Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Dawson's Creek Has Made It Impossible For Me to Have a Healthy Relationship. Ever.

WARNING: The following post has nothing to do with BHM...unless you count the fact that it was written by a Negress.

Looking back on my fiascos with members of the male gender, I have often wondered if there was something inherently wrong with me. Despite being a smart girl with above average social skills, when it comes to guys, I can be dumb as bricks. Honestly, I may be some sort of idiot savant; a female Rain Man who just can’t function in the presence of a Y chromosome (I’m not sure what the “savant” part is yet). If I had a nickel for every conversation I’ve had that started with, “I just don’t understand why he doesn’t LIKE ME!” (often slurred through tears), I’d have $5.65, easily. With college and high school behind me, I am finally in a position to redefine myself and break old habits. I, my friends, am on the road to recovery. And I have completed the first step: I admit I have a problem. I am now onto the next step, which is identifying the cause of said problem. Now, while it would be quite convenient to blame my mother, father, or one horrible date, I won’t take the easy way out—no sir.I blame Dawson’s Creek.

This realization happened a couple years ago, and is really resonating now. Let’s travel back in time, gentle reader…

6:00pm—the height of rush hour. Me and at least half of Manhattan are packed into one subway car. As I grip the center pole for dear life (and try to inch away from the old man who is coughing up a lung), I overhear two teenage girls having a conversation.

“Wait, Rachel, are you still dating Cory?”
I immediately look up. I love gossip, even if I have no connection to the parties involved.
“Yeah,” Rachel says slowly. “Melissa, don’t give me that look— it’s going good.”
“Really?” Melissa rolls her eyes, and pauses. “Rach, he was a total asshole at homecoming.”
“I know, but it’s okay. Afterwards we talked about it and he was like, ‘Nothing happened with Lana, I just want to be with you.’”
“He really said that?” Melissa softens.
“Yes.” She nods intensely, then leans in closer. “He even said, ‘You make me want to be a good boyfriend.’”
“Oh my god, he totally pulled a Pacey.”
"I know. It was so sweet. I’m like totally his Joey.”

The girls go quiet, as they think of Cory with tenderness. The subway lurches forward and the old man knocks into me, filling my nostrils with the smell of tobacco and phlegm.

For those of you who spent your childhoods doing productive things like reading and playing outside, “pulling a Pacey” refers to the character arc of Pacey Witter, from the hit teen drama Dawson’s Creek. Pacey went from reckless smart aleck to sensitive, intuitive businessman over the course of 6 seasons. Though Pacey is in no way a real person, his personality and character arc can be referenced as though you were speaking of an old friend.

And I don’t know what’s sadder—that the girl did this in conversation without a hint of irony, or that I actually knew what she was talking about.

Dawson’s Creek debuted on the WB network in the winter of my freshman year of high school—or, as I like to call it, the worst of times. There were 34 new students in my grade, and cliques were rivaling for those that would best fit their membership. Meanwhile, this madwoman—let’s call her “my algebra teacher”— was oppressing me with crazy rules that were just not gonna fly. I said to her, “Listen lady, you cannot just come into my life and tell me a letter stands for a number and expect me to be okay with it.” She disagreed.

Anyway, back to Dawson's. The episodes often began with a long shot of suburbia in all its glory. Capeside: A beautiful coastal every-town, where Caucasian youth brim with hope and enthusiasm. It was pretty much a walking Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. If you’re a viewer who is darker than a paper bag, you already feel a little awkward.

Sidebar: Why do television shows that are meant to appeal to the 18-34 year old demographic function under the assumption that there is only one White/right way to appeal to them? There are many places in America where the minority is rapidly becoming the majority, and the refusal to reflect this in popular television only serves to alienate those groups and reinforce stereotypes. Hell, I go sailing. I love it. I eat Chips Ahoy cookies, I watch Gilligan’s Island. Why didn’t we see a blacktress paddling up the creek?!

Sorry, I digress.

Jen and Joey were the ladies of the creek; they were cut from the same cloth, but Jen was the left over scraps. And for some strange reason, both of these girls fought of the affections of television’s worst leading man.

Yeah, you heard me. Dawson Leery was a lame-o. That’s Spanish for “one who is lame.” As I’ve already said, I was a film major in college. I knew guys like Dawson, who constantly quoted movies, lived life as though it had a soundtrack, and wanted to be Spielberg—these guys had no friends. On top of that, Dawson said things like, “I'm talking about the romantic apotheosis.” And “It -- you call it wish fulfillment or delusion of the highest adolescent order. But, Joey, I'm tellin' ya, something primal exists between us.” No one between the ages of 12 and 22 talks like that! First of all, you don’t learn such words until it’s time for the SAT verbal, and once you know them, you would never actually use them in conversation. That’s how you get bitch slapped. How anyone like Dawson got his own creek in the first place is beyond me.

