The Plan

To Whom It May Concern,

I have decided recently to forever change my relationship with Haiti. Like most children of immigrants, I looked at the land my parents immigrated from with a mix of wonder and grandeur but since the earthquake 8 years ago; those feelings have been mixed with a survivor’s guilt. I’ve come to realize this guilt came from seeing the suffering of thousands of children in Haiti as well as the devastation brought on by the earthquake. Included in the suffering brought on by the earthquake is my father having to deal with the passing of his youngest daughter. Seeing him be forced to deal with that reality everyday has become a driving force in my desire to be able to help my father’s home country in any way possible once I became older.

 As you can see that statement is a bit vague and that has never helped ease my conscious. I always knew the day would come where I would have to be a bit more specific about how I wanted to impact the country of Haiti. While I enjoy a life in a land of as many opportunities as the United States there are children in Haiti that could only dream of half of the experience I was blessed to have been able to go through. I have always wants to help those children in particular. Children that may or may not leave their home country but still need to know the world is still theirs for the taking. I was recently talking to an old friend from UMass about volunteer trips to Haiti and she told me about one in particular called Partners in Development. The program is great and really allows volunteers the opportunity to do the boots on the ground work that can only be done by those willing and able. Half of the time spent in Haiti through the program is spent building homes and the other half, working with children. My decision to sign up for this volunteer experience with Partners in Development is what will begin the changing of my relationship with Haiti.

I have had dreams of one day opening up a school or perhaps a children’s park in Haiti and naming them after my sister but what I’ve come to realize is all that is just talk until real work is put in. I must give Haiti as much time and energy as possible to see those dreams come true. And after all that Haiti has given me, I believe it is only right I get to work as soon as possible.

So it is on that note that I start this GoFundMe campaign to fund this volunteer trip (all information below, and on my Facebook page). Now my problem with GoFundMe campaigns is for the most part they are people asking others for money and giving back almost nothing in return. Weeks before my trip, while in Haiti, and the following days after I get back I hope to write out posts and poems on my feelings about the trip and on Haiti in general. I will put the writings together into a work (along with pictures taken while in Haiti) and release them together in a book available only to those who donate $25 or more to the GoFundMe campaign. I will not share these posts or pictures on social media or on my site. The only way to receive them will be in the form of the book. I will have the books hopefully delivered by the end of this year and plan to write a personal message in each book for the recipient.

I appreciate any donation made to the campaign.

Thank you,

Baudelaire Ceus


The Warriors

I find social media to be, at times, more about being succinct and clever then actually doing anything. These tweets and posts spread awareness which is amazing but now that you are aware, you must do. Not just for yourself, but for your fellow citizens and the country as a whole. I’m not going to completely throw away the benefits of social media and its necessity in today’s social justice movements, but we can’t pat ourselves on the back too much for expressing ourselves to people who (for the most part) agree, or think similarly to us anyway. Especially when there is so much work to be done.

Now excuse me if you find my analogy a bit vulgar, but I find social media activism the equivalent to masturbation. You get the same sensation as if you actually had sex but in fact what you did was only self-satisfying and you didn’t really do anything at all. That is no different than when you close your app after posting your (or reposting another’s) opinion on the latest act of injustice that has gone viral. Now I may be a cynic for this opinion, but I feel those in positions of power do not truly fear these acts “going viral” because they are well aware, that only a fraction of those who are now aware, are going to actually do anything. In other words, Donald Trump does not care in the least bit about your “Fuck Trump” posts. I’ve protested outside of Trump tower and screamed shame at the Trump children as they walked out of the building with thousands of people chanting with me and what really stuck with me from that day was their faces as they ignored us and went about their business being escorted to their car and driving off. Now if they could even put on an act, that well, of being unfazed by the thousands screaming behind security blockades, then they certainly do not care about your posts about what a joke their father is.

Now last year, while I was dealing with bouts of depression, I deactivated all of my social media accounts. I found that the scrolling or posting didn’t actually make me feel better even with the socially responsible way (for the most part) I was using the apps. I felt like there was still something missing. Like there was something I was doing wrong, or missing out on. I was expressing myself and speaking out on social injustice and calling out some of my peers for being ignorant when it comes to causes that I felt where far too important for them to ignore. All of that was great, and I hope I, and others, continue to still do that and join uncomfortable conversations while there is an opportunity for them to be had but what I soon found was that it seemed the internet became the only place where those conversations were being had. Thus leaving the effect un-measurable as most people left the argument on the timeline and put their headphones on as they moved through life. Among other things (by no means am I placing my depression solely on this) this really started to bother me and the only thing I felt I could do is leave social media altogether and really figure out how I wanted to impact society.

It was, almost a social tax, I feel I owed.

