Friday, May 28, 2010

How do we hide?

We are growing up in a time where communication is everything. We can chat with friends and family across the world or even just next door and never leave our bed. It's amazing.

I myself have 3 email addresses, a blog, a facebook, a cell phone you can call or text to, a formspring, a twitter, a skype, and an AIM handy for iChat, not to mention the land line that close friends use when all else is failing.
When I look at that list it looks like so much. too much. but this is not out of the ordinary for teenagers and young adults like myself. We thrive on the ways to send information the fastest. We have been blessed with these options.

So with all the communicating and instant messaging, video chatting, and comment boxes why is there a disconnect in our generation? We are all tweeting, and blogging, and chatting but about what?

And I guess I should be more clear as to who I am talking to exactly, although I sometimes refer to our generation as a whole it often narrows down to my generation as a young African-American Adult. My question is for those that fit that mold.

What are we going to use all this communication to accomplish??

Marcus Garvey
Phyllis Wheatley
Martin Luther King
Malcolm X
Nikki Giovanni
C.T. Vivian
Nat Turner
Sojourner Truth
Rosa Parks
Huey P. Newton
Alex Haley
Stokely Carmichael
Diane Nash

These are just a few people who fought for us and committed their expertise to our enlightment. The things they sought to acheive were obvious; the right to vote, the right to go where they please, the chance to tell the truth, the right to an education, the right to know our history, the chance that we might be proud of our skin, the right to be considered more than 3/5 of a man.
Ultimately, they were all fighting in their own ways for life and freedom for US ( you and me).
and because so many of these things are AVAILABLE to us today, does that mean that the fight is over??
Do we have ANY responsibilities??? Or has the good fight been fought??

What will we do with the power we have been awarded through all of this technology? When will our rappers rap music that seeks to save us/better us?? Do you even feel as though that it is necessary??

Because when I take a look at this world and our community I worry for the children I will bring into this world. I worry that the music so popular today will have completely infiltrated the music industry with no chance of return and robotic buffoons will be dancing to their nonsense and will enter society creating more trash that will send our community into absolute stagnation, forever talking, tweeting, and chatting but going no where.

stagnant. clogged. Frozen. still. motionless. dormant. static. flat. unchanging. never growing. DEAD.

I am afraid we will chat ourselves to death unless we find something to stand for. something to be honorable about.

What ones of us will be remembered as people who made tomorrow a better place. Not just more entertaining but actually BETTER?
Which ones of us will be revolutionary? Does anyone even care for revolution anymore?

Are we happy with where we are? Are you happy?

I don't know the answer to all these questions but I think the point is to begin by being aware that perhaps there is something bigger than BET that we should be striving to discover.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the race issues and class issues in our world. I am hurt and disappointed by Black American's who do not care to discover their roots. I am angered by those who dismiss Africa. I am outraged by those who feel that slavery is too shameful to claim as their history. I am afraid for those who do not realize that 60 years ago we had nooooooo respect in this country and we were being hosed and lynched. I am confused by people who can do math but can't understand how recent 60 years truly is. I am baffled by those who choose to believe that all is now equal, that Obama means that racism has died, that MLK's dream is a complete reality.

It all makes me feel like the world I live in is sick and deranged. I begin to feel out of place and unwelcome here and I want to hide from it all. Roll under a rock. Travel to an isolated island (an island off the coast of Africa preferably)  and start a new civilization.

...but then I get a text, or my Jennifer Hudson ring tone plays, I get a red flag notification on facebook, an email, a tweet, a skype chat....and I can't leave.

I can't go and hide from all that is happening in the world and with my people. My friends and family, brothers and sisters.
I can't hide with all this technology and all this communication. So since I am here I have to figure out how to make it worthy of history.

How do we manage to hide from the true issues that are driving our lives when we are always so accessible? How do we manage to talk about nothing when we are always communicating? How do we hide?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sometimes We Feel Like SHIT.

Sometimes you feel like shit and in the event that you do, I hope you run into someone who actually cares to listen to how shitty you feel and why.

So often, we just want the quick answer:
-"How are you?"

-"Oh, I'm fine!"

and you're not. But no one wants reality. WE NEED IT
 but often facade is so much easier to swallow.
Far less time consuming
takes way less energy
Requires little commitment
and you don't even have to stop walking to hear it.

