Thursday, November 29, 2007

Haven't blogged in a while- I was just too busy this week...
I was remembering this scene in the Color Purple...If you get this blog on email you will have to see
the youtube clip online at the blogsite

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Funeral and A Birth

I have always had this one request about dying that it be peaceful- that I drift off into a deep sleep and emerge on the other side with no suffering. I have had to unlearn and learn that death is not just one experience you have after growing old or suffering from a horrible disease - death is next to you at all times. Death is not always about leaving this physical world in fact it is about experiencing deep endings. I have been dying in the death of my relationship for some time now. I am telling you, I was kickin' and screamin' - cryin'- sayin' "Why me?? What have I done??" - trying to save myself... when I really just needed to die and move on. So, I allowed myself to receive funeral rites - I allowed that old part of me to be placed in the coffin and buried. I know you are wondering "then who is writing this blog?"
Africans know that death is not the end. Really, if you think that when you leave your physical body and get buried, cremated or dumped at sea that you have reached your end - well you are mistakened. You go to the other side. You have to be accountable for all that you have done and not done - all the Ancestors will really want to know what was going on with you. If you were too tied to your flesh - being greedy, treating people badly - believe me in the spirit world you are going to stink real bad --too bad to stay there, so you will get sent back to right your wrongs- relearn the lessons. You get to personally experience how your actions have effected your bloodline because boom you are right there living it. Everything we do impacts the future of our bloodline- so if you have spent your life lying, cheating, and stealing then you have set up the future for your bloodline. In KMT they had a saying, "Live today as your tomorrow, and tomorrow as yesterday." Don't think that your actions of today don't matter - they very much do. I don't care how many candles you light and how much incense you burn- using your Creator given powers for bad will only hurt you and your bloodline -in the end.
Back to my death...I have learnt recently that there is a long line of women in my family that have been abused, some left for dead, beaten while pregnant, others left with no food for their babies, and it goes on...what holds these experiences is that they are held by silence. Sistahs we can't keep birthing our girls and not prepare them for the strong possibility of chaos that is out there for African women. When you are at war and trying to hold the pieces together you can't just think it is good your daughter got married. No, you have to ask yourself who is the man and where does he come from? Who is his family and how did they raise him? Was the female spirit honored in their family or was it oppressed? You got to observe how your future son in law refers to his own mother and the women in his life - is he dripping with hate? Then guess where it will be directed when he has married your daughter. We are products of our environment -whether we like it or not... it requires deep work and deep reflection to change the influence of our environment. It is not impossible but it is constant deep work.
I know now that marriage is not a thing to take lightly- you are joining with whatever karma your mate is caring - so you got to make sure you can carry it. I know now that I have to really pay attention to my inner feelings and if something doe not feel right don't brush it aside but move towards it and see what it is. It is like mold on bread, you got to have a close look to see if its a speck of flour not just assume it. I have to re-remember to trust what I see about a person not just what they are telling me (the two should match). Lastly, I have to realize that I was put here to learn a lesson. My friend Ruth said,"There are no mistakes, just lessons."
The other night I took a bath in the dark and I was home again. I positioned myself in a fetal position and on occasion I would kick around letting the warm water rock me. My body feels achy lately and I know that soon I will began the birthing process. Its been nurturing and painful at the same time. I am not sure what to expect but I know I will emerge even more powerful. My dulas have been summoned and my midwives are preparing. My mother is whispering in my ear all that she wants me to re-remember. More to come...

Photo: Alice Lovelace

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brer Rabbit and The Tar Baby

Remember this story?? A friend and I were trying to remember how it went so I found a version.
Sistah C

Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby

Retold by Catharine Farrell from a story retold by Joel Chandler Harris

One day Brer Fox thought of how Brer Rabbit had been cutting up his capers and bouncing around until he'd come to believe that he was the boss of the whole gang. Brer Fox thought of a way to lay some bait for that uppity Brer Rabbit.

He went to work and got some tar and mixed it with some turpentine. He fixed up a contraption that he called a Tar-Baby. When he finished making her, he put a straw hat on her head and sat the little thing in the middle of the road. Brer Fox, he lay off in the bushes to see what would happen.

Well, he didn't have to wait long either, 'cause by and by Brer Rabbit came pacing down the road--lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity--just as sassy as a jaybird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit came prancing along until he saw the Tar-Baby and then he sat back on his hind legs like he was astonished. The Tar-Baby just sat there, she did, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Good morning!" says Brer Rabbit, says he. "Nice weather we're having this morning," says he.

Tar-Baby didn't say a word, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"How are you feeling this morning?" says Brer Rabbit, says he.

Brer Fox, he winked his eye real slow and lay low and the Tar-Baby didn't say a thing.

"What is the matter with you then? Are you deaf?" says Brer Rabbit, says he. "Cause if you are, I can holler louder," says he.

The Tar-Baby stayed still and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"You're stuck-up, that's what's wrong with you. You think you're too good to talk to me," says Brer Rabbit, says he. "And I'm going to cure you, that's what I'm going to do," says he.

