Child From The Hood

I went to a presentation at Old School Square this past week and a gentlemen in the audience said that he feels the white community in Delray is always reaching out to the black community, but that it’s never the other way around. I found that comment to be tone deaf for several reasons, but I’ll say this… In the two years that I have been in Delray, I’ve gotten to know both communities fairly well. I’ve worked a couple political campaigns, attended several dozen community events, and I have spoken to hundreds of people.

The white community and the black community both have concerns and things they want for the city. However, one group is often fighting for their lives, or if they have made it, they are reaching back to lift up those who are fighting that war. Are there people in the white community who reach back, absolutely. However, it’s not done with the persistence I see it done for matters that don’t concern the very lives of our children of color.

Jackson is an example of a student who attended school in our community and got lost. Thankfully, he’s found his purpose. But there are still a couple hundred kids, who look like Jackson Destine Jr., who go to bed hungry at night. It is the job of those who have reached the top to reach back and offer a hand. Conversations and criticism are important, but do more than that. Reach back. Furthermore, if you are pushed to name leaders within the black community in Delray and can’t, it’s likely that you’re not reaching far enough, so again, reach back.

“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” -Toni Morrison

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This argument is complicated when race is implicated, but if you’d like to learn the racial history of Delray Beach, visit Spady Cultural Heritage Museum. Gain an understanding of communities who live outside of our Downtown. Gain an understanding of the impact 250 years of chattel slavery followed by 100 years of Jim Crow had (and still has) on black participation in the Southern economy and social system.

Be well, and meet people where they are. It is much more beneficial to learn the culture and needs of those you seek to influence, rather than dragging them to what you think is best for them.

Watch Jackson’s Story: 

http://www.youtubetofb.com/v/ytid7aZ3KwQ2kgE

 

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Tax Bill

Oh, my gosh, John MacCain gave such a heartfelt speech… In politics, you watch the votes! How our representatives vote is a clear indication of their self-interest. Do not fool yourself and believe that shiny words, tears and campaign photoshoots prove anything about a person’s character. How we should judge our representatives’ character is BY HOW THEY VOTE.

We can’t change this shit-show of a Democracy we live in right now, but we can change how our immediate communities function. VOTING WORKS!

There are people who benefit from your belief that voting doesn’t work and that the system is rigged. If you have not had your rights revoked, please exercise this very BASIC CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY THAT PEOPLE HAVE DIED FOR.

Start with local elections. For example, if you live in Delray Beach, there’s a City Commission race coming up on March 13th. It doesn’t take much to meet the candidates running or to attend a debate. It also doesn’t take much to look up how incumbents have voted in the past. USE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LOOK BEYOND THE SURFACE AND USE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.

Can social media be helpful, absolutely. But everything on DELRAY RAW is not reality. I am a fan of the press, but don’t limit your scope to one news source. Watch several and use your OWN BRAIN TO MAKE A DECISION THAT WILL ULTIMATELY IMPACT YOUR LIFE AND YOUR NEIGHBORS’ LIVES.

I don’t want to hear complaints about our country, city, state– whatever, from passive Americans who refuse to use their right to vote.

*Again, this message does not apply for folks who no longer have that right or who live in districts that prevent them from exercising that right.

And one final thought… America has bombed other countries on the precedent that we, as a country, are a model Democracy. My anger is multi-layered. I was exhausted the night of Nov 8th & that feeling is not fleeting. But, we cannot give up.

I am “Giant Woman”

I caress women’s hearts
when their lips bleed
insecurities down to
their beautiful feet.

I write post-it messages
to myself and post them
up against the mirror
to caress my own heart.

I can only see the beauty
in me when it speaks
through dirty handwriting
next to puffy eyelids.

The woman who breathes
life reminds me that we
are queens, more than the
mid-twenties rolls & late night shame.

The young woman who models
beauty for a penny too fat
to slide into my pocket
gifts me a book; she understands.

The man on the radio
is close to my heart but
far from anything i’ll ever know…
he tells me of Alice, she’s always there.

Understanding works that way. 

Written by: Flose Boursiquot

Inspirations:
-Lily Myers, Shrinking Women
-Nahko, Alice (My Name Is Bear)