Monday, April 25, 2016

Choices by Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni

If i can't do 
what i want to do 
then my job is to not 
do what i don't want 
to do
It's not the same thing 
but it's the best i can 

If i can't have 
what i want . . . then 
my job is to want 
what I've got 
and be satisfied 
that at least there 
is something more to want

Since i can't go 
where i need 
to go . . . then i must . . . go 
where the signs point 
through always understanding 
parallel movement 
isn't lateral

When i can't express 
what i really feel 
i practice feeling 
what i can express 
and none of it is equal
I know 
but that's why mankind 
alone among the animals 
learns to cry 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Freedom by James Berry

        James Berry

Freedom is not
a helpless grasping
at a source of hurt
or an outpour of oneself
to fixed ends others started

Freedom is not
a hiding in the dust
of righteous indignation
or a merging with shadows

Freedom is not
 a becoming the model
of destructive echoes
or a walking in the hands of ghosts

Freedom is not
a reframing of oneself
in the walls of the old prison
or a becoming the tyrant's chain

Freedom is not
a letting go like trees grow
a native self unravelling
an adventure of a new
self because of oneself

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

People Equal by James Berry

       Here is week two of poetry month. I know you enjoyed the poem by Dr. Maya Angelou.  Today, this poem is by James Berry. James Berry is a British poet.  I have fell in love with his work. The poem I will share today is People Equal. 

People Equal
James Berry

Some people shoot up tall. 
Some hardly leave the ground at all. 
Yet-people equal. Equal. 

One voice is a sweet mango. 
Another is a nonsugar tomato. 
Yet-people equal. Equal. 

Some people rush to the front. 
Others hang back, feeling they can't. 
Yet-people equal. Equal. 

Hammer some people, you meet a wall. 
Blow hard on others, they fall. 
Yet-people equal. Equal. 

One person will aim at a star. 
For another, a hilltop is too far. 
Yet-people equal. Equal. 

Some people get on with their show. 
Others never get on the go. 
Yet-People equal. Equal. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Beginning of Poetry Month

Hello Audience!! I know it has been a while. Life has put me on some skates that has given me some surprises! It is April! I am excited because April is poetry month. So, here is a poem by my favorite poet to begin the first week of April. The poem is "Life Doesn't Frighten Me" by Maya Angelou. Enjoy!

Life Doesn't Frighten Me
Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn't frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn't frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don't frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn't frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won't cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn't frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don't frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don't frighten me at all.

Don't show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I'm afraid at all
It's only in my dreams.

I've got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn't frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn't frighten me at all. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Know Who You Are

      Happy New Year! I’ve been quiet. I’ve been recovering from surgery. I’m up and about so I’ll be back to give you a post once a month.

        Ephesians 3:20 states “ Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” I was at a doctor’s appointment in December. I was having a conversation on a spiritual note about Christ. This person stated “know who you are”. As they continued to talk they expressed that we all are sinners, but once you accept God. You are no longer a sinner. You are a child of God. They stated “don’t use you was once a sinner when you sin or make a mistake as a crutch because you sinned.” As they continued to go on explaining this got me thinking. How many Christians or people on this earth don’t know who they are?

        The scripture God has given me this year is Ephesians 3:20. How do these comes into play? If you don’t know who you are in Christ, the Holy Bible is the word of God that he has given unto us. How do you know you have these promises? If you don’t know you have these promises then you can’t proclaim these promises. Someone said it’s there in the Bible, because I just told you. Again, I stated “know who you are”; I wouldn’t have to tell you if you know. An example we all have experienced someone with a body odor. Who cannot smell themselves, that person don’t know the truth concerning their body odor. If you tell them the truth with love then he or she will know they have a body odor. Most of all they can accept it. This way they can accept the truth. If they can’t receive the truth, they can’t accept the promises.

