Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Story About Faith


A Short Story about Faith

               I wrote this blog post December 11th, 2019 when I was still healing from surgery in residential facility yet for some reason, I guess I didn’t post it.  Perhaps I let depression and pain get the best of me and thus, many of my pens went dry without touching paper.   Although this is more than a year ago, it remains relevant, as someone might be able to receive help from a few simple words about faith and action.  Helping others is one of my sole reasons for writing in the first place. While quickly talking about the subject of Faith, I’ll throw something out there which is that, you don’t have to have a deep spiritual belief or religion to exercise it.  To exercise Faith, a few conceptual elements definitely needed which I have found are Patience, Flexibility (time-wise as well as outcome-wise) and definitely an Open Mind.

               A week ago I woke up with a beat in my head, a musical beat. I’ve also woken up with beats still in my head from the end of a dream like a soundtrack.  The first time this happened, I was six or seven years old.  The song then was “Let the Slide Show Begin,” and the curtains closed in my dream before I woke up.  This has happened many times before from some dream or from the end of some dream and I was reluctant to jot down the idea from it, telling myself that it was “too simple,” thus it didn’t matter.

All of the sound generators I'm using on FL audio.

                Any message I receive in my dreams should be taken seriously for many reasons.  Sometimes my dreams are learning tools, reminders from the past; possibilities of what could be or to the extreme, direct windows into the future.  I told one of my associates about this and he knows me well and suggested that I should have made that beat, knowing what beats I have made in the past from dreams.  I ignored his advice although his voice on the other end of the phone sounded surprised and serious that I ignored one of my Divine-given gifts. I thought about it later and regretted it, thinking “oh well, another beat will pop in another night… hopefully,” yet knowing that I had missed a very unique valuable opportunity.

Rain Comrade trying to hear what Daddy did today.

               Last night I had a very short dream, where I met up with him.  In the dream he let me know that he got hired at the same place he was working at before he started the business with me; “Collections,” which is a very grimy business. He explained that they hired him right away and gave him his same position.  I asked him if he became John Gilman once again yet he did not answer. Instead the focus was on my handing him earphones to let him listen to a rap from a familiar sounding rapper, someone reminiscent from what we used to listen to (to be frank the guy in the dream sounded like a mix of Eclipto and B-Real from Cypress Hill and I don't sound like either lol).

               In the dream he was surprised and apparently so was I, as this was as if, it were the first time I had heard this song.  I woke up this morning to this beat still in my head and was thankful, thanking my Creator for gifting me with this simple yet very hard sounding track.  I scrambled to find a phone so that I could beat box into to record the idea before other daily sounds drowned out the idea.  In this retirement/rehabilitation center, I had to act fast but I did not want to wake up my other two roommates with the task.  Thankfully they were awakened with medical diagnostics, breakfasts but damn, my phone was dead.  I scrambled like fighter jets to find the cord, cleaned up my whole bed area and drawer just to find that I was sleeping on it.

               I plugged up my phone, kept beat-boxing the tune at a low level as well as repeatedly in my head and five minutes later, took down the idea.   As I thought about the simplicity of the beat, I came to realize that it was the exact same beat that I was given a week ago!  The only difference is that I can hear the sounds much clearer as well as having a point of reference of what I will sound like spittin a rap to. This is how I know Jesus likes good Rap music, lol or at least the being that created him! Sometimes I get songs, stories, whole movies and predictions in my head from dreams.

    When your Creator gives you messages or gifts, are you able to listen and openly receive? Okay, now I might need some headphones because these little Apple things just don’t cover the sounds but watch me make miracles with what I’ve got; well that’s what I’m used to!   Look out for “The Return of the Real,” one of these days, hopefully before or right after summer.   Now let me save the progression of this beat and get back to these books, which is a whole other subject of faith and action.

Curious minds often wonder if there are some pertinent things we might forget

After our slumber

Are we capable of listening to the squeaks in-between being awake and asleep?

Can we, reach deep into the subconscious of self and sanctuary?

To pull out what has been etched into our DNA of ages by sages and ancestors but

Will we, willingly let ourselves to expound upon the gifts made to silence evil and

Drown out all negativity, corruption, put crowns on children 

When men and women once given their opportunity

Scowl at them with jealous eyes with thoughts of

Drowning the innocent in the tides

Working on burying the truth with lies the youth persist as we have

For so long we have been silent although

Some have listened yet

To find the right time or better yet, the courage to speak of such things

Seems never right for those not chosen to understand the visions chosen for

Within your sights were right to recognize what others missed yet

Simply it is the overwhelming treasures that come with such gifts

Something grabbed attention for you to become stopped frozen for

An idea, a light, a way, a path inside, a hope or a remedy to help another life

Occurrences whether often or rare are perfect sphere not square and

Nothing close to boasting of pride

Reminders of what could very much be

Ways not yet tried 

I'll lead the way 

I'll close my eyes

I mean, I can wait

Until we are all safe without fears in that Dream State

Dream State



Thursday, August 6, 2020

Where Has Love Gotten Us?

       Amidst all of the things, writings and tasks this disabled being has to do to change his circumstances, answering this question for myself, for all of you, I rate as dire and critically important.  In all honesty, we hear messages and are asked things when it comes to happiness and especially responsibility.  My responsibility is to answer this below…
Where has love gotten you?

        For educational purposes, let’s just view love in all it's possibilities.  Love helps families exist. Families create communities and thus cities and nations are born.  Where has love taken me?  Well Love my friend, has taken me to travel with friends, to help countless others, to help build and provide in new ways, to move with my ex to New York City, to be brave and allow myself to be open to the possibility of falling in love with my high school sweetheart. Can you believe that love has brought me to you my friend?
 How exactly has love brought us here? 

