Monday, February 28, 2005

Forgave and forgiven.. now what?

Yesterday, I cried!

Yesterday, I cried unto the Lord. Yesterday, I cried for forgiveness. Yesterday, I cried for strength. Yesterday, I cried for self-assurance. Yesterday, I cried for stability. Yesterday, I cried to forgive.

Yesterday, I forgave every man and woman that has taken pieces of my heart. I have carried the burden of having my heart stolen, kicked, punch, stabbed, and lynch. I allowed all of that to happen. This burden created a guard in me that rebukes some my blessings or even someone special. The guard that most black men possesses.

Something told me not to go to Mass. this pass weekend. Since I had my car, I found myself Friday and Saturday going to different places by myself. I didn't have my normal depress attitude about being lonely. I just lived. Much like I always have. Realizing that I have come this far by faith. I've been through a lot more turmoil that I haven't even touched on this blog.

Sunday, I woke up and made a play list with some of my gospel favorites, as I was getting ready for church. I notice something new on two songs.

1. "Never Give Up," by Yolanda Adams.

She sings, "Never give up, Never give up on You." That you is very powerful and just discovered. Lately, I've been feeling like just giving up. Giving up on love. I think about giving up on my ambitions and solely devoting myself to my community and the church. But, I desire much more than that. This song reminds me to never give up on ME. I've definitely have hurtles to jump that will stand in my way, but, like most track and field athletes have to train to successfully jump over those hurtles, I have to do the same thing. I have to train my spiritual being and allowing the spirit to guide me.

2. "Jesus Love Me," performed by Whitney Houston on the Bodyguard Soundtrack produced by Bebe Winans

Towards the end, she riffs, "Sometime I'm LONELY but never ALONE, because the bible tell me so." I forget this all the time. I eat out, watch TV, lay down all by myself feeling lonely, but not looking on the bright side that I'm not alone. Forgetting that I am loved unconditionally and He is with me through my journey towards TRANSFORMATION. The transformation that I write about is the changes I'm making in my life from learning through my practical experiences.

Realizing that through my wire, I am a SURVIVOR. I have to remind myself of where I've been. Standing venerable and insecure in the rain and some severer storms, I have always seemed to prevail over all of those obstacles. The many storms that have came my way, has brought me many rainbows of joy and true happiness.

At a young age, I always had a PLAN for everything. I have many long-term plans, that I don't exactly know will pan out they way I foresee them. Honestly, it seems most of my successes have come through alternative routes. I love to go with the flow, but most of the time I have to lead everything, when sometimes I just want to follow. And now, I need to trust and believe and follow the one up above.

My mother raised me to acknowledge that everything I do comes with some type of consequence. This brings up my fear of FAILURE. I'm frightened and scared that I will fail all of the big things I want to do in life. As I vastly approach the launch of my business, I'm frightened that this won't propel the opportunity I anticipate. I'm a little scared I will backslide for my new church home and forget how bless I am. It's happen before, but now, I pray for his strength.

My PRIDE brings me the most agony. I rather keep my mouth shut or post rather than tell people how I truly feel about certain things. I'm not a yes man. But, a man who choices to over analyzed certain things rather than get them out there in the open. This has prevented relationships on my part and the other person part, mainly talking about my situation with Potential. This is our black man syndrome of now saying how we feel and acting upon it.

A lot of the time, I don't feel WORTHY of what I have or can have. I shout, praise and worship him. I am truly thankful for everything. Far too often, I feel unworthy of his blessings he gives to me. Having the tendency of putting other people in front of me has indwelled in me for years. I need to become selfish. Selfish to the point when I can say NO and feel good doing it. Knowing when I need to think about myself, rather than family, friends, work, and many organizations. Give myself LOVE. I've been avoiding a look at myself for the past two weeks. (except for Sunday, brotha took out a three piece suit, looking fly, lol.) Self love will give me the strength to know I'm worthy of being loved from my family friends and God.

Donnie McClurklin (I don't agree with his stance with SGL) put it best, "For a Saint is just a sinner who fell down and got back up." Right now, I'm going though the challenge of this substantial endeavor. I'm going to try not to complain, but rather discuss what I'm going through.

3 Questions, I hope to post the responses tomorrow. Hey, if you're reading this, ask me a question! My blog was viewed over 200 times over the weekend and I only have five people asking questions. I don't bite.

So, I pray that..

As I TRANSFORM , I will SURVIVE without having a specific PLAN because I'm will not be afraid to FAIL. With the right amount of PRIDE to know I'm Worthy of all of my blessings that will shine though.

Friday, February 25, 2005

3 Questions... and I'll holla back with answers!

After a couple weeks of debate, I have decided to go along with some of my comrades and open the floor up for questions you may want to ask me. Within reason, I will answer all of them.

And like brotha-free states, "if I only get like 2 responses I will erase this pose with the quickness and act like it neva happend..."

Give me a few days to answer the questions. I know there are a couple of people that read and never commented. The time is now.

So, three questions. Drill me! Go ahead, ask me!

"IIIIIIIIIII'mmmmmmmmmmm BBBBAAACCCKKKK!"

