Sunday, August 29, 2004

"SMILE N.Y.C."

-- August 29th, 2004 --



"New York, New York..."
-- Frank Sinatra


First off, before I begin this article -- shouts out to all my Puerto Ricans out in Harlem who I met at City High and Jimmy Jazz's. Also, peace and blessings to Miss Thang doing it BIG in the world of journalism.

Okay... I have overcome my religious philosophical phase that was being highlighted in my last few articles. Not saying that it was a "funk" that I was in, moreso a phase. Back again is the upbeat and hyperactive Mr. Clark.

The K-Star Tour began in Dayton, Ohio. I visited a colleague at the Univ. of Dayton -- this Sista is very ambition and driven to succeed. All in all, long story short -- just saw the movie "Collateral" (GREAT MOVIE!) and moved onto the next destination.

Toledo, Ohio (yeah... kind of a lame city, no doubt...) -- I went to go visit my co-defendant, my ace at the Univ. of Toledo. While I was there I met this Sista who is very cool peoples -- even though I didn't stay too long the time spent was really good because they are both two very genuine people in their own right.

Meadville, PA. -- Sort of like the version of a city I reside in here in Ohio. Very much a college town. Went to visit this beautiful Sista who's personality I admire and qualities I find very interesting. Had to drive like four hours just to get in arms length of this female. But when I got there it was a great time. (Your roomies are a trip... vicadin, anyone?!!?) I hope that you get that money soon enough, would hate for you not to be able to go on that trip.

Lastly, my travels brought me to.....



NEW YORK CITY!

Damn -- a part of me never thought that I would see the City. But as I crossed into Jersey and heard Funkmaster Flex's annoying ass on Hot 97 -- I became increasingly hyped about where I was going to end up. I ended up taking the George Washington Bridge into the City and the first place I went was Mt. Vernon to visit my boy -- hell, it was like fourty-five minutes to an hour JUST to get to his crib because I wasn't prepared for driving in New York. It is definitely a hassle. So -- note to self -- get rid of the car before I move up there. When I got there it was pretty late, so all we did was freestyle rappin' to his self-produced beats (got some heat in there too...), listened to some music, and talked about events happening that week in the City.

I left and went to Harlem. Got into a low-rent hotel and fell asleep. Now, this is how out-of-townish I am. I was so worried about the conditions (roaches) that I slept with all the lights on and the television on and fell asleep on top of the covers. My eyes closed to the sounds of "Silence of the Lambs" and awoke blurry-eyed to "Steel". I didn't even sleep, hell, I passed out. I swore that I wasn't going to go to sleep, so I figured that my body just gave up. Once I checked out (which they asked me to do, very rudely...) -- I went down to City High and another Urban clothing store that was right next door. The second store had this sexy Puerto Rican chica (the first one did too, but this one was sexier...) -- who enticed me to buy these pair of Akademiks jeans. She was the first pretty face that I paid attention to since arriving there. So, after I got out of the place (side note: the people pretty much do things like they do in Cleveland when it comes to selling you clothes, it may say $76.00 on the tag, but you'll walk out of it paying $55.00, word is bond.) -- I walked back up to see how much time I had left on the meter and that's when I saw that the Boys were out.

The NYPD Blue -- was investigating the death of someone in the hotel building that was right NEXT to the one that I was sleeping in. The guy was shot to death. An employee had pointed me out (TRUST -- I was shook for a second...) to say that I was a customer, and an officer came to talk to me. Hell, I didn't know him and I damn-sure didn't like the police (allergic) -- but he wasn't disrespectful, at least. So that was my -- WELCOME TO NEW YORK -- a murdered guy and a crime scene.

I took the train to Brooklyn, afterwards. Interesting. The home of Biggie, Michael Jordan, 'Pac, Jay-Z, and Denzel Washington is a crowded place. You HAVE to fight just to get your point across. I LOVED IT!!! I was conversing with so many people on just the most stupidest things. Talking about the guy who didn't look both ways before crossing the street before he came close to getting ran over. Laughing at the bum trying to hit on the sexy Sistas for more than just some spare change. I swear I sat on a Brownstone for about four hours straight just chillin' with these cats who were straight fools.

I stopped at Jimmy's -- even came close to trying to buy a cheesecake from the spot that Diddy sent Da Band to. Took pictures in front of the Welcome to Marcy Projects sign (whattup Jay) and took the train back to Harlem.

