody’s baby is crying. EVERYBODY turns around to see who it is and why they ain’t took that baby to the nursery. As if there aren’t some grown folks that don’t want to throw a fit from sitting for 3 hours. Lots of churches have a separate service for children now. I’m pissed because I didn’t have a separate service to go to when I was a kid. I had to sit with my auntie (my mom was in the choir) and endure. Spoiled brats.

The teenagers do not want to be there and have no problem showing it.

The “muthas” 

I’m not sure the history of the mothers of the church. But a group of older women are the matriarchs of the congregation. They have their own row at my home church.

Give them the correct title, not “Sister soandso” or Mrs. “soandso” MUTHA soandso.

If your skirt is too short, a mutha will pull you to the side (maybe) and let you know. If you need a perm, a mutha will ask you when you’re getting one (even if you’ve had an afro for a year… happened to Lisa. I DARE you to ask her the story. She’ll go off) No matter how shady she is to you, you have to respond ‘yes ma’am’ and be respectful for no other reason than she’s 100 years old. I think it’s extra points in Heaven when you can stay respectful to Mutha Shadyboots. She always has her head covered in the sanctuary. Dressed impeccably, accept the shoes. She’s been on this world a few decades and is gonna put her sneakers to come to service.

The Deacon Board 

I suppose this makes the Deacons the fathers of the church. They have been serving communion/Lord’s supper since the Emancipation Proclamation but still manage to argue and look confused when 1st Sunday comes around. The pastor/church’s body guards, a few of them are packing. They take the offering to God knows where and count it. Their wife is on the women’s usher board and also participates in serving the communion but knows what she’s doing.

The Kitchen Committee/Culinary Ministry   

On special occasions, such as a ‘day’ or anniversary the church has a meal after service. The church pays for the meat. The members got to bring the side dishes. Everybody takes a to-go plate. The senior citizens eat first.

This is the best seasoned food you’ll ever taste. Ever. There are a dozen cakes/pies to choose from and the tea will put you in a diabetic coma. It’s made with the Holy Ghost and crack cocaine. Give yourself time to nap before evening service.

I think being mean is a requirement to work in the kitchen at church. I also had a short-lived stint in the kitchen. When I was a teenager, they had the youth help in the kitchen/dining room for some event and the saints were so IGNANT the youth refused to ever work in the kitchen again. I think that was the first boycott/protest I organized. They had 16-year-old Carrie ALL THE WAY FCKED UP. I hadn’t been saved that long.

Funerals 

No matter how much of an asshole you were, if you went to a black church, we’ll MAKE UP some fond memories of you to reflect on at the funeral. These services can also be very long (bring a snack). The ushers have backup in the funeral home staff. They have extra supplies (fans, peppermint, bottled water) and you AIN’T getting a program before the family comes in. If the family is large and takes up all the programs, you’re not getting a program. If the family is large and needs more seats, you may have to stand. Do what the usher says. Please. You can find one after service. Somebody left one in the pew.

White Jesus

You may go into a church with black people and a black pastor. There may be a picture/painting of white Jesus somewhere. There isn’t in either of the churches I go to. I’d have them take it down. White supremacy runs deep. If I talk about it any further I’ll start cussing.

 

 

Thus is my list of of 10 things that tickle me about the black church. Honorable Mention entries that I didn’t have energy to cover: The First Lady, The Church Secretary, Offering, Pastors/Church Anniversary, The politicians we see once every few years and Testimony Service.

-CGW

CP Time: Black people always late!

Ok guys, I guess I’m going to be the one to address this. Black people, WE have got to stop being late everywhere and for everything.

Disclaimer:

I am not talking about one particular person, group, organization or event. If this sounds like you, your business or event, then do stuff on time, I guess. God bless your heart and all your parts. Don’t send me any messages please.

Furthermore, this is a WE/US discussion and not a “Y’all/Them” discussion. Timeliness is something I struggle with as well in my personal life and events. If you’ve ever been to one of my events and you’ve had to wait more than 30 minutes for the event to start, your next ticket is on me. I am sorry. We will do better. Thank you for the support. Send me an email for your coupon.

CPT or “CP time” refers to “Colored People’s Time”, an African-American expression that dates back to the early 20th century. It is the idea that black people are late for everything. Even those of us who don’t have a clock-challenge have trained ourselves to be late because we know our peers will be. It crosses generational lines.  In the biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the author notes that MLK and his staff regularly operated on CPT.

