“How could you be afraid of a little boy?”

Toni-Morrison

In an interview with journalist Charlie Rose, Toni Morrison discussed police brutality and violence against African Americans. She asked a series of questions that point to a key issue in America, the criminalization of Black skin and the white supremacist values cloaked in cowardice that leads to the deaths of so many unarmed Black victims.

She asked:

How are you afraid of a man running away from you?

How are you afraid of someone standing in the grocery store, on the phone with a toy gun, that you could buy in the store?

How could you be afraid of a little boy?

And who are these people calling who call 911? Who are they?

You look out the window and you see a kid with a toy gun and you get on the phone?

Her usage of the term “cowardly” speaks volumes in describing how institutionalized the dehumanization of Black people continues to be.  The so called “fear” is based on creating a worldview of African descended people as less human in terms of intellectual prowess and super-human in terms of physical strength (especially when referring to criminality). This animalistic perspective has been at the center of anti-Blackness for centuries. Examples include when “scientists” debated the brain size of Blacks and religious leaders debated whether or not Africans had souls in order to deem slavery justified. It was the central theme of The Birth of A Nation, the 1915 propaganda film that overtly warned white Americans that free negros were a threat to society.

This would explain why someone could believe they have a logical explanation for shooting a person running away from them or gunning down a child and refusing to provide the child with medical attention.

They truly believe this unarmed person is “dangerous.” Officer Darren Wilson even described Mike Brown as a “demon” with the strength of WWF wrestler “Hulk Hogan.” That’s the thought process.

Super-human

Violent

Animalistic

It never changes.

Though Jonathan Capehart imprudently asserts the mantra “hands up don’t shoot” was built on a lie, the premise behind Mike Brown’s death follows the same superhuman negro/must be put down like an animal aggression trajectory. Whether or not his hands were raised, does not alter the key issue behind why Brown’s death was deemed justified. Simply put, he was perceived to be another dangerous negro.

Through this lens:

Mike Brown wasn’t a 17-year teenager. He was a raging gorilla loose on the streets.

Rekia Boyd was not an innocent bystander. Her very presence was violence as a potential threat.

Tamir Rice wasn’t a little boy. He was a roaming gunman looking for a victim.

Aiyana Stanley Jones wasn’t a sleeping little girl. She was a member of a familial mob the required brute force at first encounter.

With each death of an unarmed Black person, especially at the hands of police or people in assumed positions of societal authority, the cowardice and the fear is a reassertion of white supremacist beliefs, even if the victim dies at the hands of a Black police officer. Many members of mainstream media happily overlook this. Just as women can be patriarchal misogynists, Blacks can internalize Black inferiority and white supremacist beliefs.

Police have been given the authority to uphold laws and societal norms. While at the same time, the collective fear of Blackness operates as a U.S. societal norm. Thus the deaths of unarmed Black victims ensues, regardless of the ethnicity of the officer. When this occurs, the officers are then protected by the society that continuously protects and rebirths this norm.

Within the communities of the victims, they are seen as they are…human beings deserving of protection.

Mike was a teenager walking.

Rekia was a teenager standing.

Tamir is a 9-year old playing.

Aiyana was a 7-year old sleeping.

Amongst their communities, these victims are seen through a different lens..the lens of humanity. So when Toni Morrison asks, “How could you be afraid of a little boy?”

This question is very layered and could be interpreted as, “When will you see the little boy that I see?”

When will the lens be corrected?

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com.
To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.

Follow Jessica @TweetingJAM.
Follow OurLegaci at Facebook.com/OurLegaci.

 

Watch Toni Morrison’s interview below:

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For My Mother

JAM and Mom 640

For my mother

That loves so hard

That gives too much

That fights when there is no fight left

But fights again

That pushes and pulls and tugs and stands and cries and soars for her children

That makes worlds from words and hides her poems

That heals with gifts, when she is the gift

That births spirit through unexpected cheer

That fashions through ancestral memory

That is eternal in her sincerity

That determined determination

For my mother

That deserves a new dawn yet is the dawn

That receives an unseen protection

That is the descendant of sharecroppers and the everlasting daughters of Tikar

That is not forgotten

That is etched in the memory of the remembered

That is a favorite of the favored

That is watched by God’s appointed gods yet is Goddess

That is the love of copious life

You are my dream, my waking breath, my galactic starlight

My plentiful everything

My source before sources

My love for you is a bottomless sweetgrass basket

filled with enchanted fruits to feed your hopes

guarded with primordial spears

covered in the warmth of Virginia’s kiss

Guided by the melody of Ernest’s song

And all for my mother

Love,

Jessie

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com.
To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.

