Don’t interrupt me when I’m speaking.
Yassssssss, Lisa, yassssss.
Don’t interrupt me when I’m speaking.
Yassssssss, Lisa, yassssss.
In Ghana we say no
Ghanaian celebs against skin bleaching
Actress and TV personality, Ama K Abebrese earlier this year, kicked off a campaign to fight against skin bleaching and skin toning. The initiative has now reached its peak with billboards popping up in Accra and Kumasi to send across her message.
With the help of Hamamat, winner of Miss Malaika Ghana 2012, Actress Nana Ama Mcbrown and actress/singer Paulina Oduro, Ama K is taking her spreading her campaign wide and across all media. Her choice of Nana Ama McBrown, and Pauline Oduro, clearly sends the message that the campaign is not against light skin but a message for women in particular to love their skin, no matter the shade or tone!
Ama K posted on her Instagram: “Some of the billboards of ‘Say NO to skin bleaching/skin toning’ campaign are out on the streets of Accra and Kumasi. #Ghana. Have you spotted any of them? Tell us where. #ilovemynaturalskintone”
Hamamat is a former beauty queen and model. She was crowned Miss Malaika Ghana in 2006. She is an advocate to the ‘Say NO to skin bleaching/skin toning’ campaign. Her natural skintone can be described as dark/chocolate and she says ‘I Love my Natural Skintone’. #saynotoskinbleaching
Nana Ama McBrown is a multiple award winning celebrated Ghanaian actress. She is an advocate for the ‘Say NO to skin bleaching/toning campaign. Her natural skintone can be described as caramel. She says; ‘I Love my Natural Skintone’. #saynotoskinbleaching
Paulina Oduro aka ‘Aunty Paulina’ is a singer, actress and TV personality with over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. She is mixed raced and she is an advocate for the ‘Say No to skin bleaching/skin toning #campaign. Her natural skin tone can be described as caramel and she says ‘I Love my natural skin tone’. #saynotoskinbleaching
‘I Love my Natural Skintone’. Say NO to skin bleaching/skin toning campaign. #saynotoskinbleaching Loving the skin I’m in. Loving my dark skin, embracing the beautiful chocolate hue that God blessed me with. He made no mistakes with my skin. My black is indeed beautiful. Join the campaign and upload your pictures and tag ‘I love my natural skintone’ and share your views, let’s go
I do believe that books can change lives and give people this kind of language they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Day 7: “Untitled”
Carolina sang against the screaming wind and towards the tower-high wave that seemed to be coming for about a week now. She expected that her soulful voice would overpower what was coming, but the rest of us knew that the storm was going to win.
The blue of that sky was the kind you saw on battered, ripe skin… not the kind you saw during stunning summer days.
A voice inside said, “the wind, the water and all of her cousin elements are going to claim your lives sometime soon.” And I had to agree.
The only God I’ve ever believed in left town when the high school was burnt down by residents of a neighboring town, who left the message, “the world is ending, you don’t need no education.”
Everything that needed to learned was learnt, I suppose… but, I will still miss the gymnasium, the cafeteria and the library. Ain’t no way I can I’ll be able to borrow the latest addition to the “Babysitters’ Club” now.
“Lord lift us and protect us…” Carolina sang into the wind over deaf ears. Her long auburn hair blew backward, and tears turned on her cheek and rolled away.
No one was listening to any words about God anymore, especially those who attended church. The pastor had left and gone to where the turf was the highest with his brother’s wife and a box of whiskey from Pete’s Liquor Emporium.
He was smart, or maybe not. A man on the radio said that we’ll all be drinking salt water by tomorrow.
Day 6: “Untitled”
Every ten years Cassandra’s story changes, and the cycle begins again.
Each decade, in her, a change is instigated: a swing in general nature; a literal, lateral shift in identity; and a relocation to a different state or nation, all for the sake of the compulsion.
She always thought each time was the last time, and at 79-years-old, she needed that to be the case.
“Cumpleanos Feliz…” James, her seventh husband, and his four adult children will undoubtedly sing to her next week, on the 13th, for her birthday. They will place exactly 80 candles on the cake because they love her, and she will use all the strength in her lungs to blow out the candles and wish upon each one that she isn’t compelled to leave.
And after all the little lights would go out and they celebrated, James will likely kiss her lips and body like he did on their wedding night. They’ll share a session of careful love making on the quilt that she made especially for the fall season and they’d fall asleep. She’d wake at 4 A.M., the day after her birthday, and without wanting, she’ll gather the essentials and go.
Without knowing, she’d already begun packing. And when she noticed that she had, she kicked everything around like dirt, reareanged and cleaned. And the things that she needed to leave her town and her life, she buried away in an impossible place. But, even she knew she was too resourceful for her own good.
Day 5: “Nicole”
She says her name is Nicole, also. And her lumber-colored eyes are just like mine… were I to stare into a mirror. Her full breast and her shapely thighs, her fleshy stomach, her arrogant hips and her indented waistline, mine … but she isn’t me. Everything is on the wrong side, including the nose ring.
My twin sister, Natalie, calls Nicole, Katrina; and says that she is “evil.” She says that Katrina whispers from my mouth while I am sleeping.
But, at least Natalie believes me. Because no one else can hear Nicole. And no one else can see Nicole. Though, they can see me and hear me as I see her and hear her. My Ghanaian, church-roaring father has often wagged the bible at us in prayer. But, Nicole prays, too. And so do I.
