Saturday, October 10, 2009

(Im)perfect 10

The first 10 days of October. My sister would be approaching another year towards 30 (after me, of course), I would be missing the Capoeira workshop with the gang in Austin (9th-11th), and these days featured a dream that came to fruition about someone that's been on my mind since my break up with my ex.

These days approached so rapidly. I thought I would be able to accept the usual denial to talk or see the children from her, considering they weren't of my flesh, but of my heart, and we were split up. Then today happened. On a special day for the oldest child...a day after my sister's special day. She is celebrating two days out on he night as her fun as we speak.

So how would this present pan out for me, even though it's not my solar return?

I went to work, not expecting anything out of the ordinary, except to help host for the 15th anniversary of Project Row Houses' existence. Everyone that helped build this program and art-specified system pretty much showed up if they were available. The art was great, the children loved the outside, and best of all, I got paid for my toiling. Then I saw what I thought was something unbelievable and soul-shaking. At least to me. Corey, Cody, his brother, and his friend, Quincy. Walking towards my direction. But I didn't see the ex (Corey and Cody's mother), her new man, and most importantly, my sunshiny happiness in a sweet girl's form, Chloe. When I did see her, I was paralyzed, literally, in my position. My heart raced, and my hands tightened. She saw me, and that was about as far as we could share happiness. A few feet away.

It was so bad, that her eyes were saying "Remember me? Give me a hug, or call my name. at least!). Could she read my mind, saying "I miss you, babygirl! It's okay to give me a hug."

Seeing who I consider as still my Goddaughter, (regardless of circumstance) , Chloe, I was torn beyond repair. Not to give her a giant hug. Not to let her ride atop my shoulders like I used to when we'd go shopping or to the park. Anywhere for that fact. Not to look at her drawings and talk about her dreams that inspired them. Not to see her smile and not feel uncomfortable doing so, due to her mom and her new beau walking around, and not my hands holding her mother anymore.

Seeing Corey and Cody was just as difficult, staring at the boys, growing up, being their silly selves. Hell, I even missed Quincy, Corey's friend. In fact, that's who I saw first. Corey and Quincy. I thought I was hallucinating. I thought my dreams were coming to fuck with my head again. Instead, the dreams that I've been having in rapid succession have become reality. Just different scenery, and a slightly changed scenario.

I sensed that Corey didn't want to tell me about what I already knew, which was his mother getting engaged to her long-awaited-but-profusely-denied-truth-of-who-she-really-wanted-forever husband-to-be. I also sensed that Cody wanted to tell me as a secret in my ear, but Corey, knowing me like a book, prevented him from doing so. Maybe he wanted to tell me something different. maybe that his mother's new man was here. Maybe that she secretly said something to him and it's burning his ears to hold. However, I don't have the spirit to stomach news of anything else, except on how the children were doing.

Which set me well...

I instantly called my sweetheart in confusion on what to do. i didn't want to see "her" nor "his" face, definitely. However, I was doubled over in pain and anticipation on seeing Chloe. NUMEROUS times she wanted to come talk to me. She even pointed to me several times to her new friends and strangers. Most likely, to let everyone know I was her godfather. I miss it when she called me "dad".

This is painful to type.

I was welling up with tears talking to Corey, hearing about his struggles with Algebra (I'd help him in math, always), his voice cracking and varying, his excitement of meeting me today, on his birthday, because it was some type of psychic feeling he had. He said he felt that it wouldn't be the last time I'd see him. I'm split on that. Honestly, I didn't expect the "family" to show up here. I didn't wish that. I actually just wanted to talk to them and see how they were doing, and I even sent their mother a message through the text and email to wish them well. I got a lot more than what I asked for. I questioned him about if he'd thought he'd never see me again, and he threw that notion away immediately. I told him to be happy, if he already wasn't, for his mother getting engaged. He was focused on football, being a year away from high school, and definitely about the electric guitar and clothes information we were talking about. It was like old times, just rushed. The air was thick with awkwardness and a wanting to talk. Cody was a hard case to deal with after the first time his mother wanted me out...actually, several. He became stubborn and unresponsive, which that is an unhealthy and volatile Cody. His mother once called me back to talk to him, and we patched things up along with calming Cody down. The five of us always had meeting when things got out of hand, or when we wanted to have family time. Cody showed me how to skateboard -- no lie. He let me know that he was failing, (I'm hoping he's kidding, or lying heavily for attention, which isn't cool, but understandable), and constantly showed me a snail with some grass and wheatgrass in his bag. I loved how they always collect bugs and insects. No fear. Unlike their mother and anything small that crawls. I'd always laugh when she'd run away, or asked me to kill it.

