I’m Black and I’m a Rock Musician. WTF Do I Do?

I really am not sure. I know I should just keep making music, and I will, but to what end? To be an addendum; tacked on after I’m dead? I have never been the type to settle for less than what I deserve, but this is a beast that I honestly do not understand. White culture and the way White people see things is not the default perspective. It is incomplete, distorted, and wholly irrational. Yet I, who is normal, am supposed to see things as they do, which is not normal and I don’t want to, but also, I just can’t. I don’t understand it. I don’t know how you can look at people and really believe that they have no right to surpass you, and if they are capable of doing so, you sabotage and erase them. You Tonya Harding the shit out of them, then just pretend you are the best, and they don’t exist. That is so fucked up but it took me so long to even realize that it was happening. Since it is not in my nature to be a hating ass bitch, I didn’t assume it was a norm for other people. We all think everyone thinks the same as we do. That’s why good hearted people tend to get fucked over and liars and cheaters are always suspicious that everyone is lying and cheating them. I am just now realizing that for me, as a rock musician, being exceptional is an obstacle. It is an obstacle for Black rock musicians in general, because we are trying to break through in a White space where it makes them insecure and angry if they cannot feel better than us.

The Black bands that get the most press are not the best. And I would always wonder why that is. It didn’t make sense. Same with white female bands. I would often get excited when there was a new female band getting hyped up. They were always white but whatever, at least they were women. I would pray their stuff would be better than mine. Just to have some competition. But they were always derivative and mediocre. I’m like, Why? Why is this the best female band you can find?

They’re not the best band. That is why they are not threatening. The men they deal with know they will never be bigger or better than them. They also “kiss the ring” and don’t challenge. That’s why they are chosen. And it is the same with Black bands. If white people feel that you could be bigger than them, they blank you. White women AND White men do this. I spent my entire 20s playing “Queer, feminist spaces” that were racist as fuck. You can’t be better than White people. You can’t be better than men. That’s the rule. That’s the law. And if anyone looks at you and feels that you can be, well, there go your kneecaps …

People need African women to be a permanent underclass. Whenever they catch a glimpse of you, they need to feel they are better in comparison to you. That’s why people will watch a 3 hour BBC documentary about African women being raped and having their genitals mutilated, but they would never watch a middle class African women led rom-com, action movie, or family drama. People need to believe we are worse off compared to themselves. When they don’t feel that way, it makes them jealous and angry. So they sabotage. They exclude. They attack. African women can’t be pretty. We can’t be smart. We can’t be skilled. Because you need us to be less than you so you can feel good about yourself.

When we show ourselves to be exceptional, it is proof that you don’t have to be White or male (or close to it) in order to be capable. And you’re so evil and fucked up that this truth actually makes you angry, and you harm people so you can delude yourself into believing only you can be on top. It’s so infuriating. But it’s only a problem because fans of rock music feel that way too. They would rather watch some shirtless White douche stand onstage in a Jesus pose than watch Black women be exceptional. And this includes Black and female fans of rock music. Black and/or female rock music fans are racist and sexist, period. They don’t fucking like themselves. That’s the problem. Of course the white bookers are racist. Of course the white press is racist. But no one is stopping Black people from starting an alternative music mag. No one is stopping them from opening venues and putting on shows. But the thing that I didn’t realize is that White male validation is a huge drive for people who aren’t white guys that make rock music. When I started my band, I was so pissed off at how racist everyone was that I started putting my own all Black shows together. As a young African woman doing this, none of the Black people I dealt with even respected me and most were so fucking rude and difficult. They don’t care because you’re not White. I once booked these Black women to play my show and they went ahead and booked another Brooklyn show the same fucking week. I got so pissed and was like “Why would you do that? You’ll dilute your audience and I am one person doing diy publicity/booking/everything whilst they have their whole hipster White network and a popular venue, bla bla.” They were like, “Well, they asked us and we didn’t want to burn any bridges.” I thought to myself, it’s interesting that they didn’t see me as a bridge they didn’t want to burn. But that is not how Black psychology works. You think your success will come at the hands of White people. You don’t think success looks like you. You don’t think it will come from you. You don’t evaluate the people you’re working with and what you’d be gaining in order to measure the value of any opportunity, you just go with whomever is Whitest. Then you wonder why you don’t have shit.