In 1972 Ronald Walcott said this about CPT in Black World in 1972:

“CP Time is actually an example of Black people’s effort to evade, frustrate and ridicule the value-reinforcing strictures of punctuality that so well serve this coldly impersonal technological society.”

I get that, and I agree. But the issue for me comes when my money is involved. If we are not going to succumb to the parameters of time, why are we still sticking to expensive ass tickets?

Dustin J. Seibert said it best when talking about Rita Louise Watson Ms. Lauryn Hill. “If you’re getting a fat check to do a thing and you have thousands waiting on you to do that thing, you don’t get to decide when you want to get started to do that thing.”

If I told my supervisor (as Lauryn told her fans in Atlanta) “I don’t’ have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible.” When I show up to work at 11:47am instead of 9am like I’m supposed to, I wouldn’t have a job.

I am one of Lauryn Hill’s biggest fans. That being said, she is trifling. You got the nerve to be late for people that keep you in good standing with the IRS after not releasing a new album since the Great Depression? If my black ass waited until I was rested and liberated to do anything, I’d ALWAYS be at the house. Get your ass on stage L-Boogie. ON TIME.

Let me calm down.

My mother threw a birthday/tenure party for my aunt a few weeks ago. It started at 2pmEST. I showed up at (my mother’s house in Lexington) at 1:45 to help my mom with last minute party stuff. She had prepared games and wanted to wait for everybody to get there to play said games. We did not start games until around 4:30pm. I had somewhere to be in Louisville at 7:30pm. I left Lexington at 6:30pm.

My friend (who has been black longer than me and don’t play that late shxt) had invited me to the Louisville Orchestra’s final performance for the season that same night. It started at 8pm. I told her we could meet at 7:47pm. She said ‘girl, this ain’t a black event, that’s too late’. I was rushing to get to the event. I left Lexington too late fooling with my late ass family/friends.

My black ass showed up a little after 8 and had to walk across about 100 white people to get to my seat in the middle of the aisle. (If you’ve been in Whitney Hall you know what I’m talking about) It was 8:03. Thank GOD they were still making announcements and giving out Thank Yous. (It is BAD musical etiquette to be walking around while the orchestra is playing). The event started at 8, I got there RIGHT AT 8 and EVERYBODY had BEEN in their seat for a minute. My black ass was embarrassed.

“You should be honored by my lateness” – KanYe West

This is my mantra when anybody questions my timeliness. I’m grown and my stay at home game is strong. Be thankful I showed up at all. I had to stop and get rellos. But when we are late you know what we’re saying? We’re saying that you, your event, or whatever is not important enough for me to put forth the effort to be on time.

WE can be on time. It just takes effort. Are you late for work? for court? for the 9:05 showing of a movie? for free before midnight at the club? Right.

I was on time to my mom’s party because I love and respect my mom. I am on time to work (most days, help me Holy Ghost) because I’m broke I like that direct deposit every other Friday.

As a young entrepreneur, the goal is to change the world and make a lil change. I want to be taken seriously and that is hard because of the two strikes against me (black, woman).  I cannot afford to be sloppy when it comes to timeliness. I hate going to events (after I’ve bought a ticket) and waiting an hour or 3 for the show to start. I didn’t buy a ticket to watch you set up. On the flip side, people don’t support my events to sit around for an hour after the advertised show time waiting for the talent to show up. We’ve got to do better, yall.

I’m making a commitment to be on time both at my events and in my personal life. If you aren’t doing better, what are you doing?

 

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Nobody Cares What You Think

Breaking News! This just in. Nobody cares what you think!

But Carrie, there are people in my life that love me and ask for my opinion/advice. Ok, we not talking about them (they don’t care either quiet as kept).

Social media has us confused. Platforms like Facebook have given everyone, from the informed to the ignant their own personal soap box to stand on. Now regular people (and celebrities) are spitting their personal opinion like it matters or stands to benefit anything.

I wouldn’t know how dumb, ill-informed, ignorant and down-right dreadful some people are had we not gotten connected on Facebook. I want my blissful ignorance back!

There are a few events that led up to this blog entry. In no particular order:

  1. White people figuring out Beyoncé is black
  2. That child from American Idol saying she didn’t agree with the ‘gay lifestyle’
  3. A guy on Facebook ranting about transgender people using the bathroom they want and the ‘gay agenda’.
  4. Two train-wrecks named Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks
  5. Judge Selfie Olu Stevens’ Facebook posts and everyone’s support despite the fact that what he did was ignant.