This time, I felt like the one who was running. Escaping.

Everywhere I went, rather it was the installations, or the main two-story, I either saw the couple, or the children. Mainly, it was Corey and Quincy. One house I saw Chloe alone from the group, exited to the next one, saw Corey and Quincy in the next one, Cody outside jump roping, and narrowly avoided going into the same house as the ex and her man. Why was II like this again? Have I slipped back into a state of worthlessness? Was I not ready to face the change again? Or was it a prayer answered, but not recognized, or not exactly how I wished it to be? Corey and I shared a bond that young boys and "fathers" had that were unbreakable. He relayed his thoughts (on what obviously something told to him by his mother) to me, mentioning that (after I apologized to him for my imperfections) he understood that it was wanting to go out and be free. I was hurt by the comments that were said, cause that wasn't my deal with the family. I loved to be with them. Late night movies, evening bike rides, four-square, park walks, IHOP dinners or breakfasts, shopping (especially when it was just the boys), reading time, video games (I mean, I am a kid at heart when I'm with them), and how we all stuck around during Hurricane Ike and the madness that surrounded the Election. A funny moment came when my friend, Yvette, came over to talk with me and we conversed about the situation. She tried to coax me over there, and made a slight at if they were looking over here, or were trying to come over, that I should pretend to be her boyfriend. Hahaha! Nice one, although Yvette is a beautiful woman (@YvesStLapaint - Twitter), and her daughter absolutely loooooves some "Mr. Res" - (Ha!) , I felt obligated not to over-dramatize this. I wouldn't know if it did work though. That would include me asking if she and her new man were "ok".

I'm trying to wrap my head around seeing them so close to never. This may be the last time I get to see them. I pray not, but if so, then it was bittersweet. My boss even slipped in a comment, seeing if I was okay, after recognizing they were here. I mean, I pretty much walked out with them, only a few yards away from where the new couple were. I would have loved to hug Sunshine (Chloe), my Chlo-burger, I'd call her. I am terrified to see when she grows up and she may never recognize me, or for that fact, doesn't want to. Her laughter was so odd, but familiar. Her smile was always a deal breaker. She suckered me into a lot of things. Hell, her birthday is only a few days after mine. We even share our moods and excitements the same way. She didn't hesitate to tell everyone who I was to her. I think she didn't like to call me "Brother Res" (an adoptive name given to me by the Row House families), but she loved to call me dad. My final memory of her was of me seeing her skate (which she and her mother taught me...actually, Chloe did). But the lasting one will always be when she looked at me when a waitress asked her if I was her dad (cause we both had locks). Today, she had on her mother's purple jacket, and it was one of my faves. I liked when she wore it, seeing purple is my favorite color. I wonder if she still wears the shirt I got her for Christmas (they celebrated).

Of course, my ex and her new man greeted everyone we both knew and worked with. I don't think she wanted to come near me, however she conveniently found ways of walking towards my area...with him. She said she'd never come to Project Row Houses again, because she knew I was working here. She even asked me if I still worked there. Maybe it was time, because everything she wanted came to her, quickly. A possibility of a husband, career pay advancement, a new vehicle (even though that was so packaged with him), and maybe even a new house. The tarots that my friend, @khimmy_J read for me months ago, mentioned that I may secretly wish that she would fail in this relationship, and that would make the relationship between us strained in a possible mend of a future friendship. I was on automatic when I met some newer people, and even better, as one person, meditation, rituals, and a lot of Capoeira helped me push this ill feeling to the side. Seeing them only makes me think about why I should be happy.

