Last Feature Friday of 2010: Pen Pals

Last Feature Friday of 2010: Pen Pals

I’ve been away, if you hadn’t noticed. 🙂  But never fear, I’m back and a little rested.  You wouldn’t believe how busy busy busy I’ve been.  Well, maybe you would.

Anywho, I type to you today from Wilmington, Delaware.  I’m here for my pen pal’s wedding.  🙂

I’ve had a few pen pals in my life–one from elementary when we did that pen pal exchange program and one I gained from keeping in touch with a classmate who moved away.  Then, I had one (Lakeitha) with whom I became very close with at a summer program at Alcorn, and we wrote to keep in touch through college. (We still keep in touch, but not quite as much as we had.)  Since 2005, I’ve been writing my soror Erika.  We’ve never met in person, although we almost did in 2008.  We met on the national AKA listserv during a discussion about pen pals, were alike in many ways, and decided to cease all other forms of communications and become pen pals.

It might sound weird to some, but we’ve chronicled our lives over the last 5 years and have really become connected.  Hey, I even have the letter when she wrote about meeting her groom. 🙂  (If I had have been thinking and not packing at the last minute, I would have brought it with me.  But alas…) I’m so happy to be a part of her special day, after having traded dating war stories with her over the years.  Erika is soooooooo sweet–just as sweet in person as she is on paper.

I’ve never been to Delaware (or to Philly), so this is really a trip of adventure.  Yesterday, we did the wedding rehearsal (I’m doing a biblical reading), and then had some yummo grub at a Jamaican restaurant in downtown Wilmington for the rehearsal dinner.  It’s been great meeting everyone she’s written about in her letters. 🙂  Today, we’re running some last minute wedding errands, and I get to see more of Wilmington (and eat at Erika’s fave restaurant Borders Cafe).

If you’ve never had a pen pal, consider getting one.  There’s just something special about getting regular old-fashioned letters and being able to really say how you feel without worry of being interrupted and knowing that you’ll get a well-thought out response–along with sharing.  Sometimes, in friendships, one person becomes the unloader and the other becomes the listener, creating an imbalance that’s hard to reverse.  But with the pen pal, it’s so easy to just pick up a piece of stationary paper (or regular ole lined paper) and write away about whatever is going on with you (positive, negative, no consequence–just whatever is on your mind).  And you can pretty much count on your pal to do the same.

Tomorrow, my pen pal gets married. 🙂  I feel blessed to bring in the new year in a new place with a new yet not new dear friend.  I’ll be on when I can to do some other 2010 and Kwanzaa reflections, but until then, happy new year!  Many blessings!

Feature Friday… well kinda

Feature Friday… well kinda

Today, I’m still in a sanging mood, and during an impromptu yet really solid conversation about knowing who we are and what we deserve, Sirobe reminded me of a very special song that I’m going to feature.  So I’m dedicating this one to my favorite guy (I really am singing over here, lol), especially since the artist (well, a member of the group) is living his second chance.

You knew you had me
With your sensuous charm
Yet you looked so alarmed
As I walked on by

An awesome wonder
You had to know why
I did not respond
to carry on

Chorus:
Love me in a special way
What more can I say?
Love me now
(Repeat)

Love me now
Cuz I'm special
Not the average kind
Who'll accept any line
That sounds good

So reach into your chain of thought
Try to find something new
What worked so well for you before
For me just won't do

Chorus

Love me now...

(Instrumental)

So reach into your chain of thought
Try to find something new
What worked so well for you before
For me just won't do

Love me in a special way
What more can I say?
Love me now
Love me in a me in a special way
Just love me now

Nooowwww
And tell me what more can I say
Just love me nooowwww
And tell me what more can I say?
Just love me now
Love me in a--and tell me what more can I say?
I Love Reading

I Love Reading

So I participated in this Top Ten book listing on Shelfari today so I just wanted to share with youse all.

The top ten books of those I read this year are:

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
A Lesson Before Dying – Ernest Gaines
Blackgammon – Heather Neff
Soul Identity – Dennis Batchelder
Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary – Jasmine Guy
The Godmother – Carrie Adams
Saint Training – Elizabeth Fixmer
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Them – Nathan McCall
The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

I also read:

Soul Intent – Dennis Batchelder
Want to Start a Revolution?: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle – Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Dirty Little Angels – Chris Tusa
From the Browder File – Anthony Browder
The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
The Help – Kathyrn Stockett
The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

I’m currently reading:

The Witching Hour – Anne Rice
Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy – Peter S. Canellos
The Last Empress – Anchee Min

What are you reading?