I remember the first time I fell in love with a boy. It was my junior year of high school on the plantation and he was a new potential Massa. We instantly became friends and spent all our time together--he treated me like an equal, and he even liked Negro music. And he. Was. Cute. He was smart and funny and wanted to be a filmmaker—he was my Dawson (though much less lame and slightly more hipster). I remember watching Dawson’s Creek one night and actually crying, because I could relate to feeling like the rejected friend.

And the night I decided to write “My Dawson” a letter telling him how I felt…. Yep, I’d watched an episode of “The Creek.” As I wrote, I was tragic and hopeful. I poured out my soul, inserted song lyrics, and wrote in my best handwriting using a purple pen.I re-wrote it and re-wrote it, and finally decided I couldn’t take the pain any longer. He had to know how I felt so that he could finally fall in love with me. I knew if I could muster beautiful, flowing prose, he was would reciprocate just like the real Dawson. Guys were capable of such self-expression, I just hadn’t given him the opportunity.

So I handed him the letter one day after gym class, as he headed home. I distinctly remember it. He was saying goodbye and I tried to breezily pass the letter to him. When he asked what it was, I just told him to read it later, “No big deal.” When I felt the weight of the letter travel from my hand to his, it felt heavy. Later that night, I wrote in my journal, “he didn’t even know he was holding my heart in his hands. Perhaps he will give me his.”

And the next day, he came to my locker and smiled. We chatted as though nothing had happened. I knew that once we had a moment alone, he would talk about the “romantic apotheosis.”

But he didn’t. He never said anything about it.

When I confronted him, he said he didn’t want to say anything cause he didn’t want us to stop being friends.

So much for life imitating art.

I cannot count how many times I sat in front of the television watching, let’s say, Saved By the Bell or Pimp My Ride and secretly thought, “I want that.” As kids, we wanted the toys or the Happy Meal; we were determined to “collect all four!” of whatever was being sold. As teenagers, we wanted it and the persona attached—whether it’s the hair color of a certain actress, a Quarter Pounder with cheese, or a ride that is indeed pimped. And these desires were far worse than a high-calorie nugget made of “chicken product.” After all, toys and food could be bought. But if you wanted to be popular or get a boyfriend, you had to change who you were to fit whatever standard was being held at the moment. Between commercials, teasers for the next episode, and the weekly onslaught of these television shows, it was impossible to shake these feelings unless you lived in an igloo. For so many young women, this want can extend far beyond material possessions and become an innate desire to change oneself and become someone that is not actually real. Such expectations set us up to fail and only reinforce feelings of inadequacy.

“Um, so what are you going to do about it, Sojourner?” You ask.

“I’m going to expose it for all it’s worth, like I did just now” I say to you confidently.

“And? We all know TV isn’t reality—“

“Even reality TV?” I lower my eyes over my spectacles.

“No, that’s different.” You mumble, taken aback by my clever word play.

“How so?”

“It’s real people in real situations, being forced to do crazy things. It doesn’t get any more real.”
I chuckle lightly and wipe my brow. “Oh, you poor naïve soul. That’s all editing and camera tricks. Nothing is unfiltered.”

“Wait, so you mean Survivor—?"

“Is simply a bunch of actors who got rejected from the cast of RENT, trying to make ends meet.”

“Yeah, well… your mom’s trying to make ends meet!”

“That was real mature,” I scoff, as you stop reading this bloggery.

“Oh, so you think you’re better than me now?!”

I don't.

You keep reading.

It's a hell of a lot better than watching TV.

Damn you, Caucasian youth!!! You get me every time!!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Conversation Among Heteros II

L: the virgin asked if i was going to have a last hurrah and if it could be with him!!!
me: WHAT??
men are so rude
L: i was like, NO not with you at least because i need someone who's not going to be emo

me: oh god!
why do they have such audacity?
L: i dont know
i fucking hate men
i think we are just a bunch of vag holes to them, who might feed them
me: hahahahhaha
L: say it, we're just all walking holes to them.
holes with the ability to cook dinner
and with better apartment amenities, so its like a hotel stay
me: hahaha
like a fancy brothel
with only one whore

.... We then move on to the Australian, who I am back to crushing on. He's allegedly returning to this hemisphere in May, and I'm already getting hot and bothered thinking about it.

me: I hate liking the Australian because even though he’s a big deal to me, the minute he wants a woman, he can get one.

L: i know! all girls are willing thats why it fucking sucks
decent men who don't think you are a walking vagina are a COMMODITY

Ain't that the (sojourner) truth?

