Maya Angelou Dies at 86. #RIPMayaAngelou

maGood bye, Maya.  Thank you for your wisdom, your grace, your words, and your love.

 

 

 

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

I shook Soledad O’Brien’s hand yesterday and had no clue who she was. #embarrassed

Have you ever seen the Black in America series?  Me too, I love it.  Soledad O’Brian, a CNN news anchor, journalist, and host of Black in America, has been a positive and unyielding voice on race and culture in this country and I always enjoy watching her on CNN, which is why I’m upset with myself that when a coworker presented her at my desk, I didn’t recognize her and didn’t give her my full attention.  I gave her a blank smile and handshake, and turned back to my computer.  She was all smiles though, genuine, dressed in understated casual clothing, and as I shook her hand, I remember thinking she was very pretty, who ever she was.  We can argue that my co-worker did a poor job of A) saying her name clearly and B) announcing she was here (Honestly, we talk some shit up in this joint. On any given day you can hear the words  pussy, fuck, bitch, ho, and n***er.  Loud.  Some notice would have been nice.)    If I could do it over, I’d say “So nice to meet you. I love your work and look forward to Black in America 3!”  Big smile on face.  I can only hope she stops back again. 

For Trayvon;For us All. #millionhoodies #Vigils4Trayvon

This is my best friend Lovett.  He is an educated, professional, creative black man who wears hoodies-even when it’s not raining.  Lovett just had a baby boy; a beautiful brown skinned child who will one day be a teenager who wears hoodies.   Wearing a hoodie shouldn’t make you a suspect. Being black shouldn’t make your life expendable.  I pray for justice for Trayvon Martin.  I pray for justice for us all. 

March.Sign.Participate HERE.

The Great Alchies

This past weekend can be summed up in two words -Turkey and alcohol. It was a great weekend, but I came home, looked in the mirror at my dark circles and puffy eyelids and didn’t recognize myself.  This month has been busier than most and my tendancy to reach for a glass of wine to calm down def increased.  Drinking can make you look older (two more words-Kim Zolciak-I do NOT need that) and run you down.  I think its time for a little detox.

I know I drink a lot.  I do.  Right now there is a six pack of corona and 2 bottles of wine in the fridge, plus an open bottle of red on the counter.  Those are just the reserves.  I’m out a good three times a week with friends and I am moving through wine, beer, and Campari like its free.  It’s not!  I enjoy a good drink, and that enjoyment spills over into food, wine, atmosphere…my credit card.  The problem is I don’t get drunk, so I don’t usually monitor my intake.  And I hate to admit this, but as a writer, I don’t mind thinking that enjoying a drink or two, or ten, may be a sign of greatness.  Ha!  But seriously, Some of the best writers were alchies-  Hemingway, Kerouac, Faulkner, Poe, Fitzgerald, and…Dorthy Parker. Unfortunately, they were also depressive and suicidal…and poe was rumored to be a pedophile.  Yikes!  I like the company I keep and I like drinking, but I have a responsibility to keep myself in good condition.  I can be great too, and I will be, with a little monitoring, a little more water in between drinks, and a little more me time.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: “I Will Survive.”Be witness. Honor survival

I was five years old when I watched my mother die at the hands of her boyfriend. Their fight started like all the other fights I’d witnessed. My mother stood with legs apart, her voice rising as she squared her shoulders and shook her fists, always the tough farm girl from Pennsylvania. Her boyfriend growled back at her, switching between both English and Spanish; something he only did when he got really angry. Next thing I knew a blade in his hand flashed, then buried into her chest to the hilt. I knelt next to her as she lay on the carpet, trying to wake her as my tears fell beside the blood stain that seeped through the peach colored fabric of her nightie. The sight forever haunted me; as did her boyfriend, and any man that looked or acted like him.

I never saw him again, but I struggled with fear, anger, and distrust towards men well into adulthood. I made idiot choices, like marrying a man I didn’t love, because I couldn’t separate passion from fear. I didn’t want to be with someone that would kill me.

Its taken me years of therapy to separate passion from violence, and I’m still not quite there. My mother was a victim, but so was I. She didn’t survive, but I did. And Thirty years later its still a struggle, but I continue to survive, and through me, so does she. IWS

Are you lost in translation, Dr. Laura?

I’m enraged.  It could be that I am jet lagged in Hong Kong right now and it is 645 am…no, it’s because Dr. Laura Schlessinger bullied a black caller on her radio show; calling her hypersensitive, blaming black activists for making the nation “hypersensitive,” and using the N-word over, and over, and over, and over again.  I had to write her, and I did. 

As a biracial (black / white) woman, I have seen my share of prejudice and have been on the receiving end of the N-word, but I wasn’t so much upset at your use in context of the N-word as I was by how you dismissed the caller’s response to her husband’s friend asking her “What do black people think about …?” as hypersensitive. Here is an idea…black people think just like white people. We have brains and thoughts…just like white people. But that fact that someone has to define it as a black thought makes it racists.  It is a subtle way of discriminating…which is racism.

I am sorry that you couldn’t answer that question, or help that caller, which is why you reduced her to a hypersensitive black girl which you later state, is the fault of black activists. Wow. She wasn’t hypersensitive…you were. And I hope your black bodyguard told you to go fuck yourself.

The chip on the shoulder was yours and I am glad you are resigning. You don’t deserve to help people when you can’t help yourself. You are the worst. And you embody what is wrong with this country when it comes to race.

 Sincerely,

Tamara Lynch-Non hypersensitive black girl.

It’s not my best letter, but it gets the job done.  I should have noted that hypersensitivity didn’t come from black activists…it came from slavery.

For Neda; Send Snooki

I watched “For Neda” today, which I knew was going to depress and anger me, I knew it, but I had to watch it.  How couldn’t I have?  I felt like I needed to give some homage to her story.  It’s only been a year later.

Of course the first thing you see is the image of Neda lying in the street with blood on her chest, her dark eyes trained on the camera as the light seeped out of them.  It was my mother all over again.

Neda’s killer was caught on tape, but never prosecuted.  My mother’s killer was tried and not convicted.

The similarities were too real for me today.

The pictures of Neda dancing and singing, wearing a blue sleeveless blouse and her hair in a ponytail, were sobering.  Anyone unaware of what they were watching could have mistaken her for a free American girl.  But that video was taken in her home, the only place she would have been allowed to show her skin and hair.  It pained me to think that I am able to dress that way and think nothing of it, while Iranian women are killed for it.

But freedom isn’t free, right?  Our country went through this; Salem witch hunts, the suffragists, the civil war, Catholicism (lol).   I pray, truly pray, that a quite surge of power in the women of Iran is building and eventually explodes in my lifetime.

Unfortunately, I was wiping away tears when I turned the channel and encountered….Snooki.  How does one go from Neda and the Green Movement of Iran, to an overly tan smurf with a bouffant and a bad accent?  It was like whiplash.  Actually I’d rather have whiplash than deal with Snooki.

Come to think of it, we should send Snooki to Iran.  I envision her leading the protest in a green bustier while fist pumping.  Ahmadinejad’s head would spontaneously combust and all would be well.

Wishful thinking.