I really fell in love with Harlem. For those who know me, they know what city I scream out if I was to ever be from or live in New York. But I really enjoyed Harlem. New York itself -- is a VERY entertaining place. In every store it seemed like it was mandatory to have a sexy woman running up to you to ask you if they could help and I took every opportunity to flirt and get a date (I had three in the time I was there). Everyone is about money there. I mean from the Africans trying to braid your hair to the dude on the corner selling Newport cigarettes, to the Sista with the hot cheetoes breath asking you for a few dimes just so they can go to the store and buy some milk -- everyone was about dollar and cents.

The streets of Harlem itself seemed like a job amongst businesses. The hustlers were bargaining and selling their wares, while regular staples like Magic Johnson's theater and Starbucks were introducing Harlemites to the "New Renaissance". At about four o'clock -- the bootleggers rolled out their carpets. Now, bootlegging wasn't new to anyone, ESPECIALLY me -- but it was interesting to see how quick they got things. I mean I had JUST went to go see "Collateral" and there it was on DVD for five dollars. But I'm not into that, so I couldn't really go for it.

The next day -- I had went around Harlem, walking up and down 125th street. The Apollo needs renovation (kind of like how the Oscar Ritchie building does too at KSU), Lenox and 125th is easily the part of Harlem where most Muslims just chill out. (Side note: Brothas really do that street workout stuff that was in B.I.G.'s "Juicy" video in Brooklyn) -- The women in New York are F-I-N-E.

Later on that day, I went to go see "Hero" -- not that good of a movie. But "The Grudge" and "Forgotten" are two movies that will be mos def seen by me. Finally, I met up with my colleague as we got to know each other and just spent the rest of the day feeling each other out. My boy from Mt. Vernon said that Mos Def was performing a free concert in Central Park at about eight o'clock. So, we were game to go. Which brings me to this question...

Why aren't there any lights in Central Park?

Really -- we need to start a petition on this right away. I mean, no wonder people get robbed and raped there -- you can hide ANYWHERE! There are absolutely no lights there except for ones that highlight signs and certain directional markers. So, we got lost in the Park, and I am laughing because this is her part of the City. The journey to find Mos Def -- we entitled it -- and it was a funny one. Asking people if they spoke English, trying to find directions to the show -- only to find out that it was free up till one o'clock. Horrible, so we decided to fall back on our other plan. ...To visit the Nuyorican Poetry Café.

I've heard about this place when I was younger and in some poetry circles that I used to frequent as a teenager. But I had never, NEVER thought it would be like this. The event was a Poetry Slam -- it was great. Something I'll never forget. The energy was great. The vibe was memorable. The experience was an eye-opener.

This is where I need to be.

I can't wait to go back in November to go back to the Nuyorican and plot my path as a great writer and entrepreneur. I just can't wait. Peace and Blessings.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

"Confrontation With The Man In The Mirror"

-- August 22nd, 2004 --



"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."

-- George Washington




I am dealing with my past with hopes of conquering my future. For the past few days (posts) -- I have been going through the motions. I feel at my lowest right now. It is somewhat indescribable because I am still trying to diagnose the problem. I am insecure. Unsure about the type of legacy that I will leave behind. It's a constant issue that faces me on a daily basis.

It is on that belief that I feel that I will truly be alone. For as much as I would want to be with someone and share my life and thoughts with them, I don't feel that that is something that'll happen with me. Maybe I'm too much of an ass-hole, too much of a smart-aleck to have someone deal with me. Maybe I am too focused on the whole having someone in my life... in my heart. The burden that I place on myself just to see other's happy is limiting mine own potential. Is it that I am too afraid to sacrifice what I feel is near and dear to me in order to focus on what is BEST for me? I've tried to look within myself and find answers, but to no avail -- I haven't figured out anything and it is a hinderance because I pride myself on knowing everything. What hurts is when you do not know what your next move is and doubly trying when everyone around you seems to be moving fast and you feel like you're stuck in neutral.

Friday, August 20, 2004

"To Love Is To Cry"

-- August 20th, 2004 --



Congratulations to Chester "Lyfe" Jennings for coming out with his highly anticipated album -- Lyfe 268-192 (his prison ID). For those who aren't hip on this up-and-coming brotha from Toledo, Ohio -- should've checked out him winning the Apollo -- FIVE TIMES -- winning the competition, with his song (that appears on the album) -- "Cry". I cannot stop raving about this Brotha -- hearing his CD (released Aug. 17th, 2004) -- from beginning to end is a feel good story about this man's life full of trials and tribulations -- something that we all go through. Well, enough about Lyfe -- go cop that CD, please it's a great listen.

Continuing on...

Love...