Brer Fox started to chuckle in his stomach, he did, but Tar-Baby didn't say a word.

"I'm going to teach you how to talk to respectable folks if it's my last act," says Brer Rabbit, says he. "If you don't take off that hat and say howdy, I'm going to bust you wide open," says he.

Tar-Baby stayed still and Brer Fox, he lay low.

Brer Rabbit kept on asking her why she wouldn't talk and the Tar-Baby kept on saying nothing until Brer Rabbit finally drew back his fist, he did, and blip--he hit the Tar-Baby on the jaw. But his fist stuck and he couldn't pull it loose. The tar held him. But Tar-Baby, she stayed still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"If you don't let me loose, I'm going to hit you again," says Brer Rabbit, says he, and with that he drew back his other fist and blap--he hit the Tar-Baby with the other hand and that one stuck fast too.

Tar-Baby she stayed still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Turn me loose, before I kick the natural stuffing out of you," says Brer Rabbit, says he, but the Tar-Baby just sat there.

She just held on and then Brer Rabbit jumped her with both his feet. Brer Fox, he lay low. Then Brer Rabbit yelled out that if that Tar-Baby didn't turn him loose, he was going to butt her crank-sided. Then he butted her and his head got stuck.

Brer Fox walked out from behind the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit, looking as innocent as a mockingbird.

"Howdy, Brer Rabbit," says Brer Fox, says he. "You look sort of stuck up this morning," says he. And he rolled on the ground and laughed and laughed until he couldn't laugh anymore.

By and by he said, "Well, I expect I got you this time, Brer Rabbit," says he. "Maybe I don't, but I expect I do. You've been around here sassing after me a mighty long time, but now it's the end.

And then you're always getting into something that's none of your business," says Brer Fox, says he. "Who asked you to come and strike up a conversation with this Tar-Baby? And who stuck you up the way you are? Nobody in the round world. You just jammed yourself into that Tar-Baby without waiting for an invitation," says Brer Fox, says he. "There you are and there you'll stay until I fix up a brushpile and fire it up, "cause I'm going to barbecue you today, for sure," says Brer Fox, says he.

Then Brer Rabbit started talking mighty humble.

"I don't care what you do with me, Brer Fox, says he, "Just so you don't fling me in that briar patch. Roast me, Brer Fox, says he, "But don't fling me in that briar patch."

"It's so much trouble to kindle a fire," says Brer Fox, says he, "that I expect I'd better hang you," says he.

"Hang me just as high as you please, Brer Fox, says Brer Rabbit, says he, "but for the Lord's sake, don't fling me in that briar patch," says he.

"I don't have any string, " says Brer Fox, says he, "Now I expect I had better drown you, " says he.

"Drown me just as deep as you please, Brer Fox," says Brer Rabbit, says he, "But please do not fling me in that briar patch, " says he.

"There's no water near here," says Brer Fox, says he, "And now I reckon I'd better skin you," says he.

"Skin me Brer Fox," says he. "Snatch out my eyeballs, tear out my ears by the roots," says he, "But please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in that briar patch, " says he.

Of course, Brer Fox wanted to get Brer Rabbit as bad as he could, so he caught him by the behind legs and slung him right in the middle of the briar patch. There was a considerable flutter when Brer Rabbit struck the bushes, and Brer Fox hung around to see what was going to happen.

By and by he heard someone call his name and 'way up on the hill he saw Brer Rabbit sitting cross-legged on a chinquapin log combing the tar pitch out of his hair with a chip. Then Brer Fox knew he had been tricked.

Brer Rabbit hollered out, "Born and bred in the briar patch. I was born and bred in the briar patch!" And with that he skipped out just as lively as a cricket in the embers of a fire.

The End

Saturday, November 24, 2007

To Everyone...For Everyone

I give thanks and I call in the Creator,
I give thanks and I call in Mama Earth,
I give thanks and I call in Mama Water,
I give thanks and I call in all of the Ancient Energies that are here
to help me, my family and community,
I give thanks and I call in all of my Ancestors that sit at
the feet of the Creator
I give thanks and I call you all here
because I stand here at the place
where you have brought me
and I see what you want me
to see.
Please forgive me for any part I have played in
protecting oppression.
I pray deeply that you provide clarity
in this very moment to us all
right now.
Disperse the shadow that our enemy
attempts to cast upon us
Render our enemy powerless
against us.
Allow our eyes to see a larger picture
and most of all allow TRUTH to prevail.
I know that lies have no power against me!
May the tongues of my enemies be silenced!
Protect all the children, protect all the mothers,
and protect all the fathers.
Make TRUTH the most powerful force in this moment!
Make it that our enemy can no longer hide behind lies!
I am truly grateful that you have provided this path
for me to walk upon.
I am grateful that you have protected me, my family
and community - please continue to do so...
Many Thanks,
Many Thanks,
Many Thanks,
Let this all be so,
Let this all be so,
Let this all be so,

MA KALI from this website
When I thought of an image for this post I automatically thought of Ma Kali. Check out the above web page for her qualities -this Sistah Goddess is often depicted with her foot upon her enemy, her tongue out - fresh out of battle. BTW, outside of the continent of Africa the next largest population of Africans reside in India.

