days in the swampland

i stayed an extra day down here and thank goodness. we were at this amazing space called amen ra’s for the second day of figuring out next steps for tallahassee. the space includes a wide open room for dance and yoga, an afrikan book store, a stage for performances and more. freshly painted and decorated, we were surrounded by reminders of divinity, prayer, ancestors and power.

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i picked cards out of the bookstore with my numerology (i’m a 6-day person), african astrology (i’m the traveler), egyptian astrology (i’m the nile), plus got some chewsticks. 

then, tucked safe away from the oppressive inappropriate heat, i got to watch lots of amazing smart energy go into thinking about building the movement in tallahassee. then, since tally is all about education and outreach, we spent time learning the basics of being a good trainer. we had young folks, older folks, folks who say they aren’t political, folks who kept one fist in the air and rocked t-shirts of lynched black men at original ‘freak-niks’.

we did this one story-telling exercise where folks were supposed to trace their history and politicization, and the first person who got up to tell their story shared that he had almost lost one of his balls, and went on to explain what exactly had happened in – dare i say – fairly graphic detail. its times like this i pull god aside and thank her once again for letting me do this for a living. 

it has been so inspirational to be in a strong young black community. especially with all that’s been going on lately, its a beautiful thing to be here in florida in the swamp with black folks who are entering the black power space of their organizer selves. the smiles and hope, indignance, pride, naivete, patience and self-awareness is all so inspirational. its good to see smiles and warmth on the faces of your people sometimes, instead of grief, hunger, abandonment.

even in leandra’s apartment complex where folks are not so much on a political tip, but more on a crack-laced blunts in short shorts tip… everyone speaks and clowns and looks out for each other.

tonight we had a sushi dinner. it was leandra, who i turned on to the league; zahra, who leandra turned on to the league, and shamilia, who zahra + leandra turned on to the league and who is the next point person for tallahassee and a natural born leader. four generations of network!

and then this is the beautiful brilliant boy named maleek who took mercy on me and called stalemate after taking me to task in checkers. i started off all gassed up till we kinged everything and then he cornered me – i slipped out when he said, ‘that was fun, but can we play chess?':

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leandra has helped me deepen my latest song creation – ‘what’s yo gov’t name?’ and we want to cut the track with lots of folks on there who use stage names spitting lyrics about their names of birth. the hook basically goes: ‘what yo gov’t name, what yo gov’t name, from your b.c. to your d.l. i know that isht done changed, fess it up {say ma what’s up}, what yo gov’t name?’ i’ve been told i don’t have the face to pull this off…i want to add this creation to the world, but i watched lots of young jeezy type videos last night and hated most of it, so am hesitant to perpetuate a repetitive boring strand of hip-hop. sigh.

i heard rumors today…one, that beyonce knowles and kelly rowland are actually sisters and kelly is one of matthew’s extramarital babies. can anyone verify this??

and i read today that hugo chavez is planning to go around the u.s. government to get affordable gas to poor communities in the u.s., starting in chicago. ‘His plan is to set aside 10% of the 800,000 barrels of oil produced by
      the Citgo refineries and ship that oil directly to schools, religious
      organizations and nonprofits in poor communities for distribution.’ while the american gov’t will undoubtedly find this a cause for erasing venezuela from the history books, i have to say the news made me throw two snaps up.

as kanye says:

we cain’t afford no gas!
broke phi broke!

we ain’t got it!

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