That Hotep Over There

So I preface this with… if you don’t do any of these things, this IS NOT about you. But be clear, I speak for more than just myself. Trust and believe I do. And what will not happen on my watch is that Black women’s experiences will be negated or silenced because you read about your raggedy self, you take offense, and in the name of Black solidarity or Black love you dare try to bully us out of our opinion. It won’t work. We are sick of the self righteous and sanctimonious Black dudes who think it’s their place to put us in our place, but simultaneously preach Black love and solidarity. The hoteps are amongst us. But you can’t have it both ways.

If, however, you want to learn, grow, be better, or just understand us with more clarity… carry on.

I’m a believer that often people can better see through example, they can place themselves in the proverbial shoes of the actor to see the error of their ways. Let’s go with that.

So Black women are notoriously and consistently going to bat for Black men… and many times we get the short end of the support stick in return. We aren’t built up in the way we lay down our loyalty, lives, name, and livelihood for Black men, brick by brick. We sing their praises. We keep ten toes down to fight for and with them. We say their names louder and with more fight in our breath than we hear the names of our fallen sisters. Black Lives Matter, founded by three Black women, is often used in exclusion of the Black women who have been soldiers in the front lines. We can’t continue to love Black men unconditionally when we can’t even feel a portion of empathy or compassion back. We can’t continue to break our backs carrying the stronger of us upon it… we aren’t your mule.

So here are our demands.

1. Dead the Patriarchy

So Cardi B and Megan The Stallion were the talk of the Town of Internet, USA when they released WAP. And while White conservatives blamed their absent fathers… tell that to Megan The Stallion’s very present father… there were Black men, some that I know personally, actually questioning a Black woman’s right to be respected and simultaneously discussing or rapping about her own body parts and their fabulousness.

Similarly, Cee Lo Green stayed in an interview with Far Out magazine, “Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all. It comes at what cost?” This the same guy who rapped, “I’d have my way with what’s left of the will of her. Cosmopolitans, and cocaine, and an occasional pill in her.” So it’s okay for him to rap about taking control of a woman and her parts under the influence, old Bill Cosby ass lyrics, but not okay for a woman to talk about her own parts of her own free, and sober, will? GTFOH.

So understand, patriarchy like country clubs was not meant for y’all. You weren’t included in the planning meetings. They don’t want you there… but they want women there even less. White men despise White women. Sexism has always been more universally pervasive than racism. The same way he controlled and commanded slaves, he controlled and commanded his own wife. He doesn’t want her there, just in his bedroom. But your Black ass ain’t wanted either… and when he sees you coming, he wants to channel Deborah Cox…”HOW! DID! YOU! GET HERE!” So stop.

You got to vote, legally and on paper anyway, before women were even imagined worthy… including White women. You! But be clear, both of us were sitting at home a long time, together, on Election Day! You weren’t included, and there are a lot of alt-Rights, skinheads, KKK members who still are determined to put us both back in chains, together. So act like you know.

You say you have reclaimed the word nigga well we are reclaiming our sexuality…. that they told us either didn’t exist or was too pervasive for our own good. But guess who couldn’t stay out of the WAP… BOFAYALL! They took it and it was given to you out of love and affection and desire… but you bought into that weaker sex bullshit and thought you owned us and the coochie. We own it. Understand. And we know ya’ll want it more than air and water. But you got a choice to make. You wanna get in here or the country club!? Your choice. But keep talking all that nonsense and you’ll be locked out of both.

We deserve respect PERIOD, to own and control our own sexuality by our own terms, and to be treated like human beings. You can dead that patriarchal judgement, because we might welcome you back , the patriarchy never let you in to begin with.

2. Do unto Us as we Do unto You

Every single one of my friends has been duped, ensnared, mistreated, or otherwise wronged by a Black man at some point in their lives… daddy, uncle, cousin, husband, boyfriend, whoever. Yet, yet, AND YET… we might bring a few pieces of luggage, but we chose you again…not HIM personally, but YOU as a collective. Very few Black women I know only date exclusively non-Black men… very very few. So if we can choose you as an independent person, often in the face of uncertainty, surely you can do the same.

Case in point, article after article negated Kamala Harris’s record as a district attorney and Attorney General. So when she was named Joe Biden’s running mate she was met with great vitriol about her record against “Black men” by Black men. Y’all got your info from articles written by the uninformed and biased. She couldn’t even get the benefit of the doubt, she was just guilty. But based on WRONG information. So take, for example, the article by Blake Simons of the Hella Black Podcast on AfroPunk, “Kamala Harris has been Tough in Black people, not Crime.” In it he references her failure to legalize marijuana, citing the high incarceration rate of Black people for marijuana related crimes. In reality while she did prosecute many marijuana related cases, which was her JOB, she rarely sought convictions for low level possession or jail time for any marijuana related convictions. These are the facts. His are the claims made by White conservative media that he latched into. Is she as a Black woman not worthy of your responsibility to independent research? He also claims she advocated for the death penalty in the case of Kevin Cooper and rejected his DNA evidence. Again, not true. There is no case where Kamala Harris can be shown to have advocated for the death penalty. The rejection of the DNA evidence was done by her office, as there are many prosecutors who work there, not her personally. And that rejection was not based on supporting his conviction, but because on appeal he had failed to bring up the evidence in a lower court… so the evidence was not admissible. If we are going to talk about it, let’s talk facts and not just regurgitate articles typically written by people that hate Black women… unless you too hate Black women. And if that is true, stop tryna get at us.

