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The Strength Of Mother Africa (Soliloquy for female)

Posted in Love, poetry, prose, relationships, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by joelle blackstarr


            This is a play about a Black woman, a mother, a lover.  She finds that for whatever reason, she is about to lose her man, her family, her life.  If we should assess our situations, and find ourselves not unlike this Black woman, it may be well worth our time to give the answers that she gives.

(She turns to the right, as if looking up a set of stairs.)

            “No – you’re not getting anything else to drink tonight.  Now, close your eyes and go to sleep.  Good – I love you, too”.

(She turns to the front of the stage and pauses.  She takes a deep breath as if getting herself together.  She wipes her eyes with a tissue that is in her hand, and then turns left to face the man who is seated at the nearby table.)

            “I can’t begin to tell you how I feel.  Just what the hell is it that you want?  Am I a disappointment to you?  Do I nag too much?  I try my best to be the woman that makes you happy, but with all my efforts, the best you can do is stay in the streets.  Well, this is for you”.

(She balls up the wet tissue and throws it at the man)

            “Those are the last of my tears.  I refuse to cry another drop.  Don’t think for one minute that my tears are a sign of weakness.  Those tears are the emotions that come from my heart.  I am not weak, I am strong.  I am the pride of Mother Africa, and the most extreme conditions only serve to make me stronger.  So, if you think that I am going to fall apart, if you think that I’ll just roll over and die . . . think again.  I am the woman who loves you.  I need you, and you need me.  You have two children up those stairs who think the world of you, and you still can’t be happy.

You might as well start smiling, because this is where you belong, and this is where you’ll stay.  Is there another woman out there that you think can make a better home for you?  I never thought that you’d cheat on me, and, right now, I still don’t think it can happen.  But, on the outside chance that there is another woman, be advised that you belong to me.  You tell that wench that I will bring her mad drama!

That’s always the first thing that comes to mind.  I suppose that the streets and you so-called friends can try to take you, as well.  Have you forgotten who I am?  I am the woman who has been at your side through it all.  When Mister Charlie said he didn’t need you anymore, it was this Black woman who went out and got a job.  It wasn’t because I was hungry – it was because you are my man.  Who cries in your place when your macho standards hold your tears inside?  Who hurts with you when prejudice tries to make you believe that you’re less than a man?  Tonight, I remind you . . . in case you’ve forgotten.”

(She raises her hand in a “Don’t speak!” manner, and then runs her fingers across her lips.)

            “These are lips to die for.  These are the lips that kiss away the pain when you think life’s not worth living.  They speak the words that make your heart sing, words like ‘I love you’.  When passion comes to play, these lips glide across your body, and send you into ecstasy.”

(She smacks her hip with her right hand.)

            These hips are strong.  They bore babies for you, and they still rotate like the earth on its axis.”

(She cups her breasts with both hands.)

            “These are the breast that fed Mother’s Milk to your children.  I know that they hang a bit more than they used to, but, even now, when your hands caress them, it’s you who breaks out in a cold sweat.  It’s your moans that echo into the night.”

(She sweeps her arm the length of her body.)

            “Black man . . . tell me you don’t want some of this, and you can walk out that door and never look back.  I won’t lift a finger to stop you.  But, the, again, I won’t have to, because you know you can’t walk out on this.”

(She walks over to the chair where the man is seated, and lifts one foot onto the chair beside him.)

            “I get older with each new day, but I keep myself desirable for you and only you.  Touch this skin and tell me that you are leaving me.  I defy you.”

(She returns her foot to the floor and kneels beside him.  She grabs his hand and holds it to her heart.)

            “Touch my heart and tell me that you can’t feel the love that waits for you, and I will set you free.  My heart beats only because there is you.  You can’t find a woman who loves you more . . . because she doesn’t exist.”

(She rises and walks back to center stage.)