When a ripple, a rip or …a tear appears in the air in front of me she is nearby. That ripple breaths and distorts visually, and I grab ahold of the tear and that’s how Nicole becomes visible to me. Sometimes she’s happy to be seen, sometimes she is not. There are times when I allow her to take use of my life and she lends me her invisibility.
When I am happy, I sometimes forget to find her for days at a time, and a look of devastation greets me when we meet after my absence. She accuses me of abandonment; she was lonely. When I am unhappy or adventurous, I give her use of my life, and I go invisible.
I explore all of New York as an invisible individual. I learn about the volume of this city; its people; its vibration, its pulse and its bones. I watch the city move like vinyl (ref. “Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill) and it moves me.
Sometimes when I return home, Nicole has done bad things. Like the time she struck down my older brother and cracked ribs. Or the time she did worse. Natalie tells me to stop letting Katrina visit because “she wants my life.” Nicole denies that.
When you have a twin sister and a doppelgänger apparition, your twin sister will tell you that your doppelgänger’s face looks like her own but only if she were to hold a hand mirror in front of her while a “larger, warped mirror” was behind her.
Natalie always knows when I’m not me, and she knows when Katrina is there. And when Nicole becomes me, Natalie pretends like she can’t she her.
Yesterday, Nicole asked if she borrow my life for longer than usual because “we,” she and some person, might be in love. Natalie said that she wasn’t surprised, and if I didn’t say goodbye soon, Katrina won’t have to ask for my life.
Day 4: “Untitled”
"Yellow will not stain you," said the tomato to the peach, as heard by the grape(s).
They, all the groceries, sat in the kitchen, warming on the counter, while their owner, Alma, rearranged the fruits, meats, cheeses and other things in the Antarctic refrigerator.
The old eggs had been retired… it was about that time. However, the spinach, the lettuce and the ham were all still healthy, yet they were packed away in suffocating plastic, and handed to a man named Erving, with a quick exchange that concluded with “I don’t need these anymore.”
The entire refrigerator was in trouble, and the grape(s) knew it. But, she/they, the grape(s), hadn’t let anyone in on the secret… not that anyone would listen. She/they wasn’t/weren’t interesting or exotic, and she/they was/were one of the fortunate few whose parts could be pulled from her/their very body, yet she/they was/were never fully depleted.
The grape(s) had only been in Alma’s home for two days from the market, and she/they certainly wasn’t/weren’t ready to go into the body of Alma, or into the trash where she’ll slightly be able to see the yellow of the sun.
it ain’t the worst show i’ve ever seen.
“Stateside Intermission” is an adult novel about an A-lister, Tennessee Avery, and her family. Tennessee leaves Hollywood and her expressively abusive boyfriend, Ethan, after she loses her child.
She then returns to her hometown, Merced, CA, where she helps to cover up a murder; she rekindles a romance with married high school sweetheart Lliam; and is forced to deal with the sudden arrival of Ethan. She also has to put aside her Tenseltown-garnered ego in order to help her sister, Iowa, save her marriage; help her brother, Colorado, with his crippling anger issues; and help her younger siblings, Virginia and Delaware, deal with loss of identity after a sudden death in the family.
The windows were shaded the last time you met me.
Each time, I tried to look to the sun and peer into the fields, I was interrupted by the darkness above the pane.Again, the window is the same. The light outside does not reach me, and those on the outside can not see me suffer. We’re all suffocating in secret at this time of day. The oxygen leaves the room or just my body, and you watch me until I go grey, and then you go down into the darkness.
DAY 2: “Untitled”
The second time at the same station. And the same eyes, I think, burn like flames writhing against the walls of a lamp. They watch me as I walk the seasoned platform. The audience does not adore me, nor does it loathe me… they want to devour me, but they are too shy to admit it, so we dance.
The heat, which I like, keeps my movement swift as I bound through the debris, under the metallic rails and toward the hungry crowd, who quickly step back.
But when I inch back, they move forward. Such great fun. Their mouths open like questions, and sound rings outward. The wailing makes me laugh, so I forgive them for their hunger and for being ugly with contorted faces, for being mountains without tails.
When I hear the metallic dragon snaking toward me as fast as lightening, I hide myself.
And when he leaves, all of my new friends are gone. So I find a new station from below. “High,” “Fulton,” and “Chambers.” I know these names because they were taught to me by my father, who had learned them from his father, who travelled the entire earth: from the channels of Coney Island to the tunnels of Washington Heights.
I’m going to write for ten minutes non-stop each day, and then post that writing. And one day, like magic, the ten minute posts (#1tenmin) won’t be total hogwash. First attempt:
Day 1: “Untitled”
96th street, on the west side, was a stranger to me.
But, the whole city was no friend ….or close acquaintance. Walking the unrinsed block, unwashed faces tucked into the corners of warming sidewalks under the summer sun, Sunday, on the the second hour past noon.
The ‘3’ or ‘2’ Express, and race up the avenue by train toward Harlem, and rediscover the solid streets illustrated to me through Maya Angelou’s collected autobiographies.
Switch trains and tracks until I was at the very damn tip of New York City, riding the edge as if looking over a cliff.
Give the Atlantic a try, and exercise my YMCA-taught swimming lessons against the robust strength of the swollen body of water.
I did none of these thing, I simply kept to the 96th street path. Beaten and stained with gum, mucus and piss. The aromatic, flavorless street proved nothing, but said everything.