I need to do more for me in order for me to be spiritually free. I cannot expect her to be miserable, even if it was a blame game. Miserable is still miserable. I don't want the children to forget me. I even told Corey I loved them, as he was the first and last one I saw as the "family" left. I wanted to cry again. I am happy that I got to hug him. Cody kind of felt odd. But as Chloe tried to approach me, all I could get was a smile from her. 5 feet apart from each other. staring at each other. Truthfully, I would give anything to have my Chloe with me. She feels like my first born. The involvement with children is integral in any relationship that has any. The female may take that as a plus, or a minus, depending on the situation.

When February comes, (more than likely the last time I would get to say "Happy Birthday" to anyone in that family, before she abruptly locks the door of history on me), I hope to hear or see Chloe. If I can just bargain that for fame or importance anywhere, I would give it up for my little girl. For any, or all of them.

For now, I will be going to sleep, with the notion that this may be the last time I dream, see, hear or even have the opportunity to reunite with them.

I love you Corey, Cody, and Chloe (Sasori, Yo-yo, and Sunshine).

I hope somewhere inside you still love me.

Dad - (Ifeanyi)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

(No) Ailment

My soul doesn't answer to sorrowful names
My eyes were not designed to hide shine behind Ray Bans and Oakleys
My hands couldn't possibly be pre-shaped to drape around Spalding and Wilson's balls
My feet cannot understand walking a mile in Jordan's shoes
My voice wasn't trained to sang too much soulful blues
Brown brothers weren't meant to be red with whip scars on backs, blood flow
Mother seeing alabaster and peach plowing her daughter so
My fingers misunderstand cotton and wheat constant picking
My beliefs see grief in a cross-colored, no pants, FUBU
Kani take a trip to Mecca without Lugs and Timbs?
Could I embrace my family when cuffs restrain my wrists,
Can't extend my limbs past the heavy burdened branches
That store my people dangling over the Banks of America
Cashed in to the Lord, forgive the tellers and give thanks
To sorrowful kinds, we hum hymnals and write rhymes
Graduating to better niggas in the worst of times
Saturating in central air when the heat was mine?
I cannot shake the same hand that makes the same man of my hue
the blame of your spewed hatred
In tobacco-flavored words and snare and fife
Or go to war to fight for the coward trying to screw my wife
Or go to prison for delivering what you put me behind for life
I go to hell cause heaven seems to be so white
But wait
Now I'm a bigot, a bigger idiot, ignored bidder
Trying to buy, vying for my freedom, Mason-Dixoned on the Street of Walls
But my mind wrinkles while your iron fists remains hot
To try and smooth my thoughts when even my kinks dread you (k)not
My children haven't been poisoned by your longstanding happiness from our labors
My legacy precedes your dying dynasties predicting your destiny
My legs will not dash for your limp dick Olympic dream
My trinity wasn't a sausage party
My spirituality didn't involve crooked televangelists or choir directing fashionistas
My culture isn't oinking nor snorting, nor clucking
Like hell
My heart is beating my ribcage to work harder
In the heat of passion to exude the fire
To press on the desire in order to overturn the New World Order
My drink runneth over without diamonds and gems adorned on the chalice
My prayers haven't fallen on deaf ears, in fact, they are catching dropped calls
From your carrier
Your savior savoring silly Scuds and nuclear hors d'oeuvres
My teeth refuse to bite down on the piece of the American Pie
My hair stays locked up regardless if you try to lock us down
My tongue tastes knowledge of my ancestors' fruitful history
My nose swells to smell that African soil so insulin sweet
My ears can't hear you past my homeland's heartbeat
Your sound blast podcasts couldn't outlast my homeland's drumbeat
My buttocks couldn't be affixed to your hybrid/diesel car seats
My knees won't bend to live,
I would rather die standing than serving.
My mouth doesn't speak betrayal in many European or Latin languages
My body is not responding to this treatment
My system isn't worried about shutting down
How about yours?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"The Arbor Of Old"

