Issue 19

Guns! Guns! Guns! I’ll say this, American does love guns—especially the AR-15. But why does this country love its guns so much? But first, I need to express my deepest condolences to the family members of children and adults who lost their lives in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. I’m heartbroken and disgusted by these recent mass shootings where 19 children were brutally killed in school, and 10 Black folks were executed while performing a mundane task of grocery shopping. I ask myself, when will it end? Why are we the only country that suffers from this perpetual destruction? Not to say that mass shootings don’t happen in other countries, but it is a fact that the United States has had more mass shootings than any other country, where mass shootings accounted for under 0.2% of homicides in the U.S. From 1967 to 2019, there had been a record of 163 mass shootings in the United States.

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Issue 18

What the “Eff” is going on? You know what I want to talk about, Roe V. Wade. So, the GOP and their acquaintances are trying to overturn Roe V. Wade this summer. Deep sigh! Abortion has been a touchy subject for years. And for fifty years, it has been legal to have one despite how you feel about it—whether you are pro-choice or pro-life. The fact remains, it’s always had been a woman’s choice—it being their constitutional right. Am I pro-choice or pro-life? Although I may not always agree with a woman getting an abortion, I remain pro-choice. It’s their right and decision, and that decision is between them and God. But what is it about these old white men and the need to control a woman’s choice or rights?

May 2022

What the “Eff” is going on? Did Will Smith smack Chris Rock at the Academy Awards? Yes, he did. Like millions of people, I was shocked and caught off guard by Will Smith’s impulsive actions at one of the most prestigious award shows to date—but I’ll take the BET or NAACP Image awards any day over the Academy. Of course, I heard about “The Slap” secondhand because I don’t watch or follow the Academy Awards. I feel the Academy awards are biased. Since the Academy began in 1929, it has handed out 3,140 acting trophies. With over 3,100 awards distributed in its 94-year history, only 19 Oscars have been awarded to performances by black actresses, actors, and directors. Talk about lopsided. But this isn’t just a piece about the Academy Awards and its prejudice history. I want to talk about the backlash behind Smith’s actions.

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April 2022

What the “Eff” is going on? Let’s talk about it. The continuous extermination of Black wealth throughout history and the attack on Black excellence. And in my singing voice, “America, why do you treat us so bad?” We built this country from the ground up, for free (no arguments). But throughout America’s history, Black folks have always been treated like the ugly or wicked step-child. I always said this about Black folks or African Americans; pick which one, even that has divided us. But our struggles and plight have been continuous and more strenuous than any other ethnic group in the world. Yes, I said it, and I believe it too. Black folks have suffered tremendously throughout time, not just here in America but in Africa and other continents worldwide. So much has been taken from us, our identity and traditions stripped away, our dignity perpetually snuffed like someone putting out a cigarette. 

March 2022

I know most of you all put together a new year's resolution this year like to continue good practices, exercise more and lose weight, maybe change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, etc. But like every year, many will fail to follow through, likely by month's end. I once read that gym membership triples in January, and then 80% of January gym-joiners quit within five months. But I'm here to tell you; it's never too late after winter comes spring. And what is spring? It's a time when everything starts to come back to life after the winter cold. The days become warmer and longer, and the nights are shorter. Spring is the beginning of a new season, and it's the beginning of a new you.

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February 2022

Today I live, even though there's a system that wants me to die. There's an entity that wants to destroy my rights and democracy. And although I know, I will soon die, subjugated to systemic racism —see my life flashing before my eyes. I wanna grip the stale air I inhale, exhale creativity and belief, and pour out prosperity and richness through my daily deeds. Today I breathe, even though life is putting me in a chokehold, trying to detain my existence, and execute my death mentally and physically, causing my mind to seize and doubt any good will come for thee. My world shakes like an earthquake. My spirit darkened, like a moonless night over the sea—living with so much hardship, spreading like the vast deep- sea. I wanna take a deep breath and breathe again…I wanna fly but feel rooted in the truth of reality. I wanna soar, see my dreams beneath me, dive into them with full force, saturate the pessimistic thought with inspiration and dedication, overcome destitution with optimism, the spirit, and faith that will surge throughout every negative, damaging point of me.

January 2022

Now, what the “Eff” is going on with Dave Chappelle, his standup special, and the Transgender community? Now, folks, this might be a touchy subject, and I’m not out here trying to offend or hate on a community, so don’t cancel me. But let’s speak on it. Like millions of people, I sat and watched Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special, “The Closer,” and I laughed and agreed to most of the things he stated. In my opinion, it wasn’t hateful, however some feel that Dave was targeting the Transgender community for hate and violence. 

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December 2021

There’s a war going on outside, and no writer is safe from it. And from the time you put pen to paper, the battle begins. And for you to thrive, you need not buckle under the pressure, not bow down to criticism, and put some damn skin in this game…take that risk, and don’t be afraid to get hit. Some of us started in this genre through baptism by fire, with this genre being our only way out. We said forget the hoops or selling drugs, and we’re far from singing a chorus like Mary. Literature has become our magic, our creative and our opening. Some of us got rich putting thoughts to pen, while unfortunately, some we forget.