Oh, by the by-- i attempted to include an image with this post, but when i looked up "walking vag holes," "vag holes" and "one-woman brothels," the images were not appropriate for children, pregnant women, or a blacktress.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Flavor of Love: Season 3

8 days left in this Black History Month, guys. We’ve gotta make it count. So far, Barack’s doing his part as a halfie to make sure our 40 acres didn’t go to waste, but other than that, it’s a poor Negro showing this month. I blame this primarily on the premiere of Season 3 of Flavor of Love—aka, Season 3 of “Why Negroes Can’t Have Nice Things—and Why Sojourner Can’t Find a Can-Do Black Husband."

Now, I think you all know my thoughts of Flava Flav—he’s a human cockroach with a gold retainer.

Yeah, I said it.

And, just like a cockroach, he never stops spawning. And he will never become extinct.
Now, like rapper T-Pain, I believe that Flav served his purpose back in his rap days. With Public Enemy, the young Flav gave ugly men hope, and proved that money CAN buy love—a theory which a young Patrick Dempsey tested shortly after the first Public Enemy album was released in 1987. See for yourself:

You never thought Demspey and Flav had a connection, did you?

Flavor of Love: Season 3, debuted on February 11, 2008—smack dab in the middle of the month of negrosity. Now, Flav—or his handlers who sign his checks and make sure the baby-mammas get a cut—must have known people would pick up on this. At the very least, he should have anticipated the blacktress’ wrath.

I’ve been trying to avoid this show since it began, not only due to Flav’s blinding hideousness, but because nothing makes me sadder than unintelligent black women yelling, arguing, and pulling out weaves over nothing. I mean, I didn’t fight for freedom so these chicks could act a damn fool!

While eating China Place at Litsa’s last night, we had no choice by to stare at the giant image of Flav on her flat screen. Luckily, it was episode 1, where the sluts get their nicknames for the duration of the show.

Sidebar: Historically in African cultures, babies are named by a powerful figure in the community or family shortly after birth. The name is often meaningful, determined not before the child’s birth, but after. It involves a communication with a higher power, where the child’s destiny and identity are determined. The name is meant to act, in a way, as a prophecy.

On Flavor of Love and I Love New York, a slut appears in a mansion—primarily for free food, drink, and the chance to go from appearing in pornography on public access television to pay-cable—and is given a name that is easy to remember, touches on some trivial aspect of his/her/hir’s personality, and is often misspelled.

As the woman stood in line and waited to be named, Flav announced that this season he would do something different: The women would name themselves!!!
Who said pimps up, hos down? Not this time around! The women approached flav one by one, and explained why they should be named. One girl called herself “Bunz”—yes, with a ‘z’—because of her large posterior. Two identical twins (in bad need of pilates and orthodontia, if you really want to know) said they were “Sugar” and “Spice,” because that’s all a man could need.

As trite as this was, Flav was not satisfied with these monikers. In this instance, he decided to name them himself, giving them titles that were meaningful to him.
“My favorite book when I was little was Cat in the Hat,” he explained to the scary-looking ladies. “And my favorite characters were those little bad monsters—Thing 1 and Thing 2. So I’m call y’all Thing 1 and Thing 2.”

I kid you not.

We’ve come a long way, Negroes!!!

The women laughed, which is all one could really do in such a situation. Unless you’re me, and you stare at the TV with your mouth open and a lone tear in your eye.

As everyone gets acclimated and the women take their turns trying to woo flav, one woman shows herself as the next New York—her name is SHY, precisely because she is not shy at all. Two at a time bond with Flav, and the rest of the women are left to drink and intimidate each other, and Shy wastes no time.

One large white woman, nicknamed Peeches (yes, PEEches), is immediately attacked. Shy asks her why she’s here, and Peeches says she “wants to be his queen.” (um, really? Ew.)
Shy then gets louder and louder, screaming, “Are you ready to do what you gotta do? Do you want 10 babies? ARE YOU READY TO HAVE HIS 10 BABIES?!” She then begins pointing to her nether regions as she says each syllable, just in case Peeches doesn’t know where babies come from.

She's not shy at all. And she wants to be the new New York.

Once she makes herself clear, she begins to say, “See, me, 24-healthy, fit”—she flexes her bicep at this moment—“I’m all ready. Are YOU ready?!”

Okay, now, the last thing anyone should be trying to do is procreate with Flav. He is clearly genetically inferior, from his oral hygiene to his stature to his balding (though he tries to wear real jacked up cornrows). There is no reason why having his babies would be a good idea—we’re trying to LIFT UP the black race!! Listen, I’m only having kids if I know they’ll be in The Talented Tenth. I’m not popping out babies just keep some steady income. I mean, how do you think I’ve lived so long since the abolition of slavery? Cause I ain’t givin’ it away!!!