I fall at the feet of the tree.
Limp and in the trance of love, praising ancestors above
Tears dancing in my eyes an African tune along with
beating drums of my coronary to the point of return
there are no mo' "no mo's"
So I don't serenade the clouds solo
Grasping at the leaves and branches that share fallen fruit
of sisters in Selma and Brothers in Beirut
of play cousins in the Palestine and aunts in Angola
of history's treasures a-stolen over
They are too easy for me to pluck down
I frown at these discolored coloreds
Covered in bloated faces and swollen throats
and coated corpses and blood-drenched ropes
This isn't a lesson taught 101 or live and direct
This is where I wash my hands
with their souls swimming
At the roots!
They dive into my palms to bring clenched fists
Freedom songs and war psalms
I'm no longer a long no wailed
whipped like winds whistling through slave ship sails
I am the strongest of cries yelping out loud
Like orange colored tunics and dashikis splashed proud
I kneel, naked and torn and humble at the bark and stumps
For every road block, for every bruise and bump
I can't write a story so bold about saving face
On music awards shows when I can't uphold my race!
On home plates and hardwood courts where I stand not on grace
But in front of those who'd jeer my cultural taste...
If I didn't recognize my arbor...
My soul's arbor.
Growing through concretes on Mississippi days and Texas nights
Shading from Georgia sun and Carolinian stocks
Hiding my figure from Tennessee crops, and Virginia canines
My scent is on these rings, sprinkled in a spiral
Deep within these arbors harboring
Intellects as old as oaks and warriors with keen eyesight
And kinky hair like tangled moss.
I fall at the feet of the tree
At the point of Igbo and Yoruba roots
Branching through my dreams and truths
This arbor is my armor, protecting my love
For my people
Unpruned by predators
preserved and uncarved
I stay
rooted, and unforgotten.

© 2009 Ifeanyi Okoro

Monday, October 5, 2009

"So You Think You Can (Love)?"

"When you are backing up, going on the defensive about everything, you will be unsuccessful, moving forward, on the offensive towards your goals." - Ifeanyi Okoro II

Loving someone will not be a catch phrase.
Loving someone is not a fad, nor is it a trending topics.
Love is not love, but it is life.
Love doesn't speak in the third person.
Love doesn't recognize itself, because it's more than itself alone.

If you are in love, how were you out of it in the first place?
If you fell in it, you should watch your step, because you can fall out of it. Is there a pothole somewhere?
If love just hit you out of the blue, why haven't you called the police yet? If you don't trust the police, why aren't you fighting back?
To be in and out of love means you wear it like underwear. For some of y'all, you don't at wear it at all. Some of you wear the same ones over and over.
Love has no rising sign, no numerology chart, and no Ori or Orisa. However, it has characteristics, certain days when it knows to appear, and how to help and aid when called upon.
Love calls your name, answer, or shut the fuck up when it calls someone else.

Love is not your best friend, your personal interest, nor your lover. Love is too busy being with everyone to just be with you. Love is an adulterer that is favorable.

Unlike you, love hurts. You just have gas, or a tiny boo-boo.

Love goes by many names. Lust is NOT one of them.
Love is bi-racial, bi-sexual, bi-partisan, bi-cycle. No one else is in this world, so shut up.
Love hates to be hated. Hate loves to be loved. So can Love hate Love and Hate love Hate?

Love is a fighter, not a lover.
Love loves Brett Favre, though.
Brett loves the game.

I Cannot Heart Love. I coronary it, sometimes.

You cannot live, breathe, eat, sleep, think love. Why?
Because you'd be evicted, asphyxiated, empty, drowsy, and thoughtless. Love is not tangible.

Most importantly, love is. But at the same time, so is God.
But if God is love, what does that make you?
If you are God, why the hell are you not loving your self?

Are you love?

Could you be love(d)? (You can't be Bob Marley!)
And if so, you are being yourself (which is love.)
Continue to do so.

So, enough. Love isn't a game, and, if it is, why quit? If it was solitaire, quit playing with yourself. And if everyone can win, then celebrate this and the victory with everyone!

© 2009 Ifeanyi Okoro

"Navio Negreiro" - (A Guide to the Caravan To The Ancestors in Galveston, TX, 10/17/09)

First off, before I post this, I must give all praises and thanks to my ancestors (egun), the Orisa, and Olodumare for my being here to do so.


The Caravan to the Ancestors is steadily approaching, the excitement is building, and yet, a few hiccups have been prevalent.

* Apparently, there will be no caravan transportation for large passenger numbers (large buses will not be available)
* A few of the participants are being stubborn in participating, due to religious beliefs (although it has NEVER been a religious majority or omission...I thought we've gone over this, people!!!)
*The weather (although not a hurricane-like situation that Ike presented last year) will be a factor, yet again, for the third time in a row.