The feeling that every Man runs from and every Woman imagines from day one is a feeling that hasn't blessed me with its presence in a long time. True, I have the love from close friends and my Mother -- but, there is that elusive love that I am feeling. A part of me feels that it may be how I feel or have a lack of feeling towards religion and my confusion about that. But another part is the emptiness of not having someone on my side. This is not to say that my friends and family are not on my side -- but we all know that the closest person to you (besides God) is that significant other. Am I partially saying that I want to be in a relationship again? Yes and no. I wouldn't want to be in a relationship like I was in the past -- or at least the ending of that relationship I don't want to ever endure again. But I would want to know that my inner feelings can be shared with someone who can vocally emphasize with me. This is where the love of the Lord and the love of a Woman intertwine. I am beginning to believe that it is I who have the problems. I weigh those burden on myself subconsciously to where I diagnose them as thinking that it's "the other person" or they must have something wrong with them to not like me -- but I believe that people see something lacking in me that turns them away. Whether that be appearance, personality, money, et cetera -- the fact remains that I have only in a few instances met people who have (at least) genuinely appreciated the Man that I am. But I am in hope of becoming the Man that I want to be -- but have no direction on where to go.

I honestly believe that the love that you have for the Lord transmits into the love that you can have for your family, significant other, hell -- anybody if you choose to. So, I feel that I have that within my soul -- it's just other demons that I am wrestling with that I either do not choose to confront or don't know how to exorcise. I once thought that the belief or hope that another had in another would strengthen the character of the chosen recipient. I need the belief and strength of another to carry me across these troubled waters I am currently floating upon. I believe that I can and HAVE changed -- I do not want to stop the process, I just want to be the Man that I believe that I can become...

Cry...

It's been twenty-one years, nine months, six days since I last really spoke to you. I have been labeled, I have been miscarried, discarded, ignored, hated by people who I have admired. Not only in my Family -- but friends as well, or people who I thought were friends. I have been in love with someone who was in love with me as well. Was even contemplating marriage and the whole children thing. I have been forgotten about, lied upon -- even lied about myself in my life. I have errors and flaws in my life -- some I know and others that are still hidden beneath the surface. I have problems, some I admit to, others that I feel I have overcame. Sometimes I just want to cry, other times I don't ever want to wake up. Right now, I feel like the first time I saw "The Color Purple" -- you know, the scene where Sista-girl caught the spirit while being in the juke joint and sung, "God's Trying To Tell You Something," all the way back to the Church. Symbolic, isn't it? I thought I had made my pilgrimage the same way -- but I've been mistaken. I have not been committed to being a Man of the Lord, let alone a Man -- in my opinion. I have been discouraged in following His footsteps, hell, I'm not a Saint. Damn sure, not the worst this life had to offer, but I really don't want this hole in my heart. I want to cry my pain away. I want to redirect my course, not just by my actions concerning my career, but my path set in making an example on how to love -- not just your family and significant other, but to love yourself, your beautiful, Black race, but to love life. Lyfe summed it up nicely...

"Made Up My Mind"

1st Verse:
Lord, they really think they fooling you, by coming to church on Sunday/
Praying and laying hands on folks stomping and jumping around faking the holy ghost/
But it's a thin line between walking it and talking it/
Living it and giving it or just pretending it's alright/
And did they think that they really think that they could pull the wool over your eyes, Lord?/
Did they really think that by faking they were saved that they would get the same reward/
This be the realest thing I ever wrote for sure/
After this a lot of folks won't like me no mo'/
But after this I gotta answer to you, Lord/
So, I've made up my mind, I'ma go to Chuch on Sunday/
And sing a song that may hurt somebody's feelings so that maybe/
Thy will will be done/On Earth as it is in Heaven/And hopefully they will see/
How much they really be discouraging a little old sinner like me...




The way that I have been feeling lately, hell -- these past few years on and off have been a sure sign that a change is definitely coming, needed desparately for me to continue to make strides in my life, so I can be a help to other's just like me. So, for those who know me or are getting to know me -- I am striving for a better change in my life, because the people who have been placed in my life are there for a certain reason -- and other's who have faded or looked at me sideways have already shown their true colors, in my opinion. I thank those who have stuck by me and I love you -- whether it is the beginning of our friendship or a continuation.

Be Blessed & Stay Righteous -- K. Clark

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"White Cop, White Lies, White Rule"

-- August 18th, 2004 --


[Disclaimer: Be aware of your surroundings.]

On July 10th, 2004 -- two young African-American men were arrested and detained on charges of grand theft auto.

What they failed to mention to myself and my comrade was that we weren't the ones that they were looking for. Instead, they decided to go on their hunch and go about the following means of detaining us.