Well if we do not know each other, picture yourself concerned about your own well being, your ability to socialize, to matter to another, to be recognized for who you are or the ability to be able to check on a Family member or friend.  All of these reasons and more are why we use social media, right?  Think of it this way, you are practicing self love and more when you log on, simply to see what’s up.  The social part of your humanity in the Subconscious sense, cares about your mental health and socialization!
 Caring about yourself as well as caring about others is one of the simplest yet humble and Noble things a person can do.  
       What I really want you to think about with this post, to come away with, is to seriously and consciously realize how powerful this force we call Love, actually is and can be.  One question I used to hear when I was much younger was “Is it better to be feared or to be loved?” The answer to this is now less complex for me for a few reasons, some of which I'll leave for y'all in s different post titled Fear vs Love.  The first reason is the understanding of self sacrifice.
As a parent, I now look through a completely different lens that I previously had when lives did not depend on me.  As a father I look at the sacrifices made as not strenuous, stressful or tedious but things that “needed to he done.”
       The largest thing I now know about Love is knowing that I will do anything to protect those which I love and sacrifice for.  I would pull the stars from the sky for my children and I am trying to do that now!  I realize the fight within myself and the “no holds barred, you better stay the fuck out of my way,” demeanor when I feel my family is being threatened.  Looking back at those nature shows I love so much, it is now easy to realize why specific animals, parents fight all unbelievable odds to protect their offspring. 

       For the reason of freedom as well as to protect home, I understand completely why people, when fighting on their own soil during a war, tend to naturally fight harder and strategically for the places and lands they love.  (Just look at Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and others) You see, love can even conquer the conquistador. I’m not talking about changing someone’s mind about fighting in the first place, or rethinking a fight or conflict, I am talking about the ability, strength and will required to beat unsurmountable odds.  I’m not saying that you cannot win a disagreement, fight or conflict without war.  What I am saying is that the party, individual, group, community or government which is fighting for a reason tied to this unseen gasoline called Love, is indeed more likely to be much more dangerous as well as prepared against the force they are fighting.

       When fighting for love, we automatically reach deep past a strength we cannot see within ourselves and bring it forth to he challenged without question.   We as humans do things that seem to be humanly impossible.  We use the survivalist instinct suppressed in order to ensure that those we love, can endure.  We do not only get stronger but we inherently get more creative and inventive with the task at hand… to let no harm befall those we cherish and value in our existence as priceless.  We move mountains so that we can, if possible, prevent suffering, hardship and death to those which  we care about most.

I do this every now and then when writing these thingies.  I ask an open-ended question, just for you to think on.  What for you is worth fighting for?  When you know what that is, I also would like to ask, do you believe that there are any circumstances or reasons why you would choose not to fight?  Let me be frank, now the power of love is so strong that a physical fight or confrontation might never need to occur in order to achieve the goals and get the answers we seek.

Love can stop the opposition in it’s tracks, especially if it knows the overpowering force that they are up against.  Love can cause people to find innovative ways to protect themselves, to protect those they love, build wiser, to pay attention to details and love provides focus to the pursuer.  With focus and clarity, the one sacrificing time, energy, effort, emotions gains the ability to build for others, whether it be a physical sanctuary as a house, or an idea(s) to change the life of another in a positive way.  To be more serious, I can say with confidence that it is purely Love which is lacking in communities as well as in many governments.  Lastly I want to remind that love survives all odds, builds healthy Families, builds empires and it is only love alone that lead successful revolts of the past and has many times, won revolutions!  

As usual, I have left a poem for you to enjoy.  Persistence, Purpose, Patience, Prosperity and Inner-peace! -Sekou Mensah Black

A seed awaits just as we do
As much as time allows one to survive
Faithful and patient for the main event
For things to change, there must be a key ingredient
Dark heavy clouds agree in unison to open up
Pouring the liquid equivalent to what we know as Love
So knowing this we can begin to understand 
How exactly the most simple of organisms
Thrive in spite of
With conditions we deem unfit for life
Stepping up to Nature’s challenges & demands
The story was started before seeds hit soils or
Much before life in any place was placed to show Granted opportunity to exist, no matter what and
With winds, we too travel'd far
Some came on ships, some on Airplanes while others
Shot straight down from an unknown star
Being let go, to fend for themselves some question
Was this some sick mistake or was this pre-destined?
Whether Creator exists at all teaching ethical lessons
Keep it positive, keep it moving & keep em' guessing
I cannot speak on what I do not know but
If they think struggle and folly got me here 
They must first remember 
That Love finds no reason to brag
Especially when it already shows much
As some say the journey is not important yet
We cannot discount the struggles of any seed nor
Belittle ways in which the destination was achieved
“Give me rain,” some seeds say while others
Entertain many with the thought that
It was them who watered and raised themselves
Because no one wants to think of a seed screaming
That Neglect is possibly one sure way to reach
A very unforgiving and scorching hell

Waiting Seeds 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Black Canary

The Black Canary

Until We Are Truly Free:
The Tale of The Black Canary

“Singing like a Canary,” as I recount in the streets of East Palo Alto, California as a child and teen held a call against the street code. I learned much from street scholars as well as from many books my father kept, yet I would never guess that I would understand the complex nature and significance that bird held in the lives of us all in this experimental extraction of resources we know as Capitalism.  Although I had done some reading myself, I did not fully connect the relation between the oppression of a people and the government which benefited.  I mean, I clearly knew the First Nation's struggles from broken treaties to massacres but to fully notice the uphill struggle of your own means one thing, that you can in no way discount or deny what you have been conditioned to live, or in the case of the canary in the mine, conditioned to die accepting.