            “Yes – my body is worn and I have seen a few years, but I am no where near finished.  I don’t have to beg you to stay.  If you leave, there will be another to take your place, and willingly.  But, that’s not going to happen.  Understand that I am not begging you – I’m just trying to make it plain.  You belong to me.  If there is no other woman, then you tell the streets that they can’t have you either.  Do the streets keep you warm at night?  Do they feed you when you’re hungry?  Do they love you when that need comes over your body?  No?  I thought not.  Well, they can’t have you.  I refuse to let you go.  You’re a good man.  If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have to leave.  I’d walk out the door my damn self.  But, you’re a good man, with a good mind, and a good heart.  This body, this mind, this heart . . . they draw their strength from Mother Africa.  Nations have conquered every part of her, and she has managed to survive.  She has managed to thrive.  As she is strong . . . so . . . am . . . I, and I will not be defeated.”

(She begins picking up clothes from the backs of chairs.)

            “I’m done.  My ranting is over.  I’ve already bolted the front door.  Don’t think that puts you on lockdown.  I’d be the last woman to try and kill your spirit and freedom which lies within you.  You have a key.  You have both the ability and the right to walk out that door, just like you’ve been doing, lately.  But, hear me, Black man:  I’m going upstairs, and if you know like I know, tonight, and every night hereafter, you’ll be right behind me, to warm my feet and caress my body and to make me understand that . . .

(She touches her finger to his forehead.)

You have not . . . lost . . . your mind!”

(She turns towards the imaginary stairs and walks off the stage.  Fade to black.)


copyright 1997 blackstarr


Day 2 (racial discrimination)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, social commentary with tags , , , on July 11, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

As I scanned cyberspace yesterday, I came across several interesting posts about the recent death of Jesse Helms.  The most fascinating post was highlighting some of the things that he said over the years concerning Black people, not a term with which he had come to grips.  He rather favored terms that we have come to know as most foul, as concerns Black people.  Not one to smirk at death, even when it is the death of one of the most despicable people to ever walk the face of the earth, I find it impossible to grieve in the least bit.  I hated everything that he stood for.  I despised the things that he did during his career that  helped to hold Black people back.

Yet, with all of his bigotry, he moved us to strive even harder.  It seems that the bigotry that is outwardly exhibited in some Caucasians is the very thing that gets us motivated.  I’m certain that you can remember the ruckus that the bigoted  Don Imus brought us.  You can recall the prejudicial outbursts made by Michael Richards (aka Kramer of Seinfeld fame).  Without intentionally trying to bring tears to your eyes, I remind you of the unarmed Amadou Diallo, shot forty-one (41) times by New York’s “finest”.  Last, and certainly last year’s biggest thorn, the Jena Six.  All of these events are historic in that they brought out the worst in American Caucasians.  They also got us, Black Americana, to move to action.  Letters were written, shows were protested, and marches were made.  When we are outraged enough, we will get off of our a$$e$ and do something.

When we are discriminated against, or feel that we have been, we are right to move into action.  We are correct in thinking that something needs to be done.  The majority of the time, the wrongdoing is being done by some Caucasian or Caucasians and we are quick to act, sometimes lightning quick.   Jesse Helms, Don Imus, and Michael Richards became “non-entities” in my eyes, long ago.  I trust that Helms made peace with God for all that he has done.  As for Imus and Richards, they have apologized for the statements they made.  I accepted those apologies but those persons still remain non-entities in my eyes.  I simply no longer recognize them as anything of importance to me.

What, then, do we do when the racial slurs and discrimination are being perpetrated by Black Americana itself?  Do we march?  Do we write letters?  Do we boycott? 

We process what we have heard or seen, digest it, and take a long hard swallow.  We then continue along our merry way as if what was said or done was of no relevance.

When racial epithets rear their ugly head and that head is attached to Black Americana, we need to move into action just as quickly and boldly as we do when that racism comes from Caucasians.  In my mind, those Black Americana that I speak of also become non-entities in my mind.  I am speaking specifically  about Kanye West. Having processed him into a non-entity, it pains me to even type his name on the page.

