Monthly Archives: August 2020

Writers- Black Art Connected – Open Letter

Writers – Black Art Connected Facebook group is a platform of over 8K Black Writers from around the world. The group was founded in 2016 by Los Angeles, CA native, Kinte Ferguson.  The platform supports new and established writers by providing a safe space to create, engage, and receive constructive criticism. Writers vary from newbies to those with several publications and bylines. 

Utilizing creative writing the Open Letters presented here are a combination of poetry and essays addressing COVID-19, Juneteenth, and the current state of Civil Unrest. Police brutality continues to result in the killing of unarmed Black women, men, and children. We raise consciousness around the issues of justice and the fight for Black Liberation with intentional and unapologetic prose. Racism and systematic oppression are ugly to the root, and the unfortunate foundation on which America was built. Those systems must be dismantled. WBAC stands strong as a community in our words and our mission as Black Creatives, demanding justice and a more equitable and better world. 


C. Imani Williams

Lead Administrator

Writers – Black Art Connected (WBAC)

#BlackLivesMatter #writeon

Writers – Black Art Connected Open Letter Contributors

Renee D. Campbell, Maryonn Grace, Melinda Hall, Shannon Ford – Jefferson, Stephanie Johnson, Demetra Marshall,  Romare Paul Rashiq, Tresa Simmons, Kirsten Thompson, Alfred Tumblin, Indigo Vitrousity,Taariq Ware, C. Imani Williams, Driq Wright

Palpable Fear 

-Renee D. Campbell

This fear is palpable 

We can taste it 

We can touch it 

It is touching us 

Every waking minute 

Every grasp of the steering wheel 

Every footstep on the pavement 

This racism is tolerated 

We can taste it 

We can touch it 

It is touching us 

Every cell phone call made 

Every time we wait in line 

Only to keep waiting in line 

This hatred is perpetuated 

We can taste it 

We can touch it 

It is touching us 

Every black man murdered when he complies 

Every black woman killed when she listens to the commands 

This circumstance is predictable 

We can taste it 

We can touch it 

It is touching us 

When our children ask why 

We have no answer 

We have no explanation 

All we can do is sit 

And watch with them 

And cry with them 

And shake our heads with them 

And listen to them ask why 

And ask why 

And ask why 

And ask why 

Because all we can do is 

Ask why 

We can taste it 

We can touch it 

It is touching us 

This is our situation 



And tomorrow 

And all we can do 



For it to happen 


(c) May 2020 


Reneé D Campbell


“Art With Intention”



-Maryonn Grace

A body is being dragged among the corpses of our deception.

With resolve, we drag on, 

The sun’s light stands eclipsed by the tunnel vision of our grief,

Mouths dry, speaking still,

Mumbling to the souls, we left behind, to ancestors and to the tranquil life inside

To onlookers, it may appear to be the walk towards a pending death, 

To us, it is the refusal to spit on the path that was dug to make room for our breath.

We pierce walls of dirt with our bare hands. 

From dirt we were made, to dust, we’ll return – someday, 

Today, we are birthed from it, we assess power by it, 

We crush the seeds in it, we let them die and summon them to rise like vines.

From the concrete, through the bricks, wrapped around our hands like kumpur around Mohammed Ali’s fist.

Dust is not what we are afraid of

As the days succeed to each other and the moon wails in the darkness of this world, what we fear is the silence of forgetfulness and the passiveness of surrender.

For this reason, we’ll continue to dig out our stories from graveyards.

We’ll pull it out from under the rugs they stomp on.

And when new ones are inscribed, we will animate them, give them motion and dignity, give them color and meaning.

For what is life if we don’t remember? 

What is life if we pretend to be okay?

What is life with a sand timer in your corner?

The most insignificant movement targets you as a threat,

Eyes that have warning signs as lenses, through which they see your black skin

And what about the risks that come with speaking your mind, pointing out blatant crimes?

