Having a Latte with Lorraine Hansberry

If I could sit down and have a latte with anyone in the world that has ever lived, I would love to sit down with Lorraine Hansberry. I have admired and respected and aspired to walk the walk of Lorraine Hansberry. I choose her because you don’t hear much about her anymore, if we ever did. I choose her because, like Angela Davis, she had some really good things to say, had a beautiful mind, but unlike Angela, was taken from us too soon, at the age of 34 to cancer. This is why, if I could I would set up shop right next to her and close my mouth and open my ears.
Her book, To Be Young, Gifted and Black, really spoke to me as a teenager. Before I even knew what it meant to be “black”, that I was truly gifted, and had the energy and fearless perseverance of youth, I still was able to grasp what was to be learned from her writings. She understood me, before I understood me, and still understands me in ways that I don’t have her eloquence to articulate. Peep this quote:

“I think , then, that Negroes must concern themselves with every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non-violent. That they must harass, debate, petition, give money to court struggles, sit-in, lie-down, strike, boycott, sing hymns, pray on step and shoot from their windows when the racists come cruising through their communities. The acceptance of our present condition is the only form of extremism which discredits us before our children.” Taken from The Work of Democracy: Ralph Bunche, Kenneth B. Clark, Lorraine Hansberry, and the Cultural Politics of Race

This quote was in response to someone asking her how she felt about MLK and his non-violent protests. I picked it because a lot of what she says is still relevant and it points out how we’ve gotten away from the passion of dealing with the struggle. I mean, when we see Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson and hear about the things we do, we kind of brush it off as if what they continue doesn’t matter. I am guilty of this. But then I take a step back, I look at where they came from, and I see what is going on now and I feel the frustration of never being able to do anything for my people and it makes me pause. I blog much, I complain much, I trip over my own soapbox, and still actions are absent from all of my meanings.

Lorraine Hansberry lived the life she wrote in her words. As in she believed in her opinions and wrote a thousand times over, not complaints, but solutions and encouragements. Not every one of us can go out and do the things Al Sharpton does, nor do we really desire to, but there is an entire subsect of people, out there everyday contributing to OUR struggle, and we never hear about them. We never hear d about what Jonnie Cochran did for civil rights. We never hear about what S. Epatha Merkerson does to support initiatives to help our kids. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. And it doesn’t mean that we can get away with doing nothing.
Lorraine Hansberry wrote in TBYGB that we must write, write about our people, about our struggle, because all of the stories haven’t been told, and they need to be heard. So here I am writing my little heart out…

Arrested Development

Tennesse?  Naw, not that arrested development....

I had a recent revelation: "You can not receive anything until you deem yourself worthy of it." 

What does that mean?  Good question. 

It means you can never truly appreciate the accomplishments, the love, or gifts your receive/acheive until you know you are special. 

Why can I speak on that?  Funny you should ask.

I have travelled my life wondering why I could never appreciate the good times. (You know, thinking the bottom will always fall out?) I discovered that that there was a flaw in my self esteem.  I have been battling for some time with feeling like I deserve success. 

Now, to start off, don't be alarmed; I am not being down on myself.  When I look in the mirror I love all I see, the flaws and all.  I think I am intelligent, kind, and funny.  Yet, I was having problems convincing myself that I was wonderful on the next level.  I couldn't see past all of the bad and traumatic events I have been subjected to in my life that taught me that I was a lesser person.  All those scenes kept replaying in my head and became a huge roadblock in my progression in life and love.

 However, I have ushered in a new pattern of thought.  A lot of this was spawned by a conversation I had recently, to where I was told, "You deserve more, you are worthy."  That person made me repeat that statement.  I replayed it over and over in my head until I started to actually believe it.  It has become my mantra.  Now, I know the possibilities are endless and I deserve every single reward that comes with it.  Now my development has been released, and not on any technicality, but because I served my time in regression and it is fine time to move forward.

Peace y'all...

Enjoy the video from Amel Larrieux, "Infinite Possibilities":

To Be Continued

We apologize for being mia. Every once in awhile, during the year, life gets real hectic for us. All of the dreams we dream tend to come true and when they do we have to adjust to keep up with them. Currently we are living through the next phases of our dreams and frankly it has us RUNNING!!!!!!!!

My blog partner has gone back to school, which means right about now is midterrrrrrrmmmmmmmssssss.......yeah please have patience. I have traded my gubment cube for a corporate cube, yeah I've had to kick my game up to fifth gear.