These women should also keep in mind that Flav already has about 8 children (like I said, cockroaches reproduce rapidly), and, like, 7 baby-mammas. And this is the THIRD SEASON of the show—his track record ain’t so great.

I honestly don’t get why these women don’t have higher aspirations than mating with an unattractive man. I mean, the only one who is showing her true colors is the white girl—who wanted to be called “Vanilla,” but instead he calls her ICE. Ice admits that she’s a budding radio personality, and is most likely on the show to earn some sort of “Street Cred.”

It’s a sad world when the only person clever enough on Flavor of Love is the white girl.

Okay, readers, I could go on, but I would probably end up crying, or nauseous.

Happy February 21st!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ode to Katie Walsh

I know I promised to talk about one important black person—a Negro of Note, if you will—each day during this month of blackness. However, today I must celebrate the birth of Katie Walsh. I think that, although Katie is biologically of the “Caucasian persuasion,” as it were, she is a strong black woman at heart. Here’s why:

Katie’s from the US Virgin Islands. She never had to go anywhere to get her groove back—she was born with it.
Katie isn’t afraid to give tough love. Much like my own mother, Katie will speak truth and tell you what you need to hear even when you don’t want to hear it.
Katie knows how to get free stuff. I mean, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a po’ slave, it’s how to make something out of nothing. Katie’s a PR squirrel trying to get a nut, and she knows how to work it.
She’s street. I’ve received the following text message from Katie in total seriousness: “I’m in a Wal-Mart with Master P and Tyler Perry, and it is so crazy.” Um, if that’s not street tough, what is? Oh, I know—this photo:

Katie’s down with Tyler Perry.

I don’t think I’m doing my sister from another mister true justice. I think poetry is the only way I can express what is truly in my heart.

February 15, 2008: KATIE WALSH

I think it was that day in film class
You were wearing that hot dress that accentuated your sweet ass
I knew then, you were my friend crush.
We made a movie about mating season
And we got an A-, for no good reason
I took time to get to know you, there was no rush.
You’ve taken a blacktress out of her borough
And calmed me when my brow was furrowed
Your couch has been my second bed.
You showed me your green apples
You were there when I invented peach Schnapple
I can’t wait for our promise ceremony in Christiansted.
I can tell you when I’m trolling for vampires
And you don’t judge—and you ain’t no liar
Thank god for your 3 a.m. egg-and-cheese sammies.
Here’s to 25 more years of you and me
Drinking red wine and co-hosting dinner parties
Honestly, if it wasn’t racist, I’d have no problem being your mammy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Lovers Day-- Negro Lovers, That Is!!!

Yeah, that's how I feel about this "holiday."Sorry to get all “angry black woman” on y’all, but I just don’t think there’s any point in Valentine’s Day. If you’re with someone, you should be good to them all the time, and all V-day does is allow everyday establishments to raise prices on goods and services as well as decorate their areas a hideous pink-and-red combination—which is flattering on no one.

Today is a day for celebrating one’s significant other, right? Well, I’ve decided I will celebrate myself, for I am quite the significantother--get it?! Oh, my pseudo-intellectual race jokes are the best!!

Anyway, let’s get back to why black people are so great, shall we? Here’s a quick list.

Reasons I Love Black People
- We use wash cloths
- We have created a hip hop culture which has given suburban white males a means of channeling their misplaced anger at their parents for such atrocities as Little League, SAT Prep, and music lessons.
- The women of the race give white men something to fetishize.
- Without black people, Duane Reade would have no employees.
- Drag queens would have never learned to be so sassy!
- Gay men would have never had anyone to come out to, if not for the SBW—strong black woman.
- We may not have built this city on rock and roll, but we built this country on…slavery. I think we all know who won in that chapter of history.

So, on this day of both lovers and Negroes, and I’ve decided that my true love is none other than Sojo herself. And, unlike a man, I won’t oppress myself, I won’t hook up with myself and not call, and I will make sense in all my speech and only speak TRUTH.

God, it’s good to be me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Too Truthful?

I have a really good post, but I'm hesitant to put it up, for fear that it may be TOO truthful. Those who want to read it, leave a comment, and I will send it your way.

What is it? It's a cautionary tale. It's called...


Monday, February 11, 2008

On Hiatus--don't hate us!


I apologize for my lack of posting. I am not living up to my word of a new post a day. I, Sojourner, am not being TRUTHful. Please forgive this failure as I rebuild in the wake of the Photographer (more on that later).

For now, I leave you this e-card. It's something I've been saying all along.
And it reminds me of my estranged father.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Hook Brings You Back/HeavyVee

I’m sorry for this late posting on the 7th day of BHM. Perhaps moving on CP time* is fitting, given the month.