After I called them out, the band apologized and actually helped me a lot by getting their friend to let me put on the gig in his basement out of town because no NYC venue would book my show of an entirely Black lineup. They were only interested if there were majority white bands on the bill and only 1 Black band. Now these same racist ass venues have the nerve to post BLM shit *eyeroll*. Anyway, out of a desire to be supportive of fellow Black women musicians, I actually went to their hipster white booked show. I arrived earlier than their advertised set time, just to hang out or whatever and since they were a hometown band, the majority of the people that came were there to see them, like me, and they were supposed to go on in less than an hour. I found them and spoke to them. They told me it was good that I arrived early, because the white female booker had informed them UPON THEIR ARRIVAL that they would be going on about an hour earlier and their set was cut in half. I couldn’t believe it. I asked them what they were going to do about it but they just took it. They didn’t protest. More “bridge preservation”, I would assume. Anyway they went on to way less people than they would have played to if they didn’t get fucked over, but the people that came, came to see them so the crowd was really energetic and into it. They must have played 3, MAYBE 4 songs. Then they were off. Show over. It was ridiculous. I stayed long after they were done, just to see what White nonsense would play next. It was an all white female band that undoubtedly were friends with the booker or her “network” because they were from France (NO ONE knew who they were) and I think it was actually their first Brooklyn gig so why the FUCK were they headlining and not the BROOKLYN BAND THE ENTIRE CROWD ORIGINALLY CAME TO SEE. Anyway, they were SO bad. Just BORING, derivative, post punk Joy Division nonsense (and I like Joy Division) but it was literally the most boring thing I had ever seen. EVERY song sounded the same and their set was 45 MINUTES! But Black bands will put up with that treatment just to work with White people. They think that’s the way to success. Before I wrote this, I searched a few bands I came across or played music with back in the mid-late 2000s. Some got a ton of White press, some were signed, but none of them still make music. Or the ones that do, their views are still in the sub-5000 range. So you ate all that shit, tolerated all that mistreatment, but you are still in the same boat as me, who just did it on my own and didn’t accept nonsense. So what was the point? So concerned with maintaining White bridges, completely oblivious to the fact that they all lead to a brick wall.

So the only thing to do is keep going. I’ve had insane drive for most of my life and I have accomplished things and have bulldozed through situations that would have left most other people in a fucking mental institution. I am a goddamned beast and I am proud of that. But I don’t think an African woman’s life must be struggle. So I have decided not to struggle. I don’t push. I don’t send out press releases, I don’t email bookers. When I feel like writing, I write. When I feel like recording, I record. I am concerned with getting music out to people. People are everywhere. I don’t need to reach people through any white or male controlled system, because that is what gives them the power to shut you out. If I feel like playing, I just go busk. And I keep all my goddamned money myself. If I want to put out a single, I just put one out. I don’t go through other people because when you are Black and exceptional, every “bridge” becomes a wall. So just do it yourself. That is what I’ve learned. The more I’ve learned to do myself the easier everything has become. Gatekeepers don’t matter in an open field. I’ve always believed that and that is why I started my band. If shitheads won’t let you through, go around. Walk away. Build your own. I am one of the few Black people that thinks that way but that is why I’ve done so much on my own. I don’t need White people or men for anything. And neither do you.

I get sad when I read about Tina Bell or Betty Davis or any other amazing Black women that left the music industry. I can understand why, but I feel that it would be a waste for me to do that, though many wish I would. It was a different time for them. No internet was a motherfucker. I would not exist without computers, mp3s, digital recording or the internet. PERIOD. In the 21st century, there is no reason any Black artist should be putting up with disrespect in exchange for “opportunity”. As far as making big money, I don’t know. We are in a place in music where everyone would rather see Black musicians as whores, pimps and degenerates rather than intellectuals or revolutionaries. But so? Maybe we should be less concerned with giving the people what they want and more concerned with expressing ourselves as individuals. Being broke sucks but you can always get money. In many different ways. I could take time off, learn to be an electrician and make bank. I don’t have to be sucking on white balls and degrading myself my whole life. I just don’t believe that is the only option for me.