So know that while we're gone we are most definitely living it up and will be back with plenty to tell you...

Quirky Dreams not yet Deferred: Superhero

This week in the Latte Mug we are going to discuss quirky dreams that many of you may not know we have.

I have a quirky dream. It is actually maybe a slightly dark or evil dream, but those are allowed too, right? Yes, right, for intents and purposes of this blog we are going to say it is perfectly acceptable. Stay with me. I have a dream that one day I will gain a backbone of superhero proportions. One thing about myself that I absolutely despise is my constant mild mannered and "other people's feelings" over-concern. I tend to care about folks emotions that could care less about the great fabulous poet named Alise. How could anyone not care about how I feel? I'm cute, sweet, and keep everyone laughing. Yet, the imbeciles exist. Because of their existence is the reason I wish to possess, even if for only a day, the strength to deflect and mentally destroy these bad people. I desire to be able to open my mouth and say exactly how I feel, without regard of someone's pout, look of disgust, or intense pain from me stepping on their unrighteous feet. I want to have the death ray of a laser strong side-eye and words and tone to back it up. Really, I just want to stop being verbally stepped on and avenge my fellow soft-spoken, shy, sweet, beautiful souled comrades who never quite can say the right thing when faced with assholes. Can we have just one day to be heard and be respected? I'll see y'all later, I have a fitting for my cape and interviews for my sidekick....

Quirky Dreams not yet Deferred: Roam Free

This week in the Latte Mug we are going to discuss quirky dreams that many of you may not know we have.

I’m going to start off with a dream or longing that I’ve been having for years now. I want to buy a Jeep Wrangler, cast off most of my worldly possessions, and road trip across the country visiting all of the places I deem cool and artsy.

On this trip I’d take my MacbookPro (an artist never leaves home without it), ipod touch, all of the paintings and drawings I’ve done, including my materials, my comic book collection, and enough clothes to not look like a bum. This urge comes up quite often, I just want to cut ties and be free to roam and go and do whatever I want, whenever, without having to fill out a leave slip, leave a forwarding address or leave an away message, or hope my health insurance covers me in all 50 states...

Screw all that, just me and my jeep, and maybe a German Shepherd or Doberman. I must’ve been something great in a former life.
Every time I see a jeep I give it the evil eye…that could be me….

Didn't See That Coming: PERSERVERANCE

Perseverance is that stuff they put in your Wheaties that helps you make it through your school day. Why do you think MJ stayed on the cover? It helped him win playoffs! This stuff is real. Its that invisible kick in the pants that keeps you from giving up, it picks you up when you’ve fallen, it keeps you going when all you want to do is cry and give up like a punk. Perseverance, yum!

I’m going to take this time to get on my soapbox and ride around the rim hole of politics. There is something going around called the “silent majority”, a group of people who don’t need to carry guns to town hall meetings, people who don’t need to steal and misuse movement names to get a pass to cry in front of government buildings. The silent majority, although they did borrow (well I cant say they borrowed that term, I don’t know if they even call themselves that) it from the Repubs, are a group of people who are strategically rallying for public option healthcare. You don’t hear about them, they are silent, you may not know when you are around one of them, however they are in a majority, so they could be anywhere. These are the people who are actually doing something about healthcare reform. They are hitting the streets, talking to the people, making phone calls, using the system to get what they want. They are congress peoples worst nightmares. They are the persistent many that wont let congress sleep until this bill is passed. They are the silent majority. They don’t need to make big noise, and offend and disrespect people to get what they want. They just do what they have to, no fuss. They are awesome.

If you want to be a part of something big, if you want to do something about healthcare, contact your local OFA (Organizing for America) office and volunteer, it wont cost you a cent and you will actually feel like you are helping yourself and everyone else. After all isn’t that what its all about? We sometimes wonder how we can achieve something when it comes to politics, how can we get our point across, they never listen to us. Well I say the only person who can control how helpless you feel is you. You may not be able to control everything, but danngit when you can do something, do it! We cant sit around and wait for people to hand us the answer, we have to find the answer ourselves. We don’t have to sit back and wait for this bill to be passed, we can actually help! If we don’t get this bill passed, if I hear one more person complaining and doing nothing, I’m going ape sh** on EVERYONE, then I’m moving to Canada where I can get some healthcare to treat the major butt whooping I’ll probably receive.

I truly didn’t see this coming. Want to know more of what the OFA has been silently doing while the ignorant folks have been screaming? Check out this link.