So again, I hope the people around you care about you enough to dig deeper when you give them that I'm fine-bullshit

 I hope they look at you crazy and say,

"come on now, you look like shit"

Monday, May 17, 2010


It's cool to be Ghanaian. Me FiRi GHANA-A sight that promotes Ghanian pride. I can dig it. Check them out HERE. Their site is driven by the vision of Ghana's first president, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah. I can dig that too.

"The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent".

-President Kwame Nkrumah

I will have to tell you all more about Dr. Nkrumah some other time.


This evening I had an interesting conversation with a rather interesting lad and it reminded me of this piece I wrote a while back. Also, my last post about the Black is Beautiful blog sort of sent me in this direction as well.


I would like to believe that I am not my hair.
but as I watched it fall to the floor I became it
it became me
and I am becoming a new person because of it
and the look is quite becoming
if I might add
the look of a woman with a shaved head
the look of a woman with an afro in a crowd of permed hair.

I'd like to believe I am not my hair 
but my hair is all of me

you can see my tight black fist in the air and picture my fro 
or you can see my fro and imagine my fist floating just above it 
to compliment it


I am proud to say I am my hair.

I am these napps and these kinks.
I am what God gave me
 It is all of me

It grows with out pressure 
It's not suped up on drugs 
its sober
though I am a fan of Ms. Madame CJ walker
I am not a billboard for her company
My hair does not blow in the breeze 
in fact it shrinks when its wet

that's just the way it is 
and I could never play Repunzul because of it
nor could I be a mermaid
the librarian turned sex kitten
the nerd turned prom queen
the hair flipping diva
or the varsity cheerleader.
But I could play a slave
or a mother
I could play a lover
and a friend
I could play a free spirit
the unique
the confident creative one
I could play a sistah
a Panther
a disco dancing show stoppin 4 wheel skatin 70s cliche  soul sister

I could be the "different" one. 

and I understand that 

-Jacqueline Naami

Beautiful Black Women

So bored as I was I decided to google "black women afros" because I myself have an afro and was interested in different ways to rock the natural. It was during my quest for insight that  I came across this blog entitled...



Okay, so he means 'these are the thoughts of a white b'woy"- but I'm not here to point out his typos (i have plenty myself. punctuation never quite hit home with me).

Anyhow, I find the entire thing kind of interesting...take a LOOK!

I Get Out

-Lauryn Hill

a beautiful song worth listening to. Hear what she is saying or read it here.


my favorite feature about myself is well rounded
so firm to hold it is to know it
and everybody just can't stroke it

it is me most naked
learn it
hold it
mold it
probe it the right way and you will hear me say things 
you never knew I could say
if you're really lucky I might even sing for you
push me and I might even scream at you

you'll never know 'til you try it
and be careful 
don't provoke it
there is a time for everything
rough  now
gentle later
I hope you are a good reader
the signals 
I drop them
but no red flags
you must keep watching

see my favorite thing I treat it
give it soft places to lay
nourish it with goodness
not cheap shit
I like that stuff you've never heard of
that stuff you can't be robotic to find

I'm on that constant conscious nourishment grind
trying to find the perfect stimulation
so as to never grow bored
always learning
always learning a better way 

and that thing that I speak of is cultured
you can tell almost as soon as you see it
and  'I' before 'E' often it precedes me 
they say -she got that good thang- before I even enter

and if you want to know that thing that is mine
you gotta come with it
after light wine or heavy drinking
you may find way to glimpse it

but  my MIND is far more intriguing if I let you see it

-Jacqueline Naami

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Hoodmart can be found in the- well you guessed it, HOOD! I didn't believe it was real.

Stop here for all your HOOD mixtape, HOOD magazines, and HOOD dvd needs.
Don't be confused by the language drop down menu- the only choice is English but apparently you can pay in the Euro, Pound sterling, or dollar.

perhaps, this is the store YOU've been waiting for.

-Jacqueline Naami

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Ceiling.

and sometimes we step forward and don't know how to step back.

Choices. we make choices all the time.
sit here. eat that. say this. wear these. smile. frown. pout. laugh.
we choose again and again and each choice builds to what becomes your life. They build to habit.

