black memoirs

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Malcolm X and Maya Angelou in Ghana, 1964.

Malcolm X on his last visit to Accra had announced a desire to create a foundation he called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. His proposal included taking the plight of the African-Americans to the United Nations and asking the world council to intercede on the part of beleaguered blacks. The idea was so stimulating to the community of African-American residents that I persuaded myself I should return to the States to help establish the organization. 

We all read Malcolm’s last letter to me.

Dear Maya,

I was shocked and surprised when your letter arrived but I was also pleased because I only had to wait two months for this one whereas previously I had to wait almost a year. You see I haven’t lost my wit. (smile)

Your analysis of our people’s tendency to talk over the head of the masses in a language that is too far above and beyond them is certainly true. You can communicate because you have plenty of (soul) and you always keep your feet firmly rooted on the ground.

I am enclosing some articles that will give you somewhat of an idea of my daily experiences here and you will then be better able to understand why it sometimes takes me a long time to write. I was most pleased to learn that you might be hitting in this direction this year. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful woman. You know that I will always do my utmost to be helpful to you in any way possible so don’t hesitate.

Signed
Your brother Malcolm 

(Excerpt from Maya Angelou’s memoir A Song Flung Up To Heaven)

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Happy to finally share my @dirtydiamondscomic #7 autobio comic about imagination & online roleplaying! 

I actually had sort of a tearful reunion with my old RP partners thanks to this comic. Sadly it only revived our RP for about a month…but I’m glad I could at least tell them how much they mean to me.

March 28

The first time that I shot and killed someone was on a mission. I was seven. It was my first foreign mission, and also the first time that I met her. I remember sitting in the helicopter with her as we recited our names and backstories to Madam Yurievna, the language instructor. My name was Fleur Belinou, her’s was Gigi Belinou. We were recently orphaned sisters from the countryside, and we had come to Paris to meet Aunt Camille Belinou, a wealthy heiress who would become our new guardian. In reality, Madame Yurievna played Camille Belinou and was tasked with overseeing our mission. Together my partner and I were to infiltrate a concert and discreetly take out a Russian ambassador who had recently been exposed as a traitor to nation. Madame would aid us only in getting into the theatre, but we were completely on our own for the rest of the mission.

My partner’s name? 

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I wanted to share this about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to hopefully motivate or just relate to those who also have it…and for those who don’t, to have better insight.

Having the brain that comes with BPD is like:

Standing in a beautiful open field, happy and free. Feeling for a window of time (which ranges) okay and “normal”.
But you are surrounded by little voices and versions of yourself or people from your past.
And every 5 minutes one comes up to you and says something to distract you, blind you, stir you, upset you, enrage you, depress you, critique you, shame you, control you…

“Don’t forget you are not enough.” triggers intense anxiety, depression, sadness.
“Your friend just said her other friend is funny, that must mean you aren’t funny at all and I am pretty sure she doesn’t really like you.” Enlist rage, anxiety, paranoia
“Shit, did you see your S.O. just look at that girl? Clearly you are nothing like her so I guess he doesn’t find you attractive at all and wishes you were her, you are not pretty enough. Your breasts are too small and you are fat but also you might be too skinny.” Now depressed, rage, deflation, shame.
“That girl has cool hair. Go get blonde hair. Wait…so does she. Do red. Look at her style. Cut your hair short. You’re dull, lame and boring, ahh go change it!!” - Excited, anxious and confused.
“That personality is so fun, why don’t you be like him? And see her, she has spunk, why can’t you? And that one is so sweet and genuine and kind, you’re miserable why aren’t you more kind and care-free like her?” Anxious, depressed, hopeless, lost.
“He cooks well, so you don’t at all. He must not think you do. Defend it if you think you do!” Rage, stubborn, ashamed, indignant.
“She’s tall. You’re a gnome, you are fat. And she’s short and petite. You’re a fat giant. Why can’t you be smaller? No one is looking at you. No one wants you.” Insecure, self conscious, depressed, hidden.
“He knew the answer. You’re so stupid, remember when you were told that a lot? Well, you still must be.” - Ashamed, rage, victimized, attacked.
“What is going on…no one has spoken to you in hours. You’re alone and no one cares. Everyone has someone but you” Depressed, heartbroken, ashamed, isolated.
“You only did a few things today, you are not productive and you are wasting your life!” Anxious, not enough.
“Your friend noticed the other is thinner. That means you are fatter lately because she didn’t say it to you.” Rage, shame, lonely, annoyed, vindictive.

