MLK Musings

If you are not riding for black lives in the current political climate in some way, form or fashion please understand that I’m not trying to see/ hear you post any MLK quotes to ‘honor’ him today. If your life is not an homage to the man, your quote/ picture combo certainly will not be. 
There’s lots of debate about how much good things like integration and non violence did for the black community and constant talk of what ‘could have happened’ had we used different tactics at pivotal points in the movement but some things are certain. 
Martin Luther King Jr. Was much more radical and revolutionary than he is given credit for today. The fact that recycled quips about love driving out hate and peace are used to demonize and trivialize the current movement for black lives only proves that we are dealing with a sanitized version of a great man, only given a holiday because the powers that be had every intention of painting him like the most respectable, pacifist negro possible- and they have succeeded.
No mainstream source will ever post his views on capitalism or his understanding of situations like those that erupted in Ferguson because ‘a riot is the language of the unheard.’ 
We need all different types of leaders, including men like MLK and it’s not just because he wore a suit and didn’t curse.
Revolutionaries come in all flavors and some of you praising bits and pieces of his memory would have never marched alongside him for black equality sooooo…..


McGrawHill Textbooks refer to African slaves as ‘workers’

Absolutely disgusting and their ‘response’ is almost as embarrassing as the sordid act itself. Referring to African slaves as ‘workers’ and referencing slavery in your ‘apology’ as ‘forced migration’ and ‘unpaid labor’ does not speak to the rape, castration, flogging, lynching, abduction, mutilation, degradation, destruction of heritage, communities, families and an entire diaspora still reeling from the modern day effects of slavery which led to jim crow which led to the new Jim Crow. I know I cannot expect better so I will not demand that you do better. I’m just glad people are willing to call you and your joke of a publication out. Shameful. Absolutely shameful. Rewriting history and wondering why modern society is falling apart. We aren’t being properly exposed to the lessons of the past and are therefore doomed to repeat them and all those traditionally marginalized will continue to fall by the wayside. My blood is BOILING. #McGrawHill #RewritingHistory #HomeSchoolingIsAMUST #StayWoke 

Where are the vigils, Facebook overlays and public outpourings of solidarity for Nigeria?


We don’t need ’em.
And we know why we won’t get em.
So I encourage everyone to download the photo blend app and create your own photo in solidarity with Nigeria. As corny as it is that we don’t receive the support others do in times of crisis, we honestly don’t require it. We all we got. And that’s a lot. Let’s support each other 💚💚💚💚 #PrayForNigeria #BlackLivesMatter #AfricanLivesMatter #UniteTheDiaspora #POCUnite #BlackLoveSavesLives 

Oh I’m watching you Hilary, but I ain’t tryna see you whip

Hillary Clinton, the same woman who claims ‘well meaning’ White people are fearful of Black folks in hoodies, is not allowed to do the Nae Nae. Same kids doing that dance would make you fear for your life on a dark street corner.

Miss me.

Ellen Degeneres is the homie but I need every single democratic candidate who wants my vote- granted to me by the blood of my ancestors- to do better.I have yet to be impressed and I will not be distracted by publicity stunts when my peoples lives are on the line. The Republican Party is very clear and calculating with its campaigning. Zero shame in their game. They are about our death, displacement and demonization. That does not mean we should blindly follow the democrats to the gates of hell. Show me something real shawty.  

On Jada, Janet & ‘Worrying about the wrong things’

I sent out an official piece for publication so I won’t post that yet but here’s a more free form blurb related to the Oscars and the latest news regarding boycotting and responses to it.

There is no reason I can’t simultaneously build within the Black community AND hold the systems and institutions that continue to devalue and disenfranchise people of color accountable. 
I’m not ‘worried about the wrong things’ for thinking the Oscars should be more diverse. 

Representation matters. When my brother goes overseas and tiny Japanese women run away from him at night because he’s Black even though they’ve never previously encountered an ACTUAL black person I’m reminded that representation matters.
On the flip side when students from a prestigious and diverse educational institution publicize their experiences with racism and are trivialized and silenced I am reminded why we need our own shit.
So scuse me while I walk, chew gum, listen to music, nod my head, milly Rock, shop for joggers and contemplate world domination simultaneously.
One time for the folks who get that race is worth discussing in every context. I don’t need to not care about the oscars so I can care about police brutality. I don’t need to stop worrying about meek mill making a fool of himself so I can #sayhername and I don’t need to stop watching scandal and empire so I can a free up some time to volunteer at the women’s shelter. I do all that shit easily and care free as fuck so all your judgement is gonna do is cause me to flex in the form of multiple status updates.
Now shut the fuck up while I kill shit in multiple ways, please and thanks.