As a Black man with a platform, DO BETTER by Black women. Afropunk gets about 170,000 site visits a month, so it’s safe to say this article was likely read by thousands of people. It’s a website specifically geared towards telling the stories of and changing the narrative of Black people. So to use this forum to sabotage and spread falsehoods about a Black woman is heinous and irresponsible. And WE DON’T DO THAT TO YOU. Yes, Black women demand your respect and hold you accountable for your shit. Yep. Yes, Black women call out predatory Black men, famous or not, because they have abused and mistreated us and women. Yep, and we will continue to. Even then, many of us still stand by you. Black women defended Bill Cosby until he couldn’t be defended anymore. That was by his doing not ours. But that level of honesty should not beget blatant lies. We hold y’all up. Hold us up.

3. Be DEDICATED to Seeing Us Win

So example number three is on some straight Judas shit! Don’t bite me and call it a kiss.

So Master P’s brother Corey Miller (C-Murder) was convicted of second degree murder of a teen at a club in 2009. In true Kardashian fashion, Kim K tweeted that she was joining forces with R&B singer and Miller’s ex, Monica, to help free him from prison. She’s been credited with getting Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson freed from life sentences in prison. Sideye number one.

I saw a plethora of brother’s big upping her like she was really doing anything more than self promotion to get her law degree without going to law school, buying her way into the California state bar. The truth is the real WORK being done is by a team of Black women lawyers, Brittany Barnett, MiAngel Cody, and Topeka Sam, who have been dedicated to prison reform for years. While I do give credit to Kim K for helping these Black people pay for these lawyers and other legal fees, let’s not crown her as some prison reform activist. She is not. Credit belongs not to the figurehead but the people responsible for doing the real work, hidden from view, and not getting the credit they deserve. Her big ass, Black husband, and families’ medley of biracial kids by Black wealthy and talented men don’t make her down. She’d swallow the devil whole to be down. She’s a culture vulture… taking advantage and appropriating of the work, style, vernacular, and culture of Black people without paying us due homage and appreciation. Bantu knots and cornrows don’t make her honorary. She doesn’t really want this life… she wants the grillz but not the ills.

So don’t do that. Don’t Stan for her like she’s single handedly gonna get Corey Miller out of jail, like she single handedly did for Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson. Sideeye number two. She didn’t spin the gold, we did. Black women. If you must do that, then don’t expect us to be your loyal sidekick. Cuz we ain’t Robin, we are Wonder Women, the Dora Milaje, Catwoman, Storm, the Powderpuff Girls too… we superheroes out here saving lives and souls. We choose you, but we don’t need you if you aren’t gonna ride for and acknowledge us as the magical beings that we are. And we most certainly won’t be pushed aside for you to worship at the alter of lopsided ass and cultural exploitation without giving us our due.

So give us our due. EVERY TIME dammit!!!!!! Cuz we ride for you til the wheels fall off.

4. Fix Yourself

I shouldn’t have to suffer through your uncertainty, inconsistency, infidelity, abuse, or mistreatment, lack of personal responsibility, or misplaced self righteousness because I’m available. Drop that off at the therapists, cuz I don’t want it. Sure, I’m willing to help you across some reasonable crossroads, but I’m not bearing your cross. It’s not mine to carry… I’ve had to carry my own.

I’m not gonna be the Ciara to your Future, cuz I know Russell is out there. I won’t tolerate the immature playboy Jay-Z, I’m gonna call you out and demand the grown up Shaun Carter. I am not interested in inundating your unhealthy Richard Pryor foolishness into my Pam Grier goddess body. I also an not interested in your so woke you asleep Dr. Umar Johnson, Sheharazad Ali ‘How to control Black women for the culture’ bullshit. I shouldn’t have to suffer first to get some promise of the best of you later. Be your best self in that moment, the moment you walk up to me… or keep walking past me. I’m not interested. Your raggedy attempts at love are not welcomed. Bring me what I’m worth… the first time. I’ll ride, but I’m not dying… you should come with automatic seatbelts so I’m safe the minute I sit down. That’s it. That’s all.

I’m not your project or your savior. I can’t be bullied into Kente clothed submission or abused into Stockholm Syndrome. I deserve a good man ready to love me properly and completely, consistently and without limits from the very beginning. The idea that I must be tweaked to your specifications or tested to see how much I can take in the name of love is some psychotic thriller type script that Black women are disinterested in. If she does accept that and seem to like it, be careful, she’s likely not well either. Y’all should both seek counseling. But in general, we have come too far to be willing to put up with your toxic masculinity dressed up as a concerned and loving mate. Come correct or not at all!

