4SON: 11/24/13 “Bravery”

I had to do a prompt on marriage, writing and fear of swimming–this ended up becoming the feature poem for 4SON (4th Sunday Open mic Night)

I pray that you receive a message and that you are blessed by it: http://youtu.be/03DjZ-JNdT0

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Dear feminists: Proof the Bible highly esteems women

Natasha Sapienza

The Bible highly esteems women with statements that would be shocking to the men of that age (two thousand plus years ago).

The very fact that the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection were women is extremely telling. If the New Testament gospel accounts were contrived, why in the blazes would the male writers coin women as the primary witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection when in that time, women’s testimonies weren’t even valid in court?

Here’s just another example of upholding women when Jesus rebuked His disciples for frowning upon the noble actions made by a woman:

While Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had a serious skin disease, a woman approached Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive fragrant oil. She poured it on His head as He was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw it, they were indignant. “Why this waste?…

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Striking Back Against Censorship

The WordPress.com Blog

The mission of WordPress.com is to democratize publishing. We’re inspired every day by the ways creators use our platform to bring their voices to the world. Unfortunately, we also see many cases of censorship aimed at WordPress.com authors and users.

One area where we’ve seen a number of problems is the censoring of criticism through abuse of copyright law. Two recentcases of abuse really caught our attention and made us think that we needed to take action to fight back on behalf of our users and everyone who believes in the internet’s promise for free expression.

Censorship by DMCA

A common form of censorship by copyright stems from improper use of legal creations called DMCA takedown notices. The DMCA stands for the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” which is a US federal law that created a system for protecting copyrights online. The DMCA system works pretty well, but has a…

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What Is Black

(I was inspired to post this up after reading a poem by Shanice Nicole called “Race Wars”—you can read it here: http://sheisnotapoet.com/race-wars-written/ It has some similarities to one I wrote. While “Race Wars” focuses on the issue of light skin vs dark skin, this poem focuses on blackness.)

WHAT IS BLACK                              9/7/13

I am more than my race
I am more than my faith
I am more than these labels
The world keeps trying to force
—me to take
I will never fit into your
Cookie cutter shape
Unless you design the shape to
—fit me
I’m me
A woman
Black
African American
With a little Creole on the side

My race is a part
Of who I am
But it isn’t all I am

So I pose the question
The question that’s been asked
Numerous times before

What is Black?

If it is a social construct
Intended to cause division
When using the words
“Them” and “Those people”
Pronouns like “They”
Then if we do away with this
Construct
How do we let go
How do we move past
Centuries of oppression

Truth is
I can’t speak for an entire race
A culture of people
And yet I do
Simply because of my ethnicity
So excuse me
Black People
If I bring what you feel
Is shame upon us
But I have to ask

How can I forgive and forget
When I’m taught
It is pertinent to remember
One’s history
Well my history began
With a population of people
Who were forced into slavery

Which by the way
Is now being justified by saying
That prisoners of war
Of opposing tribes
In Africa
Were enslaved

Rumors spread
That those who were sold
And separated from their families
Chose this lifestyle
They chose to be slaves

And it is now being rewritten
That the triangular trade
Only consisted of the trading
And bartering of spices

The light complexion of my skin
Didn’t get here by itself
And I doubt the young slave girl
Laid down for her master
—willingly

Yet I’m done
Always trying to prove
My racial identity
As I hear the people I speak for
Whispering
“You know she’s not really Black.”
“She gotta be mixed;
Don’t no Black folk I know
Look like that!”
“She is, too, Black!
Look at her nose,
Those lips!
Though she is real high yellow
And she ain’t got no booty
Either.
I don’t know,
Maybe you right.”

I inform them my mother’s side
—of the family
Is from Louisiana
And suddenly
My Blackness has been
Verified
“OOOH!
Well yeah you Black then.”
So sorry for those light skin
Brothers and sisters
Who don’t have roots connected
To France
Or the Louisiana Purchase

But we each bought into the
—thought
That we know what Black is
Criticize Asians in America
Dealing with their own set
Of real life double consciousness
“What am I?
Am I Asian,
Am I American,
Or both?
What does it even mean?”
Do you honestly think
That our ancestors did not run
Into this same issue?
Am I African
American
Or just plain Black?
If I’m not a Nigger
Colored
Or Negro
Than what am I?

Black is not a stereotype
I refuse to be one
Is it defined by skin color
Or physical features?
It can’t be
Because if she’s darker than me
Has a larger posterior
And bigger breasts than me
But has a smaller, refined nose
Than my “clearly” African one
Does that still make her Blacker,
More Black than me?
God had an interesting way
Of putting us together didn’t He?