One choice that so many of us make is the choice to -FIGHT-
I don't mean that we choose to be activists or anything progressive like that. I mean that we choose to fight ourselves.

We are conditioned to a certain protocol and it regulates the choices we make. There is an appropriate time to give up cartoons or say "I love you" or even buy your first home. Too soon or too late on any of these things sends the conditioned and institutionalized people around us in disarray.

so we fight the things that we would rather say and/or rather do so that no one thinks we are out of line.

it is after making those decisions that we sit back and feel the repercussions and realize that we should have said this instead or done that or perhaps we should have done and said nothing at all.

we make these choices and they build the foundations and walls of our lives. And eventually all the fighting and repressing puts ceilings on our lives that leave us feeling trapped. choking on stale air.
but the choice was made and the ceiling is on and the air is stale and as you hyperventilate you cannot find the way to turn back.

no undo/redo button in life. there is no way to make what happened virtually non-existent. But there must be a way to remove the ceiling and breathe more easily.

I don't know quite how to do it myself and I feel myself being lost under the shadow of a ceiling I am building by not understanding how to step back and try again. And although I have not found the key I am aware. Therefore the ceiling is not sneaking up on me. I see it edging and so I have a better chance at stopping it.

ignoring the ceiling is what leads to regret. So as you make choices. As you make the wrong choices (which you will do because we all do) and in reflection you feel yourself wishing you'd made a different one. Try and step back. try and say "there's a better way"

and then try to mend what you have torn.

-I don't know if this is clear...but hopefully somebody can feel me

Jacqueline Naami

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


If you know me then you know that I LOVE Lupe Fiasco.
I wrote this with him in mind (hence the tittle). 
Waiting for that album to drop...

I took my shades off for the trilogy

expose a revolution 
a neo-peoples movement

you thought the end had come with 3

but a crowd is nothing to me

Light up my world

my eyes are open for the seeing 
I want watercolor Hip Hop for this next one
blend it
blended so smoothly with reality and poetry
with rhyme and free verse

not that choppy shit that blocky that singular mosaic shit

laser it and blend it a watercolor masterpiece
and do it quickly Dali foresaw it 
time is melting away and I-
the world deserves to see your artistry 
through their headphones

paint them a watercolor portrait of what Hip Hop looked like when Common still loved her

paint a coster sized image of what Hip Hop looked like when Lauryn embodied her
and I will keep it in my pocket

paint it with your laser pen and we will absorb your take on it
paint me a portrait of Hip Hop on your microphone 

I need to see her through eyes like my own
does Hip Hop look like me or should I wish for the bluest eyes like Claudia?
tired of fitting into boxes not made for sisters with noses hips and asses
no lights for my brothers dark as  asphalt and smooth as chocolate
even our savior was painted as a white boy but I was made in his image

use your laser to tie me into history
with your watercolor vocabulary.
make it blend 
it's more complicated than black white deeper than grey

use your laser and paint a new image of Hip Hop one where we all win
one where we all relate 
unable to find anything familiar besides the feeling that good music brings

-Jacqueline Naami

Monday, May 10, 2010


"i wanta say just gotta say something
bout those beautiful beautiful beautiful outasight
black men"
-Beautiful Black Men, Nikki Giovanni

when you said that you wanted to be there 
I was so proud so happy so pleased that it was finally me 
that was pullin' 
first time baiting the fish that I wanted
I believed that I had hooked you and 
in three words 
not even the good ones 
(for love was not yet a factor but in time
with you 
it very well could be) 
no not those three but in a phrase very similar but lacking in intensity 
you baited me forever. 
forever hooked whether I am forgotten or nurtured
whether I move on and hook  on some other pole
hooked whether I like it or not
hooked whether you claim that I misunderstood
cause getting this far with you was a mile stone.