So yes, after all this writing, I still have not answered the question. As an African female rock musician, what do I do? Continue making amazing music, by myself, putting it out there, by myself, all the while being refreshed and rejuvenated by the tears of all the haters that couldn’t write a song 10% as good as mine with a gun to their head. And that’s it. No one is going to recognize a Black woman as the best or the first, even when you are. But their validation does not dictate your relevance or impact. When I started, that Lester Bangs article was barely ever referenced or spoken about and Black rock musicians were not feminist and anti racist. Now they all are. But it is one thing to get in where you can fit in and it is another to be brave enough to stand alone and tell the truth, whether white people pat you on the head or not. I don’t know if in my lifetime, we’ll get to a place where people will support a Black female rock musician getting onstage and being exceptional, but who cares. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Rock’n’roll, as Black people created it, was always about Black joy and how rebellious that is. Black people partying and dancing when their entire country was trying to kill them (and mostly succeeding). Used to be that the only people you saw on stage playing electric guitar were Black. White people refused to play rock’n’roll, calling it “race music” and “jungle music”. Did that stop Black artists then? So why should the whitewashed and corporatized rock music industry’s rejection of us stop us from playing rock’n’roll now? I don’t know how you can be Black and play punk rock and then spend your entire career yielding to white hegemony. Couldn’t be me. If they don’t accept you, do it yourself. THAT’S LITERALLY WHAT DIY MEANS. I’ve never seen so many people obsessed with being “real” be so calculated and fake as I have dealing with people who proclaim to be “punk” or “indie”. So fuck ’em. It’s Black innovation that created rock’n’roll and it’s Black innovation that will save it. We just have to not give up on ourselves. They can’t pretend we don’t exist if we don’t stop existing. And I think as Black rock musicians in the 21st century, we have more of an opportunity than anyone that came before us to be loud and to be everywhere and to exist and be heard whether White people “let us in” or not. I’m not 20 anymore so I really can’t even be bothered with 99% of humanity, like, I’m done. But if you’re 20 now, and you still have that fire in you, go out and burn this shit to the ground. There is nothing stopping you except your own mindset, your own deference to whiteness, and your own fear of being exceptional because you know that if you are, most people won’t like you. It’s difficult to be ostracized and disrespected by everyone, even your own people, but you get over it. Because seeing people behave like that makes you lose respect for them and if I don’t respect you, why would I give a fuck what you think? Even if I respect you, I won’t give a fuck what you think because my life exists to be lived and validated by me. That is freedom. Y’all think freedom is Whiteness. Or maleness. It’s not. And freedom will never be given to you by White males. You were born with it and it was stolen from you by White males. Why the fuck would they give it back? You must take it.

You must take it.

Words speak loud, but actions tell the truth.

I haven’t really written in this thing in ages. Not like I used to, back in the day. I just had so much to say and I felt it was never said. Back then, it wasn’t. I remember I played a show at this racist White hipster venue in Williamsburg (that really narrows it down, doesn’t it. lol) I was on stage and someone yelled out something in between songs. I jokingly called them a racist and the audience literally gasped. Like audible, White, pearl clutching gasps of horror. This was maybe…2008? And you just didn’t talk about racism, then. Not in art, not in music, not anywhere. White people were not having it. I would have people give me “advice” all the time to not talk about race in my art because “you’re talented, why hold yourself back.” It literally made me want to spit in their faces. So you know racism is real and horrific and you know that despite my immense musical talent, if I challenge White people, they will be spiteful enough to block me from “success”, so you feel I should keep my mouth shut like a good little n***** and for what? Like, I’m not supposed to fight it? I’m not weak and I don’t take shit. That’s why White people have all the power in this world. No one challenges them. Most people who are not White would rather collude with a system that was designed to exploit them until death and destroy them if they refuse to comply, than just stand up and say, “No.”

The point I’m getting at is that all the people who gave me that “advice” in 2008 and beyond are now these “Woke Baes” on social media. People who were defending their family or friends who use the N word in 2014 are now dropping buzz terms like White Privilege in every post to get “Woke” points. Even the term woke… another thing that has been appropriated from Black people and run into the ground. EVERYONE uses it. Constantly. It has become the 2019 equivalent of “RAISING THE ROOF”. It’s all performative. I mean, I just saw an interview where ZAC EFRON spoke about white privilege. Like, do you think Zac Efron cares about White Privilege? I don’t think Zac Efron cares about White Privilege.

I feel some typa way about it because when you are really ’bout that life, you are shut out of these mainstream spaces. Like, you’re a Black celebrity who talks about White racism, but if you really stood up against it, you literally would not be on NBC or HBO or in that fashion magazine. The very fact that you are given a mouthpiece in this White mainstream space is evidence that the racist White people who control this space don’t view you as a threat. If you are pro-Black within an anti-Black system like Hollywood or major label record companies, YOU ARE A THREAT TO THAT WHITE SUPREMACIST SYSTEM. So my question is, how are you there? Either the system isn’t really racist, or you are not really challenging that system, because the people who run that system view you as safe. And as an African woman artist, I’ve learned that is what the majority of people need from you. They will not come near a Black woman if they do not feel like they can control you and exploit your talents for their own gain. I mean, didn’t it come out that “slavery is a choice” Kanye literally CAN’T RETIRE because of the shit record contract he signed. Like, if White media is pushing you, it is because THEY are gaining something. Not you. They not tryna amplify some “Let my people go” shit, lol.