Follow Jessica @TweetingJAM.
Follow OurLegaci at Facebook.com/OurLegaci.

Miriam Makeba: Khawuleza

Khawuleza by the legendary Miriam Makeba, known widely as Mama Africa

Opening: Khawuleza! Khawuleza is a South African song. It comes from the townships, locations, reservations, whichever, near the cities of South Africa, where all the Black South Africans live. The children shout from the streets as they see police cars coming to raid their homes for one thing or another. They say “Khawuleza Mama!” Which simply means, “Hurry Mama! Please, please don’t let them get you!”

Lyrics:

Khawuleza mama
Khawuleza mama
Khawuleza mama


Nank’ amapolis’ azongen’endlini mama, khawuleza
Nank’ amapolis’ azongen’endlini mama, khawuleza
Jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama, iyeyiye mama, khawuleza
Jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama, iyeyiye mama, khawuleza
x2
Bathi jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama
khawuleza mama khawuleza
jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama
khawuleza mama khawuleza

 

Rapper Donny Goines Dedication song to Tysha Jones – One by One

On June 9th, 2011 16 year old Tysha Jones was killed by a senseless shooting at Brighton beach in New York. The Harlem native was a teenage girl loved by many.  As of recent a 19yr old suspect was arrested in this shooting.

Talented Harlem emcee Donny Goines felt so touched by this tragedy, so close to home he made a dedication song.  This song is powerful it represents thousands of Tysha’s gone to soon from senseless violence. We need to stop killing each other.

 

Written BY – Kayla: an event planner who loves music

Sister Love/Sister Pain

Sister Love/Sister Pain

By: The Poetess–Vivian Dixon Sober aka The Ms. V

Love is not red—deceiving indeed, circumstances in place—solid as a rock—love can slip in and dismantle a complete heart
When love happens unpredictably, it throws mind control off
Can’t do nothing but flip your mind a thousand times trying to re-invent the fairy tale scene that seemed like a dream
He entered my heart when it was in lockdown and I didn’t even know
I have no mind control—emotionally—I’m a wreck
I can’t catch a thought
Heart, dear heart, please release me
How did I fall in love
I thought I was in love with my husband—I knowI know
I’m married and lonely and that’s a hard thing to be
Instead of looking at me he’s looking at pornography
I can’t compete
That is out of my league
I’m a woman—and I’m going to continue to be
I got involved with another man—a friend who listens to me—he is deep—concerned
I’m in a war—an emotional war—I didn’t realize the need he filled—I’m in love with another’s man
Now I can understand what I never could before those songs about married people creeping
struggling with love: Me and Mrs. Jones, Secret Lovers, If Only For One Night
songs such as those
doesn’t make it right
“If you can’t keep your man, I can,”the new love says on demand
I can’t say that; it just happened; I can’t explain it
I wasn’t looking for love especially forbidden love

