Throwback Tonight: Happy Kwanzaa!

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Tonight we dance!

The symbols of a culture, a heritage of humanity, mean a lot.  When they begin to disappear, be very concerned.  So, the moral of the story is:  wear your color, wear your art, wear your culture to remind you of where we been and we’re going.  Don’t give up.  Sankofa!

Besides, color is so dope!

I stay woke,
Shila Iris aka Honey

!

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The Water

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The water heals
so, I swim deep

the depth of it all
just seems so out of reach

so I fetch, dig deep in my memory
the spirits rise, so again I can see

at the bottom of the ocean
in Labadi beach
The horses, they come for me

I am the master of this ceremony
new life, new mind
3 dollars and 6 dimes
Cause the woman that knows something,
knows that she knows nothing at all
Change

-by Shila Iris

Mood: Jesse Boykins III

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If you don’t know him, you should.  Try him. I did, and I am very pleased…


Birthday:  February 20, 1985 (Age 32)

1.Jesse Boykins III & MeLo-X:  Black Orpheus…
 
“I played her heart strings…”

chase Jesse with Eric… “Met her at Howard, lived in the Towers, same floor that I was, which did allow us, to sit and talk for hours, in between dealings, and all this unveiling, clearly there was feelings…”

2. Eric Roberson:  A Tale of Two

Eric’s Birthday:  September 25, 1976 (Age 40)

chase Eric with Raheem…  “I’m so proud, to have a lady, a Queen who wears a crown…”

3. Raheem DeVaughn:  You

Raheem’s Birthday:  May 5, 1975 (Age 42)

Raheem with Bilal…  “I wish I was drug free, sometimes…”  

4. Bilal:  Sometimes

Bilal’s Birthday:  August 23, 1979 (Age 37)

and Bilal with Musiq…  “You’re my baby, my lover, my lady.  All night, you make me,
want you, it drives me crazy.  I feel, like you, were made just for me baby…”

5. Musiq: So Beautiful

Musiq’s Birthday:  September 16, 1977 (Age 39)

and then, with your last glass of wine before bed… “You won’t regret it no, no
Young girls they don’t forget it, love is their whole happiness, yeah, yeah, yeah…”

6.  Otis Redding:  Try a Little Tendeness

Otis’ Birthday:  September 9, 1941 (deceased at Age 26)

Jesse. Eric. Raheem. Bilal. Musiq.  In that order.  Otis. ♥

Peace and joy,

You got me…  I am Shila  (pronounced Shy-lah)

Whenever I got lonely, or needed some advice, he gave me his shoulder, his words were very nice…

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I picks my friends, like I picks my fruit,
and granny told me that when I was only a youth,
I, don’t walk around trynna be what I’m not,
I don’t waste my time trynna get what you got.
I work at pleasing me, cause I can’t please you,
and that’s why, I do what I do,
My soul flies free like a willow tree…

Fruit…

He brought so much excitement to my day.  Spending hours in my cypher, he began to write poems, inspired by the way my mind floated.  He remained untainted by false profits, and listened to the elders.  He meant what he said.  He said, he’d see me through my healing.  He was strong.  He needed me, just as I needed him, sustained by my unpredictable existence, he levitated in the walls that I cultivated- orange and red hues, with yellow overtones.  My creations empower.   I am the water bearer, the loyal one.  Blossoming spirit, they desire, but I chose  him.  I swallowed his insecurities, and I deciphered his anger.  He gave to me purely, without expectations.

I am Shila Iris, life-sustaining…

The Healer

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He called out to her from a distance and she pretended not to hear him.
Not because she didn’t like the sound of his voice,
but because she did not want him to look into her tear-filled eyes.
He caught her, pulled her towards him and asked her to accept his presence.
She lifted her head to see, the face of the Sun.
The time had come.  She smiled.  For the rest of the day.

I asked the elders if I could speak freely, and they said, absolutely.
I earned the right to tell my story, for without the element of truth,
it would all be in vain.  The generations to follow will hear the sound of
my voice, resounding… cause I need these niggas to turn into gods

Asante sana, nakupenda, la la salama…

Shila Iris

My Introduction to Nina Simone

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Back in 2009, my girlfriend and I met each other in Atlanta, Georgia for a weekend of fun and to get fitted for bridesmaid dresses. One afternoon, we stumbled upon the art district, Little Five Points and wandered into an attractive shop called Moods Music. I got really excited. This was the first music store I had ever gone to, that catered to my personal tastes. It was amazing! I wanted to buy the entire store, but settled for a really wonderful CD by Quadron and a copy of Wax Poetics Magazine that I cherish to this day with Gil Scott- Heron on the cover. Since I liked this magazine so much, a friend of mine, who has always gotten me the best and most thoughtful gifts, decided to buy me a subscription to Wax Poetics for my birthday. On the cover of the 1st issue I received was Ms. Nina Simone. Reading the article, I fell in love with her spirit. They dubbed her “the Black poetess of protest.” I learned that she was a child piano prodigy, was great friends with Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Richard Pryor, and Lorraine Hansberry, and that most people who came into contact with her thought she was fearless and revolutionary. They say, Nina Simone didn’t give a fuck, meaning, she was going to do her thing no matter what. I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do on this woman who had an attitude that I could relate to. I wrote and performed a tribute to Nina Simone soon after I read this, and I have listened to her music since, mostly adoring the unconventional sound of her voice and her unapologetic lyrics. We are forever connected, Ms. Simone.

Peace & love.

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

My Introduction to David Banner

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black-history_feb-19_copyright-shila-iris-2017Transformation is possible. He used to be vulgar, ruled by his lower self- arrogant, over-sexed, chasing money, starved for attention, allowing Black life to be dictated to him by non-Black people at his record company. He did this until he knew better. “When you know better, you do better.”  In 2017, he is taking a different approach to African consciousness and to Black life.

David Banner is using his charm to resuscitate Black History, and he is striving to help Black people wake up. Willing to meet people where they are, he uses his own life as an example to inspire change. When you have knowledge of self, small distractions like technology, sex, and material possessions fade. Banner doesn’t hide from his past. He acknowledges his own humanity, and takes responsibility for his actions, reminding people to be humble and honest. When you bring up any of his mistakes, he smiles, laughs, and continues on in his evolution. This level of maturity is necessary on the path to transcendence. I have not known about this man for very long, but I am happy to see him boldly taking action. It’s so easy to get caught up in worldliness that weakens the spirit, but at some point we all have to lay our egos to rest so that we can survive. Always in search of good music, I listened to his latest album, The God Box. I love it. I am sending him good vibrations on his journey to push Black people into consciousness.

“I don’t care what you think of me, I just want you to think!”

Thank you for reading,

2015

Shila Iris