Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I had the most interesting experience yesterday.

I went to an Italian restaurant in the, you know, Italian part of town. I had the lasagna and a glass of wine and that really great bread they like to serve.

But what truly struck me was that there were no strippers there. Sure, there were quite a few overweight, scary looking Italian guys, but none of them carried any visible weapons. And not one single person got wacked.

I may have seen a suicidal son or two dining with sociopathic dads and delusional moms.

But all in all, "that’s really what this society’s all about now here in the U.S.A. There’s no difference. There’s no difference. There may be a cultural entertainment — people may gravitate toward different cultural entertainment, but you go down to Little Italy, and you’re gonna have that. It has nothing to do with the color of anybody’s skin."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Our JENAration

I swear, I woulda been a Black.Panther back in the day.

Big, audacious ‘fro bouncing, swaying, trying to keep up as I march.

Not sure if I’da been gangsta enough to garnish a shotty, but I woulda for sure been the one with the camera, documenting the resistance.

I woulda had the pen out, blazing, writing out the Ten Point Plan. I woulda broke into whatever campus office and “xerox’d” some copies.

More recently, had I not been forbidden on the grounds of my gender, I woulda been among a million brothers (yeah, trying to get numbers and losing sight of the real cause from time to time, but, whatev). But that’s what it reminded me of this morning when I tuned in to CNN and saw a sea of black-clad Black folks descended on rural Louisiana. Whites, too. It reminded me of the Milli0n Man March and how badly I wanted to be there.

But this morning I got my BP on, and grabbed the mic in front of a dilapidated library still in use by my campus until the new one opens. Just a few blocks from where a 24 year old brother got gunned down at around noon on Monday. In front of a similar sea of black. My peers. The youngens I curse daily on my travels thru campus.

“I’m proud as hell to be a Morgan State grad student this morning, just like I’m proud as hell to be Black every day,” I announced.

If I was a Black Panther, I wouldn’t have been the fire breather. My words were measured, carefully chosen, deliberately spaced out and articulated. I tend to get more hype speaking to Sprint customer service.

I’m the Black Panther with the camera, more interested in turning the mic around to those with no voice. Those who need to shout.

This whole Jena thing reeks of 1957. And back then it was students who marched and organized and got things done. Students, who captured the world's attention. And in 2007 we’re in a position to organize and get things done. And yup, capture the world's attention.

“Now that the cameras are here, let’s have something to say. Look into these TV and still cameras that rarely come here, and instead of dancing and shuffling, open your mouth and say something that means something. And if God forbid, this city reaches 300 murders this year, if there are no financial aid reforms at this school, I better see you all right back here, rallying and shouting. And I better see the cameras back here then, too.”

Take a sec to look at some photos and video from Jena, Louisiana today.

Take a look at the movement, and get in where you fit in. You don’t have to be a Black Panther, just contribute like one.

*drops the mic and walks off*

Monday, September 17, 2007


What the fuck is up with weddings?!

So one of my older “brothers” got married Labor Day weekend, and if it was a nightmare for me, I can only imagine the hell they went through.

What I cant imagine, or I guess what I can’t figure out is why the hell weddings seem to bring out the absolute worst in people. People with whom you’re related, no less.

Maybe it’s the conventions that are unreasonable. Maybe it really IS too much to ask your family members to set aside their criticism and just go along with the colors you and your spouse-to-be have selected.

And like, how dare you expect your entire crew to fucking TRAVEL, since the bride to be isn’t from where you’re from.

And who in the hell decided that the groomsmen have to effing bring back their own tuxes?? I don’t care how nice of a gift (ipods) you gave their complaining asses.

The more I think about it, the more I can see how ridiculous the entire set up is. I can kinda see why the NY folks were so pissed that the hotel THEY selected cuz it was cheaper than the one recommended by the couple, was more than a few miles away.

I guess I can let slide the heckling coming from the back rows of the Catholic ceremony, cuz after all, there WAS a lot of standing and praying.

I cant blame said NYers for choosing not to mingle at the cocktail hour at the country club reception. Hell, I wanted to sit alllll the way in the corner on the balcony overlooking a fantastic golf course too, joking about us enjoying this now because it’s the last time our black asses will ever be somewhere this nice. I WANTED to, but shit, the bar and food were on the other side. And I happen to ENJOY mingling with fine folks with dough.

And not that I didn’t tip the bartenders even though the gratuities were absorbed by the couple, but I dunno, that’s the decent thing to do at an open bar. The INdecent thing would be to bitch about it not being top shelf (it was, there just wasn’t no fucking Henney, ngga).

And if a person doesn’t HAVE a credit card, then it’s useless trying to explain the concept of frequent flyer miles. So yeah, might as well hate on the honeymoon destinations of Thailand and Malaysia and simply rationalize the fact that both make at least 6 figures, and have no kids (the opposite of you).

I wont even mention the rings. Them shits WERE insane.

It’s tough when you grew up one way but elevate beyond it…but your friends and fam haven’t. It aint easy being a rock star at a rap show. A Mohawk amongst brush cuts.

