#JustWordsTour with JustMike (Mike Reid)

10647027_10154664874965347_3504547919821004297_n

So some of you know that this past weekend I went to Chicago to perform my poetry with Philly’s very own JustMike and Vision Poet. Let’s just say that it was the best night of my life. It gave so much validation to everything that I am doing in my life. I met and heard amazing poets that have forever changed my existence. One of the reasons I love poetry so much is because there really is no right or wrong way to do it. When a poet puts the pen on the paper it takes a lot of courage. Poetry writing is so personal that sometimes it’s hard to share that with others and performing? Oh please – scariest thing effing ever!  Recapping my personal story, I  quit my day job as a full-time Walgreens manager to pursue my destiny of being a writer. They thought I was crazy and they still think I’m crazy but last night was proof that I am going in the right direction. Because of my experience tonight, I’ve decided to not just limit myself to only writing but to perform full-time. I performed live for the first time and I admit I was nervous but I said a quick prayer and reminded myself that Beyoncé wasn’t built-in a day. If you don’t already, follow @justmike and @visionpoet they are amazing men, people and poets. It’s so much more than just words. Vision called me “Olivia Pope” and if that doesn’t speak for itself…so whoever has Shonda’s contact info: feel free to slide it in my DM’s. BTW: go watch Vision on TV One’s “Verses & Flow” and buy Just Mike’s books: “Just Words” and “More Than Words” for $10.00

 

Who is Raising Our Daughters?

Please don’t let VH1 raise your damn kids, sis!

I met the most interesting little girl yesterday. She was 8-going-on-18 and all I could do was sit in complete disbelief at what I was witnessing. I thought to myself who is raising our daughters?

For starters, it was completely inappropriate for her to have had acrylic nails on and YouTubing “two girls fighting”. What really blew my mind was her knowing the lyrics to “Partition”; when she asked the driver to roll the window up please, I drew the damn line, ya’ll. I refused to sit next to a child sing how you not about to catch her on her knees. If you haven’t yet experienced a menstrual cycle then you can forget that song in my presence. It’s not for you, boo.

Another thing that relatively played hopscotch on my nerves was when she felt like she needed to respond to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I was born and raised on “you don’t get to have the last word.” My mother taught me the meaning of the word ‘rhetorical’ – this is not a conversation. Who raised you??

Protect Black Girls at ALL costs!

Let’s be real, you do not put fake nails on your 8-year-old daughter and you don’t let her listen to music waaaay beyond her years. My rant is to never say that this particular child will follow a particular path but there is a certain way you raise little girls. **MORE IMPORTANTLY, there is a certain way you raise little black girls. You don’t teach her Nicki Minaj or certain Beyoncé songs. When your age is a single digit the only thing you’re drunk off is apple juice and all night your ass is sleep. Boundaries! Fucking boundaries people.

Childhood is a small part of your life that, much like your virginity, you can’t get back. At the same time, they have their entire lives to be adult women. We cannot raise our black girls to be these loud-mouthed, overly sexualized children whose childhood is stolen the moment you allowed her to hear even a snippet of garbage “Anaconda”. When I was eight, my mother told me to go in the backyard and make it happen with my imagination. Yo, I thank God for that every day of my life. I was extremely sheltered (which has it’s pros and cons) yet when I think back to the girls who had boyfriends and stayed out late, I’m forever grateful that I couldn’t. Today those girls have babies. Plural. Marinate in that.

ALL COSTS

Thanks to the baby boomers, senior citizens make up the greater majority of the American population. Women of sophistication, grace, and poise are a dying breed and it breaks my heart: breaks my heart that she will throw drinks in the club and never have enough respect for herself to leave a shitty relationship. No more Mimi’s, Evelyn Lozada’s or Joseline Hernandez’s. It is not okay to promote anything that those women have represented to a girl. Reject their influence! We have to teach our daughters that if nothing else they are WOMEN first. All things considered, run for President, be a stay-at-home mom, own a business but stay a woman – whatever that means to you; we all know what a woman is not.

All-in-all, I guess what I really want to know is, what happened to the Lena Horne’s and Jackie Kennedy’s? Are we opting to raise Michelle Obama’s or nah?

Photo cred:urbantrendsetters.com