Tag Archives: black

Today’s Word is… UNAPOLOGETIC


I remember when I was younger I would go to this advanced program on Saturdays at this private school across town.  (They wanted me to go there full time, but when you’re one of 7 private school ain’t in your ministry)  Most of the other kids actually went to the school, but they allowed a few of us broke public school kids in.  (Thanks T’Challa)  It was a culture shock for me; I was used to my regular ol school up the road where I was the smartest person there, but here I was the blackest.  There I was in some Js and a walkman, looking like I was in the wrong place.  I remember one week I didn’t want to go, and my mother said something like “just cause they can’t live in your world, don’t mean you can’t live in theirs” then proceeded to take my ass up to that school (again, this was completely voluntary and on SATURDAY, thankfully not in hair rollers I feel like that would a bridge too far) And she was right, I did fit in there I was as gifted as any other kid there, but none of them would dare set foot in my neighborhood.  (One of them did, like years later looking for bud…years hadn’t been kind.  Which is sad cuz we were only be like 16).  I kept my mother’s words all through that program and beyond as I gradually learned how white Boston actually was.   I never thought of it as “unapologetic” blackness as the Blavity Blacks like to say, I was just me.

That isn’t to say I don’t code switch at all.  I’m not walking into work with a Soul Glo shirt and a chicken box.  (Okay that was one time but I was supposed to be off that day and had a hoodie at my desk.  Oh and that time I say brazy in a meeting.  Oh I may have ended a call with “iight bet”).  We all have to kinda get in where we fit in.   I have to be constant mindful of my tone, my facial expressions, my overall demeanor.  Slang isn’t professional yet corporate twitter accounts are tweeting out “yeeeeeerrrr”.   The problem with code switching and assimilation in general is that, “white” is seen as the default.  Workplaces like to have a culture” without culture.  I might not walk into work with a fro and a chain but I will make myself comfortable as I see fit. (Which kinda means avoiding  them mostly). But I have bills so I try to meet them halfway; I can chop it up about sports, just don’t ask me about the anthem protests.  Ask me what I’m listening to, its probably someone you never heard of but I’ll just say Kanye and make it easier on you.  And there’s always Game of Thrones talk, which might be the one thing this country is actually united on.  (If you don’t I like Missandbae, you’re racist. That woman doesn’t do anything but bring love and light).

Which brings me to earlier today, I had seen there was a discussion about Tiffany Haddish and if maybe she’s doing a bit much.  Personally, I enjoy her, Cardi, Marshawn and others who don’t have a code switch in em.  Then there were the chefs at NYU who got fired for serving ribs, greens and macaroni for Black History Month.  (Maybe the watermelon drink was overkill…but I went to a chicken and waffles spot the other day that literally serves kool aid; we can’t hide from who we are).  It made me wonder if the people who have an issue with them are bothered because frankly, they don’t straighten up and act right around white folks.  There’s a feeling of secondhand embarrassment they feel when Marshawn Lynch can’t pronounce quesadilla, or Cardi is on the Tonight Show acting like she’s not on The Tonight Show.   They aren’t shukin and jivin, they are just being themselves and people are more worried about what white people will think when they see this.  When Desus and Mero are befuddling Jimmy Fallon, he looks out of place not the other way around.  You can find Tiffany Haddish unfunny without fake caring about how Ellen doesn’t seem to get it.  They nor anyone are representative of the entire race and I wish people would stop placing that burden on them (I do die a little everytime Deray shows up somewhere in that musty blue vest…its been 4 years, and even he doesn’t represent my blackness or yours).

Blavity Blacks like to say they’re unapologetic but the key to being unapologetic is being unapologetic, unapologetically.  It’s not performative, its actual.  It’s eating ribs at your dining common without a second thought, not 100% Melanin Educated Queen Wakanda t shirts.  Because being real the white people who feel a way will always find a way to, and it doesn’t have shit to do with what you wear, how you talk or what you watch on Monday nights so fuck em.  Live through the immortal words of Sisqo, “one thing you gotta know, imma be a nigga for life”.



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Today’s Word is… EVENTS

So this past weekend I was at a Must Love Beards party, a day party where men got in free, beard or not and the ladies paid a cover. I’m not presently looking for anyone, I was largely there to support the host and was curious at who would pay to attend.  (I found out later it was $25, and good on them because you must be out your damn mind, you tell me a club cost $25 I’m probably turning around.  $25 I expect a performance, a drink ticket, something.  Better yet I’m surprised women wasn’t just feeling up beards and saying “aye red Jordans… Whatever you ugly anyway”, if you gonna do it, DO IT.). Actually, the whole experience was an interesting role reversal as ladies showed up in their baddest dress and heels and the fellas were there in kicks and hats.  Plenty of dudes shot pool, only danced when Future came on, took some selfies and dipped.  So basically, the ladies seem to go through what we do just about every other time. 