If you’re a fat country black woman with a big ole afro that SANGS (not sings) named La’Porsha Renae, you need the geighs on your side, honey. If you’re a white culture vulture that raps, you need the blacks on your side. Iggy, Banks and Porches could come and give a free concert in my back yard and I’m going to be busy that day. Why? ‘cause they didn’t have since enough not to find a HUSH.

You cannot alienate people then expect them to support you in the form of buying tickets to shows and your music. You don’t agree with my “lifestyle”? That’s your prerogative. I’m not buying any tickets though. You hating on Queen Bey?! You outcho natural mind. Where is everybody’s publicist? Does nobody have a friend that says “No girl, don’t say that out loud.” I do. I have a few friends that make me take down various posts. My delete game strong. Get you a friend or 5 that love you enough to tell you that you said something stupid .

Yall know I have an opinion about EVERYTHING but I also have lot of bills. For example, I don’t think people should have babies with more than one person or before they get married. But I host shows, am a spoken word artist and I need those fornicating mofos to buy some tickets so I can pay LG&E. My opinion of their life doesn’t matter.  I am only hurting myself if I get up on my soap box and alienate a group of people because they sin differently than I do.

Judge Olu Stevens has made national news because he dismissed an all white jury from a criminal case. More diverse juries are a worthy cause and certainly something that needs to be addressed. Judge Stevens and his wife got on Facebook talking shit after mediation between them and commonwealth attorney Tom Wine.

Now, if y’all are making progress and have come to some sort of agreement to work together towards more diverse juries, why get on Facebook and accuse the commonwealth attorney of ‘protecting all-white juries’? That is not what Tom Wine was doing. Sometimes, you have to put the cause above yourself. Judge Stevens isn’t hearing any criminal cases and juries are STILL all white. I don’t know Tom Wine. I do know that he is human and so am I. If you get on Facebook talking shit about me, I’m not going to be inclined to cooperate with you.

There is wide support for Judge Stevens in Louisville. I have not jumped on the bandwagon. I support the cause of more diverse juries. But I believe Olu could have acted differently and is more concerned about Olu than he is about more diverse juries or the community. That being said, I still have the utmost respect for my friends and colleagues who have been fighting for Judge Olu Stevens on the front lines. No need for us to argue (again). Let’s use our energy to better our community.

In the past few months, white people have figured out Beyonce was black and are losing their damn minds. Hell, I didn’t know Beyonce was black until Blue Ivy came out with that afro. I think we must realize that Beyonce has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager. She is a grown ass woman now and her art has evolved. I read pieces I wrote at 17 and I was a completely different person. I wouldn’t expect Beyonce to still be singing “Bills Bills Bills” at this point. Her art has become more conscious. She paid homage to the Black Panthers at this year’s Super Bowl. She snatched everyone’s edges off with her new album “Lemonade” (I haven’t watched yet). White people are in an uproar.

I find it interesting that as long as black women are miserable or bent over, nobody has an issue. But a black woman puts out a meaningful thoughtful piece of art and everyone is up in arms. White people, Beyonce is not here for your consumption. Lemonade was not for you. That does not make it racist. That means it is not for you. You may have lost Beyonce but you still have everybody else. Becky and Piers Morgan, sattdown. If celebrating blackness offends you, that is your problem and not Beyonce’s. Nobody cares what you think.

Finally, anytime I give advice, I’m giving it to myself first. I had to realize that nobody cares what I think/feel at my job. It was a hard lesson to learn because they do ask what I think and how I’m doing but they don’t want me to be honest. Last time I was honest at a meeting, my supervisor looked like she wanted to strangle me and didn’t talk to me for 3 days. Honesty is not always the best policy, chile. I’m not telling you to lie. I’m just telling you to learn to put shut and up together every now and again.

You have a strong opinion about something? Before you take to Facebook, ask yourself what that opinion means about you. Are you worried about a transgender person using the bathroom with you? What does that say about your motives when you go to use the bathroom? When you go to post something on social media, ask yourself. Is this empowering? Will it hurt somebody’s feelings? Is it useful? Would I say this to anyone in person? If you answered ‘No.’ more than 2 times, put your phone down and take a deep breath.

Say it with me, “Nobody cares what I think.”

As always, thank you for reading. Don’t hesitate to share and comment.