However, do you think our ancestors put us through situations to complain and not manage? "Have faith, hope, and charity", as the song says!

The Soul of Copper, Ifeanyi Okoro, has a suggestion or two to go in the spiritual box!

I am going to petition you that are out there with large vehicles and patience to offer your own personal rides into Galveston on the 17th of October, 2009. If it is feasible, offer rides through a small donation request for travel expense per passenger. Galveston is roughly 45 to an hour away from Downtown Houston (3rd Ward being the approximate departure site) and may require, what...30 dollars worth of gas? If you are using a van or suburban - 50? I'm not the greatest of all mathematicians, however, 5 dollars a person, including your own scrilla can ease the transportation issues. Renting a group van at a weekend rate from a rental company (such as Enterprise) isn't bad. If you can find a rental company or someone willing to let you borrow that bad boy right in the hood would be spectacular! Support black-owned if you can!!!! If Greyhound is the way, I tell you now, it doesn't cost more than 30 dollars. Last time I left the H to go to the N.O., it was 88 bucks. Ahem...give or take a few scrillas, what's your excuse?!?! Get the numbers to SHAPE and NBUF to get directions, meet up with potential carpoolers, and also with the organizers. Let's do it, fam!

People, come in all white, for this is how you honor your ancestors. Dress in the appropriate attire. Please, this is not Seven's, Da Spot, or The Roxy. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE ELDERS AND CHILDREN ATTEND. Invite the 'hood out, as well as the enlightened. They will not be at the clubs or pubs that morning, so there is NO EXCUSE. Adults, you are responsible for getting everyone up early and ready, for if you are not late to the club, shall you be late to pay respects to those who bore you into this existence? Your children need to experience this. This has NOTHING to do with not being a Christian, Muslim, Hebrew Israelite, part of the Shrine, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (God forbid), Jesuit, Judaist, Buddhist (not even a religion!), Windows Vista prayers, or whatever...this is about YOU coming to give our physically-departed ancestors their due. Their spiritually-connected ancestry their due. This is revisiting our traditions, whether you like it or not. Forget all of this "I'll pray at home" or "I'll be there in spirit, but I got more important things to do" bullshit. I'm sure while your great-great-great-great-great grandmother was trying to leap off of the ship, chains and all, she wasn't thinking about going to choir practice, nor attending Maxwell 'Live'.

Bring a coat or jacket in the case of inclement weather. I mean it IS Texas weather. It will be predictably cool in the morning, but so beautiful when it breaks open. Yemoja has a wonderful way to wake you up with gulls, doves, and the Gulf waters rushing to the sands. Oh my God, feel the breeze, my people! It is sooooo beautiful. Oya found ways to make things happen regardless of if she switched up the spot a month before. Last year it was held at Dupree Park in the heart of 'The Trey' (3rd Ward)

Blankets and something to read for the children that will sure to be trying to divert your attention from the rituals and devotionals. Really, you SHOULD have them participate. There is no Soulja Boy or Wayne here, so the box is dead. If the Caucasian people can stroll on by and take pictures, gawk, stare, and sometimes try to invite themselves into this 12-year long event, why can't our OWN???? That is another thing, DO NOT EXCLUDE BLACK GALVESTON RESIDENTS!!! Drag their tails here if you see them.

So you see, hiccups can be cured, if you hold your breath, and be patient. Then? Well, release.

I haven't been to the caravan since '05...I think the drought MUST cease for me. People attend the caravan from outside of Texas, and it steadily grows every year. Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, New Mexico, South Carolina, etc. I think one year we had some family come from Washington State! People do participate and hear from this in Africa as well, especially the Nigerians that happen to know a couple of NBUF and SHAPE supporters.

My people, it is high time we put these excuses and schisms behind, and start working together. Brother George Jackson probably could have said it much better than I could have relayed it, (may he rest with the ancestors), but now is the time! Remember, this is to celebrate their safe voyage amid the perils that awaited them here.

I encourage that you hear the song "Navio Negreiro" and meditate...
For the memory will never leave us.

Mojuba to Baba Sangogbemi and Iya OsunBunmi for their dedication and work towards this event!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

So, who will be the first to stand against...?

