LuSea Bee | New Sample – Who This?
A true story - bra(h).
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r. Race against a machine

I always thought of racism as a social construct not just by westerners but by black people who found themselves in the diaspora as well.

I moved to Italy, like “you all know” at the age of 11 *and three quarters*. I never thought racism as a thing. Never gave it time of day or thought for that matter. I mean, I was coming from a place where everyone looked alike, various shades of melanin aside, we were all “Children of the merciful Lord” – apart from the government leading the country at that time. No, not them, God didn’t love those.

I came to Italy because the father had been living here for an absurd amount of time and my mom was oddly fond of the idea “a family gatso live under the same roof”…or something along those lines. In the midst of very light skinned people – *shit, what is that? Your vein is saying hello? WTF is that normal?*-, I never thought of racism. Not even when people as old as my parents would say “If this and that happens, It’s because these oyinbo people don’t want you to be better than them. Like we set out to lick their faces and stain them with the color of our skins”. Even then, I never thought of racism as something that big of a deal. I mean, I know hate, I know misunderstandings but the depth of  skin deep all that and then some went? Na, never gave it that much of a thought. It simply made no sense to me, you know? It’s like the Azande and witchcraft, it’s always the fault of the latter, never their fault.

You wanna know when reality hit me in the face? I don’t know, I can’t remember truth be told. Would I say what people around me had been saying about these “oyinbo [- white]” people had suddenly caught on and influenced my way of thinking? Boy, please. No.

But one (of many) paticular episode shook me to the core made me say: Motherphucker, what did you say?

Chaka Khan | Ain’t Nobody

Felix Jaehn | This other body f. Jasmine Thompson

When my younger sister was born, motherphucker looked like Benjamin Button you know? old as phuck we realised she was anaemic. So, in the beginning, we’d go back and forth from the kids’ hospital, where she got her regular treatments whenever she got her crisis/pain episodes. She was 4 and it was my turn to stay with her whilst the rest of the family caught a break from seeing the same ol’ walls. The girl would always cry ’cause she was always in severe pain, her joints and muscles would hurt and standard procedure: my lil motherphucker would cry. Word must have gone around the small pediatric warden that the little black girl was sick. Might I add, we were, of course, the only black family in that space radius. So, on this particular day, I decide to take the lil motherphucker out of bed, make her walk around a little bit you know? Make her paint, maybe she’d get distracted or something. I mean, I don’t know what I was doing but knowing that there were other kids tryna sleep, I, more than anyone else, know just how frustrating it can be to hear a kid wail at the top of her tiny lungs. So, I take her to play amirite? Plan seemed to be working, she was visibly still in pain but if I anybody knew my lil motherphucker, right at a tender age she’d always been strong and resilient. She’d make annoying little noises while painting and ask stupid questions like: Am I going to die? Negro, shut the phuck up I would reply: “Nah”. 

After sometime though, my plan seemed to not work anymore ’cause she had started crying a whole lot more in the corridor. Out of the blue, came this stupid heifer and I remember her go to the nurse, who was on duty and she asked: Excuse me, that girl is crying. Can you tell them to go back to their rooms? I think her sickness might be contagious.

There was silence. Then there was rage. Then I lost it, then the nurse lost it too.

Now, maybe it’s understandable that a mother is trying to keep her poor likkle (not a typo, I said what I said -wrote rather) kid from all black crying babies of the world but man, I cried, cussed her bitchass out (which I rarely do, I was brought up well) and cussed her out a little bit more. Think her husband came to drag her back into their room ’cause he realised the wife wasn’t making sense after a while.

“Go back to Africa” “I don’t want your sickness”. I still didn’t think of racism then you know but I started to acknowledge it as a probable cause, nevertheless, I never pledged to the race card, all willy nilly.

With this acknowledgement though, there on forward, came a series of unfortunate events that made me reluctantly recognise that for some people “the black skin wasn’t the right skin”. Unless we were talking penis sizes and “rythm in their blood” factor, then all was white aight.

“I have to check your bag” – by an unauthorized sales lady, when I’d just put a used tissue paper in my bag in a supermarket and I had other people around going ’bout their business.

“Take this monkey you call a girlfriend out of my way” – by some man and his lady, when I was walking with someone.

“Is that you King Kong” – bullies, hope they are in jail now with my leopard themed scarf around my neck, on my way back home from school on the bus.

“Hey Nigger, How much?” – usually from older men who would roll down their windows when they saw me walking.

“Thank you little nigger/monkey” – last year, by a small kid I gave Ice-cream. His dad didn’t let him apologise.