All over the planet as well as in the earliest recorded histories African as well as the darkest skin of people tend to suffer an abundance of Genocide, Oppression and inhumane hardships.  One could look at history from ancient times of the pharaohs and understand, why African slaves in more modern times, rebelled.  In fact, Africans from the diaspora, although indoctrinated through a carefully controlled, Christian brainwashing, learned to read, in secret for themselves and thus were inspired to seek freedom, compelled by what was taught in the biblical book of Exodus.  But why is it that Africans were used as slaves in the first place, why Aboriginal Australians were forced into slavery as well as any other dark-hued people of the diaspora and so forth?  Being the first people, we have had many firsts, unfortunately that even means, the first to struggle and die.  

During mining throughout the world, humans have learned to use the canary to signal when the air levels in the caves were too dangerous for miners, as it were live canaries used that got sick and in some cases, died before the people did.  It is not strange for people to seek dangerous occupations, yet when your very life becomes dangerous, the term occupational hazard is no where close to the injustices which follow and the scars that are left.  So yes, Africans and people of the diaspora have been the sociological, canaries in many societies, especially in this American one.  In a sick twisted sense, what happens to us, will indeed happen to everyone.  As a man of African decent myself, I cannot ignore the injustices, nor can I act caviler to the reality that some stranger, just because I have melanin in my skin might decide to physically attack myself or my family, unprovoked.

Many have accepted the generational injustices as “the way of things,” yet everything within their conditioned humanity seeks to scream, “give me freedom, give me peace,” when we have already fought and died for that many times over.  Sacrifice is something understood which all can attest to building character, strength and resilience of spirit, yet how much burden do a people have to bear?  When unfortunate circumstances happen to us, do we look at the past as a teaching tool or do we simply “move on,” to greener pastures, placing a blind “hope,” as an achievable goal, without worry for what could happen, or do we look back, take stock of the previous lessons learned and strive for a different kind of hope?  I ask this due to the fact, that many can empathize as well as see the common threads in humanity from family, work, school as well as in our social lives and even in religious lives for some. The question for me is not whether people, can see themselves in us in different aspects but can people foresee the ways in which control and oppression has had a negative impact upon our lives and can sense the same common threads of dissent, abuse, financial fraud, and financial dependency aimed at them as well?
Many in capitalistic societies do not recognize their importance nor their role as an openly participating “Unit of Production,” per see, such as the social security number given to Americans since birth.  I have not studied enough about other modern or “Western,” cultures to know how they view their citizens yet can clearly see the “trickle down effect,” from what the United States of America has modeled to hlthe rest of the world.  We can easily look at any form of governance and see people being abused and even killed, while working for the common good, the unspoken monster which Capitalism breeds called “Greed.” Now this Greed, which societies experience is like the gingivitis to our teeth and gums.  It eats away at any nutrients we need, after the accumulation plaque has prevented our gums to properly breathe.  Capitalism as I have been told many times, is a good thing, yet ingenuity usually comes from a curtain kind of person, one that either wants to make their own circumstances better or in many instances, make the lives of others easier or better.

“It is genuinely the nature of the beast to want more and more, even after the feast,” I sarcastically say but what many fail to realize are the many ways in which, they too have fallen victim to and yes, have been used and abused by a nature which goes against everything good, wholesome and natural.  While living comfortably, it is easy to understand why many would not see the struggles, hardships or even notice the many ways in which their society has conditioned them.  Their relationship with their society has been designed to seem natural in all aspects from desires to need yet what was carefully crafted specifically for them, could be everything which alludes to superficial.  “I get it I get it,” I mean, we all need to live by some type of rules and everyone has to work in some capacity in order to survive, yet where the question lies is with two words, choice and freedom.  We are born into this world with the understandings given to us, whether through family, socially or educational. 
 The decisions we make, directly affects the outcome of how we are allowed to live or chose to live. When people say “Do as they do in Rome!” I question, do they know what happened to the Roman Empire and how it fell?  When we see others suffering, are we drawn to help them, so we believe or aknowledge that what we see in that moment could also befall us or someone we care for?  Why or why not?  Is our ability to empathize and relate stifled by the monotony we toil with daily?  Are the messages we are fed by government and media foster community, or individualistic success?  

These are all questions for us to ask of ourselves while we seek to feel more “liberated,” as wholesome individuals on our own "road to sucesss," or view life. Now for the canary in the mine, the Black Canary… do you think that you could find yourself in situations where what happened to her/him could happen to you? Why or why not? Do you see instances of people taking advantage of others or has anyone taken advantage of you or your kindness in any way and if so, how did or does that make you feel?  My only tasks I ask of you is that you try to look through eyes of a different lens, that you perhaps open yourself to the possibility or thought of… something magical and seemingly impossible and not befriend a Canary, but free them as well as others from the dangerous mines from dangerous minds which led them there in the first place.  Besides, Compassion and Courage is Contagious.  Dare to plant a seed of resistance and resilience and see what sprouts.  (Poem left below, enjoy)

There have been many dark corridors and corners to turn
I swear it feels so trapped in here 
Sometimes the air itself is so thick it burns but
I exist for a reason
Can’t you see that if I’m allowed space, I can spread my wings and fly but
My wings have been clipped and they gave me no reason why so
I sit in this cage
Calm and complacent
Still singing and patient
For one day I know they will open that cage and set me free
I know the world out there is scary
I have seen it all being the Black Canary
Watch me glide through the courageous skies and I
Will show you how to fly during the storm and when wet
I will unfold my wings to keep you dry and warm
Together, new treasures and shady trees we will find but please
Just please don’t force me back into that cage and mine
Watch me close even if your breathing is fine or
It might be you who finds yourself confined, out of time

The Black Canary

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Revolutionary Father's Day

       As my own father mentioned today, after I brought up a question about this Holiday we celebrate commending Father’s, for Black men in particular, this holiday holds an eerie significance.  Being that Black men have been murdered and are still murdered by racists and police, any Black father that is not dead and incarcerated is a very blessed man, a living symbol of Power, Greatness, Strength and Love. Oh yes, soon in a blog or two from this one, you will read about me taking about the power of love. For one reason alone I will make a serious example.  Ok, so we know that for love, many folks will do the damdest of things, right?