Didn't See That Coming: HAPPINESS

When we think of things that make us happy, we may think of bunnies frolicking in a field of dandelions, a child’s laugh (if your into children like that), the Krispy Kreme HOT NOW sign lit up, pay day. Well I want to share something I saw that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The other day I took MARTA (public train) to the Maxwell concert. Now anyone who has taken MARTA or any public rail line to and from work, you already know how obnoxious the teenagers can be*. I mean they act like straight up animals, I wish I was lying. If you ride MARTA for a week, you WILL see a fight, plain and simple. I take MARTA everyday, I see a lot. I see many youth just acting a fool, swinging from the bars, using profanity loudly, blasting music, just crying out for attention in the worst way. I feel a soapbox trying to slide up under my feet, so let me get to the point.

When I was on MARTA going to the concert, it had to be around 7pm. I saw about 4 or 5 young black men get on the train. These teenagers were so well behaved, I hate to say it like that, but they were. They were quiet, they sat in their seats like they had some home training, and they were minding their business trying to go home from football practice. Yes I heard one of them mention the practice they just left. One of them kept stuffing handfuls of McDonalds French fries in his mouth like it was some roti and jerk chicken. Seeing those young men behave like that, hearing that they had some after school extra curricular activity that kept them occupied made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Especially in light of what happened to Derrion Albert. I just wanted to whip out some money and give it to them just because they were doing right. I wanted to dap them up, pat them on the back, tell them to hang in there, something, anything to reinforce their behavior. After all of the crap I see on the train on a daily basis, it was so nice, it made me happy to see this.

Another quick story, I saw a young man with the saggy pants, bright colors and baseball cap help an older white woman take her suitcase down a flight of stairs. He just saw her struggling, and asked if he could help. She trued to tell him that she was ok, as she started to tip over. He took the suitcase, which was heavy for him too, and carried it down for her. Another instance of happiness for me. No one ever wants to talk about the good things these kids are doing, so I wanted to take the time to recognize some Atlanta youth being positive. I’m not saying this stuff never happens, I’m just giving some well needed recognition.

Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?
*I just want to note that the young lady in this video is mentally ill, many of the folks that act out arent!

Didn't See That Coming: EXPECTATIONS

When you think of expectations you think of ones you have for other people or things. You expect for your friends to be there when you're down. You expect for this computer you are logging on to read this blog to work and bring you to our lovely space on these here internets. You expect for your paycheck every other Friday. You expect every song on the radio to be an embarrassmaent. You even expect for fools to disappoint you. Of course, yes I expect these same things, but I missed something huge. I forgot about the expectations I have for myself. In fact, I allowed this oversight to hurt me in a major way. Don't be nosy, the particulars are not important. I allowed myself to ignore my own standards for a wrinkle in time. I overlooked that I need to hold myself to those same super-high standards I hold for others. I don't want to sound cliche, but you shouldn't expect from others what you don't expect from yourself. Maybe it is a cliche for a reason, they tend to work that way. I just want to give a word that you need to start holding yourself strictly to what you deem to be your morals or decisions. Take it from someone who is feeling the sting of being a lackluster human being, it is worth the time to examine. I wouldn't lead you wrong... I know you expect more.

Peace y'all...

Didn't See that Coming: ABUSE

This week we are going to take a topic and connect it to an area in our lives that we wouldn’t expect to see it.

If I have my way, I may gain full access to the blog and you’ll have a week’s worth of my opinions. For good reasons, this has never happened….


to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.
to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
to commit sexual assault upon.
to deceive or mislead.

We are all quite familiar with abuse and abusive relationships. When we think of abusive relationships, our minds might jump directly to Ike and Tina. This is the definition I’m running with for today’s blog.

Recently I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been in an abusive relationship. Now I’ve touched on this before in this blog, I kinda joked about, did some metaphorical things with this theme, but now I know its for real, its not a joke and I’m kinda astonished. My abusive relationship was with my job. Through a serious of events that I wont go into detail about, I have come out to be a shattered shell of an employee. They had me convinced that I needed them, that I was nothing without them. I was convinced that I didn’t deserve better and that no one else would want me. I thought I should’ve been grateful for what I had and should feel ashamed for not counting that sub par situation as a blessing. I almost talked myself out of getting out. I almost stood in my own way of getting something better. It took a whole lot of internal coaching to get me through the whole ordeal. And I can say I’m almost out! I’m still shook though. My self confidence is still shot. I still doubt myself. But I suppose I can doubt my self and have low self confidence as long as I’m making moves to something better right?