My friend and I were walking around trying to register people to vote for this year's Presidential elections. The area that we were in was Brady Lake -- a village in between Kent and Ravenna. The event was called, "Captain Brady Parade" -- a hypocritical holiday that white people made to celebrate something so heinous. Captain Brady was a pilgrim who "conquered" that stretch of land by slaughtering its inhabitants. We noticed that all the streets were named after certain Native American tribes -- jacked up, isn't it? Anyways, the "parade" was passing the opposite way that my friend and I were walking. A few minutes must've passed because we viewed the parade on the otherside of the lake. My boy threw his candy wrapper on the ground and right at that moment there was no turning back...

An officer had pulled up in a squad car right behind us with his gun drawn, yelling for us to get on the ground. I had honestly thought that it was because of my friend littering, but he kept ordering us onto the ground. We asked, "WHY?!!" Stating -- "What are we being charged for?" "What did we do?" The response continued to be, "GET THE FUCK ON THE GROUND..." Now, it's an alarming moment when a person has a gun drawn on you, no matter what the circumstances -- and maybe it was ignorance or defiance on our part, but we weren't going to do something just because, ESPECIALLY when we didn't know the reason why we were being harassed... being profiled... More officers arrived on the scene -- they finally got us on the ground. I'm laughing (I am a smart ass) -- because whatever, WHATEVER they could conceive charging us with could not have been done by my friend and I. So, with the belief of being innocent firmly embedded in my mind that gave (at least) me lead-way in acting the way that I did and asking the questions that I did. After they had got us on the ground on our stomachs, they placed the handcuffs on us. Immediately they went into our pockets, searching us both. Whatever they found or didn't find -- we didn't know what they were looking for at the time. Now, being handcuffed and them thinking that they "diffused" the situation -- begun to ask us some questions. One being, "How did we get here?" Stupid, yes, I know -- but I told the officer that my friend picked me up from my house and we rode here together -- that we were parked next to the work van that the other employees arrived in. The officers didn't believe us.

That's when it hit us...
Better yet, that's when they told us...


That we were suspect in grand theft auto. I broke out into laughter because they had NOTHING ON US!!! Nothing at all. Hell, they pulled out OUR car keys to OUR cars out of OUR pockets. The nerve of these people, I'm thinking -- they'll surely have to let us go now, because they have nothing on us. That wasn't the case. State Troopers arrived -- for those who are reading do NOT understand -- we were handcuffed at work, in front of strangers whom already declared us guilty in their minds because we were the ONLY two Black people in Brady Lake -- so we HAD to have done SOMETHING. They picked me up and instantly I thought that they were going to Rodney King my boy because of our talking back. By the grace of God, that didn't happen as we were both placed in separate squad cars. While I was in the car -- the Trooper told me what happened...

"Two men who fit your description -- stole a car on Route 225. That car broke down, the engine blew up. They stole another car, this time they wrecked that one. Finally, they got a ride from someone into Ravenna. You both fit their description -- now, one of two things'll happen -- either the witness says that you're not them, and you can go -- or you're the ones and we'll have to keep you here for a few."

I thought the Trooper was bullshittin' -- I mean not only were we WORKING -- our co-workers came up while we were being detained and vehemently said the same sentiments. But to no avail, we were at the State Troopers Station. Now, I'm livid that I am here for something that I didn't do -- on the orders of a man who had a loaded firearm drawn upon me and my friend. They were talking about keeping us there for FIVE HOURS!!! (Later found out that they could've kept us there till Monday just on the suspicion)

The witness somehow came and we stood outside the station and he/she/it said that we're not the ones. (Insert "DUH" here)

The outlook that I had on white people and cops in particular was reaffirmed, true -- these officers were just "doing their job" and protecting and serving. But while they were protecting their honor from being outdone by a few criminals and serving their "justice" to two unsuspecting young men -- WE had to endure an experience that most shouldn't have to go through. Not only did we not get an apology from the Brady Lake "police" -- they couldn't even look us in the eye upon returning to get our car.

In the words of Doc. Dorsey, "I wanna OWN Brady Lake..." I agree with his feelings -- but what I did learn is that you must always stay on your toes, you must always stay ahead of the game because when they try and snatch that rug from underneath you, YOU have to be able to have something cushy to fall back or forward on.

Currently, we seen our attorney who is trying to figure out if we have a case (seems like police have a sort of immunity when it comes to being sued -- something about "good faith"). If we do have a case, trust and believe that we'll be pulling for the fullest extent that we can get in monetary redemption. I sincerely believe that we do have a case because if you read this story back and forth -- you too would say, "I don't see how you COULDN'T have a case..." Well, I pray that this comes true. Bear with me, I'll keep y'all updated.



