Monday, January 23, 2017

Am I my brothers' keeper....we all we got!!

So...I am a 70s baby but the 80s raised me(you didn't know I could rhyme, did you, Ha!). Meaning, I was born in 197------something like that, but I grew up in the 80s and 90s. During my era, a wonderful, intriguing, and one of the greatest societal forces, HipHop was created. HipHop was one of the illest(translation, phenomenal) lifestyle expression that was ever born. I loved it and still do! Especially growing up, I was fascinated by it! I loved everything about it, from the movies, to the clothes, to the songs, to the lyrics, I couldn't get enough. One of my most memorable moments of growing up with HipHop is when the movie, New Jack City came out. Whaaat??!! I remember that it came out when I was in middle school and my friends and I all wanted to go to see it. Sure, it had a R rating but that didn't matter to us. I remember I begged my mom and my stepfather to take me to see it and they finally broke down and did. I was not disappointed! It captivated my attention for the entire 1 hour and 41 minutes that it showed in the Carolina Circle 6 theater(yep, I took it way back, Greensboro). One of my favorite lines from the movie is when Nino Brown found out that Gee Money had cut a side deal with the Feds(I know the ENTIRE MOVIE, trust me) and Nino Brown was about to murder Gee Money. I remember Gee Money pleading for his life. One of his final pleas, well more like a question, was "Am I my brother's keeper...CMB, we all we got!". In a flash, Nino Brown finished him. I remember thinking at that moment, "Wow, that's cold blooded.". I couldn't decipher in my young 13-year old mind, how someone could be so cruel. I mean, yeah, Gee Money had messed up, but they were brothers, weren't they??(Yeah, I get caught up in movies, lol)

Fast forward over 20 years later and New Jack City is still one of my favorite movies. However, the murdering of Gee Money no longer bothers me. As a matter of fact, I'm totally immune to the scene. I justify his murder by saying, "You shouldn't have double crossed, knew that ninja was crazy." How is it that when I was child, I could not understand the murdering of someone's own close friend or brother but in my adulthood, I could? I'll tell you how! I witnessed it many times in life. I hear about it on the news almost every night, if I choose to watch the news. I hear about it in rap songs, IF I choose to listen to them, and I still see them in movies. I've never experienced being double crossed or knew of someone being murdered by a good friend or brother personally, but like I said, I've definitely heard of it. How did we become such a society or a community that has grown use to a "brother" taking another "brother's" life? How can we justify the killings of people in our community by saying "that they shouldn't have crossed them." When I refer to killing, I am not merely speaking of, the actual crime, I am also referring to, sitting by and watching people amongst us, waste away. Be it, by drugs, by self-harming themselves, by selling drugs, or just blatant disrespect. Why did we become so "okay" with this? I can only speak for myself and even though it requires a great deed of transparency on my part, I'll go ahead. Besides, when I became a blogger, that was like taking an oath to expose myself AND my thoughts to society. So here goes...

I've justified my ignorance of people in my community being destroyed or harmed by saying, "they should've known better." In my mind, everyone was raised by a church going grandmother like myself and they had to be in church every day of the week except Mondays and Tuesdays. Everyone, like myself, was taught right from wrong and taught if you do certain things, there are consequences and repercussions that you must face. So in other words, "You should know better, so why don't you do better?" The brutal truth is this, a lot of people were not raised the same as me. That doesn't make me better or them, that just means that they had to take different roads in life. Some people grew up with witnessing the killing and destroying of other people all their lives so to them it's the norm. Now, does this make it ok for them to kill or destroy other people? Absolutely not! There has to be a life turning moment for 
them that says "This is wrong, I may have grew up in this environment but I am not a product of my environment." I guess, what I'm trying to say is I truly dream of the day when we will genuinely care about what happens to each other. When we recognize, that whatever happens to our "brother or sisters", ultimately happens to or impact us as well. We've got to become each other's keeper. Because guess what, there's a new sheriff in town and I truly believe he could care less about what happens with us, to us, or by us. We've got to start looking out for each other. That's the only way, we're going to survive. I could go on but that's a whole other blog post, so I'll just holla at ya later....

Monday, January 2, 2017

If all lives matter....Prove it!! of my favorite artists, J. Locke, has a song called "Prove It. The lyrics are powerful. The hook is one of those hooks that is so thought provoking that it causes you to ponder on the true meaning behind, the "All lives matter" movement. "If all lives matter, if all lives really matter....PROVE IT" is that verse in the song that makes you say, "you know what, that's true, IF ALL LIVES REALLY MATTER, WE SHOULD PROVE IT!