Sometimes when these all happen at once, you will shut down and float away from your body while they hammer away. I will dissociate and let them take over my behaviors. Sometimes I get so anxious or enraged or sad that I throw up. Or sleep all day. Or stay up all night. Most people with BPD also have an eating disorder, anxiety disorder, mood disorder etc.

Days I am better at blocking them or rationalizing them away, I feel like a DBT master and that my med combo is finally solid.

Other days I am not so strong, I cave, and I feel like a failure. I feel like I should be locked away and I’m not good at love or life and everyone should stay away from me.

Realizing this, I decided today that I want to approach them differently.
Instead of feeling trapped, I want to not take anything they say personally. I want to thank them for their words and let them run freely while I also run freely.

I want to learn what I can from my inner parts and focus on me more and more. My main voice. Not theirs. And grow that one. Until they become little whispers, because with a disorder they’ll always be there. But I find when I strengthen my own self, when I begin to learn more and more about the bare me, what my own identity is and form a complete sense of being, I can’t feel as clouded and controlled by my random parts of me.

Instead, they can work together and integrate and be free to enjoy the beauty and the enoughness and wholeness of me. I don’t want to be a victim of my past trauma and my childhood. Because I am beyond enough, so enough and I don’t want to be so easily tricked anymore.

—  K.a.d. Mini Memoir

How does a mother comfort her daughter who is terrified she will be shot by the police just for being black? There is no denying or avoiding what is happening in our country. My daughter hears about violence and racism from friends and on the news. She experiences racism first hand from the people around her. We must talk to her about it. It’s not developmentally appropriate to discuss these matters with her. She’s only 11 years old. But black and brown children in our country don’t get the privilege of being sheltered from such matters. Their bodies and souls are threatened. We parents have to teach them how to live with that, no matter what color we are. 

I once believed I would figure out a way to teach my daughter about racism without letting her internalize it. I fear that is not possible, but I am trying not to give up hope. The truth is that she already knows that no matter how smart, kind, funny, musical, and charming she is, in some instances people will judge her harshly just because she is black. Nor should she have to be smart, kind, funny, musical, or charming to be safe. That should be an inalienable right.  

I told her we are working to help the police learn to be more careful. I told her she is precious no matter what anyone else might say or do. Everything I said seemed inadequate. The best I could do was hold her through the worst of it; offer my own body up to her as a shield of love and pray for her safety. Pray that no matter what she suffers, goodness will come out of it. Then my prayers turned to myself–that I would see how to contribute toward making this world better, not only for her, but for all people. I considered writing about this heart-breaking time we spent together this afternoon as a starting place. 

When I asked my daughter if I could blog about this experience, she said, “OK Mommy, but it can’t have any jokes in it. It has to be only sad this time.” I usually read her my blogs that are about her before I post them. I am embarrassed to say, I couldn’t get through this one without crying. I don’t want her to feel responsible for my own fear, but sometimes it slips out. 

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9 celebrities we NEED to write a second memoir, because we’re ready for more on HelloGiggles

Wavey (feat. Spooky Black)
Allan Kingdom
Wavey (feat. Spooky Black)

sipping on hallucinations
smoking on what you be craving
kinda wish i had more time with you
kinda wish that i was fine with you
sipping on our smooth occasions
smoking on that rude awakening
just admit i really tried with you
just admit i’m in your mind with you
if i had an inclination
i was the one that needed saving
i should’ve stayed up on my grind with you
i guess these lines are confirmation
you might be worth some altercations
frown alone i can not cry with you
frown alone i can not fly with you

March 27

I’m sick. And I hate it.

Despite my best intentions I think I caught something, and I’ve been miserable for the past week. However, this has helped me explain why I haven’t been playing venues when people ask; my voice sounds terrible if I try singing while sick.

The sore throat is gone thankfully, tea with ginger, lemon and honey cured that, but the constant sniffles are driving me insane. I haven’t seen a doctor, for obvious reasons, but I don’t think it’s anything more than a common cold. They’re quite common in the spring as the weather finally changes into something more pleasant.

I’m just really annoyed now, because the sickness is taking a physical toll on by body as it tries to combat whatever I have. I’ve been uncommonly groggy when I wake up and can’t usually hold a decent conversation until mid-morning. Have finally gotten the energy to go back to running in the mornings, so that’s nice.

If anyone has any suggestions on things to do to clear a runny nose, please let me know. I swear I’ve tried everything and I hate being sick.

NR