Monday, August 16, 2004

"Devoid"

-- August 17th, 2004 --



A recent post entitled, "Black Love, Pt. III" -- was the finale in my thoughts and concerns about Black relationships. But... the apex of a united relationship by Black men and women is through religion. The belief that God, Allah, Jehovah or whatever title you give belief towards will stand by your side through the thick and thin, as you would want your significant other to do as well.

Almost every facet of Black culture is a conduit of "soul" or spiritually of some sort. Why? Because God reigns supreme. That is very true. But what about those "lost" souls that wander the streets at night or even during the day? The ones who feel uneasy in religious surroundings because either they don't fully believe or wholeheartedly trust in the words of Man. Is it because of a misunderstanding of the Word -- not truly just putting all of his or her faith in the belief of a higher power or is it just the sheer lack of self-awareness to see the signs that are pointing you in the direction of a positive calling?

I ask myself these questions, in addition to you, the reader. I am a 21 year old Black male living in Corporate America (my belief is that while a white hand does hold the green dollar, the green dollar decides the playing field) -- and for these past 21 years, I am digressing on the life led and the paths that I choose to follow. This may be my most sincere post -- maybe one of my most soul-revealing.

Growing up seemed like an ever-changing mystery. Full of revolving door friends, close-minded awkwardness amongst classmates, and never really having an understanding of who I am nor where I came from. The specifics would make it even harder for anyone to read but in simple terms -- I felt different. Not in the sense where some guys wish to define their sexuality or why they chose to do heinous acts committed as an adult. I just felt different. Through the years of avoiding confrontation -- because of not feeling strong enough to win, creating an alternate story for myself -- because it seemed like the reality of my life was not on par with the rest of those whom I was surrounded amongst, and being silent, because I felt my voice shouldn't have been heard -- I established a barrier, a wall, that few dared or even cared to climb.

Knowing that, even accepting the fact that people were not only leery of me, I was leery of them -- created a sort of caged-animal-in-the-zoo feeling. Where both parties treaded lightly amongst the other for so long that it became routine. The friendship was false. But the friendship was mainly one sided. See, feeling like a straggler amongst a running pack created a need to detour others to flow alongside my pace. The life led at home wasn't any better -- so, why not? Why not attract others to who I am? Still feeling empty...

A point came in my life where things were running on cruise control -- had established a core group of friends who were there for me and I for them. Confidence grew within my voice and was expressed in my demeanor. Even had a female try and attempt to scale the barrier that I put up as my own Heart's defense. All was crumbling down around me and it felt good again to breathe easy.

With this significant other whom I developed a long relationship with -- I had gone to Church with her, foregoing any experience that I had endured while attending the one in my neighborhood. An experience wished not to be relived. While being there with my S.O. at the time -- it was an eye-opener. Only problem was I wasn't ready to wake up and open my eyes. There were moments when I would feel the words that flowed out of the Pastor's mouth and felt as if he was speaking directly to me. An emotion would cascade over my being -- something that I immediately shook out of my head as being a sign of weakness. Maybe that was a sign of the truth. I have learned that there are events that are shown to those who can't pick up on things subliminally. That was me. Tears would try and flow -- only to be held back by my determination of thinking that, "men don't cry..." God is definitely a connection to Life -- and as my relationship enriched with Him, so did with my S.O. at the time. When I displayed feelings of opposition, the end followed suit. I believe that not continuing my relationship with God ended a lot of things that I have yet to understand. I still feel different.

Is it my blindness to not accept the things being shown to me? Am I a fool for even thinking this? I do not know too many devout people -- the type to praise His name at any chance, to sing in the Choirs, and attend daily in order to hear the Word. When this was presented to me, awkwardly I would look at them because within myself I did not feel that presence. I believed to be empty, devoid of something that I need in myself to really feel whole, complete as a Black Man in Corporate America (which is also devoid, but errected a false idol to keep things in motion). Can a soul be stubborn? Can I figure out my life? Or are the pages already written with the chapter waiting to be turned anew? I still feel different...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

"Black Love" Pt. III

-- August 14th, 2004 --



First off, shouts out to my friend Candace who finally got out of her mom's crib and into her own place. Now, only if I could do the same. Hahahaha!!! Also, shout out to Ms. Harris for continue to strive for achievement in academia.

After coming from Babylon (aka Club Kaos) -- and dropping off my peoples, I began to wonder about the state of Black relationships. Are we, as Black males, on the same level with our female counterparts? Are we advocating interracial relationships by not working out solutions and problems with one another? Do we trust one another? Are these problems or merely obstacles? Is the criteria for the male exceedingly different than that of the Black woman? Do we feel as if there is a future together -- whether be in business, a relationship, or otherwise?