Chris Brown Keeps Proving He Hates Women & Women keep supporting him


Team Breezy can go somewhere at this point. He’s an awful person. Period. And he really REALLY hates women. God bless Royalty and God help the poor child’s future relationships because her daddy is the worst. The worst part of situations like this is the amount of people co-signing and feeling justified because he is saying these things and he is a household name. 30,000-50,000 likes and re tweets for some of his most negligent comments. The irony is that these Tweets about faking suicide are coming from a man who has probably caused suicidal thoughts in multiple women of color and had his OWN mental breakdowns on national television. But she ‘fronting for the gram so her comments don’t look so bad.’ I don’t even care how well he dances. I’m not separating the two. He ain’t shit and that’s why his balls never dropped. Pushing 30 still singing soprano. FOH. And if you know me well and you’ve known me for a long time you know this man was my first ever celebrity crush. I say with confidence and clarity that he is a piece of shit and that the fact he can do all he’s done and still 
1. Be taken seriously
2. Be signed
3. Be supported by millions 
Is more of a testament to sexism than all the slut shaming in the universe.
And yes I remember when they weren’t playing his music and selling his CDs for that year or two. 
But he just keeps being awful.
While getting richer.
And more famous.
And when you forgive one infraction he commits another.
All you celebrity worshipping groupies are part of the problem. No one who is never held accountable for their actions will EVER learn accountability.
#SmallBoysInGrownBodies #ChrisBrown #Kehlani #BlackMaleMisogyny #KyrieIrving #PartyNextDoor #SlutShaming #CyberBullying #FuckPatriarchy #MisogynyKills  #MentalHealthInTheBlackCommunity

Another Mommy Anecdote

So I just picked up my son from school. 
His teacher, who I think is incredible, just chewed him out in front of the entire class for playing during gym class. 
Now, she wasn’t there, but the gym teacher reported to her and she felt it necessary to report to me.
I appreciate being notified about my son’s behavior because I would have asked if she didn’t offer the information up anyway. I always ask. Teachers do a lot in a day and sometimes they’ll forget to mention things in the chaos of dismissal. But she made it a point to give me that information. Fine. What I DON’T like is that she did it very loudly in front of the entire class. 
I’m not a proponent of embarrassing kids. I do not think it is an effective tool for illiciting change in behavior. Naturally there have been times when I had to correct a child’s behavior in a classroom setting, but I’ve never had a private conversation about a specific child with their parent while the entire class looks on, and I take crying very seriously- so I would definitely lower my voice after that at the very least. 
Hari interjected to defend himself and clarify- as I taught him- (my friend threw something and I went to get it!) but the teacher wasn’t having it. When he began to cry she softened up by saying kids will be kids, but Hari has to follow directions- which I agree with. (The class was being instructed to line up when Hari and his friend ran and dived for whatever item his friend threw.) 
Because I know my child I know damn well he was not aimlessly rolling around on the floor with his friend for no reason. He went to pick something up. No problem. He got in trouble because it’s not what he was supposed to be doing at the moment. No problem. But the fact teachers often 
1. Overreact, and 
2. Back one another up with no proof or context
Can be very problematic.
I’m sure Johari got off line and raced his friend to pick up the bracelet he threw.
But by the time the story got to me Hari had been ‘flipping and rolling’ with another student .
No one flips and rolls on gym floors. That shit would hurt.
Hari was scared. As we walked home I assured him he was not in trouble with me. The public tongue lashing from a usually very loving teacher was enough for one day. I asked if his gym teacher had said anything to him after the incident. He said no. That bothered me. 
When my students are in trouble with me I make them fully aware of their transgression even if it is small and when I plan to get a parent involved I make that clear as well. That’s an important boundary not to cross without giving a child a heads up.
What if I was one of those parents who only ever believes the teacher and beats my kid for every little thing? 
What if he’s been doing really great behavior wise as of late and now I’m made to believe he’s out of control in gym class just because the teacher had a bad day and blew a small incident out of proportion?
I explained to Hari this is probably the case as his gym teacher loves him to pieces. All the teachers do. He’s the bomb diggity. He also talks excessively and can have trouble following directions. I acknowledge this and work with him at home to improve in the areas he could work on. 
What I won’t do is throw him under the bus unnecessarily or intentionally embarrass him/ get him in trouble. 
As his mother when I feel like I’ve overdone it I apologize. And I pushed him out. It’s important that adults whose life’s work it is to educate/ care for children never forget that kids have circumstances you know nothing about. Just like adults. Had I been another mother this situation might have turned out very differently for Johari. 
Also, we often punish a child multiple times for the same infraction. Teachers screams on them. Mom picks them up, gets the story and then screams on them. Then dad gets home from work and you tell him the story so they can get at the kid. Then you call grandma and let her get in on the action. Why? Once is enough.  
But I will say this. I’m so proud of my kid. THIS is the kind of shit he gets in trouble for lol. I’ve had students so off the rails I would purposely NOT call the parents sometimes because I felt like they needed a break from bad news about their child. 
So I’m thankful. Just making observations.