You know, it's I write this blog, the title aptly discusses our futility to mobilize and unify in our own communities.
"What comes next after nothing comes at all?" is a good way of saying:

"Our people have nothing better to do than to kill each other before they celebrate graduating from high school."

Or perhaps I should say it means,

"Let's march around and do candlelight vigils and pray to the Lord until it's our baby's turn to die."
Could it exclaim that,

"We shall overcome, especially in the Year of Obama!", for it's sole entity upon this blog?

I did not know Derrion Albert, nor Eli Escobar, nor Sean Bell, nor Amadou Diallo, or Pedro Oregon, Brandon Mcclelland, James Byrd, Eleanor Bumpurs. In reading (and viewing in some cases) these grizzly murders, it is apparent that the Africans in America, whether brought here by boat unlawfully or by plane ticket, are still under attack. Unfortunately, due to the rampant acts of violence and the emergence of the volatile, unstable black youth, Derrion suffered death at the hands of other these very same people who shared his skin hue.

The question is not if it was he that started it, nor decided to participate in it, nor if he should have been there in the first place. Where were the adults during the melee in the open Chicago streets? While most of the Chicago population were either unaware in their houses or schools, and the others crossing fingers for some worldwide games bid, these children and some teens (and adults) went after each other as if it was a territorial war in Africa. I need the after-school and outreach programs to step up in this situation, preferably our young African males that are capable to take charge and instruct without the social constructs that limit the resources through government aid. They wouldn't give a fuck, anyway. However, Chicago isn't the scapegoat here as well. Houston, (the Historic Wards , Southwest, and South Park) has its share of laxing on the monitoring of our youth and their activities when they leave school, or, for that matter, if they leave the house to pretend to go to school? Compton, St. Louis, and New Orleans as well needs some retooling. Who's down to help, instead of rapping and doing poems about it? No offense to those who do both the oratory and physical labor of improving our situations.

These things were put into place to disrupt black progression since. The children must feel ignored to have dissent in their hearts, and the adults must separate from them in order to exert force and rule in the harshest of ways. I must say this...since he inception of chattel slavery, this system has been designed to tear down the image of the African people, regardless of if we were bound or not. So, where are the chains if we are still bound by self-degradation and hatred?

It's almost as if this Willie Lynch letter has evolved for the millennium. Not again.

I work in an artist/after-school program that has a fortunate few to help experience neighborhood artists as well as national/international artists directly, and hone their own talents. It's by far not the most perfect, and yet, it's long-standing and it does put a chink in the armor of the establishment's ways of destroying black neighborhoods and families. SHAPE, PABA, FUUSA, Blue Triangle, PBUA, and Operation Outreach have a hand in teaching our youth much more than "bangin'" and "slangin'". The children that come from the 3rd Ward and 5th Ward area love to participate in the programs, because they expose their talents to the world and feel much more confident. Yes, America, positivity exists. However, I notice the middle schools now take fads to another level. Saggin' and fight bragging. Video taping brawls and 'scheduled' after school fights to post online (this didn't start with them, people)! they are showing no fear, nor respect for the elders, as they are starting to clog the Ward by purposely walking the streets like vigilantes looking for justice or bloodshed. At this age, the police are licking their chops, for it is all too easy to convict and restrict them for just this alone. Again, where are the adults? Parents, especially? Don't be surprised to hear feedback from the young ones that say their own brother or father jumped them into a gang, like I heard from these two young students over the summer tell me and my co-worker. Non-profits need help as well. let's also look for help within. What's wrong with leaving the club or bar alone for that night to put in 5 dollars a week to preserve a small area for the children to learn something about our legacy??!?! Donate to black-owned. But not just any, to the ones who are using it for the greater good of the uplifting of our people, intellectually.