-CGW

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#CarrieOn 30-Day Poetry Challenge

April is national poetry month. I don’t write (creatively) as often as I like to so I came up with a 30-Day poetry challenge. We’re going to write 30 poems in 30 days starting April 1. Follow @CarrieAmanda7 on instagram for daily challenge photos. Here is the complete list so you can get prepared. Hashtag: #CarrieOn30

  1. The Beginning of Something: Write a poem about the beginning of something, anything. The beginning of a song, a movie, a relationship, a conversation… etc.
  2. A Haiku: a form of traditional Japanese poetry. 3 lines. Line one has 5 syllables, line two has 7 syllables and line 3  5 syllables. Write a Haiku about something small but powerful
  3. Something that frightens you: I’m very claustrophobic. My poem will be about being trapped in a small space. *Shudder*
  4. A Conversation: a dialogue, a series of tweets, facebook comments, text messages or a face-to-face conversation.
  5. Extreme Weather: describe an earthquake, hurricane, tornado or any other form of extreme weather
  6. Waiting for something: describe the thoughts you have while waiting for something you desire.
  7. An Apology: write an apology that’s owed to you or that you owe to someone
  8. Traveling: away from home or back home, write about what you see on the journey
  9. Three Wishes: you’re Aladdin and you’ve just rubbed the magic lamp. What are your 3 wishes? No rules.
  10. A Tanka: Similar to a Haiku with Japanese orgins but with 5 lines. The syllables are as follows 5-7-5-7-7
  11. Your favorite color: Mine is green. Choose one color if you have multiple faves.
  12. After Death: Write about what you believe happens when we leave our body
  13. A Season: The title of this poem is either “Summer”, “Winter”, “Spring” or Autumn”
  14. Something that makes you angry: What makes you fighting mad?
  15. A first date: Write what goes on in your mind before, during an after a first date. Make it funny.
  16. Giving Directions: Write a poem giving directions on how to do something or how to get somewhere. “Take a left at that light”
  17. Something _______: Write a poem entitled “Something (blank). Something crazy. Something strange. Something new. Anything.
  18. Family: Write about your role in your family. Are you the baby? The first to go to college?
  19. “Imitate” one of your poetic peers: I’m writing my version of “CREAM” by B. Shatter or “Top Ten” by Lance Newman aka “Mr. Spread Love”
  20. A Sonnet: 14 lines and a (not so) strict rhyme scheme: Can be either Italian or English style.
  21. The struggle to wake up or go to sleep: “Why am I awake?” Or.. “UUGHH I don’t wanna get up”
  22. Use every letter in the alphabet at least once: “The quick onyx goblin jumps over the lazy dwarf.”
  23. At least 100 words: Write a poem of at least 100 words in 10 minutes or less using the word “Speed.”
  24. Bars: Write a poem/rap to the beat of a current main stream rap song. The more ratchet, the better.
  25. Erotic: “bow chicka wow wow…”
  26. Use the following words: Exquisite, visit, glisten
  27. An inanimate object that is important to you: I will probably write about my cell phone
  28. An acrostic poem using your first name
  29. Flirting: You see a fine young tender and you’re trying to convince them to go on a date with you
  30. The End: The end of something, anything. End of a movie, end of a relationship, end of a roller coaster.

Special thanks to these sites for the ideas/inspiration:

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/april-is-poetry-month-ready-for-our-poem-a-day-challenge

http://www.creative-writing-now.com/poetry-prompts.html

http://www.creative-writing-now.com/creative-writing-prompts.html

http://www.writingforward.com/category/writing-prompts/poetry-prompts

http://www.poewar.com/poetry-prompts/

 

 

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Self-Care: Benefiting the Activist and The Movement

audre lorde

Activism is a calling. Activism is my calling. My purpose is to fight against white supremacy, racism, classism, homophobia and rape culture (to name a few). I cannot walk in my calling if I am not the best possible Carrie. In order to be the best possible Carrie, I need to sleep, exercise, have me a glass of wine (not in that order) and put my phone on ‘do not disturb’. We must recognize Self-care as caring for the movement. Self-care is a political act.

The day after I went to a Donald Trump rally, I lashed out at a Facebook Friend. He was being funny. (He’s a comedian in real life). I had just dealt with a very traumatic experience and I took it out on him. I had not processed the trauma properly. What I did was completely out of character for me. It was not fair to my friend and I’m glad he called me out on it.

