Book Review – Parable of the Talents

Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Talents was as masterfully written as Parable of the Sower. Her ability to write a plausible heart-wrenching story about an unlivable not so distant future is a rare talent. To write a story, no two book series about, “Earthseed,” a religion pushed by Lauren, a black woman and the series’…

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7 Generations – Going to Barbados

When I was seven years old my aunt said to me, “De berry don’ drop too far from de tree.” She saw my puzzled face over her makeshift Caribbean accent. She used that moment, us eating in her backyard, to give me a piece of family history. “You have African roots that go through the…

Framed In Excellence – Dear Colin Kaepernick

Dear Colin Kaepernick,             Thank you for taking a stand against injustice that happens to black and brown folks across the United States of America. It is unfortunate that your peaceful action has been met with such villainous hate and malicious. On one hand the reaction from mainstream media up to the 45th President makes…

7 Generations – Pulling Off the Plaster

It always irked me that Granddad Charles who I lived with once my single parent Mom died advocated for my father. He often said, “Give Jamel a chance.” You know let him be involved in my life. Jamel was only around the corner of Breukelen projects between his mother, Grandma Arlene’s home and Glenwood Road.…

The Cool Geek – Damn

On a road trip bumping an album is the gold stamp of approval. Between the beats and bass battling against the wind and “Oohing” and “Aahing” over lyrics. Then I’m rapping out loud while people stare through their car windows. That’s the power of Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album (not counting Untitled Unmastered) Damn. He…

30 Realizations on my 30th Birthday

1. I’ve now been without Mom for half my life. No day has gone by without her crossing my mind. 2. My skills don’t always translate – I’ve run 2 marathons but still struggle to wash the dishes every night before bed. 3. What’s important to me has changed with time – At 15 it…

Book Review – The January Children by Safia Elhillo

         The January Children by Safia Ehillo is a poetry collection that deals with the author’s woman, Muslim and Sudanese identity. Wait. It’s so much more than that. The title itself opens the reader to Sudanese history and culture. It represents her grandparents’ generation born in Sudan under British occupation, where children…

7 Generations – What’s in a Name

A maiden name is the difference between uncovering a new family line and being stopped indefinitely. My 2nd Great-grandma, Clifford Lawson’s maiden name had been buried. Although, I had identified her on the United States Federal Censuses from 1900 to 1940 none of them revealed it. Going through Ancestry.com and other sources, the feeling was…