Friday, November 23, 2007

At The Crossroads...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ummmm...each day I am looking forward to writing this blog - it has been so helpful for me. It has help to release a creative side that was buried for too long and it has helped me to express my truth...
Below is my new poem (still in progress) that is introducing a beautiful essay by my nephew Kweku Opare. He is a brilliant artist, writer and visionary. This a piece a final paper he wrote for school.
Sistah C

WombMother (still a work in progress…)

When my Mother conceived me,
she was pregnant with
Or was it 90?
maybe 9000??
yes, 9 million like me…
See many of you didn’t know I came from the sea…

A strange mixture of salty tears,
embryonic fluid and
blood that is clear…
I was breed to never fear…
mortal men,
for this human form can never truly hold me,
I will tell you a secret…
I was born from the sea…

Yes, my mama conceived me and placed me in the womb
of a barren woman, desperate for a child…
she was sworn to feed me,
sworn to clothe me,
sworn to house me,
but was told she could never really love me
because I am my mother’s child,
born wild, born free…

my home is wata
since I was a wee bit chil’
a pretty strange

Many man fall in love with me,
but none live up to me,
cause I am not the daughter of
a long haired man turned
prophet at King James’ hand,
no, I was never the daughter of such a man…

Some seek to silence me,
Try mix my story with lies
but my mother watches over me
and will allow no harm to
come to me…
she protects and
guides me
cause I am her child from the sea...
Sistah C

A Mystical World of Spirit Submerged
Iba Olokun fe mi lo're. Iba Olokun omo re wa se fun oyi o.
I praise the Spirit of the vast Ocean. I praise the Spirit of the Ocean who is beyond understanding.

In my personal experience, I have always been fascinated with water spirits, specifically mermaids. In learning more about the culture and practices of my ancient ancestors, I have learned that many of the legends of mermaids come from African spiritual beliefs. These beliefs and legends have been transmitted all over the world, and are based in real life experiences and traditions. These legends of water spirits help to spiritually inform me about deeper concepts my ancestors were able to realize. The alluring water spirits of African and African Diasporic cosmology, pantheons and folklore amazingly personify the concept of creation and ancient knowledge.
Water is the source of life on Earth. Therefore, in traditional African cultures spirits were associated with bodies of water. These spirits, whether drawn as a grand mermaid or an ancient, humongous fish, represented concepts associated with the sacred importance of water. One example is the concept of creation; the Earth can be believed to have once been covered entirely in water. Life then proceeded to evolve from the depths of the ocean, which is believed to be a mother figure in many traditions. Specifically, the mermaid can be a physical representation of this theory. This example is well expressed in this following quote from the Danbala Wedo Vodou Society website (referring to the water spirit Lasiren):
La Siren is considered to be the "Mother of the Sea". Since she is the mother of the world, her children are too many to count - not unlike the fish who inhabit her domain of the sea. Science shows us that life began in the oceans of the world. And, as a fetus, we wade for nine months in our mother's womb. Therefore calling the Ocean our Mother is not all that far fetched - a large body of salt water, rolling and moving with the tides. Not unlike being rocked in the womb of our mother. And, just as early life evolved out of the oceans, we too must change from little fish-like fetuses into human beings at birth. We come from the waters and manifest ourselves into the reality of our world. This can be seen as an allegory of LaSiren, who brings her initiates knowledge from beneath her watery domain, helping them manifest their desires. (“Lwa of Our House”, par. 5)
Overall, the concept of the mermaid can be linked to the theory of creation, and the imagery of the ancient mermaid in African art makes that metaphysical idea visual. The visual representations of spiritual notions breathe life into the idea of the water spirit. The correlation between water and creation is magnified by the magical expressions of water deities in African spiritual systems and cosmology.
In the cosmology of Africa and the African Diaspora there are many examples of water spirits and divinities. Generally speaking, majority of the traditional spiritual systems of Africa and the African Diaspora are consistent in their values and ideology. Because of this, the idea of the water spirit is similar in interpretation and symbolism across the world. Mami Wata is a water spirit (and also a pantheon of deities) who is very popular across the continent of Africa and the Americas. She is an ancient mermaid considered to be foreign to all cultures, and her visual manifestation in art is based on a collection of images from Africa, Asia and Europe. According to Henry John Drewal, “Mami Wata is a varied, complex, and fully expressive system that has drawn inspiration from widely dispersed and diverse sources to forge a uniquely African faith.” (Drewal 102) In many descriptions of Mami Wata, she is given unique human characteristics and considered to dwell in a mysterious world below the ocean. She is praised and worshipped, and known to be capable of blessing her followers with wealth and prosperity.
In the Ifa system of the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria, the spirit of the ocean is known as Olokun (which means “Owner of the Ocean”). According to a Roots and Rooted article, depending on the area in which Olokun is worshipped, this spirit is known to be male or female. Olokun represents the deep waters of the ocean and qualities such as “patience, endurance, observation, wisdom, history of the past, future visions, and royalty.” (Roots/Rooted, par. 1) Olokun is ruler of a powerful realm beneath the sea, and his/her spirit is known to interact and initiate followers to his/her secret knowledge.
Previously mentioned, in Haiti the expression of the mermaid in the Vodun spiritual system is known as Lasiren. Lasiren is heavily featured in the folk art of Haitian people, and she is honored and respected as the mother of the sea. In ritual practice, initiates dance and possess the water spirit, who then in turn speaks through the person and relays messages of healing. Marilyn Houlberg explains that initiates are able to communicate with Lasiren and other water spirits through bodies of water including rivers, lakes, waterfalls, the ocean etc. (Houlberg 31) A song featured in an article is an example of the song of Lasiren:
I am cold, I am wet
I have just come up from the cold sea
I cannot stand up because half my body is a fish
Bring me my comb
Bring me my mirror (qtd. in Houlberg, 3O)