You can have a million arguments over the internet (99% of which end with both sides only standing more firm in their position) and avoid the fact that there are real lives out there you can affect if you really want to. And that leads me to what I’m most proud of from this past year, my mentorship of this 10 year old boy, Elijah. I’ve written countless blog posts about politics, black improvement, and have had a hundred social media arguments with people and trust me when I say none of that even compares to when Elijah told me last month that he hasn’t been getting in trouble in school as much. Now I wasn’t scared to get in trouble I school and I’ve made it my job to mention, every time  I hang out with Elijah, that that was really only to my detriment and getting that clever remark in to the teacher really wasn’t ever worth it. So three months into my mentorship of him, him going out of his way to let me know he’s really trying really made me proud. And I’m not presenting Elijah as the reason I can now be critical of my peers because I know I am still capable of much more and that’s one of the things I am focused on for this year. I am moving in that direction and I believe, if we all worked towards real impact, and had more patience than this quick reaction social media frenzy world we live in sometimes allows, then we would see the effects.

Now I write this today challenging you, the reader, who probably more or less agrees with my way of thinking at least enough to care about my opinion, to go out and be hands on about something. Mentor, volunteer, or anything that feels genuine to who you are as a person. We all don’t have to be Martin Luther King Jr., or Malcolm X, but if we all just contributed something tangible, I feel we would be doing ourselves, the children of today, and future generations, an enormous favor. Now I’m only speaking for myself when I say this, but I came to find the social media activist thing was just not enough.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day


The King's Dream

The King’s Dream lives on, even though he has been killed

The King never got to see his dream come to fruition

But neither have we,

The King's Dream, has yet to be fulfilled.

Kings Dream.jpg

Renée Simone

Sometimes while we’re on the train she catches me staring at her and I’m sure she believes it’s, at least for the most part, due to her immeasurable beauty. I’m actually staring because I’m trying to figure out how a woman who wears so many hats can make it all seem so effortless. Now perhaps it isn’t effortless, and this is just a mask but I will see to it that she means it when she responds that “everything is fine”. I cannot ensure that everything will always, in fact, be fine but, I can ensure that my effort will always match her’s in making it that way.

Now when she catches me staring, she should know that I am not staring but marveling at her. Astounded that a woman so phenomenal can come into my life and make me realize that my greatest fear is something I should have never feared at all. The Queen I always dreamed of is the toughest person to write about. And thats only because, I feel nothing I could write would get across exactly how astonishing she really is.


The Second Excerpt

(To be read only after reading the first Excerpt)

There is something about that bittersweet feeling of realizing you no longer care for someone as you once did. The beauty of it being in the fact that you can focus on seemingly more important things while the negative being the thought was once comforting, and with its absence comes a void. It's not a complete detachment but its just enough for the idea of being in the company of that person to not be a prevalent thought as you try to go about your day. 


Man, isnt life something? 

Why Do I Write?

Why do I write?

I guess I write to escape real life

Or make real life just right

You see,


When I write

My brother doesn't have to be an alcoholic

And my friends could play swimmings pools without me needing to pause it

In real life I used to sneak into his room as a kid, steal his rhyme-books and start reading

My big brother used to write too, before he found a new way to face his demons


I could write about how I found this perfect girl

The most beautiful girl you'll ever see

But I wouldn't even feel the need to write about her looks

You'll know her when you see her

You see she has the grace of Michelle Obama, the nerve of Rosa Parks, writes like Maya Angelou, with a Mother Theresa heart

But this woman doesn't actually exist

Or maybe I just haven't crossed her path yet


Its funny because some women like that I write

I'm not sure they know that inspiration can come to me at any time of day or night

So we could be on a date and I can suddenly realize the edits necessary to make my newest poem just right

And that then will have my full attention


So it's not all glamorous!


See for every poem about women and all their wonder and what love can do to ones head

I have 10 that are just me being self reflective

You would consider it me tearing myself to shreds


As a writer I have the license to pen my own narrative

And make up stories like if all the Africans in America truly understood their heritage

What a world!


You see, it exists right here!


I might write about real life every now and then

Because nobody knows me better than my notebook and pen

This how I choose to face my own demons

Or grow to love my mishaps

Because at the end of the day

It all makes for a great story

And life is really just that


I think art in most cases is the beautiful by-product of a fucked up situation

And I write because this is MY ART

And I have all these worries and stories with no where to place them


Why do I write? [laughs]


Feel free to ask the question

I wouldn't want to leave you guessing

But excuse me if I look at you after

Like that was a stupid question


The Anxiety Machine


noun, plural anxieties.

1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune:

He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.

2. earnest but tense desire; eagerness:

He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.

3. Psychiatry. a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.

I was watching this Wale interview where Nadeska Alexis (the interviewer) mentioned a Fairly Oddparents episode where because of something embarrassing that happened at school, Timmy wishes that he would have absolutely no feelings. The next day Timmy walks through life with zero emotions and instantaneously becomes the most popular person in school and town because people are amazed at his lack of empathy.

Now, I tell that quick story for a reason. That don't care=cool mentality follows our generation to present day where we all care and, can made to feel anxious in any given situation but for some reason, make it seem like we actually don't care about anything, and coast by life that way while in all actuality, we constantly worry about the issues that really plague our life but we refuse to share any of it in fear of seeming weak or just not cool.

Take the anxiety of being on a packed train without headphones or a book and having to look around and make uncomfortable eye contact with a bunch of people for example. Or when you post a picture with a new hairstyle and nobody mentions the hairstyle so you think to yourself “Does this mean it's trash?” Or replaying scenarios in your mind and wondering if you did one thing differently how would your life have played out and the probability of that decision putting you in a better place today. Or even the more broad anxieties of not being satisfied with your job, relationship, friendships and/or family life and not knowing how to change it so you allow those thoughts to eat at you. 

