Family relationships, in all their complicated glory. Families explores the intricacies of being parents, siblings, mentors, and friends.
It was a rainy evening as Ellen wiped down the counter of her empty dumpling shop, thirty minutes before closing. Another slow night. Her son lay on his stomach behind the counter, drawing, where he always was during his mother’s evening shifts.
My Father's House
I am standing in the house my father built. The rooms are cold, as they always were. The myth of California is that it’s always warm. Instead, the damp gets inside of you until your skin crawls. The heat was never turned on in my father’s house.
Dear fathers in your many forms, I am blessed to have one of you close, adopt others, marvel and smile at many, desire to see freedom and justice for others. I learn from you, the depths of your roots and the worlds in your eyes. I’ve grown up amidst tangible yous and messages about you, depictions that usually seemed to miss the mark--overlooked huge parts of your heart. As a kid I often felt pained, sad watching movies with black men, like my dad or about black stories because they seemed incessantly heavy. I was confused, because my black family and community had their strife, but there was so much fun and vibrant life.
The Bucket List
Wool socks… a couple of plaid flannel shirts… jeans… a single burner camp stove… night goggles… hiking boots… legal documents, lots of legal documents. Newspaper articles telling of the undercover sting operation that laundered money for people who brought American dollars back in exchange for prime Canadian hydroponic weed… an old passport… a driver’s license in someone else’s name that I hope he didn’t kill anyone for.
I’m not going to lie. Giving birth was one of the most painful experiences of my life. After my first-born arrived, I vehemently declared that I would NEVER do that again. I had been in agony for 48 hours as my baby slowly slithered out of me. Back and forth she went with each contraction, carving her way through my birth canal. When the final, triumphant moment arrived, my anguish topped the Richter scale it was that earth-shatteringly excruciating. A daughter! Hannah Rose was finally here.
My mother was a drunk and a mermaid. Or a mermaid and a drunk. That’s the problem with words: whatever you say first sounds like it causes the second. But sometimes people are just two things at once. And more likely three. See, my mother wasn’t a mermaid because she was a drunk. And she wasn’t a drunk because she was a mermaid. She was just both, as long as I can remember. Oh, and a dreamer. A drunk, dreaming mermaid that drank and dreamed.
Remembering Old World California
Most people living in the New World try their best to forget the world that existed before the Catastrophe, especially the wealthy, who’d only made efforts to spare themselves, while disregarding the rest of the population. Some people, however, still do all they can to remember.
Black Joy- Soul of an Artist
Let me start by giving my team their flowers. Photographer and Filmmaker Tyre Mills, @millsuave44 on instagram. Model, Actor and aspiring Fitness Coach, Abijola who goes by Prince @princejibbz on instagram. Prince and I met 2 years ago, on set of a tv show. Tyre and I met a year ago on an independent, web series project. This team helped me bring my vision of Black Love to life with this photoshoot. We were on the beach, at night, in Malibu California. Everything seemed to go wrong that day but as soon as we met and got down to work, the beauty of the finished product was worth every stressful delay that caused us to miss capturing the sunset. Tyre was in the sand with a light box, the night was pitch black and the ocean was steps away from our feet. The energy to create art that night was strong and steady. I wanted to celebrate body positivity as my body has changed during the quarantine. I also wanted to celebrate us as a melanated people, from Afro-Caribbean and Pan-African descent. The complexities of our stories are in our culture, in our skin, in our hair and the varying shades of our complexions. There are 55 nations in Africa, we can safely say that every human being has been birthed from the Motherland. I have embraced this notion and the world is also coming around to it.
Kids Say the Darndest Things
The unfiltered truths from the fruits of our loins. And the creepiest things they've ever said. Help?
Do or do not - there is no try. The ins and outs of one of the most difficult jobs on earth: parenting.
Nature vs. Nurture
What plays into our humanity? Nature vs. Nurture – how two factors affect one individual.
$20,000 Under the Sea
The empty room hung in limbo. In only a few days, eighteen years of memories had been reduced to a bed frame, barren mattress, and three cardboard boxes. Tiny pinholes from long-removed posters dotted the walls. Scuffs and scratches from roller blades, soccer cleats, and pretend pirate swords crisscrossed the wooden floor.
