What I’m Reading

What I’m Reading

My brother gifted me We Are the One’s We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker a few years ago for Christmas and I’ve reread it 3 times already. It’s a book that continues to teach you lessons and gives you many “ah ha” moments no matter the amount of times you read it. Different lessons. Different words, thoughts, phrases that stand out depending on what I’m personally going through at the time. The book is set up in essays or talks that Walker has given.

One essay in particular chapter 4 titled “All Praises to the Pause; The Universal Moment of Reflection” stood out to me when I read it this time probably because right now my life is in a giant pause and I’ve been reflecting a lot on things. While also just being in the weird space of the middle. Walker says ” This is a time when a major transition from confusion to order has been completed.” “As a culture we are not in the habit of respecting, honoring, or even acknowledged the pause.” She goes on to talk about meno-pause which literally is a natural pause and shift for women which is quite often feared and talked about in a negative way.

“To me, truth, that is to say reality, is the only infallible guide. I would define Truth as God.” This quote has a whole backstory to it about censorship (but I want ya’ll to go buy the book and read it yourself). It is taken from chapter 10 How It Feels to Know Someone Died for You: Living with the Voice of the Beloved. There are gems like this one all throughout this book and she speaks on a wide variety of topics from 9/11, war, birth, blackness, her dog Marley, nature, the Earth like I said its a book that keeps on teaching and if you’re interested in growth at all. Read this book and other Alice Walker books.

I also read My Hero Academia Vol 1 , its a manga (which I’m gonna assume ya’ll all know what that is). I was into manga heavily in school as early as elementary. I remember reading all the manga that the little library had in Manassas, VA. I remember Ranma 1/2, Marmalade Boy, Fruits Basket, Inuyasha. I grew up watching Full Metal Alchemist and Sailor Moon. I had a full collection of manga and a full collection of Shojo Comic that my mom paid a subscription for me for years. I bought my first manga in years a month ago and I honestly don’t know why I ever stopped buying or reading them. My Hero Academia, is a really good anime that I recently started watching but I just wanted to buy a manga so I can start collecting them again – my daughter might find the same comfort in them as I did.

The Breakbeat Poets Vol 1 : New American Poetry in the Age of Hiphop, I’m currently in the process of reading this 350 page volume of poetry from writers born in the Hip-hop Age. All the poets in this book were born from 1961-1999. I recently found out about this newer version of the breakbeat poets and was interested. I decided to get Vol. 1 and not Vol. 2 (the black girl magic one even though I plan on purchasing it next month after I’ve digested this Vol.) because hip-hop and music has always been special to me. An avid Tupcac lover. And a writer that is sonically driven and always listening to how words flow and push against each other in my own writing I thought this volume would have a lot to teach me and I haven’t been wrong.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines so far from poems:

"she fast food     she                                                                                                                 buy one  get one free" 

from Quraysh Ali Lansana “crack house” There is a line from Joel Dias-Porter aka Dj Renegade “Turning the Tables (for Eardrum) that I really fell in love with.

"Lower it slowly 
let it tongue
the record's ear"

There are also poems by some of my favorites like Jamila Woods, Danez Smith, and Safia Elhillo that I haven’t gotten to since I want to read the poems in the order they’re presented first.

These 3 books I am in awe of. I am in awe of writers and illustrators and artists. I am excited to start reading more and taking the time and space to sit and read. I know with things like social media its easy to forget that an art and learning tool as old as reading can and should still be relevant and I’m making it a priority to be still and pick up a book everyday.


333 Visual

333 Visual
Here it is. The 333 playlist film.

Featuring music by Jamila Woods and Sango. Movies are Moonlight, Life of Pi and The Beasts of the Southern Wild. With an interview of the late Nina Simone from 1968.

Toni Morrison Tribute

Toni Morrison Tribute

The first time I read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, was in high school. I didn’t fully understand it but I knew it was profound. I came back to it again in college with a little more understanding after studying metaphors in poetry. I knew this book was for black girls like me who had struggled with being dark. Who had struggled with not being what society defined as beautiful.

I read Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, for the first time in high school as well. It was a book I constantly reread in college. Picking at it. Dissecting it. Googling others responses to it. If anything Toni Morrison’s writing has intrigued me for years.

