Poem for South African Women by June Jordan

Commemoration of the 40,000 women and children who, 
August 9, 1956, presented themselves in bodily protest against 
the “dompass” in the capital of apartheid. Presented at The 
United Nations, August 9, 1978.

 

Read the poem here.

 

And in case you think the Pass Laws went away at the end of apartheid, here’s a 2016 article on the use of a similar ID card that represents a slight reworking of the oppression of yesteryears.

The police is unjust, and they cause harm in communities and to individuals already punishingly neglected or preyed upon by other social, political and economic systems. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, and we have to keep going, keep fighting.

Thank Black People for Goodness: The Terrell Show

Thank black people for goodness in the world. They don’t owe it to anyone, have to rise against widespread structural/systemic and white supremacist odds to achieve it, too often aren’t paid enough or at all for it, but they still give goodness abundantly. The rest of us are just blessed to know that.

 

Terrell Grice is a YouTube creator who often invites extraordinarily talented singers to play song association. The webisodes are always full of joy, laughter and profound love. Terrell and guests talk about aspirations, faith, mental health, parenthood, and professional goals & setbacks, and they do so with wonderful care and respect, and good fun!

 

These are some of my favorite episodes.

Evvie McKinney (Finish the Lyrics) Pt 1 highlights for me include her buttery, gorgeous accent, her Mary J. Blige styling homage, and the way she emotes the lyrics she’s singing, and “y’all wait!”

“A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke 17:16-18:20

Evvie McKinney Pt 2 highlights: “Ariana need her check too, don’t come for her check too”, and the sweetest “I will”s I’ve ever heard in my life, “I repent”, “You Better Click!”

“Proud Mary” by Tina Turner 6:57-8:04

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston 10:00-11:22

“Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin 17:02-18:41

Candice Boyd highlights: she has the cutest reactions to Terrell loving her song styling, “when you have a grateful heart and you’re humble, God will take you far.” , “Try again, hoe!”, “I appreciate organic sh*t!”, “He didn’t do nothing, I’m stupid in love right now, cos I’m like if he do something, Imma act crazy”, “I beat that b*tch with a bat, I had to”, “[Tweet] was the idol dark-skinned girl for me growing up, you know [….] it was like her, Kelly Rowland, you know, uhh, some b*tches depending how the light look” (stan a queen with this audacity and range)

“So Gone” by Monica 4:36-4:55

“I Get So Lonely” by Janet Jackson 5:08-5:44

“Stupid” by Toni Braxton 6:11-6:59

Brand New by Jazmine Sullivan 9:27-10:25

“Power in the Blood” 11:15-11:37

“I Need Thee Every Hour” 11:58-12:48

“Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill 19:07-19:51

“Love” by Keyshia Cole 19:52-20:52

“Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder 22:25-22:53

Terrell highlights: “That ain’t how it work, boo”, “when you can’t buy the flavored ones, you just put gummy bears in it”, “A fool got lost”, “Can’t nothing separate you from the Love”, “This is why I stay in my bed and mind my business on Friday nights, cos the enemy comes in disguise”

Inayah Lamis highlights: oil change jingle freestyle, her tongue pops, the way she calls Terrell “friend”, her “Chain Hang Low Remix”, “I don’t know the words, same as the first verse”, “wait a minute, I’m too tough for this sh*t!”, “I had to really get into myself, and start operating in my purpose, in order to get what was always mine anyway”, and her entire Big Freedia story

“How Did You Get Here Remix” by Deborah Cox 6:08-6:32

“More than I Can Bear” by God’s Property, Kirk Franklin 13:19-13:52

“Candy Rain Remix” freestyle by Inayah Lamis 23:00-24:00

Terrell highlights: “buzz her just for that”, “your throat is, practiced”, “do you have a glorified background?”, “balance in life: Jesus, titties”, “if you want to be on top, you gotta beat everybody that has sacrificed something, you have to sacrifice more than everybody else, to be on top”

Inayah Lamis (Bonus), there’s no highlight because this whole video is a highlight! 4:45-5:17 is a LIFE LESSON-UH! PERIODT! For the full impact watch 2:53-5:26. (I had a similar turning point in the past, and I could not have worded it better. It was beautiful and righteous just to hear her say what’s true.)

bonus, buy black-owned and vegan-approved! “Don’t Do The Beef”

click here to order yours!

Some sort of sentence

She stopped staring at me when she washes her hands and she started facing the wall to brush her hair. 

-me

 

Some sort of poem 2

You’re still tonight.

I look over my shoulder to watch your stomach rise and fall.

I roll over and put my hand under yours, counting the beats.

You start to snore and I can close my eyes.

-me

Some sort of poem

This can mean whatever you want it to mean. I wrote this about somebody special. Welcome to my crowded mind.

We’re on a plane
There’s been turbulence
We’ve lost someone in the crash

Thank you
You put my mask on
And here we are
Up in the air again
Passing through the clouds

I’m opening the window
I’m looking down
And I can’t believe how far we’ve come

-me

ps. I’m glad we’re on the same plane.

From The Guardian Interview with Paul Butler, Author of “Chokehold: Policing Black Men” (Aug 11, 2017)

“The jury took less than 10 minutes to acquit me. But the experience made a man out of me. It made a black man out of me.”

-Paul Butler on his experience getting arrested, read the whole interview here.

To buy a copy of Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler, find a black-owned bookstore online here

From Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele

How easy it is to ignite human bias. Nothing special about the perpetrator or the victim is required. Ordinary human functioning–maintaining one’s self-esteem–is enough.

Poetry Ptuesdy: The Crazy Woman by Gwendolyn Brooks

I shall not sing a May song.

A May song should be gay.

I’ll wait until November

And sing a song of gray.

I’ll wait until November.

That is the time for me.

I’ll go out in the frosty dark

And sing most terribly.

And all the little people

Will stare at me and say,

“That is the Crazy Woman

Who would not sing in May.

Dear Body

This post is brought to you by, having a think in the bath over a chat with a friend.

Dear Parts, thank you all for being here today.

Dear Grey, don’t worry, you can stay
Dear Teeth, thank you all for staying, despite my misspent youth neglecting your care. I’m sorry but I’ve made the conscious decision to never whiten you guys. I don’t think societal obsession with signaling youth is worth the increased sensitivity because I enjoy eating pain-free a lot more than I enjoy projecting the image of youthfulness. Also sorry I don’t floss as much as I told the hygienist I did.
Dear Feet, thank you for holding me up despite my gross inattention insisting that you are adequately washed by my doing the shuffle in the shower and criminally under moisturizing youse
Which brings us to: Dear Callous, thank you for over-engineering the protection of my feetses (seriously, growing an armor of hardened flesh? that’s metal af)
Dear Hair Here, chill, hang out, whatever; ya don’t bother me and I won’t bother ya
Same for you, Hair Over Here
Dear Muscles, thank you for being strong and carrying all our weight
Dear Soft Bits, I guess thank you for being here too as I’ve never succeeded in evicting you all once you moved in
Dear Scars, sorry I am clumsy and move inexplicably fast and slow at the same time. Thank you for forming over my very vulnerable insides so germs can’t get in and blood doesn’t get out.

Dear Body, thank you for being here and being healthy. I didn’t have to buy you and I don’t have to buy you any upgrades. I pay you nothing and you show up everyday to do the work, around the clock. You are a triumph of engineering. I love you. Now let’s go enjoy some apple galette made by the one Dear Brain was smart enough to marry!

Watch “Kukuwa African Dance – Feel Good Friday 15 min” on YouTube

A genuine gem, pure joy to witness.

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