For years, I’d been taunted by people for the color of my beautiful skin. I’ve never had a problem with my skin. Maybe problems with my hair, my diastemed-crooked smile, hell even my extremely slim figure but my skin? Never. Hell, when Netlog was still the “in” thing, when Tom from Myspace was still in your Top 8 and Hi5 would do what Hi5 did best – exist, I made friends with self-provclaimed skinhead and racists. I’d troll my trollees and with some, I kept a cordial relationship.

Wanna know when I started having a problem with racism and racists?

When the belittling and racexplaining came in to play. It was with the covert rather than the open, blatant racism. It was with the old lady holding her purse a little to tight to her bossom, when I walked by (something I have started doing now too, can’t trust these hoes). It was the subtlity, the missed opportunities, the sneer, the backroom talk, the  “It’s not racism, it’s just a figments of your immagination” talk- Bitch, whet?  I just want everyone to acknowledge the wrong and the unjust that resides in people. You know?

I was a teenager when I finally acknowledged racism but that doesn’t mean I’m in the wrong for putting people on a high pedestal or rather thinking even though people were stupid, the couldn’t be that stupid. I was wrong. Meh.

This Girl | Cookin’ on 3 Burners ft. Kylie Auldist

This Other Girl | Kungs

 

Ps: My sister lil motherphucker is great by the way. <3

 

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e. El Dorado

Yesterday was a great day.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to advance and age (with grace If I might add). It was great. No panic attacks, no bickering, no remorse of any kind, no anger. I yearned and prayed for peace of mind (amongst other things) by midnight and boy, I breezed through the day like I phucking owned the world. You get to appreciate everything and everyone a little bit more when you make up your mind that dark clouds have no claim whatsoever over you.

Today however, I stayed in my pyjamas, bled through multiple sanitary pads and suffered those menstrual pains and pangs. Like how a true motherfucker would, if he/it could.

And I finally, finally binged watched “13 reasons why..” while at it.

It’s comical. I admit it’s beautifully shot and played but in substance, all I could say was…WoW! Not a positive wow, I was irritated and I’m not even trying to jump on any bandwagon either but wow, it was shite. Even though I’d still watch a Season 2. Makes no sense, does it? I’m as puzzled as you are. True talk. But yeah, it’s a lot to take in. Teenagers are assholes but depicting them as unintelligible creatures that flip and carve so easily to peer pressure (I’m trying to generalize – largeeeeely here folks) just like fucking morons when the situation permits them is just, GAHD DAYUM! Why?! Wake Up!

Giving that the series does brilliantly cover and accurately depict that rhetoric ’bout how “a butterfly batting its wings could create a hurricane – someplace, somehow“, I constantly found myself calling out various characters regardless.

Wow.” “Ain’t you a fucking moron??” “Soz cuz, can’t relate”.”What? No! WTF are these people?”

I’m yet to place my finger on what really pisses me off about the series and the characters that are being brought to life. I mean, for pete’s sake, I like how  it didn’t gloss over human fragility and interpersonal exchanges, the various intricacies of growing up, mental health, depression, sexual assault just to name a few. Still, I found it incredibly cheesy.  Maybe that’s it – it was cheesy. Maybe that’s why I found some things redundant. As someone who has constantly fought her battles to keep a leash on her sanity, I know just how detrimental the dark corners of ones mind could be. It’s a phucking trap man, it’s exhausting. Just merely reminiscing about it gives me the chills. It wears you out man, you are in a real sunken-ass place (all reference to Get Out of course).

Years back in high school, while having my usual rant session with a schoolmate of mine on our way back home, I we came to the realization that the hardest part about being a fully functioning human being wasn’t just about having food on the table, paying bills and being a respectable civilian in a fucked up society. No, it wasn’t just that really. It was really about staying afloat. Staying alive, literally. When this friend of mine and I would touch the grounds of suicide and choices taken concerning life/death issues, we’ve always thought that dying was actually the easiest way out. And no, it wasn’t to shame or fault anybody but when that realization hits you – that staying alive is should be the end game because “death was the easiest part about living” – it made sense. It made sense to us at least. A lot. And that hasn’t changed.

Have I ever contemplated suicide? Aha hah.

Yes. Yeah, I have.

Boy, never really said or wrote that out loud. I thought of how easy it could be, to just – stop. Put a full stop. Period. It was a welcome feeling in the midst of all the angst and anxiety and conflicting emotions racing through my mind and wrecking my soul. It was truly a warm sensation, I won’t lie. And then I snapped reluctantly dragged myself out of it.