These expressions of water spirits are further reflected in the stories of the people who worship and honor them. The idea of being whisked away to another world beneath the sea dominates the stories featuring mermaids and water spirits in African/ Diasporic folklore. One example is the story “Mary Belle and the Mermaid”, featured in Her Stories, an anthology of stories collected by Virginia Hamilton. In this story, Mary Belle is a lonely abused girl who escapes to the ocean, where she comes into contact with a live mermaid. The mermaid resembles an ancient mother, inviting her lost children of the Earth to her home. The mermaid’s commanding yet matriarchal presence, along with her actions of magnetism, reaffirm Mary Belle’s belief in the supernatural. Lovingly, she welcomes Mary Belle to an unknown world of abundant riches and wealth (Hamilton 33-37). This is similar to another story called Sam and the Mermaid, an African American tale collected by R.M. Dorson. The protagonist, Sam, is a sailor carried away by a mermaid to the depths of the ocean; he eventually marries her. The story relays Sam’s description of how the mermaids looked and lived (Dorson 484-485).
During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, enslaved Africans secretly transmitted their traditional beliefs and stories and preserved/adapted them to their new surroundings in the Diaspora. The story “Mary Belle and the Mermaid” (and other similar stories dealing with mermaids in the Black experience) is a reflection of this history; its origins link back to Africa. These stories can be linked back to Africa with a similar Yoruba folktale from Nigeria called “The Beautiful Girl and the Fish.” In this story, the girl is attracted to a fish-man, and marries him. The ending is very similar to “Mary Belle and the Mermaid”; in both stories the family of the protagonist seeks to hunt down and eventually kill the water creature. The fact that these stories are alike further shows the transmission of tales throughout history relating to the subject of mermaids.
Imagery of enticing mermaids and other water spirits have always attracted and inspired me and my artwork. Through cultural and spiritual research I have been able to gather more information about mermaids in African cultural expressions, which has enabled me to further understand their importance. The hidden meanings and symbolism of water spirits opens up concepts that will help to further my spiritual development. With this information, I can appreciate the presence of spirit in folk art, which breathes life into the images of mystical creatures that will forever amaze and impress me.

Works Cited
Dorson R. M. “Folktales Told around the World.” Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press
1975 pp.484-485.

Fuja A, comp. “Fourteen Hundred Cowries, and Other African Tales”, New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, 1971, Oxford 1962

Hamilton, Virginia, comp. “Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and
True Tales.” Blue Sky Press. 1 Nov 1995. 33-37

Houlberg, Marilyn. “Sirens and Snakes: Water Spirits in the Arts of Haitian Vodou”
African Arts Spr. 1996. 30-35

“Lwa of Our House. “ The Danbala Wedo Society. 27 Oct. 2007

“Who is the Orisa Called Olokun?”
Roots and Rooted. 27 Oct. 2007

Artists: Leo and Diane Dillon illustrators from the book Down and Way Down Deep in the Water

