6th day of Kwanzaa: Kuumba

Habari gani?

Kuumba

Creativity.

To always do as much as we can, in the way that we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Where to begin?

This year I’ve definitely been exercising my creativity. Creativity is like a muscle. If you’re constantly using it, it grows stronger but once you lay off, it atrophies.

I don’t believe in art for art’s sake. I don’t believe in anything for it’s own sake, really. I don’t write because I like to read my thoughts back to myself. I mean, I do, but I have a journal for that.

I write in the hopes that someone will get something out of it. Every time I read a reassuring comment or positive feedback, I feel like I’m doing what I’ve set out to do.

Kuumba means creativity.

I actually did manage to accomplish one of my resolutions from last year, and that was to create something everyday and more specifically, to make it my mission to make this blog a priority. And now it feels like I’ve hit my stride.

So it’s onward and upward from here.

#2018leggo

12.30.17

Habari gani? Nia

Purpose

Make building and developing our community our vocation. So we may restore our traditional greatness.

This year I’ve grown stronger in my purpose.

Issa Rae once said, “Don’t network up, network around,” or something to that effect. And this is really the plan of action for 2018. This past year was really about proving to myself that I could do this blogging thing. Now that I’m a year in this thing with some dope content and even more on the way, it’s about making this shit pop in 2018. And I’m not necessarily looking to be social media famous or anything like that. I want to save my writing and perspective more widely. I have so much tings to say right now. And I want to use my voice and presence to affect change.

I’m not gone announce my moves just yet. I’m moving in silence until I see my opening then I’m pouncing. Iss chess moves, b.

I’m claiming having my shit together in 2018. I finished college this year, I started a blog, I learned a lot, and I got exposed to a lot of new ideas and things.

And I think I might be making a BIG move, come summer time.

Moral of the story: I have to keep walking in this to make the dream real.

I’ve been listening to this track a lot. I fux with the Big Baby. He’s fun. I like his attitude. And his music just makes me want to smile.

This track is definitely one for the NYE playlist.

Nia.

Purpose.

#2018leggo

12.29.2017

Habari gani? Ujamaa

Cooperative economics.

To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and businesses and to profit from them together.

All in all, 2017 has been a financial come up for me. I’ve had the same job for a year making relatively good money for a college student. I pay my rent on time and my bills are paid and I can still budget the rest to have enough for groceries, some light shipping, and some recreational substances.

I’ve by no means mastered this adulting thing but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made this year. Stability is really the key.

As I plan to grow my financial literacy in the next year. I really want to start investing my money in some black owned businesses.

Instagram is a great place to find some new inspirations. I want to start incorporating a fashion/style element to the site next year because I’ve come across tons of cute shit on the gram and I want to incorporate some of the pieces that I’ve found into my own wardrobe.

In 2018, I’m making more of an effort to not just master my own finances but putting my money back into the community as well. I don’t know how much attention y’all pay to bitcoin and the whole cryptocurrency wave but last week Bitcoin fell like 40%.

Why?

People were selling out. Literally selling their bitcoins to cash out for the holidays. And the value of the shit plummeted.

Why?

Because Bitcoin and cryptocurrency lives and dies with the community built around it. And that’s really what I think is the most genius part of it. It works like gang busters, so long as people stay invested and dedicated to it.

This year I’m spending my coins at some black owned businesses.

As my plans to start working on some fashion/style content come together, I already have a working list of some pieces I’m dying to add to my collection.

Ujamaa.

Collective economics.

#2018leggo

12.28.17

Habari gani: Ujima

Collective work and responsibility.

To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.

The Day is on Its Way] I wrote a post earlier this year about one of Chance the Rapper’s performance on Fallon. He was accompanied by 2017 stand out, Daniel Caesar. And if you’ll take a sec to click back to that post, it gave me all my life.

I can’t say it enough. I really feel like Chance is a man of the people. A leader in the community for sure. The amazing thing about the whole BLM movement is that there isn’t one single leader. Leadership is a team sport and I think we’re starting to see the evidence of that through social media, society, and even in the music.

I write a lot about music and 2017 was a good year. Really the past few years have produced some iconic artists. I got to go to Afropunk this year for the first time and a bitch lived. I flew to D.C. first to link up with the homie, Reu, and then the game began.We lived our own, black ass Jumanji adventure that weekend. Being there felt so right. There was nothing but good vibes, good weed, and good music, and if I’m telling the truth, I don’t know if ever felt a stronger sense of belonging and acceptance than while I was there.

Freedom.