I had a good time; as did plenty of the guys I talked to afterward.  A growing sentiment was there was finally an event that actually felt *for* them.    I’m not the biggest club guy myself but to my earlier point, between the usual dress code, music selection, cover charge, parking, expensive drinks it’s easy to see why men are typically like, yeah fuck all that.  You can meet a woman with a swipe of a finger now, why are you going through this? Clubs here are always women, dude bros, cat daddies, the promoters 8 homeboys and the people who just moved from New York and DC who will quickly learn this ain’t New York or DC.  Round here, Nightlife don’t love us, we don’t love it. Sad. 

I was talking to someone that night who asked, “so where the hell y’all be every other night?  It’s not like y’all don’t–” 

*cut to dance floor, circle of bearded bruhs like*

…like to dance.” I gave the same nightlife don’t love us speech but then we spoke more about how everyone says they prefer to meet people at events while not ever going to, you know, events.  I started to think about what typically gets men out the house in general (women, food, money), what typically deters men from an event (convenience, rejection, money) and the fact that some of our interests (sports, video games, women) don’t actually require us to go anywhere.  She asked so where would we go that isn’t a club/party and while personally I’m more of a festival, museum, movie kind of guy and those things I’m far more likely to bring a +1 than with some single homies or even go alone. So unless you’re shooting your shot while she’s in the restroom (I’m not saying this happened but I’m not not saying it) it once again doesn’t really solve the problem. 

I guess the solution is more Must Love Beard like events or just a shift in nightlife culture in general.  There’s always Greek events (even though no one wants the guy who still riding hard for his set in his 30s)(I’m just teasing) (No I’m not).  Just have to adjust with the times, with apps and social media at your fingertips, the promise of “women gon be there” no longer suffices. Til then men gon be over here at happy hour with half priced apps, swiping for a date to the pop up art gallery r&b brunch day party thing. 


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So first, I’m sure that is and will be the longest word in the history of SFW.  And second, I swore I was going to take a Trump break but well, it’s been a long week.  This….is…the…remix.  


1/22/17 (Day 75) – So I read the inauguration speech, because the sound of Mango Mousellini’s voice makes me want to jump out of a window.  I didn’t expect much, but I found myself shocked how blatantly divisive it was.  There was little to no message about coming together, it was a rally cry for all of his supporters. As millions protested his inauguration  (some of which voted for him), Toupee Fiasco sits upon his throne with no incentive to win them over, he’s already secured a 4 year bye. (So he thinks). 

The black President was never afforded such luxury.  Not that he even wanted to.
Every word hyper analyzed, Obama was tasked with palliating white fear that he would be the BLACK President, appealing to his base only.  The revolution has been televised. Black people can barely enjoy February, BET, Black Girls are Magic without first swimming across a lake of white tears as they complain about exclusion.  What little we have, we are expected to share, as the new President of the United States openly gloats about how he and his supporters have successfully deboed the country back and it’s normalized. This country is conditioned to fear the black revolutionary; a black Trump couldn’t exist.  Not even a black Bernie. The black president will always have to hold white people’s hands and tell them he won’t abandon them.  The orange one…he just points to the electoral map like a #Scoreboardt.  

1/25/17 (Day 78)- Richard Spencer got punched again. The New Edition Movie has been a pleasant distraction from a lot of the nonsense.  It’s the little things. 

1/27/17 (Day 80)- You know how they say the pen is mightier than the sword? Persimmon Putin has shown how mighty it can be as he’s made white supremacy go platinum in its first week. 2001 Islamophobia is back with a vengence and he didnt even need to buy a 9/11 with his trap money.  He enacted a muslim ban, because he could.  Lord help us all if theres an actual attack and the country is in a panic.

I weep for the bill, sitting on Capitol Hill, as the Supercallousmisogynisticracistnazipotus seems to have decided that even with a fully supported Congress he can just rule via executive orders. Congress argued against Obama’s use of EOs, but allow Trump to cook because if and when it blows up they can say they didn’t do it. Cowards.

1/29/17 (Day 82)- One of the biggest struggles of being a black man in America is the duality of having privilege and being oppressed at the same time. So far, Trump has gone after women, Mexicans, immigrants but has yet to do anything specifically to ME, but I remain in constant fear that time will be up soon enough.  So I find myself looking upon the wreckage and can’t help but see the irony in seeing the world react to everyone being treated like black people. 

From slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, prison industrial complex, war on drugs, student debt, underemployment,  gentrificiation…this country has been legally attacking us for generations only to be responded to with gaslighting.  “I didn’t own slaves”, “we elected a black president”, “racism is a dated concept”.  Even our own bought into the rhetoric using black on black crime and respectability politics to rationalize an undeserved war waged against us.  

But….this isn’t about me. Yet.  Edward Littlehands is distracted for the moment going after refugees. A country “founded” on religious freedom and Give Me Your Tired… is turning innocent people away because they believe that they may turn on the America who by the way are bombing the fuck out of them.   It’s being sold as a precautionary measure but Boston Marathon bombers? Russian.  Dylan Roof?  All American boy. Automatic rifles? Still able to be purchased by civilians. So tell me more how blocking immigrants is keeping us safe?

Terror isn’t a religion or a skin color.  It isn’t even something you can actually wage war against.  You can make it into whatever you want it to be and then attack that (you know like “drugs”)  

1/30/17 (Day 83)- I don’t care what your politics are…if you think this would be the first 10 days under Hillary you’re insane.  That is all.




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Today’s Word is… BOSTON


This don’t really have shit to do with the post but I died.

It was about 10 years ago my father accepted a transfer and moved to Raleigh.  He says it’s the best things he’s ever done, I would argue that making me was, but you know, semantics.  Boston was always intended to be a pit stop for himself and his new bride.  He’s from Brooklyn, she from Indiana…the only connection to Boston was his mother and uncle and he went to high school here.  That pit stop turned into 5 more kids and 2 decades because that’s how life works.  My mother fell in love with the city, he simply adjusted. Being a black man raising a family of black kids in Boston in the 80s had to be troubling.  Fast forward to the 99 and the 2016, I’ve grown up love Boston as well, it’s all I’ve ever known.  I was in a bubble of sorts, it wasn’t until the internet that it set in how many people don’t bang with Boston like that.  It wasn’t until the move I realized my father didn’t even like it here.  Naiveté, I suppose.

I get annoyed with people who never been to Boston or live here on their own free will and complain.  Every time someone talks about the cold or “where the blacks tho” I want to throat chop them.  Put respeck on my city. Point  me to the black mecca where it’s always nice weather (shut up Atlanta y’all segregated).  Of course, Boston is far from perfect…but I mean neither is America, you just make it work.  I grew up around black people, went to school with black people, I work….well, never mind.

I was out with someone the other night, she’s still fairly new to the area and she casually mentioned she would move closer to home were she to have kids.  I had nothing.  Of course it was way way way too early to be having that conversation but it did cause me to stop and wonder, was Boston a dealbreaker?  Should it be?  (Especially after what happened with the last one).  Again, I felt struck with the same naiveté of assuming everyone who is here, wants to be here.  I couldn’t imagine going to grad school (.) located somewhere I have no intention of living, a pit stop can turn to life real quick, just ask my father.  Then again, if I was from like Florida or Jersey (yuck), I would probably need to get away for a few years.  She wasn’t as anti Boston was much as she was pro family, which is hard to argue against, it’s about 70% of the reason I’M here.  (I mean for the sake of arguing, technically we would both have jobs here, so why would I have to go start anew…but again, way way way too early).  It was the first time I had even considered it, if a fish falls in love with a bird, where would they live?

It’s something I hadn’t even had to consider before, most of the women I dated, even in college were born and raised here. When I did the distance thing, it was implied they would move here (big bank take little bank).  Maybe that was selfish of me to assume (yes, maybe) but I rather just chalk it up to just being something I hadn’t considered not that I never would.  So now, the million dollar question…is Boston a deabreaker?  If my dream job was in Los Angeles, I would be like…I mean I only see my family on holidays anyway.  Dream woman? *cue Jeopardy music* I’d like to say I would.  With qualifiers….major metropolitan cities, serious relationship, I need to make at least 25% more.  That’s fair.  But of course all of this goes out the window depending on the election in a few weeks…hi international readers.



