Echo

Life is not free

So quickly can it be taken from me. No reimbursement or early disconnection fees

From the cell towers I hear the echo in the streets. White vans and stained seats

I wonder what he was thinking When his spirit finished sinking

To oblivion

Just a text before it was done

What can I do to lay with the sun

Never look directly into the light

until you’re ready to fight. It shines in front of closed eyes

fear keeps them shut to their purpose.

Many of us who face the plight we call life.

We need fresh air…walk outside to try and breathe but see…

Out there I can still hear the echos in the streets

The vibrations in my sleep. I can still see the white van and stained seat.

Pierced a hole in my soul. No hopes of ever being whole

again.

Pierced a hole in my soul. I hope I am made whole

again.

Lord please forgive my sins for I am angry.

I envy them all when they’re still able to crawl and cry into daddy’s shirt, play dress up in mommy’s skirt. Sit in daddy’s game day chair. No worries cuz he always there.

He and I were a great pair.

Were.

So open and closed, but close .I shared my very soul. It filled me with such comfort. Encouraged me to keep pushing through strong winds and shady kin.

Keep steps to success discreet and strike when they are sleeping on me.

The echo through the streets, and upon a clean seat

Sat a picture of me, in the hands of the one finally at peace.

In my dreams the light cradles me slow. Speaks of being free, but dangles the keys out in front of me.

Daddy can I go?

Daddy, let go.

Please let me go.

Let go.

Let go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To my People

To my people, I am sorry.

I speak to those of all heritage. Not just to black or white, but to ALL.

I want to apologize for confusing you with my internal conflicts, the complex I didn’t realize existed until about a year ago in an exchange with an elderly customer.

“Excuse me ma’am,” the woman said at the top of her lungs.  Assuming she had poor hearing, I inched closer to her to reply, “Yes ma’am what’s going on?” “Well I was looking for your manager,” she said. “Okay which one in particular?”

“You know, the colored one.”

Pause.

I stared into her eyes of no remorse or even awareness that, for one, no one says that anymore, and, two, it’s not okay. I stood there in awe before I, “….you know, colored, like you. ”

Oh, she was really serious. Alright. “You mean black? If so, there are quite a few of us here.” Heart racing, blood boiling, I walked quickly over to the nearest phone to access the loud speaker and beckoned this lovely lady to follow.

“COLORED MANAGERS TO DRESSES PLEASE. COLORED MANAGERS TO DRESSES.”

I glared at her. She smiled in approval. Surely, the store manager rushes over, burning a hole in my face with her disbelief. “Yes, this woman was looking for the colored manager.”

Pause.

Alright so I didn’t actually get to announce that. I only got to say: “[Name] to dresses please.” I had the pleasure of enduring her questions about us coloreds: my hair, why I was so skinny, why my hair wasn’t straightened like the majority of the girls in the vicinity. Anyway, I called my dad immediately after work to tell him about the ordeal. He chuckled at my story.

“Baby girl, Is this the first time you’ve heard that? She was old huh? That’s just how it is, don’t let it get to you.”

It was then, I realized my silence. I was made so very aware of my skin in that moment. It wasn’t the first time I heard something like that from an elderly majority. I had an impeccable ability to pretend that it meant nothing to me.

All this time I have said nothing.

I grew up in a fairly diverse area. I knew I was unique and I embraced it. I was blessed to be around people of all shades. At the end of my 5th grade year at Epps Island Elementary. I had to move to the south side to Dowling Middle School, where I experience a giant culture shock. Suddenly, I became “that skinny light-skinned girl with good hair”. I was too skinny, too smart, and to proper. This made people uncomfortable and I didn’t understand why. I struggled to find a balance and abandoned my true self to fit in with those in my culture, even still I was not good enough.

For this I am sorry.

My people, I am not the friend who grants you racism immunity. “I have a black friend….” I will not flatten my fro to avoid scaring you. I will no longer hide my frustration with the justice system. I told myself Sandra Bland was a coincidence. Eric Garner was a coincidence…countless others were all coincidences. I have told you that it was nonsense. I should have corrected you when you said,”but you’re not really black.” For that, I am sorry. Obama’s presidency has not suppressed or ended racism, but has, in fact, magnified it. Trump has given people permission to hobble out of their racist closets to speak hateful thoughts and call people “sensitive” for having a problem with it.

Black jokes are not funny anymore.

There are bad apples out there in every color, but they don’t all need a hashtag. My people, you can’t be offended because a hashtag was not made for you. #Blacklivesmatter because they actually don’t matter to many, but this in no way diminishes your value. My people, no one is personally attacking you. I am simply asking you to take responsibility. Use your privilege to stand up to your racist uncles or aunties. Be kind. Be selfless. Be attentive.