       I have one more question.  If you knew that there were negative forces, being a set of laws or a group of people, that wanted the most precious person you care about, either a slave or dead, what would you do to protect them and guarantee their safety?  I ask this because this is what Black parents have wondered as soon as, if not much before, their child steps one foot out of the houses into that unforgiving and very racist White Man’s World. The Black Woman is indeed the most precious as well as the most abused woman in this planet, the true Atlas yet I was amazed by what I saw today.
Although there is lots of hate out there, there’s also lots of love and I saw that as Black women stood up, not just this Father’s Day but other years as well, whenever the call arose.
       While others pointed out criminal convictions, they pointed out that these men, were fathers and pillars of their communities.  I watched the Black family in many forms, nuclear as well as modern, kin as well as stranger, come together to stand up for future generations as well as the brotha on the corner selling cigarettes that could have passed knowing too many of us saw faces of evil as they breathed their very last.  So we need soldiers to combat hate and fight the good fight so that our children might never have to raise a fist, to protect the ones thrown at them.  I couldn’t bear the thought of not being there for my children and loved ones.  Just trying to imagine what that would be like is not a nightmare I want to visualize thus I cannot even fathom the idea.

      Unfortunately there are thousands if not millions of African men that were ripped away from their families either on their way to the New World or through kidnapping, murder, or this new virus of Jealousy, Hate with Greed. Me giving thanks for being here isn’t even the half of it as I struggled to communicate with my twelve year old, who is already sad about the COVID realities, that it’s “just not safe out here for us.” (Below are pictures of George Floyd, Oscar Grant and Reyshard Brooks with their daughters)

I used to look at this American Crafted holiday of Father’s Day as another Hallmark ploy for sales and economy boosting.  I can no longer look at it that way for my life, our lives are much more valuable that any words or phrases Hallmark can print. Every year, as the plight of the Son’s and Daughters of slaves gets pushed under the rug, so does the fabric of Freedom itself. The seriousness of what it means to be a Black Father or a Black Mother, to date, is the most challenging and yet the most profound, noble, and powerful responsibility in human history.  The fact is that this past day, the one where we honor our fathers, is now sadly a Trophy of Our Black Survival, as “I made it alive to spend this day with my family and my children.”
       I am thankful even for what I saw on social media, as I saw classmates from all levels of schooling, with their own children, fishing, BBQing, cooking Father’s Day meals and even watching the joys others had, like when my boy Alvin shared the joy of his son eating Eloté corn with what looked like hot Cheetos on top.  These are the moments actions which build a community, although we are far and only close by way of our telecommunication devices.  I saw my friends with their fathers as well and was reminded what those Black men must have gone through just so that we could be here.  We only know struggle and hardship when it is brought directly to our doors, as in many cases, struggle is the norm.  If we are still here throughout the Mid-Atlantic slave passages, torture, rape, murder, dismemberment, fed to animals, burned alive, drawn and quartered, tarred and feathered, hanged, branded, chased, bred, abused, psychologically messed with to the point where it perpetuates over ten generations removed from the harshest trauma imagined, we are truly here for a divine reason.

       We are simply told when we were Young that “there will be challenges,” yet in many other phrases commonly heard like “life ain’t peaches and cream,” and so forth.  To accept the challenge and gift of being a strong Black parent is nothing short of heroic.  Walk proudly and let us teach our future Kings, Queens, Geniuses, Billionaires, Scientists, Professionals and Astronauts that with fierce determination against all forces and odds, that our Creator has invested in us that we can and will be anything that we truly want to be.  Here’s to real freedom and whatever that flavor tastes like.  I've left a poem below so enjoy!

Only mothers can know the strength which resides in a hopeful possibility
Not even us fathers can fathom the will to carry and even lose a child
There are those that hold no worries
For their destinies were carefully crafted, stolen
Prepared and procured, purposely for them and prestige… and then…
There are men
Ripped from the existence they fought so hard to keep
Whom may never again feel water flow or the amazing strength of the wind
As some were strung up by their necks and limbs others
Shot like criminals or enemy combatants in a war
When we have been patient to the point of no longer trying to keep score
But we want our daughters and son’s to live another day to greet the sun
So when days like this pass, I hold fast and hold them tight… like...
A Black teenager, bright child of a mother or father doesn’t want to let go
Off into the night, now an argument ensued so we let show
How damn scared and afraid for them and how far we have let things get thus far
Too distracted by what’s spilling on the concrete to be focused on the stars
So we fight and live with the strongest love given
Until we are called by force or by grace to sit proud where our ancestors are

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Vigilant Parent

The Vigilant Parent

What to Tell Our Sons and Daughters 
During These Times of Change:

       When I think of freedom, I dream of golden grassy hills being blown by the wind.  I dream of walks on the beach and I begin to fantasize about what it would be like to live completely without the fear and worry of murder for simply being me.   To live in fear daily, believe me is no way to live however this is the reality of many Black Americans especially if you are a parent.   When we think about what our children might have to go through, getting sick to the stomach is a normal feeling.  Anger sadness and feelings of being overwhelmed is very natural if you are a black parent in Apartheid America.  The big question many have is “how do I talk to my son(s) and daughter(s) about racism and what is going on with the George Flynn murder?"

       My answer for a fellow colleague, coworker was simple “straight up,” yet we wonder, how will my child receive these truths?  Many wonder, is there a certain way or sensitivity that should be used when speaking about these horrific things?  As a parent myself the best way I know to talk about hate and injustice is the opposite of the subject, with empathy, understanding and love.  We as parents want the best for our children and this includes how they feel about and deal with issues.  

When a CNN journalist asked a community organizer about the realities of raising a child of color in this racial tinderbox and the screenshot I took says it all.

