The Castration of the Black Man [a reblog]

Thanks for this excellent post, MINDSIGHTCOLLECTIVE. It perfectly illustrates the marathons men with Black skin and an African identity must run before they can walk or even stand. I realize the system is designed for us to always come in last place, but I hope you gain strength and some peace in clarity of how you came to be perceived as so much of what you’re not.

 

The Black male is only conscious of himself through the ideals of the dominant culture that does not see him or allow him to function as a man of equal status. Thus creating a conflicting identity of being a Black man in a White society. Black masculinity has been institutionalised and socialised by the White […]

via The Castration Of The Black Man — MINDSIGHTCOLLECTIVE

week 7|2017: give yourself a pound

Where credit is due we usually give it so why is it we rarely give ourselves the credit we deserve. Why do we rarely pat ourselves on the back acknowledging the hard work we’ve put in. We wait for others to tell us we’ve done well before we acknowledge our own efforts. Did our achievements […]

via 2AM Thought: Give credit where credit is due — Breathe Think Write Release

shady

dark skin, light skin

it don’t matter, we all kin

all-kin.jpg

“shady” ©2016 KbW

and if this simple sketch was a song:

week 6|2017

6 things mentally strong people do (spied on instagram):

  1. They move on. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
  2. They embrace change. They welcome challenges.
  3. They stay happy. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.
  4. They are kind, fair + unafraid to speak up.
  5. They are willing to take calculated risks.
  6. They celebrate other people’s success. They don’t resent that success.

I dig the list, but according to its author, I’m a bit weak. I have a slight qualm with #1 and #3; one definitely needs to take time to mourn. Don’t tell yourself that since it’s been x amount of days/weeks/years that you should be over something. There is a difference between dwelling and reflecting. Reflecting provides clarity and I attest that clarity reaps healing. And I “waste” plenty of energy thinking about things I can’t control, e.g. poverty, manufactured diseases, my nephew. The list goes on! I mean, define “waste”.. If one is truly aware of all the ugly in the world, there is no way you can stay happy. It’s all in how you handle things-what you do in your power to evoke change. (Maybe that’s what the author meant?)

Anyway, now I’m asking myself why I posted this list. Are you mentally strong? Working on it?

What else would you add to it?

For you Everyday is a fight for territory,

for space:

Space in a country that does not want you

Space in a world that cannot yet grasp the

magic of hair that says “fuck gravity”

Space in the hearts of lovers who do not

know how to love all of you

(Your mother made you ample)

Facing this world is already a daunting

task for you my dear

But look how your skin still glistens and

glows and steals all fire from the sun

And how your smile still steals all magic

from the moonlight

Look how your lips still cast love spells

and break hearts

You are still perfect

You are still glory

You are still uchawi (magic)

-written by @niketa.rae for Sandra Bland

Happy bornday, Sandra. May you rest in power.

Blogger Recognition

giphy-rking.gif

Hey hey! By now you know I’m just sliiiightly cool, so, of course, here I am accepting yet another blogger award from a new subscriber/blogger I just acquainted with, LADYHOOD! Thank you, sis! Please take a moment to check her out!

Instead of following the rules and nominating 15 bloggers, I ask my readers to comment with their answers to the questions in bold font below. I know we already feel like we know each other, but I’m nosey and wanna know more! And why not see how much we may have in common?

I encourage you to answer, but I understand if you’d rather keep your private life private and just judge other’s answers while snickering + sipping your tea. That’s what I’ll be doing! Just kidding!

I’ll go first 🙂

When did you start blogging? Can you believe I’m coming up on five years??! I can’t. Look out for the remodel this summer. Why? My lover at the time knew I needed a creative outlet. Plus he thought I always had a lot to say about clothing and style (mostly shit talk about the crappy looks that become super trendy), so he invested in a laptop for me and told me to get to work. It was one time in life when someone had more faith in me than I did myself that actually worked in my favor.

If it’s something other than your name, how’d you come up with your blog title? All of the other domains were taken or too expensive. I wanted to incorporate my favorite color, gray, but GraySuede was like my 8th choice.

Do your friends and family read your blog? Where’s the support? I have one good friend who subscribed but I dunno of any others. I told everyone about it when I started and got crickets. In “real” life, my support has come from newer friends. The rest are strangers turned cyber homies in the blogging community. Thanks, y’all 😉

Who or what inspires you to write? Everything. As an artist, I take inspiration from everything and everywhere. It may be a tragedy, a melody or a cloud formation.

Do you ever think about saying fck it and throwing in the blogger towel? No.

It doesn’t seem like one could ever run out of things to speak on, but we know how that goes. What do you do for inspiration during those creative lulls when nothing seems to come out right?? I ask for inspiration. I text my “friends” -the ones who don’t follow the blog!- and tell them to send me some good vibes and inspiration and voilà! And if there’s no voilà, I welcome the lull and just reblog some awesome posts.

What are some of your favorite topics to speak on? It used to be fashion but now it’s more of a Black-rooted move toward awareness and uplifting my people. I just like talking about cerebral things that interest me and/or make me smile, inspire and provoke thought.

Name your favorite blogger! I honestly take away something from every blogger and blog post I read. That’s the point, right? If you look at my subscriptions, you may sense a slight trend, but I follow a plethora of dynamic writers. Even if they don’t write any of it, these people are sharing the goods. Not everything is heavy or visceral or laced with SAT words. Not everything is lighthearted or sugarcoated or silly. I do like to learn new words and what other people think and stuff, but I also like a to laugh and look at fancy clothes and nod my head to new music sometimes. I hope my own blog reflects that notion. Wait WAIT… could.. could I be my own favorite blogger……??

What are you currently reading or what’s the last book you read? In it’s entirety, I last read The Unhappy Wife. If you have yet to read it, get your life together in 2017! I’m currently double-fisting Conduit, a book of short stories and poetry by my friend Jon Goode (review soon come!) and The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna. I’m not sure why it’s taking me so long to finish this novel because I actually really enjoy it!

_

And that’s all she wrote. I hope you feel like sharing! I look forward to reading your responses and getting to know you better.

 

 

 

week 5|2017

beingupile

can’t I just be a black woman that loves herself in peace? without having to explain why my skin (be it light honey or molasses) is a dream? why my hair (coarse or sleek) is a crown? can’t I just be a black woman that loves being a black woman without having to be  sorry, or humble, or polite about it? damn it! who else has to justify loving themselves like this? who else has to fight for the right to call themselves a blessing? goodness, can’t I just be a black woman that loves herself in peace? –Upile Chisala

photo cred: Travis Matthews | upilechisala.com