You are harassed, downgraded, fired, killed

Your entire being is systematically questioned

Justice appears to be a myth, but you cannot give up just yet, young brown eyes look up to you with intact hope

Why wouldn’t you go on? How could you not? 

Yet, we don’t always have the luxury to choose when we fall to the ground and rise back up.

But as some die internally or physically, there are still more that stands defiantly at the narrative of oppression.

We drag on, our hearts are barely holding on but

We drag on, our fallen need sanctuaries and a legacy

We drag on because we cannot endure perpetuated torture

We drag on, to ensure a better future.

The dead will bury their dead. The living will carry the burden until black lives can breathe again.


Maryonn Grace

I face myself now,

The trenches are far behind, weapons are no longer at my side.

The war goes on in sterilized rooms.

No one knows who is next, and we are asked to protect our noses from inhaling death.

It is a strange thing to be both at home and alienated

This must be how depression feels. This must be the route anxiety has taken souls through

The exterior appearance of normalcy while darkness is spinning threads around your psyche

I face myself now,

My family is farther than it has ever been because now coming to them is a risk.

My asthma is scarier than ever.

I wonder if I should have familiarized myself more with my neighbor.

Fear wraps its fangs around my torso, I wonder if that thing has already reached my pores

I face myself now, and I don’t know what to think or do, or what is true

I face myself now,

My being is a lonely place.

Somehow, I don’t have as much faith.

The time that I have wasted comes back to haunt me.

I should’ve taken that trip.

I should have given her one last kiss.

On the internet until 5, I pray ignorance is as blissful as I heard.

Because I don’t want to hear them count the dead and report no cure

I face myself now,

I was tired, and I found time to rest,

My little nest was falling apart; now it clings to my heart.

Every night of not seeing my babies before they sleep is replaced by giggles and bedtime stories.

I face myself now and realize that not everything can be changed.

I can’t just level up because we’re quarantined.

I decided to give myself grace and plan my escape – well, the “after” of the pandemic and how I want to live.

Second chances wave at me to press on.

I live unapologetically, and right now is a start.

I haven’t done my hair in months, but I kept them clean.

What is it that “needs” to be “done”? My kinky hair is enough for me, finally.

I face myself now and realize I have nothing to complain about

I pray for the front liners and love on my folks harder.

Looking at the man in the mirror can actually change something.

Every cause now is my priority.

I face myself, and grief accumulates under my eyes.

So many lives gone, 

While some folks only think of having fun, 

And I give the medication, 

I intubate and oxygenate.

I sweat and ignore the hot air I struggle to take in with this thing strapped on my face. 

I face myself, and somehow, I wouldn’t trade my job for the world.

At least I tried 

Every passing hour makes me treasure life.

A virus has come to disturb our established norms.

Looking at oneself now is thought-provoking, scary, healing, as opposed to selfish.

The most straightforward fact has been proved before our eyes

The sun shines on both good and bad people.

And tragedy strikes rich and poor.

And no matter how high we think we are on society’s ladder, or how much we believe we have control over our lives, some things leave us helpless. It leaves us more human, abandons us with our choices, and forces us to intentionally change, either to accommodate lies or enable the truth.

I faced myself and saw you; my vision will never be the same.


Our Souls Reflect

Maryonn Grace 

My toes graze the carpet until they reach cold slate,

I let my gown land around me,

My heart is barely awake, barely vivid and my mind steers ahead

Cold water pours from the faucet,

Is warmth needed? Is warmth the solution?

My eyes are so dry. I wish they could cry.

I wince as my body enters the tub

Is this how a body feels when life has departed?

My heart leaps as I remember his head falling, eyes fixed at the world watched another black man die.

It’s as if I knew him.

I miss a brother I’ve never met.

I turn the faucet again.

This time I’m looking for warmth.

I turn and I’m met with the reflection of a woman, like me, she too, killed, in her sleep

A part of me wants to deny my feelings, to choke on self-pity.

I want to be numb again or maybe to be held,

But none of that matters now.

All I want is Justice and to not see another light leave a brown face.

