Jamie Mayes, AOE

Archive for November, 2014|Monthly archive page

Just When I Thought the Pen Had No More Ink..

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2014 at 6:27 am

Click here to get your copy of Expecting now!

expectinglulucoverThroughout my pregnancy I was smothered with “you are going to write so much”-es and “Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to read what you are bringing forth”-es that I anticipated a spiritual awakening of my writing senses. I felt so Lauryn Hillish and my Erykah Baduism was ready to be ignited. I kept a pen at the tip of my fingers, a notepad in my purse, and my cell phone glued to my hand in anticipation of frequent masterpieces spilling from my soul like lava. I was quite embarrassed when such did not happen. My pregnancy would be far from a delicate dance with the realization that I was on the road to single parenthood, black boys were being shot down like wild deer, I would be giving birth to a son in the midst of this mess, my emotions were running wild and I had no idea how to control them. I would learn what it was like to stare in the face of discrimination, some who I thought loved me would criticize me, and my pen would become so paralyzed I thought my writing journey had ended. I found myself overloaded with emotions and empty of motivation. Meanwhile, strangers who I never knew were supporters cheered on my absent works and sent constant messages of love when I was feeling very little love within. I understood the beauty of my blessing but my view was blocked by so many things that I could barely make sense of my emotions. The irony of my struggle to feel good about myself was that everyone around me was completely in love with my experience. They found the poetic lines I had lost and texted, spoke, cooked, bought, and celebrated them. They laughed me out of grief and hugged me out of pain. When I lost me, they searched until they found the pieces that were shattered and promised to help put them back together again. The miracle of love and support is that through others I was able to crawl from my hole and occasionally compose lines that connected the growth of my belly to the slow growth of my soul. I read over pieces I had composed just before I found out I was Expecting, studied them, meditated over them and used them to extend myself even more. One night, after days of struggling through physical and emotional pain, my mother randomly called. I was nearly finished with my book and had decided that I would not publish it. She very simply said, “You can do this. Find your joy in your baby and writing your books.” That night I finished and published the eBook version of Expecting. This book, that moment, my life was no longer about me; it was about my son who, even unborn, was Expecting so much more out of me.

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Why My Dad Wins This Argument

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm

In case you haven’t had time to check out my newest post…

Jamie Mayes- Author. Orator. Educator.

Over the past few months, my father and I have had multiple discussions about the struggles of black men and women in America. In attempt to gain a better understanding of black males, we constantly discuss the issues that keep black women struggling to understand their sons, brothers, fathers and companions and what causes black men to hold back on fully communicating with their sisters, mothers, daughters and companions. Our discussion is not condescending in nature or an attempt to justify either of our imperfections but our attempt to understand each other and the struggles of people around us.
He has insisted that the burden a black man bears is bigger than that of black women, which sparked an ongoing debate between us.

I contested this notion, arguing that black women are the givers of all black life- and many white lives, too. I told him that every time our…

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Why My Dad Wins This Argument

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

Over the past few months, my father and I have had multiple discussions about the struggles of black men and women in America. In attempt to gain a better understanding of black males, we constantly discuss the issues that keep black women struggling to understand their sons, brothers, fathers and companions and what causes black men to hold back on fully communicating with their sisters, mothers, daughters and companions. Our discussion is not condescending in nature or an attempt to justify either of our imperfections but our attempt to understand each other and the struggles of people around us.
He has insisted that the burden a black man bears is bigger than that of black women, which sparked an ongoing debate between us.

I contested this notion, arguing that black women are the givers of all black life- and many white lives, too. I told him that every time our offspring is separated from us whether they are male or female; we worry that our daughters and sons may be stereotyped, mistreated or even killed. It was my opinion that the constant worry and heartache was more than enough to explain why black women have a bigger struggle. But I took it further, or shall I say back, to the fields of slavery, explaining that black women had lost their dignity to slave masters long ago. We were raped of our bodies and souls, forced to make sacrifices to save our lives and the lives of those we loved only to be underrated, underpaid, and negatively objectified by society. We have been sexualized by all cultures and ostracized by our own race. Most importantly, I disputed, we have been failed by our black men. Slavery had taken generations of black manhood, reducing them to property with no right to protect their own wives and families and hundreds of years later they are still struggling to gain an identity in America, causing poor relationships between black men and women. This was an argument I felt he could not deny.

He accepted my position and challenged my position, telling me that my life would soon change as the new mother of a black son. My father told me that from the moment a black male leaves the womb he is marked by American society. He is identified as a threat and targeted as one that must be controlled or eliminated. He explained the constant feelings of powerlessness that black men experience when they realize that the law does not protect them and they are not entitled to protect themselves or their families. He reminded me of the unceasing automatic assumptions by small minded individuals that a black man might be a robber or thug; therefore, it has become okay to assassinate them on the assumption that they are a threat. Finally, he told me to keep watching my black son grow up. Pay attention to my surroundings. Get ready for experiences I have never had before and a type of worry I did not know. Yes, he said, it is hard for a black woman to watch, but even more difficult for a black man to live or not live.

I had called our conversation a draw a few weeks ago, but tonight I feel much differently. I have followed the Mike Brown case from the beginning. I reached for my pen several times, but I had become so angry that I could not compose my ideas in a way that made it worth value. I could only lash out about how sick I am of this racist country. I found myself weeping a few times, already worried about my son who had not arrived yet. Tonight’s verdict proved that I had not cried a tear too soon, for we saw a re-enactment of a repetitive situation, another black life lost with no consequence for the shooter and no justice for the victim. I found myself thinking about the hundreds or maybe thousands of murdered young black men whose stories have gone unheard, untold and unresolved in small towns and big cities in the North, the South, the East Coast and the West Cost of this country. Tonight’s verdict told me that the madness will continue and that America places no value on black lives, especially those of black men.

I held my son tightly in my arms and thought back to what my father had told me shortly before I gave birth to my son. Then, I thought of a brief encounter with one of my white associates who told me that my son appeared to a bit of “ruffian” in him already. I immediately cast him a look of disgust and was seconds for issuing a verbal lashing to defend my child who cannot defend himself. My associate saw my look and immediately retracted his comment, trying to buffer it with unnecessary fluff about how boys need to be tough. Five weeks old and attempts to mark him were already being made. I have vowed to protect him, to defend him each time it is necessary, and to do my best to lead him in the right direction. Yet, tonight I had to ask myself a bigger question. What happens when I am not around? Society has already shown me that he is a target and viewed as a threat. Though I will teach him the laws and how to handle unfair situations, I cannot guarantee that he will not panic or be victimized regardless of what he does. I worried because I cannot always be around. My dad told me that eventually I would understand a little bit of what a black man feels when he discovers he is powerless. Well, tonight Daddy, you won that argument.

Get to Know Jamie Mayes

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2014 at 5:25 am

I have been honored to be a part of several interviews, but a year ago I had one of my best interviews with Andrea Griggs of Females with a Mission radio. This  year, I took the time to replay this awesome  interview and now I invite you to take a listen, too.

I thank God for showing me the great plan He had for my life as a teen and leading me to a better destiny!
FwaM Radio Conversation

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