       Some that know holy books are taught about “The Age of Reasoning,” when a child can distinguish right from wrong. We simply do not want our children to be hurt or traumatically affected by the stories of the past as well as with the horrible realities we still struggle with.  We as parents cringe at the thought of the young souls we know losing their innocence.  I for one do not want my son called a “nigger,” as I was in kindergarten by a little boy or girl singing the racist version of “Enie Minnie Miny Mo, catch a Nigger by his toe.” These fears as a parent are very much valid as some of us have experienced truths in our childhood which caused some of us to “grow up early,” per see.  

      There is no easy way to speak about violence, injustice and especially murder with our children yet it is detrimental and essential for their understanding and most importantly, for their survival.  The answer sounds simple, yet I imagine can be met with layers of anxiety.  Using the most understanding we can muster, with the love and sensitivity you can find when speaking about the subject of death and loss is one way.  Another approach is to be nonchalant yet serious when we mention the reality that injustice, that harm could befall the young lives we cherish.  How do we explain the positives with all of the negatives we know and see?

      Compassion as I have witnessed can bring the coldest heart to a standstill.  Compassion and empathy is how we will also teach our children of promise to be better than what this rat-race of a capitalistic society demands. Introducing them to awesome people, successful as well as educated Black folks is one way to show them positive.  Bringing them to community events such as the  Juneteenth and humanities which include us such as plays, musicals like “The Heights,”can be awesome.  Showing positive movies which depict the Black man (Latino or Native) in a positive manner helps. 

       There are no perfect answers yet I can remember what my parents did.  My father had books about racism and blackness everywhere in his library, thus Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Before the Mayflower became some of my first books.  When I was called “nigger,” in Kindergarten, my father removed me from that school and put me in a community school that nurtured blackness, cultural strengths accomplishments and emphasized the many leaders which have led us this far.  I was introduced to African events, food and culture via the African friends my parents had.  How will our children know that we are strong, resilient, intelligent and have a large outpouring of support if we do not show them?

       Personally my first son, now twelve is much too mature for his age due to what he, what we have already been through.  He is resilient yet sensitive to the point where I have to choose the right time and space to talk with him.  He has a strong sense of morality just like his father and does not like to hear about people, especially Black people being hurt or killed.  My son had unfortunately experienced bullying by white children as well as blatant racism from children at playgrounds. This, if I could have avoided was one of my fears.

      My duty as a parent and a Black Father is made that much more challenging.  While I'm on the subject I must say that I do not believe that I would have the strength it takes to be a black mother.   One thing we must do is to ensure that our children know that they are undeniably loved, super awesome as well as what he knows what's up.  My job of protecting him is not just physical for I have to try my best to encourage him faced with an environment which does not nurture community, individuality or the accomplishments of anyone that is not of European decent, especially Black men. I must help him keep his fire lit and hopeful, so that no matter what comes hisway, that he will be prepared by all means and ready to fight back in many ways and not to let the negativity aimed at him, become him.

      We must model as well as show them the majesty through our great histories, how beautiful, black and powerful they are and how great, if they are down for a little fight, they will soon become.  With showing them how to defend and protect themselves we must also explain that like many instances, there are good people and bad people, good cops and bad cops etc. and that we decide how to become, that being who you are is not decided for them.  I have a new son, one that has me wondering, what will we teach him and what will he face.  As I have before, I will leave you with a recent poem of mine.  Enjoy!

Priests and holy men around the world hold fast
Praying, meditating and fasting for insight
Pacing and trying to think of innovative ways 
As unexpected tides rise much too fast to find high ground
Evil creeps in sinks both sharp teeth deep before…
Any sound of pain can be heard and simple solution found
While children world’s away but even…
The ones dead in our face have been forced to thirst
Oblivious to the busted teeth, broken bones bruises and blood stains
Those who could change things fail as other cowards have countless
This time even the value of human life we leave for them to define
For even the old and weary point out...
The way in which this sun currently shines
Worrying about economies and 
Satire too close to home to be comedies
We forget yes
I admit that I didn’t see the reason things must have come to be
You see, while we were all blinded
Some asshole put out a contract on “Kindness,” 
Now we all must show face, soul search and if we must… purge
Not like the sick movie types
With death, racism and political euphemisms
Just a plan and an action with momentum and rhythm
Cutting off Evil Greed and Lack of Empathy as the main determining
Maybe then we could perhaps find a grand design or 
An offspring of the risen
The son or daughter of Kindness expressed in Love to get this ball rollin'
Perhaps then we would be paid for our patience and granted reparations
Maybe then land that was stolen would be given back to them
As First Nations stand with their fists raised...
We behave like trained slaves
With every reason to rebel, instead we accept Hell
Proving that we were the most successful colonized people and
There was no forced brainwashing or reasons under the church and steeple
It was us, comfortable, immovable, unyielding and yes, Complacent
Because it could be me or you, no lies, only truth
Taking their very last gasp of breath pinned against the cold  pavement
As onlookers only yell or walk pass we cry in disbelief and
From the deepest of pain
Allowing no just cause 
As our own empathy for others momentarily pauses
Ask the ancestors and elderly for all of these causes and they said...
"Not on my watch!"
We don’t need a sundial, watch or phone to remind us what time it is
Only a person not tied to the privilege to act according to what we might do and …
To resurrect my dear homie named Kindness

The Contract on Kindness
May 26, 2020

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

An Odyssey of Creativity and Wisdom: Day 22

one thousand words daily

one thousand words daily: Day 22 – the possibility of

               Due to what I have experienced in my short 38 years, I am one that believes in miracles.   If anyone were to tell me that something weren’t possible or not able to do, I would ignore or out loud say “Bullshit!”   I admit that I myself need to learn a bit more of patience... ok maybe a lot more than a little bit but I am learning, slowly.  I get discouraged, pissed off and think, “damn, why do people have to make the simplest things so got-damn difficult… for no good reason,” but that is just the way in which some systems are designed.  There are systems, laws and other things in societies designed for us to fail, succeed (by their standards of success) as well as systems to keep us stagnant on a perpetual hamster wheel.  Meeting with various folks, I am reminded of “SHABLAM!!!”… the REAL!