To my people. White jokes aren’t funny anymore. You don’t have to tear down one to lift up another. We have a duty, a responsibility to inform our people, all people, the ways of the world. We have a responsibility to improve our image to those who doubt us. Success speaks louder than disorganized protests and riots. I have sat, silent, in fear of being rejected again, by my people. For that, I am sorry. Change begins within. Do not oppress or limit yourself; society does a great job of that.

For the record…I don’t “talk white”, I speak English.

To my people , I love you all. None of us are perfect. No one is attacking you personally, I am only asking you to take responsibility. Uplift our women, our men, our baby girls and boys. Enlighten the parents who segregate  and embrace prejudice mindset. Spread the love.

There is a uniqueness in every culture. It’s a beautiful thing when you can accept that.

-Fly

HONOR Alton Sterling and Philando Castile June 2016

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 

March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom

Leaders of March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom marching w. signs (R-L) Rabbi Joachim Prinz, unident., Eugene Carson Blake, Martin Luther King, Floyd McKissick, Matthew Ahmann & John Lewis. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

http://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday

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IG: kafee1867 | Email: kafee1867@gmail.com | Twitter:@kiz_nichole | Facebook: kizzie.frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s just another day…right?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!

You would have been 50 today. Creative. Wise. Powerful and extremely loving to the lives of many. Most of whom you didn’t know you have touched. Exactly 4 months ago today around this same time 3:47 p.m, I was still in denial about you taking your last breath.

But today…oh but today, I miss you like crazzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy and I have accepted your absence. When August first rolled around, I was writing everyone’s birthday on my calendar and wrote yours first. Since then, I have been thinking of way I could honor your memory. I thought of creating some sad ritual that I would do on all of your birthdays, but the day has actually come and I think I…we all should rejoice.

model

His model car looks something like this. Actual photo coming soon.

Last year, I gave you a kit for a model red corvette for your birthday. You hand crafted that tiny car with your stubby fingers a day after. I’m so proud of that thing. (once I get a hold of it I will post the picture here) So I figured…why not attempt to build one of those cars myself? Maybe not this year but it’s a thought!

(click here to witness Dad being a goofball)

You always told us that birthdays, holidays, and pay days are still just days. There is some truth to that because the world keeps going no matter what we may be celebrating, but Faja…I partially disagree. You were born today! Without your birth I obviously wouldn’t be here; the world would not have been graced by your presence. And even when you disagreed with me about subjects such as that, you always made sure to uplift and encourage me; you always found a way to make your baby girl laugh. I hope that one day my children will love and cherish me as much as I do you.

You taught me to value myself. You taught me how to love a man and how I should be loved. From you, I learned to keep pushing and how to “Fake it till you make it”. You were so real. You never sugar coated anything for anyone. You never changed yourself for anyone. You were 100% you, and taught me to not be ashamed of being 100% me. Thank you dad. You have been the driving force in my life. Thank you for hanging on as long as you did.

Today, I will celebrate your life. Within me, you will live forever. I love you daddy! Peace out.

-Fly (your baby girl)

Daddy!

Dad’s first ever selfie.

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IG: kafee1867 | Email: kafee1867@gmail.com | Twitter:@kiz_nichole | Facebook: kizzie.frank

Rhythm and Blues: Tyrese Got The Juice

So I woke up a few mornings ago to find that I had left my Spotify on my computer on repeat. Before I arose from my slumber I dreamed that I would come home to a beautiful chocolate man who had made my favorite, hardy meal: goulash. I walked further into my home to observe the poured glasses of Carlo Rossi Sangria aside the party size jug,(yeah the one from Walmart) and tiny white candles illuminating the hallway.

Upon my entrance, there was no man to be seen or heard. I only heard these words being echoed in perfect pitch against the house walls:

I can’t get you off my mind

Thinking of you all the time

Hoping that you call; going through withdrawal

You stop dealing with me…it’s like the sky falls

I thought “oh I’m here boo. Just show yourself.” I followed the trail of tea lights to the bathroom. I open the door and the scent of my Polish bath salts graze my nose. As the steam clears, I turn the corner to find a full tub of water.

Chocolate feet…knees…thighs…

I can’t get you off my mind. Thinking of you all the time

I roll over to my custom alarm to punch the snooze button that ruined my life with the wrath of God.

Tyrese Gibson serenaded me that morning, into 90s nostalgia. Tyrese, my first every celebrity crush, just killed the game upon the release of Black Rose his 6th and final album entitled:”Black Rose”

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Tyrese Gibson holding Black Rose

For those unfamiliar with this beautiful man, Tyrese Gibson started off modeling and could not shake the feeling that he wanted to sing. He did just that and wound up with a self titled album that went platinum with the help of “Sweet Lady (enjoy here)” and “Lately“. Tyrese continued making music, but r&b was not getting it’s necessary shine, overshadowed by radio nonsense (that’s a different story). In 2013, Tyrese made a collaborative album with Genuine and Tank, other r&b geniuses. Tyrese got his first major acting role in the infamous “Baby Boy” as Jody and has also starred in the “Fast & Furious” series as “Roman Pearce”.