Open your eyes. It’s not over, not yet.

My mind resurrects.

Our skin glistens under the moon’s watch.

I clutch my breath as if it were pearls,

Bouncing off marble floor, spilled but making melody,

The moment rage falters, and the camera moves away,

Like a howl at midnight,

Like a song of blues, like a saturated lung coughing lines of rap,

Distinctly we will speak and knock,

We will speak and knock,

We will speak and knock,



No matter the hurt steeping in our nostrils, the sound will not die,

“I can’t breathe”

“I can’t breathe”

The steam is thicker than my vision, now,

My ears are weary from division

I march towards the heat, massaging the lump in my throat

My comfort rises from the torch I now hold.

Eyes wet. Feet wet. Resolve sturdy as my heart beats easy

Could it be the peace that comes with righteousness – doing the right thing

Opening my mouth, extending my arms, bare, with nothing to dissimulate,

Knowing only indifference is inadequate?

From my roots to your branches

I weep with you, sister

I collapse at your side, brother,

And the globe stands attentive, shocked at what it has encountered

The isolation of my one room apartment in the home of “La vie en rose” has tumbled down at the voice of blood calling

Here we are, united more than ever.

Here I am, wanting nothing else than to stand for our fallen.

I listen to the streams run towards the river

I listen to the river run towards the ocean

I listen to the Earth immerse in the rain from the heavens,

I listen to a voice turning into millions

My face glows refreshed from my sorrow, grown from my mourning, challenged to be more than the skeleton of my skin

I gently pat myself down, put on fitting pants and a jacket dense enough to straighten my back,

With pride and purpose affixed to my system, with locs falling free and stretching wide like our power and presence,

Here I am, wanting nothing else than to stand for our fallen.


Race War


Our Memories Are Long

Melinda Hall

Open Letter

Shannon Ford – Jefferson

Dear Humanity,

Where do you go when you go silent?  Scars that marr backsides from the master’s whip.  Tears that stain our faces as we bite our lips.  Release the pain from our present circumstance, numb us to the hurts that afflict us daily.  While you tuck your children in at night, reading bedtime stories, taking for granted the fragility of life.  We pick out the final suit and final resting place for our children whose only crime is being black.  What story will we read at his grave this evening,

after he’s placed in the dirt. After his bloodied body is washed up like bath time, dried off and stuffed in stiff clothing only to be displayed in a box for others to come and mourn them. You kiss your children as they walk out the door,  not questioning if they will return home.  Our children find a new home in the morgue.  A smorgasbord of racism, hate and injustice.  A system so unhinged it could never be broken, it meets the need of the spirit in which it was written in. It protects the people it was meant to protect.  But where are you humanity when life is taken from us?  When the blood is on your hands and seeps into your pores. Are you aware that we reside within you.  Do you see our plight as your own? Do your children know not to kill us?  Do your husband’s take for granted coming home to you?  We don’t see you although we hear you loud and clear.  Your silence is betraying us, and the war is near. Will you show up for us, in the light of this darkness, will you cry as they hashtag our name.  Will you deny us the right to be human because clearly our living is in vain.  Humanity,  where are you? 

Fj original 1June2020



Stephanie Johnson

When one man takes a knee, quietly and without fanfare or flare, bringing harm to no one, in deference to the very country who have refused repeatedly and consistently to hear the cries of his mothers, his brothers his sisters and others who like him are guilty of one sin only. The Sins of their Skins. And yet we have another man adorned in blue, embellished with a badge and an audience of his peers in blue, armed with the wherewithal, arrogance, and unmitigated privilege of… well… not the Skins of Sin.

Playing to the crowd of unrest, while he rest , upon the necks , hands in pocket, in his bulletproof vest.

One man accepts the cards of his fate, as his livelihood is stripped away, ridicule hurled his way and the misunderstanding of what he’s trying to say is misconstrued, rewritten, twisted, and mocked. And not just by the cops! All the while paying for the Sins of his Skin.