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Today’s Word is… COPS

[Editor’s Note: I had a post in mind but in light of recent events, I really have nothing to say.  Maybe later this week.  So, I went back to tweaked an old post… RIP Alton Sterling]


So it was about 5 years ago, I had just moved into my first apartment.  I got up went to work and when I got home there was note on the door by a neighbor, “the cops stopped by looking for you”. My reaction, well, now this is odd.  They had also left a voicemail on my home phone saying they needed me to come by the station.  Total, help me sing. I go to the station, wondering every bad decision I’ve made in the past year and wondering who got some bail money, if necessary.  I just moved here, I’m a law abiding citizen, what could they possibly have to say.  I get there and…..they were just returning my wallet.  I had lost it weeks ago, already went through the arduous task of replacing everything in it and just when I made peace with the fact that it was lost in the sauce lost in the game…here it was.  Won’t He do it.   I had a talk with a few officers, talking about how I just moved out here, sights and sounds stuff like that.  They recommended a bunch of places that I probably would never set foot in, and then I was on my way.  Over the years, I would get familiar with the cops of the town, they walked the streets regularly, most lived in the town, whether I was in a suit or baggy camo shorts and a fitted; they waved, made meaningless small talk and essentially, treated me like a neighbor.

It was a whole new dynamic I wasn’t used to.  Prior to this point, I’ve been falsely arrested twice, weapons drawn on me, followed home, stopped and frisked on my own porch, called bitch, nigger, punk and thug, witnessed a family member being assaulted, knock on wood the only thing that hasn’t happened yet is someone I knew personally being killed.  (So you see why I may have been anxious about going to the station in the opening).  Of course, this was in my old neighborhood, where I was still for the most part a good kid.  The cops there maybe lived in the neighborhood, they didn’t know me by name which was ironic because I was getting frisked and name ran 3 times a day.  Me and my friends would take alternate routes home, keep our bookbags on so they would believe we were actually students, we would split up into separate groups of 2-3 because a large group of us together was just asking for it.  It was almost like having a playground bully except you couldn’t stand up to him, you just learned to stay out the way.   It wasn’t even worth explaining to our parents, hell, people have gotten hauled off for “disturbing the peace” just for defending us.

For what its worth, I do respect law enforcement and the thankless job they have. However, recent events has really made me reflect on my personal experiences with the boys in blue; which as you can see were two very different ones.   The glaring difference being the connection between officers and community they are serving.   In my old hood, we were treated as the enemy, to the point our mere presence was enough to drive them mad.  Their job wasn’t to serve, it was to eliminate, we weren’t allowed on these streets anymore and they made sure we got the message.  [These days the old neighborhood has got a face lift, a lot people have moved because of rising rent and the old park has been remodeled and named in honor of one of the lone white residents (who is actually a close family friend, so no shade or whatever). Funny how that worked out.  Shoutout that G’Cation, I’m sure the corner store will become a Starbucks one day.]

So what happens public servants are treated as guard dogs instead of part of the community they are supposed to be a part of?  Well, this does.  A cop familiar with his community could’ve told Eric Garner or Alton Sterling to cut the shit and go home, Tamir Rice to not flash his toy in public, Mike Brown and his friend to get out of the street.  Instead, they just saw targets, saw “the enemy” and acted accordingly.  So as the President on down asks, how can the police improve relations with people of color, it starts by establishing one period.  It starts with humanizing everyone and not thinking every brown person is The Incredible Hulk.  It shouldn’t be my job to make person who swore to protect me feel safe.  I shouldn’t have to pull my pants up, wear my cap forward and grin ear to ear just to be viewed as an equal.   In the same way I don’t view every cop as the same one who choke slammed me in that pizzeria, every cop shouldn’t view me or anyone else as a “demon”.  That doesn’t start with video cameras and fashion, it starts with empathy, acceptance and community.  Until police officers, truly love and accept all civilians, sadly I expect more of the same.  Living in a reality where myself and anyone I love being one bullet away from becoming a hashtag.



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July 6, 2016 · 9:50 am

Today’s Word is… WORK


I woke up and checked my phone; hour before my alarm.  I could just go back to sleep…nah why chance it, I’ll just make breakfast.  I was excited, nervous, anxious…it was my first day at my current employer, Nunya Damn Business Associates, after months of interviews, scouring job postings, and watching way too much television I was actually leaving the house to make money for a change.  Black or white shirt, solid or pattern tie, glasses or no glasses.  After enough fretting I was closing in on the hour I thought I had by awaking early, it was time to go.  It was a confident subway ride, other professionals dressed to their respective jobs, I felt like I belonged.  I arrive at NDBA early, the cheerful receptionist who recognized me from my interview weeks earlier greeted me with a congratulations.    Someone was paged down to meet me in the lobby and I was greeted with

“Wow, you’re right on time”

“Um, nigga duh” I thought

“oh yeah the commute was quicker than I expected” is what I said with a smile. 