I have morals—what’s up with me—I’m recognizing other parts of me that aren’t very sweet and the problem is: Do I care?
Thoughts streaming through my mind
Is the issue really about a Queen who can’t keep her husband or her man or is it about a sister who just thinks she can’t
I’m a thinker—a contemplator
I can’t elevate myself above his wife as being better than she, his Queen
Sister Love/Sister Pain is killing me
I wish love were red then I could change the color and feel no pain
a heart full of love overflows with emotions—stomach hurts—can’t eat
can’t sleep—weight falling off because I want to be with him
Love is not red mind inundated with him if I see him I will get well
I saw his feelings for me in his eyes; he stared at me too long if I were a magnet and he a
piece of steel l’d be in his bed disrespecting myself and his wife that’s not what I want in my life—I love him—I truly do
This is not cool; I’m not a fool
I have examined the stained picture I see people acting emotionally violating vows made
before God: “If she can’t keep her man, I can”
Everything done in the dark will be revealed and how will the Sister he belongs to feel
I have a man and a license to make love to him, but when love crept in my heart my battle was to stay sane not have sex with no feelings there was nothing for me to gain
Along the road of life I fell in love twice
I love my Sister’s man
My heart aches—anguish—pure blue
Can’t obey and cause her pain
He belongs to another; She will not pain because of foolishness
I know the pain of women who do not think
Sister he is yours I will move on
I will not be intimate with him as that will cause pain
Love is not red: it is blue and rides a roller coaster of emotions
I am no better than you, Sister, as you are his Queen
and much more important than me
I can see
It’s not about a color scheme or age difference
A woman is a woman with a heart that can bleed
I just want something exciting and new and that will end if I hurt you
Life happens; the love is stained with too many faces this is no game
I can’t play—I love a man—he loves me too but sister love stands above
My sister will not shed one tear or lose weight or sleep because I’m in love with her man and can’t control myself
He will be with me today—if I want it that way—love has nothing to do with hurting you
The pain will be all mine I will be used and your husband, your man will return to you and despise me
Now I know the makings of affairs; things ain’t right at home husbands and wives lose sight mundane love lives nothing exotic anymore so they find what they need it doesn’t make it right but, hey, stop telling your wife to go fly a kite
Women boast about sleeping with another’s husband–if he were your husband would
you boast or cry and lose weight in time:
I saw his feelings for me in his eyes: he stared at me too long
If I were a magnet and he a piece of steel l’d be in his bed disrespecting myself and his wife that’s not what I want in my life—I love him—I truly do
This is not cool—I’m not a fool
This is a fight I don’t want to win: I just can’t do it though I want to
I feel like I’m being driven; I’ve been on the other side—I cried and I cried
Sister love conquers devastating affairs: I’m not his wife my love must die
Although I am suffering my Sister is living how am I going to build happiness on some one else’s pain: “if she can’t keep her man, I can.” evaluating myself over his queen
What makes me think I am better than she?
Real love is not about taking
a Sister’s man—even if I can what can he do without me I have nothing his wife doesn’t have. I’ll live in her shoes tomorrow “if she can’t keep her man I can.”
My home girl called me a fool—really—and she’s cool
Well let’s take a look at her; she and Mr. Jones
Bi-polar you riding too high living a life based on lies “if she can’t keep her man, you can.” ‘til you see the light you fell from your pony when he left you for his wife
your mind—psychotic—your stomach in knots—can’t sleep—eat
Your weights falling off can’t accept the fact that you were used and thoroughly confused
Bi-polar you thought you could build happiness on someone else’s heartache
Where are your friends? You are caught in your own web so sleep in your bed
You didn’t think about your Sister: you thought about you—the pain is great—overwhelming—too deep—steep
He crept and you wept, “if she can’t keep her man, you can.”
Your tormented mind told you lies; I just can’t
The next time tainted love knocks on your heart’s door
stop, drop, and roll smother the fire before it consumes you
Tainted love is nothing sweet; it’s not a treat send that man home
where he belongs before you are used like a junk-yard dog
the choice is yours: but I’m stupid
Cupid’s so-called arrows often strike the living dead: I am thrilled just to know
that I can love and love deeply: being married and lonely is dangerous
Husbands wake up; Wives, wake up
Sister Love/Sister Pain is killing Me
No affairs
Husbands who ignore
Curb gear for the garbage man

 