Or how about hating your job so much that you grow less and less able to smile through the “Good Mornings” when you first walk in so you just turn your attention to social media and follow people doing what you want to do. Seeing them enjoy their position doesn't necessarily elicit jealousy but rather anger that you're not there yet. What social media won't show you is that they aren't really enjoying the position as much as snapchat’s allowing them to show, and deep down they wish they were doing something completely different. 

We all lose at some point. There is always a point where the bullshit seems like it isn't worth it. Now if we all go through these emotions but then get on social media and see a best-of reel of our friends lives then that would only reinforce those ideas that we are in some way failing. People only post their “wins”, which I’m not here to say is wrong but our interpretation of it is. This creates a false sense of pressure to match or live up to the lives of people we almost know must be going through the everyday struggles of life like we are. Social media somehow convinces us this can't be true. Pre-social media, when your only interactions with people were real life interaction. An analogy I just thought of is if every artist made an album, then only compared that album to other artists’ greatest hits albums, the morale of the artist would suffer. When piling on the insecurities about our own appearances and lives that we have normally as humans, we end up as anxiety riddled people that feel that we’re living this monotonous life of struggle.

You gotta think of social media like this assembly line where we start off on the line with  pure intentions on what we want to do with what social media offers us (reconnect with old friends, share news, express ourselves), but then we come out on the other side with these strange and almost wicked desires. It becomes more of a mechanism to express our individual vanity.

But it's not all social media’s fault. And perhaps social media isn't the only part of this machine that is faulty (or perhaps working just as planned, depends on how you see it). In a capitalistic society that demands more and more of its citizens and tells us that we should desire a new iPhone, car, etc. every single year because if something’s a year old then it must be obsolete. The average person is just a hamster on the hamster wheel in this system. The plan is to keep people unsatisfied with their lives so they keep wanting more and have to spend more, but to spend more than they have to work more. You see? There's only so much one person can stand to work or so much one can desire before they decide everything they do have, is worthless (no matter how untrue that statement may actually be).

The night before Thanksgiving, one of my friends told me about how she agrees completely with what me and my brother say on social media when we speak on social issues but she feels that she can't speak up like we do so instead she says nothing. She apologized (for some reason) for it and I really appreciated her letting me know how she felt (after all that is more meaningful than a “like”) but it got me thinking. In the current political and social climate people should feel comfortable expressing themselves and their feelings in whatever way they know how especially when it's with words. Just because you can’t put something as plainly or as eloquently as someone on your timeline doesn't invalidate your feelings on the situation. Your perspective matters and when those who feel too afraid to speak up, do, then we can have real dialogue on how to progress as a people. You see what social media did there?

You see because we don't look within and decide if we're satisfied with life. We often look to the external world for this satisfaction (which is why it’ll never happen). Our generation has added social media to this list of places we go to to compare our lives to others and see if we match up well or if we're not doing so well etc. This makes it so that it’s not just celebrities we envy like other generations; it includes our peers as we grow more disconnected from them in terms of true interaction and only see this shiny version of themselves that they post on social media. Our happiness is far too comparative and having social media at our fingertips may be too much for us to handle some days.

The anxiety machine that is life is only amplified by social media and creates distorted ideas of what we think life should be. No to say social media doesn't have its benefits but the benefits offered are rarely the true reasons we obsess over it. Perhaps social media should be seen as just entertainment where we can dive in fully and enjoy it for small spurts but always come back to reality with the no connection to the world through the lens of social media. The problem today is, we never really disconnect from social media. Its easy accessibility has caused us to become far too attached to that world to the point where we're doing things in reality based on how they're going to look in the alternate reality that is social media. Now, our generation has already seen the effects of social media being introduced at a highschool or later age range. Now imagine what these kids behind us, that are aware of social media’s existence their whole lives, are going to be like. We may one day see a world where nobody faces their anxieties head on, rather we turn to the world we can more carefully curate. Where we can convince ourselves the false reality is our true reality. In my opinion, this is a world that’ll be more anxiety-ridden and “awkward” than we can even imagine. Now, my question to you is; Does social media really make you happy?


The first thing one must understand, when trying to really understand Tupac Amaru Shakur is that he died at only 25 years of age.

Twenty-Five years old.

Had Malcolm X died at 25 his story would have ended as a prisoner, Malcolm Little, who died while beginning to study Islam. Had Martin Luther King died at 25 his story would have ended as a newlywed ordained minister that had yet to lead a single protest or boycott. Had Thomas Jefferson died at 25, his story would have ended as a recent college graduate who loved books and had yet to even leave his home state of Virginia.

So before you judge this man fully, understand how short his life was and all he was able to accomplish in that short life. He accomplished more and touched more hearts in his 25 years than most men do in a lifetime. However, his youth did show in some of his actions.