That was 3 years ago.  Still smiling through my real thoughts.  These days I’m peeling myself out of bed at my 5th alarm, if I’m wearing a tie its for plans after work and the cheery receptionist is an old white dude who I may greet with a nod if we make eye contact but otherwise I can’t hear him over the trap music in my headphones.  I smile and greet people I encounter en route to my office where on a good day I can hide for the next 8 hours.  I just don’t have patience for the shenanigans some days.   I’m the only black male in my department, amongst the youngest here…I’m well aware I’m the Rudolph here.  So trust, It’s for your benefit, and mine.  I’m accustomed to a certain standard of living.  And I actually do like my job.  I don’t like awkward and uncomfortable and so I smile, nod, chuckle…live to fight another day.  But with each smile, there’s a part of me who really wants to say…

Why are you asking me what I’m listening to when I’m about 95% sure you have no idea who it is?

Don’t call me “T” put some respeck on my name

I’m eating teriyaki wings but you are telling about this great soul food you had one time

Do you really think the new girl is cute or you just assume because she’s black I’m attracted to her

Of all TV shows you watch, Empire was the first one that came to mind huh

Unless you know my brother,  who I remind you of is wrong

Sombreros and fake mustaches for Cinco de Mayo, huh

“50 Shades of Chicken” as a gag gift for the Yankee Swap couldve went really badly…

Or was you assuming we wouldn’t go for what was clearly a book

Why are you so surprised I like baseball

Don’t ask me what slang words mean; urbandictionary did that so I dont have to go through that

You don’t need to remind me of when I’M taking time off

No I’m not on BLACK Twitter, or any Twitter….in fact, what’s Twitter?

Again, I get it.  The desire to connect and such.  But for myself and others in the same position we have our digital water cooler, podcasts, social media, blogs…outlets where we can chop it up with our folk so I don’t necessarily need to make awkward conversation with Alex in Sales.  So which is healthier, an office culture with people of whom you don’t identify with or logging into the matrix with your peers but are still essentially words on a screen? I need both*.  I need a dose of blackness when I feel alone at work and to talk to actual people when I feel alone at work. Of course, the true answer is more diverse, happy work environments but you know, glass ceilings and all that.



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Today’s Word is… MASCULINE


I like sports. I like women. I like beer. I like bacon. (Not that much but Im going somewhere with this) I own several suits.  My voice is deep and confident.  I’m a traditionalist.  I fix things. I kill spiders. I walk on the curbside of the street. 

I’m still developing a taste for brown liquor.  I don’t really know shit about cars.  I prefer cats to dogs. I have both ears pierced.  I have a bunch of skin care products. I don’t know shit about cars. I prefer R&B to hip hop.  I enjoy a good rom com.  I have several healthy friendships with women I’m not fucking or trying to.  I know how to cook more things than breakfast and spaghetti.  I have spaces such as this one where I’m able to be open and vulnerable….and I’ll still pull your auntie. I’ll still kick your ass.  Even writing this post, I caught myself falling into that trap; reaffirming my own masculinity with violence,  or sexual prowess (I could put money there as well, but broke phi broke). 

That’s just how men typically are wired, to propound, profess, protect. To hold on to their masculinity and what it represents, power, dominance, strength….even as society evolves and it ain’t that deep, bruh.  It’s an evolution that I see in myself, where a younger me might’ve punched you in the mouth for disrespect, while now I can’t help but laugh at grown ass men fighting for respect.  For who, for what?  A younger me felt pressured to chase every skirt, knock every one out the park…be a man.  Now, I’m more about using discretion and not falling into that me man, me think with other head barbarian logic.  It’s freeing to just live my life without pressure of fitting into a certain mold.  Because frankly, black masculinity can be exhausting sometimes. 

Brothers can’t dance, smile, dye their hair, dress a certain way, cry, like certain things, not be into others, it all just means they’re gay.   I don’t know if Odell Beckham Jr, Jaden Smith, or  Young Thug are gay;  don’t give a fuck really, but they can’t just be…them.  Homosexuality gives credence to femininity which makes it easier to process.  If OBJ is homosexual, I hope he never comes out just to keep people confused and Mediatakeout trying to piece together a puzzle they should’ve never started in the first place.  Young Thug was engaged, David Bowie (RIP) had the baddest in the game, Prince could pull a homophobe and his wife if he was bored enough.  There’s something I just find fascinating about it all, even if a pink dress shirt and a limearita is as close to the edge I’ll ever be, or even want to be really.  Blonde twistouts, lace manties  (yes that’s a thing apparently), and dresses aren’t for me, but if that’s how these new breeds kicking it these days, jah bless.  



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