Monday, November 30, 2009

Class Assignment

In a place where girls dreamed of their great white knight swooping in to save them from the perils of loserdom, lonliness, and self-confidence, I dream of someone, someone’s, somewhere different. In my battle of being black, being a woman, being someone “real” I am stuck between the worlds or my community’s expectations. I have the wonderful choices of being “some ghetto chick”, expected to flash her booty, juke, and whose self worth is worth less than her Timbs but whose inner strength and individuality is buried and silenced. I could be the uber “successful” BLACK WOMAN lawyer/ doctor whose career was life and life was measured on how you “overcame” stereotypes that weren’t made to fit anyway. And then there was the once-in-a-lifetime offer to be someone “deep”. Someone who took their experiences to mold self into a “beautiful strong young sistah” emphasis on the “tah”. I wanna be down And so with a patriarchal society’s words whispering in my ear, I set off to find “somebody”. Somebody who was the difference, the person that I wished to be.

I dreamed of a lyrical knight, no not a knight, a “brotha’”. The funny thing is he doesn’t even hafta be a brotha. Someone “down”, someone who refuses what is pushed on to him, someone who uses words, style, and sentiment to stand strong, stand proud in the face of the forces that try to detain, mutilate, and destroy. Someone who skateboards, someone who plays street soccer, or uses spoken word to release. No, all he has to be is someone who “gets it”. Who understands to some degree the pits that hold us, the files that dull us down until we forget that what made us, forget how to look beyond what is seen and heard, make us forget how to think for ourselves. At the same time he sees his light, he sees his true worth and knows that it is his expectations that matter the most. Someone who can spit, someone who can speak, whether Chinese, Spanish, Tagalong, or English. I dreamed of someone who could dance the dances. Dances that require some kind of alternate thought, skill, and touch, like the step or the bachata moderna. Hell I would’ve taken the oh-so-cool fists up and rockin back and forward step. The men who get my heart beating arent the ones who say “You had me at hello”. No, it would be “I’m really feelin you.”. bump-BUMP . Like other privileged, middle class, light-skinned, conflicted, “TRAGIC” girl-women, I fell in love with hip-hop and the ideals I created from it.

I wish I was deep

So right now I'm sort of in love with Ill-literacy. It's probably the combination of hip-hop slang and legos that do it. or it could be the style of talk that's so intoxicating. Geez look at me, Im already tryin to spit something as if I am deep.

But really, that's what happens when I try to write poetry. Nowadays songs and people who I think are deep inspire me. My poem Maple Sky? Inspired (and goes a little with the song) White on Rice by Goh Nakamura. and a few poems that I am coming out with right this instant are from feelings that I have for Spoken Words geniuses like Ill-literacy and hip hop in general. So, here the poems are.

Maple Sky
Love’s the high school petty girl
Who uses your heart for a necklace of pearls
And shows off how she has you crippled
Smirking as the smooth surface of my mind ripples

So I'll write a bittersweet poem
about chocolate kisses and ice cold snow in
hopes that you'll never figure out what I mean.
But still it's never as subtle as it seems.

Bigger thoughts float in and out
of my brown head like cirrus clouds
against a large forehead-like backdrop of maple.
Below a forest setting of tight black curls

But it always comes back to me thinking
about how love never rises from the sinking
feeling that’s called melancholy dreaming.

What Am I Hiding?
Tucked away behind my stares and looks of…well I guess I’d call it superiority or maybe even ego. The thing is that yes, my ego is inflated but with what? Ego filled with nothing substantial or real that can combat the miles of insecurities and questions that I battle with while trying to do simple things like ordering a Peppermint Hot Chocolate. I would get a mocha but I really don’t like coffee all that much, I just get it for the chance at having something warm to hold on to, something warm to consume and make me feel content for even just a second. In reality I get a decaf, because I cant really handle the coffee itself. I love the chocolate though because chocolate, even in it’s unadulterated forms, still gives me its richness and flavor without making me deal with any unexpected side effects that I cant handle.
So, what am I hiding?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Way-To-Being-Less-Ig'nant Reading List

Basically a list filled with books that both were recommended by NCORE, by my peers, and books that I picked up on my own

Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration by Karen L. Ishizuka.

Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity (Law, Meaning, and Violence)

Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military During World War II, by Brenda L. Moore

The Uses of Haiti- Paul Farmer

Melal: A Novel of the Pacific by Robert Barclay

From a Native Daughter- Haunani Kay Trask

Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity

Pacific Voices Talk Story: Conversations of American Experience (Volume 4)

roll of thunder hear my cry series (mildred taylor)

The Lost History of Christianity

"The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven" - Sherman Alexie

The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between Latinos and Blacks and What it Means for America

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The Shock Doctrine --Naomi Klein

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity by Soong-chan Rah

The Motorcycle Diaries: Ché Guevara

A People’s History

Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color Blind Society by Michael K. Brown

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

Radical Possibilities: Public Policy, Urban Education and a New Social Movement

Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White- Tim Wise

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou

Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Because I Know You Don't Read the Newspaper by Aaron McGruder

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

Souls of Black Folk W.E.B Dubois

Native Daughter- Haunani Kay Trask

Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity

Pacific Voices Talk Story: Conversations of American Experience (Volume 4)

Melal: A Novel of the Pacific by Robert Barclay

Negro History- Carter G. Woodsen

Sex and Race- J.A. Rogers

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness-George Lipsitz

How Jews became white folks and what that says about race in America By Karen Brodkin

Randall Robinson's The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks

Untold Civil Rights Stories: Asian Americans Speak Out for Justice