Jamie Mayes, AOE

Super Woke, but Don’t Sleep on Black Panther

In Culture, justice, life, media, News, Race, reality, Uncategorized on February 27, 2018 at 3:58 pm

I am all for black empowerment, and I truly believe that systemic racism, institutional racism, subtle racism and oppression and cultural bias exist. Just like so many others, I said down with Dove, H & M and Pepsi…but there is time when people go too far. Last week, Black Panther, one of the most successful movies in history, was released and black pride was at an all-time high. There were dashikis, royal African wear and natural hair everywhere! It was a beautiful site. I did not spare jamin my appearance, rocking a combination of black and all the tigers of Africa including a lion necklace on my neck; I even posed in the lobby with my power-to-the-people first and black animal print glasses. I found myself sobbing with prideful emotion and chiming in ad-libs while I watched Black Panther in 3D. Black Panther was for black folks what Star Wars is to white people- an iconic experience.

Even though Black Panther was a beautiful, cinematic masterpiece with creative artistic ability, subliminal and blatant cultural and political messages and a nearly all-black cast, there were still some complainers. I was not surprised; as a matter of a fact, I waited patiently to see what the Super Woke committee would release as a rebuttal to a movie that is taking the world by storm. It took them a few days to search long and hard for a criticism, but they dug into the crack of nowhere and found some. There were comments like, “This movie still produced by Disney; so, black people are still funneling their money into a white company.”  Others claimed black folks deserved a movie realer and truer than Black Panther, which sucked because I thought it portrayed so much of the truth about the talent, skills and hidden gifts of black people and Africa.  It was at this moment that I realized some people will never be satisfied. They immerse themselves in complaining; they search for an opportunity to appear deeper than they are, and pledge head first into foolishness. However, this is what is so problematic with the super woke: they are just as much of an enemy to black culture as those who are truly guilty of racism and prejudice. Do not clutch your chest; it is alright to breathe. Let me take a moment to explain why.

  1. You often appear illogical and unwilling to learn.

One of the most serious problems with the super woke community is their unwillingness to learn and reach outside of their comfort zone. Change and progress are uncomfortable experiences for all of us. They often require serious self-evaluation and demand that we assess the role we play in moving a mission forward or causing it to regress. For the Super Woke, this means one must accept that their constant criticism is not an attempt to move race-relations forward; it is a shove backwards for mankind. Though man would like to think that separation of races is a good idea, we must remember that every existent object or being functions better when all parts work together. In all honestly, a racially balanced utopia is highly unlikely, but we must be willing to learn more about other races and cultures and to consider, with logic, ways to build a functional relationship with people who do not look, think or believe like us.

  1. You create problems instead of solving them.

The Super Woke appears to hate diversity. They crave the opportunity to identify an area lacking black justice and seek to complain about unending oppression when they are oppressing the spirit of those who seek to emulate that which they desire. The Super Woke believe that those who are open to discussions on race and culture with other groups are weak and wasting their time. They find fault in the system, but seek to criticize the system not correct the system. My super woke sisters and brothers, these behaviors offer no solution, but instead amplify the problem. Furthermore, it personally causes you distress by taking the never-ending approach to race as the bottom line every problem in America. These people often isolate themselves in the workplace or limit their own success by opting to only participate in business with those who look like and think like them. While race plays a significant role in the most dominant problems in America, it is only by consciously contradicting the predictable American culture can you prove to be the solution. By contributing to the idea that every part of one’s existence is lined with racial contexts, you continue to add to and create more problems.

  1. You get no sleep…and that makes you cranky.

Though this seems like the smallest reason, it is the most important one: being Super Woke is exhausting. Though we live in a braggadocios era where everyone celebrates “team no sleep” and the belief that one will “sleep when I’m dead,” such is not idealistic and is actually detrimental to productivity. Living the life of the Super Woke can also have the same affects.  Constantly focusing on only one portion of a picture or from an assumptive or one-dimensional view becomes repetitive and pointless. Look, Super Wokes, give it a rest sometimes. Yes, it is okay to go see a movie where the main star is white.  You are not betraying your people if you sometimes get a pedicure from the Asian ladies because they give the best foot rub. You can, in fact, celebrate Kwanzaa and Christmas.  And no, you don’t have to live in an all-black society to understand black issues, advocate for black culture and have black pride. Quite often, it is in the midst of the unfamiliar that one can make the most impact.

Being woke does not mean one can no longer see the value of what our counterparts offer society; no, does not it mean we have to reject diversity y or forsake racial unity. Being woke means we recognize the flaws in society, the tendency of others to ignore real problems and the pervasive injustices black people face. Not only do woke people recognize these issues, but they identify those issues publicly and address how to amend them with parties from all cultures, races and ethnicities. Woke also means conscious and conscious means that one also aware of their own actions and the actions of society. To my Super Woke folks, slow it down. The truth is that racial issues dominate American society and we are currently facing problems that many though were eliminated fifty years ago. However, we have also made important strides in society. Many of these strides were possible because the mentality of so many has changed and new generations of leaders and citizens have forced America to evolve. While there is so much work to be done, please remember that the quality of work must supersede the quantity of work. Let us not spend so much time being a Super Woke advocate that we fail to act out the changes we deem a necessary part of society,  we reject new ideas and growth or we do not re-charge our bodies and spirits to continue such an important mission. Let us not be so woke, that we sleep on important opportunities to contribute to our fellow mankind, elevate our own brothers and sisters or to make important societal impacts for the culture.