Again, if this doesn’t apply to you, it’s just information. But if it does, do better! And when you open your mouth to speak on or to Black women, do so with our due respect. You understand? Otherwise, be ready to get exposed, cuz the cat most definitely got your tongue and she’s exposing all oppression… all of it!

Real Friends

Friends… how many of us have them?

-Whodini “Friends”

This past Monday, Kanye West tweeted his mania and on Sunday he displayed it for everyone to see… moments of intense emotion, yelling, wild and disorganized thought, and then moments of just staring blankly while being spoken to during his rally in SC. I’ve seen people joke about it, and there is nothing remotely funny. I’ve also seen people mistake questions about his wife’s protection of him with calls for her to control him. Protection does not equal control.

No one is blaming Kim Kardashian for Kanye’s mental illness. He is responsible for seeking and following his treatment. However, to characterize questions about his wife’s whereabouts during his recent episodes as misogynistic… that’s a big nope. Her entire family has became more famous because he is present and such a polarizing figure. They crave the media and the media craves him. Match made in heaven. Today Kim Kardashian put out a statement asking for grace for Kanye and his loved ones living with his disorder… herself included. She too led with the premise that he cannot be forced to seek medical treatment. And while I understand that premise, that’s neither lost on me or some new information to me, it doesn’t negate her absence as his spouse. She has previously downplayed his disorder, tweeting “your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself.” His disorder is not a media ploy or a media toy. And it’s real AF!

Control and protection are two very different things. No adult is responsible for controlling another’s actions. But when I put myself in relationship with someone else, I should be expected to take on some responsibility to protect them, from others and themselves if necessary. There is NO way my dude’s episode of mania would be broadcast live… first, how he get outta the house to go do that shit, but beyond that everybody gotta get out! I’m buying all the cameras and the footage, fade to black, NOT on my watch. As wild and reckless as Kanye’s mouth is, he is still clearly suffering and in need of protection. Sadly his circle of protection is worthless.

To love someone is to provide the safest place possible for them in your presence.

A short story: Many moons ago, I was once in a relationship with a horrible person. I was living in Oklahoma, a few months before law school started, with him. He got worse when I got further away from my family and friends. I had shared some of behavior with my three closest friends. That very Friday, I got a call after work to pack a bag and come to a hotel by the airport, I thought, oh goody a surprise trip. The three of them lived in Detroit. One had a two month old. They were in Oklahoma, the weekend of my call, just RANDOM! It wasn’t a surprise vacation, it was a true labor of love. They basically told me I could come back with them or not but they had to show up… to let him know they could show up at any time. That’s protection. I only stayed long enough to sell everything including the bed and leave him in an empty apartment… I even gave away the food.

Dave Chappelle showed up to support Kanye in that way… he just showed up in the flesh. Sometimes a text or FaceTime don’t cut it. That kind of support is necessary when you aren’t sure of how to help yourself. He didn’t come to force him to do anything, but to stand in the gap. And the gaps are huge for Ye. Big King Kong gaps. Kanye’s family by marriage, his only family to speak of, was nowhere to be found during this moment that he became unhinged on camera. Yet they are at Sunday Service in the flesh. They are at the award shows in the flesh. He’s on their show. They are at the fashion shows. So they know how to be present when it matters to them. But they aren’t his real friends. He was having a whole presidential rally with a bad mic and no agenda or platform to speak of, DOLO! I’m not suggesting they force him to take meds or any such thing… Just protect him, in the flesh. That’s all.

Protection is not control, be clear. It is guarding, defending, and honoring. It is letting someone talking shit about your folks know that in your presence, that doesn’t fly. It’s keeping information that other people don’t need to know under wraps so your people aren’t charged with managing other folks emotions. Just like Kool and the Gang would have pulled the amp plug the first sign of water on the Titanic, everything is cancelled if my spouse is coming unhinged on something being nationally broadcast, forever archived to see. It’s buying all their masters as a gift. It’s the opposite of control, it’s freedom. When they aren’t able to control themselves or the narrative in a moment, it stands time still to allow them time to rewrite the script.

I blog about Kanye a lot. I am a fan and also I am concerned. Black Minds Matter. He is a musical genius fading into a meme and social media fodder because he lacks real support and protection. I’m not a Kardashian fan, but I believe her statement was typical of the type she makes to maintain her image, as genuine as she can likely be. I also believe the whole lot of them are bloodsuckers and you cannot tell me that they don’t prey on famous Black men and aid in the destruction of their character in the media, because they do. So they don’t know how to protect. Their own mother pimped her daughters sex tape into an 18 season show. She’s good… but not at protecting. He was doomed from the start of this episode.

Kanye has likely been bipolar…but the old Kanye had protection and support. The new Kanye is bipolar, off his meds, and on his own.

And that’s my opinion on that!

How many of us are real friends?

To real friends, to the real end

‘Til the wheels fall off, ’til the wheels don’t spin

To 3 A.M., callin’

How many real friends?

-Kanye West “Real Friends”

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!”