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MisGivings and ThanksTaking

I think of the holidays as a perfect time to meditate/reflect on where you stand. Believe me, you do have a choice and you are making choices everyday. Every moment you make choices that either contribute to oppression or tear it down. When you don't know yourself - who you are - your purpose in life - your destiny - you are subject to contribute to and even defend oppression.
BLACKOUT FRIDAY is the day after ThanksTaking/MisGivings. It is the day that our folks have set aside to demonstrate how much buying power we have in this country. I have heard it said that the Black person is the "new consumer". My friend emailed me today to give me the stats on our wealth - here is what she said:
"Think about this, WAOK host Rob Wilson gave these statistics. Black buying power in the greater Atlanta area is $68 Billion. Dekalb county $9 billion alone. Fulton county $4.2 billion. In addition to focusing our own dollars Back to Black, we should get together and figure out ways to bring much more of those billions of Black dollars back into our own communities and to the businessess we know to be worthy of receiving them."
WOW!!! Imagine if we took all that money and build our own schools preK to university level, invested in Africa, healed ourselves from the wounds of enslavement, etc... To be honest I always knew something was up with us because we are the only people who can live in a classified poor neighborhood and have people drive in and set up businesses and thrive. Again, we need to know ourselves -who we are and our destiny...
I don't think BLACKOUT FRIDAY is going to end racism (as some emails tout) but it may help us realize the potential of our economic power. In case you have forgotten here is the clip to remember... yes, a sistah wrote this movie! (if you get my email go to blog to see clip)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Obba Nani, Kebuka! and Family As Community

Yes, this is my weekend wrap up.
I remembered that before my nephew's email on Ezili Danto I had a powerful dream where I was being summoned by OBBA NANI. Let me provide some context - I am not initiated in the traditions of Yoruba or Vodun - in fact I am just becoming aware of these practices. So, I am becoming clear that somewhere in my bloodline there is a connection to my ancestors and these energies. I look forward to learning more when I can. The irony is that OBBA NANI also is a warrior energy - a fierce protector of the family- notice she too carries a blade... One description says:
"Obba is the Orisha of mature relationships, seriousness, stability and high respect. She like Yewa and Oduduwa should not be received by those that lack in respect or are not willing to mature; because Obba will change you the hard way. Obba is a beautiful woman that can change into a warrior suddenly; Chango knows how to fight because she taught him."
If anyone has more information on her I would welcome it. I found interesting information about her on the internet but it is hard to say what is true or not, so I just post an image of her I found and know she is also guiding my process.
ARTIST: Unsure. Email me if you know. Thx.
My son and I share the honor of having Mwalimu and Yaa Mawusi Baruti as teachers. This weekend Mwalimu Baruti presented his presentation on KEBUKA! - a re-remembrance of what our Ancestors experienced during the "Middle Passage". I don't think many of us have taken the time to really conceptualize what it took to enslave us and the attempts to break our spirit- Mwalimu refers to it as the "hellacaust". During his talk he had his students demonstrate the positions in which Afrikans were packed onto slave ships. He debunked the common myths perpetuated by their story like the numbers of Afrikans stolen from the continent during this time -his research indicates that it was well over 60million and even as much as 280 million or more(ie.the whole population of the united states). Can you imagine the devastation experienced by our people and our land. If you can't, then look around you today, you will see that evidence of continued oppression - our children in jail, our babies having babies, the destruction of our families, and the mentacide of a so-called professional class of negros (stalling progress, promoting themselves and forgetfulness). All of this is very real yet some of us are so distracted. I have heard it said that it will come down to those who know and those who don't know. I say it will also come down to those with integrity -those who not only talk but walk. Check out Baba Baruti's website - he has a vast collection of books that will lift the veil, (
I think many of us are thirsting for community -but what is it and how do you cultivate it? I think community is an energy that we develop when we share ourselves authentically, respect one another and listen to each other's dreams. The result may be that we decide to live close to one another, share in the education of our children, share in our resources and share in our skills/talents. This weekend some friends and I made a radical decision-we decided to commit our families to a process of sharing and communing - so we had a family potluck and sleepover. Our children hung out while the adults conversed over tea. We spoke about everything from cooking, to organizing, to New Orleans and the lessons of Katrina. It was the beginning of what I hope to be a nice tradition.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sistah Goddess Ezili Danto: Single Mother with a Knife

I believe that for every situation in our lives there is an energy that guides the process. Afrikan people have known for centuries that our relationship with these energies directly influences our relationship with the creator, the earth, our ancestors, our community and ourselves. These energies often called deities/spirits can act on our behalf when issues arise. The relationship however is reciprocal - it requires us to make offerings and give of our own energy to insure balance. This is what I understand so far of the general relationship traditionally one can have with the spirit world.
Yesterday, my nephew emailed me a beautiful writing on Ezili Danto and the Influence of Vodun in the Haitian Revolution. It is said that in 1791 at a ceremony a Vodou priestess became possessed by Ezili Danto. She slit a black pig's throat and those present drank its blood and swore to drive out their French enslavers or die trying. It was said a week later that 1000 French settlers died on their rich plantations - the beginning of the Haitian Revolution.
Ezili Danto's energy manifests as a single mother who is fiercely protective of her children. It is said that she is the protector of single mothers and will provide her help with very little of an offering. Her sacred symbol is the image of a heart pierced with a knife. She is said to like knives - and is familiar with "both sides of the blade."
Ezili Danto's energy is fierce - it came out of time when we had to take a stand- we had to be free - slavery was no longer an option. I feel it is no mistake that now in my life she has shown up. I believe that she has been giving me strength to overcome my abusive relationship and move on. I think she gives me the courage and wisdom to remember my true self not an image someone has tried to place upon me. She has help reveal all the places where secrets were hidden so that I could see my relationship for what it really was...
Often, too often, I hear the stories of women leaving abusive situations with just the clothes on the back or divorces leaving women financially devastated. Yet somehow they rise up out of the experience with their dignity - perhaps this is blessings of Ezili Danto...
If you want to read more about Ezili Danto go to Marguerite Laurent's website.
Artist:Hersza Barjon
Experience the beautiful work of Haitian artist Hersza Barjon. Her personal website is

