Loose Change

The foster care system is a necessary evil in this country.  It is an institution that is suppose to be a solution for children who need temporary shelter to escape an abusive or neglectful situation.  In June of 1984, my siblings and I were introduced to Chicago’s foster care system.  My mother was charged with…

Nobel Prize… Meet Hip Hop

“This thing that I did had not existed before, and I am one of many where I come from. It ended up being called hip-hop, taking the drum break from pop, rock, jazz, blues, funk, disco, R&B, and using duplicate copies of records. I would take one section and repeat it over and over again. This self-made music bed served for the break-dancers, and later, for the MC’s.”

Moving… Again

We would challenge each other, we made a pact that we wouldn’t become statistics and had a strict no profanity rule.I was able to developer friendships that extended past school hours. I was with them when the news about Marvin Gaye died.
We sat on Tasha’s steps and cried. After the last tear had been spilled, we combined our loose change and went to the corner store for a bag of penny candy. Squirrel Nuts, Mary Janes, Jolly Ranchers, Jaw Breakers, and loose Now & Laters. Life was good.

Bitch Jump!

For the first time during boot camp the training looked real segregated. I know I am gonna sound like an ass here, but it is what it is. We were split into two groups; swimmers and non-swimmers. And yup the non-swimming category was mostly composed of black folk with a few whites and people of other races sprinkled in. Sadly, I was one of the brown faces in the non-swimmer’s category.

The Good Kind of Crazy

I was ready! I had watched Full Metal Jacket like a hundred times, had worked out every day, and packed everything on the pre-boot camp check list in a backpack. At zero dark thirty on October 30, 1995, I left the MEPS office and hopped on the Metro link train headed to the airport. I…

Fire!

Nights in the apartment produced voices that only my mother heard. She would fight against the voices with prayer and reading the Bible. She would sit us in a circle and read to us from the Bible. If our young eyes got heavy, we would be awaken by yells or a hit upside the head. Some nights my mother had to compete with our neighbor who would play Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust. I never recall meeting this neighbor, but my young impression was he was crazy. I was becoming fully exposed and recognized crazy.

Coldblooded!! (David Chappelle voice)

I had a few months before I left for the Navy, so I figured I would hang around all my friends and family before I left. I had saved up a nice lil stash of money and planned to sponsor multiple rounds of shenanigans before I hit the road.  Since my birthday was in September,…

M&Ms Part II

Riding on the train from New York to Chicago was pretty uneventful. My mother sat quietly for the majority of the way, I honestly think I was getting on her nerves with all my questions. When she would talk, she would mention the M&Ms and how she couldn’t wait to share them with me. Chicago…

Victimology

Victim is an interesting word. in the late 15th century it meant to sacrifice a person or animal as part of a religious rite. In the mid-1600s its meaning shifted to denote someone being “hurt tortured or killed” by someone. In the early 1700s, there was more evolution regarding what types of things one could…