Tupac Amaru Shakur was a man guided by passion. The passion of the have-not fighting for every single breadcrumb is the passion with which Tupac Shakur faced every obstacle. Whether it be the Vice-President of the United States calling him an irresponsible thug or in his response to what he felt was a betrayal by a man he had considered a close friend. Tupac’s passion was the driving force to that 25-year-old man being able to accomplish all that he did in his life. It is only while truly believing in that which you are doing, that you can approach obstacles with the energy Tupac did. Like a car going 150mph, passion like Tupac's could get you closer to your destination if you're going the right way but further than you ever imagined if the car is going in the wrong direction. 

Tupac always remained true to self. That was, what he believed to be, our only responsibility in life. To be ourselves at all times and remained connected to our innermost self so as to not ever make a decision that we will later regret or be ashamed of. For as long as one is true to oneself, then what is the need for apology? Perhaps one can be misguided by the wrong information, which happens. But, the case can then be made to the accuser that if given the same misinformation, they would have done the same.

His logic was that he would follow the same method that lead to the end of the Vietnam War. The media showed the most graphic and violent images of the soldiers fighting in Vietnam and that led to the American public demanding that the war come to an end. This logic went wrong when Tupac decided he will give middle America a glimpse into what was happening in THEIR OWN country on a daily basis and rather than demand that the suffering of the people Tupac spoke of end, they instead demanded he shut up. Implying either that he was lying about what he was telling them or those people put themselves there. Both of which we know aren't true.

For those that criticize Tupac, and call him a hypocrite, I ask you to point to a 20-25 year celebrity that has come from nothing who has not been trapped by the evils of fame. Yes, Tupac at times was a victim of his own success and at some points the message could be seen as a bit cloudy. But, there was always a method to the madness. Tupac understood fully that he was not speaking to a well informed, and educated populace. He knew he was speaking to societies forgotten babies that were now considered thugs and criminals. He knew how to bring them closer to him so they could hear songs like "Words of Wisdom", "Brenda's Got A Baby", or "Keep Ya Head Up". I would argue that most rappers, especially in the early nineties that had those kinds of messages in their music never reached those "thugs". So in Tupac, the thug was cured by Tupac's ingenious way of hiding medicine in the candy. Lyrics like those below really connect to that young man who feels like his life is hopeless and nobody understands. It is through this connection formed that Tupac can show that young man more about life and how to maneuver through it.

for multiple years, witness peers catch gunshots
Nobody cares, seen the politicians ban us
They'd rather see us locked in chains, please explain
why they can't stand us, is there a way for me to change?
Or am I just a victim of things I did to maintain?

For those that say Tupac was a fraud (I won't spend much time here because this perspective is small-minded). I say that the fact he didn't have a criminal record until he was already famous is something we should applaud. To think that a man must be imprisoned, to be validated by the community he grew up in, is immature to say the least. A friend of mine once said that the character we all know as Tupac was created in that Baltimore performance arts school as a sort of an act. To that I say that all of a man's experiences are ingredients that make up that which he will become. To discredit Tupac because he attended a performance art school and did not have a record is like I stated earlier, small-minded. A man who was blessed to live in a one-parent household in Baltimore, MD but still get the chance to attend a Baltimore School of the arts, Tupac spoke on the moment where he told his homeboys that Shakespeare was dope and they had no idea what he was talking about. He wanted to bring that level of education to the people that came from where he came from.  

Perhaps the argument can be made that all rappers who come from nothing supply that same inspiration that Tupac did. I say to that argument that no artist of any kind, before or after Tupac, had roots so deep in the struggle for social justice. From his mother Afeni Shakur’s high role within the Black Panther party his God Father, Geronimo Pratt, and his later formed relationship with Maya Angelou and his idol-ship of freedom fighters such as Fred Hampton and Assata Shakur, Tupac knew the history of poverty in the United States and its connection to racism. He informed his listeners of this connection in songs like “Words of Wisdom”. Most rappers speak of life in the impoverished neighborhoods of America and how miserable it could be. Tupac spoke on not only what it’s like, but spoke on how it got here and had more information on how to change it than any artist that came before or would come after him. This is why Tupac’s inspiration is like no other. He was a magnificent talent in various creative fields but it was his heart of a freedom fighter that separated him from the rest. 

If a man comes from nothing, and manages to make something of hisself and even provide for himself and his close circle, but is still met with resistance from middle America, what does that say? It is a way of saying that he and those around him belonged in the impoverished neighborhood with holes in the ceiling and roaches in the kitchen. Tupac was the messenger that reached the masses that reminded us all that not everything is ok. There are ills of society that must be dealt with, or else. Tupac reminded us of those ills and demanded that they be dealt with somehow. I am not arguing that Tupac Amaru Shakur was perfect, because even he acknowledged his many flaws. But like many 20-25 year olds, Tupac knew what he wanted out of his life, wasn't shy about expressing it, and was still in the process of figuring how exactly he could save his people from the shackles of injustice when he was shot on September 7th 1996. For six days, the world, and specifically ghettos all over the world, stood still until on September 13th, Tupac was taken off life support and passed away. Tupac Amaru Shakur reflected America’s innermost fears that some day it’s crimes against humanity would manifest themselves and look the country right back in the eye. The problems Tupac spoke of are just as relevant today as they were twenty years ago and are indicative of a society that has always refused to listen to its own children. Even in the passing of one of its most vocal, his message will forever live on through children of his philosophies.