And then we have the man adorned in blue, a seasoned veteran of his blue community, With his questionable conduct, and letter of reprimand, praised and held in high standing for his valor in service. His service to a community of those with Sinful Skins. Free to rest easy while he awaits a full investigation that in all likelihood will never come, So his livelihood remains intact, as he’s free relocate to another community of Sinful Skins.

When will the majority and the privileged hear the cries of the man kneeling to say, “I can’t breathe”, “My hands are up”, “I live in this community”, “I’m only out for a jog in my neighborhood”, above the roar of his Sinful Skin? WHEN!?!?!?




-Demetra Marshall 

You are appalled 

But why

Your hearts are racing, you are angry, and your hot tears are streaming

For what?



Greed or corruption? 

Nay, I say

You’re appalled and disgusted because you now have to ingest the fruits of your toxic harvest

The cold callous disrespectful hate filled actions that never died

They have been hidden in boardrooms, spoken in the woods, and across dinner tables 

Your murderous actions stole millions 

Your disgraceful strokes have raped melanin men and women 

You have impregnated and bred bastards across this nation and now you are forced to hold up the mirror and taken in all of your hideous glory

Aren’t you a sight to see

Covered in the covetous, scheming, and jealous green 

Blood red stitches woven within the tapestries you don 

Laced with the sweet perfumed stench of the mortals you discard

Upon your head an idolatry crown 

You are number 1 now

You are appalled 

But why

Your hearts are racing and tears streaming, for what?



Greed or corruption? 

Nay, I say

You’re appalled and disgusted because you now have to ingest the fruits of your toxic harvest

So hold your mirrors up high Amerikkka because your future awaits

If you don’t glean joy from your image I suggest you change before it’s too late


Open Letter

Romare Paul Rashiq

I want to say something to us personally.

We don’t need validation from outsiders. We don’t need anyone else to speak on our behalf, because it doesn’t matter what intentions they may have, they won’t get the full scope of your experiences. I don’t care to hear from someone’s vantage point where they aren’t directly affected by it. If they have an earnest desire to speak out, they can try to appeal to their own. We have more than enough people among ourselves that can articulate our experiences in a clear and eloquent manner.

We don’t need to look for outsiders to save us. No, this is something we must grapple with on our own, together. Our history is filled with what potential we have in coming together. It also shows our

vulnerability when we are not. I don’t expect that we will agree on everything. That’s totally unrealistic. I’m aware that among our collective, we have people who have various viewpoints and ideologies that are completely different than one another. While we’re not all in the same boat, we are traveling in the same seas and many of us are operating rudderless and in need of direction. There are some among us that are willing to sabotage others simply because they have a different view of things. That’s not the way for us to operate and if it continues, it’ll eventually be our ultimate downfall.

I think in the times which we live, it’s important to understand what we need and work towards meeting those needs. We must be willing to speak out when it’s necessary and be available to each other when we are in need. We can no longer ignore one another when we are hurting. We can no longer ignore anyone who isn’t properly protected on our watch. We must come together. We are enough. We. Are. Enough.



– Tresa Simmons

I see you from a far

No face but a haze

Yet I knew you as that shining star 

It feels like a maze

As I walk to the light 

So numb

From this energetic fight

My plight

Dumming down playing dumb

As the walking dead

No pulse

Freedom calling my name

Thawing me out 

Is it your scream or mine

Calling for the blood of emotions to awaken 

Please forgive me I had mistaken

Feelings as my enemy

Not feeling is killing me

It is my ancestors I see


Don’t play

Our blood did not fall 

For you to play small

Feel the pull

We are here to guide you


-Kirsten Thompson

Juneteenth is a tricky holiday. As are most…

And I’m torn.

I’ve never actually celebrated it before, even though I have ALWAYS known exactly what it was and have roots that go far enough back in Texas to observe it.

But I always think about the fact that this state purposely witheld the information that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed and Africans continued to be enslaved a whole TWO YEARS AFTER they were supposed to have been freed.

And to be completely transparent, I’m struggling with this Holiday this year.