It’s true what they say about finding strength in numbers. As we go into 2018, I want to collaborate more. I want to share more. I want to do more for the community in what ways that I can.

Collective work and responsibility.

Am I my brother’s keeper?

Sho nuf. Ya dig?

Happy Kwanzaa, Y’all 12.27.17

Habari gani? Kujichagulia.

Self determination.

To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.

I’ve really been thinking about the fact that I actually maintained a blog for a whole year a lot. Like that’s really my main accomplishment this year, besides finishing college and all. I hold it higher than graduating, actually. I’m genuinely proud of this.

All accomplishments are attributable to some amount of self-determination.

In 2018, I plan to take this blogging thing full throttle. I like what I’ve got going here. Barring some consistency, I think this year has been a success on the ethnic hair section. This year has had no shortage of inspiration.

I blog about a lot of my favorite people making shit happen: Issa Rae, Chance the Rapper, Ava DuVernay, Justin Simion, Michaela Coel, Lena Waithe, Donald Glover, The Migos, and Drake. They’ve shown me that where I want to go is a real place. It just takes a whole helluva lot of work to get there. But work don’t scare me.

Challenge mfn accepted.

Kujichagulia means self-determination.

And I’m determined to shake some shit up some way, some how.

12.26.17

My family’s celebrated Kwanzaa since I was a kid. I always kind of felt like it was a special thing and in many respects, it means more to me than Christmas.

Today’s the first day of Kwanzaa.

Habari gani? Umoja

Umoja means unity.

I write a lot of social commentary. That’s really the reason d’etre for the ethnic hair section.

These are dark times, there is no denying.

The forces that seek to divide and destroy us seem plenty. From the election of Donald Trump, police, the Justice system, the American government and really just white people, in general, it’s starting to look like we could be witnessing an unprecedented era of division, distrust, and disappointment.

In layman’s terms, it’s getting hectic out this bitch.

Like, fuuuuuuuck.

But even while knowing all that, I kinda fuck with the idea of the downfall of the republic. College has made me quite the anarchist.

Cause it might honestly do us some good???? Maybe we’ll realize life is so much more rewarding when we stand together???? Like maybe social stratifications and economic gaps and racism and sexism and xenophobia are all byproducts of a single source????

If we get through life, we get through together. And we’ll all realize it sooner or later.

Idk, this is my second attempt at doing a Kwanzaa series. Last year’s was a fail lol but I’ve been reflecting on my content from this past year and I want to take this week to try to unpack all that shit. I have a lot more material to reflect on so this should be interesting.

Umoja means unity, y’all.

Happy Kwanzaa, y’all.

Leveling Up

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for about a year now.

When I first started this particular blog, I was a little worried it would go the way of my other blogs. Yeah, I’ve tried blogging a few times in the past and never really could stick with it. Perhaps I didn’t quite know what I wanted to talk about yet. I hadn’t really cultivated my own voice. Maybe I just didn’t have enough life experience to generate consistent content. For whatever reason, I’ve failed at this several times in the past. So this is definitely a personal accomplishment for me.

In 2017, I finished college. I maintained a blog. I bought my own gym membership. I’m sure I did some other things too, but they just aren’t coming to mind at the moment.

In 2018, I’m trying to push the blog full throttle. I like my piece of internet pie and I’m here to stay. This year has shown me that I can be consistent and I can make good content.

So, we ain’t going nowhere but up in 2018.

Brain on Drugs #6

I can’t remember the exact day I stopped coming my hair but it’s definitely coming up on a year.

I big-chopped the summer after graduating high school and didn’t look back. Quiet as it’s kept, I thought the shit was cute but upon recent observations at some old photos, I looked a bit awkward with no hair. I didn’t plan on cutting it again though. I just opted to suffer that awkward ass TWA phase in silence and with minimal selfies.

I watched so many YouTube tutorials trying to figure out how to take care of my newly natural and I got really invested for like six months. But my hair is hella thick. In fact, that’s why my momma had it relaxed in the first place.

I always thought locs were beautiful but I was born to the faction of black folks who associate them with niggatry and negativity. I knew the weight that locs carried in society but I really didn’t give a fuck.

So, around this time last year, I just stopped combing my shit.

Let me be clear: I stopped combing my hair. I didn’t stop washing it. I didn’t stop taking care of it. I didn’t stop conditioning it. I let my hair do its thing while still giving it everything it needed to thrive.

And this is the result:

img_4745img_4747img_4746

I decided to free form my locs because I always liked the look of them. Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of my favorite artists of all time and I loved his aesthetic. It’s honestly one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. As my locs grow longer and stronger, my hair is a constant reminder of the beauty of the natural form.

