Category: Reflections

To The First Work: Day 28

I have chosen to love unabashed.

I have chosen to have my heart be what I lead with, weigh and listen to. 

What I have reason is love demands. It doesn’t just act.

Love demands service.

Love demands accountability and sincerity.

Love demands you participate.

Love demands you pay attention.

Love demands you act.

My first work is still love.


To The First Work-Day 13

The sexiest thing I have done is choose myself. All of me…

Choosing me has required accepting myself on a level that I wasn’t brave enough before. I think—especially as a Black woman!—you must accept yourself so that you can move in the world unencumbered!

Racism makes Black women shrink, second guess, and hate themselves.

Being Black and woman is a revolutionary act.

Self-love is a revolutionary act.

To The First Work-Day 12

Romantic love is great. It is a beautiful thing and I am a fan of it. With heartbreak being what it is, I am still open to marrying again.

Mixed in with that intentional dating, I now lead with my head and not my heart.

I pay attention to red flags.

I have no problem saying ‘No’.

I still like kisses.

I won’t smash on first dates.

I expect my partner to communicate, be present, and be faithful.

I’m a wife in an instant, hookup culture.

It’s weird outchea.

Life In Three Parts

I am tired of Kanye.

Donda’s son is working the REST of my nerves!

I didn’t want to write anything else about him. I planned on riding out this yearly YENAMI and go on about my business.

But the t-shirts. The tweets. Tucker Carlson. The school shooter comments…and the inevitable slide into anti-Semitism powered by anti-Blackness.

I couldn’t be quiet. And I got heated. Then…I started writing.

Kanye Omari West–who’s name means Only One–is gone. And we need to not wait for him to come him to come back.

Out of respect for the dead, we give a eulogy, right?


In The End, It All Still Matters

I decided to believe in myself, and this series enough to make this a book of essays. Look for this book of the same name in May 2022. -JBH

I am a lover and a fighter. I am a silk hand in an iron glove. I am the same woman that can house love and fury, which do sometimes intersect in my linguistic acrobatics.

For that reason, I won’t give up on love. That emotion is too powerful to abandon, and love to great a reward to forsake. Yet, there are still so many things in the world that need to be changed, realized, and can be, will only be changed through love.

I am learning that love is three fold: power, acknowledgement and resolve. Love is never something weak, to be looked at as if it were something weak. Yet, even as it relates to writing, this is still a work of love. A record that someone in the world saw, lived, and left a record of someone whom strived to do better. To love a little better, a little wider, and to protect a little more. But, by heart–and I feel much like the Apostle Paul this way! The desire in me to change the world is so great, and also there are days where I want to leave the world to burn by the timber and fuel of its on ignorance! But I am reminded of my own heart, that ability to love, right?

In that own inner wisdom, I have said, “We fight, because we cannot afford to die.” This, too, is love.

In The Meantime…

There is a writer girlfriend of mine, Jessie Sandoval, who said this: “St. Louis will either make you a warrior, or a poet.” Being one whom is a native of this town, this is absolutely correct.

In being raised in a city that is blatantly racist, that operates in systemic oppression where #FergusonIsEverywhere, writing was always my outlet. It was always my weapon, my tool, and my way out. The fact that I happened to write a good love poem every now and then, didn’t mean that my desire to burn down every oppressive tool and idol in Missouri went away!

At this point in time, I realize that both portions of my creativity are needed. With the most essential thing being that my heart needs to stay soft. That is the most revolutionary thing that happens to activists, and it feels like a magic trick! You have to be prepared to fight, and at the same time, protect your heart enough to see what is wrong around you to not become cyclic or apathetic!

That is what I am doing, dear ones. I am sure you may have heard the term “the iron fist in the silk glove”. I believe this applies to me more than I thought it would! I am learning that I have to be soft enough to draw in the people I need to protect, to love, and to serve, and strong enough to protect them.

I know I won’t get it right all the time, but I can’t quit. There is entirely too much at stake. James Baldwin reminds all writers to do their work so that, “When I am needed, I will be there.” This iron fist in a silk glove is just part of that work.

What Does A Warrior Do On Valentine’s Day?

Today, Love Day, and I looking at the books that I have to submit to Amazon, and the happiness I have there, and have found in this new relationship. In writing Next Lifetime Things, this was a book which was totally unexpected! It’s not like that I gave up on love–but I wasn’t looking for it. Trust, no one is as shocked as me–no one!

So this Valentine’s Day, I am in the presence of a man that adores me. He opens doors for me, and remembers just how I like coffee, complete with cheek kisses.

Yet, as I sit her, happy, caffeinated, and with my legs in his lap as we watch television, I am reminded of Breonna Taylor and how she was with her love when her life ended. I am thinking of all the Black men who didn’t come home to their wives. I think about how tired I am of writing about grief, abuses, and trauma!

Then, as I let the anger settle, something else rumbles from that.

It is hot, and simmering, and comes through the deftness of my fingers.

What does a warrior do on Valentine’s Day? Warriors still fight, still war, because they believe in love, in justice and peace. We may just eat chocolate first.

When The Pen Is As Sharp As The Sword

“Women are powerful and dangerous.” -Audre Lorde

What I have learned in this Level 40 of being Black and woman my heart is both a liability and an asset. I am loyal to a fault, and when I am done with a person, I am completely finished. What I find interesting is when people hear or know that you are a ‘love poet’, they assume you have no other passions than love, lust or sex.

No, not at all.

Through my maturity, aging, and personal activism, my concept of love has done two things: strengthened my ability to love and be reminded that be being passionate means I need to be able to confront what I see around me that is wrong.

As one whom is Black and woman, my concerns for my community, my family, the world at large fuel my activism in a way that love makes one bold, vulnerable and strong. The trickiest thing I have to keep in mind as my healing of mind and heart continue, is to keep my heart soft.

Again–my heart is an asset. It is a liability. It is mine.

I love hard. I am not afraid of commitment. I am afraid of becoming impervious–unwilling to be vulnerable again, because there is no safety to be such. That warrior in me and the lover in me take counsel in the words of another warrior-scholar, “Remember to use your genius, soldier, when nobody is around.”

February 2022 Overview

I am a love poet. What does that mean, exactly: It means that the subject of most of my poetry (which you can find on Amazon–click here) is about love and relationships. I’m a love poet!

I accept that. I’m cool with that.

Then, there is that matter of wanting to change the world, fight injustice, dismantle white supremacy, protect Black women and girls, speak to the king in Black men and boys, and wants to see the world better by the time I leave it! Some of that requires me to put down love and pick up sword. But, that is the trick!

It is because of love that I am able to pick up the sword.

It is because of love that I speak truth to power.

It it is because of love, that I believe the world can be–should be!–better when I leave it.

Yet–I am aware that because love is a power source, I cannot be limited to it’s ‘softer’ more romantic nature. The world I know maneuver through, raise my daughters in, and work in, is at war! The wars are on multiple levels, on multiple fronts, with continued loss of life.

February is a month that I get to examine this, and maybe we can all get free together.