I was reading something that said Chadwick Boseman was cast on a soap opera back in the day. He was to play a stereotypical “ganbanger Black youth” and he was displeased, so brought it up with producers and offered ways to improve the character and make it less racist. Do you know they fired his ass and hired Michael B Jordan, then used some of Boseman’s suggestions in reshaping the character for this new actor? That’s how petty most White people are towards Black people who challenge them. You think they are less petty now? Every Black person reading this knows they are not.

I like that people are currently challenging White Supremacy and misogyny openly- that’s what I want. That is why I started this band. But I hate the commodification of the trauma of people who are not White males fighting to be seen as Human Beings. It’s not a trend. It’s the lives of billions of people. And to see Michael B Jordan in a Black Panther themed photo shoot for GQ magazine… I- like WHAT? We’re selling Black liberation now? It is now branded and fashionable? When the actual Black Panthers are all murdered or imprisoned by their own government and still seen as “villains” on par with the KKK to the very White editors and consumers who will thumb through those magazine pages and go “Hm, cool beret.” and then keep it moving? And he agreed to that shit with his whole damn chesS? What’s next, a Freedom Riders themed photo shoot for ELLE? A 4 Little Girls themed photo shoot for Vogue, replete with burning Black children? THIS IS TOXIC AND ANTI-BLACK BEHAVIOUR.

I don’t know what the answer is, but since we know the American media is a tool of White Supremacist Patriarchy, I think we should investigate and deeply evaluate ANY supposedly “Woke” voice being presented to us by the same people who control and operate said tool. YOUR OPPRESSORS WILL NOT BE YOUR LIBERATORS. And if you are working freely and being rewarded within a White supremacist system, it is because you are not an obstruction within that system. You are somehow aiding its operation.

If you are a Black person and you say or do anything that threatens White Supremacist and patriarchal ideals, you will be attacked and people will try to silence you. Unless you are simultaneously making White people a shit-ton of money, or they are gaining something else from you. I’ve had White males join my anti- racist band because they thought they’d get a chance to sleep with me. In the minds of most people on Earth, Black women exist solely to be used and exploited. And when they are done, you’re done. So don’t talk to me about White Privilege on twitter when you don’t cast dark skinned Black women in lead roles and you yell at and harass women on set. If any of this were real, we’d see changes. But underneath the me too and hashtags and rhetoric, nothing has changed. The system is still rigged and is running full speed ahead. I think people should be more impressed when these personalities’ actions match their words. I mean, Jordan Peele is mixed and has a White wife, but fully Black male directors were not casting Lupita Nyong’o in lead roles. They were all casting light and mixed women and sending out racist casting calls like the one for Straight Outta Compton. So who is challenging a system and who is perpetuating it?

I was just watching this gangster movie this weekend and the main guy was always getting betrayed. I’m paraphrasing but he said that he learned to not believe people’s words, but to believe the situation. It’s good advice. If you wish to enter a structure, but the doorway is too narrow for you to enter, existing within that structure requires 2 things: either you modify the structure to accommodate you, or you alter or contort yourself in order to fit into the structure. So if these systems are still racist, but you are somehow chillin’ on the inside, you have obviously altered yourself from who you were when you were on the outside in order to fit. And lord only knows what that entails.

Y’all stay “woke” now…

The Primitivity of Supposed Sophisticates

Don’t you feel foolish as you dance around that fire?
That fire that calls you; that keeps you warm in thought, yet frozen in body
I think you look much the fool, as I stare, longingly, from the inside
Why does it always seem warmer wherever we are not?

Sharon Gul. Yumiko Aoyagi. Crest City. Jasmine ltd. FYI, they are racists.

This is the type of racist shit that I have to deal with as an African woman in the entertainment industry. For some backstory, I have recently decided to focus more on the writing end of tv and film, so have been looking for opportunities. I answered an ad looking for tv writers, so I submitted a résumé and cover letter. Sharon Gul of Crest City TV responded and cc’ed someone named “y aoyagi”. Anyway, he was polite enough at first, we had a video chat and they asked me to submit a series treatment for the BBC show Thirteen, which they were supposedly working on a 10 episode Japanese adaptation for, and they were looking for staff writers with a high level of English.

