Everything I choose is extra special.
My people. I’ve returned.
I have been busy. I’m working to inspire a generation. I am now an illuminator.
Nike came all the way through for Black History Month 2017. I hope you’re indulging in plenty of Black facts. These patchwork Retro Ones have a metallic finish and two dope Michael Jordan quotes. They’re classic, comfortable, and clean!
We all have our thing little things. Some people like football stats, others miniature train sets, maybe makeup. But my thing, well one of many but a main thing nonetheless, rap lyrics.
I’ve been at it for a few years now lending my two cents on RapGenius. It’s a slow process but rewarding when the community acknowledges your interpretation of this verbal art. The ultimate shoutout showed up in my inbox so I had to share.
All history matters, especially suppressed Black history. The story of Nat Turner is one that America needs to digest as a microcosm of the lies history has told about slavery and the Black experience.
I recently attended a New York premier of Nate Parker’s Birth Of A Nation and it’s about time someone addressed these truths. It’s interesting Solange Knowles dropped A Seat At The Table in the same week because Birth Of A Nation left me feeling a lot like her song “F.U.B.U.” finally our stories are being told, our heros are being acknowledged.
Not at the expense of anyone else but because we’ve suffered and we overcame. There is more to American history than Christopher Columbus, John Smith, and Abraham Lincoln. No one can change history and the atrocities humans have committed against one another but we can acknowledge, accept, learn, and move forward.
Many individuals opposing the Black Lives Matter movement fail to realize, we’ve come along way but we suffer from the residuals and aftershocks of our 400 years of oppression. This movie helps define the plight and pain that many continue to deny and it highlights the strength and dignity a group of people maintained when even their bodies were not their own.
In 1712, Willie Lynch wrote a letter outlining his guaranteed methods to oppress Black people he stated, “I have a foolproof method for controlling your black slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years …. you must pitch the old Black vs. the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skinned slaves vs the light skinned slaves, and the light skinned slaves vs. the dark skinned slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect, and trust only us.”
300 years later the offspring of the individuals forced to work for free yell ‘Black Lives Matter’ attempting to break the promise of Lynch to many deaf ears with full mouths who wish the Lynch legacy would continue. All live matter, which we know and accept. Nat Turner knew and accepted this truth when he agreed to baptize a white man because that man in the eyes of Turner was a child of God. But even this was an act unthinkable to Turner’s master who allowed him to preach the gospel when it was profitable but believed selectively in the word of the lord like so many others then and now.
In addition, to the strange fruit scene in Birth Of A Nation, the scene that struck me the most was Gabrielle Union’s character leaving the master’s house and reluctantly falling into the arms of her husband after being forced to give her soul to a stranger. The fact that this was as regular as fetching water from the well alone made the rebellion make sense. A man watching the violation of his wife, and Nat watching the physical recovery of his. This is the story of our Grandmothers. How can black men and women not hurt and weep for our sons and daughters in a world that turns a blind eye to how the state of black America came to be? How can America attempt to overlook generations of sexual abuse evident in the light hues of black skin and the exotic hair textures that some beg to touch and others attempt to imitate.
Open your eyes America!
Nate Parker rewrote history correctly, this is the real Birth Of A Nation. This film will undoubtedly birth a colorless society of aware revolutionaries that are unified by a consciousness our nation has never known because it hid and denied the history. The Americans that acknowledge and learn from Nat Turner will be the ones to make America great for the first time. How can we claim greatness when we deny the suffering of an entire group of people that picked the cotton, laid the bricks, birthed and nursed the babies, kept the home, and laid down their lives to give future generations a chance and freedom and a shot at the American dream?
It’s time to shine. Nate Parker’s film Birth Of A Nation, is fantastic from the historical accuracy, to the quality of the costumes and set, to the thought provoking lines in the script. This is a must see for every American 15 years old and up. I love to say, only great art comes from suffering and this film is a testament to that statement. Let’s allow the past be our professor and learn. Let’s open up the next chapter of love, respect, understanding, and freedom in our book of American history and life.
