Tag Archives: writing

Angry about Talladega?

4 Jan

News has been swirling that Talladega College will be performing at the President Reject Trump’s inauguration later this month. And people are not here for it, especially, alumni of the university. A petition has been circulating, asking the school’s president and band to withdraw from the performance. The reasoning is simple; Donald Trump and HBCUs don’t stand for the same things. Donald Trump believes all black people (aside from Omarosa) live in the “inner city,” and uses drastically incorrect facts when referring to black people. But anyway, the point of this essay isn’t to convince you to like or dislike Trump, or even to sign the petition for Talladega’s band to withdraw.
My point is simply this: If you’re angry about the idea of Talladega performing at the inauguration, it is time for you to make a donation to your favorite HBCU. At the end of the day, this is ALL about money. At this time, no details have been reported about what Talladega will earn financially from this performance, but the Trump team has been struggling to find entertainment for his inauguration, and sources have said they were “willing to pay anything.” So, one could see how a struggling HBCU like Talladega could be enticed by a big paycheck, along with the publicity from performing at an international event like this.

talladega

Money Talks. Money Talks. Money Talks. Talladega has been struggling with their finances for the past few years. This is in part due to lack of alumni giving and lower enrollment. In 2010, enrollment at Talladega dropped to 350 students. With that amount of students, it is difficult to keep up with the costs of running a college. This is where alumni giving comes into play. Alumni donations help increase financial support for the college. The donations also signify that its graduates support a particular college. There are educational organizations that donate to schools based solely on their alumni giving rates, because why support an institution that even their alumni don’t support Pride in your HBCU is a great thing to have, but it HAS to be backed up financially.

Many of you heard about Talladega and said, “My HBCU would never…” but let’s be real. The struggle that Talladega College is going through isn’t unique. HBCUs have been struggling. And though enrollment rates are rising, it is still important for you, as an alum or supporter of HBCUs to support financially. So in the words of MY president, “Don’t boo, vote.” But in this case: Don’t boo, donate!

 

 

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Demolish. (Rose-Colored Glasses)

17 May

This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Today’s prompt is DEMOLISH.

“If you hate white people so much, why did you marry Dad?”

That question pained me. “I don’t hate white people,” I looked at my son with intense eyes. “But the injustice going on in the world these days is hard to ignore. And a lot of it comes from white people.”

“All of them aren’t bad, Ma,” he said.

“Obviously, I know that Thomas. Your father isn’t bad. Your grandparents aren’t bad people. In fact, I know plenty of white people that aren’t bad.”

“So why are you telling me to be careful? Like they’re dangerous?”

“Listen, Thomas. I just said all of them aren’t bad. There’s no group of people who are all good or all bad. I’m asking you to look around and see what’s happening to little black boys your age and younger. Pay attention, and realize that the world is a dangerous place for you.”

“But those guys are different from me. I’m not like them.”

My hurt turned to anger in an instance. “You’re not like them?” I asked. He didn’t have a chance to respond. “What makes you different Thomas? You are not special, you’re not different. Your accomplishments and your white father don’t make you better than those other people being murdered.”

Thomas had just gotten his learner’s permit, and I felt it was time to have the talk with him. My intention was to teach him the correct way to treat police officers. I didn’t include my husband in the conversation, fearing his privilege would cloud his vision. I was actually seeing for the first time that my son had his own rose-colored glasses. He didn’t understand the impact that his skin color had on his life. Instead he wanted to argue with me about whether or not I liked white people.

“Are you listening to me,” I yelled and snapped my fingers. “To some of these people, you are nothing but a nigger.”

The word stung coming out of my mouth. I hadn’t used it in all the years since I’d given birth to Thomas. I couldn’t even remember the last time. But, finally I had his full attention.

“I’m sorry, Thomas.” My anger reverted to sadness. “I need you to hear me though. You are an amazing young man. And I love you. That’s why I’m having this conversation with you. The racist people in this world can’t see how amazing you are just by looking at you. All they see is your black skin. And instantly they hate you, before you even open your mouth. And I know it’s 2016, but the danger you face is real.”

I was rambling. I didn’t have the poise that my parents had when they had the talk with my brothers and me. I didn’t have the strength to have the talk either. But I knew it had to be done.

It had to be done. In the 21st century, I had to have a conversation with my child, explaining to him that he’d never be good enough for some people. The world that his father and I created for him wasn’t reality. The sheltered view of life we provided for him wouldn’t protect him in the real world. Pain. Anger. Sadness. It was an emotional rollercoaster that had no end. And it was a rollercoaster my son would be riding the rest of his life, he just didn’t know it yet.

I hated the situation, but I loved him. So as his mother, it was my responsibility to shatter those rose-colored glasses before someone else did it.

Complicate. (Just Friends)

17 Apr

This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Today’s prompt is COMPLICATE.

“Y’all relationship is so boring,” Mia laughed loudly and took a sip of her drink. “Travis makes y’all do the same thing every Friday night. Dinner and then dry ass sex.”

“First of all, Mia, Travis doesn’t make me doing anything. And, our sex isn’t dry. We like to eat and then, you know.” Sierra was slightly annoyed at her friends for laughing at her relationship. “Both of you,” she pointed to Mia and Jade, “are single as hell. So don’t come for me.”

“I’m not coming for you,” Jade said. She was good at smoothing things over. “We were just saying, you and Travis’ anniversary is coming up; you might want to spice things up. You know, try something new.”