This is where it gets weird. So usually, if you send in a job application for anything, if they are not interested, one of 2 things occur. If they are polite, they send you a personal rejection email of a couple sentences. If they are not polite or don’t have time, they don’t respond at all. In this instance, however, not only did Yumiko Aoyagi write back to say she didn’t like the treatment and it was too long, she insulted my experience and asked me to redo it and resubmit?!

I was really confused by not only her complete 180 but also her tone. Her intent was to try to diminish me for some reason. I am used to people being threatened by me so I know how they behave. She wanted to hire me, but she also wanted to be sure she could control me. So she tested me to see if I was desperate enough to not only tolerate her rudeness, but do an unpaid complete rewrite with no promise of a job position. I am not. So I told them I would not do anymore unpaid writing for them and they should find someone else, because they completely wasted my time.

I didn’t hear anything for like 3 days, so I thought it was over. I was pissed that I had wasted so much time on the treatment but I have learned that you can’t cure assholes, so I pick and choose my battles. AND THEN, THIS ARRIVES:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Your assignment
From: “SHARON GUL”
Date: Sun, January 14, 2018 10:01 pm
To: “1234Films”

​we read your email and was very sorry you have to feel that way.

I was thinking a lot of to reply to your annoying mail or not , and finally
decided to do so.
During the interview
​as with all other candidates , Yumiko asked
​you ​very clearly No more than 3 pages.
And I was there !
We have more than 65 candidates and cannot read 10 pages from each one​.

It might be only miss understanding ,
​however your poor communication skill definitely closed any door with us.
You were definitely not the best candidate out of all , but for sure
​the rudest.

Surprisingly all the other GOOD candidates understood exactly what Yumiko
asked for and DELIVERED!
​TV writing is nothing but team work ,you might be a talented writer , but
i’m glad we found out that your personality might not be cut out for it
before we waste your time.

About wasting your time – it is very common in the world nowadays (well at
least at those advanced places that I know of ) to conduct few interviews
with the good candidates , and give them assignments to test their
abilities in different areas​, but obviously it is not good enough for you.​

We will go forward with our plans and projects and will do very well with
the people we gathered!

can you say the same about yourself ?
Maybe something is wrong with you and not with all the world out there ?
Think about it , I’m sure you will have plenty of time now to do so.
​wish you the best for your future endeavors .

sharon.

Ohhhkaayyy. So you have 65 candidates, yet you stew over my email for days, then write me an entire essay, to tell me that you’re not interested and you have other people who are better? If that is the case, shouldn’t you be talking to them right now? It’s so strange when people do the whole “I just wanted to take time out to let you know that I don’t have time for you.” Like, do they not know how stupid they look? Besides that, in the interview, she very clearly said it’s generally 3-5 pages but don’t worry about format or if it’s more, she just wants a good story. So they were doubling down on the lie that they gave me different directions. Also, if I was not the best candidate, then why ask me to submit? And then resubmit? Isn’t it normal business practice to interview and ask for submissions from the best candidates? Why waste time with people you think will be shit at the job? And once again IF YOU HAVE A ZILLION OTHER CANDIDATES WHO ARE AMAZING AND GAVE YOU EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT, WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME RIGHT NOW?!

The entire message was one ridiculous, delusional White Male Ego™ filled shart, but the thing that pushed me over was the line “About wasting your time – it is very common in the world nowadays (well at least at those advanced places that I know of)” Listen, I know racist passive aggression like the back of my hand, racist White people are like glass to me. I can see through that shit a mile away. So since it is obvious what I was dealing with and I really don’t have time to feign politeness to racist dipshits, I sent him a frank and succinct response:

Subject: RE: Re: Your assignment
From: “1234Films”
Date: Mon, Jan 15, 2018 10:02 am
To: “SHARON GUL”

lol fuck you both, you lying, manipulative disrespectful assholes. Thank god I didn’t get stuck working with you primitives. Good riddance.

I deliberately used the word primitives because I know his racist ass was taking jabs at my African-ness and throwing it back at him would make his White Male Ego™ loosen the reigns and his racist tongue would get wagging. I hate when they try to hide shit. You got some racist shit to say to me? Fucking say it. Oh boy, did he (I bolded his “best of”):

Subject: Re: Re: Your assignment
From: SHARON GUL
Date: Mon, Jan 15, 2018 10:08 pm
To: 1234Films

Wow , what a class , what a language.

actually, i think you should switch to comedy , maybe your talent is there .