“No matter what you think about me, I’m still your child. You can’t just turn me off”



It is because of the example set by Tupac that I can write a post like "The Excerpt" or "Sister". It is with the understanding that I am being true to myself that I am fearless in regards to what can be, or will be said about what it is I write. It is with that fearlessness that I pursue all of my goals in life knowing that my heart is, and always will remain in the right place.

Rest in Peace to the Great Tupac Amaru Shakur.



The Excerpt

She was the level of beautiful that made you wonder why she would ever second guess the notion herself. Her features and dress just seemed to supplement what was already there. But, gorgeous was the first word that came to mind whenever she was in sight and the sight was truly breathtaking. The average bystander wouldn't even understand that he/she was only getting a glimpse of her beauty, and even then he/she only caught the surface level. Everyone deserves to spend time with someone as beautiful as her. There’s a sort of ease that comes along with her presence that I’m not even really sure she fully understands. But her beauty came just as much from her mind as it did from her smile.


Man… She was something special.

To Whom It May Concern,

To Whom It May Concern,

Hope all is well. I’m sure you’ve seen the news lately. It turns out there is bit of trouble within the black community pertaining to our relationship with police officers and their tendency to not be held accountable when they break the laws they swore to protect. As your fellow citizens, the black community has contributed a lot to American society whether it be in the form of inventions you use in our everyday life to genres of music (there was also that period of about 300 years where we were a huge help), and over the last half century or so we have even been able to become friends. Well friend, it turns out this police issue is really getting out of hand (and by out of hand I mean were at the point where we consider it a win just to see an officer who killed a black man even get indicted). See now I know you may think that this problem has nothing to do with you but I am here to convince you otherwise.

This is not a black issue. This is a human rights issue. Fred Hampton once said we cannot fight fire with fire, we believe in fighting fire with water. We can not fight racism with racism, we must fight racism with solidarity.” Now is the time to stand in solidarity with your black brothers and sisters and let it be known that you are not on the sideline watching people that look like them be oppressed simply for the fact that they look like them. Black skin is what connects me to Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, and Alton Sterling and it just so happens that seeing that black skin is all their shooters needed for proof that their target deserved to die. So because of my black skin it could be me next, or perhaps my brother, or your best friend, or your neighbor. Before that injustice occurs, let your voice be heard. Stand with your black brothers and sisters and let them know that you understand that there is a system at work here that oppresses them and you will not stand for it.

This is not a time for division. This is, in fact, a perfect opportunity for unity. I spoke to a woman today that said, “Just because I don’t post on social media doesn’t mean that I don’t care”. Very true. However, it does help the psyche of the black man or woman to be on social media (a place we all spend too much time nowadays) and see that our fellow citizens stand with us. I’m sure the LGBTQ community appreciated our changed profile pictures and posts when their community faced a horrible tragedy weeks ago. In a world where we rarely have open and honest discussions about our social climate random acts of hate toward members of your community can make you think “Wait, do more people think like this? Do people think this is ok?” Now I’m sure, especially if you are a white Christian male then you have no idea what I’m talking about, as people that look like you or think like you do are rarely the targets of random acts of hatred. But from those of us that are apart of these communities (especially black) these acts, especially as frequent and spread throughout this country as these killings at the hands of police has been, things can get pretty scary as you truly do not know when or if you will be next or if you’re neighbor will even care. It’s quite the stressful life to live. The famous quote from Desmond Tutu goes “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.


                        A Black Man Who May Be Next



I leave you with a poem by one of my late heroes, the Late Great Dr. Maya Angelou

I don’t ask the Foreign Legion
Or anyone to win my freedom
Or to fight my battle better than I can,

Though there’s one thing that I cry for

I believe enough to die for
That is every man’s responsibility to man. 

I’m afraid they’ll have to prove first
That they’ll watch the Black man move first
Then follow him with faith to kingdom come.
This rocky road is not paved for us,
So, I’ll believe in Liberals’ aid for us
When I see a white man load a Black man’s gun.

                                                            -Dr. Maya Angelou



America's Step-Child (Brenda's Baby)

America’s Step-child (Brenda’s Baby)

