Most of the people who have been with me on my artistic journey are not biological family or even friends who I grew up with. For the most part, they were strangers, until a common interest brought us in a room together, somewhere in time. Then, something beautiful happened. Some of us kept tabs on each other and we became a village. One such stranger was @kismuth. We both attended an open mic at the library one day and we shared stories and poems, we laughed, we cried, we hugged. We exchanged social media information and somewhere in cyberspace, I discovered that we had a lot more in common. Our hometown, our first books in 2012 and even the YMCA where I saw her again. Our lives have remained on eerily similar paths. We have both been exploring. While I was traveling the U.S. East Coast, she was on a voyage to the Eastern hemisphere of the world. Now, we both have new works being published in September of this year. Mine is an anthology of short stories with my Brown Girls Books family and hers is a book appropriately titled, The Village Report. Join us tonight as we chat about it on Twitter, along with some other friends she has met along the way. Perhaps you, too, will become a part of the village. Hope to see you there!
September is a bittersweet month for me. It is filled with celebrations of life as there are multiple Virgos in my immediate family, including myself and my mom, but it has also become a time of remembering death. Fifteen years ago, on September 11, 2001, I was staring out of the window at University of North Carolina Hospitals. My birthday was the next day, but it was overshadowed with wondering how I would survive the 12 hours days with my full-time internship in the psychiatric ward and my part-time job in admissions at night. Not physically, but mentally. It was the first time I'd been back there since my dad’s sudden cardiac death four years earlier in September of 1997, just a few days before he would have some time off and could celebrate a belated birthday lunch he had promised me. Ironically, I saw him in passing traffic as I sped to work just hours before his death and we waved and smiled. He pointed his finger like I was busted for driving too fast and I couldn’t wait …
I had a wonderful time over the past few days celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. with my former co-workers and watching the inaugural celebrations that coincided with the holiday. It was a very inspiring time and it sparked this small tribute to Dr. King and President Obama, straight from a Diva's Heart!
How divine, when stars align!
Celebrating on this day, the birth of a King
In the 50th year of the march for the justice he wished to bring
In the same time and space where it all took place,
His presence now stands tall to witness it all
As we, Black, White and the rainbow in between
Usher in, yet again, the manifest destiny of a dream!
Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congratulations President Barack Obama!