As a black woman from many generations of black women, the idea that I have to be strong 24/7/365 is normal. But this idea isn’t healthy. I am a black woman so yes, I’m a super hero 🙂 but I’m also human and trying to be strong all of the time is detrimental to my physical, emotional and mental health. I need a ‘woo-sah’ moment every once in a while.

Activism is hard work. Fighting for freedom is draining and at times disappointing and we’re doing it in 2016. I cannot imagine what our ancestors went through in 1916. We have to deliberately proactively practice self-care. Sometimes, we may have to choose our personal well-being over the protest, the panel, the debate and the TV.

Here are some “Self-Care/Care for the movement” tips. These tips are for me and by me so all of them may not help you. I hope you are inclined to develop your own list and share your tips with me.

Know Your Role

nah rosaA body has body parts. Everybody cannot be the head. Everybody cannot be the feet. We need hands, hearts, eyes, lungs, a gallbladder.. all ‘at (I got a C in biology) There are things I’m good at that you are bad at. There are things I can’t do that you can.

Take the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 for example, the only two names most of us know from this movement is Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. They have written the history so that we think Rosa just happened to say ‘nah.’ that day because she was tired. What Rosa Parks did was planned and strategic.

In preparation for the boycott, The Women’s Political Counsel had circulated 500 leaflets calling for the boycott of the Montgomery buses. Those boycotting had already arranged the alternatives to using the bus. (They organized a city, and later regional-wide boycott without Facebook or public transportation. Our grandmomma and them was LIT)

You may not be the 2016 MLK or Rosa Parks. You may be Ralph Abernathy, you may be Claudette Colvin, or you may be the one passing out the flyers or driving the church van so your homies can get to work. I would’ve been the one designing the flyers and organizing some kids to pass them out. I certainly would not have been Rosa. I’m not going to jail for you nggas.

Know your role because nobody can do it better than you. There is less anxiety and stress when you’re doing something you do well. Perform in your role even if it means you may not be in front of a camera or publicly recognized. You must love the cause more than you love your fame/reputation. But that’s another blog for a different day.

Take time to grieve

“The condition of black life is mourning.”

In Judaism, Shiva is the seven days after the loved one’s funeral. The family of the deceased gathers at home to mourn and pray. They don’t go to work or participate in normal daily activities for a week.

We forget to mourn. We forget to cry. With so many of our brothers and sisters being murdered and not seeing justice, we do not take the time to mourn before we get angry and political. We don’t even have the time. But ee MUST take the time.

Grieving is a deeply personal and necessary process. Everyone has to do it their own way. In December, 2 of my childhood friends were shot and killed within a week of each other. I beat myself up for still crying and being angry; but it’s only been a matter of months and my feelings are justified. Daniel. Alicia. Jamaal. Gyasi. All murdered childhood friends and nobody has been to jail about it. That pisses me off.

Cry. Scream. Pour out some liquor. Put one in the air in their honor. But do what you must to grieve/mourn.

Choose your battles wisely

You cannot educate everybody all of the time. Sometimes you have to say “God Bless You” and move on. When people disagree on my Facebook posts, it makes me very anxious. At times, it is an instant anxiety attack. For this reason, I cannot always debate/educate or engage. I have to force myself to leave that thing alone sometimes.

Last week I posted an article about Ciara and Russell Wilson getting engaged I (jokingly) said “Ladies, see what ‘click clank’ gets you?” A few of my friends (who are sleeping with men who aren’t going to marry them) got offended. It was Friday night and I was at the bar having a good time. I finally said “No standards. No walls. I love you anyhow.” and left it at that. I basically said that to say I’m not going to change my views, I’m not going to judge you and I’m done arguing about it.

I’m also not going to every protest, every event, and every community meeting or participating on every panel. I’m just not always available. We must learn that ‘No.’ is a complete sentence that needs no further explanation.

Unplug

unpluhFor a couple of weeks, I wouldn’t get on Facebook from 8am-8pm. My mind was clearer and I was less anxious. My jobs require I get on social media, but I think I’m going to start scheduling my social media messages and limiting personal use of FB to an hour a day tops.

Researchers have studies the effects of social media on mental health. Check this article out.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-anxiety-of-facebook/

Unplugging also means not checking text messages and emails. The #BusinessHours rule means that if you hit me up before or after a certain time (9am-9pm) it will get handled the following business day.