He is a man of many talents and I wanted to thank him for revamping the r&b sound after so many years of drought with true r&b stuff. Songs about love[making], relationships, and just life. “Black Rose” is a raw work of art that I appreciate so much and so differently from when I was a kid.

The album has 14 songs with only four songs with features. The featured artists include: Tank in “Prior to you” (I think this should be your next single Tyrese. Just sayin), Snoop Dogg in “Dumb Sh**”, and the slept on female artists, Brandy in “The Rest of Our Lives” and Chrisette Michele in “Don’t Wanna Look Back”.

One of my personal favs is Track No. 1 “Addict”. It features a sample from The Fugees classic, “Killing Me Softly”. (Where you at Lauryn Hill. We miss ya!) It is also the song in the quote from earlier. And big surprise its stuck in my head.

Tyrese is one of the few celebs that handle their own social media. He is very vocal on Facebook and expressed his feelings about his exposure, or lack thereof, on mainstream radio. His single, “Shame” reached number 1 on Billboard Adult R&B Songs and lingered a while. (Earned It by The Weeknd at #2…of course) He feels as though it could be bigger than that. I agree.

Overall, I only had to skip one song. It just so happens to be his single, “Shame”. Hear me out now…the song has only been played on Majic 102.1 49463412 times and I want to be able to still appreciate it. Mr. Gibson, “Black Rose” rocked my world. Preciate you.

So please, friends, creators and appreciators, go listen to “Black Rose” IN FULL. Bump it until it get’s stuck in your head. Support that man and pick up a copy from Walmart or something.

Without further ado, please allow young Tyrese serve you a Coca Cola jingle below.

Music has no race. No limits. No boundaries. – Tyrese Gibson (<– Click here for vid)

– Fly

Many Hats

“Slow news day huh?” a man said to me as I approached him with my camera and notepad in hand.

Granted…it could have indeed been a slow news day, however, I wanted to say,”Sir do you want me to cover what you’ve got going on or not?” Common tact would be to say something a little nicer than that. I simply responded to him, “I could be, but I’m just here to talk about you and learn about your story.” We then became submerged in the activity at hand. And don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying “oh you have nothing going on anyway, be lucky I’m here to hear about it.”

In light (or darkness) of what has been going on in the political world and what has been being portrayed, I am aware that it’s hard to believe that any journalist genuinely care about what they report on, but I’m here to tell ya that we exist!

This is as much as I can give away about the story I went to cover. Cool huh?

This is as much as I can give away about the story I went to cover. Cool huh?

People who want to ACCURATELY write about the community. I am the type of journalist who feels that, the most important entity in any community is the people that it is made of.

People bring personality, testimonies, and even economic growth to areas that other wise would be dried up and well…boring. There are hundreds of organizations out there that only few know about, that deserve to have some

I see you!  (I’ll explain this reference to you guys later)

I’m here to lift up all the alchemist out there. Let “can’t” be abolished from your vocabulary when it comes to your dreams. Let’s fly. But first we gotta walk.

-Fly

                               

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IG: @kiz_nichole | Email: kafee1867@gmail.com | Twitter:@kiz_nichole | Facebook: kizzie.frank

Daddy’s girl: Ode to Papa Smurf

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Football girl (me) and Papa Smurf

Firstly, happy father’s day to all of the daddy’s out there spoiling their baby girls and little boys into adulthood and so forth. In the eyes of a child, mom and dad are gods. Right? They watch you. They learn from you. Your little cheerleaders are proud of you.

My dad ,aka Papa Smurf or Faja, left his earthly body April 25th a little after 3 a.m. I’d get into detail, but you don’t know me that well yet. A few months before he passed, he asked me, “Baby girl I need you to write a character letter for me.” I didn’t just want to write a letter. I wanted to tell a story about him. I wanted to paint the most vivid image onto a clean canvass. A tribute to my dad. As he so deserved. So I feel comfortable sharing this with you guys. After he read the letter he said, and I’m paraphrasing: “You are my sweet angel. Please read this at my funeral. And save this. I love you.” Through text of course. He was never good at face to face mushy stuff. He would get emotional. I knew that. Anyways, through tears and sniffles I ended up eulogizing him at his funeral. I’m absolutely positive that I did him proud. Without further ado, my Ode to Papa Smurf.

I stood at the podium in Shady Acres Church of Christ with my brother’s and sister behind me. Looking out into the full house, I began to speak.