When I learned of her death it felt like I’d lost a friend. Because I’m away her words her books had been my friends. They had taken root in my mind for years coming back to its forefront again and again. At first I wasn’t sure what to feel (reasons why this tribute is weeks after her death) I hadn’t revisited her words since having my daughter (I haven’t done much reading honestly in years which is a shame seeing how in high school books were my closest friends) in her passing I realized I’m in a new stage in my life – and I haven’t read a Toni Morrison book or reread one for new meaning and lessons. I felt like I’d betrayed her. I felt like I’d betrayed myself for not continuing to read her words when they’d done so much for me.

I made a silent vow to start rebuying her books (I’ve since lost both my high school copies from constant moving). To start rereading her words. To help keep her legacy alive.

Thank you Toni Morrison, the woman in me thanks you. The dark skinned woman in me thanks you. The mother in me thanks you. The writer in me thanks you. The reader in me thanks you. The student in me thanks you.

My hope is that my own words will touch as many as yours have one day.

Snoh Aalegra: Ugh Those Feelings Again

Snoh Aalegra: Ugh Those Feelings Again

I don’t remember how I first heard about this soulfoul woman. I remember listening to her first album “FEELS” her intro “All I Have” was featured on my April 2018 playlist.

Okay, so I’m a sucker for a good intro a short little sweet song. And she does just that with “Here Now” I think if done well intros set the whole tone for an album and the high pitch of Aalegra’s voice on this is bomb. In “Find Someone Like You” when the chorus starts it sounds holy – honestly I don’t know how else to describe it. The harmony. The melody everything. The way the song ends on the last “oh woo” The whole album just sounded like heaven. Like healing. Like a warm hug. It feels like a song I’d sing if I was in some real ass love.

“Situationship” is the single that Snoh released on this project and I like how catchy yet relatable to the actual dating scene it’s lyrics are. “Whoa” is a song I would play all day if I was really feelin someone. It feels like a summer breeze off the ocean. Snoh’s raspy but soft angelic voice is like brandy smooth and full. It’s a song about the chemistry two people can have. It’s a more upbeat tempo than some of the other songs.

“Toronto” is probably my favorite song on this project. I really dig the background vocals and beat on this one. It’s a little jazzy and just so effortless. I swear if sound could be the equivalent of touch this is velvety. It’s just smooth as butter.

“Nothing to Me” is a song where you’re feeling someone and you’re giving 100% and they’re giving 50%. It’s a real ass song that made me think about my own relationship history. It’s a relationship, situationship, self love song all in one.

“I Want You Around” is a song about literally wanting someone you’re feeling around.

“You” is a song that got me in my feelings. And if you know me I’m usually already in my feelings. This song is about liking someone but knowing it’s wrong.

There wasn’t a song on this album that I didn’t like I didn’t have to skip any songs or anything. This is a solid project. From the lyrics, melodies, production. It’s just good. It’s soulful and introspective. Even if you’re not a fan of r&b or slow songs try this album out. It’s 14 songs and 40 minutes less time than a marvel movie.

gold visual

gold visual

“Gold” is the name for my August playlist thought it was fitting with Leo’s and gold and the sun and all. This visual I struggled with cause I feel like I’m in a weird space emotionally right now. But I like the final product. Movies are The Wood, House Party and The Best Man. Butterfly scene is off YouTube. I had fun with it when I wasn’t stuck thinking about what would fit with the song (Solange Stay Flo) and the overall theme of this playlist which when I started it was meant to be a fun chill playlist with more up tempo songs.

August Playlist

August Playlist

For August’s playlist I wanted something a little bit more fun. Something I could dance and chill to. I always feel like August is more of a transitional month. For me it kind of feels like the end of summer. It feels a little bittersweet.

I threw it back with some of the songs this month and I wanted a heavy female lineup this month and found it really hard to find songs but girls I really liked.

Not even gonna fake it this summer was nothing I expected it was rough. But I do feel like the hardest parts may be over and there’s a little bit of a glimmer of something left that’s not so hard to get through.

Hope y’all enjoy this one. And please recommend me new artists to listen to if you listen to any of my playlists y’all should know what kinda artists I dig. But surprise me.

gold 💎