The police has a nice target on the backs of our black youth, as well as our elderly and, what seems to be the new trend, our women. I've been receiving disturbing emails and video interviews of young girls they put away as young, as 12 years old, for life. Some of them have their children in prison. Most are either abused children/women, or accused by the real perps that left paraphernalia in their possession unknowingly. It is NOT the police's job to protect us. It is our own. We should be able to police ourselves. Why not? Wasn't it your mother or auntie that whooped your ass when you did something crosstown, or when you acted a plum fool in church or at the library? Wasn't it your daddy that got that ass when you decided to steal something from the old man's house, or chunk a rock at the elderly family's window? Are we that "screwed and chopped up" in the Land of Syrup that we'd rather think it's cool to sport a faux-hawk, some Forces, and some skinny jeans on our children so we could be THEM?!?
Where does the buddy system stop and the parenting begin? Better yet, where's the mentoring of our black males?!? The police's job is to make sure that your ass stays right on the plantation. Avoid the 'boys in blue' and corral your youngins into the house and learn them the ways of the elders. I need not hear about "Maaaaan, you know, Pook an em comin' out in three, but I was up in there, and Dice got shot. Imma come through and get my heat on em for dat" bullshit on the bus anymore. It is NOT COOL TO BE INCARCERATED. That is not a badge of honor. In fact, the 'badge' and 'your honor' put you there. Get it right.

Let's zero in on this foolery. First off, the radio airwaves will allow poison to wave freely as long as you have a conduit for it to be carried through. Derisive and derogatory comments on young black women and girls will continue if we done not hold those in charge responsible. My niece knows Jeremih' horrid ass song of "Birthday Sex", and yet, when she grows up, God forbid you'd have some brother trying to exude his machismo through the lure of illicit songwriting and fuckery. If someone can rap to you about 'knockin' down girls' (promiscuous bragging), selling dope (or how they used to), and flashing gaudy, ridiculous clothing with a name on it that they can't spell on a Speak and Say (Texas Instruments - old school), but offer NO POSITIVE OUTLET to avoid the trap, do you think the children will take the high road to intelligence, or 'Superman' that ass onto hustlin' for the cheddar on the corner? Television DOES NOT RAISE OUR CHILDREN. Get them the hell out of in front of the screen, and give them a book. Teach them a language. My nephew is learning Capoeira moves as I learn, giving him another way of expression. Introduce them to African countries, or customs. Something other than programming that has our children addicted to speaking like they have rocks in their mouth (i.e. Teletubbies).

Brother Jesse Muhammad (Final Call newspaper & @brotherjesse on has made the beckoning towards we few black males to take part in a resurgence of mending the black male youth's image and ambition. I heed the call, and I'm sure other cities will do so as well. Do not let Chicago put us into shock and awe for a young man that many will soon pass his death of as a "killing in vain". If we have to put together a panel, or posse, something will and must be done continuously to stop the direct attack on our black youth. Otherwise, we cam show how our swag is supreme in the state pen. Parents, leaders, ADULTS in general. Put down your technologies and help, or put that technology to work and let's save our youth!

Enough marching. Let's mount up and make it happen.

The Surgery, The Implant, The Transformation (Part Two)

I have a fellow Ifa brother, (actually an elder in a way, although only by a few years) that adamantly believes Ifa is constantly changing. Many Ifa elders (rooted in the Yoruba culture and directly from Yorubaland) dismiss this claim, explaining that Ifa doesn't move, nor transform, because it is how the ancients saw nature and their surroundings. My brother argues that Ifa also related to the situations and environment around them at that time. He also claims that Ifa contributed to the drastic changes to the world scape and lifestyle. He continues by insinuating (in a way) that Ifa expands past these studies that confined the wisdom to its own world including: trees, rivers, and animals, and the sky. The elders argue that astrology and numerology are not an influence as well, whereas he thinks it's an infusion of all practices. I believe both. It is true that I and other 'Africans in America' (from Malcolm X) will not and 'cannot be Yoruba' (from Dr. Epega). Instead, we could learn the wisdom of Ifa and nature's secrets to enhance our understanding of this world, spiritually and physically.

