Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Sunday evening in New York City. It's cold and there's, at least, fifteen inches of snow on the ground. Am I angry black man in need of warmth and sun? No! I decided to acquiesce to the forces of nature and shut my mouth, until next week.

It's been a while since I posted anything here at digablepoet speaks.  In fact, I'm feeling a little rusty.  But I'll be back soon with some fresh flow: a review of the James Cameron's Avatar and my thoughts on media lynching of Tiger Woods.  


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hey People.

I'm spending a lot of time over at TheRoot this week.

Until next time,


Monday, March 10, 2008

CELEBRATING 100 years!

My father's aunt turns 100 today. Her name is Lillie Mae Ushery. And let me tell you, she is as vibrant and funny and boldly intelligent as she was when I first remember her as a kid.

She was born in Union Point, Georgia. The daughter of Martha Mitchell Jenkins and Allen Jackson. Her mother, Martha, was a twin and the second-to-last daughter born to former slave parents. Lillie Mae and my grandmother Beatrice spent a lot of time with their former slave grandparents and remembered them very well.

When she was only five or six, a black man from a neighboring town was accused of stealing goods from a grocer and was on the run. Several white men decided to scour Union Point for him, knocking on the doors of black residents and demanding to come inside and search for the fugitive. Well, when they arrived at Charlie Jenkins' house, Lillie Mae's 26 year old brother, they were not allowed inside. Charlie would not have it. And that's when things got dangerous. Charlie told the white men they had no right to come inside or to be on his property. They were trespassing. Later that night, a mob of white men returned and hung Charlie from his tree as his young wife and children looked on.

The courage and bravery of her brother runs thick through the Jenkins clan. Martha Mitchell Jenkins, the matriarch, was a bootlegger who later moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia where her independence infuriated and inspired many. Lillie Mae also stands high on bravery. She openly speaks her mind about politics and/or the foolishness of a fool's behavior. And she's always in support of another's desire to be themselves, to live how they wish. Several years ago, she even came to my defense. My father's much-older brother insisted the only way I could become a man was to join the Army [not an uncommon destination for midwesterners], but within seconds Aunt Lillie Mae rose up from her chair and said to my uncle: Why? So he can turn out like you?" And the YOU she stressed carried the weight of a laugh and a dismissal.

There's big celebrations in Cincinnati today for Aunt Lille Mae. So if you have a few seconds, toast Lille Mae Ushery. At 100, she's still thinking strong!

Until next time,


Friday, February 22, 2008

Hey People. In case you don't find me here, you can always find me over at TheRoot.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Two years ago [on February 1, 2006] I started this blog.

So this week I celebrate Digable-Poet Speaks' SECOND ANNIVERSARY. I'm proud of myself for exploring my voice, passions and confusions with the public. And I SO SO appreciate all of you who have supported me [and those of who you simply pass through every now and then]. If I didn't know you were out there reading I wouldn't have the desire to share. It's all about EXCHANGE in my world. If we don't know how we feel then how can real personal or social progress really happen.

So celebrate with me this week by going out and doing something nice for yourself. Treat yourself well. And don't ever forget how brilliant and provocative and endearing your life should always be.

Happy SECOND-YEAR Anniversary and thanks again for sharing in my exchange.

Until next time,


Thursday, January 31, 2008

I thought of my grandfathers today. Clyde Grant Elder Sr and Clarence Adkins. I thought of Clyde driving into the University of Cincinnati every day, enjoying his lucrative job as engineer, or not. Then going home and listening to his Train albums and his Latin music. I thought of Clarence walking a good ten miles from his home on Forest Avenue to his new job at General Electric circa 1942. I guess that trek wasn't too crazy. He was a Georgia man afterall and walking miles to the grocer or school was part of his natural understanding of things.

Clarence died when I was nine and Clyde passed away when I was nineteen. I remember them both. One brown, one very light. One a minister and mysteriously wise, the other-secular and charming. Both had beautiful wives and lots of friends and family who simply adored them. I'm not certain what their dreams were like. I don't even remember their favorite foods [although Clyde loved gumbo and seafood of any kind]. I know one died of bone cancer, the other a massive heart attack. Clarence's wife always seemed honored and pleased whenever asked about her husband. Particularly the time they met on a red-clay road in Georgia. Clyde's wife was not so doting during posthumous discussion of her spouse. Although the tale of kissing my grandfather was often highlighted by her disgust with a nosey aunt.

Whatever they dreamed, who they REALLY loved, what they actually thought I'll never know. I do know their worlds must have appeared wide and unlimited. That anything was possible. And I'm sure they never once imagined their grandson living in New York City, taking a moment to remember that without their choices, however triumphant, however daunting, he'd be able to take bigger steps and think wide as the sky.

Until next time,


Monday, January 28, 2008

So here's the deal: I've been writing this blog for two years. I've explored, experimented, I even broke the shit down occasionally. But last week I got this exciting call from Lynette Clemetson by recommendation of Veronica Chambers and was told The Washington Post and Newsweek Interactive along with Henry Louis Gates was starting a new online magazine, AND they wanted to know if I'd blog for it. A brother most certainly said YES.

So, starting tomorrow, TUESDAY, JANUARY 29 I'll be blogging under the branding ON THE DIG at The Root. It's a new, exciting online mag that focuses on the black experience. But here's the twist: It's going to be smart, provocative and offer tools for genealogy. It may even hurt some folks' feelings.

Hit it up and support and just... DO YOU.

Until next time,