Self-care means not being available 24/7. If you give people an inch, they will take a mile. I have had to stop people from talking “business” with me while I’m at the bar trying to have a good time. Let’s take a shot (of water, cause my momma reading) instead.

Get your house in order

sarah palinYou cannot change the world if you cannot get a grip on your house! (See: Sarah Palin’s kids) It is my belief that your spouse, children, bills and legal affairs must be in order before you can be an activist. This applies to self-care because you must be able to come home and find solace from this crazy world. If your kids are hungry and you ain’t had sex with your wife/husband in months you cannot do this.

Also, I believe if you don’t have a heart for your loved ones, you don’t have an activist’s heart. Activism is largely fighting for the rights of strangers. How much more should we work for our loved ones? We’ve got to make sure we have the time, money, resources and connections necessary for activism. How you trying fight for our rights without a ride to the revolution? Amen lights.

Go down to the church

(This may not apply to you if you are not religious. I’m an unapologetic every-Sunday-church-going Christian.)

God called me to activism. God has kept me safe in spite of myself. My activism is tied up in my Christianity. I need a weekly reminder that God is still on the throne and to shake my dreads to some gospel music. (*sings and sways* I’m GLAAAD TO BE IN THE SERVICE.) I also need to be around my brothers and sisters in Christ. The sense of community is healing. The hugs and kisses help. Sometimes you just need a church mother to suffocate you with her bosom. More often you need to be reminded of your role in the shadow of the cross and that God is still on the throne. *Runs*

Have Fun

james baldwinIt would behoove you to loosen up, beloved. Take time to chill with your loved ones, go dance. Go to the movies. Do something you like. Unwind. Wind down. Don’t talk about the struggle. No activists allowed. No hotep-ing. Play spades, eat good food. Do it around people you love. I feel much better after I’m with my friends/family. My friends and I like Kart Kountry. Go-karts, arcarde, mini-golf… be the oldest ones in there knocking the kids down. SMH. Find something fun… grab your best friends and do it often.

These are my 7 Self-Care Tips. I hope they help you and again inspire you to develop and share your own list.

-CGW

 

 

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I went to a Donald Trump rally

When I learned Donald Trump was running for President, I was entertained. I was as entertained and had the same smirk on my face when Herman Cain was running for office. As Trump has moved to the forefront of the GOP races, I am no longer entertained and have no smirk on my face. I’m terrified.

When I heard he was coming to Louisville, I knew that I had to do something. I talk a lot. I talk loudly. But Donald Trump in my city required some walking and not talking. After talking with some of my fellow freedom fighters, I decided that I would go to Trump’s rally with my phone in hand and film everything. I think in the fight for freedom, it is important that everyone knows their skills and uses them to film the movement. Journalism is my first love. Today, I was a journalist. I also have a passion for young people and the majority of the protesters were high school age so I went with protecting them in mind. So, that’s why my black ass went to a Donald Trump rally.

I parked my car in Old Louisville so I wouldn’t have to pay to park and caught the TARC the rest of the way to the convention center. I never ride the TARC/public transportation so… I put a $20 bill in the machine and expected change back (yea, dumb on my part but hey.. i figure if a machine will take bills, it’ll give them). The TARC driver told me she saw me put a $1 bill in shrugged and said ‘We don’t give change.’ We went back and forth. She acted like my $20 was no big deal and I wanted to scratch her eyes out but I didn’t. I stayed calm. God is merciful. The other passengers on the bus were very helpful and told me to just call the hotline and they’ll check the machine and give me my money back once they see a $20 bill in there. What did we learn… Don’t put a $20 in the TARC and don’t end up in jail about $20.

Once I got to the Convention center the line was around the block. Once we got to 4th and Jefferson, there was a group of protesters across the street. (I’m going to add photos and videos later.. I’m trying to get this all out while its fresh in my mind) Some signs said “Black Lives Matter” I heard someone say “He doesn’t even have anything to do with that…”

First thing I noticed, A LOT of people in line had on University of Kentucky paraphernalia.  LESS (but a good number) people had on University of Louisville ‘nailia stuff too. As a UofL alum and fan, we are going to deduce that the UofL fans were just stopping by the rally before the game and that the UK fans crazy.

The lady in front of me in line struck up a conversation with me. She was an older white lady so I was on the defensive. Turns out she just came cause she was curious and was not a Trump supporter. She told me she graduated from UofL (my alma mater) in 1971 with an MBA and was the only woman in her class. Had she not been my elder I would’ve said “YAAASSSSBIIITTTCHH” but I didn’t. Cause I’m respectful.

