My Introduction to David Banner


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,


Shila Iris


Day 2- KWANZAA AFTER DARK: Gil Scott-Heron & My koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah


Kwanzaa Day 2

KUJICHAGULIA (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah) means SeLF-DeTerMiNation
So, what are you determined to do?  
poeTry by Shila Iris (a choppy freestyle poem)

I am determined to free myself, and my people
Think for myself, and pass it on to the children
Name myself, disconnect from the Barnes,
you can call me Shila, Iris, OSiRis RiSinG
after my pilgrimage, I came back with an X
never liked working for a “boss,”
job title, a Creator,
I speak to us, I speak to them
a griot storyteller, I don’t preach to Us
You can see my face on the walls in Kemet
a sleep shaker, waking up the complacent
the grand reaper, like a thief in the night stole his brain
Now he walking dead, insane to the membrane
I promote self, the return of the Messiah,
the god in You, return to the throne cause you’re worthy
but we don’t rule from up high, that’s a lie
created by an informant and a spy, a spook
would you like me to measure you in a hook?

You getting weaker Mr. Man, with all the female friends,
leave the weapon in your pants, and take her on a mind dance
she don’t need you impregnating her with the Omen
and masquerading her around in surround sound, reality Tv,
could it be any faker?


I am determined to follow the signs that lead me away from drama and chaos.
The  hurdles in the road bring colossal  disappointments,
but, smooth   seas   don’t make good sailors.
I am a mariner,
like the car   I drive,
I strive, for excellence
defined by no Other.
Surely,   I am not judging myself based on your speculations
surely, you are   not   feeding me your translation
I am focused on my emancipation
from the distractions in my lap, Like,
cell phones with IG notifications, FB stimulation and
tweet hydration, but they don’t really drink the sweet tea outside of
history textbook philosophy
I’m not a dreamer, I’ve transcended,
I’m not a peacekeeper,
I have no limits,
I have to stop listening to you modify the truth so that i can get the real answers.
if facts can be fiction. then let’s change the facts,
my shield, my koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah, my
magic, did you see the fire come from my    finger tips?
did you hear the SPE LL whispered from my lips?
twist in a hip, start a war,
but, I’m armored,
with a mind like weapons
of    mass   construction
simple deductions bring hardcore answers,
i stick close to the One that can
stomp like an elephant, sting like a bee, carry a load like an ant,
yep, I plant seeds… with self-determination, you won’t catch me!

Stomp Like An Elephant

Happy Kwanzaa! I hope you enjoyed your day. I just loved mine! -i am Shila Iris

Karibu (Welcome) to Day 2– Instructions for Kwanzaa:

You should greet your friends and family by asking: Habari gani? (Translation: What’s the news?); and today, they can respond: Kujichagulia! (Translation: Self-Determination) Learn more about Kwanzaa here.

Let’s talk about the 2nd Principle of Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia.


My gift to you today, on day 2, is Gil Scott-Heron, because I want to remind you that you don’t have to live in a bottle. Be determined to GET FREE and LIVE trying. Gil inspires my freestyle flows. He had so much soul. Check it out, will you?

Asante sana. Thank you for visiting African Essence by Shila Iris
AE- Blog 12_21_12_15


Day 1- KWANZAA AFTER DARK: Afrikan Aesthetics May Lead You There


Kwanzaa Day 1


So, you’re here to join me for my 9 p.m. Sunrise? Happy Kwanzaa! I hope you enjoyed your day. I just loved mine! -i am Shila Iris

Day 1- Instructions for Kwanzaa:

You should greet your friends and family by asking: Habari gani? (Translation: What’s the news?); and today, they can respond: Umoja! (Translation: Unity) Learn more about Kwanzaa here.

Tonight, let’s talk about the 1st Principle of Kwanzaa: Umoja, which means Unity. 

Allow it.
The mind opens
as the heart prepares itself for the full
embrace of the Season.
The climate has changed in my favor
The Sun kisses me as if I were near the Equator
She asks about my glow,
inquiring of the fullness of my belly
I say to her,
I am at peace with the One inside of me,
he and I are unified eternally
He shall be the one I see when I look into the mirror
my reflection,
is adorned with the promise
of my maturity,
speak to me.  -i am poet, Shila 
What if you fully embraced images of you? Your hair, your heritage (find it), your family? It’s a melanin thing, more like a blood stream, more like the River Nile, pulsating, inside of me, it incites me, excites me

I cannot be anyone other than me.

This is the Spirituality of Our Ancestors: Afrikan Aesthetics, I give you the first gift of Kwanzaa, us Unifying, is 
Enjoy them, and let me know what you think. 

Read about them:


Kwanzaa: Obama Approved!
Music for tonight.

P.S. If you’re in Cleveland, you should check this out tonight (keep in mind, the start time can be misleading. Honestly, I think if you make it there by 11:30 pm, you’ll be good.

This Moment in Black History at Mahall’s. Click on the image for more information.
This Moment in Black History

Peace & blessings manifest with every lesson learned,

Shila Iris

Day 6 – KWANZAA AFTER DARK: On the 6th Day of Kwanzaa, My True Love Gave to Me…


Innovation. Discovery. Courage.

I faced many challenges in 2014, but I am thankful that despite all, I never lost my ability to be creative. I AM ART. Can’t you see? KUUMBA!