real recognize real
               In my upcoming book, The Art to Seasoning Life, I dedicated a whole chapter toward what I dubbed “Originality Takes the Cake,” simply meaning that our uniqueness and originality as an individual is enough fuel to spark the best fires in relationships of all kinds.  By simply being ourselves, we often lend a perspective or as I say, a “perfect ingredient,” to conversations, relationships and even in new business ventures.   That quote from Marianne Williamson comes to mind when it says “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you...” yet we are fed these messages  intentionally, subliminally as well as right in our faces, on a daily.

the push-back
               What do we do to combat these negative forces, which I have dubbed “The Opposition?”
We fight back with diligence, patience, focus, truth and this amazing unseen substance called Love is what we do!  Granted that there are countless numbers of imbeciles that have been taught that they have to take from others to survive, thus they only know how to take, Take, TAKE - opposed to building stable foundations for themselves.  I have witnessed many with this mindset fail miserably, no matter how big they perceived themselves to be and no matter how they exerted their perception of power.  In the beginning as well as the end, although it helps some, it does not matter how you start off financially but what your goals are, how you set them and whether or not you are open to “The Possibility of…” My fiancé calls this “The Audacity to do…” which is exactly what it is.

dare to be be audacious
               We must be audacious and courageous when reaching towards our desires and dreams.  When raising a family we are often told that we must “suck it up and get a stable job,” but if you can genuinely do more than others, more than your employers, then you owe it to yourself as well as your family to invest in yourself and shine like the stars that shine down upon all of us.  Anything else would be lying to ourselves, right?  How can we be comfortable, knowing that we can be living a better quality of existence, a much richer life with a lot more potential, open to endless possibilities?   I for one just can’t do that y’all so I’m writing and striving towards perfection, deflecting blows, rolling with the punches and not stumbling across but being fed with amazing blessings I would in no other way have been given or trusted with. 

               I know that I might have touched on the subject of being audacious yet I felt a passion to write about it once more. Matter of fact, I was taking a shit in my makeshift office of Starbucks and kind of got really inspired. Clearing the mind and body have that sort of effect, you know, when you have the inclination to write an important idea down or call someone.  I guess it is time that I shut up now and leave you guys a poem. BTW I go in for surgery soon (Titanium rod replacement and fusing bones, taking one out of my hip and putting it in my lower tibia and fibula) where I will not be able to walk or function like I want but I think that I am ready, although I still feel a bit scared for the reason that they are just too lax about the whole thing.   
               Please pray for me and my family!

Clouds with faces do not blow the fierce winds we perceive
As conditions are now created by us oblivious to the deconstructs of greed
Some believe it bad when wind topples branches or unstable trees yet
There was reason within season as they were possibly not in the right place, us
Misplacing trust and erasing much to create a way of comfort without stepping back
Looking at the whole portrait of Ansel Adams in flesh not just on canvas for
While we plot and plan, Earth reminds how fragile and confined we are and
How flawed a design we can become when taking things for granted
Yet by measuring our own success we walk away with something special
Magic and miracles surface on soils when we never thought at night, it did rain
We notice a wet pavement and through the expectance of morning dew
Many seedlings and spores sprout creating clout is what they do but
We are just as fragile as they
Needing nourishment of all types
Not just moisture, soil and sunlight
Believing and acting on faith, we find a ways of more than one but many a ways to provide
Soaking up realness from gifters not takers while shaking off the fakers
We step forth with proper power showering others with hope and love, we survive

Dare to Achieve

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

An Odyssey of Creativity and Wisdom: Day 21

one thousand words daily

one thousand words daily: Day 21
Understanding, Comraderies and Smiles: Building Right Where We Are

            As if breathing was not simple enough… there are many moments which can force or under pressure, persuade us to slow down, relish in the moment and take stock in.  Being and living in a fast-paced environment can sometimes put a choke hold on our spirit.   I believe that we were designed to work in a community environment where all needs are close by and usually met.  In this journey called existence, it is of utmost importance that we learn to exercise a few goods habits.  There are many things which could help us be more successful, stronger, more intelligent and attractive yet it seems as though more negative habits are passed down than good ones.
            For some, practicing good habits means physical exercise as in physical wellness.  With others, good habits might include eating healthy or being in a healthy relationship, while cutting off poisonous relationships.  Poisonous relationships from home to work have a tendency to sometimes stunt our intellectual as well as spiritual growth.  Maintaining balance with relationships in our social lives, whether it is family or impersonal is crucial for ones well-being.  One of these good habits is surprisingly within our social nature. 

benefits of gaining understandings and finding common ground
            Understanding or yet, ‘the attempt to understand,’ others can often offer the best lessons.  Since we live similar, i.e.; eat, drink and require the same elements for survival, it seems that more individuals should share common ground and easily find it.  Common ground is often shared when ownership is not attached, such a property, land, socio-economic circumstances or the institution of a criterion which acknowledges differences such as the dangerous “isms,” of racism or classism.  When individuals can pay attention to the details of the lives of others and in turn, can empathize with their situation, whether it is success-driven or struggle-ridden, the ability to connect and understand what another has to endure on a situational or daily basis can much easier be realized.  The Truth of the matter is when we understand others, we become more inclined to assist them, thus we do not feel the urgency of need or guilt associated with not helping, but feel more comfortable in executing the task of “lending a helping hand.” 
            Trust is an underlying issue in any relationship, whether familial or business.  Positioning yourself in any situation of education, personal growth, and business growth, growth with family or in a relationship to be ready to trust is a milestone.  Some of us might have been burned or burdened when we decided to take a certain position, enter an agreement with a family member or strike a commitment of any kind, especially when it comes to personal relationships.  One thing for certain is that we cannot apply our goals, standards or our passions onto another.  Expecting a direct understanding of what our goal is or what needs to be done in our absence can set us up for disappointment due to the fact that we are all individuals with different goals, dreams, ways of thinking and living, so we cannot expect others to put forth the same vigor and energy as we have put forth, no matter what was agreed.   