Don’t Let a Bell Pepper Block Your Blessing

In Culture, life, media, News, reality, religion, Uncategorized on December 26, 2017 at 6:44 am

A few nights ago, I was in Wal-Mart Market purchasing a few items for my Christmas buggy. I had gathers a plethora of things and made my way to the self-check-out due to the long lines in the few open cashier lanes. As I rung up my never-ending basket of items, I watched the numbers increase from cents to dollars instantly. At the end my total was just over $150. I begrudgingly reached into my wallet and pulled out my debit card, which had already seen its share of swipes and purchases throughout the day. I grabbed my receipt and headed for the exit, hoping that I had forgotten nothing on the extra long list. When I got to my car, I loaded my son into his car seat, and then popped the trunk to load the grocery. I had loaded what seemed like far too few bags for such a large total when I reached to get one more bag. I suddenly noticed a plastic bag stick out from between my beautiful poinsettias, which I had scores for only three bucks a piece. Just as I grabbed the second one, I realized I had accidentally missed scanning a bell pepper that was tucked between two poinsettias. I signed heavily. I looked at the door, my trunk and then the bell pepper. I thought to myself, “I just spent $150, I am not going back in for an 89-cent bell pepper. I mean, I can really just keep this little pepper; it’s not big deal.” However, I looked at the bell pepper once more, and I could not convince myself to toss it into my trunk. I could already hear my mom in the back of my head waving her finger and telling me I should have taken it back even if it costs ten cents. I looked at the bags and my son once more; I was simply not up for unloading a toddler and going back into the store for this bell pepper. I asked myself, Do I really want to block my blessing because of a bell pepper?

This is the situation so many of us often face. We are presented with bell peppers that seem like they won’t cost us much, but that’s exactly the problem. Something that is worth so little can cost us so much if we lose focus. I am sure, so many are like me; you have some 89 cent bell peppers in your life. Situations or people who test and tempt your morals and character; you have contemplated letting them “have it” or catching them after work. However, I urge you to look at the bigger picture and ask yourself if these situations or people are worth your dignity, self-respect, public image or Christian relationship. Undoubtedly, they are not. Therefore, take that bell pepper and return it to where it came from; place it among those who are just like it, and keep going.  I know that can be much easier said that done, but I urge you to…just…keep…going. Bell pepper people and situations can seem so small, but they can cost us so much. That was the problem with the bell pepper between the poinsettias; it seemed easy and convenient to follow my mood and just toss it into the trunk, so I could get home. However, in the end, it would have still been stealing, which is not pleasing in the sight of God. I was certainly not willing to trade my dignity and self-respect for a bell pepper. Some would declare that no one would have noticed or even cared about the missing bell pepper, but that’s the art of not letting it block my blessing. Why should I be wiling to put a blemish on relationship with God or a stain on my self-respect for something no one would even notice? Yet, I would have to pay a price, and the bell pepper wasn’t worth itistock_photo_of_bell_peppers.

I looked at the door of the store once more and made a swift decision. I hopped into my car, pulled up as close as possible to the front door (no, literally, on the store side walk, up to the front door), looked for an employee coming in and out of the store, turned on the emergency lights, cracked the window, locked the door, jumped of the car, ran about five feet to the door where an employee was standing, told her I accidentally left a pepper in my buggy and ran back out. Whew! It took me less than ten seconds to do what I knew was right. I was not a bell pepper thief, and most importantly, I wasn’t going to let an 89-cent bell pepper block my blessing. Don’t let one block yours either.

Melanin Magic: A Tribute to Beauty & Power

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Sun kissed goddess

Melanin glistening in the sunlightsamjah

Oh, what a wonder you are

To the eyes that behold your radiant beauty

Exquisite you are

Astonished are we

For the intrigue of your powers is inexplicable


Sister, how do you shine so brightly

When your light’s within?

How do you speak to our souls

Without saying a word?

How do you paint the perfect picture

Without the stroke of a brush?


You are magical, sister.

Haven’t you heard what melanin-blessed goddesses do?

The way we trade our beauty for someone else’s ashes

and still end with beauty every time

The way we make the biggest moves in the tightest spaces

The way we make something out of nothing

and nothing out of something

Even our imperfections are perfectly created.


Sister, how can you heal a man’s broken heart

with a simple smile?

How do you always find the silver lining

even if the cloud is blackish-gray?

How do you receive the least

but still do the most?


You are magical, sister.

Haven’t you heard what melanin-blessed goddesses do?

Aint no abracadabra in this.

No one can voodoo mix this.

There’s no scientific explanation to this.

It’s just who we are

And what we do.


Sister, how are you the strongest woman on earth

But never bench pressed or squatted ?

How do you bring light into a darkroom

with no windows or light bulbs?

How do you raise a nation but

Only give birth to one child?


You are magical, sister.

Haven’t you heard what melanin-blessed goddesses do?

We live.

We thrive.

We give life…

To everything around us.

Black girl, didn’t you know

You have magic?


Sun kissed goddess

Melanin glistening in the sunlight

Oh, what a wonder you are

To the eyes that behold your radiant beauty

Exquisite you are

Intrigued are we

For the enchantment of your powers is enigmatic.


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