How many times in this past year and years before, have we been subjected to media coverage on another crime against the black community that seemed to have no validation at all? The media plays on our emotions by showing countless stories and scenes of these violent acts repetitively for hours, days, and even weeks at a time. Anger and emotions are stirred up and there are protests, marches, and senseless lootings that take place. There are high energy demands that are made on "our" behalf by city and government officials from our community stating that there has to be changes that occur. After a couple of weeks go by, normal life resumes and the cries of protest and anger subside. The killings of African Americans however do not. You see, there are millions of African Americans, especially youth, that are killed every year in the United States. However, there are only a few marches and protests that occur in parallel to these killings. It seems that we have become immune to the uncivilized killings of each other.  However, when law officials and others that we deem as "selective protective citizens" take our lives, we as a people become outrage. Now, let me provide clarification because even though I am in writing this post in the solitude of my own home, through telekinesis, I can feel eye brows raising. That's ok, I am more than willing to provide explanations on any of MY point  of views.

As the lyrics in J's song states, "ALL LIVES REALLY MATTER", meaning regardless who the perpetrator is, the life that has been stolen should matter. However, why does it seem that whenever one of our lives is taken by law officials, we as a community are so quick to become enraged and request reparation for the life that the official took? By no means should the official not be punished for their acts, but let me pose a question. When will we hold ourselves as a community, to the same standards of allowing each other to take the lives of one another as we do government officials? We can't keep demanding that BLACK LIVES MATTER only when they are taken by the hands of law officials who have taken an oath to protect and serve. When are we as a community or a group of people going to take an oath to protect, teach, and love ourselves? How can we so boldly take a stand and demand that there is an acknowledgement of the importance of Black Lives when we only demand this when police officers are taken our lives and not when we take our own?

Yes, it is impertinent and essential for those that have promised to serve and protect citizens of this great country to recognize the importance of our community and what we bring to this nation as a great people. However, how much are we teaching others to value our lives if we increasingly become ignorant and content with our lives being taken by someone in our community that looks like us and comes from the same background as us?  There is a saying that I've lived by for years now. I don't know if it's something that I've heard someone else say or I subconsciously learned eventually after experiencing so much of "life." It states that "people will treat you the way that you allow them to treat you." Let me take this even further, "people will treat you the way that you TEACH them to treat you. If you show me that you do not care about yourself, tell me, if I was not an empathetic person, why would I care about you? We have got to do better as a community. We've got to place more value on our lives within our community and then maybe we will have a stronger platform to stand on and demand that those outside of our communities follow our lead. I want to thank my talented brother, J. Locke for these galvanizing lyrics. I challenge you to listen to his new single, "Prove It" and commit to taking a stand to increase the value of ourselves within our own community. Until next time......

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Is this the part you take my heart to wipe your feet on....

Sooo....I am a lover of old 80's and 90's R&B songs. The lyrics just seemed to speak to me more and reflect raw emotions, which at the time I was unfamiliar with.One of my favorite groups, Loose Ends, made a song called "Slow Down". I loved this song! One of the verses in the songs said "Is this the part you take my heart to wipe your feet on?" What?? What exactly does that mean? Unfortunately, I became all too acquainted with the meaning later on in life.

 I remember the FIRST time(but not the last time) that I had my heart broken. I remember it like yesterday. I was a freshman in college and I fell for an upperclassman. You know the type. The ones that were all too eager to prey on young naive freshman girls. Reeling them in by telling  them everything and anything they wanted to hear. This particular one I so happened to fall for was indeed a profesSHUNnall. He was as smooth as they come. He laid it on thick when it came to me, making his words taste as sweet as honey. I fell for it all. When he was no longer interested in me or was "through with me", I was crushed. I blamed myself. How could I fall for these lies in disguise? I would like to say that was the one and only time my heart was broken but it wasn't. I fell many, MANY times for men and boys that knew all the right words to say by telling me exactly what I wanted to hear. Each and every time, I blamed myself for falling for them. "How could I be so stupid? I knew he wasn't about anything and still stayed with him.", were my constant thoughts.  "He said he loved me but treated me like crap. Why didn't I just leave him alone the first time he showed me how he really was?". With every heartbreak, I beat up on myself some more and some more and some more. When I got married, I finally patted myself on the back for "catching a husband", someone who would FINALLY love me. However when my marriage began to crumble and end in demise, the blame game began again. "Why do I always end up in failed relationships?" Again, defeat crept its' way in. "Why did I always play the fool?"

