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“Good” Goodbye 2015

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https://youtu.be/jm9ubd3iqnM

I’m very emotional today and I don’t really have an explanation for it. Of course, I’m reflective of this year, but it’s not merely that. I just know that we were born into this world full of emotion and we go out of the world full of emotion, and although intellect got me through high school, undergrad, and vet school…emotion has propelled and prepared me throughout life. So, I’ve made peace with myself about not feeling ashamed as tears make a pathway down my face in this moment or any future moments. I know that as countless smiles and laughs  have left it’s mark through 2 visible trails of lines on either side of my refined, small lips,  there are many yet to come. Although, that phrase has a double meaning.

As I think of my life in all it’s glory and pain, I see my growth and lack thereof. It makes me want to do better and  be better in spite of all the changes and unprocessed situations. I pride myself on being real, upfront, straight forward. Then I think of how much I’ve held myself back from crying  (often a bitter, but necessary and sweet release), speaking my heart and mind, speaking my truth and I think..”You’re not the realistist you thought you were; you’re not quite where you should be in life; you’ve  made a lot of amateur mistakes.”

There were many moments that I spent  massive  time and energy beating myself up over the mistakes I’ve made, over  informed but wrong decisions  I’ve made that I can’t call mistakes . I’d honestly yet compassionately just call stupid.

At this point,  I can finally see myself. I can see where I was, where I am, where I want to be, but most importantly where I’m destined to be, in spite of mistakes and the struggle…as hard as it may seem and it will eventually get ..with every small detail all worth it.

The appreciation for who I’ve become-those experiences, places, and people who helped mold me..break me…build me up…stregthen me…set a foundation..chiseled away at my edges…went in for the kill.. it sustains my strength..which is my spirit to remain relentless and assures me that there is love and there is God and both those things abide within one.

3:07 PM

53sonnenuntergang-m181It’s amusing. The very same people who vigorously shake their heads YES, obviously in agreement concerning white’s (white people’s) “blind eye” to racism, has that same sort of “blind eye” concerning colorism in the US along with other things. The response seems to come to an abrupt stop or somewhere around “No, let’s focus on other people” or “Black folks don‘t have issues with color”. In realizing myself, I quickly realized others around me. For the past, I’d say 8 months, I’ve seen an increasing number of “hits” for “white power”, though I can’t say I’m surprised with a black man as president and all. What comes to mind besides the obvious burning crosses and Ku Klux Klan, is black pride. Yeah, the real black pride. I don’t mean the artificial black pride that comes with trying to pretend everything black is great and that black people have no issues, because that’s just foolishness.

Some things are just too obvious to address, and when you know that, you know these people are lodged somewhere between trying to defend something they know little to nothing about or blind patriots of blackness kind of like blind patriots of America. Black pride as little to do with pretending everything is great with black people, and more to do with acknowledging the good with the bad, that’s black pride because if you don’t acknowledge it, you are just ignoring it which shows a lack of concern or an inability to address the issue at hand; it’s like knowing you are sick and not going to the doctor to figure out the problem—the problem will likely persist. It’s not going to go away simply because you say it has gone away.

 

I remember growing up in MS. My family never really had much but I never felt it. My parents made sure I never felt it. I had a wonderful childhood, a sheltered little black girl, who in at least my sister’s eyes, was spoiled and full of potential. I never felt wronged by the word black, in fact I felt it was something that was more or less a part of me simply because it was just as I was and not because it shouldn’t be.

My immediate family is a range of shades of brown. My father, brother, and I of a darker hue and my mother and sister of a lighter hue. Though this was the reality, in my family, the range in skin color was not discussed but our common blackness was, and it was almost always a pleasant conversation or at least one full of humor.

I can recall looking in the mirror as a young girl and admiring who I was physically and mentally. Again, I had a pretty good childhood, family always around, and again…a pretty sheltered childhood as well. Then into society and away from my family’s protective words, hugs, and kisses, things changed. An unsuspecting child that thought that every other black person more or less had the same ideas about blackness as myself. Wrong. WRONG.