the dangers of assuming
          As I spoke about in the paragraph above, we cannot set unrealistic expectations for ourselves or for others.  To Hope and to Dream requires lots of strength, vision as well as imagination and energy on our part.  To put that energy towards a goal that is not clearly defined can result in self-sabotage.  We cannot assume that every goal we set in relationships, with jobs, with community or with business will work out the way in which we have planned.  There are many factors in timing, human error, traffic and even weather that can impede these goals we make.
            Having faith in others is a good thing to have however we must all be weary as we do not want our valuable time or energy wasted.  A question is how do you view the time you spend?  Do you notice lessons within your experiences from others?  Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full type of folk?  Can you recognize the value in a lesson, even when walking away from a negative experience? 
            Remaining Positive, no matter the outcome not only builds a much solid character, but teaches you to build in places and in times when others would only see failure.  I can recall these “Drunk Glasses,” highway patrol officers and other officers would bring to conventions.  We can be just as prepared in teaching ourselves how to see things and situations through different lenses.  By throwing on your Positive sun glasses, it is possible be able to view an opportunity or insight others completely miss.  Remaining positive and walking through all doors with a positive attitude and outlook can yield unexpected and oftentimes very great rewards.

The Cost and Weight of a simple smile
          Imagine yourself, walking through a door to meet family, friends or a significant other and when you expect a smile, to only be met with a frown or scowling face.  No one wants to feel threatened or uncomfortable when looking for a good opportunity or experience anywhere. Unless you went to Dicks Last Resort, Ed Debevicks or another establishment where you expected to be treated like crap, we hope for experiences that begin and end with a positive note, ones that begin and end with a smile. As I noted in the last sentence I wrote above in the last paragraph, remaining positive n stuff, positivity has its rewards and the weight of a genuine smile is always priceless.   By being positive and giving others a good smile when you are genuinely pleased, it shows gratitude as well as good hosting. 

            When being a guest, this can be a determining factor of being invited back for other meals, events or even business opportunities.  No one wants to be with a “Debbie Downer,” or “Bitter Brian,” that brings negativity to the table. The memory you receive from a person that has a genuine smile can last lifetimes.  If you have noticed, smiles invite others to smile as well just as laughter can often become contagious in the best of ways.  If a person is having a difficult day or find themselves experiencing hard times, the simplest gesture within a grin will not just light up a room with life but light up another person’s life with a sun ray of hope.

            These lessons and things which I have noticed and spoken about in past blogs are not only beacons of understanding, living, and wellbeing.  These writings serve as a lifeline to our shared humanity, conversations for growth, awareness, building foundations and sharing values such as Honesty, Truth, Understanding, Positive Growth and Love.  These are my attempts to reach many who might have forgotten the weight of simple things thought not tangible or goals once before, believed not reachable.  These will be put into a book and from a book hopefully, just hopefully, this guy who writes “World Help,” publications just might be able to help thousands where others have failed.  I find it only fit for me to add a poem below.  Enjoy…

The elders laugh the joyous laughs we can hear
Learning new skills without embarrassment
Making new friends these old folks do,
Shows us how Bravery is as they have modeled many things before us
Courage is usually observed for heroic stories and 
Timeless anecdotes by those who have escaped death
I do not know if the deer asks “why is there a fire in the forest.”
What I do know is that by smelling smoke and noting the direction of wind
It ran as fast as it could while moving its family to safety
The weight of many thing unseen pulls down the expecting unexpected
While others do not move in their stance towards goals projected
As they learned just how strong their mind is and
Just how weak their body had become from carrying these invisible objects
With every available skill we have and know turned toward the horizon
We press on like old Chinese workers in a room with the first movable type presses
Exited for the outcome and anticipating the release of something good
The Power I know is attributed to those who sought to help another achieve for
Knowing much means nothing when one cannot even meet basic human needs
Open to possibilities we reach further in waters unknown with another weight… Faith yet
This one is not seen either but 
Allows us to get further than thought when our legs fail to move
Choice is in the eyes, actions and lips of the giver and
The Receiver oftentimes through good intention, planning and repetition
Also is gifted a chance
When legs fail to move, even the old dude in the wheelchair can still dance and
The smile he gives to the young child who also cannot walk yet, spreads
Spreads like the best and only wildfire we all hope others would let blaze out of control
Understanding in smiles, knowledge, wisdom and positive words chosen to give as gifts
To get awesome rewards is nice in life however
Giving and leaving good vibes and great things in gifts of smiles wherever we go
Is what it truly means to exist

Friday, February 1, 2019

An Odyssey of Creativity and Wisdom: Day 19

one thousand words daily
Driving across the Bay Bridge to a meeting in the Jag.  Direction & Drive!