MY CAR IS OFFICIALLY BACK IN MY LIFE! My mother called me while I was at work and said my grandfather was driving my car around. I laughed. She was telling on her father, lol. So, I called grandpa and implied nothing. He told me, my car was fixed on Wednesday and he was driving it around till I called so he can save some money on gas (He drives a Yukon.) I decided to wait and get my car on Sunday.

My boy, Shawty and I have been arguing about a lot of stuff in '05. And I really don't like drama between friends. They say opposites are attracted to each other, but after a couple of months of really trying to keep calm, IT'S A WRAP! This past week I must have deleted 20 names from my cell. And I hope Shawty is the last one. It's going to be weird not having him around because he was my local roll dawg. Like Miss Jones says on Hot 97, "Oh, Well!" It's for the best! Trying to cleanse my surroundings, so I can push forward towards emotional recovery.
My homegirl and I were supposed to hit up a party that my friend was throwing in the bx. The snow was terrible in the NYC area last night. She never goes on the subway and decided to call me back a hour after we are suppose to meet and says she doesn't want to go out in the snow. I know its really to cold to wait on the subway platform and I wasn't going to spend another night in my apt. So, I decided to go get my car from my grandfather's house around 11pm. I couldn't find any gloves and I brough a t-shirt to clean off the snow. I swear to goodness, snow is COLD. After warming the car up for 30mins, I drove aware. I can't even explain the feeling of having my car back in commission after a year and a half. It felt good. The party sucked, tho. The best part was being able to drive home.

You know I was souped up when I woke up and had to clean off my car, LOL. I was calling illegally(gangsta, no head piece) all my friends that have sprint and told them where I was calling from. Something is wrong with me, I keep on referencing Madea to my friends, Lol.

Well, I'm trying to get out of going to Boston this weekend. I kinda want to pimp my ride. It's the Black weekend at my old school and most of friends are going to be there. I'm just not in the mood to go over new stuff that I'm doing. I've been going back the last two years, and it seems that is the one weekend everyone is trying to out do each other. Well, I know I'm going, have to pick up my clothes out the dry cleaners, and you know I'll out do everyone, LOLOLOL.

Today's song of the day, well, I still don't have a radio in da car, so the I'm performing today, is Juelz Santana, "IIIIIIIIIII'mmmmmmmmmmm BBBBAAACCCKKKK!"

One more thing, I wanted to share something that is in my heart right now. I'm trying to remember this word for word by monday. One of the characters recited it in Coach Carter.

OUR GREATEST FEAR
Marianne Williamson from her book A Return to Love

Our great fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyone measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and 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.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Madea Spoke To Me

When I arrived in Jerzee last night, my grandmother picked me up and I drove to the theatre to see Madea Goes To Jail. We started looking for a parking spot 30mins before the curtain call. The streets were packed, filled with my beautiful people. Ten mins before the show starts my grandmother tells me she just received a handicapped parking pass. We ended up parking a block a way.

When I purchased the tickets on Tuesday, I knew they wouldn't be the greatest because it was the day before the show. When we entered the theatre, I showed the usher our tickets and he tells me I need to get on the elevator. In the elevator, I was told I had to get off at the last stop. I'm like oh boy, these tickets must really suck. (Side note: My grandmother and I are very closed. She raised me until I was seven. This Sista is the reason for my spiritual beginnings. She can give a whoppin like no other. Grandma can be very prissy and conservative out in public.) I was really worried what my grandmother would say when we go to our seats which was the third to last row, LOLOL. I began to get dizzy. My grandmother said she thinks its was the same seats she was in when she seen Ray Charles a couple of decades ago. She was ok, YES!

I've seen most of Tyler Perry plays on bootleg, and they are extremely clear, LOL. But, after yesterdays performance I want to see his future plays live. I have some friends that are regular theatre goers and they wouldn't be caught dead at a Tyler Perry play. Madea Goes To Jail was extremely entertaining. I wish blogs allowed you to hear some audio, because I've been imitating scenes from the play all morning. I haven't laugh that hard in 500 days, lol. I won't get into the whole story line. But, there were a couple of moments when the audience was singing and I think some of the lines were impromptu.

On a different note, this play had many deep undertones. It spoke about parenting, forgiving, and spirituality as always. What had me getting a little nervous when Madea was talking to one of the actors about letting go. I thought she was talking to me. Well, you know about Potential and Desire, I'm still going through the let go stage. You know, when you want to call, but you don't. Madea said, "Anyone that is willing to leave you, LET THEM GO!" It's funny, because I often told friends that same response. But, she went on and spoke about being happy for you, something, brutha-free and lovehater advised. I want to start exploring more things that I think I would enjoy out of the house. For me, living alone accounts for the most my lonely times. So, I need to get out of the house and do some thing other than work/school/business/the cause.

That play was wonderful; it put me in the best mood. But, most of all, Grandma enjoyed it.

In the play they sung my new theme song of the week (smiling hard, LOL)

The classic tune by the Spinners - Love Don't Love Nobody.

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes a girl
Will come and go
You reach for love
But life won't let ya know
That in the end
You'll still be lovin her
But then she's gone
You're all alone

Sign of pain
Is on my face, well
My heartbeat stops
But I won't take the blame, no no
I gave her all the love I had within
My love was strong
Something went wrong, no! no!

