Drifting on a memory….

love & beauty, Uncategorized

My first night at college I couldn’t sleep. I needed police sirens to lull me to sleep.I was uncomfortable being in a room full of girls having shared a bed with brothers for many years of my life. I didn’t know these people; this environment. Richmond to me is like a village where everyone is related to somebody and no one is really a stranger. We are a familial people: sisters, brothers, cousins, aunties, uncles, grandmamas and mamas and daddies, baby daddies and baby mamas. It was reassuring to get a text in the middle of the day or night that simply said “so and so got hit.” We’d gather in the street and watch; shed tears and reminiscence. We’d stay in the street long after police arrived. We’d wait until the ambulance left or the coroner arrived. We bonded through our grief. At least we thought we were grieving. Violence and its residuals were a part of life; a part of us.

But college is different. There is no shared history; only individuals. And while I prided myself on being an individual, I wasn’t sure if THIS individuality was for me. Did anyone other than me know the difference between a gun shot and a firecracker? I couldn’t sleep.

It wasn’t until years later when I returned to Richmond that I made the connection between what I now know as trauma and my childhood. The re-entry was difficult. Every block a painful memory. Every person carrying with them a sad story. It’s overwhelming to say the least but this is home.

I now attempt to be nostalgic about the past and remember the “good ole” days. I tell myself now is different but it really isn’t. The street been unsafe; Kids have always been wildin’ out; people die everyday b. I want to see the youth as our saving grace, but they are just as naive and all-knowing as we were. Unintentionally ignorant.

I wonder, if I am of any use to them. Like me, they are dreamy believing all good is accompanied by bad. They are simultaneously fearless and fearful. But I want better for them. This is why I’m here. This is home. I’m trying to sleep.

Is he Dame Dash? Dame Diddy? Or Dame Dummy?

brilliant ideas, business, entrepreneurship

Lots of people are talking about the interview Damon Dash did with the infamous Breakfast Club. Everyone has an opinion. but here are my takeaways from it. A few jewels from Dame Dash:

“Every real man wants to be the boss”

“You’re only the boss if you put up your own money.”

“No. Not in Harlem.”

“What’s best for your kids is to put your money into something that you can pass to your kids.”

“You enjoy the safety and security of a job everyday. To me, there’s no pride in that.”

“9-5’s aren’t good because you’re hustling for a weekend.”

“You sound smart to somebody dumb.”

“How do you feel as a man that you get paid to gossip for a living.”

“Why don’t we stick together.”

“In the streets violence is a means to an end. It’s a last resort.”

“It’s not easy to be honorable. Your honor gets tested everyday.”

“My block’s your block unless you’re messing with my paper.”

“There’s always some white man that’s in charge of Black culture.”

“I’m not mad at being a boss. I’m mad that you have the same job for 25 years.”

“Yes from the womb. I was Dame Dash since the day i was born.”

“How could you want the explanation and you’re talking? How can you listen and speak at the same time?”

“When you own something, you can do what you want with it.”

“How can a superhero be told what to do?”

Here is the interview in its entirety:  https://youtu.be/XHX4hWurt8M

People Watching is Good for Your Health

brilliant ideas, business, Uncategorized

I’ve been trying to buckle down and commit to writing daily. So today, when my plans got changed, I headed over to Barnes & Noble to do just that: write. I made my obligatory purchased and spread all my gadgets on the table. I’ve found it helpful when in public to wear earphones, even if no music is playing. People will assume you are busy and they won’t bother you. I intended to work uninterrupted.

But just as I began the ritual stare at the computer screen, I noticed a beautiful young woman entered the cafe area. Searching for a seat, her shoulder length dreadlocks bounced ever so slightly and the swishing of her bag seemed to be in sync with her footsteps. Her skin was caramel. Her lips full. She sat across from me diagonally at a smaller, circular table; her posture impeccable. As she adjusted her bag on an empty chair beside her, a man approached her whispering and leaning in. She smiled.He wrapped around the low hanging banister and sat in front of her. I imagine that their eyes locked as her gaze became pointed. I couldn’t see his face.

I tried to mind my own business but my lurking was more interesting. In between keystrokes I tuned my ear to their conversation. A first date it seemed. She described her beliefs and inquired about his. Disclaimer: “I don’t have a problem with a strong man, but I do have a problem with a man that needs to constantly prove his strength”, she said evenly. And without flinching she continued, “I hope you don’t have a problem with a strong woman.” He didn’t flinch either.

The exchange moved smoothly and lasted only awhile longer. She smiled; he laughed; they listened intently to each other and then they went their separate ways.

I’m not sure what is to come of them. Or if they’ll ever see each other again. But I do know that today, I witnessed one of the most beautifully authentic conversations I ever have in my life.