Vivian Dixon Sober©2003
All Rights Reserved

Abandonment In A Storm

Abandonment In A Storm
 By Vivian Dixon Sober

I lay in bed in a deep sleep well into the night, or early morning after midnight.  Suddenly awakened by a moving force starting inches below my belly button but creeping toward my esophagus slamming my air canal shut tightly like steel doors that couldn’t be opened.  My legs ached and I knew death had come for me.   “Let me take you to the hospital,”  daughter asked softly.”  She had come to spend the night with me, slept in the same bed with me; awoke simultaneously with me.  Knowing I’d never make it to the hospital, I said call 911.  I will save her from the realization of my death.  I ran outside to die as I did not want to die in the house.   Looking up, I thought, I can’t believe I died this way.  
I awoke confused.  It seemed like I was looking through a screen.  Drugged heavily I didn’t know it was me.  I breathe by machine.  With tubes down my throat and hands tied down–a mental hospital it had to be.  I spoke in complete sentences, though—I do believe.  Intensive care they call it. I see people staring at me.  I recognize one of them; why is my husband forcing me to watch science fiction it is not my scene.  I’d rather read my obituary as painful as it will be. 
Off the machine.  Peering in the mirror, I see the whites of my eyes; blood-red–no white at all.   I have no conception of time.  Where is my mind? 
Husband said, “He was there as a friend,” after, which, he abandoned me—emotionally–off with his kids and the child I, myself, bore but not before his kids knew their worth—they had drained the breath out of me.  I was hurt and lonely, but I could see the backstabbing users ’didn’t give a hoot about me.  They left me for dead and wouldn’t help me, instead, they including their father persecuted me.  All I wanted was a sparkling house, which I was too sick to achieve—those 3 kids lied on me, rejected me and 2 gave my mother-child dance to someone else at their graduation who did not help, did not support, or even take them there. 
I was good enough to raise his neglected kids; he destroyed the relationship I had built with them.  Now he has to protect them from me–the woman who raised them,  and  they stood  as four against me and watched as their father ranted and raved and called me names.  He put his kids before me.  The end I should have seen 
I hope you can see why I was in need.  With lack of oxygen to my brain, I wasn’t the same, but I prayed and I prayed and soon an angel came; two years or more he listened to me.  I needed him so desperately.  He rescued me and taught me many lessons I shall never forget.  I was down on my back looking up.   He talked me sensibly though this storm and helped me put fear behind, made me realize that I am alive and so is my mind, “Don’t believe what they say it’s not true. It will hinder you.” 
My mind in no shape for work, I went back to school, first angel is patient with wisdom backstabbing users will never receive as they are too busy trying to get rid of me–a negative experience, indeed, with positive results. People need people and sad to say, angel helped me up, and I don’t feel the same. 
Husband abandoned me in my time of need—with his thankless kids I, myself,  raised—good time wasted.  A pack of ingrates; I feel raped.  No one stopped to help those kids. Their family was too busy helping others and avoiding them as it was for too painful for them to grip–so you abandon your sister’s kids, and what happened to all of their friends?  Why did they run as though the kids had a gun?  I stepped up to the plate and accepted them with grace.  No one can raise them better than me.  My heart began to bleed, and now they can’t accept me. 
I hate my heart. I want one of steel, and then I can be cold and calculating  just like them.  Husband says he doesn’t feel the same—what am I suppose to say?  I’ve seen his play–close your eyes and you can’t see how you have humiliated me with your vicious scheme; watching TV and ignoring me emotionally. 
He left me when I was afraid to live. Yelled and screamed about everything I did and challenged my confidence in front of his three kids—which will end!  
I  was there for him in his time of need. I raised three kids and could have left him in the street.  He would be dead,  if I did to him, what he did to me. 
Thank you God for blessing me.  I’m up now and it’s a brand new day. I am up and well on my way. I don’t care if they stare at me.  I didn’t die.   I am Victorious in God’s eyes.  So when they stare at me, they see an eye full.  I’m what you call getting an eyeful. Their stares become glares, and who cares?   
I don’t need them to understand me.  They are not of my sort.  They abandoned me, and I found love in a special place.  Now!  I must identify I am a prisoner of my own deceits, and I will not obey because prison is not for me.  I will only be me.  That’s all I can be. 
Peering through the rearview, I see I was carried through my deluge.
I have come a long way, and must say, angels come in many ways.  Sometimes I wonder am I living life or is life living me for I am guided you see.   But angels can be people too. I know this to be true.  Human angels never kick you when you are down; they help you to get up when you want to drown, and they absolutely will not let you sit down 
Abandonment in a Storm something  I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me turned out to be a blessing in disguise–’cause through it all–I want you to know; I saw you, I felt you; I know you; and I thank you.  I didn’t die.  I am Victorious in God’s eyes.
I see the light and choose to be an angel whom the truth sets free
Another Beginning
 
Vivian Dixon Sober
All rights Reserved
 
This is an editorial and black love speaking.
 

