CAN’T SLEEP!

I’m exhausted but I “Can’t Sleep”.  There’s too much work to be done in our communities, we are on the brink of annihilation if we don’t band together, come together and stand up for our rights as a black community – as human beings.

Stay tuned….coming soon the debut of Can’t Sleep by Assata Afua

Excerpt:

Can’t sleep
Cause I’m longing for a collective agency
For a black revolution
An active movement
A charge
A call to arms
To action
Let’s sit in
…stand up
…stand tall
…shout loud
…push back
…fight back
Revolt for what’s right
Against this constant struggle
For equality and justice
Or there will be no peace!!….

The New Black Movement!

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Keep the Pressure, Save Our Black Males!

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Well, as it turns out – I am as guilty as many people are regarding continuing the fight for justice. I am equally mortified at myself along with those who have systematically continued to wrongly take the lives of black men all around the country. Why? Because when the television cameras went off and the glorified coverage ceased after the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, I (as well as many of you) went back to our lives as usual. I neglected my blog post regarding events around the world that were affecting black communities. I stopped researching accounts of police brutality (which by the way continued even after the media coverage ceased). Regrettably; when the media decided everything was fine, when they sucked all the sensationalism that they could out of these tragic events and implemented “the spin” that everything was back to normal in the world, I fell in line, followed suit and quieted down.

“The protesting pressure”, as I affectionately call it, stopped. The marching stopped, the organization of leaders disappeared once again to their ivory towers. Holding conferences on how we can get through the turmoil (together) stopped. For all intents and purposes everything was ok in the black community. We went back to life as usual – with the sad assumption or disbelief that we had achieved our goal of equal rights, civil rights, and justice for those wrongfully murdered.  Sadly, there was no justice achieved and in both cases the individuals were not even charged.

Now fast forward to April 12th, 2015. Another young black male murdered.  He was not gunned down nor was he choked to death, but young Freddy Gray suffered a torturous death that no doubt was long and painful.  To sever someones spine in multiple places as well as crush someones larynx, is definitely not a quick suffering. Now we’re back to square one in the city of Baltimore, MA.

Commentator, Ed Gordon made a comment on a radio program (Steve Harvey Morning Show) which struck me as bothersome. He called for the individuals in Baltimore to stop rioting, take a minute and be silent. Isn’t that what we have been doing? Haven’t we been silent for the past 30 years? Sitting in this pseudo comfort, afraid to make waves for fear that we will be seen as agitators, trouble makers and in turn be on the end of a retaliation of some kind that may result our own brutal murder or but possible police harassment.

Although the systematic devouring of our black males in no way began just a few years ago, we just recently began our public outrage in standing up and saying “no more”. We began our outrage in Ferguson over nine months ago, with a mayhem that may not have lead to the arrest of the perpertrators i the Michael Brown or Eric Garner cases, but clearer had an impact on getting some changes made in the law enforcement positions and security amongst a police department that proved to have obvious racial problems for many years. As a people and as a community, we united as one with fostered momentum in the eyes of evil and danger. We stood collectively shouting from the highest pitches of our voices “Black Lives Matter!” and we did this day after day, week after week, month after month. Untiring and uncompromising we held vigil after vigil, rally after rally and march after march. We cross state lines to come together at the nation’s capital gathering at a moment’s notice and insisted on change.

But at some point we failed ourselves and neglected to keep the pressure strong.  This fight will not end in a week, a month or a year.  This fight for racial equality will take years of pressure, years of continuously keeping the issue in the fore front of the media and keeping the pressure for “the wrong type of law enforcement officers” to be held accountable for their actions.

The media coverage should not be a gauge for call to action, our desire to fight for the black and brown communities, our brothers, our uncles and our sons should stay constant!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

“People ask why…

“People ask why I am so quiet, I quickly reply…It’s no use talking unless people understand what you say.” -Zora Neal Hurston

I have always been known as a thinker, never really opening up and expressing my feelings or thoughts verbally.  Not until I read this quote did I understand how I really felt about words that weren’t written down on paper.  Speaking aloud often came across as condescending to most.  Often times people just didn’t understand the words that I used.  I slowly began to deviate from talking to people and reverted to writing things down- giving people the opportunity to take their time, digest my words and look them up if needed.  I became expressionless – I didn’t like how that made me feel.  So now I express myself verbally-taking no prisoners and apologizing to none for my intelligence!  To equivocate my intelligence is no longer an option.

The Power of Black Literature

When we think about “black literature” we are often put in the frame of mind of scandalous novels that paint a picture that glorifies life in the ghetto.  A collection of words that depict the “black experience” as one that includes a prison sentence, life on drugs or dealing them and in some cases one of a broken family.  These depictions are indeed realities within the black community but definitely not exclusive to it.  These issues plague a multitude of communities yet we are the race that consistently and continuously glorifies the negative aspects of our lives.  Now don’t misinterpret my message here, the truth regarding life should always be told whether through fiction or documentary – regardless how dismal its portrayal; but as a people we should make a conscious decision to not only read the entertaining depictions of life that are often personified in urban fiction, but balance that with readings that will uplift and motivate the reader to deeply examine their history, the incredible sacrifices made for them and provide prophetic looks into the future. Black Awareness Forum serves as that platform to encourage thoughts and interpretations of some of black literatures most influential works.  Our forum will open up conversations, examine how far we have come and shed a little light on what direction we need to go.  Literature by iconic authors like: W.E. B. Dubois, Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez and Carter Woodson (just to name a few) will lend their analysis on the makeup of our people in an uncompromising manner.

Be sure to check out Black Awareness Forum’s Literature page for month long conversations on compelling black literature.  We will feature a book each month, beginning February with W.E.B. Dubois’ The Souls of Black Folk .  Use your voice to join in the cause and contribute to the uplifting that The New Black Movement stands for.

Use our Contact BAF page at http://www.blackawarenessforum.com to suggest readings that you feel will fuel important dialogue.