here is some old stuff from March (please bear with me, i will be jumping back and forth... like in those confusing movies):
02 Mar 2002
I could not wait to get off of work. It was our born day celebration (for Yejide and I). She was born on March 1st. This will be her first one. It will be my 29th. I still feel like I am 19. We invited a lot of people.
I get home to see Yetunde and Yejide waiting on me in the kitchen. Yejide went into a fit of laughter. She tried to bury her head in her mother's breasts. She is at the age where she believes that if she can't see me, then she is hiding. I find that to be so funny. We may find that to be childish, but many of us continue to use this idea. You know that out of sight, out of mind thing we love to kick around?
Anyway, Yetunde had finished baking a cake. Actually, she baked two cakes. She is a wonderful cook. "Akoye Sankofa and Lah are coming over to work on the computer before the party starts," she said, "how was work?"
"Glad it's over," I replied, "that's cool that they are coming over early. We get a chance to bug out."
I was very excited about the party. Gatherings at our house are big events. We normally get over 40 people. The food and vibe is great. This one would be better since it was in honor of me! Or should I say us?
The party was in full swing. We went ahead and poured libation and I went to opening up the presents. Yejide was given so many toys. It was great. My library was made a little big bigger. Eugenio took pictures with Problematik's digital camera. Technology ain't no joke! We listened to some very wack CD's to get people's opinions. (They will remain nameless...but if you want to know who, email me!) Then we watched Spunk get booed for 60 seconds at the 1st annual ODU MC Battle. After that we watched Bishop Eye of the Jhunippuz Elite make a fool out of himself. We joked on Brandon aka Frodo Baggins on his 137 mile per hour speeding ticket. He did not get locked up either. JUST IMAGINE, a 19-year-old black man in a 2002 Beemer doing 137 miles and hour and he did not get locked up! I guess we are making some progress.
After everyone ate, the brothers and I went to the attic to play some Capoiera Angola.
Pele accidentally kicked Rasheed in the eye. He could not play anymore. Pele was hit in the lip with a water bottle (don't ask how that happened....) but he was able to play. People did not start piling out until about 11:15pm. A few brothers stated around so that we could watch MAATKARA on scifi.com. Modern Technology ain't no joke.
I said that already, right?
3 Mar 2002
My actual born day. Yejide woke me up that morning. She is so cheerful in the morning. I guess all that sleep and nursing would keep a child content. She, like her mother, is so beautiful in the morning. They both make me very happy. I could have stayed in bed with both of them all day. (We will have to work on removing Yejide from our bed. This is getting real old. Mom and dad want to get busy again...)
My dad called and we talked for a minute. Trying to get an email address from him was like trying to take Yejide off the breast, DIFFICULT. So his nephew took mine. I hope he can figure out how to send an email.
I stayed at home and then headed to Norfolk State University with Yetunde and Yejide for the Divine Techtonics open mic. A few of us were slated to play capoeira for the crowd. I could not wait. Atumpan was performing. L.evation was featuring (you know that it was going to be funny... we call L.evation Mr. Smoothie and all).
Yejide was clapping the whole time. We started late (as usual), but Hamza performed. He did a great job. Man, that brother is straight fire. Atumpan came afterwards. Akoye Sankofa told a story in my honor. I wanted to cry.
Then we came. Man, Pele and I looked sharp. We played Angola first. On my second go around, Pele slipped so I had to slip. It still looked sweet. But I really wanted to rock this move. Cerrone and Eugenio played okay. Once again Cerrone was funny in his clumsiness. We did a great job (I shouldn't brag huh?). The crowd loved us and would not stay in their seats.
What a birthday...!
04 March 2002
Return to the plantation. You know my 9 to 5. But it's a living so I should not complain, it could be much worse. When I got home, we got a chance to see Yejide take some real steps. She can make it to about 4 or 5 steps before she gives up. She only does it with people present. When it's Yetunde and I, she acts as if we will always pick her up. She has yet to grow any teeth. When she smiles she looks like someone's cute grandma. It is so funny.
I wish Xavier was here to see it.
Mentu Hotep and his queen came by. I have not seen that brother in months. He brought me mad presents. He got me a Darth Maul figure (collector's item ya'll) and Star Wars Trivia. Oh, it's on. Unfortunately, there are not too many Star Wars buffs in our circle. It's just Mentu, Style , and myself. We will work it out. They brought Yejide a another bike-thingy. Which is cool. Now she can have one for going outside with and one she can use in the house. How convenient!
That night, Elevation asked me to go to a Creative Writing Class at Norfolk Preparatory. He scheduled me a week before, but I had just recovered from a stomach virus and did not want to pass it on. I had performed at Norfolk Prep in December. The crowd was difficult. The world-renowned poet Tim Siebles read his stuff to the deafening noise of the Norfolk Prep crowd. People brought their newborns to a Christmas/Kwanzaa show there. I was mad at them for not paying attention. So I had to represent. I quickly caught their attention. They were quiet the whole time I was on stage.