“No, I’m saying your sex life is dry. Travis is so controlling, so y’all only have sex on Fridays after you eat chipotle for dinner and watch some dumb TV show that Travis picked. Y’all probably be in the same position every time too. Dry!”

“Mind your business, Mia.” Jade said. She could see her friend was uncomfortable. “Sierra’s right…we don’t have dudes in our life, so we should just chill.”

All three girls got quiet when the waiter came to the table. He placed the plate of wings in the middle of the table, and walked away.

“Ok, so what would you do to ‘spice things up’?” Sierra asked.

“While you guys are driving to Charlotte, ask him some sexy questions. Ask him something like: ‘what kind of food would you like to use on me in bed?’ Or, ask him ‘would you rather be tied up or tie me up?’ Or, just say some dirty, freaky shit.”

“That’s a good idea,” Jade said. “I’ll Google some fun questions for you guys to talk about on the trip.” Jade pulled out her phone and began to search. “Ok, here’s a whole list. Number one: What is the most expensive date you’ve been on? That’s a fun one right?” Jade asked.

“Let me see,” Sierra asked. “These are cool. I can ask him most of these.”

The three girls spent the rest of their dinner looking up questions for Sierra and Travis to talk about on their trip down to North Carolina. Mia wanted her friend to buy some lingerie or toys – but she’d settle for some freaky questions.

 

Three days later, Sierra was ready to shake things up a bit in her relationship. They’d been in the car for about two hours, when she reached out to turn the radio down. “I wanted to try something fun while we’re driving. It’s a little game where we ask each other questions.”

“Um, ok.” Travis looked at her out the corner of his eye.

“Ok,” Sierra sighed. She pulled out her phone, where she had saved the questions the girls came up with. “Ok, where is the strangest place you’ve ever had sex?”

Travis laughed and kept his eyes on the road. “Where you get these questions from?”

“Just play along Travis. I think it’ll be fun and maybe sexy,” Sierra said. She adjusted her body in the passenger seat so she’d have a better look at Travis’ face.

“Alright. The strangest place I’ve ever had sex,” he repeated. “Hmm, I guess it would be this one time in a girl’s backyard. It was pretty strange. Her parents weren’t home, but her grandmother was, so we couldn’t go in the house. No more grass for me, though,” Travis chuckled.

Sierra laughed, “How old were you?”

“I don’t know, maybe like 16 or so.” Travis laughed.

“Ok,” Sierra said. “You can ask me a question if you want.”

“Uh,” Travis thought. “You ever wanted to be with another girl?”

Sierra giggled and shook her head, “Nope.”

The couple went back and forth asking questions. More than being turned on, Sierra was happy to be learning more about Travis. She probably would’ve never known how much he liked lingerie without this little game. Or that he’d always wanted to go to Hawaii with her one day.

“Ok, here’s a good one,” Sierra said looking at her phone. “If I gave you a hall pass for one day, and you could be with anyone, who would you pick?”

“That is a good one,” Travis said. “Probably Tasha.” He looked like was thinking for a moment. “Yeah, definitely Tasha.”

“What?” Sierra asked.

“You asked who I would be with if I had a hall pass, right?” Travis looked confused.

“But why would you choose Tasha?” Sierra’s voice suddenly got deeper. “She’s your best friend,” Sierra said making air quotes. “I’ve asked you before if you had feelings for her, and you always said no.”

“Come on Sierra, you know what I mean. I didn’t say I had feelings for Tasha. I said I would fuck her. It’s different.”

There the argument began. “So you’ve thought about fucking her,” Sierra said. “I knew you liked her. Or have you already fucked her?”

“Sierra. What. Are. You. Talking. About?” Travis rarely raised his voice at his girlfriend, but he was frustrated.

Sierra sat in silence.

“Are you serious? You ain’t talking to me?” Travis’ voice got quiet. “I’m sorry, Sierra.”

“You should be. Fucking Tasha,” Sierra mumbled.

“I never fucked her.”

“But you want to?”

“You asked me who I would be with if I had a hall pass. I gave you an answer.” Travis got into the right lane and began taking the next exit off the highway.

Sierra began her silence again, until she looked at the navigation system, and realized they were going the wrong way. “Where are we going?” she asked.

“I got to pee,” Travis said. “Do you forgive me?”

“No I don’t forgive you. You were supposed to say someone like Oprah or Taylor Swift,” Sierra said.

“Why in the hell would I say Taylor Swift?” Travis asked.

Sierra began to chuckle. Taylor Swift was the exact opposite of Travis’ type. “You can’t be friends with Tasha anymore.”

“What? I been cool with Tash since I was like six. She’s family.”

“You don’t FUCK your family, Travis. I don’t want you talking to her anymore.”

Travis sighed, “I’m a grown man, Sierra. And Tasha is just my friend. You’re my girl. I love you. YOU.”

“Then you shouldn’t have a problem leaving Tasha alone.” Sierra said.

“Sierra, I’m about to say this one more time,” Travis said as he pulled into the parking lot of a McDonalds. “We shouldn’t have even started playing this stupid game. I love you. Tasha is just the homey, I would never be with her.” Before Sierra could say anything, Travis jumped out of the car. He leaned inside. “I’m done with this conversation. Be in a better mood when I get back.” Travis slammed the car door and walked away.

Sierra sat in the silent car, upset. She pulled out her phone and opened the group text she had with Mia and Jade.

Sierra: Remind me to never take relationship advice from you single bitches again.