It takes a fool to learn
Yes sir
That love don't love nobody
Love Love Love Love Love Love
It takes a fool to learn
Stop to think about it, well
That Love don't love nobody
Oh! Oh no!
It takes a fool to learn
When you're down and out,
shout about it
That Love don't love nobody
Tell the world, oooh babe
No more....
It takes a fool to learn
Gotta be more careful about myself
That love don't love nobody
It takes a fool to learn
Woah baby took me a long time to learn, to learn, well
That love don't love no one
It takes a fool to learn
I was a fool, you were a fool
That love don't love nobody
Now we got love, we need love
It take a fool to learn

I'm such a dork, swaying back and forth as if I'm at a Spinners concert. After the audience sung this song, Madea says, "You not ready for music like this. Nowadays, y'all got hip hop. Back in my day we had Jump-off. Jump off the Roof music." LMAO

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

We Need To Work For Ourselves and Our Community.

After work, I had class and I went to the local NAACP Meeting. I arrived early and the President asked me to sit in during the Executive Committee meeting. I was already tired from my long day, but I wanted to see what the NAACP was during about the increase gang situation. I've been a member over a year, but they don't really don't give young people the opportunity to speak up.

This meeting wasn't organization at all. One thing dealing with much older people that are in positions of power I've found, they constantly go on and on and on. It gets quite aggravating. I always been the type to do the same thing, go on and on, LOL. But, it hurts to sit through an entire meeting of the $^&t. However, when it came time for open floor, they didn't talked about the gun shooting that happen last Tuesday in front of my building. They didn't talk about finally reacting to the increase in gang related violence. So, I spoke about how important for the NAACP to be at the forefront of doing more things regarding gang prevention. Quickly, they ask me to head up this initiative instead of the action committee. Don't get me wrong, I wanted the NAACP to help me deal with gangs, not the NAACP giving me permission to use there name when doing so. I wanted assistance instead I get an assignment.

They start talking about what needs to happen like research on why kids join gang. I went on to inform them we know the basics; our youth come from broken homes, they don't have jobs to occupy their time, most don't have recreational outlets to absorb their energy, they aren't loved. So, then they jump on the bandwagon and agreed with me and talked about have a speaker come in like Dr. Michael Eric Dickson and speak to our youth. But yo, what's really good, a speaker isn't going to be there 24/7. We need something in place involving our schools, our churches and our law enforcement on a continuous basis.

Honestly, I don't want to work directly with people, it can be very emotional. Presently, I work for the unfortunate and I battle different stories every day. I commend the many casemanagers, social workers and teachers that dedicate their lives to saving people that are in need. On the same token, I want to deal with policy and program development in addition to fund-raising and advocacy. Oh, I forgot to mention my 3 person crew and I raised $500 for the battered women's shelter. We had a scratch off game, the number you scratched you had to donate. Moving on, next week I'm going to start researching what programs are obtainable, efficient and effective to bring back to my community.

I really can't blame the NAACP chapter for not providing the assistance that I wanted. Unfortunately, when you get to organizations that "suppose" to have a grassroots efforts, its the same people that are doing all of the work.

I went to the McDonalds near my place and had a chicken ceasar salad. And sat there for about a hour just trying to plan out what comes first. Having the entire debate on focusing on my new business or starting a new non-profit focusing on one of my many passionate social issues or keep on going with my business and assist organizations that are attempting to provide solutions. I think I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing. Let God guide me into the right direction.

I'm heading down to Jerzee tonight to take my Grandma to see Madea Goes To Jail. Tyler Perry plays are entertaining, not a huge fan, but I like the message he gives his audience. Plus, Grams wanted to see it. Shawty B-day is today, we are suppose to go to the Wall tonight, never been there, and he is having something at Lobby tomorrow. Lobby is really starting to become the hot Thursday Night Spot. Surprisingly, I didn't think about being single last night.

Guess what?

I'm definitely Smiling TODAY, lol!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

When is it my time

Friday, I pick up my car from the pound because when they found it, it wasn't insured. My father checked the car out earlier in the week and told me the suits were gone. He forgot to tell me that my head lights were bashed in, the middle part inside the car where the radio and heating dial were stripped and they took out everything that was in the truck including the cover over the spare tire. (they really didn't have to take that, LOL). Well, more money to spend on this car and I tell you after it gets fix I don't want any more car troubles.

Over the weekend I had time to think about a lot of stuff going on in my personal life. Its a little uneasy when I don't have anyone that I want to pursue and vice versa. So, it gives me time to reflect on myself. I have taken a three month hiatus from the gym, I guess after losing 54lbs you get a little lazy. But, I feel the need to get back, it's almost March and brotha wants to look good during Memorial Day Weekend in Miami.

I also thought about the song, "We come this far by faith." I attended my third new discipleship class on Sunday and we talked about our position in Christ. This belief is our faith and confidence that everything will be ok. Apart of that is putting that faith and confidence in oneself. I left the sanctuary Sunday, feeling like a Champ. Today, I unveiled to myself; I need to work on pride issues. The conversation that I needed with Potential was sent via e-mail I implied to him that I didn't want to remain in contact. We really didn't discuss any issues that we had, because quite frankly we didn't have any besides distance. I avoided the confrontation. Unfortunately, I avoid confrontation that I feel will not result in my way. This always leaves me with the thought "what if."