My hair has also really affected my lifestyle. I’ve been trying to transition into a more health conscious diet for the past year and a half and though it’s hard, I really love what it’s doing for my whole body.

A bitch been hitting the gym, watching her carbs, allat.

I feel a glow coming. I really do. I’m welcoming 2018 with opening arms.

Er’Body Black

I neglected (unknowingly) to mention another show in a previous post.

Lena Waithe’s been on my radar for a while now. From back when Dear White People, the movie dropped. I only knew her to be a producer and later found out through my research into Justin Simeon’s career, that she was also a writer and had made a show called 20s.

Then she pops up again with Aziz Ansari on Master of None and wins an Emmy for her Thanksgiving episode.

Not to mention, she’s been putting in work for a while now behind folks like Gina Prince Bythewood and Ava DuVernay.

Long story short: My bitch is on fye.

The this dropped about a month ago:

Yes, yes, y’all. Lena Waithe’s The Chi is coming to Showtime next year and it looks damn promising.

I’m really excited to see Jason Mitchell in a leading roll. Mitchell is most known to me for playing the hell out of Eazy E in Straight Outta Compton. He bodied that roll.┬áHis performance in the Netflix original, Mudbound, was phenomenal as well.

Showtime released the first episode of the series earlier this week and I’m hooked.

Prediction: This will be another stand out year for television. I’ll be rooting for everybody black. Lena Waithe. Justin Simien, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Donald Glover – they’re really proving themselves to be vanguards of this revolution in television and film. Even during one of the darkest hours in American history, they’re here to let you know that one monkey ain’t gone stop the show.

And that’s black excellence.

 

 

 

From Rags to Bitcoin: A Discussion on Net Neutrality

Today I woke up to this week’s episode of The Friend Zone, From Rags to Bitcoin. I rolled my morning blunt and made a cup of coffee, per my routine, and pressed play.

Now, let’s backtrack for a bit. I didn’t even realize Net Neutrality was even up for legislative discussion until a few weeks ago. My immediate thoughts: The world is turning more and more into a George Orwell novel every day. I don’t know whether to be intrigued by this or scared shitless. For now, I’ve settled on a healthy dose of both.

I first heard about bitcoin in high school. I was a library assistant and my school had an ongoing subscription to Time and my junior year of high school is when Time published an issue on something called the Silk Road. It was an encrypted, dark web market place where drugs, weapons, and a host of other shady shit was bought and sold with these things called bitcoins. I’ll say it’s the libertarian in me, but I saw nothing wrong with the whole enterprise. Yes, Silk Road was pushing some shady shit but you can throw a rock, irl, and hit somebody who sells drugs or knows somebody who does. In my unpopular opinion, Ross Ulbricht, the founder, was a fucking revolutionary.

The whole bitcoin debacle boils down to one thing: government involvement in private affairs.

The idea behind bitcoin is pretty genius. A deflationary, decentralized currency governed not by a bank or a treasury, but some not-so-simple math. But of course, the big banks that support the American financial system don’t want that because that would eliminate the need for them and when you’re not needed you can’t make money.

And banking makes big money.

But it also fucks a lot of people over. Remember the financial crisis back in 07? Yeah, I heard about it. I was 11 when it all went down but I’ve since read up on it and boy, was that a shit show.

The culprit: Big Bankers and the U.S. government

The scapegoat: the American tax payers

Put it like this: The U.S. government didn’t have its panties in a bunch over the Silk Road because people were peddling drugs and weapons. Like I said, drugs and weapons dealers are a dime-a-dozen. Furthermore, I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say they really never even gave a fuck about that, no matter how much they claim that’s where the problem lies.

What they’re mad about is that they can’t get in on the action. They can’t inflate a bitcoin. They can’t trace a bitcoin. They can’t tax a bitcoin.

Bitcoin gives power to the people and they’re mad about it.

And this is why Net Neutrality matters.

I’m not going to pretend to know what the exact implications on bitcoin would be should Net Neutrality be done away with, but the point here is not the bitcoin, but what it stands for. The bitcoin is independence. The bitcoin is anti centralized control. The bitcoin is antiestablishment. The bitcoin is anarchy. And for that, I live.

Doing away with Net Neutrality precludes the existence of any alternative to the world that we know. It precludes the reality of a world that is fair and a world that is free of fraudulent activity within its institutions.

Save the Internet, Save the World.

Recommended:

Banking with Bitcoin (Netflix)

Deep Web, documentary (Hulu, Amazon)

From Rags to Bitcoin, podcast (The Friend Zone)