Today, I would like to bring an up and coming rap sensation to your attention. It was brought to me by JJSiii. I find urban rhythms are often brought to my attention by those of the Caucasian persuasion, and I’ve come to accept it. When I first viewed this video, I was put off. Why would I write about a young woman who was cooning it up during the month of pride? However, upon a closer look and a good listen, I began to see her worth. See the magic for yourself.

She goes by the name of HeavyVee. I think this clever moniker comes from the fact that she is thick and her name is Vanessa. Her song “I don’t need a hook” is a clever meta discourse on the tropes of hip hop culture and rap music. She repeats the refrain—the hook, if you will—repeatedly, which is: I don’t need a hook.

Does she or doesn’t she? I’m not really sure.

But, what I do know is that HeavyVee is large and, like Charles, she is in charge!!! She’s not afraid to rock white suspenders, and she gestures with the bravado and confidence of a rapper twice her age (she’s only 17).

I would also like to show you an excerpt from the “about me” section of her woozyfly page:

When Vanessa turned 15, she gained the confidence to share her own songs with others and booked her first ever live performance at a local steak house in Jersey. From these humble beginnings, Heavy Vee was born!

Steak house? Did she get a shank or slab of meat as payment? Perhaps this is what I’ve been missing.Should I go to Bennigan’s and start spreading truth? Can I become internet famous after a string of performances at Ihop? I think I’m going to have to talk to HeavyVee’s people.

What I want you to learn from HeavyVee on the seventh day is this:


HeavyVee proudly shuns “hooks” in favor of a….hook-shunning hook. She is a walking contradiction, and there’s just no stopping her. She’s a juggernaut of hip hop flavor, 17 years young, and she has a confidence that only a large black woman can possess. Having grown up around melanin-deficient individuals, I have been brainwashed with ideals of beauty. Luckily, I had my Detroit crew and strong black Massa-mama to give me truth. My classmates longed to be skinny, and proudly wore size 0 jeans on their petite frames. At the age of 17, some girls had the hips of a 12-year-old Korean gymnast—and guys actually thought they were hot.
But HeavyVee don’t go for that. As she says in the song, "She ain’t not snitch or trick. And if you cross her, she can be a real bitch"—just like Sojo.

While I’m slightly put off by the hairdo (or, in this case, hair-don’t), I think that HeavyVee deserves a day in the blacktress sunshine. What do YOU think?

*this is an abbreviation of the popular phrase, “colored people time,” which is based on the stereotype of black people being late all the time. I guess it’s cause they’re too busy eating fried chicken and getting pregnant.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mama Didn't Raise No Fool!

And so we thank her, on this day, the 6th day of BHM.

I thought it behoovy of me to praise Mama Dukes because we went to Bank of America this morning to apply for my mortgage, so I can get off her plantation. Thanks to her hard work and good credit, I have been pre-approved! Clearly, this is not something I could have done on my own. When I asked Big Mama Thornton* if she really wanted to do this, if she was really ready to be my blackup in case of nonpayment, she said to me, in all seriousness:
“I see this as an investment in you. I believe that in a few years you will be a financial stable and responsible adult, and I want to help you get on your own two feet—and off my couch.”

It was touching moment. Massa-Mama is enabling me to break free from the shackles of oppression and get my own 40 acres and a mule—or, in this case, several hundred square feet and a doorman.

MaDukes should be thanked for several reasons:

1. She taught me to read.
2. She didn’t give me up for adoption, when she most certainly could have.
3. After I was born, she sent me to Africa for 6 months and I lived with my grandma while mom studied for the bar exam. If that’s not being a strong black woman, I don’t know what is.
3a. If she hadn’t passed that bar exam, she wouldn’t be the lawyer she is today.
4. She taught me that when a White person tells me I’m “well-spoken,” they are being “condescending” and “racist.”
5. She fed me until I was old enough to cook for my damn self.
6. She’s shown me that a woman is never too old to get a Latin lover.
7. She taught me all about TRUTH.
As a young girl, I looked to my mother for validation, guidance, and support. If I was wearing a hideous outfit, she would tell me; if I complained about gaining weight, she’d stop buying sweets, “cause the Buddha-belly was bulging.” When tears would well up in my nubian eyes, she’d calmly explain, “I’m your mother. If you can’t count on me to tell you the truth, who can you count on?” It was rough, it was harsh, but it was always the Sojourner Truth.

I hope you, too, go to the strong black women in your lives and show them some love this month.

This is what you find when you google search "Slave Mother." This is a still from the movie Beloved, starring Oprah Winfrey. Neither of these women were actual slaves at any point.

*not her real name

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Who Likes to (Ba)rack the Party?!

Okay, so I know the plan was to discuss a Negro a day for the entire month, but I must first spread some truth.

I, Sojourner, am angry.

