Slam Sundays: You Will Never Be Pretty

source: www.rapgenus.com

source: rapgenus.com
The sting of those nasty words can last a lifetime. Be careful what you say, especially to those young, impressionable minds you are charged with raising.

I personally have always found the term ‘pretty’, when applied to me, to be rather insulting. As in, “just pretty??!?”. Ok, so I have a healthy level of self-confidence, bordering on being downright vain. I swear to you it’s not my fault – it’s genetic. I come from a long line of terribly vain people, a whole family of people who will swear up and down that we are made solely from “beautiful genes”.

A wonderful example of this was the time I was walking with my uncle into a mall. Looking at his muscular calves, I happened to notice they were smooth as a babies bottom. Being about 9 years old at the time, my inquisitive nature was in full bloom. “Uncle?”, I asked, at the top of my lungs, I might add, “how come you shave your legs?”. Now, being part of my conceited family, there was no hushing, or lowered tones. Nope. Instead, he answered just as loudly, “You see these sexy, muscular calves? They are irresistible…and when I want the women to come and fawn around me, all I have to do is this!”, and he stuck his calf out, and pointed with both hands…in the middle of the parking lot, clearly disrupting traffic.

So, since that isn’t even a rare example of one of my family members, or a vanity situation, it’s no wonder I subconsciously deem myself to be above simply “pretty”. Like how, whenever someone tells my mom that her daughter is beautiful, she says Continue reading

Ruby Rant: Sick of the Parasitic Friends

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I’ve been thinking to myself that perhaps I would have more patience for the ignorant idiots who work at Tim Hortons, for example, and other random strangers, if I cut out the amount of bullshit that I end up having to deal with on a day to day basis from my inner circle. Anybody who is a friend or family member of mine can attest to the fact that I go above and beyond for the people I care about, and will do anything you need, if you really need it, even if it is at my own expense. I don’t have this selfless attitude because I expect anything in return from anybody. To be honest, I’m always there, and always willing to help, because I know what it feels like to have nobody who really cares about you, and nobody to turn to yourself. I never want anybody I care about to ever feel that way if there’s something I can do to make sure that they don’t.

And I ask for very little in return, if ever, because to be frank, I really don’t need to. I do better dealing with, and working through, my problems personally in my own head, I don’t like other people’s input, especially when the wounds are fresh, and I’m absolutely terrible at sharing my Continue reading

Slam Sundays: On Knowledge

Since March 16 is national Freedom of Information day, I thought it fitting to focus today on knowledge. After all, why is it that we demand a right to remain informed, why reporters consistently fight for the public’s right to remain informed on the current issues affecting our country? We don’t want to “find things out” like a flighty, gossipy child does just so we can go “would you look at that!”, and then promptly forget it. We demand to be kept informed because knowledge is power. If we choose to ignore or dismiss the available information, at least we’ve been presented with the option to do so, rather than to be kept in the dark as God-knows-what happens behind closed doors and behind our backs… We prefer to know the knife is on its way toward our back, don’t we? Gives you a fighting chance of dodging, fighting it off, trying to outrun it, or maybe say a quick prayer.

Before we can ever get to the point where we begin to make our decisions based on all the available data, before we evaluate the data we have at hand and judge it to be insufficient to make an educated move and so demand Continue reading

Slam Sundays: Yellow Rage (P.S. They Don’t Mean the Color)

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It’s funny how ethnocentric our views can be. Even when we think we are accepting and welcoming and respecting of all people, no matter their creed, race, or religion, sometimes can can inadvertently be so ignorant it’s astounding. Now, I know that I’ve mentioned this form of prejudicial obstinate attitude before, like when I told you all about the story of the pick up line that goes a little something like “I don’t date black girls, but I would TOTALLY sleep with you“. Then again, I’m well aware of when that kind of attitude is being directed at me, or people I have something in common with (based on race, religion, gender, etc.). Like most of the world though, I often remain blissfully ignorant of my ignorance until something like the following Slam Poetry video crosses my path.

Now, this one is pretty hilarious, and it’s meant to be. However,

Continue reading

Slam Sundays: Mother-Love

Mom and i

My beautiful mother. Happy Birthday mom!

Is there any way we can ever appreciate our Mother’s enough? We’ve taken our Mother’s love for granted how many times, as though she somehow owes it to us and therefore we have no logical reason to be grateful. Living in that “that could never happen to me” bubble that North American children so often live in until it happens to them, we write off instances of abuse, neglect, and abandonment as somehow ‘other’ to our own possible existence. Never realizing that it’s specifically our luck, our divine shower of blessing that has graced us with a Mother’s love who was so limitless, so unconditional, that we couldn’t even fathom the possibility of it somehow not being there. As to death and dying…we never really consider it, do we? That’s not a ‘now’ thing, that’s an eventuality, sometime so far in our distance futures that there’s absolutely no need to appreciate that unique and precious Mother-love that we are receiving- we’ve got time for appreciation later.

I can’t say that my relationship with my Mother has been a perfect, blissful one. Having a teen Mom means you get certain advantages, and disadvantages, over and under those who had parents that were planted firmly somewhere in Continue reading

Slam Sundays: F*** I look like??

This being the last Slam Sunday in our Black History Month saga, I really wanted to end things off with a bang. I wanted to wrap up every important message I have tried to get across, give you all the general message, in five minutes or less. I figured I would have to give you all several videos, each one saying a lil something something to cover the bases. And actually, that’s exactly what I had started out doing. And then I stumbled across this one. Does it mention in direct words ever little point I’ve mentioned in the past month? No. But each individual point by itself doesn’t matter. There’s a common theme to everything that has been written. A general message that I want to send out with this month of posts. There is a general misperception, a general issue, with the perceptions and knowledge about the North American black community, both from within and from the outside looking in. This young woman managed to sum it up so beautifully….man, it was priceless. Seriously. The raw emotion in her voice, in her words, in the tone and delivery and Continue reading

Slam Sundays: Proud to Be ME – Whatever That May or May Not Be

This slam poet will knock your socks off, and boy am I happy to introduce him to my slam series with such a bang! This Black History Month, I’ve been on a journey of discovery. Not just to either learn or to reacquaint myself with the history of black people within North American Society, but to explore in-depth the issues that a black North American faces in today’s world. In this process, which I have shared with you step-by-step, I have also gotten a chance to learn a great deal about the many, many opinions you guys have, and the variety of reasons behind those thoughts and opinions. I am always so honoured when you choose to share a little piece of yourselves with me. Not only am I getting the chance to share in your insight, but you often give me a chance to further reflect on whatever topic of discussion we have at hand that day. So thank you all for that, and I look forward to hearing from you all on the rest of this journey.

So back to this Slam Sundays featured artist. His name is Boonaa Mohammed, and I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform in person. His style, his flow, are smooth as butter. But more importantly, there’s a raw, genuine honesty to his Continue reading