To hear those words from someone whom name sounds more like a disease rather than a human , it’s kinda funny.😆

assholes ? it’s kinda funny too , when it comes from you , it’s not me ,but president trump called the place you come from a shit hole , now it makes much more sense.😆
Primitives ?? You are sitting for an interview with huge stupid headphones on your head , looking like a scene from the 30’s , but we are the primitives ?😆
Primitives ?? Having an internet connection connected by strings and cans , not allowing even 1 clear sentence , and we are the primitives ?
😆
Manipulative ? Liars? To hear that from someone who live in a place which the main export industry to the world is online frauds , that’s funny 😆.

and yes ! we did plan to pay you ! we are running a business and a successful one , and in our enlightened world ,people are getting paid, but reading your mails , i must say that
the only payment you deserve is by (a certain ) fruit. (Note: I don’t really get this insult tbh)

You might be the coolest writer in the tribe , but not more than that .no wonder you are where you are at the age of 35.

Hallelujaaaaaaah

Soooo. That’s what happens to an African woman when you submit a script and the company doesn’t like it. I don’t get rejected, I don’t get ignored, I get whatever that just was. It doesn’t even make sense. My name sounds like a disease? Your last name is Gul. I’m supposed to be insulted by what Trump thinks of my country? Maybe both you and he should go grab another pussy. Seems to be a rich White male pastime, after all. Mocking my headphones? I had on studio headphones for mixing because I mix. In studios. They tend to be big. And I was talking to him over 4g internet like most of fucking Lagos, Nigeria. And about the scam thing? Maybe he should have watched this: Nigerian Prince Scammer is a White Guy . Also, Nigeria’s largest export is not, in fact, scamming, but crude oil and other mineral oils, without which your racist, exploitative, resource-thieving ass countries couldn’t even function. You’re welcome. By the way, about that age jab? He’s bald as fuck and looks to be about 20 years older than me so … Yumiko Aoyagi is at least a decade older than me too. And neither of them have even half my talent. Just putting that out there.

I am sick of this racist, anti-African shit at every turn. I’m tired of it. I will not accept it and I will put every fucking racist on blast. Fuck all of you. Yumiko Aoyagi is responsible for writing the Japanese version of Orphan Black which is currently airing. If these are the types of people the BBC and Fuji TV like to work with, then it should be known. I don’t care if you don’t want to give me jobs because I stand up for myself and don’t eat shit. Like your racist ass was going to hire me anyway? Fame and money are not worth this shit for me. I know I’m talented and I will continue to do what I love, but I’ll be damned if I won’t let out a fuck you to anyone who tries to disrespect me as a woman, a Black person or an African.

I just had to get this off my chest. Reading his fucking email made me want to puke. I hope this blog is connected with their names in google searches forever.

ETA: Kieron Cashell, of GPlusMedia/Gaijin Pot, the site where I found the ad, actually told me that these emails were not racist, but just “bad business etiquette” and did not violate Gaijin Pot’s terms of service, therefore he would do nothing. Just another racist to add to the pile, but it should be known that he and GPlusMedia/Gaijin Pot are anti-African and anti-Black and condone racist harassment. The BBC were also made aware of the emails and still continue to work with Yumiko Aoyagi and also called me a “reverse racist” to boot. This is how people behave when they believe that as an African woman, you have no voice or power. It’s ok. I will be heard. You can’t see that, but I do. And your true nature will be known.

Iféoluwa’s Zombie Tips

Zombies are almost exclusively a threat and a nuisance; the only exception being if and only when they are dancing. If surrounded by non-dancing zombies, flee. Solo, if possible. They are only strong in groups. If you possess a large quantity of brains, be doubly cautious. They are attracted to brains, but only for consumption. They will not stop until you are one of them. Always be on the look out, though they are easy to spot. It’s in the eyes. If you are not sure whether zombies are present, be kind and smile widely. They view this as weakness and will then clumsily attack. (Note: Displays of unbiased, logic based thinking have also proven to be potent irritants to the Zombie.) When zombies have revealed themselves, proceed to beat they ass. Swiftly and thoroughly. Any observing zombies will then be promptly warned off. Some may even try to endear themselves to you. (Fun fact: The only thing zombies love more than eating brains and zombie conversion is abuse.) But please, abeg o, don’t be fooled. Once a zombie, always a zombie.