Wow, did I quickly get the low down and dirty on the many divisions that exist between black people by personal experience and through others’ experiences from skin color and class to black Americans and Africans who came to America—not useful things, not productive things, but hurtful things. I don’t want to go into too much detail then this entry would be entirely too long, but Africa, which is now divided up into countries is divided because some colonialism, took place at some point, with that being said color would by virtue play some part to that exposure, just by virtue [skin bleaching, perms, etc]. In America the same sort of thing but much worse, and the same can be said for the Caribbean and for similar reasons. It use to really bother me a lot all, today in my mind, it’s just another ill of this world.

Black pride to me is the same as it was 17 years ago, black people, regardless of where they are from, who share a common blackness, though different cultures because the one thing we can not change regardless of how rich, poor, smart, the language we speak or the language we don’t speak, African, or African American–black is the color of your skin, and that’s not a bad thing–not at all. It makes me wonder when I hear black people say “She/he thinks he/she is too good, or he/she says they are mixed with Indian, well, he/she is just plain ole black like everyone else”—wtf is plain ole black or plain ole anything dealing with blackness? Is black a step down from everything else? I’m going to need people to think first, speak later. Now, I have a letter to write.

Beauty of a Black Woman

So, I ran across one of my favorite blogs to run across when I get a opportune to run, and I saw this quote from Bill Cosby

On hair extensions: “Don’t pin Korean hair on a black head. If you’re going to love a black woman, love all of her.”

 It’s seldem that I don’t see a black woman/girl getting praised for having long, flowy hair (permed or natural)–either by another female or male–and frowned upon for letting their hair go naturally and unpermed. That implies that these people believe this type of hair is superior/better than hair that is not long and flowy. I mean, just the other day, I overheard some guy tell this girl that she had “good” hair. I said to myself…aww man, not his again. She laughed and asked him what he meant by that. He replied, “it’s long and stringy like white people’s hair” He had to be at least 25. What’s the year again?

Then I hear: “Oh, no I don’t mean it that way! I just mean it’s easier to manage!” …..but even natural, curly hair is easier to manage, that is, if you’d take the same time to manage it has you would permed hair.
There are many, many insecurities of the average black woman and a bulk of them have to do with her appearance. Sure, every women has insecurities regardless of race with physical appearance at times, but I feel black women, in general, tend to have more than others. The reasoning for this is vast and wide–due to family, “friends”, men, and even strangers. Due to the history, the present and the near future. Oh, there are a lot of reasons but not enough validity.
Hair in the sense that a lot of people still hold on tightly to this good hair bad hair myth so as a result there are hair weaves of every color and texture imaginable and harsh chemical perms administered at the first sign of natural growth. Skin /eye color in the sense that the most advertised black woman is the one who looks closer to white than to black and I‘ve seen countless black men and women with contacts the color of anyone else’s eyes but their own. Attitude in the sense that there is this bad stigma about black women having bad attitudes. Love in the sense that many black women will never find that prince charming black man…because as of right now, the statistics just don’t show. All of this almost gives the message, the closer I am to who I naturally am, the worse off I am.
….but the beautiful black woman. She’s not endowed in this eventful game. Her love is that of a women who loves fully and intensively those who love her with the same amount of fullness and intensity outright because of and in spite of. Her hair and eyes are naturally her own and she’s content with that. Despite the negative comments from her family or “friends” insisting she should perm her hair. In fact, any man who is not content with it, she’s not content with him but she‘s still content with herself and remains confident in herself. Why would she be confident in a situation like that? EVERYONE seems to dislike this decision and EVERYONE has an opinion about it. Who would have thought that hair in it’s natural state would invoke such dislike. Recognized as such or not, it is also a dislike for self. I mean, after ALL this time. Sometimes you think, people have problems accepting differences, but this is not difference, this is natural and the alteration of the natural is the real difference.
Well………..why shouldn’t she be confident when this is who she is, and this is how she was created, beautifully so and without the “aid” of anything. Black , thick, curly hair, full lips, curly eye lashes, dark brown almond shaped eyes, smooth chocolate or medium brown skin, graceful curves. Her attitude is that of a women who knows who she is and what she does not want and she does not compromise that for anyone because for years she has been the compensation of everyone. Why should she compensate? Better yet, what or who the hell is she compensating for?
We were all created by design and the design was never flawed, the work put into the design was never more or less, but the amount of thought that is put into appreciation of the design is fixated on everything that design was never meant to be and nothing that design truly is.