Brenda had a baby

But Brenda barely had a brain

It’s a damn shame

Pac’s the reason I know my Momma’s name


Now you could say it’s not your problem

It was the hand I was given

Life isn’t fair

I was found in a trash heap

And if it was up to my step-father I would have stayed there


Born on the bathroom floor

My momma didn’t know what to keep

And in the midst of her hysteria

She threw away me


My grandfather was a junkie, grandmother wasn’t there

My mother would end up as a prostitute slain

But my step-father didn’t give a fuck about my mothers situation

And he put her there


Nowadays, with no authority guiding me other than that of my step-father

I do whatever it takes to resist the temptation

To sell crack to my own people

And avoid the jail cell one third of us are destined to be placed in


I’m not sure how much it helps

But some nights I pray as I fall onto my knees

Because in my country I’m treated like an unwanted step child

And my step daddy would rather see me like strange fruit hangin

From the Poplar Trees


I’ve been living with my step fathers boot on my neck

As if life wasn’t hard enough in my community

Someone how I made it to and finished college

And conservatives have the nerve to say the treatment is the same

between them and me


Maybe I can Garner support like Eric did

But hopefully it reaches me before I die

Suffocated by a system that’s mad I ever got the chance to be alive

I just want to be Granted the freedoms that Oscar was denied


But we carry on day by day striving for greatness

Regardless of what they think

Because no matter what levels of success this young king reaches

They will never cut the nose off this sphinx


Brenda’s baby is every “urban” black boy you dehumanize

Cops drive by and stare him down

As he stares back with his Momma’s eyes


So long live the rose that grew from concrete

When nobody even cared

But just in case you were wondering

Brenda’s baby is still here


For years now my brother Evandro has been trying to get me to listen to Bob Marley. He is a HUGE fan (similar to, and maybe even greater, than my fan hood for 2Pac) and has been telling me how much I would enjoy his music if I just gave it a chance. Now I’m not really sure why I never gave Bob Marley’s music a chance but for some reason I just never did. Maybe I felt I wouldn’t be able to relate or maybe I was just dumb, I don’t really know. Anyway I was listening to a J. Cole interview on NPR where he spoke on how a song can reach someone at the perfect time in their life right when they needed it most. You can hear a song and really enjoy it and probably not even fully understand it but you give it time and eventually that song, and its message might click. In the interview he actually said he goes back and every year he learns more and more from the music of Pac & Bob Marley. He spoke on how the lines “Don’t worry. About a thing. Because every little thing…” and how to a kid that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a really catchy song that sounds really good. But to a grown man, whos been stressed about alot of things that don’t really matter, that song means the world. It’s Bob saying don’t worry about all that its going to be good. That simple potent wise phrase will forever stand the test of time.


Which leads me to my whole point in writing this post. There is a level that certain songs can reach that is beyond catchy and meaningful, it’s a combination of the two. A song like “3 Little Birds” and (One of my personal favorites) “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke have become mantras.


As someone who’s been meditating for 2 years now I understand the importance of mantras and the effect they can have on the human mind and body. Just those lines “Don’t worry, about a thing, because every little thing…..” can completely change your mood if you say them to yourself repetitively. “A Change is Gonna Come” has been a personal favorite of mine due to all of the changes going on in my life but a song like “3 Little Birds” can help navigate through those changes. The messages are universal, clear, and necessary. And that should be the ultimate goal of artists, to create something that people can take with them throughout their day and have it impact their day in a positive manner. Greater than just your favorite song, these songs have a certain charm that remains with you even when the song is over.



Below are youtube links for both songs. Enjoy

Politics as Usual


The two most powerful tools in politics are money & fear.

Money is brought in by the huge corporations and funneled to all of our representatives in Washington via lobbyist and a broken campaign finance system that allows the wealthy to give these ridiculously large campaign donations and if/when said politician becomes elected they are almost completely controlled by the man or company that funded them. So now think. How is that people we elect to represent us in government are selling their influence to these corporations as if they were selling shares of stock? It is because we live in a time where a Supreme Court ruling titled Citizens United (ironic) has allowed for an unregulated flow of money into politics. Thus causing politicians to care just enough about the average Americans problems to be able to campaign all across the nation “relating” to people’s struggles and begging for their vote just to not do anything about them once elected. Nothing is done because these politicians say that their debt is to the people during their campaigning, only to forget those promises and repay their actual debt to the corporate backers once in office. This isn’t just a republican or democrat thing. Politicians from every state have accepted money from big business and have worked in Washington to appease these backers and keep the cash flow coming. So the real problem here isn’t the politicians themselves, its that we live in a time where our democracy is for sale.

Fear has always been a tactic used to control people. Hitler used fear to control the German people and get them to allow him to round up the Jewish citizens and treat them however he wanted once they arrived at concentration camps. Fear was the main tool used by the then head of the FBI,J. Edgar Hoover as he pushed for the militarization of the police as the answer to the “black uprising” in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Fear has always found its way into politics and today is used by politicians in how they will combat immigration. Fear that “too many” Mexicans will cross the border or “too many” Syrian immigrants will enter our country and ruin it from the inside is the tool some politicians are using to push for an immigration reform plan that will stunt the growth of a country that was created by immigrants. Even the idea that we entertain a candidate that called an entire country of people rapists, killers, and criminals proves that we are not as civilized a civilization as we may have previously thought.

Despite these two powerful tools we now have a candidate that refuses both in favor of the truth. Bernie is neither been bought nor has he ever turned to fear to garner support from the people. Bernie isn’t the only candidate promising to repeal Citizens United but he is the only one not benefiting from it (think about it). Bernie has not “dabbed” on national television to gain the black vote or ever called young black men “super predators” only to 20 years later call out to those same people claiming to understand that their lives matter. For those of you that have lost faith in politics I say I too believe very little in 99% of candidates. This one, however, has gotten through to me because of his unwavering support of the black community dating back to the March on Washington, his constant criticisms of the lack on income equality in the United States today and his support for debt-free college education (I once wrote a post about how ridiculous the current system is). So if you are one of those people that have given up hope then I say there is finally an answer with Bernie Sanders. But if you would prefer politics as usual then by all means vote for another candidate.



Enough with this “anyone but Trump” talk. If you think that way then the person that does enter the White House only has to be a little bit better than Trump for you to be satisfied. We should never allow a man like Trump to be the standard set for our next President. Educate yourself on all the candidates and choose one that best fits YOUR beliefs. 

