December 5, 2014
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The Two Races in America
Growing up I was told that I would need to work twice as hard to get half as far. I needed to learn to live in two societies: the mainstream and my home community. I had to learn two ways of speaking, thinking and acting so that I could achieve my goals. I was subtly shown that my home community was considered less than by those in the mainstream. Folks were astonished with my elocution, intelligence and interests because they were unaware that my “kind” was just like their “kind”.
In the 90’s, my “kind” was told that the playing field was level so we no longer needed the hard fought protections of certain laws. We began to be accused of reverse racism. We lost so much of the ground that our ancestors fought for.
In the new millennium, we were told we should be colorblind; that we lived in a post racial society. We were told that we were playing a hand of cards from an era that no longer existed. I knew better though because I had been in this race a long time. I knew that as long as me and mine were considered hyphenated Americans instead of just Americans that all the rest was smoke and mirrors. For too long others have determined that the narratives of their fellow citizens were only the fairy tales of race baiters. For far too long others have tried to prove to us that skin color had no effect on perceptions. Now as 2014 turns into 2015, the blinders are being forced off by the actions of the military organizations masquerading as civil servants that protect and serve. I, for one, am glad.
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m tired of trying to adjust the rules for my sons so that they can make it home alive. I’m tired of denying my daughters full confidence in their feminity so that they aren’t viewed as typical wanton belly warmers. I am tired of over thinking what I put on to run to the grocery. I’m tired of my husband being passed over for promotions even though he has more credentials than those directly above him on the corporate ladder. I’m tired of being turned into the suspect when I report crime to the police. I’m tired… I’m also mad as hell that some of the people I love more than oxygen just can’t seem to understand. I’m mad that I have to question the motives of my Mexican and White relatives because they don’t get it either. I’m mad that my children will eventually have to navigate this course.
Hopefully by the time I meet my grandkids, their race will be easier.
April 9, 2014
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She wore her scars like armor but if you got passed it, it was amor. Battle ready at all times but full of that LOVE DIVINE. The battle between light and dark is damn sure what gave her that spark. A smile on her lips could disguise the murder in her eyes. See she could kill your dreams with kindness, never a cruel intent, she was just a warrior that said exactly what she meant. And if you crossed her, it was yours to bear. Call up your gods, say a prayer but to her love nothing compared. Like a roller coaster with dips and crests, she lived this life, doing her best. And finally she is at rest.
March 31, 2014
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In urban lingo, dap is a hand bump that can replace an handshake or be the symbol of agreement, excitement or even just showing love. But in my personal life, those
are were my aunt’s initials. She wasn’t but a few years older than me; she was the baby out of my Grandmother’s 18 children. Even still, she was an aunt and not my contemporary. I used to dream of being old enough to follow her on her adventures with my Cousin Toni. When I finally reached what I thought was an appropriate age, she shut me down quick. 😄 She told me she had bigger plans for my future than following in her footsteps, so I could just sit my little butt on the porch. Although I was taller than her 4’8″, I did just what she said because I was not about to tangle with that wild cat. Last November, during my Grandmother’s last days, I found out how truly ill my aunt was. Besides the Lupus she’d been battling, she also had a liver damaged beyond repair. She told me she probably wouldn’t make it until the next November. I worried but figured she’d kick death’s butt if it showed up at her door. I mean she had been kicking butt and taking names my whole life. She even made Ice Cube (yeah the rapper) take heed when they dated back in the vintage days. She was a ball of love though. She never lacked having an encouraging word, a smile, a hug or Love for any who needed it. She was one of my heroes. But this week, she was needed elsewhere so she left us behind with tears and smiles on our faces. We won’t ever forget all the advice, love, laughs and shenanigans. Nor will we forget that she taught us to live out loud and with joy. So while I’m pasting the pieces of my heart back together, I’m also planning to celebrate the time I was given. I am also grateful that I had the chance to tell her how much she truly meant to me and to hear her say she loved me too. She told me that she was proud of me. I just regret I didn’t get to hear her say “auntie’s baby!” to me one more time. But she put enough love into each exclamation, that I should be able to hold onto it for the rest of my life. I just wish I could get one more DAP.
In loving memory of Doree Ann Primous