#Permitpatty and #BBQBecky: 911 is a joke

#Permitpatty and #BBQBecky: 911 is a joke

There are not too many Black people walking among us today that can tell you they have avoided contact with the police. It is an almost inevitable collision. You can be walking down the street, driving a car, entering your own home, or performing everyday life tasks, and eventually you will interact with the cops. This is something Black parents try and prepare their children when they give The Talk, a conversation our Mothers and Fathers have with us about how to act when confronted by the police and how…

Working – An Excerpt from Straight Dope

Working – An Excerpt from Straight Dope

Here is an excerpt from my first book, Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American Drug Culture When I graduated high-school, I was finished with going to class. I had enough of being told what to do, what place I had to report to, what time to be there, and what kind of man I was shaping up to be. I just had enough of that shh, so after I graduated, I said, “F college, I am going to take a break, get a job, and make some money.”…

#LivingWhileBlack

#LivingWhileBlack

For while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” -James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues If I were to ever be asked, “What is life as a Black person?” I would be totally aghast. Not because I couldn’t answer the question, but because of how vast it is. Where would I start? Would it be with our current…

Does America really love Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ?

Does America really love Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ?

Between the months of January and April, there are endless tributes and praises of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rightfully so, the slain civil rights leader, winner of the Noble Peace Prize, and recipient of a doctorate in theology inspired many people through his non-violent approach to racial harmony and economic fairness. King was a fantastic orator who could touch people with his words; his many speeches including “I Have A Dream” are heralded as the greatest to have ever been written. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, which King helped…

The Long Fight: Parkland kids vs. America

The Long Fight: Parkland kids vs. America

I admire the Parkland kids: students who were a part of one of the worst mass school shootings, now turned activists. They have taken their pain and tragedy and turned it into a movement for gun control. While most people would still be reeling from the tragedy (and rightfully so), Emma Gonzales, David Hogg, Alex Wind, Jacyln Corin are among others who have decided to fight for more sensible gun laws. That is strength that most, including myself, do not possess. I love these kids and for the first time…

Talking to Learn and Not To Respond

Talking to Learn and Not To Respond

I love talking to people. It is one of my favorite pastimes. Having a great conversation where you learn about the person or people, sharing ideas, and gaining a new outlook is one of the things that makes me smile. It ranks right below reading and writing as something that I absolutely love. Dialogue fits my naturally inquisitive nature. If you have ever had a conversation with me, I would probably be the main one asking the questions. It’s not because I don’t like talking about myself or that I…

Imposters Syndrome & The Pursuit of Excellence In A White World

Imposters Syndrome & The Pursuit of Excellence In A White World

Many times before I write a piece, speak in front of a crowd, present at a meeting, or even talk about a project that I aspire to do, I feel like I am a fraud. I feel like someone is going to call me out, find out I don’t know what I am talking about, or just look at me and say, “That sounds stupid.” Mind you, even if I am well prepared, researched, have the data, confidence in my abilities, and know 100% what I am talking about, I…

A Black Guy and A White Guy Walk Into A Bar and Talk About Sexual Harassment

A Black Guy and A White Guy Walk Into A Bar and Talk About Sexual Harassment

A Black guy and a white guy walk into a bar…. Men of today are feeling the pinch. I hear the talk in the locker rooms, at lunch, or at the bar. “They’re getting everybody! You can’t look at a woman, pay her a compliment, or even try and talk to her without someone saying “sexual harassment.” Men are scared, feeling as if their rights are being taken away from them and the olden days are far in the rear view mirror. When I listen to these conversations, I chuckle…

Traveling Doesn’t Make You Better Than Anyone

Traveling Doesn’t Make You Better Than Anyone

When I first started traveling 16 years ago, it wasn’t solely because I wanted to see other parts of the world. Yes, I was fascinated by foreign countries I had only seen on TV and cities I’d read about in school, but the real reason is because I was ashamed of where I came from. I grew up in the Southside of Kansas City, Missouri, a poor and violent neighborhood. We were raised on food stamps and second hand everything. I saw the rich and successful doing things like traveling…

We Need To Practice Self Care (Erica Garner, RIP Alton Sterling, and Philando Castille)

We Need To Practice Self Care (Erica Garner, RIP Alton Sterling, and Philando Castille)

Dear Black, Brown, Asian, and Other People of Color: In the past 24 hours, we have witnessed two Black men murdered by the Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights Police Departments, respectively. Watching the videos of these Black men being lynched, many of us are in disbelief, saying, “This can’t be!” In 2016, Black men are given no judge, jury, or trial; only execution. I know that many of us are going through a myriad of emotions: anger, sadness, hurt, despair, and I am here to tell you that it is…