Royalty Theory

We do not love ourselves

We love things

Some women respect loyalty  

Some women respect rings

But if we do not treat our women like royalty, 

What right do we have to call ourselves Kings? 



I am sure we all know that pro black does not mean anti-white and that pride in the history and culture established by one’s ancestors does not condemn that which was created by others. Above all else, I am pro-people and anti system and I understand that I say all of this while living in a system that taught us to see things as black and white (no pun intended). Rather, my frustration from seeing a young black boy get being shot execution style because he was playing with a toy gun comes from the fact I was once a young black boy who liked to do the same. I was no more threatening than Tamir Rice and had as much ill intent as Emmitt Till. The frustration comes from seeing black men being shot down in the streets and knowing that man could just have easily been my brother Eddie or when a black boy is shot because the cop “mistook” his toy for a gun or his immaturity for aggressiveness I know that little boy could have easily been my nephew Nehemiah. Now if either of those two were to pass in so unjust a way, I would be outraged and want other people to see where I’m coming from and be outraged as well. So when the black man is not my brother, or the black boy is not my nephew, it would be wrong of me to turn a blind eye and act as if everything is still ok. Because the one in front of the trigger could have easily been one of us.



Recent comments from Stacey Dash and an old Morgan Freeman interview condemning the idea of black history month have been all I see on social media this morning and it has me thinking, why is the fight against black history month? Why is a month that celebrates the great achievements and contributions to society by people of color being seen as useless and even inappropriate? It seems as if the argument made against black history month starts with the idea that black history is American history. Now as someone who took 12 years of history in public schools I may have not gotten that memo. It seems as if I was only taught about Maya Angelou and the Harlem Renaissance in February and the Martin Luther King posters always seemed to come down on March 1st.

Maybe if I learned about Kingdoms like the Axum Empire that existed shortly after the Roman one when the “world” fell into a time we were taught to call The Dark Ages because of the cultural and economic deterioration that went on in Europe. In Africa, times were not so dark and empires such as the Axum flourished. But you would never know that. The school system doesn’t care about that.

But people still ask why is there a black history month?

Why is there a black history month? Because without it you wouldn’t know there was this much black history and there is even more than we celebrate during this month. Think to yourself. Where/When did you learn about the black history (excluding slavery) that you do know? I imagine if it was in school, then it was in the month of February. If it was not in school during this month, then you probably learned it elsewhere.

America is seen as this great melting pot where people from civilizations all over the world come together and bring the best of what we have to make this great society. It seems as if this melting pot, speaking from the perspective of the school system, does not have its fair share of ingredients from all members. Next time someone tells you that black history is American history, tell him or her that that is indeed true. But what we were taught in school is European history and then American history from a European perspective.

If we did not have a month to highlight the greatness of the black contribution to culture, then the fear is it would be erased and/or forgotten just as culture/names/religion were stripped during slavery. To think that today, without black history month, that the black contribution to culture would be appreciated, as it should is a very naïve mindset to have.

The fight and the comments condemning the idea of black history month should instead be redirected and aimed at the school system that made black history month necessary. I believe whole-heatedly that black history is American history. However, the way it is taught to us must change before we decide the month is no longer necessary.


The Lunchroom

Do you remember the lunchroom? Where you had the division of all different cliques (the cool kids in one area, the nerds, the athletes, the kids who weren’t athletes but talked about sports as if they were, the artistic kids ect.) each sitting in their own area. You remember that feeling of going through a school day in your freshest outfit and you couldn’t wait until lunch where it seems like EVERYBODY saw how fresh you were? You needed their validation to know your outfit was indeed fresh and if it wasn't their lack of approval made you think you would NEVER wear that outfit again. You remember seeing arguments/fights go down in the cafeteria and everybody getting up to watch what was going on even though it was none of their business? Or better yet, the argument/fight could have been handled out of the view of the entire school and probably be resolved much faster that way? At lunch you couldn’t wait to talk to everybody about what was going on in life and even after a cool vacation you went on, you would get to that first lunch period on that Monday and tell anybody who would listen about how dope your vacation was? (usually the reality of the trip wasn’t nearly as dope as the story but that didn’t matter). You remember not seeing your crush sit with the person you thought was their significant other (Nothing was really significant about High School relationships In my opinion but what would I know I didn’t have one) and thinking “Damn I thought so and so was with so and so. Guess not.” And began to plot how this crush, in time could become something more?

Well it seems like today we as adults (and I can only imagine the kids), bring all that energy we brought to the lunchroom to social media. But with our newfound freedoms and money everything is done 10x greater. The stunting, the fronts, the “arguments”, its all done on social media just as it was done in the cafeteria way back in high school. Now, there’s a good side and bad to this. The good being that we all miss those simple feelings we took for granted back in high school. We deep down enjoy eyes being on us especially when we feel we are in the right or at our freshest. The downside here is that perhaps we’re a bit too old for this and maybe those moments of immaturity should have remained in the cafe.


The Day My Son Dies


The day my son dies will be the day I reach the lowest pit of despair known to human kind

The day my son dies, I will surely cry a thousand tears

The day my son dies, I will begin to think of all he could’ve been and what he may have brought to this world.

