Tag: writing

And It Starts…

Oh my!

Family, I must tell you that I know I have to catch things up. Bare with me while I do! There are pieces I scheduled and didn’t complete, poetry I have to post, and things I have to do for sanity and business sake.

The inundating of posted work and think pieces is coming.

Trust me…it’s coming.

30-DAY WRITING CHALLENGE (2022)- DAY 2

When I think of my earliest memory, I think of my father.

When I was about three, my father would take me to my grandmother’s house while he worked and my mom went to work. He had a habit of picking me up, and carrying me to the door. In these earliest memories, I am in the cute purple coat, and nested into his shoulder.

Comfy and safe.

For this particular memory, I remember how brown the bricks on my grandmother’s house were. How deliberate his steps were. How precious I was to him, even as a three-year-old daughter. It is this since of safety that I have sought since I have started dating. If there is a man that could make me feel safer than him, that was my queue that he was someone I could be serious about.

The thing which is resonates the most to be about this memory is the sound–the sound of my father’s feet. The sound of the gate shutting behind him. His feel on the brick walk way. And how he held me, all precious and as if I was all there could ever be in the world.

And it is a reminder that whenever I miss my father, he is still there.

30-DAY WRITING CHALLENGE (2022): DAY 1

As great as social media is it is incredibly problematic! Don’t get me wrong, one of reasons that some of you even know who I am is because of social media (with that follow me on IG/Twitter (@authorjbharris) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thephoenixalsorises))! Yet, these are the 5 things that I see are problematic on this invention known as social media:

1.) Illusions become reality. In the social media reality that can be sculpted with filters and hashtags, it is easy to think less of your life and more of someone else’s. It is becoming harder and harder to figure out what is real and what isn’t!

2.) Knee-jerk friendship ending. Social media has made ending friendships way too easy; manipulating communication and weaponizing language in such a way that friendships which took years to make, can be ended with keystrokes. That is disturbing to me.

3.) Cowardice is viral! Social media has made it way too easy to create a sock puppet account and accost other people rather than saying what you need to say, or want to say, feel bold enough to say without any ramifications.

4.) The oversharing! Social media is not the place for your heart to bleed, or all to blow up in your face. The dark urges of humanity feed on suffering.

5.) Apps make us selfish. Social media is addictive because it allows us to focus just on us…for as long as we want. This is to the detriment of all things around us which need our attention! Being that focused on us, just us, will have us develop a type of narcissism that thrives on just we want–and life doesn’t work or accommodate to just us!

As great as social media is, remember that the world outside your phone still exists.

The Miles Matter: Overview

This overview will include spoilers. But by the time you are reading this, Spider-Man: No Way Home should be streaming. -JBHarris

I am a writer. I am a Black woman. I am a writer. I am a blerd.

With that said, I am also dedicated Spider-Man fan. Thanks to my cousin Jason, I will always be. I mean, I was engaged in a torrid saga with a man whom I nicknamed Peter Parker, and I was MJ!

But enough of that.

What I want to talk about this month is representation. I want to talk about Miles Morales, and why the MCU keeps playing in the face of the Black fandom about him! The last straw was Jaime Foxx saying to Andrew’s Spidey (after he unmasked), that he thought he was Black. Moreover, he said, “There must be a Black Spider-man somewhere then.”

I took my daughters to see this particular Spidey installment Opening Night in the States: December 17, 2022. What follows for the next 4 weeks is going to be my options, my reflections, my feelings about why Miles is crucial to the MCU cannon, and why confining Miles Morales to comics, animation and video games is not good enough.

So, I have one question: Where is Miles Morales?

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.

Picking Up Where I Left Off…

I am a writer. I write.

I record, I look, I question and I write down. I concede that I there are things in my writing life that have scared me–if only because I didn’t know how to either start or continue a project. I mean, the SOCIAL MEDIA LYNCHING project–that is the project that knocked me so tough off my square that I walked away from this platform for two months! I didn’t feel qualified to write about race and technology and media! Who was I?!

Well, I am a Black woman whom is effected by race, technology and media. Who better to write about something than one experiencing everything first hand? Look for that on my Patreon account and through Medium (oh, I’m there now too!) in March. I have work to do.

There are also esssays that I want to write, things that are rolling around my head, that I was too afraid to admit where there. I mean, there is so much writing that I have to do! So, the question really is, “What is taking me so long?” Let me explain it this way, because there is no other way to say it.

