Control The Dollar; Control The People

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, the then Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began a public protest that would ultimately cost him his livelihood. At first glance, one could argue this isn’t a major deal. He is a multi-millionaire, young, and his ability to pivot into a new way of life doesn’t seem far fetched. 

Then the question is asked: Why didn’t more of his fellow players join him in this protest? Why were so many of them hesitant to kneel alongside of him for such a righteous cause? I, myself, argued if players are outraged by the blatant racist behaviors of the NFL, why choose to play in their league?

The answer boils down to money. 

Playing professional sports doesn’t guarantee you millionaire status. Players aren’t automatically drafted and the life of living check to check magically disappears. It takes strategic planning and discipline to set yourself up for long term financial success. It doesn’t make you exempt from paying bills, putting food on the table, and providing for your family. These things are universal. Obviously, if you are Lebron James or Patrick Mahomes the amount of discipline you have to have varies but whether you are a part of the “one percent”, or you live in a box, money or the lack thereof, has profound impacts on your life.

The American system is based on the trading of services or products in exchange for money… and as my Mother used to say to me when I was a child, “Everything costs money.” It is virtually impossible to live — comfortably — with no money. And this is how they control us.

For most of us, we are working jobs owned and managed by people who don’t look like us; who don’t care about the same things we care about. As a result, we sacrifice some of ourselves. We code switch or we wear our hair in acceptable ways — or we do what we want, how we want, all the while, knowing there may be consequences. 

Nick Cannon has been in the news over the last couple for remarks he made about white people and the Jewish community. Before I had the chance to look up what he said, I heard Viacom, a major media conglomerate and Cannon’s long-time partner , had dropped him. 

We can debate whether or not what he said was right or wrong. We can even discuss whether he should have said it at all. But what should be concerning for the Black community is the power that other communities have over us — over our livelihoods. 

If ever there was a time we needed to control the Black economics, it is now. We need media outlets and businesses who prioritize Black lives, and not out of performative allyship or the latest brand strategy. But because the business is owned and run by Black people. 

When I think about Colin Kaepernick and his bout with the NFL, I wonder: What would have happened if all the Black men in the NFL — which, reportedly, makes up seventy percent of the League — chose not to play? How would we support them, with the way our communities are economically and financially structured? Would it be possible for us to?

It is past time we take our economic power back. I don’t propose it will be easy, simple, or without hardship; I only suggest it is necessary.

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What Do I Have To Lose?

It is amazing how skilled I am at talking myself out of pursuing my passion.  I am passionate about ideas and creativity, so I thought it would be great to offer my capacity for generating and developing ideas to the world as a consulting business, of sorts.  My self talk was instantaneous.  I started to think of all the reasons I shouldn’t;  all the ways I am not qualified to offer this service.  But that has to change somewhere, right?  I believe I am a creative genius.  And I also believe that I can help people develop their ideas.

So…Why not?  What do I have to lose?

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Emotions

Emotions are simple.  Simple is not the same as easy.  I learned today how ill equipped I am at working through and handling my emotions.  My Love started to question me bout how I was feeling today and I could feel my insides revolting.  They were fighting me to remain hidden behind my eyelids and encased in my chest.  An inner struggle ensued.  Wanting to release but being blocked by the habit of evasion.  Emotions are simple; emotions aren’t easy.  I didn’t know I needed help in working through these things.  After today, I know I need to get help.

 

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Long

Today felt long.  I don’t feel like I did much.  We drove to Charlotte to pick my children up from their Mimi’s house.  It’s something about being in the car for long periods of time that can feel draining.  But it’s great to be back with my family again.  This week has been good for me without them.  Recalibrating.  Reenergizing.  Solitude is my paradise. It makes me better for my family.  When I am mentally, emotionally, and physically sound my family is to.  As I go, they go.  I need to make sure I find time every month to make sure I’m doing the inner work and self care I need.   This week taught me so many lessons about myself that I needed to learn.

Now I am back with the family and it feels amazing.

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streams Pt. 1

The awkwardness of my consciousness streams. Imposter syndrome. Feeling false feeling false.
false feeling; Phantom pleasure; delusions of pain. Delusions of Grandeur
Thoughts of suicide
The illusion of death vs the reality of immortality. Out of touch with life while death is reaching for my throat. I can’t hide or escape. Face it like a mask.
face it like a crooked smile that desperately wishes to be perfect. Eking out an existence that dwarfs meager. Larger than life dreams; nightmares smaller than black widows, and far more deadly. Don’t forget me. Don’t un-remember you.

These words are my home.

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The Job

Today I was on instagram and I heard Adrienne Young, the author of an excellent novel called Sky In The Deep, say “You should start treating your writing like a job before you start making money from it.”  Have you ever heard something over and over again, know it to be true, and then one day you hear it and it strikes a new chord inside you?  When I heard that statement it resonated with me stronger than it ever has before.  I need to start seeing this as a job — more than a hobby.  And that will signal to the Universe just how serious I am about these words.

Lets work!

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Practice

I had a random conversation in the bookstore today.  The young lady I was talking to said “This next generation don’t care about nothing.”

This is symbolic of where we are as a society.

What if we practiced believing the best about one another?  What if we made a habit of speaking life over those that are different than us?  It is easy to get caught up in appearances and forget that we don’t have all the answers either.  My response to that was “I believe in them.  And I believe they care.”

I want my default to believe despite how it may look from the outside.

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One Decision

When I got out of the shower this morning, I thought about a quote I heard while listening to The 5 Second Rule:  Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins.  

“YOU ARE ONE DECISION AWAY FROM CHANGING YOUR LIFE.”

It has become cliche but it still rings true.  I think that’s why cliches happen: they resonate with so many people it spreads like wildfire.

It doesn’t matter what your day was like yesterday.  Maybe you didn’t reach your daily goal, or you forgot your daily goal completely, or maybe you haven’t even set one to forget.  Whatever your situation you can create a new one.

Starting with one decision.

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Desire VS Discipline

I’ve been thinking about the relationship between Desire and Discipline; what we want and what we are willing to sacrifice for it.  I am obsessive about the things I want. But the habits I’ve established don’t seem to support them.  When I think about habits I also think about Karma.  The cause and the effect.  The reaping and the sowing.  When I don’t get what I want I can trace it to some habit that created this result.  My destiny is written between the lines of my habits and routines.  If I change the way I think about my life — the approach to every circumstance I encounter — I guarantee the results will change as well.  The journey is beginning.

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BELIEVE

I wrote a few words in my novel today.  I didn’t write as many as I would have liked.  The words weren’t coming as smooth as I wanted them to.  Those are the moments when it is imperative that we believe in ourselves.

I have been speaking affirmations over my life the last couple days.  I have been saying “I am a best selling, award winning novelist and poet.”  Today I said, “I am a best selling, award winning novelist and poet…BUT NOT TODAY!”

I should have said my usual affirmation, put my head down, and complete my 2,000 word goal for today.  I will get them next time.

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