And it aint easy keeping your mouth shut when you’re out of your element and asked to follow someone else’s conventions.

But for Christ sake, it’s a wedding. Shut the fuck up, clink the damn glass a few times, get out on the dance floor when you hear the Cha Cha beat drop, eat the damn cake, stop worrying bout the bill unless it’s YOUR AmEx it’s showing up on next month, get drunk, and SMILE.

Is it really that difficult?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


“Wise, this is Mom. I just called to see how you’re feeling (I had a root canal yesterday), and to remember 9-11. I’ll never forget not being able to reach you on that day. And I can’t reach you now! *she laughs* Love you. Talk soon.”

That morning, I had to email my brothers to get the message home that I was ok. Wondering if like the phones, somehow the internet was also affected by this mess.

A sea of yellow cabs uptown. That’s what I remember most. If you know Harlem, you know cabbies don’t fuck with Uptown. But that day, there was no place else for them to go.

All the Puerto Rican flags hanging from the windows and fire escapes in my hood were promptly replaced with the red, white and blue. U.S. stars and stripes, that is.

You couldn’t walk a block without seeing large glass encased candles lining the curbs.

Will never forget the blank stares from the firefighters from the house around the corner on 3rd Ave. it was like an open house, everyone coming by to pay respect and condolences.

All the video that the public will never see. The stuff that’s archived by the newsrooms. Stuff we logged but never discussed.

The nightmares that ensued.

The photos plastered about Union Square. Like a citywide yearbook.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Packed.

Walking everywhere. Not ready to get back on the subway. And cops and military lining the paths, always.

The dust that hung overhead.

Hearing from people I didn’t even know knew I was in NY.

And today, all niggas talking bout is Cornye and 50??


Fuck it. I’m buying Kenny Chesney and calling my mom back.

THIS JUST IN...from my boys over at (I am SOOO copping Chesney now. If 50 comes in at #3? HAHAHA):

The race for the top of the pop chart started yesterday (September 11) when highly anticipated albums by rappers 50 Cent and Kanye West hit stores. According to early sales reports, Kanye West's Island Def Jam album Graduation is on pace to sell over 750,000 copies the first week in stores, while 50 Cent's Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album Curtis is expected to move around 550,000 units. West's Graduation is expected to debut at the top of the Billboard Top 200 charts next week, while Curtis will battle for the #2 spot with country music star Kenny Chesney. A number of retail outlets have said that West's Graduation is outselling 50 Cent's Curtis by at least 2 to 1.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I don’t even really fuck wit mornings like that…but we been coexisting of late.

So I woke up early this morning without provocation. Shuffled to the back door to water the plants. Sun shining but not hot. Opened the fridge. Scanned the eggs, cheese, turkey. French Vanilla creamer.

Decided to go out for breakfast.

I been slacking on my running. Nursing a sore groin and avoiding a necessary trip to Lady Foot.L0cker. Plus school.

So I pulled on some shorts and a whitebeater (as my nephew says. Yeah, his daddy’s a racist). Loosened the laces on my snug kicks. Clipped on some music and hit the door.

Hitting the pavement felt good. As did the light perspiration that ensued shortly thereafter. Ran up on a crumpled dollar on the curb, stooped to scoop it. Must be my lucky day. I rounded the edge of the park, crossed Charles St. and dipped into the bank. My head spun the minute I stopped moving. Stomach empty. Lightheaded. Had a hard time trying to line up the damn columns on the ATM machine, which is a difficult enough task even when I’m not dizzy.

Ducked back out. Deep breath. Unpaused Wycl.ef. Let my feet move me the next few blocks to the new A’rab take out. Crossing another main street, bouncing in place, I glance back, out of habit. This Bawtuhmore, son. That’s what you do.

And I almost lost my balance.

Almost dropped my keys and cash.

I spun completely. Scanned the side street and alley. Nothing. I sighed and dragged myself inside the spot.

“Lemme get a egg, cheese and turkey on whole wheat, pls. And a small French vanilla coffee.”

I wandered over to the door as I waited. Watched the morning pass by. Got my food and walked home, hot coffee and paper bag in hand. I walked a different route. Toward what I know I had seen a few minutes prior. Lightheaded...

A flash of solid oak. And sweat drizzled thereof.

I’d recognize that back anywhere. And that bouquet of locs.



Monday, September 03, 2007

9~3~07...(MY) FATHER'S DAY

Today, my siblings, Mom and I, will enjoy Guin.ness/rum/Nutra.ment drinks,
and play By the Rivers of Babyl0n on repeat all day long.

Wah'gwan Daddy! Yuh nuh easy! Mi miss yuh and long fi see yuh. :)

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  • So...Wise??

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    Our Nation's (HIV) way of Harlem, NY and Upsteezy NY
    I'm older than I look, and stupider than you think. But I'm quite proud of my sharp eye for The Ridiculous, and by Ridiculous, of course I mean Me.