When I created this blog, 3 years ago, I was experiencing another heartbreak. Acknowledged Purpose was started as a way to let my feelings out and to help with my healing process. Who would've known that I would still be at it. I reflect back 3 years ago and recall everything I was feeling when I submitted my first post. I was so broken and yes, once again blaming myself. Since then, there have been other times when I felt and did the same. During one of my pity parties, which included tearing myself apart, questioning my worth, and trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I started to ponder on something. Isn't it okay to fall for the wrong person sometimes? I mean, I really starting giving myself permission to fall in love with the wrong person. This, however did not include giving myself permission to continue to play the fool. I was simply giving myself permission to get it wrong sometimes and be good with that. Now, included in this permission was also the need to learn  valuable lessons. First lesson, people will treat you the way that you allow them to treat you. This one required some careful examination on my part. Why was I allowing myself to be treated less than I desired or deserved? Did I not have enough self-worth to believe that I deserved to be treated better? I already knew the answer to that one. No, I didn't. So I am striving daily to change this. Second lesson, the guys that I met where actually good guys, they were just not good for me. I have learned to be fine with this one as well. It's nothing wrong with fallen for the wrong guy. How else will you know when the right guy comes along? The goal is to not become bitter, hopeless, and definitely don't give up.

So, like the words to the song goes..."Is this the part you take my heart and wipe your feet on?". No, absolutely not. However, I will make the right guy wipe his feet off at the door to my heart before entering. Because he would indeed be standing on sacred ground that has been fertilized with tears and plowed with self exploration. Until next time.....

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jesus, lemme tell you, how good you have allowed me to stare cancer in the face and tell it, "YOU MAY HAVE TAKEN MANY BUT YOU WON'T TAKE ME!" You allowed me to go before my physician and tell her while tears were streaming down my face, "I'm not worried about myself because I believe in a higher being, I am however worried about my loved ones". You allowed me to say with confidence "I will not allow them to go through another season of illness or death of a close and loved one!" You allowed me, Jesus to have those "Gethsemane Garden" moments when I cried so much that my eyes were swollen but I could still say to you "Not Irene's will, Lord but Your will be done, however I know this is not Your will". Jesus, you allowed me to ask though  feared reaction, my physician if we could pray before she would go in and remove foreign objects that had no business attempting to reside in my being"...Jesus, YOU FATHER, allowed her to tell me, "Miss McRae, this is not going to be what takes you out of here cause I won't let it!" So I give You praise Lord. Not myself, not my doctor, not even the procedure, I give You praise, Lord! You've done just what You said and I will forever be grateful and in awe of Your love for me. You continue to love me more than I love myself. You continue to show me that i deserve more  than what I think I do and last but not least You, Jesus,continue to grant me more time to get just that! This is only the beginning.....#acknowledgedPURPOSE

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Makes me wanna holla....

So, it's definitely been awhile since I've posted anything. I could make up all kinds of excuses on why. For instance, I'm enrolled in school, I'm a single mom, I work full time and commute 2 hours to work a day, but I won't. Instead, I'll "woman up" and say that I was lazy and I simply didn't feel like it. I was not only physically lazy but mentally lazy. Not only was I lazy, dare I admit, I was also being ignorant and blind. Yeah, I too, like so many other black people, witnessed or maybe I should say was subjected to the indefatigable media coverage of victims of law enforcement brutality. After being glued to the television for at least a hour a day or scrolling through articles and reading every disparate details of the unfolding events, I like so many, would turn off my tv, say a prayer, roll over and fall off to a peaceful sleep. The next day my inquisitiveness would have me to look again at the news, where the next day, there were almost always an excuse attempted to be offered on why these brutal attacks were justified. 

For months, I would stifle the urge to write, which is how I use my voice, on these senseless acts. That's when I wasn't being lazy or ignorant,of course. I would throttle my desires to speak out due to my fear of being looked upon as another angry black person or even worse, an angry black WOMAN! I mean, would my white friends understand where I was coming from? Well, the truth, I later realized, is that no, they would not understand where I'm coming from or the reasons why so many black people are angry. That is something that I've learned to accept. You see, we live in a society where if we don't see it, then it doesn't exist. If we haven't experienced it, then it couldn't have happened. I'm not saying that the hellacious brutality that we've seen on tv has not occurred with white people, but for the first time in a long time, white people are the minorities when it comes to these incidents. Some could never understand how fearful some black people are about not just possibly losing our children or loved ones in a school or a nightclub but possibly losing them and never seeing them again when they are simply walking down the street, going to a store, driving in a car, or questioning the nature of some actions(which could be depicted as using a "disrespectful tone" ). Black people are angry because while we're trying to instill in our children and youth, that there is a better way and that you don't have to earn a dishonest and illegal living, some of our police counterparts are doing just the opposite. Ok, lemme bring it back. I am in no way a spokesperson for Black America, nor would I like to be, so let me just speak on my behalf about why I'm angry.