At first I thought I’d celebrate it JUST BECAUSE I CAN. But it feels strange…. this holiday that commemorates FREEDOM while Black Men, Women, and Children are being hunted.

While disparity in education exists.

While the 13th amendment allows current day slavery.

While the economic plight of Black Americans as a collective is worse than it was 75 years ago.

While Black women continue to have the highest birth mortality rates, even though the entire field of gynecology was founded with our bodies as involuntary sacrifice.

To me, it almost feels like being married to an abusive spouse who beats you, threatens your life, constantly berates you, and does everything in their power to let you know that “you ain’t s#!+” but also gives you flowers, “allows” you to work outside of the home, and then dresses you in the finest clothing and shows you off.

You move out of your terror of a home and into a house in another part of town to get away from the abuser … one that he builds for you because, well, that fits his image.

But the abuse doesn’t stop.

It just changes.

He stands outside of your home yelling obscenities, hires thugs to rough you up every once in awhile, and even has your family members killed. And you’re paralyzed by fear of what might happen to you if you speak up or fight back so you just keep working. Keep smiling. Keep … keeping busy.

And every year, despite the clear and present abuse… you celebrate your anniversary anyway. Because, after all, you did occasionally receive some nice gifts. And you’re still, technically… married.

You’re just happy to be out of that house – even though the abuse is still ongoing.

Its just wearing a different face now.

It’s in a different house.

I want nothing more than for all of us to be Joyful today. To love on our family and friends. To make love. To share, promote, and patronize Black businesses.

To laugh and smile.

To look im the mirror and say. “I LOVE MYSELF.”

To honor our ancestors who were SO incredibly strong and resilient. I want us to dance. To Harlem shake, boog, two step and electric slide. To sing LOUDLY. To sit by the water and listen.


To laugh along with the giggling of giddy babies. And to fill our bellies with nourishment and our hearts with happiness.

Because we need it.

We need moments of levity and unabashed Blackness. We need to be able to revel in our togetherness. Because our togetherness is so often feared.


We need to remember what generations before us sacrificed.

But also… don’t forget: We’re just in a different house.

We have always been a people who have understood that multiple truths can be present.

Black and white was not our invention. And we have always been alchemists by nature. By faith. And by practice.

So celebrate today. But stay focused. Because tomorrow we have to get back to building our own houses again.

Love y’all.



Alfred Tumblin

Open letter to White Supremacists

Generational Testimony:

As a Black gay man in I’ve managed to survive America two years shy of half a century — so relax, this may take a moment… I wasn’t like other children. …And being gay wasn’t the only reason. I was an artist of many mediums and being born in New Orleans, Louisiana I was as eccentric as my surroundings. I moved to Florida with my Rastafarian mother (although I was Catholic, as most Blacks are in our city). Upon my arrival I was placed in a ten percent black school. Mama had opposed my white friends since my embrace by the Gothic scene of the French Quarter back home. The Floridian kids assumed I was from London or New York because my style was haunting.

     I was 16 years old, and moved in with my fellow Afro American Goth bro even though I was still a senior at Jim Morrison’s alma mater. My two roommates and I decided to go to a goth night at a club (being that it was kid’s night). No liquor, just good old fashion “Depeche Mode” and such. A police car pulled up behind us and we started pulling over as the blaring lights instructed. We got out the car as two white officers commanded.

     “What did we do?” we asked nervously. They laughed like a spider amused by a fly and asked if it was Halloween. My third roommate was white and he said “everyday is Halloween” with a chuckle licking his lipstick with a joking grin.

They asked where we were going. We told them the truth presenting our IDs. They glanced at them while joking amongst themselves about our peculiar attire. It was dark and we were surrounded by what must have been townhouses. It was difficult to see and I realized that having lost direction we were completely lost.

     The white dark haired officer told us to take a walk while still holding our IDs. “Where,” we asked in shock?

     “Straight ahead and don’t look back,” the brunette stocky cop chimed in with a sinister chuckle.