A quick note on the supposed black girl magic fest that was #YeezySeason4

I wasn’t going to comment on the #YeezySeason4 casting call because I know who Kanye is at this point and his affinity for ‘mixed’ and mixed looking women is QUITE apparent. 
But if you really think the presence of black women at his showcase absolves him of his misogyny and the blatant anti Blackness prevalent in that casting, or the numerous instances where he has shown his ass you might want to think again. 
(We all know how the world perceives the term ‘mixed’ whether or not you personally are mixed and proud to be black so stop it.) 
“How do you word the idea that you want all variations of black?” West asked in an interview with Vogue addressing the casting backlash. “How do you word that exactly?” 
Oh I don’t know. How about ‘all ethnicities and complexions welcome?’
It would have been VERY easy to create an inviting model casting that didn’t single out black women as uninvited. 
He tried it.
I am not impressed, moved or convinced Mr. Kardashian gives a flying fuck about black women. 
Whole lotta dark girls in the grass bare foot while the majority of lighter girls walk the runway but that’s nooooone of my business.
And as always, the ‘fashion’ is basic AF.
But y’all will wear anything if Yeezy says it’s hot.
Still praying for him and acknowledging his musical talent. Still hype Teyana is part of the squad cause she’s deserved the publicity shes getting now for a LONG time. 
But don’t act like Yeezy got my back cause he got them brown skinned girls bare foot in the grass facing away from the camera.
#EndRant #Yeezy #YouAintGottaLieCraig #Colorism #AntiBlackness #Fashion 

white baby goes viral for hitting the Quan and I’m just liiiike 

Why do White people go viral every time they are recorded doing ‘Black’ shit? If my son and I recorded ourselves singing ANY song by Fetty Wap I’d be all kinds of hoodrats and unfit mothers. Folks that look like me and folks who don’t would have something negative to say about my parenting and what kind of (black) person I am. But Kate Hudson and her son singing Trap Queen is life even though some of yall wouldn’t be caught dead in an elevator with a Fetty Wap lookin/ dressin brotha without clutching your purse/ pearls/ lady parts. Munchkin going viral cause she hit the Quan? Cool. Kids adorable. But do you know how many kids recorded themselves doing that? Millions. I know all kinds of people go viral for all kinds of things but this particular trend of blackness being super entertaining on white bodies while our bodies, culture, psyches, etc are constantly attacked and questioned (ugh I hate rap! Worse genre ever! Who listens to this stuff?) is very annoying to say the least. I bet the same folks who ‘hate rap’ were bumping trap Queen after Taylor swift bought Fetty onstage during her concert. After she shaded a black woman trying to put the world on to some of the hardships of black womanhood in Hollywood. But that’s none of my business. Let me make some breakfast for my babies. #AnalyticalPeopleStruggles #EveryThingIsPolitical #FullOfJoyButIWillCallOutProblematicBehaviorWhenISeeIt

The Gun Violence Conversation We Aren’t Having

Initially when I saw Twitter ablaze with news of the shooting at UCLA early last month I was sad. Not stunned. I’m never shocked by these all too common occurrences on school grounds anymore. Guns in schools seem to be as common as politicians making empty promises and people actually believing them. But I was very upset. I tweeted my well wishes and predicted that even after another tragedy, gun control still wouldn’t win the day.