What about your friends? Well, I blogged about this before, most of my close friends aren't in the area. Shawty is my only close friend around my way, but we are complete opposites. Don't get me wrong, I have many many friends/associates, but not the people that we call each other and chill often. Shawty and I chill maybe one a week and most of the time we argue, lol. We did have a good time in Atlantic City Sunday evening. So, I guess I'm just gonna start looking for new people to chill with. Last summer I had a great time with some new friends, but when the McGreevy scandal occurred I stopped contact with almost all of them.

I constantly ask myself, "why this or why that?" I truly feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster. I ask myself is this normal to have doubt? Am I being selfish for feeling alone when I blessed... when I provide many services to people who are less fortunate than myself? Should I have reservations on myself as I still trust and believe? I write my positive posts and really feel like I'm about to make change, but am I contradicting myself when I start typing post like this? Why am I all together in other sectors in my life, but when it comes to relationship something is always wrong. Am I too emotional/sensitive to be a man?

Aiight, that's enough b^&$*ing. Yes, life brings the unexspected. Yes, I must continue to trust and believe. Yes, things will get better. Yes, Yes, Yes!

When is it my time to be happy?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Are we selling out or selling up?

I want to talk about blacks in business and politics. I would like to know when more Black people are going to become more involved in our community. We have the tendency of taking over every dang thing. Well, we appear to take over every dang thing. Because quite simply the Man still owns the record company and basketball team. It seems like we are taking steps back with the recent acquisitions of Essence Communication.

Johnson Publishings looks like to be the largest private own Black Business. As Viacom bought BET and AOL bought blackvoices.com and africana.com, this is a trend that's starting to increase. Is it a sell out or a sell up? It is great that Viacom can pay $3 billion for something a black man started. But, I believe its even greater if that black man captivate his community to become more active in political issues, self-awareness and what our people desperately need financial empowerment. Yes, BET has done something for our community, yet now infiltrates like its black own and it runs for the betterment for our community rather than another resource that fills up the Man's mattress.

We have to many black puppets. These puppets exist in our churches, non-profit organizations, business, and most important our elected officials. Now, it’s crazy when this happens with our elected officials because they are our sole representation in our government system. I don't know of any lobbying firms that really address effectively our community concerns. We have the NAACP and the NUL, plus others but most of our issues aren't address. You know why? Because we don't' yell and scream as a WHOLE at the mayor, congressmen or even the dang president about what we want. We don't choose ideal people that represent us. But, most importantly, we don't VOTE.

One thing I have learned is that Money and Influence will get you in the door in politics. Be inclined that just because we have a couple of congressman in office doesn't mean that they can address all of our issues and get positive results for everything. Let me repeat that, just because we have elected official in office doesn't mean that they can address all of our issues and get postitive results. Without the power of the people behind the elected officials they are just a voice that is heard, but not recognize.

Media-alliance.org writes. "I am reminded of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, massacre of 1921, when 35 blocks of the city's Black business district were destroyed by rioting White citizens and officials. The fires wiped out what Booker T. Washington called "the Negro Wall Street." Today, they don't come with flames, they come with dollars, and our leaders walk straight into economic hell and expect us to follow." So true.

*************************************************************

Had a great meeting involving my business. Trying to reestablish some old working relationships as well as tighten up relationships with my mentors. I am looking into having a non-profit component within it. My emotional rollercoaster has been going through it. I'm going out to the Lobby tonight and support the brothers of bleuparty.com. We have to support each other, because if not us who will. Heading down to Atlantic City for the weekend, need a change of scenery. Probably only gamble $20, hopefully I can when a $1,000 on, lol. But, the key thing is that I'm hopeful. With full force I'm going to believe in myself. Because I believe that our community is going to change then I'm have to believe in myself. It starts with me and ends up with you or some dang body. Peace!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

And This Too Shall Pass

Brotha had to vent yesterday. I am laughing really really hard right now. Someone that I spoke about on this blog figured out who I am. It is more funny that he knows Red and forward the blog to him. To my knowledge only one of my friends read my blog rather infrequently. If this occurred last year, smilingdl.blogspot.com would have been shut down with the quickness. Oh well!

LMAO

I'm such a dork. Well, yesterday was a depressing day. Mad at the world when I should be mad at myself. It was about to be the Story of a Mad Black Man, lol. Hmmm, that may be the title of my Think Again 2 essay. Red posted a comment on my Who, What, Why... post yesterday. "Don't try to be in this life. Live your life!," dang he always know what to say right on time. I battle the whole dl thing vs out. Most of the time I THINK I live my life. While other times, when I'm around people who know, I go to through this whole thing like I need to decide whether I'm going to wear my colors on the inside or out. I believe in myself with everything in my life except for this lifestyle, which I believe is the main reason why we have many brothers in the community supposedly on the "dl." This flaw that we have has resulted in the stability to have loving friendships, relationships and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Patti sings, "Open my eyes so my path is clear. Spread my wings, I'm doing things my way, It's a New Day." May every day be a New Day. It's comical that I go from feeling inferior to being empowered.