     I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and my Black friend began to cry. We walked forward slowly not saying a word to each other. We dared not exchange glances

because we didn’t want to see what was about to happen to us. My white friend Randy was cussing under his breathe as I felt my legs nearly give out beneath me. I’d never wished I was normal by society’s standards before that moment.                                   

     “Keep going,” the dark haired officer’s voice trailed in the distance behind. We dared not look back although we were entering even darker wooded terrain. Our sobs were nearly harmonious now. I closed my eyes in prayer as we caught a glimpse of car lights behind us. Wheels churned against gravel slowly and quietly, which direction, I couldn’t be sure?

They pulled off into the night opposite our direction as our outfits sparkled in the moonlight.

     Our IDs had been strewn about idly in the pebbles next to our parked car as we knelt frantically trying to find our rightful property. I never trusted a police officer after that. What made it so scary was that it was ingrained into my skull that they were as sacrosanct as guardian angels. It seemed like heaven had put out a hit out on me for being my most authentic self.

     I was spared, but so many have not been, as they had all the control. Some people like to play with power like a Demi-God sparking lightening between the tips of their fingers. Sometimes they decide to strike at pebbles for practice. Maybe it’s because they’re small and hold no significant value. Inanimate objects that transmute like when lightening strikes sand into glass. Luckily instead of shattering, God chose to let me shine.

     Many years later my mother married a childhood friend from our old neighborhood in New Orleans. I told him how my mother never approved of my white friends. He said “Well you know your mother was the first black child chosen to integrate Allen Elementary School. It was on the news,  and white children threw rocks at her as she climbed those steps calling her names.

     “She never told me that, Dad, I had no idea that happened to mom.”

     I teared up imagining my beautiful mother having to endure such humiliation. This generational cycle must end if America is ever to earn the respect of Lady Liberty. No wonder the statue isn’t smiling. Maybe if we break the cycle first in the “Yet to be” United States she will.

Alfred L. Tumblin III


Home of the Free

-Indigo Virtrousity

Amerikkka Amerikkka home of the free

Seem like it is for everyone except for the ones who look like me 

Black and brown continue to suffer in these streets

While the police continue to cause manslaughter and kill and great degrees

Fed up and tired 

My patience has expired 

Outraged disgusted

No one can be trusted 

Words have been spoken but no actions taken

Well now like my ancestors the spirit’s have awaken

Be ready for the rath 

Be ready for your karma 

Oh trust nothin can protect you and know we are shielded by God’s armor

Evil has been lurking for so many years 

No more tears  and living in fear 

We are warriors and not afraid to stand 

Lift our voice in power and our hands together and command 

Justice , fuck equality we deserve the thrown 

A place we’re we are truly free a place of our own !!!

#notanotherhashtag #nah

©️Lovely aka Lovely Iindigo 2020


Widening Eyes

-Taariq Ware

The stench of copper and exhaust fumes overshadow my God-given oxygen

Literally caught between a man and a hard place

This is embarrassing!

All out in public?!

I am a man!!

But I was taught to mind my manners, especially in the presence of those in power

The heat of the street is torturous to my skin

Figuratively imprisoned, and I haven’t even been arrested

This is infuriating!

All over nothing confirmed?!

I am a human!!

But I was taught to not raise my voice, especially when I am in the hot seat

The sound of my melanated people acting as my spokespeople and lawyers

Unfortunately, there is no good cop to act as foil to the bad cop

This is worrisome!

Why is his knee still pressed into my neck?!

I am in suffocating pain!!

But I was taught to never resist, for I am a feared combination of black and targeted

The taste of air leaving my cheeks with no promise of returning

Consequently, my pleas are becoming weaker and weaker

This is frightening!

Is all of my strength really fading?!

Please, let me get up!!

But I was taught that if I move a muscle, what happens to me next will not be murder

The sight of his badge number is leaving my memory, and so is my life

Sadly, I mourn the fact my fiancee, twin, and children will mourn me

This is not how I wanted to leave them!