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Prayer for My Sistahs

I first call in the Creator
then I call in Mama Earth
then I call in Mama Water
I call in all other Deities, Spirits
and Energies
that are here in
this moment to help us heal
I call in all of My Ancestors who sit at the Creator's feet

I call you all here to give thanks and praises
for a new day
a new day of life
a new day of lessons
a new day of blessings

I ask that you continue to guide our way
help to keep us clear
help to protect us from harm to our physical, spiritual and mental selves
I ask that you continue to remind us about who we are -divine children of the creator
here to fulfill our purpose to bring the world into balance
I ask that you bring us to the right place, the right people, the right situations so that we can manifest our dreams...
I ask that you stand with your hand upon our heads and guide us when we are off course...
I ask that you keep reminding us of how special we are, how important we are to the healing of this world...
I ask that you help us to re-remember our greatness so that we can feel safe to trust one another and be generous with one another.

I know that our enemies have no power against us!
I know that when our enemies approach us their weapons fall to the ground at the sight of our greatness!
I ask that you protect us from those who DO NOT know themselves and their own greatness.
I ask that you remove obstacles that appear to be in our way...
Please give us the sight to see the treasures around us...
Help us to choose our battles well and when it is time for war...
walk with us to the battleground and bring us victory!

I ask all of my Grandmothers who are known and unknown to me
to touch each sistah I know and don't know with their protective hand
so that she can stand firm in who she is
so that she can have the courage to take care of herself
and do the work of her bloodline
Help each of us sistahs to re-remember who we are so we don't collaborate in our own oppression in the name of love, lust or jealousy
Help us to support one another and protect our sacred bond,
so we can grow to be righteous elder teachers for our daughters, sons, granddaughters and grandsons...
so we may end the cycle of abuse on the female spirit

We are truly grateful for the force of spirit in our lives.

Ashe' Ashe' Ashe'
Madasi Madasi Madasi

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


There is a powerful healing in the spoken truth of Sunni Patterson Below is another clip - We Know This Place. (if you get my blog on email you will have to go to the site to to view it)

This is the second time in my life that I have been "home-less". The first time was a fluke because a roommate and I could not find a place to live in San Francisco after giving our month's notice. We had no clue that San Francisco during that time was going through a huge real estate crunch - it was the .com era and everyone and their mama was in the city. We would go to look at an apartment and there were about twenty people there taking applications. It even got to the point where people were paying more than what landlords were asking. Yes, it was unreal and well later we found out how unreal...
This time I am going through a divorce. The details I won't bore you with...but know I had to leave with my clothes, my son's belongings and a few boxes of whatever I could gather. I am now in a room in my mother's home -figuring out the lesson of my experience. I have been challenged during this time because I have never been so dependent except when I was a child - yet here I am...It takes a lot of patience to be in this place because you have to find your gratitude everyday. I have ups and downs - some days I come out of bed fighting and other days I feel defeated - like I have failed somehow...then its like a miracle - a friend will call and lift me up and there I am again fighting-rising up out of my ashes. It hard to describe this horrible yet Beautiful process. I continue to find the place in me that knows that I am blessed and know that my ancestors have my back.

Today, I took a visit with some friends to a co-housing community. I have dreamt of developing a co-housing community for years with like-minded Afrikans. The place we visited in the heart of Atlanta was built on 1 acre of land and across the street was a land trust that housed a playground, garden,sweat house, community theatre and a snack shack. It was so beautiful how the land trust connected to individual homes with various paths to the outer neighborhood. The co-housing community was so cute and organic with lots of shared outdoor space and a communal building. The community meets once to twice a week and shares one meal on the weekends. Imagine the types of relationships and nation-building that could take place if we all lived in a sustainable way - growing our food, healing ourselves, nurturing/educating our children, providing for our needs of shelter and security. Here are some pictures from today.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What a Woman Must Do

I want to thank those of you who emailed me in support of my last post. It takes some courage to reveal your creative side. I would love for sistahs to send me some of their art to share on the blog. Just want to create a space for sharing.

