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American History X 

Harlem, Alice Attie (2011)
My Process

I just want to give a mean shoutout to the mid life niggas. So many of you who are low vibrating and blocking opportunities for your younger colleagues, human comrades in the struggle and employees. So many of you have sat on the cloud of post-civil rights- the pillow your mothers and fathers have countlessly fluffed so that you could rest your head peacefully at night. So many of you have been so ego driven and money laundering so that you do not fall through the cracks of your unforeseen and unfulfilled dreams. I wish you root and heart chakra healing. I wish you take a deep look in the mirror and see that you are unfinished, learnable, and hurting. I wish for all the work you claim to do to transform and mentor youth to kick you dead in the nose when you look around and see that you have not embraced those closest to you, those struggling to pay rent when you don’t send in their invoices on time, those wishing for a space to illustrate their intellect and skills, those traumatized by your empty promises and featherful hugs. I wish that you cease trying to profit off the backs of young adults attempting to make something out of the nothing that you have created as your model. May you find inner peace after you’ve created space for deep examination of self. May you begin to engage your younger comrades and empathize with their hurting as it too may have been passed on to you. May you take responsibility for the ways in which you have contributed to their dismay so that we may all truly move forward and begin to envisage a society, community, neighborhood, workspace etc. that we can all enjoy breaking our backs to get to.

This is dedicated to all my peers who have complained about the hurting of their bosses and so called mentors, immediate elders, those signing their checks or securing the pearly white gates of the roads we must travel. This is dedicated to those who have not had the courage to voice their grave disappoint or disgust. This is dedicated to the other mid lifers who have similarly
been hurt by their peers. May we all be healed.



guest post by Akeema Zane (@kissingtherain)

I arrived; bore between her waning silence and those overlooking the wonder of body travailing spirit. The freshness of her blood stained my entry into the cold of the white room and I screamed, witnessing what resided outside the hollow of her womb….



guest post by Akeema Zane (@kissingtherain)

I arrived; bore between her waning silence and those overlooking the wonder of body travailing spirit. The freshness of her blood stained my entry into the cold of the white room and I screamed, witnessing what resided outside the hollow of her womb. Eyes competed for my attention while ripping me away from her core. The shock of my separation from her body would never return to me unless it was I who laid flat, knees raised to the ceiling and legs spread to the air enduring creation.

She laid on the hospital bed, straining her body to sit upright

while awaiting the moment she could hold me in her arms.  It was the day before the holiday. She was preparing the turkey and her body urged her to the hospital. She walked there in the rain from the home I came to know as my own. She took to the streets in heels, alone, pacing the concrete while strangers glanced in awe- clearing a path for her to glide through. A man wearing a bright green shirt offered himself and escorted her to emergency room. He left white chrysanthemums for her at the receptionist’s desk upon her exit.

For a while it was just us. No reminiscence of those who greeted me with the dress I donned at my christening, no recollection of the crib I slept in. Just the smell of her breath when she sang to me, the warmth and savor of milk from her breast, the reflection of myself in the whites of her eyes.

Her voice no longer pranced against the amniotic fluid whose comfort only the touch of her skin could mimmic. The armor needed to shield me outside of her womb was more than tarnishing. But every Sunday, after washing my hair with garlic shampoo, she played dub and sat me between her legs on the red living room carpet to braid my hair. If her favorite song came on, she’d get up to dance in front of the three foot mirror which hanged on the wall of the dining room. She’d sing along-her voice as clear as the roosters crowing outside Aunty Helena’s guest bedroom window, waking me to the crack of dawn to greet the sun of Carnival’s season. By six o’clock we’d eat callaloo and rice with oxtails and macaroni pie and potato salad and I’d close my eyes and remember home like I felt it in the core of her gut.

I, this hybrid, this crossroads between old and new, of migration conquered, would come to be the consequence of a dream unfeathered. She’d leave notes across my pillow after waking to break her fast. They read: Stay full of ammunition for the battle ahead is tall and unwavering; Work nor wealth is defined by the girth of ones wallet, but the garden from which one feeds the family and thus the spirit; Home is the seat to the soul.

ABOUT Akeema Zane

photo by sonia louise davis

Akeema-Zane is a multidisciplinary and aspiring multimedia artist born and raised in Harlem, NY with significant childhood memories in Trinidad W.I of which she is a descendant. She received a self-designed interdisciplinary BA from Eugene Lang College with an emphasis in Anglophone Caribbean studies. While attending a predominantly white, all girls boarding school in Connecticut, art became a primary avenue to express her intellectual development- one that differed tremendously from her peers. Akeema-Zane has displayed visual works in various exhibitions, performed in short films/music videos and plays, and read her written works in various galleries. Most recently, she was an artist-in-residence at Groundation Grenada where she led a writing workshop in Grenada, W.I., and published a short piece about her expatriation to the Eastern Caribbean on the organization’s blog. She considers writing her primary mode of expression and spent the bulk 2013 based in Trinidad doing personal research and writing on her family and the cultural capital of Trinidad and other Eastern Caribbean countries.