30 and up 4Shila_Bobby Williams photo

In 2015, the only thing that I really need is Strength. With it, mountains will be moved. I am stronger now, than I ever have been, and I can only hope to get stronger. In my 30th season, I’ve seen things that were exciting, positive, and most of all real! Some of these things I have, some of these things, I hope to have for myself:

I saw people be completely honest about their desires- I want that.

I saw a woman continuously smile- I want that.

I saw a man express himself with no fear of judgment- I want that.

I saw people admit their faults, by removing the knives they put in backs- I want that.

I saw a woman, happy in her solitude- I want that.

I saw a man kiss a woman, and she looked like she was going to faint- I want that.

I saw people read- I want that.

I saw a man praise his ancestors- I want that.

I saw a woman sacrifice- I want that.

I saw people walk towards love, instead of running- I want that.

I saw a man and a woman talk to each other about their mistakes- I want that.

I saw a greedy man, share- I want that.

I saw a lonely woman finally accept herself- I want that.

I want to CONTINUE TO GROW. What do you want?

I saw a woman become her ArT.

Studio 3003, 11 rue Labat 75018

I am LOVE. I am ForgiveNess. I aM reciProcity.

I stand nAked, ready to face the world. ♥ I am noT Afraid of You.


My true Love is Myself.

Peace and blessings. 9:00 P.M. 12/31/14


from Queen, Me



“Peace and blessings manifest with
every lesson learned
If your knowledge were your wealth then
it would be well earned”   -Erykah Badu


Today’s Kwanzaa theme is NIA otherwise known as Purpose. When I think of purpose, I think of my Identity, of our identity, and the restoration of the traditional greatness in the Black/Brown family. Our greatness has been repressed because we have been oppressed, but I can feel the blood of my ancestors running through my veins. It feels amazing. I know that I am wonderful, and I know that it means something to have this history inside of me.

Today, my NIA gift to you is Baduizm, an album that helped me to realize my Greatness. FrontBack

It’s been seventeen years since Erykah Badu released Baduizm. I was 13 at the time, and I remember being mesmerized by her music. I saw the video for On and On and was hooked! Good for me, my mom was into Badu, so she purchased the tape and played it frequently. I was right there by her side, listening to every lyric.

“I can’t believe
That we’re still livin’
Oh, in this crazy, crazy world
That I’m still livin’

With all the problems of the day
How can we go on? Hey
So tired of hearin’ people say
“How can we go on?”

Fantasy people
Make believe people
How can you go on? Yeah
But you’re still livin’ ” – from the song “Drama”

Erykah’s energy seemed to awaken something inside of me. At the time, I couldn’t identify what it was, but it seemed more spiritual than anything. To this day, she is still intoxicating and her lyrics touch my soul. I don’t exactly feel like I am a fan of hers, I feel more of a ethereal kinship to her. I feel the wealth of her knowledge reflected through her music.

As a gift, please enjoy the messages behind the music. Let the baselines take you into the lands and into the hearts of your ancestors. If you can, check out this book on Badu:


Sometimes we get knocked off course. We get lost in love, sick, distracted by technology, confused, hurt, but we have to remember that we are GREAT. We are more than whatever they told us we are! We should look to ourselves to find our history. KNOWing yourself is fulfilling your purpose. 

Peace and love,

Queen Shi-La on the throne…


8:30 p.m. 12/30/14



#DontTakEitPERSONAL  #butINeedtoWork   #toThrive  #iCANTreallySEEyouRightNow

Having had experiences with family, friends, and associates who have run successful businesses as freelancing consultants, personal trainers, artists, designers, accountants, teachers, and writers- rather it be part or full time, I realized that they could always use my support. Everyone needs a support system to either help or just be there when they need you. Over the years I am proud to say that I have shown people so much support in their endeavors. My biggest offering has always been my time. Nevertheless, I have spent a lot of money making sure people were financially secure.

I have purchased items such as handmade jewelry, girl scout cookies, body oils; I have taken classes and fundraised for people. I have helped friends plan events for work and sometimes I even showed up with lunch when I knew that someone couldn’t stop working to grab a bite to eat. More recently, I have learned that support sometimes means giving someone space and time, so that they can manage their work. This is probably one of the biggest things you can do for a person, leave them alone, so that they can WORK!

So in the spirit of #CooperativeEconomics otherwise known as #Ujamaa


As the year comes to an end, I realize just how important it is to be able to set a goal and see it through. It takes hard work and determination. It also takes being on a strict schedule, sometimes meaning days of confinement and solitude- not even a phone call! Now is the time that many people set goals, and I am one of those people. Never before have I been able to see my goals through, but with the right support system, it is most definitely possible. You have to make sacrifices to achieve because it remains to be true that things worth having require work! I am working, and sometimes I need space. I have made a lot of sacrifices to get where I am- to a place where I can set goals, and stay on top of them. I have given up some things like going out, socializing, etcetera, but its what I had to do, to save time and money because I am going to need it for my future plans!


So in light of this, if your friends cease being available to sit around and socialize, try to comprehend why, rather then write them off as a horribly selfish person. Show your support by giving them the time they need to work.

#shesNOTselfish #sheWANTSaFUTURE #datingCanBEoverrated  #hardWorkLeadstoPlay #IwantToPlayOverseas #giveHIMspace

Peace and love,

Shila_Bobby Williams photo

Queen OSiRis

p.S. If you need the support, I can do what I can when I have the time. I will either say yes, or no. #DontTakEitPERSONAL. Peace. –  8:00 p.m. 12/29/14

A book that I will continue to suggest:

TWO THOUSAND SEASONS by Ayi Kwei Armah #LifeChangingBooks