I was right.

10 days later Pulse night club in Orlando Florida was attacked by a lone gunmen with a homophobic vendetta on its very popular ‘Latin Night.’ It’s worth noting that Pulse is a safe haven for many queer Latinos and that the advertisement for Latin night featured Trans Latino and Black women. 49 people were murdered and 54 more injured. There were calls for gun control and prayers for the victims and their families all over social media. What I did NOT see was information about the victims. Slowly but surely the names of those killed or injured began coming to light. But before I saw that I was bombarded with information about the ‘radical Islamist’ shooter responsible for the attack. In the midst of a massacre perpetrated against over 100 members of the LGBTQ community that has been universally ostracized for SO long, for some reason, the focus was on the perpetrator’s religion. Isis would later claim responsibility for the attack but what extremist group wouldn’t latch on to an anti-gay massacre to bolster its credibility? Especially one losing territorial ground in Syria, Libya and Iraq, knowing the American media would run with the story.

While looking through the UCLA and Orlando focused twitter hashtags last month trying to keep up with the latest on the unfolding stories I came across the following tweet:

‘Poor kids in Chicago slums everyday: Meh

UCLA once ever: Hey, stop the presses!’

I was so moved by its accuracy and relevance that I immediately shared it with my own commentary.

‘Honestly. Gun violence effects us all but POC are demonized & WYPIPO get the world’s empathy. He said it not me…’

Can you feel the shade? I was bitter in that moment. I cleaned up my act a bit in my subsequent tweets for clarity.

‘I could not agree more. We are constantly provided with proof that all lives do not matter.’

‘The entire #guncontrol debate centers around school shootings. They are tragic yes, but so is everyday gun violence.’

 You know what happened next.

Strangers named Kathleen, Kit and Enigma Golfer among others came to the defense of absolutely no one to tell me how my injection of race into the conversation about the UCLA shooting was ‘inappropriate.’

‘It’s a time for prayers!’

‘College kids getting shot isn’t the same as drug dealers shooting each other!’

‘Surely a shooting at the University of Chicago would have received the same coverage!’

Hol’ up. I mention Chicago and your mind immediately goes to drug dealers? K. You think black ass UC would get the same media attention as UCLA? K. Prayers gon’ work just like they did at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Columbine? K.

Then later on when I called out the corporate media for jumping on the opportunity to paint a picture of a violent Muslim extremist despite the accounts from his ex- wife and parents that he was not religious, but incredibly homophobic, I received more of the same dismissive, outraged commentary. Yes, we know he pledged allegiance to Isis in a 911 phone call in the midst of the massacre and we know he shouted Allah Huakbar. What we don’t know is whether or not he was actually affiliated with Isis or just an individual exacting his will who was inspired by the extremist group, a phenomenon that is all too common within cultures that use fear to inspire violence in others, such as Donald Trump offering to pay the legal fees of supporters who physically harm protesters.

After tweeting:

‘The mainstream media does an incredible job of showing society violent Muslims. It’s our job to know better.’

‘Because you are not connected to the Muslim community you have no idea what work it’s doing to combat extremism.’

‘And the notion that peaceful Muslims are somehow responsible for violent extremists is unfair.’

I was met with a resounding ‘No one kills for their religion except Muslims!’

I repeatedly demanded proof of this seemingly statistical data. Surely there were numbers to prove this purported lead the Muslim community has in the violent religion Olympics! But my requests went unanswered. Instead I was told that Christians would never do such a thing. Never! As if the Crusades never happened and evangelism wasn’t utilized to rationalize the brutal trans Atlantic slave trade for centuries. As if every religion, especially Christianity, doesn’t promote violence with hateful rhetoric related to God’s lack of tolerance for ‘men who lay with men’ every time an unapologetically homophobic pastor steps onto he pulpit.

I don’t have the time Yall.

But I went ahead and found the time because in that moment I realized how different my experience and mentality around ‘gun violence’ and ‘extremism’ is from most of America’s.