When Olivia was ten, she went to visit her grandmother by herself. Her parents took her to the station and Olivia boarded the train alone, bags filled with games and snacks and books, over-prepared for the six-hour trip. She had enough activities to last her at least a week, but she spent most of the time looking out the window as the train sped through the countryside towards the small, rural town where her grandmother lived. Parts of the forests the train passed through were still sprinkled in snow, but there were hints of spring in the buds that grew on the trees and the groupings of crocuses that spotted the ground, which were just a passing blur of purple to Olivia. With a stack of discs for her Walkman, filled with songs to daydream to, she pictured herself with Grandma already — one whole week, just the two of them.
Brodie shifts the knapsack across her shoulders again, and I flinch. Inside, the rounded corners of my empty pages scrape across the canvas of her worn knapsack. I've spent years inside Brodie's packs moving between foster homes, hoping that she would put words on my pages and make me live.
Sometimes, Andi swore she was actually Cinderella. No handsome prince on the horizon, but still. Her parents were never that stable a match, and dad vanishing when she was ten hadn't been a big shock. Her mother dying from cancer three years later while she was starting high school, was. And living with her paternal grandparents wasn't exactly a bed of roses. They hadn't seen their son since he took off, and somehow they blamed Andi and her mom for that.
My Little Black Book
My Little Black Book: 51 First Dates By Angela-Rose Mangano Do you ever have those moments where something arrives just at the right time and just for you? Like divine intervention! You’re not sure why, however you don’t need to know why and you are so deeply and sincerely grateful.
Everything is Right
Every Tuesday, Trish would go over to her aunt’s house to do nothing. They talked every day, multiple times a day! It didn’t matter what they were doing as long as they were doing it together.
Apprentice Becomes the Master
a tall man wearing an all-black suit standing over a dead body. The tall man was sobbing about the man who just died. The man was talking to the coroner. “This man is Sir Earl Williams who taught me about the real estate business and he was like a father to me. He also took care of me and my mother.” The coroner extended his hand for payment for the death certificate. Later that evening Edward and Sir Earl Williams' family was sitting in his mansion living room with the lawyer reading out his will. “ This is my last will for the distribution of my wealth at the time of my death. I want 200 million dollars to be given away to my foundation that gives poor and low-income families the tools to improve their way of living. I also want one billion dollars to be given to public schools across the country. Then I want to give my apprentice Edward twenty thousand dollars to take on an apprentice of his own. This should be enough to teach troubled youth the ways of business and to set them on a better path. Then the remaining amount of money shall be put into a trust managed by an advisor I chose in life, and my entire family should earn ten thousand dollars per month plus ten percent of profits at the end of the year. My apprentice also should have black notebooks with each containing letters on the covers. All of you live a life in peace, and remember me as a kind and giving man.” Three days later Edward was in his office looking over architect’s designs for a hotel to be opened on mars. When he looked down with baskets filled with notebooks, he pulled out the case to open the first notebook. Edward began to start reading the note attached to the notebook, then note read. “Three days after the reading of my will there my apprentice shall read the notebook and begin to start to look for an apprentice.” Then he turned to the first page and it started to tell the story of how Edward met his former master. It was a cold winter day in new hope city and I was walking down the street to get into my office. When I was about to enter the office this little boy ran into me with such force I lost my dead wife's left earring. I started to yell at the boy with anger, then as I was doing that he started to cry with a tear rolling down the side of his cheek. That when I knew I was wrong and tried to bring the boy happiness back while doing it brought back the joy that was sucked out of seeing my pregnant wife’s corpse burn at the morgue. Then asked him what his dream job was. “I want to be a real estate developer.” exclaimed the little boy. Then he heard footsteps entering the office; it was his secretary, the little boy’s mother. Ms.Laba, what is your son's name? “His name is Edward and should have been at Mrs. Lisa’s house. Sorry sir for the disturbance and I should take him to be babysat with Mrs.Lisa,” exclaimed Ms.Laba. “No the boy could stay here for he could learn a thing or two about what we do in the office,” exclaimed Sir Earl Williams. “Sir I have just paid Mrs.Lisa and she is still mad at paying the rent late.” “ Do not worry about that, I will reimburse you in your paycheck tomorrow. I want your son to stay with you for the weekend to help him learn the ways of a business for his future is bright. I am also giving you a raise for your years of faithful service.” Little Edward spent many weekends with Sir Edward learning how to run a real estate business, and then one weekend Sir Edward gave the teenaged Edward twenty thousand dollars to fix up an old house that is worth 500,000 if fixed up. That first project you completed successfully made
Something About Love
Something About Love Part I Love takes pleasure in the flowering of the truth. 1 Cor. 13:6 The Message Bible And They Call It Puppy Love. (His Story)
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