I hope these zombie tips have been helpful to you. Now travel into the night without fear. Good luck.

Advice To Young Ladies

by AD Hope

A.U.C. 334: about this date,
For a sexual misdemeanour which she denied,
The vestal virgin Postumia was tried;
Livy records it among affairs of state.

They let her off: it seems she was perfectly pure;
The charge arose because some thought her talk
Too witty for a young girl, her eyes, her walk
Too lively, her clothes too smart to be demure.

The Pontifex Maximus, summing up the case,
Warned her in future to abstain from jokes,
To wear less modish and more pious frocks.
She left the court reprieved, but in disgrace.

What then? With her the annalist is less
Concerned than what the men achieved that year:
Plots, quarrels, crimes, with oratory to spare-
I see Postumia with her dowdy dress,

Stiff mouth and listless step; I see her strive
To give dull answers. She had to knuckle down.
A vestal virgin who scandalized that town
Had fair trial, then they buried her alive;

Alive, bricked up in suffocating dark;
A ration of bread, a pitcher if she was dry,
Preserved the body they did not wish to die
Until her mind was quenched to the last spark.

How many the black maw has swallowed in its time!
Spirited girls who would not know their place,
Talented girls who found that the disgrace
Of being a woman made genius a crime.

How many others, who would not kiss the rod,
Domestic bullying broke or public shame?
Pagan or Christian, it was much the same:
Husbands, St. Paul declared, rank next to God.

Livy and Paul, it may be, never knew
That Rome was doomed; each spoke of her with pride.
Tacitus, writing after both had died,
Showed that whole fabric rotten, through and through.

Historians spend their lives and lavish ink
Explaining how great commonwealths collapse
From great defects of policy – perhaps
The cause is sometimes simpler than they think.

It may not seem so grave an act to break
Postumia’s spirit as Galileo’s, to gag
Hypatia as crush Socrates, or drag
Joan as Giordano Bruno to the stake.

Can we be sure? Have more states perished, then,
For having shackled the enquiring mind,
Than those who, in their folly not less blind,
Trusted the servile womb to breed free men?

#WhitePeopleProblems Are #NotMyProblem ( #Charlottesville , et al. )

Black people do not need to die anymore. Black people do not need to march anymore. Black people do not need to leave our homes to take to the streets to scream, chant and be gassed and beaten into oblivion.

White people have this disease. Racism came from White people. You created it. You support it. You thrive off of it. You build your confidence off of White supremacy. You build your sense of self worth off of White supremacy. You build your wealth and industries off of White supremacy. You eat it. You drink it. It sustains you.

White people never shut up about how it’s #NotAllWhitePeople and #NotMyAmerica , etc. So fucking prove it. You march. You die. You stand up. You check your racist friends. You check your racist family. You check your racist coworkers. You check the racist people you fuck. Walk the walk and change this world that your culture has infected with your hatred, arrogance and insecurity. But you won’t. You keep quiet and you don’t do shit. Maybe you #hashtag. Maybe you reblog. Maybe you retweet. You think that makes you different than them? You’re not. At least they are honest with who they are. They don’t mask their evil like you do.

It’s not my fight. I’ll fight for me. I won’t die for you. I won’t die to change your mind. I won’t die to go to school with you. I won’t die to live next door to you. I won’t die for you to hire me. I will die for my beliefs. I won’t die because of yours.

This is America. Before Nov. 8, 2016, this was America. Tomorrow, it will be America. This is your disease and I will not be infected. You fight this. It’s got nothing to do with me. All I am concerned with is protecting myself from you. Integration was a joke. America is a joke. And I refuse to laugh. I refuse to laugh with smiling White people, pretending we’re not standing on a hill of corpses slain by your hand. Corpses who look like me. Corpses who could be me. But I should laugh with you, knowing you still use that word when I’m not around. I should laugh with you, knowing you won’t leave your purse open around me. I should laugh with you, knowing that if I spoke with a different accent and wore my jeans a couple sizes bigger, you’d be calling me a thug and making up excuses on Facebook about how the police were in the right and I deserved to die.

This country was built by White supremacists for White supremacists. America is a racist, misogynist, dumpster fire of a country and always has been. So if you’re such a “Good White Person™” , then YOU change it. YOU take to the streets and fight Nazis and Klan members. YOU field the tasers and the tear gas and the bullets. I’m going the fuck home.