I have been looking at my Dreams lately wondering what it is that I want from life. I have been thinking a lot about relationships. I heard someone say relationships are our last frontier. I am not just talking about love relationships - there are family relationships, friends and community. I have been in search for the meaning of all these relationships in my life - looking at the good and the bad. Mostly looking at myself and who I am being. I have a great hunger for authentic relationships and this hunger has often left me blind to what is really going on. My mother was watching daytime tv today and you know daytime tv (court reality shows, soap operas, Oprah, etc...) it is enough to make you wondering who is watching this stuff. Anyway, there was this one commercial for a lawyer and he says "Don't worry about it. Let me take care of everything. Just let me do it." My first thought was how sneaky and cunning but I realize that those words can drive people to enter into dangerous relationships -it is what a lot people think they want - someone to handle everything...calgon take me away...fertile ground for abuse...Like the elders would say "remember, the devil is a liar"
Relationships are hard and they require a great deal of compromise. If we judge too much then we are forever searching for perfection - and well...none of us are perfect. My new frontier is to cultivate relationships that are balanced, sincere, thought provoking, kind, respectful, spiritual and generous. May I first seek to cultivate those things in myself in order to be able to share them with others...Ashe

Sistah Spoken Word

I am very much in this spoken word/poetry therapy. Ursula Rucker is another favorite of mine - she is hard hitting- not for primetime and small minds. Here is a clip I found of her (some strong language). Enjoy!

Okay...this sistah just blew it up! From New Orleans Sunni Patterson

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reclaiming My Art, My Voice

I have identified myself as an artist yet most of the time I am silent about my creations. My art brings up a lot of my feelings around self worth - because I have this question about the value of my creations. I have to admit that I have lived in fear around my artistic creations. TODAY I take a new step towards revealing myself as an artist. I will accept that my work may not appeal to everyone but I know that it comes from my spirit.
I have two things to share on this blog today. A drawing and a poem.
The Drawing
My friend Mbali ( facilitates nature journeys (vision quests)on Mt. Shasta. If you have never been to Mt.Shasta - it is a very powerful place with this Grandmother River. There is a small(African owned) hot springs in Shasta called Stewart Mineral Springs. Its a very rustic place and is known to have the worlds most powerful healing waters. I would suggest camping there on the nature preserve right outside Stewart along Mama River. Twice I have slept along Mama River's side while she spoke deeply to me through her rushing water. She spoke to me about my bloodline and my destiny. Both times during my visits I would create images that spoke specifically to the people on the journey with me. I would just start drawing and in the end I would give them each their image. Some were pretty, some were scary but I trusted that each had a message. My last visit we took pictures of the images before I gave them out. The one above is one I drew for a sistah while she was on her solo time.

The Poem
I don't know if I am a poet but I gave birth to this yesterday. In my head it is a song but it can be spoken as well.

Before Taking Revenge Take Two Lives…

I see you
When you don’t think I do
I once was blind
Now I see through
Your lies
Your deceit
You must feel incomplete
As of late…

I see you
Pretending to have a heart
When you’re just not that smart
To hide your hate

I see you
Following your lust
When in the end
It was my heart you should have trust

I see you
wanting to be a king
but a king can’t flyyyyy
On broken wings

I see you
born to do much more
but you live your life
just to keep score

I see you
blaming others for your pain
when you committed the crimes
to make yourself insane

I see you
quoting great Afrikan minds
yet in reality
your consciousness is blind

I see you
you’re mentally enslaved
trying to pretend your brave
yet I see you

I see you
wanted me as your slave
wanted to stand in my way
wanted to slander my name
wanted to add poverty to my claim
and curse me to my face
wanted to disgrace my family name
all because you feel so small
but it is me who is tall
but it is me who is tall
but it is me who is tall

I seeeeeeeee youuuuuu
behind those Afrikan clothes
hiding your scars, those holes
in your heart…

Perhaps its ok to just look the part but
I see you
Yes, I see you

Friday, November 9, 2007

MESSAGE FROM SISTAH ESHE RIVIEARS (THE HERB LADY) Healing Circle for Brother Jahti Jackson Maasai

Greetings Fellow Healers!
Can I ask a favor of you?

I have put together an event for a fellow brother healer of ours that is overcoming cancer.

Can you please attend this event and offer your healing energy in a healing circle of healers?

The day is Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 3pm. People will be coming and going all the day, so if you can't be there right at 3pm, thats' fine, but if you can show up sometime before 7pm, we can still have a powerful gathering.

Please give me a call or reply to this email, plus, please invite other healers....

Herbal Love,
Eshe Riviears
The Herb Lady
(770) 787-4352

Jahti Jackson Maasai...

The Jahti Healing Fund

Anyone can contribute to the Jahti Healing Fund by sending a check to :

Jahti Healing Fund
P.O.B. 54621
Atlanta, GA 30308

Or you can send a Paypal to :

This Brother has dedicated 50 years of his Life to Social & Community activitism, a member of The Black Panthers, (shown here in this photo at The Black Panther Reunion, Summer 2007) and he is Co-founder of Man-Up!, an organization dedicated to guiding young men to living up to being a positive contribuion to their family, community and to society. Plus, he is a dedicated husband, father, brother, Elder and friend.
Do come!
After the Healing work has been done, live music, spoken word, old-school/new school music and great food and people!

