One of my best friends is receiving the NYC Chapter young alumni achievement award at the Honoree & Scholarship dinner for the NC A&T Alumni Association ♡ Jheri Hardaway
Posted by RaeMonique Blount on Saturday, June 24, 2017
I could always hear him before I saw him. Gus rode a motorized scooter. Not sure if he needed it but he was far too lazy of a person to walk if there was another option.
It was the same every Saturday. The market was my outlet for selling my growing collection of oversized junk. I’d collect all week and sell on Saturdays. Since I’ve been out I realized I couldn’t stay away from sales. That’s what I know. Plus, it’s an honest career. Can’t say the same of what I sold in the very same streets in prior years. The market is like night and day from the life I knew before.
Instead of junkies its hipsters waiting to uncover something strange to add to their collection of obscurities helping to define their undying need to be different. After the perfect pitch and a fabricated informal backstory I reel them in my booth, tell more of my perfectly pitched tale, and then count their cash.
Gus loves to ride over to my booth and give me headaches in front of my customers. I guess it’s his way of pushing my buttons, ensuring that I’ve been rehabilitated and won’t snap. Little does he know I do my dirt in the dark.
Gus also claims the dog shit in the courtyard came from Max. However, he can’t prove it. So I won’t be scooping that load of shit. No sir not me.
A few days ago spring began. Josh and Justin went to pick up beer from the store. They always get the same beer, High Life; from the same store, Tony’s. These men are creatures of habit. Josh repeats the same idiom every time the homies pop their first can, “It may not be the highest grade in the dispensary but this some good beer.”
Justin co-signs with this infamous, “Right on.”
Josh exhales, “Did I tell you about my dream?”
Justin, “Nah, but I love a good dream. What happened?”
Josh shrugs nonchalantly launching into the tale:
I really don’t know where to start but the weather was strange. The earth quaked at least six times and it rain a lot too. I could never tell the difference between things I thought and things I actually said. It was so confusing but I didn’t have time to be frustrated since I had so much to figure out. Oh and my abs were super tight. I don’t know why. Maybe I was worried but I remember how sore they were and I couldn’t figure out why. This was confusing too but I had to keep going. Even though I didn’t know where I was going. Isn’t that funny? Just like in life when we don’t know where to go but we keep going. Dreams are the same.
Justin co-signs, “Right on!”
Josh jumps back into his dream:
The rain turned into snow but I wasn’t cold. I told my feelings to turn off when the sun went down. I only felt determined but I never really knew why. There was a woman I remembered from when we were kids. She was tall and she was glowing in the dark. People were lining up to talk to her but I kept walking because I couldn’t remember her name. Everyone that spoke with her left with a smile and I wanted to go to her, but I forgot the lesson I learned and I was too embarrassed to stare until it all came back to me. I was afraid I’d waste too much time and wake up never figuring out where I was meant to be. Then these thoughts surfaced and I couldn’t help but repeat them in my head over and over, “Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me?” There were no hints and no clues. Just time passing quietly.
Josh pauses and takes a few sips from his beer. Caught up in the suspense Justin inquires, “So what happened next?”
Josh replies, “I don’t know. I’m not sure if I don’t remember or if I woke up.”
As you have noticed by now, here at MsJheriWorldwide.com we continuously innovate. In efforts to encourage a spirit of entrepreneurship in the global brown community we will be spotlighting minority owned businesses from around the world!
M.O.B. Spotlight #1: The Harlem Film Company
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to connect with Cheryl Hill. Cheryl is an executive with The Harlem Film Company and a veteran of the film industry. I was invited to the premier of the company’s first film Chapter & Verse directed by Jamal Joseph.
No one in this world is more attractive than a proud Black man. However, that magnetic pride can also be an Achilles heel. Such was the case for Sir Lance Ingram of Harlem in Jamal Joseph’s Chapter & Verse.
Lance a former gang leader, came home from prison after ten years to find himself trapped in a halfway house and an unfulfilling job. It was a struggle to adapt until he came across a few trustworthy individuals. A kind aging grandmother Ms. Maddy (Loretta Devine), a childhood friend Jomo (Amari Hardwick), and his parole officer Mr. Morris (Gary Perez).
Ms. Maddy stole the film by instilling in Sir Lance hope, joy, and a sense of family. He smiled again after they connected and blessed her last days with smiles and other necessary vices. Waking up and living wasn’t such a chore with Ms. Maddy and her family in Lance’s life. He became a better man knowing he was working towards preventing others from taking his path in the streets. Of course outside influences made staying on the straight and narrow path damn near impossible, but Sir Lance tried his best.
In the midst of Sir Lance’s internal struggle there were seriously hilarious elements to this film. A blind man demanding to see ID, a quick-witted grandson outsmarting the lead character. By far the best line in the film was Jomo’s loaded inquiry to Yolanda (Selenis Leyva) when she offers to let Jomo inside “in your apartment or in your world?” Well Amari since you asked….