A Certain Type

So much of life spent running
As though it were a bad thing?
You recline in your wheelchair as you curse the walking
You think I don’t see the curl at the corners of your lips?
It’s quite perverse, to be honest
Two peas in a pod
I’m selfish because I walk alone
And you’re selfish so you slash my tires
“Welp, guess you’ll have to stay here another night.”
That’s where true evil lies
You clip wings, I only cut ties
But how much of your life was inevitable?
How much of this
Could I actually avoid?

I think of running and the skies open up
You have to be a certain type to know what that feels like
You have to be a certain type
Legs burning, lungs screaming
And through cries, you feel the need
To tear the very fabric of this world apart
Your pretty fingers curled ‘round darkness
Kneeling, it licks your hand
You feel alive
Life isn’t in a room
Life isn’t on a page
Life isn’t in your arms
Life is desire
I will run toward it – break my legs and I will crawl

*sigh*

You could never understand this
You have to be a certain type

Do not rip my music/videos. Do not steal my music/videos. Pay for my music.

I’m really infuriated. I know people have zero respect for African women and most people hate the fact that I am as talented and intelligent as I am, but if you like my songs but are shitty enough to not even pay 99 cents for it, you are truly evil. For the past 11 years I have been going through nothing but shit for this band. But you like my songs enough, so you steal it? I have had people even brag to me about it. Like, “I ripped your song from youtube! I listen to it every day!” Why would you do that? What kind of sick piece of shit are you? It’s like they want you to know that they don’t value what you do. What reaction do you want? Should I curse you out? Yell and scream? Sue you? No, I’ll just make a note that you are an asshole with no respect for my work and never talk to you again. I’ve had to think of other ways to promote myself because I can’t just rely on “If they like the song, they’ll buy it.” This is just so infuriating. I even remember when I put together a show in Berlin. It was in a store-front so there were windows and a door that led right on to the street. It was 3 euros to enter. Do you know that these German assholes blocked the ENTIRE SIDEWALK to watch me play in the FREEZING BERLIN WINTER rather than paying 3 euros to sit inside in the warmth and watch me play? They were that adamant that I didn’t get paid for my work. Only White people deserve to get paid. Everybody is entitled to all my hard work, effort and talent for free. I wanted to murder them. How disrespectful can you be? I still get assholes trying to get me to write songs for them and produce for free. Who the fuck do you think I am? Do you go up to exceptionally talented White guys and ask them to work for free? You don’t even go up to completely inept White guys and demand that shit.

I am really tired of this. I sacrificed my life for this band. My music is mine. If you like it, pay for it. If you don’t want to pay, don’t listen. Move on. I don’t care. This disrespect for me and my work has got to end. To steal from a band like mine… you’re literally evil. You love my songs, but don’t want me to benefit. Because you are so fucked up and hateful. Like, I don’t even know what kind of bizarro shit I have to deal with as an African woman. Like, people would come to my shows and then be rude to me or insult me at my own goddamn show. Or buy my cd but then be rude to me WHILE THEY ARE BUYING IT. I send out a booking email and the person responds…with insults to my music. Like, “I want her to play, but I have to let her know I don’t respect her and what she does, first.” FUCK THIS. It’s just wrong. If you don’t respect me or my work, or you’re jealous or resentful or racist or sexist or anti-African, YOU DON’T NEED TO BE LISTENING TO MY SHIT. I just hate all the inane shit I am forced to go through. There is NO WAY anyone White with my level of talent would be going through this shit. Just leave me alone. FUCK your games. FUCK your “tests”: (Oh, let me just be completely disingenuous and do this fucked up thing that there really is no reason to do, just to see how she “reacts” because I am a racist, sexist, coward piece of shit who likes to waste Black women’s time and I hate every Black woman that I do not feel superior to so I play passive-aggressive, manipulative mind-games in order to feel in control and dominant. Because I suck.)  I am DONE. DON’T RIP MY SHIT. DON’T DOWNLOAD MY SHIT WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT. I am fucking tired of being disrespected. If you don’t pay for my music/videos, I don’t care if you like it. I’d rather you not listen. JUST IGNORE ME. Like I don’t deserve to get paid? My whole career I’ve been dealing with assholes who think that Black women don’t deserve to get paid, but will pay some useless White guy for completely subpar garbage. No, I am not “grateful” for the opportunity. You’re a fucking rapist. Fuck you.

The Black Girl Version of Life

“The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.”

    – Carl Jung

The Black Girl Version:

“The world will tell you who you are, and if you don’t know, you’ll believe them.”

    – The White Noise Supremacists