When other people hear ‘gun violence’ they think of school shootings. They think of random acts of violence perpetrated by ‘crazy people.’ They consider these people anomalies and many don’t feel like these supposedly mentally ill folks who are few and far between are worth our collective 2nd amendment rights.

When they hear ‘terrorism’ however, they distinctly connect Muslim people and countries to violent behavior and events that America participates in to this very day such as indoctrination, militarization and the murder of innocent civilians. We don’t allow widespread white male rage to dictate our gun policy but we allow the actions of a subset of Muslims to dictate our foreign policy, waging war on entire faiths and regions of the world.

Consequently, when I hear gun violence I envision the police. I think about Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. I remember the ex who once hid a pistol in my dresser drawer without my knowledge. I remember how the serial number was scratched off and how my heart stopped when I saw it. I remember not taking his suspicious activity seriously until then and being grateful I had not gotten mixed up in his madness when we finally parted ways. I remember feeling sorry for him because that’s no way to live life. I remember the 4 year old boy who got hit by a stray bullet while playing in the park in the Bronx last year and the 6 month old baby girl who was shot FIVE times while her father was changing her in their family’s SUV in Chicago.

When I hear the word terrorism I envision Dylan Roof. Right as he’s walking into AME baptist church in Charleston and making conversation with the nine people he would later murder in cold blood. I think back on the beginning of the Oregon siege and how a right wing militia overtaking indigenous land was framed in the media as a ‘grazing protest’ despite the fact that they were heavily armed and had even taken hostages at one point. I think about the 5 Black Lives Matter protesters who were shot while exercising their constitutional rights in Minneapolis last November. I think about the murders of 3 Muslim college students at Chapel hill and how the media attempted to frame it as a ‘parking dispute’ and not the hate crime it clearly was.

Fast forward to last month’s tragedy in Florida and we are exposed to yet another cultural disconnect within our national gun control debate. Nuance related to religion. Not only do we frame instances of gun violence differently based on the racial identities of the victims and perpetrators, but we also capitalize on narratives that demonize communities already criminalized for their appearance, attire and faith.

As soon as it was discovered that Omar Mateen was Muslim, the Internet lost its collective mind, conservatives and bigots quickly tweeting various forms of the words ‘told you so!’ while horrified and indifferent Muslims alike recounted how just last week we were celebrating Black Muslim boxing legend and activist Muhammud Ali but were thrust back into the annals of progress when a singular Muslim chose to inflict their personal will after he saw two men kissing.

I fear that most people don’t care enough about gun violence because we haven’t even started having the same conversation. We discuss gun control under the guise of collective rights and individual responsibility but it often seems that only black and brown folks pay the price for inflicting violence with the help of a gun. I had a black woman with Locs type the words ‘guns don’t kill people. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE!’ In the comments section of my Instagram earlier today. I was FLOORED. But I was also reminded that it’s not only the privileged who soak up and act on the slanted reporting and selective humanizing or lack thereof that occurs in mainstream media reporting of shooting deaths.


Grown white men and young white school shooters alike are humanized every time. The adults get careful phrasing in news coverage and the children spur robust dialogue about mental health each and every time they are responsible for a high profile shooting such as the biker brawl in Waco Texas and the Colombine Massacre. White gun wielding perpetrators are often taken into custody without so much as a scratch. But black youth resorting to violence as a means of regaining power they lost somewhere along the way, often to the same culprits as these white children we want so badly to understand- such as bullying, broken families, gangs and mental health issues- are painted as violent delinquents with no redeeming qualities who are unfit to be integrated into society. Black suspects are often brutalized and even killed for wielding such ‘weapons’ as sticks and wallets. Sudanese Muslim boys like Ahmed  Mohamed go to school with home made clocks and get arrested and criminalized instead of applauded and celebrated.

So the gun control debate and how we discuss who gets criminalized for using them is not the same for me as it might be for someone whose not experiencing life as a black woman fearful for the black and brown men, women and children she loves. We need to start pooling our knowledge on the pain gun violence causes us all, acknowledging how we as a society almost encourage it with our treatment of those responsible or lack thereof, and start having the same conversation in order to address the many gun related issues we face today.