My boycott of Kanye West started when I got wind of some remarks that he made back in January 2007, remarks that he made in an issue of Essence Magazine.  The article states that he said “If it wasn’t for race mixing, there’d be no video girls”.  This referred to the incessant method of choosing women to star in music videos who are of mixed heritage, basically of lighter skin pigmentation.  He went on to say “Me and most of our friends like mutts” and concluded with “Yeah, in the hood, we call ’em mutts”.  He actually called them dogs.

Considering the fact that my brother is married to a German woman (translation: Caucasian), their three lovely daughters, who are my three lovely nieces, fall into that category.  When it hits home, one tends to take things personally.  My nieces are the most wonderful, sweetest young ladies to grace this green earth.  They are, by no means, dogs, or as West put it, mutts.  Had these statements been made by a Caucasian, we would have been up in arms.  Instead, we continue to purchase his CD’s and attend his concerts, lauding him with awards out the ying yang.  Michael Richards is a very humorous comedian, but, his talent does not afford him a pass.  Don Imus has the uncanny power to stir up tension on his talk shows, but, again, his talents do not gain him a pass.  In my book, no one gets a pass . . . not Richards, not Imus, and certainly not West.  Caucasians may lead the way, but they hold no monopoly on racism.  We, as a people, need to stop letting a$$holes like West get away with murder.  We need to hold them accountable.  We need to let them know that they cannot – Black, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, nor anything else – continue to degrade our people without some form of repercussion for the evil that they perpetrate.

Imus made an apology.  He is, no less, back to his normal antics, but, nonetheless, has made an apology for the remarks that first got him into hot water with Black Americana.  Richards has bowed down and vowed that such outbursts will never happen again.  So far, so good.  I have more respect for the two them than I have for West, if only for the fact that they had the sense to acknowledge their errors and ask forgiveness.  In a way, I can almost forgive Jesse Helms in that he knew he was a bigot and stood by what he believed in.  As for West he is nothing more than a bigoted a$$hole who needs to be blackballed by Black Americana until he finally sees fit to do the right thing.

Whether it is Fiddy, Diddy, Obama, or his mama – no one gets a pass – certainly not this a$$hole.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

i get ticked off. . . number two

Posted in social commentary with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

i get ticked off by ignorant Black people. i’m not talking about “ignant” Black people. “ignant” Black people can be intelligent, likable, angelic, or basically just like nearly any person that you’ve ever come across. they just tend to become “ghetto” from time to time. they tend to get loud. they tend to get drunk. they tend to get . . . on my nerves. that’s ok, though. they’re cool with me. it’s the ignorant black people who have a way of arousing an anger from deep within me that gets out of control.

what does Tony Montana have in common with Al Capone? he is beloved, mimicked, honored, adored, and has been quoted by ignorant Black people all over this nation. these ignorant Black people range in age from ten years old to thirty years old and beyond. the clearest display of such ignorance comes from rappers. they take on names like Tony Montana, Al Capone, Idi Amin, and countless other names of some of the most despicable people to ever grace the pages of history. they, somehow, come to the erroneous conclusion that those people are cool, that they are suave. the domino effect takes place in that youngsters look up to those rappers and because their “heroes” think that it’s ok, then it should also be ok for them (youngsters) to do the same. these ignorant rappers find no fault in glorifying evil personified, or with passing on that idiotic behavior to those who are all too willing to follow their every move.

Denzel Washington portrayed the notorious Frank Lucas in the film American Gangster (2007). i have not been able to follow the fallout which may have ensued, considering that the movie was a huge success. i did happen to catch Mr. Washington on Oprah when he was marketing another movie which came out the same year, The Great Debaters. memory fails me, as i don’t remember the exact question that oprah asked, but, the response from denzel washington, regarding the character frank lucas, was something to the effect of “he wasn’t a bad guy. he was just a clearly focused man.”. coming from denzel, i was taken aback. i surmised that it was probably said with sarcasm (was it?). nevertheless, I took it at face value. if young America (old for that matter) looks up to anyone, denzel washington would be the king of all celebrity worship. for him to make a remark of that caliber with such a nonchalant attitude is irresponsible at best.