Feature Friday: The Number Game

Feature Friday: The Number Game

So on Facebook this week, the number game blew up!  I particularly liked it because my FB friends were very positive about the people for whom they dedicated their statuses.  I only played for about 30 minutes Tuesday night, but here are a descriptions of those who sent me numbers.  Some made it into that 30 minute window, and others were sent after I stopped playing.  So needless to say, I’m blessed to know some great people. 🙂  Happy Friday!

3.14 I feel like you’re buttering me up. hmmmm lol. No really, you are the smart and super spunky lil sis that refuses to be placed in the nerd box. Keep on pursuing your dreams while enjoying every minute!

4 I used to love going to the barber shop when my stylist had a chair in there so that I could joke with you and get my eyebrows arched!  You’re a great guy, and your family is gorgeous!

17 I’m proud of you for all that you’re trying to do with your life. I want you to spend more time focusing on the good than the bad, and I promise the world will look like a better place!

20 I love that we became fast friends. From our mutual love of soul music and natural hair to your benefit-of-the-doubt giving nature, hanging out w you is always a blast!!

227 I always felt safe with you on the bus. You were always really sweet and cool to me and wouldn’t let anyone mess with me!

‎0329 I think u were my 2nd friend when I got to Clinton. So many memories, esp in orchestra. Like when u left your violin at hm and “borrowed” one and it turned out to be a viola and the whole year with Massimino. Haha

601 You are one of those least judgmental, most optimistic people I have ever met.  You can see the silver lining in any storm cloud.  I hope you never outgrow that remarkable and uncommon trait.  I love you for always being there and refocusing my perspective.  You’re beautiful inside and out, and I am blessed to have you in my corner.

‎799 You were one of the only non-freshman guys that would risk befriending a 16-yr old the 1st semester of my freshman year. I’m happy to see that you’re thriving like I always knew you would. Oh and I have a pitch to make to u soon. lol will msg you.

808 When I met you, I noticed how great you are with the kiddies!  Keep being stern yet soft with them!

1003 You and I have been through a lot, and we have such special memories.  From hating each other freshman year to being attached at the hip (and forehead haha) sophomore year through our rough patches through being grown-ups together now.  Keep being positive, keep being a trendsetter, and keep taking such good care of those cutie patooties!

1908 You are the best front a girl could ask for. When I need to lean forward, you’re right there! You are the most fabulous diva I’ve ever known, and I’m sooooo happy that we’re more than just sorors–we’re friends. I’m proud of everything you’re doing. Keep that infinite finesse going!

[Side note: How cool is it that my front and back ended up next to each other? Smooches to both of you! And no wonder I ended up going from pseudo tomboy to super girly–how could I not stuck between two super fashionistas? lol!]

1976 I remember when I met u and I’m pretty sure we changed ur opinion of good MS stock forever lol. You even married a MS magnolia! I’m very proud of you and can’t wait to meet your lil mini you!

2408 You were the cutest young kid I knew way back in the day. I’m so happy to see how well you’re doing despite adversity! Ill always be a member of your fam, even if y’all don’t see me often, lol.

7890 You and DP showed me how huge skeephi love really was. I still remember how special I felt when yall got an ad for me for the Miss Black and Gold pageant. I enjoyed being a Step Afrika groupie after the skeephi.com stint. You’re so talented and I hope life is treating you well.

46038 Being friends w your crazy, funny butt was the highlight of freshman year. Let’s see, I stood on top of a dangerous annex, spun around in a car and laughed as ur roommate cursed us out, rode Amtrak and got hit w my first snowball all w you. I know u don’t believe me, but I’m coming to Indy asap!

111169 Jr high would have never been so memorable without you. Many many laughs and I’m glad you’re still my bro after allllllll these years! Keep it funky!

384426 I’ve seen you evolve into a mature, creative, good mommy. I wish you the best in all your current and future projects. Keep up the good livin!

