When in the midst of sorrow
you can’t see up when looking down
A brighter day tomorrow will bring
You hear the voice of reason
telling you this cant never be done
No matter how hard reality seems
Just hold on to your dreams
(Sounds of Blackness, 1991)
Certain songs possess a sort of magic that allows them to say in a few minutes, what entire nations have been aching to hear vocalized so tenderly and perfectly, for moths, or years, or centuries. This song has that magic. If a gifted writer came into possession of every diary in the Untied States written this year, I imagine that the sum of all their parts would be this song, and that whatever that writer created would be its sister. It is a reminder to “be optimistic,” while acknowledging the very real strife this universe serves people, and the valid sorrow it generates. At the turn of the new year, and the end of a semester, this song is more relevant than ever. I have sat up many nights grueling over schoolwork, often from this class, wondering how I was going to take care of my siblings, and afford school, and handle troubled relationships, and manage my mental health, etc. To parrot the lyrics of “Be Optimistic,” I felt it (all of this) could never be done. Regardless of that, while this semester was certainly unique, it is not the worst I have been through. It was however the most academically draining and challenging semester I have ever experienced, and English 215 is the most difficult class I have ever taken. It has challenged me to attach a ferocity to my studies that I have never, and in all honesty, have never been asked to before; my performance has not been perfect, but I stepped up to the plate after a few wake-up calls. I have decided to use Association, (which I have already utilized), Humor, Analogy, and Evidence of my deservedness, like grades and participation as persuasive techniques to convince you of my thesis: I have proven and further developed my abilities to endure, to be creative, intellectual, thoughtful, tedious, and receptive, even in the midst of sorrow. …
Well, well, well, here we go again. Right were we found ourselves four years ago. In 2016 the country waited to discover what our collective fate would be. We waited, to find out something we already new, deep down in each of our hearts, but refused to admit to ourselves. Must of us, anyway. That teh United States of America is just as racist today as it was 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. That white fear will always outweigh Black lives, and that sensationalism, lights, cameras, and a show, appeal to a large segment of the American population more than a level head and a will to do what is right. …
Maybe it was all a dream, the before.
Half swollen, half realized, half remembered.
But I’m still shaking.
I...I still know the feeling.
And the proof of it is everywhere.
Words are like water in a well, sometimes they run dry. That is what I tell myself when I fall into a writing slump. Or when I unconsciously avoid writing because there are so many other things to worry about, or becasue I’m afraid I forgot how to write a simile or realistic dialog. Writing is not easy for me, mostly because I am a perfectionist. Perfection drains the joy out of everything, it turns play into work, exploration into study, and passion into diligent, structured discipline. It’s not that those things are bad or anything, they are just as important as their counterparts, it’s just that they drain me sometimes. …
The ugliness which lives inside of people physically manifests itself. As sickness and pain and fatigue, yes, but also outside of the body. When I moved into an apartment after being homeless for half a year, just before the corona virus hit the United States, I quickly discovered that there was a bed bug problem. I would find tiny brownish red dots in my closet, on the floor, in my bed. Once, I woke up, the sun barely risen in the sky, and saw a small red bed bug resting on my pillow, inflamed with my blood. By this time, about a week after I’d recognized the situation as a problem, I’d become used to it, and wasn’t startled. …
The American education system lies to children. About the things this country has done and still does. The United States, and the West at large, has controlled the human story for hundreds of years. It’s not hard at all to shift the narrative when you’ve colonized well over half the world.
I’m concerned. Because I know what kids learn in school. I know what they dont learn. Especially in under-privileged schools and schools in very conservative States, that enjoy teaching a watered down and racist reinvention of actual history.
They teach that Martin Luther King loved peace, and that apparently, White people loved him. Even though he was assassinated by a white man. Malcolm X was a violent radical, because apparently responding to being dehumanized with anger isn’t an appropriate response. Rosa Parks sat on a bus because she was tired. …
Speaking is a powerful, controversial activity, and words are controversial, powerful things. This can almost certainly be proven just by logging on to social media for more than five minutes, or turning on a news channel for more than five seconds. As the world evolves, the internet gets bigger, and political and social climates continue to change for better or worse; one thing remains the same. Human beings talk, about themselves.
This is not a bad thing. Talking about personal things that control personal realities doesn’t make a person conceited or full of themselves. It is necessary. The problems arise, when people are discouraged from speaking up.
America has a long history of silencing and censorship, both over and under the radar. …
When I was a kid, he screamed at the top of his lungs for hours at a time. He’d usually start early in the morning, and sometimes wouldn’t stop until midnight or later. I started referring to these outbursts as “episodes” a few years ago. And they were quite frequent episodes. After a watching my father consistently, anyone can predict when they’ll come on.
My father has always been an angry man. A violently angry man, to those who know him the best. To everyone else he was perfectly kind, intelligent, respectable. He was never any of those things to us. By that, I don’t mean he would beat me or anyone else, he wouldn’t. Some people know how to hurt you without ever lifting a finger. …
She is loud in a way that confuses people
keeps them on their toes
not knowing where she will turn next
or what could possibly be done to escape her.
The one that could push every star out of the sky
with one straining thought.
What a power that is.
Even so, one small star would remain
Finite, ignored or despised
all the time it has existed.
It’s brightness would fold
and come apart in places,
pockets of darkness formed on its outsides.
You can become a believer in Gods
created to justify the hatred of you,
But only in the shallow way
you can believe your chemistry teacher
When she mutters something