"lament over love" by langston hughes

I hope my child'll
Never love a man.
I say I hope my child'll
Nevr love a man.
Love can hurt youbrokenheart1.jpg
Mo'n anything else can.

I'm goin' down to the river
An' I ain't goin there to swim.
My true love's left me
And I'm goin' there to think about him.

Love is like whiskey,
Love is like red, red wine.
Love is like whiskey,
Like sweet red wine.
If you want to be happy
You got to love all the time.

I'm goin' up in a tower
Tall as a tree is tall,
Up in a tower
Tall as a tree is tall.
Gonna think about my man-
And let my fool-self fall.


Pretty Girl [Knock] it Off...

as spring break approaches, women are stepping their game up. 
we are plucking, tweezing, WEAVING, WAXING, dieting, s h o p p i n g, & prepping for sandy beaches and sunny skies. i've noticed, however, that somewhere along the fresh pressed hair and trying on bathing suits ... we tend to dress ourselves in a layer of arrogance as well.

[i was sitting on campus the other day and noticed a girl at the counter of our coffee shop. she was busy fixing her drink and her hair was freshly done, nails done too. a young man walked up to the girl and told her she was beautiful. She laughed, muttered, "thank you", rolled her eyes and turned her back to him. he walked away, essentially looking like someone stole his bike.]

i wonder... where is our sense of humanity? who are we (girls) to treat guys with so much disrespect? i always consider how hard it must be for men to approach us and ask us out. If i'm ever awkward, it's because I'm a little embarrassed from the attention (depending on the approach). women get so caught up on feeling themselves that they don't want to humble themselves. mind you, we paint our faces in tubs of make-up, wear push-up bras, weave, fake nails, eyelashes, and God knows what else. I'm not saying anything is wrong with that, but lets be honest. Why do we think we're so high and mighty when half of our "beauty" is accredited to the products we buy on our credit cards? 

A guy recently told me that he always sees me talking to "weird niggas". I laughed a little and said, "Maybe they're weird, but i like their conversation. They have strong intellect." First off, no salt nor shade thrown on the person who told me that- that is their opinion. Yet and still, i have come to find that i cannot have stimulating, three hour conversations with a man's Concords or Mercedes Benz. I love a man with impeccable style JUST AS MUCH as i love a man with a keen mind. If i walked around dismissing every guy deemed "weird", it would be a disservice to myself and my potential growth as a person. Who am i to decide if a guy is worthy of respect? worthy of being treated with decency? I just think that is something worth considering ... 



"Baby, take off your cool
I wanna see you, I wanna see you
Baby, don't be so cool
    I wanna see you, I wanna see you."


red pill or blue pill ..

this situation is bigger than chris brown and rihanna.
honestly, i cannot believe that my peers (grown adults) cannot understand how much work happens to create "image".

i have heard so many celebrities say, "i am an artist, not a role model." nevertheless, these same celebrities  spend more time and energy on their image and commercial appeal than their actual craft. musicians are not getting paid millions of dollars to "be themselves" ahahaha. are you serious! they are being paid to create a fantasy ... they are being paid to be the popular kids in a global highschool. they are being paid to make little boys and girls want to BE THEM. big execs, publicists, and record labels arent going to risk millions of dollars on celebrities "being themselves". wake up.

im sorry to burst your bubble, but someone in Robin's marketing camp sat her down after "the incident" and told her that her image was reaching a pivotal fork in the road. on the right side, she could be the advocate for domestic violence victims (which proved to cause a lot of backlash and negative reaction) OR she could go on the left side and be the angry, dangerous bad girl. if you believe that her abrupt transformation wasn't a marketing strategy, then you're in for a rude awakening.

YES. celebrities are models. they are selling you their fragrances. they are selling you their shoes. they are walking billboards for designers. it's hypocritical of "artists" to want teens and young adults to smell like them, drink like them, sing like them, & dress like them ... but not to behave like them. While i believe that Chris and Robin are well within their rights to see each other (although i think it's unhealthy), they need to be realistic about the message they're sending. They need to be realistic about their influence on millions of impressionable teenagers. They need to stop rationalizing their faults and take some accountability. 

if they're not, the least YOU can do is realize that the ideology of "celebrity" is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. 



until you understand the significance of the Dixie Song & the significance of the song Strange Fruit, it wont hurt like it should.


treat your ears like you love em.

