There you hev it plain an' flat;
I don't want to go no ferder
Then my Testyment fer that...
They may talk o' Freedom's airy
Tell they'er pupple in the face,--"
-- James Russell Lowell in his "Biglow Papers" as the New England farmer, Hosea Biglow.
Today i had the opportunity to ride the bus. It's been awhile since i rode one (about two weeks). I am so glad I did. I got on the bus with a woman who lived in the building behind our home. We greeted each other on occasions but i never introduced myself. She wears a weave and for an older sister, dresses like a teenager. I always see her with 3 or 4 children so i could never tell which were hers. Today i learned that she is a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 12 (from the count that i could remember). I slept on her.
She was full of wisdom. We discussed the minimum wage and the difficulty of raising a family on it. She went into the prison system and how it devastates the family structure. I pointed out how inflation works into it. She was not surprised that per dollar value, the minimum wage is actually lower than what it was in the late 70's. She remembered that the dollar stretched much more than it did now. She railed against the pharmeceutical companies and their cronies.
She also went into the fact that it is now very expensive to take your children out. I agreed and told her that my wife and I think of creative ways to make sure our children were entertained. It was a deep conversation and one that i look forward to continuing. She was funny, witty, very encouraging, and bright like all grandmothers should be. I thanked her for her time and got off the bus at my stop.
Don't judge a book by its cover, party people.
When I got off the bus, I ran into this brother I met when my daughter went to this reading program at the Park Place Community Center. If I arrived at a particular time, i would run into him and we would build. He always called me "The Bronx." He was real cool. He just got back from a job interview. He was laid off a few weeks back and was still looking. The interview was all the way in Dam Neck, Virginia Beach which is like 35 miles away from our area. He took three buses and still had to walk close to 5 miles to the interview. He even had to convince the base security to let him on to go to the interview. He really wanted the job. The ill thing was that he thought it would only pay $10 per hour and he learned it was $15 per hour. He was real happy. I told him he would get it because he wanted it bad enough to walk to it. I gave him props because most heads won't do it.
These are the brothers i want to big up. Brothers who handle their business. These are the brothers we don't hear about. He is real funny, too and friendly. When you see him you would think he was this thug cat, but he isn't. His son is adorable too.
ONce again, don't judge a book by it's cover.
I am sure he will get the job.
Lately, i have been picking up some amazing books. I just started reading Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." This is histiography at it's finest. ANy historian or future social studies teacher should read it. I should kick myself in the ass for not reading it a long time ago. It should be a companion to James Loewen's "Lie's My Teacher Told Me." What's ill is that when i read that book in 1999, he bigged up Zinn and i ignored him. When i contacted Loewen to interview him, he stated that he would not do the interview until a. we read Zinn's book and b. we got a history teacher who used his book in class. So of course, we did not interview him. (Man i just missed one of his lectures in Richmond on Oct 4th, i could kick myself again). Another book to cop (and i think i mentioned it before ) is Mumia Abu Jamal's latest, "We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party. " I finally finished Miguel Alcarin's "Love is Hard Work." I thoroughly enjoyed this poetry book. It came at the right time in my life as well. Love is hard work, party people. Alcarin is an OG of spoken word and one of the co-founders of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Definitely an inspiration.
Big up to Afeni, once again. While catching up to her archived entries, i learned that she gave me a large shout out. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much. That means alot to me. i know we never met face to face, but one day we will. We the new danger kid. Well, I been dangerous for awhile, so i guess i will be old danger. It's good to know that even electronically, I am appreciated.
I do want to go over something she discussed on her blog:
"People on the net for the most part have two faces, very true in some cases. I'm not going to stereotype folks on the net. That would be unfair because there are some that don't. Rare, but out there, I still believe."
That is so true. I think the 'net is place where most people can become something else. Look at Blackplanet or Migente for example. There people will just post face shots or even steal other folks pictures and claim them as their own. That's called self-hatred. It's amazing how far folks will go. This doesn't just happen on the net, however. It happens in other places. Go to a spoken word joint and you will see this live and direct. Folks who wear wraps and cowrie shells and wristbands and front that they are revolutionary. Then you run into those folks who do the sex poems and go home solo. There are plenty of actors out there. I see them all the time. I can't front, i get caught up in the images, too. I am a human being and i am blinded by beauty and strength. I rolled with many folks who i thought were authentic but then i learned that they weren't. Now, i can peep them a mile away. I can tell by their conversation if they are real.
The net however poses a problem. YOu can easily cut and paste someone else's words. You can easily use another photo or none at all to lie about appearances. At times emotions and sincerity are not easily read through the net (well if you use caps).
I remember trying to build with brothers on the net and many front like they are extreme sportsmen just to get a rap from another female. I see heads post the names of books they never read or post pictures of icons who they know nothing about. Snakes come in all kinds of colors. If you have to decieve folks for whatever reason other than survival, then you a snake.
Some will argue that at times we catch folks through different stages of their evolution. That some folks cannot handle rejection and long to be a part of something. But nothing beats honesty, it is the best policy. At times i have not been truthful, but i learn to clear those mistakes. I make wrong judgements and poor decisions. It's part of being human. It's when you don't learn from them that causes problems.
Be careful of snakes. They are everywhere.
Of course, this should not make us distrustful of everyone. It should make us weary. It should allow us to raise our standards. Friends are hard to come by. There is a reason for that. In a society that elevates the individual above everything else even morality and condones any means to promote this ideal, we must all be careful.
one of the best , if not THE Best, blog out there ... my man Sincere's . the title says it all. check it out and email the brother... for real.