Saturday, November 17 at 3pm
Omni House
12225 Brown Bridge Rd.
Covington, GA 30016
(770) 787-4352

Thursday, November 8, 2007

You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down and Other Thoughts...

I think it is divine intervention that the stories of our lives influence the lives of others.I had a strange dream this morning that ended up showing me that part of the lesson of my struggles is to help me to move towards others - to reach out to others for support and in turn give support when it is needed. I sat with two friends this morning talking about the struggle it takes to live your life off the plantation - to trust in your divine given talents as a means of living. Lately, I have had to REALLY TRUST where I am at...even when it seems like I am going to be without a cent to my name - I just keep trusting myself and I just sit down and work. I don't distract myself I just keep focused. I think of it as a energetic reward system -the more work you put in towards your purpose the more you are able to receive the rewards of that work. Some people call if metaphysics or "the secret" - really it is just about believing in yourself - that you are worthy of your divine greatness and that the world can NOT benefit from you playing small - your part in healing of this chaos is SOOOOO IMPORTANT. You can't possibly think that someone else can do YOUR JOB. We are all unique ingredients in the gumbo of life - I don't think we can afford to have anyone sit this out. Yes, this is a pep talk - remember YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD SISTAH (OR BROTHA) DOWN! GIVE DESTINY ITS DUE!
Sistah C
Two Spoken Word Clips That Are Speaking To Me...From the movie SLAM

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Adiama Services & Tours: Tradition and Resistance Study Group Series in Atlanta

Jambo Everyone!
Here is information on a study group taking place in Atlanta. Both facilitators are powerful teachers on the traditions. Plan to attend. Adiama Services and Tours is also leading a tour to Ghana -check out their website(link below).
Sistah C
Adiama Services & Tours Presents:
Fall Study Group Series - Tradition & Resistance
Afrikan Djeli
Sundays 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Beginning Sunday November 11th 2007

Akan Tradition & Resistance
Facilitator: Kwadwo Gyasi Nkita-Mayala

Afa/Vodun Tradition & Resistance
Facilitator: Ason Ajinaku

This Study Group Series is reserved for Afrikan (Black) People.
Please visit:

If you are able to forward, post and or distribute the attached flyer it is both welcomed and appreciated.

Kwadwo Gyasi Nkita-Mayala
Adiama Services & Tours

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ancient KMT (Egypt) Tour Afrikan Centered!!

Jambo! I had a nice relaxing weekend just hanging out with my son having fun. I recently got an email from my son's former history teacher in California, Professor Manu Ampim. Professor Manu is one of the greatest experts on Classical Africa and is leading a tour to Ancient KMT (Egypt). Not long ago we took a tour with him at a local San Francisco museum and he broke down how our history is being literally replaced with images of european Africans!!! I can only imagine that he will uncover all the illusions and restore the truth of our legacy in Ancient KMT. Please see the details below and contact him.
I am working on my interviews this week so stay tuned!
Sistah C



May 31 - June 14, 2008

$3299 (all inclusive) from New York

Personally escorted by


(experienced tour guide & leading historian of Africana Studies)




-All tips, taxes, and domestic travel in Egypt

-Deluxe hotel accommodations & two meals per day

-Entrance fees to over 40 sites & monuments

-CD on "Documenting Your Travel Experiences"

-On-site and evening presentations by Prof. Ampim

-Field research training

-Optional 5 units college credit


We will visit...

-The great pyramids of Giza & the Great Sphinx (Heru-em-akhet), which

is the most well-known statue in the world.

-The ancient capital city of Memphis and the extensive monuments

of Sakkara , including the Tomb of Ptah-Hotep, author of the oldest

surviving book in the world.

-The massive Dahshure & Meidum pyramids, and the Mastaba of

Ra-Hotep & Nofret, whose famous statues in the Cairo Museum

are forgeries according to Prof. Ampim in his book, _Modern Fraud_.

-The Egyptian Museum with its renowned collection of well-preserved

Pharaonic antiquities.

-The temples of Luxor and Karnak , which constitute one of the largest

open-air museums in the world.

- The famous Valley of the Kings/Queens and Noble Tombs, including

the Tomb of King Tutankhamen & the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut .

-The ancient city of the tomb builders, Deir el-Medina.

-The Luxor Museum & the Nubian Museum in Aswan .

-The Dendera, Edfu, and Abydos temples

-The Noble Tombs in Aswan & the temples of Pharaoh Ramses II /

Queen Nefertari at Abu Simbel .

- The ancient Workmen's Village of Deir el Medina

-The Nubian village tour

- and much more...


Prof. Manu Ampim is a leading primary researcher and historian

on African & African American history and culture. He has written two

books, conducted pioneering first-hand research in 18 countries, and

has taken eight educational tours to Egypt and Central America .

Ampim is currently an professor of history and Africana Studies at

Contra Costa College and Merritt College in northern CA , and host

of the popular internet radio program, “Africana Studies” on