I felt that I couldn’t write the ‘deep’ things–especially about race and gender. I thought if I had another degree to add to my name that would do it. In the two months I was MIA, I thought about this. I thought about what stopped me–what hindered me, and what scared me about what I wanted to write. When I figured it out, I was that much more upset: FEAR.

Plain and simple. It’s not that I didn’t think that I could…I was afraid to! The fear was having to keep defending what I said, rather than just saying that I had to say and keep going. This comes along with writing–and I am done cowering from that. It took this heartbreak, this time away, to do what I know I can do.

And from there? I pick up my pen and keep going. About time, right?

Left. Right. Front. Center.

“My authenticity comes the street, whether I’ve been there or not.” -Toni Morrison

One of the things that I love about writing as a Black woman is that I am writing as a Black woman! I have an eye that few people in the world do, or could ever conceive of having. Yet, for that cause, I am often overlooked–either because of race, gender or both. Yet, I am encouraged by the words of Shonda Lynn Rhimes–if I am a writer, I have to write. There is no other way around that! And if there is no path set, I make it!

I mean, my background for the social media was a tweet from her about “writers being lured” and her refuting that. Shonda said, “I am the candy.” And, I live and direct my writing life by that quote. I understand, uniquely even, that when I say something, three things will happen:

1.) It will be held as aggressive.

2.) I will be seen as complaining.

3.) I will be asking for attention I perhaps didn’t ask for.

As a Black woman that writes, I have had to develop a level of toughness backed by the acronym ISWIS: I Said What I Said. I have given myself the permission to “have the audacity” to say exactly what I said, like I said, when I said it. This does not mean that what I express is meant to wound, or vitriol and venom is all that I have to give to a situation. No, not at all! What I do know is when I say what I say, I need to mean it, while measuring my words if needed.

Yet, I write.

Yet, I hold space.

Yet, I will not be silent.

Yet, I STILL said what I said.

Book Announcement-THE TRADITIONAL WOMEN, VOLUME 1

Click here and grab a copy.

This is a book that I didn’t think I would ever write. I promise you that I didn’t! But let me back up a little.

I have been in on TikTok (Be a cool kid and follow me–@whatjayesaid2.0) for over a year, and from me getting involved in this debacle of dating, being the right kind of Black woman, and falling into the hands of the Red Pill Army, and that fire Audre Lorde told me I had was the only way I could free myself!

From that, began the storytelling. In this book, there are over 100 stories!

These stories are from women (and some men) whom all walks of life!

From a woman whose great-grandmother ‘shot up the house of the side chick’ and stole her groceries, to a grandma who set her husband on fire, and a grandmother who emptied a clip into a coffin of her dead husband after dragging his side chick for crying too loud in church!

These stories are not an endorsement of violence, by no means! It is proof that these ‘traditional women’ this Red Pill Army wants–don’t exist. And they never did.

Thank you so much, Jayebirds!

Trust–there is a Volume Two coming.

“I Have The Audacity”…

This picture was taken from Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Twitter account. I am using it as a reminder to be bold, be present, and fear no word I utter. If you aren’t following her already–you need to be. -JBH

My hero: Nikole Hannah-Jones

Sometimes you just need a reminder of you own power.

For the past three months, I have wrestled with believing that I could come back to this space like I wanted, and knew that I needed to. There is a certain something about being a writer–the strength that you need to keep going, you will inevitably find!

There are still 3-4 projects that I need to do that is going to require strength and research, and then I got my second wind from new Howard University instructor, NYT journalist, creator of The 1619 Project (and the woman whom I am convinced is the real Jean “Phoenix” Grey-Summers), Nikole Hannah-Jones.

One of the things that is crucial to this space is the fact that I pride myself on writing without a filter.

Pen with no cap.

Liquor no chaser.

Don’t nothing move but these pages!

One of those reasons for that renewed strength is…Nikole. There is a boldness in her that I do see in myself. And as the walls of the cares of the world fell on me, I feared being attacked for what I said. I got scared of being banned from a platform I was building! I didn’t think that I really could BE this writer with all these ‘things’ haunting me. Then I remembered Nikole.

I remembered…who I was, and that I refuse to fear what I would have to say. That is ridiculous.

Read it again: I remembered who I was, and that I refuse to fear what I would have to say.

Whew! This 3 months of silence has me locked and loaded. Torch has been relit. But, I got my fight back. I rested. I ruminated. I cried. I prayed. I doubted. And I’m back.