Obviously, we all differ. Various shades of strength. We all react differently. Our emotions pushes us to fight, for different things, various reasons. That realization I’d come across years before slapped me when the thought of suicide caressed my mind. It was rough. “Stay. the. phuck. alive. FIGHT FOR YOURSELF – da fuck?“. That is the hardest part of battling with life and everything, anything it throws at us, staying in it. Staying in the chaos, regardless. And it is rough. You see, even the most put together person you know in the room will lose it when certain synapses of the mind can be fingered, toyed with. It’s mind fuckery-ing that no one rightfully likes to dwell on for too long and for those of us who do, there’s no glory or candy o’er here. No one is really got their shit together, you see? Yeah maybe you can be solid with certain things and the world outside but when it’s just you, on the inside? Tête à tête? Fighting yourself, mind, body or soul? Boy, that war is no child’s play. We all survive with masks. Like that Pirandello novel that caught my attention that one time “Uno, nessuno, centomila “- One, No One, One hundred thousand.  Obviously, certain people will make their choices regardless. They are not stronger but make no mistake, that doesn’t make them weaker either. There’s no better than or worse than. It’s just meh…whatever you do, life wins you see? It goes on.

I really don’t know what pissed me off about the reenactment of “13 reasons why..” or maybe I should say that now I have half an idea. Humans are resilient motherphuckers in general but I don’t know man, one can’t simply accept shit (and dish it out too – Hannah was a bitch sometimes too) and just decide to let it all stop. And you do take full responsibility for your actions. The series kept looking for scapegoats, victims and situations to pin the blame on. It was a phucking blame game, this one! Gahd! I mean, there were obvious perpetrators, don’t get me wrong. But they were like what? 2 or 3? Life is twisted, people are bad. Some are great too. Situations are tough but then sometimes they are not too. You know?

One day after school, I remember this aforementioned friend of mine ended our rant session with a “non avere mai paura di chiedere aiuto, L.” – “don’t be scared/ashamed to ask for help”. We were not even talking about something that deep. But she said it, out of the blue. And it stuck. And when that aforementioned thought caressed my mind, know what I did? I shut down. Completely. Then I dragged myself out of that dark hole I had secluded myself and I whispered. Then I coughed a little. Then I talked. And now, with this WordPress thingy? I think I’m fucking screaming.

Ain’t giving up without a fight. Didn’t do it then, ain’t starting now. Ever. I need to remember that.

FIGHT FOR YOURSELF, daily.” There are always 13 reasons why that idea doesn’t really suck.

Bobby Caldwell – Open your eyes

Common

John Legend

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i. Ikea, iCare

E’ come essere nati a complimenti, schiaffi e cruda realta’ con un cenno piccolissimo di bullismo presentato su un tegame di fede frustrante nel prossimo con accompagnamento in salsa agrodolce di totale, banalissima impossibilita’ di poter cambiare certe situazioni della propria vita.

Ciò che apre questo articolo quasi forzato e struggente è quel che può essere definito, in 1,2, 3 righe e mezzo, la storia della mia esperienza con la crescita, la scoperta e la ricerca di me stessa che a dirla tutta, è ancora in corso.

Per tutta la mia vita, ho sempre pensato di essere un libro aperto, di essere la classica ragazza della porta accanto, la solita, una delle tante insomma. Ho riso e soprattutto ho fatto ridere, mi sono sempre mostrata forte anche quando le cose non andavano come da manuale, non ho mai fatto a botte, perchè non ne sono capace. Sono solare, sono uggiosa, analogicamente sono come il clima Londinese. Sono, ma non troppo, niente di spettacolare. Quasi noiosa.

Invece no.

Secondo un mio ex-coinquilino, posso essere definita una ragazza alquanto complicata (cosa che avevo imparato ad accettare da adolescente, ma non sapevo trapelasse con i miei rapporti interpersonali) ed inscrutabile, misteriosa e sono quasi equo comparabile “ai sciamani che sanno i segreti della vita ma non te lo dicono e quindi ti dicono altre cose usando metafore che possibilmente non c’entrano un cazzo col quesito posto“.

C’avete capito qualcosa? No? Manco io e mi piace!

Una mia cara amica invece dice che dovrei “provarmi”, cioè uscire dal mio corpo, frequentare e parlare con me stessa e mi adorerei come mi adorano loro. Lei è tenera e credo sia solo una carineria o forse no, in ogni caso, ciò mi ha solo fatto riflettere sulla percezione che abbiamo di noi stessi ovvero che il più delle volte è quasi sempre sbagliata.

E’ come quella bellissima pubblicita’ della Dove…ahhh, non ve lo sto neanche a spiegare (cercate invece: “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”).