 

 

Breathing is Easy

I’ve never felt so good doing a enormous amount of nothing. That’s right. I deserve to be lazy, I deserve to eat ice-cream in 20 degree weather, I deserve to watch TV all day and never get out of bed, ignore phone calls as I please, go shopping and buy whatever suits my mood at the time. Yup. Vet school is pretty extreme. Not that I didn’t know that before, but “knowing” isn’t actually “knowing” until you live it. After depriving myself of sleep for weeks, sometimes food was secondary to my work. A comet could have been coming straight for my area, I would have known nothing of it and died quite unexpectedly. It’s like extreme isolation, cut off from the rest of the world….all you know are dosages, radiographs, veins, arteries, nerves, electrocardiographs, and clinical consids. It’s pretty bad when you dream about it, then wake up on a day like today when I don’t have to see that dreaded place, thinking about how the esophagus is dorsal to the trachea then goes laterally to the trachea at the thoracic inlet, then back dorsal after it pass it. Ya know…4 test in one week once a month then finals. Every test is like finals. Papers are sleeping with you every night instead of someone who can keep you warm, papers on the floor even greet your feet each morning as you rush out of bed, in the lab at 2AM with cadavers…and the list goes on.

So until I absolutely have to go back to that place…..I’m officially off duty.

Kristi…will go go put the…” No.

Kristi….is my..” No.

Kristi…if you’d just….” No.

Kristi….will you listen…” No.

Breathing is easy.

 

WashedOut|”Impressions”

      First Impressions”? Yeah, I could see why for an interview maybe because you really want or need that job, sometimes you have to make a stretch. After all, they can’t fire you when the charm you had in the interview suddenly leaves after the first month on the job—its business as usual.

     For everyday, normal people? I fail to see the reverence. You may counter argue that maybe one day these normal, everyday people may be in a position one day to do some extraordinary things. It is true, however, if I only interacted with people who I thought would “be somebody” one day, I’d be cheating myself out of my own potential.  In situations like these, reality can get you kicked out the door as fast as illusion got you into it; it’s not an interview with laws to protect you after the fact. Beyond this, when most people do things “extraordinary” for you, it’s a give and take situation. Nothing not given freely will ever come freely.

    Typically at this point, there are many who are hung up on trying to make a “good “ first, second, and third “impression”, so in reality you don’t really get to know them until after the fact anyway, and that could be a good or bad finding.

I guess there are those who do this because it actually works on the majority! I’ve never understood and never will how someone would be charmed by someone who is trying to charm, maybe it’s not so obvious then but look at the situation and that within itself is obvious. In certain situations people tend to overcompensate for something by exaggerating some other aspect that is not just a natural inclination for them.  I’ve seen many “sweet“-labeled people eventually show their true colors as the complete opposite
 An “impression” is often giving one’s self a false persona that is more than likely revealed sooner or later to be just what it is, an illusion. The first impression is never the last.

 It reminds me of children who don’t feel comfortable being themselves, as they have to “fit in” somewhere, like a piece to a puzzle, so they pretend. The sad part about this is a lot of people will go through their entire lives not ever being able to freely be themselves–that is, be comfortable being themselves around others. 

     Maybe just being one’s self isn’t as impressive as pretending to be something else for most people. My “impression” is just me being me—but then that’s not an “impression” at all; it’s reality and incapable of becoming washedout. I’d prefer to be around people who are more in touch with themselves and the latter; those are the people who impress me, not the WashedOut Impressions– but the lasting and truthful reality being that they are genuine and there truly aren’t too many of their kind left in the world.

Black Models| Italia Vogue 2008

The European standard of beauty has become so much an axiom that black beauty is nearly “lost in translation” for good. I see people searching for black models and black beauty constantly on search engines and the likes and coming up short with a few they can count on one hand. That could change.