Day 19: new year cheer – direction and drive

self defined...
         I would like to call myself many things, many great titles to attribute who I am and where I have been.  Words such as Counselor, Writer, Poet, Artist, Father, Community Builder, Influencer, Healer, Photographer, Philosopher, Naturalist and Survivor are merely some of what pop up when it comes to hashtags I use.  I am as I am, a writer and storyteller by nature as well as a healer. I have called myself a Conduit, Visionary, a Reminder and let my new books, once published, tell more as of what type of dynamic dude I really am.  For now you will have to read these blogs I write and posts to get a sense of who, Sekou really is.  I empower others to be better; do better as well as live healthier in many aspects of their own lives.
            I am no established “Life Coach,” “Health Coach,” or any of those new titles, as many who know me and have worked with me know that I am a whole lot more than one or two titles can define.  Being a reminder of past things, accomplishments, historical stuff I call myself a historian yet I want to do more.  Sometimes I am reminded myself that I have all of the attributes of a leader, yet know that a good leader must be a good listener as well as be very organized. It doesn’t help much that my name means “Wise Leader,” as this is what I have been reminded all of my life by my parents.   My goals now are complicated yet simple to some degree, as I simply want to succeed and plant the right seeds in the right places.
          I want the harvests from all of my hard work to benefit my children, and for creatives, finding viable outlets to express as well as to make a living can become a task if the right avenues and resources are not set up.  Of course we should work hard and diligent towards anything which we truly desire, especially if it makes the quality of life better for us as well as those we care for and love.  In this blog I’ll chat a bit about personal successes, stresses as well as endless possibilities which we can visualize as well as together… dream.

a beginning and an ending
          Last year let me tell ya, was a hell of a year for me in more ways than one.  I was rocked with mounds of hard to face news from family as well as some life changes which affected the way in which I was able to care for myself and those I care for.  I was forced to resign from a job which I built, that no longer valued my input and knowledge (in other words, these guys just didn’t have the knowledge, insight or instinct of how or what to do with me), my son and his mother moved to Las Vegas, which makes it a little more difficult for me to see him.  My Jag blew one hose and fuse too many so it’s now parked in front of a friend’s house. My van (#rastavanancy), which I live and sleep in with my fiancé, is experiencing its own issues so I literally must do what I can to keep that on the road and safe for travel.  About a month after the job ended, we found out that although my fiancé had a permanent procedure for birth control done four years ago, that we were soon to be expecting a miracle baby. 

          I can talk about so many other things yet what is important is that I now, on top of being disabled and homeless in a van, have a zillion reasons that fire up my determination and cause a brotha to wake up at odd times, writing or thinking.  My disability was denied yet for a fourth time yet I have a meeting tomorrow with a representative from Social Security and I will try my best not to rip them a new asshole!  I have found myself telling people a lie recently.  The lie is that I… “Just do not like people that much.”  The honest truth is that I do not necessarily have an issue with people per se as much as I have with the expectations that I place on others.

being content is the least of it...

          I like people, I mean I honestly really do!  Just because some do not share the exact same values as I do does not mean that I need to get angry at them or result to blaming.  Exercising my faith in my Creator solidifies my bond with my fellow man regardless of what they do to me or others.  Through simple reasoning and understanding, we can indeed, know our place in all of this wonderfully beautiful experience we all called life.   So what if my knee swells up to the size of a grapefruit, ankle the size of an orange or if I run out of gas money,  I have lots to be thankful for, so much that I have accomplished and so much more that I have yet to complete.

          In early Winter I completed a book that began as a short story I titled Robin and the Red Tailed Hawk.  My son learned to swim as well as windsurf with my father.  My new son in utero is healthy and is kicking a lot.  I heard from a couple of publishers and that fired me up to hit the grindstone as that was some of the fuel which has recently helped me organize what I need to submit.  One of the things which keep us motivated to do more or be more is our drive, our personal commitment to excellence and the life we desire.
direction and lots of it, plan a,b,c,d and :e,f, and g too,     if you need to
          Having a clear direction helps us know where we are headed as well as gives us an idea of what to expect.  No matter what the outcome, when concerned with performance and the diligence and persistence had, is that we ourselves openly acknowledge who and where we are, and that we find some type of promise or “faith,” which keeps us grounded on our paths no matter what might come up!  Aside from having Direction and Drive, we must remember to be positive and be the “Hell Yeah,” that we hope to see in others and can visualize the “Fuck YES!” that we hope to get once our tasks are accomplished.  We can, at times find ourselves being our worst enemy and our worst critic so remember to give yourself a break and be more of your best friend instead. 
strive, build, stay true to you and survive
          We are not perfect yet every day we can always strive for the better, in what we want to see, in what we want in our lives as well as who we want to become or be to others.  We must find faith in something other than another person, an object, a mechanical or technical device as well as find faith within one’s self.  If trust is what we hope to find in others than we must first establish a strong moral base, so that no matter what happens, that we ourselves remain as solid as the titanium in these legs!  I know that I have been busy with my book writing as well as my health stuff so please forgive me for not posting more and enjoy this fresh poem I am leaving you all with.  My advice for you this New Year is foremost, stay true to you, for you must wake up every day in your own skin and walk the path to a future which only your feet can carry you towards.

In ancient days a wick and a candle held the light needed to guide at night
Mariners looked to the stars, using well the compass and astrolabe
Having to find the means to make a living along with the will to survive
Paths look different to each of us in our own journeys
Some cobblestone to dirt, concrete, smooth basketball court to perfect waves to surf
Finding energy to press on does not come freely for many we must fight
For freedoms, dreams which have been shared and seen or
Purposes grounded in parenthood, promises and others, finances and production
WE hope for lives filled with joy, void of confusion and corruption
When tornadoes of prosperity and greed blow past too close
Taking the very breath we need through its powerful suction
Others have people which feed off of them like the leeches families find attached to skin
Once they have crossed troubled waters for a better life
So that neither one, nor more children with brilliant dreams truly gets left behind
Becoming the reflections of promise their ancestors as well as ours have hoped for
Clearing the air of all chemicals, man-made smog and wildfire smoke
Then it will not matter whether the grass is green or the waters warm
As skies are painted the brightest of blues and
We will eat from what our carefully planted seeds have sprouted into although…
How we decide to make a trip to the destination which waits solely for, is up to us
Walking in harmony along the grounds of the legacies we have built with care and love