You, the reader, feel free to answer these questions and maybe pass them along...

I once stated to many whom listened to me that I would NEVER be married or have kids. Why? Because I felt that a female would never be on the same level as I am. A part of me still feels that this is true, but I also think that we're not meant to be on the "same" level. Each thing must complete the other, in a sense. I still think, right now, that I'll never be married -- but the reasonings have changed. I assume that I won't get married because the word "love" no longer applies to a relationship. I previously stated that we're a "desensitized, overly-sexual populace" -- which I believe to be true.

Sex is the nature of the game, how it makes us feel, how we place value in us through it has been the stigma of not only Blacks, but seemingly Young America. But the rest of the race of America is not my primary focus. YOU ARE!! So, I implore with you, Young Black America and even Old Black America (if there is such a thing -- everyone is "young" these days, aren't they, Hov?!!?) -- to stand up and recognize the potential in yourselves and the mate that you wish to choose to spend the REST OF YOUR LIFE with. Look in regards to your surroundings, your home life, hell, if you're in a relationship -- take a look at how well you value its worth. It is worth it for you to continue being a part of it? Is it something that you can see headed towards the future, seeing years pass by a mere memories? Or do you feel that there is a barrier between yourself as a Black man and you as a Black woman? Do you feel that you, as a Black woman, are objectified and not given the proper respect by a Black man whether he be son, boyfriend, husband, or mere passerby? Do you feel that as a Black man that you are respected and given the courtesy as a man to not only make decision but to own up to the responsibility of your actions and feel as if you're treated... like a man?

Whether you do or you don't -- the object of this article is not to have a bleek outlook on the state of Black Love -- it's to determine whether or not the love is still Black? Meaning -- soulful, honest, and true to the spirit of us as African-Americans. Where respect and dignity go hand in hand in not only treating your fellow brethren, but as well as your family. Where honesty and intergrity are not taboo? Where questions like, "Do you have any kids?" or other stereotypical questions are no longer asked because Men say what they say they do and Women do the same?

I long for those times to be a reality, because it hasn't been a part of my generation. I implore you -- love each other, be blessed and stay righteous -- before it's too late. Because being single is solitary -- and no one loves to be alone.


"In Da Club"

-- August 14th, 2004 --




First, let me start by saying congratulations to my sister for being accepted to Norfolk State University and will be getting out of MY hair soon! (She's leaving tomorrow to go to school) -- Secretly, she's one of the many motivating factors for why I will be leaving this cursed land known as Ohio.

Moving on...

Last night, I went to a club in Cleveland that shall remain nameless. It was a Teen Night, College Night, whatever they had wanted to call it. Fact is, it was packed wall to wall. More men than women, if you ask me... which is NEVER good, if you ask ME! Anyways, I was up there with my crew pollying with the few people who I knew and worked with up in Cleveland and taking in the sights. There has GOT to be something wrong with the food nowadays, there is no way that girls can have what they have now through natural means. So... I'm there, dancing, you know -- doing my thing, and what I was beginning to notice is that we are desensitized to our own plight.

Nothing wrong with having fun -- nothing wrong with getting your dance on, having a few drinks and partying like it's 1999 (I know it's cliché) -- but the things that I saw would make WET: UnCut come to Cleveland and film a music video. Man, I see these chicks (a term loosely used) -- who were a walking contradiction. Had these Bob Marley T-Shirts on, over their panties, right?!!? If you're a guy, like me, I'm thinking, that's sexy -- but reality set in over the course of a few more shots of Henny -- they have the red, gold, green wristbands on with Marley adorning their petite frames... all the while making their booties clap and taking five dollar bills from the oogling natives. And you know what happens when the natives get restless -- sure enough, you had hands clasping thick thighs and rumps, eyes bulging up and down to see if they could "get a peek," a collaboration of shouts from, "Hey, lemme see that clit, Ma," to, "I got this money, bitch, what you gon' do for it." I watched as these Sistas had smiles on their faces as dollar bill got put into pantie line, as hand grasped thigh, as open palm smacked petite booty. It dawned on me -- we are a desensitized, overly-sexual populace.