        The promise of God comes in truth. Truth is defined as the true or actual state of a matter or conformity with fact or reality; verity. If and when you face reality or the actual matter at hand, only then will you know who you are. You know you can take anything that is faced at you, because to know who you are you must deal in truth.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Forms of Black Stereotyping

            Steve Harvey’s book “Act like a Lady, Think like a Man” gave women all over the world information on every type of man in every form. When you look at the news you see our black men stealing, killing, fighting, etc. It does something to all of us, especially our black women. On the honest tip I love a black man. I love the strength, swag (confidence), features, creativity, and many more attributes. What makes me very angry is the mentality that someone or the world owes you. Nobody owes you ANYTHING!! We all have to get out there and work our tails off to get what we have.
            I understand everyone isn’t dealt a good hand in life. This is where you prove everyone around you wrong. I think about what Cicely Tyson said on Oprah’s Life class “make it worth their while.” If anyone going is to bring a child into this world, make it worth their stay on this earth. When she said that something hit me in the spirit, that made me scream at almost one in the morning.
            The Bible states that he looked down into forty-two generations to find a virgin to bring Jesus to this earth. He sent an angel to let her know that she was chosen to bring Jesus into this earth. The angel also informed Mary of her challenges. The Heavenly Father will take care of her. What made it worth her while was she got to see and feel her son again.
            I want to say to the parents who are doing your best, Thank you and keep up the good work. Next, to those that can do better stand up to the challenge, the Bible states much is given, much is required. If you want the best it takes doing your best. One of those steps is getting an education or vocation, etc. It is making the effort to be your children’s example. Making it worth their while is taking them on the field trips of life’s path, letting them meet people who have completed their dreams. It doesn’t happen overnight but it can happen.
            I say to our black men the stereotyping isn’t going to stop overnight but we have to fight back with knowledge. When the elderly or someone older with wisdom and knowledge tells you something to help you, accept it and show appreciation. They made it through the Civil Rights, the Jim Crow Laws, etc so that we could have what we have today. That is equality!!! I think about the history classes I have taken. The Vietnam War was senseless but what made it worse was our black men and women couldn’t vote. We fought in a war that wasn’t our concern.
            Now we are fighting a war that is our concern. We have to fight it with prayer, knowledge, with reasonable expression and protesting. We have been lacking in these areas in the Michael Brown case. In Trayvon Martin’s case all the above was done effectively. We need our men to express their emotions. Expressing emotions doesn’t make you weak. I have heard so many times from our men, especially black men, that I am mad or angry because they disrespected me. They can’t articulate how? The how is more important than you know because like I said before this is where the knowledge kicks in.  
            The Bible states that people perish for the lack of knowledge. This is so true. If you look at our prison population it is majority black men. If you look at Chicago, New York, Kinston, North Carolina or any other city. Black on black crimes is a norm. Yes, a norm!! We don’t understand why we can fight, cuss, fuss, yell and destroy other people property over Michael Brown. My best friend asked me why our black community won’t rally or protest for black on black crimes?
            Pause. Hold on. That is a powerful statement; I had to scream when she said that because it is so true.  Where are the people? Where are the real men? Why are you afraid of this young man or boy? You might be answering ‘he might got a gun’. Yes, at the end of the day you’d rather save this black man child from being another stat in the national research database. If they see you care, the love will come. When the love come the trust and respect follow. You have to take a stand somewhere.
Now you see a little ray of hope in that aspect but they don’t know how to handle life challenges. The line they use is “they keep holding me back.” Nobody is holding you back except the person in the mirror - This is another form of slavery.
Our black people have made people angry because it wasn’t easy but we fought to break the barriers. You can’t expand your mind to be that Denzel Washington, Tyrese, NeYo, Beyonce`, Tyler Perry or anyone else in your community that you admire. It is time to take responsibility for your own actions. If you had those six or seven kids, you feel your life is over. Don’t use the system to make a life. Make a life and be an example. Like I said before much is given, much is required. Let’s break the chains!
I can go on and on about the issues of our black men and women. I touched on the issues that were near and dear to me. I am a black woman who is in her early thirty’s. I had every different form of a black man. Black men respect us!! Young women respect yourself, you don’t have to have a man to validate who you are as woman. If he isn’t a real man, then he is just another bill. Yes, another bill that don’t have to be added to your life. Please stop having kids and not taking care of these kids. The grandparents should be able to enjoy what they have worked for in life.  Children need love and attention. The mentality as long as the child isn’t bothering me is not cutting it. It is embarrassing to see your child doesn’t know how to sit down in a restaurant, doctor’s office, or read, etc. I am a single mother of a seven year old girl. I have had people to watch our table in amazement. After they finished their meal, they came to the table and complimented on how well mannered she is. I know single parents with five or more children who maintain to work, go to school, and manage a career. Most of all, the children know how to behave. Yes, it takes help from others who are willing to help you- not hinder you. If you have setbacks don’t give up. The race isn’t given to the swift or the strong but to those who endure until the end. All that matters is that you finish!
We have some races to run. All I know is I am ready to run them to save my black men and women. If that is through sharing my knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, then I am here. You can not win the race if you don’t have your finish line set in your mind. I am not talking about the quick money, like selling drugs. That is a life in prison or death. This race comes from the reward of hard work, education, buying a house, having your own business (legal), a great career; these are the rewards that are waiting. You have to finish the race to receive the reward.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Am Back!