I would like to end with ClayStarr commented, "The best is yet to come."

U GOT THAT RIGHT!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

You think you know, but you have NO IDEA!

I feel like I'm going to chop off someone's.... Yes, you know it. Aiight, last night, I became sick and tired again. Well, lets talk about Potential. Potential and I had a minor e-mail disagreement last Tuesday. I blogged about the gun shots in front of my building that same day. I really didn't feel like calling anyone that day. This resulted into not speaking until he called on Saturday, asking several times why didn't you call me. I haven't called because of the game. And brothers we tend to do this without even knowing it. Before Tuesday, we spoke several times a day and e-mailed each other over ten times a day from work. Potential doesn't live close by.

Honestly, things were going very well between him and I. As things progress, I started to feel like I needed more. Long distance is a hard thing. I believe it could have last if we started a relationship locally. I presume he may have thought the same thing. We never talked about specifics. I really liked him, and still do. He is someone I know we could have made a great team. We both needed some affection. After he asked me why I didn't call him, he said he would call me back. Never happen. Yesterday, I sent out a mass text saying Happy V-Day. He calls and we spoke for less than a minute, he was heading out. We still haven't had a chance to settle things out.

Today, I find out that he has been pursuing someone. I guess that was kewl, cause I told him before we started talking that I was talking with someone else. Well, let's talk about that for a second.

Middle of last years I was involved with an anchor in the Maryland area. After we split, he told me about this hotmail group called Christian Men on the DL. In December, I sent out an e-mail to the group and describe who I was and that I wanted to meet people in the New York area. A 35 years old black single father who lived less than ten minutes away hits me up. We will call him Desire.

Desire and I have been chatting since December. We finally met in the middle of January. I was very attracted to his whole persona. After we met, he was quite impressed with my maturity for a young brother. I wasn't even thinking about his age, but anyway I was impressed with his understanding attitude. I am a complex person, but somehow someway, Desire understood me like no other. Desire is a member of the church I attend. He respected the things I was involved in, but we only spoke about three times a week. We were taking it slow.... slow.... slow.... cause after all we are just ordinary people.

However, I felt like something was going wrong. Our infrequent conversations changed to big brother talk rather than fliration throughout conversation. So, my best bet was to move on and see what's really good with Potential. But, once again the game is played. Last Monday, Desire and I made arrangements to chill on Sunday. No phone call until yesterday. He calls to wish me Happy Valentine's Day. Then informs me that he is heading to Manhattan for dinner. I don't ask who he is going with, nor why is he telling me this. After small talk about what happen in the passed week, this mot... Not I'm not even going to go there... But this dude says, "Are you still dating someone?" Oh my gosh, I was hurt as well as raging in anger.

I tell this brother, that he is the only one that I have gone out on a date with in 2005. He dismisses what I say and asked me again. He knows that's its over since we haven't talked in a week, but since I'm not with the bull $%^t, do I have to be dating someone else? Well, I tell him thanks for calling and cut him off in mid-sentence and he says, "Oh, your valentine probably has arrived." After hanging up, everything I blogged about yesterday went down the drain. Eyes watered up and my heart just sank. I had to put on Fantasia's "Free Yourself." "If you don't want me then don't talk to me.... Go ahead free yourself."

A couple of hours later, I speak with Potential for 40 seconds. He tells me again, he is going to call back, but NOPE he didn't AGAIN. If Potential lived closer we would have been together. We didn't even have a conversation to end things on a good note. When I found out about him talking to another dude and actually meeting up with him and feelin his stuff, hurt and anger once again came into play. But, like Fantasia sings, "It's all good." On Jadakiss track "We Gonna Make It," he starts off the song with "F*c* the Frail $%^t." But damn, my heart is drained.

I had every intention on pursuing something real with Potential or Desire. Both men are great black men but lack the communication that I wanted/needed. On the real, I'm really, really, extremely heated. At the sametime I want cry, I want to punch someone out. The funny thing is they don’t have an idea that I’m pissed. My spirit is drained. Haven't smiled on this lifestyle in a while. So, instead of smilingonthedl, I'm hopelessonthedl.

Think Again!

Think Again 2
Published by the New York State Black Gay Network, Institute for Gay Men’s Health (AIDS Project Los Angeles & Gay Men’s Health Crisis); Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition

Co-edited by Frank Leon Roberts and Marvin K. White

Call for Submissions

Submissions are currently being accepted for the second volume of the 2004 LAMBDA Literary Award-nominated anthology Think Again to be published by the New York State Black Gay Network, The Institute of Gay Men’s Health (a collaboration between AIDS Project Los Angeles and Gay Men’s Health Crisis), The Black AIDS Institute and the NBJC (National Black Justice Coalition). The first volume, which featured contributions by a diverse array of writers, critics and artists such as Roderick Ferguson, Lyle Ashton Harris, Tim’m T. West and Vincent Woodard, among others, attempted to re-think the relationship between black men and HIV/AIDS. It is through this "re-thinking" that new truths were told, old lies unearthed and the way forward made clear. A forum for black men to hear and read one another's experiences was born, narratives were connected.
This new volume will speak in even greater volume to and from black men who practice same-sex desire and the intersections of family and social value. In Think Again 2 our personal narratives, poetry and cultural criticism will speak to how black men anchored in various communities of same sex desire, construct, are denied, and (re)imagine notions of kinship and belonging as well as the social value of their lives, practices, and performances in the age of the global AIDS pandemic. Think Again 2 will be a gathering of diasporic black voices, re-locating our (dis)located bodies, minds and spirits to these pages, the family album of our dreams. Think Again 2 will be a landmark conversation about same-sex marriage, the “down low” and black masculinities in the age of AIDS as well as black cultural belonging (church, ‘home’, etc.) to which same sex desiring black men are often systematically excluded.
Submit your stories about family, both your biological and your extended. Tell the story of how you got your name: gay, DL, SGL or Other. Answer the question "Are you family?" Is there/has there been/will there be "value" in identifying as gay or as being "family?" Tell the story of when you changed your name from one to the other. Speak to feeling like "The Other." Speak to constructing virtual and on-line family and how your electronic life is performed and played out. Speak to the exclusion of your life from your family's history. Speak to a literary lineage. Speak to fatherhood, yours and your fathers. Speak to your children, both biological and found. Speak to the media shaped masculinities that you choose from and the "hand-me-down"ness of labels that just might not fit you. Tell your story of aging in or aging out of "the family." Write to love and how your love is re-enforced or torn apart by the places where love is suppose to reside. Write about our lives' worth, our heart's worth, our mind's worth.
Committed to reaching various and broad publics, we especially welcome submissions from those involved in activist and community based organizations; unofficial historians of black gay cultures, those that have "seen and heard it all", public health agencies targeting black men of diverse sexualities and their clients; writers from film, performance, and entertainment industries; ‘queer’ burgeoning and sub-cultures including cultures of hustling, public sex and “ballroom/house/club” and J-Sette cultures; black communities of same-sex desire outside of the U.S., including by not limited to London and Europe, Jamaica and the Caribbean, Africa and ‘Latin’ America; as well as those centered in traditional academic institutions.
The volume will be edited by Frank Leon Roberts, a young scholar, activist and editor of Brownstone Magazine based in New York City and Marvin K. White, former member of Pomo Afro Homos, co-founder of B/Glam, and author of the LAMBDA Literary-Award nominated Last Rights (Redbone Press), based in San Francisco.

All submissions should be single-spaced, copied in the text of the email and sent as an attachment to THINKAGAIN2@GMAIL.COM, and should not exceed 3,000 words. Please include a brief two to three line biographical sketch at the end of your submission. Do not attach jpeg, tif, or mpeg images with your work. Also, while we encourage narratives to be both poetic and critical, please do not send poetry (unless it is incorporated into your essay) or traditional academic essays (large blocked quotes, extensive footnotes, etc).
Submissions will be accepted for consideration until March 18th, 2005.Publication Date: June 2005

Monday, February 14, 2005

Once Lost, But Now Its Found

MY CAR HAS BEEN FOUND. The police found my car this morning. I'm so happy! So, my car is at the pound. I have to insure and register my car before getting it out. My clothes were gone, but it's all GOOD!

I have been avoiding my father for the past month because I just didn't feel like talking to him. But, he called right after I spoke to the police and offered $600 towards my insurance. This has been a Blessed Day. Brother will be on the rode again by the end of the week.

Brother Creator, Thanks!

John Legend has this song called Rufuge (When It's Outside). This is how I feel right now.

When it’s cold outside
There’s no need to worry cuz I’m so warm inside
You give me peace when the storm’s outside
Cuz we’re in love, I know it’ll be alright
Alright, it’s alright

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

This is how I do -50cent

Last Tuesday, a couple of hours after my last post. There was a gang related shooting in front of my building. An innocent man was shot where I stood ten minutes prior talking on my cell phone. There is a police station that is located a block away. I became extremely pissed off. It was a groups of high school students that shot four innocent bystanders within a block from my business in a huge business district.

Gangs seem to have the highest national membership recruitment, stepping on organizations as the NAACP, etc. Probably account for more money, too. There is so much drug related crime going on through numerous parts of the country that is public knowledge. Yet, cops are not in MY EYES taking that BITE out of CRIME. I called a friend of mine who actively works with an anti-violence coalition to see if I could assist them with some lecturing or fund-raising. I don't think his organization is really organized. Our community has soo many non-profits that aren't ran efficiently.

******************************************************************

I began to type this whole thing on my worth as a man and potential lover, business owner, activist, father and son. Right now I'm like F#$% the Bull $&*!. People are people. Men are Men. And Nig.... U know the rest. Since my six day hiatus from blogging, I have learned that compromising is always needed to get things to work, but you shouldn't compromise your self worth for anyone.

My past relationships, I have change myself from the start. Whether it was someone that had a girl, child or no J-O-B. I have envisioned what I want in an ideal mate. And although my bed has been empty for a couple of months now, I will not sacrifice my permanent want from my temporary want. (its hard, real hard, no real real real hard, lol.)