These guys had no regard for these females, maybe I should've felt guilty because I didn't become vocal about my thoughts then and there, but it was happening right in front my eyes and the shock (or revelation) was immense. I mean, once a prettier, sexier female hopped on the platform to dance and "perform" these guys oogling-attention shifted. These females, whether they knew what they were doing or not, accepted and glorified in the attention that they were given, as well as the money. I mean the esteem was so low that the guys there were trying to break the bank on these women -- pulling out cash to see how "low" they would go. Some did, others watched. But as I took in my surroundings, I didn't like the area, it seemed too familiar, too comfortable. So, for the rest of the night, I didn't dance. I didn't feel like bombarding myself on another female, nor taking the subtle rejection as I ask a female to dance, only to see another guy just creep up on her on the sly -- look back to see if he's cute -- and then freak him on the dance floor. I just kept noticing that I was beginning to feel out of place. It's been like this the last few times that I would go to a club, not just in Cleveland. At first I thought it was because I didn't have the clothes to make a hard enough statement to impress the female species. Then, I thought it was because my personality didn't' t vibe well with the female (I can be a smart ass at times).

I don't know why I feel the way that I do -- mind you, this is not just at "Teen Night" or "College Night" parties, this is even when I go to an "established" night spot. It just feels like it is the same stuff. Have we, as Black People, become so commonplace with our debauchery that when it seems like we're being chivalrous that it is weird or even fake? I mean, after the club ended and the night was done -- all that could be heard from one end to the next was, "Hey you in the Pink," or, "These bitches is stingy," or, "Bitch, come here..." (actual comments heard just on the way to my car). I would not like to think that gone is our respectability amongst our Brotha and Sistas JUST when we're out to have fun. Hate to see what it's like on a daily basis...

Lastly...

Congratulations to my man, Blitz, for making it known out there in NY and Columbus -- the past few weeks were slick, these next few are going to be hella interesting. For those reading, if you haven't heard, "Soul Rebel," you can check out the site @ http://www.reprisalrecords.com -- clicking on a certain spot, you'll be taken to CDBaby.com where you can hear snippets from the album. It's only $10.00 -- SUPPORT REAL HIP-HOP.

Monday, August 09, 2004

"Black Love" Part II

-- August 9th, 2004 --




Before I get into this post (it's funny how I usually write these late in the night) -- check out this interesting thread about "The Crisis of Black Males". It's truly a good read. Also, another empowering thread about, "The Beauty of Blackness..." is another must-see.

In my first post I professed my love for Black women. In part two of this three part series, I will be discussing my fears and hopes for the relationship between Black men and women. I believe that lack of communication and similar goals between us are a deterrent for why we cannot see eye to eye. We cannot tell one another what is it that we want or feel what is necessary to contribute to a healthy relationship without becoming angry or feeling less of a "man" because our women make more money than you, or becoming an insecure "woman" because of the status that your man worked hard to attain. More Black women are entering into higher education -- it has been like this for at least five to six years, if not longer. Why? It's a two-sided deal. On the one side, White America portrays the Black man as shiftless, lazy, and unable to provide for self. On that end, we, as men, fall into that trap and figure the means of making a living is to make it as "best" we can. Through any means necessary, whether it is a legal hustle or profited from illegal means. But, on the other end -- Black men, themselves, are no longer really motivated to venture onto College campuses (other than to frequent the Black frat/soror party or hype social event). Why?!!? Again, because we perpetuate the stereotype that has been our label since birth.

So, with those differences established -- it's already hard for one to cope with the other when they're on to different levels. Couple that with the death of chivalry, respect and common dignity for the opposite sex and you can see why there is no worth in maintaining a relationship with either Black man nor Black woman.

But I don't want you to think that I see the glass as half-empty, so let me give you a few of my artistic works of poetry to help some people understand that Black Love does exist and that it is there if you work hard for it and work harder for yourself.

"Soul Sincere"
By: K. Clark

No more empty words, hollowed out by the harsh way that I`ve treated you,
Never wanting again to ever hear the pieces of your shattered heart on the floor,
Exhausted from all this tireless arguing,
Lonely at night in an empty bed, longing for my arms to hold you tight,
Missing the silohuette of your frame dancing in front of the candlelight,
Longing for my lips to touch yours,
I know all you need in this World from me is my Love,
Honor and devotion -- I`m ready to give my all to you,
A Man`s promise -- a few words to let you know that my Life isn`t complete without you,
As a part of its plan -- I am so sincere,
So sincere... so... sincere... soul... sincere....
Sincere within my soul to know that it`s not Home without you,
Feeling violated whenever another Woman looks at me -- and I`m without you,
Ashamed that you left the way that you did,
Knowing now that you`re in his arms,
Believing that you loved me a thousand times more,
Sitting in this empty place -- pictures of you and I strewned all along me,
Memories jabbing -- reminding me of the Love that I lost,
Love that he gained -- a mishap that I wish I could take back,
I am not going anywhere -- Love between you and I is stronger than anything that you and him could ever share,
I promise that my Life can`t be lived fully without our Love,
And as I am reminded daily about what I could`ve had in my bed with me tonight,
I will be sure to Love you in the morning,
And forever on -- I know you`ll feel this...
Because we`re soul sincere...