I had the good fortune of growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Before it was the safe haven for all things gentrification, it was diverse in a beautiful and authentic way. Everyone had a tendency to be ethnocentric but the kids who had no interest in their parent’s indifference toward broadening their horizons had a damn good time together in school, at the park, and hanging out in local establishments. We even dared to bring one another home and truly become friends.

I bring this up because I didn’t grow up in the Chi or Brownsville. Seeing that gun in my dresser drawer was the closest I’ve ever come to being near one. I’ve never witnessed someone get shot and I’ve never been shot. I’ve never even heard a gun shot, save that one time at Jouvert when someone decided it was time to act up and I scrambled through several crowded Flatbush side streets with some close friends. But I empathize with victims of gun violence across the spectrum and I think we need to start acknowledging a lot more people as such.

We demonize entire black communities who lose children to gun violence without stopping to take stock of the trauma living in an environment riddled with death can cause. We have no regard for the entire communities full of men, women and children we have wiped from the face of the Earth after invading their home lands in a the name of democracy only to pump them full of lead. We don’t even grieve collectively for slain Black and brown children because as far as we’re concerned it’s either ‘their fault’ (war on drugs) , ‘the ends justify the means’ (war on terror) or ‘that’s just how “they” are.

When we do grieve a young black child’s death at the hands of a community member, we always make sure to demonize that person without ever looking at the circumstances surrounding their desire to carry and utilize a deadly weapon. Some would argue the very possession of a gun in certain neighborhoods is a matter of life or death. We need to start meeting people where they’re at if we are to effect change and save lives across cultures and socio-economic boundaries.

We extend the utmost grace to violent white children. We are bombarded with the life stories and familial hardships of white perpetrators of violence without fail. And baby pictures. Always with the baby pictures. I don’t recall seeing a baby picture of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin or Rekia Boyd but I damn sure got a glimpse of Tryavon flipping me the bird several times across the mainstream media landscape as well as a hulking and unsmiling Michael Brown. These are the images that aid in our continued lifting up of white anguish to excuse white violence while simultaneously upholding the racial myths that black men are inherently deviant, dangerous and criminal, men who appear Muslim are terrorists and black & Muslim women aren’t even worth mentioning unless the conversation relates to policing their appearance. There is no place to start a holistic dialogue about gun violence under these circumstances.

 Instead of leaving you with a concluding paragraph that wraps all this up I just want to leave you with my thoughts for the many different types of victims of gun violence across the country.

My heart goes out to the #Orlando Community and the patrons of #Pulse who were there that fateful night.

My heart goes out to the LBGTQ community and every victim of gun violence who was targeted because of their sexuality or gender expression.

My heart goes out to #UCLA.

My heart goes out to the students and staff in every school that has experienced this all too common tragedy.

My heart goes out to the worried families who send their kids, spouses and siblings off to school or work only to see their destination on the news hours later and have to wonder ‘did they make it out alive?’

My heart goes out to the folks who were sitting in the Century 16 movie theatre that was senselessly shot up in Aurora Colorado.

My heart goes out to the parents, families and friends of school shooters.

My heart goes out to the parents, families and friends of victims of lethal police brutality.

My heart goes out to the parents, families and friends of victims of gang violence.

My heart goes out to the parents of children hit by stray bullets living in communities impacted by generational poverty, police misconduct, and structural racism.

My heart goes out to the gang members whose pain no one acknowledges because they ‘chose’ that life. As if anyone could ever ‘choose’ to be without role models and positive influence.

My heart goes out to the black men locked up simply for having a gun because in their world it is a necessity.

My heart goes out to the women locked up because they fell in love with such a man and held onto that love for dear life in a world so devoid of love for black women- no matter what the cost.

My heart goes out to the Muslims who have been surveilled, profiled, assaulted, imprisoned and murdered since that fateful day in September 2001.

My heart goes out to the families of the Chapel Hill shooting victims.

My heart goes out to the students, cab drivers and shop keepers who have been attacked in the wake of extremist violence in Paris and San Bernardino.

My heart goes out to the victims and families of gun violence perpetrated in the name of Islam.

My heart goes out to the victims and families of gun violence perpetrated in the name of ‘saving’ America.

My heart goes out to the mentally ill from all backgrounds who are often met with violence instead of the help they need.

My heart goes out the the families of the Dallas 5.

Your hearts should go out to each other as well.