Is Black limited to how I speak?
They
Oh sorry, there goes that pronoun
So I guess it works both ways
But in the English lexicon
There is a section
Called AAE
African American English
So someone said
This is how all of them speak
And up until a year or two ago
English
American English
Derived from so many different
Influences
Fifty percent French word usage
English
Was called SAE
Standard American English
Til I suppose
Too many inquiries arose
Now it’s called EAE
EDITED American English

AAE was the polite label for
Ebonics
Or slang as some of you may
Call it
And up until the Hip-Hop culture
Had taken root
Transcending cultures everywhere
Getting picked up by some kid
Who wasn’t Black
And inserted into their vernacular

Up until that point
AAE was considered
“Bad grammar”
It was poor English

Then it’s wide use
By others
Brought forth new rules
“Well,
There’s no such thing as
Bad language;
Just bad context.”
Suddenly it’s okay to use it
In everyday conversation
Just don’t bring it into the
—workplace
Where a high demeanor of
—professionalism
Is required

We grew to accept African American
But why aren’t there
Caucasian Americans?
Or Anglo-Saxon Americans?
Even Native Americans
Aren’t Americans
And they were here before us

I guess
My final question is
When my history is tied
Directly to my race
Then how do I forgive and forget
While never forgetting
Where I came from
And who I am?
How do I forgive and forget
When I’m reminded
Everyday I step outside my house
Especially as a Black woman
An African American woman
Living in the South
Born and raised
Exactly who I am?
Told I’m not like those walking
Stereotypes out there
The ones who took the identities
That were created for them
And maybe,
Just maybe if they hadn’t taken
—those
Labels
Then they wouldn’t tell them to
Go back to Africa so much
And while laughing
Share a nigger joke
Ended with another reminder
That I can’t get mad
Because “you people call
—yourselves that
All the time.”

The unacceptable becomes
—acceptable
And yet I puzzle them
Because I’m Black
And African
And African American
With Creole on the side
So that includes French
And Spanish
And not to forget
Coushatta
(And no, not the casino)
Welsh
That’s on my grandmother’s side
And both of my great greats
Were full blood Native American

The Sadberrys were historically
White plantation owners
The man who started
The Simon family tree in France
Was white
And married a Black woman
Yet I’m not fitting into this
Neat little box they made
To separate me from them
And that’s on all sides

I am who God says I am
And the way He made me
Is just fine
My race is a part of my identity
My faith is also a part of me
My love for writing
My poetry
All parts of the Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter collection of me
Jacqueline Sìmone Sadberry
But it’s not my entire identity
It’s just another beautiful thing
Of my wondrous makeup

Perhaps the ones
With the identity crisis
Steadily searching for who they
—are
By labeling people
By who and what they aren’t
Are the ones
Who in actually
Don’t know Whose they are
In God

So when you figure out
What Black is
White is
Hispanic and Latino is
Asian
Middle Eastern
European
Is
Let me know

Because even English is a mixed
—language
But you don’t call it French
Even though that’s what it
Primarily is

Ms Lauryn (POEM)

MS LAURYN                11/12/13

Fame is short-lived
No matter how great you are
It’s passes over faster than a
–shooting star
Yeah
Today
They’re saying your name like
–knowledge of you
Is common sense
But tomorrow
They’re speaking of you in the
Past tense
Don’t hold on so tight to it
Because people will be people
They’ll love you and forget you
So get used to it
The only one that seems to
–remember you
Is God
Who says you don’t need
Other people’s validations
You don’t need
Other people’s reinventions
Of yourself
He made you
He can tell you who you are
–before anyone else
You can find the breakdown
In a love letter composed in the
–form of 66 books
Celebrities die before they even
–hit the ground
Before their hearts stop beating
It’s a brawl to fight for relevance
But God says
Even when they bury your
–memory
And can’t recall your name
You have been
Are
And will always be
My trending topic
My top story
The most important thing to Me

I appreciate your compliments
Your likes and retweets
But I don’t thrive on them
Not like I used to
They’re nice, it’s all so very nice
But God gives me worth
Way before you do
So though you’ll put me down
–tomorrow
Drowning me in criticisms the
–day after next
I’ll take God’s applause
In the midst of your laughter
His approval of me
As you throw shade
And give me the SMH
I just SMH
Lift up my hands
And give the Lord praise
For making me who I am
Designing me this way
I’m still trying to figure it all out
But I’d be a liar
To say I got it all figured out
As I write this to an audience of
One
Lord thank You
For Your Son
Thank You for Your Son
Mercy and grace
Notoriety isn’t what I need
I just need Christ
You may disagree
But just look over my life
I wasn’t supposed to make it this
–far
Father almost aborted me before
–I was born
Had he gotten that vasectomy
Wasn’t supposed to make it this
–far
My mother and I almost died
While she was carrying me
I wasn’t supposed to make it
When I went to swallow those
–pills at 15
And His hand reached out and
–stopped me
When my mom was driving the
–car
And that driver that hit us
Just nearly missed me
I wasn’t supposed to make it
So I thank God
The Father of us all
That He rewrote the story
He saved my life
So excuse me but
I don’t need your likes to survive
I don’t need to be famous to be
–important
I’m already somebody
I’m a survivor
I don’t need your temporary
–glory
Selective memory of who I am
God knows me
And He already gave me a crown
Placed right on top of my head

I know you can’t see it
Just like my faith
But one day
I hope you’ll peer into the mirror
And see the one He has for you

People don’t make you who you
–are
Because God already created
–you
Let them say what they’re gonna
–say
There will come a day
When the thing they treat
Like The Emperor’s New Clothes
Will become very real
Before their very eyes
And all will confess it
None will be able to deny

Fame is so short-lived
Don’t let eternity pass you by