I'm a single mom of a beautiful, young, intelligent, very articulate and gifted young teenage girl. There is not a week that goes by and almost not a day that goes by that I don't tell my child that she is smart. There is not a day that goes by, that I don't tell my child that I love her. There's not a week that goes by, that I don't make my child recite what "her job" is versus what mine is. She knows very well, that her job is to go to school, make good grades, go to college to obtain her undergrad and then go on to obtain her grad. All of these things, that have become so routine for me and mundane to her, have been done for a reason. You see, I truly was trying to teach my child that no matter the color of her skin, she could go out in this world and be whoever she wants to be. I however was never oblivious to know that, with her being black and a woman, she's going to have to work much harder to do so. So, now that leads me to the present time, where I once again have to sit my child down and explain to her, that on top of you being possibly discriminated or hated because of your race and gender, you could possibly be harmed if you dare to contest this behavior from others against you, just because they know they can get away with it. I have to explain to my child that a white man can serve less than a year in jail for raping a woman but a black man can get shot down in the streets for being reluctant to submit to officers that have a history of abusing our rights as a citizen in this so-called "free nation." I'm mad that, I can not answer her questions when she asks "why did they do that, mommy, what did they do for them to be killed? I'm mad that I can't tell her to go "Google" the answer to that question cause I don't know and Google fo sho won't know either. I'm mad, ya!

I'm mad at myself for being lazy for so long and turning the other cheek, thinking that these are rare incidents which clearly they're not, It's  an epidemic!  I'm mad that I have to have countless conversations with my daughter about what not to do or to do, when, if ever, she gets pulled by the police. I'm mad that I have god sons that I know will grow up and experience the  "jeopardy of being a black man" syndrome. I'm not only mad, I'm pissed. Life is not fair, it just isn't. That I can and have accepted. What I can't accept is that a lot of people with the same race as mine, will never being able to experience that "unfair life" because of unjust actions of some. We can no longer afford to sleep on these issues. There are other people that are watching us to see our reactions. I think the late, great Gordon Parks said it best, "I suffered evils, but without allowing them to rob me of the freedom to expand." We have suffered great evils as a people. The easiest reaction is to go out and loot, destroy OUR OWN property, and do more killing. Let's choose to take the higher road. Will it be the better road? I don't know. I just know the other roads we've traveled have not worked. I also know that it all makes me wanna holler until I have no more voice. However after the screaming has been done, we must regain our voice and find a better way. No justice, no peace! ....until next time, ya....

Friday, January 22, 2016

You Can't Give What You Ain't Got

Soooo...I was going through my notebook and enjoyed reading some things I had wrote a few years back. I only shared the contents of this one with one other person and they told me they liked it so I figured, why not share with my followers. I hope you all dig it as much as we did...Once again, let me release my disclaimer...."Now keep in mind I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my -ish! So ya be nice about it!"

What I needed you to give was:
...BUT....instead I hear a small voice whispering in my ear

What I needed you to give was:
….BUT instead my mind goes off and re-collects

What I needed you to give was:
…..BUT instead I am left remembering

What I wanted to give YOU was:
…..BUT instead I thank GOD

the constant reminder of this simple phrase hurts to the core, the one thing that brings solace to my spirit though is this:


Friday, December 25, 2015

What do the lonely do at Christmas??

So…today is Christmas and to some it’s a beautiful time of year. Many people celebrate with their family and friends. They are surrounded by the company of loved ones and companionship. However to some, Christmas is a very hard time of the year. This Christmas, I really struggled with getting into the Christmas spirit. I tried everything! I listened to Christmas music, gave out Christmas cards, amongst other things that didn’t work. Nothing helped. The closer it drew to Christmas, the more depressed I became. This was the first Christmas that we would be experiencing without my maternal grandmother, Mrs. Katie. Mrs. Katie also known as “Great” loved Christmas! She loved opening gifts and seeing other people open gifts. To her, there was nothing better. This Christmas was truly going to be a hard one to endure, I constantly thought to myself. At last, Christmas finally arrived. No matter how hard I tried to prevent it, it seemed that depression was doomed to creep in. My family and I had mental and emotional breakdowns and outbursts. It made me wonder about people all over the world experiencing their first Christmas without their loved ones.

While it’s truly enjoyable looking at people’s holiday pics and videos, it became overwhelming and depressing as well. However, I was determined to make this Christmas a wonderful Christmas, in spite of how I was feeling. I thought about all the years of celebrating Christmas that I had with my grandmother. I thought about how happy she was to see others happy about Christmas. I thought about how the many times I would do silly things to kick off the Christmas celebration and she would be my main side kick with the silly adventures. Those things are what got me through this day. Christmas is not only a time to celebrate the presence of family and loved ones in the present time but also a time to celebrate family memories. In hopes of not sounding cliché, the reason for the season is Jesus. Jesus represents love, hope, and unselfishness and isn’t that supposed to be the essence of family. So, while so many of us are celebrating the presence of their loved ones that are still with them today, let’s not forget to pray for all the ones that had to celebrate their first Christmas without their loved ones.  I truly hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I look forward to the many blessing we have to experience in our upcoming new year!