Mi ricordo che gia’ nell’eta’ adolescenziale, alla domanda “come ti descriveresti?” rispondevo sempre “Io non posso giudicarmi, dovresti chiederlo ad altre persone”. Io, allora, lo dicevo poichè lo consideravo una domanda scomoda, evitavo sempre di dire cose non veritiere (su mio conto – tirar acqua al mio mulino come si suol dire) non perchè avessi una percezione negativa di me, ma perchè credevo potessero essere smentita da persone che supponevo mi conoscessero realmente, ora sono più che certa che ero solo ingenua, nessuno ti conosce a pieno indi per cui, è cosa buona e giusta fidarsi ed imparare ad essere autocritici, essere aperti a critici e non snobbare le analisi date dai bambini (e altri aggiungevano, dagli ubriachi).

Io, alla domanda “Come Ti Descriveresti?non saprei minimamente rispondere qualche cazzata ora saprei dire, essere adulti comporta un sacco di responsabilità da vari fronti e a me ha sempre spaventato per esempio. Si tratta di andare alla ricerca del proprio IO è un viaggio lungo e tortuoso perché oltre a trovarla bisogna accontentarsi ed adattarsi. E non tutti sono pronti per guardarsi allo specchio effettivamente.

Purtroppo, io non sono tutti e finalmente ho imparato, a malincuore, ad essere pronta.

 

Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up [1991]

 

Lemar – Tick Tock [2006]

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l. Lust in the Future

I’m not used to not being looked at in a condescending way.

It’s been long my elder sister and I got away from our abitual, respective routines. Scrap that, we’d never done that. So when Ryanair gave us the right offer at the appropriate time, we hopped on it, like bees in a honey pot.

The country was Eindhoven – the Netherlands, beautiful, beautiful place. Clean as phuck too, great buildings and cordial people, food wasn’t that good though. Everyone spoke English or at least, tried to make our stay bearable by making sure the language barrier wasn’t going to be a deal breaker. Even though I’m starting to get into the dutch language myself, I do like knowing when I am being told off.

And that moment never came.

I’ve lived in Italy for 15 years already and when you are an “outsider” you just know when you are being looked at like you don’t belong there or  you are being considered “less than”. I’ve dealt with so much covert racism that I was simple waiting for that moment to hit me, in the cold streets of Eindhoven, with a loud ass luggage behind me disrupting the quiet of that afternoon.

It never came.

I’m not trying to sugar coat the Dutch – neither do I think it’s a safe haven either, I mean racism is real and it’s everywhere, the various shades of peoples’ skin will always be an issue, everywhere, anywhere, all the time – yes, even in African countries.

Still, it is a welcome feeling to be treated for who one really is when in a foreign country – tourists – not really black tourists per se, just tourists with very peculiar and coloured hairstyles. Tourists, who were undeniably excited when the train announcer said: “Next Stop, Amsterdam CS.

It felt good to be treated like everyone else, not be fetishized, at least the illusion felt great. Felt fucking amazing to pass unnoticed too, in some way, not because we were black Ugh these niggers are probably here to steal something, let me call my neighbour to hide the valuables but because we were just in a nice country to feed our eyes and hearts on what went on when we were locked away with the monotony we’ve made our lives.

It was nice to watch so many mixed couples walk hand in hand and no sad, judgemental older (wo)man raising his/her brows in dismay and horror OMG! The white race won’t resist much longer if this sin against my ancestors continues, gotta remember to call my sister to tell her son not to bring any rice cake home – after my kebab, I love kebabs in sight.

The worst kind of racism, for me, had always been the covert kind of racism “It’s all in your head L. – It’s just ignorance, not real racism – You are one of the good ones, but the others, I’d kill”.

My heart is full with gratitude for each day I pass on Earth, you know? Everything, everyone, has been a gradual process to making me who I am today, every experience, every lesson, every racial slur and every “you are a beautiful black woman” too.

This trip is simply a metaphor I’d cherish and keep trying to decode in its simple yet awespiring intricacies. I didn’t know just how much covert racism had made it feel normal for me to feel unwanted or inappropriate, right from some years shy of teenagehood. Do not get me wrong, Italy is great – the food is greater, made good friends and questionable ones have been kicked to the curb, yet, I just wasn’t used to this, It was a breathe of fresh air. Might be hard to understand if you can’t relate but knowing something as good and as simple as “opportunity to prove one’s self before undergoing unintelligible skin color scrutiny” happens to people of color, daily – every and anywhere, outside my comfort zone is just beautiful, makes me feel at peace – at home, once again and I’m glad I was priviledged enough to know just how good that feels, I’d truly forgotten.

Welcome to Amsterdam, have fun. I hope you enjoy it” said the guy seated close to me on the train once we got to our destination.

 

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti : “Trouble Sleep, Yanga Go Wake Am.” [1979]

 

Lindsey: “Trouble sleep, yanga go wake am – Cover” [Brown – The EP]

 

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