Even Glow Sticks Break

“Her favorite thing to say, don’t worry I got it.” Neyo, Miss Independent
(That’s likely not her favorite thing to say. Try again. )

“You never ask for anything.”
Translation: You got it, you don’t need anything!
(Wrong again, everyone needs something at some time.)

She’s Self-Sufficient, Reliable, Responsible, a Perfectionist, Uber-Successful, Fearless. Did I mention self sufficient!
She’s the quintessential “Strong Black Woman”
(Call it what you want but it’s exhausting AF,cuz…)

The Strong Black Woman is every Black woman, some Black women, and no Black woman. She’s a mythical figure just like her superhero status. She’s a combination of the mule, the woman who has to work twice as hard to get 1/2 the success because she’s Black and female, the caped crusader, and a dope ass chica. She’s a role model modeled after roles past. She’s supposed to be the the antithesis of the Welfare Queen, the skeezer, or your trifling ass cousin who always needs to borrow money, but has the best Peruvian Wave bundles with the flawless closure. The a Strong Black Woman is rabbit in the hat magic, not Black girl magic! Hocus pocus.

Reality is better than fiction. She is strong and weak. She is independent and reliant, responsible and irresponsible, perfection at moments and mediocre at others, fearless and fearful. She is not one thing. She is all the things. Her humanity makes her better than any leotard clad superhero.

And contrary to popular belief, sometimes she does…Need something.

“I get by with a little help from my friends“-The Beatles

Sometimes we need something, someone. Sometimes we need someone other than our mother to ask us how we are doing. Chances are we are checking up on and checking for, many more people who just assume that we’re good because we are presumed superheroes without capes. The fact is that, we aren’t invisible, we can’t walk through walls, don’t fly, and can’t freeze people. We don’t have special powers that give us any more time in a day to accomplish something worthwhile.

Sometimes we need someone to recognize that being the person that gives and is available to, and is often called upon by, other people all the time, and never asks for it to be reciprocated struggles sometimes. We struggle with exhaustion and with loneliness. Very rarely do people reach out to us, check on us, ask us what we might need. And by nature we just aren’t the type to ask, but instead start processing how to get what we need before the need arises. But it’s just simply decent to check on folks who check on you.

It takes a lot of time and energy and internal focus to be this responsible. Yet it is expected of us like its simple. We are expected to do well, when mediocrity is accepted from others. We are expected to put in more effort, work ourselves until exhaustion, and risk our lives and health. And sadly, we get used to it. We are used to validating, not receiving validation, so we don’t broadcast our successes. Be clear, validation isn’t the goal. Most of our validation, 95%, comes from the actual accomplishment of the goal. But instead of calling us strong, call us successful, smart, accomplished. High five us for that awesome job. Stop feuling narcissists, another topic for another day, and show up for the folks who show up for you!

Don’t check on me because I’m your strong friend… just do it because you care. Let me know you see me. No fanfare needed, just a lil …

“I’m good all by myself… but ” Neyo

Yes, mostly I’m good. Mostly I’m good and I’m a movement. I get shit done. I get shit done in grand style. I set and break the curve. All that. But every once and awhile I need some help… and believe me as much as you think I don’t, I wish I didn’t. Eventually you start to believe you really are Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Miss Indie Pendant. But alas, superheroes are fictional.

So we have to learn to accept help. We have to be open to it, unashamed about needing help, and willing to embrace it fully and completely as a gift to my forward progress. Needing support doesn’t make us weak or incapable. Accepting help doesn’t make us needy or dependent. Realizing that despite our search for perfection, we will always fall short, and we are sent help mates the same way we are sent as help mates is imperative to our success. Alot of chess pieces surround the Queen so she in turn can do her job. She doesn’t act alone! She truly gets by with a little help from her friends…

As great as you are solo, imagine how much greater you could be with the right people in your corner…” I’m a force when we’re together!

May the force be with you! Glow baby…

It Ain’t About HER it’s about US

I want to shake some of y’all until you get brain damage, because at least then there will be an excuse for you being so DAMN ridiculous. You have a conspiracy theory about everything… but when it comes to negative shit about Black women, you will ride that shit ’til the wheels fall off. It doesn’t have to be even mildly rooted in fact, because we are the poster children of oppression. We are sitting at the intersection of race, sex, and class and we never get the right of way.

In America, what is White, what is male, and what is wealthy is given absolute power. In order to maintain this power, wealthy White America has set up these systems that keep anyone different from them at a disadvantage and they are able to get others (non wealthy Whites) to buy into it by convincing them to fear and ultimately hate those differences. Black men are the tools they use to effectuate these systems, by weakening them financially and socially, imprisoning them and miseducating them. Black women threaten their power and the objects of their protection, White women, because we make their dicks hard. By robbing us of our protectors, our men, we are left to fight alone.

And fight we have! In the past 100 years, no group has improved its standing financially, socially, and educationally more than Black women. Black woman owned businesses have increased over 200%; we are earning graduate degrees at two times the rate of others; and although we still only make 60 cent to the dollar of White men, we continue to increase our numbers in politics, higher education positions, and management positions- especially in companies that value diversity and innovation.

But as we have climbed, we simply do not gather the support of our own and don’t receive as much support as Black men, who we often lead the army in protecting. It’s a very perplexing fact. The numbers of Black men and Black women supporting R. Kelly and Bill Cosby was expected, and sadly not alarming, even after hearing of the numerous Black girl children Kelly had violated. When Black women are violated, it’s barely reported and barely shared. Over the past year hundreds of young Black girls have gone missing in major US cities, most of us can’t name one. Yet we still see the graphics of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant and the many other young Black men killed by police officers on their birthdays and the anniversaries of their death years later. All these children, male and female, deserve to have us #saytheirname. But sadly, Black female victims rarely get that same support.