We had to walk through metal detectors to get in, empty our pockets, and have our bags looked through.

The room the rally was in was large and it was BARELY half full. A lot of people in the city reserved tickets and didn’t show up on purpose to show Trump he ain’t welcome in these parts. I believe if there were actual seats in the room, it would’ve shown how many people WEREN’T there a little better.

Lots of white people of ALL ages in the room I was surprised to see so many YOUNG white people for Trump. I saw less than 10 other black people, one Latino, and a guy from the middle east. I don’t know if they were supporters or not. Outside the rally after I was kicked out (more on that later), I saw a Jewish family (the men had on yamakas) who were obviously for Trump because they had on his T-shirts. So like I said, Lots of white people.

Young white guys were carrying a sign, a HUGE sign that said “Build the Wall.”

An older white guy had on a shirt with Hillary Clinton’s picture on it that said “Life’s a bitch so don’t elect one for president”

Another white guy had on a shirt that said “Keep Calm and Carry Guns”

Right before Donald Trump got on stage, I noticed a young white guy with “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his shirt and “You remind me of Hitler” on the front of his shirt. I gave him the thumbs up and asked to take his picture. Once Trump got on stage, he started yelling “BLACK LIVES MATTER, TRUMP IS A FASCIST”. Another guy came up to him and was GOING OFF. He was beet red and I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears. I walked up and stood between him and “BLM” (never caught his name). Beet Red’s friend got him to walk away. Another guy and I stood on either side of BLM cause he was gon get his ass whooped.

The cops came up to BLM and said stop yelling. So he stopped yelling, but he kept saying. “Black Lives Matter. Trump is a Fascist.” loud enough so everybody could hear. Finally, secret service came and grabbed him and told him to leave. I started filming because had I not, they would’ve gotten too physical with him. Secret Service told me to leave as well. Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by 3 cops and the secret service… all white men.

I repeatedly asked why I had to leave and if filming was against the rules. I also said “don’t fxcking touch me.” They didn’t. The cop told me that if secret service told me to leave and I didn’t then it was criminal trespassing. BLM told them that we weren’t together. We were both escorted out of the room, down stairs and onto the street by Secret Service.

I went back to 4th and Jefferson where the protesters were and filmed them some more. I had a good conversation with an older white gentlemen who asked us why Trump’s comments on Muslims were racist since Muslim wasn’t a race. He argued that Muslims had the most terrorists of any religion. I appreciate these moments because I got to engage with someone whose views are different than mine.

By the time the rally was over and people started coming out, all the protesters went down to the entrance of the rally. On one side of the street, people against Trump, on the other side of the street people for Trump. The cops were standing in the middle of the street facing the against crowd which was twice as big as and a thousand times as diverse the for Trump crowd. This was the most powerful, scariest time of the day

The for crowd started chanting “Get a job.”

The against crowd started chanting “Black Lives Matter”

The for crowd, at the same time chanted “Cops Lives Matter” then “All Lives Matter.”

It got heated, so we got the crowd to move down the street to 4th and Jefferson, Trump supporters followed that crowd and it got mixed up. But it was just a lot of yelling back and forth. A line of us stood between the crowds.

By the time I left the scene, the against trump crowd had 4th street blocked at Jefferson. I left because I was cold and my phone was dying, I didn’t want to be around that many cops and that many white people with no phone.

One last thing to note, most of the people that were selling Trump’s campaign stuff (T-shirts, pins, hats, signs) on the street were young and black. Scary.

And that is my Trump rally story. It was way more traumatic than I thought it would be and I’m definitely going to have to do some self-care. I’ll add photos/videos as i figure out how to transfer them from my phone.

Thank you for reading. Register to vote. http://www.dmv.org. We cannot let this man in the white house.

-CGW

 

 

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The Nerve to Multi-Task

What Steve Harvey did in the Miss Universe pageant was funny, hilarious to me. Social media of course exploded at his Sunday evening blunder. This morning, a Texas grand jury decided not to indict anyone in the death of Sandra Bland. Her death was tragic, and this latest injustice angered me.

On social media, I saw a couple of posts sharing Sandy’s story with this sentiment “yall laughing about Steve Harvey, but what about Sandra?!” I rolled my eyes. My argument is this, I (we as black people) can focus on more than one thing at a time.