Are my organs really shutting down?!

And my cause of death is what I was taught

And my death will be the cause of many widening eyes for a while


Black Liberation, Now! 

C. Imani Williams

The countless murders of unarmed Black people by police, the rape and violence perpetrated against Black women and children, and brothers killing each other, along with a society that is confused about what Freedom for All looks like and how it applies to Black people,  have me worn out.

As I’ve dealt with all the privilege that floats down my social media timelines, I’ve felt a pull. That pull is leading me closer to my destiny. I abhor all the isms that make this life unbearable for so many. I abhor the people who use “isms” as navigational tools the most. Black people support white supremacy without even thinking about it, which is very concerning. As a people, we accept so much and question so little, where it matters.

I attended my first Las Vegas protest for Social and Human Justice May 30.  The protest brought people out. Those supporting Black Lives Matter was probably the most foot traffic Las Vegas’ Fremont Street, had seen since the pandemic and lockdown started. It was a peaceful protest for just under four hours when a few decided to undermine the goals of the collective. I’d witnessed graffiti go up on a storefront by a young man with a 40 oz in one hand and a can of spray paint in the other. When he yelled, “Fuck the Police” before running off, I’d already taken note, that he was white. After returning home the news showed a free for all at a Downtown  Las Vegas Pawn Shop. The reporter shared that windows were broken and jewelry cashed smashed.  Those caught on cell phone cameras showed mostly males and people of all backgrounds and races. They may have even protested alongside me for hours, or been like the graffiti vandal and slipped in while we were being boxed in by police. When the energy shifted, I knew it was time for me to leave. I’ll add, that it’s important for mainstream media and those looking to demonize BLM by associating “looting” with Black folks.  When it fact infiltrators have involved themselves with Movements for Change throughout history. There are white people bussed in to protests to perform evil deeds quickly. They’re in and out around the country. 

I’ve also seen scores of BLM white sympathizers catch hell from police during peaceful protests. In support of ending the oppression experienced by Black and Brown bodies. Police reform has to happen as and is part of eradicating white supremacy. No matter who gets in the way, we still have to press forward. We want justice for lost lives today and yesterday. Entering the wrong house, not having a warrant, and killing us at home or in our cars, or in the park, or at the beach, or the bus stop ends now. When I raise my voice to say, “No Justice. No Peace.” It’s true, whether people are ready for it or not. 
Some white people on my friend’s list are not dealing well with my Pro-Black Queer Stance on equality and advancing this Mighty Race.  I push on knowing thatMarcus Garvey and Brother Malcolm were onto something. For the first time ever, my LinkedIn timeline is lit, A.F.

We’re talking about racism with specifics and not just around it.  The racists are mad about it. Oh, well. 

With this shift, I’m channeling not only Garvey and Malcolm X, I’m rolling with Dr. King, Mother Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Nat Turner. I’m so over it. I want to drag edges with Maya Angelou’s poems as my shield. I’m channeling Yoruba Priestesses and Priest. All. Of.This.

I’m here for it. I’ve been an advocate for justice and equality for a long time. The world has changed in the 30+ years since I’ve come of age.  I don’t recognize people I thought I knew. I’m so concerned about the children. They don’t get to remain innocent long enough. I’m concerned about our elders. Who’s really looking out for them?  We’re doing so much trying to survive against tremendous odds.

We haven’t even had our post-slavery discussion talks yet. Our real village gatherings where we check-in and love on each other. We’ve survived so much it still ain’t over. Not with lynchings still happening in 2020. Amerikkka has had 400+ of using Black Lives. I think she is finally starting to get it. Things will change. 

Recent events push me to do even more as I steady my feet on the path for Black Liberation for my People. White supremacy be damned, my armor is on and there ain’t no turning back. I’m using my pen and the blood of millions of Africans as strength.