This time I was supposed to do some poetry and speak to a small class. It was very intimate. There were about four teenage males there. The teacher pretty much let Cleveland and I do what we want. So I started off with a freestyle. I had each student give me a word and rhymed for about 6 to 7 minutes. Then we started discussing books. I gave them quick excerpts of my life. They were very enthused. They actually enjoyed my poetry. One of the students was a bass player for a local group, so we immediately connected. They asked if I had any material. I felt bad at that point. Since I am still working on my chapbook with it's many delays.
I went home very content. Working with young people fortifies my resolve in helping with the liberation of our people. It is good to be reassured that our young people are not as bad as certain individuals and organizations will have us thinking. The downside of it all is that the school system really sucks. Norfolk Prep is for young people that are having academic problems in school. I don't find that this approach really helps the situation. A few hours each night of school instruction will not remedy the time they could spend in day school. Then again, day school hours are meager compared to the school hours of private schools and schools outside of the country. Yet what can we expect if we pay our teachers crumbs. I explained to each of those students that our teachers are one of our valuable assets. We need to respect them and appreciate them. I talked about the many teachers that helped me along the way. It actually turned into a serious discussion. The students even agreed with me.
05 March 2002
Yetunde had to speak at a Natural Beauty Lecture hosted by the Black Student Alliance at Old Dominion University. I went with her to watch Yejide. I had to drop off a flyer I designed for the Latino Student Alliance for a function they are having on March 30th, 2002. While there I ran into Frodo and a friend of his. We talked for a minute.
I headed back to the lecture to find a heavyset sister discussing hair care. It was ironic to see a sister discussing perms and weaves at a Natural Beauty lecture. Then they had my wife (who wears locks) come up and discuss the advantages of going natural. Yes, I laughed about it, too. The heavyset sister agreed with my wife about how important it is to eat healthy since this will effect your hair and skin, yet she gave no tips on how to do that or pointed out how it effects it.
When Yetunde went up to speak, Yejide started one of her "where is my mommy going" fits. So I took her outside. Frodo was out there with his partner. He wanted me to read this letter he was writing to the school paper about hip-hop culture. I was impressed. I told him that I really liked it and I am glad he represented the culture. That is when I learned that he is the president of the ODU Urban Dance Club, a group that promotes B-boying. Originally the name was the ODU B-boy Club. They had an office and everything.
Down the hall from us was a bible study. Matter of fact, to get to the Bible study, you had to pass by us since we stood in the hallway talking. So when we would find someone who looked lost, we asked them if they were looking for the bible study. Frodo began asking me questions about the Bible. This being an issue I never pass up. I asked him if he read the scriptures I gave him the other night (at my house we discussed how numerous scriptures in the bible state that we are gods). He said he did and he actually debated someone about it. He said he was successful.
We talked about the Bible for a minute (we were very loud and many people who walked by us cringed at our statements). They left after a few minutes. I sat in the seminar for a minute and then headed to the Student Activities offices. I ran into Frodo again. This time he was with Vizion, another ahki from our Zulu Nation chapter and vice president of the same organization Frodo is in charge of. We discussed how certain idiotic organizations paid $16,000 to bring Mr. Cheeks to ODU. I could not believe it. We joked about that for a minute. We discussed reading and even threw around some book titles. I noticed the time and had to head back. When I got there, Yetunde was packing up.
06 March 2002
Wednesdays are capoeira nights for us. We play at the Uhuru Cultural Center. A few brothers and I take young people between the ages of 4 and 8 and instruct them. We ask for donations and give them all to the center. When class is over we play for another hour or so. It is real fun and family like. Some days we play real rough and full contact, and sometimes we just play to impress.
Capoeira is an amazing martial art. You have to play it in it's entirety. It is African in every sense. You can't help but to feel camaraderie even with the opponent. Brother Jay brought a whole mob of young folks. They were funny in their own little ways.
It's amazing how quickly children take to capoeira. They suck it all in. They are eager and waiting to learn the next movement. I wish I could show them much more, but I am still young in capoeira.
Brother Jay picks up young brothers in his neighborhood and takes them under his wing. He is like an unofficial mentor. Many of these children have bright futures. Yet their environment is known to quench their fire. It is our duty to help.
07 March 2002
I stayed home with la familia. I was supposed to go to Etymology, an open mic at ODU, but I decided to stay at home with Yetunde and Yejide. It's been awhile since we just all stayed home. I actually went to bed very early. I finished up an article for this on line women's magazine. I finished it a week before, but never proofed it. So I edited the piece and sent it. Once again, technology ain't no joke.
Yejide is getting so big. She is so funny. Yetunde received some old pictures of her when she was child in Nigeria. Her aunt in London sent them to her. Yejide looks so much like her! Then again, I always felt that way. Yetunde was such a pretty child. She looked so regal in her garb and mini-purse.