From my POV, I was asked by my dad to take heed, due to the fact that my name and culture (Igbo) stems from the belief of 'Chukwu' and other deities, and Yoruba culture would not be the fit for my own. In doing some research, however, the market days of Nigeria for the Igbo and the Yoruba, customs of sacrifice, devotion, and the naming of the children and the meanings don't stray too far from each other, if at all. I simply believe that the Igbo and the Yoruba misunderstand each other's main stems of cultural roots, for now most Yoruba are Muslims, and, the Igbo, Christians. I am also torn between my mother's old time religion in terms of respect. She was Pentecostal, (Church of God in Christ, or COGIC), and they, of course, conjured up spirits and healing through praise, albeit they all were worshipping Jesus. My Grandmother's old church was an African Methodist (AME) denomination. The psychological boundaries were pushed for me at a young age, seeing that the stories of the bible and hearing other versions of how we came to be kings and queens didn't come to me until college. I am now a few months from 30, and I don't see the resurgence of the old time religion I had back then from my mom's days on Earth coming through me, unless it's to revere her and my other ancestors at the altar. In a sense, it's right alongside with the Ifa lineage in praising those before us, but instead, it's not focusing on a figure that is portrayed to be "The Rock of My Salvation" (his Ifa splits would be Sango and Esu).

What I don't understand is that people spiritually try to run game on each other on these trying times. Apparently, "Jesus is to return" and people will get caught up in the Rapture. 2012 is right around the corner, and people are looking for great floods, power outages, fires, earthquakes, monsoons, tornadoes, stock markets crashing, Whitney and Bobby making a tour...everything to blame on their lack of spiritual focus. That's why it's easy to mystify a devil of sorts, (Esu is mistaken for this character often, although in Ifa the 'Devil' doesn't exist), and start praying like it was ammunition and God was firing blessings at their families. Jihad is a view one takes when it is apparent that one thing (I am not entirely sure where this comes from to be as truth, but still...) 72 virgins or so will greet the sacrificial being in waiting at their version of Heaven. So let me get this straight...the Christians believe in letting the Lord fight their battles, and they will become martyrs or die in the name of the Almighty God if they just believe and not strike against their enemy, and the ones that they call radical Muslims, or Islamic extremists, would kill themselves for the greater good of "Brotherhood" amongst the Islamic world? Beautiful, right? I don't believe that all Muslims and Christians are like this at all. In fact, I know that there are some people that utilize Ifa in the incorrect way. Lack of 'Iwapele', or good character. The Laws of Attraction suggest that you call into existence the energy you speak of, or will around you. If you want to be sick, you'd be worrying yourself to death, almost in the literal sense, if you will. Ifa teaches you to hone your spirit with the world around you, rather concrete or course grass. the government constantly tries to talk about slowing down terrorism, improving job increase, and better global connectivity. However, this system was rooted in massive hatred, and karma has to run its course, Black Messiah or not (*smh*).

I have had mad suspect Iwapele ever since my dad was doing his dirt back then when I was little. The Iyaami, considered to most as the witches who bring aje (wealth) or may cause wahala (trouble) if you disrespect them have brought an aspect of how I treat women to the light. I don't think I've been the same person ever since seeing how men treat women as commodities and not as equals. I was raised to make sure I don't disrespect females, but in seeing my father and his exploits, I wonder if that jaded my whole view on how women were soon to turn the tide. I haven't had the best of luck with them, and according to Ifa, this may be a continuous thing unless I set my father's and past males in my family's deeds straight. Spiritual ase resides with the females in a magnitude unexplainable. This is not pushing up on them. This is simply seeing where ruination caught up to my father in his actions. In this case, I think my father is the direct. I am not fully aware if my mother did anything herself, however I know she kept the family glued even when he did his dirt behind the scenes, and in the accident he suffered. He wasn't always like this, and for the fact that there was a reason I came through these two people, I think it shows itself even now. I am learning more about my father's side and my mother's side, only because now my mother has passed. My dad laments the things he's done, and he was there to defend and give us the things that may or may not have indirectly affected us. Still, the Iyaami are killer with the memory and gathering respect. If ever was a time for the men in our family to reap what our formers have sewn, they know how to enact on it. My father hasn't had a decent encounter with women since. A few that have led to his paternity suits, and a couple that lead him into heartache and most of them cheating on him. Another few have had the other man threaten him physically. One thing is for don't have to believe in Ifa for it to be enacted. This is just a sample, and maybe I'm wrong on it, but Ifa can catch up to deeds quickly.

But isn't that the way with most spiritual systems from the outside looking in? Not religion, spiritual constructs that show a cause and effect. Some repercussion. Some consequence. Some road take or not taken. I embrace Ifa and its infinite possibilities. Some may put it off on their own selfish views on who or what helped them, but nature takes it course, REGARDLESS of it you let it or not.