2 Hours A Slave - Losing Our Voice In A Noisy World

           I couldn't smile, I can always smile and I couldn't find one anywhere inside of me. The sunlight greeted me as I stepped out of the theatre, but everything I was flashed back and forth between the 1800's and now like I was in a slave themed LOST episode. I know you maybe thinking that I'm making this overly dramatic for the sake of the blog, but I'm telling you I was deeply affected by Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave. Here is the thing, we have all seen slave movies, seen the horrific tragedies placed upon different demographics of people and individuals, and, like the vast majority of us, to most of it I am unfortunately desensitized. In fact, three of my poetic mentors mentioned they are very tired of slave movies. I know white folks are definitely polarized by them. But sometimes a movie grabs you by your beliefs and challenges them.

          On most weekdays you will find me at the local park, showing these young mustaches (a Rodzilla term) how basketball is done. Although I live in a melting pot of hipster suburbia, if a white cat came to join us, he'd definitely be the minority. At my park we have everything you can ask for, open soccer fields, a playground, children’s laughter, and plenty of picnic space. A lot of times on the court, for the young Mexicans, blacks, and the one white dude Ni**a is yelled out almost as much in the score. The word tastes horrible in my mouth, but say nothing & keep playing. After each game and, sometimes even during, these self proclaimed ni**as stop for a blunt, cigarette or beer break, dulling all senses from the best game ever invented for them.

           I get in my car, I hear the hollow existence that inspires them on my radio, I throw it in my mix as a DJ, I see it after I shower and turn on the tv. I think of the movie, of how many good people knew he was a free man but did nothing, said nothing. I am the observer, I am supposed to watch, but I am also the poet, I am also supposed to SPEAK! But I don't want a debate every time i hit a three pointer in someone's eye (I do that a lot :)). So yes that movie of a free man whipped in silence, and everyone else shamed into it kinda f**ks with me cause as much as I talk...there has been so many times where I don't SPEAK. I find myself getting silent now just thinking on missed opportunities to heal, help, or be heard. How about you? Do you always say what needs to be said? Or do you words fall into the cradle of conformity? So while my counterparts didn't want or need another slave movie, on one particular beautiful Saturday afternoon...I did.


           WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING Change is in the air, I will soon be starting some new projects in a medium I'm not used to. But I'm excited. I am starting to turn down gigs that before I would have chased. Not because they are unworthy of my time, but that I see my life bigger now, and my choices having holding heavier consequences, for myself and my family. I'm excited. Since we have last spoke, I have performed for United Way of San DiegoThe San Diego African American Bar Association including Mayor Todd Gloria and first woman and first African American district attorney of Los Angeles Jackie Lacey (who really dug my work btw), I won the 2013 San Diego RAW Performer of The Year Award, kicked off the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Marathon with a poetic tribute, did fashion shows, tech conferences, was the closing act for TEDx San Diego receiving a standing ovation, and my short play was featured in COMMUNITY VOICES BEST OF...plays at the Old Globe Theatre, and I was featured on NBC 7’s Art Pulse...I'm very excited...and tired. But you know what I'm most proud of...Renee and I made it two years. And we are still happy. And I still like her around. And she still makes me laugh, and annoys me, and inspires me, bruises my pride and motivates me. I've done alright by myself. Not rich or famous by a long shot, but most days I wake up with a smile, can't ask for much more.


             THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE: it's time to speak up. Find a cause you support or a person doing good things and simply post a comment of support. Write an actual letter. Or find something that is unjust and post a (RESPECTFUL) comment opening people's eyes to it. Be careful when using negativity to bring about positive change. It just don't work that way. The goal is to speak up. Don't just let life happen to you. Think of what issue breaks your heart the most, find a website that helps that cause and find just ONE action to support it. Don't wait, close your eyes...think of it then take action. NOW. This will be a better place for it.


Until then,

Be now,

Your friend,