An Open Letter to Black Parents Whose Suns Have Been Pushed Out of Preschool

To my Black Sun who will be 19 in only a few days…going back to school, now college, is now a joyful experience. I look back on taking you out of that colonizing environment mid year, in 2nd grade, with rejoicing. You are my Black Son and you shine.

Single Mom So Far

Open Letter to Black ParentsDear Mom, Dad, Auntie, Grandma, family member of a Black sun:

I have to begin with this affirmation: I see you. I believe you.

As we gear up for the start of a new school year, I suspect you might feel the same familiar knots of tension beginning to twist in your stomach that I do, often coming at unexplained moments: while pushing him on the swing, while reading a book together, while chatting about his day over dinner. You’ll wonder if his new teacher will take the time to listen closely to the way he gets excited about superheroes, about building volcanoes with his friends, about waiting for a tomato to ripen before he can pick it.

You’ll wonder if his new teacher will listen to him at all.

You’ll covertly search the internet, chaining together all types of words in the search bar: whatiswrongwithmyblacksun, howtohelpmychildsurvivearacistteacher, whatdoidoknow, howdoihomeschool. You…

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A Mother’s Cry

HandsJartI didn’t watch it

The show movie about a boy killed while carrying some candy & a drink

In a town down South

By a brown man exercising his

right to carry…

as he

stood his ground…

and measured life

on a stick

metered by white supremacy.

I couldn’t bear to watch

the story play out

again

of

A Black Mother’s Cry

As I recount going to a mall in Philly & chiding the store manager,

a young SUN

for what I thought was irresponsible posturing of hoodies as FLY merch!

In any color–red, blue, heather, black–it would be read blue whether gray or white on BLACK

boys and men

whose lives were are valued only as in sport

like game

in the wild…

 

Rest in power

Trayvon Martin

 

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Learning to…

IOyouIt is interesting…

Learning to

Live and

Love

With

and

Without

you.

It is painful…

Learning to

Love and

Live

With

and

Without you.

It is curious….

Learning to

Live and Love

With and Without

You.

What was the lesson?

Only one letter apart: LIVE and LOVE; its the OUT that makes the WITH so hard.

I miss you

but I am learning…

time heals wounds and fills gaps…soon all will be well and grief will be no more. Loneliness will be liberty and freedom will feel free…

 

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Shades of Yellow

To my Beloved Grandmother…

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 9.17.02 AM

She knew the sun would release its light to reveal the brilliance of the Son…

She knew that YELLOW would sit between Florida ORANGES and the GREENER pastures of this life like the colors of the spectrum that define all that is radiant..energy

She had heard it somewhere in that segregated school where ROY G BIV meant something in science or space or time, new dimensional and yet the same…

She took those lessons condemning that which was Black and turned into White light that leads toward salvation

She took her last breath as night became day on the East Coast and as day became night on the West

Yellow was her favorite so today I will wear yellow rather than my red, not blue but full of joy.

Move in power…

Rest in peace…

Sunrise: December 5

Sunset: June 9

grannytatumreading

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Locs & A Nose Ring

A standard of beauty

That sparkles in the sun

That hints at the love of Africa, Asia and New Amerikah

A mother’s love

Sitting in the pews on the side

Next to the prince

Birthing a duchess

Guiding her choices with grace and steady love for everything she is you are the standard

of motherhood

of womanhood

of beauty

Doria Ragland. What a beautiful name.

 

 

 

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Open letter to my Mothers’ generations

To the Camilles, Phylicias, and Beyonces of the world…

From the daughters (and sons) who have wrongfully judged…

You are the Queen

Mothers

Grand, great and regular…

There is so much that you have

Birthed

Born

Bear

Struggles from within and without

The love and provision

Support and guidance

of the men that you have loved.

Victimized as you meet the needs of them and us, your children and your loves

You have been the “ride or die” type but questions from your daughter–regular, grand and great…

How did you survive the abuse from inside (within) and outside (without)

The love and provision

Support and guidance

of the men (and the children) that you have loved?

 

 

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Contact in Context: The Highs and Lows of Intercultural Communication

Reflections on the Stand Against Racism (April 2018)

As poetry month comes to an end, I find it rather poetic that like many other calendar memorials, I choose to color outside of the lines presented. In forming allies within and without the community where I serve, I am challenged to be precise in my use of language…knowing the difference between contact and context. Tangentially related, treated as synonymous (on occasion) but so, vastly, different.

High contact reflects close proximity, the thought makes me claustrophobic. There is no need for words (context–verbal cuing) when somehow the chemistry of closeness helps you discern exactly what is meant by your nearest neighbor, friend or relative. I reflect on row homes and projects where the fragrance of sin and satisfaction permeate corridors and building frames…for years. I know what you did, last night, last month, last year. I know your habits because, well, I can hear it, smell it and even taste it in the air.

High context reflects the need to absolutely use the standards and conventions of language to convey an idea. The manipulative way that you say “I am so confused” or “I don’t understand” govern the discourse…always. If it is not stated explicitly, it might as well not be said.

 

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