Visit Vivian’s blog at
http://victoriouswomen.wordpress.com

A Rose That Grew From Concrete: Singer/Songwriter Jarell Johnson

A rose that grew from concrete: Singer/Songwriter-Jarell Johnson

Written by: k-la

Baltimore, Maryland is where I resided for three years of my life. My apartment was in the middle of two different worlds.  Two blocks north of my apartment you would see beautiful brownstones and freshly cut lawn. Michael Phelps grew up not too far from here. Two blocks south of my apartment the people who could have inspired HBO’S “The Wire” resided in row homes that once were big and beautiful.   The one thing I found evident on both sides was that there was so much talent among the people. Some people I will never forget, because of their story alone or just because their voice told a story on its own.

While living in Baltimore looking for talent I came upon Jarell Johnson, who is a singer/songwriter, I thought about Tupac’s poem ‘’A rose that grew from concrete”.  Sometimes you find beautiful things in unexpected places.  It’s only right that I give you some insight on this talented singer/songwriter, so you can get a chance to see who he is and to hear what the world of music is missing.

The Legaci: Are you originally from Baltimore?

Jarell: Yes I am, I did grow up in North Carolina but I came back, and this is where most of my musical experience comes from.

The Legaci:  When did you know that singing and writing is what you wanted to do?

Jarell:  Around 10 or 11 I started to find my voice and I started writing poems it was between law and singing (laugh)

The Legaci:  Do you think it’s important for singers to be songwriters?

Jarell:  Well for me I think it adds a texture and honesty to your work I think if you can apply things that happened in your life to your writing it becomes more personable.

The Legaci:    I have talked to people that say some people from Baltimore have a defeated attitude and they don’t think they can achieve more… but I don’t see this with you. What or who inspires you to keep going?

Jarell:  I think it’s my passion and attitude… If it’s something you want to do you have to blaze the trail.

The Legaci:   I believe what you put out in the universe comes back to you, with that being said if you had your choice of record labels to be signed to  what label would that be? If you could collaborate musically with anyone in the industry presently who would it be?

Jarell: oh man! That’s hard, you know.  I don’t have a specific label but any label that will allow me to do what I want and be myself would be the right choice for me. You know, I want to be successful. I don’t want to be necessarily a superpower. I just want my work to have meaning. Ok so,  wow, who would I collaborate musically with?  (laughs )There is list I have  (ok then give me a few  ) …writing wise, Teedra Moses, Tank … Artist  with sick harmonies that I would love to work with  Brandy , Tweet, Bilal these are just a few.

The Legaci: Name one song that you could listen to everyday until the day you died?

Jarell:  OK! OK! Let me see… Maybe” Ready for love” by India Arie or “You love me” by Jill Scott.  These songs are beautifully written and honest, very honest. They have an amazing mood and ambiance. Admitting that you are ready to love is honest, but saying I need you AND I’m ready to love is something so pure about that. (I totally agree, Ready for love is one of my favorite songs the lyrics are so deep and honest!)

The Legaci: I took a listen to your song “Not interested” and I felt every word tell me a little about it?

Jarell: Thank you. I wrote that song about an older relationship and its basically straightforward. Sometimes you leave a relationship and you realize you’re not interested anymore and it’s ok. (AMEN! It’s a great thing to realize)

The Legaci :  Last but not least what do you want people to know about you as an artist?

Jarell: Just that I am an artist. I try to make music that I’ll be proud of.  I want to make lasting music. What’s hot for the moment might not be hot forever, so lasting music that people can feel.

Jarell’s truly a talent. I have seen him create from scratch while he worked with Kalada productions, a talented producer out of Baltimore. Currently he is working with another set of talented people, Firestarter Productions. He is also working on his album which is almost complete and working on a soundtrack with Derrick L. Gray. It is always refreshing to speak to an artist who has so much passion.

Contact Jarell at : Facebook.com/Jarell.johnson

jarell.johnson@yahoo.com