when they (don’t) see us

Typically indulging in any type of entertainment — be it music, books, sports or television — is a form of escape. Work, school, bills and the doldrums of the day are temporarily put aside to occupy a different space of thought and experience. Watching an emotionally heavy mini-series about how our justice system failed five teenagers is probably not most people’s idea of a good time.

When They See Us is a four-part Netflix mini-series which chronicles the horrific, true story of the Central Park Five case of 1989 where five teenagers were accused and wrongfully convicted of the rape and assault of a female jogger. The series is presented from the perspective of these boys whose lives were upended by a miscarriage of justice and the viewer is left wondering, “What if all boys were created equal?”

since 1970 (an open letter to my friends)

Dearest and beloved, it’s been a matter of busied hours and circumstance for which I have not been able to communicate as succinct as I would have preferred, but inevitable destiny abounds as this transmission reaches you now. Know this. Your existence coupled with your presence means a lot to me. Your availability and support humble me. You mean more than you can know and I’m thankful you are here.

expiring soon: Her rights

So far this year, eight states have passed bills to limit or criminalize a woman’s right to abortion. At this rate, we’re very quickly headed back to a time when “a woman and a Negro knew their place.”

boy meets God

Once upon a time, there was a young boy whose name was… well, let’s see.
To protect the innocent, we’ll address young Kenn discreet and anonymously.
So this shy, young boy who lacked no love, grew up in a loveless town.
Shy though spry with a detailed eye his imagination knew no bounds.

Then teenage years and the furlough of tears and more than his share of rage,
Young Boy departed from Nadine and pristine to work where sin offered wage.

pesado

Gravity like lead, could I be dead?
Can’t focus my mind, can’t feel my legs,
Worn down to the wire and way past the treads.
I’m beginning to think I’m whatever they said.

the debilitating truth with being Black and blue

Imagine the sun is shining, the sky is blue and you haven’t a care in the world. Not a single care. What I mean is: you don’t care — about anything. You’re unmotivated, unenthused, restless and easily agitated. If these feelings last for long periods of time, you might very well be depressed.

open letter 2 my Wife

Dearest daughter of all daughters, beautiful apple of these eyes
It is with much longing that I write you through blurred words and lines.
My transgressions and digressions and diversions are allayed
That you may hurry to me quickly that my heart not lose its way.

black lives clatter

If you’re solely informed according to what popular media has presented, you’re likely to believe the demise of police brutality and misconduct that was hotly reported in the news a few years ago. Unfortunately, the loved ones of the 2̵3̵2̵ 240 people who have been killed by police thus far in 2019 would dispute that idealistic assumption.

you are. enough.

Does a nagging voice of negativity ever just show up uninvited to wreak havoc on your otherwise, healthy mindset to draw doubt as to whether you’re good enough? You are. Enough already! Kick that voice out. Call the cops on it. Fight it. Or do whatever is necessary to stop questioning everything about yourself. I mean, it’s a great attribute to be self-aware, but come on. You’re taking this cognizant thing too far.

the other side of fear

We all know fear. It’s that deep and foreboding sense that triggers us to fight, freeze or flee. But fear isn’t all bad. It can actually help dictate the actions we take next. Often, it can nudge us from a space of comfort and complacency that stagnates our growth and progression.

All that you desire is on the other side of fear.

39 Lessons for Boys – extended

The legacy of a father is what he leaves in his stead for his children and those who have been in the shadow of his influence. I love my sons (and nephews and mentees) and the following are 39 lessons or observations I hope to teach (or have taught) them over the years. This is not a comprehensive list, but a good start.

1. manhood is earned, not inherited

The biological emergence of becoming a man should not be confused with manhood. Manhood is accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions, tending to the care and well-being of others and contributing to society.

2. there is a God

Acknowledging that there is a being greater than yourself, creates a sense of purpose and humility that fuels endless curiosity, seeking and learning.

3. you are not Him

Don’t be judgemental. Instead, be humble and know that everyone makes mistakes while deserving the same grace you’ve been given.

BHM and Being Invisible in February

We’re halfway through BHM and it has been everything but a celebration. From the ongoing divisive antics of a petty president to the embattled leadership at the highest state level wearing blackface as a party favor to the continuing collective silence on the pervasiveness of police brutality, I don’t feel my heritage is very much celebrated. If it is called out in any way, it seems to be more of a prop to promote a personal agenda (Kamala and Corey, I’m side-eyeing you).

Felona Mabel – gorgeous paperback

Finally finally, the Wedding & Disaster of Felona Mabel saw it’s worldwide paperback release today, June 9. I’m elated to share this epic project with you. I wrote the book, painted the cover, designed the title and composed the interior layout. You can get your gorgeous, signed paperback at felonamabel.com.

the Wedding & Disaster of Felona Mabel

Felona Mabel – eBook

Finally, the Wedding & Disaster of Felona Mabel saw it’s worldwide soft release today, May 16. I’m elated to finally share this epic project with you. I wrote the book, painted the cover, designed the title and composed the interior layout.

the Wedding & Disaster of Felona Mabel is available at amazon.com.

save one thing

If all of the things that you’re working toward right now were at the edge of a crumbling cliff and you only had time to save one thing before everything else fell into the abyss, which thing would you grab?

big, important or tall

Have you ever thought to yourself, “It’s not easy bein’ green?” No? Replace the word green with a word that better describes you – physically, culturally or situational. At one time or another, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole of comparing yourself to others and their situation. Don’t. That’s a one-way ticket to depression.

know Your Worth

neither ignore nor indulge in people’s praise. instead, love and work with steady diligence, regardless of public response.

fight

fight with a purpose and certainty, for you will surely have to fight.