Please go see Chapter & Verse when it comes to a theater near you. This film was fantastic, well structured and super engaging. I recommend everyone watch Chapter & Verse to better understand this concept that the same village that raises a child must never disregard or alienate the individual. Just like Tupac said, “America eats its babies. No matter what y’all think about me I’m still your child.”
We have to work together to make sure no child is left to their own devices. We are responsible for our own decisions however, ‘the only difference is opportunity.’ We have to make a way for our brothers and sisters regardless of age, sexual orientation, ability or past convictions to continue to live and lead meaningful lives.
Huge shout out to The Harlem Film Company, Cheryl Hill, and Jamal Joseph! Keep holding it down.
Emerging as the new me
Hearing more than I speak
Knowledge over being noticed
Moving towards peace
Never forgetting who I use to be
Quality over quantity
Thinking and paying attention to my thoughts
Using the past to move forward
With the willingness to try
You learn more+You earn more
Zeroing in on what is real.
Figuring it all out. Watching closely the ones I respect.
One day at a time.
There was only one window. The darkness of the night left the room dreary and lonely. The entire space was cold because of the nights eerie sentiment. Closing her eyes she remembered a brighter time. It was just a week ago. She was free to roam. Free to live. Outside of all walls without guidance or instruction she wandered. She stopped only when she was exhausted and that moment had arrived. Resting outside of a small hut she sat next to a bush of green roses. She had never seen such a flower and was enamored by the vibrance. Pricked by a thorn upon attempting to touch she sat patiently looking onto the flowers. In that moment one began to bloom. She watched as the bud unfolded in front of her petal after petal after petal. She couldn’t help but wonder when she would bloom. Opening her eyes the darkness returned and the warmth of the roses became a distant memory. She knew pretending wouldn’t protect her and chill would never keep her mind still. So she sat alone in the dark without a hint or a clue.
Another Declaration of Independence
There were fireworks but the show eventually ended. The more adamant he grew the more I knew it would never really be. He forever had a plan but no execution, no money and no way of making things happen. He was an idea man. A true mad man that could talk a new hole in the head of anyone willing to listen, then leave you there leaking. As he incessantly rambled I knew better. Not this time. Not me. I was willing to crop him out of the picture before allowing him to tarnish my portrait and in that moment I knew I had grown. Naive no more the new me had emerged. I put my foot down. No more being pushed around. I had made up my mind.
Trippin off the true lies I’m always running from I slid as slow as sizrup until I stopped in front of the canal.
I was trapped by the very things created to set me free. Hating the headaches. Rationing out the regrets.
Water slapped the sides of the brick bridge, where green moss floated patiently awaiting an opportunity to drift down stream.
I stuck my toe inside catching a chill from the cool calm water. The chill seized my body and everything was alright in the world.
Laying back on the grass with my hands clasped around the nape of my neck I was able to let go of the intangible.
Wind whirled around me stirring up the grass and memories in my mind. I could smell the approaching rain and prepared myself for the mental cleansing showers seem to provide.
I laughed at Mother Nature and her strange acknowledgments of my sentiments and yelled at the clouds, “don’t stop get it, get it.”
I can hear you.
Know that if you get louder I’ll ignore you.
I was almost asleep.
Drifting between being awake and being lost in thought-like-dreams.
I couldn’t wake up and recover or quite establish where I was while I was dreaming
But I could hear you.
Your whisper is as loud as your yell and it hisses with the wind.
I opened my eyes and saw Saul. The cold couldn’t keep me away.
You were nowhere to be found,
but Saul stood in the snow too hot to be cool.
A statue of eagerness.
The wind rustled with leaves while Saul watched an old lady shovel her snow.
It was as if he was waiting for her to finish.
I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t ask if she needed help.
However, I wasn’t in a hurry to help either. I was shivering.
I looked down to find myself not adequately covered for the cold.
I ran over to take shelter under the awning of a bus stop.
I longed to see something amazing and there it was,
right before my eyes a white summer.
Snow covered what was once the passionate heat of the season,
but the cold couldn’t keep me away.
I felt a sphere soar past my head barely missing my hair.
It was quickly followed by a choir of laughter by a bunch of little boys.
The soccer ball sailed out into the street.
Saul ran out to kick it back at them.
None of them noticed me.
The boys ran past, too young to care.
Surrounded and still alone, I was just another soul in the snow.
The old lady finished as the bus approached.
I checked my pockets. Three dollars and six dimes.
The door opened and the driver acknowledged me with a nod.
I handed him all the money. He gave me back a dollar and a dime.
I am the new New Yorker.
Still excited by all of the lights.
Never upset about being lost.
Rarely in a hurry.
I try to blend in.
I try not to look up.
I try not to let on that I’m new.
I am the new New Yorker.
Still maintaining my impeccable drive.
Never afraid of strangers.
Rarely passing up an opportunity to go out in the city.
I try to take my time.
I try not to shop.
I try not to use google maps.
I am the new New Yorker.