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Fruitvale will not Kill Oscar Grant's Legacy
I Will!: For Trayvon Martin
Roses that Grow from Concrete
My encounter with Haile Gerima
Launch into the Deep

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Fruitvale will not Kill Oscar Grant's Legacy

Dear Oscar Grant, I don't know you personally but I feel like I knew you. I feel like I knew your spirit and soul as well as your adversities. I feel like I knew your daily bread, how hard tried, how hard you fought, how hard you loved your daughter, how deep you loved your mama--how hard it is to live in the duality of being a Black man in America. Dear Oscar, I grew up with brothas with you, eme...shed with a bright smile, prince-like eyes, the heart of a lion and the physicality of a warrior. Watching your life on the screen made me ask the question as a Black woman in America---how am I helping brothas like you thrive? How am I helping brothas like you survive? What am I doing to contribute to the sustainability of dreamers. You didn't just want a job you wanted a life. Your essence of your entire being is thus the theology of so many young Black men who are misunderstood because no one wants to overstand you. See Oscar my name is Brandi and I feel like because of Fruitvale I must prevail. Fruitvale's have killed so many of our comrades, kings and leaders. Fruitvales have killed the Trayvon's, the Sean Bell's, the Tupac's, the Oscar Duncan's, the Cedric Heards--our husbands, boyfriends, brothers, sons and homeboys. They have assasinated our strength but not our SOURCE. I promise I will listen more to the heart & soul of Black men near and far. Your story is calling me and I will do my due dilligence to blow life into our stories. I am armed in my soul and ready! Dear Oscar, I am dreamer just like you and I will ensure that our dreams won't DIE! Asante Sana brotha---love Brandi

I Will!: For Trayvon Martin

 

Roses that Grow from Concrete

When I moved back to DC from New York it was in 2001. The twin towers were no longer, I had just been laid off from blazing job at THE SOURCE magazine and I was 22---with a book called "Drama Girl." Believe me I was a drama girl!  God knew I was wild so he gave me a challenge and that was teaching. For several years I couldn't get a job as a journalist, I could only get a job to teach journalism, English or Communications. I would teach for 7 years.  
 
I started my career as an educator at M.

My encounter with Haile Gerima

Me and my husband were Arguing, laughing and then reflecting about our lives. I tell him I have to make a pitstop to Sankofa Books in D.C.---so the store can carry my book. He understood and chilled out. I walk in the store and graciously hand great filmmaker Haile Gerima of the movie Sankofa the a copy of my book. We shoot the breeze while he eats his breakfast and says, "why didn't you take my film class while you were at Howard University?" I say, "Because I was a journalism major." He was like ok---"I'm trying to make it out the ghetto to Hollywood," like you Ms. Brandi. I said, "I'm from Hollywood, I have lived in several ghettos, but I wanna be like you one day." He was like maybe we can turn this book into a film. (Wow blank stare). When you have Oprah "Aha" moments like this you have to embrace them and let it simmer. You have to meditate on God's opportune times. I tell Mr. Gerima how I love the movie Sankofa. I'm thinking in the back of my mind--I need to let my kids watch it during a family night. He hugs me like a proud distant uncle and says call me Brandi let's do something for you real big--I mean real big.

Launch into the Deep

On May 2, 2010 I met with a strategic planner to help me to reorganize my life, to do some soul searching and to help me to create a laundry list of where I wanted to be versus where I needed to be.
 
It was a homegirl of mine who has her own strategic branding company that I met with. I started discussing how I wanted to quit my job at that time and start my own company. I didn't know if it was going to be an LLC, sole propietorship or a non-profit. I expressed to her that I wanted to invest in making my own business a success, but at the same time I wanted to brand Brandi.

On Schedule

My 3rd book will pre-arrive in just 8 days. I have a lot of anxiety because I have not published a book since 2003 and I am long overdue. For years I had writer's block where I couldn't pick up the pen. I would try to set up timelines and deadlines---however it just wasn't time to release "Free." I think deep down that I could not sync the book with being free within.
 
I had experienced a since of bondage, hurt, pain and uncertainty, that God allowed me to begin the process of healing before I could clearly write to the world.

I'm on my way

Just when I think I can't do it. God shows me that I can. I just have to be patient and count all my blessings in the world.
 
I am blessed, blessed, blessed, YES YES in the words of Jill Scott. So blessed to have two beautiful children and a husband that loves me in his own kinda gangsta way.
 
I am blessed to have my own company, it still feels like a Dream. I have some cool, but few friends. And my mom and 2 dads are still here. I have brothers across this country. And all three of em are artists!
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