I’m trying to get it all done. Working on lesson plans, self care, blogging, spiritual work, setting up my classroom, momming, writing, wife-ing… awldat, awldat, awldat!!!

Some days it looks like I have my shit together and sometimes it doesn’t and I am at peace with that.

I hope you are living your best life and on days when that doesn’t look perfect/ polished/curated you don’t feel the need to pretend.
・・・
#RP @blogher
📸 @folkrebellion
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This week we talk gaming, writing about tough Socio-Political Issues, and Mental Health with phenomenal Journalist and frequent For Harriet contributor Anna Gibson, Richard Douglas Jones leads us in a total geek out about ‪#‎StarWars‬ toys and ‪#‎ForceFriday‬, Markus Seaberry defends the upcoming “Totally Awesome Hulk” in ‪#‎ComicCorner‬ and of course I LOOOOOOOVE back to school shopping for Thing 1 & Thing 2 because school supplies means pens and things in ‪#‎PENtervention‬! Also guess who’s getting ‪#‎Westies‬! All on this week’s Black Nerd Power‪#‎BNPIfYaNasty‬ ‪http://www.theoamnetwork.com/bnp/2015/9/8/episode-64-the-one-with-technical-difficulties

Some days my thoughts are like alphabet soup. The letters are swimming around and I can’t string them together to make sense of it all. Other days, I am able to band them together intricately, forming beautiful sentences that weave into paragraphs, that tell a beautifully messy story of joy, peace, hope, truth, heartache, pain, tragedy, and love.

Malaika Salaam words from the forthcoming story of me

Te Amo… (LOVE is triumphant)

“Up early in the morning, dressed in black
Don’t ask why? Cause I’m down in a suit and tie…”

Ice Cube, Dead Homies 

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(Back Row: Gran.Gran, Lenny Cain, BaBa, “Q”, YaYo, Benny’s Cousin, Benny 2nd Row: Angela/AnJahLa Luv, Sinse, Hardface Seated: Virghost, Megan J., F.W.Love, me)

I’m up early in the morEning, but I refuse to wear the clothes of the mourning! Because today I arose early thinking about what next… Thinking about celebrating. Thinking about how many of the elders, the sages at whose feet I sat literally and metaphorically, have transitioned recently… I think about Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Fannie Mae, and M. Bennett Hooper aka Mikii Hooper, Nini, Gran.Gran. All gone in just the last 5 months… So much loss… it seems and writing memorial pieces seemed the hardest thing to do… Until today , when the thought that’s been plaguing me,‘What next?“ woke me from my sleep extra early and I had to put pen to paper fingers to keypad and #WRITE! Scream out my words to the these pages in the grand tradition of the Griots who came before me and paved the way…

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(Gran.Gran)

Loss is such a sad place to write from… A void, something is missing. And while I will not enjoy the physical presence of my elders on this plane during this time anymore. I am writing from a place of gain and celebraion because they have transitioned to ancestors, leading and guiding from the other side and that my beauty.full ones is a cause for celebration!

I celebrate because I know the impact that each had on me, in my life, and that part of their spirit live on here, in YOU and me. I celebrate because I know that they held on leading and guiding from this side to the very last breath. And I celebrate because I know what next, they left blueprints, designs, and plans. They lived their lives, their love, their politics. It was on display in a myriad of ways for us all to see… In doing that they were always teaching. They were always sharing the secret. 

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(Gran.Gran)

No there will never be another Maya, Ruby, Fannie, Gran Gran... Just like there wasn’t before them. There will be a YOU! and a ME! That’s what’s next! Their transitions sound a clarion call to all within their sphere of influence to pick up their mantle and go forth. And some are already doing it! Some are already working hard, committed, dedicated, active pressing toward the mark. 

The transitioning of our elders marks the time in which we(I) show up in my power, with the gifts we(I) brought to this world to become fully your(my)self as they did before us(me). I am shouting now!!! Dancing around my desk as I type because today I am celebrating what’s next… My elders rest. My ancestors got my back. WE(I) ARE(AM) HERE! They taught US(ME) well and they knew they could trust US(ME) with #WhatsNext

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(Gran.Gran)

What is your power? What gift did you come to bring to this world? What did the elders teach you? Who and what will you BE?! Because Baaaaaaybeeee! YOU(I) got Next and it’s NOW!