I fought hard to keep my imagination grounded but you and me was an inspiring equation
I could not stop painting Da Vinci worthy family portraits in my head
the greatest of canvas'
I scribbled out our future with hearts and red pens
and i had a vision of you in the future 
 you were strong and black and you blew my mind like those 

"beautiful beautiful beautiful outasight black men with afros"

and I never got over the fact that you were mine
I was so lucky
or as you would say blessed
and I had no reason to fear anything except God when I was with you for you handled it ALL
but still I would share the worrying with you and if I couldn't l lighten the load on your back I would use my hands to massage it out of you 
I would start at your skull and work my way down until I was rubbing your feet with my hair 
if still your mind seemed heavy I was strong enough to lay you on your back and pull heaven through you and I would feed you me or chicken and greens
whatever you wanted to eat
or you could have the latter as an entree and
me for  desert
i could serve you both in the kitchen 
your one -stop -hunger- no -more- stress- reliever
I was that for you because you were ALL THAT and more for me
I would be whatever you needed from me
if you let me


I did try (however patheticly) to focus on what was now and let then be then or 
the to be 
be when it was ready to manifest
but I failed in keeping my hopes underground 
they floated without my permission
most were too high by the time I saw them and tried to net them
what i could catch I tried to swallow back down but they grew until they consumed me
I was hopelessly Hope-Full
and when I took a breathe on the exhale they would escape to join their brothers that had already reached and settled in the sky 
fighting for a ride on a shooting star 
to have my wish and dream
come true
for this to be it


together...the perfect singularity for a new a beautiful universe 

-Jacqueline Naami


(most of these will begin like this: something Nikki said--->Something I wrote to illustrate it my own way)

“She always said she didn’t know who if anyone would stand with her. She just knew that it was time for her to stand.”
                                                          -Nikki Giovanni on Rosa Parks

If I cry for you
Fight for you
Rage on until my nails make a passage for blood
Will you
Stand/and deliver?
Or should I cry ‘til my eyes hurt and
My dress is soaked and
My body dehydrates from an overload of emotion?
Will you stand?
Transform into a modern day cat?
Or should I make an excuse for you?
That white man is out to get you
That nigger so washed up he tryna lynch you
Then will you wear black to mourn the death of conformity but celebrate a new addition to the Panther family?
Should I wait until tomorrow or
next week or 
until I am peering through the clouds wondering

 why I cried at all…

-Jacqueline Naami

NiKKi G.

I won't dive all the way into this but I want to introduce you to Nikki Giovanni

I read my first Nikki G. poem in the 7th grade and it was after reading it that I decided I ought to try and write poetry outside of our language arts poetry units.

There was a poem in that literature book that stood out
I didn't really understand it 
but I knew it was the TRUTH and I never forgot this one line.

"If i can't have what i want then my job is to want what i've got and be satisfied that at least there is something more to want"

for years I had no idea who had written the poem or what it was called but I never forgot that small part.

Anyways, I will end the story here. The journey was a long one. If you want to hear it, let me know. I'll break it down for yall.

The point of all this is to introduce my next little venture. See I  have read and listened to a lot of interviews with Nikki Giovanni and I've noticed that she speaks about so many things that I have already written about or established as truth within myself. I also find that I absorb her voice a little after I read her and then write...

So yeah, I don't know how many I'll post but the next few things (at least) will be of or inspired by Nikki G.

Enjoy it or hate it.
Either way leave a comment.

-Jacqueline Naami

It Was Written

It was written before I wrote it 
and would have been regardless of whether I had written it down
but I wrote it anyway so that you could remember it
and I could find some evidence of it
no excuse for ignoring it
for it is 
and will be
even if you cross it out
See I wrote it so that you would have to face IT now

and it was written way before Nas had Street Dreams and delivered The Message
and the mixtape was written before Lu spit it 
before he added -pe and stuck Fiasco to it
It was written in 'lu' 
of chance 
it was written by fate
and I write it so I can hold 
your fate
my fate
hold it in my hands

mold it
try and 
control it
erase what I don't like
...or else try

See it was written so we would acknowledge it
so we would pay homage to His name and
to what is important in it
so we could twist it and attempt to make it our own 

and this too was written 
before I wrote it but I wrote it anyway

-Jacqueline Naami

Sunday, May 9, 2010


So you may or may not remember that I actually started a blog last summer and then TERMINATED it.  
Why, you might ask?

-because of certain advice I was given but....

                                                            TODAY IS A NEW DAY!  

And I want to share- share thoughts, share poetry, share stories, whatever.


I hope you are intrigued. 
I hope you leave comments- I hope you say that you enjoyed the things you liked and loathed the things you hated.

and without further ado... 

It Was Written