The media’s silence on Sandra and the victims of Daniel Holtzclaw is certainly an issue and we as consumers of media should address that. But as individuals, we have no right to attack our brothers and sisters for having the nerve to search for a laugh or some relief in chronic tragedy.

Sandra Bland’s story hits home to me because of the similarities between her and myself. A 20 something year old black woman with dreads who has the nerve to speak out against injustice and forgot to use her turn signal and that terrifies me. The only difference between Sandra and I is that I’ve been fortunate to interact with (mostly) respectful cops and have never been in police custody.

I don’t know Sandra personally, but I think that she would want us to continue to have fun and smile instead of walking around with our fists raised, miserable and refusing to enjoy life 24/7. If I am a victim of police brutality or violence, my funeral better be the party of the century. I’m talking a DJ, disco ball, confetti, twerking, line dancing, a buffet, an open bar and all the trees you can smoke. (Yall better cry and climb on top of the casket at the visitation though. I WANT DRAMA. )

Since I’m nervous every time I drive my Volkswagen Beetle and I’m terrified every time a cop passes me, I think I have the right to laugh when something is funny. Laughter is relief from a very dark world. Laughter is good medicine and if we have something to laugh at, we are brought together. It’s even better if it’s at Steve Harvey’s expense (Joking. I love Steve).

Something funny on Facebook may be the only time I interact with some of my white friends because they may not be able to relate to the story I post about Sandra Bland, or they may just want to learn and choose not comment. It is important to me to interact with them and this week, a cat falling off of a table may be the source of that.

Laughing at James Wright’s review of Patti’s pies and traveling to the Walmart in the next state to purchase two myself was fun. We met up at my homegirl’s house and made our own Instagram/snapchats about Patti Labelle’s amazing pies. Everyone in the room was black, college educated and conscious. But we sang Patti Labelle at the top of our lungs while eating pie that night. It was a Wednesday so we also watched Empire.

You may have watched a documentary on Fred Hampton that night and ate a pie from the local black owned bakery while wearing and 12 pound ankh around your neck and burning incense, that doesn’t mean you are better than us.

Friday night I went to the club with one of my homegirls, had too many cranberry and vodkas and rapped along to Lil Wayne and Boosie. I had a trying week at work and needed to wind down. Saturday morning, I went to Books and Breakfast; a program I believe will grow into something reminiscent of the Black Panther’s Free Breakfast program. It was started in Ferguson as a response to the murder of Mike Brown. We talked about Rosa Parks and the organizing strategies used in the resulting Bus boycott.

I can do both. I can have fun. I can be conscious and positively impact my community as well. God blessed us with the mental capacity (and swag) to do both. He knew we’d need it as brown people in a system of white supremacy.

I write this as a black woman whose every activity is policed and politicized. From my hair style, to the music I listen to, car I drive and who I chose to be in a relationship with, there will be a meme made about my personal choices attacking ALL black women and posted on social media. It’s exhausting. I want someone to get to know ME before forming an opinion about my character based on the fact I don’t cook or that I have natural hair or that I’m waiting until marriage. I want to be able to twerk to Webbie and not be called a ‘thot’. I want to enjoy the benefits of this corporate job and not be called a sell-out. I want all yall niggas to have several seats.

A few weeks ago, I walked by the casket of a guy I grew up with, a victim to gun violence. This summer I kneeled by a young black boy who had just got shot a couple of doors down from my house before I knew the bullets were done flying. Someone I looked up to was murdered on my birthday a couple of years ago and they still don’t know who killed her.

So yes, I’m going to laugh at Steve Harvey and James Wright. I’m going to watch Empire, Scandal, HTGAWM and The Wiz over and over and over. I’m going to laugh as my friends send me memes of Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin beef. I’m gon smoke a little something and drink too on Friday night, because I’m not going to cry more than I laugh.

Have the nerve to enjoy the good times because the bad times are easier to find and happen more often. Be too busy enjoying YOUR OWN life to form an opinion about anybody else’s. Be authentically and unapologetically you. Enjoy whatever the hell you want to enjoy. Value balance. Play as much as you work. Cry if you need to but be sure and find a laugh as well. Keep saying their names. Keep saying Sandra. Keep saying Trayvon. Mike. Oscar. John. Tamir. Rekia. Alicia. Gyasi. Jamaal. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than for finding some relief!

AND Tell ‘em I said kiss the south side of my black…

-CGW

 

 

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