Enter Kamala Harris.

On January 21, 2019, Senator Kamala Harris announced her 2020 Presidential bid. The American machine churned quickly and turned out a myriad of articles misquoting facts and painting her as inadequate for the position. She was blamed and labeled non-progressive based on prior positions as District Attorney of San Francisco (where the prison population decreased by 2011) and Attorney General of California, and the increase in the prison population in that State during her tenure.

The Two Faces of Kamala Harris – Jacobinmag.com

Kamal Harris law-and-order past threatens progressive 2020 bid – The Washington Post

Kamala Harris Hopes You’ll Forget Her Record as a Drug Warrior and Draconian Prosecutor -Reason.com

Extramarital affair with Kamala Harris? Former San Francisco mayor, 84, admits it happened -FoxNews

Kamala Harris: Criminal justice reformer, or defender of the status quo? The record is mixedPolitifact

Kamala Harris has been Tough in Black People-Not in Crime – Afropunk.com

It was to be expected, Malcolm X told us! But sadly, we are victims of our own ignorance. The Miseducation of the Negro is real and we still allow it. So shortly thereafter, Black media sites started to regurgitate these articles, when it was clear their authors skipped American Government 101 and don’t even know what District Attorneys and Attorney Generals do. One of the most heinous was the Afropunk article written by a Black man, which stated, “It is clear that Kamala Harris is not for the people. She is for the American empire. Don’t let her identity as a Black woman, or her identity as an AKA, or her status as an alumna from Howard University fool you into thinking she is actually for us: Kamala don’t give a fuck about you niggas.

It was an article full of generalizations that failed to look deeper into her role as DA and AG, the responsibilities of those roles, the system she inherited, her actual numbers, and the circumstances surrounding the increase in violent crimes and the rate of recidivism in California. It also generalized her stance on certain issues without an analysis into why she took those positions. Her record is not without contradiction and questionable decisions, but to imply she doesn’t care about Black people is asinine and without merit… and this from a Black man. As Natalie Hopkinson, a professor at Howard University stated, “A lot of black men are just not hearing what black women are saying because they are too busy complaining about their own situation.” We are not your enemy bruh!

As a black woman, the decision to love yourself just as you are is a radical act -Bethanee Bryant

The reason why some Black women have given Harris their vote until she does something to lose it, is because she stands at a disadvantage NO ONE but us will ever understand. She has her loyalty to Black men questioned. She has her Blackness questioned. She has her affiliations with anything historically and authentically Black questioned. She has her sexual and relationship choices questioned. She has her heritage questioned. Only because she is an attractive light skinned woman has she yet to have her looks questioned, and we understand that shit better than anyone. So we choose to stand by her, because standing by her is standing by ourselves. And this time, no matter how much major media attempts to lessen her and Black men attempt to silence her, Black women will support her, even if she doesn’t get our vote. We are never allowed to make mistakes, make wrong choices, or choose ourselves without being labeled traitors to the culture. We birth the culture, hold it in our womb, so miss us with all that!

We are living our best lives, and we give a fuck about y’all, but we ain’t going back and forth with you niggas!

#gangganggang

“But the dictionary doesn’t know the meaning of friends…”

Listen, if you don’t have one, you need to get one… #gang. It’s a distinct thing, it’s both homogenous and heterogeneous. Yin and yang. Alike and different. But every member, in their own unique way, is dope as ABSOLUTE FUCK! And y’all just accept each other the way you come.

The one who leaves early, really ain’t tryna talk shit and take shots all night, but they come to support each and every time. They have a good word and a better hug for you, and just their presence makes you smile. That’s gang!

The one who watches their liquor intake, gets up to walk it off, maintains at least five swizzles in the sobriety scale at all times, cuz if they stray too far off path, all hell breaks loose and bad decisions are abound. That’s gang.

The nurturer, making sure everyone is okay. Checks on you like you are the only one there, but has a pulse on everyone. That’s gang.

The turn up tester, checking pulses, but for all signs of life. This one is gonna check in by yelling at you to get your ass in gear and take the party up several notches, cus they said so. That’s gang.

The fun time. This one comes in laughing and hugging and leaves out laughing and grabbing booty. The life of the party for sure. “A party ain’t a party til its ran all through”… that’s gang!

The one always in the know. Knows you, and you, and you and your personal story, because the rest of us just don’t remember you. But this one does, and went to summer camp with your sister and made out with your brother on a choir trip. Yep, they keep us informed. That’s gang.

The chill artsy one. Has a good conversation on hand at all times, and might just throw in something real random … “The Gardens of Nebuchadnezzar” … but cuz the whole gang got great SAT scores and took some college level history, you got a little something to add to the convo even after 4 shots. That’s gang!

The observer. Always watching, taking it all in. Throw on the right song and this one gotta bop to it, but with eyes closed, cuz they need a little personal meditation even during gang time. That’s gang.

The shot caller. Shots, shots, shots, shots…. don’t play, cuz this one will call you out on your inability to follow the rules, and you will never live it down. Take a shot of something… water, wheatgrass, or Patron, your pick, but a shot you must take. That’s gang.

Ready to mingle… single, well perhaps… but this one is trying get on, you or somebody else. That’s gang.

Single… well just single. That’s gang too. Gangs are philanthropic on occasion, open membership drives and such!

Whatever their flavor, they are real friends to savor! Get you some sistafriends and menfriends who hold you down, keep you safe, open their hearts and homes to you, who couldn’t be any more family unless you shared DNA, and who call you on your shit with love and support! No code-switching necessary, cuz we set the code! That’s gang … “ones you can depend on!”