The echo of his cry ran down the street of Martin Luther King's childhood startling all who heard. Yet challenging all things known or believed to be understood. I sat there questioning if I should move and when I did I found him in a fetal position, face swollen as mucus abandoned him in a moment of needed solace. My hands moved along the length of his back whispering to him to breath but I could not provide resolve to the pain that divided his heart. He began to yell "I lost my son!!" "I lost my son!" As children we all so clearly remember who we wanted our parents to be for us. But the cries of fathers who love us seemed to live somewhere in the distance near the Sun. We never imagined who our father's might want to be for us, especially those absent from our lives. His son was being raised by another man. A man that did not mirror his son's DNA and did not share a family lineage that pumped fiercely through his veins. He yelled "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!" a sound gifted with fear that one did not want to acknowledge scared that ones own personal demons might emerge from the shadows. Malcolm states Black men are not willing to bleed for their children. Some Black men respond why when I'm already dead struggling to learn how to live for them.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
He called to say that he was leaving for a destination that he must occupy alone. He said he was tired of talking about what he was going to do. He said there would be no more words to fill the space between us. He said he was throwing away his cell. He said don't worry, we will speak again when our next season comes. He said don't worry that he would be okay. He said he only called to tell me that I would not worry. He said he wasn't asking for my permission. He warned that I should not waste my time on anything less than what i truly desired for myself. He said are you going to ever leave? He said out there would be easy compared to where he was now. He said he would return being able to help.
I understanding that out there would become where he was now. Once he reached that place to find the only thing that could be different between here and there was himself. So, I said okay, I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I sat in the taunting heat refusing to seek shelter in the comforts of shade. I consciously wanted to “absorb the effluvia of the universe” as Frantz Fanon once described the gift of being Black. Surrounded by faces that mirrored me, we listened for the thing in music that made our spirits whisper to us, “That’s it”. It was like awaiting direction that you can now be moved to a destination of joy, expression, and a feel good moment. In that moment of sitting … standing, it could be a note or phrase alone, and you find yourself back there.
But there was loaded with who was present and who wasn’t. There was about how you came one person and hopefully walked away another. There could be as colorful as the warm Caribbean ocean and as sullen as the state of homelessness. Sometimes there is confused and/or out right not accepted as here. This there was named Sunny who was known for his bright smile, ability to move, reach, and even translate what others felt but could not dare discuss. There before me was a man with his personal inscription of an ankh had been placed on his worn Nikes. His head was crowned with the words “Pharaoh Jesus”. I had not heard the whisper yet, not enough to rise to my feet and demonstrate my spirit’s mirth. But he… he heard it or maybe not, yet he danced like his life…. my life…. your life depended on it. As this man danced, I attempted to imagine the movements of my father and the peace that would wash over is face as he implemented his religion.
It is not until now that I realize that I come to this place because my eyes yearn the sight of Black men dancing. It’s almost like watching them remember they have wings, when they’ve spent so much time forgetting that their wings were there. This man who lifted his arms, expanded the landscape of his chest had a place here. He was clear who needed and had to be in that space & time. He paid no attention to those who witnessed his singular performance. He looked inward, for his eyes never met the stare of those who chose not to exercise such liberties.
I have never seen Sunny, my father, dance; I just heard about it that I might know why I must. I did witness the brightness of his smile. He gave it to me when I was there.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Written By Lorraine K. McCall May 14, 2008
All rights reserved to Lorraine K. McCall. Copyrights 2008
The gaze of Mandela watched over her in her awakened moments and slumber. From the bed she slept in alone, she considered the 4 walls of his cell to awaken to what Robert E. Hayden described as “Freedom… this liberty…. this beautiful and terrible thing.” What made freedom terrible? The answer was simple yet somehow extremely complex to achieve. Freedom was terrible because it did not belong to everyone. Freedom was like this fast evolving door to the other side. With the quick questioning of one’s own timing, one could miss the opening opportunity to unload the burden they had been chained to for far too long. Slavery had changed and disguised its face even to the most conscious of men. The war between man’s potential to be free and enslavement was staged in his own understanding of I AM while not being conquered by dreams deferred or limitations set by boundaries designed by other men who failed to escape their own.
Freedom was terrible because men who believed themselves to possess wings could not hear anything below the vastness of sky and white clouds. It was woman who contorted herself into the Wind in which he proclaimed his love for but never realized that he grew heavy from dreaming. Her war was no different outside of she believed freedom was beautiful while she fought for idealism to be true. Only for freedom to become again terrible because she believed in man, and what did man believe in? No matter how many times she was instructed or life lessons would teach she should not expect, she gave to man what she wanted him to offer back. What made Freedom truly terrible? Man forgot Freedom was not found in the vastness of space in which he could materialize things that he controlled. Freedom was found and could only exist in the context of love as its foundation.
Gazing back at the eyes of Mandela, she considered death, its grave and the trumpeter who would play in its recognition to pay for Freedom. She imagined the sound to be soulful yet somehow sweet in taste as it escaped the life that released it. Man was finite in his belief that death was the opposite of life versus birth. In turn he struggled in his attempt to live freely, fiercely, and fearlessly because he knew not how give birth to himself after dying.
Who would save his soul? Unknowingly Mandela knew not she thought of him and what he considered his truth to be in the face of nothing was new under the sun for any man. His people were still fighting for Freedom but she questioned whether he had raised his white flag in quiet surrender. Mandela was not the only one who surrender to the instruction of others. There was Eldrige Cleaver in his non-threatening announcement of being "Christian" as a guest on the TV show Tell The Truth. Huey P. Newton's surrender to a dream deferred via the use of drugs. Conscious men fighting for the serenity believed to be found in peace and freedom. None of which is right or wrong and why judge men who utilized their fighting spirits for the betterment of circumstances of their communities. But the trumpeter still plays at the foot of the open grave because many Black men will die unknowingly never to experience the true embrace of freedom.