      I am glad to be back writing my blog. I have missed my audience. Well, I posted back in July of 2013, that I was going to post "A Gift of Words". I didn't come back and post it. I have given this to Arapahoe Charter in Arapahoe, North Carolina. I haven't checked back to see what or how the instructors has used this to help improve the students success. I will check back soon.  Here it is!
A Gift of Words
Everyone remembers the joy and wonder of being read to while
snuggled in mother’s comforting arms. We pass on stories, traditions,
history and culture through reading to our children. Do you ever
wonder how many children don’t get to share that experience? You
would be amazed at how many children don’t get that interaction
with their parent. A majority of families today are single parent
homes. I am going to show you two different single parents. After
I give each scenario you will see how at-risk our children are. They
need reading experience to build their self-esteem as well their
Parent one has a high school education but her reading level is third
grade. Working two jobs, each night when she gets off work the
children are asleep. If she were at home in time to read her children
a bed time story, she could barely read the book.
Parent two has a high school education and is continuing her
education. She is working two jobs as well and attending a local
university. When she doesn’t have to work late she reads a bedtime
story to her children at least two times a week.
My question is what do we do to change a child’s exposure to
reading for the better given the often difficult circumstances at
home? I came up with an idea to help children learn the value of
reading and writing and become more independent readers and
writers regardless of their level of learning. This program will offer a
series of workshops through local libraries, Head Start or any other
daytime program designed for children.
Ages 3-5
We want to help children, particularly at-risk children, understand
the importance of reading and writing. We want to instill in very
young children the excitement and satisfaction of being read to
on a regular basis. Children learn the importance of reading when
read to on a regular schedule. Listening to stories expands a child’s
knowledge and challenges him or her to learn new skills. Reading
to a child will increase vocabulary and he or she will understand
more words and be able to better communicate. Another way to
communicate a child is to draw a picture that he or she can relate
to the story. Sadly, one in six children live in poverty in the United
States. Many of these children never get to experience the joy of
listening to a story. Their lack of exposure to this basic skill places
them at a tremendous disadvantage throughout their lifetime.
Ages 6-8
We plan to help beginning readers learn how to write their own
material beginning with a single sentence. The children will enjoy
a Saturday workshop held at a local library, designed to ignite
the spark of imagination through the use of authentic language.
Through a series of guided activities, children will be taught how to
capture their imagination through writing. They will then use their
own material to learn how to edit and revise to create good writing.
One item they will learn is sentence structure. Sentence structure
is an important part of communicating clearly and concisely. Every
sentence must contain a subject (noun or pronoun) and a predicate
(verb or action word) in order to be considered complete. Children
will be taught to always look for ways to shorten their sentences and
make them more active than passive. For example, they might be
told when you see someone about to run across a busy street you
can yell, “Hold it, there is a car coming down the street and it may hit
you if you were to run into the street.” Or, you can yell, “STOP.”
Ages 9-12
My Life So Far
This age audience has developed language skills and may or may
not enjoy writing as a daily activity. Our program will encourage
children to express themselves through writing. They may not realize
that they have an important story to tell and that their story, when
woven together with their friends, will create a beautiful tapestry.
Youngsters this age love a challenge. They will be asked to write
about their life so far. We will use various techniques to help each
child organize his or her thoughts and decide on a topic. They will be
guided through the process of outlining their project, then filling in
the details to complete their own story.
Once the youngsters write their stories, we will compile them into a
book that they can keep.