The day my son dies, I will begin to hear and see “Black Lives Matter” everywhere, even though it didn’t seem to matter much on this day

The day my son dies I will regret not telling him that the skin tone he was born with should not be a curse, damning him to unwarranted fear from others

The day my son dies I will console his mother as I feel that I have failed both him and her

The day my son dies I will think back to the day I told him that what’s cool does not matter, only what is right

The day my son dies I will be ignoring calls from my loved ones telling me that “God has a plan” and “Everything happens for a reason”

The day my son dies I will be filled with rage that I cannot express, in fear of sharing the same fate as my lost child

The day my son dies I will regret not telling him about how his ancestors were kings and queens, not the target practice of each other and those sworn to protect them

The day my son dies I will surely be on the news telling the people of my city to calm down and not riot, if they even chose to do so

The day my son dies I will be able to relate to the pain of Michael Brown Sr. and Tracy Martin

The day my son dies, I will be ashamed of myself, as his father was more about talk than about action

By that time I will be a shell of my former self, a man no longer willing to fight against an unjust system

I will hate myself because I was too caught up in “life” to do anything about the senseless killings of black youth

Nothing will matter when my son dies, just the fact that that which I love most in this world, is no longer apart of it

But why should I wait for this fate to meet my unborn son

Why not take action now, while his father is young

The Journey


I had a conversation with my older brother Eddie the other day. It was a fairly long conversation that lasted about a couple hours. The gist of the conversation was him telling me I need to appreciate the journey and not obsess over getting what I want to get done, done in the manner I had planned. He was telling me that the journey is actually better than the moment you achieve “success”.

The journey isn’t as enjoyable when you're going through it.

 I was thinking to myself, while hearing him say that, and you hear a lot of older people, whether they are “successful” or not, say things like “appreciate the journey”. I’ve heard that line a million times in my life. People telling me to appreciate the bad moments and the struggle because they really make you who you are. I get where that comes from because of course the bad times are more defining than the good. But at the time, you feel a way like “no fuck the bad times, I want the end goal here. I want the finish line, fuck this race”. And at times things are just too much where it’s to the point you think that no good can come from this situation. You start to think this is all just bullshit.

I don’t know I guess the story here is nowhere near finished so I don’t know how clear my perspective on my bad times is. As of late, I was going through a period where it just seemed all bad. It was once I got back from Europe and lasted up until pretty recently. I hated everyday waking up realizing I’m in the same place as last year and it was killing me. I don’t know if anyone fully understands how much I hated it. I have so many things I want to do in different fields. I’m not one of those people that subscribe to the train of thought that you must have only one dream. I have so many things I want to do in different fields. I have so many things to accomplish and I need those things accomplished to feel satisfied with my life.

The journey is supposed to be appreciated. But notice most of the people that say that already won. And yes, when I win I’m sure I’ll have a lot of insightful things to say to people coming up whether they’re going to succeed in what they want to do or fail. I’m sure I’ll have advice somewhat similar to what my brother said to me. I feel as if going through it the feeling is just “No fuck that, this is terrible.” Bad days are REALLY bad when you’re not satisfied with what you’re doing in life. And a lot of people will point out that you control what you do in life but I believe that there are significant parts of the journey (especially early on) where you have little control and can only do so much. For someone like me, with an obsessive personality, this is frustrating. I believe you can reach a point where you love what you’re doing everyday. But getting to that point takes a lot of work.

The journey continues. Hopefully I get enough from it to make my contribution to the world something special.


Just Don't Embarrass Yourself

We all have those certain things we’re just naturally good at. Whether it be speaking or playing a sport, we all have situations in which we are at our most comfortable and we feel like we have everything under control. Nothing can go wrong. Funny thing is, it is in these situations where everything does seem to go wrong. The worst-case scenario happens, and there we are, sitting there looking stupid, embarrassed.


Nobody enjoys being embarrassed and in the moment everything’s moving so fast as we try to figure out a way out of the feeling. Embarrassment is such a powerful feeling that we actually feel it on behalf of someone else when they’re in a compromising situation. It’s also a funny emotion because embarrassment evokes a light-hearted response from someone close to you but is perceived as a threat when the person is not so close.


That version of you that you fall into when you’re embarrassed is your most vulnerable state. You feel like the wall has been knocked down. And most people are very particular on who they allow embarrass them with no repercussion. When you’re “talking” to somebody (I hate wording it that way), it’s almost a game of chicken on who can avoid being the first to embarrass themselves. What’s interesting is, when that first person does embarrass themselves, both walls come down and everything is fine. The relationship can actually grow at an accelerated rate from there.


The greatest artists are constantly embarrassing themselves, or putting themselves in what would be embarrassing situations. It’s in the moment where you put yourself out there to potentially be embarrassed that you learn the most about yourself and others. No, I am not just talking about comfort zones. I’m saying there is good in even the downside to being embarrassed. The idea that it happens to everyone. From Michael Jordan to Beyonce, to your best friend and even the person you dislike the most. We all share the ability to feel this small (fingers pinched) at any given moment. Embarrassment is the moment we’re all brought back down to earth.