More Violence

More Violence

I would be remiss if after my last post I didn’t say anything about DJ Henry, the slain Pace University student. Three initial thoughts came to mind as I heard it discussed on the Tom Joyner morning show.

1. As much as I’m on the internet reading the news, I had never heard of this, an incident that occurred in October. So I just wonder how often this type of thing happens, and we just don’t know about it. Seriously, we need to do something. Whether it be training our young men on how to deal with the police, whether there is just cause for the encounter or not. I’ve been in a situation myself where I’ve been harassed by the police, and I was calm for awhile until I just lost my patience.  I wasn’t hit or anything, but I was given 3 tickets, which were thrown out when I went to court, but I recognize that a-it was a luxury that I was able to take time off work to go to court and b-that I knew my rights and thus knew the tickets wouldn’t hold up if I contested them.  Just like there was training for sit-ins, maybe we should have trainings for police stops. It can be infuriating when you feel like you’re being picked on, but we really have to learn how to go along to get along sometimes–especially if death or wrongful imprisonment is a possibility. And we need to know what the laws and ordinances are.  (And I say all that not to say what I think happened in this situation–I really don’t know what to believe happened to DJ Harvey.  I do know I haven’t heard or read anything yet that justified killing the young man.)

2. I’m happy that black media is covering this.  We really need to support and take advantage of the media outlets we do have to increase awareness and spur action.  We do not/should not read everything we read (as was the case of Shirley Sherrod), and we need to know who is reliable and where we can really make sure our voices are heard.

My heart goes out to the family and the school body as they figure out what actually happened that fatal night.

Racism in America, not just MS

Racism in America, not just MS

The inspiration for this post started with this article.  A few days ago, a friend of mine from Greenwood texted me to tell me there had been a lynching in her hometown.  A couple of days later, the article came out suggesting it was a suicide.

In the words of Ed Lover, C’MON SON, get the eff outta here with that bs.  Do you seriously want me to believe that?

The other issue I have with this article is that there are NO comments.  Now, I am a dedicated comment reader because comments can really paint the picture of who is living in this country and how they see the world.  I’ve winced a many day at comments that I’ve read on an array of topics, so I was prepared to read some on this one, but… Crickets.  What’s up with that?

Let’s call a spade a spade.  This is yet another example of hatred and racism in this country.  In 2010, the fact that someone could be lynched is a travesty.  And the fact that it hasn’t hit all the major news outlets yet is another.  But, I must admit, a small part of me is glad it hasn’t.  Wanna know why?

I get tired of the perpetuation of the negative stereotype of my home state.  I started this group on Facebook and am very happy to see that there are over 13,000 members in it.  Why?  Because so many people, outside of the state and even in the state, think that MS is the hub of all evil in the country and that nothing good comes from it.  Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but still.  I’ve heard people from all across the Bible Belt give MS grief as if their states don’t come with their own transgressions.  If you don’t know much about Mississippi and all of its contributions, you should browse this site for a few minutes.

Now, let’s be clear.  I do not for one second believe that Mississippi doesn’t have its problems or that it’s a perfect place.  And I don’t need another lesson on Mississippi history.  I got it along with southern history, American history, and Black history.  I just want to intimate that racism and the brutal killings of our black men is a NATIONAL problem.  Oscar Grant being shot in the back while unarmed is just as horrible as this poor man who was walking through the wrong neighborhood and somehow (since it could be self-inflicted <heavy sarcasm>) ended up hanging from a rope in a tree.  However, no one says that California is a hotbed for racism.  Sean Bell being gunned down by the police before his wedding?  Yep, not cool.  But no one blames it on the fact that he was in New York.

How about the man who was shot in the head and dragged by a car in South Carolina?  Are you getting my drift?

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way.  I want to know who out there cares.  What’s going to happen?  What is the answer?  How can we stop all this violence and hatred?  Will people be marching to the Mississippi Delta?  Or will this slide under the radar like many other issues?  We as Americans really need to address this and while we’re at it address the disproportionate number of black men in prison and what’s wrong with our system.  We can’t just sit around and wonder when the next brutal “accidental” murder will occur.  It’s time out for thinking that if we cover our eyes, not only will we not see it, but it’ll stop happening.  We need to wake up and see that it doesn’t just affect the families of the victims–it affects us all.  So let’s get to work.