I woke up this morning to change the world—aka VOTE—and headed to my polling site with a purpose.

I arrived at the school where I’ve been voting for years to find the entry gates locked. I walked the perimeter until I found an entrance. A kindly master of the custodial arts (aka janitor) informed me that the school was no longer a polling site, and I had to go 6 blocks north to PS 194.

Oh hell to the no!! How did I not get a memo? Why wasn’t there at least a sign on the school gates and/or entryway to inform all of us rabid voters that there had been a change?

As I walked to the next site trying to calm my nerves and focus on rocking the vote, I was accosted by independents, urging me vote as one of them. I think my favorite was a White woman wearing a shirt that read: “WHO SAYS HILLARY’S BEST FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY????”

If that’s not gentrification, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, I appear at the second voting site only to be told that I’m yet again in the wrong place—apparently, I have to cross the street and go to another school.
W. T. F?!

I’m sorry, y’all, but I have a conspiracy theory. They don’t want Negroes voting today. Why else would they make it a mystery maze to get to a voting site and in no way place visual cues? Why was my voting site 10 blocks from my home when I am near 3 schools and 4 churches?

Because they don’t want me SPEAKING MY TRUTH!

Yep, I said it. They are making it as complicated and confusing as possible for me to pull my lever to the left, to the left (much like Beyoncé says).

Is it because they don’t want my black behind voting for…BARACK????

Which brings me to today’s Negro: Barack Obama.

Now, Sojo hasn’t gotten too political this year, and I’ve done this on purpose. Everybody and their mama wants to put two cents into this debate. And, while that’s all well and good, I’m gonna keep my pennies for my damn self.

I must admit, I never thought I’d see the day we were torn between a black man and a woman (even if that woman is a cyborg). I’ve been on this earth over 200 years (I’m still looking good cause black don’t crack!), and I have seen some changes. I mean, when I saw Brad Pitt holding that black baby girl for the first time, I almost lost my mind. I thought it was the end of days…but now I see the days are just beginning.


Black everyman.

White woman.

I’m mad at both of ‘em.

They’re forcing me to decide how liberal I am and which minority I care more about. As a black woman, I’m doubly torn. As a bleeding-heart liberal, well I’m just racked with guilt either way.

I’m worried that if Barack is president, he’ll get shot before Michelle can put new drapes in the oval office. If Hillary is president, I will get Bill back, which would make me happy because I miss him very much. I sometimes put on my favorite blue dress and reminisce on our good times….

I digress.

We all know everyone loves a mixie. And we all love a worldly man. Barack is both. And he has used his fine brownness and brought young, attractive people out of the woodwork. Look at this music video:

politics gets rhythmic!

Scarlett Johannson sings and Tatyana Ali comes out of hiding—all for Barack!!!
(um…why’s the lead actor from “Prime” and that random pussycat doll in there, though?)


I know he’s young and delicate. I know he’s not as experienced as H-320-2008 is (that’s her robot name). What’s working for him the friendly charisma that allows me to make him anything I want him to be. He’s like the cool black kid in private school—the white boys totally want to hang out with him and ask him the lyrics to popular rap songs. Who didn’t want to be friends with that guy?!

Um, here’s a question, though: Where’s the white mum and his Asian sis? Is he keeping her quiet and in hiding, like some sort of geisha?!

Let’s think about that.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Model Woman

On the 4th day of B.H.M./ my blacktress gave to me….. a story about Miss Na-o-mi.
Campbell, that is.

Today I have decided to sing the virtues of the cray-cray Naomi Campbell.

First of all, let me say something about Naomi. I was talking to Scribe earlier today, and she dropped some good knowledge about Ms. Campbell. She said:
SCRIBE: no i love her being cray
check this out
naomi campbell is known to be a b*tch
she beats people
throws tantrums
and it has never affected her work
no one has ever decided, ok Naomi is out
this is a black woman who is allowed to be cray cray and has yet to be punished for it
AND she gets to be cray, without anyone making her the "crazy black woman"
she is just crazy
i wanna know her secret.

Come to think of it, Scribe, I do, too…

This conversation was serendipitous, as I already had Naomi on the brain after her random appearance in a commercial for Life Water which debuted during last night’s Super Bowl and involved her dancing to MJ’s “Thriller” with animated lizards. See for yourself (click "Sobe LifeWater" from the pulldown menu):

No, you’re not drunk. And you’re not dreaming. And no, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But Naomi looked fierce and didn’t throw a celly at anyone, so I consider this commercial a success. I was then further pleased with her when I discovered earlier today that Miss Campbell is boycotting Fashion Week. I really think she is moved by the spirit of BHM. Naomi is finally using her status as a fine (part) Black woman to speak out against the racism and prejudice in the fashion and modeling industries. The runway is her plantation, and she is standing up as a runaway slave, fleeing the shackles of high-heeled oppression, and crying out for justice.