------------------------------------------------------------------

"A Man`s Worth"

Almond brown eyes visualize your essence,
Only wanting to be apart of it -- to fulfill a desire,
Tired of half-hearted promises and empty words,
Exhausted with the tireless searches for Love,
Only to be found in the wrong places,
Ears ravaged from the constant arguments -- but deep inside resonants an inner truth,
You -- a strong Black Woman -- is what keeps me whole,
With feet planted on firm ground,
Eyes staring at the future and arms embracing your spirit close to mines,
Lips willing to speak the Truth to you in the presence of the Lord,
A Heart and Soul yearning to be united in a loving and strong manner with you,
A Man`s worth is measured in the way the Woman is valued,
And not everyone sees that -- sight blinded by the evils that plague us,
Never let your value in us become worthless,
For you are worthwhile -- and for the sake of these words -- you, as all Black Women, are priceless...

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

"Vote or Die -- 2004"

-- August 4th, 2004 --




This is my first post of the August month -- hope that you enjoy the read.

VOTE OR DIE -- 2004!!! A slogan created by P. Diddy for his "Citizen Change" campaign. I really believe that this will be the year that the awareness of the corruption within politics comes to the forefront. I applaud Diddy and egomaniacal ass in putting his money where his mouth is (so to speak) and is trying to make an effort in informing the masses about the disease known as Bush.

Don't know if anyone who's reading this watched the Democratic Convention -- I, myself, didn't get a chance to peep all of it. But -- Barack Obama -- I say it again, BARACK OBAMA, looks so promising for a Black People's future, doesn't he?!!? In my opinion, the brotha is qualified to do more than just be a member of the U.S. Senate. But -- the entire Democratic party seems to be vibrant with energy -- they must've all went to go see Farhenheit 9/11 before they came out and delievered their speeches. Go see Farhenheit 9/11 if you haven't seen it -- even if you HAVE seen it, go see Farhenheit 9/11.

I implore you, the reader, to vote this year as if your life depended on it. Hell, if you're below the poverty line, a minority, a homosexual, a woman, shit -- even handicapped, your life does depend on it. The majority is the minority in this issue where only 1% of the populace matters. Bush recently declared from a third party source that terrorists will be again attacking the United States. I pray to God above that this is not true and will not happen. But doesn't it seem like we're living in the United States of Slight-of-Hand Trickery? I mean during the past few years after the dust settled from 9-11-01 (R.I.P. to those who lost their lives) -- that whenever doubt or questions arose the focus was quickly shifted to Saddam or terrorist are threatening to attack this location, or anthrax scares, or some type of diversion. Now, the cases that were proven fact are unfortunate, but -- NOW, with threats of postponing the election for fear of a terrorist attack sound -- in my opinion -- ludicrous!??! Why would an Arab, or Islamic man or woman (for that matter), or Osama bin Laden try and stop John Kerry from taking political office? To justify a reason why Bush should stay as Dictator-in-Chief?!?

This is preposterous -- and the American public will NOT go for this anymore. In every facet of media, et cetera, those who are "progressive" thinkers aren't letting Bush's back-water tactics reign supreme here in the States and abroad. It's unfortunate that your kids and future generations will have to hear stories about how the people put in place to protect you destroyed it all for greed and profit. On the positive note though -- it's slick to see my Black brotha's and sista's ARGUING about politics. It was on the level of how you need to go out and VOTE -- and if you don't you cannot be mad about the end results.

To end this article -- I must say that the Republicans sure know when a good thing ISN'T on their side. I mentioned earlier about Barack Obama -- well, it looks like the Republicans are trying to get a Black Republican (YES, there is such a thing...) -- to run against the Democratic Obama. Either Alan Keyes (he ran for President in '96 and again in 2000) or Andrea Grubb Barthwell are the candidates to run against Obama. Now, this is how that whole "race card" thing applies, in my opinion -- Keyes isn't even a resident of Illinois (resides in Maryland) and would have to move there before the Election. Barthwell lives in Illinois, but she wasn't deep into the politics either. All in all -- I believe that they will not have what it takes to knock Obama off of his high horse now. They (the Republican candidate) only have three or so more months to raise money, whereas Obama has $10-million plus raised for his campaign. Obama has national exposure AND gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. Meanwhile, you have Keyes who is villified in the Black press for his viewpoints against abortion and affirmative action, and Barthwell -- a relative nobody in the national media's eye.

Good luck, Obama -- hope that he makes the necessary changes. To you, the reader, VOTE OR DIE -- 2004 till Infinity.