I’m about freedom for Black people. When redlining and gentrification are stopped, and Black education means quality education reflecting the cultural greatness of Black people in this country and the world when school administrators stop stealing from babies, housing is affordable, and child care doesn’t make working outside the home futile when food deserts in Black communities are banished and instead are overflowing with well-tended community gardens, and libraries are opened and functional in urban neighborhoods, when my People stop breathing in toxins that corporations pump into poor neighborhoods, and health care is not only affordable but accessible when people dying of cancer and hypertension are treated, and stress from being poor and tired is lifted, I’ll take a break. As long as the struggle continues, I’m in the game. Black Liberation, Now! 

We Buy Black:  Dignity Matters!

-C. Imani Williams

As Black people, we should rush to support our own. Our Dollars Matter and we must be conscious of who is getting our money.

White companies and brands who follow white supremacist ideology (most do, as racism is deeply embedded in American Culture), should not see another cent of our money. 

It’s summer now, but in a few weeks will be hit hard with the annual Holiday ads and store displays beckoning us to spend with them. The call for Black folk is to Buy Black in lieu of companies that don’t support Civil and Human Rights work being done to combat state policing and brutality, that continues to leave unarmed Black women, men, and children, dead. 

Every time we spend money outside of our communities we contribute to the generational wealth of others. Others who have held the winning hand for centuries. A four-hundred-year head start is one helluva lead. It’s time for a different course of action. We are creative people and as more of us leave 9-5 jobs where our creativity and ideas are often stifled, we are stepping into an arena where we can be ourselves and we’re doing the darn thing. Even with

the pandemic, we’re starting businesses with our eyes on the prize. Unity, Community, and Black Dollars Making a Difference for Black Lives”.   

Tell your friends about the awesome online International Market Place, full of Melanated Soul. Besides supporting our own, feels good.  Dignity means respecting who we are. While supporting each other pays homage to the ancestors, those who have come before us. The talent and gifts of artistry are embedded in the souls of Black folk. These are facts and why Mother Africa continues to be raped of her natural resources and beauty.

Black Wall Street and the Ancestors left a blueprint and a reminder that even if you lose it all, that together, we can rise up from the ashes and create incredibly Dope new shit. We code. I’d like to see a Wakanda Platform for Black Everything with Wakanda Thinking People. How many times have you been threatened with Facebook jail for speaking out about racism while yet another unsolicited dick pic landed in your DMs? That should be a crime because sexism and misogyny are real. But, I digress. We delay our collective come up each time our dollars circulate outside of our communities. Let’s break the cycle. Support Black Business, Indie Artist, and Black people with dreams. Practice self-care, work hard, play hard, but take time to check in on one another and know where and how your dollars and civic efforts best benefit the Black community. Unity, vision, and determination are key.



Police Brutality

United As One

-Driq Wright

Police brutality: the police are supposed to serve and protect, but it’s more fake love and neglect. There been a history of abuse from the police and black people all the way back to slavery days. As black people we are on our own, there is no justice or no peace. There are good police people on the force but they are scared to take the bad ones down.  As black people we need to do better instead of marching and protesting. When a white cop shoots a black man, we need to start protesting and marching on black crimes. Seems like the white

police give their own color a slap on the wrist like society does – which its called white privilege. The system tricks blacks, make them turn their back on their own kind by using money, material things, drugs, weed, and sometimes women.  As black people, we have to stand with each other rather than against one another.

United As One

United as one: can we stop all the madness and come together. Forget all the pain that was caused give It to God, and let go. It’s sad that we all come together at a funeral showing fake love to the person in the casket, like that person can see or feel it. How about doing it at a family gathering while we are here on this earth still living. Doesn’t  matter what color or race we are all one in the eyes of God. The devil is trying to divide us with these crimes, racism, secrets, selfishness, envy, etc. We have to stand against hate, if not you are a fool. Why hate or talk about somebody, when you can just help others and love as God loves you? Why would you say you love somebody without any show? Your words speak volumes, but actions are more powerful. Let’s stand together and fight the hate that surrounds our communities and the world. Racism and hate are taught, let’s get rid of that negatively and teach positivity in our community. United as one.