Fly: In the eyes of a child, parents are immortal. Parents are the protectors, confidants. They strip all worry from the child. Dad did a wonderful job of this. For those of you who may be unsure of who all these big head kids up here are…I am the eldest daughter of Mary and Orain Frank. Mary’s right over there (looks over at mom) Say hi mom. This gorgeous young man next to me is (brother’s names), and this is my little homie, baby sister, (name)

Now my dad ran into trouble. Legal troubles, before he passed so he asked a few of us to write him a letter for court. He said, baby girl you keep this and read it when I’m gone. He told me he liked to brag about his babies so, I might as well brag for him. Right? Being that I’m basically a professional: Graduate of Sam Houston State University. Dean’s list. Honors, journalist, editor, server…I wear many hats. Anyway , here’s my letter. 

Begin letter

As a kid I always noticed a steady flow in our household. Waking up to mom cooking breakfast and giving my brother the evil eye for touching her China Cabinet (all that China is broken now. Smh) Dad would be off to work. Dad was always the primary provider. As long as he could provide for us and spend time with us, he was happy; before my mother got sick that is. When I was about 9 years old, I remember getting up and dressed for school. I found my mom in the bathroom on the floor. She wouldn’t respond to me. My dad sent me school, not to worry I assumed. When school was out, my life had changed dramatically under my nose. Mom was…different…Doctors found a golf ball sized tumor on her brain. She had to take these pills everyday. At some point she stopped taking them, or they stopped working. 

At my grandmother’s house I remember my dad rushing upstairs. Mom was on the floor again. This time she was shaking. (I later understood later that she was seizing) It was the first time I looked in my dad’s face and saw sadness. He looked like everything had been taken from him. Mom was never same from that moment. She started going blind. Doctors found the tumor had come back.

It becomes fuzzy after that, but mom eventually had a stroke (due to malpractice) losing her ability to speak clearly and it limited her motor skills on the right side of her body; she now has all of that and hallucinations.

I speak so vividly about my mother’s condition to paint a picture of what Orain Frank, My father, went through while mom was in and out of the hospital. I could see my dad losing his drive, but he put on a good face for his kids. He encouraged me daily. He kept me going in college when I wanted to drop out. My dad had to fill in for mom. He became a providing, protecting, inspiring, dad-mom and friend to me.

I have the highest respect for Mr. Frank. He has never left us. I’m proud of him and thankful to God that he stayed with mom and us, continuing to provide.

Without the support of my mother, dad seemed to be falling apart. Momma was the glue of our family. I know it was so much pressure on dad. I wish I could take his pain and feel it for him, but we are all broken, mourning momma everyday. She is present, but absent at the same time.

We all confide in dad and he provides us with strength. He forgot how to be strong for himself. He poured his strength into us, running low on his own emotion.

It wasn’t until he was pulled over that night that he realized this. I hadn’t spoken to dad a few days when my grandmother called to tell me that he was in jail. I thought “Dad wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize his or our futures.” There must have been some mistake. Or has he finally made a mistake himself? Dad knew he didn’t make the best decision that night and expected the worst. I knew my dad wasn’t perfect, but no human is.

I visited him about a week after the incident. That day, for the first time in 23 years, I saw my dad cry. This sight ripped me apart, but it was beautiful. He finally let his colors fly. I saw a man with a flaw. Broken, just like me.

A few weeks later, dad goes and has a mild stroke. Doctors say it was due to stress. Dad went from jail in October to a hospital bed in December. Unable to do what he loves, work to provide, he is crippled. In a pickle, if you will.

I am [25] years old and I live about an hour and a half away from (insert location here), where my dad is. But there are still three kids in the house: my sister and two baby brothers. One of my younger brothers (name here), 18, was diagnosed with ADHD and has trouble with the real world. Dad worries about him. My older brother, married, 26, had a little girl, my niece (name) who my dad loves deeply. (Daddy called her bubbles ^_^)

Dad deserves a second chance like all of us. His eyes are open and I now respect him more for finding strength after all he’s gone through. I view him the same; he is my backbone and my best friend.

-End letter

 When you leave here today, I don’t want you to pity us. I want you to be excited for us. And pray that God will allow us to continue pushing toward greatness. I plan to make us rich one day yall. In material things. Sure…that’d be nice, but more importantly, we will be rich in support and love that I’ve already felt. My heart swells at the thought of daddy. Love you all. Like old man used to say “Peace Out”

I looked up from my notes and everyone was standing, clapping widely, and cheering. I didn’t expect this, nor did I expect all the compliments about what I said for my dad. It was my duty and I carried it out. If you got this far in my post (I appreciate that son) thank you for reading and walking another day with me, and I hope that I have sparked something in you that will help you create something! (Make sure you check out my very first post “Walk with Me” for a little info about this blog)

Daddy, my emotional ROCK. I love you. More than words could ever say in any ode, poem, song, dance…you get it. You looked so peaceful last time I saw you. I hope you’re that same way now. Peace Out.

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Momma and Papa Smurf: Something like Pimps