RIP Nat Turner.
Parents, able Grandparents, older brothers, sisters, cousins, and people of authority we must do something about our young minds being led astray by social media and mobile technology! Working in the classroom and with school administrators, I’ve seen first hand the havoc social media is wreaking on school age children and the lasting effects that students cannot quite grasp yet. As socially conscious adults, it is our responsibility to protect these young impressionable souls from the rawness of the online world for a menagerie of reasons but principally the following:
- Social media is weakening the young mind’s ability to make decisions. Brendon Burchard of Brendon.com said it best “Stop browsing so much!” (Skip to 3:52 for the heart of the message).
Young minds are already all over the place and easily distracted. By fostering this culture of browsing the mind is over stimulated and consequently weaker when it really matters the most. President Barack Obama does not pick out his own suits because of decision fatigue, imagine how Instagram can impact third grader with a developing mind!
- Many things young people see on social media they are seeing and or hearing for the first time. With no one engaging alongside of them they are forced to draw their own often erroneous conclusions that they carry out into the world. Young minds often cannot discern what they are seeing online from reality. They are buying into false concepts of beauty, falling victim to predators, and in the worst cases coming across terror related propaganda dragging them in a direction none of us want to accept as a problem.
- Nudes are a huge problem in schools! Every school I’ve shared my S.O.Social Media seminar with has dealt with ‘oversharing’ and cyber bullying. Since the biggest celebrities of our time do it … frequently … students do too. Even worse, students often leak each other’s nude photos to friends just like adults do. But in the educational environment this can be devastating on another level.
Recommendations to prevent and help heal the damage that has already been done.
- Buy less than smartphones, no cameras or applications. This type of phone will be less of a distraction during the school day. Teachers are losing precious time confiscating phones from distracted students. This takes away from the teaching and learning process for all involved.
- Browse social media as a family activity. Make family accounts allowing everyone to like what they like, and follow who they wish to follow. This way social media is bringing the family together not creating barriers. This can also help if your child will not allow you to follow them. Break down that wall!
- Save the headphones for games and road trips. You might not have time to police daily engagement but if you can hear what they’re watching or doing you can make determinations on whether it’s appropriate or not.
- Continuously communicate that everything online is forever.
- Propose alternatives like playing outside or reading a book!
It’s not about having the coolest phone in the 7th grade. It’s about not having nudes pop up in a Google Image search when your kid is applying for college. Don’t let what lives on the internet become your child’s reality.
There are lots of ways to use social media for good. But I’ll save that for another post…
S.O.Social Media is brought to you by MJWW Ventures LTD. for more information contact MsJheri@MsJheriWorldwide.com
Tickle The Rain is the latest project written by playwright and professor Levi Frazier, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee and illustrated by Jim Palmer. Professor Frazier is an extremely creative instructor who often takes his students from Southwest Tennessee Community College abroad to explore our world. We met on one of these excursions while I was living in London, England. Tickle The Rain beautifully illustrates young Ike traveling through a dangerous storm to reunite the rainbow with the rain.
Advised by an elder in his community, this informative tale is told through the perspective of Ike a young boy in a colorful village. Along the way Ike gains insights, uses past advice to navigate the wild, and perseveres regardless of the challenges he meets in the forest. Ike’s courageous experience proves his progression from a boy to young man to a hero in his community.
I thoroughly appreciate the author’s use of challenging words with in the context of the story to expand vocabulary of young readers. For example, the use of ‘provision’ when describing the items in Ike’s bag and his tasteful use of ‘gawking’ to describe a large ostrich.
This story of perseverance and working with the beauty of nature is a truly touching tale for all ages and great for any young reader. I highly recommend Tickle The Rain by Levi Frazier, Jr. for your reading pleasure.