I just wish she’d stop letting them dye her hair all kinds of non-Negro colors (like blond) and stop hitting her help. When a rich Negress hits her help, it sends the message to White folks that we can’t have nice things cause we won't know how to behave.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lessons From Another Wesley

On this third day of blackness, I would like to speak of a Negro who is not famous. A simple man, just riding public transportation, and dropping knowledge...

Yesterday, I was on my way to the Ted Haggard Monologues, to sing for Jesus the way only a blacktress can. In typical New York City form, the trains were being cray cray, and I decided to hop on a bus to get to the express. As I'm on the corner waiting for the light to change, I see the very bus I desire speeding towards the stop. Fuck! I'm not going to make it! I think as the bus reaches the stop and the cars continue to whizz by.

The bus stops to let passengers exit. I'm looking left and right, judging whether or not its appropriate to play a game of frogger in an attempt to cross the road. As I'm deciding how much I value my life (and catching this bus), I notice something: The bus isn't moving.

That's right. No one's getting on or off, but the doors are open. The driver's blinkers are if he's waiting... for me.

I mean, is it Black History Month or what? The spirit of Negro giving is all around us!
As I board the bus and give the driver a hearty thanks, I am moved by the kindness and goodness coming from this downtown-bound M3. For the first time in months, instead of praising White Jesus, I praise the black mortal.

And I feel good.

I take a single seat (I try to avoid sitting next to people during cold and flu season), and bask in the karmic goodness of the evening. The man sitting in front of me turns around, and says,
"That was nice of him!"
"It sure was, Older Black Man Who Slightly Slurs." I smile, deciding its best to share the goodness, and do my part for BHM.
"I thought he was waiting for that other lady. Did you flag him down?"
"No, I actually, I didn't think he'd see me. But I was sorta gesturing wildly." (I then mimic the gestures I was making on the street corner, and several passengers stared at me in confusion and worry.)
"Well, you have a lovely smile and seem like a nice person, and good things happen to good people."

I was floored. This Black History Month was getting better by the second. Not since the soul-searching cowboy had a man I'd briefly met seen so deep into my soul for who I am. Yes, he was right-- I AM a good person.

"Thank you," I said sincerely.
"You just gotta wake up and be glad you're alive and everything's gonna be all right."
"Mmm-hmm," I said. I was starting to get a little bored by this conversation, as I often do after I've been complimented and we've hit the high point.
"I almost didn't wake up once," he said, pointing to the hat on his head. It said in big letters, VIETNAM VETERAN.

Now, I didn't think war veterans were getting hats. This seems a little ridiculous to me, kinda like the equivalent of "I went to war and all I got was this stupid hat"-- what about healthcare, jobs, support from the government? This man clearly could have used all of these things instead of a hat.

But I decided not to go there.

"By the way, my name is Wesley," he said.

I didn't know if I should tell him that Wesley Snipes was my featured Negro of the day and that I thought this was kismet. I just smiled and said hello again (and didn't give him my name).

"How you doing?"

Um, hadn't we already been there? I just said I was fine and asked him how he was.

"I'm just trying to survive this Holocaustic madness."


Wesley just came out of left field with that one--even though the hat was probably a hint that something like that was coming.

"Well, that's all you can do," I said laughing as though I had any idea what "Holocaustic" meant.

"Yep, this is holocaustic madness."

Just then the bus reached 125th and we both had to get off. I let Wesley go first, and he turned to me, grabbed my arm, and said, "Be safe!"
I said thank you and turned towards the subway station.

I heard Wesley yell after me, but I didn't turn back. I couldn't-- he had left me with much to think about already. After complimenting me, he turned my attention to the horrors of war and its aftermath. He then mentioned the Holocaust, as well as our current state of affairs. And he did this all with a respect and kindness that can only be found during the month of blackness.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Lessons of Wesley Snipes

I thought I'd take this second day of BHM to focus on a blacktor who has changed the face of cinema unlike any other: WESLEY SNIPES.

You may know him as Blade. But I know him as a man who wasn't afraid to put interracial love on the map and dressed as a woman before it was trendy.

Most people don't realize how much Wesley has taught through his motion pictures. In chronological order:

- He proved to us that white men CAN'T jump, and that "it ain't no thing but a chicken wing (on a string and Burger King)". While I still have no idea what that's supposed to mean, it is undeniable poetry, and shows that in addition to being a blacktor, he is a modern-day Shakespeare.

- He showed us the danger of crack cocaine in the hit film New Jack City--and put Chris Rock on the map as Pookie, a scrawny recovering drug addict.