Its Valentine's Day, supposedly the most romantic day of the year. I romance myself tonight with a candle light dinner, sponge bath and some poetry, and if I can get to a florist some flowers, with the hope I can share this day with someone soon. I'm sure your heard the expression "I'm sick and tired of being sick in tired." Right now, I feel like I over came my cold. I'm taking my vitamins and wearing my hat to avoid getting sick.

I spent most of the weekend alone in my apt reading Farrah Gray's new book, Reallionaire. I mention him last week as the black 20 year old self-made millionaire. Truly inspiring! The sermon at service yesterday was about Victory. Pastor spoke about how when we are doing good/great things in our lives, it seems like there are more things trying to stand in your way. In the end, he said we have to fight these negative trials that will make us stronger. Things are going great for me now, I'm still single but my life still moves forward. And as move down that yellow brick road, I have my boxing gloves on ready to fight negativity.

Fighter for Life!

And you better believe I will B^#$& about it on this blog. Peace!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tha Takeova

I haven't driven my car since August 2004. My car has been in my mother's drive until two weeks ago, I moved it on the street. In September, my insurance ran out and I was moving into my apartment. I wanted a couple of months to adjust to playing rent and bills. I decided that in February, since my business meetings are starting to pick up, I need my car insured.

This morning my Mother calls me as I leave the house and ask, "Have you moved your car?" I didn't but someone on did. Last night, my car was stolen. If its not one thing, it's another. I was extremely calm because getting excited wasn't going to do anything. After I checked-in at work I went to the police station to file a report. Then I remembered what was in the car. When I lived at home for a year while working full time, I went shopping. I had three $500 suits in the car. Now, I'm kinda pissed, but still calm.

I mention in previous post that I made a seven week commitment to help an organization out. Intentionally, I was supposed to help eight individuals. Three decided not to do it a day before the start date. The second day another three decides not to continue. And yesterday, someone else decides not to do it. This leaves me with one person. I kinda feel emotional drained because I know all eight of them personally and really wanted them to continue.

But, I had a huge breakthrough with one of my businesses. I'm suppose to sign contracts this tonight. Its crazy, I started this post this morning wanted to write about how I felt like the CHAMP (me) is here. But, right now I feel weak and tired, I guess because I'm still sick.

An hour later,

Yo, I'm about to kick some A$$es. I have a couple of new initiatives for the year. The fund-raising is going well for the Battered Women's Shelter. I intend using the money for children books, games, DVDs and a DVD player. Heard a couple of sad stories from some clients today. I almost cried when I found out that a 20 year old Black Single Mother, who is a sophomore at a four year university was living at a local YMCA drug infested facility. I can just imagine her in two more years when she is able to get off of welfare and give her son better life. Strong Black Women Stand Up. I am counting my blessings, my situation could be worst.

Blackvoices.com had a feature on Farrah Gray, 20 year-old millionaire. His story is truly motivational. I'm sure you heard, "its time to take back the streets." Well, its time to TAKEOVA!

Monday, February 07, 2005

WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE, WHEN... AND MOST IMPORTANTLY HOW!

Last week was crazy. Over the weekend, I was going through and emotional rollercoaster.

I wasn't feeling well Friday morning, but I still managed to get to the conference on time. Now, I knew it would be a lot of black men, but I didn't think it would be 85% get down, LOL. I came along way because a year ago I probably would have left right away. It was truly empowering to be in a room with brothers that got down as well. Its something about men being comfortable about who they are that intrigues me. Not to mention the attention that I had when I walked in the lobby. They did not have I sleep with men stickers on, but the dar was off the meter.

I spent the first half of the day by myself, because my friends went to the Brooklyn Museum of Art(I'll talk about that later.) I had lunch by myself. I went to the workshop the Frank Leon Roberts facilitated. He is extremely intelligent and attractive. Brothers, he will do many things for our community.

The conference was great, very informative as well as I picked up a couple of contacts in the non-profit world. An associate of mine, John, was recently elected to the GMAD Board of Directors. I am extremely proud of him. I ask him, "so when are you going to tell your mother?" John is Red's ex and the first dude I ever danced with. Although, John is a year older than me, I always had a strange admiration towards him. Well john informs me that he told his mother two years ago. Its funny because he still acts and lives his life the same. John and I went out for Starbucks before the panel discussion. He told me about all the programs that GMAD is doing and about their financial troubles. My mind was going crazy... I know I have skills to assist GMAD but since I don't want to be out about it, it prevents me.