Rest In Perfect Peace Elders

Rise In Perfect Power Ancestors

Ase Ase Ase O

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Picasso Baby Pt. I

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubistmovement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.

In Memphis on April 12 #206PicassoBaby endeavored a major feat by presenting an event that sought to capture Picasso and maybe to a lesser degree Jay-Z’ penchant for prolific artistry. Orchestrated and spearheaded by Speak Life Society founder Timothy “Urban Thoughts” Moore working in conjunction with other local artist 206PB was designed to provide an “ARTIST FREESTYLE” event as a platform to Memphis’ most vibrant, thoughtful, creative artists in the city.

I just want a Picasso…

Picasso Baby, is also the title of the Jay-Z song that reestablished the collaborative relationship Jay and Timbaland and the anchor for the game-changing Magna Carta Holy Grail album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picasso_Baby). If I didn’t get an indication on what to expect from the use of the name Picasso (Pablo), Picasso Baby definitely drew several from the part of me that relates to urban artistry and artists and what 206PB hoped to achieve.

Perhaps the desire to bring something rare or what is the desire to expose something familiar to a broader audience? The desire to up the ante? Do something new, different, unique? Another creative way to market artists? To showcase the talent of Memphis to Memphis in a new format? To seamlessly blend sight and sound, taste and smell, touch?

In the opening lines to the Picasso Baby song Jay, HOV, Hova, Mr. H-to the Izzo, nee’ Shawn Carter proclaims “I just want a Picasso” and then throughout the song progresses from wanting a million to wanting a trillion. The event seemed to follow the blueprint of seeking more opulence as well. Please allow me to explain…

Let’s say that 10 artists on a non-festival bill is a million. Ten artists in one night for $10 general admission might be a showcase, at the very least, and up line yes part of a festival line-up… So 10 is the million, the base line… Following that logic let’s say 20 artists on a non-festival show is a billion… And 30+ artists, of varying genres, various calibers, some with multiple talents on a non-festival show, in one night well yeah that’s a trillion folks! The winner’s circle, the ultimate… Right?

Ok, for the sake of argument, for the dissenters, the nay-saying naybobs, and those that will call me a hater (oh how I despise that word and it’s colloquial use… grrr) let’s say that is an oversimplified extrapolation of an event that many talented people invested their heart, spirit, soul, blood, sweat, tears, and finances into… The fact remains than when an event shares a name with the a legendary prolific artist and the title of a song from a game changig contemporary artist and business man comparisons will be made! And as comparisons go this is one person’s opinion (mine) and it is based on person’s beliefs and experiences and do not reflect the… blah,blah, blah… You know the spiel.

#206PicassoBaby

“BE CURIOUS. AND SLIGHTLY PARANOID.  (WHAT OPPORTUNITY ARE YOU MISSING?!)” Rebecca Van Dyck

I have been in Memphis for almost 2 decades (18 years Jan 1, 2014 to be exact) an I’ve seen some old things, seen some young things, seen some little pretty go and come things…What an enticing peace of something! Memphis is so full of talent that it has been my chosen exile, forsaking the sun and sand of Cali and staying planted in fertile ground. The talent in Memphis is so rich an raw that daily I am amazed. And #206picassobaby is no exception! An apropos title borrowed from the incomparable Jay Z album Magna Carta Holy Grail. In as much at that album is a game changer, so is Memphis an especially this event. Seamlessly blending genres, culture and philosophy under one roof. #206PicassoBaby seeks to engage and expose attendees in a creative environment. PHOTOGRAPHY.  DANCE. FASHION. VISUAL ART. LIVE MUSIC. A creative multi-dimensional event with theoretical ideas and concepts.

Described by coordinators as “A Plethora of artistic performances emerging,…. then pouring into the city; reflective of a sense of Picasso’s habitually chaotic style.” 

You are invited to witness this eruption of Memphis’ intellectual, creative beings as they touch the audience through extension of talent in the forms of writing, image, engagement, and performance.

Be fearless in your pursuit of GREATness! And only paranoid of being the one that gets the updates and not make the updates.

Opportunity is knocking, answer without reservation!

—Malaika Salaam,TheMotivator