- He showed us what happens when you "go white-girl crazy and she goes black-boy hazy: baby, there's no maybe--we're in love!!!!"

- He reminded us how to kill vampires with his hit trilogy of Blade films. The films also showed us that in addition to vampires, we must also be on the look out for "familiars"-- humans who are aid the creatures of the night.

Wesley's career has been marred by recent conspiracy charges, which included allegations that he filed a false tax refund claim of over US$4 million for the year 1996 and a false amended return including a false tax refund claim of over US$7.3 million for the year 1997.

In response to his indictment, Wesley played the race card with aplomb, declaring himself "a nonresident alien" of the United States. He also said he was "a scapegoat" and unfairly targeted by prosecutors in connection with the federal tax fraud investigation. He also attempted to get the trial moved from Florida on the ground that racist attitudes in that town would prejudice his chance for a fair trial.

Is he really wrong????? Wesley's plight reminds us that freedom ain't free!!! Snipes is the victim of snipers--aka, the government-- who want to take him down before he gets too uppity.

We must keep Wesley's lessons and his struggles in hearts-- not only this month, but every day of our lives.

To Wesley Snipes: Thanks for Everything, Sojourner!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Happy Black HERstory Month!!!!

As you know, readers, today is the first day of Black History Month. While I take issue with the fact that black folks get the shortest month out of the year for recognition, I will milk these 28 days for all they’re worth: every day, I will feature a black person who has changed history, and I will tell their story as only Sojo can—the total truth!!!

I thought I would begin with someone everyone (even White folks) knows and loves: Harriet Tubman.
Next to me, she is the most famous strong black woman of the abolitionist era. In fact, people often get us confused.

And that pisses me off.

First of all, Harriet ain’t even all that. Look at her:

She think she all cute with that ascot and long petticoat….puh-lease. And her hair all exposed like she a common woman—you need to keep that under wraps if you want to stay pure. I was runnin’ these streets before she was even a gleam in her slave-owner’s eye. I had 20-plus years on homegirl before she rolled up out the womb! Let’s be real: she never even learned to read!!! What kind of freedom is that?! I don’t care how many people you smuggled to Canada, if you can’t read the road signs, your mind is still enslaved (don’t make me preach it).

How do I know all this? Well, Harriet and I crossed paths once, at a Waffle House in Paramus. She was up in there with Nelson Davis—her second husband—and I was resting my throat with a cup of hot tea, just done giving one of my many sermons and spreading the truth. I saw her and I know she saw me, but she took to actin’ like she didn’t know nobody.

Being the bigger, stronger, and more intelligent woman, I approached Harriet and her second husband with some respect. Nelson immediately went to the restroom, knowing better than to get between two strong black women. I took his seat.

Me: Harriet, how are you doing? How’s the.... Grounder-nay Ailroad-ray? (pig latin was the only way to keep our activities secret)

Harriet (singing): I been working on the railroad/ all the—

Me: Harriet, you know you need to quit. That ain’t even funny, girl.

Harriet: HAHAHAH!!! Oh, Sojo, it’s too much. (leans in close) You know folks calling me Moses now?! Ain’t I a woman?!

Me: God don’t like ugly, Harriet, and you getting more hideous by the day.

Harriet: Oh, don’t hate—appreciate and congratulate! (Gets even closer, and I could smell the syrup on her breath. She looks side to side.) You know this whole time I wasn’t even trying to free nobody but my damn self.

Me: What?!

Harriet: I had some sick days left over from the first fiscal year and I wanted to hear some live music, so I thought I’d head up to the Montreal Jazz Festival. Next thing I know, I got folks following me left and right.

Me: You mean you weren’t even trying to free your brethren?!

Harriet: Well, not at first. After a while, though, I got used to it. I liked stopping by those Quaker houses, getting steaming bowls of oatmeal. I figured why not?

Just then, Nelson came back. I got up, shook my head, and went back to my seat. I could not even believe it. Harriet “Underground Railroad” Tubman was simply trying to listen to some music and have a slice of Canadian bacon when she altered the course of herstory!!

I guess what she did was right, but it’s as much about reason as action, people!!

I don't care how much oatmeal you get, how many biblical names people give you, freeing slaves is not about the fame and the glory--it's about knowing what's right and knowing that ain't always WHITE!!!

Who was the first woman to be honored with a bust in the U.S. Capitol? ME
Who got a Mars probe named after her in 1997? ME
Who got a commemorative postage stamp in 1986? ME

I just wish people would stop getting us confused. I know we're all black when the lights go out, but all Negroes don't look alike! Here's an easy mnemonic to help you remember Miss Tubman:
Hurrying to Canada
Acting like she cute
Really just trifling
Received a stamp way after I did!
Eating waffles like a street urchin
Tramp-- 2 Husbands!