After an excellent roundtable discussion, as I walked to subway, I began to think. I started to have anxiety. On my way home, I spoke to a couple of people that I thought would understand my problem. After leaving a conference of strong black men that was comfortable about living their life as they choose made me think about how I am living my life. I have ambitions that are political as well as non-profit management. I feel as though I want to make huge strides towards positive change in the urban community throughout the nation. I feel as thought my career will not prosper as an openly get down man. That is the main reason why I try to be discreet. After talking to three friends I came to the conclusion that only time will tell. I need financial security it I were to every consider being out. I feel the black community will not be accepting of someone who is opening about his sexuality on a national level. A brotha that is not just standing up for those that get down, but the homeless, unemployment and the uneducated, etc. A

When I created this blog, I considered myself extremely on the DL. But, as I continue grow I don't even like the word dl. Its very broad and I rather use the word discreet. My discreetness is none of my Family knows nor do my close friends. I don't have a problem with interacting with other men in the life. But, I have a problem with women and str8 men knowing about what my preference. Therefore, I will go to a club or house party, if I feel like it. I don't feel like I'm in the closet. I feel like I don't want people to know about my lifestyle. I began to ask myself why? Why, do I feel I have to be openly out? Am I doing what I want to do? Am I'm willing to sacrifice something in order to join the fight for the Urban (not Get Down) community? As I laid down for the night, I simply asked myself what would be different if I was out. And I couldn't answer my own question. Because although, I live my life discreetly, I still live the way I want. This brings me to the subject on the discreet vs the out (coming soon!).

Next,

I went to the Brooklyn Museum of Art for view the paintings by Kehinde Wiley. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! My friend called me on my way to the museum. I told him that I was going to see Wiley's exhibit. He tells me... My bad I type this whole thing out, but that is to personal since I mention his real name. Anyway, this brotha had me at the first painting. Please check this brother out, he is only 28 years old and the critics love him.

This triggered to my impact on society. In my own right, I manage to make impact in my community where I work. But, the scale I foresee myself is much larger. Brother Wiley made me think the time is now. Afterwards tried out the New BBQs in Brooklyn. And headed to an open mic session. Creativity was in the air. Our people are truly talented people.

There is much that I want to do. I know what place I want to be in ten years, but uncertain where I want to be in six months. I love to have things planned. The more I become an adult the more I realize that life brings the unexpected. I'm moving forward on several things to bring me forward in my life, but, still have anxiety problems if its going work or not, which I keep mostly in private. So, little time in the day...

Yesterday, Potential called and told me some good news. He recently completed an assignment. He was extremely happy with the turn out, I was so EXCITED for him. It was one of those moments when you feel overwhelmingly happy and they don't even know it.

I went to church and started my new discipleship class. I was exhausted from Saturday, but manage to give God the praise. I'm having a struggle to putting my entire life in his hands.

ClayStarr recently wrote about being liberated. On Friday, as I walked from the subway stop to the Conference, I felt liberated because I came along way. By interacting, learning and watching the brothers at the conference I was empowered. I didn't care who thought I was in the life. The last item on the program was the panel discussion topic was "Where do we go from here?." This question haunts me since I know what to do but scared to do it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Black Masculinities Conference

Today, I was talking to my boy, Red. He informed me that he was attending a Black Masculinities Conference tomorrow with a couple of mutual friends. I immediately went to yahoo.com and searched for Black Masculinities Conference. I looked at the agenda for the one-day conference and was deeply interested in attending the event.

There will be no work tomorrow for ME. As I grow in the life, I desire to learn more about other men that are in my current situation. Whether they are just black, intellectual, spiritual or MSM. I feel as though I can relate and learn from others. Masculinity in the lifestyle is quite an interesting topic, too. Oh did I mention the event is FREE in addition to Black Men everywhere.

I'm going to try to finish Keith Boykin's new book tonight. I still haven't finished it, just procrastinating. I believe this book is very honest. People who do not know about the "dl" or miss educated from the use of the word "DL" will learn a whole lot. I'm hoping for some solutions on what our community needs to do. Keith Boykin will appear at the end for a roundtable discussion.

One of the workshop facilitators is Frank Leon Roberts, youngest member of the National Black Justice Coalition. He had his own website, but its currently down. I admired this young brother for advocating for people like myself (yng blk men who haven't stood up and said that they are MSM). I also have a huge crush on him, LOL.

I'm definitely the type of person who loves to keep abreast about everything that affects me as well as the less fortunate. Tomorrow's conference should be extremely informative as well as a huge networking opportunity with other brothers who care about where we as black men are headed this century.

Oh my bad about my last blog, I had to take that down. And let's not talk about that damn Bush State of the MFing Union address.

If anyone is in the area the Conference takes place tomorrow, Friday, February 4, 2005:
Black Masculinities Conference
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue at 34th St
New York, NY
To register for the conference please call 212-817-8215 or e-mail continuinged@gc.cuny.edu

It isn't too late to sign-up! I signed up around two hours ago!

Monday, I'll post on the outcome. One more thing, please try to support a black history month event or television program. It is extremely important that we support these programs because if we don't who will. Much love! Peace and Blessings!

4456

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

God, Use Me For REAL!

Apologies for not posting. I have been sick the last couple of days and the internet is still down at home.

Sunday, I went to church not expecting the unexpected. It was during the church anniversary that the pastor taught about how we Gaze. I'm not going to go into details, but I was feeling the Pastor Sunday Morning. When it came down to the Pastor asking if anyone wanted to I walked down to the altar and joined the church, I was very hesitant. But, I made it, I fought back a lot of tears as the congregation watch me walk into his home. I can't explain how much relief I felt.

Uncertainly has been killing me. I feel hesitant about soo many thing. Afraid to fail. But as Donnies sings, "You can get back up again."

In other news:

My life has been boring. My business plans are going quite well. Haven't been feeling lonely. My potential has been filling up some of that void.

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