The Homeless

Systematic desensitization

Of the human race

Race relations

Makes no sense

Non-sense

Impotent

When ignorance is potent

What’s more, important

In poor tense

Poverty

People like, “What dad ever fathered me?”

Fathering

Furthering

Fathoming

What did life ever have on me?

We think we’re less crazy

Than the people who talk to themselves

When all the time, we tell ourselves

Reasons why they deserved to be underserved

Ignored

Like it’s the norm

Why?

It’s okay to keep doing the same things as before

Not anymore.

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Hustle

My career striving has been 15 years in the making

I’ve moved mountains, only to have more placed in front of me

I’ve been homeless, kicked out by a drug-addicted, manic-depressive mother at 17

I struggled through that, got two jobs and still my dreams were pressing me

Went to community college, survived DV

Made it into undergrad and graduated despite things

Got a DUI, bounced back

Grad school’s where I’m at

And now, yet again, despite intentions

Messed up systems keep pushing me back

They won’t hold me back

I’ve come too far

So I’ll do what I have to do

Sleep in a car

Take two steps back

But nothing will stop my drive to live a life from helping people

Like me and you

Privilege

It’s not fair

Your privilege is not fair

I am reminded every time

I feel like you’re up there and I’m down here

All because of your white skin and blonde hair

You go to school as a norm

I go to school cause I struggle

It’s easy for you to perform

It’s hard because I hustle

You’ve never had to want for more

I want more because I’ve never had it

Working two jobs, school and it still not being enough

You are handed freedom, I have to grab it

Your micro-aggressions and assumptions

Remind me of what I don’t have

But the genetic makeup in my body

I wouldn’t trade it back

Race and journalism (though I don’t like to touch on race)

I used to be concerned with racial inequalities some time ago but, like feminism, I’ve kind of stigmatized the groups as too much complaining and not enough changing.

Until…

Someone asked me how I will bridge the gap between the African-American community and media. I initially rejected the inquiry and felt numb when researching this supposed “gap”.

I already had this thinking of, “Here we go, another ‘we can’t help ourselves’ rant,” but I changed my views- if only for a brief period of time.

That’s what I like about journalism. You can go in on a topic and expect to leave with what you thought you would, but you never really do. Journalism is supposed to be a career in which you are always covering something new, therefore, you never stop learning.

However, so many times we choose our stories and shop through sources so that our stories won’t fall flat. That’s not true journalism.

True journalism weaves it’s own path, like water. We don’t make a path for our stories to follow. That would be bad journalism. Real journalism is wild and unpredictable.

The best stories find us, and it’s when we adopt an open mind that we truly learn something new- even if we never set out to.

Race and journalism

I identify myself as an African-American journalist. That alone draws the strings of diversity in the media a little tighter.

 

In 2006, the growing range of races working in news media was stunted at 13.73 percent and has yet to push its way back up to that marker, according to the American Society of News Editors.

 

We can infer that African-Americans comprise an even smaller percentage, since 13.73 percent is representative of all minorities.

 

Receiving my degree in journalism may encourage others in our community to do the same, thus decreasing the race-employment disparity in the media.

 

Not only are there fewer of our demographic employed as journalists, but there are also fewer of our demographic- and an even smaller portion of our young adults- consuming news media.

 

People need someone they can identify with. Being able to have an association with who’s presenting the news generates this thought pattern of, “She’s black and she’s concerned, so maybe I should be, too.”

 

Furthermore, I’d be covering stories that are of importance to our population.

 

Part of the reason why we don’t consume news as much is because we’re not receiving equal representation when it comes to coverage in our community.

 

If we’re covering stories that make the consumer feel like it’s of significance to them then there’s this automatic interest in learning more, thus propelling our population to be more informed and more involved by engaging with the news.

 

There are so many stories that go untold in our community, but journalists are supposed to be giving a voice to the voiceless. I think it’s time that the media takes us off of mute.

Little Sister

Little sister

It’s not right

For you to say who someone loves is wrong or right

After all she’s been through

Being a drug baby, dealing with my mom

And then you!?!

She doesn’t even fully comprehend yet

And here you are trying to tell her how to dress

I don’t think it’s a problem

The problem is your morals

You wanna take her snapback

And replace it with something floral

She’s not hurting anyone

If anything you should reflect on the hurt that you’ve just done

Frustrations of inequality

You work hard, day in and day out, so that you can pay your bills
When asked for further compensation the organization you help says sit still
You do so for a while, but waiting has never been in your will
Debating, diminishing your smile it’s your time they kill
I’ve been there lovely, I can relate to how you feel
Your kindness is tipping at the edge and anger is waiting to spill
They can’t begin to comprehend the likes of your chocolate skin
They rename you with misperceptions and they try to box you in
But you have a force pushing out from within
You won’t sit for injustice, inequality or any of their friends
I feel your broken spirit; believe me I want to mend
I can talk to you all day long but your issues I cannot tend
This has turned out to be something that’s out of both of our hands
How can injustice stretch so long from a movement that began way back when?