HEY! everyone check out my sister Iman Europe on this compilation mixtape.
support. download. enjoy :)

From Me to You <3

celebrate love.

our ancestors were a modest, strong, courageous people.
they shifted the earth with their hands. they washed. they cleaned. they worshipped. they inspired.
we were a prideful people
my ancestors-
strong jaws, hands, and eyes. ebony skin, shining and elegant.
my ancestors-
swaying hips, full lips, and healthy thighs. dancing to the tune that heaven went.

if we knew anything like the back of our calloused hands, it was love.
we were brilliant at the art of love.
we raised our children, your children, and hers.
we seasoned our food with spices, stuffings and smiles.
we harvested hearts and planted embraces.
ironically, we brought light to the ugliness hidden in the dark shadows of humanity.
we gave organic love-
sticky, sweet, authentic love.
a love untainted by arrogance, vanity, and the oh-so-tempting harlot "caractère superficiel".

yes. if we knew how to do anything at all ... we knew how to love.

-- & if there is anyone who embodies black love appropriately, it is Toni Morrison & Zora Neale:

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” 
- Toni Morrison, Beloved

I did not just fall in love. I made a parachute jump.
Zora Neale Hurston

“Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it.” 
Toni Morrison, Jazz

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
Zora Neale Hurston

“Love is never any better than the lover. ” 
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.
Zora Neale Hurston

“Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.” 
Toni Morrison, Beloved


sending home another angel.

i cant tell if everyone around me is dying because i'm getting older or if this is some devastating epidemic. either way, i have to pay homage to Whitney Houston. She was angelic and talented, and human. Unfortunately, today's day in age has created a mass of critics and very few creators. It's a shame that we lack a sense of humanity. Whitney was an artist and extraordinary entertainer. Her struggle is over and i'm praying for her family ... especially Bobbi Kristina. 
Rest in Peace, Whitney Houston.


repost: If you forget me by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.


what do you know about black history?

repost: "to date a writer"

they say, "never date a writer".full of metaphors and comparisons, they can mentally sketch you into submission.
some writers will send you gift-wrapped poems that warm up the soul . microwave ready, but hardly oven-type steady.
others are filled to the top with empty rhetoric, spinning your heart and mind in a whirlwind of words that mean absolutely nothing. - just pretty language that knocks you over the head like a wooden club.
most writers are lazy, emailing an "i dedicate this to you" song ... where the 'one size fits all' lyrics will sneak their way into the cracks of their victim's heart.

the mystery in writing is the master of it all -
words can tie you down and tear at the mind, make you wonder, and perhaps put your hopes so high in the air that it'll BREAK into pieces when it falls.
writing is an art because it paints - paints & portrays feelings [sometimes false] and inserts ideas where they were never welcomed in the first place.
manipulative they are, writers.

using words to massage your ego, insecurity or doubt. they can express love in ways that bend the mind into amorous yoga - twisting and tapping the tender places in our soul.
words can liberate the masses, but chain one person in love. writers are said to use their words as windows to their mind; but i think they're more so like kaleidoscopes - thought portrayed through colors and shapes ... but R A R E L Y straightforward and seen in full view.

In the bible, the tongue/speech is likened to a sword. it truly is powerful. we, as writers get to choose how we use the power of words. 

i guess this is where he's been ...


love sonnet XVII by pablo neruda

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. 


twerk somethin' ... after you get tested.

February 7th Is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

It's crazy to me how we are so candid about sex these days. We say the most reckless things, but we have the nerve to be shy about HIV/AIDS. instead of asking a girl what her major is, ask her if she gets tested. instead of wondering about a guy's past girlfriends, ask him about his past history with unprotected sex. We are dying. & to be frank, one minute of awkward conversation could truly save your life. get tested. use protection. challenge others around you. 

ask for her number ... after you get tested.
go to the club ... after you get tested.
eat lunch ... after you get tested.
go to class ... after you get tested.
walk around the rosebowl ... after you get tested.
go to jazzmans ... after you get tested.
make that phone call ... after you get tested.
go shopping ... after you get tested.
tweet ... after you get tested.