at a special Los Angeles screening of the movie, Denzel Washington said “you know i don’t like to categorize – good guy, bad guy. one has to decide for one’s self who the bad guy is in this film, who the gangster is in this film”. admittedly, that is a bit milder than the statement made on Oprah, but, come on . . . it makes a lesser mind wonder whether Lucas was actually a bad guy and whether or not his actions are worth imitating. again – irresponsible gibberish from a total icon. it’s one thing to watch, in awe, movies such as Scarface, American Gangster, and The Godfather. the flip side is to emulate their antics in real life – i.e. becoming dastardly, real-life characters and finding themselves behind bars for a very long time, or find themselves paying the ultimate penalty of ignorance – death.

i get ticked off by ignorant Black people who idolize gangsters and “bad guys”. i get ticked off by ignorant Black people who then proceed to pattern their lives after such heinous criminals. there were some extremely bad-assed Black people in recent history who are more than worthy of emulation. of all the Xs, of all the Hueys, of all of the Angelas, and of all the H. Rap Browns, who do the ignorant Black people choose to immortalize?

freedom says that no one gets a pass.

copyright © 2008 freedom –

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i get pissed off. . .

Posted in social commentary with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

i get pissed off at racist white people. i get ticked off by ignorant black people. i am miffed by black women who constantly put brothers down. i am angry at brothers who refuse to step up, man-up, and pay up for the children that they’ve neglected. i get infuriated with politicians. i get . . .

“i get” number one . . .

white people hold no monopoly on racism, but, they certainly lead the pack. most of my Caucasian friends have no clue as to what it’s like to be black and try as they may, their attempts are quite feeble, not to mention annoying. i am sick to death of being told to stop bringing up race. they are not at the receiving end of racial discrimination. evidently, they seem to think that discrimination is a thing of the past. one reality is that if we should stop bringing up the race issue, that will only serve to make them truly believe that discrimination is a thing of the past. i am that constant reminder that it is far from gone. i’m not asking for any of them to step into my shoes and feel the pain. the fact is, i hope that neither they nor anyone else ever has to feel the pain. i’m just asking that they stop intimating that discrimination is history, and that I should not continue to bring up the race issue.

why does there always seem to be a problem with me bringing up the subject of race? it happens to be a dominant portion of my daily life, and certainly not by choice. the fact of the matter is that i usually don’t have to bring it up – they bring it up themselves. the subject most often comes into play when they mention the holocaust (not the black one in Rwanda, the Jewish one in Germany). when i decry that it was an historic disaster but that slavery in the U.S. was just as catastrophic, the almost inevitable answer is : why do you always have to make it about race? unlike a lot of people, i’ve never seen race as a problematic piece of subject matter. i am beginning to believe that the reason my friends don’t want me to tackle the subject is that they know deep inside that they are probably guilty of some of the same disgusting habits that i often attack when it comes to race relations.

i recall my many years of being a part of the work force, and one blatant example comes to mind. i’d be sitting in the lunchroom, just about finished eating, when a Caucasian friend asks “you want these chips?” when i reply “no, thanks”, the retort is “i was only going to throw them away – you may as well have them.” that’s followed by them tossing the bag onto the table near me like they didn’t hear me say “no, thanks.” that burns me up like nothing else. they, somehow, don’t realize that what i hear is “here – take my trash. i’m done with it.” perhaps they do it to everyone, but, i can only see it from my vantage.

i’ll take a guess and say that as long as i am Black, i’ll continue to bring up the subjects of race and racial discrimination. that’s not because I want to keep something going or continue to blame them for many of the missed opportunities caused by their words and actions – in fact, the opposite holds true. i wish that there would come a day when i’d never have to bring it up again because it had been totally obliterated. things being what they are, i want to be . . . need to be that constant reminder that racial discrimination is still very much a part of most Black folks’ lives, and possibly always will be.

freedom says that no one gets a pass.

copyright © 2008 freedom –