Of course, black women are beautiful on or off a magazine, on or off a catwalk, whatever and wherever. I think the problem is relying too much on main stream to get ourselves out there when we can BE main-stream.

Why is it that almost every time I see a beautiful spread in a magazine featuring a model, it’s in white mainstream media?—-Do blacks not have the same ability? Of course they do, that was a rhetorical question. It’s well known that most of the people who bought the Italian EnVogue magazine were black, and it sold well. Blacks support blacks’ period—especially in incipient business ventures. If things are done right and professionally with class etc….support will double, and maybe even come in unlikely places, because it will not be about the fact that they are black owned but that their work wreaks quality.

Here are some of the pictures from the “all-black” Italia Vogue: From Left to right (Alek Wek, Arlenis Sosa, Iman,  Karen Alexander, Naomi Campbell, Noemie Lenoir,  (2)Toccara Jones, (3) Tyra Banks,  Ubah)

Between the continent of Africa and the other majority black countries who are having similar issues of black model’s not getting work—we could ubiquitously take the world by storm because there are some undeniably beautiful black women out there; that’s veracity. Where are the black photographers and the black modeling agencies? Hiding? I am not talking about those photographers that do borderline porn; I’m talking professionals.

I know Ebony and the likes have modeling agencies and there are plenty of blacks who have their own clothing line, some not so well known but classier than those that are well known, and that is an issue–they are not put out there. If Ebony along with other more recognized black modeling agencies monopolized around the world—made this not just an African American thing but a Caribbean thing, and African thing—a black thing, I really think the potential of this is prodigious.

That gives more diversity, more exotic looks, more style, and flare. That makes the problem of not being well known obsolete and a broader audience to which one can appeal. When white, main stream starts noticing a decline in their sales, which means their avarice is not satisfied— I assure you they will take notice but by then, they will not be an issue, merely a side note.

The Revolution|will NOT be Televised



I am not angry; I am anger.
I am not dangerous; I am danger.
I am abominable stress, eliotic, relentless.
I’m a breath of vengeance.
I’m a death sentence.
I’m forsaking repentance,
to the beast in his hench men.


Armed forces and policemen
that survived off of oils and prisons until there cup runneth over with lost souls.
That wear over-sized caps like blind-folds
Shiny necklaces like lassoes
Draggin’ them into black-holes
And I may have to holla out to Fidel Castro
To get my other brothers outta Guantanimo

And the innocence on death row?
It’s probably in the same proportion to criminals in black robes
That smack gavels
That crack domes
That smack gavels
That smash homes

Justice is somewhere between reading sad poems and 40 oz of gasoline crashing through windows
It is between plans and action
It is between writing letters to congressmen and clocking the captain
It is between raising legal defense funds and putting a gun to the bailiff and taking the judge captive
It is between prayer and fasting
Between burning and blasting
Freedom is between the mind and the soul
Between the lock and the load
Between the zeal of the young and the patience of the old
Freedom is between a finger and the trigger
It is between the page and the pen
It is between the grenade and the pin
Between righteous and keeping one in the chamber

So what can they do with a cat with a heart like Turner
A mind like Douglass
A mouth like Malcolm
And a voice like Chris?!

That is why I am not dangerous; I am danger
I am not angry, I am anger
I am abominable, stress, Eliotic relentless
I’m a death sentence
For the beast and his henchmen
Politicians and big businessmen
I’m a teenage Palestinian
Opening fire at an Israeli checkpoint, point blank, check-mate, now what?!
I’m a rape victim with a gun cocked to his cock, cock BANG! Bangkok! Now what?!
I am sitting Bull with Colonel Custard’s scalp in my hands
I am Sincay with a slave trader’s blood on my hands
I am Jonathan Jackson and a gun to my man
I am David with a slingshot and a rock
And if David lived today, he’d have a Molotov cocktail and a Glock
So down with Goliath, I say down with Goliath

But we must learn, know, write, read
We must kick, bite, yell, scream
We must pray, fast, live, dream, fight, kill and die free!

Amir Sulaiman