28 Reasons Why Saturday Night Live Wins

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It’s February again and like clockwork, we’re bound to see a plethora of marketers invoking the success and aspirational elements of African American culture. Bring in the MLK, Malcolm X, and Harriet Tubman shirts and tributes.

Some content may even draw attention to the plight of African Americans throughout history–que BET’s ongoing run of Alex Haley’s ROOTS.

However, there are some cases where a brand will conjure up just the right sentiment needed and wanted to open up dialogue about Black History Month–and that award goes to Saturday Night Live.

This past Saturday, February 1st, SNL featured Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson (who I grew up watching on ALL THAT–good times), and newcomer Sasheer Zamata in a sketch that was both funny and refreshing.

“28 Reasons To Hug A Black Man”

I’m pretty sure, reflecting on my own grade school experience in good ole South Cackilacky, there are classroom situations just like the one portrayed in the video. The Black students are asked to give a presentation on Black History Month and an awkward silence blankets the air for the duration of the class.

I’d take the content on SNL with a grain of salt. They’re not trying to be society’s intellectual elite with their content. They’re trying to make you laugh and boost ratings. Period.

With that said, they did well. The main reason to hug a Black man today, the video said (considering the Black man is one of the most if not the most disenfranchised and undervalued person in America) is that “We deserve a chance.” Reasons 2 through 28 include slavery, slavery, and only slavery. It made me chuckle. Not only because it reminded me of arguments by noble columnists harping that Blacks should “get over” slavery. But it added laughter to a conversation that usually sends uncomfortable ripples down a forgetful and nonchalant America’s back.  In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be taboo for Blacks or Whites to talk about slavery.

Of course, this obviously wouldn’t suffice for a BHM tribute. It’s SNL; why would it? But props to the writers and comedians that pulled it off.

Poem – Lead Down The River

I’ve been experimenting with different structures as of late. Here’s a piece I originally called “Chopped”

river

begin. body. touch. push. lie. scratch. blend. go. move. no. river. slut. cry. cream. might. warrant. me. fly. bleed. end.

begin. be. grow. friend. friends. gone. pick. pull. red. flaunt. sit. eyes. mine. flow. thighs. brown. black. blow. lying. backs. pulling. thick. throwing. it. sticks. arm. strong. bend. end.

begin. kiss. forget. struggle. missed. miss. enemies love. fresh and blood. ending. whole. chopped up. missing. falls. shit you saw. sold. drip. cut. free. fuck. sad. strut. trust. end.

quickly, in the dark.
penetrated future of running water,
running down my mouth?
no, down my stomach.
Can see it in the dark.
Run Run Run.
Confused by the tree roots, come from no where.
Run past there,
over. under. through
quickly, in the dark.
Lead down the river.
Lead down the river.

Masked Man Fallacy – Short Story

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23 Crippled little mind of mine. Always playing tricks on me. The first time I ever set foot in this building was three years ago. It was my first day at Kilders Graduate School. I was timid and worried, nearly … Continue reading

FEAR.

fear

Fear. the shivering cold that replaces the warmth you feel under blankets of safety. Where did you find this fear, eh? Locked in between your thighs? Etched on the skin of your back? Imprinted in the veins of your brain? … Continue reading

7 Quotes From ‘Black Fish’ That Speak To More Than Whale Captivity & Torture

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Since coming back from Europe, my sleep has been all over the place. I’ve been going to sleep at midnight and waking back up at 4am–without going back to sleep. Even though it’s likely I may be slowly encouraging a … Continue reading

3 Rivers – 3 Paths Everyone Chooses Between

photo by: Williams-Cairns Photography LLC

It’s a very peculiar mindset you live in when the tumultuous times that you go through are used as a strategically placed stool for your personal or professional prosperity. What is that called? I’d have to believe it is called … Continue reading

Am I Wrong For Being Optimistic About Love?

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My upcoming film, loosely based on my first book, plows into the question of what happens when we have that one obsession that plagues our lives every day but is incapable of being fulfilled. It’s made me pry into my … Continue reading

No Freedom, If You Fear

fear

the shivering cold that replaces the warmth you feel under blankets of safety. Where did you find this fear, eh? Locked in between your thighs? Etched on the skin of your back? Imprinted in the veins of your brain? all … Continue reading

3 Trends of Being Young, Talented and a Self-Proclaimed Creative

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The longer I’m immersed in this writer-life I’ve so adamantly campaigned for, the more I realize some of the trends of artistic success. Some of which I have consciously ignored simply because I don’t like them. Others, I have slowly … Continue reading