& pray before you get tested.

this is urgent.

repost: "dark & twisty"

it only takes a second to shift a life.
blue skies can drain of color and moisture leaving
the tops of the world dry with hues of grey.
smiles lose their balance in the crowded dance floors of pain and fall.
every moment, somewhere-
calm ponds behind the eyes flood down hills of cheeks and chins.
french horns play in yellow dressing rooms and reveal themselves
as solemn violins.
it only takes a phone call to make small hopes into realities.
a simple warm moment of leeway can put infinite joy on lay-a-way.
a kiss can dig a grave, or raise the dead.
a confession can slit the wrists of dreams.
Oh God!
if only the tightrope of spontaneity and hesitation were not such a fine line.
diving into a pool of uncertainty-
spreading your wings into the deep side.
ORcracking your face in a shallow end.
i guess it only takes a second.

you never know when your life will change forever. making a right at a corner instead of a left can make all the difference. random trips to the mall, starbucks, or the movies can turn the direction of your future. it's quite astounding actually. think back, have you ever met someone who changed your life in a way you never imagined? have you ever said "YES" or "NO" to an option and it changed everything? pretty tricky stuff ...



"and they say love is in the air; so i ... hold my breath 'till my face turn purple..."

im just kidding. valentine's day is a cool holiday- it's a national attempt to stop and pay homage to the lovers in your life. Yet, valentine's day is NOT the holiday to run around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to find someone to have feelings for. i have come from a family full of romance and love. i think it's a beautiful thing. in the spirit of valentine's day, im posting about romance this week :) enjoy.



paper-clipped praying hands

"you've gotta past and i do to; we're perfect for each other..."

i was talking about testimonies with my friend today and i realized how much God really makes us tailor-made to inspire others. It's really astonishing. a testimony about self-hatred, estranged fathers, loss of family and friends, illness, or poverty can work to build up other people around us. it can really help to strengthen a person's character.

however, i think it's important that we watch carefully about shifting our testimonies into baggage. there is truly a fine line. often times, the things we have overcome make us stronger, but they can also make us self-riteous, bitter, apprehensive in love, and SKEPTICAL of everyone around us. everyone claims to have "a past" or a former heartbreak. join the club.

AND i don't have a solution. i wish i did. essentially, we are our past experiences - a bundle of events and our reactions to them. we can learn from hardship with humility, positivity and creativity. OR, we can let them dictate us and haunt us. just a thought, happy saturday :)


pay attention.

Anyone who knows me, knows that i genuinely care about young women and their perception of self. I'm taking an "images of women in the media" course and my professor played this film. It appeals to EVERYONE - women, younger girls, scholars, men (who will have daughters)... everyone. This is just the sneak peak trailer, but you can see the entire thing on youtube (you won't regret it).


touch me, tease me .

"They say that a literary “theme” is supposed to be a commentary on the human condition. Well, I have to admit that I go through life trying to string together the "themes" in life. After tying a few strings together, It astonishes me how people are sincerely surprised when they are approached for the things they flaunt the most."
 Often times, the term “tease” is associated with women.- and rightfully so. As women, we love to feel appreciated. As a result, we often times drive men to insanity with our flirtatious behavior and ambiguous sexual advances. Somehow, we have the audacity to be surprised when we are seen as mere objects. Picture this scenario:  A young lady rummages through her closet for that form-fitting, little black dress. Her boobs are up to her chin and the bottom of the dress hits jussssssst below the curve of her butt. PERFECT. She gets to the club and a guy (surrounded by his friends of course) says, “dammmmmmmn, look at all dat ass.” Of course, she makes a scene and curses him out.
Now pause. We constantly bring attention to our bodies in extreme ways and become offended when men react. Do not misunderstand me, he should never grab your ass in the club- that’s reckless, disrespectful and thirsty. However, you cannot show your breasts and thighs and expect a man to wonder about your favorite William Faulkner novel.

Now, men are funny. I scroll on twitter: “it’s money over bxtches”, “Im making my first million by twenty-four”, and “BMF” (blowing money fast). I meet men and they are talking about how much money they are making and bragging about their job offers after school. yes, there is a fine line between taking pride in yourself & BRAGGING. This generation of men is obsessed with flashing money. Nevertheless, as soon as a woman approaches him- in awe of his materialistic possessions- she is a “golddigger”. seriously? Essentially, each and every one of us are brands and your advertising tactics appeal to a targeted demographic. Be real with yourself. I am not saying that men should not strive for nice things. However, if that is what youre promoting then that will yield a certain response.

How can a person of the opposite sex be interested in something that they think is non-existent? If you promote your superficial and shallow values, you will: 1) be treated as such 2) attract the same sort of people.  If you want someone to appreciate your personality, promote the fact that you have one.